Audio Review: How (Not) to Kiss a Prince (Cindy Eller, Book 2) by Elizabeth A Reeves

howtonotkissaprinceLet the Magical Mayhem begin! Cindy Eller has not one, but two weddings to prepare for in less than two weeks when the cupcakes hit the fan – a mysterious man has appeared, claiming to be betrothed to Cindy and that she must marry him before her sister’s nuptials can take place. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with Cindy’s Ordinary boyfriend, Timothy. That’s the way to cake – and the wedding – crumbles!

Start at the beginning: This is the second book in the series and there were times as I was listening that this became quite clear for as a reader I didn’t know what the author was referring to, which is fine, as I generally didn’t really need to know it. Because this is the second in the series, the conclusion is a happy for now with some threads left open for the next in the series.

How to know if you’ll like this book: Are you a foodie? You’ll love this. Lots and lots of descriptions of baked goods. You’ll want to open up a shop and start selling some of the goodies described.

Is there romance between a chef and a prince? One of my favorite scenes is when the prince kidnaps Cindy because he read a romance novel and thought it was considered romantic. Bwuahahaha.

Narrator: Michele Carpenter’s narration and accents give all the characters flair. She does a great job using a similar accent for all the characters so they sound like they’re form the same region, without making any character too similar. They are all distinguishable.

Disclaimer: Michele Carpenter is the narrator for my own trilogy.

Buy: How (Not) to Kiss a Prince (Cindy Eller #2)

[rating:4]

Oh no! Nice Parents. What’s an author to do?

So this is a guest post, but not…

Hi! You know me. I’m Keira Gillett and I own and run Love Romance Passion. Today, I’m talking about something you might have noticed if you’ve visited the site recently or been hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. My book! That’s right, I took the plunge and wrote a story. Queue *oooo* and *ahhh* sounds. 🙂

Oooo

Ahhh

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest is about an American girl who moves to Norway and meets a troll, who kidnaps her friend… a friend she must rescue. See the book trailer below:

My book is middle grade/young adult and does not include the typical romantic relationships we love to read and discuss on this blog, but my book does include some very special relationships. These are the familial bonds between parents and their kids.

So Zaria is adopted, an only child, has lovely parents, and is well adjusted. Queue the *horror.*

What will you write about without all that teen drama?!?!?

Wait! Adopted?

Adoptive parents can be absolutely wonderful people. They’re not all mean. Just like step-parents aren’t all nasty. Or aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other guardians… take your pick. Fictional kids can be like real kids and come from happy homes and not from neglected environments (an oft-used literary tool.) I wanted my heroine to experience the same happy home environment.

As for the relationships, I modeled Merry Fierce and Zaria Fierce’s relationship off of my relationship with my mom. Mom Gillett is a cool mom if I do say so myself. If I wanted to play hooky growing up, she’d play hooky with me. If I wanted to be checked out for a lunch date, we’d do that and head over to the fancy establishment by the school (Taco Bell.) If I wanted to desperately attend a midnight premiere for Harry Potter while on a family road trip she somehow made it work. In high school, she let my best friend stay with us while her dad was out of the country. We traveled the world together and are the best of friends. So I poured that loving relationship into Merry’s and Zaria’s relationship.

And I don’t stop there.

  • Colonel Fierce is hard-working, attentive, loving, strict, and obliging.
  • Emma Johansen (Christoffer’s mum) is kind, concerned, intelligent, and loving.
  • Mr Mickelsen (Aleks’ dad) is attentive, supportive, and kind.
  • Aleks has a good relationship with his gran.
  • Mrs Storstrand (Filip’s mom) is strict, fair, and loving.

The adults are all good people and yet the kids still get to go on adventures all over Norway to reach Gloomwood Forest. See parents don’t ruin all the fun! So how do the kids do it? Aha! Good question. Discover the answer in Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.

What other books have you read where the adults are good people and have good relationships with their kids or wards?

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood ForestBook Blurb: On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

Early Reviews:

“With kids interested in “Frozen,” with Anna and Elsa, this would be a natural progression.” – Judi Oswald, Reference Librarian

Excerpt:

Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

Listen to an Audio Book sample:

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website: http://keiragillett.com

Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (keiragillett)

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Casting the Spotlight on Liana Brooks

Liana Brooks  Liana Brooks would like to SCUBA dive Europa (that moon around Jupiter), but with the NASA shuttle program shut down she’s resorted to writing science fiction instead. She likes southern beaches, warm weather, sharks, and striped socks. Her superhero romance series started with Evan Villains Fall in Love and continues with Even Villains Go to the Movies. For those who prefer their romance without a side order of spandex she’s written Prime Sensations (part of the Tales From the SFR Brigades anthology) and Fey Lights.

