Spotlight, Interview and Giveaway: Problems in Paradise by Kelsey Browning (@KelseyBrowning)

Hey y’all! (I like to “y’all” a little when I blog about southern romance.)

Yesterday was the big release day for the third book in one of my favouritest every contemporary romance series, Kelsey Browning’s Texas Nights series. I have written reviews for both of the other books (Personal Assets  and Running the Red Light) here on my blog, and I was so excited for Beck and Eden’s story! Without further ado, I present to you… Problems in Paradise!

 

Problems In Paradise Cover - Final

 

Rating: 5/5 Stars (and 5 chili peppers)

About the Book

Title:                Problems In Paradise (Texas Nights, #3)

Release:          July 14, 2014

Genre:                         Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Format:           e-book

Tags:                Texas, sexy, small-town, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, southern, Kelsey Browning

Book Links:      Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Books-A-Million / Carina Press / Goodreads

 

The blurb:

Eden Durant hasn’t always been Eden Durant. She’s made a fresh start in Shelbyville, Texas, far from her mother’s notoriety. Running the Paradise Garden Café is as much excitement as Eden wants—or it was, until she meets Beck Childress. Although he’s the one man who could expose her past, she’s willing to open up enough to see if he might be her future.

Chief Deputy Childress is determined to get to know the real Eden, when he isn’t busy cleaning up after the sheriff and running in the election to replace him. When several men fall sick after eating in Eden’s café, he investigates even as her mysterious past raises both his suspicions and his protective instincts.

As their relationship heats up, so do the pressures of Beck’s campaign. When Eden’s secrets are revealed, jeopardizing his dream of becoming sheriff, he’ll need to choose: serve and protect the town he loves or the woman who makes it home.

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YOU GUYS!

This is my favourite book in the series so far. It has a different feel than the last two books (which I absolutely loved as well), and I think the little bit of mystery, the load of drama and the extreme heat have a lot to do with it! I’ve always liked Eden’s character, but this installment of the series brought her into a whole new light for me, and I appreciate her so much more. I definitely underestimated Beck in the previous books though… his determination, his passion and his extreme hotness!

Eden goes through hell with her business and personal life in this book. She can’t seem to catch a break in any department, but she also can’t help herself when it comes to Beck Childress. He’s like a decadent dessert that she just can’t resist…

When things start to go south for Eden, she leans on the law… and in Shelbyville, the law is Chief Deputy Beck Childress. Of course Beck would do all he can to help out any of the citizens in need in his town, but when it comes to Eden Durant, he goes above and beyond. That woman drives him crazy in the best and worst way.

And as we all know; it never rains in Shelbyville – it pours. So of course, just as things start to really take off for Beck and Eden, everything else in their lives starts to fall apart. Will it be sugar and spice, and all things nice? Or will things between Beck and Eden sour and lose their appeal?

 

Kelsey Browning - Headshot

About the Author

Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, and Bad Dog. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series.

 

Connect with Kelsey: Email / Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

 

(I just need to add a little thing of my own here about Kelsey. Not only is she a great – and totally hilarious – author, she’s also a phenomenal person and a wonderful friend. Take the time to reach out to her and let her know if you like her work. She will really appreciate it, and you’ll be doing yourself a massive favour by getting to know her a little.)

Kelsey is going to give away one digital copy of the first book in the Texas Nights series to one lucky commenter at each stop on the Problems in Paradise Blog tour. I’ll keep my giveaway open until next Monday, giving you guys plenty of time to comment for a chance to win, and because I’m also kind of awesome, I’ll give away a copy myself. That’s two copies up for grabs here on my blog, and one at all of the other blogs on the tour.

Here’s a list of the stops:

July 14, 2014

Contemporary Romance Cafe

Brooke Blogs

Reading by the Book

The Reading Café

Amy Manemann

Bookin It Reviews

Night Owl Reviews

So Many Reads

 

July 15, 2014

Carina Press Blog

Love Romance Passion

The Book Cellar

Gonna Need More Books (You’re already here! Yay you!)

Musings From an Addicted Reader

SOS Aloha

 

July 16, 2014

Coffee Time Romance

TBQs Book Palace

Becky on Books…and Quilts

Eileen Dandashi

Herding Cats and Burning Soup

So I Read This Book Today

Blogging by Liza

Storeybook Reviews

Romance Junkies

Romance Cooks

 

July 17, 2014

Forget the Housework, I’m Reading

Renee Entress

Doing Some Reading

Pamela Foreman

Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts

 

July 18, 2014

Dee’s Book Blog

The Book Review

The Romance Reviews

Ariesgrl Book Reviews

Ramblings From This Chick

Stitch Read Cook

 

Because I love the Texas Nights books, and because I love chatting with Kelsey, you’re all in for a little treat… a late morning coffee with Kelsey Browning.

 

Hey Kelsey! How’s it goin’? Thanks for taking the time to hang out here on my little blog. It’s great to have you!

 

Thanks for inviting me! But tell me something, if I’m on your blog, does that mean I’m in Canada today? And if I’m in Canada today, is the weather good? ‘Cause you KNOW I like warm weather. J

 

The weather is practically perfect today. Sunny and warm with no humidity. Maybe after this we’ll head to the beach! 😉

You and I have had a few chats about the stigma that goes along with writing/reading romance, and what a complete load of you-know-what it is. Did you run into any judgment when you decided to really let writing become your career focus? What would you say to wannabe writers who are struggling with where to put their energy?

 

Hmm…I haven’t had much overt blowback on my career choice if we don’t count a few friends and family saying they don’t read “that kind of book” and a few other friends and family simply ignoring what I do for a career. I actually relish telling complete strangers that I write hot romance ;-). As for folks who want to write…just tell everyone—if only in your mind—to piss off. Write what you love. I have had one family member mention the whole “when you write a real book” thing to me. Told her I would stab myself in the eye with a butter knife if forced to write literary fiction. Do. Not. Apologize.

 

(As an aside, I was sitting in Chicago Midway airport when I was drafting these answers. The woman beside me was reading a Nora Roberts book so I rudely interrupted her and asked which one. After answering the crazy gal beside her, she went back to reading but later pulled off her headphones and asked me if I was a writer. I told her yes, and that I write hot romance and cozy mystery. It was a fun conversation, and I honestly have no idea how she figured out I was an author because I wasn’t even carrying my tote with my book cover splashed all over it!)

 

 

You write off-beat, sassy heroines and cheeky, charming heroes who find themselves in some steamy situations. Which comes more naturally to you, the characters or the story line?

 

Definitely the characters. I’m a verrrry character-driven writer. Sometimes I like to tell people I can’t plot my way out of a paper bag. But I’m learning. Contemporary romance, by its very nature, is character-focused. My paranormals (currently sitting on my hard drive because I don’t have time for them) are more plot-driven, but it still starts with the characters for me.

 

 

You know I adore all of your characters. They’re so well written that I can’t believe they aren’t real people. Who inspires their personalities, and where do the back stories come from?

 

Oh, that’s a great question! And when you get the answer, let me know ;-). I think every character has at least something in common with the author. Might be a tiny nugget, but it’s there. Their back stories are sometimes hard fought for me. I may know how they are, but not know why for a while. Sometimes the why doesn’t come until the middle of the first draft. For example, in Problems in Paradise, Eden has a HUGE secret. I thought I knew what it was until I wrote the scene where it’s revealed to the reader. And I was like “Holy $hit, I didn’t know this was the secret!”

 

 

One of the things I love about the Texas Nights series is that we get to meet so many interesting characters, and that each book focuses on a new pairing. I’m also a fan of how we get to hear about what’s new with characters from past books in each instalment. Do you ever find, as you’re writing, that the past couples have more that they want to say? If so, do you ever wish that they would just shut up and stay in their own book? I would imagine that that’s one of the more difficult parts of writing a series.

 

I love for the characters to come back and have a little more airtime. My editor, on the other hand, doesn’t always agree. LOL. I use the other characters when it makes sense for the current story’s progression. If they don’t advance the current story, then I have to nix them from the scene. Painful? Sometimes excruciating, but I have to keep my eye on the prize—which is the romance between that book’s hero and heroine. Um…did I answer your question?

 

 

It’s pretty obvious that you’re a gal who likes to laugh; it’s reflected in your writing. I know that I’ve woken my sleeping husband with laughter many times reading the Texas Nights series. Does it come easy to you, the one liners and sarcasm? What do you struggle with when you’re writing?

 

Some days nothing comes easily. Other days, I’m a zinger factory. It can depend on mood, the character I’m writing, all kinds of things. But I’ve taught myself to keep putting words on the page even if they seem flat at the time. I struggle with emotion—hitting the right chord with the relationships, not only between the hero and heroine but the other characters as well. I struggle with setting some. I’m not a patient person, so my characters rarely wander around in a field of daisies, sniffing them and describing them J. In Problems in Paradise, I actually struggled with the humor some. Beck and Eden are both serious people at their core. When my edits came back, my editor told me they weren’t quite three-dimensional yet, that I needed to round them out more. All the redneck jokes Eden cracks at Beck? Those came in the revisions.

 

 

Do you listen to music while you write? Can you share a Texas Nights playlist with me that might give me a soundtrack for a drive around Shelbyville?

