Friday, May 27, 2016

Win a Book of Your Choice in the Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop!

It's hop time again!  I'm so excited that summer is on it's way in!  It's slow coming where I live but spring is definitely here so summer cannot be too far behind.  I love summer!

I am giving away a book of your choice, $12 or less, from Amazon if you are US and the Book Depository if you are INT and they ship to you free.  This is for a book, not anything else.  You will have 48 hours to respond to my email and after that, I pick a new winner.

Good luck and thanks for dropping by!
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Close to You by Kara Isaac

A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

So, the summary above is very long and pretty much tells you the whole book!  If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit books and movies, you will probably really love this book because it has a lot of references and trivia.  Almost every scene is set somewhere related to Lord of the Rings in New Zealand.  I will admit to not being such a big fan and I still enjoyed this book.  :)  I'd sure love to go to New Zealand!

Jackson is a bit of a jerk in the beginning.  He is rude and not very nice at all.  It's a good thing that first impressions can be changed!  By the end of the book I liked him much better.  The ending really sealed the deal for me.  Ending = Jackson fan.

Allison is a nice girl.  A smart girl.  And kind.  All the best attributes to have.  Just because she is all those things doesn't mean she lets Jackson walk all over her.  Because he does kind of try to do that in the beginning but Allison hands it right back to him on a platter.

This was a slow growing build kind of book.  It took the whole book to get to a connection place for Jackson and Allison (yeah, I mean a kiss).  Even then I had to wait longer.  It was a titch frustrating but there were so many great scenes with chemistry and funny moments that I was appeased.  

This is a new author for me and I'm happy to add her to my author's to watch list!  I'll be looking for her next book!

Content:  Clean

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Soldier's Bride by Rachelle J. Christensen

As WWII ration cards and battle scars become commonplace across America, it seems to Evelyn that even love is rationed out. When she finds a message from her late husband tucked inside a music box, Jim’s words have the power to change her life: Don't die with me.

Words written out of love, long-lost but never forgotten.

Grief stricken, Evelyn is unsure of how to honor his request, but she finds the courage to keep on living. Jim’s note urges her to give the music box away to unlock the secret within, and although it breaks her heart again, Evelyn trades the music box for a cradle to hold her infant son. Thus begins the decades-long journey of the music box, mending broken hearts, reuniting lost loves, and giving people the courage to heal themselves along the way. This romance crosses battlefields and time as the music box touches the lives of two soldiers, a broken father, a crippled child, a struggling farmer, and a woman once called the soldier's bride.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect going into this book.  It didn't sound like the typical romance and I wondered if this was multiple stories put together in one book.  I guess that was the surprise for me because this book was several stories woven together but always with the same few key characters in the mix.

This book was full of love and struggle and forgiveness and healing.  The characters all go through heartache and growth.  The struggle felt real.  I loved the miracle and magic of the music box and how it tied every story together.

This is what I would term a "feel good" book.  It kind of reminded me of a Hallmark Movie. 

Content:  An almost rape scene

I received a copy of book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Bad Boy's Baby by Cindi Madsen + $25 and Book Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Bad Boy's BabyThe Bad Boy's Baby
(Hope Springs #3)
by Cindi Madsen
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 284 pages
May 16th 2016 by Entangled: Bliss

There are certain words that have always described Cam Brantley: Town bad boy. Soldier. Protector. But never, ever dad. Until he returns home from his latest military tour to discover the girl he had one smoking-hot night with is now mom to the adorable two-year-old Zoey. Who has his eyes.

Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town’s golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town, she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed.

Cam and Emma are both shocked to discover he truly wants Zoey in his life. But Cam’s not sure he’s ready to be a dad, and Emma can’t gamble her daughter on maybes. As the long-simmering heat between Cam and Emma reaches a boiling point, he’ll have to work past his demons in order to be the man both girls need.

Daddy duty might be his toughest mission yet…

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The Bad Boy's baby is the third book in this Hope Springs series.  I haven't read the other  books in the series but I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.  Each book can stand alone.

This is a great story of second chance love.  The characters had a brief encounter years ago, right before Cam left the country for his military duties.  Emma ended up pregnant and she never told him- but she didn't know how to find him.  Now, years later, Emma runs into Cam again and knows she has to tell him about his daughter.  Yikes!  That's a big secret to drop on the unsuspecting man!

