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What I'm Reading

A Harlequin devotee, I read just about anything.

Currently reading

Cape Cursed
Janice Lane Palko
Forward Passes
Jami Davenport
Selling Out
Amber Lin
Seducing the Princess
Mary Hart Perry
Karen S. Bell
Concealed Desire
Eden Summers
Only Scandal Will Do
Jenna Jaxon
Texas Two Step
Cynthia D'Alba
Lily Harlem

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Sexual Politics

Sexual Politics - Tara Mills

I’m just gonna come out and say it, this is such a cute story. I know, I know…I shouldn’t say that based on the cover and blurb but underneath it all is a great story about a woman in an unhappy marriage that meets her soul mate at the wrong time.

Now don’t get me wrong about the story. I loved it and if I had one quibble, I wish it were longer because I loved Sean and Justine. I even like Justine’s husband, Gary. Yes, I liked him. Sure he was a cheater but no matter to Justine. She still believed in him as a person and that said a lot to me about Justine’s character and also Gary’s. I hate cheaters but in the end…well, let’s just say that’s when I really like Gary. (Hint: Please write a book about him. I’d read it and see if he can be fully redeemed. :) )

Justine and Sean were great characters. Justine knew the game but was tired of playing it. Meeting Sean was a true twist of fate but she was steadfast in her marriage that it would end after the election. She had conviction and a belief in Gary that no matter what happened in the marriage, she truly would stand behind him in politics. That takes guts. But she was no patsy either. She made sure that Gary knew what was up.

Sean was a the character that I had to fall in love with. Since the story is somewhat short, it has a feeling of instalove but I re-read the book again. Pay attention. Ms. Mills has written a very layered story in regards to Sean. He’s like an onion…look closer there are a lot of layers to him. Justine got him from the beginning but I didn’t. *head desk*

Don’t worry about the cheating…it happens off book with Gary. Plus when Sean and Justine finally come together its sweet and sensual. The ending was perfect. Funny in a way that I didn’t see coming.

Again, I will re-read this story again because I just love Justine and Sean. Such a sweet story about finding your soul mate, even at the wrong time. Oh and Gary’s Chief of Staff…didn’t see that plot twist either.

Savage Deception

Savage Deception - R.T. Wolfe Okay before we dive into the review I’m going to mix it up a bit. I’m going to talk about the following in my review: cover, heroine, hero, plot, setting, secondary characters and overall impression to the series. A couple of other things, too. I love Ms. Wolfe. I was introduced to Ms. Wolfe’s Black Creek series when it first came out. Black Creek Burning is Brie and Nathan’s book. Flying in Shadows is Andy’s and Rose’s book. Savage Vengeance is the start of Duncan and Nickie’s story. To be honest, you don’t need to read the first two books in the series to understand Vengeance but I strongly suggest that you do just because they are awesome. I will link my reviews to them at the bottom of the post.

Cover_Savage Deception

1. Cover: Normally I don’t mention the cover but in this case I need to. The cover girl is Nickie. I couldn’t have pick out a more perfect picture of our heroine. Oh and Duncan…yes, she nailed it. Suit and all.

2. Setting: The setting is a character all of its own. The book is mainly set in upstate New York and Ms. Wolfe takes you to a place that you wish you could live or at least visit. The “compound” where they all live is beautiful. At least in my mind it is.

3. Plot: Nitty gritty time. Where to start? As stated in the blurb, this case is personal, very personal. Again, I suggest that you read Savage Vengeance to get a better feel for this book. Ms. Wolfe does a great job of showing Nickie’s back story here but as a reader I feel like you need more of her back story. Plus, there are little things about Duncan’s and Nickie’s romance that might not ring true with the casual reader. There is no instalove but a continuation of their romance that started in the earlier book. Keep in mind that Savage Deception sets up a story thread that doesn’t conclude until much later in the series. I love that in this series. You might also think that since the series is about the same couple that there may be a comparison to Eve and Roarke. There is but this is different. While Eve doesn’t have a the family dynamic, Duncan and Nickie do and its a great addition to the book. Ms. Wolfe has nailed police procedures too. From the squad room to the penitary you get inside Nickie’s head and what she is doing. Again, this is romantic suspense and the subject matter of child prostitution and kidnapping isn’t a subject that most authors would tackle but Ms. Wolfe handles it well and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the series. Plus what’s up with Nickie’s biological parents? Oh yes, they make an appearance. Ivanna needs to be slapped upside her head.

