#SPOTLIGHT: “Unleashed” & “For Keeps” by Rachel Lacey

Book 1 & 2 in Rachel Lacey’s “Love to the Rescue” Series….I am reading “Ever After” right now..and, I have to say that I am totally engrossed in her story.  The heroine, Olivia Bennett is such a multi-faceted character. I love how there are a bunch of animals in the story line…

GREAT AUTMUMN READS!!!

UnleashedUNLEASHED –

What happens when you find the right one at the wrong time?
Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it’s not because of all the foster dogs she’s rescued. She’s got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don’t get attached. It’s served her well with the dogs she’s given to good homes and the children she’s nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt’s sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken.

Matt Dumont doesn’t need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he’d never find-gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there’s no way he can start a relationship just as he’s about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they’ll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go…

For KeepsFOR KEEPS –

A SUMMER FLING . . . OR SOMETHING MORE?
Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue – even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It’s hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children’s camp where she’s just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry’s style, and TJ clearly wants more than just a roll in the hay.

TJ Jameson isn’t looking for anything complicated-just a peaceful life on his family’s ranch with a wife and kids. “No-strings” Merry Atwater doesn’t fit that bill, no matter how irresistible she is. But when he sees how Merry gets through to his autistic nephew and the other kids at Camp Blue Sky, TJ’s a goner. If he doesn’t give in to the now, he might just lose his shot at forever . . .

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#BookReview: “Caching In” by Tracy Krimmer

Caching InSummary:

Can a compass lead you to love?

Broken-hearted Ally Couper has had enough with her ridiculous life. Her job at the bank is going nowhere, and her love life might as well be non-existent.

Determined to try something new, Ally becomes absorbed in the world of geocaching. The high-tech driven scavenger hunt introduces her to Seth, and she realizes the game isn’t the only thrilling part.

Ally’s bad luck may finally be changing, until the past threatens to halt her future with Seth. Can they find happiness together, or is love the one cache Ally can’t find?

Review:

You gotta love a book that makes you investigate a new hobby! Geocaching is something I knew my brother had enjoyed. After finishing this book, I had to ask my brother about his Geocaching experience and he said, “Yes it was fun, was a great reason to go walk around state parks and not just walk but have an adventure while walking.” Geocaching is like a treasure hunt…People leave “caches” in various locations (like parks) , and you are to go and “hunt” for it.

Tracy Krimmer writes a truly delightful story. It was a fun read, the kind you look forward to getting back to when you have to step away.

We meet Ally Couper (not to be confused with Ally McBeal..lol). She and her fiancé had broken up 8 months ago due to his philandering ways. She had what seemed like a dead end job as a Bank Teller, and was just going through the motions of life. Until she goes on her first Geocaching hunt, and meets Seth.  She is immediately attracted to him….they go out on a first date…which may be their last.

I fell in love with her best friend, Chelsea.  I am sure a lot of people don’t care much for her, as she is dating a man that already has a girlfriend..so, she is the “other woman”. She was in this relationship for about two years.  Ally hated that she was dating him. It had to be hard on her, being that her fiancé was found cheating on her.

I did have a hard time wrapping my head around their friendship, as it seemed to be fueled with a lot of resentment..but I realized by the end of the book, that most friendships go through these stages.

This story had a lot of intriguing story lines, and I was immersed in it from page one.

If you want a fun, quick witted, chick lit read… This is a Must!!

I am already reading book two in this series, “Jay Walking”…and loving it!

I am so happy I met Tracy Krimmer along the way….Her books are a delight!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson

Speak now or forever hold your peaceBecky Monson delivers a delightful chick lit novel.  “Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace” was definitely fun to read, and I am sure I would enjoy her other books.  (going to add them to my Good Reads to-read shelf right after I post this review)

I was in love with the main character, Bridgette Reynolds!  I would have been friends with her.  I love a book where you feel that much for a character.  It takes a great writer for you to make that connection.

This story began at a runners pace, and took you right into the sheer madness of Bridgette’s love life.  I was laughing out loud within the first few pages.  And, this pace lasted throughout the entire book.  I would have been happier if the ending was a bit longer, I wanted to revel in it a bit.

