Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SUNNY - BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY: "I Want It That Way" by Ann Aguirre

Are you a fan of Ann Aguirre?  So are we.  From Sci Fi to YA, we love her work.  So, join us for this highly anticipated book in the New Adult genre.  We have an review, giveaway, and links to the first chapters of all three books in the series!  Enjoy!

Summary:
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, dating’s the last thing on her mind. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

"A tender, sweet, and sexy story about how life—and falling in love—can never be planned."
—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You


I WANT IT THAT WAY on Goodreads


My review begins with a question from the Epilogue: “…would you have been as interested…,if you’d known?”  Yes! Yes! Yes!  For me, this book begins once Nadia makes this choice.  Up until then, the story seemed rushed.  Certainly, there is a certain amount of insta-love present in most romance novels, but I did not understand the mutual attraction between Nadia and Tyler.  There isn’t much to substantiate the attraction. The relationship begins when they start a conversation on their respective balconies and then BAM! Love blooms when Nadia confesses that Tyler is hot.

One of the things I like most about Nadia is that she is refreshingly upfront and honest.  She doesn’t hem and haw, doesn’t play games, and wears her heart on her sleeve. With that level of honesty, the story clips along. Couple that with Tyler’s stoicism, and you have a fast moving relationship, maybe just a little too fast. When Tyler says, "You make me...better. Calmer," I want to believe him, but I want to know why beyond just her voice.

However, once we hit a certain point in the story where Nadia makes a critical choice, this book becomes a powerhouse.  I loved her courage, strength and spirit.  I found the idea of breaking through expectations and convention empowering and uplifting.  I cried for the first time in a long time and cheered out loud. The last third of the story made the entire book for me.

We are also introduced to Nadia’s merry band of roommates.  They play an essential role in the story and I am attached to them. Being more than roommates, I relish the family they create for one another. It's clear that their is an interesting road ahead for them and I can’t wait to see where Ann Aguirre takes their stories.

In a Nutshell:
Even with the quick and early development of the relationship, I still recommend that you pick up this book for its satisfying ending and strong secondary characters. 

Other Books in the 2B Trilogy:





Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Newsletter SignUp




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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SUNNY - Dare Series Spotlight, Review of Dare to Love, and Giveaway by Carly Phillips




RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 8

Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?



THESE GREAT TITLES ARE ALREADY RELEASED BUT HAVE AMAZING NEW COVERS
Dare to Love

When it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget. 



Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men – until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything. (love story, contemporary romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sports heroes, bad boys, billionaire)

Buy Links: AMAZON | B & N | iTunes


Dare to Love is an over-the-top, erotic, romance story.  It starts with an attraction between Ian and Riley that is so intense that it is almost an interstellar black hole, "...the minute he caught sight of her alone at the bar, he'd gone after her, compelled by a force beyond his understanding."  Admittedly, I was a smidge annoyed at the blatant insta-love but when I decided to read this book as pure escapist fare, I could suspend my cynicism and enjoy the story. 

There are pockets of goodness in this narrative including the relationship between Ian and his estranged father. His father and mother married out of obligation.  Consequently, his father has a long-running affair with his true love that results in a second family.  Ultimately, Ian's father leaves his mother which results in Ian's major trust issues. Currently, Ian despises his father for leaving and giving more to his second family, but the author leaves room for the possibility of a relationship and that is appealing. 

Riley comes from an abusive household where her father consistently and cruelly dominated her mother.  From that she has an aversion to controlling men which then extends to a desire to avoid most relationships. 

Their relationship is very monochromatic - black or white.  They are all-in or all-out.  Lines get drawn and, at first, there is no give. "...You either trust me or you don't. You either instinctively come to me first or there is no us.  On that, I can't compromise."  It is difficult to sustain such a high standard and, as you can imagine, there is bound to be conflict. Which is what makes the forgiveness and reconciliation all the more sweet. 

IN A NUTSHELL:
Highly entertaining, if a little implausible, this book is a nice way to lose yourself for a few hours.  Consider it a good summer read by the pool or for a rainy day.  


Dare to Desire

Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all -- an all-star football career and his choice of willing women -- until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn't impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests. 

This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love? 

 Buy Links: Amazon |  B&N  | iTunes 


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.



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Monday, August 25, 2014

SUNNY - BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, EXCERPT, AND GIVEWAY: "Worth Forgiving" by Vi Keeland



Thank you for joining us in celebrating the release of Vi Keeland's Worth Forgiving. We have lots of goodies including an excerpt, review, and a whopping giveaway.  


SUMMARY:
They say men like a lady in the living room and a whore in the bedroom. I never knew the sentiment was reciprocal. Until I met Jax Knight. A gentleman in public, a commanding, dirty talking rogue in the bedroom.

Daughter of legendary fighter “The Saint,” Lily St. Claire knows firsthand how fighters can be. As the owner of a chain of MMA gyms, she’s no stranger to aggressive, dominating, and possessive men. That’s why she’s always kept her distance. But the day Jax Knight walks through her door she’s captivated by his charm. Stunningly handsome, well mannered, Ivy League educated, and confident, he shatters all the preconceived notions she’d come to think were true about men who trained to fight.

But falling for someone so soon after her breakup wasn’t something she’d planned on. And definitely not something her ex plans to allow.

Genre: A New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance novel



Worth Forgiving is the third book in the MMA trilogy and in my opinion, the best of the three. After meeting Jax in Worth the Chance, I wondered where the author would take this character.  He has a minor role in that book, but she does a wonderful job of developing this story and his character.  One of the things I enjoy most about this series is the alternating first person perspective. The inner dialogue worked well for this book and brought a deeper understanding to the characters.

Jax is the son of a recently disgraced senior Senator.  It turns out that the pillar of "family values" has been having affairs for years.  The problem for Jax is that he bought into his father's image and now with this reality, feels disillusioned and alienated. 

Lily is the part owner of a chain of MMA gyms started by her now deceased father.  She is finding her own balance after going losing her equilibrium after her father's death.  She also has an abusive ex-boyfriend who is intimately tied to the gyms.  Jax comes in as a potential investor and the sparks start flying.  

I didn't find the conflict between Jax and Lily overly dramatic or intense.  There are a series of misunderstandings that leads to estrangement, but in the romance novel world these conflicts are more minor than most.  However, what I did enjoy were the interactions between Jax and Lily.  I enjoy the two sides to Jax.  As Lily so aptly puts it: "I smile thinking how lucky I am to have Jackson, the Ivy League refined tycoon pulled out my chair and open my door. And Jax, the gritty, dirty talking fighter that commands my body." Their banter and play is fun and the way that the characters lose their inhibitions is flirty and erotic.

I did get a little frustrated with how Lily handled the whole Caden situation.  I understand her guilt and her wanting to resolve the situation her way. Unfortunately for me, this undermines her strong character and I wanted a little more from Lily. 

I especially liked how Ms. Keeland resolves a major conflict --- in the MMA ring.  It is a great way to bring the story together with the original theme.  Also, a thumbs up to the Epilogue - a very nice way to end the series. 

IN A NUTSHELL:
This book can definitely stand on its own. It's a sweet love story within the MMA world.


Excerpt: Meet Jax and Lily

Dinner and a dirty mouth

My face pinks when the waiter clears his throat, no doubt he’d heard Jax’s last comment.

“Are you ready to hear the specials?”

“Are we?”  Jax arches an eyebrow, his eyes gleaming with delight.  He’s not the slight bit embarrassed, but knows I am and is quite enjoying himself.

“Yes.  Please.”  I give him the evil eye and force my full attention back to the waiter.  The entire time the waiter talks about the specials I feel Jax’s eyes burning into me.

“I’ll give you a moment to let you decide.”  Graciously, the waiter excuses himself.

“Why did you do that?” I scold, my voice low.

“Do what?”  He leans back in his seat, crossing his arms over his thick chest.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

“Do I?”

“You enjoy watching me flustered, don’t you?”

Jax arches both eyebrows.  Bad choice of words.

“You know what I mean.”

Leaning in, his voice gritty and sexy, he looks me straight in the eyes when he speaks.  “I love watching you.  Period.  But what I like best is watching you pretend you’re unaffected.  It’s like an unspoken challenge.”  He pauses and leans in even closer.  “I love the pink that creeps up your cheeks when I say something dirty.  The way your pussy throbs when I mention what I’m going to do to you later, and you wiggle in your seat trying to control it.  So yeah, I guess I do like watching you flustered.  You sit and give your attention to the waiter, trying to pretend you’re listening to whatever he’s saying instead of thinking of me feeding you my cock later, but we both know you didn’t hear one word he said.  Hell I didn’t hear one word watching you, just knowing what you were thinking about.”

This time, I see the waiter before he’s close enough to hear us.  He smiles as he reaches our table.  “So what can I get for you this evening?  Did I interest you in one of our specials?”

I look at the waiter, then Jax, who arches an eyebrow with a knowing smirk on his face, then back to the waiter.  “The specials all sounded delicious.  I just can’t decide for myself.  I’m going to defer to my date to pick one for me.”  I return my eyes to Jax with a cheeky grin.

He throws his head back with a chuckle and looks at the poor confused waiter.  “We’ll take whatever two are your favorites.  Surprise us.”



 Cover designed by Romcon.com

Model: Jamie Dominic

Photographer: Jamie Dominic Photography



MMA Series Reading Order







 

Worth the Fight  (Book One)
It didn't matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same.

Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she's been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half. But it's boring...and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control.

Then Nico walks into Elle's office and everything changes...for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for.



***Author's note*** THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

CURRENTLY ON SALE for ONLY $0.99 (limited time)






 Worth the Chance (Book Two)


 Meet Liv Michaels
It may have been seven years, but I'd know him anywhere. Sure, he's grown, filled out in all the right places, but his captivating blue eyes and cocky grin are exactly the way I remember. Even though I'd much rather forget.

Liv Michaels is almost there. She's smart, determined and weeks away from landing the job she's dreamed about for years. Time healed old wounds, even her broken heart from the devastation of being crushed by her first love.

Meet Vince Stone
Women love a fighter, especially a good one. Lucky for me, I'm damn good. But there's one woman that isn't interested. Not again, anyway.

Vince 'The Invincible' Stone is every woman's fantasy...strong, sexy, confident and completely in control. Growing up surrounded by chaos, he's learned never to get too attached. Love will drag you down. He adores women, treats them well, puts their own needs before his own...for the night anyway. With the biggest fight of his life coming up, his focus should be on training.

When fate brings Vince & Liv back together again, there's no denying the chemistry is still there. But can Vince erase the old scars their past left behind? Or will Liv hurt him instead?



***Author's note*** THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the 18.



 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!


Find the author at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Additional Books by Vi Keeland

First Thing I See


Belong to You (A Cole Novel, Book One)


Made For You (A Cole Novel, Book Two)





Giveaway

KINDLE & a signed cover

(Signed kindle cover by some amazing authors)






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Friday, August 22, 2014

SUNNY - BLOG TOUR, REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: "The Viper" by Kele Moon


Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Viper!  Enjoy Kele Moon's newest series and stay for the review and Giveaway. 



The Viper 
by Kele Moon
Publisher: Loose Id
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn

SUMMARY:

Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak.

Until her.

Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back for a taste of the forbidden.

Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle.

Or can he?

What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?

Will she survive The Viper?

The Viper is a spinoff of Kele Moon's popular Battered Hearts series.  Marcos is a bad boy trying to get out of the gang life.  When he literally crashes into Katie's life, his brief encounter starts to shift his perspective of what is possible.  Katie is a model good girl.  But being the girl-next-door has its own set of chains. It is when she meets Marcos, does she realize the meaning of authenticity and courage.  Without knowing it, he inspires her to take risks and be brave enough to stand up for herself.  

There are some very charming moments in this story.  The interactions between Marco and Katie are tender and the dialogue is sweet. I admired Katie's courage of reaching out to Marco via Craig's List.  Truly, a contemporary twist to finding a missing connect. I can also admire a guy who drops everything to meet a girl for the possibility of something.  Those are the reasons we read romance, right? Beyond that, this is a very familiar story that does not add anything new to the traditional trope.  

I do have a critique of the title.  "The Viper" seems to imply something that the book is about a fighter.  Unfortunately, this book has very little to do with moniker.  There is hardly any fighting and little about the world of MMA fighters. Given the context of the her previous series, Battered Hearts, it would be very easy to assume that this would too. Readers need to know this is NOT about the fighting world.

IN A NUTSHELL:
Readable and enjoyable, though not terribly original, I would recommend this book if you are interested in an sweet romance not in the context of the fighting ring. 


Author Bio:


A freckle faced, redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives off pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love there are no rules and true love knows no bounds.

So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who had infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts–They wouldn’t have it any other way.

Author Social Links:



GIVEAWAY


Kele Moon is offering the following prizes for the tour wide giveaway. The giveaway is open internationally and ends 08/31/2014 @ 11:59 PM CST.

1 x $25 Amazon or B&N gift card (winners choice)
5 x eBook copy from any of Kele's backlist including The Viper


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