Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Courtney Reviews: Best Man with Benefits (Wedding Dare #4) by Samanthe Beck

Best Man with Benefits (Wedding Dare, #4)
Series: The Wedding Dare #4
Series: The Wedding Dare #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: 6/9/14
Format: eARC
Pages: 229
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars

 
 

How far can one favor go…

Logan McCade arrives at his best friend’s wedding overworked and in desperate need of a vacation, only to discover his best man duties have been…expanded. He must coax Colton’s sister out of her shell, or risk her hiding in her room all week. Logan figures he can handle one introverted bridesmaid, but he’s not expecting how much he enjoys “handling” Sophie…or how much she enjoys being handled.
Socializing has never been web designer Sophie Brooks’s strong suit, but she’s determined to shed her wallflower image and embrace the “New Sophie”—a feat made easier with the supremely sexy Logan McCade tempting her to explore all her forbidden fantasies. If she’s not careful, she just might fall for the best man.
Sophie’s sweet, sexy, and delectably awkward demeanor brings much-needed calm to Logan’s hectic life. With the nuptials only days away, Logan is forced to face the possibility that his favor to a friend might have become something else entirely…and that he’s not willing to let Sophie go. Ever.


 
Courtney's Review

Best Man with Benefits is the 4th installment of The Wedding Dare and I LOVED IT!!!!

 I am in awe of these authors so far (having read two parts if it now) because the continuity of the characters and storyline is so perfect. I honestly didn't feel like there was any difference at all, and I think that will make you (and definitely me) excited as a reader to read this series. As an avid reader too, I know how big of a commitment it is from the get to to know there is five stories here, but do NOT be deterred....it is worth it.

 Samanthe Beck's novel follows the Best Man (obvs) Logan McCade and the groom's baby sister (who isn't so little anymore) Sophie Brooks. Logan is a workaholic and I came to love him...but do you know how many times I wanted to smack him (I'm quite violent with my words, sorry)for putting his work before other things....You don't know! You will know if you read it. Because you must.

 Anyways, Logan seems like a uptight, buttoned up CEO, and Sophie seems like a quiet, no thrills or frills girl, who hasn't came out of her shell....Well....let me tell you. Samanthe Beck did not disappoint with opening these two up in the bedroom in ways that I was hot for. Holy crap, Sophie is a powerful woman when she wants to be, and the way that Logan allows her to be and do whatever she wants was awesome too!

 This story is the epitome of why I love romance. There was plot, there was story, there was sex and steam, and a journey that we got to go on with the characters through Samanthe's stellar writing that wasn't too horribly angsty, but had just enough suspense that I wasn't sure how things would end up! I can't wait to read more by her!!

 
 
The Wedding Dare Series


Dare to Resist (Wedding Dare, #0.5)  Falling for the Groomsman (Wedding Dare, #1)  Baiting The Maid Of Honor (Wedding Dare, #2)  Seducing The Bridesmaid (Wedding Dare, #3)   Best Man With Benefits (Wedding Dare, #4)
 
(covers lead to GoodReads pages)
 
 



About Samanthe Beck
 
Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.
 
When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.
 






Cover Reveal + Excerpt: When You Were Mine by Elizabeth Reyes


We are so excited to share the sexy cover for When You Were Mine by Elizabeth Reyes. We also have a great little excerpt to share as well!




Title: When You Were Mine ( A Moreno Brother's novella)
Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Age Group: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 2014


Synopsis

When her head was screaming “enough,” her hopeful heart continued to whisper “wait.” 
It's the only way Valerie Zuniga can justify her ongoing addiction to the amazing but ever, elusive Alex Moreno. Mesmerized by the profound connection neither has ever quite understood, Valerie  accepts their crazy relationship for what it is—non-exclusive. 
That is until the incredible highs no longer numb the sting of the intense lows.   
As tasteless and slippery as pride can be, for Alex it's always been the hardest pill to swallow.  
Faced with a final ultimatum, the choice is a no-brainer for Alex. Despite his insanely busy life he's determined to prove to Valerie, that not only is he ready to commit, it's what he's always wanted—to claim Valerie as his exclusively.  
But just as it kept him from admitting his real feelings all those years, will his obstinate pride once again step in and ruin things just when they're finally getting it right?  

Excerpt


"Why are you here?" she demanded.


"I wanna talk to you?" he asked hopefully.

"No," her response was too quick—abrupt. "I'm busy now. Try me another time."

