Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book Review: Here's Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane – Empress DJ

Title: Here’s Looking at You


Author: Mhairi McFarlane

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit

Synopsis:

What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here's Looking At You. In essence it's an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognizes her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Aureliana's major crush back at school. But alas, as a crony to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like...Full of Mhairi's trademark laugh out loud humor, Here's Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

My Rating: 

Favorite Quote:

“He’d watched her working the room, men staring in rapt fascination with their index fingers placed on their lips as she spoke, doing academic clever person rapid nodding.  He couldn’t help but think oh, bless you Anna, you think they’re all gravitating towards you because of your key research role.  But no.  It’s the rack.”

My Review:


I could feel it coming on shortly after I started reading.  This was going to be one of those rare wickedly funny books that I was going to rave about for some time.  Despite the total lack of smut, steam, or sizzle, (which seems to be a minimal requirement in most of the romance novels that I like to read), I totally loved it – what a treat!  While I did struggle a bit with the British spellings and cultural references and vernacular, which is why I am so glad I read an electronic version of the book so I could use the automatic dictionary and Wikipedia.  I have learned many phrases and words I had never heard before, very fun words too, I might add.  My personal vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds, I feel so much smarter and snappier for having read this mischievously witty book.  I now know that “beetling about” means moving around in a hurry; and being “near the knuckle” means something risqué – I really like knowing that one and plan to use it soon.  Ms. McFarlane is exceedingly gifted in flawlessly describing scenes in such a humorous and colorful manner, that I can see the movie reel running in my head with a smooth and effortless flow, never missing a beat.  She is also sharply insightful in depicting the emotional aspects and inner musings of her characters.  Her writing is crisp, witty, and indelible.  I laughed aloud, and also had quite an ugly cry.  Having been a victim of intense bullying in high school myself by a right rat bastard and his small-town inbred cronies, I keenly felt the main character’s anguish and despair as she was forced to recount that period of her life.  High school hell is nearly 40 years out for me, yet Ms. McFarlane’s writing is so precise, she brought back the echo as if it were a recent occurrence.  I will definitely be watching for more of this gifted talent.  

Empress DJ

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lost Dreams - Jude Ouvard

Book: Lost Dreams
Author: Jude Ouvrard
Genre: Military Contemporary Romance
When Carter is killed in combat, he leaves behind his heartbroken wife, Avery and his shattered best friend Remy. Naturally these two, wounded souls gravitate together, irresistibly drawn by the loss of the one they both loved, as well as their deep friendship with each other. But when that friendship starts to turn into something more, new problems arise. Will Avery be able to move on after losing the love of her life? Will Remy be able to fill the void left by the loss of his best friend? Or will this new chance at love cost them all they have left?
Jude lives in Montreal, Canada. She is the proud mother of a five year old son, and has spent the last twelve years with her partner, Cedric. French is her native language, but she prefers to write in her second language, English. Besides working full time in a law firm and being a mother, Jude has a passion for books, both reading and writing them. She is currently working on Ophelia.
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She got into her seat and drove us to I-didn’t-know-where-yet. The music was playing softly in the car. I was having difficulty with noises, they were making me irritable but the melody was nice so I was okay. We were getting closer to Avery's house. At least I hoped we were going to her house, because I was frightened to be alone. I needed her, in more than one way. When she turned to the right, I knew we were going to her place because my house was over on the left. I bit the inside of my cheeks to subdue a smile. A few seconds later, Avery parked the car in her driveway. She undid my safety belt, then hers. She got out of the car to help me out, then grabbed my bag and arm-in-arm we walked to her door. ''Calm down, girl. I'm not dying, I'm okay. I can feel your body trembling.'' ''I can't calm down, Remy.'' She unlocked the door and pushed it open. ''I lost Carter, okay? He's gone,'' she cried. ''And I came this close,'' she showed me a tiny gap between her fingers, ''this close, to losing you too, and that tore me apart.'' She put my bag on the table. ''When Megan told me what happened, I passed out, because I couldn’t believe I was going to have to go through this again. We waited twenty-four hours before we finally got the news that you were alive.'' I felt terrible. ''I'm sorry, girl, I'm so sorry.'' I pulled her towards me and wrapped my arm around her. She cried and she sobbed against my t-shirt. Ave was in a terrible mess. ''I promised you I would come back, and I did.'' I kissed her hair. ''I’m so sorry I had to come back in such a dramatic way.'' ''You're alive, Remy.'' She almost never called me by my first name. ''It's all that matters.'' ''I know, Avery.'' We were silent for a moment, her sobs calming down and she regained control of herself. It broke my heart to see her like this, she'd seemed so strong at the hospital and I was just realizing it was a facade. In that instant, I knew we both needed rest and we both had a lot on our minds. ''I think I need to lay down, Ave, I'm getting a little dizzy. I'll go to my room.'' She squeezed me with all of her strength, one last time, before releasing me. I got to the guest room. There was a bouquet of daisies on the night table. She'd changed the sheets and comforter on the bed for a navy blue one. I made it to the bed just in time, my vision had gone blurry. I sat on the corner of the bed and closed my eyes. The fact that she wanted me to stay here was great, but damn, this was fucked up. She still continued to ignore everything I'd said to her. It made me anxious and the best thing I could do was lie down and chill out. Being around her was even harder now. I put my arm over my eyes, to hide away from the light in the room. Turning it off required too much physical effort for now. ''Remy, are you okay?'' Her voice was low. ''Can you turn the light off, please?'' She did and then removed my shoes. I shifted up on the bed and she placed my legs under the comforter. ''Do you feel any pain?'' ''It's not too bad, I can manage.'' My head hurt constantly, no matter what I did. In my shoulder, the bullet had torn a muscle and damaged the bone severely. They had to screw the bone together in three different places. It would never be as strong as it used to be, but at least I was alive. ''Okay...'' She stayed in the room looking at me. It had me confused, did she want to talk or something? ''Is everything OK, Ave?'' I needed to know. She nodded. ''It's just good to have you here. I missed you.'' Okay, she was giving signs she wanted to talk, but I thought maybe she wasn’t ready just yet. ''I missed you too, girl.'' I smiled. She returned my smile with one of her own, she seemed suddenly shy and her cheeks flushed. ''I thought about what you said to me a lot. It scared me at first but then, I felt like I already knew about it. Things cleared up in my mind. How you were always looking after me, always making sure I was okay. I should have known, but I only had eyes for Carter. I still love and miss him every single day.'' She took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes. ''But... I felt things were different prior to your deployment and I understand now. I didn’t hate it, I liked it. Being closer to you makes me feel better. I need it, but I can't promise you more than that.'' ''What are you saying, exactly, Avery?'' I could feel a wave of tingles rush through my body. What did she mean? It was so out of character for her to be so shy. ''I’m saying I still love Carter, I probably always will, but I also like you and need to be around you. I can't promise you anything, but we could try and see if it would work out.'' ''I’m not a consolation prize, Avery.''
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: Letters Home - Rebecca Brooke

Letters Home

by: Rebecca Brooke
Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2014



Synopsis:

Life is all about the jigsaw, right? Finding the different puzzle pieces to complete your very own picture. A career you love, a house to make a home, a lover to complete you, and keep you warm at night.

Danielle Renton has a life, and she loves it. A recent law school graduate, she’d been floored when her boyfriend, Nate Lewis, enlisted during their sophomore year of college. At the time, she’d been concerned with what that meant for them as a couple, but in the years that followed, they’d learned to adapt to the logistics of an army relationship.

But when life throws her a curve ball, how will she cope? Can she pick up the pieces and make her picture beautiful again? Or does she realize that, sometimes, the pieces can be too broken to fit back together…





About the Author:

Rebecca Brooke grew up in the shore towns of South Jersey.
She loves to hit the beach, but always with her kindle on hand. She is married
to the most wonderful man, who puts up with all of her craziness. Together they
have two beautiful children who keep her on her toes. When she isn’t writing or
reading (which is very rarely) she loves watch SOA, TrueBlood, and The Walking
Dead.

Author Links

Giveaway - Clarissa Wild 5000 Likes!


The Clarissa Wild Author page has reached 5000 likes!!! To celebrate a few authors and bloggers have banded together to do a huge rafflecopter giveaway ....

You could win a Kindle Fire HDX!!!!
What's more is that there are loads of other gifts you can win, such as gift cards, ebooks, SWAG and more!


Enter below:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cover Reveal: Wreaking Havoc - Angel Steel

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COVER REVEAL

TITLE: Wreaking Havoc

AUTHOR: Angel Steel

GENRE: Comtemporary Romance / Erotica

RELEASE DATE: TBA 2014

 

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SYNOPSIS:

That one single moment in life when you find that special someone, everything stops. Nothing else matters in life but them. You. Us together. That one single look. That one single touch. Night after night of pleasure, unexplainable raw, dirty and mind-blowing pleasure. A pleasure when you forget everything in this world around you exists but the both of you. Every single moment spent together is cherished as if it was your last time together. Nothing in this world mattered more than us. That’s what I thought. In one single moment, it all comes crashing down around me. I thought I had it all: love, trust, honesty. What a lie that was. Secrets, deceit, pain, a whole lot of that. Everything was a lie. Our whole time together, nothing was real. My heart was torn from my chest, piece by piece, until nothing was left. The day my life ended, when the world came crashing around my feet, was the day I said goodbye to Dante Davenport. He ruined everything. He destroyed me completely and obliterated my heart in the process. Life will never be the same again.

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299205-wreaking-havoc

 
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EXCERPT:

I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face as I slid into my truck. I had woken with a raging hard on with Amelia’s ass pressed into my dick. I slowly slipped from my side of the bed and watched on as she rolled over onto her back, arm above her head facing my side, her left leg bent up and completely and utterly naked. My eyes devoured her from the tip of her head all the way down her lush body. If I could get any harder I did when she dragged her own hand down her body and rested on her lower stomach. I couldn’t hold back my desire of her.

I had woken her with my mouth between her legs, the sweet taste of her nectar still lingered on my lips. As I turned out of our street and headed towards headquarters, I ran my tongue along my lip savouring the taste. Remembering her sweet pleads for me to fuck her, the moans that turned me inside out and the way she gripped my cock before I came inside of her. My back stung from her nails as she scratched down my back as she screamed my name.

Sex with Amelia was nothing I had even imagined, but something was different, her taste was sweeter than normal, more sensitive than usual and she wanted me constantly, well she did originally, but it was like every second she was rubbing herself against me. The last month was sex, sex and more sex. I wasn’t complaining about it, I loved every second of being inside or her. Her wet pussy. Her mouth, shit I couldn’t keep thinking of her this way. I only just left and I was hard for her again. Shifting into second gear as I rounded the corner, at 6a.m., there was traffic everywhere. If I left it a little longer I could have escaped this madness, but if that happened, I’d end up being late for work, as I’d be buried deep within Amelia’s core.

 
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AUTHOR BIO:

ABOUT ANGEL: Born and bred in Australia. She has lived here all her life with her wonderful husband and 4 children. Angel loves reading any kind of books and loves to write. In her spare time, Angel and her husband watch porn and GIF’s on Tumblr for ‘research’. If you read a hot scene in one of her books, you can be sure it’s been tried and tested! If you want to spot Mr Steel at an event, he wears a t-shirt which reads “My wife writes porn”. There’s really nothing better than a supportive husband. ANGEL’S BOOKS: Sweet Temptation (Sweet, #1) Sweet Surrender (Sweet, #2) and NEW RELEASE Harpers Little Spitfire (Harper’s Series)

   

AUTHOR LINKS:

Facebook Author Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angel-Steel-Author/484794381571961?ref=hl

Twitter Link:

https://twitter.com/AngelSteel69

Amazon page link:

http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Steel/e/B00CW2RAU2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1400986807&sr=8-2-ent

 
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book Review: Undeniable Attraction by Eliza Brown



Title: Undeniable Attraction

Author: Eliza Brown


Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance


Synopsis:


Cash is determined to fight his new found attraction to Clair. She’s a good girl, sweet, gentle and kind. Not qualities he’s usually interested in. But things have changed. She’s changed. And now that Clair is in danger he’s finding it harder to keep himself under control. 

Clair is sick of being the sweet girl nobody notices. Its time to be the girl she always wanted to be. But in the process she’s caught the attention of someone else, someone dangerous, someone who now wants to hurt her. 

Can Cash protect her from this new threat? And keep it in his hands off her, even though there’s no denying the attraction between them?

My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:

“I name my guns, so shoot me.  Pun intended.”

“Claire was excited.  She bounced on her toes and clapped her hands like a seal being electrocuted.”

My Review:


I had not read Eliza Brown before, so wasn’t sure what to expect. Now that I have read her work, I plan to chase her like a fan girl.  This gal can write!  I had to remember that Aussies spell differently than Americans, and use /s/ when I expect to see a /z/, but I soon stopped noticing.  Undeniable Attraction is funny and steamy, I didn’t want to put it down.  I smiled and chuckled between fanning myself.  There is considerable humor, suspense, steamy bits and sizzle between these smart and sassy characters.  The dialog is realistic and snappy, what fun!  More please.  

Empress DJ

New Release: Going Gridless - Brandy Jeffus Corona

Going Gridless #1 in the Off the Grid novella series
Author: Brandy Jeffus Corona 
Genre: YA

For 17 year old Greer Wakefield, life has been perfect and normal. Her life is very green thanks to her parents, and she’s okay with that. Everything changes when her parents decide to take their green living to the next step. They move the family into an off the grid community. Greer grapples with the complete 180 her life has become. Living in an earth home takes some adjusting to.
Hunter Tumman has lived at Gridless all his life. Living off the grid is the only thing he knows. But new girl Greer catches his eye and their friendship throws him for a loop. Her stories of the outside has him questioning everything he thought he knew. Could there be more to life than what he’s experienced?
While one questions the life he's led, the other grows adjusted to the life she's thrust into. Will they meet in the middle or will they miss each other as they live their lives off the grid?

***This is Part 1 of a 4 Part series. Told from Greer's POV and the beginning of her Gridless adventure. Suitable for YA - no steamy/sexy parts***

GOODREADS

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: Renovating a Heart - Deanndra Hall


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Steve McCoy survived a harrowing youth and a horrible tragedy and still made it as a successful attorney and businessman. And he’s managed to keep his broken, battered heart under wraps by working with short-term submissives at his popular BDSM club, Eden’s Gate.

Until Kelly Markham came along. Kelly’s history was as bad or worse than Steve’s. She lost the only man she ever loved, a faithful, loving Dom, but she never lost hope. When she’s invited to visit Eden’s Gate, she feels like she’s finally found a home. Better yet, she finds a man who’ll help her reintegrate into the community, even if his help is only offered for one month.

Unfortunately, Kelly discovers that being Steve’s submissive is not easy. Matter of fact, when she accidentally trips a trigger from Steve’s history, being his submissive could actually be dangerous, even deadly. Steve’s determined to keep her at a distance and never show her his heart, but can he hold out when he realizes his best shot at a happily ever after might not survive?

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My Rating:



Favorite Quote:

“She had a future.  Her past was shattered and gone, blown away like the grit and grime it had always been, letting the fresh, green grass grow from its remains. “

My Review:

This author was a new find for me, so for the purpose of this review, I read not only Renovating a Heart, but also the 3 previous books in the series: The Groundbreaking, Laying a Foundation, and Tearing Down Walls.  One week and 1415 pages, and I loved every bit of it.  I fell in love with her characters, first one handsome man, then his relative, I guess I am kind of a book slut like that...  In fact, if I wasn’t happily married, I think I would probably be contemplating going off to Kentucky and looking for an Italian construction worker.  Ms. Hall’s story is well written and highly descriptive. I was pulled in to their story immediately.  Her characters are complicated, multi-dimensional, and well developed.  I felt like I knew them intimately, so much so, that I had a few cringe worthy moments as well as tears.  I not only fell madly in love with the handsome male leads, but I also loved and cared about most of the other characters, although I didn’t always like them initially.  I am not of the BDSM lifestyle, but am not bothered by the idea and generally like books with sizzle and steam.  This series, I dare say, goes beyond steam, it was smoking hot… incendiary!  While reading, I actually found myself breathless more than a few times, and for some reason… I seemed to be doing a lot of extra laundry.
Then suddenly, things took a dire turn and arg – a cliffhanger.  @#*!  I despise cliffhangers with the heat of a thousand suns.  When I realized I was at the end, I screamed in disgust, slapped the arm of my chair, and let loose with every explicative I know, which – I should be ashamed to admit - is quite an impressive list!  My sweet little husband was more than startled.  I was so distressed, I required an extra day to collect my wits to complete this post.  If the author had been within reach, she would most likely be sporting a bruise from my pinch.  I hope she is currently ensconced in her attic, banging away on her laptop, and writing an even hotter finale - if that is even possible.  And of course, I not only expect her to bring the heat, but a HEA as well.  
Empress DJ

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Deanndra Hall is a working writer living in far western Kentucky. A free spirit and chronic jokester, she and her partner of over 30 years enjoy visiting their two adult children and their partners and playing with their three crazy little dogs. When she's not writing, Deanndra can be found kayaking, working out at the gym, cooking something healthy, or reading. After writing for business, industry, academia, and non-profits for years and having her work credited to others, she jumped into the fiction realm, particularly erotic fiction and erotica, and had so much fun she never looked back. Look for her on Twitter and Facebook and on her website and blog.

Connect with Deanndra
Email:  DeanndraHall@gmail.com

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Everyday During the Tour one lucky entry will be picked randomly to win a Signed eBook from the Series.
*All entries will be eligible for the Grand Prize  - A Kindle Paperwhite
(winner will be announced on May 26, 2014)


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