Monday, December 29, 2014

Jenn Avery's Top 11 Books of 2014

Jenn Avery's Favorite Books of 2014




That Touch of Magic by Lucy March

I absolutely love everything by this author (and her alter ego Lani Diane Rich).  These characters are smart, charismatic, and real.  The mix of romantic comedy, mystery, and supernatural make this one of the best stories I ready all year.


  The Heist by Janet Evanovich

This is the first book in the Fox and Chase series.  The dialogue is smart and hysterical.  Three books and two short stories have already been released, and I recommend all of them.  This is also a series that is possibly better in audiobook.


Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney

This is the first book in a three-book arc plus a companion book.  I recommend anything written by this author, but this series is my favorite.  The writing is smart and funny.  I don’t often laugh or cry when reading, but these books made me do both, multiple times.

The Law of Attraction by N.M Silber

Another first book of a series.  Silber is a great romantic comedy writer.  These books are racier than many contemporary romance books, but even if that isn’t your thing, it is worth giving these books a read.  I felt like any of the characters in these books would be able to sit down with my friends and hang out at any event.


Single by Saturday by Catherine Bybee

I love the Weekday Bride books, and this one was no exception.  What I love about Bybee, and this book in particular, is that she takes a risk with overdone tropes and kicks it out of the ballpark in execution.  The characters are relatable, even when the main one is a movie star, and the secondary characters are just as interesting as the hero and heroine.

Final Vow by Kathleen Brooks

This was the last of the Bluegrass Brother’s books, and was one of my favorites of the series.  Often times a series goes on too long, particularly in the genre, but in this case the series went out with a bang.   The mysterious Ahmed has been a presence throughout the series.  While this is the only book in the series that came out in 2014, I recommend going back and reading the previous 5 books as well as the Blue Grass Undercover books before this one.

Taken, not Spurred by Ruth Cardello

First off, this book is very sexy and has stronger language than most books I’ve ready by this author.  The plot is great, but what I loved most about this book is the heroine.  She is a great mix of spunk, snark, and sexy. 


All You Need is Love by Marie Force

As a die hard Beatles fan and Marie Force fan, I was a little worried that there was no way this book could live up to expectations.  The love story and characters were well written and realistic, and a great set-up for future books. 

Bonus Marie Force plug:  I also discovered her Fatal series this year, which is an amazingly well written mystery/suspense romance series.

Modogamous by Karen E. Martin

I received this book for free in exchange for a review, but it turned out to be one of the best books I read all year.  The characters were so well written and relatable, and even the secondary characters were better written then the man characters in many other books.

Waterfall by Lauren Kate

I am a sucker for Lauren Kate’s young adult books, and this one is no exception.  This was the second book in the series, and the story is compelling and hard to put down.  The last book in the series isn’t due out until late 2015, and I might recommend waiting until then to start it because you wont have to wait to see how the series ends.

Searching for Perfect by Jennifer Probst

I love a good story with a nerd hero, and this book does it better than most.  This is the second book in this series, and I love the premise for the entire serious of a matchmaking firm run by women who help the clients show off their best side.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review - Forever With Me by Kristen Proby

ABOUT THE BOOK


Dominic Salvatore seemingly has everything a man could want. He’s found a new relationship with his father and the entire Montgomery family. His vineyard, Cuppa di Vita, is a success. There’s only one thing that eludes him: a certain driven, intelligent, and sexy as hell blonde named Alecia.

Alecia works tirelessly building her event planning business. It’s the most important part of her life. Despite the beautiful, lavish weddings she organizes, Alecia is convinced that the idea of true love is a myth. While Dominic is a sexy, intriguing man, welcoming the handsome Italian into her bed, and her life, is a risk she’s not so sure she’s willing to take.

However Dominic isn’t used to taking no for an answer, and it’s not long before these two are burning up the sheets and discovering a connection that neither can deny. But will it be strong enough to last forever?

“I’m going to eventually make you understand how amazing you are, tesoro.” – Dominic Salvatore

REVIEW


This is the final book in the With Me in Seattle series, and I was nervous about reading it.  I’ve found that often with authors finish a long running series like this, they end up “phoning in” the last couple of books, but that absolutely is not the case with Kristen Proby and this book.  Dominic turns out to be one of the best heroes in all of the series.  I liked that Alecia was a strong woman who still needed and wanted someone who could take care of her.  Many of the female characters in this series were very strong women with strong personalities, but Alecia seemed to be more of a sensitive woman who became strong out of necessity and needed to learn for herself that it was okay to allow herself to be loved.


I recommend this series for anyone who loves strong female characters and alpha men, and don’t mind a lot of steamy romance mixed in.  These books are not for the faint of heart, but still have a lot of well written and interesting story to go along with the sexy!


OVERALL RATING - 4.5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy


About Kristen Proby

Kristen
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Review - The Christmas Wedding Ring by Susan Mallery

ABOUT THE BOOK


New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns with a Christmas-themed retelling of her beloved story, The Wedding Ring Promise!

In her youth, Molly Anderson couldn't help crushing on gorgeous bad boy Dylan Black-even though he had eyes only for her older sister. When things didn't work out between them, he said goodbye to Molly as well, vowing they'd have a great adventure when she grew up. Years later, dumped by her fiance just before Christmas, she's finally ready to take Dylan up on his promise.

A guarded Dylan always had a weakness for Molly, and when she waltzes back into his life—grown-up and gorgeous—he's stunned. So why not whisk her away for some no-strings-attached fun?

Laughter-filled days and late-night kisses are changing Molly's life, for good. The only gift she truly wants now is Dylan's love, but when he discovers the secret she's been keeping, she may lose him again…this time forever.

REVIEW


Nice twist on the conventional story, where a girl has a crush on her older sister’s boyfriend.   I really enjoyed the story and the characters, although I felt like a little too much emphasis was put on the heroine not being conventionally attractive.  Even from the male point of view, he mentions that he hadn’t found her particularly attractive until he got to know her.  Everything else about this story was well done, but the attention to her looks (or lack thereof) was distracting and a little offensive.


OVERALL RATING - 5 STARS!
MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that define their lives. She has published more than 100 romance and women's fiction novels, beginning with two books the same month when she was just out of college. Her books have spent more than 120 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list and have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestsellers list, statistically tied for #1 (THREE LITTLE WORDS, a Fool's Gold romance). Known for her keen insight into human nature and her humorous take on life, Susan Mallery has been described by RT Book Reviews as "in a class by herself!" and was featured as a Red Hot Read in Cosmopolitan Magazine. In 2013 and 2014, four of her books were named each year to Amazon's "Best Book of the Month" list.

With a Bachelor's degree in Accounting, Susan is one of the few writers who can understand her royalty statement. She went on to get a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction and has extensively studied story structure in screenwriting courses, though she has no plans to write for the screen. Her goal, always, is to give readers a story that will move them, populated with characters who feel like real people.

Booklist says, "Novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and Publisher's Weekly calls her prose "luscious and provocative." Susan appreciates critical praise, but she values praise from her readers even more. She credits her successful career to the loyal readers who rush out to buy each new book on the day it's released.

With the advent of ebooks, Susan's career has soared even higher, and her books make regular appearances on both print and ebook bestsellers lists. She has embraced the Digital Age with a robust website (www.susanmallery.com), an active presence on Facebook (www.facebook.com/susanmallery) and a free Susan Mallery app for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices (www.mobileroadie.com/apps/susanmallery). At www.foolsgoldca.com, she also provides bonus content such as after-the-happily-ever-after updates for the Fool's Gold romances, her most popular ongoing series.

