Tuesday, February 28, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books - Love & Lies by Elleby Harper - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway


Review by Anniek

Declan has everything anyone could ever wish for. He's rich and handsome and has a great body. He comes from a high society political family. He has never had an actual girlfriend, but he has lots of loose flings until Chase decides to try and claim him as her own. Declan is not in love with her and he does his best to dump her, but Chase is not having it. When Declan has a skiing accident in the small town Peppermint Vale he meets the physician assistant Jazz. From the first moment they can't stand each other, but why can't Declan, who can have any girl he wants, get Jazz out of his head?

Newt is Declan's best friend. He has always been there for him and always cleans up Declan's mess. Newt is used to the fact that all the girls fall for Declan and that he can collect the ones who haven't been chosen by him. Newt's father bought a big piece of land in Peppermint Vale and is determined to built a ski-resort. Not everyone is happy about this and some people are trying everything in their power to sabotage the construction site. Newt has never had any problems being second best, but when he meets Jazz he can't help but wishing that she would choose him instead of Declan.

Jazz is the local physician's assistant at Peppermint Vale's hospital. She lives a quiet life and doesn't do anything out of the ordinary. She once found love, but ever since she was traded in for a younger model she's keeping men away from her heart. When Declan ends up in her hospital, suddenly a lot of good looking men are visiting Peppermint Vale. Jazz isn't used to all this attention and decides to live a little. It wasn't intentional to get involved with those who are sabotaging the construction site, but she was pulled in before she knew what was happening. With so many secrets and possible lovers will Jazz be able the make the right choices?

Declan and Newt are totally different. This is why they probably are such a good match. Declan consists of nothing but self confidence. He's even arrogant at times. He takes what he wants whenever he wants it. Declan is irresponsible and expects Newt to clean up his mess. Even though these are all character traits I don't usually like in people, I still liked Declan. He isn't as tough on the inside as he pretends to be on the outside. He's loyal to his family and he'll do anything for Newt. Newt is a good guy and a true friend. When I was reading about him I thought about Newt as someone who's always stuck in the friend zone. Even though he's charming, girls look at Declan first. He's smart and passionate in what he does and I liked him straight away. They're an interesting duo to read about and I couldn't wait to find out more about them.

Jazz is a feisty redhead. She doesn't take any crap from Declan and I loved that about her. She'll put people in their place when they get on her bad side, which is an admirable quality. I did think of her as a bit naïve though. She lets herself get pulled into joining a sabotage group when she doesn't want to be involved. She also makes some choices I wouldn't expect from someone her age. This only made her more real for me, we all have flaws and nobody is perfect. I was fascinated by her and anxious to discover where the story would take her.

Love & Lies is a fast-paced and intriguing book about politics and all the people who are dealing with them on a daily basis. The love and lies will always come out when there are paparazzi on every corner and that made the story a entertaining read. I have also read the first book in the series and I liked it a lot that Elleby Harper writes about the same things, only from a different point of view. This made me fly through the pages, since I instantly recognized the situations. This doesn't mean the series has to be read in chronological order though. I loved to read about the political games and to learn more about what goes on behind closed doors. The best kind of love starts with friendship and this angle made the story believable. Elleby Harper has written a realistic story that took me back to the glitter and glamour of 1985. I'm curious about the other books in this series.

Advice

Love & Lies is a perfect choice if you love to read about secrets, scams and political games. This is the fourth book in the Heirs series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.

Free book

You can get the first book of the series for free if you sign up for Elleby Harper's newsletter. Sign up here: http://www.ellebyharper.com/free-heirs-book/

About Elleby Harper


Elleby Harper is a literary enthusiast, life explorer, world traveler and amateur photographer. After writing in the realms of non-fiction for many years, Heirs is her first fiction trilogy. This suspenseful romance has sizzling characters, strong women and the sexy men who love them, all set in the glitzy, ritzy, glam-filled 1980s.

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle took her and her family to regional Australia for clean air, fresh fruit from her orchard and eggs laid daily by her pet chickens, Ruby, Doreen, Rusty, Goldie, Ice Cream, Ginger and Nutmeg. It’s here she gains inspiration for all her writing.

Her guilty pleasures include Oz port wines, dark chocolate (of course!), binge watching Oz soapie Neighbours and hanging out with her son.

To find out more about Elleby, read her smashwords interview.

Links


Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

You could call me an escape artist. I love escaping to the worlds inside my head or the worlds that other people create in their books. In real life I have escaped to live in a small country town in Australia with my husband and son. Here I can collect eggs from our pet chickens, pick fresh fruit from our orchard and have the time to mull over my ideas and peck away at the keyboard. Essentially I’ve been writing my entire life, and for quite a while I made my living as a free-lance writer and editor where I had to write about what other people wanted to hear. Now I’m able to write about what appeals to me. All in all I’m totally happy with my life at the moment.

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

Definitely scary movies. You just know when the music changes that something terrifying is about to make you leap out of your skin. In a good way, a chiselled six-pack will do it too!

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

I had one of those once! We were on vacation in Penang and my husband took me to dinner (before he was my husband!). We were the only ones seated by the pool, outside the hotel. There were fairy lights and lanterns hung everywhere and a sunset over the beach. It was glorious.

4. Who are your favorite romantic couple?

One of my favorites is Rose and Jack from the movie Titanic. Although they are star-crossed without a HEA, their love is absolutely life-changing. It’s Rose’s enduring love for Jack that allows her to conquer her fears and gives her the courage to live the life she actually wants, rather than meet society’s expectations.

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?

