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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

lost and found sisters by Jill Shalvis

lost and found sisters
by Jill Shalvis
 

Wildstone - Book One
 
I have been a big fan of Jill Shalvis for a long time.
I expect certain things from her stories. Much of
which is delivered in lost and found sisters.
Then there is new stuff. The lead character,
Quinn Weller, has a much deeper background
that comes to light in this story. There are the 
chuckles that you look forward to with Jill Shalvis.
There are always
fun towns, interesting atmospheres
 and great side characters. But I felt like this story was much
deeper and even has a darker side.
The secrets just kept on coming. The whole story 
was a wonderful surprise. I don't know what
is coming up next in this series. But I do know I am
looking forward to it.
 
I can't explain the title without exposing spoilers.
I believe it will be a much more enjoyable and
interesting read with as little as possible
advance information. I will say this much,
Quinn is a chef in a fancy restaurant
in LA but she cant make a pancake.
And the folks in Wildstone, they dig their
pancakes. With chocolate chips.

 
 "So you're saying you don't feel excited or aroused, Ever."
Well, she hadn't. Until yesterday when she'd reacted to his
leanly muscled build like she'd never seen a man before.
And at the thought, she squirmed again.
"Quinn." He ran a work-roughened finger along the palm of
her hand and she got a full-body shiver. "Do you feel that?"
"Um," she said eloquently.
His eyes held her prisoner while her pulse raced and butter-
flies danced in her belly and at that realization, her palms went
sweaty. She thought about lying but knew she couldn't sell it, not
with how closely he was watching her, seeing her. "Okay, so I feel
something," she managed.
"I think maybe you just switched me back on."
 
My oh my my my, you need to meet Mick. He is a
successful business man that has no interest in being
in Wildstone. No interest at all. But there he is.
Fabulous romance. The story continues to expand
all the way through. Terrific ending. But I sure
am looking forward to the next one.
 
I got this copy from my library.
Review by Lisa Hutson

Susan's Review of Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole


Dive into the Newest Sweet with Heat Romance!


SUNSETS AT SEASIDE
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #4
Addison Cole
Releasing Aug 23, 2017


Jessica Ayers has lived a sheltered life with little more than cello lessons and practices taking up her day. Now a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she escapes the prim and proper symphony to vacation in the Seaside community in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to determine if she is living life to the fullest or missing it altogether.

For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother—and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sweet, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie’s business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the brown-haired beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie’s life—and his heart—upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away.

Sunsets at Seaside is the sweet edition the steamy romance novel Seaside Sunsets by Melissa Foster.


Tour and Seaside Series Links!

Link to Follow Review Tour at Tasty Book Tours

Link to Seaside Series on Goodreads

Sunsets at Seaside Goodreads link






Start the series for FREE with 
Read, Write, Love at Seaside




Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.    





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“Guess it’s just you and me.”

Jamie’s rich voice slid over her, bringing goose bumps to her arms and heating her up even more. How the heck did he manage to pull off laid-back and sensual at the same time? And why was it such a turn-on? She looked down at her hand, still on his thigh, and felt his muscles flex. The fire was nearly out, just a few embers glowing in the darkness. She should probably go home. It was already far later than she was used to staying up, and she had a big day tomorrow. Didn’t she? Didn’t she always? She had to practice and…No. That wasn’t right. She wasn’t practicing. She was vacationing. She had all the time in the world.

She realized that she hadn’t responded to Jamie’s remark. Instead of answering him, she tilted her head and looked at him. Really looked at him. He was too beautiful, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t just the tequila that made her think so. His hazel eyes were seductively dark and narrow. His tanned skin blended handsomely with the sexy scruff on his jaw, and his full lips were barely parted. She wanted to run her finger along his lips and feel their softness.

“What?” he asked quietly.

“I’m just…” Thinking about touching your scruff. And maybe your lips. And that crease by your mouth when you smile. There it is. Oh, I love that crease. Oh, and your hands. I’m dying to know what your hands feel like. “Thinking…” It was the only word she could manage without making a fool of herself.

“Thinking about throwing your phone at me again?”



This charming romance took me by surprise…in a good way! I was not sure how a love-at- first-sight romance would work for Seaside resident Jamie Reed and cellist Jessica Ayers. They seemed so very different to me until I read and was captivated by their story.

Jamie Reed is President and creator of One Click, a search engine similar to Google. He’s part of the weekend fun with Leanna, Bella, Amy and Jenna at the Seaside compound in Wellfleet, Mass. Jamie’s grandmother, Vera, summers at Seaside and he has decided to take a sabbatical from work to spend time with her. For years, Jessica Ayers has devoted herself to her music; she feels that she needs a break from the practice and performing and rents an apartment at Seaside. Loved the clever way Addison Cole introduces the two characters; frustrated by her phone, Jessica tosses it and beans Jamie on the head. Jamie quickly figures out that Jessica is clueless about her phone and the internet and tries to help her. The chemistry between the shy cellist and confident businessman sizzles during this unlikely first meeting!

Addison Cole explores the events that shaped both Jamie and Jessica’s personalities. Vera plays an important role in the couple’s romance. As a musician, she recognizes Jessica’s singular devotion to her music and her desire to be loved as herself. Vera understands why Jamie has devoted himself to work and the reason behind his fear of loving someone too deeply. Vera’s words of wisdom to Jamie—“Take care of your heart.” play a pivotal role in the storyline. The conversations between the three characters are honest, poignant and superbly written.

Sunsets at Seaside is heartfelt a story about two lonely people who experience a deep, passionate, romantic love for the first time until a crisis occurs at One Click. Jamie and Jessica’s relationship suffers a serious setback when Jamie’s lawyer exceeds his paygrade and blames Jessica for the disaster at One Click.

Addison Cole balances passion and the desire for a fulfilling career in Sunsets at Seaside. The descriptive writing transports the reader to a perfect Cape Cod summer adventure with friends and the witty, poignant dialogue provides insight into the characters desires, fears and hopes. What sets this novel apart from the other books in the series is that the pieces do not fit together perfectly. Jamie and Jessica's path towards happiness wasn't smooth. There was drama, conflict and soul searching before the HEA and these elements made the couple's journey unique and relatable.

If you enjoy books by Samantha Chase, Donna Alward and Sheryl Woods--you will love Addison Cole's newest Seaside novel!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by Tasty Book Tours




Saturday, August 19, 2017

Susan's Review of Traitor In Her Arms by Shana Galen



Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.

After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.

Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.


Shana Galen is a bestselling author of many passionate historical romps. A three-time RITA nominee,
she taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full-time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

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Traitor in Her Arms Ballantine Group; Loveswept | On Sale: August 22nd, 2017 | ISBN: 9780399179105 | Pages 288 | Price: $4.99  


In this scene, Lady Gabrielle McCullough attends a ball with the intention of keeping company with the Earl of Sedgwick. She loses sight of him when she must dance with another man and decides to search for him in the card room. The scene begins when Gabrielle encounters the wife of Sir Percy Blakeney, a well-known fop, at the ball. “Lady Blakeney, how good to see you.”

“And you. Where is your friend Lady Diana? I do so enjoy her wit.”

“She is at home tonight, my lady. But I will tell her you asked after her.”

Lady Blakeney pressed her hand into Gabrielle’s. “Yes, do.” She looked about the deserted corridor. “Are you looking for someone?”

“The card room, my lady.”

Lady Blakeney smiled. “It’s this door. Go right inside.”

“Thank you.”

Lady Blakeney opened the door for her, which surprised Gabrielle, but she entered and immediately thought there must be some mistake. This was not the card room. It was dark and quiet. It must be the library. She turned to exit and inform Lady Blakeney of her mistake, but the door closed in her face, and when she tried the handle, it was locked. Something behind her rustled, and Gabrielle stilled. Oh, please, God, don’t let it be a rat! She had nightmares about being trapped in rooms with rats.

“A moment of your time, Lady McCullough,” a voice said from the far side of the room. It was a man’s voice and low as though in disguise. “No, don’t turn around.”

Gabrielle froze and shivered when new fear skittered up her back. “Who are you?”

The man chuckled. She could hear him moving and thought he might be standing near the heavy draperies. She surmised that behind the draperies French doors opened onto a terrace. Since the door before her was locked, the French doors were her only escape. She was trapped. Was he one of George’s creditors? How had he gained entrance to this ball? And how would she get away? If she had a little light, she could pick the library’s lock, but her eyes had yet to adjust to the gloom in the dark room.

“I think the better question,” the man said, “is who are you?”

She frowned. He made no sense. “You know who I am. You said my name.”

“I know quite a bit about you, especially your particular skills.”

Dread pooled in the pit of her stomach, and a bead of perspiration worked its way slowly down the back of her neck. “I don’t know what you mean,” she said slowly.

“I think you do know. I could use a woman with your talent for theft.”

She stiffened. “You must have mistaken me for someone else.” She could almost see the door handle now. The lock would be relatively easy to pick. She needed to reach into her hair and grasp a pin . . . “You are exactly who I think you are. Only, I don’t want you to merely steal necklaces. I want you to steal people.”

“People?”

No. Don’t turn around,” he warned. “It’s better if you don’t know my identity, because what I’m asking you to do will endanger your life. If you accept my proposal, you could end up forming an intimate acquaintance with Madame Guillotine. And she is a most unforgiving creature.” Gabrielle swallowed. “Are you the—”

“Shh,” he whispered. He was closer now. She could feel the heat of him behind her. “Don’t say it. I have a mission for you, Lady McCullough.”

Gabrielle shook her head in disbelief. The Scarlet Pimpernel had a mission for her? Until now, she hadn’t been certain he existed. “But what can I do?”

“Oh, a great deal. There’s a woman, the comtesse de Tonnerre and her infant daughter. I was able to smuggle the comte de Tonnerre out of France, but circumstances prevented the comtesse’s escape. Even now, she and the child are imprisoned in La Force. I have managed to bribe certain officials to put off the day of their execution, but I cannot hold off the mobs forever.”

“But surely the child will not be executed.”

“No, but what chance does she stand in a filthy prison, my lady? The child will surely die if we do not act quickly.”

Gabrielle no longer felt fear or dread for herself. She thought only of the mother and child, awaiting certain death. “I ask again, what can I do?”

“The revolutionary government knows of me and my League.”

Gabrielle’s breath caught. Now there could be no question that the man speaking to her was the Scarlet Pimpernel.

“They are suspicious of any men entering Paris right now. But women are still relatively free of suspicion—as free as anyone can be in that hell of a city. I need you to sneak into Paris and steal a bracelet. This particular bracelet has sentimental value to a certain revolutionary official. The bracelet will buy the life of the comtesse and her daughter.”

Gabrielle felt her heartbeat kick. She was intrigued despite—or perhaps because of—the danger. “What bracelet?”

“Le Saphir Blanc.”

She drew in a breath and shook her head. “Impossible. The White Sapphire is only a myth.”

“It is no myth, my lady.”

Gabrielle allowed this information to sink in. The bracelet was real. What she wouldn’t give to see it, a cuff encrusted with jewels, at the center of which lay a perfect white sapphire. It was commissioned by Louis XIV, the Sun King, and was the stuff of legends. The latest rumors were that it disappeared during that final raid on the royal family at the Tuileries, but others thought it had been taken during the looting of Versailles.

“I know where it is,” the Pimpernel whispered seductively. “But I warn you, it is heavily guarded.”

Gabrielle blinked. What had she been thinking? She couldn’t steal le Saphir Blanc! “Impossible. I’m no good at skirting guards or skulking about in strange cities. Why, I haven’t been to Paris in years. You ask the impossible.”

“I would have thought stealing Lord Grenville’s bust of Caesar impossible, but you managed it.” Gabrielle started in shock. How did he know about Caesar’s bust?

“You are a clever woman, Lady McCullough. You will find a way.”

“But I don’t think—”

“Shh.” His hand on her shoulder startled her. “Don’t answer now. Think it over. If you decide to join my League, I will send you more detailed instructions tomorrow.”

“But how will you know what I decide?”

“I’ll know. My instructions will be marked with my signature, a humble wayside flower. Scarlet, of course.” He lifted his hand.

“I see. But how will I know . . .” She paused, noting the absence of his presence behind her. “Sir?”

Silence.

Slowly, she turned. Across the empty room, the draperies rustled in the breeze from the open doors.



Lady Gabrielle McCullough’s has inherited her late husband’s enormous gambling debts. She has resorted to stealing jewelry and objects d’art to keep his creditors at bay. Gabrielle attends a ball to steal an expensive necklace. Gabrielle is surprised by a familiar voice as she opens the jewelry box; her husband’s friend the Earl of Sedgwick is in bedroom! The chemistry between the couple is apparent from this meeting and the passionate kiss they share in the hallway.

Gabrielle is approached by the famous Scarlett Pimpernel who asks her to join his league. This man is aware of her secret activities and asks her to steal a bracelet and assist the Comtesse de Tonnerre and her child out of France. Gabrielle meets with Comte de Tonnerre and decides to accept the dangerous mission. Sedgwick is being blackmailed and has been tasked with uncovering the identity of the Scarlett Pimpernel. I loved these scenes in as they showed Gabrielle’s bravery and compassion and Sedgwick’s desire to keep his family safe.

