Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review - It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze
 
Pepper moves from New York to Love Street in Everland, Georgia, for the start of a promising legal career. When she arrives she discovers that she relocated for a promise that doesn't come true. She has no income and won't be able to do something else with her legal career in Everland, because it's such a small town. Fortunately Pepper's new neighbor, Rhett, helps her out and finds her a job. Rhett is the local vet and one of the town's most eligible bachelors. Nothing in his life is private and he hates being in the spotlight. With Pepper so close to him he can't shake off the curious inhabitants of Everland any longer. Will he keep his distance because of this or does he take a chance to get to know his new neighbor after all?
 
Pepper's only option to make some money is temporarily taking over someone's dog walking business. This is the most awful job she can think of, as Pepper is afraid of dogs. Not being able to pay her bills, however, scares her even more. She needs a new life plan and Everland is a nice place to enjoy herself a bit and think about her future. Maybe she will get over her phobia by spending more time with the animals she doesn't like and Rhett can assist her when she needs it. Pepper doesn't count on Rhett being so attractive though, will she be able to resist falling in love with the handsome vet?
 
It Happened on Love Street is a wonderful story. I immediately loved Everland. The street names are magical, the inhabitants are eccentric and cute and the community spirit is amazing. Reading about this enchanting place put a big smile on my face. Pepper tries to be responsible. She doesn't follow her heart and all of her decisions are rational, which doesn't work at all in Everland. Living next door to Rhett, becoming part of the small town and falling in love with the dogs she used to be so afraid of, slowly changes her and that was fabulous to witness.
 
Pepper has a good heart and she's perfect for Rhett, who's just as kind, or maybe even kinder. After someone broke his heart he tries to stay out of the public eye, but by doing so he actually achieves the exact opposite. It only makes people more curious and they want him to be happy with someone, so everyone is trying to make him have a love life, which is something I found really funny. Pepper and Rhett have sparkling chemistry and it was fun to read about their relationship. It's clear from the start that they have found true love, but the circumstances are less than ideal. I read It Happened on Love Street in one sitting because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to them.
 
Lia Riley writes original romantic stories. I love the way she approaches the genre. She has a delightful outlook on life and her main characters always have fabulous quirks. She made me laugh out loud several times while reading It Happened on Love Street. It's a terrific romantic story with a great charming atmosphere. There are plenty of sexy scenes and in between there are a lot of surprising twists and turns. I especially loved Everland's treasure hunt and the Scrabble matches in the park. It Happened on Love Street is a very special book, it's a great happy story with a gorgeous endearing ending.
 
Advice
 
If you love amazing original small town romance you will definitely like It Happened on Love Street.

Seven Romantic Books & Hot Chocolate for One Mug Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win seven romantic books and a Hot Chocolate for One mug. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Romantic Books of Choice Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win romantic books of your choice worth $30. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

With Love For Reviews - Guest Post by Amy McNulty

 
 Love (Hate or Even Just Like) a Book? Leave a Review
Guest post by Amy McNulty

If you spend any time following social media or reading newsletters from authors, you’re probably no stranger to their calls for readers to leave a review. Maybe you’d like to help, but you have no idea what to say. Perhaps you’ve left a review or two before, but it takes up a lot of your time. Maybe you figure enough other readers will leave a review, so your thoughts on a book don’t really need to be said.

However, I’ll be one more author to ask that you please reconsider—and always leave a review. Amazon reviews are still the most beneficial for authors, although Goodreads, your blog and social media profiles, and any other retailer of your choice are good places to leave reviews as well. However, the reason why authors value those Amazon reviews so much is because so much of our marketing strategies still rely on the number of ratings (and average rating) on our books’ Amazon pages.

Amazon itself is more likely to highlight books with lots of ratings and books with a high average score. These free promotions can lead to hundreds or even thousands of sales in the course of a week. Book bargain newsletters—some of which may be familiar to you, such as BookBub, Ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, Book Barbarian, Fussy Librarian, etc.—oftentimes only allow books with a certain number of ratings and a certain average score to be featured in their newsletters, which can lead to dozens or hundreds of sales in a day. A high Amazon score also just helps the casual shopper decide whether or not to buy a book that’s been recommended to them based on their interests. These shoppers are less likely to stop by Goodreads to read reviews before they buy.

The best way you can thank an author for writing a book you love (especially if you got a free review copy) is to follow through and leave a review in as many places as possible. That said, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review even if you just thought it was okay—even if you hated it. A book that has nothing but 4- and 5-star reviews may have indeed been that universally beloved, but many shoppers view those books with suspicion. It can actually help an author to have a few 1-, 2-, or 3-star reviews if that’s how the readers genuinely feel about the book so casual shoppers know people are sharing their honest opinions.

What do you leave in a review? You can write as much or as little as you like. Goodreads users especially seem to enjoy long reviews, even complete with images and GIFs, but there’s no need to spend hours on your review if that doesn’t interest you. On Amazon especially, a simple “I liked/loved/didn’t like this book” is genuinely all you need to help an author out. If you want to go into more detail, you might discuss your favorite and least liked characters or things in the plot you liked or didn’t like (be careful to warn about spoilers), but you don’t need to feel daunted by writing a detailed review. You might even focus on how quickly (or slowly) you felt compelled to read the book or just the feelings it left you with.

