Saturday, 25 March 2017

REVIEW: JACK OF HEARTS by SANDRA OWENS


Jack of Hearts
Aces & Eights #1
By: Sandra Owens
Releasing February 14th, 2017
Montlake Romance
 
 


In Jack of Hearts (Aces & Eights #1) by Sandra Owens, Alex Gentry is determined to take down a notorious drug lord, but he never imagined he'd fall in love with the man's niece. Not after he befriends the man's slimeball son to discover information necessary to his case and unwittingly makes Madison Parker his informant. He knows being together is dangerous, not just for her but for him. Still, he can't help getting close to her. Will she be able to forgive him when she learns the truth of why he came into her life, or will his secrets tear them apart?
 
What a highly entertaining, fast-paced read Ms. Owens has penned in this book, encompassing three hot FBI agents that happen to be brothers; the sexy protector trope; a strong heroine that fights for her independence every step of the way, even if it means standing up to her slime-ball of a cousin and his overbearing father; and well-written dialogue, which made this story gratifying and a real page-turner. The way this story started with the prologue pulled me into this story immediately and didn't let go until I was at the end of the book. What story was the investigative reporter writing? Why was it so dangerous for him?
 
As for the main characters, both the hero and heroine were fantastic, and so were the secondary in Alex's brothers and Madison's best friend. I was curious as to the history between Court (one of the hero's brothers) and Lauren (the heroine's best friend), yet it was the hot romance, the underlying threat this couple faced, and their banter that enthralled me, so much so that I ended up with a book hangover I'd gladly give myself again when I re-read this story. Because I loved how strong and brave the heroine was and that she'd do anything to separate her mother from her uncle's influence. Since it seemed the man was doing everything in his power to make sure Madison's mother wad reliant on him. I also liked that the heroine stood up to her slime-ball and desperate cousin and overbearing uncle and wasn't about to let them do whatever they wanted when it came to her store, even though her uncle had the right to. No way was she going to allow them to do anything illegal that could get her into trouble. 
 
While the hero, he's been through a lot in his life and I could understand why he'd choose a profession like the FBI to pursue, because of what he went through with his father. How could he not want to protect the innocent and punish the guilty when no one did it for him besides his brothers? Also, I liked that he couldn't stay away from Madison, although he knew that being with her was wrong, because of the secrets he was keeping. But what I liked most of all is how protective he was of the heroine and that he wasn't afraid to warn her cousin from doing anything to Madison, because the slime-ball would be in for a world of hurt if he did.   
 
Overall, Ms. Owens has penned an outstanding read in this book that I would highly recommend, not only because the hero and his brothers  are drool-worthy due to their protective ways and alpha tendencies, but because this story without a doubt will keep a reader hooked with its suspense and romance. The way this story ended had me concerned for the hero and heroine, because of the suspense. Would the hero be able to keep Madison safe? How far is Alex willing to go to protect Madison? Moreover, I'm glad they could tease each other when they're talking about being together forever after everything they go through towards the end. Yet, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely, because not only did it leave me wondering whether the Gentry brothers will be able to deal with what's to come for them, but will they accept the person whose point-of-view the epilogue is from into their lives?
 
OVERALL RATING:
 
 
BLURB:
Alex Gentry doesn’t scare easily. Working as an undercover FBI agent in the biker bar he and his brothers co-own, he hangs with deadly criminals in order to gather information. Danger is just part of the family business. But one thing has him terrified: his attraction to Madison Parker. He knows getting close with Madison is dangerous for her and for him, but there's no way he can stay away. As his investigation into the Alonzo cartel
 
Madison is the cousin of Ramon Alonzo, son and second in command to a notorious drug lord Alex is trying to bust. Alex has befriended Ramon as part of his cover, and Madison has unknowingly become his informant. Falling for her could risk this case—and both their lives.
 
All Madison wants is to get her new bookstore business off the ground, and for her creepy cousin Ramon—to whom she’s unfortunately indebted—to leave her alone. If she could only stop fantasizing about his mysterious new friend, Alex…
 
As the Alonzo cartel investigation heats up, so does their relationship. But will the secrets they’re keeping tear them apart—or get them both killed?
 
BUY LINK: Amazon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

REVIEW: SETS APPEAL by VIRGINIA TAYLOR

 
Sets Appeal
Romance by Design #1
By: Virginia Taylor
Releasing April 25th, 2017
Lyrical Shine
 
 
 

In Sets Appeal (Romance by Design #1) by Virginia Taylor, for the first time in her life, Vix Tremain is determined to leave the past behind, especially her no good ex-husband and succeed in becoming an independent woman who doesn't need a man. She's off to a good start with her first ever job, even if it's only as a theatre painter, but what she really needs is to regain her confidence. Can she convince the set construction manager into having a no strings fling?