There’s the romance you have at the beginning of the relationship when it’s all new and the fireworks go off every time he touches your hand. But then later on, after years together, the romance is more about having someone really listen to you and understand you at such a deep level that you know what it means to be with your soul mate.

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

Definitely not! Romance and love make us feel so good about our lives, so it’s very easy to write about. And when you have plenty of romance in your own life, it’s easy to find inspiration for your writing.

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

Throughout my life I have always tended to fall for guys who like a nice romantic gesture. There are two incidences that stand out for me. When I was just 19 I had a boyfriend who wrote me a song, just for me and all about me. The other experience is the night my husband proposed. We were out for dinner and when we left the restaurant he surprised me by arranging for a horse and carriage to meet us outside and take us on a tour of the city. It was totally unexpected. We stopped at the river and he proposed.

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

The song I walked down the aisle to at my wedding - She by Elvis Costello - always makes me gooey inside and brings back memories of an incredible day.

9. Which country personafies romance for you and why?

It has to be France because the language sounds so seductive.

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

I am finishing a prequel to the Heirs series called Lies & Betrayal. After that I’m leaving Heirs for a while to start a new series. I have some ideas but haven’t settled on one in particular yet. It doesn’t mean I won’t come back to Heirs as I have lots more ideas and I haven’t finished with Maixent, Charley, Declan or Aurelie, but I want to spread my wings a bit.

Giveaway



One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a personalized digital copy of Love & Lies by Elleby Harper.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

 

Perfect for You by Candis Terry - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 
Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze
 
Declan always felt like he had something to prove. He wanted to be exactly like his athletic and smart brothers and worked extra hard to make something of himself. He's now a successful business owner. Even though he's well off financially he doesn't have much of a life. He hasn't got any close friends, there's no love and there's no fun, the only thing he does is work. Because his brothers need him he has to return to the family vineyard and to keep working while he's there he takes his assistant Brooke, a woman who's very good at what she does, with him. Declan recently discovered that he isn't just happy with her because she's a capable assistant, he also finds her very attractive and being in her presence brightens his days. Will spending even more time together finally bring him what's missing in his life?
 
After a difficult childhood Brooke is doing everything she can to make her life fun. She wants to live and she has a bucket list to make sure she does everything she's always wanted to do. She fell in love with her boss Declan when she started working for him four years before. He keeps their relationship professional, but maybe their trip to his family's estate will bring them closer together. Will they have a chance or is Declan's businesslike attitude something he can never switch off?
 
Brooke has a sunny personality. She's positive, organized and cheerful and she knows what she wants. A road trip with Declan is an adventure for her and she makes sure she teaches him how to live a little too. That's something I loved about Perfect for You. Brooke's amazing attitude and bubbly presence put a big smile on my face. She makes Declan come out of his shell and I liked that a lot. He's serious and he always wants to prove himself, but with Brooke he discovers a whole different side of his personality. They're perfect for each other and I enjoyed reading their wonderful love story.
 
Perfect for You has a nice fast pace. I flew through the pages and couldn't wait to find out more about Declan and his family. There are secrets he and his siblings need to uncover and Candis Terry slowly reveals some of them. I can't wait to read the rest of the series to discover more. Declan is from a large family and his siblings are all equally interesting. I love the idea of such a lively big household and think it's a fantastic basis for a series. Perfect for You is a lovely sweet romantic read.
 
Advice
 
If you like romantic books about large families the Sunshine Creek Vineyard series is a great choice. The stories can both be read in their correct order as part of a series and as standalones.
 

The sunlight caught like spun gold in the wavy strands of her hair. He liked that her face was makeup free, but mostly he liked that she didn’t need a mask to feel confident. Not that he ever planned to date Brooke, but he’d dated a lot of women who’d refused to leave the house until their makeup had been perfectly applied and every hair was in place.

In his mind, all that preparation took away an opportunity for spontaneity. With his busy schedule, sometimes that’s all he could manage—a last minute invite. Brooke had so much sexy going on she didn’t need all that stuff. And today she’d pretty much proved that she was game for the whole spur-of-the-moment thing. Impressive.

“How many business lunches and dinners have I sat through with you, Mr. Kincade?”

He shrugged. “Too many to count.”

“Bingo.” She pointed. “And do you know what you order almost each and every time?”

“No.”

“Seared ahi.”

“And the problem with that is?”

“Boring.”

“I like ahi.”

“Good for you. But why not expand your horizons? Eating the same old same old every day is like having missionary sex every time the mood strikes.”

And why did she need to bring that up? Because his imagination definitely didn’t need a push in that direction.

“Shake things up.” She waved her hands upward like she was about to take flight. “Be daring. Live a little.”

Damn she was animated. How the hell did someone get like that?

“I’m happy with things the way they are.”

“Are you really?” As she leaned into the table, the unyielding fabric of that tight white tank top across her breasts dominated his attention.

He didn’t respond.

Couldn’t.

He was too . . . distracted.

“You know what they say; all work and no play . . .” she said with a shrug, leaving the remainder of that statement hanging like a noose.

“So you’re saying that eating fish tacos is suddenly going to shake things up in my life?”

“Breaking your same old song and dance routine will. After you’ve opened up the door, anything can happen. Aren’t you the least bit curious?”

The server interrupted them to deliver a large plate of steaming soft tacos, bowls of salsa and sour cream, and two giant froufrou drinks with slices of pineapple and maraschino cherries speared by pink umbrellas.

Oh hell no.

He was not going to drink something that would immediately revoke his man card. But when Brooke plucked the cherry from her glass, dangled it in the air, and captured it with her tongue, he had second thoughts. By the time she settled the bright pink straw between the soft cushion of her lips and sucked the orange frothy drink into her mouth, he figured he’d be game for just about any damn thing. As long as he could watch her do that all day long.

