A MONSTER LIKE ME by Pamela Sparkman

Heart of Darkness series #2

HELLO STRANGER by Lisa Kleypas

The Ravenels series #4


Companion to the Full Tilt series


Heartbreaker Bay series #7

UNWRITTEN by Jen Frederick

Woodlands series #5

Cross My Heart by L.H. Cosway

Hearts series #5.75

MOONSHADOW by Thea Harrison

Moonshadow series #1

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review: Anything But a Duke by Christy Carlyle

Publication date: April 30, 2019
Published by: Avon Romance
Genre: historical romance

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Self-made man Aidan Iverson has seen more closed doors in his thirty years than he’s ever cared to count. As a member of the elite Duke’s Den, he has all the money he could possibly need, but the one thing he can’t purchase is true power. If roguish Aidan can’t buy his way into society’s hallowed halls, he’ll resort to a more extreme measure: marriage.

Brought up to be a proper lady, the only thing Diana Ashby desires is to be left alone to the creation of her own devices. But when her dreams are crushed, she must find another way to secure the future of her invention. Knowing his desire to enter her world, Diana strikes a deal to arrange Aidan’s marriage to the perfect lady—as long as that lady isn’t her. She doesn’t need any distractions from her work, particularly of the sinfully handsome variety.

As Diana and Aidan set out to find him an aristocratic match, neither are prepared for the passion that ignites between them or the love they can’t ignore.

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Praise for Anything But a Duke:

“Christy Carlyle writes poignant, genuine characters who will melt your heart and keep you turning pages long past your bedtime.”
- Kelly Bowen, New York Times bestselling author

“I absolutely adore Christy Carlyle!”
- Lorraine Heath, New York Times bestselling author

“Carlyle inventively incorporates a Victorian riff on the concept of Shark Tank as well as the hero’s hunt for his own past into the engaging plot of the second quirkily different and splendidly sexy addition to her Duke’s Den series.”
- Booklist

“In Carlyle’s memorable second Duke’s Den Victorian romance, a budding scientist and a wealthy businessman discover they are a perfect match. Fans of historical romance with strong, intelligent heroines will adore this novel, in which emotionally vulnerable, highly motivated characters complete the sensuous story.”
- Publishers Weekly

“Mature, interesting, and romantic protagonists elevate a familiar story.”
- Kirkus Reviews


Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there's nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

You can find her on:
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Anything But a Duke (Duke's Den, #2)Anything But a Duke by Christy Carlyle
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

After reading and loving A Duke Changes Everything, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series. The Duke's Den series revolves around three friends who own a gambling club that the nobility and the lower class both frequent. Aidan is one third owner, and it was with his sharp instincts in investments as well as skill in profiting at gambling that gave them the financial means to build their empire. At the club they are respected and sometimes feared, but there's one aspect in his business ventures that Aidan can't seem to breach and conquer. His humble beginnings and lack of "breeding" is a handicap that only marriage to a noblewoman will solve.

    There would always be a disparity. No matter how much money he earned. No matter how many devices he funded. No matter how many London men of business spoke his name with a mix of fear and reverence.

After getting denied permission to participate in an industrial exhibition that he's set his heart on, he vows to obtain a fiancé that will give him a golden ticket into whatever door he knocks on. So why is it that he can't seem to stop thinking about a woman who is wrong for him in every logical way? A woman he's struck a bargain with to find him a willing bride in exchange for investing in her invention?

Diana Ashby is an unconventional woman of the time. She spends all of her time in her lab with her inventions, and hasn't the slightest interest in the marriage mart. Not even when finding a rich husband could drag their family out of poverty where her father left them. She's convinced that she will succeed in selling one of her ideas, if only her mother will give her the time to make it happen. Aidan is her last chance to make a success of herself before she's forced to give up her dreams and passion for creating. Diana is a woman who leads with her head, not her heart. She's not one for silly day dreams of happily ever after, or allowing herself to be guided by impulses of the moment.

    “Poets tell of love. Novelists write characters who fall far too readily. But I don’t have time for reading poetry or novels.” Diana smiled, but didn’t meet her friend’s gaze. “I prefer to make decisions based on what’s rational. On what I can see and touch and calculate.”

She was also stubborn to a fault and single minded in her pursuit of personal goals. In that way she was much like Aidan. Their deal should have given both of them everything they could have ever wanted. But as she introduces him to a few of her friends she becomes increasingly uncomfortable thinking about him finding a match in another woman. For once in her life she's beginning to feel driven by emotion and wanted in a way that she's never experienced before. Seen and appreciated for who she truly is rather than an eccentric who doesn't fit into the mold that society wants to put her in. Aidan too, is struggling with accepting his attraction for someone who wants nothing to do with marriage. Once he accepts the reality of his altered feelings, the challenge of winning Diana is his new end game. And nothing will stand in his way.

    All he truly wanted was to find a way to have her in his life every day and his bed every night. His ambition, his hunger for success—none of that was a shadow of how much he wanted Diana.

There is also a subplot that ties into the overall conflict. Aidan is desperate to find news of his mother and sister. To finally find out what happened to them when he lost contact with them as a child. The need to know if they are all right, to learn his father's identity and put the mysteries of the past at rest is overwhelming.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, but I found it to be a little slow in the first third of the story. I struggled to get completely invested in the couple's romance which was a pretty slow burn, and didn't feel the same excitement I did for the first couple. But in general, I thought it was a good story. Aidan's pursuit of her in the end was wonderful to see. She had a hard time relinquishing the idea of what she thought they both needed so he had his work cut out for him in changing her mind.

Though this wasn't a smash hit for me like the previous book, there was still plenty to enjoy. Fans of a light historical romance with strong, unconventional heroines will find what they're looking for here. It is not necessary to read book one, as these are all easily read as standalones. I encourage you to give it a shot.



Review: Fumbled by Alexa Martin

A second chance doesn't guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Publication date: April 23, 2019
Published by: Berkley/Penguin
Genre: romance

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Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.  

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

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Praise for Fumbled:

"I wish I could jump into the Fumbled world and hang out on the couch and drink wine and gossip with Poppy and her friends!"—Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author

"Get ready for sparks to fly..."—PopSugar

“Spending time in Martin’s world is like having a heart-to-heart with your bestie.”—Entertainment Weekly

"Martin expertly captures the struggle between the need for a quiet, ordinary life and the demands of an all-star career path that invites gossip, grudges, and jealousy. In this delicious follow-up to Intercepted (2016), Martin once again draws on her own experience as an NFL wife to create a winning sports romance."—Booklist starred review

"Readers will laugh, swoon, and grow to love every character in this entertaining contemporary romance."—Publishers Weekly

“A hardworking single mom comes face to face with the gorgeous star athlete who got away in the second installment of a football romance series by a fresh-voiced newcomer to the genre… Poppy leaps off the page as a contemporary biracial woman navigating dating, motherhood, and career with seriousness and a fantastic sense of humor.”—Kirkus Reviews

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German Shepherd. When she's not telling her kids to put their shoes on...again, you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she'll probably never make. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.

You can find her on:
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Fumbled (Playbook, #2)Fumbled by Alexa Martin
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Alexa Martin's debut Intercepted was hilarious and highly entertaining, but her follow up was even better. The snarky narrative that I enjoyed so much was just as present this time in the form of Poppy Patterson. Single mother, waitress, and high school sweetheart of TK, wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs. This is a lighter second-chance romance which was refreshing to read. The majority of the time they are heavier on the angst and I do highly enjoy those, but this was a nice break from the norm. Which isn't to say that this lacked in the emotion department, because there was still plenty of moments that will tug on your heartstrings.

    I want our lives to become so intertwined we can’t figure out where one starts and the other ends. I want you and Ace around as much as I can have you around. I want you both.”

Poppy was a teen mother who had to sacrifice her dreams of attending Northwestern in order to raise her son on her own. After choosing to keep the baby, her parents disowned her and she didn't have an easy road. Instead of wallowing in bitterness, she works her butt off without complaint in order to give her son the happy life he deserves. I felt nothing but admiration for her drive, determination, and sense of humor-even when life threw her a curveball. Her crappy job at the Emerald Cabaret brings her face to face with a ghost from her past: Trevor Kyle "TK" Moore.

