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Excerpt from Welcoming the Bad Boy
About the Author:
Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to St. Martin’s Press for not only providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review, but for also letting me participate in this exciting tour event for Anna Bennett’s novel, murr! =^.^=
The first book in a new series from debut author Anna Bennett, this was a delightful read filled with humor and sweet romance that fans of historical romance will greatly enjoy.
It’s not often that a story manages to make me laugh out loud numerous times while reading, but this novel did just that. Bennett did a wonderful job weaving humor into her story along with the romance and even included a bit of suspense, which made for a truly enjoyable read. There’s no question that I will be picking up the next book in the series to read and following her writing career in the years to come.
Meg is a witty, compassionate, loving character who you can’t help but fall in love with. Yes, there are times where she is insecure, but it doesn’t hamper her likeability in any way, instead it makes her more complex and easier to relate too. She’s not one to shy away from responsibility and I liked that she was willing to do everything in her power to help her sisters and uncle, even if it meant humbling herself in the eyes of the ton. Will, meanwhile, was a bit difficult to like at first because he’s so quick to judge Meg due to their past acquaintance. He’s one of those characters who is rough around the edges and takes a bit of time to warm up to, but once you do you’ll fall pretty hard for him. They are the perfect match and it was a pleasure to watch their relationship develop.
The romance between Meg and Will is a slow but satisfying build. It isn’t often that a pair actively works on communication between themselves in the books I read, so to watch these two talk honestly with the other was great. Yes, there are moments where one or the other keeps secrets and this results in a few tense moments, but I felt that Meg and Will’s relationship was more of a true reflection of what a relationship is than some of the other relationships I’ve read in other books. At the very least I wasn’t hissing in frustration over missed opportunities to communicate. And I have to applaud Will for stepping back and giving Meg the time she needed to sort out her feelings with regard to their relationship.
I have to mention a few of Bennett’s secondary characters because they added to the enjoyment of the story. The twins, Valerie and Diana, were everything you would expect of a pair of six year olds. Yes they were troublemakers, but they were also sweethearts, and my heart went out to them after what their mother did. Mrs. Hopwood struck me as being a bit of a fairy godmother character. She knew exactly what everyone needed when she came in and I instantly loved her. And Meg’s Uncle Alister was just a joy. He’s such a quirky character and I just wish that we could have seen more of him in this book. Thankfully there are two more novels in the series, so there’s more opportunity to enjoy his character over the next few years. It’s always a pleasure to see an author not only create rich and complex leads, but also create rich and supportive secondary characters, and so I must offer a tail wave of approval to Bennett for a job well done.
The pacing of the story is great, and it is easy to read this book in one sitting if you are so inclined. While I did feel that the mystery behind who is wanting information on the twins and their motive for asking was fairly obvious, the suspense leading up to the reveal and subsequent confrontation added an extra depth to the overall story plot. I also would have liked to have had more insight into Meg and her sister’s earlier years among society. Yes, we get some explanation for why they are called the Wayward Wallflowers, but given how much fuss is made over this particular nickname for these girls, I would have expected to see more examples of how this name affects them in society and how it came about. I felt like we only scratched the surface on this, but I suspect we’ll get more in the later books.
Honestly there isn’t much that really took away from my enjoyment of this story, and I would highly recommend that fans of historical romance give this book a read. This really was a wonderful start to a brand new series and I look forward to what Bennett has in store for the remaining two Wayward Wallflower sisters in the next two books.
About the Author:
Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided historicals (with their balls, dukes, and gowns) were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.
Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® for Regency Historical Romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
We’d like to offer our thanks to Inkslinger PR for letting us host Kallie Ross on the site today and share her amazing new cover with you all, murr! =^.^=
Author: Kallie Ross
Release Date: November 14, 2016
Series: The Cupid Chronicles #1
Dying for the love of your life…
Evelyn Bowden thought her story was over. Little did she realize, it had just begun.
The heavens made her a Cupid– a supernatural with the rarest ability. One that allows her to pierce both mortals and immortals with arrows possessing everlasting love. But Evelyn soon discovers Cupids fight a battle in a long fought war.
A duty to protect the purest form of love…
As Evelyn embarks on her first mission, helping a Gargoyle find his true love, she is exposed to the blurred battle lines between light and darkness. While an unknown threat proves it’s willing to do anything to get their hands on Evelyn and her arrows, the heavens send Andel Lambros to help protect her. She finds herself at risk of being distracted by her former mentor, Andel, a stunning Cupid with dimples hard to ignore.
Missing her mark could lead to a supernatural war…
Having no idea how powerful she is, Evelyn is forced to put everything on the line as she balances the fate of the world on the tip of her arrow. But will love conquer all once she hits her mark, or will all be lost in the end?
About the Author:
Writing unique adventures with heart.
Kallie Ross has a passion for writing that has become an adventure in itself. She desires to create unique young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction.
In addition to loving her life as a writer, Kallie adores being a wife, mother, friend, and teacher. She began her creative journey with books, a blog, podcast, and lots of caffeine. Ross never imagined her own adventure would be filled with so many wonderful people or words!
We’d like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting us host Heidi McLaughlin and share her brand new cover with you all today, murr! =^.^=
Title: Stripped Bare
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Series: Vegas Billionaire #1
“By far one of McLaughlin’s best!” – New York Times bestselling author LP Dover
They don’t call it the Strip for nothing. . .
In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off.
Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity, and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets.
Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to baring her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.
About the Author:
HEIDI MCLAUGHLIN is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. Originally from Portland, Oregon, and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, and a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, Jill and her brother, Racicot. When she’s isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.
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I’d like to thank Forever Publishing for letting us host Rachel Van Dyken and her book, The Bachelor Auction, today on the site, as well as thank them for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, murr! =^.^=
If you are a fan of Van Dyken’s books, you’ll love this modern-day Cinderella story filled with humor, memorable characters, and a romance that proves opposites really do attract and there really are such things as happy endings in love.
I was a bit worried when I first started reading that I wasn’t going to enjoy this book because I was so aggravated with the characters, but the more time I gave to the book and continued reading, the more I ended up loving it. Both Jane and Brock had me begging for them at the start to take a stand and say “No” to their family, and it genuinely frustrated me that they didn’t. They both allowed their family to manipulate them into doing things that they didn’t want to do, and neither knew how to stop the behavior. In Brock’s case it becomes clear that his grandfather has a specific reason for forcing him to participate in the auction event, and I fell in love with the grandfather at the end because of it. But for poor Jane her sisters were just truly that awful, and I felt that it took her far too long to stand up for herself and that their comeuppance in the end wasn’t harsh enough.
Initially it felt that Van Dyken was a bit over-the-top with the portrayal of all of her characters. Jane and Brock were too easily manipulated and while not entirely helpless, came across as being just a bit weak for my liking. Brock’s grandfather was too much of a “woe is me” type of person and manipulator. Jane’s sisters were complete monsters and they never redeemed themselves in my eyes. And Brock’s brothers were sex-crazed maniacs who didn’t seem to care at all about personal responsibility. However, with the exception of Jane’s sisters, everyone in the story settled down and underwent some form of character development/transformation which went a long way to changing my perception of this book.
Jane’s got a playful personality that I enjoyed seeing crop up whenever she was around Brock and his brothers. She may be a pushover where her sisters are concerned, and a tad too sensitive to criticism, but she’s genuine in her emotions and isn’t afraid to work and fight for what she truly wants in the end. Brock can be a bit of an ass at times, okay, a lot of the time, but my heart went out to him because while he is a man grown, inside he’s a hurt and scared little boy who hasn’t allowed himself the time to truly grieve for what happened to him and his brothers. And while I didn’t approve of him taking out his pain on Jane, I could understand why he felt the need to lash out. And I have to give kudos to Jane for proving how strong of a woman she is by how she handled those moments. These two were perfect for each other and the more I got to watch their relationship develop, the more I was rooting for them to win in the end.
As for Brock’s family, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what happens to them in future books. Brock’s grandfather earned my respect because he genuinely wants the best for Brock. I loved that he became Jane’s fairy godfather, though I was a bit worried at the end that he didn’t approve of her as a match for his grandson. He may be manipulative, but his heart is in the right place. When it comes to the twins, Brant and Bently, I loved them both, though Bently stole my heart in the end. Brant’s a bit of a mystery to me. There’s clearly something there that he’s not sharing, and I’m really curious to see what it is all about. He can be a sweetheart, but I feel that he’s also the more wild of the twins. I don’t want to say that he’s got a destructive streak in him, but he’s certainly not as stable as Bently. And speaking of Bently, he has a good head on his shoulders and while he may come across as not caring, he’s very intelligent and aware of what all is going on around him. He’s definitely the more mature of the two of them. I loved how he immediately knew that Brock was interested in Jane and was actively trying to help the two of them end up together. Yeah he’s a bit of a player and flirt, but I suspect most of it is just an act rather than his true personality.
I laughed way too much while reading this book. There are so many great scenes and humorous lines, it was difficult to put the book down once Brock and Jane reached the Ranch. Sheldon the donkey and the rooster both stole the show as far as I’m concerned. The idea of a homicidal rooster out to get Brock was just too amusing, and I loved that Sheldon was formerly part of a magician’s magic act and so knew how to escape his holding pen and get into trouble. I think if I were to come downstairs one morning and find a donkey at my dinning room table I’d probably turn right around and go back to bed thinking it was all a dream. Both of these creatures were responsible for a great many of the “ass” and “cock” jokes in this book, and while I will admit that some readers might end up feeling that the numerous jokes are a bit much, I appreciated the humor. It isn’t often that I laugh out loud while reading humorous scenes, so I consider it a win that Van Dyken managed to repeatedly hit my funny bone in this book.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a modern-day Cinderella story. Yes, the book was predictable at times, but it was fun to see how everything connected and the steps everyone took to reach the end. Jane’s transformation from “Plain Jane” to “Cinderella” was perfect, though like her I would probably question being driven to the middle of an empty parking lot to meet with the driver of an unmarked truck in the middle of the night. Likewise Brock as an imperfect “Prince Charming” was well done. And I greatly enjoyed Brock’s grandfather as one of two fairy godparents. Yes, there is both a fairy godfather and a fairy godmother, but you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out how she comes in to the story. The only thing I will tell you is her involvement is a catalyst for Brant and Bently’s books, and quite possibly two other books after theirs if Van Dyken is so inclined to make this a five book series rather than a three book series.
Overall, this was a wonderful surprise read that I greatly enjoyed. Yes it got off to a rocky start, but the ending was well worth it and the journey was quite memorable. I will most certainly be reading the other books in this series, and I anticipate picking up some of Van Dyken’s other novels after this as well. I don’t think I could have asked for a better introduction to a new to me author, murr!
About the Author:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 eCopies of Rachel Van Dyken’s The Bachelor Auction, please click on the Rafflecopter link below: