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Thursday, April 17, 2014

REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: DASH OF PERIL by LORI FOSTER




Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Dash of Peril Blog Tour, hosted by Media Muscle. My post includes a review and giveaway.



Dash of Peril (Love Undercover, #4)Series: Love Undercover #4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: 3/25/14
Format: ARC
Pages: 475
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 stars

A no-nonsense female cop reluctantly teams up with the one man who makes her lose control in a deliciously sensual new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster...

To bring down a sleazy abduction ring, Lieutenant Margaret "Margo" Peterson has set herself up as bait. But recruiting Dashiel Riske as her unofficial partner is a whole other kind of danger. Dash is 6'4" of laid-back masculine charm, a man who loves life—and women—to the limit. Until Margo is threatened, and he reveals a dark side that may just match her own.

Beneath Margo's tough facade is a slow-burning sexiness that drives Dash crazy. The only way to finish this case is to work together side by side…skin to skin. And as their mission takes a lethal turn, he'll have to prove he's all the man she needs—in all the ways that matter.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13562593-dash-of-peril?from_search=true

Last year I was introduced to the Love Undercover series with Getting Rowdy. With it's broody, swoony hero, the romance and suspense, I found it to be a fun read. The end of that book began leading us toward Dash of Peril, so I obviously wanted to get to know the yummy Dash.

Dash of Peril picks up four months after the end of Getting Rowdy, with that minor arc picking up again and leading this story. With a Lieutenant heroine and a civilian hero, Dash of Peril has an interesting dynamic, a true reversal of typical gender roles, particularly in romantic suspense. Here we have Margo trying to protect Dash and becoming frustrated when he doesn't listen. And Dash is frustrated bc he wants to help Margo, but she's worried about his safety. He finds it a bit annoying and offensive, but knowing that she is the boss (in this case) he goes along, has Margo's back, and lets her take the lead.

Margo is truly a strong heroine, knows who she is, and how to get her job done. She is prickly in the beginning, and sometimes her defensiveness irked me. But there is a reason for her harshness, she comes from a law enforcement family, with a nice enough brother but complete jerks for parents. They've made it plain that wish they'd had another son instead, belittle her when she's injured, and are simply awful. It's no wonder Margo is so rigid and afraid of being less than perfect. Tough and in control Margo also has a secret: she likes it when a man takes control in bed, and typically engages in anonymous sex so it doesn't affect her "real life".  It is very hard for her to reconcile her two sides, especially with a man whom she knows, and that leads to her reluctance with Dash.

Dash Riske was a great hero. By most accounts, he's pretty alpha, but I was happily surprised to see that he didn't jump into Margo's life and work and force her to do things his way. Knowing that respect in her job depends on her strong demeanor, he was careful to not undermine her. That was so great! But, one place Dash was the boss was in the bedroom. Margo's desire for submission, to let that control go, feeds into Dash's need to be super bossy in the bedroom.

As far as the suspense part, with Dash of Peril picking up a few months after Getting Rowdy, we immediately learn  Margo is back undercover trying to busy a kidnapping/porn ring. I like that Margo is proactive and tenacious. What I don't like is continually having the tough, smart heroine making reckless decisions. For example, continuing to go undercover against her boss' orders, and doing it alone. What part of going to bars very late at night, pretending to be drunk, having a few drinks, is supposed to be smart? Reckless is the better word here. I will say that as the story progresses, Margo does begin to make better choices. I would just like to have seen her be a bit more rational in the beginning. And the bad guys? They were idiots. They did everything the hard, stupid way. At one point, one of the good guys even mentioned how stupid they were. Give me a smart bad guy to fear and I will be on board.

Dash of Peril is a long book, four hundred, seventy-five pages. Sometimes, more is necessary, but in this case, the book could've easily been seventy-five pages shorter. We had a lot of repetition between Dash and Margo, and much set-up for the next book in the series.

Despite my irritation, I did find this to be a good story. If you're a fan of the Love Undercover series, I think you will enjoy Dash of Peril.


Favorite Quote

  When she didn't pull away, Dash leaned in again, nudging her lips apart with his own. She relaxed at the damp touch of his tongue, first tracing her lips and then dipping inside.
  God, he tasted good, like a man should. Her heart pumped faster. More so than the average guy, Dash was muscular from work in his construction company. Tall, handsome, friendly...and sexy.