About Candis Terry
 

Best-selling and award winning author Candis Terry entertains readers with contemporary romance the Library Journal Reviews calls uniquely satisfying. Both her Sugar Shack and Sweet, Texas series deliver witty and emotional stories about how love, family, and a small town community defines the characters’ lives. Born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California, Candis now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers and loves to escape to the breathtaking Idaho forests to energize her imagination.

Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
 
Giveaway
 
Three very lucky winners will receive a print copy of A Better Man by Candis Terry.

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books Cold - Heating It Up by Elizabeth Harmon - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

 
Review by Suze

Nora is heartbroken. After losing the man she loved she put everything she still had to give in her job and designed a beautiful house in Amity Bay, Antarctica. The guesthouse is mostly self-sufficient. Nora is an architect and has done the largest part of the work, but someone else took credit for it and stole her promotion in the process. Now Nora also doesn't have a job any longer. There's no reason to leave Amity Bay together with her ex colleagues, instead Nora wants to be on her own and hibernate.

Alexei is head of Amity Bay. Because of the luxurious guesthouse he might not be able to stay though. The lodge threatens the existence of his beloved town. He thinks it's empty, left behind by the people who built it with no consideration for others, and is surprised Nora is still there. Alexei doesn't know who she is and as Nora likes him she doesn't tell him the truth, but when they become closer it's bound to come out. Will she be able to heal in Amity Bay or will it bring her more despair?

Nora is kind and talented. She works hard, she cares about what she does and she's good at making plans. I immediately loved her. She's sad, but she also still has hope and is taking baby steps towards a better future. I admired her strength and think she has a great personality. Alexei is a gentle man. He's passionate about his village and he loves the cold climate. There are plenty of sparks and a beautiful connection between him and Nora, but he has to be careful with her as she's still fragile. I liked his good and understanding nature. I really enjoyed reading about this unusual couple and couldn't wait to find out if they'd have a future.

Heating It Up is an original romantic story. I loved the brilliant cold setting. Antarctica is an interesting place to read about and I was spellbound Elizabeth Harmon's descriptions of the cold, the isolated life and the inventiveness of the people who are living there. Amity Bay is a fantastic mix of cultures. While outside it's brutal inside it's cozy and warm. I liked that contrast very much, it's special and it adds extra charm. I instantly fell in love with the stunning setting, the unpredictable weather and the warm-heartedness of the story and think Heating It Up is a terrific unique winter read.

Advice

If you like heartwarming love stories with a beautiful setting you'd love Heating It Up. It's part of the Red Hot Russians series, but can easily be read as a standalone.
 
About Elizabeth Harmon

 
Quirky settings. Loveable, if imperfect heroines. Gorgeous men with hearts of gold. Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon loves them all.
 
A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining "what if?" and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.
 
An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.
 
Links
 
 
Interview
 
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a contemporary romance author who has three books out in the Red Hot Russians sports romance series. I’m happily married, a mom, and live in the Midwestern United States. I love snowy nights, red wine and cats. Plenty of other things too, but those are three things I’m enjoying on this cold January evening, as my sweet feline naps on my desk while I sip Cabernet and talk about romance. This romance writing job totally rocks!

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

Aside from jogging, LOL? If we’re talking romance novels and films, it’s the big, Hollywood-style grand gesture, like Harry’s mad dash across New York City to tell Sally he loves her in When Harry Met Sally. I love putting those in my stories.

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

It would begin with a leisurely, early morning, followed by a delicious breakfast—preferably cooked by someone else. Then it would include something outside, walking, bike-riding or hanging out at the beach, in the summer; a snowy hike or ice-skating in the winter. In late afternoon, there would be time for rest and…relaxation, followed by a massage. I’d conclude it with a delicious, candlelit meal…followed by more relaxation. ;)

4. Who is your favorite romantic couple?

Belle and the Beast, from Beauty in the Beast. I love Belle’s courage in facing the Beast and eventually seeing the goodness behind his fearsome exterior. I also admire her intelligence and loyalty, and the way her love gives the Beast hope. I used a little of this trope in my second Red Hot Russians book, Turning It On. Though the hero is anything but beastly on the outside, inside he’s quite damaged and doesn’t feel like he’s worthy of love until a brainy heroine shows him otherwise.

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?

Hope is the center of it…the belief that we can all become better people by accepting love, and returning it. It’s the essence of romance fiction and why I write it.

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

Writing love scenes can be challenging, because they’re not only physical, but also emotion-driven, and finding the right balance can be tricky. I prefer to write them late at night, with no interruptions. The most fun parts of the story to write are when the hero and heroine open up to one another, sharing their histories and often-painful pasts. In my new release, Heating It Up, which is a novella, the book’s short length means it comes early. Other times it’s much later. The scene in Pairing Off, when Carrie tells Anton the truth about the night her mother died, makes me tear up whenever I read it.

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

There’s one I often share about a December night in Chicago with my future husband, sitting in a 95th floor bar, watching the snow fall over the city. But there’s another snowy night I remember fondly, Valentine’s Day, 2014. I’d found out a few days before that my series had sold to Carina Press but because my agent was still working out the contract details, I couldn’t tell anyone—except my husband of course. ☺ We went to this lovely French restaurant that overlooks a charming Victorian town square in a town not far from where we live. We sat by the window, toasted our marriage, our family and this exciting new path I was about to embark on. It felt like a dream about to come true, and the man I love was just as excited.

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

Anything happy! Rock, country, pop, jazz or classical. Just nothing sappy or sad, please.

