Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Noble Heir (Princes of Valdoria Book 1) by Julia Keanini


What about the one that got away?

Prince Theo Kane has always known duty comes first. As crown prince of Valdoria, his priorities have been country and family above all. And that's always been easy for him--until duty and the queen demand that he find a wife. But he already tried proposing to the one woman he really wants, and she ran.

Alex Turner fought her way to the top of the world's most prestigious photography course. As long as no one figures out who she really is, her dream of being a photographer on Jacques Ledoux's renowned crew is within her grasp. Nothing is going to hold her back, including her pesky feelings for a certain swoon-worthy royal.

When Theo's and Alex's paths collide, old feelings are reignited...but those feelings have burned them both. Fool him once, shame on her. Fool him twice?


I just love books that revolve around royalty?  Why is that, I wonder?  Princes and cowboys.  Ha.  Yup, sign me up.

Seriously though, there is just something about reading stories about princes and princesses, kings and queens that I just love.  This book is the beginning of a new series about the royal family of Valdoria and I cannot tell you how excited I am about this!  Prince Theo has a few brothers and I can tell by this story that it's going to be a fun ride with them.

Alex is a princess in hiding.  She wants to accomplish something completely on her own merits and not because of her princess status.  I love her obsession with photography- a subject that always interests me.  

I adored Theo.  The title of this book fits him perfectly- Noble.  He was a great character and I was drawn to him.  The chemistry between Theo and Alex has a steady growth through the whole book.  I loved that build up of tension.  And the ending.  I loved that too.

If you haven't read any books by Julia Keanini, now's the time!  This book is a great start to a fun new series.  It's just $.99 and it's on KU if you have that.  I can't wait for the next book!

Content:  clean, kissing, mild peril

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Finding Her Montana Cowboy (Marietta St Claire's #4) by Lara Van Hulzen



Former rodeo star Wyatt Emmerson leads a quiet life. He’s busy working with his dad and raising his daughter on his own. Romance is the last thing on his mind, but when McKenna St. Claire crosses his path, life takes a turn that Wyatt never saw coming.

McKenna doesn’t sit still well; traveling the world has always been her favorite pastime. She’s vowed to stay in Marietta for her family, but is ready to pack her bags as soon as her twin nephews are born. But a wounded cowboy and his young daughter steal her heart, making her question what she really wants in life. Will she take a risk on love and call Marietta her home?

 * Goodreads * Amazon

This series follows the St. Claire siblings.  While the books follow a definite timeline, each book can stand on it's own.  You just might be happier if you read them in order.  

McKenna has popped up in past books and it was good to finally get her story.  She is known as the family wanderer, the world traveler.  Now she is hoping to stay near her family and share in those celebrations and relationships she has been missing out on.  I loved McKenna's innate desire to help people and to prove herself useful. 

Wyatt has had his time in the limelight and now he is ready to settle down and provide a steady home for his daughter.  I loved Wyatt's solid feel, the way he dug in deep and worked hard.  He was easy to love.

I enjoyed this story a lot.  It was easy to settle in with and I loved the ending which actually came from the father of those St. Claire siblings.  It was so sweet and now that I am watching my own children leave home and get married, it held extra meaning.  ๐Ÿ’™ 

Content:  frequent mild swearing, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher at my request.  All opinions expressed are my own.
  

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Love Songs and Lullabies by Amy Vastine


Their engagement is a sham...  But their baby-to-be isn't! Country music stars Sawyer Stratton and Piper Starling are headed for the top of the charts. But then their course shifts unexpectedly...toward parenthood! The only way to keep Piper's pregnancy from making the wrong headlines is to set the proverbial date. But how can Piper go through with a fake engagement when her feelings for Sawyer are anything but?


I've been following and reading this series from the very beginning and I keep coming back because I just love it.  In all of the books, one or more of the characters are musicians.  It's so fun!  Characters from previous books make appearances in this book and I love the feeling of familiarity that comes from that.

 In this book Sawyer and Piper are reconnecting after a break up.  They shared a love and a relationship at one point but they separated and now that Piper knows she is pregnant, they have no choice but to reconnect.  Second chance at first love stories are some of my favorites.  Piper and Sawyer still have feelings for each other but both are wary and afraid to put themselves out there to be hurt.  With lives in the limelight, they have to be careful and for Piper, that means thinking about all the people that work for her as well.  The struggle is real and even though both Piper and Sawyer are figuring out their own issues, I loved the way they showed care and concern for each other. 

This was a good story and I read through it so quickly, always rooting for Piper and Sawyer to figure things out and get to the good stuff.  ๐Ÿ˜Š  In the end, it's the music that helps bring them together.  Music is powerful.

Content:  mention of previous intimate relations that result in pregnancy (no details), kissing 

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher at my request.  All opinions expressed are my own.
 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Adventures of Lucy Snigglefritz (Book One) by Patrick Milne (Author), Stephanie Faye (Illustrator)

Lucy Snigglefritz, world-famous circus dog, is the star attraction of Amazing Avido's Circus. But when ticket sales slump, Lucy is dumped by the circus and left to fend for herself.