This makes for some charged moments between Cam and Emma.  The old attraction is still there but now there is a bit more to consider.  It's more than just lusty attraction.  Cam and Emma battle their own personal demons- Cam more than Emma, I would say.

I enjoyed this book and it's characters.  It was easy to settle in and get carried away in the fantastic drama of Cam and Emma's lives. 

Content:  This isn't what I would classify as "clean" romance because of the swearing and sexual encounters.  The details stop at taking clothes off and the rest is behind closed doors.  There is sexual innuendo.

Other Books in the Series

Second Chance Ranch (Hope Springs, #1)Second Chance Ranch
(Hope Springs #1)
by Cindi Madsen
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 232 pages
September 15th 2014 by Entangled: Bliss

Sometimes love is right where you left it.

Sadie Hart has a plan: return to her small town of Hope Springs so she can regain her confidence—and bank account—before giving one more shot to her country music dream. The dream that means more to her than anything. The dream she chose over her high school sweetheart, the brooding and sinfully handsome Royce Dixon.

Royce has moved on from his memories of the beautiful Sadie. Now he’s focused solely on running Second Chance Ranch, where he rehabilitates troubled teens through ranch work. But when he needs a new employee and Sadie’s the only one to volunteer, he has no choice but to offer his old flame a job.

Whether riding a horse with the wind in her hair or mucking out the stalls, Sadie can still get Royce’s heart beating like no one else. But Nashville is her dream, and Royce can’t settle for second best.

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Crazy for the Competition (Hope Springs, #2)Crazy for the Competition
(Hope Springs #2)
by Cindi Madsen
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 277 pages
June 9th 2015 by Entangled Publishing: Bliss

The road to trouble is paved with sweet temptation… 

Always the rebel in her ultra-conservative family, Quinn Sakata dreams of quitting her dad's real-estate business and restoring the old Mountain Ridge Bed and Breakfast in her hometown of Hope Springs. Except that Quinn's not the only person bidding on it. Worse still, her competitor is her high school crush, Heath Brantley, who is all kinds of ripped, tattooed hotness...

So much for her "nice, conservative boys" rule.

Heath has his own reasons for bidding on Mountain Ridge, and he won't give in without a fight - even to the red-lipped hottie with a sailor's mouth. But when their rivalry shifts into an unexpected zing of chemistry, Heath realizes he's in deep trouble. Because it's inevitable that emotions will get involved, and he needs to keep his eyes on the prize before they both get hurt.

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Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

$25 Amazon eGift Card
ebook of Crazy for the Competition
Open internationally
Ends May 27th

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The McCarran Collection by Liz Adair

Bridget Olasfson, a beautiful archivist hiding secrets, comes to Utah's brilliant red rock country to catalog the McCarran Collection. Though she's sworn off men in her life, she’s attracted to Ben, the bad-boy, off-road racing McCarran cousin. But it’s Lew McCarran, the tall, quiet cousin, she turns to when she finds herself caught up in a dangerous intrigue involving a lost boy, a drug cartel, and death. What will she do when the only way to save the boy is to give up the man she loves?

Part romance, part cozy mystery, part thriller, The McCarran Collection is, last of all, a novel about family ties.

This book wasn't exactly what I was expecting.  It took me a fair bit to get into the book and invested in it's characters but it did eventually happen.  Honestly, it was the little boy that brought that about.  I loved him.

I love when books are based on a bit of history and this one was.  It is set in Kanab, UT which I have driven through many, many times on our way from AZ to UT.  Beautiful country, that.  The house the characters live in is the part of history.

I felt like the author was trying to incorporate too many genres or separate story lines.  There is the family "secrets" discovered by Bridget in her work as an archivist, drug cartel stuff which was supposed to provide some suspense, and then a murder mystery as well.  I wish the author would have just stuck to one of those and developed the emotions of that genre more. 

By the end I was more invested in the book.  I liked the way things came together for a good ending.  But again, it was the little boy who made the story for me.  He brought each scene to life.