The array of characters in this story are marvelous…Bridgette’s best friends, Ashley and Justin are a wonderful addition to the drama that unfolds in Bridgette’s life.  To quote Becky Monson. “I do love that even if she hates my choices, Ashley has my back. That is a true best friend right there”.  This book is about friendship just as much as it is about Bridgette’s love life…or lack thereof.

Bridgette’s love interests, Adam and Ian are the ideal relationships to give this story a great back bone.  I bet a lot of us have “the one that got away” story…

Even Adam’s mother, Carla is hysterical. She really is awesome!!  If you have ever broken up with someone and felt the loss of losing their family, as well…this book will really hit home for you.

I need to add:  Bridgette’s grandmother’s (Gram’s) and her Bridge Club needs their own book.  Her Grams was so hysterical, and perfect.  She reminded me of my grandmother, only instead of watching “Young and the Restless” together, we watched “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune”.  My grandmother was also in her 80’s and just as funny, and spry!  Everything that involved Grams always made me smile.

This book was very reminiscent of Helen Fielding’s, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”…so much, that I can see this as a movie.  I would really like to know what these characters look like. 🙂  I imagine Ryan Gosling playing Ian….ok, yes, that did make this book even better!!!

5 Stars

You can grab the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Now-Forever-Hold-Peace-ebook/dp/B00VWJ72OK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442065421&sr=1-1&keywords=speak+now+or+forever+hold+your+peace

“Up to I Do” By Samantha March

Up to I DoCalling all Chick Lit Lovers!! This is the perfect book for you!! Bridezilla at its finest! Pretty names and prettier people! Fashion, Fun, Fights…this book has it all. A true women’s story!

It is hard not to enjoy this romp through a year of planning the most elaborate wedding that this small New Hampshire town has ever seen. The Van Guilder/Sinclair/Worthington wedding has to be big, and it has to be picture perfect. One good enough to be on television!

Samantha March hits the nail on the head with the story of Emerson planning her big day, and all the things that can go wrong….or, right. This is a year of self-discovery for the Bride-to-be, and it is a very endearing read. No stone goes unturned regarding all of Emerson’s relationships. Emerson’s relationship with her Grandmother was so touching, that you felt their love so strongly throughout the book. That really touched a place in my heart. It was just beautiful.

In trying to create this perfect wedding, Emerson seems to be losing a bit of her true self….and begs the question…Is it really worth all of this fuss?

I highly recommend that you check this book out, and find out if Emerson comes out of her wedding preparations a happily married Mrs. Logan Worthington?

4 Stars.

#GIVEAWAY & #INTERVIEW: Margaret Locke, author of “A Man of Character”

COMMENT BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF HER BOOK!!!

You will adore Margaret, this interview was alot of fun!!  I am reading her book, “A Man of Character” right now…and looking forward to getting back to it with my cup of coffee!!

MargaretLocke

Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist?

Wait. I’m a novelist? Bwah ha ha!
I’m not sure when the transition from “I’m giving this a go” to “I think I’m actually a writer” fully happened. The main turning point was probably when I typed “The End” on that first draft of A Man of Character, way back on December 31st, 2012.
Sure, I was still naïve enough not to realize how far from The End that first draft’s “The End” actually was, but I had also accomplished something I wasn’t positive I could do, and that was write a complete romance, with a beginning, middle, and end.
As to calling myself an author? That came the day my book released; no more was I a writer striving for publication—I was a published author, baby!

 Q:  As you geared up for your Book Release on May 26th, 2015, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?

Hands down, the day my physical proof copy showed up in the mail. I ripped the package open, and there it was—my book. MY book, with my name (okay, pen name) on my cover, and all the words in between that little old me had written.
I was so excited that I ran right out the front door and halfway down the street to show my husband and daughter (they were chatting with a friend). And I. Don’t. Run.
A close second was watching the pre-orders tick up. Sure, they were probably all from friends and family, but who cares? Knowing thirty people were willing to take a chance on my book before it even hit the (virtual) shelves? That was thrilling!

Q:  Will you always write romance with a bit of whimsy?  Is that your favorite topic to explore?

Whimsy. What a wonderful word. And, gosh, I sure hope so. I absolutely adore romances with witty interplay between hero and heroine, that back-and-forth dance of verbal seduction, and hope to someday be half as good as Julia Quinn at writing that kind of prose. I also love romances that don’t take themselves too seriously, that can have fun in the middle of all the chaos and heartache, that can poke fun at themselves (like Eloisa James’ recent Four Nights With the Duke). That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good, heavy, angst-ridden read—I do (think Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm). But books with that magical balance of humor and emotion always hook me. Please let me live up to that wonderful descriptor for my writing—I would most definitely love to be known for writing whimsical romance.

Q:  Did you know someone like “Cat”? 

True answer? Yes. Very, very well. Cat is me. And Eliza is me. Hey, they say write what you know, and especially for my first book, it was very easy to tap into the person I both know the best and often understand the least: myself.
Cat is the Eeyorish side of me, the side that falls down into pessimism, that worries, that struggles to believe good is a comin’.
Eliza is me on chocolate. Okay, rather, she’s the Tiggerish side of me, the side that is optimistic, that believes in true love and happily ever afters, that cracks sarcastic comments and consumes entirely too much cheesecake, and is basically a goofball.
Of course, as I was writing, each character took on a life of their own, so by the end, are Cat and Eliza truly me? Yes and no. There are elements there, similarities, but no, now they are definitely their own people. I think.

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

Well, the authors I most want to emulate are what I call my Regency Triumvirate: Julia Quinn, Sabrina Jeffries, and Eloisa James. Of course, now Sarah MacLean, Erin Knightley, and Tessa Dare are nosing their way in there, so it’s more like a Regency Sexumvirate. Uh, is that a word? If not, it should be. And it sounds, ahem, perfect for describing romance writers, doesn’t it?
However, my first book is not the Regency historical I always thought I’d write. No, of course not. The first one is a lightly paranormal contemporary romantic comedy, because the book’s premise (what if a woman discovers the men she’s dating are characters she created long ago?) hit me over the head and wouldn’t let go.
Given that I don’t read a lot of lightly paranormal contemporary romantic comedy, it’s hard for me to know if I sound like anyone else, although a recent reviewer said my writing reminded her of Cecilia Ahearn. (I promptly picked up a number of Ms. Ahern’s books and added them to my Leaning Tower of To-Be-Read Books, but haven’t gotten to them yet.) I can only assume someone saying I reminded them of a popular writer who’s had books made into movies is a good thing, right?

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us…

Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely if I could tell you I adhere to a regular daily schedule? Wouldn’t it be lovely if I did? Most of the time, my primary writing time is the morning, and, ideally, you’ll find me down in my Writing Cave (desk in the one room in the basement that has no windows, so yes, literally a cave), typing away. Or, I admit, checking Facebook and Twitter far too often, and then maybe typing away.
Occasionally, when I can’t go another hour without sunlight somewhere in my vicinity, I settle into the big, falling-apart armchair in my living room, and type, type, type away there.
Sometimes I break it up by heading out to Panera, to type among people—being social while isolating myself, as it were …

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books?

I have a zillion. I listed six above, who are all Regency authors. In the ‘80s, when I first fell for romance, I couldn’t get enough of LaVyrle Spencer, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, Susan Johnson, Pamela Morsi. I fell in love with Lisa Kleypas, Jane Feather, Betina Krahn, and many more.
Then I <cough cough> went on a romance hiatus for about five or so years. I had small children, but also, some silly part of me felt like now that I was married and a mom, I ought to give up the romance. Luckily, stumbling across Julia Quinn’s “The Duke and I” cured me of that dumb notion, and launched me into a love affair with a bevy of new-to-me authors, like the Sexumverate above, and new names I discover all the time.
I just wish I had more time to read. Scratch that: I wish I took more time to read—writing has definitely sucked away a lot of my free time, but I must admit, if I stepped away from the computer, if I gave up my evening habit of delving into a BBC show episode or two, I’d get more reading done. I do, however, read for at least 5-10 minutes every day. It just needs to be more.
As for specific books? I did blog about my 5 favorites once (http://margaretlocke.com/what-are-your-top-five-favorite-romance-novels-of-all-time/), but I’m sure I could add more to the list. I tend to fall in love with authors more than specific books, but the one book I refused to give up when on that idiotic self-imposed romance hiatus was Lynn Kurland’s Stardust of Yesterday.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author?