On her own for the first time, Lucy sets out on a new adventure. What can a circus dog do without a circus? Maybe Sooty, a Dalmatian at the local firehall, has the answer...

"The Adventures of Lucy Snigglefritz" is an ongoing picture book series that follows former circus star, Lucy Snigglefritz, on her journey around the world to meet working dogs and find out what makes certain breeds of dogs suited to certain jobs. Along the way, Lucy gains the confidence and self-belief she needs to thrive in a strange new world.

The Adventures of Lucy Snigglefritz is a perfect picture book reader for ages 4-7, and for dog lovers ages 1-100.

For a preview of the book, watch our exclusive book trailer online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLVJRf... and read more about the series at FayemousBooks.com

 * Amazon * Goodreads

This is a cute picture book that will appeal to younger children.  The illustrations are fun and have lots of personality.  I like the idea of going on many adventures with Lucy Snigglefritz (catchy name, right?!) as she decides to find out what other things she might be good after being kicked out of the circus for being too old.

First stop:  the Fire Station.   Lucy meets a new friend and goes on a fire fighting adventure.  She overcomes her fear and gains courage and self confidence.  Those are some good messages for kids!  I also was happy to see a tiny bit of history thrown in!  (I went and did some reading of my own on Dalmatians and Fire Stations)  So there is an opportunity for more learning with your children if you were so inclined.

Included in Kindle Unlimited

 Content:  mild peril

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Release Day Blast: My Sister's Intended by Rachael Anderson + $50 Giveaway!

Happy Release Day to My Sister's Intended by Rachael Anderson.
We're celebrating with a $50 Giveaway!
 

For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved. Unfortunately, Prudence has never been able to feel as joyful. She believes her sister is mad to consider marrying a man she hardly knows, even if he will one day make her a countess. Titles and wealth shouldn't factor into matters of the heart, and as an aspiring romance novelist, Prudence cannot fathom how anyone could even think of settling for less than love. She certainly wouldn’t, and she doesn't want her sister to either. Unable to stand by and do nothing, Prudence sets out to help the awkward couple discover the best in each other with the hope that they will eventually find love. What she neglected to foresee, however, was the possibility that she might fall in love with Lord Knave herself.

 


Excerpt
When Prudence lifted her eyes to his again, they sparkled with a challenge. “I was going to save this question until later so as not to shock you from the get-go, but I really do need to know . . . What does it feel like to kiss a woman?”
A large lump formed in Brand’s throat, and his mouth went dry. What the deuce? She had promised not to ask questions that would make him uncomfortable, but already he wanted to flee like a frightened kitten. How could he possibly explain how it felt to kiss a woman?
Brand searched his mind for a way to avoid answering until he heard a snicker escape her lips. She was laughing at him. Him! Hildebrand Ethan Cannon, Viscount Knave—a man at least eight years her senior and a great deal higher in social standing.
Unbelievable.
“You are teasing me,” he said, hoping it was true. If she’d posed the question to make him squirm—and perhaps make him more inclined to answer her other questions—then she wouldn’t be expecting an answer.
She shook her head, still smiling. “I’m afraid not, my lord, although I did find the look of terror on your face vastly amusing.”
“I’m glad I could entertain you.”
“I hope you will be equally glad to instruct me on a few things as well. The first scene in my book will include a kiss, and I have no idea how to describe the experience. Do a woman’s lips feel warm or soft or even moist? Would your pulse quicken? Aside from touch, what other senses are engaged? How would it make you feel and what would you notice when you held a woman in your arms?”
If she thought he’d appeared terror-stricken before, there would be no word for how he looked now. Did she earnestly expect him to answer such questions? Surely even she knew how inappropriate it would be to discuss such things, her being an innocent.
“I cannot say,” he finally muttered.
Her brow puckered in confusion. “Have you never kissed a woman, my lord?”
Brand was sorely tempted to lie and say he had not, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so. Any man of six-and-twenty who had never experienced a kiss would be laughed out of his manhood. Women were expected to remain innocent until married. Men were not.
“Yes, I have kissed a woman,” he finally admitted, “but I have no intention of discussing any of the details with you.”
“Why not?” she asked, her large brown eyes blinking at him curiously. “Would you rather I invent the information?”
“Yes.”
She obviously didn’t appreciate his retort because she scowled. “Can you not tell me at least a little?”
“No.”
“Why?”
“Because a kiss could never be described with any sort of accuracy, at least not by me. It involves too many feelings and sensations and complexities of thought. If you wish to know what a kiss feels like, you’ll have to experience it for yourself.”
Too late, Brand realized his mistake. Her expression became contemplative, as though she was actually considering doing just that. Good gads, had he really just encouraged an innocent young woman to go hunting for a kiss? Who would she ask? A groom? Stablehand? The next peddler that came to town?
“I think you are right,” she said at last. “I really must experience a kiss for myself if I am to describe it with any sort of accuracy.” She blinked up at him with that innocent expression again. “Will you kiss me Lord Knave? No, how silly of me. You are to marry my sister, so that would never do.” She pursed her lips for a moment before musing, “Perhaps one of the footmen would be kind enough to show me how it’s done.”
Kind enough? Brand could think of a great many reasons a footman would comply with such a request, and kindness did not factor into any of them. Brand would kiss her himself before he allowed a footman near her.
He rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on. “Perhaps I can try to explain what it feels like after all.” Better that than having her chase after a footman.
“But you only just said you couldn’t do it justice,” she pointed out. “I realize I sound dreadfully forward, but I really must know, and experience is the best teacher, is it not?”
“No, it isn’t,” he lied. “And you are not going to kiss a footman.”
“Then who? Felix or Lionel, perhaps? I’m fairly certain I can convince one of them to do it, if given the opportunity. The question is how to go about it?”
It was plain to see by the firm set of her jaw that she would not rest until she had experienced a kiss of her own. She didn’t seem to care who did the deed, only that the man did a thorough job of it. A quick peck on the lips wouldn’t satisfy her curiosities.
“Perhaps I could send a note to Felix and ask him to call on me,” she continued to muse. “We could take a stroll through the maze in the gardens. There is a hidden alcove on the south side, which could be quite perfect. We would have to evade Ruth, obviously, but—”
“Devil take it,” Brand growled as he pulled her to him. Her quick intake of breath was the only sound she made before his mouth covered hers.



