Review: Killer Heels by Tracy Tegan

Review: Killer Heels by Tracy Tegan

killer heelsReviewed by Cara Lynn

This was a short book compared to some.

Devlin Manning is a Hollywood actor. He has more girls throw themselves at him than he cares to think about.

And then he meets a girl that draws his attention who waits on him in a local coffee shop — and she disappears. All efforts to find her, to see her again, are in vain.

Then he sees her at the party of one of Hollywood’s most influential producers. Unfortunately Ray is connected to the mafia, and when Devlin returns later that night for his cell phone, he is mercilessly beaten. And how does it all connect with the woman who disappears again?

Later her friend tells Devlin that she has said (on a burner phone) that he is the only one that can find her. She is as enamored of him as he is with her, but she needs to be safe. So he begins the search in earnest.

I would call this romantic suspense, but there is really no sex in the book. If it’s going to be a gentle, almost unrequited love story, I was put off by him calling his member a c&*k. It didn’t seem like it fit.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Killer Heels

Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Jinxed_finalcoverReviewed by Karin

First book Down and Out in Beverly Heels

I really enjoyed this book.

This book takes Meg a bit further down the path from where she was dead broke because her ex-husband was a conman (now in prison) and she was living in her car because that was all she had.

She had had a successful TV series 20 years before where she played Jinx, complete with a magician’s hat. Now she is caught off guard to find they are reprising the show — but not with her. The young actress is surprisingly good, with an interesting voice, and a few secrets of her own. And Meg has been asked to give her lessons on how the hat was used in the old show and how it will be used in the new.

Then she goes missing.

Throw in an extremely irritating first husband; the wealthy woman who lets Meg live in her mansion (complete with paraphernalia from old movies and an old doll collection) … a young man who is talented as a film director who is filming Meg (who wants to further him in the business); a couple of detectives; an older male friend; … Jack, her lover, who is also with the FBI. He’s on a case involving sex rings, which may or may not be part of the missing actress.

And there’s a murder and attempted murder …

I didn’t see it coming (whodunit) … I suspected someone who wasn’t the one (good) …

The book was well written. I would definitely read another of her books.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Jinxed (A Jinx Fogarty Mystery)

My Top 5 Romance Novels

someone like youGuest Post by Amy Smolcic, author of Someone Like You

Some might consider me a newbie to the club of romance novel lovers as I’ve only been reading them for approximately 4 years. I will admit it though, picking up and reading a romance novel is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Now, I can never seem to put one down.

Here are my top 5 romance novels that I love and have inspired me as an author of the romance genre:

1) Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

I wish I could say that I hated this book as it left me distraught for hours once I finished it, but I can’t. Nicholas is an amazing and immensely talented storyteller. The best thing about this book is that it’s unpredictable. It’s impossible to guess what’s going to happen next no matter how hard you try to look for clues and connect the dots. It wasn’t just Katie and Alex’s romance that kept me intrigued, I found myself desperately wanting to know what was going to happen next with Katie’s ex-husband.

2) Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon

The idea of reading romance novels with love triangles usually annoys me. Only because I hate that the female protagonist has to choose one, and there is nothing worse than when you’re so heavily invested in a book (we’ve all been there!) and she chooses the wrong guy. I felt like that whilst I was reading this. Daisy followed Will around like a lost puppy when she should have been with Luis. Paige did a fantastic job in making Daisy likeable even if she was falling for two guys. I experienced my first book hangover after reading this one, and trust me; it took a while for me to recover.

3) If You Stay by Courtney Cole

I raced to buy this book as soon as I read ‘tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a bad attitude to match’ in the blurb. I’m not going to lie, I love a romance novel with a bad boy. One of the hardest thing romance writers have to do is make a bad boy character loveable, as opposed to looking like an arrogant jerk. I fell in love with Pax during the hospital scene early on. Not only did he have badass attitude, there was something about him that seemed like he could become a better person. That’s something all us good girls love to read about!