Okay maybe he deserved that. But he knew she wasn't busy. He knew he had to convince her to hear him out. Alex was determined to say everything he came here to say to her tonight. And then he saw it. The movement behind her. His eyes zeroed in on a guy sitting at her small kitchen table looking equally as relaxed as Valerie texting something on his phone and there were two glasses of wine on the table. 

Alex took him in for another second from top to bottom as the slow boil inside him began to bubble. The guy put his phone down then reached for the bottle of wine and poured them each a little more. 

On instinct Alex put his hand on the door in case she even thought of trying to slam the door on his face. That wasn't happening now. And any hope of this night ending amicably like he'd been optimistic about was instantly squashed. He turned to Valerie whose earlier incensed eyes looked a little panicked now. "Who the fuck is that?"  



 Don't forget to add When You Were Mine on GoodReads!


About Elizabeth Reyes
"I write because I must. It's not a choice or a pastime, it's an unyielding calling and my passion."
~Elizabeth Reyes

USA Today Bestselling Author, Elizabeth Reyes continues to answer her calling on a daily basis. Since releasing her debut novel FOREVER MINE (MORENO BROTHERS #1) in 2010 she has since published five more in that series, FOREVER YOURS, SWEET SOFIE, ALWAYS BEEN MINE, ROMERO and MAKING YOU MINE, with more stories about the Moreno family and their friends to come. She's also published a second series, 5th Street which includes, NOAH, GIO, HECTOR, ABEL. FELIX the fifth in the series is scheduled to release November 13th 2014. Her Moreno Brother's spinoff series FATE includes FATE, & BREAKING BRANDON, there is also more of this series still to come. Her latest release and first in a brand new series is DESERT HEAT about the diverse but equally sexy Santiago Brothers living in Las Vegas.

When she's not writing (which is rare)she spends as much time as she can with her husband of over twenty years, two teen children, Great Dane, Dexter and big fat lazy cat, Tyson.

Keep up with all her upcoming books/events/signings by visiting her
website.

You can also keep up by liking her fan page on
Facebook 

Following her on
Twitter and follow her Instagram



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Monday, July 21, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen





Whether you’re looking for a romance that makes you laugh, makes you ‘walk the plank’, keeps you guessing, or stars your favorite paranormal, look no further. Select books have the single-title stories you crave, and the longer length you need to really get ‘lost’ in a great book. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.


Today I'm happy to be featuring Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen!





Dakota Halifax loves to be in love. In fact, as one of Las Vegas’s premier wedding planners, she’s built a whole career around romance. Which is why her own wedding has to be nothing short of perfect. And then her fiancĂ© jilts her. While she’s waiting in her wedding dress. On a cruise ship already out at sea.

Once back on dry land, Dakota tries to pour her heart into her business and weekly wedding advice column, Get Ready to Wed. But how can the heartbroken celebrate others’ true love? When she reconnects with her childhood best friend, surprisingly sexy and all-grown-up casino bouncer Brendan West, Dakota wonders if maybe she can fall back in love with being in love.

But then her ex reappears, begging for another chance and suddenly Dakota questions if she’ll ever understand love. Can someone once-burned and twice-shy ever find her way down the aisle again?
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
My (Mini) Review
 
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Madsen's. Whether it's YA with a paranormal or gothic twist, a swoony, slightly wacky and heart-tugging romance, or a story that has a strong chick lit feel, if she writes it, the chances are excellent that I'm going to love it.
 
Ready to Wed was no exception. This was a story of Dakota Halifax, jilted bride and newly-turned skeptical wedding planner. Dakota had quite the emotionally-challenging journey in this story, with her beliefs on love and weddings challenged at every turn. Add in a swoony guy, Dakota's former best friend Brendan, and you have a recipe for the kind of love story that will make you smile and make you believe. 
 
Dakota was a lot of fun. Like a lot of Madsen's heroines, she's a sweetheart, but also really snarky and witty. Jake was another of Madsen's good-guy heroes, which happen to be a favorite of mine. Kind, charming, sexy and not afraid to make Dakota his, Brendan had me from the beginning.
 
If you're looking for a strong, character-driven story that will make you smile throughout, once again, you can't go wrong with Madsen. Ready to Wed was great!
 
 
 
Favorite Quotes
 
 
   "Men are like puppies...you will get attached, bring them home, and they will shit all over everything you love."
 
 
  Brendan lowered his forehead to mine. "I've loved you one way or the other since the first day we met, Dakota Jane Halifax, and I'll keep doing it, no matter what happens. Even if we find out we're better as friends." 
 
 
About Cindi Madsen
 
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. She is the author of YA books All the Broken Pieces, Cipher, and Demons of the Sun and adult romances Falling for Her FiancĂ©, Act Like You Love Me, and Cinderella Screwed Me Over.



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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blog Tour: The Longest Night by Kara Braden ~ Review /Guest Post / Giveaway


 I am so excited to welcome author Kara Braden to the blog today, to discuss her book, The Longest Night. I also have a review to share with you (spoiler alert: I loved it!) along with a giveaway. Thanks for stopping by!



The Longest NightSeries: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casa
Publication Date: 7/1/14
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars



This could work, whispered the little voice in the back of her mind, the voice that had been silent for seven years…


SHE SOUGHT SOLACE IN SOLITUDE
Years ago, former Marine Captain Cecily Knight fled her dark past and the nightmares forever haunting her nights. Alone in the remote Canadian wilderness, she survives day to day…until Ian Fairchild comes storming into her life and shatters her protective seclusion.
UNTIL ONE TOUCH BARED HER SOUL
Aloof but intriguing, defensive but undeniable, Ian is everything Cecily shouldn’t want but can’t ignore. He watches her with shrewd blue eyes, as if determined to decipher her secrets…and for the first time in years, she finds herself coming alive beneath the hands of a man with too many scars to count.
As the hushed and harsh winter closes in around them, two lost souls find themselves on the precipice of a love that could save their lives…or destroy them forever.




My Review

Oh yeah....I just love a good cabin romance, particularly when the characters are struggling, emotionally vulnerable wrecks.

That made me sound mean, didn't it?

The Longest Night was a delicious cabin romance, full of tension and lust and emotionally-laden
moments that had me pulled in the whole way through. The story centers around Ian, a lawyer recovering from a prescription painkiller addiction, and Cecily, former soldier and by all appearances,
 a recluse. When Ian is released from his latest treatment program, he's told by his bosses to stay out
of Manhattan for at least several months. His brother Preston (who'd better be getting a book, Ms. Braden)knows of one place to send him, a remote cabin in the Canada wilderness, to stay with
Cecily.

Ian doesn't particularly want be in a remote location, but is out of options. Cecily doesn't want Ian's intrusion, but after Preston's actions seven years prior, she owes him any favor. The story begins with a lot of tension between the two, not hostile, just a bit uncomfortable due to their experiences. He doesn't want to be there, she doesn't want him there, but their both resigned to make the best of it. But as with the best cabin romances, the two quickly develop a deep level of comfort that came across as authentic. The fact Cecily's cabin is only accessible by plane or quad (I think what a lot of us know as a four-wheeler), has limited electricity and internet, and it's too effing cold to even go outside most of the time, has Ian and Cecily in constant close quarters and contribute to the quickness of comfort level and intimacy.

So you go into The Longest Night thinking Ian is the one who needs the most. He's still in a lot of pain from an injury, and he's coming off of an addiction. Surprising though, Ian is in a mostly good place with his recovery. He knows he must stay clean, and at this point, his distress stems from pain and not the addiction. The character who appears the strongest is the one who needs someone the most, Cecily. Her past is a mystery to him, but Ian is a keen observer, noticing scars and wounds that don't line up with military medical care. This obviously piques Ian's curiosity, and leads to a tiny bit of snooping, where he discovers Cecily was a POW in the Middle East. This also explains how Cecily knows Ian's brother, Preston. Which by the way, makes for a very interesting story in itself. I really need his book!
Cecily's body language exudes constant alert and tension. She keeps a weapon on her at all time, doesn't sleep well, suffers nightmares when she does, and doesn't like to feel evenly remotely confined. This is why Cecily lives a life of seclusion. Not only does she recoil from people and
unknown situations, but she is terrified she will react badly and inadvertently hurt someone. The
author did such an amazing job of digging in and properly expressing the logic and fears of someone with Cecily's condition. Here's where Ian becomes a swoon-inducing romantic lead: instead of being put off or scared by Cecily, Ian senses that he can help her in a way no one has figured out yet. As a brilliant attorney with fantastic observation skills, he has reading body language and anticipation down to a fine art. He reads and anticipates Cecily's thoughts and fears, giving him the ability to
know when and how to touch her, when to back away. He knows how to angle his body in a way that won't trigger her reflexes, how to touch her, hold her, even make love to her in ways that give her the all of the power, and builds trust.
I was thoroughly enjoying The Longest Night, but with Ian's actions, the way he treats her with delicate precision, deference and confidence in her ability to adapt and be pushed, all to prove to her just how strong she is...that is when I fell in love with the story.
So obviously, Ian and Cecily fall in love. Then the question becomes, what will they do about it? Will Cecily ever be able to follow Ian back to society? Will Ian give up his life to stay with Cecily in her remote world? How will they fit into each other's lives? I will say that the author surprised me with the answer, in that it's not ever a definitive answer and like life, I believe it will evolve over time. I do know that in my opinion, the author handles this the very best way possible.
The Longest Night is a love story full of longing and passion, brilliantly crafted characters who's growth was fulfilling and thought-provoking. This book made me a happy reader and I have already formed a line for her next book, The Deepest Night.



Favorite Quotes


  She looked down as he opened the cardboard, revealing multiple boxes of condoms shrink-wrapped 
together. "Dear God, are you preparing for the collapse of civilization or something?"
  Ian looked up at her. "Is there anything else to do in the winter here?"
  "If we actually use all of those, we'll probably be dead from exhaustion."
  "At least we won't be bored.""


  He wanted nothing more than to throw her down her back and pin her to the mattress, leaving her body open for him to take whatever he wanted, but not yet. Perhaps not ever, though he would work 
diligently to help Cecily overcome her fears. The thought of watching her struggle to endure not pain but pleasure, of Ian pushing the boundaries of her desire for before granting her any relief, was intoxicating.








Ten Things Ian Would Tell You About Cecily


1. Cecily isn’t a technophobe, but she has an irrational love for anachronisms like paper maps and her  manual typewriter.
2. Cecily follows Rule Nine: Always carry a knife.
3. After explaining Rule Nine to Cecily, she binge-watched all of NCIS in a week and a half. If I were any less secure, I’d be worried she was going to leave me for Gibbs.
4. Cecily talks to the TV, pointing out inconsistencies, especially in military shows. Since I do the same around courtroom dramas, we’ve sworn never to watch back episodes of JAG together.
5. Taking Cecily to Per Se for their tasting menu was an exercise in patience. “No, really. When is the 
actual food going to be here?”
6. After Per Se, I took her out for a burger and fries. I also signed a promise to never take her out for a tasting menu again.So much for visiting the French Laundry if we ever go to California.
7. I gave Cecily a day pass to a salon for a haircut, massage, facial, and manicure/pedicure. Six weeks later, she got a haircut at a $10 barber. I couldn’t tell the difference.
8. I lost Cecily for three hours at The Strand bookstore...
9. ...and for four hours at the American Museum of Natural History. It turns out she was in one of the dinosaur wings.
10. Cecily thinks I’m indulging her by mounting the deer antlers in a place of pride over the couch because they clash with the modern decor. She must not notice my smile every time I see them.


And One Thing Cecily Wants To Add
1. Ian’s wrong about number ten. I notice every time he smiles. (But the deer antlers do look a little 
silly with the couch.)





The Longest Night  The Deepest Night

(covers lead to GoodReads pages)




Purchase Links 

Amazon  |  B&N  |  Books A Million , Hastings , IndieBound , Indigo , iTunes ,Kobo





Sourcebooks Casa is giving one winner a copy of The Longest a Night. Must be 18+ years of age; open to US/Can.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





About Kara Braden
Kara BradenKara Braden makes her debut in modern romance with The Longest Night, a story of love in isolation. She believes that engaging, romantic fantasy can be found everywhere in the world, even in the most unlikely places. With the support of her wonderful husband, cats, and dogs, she writes from her home office outside Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends her time hiding from the sunlight and heat. (Photo credit: Stephanie Cole)


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Review: The Return of the Rebel by Jennifer Faye

The Return of the Rebel
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemp Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publication Date: 7/1/14
Format: eARC
Pages: 256
Source: Author
Rating: 3.5 stars


GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  B&N


The guy from the wrong side of the tracks...

Being promoted should be a dream come true, only it means working closely with Cleo's childhood crush, Jax Monroe. Jax may no longer be the rebel she remembers, but he still gets her heart racing like no other.

Jax cares too much about Cleo to let her get too close--but keeping his distance is proving impossible! As Jax reveals the extent of what he's been through, will Cleo show him that some things are too precious to put off until tomorrow?



My Review
The Return of the Rebel is the third book of Jennifer Faye's that I've read, and I have to say it's my favorite. We have our heroine Cleo, who fell in love with town bad boy Jax Monroe, as a young teen. With him being five years older and her brother's best friend, that was obviously a no-go. Jax's family issues prompted him to leave town as soon as he could, to make a better life in a new place. Cleo moved on, but never forgot her first crush. When fate lands the two together again, Cleo soon learns that Jax never forgot her or her brother either. But Jax has trouble on his hands, with him being the key witness in a big case that has him laying low in Las Vegas. Jax also has a secret, a big secret that has him convinced that he can never lead a full life and give Cleo the life she deserves. It's up to Cleo to stop Jax from walking away from her again.
There was so much to like about The Return of the Rebel. It was a sweet romance, focused on the emotional rather than the physical. When things do become heated, it's of the closed-door variety, which I knew to expect. My favorite aspect, though, was the longing between the characters. Cleo has loved Jax since she was a girl, and when they reconnect, those feelings spark right back up. Now that Jax sees Cleo as a woman, he can't deny his attraction either. An old promise to Cleo's brother has him hesitant to act, as do his issues with being considered the town bad boy. What really gripped me was Jax's health crisis, one that has him questioning whether he does or will ever have a life to offer Cleo. Good stuff.
If you're looking for a sweet heartwarming story that's a really fast read, I do recommend The Return of the Rebel.

Favorite Quotes
  "If you were mine, I'd never look at another woman as long as I lived."
  Her gaze met his. Her heart once again went thump-thump. "Seriously? You'd really only have eyes for me?"
  "You're the most beautiful woman in the world." His thumb stroked her cheek, followed her jawline and rubbed over her bottom lip. His gaze never left hers.
About Jennifer Faye

Jennifer FayeIn another life, Jennifer Faye was a statistician. She still has a love for numbers, formulas and spreadsheets, but when she was presented with the opportunity to follow her lifelong passion to spend her days writing and pursuing her dream of becoming a Harlequin author, she couldn't pass it up. These days when she's not writing, Jennifer enjoys reading, fine needlework, quilting, tweeting and cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins. She lives in Pennsylvania with her amazingly patient husband, two remarkably talented daughters and their two very spoiled furbabies otherwise known as cats, but shh...don't tell them they're not human.

Jennifer loves to hear from readers—you can contact her via her

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Tumblr  |  GoodReads




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Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Weekly Rewind, #108: Book Haul and Giveaway











THE WEEKLY REWIND is a weekly post in which I recap books received in the past week, what I'm looking forward to, and giveaways.







 
Book Haul
(click on covers to visit GoodReads page)

 
 
 
 
For Review
 

 Reaper's Stand (Reapers MC, #4)   Lay It Down (Desert Dogs, #1)   Shelter Me (Second Chance Ranch, #1)   No Attachments (Woodfalls Girls, #1) Unbroken (Silver Creek, #3)   Back to You (Coming Home, #2)   Six of Hearts   Batter UpChase (What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan? #1) 
I may/may not have done a happy dance at the mailbox-in my pjs- when I got a copy of Reaper's Stand. I can't wait for Picnic's book! The next four books here were already on my tbr, so I'm not counting the finished editions on my growing review list. Back to You was amazing! I'll be hosting a review/giveaway later in the month. LH Cosway has come highly recommended, and I do own a few of her books. So when she sent Six of Hearts, I was pretty stoked. The next two books were both review requests that really caught my attention. Looking forward to giving both a try!
 


 For Review Consideration
 
Further Out Than You Thought: A Novel  Wolfsbane
 
 
Purchases
 
The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat, #5)  Diamond Dust (Takhini Wolves, #3)  The Vixen and the Vet   I'll Be Home For Christmas (Coming Home, #0.5)
 
The Chocolate Heart rounds out my print copies of the Amour et Chocolat series. Reading it now and it is super intense and I love it. Diamond Dust came highly recommended and only $0.99. I need to read more shifter books again! The Vixen and the Vet looks so good and I honestly bought it bc half the proceeds go to a wounded vets program. I had to get I'll Be Home For Christmas bc it's a novella about Carponti and Nicole! Its from Jessica Scott's Coming Home series and only $0.99.
 
 
Freebies
 
A Tale of Two Pretties (Hopeless in Hotlanta, #1)  Irresistible Desire (Savannah, #1)   Love and Skate (Love and Skate, #1)  The Wedding Gift (Four Weddings and a Fiasco, # 1)  Edge of the Heat (Westwood Harbor Corruption, #1)  Wilder's Mate (Bloodhounds, #1)
 
I had to get Hopeless in Hotlanta after reading Hootie's quote-tweets. It sounds awesome. Just a heads-up, Lucy Kevin is a pen name for Bella Andre, so you might want to pick up The Wedding Gift while it's free! Also, Moira Rogers is another name for the writing team of Kit Rocha. They talked Samhain into making Wilder's Mate free for a limited time. I know this doesn't look typical for me, but I looooove Rocha's books so I will definitely give this a try.



Thanks to

 
Further Out Than You Thought: A Novel  Wolfsbane
 
 
 
 
 
 
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