Tag: Berkley

Review: Touch Me by Lucy Monroe

Posted December 22, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Touch Me by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
Touch Me (Langley Family Trilogy, #1) by Lucy Monroe
Series: Langley Family Trilogy #1
Published by Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: September 6th 2005
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 317
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Outspoken, opinionated Thea Selwyn is no ordinary lady. Raised in the exotic West Indies, she has none of the starchy propriety Pierson Drake is accustomed to—rather, there is a lush sensuality about this impulsive beauty that tempts him unmercifully. Her delectable curves and wide, innocent eyes are enticing enough, but her breathless response to his touch is a lure he can't resist.

On a voyage that takes them from a tropical paradise to the glittering ballrooms of London, Thea and Drake are pulled into a firestorm of illicit passion. Thea knows that once they reach England, the secrets she's been keeping will kill whatever Drake feels for her. But Drake's own history has taught him the value of acceptance and the desolation of loss. Thea is the one woman Drake has ever trusted with his heart, and he ha no intention of losing her—not to the ghosts of the past or the threats of the present. But can he convince Thea to forget the hard lessons she's learned and take a chance on love?

Together, Thea Selwyn and Pierson Drake embark on an extraordinary voyage from a tropical paradise to the glittering ballrooms of London. But will Thea’s dark secrets destroy their illicit passion?

In 1797 England, angry aristocrat Geoffrey Selwyn believes his wife was unfaithful to him, though she swears she was not. When Anna gives birth to a boy, Geoffrey immediatly takes the baby away with him, determined to keep her away from her son. Heartbroken, Anna gives birth a few minutes later to a twin a girl she names Althea.

Anna makes several attempts to see her small son and keep her daughters presence a secret from her heartless husband, but, after almost being caught with her daughter, flees to the exotic West Indies to raise her daughter alone. And pine for her missing son.

Twenty-three years later, Thea is a partner in Merewether Shipping with her Uncle Ashby, a sweet man who helped Anna when she first arrived on the Island. Though her mother died ten years before, Thea is still haunted by her mother’s continued heartbreak over her missing son and the promises she made to Anna on her deathbed.

Pierson Drake arrives on the Island in desperate need of a blacksmith to fix his steam engine, so that he can sail back to England in a timely manner and ensure his investors make a return on the money they invested on his behalf. He ignores Thea at first, refusing to deal with a “mere” woman regarding matters of business. He finally realizes it is she, not her Uncle, that can help him and she agrees, under the condition that he takes her to London with him, so she can investigate some discrepancies in the books from their London office. He is blackmailed into agreeing.

On the voyage, tempers ingnite, wills clash and a fierce attraction develops between the two. Though Pierson wants to marry Thea, she refuses, afraid of loving a man and ending up in the same position as her mother.

I generally dislike a stubborn heroine, because so many times she tends to be stupid as well as mule-headed. I’m happy to report, however, that Thea Selwyn didn’t fall fall into this category. She was perhaps a bit too obsessed with staying unwed, but Monroe did an awesome job of explaining her reasons.

Pierson Drake is hot, tortured and a total Alpha-Male…my favorite combination. He has his own issues – illigetimate birth – but he doesn’t let that stop him from making Thea his.

As with all of Lucy Monroe’s books, I was touched, angered and in love by the time I finished reading it.

4 out of 5

Langley Family Series

four-stars


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Review: Heart Sight by Robin D. Owens

Posted December 19, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Heart Sight by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Sight (Celta's Heartmates) by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #15
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret, Heart Legacy, Heart Change
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Journey back to the planet Celta with award-winning author Robin D. Owens in this novel about shadowed enemies and unimaginable psi power.

Muin "Vinni" T'Vine has been the prophet of Celta since he was six years old. A unique and lonely child, his strong psi power made most people wary of him. But now that he's older, he's ready to marry and protect the girl he's known was his HeartMate for years.

Avellana isn't as fragile as Vinni believes...nor as compliant. She fights to be considered Vinni's equal and a strong member of her Family and community. Both of them have kept Avellana's main power secret for over a decade.

But rumors of her strange psi talent are spreading, and Vinni is experiencing premonitions of danger to Avellana--even from the highest people of the land. When the whispers become threats, Vinni and Avellana must discover and defeat their secret enemies before they can finally claim happiness together.

I’ve been waiting years for this book. Vinni and Avellana were introduced in the 2nd book and had parts as children in some of the following books. Now they’re all grown up. Vinni, the Premier Prophet of Celta, keeps having terrible visions of Avellana’s death. For years he’s been sending her to remote places to keep her safe. Now a woman of 24, Avellana is tired of being away her home and loved ones. Even though Vinni still senses danger in her future, she refuses to leave. She wants them to fight together, not spend their time apart, cowering from some unknown threat.

As excited as I was about this couple finally getting a book, I went into with some trepidation. After all, these two were young children when I started reading the series, and young adults in the last book I remember them in. Owens did a great job of showing them as grown adults.

The main conflict is Vinni’s over-protectiveness when it comes to Avellana because of his visions, and how that’s damaged them both over the years. I really enjoyed seeing them grow, accept each other as they are, and come together as an adult couple and as HeartMates. Unlike other couples, they’ve both known since her birth they were fated for each other. That made things easier for them in some respects, but much harder in others.

I liked that Avellana stood up for herself. For years she’s been passively accepting of her family and Vinni’s over-protectiveness. She finally realizes she can’t continue to allow them to send her away.  Not if she wants to finally live the life she was meant for. Her inner strength really came through and I ended up admiring her in the end.

It would have been easy to hate Vinni for forcing Avellana away all those years, except he truly was terrified for her safety. His obvious love and devotion for her came through so strongly it was impossible to hate him. Like Avellana, I got angry with him over his determination to do things “for her own good”, but as he accepted who Avellana had grown to be, it was easy to let go of that anger. I was fully rooting for them in the end.

I always love returning to Celta. The world is so well-drawn I’m always fully immersed. This novel is at turns sweet, suspenseful and angst-filled. It was lovely.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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#BerkleyBookmas: Let’s Bake Cookies with Julie James!

Posted December 7, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

Book Binge is so excited to participate in Berkley Bookmas and we’re hosting Julie James today! She will be sharing her favorite holiday recipes so here is the place to be to find out what Julie James likes to munch on during the holidays. You can never have too many recipes, right?

Berkley Bookmas is chock full of exclusive content from authors like exclusive excerpts, deleted scenes, author recipes and more! Check out the calendar of events below:

Julie James’ Favorite Holiday Recipe

Need Cookies for the holidays? I’ve got your back.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about the holidays was my grandmother’s cookies. She used to spend days baking, and when we visited her house every Christmas Eve, there would be platters and tins of cookies seemingly everywhere.

Over the years, my cookie recipe book has expanded, but below are two classics that have been part of my family’s holiday traditions for years. Both are kid-friendly, adult-friendly, easy to make, and loaded with chocolate (generally a requirement for all my cookies, snickerdoodles excepted.) Enjoy!

Snowball Cookies

1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
1 package Hershey’s kisses
Confectioner’s sugar

Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and nuts. Shape dough around kisses and roll into balls. (Hint for first-timers: you don’t want too much dough; use just enough to cover the Hershey kiss.) Bake on cookies sheets lined with parchment paper at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are a light golden brown. Let cookies cool, then roll them in confectioner’s sugar.

Variation: Mr. James is a little fussier than I am about cookies, and doesn’t like milk chocolate. (Miraculously, we’ve managed to stay married for 15 years despite this character flaw.) So for some of the cookies, I roll the dough around a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate chips (instead of a Hershey’s Kiss), and everyone’s happy. 

M&M Cookies

1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 ¼ cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pound bag of M&Ms

Julie’s add-on: I also throw in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips because more chocolate = yummy goodness

Beat butter and sugars, then beat in vanilla and eggs. Add remaining dry ingredients, mix well, then stir in M&Ms (and chocolate chips). Bake at 375 degrees on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for 9-11 minutes, or until light golden brown.