4) Wait for You by J. Lynn

If Pax in If You Stay is the ultimate book boyfriend, Cam in Wait For You is the ultimate book husband. Cam’s character is crafted so beautifully. He has all the qualities that make the perfect man: funny, adorable, respectable, and gorgeous. What I love most is that he isn’t one-dimensional and has a past. I also think it’s great that J. Lynn created another book that was written in Cam’s perspective (Wait For You is written in Avery’s POV). It’s interesting to read their perspectives side-by-side to see how they react to the same situations differently.

5) Do You Come Here Often? by Alexandra Potter

This novel is a sweet, heartwarming read that has the power to have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Even if the book didn’t feel realistic, I still enjoyed it greatly. I loved reading about the chemistry Grace and Jimi had when they were teenagers. I did have a bit of a cry during the scene where Jimi declared his love for Grace and why he was such a jerk to her 13 years ago. Despite the amount of romance novels I’ve read since reading this one, I’ll never forget this scene. I always find myself going back to it because it was so beautiful to read.

Blurb:

She has walked on the catwalks of every major designer and earned enough money to live comfortably for ten lifetimes. Country girl, Chloe Jackson, has hit it big.

However, all that glitters isn’t gold and beneath the lights and glamour is a dark world.

Jaeger Colton dreams of greatness. He and his band relocated to New York City with the hope of making it big. But with their record contract being cancelled, his dream has been put on hold. With the disappointment, will he chase the dream he desperately wants?

When their worlds collide, can Jaeger help Chloe pick up the pieces? Or, will it be up to Chloe to transform her broken life?

Buy: Someone Like You

Author Bio:

Amy Smolcic is a 21-year-old author and student from Melbourne, Australia. She loves all things tea, books, and baking.

Website: www.amysmolcic.com

Goodreads Author Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7362715.Amy_Smolcic

Buy: Someone Like You

An Author By Any Other Name by Raven ShadowHawk

Hi folks, my name is Raven ShadowHawk, thanks for having me here today. I want to talk about pen names and how (I feel) they can (and should) be used.

First off, I suppose I should mention that Raven ShadowHawk is a pen name. Ha, so this topic is close to my heart. I should also mention that it’s not my only pen name.

OneRaven ShadowHawk

I also write fantasy under Ileandra Young and the two names are yet to meet (though I’m beginning to think a cross over is imminent). I work (write) from home while caring for my young boys (twins) and my older boy (who probably wouldn’t appreciate being called ‘boy’ as he is my partner and father to my sons :-p).

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Ileandra Young

I should also mention that I have a plethora (man, I love that word!) of other names too: Leah (on my birth certificate), Trya (when I’m LARPing) Oi You (when I’m with friends), Sexy Balls (when with my old house mates – don’t ask) and Diavian / Shaniqua / Ilanyë / Lupa / Catarina / Yuvina / Minnie / Myst / Isys / Taithin / Michael (when I’m playing RPG games like Dungeons and Dragons). I have many names. Each of them has special meaning to me and that is the first thing I want to talk to you about.

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Trya

Why Have A Pen Name?

Not for the hell of it, that’s for sure. Not just because you fancy a different name on the spines of your books; I honestly feel that your name should mean something. After all, it’s how you’re going to become known.

There is a (very) long story about how I picked the name Ileandra for my fantasy pennings, but the one for Raven is much shorter so I’ll tell you that. There was a man I met at university with whom I had a brief (thankfully) fling. It was intense and sexy but ended quite sharply when I told him it would be nice if he stayed the night rather than ‘partying and bailing.’ He told me I was a ‘typical woman’ and I told him to ‘get the fuck out.’ True story.

But… (!)the point of this tale, is that he used to call me his Nubian Princess (which I thought was pretty sweet). Then as he got more irritated with my insistence for an actual relationship, it became his Raven Princess (before downgrading to Typical Woman).

I liked (and continue to like) the name Raven. It has weight now, as it reminds me (on a low-key level) that all the smexxy-hot-times in the world (because they really were!) are no substitute for an actual relationship.

See? A name that means something.

Do You Need A Pen Name?

