Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tasty Book Tours Book Review: The Christmas Cookie Collection w/recipe!

The Christmas Cookie Collection
By: Lori Wilde

There’s a legend in Twilight, Texas. It says that if on Christmas you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.
Carrie, Raylene, Christine, and Flynn are all members of the Christmas Cookie Club. Each has a story to tell, and each discovers the miracles of the season and the power of love.
Carrie: Reconnects with her high school sweetheart . . .the only man she’s ever loved.
Raylene: Discovers that the daughter she gave away at birth is living right in Twilight . . .
Christine: Has given up on love . . . until the man of her dreams walks through her shop door.
Grace: It’s Christmas Eve and Flynn and Jesse Calloway are thrilled to be expecting a new baby. Then Flynn’s car hits a patchof ice, and Jesse must move earth . . . and heaven . . .to save her and their unborn child.

Buy Links 

Review: The Christmas Cookie Collection is just what the name states a collection of sweet romances. If you like novels by Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr etc, you'll love Lori Wilde.

These stories are all set in the little town of Twilight Texas that thrives on the Sweetheart Myth, which is anyone that tosses a penny in the fountain will be reunited with their sweetheart and live happily ever after.

I really loved these stories, though I have to say the first two are the best. Carrie and Mark's story was so touching and selfless on her part. I really would have loved it if the two of them would have had a full length novel. I wanted to know more about the youthful lovers who parted so that Mark could go to school.

I also liked how he was a host of a reality show that busts myths and folklore like the Sweetheart myth. It made for some tense moments in the story, since Carrie and Mark as well as one other person in town seemed to bust the myth.

Raylene is the next lady to have a story, but her story was more that of her daughter Shannon, who she gave to her ex-husband of one night and his family. (Or rather they paid for her to go away and never see her child). 

This is kind of a dueling story since Shannon gets involved with town sweetie Nate. God I want to find a Nate of my very own. He was a total sweetie. But you also get glimpses of what happened with Raylene and Earl.  A shocking twist at the end brings that couple back together again, so two happy endings for the price of one.

Christine is the town baker. She has issues stemming from an accident years ago. Her high school crush shows up to get a cake for his daughter's birthday and things blossom between them.

Unlike the first two stories in The Christmas Cookie Collection, Christine's story feels hurried. The issues with Eli's daughter Sienna are resolved to easily, especially as Sienna is fourteen and going through an awful lot.

The final story is super short..the story of the birth of Grace. Her parents are Flynn and Jesse. An accident after Jesse is taken in for questioning prompts Flynn to go into labor. I found myself getting really nervous reading this story and again things worked out a little to quick and easy. For what was going on here, there should have been some drama...or oomph.

I enjoyed all four stories, some more than others, but that didn't make this any less than a fabulous holiday read. I only wish the stories could have connected each woman to that there was more of a novel feel to the book instead of a collection of novellas.

If you are a sucker for Christmas can't pass this one up!

Rating: 5 flowers

Author Info
LORI WILDE is the New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty books. A former RITA finalist, Lori has received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers’ Choice, and numerous other honors. She lives in Texas, with her husband and a wide assortment of pets. Lori teaches Romance Writing Secrets via the internet through colleges and universities worldwide at Visit her at www.loriwilde.comor @LoriWilde on Twitter.
Lori’s Links:
twitter handle is @LoriWilde

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three Paperback Copies of THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE COLLECTION)

Candis Terry, Sweetest Mistake, 12/31/13: This is one of my favorite Christmas cookies. It's perfect when paired with a nice cup of hot chocolate or hot buttered rum!

6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt white chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir till chocolate is smooth.
Blend butter (or margarine) and 1 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes or til fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time. Blend well.
Add vanilla. Blend well.
Add melted chocolate. Blend for 30 seconds.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture. Blend well. Stir in walnuts or pecans.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or till edges are lightly browned.
Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Sprinkle tops of cookies with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

TLC Book Tours Book Review: A Talent For Trouble

Author: Jen Turano
Title: A Talent For Trouble
Publisher: Bethany Press
Publish Date: Oct 1, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & the publisher
Book Blurb: 
For years, Miss Felicia Murdock’s every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister’s wife. When the minister she’d set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change–and soon–before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she’s not. If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who’s to say nay? Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had more than enough of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by some friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.

Just as Grayson decides he’s had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia’s life endangers her. As they work together to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping one another out of trouble?

Review: Totally off topic on the review, but I have to say the girl on the cover of this book looks strikingly like the author!

Now that I've said that...back to the book.

For a girl who loves smutty romance, I also love Christian/Inspirational romance.

A Talent For Trouble was one of the most fun books I've read in this genre. Miss Felicia certainly does have that talent. Most of the trouble she lands into involves Grayson Sumner, a hero after my own heart.


Because Grayson has done things that he has a lot of guilt over, things he's ashamed of doing.  He gets thrown with Felicity after the Reverend Fraser marries, much to her disappointment.

She undergoes a complete change after this her clothes and even her behavior, even though she still is very much a woman of faith. I love the hijinks Felicity gets into, especially when she is in the tavern and performs a song!

But more than that, I love how honest Grayson is.

They really are an unlikely couple, but they are also so perfect together for all the mishaps and craziness that follows them.

The best scene is when Grayson discovers them in the opium den with Agatha's friend Zayne dressed as a lady as is Grayson.

There's a little nail biting suspense toward the end that helps move Grayson's relationship with Felicia along. Oh and his proposals! Lots of laughs there.

This is such a lovely romance! It is part of the Ladies Of Distinction series, and I definitely want to find the other books now.

Rating: 5 flowers

About Jen Turano

Jen Turano, author of A Change of Fortune, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, and A Talent for Trouble, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at

Monday, October 28, 2013

Promo Spot: Catherine Bybee - Not Quite Enough


New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned novels Wife by Wednesday, Married by Monday, and Not Quite Dating. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.  


The Not Quite Series, Book Three
Montlake Romance, Contemporary
October 08, 2013, First Edition
Paperback & Kindle

“Bybee’s gift for creating unforgettable romances cannot be ignored.”

Monica Mann has made it her life’s work to save lives. After an earthquake and tsunami hit the shores of Jamaica, she volunteers her trauma skills with Borderless Nurses. Calculating and methodical, Monica creates order out of whatever chaos she finds.

Until she finds the perpetually barefoot, impossibly masculine Trent Fairchild. No one can pin him down. No, really. He’s a pilot and manages a small fleet of choppers on his adopted island home. Hopelessly drawn to one another, they manage to slip away from the wreckage to get a little closer. And they get a lot closer than expected when aftershocks from the earthquake trap them in their own life-or-death scenario. Paradise has brought them together. Now will it tear them apart?



Monica glanced up at the gray skies and frowned. “So, Trent,” she began again. “Are you the only one shuffling the foreign medical staff around the island?”

He shook his head. “There are a few others. Why?”

He kept his eyes on where he walked and avoided her questioning gaze.

“Just wondering.”

He didn’t buy that. “Just wondering?”

“Seems like anyone could drive me to the clinic.”

He walked her behind the hospital and up a short path to where his helicopter waited. “Anyone could drive you.”

She hesitated when she saw her ride. “I thought you said you were driving me.”

“I am. After a short flight to where my car is parked.”

She turned a full circle. “Can’t we just drive?”

Trent moved in front of her and removed his sunglasses. “It’s a short flight back to the airport, then a thirty minute drive. That’s if the roads are cleared.”

“Can’t we just—” Her ice blue eyes never left his.

“I didn’t kill you the first time, Monica. I won’t this time either.”

She swallowed.

“It was better thinking you volunteered to take me instead of being the only person capable of it.”

Actual fear hid behind her eyes. “Why’s that?”

“I prefer flirting to flying.”

A slow, easy smile met his lips. He knew then irrevocably that Monica thought about him at some point during her short stint on the island.

He replaced his sunglasses and reached for her hands. “How about a little of both?”
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Book Review: A Night Of No Return

Author: Sarah Morgan
Title: A Night Of No Return
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: Oct 2012
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Money, charm and sensual skills don't make up for a heart colder than ice…. Wild parties, wanton women, relentless work—nothing helps tycoon Lucas Jackson escape his dark and haunting past. Arriving at his rural castle in a snarling snowstorm, he craves only complete isolation.… But it seems oblivion can take an unexpected and highly intoxicating form!

Personally delivering the vital file left on her boss's desk, secretary Emma Gray starts to seriously regret her dutiful overtime mission. She never expected the dark side of the usually controlled Lucas could generate such a primitive, powerful—and entirely inappropriate—reaction.

Review: Sarah Morgan is one of my favorite writers for the Presents line. She always has heroes that are lovably alphas. (You know the kind you don't want to knock in the head because they are super arrogant).

In A Night Of No Return, Emma is Lucas' PA. He leaves and important file at the office and Emma, like the good PA she is braves a snowstorm to take it to him, not knowing that he wants to be away from everyone for a personal reason.

Lucas is a damaged hero and Emma is a heroine with some issues of her own. Without giving too many spoilers. Lucas lost his daughter to a pretty nasty illness and he beats himself up over it. Emma does her best along with her sister, who feel rather put upon, to take care of their young brother.

Emma's brother Jamie was one of the things in this story that threw me off a bit. When I first read about him, I thought he was her boyfriend. I was immediately ready to hate Emma, because I don't like romances with cheating. I was very relieved to learn otherwise. I think Lucas was too.

I liked Emma's spunk, especially when she was reading Lucas the riot act about how only a person with money could think of just quitting a job without having one lined up. However that was the only thing I liked about Emma, she wasn't my favorite of Sarah's heroines.

She acted like she was put upon when her sister was upset because she wasn't coming home for the weekend. (That's her time with her brother and gave the bad guy shoes to her sister Angie). Yes, Angie's actions came across as bitchy then, but as a caregiver for elderly parents, I know how Angie probably felt. She had the primary caregiving responsibility while Emma had the primary financial responsibility. I wanted to knock some heads together on that one, mostly because of my personal experiences.

The chemistry between Emma and Lucas was great, but the romance happened a little to fast in the story, especially with the issues Lucas was dealing with. They resolved quicker than they probably should have.

I do like how Lucas displays his softer side with the holiday. I always love a good dad.

This was a sweet story with some steamy scenes, great for a cold winter afternoon.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, October 25, 2013

Literary Nook Book Promotions Book Review: Loving Liberty

Book Info:

Title: Loving Liberty
Author: Belinda Boring
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Categories: Coming of Age
Publisher: Blushing Heart Press
Release Date: 7/14/2013
Heat Level: Sweet
Word Count/Length: 73,000 words/340 pages
Buy Links:


Synopsis: Liberty Montgomery is many things:

A dutiful daughter.
Perfect wife-in-training.
Easy to manipulate.

But secretly she wants more.

For years, Liberty has dreamed of a life filled with opportunities—a life where she makes the decisions, living by her own rules. Unfortunately, her parents have other plans for her, ones that involve her submission and total obedience. Every attempt to break free from their control is met with threats, leaving her feeling trapped. Just when all seems hopeless, Liberty meets Oliver Nichols. With just two words, be brave, he stirs up her secret longings for more . . . friendship, fun, and independence. He almost has her believing her dreams are possible. However, taking a stand can be terrifying when you've spent your entire life pleasing others.

Are some chances worth taking? What would she risk for freedom?

