Friday, July 28, 2017

Spotlight Tour Review - Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday #excerpt #giveaway @LBroday @SourcebooksCasa

Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday
Series: Texas Heroes #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Date Read: July 23, 2017
Length:  352 pages
Source: NetGalley
He’ll do whatever it takes
To keep them safe

Duel McClain has lost everything he’s ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he’ll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…

Just as Duel swears his life can’t get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help Duel care for the child in exchange for his protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps their salvation is closer than either of them could have dreamed…
My Review

This book was simply a delight to read!  I was completely swept away by this wonderful story filled with characters that will stay with me.  I used to read a lot of western historical romances but haven't picked up in years.  I really decided to read this book on a whim and what a good decision that turned out to be.  This was a book that was nearly impossible for me to put down once I started reading and I ended up finishing it in less than 24 hours.  This book had so many wonderful elements that just seemed to work together flawlessly.

Duel McClain is a character that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.  At the start of the story, Duel wins a little girl in a poker game.  It quickly becomes obvious that while he has good intentions, he has no idea what he is doing.  As luck would have it, Jessie finds her way to his campsite needing help.  She is able to help Duel care for Marley Rose while he works to keep her safe.  They have all been through some really tough times but together they seem to be stronger and really make a wonderful family.

I fell in love with these characters.  Duel was such a good man.  He was always trying to do the honorable thing and put other people's needs above his own.  Jessie went through some horrible things before meeting Duel.  She is a survivor and doesn't make excuses.  She is honest with Duel from the very beginning despite what she thought it might cost her.  She was such a caring person and her strength never ceased to amaze me.  Marley Rose really helped to bring them together.  The love the three of them shared really melted my heart.

I thought this story was really original.  I am always looking for something that is a little different when I pick up a book.  This one was a pleasant surprise.  Duel and Jessie had such vivid and heartbreaking backstories that I was immediately hooked.  Their romance was built on trust and respect and was at a much slower pace than I would have expected.  There was plenty of excitement to keep the story interesting and the end of the book turned out to be quite intense.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical romance.  I am really excited that this is the beginning of a new series because I can't wait to read more.  This is the first book by Linda Broday that I have read but she has definitely captured my attention with this one.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley.


About the Author

At a young age, Linda Broday discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She resides in the Texas Panhandle and is inspired every day.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Audiobook Review - Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay @JennMcKinlay

Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay 
Narrated by Susan Boyce
Series: Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Publication Date: November 29, 2016 (audio)
Date Read: July 21, 2017
Length:  6 hours 24 minutes
Source: Publisher via Audiobook Jukebox
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding. When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead - by cupcake - Mel becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.
My Review

I enjoyed this fun cozy mystery.  I recently read Jenn McKinlay's contemporary romance, About a Dog, and loved it so I started looking at some of her other works.  When I saw this series set in a cupcake shop, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  Who doesn't like a little mystery with their cupcakes?  This audiobook ended up being a really quick listen for me because I found myself wanting to listen to it for hours at a time.

Mel and Angie have been best friends for a very long time and are now working together at the cupcake shop.  They are also best friends with Tate who is soon to be married.  Tate's fiance is rather difficult and when she shows up to the shop to decide on cupcakes for the wedding, she proves how difficult she can really be.  They also have a rival bakery owner hanging outside of their store at all hours.  It was obvious early on that Mel and Angie would have a few challenges.

When I read a cozy mystery, I like to try to figure out who is going to be the one to die before it is revealed so I didn't really read the summary before jumping in to the book.  Once Mel discovers the body, I had a guess about who the murderer was right away but I really had no idea how things would play out.  This story did take a few turns that I never expected and did me guessing and entertained to the end.

This was the first time that I have ever listed to a book narrated by Susan Boyce but I thought she did a fantastic job.  She handled a large number of characters very well in this story and used a very distinct voice for each one.  I always knew who was speaking during conversations.  I thought she also did a great job of portraying the character's emotions.  I always felts like I knew how the character was feeling.

I would recommend this book to cozy mystery fans.  It was a really entertaining story filled with wonderful characters.  I look forward to continuing with this series very soon.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media, LLC via Audiobook Jukebox.
About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jenn McKinlay is the author of About a Dog, the Library Lover’s mysteries, the Cupcake Bakery mysteries, and the Hat Shop mysteries.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Releases - July 25, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Amazon | BAM! | B&N | IndieBound | Kobo

See my review! 
Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase

Find it at:
An evocative novel in the vein of Kate Morton and Daphne Du Maurier, in which the thrill of first love clashes with the bonds of sisterhood, and all will be tested by the dark secret at the heart of Applecote Manor.

Four sisters. One summer. A lifetime of secrets.

When fifteen-year-old Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote Manor in June 1959, they expect a quiet English country summer. Instead, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before. As the sisters become divided by new tensions when two handsome neighbors drop by, Margot finds herself drawn into the life Audrey left behind. When the summer takes a deadly turn, the girls must unite behind an unthinkable choice or find themselves torn apart forever.

Fifty years later, Jesse is desperate to move her family out of their London home, where signs of her widower husband's previous wife are around every corner. Gorgeous Applecote Manor, nestled in the English countryside, seems the perfect solution. But Jesse finds herself increasingly isolated in their new sprawling home, at odds with her fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, and haunted by the strange rumors that surround the manor.

Rich with the heat and angst of love both young and old, The Wildling Sisters is a gorgeous and breathtaking journey into the bonds that unite a family and the darkest secrets of the human heart.

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister...

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blog Tour Review - Wildfire by Ilona Andrews Excerpt Giveaway @ilona_andrews @avonbooks @TastyBookTours

 I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Wildfire by Ilona Andrews.  I am so in love with this series and am convinced that everything Ilona Andrews writes must turn to gold.   Be sure to Follow the Tour!

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Date Read: July 22, 2017 (2nd read)
Length:  384 pages
Source: Edelweiss
From Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, the thrilling conclusion to her Hidden Legacy series, as Nevada and Rogan grapple with a power beyond even their imagination…

Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating — harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancĂ©e, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin.

Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?
 My Review

I loved this book!  I have actually already read this book twice since I was able to get my hands on a copy.  I couldn't wait to get started the first time through the book and barely came up for air until I finished the story.  I knew that I would need to slow down and read it a second time before being able to write a review.  So I read this book for a second time less than three months after my first read through and I liked it just as much the second time.  There really aren't many books that I would able to do that with.  I had such a good experience reading this book.

This is the third book in the Hidden Legacy series which really does need to be read in order.  The whole series is amazing so you won't want to miss the earlier books anyway.  Nevada and Rogan have been through a lot together by the time this book starts and things have changed drastically for Nevada and her family.  Nevada and her family can no longer stay hidden so they must decide how to safely move forward.  Their agency has taken on a case for Rogan's ex, Rynda.  Rynda's husband is missing and nobody seems to want to look for him.

As we have come to expect, Nevada and Rogan will work together through some pretty tense situations in this novel.  The action gets pretty intense and is really quite exciting to read.  This book is so much more than a romance story but the romance is really well done.  Nevada and Rogan belong with each other.  I love every time they are on the page with each other.  Their chemistry is off the charts and their banter is a lot of fun.  Add a few magical elements into the mix and you have a story you can't quit thinking about.

The secondary characters are so well done.  I think that every character in this series has something to add to the story.  Nevada's family are so much fun and their feelings for each other are really genuine.  Rogan's people are loyal and a force on their own.  Cornelius and Matilda have almost become an extended part of the Baylor family and I really like the perspective that Cornelius brings to the agency.  There is even a pacifist Kodiak bear and a blue tiger that is literally out of this world.

I highly recommend this series to everyone.  I love the world that the writing pair of Ilona Andrews has crafted in this series and am in awe at the characters that live in that world.  I will keep my fingers crossed that there might eventually be a few more novels in this wonderful series.

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.
Hidden Legacy Series

Book #1 - Burn for Me - My Review
Book #2 - White Hot - My Review
Book #3 - Wildfire - Coming July 25, 2017!


About the Author

“Ilona Andrews" is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #79

I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality

We are in the middle of a heat wave right now. We have an above ground pool that I have to decided to make full use of in the evenings.  I haven't been around to as many blogs as I would have liked but pool time has been important :)

Digital Books
The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti (NetGalley)
Berserker by Emmy Laybourne (NetGalley)
Nemesis by Anna Banks (NetGalley)
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (NetGalley)
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore (First to Read)
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (First to Read)
Blackwing by Ed McDonald (First to Read)

So much for not adding any new books this week.  I did a pretty good job of staying off of NetGalley but I can't seem to resist the emails.  I am really excited to read all of the new books that were added to my pile this week.

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Audiobook Review - Full Package by Lauren Blakely @LaurenBlakely3

Full Package by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by Sebastian York
Publisher: Lauren Blakely Books
Publication Date: January 9, 2017
Date Read: July 14, 2017
Length:  6 hours 6 minutes
Source: Audible Purchase
I've been told I have quite a gift. Hey, I don't just mean in my pants. I've got a big brain, too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included.

Life is smooth sailing...until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy's smoking-hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man's got to do what a man's got to do.

I can resist Josie. I'm disciplined, I'm focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere 500 square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It'll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Spoiler - neither one of us sleeps.

Did I mention she's also one of my best friends? That she's brilliant, beautiful, and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package, too. What's a man stuck in a hard place to do?
My Review

I liked this book.  I decided to buy this book during a recent Audible sale because it sounded like fun and Sebastian York was listed as the narrator.  I knew that this would be a great book to listen to when I was in the mood for something fun and sexy.  I ended up listening to this book for hours at a time and finished it within a few day.  It wasn't a life changing read or anything but I had fun with it.

This story is told from Chase's point of view.  Chase is an emergency room doctor at one of the local hospitals.  He has been best friends with Josie's older brother for years and has always spent a lot of time with Josie.  Chase and Josie have become great friends themselves so when Josie has an opening for a roommate and Chase needs a place to live the answer seems obvious.

They are great together as roommates but Chase soon realizes that he wants something more from Josie.  He decides not to act on it because their friendship is too valuable to risk.  Of course, things take a turn and they become more than friends.  I liked these characters as a couple and thought they had great chemistry. They really just seemed to belong together.

My only real complaint with this book was that it was too predictable.  There were literally no surprises.  And I like surprises.  The story felt so similar to other things that I have read which took some of the fun out of the whole experience.  I just felt like this was a story that really could have used some kind of element that could set it apart from other books.

Sebastian York did a fantastic job with the narration.  He does such a great job with this kind of book.  He really made Chase's character come to life.  He also handled all of the other voices in the story, including Josie, very well.  Everything in the story felt very natural with his narration.  This narrator is one of the main reasons that I bought this audiobook and I thought his performance was at the caliber that I have come to expect.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.  I had a lot of fun with this book and wanted to see Chase and Josie get their happily ever after.  I plan to read more for Lauren Blakely soon.

About the Author

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor. She is the author of eight New York Times bestsellers and sixteen USA Today bestsellers. Her series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire, as well as stand-alone romances like 21 Stolen Kisses and Big Rock. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. Lauren believes life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that romantic songs promise. She lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Blog Tour Review - Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain @TheresaRomain @SourcebooksCasa

Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain
Series: Romance of the Turf #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Date Read: July 18, 2017
Length:  352 pages
Source: NetGalley
Does love really heal all wounds?
After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband’s debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband’s roguish friend—whom she hasn’t seen since the day of his lordship’s mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he’s always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart—and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.
My Review

I really enjoyed this book!  This is the first book by Theresa Romain that I have had the chance to read and it ended up being a great one.  This book is listed as the second book in the Romance on the Turf series but it can be read fine as a stand alone novel.  Once I really got hooked by the story, I didn't want to put this book down.  I kept sneaking peeks throughout the day and before you knew it, I had reached the end of the story.

Kate and Evan are the focus of this story.  Kate became a widow two years ago when her husband died in an accident.  She is working to take care of the debts left by her husband.  Evan was Kate's husband's best friends.  They consider each other friends as well but Evan fought with Con just prior to his death and has stayed away since his passing.  Kate and Evan cross paths at one of his lectures and they decide to travel together.

I liked Kate and Evan together.   They have been friends for a very long time and know a lot about each other but quickly learn that not everything is as they had thought.  I really liked the fact that they were a bit older and seemed more mature than a lot of couples featured in romantic novels.  Kate has been married and is the mother of two children.  They both had a lot of respect for each other and were willing to stand up for themselves when needed.  I thought the chemistry between them was wonderfully done and their banter was a lot of fun.

I really liked the way the story flowed.  Since Kate and Evan spend a lot of the book traveling, we get to see them in several different environments.  Kate's family were so much fun and I loved how Evan seemed to fit in perfectly.  Evan's family were in dramatic contrast and it was fun to see them interact.  Once the pair arrived at Kate's estate, I enjoyed the way they were with the children and Con's mother.  The secondary characters really added to the overall story.

I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance.  This was a heartwarming romance that was a lot of fun to read.  I can't wait to read more of Theresa Romain's works in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley.


About the Author

Historical romance author THERESA ROMAIN pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in Wichita, Kansas.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Two of Theresa’s favorite summer activities:
If I were creating the sort of profile I admire, I’d tell you that my favorite summer activities include splashing in the ocean, or camping in the backyard after having a barbecue. But the truth is that I’m hundreds of miles from the nearest beach, and my favorite thing to do there was always to make a giant dolphin out of sand. And I can’t bear to be outside in 100+ heat, especially when the mosquitos are biting.

However, there are so many lovely little things about summer that I do enjoy. Specifically…
  1. Checking on the vegetables that my daughter and I planted as seeds in the spring. Just as the weather starts to get really hot, the tomatoes and green beans are ripe and ready for picking. There’s something so satisfying about growing the veggies we eat with dinner that night.
  2. Using the snow cone machine (really just a glorified ice grinder) to make frozen treats in our own home. Sure, we could make them any time of year, but summer just seems right for shaved ice with syrup on it. Once, Little Miss R and I brought a big bowl of tangerine snow cone to Mr. R while he was working out in the backyard on a hot afternoon. “That looks like heaven,” he said. Yup. Snow cones are pretty magical.
In SCANDALOUS EVER AFTER, there are no frozen treats or backyard campfires—but there *is* a sea, and Lady Kate Whelan and Evan Rhys find themselves on a road trip of a lifetime. Between ferries and floods, treats and horses and races, sickness and health and more than one scandalous interlude, these two old friends will find a love they never expected—and unearth secrets they never dreamed of. I hope you’ll enjoy this romantic summer read!

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