On the practical side, I love that I get to do something that fits in with my family’s schedule and needs. I’ve been at home with my kids since they were born. Now that they’re older (9 and 14), they’re much more independent, but it’s still much easier to have me available (for taxi service, meal prep, deep philosophical discussions) than not.
Oh, also on the practical side? I love that bras and showers are sometimes optional.
On the emotional side, first and foremost, I love the fact that I followed through on a dream I’d had since I was a teen. I love the ecstasy of the first draft, of amusing myself with something I’ve written, of watching characters and scenes and story come alive.
And second, I love the people that writing has brought into my life. Writing, by nature, is a solitary activity, perfect for the introverted half of me. But the extroverted half craves interaction and connection, and I cannot believe how much my life has changed for the better now that I’ve added so many writing-related friends to my life. Whether in person or online, whether talking to writers or readers, it’s been such a blessing to me to surround myself and be surrounded by people who love what I love. Can a girl get any luckier than that?

Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

A Matter of Time is set for a fall debut, although I don’t have the date narrowed down just yet; I’m waiting to see what my editor says about the draft I sent her this afternoon.
In it, A Man of Character’s best friend/sidekick extraordinaire Eliza James gets her own shot at finding her happily ever after – in England. With a Duke. In 1812.
It’s long been Eliza’s fantasy to live out a love story worthy of the Regency romances she loves to read. Every girl deserves her own Darcy, right?
Only what happens when the Duke in question turns out to be less than Prince Charming?

Lastly, Book or eBook??

There’s room for both. I admit, I love a physical book. That’s one of the key reasons I turned down the digital press that offered to publish A Man of Character: I couldn’t imagine not holding this book in my hands.
However, I, who once swore she’d never get into reading online (the eye strain, people!), now happily own far more Kindle titles than I ought, and I enjoy reading them on my iPad’s Kindle app.
I do worry that digital reading makes books feel more disposable and less valuable (especially since their price points are often so low).
And hey, you just can’t beat snuggling in bed with a good book propped open over your face, and a cat sitting at your side, right? Still, let’s not make it book versus ebook; let’s make it book plus ebook. The more, the merrier, baby.

Thank you so much for letting me blather on here on your blog, and for reviewing A Man of Character! I’ve had a blast!

#SPOTLIGHT ~ “A Man of Character” by Margaret Locke

Join me…I am reading this right now!!!!  It is already addicting….Just call me Eliza!

A Man of CharacterSummary:

What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you’d created long ago?

Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do…especially since something about them seems eerily familiar.

A startling revelation – that these men are fictional characters she’d created and forgotten years ago – forces Cat to reevaluate her world and the people in it. Because these characters are alive. Here. Now. And most definitely in the flesh.

Her best friend, Eliza, a romance novel junkie craving her own Happily Ever After, is thrilled by the possibilities. The power to create Mr. Perfect – who could pass that up? But can a relationship be real if it’s fiction? Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which – or whom – she wants more.

Blending humor with unusual twists, including a magical manuscript, a computer scientist in shining armor, and even a Regency ball, A Man of Character tells a story not only of love, but also of the lengths we’ll go for friendship, self-discovery, and second chances.

“Center of Gravity” by Laura McNeill

Center of Gravity

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Laura McNeill is now a favorite author of mine. She had me sitting at the edge of my seat, reading this book everywhere…I hated putting it down. This is a truly gripping story from beginning to end.

Laura McNeill tells this story from the view of each character involved, which made each of them more real. Ava is a woman fighting for her life and two children.

Ava met Mitchell at the school where she worked and his son, Jack attended. Mitchell had lost his wife to a devastating death, and seems to be the perfect man…good looking, hard worker, charming. He seemed to be the perfect mate for any woman. Ava also fell in love with Jack, his 8 year old son…so, after they were married, Ava adopted him. Then, she got pregnant with their son, Sam, who is now 1. They seem to have it all, a beautiful home and a great family life. Until things are no longer great and beautiful!

Mitchell becomes increasingly angry, jealous and mean towards Ava for any reason he feels deemed fit. He does not pay any attention to his children. Ava wants to give Mitchell the benefit of the doubt, and believe it is because he lost his last wife, stressed at work, or stressed with the new staircase going in to the house. She wants to believe that this is just a phase.

Until he moves out and takes the children with him! Now, she knows this is not a phase.