Gabrielle is accosted by one of her late husband’s creditors as she boards a ship headed for France. Sedgwick appears and he grabs Gabrielle and they board the ship; he lifts the gangplank and sends Mr. Pin into the water. Sedgwick announces to Gabrielle that they are travelling to Paris together. The scenes by the entry gate to the city of Paris were superbly written; each word added to the suspense and drama as Gabrielle and Sedgwick waited in line to enter the city. I could see the crowds, hear the screams and feel the danger. The suspense intensifies in the novel as Sedgwick accompanies Gabrielle to a ball at a cemetery and Gabrielle’s mission begins.

I enjoy Ms. Galen’s novels because of the elements of suspense and intrigue that she weaves into each story. Traitor in Her Arms is the most complex novel she has written. Just when I thought Gabrielle was safe; an expected obstacle was introduced into the storyline. It was challenging to determine who the traitors were in the story as not one character‘s true identity or motives were apparent. Gabrielle and Sedgwick learned to trust each other during this chilling cat and mouse game with the French soldiers. The novel’s ending is superbly written and kept me reading past my bedtime. I couldn’t put the book down!
5 Stars!
★★★★★

Friday, August 18, 2017

Susan's Review of Cindy Kirk's Forever in Good Hope

In the fourth installment of Cindy Kirk’s beloved Good Hope series, a ruse with an old flame grows into romance.

Delphinium “Fin” Bloom returns to her hometown with one goal: get the mayor—her former flame—to approve a location shoot in Good Hope. But business turns personal when the two become entangled in a fake engagement to comfort his ailing grandmother.

For Jeremy, the romantic fa├žade hits close to his heart. Still reeling from the way things ended between Fin and him all those years ago, he sees the fake engagement as an opportunity to get her out of his system once and for all. But instead of laying the past to rest, Jeremy quickly discovers he can’t envision a life without her.

Now engaged to another man, Fin had long ago given up on the dream of a life with Jeremy. Why is it, then, that her fake engagement feels more genuine than her real one? As the sleepy days of summer come to a close in Good Hope, will Fin and Jeremy give love a second chance? Or will the revelation of a devastating secret put an end to the fairy tale?


Forever in Good Hope is an emotional, thoughtful second chance at love romance. The characters, the romance and the small town setting drew me into this well- paced story. Cindy Kirk’s descriptive voice and honest dialogue are spot on in this novel where the forgiveness, trust and love are explored.

Delphinium ‘Fin” Bloom has returned to Good Hope because her boyfriend, Xander Tillman, is interested in filming a movie in her hometown. However, the film’s shooting schedule would take place during the month of December; forcing the town to forego its traditional holiday festivities. Many treasured events including the popular Twelve Nights celebration would have to be cancelled or postponed. Mayor Jeremy Rakes cast the deciding vote against the proposal. But, Xander is used to getting his way. He has tasked Fin with trying to convince the town board members and local merchants to vote in favor of the proposal at a second meeting.

Second chances, family connections and happiness are three important themes in the novel. Jeremy and Fin agree to a phony engagement when Jeremy’s grandmother, Ruby, suffers a heart attack. Their engagement gives Ruby the incentive she needs for her surgery.

This is my favorite scene in the novel:
Her eyes lit up. ‘You’ll play?”
‘I’m willing to answer a question or two, so long as you reciprocate.’
Her sudden grin had Jeremy’s heart skipping a beat. For a second he forgot all about his grandmother.
She handed a card to Jeremy with a flourish. ‘You read it.’
‘If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only three words?”
‘Three words.’ Fin chewed on her lower lip, her gaze unsettled. Don’t be afraid.”

Fin’s honest answer to the above question changes the direction of the story. It prompts Jeremy to confess that he knew there were two things he wanted when he was sixteen; to live in Good Hope and Fin. He admits that loosing Fin is his biggest regret. I enjoyed the scenes where Ruby played matchmaker and arranged premarital counseling for Fin and Jeremy and helped plan their wedding—these scenes were cleverly written and added an element of humor to the story. The chemistry between the couple sparks and their relationship becomes romantic. As she spends more time with Jeremy, Fin realizes what is missing in her relationship with Xander and she begins to appreciate and value the man Jeremy has become.

Fin shares a secret with Jeremy, something that she had not shared with her sisters or friends. Jeremy is deeply affected by the secret. Cindy Kirk hinted that Fin was hiding something from her past during the novel. The unveiling of the secret and Jeremy’s reaction were key elements in the couple’s journey and were perfectly written. Loved the conclusion to this heart felt story as it had several unexpected surprises for Jeremy and Fin!

Cindy Kirk has created a fabulous cast of characters in this series and I am looking forward to the next Good Hope novel!
5 Stars!
★★★★★
Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by the author