Sunday, July 31, 2016

Book Blast: The Congressman's Wife by Arie Pavlou & Charlene Keel

Title: The Congressman's Wife
Author: Arie Pavlou & Charlene Keel
Series: The Congressman Trilogy (Book One)
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Red Sky Entertainment
SynopsisThe tabloids are full of stories about senators, congressmen, even presidents who cheat on their spouses. The Congressman’s Wife is about a beautiful woman who cheats on her high-profile politician husband. All she is to him is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who makes her feel cherished for herself alone. 

The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls in love with Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s campaign in full swing, Eden and Kaleb manage to find ways to be together. Their brief stolen moments take them to Paris and then Cyprus, where Kaleb’s family owns olive orchards and a vineyard.

When her husband is wounded by a bullet from a disgruntled lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns by doing her duty is the key to her freedom, if she has the courage to take a stand. Available as an e-book or print-on-demand.
Be a Cougar

“Your husband is an inconsiderate ass,” Sybil said over dirty martinis after their drive up the
mountain. “Why do you put up with it?”

“Like I have a choice?” Eden had just told Sybil about her birthday dinner with the Romano
brothers. “If I left, where would I go? Mom’s still living in Texas, in a little two-bedroom house,
with another woman. There’s no room for me and the kids. I guess I could take them to my
dad’s—and they can get to know their thirty-year- old step-grandma.”

Sybil laughed. “It would serve him right if you showed up.”

“Yeah,” Eden agreed. “But seriously, I can’t do that to the kids. It would rip their world apart, if I
left their father just because I’m . . .”

She paused, searching for the right word.

“Unhappy?” Sybil supplied.

“Not really,” Eden said. “It’s just . . . when I’m not angry with Mitchell I’m bored out of my mind.”

“Even with the campaign in full swing?”

“Especially with that,” Eden said. “It’s nothing I haven’t done before, just on a bigger scale. I
don’t think Mitchell can win and he’s spending so much money. At this rate, we’ll never get out
of debt.” She blinked back the sudden, hot dart of tears before Sybil could see. “Still no reason
to end a marriage.”

“Maybe when the kids are older.”

Eden finished her martini and signaled the bartender for another. “In ten more years, Rosie will
be sixteen,” she said. “I’ll be almost forty-five. All the men my age will be looking for a younger

“So get a younger man. You need a secret boy toy. Be a cougar—it’s all the rage.”

A quick image of Kaleb Stavros flashed through Eden’s mind. “Yeah, right,” she said.

“What about that hot young cook you met at the fundraiser?”


“Whatever. Did you call him?”

“No point. Mitchell and his campaign need my full attention, twenty-four- seven. Any time I have
to myself, I plan to sleep.”

“All the more reason you should have a little som’n-som’n on the side,” Sybil said.

“Oh, come on—you know that’s not me. I may flirt a little here and there, but when it’s time to
deliver—I don’t.”

“Well, that’s depressing.”

“Mitchell’s my husband. I took vows, you know. For better or worse—”

“Blah, blah, blah,” Sybil interrupted. “So let’s just forget him, at least for the weekend. Tonight—starting in twenty minutes—full spa treatment followed by hot chocolate in front of the
fire. Tomorrow we’ll get your silly antiquing done in the morning and your blasted autumn
leaves out of the way in the afternoon, and then little Sybil’s going on the prowl. You can come
along and watch.”

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books as well as multiple episodes
of popular TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Days of our Lives. Her Dell book, Rituals, was
the basis for the first made-for- syndication soap opera. Recently she co-authored The Tracks, a
YA supernatural trilogy. Shadow Train, the final installment, won a Paranormal Romance Guild
Reviewer’s Choice Award. Keel has also written screen adaptations of novels by bestselling
authors, and has worked as editor or managing editor for a few international magazines. In her
spare time she ghostwrites books and screenplays for celebrities, doctors, corporate moguls,
spies, strippers and anyone who has an interesting story to tell.

Website: -
Follow Charlene on Twitter -
Charlene Keel on Facebook -

Arie Pavlou is a popular chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then perfected his craft
at some of the top-rated Michelin restaurants in France and New York. He has lived and
worked in France, Cyprus and the U. S. and is an avid world traveler who speaks five
languages. He enjoys all sports and has a talent for knife-throwing, which he perfected at Le
Cordon Bleu. Currently Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bridgehampton Inn in New York, his
specialties include Caramelized Baked Alaska, Winter Salad, Roast Lamb Fondue, Wild Game
and Poached Pears with Mint Ice Cream. The Congressman’s Wife is his first novel, and he’s
currently writing a cookbook.

Arie Pavlou on Facebook -

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Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre/Age: Fantasy/YA
Series: The Glittering Court Series (Book One)
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: ebook via Library
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisBig and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.**

I initially read the sneak peek of The Glittering Court on NetGalley, awhile ago. I wanted to continue the story but the cost of the ebook was prohibitive. So, instead, I put in a request at my library and the ebook finally became available, yesterday. I still had a good memory of the first part I had already read, so I just picked up where I left off.

In our story, we have a countess who wishes to flee an unwanted betrothal. She sees an opportunity to escape when she meets Cedric, a young man who is looking to recruit attractive servants for his father's business of transforming common women into ladies for profitable marriage purposes. Hoping this will give her the freedom she desperately wants, our countess poses as her servant and sneaks into Cedric's carriage.

Adelaide, as she is now known, is discovered by Cedric. He knows her true identity, but she is able to convince him to help her and keep her secret. Together, they develop a partnership that will be beneficial to the both of them.

Once they arrive at their destination, we learn more about Cedric's family's business. The process involves a lengthy finishing school and series of tests to rank the ladies according to their value, coordinating each with a precious gemstone. Thus, it is named The Glittering Court. 

This part did drag on a bit, but I was entertained enough to continue. The goal is to take the newly polished women to the new world of Adoria where they will be presented to unmarried men and expected to convince those men to bid for their hand. The ladies have their choice of husband but the shinier the package, the better the prospects. 

Once the girls' lessons and transformations are complete, the ladies are loaded onto two ships and they set sail for Adoria. But then there comes the storm...

The second ship appears to be lost at sea, adding strife to Adelaide's already problematic arrival in the new world. But the show must go on. Adelaide pulls herself together to put on a pretty face in order to gain the attention of the highest bidders. And she succeeds, as the governor's son makes an outrageous offer for her hand.

However, Adelaide's smoldering yearning for Cedric begins to turn into a full-on flame. I think the author does a good job of slowly building the tension and need between the two characters, until they can no longer ignore their feelings for one another. The knowing looks and sly smiles are unavoidable as their romance grows.

Soon, neither of them want this marriage-to-the-highest-bidder plan to continue. But before they can alter their strategy to find a better outcome, in which they can be together, all hell breaks loose!

I won't go into details of what happens, but I will say that it pleasantly reminded me of The Little House on the Prairie, which happens to be my second favorite book series of all time. I really enjoyed this part of the story. I realize not everyone will, but I did.

The ending came with several surprises and left me with many questions, which I assume I'll find the answers to in the companion novels.

In closing...
Though, this is not the fantasy story I was expecting, I still enjoyed the book and Adelaide's journey. I am excited to read about the story from Mira and Tamsin's POVs in the companion novels to come! 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Monthly Wrap-Up ~ July 2016

This is my first wrap-up! I may change the layout of everything later on but here it is for now. I will go over the books I've read, reviewed, received, and other miscellaneous tidbits related to the month! Let's do this!
~ Celebrated my one month blogiversary on July 30th!
~  I won a $10 Amazon eGift card from the Love, Alchemy book tour with Eden Ashley! Thank you to the author and Goddess Fish Promotions for hosting the tour and giveaway. I promise to put the gift card to good use stocking my e-shelf!
~  I won a $20 Amazon eGift card from the Finished book tour with Anne Holster! Thank you to the author, and Goddess Fish Promotions for hosting the tour and giveaway!
Blue = Reviewed (with links), Black = To-Review/Upcoming/No Review

Aligned, Volume 1 - Ella Miles
Aligned, Volume 2 - Ella Miles
Bay of Sighs - Nora Roberts (To-Review)
Bedmates - Nichole Chase (Review Delayed Due to Release Date)
Bloom - Elizabeth O'Roark
Charming Olivia - Grace Harper
Claiming the Evil Dead - Mary Abshire (To-Review for Upcoming Tour)
Crave - Janet Nissenson (To-Review)
Desire Rising - Elizabeth Shore
Dom Tames Rapunzel, The - Sydney St. Claire
Eternal Passion - India Masters (To-Review)
Finished - Anne Holster
For Your Protection - Amber Bardan
Forbidden Heat - J.L. White
Hardass - Christina Saunders
Imperfect Love - Isabella White
Infinite Desires - India Masters (To-Review)
Lessons, The - Elizabeth Brown
Love, Alchemy - Eden Ashley
Midnight Heat - J.L. White
Night Magic - Kathleen Ann Gallagher
Notorious Pleasures - Elizabeth Hoyt
Playing His Game - Audrey Randall (To-Review for Upcoming Tour)
Pure Torture - Tania Sparks (To-Review for Upcoming Tour)
Rake's Unveiling of Lady Belle, The - Raven McAllan
Rose Petal Graves - Olivia Wildenstein
Rules, The - Elizabeth Brown
Scandalous Desires - Elizabeth Hoyt
Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett, The - Raven McAllan
Scottish Lord's Secret Bride, The - Raven McAllan
Serena's Plight - Carol Madison (To-Review)
Shadow Bloodlines - A.R. Cooper
Son of Carver, A - Haven Francis
Total D*ck - Christina Saunders
Undertow - Elizabeth O'Roark
Waking Olivia - Elizabeth O'Roark
Wicked Intentions - Elizabeth Hoyt

Total Books Read = 37
Total Reviewed = 28

Few of My Favorite Reads:


In addition to the books above, the following have been received, bought, or approved for future reviews/tours:

For Upcoming Tours

NetGalley & Edelweiss Approved

Bought, Review for Author/Publisher/TourCompanies, & KindleUnlimited


Random Happenings in July:

1) I celebrated my birthday this month!
2) Went hiking in the mountains to visit Dark Hollow Falls:

How was this month for you?
How many books did you get to?
Any favorites?

Review: Aligned 1 & 2 by Ella Miles

Title: Aligned, Volume 1
Author: Ella Miles
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance
Series: Aligned Series (Book One)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
SynopsisHe’s an arrogant complication. 

I don’t care if Landon Davis has sold millions of records. I don’t care that his damn crooked grin makes my panties wet. 

I can’t want him. 

I should be mourning, but I can’t. I just need him gone. Then I can align the chaos floating in my head. 


She has a f*cking boyfriend. 

I’ve seen the picture of them together. But Alex Blakely still wants me. And who am I not to oblige when her body is begging for me? 

I need one night to own her body. 

I should be focused on getting my career out of the gutter. I’ll take one night first. Then I’ll be gone. 

Aligned: Volume 1 is the first novella in a four part contemporary romance series. Volume 2 is a novella coming in December 2015. Volumes 3 & 4 will be full length novels coming spring 2016.

Title: Aligned, Volume 2
Author: Ella Miles
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance
Series: Aligned Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
SynopsisMy mind is a mess

I can’t live this way anymore. He thinks I’ve told him the worst, but I’ve 
barely told him anything at all. 

I can’t love Landon. 

He just brings more confusion. I need to leave. Then I can break through 
the chaos that haunts me. 

— — 

My mind has never been so clear

I’m writing new songs faster than ever before. I’m falling for her, even as 
the secret that I’ve kept hidden for years threatens to reveal itself. 

I can’t love Alex. 

Everyone will know I’m a monster. I’ll stay away. It’s the only way.

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.**

So... This is me, right now:

Having just finished the second book, I am in a state of panic. I didn't realize the book would end in such a cliffhanger and I only have the first two books to review. Thank you, by the way, to the author for allowing me to review!

Now, on to my thoughts. I am doing these two book reviews together, mainly because they are novellas and I read them back-to-back so the story is merged into one in my mind. Now, as you may know, I don't have a very good track record with novellas. I tend to dislike them because novellas often feel rushed and leave me wanting. But this time, I hit the jackpot!

First up, we have Alexa, our tough, haunted, and somewhat broody damsel. She has recently lost her husband, her leg, and her memories. The only thing she has left is her photography career, or what she can salvage of it. A cross-country move has put her in a new place but done little to heal the scars (literal and figurative) of her past.

On the other hand, we have Landon, our lyrical, hopeful, and humorous rock star. His singing career has just taken off but his songwriting has hit a dead end. That is, until he crosses paths with Alexa. The sparks fly in the air and the lyrics soar to the page. Musicians... Yum.

As Alexa tries to find a way to forget remember her past, and Landon does his best to escape his own, they crash into a heated love affair. But all is not smooth sailing for either of them. A controlling ex-girlfriend and career deadlines cause turmoil for Landon and Alexa tries to deal with learning to walk and work again, as well as being plagued by panic attacks and disturbing dreams.

I liked watching the friendship and lovership (not a real word, I know), develop between the two. They need to rely on each other in different ways and it's nice to see a novella where the lust between two characters doesn't overwhelm the story. It's a slow, smooth burn that I can appreciate. 

The only reason I give these books 4.5 suns, instead of 5, is because I think the "I love you's" came a bit too early for my taste. I am one of the few who do not think that those words need to be tossed in to show love growing between a couple. The relationship is still too new, in my opinion, for either of them to be so sure of their feelings, yet. Especially, since they are both still hiding secrets from each other.

That ending, however, has left me having a fit. I need to know if the mysterious man who showed up is really who Alexa thinks he is!

In closing...

Great writing and deeply intricate characters. Can't wait to see where the rest of the story takes us! 4.5 suns to each!