 

Yes, I’m pretty much addicted to my playlists. Early on, I needed silence to write. Now, I feel paralyzed without tunes. In total, the playlists for the four Texas Nights books (including Designed for Love out in November 2014) include 51 songs. I won’t list them all here, but if I had to pick a handful, I’d suggest:

 

Storm Warning by Hunter Hayes (Designed for Love, #4)

That’s My Kind of Night by Luke Bryan (DFL)

Whatever She’s Got by David Nail (DFL)

Black Tears by Jason Aldean (Problems in Paradise, #3)

Give a Little More by Maroon 5 (PIP)

Love is a Long Road by Tom Petty (PIP)

Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good by Nickelback (Running the Red Light, #2)

I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight by Toby Keith (RTRL)

Jamie’s Cryin’ by Van Halen (RTRL. Even though the song is actually about a girl J )

You Wreck Me by Tom Petty (Personal Assets, #1)

Fight for All the Wrong Reasons by Nickelback (PA)

Power of a Woman by Lee Brice (PA)

 

Readers can find the Spotify playlist for Problems in Paradise here – http://www.kelseybrowning.com/books/problems-in-paradise/. Just scroll to the bottom and hit play.

 

 

Let’s talk Problems in Paradise. One of the things I like most about Eden is that she’s a transplant to Shelbyville. I love her quirks! What was different in the writing process when it came to developing her character? Was she more of a challenge to get on paper?

 

Oh, dear Jesus, yes! Some days, that woman didn’t even want to talk to ME. Occasionally I had to threaten her with the line my mom often used on us kids: “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it!” Although Eden has some fears, she also has major backbone. She wasn’t scared of me. But she slowly revealed her true self not only to me but to Beck. And that was a HUGE leap of faith for her.

 

 

I found Problems in Paradise to be a little different than the first two Texas Nights instalments. Probably my favourite so far, actually. I guess the setting change contributes to that, as well as the interesting back story. Was it a different feel during the writing process as well? Did you find it more difficult to colour outside the lines, so to speak?

 

Overall, PIP was more challenging to write. Every book (even so-called “simple” contemporary romances) have multiple plot threads, but with Paradise it was more challenging to keep everything moving in the right direction because of those many threads. It also had a slightly larger suspense-y thread, which isn’t my normal wheelhouse. I learned a great deal about handling more serious characters.

 

 

Can you give us a taste of what to expect from the fourth (and final! *SOB!*) Texas Nights book, and maybe an idea of what we can expect to see from you on our eReaders in the future?

 

Designed for Love is Mac and Ashton’s book. Those who’ve read Running the Red Light may recognize Ashton as the antagonist from that book. Well, she grew on me by the end of Red Light, and that’s when Texas Nights became a four-book series instead of a trilogy. No book is easy to write (don’t want to give people the wrong impression), but Designed for Love was significantly easier than PIP in some ways. The themes just aren’t as dark.

 

Now I want to talk about your reading habits a little bit.

Who are some of your favourite romance authors? Dare I ask you to name your top five titles? (Yep! I went there! I’d ask you to pick a favourite child too, if you had more than one. I’m nice like that.)

 

Oh, yeah, this ain’t fair at all. I’m not making promises these are my top-top-five. They’re simply some really good ones.

 

Sherry Thomas – Not Quite a Husband. (and I’m not even a huge historical reader)

Ruthie Knox – About Last Night and her entire Camelot series.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips – uh…everything, but especially Bobby Tom Denton’s story, Heaven, Texas.

JR Ward – the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but I probably loved Wrath and Beth’s story the most.

Tamara Morgan – The Rebound Girl and The Derby Girl.

And often, my fav child is my dog J.

 

 

What else do you like to read, besides romance? What’s on your summer reading list?

 

I read a good bit of nonfiction, much more now than I did before I began writing. I like a little Dean Koontz, Lee Child, and Harlan Coben on occasion. I read some of my son’s YA—like Divergent and some others—but we normally read those aloud. Summer reading list, what is that? J Seriously, I’m going to try like crazy to read one book a week, mainly contemporary romance. I just need to get a better feel for what’s out there right now.

 

 

What was the last book you read for fun? Do you always have your author hat on, or can you just lose yourself in a book without thinking about how you would do things?

 

Over Memorial Day, I read—gasp!—four whole books. I totally binged. Two of the Not Quite Series by Catherine Bybee, High-heeled Wonder by Avery Flynn, and Don’t Let Go by Sharla Lovelace. I’d would recommend them all. I have to say, I have a girl-crush on Sharla. She’s from Texas and is the nicest gal. I’m so glad I met her when we threw that 8-day Texas Facebook party a few months back.

 

And now… The rapid fire round.

 

Cats or dogs? Dogs, for sure.

Beer or wine? Both.

Sweet or salty? Salty.

Day or night? Depends on what I’m doing ;-).

Bad boy or gentleman? Bad boy for fantasy. Gentleman to marry.

Eat in or take-out? Eat-in mostly. But I do love me some Chipotle and Your Pie (pizza).

Ocean or lake? Lake. But honestly, I’m a little freaky about water varmints.

Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.

And finally….

Bacon or sausage? (You knew I’d do it.) Damn you! LOL. Bacon for breakfast. And sausage for…um…breakfast in bed. 😉

 

 

 

To wrap it up, can you tell me what your favourite thing is about being a writer?

 

The people. I’ve met such cool (and many times sarcastic) people over the past seven years. I’ve made great friends with other writers and readers. The reading/writing community is smart, savvy, and just a helluva lot of fun.

 

Uh…but a close second? Working in my Hatley moose pajamas (or if I’m writing in Sacha-speak, pyjamas).

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and let me pick your writer-gal brain. You popped my author interview cherry, and I’ll never forget you! Seriously though, I always look forward to chatting with you, and I can’t wait to see what kind of shenanigans wait for us lucky readers in your future work!

 

Thank you! I’m always humbled at the time people put into their interviews. It’s tough to ask questions that fit the interviewee. You did a fab job!

 

 

Before you go, please tell all of the lovely people where they can find you around the web! I’m sure they’ll want to keep tabs on what you’re writing once they get a taste of your sass-kickin’ romance!

Gladly! Your best bet in keeping up with my new releases (and shenanigans) is via my email newsletter. I send the newsletter once a month and promise never to do anything illegal, completely indecent, or overtly immoral. J

I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My website lists my books, tells you what’s coming soon, and features my blog, Brain Candy.

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Praise for Texas Nights Series:

Problems in Paradise:

“Starring a sexy lawman and a woman with a scandalous secret, a deliciously fun read.” – Shannon Stacey, New York Times bestselling author

 

Personal Assets:

“A hot man, a headstrong woman, and sizzling chemistry set against a homey Texas backdrop—Browning’s contemporary debut has all the assets that count!”  -Ruthie Knox, USA Today bestselling author of Flirting with Disaster

 

“Sinfully hot, sassy, and laugh-out-loud hilarious—everything a southern romance should be!” -Macy Beckett, author of the Sultry Springs series

 

Release day review: Sex and the Single Vamp by Robin Covington (@RobinCovington)

LoveAndTheSingleVamp2-1 copy

Rating 4.5/5 Stars

The blurb:

Cici Trent, vampire and media darling, spends her days finding true love for humans and supernaturals (the “Others”) at her dating agency. But someone is trying to sabotage her business and she needs help. Unfortunately, the best man for the job is the one who broke her still beating heart two hundred fifty-four years ago.

Deacon is a patient vampire. He’s only loved one woman in over three hundred years— Cici— and she chose another. So when she shows up in his office asking for help, he finally has the chance to lay that demon to rest. He’ll help her, but for a price—a night in his bed.

Adrenaline, mischief, and a little late-night B&E light the passion that even a couple of lifetimes couldn’t put out. But Deacon has a secret and when Cici is suddenly mortal, his deception might be the only way restore her immortality. Can love bridge the gap between a heartbeat and forever?

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Holy hell, you guys… I have to admit, I’ve read a LOT of PNR in the last 10 years or so, and a lot of it is the same kind of thing. I get vamped out, don’t you? Cue: Sex and the Single Vamp – a breath of fresh air in the PNR world. It’s dark, it’s super sexy, it’s got some great historical elements, and it will make your eyeballs bulge out of your head when you read the sex scenes. Yes, it will.

This is already a really big blog post, and I want you to read it all so I am going to keep my review short and sweet.

The hero is a dead sexy alpha-hole, but you will love him. The heroine is a strong, sassy woman who knows what she wants. (I am SO over the pushover females in some of these books. Gimme more Cici!) There’s history, there’s mystery, there’s backstory, there’s action (of both varieties), there’s dirty words (YAY!) and dirty sex and, of course, a looooooooove story.

You don’t want to miss this one, you guys. AND it’s only $0.99 for a limited time! Yoohoo, release week blow-out!
From the lovely author herself:

Friends –

Sex & the Single Vamp is my first foray into writing paranormal romance and I can admit that it was a terrifying and exciting experience.  I loved writing this book.

The world-building was a blast. When I started it, I had one question: What would the world look like if we knew that “Others”¾vampires, werewolves, shifters, fey, and witches¾really existed and had lived among us for centuries? Would we embrace these people and remember who they were (your neighbor, co-worker, doctor and pastor) or would we be afraid and turn our backs on them?

Weaving Cici and Deacon into world events (the American Revolution, the shootout at OK Corral, for example) was so much fun and I felt a little bit like the writer of Forrest Gump.  LOL.

But the heart of this story is a passion between Cici and Deacon that 254 years and heartbreak can’t extinguish. These are two people who cannot be together but who just can’t leave each other alone and they always have each other’s back.

So when Cici’s life is threatened, Deacon will forget his own pain and do whatever it takes to save her¾even if it means telling the secret that will lose Cici forever.

Warning: This book contains a sexy, dominating vampire who always gets what he wants and an independent woman who won’t let a simple thing like immortality get in the way of her happiness. The author is not responsible for spontaneous combustion of the reader.

To celebrate my release, I’m giving away a $50 giftcard and 10 SWAG packs! Enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win!

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A few writerly reviews:

“Sex & the Single Vamp is the perfect blend of dark and sexy.” #1 New York Times Bestseller, Jennifer Armentrout

 The world building is engaging, original, and all consuming and if you think you know what’s going to happen next…you don’t. Twists and turns abound. The characters practically walk off the sizzling pages and the romance between Deacon and Cici runs from intoxicatingly erotic to heartbreakingly tender. I was rooting for this supernatural couple from page one! Book boyfriend…thy name is Deacon. Sara Humphreys, Bestselling Author of UNCLAIMED

Still not convinced? Here’s a steamy excerpt! (Warning: contains dirty, sexy words!)

He let the silence fall between them as the tub filled, turning off the water when it hit the right level. He stood; his skin itched for him to get the hell out of there. He needed space. He needed to get some control over his emotions, his body.

“Water’s ready. Towels over in that basket. Stay as long as you want—the heater will maintain the temperature.”

Cici brushed past him, his body tingling where she touched him. He was hyper aware of her movements behind him, jerking slightly at the thump her high heels made when they hit the tile floor, groaning with the hiss of her minidress slithering over her skin and sliding to the floor. The swish of water as she climbed in; her sigh as she settled under the tumbling warmth. Fuck, he should leave. Where was that space he was thinking about earlier? He needed to get there.

Now.

“Come here.”

He froze. His body tensed as he willed it not to move. This was a bad idea.

“Deacon.”

He turned, her blue gaze clashing with his as steam rose around her, fl ushing her skin and making her auburn hair twist into curls that dragged and clung to her damp skin. He wanted to follow their path, licking and tasting, making her burn.

“Come here.”

He groaned. This was the time to leave. She’d want to talk and he couldn’t be trusted to keep the secrets he needed to keep for just a little while longer. One wrong slip to Cici and she’d bolt, vulnerable and too angry at him to pay attention to the danger.

“I’m…I can’t…too jacked up. My nerves are shot.”

“Your nerves are shot?” She huffed out a bitter laugh as she leaned back against the tub, eyes closed, the pale globes of her breasts breaking the surface of the water and putting her hard, pink nipples on display. “I almost got killed tonight and I need you here with me. Calm the beast and get your ass in here.”

Whoa. His cock hardened even more in the painful confines of his jeans. She was pissed and his sick, depraved mind got off on it. A new kink in his extensive arsenal.

“Look at you. You’re a goddess. Everything about you says don’t fuck with me.”

Her eyes opened, snapping to lock with his own. “Don’t make fun of me.”

“I’m not.” And he wasn’t. She was vibrating with rage and he was afraid. Afraid that her demon would reach out and grab his and he wasn’t sure he could contain the chemical reaction. He swallowed hard, loving the small burst of pain that brought him down a little. “I’m not okay tonight, Cici. I’ll hurt you.”

“Tough shit. Get the beast under control.”

“But—”

“You won’t.”

She looked at him then and he could have resisted her if she’d been a demanding shrew, but the goddamn vulnerability in her eyes killed him. On the surface she was a goddess. The huntress. Diana on a rampage, but her eyes gave it away. Not far below the surface was her shimmering, open, hurting core and he had to give in to that.

His guilt, his fear, his rage would have to wait.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Don’t punish me for this later.” He reached over his head, grabbing his shirt and yanking it off and throwing it on the floor. Within a matter of seconds his jeans and boots had joined it and he was naked, his cock jutting out from his body in full arousal.

Cici drank him in, her gaze following every line of his body from the top of his head to his feet and then resettled on his groin with a flash of blue around her pupils. Deacon groaned, wrapping his hand around his dick and stroking from root to tip as she watched him, turning him on more with that look than anyone’s touch had ever done.

You’re ready for the buy links now, huh? Wait no longer!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dhe6oa
Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/1okzTwX
iBooks: http://bit.ly/NNw1ta
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1opdsqp
Allromance ebooks: http://bit.ly/1gdzhoy

Here’s a little bit about the author and where you can find her around the web.

Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. When she’s not writing sexy, sizzling romance she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello. You can find Robin at her website (robincovingtonromance.com), Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Don’t send chocolate . . . send eye candy!

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.robincovingtonromance.com
Facebook Profile: http://on.fb.me/YSW9n3
Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/1fCyWuQ
Twitter: @RobinCovington
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1c1Tm5u
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/qjFcz

Last but not least, we have a Rafflecopter giveaway! Don’t forget to enter, there are some awesome prizes! 🙂

Review: Mr. Good Enough by Jamie Farrell (@TheJamieFarrell) 4.5 stars

JamieFarrell_MrGoodEnough_300x450

 

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

The blurb:
Maddie Mason isn’t desperate. She’s simply tired of waiting for the universe to deliver her Mr. Perfect. So she’s turning to the dating website she created, MisterGoodEnough.com, to finally find her future.

Online matchmaking is perfect for Maddie, because:
A) History has proven she’s a poor judge of decent husband material.
B) The dating pool in her crumbling little hometown is all but dried up.
C) She wants babies.

Trent Sawyer is not Mr. Good Enough material, because:
A) Twelve years ago, he stomped the stuffing out of Maddie’s naïve little teenage heart.
B) The man might look good in a tool belt, but she’s sure he’s up to something nefarious.
C) He doesn’t want kids. Ever.

But if Maddie were to fall for a guy like Trent, it would only be because:
A) When he apologizes, he apologizes big.
B) He’s fixing their little farm town, one dilapidated home at a time.
C) Her world is a brighter place with him in it.

So should Maddie:
A) Go for Mr. Second Best and the family she’s always wanted?
B) Take her Mr. Almost Perfect without the babies she craves?

Either way, there’s nothing simple about settling for Mr. Good Enough.

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Okay, y’all… (Wait. Did I just “y’all”? I totally blame this book. Anyway.) You remember how much I ranted and raved about Jamie Farrell’s first book, Southern Fried Blues? I adored it. I wanted to crawl right inside that book and live there, especially if I got to be Anna Grace. Well, Mr. Good Enough certainly left me feeling the same way. I love Farrell’s work because everything is so real and down-to-earth. I love her strong female leads, and her sexy southern boys. This book definitely warmed up this Canadian girl over a cold weekend! I have to explain my 4.5 star rating – I just want to read more. I want to know what comes next for these characters! It’s hard to say goodbye.

Maddie Mason is a cute and quirky gal who’s recovering from a broken heart and searching for someone to settle down and make a life with. Everything about her is unconventional for her little town. From her purple streaks to her funky paint colours, and her internet business – not to mention her ‘single’ status. The townspeople think her web based matchmaking service is the devil’s work. Maddie and her business partner Gina need a success story to prove to the town that their services are helpful, and Maddie needs a man. Mixing business with pleasure makes complete sense …right? I mean, it’s not like anyone’s ever heard of that being a problem in the past.

Trent Sawyer left this town runnin’ and never looked back. With an abusive father, a neglectful mother, and a dead best friend he sure didn’t have much to stick around for. His parents didn’t want to admit that he’d ditched them for a better life, so when someone with the same name died somewhere else in the country, they told the townspeople it had been their son – the hometown hero, star of the basketball team, “Swish Sawyer”. Needless to say, it’s more than a bit of a surprise when he shows up in town after getting some bad news.

Trent made a damned fool of Maddie in highschool. She’d thought he was the be all and end all, and he had made her feel so insignificant that she’d never really been able to get over it. But Maddie is a lovely and kind person, so of course when Trent shows up feeling sorry for himself and needing some help, she agrees to help him. After all, he’s got no one else. When Trent starts to show a little more than friendly interest in her, Maddie’s old feelings flare to a new fire, but she isn’t sure she can forgive him. Not only do they have to deal with their past, but they will have to have a serious talk or to about the potential for a future.

So you should:
A) click here and buy the book. Read it for yourself and see how it all turns out.
B) the answer is A.

This week, Jamie is offering up Mr. Good Enough for $0.99, save $3.00 off of the regular price. Get it while it’s hot!

Review: Lone Warrior by Lori Austin (@Lori_Austin)

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Rating: 4/5 stars

The blurb:

The third book in the exciting and sexy “Once Upon A Time In The West” Series from Lori Austin.

Rose Varner needs a man……

But not just any man. The one known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire.” He may be the only way to rescue her daughter, Lily, from the Cheyenne.  Legend has it he was once the Cheyenne’s captive, but his courage impressed them so much that they accepted him as one of their own. Yet the man Rose finds seems far from legendary…

Luke Phelan’s tortured past has driven him to live as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas. Having vowed to keep his distance from the Cheyenne, Luke refuses to accompany Rose on her rescue mission. But her bravery in the face of dangerous odds changes his mind. Now as they ride toward their destination, they’ll battle outlaws, bounty hunters, and their own rising desires before finding Lily. But the cost to Rose will be high, and her budding love for Luke will be put to the test…

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This was a really interesting read for me. I started with the first in the trilogy, because I don’t like to read things out of order. I was sucked right into Beauty and the Bounty Hunter right away and loved the characters, so whipping through the books wasn’t an issue. When I got into Lone Warrior, I was hooked on Austin’s strong, yet beautifully broken female leads. I was so glad that this book was on par with Beauty. I also really enjoyed Luke’s character; that slightly crazy, feral thing was surprisingly sexy on him.

What… is that weird? Okay, stay with me here.

Luke has been alone in the hills for a long time, hearing voices that tell him to do terrible things. When the voices tell him to kill Rose – he doesn’t. And that one decision changes his world forever.

Rose isn’t your typical “wild west” woman. She’s definitely wild, but she’s also strong and self sufficient. I love a good, strong heroine and Rose is definitely a member of that club. She’s not without fault, but being able to relate to her as a mother made me connect with her character, and I really felt for her throughout the book.

This was the first time I had read any “wild west” themed romance novels. I had always thought that they weren’t my thing. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these books, and I loved getting a peek at what Alexi and Cat were up to as well.

The love scenes are steamy without being raunchy, and chemistry is intense, and the plot is full of twists and turns. I really enjoyed all three of Lori Austin’s books, and I bet you will too!

Review: Running the Red Light (Texas Nights #2) by Kelsey Browning (@KelseyBrowning)

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The blurb:

After wearing a “Least Likely to Succeed” label all her life, Roxanne Eberly is hell-bent on making her Red Light Lingerie store successful. Although the residents of small-town Shelbyville, Texas, are a little…lingerie-resistant, she’ll win them over eventually. So when a former employer sues her, putting a major wrinkle in her careful plans, she reluctantly accepts help from hot-stuff Houston attorney Jamie Wright.

Jamie’s on track to become his firm’s youngest partner, but discovers an unwritten prerequisite—marriage. Turns out, the only woman he wants is Roxanne, but peddling thongs and sex toys isn’t a suitable career for the spouse of an up-and-coming attorney.

Jamie’s tangled up in Roxanne’s lawsuit, her life and her lingerie. But if they’re ever going to make it work, Roxanne’s big-city boy will have to decide what he values more: the career he always thought he wanted or the woman he never thought he’d fall for.

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I have never been so excited to receive an ARC as I was to get this one. When I read Personal Assets (Texas Nights #1) I immediately wanted more of Shelbyville and the amazing characters created by Browning. If you haven’t read the first installment, you can find my review here. It’s not that I wasn’t satiated after reading the first book, but I was so much in love with the town, the story, and the characters that I couldn’t wait to visit them all again and hear more of their stories.

Jamie Wright is the lawyer brother of Cameron Wright, the super sexy grease monkey of Personal Assets. He is driven, and when the opportunity arises for him to make partner as his law firm, he’s willing to do just about anything to make it happen. The problem is, the firm likes their partners to be settled, and settling means finding a wife. Not just any wife, mind you; a wife that the firm would deem a suitable companion for fancy dinners and galas.

Roxanne Eberly is the owner-operator of Shelbyville’s lingerie/adult novelty store ‘The Red Light’. She’s also Allie Shelby’s best friend …you know, the Allie Shelby who’s seeing Cameron Wright? Cameron Wright, brother of Jamie Wright …the lawyer who is also the silent partner in both Allie and Roxanne’s businesses? So of course, when Roxanne gets slapped with a lawsuit by her former employer, Jamie gets involved. Roxanne is an independent woman, and she doesn’t like to be rescued but, she eventually (albeit reluctantly) accepts help from the sexiest lawyer she’s ever laid her *ahem* eyes on.

There’s no denying that the chemistry between them is explosive, but Roxanne and Jamie both have a different plan. After all, it’s never a good idea to mix business and pleasure, right? …but what if pleasure is your business?

I can’t say enough good things about this author and her work. The plot lines (and the sexual tension) have a great sort of ebb and flow to them. One of the things I like most about Browning’s writing is that she has a knack for taking the characters’ budding relationships right to the brink, where you think ‘this is it! Finally!’ but then some sort of personal emergency or awkward interruption occurs and you’re left hanging, but in the best way possible. It just makes that moment so much sweeter when it finally comes around again.

I urge you not to miss out on this series. I’m already chomping at the bit for Texas Nights #3!

Review: Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorenson (@jessFallenStar)

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Rating: 4/5 Stars

The blurb:

Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

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I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting pretty tired of the billionaire stories. Breaking Nova was a refreshing read for me, but it also caused me some anxiety since I have a teenaged sister. Sometimes I forget about the kinds of scary things that can happen! I digress …I thought this was going to be about a love triangle. Yes, I’d read the blurb. I just assumed something different was going to happen in the beginning than what actually transpired.

Nova is an intelligent young woman who has just returned to her hometown for the summer following her freshman year at college. I’ve used the phrase “beautifully broken” about another character in another book by a different author, but the term applies here too. Perhaps, differently. Nova is so young, and so inexperienced in many ways. Because of “that day”, she lacks the drive to live out her days actively. She is so sad, and I just wanted to pick her up and carry her away. I felt her pain, even though I haven’t shared her experiences. That’s good writing.

Delilah …oh, Delilah. I liked her at the beginning. A friend with something in common, someone to talk and share with who would understand a little of what Nova was feeling …sounds like the ideal situation. Except Delilah wasn’t all that she seemed, and I grew to dislike her very quickly.

Funnily enough, I liked Quinton immediately. I guess I have a bit of a soft spot for troubled young men who feel something. I’m a bit of a fixer, I suppose. This guy has been through something really terrible, and really wants to shut off his feelings about everyone and everything. Cut off by his family and most of his friends, he turns to a life of drugs and one night stands to numb the pain.

When Nova and Quinton meet, they both feel for the first time in a long time. They feel for each other, for themselves, and they also feel guilt. Lots of guilt. I was expecting this book to be very angsty, but the guilt and sadness really overtook it. I’m glad of that, actually, because it really made you process what these two were feeling instead of read faster to get somewhere in the story that allows your pulse to slow down again. It’s good to slow down and feel the story sometimes instead of get lost in it.

The beginning of the story was slow-going for me. It usually starts slow for me when the characters are this young, because you have to get to know their parents or the story behind why they don’t have any parents. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you read late at night as I do, it’s hard to want to keep reading after a full chapter of background information. I’d likely do better to start these ones during the day. Once it got going though, I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed and I’ve found myself very tired a few mornings this week! It was easy to root for Nova and Quinton to find happiness in each other, but without resolution I feel a little stuck. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where these two end up in the second part of their story. I could really picture each different setting in the book in my head, but I saw the trailer and the concert the most clearly. I could really put myself into those places as if I was that proverbial fly on the wall, watching what the characters were going through.

This was the first book I had read by Jessica Sorenson. I had requested another via NetGalley but was not approved. I look forward to reading the other one when it is released.

Sorenson writes with conviction. Her characters are solid, and the plot keeps your interest. I found that this particular book would build up for anticipated event, but then it wouldn’t happen – over and over. Again, not a bad thing. It kept me going through the pages wondering what the climax would eventually be. It was a good, steady-reading book. Not the whirlwind read that I had expected.

*ARC obtained via NetGalley

Review: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones (@lisareneejones)

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Rating: 5/5 Stars

The blurb:

Infinite possibilities….
Infinite passion…..
Infinite danger….

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

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I was suffering from a massive book hangover when I started this one, and I didn’t have high hopes for a cure. Within three chapters I was hooked! This book is like crack, and I mean that in the best way possible. It was intense, addictive, exciting, and un-put-downable.

At first I thought it was just another dominant billionaire, poor little naive young woman romance, but I was very wrong. It couldn’t be more different. Sure, he’s a billionaire and she’s young. But there’s so much more to the story, the characters, and the feelings you get from this story. There’s a lot of chemistry, but this book is about so much more than the sex (thank goodness!). There’s mystery, there’s sadness, there’s excitement, and there’s no shortage of tension.

This book reads like a movie. I could see it all happening in my head without really trying to. I could picture Amy right from the minute she started to describe what she had done with her hair that day. And Liam? Don’t even get me started. I’ve already dreamcasted this book, and I’m going to keep this fantasy man to myself.

As the story progresses, it gets more complicated. There are so many layers at work here, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it all plays out in the next book. The ending wasn’t a total cliffhanger, but I am really glad that I don’t have to wait too long to see what happens! This was my first Lisa Renee Jones book, and I’m definitely going to be seeking out more & more of her work. The characters have depth and chemistry. I was always left wanting more, but in a good way. I devoured this book in just a few hours, and I haven’t done that in a long time! Jones knows how to hook you and leave you wanting more. This book is like a whirlwind romance. It leaves you breathless, excited, and wanting more.

I’m going to come back to this review and elaborate, I just had to get something down right away!