Not really. Unless you’re writing an exposé about your life with the Russian Mafia just as you’re stepping into a high profile political career. You can probably just use your own name. After all, isn’t it must easier to market/promote yourself if people know who you are? Using a pen name makes it even harder for the people who know you to find you in a saturated market, let alone the people who have no idea who you are.

Similarly if you’re writing personal, sensitive material then sure, you could use a pen name. I have a writing buddy who writes a column in the local paper. Since it’s about her life with her children, everyone has a different name to protect their identities and privacy. Not really a safety thing – it’s far too easy to find information on people these days – but if surface-level privacy is something you’re concerned about, then why not?

Is It A Marketing Thing?

I’ll be honest, it can be. Though I write with you here, now, as Raven ShadowHawk, until mid-2013 everything I wrote came under the name Ileandra Young. Now because I’ve separated the two names, I’ve made a bit of a spectacle out of it. On my blog, I refer to myself (Leah) in the third person since both I (Raven) and I (Ileandra) talk about myself (Leah) during the course of my blog posts.

Confused yet? :-p

Four

Examples of savvy marketing with pen names range from hugely positive (JK Rowling and Robert Gilbraith) to vastly negative and fury-inducing (I won’t name these authors because they don’t deserve any attention from me for what they’re doing). Some authors use a pen name to distance themselves from the work or test the waters without the weight of their own name behind them (Stephen King, Shaun Hutson). Others use pen names to hide their gender (George Elliot, JD Robb, Harper Lee).

There are lots of reasons people feel the need to use pen names and these are just a few. I touched on this topic briefly on my own blog while discussing character names, but I would love to talk to you guys about it here. Any of you writerly types have a pen name? May I ask why? Does it have a special significance to you or, like some other writer friends of mine, is it because your true name is impossible to spell or pronounce easily? Why not hit me up in the comments and let me know?

Raven ShadowHawk can be found on her blog talking about all things writerly, or on her website. She appreciates comments and friendly discussion and takes the time to answer any and all questions.

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SugarDust-200x300After an unwelcome family visit highlights romantic insecurities, Dan takes Karen to exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust. Will the trip rescue or destroy their relationship?

Dan loves submissive women and longs to build a harem of willing females to fill what he lovingly calls his “Slave Library.” He shares his plans for sexual bliss with Karen, the first of his submissives in both his mind and his heart. But when an unexpected visit from his mother leads to uncomfortable questions about his ex, Dan realizes that past mistakes are catching up to him, faster than he can run.

The first D/s relationship to blend comfortably with her vanilla life is the one Karen shares with Dan. She treasures the freedom in the act of submission and wants nothing more than to share it with her Master for as long as possible. Why then does he insist on bringing other women into their beds? And why can’t he say he loves her?

As Dan battles his inner demons, Karen hopes a sexy mini break at the exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust will allow them time to relax and reconnect. There she meets Beth, the personification of Dan’s past, storming in to demolish her present. Can Karen show Dan that their relationship is strong enough to break the chains of his past, before Beth drives an immoveable wedge between them with her tales of what once was?

Buy: Sugar Dust (Slippers and Chains Book 1)

Review: The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras

Christos ToulourasReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Leo decides to take a trip to Lima, Peru after his marriage has failed. In leaving for a far off place he has left behind all his pain, loss and depression, yet Leo does not expect to find a new love interest there in Marisol.

Review: The Love of Marisol is separated into four chapters; One Night in Bahia, The Smell of Lima, Nena and The House on White Beach. As Leo had been separated from his wife for nine months ad feels the pain of being apart from her for so long. You get to feel the extent of his depression and differs from the first few pages as he feels how his life has taken a wrong turn he does not feel he can escape from. You share his pain, the loss of his wife he spent ten years with who was his first love. We have all had our first love; the one we want to spend our whole lives with, his other regret is his son who he knows he will miss even though they are getting a divorce. Though he had three affairs with other women, he still misses his ex-wife. He tortures himself for having not been a positive person, believing if he had been, he might not have lost Rafaela. For most of the novel, he spends time with new and old friends in Lima, it is only by the third chapter that we get to meet Marisol, so Christos spends a lot of time keeping us waiting for the moment where he might become happier.