 

 

Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.  


 

 


Blog Tour March 28th to April 12th

 

Release Day Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in Paypal Cash Ends 4/13/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Snapshot Bride: A Cobble Creek Romance (Cobble Creek Romance) by Kimberly Krey


Love is in the air in Cobble Creek—for everyone but Anthony Marino. Month after month the owner of Tony’s Diner watches happy couples stroll through that bell-chiming door, and he can’t help but wonder if it will ever be him. The winds shift drastically in his favor when Kira Moretti rings that very same bell. During a childhood visit to Cobble Creek, the outgoing girl pegged him with his first kiss. When she sets those brown eyes on him years later, he’s pleased to find the feelings are still there. But is Kira here to stay, or does she—like the other women in Anthony’s past—have her eyes set on a different life?

It’s no surprise that Kira Moretti has an imperfect past that soiled the family name. So when Grandpa Moretti leaves his Cobble Creek photography studio to her in his will, Kira’s determined to prove herself worthy. Cobble Creek is just as charming as she remembered, and even better—so is the handsome guy from Tony’s Diner. Chemistry between them sparks fast, and soon Kira’s certain she’s right where she needs to be. But when someone from her past shows, offering long-sought redemption, Kira has to make a choice. Stay with the man she’s just fallen in love with, or take the offer and risk losing him forever. 


Woo hoo!  It's a new book by Kimberly Krey!  I always feel like the luckiest girl when Kimberly sends me a copy of her newest book.  It really makes me happy- like do a happy dance- happy.  I'm a Kimberly Krey fan.  No doubt about it.

I loved that these two characters- Kira and Anthony- had some history albeit a young child history.  They had happy memories with each other so when they met up again as adults, the chemistry and friendship already had a foundation.  This allowed for some sparky attraction and a relationship that blossomed quickly.

Kira is a fun, quirky character.  I just loved her.  Her insecurities made her endearing and so human.  And Anthony?  He's just a stand up kind of guy- so supportive and encouraging of Kira.  I'm a big fan of those kind of men!

This was just an easy reading, sweet romance.  Perfect for the rainy day I found myself reading it.  I enjoyed the ride and I loved the ending.  So very romantic.  <sigh>

Content:  Clean, some kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.
 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Other Side of the Bridge by Camron Wright


Two coasts. Two strangers.
And a bridge that silently beckons them both.

Katie Connelly has lived in San Francisco all her life. Her late father made his career on the Golden Gate Bridge, and the many stories of how he saved jumpers still haunt her. And now her job assignment is to write about the history of the bridge—a history that includes a secret journal about a promise ring and a love story that may be the answer to her unresolved sorrow.

Meanwhile, Dave Riley, a marketing executive in New York, has sorrows of his own. Grasping at straws after tragedy strikes his family, he decides to follow a daydream that has turned into an obsession: to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on a motorcycle on the Fourth of July.

Does the bridge somehow mysteriously hold the answers both Katie and Dave are looking for? Or will they find something completely different when they get to the other side?


I was really looking forward to reading this book.  The cover alone would make me pick up this book because I LOVE the Golden Gate Bridge.  It is beautiful and because I grew up not too far from it, it speaks of home to me.

One thing I loved about this book was the bits of history it gave me about the bridge.  It made me want to go find a book about the Golden Gate and read it myself.  I love when books inspire me to know more about something or someone.

This book is basically two different stories in one.  One is about Katie, the other about Dave.  The two intersect toward the end but it wasn't in the way I was thinking it would be.  The story itself is gentle and slow.  There is nothing heart pounding or climactic about it, just two people dealing with different struggles in life, trying to find answers.

My favorite book by this author is The Rent Collector.  I loved that book.  I wouldn't say this book is better than that one, but it was still enjoyable.  I think every person who reads it will find a bit of themselves in it.

Content:  death, mild swearing, mention of affairs

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.





Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Where I Belong (Pine Valley) by Heather B. Moore


Jane Morris makes a living by cleaning the houses of the wealthy residents of Pine Valley, and she tries hard not to judge their extravagant lifestyles. But when one of her clients goes through a devastating breakup with his fiancรฉ, Jane finds herself in the middle of his emotional mess. She wants to help him, but Cameron Vance is a man she could easily lose her heart to. Jane agrees to be his date to the charity event of the year, organized by Cameron’s mother. But the magical night shows Jane that if she’s a Cinderella, then Cameron is definitely a candidate for Prince Charming.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

I'm so excited for this new addition to the Pine Valley series by Heather B. Moore!  And that cover!!  I love it.  It feels happy to me.

Jane and Cameron are two characters who are so easy to like right from the beginning.  It was easy to settle in with this story.  The pacing is gentle but I was always invested and interested in what was happening.  I think the thing I found most attractive about both Jane and Cameron was their kindness.  They take care of the people around them, and make others feel like they are important.  Despite their financial differences, Jane and Cameron are a lot alike.

Heather Moore excels at bringing her characters to life and draws me into her stories so that I feel like I'm right there with them.  I love that.  This sweet romance was an excellent diversion and made me happy.  I am looking forward to the next book, coming soon!

 Content:  clean romance, some kissing 

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Book Blitz for The Start of Us by Rachel John, $.99 Books + Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Blitz for
The Start of Us
By Rachel John

On SALE for 99¢ March 19th - 25th!

The Start of Us
(A Change in Plans #1)
by Rachel John
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 156 pages
November 10th 2017

When Corrie Windsor's roommate dies in a car accident, she leaves behind her four-year-old daughter, Ella. Corrie loves the little girl and hopes to adopt her, but instead, she’ll have to stand by while Ella’s uncle steps in to take custody. If things aren’t awkward enough, there’s a chemistry between them that neither wants to acknowledge.

Preston Ford can’t imagine instant parenthood, especially considering he just chickened out of proposing to his girlfriend. However, once he meets Ella, there’s no other choice. The time he spends with her and Corrie solidifies an alliance between the three of them, a plan to give Ella the stability she needs. But reality can sometimes turn the best of plans upside down.

With more than one heart hanging in the balance, how long can their platonic teamwork really last? Romance has never been this complicated.


Excerpt

“Ask her to dance,” Ella prompted. Her big brown eyes, so much like April’s, shined up at him. Only her hair was different, a dark brown instead of April’s blonde.

“What?” Preston looked at the doll she was shaking in his face.

“Sprinkles wants to dance. You have to ask her to dance.”

Preston snuck a glance at Corrie, who was holding back silent laughter, and then in his best doll voice said, “Sprinkles, may I have this dance?”

The two dolls swayed together, and Preston felt like the world’s biggest idiot. But if this was what Ella wanted to do, that’s what they’d do. Whether he adopted her or not, he was still her uncle, and he wanted her to have good memories of him.

Loretta cleared her throat and stood up. “I’m going to go. Ya’ll keep getting acquainted. Preston, give me a call later and we’ll talk. Bye, Ella.”

Ella waved. “Bye, Miss Loretta.”

Corrie looked a little panicked to see the woman go. He couldn’t blame her. He’d been in the apartment for five minutes and now they were left alone together to figure things out. He needed to explain how long he was staying. When he’d thought about spending a week with Ella, taking the time to make a careful decision, he hadn’t even thought about the roommate tagging along. She was just this person offering temporary housing. Having met her, she seemed like someone a little more important to Ella than that.

He ran a hand through his hair. “Um, I can go whenever you need me to. I don’t want to make you feel like I won’t leave if you give me a gentle hint. Although I’m here for a week, and I’d like to come over every day. My flight is next Tuesday. I can change it though, if I need to.”

Corrie came over and sat on the couch next to where they were playing on the floor. He had to look away from her long legs perched at eye level. Corrie wasn’t model-gorgeous like Nicole, but she was pretty enough to make the room feel smaller when he looked at her. He liked the sprinkle of freckles across her little snub nose and her big green eyes. He mentally smacked himself. They had things to work out, and dumb guy hormones would only make that harder.

“Spend as much time with Ella as you need. Would you like to stay for dinner?”

“That would be great.” The thought of eating alone in a restaurant was not appealing.

Ella reached up and pulled on Corrie’s arm. “Play with us, Corrie. You can have Buttercup. She wants to dance with…um, what’s your name again?” Ella turned her questioning eyes to Preston.

“Preston,” he prompted.

“Dance with Preston,” Ella insisted.

Corrie sat next to them and gave Preston an amused look. “Okay, Ella, but only for a minute. Then maybe we should play something else.”

Preston bounced his doll back and forth next to Corrie’s, although his eyes were trained on the wall behind her. He could ham it up for Ella, but having Corrie playing along ramped up the embarrassment ten-fold. Somehow it reminded him of slow dancing with a girl for the first time at a seventh-grade dance. He hadn’t been able to make eye contact then either.

