Tag: Harper Collins

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Posted August 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa ColeReviewer: Rowena
A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2) by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

I finally read my first Alyssa Cole book and it did not disappoint. I’ve been hearing such great things about her writing so I’ve been meaning to try her out for a while but I kept getting distracted by other books and other authors but I will not overlook another Alyssa Cole book because I really enjoyed Tavish McKenzie and Portia Hobbs romance.

I’m not going to lie, what drew my attention to this book was the cover and the dress that Portia is wearing. That’s a gorgeous dress so I immediately wanted to read this one because of that alone. Alyssa Cole was blessed by the cover Gods and I’m happy to report that she is also blessed with the gift of writing. I had a blast with this book. I didn’t read the first book but my enjoyment of this book didn’t suffer because of that. I do have plans to go back and read the first book because I liked Ledi and Thabiso in this one enough to want to read their love story.

So this story follows Portia Hobbs as she travels from New York to Scotland to be the apprentice of a swordmaker. She’s trying to get her life together because she needs to and she is through being irresponsible and the party girl. She’s cleaning up her act and the first step to her new and improved life is to be the best damn apprentice that Tavish McKenzie has ever had. She’s low key excited to learn all that she can and isn’t going to let her grumpy ass boss get in the way of her growing as a person.

Tav McKenzie is trying to stay afloat. His business isn’t doing as well as usual and he’s stretched thin trying to be everything and do everything for everyone. His brother Jamie thinks he needs help and help comes in the form of a young woman that he’s very attracted to and doesn’t have the time or inclination to act on that attraction. The desire doesn’t go away and the more time that he spends with Portia, the more he realizes that there is more than meets the eye and he likes her more and more. When they stumble on the fact that Tav is the rightful Duke of Edinburgh, Tav is thrown. He’s a small town lad who has no business trying to be a fancy duke but with Portia’s help, he realizes that he can make good things happen for everyone who is struggling in his town and everywhere else. That’s not something that Tav can exactly walk away from.

Tav and Portia’s romance was a good one. It was fun, it was sweet and I really enjoyed Cole’s writing style. She wrote characters that charmed the socks right off of me and I’m super glad that I read this. There were times when I wanted to smack both Tav and Portia upside their head for being boneheads about small things but overall, this was an enjoyable romance and I recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a fun and sweet romance.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Reluctant Royals


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Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Posted July 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Rowena
Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 396
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Goodreads
four-stars

When Wicked Comes Calling...

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She's seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won't accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain...

Bastard son of a duke and king of London's dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion...

But there's nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she'd rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil's carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted...and the only thing he's ever desired.

Sarah MacLean has a new series out and Wicked and the Wallflower is the first book from the The Bareknuckled Bastards series. The series follows a family of siblings that have one thing in common. They’re all linked to a Duke and they’re all bastards. Devon, aka Devil is the eldest of the bunch and this story features him and Felicity Faircloth.

If you read The Day of the Duchess, you’ll remember Felicity as one of the debutantes who was competing to become the next Duchess of Haven. I was hoping that she’d get her story told and I was thrilled to hear that she was the heroine in this book. She was just as wonderful as I hoped she’d be and her hero was one for the books. Their story was a memorable one and I’ll be thinking of that scene where Devil puts everyone on Covent Garden on notice where Felicity Faircloth is concerned. The way that he clicks his cane on the ground and just announces how things are to the dark and everyone in the dark was thrilling at the same time that it was freaking sexy.

Sarah MacLean worked her magic on me with this book because I thought the entire thing was engaging, the characters were compelling and I was thoroughly charmed throughout the entire book. I’m mighty intrigued with Whit but I’m also looking forward to more Ewan and Grace…because damn, drama much? I’m so here for it.

There were a few times when I wanted to junk punch Devil because the lengths that he went through to stop Ewan put Felicity in harm’s way and even though it all ends well, that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth but still, this book was great. Felicity’s family was something else but I remember the Mom from Sera and Malcolm’s book so I wasn’t that surprised that the rest of her family were low key shady to her.

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to know both Devil and Felicity. I loved seeing Devil fall deeper and deeper in love with Felicity as the story wore on, much to his chagrin because he couldn’t do what he needed to do to keep his promises from the past if he cared so much about Felicity but dude, how can you not care about Felicity? She freaking rocks. I loved that they loved each other exactly how they are and I adored how good Felicity was at picking locks and how Devil just seemed to roll with whatever Felicity threw his way.

This was a great book with great characters and a story that you’ll fall in love with. I’m sure of it. There is so much goodness in this one that you won’t want to miss it. I promise.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Bareknuckle Bastards

four-stars


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Review: Regrets Only by Erin Duffy

Posted May 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Regrets Only by Erin DuffyReviewer: Rowena
Regrets Only by Erin Duffy
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 416
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three-half-stars

From the author of Bond Girl and Lost Along the Way, comes a fiercely funny, insightful story of marriage, family, and the crooked path to figuring out who we really are.

Claire thought she had everything a woman was supposed to want—a loving husband, a newborn son, a beautiful home in the suburbs. Then she walks in on her husband canoodling with their realtor in their newly renovated kitchen, and in an instant, her perfect life comes crashing down.  

With her marriage heading for divorce, Claire knows it’s time to stop feeling sorry for herself. But how can she move on when she’s still stuck in the orbit of her husband’s world? For starters, she can get rid of her soon-to-be ex’s possessions—including his prized, gigantic foosball table—by dumping them onto the curb…until complaints from the neighbors get the police involved. Now Claire is busy dodging the mean mommies at story hour and hiding from her ex-husband’s girlfriend in the grocery store. But as Claire soon learns, suburbia still has a few surprises in store for her—surprises that will make her question her choices from the past, send her down an unexpected road to self-discovery, and maybe even lead to new love.

Desperate for a positive outlet to channel her frustrations, she turns to girlfriends Lissy and Antonia for help. Together they join forces to rebrand Lissy’s local stationery store and turn it into a thriving business. But as Claire soon learns, suburbia still has a few surprises in store for her—surprises that will make her question her choices from the past, send her down an unexpected road to self-discovery, and maybe even new love.

Featuring a second coming-of-age story, Regrets Only deftly explores the subtle nuances of marriage, family, friendship, and what it means to be a woman today while delighting readers as its unforgettable heroine acts on impulses we’ve all been guilty of having.

I found myself wanting to read something outside of the straight-up romance genre while browsing Edelweiss a few months ago and this book caught my eye. A second chance at life for a woman who walks in on her husband having an affair with an old high school girlfriend. This woman is pretty much all alone at first. She moved from her hometown to her husband’s hometown, they start a family and she leaves her job to be a stay at home Mom and then she forgets her wallet as she’s driving to the hotel her husband booked for her, to get a break from their little family. She was to relax and shop and go to the spa and it all sounded heavenly until she forgets her wallet and walks in on her husband and their realtor.

All at once, her world has exploded and she can’t even go home because their life is in Connecticut and she can’t take her son with her home to Chicago. So she’s stuck. She’s stuck in a town where her husband has a support group but she doesn’t. She’s stuck in a house that is a constant reminder of everything she no longer has with her husband and that same house is a constant reminder of the day that her life fell apart.

Claire really goes through the wringer in this book and I completely understood where she was coming from but in the beginning, it was hard to read her lashing out at her husband in the most childish of ways. The beginning and the middle of this book took a lot out of me because I spent so much of that part of the book, annoyed that Claire kept doing stupid things. I guess I wanted her to be above such stupid things and she wasn’t.

I didn’t completely hate her though. I understood why she did what she did and she does eventually grow as a person and I really bought her growth over the course of the book. It felt real and complete and I was glad that she was eventually able to move on. She really does come full circle and I was glad. This book was hard to get through at times and that kind of figured itself into my rating of this book. I was glad to finish it but I didn’t absolutely love the book as a whole. It had great moments but it lacked the depth that I was hoping for. Still, Clair was an engaging heroine and I was happy for her when all was said and done.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa

Posted April 22, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa is the second book in the Love on Cue series and we’ve been hearing such great things about both the author and this series. We’re pretty excited to share an excerpt from the book for you lovely readers so please enjoy!

Sunday Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia SosaPretending He's Mine (Love on Cue, #2) by Mia Sosa
Series: Love on Cue #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Mia Sosa returns with another fun, flirty romance in her critically-acclaimed Love on Cue series!

For Hollywood agent Julian Hart, representing his best friend—megastar Carter Williamson—means it’s nearly impossible to keep his personal life and career separate. To make matters worse, Carter’s younger sister has been starring in Julian’s wildest fantasies more often than he’d care to admit. He knows she’s off-limits, but when Ashley shows up on his doorstep, needing a place to crash… suddenly his greatest temptation is sleeping down the hall.

Free-spirited Ashley Williamson doesn’t do commitment. Jobs, apartments, men… why let herself be tied down? But she’s had a crush on her older brother’s best friend for years and she’s committed to making Julian want her, one towel-clad midnight encounter at a time. But just as things start heating up, their steamy flirtation is interrupted by Carter’s east coast wedding. Ashley has no desire to go home and face her reputation as the family disappointment. But living with—dare she say dating?—a successful, sexy film agent could give them something else to talk about.