Love Undercover Series
 
Run the Risk (Love Undercover, #1) Bare It All (Love Undercover, #2; Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #5) Getting Rowdy (Love Undercover, #3) Dash of Peril (Love Undercover, #4)

(covers lead to GoodReads page)
 
 
 
 
 




Purchase Links
 Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks





GIVEAWAY
One winner will receive a copy of Dash of Peril.
Must be 18+ years of age; open to US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the author
Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a Waldenbooks, Borders, USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. She also received the Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Series Romantic Fantasy and Contemporary Romance.

Lori believes it is important to give back to the community as much as possible, so she routinely arranges events among authors and readers to gather donations for various organizations.




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Clipped Wings Giveaway

 
In anticipation of the upcoming release of Inked Armor by Helena Hunting, I have a giveaway of Cupcakes and Ink and Clipped Wings. Some of you may know that I love this series, so I am happy to pass that love on. One winner will receive promo codes for Cupcakes and Ink and Clipped Wings, courtesy of the publisher.
 
 
 
Cupcakes and Ink (Clipped Wings, #0.5)  Clipped Wings (Clipped Wings, #1)  Inked Armor (Clipped Wings, #2)
 
(covers lead to GoodReads pages)
 
 
 
 

Giveaway
Must be 18+ years of age; open Intl.
 
 

 
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COVER REVEAL: TIED (TANGLED #4) BY EMMA CHASE

It's time to reveal another book in the Tangled series! I don't know about y'all, but I can't wait for Tied. Check it out, and be sure to let me know what you think.
 
 



 
Series: Tangled #4
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 10/7/14

In the fourth sexy romance by the New York Times bestselling author of Tangled and Twisted, Drew and Kate can’t wait to tie the knot—if they can survive the pre-wedding festivities.

For most of my life, I never imagined I’d get married. But Kate did the impossible: she changed me. I think we can all agree I was pretty frigging awesome before, but now I’m even better. The road to this day wasn’t all rainbows and boners. There were mistakes and misunderstandings worthy of a Greek tragedy. But Kate and I made it through with our inexhaustible lust, boundless admiration, and everlasting love for one another intact.

That being said, there were some unexpected incidents in Vegas last weekend that could have been a problem. It was kind of…my final test.

I know what you’re thinking—what the hell did you do this time? Relax. Let’s not judge, or call for my castration, until you’ve heard the whole story.

And hold on tight, because you’re in for a wild ride. Did you expect anything less?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20876097-tied?from_search=true
 
 
 
Emma Chase


By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine. 

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.

 
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads
 


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

REVIEW: TORN and DAZED (CONNECTIONS #2-2.5) by KIM KARR

Torn (Connections, #2)Series: Connections #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: 4/1/14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars


Rock star River Wilde brought Dahlia London back from the brink of hopelessness with his unwavering love and devotion. But their entangled history is about to test the strength of their relationship…

Dahlia was certain she had found true love and met her "Once in a Lifetime’ when she reconnected with River. But Dahlia’s world comes crashing down when someone from her past resurfaces, and all of River’s carefully hidden secrets are exposed.
                                                                      
 
River wants to show Dahlia that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about dancing in the rain. But how many times can one broken heart be mended?  Will River and Dahlia be able to stay together or will they be torn apart?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18249277-torn
 
 
 
Oh sweet mother. Torn was quite the emotional roller coaster and I enjoyed every single moment. This is coming from a woman who hates roller coasters, both figurative and literal. To fully review Torn without spoiling Connected is near impossible. I can either assume readers have already ready book one and know what's up, or that you don't mind spoilers. But I also don't want to chase away those who are unfamiliar or curious about the series.  So I guess I'm going to try for spoiler-free. Here goes.

River and Dahlia had reached bliss at the end of Connected. He loved her, she loved him. Dahlia had finally moved past the tragedy of losing Ben, and was ready to start a life with her true love. She'd found a once in a lifetime love twice, it seems. But then....the epilogue came, with a shocking cliffhanger. When Torn picks up, we get a recap of the ending, then it's full steam ahead. Dahlia and River are slapped with a face from the past. (And sorry if I'm not bring vague enough. I'm trying here!) So now we have this huge shock for Dahlia, which also begins a steady chain of revelations. Everyone around her has been withholding the truth. Yes, even River.