Content:  some mild violence

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

3/5 stars

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Born to Treason by E.B. Wheeler

Joan Pryce is not only a Catholic during the English Reformation but also Welsh, and comes from a family of proud revolutionaries. But when a small act of defiance entangles her in a deadly conspiracy, a single misstep may lead her straight to the gallows. Now, Joan must navigate a twisting path that could cost her life, her freedom, and her chance of finding love.

It took me a little while to get into this book but it happened and I couldn't help but feel all kinds of emotions while reading it.  I don't know that I felt a lot of emotional connection to the characters but the subject matter definitely had me thinking and feeling grateful and fortunate.  

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres for this exact reason.  I'm able to learn about a period and place in time in a way that brings it to life.  I will admit that I'm quite ignorant when it comes to Wales and it's history.  I knew very little of the plight of the Welsh Catholics until I read this book.  Religious oppression has always existed at some point or another- in almost every country on the earth.  It's such a shame.  

Joan is a young woman and an orphan.  Her parent are both deceased and she is dependent on others for her livelihood.  I like that Joan is always trying to help the downtrodden and the sad.  She loves her Catholic religion and worship brings her peace.  I loved how Joan grows as she makes decisions and learns to rely more on her own merits and judgement instead of others telling her how and what to feel.

I could tell while reading that this author did her homework.  The book felt true to the time and I came away feeling like I learned something new.

I just loved this bit from the book.  "What the heart wants is not always what our head knows is best for us.  Then it takes great courage to follow the course we know is right.  Other times, though, it takes great faith to follow what our heart whispers, even when we see no sense or hope in it." (pg. 133)

Content:  This book is based around religion so yes, there are religious elements to it.  There is some violence and some graphic violence mentioned.  Otherwise clean.  No swearing or sexual situations.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Kiss and a Dream by Linda Andrews + $25 Giveaway

Kiss and a dream

She escapes with a dead woman's name and finds sanctuary with a widower reeling from his wife's betrayal. Can a love built on lies survive the truth? Gretchen Foltz honors her late father's request and ends up locked in the workhouse by her greedy brother. Dreaming of a home and freedom, she embarks on a dangerous winter journey. She awakes in a stranger's home. Hiding behind a lie, she discovers a man worthy of her trust. Kian Bryne is struggling to feed his four children. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman stranded on the ice and running from her own demons. With his rich in-laws threatening to take custody his children, he'll make a desperate alliance to keep his family together. When a simple kiss shatters their agreement, he's left yearning for more. Can they untangle the lies before someone separates them forever?
  amazon get it 

This book was really sweet.  The beginning pulls you in right away as a young woman struggles through bitter cold, ice and snow, to save herself and two young children.  I could not help but feel so much sympathy, empathy and compassion for both Gretchen and Kian.  They have heart wrenching stories and they both deserve to love and be loved.

I enjoyed this book, even though I felt like some things were underdeveloped.  I read through this book quickly and was so very happy at the outcome.  

So sweet!  Enjoy the following excerpt!

 Excerpt: In this scene, Gretchen has learned that her tickets to freedom are fakes and fears the sheriff might send her back to the poorhouse. Kian invites Gretchen to stay with him. Gretchen scrubbed at her face. "Vill he take me to another vorkhouse?" A lock of mahogany hair trailed down her back. The silken lock brushed against his finger. He'd forgotten how soft women were. "No. Ya'll stay here. With me." He could take care of her just as well as any workhouse. And she'd have more to eat. Most days, anyway. Her eyebrows arched and she held her breath. She leaned forward in her seat. "Vith you? In this fine house?" He blinked. She obviously thought he meant for some time. He'd meant until the weather cleared. Or did he? "Yea." The money collected for her fare burned a hole in his pocket. But she had family out there, waiting. Then why hadn't they picked her up? She obviously wasn't accustomed to looking after herself. Kian could look after her. And in return, she could cook and clean and tend the children. Yes. He mentally snapped his fingers. His children liked her. If Gretchen stayed, his late wife's parents would stop harassing him about custody. Once things settled down into a routine, he could send her to her family. It was a perfect plan.  
   add to goodreads

  Linda Andrews
Author Linda Andrews Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: “What else would she write? She’s never been normal.” All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion and she’s followed that passion into history, the future, and beyond. Sometimes, she incorporates her science background and other times, she allows the magic of love to take center stage in sweet historicals.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/23/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway