#BookReview Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA Title: Songs of Love and War

Author: Santa Montefiore

Series: Deverill Chronicles #1

Published by: Simon & Schuster UK on Feb. 13, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 528

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The #1 international bestseller about the enduring bond between three women and the castle they will never forget.

Their lives were mapped out ahead of them. But love and war will change everything…

It’s the early 1900s and Castle Deverill stands staunchly untouched by time, hidden away in the rolling Irish hills. Within the castle walls, three friends have formed a close bond: affluent, flame-haired Kitty Deverill; Bridie Doyle, Kitty’s best friend and daughter of the castle’s cook; and Celia Deverill, Kitty’s flamboyant English cousin. They’ve grown up together, always sheltered from the conflict embroiling the rest of the country. But when Bridie learns of a secret Kitty has been keeping, their idyllic world is forever torn apart.

Later, the three women scatter to different parts of the globe. Kitty must salvage what she can before Castle Deverill and everything she has ever known is reduced to ash. Songs of Love and War is an epic generational saga about the lasting bonds of true friendship and the powerful ties we all have to the place we call home.

Previously published in the US as The Girl in the Castle.


Review:

Insightful, riveting, and incredibly atmospheric!

Songs of Love and War is an intriguing tale that sweeps you to Co. Cork in the early 1900s when Ireland is full of unrest and upheaval not only due to the Great War being waged on the fields of Europe but in their own countryside where the simmering anger and need for self-identity, patriotism, and independence from Anglo rule are about to come to a head.

The prose is poetic and vividly described. The three main characters Kitty, Birdie, and Celia are strong and independent, and their lives are bound and entangled together by the magnificent Castle Deverill that graces the Irish hillside and in some way each calls home. And the plot is an engaging saga filled with self-discovery, familial drama, social stratification, spiritual occurrences, tragedy, heartbreak, romance, war, life, loss, and friendship.

Songs of Love and War is an exquisitely written, exceptionally detailed, beautiful start to a trilogy that is sure to be a big hit with historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere, and you can be sure that Daughters of Castle Deverill, Deverill Chronicles #2, is already on my TBR list.

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

Photograph by Santa Montefiore

 

#BookReview Look For Me by Lisa Gardner @LisaGarnderBks @DuttonBooks

#BookReview Look For Me by Lisa Gardner @LisaGarnderBks @DuttonBooks Title: Look For Me

Author: Lisa Gardner

Series: Detective D.D. Warren #9

Published by: Dutton on Feb. 6, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Dutton, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner’s latest twisty thrill ride, Detective D.D. Warren and Find Her‘s Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl’s life . . . or bring her to justice.

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D.D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.


Review:

Menacing, creepy, and twisty!

In this latest novel by Gardner, Look For Me, Detective D.D. Warren finds herself reluctantly partnering once again with the victim-turned-vigilante Flora Dane on a horrifying case involving a family slaughtered and a missing teen.

The writing style is crisp and intense. The characters, including the hardworking, determined heroine, are well-developed, scarred, and troubled. And the plot is a well-paced, police procedural full of suspects, clues, deduction, abuse, exploitation, manipulation, gang violence, and murder.

Look For Me is the ninth novel in the Detective D.D. Warren series and is a heart wrenching, compelling mystery that highlights Gardner’s impressive research into all the limitations, deficiencies, maltreatment, and neglect found in the American foster care system.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                           

 

 

Thank you to Dutton Books (Penguin Random House) for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Gardner

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.

Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

#BlogTour #BookReview & #GuestPost Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael @ALMichael_ @canelo_co

#BlogTour #BookReview & #GuestPost Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael @ALMichael_ @canelo_co Title: Prosecco and Promises

Author: A.L. Michael

Series: Martini Club #2

Published by: Canelo on Feb. 12, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 300

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

Meet Mia: an unforgettable heroine learning the meaning of life and love on a beautiful Italian island. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine.

Mia’s dad has always been her idol. Now, she faces losing him and he is insisting that she leave England to visit her mother’s family on the Italian island of Ischia.

