I’d like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting me participate in this tour event and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for an honest review. For all the blogs involved in this event, please click on the banner above, murr! =^.^=
This was a rather difficult book for me to rate. On the one paw, I enjoyed the story, writing, and concept. On the other paw, both main characters really got under my fur! I really wanted to swipe them both multiples times with my claws. So I waffled quite a bit on whether to give it three paws and a tail wave of support or four solid paws. In the end I decided to give it a full four paws because giving it a “half star” as you humans call it seemed a tad petty simply because I disliked the main characters continual behavior in the book.
I tend to enjoy historical romance books, so any time I find a new series to try, I’m always curious to see what happens and who all the players may be. And I will say that as the first of an all new series by a debut author, Shupe has started off rather well. The idea of a woman seducing her estranged husband by posing as a courtesan was intriguing and promised to full of fun moments between the characters. Suffice it to say in this the book lived up to expectations. Toss in a bit of mystery and a few suspenseful and I found myself turning each page in anticipation of how everything would be resolved. Shupe’s writing is solid, the pacing strong though there were a few moments where I felt it dragged just a bit, and the overall feel of the story was great. And for the most part the majority of the characters were likable and of interest. I particularly liked Winchester, Sophie, Fitz, Aunt Theo, and Quint. In other words, all the secondary characters who very well may end up with their own stories.
Were the book fell short for me was the main characters. This was one of those rare moments where the main characters just did not appeal to me despite my trying to keep an open mind throughout the book. I started off liking Julia quite a bit and questioning my initial feelings for Nick. I wanted to like him but found that he was rubbing my fur wrong at the same time. As the story progressed, I began to dislike Julia a bit with each chapter and strongly leaning toward disgust where Nick was concerned. Julia started off with so much promise toward being a strong, independent, intelligent character who contrived a cunning plan to get control and stability back in her life. Yes, she lies and manipulates Nick to get what she wants, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, and overall I quite liked the idea of a woman feeling like she didn’t need a man in her life to raise a child. However, I felt like she steadily became a weaker character as the story progressed because she bounces between not wanting Nick in her life and then wanting to stay with him far too much for my liking. Meanwhile, Nick was just a pompous ass and he has a long way to go to redeem himself, in my opinion, regardless of the childhood he had.
Now as I said before, the overall story is a great one and it really is a promising start to a new series. Just because I didn’t particularly care for Julia and Nick in the end doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like them. In fact, you may absolutely love them and see qualities in them that I didn’t see in this read through. And I truly hope you do. They just didn’t work for me at the time when I was reading.
So where does this leave things? Well, this is a book that I would recommend to anyone who loves historical romance with just a touch of mystery/suspense and also to those who are looking to try something new. I also definitely intend to read the other two books in the series because I did greatly enjoy the other characters in the book and am anxious to see what happens to them. Given what I know about the pairings for each novel, I expect them both to be fun reads. I only hope that Shupe includes an update on Fitz and Aunt Theo in one or both of the following books.
About the Author:
Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.
Three lucky winners will get a print copy of The Courtesan Duchess. To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:
About the Author:
Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal romantic fiction.=
Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com
Beth is giving away an Upcycled Champagne Cork Bezel Necklace- shooting star – w/24 “chain to one lucky winner! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:
Today we are excited to be participating in the book blast for Nichole Christoff’s Jamie Sinclair series! To see all the blogs who are participating during the run of this event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Publisher: Random House
Date Released: December 1, 2014
Series: Jamie Sinclair #1
In this taut debut thriller, Nichole Christoff introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel—and a shattered heart.
As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.
Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.
Publisher: Random House
Date Released: March 17, 2015
Series: Jamie Sinclair #2
In an explosive thriller for readers of Lee Child, Alex Berenson, and Brad Taylor, P.I. and security specialist Jamie Sinclair finds herself caught in a dangerous game of international cat-and-mouse.
Jamie Sinclair’s father has never asked her for a favor in her life. The former two-star general turned senator is more in the habit of giving his only child orders. So when he requests Jamie’s expertise as a security specialist, she can’t refuse—even though it means slamming the brakes on her burgeoning relationship with military police officer Adam Barrett. Just like that, Jamie hops aboard a flight to London with a U.S. State Department courier carrying a diplomatic pouch in an iron grip.
Jamie doesn’t have to wait long to put her unique skills to good use. When she and the courier are jumped by goons outside the Heathrow terminal, Jamie fights them off—but the incident puts her on high alert. Someone’s willing to kill for the contents of the bag. Then a would-be assassin opens fire in crowded Covent Garden, and Jamie is stunned to spot a familiar face: Adam Barrett, who saves her life with a single shot and calmly slips away. Jamie’s head—and her heart—tell her that something is very wrong. But she’s come way too far to turn back now.
About the Author:
Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a Helen McCloy Scholarship from Mystery Writers of America. Her last manuscript was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Her latest novel, The Kill Shot, is a 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Dagger finalist.
One lucky winner will get a $25 Gift Card of their choice and a copy of both The Kill List and The Kill Shot! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:
Yesterday saw the release of Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock’s first two books in the Runaway Brides Series! =^.^=
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Date Released: April 7, 2015
Series: Runaway Brides Series #0.5
He thought their love was a grand slam, until his bride calls foul…
After an impulsive courthouse wedding with one of baseball’s rising stars, Melanie Webb wonders if she’s fallen victim to lust at first sight. She hardly knows Grady Hollis, the Atlanta outfielder who swooped into her Florida hometown and charmed the socks—and more!—right off her. She couldn’t resist when he proposed under the stars right on the outfield. But when the aftermath means moving to Atlanta and following him around the country for his eight-month a year travel schedule, she gets cold feet.
But Grady has never been a man to give up on a dream and Melanie is everything he ever hoped for in a woman. He knows if only he can persuade her to come along for the ride, he’ll convince her that their forever can be something special… with a love every bit as fiery as the passion.
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Date Released: April 7, 2015
Series: Runaway Brides Series #1
The tabloids call her the Hit and Run Bride after reality show star Annamae Jessup walked out on Atlanta’s favorite baseball player on cable television. Eager to escape her notoriety, Annamae takes a road trip to find the grandmother she’s never met and winds up discovering a whole lot more than a band of back woods relatives. There’s no escape from reality TV, even in Beulah, Alabama, population 3000.
The last thing Wynn Rafferty needs in his new life is a spoiled television princess who can’t even know his real name. He’s in temporary witness protection as an apple farmer after his undercover work put his life in danger. He needs to lay low until the heat dies down from his last case— even if he sucks at growing apples as badly as he sucks at relationships. But Annamae turns his new town into a media circus, unwittingly threatening the lives of him, her and most of Beulah. Wynn is an expert at keeping the world at arm’s length, but when it comes to Annamae, the only way he can keep her safe is too keep her very, very close.
About the Authors:
Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over seventy novels enjoys writing contemporary romance and medieval historicals alike, recently exploring Young Adult romance under a pseudonym. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance–in all its forms– fits her life outlook perfectly. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
USA Today bestseller and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule. With over sixty books released in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated six RITA finals, an RT Reviewer’s Award finalist, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. Catherine and her flyboy husband live on the Florida coast where they brought up their 4 children – and still have 5 four-legged, furry “children” (aka pets).
Catherine is an active volunteer with an animal rescue, serving on their Board of Directors and fostering over 200 puppies, ill dogs, and dogs with service/working potential.
US prize: For the Runaway Bride’s Great Escape–A heart-print tote, Scarf for going incognito, and cute dark sunglasses.
INTL prize: A print copy of Catherine Mann’s RESCUE ME and Joanne Rock’s NIGHTS UNDER THE TENNESSEE STARS.
What the Cat Read is thrilled to be participating in the Release Day Launch celebration for M.J. Rose’s newest novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, murr! Be sure to swing by the blog on March 26th when we post our review as part of the tour event hosted by Media Muscle/BookTrib! =^.^=
About the Author:
New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.
Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com
The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
Designed by Cadsawan Jewelry, the silver pendant contains a labradorite, a magical stone excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities. And it can be yours by filling out the giveaway form found HERE! Good luck to everyone who enters, murr! =^.^=