While not all authors read their reviews, those who do find positive reviews especially bolstering. It’s nice to see that our characters and worlds connected with readers, that you love the result of a lot of hard work and time spent on writing and polishing our books. That said, you’re free to write negative

reviews as well, but if you loved a book especially, please consider letting other people know via a review. Sometimes an author needs that boost to keep working hard on the next project.

Leaving a review needn’t be as time-consuming or daunting a prospect as you might think. It’s really one of the key ways to give back to an author, after buying their books (or getting them from a library) and sharing your recommendations with friends. Thank you to every one of you who has ever taken the time to write a review!

About Amy McNulty

 
Bio: Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Author links
 

Books by Amy

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ride Rough by Laura Kaye - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Book review
By Suze
 
Maverick is the vice-president of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. The club protects vulnerable people who are having a hard time and one of the women Maverick is keeping an eye on is his ex girlfriend and the love of his life, Alexa. Her fiancé, Grant, is a rich businessman who's all about control. Alexa doesn't see what kind of man she's living with until she's about to marry him. Grant made sure she had everything she dreamed off, but his unpredictable behavior starts to scare her. Fortunately Maverick is there to help her out and Alexa discovers that she still has feelings for the man she left behind.

Grant doesn't want to let Alexa go and he will do everything in his power to make sure she will come back to him and become his wife, he wants to own her and isn't giving up. It doesn't mean anything to him that Alexa has broken up with him. Will Maverick be able to keep her safe and while doing so, does he have a second chance to convince her he loves her with all his heart and is the man she should be with?

Ride Rough is a gripping story about abuse, power games and true love. Alexa is a sweetheart. She lovingly cares for her mentally ill mother, she makes sure everyone around her is happy and she works hard for her future. I immediately liked her and it saddened me that she was engaged to such an awful calculated man. Grant is cruel and Alexa only discovers his true nature just before their wedding. Maverick has always kept an eye on her. He's kind to her, even though she broke his heart, and helps her to escape. Alexa never stopped loving him, but she went through something traumatic that made her leave him. She finally opens her eyes and realizes that Maverick is the man she should be with, but Grant isn't giving up. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see where that would lead and read Ride Rough in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.

Laura Kaye writes about abuse in a raw and honest way. She doesn't spare her main characters and her stories are very emotional. I love how deep she's willing to dig into the personalities she's writing about. The Raven Riders might be rough men, but they all have big hearts. They care about each other and about their women, but also about complete strangers in need of help. That's an admirable mentality and I love the Raven Riders series because of it.

Laura Kaye's vivid writing makes her story come to life very well. Her stories are sexy, romantic and emotional, which is a great combination. The Raven Riders regularly get into trouble. They're good men, but doing what they do doesn't make them popular with everyone and they have quite a few dangerous enemies. Grant is one of them and reading about their conflicts and his willingness to go far to bring them down kept me on the edge of my seat. Ride Rough is a terrific captivating story with an amazing scary ending.

Advice

If you love gripping, sexy and romantic stories about motorcycle gangs you will definitely like Ride Rough. It's the second book in the Raven Riders series and can be read as a standalone.
 
Raven Riders Series Trailer


About Laura Kaye


Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and monster puppy, Schuyler, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Author links


Excerpt

It was one of Maverick’s favorite dreams.

He and Alexa had gone up to Swallow Falls in Western Maryland for a weekend getaway and were staying in one of the mini cabins at the state park. After a day of hiking and swimming and picnicking outside, they’d come back to their cabin tired and ready to crash, but getting naked for showers had sidetracked them for hours. And even once they finally fell asleep, Maverick was hard and ready every time he woke up, and he took her again and again, falling asleep still buried inside her . . .

And fuck if he wasn’t ready right now.

He burrowed his face in Alexa’s soft hair and banded his arm around her stomach. His hand filled with the soft mound of her breast. He pulled her back against his chest and ground his erection against the swell of her ass.

“Maverick,” she moaned.

Hell, yeah. He nuzzled her neck, kissed her there, tasting and nipping and sucking. God, he needed in her. “Fuck, Alexa,” he whispered.

Her hand gripped his. “Maverick.”

He rolled her under him and crawled on top of her, his body falling into the cradle of her spread thighs.

“Uh, Maverick.”

He frowned and kissed her jaw, her cheek, her mouth. It was the kiss that did it. Something wasn’t right. The memory playing out in his sleep-fogged mind didn’t feel like the reality confronting his physical senses. His eyes blinked open. And he found himself lying on top of Alexa. Not in the cabin at Swallow Falls years before. In the gray morning light of his house. Her wide hazel eyes stared up at him.

He reared off of her in an instant. “Fuck,” he said, coming to stand by the couch. Alexa looked stunned—and so fucking sexy that Maverick barely resisted crawling back on top of her. She lay on her back in his clothes, on his couch, her knees drawn up and falling out, her hair sleep-mussed and sexy. Jesus. He adjusted himself, unable to hide his raging hard-on, and scrubbed at his face. “Goddamn dream. I’m sorry, Alexa. I didn’t mean to do that.”

“You . . . you were dreaming. Of me?” she whispered.

His gaze narrowed. “Don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to.”

Giveaway


Three very lucky winners will receive a Ride Rough & #ReadHard mini-tote with signed copies of Hard As Steel, Ride Hard and Ride Rough plus swag.



Caught Looking by Jody Holford - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Book review
By Suze
 

Ryan used to be a major league baseball player, but he lost everything. He's suspended, he's being falsely accused of drug possession and his wife betrayed him in the worst possible way. He fled to Minnesota where he lives in a remote country home. He's a broken man, but maybe spending time with his new neighbor Frankie can heal him. Frankie has inherited the dilapidated house next door to Ryan and discovers the house comes with three children. They apparently stayed there before Frankie's aunt passed away and left it to her and now Frankie has to decide what to do with the three boys. Will they be able to stay with her and what role will Ryan be able to play in their lives? Will his past make it more difficult for Frankie to be allowed to adopt them? Should he choose to stay away, even though this means he would be giving up the happiness he finally found?

Caught Looking is a beautiful story about a very special woman. Frankie is kind and generous. When she finds three orphan boys in her home she does everything she can to care for them and to make them feel at home. She even wants to adopt them, but being allowed to do so proves to be difficult. Especially since she's in a relationship with a man who's being charged for drug possession. Ryan might be falsely accused, but there are people who believe what they read in the papers. He's heartbroken because of everything that happened to him, but being with Frankie and spending time with the boys heals the worst part of his emotional wounds. It's clear from the start that Ryan and Frankie are soul mates, but being together isn't easy, especially since there are so many things that can go wrong because of it. Ryan's had such a difficult time and I had tears in my eyes when I read about everything he went through. He deserves all the love and attention he can get and I read the book in one sitting because I couldn't wait to find out if he and Frankie would find their happily ever after.

Caught Looking is an amazing story with an impressive and surprising ending. Jody Holford writes about difficult subjects in a wonderful sympathetic way. I immediately loved her main characters. They have such good hearts and warm personalities. While her story is romantic, it also has quite a bit of depth. Frankie's fighting for the boys with everything she has and her determination is admirable. While Ryan is trying to get over everything that happened when his career ended in an unfair way he's also there for Frankie. I loved that aspect of the story and I liked the vivid and honest way Jody Holford writes about all the obstacles in their way. Caught Looking is a book that put a smile on my face and brought tears to my eyes at the same time, it's a great, captivating bittersweet story and I highly recommend it.

Advice

If you love reading romantic stories about people with good hearts you will definitely like Caught Looking.
 
About Jody Holford


Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.

Author links


Excerpt

As he edged near the property line, he caught sight of toned, shapely legs swinging from the branch of a tree. His neighbor was doing pull-ups. On a tree.

“What the hell are you doing?” Ryan said the words to himself, his finger sliding off of the trigger. Frankie hadn’t heard him. Her earbuds’ cord was connected to the iPod strapped to her arm. He repeated his question, louder, and she startled, dropping from the limb she’d been holding. Pulling her earphones out, she smiled and gave a surprised laugh. Lust curled tight in his stomach at the sound. Which pissed him off since he didn’t need more complications in his life.

“Hey. Didn’t see you there, neighbor.” 

She wiped the sweat off her brow with the back of her hand. Strands of hair were escaping the ponytail sitting high on her head. She put her hands on her hips, gulping in air, still smiling. His eyes roamed over the tone and definition of her arms. Arms weren’t supposed to be a turn on. They were just something to have wrapped around you. Along with legs. But legs were a turn on. Still, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her arms. They led up to sleek shoulders and a graceful collarbone. When his eyes met hers, she was grinning and he knew he’d been caught looking. 

“You’re doing pull-ups on a goddamn tree?”

“Um, it’s my tree,” she said, looking back and forth between him and the tree. Small as she was, the tree didn’t look like it could hold its own branches, never mind a person’s weight.

“Actually, it’s smack in the middle of our property line. So stay the hell off it and get a pull-up bar.”

She rested a hand on the bark and smiled at him with something like fire flashing in those blue eyes. Her breath was a bit uneven, but firm. “I’ve never shared a tree with anyone. It feels like a big step.”

He bit back a smile. “Funny. This tree needs to be cut down. It’s rotted.” He kicked at the trunk to show her what he meant.

“Don’t kick our tree,” she said, not even trying to hide her smirk.

“It’s not safe.” Jesus. She was hard to be irritated with. Which, oddly, only irritated him more.

“And as much as I appreciate your neighborly concern, Ryan, I can take care of myself. And our tree. See, my home gym isn’t quite set up yet so I’m using what’s available. If you want, we can work out a schedule for tree use.” 

There was as much sarcasm in her stance as in her tone. This time, the grin spread before he could stop it.

“You’re feisty.”

“You’re a jerk.”

“Yeah. But it’s still not safe. I have an extra pull-up bar in my garage. You put it in the frame of a doorway. I’ll grab it and bring it over,” he said, hoping the gesture served as an apology. 

Which he was man enough to admit she deserved from him.

Frankie’s eyes widened and she took a step back, wariness overshadowing her amusement.

“No thanks. I’m not ready for visitors.”

He arched an eyebrow. “I wasn’t planning on coming for tea.”

She gave a rough laugh. “I don’t need anything from you, Ryan. I’ll pick another tree. Or do push-ups.”

She backed away, the unease in her eyes fascinating the hell out of him. She didn’t want him over. And not because he was a jerk. She waved one perfectly shaped arm over her head as she went back to her house. 

He turned the weed trimmer back on, purposely turning his body in the other direction. He wasn’t going to stand around and watch her go, even across her yard. He’d never watch a woman leave again. Once was enough.

Giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card and a digital copy from Jody Holford's backlist.