 

Giveaway Alert

Berkley is giving away some awesome prizes like a $100 Visa gift card, and a book/galley/bound manuscript by each of the authors participating so if you’re interested in any of that, make sure you head over here to enter.

For tomorrow’s fun, head to one of the following blogs:

Stuck in Books
Thoughts in Process
The Romance Dish

Berkley Bookmas 12 Days of Shipmas on Instagram

If you’re on Instagram, we invite you to participate in Berkley Bookmas’s “12 Days of Shipmas” challenge! In a nutshell, we’re celebrating our favorite ships on the ‘gram and you’re welcome to join the fun – the schedule is below!

The Ships:

12/1: I Will Go Down With This Ship = fave ship of all time
12/2: Paranormal Pairings = fave paranormal couple
12/3: Love Is Love = fave LGBTQ couple
12/4: Haters to Lovers = fave enemies-to-lovers couple
12/5: Game Baes = fave sports romance couples
12/ 6: Men in Uniform = fave couple with military/army/navy/etc. character
12/7: Angst on Angst on Angst = fave angstiest couple
12/ 8: 3’s Not A Crowd = fave ménage/poly pairings
12/ 9: Christian Bae Day = fave kinky couple
12/10: Heroes in History = fave historical romance couple
12/11: Biker Baes = fave MC romance couple
12/12: Hot Scots = fave Scottish heroes/heroines

About the Author

Julie James

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

New York Times bestselling author Julie James practiced law with one of the nation’s largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time. Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages and Julie’s ninth novel, THE THING ABOUT LOVE, is now available.

Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, where she is working on her next novel.

 

Julie’s Latest Release

The Thing about Love by Julie James

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOOGLE BOOKS

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .


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Guest Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Posted November 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Someone to Wed by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #3
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can't afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life . . .

A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate-and oh-so-dashing-earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past . . .

Alexander Wescott arrives at Withington House for tea expecting that he would be meeting some of his new neighbors.  He’s surprised when it’s only the lady of the house, Miss Wren Heyden, and her maid.  He’s a bit put off by the situation and by Miss Heyden, and just wants to leave.  He is shocked when she proposes marriage to him out of the blue.  She had been sitting in shadow and when she reveals herself he sees a large purple mark on one side of her face that she had had since birth.  Alexander agrees to get to know Wren and they start a bit of a courtship that ends with Wren retracting her proposal.

Almost a month later Wren arrives in London.  When Alexander sees her again he knows that marrying her is the right thing to do.  He proposes, and she accepts.  Unfortunately Wren thought that once they were married that she would continue to live in obscurity – she couldn’t have been more wrong.  The reclusive Wren soon finds herself surrounded by Alexander’s accepting family and eventually going out in public without her veil.  The ghosts of her past, however, soon start to tear her apart from the inside and she’s not sure that marrying Alexander was the wisest thing to do as she considers herself a broken woman.

This was such a sweet book.  I have enjoyed the Wescott series so far and this is another good one.  I expected, after book 1, that the books would be strictly about the Wescott children who had found themselves illegitimate after thinking for most of their lives that they were legitimate.  I was wrong and I’m happy about that. 🙂  I didn’t realize that I wanted Alexander’s story until I started reading.  It was so very good and I was happy that Balogh went the direction she did.

Alexander was such a great character and a good man.  He was conscientious and thoughtful and genuinely cared about people.  When he inherited the Earldom he was shocked and overwhelmed.  He had inherited a home that had been completely neglected despite the former earl’s wealth.  Unfortunately that wealth hadn’t come with the title so Alexander was trying to do the best he could.  He knew he needed a rich wife but it was distasteful to him to marry for money – I can’t say I blame him.  Wren presented a perfect solution but he knew that she had many issues and the wall she put up between herself and people would cause problems.  He told himself when she broke things off that he was relieved, but he couldn’t decide if he was being honest with himself.  I was so happy that he made the decisions he did later in the book. He proved that he was the honorable man I thought him to be.  He took such good care with Wren and her sensitivities to people and I loved him for that.