4. Secondary Characters: Again, Ms. Wolfe uses her secondary characters well. We get to see Andy helping his older brother, Duncan. Dave is back as Nickie’s captain and the two FBI agents are great, too. While there are secondary characters in this book, there aren’t alot that you have to keep up with. Oh and did I mention Nickie’s old captain that is now in jail? Nope? Again, he is explained during the jail visits. Ooooo, I was glad for those scenes. I wanted to shot him myself if I had the chance.

5. Duncan: What do you do when you are a billionaire, artist in love with a quirky, flawed and not so trusting cop? Well, you love her like there is no tomorrow, give her space, try not to keep things from her and stop hounding her about closet space. The sweetest thing that Duncan did for her was the swimming pool. Who knew that a way to girl’s heart is an indoor swimming pool? Oh and putting up with her nightmares and just soothing them away. Duncan has his own secrets and issues to deal with and he is dealing with them. But he deals with hunches and Nickie deals in facts. These two on paper couldn’t be more opposite and wrong for each other but that’s what makes them a couple. They have to work at it and even during gun fire, Nickie’s work and Duncan wanting to just make “his Nickie” happy…its perfection.

6. Nickie: OMG! In my book, Nickie is the PERFECT heroine. She’s quirky, smart, compassionate, sexy, confused, in love, damaged by her childhood, flawed and I want to be her friend. Hang out with her, talk to her, drink Diet Coke with her (well, I’d drink Diet Dr. Pepper or Coke Zero) and generally just be there for her. She has baggage. She has violent nightmares that lead to her hitting Duncan in bed. Yes, she suffers from PTSD from her 18 months of being kidnapped. She has alot to learn about being in a relationship with Duncan. Yes, she and Duncan have some bumps in the road but they truly do love each other and work on them together. She does have some trust issues but who wouldn’t with everything that she’s been through. But that’s what makes her GREAT! There is no angst, just a real woman with problems that most of us can identify with. Well, maybe not the kidnapping but the job stress, relationship issues and dealing with family. Feeling alone when you are surrounded by people.

7. Smexy Times: Yes, they are there. Some are intense, emotional but no worries about them being graphic. Ms. Wolfe knows her stuff and trust me…*wiggles eyebrows* Duncan lets Nickie know how long its been since he has seen her naked. *giggles*

8. Overall impression: PERFECTION. Yes, this book is my favorite book so far this year. I re-read Savage Vengeance, Savage Echoes and Savage Deception in a marathon one day. I had the book hangover but it was so worth it. Ms. Wolfe has a fan for life and Nickie Savage is my girl crush now. I adored her, loved Duncan and can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out.

Some Like it Royal

Some Like it Royal - Heather Long Wow, just wow! An intelligently written book about a tried and true trope: The forgotten royal. I love this trope for many reasons and Ms. Long nails every reason why I do. The heroine is smart, sexy and doesn’t have a clue about her heritage at all. The hero isn’t a douche; yes, he has a reason why he wants her to be a true royal but he is honest from the beginning. I know…smart thing that Ms. Long did. Plus, the heroine agrees but makes the hero jump throw hoops in the beginning but too bad. This is a story about how a forgotten princess and her billionaire pseudo fiancée fall in love. Sorry but there’s no deception, no one trying to break them up or do anything stupid.

Now, I could say that I felt some similarities with the move Pretty Woman and the character of Victor but Ms. Long gave it a different spin. Alyx, our heroine, had a presence about her; a familiarity about being a princess. Of course, our hero, Daniel, stepped in a couple of times to remind Victor that Alyx was tired and needed a break. *swoon* Victor has got to be the best secondary character that I have read in a long time. He wasn’t intrusive, mean or treated Alyx like an idiot. When she needed someone, he was there for her; not as a teacher but as a friend.

What really drew me the characters was that actually got to know each other as people. They got to be friends before the sex started. As I told Ms. Long, I appreciate the fact that I was more than half way through the book before they even had sex. Sure there is tension and build up but Ms. Long puts Daniel and Alyx in a situation that just perfect for them to finally give themselves to each other. Trust me, when you read it, you will swoon, fist pump and wish that a lot of other authors would follow Ms. Long on this. :)

If you are wondering where the conflict is, trust me its there but its not what you think. Again, Ms. Long doesn’t dumb her characters down or her readers. Another thing about Daniel and Alyx is that in the end, these two really cared about each other and wanted it to work.

If I had one thing to gripe about…I really need to know if Alyx’s boxes will ever show up. I felt like, for me, I needed that closure. The picture was great that Daniel gave her but I wanted more. Again, its just me. I don’t know what I would do without “my stuff” like that.

Overall, buy this book. Give it to your mother, grandmother, aunt, niece really anyone. Its funny, sweet, sexy when needed, and Ms. Long nails a trope that many authors miss and brings heart, heat and a sense of belonging that anyone can identify with.

Some Like It Scandalous

Some Like It Scandalous - Heather Long In the second of the Suddenly Royal series, we meet Armand (Charlie) and Anna. College sweethearts until the news broke that he was really a prince and was needed back home after the death of his father. Anna went ahead and went with him but in the end, she left. Why did she leave? Well, its sorta complicated but sorta not. As the tagline states, not every girl wants to marry a prince.

I LOVED Anna right from the start. She is smart, sexy, confident, and still in love with Charlie. What she wasn't going to do was capitulate to Armand. Yes, I said Armand, the prince. She didn't know that side of him and had already put up with that side of him when they were whisked away to Norway when he became the head of the family. She didn't like being alone, being told what to do and was scared. She loves Charlie and in this book has to get to know Armand and everything that comes with him. I swear I fist pumped at the last half of the book when she told him her feelings but didn't give in to him at all. She made him sweat and figure out how it was all going to work out between them. :)

In the beginning, I didn't particularly care for Charlie (Armand). Too heavy-handed and sneaky in my book. Yes, he wanted Anna but only on his terms. He never once thought about her and what she truly wanted out of their relationship when they reunited. I did however, loved the flashback scenes when it was just Charlie and Anna in college. It showed him as selfless, loving and giving person. Not the almost douche that he was becoming. It took the accident involving Rick to finally get him to figure out what he really wanted out of life and with Anna.

I loved the sub plot of someone wanting to hurt Anna. For me it showed great strength of character that Anna had in her situation and how she dealt with it. Again, you go girl! She never backed down and the twists were great. Oh and Armand's brother Sebastian...please for the love of all that's holy, let his book be next. Even though he was only in the book for a couple of scenes, I fell in love with him. He was only looking out for his older brother even if it did sorta backfire.

Everything about the book is perfect. I love the royal trope but what's better is the second chance trope. Charlie and Anna never stopped loving each other but needed that time apart from each other to finally figure out how to live as a couple and to grow as individuals. Plus the scenes when they finally talk about what happened 10 years ago were emotional and heartfelt. In my opinion, that's when their love story started. Yes, they loved each other in college but once the Band aid was pulled, they could finally see each other and their wants and needs.

I just love how Heather writes. Her sex scenes are organic in nature. In fact, like I said in the first book, this book would be a winner if the sex wasn't there. And yes, your mother/grandmother/aunt could read this book and not blush too bad. Ms. Long can write some of the best sensual, emotional sex out there.

Please give this series a chance. You will not be sorry and I can't wait for the next one. Please, fingers crossed, let it be Sebastian. Or even Rick. I liked Rick, too. :)

Oh and one last thing...even though this is a series, you DON'T have to read the first book. Each stands alone. :)

Love's Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1)

Love's Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1) - Terri Rochenski As most know my reviews can be long-winded, gushing, thought-provoking and sometimes even funny. Well, this one is going to be different. I have to admit that this book is my first ever book hangover. Yes, I’m THAT type of reader that doesn’t get the hangover nor do I understand the whole “OMG, the new ____ book is out and I’m taking the day off from life to read it” and then talk about it for a week on Facebook. Again, I’m not one of the cool girls but that’s okay.
Unfortunately, my review of Love’s Sorrows will be short and sweet. Why? Because if I say too much about the book, plot, characters, etc., I will break Harlie’s Books cardinal rule…NO SPOILERS! I stalked Terri the day I finished reading it because I was such a mess that I had to know when the next book will be out. Yes, I stalked an author. And get this…she laughed. Evil woman! She did take me off the ledge, petted my head and told me that in NOVEMBER all will be revealed. Yes, November. *head keyboard from fainting* But at least I know what I’m up against. So without further ado here is my “list”:
1. This is a sweet historical. Everything is behind closed-door for the most part. Ms. Rochenski can write sexual tension and make you feel the moment better than anyone.
2. Keep in mind that this book is set in England so woman don’t have as many rights has American women did. Some of the book happens in America and Anne is somewhat taken back by the “rights” that women had over there. It was refreshing to see her grow when she was in
3. Please note that Ms. Rochenski does talk about social issues that women faced back then: abuse, social standings, mistresses, miscarriages and alcoholism. There is also one scene of abuse/forced sexual content. I’m sorry but I had to say that one. The rest of the book is sweet so don’t worry.
4. I was immersed in Anne and Gavin’s story that when I hit the 3/4 mark, the author did an almost 180 degree turn that left me gutted, crying, screaming and hurt for the rest of the book. (She did take me off the ledge when I talked to her) But what I came away with in the end is that Anne reminded me of another literary heroine, Scarlett O’Hara and I will leave it at that.
5. When reading Regacy/Victorian historical romance, most authors get bogged down in the details and leave me bored. Ms. Rachel Brimble is one of those authors that DOESN’T get bogged down and I love her for it and she knows it. Ms. Rochenski’s characters Anne and Gavin, turned into one of the best character driven books that I’ve read in this genre for a long time.
6. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. Put it on the top of your TBR pile and spend a day with Anne and Gavin. You will feel gutted, stunned and just plain open-mouthed in the end. Don’t say I didn’t warn you but this book is not to be ignored. Ms. Rochenski has written a brilliantly, in some ways brutal, book that everyone must read and then come back and cry with me. Only 7 months until the next book.
WARNING: This is an open-ended book. There is no HEA or HFN for Anne and Gavin. Again, 7 months. *SIGH*

Runaway Groom (Watkin's Pond)

Runaway Groom (Watkin's Pond) - Virginia Nelson You know the best part of reading a new book in a series? You get a feel for the town, the secondary characters and try to figure out who the author has planned to write about next. I have some thoughts but you need to read this book to find out. The worst part of reading a new book in series? I did not want this book to end.

Braxton stole my heart from the first page. Literally the first page. In fact the first word… *sigh* I’ve never known a hero in a book to be this romantic. At the same time, my heart broke for him. He knew what he had done was awful but when you are young and dumb, you think you have all the answers but in hindsight, you don’t. Sometimes, it takes people some years to figure out why they did the things back when they younger and how it hurt not just the people around them but to themselves, too. Braxton had some growing up to do being away from Watkins Pond and when he came back, he was all grown up and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Was he all Alpha? In my eyes, no. Just a man who grew from a boy who realized his one big mistake and would do whatever it took to make it right.

Abby, on the hand, was a bit too bitchy for me in the beginning. I totally understood the whole left at the altar in front of the whole town thing but come on…it had been 10 years. She wouldn’t even talk to him. I did like the slap though! :) She was all about the seduction of course because she remembered how great they were before but honestly, it wasn’t until 50% of the book did I finally really, really like her. Now her bestie Carnie was a laugh riot! OMG! The stuff that came out of her mouth…priceless!

Now don’t get all riled up because of my thoughts about Abby, in the end I could totally see her point in the matter; it just took me some time to get there. In the end at the gravestone…yes, I’ve done that and its completely therapeutic. I highly recommend it. One thing that got me with Braxton and Abby was the ability to “talk” to each without realizing it. Yes, they did talk to each other but it wasn’t what they expected. Braxton wanted that sit down, lay it all on the table but in the end…he got much more than that.

I would be remiss to say anything about Braxon seducing Abby again. Imaginative and grown up is all I’m going to say right now. They aren’t teenagers anymore and Ms. Nelson does a great job with that aspect of their story. But for me the best part of the book are the letters. No one writes them anymore and actually mails them. Its all about instant email, messaging and texting. There is something to be said about the written word that you mail to someone and again, Ms. Nelson’s plot point with the letters is brilliant and beautifully written. Please don’t skip this part of the story. This is where I lost it with Braxton. So heartfelt and then for Abby to realize that she never got them.

Please, I beg of you, if you like small town stories with a bit of spice, Abby and Braxton will steal your heart. Plus, I can’t wait to see who Ms. Nelson writes about next. My money is on….

Oh Stupid Heart

Oh Stupid Heart - Liza O'Connor As most know, I loved The Worst Week Ever. Carrie stole my heart from the first page and she did again, Oh Stupid Heart. Be warned though, this book is completely different from The Worst Week Ever. Yes, there is still humor, dry wit, situations that you would think…NOT AGAIN but this one humanizes Trent more. He tries to be charitable on the train and that backfires somewhat. When he tries to be charitable to his friend Jon, it finally works. Of course, he had a bit of help from Carrie and Mars, again.

Mars, Jack and Sam are back to help Carrie and Trent but my heart broke for Sam. There is a secret that Jon shares with Trent that really through me for a loop. ;) Great twist and explains alot of Sam’s resentment towards Trent but Sam deserves better. He is still holding a candle for Carrie though. In some ways, so does Mars but he views her as a somewhat savior to his own job with Trent. Read the book and see if you agree with me.

I loved the introduction of Jon and Patty. They are the ones that truly humanized Trent for me in this book. I finally understood where Trent truly came from growing up and with talking to Jon, Trent realized that he could leave his former life behind and build a future with Carrie. Plus, he’s a writer that I swear everyone had read and love except Trent.

The office situations were the best in the book for me. Grant was a slime, Coco a complete bitch and Dan was the glue that made Carrie finally feel appreciated and necessary when it came to her work. Loved, loved how Carrie finally stood up for herself and got mad a Trent during a work situation too. Of course, it broke her heart afterwards but I felt like Carrie was coming around to the fact that Trent didn’t always truly value her as an employee. Sure, she was the glue that kept the company afloat but somehow in this book, Trent forgot about that.

This book read has fast as TWWE but it very well paced and of course, Ms. O’Connor can write dialogue with the best of them. She makes her characters come alive on the page whether it be a word or maybe a raised eyebrow. Plus, I still want Carrie’s house and garden. ;)
To answer Liza’s question of the right guy for Carrie…its hard to say really. I liked Trent better in this book but I on the fence if he is truly the ONE for Carrie. He’s about 80% there but he keeps reminding us of his track record. I liked Joey, the cop in the first book but he was absent in this one. If I had to pick, I would say Sam but then Carrie would be only a sloppy second for Sam and I want Sam to be truly happy in a relationship. There is so much more to Sam that when you read this book, you will come to understand him more and more. *sigh*
I highly suggest that read the series in order to understand all the characters and situations that Carrie and Trent go through. Ms. O’Connor has written a brilliant tale about two different species (her words) that somehow find love but that road is long and the journey isn’t complete yet.

*I received this book from the author and I wasn't paid for my honest review*

A Good Time

A Good Time - Shannyn Schroeder Have you ever read a book and when you closed it, you are still smiling? Even days later? Yep, this is that book. It has everything I’m want in a contemporary romance. The leads are relatable, likeable and you get into their heads quickly. Some would call this a friends to lover story but its much more than that. It’s about family and what family means to each of them in their individual lives and to each other. Also, I appreciated that the sex scenes between Griffin and Indy are not graphic in nature but they do get your motor running. ;)

Indy is one strong woman. Fiercely independent, smart, funny but vulnerable all at the same time. She couldn’t wait to get out of her small town and move to Chicago and eventually get her sister Quinn out, too. Their family dynamic is strong and when secrets are finally revealed by their father later in the book…I about fell out of my chair. From Indy’s indecision about her life, Griffin, I did find that her self-depreciating thoughts about herself were a bit much. She always felt like a failure and was always itching to run away from her problems and start over. I thought that she was a success in everything that she did but it took some time before she felt that too. Of course, Griffin helped in that area, too.

Indy meets Griffin in the first book, Quinn and Ryan’s story but you do not have to read their story first. This book stands alone. There are scenes revolving around Quinn’s chocolate cake and thank goodness, the recipe is included in the book. :) Those scenes were hilarious and sensual. Read the book and you’ll understand.

Griffin is the ultimate hero. Yes, he has a dad that is beyond anyone that you would want for a dad but he serves a purpose in the book, so be patient. Also, Griffin’s relationship with Ryan and his family is unbreakable. There are a lot of layers to Griffin and thanks to Indy, he is ready to shed them. Unfortunately, Indy doesn’t think she is worthy. Silly girl! Why I like the Foundation aspect of the book, I wish it had been a bit stronger for me. Griffin wasn’t the uber rich, douche in the book. He was nice, sexy, thoughtful and only wanted Indy in his life.

Griffin and Indy has secrets to tell and when they tell them to each other, it only makes them stronger has a couple. I’m not going to tell you the BIGGEST one and the one that serves as the major stumbling block in the relationship. You must read the book to find out. Sorry no spoilers on Harlie’s Books.

The final climax in the book is great. I did see it coming but the way the author wrapped it up…whew! I was still left with a few open-ended questions in the book but I feel like Kate or Lily’s book is next. Lily and Liam, perhaps? Just a suggestion, don’t stone me.

I recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a strong contemporary romance with characters that you can relate to, fall in love with and genuinely care what happens to them. I cheered for Griffin and Indy, cried with them and at times wanted to slap them upside their heads. But isn’t that what a good book will do to you?

- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/a-good-time-by-shanyn-schroeder-arc-reviewexcerptgiveaway/#sthash.PID2yhYu.dpuf

The Seduction of Esther

The Seduction of Esther - Jennifer Wilck *disclaimer from Harlie…I grew up in Dallas, TX. In high school, half of the girls on our drill team were Jewish. My brother’s best friend was Jewish. Shoot he went to temple and church. And my cousin (male) married a very nice Jewish girl from Chicago. I had completely forgotten about the Purim celebration. Thank you Ms. Wilck for the reminder.*

So now that you’ve read Harlie’s disclaimer, let’s get on with the review. Between the scenes at the temple, hanging out a Kosher deli, the older ladies trying to play matchmaker (which is real in the Jewish culture) and the Shabbat dinner at Samara’s house, I felt like I was hanging out the Prager’s. Yes, they are my Jewish “family” in Dallas and the book made me miss them.