Arriving on the island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy relatives she hardly knows. Despite her doubts about the trip, it is in Italy that Mia discovers connections to a part of her life that’s been missing, and during the sun-soaked days and steamy nights Mia falls for handsome local Salvatore. But as the day of her departure draws nearer can she risk having her heart broken twice in one summer?

If you love Prosecco and Promises, why not read more about Mia’s best friend Savvy in Cocktails and Dreams? Out now!


Review:

Uplifting, romantic, and genuinely heartfelt!

Prosecco and Promises is predominantly set on the island of Ischia in the Mediterranean and is the story of Mia, a young woman who heads to her mother’s homeland and the relatives she barely knows when the impending loss of her beloved father turns her life upside down.

The prose is expressive and effortless. The characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters that are multilayered, strong, charming, and determined. And the character-driven plot interweaves the lives of multi-generational families as they learn to cope, survive, heal, respect, support, and love each other unconditionally.

Overall Prosecco and Promises is sweet and incredibly touching with a real undercurrent of heartbreak, loss, loneliness, and grief. And even though it had me in tears more than once, it also had me smiling, laughing and completely enthralled by all the big family antics and budding romances.

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

And now A.L. Michael with:

My Writing Routine

When I first started out, writing was a very different game – I was a pantser, no doubt, letting the story flow where it felt like. I still think that’s really important, discovering the story as you write it. It’s half the fun, where plot points and ideas just suddenly appear from thin air (when really, you’d been leading your mind there with breadcrumbs as you’ve been writing). The first draft is always you telling yourself the story, and there’s something beautiful in that – your brain telling your hands or fingertips a tall tale.

My process has changed a little since then – I’ve got a 9-5 and I’m still writing at least two books a year. I can’t poodle along like before. My ideas need to have a least a little structure, a few plot points to work towards, to keep me on track. When you’re working towards deadlines, and you don’t have too much time to write, knowing where you’re going and making the most of that precious time is important.

When the story is evolving, I’ll be writing notes on my phone, usually fragments of conversation that gives me an idea of who my characters are, without having to know what they’re talking about. Usually, these don’t get used. I’ll start typing it up straight away, usually after writing a brief outline. And then it’s onto the daily typing – I fit it in wherever I can. Writing this article now is instead of my lunchtime writing. I bring my laptop in almost every day and write for an hour. Usually I can get about 1500 words done. When I get home, I’ll try and write some more after dinner, with the TV on in the background. Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings are when I get up early and snuggle into the sofa to grab a few hours, and those are probably my most productive times.

Being in the story, even when you can’t be writing, is becoming more important. I’ve been creating playlists for my novels, and I listen to them on the way home from work, to prepare myself for the scene I’m going to write.

When you’re in the story, everything suddenly starts to relate to it – it’s like being in love. Everything you see, or read, or hear, starts to influence and connect to what you’re writing. I’ve always been a one for stealing snippets of phrases I hear on the train, or things friends say, and so I take every experience that isn’t writing as inspiration for writing.

The biggest excuse for anything is not having time. Not having time to see people, to write books, to workout. I refuse to let that stop me. Because time is what you make it. If you’re scribbling notes on your morning commute – you’re writing a book! If you’re writing full time doing 20 minute springs – wahey, you’ve found your rhythm! We use and value our time differently, and it’s true, I don’t have kids or a huge amount of responsibility, so I’m using every minute I can, so that when I do have less time, I won’t feel guilty.

I’ll never forget at my first book launch I heard another writer say ‘Well, I could have a book published if I had the time,’ and it still makes me laugh to this day, because you have the time. We all have time. When it gets towards deadlines and I’m up until 1am editing and I don’t go out at the weekends and I’ve had to tell people not to call me for a week – that’s me having the time. It’s like when people look at modern art and say ‘my kid could have done that’, my answer is always: ‘but they didn’t, did they? This person did.’

So that’s my routine – snatched moments wherever I can, and whether you need structure or not, I would encourage you to snatch those moments too. They’re precious, and finite, and when people ask you how you did it, you tell them you made the time.

 

Thank you to A.L. Michael and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About A.L. Michael

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 10 novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, started with Cocktails and Dreams, to be followed by Prosecco and Promises, and Martinis and Memories. She likes to write about difficult women. Well, they say to write what you know. Andi works as a Content Writer, as well as a therapeutic facilitator. She has a bunch of degrees in stuff to do with writing, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the power of creative writing in eating disorder recovery. She truly believes stories can change your life.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid @HarperKincaid @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #BookReview The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid @HarperKincaid @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #BookReview The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid @HarperKincaid @InkSlingerPR Title: The Wonder of You

Author: Harper Kincaid

Published by: Harper Kincaid Romance on Feb. 13, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 200

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: InkSlingerPR

Book Rating: 10/10

What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland: New York City.

The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.

Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.

He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.

Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.


Review:

Sexy, sweet, and adorably sassy!

The Wonder of You is a delightful, character-driven rom-com set in the idyllic streets of New York City that introduces you to the intelligent, spunky, doctoral student Alice and the intense, mysterious, artist Dare as they discover firsthand the power of attraction and love at first sight.

The prose is witty and whimsical. The characterization is spot on with an incredible cast of characters who are unique, feisty, intriguing, and endearing. And the plot using a charming mix of narration, internal monologues, text messages, southern colloquialisms, and classic Alice in Wonderland quotes immerses you in an enchanting modern-day fairy tale complete with sizzling chemistry, playful banter, a handsome prince, a fiery princess, and a swoon-worthy happy-ever-after ending.

The Wonder of You is a refreshing, well written, addictive novel with irresistible characters that I devoured. It’s the first book in the A Different Kind of Wonderland series and I have my fingers crossed it’s only the first of many. Harper Kincaid, you have a new fan in me!

This book is available now.

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

 

 

 

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and Harper Kincaid for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Harper Kincaid

Born in California and raised in South Florida, Harper Kincaid has moved around like a gypsy with a bounty on her head ever since. For years, she was a jill of all trades and a master of none, but is now tickled hot pink to pen stories that break and mend people’s hearts for a living. Kincaid believes seduction occurs from the neck up, which is why her characters are smart, sexy, and slightly quirky – and definitely worthy to be your next hard-core book crush.

When not writing, she adores listening to indie, lo-fi, complaint rock played on vinyl, the theater, well-informed optimism, happy endings (both kinds), and making those close to her laugh ’til they snort. She is a self-admitted change junkie, loving new experiences and places, but has now happily settled in the cutest lil’ town, Vienna, Virginia.

 

#BookReview Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouse

#BookReview Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouse Title: Surprise Me

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Published by: Dial Press on Feb. 13, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.


Review:

Warm, affecting, and extremely entertaining!

Surprise Me is a lighthearted journey into the lives of married couple Sylvie and Dan who have it all, beautiful girls, successful careers, and a rock-solid marriage until the suggestion of another 68 years of marriage sends them into a tailspin that makes them question their goals, dreams, and each other.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are quirky, comical, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is an engaging, moving tale bursting with witty banter, embarrassing situations, awkward moments, hilarious hijinks, and sweet romance.

Surprise Me is, ultimately, a story about marriage, secrets, commitment, family, introspection, and enduring love. It’s classic Kinsella with well-crafted characters, humour, heart, a surprising twist and a delightful ending that will definitely make you smile.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night, the hugely popular Shopaholic novels and the Young Adult novel Finding Audrey. She lives in London with her husband and family. She is also the author of several bestselling novels under the name of Madeleine Wickham.

#BookReview The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz @HarlequinBooks Title: The Lucky Ones

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Published by: Mira Books on Feb. 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 365

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7/10

They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night–was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she’ll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

A vivid and suspenseful tale of family, grief, love—and the dark secrets that bind everything together—Tiffany Reisz’s latest is enthralling to the final page.


Review:

Atmospheric, eerie, and darkly romantic!

The Lucky Ones is a menacing thrill ride that takes you on a journey into the life of the lonely, determined Allison as she unravels all the secrets from her past and confronts all the ghosts that still haunt her.