Born and raised in California, Susan lives with her family in Seattle, where she survives the dreary days of winter with the help of a "happy lamp" and plenty of coffee.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review - Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey

ABOUT THE BOOK




Christina Forrester is starting over. After a financial scandal sent her ex-husband to prison, she's left raising her young son without any of the comforts of their old life. Budgets, coupons, lawn care—you name it, she's learning to do it all on her own. Well, almost on her own—she'd be lost without Gail Broughton, the kind widow across the street. But when Gail's son comes home, Christina's vow to never trust a man again is put to the test.

Will Broughton left town because he was tired of being "that poor man" who lost his wife and unborn child in a tragic accident. But years have passed and, with his dad gone and his mom alone, it's time to go home. Only his mother's not alone. She's taken Christina under her wing, and the beautiful and determined single mother awakens something in Will he thought was buried forever.

As Will and Christina are forced to spend more time together, feelings that are more than neighborly grow between them. And with Christmas coming and a child filling both houses with holiday cheer, it becomes nearly impossible not to embrace the joy—and the love—in their lives.

REVIEW


This is a very sweet Christmas read. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters at first, but I think that is mostly due to it being a novella. While it was not my favorite story by Shannon Stacey, it was still very enjoyable and sentimental.

If you love a good heartwarming holiday story, this book is for you. Fans of Stacey’s that do not typically enjoy this genre will still enjoy the story.


OVERALL RATING - 4 STARS!


MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she's not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

You can contact Shannon through her website, http://shannonstacey.com, where she has maintains an almost daily blog, or visit her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/shannonstacey, her Facebook page, http://facebook.com/shannonstacey.authorpage, or email her at shannon@shannonstacey.com.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Blitz - Naughty & Nice: A Holiday Collection

Naughty & Nice

***LIMITED EDITION brought to you by 11 NYT & USA Today Bestselling Authors***
Grab it before it is gone.
Over 1000 estimated pages.
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Itunes http://bit.ly/1sazim9
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=3VvPBAAAQBAJ
Kobo http://bit.ly/ZX1XSo


Mine For Christmas by J. S. Scott
Will the emotional distance between a married couple with an infant daughter tear the two lovers apart? Or will a precious gift from Santa help them heal their misunderstandings and have the merriest Christmas they’ve ever had?

Web: http://www.authorjsscott.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjsscott
Twitter: @authorjsscott
For updates on new releases, sales and giveaways please sign up for our Newsletter by going to: http://eepurl.com/KhsSD

Twelve Days Of Temptation by Ruth Cardello
Kate Hale is about to find out what happens when you ask Santa Claus to put you on his naughty list. Brock Foster has wanted Kate for a long time and is not above using deception to fulfill her steamy Christmas wish.

Email Notice of New Releases: www.RuthCardello.com/Signup
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RuthCardello
Twitter @RuthieCardello

Secret Santa by Kathleen Brooks
It wouldn't be Christmas in Keeneston without a party! Everyone's invited, even Santa…
Kenna's court docket is full, Dani's hiding from her in-laws, Paige and Annie are about to burst from pregnancy, and Marshall is breaking up fights at the PTA Christmas Concert. The sweet potato casserole is made, the ham and biscuits are on the table, and men are losing their shirts - and not because of bets placed with the Rose Sisters! All the while, the entire town is wondering one thing: who is the Secret Santa that showed up with special gifts for everyone?

Email Notice of New Releases: www.kathleen-brooks.com/new-release-notifications
Website: www.kathleen-brooks.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KathleenBrooksAuthor
Twitter @BluegrassBrooks

Christmas With The Alexanders by M. Malone
Kaylee Wilhelm knows what she wants for Christmas—for Elliott Alexander to notice her. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like her much, so she’s spending the holidays with her disapproving parents. When Kay’s car skids out of control on Christmas Eve, she’s forced to reach out to the only man she trusts to save her.

Web: www.MMaloneBooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minxmalone
Twitter: @MinxMalone

Rumor by Skye Jordan
A year ago, former Navy SEAL Josh Marx fell for his teammate's ex, and his strict moral code demanded he get as far away from her as possible. But when he finds out she's in trouble, that same code pushes him to change his Christmas plans and check in on Grace Ashby—uncovering feelings they both thought they'd buried....

Twitter: @Skye_Jordan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkyeJordanAuthor

Off Season by Sawyer Bennett:
Irish lass, Cady Dunne, wasn’t looking to fall for professional hockey player, Zane Kavanaugh during a visit to the States. But she did… and now an ocean stands between them. Can a Christmas miracle bring them back together?

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks
Twitter @BennettBooks

Staking His Claim by Lynda Chance:
When twenty-one year old Elaina Ruiz meets Raul Vega, she recognizes his ruthless intensity and chooses not to correct him when he mistakes her for a teenager. The moment Raul sees Elaina, he knows he will have her, even if it means waiting for her to grow up.

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


My Love by Melanie Shawn:
A surprise twist on their spur-of-the-moment holiday trip will leave Bobby and Sophie Sloan's lives forever changed. Sexy weekend getaways don't get much better than this.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/melanieshawnbooks
Twitter @MelanieShawn

A Mermaid Isle Christmas by Cali MacKay:
Aidan Nordson just wants to be left alone to live his life and deal with his demons, but when a Christmas blizzard strands Chloe Madison at his door, the gorgeous and feisty brunette stirs feelings in him he’s not ready to deal with. Forced together by fate and circumstance, can Aidan let go of the past that haunts him so he can learn to love again, or will the storm in his heart swallow him in its darkness?

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorcalimackay
Twitter @CaliMackay
Web http://calimackay.com

Eggnog and Candy Canes: A Blueberry Springs Christmas Novella by Jean Oram:

From enemies to lovers. Nurse Katie Reiter’s nemesis, Dr. Nash Leham is back in Blueberry Springs and he came for one thing—Katie. Will their battles turn to stolen kisses in the midst of a Christmas storm or will Katie find her happily ever after in the arms of another?

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JeanOramAuthor
Twitter @JeanOram
Web http://www.jeanoram.com/signup

Wrapped by Evelyn Adams:
Julie Blake thought she’d gotten over her first love, but when a business deal gone wrong brings her to his restaurant on Christmas Eve, she falls right back into his arms. Celebrity chef Eric Auxtres may have seduced the only woman he's ever loved into his bed again, but can he find a way into her heart or will she walk out of his life as unexpectedly as she walked in?

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


18+ only.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review - Baby, It's Cold Outside (Anthology) - By Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne, and Kate Meader

ABOUT THE BOOK


BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling indie authors Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne, and debut author Kate Meader come together to write a sizzling romance anthology.

Outside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire!

Can a determined woman executive and a playboy billionaire survive being stranded together in a snowstorm? Jennifer Probst depicts an encounter almost too hot to handle…

Drew and Kate play an encore to Tangled in this sexy take on a “Christmas Carol” by Emma Chase. When a Christmas Eve argument condemns Drew to a troubled night, three dream women teach him that no gift could be more tantalizing than Kate…

With Kristen Proby, ski slopes are quite delightful. Grace Douglas is sure she’ll never learn to ski, but instructor Jacob Baxter could teach her lessons of a different kind…

Can a southern California transplant survive Montana’s deep snows? Melody Anne, author of the bestselling Andersons series, melts the icy drifts completely away with the heat between sexy Hawk Winchester and brand-new teacher Natalie Duncan…

What could be hotter than a firefighter? Kate Meader shows how hot it can get as Beck Rivera and heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love…

REVIEW


I read this anthology specifically for Jennifer Probst’s contribution, but ended up loving all of the other stories as well.

Fans of the Searching For series will really enjoy this novella. It’s a great illustration that it really is a thin line between love and hate.


All of the stories in the compilation were easy stand-alone stories, even though most were part of an existing series.


OVERALL RATING - 4 STARS!


MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy