Monday, June 30, 2014

4 Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: William Morrow
Published: May 6, 2014
Paperback, 272 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-232554-9
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary: 
Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island by a host who fails to appear but leaves a recording accusing all of undetected murder. Cut off by his orders, one by one each die according to a nursery rhyme Ten Little Indians. A confession in a bottle solves how nobody remains alive.

My thoughts:
This is the first book I've read by Agatha Christie. I've watched Poirot and Miss. Marple series, but have neglected to read any of her novels until now. And I'm glad I made the leap. 

And Then There Were None is a thrilling story about ten strangers that are invited to a mysterious island by a mysterious host. There they are each incriminated for murder by the mysterious host. That very night a guest/victim dies. The strangers are freaked out and vow to leave the island in the morning. Only they can't. And more people keep dying.

This is a really fantastic novel. It will keep you guessing until the end. I enjoyed the way Christie laid out the story; the background she gave us of each character adding to the thrill. And of course it dabbles with the question of whether we should take justice into our own hands. If you've not had an opportunity to read this book, I recommend it. It's perfect for a rainy afternoon!

My rating:

0 Q&A with Angela Smith

1. How do you "solve the mystery of love" with romance novels?

I’m not sure we’ll ever solve the mystery of love, but it is fun to try through my characters and plots and attempting to make them communicate through their miscommunications.

2.Romance often gets a bad rep. Why do you think this is?

That’s a great question, and something I’ve always wondered about. I don’t know if it’s because people have been hurt or they think that type of love found in romance novels is stupid or ridiculous and doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s because they’re scared to look silly if they read it? I don’t know, but I do believe in true love. Maybe not the fantastical stuff you find in romance novels, but romance novels are a few hours of a person’s life, 85,000 to 100,000 words of these characters’ lives, and love is supposed to last a lifetime. Love also has mundane aspects, but we wouldn’t want to read about that part of it all.

3. What is the best relationship advice you've received?
To communicate; listen more than you talk. Don’t try to change your spouse and put just as much effort in your marriage as you would in dating!

4.You've written three romantic suspense novels to date. What are you working on next?

I’m working on three stories at the moment, although one is written and just going through editing phases now. Working on my next romantic suspense, an inspirational, and a young adult.

5. What would your characters say to you if given the chance?
“Let me do things my way the first time so you don’t have to rewrite or get blocked.”

Final Mend by Angela Smith

A recovering alcoholic, Jake Inman has found a new, healthier addiction: training for his successful triathlon career. But when his manager is murdered and beloved goddaughter kidnapped, another obsession takes hold: doing whatever it takes to find Brandon’s killer and keep Amy safe. Jake turns to a private investigator for help in solving the case, and though he finds temptation in her whiskey-colored eyes, he knows he must resist his attraction, or risk losing his heart.

After a devastating case, Winona Wall has turned her back on her skills as a private investigator, preferring a quiet life as a part-time bartender. That is, until Jake storms into the bar, demanding her help in tracking his missing godchild. Unable to resist Jake’s charm, she reluctantly agrees. But even after Amy is found unharmed, Jake insists Amy’s mother was more involved with her kidnapping than the police suspect. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Winona must trust her instincts in order to save them all - and avoid falling in love.
Information about the book:
Title: Final Mend
Author: Angela Smith
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 23 June 2014
Publisher: Crimson Romance
ISBN: 1440583331

Buy Links:
Other links listed at

About the Author:

During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read Brer Rabbit to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read. She’s always enjoyed stories about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed her love of suspense. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys off-roading, crafting, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.

Angela Smith LOVES talking to readers. You can contact her in the following ways:


