Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Blitz: Sugar, We're Going Down by M.H. Soars

Title: Sugar, We're Going Down
Author: M.H. Soars
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/NA
Series: Love Me, I'm Famous Series (Book One)
Publisher: Infinite Sky Publishing

The long-awaited story of the incorrigible bad boy rockstar and the feisty woman who brought him down to his knees.

They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.

Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.

Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.

*This is Part One of a 3-Part story.

I brace myself for the impact, but as soon as Oliver turns around and my gaze collides with his electric blue eyes, I know I’ll have to bring my A-game if I’m to survive being near him. I haven’t seen the man in six months, but just being under his scorching gaze is enough to make me relive our fiery kiss and crave for more. I’ve never felt this crazy fixation for anyone before. It’s like an ice cold fever that won’t quit, a yearning that makes by body tingle all over in anticipation.

Oliver’s gaze skates over my body deliberately slowly, and a satisfied grin is plastered on his smug face when he focuses on my eyes again.

“Hello, there,” he says.

“What are you doing here?” I snap and my rude reply earns me a frown from Sebastian. Shit, I really need to work on tempering my bitchiness when I’m nervous.

Oliver chuckles. “I see you’re still mad at me. I’m kind of honored.”

I cross my arms in front of my chest and bite my tongue to keep from saying anything else that will give away how much Oliver is affecting me.

Someone touches my arm and with a side glance I see it’s Liv. “Be nice, Blue. I can’t have my maid of honor bickering with the best man.”

My shoulders sag as I let out a heavy sigh. I’ve never been part of a wedding party before so I have no idea how much interaction there is between the maid of honor and the best man. I hope it’s minimal. Oliver keeps staring at me like he can read my mind. It’s unnerving.

“I gotta make a call.” I turn on my heel and walk away, trying to keep my steps slow and relaxed. But all I want to do is sprint back to the house. That’s how badly Oliver’s presence is turning my head around. I hate this.

Once inside, I veer to the powder room. The make-a-call excuse is terrible, but I need a moment to recover. Inside the small room, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and count to ten in my head. I tell my heart to calm the fuck down and to stop galloping at full speed. I feel like a teenager suffering from her first crush and that’s not an emotional state I want to revisit.

I splash cold water on my flushed face and redo my loose braid. After taking a couple of deep breaths and squaring my shoulders, I can almost pretend I’m ready to go back out. I refuse to let Oliver’s presence keep me from spending quality time with my best friend.

I place one foot out of the door when his voice startles me. “How was that call?”

I jump on the spot, placing a hand over my chest. “Jesus. Did you follow me?”

Oliver is leaning nonchalantly against the wall with his arms crossed. I notice for the first time what he’s wearing, a black T-shirt that highlights his muscled chest and arms. He is also blonder than I remember. But it’s his devious mouth that makes me lose the ability to form coherent thoughts. God, I want to kiss him again.

He pushes himself off of the wall and moves closer. I hold my ground, feigning a pissed off stance. He can’t know how much I crave his nearness.

“What if I did?” he whispers in my ear, making my skin break out in goose bumps.

“I’d say I don’t appreciate stalkers.”

Oliver takes a step back and stares at me. I wish I knew what he is thinking.

“You’ve changed your hair. I kind of liked the mermaid colors.”

I touch my white blonde locks before narrowing my eyes at Oliver. “Did you just follow me to comment on my hair?”

“I want to clear the air around us. I know that we started on the wrong foot—”

“You don’t say,” I cut him off and Oliver flattens his lips.

“But we’ve ended on a very interesting note,” he finishes his sentence with a smirk.

I cross my arms and keep on glaring at the infuriating man. “Don’t get any fancy ideas. That kiss meant nothing and there won’t be a repeat.”

He steps into my personal space again. “Are you sure? I thought that was a wicked kiss. It’s definitely worth an encore.”

I push him away. “It’s been months. Get over yourself. Don’t you have a line of ravenous groupies dying for your attention?”

“Ravenous groupies?” He chuckles. “The images you paint in my head, Saylor. Then you blame me for getting fancy ideas.”

“Listen, Oliver. I don’t know how long you’re in town for, but I would like for us to try to act amicable whenever we’re forced together thanks to our friends’ wedding. So you’d better quit with the sexual innuendo.”

Oliver sighs loudly like what I just asked him is a huge, inconvenient favor. “You’re killing me here, Saylor. Do you know how hard it will be for me to look at you and not want you?”

I suck in a breath as my heart lurches in my chest. It takes me a moment to find my ground again and answer him.

“Try your best,” I say, my voice thin and without substance.

Oliver reaches out and takes a strand of my hair, letting it slide through his fingers. I remain frozen on the spot.

“Maddening, but I will.” He drops my hair and takes a couple of steps back. “And since I’m being completely honest here, I’m seriously considering making California home.”

Oliver goes back to the party outside, leaving me alone to digest the news. Why does it bother me so much that he wants to move to the same state as me? It’s not like we’ll ever see each other besides when we’re doing wedding stuff. What annoys me the most is how my heart hasn’t gotten the memo yet that Oliver is a bad idea. It celebrates furiously in my chest, like it has just discovered how to beat.

M. H. Soars always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would become an author. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born. 

M. H. Soars resides in Florida with her husband and baby daughter. She is currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series. 

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: It Started with a Kiss by Ella Quinn

Title: It Started with a Kiss
Author: Ella Quinn
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: The Worthingtons Series (Book Three)
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Format: ebook via NetGalley
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisWhat is a young Worthington woman to do when the man of her dreams is not who she thinks he is?

This season, all eyes are on the Earl of Worthington’s spirited, beautiful sister, Lady Louisa Vivers. Many gentlemen are vying for her attention in and around the ton. Yet, Louisa longs for someone who can take her beyond the ballroom—a man who is worldly, adventurous, and passionate. She won’t settle for just any suitor. She wants her true soul mate—and she’ll know him when she sees him.

Is Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell, him? The moment he and Louisa meet, they share a powerful attraction. Rides at sunrise and waltzes at dusk follow. Finally, Gideon can no longer resist the urge to embrace her, and Louisa is sure he will ask for her hand. But Gideon believes he is in no position to marry. The Rothwell estate has gone bankrupt, a scandal simmers in its wake, and he has nothing left to offer. Now, he must decide if he will let pride stand in the way of true love—or if he will risk everything, and let the lady decide for herself…

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Sometimes love comes at the most inconvenient of times.

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Louisa is looking for love in all the right places. Yet, her search so far has not yielded any results. Just when she's least expecting it, she spots an intriguing man while on a morning horseback ride. She doesn't know who he is but the brief glimpse of him has her determined to find out.

Gideon isn't looking for love, at all. In fact, when he lays eyes on a peculiar woman who makes his heart soar, he knows that now couldn't be the worst time to meet his match. His late father left his estate in shambles and Gideon simply cannot afford to marry until he sets his holdings to rights.

But the sparks still fly between the couple as they meet later and attend the same ball. Louisa cannot deny the patter in her heart when Gideon is near and he can't ignore his longing to be around Louisa. Their romance is as natural as breathing but there are lots of obstacles standing in their way, from a lovesick suitor to an angry ex-mistress and debt collecting thugs.

This book is the second of the series that I've read and I really looked forward to reading Louisa's story. She was a spitfire before and her sass lives on. I knew her love story would be a fun ride and it really was. Her headstrong personality brought humor to the mix.

Gideon was a nice surprise, too. He was determined not to fall for Louisa, but once he does, he refuses to let her go. I can admire that in a man. I did want to smack some sense into him when he tried to handle everything on his own and not confide in his betrothed. There was more sexy time in this book than you might find in some historical romances. It has some steamy moments and several sweet ones, too.

The only reason I am not giving this five suns is because there is a bit of a lull around 70% when we're waiting for the nuptials and everything sort of stalls for a while. It just didn't keep my attention as well through this part but if you continue on, the ending is worth it.

In closing...
I'm ready for Charlotte's turn to find a match! If the clues given are hinting toward a pairing with who I think it is, I'm totally on board for it! Four suns!

Review & Blast: Playing House by Laura Chapman

Title: Playing House
Author: Laura Chapman
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Adult
Series: None
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Tasty Tours
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisShe's a work in progress . . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true. 

He's a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her. 

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about, are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

