Tag: St. Martin’s Press

Guest Review: Highland Crown by May McGoldrick

Posted May 20, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Highland Crown by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Highland Crown by May McGoldrick
Series: Royal Highlander #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 312
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Inverness, 1820Perched on the North Sea, this port town―by turns legendary and mythological―is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.

WANTED: Isabella DrummondA true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery―and fury―in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters. . .and her heart into flames.

FOUND: Cinaed MackintoshCast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself. . .until Isabella saved his life―and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity?

Isabella Drummond is a surgeon, married to a doctor.  They had lived in Edinburgh for six years and had a stable if unexciting life.  Her husband, Archibald, was a reformer, however and when it came down to a day of strikes, he was killed and Isabella ran for her life with her sister and her step-daughter.  She was now being pursued by soldiers who think that she was part of her husband’s radical dealings, and the people in charge of the group of reformers were after her as well so she won’t tell the authorities any information.

When the book opens Isabella is in northern Scotland at a small cottage with a woman who is none too happy for her to be there.  Isabella was helped by her friend Sir Walter Scott who then implored his solicitor to help.  The woman was the solicitor’s aunt.  Isabella’s sister and step-daughter had gone with the solicitor to book passage on a ship to America.  The small town on the shore where she is staying is a rough one.  The villagers gather any items from ships that wreck on the rocks and shoot any survivors so they can’t argue about it.  Nice.  This happens when Isabella is there and she ends up saving one of the men who is the captain of a ship.  When a villager finds out about the man and Isabella they end out having to leave the cottage and take the aunt with them.

They end up fighting for their lives while staying with a relative of the man they saved, Captain Cinaed Mackintosh, but in order to do so they have to act like man and wife.  After just a short period of time together they fall in love but Isabella is unwilling to bring Cinaed into her troubles even though he’s already knee-deep in them.  The pair have to save themselves as well as Cinaed’s relative and decide if they want to leave for America or stay and fight for their country.

This was a good story that I enjoyed.  I’m not normally a fan of country politics in my romances but I have to say this one was well done.  I did think that the H/h fell in love way too fast for me, but I considered the year and went with it. Lol

I loved the fact that Isabella was a doctor/surgeon.  Everyone looked at her funny when she helped others, but she was so good at what she did. I loved that McGoldrick made her a doctor, rather than just a wife who was running for her life.

Because of the politics I’m not sure I’ll read further in the series. That said, I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good Scottish historical romance with some political intrigue.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson

Posted May 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie JohnsonReviewer: Holly
Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson
Series: Sometimes in Love #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

IT’S TIME TO FLIRT WITH A MAN IN A KILT

Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt. . .

Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love?

Getting Hot with the Scot is the debut novel from author Melonie Johnson, and kicks off the Sometimes in Love series, which features 5 college friends who embark on an epic vacation, spanning 5 countries. Here we meet Cassie. She’s uptight and organized to the nth degree, but she decides to let loose during her vacation in Scotland when she comes across a sexy highlander. Logan is pretending to be a time-traveling laird of old as part of a skit for his online show when they meet. He wants her signature on a release form so he can use the clip, but Cassie is trying to move into serious journalism from the fluffier stuff she does now, so she refuses. She doesn’t turn him away from her bed, though, and she expects to have an enjoyable one-night-stand. Until Logan follows her to London, that is.

I liked the premise of this book, and it ended up being a cute read, but the heroine drove me batty for half the book. She kept jumping to conclusions and refusing to talk things out with the hero. Every time she got angry at him, she ran away. I really wanted to see her stay and fight. Logan had some issues stemming from losing his father, and I thought those were well done. I enjoyed the two of them together, but I thought they were both immature at times.

Still, while the story was somewhat predictable, I came to enjoy it in the end. I’m especially interested in reading about Cassie’s friends, so I’ll probably continue the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Sometimes in Love

three-half-stars


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Blog Tour: The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan

Posted May 8, 2019 by Holly in Promotions | 1 Comment

THE SCENT OF MURDER (May 7, 2019) by Kylie Logan is the start of a new series featuring Jazz Ramsey, a cadaver dog handler. When she and her newest trainee, Luther, find a body during a routine training exercise, things get complicated.

Blog Tour: The Scent of Murder by Kylie LoganThe Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
Series: Jazz Ramsey #1
Publisher: Minotaur
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
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First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

It had rained that afternoon and the sidewalks were still wet. When the last of the evening light hit them, the slate squares reflected Jazz Ramsey’s neighborhood—streetlights, and the neon signs that flashed from the windows of the trendy pubs, and a watery rendering of St. John Cantius church, an urban Monet masterpiece, its tan brick walls and bell tower blurred.

Even though it was officially spring, the wind off Lake Erie was wicked. Jazz bundled her shoulder-length brown hair into a loose ponytail and pulled up the hood of her sweatshirt, then hunched further into her North Face jacket. She stopped at a corner, waiting for the light to change, and was pleased when Luther sat down at her side even without a command.

“Good dog,” she was sure to tell him at the same time she breathed in the combined smell of damp earth and the discarded bag from Taco Bell crumpled near the curb.

To Luther’s credit, he ignored whatever bits and bites of Mexican cuisine might still be in the bag. But then, he’d been trained to follow dif­ferent scents. When the light changed, he trotted along when Jazz crossed the street, his pace as brisk as hers, and the way he pricked his ears and cocked his head, she knew he sensed the exhilaration that vibrated from her hand through his leash. Luther knew it was almost time to get down to business.

Here, College Avenue started its downhill trek into the Cleveland Flats, the city’s once-booming industrial heart. These days, Clevelanders were more likely to work in health care or IT than in foundries and factories, but one hundred years ago, this was the route thousands of workers took each
day from their homes in blue-collar Tremont—it was simply called the South Side then—to the fiery furnaces that produced America’s steel.

“We’re not going far,” Jazz assured Luther at the same time she noticed the couple who stumbled out of the Treehouse just up ahead made sure to give the massive German shepherd a wide berth. “Just over here,” she told him once they’d passed the open door to the bar and the blaring music that seeped onto the street wasn’t quite so loud. “Over to the new condos.”

They stopped outside a sturdy brick building nearly ninety years old with solid walls and a slate roof. By the end of summer, Jazz imagined there would be gleaming glass in the window frames where there was plywood now, and window boxes, too, no doubt, and cars parked outside that reflected the status-conscious success of the young professionals she’d heard were already lined up to buy.

But not tonight.

Tonight the building was empty and dark and she had it all to herself.

It was the perfect place to put Luther through his paces.

Still hanging on to the dog’s leash with one hand, Jazz fished the key from her pocket with the other and silently thanked Ken Zelinsky, the site supervisor, who’d agreed to give her an hour’s time inside the building.

It wasn’t easy to find urban training sites for a human remains detection dog.

She swung open the door and slanted Luther a look. “So what do you think?”

Luther sat, his tail thumping out a rhythm of excitement on the front stoop, and before she unhooked his leash, Jazz did a quick run-through of what she’d learned from his owner.

Luther was a little over two years old, good-natured. He could be as playful as any pup, but he had a serious side, too. Like now, when he had to work.

“He’s a smart dog,” Greg Johnson had insisted when he begged Jazz to help with the final stages of Luther’s training. “He just needs some reinforcement from a really good handler. That’s you, Jazz.”

It was.

Or at least it used to be.

These days, Jazz was feeling a little rusty. She was out of practice, not in the mood. It was one of the reasons that, after hemming and hawing and finding excuse after excuse, she’d finally agreed to Greg’s request. She needed to shake herself out of her funk, and to her way of thinking, there was no better way to do that than with a dog.

She stepped into the long, narrow entryway of the building with its rows of broken mailboxes along one wall, and shut the front door behind her. The eerie quiet of years of neglect closed around her along with the smell of dampness and decay, rotted wiring and musty tiles carried by an errant breeze. Feeling her way, she unsnapped the leash from Luther’s collar and gave him the command she’d devised for all the dogs she worked with because it was less ghoulish than saying “Find the dead guy!”

“Find Henry!” she told him, and she stepped back and out of Luther’s way.

Like all HRD dogs, Luther was that rare combination— independent enough to go off on his own and loyal enough to owner and handler to need praise. But he didn’t know Jazz well, and smart dog that he was, he wanted to be certain. He glanced over his shoulder at her.

“You know what to do, Luther. You don’t need Greg here to tell you.” She swept a hand along her side. “Find Henry!”

In fact, what Jazz hoped the dog would do was clear both the first and second floors in record time and head up to the third floor where that afternoon she’d hidden a human tooth (a donation from her mother, Claire, who, at the age of fifty-two, had decided she wanted the kind of sparkling smile she’d seen on so many models and had begun to see an orthodontist). Human teeth contained enough scent to attract a properly trained dog’s attention. If Luther was on his game—and she hoped he was because she hated the thought of telling Greg his dog wasn’t ready for the grueling volunteer work done by dogs and handlers—he would locate the tooth, signal by barking three times, and chomp on the treat she would use as a reward while she secured the scene and made a simulated call to the cops, just as she would do if they made a real find.

