31 July 2015

Review - A Radical Arrangement


A Radical Arrangement
by Jane Ashford







Pubdate: August 4th, 2015

ISBN: 9781492602293

A classic Regency romance from beloved author Jane Ashford!

Brash and Handsome
Sir Justin Keighley is all wrong for a proper young lady like Margaret Mayfield. Everyone knows he is shocking in his opinions, arrogant in his manner, and completely without respect for the common decencies of civilized society. Margaret absolutely will not marry him—no matter what her parents say.

Beautiful and Shy
Margaret was everything Sir Justin detested in a woman—timid, sheltered, and obedient to a fault. It’s not until she runs away from him that he finds he must give chase. Margaret is discovering she can be bold and rebellious—intrepid enough to do what she must, and more exciting than Justin ever imagined possible. She’s the last woman he would have expected to lead them both into uncharted territory…

Jane Ashford, a retired teacher and editor, is now a beloved author of historical and contemporary romances. She has been published in various parts of the world, including Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Spain, and of course the U.S. Jane is also a two-time RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award nominee. Born in Ohio, Jane now divides her time between Boston and Los Angeles.


Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca - ISBN: 9781402276965

Buy Links:


I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!



What I say: In A Radical Arrangement we see Sir Justin Keighley trying to escape a forced marriage to Margaret Mayfield following a misunderstood scandal. 

I have to admit it did take me a while to get into the book because I felt the pacing was a little slow at the beginning and I didn't particularly like either of the main characters - BUT they did slowly win me over and I softened towards them. My initial delay in liking them was because Margaret is initially very repressed and put upon by her controlling parents, so she's rather withdrawn and quite. I also found Justin rather rude and obnoxious. Once the story started to develop we got to see another side of Margaret and I liked her much more. It did take me longer to warm to Justin but I appreciated how he encouraged Margaret to escape from her parents control and to form her own opinions.

The writing is good and I really enjoyed the descriptions and detail that Ashford goes into about the coastal village and general life at the time for the every day workers. The secondary characters helped to lighten the story and to give the plot greater depth. The Appleby's in particular made me smile. 


I kept hoping that they would finally realise how much better they would be together - I did get a little frustrated at both Margaret and Justin at certain points throughout the story (which is often the case with historical fiction) but I was still hopeful for a HEA.


3.5 Stars in my Sky!


Excerpt:

Sir Justin Keighley stood in the doorway, looking them over with a slight, satirical curve of his lips. He wore, like the other gentlemen, conventional evening dress, but this superficial similarity was their only common ground. Ralph Mayfìeld, Philip Manningham, the squire, and John Twitchel were none of them unattractive men or negligible personalities. Each, in his own sphere, had a certain dignity and authority, and all had the confidence that respect engendered. Yet somehow, the moment he entered the room and before he spoke a word, Justin Keighley eclipsed them. It was not charm. Indeed, the newcomer did not look at all pleasant or ingratiating. And it was not mere social position. Keighley held an ancient baronetcy and a substantial fortune, but any of twenty men his hosts were accustomed to meeting ranked above him. Ralph Mayfield could not have said why he felt subdued as he came forward to greet his final guest.
The squire’s wife might have enlightened him. As she had told a friend at a Bath assembly two years ago, “Justin Keighley is a vastly attractive man, my dear. And not just to women. All the young men ape him, my son among them. I don’t know just how it is, but he has a great influence without appearing to seek it in the least. Indeed, sometimes I think he dislikes the idea. But it goes on. It’s something in his manner. No doubt you’ve noticed it yourself. He makes you look at him.” Mrs. Camden had been embarrassed by this speech, but it was quite true. And Keighley’s attraction was the more mysterious because he was not conventionally handsome. Though tall and well made, with broad shoulders and a good leg, his features were rough—a jutting nose and heavy black brows that nearly obscured expressive hazel eyes. And he took no care with his dress, a rarity in an elegant age. His coats were made so that he could shrug himself into them without help; his collars did not even approach his jaw; and he had once been observed in White’s with a distinct thumb mark on his Hessian boots, giving one of the dandy set what he described as “a shuddering palpitation.”
But these sartorial eccentricities were outweighed by Sir Justin’s political influence and sagacity. He was an intimate of the Prince Regent and Lord Holland, and important in the Whig Party. These facts did not explain his fascination for a great number of people, chiefly women, who hadn’t the slightest interest in politics, but they amply justified the Mayfìelds’ attention and suppressed antipathy.
“Good evening,” Keighley said to Mr. Mayfield in a deep, resonant voice. “I hope I haven’t kept you waiting.”
“Not at all, not at all. Come in. You know everyone, I think.”
Sir Justin bowed his head with a sardonic smile. He always met precisely the same people at his yearly dinner with the Mayfields, presumably those they were certain he could not “corrupt” with his aberrant opinions, and he always felt the same infuriated boredom. For the fiftieth time he wondered why he came. There was no hope of amusement or chance of advantage here. The Mayfields and their friends were just the sort of smug, resolutely conventional people he despised. They held to the views their fathers had bequeathed them and attacked all others. If one tried to make them change even a fraction, they shook their heads and muttered of treason.
He looked around the room. The only addition this year was the Mayfìelds’ daughter. He had forgotten her name, but he remembered that she had come out last season. She looked as one would have expected: a pallid, simpering creature. Keighley shrugged. Politics forced him to endure fools occasionally. The Prince would want to know the climate of opinion here in Devon. He supposed he could get through this evening as he had previous ones, through a combination of stoicism and bitter inner laughter.
Margaret watched him with awed apprehension as he settled beside Mrs. Camden and began to chat with her about London. She had never actually spoken to Sir Justin; her mother had seen to that. But she had heard him talked of so many times that she felt she knew what he would say in response to a wide variety of remarks. It would always be shocking. She gazed at him in an effort to understand how any man could be so utterly depraved in thought and action, almost expecting his rugged face to contort in a grimace of malevolence and his chiseled lips to emit some horrifying revelation.
Suddenly Sir Justin looked up and met her eyes from across the room. He seemed at first startled to find her staring, then his mocking smile appeared again, and he raised one black brow, holding her gaze. Embarrassed, Margaret tried to look away, but something in his hazel eyes prevented it. A spark glinted there, and she felt a kind of tremor along her nerves. It was utterly unfamiliar and unsettling, like a violent thrill of feeling. How could a stranger affect her so? This must be fear, she thought; I am afraid of him. She began to tremble, but still she could not turn her head away. He seemed to understand her reaction and, amused, to prolong the contact on purpose.
Finally Keighley laughed and bent to answer some question of Mrs. Camden’s. Margaret jerked back in her chair and clasped her shaking hands so tightly that the knuckles whitened. He was a dreadful man. She would not speak to him, and if she ever saw him again, she would run away.


Giveaway:
Set of Jane Ashford books (US/CAN entries only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Finding You - Chapter/Cover Blast Reveal


Finding You
by Kelly Elliot





If Grace Johnson knew one thing at all, it was that all men were dirtbags.

All men … except Noah Bennet.

“I was lost in his eyes. Lost in his tears. My goal was to pull him out of the darkness … even if it dragged me in as well.”

If Noah Bennet knew one thing at all, it was he needed Grace Johnson. Needed her … desperately.

“My pain was pulling me under … she was my only saving grace.”

Grace is willing to put everything on the line to help bring back the man she is hopelessly in love with. Even if it costs her the future she’s been longing for.

“If finding you means losing a part of me … I’ll do it.”


ADD TO GOODREADS










*Subject to change before publishing* Unedited version*

Excerpt - from Chapter One ~ Grace:

I sat in the library as I rolled my neck around and let out
a sigh. My mind had been pre occupied and I couldn’t afford to not be focused.
I’d fallen behind in my classes when Lauren got sick.

Glancing back down at my book, I tried to read the words on
the pages but my mind quickly drifted off to a memory of Noah and me.

***
Sitting back, I let the sun warm my face as Noah rowed the
canoe.

“So are you going to just sit there while I do all the work,
Grace?” Noah asked in a teasing voice.

“Yep,” I said with a smile.

Keeping my eyes closed, I could tell he had turned
directions. Trying not to smile, I asked, “Are you getting tired, Noah? Was
last night to much for you?”

Noah chuckled. It was the first night I’d stayed over at his
apartment he shared with one other guy who also attended A&M. I wasn’t sure
why I was keeping how close Noah and I were getting away from everyone. Maybe
it was my way of keeping this relationship distant from my real world. That or
I didn’t feel like answering Alex, Lauren, and Libby’s constant questions.

Whatever my reasons were, I pushed it from my mind.

“Baby, you could never be to much.”

Opening my eyes, I tilted my head and gave Noah a sexy
smile. As hard as I tried to keep from falling in love with him, I fell deeper
every moment we spent together.

“Is that a challenge?” I asked as I leaned forward, making
sure to squeeze my arms together so my breasts showed just the right amount of
cleavage since I only had a tank top over my swimsuit.

Lifting his eyebrows, Noah glanced over to the shore. When I
looked over my shoulder, there was a small path. Noah paddled us over and
jumped out. Reaching his hand out for mine, I placed it softly in his. The rush
I got just from his touch about caused me to let out a moan. Stepping up onto
the shore, I watched as Noah pulled the canoe up and grabbed my hand.


Copyright Kelly Elliott 2015




Author Spotlight:



Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has
a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and
dreams for some unknown reason...he claims it's because he loves her!

She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly
asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone
sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.


In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner
overlooking the Texas hill country and write.


One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her
property with Gus....her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose,
her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush,
move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find
her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.




30 July 2015

Home - Review

Home - Songbird #4
by Melissa Pearl





Add to Goodreads

What they say: Rachel Myers never meant to stay in Payton. Her eyes were set on bigger things than waitressing at Clark’s Bar. She wants to perform on a stage of her own with bright lights, fame, and fortune. But something got in the way—Joshua Clark. He’s a good man who loves her, a solid rock she can depend on. She wants that to be enough, but it hasn’t quelled her yearning for the big city.


Josh knows Rachel wants more out of life and might leave one day. Yet so far, she hasn’t gone anywhere. Deep down, he believes his love is enough to keep her…or at least he hopes so. Until one night, a city boy from Hollywood promises Rachel a record deal and destroys everything.

Jumping at a chance she never thought she’d have, Rachel leaves Payton. And Josh. But the sparkle of Los Angeles is not all it’s cracked up to be, and Rachel quickly figures out that some sacrifices are not worth the risk. Is she too late? Will Josh forgive her, or has her desire for fame ruined the best thing she’s ever had?

Sometimes you have to say goodbye before you can say forever. 




I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!


What I say: **Home is a part of Melissa Pearl's Songbird series but it works well as a standalone.**

Rachel is a fighter. She's survived some traumatic events and a sad past. She's managed to build a comfortable and happy life for herself with a wonderful guy. It seems that only her own insecurities, an unfulfilled dream and a promise, stand the way of realising what truly makes her happy and where she belongs.

I liked Rachel. She's passionate, demanding and kinda quirky. I appreciated her 'country girl' charm and although I completely understand her need to chase her musical dreams, I really wanted her to realise she needs Josh. 

I loved Josh - He's an interesting mixture of strong alpha and white knight. I don't think Rachel would have gotten to this point without his friendship, love and support. I did appreciate that she needs to be able to see the world and make decisions herself. As much as I like Josh, it became clear that he cannot do everything for Rachel, because she needs to realise how amazing he is for herself.

The story is poignant heartwarming. There were times when I honestly couldn't believe what Rachel was doing and I wanted to shout at her. On other occasions I wanted to give her (and tbh both of them) a big old hug. 


I liked the secondary characters and it was nice to catchup with a few old friends. I also loved the musical tie-in throughout the book - I love books with playlists!

3.5 - 4 Stars in my Sky!




Every Last Breath - Release Week Blitz

The Epic Finale in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s

Dark Elements Series...Who Will She Choose?



ELB Teaser 3

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Don't miss the conclusion to this stunning Young Adult Paranormal series filled with danger and romance published by HarlequinTEEN.

Amazon * Amazon UKB&N * iBooks * IndieBound * Kobo * BAM




9780373211142_prd_proof_FC

EVERY LAST BREATH Synopsis:

Some loves will last ‘til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”
--New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter
“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”
--#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss


Read on for an excerpt:

“Oh my God!” This time my hand connected with his arm. “You’re going to be in so much trouble, Roth! So much trouble.” 
He shrugged a shoulder. “Defended myself.” 
“Defended myself.” I mimicked him, bopping my head back and forth. “You can’t just go around killing Alphas, Roth!” 
“You killed those angels?” Stacey asked, so I guessed she did remember them. 
He sent her an innocent grin. “Well, I didn’t, but…” 
“Roth!” I shouted, backing away before I started choking the ever-loving life out of him. “This is not a joke. You—” 
He was damn fast when he wanted to be. One second he was several feet away from me and the next he was there, clasping the sides of my face. He lowered his head so he was eye level with me. “There are rules, Shortie.” 
“But—” 
“Rules that even the Alphas have to abide by. They cannot attack me without physical provocation. If they do, they tick the Boss off, and then the Boss retaliates in a way that makes what the Lilin could do look like child’s play. I’m not just some random demon. I’m the Crown Prince. They took a swing at me, and I defended myself. End of story.” 
But he had provoked them—maybe not physically, but he wasn’t an innocent bystander in this. As the shock ebbed, there was a different kind of bitter pill to swallow. What if Roth had gotten his rules wrong? What if more Alphas were even now on the way to avenge their brethren? 
“I’m going to be okay.” His eyes held mine as he stepped closer, lining his booted feet up with mine. “Nothing is going to happen to me. I promise.” 
“You can’t make that promise,” I whispered, searching his gaze intently. “None of us can.” 
His hands slid back and he curled his fingers in my loose hair. “I can.” 
Those two words were like throwing down a gauntlet to the whole universe. I lowered my gaze as he dragged my hair back, tucking both sides behind my ears. It was then, as he slowly withdrew his hands, that I remembered we were not alone. 
I jerked back and my gaze collided with Zayne’s. For a moment, I let myself really see Zayne. I hadn’t almost killed him. I had almost done something much, much worse than that. When a Warden lost their soul, they turned into a horrific creature. I knew that for a fact, because I’d seen what had happened to a Warden after their soul had been taken from them. I’d almost done that to Zayne, and he was still here, standing by my side. 
A hole opened up in my chest as I saw the keen wariness in his stare. My stomach twisted something awful and I opened my mouth, but I didn’t know what to say. My heart and head were suddenly tearing in two very different directions. Fortunately, I didn’t get the chance to say anything. 
“I leave you alone for a few hours, and you let Thumper fry and eat an Alpha.” 
Yelping, I spun around as Stacey screamed. Cayman stood in the center of the destroyed living room. He’d come out of nowhere. Poof. There. He wore dark trousers and a white dress shirt he appeared to have gotten bored with when it came to buttoning it up, and his blond hair was loose around his angular face. When it came to the demon pecking order, Roth had once explained that as an Infernal Ruler, Cayman was middle management. He was kind of like the demon-of-all-trades, and I had a feeling he was more than just a…um, coworker of Roth’s. Whether Roth claimed it or not, they were friends. 
“That was quick,” Roth commented, folding his arms across his chest. 
Cayman shrugged. “It’s a sign of the times, man. It’ll probably be on some Alpha’s Facebook wall within the hour.” 
Alphas had Facebook accounts?



image2

And don’t miss the first titles in the Dark Elements Series!

BITTER SWEET LOVE

AmazonBarnes and Noble * iBooks * BAM * Kobo

WHITE HOT KISS

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * BAM * iBooksIndieBound * Kobo

STONE COLD TOUCH

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * iBooks * IndieBound * KoboBAM


Author Spotlight:
JLA_Author-photo

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website * Facebook * TwitterNovel Goodreads * Author Goodreads







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