Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Book Review: On the Corner of Love and Hate (Hopeless Romantics #1) by Nina Bocci

On the Corner of Love and Hate

(Hopeless Romantics #1)
by Nina Bocci

Amazon US / UK / CA / AU

For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Dating is like shopping the clearance racks: you sift through a lot of pretty yet questionable items in the hope of lucking out and finding that one perfect outfit. The same could be said about the men I’d been with lately.

EMMA THOUGHT: For a hopeless romantic, you’re awfully hopeless.

Anytime I was alone with him, which was why I actively avoided it, I was transported back to that eleven-year-old girl who realized that the belly flutters she got when he walked in wasn’t a lactose allergy but her first full-blown crush. At twenty-eight, those feelings didn’t remain, but the reminder of what they felt like did.

Kirby Rogers reminded me of how movies in the seventies depicted used-car salesmen: swarmy, cocky, and dressed in a suit that was too big, as if he were trying to fill the loose fabric with fake confidence. Plus he had a ridiculous comb-over that you could probably spot from space.

Henry was one of those guys men wanted to try to arm wrestle and women just straight-up wanted, but he was content with being everyone’s friend.

I saw the girlfriend with him the other night at dinner— that girl can freeze ice on her backside. Why is she so serious?

My Review:

This was wicked funny I fell right into this observantly amusing and insightfully written tale which was shot through with clever wit and snarky levity. I loved it, adored it, reveled in it, smirked my way through it, and am now totally enamored with the talented Nina Bocci.

 About The Author

Nina Bocci is a USA TODAY bestselling novelist who loves reading and writing about swoony, relatable heroes and smart, witty heroines. If it’s set in a small town, even better. You can always find her chatting on social media about her massive, crazy Italian family, and her favorite person in the world, her son.

Connect with Nina

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Book Review: An Unexpected Gift (Insta-Spark Collection #4) by Melanie Moreland

An Unexpected Gift
(Insta-Spark Collection #4)
by Melanie Moreland

Now Available exclusively on Amazon for only 99 cents

#Free to Read on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2pNxed5

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/UnexpectedGR

BookBub: http://bit.ly/UnexpectedGiftBB

GPS Failure? CHECK

No gloves, No boots? CHECK

Car malfunctions? CHECK
It appears that Santa’s elves may have a detour planned for Evan’s holiday. What he didn’t

count on Christmas delivering was An Unexpected Gift.

An unplanned journey

A change of direction

The meeting of two lost hearts

When Evan Brooks sets out to repair his fractured relationship with his family, a broken-down car and an unplanned detour lead him to Holly Cole.

Her eyes captivate him.

Her words comfort him.

Her heart warms him.

Is she the unexpected gift he’s longed for?

Is this just a detour, or the road to happiness?

Find out in this heartwarming Christmas story.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

"Your taste in strays is excellent."

"You're not odd. You're Evan. You're perfect." Her words were like a small shock running through my system.

My Review:

This was a quick, sweet, easy to fall into, and sexy read that left my heart feeling light and satisfied. The main characters were lovably endearing and sweet enough to cause dental issues. I adored them as much as their supportive and passionate romance. Evan was a treasure. Sigh, we all want a besotted and thoughtful husband like Evan, although admittedly, most of us don’t deserve one quite so devoted.

An Unexpected Gift is part of the Insta-Spark Collection!
What is Insta-Spark?

When you want a bit of naughty along with the nice.

Insta-Spark collection from Melanie Moreland are complete standalone reads with one thing in
common - lots of sweetness and a guaranteed HEA. Instant attraction, little angst - love and
happiness abounds in this series.

An Instant Connection #3: mybook.to/AnInstantConnection

Christmas Sugar Insta-Spark #2: http://mybook.to/CSrAmz

It Started With A Kiss Insta-Spark #1: getBook.at/ItStartedWithAKiss

Available #Free to read on #KindleUnlimited

About The Author

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free-falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She's learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

Melanie is represented by Flavia Viotti at Bookcase Literary Agency. For any questions regarding subsidiary or translation rights please contact her at flavia@bookcaseagency.com

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Book Review: Time After Time (Give Me Shelter #3) by Josie Kerr 

Time After Time
(Give Me Shelter #3)

by Josie Kerr

Amazon US / UK / CA / AU 

Christine Dearborn met her soulmate in high school. They eloped shortly before he went to boot camp, allowing her to escape from her austere, loveless childhood home. But being a military wife came with its own challenges, and Christine fought her own enemies at home even as her beloved battled adversaries overseas.

William Cashton had always been a guardian. When he was eighteen, he promised to protect his wife and his country. Fighting a foreign enemy turned out to be the easy part, and the war at home has more devastating casualties than Cash ever imagined.

Five years after she let Cash walk away, Christine gets a phone call that changes everything. Can Christine convince Cash to try to salvage their marriage, or will their emotional wounds be fatal?

My Rating:

Favorite Quote:

I’ve come to believe that fate has a way of introducing us to things we don’t know we need until they’re in our lives.

My Review:

Getting through the holidays isn’t easy for everyone and can stir up and/or wring out the regrets for some, which can either result in completely ruining the holidays and further embittering the combatants, or being the impetus for real change. The first half of this tale was a rather tense and angsty read that was heavy on regrets while the characters were each quietly hopeful for clearing the air. I held my breath for this stubborn middle-aged couple, as they had successfully avoided all communication for five years after each had sullenly taken to their different corners of the country and licked their wounds while living in an odd form of marital limbo. The characters of Cash and Christine were endearingly flawed and near ruined with grief and contrition, yet still accessible; they prickled my curiosity to know all their secrets. I appreciated the realistic imperfections of these characters, they were well fleshed out and knowable to me while their reasoning and insights resonated as ringing true with their gained maturity. The writing was emotive and heart-squeezing with welcome bites of humor while the couple worked through their issues and ultimately reinforced their foundation and reestablished their commitment while scorching the sheets and singing the ceiling tiles.

Josie Kerr  


Josie Kerr is a transplanted West Texan living on the edge of semi-profoundly rural Georgia, a.k.a. the southernmost edge of the northernmost county in Metro Atlanta.

She has an M.Ed. in Secondary English Education but discovered that she hated high school more the second time than she did the first, so she decided to meld her love of technology with her education background and became an Instructional Designer. When not writing articles about how to fire someone without getting sued or why you should really not apply for jobs using your SexxyStud99@aol.com email address, she writes steamy romance novels that feature grown-up Heroes and Heroines.

Book Review: One Christmas Eve (Cedar Street #2) by Shannon Stacey 


One Christmas Eve
(Cedar Street #2)
 by Shannon Stacey 

Amazon US / UK / AU / CA /

They couldn’t be more different. Or more perfect for each other.

New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey returns with a warm and cozy opposites-attract Christmas story.

Zoe Randall is busy living her life as she damn well pleases. She’s back in her favorite town, her divorce in her rearview mirror, and living out her childhood dream of running a bookstore with her cousin. She has no interest in the uptight nerd who opened his boring-ass business next to her shop…until he complains about one of her sexy window displays.

Then it’s game on.

Preston Wheeler knows he takes life a little too seriously. But when the saucy bookseller next door starts pushing his buttons, he can feel that changing. Beautiful, vivacious Zoe challenges him in all the best ways, and soon he’s pushing her buttons right back: teasing and flirting all the way through the holiday season.

As Preston loosens up and Zoe is treated to the man behind the suit (particularly his forearms), she realizes she’s more interested than she cares to admit. And Preston comes to see the beauty—the absolute delight—in adding Zoe’s bright splashes of color to his once very black-and-white existence.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Disapproval. Zoe knew that look. She’d divorced the man she’d thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with— a man who’d claimed to love and cherish her— because of that look, so she wasn’t about to accept it from a total stranger. Arching one eyebrow, she gave him her best bitch face. And not the resting kind, either. Hers was a fully active bitch face.

“Just... be neighborly.” “Oh, should I run home and bake him a pie first?” “I’ve had your pie and I’m going to vote no.”

My Review:

This was my first experience reading Shannon Stacey and I’m not sure what took so long for her to ping my radar, as she seems to have been quite busy with a veritable library of books listed under her name. I plan to make amends to the talented Ms. Stacey for my slacking as I enjoyed her easy-breezy writing style, snarky humor, and wily wit. I picked a nice place to start with this light, small-town, holiday romance with opposite attraction. The characters were endearingly quirky and likable while the story held my interest, was easy to follow, and developed at a good pace with tasty bites of steam, levity, and a sweet HEA for all involved.

About The Author


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her favorite activities are writing romance and really random tweets when she’s not riding her ATV. She loves mud, books, football & watching way too much TV.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Book Review, Giveaway: Bluebell’s Christmas Magic by Marie Laval

Bluebell’s Christmas Magic
by Marie Laval

Amazon US / UK / AU / CAB&N

A gorgeous new Christmas story from the author of best selling novel Little Pink Taxi

A flick of a feather duster and a sprinkle of Christmas magic …

Cassie Bell is used to mess. Her cleaning business, Bluebell Cleaning, is well known in the Cumbrian village of Red Moss. However, now it’s almost Christmas and Cassie has a slightly messier situation to deal with than she’s used to.

She’s been hired to help Stefan Lambert, an injured army helicopter pilot who’s staying at the local Belthorn Manor whilst he recovers. Stefan resents Cassie’s interference and is definitely not looking for Christmas cheer. But Cassie prides herself on sparkling surfaces – so, can she bring some festive sparkle to Stefan’s life too? 

