Tag: William Morrow

Guest Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted March 5, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

Guest Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardReviewer: Tracy
The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of "Babe," the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.

Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a "Babe," especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion—leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.

Levi would never willingly leave a soldier behind, especially a brave woman whose sweet voice haunts his every thought. Once he discovers Jina is alive, the tenacious warrior will walk into fire to save this intriguing woman who has captured his heart.

Jina is a tech geek.  She loves her job working in communications in a climate-controlled environment.  She makes good money and likes what she does.  When she finds out she’s being reassigned to a GO-team she’s not thrilled, to say the least.  The first day she heads out to the training ground and instead of training with the other 9 re-assignees her GO-team takes over.  They figure that A) they need to make sure that she’s trained properly and B) she’s the only woman so it’s a special case.  Jina has both a younger and an older brother and was always in competition with them.  Quitting is not an option, but she doesn’t have to do it quietly.  She mouths off and cusses them constantly, much to the amusement of the team.

Ace is the team leader and he does not want some tech geek to get in the way of his team’s success.  From day one he’s not thrilled about Jina and he wants nothing more than for her to quit.  Not because he thinks a woman can’t hack it but because as long as Jina is on his team he can’t make a move on her and he desperately wants to make a move on her.

Jina does an amazing job and she’s soon out on missions with her team.  One mission to Syria, however, goes FUBAR and the team thinks her dead.  While Jina loves her tech she doesn’t love being in the desert by herself, trying to catch up to her team and is determined to make it out, no matter what it takes.

I’d love to say that I’ve read all of Howard’s books but that’s not true at all.  Of her many books this is only my 6th read of Howard’s.

This was a really good book, imho. I was completely intrigued by the premise after reading the blurb and once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down.  The characters, the situations and little bit of romance were the thing that kept me going.

Jina is a character, let me tell you.  I absolutely loved her spirit.  I know that it was a competitive thing that kept her going and refusing to quit but I loved that she never gave up.  Her verbal lashings of the team were hilarious and perfect for the situation.  I understood her desire to be a part of the team and she did that by being herself.  She had a love/hate relationship with Ace.  He was constantly hot and cold with her and I wasn’t surprised she found it confusing.

Ace wasn’t a bad guy.  He had such mixed feelings about Jina being on the team.  He wanted her for himself so he wanted her to quit the team.  Despite that he was impressed by her determination to do her best and be her best.  When their mission goes FUBAR and she’s left behind I couldn’t blame him.  He did what any other team leader would have done.  In the end Jina recognized that and I was happy when she got past it all.

The book was a good one and I really liked it.  I’m not a die-hard Howard fan so I’m not comparing this to earlier works or writing.  It is what it is and I enjoyed it, I think you will too.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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Guest Review: Till Death by Jennifer Armentrout

Posted March 31, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Till Death by Jennifer ArmentroutReviewer: Jen
Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harper Collins, William Morrow
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

In college, Sasha had been the only surviving victim of The Groom, a serial killer who preyed on young women in the town. The memories were too much for her, so she moved away and cut off ties with everyone except her mom and best friend. One of those she left behind was her boyfriend, Cole. She never saw him again after the night of her attack, but she never quite forgot him. She finally decides to move back home again to help her mom run the family B&B, and once Cole realizes she’s back in town he shows up, because it turns out Cole never forgot her either. Soon, frightening things start happening to Sasha, and more girls start disappearing. Sasha has to overcome her fear and help Cole (an FBI agent) figure out what is going on.

This is my first Jennifer Armentrout book, and I enjoyed it. I liked the way Sasha was portrayed. She was tortured by The Groom and is understandably traumatized. I thought her level of fear and her emotional challenges were perfectly appropriate, but she also is determined and has worked hard in therapy and on her own to cope with what happened to her. I appreciated that Cole is understanding and patient, too. He doesn’t push her into anything she doesn’t want. He just wants to be around her, if she’ll have him. He carries a lot of guilt over the past, as he was the last one to see Sasha before she was abducted. It’s clear that the guilt shaped his whole life, and it shows you he’s truly a good guy.

The story is told from Sasha’s point of view only, which is not my favorite. While I liked Cole, it was hard to connect to him when we didn’t get to hear his side. He obviously cares for Sasha a great deal, but I think some of the emotional punch gets lost because we don’t know how HE felt about the danger swirling around Sasha. The other weak point of the book is that the mystery is a little contrived. The killer is fairly easy to identify, and there were just a lot of coincidences and convenient plot points. It’s not a bad mystery, just not particularly unique.

I would have liked a little more focus on the romance, but I enjoyed this one more than I thought I might. 