Excerpt: “You’ve made my job near impossible, Liberty.” His hand moved from my lower back, brushing up my spine. I didn’t bother hiding my shiver.
“I did?”
Our eyes locked. “The second you showed up, I didn’t want to leave your side. Then when you were dancing . . .” Oliver tightened his hold of me and turned us around.
“I was hoping you noticed.” My gaze dropped enough so I stared at his mouth—his perfectly kissable mouth.
“With you in the room, no one else exists. Of course I noticed.” He slowed down the pace of our dancing until we were swaying on the spot. “You were wrong, you know? When you said I was dangerous when we first met. The way I’m feeling right now with you in my arms, and the way you’re looking up at me . . . you’re the one who’s dangerous. My heart was at risk the moment I saw you sitting alone at that table.”
It was now or never. The timing was perfect, the chemistry between us demanding immediate action. I didn’t wait for him to act. I rose on my tiptoes and kissed him.
 This kiss would forever go down in my memory as my first. It was how it should’ve been—all consuming and life changing. Everything faded away the second my lips touched his and he responded. There was no thought of being inexperienced. I instinctively knew what to do, almost shattering when my mouth opened and his tongue touched mine.
He tasted completely forbidden. With the pulsating thump of the music in the background and my thudding heartbeat, my hands escaped into his hair. There was no getting enough of him. I was kissing him with everything I had, matching him stroke for stroke, indulging in what he was offering.
The moment was far from innocent. His hand held me firmly, one lowering to my behind where he drew me in, pressing me against his body. I felt everything—sensations—both physical and emotional. We moved together, touching. When he broke away long enough to cup my face with his hands, he left me somewhat dazed.
My lips felt bruised. I could still taste him, and staring at his lips, I wanted more.
“Liberty.” He all but breathed my name and the walls around my heart crumbled completely.

Review:  This book dealt with the serious topic of bullying. However as I read it, that wasn't the interpretation I got. Loving Liberty to me felt like Cinderella meets something V.C. Andrews would have written.

Loving Liberty is the story of a girl trying to break free of some super controlling parents to have a life of her own.

This is a good and a bad thing for me, good because Liberty's poor little rich girl thing was overshadowed by her super creepy parents and her wicked...sister. (really...really wicked).

I think you almost have to view this book like a fairy tale, because otherwise, Liberty's being 21 and not being able to decide anything for herself, from the clothes she wears to the food she eats won't sit well with you. It didn't with me. Liberty was really really spineless.

Which actually brings me to my thoughts on the whole bullying thing. Most of the bullying was done by her sister, Erica. This chicky is seriously messed up. Liberty is messed up, but her sister is even more so.

And then there's the guy her parents want her to marry! 


Andrew is smarmy creepy scum.

It is no wonder Liberty is messed up.

Emotionally abusive family all the way around and they hand pick a controlling guy for her to date..which causes issues with the witchy (use the b word if you like that suits Erica too) sister.

Then there's Oliver..the sweet guy she meets at a charity event, but unfortunately he's the help!

All through this book I kept trying to picture Paris Hilton taking this kind of crap from her parents...I'm pretty sure if they did something like Liberty's parents did, there would have been more than one sex tape!

I got so infuriated with Liberty because she was so weak. Oliver brings her out of her shell but not enough for me. 

I did love Oliver though. He was very much a free spirit, but he wasn't stupid either. He's the kind of hero most women wouldn't mind having in their lives. He brings out the best in Liberty.

For me this story would have worked better if Liberty was younger...even if she were a freshmen in college instead of 21 and a legal adult. (Especially when it came down to the creepy therapist...but I won't get started there..because that's where the book takes an almost gothic turn).

I have to admit, at the end I wondered if Belinda would be writing a sequel so we could all see how well Liberty does with her new found freedom.

Rating: 3 flowers

Author Bio:

A homesick Aussie living amongst the cactus and mountains of Arizona, Belinda Boring is a self proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy. It wasn't long before she began writing, pouring her imagination and creativity into the stories she dreams. Whether urban fantasy, paranormal romance or romance in general, Belinda strives to share great plots with heart and characters that you can't help but connect with. Of course, she wouldn't be Belinda without adding heroes she hopes will curl your toes. Surrounded by a supportive cast of family, friends, and the man she gives her heart and soul to, Belinda is living the good life. Happy reading!

~Contact Links:

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tasty Book Tours Book Review: Throwing Heat

Author: Jennifer Seasons
Title: Throwing Heat
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publish Date: Oct 29, 2013
Buy: Amazon/B&N
Review Copy Provided By: Edelweiss
Book Blurb: Nightclub manager Leslie Cutter has never been one to back down from a bet. So when Peter Kowalskin, pitcher for the Denver Rush baseball team, bets her that she can’t keep her hands off of him, she’s not about to let the arrogant, sexy playboy win. Especially when the prize could put her business on the map. She’s got this in the bag, just so long as she can stay out of his arms…and his bed.

Peter struck out once before with Leslie, but this bet is sure to be the second chance he’s been waiting for. Determined to stoke the passion he knows is there, he’ll do anything to win - even if it means playing a little dirty.

But as things heat up, this combustible pair will have to decide just how much they’re willing to wager on one another…and on a future that just might last forever.

Review: The title of this book may apply to our hero, Peter's pitching career, but there's a lot of heat going on here. Lots of heat!

This book is so full of sexual tension that by the time you are finished you'll need a cold shower!

I was prepared to be annoyed by Leslie..she's one of those little spoiled girls that has everything but screws up all the time, but guess what...even though there were times when I did want to slap her upside her pretty head.

She basically has had some bad relationships that have screwed up her life and nearly landed her in prison for tax fraud.


And then as she's putting her life together and running her brother's nightclub, Peter, who she had an almost hot hot night with, shortly after she was cleared of the charges, makes her a bet.  If she doesn't sleep with him by the end of The World Series, he'll perform at the club and make the down payment for her to buy it from her brother.

Oh yeah!

Let's just say, when she accepts, Peter pulls out all the stops to get her going!

Best one: The pole dancing class. I'm trying to envision two of my favorite former Pirates pole dancing...Andy Van Syke and Jay Bell. Sigh....

Best thing about Peter: His tattoo, nuff said.

But there's more than just a lot of almost sex and foreplay going on...

This book has some hilarious moments too between Peter and fellow teammate Drake. There's a definite bro-mance going on there. Love Drake!

Oh and Peter has his flaws..though they are hard to see, cos he's just a lovable stud.

If you love baseball, hot hot sex and a fun story...grab this one!

Rating: 4 flowers

Author Info
Jennifer Seasons is a Colorado transplant. She lives with her husband and four children along the Front Range, where she enjoys breathtaking views of the mighty Rocky Mountains every day. A dog and two cats keep them company. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family outdoors, exploring her beautiful adopted home state.

Author Links

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Review: Bewitched By His Kiss

Author: Barbara Monajem
Title: Bewitched By His Kiss
Publisher: Harelquin Undone!
Publish Date: May 1, 2013
Buy: Amazon/Eharlequin
Review Copy Provided By: The author in exchange for an honest review
Book Blurb: 
England, 1804

Lucasta Barnes knows the folly believing in magic can lead to--and she won't accept that her illicit tryst with a notorious rake was the result of anything more than pure lust. Or that it has bonded them together forever. Yet, she can't deny that she yearns for just one more night in his arms...

David, Earl of Elderwood, is used to women being enchanted by him, but ever since a passionate encounter with Lucasta three years ago, he desires only her. How can he convince his thoroughly practical paramour that love is the greatest magic of all?

Book two of the May Day Mischief duet.

Review: This is the second Undone! Its the counterpart to the other Undone! The Magic Of His Touch, which was Peony & Alexis' story.

I love Barbara's writing and she brings magic to life in these two short stories. I prefer The Magic Of His Touch, because it is a bit spicier. This story is more about the conflict between David, Earl of Elderwood and Lucasta, who found each other the same way Peony and Alexis did. (Someone was rolling naked in the May Day dew!)

Their encounter happened years earlier, and Lucasta has been denying her attraction to David because she doesn't believe in magic.

While this book isn't as steamy in the sex department, it does give you another perspective of what happened with Peony and Alexis.

I really enjoyed how these two stories intertwined with one another. You can read one without having read the other, but I highly suggest reading both.

Rating: 4 flowers

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Mrs Queen Takes The Train

About Mrs. Queen Takes the Train

• Paperback: 384 pages

• Publisher: Harper Perennial (October 8, 2013)

Buy: Amazon

Blurb: After decades of service and years of watching her family’s troubles splashed across the tabloids, Britain’s Queen is beginning to feel her age. An unexpected opportunity offers her relief: an impromptu visit to a place that holds happy memories—the former royal yacht, Britannia, now moored near Edinburgh. Hidden beneath a skull-emblazoned hoodie, the limber Elizabeth (thank goodness for yoga) walks out of Buckingham Palace and heads for King’s Cross to catch a train to Scotland. But a colorful cast of royal attendants has discovered her missing. In uneasy alliance a lady-in-waiting, a butler, an equerry, a girl from the stables, a dresser, and a clerk from the shop that supplies Her Majesty’s cheese set out to bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal. Comic and poignant, fast-paced and clever, Mrs Queen Takes the Train tweaks the pomp of the monarchy, going beneath its rigid formality to reveal the human heart of the woman at its center.

Review: Mrs Queen Takes The Train is Buckingham Palace meets Upstairs Downstairs with a touch of Blackadder comedy thrown in.

Anyone with a love for the monarchy and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will have to love this book. William Kuhn paints Queen Elizabeth as the sharp minded lady that she is, but he brings her down to earth. She's slowing down and still trying to keep up with the times when all the things she loves and meant so much to her have been taken away.

In a few words, William Kuhn turns Her Majesty into your great grandmother, or any other 87 year old lady you might know.

You get to know servants from all aspects of the Queen's life, from Renee at the Mews, to Mrs MacDonald who is her dresser and a lady in waiting to name but a few.

When one day The Queen decides she's not feeling the thing and goes off in search of some Cheddar for her horse, Elizabeth and then decides to go see the royal yacht Britannia in Scottland, well the whole palace is turned upside down.

This isn't a book to be taken seriously. This is a book to sit down, relax and have a good chuckle with. It isn't meant to be a portrait of the Queen but rather something humorous. If you check your sense of humor at the door, you probably won't get it, but if you like a little bit of silly fun in your life this is definitely a must read book!

I can't begin to say how much I loved this story!

Rating: 5 flowers

Monday, October 21, 2013

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Finding It

About Finding It

• Paperback: 320 pages

• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 15, 2013)

Buy: Amazon

Blurb: Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong . . . Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life . . . or that’s what she keeps telling herself.

It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

Review: At the start of Finding It I found it really hard to connect with or even like Kelsey. She's the type of heroine that rubs me the wrong way. She's a poor little rich girl trying to get away from her past.

I had a love/hate thing with this book.


The settings....and their descriptions

The book starts out in Budapest one of the scenes takes place in the Bar Ruins. I managed to get a visual of the scenes from Budapest  in the Van Helsing film while reading this part...

Another place Kelsey and Hunt visited was Pompeii. Some people would read about Pompeii and think of the real events that happened when Vesuvius erupted. Not Me I think of The Fires Of Pompeii episode of Doctor Who.

The imagery is what Cora does best here. She makes you feel like you are traveling Europe with Hunt and Kelsey. That's the part of the story I liked.

Kelsey isn't what you'd expect from a heroine in a romance. She's broken, she's wild and she tries hard not to care.

The chemistry between Kelsey and Hunt is fantastic


Kelsey came across as bitter and more than a bit slutty and her issues with her family are never really resolved. There is an event in her youth that has shaped her in a not so positive way. It should have made me feel sympathy for her, but all in all, I couldn't.

Hunt's secret was easy to figure out after we are given a glimpse into the emails Kelsey received from her father. I mean really really easy. Also...why are all military heroes so interchangeable?

For all the chemistry between Kelsey and Hunter I felt their relationship was flat. I felt Hunt fell in love with Kelsey so he could fix her.

For all the love/hate feelings this book inspired in me, it was such a quick read. A great book for a lazy afternoon. This book is also part of the "Losing It" series by Cora Carmack, and it definitely is a stand alone novel.

Rating: 3 flowers

About Cora Carmack Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life—retail, theatre, teaching, and writing. She loves theatre, travel, and anything that makes her laugh. She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love too. Find out more about Cora at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: What The Paparazzi Didn't See

Author: Nicola Marsh
Title: What The Paparazzi Didn't See
Publisher: Harlequin Kiss
Publish Date: June 2013
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: The secrets behind Australia's most famous smile

Liza Lithgow has her reasons for living life in the spotlight, and they're all to do with protecting her little sister. Now she's finally saved enough money to leave the red carpet behind, what better way to celebrate than with a martini and a man?

The only problem is, the man in question turns out to be a publisher wanting her kiss-and-tell autobiography! Wade Urquart's company wants a story? Fine. If scandal will sell more copies, she'll give them exactly what they want! But what will Wade see—the glossy facade or maybe, at last, the real Liza?

Review: I usually love Nicola Marsh's books for the Harlequin Romance line, so I was excited to see how she'd do on the new Kiss imprint. I probably would have liked this book better if I hadn't read Rosalind James' books that deal with the WAG topic (Wife and Girlfriend).

I have to admit I've never heard of any celebrity other referred to that way...maybe its an Aussie thing. I actually found it drove me nuts in the book after awhile, especially since her WAG status was phony. I wanted more of her back story and there wasn't much of that given.

Liza's character lacked depth and too much focus was put on her sister Cindy that had cerebral palsy. Her sister had more spunk than she did. There was so much emphasis placed on how she had to care for her sister and not enough on why she was attracted to Wade. Their relationship started out as a one night stand, for heaven's sake.

The best part of the book was the Wag tips Liza gives you at the beginning of each chapter. I can't remember the last romance I read that had beauty tips/Martha Stewart living type tips in them. That was kind of cool, until the whole WAG thing started wearing on me and then it bugged me to no end.

My biggest problem with the book was Liza. I couldn't get attached to her. I could understand why she did some of the things she did, but other things not so much. Felt like a secondary character throughout most of the book.

It was a decent enough read, but it just didn't have the right Oomph for me.

Rating: 3 flowers

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Murder At The Maples

Book Details
• Murder at the Maples (A Flora Lively Mystery: Book 1)
• Mirrorball Books (September 16, 2013)
• Genre: Cozy mystery
• Number of Pages: 274

Synopsis:A tragic death. A reluctant sleuth. A childhood prank that went horribly wrong.

When Flora Lively inherits her father’s business she’s totally out of her depth. Shakers Removals is in trouble, and manager Marshall isn’t helping one bit – the ex-pat American delights only in winding her up. But Flora has other things on her mind, like Joy: surrogate grandmother and resident of the Maples Retirement Village. When Joy’s pet pug has a brush with death, Flora is pulled into a series of bizarre incidents at the Maples, where fear is starting to take hold.

Could harmless old Mr. Felix really be the boy from Joy’s past, determined to exact his revenge, or is it Joy’s guilty mind playing tricks on her? And what about the Captain’s death? Accidents happen, even to the most careful people, but Flora’s not convinced the old man simply fell down the stairs … Playing detective seemed like a good idea at first, but before long Flora realises the stakes are far higher than either she or Joy imagined.

Full of warmth and humour, this gripping puzzle will appeal to fans of M. C. Beaton and Edie Clare.

Review: I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Murder At The Maples when I started reading it. Flora and I just didn't click and Joy's backstory troubled me. (I really have issues with anything that involves an animal getting hurt). But I kept on reading and I was really glad that I did.

About mid-way through the book, Flora comes into her own as a sleuth and it becomes more of a good cozy mystery and there are a lot of things going on at The Maples Retirement Village that would have red flags going off.

The book has a lot going for it, with the characters at The Maples and at Shakers, especially Marshall, Flora's manager that you'll come to see she has a love/hate relationship. Her boyfriend Heston, the librarian (love a male librarian) and the dog Otto!

There's also a mystery within a mystery. What's happening at The Maples...starting with the Captain's death, which doesn't seem quite right, and then there's Joy and her paranoia about that event from her teenage years. (That in itself makes me shudder)

Flora takes awhile to come around to Joy's way of thinking. Things really come to a head when they plan to move Joy to the 3 floor..the special needs floor of the retirement community. (The Maples reminds me of that Britcom Waiting For God)

There's a good mixture of Flora's personal life, with her moving company, as well as the mystery at the Maples to give the story balance. 

Though it started out slow for me, this book really wowed me in the end.

Rating: 4 flowers

About The Author Joanne Phillips lives in Shropshire, England with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of commercial women’s fiction Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of cosy mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 100 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Joanne blogs about writing and publishing at

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