Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Throwback Freebie -- Favorite Romances Published More Than Fifteen Years Ago

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  

Morning Glory
1. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer -- Published 1989

The Rake (Davenport, #2)
2. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney -- Published 1989

Dreaming of You (The Gamblers, #2)
3. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas -- Published 1994

It Had to Be You (Chicago Stars, #1)
4. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips -- Published 1994

Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3)
5. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase -- Published 1995

Texas Destiny (Leigh Brothers Texas Trilogy, #1)
6. Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath -- Published 1997

My Dearest Enemy
7. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway -- Published 1998

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2)
8. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn -- Published 2000

A Summer to Remember (Bedwyn Prequels, #2)
9. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh -- Published 2002

An Affair to Remember (Talisman Ring #1)
10. An Affair to Remember by Karen Hawkins -- Published 2002

Friday, September 8, 2017

BOOK BLOGGER HOP: September 8, 2017

Hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.  Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Have you ever bought a book because you liked its cover art? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

The Replacement
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
I'm not usually into creepy books, but I was intrigued by this cover the moment that I saw it on a table at Borders (RIP!).  I bought right then and there.  And, happily, I ended up really enjoying the story.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

DRIVE-THRU BOOK REVIEWS: Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense

While I am back from my lengthy blog hiatus, I continue to have issues coming up with the time and inclination to write detailed blog reviews like I used to.  I still want to share what I think about the books I'm reading so I am trying this new format out to keep my head above water when it comes to my Need To Review list.  Basically, the Drive-Thru Book Review posts will consist of multiple two to three sentence reviews that hopefully will intrigue you enough to either try the book out yourself or look for more information about them.

Someone to Hold (Westcott, #2)
Someone to Hold (Westcott Family #2) by Mary Balogh (historical romance) -- 4 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Artist Hero, Beta Hero, Teacher Heroine, Class Differences, Scandal
Review: This was a slow-burning, but very emotional romance. I thoroughly enjoyed the development of the heroine and how she was able to take charge of her life for the first time. The hero's character journey was also interesting.

A Most Unlikely Duke (Diamonds in the Rough, #1)
A Most Unlikely Duke (Diamonds in the Rough #1) by Sophie Barnes (historical romance) -- 4 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Beta Hero, Forbidden Love, Big Secret, Female Friendships
Review: I liked the two main characters and thought they were an interesting couple. The plot was a little out there, but the writing style helped keep it easy to read. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Idol (VIP, #1)
Idol (VIP #1) by Kristen Callihan (contemporary romance) -- 4 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Musician Hero, Musician Heroine, Cabin Romance, Next Door Romance, Multi-Person Narrative
Review: Enjoyable romance with a unique heroine and a swoon-worthy hero. I liked the way that Libby and Killian were able to spend time together before being thrust into his rock star world. Their issues felt relatable and helped them grow as a couple.

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)
White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy) -- 4.5 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Alpha Hero, Detective Heroine, Opposites Attract, First Person Narrative
Review: This was intense and supremely satisfying.  Nevada is climbing the ranks of my favorite heroine list and Rogan is almost as intriguing.  I love the emphasis on family especially in such a tumultuous, untrustworthy world.

When the Scoundrel Sins (Capturing the Carlisles, #2)
When the Scoundrel Sins (Capturing the Carlisles #2) by Anna Harrington (historical romance) -- 3.5 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Rake Hero, Bluestocking Heroine, Friends to Lovers
Review: I really liked both the main characters and thought they were a great couple. I got frustrated with the constant back-and-forth on whether Belle was going to marry and, if so, who. The "mystery" surrounding the vandalism on the estate was very predictable and I don't think served much of a purpose in the overall storyline.

Hidden Hearts (Lovestruck Librarians #6)
Hidden Hearts (Lovestruck Librarians #3) by Olivia Dade (contemporary romance) -- 4 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Beta Hero, Librarian Heroine, Cabin Romance, Friends to Lovers, Small Town Romance, Interracial Romance
Review: This was such a sweet story!  I loved the way that Miles and Mary became friends before falling in love.  They both had issues to overcome and it was admirable to watch them do so.  I did think the ending was too rushed.

The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel, #3)
The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3) by Sarah MacLean (historical romance) -- 4.5 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Tormented Heroine, Class Differences, Troubled Marriage, House Party, Angst
Review: I hated the hero for the way he treated the heroine in the first book of the series, The Rogue Not Taken, but Sarah MacLean did a wonderful job reforming him. She does an amazing job making her characters feel human with their flaws while also providing enough charm to make me love them. My emotions ran the gamut while reading this and I was engrossed from beginning to end.

The Lawrence Browne Affair (The Turner Series, #2)
The Lawrence Browne Affair (Turner #2) by Cat Sebastian (historical romance) -- 4 Stars

Archetypes/Tropes: Con-Artist Hero, Reclusive Hero, Employer-Employee Romance, Class Differences, Opposites Attract, Forbidden Love
Review: Such a powerful and thought-provoking romance!  I loved the way the relationship between Lawrence and Georgie developed.  The overarching theme of family in this series is fascinating and really adds something to the character dynamics.

Perfect for You (Sunshine Creek Vineyard, #2)
Perfect For You (Sunshine Creek Vineyard #2) by Candis Terry (contemporary romance) -- 3.5 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Alpha Hero, Employer-Employee Romance, Unrequited Love
Review: I thought this book was cute. I adored the heroine and liked the hero (for the most part). The hero's family was amazing as well. I just had a hard time getting motivated to keep reading though I can't pinpoint anything wrong with the book itself.

Kindred in Death (In Death, #29)
Kindred in Death (In Death #29) by JD Robb (romantic suspense) -- 4.25 Stars
Archetypes/Tropes: Kick-Ass Heroine, Alpha Hero, Murder Mystery, Revenge, Established Couple
Review: This was intriguing, but sometimes difficult to read due to the fact that the victim is a sixteen year old girl.  I am always fascinated by the way that Eve is able to put together the pieces with these cases and this was no exception.  I loved the ending and the way that the villain was finally caught!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Good Books With Slow Starts

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  

The Secret Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #3)
1. The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1)
2. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

3. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
4. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Better Homes and Hauntings
5. Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Darkfever (Fever, #1)
6. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)
7. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Outlander (Outlander, #1)
8. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
9. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling

Friday, September 1, 2017

TAKE MY MONEY: September 2017

Where I feature new releases that grabbed my attention for the upcoming month.  As always, release dates are subject to change.  All titles link back to Goodreads.

Secrets in Death (In Death, #45)
Secrets in Death (In Death #45) by JD Robb (romantic suspense) -- September 5th
The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.
The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.
Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Lady Eleanor's Seventh Suitor (The Sutherland Sisters, #1)
Lady Eleanor's Seventh Suitor (The Sutherlands #1) by Anna Bradley (historical romance) -- September 5th
There have been six suitors so far, all vying for the attention—and generous dowry—of the beautiful, elusive Eleanor Sutherland. What does this woman really want? Who has what it takes to melt the heart of the so-called Lady Ice? These are the questions Camden West keeps asking himself. But rather than wait for answers, Cam takes matters into his own hands . . . for he has a secret weapon.

Cam knows that Ellie’s sister, Charlotte, harbors a scandalous secret—one that could bring ruin to the Sutherland name. If Ellie marries him, Cam promises to keep mum. But is she willing to sacrifice her own happiness for her sister’s reputation?

To Ellie’s surprise, it becomes clear that Cam doesn’t need her money, nor is he interested in her status. Soon, what begins as a sham engagement transforms into something deeper, and more passionate, than Ellie could have imagined. Is it possible that all Cam truly wanted was her? And is that reason enough to say yes—or is handsome Cam hiding something else? Even for a lady in love, only the truth will do . . .

A Taste of Honey (Lively St. Lemeston, #4)
A Taste of Honey (Lively St. Lemeston #4) by Rose Lerner (historical romance) -- September 12th
Robert Moon risked everything, including his father’s hardwon legacy, to open his beloved Honey Moon Confectionery on the busiest street in Lively St. Lemeston. Now he’s facing bankruptcy and debtor’s prison.
When a huge catering order comes in, he agrees to close the sweet-shop for a week to fill it. There’s only one problem: his apprentice is out of town, so his beautiful shop-girl Betsy Piper must help Robert in the kitchen.
Betsy’s spent the last year trying to make her single-minded boss look up from his pastries and notice that she would be the perfect wife. Now the two of them are alone in a kitchen full of sweet things. With just one week to get him to fall in love with her, she’d better get this seduction started...
She soon discovers that Robert brings the same meticulous, eager-to-please attitude to lovemaking that he does to baking, but can kisses—no matter how sweet—compete with the Honey Moon in his heart?

Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10)
Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter #10) by Nalini Singh (urban fantasy) -- September 26th

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.
Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…
Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…No one is safe.

Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4)
Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay #4) by Jill Shalvis (contemporary romance) -- September 26th

Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.
Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she's gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

Tangled Up in Tinsel
Tangled Up in Tinsel (Sunshine Creek Vineyard #3) by Candis Terry (contemporary romance) -- September 26th 

As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, Parker Kincade has a restaurant to open. The fact that his Groomzilla brother wants the place for his perfect Christmas wedding doesn’t help. Then there’s the stunning woman who appoints herself his new chef before he’s ready to hire one. But one look at Gabriella Montani has Parker reassessing needs vs. wants. And that’s before he tastes what she has to offer…
Gabriella doesn’t need to get tangled up with a sexy man. What she needs is a job and a chance to prove herself. A place in Parker’s kitchen could give her the opportunity she’s been waiting for. The heat between them is sizzling, but a place in his bed could be downright dangerous. Neither Christmas nor men have ever lived up to her expectations, but Parker has soulmate written all over him. Should Gabi let herself be swept up in his holiday magic, or will it disappear before Christmas Day?

The Scotsman Who Saved Me (Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen #1)
The Scotsman Who Saved Me (Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen #1) by Hannah Howell (historical romance) -- September 26th
A brutal attack on Emily Stanton’s family has left her for dead . . . until she is found in the woods by a handsome stranger with a thick brogue who vows to protect her. There’s only one problem: As a woman with a noble English background, she has no business keeping company with such a man.

For Scotsman Iain MacEnroy, Emily’s high-tone accent is a bitter reminder of the oppressive regime he left behind. The last thing he needs is to be burdened by the needs of a beautiful, blue-eyed Englishwoman. But taking care of elegant, educated Emily begins to transform Iain in ways he never imagined. Could it be that the deep divisions from the old world no longer apply in the new—and that Iain and Emily can share a passion as lush and wild as the Scottish highlands themselves?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Hidden Gems in Historical Romance

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  

The Perfect Waltz (The Merridew Sisters, #2)
1. The Perfect Waltz by Anne Gracie

The Impostor (Liar's Club, #2)
2. The Impostor by Celeste Bradley

Lady Rogue
3. Lady Rogue by Suzanne Enoch

To Love a Thief
4. To Love a Thief by Julie Anne Long

Devil's Own (Clan MacAlpin, #2)
5. Devil's Own by Veronica Wolff

6. Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

In For a Penny
7. In For a Penny by Rose Lerner

The Dangerous Viscount (The Burgundy Club, #2)
8. The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville

When She Was Wicked (Honeycote, #1)
9. When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton

Ruined by Rumor
10. Ruined By Rumor by Alyssa Everett