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Sunday Spotlight: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Posted February 5, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 5 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

This week’s Sunday Spotlight is a book that I heard such good things about before reading it myself…and then falling in love with it just as much. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne was well received with a lot of the bloggers that I read on a daily basis. I couldn’t read this book fast enough and when I finally got my hands on it, read it and then loved it…I knew I was going to feature the book on Sunday Spotlight.

You guys, this book is a keeper. I really enjoyed this one. I loved the chemistry between Josh and Lucy and I really loved how they grew to love each other. We see their hate for each other turn around into something so much bigger than the both of them and Josh? Gah, loved him.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Released on August 9, 2016 by William Morrow

Buy the Book:


Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Josh and Lucy spent a huge chunk of the book hating each other. They were always one upping each other and playing games. I’m not normally a fan of game playing between grown ass adults but in this setting and in this particular story, it worked really well. Josh and Lucy played off each other, they inspired each other to do better and they made me laugh so freaking much.

Here are some quotes that worked for me. Some of the reasons this book struck all of my happy buttons.


“He did not smile back, and somehow I feel like he’s been carrying my smile around in his breast pocket ever since. He’s one up.”

Ahhh, Lucy. Of course Josh carries your smile around. He l-o-v-e-s you. Ha!

“Watching you pretend to hate the nickname is the best part of my day.”

Haha, of course he’s right!

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.

Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are schredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.

Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you háve to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”

Yes!! This was their relationship to a tee. They hated each other so much in the beginning that those feelings had no choice but to turn into love.

“What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.”

“Strangling you. Bare hands.” I can barely get the words out. I’m huskier than a phone-sex operator after a double shift.

“So that’s your kink.” His eyes are going dark.

“Only where you’re concerned.”

Both his eyebrows ratchet up, and he opens his mouth as his eyes go completely black, but he does not seem to be able to say a word.

It is wonderful.”

Ha, these two are great!

There is so much more but you’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself. It’s good, I promise! Josh and Lucy should be known and you should know them! Enter our giveaway below for a chance to win a free copy of The Hating Game.

Giveaway: 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.

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Are you a fan of this book as much as we are? Let us know what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Sally Thorne


Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

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Spotlight: Monticello by Sally Cabot Gunning

Posted September 9, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

Monticello by Sally Cabot Gunning
Releases on September 6, 2016 by William Morrow

From the critically acclaimed author of The Widow’s War comes a captivating work of literary historical fiction, set in America in the years after the Revolution, that explores the tenuous relationship between the brilliant and complex founding father Thomas Jefferson and his devoted daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph.

After the early death of her mother, young Martha Jefferson accompanied her father, Thomas Jefferson, on his first diplomatic mission to Paris. Five years later, father and daughter have come home to Monticello, the family’s beloved plantation set high in the lush hills of the Virginia countryside.

Though Monticello has suffered from her father’s absence, Martha finds it essentially unchanged, even as she has been transformed. The sheltered girl that sailed to Europe is now a handsome seventeen-year-old woman with a battle-scarred heart, who sees a world far more complicated than it once seemed.

Blessed with her father’s sharp mind and independent spirit, Martha has long abhorred slavery and yearned for its swift end. Yet she now discovers that the home she adores is burdened by growing debt and cannot survive long without the labor of its slaves. Her bonds with those around her are shifting, too. As the doting father she has idolized since childhood returns to government, he becomes increasingly distracted by tumultuous fights for power and troubling attachments that pull him further away. And as Martha begins to pay closer attention to Sally Hemings—the beautiful light-skinned slave long acknowledged to be her mother’s half-sister—she realizes that the slave’s position in the household has subtly changed. Eager for distraction, Martha welcomes the attentions of Thomas Randolph, her exotic distant cousin, but soon Martha uncovers burdens and desires in him that threaten to compromise her own.

As her life becomes constrained by the demands of marriage, motherhood, politics, scandal, and her family’s increasing impoverishment, Martha yearns to find her way back to her childhood home; to the gentle beauty and quiet happiness of the world she once knew at the top of her father’s “little mountain.”

An irresistible blend of emotional drama, historical detail, and vivid atmosphere, Monticello skillfully brings to life Martha Jefferson Randolph, a strong and compelling woman who influenced — as much as she was influenced by — one of the most intriguing figures in American history.

Order the Book:


SALLY CABOT GUNNING, author of the ‘Satucket Novels’ and Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard, returns with a masterful new work of literary historical fiction. MONTICELLO: A Daughter and her Father (on sale September 9, 2016; ISBN 9780062320438; $25.99) is a timely exploration of the relationship between Martha Jefferson Randolph, one of the most highly educated American women of her day, and her father, the third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson.

