7.5/10

#BookReview
Danced Close by Annabeth Albert @AnnabethAlbert @KensingtonBooks

Synopsis:

Portland, Oregon, is one of the hottest cities in America. Just ask all the hard-working men sweating it up behind the counters of the restaurants, boutiques, and cafés all over town … 

Newly clean and sober, Todd’s taken a shine to his job at Portland’s most talked about bakery. It’s not just the delicious desserts they sell, but the tasty treats who keep walking through the door. That certainly includes Kendall Rose, a wedding planner with eyes the color of brown sugar and skin to match. Todd doesn’t try to hide his attraction to Kendall’s elegant confidence and unique style, even as he worries about exposing the secrets of his past. 

For Kendall, the attention is just part of the anything-goes Portland he’s grown to love. But he’s still looking for that special someone who will embrace all of him—including his gender fluidity. So he takes a chance and asks Todd to be his partner in a dance class leading to a fundraiser. When the music starts and he takes Todd in his arms, Kendall is shocked at how good it feels. Turns out taking the lead for once isn’t a mistake. In fact, it might be time to take the next step and follow his heart …


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sweet, sexy and charming!

This is an engaging, contemporary romance story that emphasizes the importance of accepting and embracing who you truly are and reminds us that sometimes in life it’s nice to lead and sometimes in life it’s even nicer to be led.

The characters are honest, unique and supportive. The writing is straightforward and smooth. And the plot is an engaging mix of humour, relationship drama, acceptance, chemistry, love, sweet treats and of course a tiny bit of dancing. 

Overall, I would have to say that this is an uplifting, heartwarming, enjoyable read that proves opposites definitely do attract.

This is book six in the “Portland Heat” series by Annabeth Albert. Be sure to check out some of the other titles in the series HERE!

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on March 14, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBarnes & Noble

For more information on Annabeth Albert, visit her website at: annabethalbert.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @AnnabethAlbert

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Brother by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

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I’d dated his brother.

He didn’t remember and I wish I could forget.

I may have sworn off the Wright family a long time ago. But when I returned home, Jensen Wright crashed into my life with the confidence of a billionaire CEO and the sex appeal of a god. Even I couldn’t resist our charged chemistry, or the way he fit into my life like a missing puzzle piece.

Too bad he’d forgotten the one thing that could destroy us.

Because Jensen Wright doesn’t share. Not with anyone. And if his brother finds out, this could all go down in flames.

When it all was said and done, was he the Wright brother?

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Rating: 7.5/10

Charming, sexy and fun!

This is a story about heartbreak, mistakes, discovering one’s self, and falling in love.

It is an alluring story that combines a delicious, mysterious, wealthy businessman with an intelligent, beautiful, wary PhD student, complete with a plot filled with smoking tension, sizzling chemistry, racy banter, witty dialogue and dreamy romance.

The writing is smooth. The supporting characters are intriguing and lovable. And the plot is entertaining and engaging as it takes you from the enjoyment and challenges of the here and now to the moments and mishaps of the past and then concludes with an ending that will make everyone smile.

Overall this is an enjoyable, easy read, and I can’t wait to read Landon’s story, “The Wright Boss”, when it’s published later in the spring.

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Kyla

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

#BookReview
To Rome, with Love by T. A. Williams
@TAWilliamsBooks @HQDigitalUK

Synopsis:

Escape to Italy this summer with this fabulously feel-good beach read! 

A summer of second chances…

Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…

Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Heartwarming, winsome, and picturesque!

This is a delightful story that takes us on a ride through the beautiful Italian countryside from Venice to Rome complete with majestic scenery, intriguing history, and scrumptious food.

The characters are varied and entertaining with a great mix of those who are funny, compassionate and quirky and those who are broody, sexy, and serious.

The writing is clear, descriptive and fun. And the plot, although I did find it get a little bogged down with the continuous dwelling on the past, is an appealing, cathartic journey full of heartbreak, contemplation, reminiscence, humorous mishaps, romantic settings, and budding new love.

As always Williams has written a novel with exquisite imagery that makes me yearn to travel and dream of winter’s end when I can take my bike off the trainer and get back out on the road.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially HarperCollins UK – HQ Digital, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on February 17, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaKoboB&N

For more information on TA Williams, visit his website at: tawilliamsbooks.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @TAWilliamsBooks

#BookReview
My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouse

Synopsis:

Part love story, part workplace dramedy, part witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world, this is New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s most timely and sharply observed novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. The final, demeaning straw comes when Demeter makes Katie dye her roots in the office. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the image.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Humorous, amusing and heartwarming!

Departing slightly from her usual fanciful romantic comedies, in this latest novel Kinsella writes a story that is rich in character development and touches on the pitfalls of pretense, unrealistic perception, social media fallacies, and finding one’s true self all in a plot laced with humour, lightheartedness and a touch of romance.

The writing is crisp and witty. And the characters are a quirky, unique bunch that are likeable, flawed and genuine.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, thought-provoking story filled with cheeky banter and spirited hijinks that will definitely make you laugh and entertain you for hours.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on February 7, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBook DepositoryB&N

 For more information on Sophie Kinsella, visit her website at: sophiekinsella.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @KinsellaSophie

#BookReview
Always by Sarah Jio
@sarahjio

Synopsis:

A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March

Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Captivating, thought-provoking, and deeply moving!

This is a poignant novel that delves into the emotional, physical and mental anguish suffered by those inflicted with brain trauma and touches on the hardships, prejudices and struggles experienced by those who find themselves homeless.

The prose is polished and precise. The characters are consumed, troubled and genuine. And the story which contains a subtle element of mystery is written in a back and forth, past/present style that gives a wonderful appreciation and depth to all the situations, personalities and relationships within it.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel about friendship, loss, jealousy, compassion, life and enduring love, but I have to say I still prefer Jio’s historical fiction novels, particularly “The Bungalow” which is still one of my all-time favourites.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Ballantine for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 This novel is due to be published on February 7, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKoboB&N

 For more information on Sarah Jio, visit her website at: sarahjio.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @sarahjio

#BookReview #BlogTour
Unspoken Promises by H.P. Davenport @hpdavenportauth

Synopsis:

Unspoken Promises are worse than lies.

Morgan Kennedy and Lincoln Gates have been in love since high school. Their friends have envied their devotion to not only each other, but also the life they’ve made together. From the outside looking in, their relationship is perfect. One mirrored of fairytales. But behind the door, Morgan isn’t feeling as fulfilled as she once did. She wants more. She wants the glass slipper and the happily ever after.

What Lincoln and Morgan don’t anticipate is that a horrific event is about to make them second-guess their wants.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sweet, heartbreaking, and highly emotional!

This is a story about relationships, guilt, blame, communication, support, forgiveness, loneliness, intimacy, and love.

The characters are impassioned, flawed and introspective. The writing is clear and fluid. And the plot is a rollercoaster ride of angst-ridden drama, self-loathing, tragedy, romance and soul-searching triggered by the violation of a loved one.

I have to admit, unlike the first novel, I did find this storyline to drag slightly at times and the characters to be excessively frustrating, but overall it was still an intriguing, captivating, and enjoyable read.

This is the second novel in The Unspoken Love Series and even though it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you read the first novel in the series, Unspoken Words, first. You can check out my review for Unspoken Words Here!

Thank you to H. P. Davenport for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

For more information on H. P. Davenport, visit her website at: authorhpdavenport.blogspot.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @hpdavenportauth

#BookReview – Working It by Christine d’Abo @Christine_dAbo @RiptideBooks

Synopsis:

Nolan Carmichael is getting a fresh start—new career, new company, new life. The only problem is, he liked his old life just fine . . . until an accident robbed him of his health, his job, his self-confidence, and his ability to go out in public without having anxiety attacks.

Zack Anderson has scared away his last four administrative assistants. So when he hires Nolan on a whim, he’s not too worried, since Nolan will be gone within the week anyway. Two weeks later, Nolan has made himself indispensable, completely reforming Zack’s schedule, life . . . and libido.

But in a company already torn by internal politics, one wrong step could ruin both their careers. And not only are they working to reopen Ringside Gym, Zack’s retreat when he was a troubled teen, but they also can’t help themselves falling for each other. If only the rest of their lives could go as smoothly as things do when they’re alone together.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sweet, passionate and emotional!

This is a contemporary romance story full of commitments, responsibilities, stress, pressure, sexual tension, steamy chemistry and love.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are a mix of an arrogant, angry, handsome alpha and a charming, efficient, troubled cutie. And the plot, narrated from alternate points of view, starts off nicely with strong character development, gets a little bogged down half way through, but then finishes pleasingly with an engaging, satisfying ending.

I have to say that overall this is an easy, enjoyable read that will definitely have you believing that opposites attract.

This is the first novel in the new “Ringside Romance” series and I look forward to reading the next novel in the series when it is published.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Riptide Publishing, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on February 6, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon USAmazon CanadaAmazon UKIndigoKoboB&N

For more information on Christine d’Abo, visit her website at: christinedabo.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Christine_dAbo

#BookReview – The Futures by Anna Pitoniak @annapitoniak @leeboudreauxbks

Synopsis:

In this dazzling debut novel about love and betrayal and redemption, a young couple moves to New York City to prove their mettle and to find success—only to learn that such success may come with dangerous strings attached.

Julia and Evan falls in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a Canadian logging town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia—blonde, beautiful and rich—fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan takes a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, who has only known a life of privilege, feels unmoored and increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.

With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in an increasingly high-stakes deal at work—a deal that, despite the assurance of his Machiavellian boss, begins to feel more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of life. As Evan and Julia spin apart into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more—good and bad—that they’d ever dreamed, and that betrayal is easier than they ever imagined.

Rich with suspense and insight, Pitoniak’s thrilling debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections to one another and to ourselves. THE FUTURES is a glittering story of a couple coming of age and a tender, searing portrait of what it’s like to be young and full of hope in a city that often seems determined to break us down—but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Compelling, insightful and satisfying!

This a coming-of-age story set in New York City during the financial crisis of 2008 and follows the lives of two Yale graduates who come from completely different backgrounds as they struggle to maintain their relationship and successfully achieve all their hopes, dreams and career goals.

For me what was clear throughout the novel was the ideology that life is not predictable; it always throws you a few curve balls.

The writing is well done. The characters are young, naive and self-indulgent. And the plot is a sequence of events steeped in deception, loneliness, denial, heartache, acceptance, and forgiveness that leads each character to undergo a form of introspection to recognize what’s truly important.

Overall this is a good debut novel that will definitely resonate with many people who have also found themselves daunted after post-secondary education.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Lee Boudreaux Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on January 17, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaKoboBarnes & Noble

For more information on Ann Pitoniak, visit her website at: annapitoniak.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @annapitoniak

Book Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

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The Official Synopsis:

“They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”

Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

This is a fascinating interpretation about the life of Alexandrina Victoria, a young, sheltered girl who became the Queen of England at the age of eighteen, and her dependence and close relationship with the then mature Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.

It is a story about familial responsibilities, monarchical duties, coming-of-age, friendship, and love.

Queen Victoria’s early reign was during a time when government was in turmoil, the parties in power were changing and the populace was highly critical of the choices and decisions made by the monarchy, and although she was small in stature and seemingly immature she possessed a confidence and strength beyond her years.

The prose is clear and fluid. And the story line takes us into a short time in Queen Victoria’s life when she may have had a strong reliance, attraction, and reverence for the British statesman, Melbourne.

Overall, even though this book is only centred on Victoria’s life from her early teens to her marriage proposal to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in her early twenties, it is quite intriguing and captivating and definitely a good choice for anyone interested in the British Monarchy.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is due to be published on November 22, 2016.

Pick up a copy of this book from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/IndigoBook Depository

For more information on Daisy Goodwin, visit her website at: daisygoodwin.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @daisygoodwinuk

Book Review: Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey

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The Official Synopsis:

After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she’ll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school. 

Leigh’s best friend broke Croy Dawson’s heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh’s fault. They’ve never liked each other, but Croy isn’t cruel: he’d never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn’t expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn’t expect to get caught up in her holiday madness. 

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can’t escape the truth: he can’t walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sweet, charming, and delightfully romantic! 

This is a lighthearted, contemporary romance filled with holiday revelry, familial dynamics, friendship, heartbreak and new love.

The writing is fluid. The main characters are fun, easygoing, appealing, and endearing. And the plot has just the right amount of drama, sexual chemistry, and happy ever after we look for in a holiday read.

Overall, this is a quick, engaging novella that reminds us that Christmas is all about family and home really is where the heart is.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novella is due to be published on November 21, 2016.

Pick up a copy of this book from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

For more information on Shannon Stacey, visit her website at: shannonstacey.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @shannonstacey

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