Book Review & Excerpt - Lost Rider by Harper Sloan


Book review
By Suze
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Maverick was a successful rodeo star until he injured his head so badly it ended his career. After ten years he has to return home, to his brother Clay and sister Quinn and to the girl he never allowed himself to love, Leighton. Maverick only has bad memories of the past. His father was a cold and abusive man and Maverick was forced to leave Pine Oak before the situation would have gotten completely out of hand. He never told Leighton how he felt, instead he hurt her feelings, so she wouldn't think about him anymore. Did that really work or is Leighton still in love with him? Will being in Pine Oak be as awful for Maverick as it used to be or will he have a future in his hometown together with his siblings and the girl he never forgot?
 
Lost Rider is a sexy romantic story with plenty of moving layers. Maverick built a huge wall around his heart and he constantly tries to push the people who love him away, so they won't be able to hurt him. Being back in Pine Oak is difficult for him, but Maverick wants to make up for the hurt he's caused by leaving his siblings and Leighton behind. His rodeo career left him with enough money, but he has to find something new to fill his time with. My heart ached for both Maverick and Leighton, they went through so much pain because of everything that was done to Maverick when he was a child. He treated Leighton badly, but she can't resist him and when she finally finds out the truth she has no reason to anymore either. I loved their chemistry, their deep emotional connection and the sweet way they treat each other. Their relationship is both hot and tender, which is a great combination.

Leighton is a strong, determined woman. She used to be an insecure teenager and Maverick didn't make her feel better about herself, but she's now a stunning grown woman with a successful business. She has a wonderful caring personality and her generosity and kindness are heartwarming. She's always there for Clay and Quinn and when Maverick returns she shows the warm and forgiving side of her character and acknowledges his pain. She's a beautiful person inside and out and I liked her from the start. She gives Lost Rider a lovely spark and makes the story extra charming.

Harper Sloan's sentences have an easy flow. I love reading small town romance and Lost Rider is definitely a good one. The setting is stunning and I liked how Harper Sloan's writing style perfectly suits the surroundings. The amazing dialogue kept putting a smile on my face. Harper Sloan knows what she's writing about and her main characters are interesting and real. She writes about their struggles with plenty of empathy and honesty, which makes them come to life incredibly well. Lost Rider is a terrific story with an endearing ending. I enjoyed reading this gorgeous compelling story very much.

Advice

If you love small town romance with plenty of depth and sexy scenes Lost Rider will be a great choice.


About Harper Sloan


Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn't writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.
 
Author links


 
Excerpt
 
I should tell Quinn and Clay that he’s here. But one look at him and it’s like the last ten years have never passed and I’m back at the bonfire, the awkward high schooler uncomfortable in her own skin. Marching away from him in the woods. It was the last time I saw him. How is it possible that he can affect me this much after all this time?

He hasn’t noticed me, not with his head bowed, so I quickly turn around and focus on Pastor John as he finishes up his prayer. Him being here means nothing. I should be happy that I remember the pain from that night so well, it will make keeping my walls up around him so much easier.

“On behalf of the Davis family, I want to thank everyone for coming today. At this time, the family has asked for some time alone as they say their good-byes. They wanted me to remind everyone that the PieHole will be opening up for a few hours tonight starting at five for anyone that wishes to join them.”

I keep my arm around Quinn, not looking back to where I saw Maverick. I can hear the church slowly emptying and I feel a frown pull at my lips. I had hoped that when everyone started to leave that he would have come up front to be with his family, but so far, the pew we’re in is still empty save for the three of us. We sit and wait for everyone to leave, something that Clay had asked Pastor John to make arrangements for in place of the customary recessional, knowing that no one in this town would really mean a word of it anyway. Plus, I know Quinn is having a hard time. Regardless of the fact that she wasn’t the closest with her father, she was really counting on this—Maverick home. She’s still shaking in my arms, but when I look over at Clay I realize his silence isn’t because of the heaviness of Buford’s death, but instead anger over his brother’s absence that has started to build to a boil. I fear that he’s seconds away from tipping over the edge.

I stand when Clay and Quinn do, but hang back at the edge of the row we had been sitting in as they meet Pastor John and gather their father’s ashes. I can’t wait to get out of these heels. If it would have been acceptable to wear my boots, I would have, but Quinn would have killed me. As it is, I feel like I can’t take a deep breath with how tight my dress is against my chest. I never wear tight shirts. I haven’t since my boobs became beasts of their own right. I’m too busy fiddling with the straps of my dress, trying desperately to get some of the pressure against my chest to ease up so I could take a deep breath, when I heard Quinn gasp.

“Mav!” Next thing I know she’s running past where I’m standing, her black hair streaming in the air behind her as she speeds forward right into her brother’s arms. Clay moves to stand next to me and I look up to meet his green eyes, the questions he isn’t vocalizing dancing in their emerald depths. He’s not stupid and I’m doing a crappy job at hiding the memories haunting me right now. He gives me a small smile, shifting his hold on the urn to wrap his free arm around me and pulls me into a strong hold.

“You’re shakin’,” he says against my temple and I just nod.

“I’m good, Clay. Go see your brother.”

“I’m fine right where I am, sugar.”

I keep my eyes to the ground, focusing on his worn boots instead of looking up, hating myself for making this moment about me when I should be focused on them. Like it or not, I can’t fight the feelings that being near him bring me. I’m that stupid, naive sixteen-year-old all over again. “Let’s get out of here,” he says after a few silent seconds. I look up and give him a smile, hoping that it looks a hell of a lot braver than I feel. Inside I feel like I might puke.

“You think I could have a second with my family?”

My head shoots up at the coldness I hadn’t anticipated in Maverick’s voice. He’s not focused on me, though, instead looking at his brother with a hard expression and one brow raised upward. 

“Mav!” Quinn gasps and he moves his attention from his brother to her.

“Sorry, Quinn, but I’m thinkin’ that Clay’s lady friend would understand that this should be a moment for our family and give us time alone.”

“I’ll just—”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, sugar,” Clay all but spits through clenched teeth and drops his arm to take a step forward. “You’ve got something to say, Mav, then say it.”

“Nothing to say, Clayton, I just think it would be nice for your girlfriend to give us some space.”

“My girlfriend,” he parrots sarcastically, his deep voice vibrating in anger.

“Mav.” Quinn attempts to butt in, but stops when Maverick leaves her side and turns to stalk out of the church. I should find it comical that he obviously didn’t recognize me, or hell, maybe he did and he’s just picking up where he left off ten years ago in the middle of the dark woods. I take a deep breath. “It’s okay. He’s right. Y’all need some time as a family. I’ll head over to the PieHole and start settin’ up for tonight.”

Quinn brushes a tear from her cheek and just shakes her head. I look at Clay to see him staring in the direction that his brother just left.

“You’re family,” he finally says, not looking in my direction.

“Clay, really, it’s okay. It’s been a long time since y’all were back together and I don’t need to be there for that reunion. It sucks that it takes all of this to finally bring him home, but he’s here and y’all need to make up for a lot of time lost.”

“Shut up, Leighton.”

“Don’t, Clay.”

“Don’t what? You’ve got every right to be here. You’re just as much a part of our family as he is. Hell, maybe even more so than he is at this point. So just shut up, come with us, and ignore him.”

I shake my head, the fight instantly leaving my sails, knowing I would be arguing until the end of time if I

pressed this issue.

“I can’t believe he doesn’t even recognize you,” Quinn whispers.


Book Review & Giveaway - Find Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

 
Book review
By Suze
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Harriet lives in a big house together with her husband and three children. She's part of the popular group of mothers at school and like all of her friends she has plenty of money to spend. Unfortunately her comfortable life abruptly comes to an end when she finds out that Richard, her husband, has lost his job and has re-mortgaged their house. They've been living on credit for months and Harriet had no idea, because Richard didn't tell Harriet about his dire situation. Instead he let himself be comforted by his much younger and very sexy assistant.
 
Harriet is forced to move and Richard won't join her and the kids at their new home. She rents a cottage at Willoughby Close, which is much smaller than they're used to and it takes a lot of time for Harriet and her son and two daughters to adjust. Harriet sees her time at Willoughby Close as something temporary, a place they'll be leaving soon on the way to something better, but is it really so bad? Being at Willoughby Close gives Harriet a chance to recover and to think about what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Is there still a place for Richard in her world and who is she without the glamour, the popular friends and the money? Will she ever be happy again?
 
Find Me at Willoughby Close is another wonderful Willoughby Close story. I love the magic of the place and really enjoyed reading about it again. Harriet thought she had the perfect life, but when she finally has the chance to objectively look at her situation she realizes that it wasn't as ideal as she thought. The money and popularity changed her personality and she has a hard time finding herself again now that she doesn't live in a big house with expensive furniture anymore. It was interesting to see what she would do. She and Richard have grown apart and Harriet isn't sure if they'll ever be a family again. Part of her situation is heartbreaking, but I liked her character a lot more without the arrogance and prejudice that, in her case, came with being the wife of a successful man. Willoughby Close shows Harriet what's important in life and I enjoyed witnessing its healing magic.
 
Kate Hewitt has a lovely descriptive writing style. I love the skilled way she sets the mood of her stories. It's always exactly right and it keeps making me smile. I can easily picture Willoughby Close and think it's an amazing fictional setting, with fascinating characters, people who all have a story to tell, and a fabulous romantic atmosphere. Find Me at Willoughby Close is a great addition to the Willoughby Close series and another book by Kate Hewitt I absolutely loved.
 
Advice
 
If you love romantic stories set in small towns, you will definitely like the Willoughby Close series. The books can be read as standalones, but if you want to read them all I'd start with the first one, A Cotswold Christmas.

 About Kate Hewitt


About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.

Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1
 
Giveaway
 One very lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of Meet Me at Willoughby Close.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review - Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze

Music has always been in Min Kym's blood and from the moment she held the violin for the first time she knew this instrument would make her happy. As a child prodigy her career as a musician was settled. She played with the most inspiring teachers, who were impressed by her talent and she won many prestigious prizes. When, at the age of twenty-one, Min Kym found the instrument of her dreams, a Stradivarius from 1696, she knew she'd have a brilliant future together with her beloved instrument. Unfortunately the good times didn't last, Min Kym lost the instrument that felt like an extra limb, someone stole it from her. Because this violin was her soul mate her life stopped having meaning. When she lost her Stradivarius, she lost a big part of herself.

In Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung Min Kym writes about her life. Music is the most important part of who she is. Her Stradivarius wasn't just an instrument, it was part of her soul. Losing it meant she lost much more than just the instrument itself, she stopped being able to live. A thief took her identity from her and that left a huge hole that isn't easily filled. Min Kym has always worked hard to become a top musician. She has so much talent, she instinctively knows how her favorite instrument works and she can hear things others aren't capable of hearing. She's an admirable person with plenty of determination. Even though she has a sad story to tell, her honest writing and the abundance of interesting information she shares are making her book intriguing and compelling without ever losing the integrity she has in spades.

Min Kym openly tells about her life. She writes about her family, her teachers, the instruments she had the chance to play and her victories and failures. She describes the things she's done well in the same amount of detail as the things that have gone wrong. This made me respect her even more than I already did before I started reading her book. Min Kym might have lost her one true love, but she's strong, she shares her story with the world and she tries to find a way out of the black hole the theft made her fall in. She's a fascinating person with a story to tell and she does this with dignity, she writes in an intelligent and insightful way. I read her book in one sitting, it's moving, intense and heartbreaking, but there's also a glimmer of hope for the future. I wish with all my heart that she finds herself again and will be able to go back to the love of her life, making music she enjoys, so she can heal again.

Advice

Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung is an impressive memoir, it's a perfect choice for readers who love classical music.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book Review - Still Mine by Amy Stuart

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze
 
Clare has run away from her husband and her awful past. She escaped months ago, but knows her husband won't stop looking for her. She has an assignment, looking for Shayna Fowles, a woman who disappeared from her hometown, Blackmore. Clare has to ask questions about someone she doesn't know, but does have a connection with. Blackmore's inhabitants are far from helpful, but Clare has found a way to fit in. This will mean she has to take a huge risk though. Will she be able to find out what happened to Shayna and will the sacrifices she has to make for the sake of information be worth it?
 
Still Mine is a dark story with an oppressive atmosphere. Clare is a woman of contradictions. She's brave, but she is scared, she's strong, but she is weak, she's curious, but doesn't want to acknowledge the truth and she's daring, but she is a coward at the same time. This makes her incredibly interesting. I didn't always like her, I didn't approve of a lot of her actions and I regularly wanted to talk some sense into her, but she's also a vulnerable person who needs protection and I kept hoping she'd find someone friendly enough to put her wellbeing first. This makes fascinating reading and I loved the ambiguous feelings I had while reading her story.
 
Still Mine isn't a standard whodunit. It's more of a psychological journey with many bumps in the road. Amy Stuart writing is beautiful, which is a strange contrast to her raw subject matter. Her story is about a main character that can't entirely be trusted. Clare isn't the most reliable person, but she also has goodness in her and her susceptibility unfortunately makes her the perfect victim for the kind of complicated problems she's getting sucked into. I loved how Amy Stuart plays with her behavior, she certainly made me think, I felt frustrated on Clare's behalf and I was curious to find out more about Blackmore and its many unlikable inhabitants. I loved her original approach of suspense and think she's written a terrific story with plenty of drama, despicable people and unfortunate accidents.
 
Advice
 
Still Mine isn't a standard thriller. The beautiful writing, unlikable characters and vulnerable main character make the story unique and interesting. It's a dark story filled with heavy topics and the ending is semi-open because there will be a second book about Clare, take that into account before you start reading.

Books of Choice Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win $25 to spend on books of your choice. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

With Love For Romantic Books - Should I Stay or Should I Go by Anita Louise - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Anniek

Connor is the youngest of the nine Adler children. He is always the last one to arrive and he's been spoiled by the rest of his family. After the help of his sister-in-law, Jane, Connor has grown up and found meaning in his life. He took over a landscaping business and is doing really well. When Gina walks in at a family party Connor can't take his eyes off her. He isn't looking for love, but could Gina be the one who will change his mind?

Gina has been scarred by a traumatic event, something that was done to her by the first man she ever had a relationship with. Gina has always been a good girl and a great student, but because of her sheltered life she's also a bit naïve. Unfortunately she paid a high prize for this. After graduating she already had plans to go and stay with her aunt Milly. Filled with panic Gina bought the earliest plane ticket she could find to outrun her worst fears. When Connor offers her a job, Gina is over the moon. Will she be able to overcome the anxiety that's a result of what's happened to her?

Connor got into a lot of trouble when he was younger, but no matter what he did, he was always loved by his family. Now that he has his own company he feels the responsibility and the need to succeed. Being the youngest sibling myself, I found it easy to connect with Connor. He's such a sweetheart and I loved the way he is as a boss. He treats everybody with respect and will help in any way he can. He is incredibly patient with Gina and comforts her when she needs it, which is something I really liked about his character. Connor knows what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and it warmed my heart that he was willing to give this to Gina as well.

Gina is such a kind person. Even after being damaged she still cares for people and tries to help her aunt Milly. Gina is smart and she's a very talented landscape artist. She deserves every chance she gets and she works hard for everything and earns her way. Gina doesn't have a bad bone in her body and it pained me that she got hurt so badly because of her big heart. She's insecure at times and I loved that Connor helped her to see her true self. Gina is a beautiful person inside and out and I desperately wished for her to find her happily ever after.

Should I Stay or Should I Go is the fourth book in the Adler series. I must say that I love them all. Every person in this family is worth reading about, because they all bring so much to the table. I find the dynamics within a big family intriguing and the fact that Anita Louise has her own personal role model family shows through in every story. The Adler family has a special place in my heart and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Anita Louise has gotten me hooked ever since Just The Way You Are and I'm glad that there are so many family members she still has to write about. I absolutely love these charming stories.

Advice

Should I Stay or Should I Go is a beautiful and heartwarming story about opening up for love. If you love to read about big families I would highly recommend the Adler series.

About Anita Louise


Anita’s husband comes from a large and loving family of nine children, and they were the inspiration for the Adler Family Series. She’s always been an avid reader of love stories, and her passion for romance found another outlet when she discovered how much fun it was to write about her own smart and sexy heroes and heroines. 

She is also an ardent and devoted student of personal development. Weaving the life changing principles that guided her to the love of her life and to a happy marriage is an important aspect of all of her books.

Author links

Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Since I am the author of romance novels, it helps that I’ve always been a romantic. Cinderella and Prince Charming have lived with me since I was a child, and I see them almost every day. My own life has been the stuff of fairy tales, and I’ve played the role of both the damsel in distress and the fair maiden who wins the heart of the prince. After coming through the distress of an abusive marriage, I am now married to my loving and handsome husband. I’ve had more than enough and have also been a single Mom who lost her home and struggled to keep food on the table for her children. I am who I am today because of all of those experiences, and I’m grateful for everything and everyone who has touched my life.

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

I’m not an adrenaline junkie, so you won’t hear me talking about my hair-raising experiences. Although, I did take a white water rafting trip that certainly had my heart pumping! However, from my perspective as a romantic, seeing or even thinking about that” special someone” can usually be counted on to bring a smile to my face and cause a flutter (or more) in my heart. 

3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?

Ahhh, romance. The best day starts by cuddling up to the man I love. There’s just something special about being held in his strong arms and feeling the beat of his heart next to mine. I love to eat, and breakfast is one of my favorite meals. If truth be told, every meal has something good to offer. :o) Having a cup of coffee and a sweet treat with my sweetie in the morning starts the day on a very nice note. If the weather is cooperative, I find a walk or a bicycle ride to be quite pleasant … and it also helps to work off that little morning indulgence. Sitting in a candlelit restaurant with soft music playing in the background is a wonderful way to wrap up the perfect romantic day. And it ends where it began … back in the arms of the man I love.

4. Who are your favorite romantic couple?

I still love Michael and Analese’s story in “A House is Not a Home” but Olivia and Tyler from “You Light Up My Life” have definitely won a place in my heart. There’s something to be said about a couple who has a long history. The bond created by many years of knowing each other—growing up together is something very special. It seems that for most people there is someone from their youth who always lingers in the back of the mind. What if? 

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?

Romance is showing how much you care. Romance comes in all sizes, shapes and circumstances. Holding a door or pulling out a chair are old-fashioned courtesies often neglected in today’s world. Letting your special someone know you’re thinking about them by sending a quick text with a few x’s and o’s can warm a heart. Spending time together is critical. When you know a person well, you can show them how much you care in a million ways. To me, that is the essence of romance.

6. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?

Not at all. As I mentioned earlier, I am a romantic at heart. Even as a child, I loved the stories of fair maidens and knights in shining armor, or damsels in distress who were saved by the handsome prince. I still enjoy reading other author’s stories of love and romance. I believe you find what you look for in life … what you focus on tends to become your reality. Romance surrounds us, and it is a pleasure to write about such a wonderful topic.

7. Can you tell us about your most romantic experience?

A gondola ride! My husband and I were walking through the Venetian in Las Vegas. Canals with singing gondoliers floated through the water. He took my hand, brought it to his lips and smiled. “Let’s go.” The memory still brings me joy. One day, we plan to go to Venice, Italy and create another memorable romantic experience.

8. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?

Piano, violin, guitar … there are many instruments that lend themselves to beautiful music. Typically, the sounds are smooth and make you relax, breathe more slowly and deeply. There are also some song lyrics that can bring me to tears with their beauty. 

9. Which country personifies romance for you and why?

With the gondola ride fresh in my mind, Italy is certainly near the top of the list. However, many of the tropical islands with their swaying palms and waves lapping up on sandy beaches also hold a romantic appeal. To me, romance can be found almost anywhere at any time.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

Currently, I am working on the sixth book in The Adler Series. “The Things We Do for Love” is Luke and Shelly’s story. They are a couple who has known each other since they were teens, and an attraction was always there. However, the timing was never right. Also, ideas for Gabriella Adler’s love story have been popping into my head, so hers will likely be the one to follow. It is my plan to publish three more books in The Adler Series this year and complete the series in 2018.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a signed paperback copy of Should I Stay or Should I Go. A very lucky runner up will win a digital copy.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Book Reviews & Giveaway - Tiger Days and the Secret Cat & Tiger Days and the Midnight Foxes by Sarah Lean

Reviews by Suze

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Tiger Days is incredibly fond of her grandmother. Grandma, May Days, has bought a new home, Willowgate House and Tiger is staying with her for a while. Willowgate House brings a lot of new adventures. There's a lovely white cat, a warthog to take care of and Tiger meets Tom, whose grandfather lives next door to her grandmother. Tiger's days are never boring, what will she discover during her first visit at Willowgate House?

Tiger is a curious girl. She loves to explore, she is fond of animals and she easily makes new friends. She has a wonderful bond with her grandmother and every day there's something else she should investigate. Sarah Lean combines charming and amusing writing with a warm and welcoming story. Tiger is a fun main character and I loved reading about her stay with her grandmother.