You can find Liana on the web at www.lianabrooks.com, on Twitter as @LianaBrooks, or on Facebook under the same name.

***

EvenVillansMoviesPRfront_200x300When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.

Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.

Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.

Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.

But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.

Buy: Even Villains Go To The Movies (Heroes and Villains Book 2)

***

Angela tossed the red curls of her wig and parked Luiz’s bike in the alley behind the conference center. She hadn’t put on her Rage getup since arriving in L.A., but tonight the mental screams of terror echoing from the center warranted the kind of investigation that would attract questionable attention.

Tight black jeans, a bright red tank top that matched her hair, and a leather duster that was too heavy for the L.A. heat were a start. She’d added a black domino mask that obscured the shape of her nose and cheekbones when she’d moved to New York, because no one needed to see their favorite school teacher beating down the local thugs. The heart and star pendant around her neck— a little invention of her Daddy’s that would shield her from most things—completed the outfit.

The “most” still worried her some days.

Terror radiated from the building, escalating until the headache tearing into her brain was a living fire. Whatever was happening, she would hit back. Hard.

Checking to make sure the alley was empty, Angela sauntered toward the back door and hoped someone inside had been kind enough to leave it open. More often than not the people hired to cater at these places would stick a rock in the door to keep it from locking every time they slipped out for fresh air.

If not she could always pick the lock. Angela sighed. The whole point of moving away from her sisters was to avoid a life filled with crime and superheroes.

Angela reached for the door and someone hit her. A breeze ruffled her wig and she found herself on her back in the alleyway, staring up at a masked man. No hate tainted the aura around him, nothing that suggested that he was dangerous except that he was bigger than her.

She raised an eyebrow. “Hello?”

The man took a deep breath. “Hi.” He smelled like mint.

“I’m new to the area, so I’m not familiar with the protocol when you’re jumped by a masked man in an alleyway. Is there a secret handshake or something?” she asked, sarcastically.

“I’m here to save your life.”

Angela looked around for signs of danger. The man was the only thing in the alley, and he was cradling her, hand cushioning her head, muscular arms suspending him in a pushup so his body weight wasn’t resting on her.

“Right. What danger am I in, exactly?”

“The door is going to explode and kill you,” he said in a very serious tone.

She lifted her head to peer over his shoulder at the door. It was a mistake. The movement meant gyrating under him in his spandex suit, and she caught a whiff of cologne, soap, and clean sweat. His emotions shifted, becoming tinged with desire and arousal.

Angela cleared her throat and lay back down, trying to put space between herself and her captor. “Mm hmm. Tell you what, let me up and I’ll help you find your doctor. I bet someone is very worried about you missing your medicine.”

Buy: Even Villains Go To The Movies (Heroes and Villains Book 2)

Scarlett Legacy by Shelli Rosewarne

Hi all.

It’s wonderful to be here today with my new release, Scarlett Legacy. It’s a paranormal romance, inspired by the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood – but this one is definitely not for children! Now, my Big Bad Wolf is bad in a whole different way, so I thought I would share a few mini excerpts, as well as my top ten reasons why the poor wolf is just misunderstood, and is actually much more fun than Prince Charming any day!

  1. Wolves can play the hero too. Well, sort of!

She was lost, he realized. Well, that was just perfect. His teeth bared in a wicked smile, he could go and “rescue” her. She would think he was Prince Charming when actually he was the big bad wolf.

  1. You can still get the honest-to-goodness castle (come on, be honest, wasn’t that half the Prince Charming appeal?). This Big Bad Wolf has obviously moved up in the world!

Grey stone rose up from the thick trees, topped with actual turrets and what looked like a round tower on one side. The tower and roofs were a reddish slate and the only windows she could see on the upper levels were narrow slits. It was incredible, like something out of a fairytale, or a gothic novel, and for a long moment Natalia simply gaped at in surprise and amazement. Wow.

  1. If you’ve ever loved wolves, you get to go up-close-and-personal with your own one. Cool, if a little scary? Besides, it’s like getting a two in one deal – who doesn’t love a bargain?

Eventually she had to shift, her cramped muscles protesting at her, and he shook himself like a dog and jumped to his feet. Natalia couldn’t stop staring at him in wonder. It was just so unreal. She had always adored wolves at the zoo and on television, so in one way it was crazy to be so close to one, and then even crazier to think it was actually a person. She shook her head. This had to be one of the oddest nights of her life.

  1. No one messes with his woman. Who doesn’t go gooey for a bit of alpha male?

Damian slowly crouched down next to the man, aware that the village street had gone eerily still. Any number of wolves would back him in an instant but it wasn’t needed. Kevin’s crisp shirt was muddied, his immaculate hair mussed, and the man looked ridiculously pathetic as he sat gasping in the dirt. Damian calmly let the wolf rise, let the other man see the animal lurking behind his eyes, and when Kevin cringed back in fear, Damian spoke, “That was for cheating on Natalia. If you ever hurt her again, I will kill you. Do you understand?”

  1. He can still be a big softie at times (just don’t tell anyone!).

“You’re actually here,” she whispered, complete disbelief in her voice. “You came.”

“I said I would,” he replied and, because he couldn’t stop himself from touching her, ran his finger down the petal soft skin of her cheek. Lightly tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear, he looked down at her. Her eyes closed a moment, and when she opened them again, they were watery.

“Why would you do that?”

He was surprised she’d asked why rather than how, but he answered her as honestly as he could. “Because I couldn’t not do.”

  1. What a deep voice you have! The better to greet you with.

His voice was deep, rich, with a slight accent running through it. She could feel it rubbing down her spine like velvet.

I am a total sucker for a deep voice, throw in the accent too and I’m a puddle on the floor.

  1. What big eyes you have. The better to see you with.

He was tall, taller than her, which was a rarity. Kevin had always complained that she towered over him when she wore heels, but this man had a good foot on her! He obviously worked out; camouflage combat pants encased long legs and a knitted sweater clung to broad shoulders and what she could tell was a defined chest even through the layers. Jet black hair hung in surprisingly shaggy locks to his shoulders, but it suited him, framing a rugged face with chiseled features and the strangest eyes she’d ever seen—a deep amber color that seemed to hold her mesmerized.

Hmm, yes please! Now, what was I saying?

  1. What big hands you have! The better to grab you with.

Now, even putting aside the theory about big hands, who doesn’t want to be grabbed by a rather yummy wolf.

            He returned her kiss with equal fervor and lifted her out of the folds of her dress and flipped her onto her stomach over a nearby tree trunk. For a moment, she squeaked in protest and then he pushed down on her back with one large hand, while with the other he slid two fingers deep inside her slick center.

  1. What a big mouth/teeth you have! The better to eat you with.

*ahem* yeah, I’m not going there! Use your imagination.

Now, you may have noticed I’ve only got to number nine there – so help me out! What do you think would be the best thing about the Big Bad Wolf. Bonus points if you can sneak a bad pun in there J Or if you can’t think of one, just share with me your favourite fairytale and what you like about it.

Thanks loads for having me today – and I really hope I’ve converted you a little to the benefits of my wolves! If you want to catch up with me elsewhere, I’m on:

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shelli-Rosewarne/364962230246715

Twitter – @shellirosewarne

Blog – http://shellirosewarne.wordpress.com

***

ScarlettLegacy_200x300Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

When Natalia rents a holiday cottage she is looking for peace and quiet. A place to reassess her life and recover from her failed relationship. Instead, she finds a man who turns her world upside down.

However, people and things are not as they seem, and Natalia begins to discover that legends are real and fairy tales have a basis in reality. As she grows closer to the enigmatic Damian, she finds herself tested as danger and passion go in hand in hand, and everything she thought she knew about the world will be questioned.

After years of waiting Damian had given up hope that he would ever meet his destined mate, and he certainly never expected her to be a sassy American who had no idea that his world even existed. Can he convince Natalia to believe in the impossible, and more importantly, can he protect her from those who seek to destroy his people?

Find Shelli Rosewarne on Amazon

***

Excerpt

Natalia eyed the shining water with fresh appreciation. She had to admit it would be nice to do something to take her mind away from all the crap.

“I didn’t bring a suit,” she murmured, a bit regretfully.

His grin turned wicked. “You don’t need one. There’s no one around.”

She glared at him. “You’re around!”

“I won’t look.” His eyes were teasing.

Yeah, right! She snorted. “I don’t believe you!”

“Okay, how about this. I may look, but I promise I won’t touch. Unless you ask me to, of course.”

Natalia burst out laughing, surprising herself. Ten minutes ago, she’d been sobbing her eyes out.

His gaze softened. “Come on, you could do with it.”

The water did look calm, she thought as she eyed it up. “You’re sure it’s safe for swimming?”

“Sure, I used to come here as a kid.”

She shot him a quick glance at that. It was hard to imagine him as an innocent child. He grinned back at her as though he knew exactly what she thinking—which, quite frankly, shouldn’t surprise her after today, but she wasn’t going to go there right now.

“Look, if you’re that bothered leave your underwear on. It’s such a warm day you’ll dry out afterward.”

Really, it wasn’t much different than a bikini, was it? She found herself nodding before she thought better of it and he reached a hand down to tug her to her feet. A half smile tugged at her lips. It might be a bit old-fashioned, but she liked the little gestures he made like that. Then he pulled his shirt over his head and she stopped breathing.

His body was like something out of a magazine, or like the Greek statues at the museums she’d been to for tedious fundraisers. Bronzed skin covered sculpted muscles with a dusting of hair leading down into his pants—which, oh Christ, were coming off as well! She closed her eyes a moment, and then couldn’t help herself and had to peek. So much for wondering whether he was going to keep on his underwear as he wasn’t wearing any. He seemed completely comfortable in his nakedness, and when he bent over to neatly place his clothes on the rock she had to clench her hands to restrain from reaching out to that tight ass. Jeez, you could market that! He turned back to meet her gaze and her cheeks flamed at the knowing amusement in his eyes. Before her fuddled brain could even start to think of something to say, he leaned forward and brushed a quick, hard kiss across her lips.

“Don’t worry. You have the exact same effect on me,” he whispered to her and then stepped back. “See you in there,” he told her with a grin, before turning and jumping off the rock straight into the shining water.

Find Shelli Rosewarne on Amazon

Review: Blood Deep (Blackthorn, Book 4) by Lindsay J. Pryor

blood deepReviewed by Sharon S.

Blurb: Blood Deep (Blackthorn #4) by Lindsay J. Pryor

Bad can feel good, Jessie. Bad can feel as good as it can get.

The tattoos covering Eden Reece’s arm tell the tale of a con with an appetite for danger. Even so, arriving at The Circus – the criminal heart of Blackthorn – and demanding an audience with the notorious Pummel, is the sign of a death wish.

Jessie knows that Eden is trouble. Serious trouble. Held captive by Pummel, despite her powers, she also knows how dangerous a game Eden is playing. Yet she can’t ignore a connection far deeper than the physical spark between them – because Jessie has seen Eden before…

Jessie is the only one who can help Eden save those he loves. But as he uncovers her secrets one by one, he can’t ignore the emotions she stirs in him – feelings neither of them dare face. He risks death. If she trusts him, she risks a fate far worse.

As Pummel’s twisted plans become clear, there’s no doubt all hell risks breaking out in Blackthorn. With time running out, together Jessie and Eden might be the only ones that can stop it.

In a thrillingly sensual novel, the stakes in the dark world of Blackthorn just got higher.

I picked this series up at book #3 and was surprised by the emotional intensity and sexual tension, along with some fabulous world building set in a dark world. I was expecting the same type of read with book four Blood Deep. I was disappointed to find the first ¾ of the book was only about the romance between Jessie and Eden. I like a good PNR with a sexy alpha, but it went a little overboard with the back and forth internal lamenting about how they shouldn’t get involved. The last ¼ of the book was exactly what I was looking for, with all the world building and series story arc progress. I was glued to this part.

This book would have been a 4 star read for me if the series story arc had been evenly distributed throughout the whole book instead of crammed into the end. The romance would have been more tolerable for me if it was diluted out a bit. I liked Jessie’s character and the fact her species of “other” was unknown to the reader and hero until near the end. Her presence adds a whole new twist to the world Pryor has created.

I’m torn about how to rate this book because my problem with it was distribution of the story elements. If you are following this series then you will want to read this book for the great story twists. If you love heavy romance in your urban fantasy then you will also enjoy this. I’m going to give this a solid 3 because the ending was strong.

[Rating:3]

Buy: Blood Deep (Blackthorn Book 4)