The Jeep bounced along the road, up steep mountain slopes, as rain fell in sheets. Winona gasped as the Jeep slid through slick channels of mud, but Jake managed to hold it tight. The roads were spongy, absorbing water, then wringing it out in a collection of goo.
She imagined water gushing around her. Imagined falling to their death. Being sucked into the earth by sludge. The sky had turned dark, merciless, and she couldn’t see a damn thing but the Jeep lights soaking an otherwise indistinguishable trail. The wind clamored across the ragtop as if it wasn’t even attached.
 “We’re almost there,” Jake had assured her several times as she clenched the grab handle. They had made it past the public roads just fine, and she felt this trail was way worse than he’d described. “It feels worse than it is,” he continued. “I’ve traveled this road hundreds of times.”
“We should wait for backup.” She checked her phone yet again but had no service. She couldn’t call Garret to find out what was going on at his end, and none of her texts was going through. As a private investigator, she’d done many stupid things alone. This ranked top of her list.
She opened the glove compartment. Searched under the seats, behind the seats.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking to see if Chayton has any ammo or guns in his Jeep. Knowing my brother, he doesn’t.”
Her arsenal consisted of the .380 she’d hidden in her pants and the 9mm she kept in her purse. She’d feel much better if she had an assault rifle as backup, or at least her shotgun. Not that she could handle any more than two at a time anyway, if she was lucky to handle more than one.
Jake cracked his knuckles. “The only ammo I need is right here.”
Winona settled in her seat and faced him. He continued to peer out the window as the heavy downpour seemed to crack the Jeep’s ragtop. But the Jeep held steady. “Really, Jake?”
“Yep. That and adrenaline.”
“So your fists, your arms, will help you dodge bullets? You don’t think that whoever we meet at this cabin won’t have their adrenaline? You know we could be heading into a trap, right?”
“You think I care about that right now? All I care about is my little girl.”
“How do we know she’s even there? Lillian could be lying to you. Setting you up. If she had anything to do with Brandon’s murder, anything at all, then—”
“You didn’t have to come!”
“We can’t just go in there without a plan.”
“I have a plan.”
“We don’t even know who’s there. How many are there. If Amy is even there.”
“I know that cabin like the back of my hand. We’re close, and I’m damn sure not stopping or turning around.”
She squared her shoulders, digging in her purse for the 9mm. She checked the clip and handed it to him.
“Do you at least know how to shoot?”
“Are you kidding me, Winona?”
“No, I’m not kidding you. If it comes down to it, can you shoot a living, breathing human being if he’s threatening your life or those you love?”
“Maybe you’re a tough street chick who carries a couple of guns everywhere she goes. I can picture you with an AK on your back and a belt of bullets strapped around your chest. But I can hold my own. I might not be a cop, but I’m probably a better marksman than most. I was four years old when I shot my dad’s rifle for the first time. I grew up around hunting and fishing, spitting and shooting.”
“Hunting is a lot different than killing a person.”
“And you would know better than me how?”
“Well, I’ve never had to kill anyone. Most of my PI work didn’t involve danger.”
Jake glanced at her. Shadows deepened the hard lines of his face, making him appear lethal. But the last time a friend had helped in an investigation, he’d ended up dead.
In many ways Jake reminded her of Naomi’s ex, Caleb. Caleb had become addicted to alcohol, ruined his relationship with Naomi, and Winona had befriended him when he came to Montana to try to win Naomi back. He was trying to change, trying to get better, when he was shot outside the police station by the cronies who wanted to kill Garret.
Caleb had died because of quick and irrational decisions. At the time, she had been holed up safely with her mother and she knew it was nobody’s fault. But she knew they hadn’t thought things through, and she worried the same thing was about to happen again.
“If my life or the life of anyone I care about is in danger, I will shoot. If you threatened Amy, I’d shoot you.” Jake patted her on the leg before returning his hands to the wheel. “You worry too much. Stop worrying.” He turned off the lights and drove.
“What are you doing?” Winona squinted through the gray. It shouldn’t be dark yet, but the unrelenting skies held the sun hostage.
Jake pulled under a tree and shut off the engine.
“I think it’s best if we walk the rest of the way.”
“Walk? I didn’t exactly bring my hiking gear.”
Jake glanced down at her tennis shoes. “Those will have to do.”

0 Q&A with Susan Mallery

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of

1.     In what ways do you think every woman can relate to Larissa Owens?
Larissa is a sweetie. She’s not rich; she’s working as a personal assistant and personal masseuse for Jack. She gets to go to work in yoga pants and touch sexy guys all over. (Dream job!) UNTIL WE TOUCH is my nod to the boss/secretary story, one of my favorite kinds of romance.
Larissa has a pure heart, and when she sees someone hurting, she doesn’t just think about helping. She does help, with whatever resources are available to her. Fortunately for her, since she’s been working for Jack, he has allowed her to use his wealth and connections in service to her causes. In fact, he likes it. With Larissa using his money to try to save the world, he can feel like a part of something without actually putting himself out there. It’s a very comfortable arrangement for them both… until Larissa’s mom tells Jack that Larissa is in love with him, and everything changes.

2.     What about Jack McGarry makes him like no leading man we’ve ever seen before in Fool’s Gold?
I think what makes people relatable—both in fiction and in life—are our imperfections and our vulnerabilities. From the outside, Jack’s life appears perfect. He’s rich, handsome, famous. He was a pro quarterback who retired on top and is now experiencing the same phenomenal success in the private sector with Score, the PR firm he co-owns.
But Jack has a secret pain that makes him protect himself from feeling too deeply, from caring too much. He lost someone dear to him when he was young, and he felt responsible. The lesson he took from that loss was that it’s safer on the surface.
Larissa works for him, so she knows he’s not a good bet when it comes to relationships. She has watched a string of temporary girlfriends come and go. She even bought the parting gifts. Despite that, despite her better judgment, she likes the man. He’s a good guy, a great friend, and he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met.

3.     If UNTIL WE TOUCH were made into a movie, who would you envision playing Jack and Larissa?
I’m going to go with Chris Pine with black hair and Amy Adams as a blonde. (We must keep the Hollywood hairstylists employed!) Both could handle the funny scenes and the moments of honest emotion.
Of course, one of the funniest scenes in the book would probably have to be cut in order to keep the R rating. No spoilers, but I will say that Larissa is a massage therapist, and as their feelings for each other change, new situations—ahem—arise.
4.     Larissa keeps her romantic attraction to Jack a secret at first, before her mother spills the beans. Do you think you should ever keep that secret from a friend you’re falling for, or is it better to confess your love?
In the case of Larissa, she didn’t realize she was keeping a secret… she kept her feelings a secret even from herself. Until her mother’s assertion, Larissa didn’t think she was in love with Jack. Just by saying those words, Larissa’s mom changed everything. These two friends and colleagues are suddenly thinking of each other in a whole new way. Which is inconvenient, to say the least.
As for whether someone in real life should keep her feelings for a friend secret or confess all, I’d have to say it really depends on the situation. Friendship is the best foundation for lifelong love, but not all friends-to-lovers stories end happily. I think you’d need to examine your heart and ask yourself, honestly, what is the best action for you to take.

5.     You have written well over 100 books. How do you keep developing such unique storylines and characters that keep your fans coming back for more?
It’s a challenge! The truth is, every love story is unique. We all know dozens of couples who met, fell in love, and married. The framework may be similar—first glance, first kiss, deepening feelings, declaration of love—but the nuances are different. Which means that as a writer, I need to start with the nuances and build from there. What makes these two individuals unique and uniquely suited for each other? What events in their past color their actions and emotions today? As I develop their characters, I look for aspects that put them in conflict with each other, but also for aspects that will make them a couple you can believe will make it for the long haul. The conflict has to last nearly the length of the book, but the things they have in common have to take them through the rest of their lives.

6.     What do you think is the recipe for a perfect romance novel?
A perfect romance should carry you away from your everyday world and fill you with emotions as you read. When you put down the book before you’re finished, it should call to you. Chores can wait, dinner can wait. It should be a challenge for you to turn off the light to go to sleep, even when it’s way past your bedtime. You should want to read just one more chapter, and then just one more after that, and then just one more until you’re done because you can’t bear to put it down until you know the characters are happy and in love. And when you do finish this perfect romance, you should feel happy, with a renewed feeling of faith in the power of love to overcome all obstacles.

7.     What’s next for Fool’s Gold?
Next up, Kenny and Bailey will fall in love in YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS. Readers are in love with Kenny already, started asking for his story right away. He was introduced in WHEN WE MET, and readers could immediately sense that there are hidden depths beneath his happy-go-lucky façade. Kenny is one of Jack’s partners at Score PR. What he wants more than anything is a family, but he was burned badly by an ex. The one thing he won’t do, no matter what, is fall in love with a single mom. And then he meets Bailey…
YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS was originally slated to be an ebook exclusive novella. However, Harlequin has decided to release it simultaneously in print on October 28. It will be printed at the back of the mass market paperback reissue of CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET. Both YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS (ebook) and CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET combined with YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS (print and ebook) are available for pre-order now.

8.     Any fun summer plans?

I’m going to soak in as much of this rare and precious Seattle sunshine as I can before the rainclouds descend again! Seattle in the summertime has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I swear, there are a million shades of green, and every single one of them is on display as we walk the dog around the city.

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes the story of secret desires finally fulfilled…

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool's Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

0 Feature and Giveaway: One Plus One by Jojo Moyers

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger.
One irresistible love story from the
New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.

A Novel

Jojo Moyes

ONE PLUS ONE equals one fine novel….skillfully crafted characters… meld together into
an uncommonly good story about family, trust, and love…hysterically mismatched mélange…
Bravo to Moyes for delivering toothsome characters in a story readers will truly care about.
Is that Hollywood calling?”—BooklistStarred Review

“Offbeat journey so satisfying…Moyes’s irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable.”
Publishers Weekly

“Amazing novel…about trust, dignity, desperation, and, ultimately, love….Moyes…has a remarkable
gift for creating balanced, deep characters who struggle to find their own way. With humor,
and insight, and an amazing ability to see how personal hitting rock bottom can become, she
has written an emotional, rich, and satisfying novel.”—Library Journal, Starred Review

Readers and critics alike fell in love with Jojo Moyes’s New York Times-bestselling novel, Me Before You;her latest novel, ONE PLUS ONE (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking; on-sale July 1, 2014; 978-0-525-42658-5; $27.95) is a compelling story of love and family, told with Moyes’s trademark sensitivity and humor.

Suppose your life sucks—a lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. If you’re Jess Thomas, you make it work.

Jess and her family (including their giant, smelly dog Norman) begin their doomed-from-the-start adventure stranded on the side of the road next to an old Rolls Royce—sans license, sans insurance—having just been pulled over by the police for a missing headlight. And the unexpected knight in shining armor who rescues them? Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home Jess happens to clean. With big problems of his own, Ed uncharacteristically offers to drive Jess and her dysfunctional brood to the Maths Olympiad and a prize that could change everything for Jess’s family.  It feels like his first unselfish act in ages…maybe ever.

This unlikely cast of characters is easy to fall for: Nicky, Jess’s stepson, wears mascara, doesn’t fit in at school, but is incredibly protective of Tanzie, Jess’s precocious math prodigy daughter; Jess and Ed are the kind of opposites you love to watch attract; and pungent Norman, the immovable mascot of the back seat, is the best guard dog you’ll ever find drooling on your shoulder.

ONE PLUS ONE is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you turn the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.

About the Author
JOJO MOYES is the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl You Left Behind, Me Before You, andThe Last Letter from Your Lover.  She is also the author of the e-only novella Honeymoon in Paris as well asSilver Bay (Penguin / on-sale: August 26) and The Ship of Brides (Penguin / on-sale: October 28).  Moyes also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She lives with her husband and their three children on a farm in Essex, England.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

0 Someone Else’s Skin: the secrets inside a new crime series

Someone Else’s Skin: the secrets inside a new crime series

As soon as I started writing crime, I knew I wanted to write a series. I do love standalones (many of my favourite books are one-off psychological thrillers), but there’s something addictive about a series. I can’t imagine ever tiring of Highsmith’s Ripley books, for instance. Each one peels another layer from Tom’s character, or adds a layer. You can get hooked on a series; maybe it’s the obsessive in me that loves them so much.
Much of the thrill in writing Someone Else’s Skin came from knowing it would be the first in a series; I’d be spending a lot of time with these characters. I wanted readers hooked, enough to read a second book, and hopefully a third and fourth. My characters, as well as being people that readers could warm to, needed layers and mystery. As a storyteller, I had to perform a balancing act between intrigue and empathy. But I love a challenge.
Can we get close to a character who is keeping secrets? Doesn’t closeness require trust, full disclosure? Well, perhaps. That’s where the balancing act comes in. My heroine Marnie Rome is keeping secrets from everyone, including herself. She’s even keeping secrets from me; it’s one of the reasons I find her fascinating to write. In fact, the whole series is predicated on secrets. From the waffle I was calling a synopsis, my publishers came up with this strapline: “Some secrets keep us safe, others will destroy us.
When I started Someone Else’s Skin, I began to obsess about the secrets that Marnie was keeping. In the second book (which I’ve just finished), we learn a lot more about her, but it’s still just the tip of the iceberg. She does a mean line in double-bluffing, too.
This, for me, is the secret of a good crime series: the gradual discovery of the central character(s) through an ever-varied set of challenges. Of course, plenty of long-running crime series do splendidly without a notable character arc for their heroes. Sherlock Holmes, whom I’ve loved since I was ten, changed very little over the course of his adventures, but each time there was a flash of something new in his character..? Those were the moments I cherished (when Watson takes a bullet in The Adventure of the Three Garridebs – brilliant). And I love the depth and breadth of the character arc in the Dexter series.
For the Marnie Rome series, I aim to pick my crimes with care, so that the solving of them will bring out the best (and sometimes the worst) in Marnie. The second book in the series is about lost children. We’re going to learn about the kind of person Marnie was when she was sixteen, and the ways in which she’s changed (and the ways in which she hasn’t). We’re told as writers to put our heroes up trees and throw stones at them. Well, in the next book, Marnie might wish she was up a tree being pelted with stones, in preference to the fixes I’ve landed her in. Maybe in time she’ll give up all her secrets, but I can’t help wishing she won’t. I’m having far too much fun hunting them down.

Click here for a chance to win a copy of this book.

Friday, June 27, 2014

2 Review: The Wild Dark Flowers

Title: The Wild Dark Flowers(A Novel of Rutherford Park)
Author: Elizabeth Cooke
Publisher: Berkley Books
Published: July 1, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9780425262597
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley/Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
When May came that year in Rutherford, it was more beautiful than anyone could ever remember. More beautiful, and more terrible…

From inside their sprawling estate of Rutherford Park, the Cavendish family had a privileged perspective of the world. On the first morning in May, 1915, with a splendid view that reached across the gardens to the Vale of York, nothing seemed lovelier or less threatening. And yet…

At the risk of undoing the Cavendish name with scandal, William and Octavia Cavendish have been living a lie, maintaining a marriage out of duty rather than passion. But when their son Harry joins the Royal Flying Corps in France, the Cavendish family are forced to face the unavoidable truths about themselves, the society in which they thrive, and the secrets they can no longer bear.

In the wake of a terrible war, the emotional shifts between a husband and a wife, a wife and her lover, and a mother and her children, will shake the very foundation of the Cavendish family, and change the uniquely vulnerable lives of all who reside at Rutherford Park.

My thoughts: 
The Wild Dark Flowers is the second novel in the Rutherford Park series. If you've not read Rutherford Park, I would urge you to do so before reading this book. I didn't read it first, and while Elizabeth Cooke does a fantastic job of laying out the story, I felt as if I didn't get a clear picture. 

Who will like this book? Fans of Downton Abbey, Upstairs, Downstairs, and the like. Rutherford Park is a huge estate (like Downton) that is run by a small army of servants and staff. And just like Downton Abbey the story focuses not only on the family but the staff as well. So you get a broad picture of how the war had an effect on every class.

Lord and Lady Cavendish are trying to repair their marriage after her affair with the American. William knows that Octavia still has romantic feelings toward her seducer, but he still tries to do everything in his power to win her back. The Cavendish's have many more worries to contend with. They worry over their children, especially their son who is involved in the war. They worry over the household and the staff that has been sent or is going off to war. 

This story is full of emotional turmoil that will keep you turning pages until the very end. It would be hard to put in every detail and focus on every story line (there are a few) without giving away the entire plot or making this review thirty pages. The Wild Dark Flowers is a wonderfully written book that will leave you wanting more. This is the series to read while you're waiting for new episodes Downton Abbey.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

0 Check out this week's free SYNC downloads

Available to download June 26 – July 2, 2014 

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was–that I couldn’t stick around–and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.
But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made–and the light in us all that never goes out.

On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a bar by two young men, then savagely beaten, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, and left to die. Five days later, Lesléa Newman arrived on campus to give the keynote speech for the University of Wyoming’s Gay Awareness Week. October Mourning is Lesléa Newman’s deeply personal response to the events of that tragic day and its brutal aftermath. This work of poetic imagination explores the impact of the vicious crime through fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence to which Matthew was tied, the deer that kept watch beside him, and even Matthew himself. This stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life and legacy.

0 Review: The Duke's Obsession

Title: The Duke's Obsession
Author: Frances Fowlkes
Publisher Entangled Scandalous
Published: May 12, 2014
Ebook ARC
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:
London 1818

An American Heiress Who Must Swallow Her Pride

Miss Daphne Farrington despises three things: England's dreary weather, the grimy streets of London, and most especially the English aristocracy. Despite her misgivings, she must persuade the very English Duke of Waverly to save her family shipping business. If only she could ignore the way he makes her pulse race whenever she's near him.

A Duke Who Must Overcome Her Prejudice

Edward Lacey, the Duke of Waverly, is convinced that the lovely Miss Farrington, with her penchant for numbers, is the woman he'd like to make his Duchess. But unless he can convince her that not all English lords are callous, calculating rakes, a dark secret will ruin his chance at happiness.

My thoughts:
Miss Daphne Farrington hates English Aristocracy. She's thinks they're all stuck up snobs. When her paths cross with Edward Lacey, the Duke of Waverly, she is certain that she is right. However she needs Edward's help to clear her brother's name. He agrees to help, but only if he can try to convince her that she's wrong about the English.

The Duke's Obsession reminded me of Pride and Prejudice. Though Daphne is both proud and prejudiced against the English. I absolutely love Edward Lacey. He's is a swoon-worthy character. He immediately is attracted to Daphne, though he denies his feelings a bit. Daphne is also attracted to Edward, though she doesn't want to be.

This is an enjoyable story. I love watching the two characters struggle with their feelings. I love seeing Daphne softening not only toward Edward but also to her English relatives. This is a heart-warming story that will leave you with the warm and fuzzies. 

My rating:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

0 The Longest Night Giveaway

Author: Kara Braden
Pub Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Years ago, former Marine Captain Cecily Knight fled her dark past and the nightmares forever haunting her nights. Alone in the remote Canadian wilderness, she survives day to day…until Ian Fairchild comes storming into her life and shatters her protective seclusion.

Aloof but intriguing, defensive but undeniable, Ian is everything Cecily shouldn’t want but can’t ignore. He watches her with shrewd blue eyes, as if determined to decipher her secrets…and for the first time in years, she finds herself coming alive beneath the hands of a man with too many scars to count.
As the hushed and harsh winter closes in around them, two lost souls find themselves on the precipice of a love that could save their lives…or destroy them forever.


Cecily shifted her weight, and Ian caught her sleeve, silently cursing the bulky jackets and gloves that separated them both. At the touch, she went still, saying, “Ian—“

“Cecily,” he interrupted quietly. He wanted to pull away her sunglasses, but he sensed that she needed that little artificial shield. If Ian pushed too hard, she would shut down completely, and he might never get another chance at her. Even this might be too much, but Ian had to try.

Lightly holding her sleeve, he raised his free hand and used his teeth to tug off the glove. Her head turned sharply to watch the path of the glove as Ian tossed it aside. Cold air bit at his fingers, but he didn’t care. He set his fingertips to her face, for an instant feeling the icy skin of her jaw before she flinched away.

“Cecily,” Ian repeated quietly, soothingly, and touched again. This time, she didn’t pull back. She parted her lips and inhaled quietly. The motion drew his gaze down, and he saw no reason at all not to chase that breath.

Tight with tension, her lips tasted of cold and snow. Subtle, burning point of contact connected them skin-to-skin—Ian’s fingertips on her face, his thumb on the thinner flesh over her cheekbone, their lips touching lightly The kiss was barely more than the air they shared for one breath, two. Her exhale shuddered against his mouth.