Wren started off not being my favorite.  She was standoffish and caustic and it bothered me as I knew Alexander didn’t deserve it.  She tried to come out of her shell but after being a recluse for twenty years it was difficult, to say the least.  When she finally made it to London she seemed to become a different person and one I greatly admired. She could have so easily stayed in her rooms and continued to be the recluse but she made an effort to show herself despite her self-consciousness and I loved it.  Balogh did a wonderful job writing this heroine!  She had been through so much in her life that she could have folded up into herself and crumbled but she didn’t and loved her for it.

Balogh has become one of my go-to authors when it comes to historical romance.  She always provides a lovely story and wonderful romance and this was another great one.  The Wescotts are a lively family and I can’t wait to read more about them in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Retro-Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.

Posted November 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro-Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.Reviewer: Rowena
Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet, #3) by Nora Roberts
Series: Bride Quartet #3
Also in this series: Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1), Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac — the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems. Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings. As for romance, Laurel believes in it — in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick- silver moods get the better of her — leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del — she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever…

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

This review was originally posted on April 27, 2010.

This is another series that I am absolutely in love with. I love that it’s a straight up contemporary series with just two human beings falling in love without be bitten by vampires or taken hostage by terrorists or anything else like that. They’re just two everyday, average, normal people falling in love over the course of time.

This book was good. It was but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Jack and Emma’s story. There were things about this book that I loved, like learning about Laurel’s side of the business, I’ve always been fascinated with baking and Laurel does it well so it was good to see that. I also enjoyed getting to know Del. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Del in the first two books and it was good to finally see Del getting some serious page time.

Laurel and Del’s attraction to each other started in the last book when they’re all at Emma’s family’s house for a bbq and you could tell that this was where that day was going to lead Del and Laurel. Their attraction seemed to simmer on low heat for a few weeks before it boiled right out of the pot. Del is trying to keep seeing Laurel as the little sister he’s always known her to be and Laurel is trying to get over her silly crush on the boy that will always look at her like a little sister. So in a last ditch effort to get Del out of her system, she shows him that she’s NOT his sister and that sets the tone for the rest of the book.

They’re playing this keep away game of Laurel’s shoes and Del is using the shoes to get to know Laurel better. He’s going for this and he’s going to see where it leads them. Watching these two grow closer and closer was cute. Seeing them bicker their way to love made me smile.

Del was a great hero, one who caring, thoughtful and adorable. I really liked him but I didn’t love Del the way that I loved Jack. Del was a good, solid hero but he didn’t make my heart sing the way that his best friend did.

Laurel was one of those feisty heroines who at times made me roll my eyes around the room. Her reasons for being mad at Del about the whole money didn’t make sense to me. She’s known Del most of her life, she’s friends with him. She should have known him enough to understand where he was coming from with the whole paying thing. I mean, she blew something so small into something so big and I just didn’t get it. So Del’s rich, so what? I just didn’t understand where all of her anger from him trying to give her money was coming from. It’s not like he thought she was this two bit loser who he felt sorry for and was trying to give her a break. I could see him doing the exact same thing to Emma and to Mac but Laurel blew that shit up like he was trying to strangle her or something.

Overall, this book was good but it’s not my favorite of the bunch. My favorite part of this book was getting to know Laurel while she was at work. I loved reading about all of her baking bits. Seeing her in action in the kitchen had me wanting to throw my apron on and see what kind of concoctions I could throw together in the kitchen. I love baking in any romance novel and it never fails to amaze me how Nora Roberts can take any occupation out there and make me curious about it. She’s a phenomenal writer and I’m such a fan!

It was good to see the gang all together again and I can’t wait for Parker and Mal’s story. I can’t wait to see how Mal wins her over. It’s going to be interesting because Mal is a fox and Parker is one tough cookie. I can already imagine the sparks that are going to fly. Woot!

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

The Bride Quartet

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here.

four-stars


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