Keeping a close distance, she followed Waverly up the cracked path to the house. Bailey took quick mental notes of her surroundings. The exterior needed a lot of work. The sagging roof missing gutters made her think they’d find the inside in similar disarray. They stepped through the front door, nearly tripping over Wilder Aldrich, who was measuring the entryway.
“Hey!” He sprang to his feet and out of their way. “What did I tell you about waiting until I gave you the all clear?”
“You were taking for-frickin’-ever, and some of us were freezing our tits off.” She pursed her lips and took on a warrior stance, seemingly daring him to say something else.
Conceding victory to her, Wilder turned and flashed an apologetic grin at Bailey. “Hey.” He offered a hand. Warmth permeated through the thin material of her glove. “Welcome to Casa de Waverly.”
Giving him a smug grin, Waverly sipped her coffee and faced Bailey. “Do you have a smart phone?”
Bailey stared blankly for a second, still dazzled by seeing Wilder up close. But she quickly snapped to attention and dug her phone out of her coat pocket.
“Good,” Waverly said after inspecting it. “While you’re on the job, I’d like you to snap some photos for our social media accounts. I’ll want to vet everything before we post it, but we need to start building the buzz for the next season while we’re filming. In exchange, we’ll cover your phone payments to take care of your data usage. Understood?”
“I can do that.”
“Good. Now . . .” She pulled out her own phone. It was the latest model that had come out on the market a month ago. With all of its reported bells and whistles, it put Bailey’s poor phone to shame. “I’m going to make a quick call. I’ll be back in a few minutes, and we can get started on,” she gestured around her, “this mess.”
She spun on her heel and waltzed out of the room, cooing into the phone.
Wilder cleared his throat, and Bailey turned to give him her full attention. She estimated he was only a couple of years older than herself—maybe in his late twenties or early thirties. He looked younger in real life than he did on TV. He was leaner and a little shorter—though she still had to crane her neck a little to meet his gaze.
He was also more handsome. Not the GQ model, your tongue-sticks-to-the-top-of-your-mouth kind of sexy. But he was hot in the same way the guy you sat next to in Chemistry was. It was enough to distract you from formulas and Bunsen burners every so often, but not enough that you’d ever set the lab on fire or forget to finish your final exam.
So far, he seemed much more serious. Where was the guy who scared Waverly with a stuffed dummy in a closet in the last episode she’d watched before calling an end to the marathon?
He was, she realized, studying her every bit as closely, with those hazel eyes speckled with green. Noting that, she didn’t feel quite as rude taking mental notes on the man in front of him.
At least she looked good. She’d laid out three outfits that morning in the hotel room. The first was a long, silky turquoise tunic that she’d paired with a pair of black leggings and knee-high boots. It was similar to the clothes Waverly favored on screen—only hers weren’t name-brand knockoffs. Then she had the casual jeans, a gray T-shirt that she could dress-up with a navy blue blazer. And there was option three: dark-wash, fit jeans, a chambray shirt, and a scarf. It was an ensemble that fell somewhere in the middle. It was the one that looked the most like her when she inspected herself in the mirror.
It was the one that felt most like her now in the middle of the foyer.
She wondered what he saw when he looked at her. Did he see a confident young woman ready to tackle major projects adeptly? Or did he see someone who was desperate to create, no matter what happened? Both were correct, but which one shone through right now?
Like a light switch, that triggered something in her. She offered her hand again. “We haven’t officially met. I’m Bailey Meredith.”

Laura Chapman is the author of First & GoalGoing for TwoThree & Out, and The Marrying Type. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Connect with her online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her website.
Buy Links:      AMAZON | B & N | ITUNES | KOBO

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Is that a hammer in your tool belt or are you just happy to see me?

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You'll have to forgive me for the dumb jokes. I'm running on little sleep because I stayed up late to finish this book!

Bailey is stuck in a job that is going nowhere and isn't putting her design aspirations to good use. Looking for something that will give her a chance to show her talent, she applies for a job with a mysterious employer. After a few rounds of phone calls, she's been asked to come in for a live interview. Little does she know, but she's being considered for a spot on a reality television home design show.

Wilder is also stuck between a rock and a drywall. Get it? *snicker* I already warned you that I'm a sarcastic zombie here. He's the co-star of a tv show but he's also carrying around a big... secret. (You thought I was going to make a joke there, didn't you?) Well, there is definitely nothing funny about being a part of a fake celebrity couple which means every day of Wilder's life is essentially a lie, put on for the cameras.

Continuing this sham of a marriage has worked so far. However, once Bailey enters the picture, sparks fly between her and the handyman Wilder. And they aren't the only ones to notice. But giving in to the temptation means keeping yet another secret and eventually even the best kept secrets come to light. Who will be left standing when the walls come tumbling down? *chuckle* I'm really liking these home improvement jokes...

This book had a couple of new themes for me. One, I have read a few books that featured a reality show, but none with a home design theme. As someone who actually used to watch these flip-this-house sort of shows, I really liked reading about the tv show portion. 

Two, I can honestly say that I don't think I've read a story with a couple who were so effectively faking a relationship until now. I mean, Wilder and Waverly have a daughter together and it actually took me a few chapters to realize that they were not really together. Kudos to the author for making me pay attention to the clues. I had my reservations at first, but I was happy to see that there wasn't any cheating in this book.