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Before she could move out of the way, Piers bent down, slid his arm around her waist and kissed her cheek, dangerously close to her mouth. His lips were warm and moist, and she tried to repress a gasp as she caught the whiff of beer, musky aftershave and sweaty socks that always seemed to cling to him.

‘We’re getting too old for dealing with overexcited children all day,’ her granddad replied. ‘Last time I dressed up as Santa… and I’m not even mentioning the fake beard that gave me a rash for days afterwards.’ ‘I fell asleep in the grotto and my snoring scared the children away,’ David Fern added, laughing.

‘Do you know what charms my husband gave me to thank me for the hard time I had giving birth to his three sons?’ Tim’s cheekbones flushed bright red. ‘It was a joke, Rachel…and I’m a farmer after all.’ Oblivious, Rachel carried on, ‘He bought me a sheep, a tractor and a cow! If he thinks that’s an incentive for me to produce baby number four, he is seriously mistaken.’

The shop and restaurant were boarded up, and padlocks and chains hung from the doors to the shower blocks and launderette. There was no sign of life in the office either. All that was needed to complete the desolate décor was tumbleweed blowing about and whining harmonica of a Spaghetti Western soundtrack.

My Review:

I was again enamored with Marie Laval’s breezy yet absorbing writing style and creative and amusingly descriptive storytelling. Her latest delightful tale kept me well entertained and had a bit of everything; an injured helicopter pilot with PTSD nightmares staying in the manor of the absent yet wealthiest family, a comedy competition, elder abuse, holiday festivities, a sudden rash of crime in the previously safe village, family issues, a blossoming romance, sexual harassment in the workplace, ghost sightings, and a century-old mystery to solve. I adored the main characters, especially the sweet and naïve Bluebell house cleaner Cassie, who took excellent care of her clients well beyond their cleaning needs and may well have used a bit of fairy magic during her dusting. The fairy riding a feather duster painted on the side of her van brought a smile to my face every time it was mentioned, and her clever grandfather was a treasure.

About The Author

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern language teacher and in her spare time, she loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance and best-selling Little Pink Taxi was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. She belongs to Authors on the Edge and writes short stories for the best selling Miss Moonshine’s anthologies. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!


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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Book Review: The Kill Club by Wendy Heard

 The Kill Club
by Wendy Heard

Amazon US / UK / AU / CA 

Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological 

368 pages

A haunting thriller about a woman who attempts to save her brother's life by making a dangerous pact with a network of vigilantes who've been hunting down the predators of Los Angeles.

Jazz can’t let her younger brother die.

Their foster mother Carol has always been fanatical, but with Jazz grown up and out of the house, Carol takes a dangerous turn that threatens thirteen-year-old Joaquin’s life. Over and over, child services fails to intervene, and Joaquin is running out of time.

Then Jazz gets a blocked call from someone offering a solution. There are others like her, people the law has failed. They’ve formed an underground network of “helpers,” each agreeing to murder the abuser of another. They're taking back their power and leaving a trail of bodies throughout Los Angeles—dubbed the Blackbird Killings. If Jazz joins them, they’ll take care of Carol for good.

All she has to do is kill a stranger.

Jazz soon learns there's more to fear than getting caught carrying out her assignment. The leader of the club has a zero tolerance policy for mistakes.

And the punishment for disobeying orders is death.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“Okay,” I say, and in that one word is contained an ocean of acceptance. This is where I am. This is what I’m doing.

I think about what the reporter said, that the people who have been killed have had records of stalking, domestic violence. It actually sounds like the voice on the phone is who they say they are. They invented a serial killer. The police are searching LA for a murderer that doesn’t exist.

I don’t know how I feel about this, morally. Is it bad to kill someone like Carol? Does she deserve the death sentence? Do I have any feelings about her being dead? … I remember the guy I saw die at Villains. I heard him scream. It’s definitely not painless. But then I remember Carol with her baseball bat crunching through my bones like glass, and I think, Good.

How is she so put-together at six in the morning? When I work early shifts at Trader Joe’s, I look like an orphan in a Christmas movie.

My Review:

This book was devilishly clever and fiendishly addictive, I was taut with tension and unable to put my Kindle down without deeply resenting the intrusion to my reading. The main character of Jasmine was deeply flawed and horribly unlucky, and though well-intentioned she was a total screw up in every arena. I cringed for her while simultaneously wanting to give her a smack to the back of the head. The storylines were highly active, heartbreaking, twisted, brutal, gripping, and fraught with tension with unexpected and greatly welcomed glints of snarky levity and sharply edged wit. This was my first exposure to the cunning storytelling of Wendy Heard and I was an instant fangirl, I greedily want to amass all her clever words.

About The Author

Wendy Heard, author of Hunting Annabelle, was born in San Francisco and has lived most of her life in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found hiking the Griffith Park trails, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.

Twitter: @wendydheard

Instagram: @wendydheard

Facebook: @wendydheard