Wednesday, March 30, 2016

REVIEW Lana and the Laird by Sabrina York

Lana and the Laird
(Untamed Highlanders #3)
by Sabrina York

Lana Dounreay has only seen the Duke of Caithness in her dreams as a wild, rugged man, while in reality, his life has been cramped by curses and cravats.

Categories ~ Historical Romance, Regency
Audience 18+ 
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Lachlan Sinclair cannot escape his accursed heritage in his Highlands homeland. Somewhat resigned to the fate that destroyed his ancestors, he is prepared to live his life without an heir, without a wife―without love. But when he meets the woman of his dreams in the flesh, the bewitching lass makes him want to throw away his cursed, restrained existence…and unleash the highlander within…

Lana Dounreay has only seen the Duke of Caithness in her dreams as a wild, rugged man, while in reality, his life has been cramped by curses and cravats. He may have forgone his kilt and lost his brogue, but Lana knows that the heart of a true Scotsman beats within his broad, muscular chest. But what plans does the mysterious, passionate Lachlan have in mind for her―and can she convince him that love is stronger than all else?

Book 3 in the Untamed Highlanders Series!

An interesting and unique historical romance that combines romance with family curses and Lana's unusual gift of visions.

This plot has some really interesting areas when you first meet Lana and you see what her typical day is like. This is a feisty woman who does not think like your typical woman of her times. Her unique abilities and personality make this story very interesting for the reader. Seeing her in her family unit is also inspiring as her sisters and niece round out for a fun read.

For me Lachlan came across in the 1st chapter as a little too helpless about his curse. I wanted him to have an "I can beat this" attitude but as the story goes on you understand how he became this despondent man. Throughout the book his personality expands and it is exciting to see his belief system and his mental thoughts about himself change. At the end of this book you keep hoping that there will be a resolution to the curse and he will find his happy ever after. This is another good reason to read the see if he gets his deepest darkest desires.

This is an enjoyable read and I give it 4 STARS for it's entertainment factor.

An copy was gifted in exchange for an honest opinion via Netgalley.

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. With over 25 titles her books range from sweet & snarky to scorching romance. Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Represented by Lane Heymont with the Seymour Agency.

Awards: Sabrina’s recent accolades include 2014 BTSE Reader’s Choice Award Finalist, 2014 Golden Ankh Winner, 2014 Carolyn Reader’s Choice Award Winner, 2014 FF&P PRISIM Award Finalist, 2014 RONE Award Finalist, 2014 and 2013 Passionate Plume Finalist, 2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist. Past first place wins include the Celtic Hearts Novellas Need Love Too Contest, Celtic Hearts Distinguished Novella Award, Golden Rose, NOLA Stars Suzannah Contest,  Emerald City Opener and Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest (Zola Award).

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Monday, March 28, 2016

United States of Books ~ Hawaii ~ The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

For more information on the United States of Books (click here for details).

The United States of Books the State of Hawaii

Reviewer ~ Teri at Sportochick's Musings

The Descendants 
by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Reviewed using Audible and eBook

Narrated in a bold, fearless, unforgettable voice and set against the lush, panoramic backdrop of Hawaii, The Descendants is a stunning debut novel about an unconventional family forced to come together and re-create its own legacy.

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive–one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners.

Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control: Ten-year-old Scottie is a smart-ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. Matt’s charismatic, thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them–and spurs them into surprising actions.

Before honoring Joanie’s living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth.

★ ★ ★ 1/2 

Though traditionally this book would not of caught my eye I was interested in reading it because of my love for Hawaii. From the start the author did an admirable job of creating irritating spoiled children in the characters of Scottie and Alex. The addition of Alex's friend, Sid who has his own set of problems and annoyingness rounded off for me a difficult read. It is not that the book isn't well written but I wanted to take all of them over my knee and spank them or hug them to death. 

As a mother I was stressed during this whole book and angry with Matt that he had not been more present in his daughter's upbringing and he allowed his wife free rein without question. As the story went on though he started to show superb judgement in how he handled so many of the new situations that showed up. The author did a fine job in the steadiness of Matt still making mistakes and where his aha moments happened, causing a change in his thoughts and actions. 

Joanie is written in a very believable manner and one wonders if she ever thought of the damage she was doing to her children or if she was that clueless that she thought she was helping them. Her character is not likable for all the thoughtless damage she did to everyone around.

For me the interaction between Matt and Sid was the most impactful part of the story. Both of these two saved each other is ways that only they understood. What these two did for each other was amazing and heartfelt making me cry. 

For this review I listened to it via audible and referenced the ebook version as well. I wonder if I had only read the book if I would have had a different outcome in my review. Though I haven't seen the movie I wonder how this book would come across on the screen so out of curiosity I will see it though.

I give this 3-1/2 STARS.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

REVIEW To Lure A Proper Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara

To Lure A Proper Lady
(Duke-Defying Daughters #1)
by Ashlyn Macnamara

A dutiful young lady tries to resist the charms of a rogue from the legendary Bow Street Runners.

Categories ~ Historical romance
Audience 18+ 
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When Lady Elizabeth Wilde and her sisters are summoned once again to their chronically anxious father’s deathbed, she’s shocked to find that his worries are at last justified. He’s terribly ill, and Lizzie suspects poison. But when she seeks help from the Bow Street Runners, her request is answered by a rough-hewn rogue known only as Dysart. Though his irreverent charm by turns shocks and captivates her, a man of Dysart’s background is an altogether inappropriate choice for a duke’s daughter—isn’t he?

Although Dysart has his reasons to disdain polite society, the promise of supplemental income from a noble’s coffers is too tempting to deny. But if Dysart means to apprehend the culprit who poisoned the duke, he’ll need to avoid any and all distractions—like the delicious swish of Lady Elizabeth’s hips. Yet as the investigation begins to unearth secrets he’d rather remain hidden, Dysart must decide at a moment’s notice whether to hold Elizabeth at arm’s length . . . or pull her dangerously close. 

A great start to a new series. To Lure A Proper Lady mixes intrigue with a mystery and adds a large splash of spice between Lady Elizabeth and Dysart.

Not your typical historical romance this story was interesting from the page one. The reader will especially enjoy the first meeting between Lady Elizabeth and the Bow Street Runner Dysart, which is delivered with perfect antagonistic dialog. This dialog continues through most of the story and adds a special twist to this story.

There is a house party going on so there are quite a few characters in this book keeping the reader very busy with who said and did what. Thou not all the characters are developed as strongly as Lady Elizabeth and Dysart they flow well with the story.

The other character that stands out is Elizabeth's second cousin, Snowley who is next in line to be duke when Lady Elizabeth's papa dies. Snowley really wants to marry Elizabeth and has his heart set on making sure it happens. I am sorry I just couldn't get my emotions wrapped around him and this made me want to find devious ways for her not to marry him.

This book has a great surprise and resolution to the ending that the reader will find deeply satisfying. 

I give this 4 stars and recommend it to people who want a change from their typical historical romances.

An ARC copy was gifted in exchange for an honest opinion via Netgalley.

Photo Credit: Nicole Morisco
Ashlyn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters, and one loudmouth cat. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

She is represented by Sara Megibow of ktliterary.
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Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Blogger Hop: March 25th - 31st Blogging vs Reading @sportochick

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly hop hosted by Rambling of a Coffee Addicted Writer


1. Post on your blog answering the weekly question.
2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list found on Rambling of a Coffee Addicted Writer. (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).
3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

This week’s question is submitted by Elizabeth at Silver’s Reviews!

March 25th - 31st - How much of your day is devoted to your blog, and how much is devoted to reading?

The blogging part of my day seems to take up a lot of my night time. Mostly because I am a perfectionist and keep playing around with it till I am 100% satisfied with how it looks and reads. Plus a lot of time is taken in setup making sure I have the author information and links done correctly. I do set up author templates when I am reading lots of their books or a series. But even then you have to verify that it is up to date.I also seem to spend a lot of time posting to Social Media. I need to learn how to minimize this and still be effective.

I seem to read in cycles I read 2-3 books at a time then prepare their posts. This does drive me crazy because I can get my books mixed up and thus it takes more time to make sure I have my facts correct. I have added notes to the books as I read so I can use it in my review. But I read every book straight through and put my life on hold. Not a good thing because I have lots of costumes or custom dressmaking to do as well. Working out of my home can be dangerous. When I travel to sewing gigs I read only at night and then do the review usually at lunch and then read again at night. Then repeat ;)

That is where I get myself in trouble, reading too many books and trying to go back and do my review. I think I am going to use my voice recorder, tape my review immediately after I finish reading it and let it automatically translate to a word document so I can edit and change as needed.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment with you blog answer so I can stop by for a visit.

Smiles Sprinkled With Joy,

Teri aka Sportochick

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

REVIEW After The Hurt by Shana Gray

After The Hurt
By Shana Gray

Shana Gray’s provocative novel features a resilient fighter going round for tantalizing round with the one that got away—a headstrong woman bent on seduction.

Categories ~ Contemporary Romance
Audience 18+ 
Find This Book At ~ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Pepper Chapman refuses to throw in the towel. Six months ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life. Blinded by grief after her mom’s death, Pepper abandoned the man she loves. Now she wants a second chance at everything she gave up: strong hands driving her to ecstasy . . . a deep voice whispering naughty promises in her ear . . . the future they’d planned since they were teenagers. So Pepper comes home looking for forgiveness, ready for a new beginning—if he’s willing to give her a shot.

Retired MMA star Tank Sherman may be used to low blows, but Pepper’s emotional sucker punch left him reeling. Trying to ignore the pain and forget the pleasure of her body beneath his, Tank is prepared to ring the final bell on their relationship. Then Pepper shows up out of the blue, radiating pure sex. But Tank won’t let himself get hurt again, and that means resisting the heat that still burns between them. Because if he takes Pepper back, he knows he’ll never be able to let her go again.

A memorable story that will stick with you long after you read the book. This is a read that tears at your heart every page you read. There were times I didn't want to read on because I felt the hurt in both of them so strongly but the authors way with words drove me to keep reading trying to figure a way for them both to find a way back to each other again.

Tank is a very deep man and profoundly hurt from Pepper disappearing without notice. His character had the right balance between being done with her, the hurt and moving on. His struggle to move on with his life is written with such depth that I could feel his hurt in my chest as much as his love for her.

There were times that Peppers attitude made me angry but the author shows the hurting part of her as well and that softens her so that I was able to understand her better with compassion. This character had the most growth throughout the book and it was watching the two of them work through the hurts and maneuvering in the present that will keep the reader mesmerized to the very end. 

I give this 4 STARS.

An ARC copy was gifted in exchange for an honest opinion via Netgalley.

Now writing under her new  name, Shana will be published with Loveswept/Random House and Harlequin Blaze, as well she is an indie author.  Shana is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.
Shana's passion is to enjoy life! She loves to travel and see the world, be with family, friends and experience the beauty that surrounds us. Much of her experiences find their way into her  books.  First published in 2010, Shana has written contemporary erotic romances for Sybarite Seductions, Lyrical Press (now Kensington) and Ellora's Cave. Her stories range from scorching quickie length to longer erotic romance novellas.
She splits her time between her house in a small Ontario town with her twentysomething son's, four cats, two budgies and, as the world knows him, Meat Man's house. It's an adventurous challenge that she loves.
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