As for our couple, they were a great pair. Bailey was a hard worker and a take-action gal. Wilder was no slouch, either, and the two of them had a natural chemistry together. Their road to happiness was littered with troubles, though. Surgeries, conceptions, contracts, and even flames stood in their way, at times. The romance had some spice and the secondary characters added humor to the mix.

In closing... 
In all, this book was a nice read with a few twists, a couple of surprises, and a pair of bruised hearts who need each other's strength to heal. Four suns!

Review & Blast: Second Chance Marquess by Jessica Jefferson

Title: Second Chance Marquess
Author: Jessica Jefferson
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Second Chance Series (Book One)
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.
Format: ebook via Goddess Fish Promotions
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisWhen Wilhelmina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. 

George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation and fortune is at risk. 

A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. 

But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?

“Fine.” He looked away first, turning his attention back to the items he’d collected upon his desk. “If you want to join me, then you may.”

She squared her shoulders and stood a bit straighter having won their duel of wills. “Good.”

Without another word or a single glance, Chesterton left the room.

Not one to be left behind, Wilhelmina hurried after him, through the study and up the stairs.

“Where are we going?” she asked once they’d reached the top, breathless from the burst of activity.

He strode down the corridor, seemingly unaffected by the brisk climb. “To my bedroom.”

She immediately stopped. “Your bedroom? Why ever would we go in there?”

Chesterton turned back to her, one sardonic eyebrow arched high. “To change,” he answered. “You didn’t expect me to head out in this, did you?” He turned and continued toward the room, looking back at her before entering. “Are you coming?” he asked, voice smooth as warm chocolate.

This wasn’t the first time she’d been lured into George’s bedroom. He’d been an earl, the courtesy title bestowed upon him at birth, but more than that, he’d been a gentleman. Apparently, he’d lost that when he’d inherited the Marquisate. His bedroom was no longer an inviting sanctuary, and this invitation was not one of love as it had once been, but a lewd proposition, tenderness replaced by cruelty, as he watched expectantly for her reaction.

“I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” she stuttered, trying in vain to remain calm and collected as he started to untie the sash about his waist holding his robe closed. He let it fall to the ground and the robe opened, revealing his chest and torso in all its naked glory.

And it was indeed glorious.

She quickly averted her glance, whipping her head around and staring attentively at the painting on the wall.

“Is something the matter, Mrs. Turner?”

She was not about to play this game. She didn’t have the time, and he didn’t deserve the enjoyment it would undoubtedly bring him to see her suffer so. And most importantly, she couldn’t play because she knew good and well that she had no chance of winning.

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, two young daughters, French bulldog Lulu, and English bulldog Pete. When she's not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch "Real Housewives of [insert city here]" and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property. 

Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist where she invites her readers to fall in love with romance again.

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

When a couple get a chance to try again, will they repeat past mistakes?

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Willie never expected to have to come face-to-face with the man who wronged her so many years ago. And she definitely didn't think it would be under these circumstances. Her sister is nowhere to be found and Willie is certain that she knows who is responsible. Which brings her to a marquess' foyer in the middle of the night...

George is stunned to find his ex-flame at his door and even more surprised that she's accusing him of kidnapping her sister. When clues come to light, however, George realizes that it's his brother who is at fault. It seems George and Willie's younger siblings may have run away together. To avoid scandal, the pair must be found. And fast.

Unfortunately, things do not go as planned. George and Willie find themselves in a near-death carriage accident and stranded in an inn with limited capacity. Their close quarters mean the couple can't escape one another. Past hurts are brought to the surface and secrets are exposed. When the dust settles, our couple must decide if they want a second chance at love or watch history repeat itself.

I've really been on a historical romance kick for the past few months. It's almost become my go-to sub-genre when I'm looking for a sure-thing read to keep me from going into a reading slump. And this book was another good addition to my reading list, especially since it's a second chance romance and I love those. Not to mention, the cover is just plain gorgeous.

This book started off with a lot of vague clues as to our couple's history. We know that it ended badly but since it'd dual POV, we see Willie and George blame each other for their failed relationship. And neither of them are really happy with their current predicaments.

The plot was steady, though most of the book occurs within a short time frame. It's a whirlwind of brokenhearted tension leading to long-awaited passion. The romance is steamy and full of emotion. Our couple have suffered so much over the years and you can see the struggle as they try to decide if it's worth the risk to follow their hearts and allow their siblings to do the same. Meddling family members and stubborn pride just might get in the way.

In closing... 
Four suns for this historical romance full of wounded hearts and second chances!