And just released & on SALE...

Better with You
(A Change in Plans #2)
by Rachel John
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 162 pages
March 11th 2018

Paige Parker has no time for romance. She’s too busy building up her house-flipping business. But when a charming guy comes between her and the house she wants, Paige is a little more torn than she expected. For a girl who’s always gone with her firm business sense, she’s not sure how to trust her heart.

When it comes to dating, Shaun Randall is not about to get serious with anyone. He has his mother to take care of and enough family secrets to keep him running from any girl who gets too close. Spending time with Paige starts out as a means to get the house he wants, but every time he thinks it’s time to bail, he finds himself drawn in a little more.

When is it worth taking a chance on love?

On SALE for 99¢ in ebook for a limited time!

About the Author


Rachel John is the author of books filled with awkward humor and sigh-inducing romance. When not burning dinner or chasing kids, Rachel can be found working on family history, writing, reading, or putting off writing by staring at Facebook. She lives in Arizona with her husband, four crazy kids, and her desert tortoise.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Blitz Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends March 23rd

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz


When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth "Liberty" Lawson is abandoned by her fiance and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I just love historical fiction.  This one is set during one of my favorite time periods- the revolutionary war.  We lived in Virginia for a couple years so my connection to this time and place is even greater.

While the story had a very slow start for me, it kept growing in intensity and momentum until I got to the last third of the book where I could not put it down!  I think the thing that appealed to me the most were the characters.  I absolutely loved Liberty and Noble.

Liberty has such growth during this book.  She goes from an unsure girl, feeling confined and controlled to a woman of strength and character, choosing her own path.  I loved the feeling of empowerment that came with her growth.  
  
Noble was so fantastic.  He was everything you could want in a male hero.  I loved his loyalty, his bravery and his compassion.  He fought for the cause of freedom and that is always equals a hero in my eyes.  I also loved how both Liberty and Noble were kind and thought of others even in the most difficult situations.  

This was a good story!  The words felt gentle and painted some vivid pictures in my head.  I'll be looking forward to the next book from Laura Frantz.

Content:  mild violence, peril, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher at my request.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Protective Warrior (Navy Seal Romances) by Cami Checketts Book Blast and Giveaway!

 

A daughter escaping, a Navy SEAL sent to protect her, and the beautiful island that might prove more dangerous than her father. Ally, daughter of the Duke of Gunthry, has spent her life terrified of her father and dreams of the day when she can escape his tyrannical rule. When her mum helps her escape to the beautiful island of Kauai, Ally thinks she’s found paradise and maybe more with the handsome River who keeps crossing her path. But there are unexpected enemies lurking in the shadows. And no matter how tough River seems, no one can withstand the army her father will send when he discovers her location. River Duncan is part of an elite security task force of ex-Navy SEALS. Little does he know his first assignment might prove irresistible to resist and protect. When he finds himself falling for the fun-loving Ally he plans to resign his position so they can join forces in their common goal of fighting human trafficking. River has never underestimated the enemy before, but is he fully prepared to protect and love Alexandria Gunthry? Will River’s protection and Ally’s love be enough to conquer a lifetime of fear and responsibilities? Or will they be forced to give up on their dreams in the face of her sadistic and powerful father?

 
I've read pretty much every Cami Checketts book, and I think this is my favorite of all time ever! I absolutely love the way Cami Checketts is able to sweep me away to an exotic location, completely immersing me in the story. She always adds an element of suspense that keeps me on my toes and I was almost looking over my shoulder while hiking the lush trails of Kauai this afternoon. It doesn't get any better than this! An excellent read from start to finish! I love this book! Outstanding! One of my all-time favorites! The Protective Warrior is the perfect balance of sweet romance and on-your-toes suspense. I loved it!

   

  Excerpt #1: “This seat taken?” a nicely timbered voice asked. Ally glanced up and took her time looking over him before she answered. He arched an eyebrow and smiled. “Did I pass muster?” “How do you do?” He cocked his head to the side. “I’m good. You?” Ally laughed. “I’m glad you’re good, but ‘how do you do’ is more like ‘hello.’” “Hello.” He smiled, and ooh, he was cute. “So I do pass muster?” He moved to sit down. Ally held out a hand. “Not so quick, chump.” His dark hair was short, military or missionary short, but it was nice—clean and thick and would probably feel good beneath her fingertips. His face was lean and proportioned with a firm jaw, a straight nose, and smooth, tanned skin. She liked the crinkles next to his eyes and mouth as he smiled at her, awaiting her perusal. He’d had some experiences in life, good and bad, if those crinkles told her anything. He was a big guy—broad and at least six-three with lots of lovely muscles peeking out from underneath his T-shirt and board shorts. It was his eyes that finally convinced her to accept his request. Their deep brown sparkled at her, though she could tell he could be very serious. He tapped the edge of his tray. “How about now?” “Okay, no harm in sharing a table.” She winked at him and picked a bite of rib off the bone, savoring the tang of the barbecue sauce and the heartiness of the meat. No, she never took men home, only selectively dated those who passed her intuition test. She trusted her intuition completely and she could have fun with this hot, tough-looking guy. He smiled and dug into his brisket. “Mm. This place is good.” “One of my favorites.” “Have you been on the island long?” She wished. “A few days.” “Oh. You act like a local.” He ate a bite of beans and took a drink of water before asking, “Which part of England are you from?” “London. Kensington, to be exact. You?” “Long Island originally. I like your accent a lot.” “I’ve been in the States for over six years, so it’s faded.” “Don’t let it fade.”  

 

 

Author Cami Checketts Cami Checketts is married and the proud mother of four future WWF champions. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Bernstein Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction. Cami graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Exercise Science. She and her family live in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn’t snowing, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, and water-skiing.



   

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Beneath the Bellemont Sky by Ranee S. Clark + $25 and Book Giveaway!


As WWII draws to a close, war widow Vera Larsen Trumbell knows all too well the sacrifices of those left on the home front. Working on her family's farm has sustained Vera and her young children, but she now yearns for a sense of normalcy. The end of the war has been bittersweet for the Larsen clan as they and the residents of their small Wyoming town continue to pick up the pieces of their former lives.

Navigating the complexities of a postwar world, Vera and her family face the changing ideals swirling around them. From rising controversy surrounding women's presence in the workplace to the town's cold reception of the newest member of the family—a beautiful French freedom fighter—the American dream of days gone by has been thrown off balance. Even Vera's own life is set spinning when, despite her better judgment, she feels a growing attraction for the brooding and mysterious local schoolteacher.

As the Larsen family and their neighbors tread on thorny territory, will the people of this small town find the strength to embrace an unfamiliar and extraordinary future?


Oh, I love historical fiction and I especially love reading about the WWII era.  I think it's because my grandparents were in the heart of it living in England and I have stories from them that link my heart to that time through them.  

This story takes place in the aftermath of WWII.  It follows a family in small town Wyoming, trying to put lives that have forever changed, back together again.   Each sibling in the Larsen family is trying to forge their own path into a changed world.  They are dealing with slightly different struggles, but also carry the burden of some of the same struggles as members of the same family.  The author did a grand job of making me feel like I knew these characters and was a part of their lives.

I loved the sweet and gentle nature of this book.  The story wrapped itself around me and just felt so good.  I really loved it.  It had a feel similar to "The Waltons" or "Little House on the Prairie".  I'm sure I just dated myself there (I watched reruns of those!) but there it is.  ๐Ÿ˜Š

Content:  clean

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden


When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities.

Though she has no training as a teacher, she must prove herself successful before her grandfather will release her substantial inheritance to her and allow her to be reunited with her younger sister, the last remaining member of her family after a fever claimed the lives of her parents and brothers.

Evangeline's sudden change in circumstances is complicated when her aunt—a woman who values class distinctions more than her family relationships—forbids her from acknowledging any connection to her or to her grandfather, Mr. Farr—the man who owns nearly the entire town. For the first time in her life, Evangeline is truly alone.

Heartbroken, she turns to the one person in town who has shown her kindness—an Irish brick mason, Dermot, and his son, Ronan. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot become friends, due in part to her ability to connect with Ronan, whose behavior requires special attention. The boy is uncomfortable around strangers and rarely even speaks to the other children in town. He often fixates on details other people ignore, and he adheres to specific, self-made rules that give his life order and structure; for example, Dermot's coat must be hung on a specific peg next to the door.

Evangeline attempts to prove herself a worthy teacher and earn the respect of her hard-to-understand students. Determined to find a way to introduce them to "proper English" while still honoring their unique language and culture, she enlists the help of a local family to write down familiar stories in the Yorkshire vernacular. Because of her efforts, the students and their families warm to Evangeline and she continues to look for ways to give the children a chance to become more than factory workers in the local cotton mill.

When the town learns of her upper-class status, Evangeline must work twice as hard to win back their trust--especially Dermot's. In the end, Evangeline and Dermot discover that, even though they come from different social spheres, together they can overcome social prejudices, make a positive difference in the lives of even the humblest people, and enjoy the strength that comes when two hearts find each other.


It's always a happy day when a new book by Sarah Eden comes out.  I am such a fan of her writing and her stories.  She has a gift for weaving me right into her stories where I feel such a part of whatever emotion or activity that is going on and she does it so gently.  I think that's one word I would always use to describe Sarah Eden's books.  Gentle.

This story started off sad and a bit slow for me.  It took me a bit to fall into the characters and feel like I was a part of them but it did happen about halfway through.  By the end I was in love with Evangeline, Dermot and Ronan.  I loved the glimpse into the history of the Yorkshire area, the struggles of the people and the very distinct Yorkshire accent.  Evangeline, as a school teacher, kept saying that she didn't want to take their words away from them.  I loved that too.

There was so much to love about this book.  It was full and rich, gentle and endearing.  Just what I would expect from Sarah Eden.

Content:  clean

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Faith in Sweetwater County by Ciara Knight


Cline Grant, a man with a checkered past turned preacher has dedicated the last ten years of his life to making up for past sins. But when he is faced with removing a young girl from her abusive uncle he must face the calling he never expected. He escapes with the young girl to the safety of a small town until a beautiful and dedicated social worker asks too many questions, questions that put his faith to the ultimate test.

Kinley Stafford refuses to accept the new preacher’s credentials as a father because he claims to be a man of faith, not after she failed to protect a boy only months earlier from a dead-beat dad. And when the preacher’s little girl runs away, Kinley makes it her personal mission to expose whatever secrets Preacher Cline is hiding.


I have some mixed feelings about this book, so here is the lowdown. 

What I liked:

-The small town feel, the way small towns rally around each other
- Cline.  His life change, his willingness to put others before himself, his strength
- The build up in the story to a dramatic ending

What I didn't like:

- Kinley.  She was meddlesome and a bit annoying.  I'm not really sure what the draw was for Cline other than she was pretty

This is an inspirational fiction story.  It is clean and is centered around a preacher so there is obviously talk about God and faith.  I enjoyed the story well enough but it didn't really engage my emotions or leave me feeling excited in any way.  It was gentle in nature.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty (Storybook Valley) by Stacy Juba


This Sleeping Beauty isn’t sure she wants to wake up…

Dance instructor Rory Callahan likes to play it safe. When she meets Kyle, he’s impulsive, persistent, and her exact opposite. He’s pushing her to tango way past her comfort zone and keeping Rory on her toes more than twenty years of dance teachers ever had.

Unfortunately, he’s the grandson of her family’s archrival and she doesn’t want to disappoint them. After all, her parents imagine her as a proper princess - hence her namesake Aurora, AKA Sleeping Beauty. Complicating matters, Rory’s also dealing with a surgeon boyfriend who’s perfect for her (sort of), an obnoxious boss, and desperate dance moms. Kyle wants to change her whole life, but Rory doesn’t like the stakes. After all, princesses are the ones who get the happy endings. . .aren’t they?


Happy release day to this new book by Stacy Juba!  This is the second book in this Storybrook Valley series but these books can stand alone and do not need to be read in any particular order.  

I loved the cute first meet between Rory and Kyle.  It set the tone for the whole relationship.  Kyle was fantastic.  Determined, supportive, smart.  Rory has a kind heart and thinks about others but has some trouble when it comes to herself and what she wants.  She knows she isn't happy where she is in life but doesn't really have the confidence or follow through to stand up and go for what she really wants.  Even though Rory was frustrating at times, I appreciated her small baby steps toward making changes happen.  It was surely a hallelujah moment when Rory started to take some initiative and stand up for what she wanted.

There were a lot of extra curricular characters in this book, who eventually start feeling familiar but most of the time felt like too much and too many.  I felt like there were a few scenes involving those perimeter people that could have been cut out without really effecting the story.

Overall though, this was a fun book.  I love the setting in a fairy tale park and how the characters are loosely based on fairy tale characters.  It had a light feel to it which is the perfect diversion from those weightier feels of real life.  

Content:  kissing, mild+ swearing, some talk of intimate relations

-I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Enjoy the following excerpt:

Twilight had descended over the strip mall which also contained a pizza place, children’s art studio, New Age shop, bakery, and a consignment store with identical brick facades. A long sidewalk connected the storefronts. Rory’s phone chirped and she scanned a text as she strolled through the parking lot. A message from her older brother Jake, who lived in Maine.

Happy 25th. What new rose crap did you get this year?

Instead of making her chuckle, his joke elicited a sigh. She missed Jake and his toddler Quinn, but he never came home anymore thanks to a stupid fight with their parents. They went ballistic after he got a girl pregnant and accused him of ruining his life. Jake and the mother broke up, not surprising since she was a total flake, but he got an apartment a couple blocks away from her to be near his daughter. His absence meant he couldn’t take over the theme park, leaving room for Dylan to step forward.

Heading toward her car, she replied: Don’t know yet. I’m on my—

Augh! Rory stumbled over something and toppled to the ground, her phone sailing through the air. Her right hand slammed against the pavement, and pain seared through her. Sitting up, she glared at the object that had blocked her path. A spiky creature in a plastic carrier glared back at her.

Rory blinked. She could accept a black cat crossing her path, but she owed her unceremonious spill to a needle-infested rodent?

“Who leaves a porcupine in the middle of the parking lot?” she demanded.

“Who trips over a huge animal carrier? Oh, right, someone who’s texting while walking.” A brown-haired guy in a khaki zookeeper uniform and boots loomed over her. She stiffened at his words until she noticed the dimples sprinkled with cinnamon freckles. He wasn’t mad, just amused. “And it’s not a porcupine. It’s a hedgehog.”

“What’s the difference? It was still in the middle of the parking lot.”

He crouched beside her. “For starters, hedgehogs have shorter quills that can’t easily come off their bodies, while a porcupine’s quills can easily detach themselves. On average a hedgehog has 7,000 quills while a porcupine has approximately 30,000. And a porcupine can grow to triple the size, between 25-and-36 inches.”