“You gonna get a move on or what?” she asked Luther, her voice falling flat against the pitted plaster. “Find Henry!”

In a flash of black and sable, the dog took off down the darkened hallway.

After nearly ten years training and handling cadaver dogs, Jazz knew the ropes. She couldn’t give Luther a hint about where to go or what he was looking for so she kept back, letting him work, refusing to influence him by her demeanor or her movements. She heard his claws scramble on the tile floor somewhere in the dark up ahead, flicked on her high-powered flashlight, and followed.

Some dogs, like pointers, are air sniffers. Some, like bloodhounds, keep their noses to the ground. No matter their breed, cadaver dogs, by virtue of their work, have to be proficient at both. They are trained as trailing dogs to pick up the scent that has fallen from decomposing bodies onto the ground, and as air-scenting dogs as well, so they can detect any smell of decomposition that’s carried on the breeze. By the time she located him in a back room of what had once been a four-room working-class apartment, Luther was hard at work.

His eyes focused and every inch of his muscular body at the ready, he drew in a breath then hurried back and forth, side to side, through what had once been a kitchen, in an attempt to catch the strongest scent.

Not here. On the third floor.

Jazz knew better than to say it. Part of an HRD dog’s gift was to eliminate one area so dog and handler could move on to the next. Luther was doing his job, and he was doing it well.

She had to remember to compliment Greg on his training methods.

Nose to the floor, his ears pricked, Luther cleared the kitchen and headed into the back bedrooms. Jazz kicked a piece of fallen tile out of the way, but she kept her place. She would wait quietly until the dog emerged from the back rooms and when he headed out into the hallway, she would follow.

At least that was her plan.

Until Luther barked.

Once.

Twice.

Three times.

Blog Tour

About Kylie Logan

Photo of author Kylie Logan in a purple shirt

KYLIE LOGAN is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries. The Scent of Murder is the first in a new series.


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Throwback Thursday Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Rowena
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways #1
Also in this series: Tempt Me at Twilight, Married By Morning, Love In The Afternoon
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 2nd 2007
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 376
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter...

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on October 24, 2007.

In Mine till Midnight, Cam Rohan, the sexy Gypsy man from Devil in Winter get his happily ever after. I remember meeting Cam in DIW, trying to seduce my favorite Wallflower, Daisy. I knew that Cam wasn’t right for Daisy but I knew that he was a man that I wanted to read about in a later book…and that book came a few weeks ago when I picked up this book for Holly and myself at our So Cal Blogger Meet Up. Man, but I was a happy camper when I finally got to sit down and read another Lisa Kleypas book.

Like Meg Cabot, I heart Lisa Kleypas.

She totally rocks my socks.

Lisa scores again big time in my book because she wrote a wonderfully entertaining story about two characters who were so perfect for each other.

Casee already reviewed this book and gave a rundown of the book, here so check hers out, here, I’m going to just jump right into the review…

I already knew I was going to love Cam Rohan and I totally did in this book. I mean, Cam was everything a hero should be. Strong and dependable, sexy as all get out and charming too. I loved the way he loved Amelia, the sweet things he would whisper to her in bed in his native language. I loved the way he took care of her, whisked her problems off of her shoulders and just handled it. He was a man’s man and he took care of his woman and hot damn that is just so effing sexy. I loved the way he was with Amelia’s sisters and most especially, Amelia’s brother, Leo. He dragged Leo where Leo needed to and I just loved how he swooped right into this family and took care of them as if they were already his family. I loved that he did all of that, simply for Amelia.

Say it with me now…..Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

I loved Cam’s jealousy over Christopher Frost, I loved the way Cam was always around to take care of Amelia but also to show her how sexy she was because she totally didn’t see herself the way others did and it was good that Cam brought out her inner wanton wench, hehe. I seriously loved these two.

Amelia was a bossy bit of goods with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She took it upon herself to take care of her younger sisters and to look out for her grieving brother after her parents died and when her brother inherited the Ramsey title. She was so perfect for Cam because he needed a family to take care of, a family to call his own and she, well she needed someone to take care of her for once…and that’s where Cam came in.

I enjoyed the heck out of the Hathaway clan and even though Leo was a major pain in the behind, I liked him. I would enjoy a story between Merripen or “Kev” and Win. They deserve a bit of happiness together, don’t you think? I also rather enjoyed the younger sisters, Beatrix and Poppy, although I did feel bad for Poppy because what kind of name is that? It makes me think of muffins for breakfast, not a beautiful young debutante…but hey, whatever rocks your socks, Amelia’s parents.

Anyway, Lisa Kleypas did a great job of pulling me into this story and taking me on an enjoyable ride. I enjoyed the story, the banter between the hero and the heroine, I enjoyed the secondary characters and storylines and really, I just enjoyed the hell out of this book and I totally recommend this book to those of you guys who have read the Wallflower series, it’s a great addition and lots of fun to read. It was also great to see some recurring characters from the other books in this story as well, even if it wasn’t Derek….hehe.

Kudos to LK for a job well done on this book because it’s a keeper for me for sure!

Grade: 4 out of 5

The Hathaways

four-stars


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Cover Reveal: Handle with Care by Helena Hunting

Posted January 18, 2019 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments

Cover Reveal

Helena Hunting is back in the Shacking Up world with a brand spanking new romance and we’re happy to be part of the cover reveal. I’m a sucker for a cute cover and I think the book cover Gods are smiling down on this one. I’m loving the colors, the font and the cute couple on the cover. Everything works for me and I’m so looking forward to reading this one. Check it out!

Pre-Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || iBOOKS || KOBO

Excerpt Love

NOTE: This is an unedited excerpt and is subject to change.

I’m startled out of my thoughts when my brother jumps up and shouts a bunch of profane nonsense, hands flailing like he’s trying to swim on land, or approximate the chicken dance while on an LSD trip.

“You can’t do this! It’s absolute bullshit!” Armstrong yells.

I look around the table, trying to piece together what I missed.

“I’m sorry, Armstrong. I know this is a shock, but we feel it’s in the company’s best interest to put Lincoln at the helm during this transitional stage,” G-mom says firmly.

At the helm? I look to G-mom who’s busy not looking at me.

Armstrong jabs at finger at himself. “But I’m the one who’s put in all the time here! I deserve to run the company! Lincoln doesn’t know the first thing about Moorehead. All he knows how to do is dig wells and forage for food in the wilderness. How are those valuable assets here?” He turns his attention to our mother. “Did you know about this? How can you let this happen? Look at him. How can that be the face of our company? He looks like he crawled out of a gutter and mugged a twenty-year-old college kid on a bender. How is this better for our bottom line?”

My mother clasps her hands in front of her. “I’m sorry, Armstrong, but this decision wasn’t mine to make. I know this is hard for you, but your grandmother and fath—”

Armstrong stomps his foot, exactly as a toddler would. “The company is mine! Lincoln can’t have it!”
I raise a hand, half to quiet my brother and also to find out what the freaking deal is. “Whoa, let’s back this bus up. Can someone explain what’s going on?”

“You’ve been appointed as the CEO of Moorehead Media, according to the will,” Christophe—no R, because that would make it far too pedestrian a name—my father’s lawyer says.

I’m working on trying to remain calm as I address my grandmother. “You didn’t say anything about me being CEO. You said you needed my help.”

“Running the company, yes,” she says through a practiced, stiff smile.

It’s her warning face, but seriously, when she said she needed my help for a few months I figured it meant I’d be keeping Armstrong in line while she sorted out who was going to take over the company, which I realize now was a stupid assumption.

“I didn’t think that meant CEO. How am I going to run a company with this dickhead on staff?” I motion to my brother.

“The name calling is unnecessary,” G-mom replies.

“Lincoln’s not even part of this family! He hasn’t attended one event in the past five years except for Dad’s funeral. He didn’t bother coming to my wedding and now he’s going to run the company? How is that fair?”

I snort. “Your wedding was an expensive joke.”

He crosses his arms over his chest. “I was set up. Amalie had cold feet and made me out to look like the bad guy.”

The woman beside him shoots him disgusted look.

Armstrong clears his throat and tugs at his collar. “My wedding is not the real issue. The point is that you’ve never involved yourself in any part of this family and now you think you can come in and take over. I will not stand by and let this happen!” He keeps jabbing his finger at me, as if he’s engaged in a finger sword fight.

I lean back in my chair and lace my fingers behind my neck. Armstrong has always been reactive. And self-absorbed. For a while it seemed like he finally had it together—back when he was engaged. But ever since that fiasco of a wedding he seems to have come completely unglued. Again. But worse this time. “Someone needs a timeout.”

About Helena Hunting

an author picture of Helena Hunting posed in front of trees

NTY and USA Today Bestselling author of The PUCKED Series, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance to romance comedy, sports romance and angsty new adult romance.

How awesome do you think Helena Hunting’s newest cover is? Do you plan on reading this book like we do?


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