9. Which country personifies romance for you and why?

France and Italy, because of the beautiful architecture, lovely rolling landscapes, amazing food and wine, all of which I find quite romantic. But given my love for wintery nights and rustic landscapes, I think I’d find Iceland and northern Canada quite romantic. The Russian city of St. Petersburg combines cold weather and architectural beauty, and is definitely on my list of places to visit.

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

Later this month, I’ll release the next book in my Red Hot Russians series. Heating It Up is the story of Alexei (younger brother of Getting It Back’s hero, Misha), who lives in a very unusual, not to mention cold, place. Like Alexei, I’ve always been fascinated by Antarctica and thought it would be fun to set a book there. And while the setting is unusual, small town romance fans should feel at home in Amity Bay.

I’m also working on Shining Through, a full-length novel, due out in September. Shining Through returns to the world of competitive figure skating, just in time for the upcoming Winter Olympics. By then, I should be ready to talk about what’s ahead for 2018!
 
Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads


Three very lucky readers of With Love For Books will be able to choose an eBook from Elizabeth Harmon's backlog.
 
  
 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.

Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Ava has a secret and there's only one person who knew. This woman wrote it down before she died together with a number of other secrets she'd been told in her life. Ava is trying to find this memoir, so she can keep her secret safe. Ava works as a maid in Graystone Manor and is taking care of her handicapped father. Everyone in Harmony Harbor knows something changed Ava. She was happily married to Griffin and was well on her way to getting a nursing degree, but all of a sudden she dropped out and asked for a divorce. What happened to Ava and why is she so determined that nobody will find out?

Griffin is back in Harmony Harbor. He stayed away and got married to another woman, but is now single again. When Griffin first sees Ava he's shocked. She's no longer the vibrant woman he used to know. Her clothes are ugly and she is thin and tired. He still sees her beauty though and feels the same way he felt about her all those years ago. Do they have a second chance together or are there too many people and secrets standing in their way?

Starlight Bridge is a gripping romantic story. Griffin is a kind and caring man and when he loves he does it with all his heart. He's a true hero and his protective streak is admirable. He's perfect for Ava. She used to be a gorgeous and talented girl with a bright future, but too many blows turned her into a shadow of the woman she used to be. Griffin doesn't know why she left him and is surprised to find out she still has feelings for him too, which makes him even more confused. I was curious to find out what happened between him and Ava and Starlight Bridge kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Graystone Manor is an interesting place to read about. It's a family business and every member is interesting. I was fascinated by the influence of the ghost of the past and the fascinating intrigues of the present. Debbie Mason writes in a thrilling and entertaining way. Her stories are captivating and filled with controlled chaos, true love, mysteries, amazing characters, eccentricities, plotting and friendship. I loved Starlight Bridge, it's a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

Advice

If you love gripping family stories filled with complex romance and mysteries you will definitely like the Harmony Harbor series. The books can be read as standalones, but as they're great I'd advise you to read both Mistletoe Cottage and Starlight Bridge.

About Debbie Mason
 

Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and the Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

Links

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Excerpt

Turning the lever to hot, Griffin left the bathroom to retrieve a bar of soap from his kit. He stopped short at the sight of Ava walking across the room carrying an armful of wood.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Her mouth fell open, and she dropped the logs…onto her foot. “Crap. Ow. Crap,” she yelped, grabbing her foot and hopping around.

“Ava, let go of your foot. You’ll hurt your arm.”

She ignored him, swearing in Italian while still holding on to her foot with both hands.

He released an exasperated sigh. “Stubborn as ever,” he muttered as he walked toward her and scooped her into his arms. She might be as stubborn as she used to be, but she was at least thirty pounds lighter. When they were together, she’d been all soft, lush curves. She released a surprised gasp and her arms automatically went around his neck. Beneath the smell of damp wool, he caught a whiff of the same perfume she used to wear—Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. It brought back memories of all the times he’d held her in his arms. Seven years of memories, most of them amazing.

He set her on the edge of the bed and cleared his throat. “Do you think your foot’s broken?”

She didn’t answer; she looked like she might be in shock. He crouched in front of her to remove her wet shoes. The old Ava wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing shoes like these. She loved heels, the higher the better. Sexy, strappy shoes that were colorful and blinged out. He never could figure out how she walked in them for hours on end without complaining. But damn, he’d loved watching her do it. He should probably be grateful her taste in footwear had changed too.

This pair though…“For Chrissakes, Ava, there’s a hole in the bottom of this shoe, and look at this.” He lifted the other shoe, flicking its flapping sole.

She made a small choking sound, her eyes huge in her flushed face.

He frowned. “What’s wrong with—”

“You…you’re naked.”

He scowled and rose to his feet. “It’s not like you haven’t seen it before,” he grumbled, stalking to the bathroom to retrieve a towel. She was gone by the time he came back.

 Giveaway

Three very lucky winners will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.


 

Book Review - Infinite Completion by Michelle Dennis

Amazon USA Amazon UK Amazon AU

Review by Anniek

Abbie Bennet is a sweet young girl. She's been raised in a secure home and she leaves the nest to live together with her best friend at the age of twenty. Abbie is someone who likes her peace and quiet. She enjoys reading romance novels, drinks no alcohol, has a big loyal heart and loves to paint and sketch. When her friends persuade her to go clubbing she meets Valentine. He is the lead singer of a band. Abbie is not looking for love and she absolutely doesn't want to fall in love with a bad boy, but even though they hardly talk to each other she's lost from the moment she lays eyes on him.