TK made brief appearances in the previous book and he always came off as a sweet and respectful guy despite his supposed reputation for partying and enjoying a wide variety of women. You're told this about him, but his player lifestyle is not really something you witness. Their first interaction is very early in the book, and from first glance on, he has his eyes set on one woman. His first love, the woman he could never forget, despite the fact that she disappeared on him ten years ago without the courtesy of a goodbye. He was a fantastic hero that is easy to love right from the start. Extroverted, and the life of the party without being ridiculous or too silly. He revels in teasing Poppy and flustering her which almost always ended in a moment of awkward hilarity.

This is not the typical second chance romance where the hero becomes famous and the heroine has stars in her eyes over his fame and glamorous lifestyle. If you think that, you'll be wrong. Rather than feeling awe over her ex's career, it's actually a hindrance to their reconciliation. Poppy makes it abundantly clear that she despises football and the danger it poses to its players.
    FOOTBALL IS THE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE EQUIVALENT TO A CULT. It seems like tons of fun and everyone around you is an avid follower of the religion. Oops. I mean sport.

Fanatics idolize football players as god-like beings, and treat them as if they're incapable of feeling hurt over insensitive words. Martin's first-hand experience as a spouse of an NFL player lends authenticity to her heroines' feelings and challenges. We see examples of what it would be like for family members attending home games in the stadium. The toll that it takes when you have to witness your loved one injured and worry about the severity of the next hit they'll have to take.

I would say that the main conflict of the book revolves around this fear of Poppy's. She has done extensive reading on the brain disease called CTE-Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a degenerative brain disease that's caused by repeated concussions or head trauma. She feels so strongly about the dangers of this to the players' health that she's firmly against her son's interest in the sport and won't budge on her refusal to let him play. Seeing TK out on the field scares her more than impresses her and it's not a simple roadblock for them to overcome.

There are other various things that crop up as they get to know one another again.

    What I don’t know is, after all his time as a party boy, star football player supreme, if he’s ready to settle down. It might seem fun to play family man now, but how long until the novelty wears off and he wants his VIP club status back?

I loved the fact that he was all in in his pursuit of her right from the start, but that didn't mean that she was able to trust that things would work out this time around. Years had passed, and they were different people now. Could their love endure through shocking revelations and unexpected strain on their tenuous relationship? TK needed to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was in it for the long haul and that he was willing to put his new family first above all else.

Together, I thought Poppy and TK were adorable, charming, and intrinsically right for each other. Their separation as teens was caused by interference by a third party and a misunderstanding rather than any horrible action on either of their parts. When they reconnect, their love is as strong as ever, and the heat between them equally so. There was no doubt in my mind that they had the goods to remain strong partners and parents long term. There was minimal drama with a malicious person leaving threatening notes for Poppy, but it wasn't over the top. In the previous book there several moments where the heroine's safety was threatened to the point where it didn't feel entirely realistic. I was impressed with how it was toned down this time and didn't add anything unnecessary to the plot. 

I simply love Martin's brand of humor and romance, and I think she's a new voice in the genre that will be around for a long time to come.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

A thrilling page-turner from Gwendolyn Womack, the USA Today bestselling author of The Fortune Teller

Publication date: April 16, 2019
Published by: Picador USA
Genre: fantasy, historical, romance

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Travel through time with the touch of a hand.

Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.

The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?

The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller. 

Read an excerpt from the author's website here.

Purchase your copy now!
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Praise for The Time Collector:

"Beginning with this otherworldly duo, [Roan and Melicent], Womack spins a suspenseful web of mysteries and murderous rivalries, connected by an underpinning of love."―Jane Ciabattari, BBC Culture (Ten Books to Read This Month)

"A mystical thrill ride, spanning several continents. Flashbacks to different times in history enrich the story with tragedy and hope...For fans of historical fiction who like a hint of the supernatural and cosmic connection."―Booklist

"A compelling exploration of time, history, and our primal need to connect with the past, The Time Collector is also a rollicking adventure through ancient mysteries and the moving story of two stunningly drawn characters, chasing the answer to the question of what it means to be human."―Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail 

"A wonderfully intriguing tale, filled with the mystery of objects that tell a story. The Time Collector's fast pace and fascinating premise will delight history and romance lovers."―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride 

"Gwendolyn Womack weaves a suspenseful tale that tackles the question of 'time'―how it’s measured, its impact on nature and human consciousness―and I could hardly put it down! The Time Collector is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, mysticism, and intrigue, sprinkled with a dash of romance―my very favorite things. What a book!”―Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco 

"Gwendolyn Womack creates such marvelous worlds, magnetic characters, and fascinating stories. The Time Collector is her best novel yet―a feast of historical delights that enrich a spellbinding mystery. I can't wait to see where she takes us next."―Glen Erik Hamilton, Anthony Award-winning author of Mercy River

"The Time Collector is a glittering jewel of a novel, in which the past is something tangible that is all around us. With multi-faceted characters, a pulse-pounding plot, and threads of history beautifully woven into the story, this is a novel you won't want to put down, and one that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page."―Alyssa Palombo, author of The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel

"The Time Collector is a fascinating tale of psychometrists, people who touch an object and sense the stories embedded within them. Pick up this book and you too will be transported across the globe and the centuries into exhilarating worlds filled with history and mystery, magic and mysticism, romance and danger. Its pages make the past come alive. Once you hold this object in your hands, you won’t be able to put it down."―Amy Weiss, author of Crescendo

"The Time Collector is more than a story; it's a fantastical, inventive, and masterfully woven adventure across many lifetimes. Perhaps a future psychometrist will hold my copy of the book and know how much I enjoyed it. One can only hope."―Therese Walsh, author of the critically acclaimed novel The Moon Sisters 


Writer. Adventurer. Seeker of all things magical in the world. Bestselling author of THE FORTUNE TELLER and the award-winning thriller THE MEMORY PAINTER. Her next novel, THE TIME COLLECTOR, will be published by Picador USA 4/16/19. Gwendolyn lives in Los Angeles with her family. She collects kaleidoscopes and paints as a hobby.

You can find her on:
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The Time CollectorThe Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was my first Gwendolyn Womack book and it was such a breath of fresh air! It had a lot of elements that I enjoy reading but with a spin that felt thoroughly refreshing. The Time Collector was like a palate cleanser after reading a massive amount of books that are too predictable. I actually thought there may be some time travel in this book based on the synopsis, but that wasn't the case. This story explores the metaphysical: using psychometry to learn the history of everyday objects and their secrets, and interpreting that knowledge to theorize about how time works.

Psychometry is the ability to touch everyday objects and sense an "imprint" of the people it came in contact with through the years. In a sense, it was almost like the protagonist Roan was traveling through time. He could sift through the different layers of experiences and actually feel and see others' life events through history. These experiences felt so real that he would often refer to the people he saw in the present tense. As if they were old friends that have told him all of their most intimate details.

I loved reading about him using his heightened senses. Although he used them initially for monetary gain, he's grown into a man who consciously uses his gift to help others by delivering family heirlooms back to their rightful owners. After witnessing countless horrific tragedies spanning centuries, he wants to do his part to right some of those wrongs. He's also a bit of a loner, not trusting many people to accept his unusual abilities and all that comes with it. If anyone had told him he'd be intrigued with another psychometrist and tempted to break all of his rules for her, he'd never believe it.

    ...Melicent Tilpin was a comet that had come streaking across his world. Was he rescuing her or chasing her? Maybe both.

Melicent has led a pretty average life up until the loss of her mother. Now she carries the weight of taking care of her grieving teenage brother, a mountain of debt, and the possibility of losing their family home on her shoulders. When she uses her inexplicable ability to sense things in objects to sell a valuable antique on television, she draws the kind of attention that could very well get her killed. This is where the mystery comes in. Someone is targeting people like her: disappearances, arson, and even murder are occurring. Roan soon discovers that the Ooparts (out of place artifacts) play a central role in the mystery surrounding these crimes. He must solve the mystery of why they are so important and how they work before anyone else gets hurt.

Womack blended scientific theory on time, history, and unexplained mysteries like crop circles and out of place artifacts to create a multi-layered plot that was unlike anything I've read before. The romance between Roan and Melicent wasn't heavily focused on in comparison, but it was just the right balance to keep me invested in their feelings for each other. It was a tricky attraction to say the least. Imagine you had the ability to delve into a person's past with a brush of your hand. Roan is forced to wear gloves most of the day in order to avoid unintentionally invading people's privacy.

    He couldn't imagine attempting a relationship with another psychometrist. Not only would he have to worry about holding her hand, he'd have to worry about her holding his. The problem was that was exactly what he wanted to do with Melicent.

This story drew me in immediately, and my interest didn't wander for a minute. The ending built in suspense and I was glued to the pages as I flew towards the conclusion. I ended up taking half of a star off my rating because while I enjoyed the action in the end, I just wished there had been an epilogue because things were left a little open ended for my taste. I wish more answers could have been given and the fate of the villian more conclusive. But that's just me. Some readers enjoy when things are left up to their own interpretation. If you love books that take you outside of your typical box and shake things up, try The Time Collector. The author is an eloquent storyteller that held me absolutely riveted. Highly recommended! I already ordered another paperback of hers and without a doubt I'll be reading it the earliest chance I get.



Review: Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich

The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties puts a modern twist on My Fair Lady in this funny, romantic confection in which a canny young woman makes over her awkward millionaire client . . . with some hot, sexy, and surprising results.

Publication date: April 16, 2019
Published by: William Morrow
Genre: contemporary romance, women's fiction

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Suffocating in a dead-end marriage, Midwesterner Zoey Sullivan fled to New York and moved in with her older sister Ruth, a carefree, vivacious beauty with a string of eligible bachelors at her beck and call. Giving herself three months in the city to clear her head and find a direction, Zoey dodges calls from her ex Derek, and distracts herself by cooking and catering a few private dinners and parties. Pursuing her passion for cooking was never an option when she was with Derek, and now Zoey relishes her independence.

When Zoey’s meets reclusive millionaire Tristan Malloy, she’s blown away by his kitchen—a marble and stainless steel temple worthy of the culinary gods—and charmed by his impeccable gentlemanly manners. But despite his firm body, handsome looks, and piles of cash, Tristan—a computer programmer—is shy and more than a little socially awkward. Zoey is sure that Tristan has all the right raw ingredients—and she’s the right person to spice them up turn him into a delectable dish.

But Zoey’s unprepared for just how well her makeover works. Tristan turns out to be even sexier once he’s gained a little confidence and the right wardrobe. Beneath the gorgeous package, Tristan is a great guy who deserves a woman who really appreciates him. Slowly but surely, Zoey realizes she may have found her perfect match—but does Tristan even know how her feelings have changed? Is that warm look in his eyes gratitude for the new and exciting world she’s ushered him into, or something more? And what will happen when Zoey’s ex comes to town, looking to win her back?

Purchase your copy here:
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Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. She attended New York School of Film and Television and acted in several improvisational troupes and a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she ever had, raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she's an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.

You can find her on:
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Under the TableUnder the Table by Stephanie Evanovich
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

As I sit here all I can think of are things that bothered or annoyed me about this book. If there was one thing that was consistent about my reading experience, it was that. It's shocking to me that I'm saying that because the hero is a nerd. If you haven't read my reviews before, let me tell you a factoid about me: nerdy characters are my ultimate weakness. All I have to do is see that word in a synopsis and I'm sold. I like reading about intelligent people who are perhaps a little quirky or socially awkward. Smart people are sexy! In this case, Tristan was certainly awkward and quirky, but that's where it ended for me. Okay, admittedly he was even sweet, chivalrous, and the most polite person you'll ever meet in your life. All things that should have made me like him. Unfortunately he was clueless about so many things beyond his hideous fashion sense, that whenever he opened his mouth he sounded completely ridiculous.

For example:
✒︎Backside, nefarious purposes, and for crying out loud???
✒︎He's never had a piece of pizza before. And he lives in New York.
✒︎His reaction to Las Vegas: "I didn’t expect so many people being rude and drunk and inappropriate."
✒︎Thinking skinny jeans were for skinny people
✒︎Thinking Bermuda shorts were from Bermuda.
✒︎Leaving her alone in his home five minutes after meeting her. "Are you going to steal from me?" "No." Good enough for me!
✒︎ Hasn't the faintest clue what Tinder is or why someone would "swipe right" on him.
✒︎In a shocking turn of events he's heard of video game consoles but was unfamiliar with Guitar Hero. He told her that her guitar didn't have any strings. Because guitars always look like a plastic toy.

I understand that he is supposed to be a sheltered man who was raised by his grandparents on a golf course in the Virgin Islands. He doesn't watch t.v. and he hasn't made any friends since moving to New York that could bring him into the 21st century. But his naivité and child like innocence knows no bounds. As exaggerated as this was about Tristan, he was supposed to be shy and helpless as a newborn foal, and yet when she takes him out to his first club experience he was not only socializing with a large group of people with no issues, but skillfully and sexily dancing.

    The way Tristan was acting, dancing, smiling, and carrying on, no one would believe he was a shy computer nerd.

He was also perfectly fine when throwing dinner parties, in fact, the heroine didn't even know he was shy until he told her. How is that even remotely possible? This is not an accurate depiction of someone who deals with shyness.

The heroine Zoey bothered me as well. She's separated from her jerk of a husband, in limbo while she waits until she can file for divorce. She comes clean and admits to Tristan right away that she's technically married, even though she was attracted to him from the start. To be honest, that didn't make sense to me either. She thought his innocence was "adorable." But to me, it was like watching her teach a child about the world which wasn't exactly adorable.

    She had accomplished breaking Tristan out of his shell. He didn’t have a disability and he wasn’t a child that needed to be babysat. She didn’t need to hold his hand through every step of his journey.

Towards the end she goes completely off the rails and does two things that actually made me hate her. Up until that point I was apathetic at best.

Perhaps I didn't connect to this authors writing style or maybe it was just a bad first impression. I was so excited to read it because it was supposedly a modern twist on My Fair Lady, a musical that I love. Yes, she gives him a makeover, but that does not make it comparable in my eyes. I'm sad to say that this story didn't work out for me at all but maybe you'll have better luck than me.



Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind

Falling for your surly boss is a rotten idea.
Letting him saw you in half is even worse...

Publication date: April 23, 2019
Published by: Everafter Romance
Genre: contemporary romance

Beatrice Baker may be a struggling artist, but she believes all hardships have silver linings...until she follows her boyfriend to New Orleans and finds him with another woman. Instead of turning those lemons into lemonade, she drinks lemon drop martinis and keys the wrong man's car.

Now she works for Huxley Marlow of the Marvelous Marlow Boys, getting shoved in boxes as an on-stage magician's assistant. A cool job for some, but Bea's been coerced into the role to cover her debt. She also maybe fantasizes about her boss's adept hands and what else they can do.

She absolutely will not fall for him, or kiss him senseless. Until she does. The scarred, enigmatic Huxley has unwittingly become her muse, unlocking her artistic dry spell, but his vague nightly activities are highly suspect. The last time Beatrice trusted a man, her bank account got drained and she almost got arrested. Surely this can't end that badly...right?

Purchase your copy now!

Praise for New Orleans Rush:

“A fun mixture of magic, sensuality, and iconic pin-up girl style. The romance in New Orleans Rush will leave you smiling and filled with optimism.” ~ Helen Hoang, author of the smash hit The Kiss Quotient

“New Orleans Rush is full of humor, explosive chemistry, the fun backdrop of New Orleans, and a couple I truly rooted for. This is a must read!” ~ USA Today bestselling Author Jennifer Blackwood

“Kelly Siskind knocks it out of the park with her evocative voice in this story of family, fun, and falling in love—you don’t want to miss the magic of Beatrice and Huxley!” ~ USA Today bestselling author Ellis Leigh

About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings. She’s also an admitted book addict, devouring novels into the wee hours of the morning.