Julian can’t believe he agreed to fake a relationship with the one woman he can never have. And it’s going to take more than a little willpower to remember it's all pretend. Or is it? 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE PLAY || KOBO

Excerpt

PRETENDING HE’S MINE by Mia Sosa

Chapter One

A woman in my condo is experiencing a toe-curling orgasm—and to my knowledge, this is the first time I’m in no way responsible for it.

Because this dumpster fire needs more tinder, the person bringing herself pleasure within the confines of my not-so-humble abode is my best friend’s younger sister.

I’d prefer to sustain a thousand paper cuts than listen to her moans, the catch of her breath, the rustling of the sheets around her body. But she’s crashing at my place, and she left the door of the guest bedroom open—just a tiny, torturous crack. The sliver of soft light coming from the adjoining bathroom beckons like a portal to another world. Come, the deep, booming voice of James Earl Jones says. The embodiment of your hidden and fucked-up fantasies lies in this realm.

I squeeze my eyes shut. Dammit. This isn’t right. It’s a personal moment, and I shouldn’t be privy to it. Summoning what’s left of the self-control that’s served me well for more years than I’d care to admit, I turn away from the light and slink down the short hall to my kitchen. There, I refit my wireless headphones and find a tall glass for the water that brought me out of my room.

I’d resigned myself to remaining as far away from Ashley as possible while she stayed the night. Instead, an innocent trip to the fridge has left me thirsty for something else altogether. I’m not even sure why I took off my headphones as I passed her room. But I did. And now I know what she sounds like when she comes.

I need to shut down this line of thinking immediately. But hell, the portal is open, and despite my good intentions, I’m tempted to step through and explore this other world.

No. I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t.

Picture her in pigtails and remember what it was like to help her stand after an epic fall on the bike she loved to ride.

Forget that she’s now a sexy woman, and banish any inappropriate thoughts about her to a parallel universe that will never intersect with this one.

Although temporary, the solution is simple. Fifty push-ups will round out my workout and help stifle my libido. With my get-over-my-lust-for-Ashley plan in place, I set the glass in the sink, cut the light switch, and spin around. A warm body skids into me, its owner’s soft mouth brushing against my bare shoulder.

She shrinks back and yelps.

Instinctively, I tug Ashley forward, steadying her and mentally unbalancing myself in the process. With my chest flush against hers, I try to memorize the way we fit together, greedy to gain something from this unexpected contact.

“Julian? Please tell me it’s you.”

The tremor in her voice pulls me out of my stupor. I breathe heavily through my nose as I drop my arms and step back slowly. Turning to the counter and grasping it for support, I eke out, “It’s me, Ashley.”

As she sighs in relief, the memory of her curves imprints itself in my brain like a freshly inked intricate tattoo, simultaneously mesmerizing and painful.

Fuck the fifty push-ups. I’m going to need a hundred.

From PRETENDING HE’S MINE. Used with permission of Avon Impulse. Copyright © 2018 by Mia Sosa.

Love on Cue

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Mia Sosa

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

To learn more about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com.


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Release Day Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO MIA SOSA!

Mia Sosa is an author that made it onto my radar in the past couple of months and I’ve been hearing such great things about her books. She’s got a brand spanking new book out today and we are spotlighting it so you guys know all about it.

Release Day Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia SosaPretending He's Mine (Love on Cue, #2) by Mia Sosa
Series: Love on Cue #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Mia Sosa returns with another fun, flirty romance in her critically-acclaimed Love on Cue series!

For Hollywood agent Julian Hart, representing his best friend—megastar Carter Williamson—means it’s nearly impossible to keep his personal life and career separate. To make matters worse, Carter’s younger sister has been starring in Julian’s wildest fantasies more often than he’d care to admit. He knows she’s off-limits, but when Ashley shows up on his doorstep, needing a place to crash… suddenly his greatest temptation is sleeping down the hall.

Free-spirited Ashley Williamson doesn’t do commitment. Jobs, apartments, men… why let herself be tied down? But she’s had a crush on her older brother’s best friend for years and she’s committed to making Julian want her, one towel-clad midnight encounter at a time. But just as things start heating up, their steamy flirtation is interrupted by Carter’s east coast wedding. Ashley has no desire to go home and face her reputation as the family disappointment. But living with—dare she say dating?—a successful, sexy film agent could give them something else to talk about.

Julian can’t believe he agreed to fake a relationship with the one woman he can never have. And it’s going to take more than a little willpower to remember it's all pretend. Or is it? 

Ooh, it’s a best friend’s little sister romance with a fake romance thrown in as well. I’m so here for that!! This book is out today so if you haven’t already, order your copy at any of the links provided below.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Love on Cue

About the Author

Mia Sosa

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

To learn more about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com.


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