When Valentine spots Abbie in the crowd he falls in love with her instantly. He is not the ultimate bad boy everybody thinks he is. He is still married, but is getting a divorce, he has a young son and he rides a bike. He's also a person with a good heart. Losing his mother has transformed him and he truly wants to do good. He and Abbie fall madly in love with each other and can’t bear to be apart for long. There should be nothing in the world that could separate Abbie and Valentine, but there actually might be a reason, will they be okay?

I loved Infinite Completion from the very beginning. Abbie is such a sweetheart and I could relate to her easily. She deserves to be loved and cherished. When she shares her dreams for the future with Valentine they discover that they are not on the same page. I was anxious to find out what would happen to them and couldn't stop reading before I knew.

In the beginning I liked Valentine as much as Abbie. I especially loved the way he treats her and how he makes her feel special every single day. While I was reading the story I found out that he has more flaws than I expected. I started to dislike him because of the choices he makes. The book finishes with an open ending, leaving it to the reader to speculate on what will happen next. I hope my suspicions are wrong. If I would be right something is going to happen that would devastate Abbie and I sincerely wonder if she would recover. I can't wait to read more about this interesting couple and am desperate to know how their story will continue.

Advice

Infinite Completion is a beautiful story about a love so pure that it'll take away any darkness. Keep in mind that this book ends with a cliffhanger and that Abbie and Valentine's story isn't finished yet.

Wedding Date Rescue by Sonya Weiss - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Book review
 

Review by Suze

Casey is from a small town and being left at the altar is something everybody knows and talks about. She has a matchmaking business, but it's suffering because she couldn't keep her man. She's being pressured by her investors to date someone again and to make it believable, so she can save everything she's worked so hard for. She already knows who she should ask, but will the man she has in mind be willing to fake a relationship with her?

Kent lost everything he held dear because of a fire. He's a firefighter and while his job is rescuing people he doesn't know how to help himself. His mother keeps setting him up with all kinds of different women, but Kent isn't interested. There's a family wedding she thinks he shouldn't go to on his own, but Kent isn't interested in taking anyone. While Casey's plan to pretend to be together isn't the best idea she's ever had, Kent agrees in exchange for some peace and quiet. Is that really what he's going to get or will being near Casey all the time without actually having her prove to be a lot more difficult than he thought?

Wedding Date Rescue is a sweet romantic story. Casey is a beautiful person, both inside and out. She cares about Kent and wants to protect him, which is incredibly endearing. Kent is a kindhearted man. He's gentle and caring and he's genuinely worried about Casey because of everything she's been though. The way he thinks about her is adorable. While Kent and Casey have known each other for a very long time they've always kept their relationship safely in the friend zone. However, when they need to touch and kiss each other to make their connection believable there are plenty of sparks. I loved their chemistry and close friendship, it's a terrific combination and it was fun to read about.

Sonya Weiss is great at describing personalities and building up tension. Her writing flows easily and Wedding Date Rescue is a quick read that I didn't want to put down. I read this wonderful story in one sitting. I love stories about best friends who realize their feelings go much deeper than just friendship and think Wedding Date Rescue is a good one. It's a lovely lighthearted story. 

Advice

Wedding Date Rescue is a great choice for readers who love quick romantic reads about true love between close friends.
 
About Sonya Weiss


From the time she was a child, Sonya knew she was destined to be a writer. If she didn’t like the ending of a book or movie, she would write her own ending. When her children were young, she often wrote stories to entertain them. At the urging of one of her daughters, she submitted a short story and to her surprise and delight, it sold. Sonya loves writing all things romance whether it’s writing contemporary adult or teen fiction and still hasn’t lost the wonder that she gets to do what she loves. She enjoys reading, movies, chocolate, and laughter and credits her daughters as being the sweetest blessings in her life.

Links

Excerpt

“Do you have any ideas what we can say when people tease us about finally getting together?”

“I don’t know.” He smiled at her. “We can figure that out as we go along. Just focus on pretending you’re mine and I’ll do the same.”

Her eyes sparkled with excitement. “I’m so relieved I could kiss you!”

Casey kissing him. Him kissing her back. His smile faded. Slow down, his smart side said, and don’t think about that. Or her smoking hot body moving beneath that dress. The side of him that didn’t care about being smart thought about it. He stepped on her toe. “Sorry, my bad.” Clearing his throat, he said, “Let’s leave the kissing and anything else physical out of this arrangement.”

A teasing light glinted in her eyes. “Are you worried I’ll try to cash in your bachelor card?”

“Something like that. Up close, I’m hard to resist,” he teased back.

“Maybe for other women. Trust me, Kent, you won’t ever find me chasing you.”

“Same here,” he said. “I would never chase you. You’re not the girl for me.”

She beamed and pursed her lips in a fake kiss. “I think that’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard you say.”

He laughed, feeling the tension leave his shoulders. Now that he and Casey had joined forces, he could go to his cousin’s wedding in peace and as an added bonus, he could sit at home on his days off without anyone trying to find him a blind date again.

When the celebration finally wound down, Kent walked Casey to her car, then headed to his truck. He stopped with a groan when he realized he’d left his lights on. After he tried twice to start it, he gave up. The battery was dead and his jumper cables were at home in the garage. Great place for them to be when he needed them.

The headlights of Casey’s car swept over him as she pulled up beside him and got out. The wind blew at the hem of her dress and beneath the lights in the parking lot, he caught a quick glimpse of her thigh. Any more of that and forget the truck, he’d need his brain jumpstarted. “It won’t start. The engine. ‘Cause the battery’s dead,” he said, then gave himself a mental thump upside the head.

She put her hands on her hips. “I don’t have cables. You want me to give you a ride?”

Did she have any freaking idea how hot she looked standing there? “Home?” he asked.

“No, to Switzerland.” She lowered her arms. “You’re giving me a funny look. What’s wrong?”

