Monday, June 17, 2019

Book Review, Giveaway: Jersey Six by Jewel E. Ann

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“Jewel E. Ann has once again crafted a flawless story that is utterly unique and unforgettable. Hands down my favorite book of 2019!”

-- Aly Martinez, USA Today bestselling author

 

Jersey Six, an all-new “intriguing, gut-wrenching and raw” romantic suspense from Jewel E. Ann, is available now!

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How far would you go for revenge?

A hit-and-run accident leaves Jersey Six orphaned and homeless on the streets of Newark, shattering her dreams of school dances, pink nail polish, and a diploma.
Eight years later, a burn victim with amnesia wanders into Jersey’s barely-existent life. She resists his efforts to form a friendship until he reveals knowledge of the person responsible for derailing her future. Through their unusual friendship, she discovers a way to avenge the deaths of her foster parents.
All she has to do is destroy the world’s biggest rock star.
In the ultimate game of sex, lies, and manipulation, can Jersey discover the truth? Or will she be blinded by attraction, deceived by love, and destroyed by her past?

Jersey Six - AN


My Rating:


Favorite Quote:




Sometimes … sometimes when you close your eyes, when darkness comforts you, the truth doesn’t matter because no one can see it.



My Review:



I am grappling for the appropriate words to describe this cleverly crafted and emotionally stunning book. It devastated me and turned me inside out and wouldn’t let go. I am rattled and in knots, yet I reveled in the totality of the experience.


The storylines were complicated and all kinds of twisted with tragedy and life-altering misery and were laced together with a cast of complex and deeply damaged characters who were not always likable but were extremely compelling. I was taut with tension and fully invested as I cringed, gasped, bit my cuticles, and gritted my teeth. It was worth the distress and every prickle of unease as the writing was ingeniously perceptive and packed a powerful punch. Jewel E. Ann has achieved a new level of sorcery - her word voodoo is without equal.



Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/JerseySix
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WIS8nR
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2UTqCIj
 

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Enter Jewel’s giveaway for a signed paperback and swag!
 
About Jewel
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.   

With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.   

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.   When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

 Book Review: The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns





The Woman in the White Kimono
by Ana Johns



Amazon US / UK / CA / AU 
 B&N / iBooks


Hardcover: 352 Pages

Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (May 28, 2019)

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




Each step I took brought me closer to my future and farther away from my family. It was a contrast of extremes in every sense, but I had somehow found my place between them. That was what Buddha called the middle way. The correct balance of life. I called it happy. A life with love is happy. A life for love is foolish. A life of if only is unbearable. In my seventy-eight years, I have had all three.



“Chase two hares and you will catch neither,” says Grandmother. This is but a single parable in her arsenal of many. She releases them like arrows, but instead of one, which breaks with ease, she slings ten to a bundle.



I should hurry, but I’m already late, and as Grandmother says, “If you are going to eat poison, you may as well clean your plate.” I kick the gravel, causing angry puffs of loose dirt to rise in protest.



When I first met Hajime in Yokosuka, his eyes charmed me. They captured light and sparkled like water absorbing the sun.



To pick the correct one is fate. To pick the wrong one is also fate. So, you must choose your love, and be prepared to love your choice.



Time is a stubborn creature that delights in goading you. When happy, it sprouts wings and flies. When waiting, it drags through thick mud with heavy feet.




My Review:




Ana Johns is a bewitching storyteller. Her expertly crafted tale mesmerized and gutted me while essentially holding me transfixed to my Kindle from start to finish. How is this astounding work her first novel?!? I rarely cry but this poignantly written book moved me to tears several times and, okay, I will even confess to ugly cry sobbing. Any author who can perform such a rare fete deserves a ten-star rating.



The storylines were a well-researched blend of fact and fiction while cunningly related within brilliant and highly emotive narratives. I instantly fell right into Ms. John’s cleverly woven story as if sucked into a vortex that zipped me back and forth from post-war 1950s Japan and present-day USA - and thankfully did so with without jetlag, confusion, or motion sickness. The characters were compellingly drawn, admirable, and strong - yet struggling with limited choices and truly miserable options. I was intrigued, horrified, staggered, captivated, completely invested, heartbroken, enthralled, and totally engaged by this powerful and transportive story. It is safe to say that Ana Johns has a newly minted fangirl.


