Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bookish Girl Tote Bag, Mug & Pillow Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Bookish Girl tote bag, mug and pillow set designed by Eviebookish. 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 - Bewitching Winter by Serenity Woods - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze

 Neve and Rhett used to play professional badminton together. They were a perfect pair, both on and off the badminton court. Until Rhett betrayed Neve and shattered her heart. Neve has a lingerie company, Four Seasons, together with her friends and she's responsible for the marketing. After five years without contact with Rhett, Neve runs into him at a business course in Queen's Town. He's the keynote speaker and in his speech he tells something shocking about himself that Neve knew nothing about. It's because of this news Neve decides to talk to him again.

Rhett still regrets that he lost Neve because of an incredibly selfish decision. He's a changed man and hopes he'll have a second chance with her. However, Neve doesn't want to let him in. Because of their chemistry she'd like to spend a few nights with him for old times sake, but that's it. Will Rhett be able to make things right or has he lost Neve forever by not thinking about the consequences of his actions when he was younger?

Bewitching Winter might have a cold setting, but the story itself is smoking hot. There are so many sparks between Rhett and Neve that it's impossible for them to stay away from each other. Their sex life used to be a very important part of their relationship. They talk and they make love and then they start over again. There are plenty of sex scenes in Bewitching Winter and they're all meaningful. Serenity Woods uses the attraction of her main characters to slowly uncover all the layers of their relationship and break down the walls Neve has put around her heart. It's an interesting way to describe the connection between the main characters and every scene is unique and original.

Bewitching Winter is a story about two people who deserve to be happy. Neve is a kind and passionate woman, but her stubbornness often makes her life harder and it makes people think she's cold instead of fiery. Rhett is pretty easygoing, but he's also impulsive and that cost him dearly. I kept hoping they would get over their issues as it's obvious that they are soul mates. I think that's a beautiful thing to experience and I love books about this topic. Serenity Woods writes about it in a raw and honest way that sometimes shocked me, but at the same time it also fascinated me. Her story is emotional on many different levels. I really like this series and highly recommend it to anyone who loves moving sexy stories.

Advice

If you love deep emotional stories with plenty of meaningful sex scenes you will definitely like Bewitching Winter. All of the Bewitching Winter books can be read as standalones.
 
Free book
 
Bewitching Winter is free right now on Amazon. Get your digital copy here:
 
 
About Serenity Woods

 
USA Today bestselling author Serenity Woods lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes hot and sultry contemporary romances with a happy ever after, and she would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies. You can check out all her books at www.serenitywoodsromance.com.

Links
 

Guest post

Winter in NZ
by Serenity Woods

The first thing to know about the seasons in New Zealand is that they’re very different depending on where you are in the country.
 
I live in a little town called Kerikeri in the Northland, which has a latitude of 35 degrees south. As a comparison, the 35th parallel north defines the southern border of Tennessee and the border between North Carolina and Georgia—it also passes through Cyprus and North Africa. So we’re sub-tropical up here, and we often say we live in the ‘winterless north’, although that’s a bit of a misnomer. We do have seasons, and maybe three or four frosts a year, but it’s far from bitter on a general winter’s day.
 
The south is quite different—Queenstown, for example, where Bewitching Winter is set, is 45 degrees south. The 45th parallel north passes through Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, France, and Italy, so you can see that it has a completely different climate, with warm summers but cold, snowy winters.
 
The oddest thing, though, for most of my readers from the northern hemisphere, is that winter happens from about June to August!
 
Midsummer Day to my American readers is the Midwinter Solstice for us, and this was the biggest change I had to get used to when I moved here (from the UK, 11 years ago.) It’s bizarre having Christmas at the height of summer, autumn in March, and spring in September! It’s like I’ve stepped through the looking glass.
 
Of course, for people who live here, it’s completely normal, and everyone treats Christmas like a summer beach party, while many of us celebrate the Midwinter Solstice with a traditional meal like turkey with all the trimmings. We also often exchange gifts, and even put up a tree for 21 June.
 
In Bewitching Winter, Neve and Rhett are staying at a hotel for a conference, and the Midwinter Solstice falls on the last night. They spend the day skiing and snowboarding (and making out in the changing rooms, LOL) before going to a winter party that evening (where things take a darker turn, but that’s another story.)
 
Never experienced a southern hemisphere winter before? Why not download Bewitching Winter today and escape to New Zealand with me? And the best bit is… it’s FREE!


Giveaway
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Three very lucky winners will receive a digital copy of the Four Seasons box set, which contains four books.
 
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.

Alpha Lover by Brenda Sparks - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway



Book review

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Anniek

Nicholai is a Russian vampire. He mostly controls his bloodlust by using bags from the blood bank. He will not feed off the local people and Nicholai is happy when two tourists walk into his restaurant. He’s starved for fresh blood and he takes the women to his office, so he can drink their blood. When he drinks Julie’s blood he knows instantly that he has found his heartmate. Every vampire has a partner who’s fated to complete them. For him the other half of his soul is Julie. Now that he’s found her he’ll do anything for her and he can’t stay away. The only problem is that Julie is a human, so Nicholai has to use the old fashioned way to make her fall in love with him. Will he be able to sweep Julie off her feet and will Julie be able to accept her fate? What will she do when she finds out that there’s a whole other world out there?

Julie is on a vacation in Russia with her friend Penny. She’s very excited to explore the city. Julie has no idea that she’s fated to be with Nicholai for the rest of eternity. She’s had a tough time and she’s still struggling with this. Julie is a sweet friend and she has a sassy personality. She’s enthusiastic about Russia and I really liked that she takes the time and effort to know more about the country. I’m also a true tourist when I visit a place and I loved it that Julie is the same. I did find her a bit naïve because she accepts lots of things without questioning them. Julie is attracted to Nicholai but she’s not a person to jump into a relationship. I couldn't wait to find out if she'd fall for Nicholai or not.

Nicholai is not used to being turned down. I like the idea of having a heartmate a lot and it was heartwarming to read about the things that Nicholai does to make Julie notice him. Nicholai is a gorgeous and determined man. He’ll do anything for Julie and I found it endearing that a powerful vampire turns into a lovesick puppy because of a 'mere' human. Nicholai can’t stay away from Julie and he stays with her in her hotel room without her knowing. He lies next to her and takes over her dreams. How long will Nicholai be able to keep Julie safe when demons are coming for her?

Alpha Lover is an entertaining read about finding your other half in life. I love to read about unconditional love and Alpha Lover was a perfect story for me. Because of the fact that the relationship between Nicholai and Julie is being built up slowly it gave me the time to really get to know the characters and connect with them. Besides Nicholai and Julie's love story Alpha Lover is also packed with action and suspense. I found myself on the edge of my seat because of the thrilling battle between vampires and demons. I also loved the amazing chemistry between the main characters. Brenda Sparks has written a fantastic sexy book. I'm looking forward to the other books in The Alpha Council Chronicles.

Advice

Alpha Lover is a perfect read for people who love the paranormal genre combined with finding everlasting love and a thrilling battle. This is the third book in the Alpha Council Chronicles series but can easily be read as a standalone.
 
Alpha Lover is on sale at all retailers for 99¢ from February 3 - March 2, 2017
 
About Brenda Sparks

 
Born in Virginia, Brenda Sparks now resides in the Sunshine State. Balancing her professional commitment to the local school district with her writing is challenging at times, but writing suspenseful paranormal romances is a passion that won’t be denied. Her idea of a perfect day is one spent in front of a computer with a hot cup of coffee, her fingers flying over the keys to send her characters off on their latest adventure. Brenda loves to connect with readers. Please visit her online or stop by her website to say hi.
 
Links

Twitter : @brenda_sparks https://twitter.com/brenda_sparks
 
Excerpt
 
Nicholai took Julie’s hand in his, leading her through the velvet ropes to the Grand Staircase. The fine, white marble stairs rose on either side of the room toward a large landing at the top. Golden, life-size statues stood as sentinels along the gilded iron railing. Penny’s eyes widened as they tracked along the walls, looking at the painted cherubs and golden moldings.
 
“Let’s take a picture.” Penny shoved the camera into Julie’s hand.
 
“Come on, Nicholai.” Penny linked her arm around Nicholai’s and pulled him toward the bottom of the immense set of steps.
 
The two of them situated themselves at the base of the stairs while Julie crossed to the opposite side of the rounded staircase.
 
“All right, you two.” Julie backed up as far as possible and adjusted the camera. “I think I can get you and those golden statues in the frame. Say cheese. I mean syr.”
 
“Syr,” Nicholai and Penny sang in tandem with big grins on their faces.
 
Every nerve ending in the warrior’s body suddenly lit up like the Vegas strip. Fear crept along his spine, circling it before it wrapped around his heart and squeezed until he could not breathe. His senses searched the palace.
 
A blank spot registered the exact moment Nicholai’s keen eyes noticed movement above Julie’s head. Horror gripped him with its icy tentacles when the statue of the golden woman holding a sickle leaned toward his heartmate. Time slowed his vision as it can only do during a time of danger. The heavy sculpture leaned further and further until it hung upside down, its head directly over Juliette’s. Suspended ominously in midair, it dangled for a second then fell, making a bee line for Julie.
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky winner will receive a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Big Books of Choice Giveaway

 

We love our followers and are very happy we've reached 500 Blogger followers, that's why we're celebrating with a big books of choice giveaway. The winner will receive $30 to spend on books at the Bookdepository, Wordery, Kenny's or Amazon. Good luck!
 
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.

Distracting the Duke by Elizabeth Keysian - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze
 
It's 1820 and Lady Clara's husband Simon passed away, which means she's free of his horrors. She finally has the chance to be her own woman and doesn't want another man in her life. Her family's fortunes are in trouble and their ward has a good chance to be officially courted by Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe. They can't think of a better match and it would mean a happier and independent future for Clara and financial relief for her brother and his wife. Making sure their ward spends enough time with Marcus numerous visits are being arranged.

Marcus is looking for a wife. He wants a family and children and is determined to find someone he genuinely likes instead of having an arranged marriage that is a good business deal. Therefore he's looking for a gentle woman who won't disagree with him. He doesn't want any fights in his home and is looking for a nice peaceful life. When he meets Clara there's a spark, but she has a fiery character and is the exact opposite of the kind of future wife he is looking for. Is Marcus prepared to change his wishes to be with the woman who makes his heart beat faster and if so does he have a chance with Clara? She makes it clear she doesn't want to get married again, so is he willing to go to great lengths to convince her she's the woman for him?

Distracting the Duke is a wonderful romantic story. Clara is a damaged woman. Simon was a scary man and he hurt her badly. She's afraid of all men because of what he's done to her and I had tears in my eyes when I read about what kind of man he was. Clara is smart and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She's also kind and caring and hides her lovely personality behind a prickly attitude. I loved the endless discussions she has with Marcus, Elizabeth Keysian writes with a great sense of humor and I had a lot of fun reading their dialogue. Marcus is a gentleman with a friendly character. He tries to remain polite and calm and doesn't show the sweet side of his personality to everyone. Because of this he keeps surprising Clara. He can see straight through her behavior, which made their connection even more interesting. They have plenty of chemistry and they are quite evenly matched. I equally loved both of their characters and enjoyed reading their story very much.

Elizabeth Keysian's vivid descriptions of her characters and their surroundings immediately make her story come to life. Distracting the Duke is entertaining and vibrant. It was fun to read about the beautiful houses, fascinating business transactions, amazing artwork, fabulous clothes and delicious food and drinks. There's also a layer of depth, because of Clara's awful past and the impact it has on her future and Marcus's difficult childhood. Elizabeth Keysian writes about it in an empathic way, which makes the story well balanced. I really liked this spellbinding love story and highly recommend it.

Advice

Distracting the Duke is a fun story about two interesting people. If you like historical romance you will definitely love this story. It might be a bit difficult to read for those who can't have children, but overall it's very entertaining.
 
 
About Elizabeth Keysian
 

Elizabeth Keysian felt destined to write historical romance due to her Cornish descent, and an ancestral connection to the Norse god Odin. Being an only child gave her plenty of time to read, create imaginary worlds, produce her own comics, and write sketches and a deplorably bad musical for an amateur dramatics group.

Three decades spent working in museums and archaeology fired Elizabeth’s urge to write, as did living on a Knights Templar estate, with a garage full of skeletons, a resident ghost and a moat teeming with newts.

Elizabeth lives near Bath in England with her partner and cats.

Connect with Elizabeth

Website: https://elizabethkeysian.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizKeysian/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EKeysian
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kKUDDh
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2l0lVJT
Amazon Author Profile: http://amzn.to/2maaD2O
 

Excerpt

Clara crept softly across the carpet of pine needles until she came to where a rivulet split the dunes on its way down to the sea, and halted. She caught sight of Ulvercombe standing at the water's edge with his back to her, hands on his hips.

She stepped aside swiftly, her heart beating hard. She would have to hide behind one of the dunes to avoid being seen, if he should turn round. Fortunately, the tide was still some way out and he was thus a considerable distance away, giving her time to make her escape if he spotted her.

Plucking off the old shawl she was wearing, she spread it over the grass-matted dune, then lay down on her stomach so only her head—with the telescope pressed to her eye—might be seen. Hopefully, with the waving sea grasses fanning across in front of her, she was well-hidden from any casual observer.

Eventually, she managed to locate Ulvercombe with the glass, and when she did her mouth dropped open in shock. In the time she'd taken to settle herself, he'd stripped off boots, stockings, jacket, and breeches, and now stood in nothing but his shirt, looking out to sea.

Clearly, the man had every expectation of being alone, and had no idea he was being covertly observed. It was early in the morning, it was his beach, his pine forest, his sand. She should back away and return to the house as quickly as possible.

A small attempt to move was made, but then he pulled his shirt over his head and she was transfixed.

The muscles rippled across his shoulders and she recalled, far too quickly, the feel of that hot body pressed against hers.

"Drat it!" The glass lens against her face had misted.

Crossly, she rubbed it with a corner of her shawl, and scanned the beach again until she found the duke.

The completely naked duke.

Her breath hitched in her throat. "Sweet Lord in heaven..."

It was not the splendid symmetry of his body, nor the very pleasing curve of his buttocks, nor even the straightness and supple power of his legs that had elicited her exclamation of shock.

It was the scars.

She hadn't seen the backs of his thighs when he'd disrobed that day in his bedchamber. Now she could see them very clearly, and she could also see a complex pattern of pale, crisscross lines etched across the skin. They were scars, surely?

Had he received them in battle or in some horrible accident? Had he been taken prisoner and tortured by the French? Maybe he'd been involved in a fire and something hot had branded him thus.

The chance to observe the marks more closely was abruptly removed as the duke, who had been walking straight out into the waves, suddenly dove in with a splash and began swimming out to sea with deft, powerful strokes.

She shuddered. The water must be absolutely freezing. How could he stand it?

"Good morning, Lady Tinniswood. A very fine one, is it not?"
 
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.
 

YALit Giveaway & Book Review of Girl in Pieces

 
The YALit giveaway is a great way to discover new YA authors and to find amazing books to add to your wish list. It also gives you the chance to download some freebies. The best thing is that there's a huge prize of 50 paperbacks for one lucky winner.
 
One of the books you can win is Girl in Pieces. Suze has decided to review this book because of its powerful message and impressive and meaningful content.
 
Book review
 
 
 Review by Suze
 
Charlie doesn't have anyone in the world. She's broken and her soul has shattered due to all of the horrible things she's been through. The pain often becomes unbearable and when she wants to make it stop for a while cutting is her only way out. Charlie has scars on her arms and legs, because she doesn't want to remember what happened to her father or the things an evil man has done to her when she was vulnerable and she also can't cope with what happened to her best friend Ellis, the girl who tried to end her life. Charlie's mother can't take care of her daughter and when after a long time on the streets Charlie finally ends up in a treatment center where they can do something for her, she has to leave because there's no money to pay for her stay. Charlie is on her own again. Will she be able to find a way to put the pieces of her life back together and make it whole again all by herself?
 
Girl in Pieces is an impressive emotional story. Charlie has known very little love in her life. Her childhood was unhappy, she lost the only friend she had and the boy she loved with all her heart didn't love her back. Charlie has to find a way to be more than just an invisible person who doesn't speak and that isn't easy. She cuts herself because she can't cope with the abundance of emotions that are constantly overwhelming her. Kathleen Glasgow describes her pain in a beautiful raw and realistic way. She knows what she's writing about and isn't afraid to show others what it's actually like. I found that incredibly brave and it made the book even more terrific and special for me.
 
Charlie is a sweet and talented girl. She's craving love, she wants to belong and she'd love to finally feel welcome somewhere. It's a sad situation and her despair radiates off the pages. It isn't easy to read about, but Kathleen Glasgow's amazing writing and skillful translation of feelings into words made it difficult for me to put Girl in Pieces down. Charlie tries to pick herself up, but she's quite naïve and hasn't seen much of the world and the people in it yet. She's only seventeen, so she still has a lot of living to do. I kept hoping the broken girl would get a chance to heal. Because of this I couldn't stop reading to find out if she'd actually get there.
 
Girl in Pieces is a book about big problems and tough situations. Charlie's issues resemble those of a lot of girls and I love that Kathleen Glasgow gives them a voice and makes her readers understand how and what drives someone to self hurt and mutilate. I was shocked by some parts of the book and I often had tears in my eyes while reading about Charlie's struggles. There's only one person who can change Charlie's life and better days will only come when she's ready to face this. Girl in Pieces is an incredible book, it's a strong thought-provoking story with a clear powerful message for everyone who feels broken in any kind of way.
 
Advice
 
If you like deep meaningful stories about serious topics with many difficult emotional layers and shocking scenes you should definitely read Girl in Pieces.
 
About the YALit Giveaway
 
A bunch of authors got together to bring you a Young Adult Big Box of Paperbacks Giveaway. One lucky winner is going to win fifty Young Adult paperback books.

The best part is that even if you don’t win, you’ll be subscribed to the sponsoring authors' newsletters for a chance to grab some freebies, snag some special offers and enter more giveaways. You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe button in the emails. This is not a fine print detail, so we suggest you only enter the giveaway if you really love books.

The box will contain the following titles:

Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen
Kass Morgan’s Rebellion (The 100)
Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces
Veronica Roth’s Four: A Divergent Collection
Gayle Forman’s If I Stay
Rebekah Crane’s The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland
Carrie Anne Noble’s The Mermaid’s Sister
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars
Kiera Cass’s The Selection
C. J. Redwine’s The Shadow Queen
Cookie O’Gorman’s Adorkable
Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave
Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King
Alyson Noël’s Evermore: The Immortals
Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me
P. C. Cast’s Marked
Lauren Oliver’s Delirium
Jessica Sorensen’s Rules of a Rebel and a Shy Girl
Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux: Beginnings
Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely
Derek Murphy’s The Scarlet Thread
Derek Murphy’s Shearwater
Eric Padilla’s Unfurled
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything
Siobhan Vivian’s The List
Michelle Madow’s Collide
Hilary Thompson’s Justice Buried
Natasha Preston’s The Cellar
J.L. Weil’s Slumber
Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why
Erin Hayes’s I’d Rather be a Witch
Ali Winters’s The Reapers
Erin Watt’s Paper Princess
Rebecca Rode’s Numbers Game
Kelly Oram’s Cinder & Ella
David Pandolfe’s Streetlights Like Fireworks
Jenny B. Jones’s In Between
Shannon Maynard’s Wicked Luck
Erin Richards’s Dragonfly Nightmare
D’Ann Burrow’s Playing by the Rules
Saul Tanpepper’s Contain
Elizabeth Briggs’s Future Shock
Steven Whibley’s Disruption
Jeanne Bannon’s Invisible
Norma Hinkens’s Girl of Fire
Lily Velez’s The Secrets We Kept
G. P. Ching’s Grounded
Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger
Sophie Davis’s The Syndicate
Brinda Berry’s The Waiting Booth
Julie Hall’s Life After: Huntress

Monday, February 20, 2017

As You Lay Sleeping by Katlyn Duncan - Book Review & Giveaway

 
Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads B&N Kobo
 
Review by Suze
 
Cara's relationship with Joe brings her the popularity she craves. They've been together for a long time and for a while everything was okay between them, but Joe is going to a prestigious university and Cara will be a senior in high school. It's time to go their separate ways. Unfortunately their goodbye is a bit more definite than Cara imagined it would be, as Joe is dead. Cara is being interrogated by the police. Do they think Joe was killed and if so is she a suspect? After Joe's death Cara slowly starts losing the things in life that are important to her. What is going on, is there something she should have noticed and how come someone else knows more about her life than she does?
 
Cara always wanted to be friends with the most popular girl at school. Dating her friend's brother makes it possible, but it also means there are high standards she needs to meet and there's a lot she has to undergo for the sake of acceptance. Joe's death is the beginning of uncertain times for her. Will his sister still be her friend, is she destined to be a social outcast or even worse, do people think she had something to do with it? Cara desperately needs a friend. She also has to find a way to prove her innocence. Will she succeed?

 Cara craves to belong, but instead of being liked for who she is she has to make plenty of sacrifices. Even though this might be one of her biggest flaws I could understand why she wanted to fit in more than anything and I could easily forgive most of the mistakes she's made in her past. She's an interesting main character. She isn't perfect and she doesn't always make the right or most honorable decisions, which sometimes makes her an unreliable main character. However, I admired her capability to be honest with herself and her willingness to look inside herself to see what's there, both good and bad. She's a fascinating mix of personality traits and I couldn't wait to find out more about her.
 
As You Lay Sleeping is a gripping story. Cara knows something doesn't add up, but she can't prove exactly what it is. Katlyn Duncan writes about her problems and feelings in an open and descriptive way. I liked that very much about the story. There are many surprising twists and turns and the ending is strange, thrilling and unusual. As You Lay Sleeping is an intriguing story with a lot of complex psychology behind it. It's well written and compelling and I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.
 
Advice
 
As You Lay Sleeping is a great choice for readers who like gripping YA stories.

About Katlyn Duncan

 
Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her ever since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

Links

 
Giveaway

1st prize: $25 Barnes & Noble egift card
2nd prize: digital copy of Soul Taken, This Summer, or Darkest Dawn
3rd prize: digital copy of Elixir Bound by Katie Carroll
4th prize: digital copy of Cruel Summer by K.R. Conway

&

1000 entries will unlock: paperback copy of That Moment When: An Anthology of Young Adult Fiction (Katlyn's short story 'Reflection' is included among 40 other stories from YA authors in all different genres)
2000 entries will unlock: signed paperback copy of Undertow by K.R. Conway
3000 entries will unlock: paperback copy of Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall
4000 entries will unlock: paperback copy of Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog
 

 

After She's Gone by Sheryl Browne - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway



Book review

Choclit Goodreads

Review by Suze

Matthew Adams and Patrick Sullivan have a long history. Patrick is a bully who turned into a dangerous criminal. He's a pimp, he's dealing drugs and he's a cunning murderer. Matthew wants to catch him and lock him up for good, but he also fears Patrick. The man doesn't have any scruples and Matthew knows that his loved ones aren't safe. In his battle to catch this awful man his daughter has lost her life. Patrick wants to make Matthew suffer. He holds him responsible for the death of his brother and want to pay him back. Matthew's wife Rebecca isn't safe and Matthew can't protect her the way he should.

Matthew is after Patrick because he suspects him to have committed several murders. They've found the heavily abused dead bodies of some of Patrick's prostitutes. This time Matthew is going to catch him and because of his personal involvement he's willing to go far, to cross the line if he has to. It's a battle of life and death. Who will win, the good cop or the bad criminal?

After She's Gone is a gripping thriller about a sick killer and a wonderful and sweet cop. Matthew and Rebecca are a great couple. After the death of their daughter they're devastated, but they keep going. They open their home for Matthew's niece. Unfortunately they can't give her the safe haven Matthew wants to give her because of Patrick Sullivan. He's always near and he's keeping an eye on them. It's seriously creepy and I loved how Sheryl Browne kept building the tension and the uneasiness. It was like I could see Patrick Sullivan looking through my window.

After She's Gone is a book you shouldn't read at night, it's that scary. Sheryl Browne gives her reader the chance to look inside the bad guy's mind as well as the good guy's. I think that's an interesting angle. Patrick Sullivan is a creep who's seriously messed up. It was interesting to see what his motivations were and how his twisted mind worked. It kept me on the edge of my seat. If you're looking for a gripping, disturbing thriller, get this book, it's fantastic.

Review by Anniek

Matthew and his wife Rebecca are trying to deal with the grief and pain after losing their daughter in a tragic accident. Matthew is a police officer and he knows that it wasn't really an accident. His daughter was murdered by a long life enemy and Matthew will stop at nothing until he can put the murderer behind bars for the rest of his life. When an informant is also killed Mathhew knows he has no time to waste. Matthew know he normally has the support of his wife, but how far is he willing to go this time and will he and Rebecca still be such a strong team when their lives are on the line?

Patrick Sullivan doesn't know anything but violence. Ever since he was a child he's been told time and time again how much of a disappointment he is for his father. This toughened him up and he became a bully at school. Trying to make his dad proud somehow, Patrick takes over the family business. This family business contains prostitution, erotic dancers and drugs. Patrick is a dominant boss who will take nothing less than respect. If you're standing up to him this will cost you. Will Matthew be able to catch this dangerous man?

Matthew is a man with a heart of gold. He's a good cop and he doesn't let go before his case is solved. He tries to be there for Rebecca and she's his rock. Without her Matthew probably wouldn't be coping with his life the way he does now. Matthew's sister is addicted to alcohol. Matthew and Rebecca found out that she had a child. Her daughter Ashley has been in child care, but now they know about her existence Matthew and Rebecca don't want to leave her there and like to take care of her. Rebecca selflessly opens her heart and her home. She has been through so much in her life and a lot of people would not have the strength to keep going. She's so incredibly brave and I admired her for that. She stands by her man and his niece in such a loving way that it's impossible not to like her.

Patrick Sullivan is just straight out evil. Even though I felt for him about the way he grew up I still couldn't get over the things that he did. The only person he cares about is his daughter, but to anyone else he's cold and emotionless. He's a predator and will take down everybody who's weaker than him. I felt a deep disgust when I was reading about him. In the back of my mind I was still thinking, he doesn't know any better, but this doesn't justify his actions. Has Patrick met his match in Matthew? Will he finally pay for all the hurt that he's caused?

After She's Gone is a gripping heartbreaking crime story. When you read the blurb the first question is: He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do? Well I would probably do the same as Matthew did. I wouldn't rest until he got his punishment. Sheryl Browne already had me crying on the very first page and I found myself in tears several times throughout the story. Matthew and Rebecca are a great couple and it filled my heart with warmth when they took in Ashley. I wished for them all to come out on top. Ashley is different and even though this isolates her from other kids I loved this about her. She's a great young girl and deserves to be loved. After She's Gone grabbed me from the very first page and didn't let me go until I finished the story. Sheryl Browne is an experienced and skillful writer and she has written another brilliant story that I highly recommend.

Advice

If you love to read a gripping and thrilling crime story I highly recommend After She's Gone. Please take in consideration that this is a story that covers some very difficult topics.

Are you ready to take an all-consuming journey into the mind of a madman?

 
About Sheryl Browne

 
Heartache, humour, love, loss and betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.


Links
 
 
Excerpt
 
‘Oi, you can’t park there!’ a police officer yelled as Matthew mounted the kerb, careering his car haphazardly to a stop on the pavement.

His gut twisting violently inside him, his head reeling, Matthew ignored him, ramming his door open instead to scramble from the car and set off at a run.

‘What the …?’

Vaguely aware of the man giving chase, Matthew kept going, attempting to push past another officer closing in in front of him, only to be caught from behind.

‘Whoa. Come on, mate, you need to get back.’ Taking hold of his arm, the officer behind attempted to steer him away. ‘There’s been an accident up ahead. We need to clear—’

‘Shit, it’s Adams.’ The officer in front intervened.

‘Who?’ The man still hanging on to his arm asked.

‘Detective Inspector Adams,’ the officer in front supplied warily. ‘Let him through.’

Stumbling forwards as the guy behind relaxed his grip, his legs like dead weights beneath him, Matthew forced himself on, bypassing other officers, who now stood respectfully aside.

His wife was with her. Matthew swallowed back a hard knot in his throat. She was crouched over her, holding her impossibly small hand in her own. She didn’t look up. Rebecca kept her gaze focussed on their daughter. His daughter. Matthew felt something break inside him as he took in his baby’s injuries, her broken body, the slow trickle of lifeblood pooling beneath her, staining the drab, grey road crimson.

Please don’t. Matthew prayed hopelessly as he moved closer. Please don’t do this. The world seeming to slow to a stop around him, the use of his legs finally deserting him, Matthew dropped to his knees at the side of the child he’d loved with every fibre of his being ever since he’d first glimpsed her tiny form on the monitor.

‘Hey, Tigerlily,’ he said, his voice cracking as Lily’s eyes fluttered open. Wide blue eyes, once crystal clear with the innocence of childhood, they were filled with confusion and pain as she looked pleadingly up at him, silently begging him, her daddy, to fix it. His heart turned over as her lips parted. She wanted to speak. She couldn’t. Please don’t try to speak, baby. Tears he couldn’t hope to hide streaming down his face, Matthew leaned towards her, brushing her blood-matted, beautiful blonde hair gently away from her face. ‘Daddy’s here, darling,’ he choked. ‘It’s going to be just fine.’

Lies. Lies. He screamed inside. It was going to be fine. It could never be. He couldn’t fix it. How could he let his little girl go knowing he couldn’t? Cradling his baby gently in his arms, Matthew’s heart splintered inside him as he watched her life ebb away.
 
****
 
They were taking her away in an ambulance. What use was an ambulance? Panic engulfing him, Matthew took a faltering step towards it, and stopped. He couldn’t. Couldn’t ride with her, watch as the warmth drained from her body, her baby-soft skin turning blue and cold. Life fucking extinct.

‘Matthew!’ Rebecca called to him as, his chest heaving, Matthew turned away. Terrified of what he might see in her eyes, he couldn’t turn back. This was his fault. He should have been there. He’d promised to drive them to the cinema. He’d known Patrick Sullivan might make good his threat. He should have been there! A potent mixture of grief and rage broiling inside him, Matthew recalled his last encounter with the sadistic piece of scum with sickening clarity. Sullivan’s expression hadn’t altered when he’d informed him his brother had been an unfortunate casualty in a drug bust gone wrong. Matthew had been surprised. Sullivan’s hatred of him went way back since they were kids in school. Guessing he would hold him personally responsible, Matthew had been bracing himself for Sullivan to reach across the table and attack him right there in the prison interview room. Instead, Sullivan had reached casually for a cigarette. Lighting up, he’d glanced down and scratched his forehead slowly with his thumb.

‘How’s that pretty young wife of yours, DI Adams? Pregnant again, isn’t she?’ he’d enquired eventually, blowing smoke circles into the air as he’d looked back at him. ‘Give her my regards, won’t you?’

Sullivan had then leaned forwards, a twisted smirk on his face, his eyes as black as molasses and swimming with pure evil. ‘I would do it myself, but I’m a bit busy … banged up … in here.’

It had been a threat. Innocent to all ears but Matthew’s, it had been a direct threat. And now, still sitting pretty in prison with a cast iron alibi, Sullivan was no doubt congratulating himself on a job well done, imagining that he’d also succeeded in warning Matthew off pursuing him once he got out. Wrong, you bastard.
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky winner will receive a digital copy of After She's Gone by Sheryl Browne.
 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books - What Rosie Found Next by Helen J. Rolfe - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Rosie has found a job in Magnolia Creek, a small town where everybody knows one another. She combines working with house sitting. This is perfect for her since her boyfriend Adam works overseas and they haven't settled down in a home of their own yet. Rosie falls in love with Magnolia Creek almost instantly and she feels like she belongs in this small community. Magnolia Creek and its surrounding towns are known for having a high risk at bush fires. Rosie stays on high alert because fire is something that makes her nervous and she wants the house she's living in and the people she cares about to be safe.

Owen is a successful real estate agent. He buys properties and rents them out most of the time. A while ago he found something in his father's study, but before he could take a good look his mother took it away from him. He overheard his parents talk about it and now he's determined to find out what he isn't supposed to know. Owen needs his parents out of town so he can search the house. When he arrives at their home in the middle of the night he's surprised to find Rosie, who has a contract to watch over the house during his parent's absence. Can they share the house or does one of them have to leave?

Rosie had a tough childhood growing up with just her father. They were very close until a tragic event took her father's life. Rosie has been devastated ever since. She needs Adam to be there for her, but he only stays with her a few days at a time before he goes back to work. Rosie needs to feel secure and safe in life and I felt that Adam wasn't giving this to her. During the whole story their relationship felt off. Both of them want something that the other isn't capable of giving. I loved Rosie from the start. She's incredibly sweet and kind. I liked her sense of humor and admired the calm and sensible way she deals with the whole situation with and around Owen. I kept thinking she'd deserve more than what Adam is prepared to offer her.

Owen travels from town to town and even though he owns a lot of real estate he doesn't have a home. Ever since he was a kid he felt that something was not right. His mother was there for every major event in his life, but it always seemed like her heart wasn't completely in it. Owen struggles with these feelings and needs to find out the truth. Owen is a true hero in my eyes. He works as a volunteer at the local fire department and risks his life over and over again to rescue someone else's. It was really interesting to learn more about fire fighters and what they have to deal with in the line of duty.

What Rosie Found Next is a beautiful story about opening your eyes to see what's right in front of you. You may have plans in life, but when love finds you everything else is off the table. I loved reading about Rosie and Owen and liked how they gradually evolve from being strangers into being friends and then slowly become possible lovers. Helen J. Rolfe is a skilled storyteller, she's amazing at building up her tension. Not only did Rosie and Owen have a natural and realistic storyline, but as a reader you also know that there are secrets that will come out. However, you're never sure about how and when they will come to the surface. Helen J. Rolfe combines this gripping element with a beautiful setting. Magnolia Creek sounds like a fantastic town and it would be a joy to live there. What Rosie Found Next is my first book by Helen J. Rolfe, but she certainly got me interested in reading her other stories as well.

Advice

What Rosie Found Next is a captivating read which will keep you guessing about family secrets. It's set in a small town that gives the story a cozy and warm feeling.

About Helen J. Rolfe

 
My English teacher at school told me to never give up on my dream of becoming a writer. Somehow I ended up with a business degree and a job as a computer programmer, but I never forgot her wise words and encouragement.
 
In August 2000 I answered my call to adventure and headed to Australia where I ended up living for fourteen years. I made my home in Melbourne for just over nine of those years and in 2003 I left the I.T. industry and began my writing career as a freelancer.
 
After a relocation to Sydney and with more time on my hands once the kids started school, I continued freelancing for women's health and fitness magazines, I studied four units of a Masters in Writing and finally I realised that all I wanted to do was become an author.
 
Australia will always hold a special place in my heart but in 2014 the pull of family brought us back to the UK to live, and we have relocated to Hertfordshire.
 
Aside from writing and reading, my passions include yoga and Pilates, chocolate and a good measure of Baileys on ice :-)
 
Links
 
 
Interview
 
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
 
I live in Hertfordshire with my husband and two children. I've been writing fiction since 2011 and still love it. I have six books out at the moment, all available as ebooks and paperbacks via Amazon, and I'm hoping to have book 7 out in the next few months.

2. What makes your heart beat faster?
 
Waiting to get on a rollercoaster! Once upon a time I loved them, now I really hate them but have to do it for the kids!

3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?
 
A picnic in the sunshine with the finest champagne and plenty of seafood, then a lovely walk along the beach together.

4. Who are your favorite romantic couple?
 
I would have to say Will and Lou from Me Before You.

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?
 
It means leaving behind every day worries and focusing on each other. It doesn't have to be with grand gestures...sometimes it's the little things that matter.

6. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?
 
No! My head is in the 'romantic' clouds most of the time! But I like to combine romance with every day life so my books have plenty of themes running through them to challenge my characters, sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances.

7. Can you tell us about your most romantic experience?
 
My wedding day... I think it's the only time I've ever seen my husband look nervous!
 
8. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?
 
Some of the classical cello music is really beautiful...my character in What Rosie Found Next was a cellist and I often had that music playing in the background as I wrote Rosie and Owen's story.

9. Which country personifies romance for you and why?
 
Any country...I don't think you need to be in a particular place. Sometimes it's a cold country with the snow outside and the romance of a log fire and Christmas lights, but other times it's romantic to watch the sunset from a gorgeous beach.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?
 
More books about real lives. Romance and love will always feature too because those are what make my world go around.
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a paperback copy of What Rosie Found Next by Helen J. Rolfe.
 
 

 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 & Giveaway - The SEAL's Return by Patricia Potter

 
 
Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze
 
Jubal used to be a SEAL, but being captured ended his career and after being discharged he doesn't have anywhere to go. His friend Chip offers him a cabin in Covenant Falls where he can live until he figures out what to do with his future. Jubal accepts the offer. He doesn't plan on staying, but visiting Chip for a few days sounds like a good plan. He doesn't count on meeting the troubled teenager Gordon who can use some guidance. Gordon has a gorgeous sister and when Jubal meets Lisa he feels something else than sense of duty and grief for the first time in years.
 
When Gordon gets into trouble with the police in Chicago Lisa decides to accept the offer to take over as the town's doctor in Covenant Falls. It isn't a career move she planned, but to give Gordon and Kerry, their sister, a chance at a good future she thinks it's for the best. They have lost their parents and Lisa is her younger brother and sister's guardian. The friendly inhabitants of Covenant Falls have a good influence on all of them and maybe they can finally heal. Lisa might even find more than just a job in her new hometown. Jubal is the exact opposite of the kind of man she envisioned ending up with, but he might be exactly what she needs. Do they have a chance or will he leave as soon as he can?
 
The SEAL's Return is an impressive romantic story. Jubal has been through a lot and he has both physical and mental scars. It's obvious that he's used to order and obedience. He still keeps himself fit by running and swimming every day and he doesn't smile and talk much. Under the rough exterior he hides a heart of gold though, he's a wonderful friendly man. I loved how he's there for Gordon when he needs someone the most. He also approaches Lisa in a refreshing direct way. It's clear from the start that they are a good match, but they're both wary and not looking for love. Lisa is sweet and she clearly loves her siblings, but she's old for her age. She needs to loosen up a little. She has plenty of responsibilities and there isn't any room for fun in her life. She's caring and patient and doesn't judge, which makes her a perfect match for Jubal. Their attraction is based on an instant connection. They understand each other in many different ways, which was amazing to read about.
 
Patricia Potter writes about troubled pasts in an emphatic way. I could easily understand the emotions of her main characters. What I loved about The SEAL's Return the most is the way she writes about animals. She perfectly captures their beauty and I loved the effect they have on the main characters. They are such an important part of the story and Patricia Potter makes them come to life really well. The main characters deserve a chance to heal and are all worthy of their love. The feeling the animals give them is special, which is something I instantly liked. The SEAL's Return is a captivating story about both people and animals and I enjoyed reading it very much.
 
Advice
 
If you like books about gorgeous veterans who get a second chance and find love you will love the Home to Covenant Falls series. The books can be read as standalones.
 
 
 
Other books in the series

  
About Patricia Potter
 

Patricia Potter is the USA Today Bestselling Author of more than fifty books. She has received numerous writing awards, including RT Storyteller of the Year, its Career Achievement Award for Western Historical Romance and its Best Hero of the Year Award. She is a seven-time RITA finalist and three-time Maggie Award winner. She has served as president of Romance Writers of America. The SEAL’s Return is her fourteenth book for Harlequin.

Prior to writing fiction, she was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal and president of a public relations firm.
 
 
 Giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Three runner ups will receive a digital copy of The Soldier's Promise, book 1 of the Home to Covenant Falls series.