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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ARC Review: Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips never fails to entertain. I’ve read a couple of her books before so I have an idea of what to expect. She usually delivers a funny, quirky, heart-warming romance. This was no exception. Her new book “Heroes Are My Weakness” is all the above with a little more.

Antoinette (Annie) is a ventriloquist. Her five puppets give her the strength and alter egos she needs. And Annie really needs them at the beginning of the story! She is back in Maine at a small island where she grew up. Annie has just lost her mother, Mariah. Mariah and Annie didn’t have a very warm and loving relationship. From the flashback we can see that Annie spent all of her life trying to gain her mother’s approval. The small cottage where Annie is traveling to was left to Mariah as part of the divorce from the hero, Theo Harp’s father. Annie is miserable and broken. She is recovering from pneumonia and has financial trouble and other problems as well. One of the problems she has is that she also runs into her ex-stepbrother. She and Theo have a very long history.

Theo is back on the island living in his father’s house. He is on the island trying to escape his own problems. He recently lost his wife and is also working on his new book. Theo is less than thrilled to see that Annie is back on the island. Where Annie is fun and light, Theo is dark and brooding.

I really liked Annie. I thought she was a funny and hilarious character. She is a talented ventriloquist but doesn’t always use her talents for good deeds. Annie and Theo were romantically involved when they were growing up but a series of events cause her to become terrified of him.

There were so many layers to this story that it’s difficult to give it one description. It was a romance, tragedy, dark, funny, complex and all these would be accurate. The point is I really loved it and could not put it down. Annie says so many hilarious things to Theo that I literally laughed-out-loud. Her constant reference to his dead bodies were so well delivered that they kept me laughing. Aside from the development of these two characters there is also the mystery surrounding who is trying to get Annie out of the cottage. Her life is sometimes in danger and there is the “who is trying to get Annie off the island” theme.

Theo was a great hero. At first it was hard to understand him because, as the reader, we experience him as Annie does. But I really liked Theo and thought that he had great chemistry with Annie. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I had such a great time reading it and highly recommend it.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Kobo | iTunes |

Monday, September 15, 2014

ARC Review: A Winter Wedding by Amanda Forester

This was my first time reading Amanda Forester so I was not sure what to expect. I can gladly say that A Winter Wedding (Marriage Mart #3) was a book that I enjoyed! I thought that her writing was easy to follow, her plot was very well developed and well-driven throughout. Finally, I really enjoyed the main characters and the secondary characters.

Since this is the third book in the series there might have been details that I missed but it did not stop me from enjoying it. Penelope has sisters and they were the focus in the prior books. Although the sisters appear in this book they play a small part.

Miss Penelope Rose was a fantastic character. I thought that she really carried the story. Pen is a jack-of -all -trades. She is the companion to Antonia Lockton, Dowager Duchess of Marchford. Although Pen is a part of the ton because of her age and her single status she is left with no respectable option than to become a companion. Antonia’s grandson is James, The Duke of Marchford. The Duke of Marchford is society’s biggest catch. The problem is that Marchford works for the Crown catching spies and on different missions. Since women are always throwing themselves at him it stops him from being able to carry out his duties as effectively as he can. Pen is also his “assistance”. She is very clever and often helps him spy on people that he suspects are up to no good. Aside from these two duties, she and Antonia match up couples under the name Madame X. Different members in society pay Madame X to match them up.

Pen and James are a great couple. They are friends because Pen is his grandma’s companion and because of this they spend a lot of time together. James asks Pen to marry him very early in the story because he thinks it will be the answer to both their problems. James won’t have to avoid the single ladies of the ton and Pen will no longer have to leave- Antonia is getting married to her first love.

Pen and James have great adventures since they are always trying to figure out who the sinister characters are- and there are some very sinister characters. This spy aspect of the story really made the story fun and their dynamic more adventurous.

Some issues I had with this book are: 1) it has very little to do with matchmaking. The description of the story makes it sound like Pen tries to find a wife for Marchford, this is a very tiny almost non-existent part of the story. 2) James has commitment issues. Since his mother abandoned him years ago, that is why he lives with his grandma. I thought that the author really played his mother’s role very well and I was completely surprised with how she appeared in the story. 3) The first 70 % of the books was fantastic. There is a mix of romance and espionage. The problem was the last 30 % of the book. Besides the many different storylines going on, I thought that the author added too much. It was became more about spying. Also, James and Pen kept wanting to marry and not marry. This became very redundant. Two characters that remained true to character were Pen and Antonia. They had a fun dynamic all throughout. Overall, I do recommend this story and enjoyed it.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Kobo | iTunes |

Review: Honey Whiskey by Carina Adams

Honey Whiskey is the second book in the Bastards MC series by Carina Adams, and is the continuing story of Jo and Matty. I would definitely recommend that you read the first book Always Been Mine before you read Honey Whiskey so that you can get the full back story on the characters and see everything that has happened in their past. I think that both books are worth the read and that you will not want to miss out on any part of what happens for these two characters. If you haven't read the first book, beware of possible spoilers in this review.

Jo Walker and Matt Murphy have been in love with each other for years. Far longer than they should have been, but their friendship grew and changed as their lives did. Matt is a member of the Bastards MC and lives two separate lives. He has never had any regrets about his life except for when he left Jo behind. After everything they had been through, they walked away from one another even though it killed them both. With more secrets between them than truths, there were things that Matt thought that he could never tell Jo. But as they try to continue with their lives, fate has other plans and continues to bring them together. But in order for them to fully be together, Matt must decide if he can finally tell Jo everything. And what happens when Jo finally knows the truth about everything?