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New Orleans RushNew Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has laugh out loud, grab your butterfly filled chest, feel-good romance stamped all over it! I clicked request on this book because of the adorable illustrated cover, the magician hero, and the setting of New Orleans but I had no idea how much I'd end up enjoying it. You know when you spot a book and every single part of the outer packaging looks PERFECT for you? Then your intuition makes an appearance and whispers in your ear that you need to read it now. You try not to get your hopes up because, well...expectations. They ruin you. But guess what? New Orleans Rush exceeded all of my hopes and delivered a sexy, sassy rom-com that made me happy with every page I turned. Beatrice "Bea" charmed the pants off of me with her infectious joy and zest for life. Huxley tries to fool people into believing he's a stern stick-in-the-mud, but he's nothing but a pile of goo in her very capable hands.

From their first inauspicious meet, Bea begins making his life better. Okay, so she keyed his late father's vintage car and doesn't have the funds to pay for it. She also shakes up his gloomy, orderly life that has been filled with worry for too long. She revitalizes his stale magic show and helps him fill the empty seats again so he can hang on to his father's legacy. The dilapidated theater he inherited is falling down all around him and there's nothing he can do about it. With two brothers holding their hands out for money constantly, and an uncle constantly plotting his downfall, he has little time for fun anymore. But he sacrifices and works his fingers to the bone in order to hold onto it all. One disastrous day at a time. Huxley is the kind of person who would give a stranger the shirt off of his back or his last dollar to someone in need. Someone like Bea.

Bea is down on her luck as well. Her loser father drained her bank account and now has a loan shark threatening her bodily harm on his behalf. She's been dumped by her boyfriend, and has nowhere to live. But her eternal optimism doesn't let her wallow or give up. She steps into a scene with her quirky 50s pinup girl style, her bright colors, and artistic flair, and you can't help but smile right along with her. And lord, does this girl have sass. She handles Huxley's "lie detector" face and his brothers' shameless teasing like she was born to it. And that's one of the things I loved the most. How she not only paired as a perfect compliment to the hero, but she fit flawlessly into his family and finally had a feeling of being home. One thing they had in common was the fact that they didn't have a stable home life with their parents. As different as they were, they could relate on that very elemental level. And for the first time she knew what it was like for people to have her back. Just as she was set on having his back and easing the stress that was overwhelming him.

    What would it be like to wake up to her brightness every morning? To have that unbridled joy in his life. To slip his fingers through her red hair whenever he wanted, claim her lips in a bruising kiss. Every muscle in his body flexed at the fantasy.

Bea and Huxley had chemistry in spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. She could have easily made him her rebound guy, but they both enter into a relationship with extreme caution. And how do they do that, you ask? By becoming roommates, with the strict rule that they won't get physical or go on a date. Two adults with sizzling attraction brushing up against each other at breakfast, giving secretive hot glances, teasing banter, and lots of bottled up pheromones. There was one scene where I chuckled so hard, I had to stop read it from the beginning. Yep. Just as funny the second time. They're texting back and forth, somehow the conversation starts getting more flirty than she intended. So she tries to back off and retreat. Hilarity ensues.

    She’d planned to end their flirtatious repartee with the non-sexy text: I’m menstruating. Buy me whipped cream. Because whipped cream tasted best when menstruating, and menstruating was non-sexy. Instead autocorrect betrayed her and sent: I’m masturbating. Buy me whipped cream. Crap. Huxley’s answering dots bounced. She held her breath. Then her phone died.

Huxley wears his heart on his sleeve for Bea. I mean...his nickname for her (Honeybee *swoon*) his constant chivalrous efforts, his willingness to wait for her until she's able to trust in his promises. I couldn't get enough of them and the anticipation for them to finally exit the friend zone ratcheted up to sky high levels. This book is low on drama, high on effervescent humor, and filled to the brim with heartwarming romance. I'm not kidding when I say that I didn't want it to end!! Kelly Siskind waved her wand and sprinkled magic on this delightful story. I rarely gush over books anymore, but in this case all I want to do is share how bright this book sparkles. Read this! One-click, READ THIS, and savor it just like I did.

    “I’m in love with you, Beatrice Baker. The rest is a backdrop. Window dressing. You’re the main event I can’t live without.”