In the past year, the musical “Hamilton” has swept Broadway and beyond, giving rise to an increased interest in the lives of the founding fathers and their families. First daughters hold a unique and fascinating position of visibility and influence, and in MONTICELLO, Gunning skillfully reveals the historical legacy of their rarefied status—not without tremendous pressure and responsibility. Imminently poised to leave the White House to grow into their own legacies, the Obama daughters have captivated the nation for two terms. The equally dynamic Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump have each made striking impressions in their parent’s presidential campaigns. Renowned as an attractive and intelligent young woman, Martha Jefferson proved an invaluable asset to her widowed father, who relied upon her to help run the family estate at Monticello and serve as hostess and advisor when he assumed the presidency.

MONTICELLO opens as seventeen-year-old Martha Jefferson returns to the family homestead, after spending five years at a convent school in France. The lush Virginia estate Martha always found enchanting now leaves her with mixed feelings; she abhors slavery, and the doting father she has idolized since childhood is increasingly distracted by affairs of state. But Monticello is in decline and cannot survive economically without a slave force.

As Martha’s life becomes constrained by the demands of a difficult marriage, motherhood, politics, scandal, and her family’s imminent impoverishment, Martha faces something akin to captivity herself, and yearns to find her way back to the gentle beauty and quiet happiness of the world she once knew at the top of her father’s “little mountain.”

Sally Cabot Gunning’s MONTICELLO is a captivating, timely, fictional exploration of the fledgling era of the nation, providing an insightful glimpse into the politics and family life of the Jeffersons—bringing Martha and her father, Thomas, vividly to life.

Praise for Monticello

“Well researched and beautifully written, this captivating novel tells the remarkable story of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter caught up in two families’ secrets. Highly recommended.”
Paulette Jiles, New York Times bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women

Praise for Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard

“Unforgettable.”— Shelf Awareness

“An enticing read for history buffs…genuinely heart-wrenching.” — Publishers Weekly

“Cabot shines in her descriptions of colonial life, in her fictionalized rendition of Ben Franklin’s charismatic personality and wide-ranging intellect, but especially in interpreting Franklin the man through Anne, a fully-realized, memorable character…Intriguing historical fiction; a laudable interpretation of colonial life.” — Kirkus Reviews

About the Author



SALLY CABOT GUNNING lives in Brewster, Massachusetts, with her husband, Tom. A lifelong resident of New England, she is active in the local historical society and creates tours that showcase the three-hundred-year history of her village. She is the author of the ‘Satucket Novels’: The Widow’s War, Bound,The Rebellion of Jane Clarke, and Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard.

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Review: Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Posted June 16, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Troublemaker by Linda HowardReviewer: Rowena
Troublemaker by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard.

For Morgan Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission yet.

The part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo” Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and secretive as Morgan.

The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about reading a new Linda Howard but I’m glad that I read this one because it was reminiscent of Linda Howard of the old days. The old days where I couldn’t read her books fast enough and I loved everything she came out with. This was a great read with a romance that made me laugh, happy sigh and gasp. The main couple kept me entertained and all in all, I was completely satisfied.

Morgan Yancy works on an elite paramilitary squad and has just wrapped up a mission so he’s looking forward to decompressing and just relaxing for a little bit. When that turns upside down, Morgan finds himself injured and hiding out, off the grid, while he heals from his injuries. His boss sends him to his boss’s ex-stepsister’s house to heal and that ex-stepsister isn’t at all happy about it. That might have a lot to do with how much she hates Morgan’s boss.

Police Chief Bo Maran is not happy about having a guest recovering at her house. Especially a guest who seems dangerous and who could possibly bring that danger right to her town, a town she’d protect with her life. But that same guest is hot and she’s being paid a lot of money to keep him safe for the time being so…she’s got herself a live in guest for the foreseeable future.

It took a while for both Morgan and Bo to come around with each other and I really enjoyed this part of their romance. The getting to know each other, the taking care of each other because that’s what she’s being paid for and it’s second nature to him. Seeing them come together, to care for each other and then fall in love with each other, I thought Howard wrote that part of the story really well.

The mystery behind who was trying to kill Morgan and then what was happening in Bo’s town, those were easy to figure out and probably the weakest part of the story but all in all, the story was solid and I closed the book, happy with the story that I got. The characters were charming and Bo’s town was great too. I’m pretty confident that Linda Howard is back guys! I definitely recommend Troublemaker to fans of Linda Howard and fans of romantic suspense.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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