Tuesday, January 31, 2017

REVIEW Stealing the Rogue's Heart by Erica Monroe

Sportochick's Musings ~ It's a pleasant change from all the prim and proper historical romance reads of late.

Stealing the Rogue's Heart

(The Rookery Rogues #4)

by Erica Monroe

Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ Quillfire Publishing
Genres ~ Historical Romance

Scoundrels, thieves and rebels inhabit the rookeries--where the women are fierce and the men are dangerous. Are you willing to take the risk?

Beautiful, innocent Mina Mason has led a sheltered life as the sister to the most notorious crime lord in England. Her family's wealth and expectations keep her in a gilded cage, never able to act on her true desires. Like kissing -- and engaging in far more scandalous behavior with--Charlie Thatcher, her childhood best friend. As a member of a rival gang, Charlie is distinctly off-limits.

Charlie Thatcher has known since he was a boy where his loyalties should lie: with the Chapman Street Thieves, who saved him from a brutal death in the dark alleys of the Ratcliffe rookery. As a bartender for the Three Boars public house, he deals in information and secrets, protecting his fellow brothers with his mind and his fists. But when one of those members threatens Mina's safety, Charlie's primal, protective instincts are triggered--and his defense of her puts them both in danger.

Stealing the Rogue's Heart is a dark, gritty, and sexy romantic suspense set in pre-Victorian working class London. While it is book four in the Rookery Rogues series, it can be read as a stand-alone historical romance novella.

A cute story about the working class in London. It's a pleasant change from all the prim and proper historical romance reads of late. The author puts together a plot of forbidden love between a crime lord's sister and a young man she befriends from a rival gang.

There are parts of this story that will warm the readers heart in regards to Mina's friendship with Charlie and how these two very different people meet and continue to be friends. With a wide variety of secondary characters several ones stand out with Cyrus, Mina's brother most prominent followed by Jane a close friend of Charlie's.

Though there wasn't a time that the story wasn't forward moving there were parts that I felt could have been written with more finesse thus making it more believable. Overall I liked the story and I would read more books by this author.

I give this 3-1/2 STARS for the certain parts of the story that could have been enhanced. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Erica Monroe is a USA Today Bestselling Author of emotional, suspenseful historical romance. She was a finalist in the published historical category for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense, and her books have been recommended reads at Fresh Fiction, Smexy Books, SBTB, and All About Romance. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, and comic book fanatic. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

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Release Day #Giveaway Review Blitz BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DUKE by Kelly Bowen

by Kelly Bowen


Title: Between the Devil and the Duke
Author: Kelly Bowen
On Sale: January 31, 2017
Series: A Season for Scandal, #3
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.99 USD

Their love was always in the cards.

He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he's more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty-in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he'll have to devise a proposition she can't turn down.

Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie's club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . .


The dynamic opening chapter sets the pace for this outstanding story. It starts out with an air of intrigue, quickly moves to self-preservation and then a challenge by a very sexy man. All elements that will keep a reader mesmerized with the story. This is a read that you get so wrapped up in that you lose track of time.

The plot is well thought out and executed while the two main characters Angelique and Lavoie are developed in such a manner that the reader will cheer for both of them to win and come to an agreement that makes the reader shout for joy. 

Angelique is a women who is very advanced for the era she lived in. I decided immediately if I could be anyone I would want to be her because she was so smart with numbers and she has a strong moral fiber. On the other hand Lavoie was much more then he appeared and the perfect man to deal with and understand Angelique.

I give this 5 STARS for how it deals with Angelique's personality and family problems.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology. But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.  When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.

Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.



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Monday, January 30, 2017

What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jefferies, Karen Hawkins, Meredith Duran, Candance Camp

Sportochick's Musings ~ delightful collection of four Yuletide stories.