Ms. Taylor is a new-to-me author, but when I saw the cover of this book I really wanted to read it. Even more so, this story is set in my home country, so that also along with the blurb were other reasons I wanted to dive into this story, and I've got to say that it does not disappoint. First off, the play on words of the title (Sets Appeal / Sex Appeal) definitely does justice to the hero and the other male characters of this story, because they certainly sound appealing by their ruggedly handsome descriptions; and the story itself, as it encompasses a couple that are designing a set for a production. The way this story started had me hooked right away, as I wanted to know how things would progress between the hero and heroine. Would she feel comfortable enough with JD to have a fling? Why is she so nervous when it comes to getting up close and personal with the hero in the beginning?

The dialogue was intense due to the main characters back stories, and I could sympathize with the heroine after all that she went through with her ex-husband. He's made her feel so insecure when it comes to intimacy and relationships that I could understand why she is the way she is with the hero. Yet, at the same time, it did annoy me a little, because it was palpable the hero was determined to prove she had nothing to worry about. That she can have a wonderful time in the bedroom, if she's willing to let the hero get a tad creative, instead of settling for mediocre measures that leave her unsatisfied. 

Both the main characters were riveting, and so were the secondary characters, even Ilona. Although, her fascination with the hero got to be a bit too much. Doesn't she realize that they'll only ever be friends? As for the heroine, she's been through a lot due to her ex-husband, but she didn't allow him to keep her down for long. Certainly, she begins to shine again, become more confident and I liked that she fought for what she wanted when it came to her relationship with JD and the conflict it created with her father. Would Vix believe the hero when it came to the information her father knew about him that she didn't?

While JD, he was a fantastic hero that I could not get enough of. He's supportive of the heroine's dreams and what she's accomplished after her marriage split. Certainly, she's not what he imagined of a rich girl who hasn't worked a day in her life until now. Instead, she impressed him with her determination to succeed and how much she loves her work. She's just like him in that respect, as he too, is hard-working and determined to achieve his own dream, which was derailed by an incident concerning someone the heroine was once close to. 

Overall, Ms. Taylor has penned a really good read in this book where the chemistry between these two is wonderfully written and shows how right this hero and heroine are for each other. The way this story ended had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, as no one deserves a second chance at love more than the heroine and it's palpable that this time around everything will work out for the better. Since I doubt JD would ever wrong the heroine like her ex did. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, as I loved the playful banter between the main and secondary characters and the way JD's brothers have such respect for the heroine considering her family name. Who would give a child the name they were talking about? I would recommend Sets Appeal by Virginia Taylor, if you enjoy second chance romances or books by authors Stacy Finz, Darcy Burke or Melanie Shawn.

OVERALL RATING: 
 
 

BLURB:
 
In the cosmopolitan coastal city of Adelaide in South Australia, two theater lovers create a little drama of their own . . .

Twenty-seven-year-old divorcĂ©e Vix Tremain finally has her first job—as a theater-set painter—and is ready to leave the past behind. What better way to get her confidence back than a fling with a handsome stranger? She isn’t looking for anything emotional, she’s had enough heartbreak. Rugged Jay Dee, the set construction manager, fits the bill for no strings fun perfectly. What Vix doesn’t realize is that Jay is not exactly a stranger . . .

Jay would recognize wealthy, spoiled Vix anywhere. After all, she’s the ex-wife of the man who destroyed his career. Naturally, Jay wants a little sweet revenge—at first. To his surprise, Vix is far from the ice princess he expected, and spending time with her changes everything. Soon he realizes he’s actually falling for the vulnerable beauty. But becoming entangled with her will mean revealing who he is—and opening them both up to more pain. With their dreams at stake, is their connection strong enough to weather the truth—and take center stage?
 
BUY LINK:  Amazon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 24 March 2017

COVER REVEAL: THE NEGOTIATOR by AVERY FLYNN


 
The Negotiator
A Hot Romantic Comedy
By: Avery Flynn
Releasing April 24, 2017
Entangled Select


BLURB:

Wanted: Personal Buffer
Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.
Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a “buffer” from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with “candidates” to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancĂ©…
This “free-spirit” might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for “date nights” (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday? 
Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiatable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match…
 
 
When Avery Flynn isn't writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she’ll be your best friend for life. Contact her at avery@averyflynn.com. She’d love to hear from you.
Author Links:   WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

REVIEW: SOMETHING OLD by MEGAN RYDER


Something Old
Lone Star Match #1
By: Megan Ryder
Releasing March 30th, 2017
Tule Publishing
 
 
 
 
In Something Old (Lone Star Match #1) by Megan Ryder, Delaney Winters believed she did the right thing by breaking off her engagement to Ethan Van Owen when it was discovered her father was a criminal. But now, she finds herself back among her old friends; friends she hasn't seen in a while, for her best friend's wedding. Can she overcome the past to have a second chance with Ethan, or will history repeat itself and send Delaney running away from the man she still loves?

Ms. Ryder does it again by writing a spell-binding read that I found I got so wrapped up in that I was at the end of this book way sooner than I thought I'd be. The way this story began grabbed my attention immediately, and had me wanting to know more about the heroine. Why did she isolate herself from everyone that cared about her? Would going to this wedding help her heal from the hurts of her past, or tear them wide open again? But what I liked most about the beginning of this story is when the hero and heroine came face-to-face for the first time, because it's palpable they both still love each other, and yet, it's hard for Ethan to forgive and forget what Delaney did, and the only way he can is to discover why she broke up with him.

The dialogue was compelling, and I loved the matchmaking efforts by Delaney's best friend, because Ethan and Delaney weren't the only couple she was trying to help. Will Delaney's best friend be able to bring everyone together again, so they're as happy as she is with the man she's soon to marry? Moreover, the story was very intense and entertaining due to the main characters back stories and their relationship history. Can they really have a second chance after so much heartbreak? Then there's the heroine's past that made me feel sorry for her, because she blames herself for what her father had to do to support their family. How could she possibly believe it was her fault?  

Both the main characters entertained me from start to finish with their banter, their back stories and their growing relationship. Will they reunite and get their second chance, or will people's judgment of Delaney's past have her running scared again and continue to keep them apart? The heroine is resilient, brave and I liked how she picked up the pieces of her life after her world was turned upside down. She did everything possible to help her mom get through the tough times, even when she was still being treated unfairly by those that she once considered friends. Furthermore, I felt sorry for her when it came to Ethan's family. His father and stepmother aren't above manipulating him to get what they want, which made it just as hard for the hero and heroine to be together. Why couldn't they realize that the only way Ethan would be happy was with Delaney?

While the hero, I absolutely loved him. Delaney broke his heart, which the secondary characters aren't afraid to remind him of, because they don't want to see him hurt again. But, at the same time, he hasn't stopped loving her, so it's hard for him to stay away. Can he win her back? What will he do to win her back? Will he be happy with the sacrifice he does make? Yet, what I liked most about the hero is how he helped the heroine whenever the going got tough with her old friends that talked about her behind her back or were snarky to her face. She so didn't deserve it. Not after so much time has passed, and Delaney has been trying to make things right.

Overall, Ms. Ryder has penned a fantastic book to begin this series, which was full of romantic moments that illustrated how much these two still loved each other and how they should fight for that love no matter what. The way this story ended had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, because Ethan's dad finally did what was right for his son and then Delaney finally realized that she shouldn't allow anything to stop her from being with Ethan, especially not his father and step-mother. Luckily, she took advice from a secondary character she should probably dislike but found it hard to. I would recommend Something Old by Megan Ryder, if you enjoy second chance romances or books by authors Kate Hardy, Kelli Collins or Jeanne St. James.

OVERALL RATING:



 
 
BLURB:
Three Bridesmaids. Three lost loves. One matchmaking bride. With just a week before the wedding, can a bride-to-be reunite her bridesmaids with the ones who got away?

Delaney Winters never expected to see Ethan Van Owen again. He was part of a life she had left far behind… But now, with her best friend’s wedding coming up, it seems like her past has caught up to her. Forced to spend time with her former flame, Delaney’s feelings for him resurface, rekindling the white-hot passion that had always drawn them together.

For five years, Ethan has wondered what went wrong with their relationship. After Delaney broke up with him, Ethan moved to Texas Wine Country to start a new life. But now, he is being pressured to take up the mantle of his family investment business and return to Houston, Ethan must confront his past.

Can Delaney and Ethan bury their past to rekindle the love and passion they once shared?
 
Buy Link: Amazon






















 

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS by LINDSEY FRYDMAN


Enter to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card
 
 
The Heartbeat Hypothesis
By: Lindsey Frydman
Releasing March 20th, 2017
New Adult Romance
Entangled Publishing
 
 
BLURB:
 
Audra Madison simply wanted to walk in the shoes of Emily Cavanaugh, a free-spirited teenager who died too young. After all, Audra wasn’t supposed to be here.
 
Thanks to Emily, Audra has a second chance at life. She’s doing all the things that seemed impossible just two years ago: Go to college. Date. Stargaze in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe get a tattoo. You know, live.
 
Jake Cavanaugh, a photographer with mysterious, brooding gray eyes, agrees to help chronicle her newfound experiences. She makes him laugh, one of the only people who can these days. As they delve into each other’s pasts – and secrets – the closer they become.
 
But she’s guarded and feels like she can’t trust anyone, including herself.

And he’s struggling with the fact that his beloved sister’s heart beats inside her.


BUY LINKS:
Kobo 

 
 
 
 



 
 
 
Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.
 
AUTHOR LINKS