Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Unexpected by Jenny Frame

Review of Unexpected by Jenny Frame

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Romance, LGBTQ

 

Unexpected by Jenny Frame is the story of a woman whose life is turned upside down when her ten-year-old son unexpectedly turns up. Dale McGuire is a woman who likes fast cars and one-night-stands. To finance her business many years before, Dale donated eggs to a fertility clinic. The last thing she ever expected, however, was for the child from that donation to come and find her. Rebecca Harper’s life has taken an unexpected turn when she is forced to quit working because of medical issues with her pregnancy. With little money and a house badly in need of repair, Becca’s stress is already too high. When Dale turns up in her life, she only wants the woman to leave her and the children alone. But Dale refuses to turn her back on people who need her. Can Dale win Becca’s heart, or will the family she never knew she wanted remain out of her reach forever?

 

Unexpected by Jenny Frame is a delightful read. The premise of the story is unusual, which hooked me immediately. From the beginning, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Dale and Becca to realize they were meant to be together. Becca is a struggling single mom who only wants what is best for her children, and I easily found myself wanting things to get better for her. Dale may seem like a player, but she has a big heart that loves fully, and that made me love her quickly. Both Dale and Becca were easy to love, although there were times when Becca’s behavior felt forced rather than authentic to her character. This complaint, however, did not detract from my reading experience, and I had a hard time putting this book down and returning to the real world. The characters and their unusual situation make this a romance story not to miss.

Posted in Book Stuff

Pre-order Hot Winter Nights: A Racy Regency Christmas Collection

It’s your last chance to pre-order Hot Winter Nights: A Racy Regency Christmas Collection for only 99 cents on Amazon! From September 1st, the price goes up to $2.99. The box set features eight brand-new Christmas novellas by the fabulous Tammy Andresen, Heather Boyd, Dawn Brower, Amanda Mariee, Nina Mason, Christina McKnight, and Lauren Smith. Release day is October 3rd! 

Posted in Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal for The Map To You by Lindy Zart

The Map To You-HighRes

 

The Map to You

Author: Lindy Zart

Publisher: Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing

Release Date: November 28th, 2017

Pre-order links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rKUI23

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2skuIZW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rxWjEg

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2rKAAgq

 

BLURB:

Keeping his inner demons at bay means Blake Malone has more than enough trouble on his plate. He doesn’t need any extra complications. But that’s exactly what he gets when, on his way to North Dakota, he leaves his truck unattended—and returns to find a beautiful woman sleeping in the front seat.

Opal Allen seems to have a knack for attracting trouble. Which is why she isn’t about to tell her new road trip companion the real reason she needs to hightail it out of town. But Blake has a way of seeing right through her, which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Now her biggest problem is figuring out how to resist their undeniable attraction. Because once this road trip is over, she plans on never seeing Blake again.

But the best adventures don’t go according to plan.

TMTY

 

Excerpt:

Last I checked, I was traveling alone.

I walk to my grandfather’s truck, a 1987 Ford F-series pickup in blue and white, and blink at the small form curled up on the seat.

Under the darkened dome of the sky, it’s hard to discern anything other than the size of the thing inside my truck, and that it has dark hair. It could be a man, a woman—even a kid. I quickly scan the parking lot, searching for any accomplices to a premeditated crime involving yours truly.

It’s the end of August, and the days can be wicked humid and hot, but the same can’t be said for the nights. I have on a light jacket to help keep the chill off my skin. I glance into the cab of the truck. Small as this person is, they have to be feeling the cold.

The night is still and quiet, only two other vehicles taking up parking spaces of the 24-hour convenience store. It’s after midnight on a Wednesday. Most sane people are home and in bed. I focus on the stranger in my truck. Whatever they’re up to, it’s bound to be nefarious. I like my share of nefarious dealings, as long as I’m the one doing them.

Muttering to myself and craving a cigarette, I carefully set down the plastic bag of chips, beef jerky, and orange juice I purchased to curb the hunger gnawing at my gut. I rub the stubble along my jaw, head cocked, as I come to a decision. It’s an easy one—whoever they are, they can’t stay in my truck.

Hands out, palms down, I soundlessly skulk around the front of the truck and toward the passenger side. My eyes shift from side to side in pursuit of any possible friends of theirs hoping to make my night especially spectacular with a blunt object to the back of the head. I feel ridiculous, sure I look like the Pink Panther slinking around in the dark.

My boot kicks a piece of gravel and it pings against the side of the truck my mother secretly kept in a storage unit all these years for me. I didn’t even know the truck was still around until my brother Graham unknowingly drove it from North Dakota to Wisconsin my last week in the Cheesehead state. I just about cried when I saw it. Just about, but not quite—because crying would be bad for my image. My throat burned from keeping it in, though, and when Kennedy, Graham’s girlfriend, commented on the redness of my eyes, I told her it was a reaction to whatever perfume she’d doused herself in.

Smooth, that’s me.

I wince, hoping the rock didn’t do any damage to the truck. This is one of the last pieces I have of the man who never judged me in all the years he was alive. Good thing for my grandfather’s untarnished view of me that my life didn’t completely fall to shit until after he died.

A head snaps up, and large, dark eyes slam into mine. I freeze against the unexpected jolt of them. The woman appears youngish, her face pointy and elfin. Her features are interesting, like it couldn’t be decided whether to make her look exotic or plain. We study one another for one charged moment, and then whatever had her immobile collapses. Her mouth opens in a piercing scream, and she scrambles to the middle of the cab. I jerk back, her reaction startling me.

“What the hell kind of a person creeps up on someone like that?” she accuses. Her voice is breathless, but there is an undertone of huskiness that brings my nerve endings to attention.

I open my mouth with the intention of apologizing, and then realize what I’m about to do. Scowl taking over my features, I grip the door handle and pull. She scoots across the seat with her back to the driver’s side door and, wide-eyed, looks back at me.

“Get out…of my truck,” I say slowly, setting my palms on the worn and torn vinyl upholstery to lean forward menacingly.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards by Steve LeBel

bernie-and-the-wizards-3d-02

 

Title: The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards

 

Genre:  humorous young adult fantasy / science fiction (and adults)

 

Blurb:

Bernie fixes broken universes for a living. Unlike other gods, who tend to take a hell-fire-and-brimstone approach to problem-solving, Bernie prefers a more gentle approach. With a hard-to-please boss breathing down his neck and a personal life in desperate need of relationship advice, Bernie’s chances of success are dwindling fast. Yet he’s determined to do everything in his power to save the civilization on this damaged world. Even if the murderous wizard causing all the problems is powerful enough to hurt a god…

 

Length:  350 pages (99k words)

ISBN-13 (ebook edition):  978-0-9908831-3-5

ASIN  B06XWJZTPB

ISBN-13 (print edition):  978-0-9908831-5-9 and 978-0-9908831-4-2

Publisher:  Argon Press

Publication Date:  June 15, 2017 (print and ebook)

Amazon:  pre-order 

Goodreads:  book listing

 

My Review:

*I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards is a continuation of Bernie’s journey of being a young god; however, all of the stories can be read independently without confusion. I found the book engrossing from the start, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen to the characters. The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards is a fun combination of Medieval-type fantasy and more modern fantasy. The world of the Radolins is a place with only ancient technology, while Bernie’s world is a world of gods who create universes but are not all-powerful. Bernie has been trained to view the worlds the gods create as businesses. When something goes wrong on a world, the gods will frequently wipe out the existing races and start over. Bernie, however, is much too compassionate to do that. Instead, he interacts with the worlds and their people in order to fix the problems, which sets him apart as a world builder. I loved Bernie from the beginning because of his compassion for the people the gods create, and because he takes the time to enter their world and become a part of it in order to fix the problem. Bernie’s dad is an incredibly selfish person, and he was a character that I loved to hate. The romance between Bernie and Suzie is sweet and added to my enjoyment of the book. It’s a light-hearted fantasy novel with characters I easily fell in love with. LeBel has created a world that’s fun to get lost in. I highly recommend reading The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards.

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Posted in Book Stuff

Release Boost: Curveball by Mariah Dietz

Title: Curveball
Author: Mariah Dietz
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 18, 2017

BLURB

 

Shakespeare believed there was always humor in tragedy and tragedy in humor.

My life proved his theory as fact.

At eighteen I was a single parent moving to this small town to be with the man I loved. The one who was supposed to love and cherish me in return.

Finding out he had a wife was tragic.
Remaining in love with him in spite of her was more tragic.
My mom and best friend setting me up on a long string of blind dates was an ongoing tragedy.

Nine years later, I’ve learned to see the humor in most situations.

My mom and best friend setting me up on disastrous blind dates.
My son’s jokes.
The fire alarm going off each time I cook.

My constant bright spot always adding to the humor was my son, Hayden. But when Hayden had a life-threatening allergic reaction, the man who came to help my little boy became my own savior. His laugh, his smile, and the way his eyes lit up when he spoke to my son made him a beacon of light in both our lives.

But I wasn’t the only one who noticed him.
When I began having feelings for the man my best and only friend had fallen for, I knew following my heart would once again lead to a fresh round of heartbreak.

Love led me to this town.
Lies kept me there.

Would history repeat itself?
Or had life just thrown me another Curveball?

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt

“I don’t watch TV at night…” Her voice drifts off, and I know it’s because she realizes I’m going to ask why.And I do.

“You’re going to laugh.”

“Probably.”

“It’s because I can’t hear things.”

“What kinds of things are you trying to hear?”

“I don’t know. Strange noises and things…”

“Strange noises?”

“Do I need to spell it out for you?” She’s trying to sound annoyed, but I can hear the smile in her voice.

“Apparently, because I have no idea what you’re talking about. What kinds of strange noises are you going to hear? I usually turn my TV up to block out all the strange sounds like the neighbor’s kids and the lady behind me that sounds like Fran fucking Drescher.”

“You know who Fran Drescher is?”

“My mother was a big fan of that stupid show she was in. Stop changing the subject. What are you listening for? Hayden won’t sneak out.”

“What if someone breaks in?”

“You’re not serious.”

“Of course I’m serious!”

“What do you do all night?” I ask.

“Work,” she admits. “Well, usually I clean, and then I work.”

“I’m coming over.”

“You can’t.”

The panic in her voice doesn’t make her sound upset about the idea, but afraid.

Is it because she likes me?

“Why not?” I ask.

“It’s like nine o’clock.”

“Are you about to turn orange and sprout a stem?”

“That and I’m not wearing a bra, if you must know.”

“So put it back on.”

“You don’t understand. That’s like saying put your jeans back on.”

“I am in jeans,” I lie just to get a reaction out of her.

“What is wrong with you?” she cries.

“What’s wrong with jeans?”

“They’re stiff and uncomfortable. Wearing jeans all day is basically equivalent to walking on sandpaper. But at least you guys have pockets that will actually hold something larger than a thimble and don’t ride up your ass.”

“If your bra is riding up your ass, we have bigger fish to fry than being afraid of the boogey man.”

Author Bio

Mariah Dietz lives
with her husband, two sons, and two four-legged children who are the axis of
her crazy and wonderful world. 
Mariah grew up in a
tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon where she spent most of her time immersed
in the pages of books that she both read and created. 
She has a love for
all things that include her family, good coffee, books, traveling, and dark
chocolate. She’s also obsessed with Christmas ornaments and all things Disney.
Author Links