Good Bits:

  • Leo’s puffs of marijuana – naughty boy!
  • The love he has for his son and the fact he misses him so much. The sentiment is truly touching.
  • Marisol is a captivating woman he falls for almost instantly.

Summary: The Love of Marisol is a slow moving story of a man who has lost love, gone through the depression stage of a divorce and decided to change his life by going on holiday only to meet a woman he feels he has fallen for. You can sense how relieved Leo is to have another woman he can relate to and we all hope that we can find the same in our lives.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Love of Marisol

Excerpt: Tail Lights by Connie L. Smith

BookCoverPreviewBlurb: Preston and Nick endured the breakup of all breakups when Nick accused her of cheating on him. He insisted, and she denied while the rain pounded against her driveway and thunder roared in the distance. Then they both ran – Preston to a life of Rock and Roll, and Nick to a career in the Army.

Over four years later, they’re damaged and broken almost beyond repair. He’s carrying baggage from his military days, and she bears the scars of living a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.

When Preston’s label forces her to take time away from music, their paths cross in a parking lot not twenty-four hours after her hometown return, anger and sparks flying in a confusing blend. But regardless of the feelings neither has been able to shake, too many lies and secrets stand in the way of the one thing they need in order to recover.

Each other.

Buy: Tail Lights (Lyric Series Book 1)

Excerpt:

Surprisingly, he was leaving his apartment when I reached his floor, and he smiled at me like no animosity existed between us. “Hey, Preston.”

Hey, Preston,” I mocked, then held up the figurine and fastened a glare on him. “Take it back.”

He had the nerve to smirk. “How do you know I gave that to you?”

“Who else would leave a dolphin on my doorstep besides the guy who knows I love dolphins and wants to suddenly fix four years’ worth of betrayal?” His smirk disappeared, and I shoved the object closer to him. “Take it back.”

He shook his head. “I don’t want it back.”

“Well, I don’t want it ether.” When he arched a brow, I rolled my eyes. “Okay, it’s cute. It’s absolutely adorable, and it would look fantastic on my end table, but I can’t take this.”

“Why not?”

“Because I know what it means! You made a mistake, and you’re trying to make up for it. But it’s too late, Nick. And if I take this, it’s like saying that you have a chance to make things right, and you don’t.”

His brow again lifted. “You sure about that?”

I frowned. “Which part?”

With a grin, he shrugged in an almost casual manner, far too comfortable in a conversation that made me anxious. Evidently he’d meant what he said about mending things between us, and he wasn’t about to let my reservations ruin his determination. “You’re absolutely right about what the dolphin means, but are you sure I can’t make things right?”

“I’m so far beyond sure that sure isn’t even in my line of sight anymore.” I held the dolphin farther out, hoping that he’d take it. “I can’t keep clinging to things that weren’t good for me in the first place if I want my next four years to be any better than the last four years.”

Then he scowled. “And you think I wasn’t good for you in the first place?”

“I know you weren’t. If you were, you wouldn’t have believed Dad and dumped me, and…” Sighing, I waved the figurine in his direction. “Take it.”

“Your sentence trailed off,” he pointed out, a small smile forming on his lips. “That’s a good sign for me.” Eyes on me, he stepped closer, completely invading my personal space and causing the hand holding the dolphin to fall back against my stomach. After a moment of silently looking at me, so intense and needing, he pointed a finger at my face.

“That’s exactly why I can’t take it back,” he whispered. His finger moved to brush my hair behind my ear, trailing along my jaw before tracing my lips. I knew I should move, slap his hand away, something. But I couldn’t. I just stared, my mouth gaping in shock, my mind consumed with Nick and his caresses. “That was the biggest mistake of my life. And you are my life.”

His index finger exchanged for his thumb, outlining my bottom lip over and over. “I should’ve fought for this, and I’m not making the same mistake twice. I’m getting my life back.” Then he stepped away, gesturing at the dolphin. “That’s only the first step.” Turning, he walked to the stairway entrance at the other end of the hall, leaving me standing – still gawking where he’d been and suddenly holding the dolphin figure much tighter.