Tiger Days and the Secret Cat is filled with beautiful drawings, which enhance the magic of the story. I love how sweet it is and think every animal loving girl would like this story very much. I really enjoyed reading this first Tiger Days story and think Sarah Lean's series has a delightful strong beginning.
 
Tiger is back at Willowgate House, which means she can spend time with her grandma and her friend Tom again. May Days always has the most amazing plans to entertain her granddaughter and when she doesn't spend time with her grandmother Tiger is trying to unravel a mystery together with Tom. Things keep disappearing and they need their detective skills to find out what's behind all the mysteries at Willowgate House.
 
Tiger Days and the Midnight Foxes is another heartwarming Tiger Days story. Tiger and Tom are getting along well. They both love using their detective skills and there's a big mystery for them to unravel. It's a fun idea for a story and reading about their investigation put a big smile on my face. Tiger is a wonderful friend for Tom and she loves her grandmother very much, which makes the story fun and endearing.
 
Tiger is a brave girl and I admire her inventiveness. Sarah Lean writes about her in a great loving way, which makes the story extra special. Tiger Days and the Midnight Foxes is another terrific book about Tiger and the animals she meets at Willowgate House. The drawings are gorgeous and Sarah Lean's vivid descriptions make the story come to life really well. I loved this second Tiger Days book and can't wait to read more about Tiger and her friends.
 
Advice
 
If you love children's books about animals, friendship and warm family connections you will definitely like the Tiger Days stories. They can be read as standalones, but to have Tiger's full story it's best to start with the first one.
 
About Sarah Lean
 

Sarah Lean grew up in Wells, Somerset but now lives in Dorset with her husband, son and dog. She has worked as a page-planner for a newspaper, a stencil-maker and a gardener, amongst various other things. She gained a first class English degree and became a primary school teacher before returning to complete an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester. A Dog Called Homeless was her first novel.
 
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky With Love for Books reader will receive paperback copies of Tiger Days and the Secret Cat and Tiger Days and the Midnight Foxes. Good luck!
 
 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Where to Find Review Books & Giveaway



By Suze 
 
Because we want to promote reviewing books as much as possible the coming month we've come up with a giveaway especially for those who review. If you're new to it all and want to make a start, there are several websites you can visit where you can easily download or 'win' review books. I've made a selection of sites I use and recommend.
 
 
 
NetGalley works with requests. The more books you review the easier it will be to be accepted for new titles. Fortunately there are plenty of great Read Now titles as well, which can help you build your status. I love how easy it is to find books on NetGalley. They have several ways to browse titles and you can make a list of favorite genres and publishers. It's very user friendly. In the beginning it's hard to be approved for titles, so a lot of people request a large number of books at the same time to have something to start with, but remember that it's the idea that you read the books you request. Netgalley isn't meant for free book shopping, it's meant to help authors get reviews.
 
 

On Edelweiss publishers have catalogues. You can browse through them and find the books they're offering for review. Because it's possible to submit reviews for all the books they have listed it's easy to show publishers your reviewing skills. You can request new titles and there are several read now options here as well. Navigating this website might take some getting used to in the beginning, but it's quite simple when you know where to look for the books you like. There's a huge selection of fantastic review books and some of them can be read straight away without a request.
 
 
On Instafreebie you can find a lot of free titles. They constantly have new books on offer. This website is perfect for fans of Indie books and self-published titles, but there are also traditionally published freebies. It's a lovely site to browse several times a week and to enjoy plenty of amazing free books.
 
 
On Goodreads you can find many book giveaways. These are all for people who want to review the books. You can enter the giveaways and when you're selected you receive the book you're supposed to write something about. It's an easy and handy system, the more books you review the bigger the chance you will get new ones.
 
5. Amazon (USA/UK)
 
Amazon has best seller top 100 lists. Visit your country's Amazon page and check out the free books top 100 or select the cheapest books first option and all of the freebies will appear on your screen.
 
6. Newsletters
 
A lot of authors will give you a free book if you sign up for their newsletter.
 
7. Publishers
 
Publishers often have a marketing team you can contact. You can ask them to put you on their regular reviewers list and receive review copies whenever they have something available.
 
 
On Kindlescout you can nominate books if you think they're good enough to be published by Amazon. When you nominate a book and they choose to publish it you'll get a review copy for free.
 
 
Bookshout has a large selection of free books. The aim is to read as many words as possible each day and if you do well you receive rewards in the form of credits. This site is mainly attractive for readers from the USA and Canada, as they're the only ones who can fully use it.
 
10. Blogs
 
There are some blogs that offer review copies of books. Good examples are Xpresso, YA Bound Book Tours and eBooks for Review.
 
 
On Riveted (YA) and XOXO After Dark (romance) you can find free books from Simon & Schuster. A handful of books can be read for free for a limited time and they regularly switch their titles.
 
Giveaway
 
Win a Kindle Fire with a $10 Amazon gift card, 3 kinds of fruit teas, three chocolate bars and a mug with hot chocolate.
 
 
You can only enter this giveaway if you've actually reviewed a book on the date of your entry. The aim of this giveaway is to leave as many reviews as possible, so don't enter if you aren't leaving any reviews. Keep it fair for authors and help them to promote their books. You can use our review help for the reviews you write. They don't have to be long, just meaningful.
 
You can enter with reviews for two different books per day and leave the same review on four different websites each.
 
 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.