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Michelle Falkoff #BookBlitz + Giveaway

Celebrate the release of Michelle Falkoff's Pushing Perfect!
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Excerpt + Giveaway: It's Been You by Rina Gray

Celebrate the release of Crush on You #2 from Crimson Romance author Rina Gray!
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I'm a #NanoWriMo2016 Participant!

Come be my writing buddy or follow my progress.
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It's The Action-Packed Return of the Continuums (Review)

Jennifer Brody continues the trend of a fast paced story full of hard hitting action, but there's a point where readers demand more character development.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life (Review)

Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

My Not So Perfect Life
Sophie Kinsella
Pub Date: 2/7/17
The Dial Press (Random House)
Genre: Women's Fiction
Amazon | B&N

My Not So Perfect Life is the type of witty chick lit one would expect from bestselling author Sophie Kinsella. The deliverance is wholly human and sure to tickle readers all over!

I will admit that this is my first Sophie Kinsella novel, ever, and I almost didn't keep reading it. It took a minute to get in sync with Katie's voice and understand what kind of person Katie is and boy was she annoying! However, as I continued reading I realized that Katie is as human as we all are and prone to pretending that life is perfect through the rose colored filters of social media. Katie is struggling to make it in London. Her commute is abominable and her living arrangement is less than stellar. According to her dream, though, it's all worthwhile. Her boss Demeter has a seemingly picture perfect life, from the top job to the family, and Katie wants to be like her. Her hero worship is part of what makes her so annoying at the beginning of the story, because of course no one is that great in real life! When Demeter insensitively fires her it's the last straw and Katie finally gets a clue.

That's where the story took a turn for the better. I could really see that the story is written in a way that allows the reader to see Katie's flaws and see her attempt to learn from her naivety. She spends time at her childhood home, helping to turn it into a glamping destination, while trying desperately to find a new job. At this point in the novel I actually felt more eager to finish it. Demeter arrives at Anster Farms with her family and throws Katie off balance. The story becomes more comedic and moves a bit faster at this point.

Sophie Kinsella knows how to tell a story that manages to engage laughter and tears. This is the book to read whenever you need a good laugh and a hard hitting reality check!
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

Previous Review: Sugar by Kimberly Stuart
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Big Dose of Sugar to Brighten Your Day (Review)

After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.
Kimberly Stuart
Pub Date: 2/7/17
Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Romance
Amazon | B&N

Sugar is the ingenious new novel from author Kimberly Stuart. Charlie Garrett is a young pastry chef striving to become the head of her own pastry kitchen. After 5 long years grueling at L'Ombre, under whacky French chef Felix, Charlie is convinced by an ex to move to Seattle and work at Thrill. What he doesn't tell her though, is that her job comes with a spot on a reality show.

The producer of the show tells Charlie that it'll boost her career and send her to the top. The move to Seattle hands her the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance at romance. Can she learn to balance her work life with her personal life? Or is the pressure too much to handle? Kimberly Stuart surely hits the right balance of drama and sweet, sweet romance! Kai and Charlie are a match made in chef's heaven. They both analyze their food down to the spice and have a passion for creating in the kitchen. I loved how they had a natural instant connection.

Charlie is a very determined and persistent character that you can't help but admire. She gets so caught up in her world of perfecting her desserts that she doesn't put her friends first. She's an extreme workaholic who doesn't see disaster looming right around the corner. Readers will see her struggle with newfound fame and the headache that comes along and wish to step in and save her from herself. A little humor takes root in the plot as Charlie navigates the drama of the workplace and brings life to the story. It's genuine humor that makes you laugh out loud while being simultaneously engrossed in the outcome of the plot.

Sugar is a story I can see myself reading again on a gloomy day that needs a little something to brighten it. It just had that kind of effect on me. I recommend this to readers who like their romance with a little humor and a lot of sweet!

*eARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Lord Sebastian's Secret (Review)

A Passionate and Whimsical Regency Tale from Bestselling Author Jane Ashford 

Will the secrets that brought them together tear them apart? 

Proud. Cunning. Battle-hardened. Lord Sebastian Gresham is the epitome of military might and excellence. He’s wealthy. The son of a Duke. There’s just one problem: he can’t read. It’s a secret he’ll never tell, certainly not to his new bride-to-be. 

Brilliant. Witty. Gorgeous. Lady Georgina Stane has always known she’d make the perfect bride, that is, if her eccentric family didn’t scare off every potential suitor from London to Bath. After carefully orchestrating a London season with her parents out of the picture, she secured an engagement to an impeccable gentleman. And when Lord Sebastian arrives at her family’s estate to meet her parents, she’s not about to let their antics ruin her perfect marriage.

But what happens when these two learn that some secrets aren’t so easy to keep?
Lord Sebastian's Secret
The Duke's Sons #3
Jane Ashford
Pub Date: 1/3/17
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romance (Regency/Historical)
Amazon | B&N

Jane Ashford's regency romance series, The Duke's Sons, continues in Lord Sebastian's Secret. Sebastian Gresham is prepared to marry Georgina Stane, the young heiress he met during the past London season. At Stane Castle though, Sebastian and Georgina face secrets and a quirky family that threatens their relationship.

The story itself was not as exciting as I thought it would be, but it had some moments of levity that set it apart from other regency novels I've read. While some are stuffy and focus more on setting the scene through lengthy descriptions and fancy dialogue, Lord of Secrets is quite the opposite. The story is very character based, so all the attention is on Georgina and Sebastian, and Georgina's quirky family. The Stane family is quite unconventional and a threat to the marriage. Georgina is worried that Sebastian will be turned off by them, but Sebastian is hiding a secret that he believes will cause Georgina to regret their pending nuptials.

Georgina and Sebastian were so obviously into each other from the very outset of the novel, so their doubts and insecurities about the marriage started to feel repetitive. If I as the reader felt doubts about their relationship I think it would have added some suspense to the story, but it was really plain how the story would play out. The road to get there, littered with obstacles from various members of the household, is another matter entirely. From pugnacious pugs to an obstinate father obsessed with reincarnation, something comes between Georgina and Sebastian over and over again.

After a certain point in the novel I felt like I was reading just to get to the end. I didn't expect any surprises, but sometimes when you start a novel it's easier to just finish it. Maybe the fourth book in the series, Nothing Like a Duke, will be a little more wild and unpredictable.

*eARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Release Blitz: Eye of the Soul (Review + Giveaway)


That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Eye of the Soul
Pool of Souls #1
Terri Rochenski
Pub Date: 1/9/17
Roane Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Amazon | B&N | Createspace | Smashwords | Bookstrand

The first in a republished duology, Pool of Souls, is light fantasy for readers new to the genre or looking for a quick jaunt in a mystical world. Eye of the Soul follows a young girl on a journey that turns her whole world upside down.

In Terri Rochenski's Eye of the Soul, young Hyla is quested with saving her people. The 'Natives', green eyed with pointy ears, are taken captive by high priest Belwig who has declared their god Fadir is false. In the aftermath, they're all taking captive except for Hyla. She's tasked with going to the Pool of Souls, a place that her people are unaware of because many of them have stopped truly believing in their ancestral beliefs. War is on the brink and Hyla may be the key to saving many lives. It was ironic that the Natives are persecuted for their differences yet many have lost faith. They are scared to even acknowledge the few who are aware that they possess special gifts, like Hyla's ability to perceive the deeper emotions of one's soul and Conlin who can travel his soul to great distances.

As I read I felt myself transported to Hyla's world. Though most of her time was spent on the road I still got the impression of a medieval like setting. The style of dress and language added to the world building. True to form, the story takes on various points of views. From the evil mastermind Belwig to innocent Hyla readers get a rich story. It has themes similar to one of my favorite fantasy novels, Valor of the Healer by Angela Highland. I've always found value in stories that begin with an innocent girl starting off on a journey and hopefully coming out on the the other side of it stronger and more confident in her convictions.

I'm very curious to see where this series goes. The setup of the plot and the style of writing doesn't seem to leave room for surprises, but I've been wrong before. Secret of the Souls is bound to a climatic end to Hyla's adventure!

*Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review*



Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.

“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”

Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.“

Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”

She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.

Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.

“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.


The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.

Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.

The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.

Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.

Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.

The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”

Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.

A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.

“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.

“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.

A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.


Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner will be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Blog Tour: FREEKS by Amanda Hocking (Review + Giveaway)

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
Amanda Hocking
Pub Date: 1/3/17
St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Fantasy
Amazon | B&N | BAM | Macmillan

Freeks is another fabulous addition to Amanda Hocking's greatest hits! It's captivating and intriguing and all that you would expect from her: characters that are unique and colorful personalities and a story bursting with action and emotion.

The year is 1987 and Gideon Davorin's Traveling Sideshow has just arrived in Caudry, Louisiana. There's a chill in the air as something dark stalks the performers. Mara, who has longed to settle down in one place and live a normal life, explores the town on the first night and meets Gabe, the epitome of teenage normalcy. Or so Mara thinks. He becomes integral to the story in a surprising manner as Mara and the other sideshow residents fight to protect each other from a mysterious dark force. The pacing of this novel is very steady, so the mystery isn't drawn out so long that you'll want to pull your hair out, but it reaches it's peak at the right moment. There's just the right balance of getting to know the characters and their backgrounds and seeing them interact throughout the course of solving whatever mystery looms before them.

I wasn't expecting the novel to be set in the late 80's but it was an easy adjustment. Amanda writes with such clarity and detail that makes any setting believable and real to your mind. She has always been excellent at world building, a fact that can be attested to by her successful Trylle Trilogy, and she continues the trend in Freeks. By the end of the novel I was searching for any indication that there would be a series to follow, but I can understand if Freeks is left as a standalone. The final outcome remains and, as usual, readers will be left craving more Hocking!

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

About Amanda:

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of the New York Times bestselling Trylle trilogy, the Kanin Chronicles, the Watersong series, and six additional self-published novels. She made international headlines by selling more than a million copies of her self-published books, primarily in e-book format. She lives in Minnesota, where she's at work on her next book.
*author photo courtesy of Mariah Paaverud*
 Connect with Amanda: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

**GIVEAWAY: Now Closed**
St. Martin's Griffin is allowing me to host a giveaway for (1) shiny hardcover of FREEKS. Just comment below telling me your favorite Amanda Hocking novel! (Bonus points if you follow Lovey Dovey Books via GFC!!)...and GO!

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Law and Disorder (Review)

Trust the enemy?

Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man…and he's holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor's eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?

Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can't let Kody die. He won't. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.
Law and Disorder
The Finnegan Connection #1
Heather Graham
Pub Date: 1/17/17
Harlequin: Intrigue
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Amazon | B&N

From the very first line Heather Graham hooks readers into a novel of steamy suspense. Dakota Cameron, actress and part-time bartender, is working at her family's Crystal Manor museum in Florida before heading back to New York for work. She doesn't expect to be taken hostage, along with other members of staff, by a gang wearing masks of notorious gangsters. The leader of the gang, Dillinger, is on the hunt for Anthony Green's hidden treasure and it's up to Kody to find it before anyone is hurt.

Lost treasure possibly hidden in the swamps and bogs of the Everglades makes Law and Disorder all the more intriguing. A great majority of the novel is taken place in the Everglades. Just imagine all the trouble Kody and undercover Agent Nick Connolly get into while trying to survive an expanse of nature and an obsessed criminal. As much as I like the idea of the story, I wasn't a big fan of the dialogue. Dillinger managed to sound like a cheesy villain and the other characters didn't really stand out from one another. In other words, it was hard to imagine their speech coming from actual people. The romance is an interesting blend of instant connection and mutual attraction as Kody realizes one of the kidnappers is a man she bumped into in New York, and Nick does everything in his power to remain undercover while keeping her safe. The romance scenes feel like they actually belong in a regency romance because of how tamed and modest they are, but it goes in hand with the fast pace of the novel.

I've always been a big fan of stories featuring FBI agents and romantic thrillers. While Law and Disorder hasn't made my list of favorites, I still enjoyed the first novel of Heather Graham's latest series The Finnegan Connection.

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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