I really liked both Jo and Matt. I know that their relationship didn't start off the best in the first book, but life is messy and you don't always control who you fall in love with. I think that the attraction and bond between these two was so strong, and they were meant to be together. It was always clear to me that these two belonged to one another, but that life and outside influences had a way of screwing things up for them. It was hard to read parts of this book, because you could see how much each of these characters were hurting. They had already been through so much, and yet they continued to get dealt some really bad deals and I just wanted them to work everything out between them. I think that both Jo and Matt really grew a lot over the course of the two books, and were able to find out a lot about themselves and each other. Even when they did things that I didn't agree with or like, I really felt like their feelings for one another never went away and that they were true and real. I could not get enough of these two together, and they were so hot together.

Overall, I thought that this was a really good follow up to the first book. While I liked the characters and enjoyed getting more of them, there were a few things that kept this one from being five stars for me. I felt like these two took a really long time to figure things out, and at times their decisions seemed to just be on repeat. They would do the same things over and over that would drive me nuts and I just wanted to shake them both and tell them to be honest with one another and just have a conversation without freaking out or running away. I also felt like this book focused a lot more on the goings on of the club, and the relationship between Jo and Matt got a bit lost in all the details and action. I wanted more of those two rather that all the rest of the characters. I did like that this book gave us multiple POVs though. I felt like it really added a lot to this story, and it was great as a reader to see what both Jo and Matt were going through and their thoughts on everything that was happening. I really loved the friendship that developed between Jo and Rocker in this story. She needed someone really badly at times throughout this book, and I liked that Rocker was able to be that person for her. I can't wait to get to know him better in the next book, and see what happens with him. I would definitely recommend these books, and I think that while you get that MC feel that these are completely different than most other MC stories that I have ever read. I will definitely read more from Carina Adams in the future, and look forward to Rocker's story next.

**Review Copy Provided by Between the Sheets Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Interview with Author Amanda Forester and Giveaway

Meet author Amanda Forester, author of A Winter Wedding.

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in clinical psychology and a Masters degree in theology. As a psychologist, she has worked as a clinical researcher and a university instructor (what they call you when they don’t want to give you tenure). None of which has anything to do with writing romance novels. After trying for many years to stop the internal storylines floating around her head, she finally gave up and wrote one down. Now when she is caught daydreaming and talking to herself she can just say, “I’m plotting a scene for my next novel,” which sounds so much better than, “I’m hallucinating and responding to internal stimuli.”

Amanda lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, three lazy house pets and one destructive puppy who is part yellow lab part tornado.

Amanda enjoys writing historical romance and splits her time between the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland and the lively banter within the drawing rooms of Regency England. She enjoys researching the history almost as much as the writing, and attempts to provide the reader with a glimpse of the historical reality, though usually without the fleas. She enjoys sharing her passion for romance and history and loves hearing from readers.

Find Amanda at:

ARC Review: Uninhibited by Melody Grace

Uninhibited is the fourth book in Melody Grace's Beachwood Bay series, but can be read as a standalone. This installment was so good, and honestly it is the best one yet in my opinion. I absolutely loved this story and I loved the characters. Dex was my favorite book boyfriend from the Beachwood Bay series by far, and is definitely one that I will always remember. I highly recommend this one, and can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Alicia has been in love with her best friend from college for years, but has never told him. He met the girl of his dreams though and is getting married to her leaving Alicia with a broken heart. The only person that has been able to get Alicia to forget him is the hot rock start that she spent a night with months ago. While still heartbroken, she decides it is time to move on and takes Dex up on his offer of a week together in which he guarantees to get Hunter off her mind. Alicia never acts impulsively and always lives her life according to plan, but she is surprised how being with Dex not only takes her out of her comfort zone but that she is actually enjoying it. As their week together progresses, Dex and Alicia grow closer and real feelings start to develop between them. But can Alicia fully let Hunter go and embrace a future with Dex?

I really loved Dex. He was so fantastic, and I liked seeing all the different sides to him. He was sweet and thoughtful, sexy and confident. I loved that he didn't take advantage of Alicia and that he took his time with her. He wanted to show her that she was worth more, and I think that it was really sweet that he showed her how great she was. He was struggling with his own issues, but he really was patient with Alicia while supporting and encouraging her the whole time. Alicia was great as well. She had always done the easy and predictable thing, never allowing herself to be spontaneous or adventurous. But with Dex, she was more open and relaxed and really embraced life. I liked seeing her discover that side to herself with the help of Dex. I thought that they were great for each other, and they both helped the other to heal and move forward with their lives. They had amazing chemistry and were extremely hot together. I thought that the emotional connection that they shared though was what made their relationship so memorable and special.

Overall, I really can't recommend this book enough. Dex and Alicia were amazing together, and I loved every word of their story. They belonged together, and I loved watching them fall in love with each other. This book was sweet and sexy, and was exactly what I was looking for. Melody Grace really hit this one out of the park, and in my opinion it was the best book I have read of hers to date. Dex and Alicia's story is one that will stick with me and that I know I will go back and read over and over. I have enjoyed this series and would recommend checking it out if you haven't already, but this book is one that I think is a must read. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and can't wait to get to know Dex's sister better and see her HEA.

**ARC Provided by Mark My Words Book Publicity**

Purchase: | Amazon |