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Author Biography

Kara Braden makes her debut in modern romance with The Longest Night, a story of love in isolation. She believes that engaging, romantic fantasy can be found everywhere in the world, even in the most unlikely places. With the support of her wonderful husband, cats, and dogs, she writes from her home office outside Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends her time hiding from the sunlight and heat.

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"One of the best debuting romance writers in memory... Braden has a genuine gift for this genre, and readers will hope to see many more books carrying her name." - Booklist Starred Review

"In this touching and stupendously fresh debut, Braden proves that one doesn't have to turn an entire genre on its head to get something new and exciting. Contemporary romance fans will savor every page." - Publishers Weekly Starred Review

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0 Giveaway and Feature: Someone Else's Skin

Some secrets keep you safe, others will destroy you...

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won't share with anyone.

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women's shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women's husbands, who shouldn't have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed...

SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN introduces Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and explores the darkness sometimes hidden below the surface that we won’t allow ourselves to see, and admit what is right in front of us.  For fans of Tana French, Sophie Hannah and Kate Atkinson.  Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls, is already a fan of Hilary’s praising her debut as, “A truly engrossing read from an exceptional new talent…Intelligent, emotional and totally unexpected in terms of where it goes. I truly loved this book.”

Find out more about the author by visiting her website:

Thanks to Penguin I have a copy of this book to give away to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old. Giveaway is restricted to US address at this time (Sorry, no P.O. Box).

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Monday, June 23, 2014

0 Giveaway and Interview with Liz Long

1. "Witch Hearts is an adult paranormal thriller meant for those who liked to be a little creeped out" What creeps you out? 
Hmmm, well if we're talking real things (as opposed to monsters in the closet), I'd have to say spiders. Seeing one skittering across your arm? Heebies AND jeebies. 

2. Courtney has to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend. That's a nightmare in itself. Have you ever had to work with someone who had betrayed you?
I've been lucky in that not too many people have betrayed me - and if they have, I typically cut them out and move on without thinking twice. Of course, there are always certain instances with co-workers, previous employers and the like, but I've been fortunate not to have that to deal with, not like Ruby! 

3. Who are some of your favorite authors?
I've loved James Patterson for a long time, as well as Dan Brown. Charlaine Harris is great inspiration (though I wasn't a big fan of the last couple Sookie Stackhouse books). I love Nichole Chase, who is a recent find - I figured if she could turn me on to a contemporary romance (Suddenly Royal) then she's a great writer! I really enjoy her style and fun characters. 

4. What are some of your favorite summer-time activities?
I have to admit I'm a much bigger fan of fall than I am of summer. If I'm absolutely forced outdoors, I enjoy hanging out with my friends at food and beer festivals. My husband and I like to go for bike rides on the nearby greenway or play basketball after work, too. (But typically, I'm inside where there's air conditioning, Internet, and a fridge.)

5. What are you working on now? 
I'm getting through the first draft of an NA fantasy about Reapers (tentatively titled A REAPER MADE). There's a few twists and turns, but overall, it's a story of a girl being made into a Reaper and learning how to cope with her new journey, as well as what happens when demons interfere and try to steal her protected souls. 

Find out more about this author by visiting:

How does a witch stay safe if a killer can get through her protection spells?

Witches like Ruby and Courtney can take care of themselves. So when Courtney is murdered, Ruby’s world crashes to a halt. The only thing keeping her grounded is the return of Courtney’s brother, Cooper. He seeks revenge, but Ruby wants to help other witches stay alive. To do that, she’ll have to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend.

If that wasn’t awkward enough, when the killer gets too close, Cooper temporarily moves into Ruby’s place while a police officer tails her every move. Cooper’s presence distracts Ruby as they fight their desire against their need to stay safe. Then Courtney begins to haunt Ruby’s dreams and secrets are spilled, things from Cooper’s past that could get them both killed. The killer continues to stalk Ruby and the more she discovers, the more she fears she won’t be able to keep her heart in her chest.

Thanks to the author I have a book bundle up for grabs! This is an ecopy (.mobi, epub, pdf) of the following books:
1 e-copy of WITCH HEARTS
1 e-copy of GIFTED (Donovan Circus #1)
1 e-copy of BURNED (Donovan Circus #2)

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