“It was a rhetorical question.” Rory risked a glance at her throbbing hand and winced. Blood dripped down her finger.

“I’ll admit that you’re worse off than Turbo. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll get the first aid kit.”

Mr. Porcupine Expert disappeared into a green van so garish, it almost distracted Rory from her pain. Painted animal heads peered out of big circles and orange letters proclaimed the monstrosity a Zoo Mobile—with paw prints forming the double ‘o’ in zoo. It wouldn’t surprise Rory if a white rabbit in a waistcoat popped out from the Day-Glo monstrosity, muttering about being late . . . for a tea party at her house using Wendy’s bumpy placemats. She groaned, deciphering the smaller words beneath the paw prints. ‘Duke’s Animal World.’

She’d always considered her family’s rivalry with Duke Thorne a bit ridiculous, but now Rory related to her granddad’s agitation. Thanks to sprawling over one of Duke’s stupid hedgehogs, she might have sprained her finger.

Shifting position, Rory glowered through the cage at the spiky black ball that had caused all the trouble. It huffed and puffed, quills poking outward, a breathing pincushion. My . . . she hadn’t realized hedgehogs had such tiny eyes. And what a cute button nose. This little guy—Turbo?—seemed skittish.

“Hey, there, Turbo,” she murmured. “Guess it was my fault, too. Did I scare you?”

“He’ll be okay.” The dimpled zookeeper reappeared with her cell phone, along with a toolbox-sized red first aid kit. He unlatched the kit, opened a box of gauze pads, and bent beside her. “Let’s apply pressure to stop the bleeding.”

“I can do it.” Rory squashed the pad against the cut, her cheeks heating, whether from his boyish good looks, or the mortification of falling over a hedgehog, she didn’t know. She hoped he couldn’t detect her blush under the lampposts’ dim glow. She rested her wrist on her knee. “What are you and Turbo doing here, anyway?”

“The art studio had a zoo night. The kids decorated animal statues and then I did a presentation. I was just about to load my last animal, Turbo, into the van when you went flying.” He jerked his thumb toward the Zoo Mobile. “I’ve also got a red-eyed tree frog, bearded dragon, chinchilla, and domestic rabbit.”

“Is it a white rabbit?” Rory muttered.

Mr. Porcupine Expert elevated a brow. “Not this time. What’s your story? What were you doing here?”

“I’m an instructor at the dance studio. We were having an open house. I got a text, and apparently, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” Rory battled the temptation to peek under the gauze.

“Let me get this straight. You’re a dancer? I thought dancers were graceful.” His brown eyes crinkled with amusement. Their shade reminded her of a caramel latte, warm and inviting.

“I am graceful! This was an isolated incident.”

“Uh-huh. I’m Kyle, by the way. And you’re . . .?”

“Rory.”

“How about I make it up to you with free zoo tickets? You can come meet Turbo’s parents. I’m sure they’ll forgive you if I explain that you’re a dancer with two left feet.”

He wore such a deadpan expression that Rory almost laughed. His dry comic delivery must enliven his presentations. Her grandmother Lois, Storybook Valley’s self-appointed entertainment director, would remark that Kyle had charisma.

Rory might enjoy touring the zoo with him, but her granddad would lock her in with the lions if she ventured onto his rival’s property. Growing up, she had never been allowed to visit Duke’s. “Thanks, but that’s okay. As I was telling Turbo here, it was my fault. I should have been more aware of my surroundings.”

She peered into the cage. Was it her imagination, or did Turbo look calmer now in Kyle’s presence? His quills had relaxed, laying down and pointing toward the back.

Kyle picked up the animal carrier and straightened to his full height. “How about I show you my passengers while you’re applying pressure? The least I can do is keep you entertained during your misery.”

After a hesitation, Rory climbed to her feet and trailed him to the Zoo Mobile. With her left hand, she finished a clumsily misspelled text to Jake, omitting mention of the accident. Otherwise, her brothers would ask her for the next month if she had tripped over any hedgehogs lately.

She leaned against the van as Kyle slid the bearded dragon’s carrier out the side door and positioned Turbo’s cage in its place. Over the next ten minutes, he explained how many bearded dragon species existed (nine) and what they ate (insects). If Rory ever appeared on a TV game show, she hoped they quizzed her on bearded dragons, porcupines, and hedgehogs.

Kyle discussed animals the same way Brad talked about robotic-assisted surgery. She wondered if Kyle had a college degree. Her guess was no. After all, how much schooling did it take to drive a Zoo Mobile? Once you memorized the spiel and learned how to care for the animals, what else was there to learn? As an employee that far down the company ladder, Kyle probably wasn’t aware of the Callahan feud.

After the bearded dragon lecture, Rory washed her cut and rubbed in bacitracin ointment. Kyle unwrapped a large Band-Aid, but instead of extending it to her, he pressed the patch over her skin. As their fingers touched, a shivery sensation whispered down Rory’s spine.

I am not attracted to the zoo guy.