About The Author

ANA JOHNS worked over twenty years in the creative arts field, as both a creative director and business owner, before turning her hand to fiction. Born and raised in metro Detroit, she now resides in Indianapolis with her family. The Woman in the White Kimono is her first novel.
Connect with Ana


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Book Review, Giveaway: To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley



To the Stars and Back 
by Camilla Isley





When Hollywood’s sexiest bachelor meets the girl next door their relationship doesn’t follow the script…

On-screen, Christian Slade is America’s favorite heartthrob. Off-screen, letting romance into his life isn’t as easy. The women he dates all seem to want a piece of his glamorous life rather than his heart, and trust doesn’t come easy for him.

Then along comes Lana. A beautiful rocket scientist who’s also sweet, smart, sexy, and has absolutely no idea who he is. But what will happen when she finds out?

Will their worlds prove too far apart or could love really be like in the movies?


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




“Two adults booking a room at the Peninsula? They’re not here to play Scrabble,” she hisses.



“I’m trying to find a silver lining,” Winter says. “If breaking up with Jonathan isn’t giving you the slightest chest pain, perhaps it isn’t all bad you broke up. I mean, he and my sister are two cockroaches who deserve to burn in hell forever, but maybe it was about time you took your relationship with John behind the barn and shot it.”





My Review:



This was a fun and appealing read that was smartly written and I can boast it was also informative as well since the main character was a rocket scientist who taught me the little known fact that there is a scientific unit of measurement called a slug, which weighs 32.2 pounds. And my mother always chided me for reading fiction - claiming it was a waste of time.



I adored these characters, they were easily accessible and highly likable and I wanted good things for them. Penned in my favorite dual POV, the writing style was crisp and engaging, yet also perceptive and loaded with wry wit and clever touches such as naming identical twins Summer and Winter. I easily fell into this tale from the very beginning and felt happily entertained and well pleased as I zipped through their star-crossed storylines.


About The Author

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Social Media Links 

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GIVEAWAY


Win a To The Stars and Back Tote Bag 

(Open to UK Only)




*Terms and Conditions 

Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.



Friday, June 14, 2019

Book Review: Stiff Suit (Ponderosa Resort Romantic Comedies Book 5) by Tawna Fenske



Stiff Suit (Ponderosa Resort Romantic Comedies Book 5) 
by Tawna Fenske


Amazon US / UK / CA / AU

B&N/ iBooks / Kobo / Google


James "Iceman" Bracelyn is wound tighter than a vintage Rolex. Besides his CEO role at Ponderosa Resort, he's guardian of the family's biggest secrets, including a doozy that keeps him up at night. Alone. In that big bed he'd rather not share, thank you very much.

That's fine with Lily Archer, who likes her flings flaming hot and fleeting. Her man-eater rep might be slightly exaggerated, but she'll gladly dial it up to rescue James from himself—and a bottle of Glenlivet—at his brother's wedding.

Intimacy's the last thing either one wants, but it's tough to dodge when they're drawn together by the world's drooliest dog, a TPing escapade gone wrong, and a good old-fashioned desktop hookup. That's problematic for James, whose ability to hide the family's riskiest secret is complicated by the secret's refusal to get the hell out of his guest room.

Can Iceman keep his frigid shell intact while falling for the hottest science geek sex goddess he's ever met, or will the ticking time bomb blow it all to smithereens?






My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




When footsteps click closer, I freeze like a pervert shoplifting in a porn shop.



Come to think of it, there’s not much warmth in the whole Bracelyn family tree. Just endless rows of icicle-covered branches.



Things are so far from what I expected that I can’t even remember my expectations anymore.



James Bracelyn is sealed up tighter than a clam with lockjaw.



My Review:



I have enjoyed every book in this cleverly amusing series that I’ve had the chance to pick up. I adored these characters, they were smart and endearing and given to smirk-worthy banter and wordplay that snapped with irreverent levity and sizzle while their storylines were engaging and quickly paced with a few extra spicy bits and unexpected twists. All of which were expertly combined to result in an entertaining, effortless, and pleasurable reading experience that left me smiling with satisfaction and looking forward to the next installment.


 
 
 


About the Author

   
Goodreads

When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Book Review: Summer Season on the Seafront by Katie Ginger




Summer Season on the Seafront
by Katie Ginger


Amazon US / UK / AU / CA B&N

The Greenley Players are back practicing their Shakespeare and, as usual, things aren't going to plan.

Sarah Powell is fed up with her sad single status and when her estranged father walks back into her life things get even worse. Can dishy doctor Finn MacDonald mend her broken heart and help her figure things out?

TV star, Nate Hardy's career is going from strength to strength until his performance is interrupted and he has to flee the West End to hide away in Greenley. Will he ever get his career back on track or will Sarah and the rest of Greenley's madcap residents capture his heart forever?


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:



Sarah sent Lottie the SOS message. For her and Lottie, SOS meant Sort of Scared. Which she was, on several fronts. Dean’s capacity for consuming Chinese food verged on the terrifying and knowing that if the date continued he may well expect a kiss at some point filled Sarah with the sort of fear she hadn’t experienced since watching Chucky as a kid.


Today had been hotter than Satan’s underpants.


Sarah hid behind her menu for a moment to regain her composure thinking about something completely un-sexy like Donald Trump… She popped her head back up and stopped picturing Trump ’s strange wig-like hair and Oompa Loompa face.


He had a nice mouth and she’d always imagined his kisses would be soft and gentle, and not like having a sink plunger attached to her face, which she had, unfortunately, experienced before.




My Review:



This was a fun and witty rom-com with a few heart-squeezing issues and a side order of stubbornness. I enjoyed Ms. Ginger’s crisp writing style, it was brightly entertaining and easy to follow yet pleasantly engaging and wryly amusing. Her characters were endearingly quirky and humorously detailed. This was my first exposure to the author, who was quickly added to my new favorites list. And it has been a while since I’ve had an addition to my Brit Word List and Ms. Ginger has provided me with dustman – which is a garbage collector, and squiffy – which is slightly drunk (and oh, so, fun to say).


About The Author


KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big your head, she wouldn't really want to be anywhere else. Summer Season on the Seafront is Katie's second novel. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award. She is also the author of some cozy mystery short stories. Katie loves making her characters either fall in love, or killing them off - it depends on her mood! 

When she's not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive her two children: Ellie, who believes everything in life should be done as a musical number from a West End show; and Sam, who is basically a monkey with a boy's face. And there's also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

For more about Katie, you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Book Review: Valencia and Valentine by Suzy Krause


Valencia and Valentine
by Suzy Krause




Hardcover: 254 Pages

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 1, 2019)

For readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, debut author Suzy Krause delivers a quirky, colorful story about love, loss, second chances, and what it means to truly live.

Valencia, a timid debt collector with crippling OCD, is afraid of many things, but the two that scare her most are flying and turning thirty-five. To confront those fears, Valencia’s therapist suggests that she fly somewhere—anywhere—before her upcoming birthday. And as Valencia begins a telephone romance with a man from New York, she suddenly has a destination in mind. There’s only one problem—he might not actually exist.

Mrs. Valentine is an eccentric old woman desperate for company, be it from neighbors, telemarketers, or even the funeral director (when you’re her age, you go to a lot of funerals). So she’s thrilled when the new cleaning girl provides a listening ear for her life’s story—a tale of storybook love and incredible adventures around the world with her husband before his mysterious and sudden disappearance.

The stories of Valencia and Mrs. Valentine may at first appear to have nothing in common…but then again, nothing in life is as straightforward as it seems.


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




She’s not dying, technically, but she’s old enough that if she keeps living, it’ll start surprising people. She’s eighty-seven years old—but she’s a young eighty-seven. She’s more like an eighty-six.



Everyone has ulterior motives. When an evil person has ulterior motives, it’s called scheming. When a good person has ulterior motives, it’s called planning. Mrs. Valentine is planning.



When I was your age, Anna, I always said I’d do everything later. I can’t tell you what an odd day that was, when I woke up and realized it was later. And now I’m living in the part that comes after. There’s a part after later, where almost everyone else is dead and you’re just killing time, and it’s … odd.



This was a drastic leap in logic, but Valencia was very good at this kind of leaping; it was her only claim to athleticism.



That’s how it is when you’re in your thirties; birthdays aren’t important anymore because everyone has gotten over the initial excitement of your basic existence. You’re old news.



Time had never done anything but crawl for Valencia; it had never even walked before (she had, at points, wondered if it had lain down and died). This new speed was exhilarating.



“It’s kind of a dumb hobby, but you need a good, dumb, eccentric hobby, I think. I heard somewhere that eccentric people live longer.” “Okay,” said Valencia, picturing her own life stretching on and on ahead of her, even more vast and endless than she had previously supposed. I’m so eccentric I might be immortal, she thought miserably.




My Review:



It took me several chapters to settle into this tale, as it was oddly paced and at times a bit tedious when minutely detailing Valencia’s irrational, delusional and catastrophic fears and beliefs as she spiraled into panic attacks which involved worse case scenarios and epic disasters. However, that was merely setting the stage for the cleverness and well-crafted storylines to come. Ms. Krause’s writing was often bitingly witty and profoundly insightful with frequent lashings of brilliance. I had four solid pages of highlights and favorite quotes and it was rather painful to pare them down. But what staggered and astounded me was the realization that this wryly written and cleverly conjured book was the author’s debut. Impressive!
About The Author


Suzy Krause is a Canadian writer and music lover. Like Valencia, she has worked as a debt collector, and like Mrs. Valentine, she likes to tell stories. She writes about her life at www.suzykrause.com. Valencia and Valentine is her first novel.

Connect with Suzy




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Book Review: Gimme Some Sugar (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #5) by Juliette Poe

Gimme Some Sugar
 (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #5)
by Juliette Poe 
Release Date: June 11, 2019


Synopsis:

Larkin Mancinkus prides herself on making the town of Whynot, North Carolina just a little sweeter. As owner of Sweet Cakes Bakery, Larkin gets all the town gossip – the sugar, the spice, and the everything not so nice. So when she finds herself on the tip of everyone’s tongue thanks to an encounter with a mysterious and handsome stranger, she learns the true meaning of ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Deacon Locke has spent his life traveling the world with no particular destination in mind. But when he rolls into Whynot on his Harley, he just knows there is something different about this town. What he doesn’t know is that out of all the places he’s traveled and all the people he’s met, the gorgeous bakery owner might just entice him to put down some solid roots.

Come on down to see what’s cookin’ between Larkin and Deacon!


Add Gimme Some Sugar to Goodreads!

Purchase Gimme Some Sugar
 (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #5)

Amazon | Nook | Apple | Google | Kobo | Paperback

** All books in the Sex & Sweet Tea series can be read as standalones, but if you’d like to start at the beginning, Ain’t He Precious? (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #1) is #FREE for a limited time! **

Download Ain’t He Precious?
 (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #1) for FREE

Amazon | Nook | Apple | Google | Kobo





My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




But the heart wants what the heart wants, and when it starts making you want something you shouldn’t have, then it can make you stupid.



But I didn’t get you anything,” she murmurs guiltily… So? That’s like the biggest breach of etiquette a Southern girl can have. To fail to get a gift for a momentous occasion, then it adds insult to injury when a gift is given to her without it being expected. It’s totally romantic and swoony, and I cannot reconcile these feelings of guilt and inadequacy with the overwhelming need to snatch that out of your hand to see what you so thoughtfully got me.



I make a clucking sound in the back of my throat, realizing I sound just like my mom when she disapproves of something. That thought horrifies me, so I cough to clear it out.



I’ve never even thought about having kids. Don’t know much about them. The few I’ve been around have been loud and sticky.




My Review:




This was my first experience reading Juliette Poe, the alter ego of Sawyer Bennett and I am happy to report it was an amusing and effortless read despite being the fifth book in a sweet small-town series, although I now have four more books idling on my TBR as a result. Funny how that keeps happening. I adored this couple. Larkin was the last of her siblings still single, she was a bit pudgy, somewhat timid, and self-conscious small-town baker with deep family roots and a side order of southern sass. Deacon he was a sexy prior Marine turned nomad on a Harley who carried himself with confidence and worked whenever and where ever he pleased. It was a case of opposites attract with humor and sizzle with quirky small-town characters and an active and flourishing Gossip Mill to keep everyone up to date.


About the Author:

Juliette Poe is the sweet and swoony alter ego of New York Times Best Selling author, Sawyer Bennett.

A fun-loving southern girl, Juliette knows the allure of sweet tea, small towns, and long summer nights, that some of the best dates end sitting on the front porch swing, and that family is top priority. She brings love in the south to life in her debut series, Sex & Sweet Tea.

When Juliette isn’t delivering the sweetest kind of romance, she’s teaching her southern belle daughter the fine art of fishing, the importance of wearing Chucks, and the endless possibilities of a vivid imagination.

Connect with Juliette: 
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