When I learned the direction of Torn, I was very worried. I wasn't sure I was ready for them to face upheaval from an outside source. Would Dahlia become conflicted, indecisive, would she make the wrong choices? I held my breath the entire time, but as it turns out...no. No she doesn't waver, become torn. Dahlia knows who she is, what she wants, whom she belongs with. I loved her conviction in the face of so many lies and betrayal.

What does drive a wedge between River and Dahlia is... River. He loves his beautiful girl. So, so much. River, though, has often felt he's competing with memories of a perfect love. He can't face the thought of losing Dahlia; his doubts, sadness and anger are what work to drive them apart. But also, River is at a crossroads with his career. Xander (and his father's memory)is pushing him to begin touring with The Wilde Ones. But what River wants is to write his music, develop new talent, and live a quiet and peaceful life with Dahlia. I really admired River's convictions on what was important to him.

Torn also deals several shockers for the supporting characters, particularly Bell. I've always liked her, and had an inkling her part in the story arc was more than it appeared. Wow, was I right. This turn made me angry, sad, but also has me dying to read her book.

I have to say again how pleasantly surprised I was by Torn. So often, when you have a book with this much drama, and so many dangling plot threads, the entire story can go off the rails. Somehow, Karr held every thread tight, and in the end pulled all the pieces together. Every question was answered, every small piece was tied up. I remember calling out a specific moment in Connected, one that had Xander being a complete ass to Dahlia, for no apparent reason. I was wrong, even that seemingly insignificant moment was brought back around, with an explanation that made sense and left me shaking my head in amazement.

I may have gone into Torn with hesitation and worries, but I left it with a lot of love. I'm sure there are some areas I could pick apart if I really, really tried. But I don't want to. Once I picked this story up, it was heart-pounding, jaw-dropping love and I enjoyed every single moment.
 

Favorite Quotes

   Watching him and feeling the weight of his body on mine makes me tremble. I can't touch him and somehow that only makes my need for him more intense. I know what he's doing--he's marking me, but I don't care. He already owns every piece of me. If he needs this to remind him, I'll give it to him.
 
 
  Taking her face in my hands, I kiss her hard. She wraps her arms around my neck and I feel lost in her, lost in her touch, her soul, her love.
  But it's not a kind of lost where you want to be found.
 
 
 
 
Dazed (Connections, #2.5)Series: Connections #2.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: 4/1/14
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Rating: 
3.5 stars

A Connection Series Novella featuring Aerie Daniels and Jagger Kennedy (River Wilde's cousin)

Jagger Kennedy never went looking for fame, he just fell into it. After scoring a major modeling contract, his clean-cut good looks and charm catapulted his career. But when his actress girlfriend breaks his heart, he moves to L.A. to try his hand at acting. He needs to make a change, and the last thing he’s looking for is love…

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her stunned, and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about him that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.

To keep from losing the one woman he can’t bear to be without, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19187334-dazed?from_search=true
 

After finishing Torn, with its crazy-intense plot and romantic love story, Dazed felt a bit anti-climatic. There's really no comparison between these stories, but I did like Dazed, a sweet story about Aerie and the man who finally melts her heart.

I've always felt Aerie was a good supporting character, a good friend to Dahlia. I wasn't especially dying for her story, but I was curious. The first half of the novella was a bit slow, not so much the plot, but there was a lot of internal dialogue from Aerie, and a lot of it was trivial details. In hindsight, I can see that it helps set up her actions and feelings, but at the time, I was thinking to myself "Why are you telling me what Dahlia and River's cabinets look like?" I

Once we hit the second half, the story picked up in intensity and I found myself caring a lot more. Jagger was an interesting character with an apparently exciting backstory. I would have loved if Dazed had included his point-of-view. I liked that he was kind and thoughtful, not afraid to love Aerie. Given that he's River's cousin, it seems that being a good guy is a family trait.

The big conflict in Dazed is the relationship between Aerie and Jagger. Obviously. Due to a past relationship that went bad, Aerie is wary and untrusting. It doesn't help that Jagger's past is right in her face, pushing those insecurity issues. I believed in the conflict, and I believed in Aerie in Jagger. Fans of the Connections series will likely enjoy Dazed.


Favorite Quote

  The heat of his hand against my neck flares within me and a strange urge runs through my body. It's not a need for human contact; it's a need for him, for his body to meld to mine.


Connections Series
  Connected (Connections, #1)  Torn (Connections, #2)  Dazed (Connections, #2.5)  Mended (Connections, #3)
(covers lead to GoodReads)
 






Purchase Links
 
 
About the author
I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don't need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There's nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore--it's time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart. <3


Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads
 



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PRESENTING... HAPPENSTANCE by JAMIE McGUIRE!

We are thrilled to share the gorgeous cover and a teaser for Happenstance by New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie McGuire! We'd love to know what you think, so please be sure to comment below AND don't forget to check out the amazing giveaway!



Title: Happenstance
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Jamie McGuire LLC (May 9, 2014)
Print Length: 100 pages
ASIN: B00JOPR0ZK

PRE-ORDER LINKS:



#1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire returns to self-publishing with this page-turning YA account of Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday. Erin Easter, raised by a neglectful single mom, keeps to herself and admires Weston Gates from afar. The other Erins, Erin A. and Erin M. are the darlings of the community: daughters of the two wealthiest families in town, best friends, cheerleaders, and everything Erin Easter isn't--and they never let her forget it. Erin A. has even claimed Weston since the 8th grade. 

Weston is a well-liked star athlete, and the son of two prominent attorneys. He struggles daily with the pressures of living up to his family name and secretly empathizes with Erin Easter's feeling that she belongs somewhere else; in a different life. Not until he begins sneaking nights out with Erin does he gain the courage to buck expectations and acknowledge his feelings ... both for his future, and for her. 

But when a shocking tragedy rocks the tiny town, Erin's life is turned upside down in the best way possible. But when the truth is revealed and everything Erin thinks she wanted falls into her lap, life only becomes more complicated.


  








Giveaway


About the author
New York Times best selling author Jamie McGuire has penned the Providence series and contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children. She is an RT(R), a graduate of Autry and Oklahoma Northern College, and a full time writer.

 Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter











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HOPPY EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA GIVEAWAY

Hoppy Easter 2

HEYYYY!! Welcome to my stop on the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop! This hop is being hosted by I Am A Reader and Read Now Sleep Later. You can find all the blogs here.
 
 
 
Giveaway
 
I'm giving away 1-$10 gift card, to Amazon or B&N. Open Intl.
 
 
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Autism Awareness Giveaway ~ Kennedy Ryan

A Message From Kennedy Ryan
April is Autism Awareness month. That might not even register on some people's radars, but my family has lived with Autism for the last 11 years, since my son was diagnosed. My book WHEN YOU ARE MINE releases June 17 and provides a unique opportunity for me to combine my passion for writing and Autism advocacy. I'm donating 25% of my royalties from this book to resourcing families living with Autism. 

Learn more about Autism and the 1 in 68 children diagnosed from my charitable partner, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

Celebrate all the gladiators out there - kids, adults, families, siblings - living with Autism by entering the Autism Awareness Giveaway! Great cause! Great prizes!
 

Giveaway

 
 
 
 

Series: The Bennetts Trilogy #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: 6/17/14


Forever is a heartbeat away . . .

Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she's always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.

. . . but what about love?

As one of the East Coast's most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family's nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he's been distracted by the one woman he can't have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18949109-when-you-are-mine
 
 
 
 


Series: The Bennetts Trilogy #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: 10/7/14


Right or wrong, Kerris made her choice. She chose Cam, and she's not a girl who sways or strays. But the feelings, the connection, the chemistry between her and Walsh - it wont go away. And now that Cam has seen for himself how deep it goes, everything is in ruins--the lifelong friendship between Walsh and Cam and maybe, her marriage, too. But sometimes the heart just doesn't know when to quit. If there's a way to make things right on all fronts, Kerris will find it, no matter what it costs her. Her heart tells her to fight to have it all. And the heart that fights loves forever and for always.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20706754-loving-you-always


 


Purchase Links
When You Are Mine
Amazon  |  B&N
 
 
 
Loving You Always
Amazon  |  B&N
 

 
 

About the author
Author Kennedy Ryan has had several signs that she would be a writer, and finally circled back after years of gainful employment. She is a mom to a wonderful son living with autism. This is her debut novel and a percentage of her royalties are donated to families living with autism through her personal foundation as well as through TACA, Talk About Curing Autism.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads


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