The prose is tight and edgy. The characters are scarred, secretive, and troubled. And the plot is an intense, suspenseful tale filled with familial drama, chemistry, mental illness, abuse, deception, adultery, forbidden love, and murder.

Overall, The Lucky Ones is a unique, sinister romance that explores the ethical and moral fine line between right and wrong. And even though it isn’t my favourite book from Reisz and may not be everyone’s cup of tea there is no denying she has an incredible imagination and can spin a gritty tale that intrigues, surprises, and shocks like no other.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tiffany Reisz

Tiffany Reisz is the USA Today-bestselling author of the Romance Writers of America RITA®-winning Original Sinners series from Harlequin's Mira Books.

Born in Owensboro, Kentucky, Tiffany graduated from Centre College with a B.A. in English. She began her writing career while a student at Wilmore, Kentucky's Asbury Theological Seminary. After leaving seminary to focus on her fiction, she wrote The Siren, which has sold more than half a million copies worldwide.

Tiffany also writes mainstream women's suspense fiction, including The Bourbon Thief (winner of the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence Award) and the RITA®-nominated The Night Mark.

Her erotic fantasy The Red—self-published under the banner 8th Circle Press—was named an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Goodreads Best Romance of the Month. It also received a coveted starred review from Library Journal.

Tiffany lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer, and two cats. The cats are not writers.

#CoverReveal Tokyo Heat by A.M. Salinger @XpressoReads

 

 

 

Tokyo Heat (Night Series, #3)

A.M. Salinger

Publication date: March 13, 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

 

 

I want him. I love him. But I don’t know if he feels the same way about me — Gabe
I cherish him. I need him. But I don’t think I have any love left to give him — Cam

A year has passed since Cam Sorvino challenged Gabe Anderson to grant him one night of torrid sex. Now living together and settled in a scorching hot relationship, Cam is happy with things as they are. Until the day Gabe says the three little words Cam is most afraid to hear.

Having overcome the terrible scars of his own past, Gabe knows Cam still has his own demons to fight. But when Gabe inadvertently confesses his love, he can only watch helplessly as Cam distances himself from their relationship.

Will Cam’s fear of having his heart ripped apart drive away the only man he’s ever truly cared for? Or will Gabe finally convince Cam to dare embrace a future with him?

Find out if Gabe and Cam find their happy ever after in this third novella in the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger. Note from the author: although each book in Nights can be read as a standalone, you will enjoy this series better if you read the books in order!

This is a novella length MM Romance with a HEA.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

Sneak a peek at Tokyo Heat with this special Advance Preview!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling thriller author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2017, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.

Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here: https://www.amsalinger.com/subscribe/

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Bookbub

 

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#BookReview Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne @_LaurenLayne @readloveswept

#BookReview Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne @_LaurenLayne @readloveswept Title: Runaway Groom

Author: Lauren Layne

Series: I Do I Don't #2

Published by: Loveswept on Jan. 30, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 217

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Loveswept, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge.00

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.


Review:

Seductive, amusing, and undeniably addictive!

In this latest novel by Layne, Runaway Groom, she sweeps you away to a tropical paradise and onto the set of the reality TV show Jilted, a Bachelor-type show where Gage is reluctantly the new bachelor up for grabs, Ellie is determined to be sent home first after shamelessly plugging her t-shirt company, producers are hoping for as much drama as possible, and eighteen other women are committed to marrying the man of their dreams.

The characterization is perfection, with an incredible cast of characters who are fun, charming, quirky, and loveable. The writing style is humorous and crisp and a delightful mixture of text messages, letters, and first-person narration from dual points of view. And the plot is an irresistible blend of emotion, drama, witty dialogue, hilarious hijinks, smoldering chemistry, and steamy romance.

Runaway Groom is pure magic. It’s a light, funny, entertaining read that’s deliciously swoon-worthy and hands down one of my favourite reads of the year!

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

#BookReview & #GuestPost If I Fall by Ella Harper @Ella__Harper @canelo_co

#BookReview & #GuestPost If I Fall by Ella Harper @Ella__Harper @canelo_co Title: If I Fall

Author: Ella Harper

Published by: Canelo on Jan. 22, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 237

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Four university friends, four devastating secrets.

I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…

It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?

Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.

Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.

Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother

JJ’s past is catching up with him.

When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?

A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty.


Review:

Sobering, compelling, and incredibly intense!

If I Fall is a complex, character-driven novel that delves into how much friendships can define us and highlights how secrets, lies, and unspoken words can emotionally and psychologically impact them.

The writing is somber and raw. The characters are multifaceted, desperate, and broken. And the plot, using multiple perspectives, is an engaging, edgy tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, deception, jealousy, abuse, friendship, and family.

If I Fall is truly a poignant novel that reminds us that life is unpredictable and full of ups and downs and true friends are those who are there not only in the good times, but more importantly during the hard ones.

 

And now Ella Harper with:

The Importance of Subplots

So. We all know what the main plot in the novel is. It’s the story at the centre of the novel…the important, key issue or theme. That’s the all singing, all dancing part of the story – the part we most want the reader to connect with and relate to. But by and large, there will also be a subplot – or subplots – running alongside.

   The subplot is the secondary strand that supports the main story. It will usually (but doesn’t have to) connect to the main plot and this could be in terms of the theme of the novel, or perhaps the timeline. The subplot could involve the main characters or supporting characters in the book and it will take up less action. It might, however, provide light relief for the tenseness of the main plot strand, adding humour perhaps. It might create a realistic feel to the main plot by showing contrast or providing colour and richness. It can also be used to develop a lesser character in the novel who may become significant later on and who could be woven into the main plot. The subplot should definitely reinforce the main plot – and much of the time, this is a device used to reveal relevant information to the reader that might not have been revealed elsewhere. Equally, a subplot might be used to crank up the tension in the main plot, bringing the protagonist to a different point.

   Another useful aspect of the subplot is to bring in another viewpoint. Sometimes an author can use an entirely new voice or ‘person’ for the subplot…writing in the third person or the first person to differentiate and bring another layer into the novel. But the main thing is the ensure that the main plot is always at centre stage and only use your subplot when you want to change the pace or utilise it in the ways mentioned above.

   I used a few subplots in my first Ella Harper novel Pieces of You. The main characters were essentially Luke and Lucy Harte, but with Luke in a coma for much of the novel, other characters had to come to the fore. So the feelings of Luke’s sister Nell and his mother Patricia then came into play as subplots, which supported the main plot.

   In If I Fall, each character was part of the main storyline, but also had their own subplot, which made it complex, but really fun to write. The characters interacted with one another, weaving in and out of each other’s lives and stories until they merged into one and the subplots all kind of became the main plot. But the characters’ subplots served to provide background and an insight into their lives that then became relevant to the main plot and hook of the novel which is…which one of them wants to commit suicide? And why? As I say, tricky to write, but my favourite so far, because of all the complex subplots!

 

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Ella Harper and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ella Harper

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.

 

#BookBlitz The Escort by A.M. Salinger @XpressoReads

 

 

 

The Escort (Night Series, #2)

A.M. Salinger

Publication date: February 9th 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

 

 

He is everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. And I will do anything to get him. Even if I have to lie to him — Ethan

He is a sinful temptation. A guy who loves pushing all my buttons. But I can’t touch him. And I most definitely cannot have him — Joe

Ethan Skye has had only one goal in mind since the first night he walked into Saron, the most exclusive gay club in Tokyo: to win the heart of Joe Cavendish, its brooding owner and the man he’d fallen in love with at first sight. When Ethan takes a job as a bartender at Saron to get closer to Joe, little does he know that his actions will set him in the sights of an obsessive admirer.

Jaded by his troubled past and with his heart very much guarded, Joe Cavendish has one strict rule in life: never mix business with pleasure. Unfortunately for Joe, one cocky, sexy bartender seems intent on testing that resolve to its very limits, and Joe finds his patience and his libido increasingly challenged as he fights his growing attraction for his new employee. But after Joe discovers the danger Ethan is in, his possessive instincts compel him to take on the role of Ethan’s personal bodyguard and pretend lover.

Can Joe protect Ethan from his increasingly violent stalker and maintain his own sanity while he gets up close and personal to the alluring young man storming his way inside his numb heart? Will Ethan overcome Joe’s stubbornness and convince the club owner to take a chance on love? Or will the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other threaten their fragile, burgeoning relationship?

Discover Ethan and Joe’s story in this second novella in the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger.

This is a MM romance with a HEA.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

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EXCERPT:

Joe Cavendish swallowed a groan as he stared at the tantalizing ass ten feet from him.

That little tease. I’m sure he’s doing it on purpose.

“Do you have to be on your hands and knees for that?” he said with a sigh. “It’s not exactly as if I’m a fucking slave driver, you know. I did just buy one of those ridiculously expensive mopping robots for the staff to use.”

Ethan Skye looked over his shoulder and narrowed his eyes at Joe where the latter sat at the bar drinking a coffee.

“Your robot knows dick about oak floors. And I’m not cleaning. I’m fixing the scratch that asshole made when he dragged that metal case in here yesterday. I mean, who the fuck lugs that kind of shit around? And, FYI, his gin tasted like crap, so we’re not getting it.”

Joe arched an eyebrow and glanced around Saron’s opulent interior.

“You do realize I own the place, right?”

Ethan gave the floor a final wipe with a polishing cloth and rose to his feet.

“And I’m your best bartender. What’s your point?”

He placed his toolbox on the counter and studied Joe with a haughty expression.

Joe couldn’t deny the truth of his words. Although Saron had rapidly gained a reputation as the most exclusive gay club in Tokyo since he first opened for business four years ago, part of its phenomenal success of late had a lot to do with the stunning blond with the captivating green eyes who had waltzed into his club eleven months ago and demanded he give him a job.

It wasn’t every day that someone made Joe Cavendish look at them twice. Ethan Skye had made him look twice, three times, and a dozen more after that.

That fact alone should have had Joe running hell-for-leather in the other direction. He couldn’t recall the last time his body had such an immediate, visceral reaction to a stranger, even during his years working as an escort. Still, he’d found himself unable to deny the demand in the mesmerizing green eyes that had bored so intensely into him and had reluctantly invited the young man back for an interview the week after.

Surprise had darted through Joe when Ethan had pulled out his résumé and asked if he could do the interview there and then, offering the club owner a foretaste of his bossy nature. Joe had taken the professional, double-sided sheet and studied it with a frown.

“Says here you’re a Stanford business graduate.” He’d looked up into Ethan’s cool expression. “Why the hell would you want to be a bartender in Shinjuku?”

“I’m not made for a city job. Besides, I almost flunked business school.”

Joe had bought that cock-and-bull story about as much as he believed in Santa Claus. He’d been around the block enough times to tell when somebody was harboring secrets. After all, he had some pretty dark ones of his own.

Ethan had passed his interview with flying colors and didn’t even blink when Joe challenged him to make Saron’s trademark cocktail and give it his own personal twist. One sip of the intoxicating drink Ethan made was all it took for Joe to realize he shouldn’t let the cocky blond slip out of his hands and into a competitor’s clutches.

In the months since Ethan had been at Saron, the bartender had become a key member of his staff. He got on with everyone, including the normally taciturn doormen, and had charmed all the patrons with his quick wit and exquisite drinks. The fact that he was goddamn easy on the eye didn’t hurt either.

Had Joe known at the time the fresh hell he would be inviting into his life by giving Ethan the bartending job, he would probably have refused the young man. Joe knew a lot of the club’s patrons would kill to get their hands on Saron’s newest bartender. Not only was Ethan drop-dead gorgeous, he had also been blessed with a naturally athletic physique; just enough muscle not to be brawny and the entire package perfectly toned in all the right places.

Places Joe had been aching to touch for months.

As days turned to weeks and weeks to months, the spark that had been there between them from the start had ignited into a maelstrom of full-blown lust that had Joe’s cock aching most times he came within twenty feet of the alluring bartender.

It didn’t help that he’d once walked in on Ethan in the staff changing room and gotten an eyeful of the delicious body he’d been fantasizing about. Joe had wondered for days afterward how many men had kissed the mole he’d glimpsed on Ethan’s right hip, just above his low-riding briefs. And how many more had tasted his honey skin and claimed his tight ass.

The fact that Ethan wouldn’t refuse Joe made their situation all the more bittersweet. He had made it abundantly clear he was gay from the first day he started working at Saron. And just as Joe’s eyes seemed to gravitate to Ethan whenever they were in the same room, Ethan always tracked him with his heated gaze in return.

But even though Ethan had turned the carefully ordered life Joe had built over the last few years upside down and had become the source of some of Joe’s filthiest fantasies, hooking up with the young man was the one thing the club owner wouldn’t let happen. He’d had his fingers burned once before when he’d mixed business with pleasure, and he’d made it a rule never to do so again.

Unfortunately, Ethan didn’t seem to agree with him on the clear dividing lines Joe had set from the start of their working relationship. He was constantly pushing at the boundaries, testing the limits of Joe’s patience and his raging libido.

Just as he was doing right now.

“I’ve spoken to our regular gin supplier,” Joe said with a grunt. “It seems the shortfall we’re experiencing is going to last some time. We need to find another company to get our stock from.” He hesitated. “Eveline can probably—”

“No!” Ethan snapped. The mere mention of the name Joe had just uttered made the bartender grit his teeth. “Give me a day. I’ll get you another supplier by tomorrow.”

Joe bit back a frustrated sigh at Ethan’s stormy expression. He still didn’t know how Ethan had discovered his connection with Le Secret, the internationally renowned, upscale escort service Joe used to work for before he started Saron. It sure as hell hadn’t come from one of Joe’s other staff, who knew nothing of his past.

The brainchild of Eveline Claude, a former escort and professional dominatrix, Le Secret catered only to the wealthiest of clientele—from politicians and royalty, to movie stars and billionaires. With clubs in five cities around the world, the business advertised itself as offering a strictly social service, even though a lot of its clients were really after sex. Eveline had always made it clear that what happened behind closed doors was a private matter between client and escort, and she’d kicked out plenty of both over the years who hadn’t followed the strict rules she laid out for her clubs.

Though he was no longer in Eveline’s employ, Joe still accepted the odd gig from her. After all, she was the one who had saved him from the nightmare he’d been living in when he worked in the shady underworld of New York’s sex and strip clubs between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. He also owed her big time for the loan she’d given him to set up his own business, money he’d paid back within a year of opening Saron’s doors.

That most people would find his background and previous lifestyle distasteful was not something that kept Joe awake at night. Yet Ethan’s reaction when he’d first challenged Joe about the jobs he still took on for Le Secret’s owner had stung. It wasn’t judgment Joe had read in Ethan’s eyes that day. It was resentment and frustration that Joe could willingly sleep with a complete stranger but not lay a finger on him.

Joe considered the young man presently scowling at him; he knew not to disbelieve the words he had just spoken. Ethan had made similar promises in the past on the rare occasions Joe had been in a fix and always delivered on them. Joe narrowed his eyes.

“I’d really like to know who your source is.”

The corner of Ethan’s mouth lifted in an insolent smile that made Joe want to kiss him hard.

“I’m afraid I would have to kill you if I revealed that information.”

A bark of laughter left Joe’s lips at the threat. His groin tightened at the torrid image that flashed across his inner vision. Of Ethan slowly and sweetly killing him with his exquisite body while he straddled Joe and rode his cock, his sexy hips undulating with every hard thrust of Joe’s dick while his filthy mouth opened on throaty cries and moans.

“Here, pour me another coffee.”

Ethan rolled his eyes. “Yes, master.”

Joe swallowed another groan.

Yup, he’s doing it deliberately.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling thriller author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2017, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.

Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here: https://www.amsalinger.com/subscribe/

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