Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cursed Wolf (Curse of the Moon #5) by Stacy Claflin

A stone in the shoe is irritating. A stone around the neck is a nightmare.

Victoria should be happy. Elated. Enemies have been defeated and her new life has endless possibilities. But things never stay uncomplicated for long. Not for her. The wolf essence stone was supposed to cure wolves of their shifting curse. Instead, it adheres itself to her, and casts a new curse on almost everyone surrounding her. Even worse, it speaks to her—leading her to a disturbing and heartbreaking realm where no one can find her and no one can follow. Each time she disappears, she returns with no memory of what transpired and is left with a feeling of dread.

Toby suffers more from the curse than the rest of his pack. The wolf essence stone seems to actively hate him and often repels him away from the love of his life. Compounding their problems? A secret society wants the stone for their own nefarious ends and the evil witch who created the curse has also resurfaced—and everything they do puts Victoria’s life in jeopardy.

All the supernaturals must band together in an epic battle for control of the stone. But before it’s over, one or more of them may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I read the first book in this series awhile ago and I don't think I've read any of the books in between before reading this book.  I can say that there were a lot of things that I was missing- back story, relationship progression, etc., but I feel like I had a handle on most things that were happening.  This series is probably best read in order though!  :)

Paranormal characters are in full forces in this story.  Witches, werewolves, valkyrie, vampires, shape shifters, you name it, it's probably in this book or in this series!  

One thing I really loved about this book was the sense of community and family in the core group of characters.  They work well together and look out for each other.  Individually I didn't feel much emotional connection to the characters, but I really enjoyed them as a whole.  

The beginning of this book is a bit slow as everyone is fawning over Victoria but things do pick up resulting in a very climactic ending.  The author leaves a few openings for future books which look promising- especially the one involving the Jaguar!  

Content:  mild violence, kissing, implied intimate relations between a married couple with no details.

- I received a copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson + $25 Giveaway!


When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious?

 Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it.

Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett's previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.

Rachael Anderson is one of my favorite authors no matter the genre she is writing in.  Any day I get to read one of her books is a great day.  I was really looking forward to this book because the previous two books in this series have been fabulous!  You don't have to read this series in order as each book can stand alone easily, but I would recommend you read in order if you can.  It just helps with loving the characters.  :)

I was a bit worried in the beginning of this book because Harriett was such a brat!  I thought, "oh no, I don't like her at all!"  And in the beginning of the book, I really didn't like her.  She was mean.  Christopher was a bit oblivious, but not really deserving of all she dished out to him in the beginning.  This started a bit of a war of sorts- each trying to up the other one because Christopher is not one to stand there and take anything.  It was a bit amusing, I have to say.  There was some excellent banter and some sparky moments of romantic tension.  Harriett grew on me- especially as her softer side began to emerge.  I loved Christopher from the beginning.  He's a funny guy.  And so very oblivious.

The ending was superb.  There was such a build up throughout the book which made the ending ever so satisfying.  I loved it.  This book was engaging and fun the whole way through.  

If you haven't read this series, you need to.  It's so, so good!

Enjoy the following excerpt!

Harriett looked at what remained of the cake. Apparently, he didn’t intend to finish it off after all, so she collected their forks and stood. “Forgive me for saying so, but you look quite done in, Chris. If you do not go up to bed now, you will probably fall asleep here. Only imagine what Mrs. Caddy might say if she discovers you here with the mostly-eaten cake. For your own sake, you ought to retire. I will do my best to tidy things up.”

Before she could move away from him, he grabbed her hand and guided her to sit back down, keeping hold of her fingers. “Not so fast, my lady. I meant it when I said that I’m in desperate need of the distraction that only you can provide. Thus far, all I have done is burden you with my troubles.”

 “I do not feel at all burdened, sir.” Indeed, Harriett suddenly felt breathless and somewhat giddy. The effect this man had on her was something of a wonder.

“Sir?” he asked. “I thought we were beyond that.”

 “I thought so as well, but you only just called me ‘my lady.’”

He frowned and blinked as though he hadn’t realized he had. “Forgive me, Harry. I fear my exhaustion has muddled my thinking.”

This time, she did not let the name slide. She snatched her hand free and frowned at him. “Obviously it has.”

He laughed—not a tired attempt at a laugh, but a real one filled with the richness that warmed her straight through. Only this time, it did not bother her at all. In fact, it felt wonderful, almost like a compliment.

 “I knew you’d come through for me,” he said, leaning close enough to touch shoulders with her. “You have no idea how much I needed to laugh or how good that felt. I could honestly kiss you right now.”

Harriett tried her best not to blush or appear astonished by the suggestion—he had obviously made the comment in jest—but when his smile widened into a devilish grin, she knew she’d failed. He leaned in closer, and his gaze wandered briefly to her mouth before returning to her eyes. She could smell vanilla and lemon and a hint of something else—leather perhaps? A delightful pulse whipped down her arm, and she was hard-pressed not to shiver.

 “Admit it,” he said. “You have missed me.”


Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 10/1/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kiss Me in the Rain (Destined for Love: Mansions) by Lindzee Armstrong

Will she risk the home she treasures for the man she loves? 

Cypress Grove has always been a treasured constant in Layla's perfect life. Now the mansion will be sold to the highest bidder if she doesn’t date an investor's son. The problem? The man she really wants just rolled into town.

Tyler is done being responsible and never going after what he wants. Layla's finally given him the courage to quit grad school and use his student loans to flip houses. And he's decided to move near Cypress Grove to do it.

When Layla happens upon suspicious ledgers at the mansion, her family's financial woes take a sinister turn. As Tyler and Layla work together to find the culprit, the attraction between them threatens to burst into flames. But admitting their feelings could spell disaster for Cypress Grove.

I think I'm going to love this new Destined for Love series with the theme of mansions!  The last series set in Europe was so fun and this series has a great line up of authors.  I'm hoping to be able to read then all in the next couple months.  Fingers crossed!

I had the chance to meet Lindzee Armstrong this summer.  How fun is that?!  We met at an author/blogger dinner.  There is nothing better as a blogger/reviewer than meeting authors whose books you love.  Right?!  Here's a picture from that night.  Also included in this picture is Lucinda Whitney who has a book in this series as well!  (Lindzee is on the far left, Lucinda on the far right, me next to Lucinda)

Kiss Me in the Rain follows a couple that we meet in a previous book, Kiss Me in the Moonlight.  It sets the stage for this book although I don't think you need to read the first book to understand the second.  But, as with all books in a series, you will probably feel more of a connection to the characters if you do.

Layla and Tyler have a few bumps to get over in this book.  It's a frustrating sort of attraction because neither of them can act on the feelings they have.  Instead each of them is trying to be close to the other in small ways while they try to work things out.  I loved the sparks between Layla and Tyler and the frustrated attraction.  There is also a bit of mystery intertwined in the story line that kept things interesting.  I loved the romantic ending!  It was worth all the frustration.  :)

This story was easy to picture in my head.  I love when I can read books and fall into a movie as well.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series!  Hopefully next week!

Books in the Destined for Love: Mansions Collection
—Kiss Me in the Rain by Lindzee Armstrong
—Roping His Heart by Jaclyn Hardy
—The Princess and the Pizza Man by Cassie Mae
—Mending Fences by Lorin Grace
—Love Me at Sunset by Lucinda Whitney
—Saving Her Plantation by Cami Checketts

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell + $25 and Book Giveaway

Charlotte Wells does not date. After surviving a broken engagement, she’s taken a leave of absence from the social scene. So when her best friend and coworker, Jack, challenges her to get back in the game, she’s not so sure she’s ready to play. But ultimately, curiosity gets the best of her, and Charlotte accepts the daunting challenge: she will attempt to have fifty first dates in her effort to find “the one.” Unfortunately, she quickly realizes that the dating pool mostly holds clown fish as she goes on one lousy outing after another. Without a good man in sight as summer ends, Charlotte cuts her losses and sets her sights on a fun-filled trip to her cousin’s destination wedding in Brazil.

Brazil is a land of beautiful sights and delicious offerings—including Max, the charming brother of her cousin’s new husband. Max has all the makings of a Prince Charming in soccer cleats, and Charlotte’s happily ever after seems to be within reach. But love is a funny thing, and soon Charlotte finds herself wondering: could it be that her true love has been right in front of her all along?

First of all, I really love this cover.  It's so bright and happy.  And, like the character in this book, my grandma had lilacs in her yard and I loved them.  I planted a lilac bush in my yard and it always reminds me of her.  

This is an LDS fiction book.  There are religious elements in it- more than just casual Christian mentions.

I loved the characters in this book.  I think Charlotte and Jack are fantastic and I would love to have them as my friends!  They have so much personality and it's well defined so that I feel like I know them.

The book takes a location change to Brasil and it was fun!  It made me want to visit there myself.  I loved the bracelet and wishes part of the book too.  It made Charlotte's life feel a bit magical.

The story lost some momentum for me in the middle when the more religious elements came into play.  I'm a religious girl, but I felt like this just slowed the story down and went on too long.  That's just me though.  The HEA ending happened VERY fast.  Over in an instant.  I guess I just wanted more between the couple AS a couple- I waited so long for it.  No epilogue.  <sigh>  It's okay though.  I really did enjoy this book for the most part.  

Content:  Just the religious themes mentioned above.

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mind Games by Stephanie Black + $25 and Book Giveaway!

Psychologist Natalie Marsh’s dream is now reality: her mental health services clinic has opened and is housed in an elegant, newly renovated nineteenth-century building. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with the clinic’s presence, including Heather Osbourne, a troubled young woman who wholly objects to the occupation of the building. Heather has spent years wandering the halls of the abandoned structure, convinced she’s communing with her ancestor’s ghost. When Natalie thwarts Heather’s attempt to leap from a window, the shaken psychologist soon realizes Heather’s failed jump is merely one piece of a disturbing puzzle. Greed and deceit are weaving a web around Natalie, and someone will stop at nothing—not even murder—to get what they want. Stretched to her breaking point, Natalie struggles to learn the truth, but only one thing is clear: nothing is as it seems.

This is a book I have rules about.  Number one:  don't read at night.  Number two:  don't read when you are alone.  Both of which I had to do for this book in order to get it read in time for my review.  I'm a wimp, no doubt about it and I really wish I would have kept to my rules.  😱

This book started out slow for me.  It took me a few chapters to get a grip on who the many characters were and what role they played.  I'd have to stop and think- wait, who is this?  I don't like having to do that.  By the middle of the book the intensity ramped up and things started happening at a faster pace.  I was thinking everyone was guilty, bad and lying!  The ending is very climactic!  (and it scared me)

Stephanie Black is so good at writing these suspense/thrillers.  What a mind she has.  I appreciate that she is able to write in this genre and keep it clean.

Content:  violence, death, attempted suicide

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lady of Breken Manor by Heather B. Moore

No lady can steal a loyal man from his fiancé, but what if that lady is a ghost?

Lady Charlotte is bored. So bored that when the owner of her manor in Scotland dies, she actually looks forward to haunting, uh, meeting the new owner. Too bad he’s engaged. Because if he weren’t, and if Charlotte could get him to fall in love with her, then the curse would finally be broken.

What curse, you ask? The curse that keeps Charlotte confined to an ancient manor decade after decade, playing parlor tricks on unsuspecting visitors. If only being a ghost weren’t so tedious, Charlotte might actually enjoy her life-slash-death. But the new owner is making her rethink her entire existence.

LADY OF BREKEN MANOR will be released in the Secret Legends Boxed Set on September 12, 2017. Secret Legends will be available only for a limited time at the low price of 99 cents.

LADY OF BREKEN MANOR will be then moved to an individual release in December 2017.

How fun was this book!!??  I love reading romance books with a little twist off "normal".  I mean, a boy falling in love with a ghost?  He never touched her, he never kissed her.  He only spoke with her but the connection was forged and there was no going back.  There were plenty of moments in this book that made me smile and then there was Sean.  Oh, hello Sean.  Guy in love with the ghost.  You may think he's a titch off in the head but I'm telling you that he has some awesome swoony moments.  I loved his devotion to Lady Charlotte.

I wish this book would have been longer.  At novella length, everything happens so fast.  I wanted to stay and wallow around.  That's a sure sign of an engaging book!  I expected nothing less from Heather Moore though.  She is fantastic at writing in many different genres.  This one is the perfect light-hearted, paranormal romance.

Content:  clean, a couple instances of mild swearing

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden + Giveaway!

From Sarah M. Eden, the USA Today Bestselling author of the Longing for Home series, LOVE REMAINS is a new romance novel set in the beloved world of Hope Springs.

For nearly a year, Tavish O’Connor has carried the crushing weight of his family’s future on his shoulders. He has taken on the care of his youngest brother, Finbarr, who lost his eyesight in a terrible accident. But the lad needs more than Tavish can provide. Finbarr needs hope.

Cecily Attwater specializes in hope. As a tutor to the newly blind, she has dedicated her life to helping others overcome the obstacles she herself has conquered. Her new assignment in a remote corner of Wyoming proves trickier than usual: Finbarr refuses to learn. To make matters worse, his family—and the other Irish townspeople—are less than thrilled to discover an Englishwoman in their haven.

Cecily’s only hope lies in securing the cooperation of her pupil’s brother Tavish, who happens to be her harshest critic and quite possibly the most frustrating man she’s ever known.

For Finbarr’s sake, Tavish and Cecily forge an uneasy alliance that, as the weeks pass, tiptoes toward something deeper than either dares admit or face, and toward a future they know to be impossible. There can be no hope of a happy outcome for an Irishman and an English woman amongst a people reeling from violence and centuries of hatred between their two homelands.

Other Books in the Hope Springs Series:

Longing for Home

Hope Springs

My Dearest Love

It's no secret that I love Sarah Eden's books. This series is absolutely one of my favorites and this book? Oh my heart. Seriously. It's full of depth and emotion and my heart was one hundred percent engaged.

I have loved Tavish from the very beginning of this series. I think I might be in love with his name alone! Tavish is the very best sort of person and I was SO grateful this book brought about some healing, peace and happiness for him. It was a long, hard fought battle- emotional and fantastic. Man, I love Tavish. LOVE him.

Cecily earned a place in my heart right next to Tavish. She sort of wormed her way in and took up space. It happened with no conscious effort on my part. I felt all sorts of things for Cecily but mostly I admired her. She has a strength of character that I wish I had. She is someone who rises up no matter what. Through heartache, prejudice, physical pain and limitations, loneliness and sorrow, Cecily rises up.

I could seriously go on and on about this book. I really loved everything about it. There is a song in this book and a scene that yanked my heart out. If you have ever loved someone and lost them, you will feel it's power. So emotional!

I would highly recommend reading this series and in order if you can. It will provide more of an emotional connection this story and it's characters. But, if you cannot read them all, this book can stand alone, I think.

Tour Schedule

September 11 - My Book A Day
                        Smiling Book Reviews
                        Peggy Urry

September 12 - Bookworm Lisa

September 13 - LDS Writer Mom

September 14 - Literary Time Out

                         Why Not? Because I Said So!
Mel’s Shelves

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