This is where the book takes off because you absolutely cannot look away!

I promise that you will be so enthralled in this story, that the outcome cannot come fast enough! Can Ava save herself and her children from this monster of a man? She has to fight to get her children back, as she does this, she learns more about his past….and, it is all rather disturbing. She is finally seeing the real Mitchell.

Ava states “I will wear their love like armor”…and, she does just that. But, will it be enough?

5 Stars

#GIVEAWAY~Everyone is a Winner!! Help me celebrate Samantha’s New Release!

Up to I DoA Questionable Friendship

My friend and author, Samantha March has a newly released book, and to celebrate, she is offering an eBook copy of her last book, “A Questionable Friendship”.  AND, as a bonus, anyone that enters will receive the first chapter in her newly released book, “Up to I Do”, which I am reading now!!  Won’t you join me!  Go get your copy at amazon.com.

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER YOUR NAME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION TO WIN!

Here is my review of “A Questionable Friendship”! 

WOW!! Bravo! What an amazing story!! What an ending!! I finished the book two days ago, but could not imagine writing a review that would give Samantha March’s story proper justice. I have been savoring the memory of the story from beginning to end, as this is a story that will be left with you. You will carry it in your heart! This I promise you! You will find yourself questioning at least one of your friendships, and wonder if you are doing as these two friends did….you will look at your marriage, your life…everything will look very different. I learned quite a few lessons while reading this story. KUDOS to Samantha March! She sends a powerful message in this story….One we all need to hear.

Let me say that the book is superbly written….it flowed perfectly from the first word to the last. Samantha March is very talented story-teller and I just purchased her other books and look forward to reading them (there are two others available right now) and to all of her future stories. I hope she has one on the horizon…sooner, rather than later.

We are introduced to two Best Friends, Brynne and Portland. They live in Maine. Both are married, Brynne has a four-year-old daughter; to whom Portland is the Godmother. Brynne owns a book store called “EJ Reads”, named after her daughter, Emmy Jo. Portland works at the bookstore just to get out of the house, as her husband Trent is successful enough that she does not have to work. They share vacations, holidays and dinner once a week after which Brynne and Portland catch up on a “Real Housewives” episode, and their husbands, Aaron and Trent play pool or just hang out. They feel they are more like family than just friends.

They met when they were put together as roommates in college, and they are now 25 years old. They trust that they are the best of friends, and believe they know everything about one another. The question is: Are they truly being honest with one another? What makes a best friend?

I loved a quote from the book, “We never learned how to be grownups with each other”!! Makes you think doesn’t it!! I bet you have one (or more) friends that you walk this fine line with…..You will certainly think of at least one. You will wonder why you prefer to walk around acting like your life is so perfect, when there may be flaws…and you may need help with something. What makes us want our friends to look at us through rose-colored glasses?

They each try to not “bother” the other with their true issues: The issues that a best friend should be available to help with or at least listen. They each feel the other has a perfect life. Yet, neither of them does. This story still has me reeling with thoughts. Would things have been better for each of them if they were more open with one another…

5 Stars.

#SPOTLIGHT: “Up to I Do” by Samantha March (LOOK AT THIS COVER!!!)

Up to I Do

Emerson Sinclair, twenty-seven year old hotel heiress, has said yes. With just over a year to plan her extravagant, over the top nuptials to Logan Worthington, it’s all hands on deck with the wedding plans. A Sinclair marrying into the Worthington family is the talk of their small New Hampshire town, and ideas include filming the wedding for a TV segment. But as the items get checked off the list, plans start to go … not as planned. From not getting a designer dress to a selfish bridesmaid and unaccountable best man, Emerson is afraid her wedding will be more a joke than anything.
When both her mother and sister seemingly begin to lose interest in her wedding plans in favor of their own personal lives, Emerson fears her big day will turn into the forgotten wedding. With the pressure to pull off a beautiful and elegant event that everyone expects from their respectable families, Emerson starts to forget the reason why she is saying I Do in the first place.
But her spirited Grams is there to make sure neither happens. With her help and guidance, Emerson not only has her wedding plans back on track, but she remembers the reason why they are going through the stress of wedding planning – because at the end of it all she gets to marry her true love, and marriage is defined by more than a wedding.