What was wrong was that Casey wasn’t supposed to affect him. He wasn’t supposed to think of her as beautiful or get hot all over every time her thigh flashed into view. He raked a hand through his hair.

She arched her brows giving him the “well?” look.

“Thinking about work,” he lied, figuring that was a safer bet than, “Damn, girl, you look good.”

Giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.
 
 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books - The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Angel is an ambitious journalist. She's an intern at a rag, desperate to get ahead. When her editor asks her to honey trap a famous film director Angel is reluctant, but after he promises her a career advancement she decides to put on that skimpy black dress and seduce Sebastian. He's a married man and if she can help uncover a cheater, she won't be doing anything wrong, will she? Angel just has to go far enough to get a few compromising photos, but she hasn't counted on actually liking Sebastian.

When photos of Angel and Sebastian are all over the tabloids Angel knows she's done something she won't be able to easily forgive herself for. She's ruined a marriage and she's made other people's lives miserable, was that really the right thing to do? When a few weeks later she has to meet Sebastian again for work Angel is afraid she will never be able to leave the scandal behind her. What has she done and how can she limit the damage?

The Honey Trap is a fun and sexy story. Angel is sweet and kindhearted and she wants to help everyone. Even though her boss asks her to do something she's uncomfortable with he's also done her a favor in some ways, he taught Angel a lot more about herself. She speaks her mind, she's confident and she's brave, which I loved about her. After honey trapping Sebastian she knows it isn't the kind of job she'd like to do on a regular basis. Angel has a strong moral compass and is a woman to admire, which is exactly why Sebastian says yes to a night with her in the first place. He's a surprisingly nice man. He's talented, down-to-earth, generous and gentle too, something Angel didn't expect him to be. There's plenty of chemistry between them and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to them after the steamy, but distrustful and somewhat sleazy way they've met.

The Honey Trap grabbed me from the start. I loved reading about Angel's private life. She has interesting friends and I liked how passionate she is about old movies. I loved Mary Jayne Baker's enthusiasm for Sebastian's work and her descriptions of his movies are vivid and thorough, I had the feeling I actually watched them instead of just read about them. The Honey Trap is a story about celebrities and fame and I liked that there are very few clichés, Mary Jayne Baker's point of view is refreshing and it kept making me smile over and over again. Both romantic books and movies are supposed to have wonderful happy endings and The Honey Trap has a fabulous finale. I highly recommend this amazing endearing story.

Advice

If you love romance and like movies as well as books you shouldn't miss The Honey Trap. It's a perfect books for readers who enjoy the combination of glamour combined with real life, romantic gestures and funny scenes.

About Mary Jayne Baker

 
Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she's still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature in 2003, she dallied with living in cities including London, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales.

She lives with him in a little house with four little cats and a little rabbit, writing stories about girls with flaws and the men who love them. You can usually find her there with either a pen, some knitting needles or a glass of wine in hand. She goes to work every day as a graphic designer for a magazine publisher, but secretly dreams of being a lighthouse keeper.

Links

 
 Interview
 
Quick questions

1) Name five random facts about yourself.

- I have four cats (one of whom, Harpo, made it into The Honey Trap as a character)
- My favourite way to celebrate good news is with fish and chips and prosecco
- I'm currently knitting a Tom Baker Dr Who scarf
- My favourite book is Wuthering Heights
- I used to play in a brass band (the unglamorous euphonium, if you must know!)

2) Which three features does a good romantic story have to have?

A natural chemistry between hero and heroine that makes you sincerely believe they're perfect for each other.

A strong, funny, likeable heroine the reader wants to be friends with
A happy ending!

3) Describe Angel and Seb in six words each.

Angel: witty, flawed, feisty, fun, warm, compassionate
Seb: sexy, cheeky, funny, passionate, magnetic, loyal


4) Name four things that inspire you.

I get story inspiration from all over the place: I think people have started to worry when they see me lurking around with a pen in my hand! Mainly I'd say family and friends, overheard conversations, human-interest stories in magazine and newspapers and eating cheese before bed...


5) Where do you write and where do you read?

I work full-time as a graphic designer in my day job, which includes quite a long commute, so I do a lot of writing on the train. When I'm at home I like to write in the bedroom, wearing my special writing hat so my partner knows not to disturb me! Unfortunately my cats are no respecters of the writing hat...

6) What's your favourite place in the world?

Yorkshire! I love my gorgeous home in the Dales, wouldn't swap it for anywhere.

7) Name your three favourite settings for a story.

The Honey Trap is set in London because the heroine works for a major national newspaper, but usually I like to set stories within small, close-knit communities, often villages or small towns where most people know each other. I find these provide so many rich opportunities for characters to interact. Gorgeous scenery is a must too, and I love anything quirky or colourful. I think my top three locations would be the Yorkshire moors, the British coast and the Lake District.

8) What's the best writing/reading snack or drink?

Am I allowed to say wine?! Actually I think my favourite snack would be olives - healthy, delicious and easy to eat one-handed so I don't have to stop typing! And of course, like every writer since the dawn of time, lots and lots of coffee...

9) Describe in one sentence what true romance is like for you.

The closest friendship you'll ever know.

10) Which three things make you laugh?

My best friend Bob (with him and not at him, I promise!), Father Ted, PG Wodehouse's Jeeves stories


11) Name four things you like to do besides reading and writing.

I like to knit and crochet, go hiking up on the moors, to the theatre when I can afford it, and pub nights with friends.

Regular interview questions

12) What's the best writing advice you've ever been given and what advice do you give aspiring authors?

The piece of advice that finally made me finish a book rather than giving up after the first few thousand words, which I had done a few times in the past before finally finishing The Honey Trap, was "push on into the white space". I had a terrible habit of going back over my work, expecting it to read like a polished finished product rather than a first draft, and consequently giving up when I decided it was worthless. It was only when someone told me not to expect perfection but just get all the words out until the story's told that I finally did it. I've heard first drafts described as the clay which is then modelled into the finished book, and that's a pretty good way of thinking about it.

My advice to other writers would be a development of that. Don't worry about creating perfection: just push on until you've told your story. Set yourself a manageable word count every day - 1000 words, 2000, whatever you think is achievable - and stick to it. Just remember, you can't edit nothing: you need those words on the page before you can craft them into the book they're going to become. Never give up, never surrender...

13) What are the key ingredients of a good funny story in your opinion?

Good question! I'd say a sense of the absurd would be one thing, and the characters' willingness to laugh at themselves, which makes them both funny and likeable. A strong, witty voice for the central character is another must.

I also like it when characters seem to form natural double acts with each other, because I write - and like to read - a lot of dialogue so I enjoy that back-and-forth. And then there's finding the unusual in everyday settings, or the everyday in the unusual. For example, I'm a big fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, and I think one reason it works so well is that although it's in a rather surreal version of deep space, there's a very British everydayness to the characters and situations.

14) Which book changed your life and why?

Probably Catch-22, which I first read as a teenager. Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, with a reeling chronology that matches the main character's confusion, it really brought home to me the insanity of war and the human capacity to find humour in even the bleakest situations. I like to read it every few years to remind myself, and it still has the power to make me laugh and cry.

15) What are your plans for the future?

Writing-wise, I've got lots going on at the moment. I've just finished editing one manuscript, a music-themed romcom set in a lighthouse on the Yorkshire coast, and I'm in the process of editing another. Plus I've got another first draft nearly done and I'm about a third of the way through the a fourth which I've been working on for NaNoWriMo this month. I don't seem to be able to stop writing at the moment! So while the future isn't exactly planned out, it's looking very bright and I can't wait to see what next year will bring.
 
Giveaway

 
One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a signed paperback of The Honey Trap, Prosecco (if your country's customs will allow it) and a Grand Ferrero Rocher from Mary Jayne Baker.
 

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 Review - The One Memory of Flora Banks

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Review by Suze
 
Flora Banks has anterograde amnesia. She can remember everything that happened before her brain was damaged, but nothing that's taken place afterwards. That means she doesn't recognize people she's recently met, she doesn't remember conversations or events and she doesn't know what she's done several hours earlier, let alone anything she was part of weeks or months ago. There are instructions written by her parents, so Flora knows what's wrong with her and what she's supposed to do. Going over her notes is what she usually does when she thinks she needs to remember.
 
When Flora gets her first kiss she still knows about it the next day and the next. Her parents have to go away and leave her with Paige, her best friend. The boy who kisses her is Drake, Paige's ex-boyfriend who just broke up with her because he's moving abroad. Because Flora can remember him she thinks he's special. If he's the one who can make her remember she has to see him again. However, how can she follow him when she doesn't remember anything she's just seen or done? Flora has betrayed Paige. Will her best friend still be there for her after Flora kissed Drake or is she on her own?
 
The One Memory of Flora Banks is a book about an incredible girl. Flora is seventeen years old, but in her mind she's still a child. She isn't helpless though, instead she's creative and inventive. She finds a system that helps her to remember who to trust and who to stay away from. She writes everything down on any kind of surface, no matter if it's paper or her arms and hands. She keeps scribbling to make herself remember the important parts of her life. Except for Drake, she does remember him, which makes him special as that has never happened before. Flora's mind might be broken in some ways, but in others it works in an amazing way. Flora is strong and adventurous and I loved her from the start.
 
The One Memory of Flora Banks is a beautifully written story. I loved how Emily Barr makes Flora repeat things to herself without making the story itself repetitive. Instead she uses it to make her story stronger in an amazing skillful way. Flora has a tattoo that says Flora Be Brave, which is exactly what she does over and over again. Flora is one of the bravest main characters I've ever read about and she's an example for many. I can't stress how extraordinary she is and think The One Memory of Flora Banks is an absolute must-read. Flora is a main character that should be honored and her story is absolutely brilliant.
 
Advice
 
If you like fantastic original YA books I highly recommend The One Memory of Flora Banks.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Book Review - The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

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Review by Suze
 
It's 1954 and Penelope has a pretty boring life. She lives with her mother, who constantly wants to shine, and music crazy brother Inigo in Magna, a huge house that they can't afford any longer. When she meets Charlotte Penelope knows she's found her new best friend. Charlotte is adventurous and makes Penelope's days a lot brighter. Her handsome cousin Harry is good at charming people and wants to be a magician. They find Magna incredibly alluring and they make Penelope see her home through different eyes.
 
While Inigo wants to be the next Elvis Presley, Penelope is a fan of Johnnie Ray and her big dream is to meet him some day. Penelope's mother struggles with the upkeep of the house she inherited from her late husband, who died during the war, and tries to escape as often as she can. Penelope and Inigo try to find themselves while the world they know is slowly falling apart. With Charlotte and Harry by their side their future looks better and brighter, but will it actually remain that way or will Magna destroy the lives of the people who once loved it so much?
 
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is a beautiful story. I loved reading about what it was like to be a teenager in the 1950s. It's shortly after the Second World War and people are still struggling because of it. Penelope and her family are living in both luxury and poverty at the same time, which is a remarkable contrast. Magna is an impressive house and for me it felt like an actual main character, something with a suffering heart that's barely breathing and slowly transforming, instead of just a pile of stones. It's a stately home that used to be grand, but now it's a prison for Penelope's family. Her mother is trying to keep her late husband's legacy alive, but there isn't any money left. It's a problem a lot of former large households used to have and it was interesting to read about.
 
Eva Rice writes about eccentric people. The only one who's always well-behaved is Penelope, but being alive is compelling and she doesn't want to be just a boring good girl. She wants to go to balls, she'd love to be at a live concert, she wants to experience love and she's looking for a more exciting existence than the one she used to have, which is a fabulous and fascinating search. I loved Eva Rice's sense of humor and The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets often made me smile because of everything that happens to the main characters, which is often quite common and entirely believable, but bizarre at the same time.
 
The ending of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is brilliant, it couldn't have been more perfect and it's the part of the book that I enjoyed the most. The story gives a romantic view of Penelope's life, but there are many more ingredients that are making it the great novel it is. There's so much attention for detail, while the story still has a nice pace. I kept being surprised by unexpected twists and turns and there's never a dull moment. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is an amazing book and I highly recommend it.
 
Advice
 
If you like to read about stately homes, eccentric people, post-war life filled with music and plenty of romance and beauty that is gorgeously written and fabulously fun, you should definitely read The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.

With Love For Romantic Books Cold - The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Salome is afraid of winter. This is the result of falling in her grandparents' pond when she was a little girl. Because she heard voices before she fell in and when she was brought to the surface she's had many years of psychiatric treatment. Is she really imagining things though? The voices told her to stay away and that is exactly what she's done. When her grandparents have to travel to Arizona for the cold season because of health reasons, they ask Salome to keep an eye on their property. This means she has to overcome her fears. Every day she has to fulfill a certain amount of tasks and her grandmother stresses she shouldn't forget.

Salome isn't completely alone. One of her grandmother's friends, Nevin, helps her with the gifts she's supposed to leave on a daily basis and she considers him a friend. At school Colton, her secret crush, wants to go out with her. Salome's best friend Kadie regularly takes her to a coffee shop where they meet Gareth. The guys have all promised to protect Salome, but are they speaking the truth and why does she need protection? There are secrets she has to uncover for her own safety. Who can she trust and why does she keep seeing strange and dangerous beings others can't see, is she going crazy again or is something more sinister going on?

The Winter People is a great winter story. Salome is a bit naïve. She's always been protected and she does what people order her to do, because she's been told she can't trust her own ears and eyes, but is that really the case? I couldn't wait to find out who or what was behind the awful things that keep happening to her. Slowly she starts to believe in herself and during that process she also becomes more confident and eventually she can be certain of her own judgment, that was amazing to see. Salome has a lot to overcome and she transforms from a scared little girl into a strong woman who can make her own choices.

Rebekah L. Purdy writes about an intriguing magical world. I loved the way she uses the seasons. When the weather changes, Salome's life changes as well. Because of Salome's fears the story instantly gets a cold and creepy atmosphere when she's outside, which is something I liked very much. She needs protection, but who can give it to her? I enjoyed reading about the guys, who are all interesting and I loved finding out more about their characters. Salome has a lot to learn and she doesn't have a long time to figure things out. I was fascinated by her story and the lovely fitting ending made me smile. The Winter People is a wonderful romantic first book in a series and I look forward to reading the rest of the stories.
 
About Rebekah L. Purdy
 


I was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). I’ve lived here most of my life other than the few years I spent in the U.S. Army. At which time I got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.

I work full time for the court system and in my free time I write YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for me, but my favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.

I also have a big family–I like to consider us the modern day Brady Bunch. When my hubby and I met and got married, he had 3 children from a previous marriage, I had 2 and we have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.

And I can’t forget my other family members–yep, we’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats, and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…I won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked me into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s my dog’s name), Leia, Callie, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of my other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with my kids, and traveling.

I belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it we all write YA!

Repped by Frances Black of Literary Counsel

And that’s me in a big ‘ol nutshell.

Links


The Winter People Series

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Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
 
My name is Rebekah Purdy, I live in Michigan and have for most of my life. By day I do enforcement for the court system here, and by night I write YA books  I have 6 kids and LOTS of pets…
 
2. What makes your heart beat faster?
 
Sunsets on Lake Michigan. Seriously one of the most beautiful things you’ll EVER see!!
 
3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?
 
Taking a hike up along the shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula and having a picnic, while listening to the waves crash in.
 
4. Who is your favorite romantic couple?
 
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (LOL)
 
5. Could you describe what romance means to you?
 
Romance to me is like an “extension” of loving someone. Like you want to do kind, sweet, loving gestures to remind them of that love.
 
6. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?
 
Sometimes. It really depends on the characters I’m writing about/the storyline. Other times, it’s like you know these characters are just meant to be.
 
7. Can you tell us about your most romantic experience?
 
Hmmm…I’d have to say the time my hubby surprised me with a weekend away. He’d contacted family to come stay with our kids, then told me to pack a bag and he took me out of town. It was a spur of the moment “date” weekend.
 
8. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?
 
Pretty much any kind of music, but I LOVE a lot of the soft rock songs or the pop love songs (Taylor Swift, Adele, 50s music, boy band music).
 
9. Which country personafies romance for you and why?
 
To me, I think Ireland. Just because it’s such a beautiful country and there are SO many places to just lose yourself…and I kind of love the accents and music over there (LOL).
 
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
 
More contemporary stories. I have a couple new contemporaries coming out here in the next 1-2 years. YA Romance FTW. LOL. So I’m plugging away with edits/copyedits.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a signed hardcover of The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy.
  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.