What Happens Under the Mistletoe

by Sabrina Jefferies, Karen Hawkins,
Meredith Duran, Candance Camp

Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ Simon and Schuster - Gallery Books
Genres ~ Historical Romance

New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, and Candace Camp, and USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran come together for a sizzling historical romance holiday anthology.

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, "The Heiress and the Hothead"

In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins’s rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in "Twelve Kisses" when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle. 

In "By Any Other Name", Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise—one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss. 

In "Sweetest Regret", will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran’s feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?

In this all-new story collection sparkling with sexy charm and heartwarming wit, four beloved bestselling authors reveal the mix-ups and make-ups, the missed chances and golden opportunities that come but once a year.

"The Heiress and the Hothead" by Sabrina Jeffries - A brilliantly written yuletide love story between an outspoken American heiress mill owner, Amanda Keane and radical Lord Stephen Corry who spends his time writing hard nose articles about injustice and reform. I loved how the author setup the main characters and worked the reader through their difference of opinions while creating a beautiful love story.

One of the parts I enjoyed was the center point of the mistletoe tradition and how both Amanda and Stephen used it's presence in the house to their advantage throughout the book. This book is not just a fluffy love story. It shows some of the dangers of the mills and how it effected peoples lives but it also shows that not everyone who was a miller was cruel and inattentive to their workers safety.

Both main characters are fully developed and make fun sparing partners keeping the reader smiling as they read.

I give this 4 STARS and know everyone will enjoy reading this romantic read.

"Twelve Kisses" by Karen Hawkins - Delightful story about two people who use to be in love and they meet again after 10 years. This story is filled with lots of tension and the author does a superb job of using this tension to keep the reader involved in who did what and why. Several of the characters in the book added excitement to the story. One of my favorite was the Grand Duchess Natasha Nikolaevna. Her eccentric personality really gave this story an additional spark. Her grandson Nikolai, the Crown Prince of Oxenburg help to give additional support to Marcus's character.

Marcus definitely sets the pace in this story by his treatment to Kenna and his feelings about their past. His growth throughout the story was one of the parts of the story I enjoyed the most.

There are many facets to Kenna and I love her approach to getting Marcus to help her in her endeavors regarding her father. 

I give this 4 stars for how the author expands the story behind the lost love between Marcus and Kenna.

"By Any Other Name" by Candace Camp - The meeting between Rylla and Gregory is priceless and I had to chuckle at how they both dealt with it. This story has an unusual plot for a historical romance and I fully enjoyed the authors writing. There are some areas in the book that I felt could of been developed a little more. I give this 3 STARS for the plot.

"Sweetest Regret" by Meredith Duran - A quick romantic read during the bustle of the holidays this Christmas Novella centered around the mistletoe, a country party, stolen documents and an old lost love is just want the romantic needs to take away the stress. There are a lot of examples of Christmas traditions woven into this book that makes the story an enjoyable and instructive read. 

Speaking of Christmas traditions one has to chuckle at how Lucas uses the mistletoe to get his way with Georgina. It was also entertaining to see how Georgina outsmarts Lucas regarding his taking advantage of this mistletoe custom. 

Having no idea about the true mistletoe custom I looked it up. According to Slate "It wasn't until the 18th or 19th centuries, though, that the British started hanging mistletoe as part of Christmas celebrations. Charles Dickens paints a scene of mass sub-mistletoe kissing: Young women "screamed and struggled, and ran into corners, and did everything but leave the room, until … they all at once found it useless to resist any longer and submitted to be kissed with a good grace." In this context, mistletoe was supposed to bring luck to two people who kissed underneath it and bad luck to those who didn't. Some say proper etiquette is to pick a berry off for every kiss and stop when all the berries are gone."

Lucas's character is romantic and though he is hurt by their past he moves forward with his life to become higher up in the government. I truly enjoyed his relentless pursuit of Georgina and the truth that they finally uncovered but if you want to know if they have an HEA you will have to read the book.

The reader will enjoy this read because it deals with tradition, lost love, lies, redemption and forgiveness. 

I give it 4 STARS for being delightful to read.

Sabrina Jeffries is the NYT bestselling author of over 50 novels and works of short fiction (some written under the pseudonyms Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas). Whatever time not spent writing in a coffee-fueled haze of dreams and madness is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions—jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and music. With over 8 million books in print in 20 different languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction, and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world.
She always dreams big.

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New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Karen Hawkins is known for her wonderfully humorous and emotion-tugging historical and contemporary romances. The author of over 30 novels, Karen writes for a living between shopping for shoes, playing around on Facebook and Pinterest, looking for fun items for Hawkins Manor, and napping, although usually not at the same time. Sometimes, for fun, she takes Instagram pictures of her two rescue dogs, Sadie and Teke, and posts them online.

Yeah, she's a wild one.

Karen lives in balmy Orlando, Florida, with her husband, aka Hot Cop, and her two dogs. Her children are both out of college and have become productive, non-violent members of society. Karen writes six to eight hours a day when not obsessively reading research books on Regency-era Scotland, snacking on chocolate, or looking out the windows of her house and thinking about gardening. Her hobbies include sculpting, oil painting, playing badminton, and -- ok, ok, she doesn't have any hobbies, but if she did, she's sure they'd be something refined and fascinating.

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Candace Camp is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty books.

Her first novel, *Bonds of Love*, was published by Jove Publishing in 1978, under the pseudonym Lisa Gregory. Two pseudonyms (Kristin James and Sharon Stephens)and many books later, Candace writes under her own name Candace Camp and still loves creating stories. 

Candace lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and is the mother of Young Adult author Anastasia Hopcus.

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MEREDITH DURAN grew up enamored of British history. At thirteen years old, she made a list of life goals that included writing romance novels, trying sushi, and going to London to see Holbein’s portrait of Anne Boleyn. Now she is happy to report that all three goals have become her favorite things to do. When not studying, doing fieldwork in India, or working on her next novel, Meredith can be found in the library, browsing through travelogues written by intrepid Englishwomen of the nineteenth century.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

HOT REVIEW The List by Tawna Fenske

Sportochick's Musings ~ I enjoyed how the author kept me emotionally connected to the plot.

The List

The List #1

by Tawna Fenske

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Publisher ~ Entangled Publishing Scorched
Genres ~ Contemporary Romance

As the millionaire owner of a chain of computer shops, Simon Traxel isn’t normally hands-on with mundane repairs. But when a fretful brunette shows up with her fried laptop and killer green eyes, he makes an exception. And as it turns out, she needs more hands-on help than Simon imagined.

Brainy soil scientist Cassie Michaels has spent her whole life feeling like a grungy tree trunk beside her delicate flower sisters. To make herself more interesting, Cassie invented stories about her wild sex life—stories she’s expected to retell in vivid detail at a bachelorette party. Cassie’s attempt to catalog her biggest whoppers goes awry when she spills wine on her laptop and lands in Simon’s shop with her sexy list frozen on the screen.

But Simon’s interest is piqued, and the two strike a deal to make Cassie’s make-believe sexploits a reality. From steamy public romps gone hilariously awry, to sexy antics with kitchen utensils, their quest to conquer The List is equal parts scorching hot and adorably awkward.

As they near the end of The List though, Cassie and Simon second guess their pledge to shake hands and say goodbye when they cross off the last item. But will Simon’s big secret make that the one fantasy that can never come true?

Hilarious with lots of hotness is what I must say about this books priceless opening chapter. I was instantly hooked on the story while laughing out loud at the scene where Cassie and Simon meet.

This book will be hard to review and not give anything away so I am going to tell you about what I learned from this book. Sometimes relationships are more then they appear, people love you just as you are, they will do anything for you and yet still drive you crazy. Stereo types are just that.... that though one can seem just like another society money grabbing female they are deeper and more caring. That those fears you hold onto can sometimes stop you from experiencing the most amazing things. 

Now that the serious emotional part is over let's talk about this story line. It kept me chuckling throughout the book and the scenes where they were working on the list were extremely steamy and often humorous. I enjoyed how the author kept me emotionally connected to the plot and how she kept changing things up to add more value to the what could have been another so-so plot. 

Author Tawna Fenske deserves kudos for her impactful portrayal of Junie. The addition of Junie's character warmed my heart and added a richness to the plot. Cassie's sisters were uniquely written and the interaction between Simon and them on the porch still makes me laugh.

Because of the strong character developments, I give this 4 STARS.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Tawna Fenske is a USA Today bestselling romantic comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. She traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek to PR manager for her city's tourism bureau. An avid globetrotter and social media fiend, Tawna is the author of the popular blog, Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing, and a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Bend, Oregon, where she'll invent any excuse to hike, bike, snowshoe, standup paddle, or sip wine on her back deck.

Tawna has published several romantic comedies with Sourcebooks, including Making Waves, which was nominated for contemporary romance of the year by RT Book Reviews. She also writes interactive fiction capers for Coliloquy; steamy, heartwarming series books for Entangled Publishing; and tender, funny romances for Montlake Publishing. Tawna's quirky brand of comedy and romance has won praises from Kirkus Reviews, which noted, "Up-and-coming romance author Fenske sets up impeccable internal and external conflict and sizzling sexual tension for a poignant love story between two engaging characters, then infuses it with witty dialogue and lively humor. An appealing blend of lighthearted fun and emotional tenderness."

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

MARVELOUS 5 STARS Wicked in His Arms by Stacy Reid

Sportochick's MusingsThe author hits a home run with the back and forth antagonism between Tobias and Olivia. It adds layers of excitement and tension to this fully plotted story.

Wicked in His Arms

Wedded by Scandal #2

by Stacy Reid

Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ Entangled Publishing Scandalous
Genres ~ Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Tobias Walcott, the Earl of Blade, has learned it is best to exercise rigid control over his passions and emotions in all that he does. Uncaring that it makes him seem cool and aloof to most in the ton, he is content with his desire to only woo agreeable and demur females. Then unforeseen circumstances see him trapped in a closet at a house party with the last woman he would ever make his countess.

Lady Olivia Sherwood is everything he should not desire in a female-unconventional, too decisive, and utterly without decorum. But passion ignites between them and they are discovered. Honor demands they wed, and while Tobias finds himself unwillingly drawn to the bewitching beauty, he must do everything not to tempt the passion that burns in him for her, lest it leads to disastrous consequences.

Each book in the Wedded by Scandal series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order. 
Series Order: 
Book #1 Accidentally Compromising the Duke
Book #2 Wicked in His Arms

Have you ever read a book that makes you laugh, cry, sad, ecstatic, and fall in love? The author hits a home run with the back and forth antagonism between Tobias and Olivia. It adds layers of excitement and tension to this fully plotted story. This is not a boring book it is in fact very fast paced and lively. It is a book about allowing yourself to be loved and to love another. 

Olivia is by far one of my favorite feisty heroines. Born in a time when women were not meant to be anything but docile she excels in all things. If there is one flaw in her character it is that she doesn't think before she acts but it makes this story priceless and adds a deeper dimension to the storyline.

Tobias made me cry. Firstly, because of his past life and how it caused him to be the cold person he was in this book. And secondly, because of how he treated Olivia. I admire how well the author presented his anger issues and how he would lose control. It was done in a manner that showed the violence as well as the control he fought to keep.

Of course, there is a villain in this book and the reader will despise him as I did. But....I won't tell you how despicable he is you must read this story to see if he gets his just rewards.

I give this 5 STARS for its layers of excitement and tension.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

I am an unapologetic romance lover. I read it. I write it. Enough said. Well..I also have a warrior way "Never give up on my dreams." I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese anime and playing video games with my love, Dusean. 

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