Samara was the typical klutz but also very likeable and realistic as a heroine. Working at her temple full time and getting flustered every time she came across a good looking man, she was real. Believe me, I’m a old married woman and I still get flustered when I’m around a good looking man. ;) Also, liked the fact that realized early on that Nathaniel made her NOT be so klutzy. He had a calming influence on her.

Nathaniel had a lot to deal with. A public scandal that ended his marriage, a 7 yr old daughter to raise and then the ex decides she wants to play mommy again. His attraction to Samara was not good at all. Unfortunately for him, the gods had other plans for him when it came to Samara.

These two were sweet together. They completed each other in ways that they didn’t even know they needed. Nathaniel’s daughter was also a breath of fresh air. Not bratty, too cutesy but necessary with Nathaniel’s growth in the book and his relationship with Samara.

If there was a villain in the story, Ms. Wilck gave Josh the fortitude in the end to realize what he done not only to Samara and Nathaniel but also to himself. I knew he was swarmy in the beginning but the book’s end, I really wanted him to find love, too.

Again, the settings and locales were great. I’ve been to NYC and can picture everything that Ms. Wilck described in the book. Of course, now I need to go the Jewish deli in Dallas next month. :) Ms. Wilck’s secondary characters were also good and enhanced the story along the way. Never intrusive and demanding of their own time. Okay maybe Josh and Miriam in the end… hint, hint.

Don’t pass up a great story about two people that didn’t know they needed each other to learn to truly love someone. You also might crave a good Jewish deli in the process. :)
- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/the-seduction-of-esther-by-jennifer-wilck-reviewexcerptgiveaway/#comments

Give Me Forever

Give Me Forever - Celeste Carrara I never tire of Vampire Romances and Give Me Forever is a perfect example of why not. Celeste Carrera took a well-covered genre and created an interesting, action-filled and extremely sensual and romantic environment. The characters are all unique and while the basic Vampire traits are present, we are exposed to some aspects of Vampire lore in new and different ways.

Serena is young, beautiful, powerful and lonely. As the King’s daughter, she has been quite sheltered growing up. Nevertheless, as she transitions into a true Vampire, an emotionally (as well as physically) strong, intelligent, and tough character emerges. She is, quite frankly, one of my favorite Female Vampires to date. She has a love life of sorts and while she has her fair share (and then some) of heartache, she is a character I could both relate and aspire to.

Romance lovers will be quickly enamored with Serena’s soul mate, someone she meets and then quickly finds her world turned upside down. He is seen handsome, tough, hot, sexy, tender and scared, all within a short period of time and their chemistry is explosive.

Sex is somewhat rampant in and out of the storyline and is all over the map on the heat scale. The descriptions are clear and somewhat graphic, making this an 18 and older book.

The book was engaging and easy to read. Turning the pages as quickly as I could, I devoured the book in several hours time. I was so grateful to learn that it is a series as I did not want to part with my new-found ‘friends’ at the end of the book. I encourage Vampire Romance lovers everywhere not to wait but to read Give Me Forever today!
- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/give-me-forever-by-celeste-carrera-reviewauthor-interviewexcerptgiveaway-bookreview/#sthash.ojxmVa6Y.dpuf

Chef's Delight

Chef's Delight - Teresa Carpenter *crying* I’ll be okay, give me a minute. *crying*

*wipes the tears away from my eyes*

I’m so sad. I let 5 different women, each with their own list of wants from a man take over my heart. I don’t want to let go of them. Each and every one of them have let me come into their lives and see how they meet their matches, regardless of The List that they made up in college. *sigh*

I loved Heather’s story. There was a certain edge to it and I enjoyed it immensely. I also liked the fact that Joss was older than Heather. As much as he hated it, he was truly attracted to her and this bugged him. He would and did anything for her to make the transition for Heather easier but his attraction to her was becoming a problem.

Heather was given the old one two punch and it didn’t make it any better that Joss held the key to her future and her heart as well. Heather was always the nice one; the person that everyone liked but never dated. (Story of my life until I meet my husband) Well, when she decided to turn the tables on Joss, she finally had the life that she, Heather wanted.

This couple was funny, frustrating at times and way beyond sexy. These two were so hawt for each other and couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. That led to some pretty hot scenes but nothing that your mom couldn’t read. :) I also appreciated that their relationship had been established before the story started. At least in the fact that they knew each other and that their relationship progressed from there.

*crying again* I’m truly going to miss the ladies and San Diego. Reading the stories brought back great memories of my trip to San Diego and I really felt like I was “in” the story and not just reading it.

I’ve got to go before I really start blubbering. Thank you ladies for sharing your love stories with me and my readers. Hopefully, yall will come back and tell us more.
- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/chefs-delight-by-teresa-carpenter-promoexcerptreview/#sthash.AJyKUbIa.dpuf

Flying in Shadows (The Black Creek Series, Book 2)

Flying in Shadows (The Black Creek Series, Book 2) - R.T. Wolfe *sigh* What can I say about Rose and Andy that won’t sound gushy, cutesy, eye rolling to you? I mean really? Their interview is great. Those two were meant to be together…forever. Again, sigh…I had a childhood love and it didn’t work out for us. I still miss him and think about him as I get older. Anywoos…

Andy and Rose met as children and are forever joined at the hip. Andy is one year older than Rose, so when he leaves to go off to college, Rose is at a loss. She’s not a girlie girl; prefers to fish, conservation and hanging out with Andy. Too bad that Andy has an idiot cheerleader of a girlfriend that hates Rose. Oh yes, the book starts out with them as teenagers/young adults. Don’t be put off by this dear readers. Ms. Wolfe handles their budding relationship with a deft hand and let’s the characters do their thing. Its cute but at the same time, you can see and feel the love that these two have for one another and always will. *sigh*

One thing leads to another and Andy and Rose end up hurting the other in a way that ends any relationship. Secrets. Read the interview again. Andy tells you why they broke up and why I slapped him upside his head. I still love him though. He is a man after all. Dense but lovable. Trying to do the noble thing for Rose. Always thinking of Rose and not himself.

I really tried my hardest not to crawl through the Kindle and not slap both of them at times. Stubborn people that knew they should be together. Only problem was a secret that Rose’s mom had kept from her as a child would either kill them or forever keep them together.

The suspense element and the evil that surrounds it was perfect. Not too heavy but interesting enough that I kept wondering when it was going to happen. You know, the fatal confrontation. Wow! I was not disappointed and to watch both Andy’s and Rose’s families come together is ultimately what this book is about. The true meaning of family and everything it encompasses. *side note* I can’t wait for Duncan’s book. I mean, what does he NOT do?

The conservation element was great. What’s not to love about our national bird but to actually read about the bald eagle and the people that are doing everything they can to save it from the brink was fascinating. Plus, cranics! You will know what I mean when you read the book. :)

I can not highly recommend Andy and Rose’s story. Its a beautiful story about childhood sweethearts that is sweet, enduring and more importantly about finding the strength within yourself to stand up to your beliefs that makes you…you!
- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/flying-in-shadows-by-rt-wolfe-book-2-the-black-creek-series-excerptcharacter-interviewreview/#sthash.72pYhbDO.dpuf

Gaming for Keeps

Gaming for Keeps - Seleste deLaney I’m a little nervous here. This is my first ever Entangled blog tour with a review and I hope I don’t screw it up. When I picked Gaming for Keeps to read, it was the spy angle that intrigued me. Gaming, not so much. For me, gaming is throwing a quarter into the old Tempset machine and hoping that I get a high score. Yes, I’m that old to remember going to the video arcade and spending my babysitting money. Our house has a Playstation and a Wii but it’s completely lost on me. Also, the whole online gaming thing…it reminds me of my younger brother and his friends playing Dungeons and Dragons. Now that, I could watch for hours.

When I started the book, I didn’t realize that I was reading a battle scene from an online game. I really felt like I was reading a battle scene out of a fantasy movie. Hooked me from the beginning and it never stopped. As much as I don’t ‘game’, the references, game character names that are used in the book, I knew. Woo Hoo! OMG, Ms. de Laney asked the age-old question about Star Trek vs Star Wars. I love both for completely different reasons. Oh and there is a Firefly reference. *sigh Nathan Fillion* Shiny… ;)

Pen and Cal were perfect for each other. One problem though, when their first meeting in person, they don’t realize who each other is. Just that Pen needed a sorta rebound and Cal just wanted her. Their dialogue was snappy and realistic. The scene at the con when she dares him to read the code on her t-shirt was priceless. ROTFL! Pen and Cal were so intuned with each other intellectual and sexually. Yes, the sex was hawt but also brought them closer than they ever thought.

Again, I’m not a gamer but I never felt like I needed to be when I read the book. Ms. de Laney was able to hook me from the first page and never let me go. The suspense element in the book was good, too. I love a good suspense element and she delivered. Cal’s back story was interesting, too. I hope that she writes more about the other spies that we were introduced too.

When all is said and done, Gaming for Keeps is a cute story about two gamers that what to play for keeps. The story will take hold of you early on and not let go. Ms. de Laney has written a story that even a non-gamer can enjoy and appreciate the geekdom of it all. Makes me want to ask my brother is he wants to play D&D again.
- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/entangleds-ever-afters-gaming-for-keeps-by-selete-de-laney-arc-reviewauthor-interview/#sthash.6V5bWuLa.dpuf

Love Rehab: A Novel in Twelve Steps

Love Rehab: A Novel in Twelve Steps - Jo Piazza Okay, I have to admit my real age here…46, happily married for 8 years and a mom to a 8 yr old boy. You would think that I wouldn’t identify with the characters in this book but sadly I did. I just didn’t have cell phone or social media when I was in the dating pool.

This book had me laughing out loud more times than not. Yes, its chick lit and there is a bit of a romance in the end but its more about self discovery and how different women deal with breakups, hookups and eventually their self-worth when it comes to their relationships with men.

Founded on the premise of AA, the Love Rehab support group was formed. The group is an eclectic group of women from all walks of life, professions and social/economic classes. Eventually there is a male in the group and the results are heartwarming when he realizes how big of a douche he has been to women.

Sophie isn’t a one dimensional character. She has a lot of layers and when she finally peels those layers from her and realizes that she needs to love herself first, its emotional. Failing for Annie’s doctor Joe wasn’t in the plan but sometimes love doesn’t care. (BTW, that isn’t a spoiler but their relationship is explored in great depth and with a deft hand)

What is so fun about the book is the dialogue. Spot on, laugh out loud funny and true to the characters that speak them. No two women are alike and its reflected in their thought, actions and dialogue. OMG…the movie references are to die for. Plus, when one of the women finally confronts her ex at the end of the book. Again, OMG! Its a question that every woman has after a break up. I nearly came to tears for her. It was sad but in the end, she wanted to hear it and her reaction was priceless.

I’m not sure really what else to say except this is must reading for the summer. Some of what you will read will make you cringe, laugh, cry and want to really slap any man upside his head. As we all know, women are emotional and men…well, they are still trying to figure themselves out
- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/love-rehab-by-jo-piazza-reviewgiveaway/#sthash.I9Rl7hih.dpuf

A Brother's Honor

A Brother's Honor - Brenda Jackson *sigh* Have you read an author that makes you feel like you have come home? Brenda Jackson is that author for me. I will admit that I haven’t picked up a Brenda Jackson book in a while. Reading her latest made me realize that her books are my comfort food. And I missed my comfort food.

As most people know, I devour Harlequin books every month. I have my favorite lines to read and authors, too. Ms. Jackson took hold of me when I first read one of her Westmorelands (can’t remember if it was a Desire or Blaze) and then when I read her Steele series (one of the best series of books EVER), I knew that I could never get enough of her writing, characters and settings.

A Brother’s Honor brings me home again. Home to characters that I instantly care about, love and cheer for in romance. The Grangers are no exception. Jace, Caden and Dalton are brothers that have been dealt a lot when they were teenagers. Their dad was tried and convict of killing their mother. Raised by their grandfather and further ostracized by their friends growing up, coming home when their grandfather lays dying isn’t the homecoming that they had expected.

I will caution you dear readers, there are a lot of subplots going on with this book. We are introduced to the brothers, their potential love interests, the family secrets, the family business, the mystery of their dad’s denial to finding the real killer and most importantly the bond that the brothers have with each other. The suspense plot regarding the company plays out in a big way and I loved how it ended. I wasn’t prepared for it and I had that OMG moment when I read it. Didn’t see it coming and I loved it.

Jace and Shana are that couple that you read and from their first sentence together you know that there is nothing that can pull them apart. Not even a nasty ex-wife. Their chemistry from the start was HAWT but also very sweet. He sang to her when she slept. Yes, will he hummed but it was still sweet. They didn’t pull any punches with each other either. Their dialogue was honest and real. At times, forceful but also tender, raw and sweet.

I don’t want to give a lot away in my review because like I said there is a lot going on but Ms. Jackson never made me feel lost. It flowed and came together in the end. The secondary characters in the book aren’t window dressing either. They are well drawn out and essential to the story. Trust me, most of them we will see again and I can’t wait. Hannah in particular has her hands full. Plus, I want to see more of Shana’s dad and his lady love. Trust me, Ben and Mona are sweet together.

I can’t wait for Caden’s book next month. Plus, the mystery behind Shiloh and the photograph are really bugging me.

If you are looking for a good family driven contemporary look no further than Brenda Jackson. I have a new family to follow now and I finally found my way home again.

- See more at: http://www.harliesbooks.com/posts/harlequin-spotlight-a-brothers-honor-by-brenda-jackson/#sthash.0FeiwsBV.dpuf