Buy: Tail Lights (Lyric Series Book 1)

Untitled2Author Bio:

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Her music of choice is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and is currently working on her MA.

Links:

Main Site/Blog: http://clsmithbooks.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clsmithbooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7257320.Connie_L_Smith

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/conniel0194/

Readwave: http://www.readwave.com/connie.l.smith/

Review: The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, Book 4) by Jessica Sorensen

Jessica SorensenReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Ella has dreamed of the day when she will marry Micha, her dear beloved. It’s due to be the best Christmas she’s to have, but Ella receives a package that becomes a reminder of her past. This makes her wonder if she will ever be able to settle down with Micha when her life keeps on delivering such awful problems. Problems don’t just come from Ella’s side of the romance, Micha has an offer of touring with his famous band for a stretch of three months, but how can he expect her to drop everything and come with him?

Review: From the writer of Breaking Nova, The Secret of Ella and Micha, The Forever of Ella and Micha, and the Ever After of Ella and Micha. Build as being perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, Jessica Sorenson’s new novel in the Ella and Micha series has the two of them finally becoming a couple, if only the past did not keep coming back to haunt her. Chapter one sees Micha wondering why Ella had not come to the wedding, finding out when he gets back home she has left. The chapters are written from Ella and Micha’s own viewpoints and the build up to the time they were expected to get married. Lots of angst ensues with the both of them expressing their worries and feelings as if through diary entries. At first Micha thinks Ella handles the arrival of the package well, but the reality is Ella is keeping all her troubles inside as she does not want to cause even more problems. Finding who wrote the journal is quite a shock as it is the reason Ella decides it isn’t a good idea getting married.

Good Bits:

  • The arrival of the package from Gary!
  • Further reading of the journal prove interesting, and harrowing at the same time.
  • Reading about the both of them and their views on life is intriguing.

Summary: All that Micha wants is to make Ella happy and he sees it as his goal to do that. They have deep feelings for each other but Ella doesn’t want to disappoint him with her choices and what her mother felt if she opens up to him. This is a story that has gone from strength to strength with every novel.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret Book 4)

Giveaway! Harlequin’s Small Town Christmas

xmasranchHome for the Holidays: Hope Nichols has never felt as if she belonged anywhere, except her hometown of Pine Gulch. So, when she hears that her family’s property, Christmas Ranch, is set to be shut down forever, a determined Hope heads home. She refuses to let the Grinch steal her holiday; this will be the most memorable ranch Christmas ever! And, thanks to hunky former navy SEAL Rafe Santiago and his adorable nephew, she might just pull off that miracle.

Buy: The Christmas Ranch (The Cowboys of Cold Creek)

lonestarA Texas Christmas: Just the sight of the beautiful widow who bought the sprawling spread east of his puts Nash in the yuletide spirit. Callie and the toddler in the tyke-size cowboy hat fill his head with visions of the three of them together under one roof. That is, if Callie can let go of her past and picture a future with her one and only Lone Star cowboy!

Buy: Lone Star Christmas (McCabe Multiples)




montanaBig Sky Centennial: A small town rich in history…and love: It’s time for mistletoe and merriment— for everyone except Robin Frazier. As Jasper Gulch’s centennial celebrations reach their festive conclusion, her guilt is only mounting. The shy historian is hiding something—something that will affect everyone in town. And the more time she spends with pastor Ethan Johnson, creating an old-fashioned Christmas for his church, the more she realizes what this secret is costing her. He’s just the kind of man her heart longs for, and his kind brown eyes seem to say he might feel the same. Can she take a chance this Christmas and reveal who she really is—and what her heart is longing to say?

Buy: Her Montana Christmas (Big Sky Centennial Book 6)

Giveaway: One (1) winner will win all three books! Enter by leaving a comment. Additional entries listed in widget below. Open to North American readers. No P.O. Boxes please. Thanks! Ends 12/16/2014.

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