Book Talk Tuesday: AN UNCOMMON COURTSHIP

I absolutely adore this book! I’ve read everything in Hunter’s Hawthorne House series and each book is better than the last. This is Trent’s story. He’s a second son so is now the younger brother of the duke. He’s been happy to take his time finding a wife, but plans to marry for love like his parents and his sisters are derailed.

He never expected having to marry a virtual ucstranger in order to salvage her reputation.

Adelaide is a second daughter, so she’s used to being overlooked as her mother readied her older sister for society and a desirable match. She never expected to marry before having her Season in London.
But married they are, and making their home in London.

The first two books in the series are all about the courtship and I thought it was brilliant to have this book begin with the wedding. Since there was no courtship, Trent and Adelaide’s marriage is full of the kinds of conflicts newlyweds experience.

Some of the other reviews I read on lAmazon and Goodreads have commented about the “sex.” There is nothing lewd or gratuitous.

Is it appropriate for a twelve-year-old? No. Is it appropriate for a sixteen-year-old? Given the highly sexualized culture we live in, I think yes. It could be a great conversation starter about wedding night expectations vs. realities. And given that this book is about a new marriage, the consummation is going to be a big event. Hunter handles it very well indeed.

It’s only mid-January, but I know this will be going on my Top Ten of 2017 list.

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I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved it!

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Book Talk Tuesday: An Elegant Facade

An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter.

I’m going to have to stop saying I don’t really read Historical much. I’m reading more of it and loving it!

elegant facadeI absolutely adored this book.

At the beginning, I wondered how the author was going to get her hero and heroine to their happily ever after, since they were so different. But she skillfully showed their growth until I (and they) knew they were perfect together.
Lady Georgina has a secret and in an attempt to keep it to herself has hatched a plan to marry well. Very well.

Unfortunately, there are only a few dukes and earls suitable. And the first two had to go and fall in love with someone else. Lady Georgina is getting desperate.
Colin McCrae is a businessman, fully aware that he is considered far beneath the peers in society, but perfectly acceptable to do business with while making them money. He’s drawn into his friends’ family drama and is thrown together with the spoiled and bratty Lady Georgina. Or so he thinks of her. Until he begins to see the young woman behind the desperate hunt for a husband.
Reading the first book in the Hawthorne House series would be helpful but not required to enjoy this one. I can hardly wait to see who’s next up in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from Baker House, in return for a honest review. I honestly loved this book!

I was privileged to be in the room when Kristi Ann Hunter won a RITA® award from Romance Writers of America® for her first novel in this series, A Noble Masquerade. It may have been the first but I predict it won’t be the last.

It’s Almost RITA Time!

RITA_edited-1Romance Writers of America have two annual awards they bestow. The Golden Heart is for unpublished writers and the RITA is for excellent books that were published that year. The winners are announced at the annual national conference every summer. I got to go to San Antonio in 2014 as a Golden Heart finalist. And I’m going again next month in San Diego to cheer on some fabulous friends who are finalists for both the Golden Heart and the RITA. Not the same friends for both awards though. 😉

I’m currently trying to read all the nominees. They are all fabulous, so far. You can look back here on a Book Talk Tuesday for a review. What’s really crazy for me, is that I personally know five of the finalists! So I’m super excited to share about their books and their upcoming drawing.

Today I am sharing an incredible giveaway hosted by the 2016 ‘Best First Book’ RITA Nominated Authors! They are giving away 2 $50 Amazon Gift Cards, and a copy of each of the nominated titles. There will be 3 winners total. Be sure to sign up below and check out the authors who are participating and their incredible titles.

NO BETTER MAN by Sara Richardson

NBMBook Blurb: When it comes to business, Avery King always comes out on top. So after a very public breakup, work is the perfect excuse to flee the Windy City for the gentle breezes of Aspen, Colorado. Her mission: acquire the land of a rundown mountain ranch. Avery expects an easy win . . . until she meets the rugged and irresistible rancher who won’t give up his property without a fight. Bryce Walker is stunned by the stubborn beauty determined to get what she wants. But what she wants is his last connection to the life he used to have. Bryce has plans to return the ranch to its former glory and no way will he sell his family home. Yet the more time he spends with Avery, the more her sweet touch makes him forget his painful memories. Now Bryce must decide whether living in the past is worth losing his future . .
Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QoauCo   B&N: http://bit.ly/1RedhQ6 iBooks: http://apple.co/1DSWZ4F GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1FQhyVB Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Eil2ux BAM: http://bit.ly/1H07asU Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1IPsfbJ
Author Links: Website: http://www.sararichardson.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sararichardsonbooks Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaraR_Books Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarar_books/
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NIGHT HUSH by Leslie Jones

Book Blurb: NHNight Hush is a 2016 RITA® nominee for Best First Book, and the winner of the New England RWA’s Reader’s Choice Award. In this gripping and action-packed debut, an Army Intelligence officer and a Delta Force soldier must race against the clock to stop a catastrophic terrorist attack … When Army Intelligence officer Heather Langstrom’s military convoy is ambushed and she’s taken prisoner, she knows she’ll need all her strength and courage to survive, escape her captors, and report the whispers of unrest brewing in the Middle East. Delta Force Captain Jace Reed isn’t one to throw caution to the wind, but when his team stumbles upon beaten and weak Heather fleeing the terrorist training camp they’ve been dispatched to destroy, he’ll risk everything to get her to safety. Once back on base, they learn her convoy’s ambush was no accident … she’d been targeted. As the evidence of an impending attack mounts, Jace and Heather uncover a deadly terrorist plot that could kill hundreds of civilians. But Jace’s protective instincts and Heather’s fierce independence put them at constant odds. And as they close in on the extremists, they must learn to trust one another in order to save innocent lives … even if it means sacrificing their own. Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UIeRs3 Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Yzbt89 HarperCollins Publishers: http://bit.ly/1rvHIYW Author Links: Website: http://www.lesliejonesbooks.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LeslieJonesBooks Twitter: https://twitter.com/lesliejonesbks LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesliejonesbooks Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lesliejonesbks/ Tumblr: http://lesliejonesbooks.tumblr.com
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THE STRONGEST STEEL by Scarlett Cole

SSBook Blurb: “An incredible story about healing, pain, and trust…you don’t want to miss this one!” –New York Times bestselling author Jen McLaughlin “I know what you’re up to,” she said. “And what would that be?” he asked with a devious smirk. “You know.” “Is it working?” She looked over her shoulder to where he was still reclining against the wall, watching her patiently. All the reasons she’d vowed to stay alone, to remain uninvolved, fled as he grinned at her. “Maybe.” In Scarlett Cole’s The Strongest Steel, Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning. The scars that decorate her back are just one more reminder of things she’d rather forget, the past she wants to leave far behind her, but before she can move on, she needs him. Trent Andrews has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And there’s no way in hell he’s going to turn Harper away. Not when a swirling mix of tenderness and desire slams into him every time he sees her. Being with Harper is like going ten rounds in the ring―exhilarating,
powerful, and dangerous. She stirs feelings in him he thought were long gone… if he can only get past her carefully constructed defenses. Running was the only thing that saved Harper last time, but each session at Second Circle Tattoos brings her closer and closer to Trent. His lingering touches seduce her, making her believe in a life without fear, where she can be happy, whole, in love. But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper’s phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. She ran from her past once before; this time will she have the strength to fight back? “This book gave me so many feels! Angst, passion, and love all set in Miami, my favorite city. I can’t wait for more from this author and I can’t recommend this book enough.” – Sidney Halston,USA Today bestselling author of Against the Cage
Buy Links: Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1YmDEaK Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/23jNQl3 Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Yzdamc Chapters Indigo: http://bit.ly/1UEf7MU iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVUzOj Author Links Website: http://www.scarlettcole.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/itsscarlettcole Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/itsscarlettcole Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/scarlettcole ———————————————————————————————
ALTERED by Marnee Blake
ALTBook Blurb: When “normal” ends, survival begins… The sickness came on suddenly and violently. When it was done, waitress Blue Michaels was different in a really strange way. And the entire town of Glory was dead…except for her. Only that’s not exactly true. A handful of people made it, including U.S. Army Specialist Seth Campbell, who was caught in the wrong town at the worst time. He’s fierce and protective, and way too good-looking. As much as they need a leader—as much as Blue wants to trust him— there are too many questions and not enough time for answers. Now they are hunted. But what their pursuers don’t know is each of them has strange new powers. And they’ll use their “gifts” to survive…no matter who stands in their way. Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UVTKVP Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1tvzSQe Kobo: http://bit.ly/26b4FQX Google: http://bit.ly/1sMYHqV iTunes: http://apple.co/265vCJb Author Links: Website: http://www.marneeblake.com Twitter http://www.twitter.com/marneeblake Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarneeBlake/
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VIKING WARRIOR RISING by Asa Maria Bradley

VWRBook Blurb: Immortal Vikings are among us. Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki. Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury. But Naya doesn’t want to be found…and he’ll do anything to track her down. Because they’re both running out of time.
Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1YAMH84 Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/200oczH Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/1UVW3YW Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1UEgn2A iTunes: http://apple.co/1UEgYBg
Author Links: Website: http://www.asamariabradley.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/AsaMariaBradley Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AsaMariaBradley.Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AsaMariaBradley
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A NOBLE MASQUERADE by Kristi Ann Hunter
NMBook Blurb: Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/23jO7EA Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1UEicMM Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/1V8e03O Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1QdXsvs
Author Links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristiAnnHunter Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/KristiAnnHunter/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristiAnnHunter Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorkristiann/
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FORGET TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn

FTBook Blurb: Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.
It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision-a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A worldclass swimmer. A renowned scientist.
Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.
In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo-a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.
But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all-Callie, herself.
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WWC3Ja Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Y2I5c2 Kobo: http://bit.ly/23jPMtA Book Depository: http://bit.ly/24Zc9Uy iTunes: http://apple.co/1XxTHmz
Author Links: Website: http://www.pintipdunn.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPintipDunn Twitter: https://twitter.com/pintipdunn Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pintip_dunn/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13442212.Pintip_Dunn
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PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon
POBook Blurb: American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome —skater she’s ever met.
Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one longago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.
When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/265z3iZ Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/265yR3d GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1UEjaJ3 Kobo: http://bit.ly/1tDgce1 iTunes: http://apple.co/24ZdMBu
Author Links: Website: http://www.romancewriter-girl.com Newsletter Sign-up: http://bit.ly/1UEjcAJ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethharmonauthor?ref=hl Twitter: https://twitter.com/romanzwrter_grl Google +: http://bit.ly/1V8hK5p Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23440537-elizabeth-harmon Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RY9SY0S

Thank you to the First Book RITA nominees and good luck to us all!

Enter here:     http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/726d2572275/

Book Talk Tuesday: A Noble Masquerade

I told a friend that this was a great book. I’m not known to exaggerate, so she picked it up for herself. I’m waiting to hear what she thinks, because I loved it, but I could be a tiny bit biased.

A NOBLE MASQUERADE by Kristi Ann Hunter is a excellent book. I’m busy enough between writing and reading for pleasure and for reviews that I don’t often read series books anymore. I just don’t have the time. But I will look for the next in Kristi Ann’s Hawthorne House series.

A Noble Masquerade
A Noble Masquerade

Lady Miranda is puzzled by the … interest she is experiencing in her brother’s new valet, Marlowe. She’s about to embark on her fourth season in society, and is likely to remain a spinster since she refuses to marry a man who is interested only in the advancement his connection to Miranda’s brother, the Duke, can bring.

Marlowe is irritated that his attraction to Lady Miranda is distracting him from his purpose in her brother’s home: finding the spy who is selling England’s secrets to France. He’s been absent from British society for a reason and he’s not quite ready to resume his place, until this final job is done and done right.

Both Miranda and Marlowe are intriguing and compelling characters. I loved them both separately and together.

The spying subplot was a bit disappointing. I expected the culprit to be one of the main characters. That would have upped the emotional stakes for Miranda, Marlowe, and for the reader. I won’t give away the guilty party, though, so you can judge for yourself. I could be wrong.

Overall, I loved the book and the romance and will definitely buy the next one in the series. I’m looking forward to reading Miranda’s brothers’ and sister’s stories.

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Kristi Ann is a writer acquaintance and a 2014 Golden Heart® Dreamweaver sister. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for review purposes. I’ve been honest in my review.

Author Spotlight Thursday: Kristi Ann Hunter, 2014 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist

KAHunterHeadshotBigOver the next few weeks, I’ll be spotlighting my fellow Inspirational category finalists. First up is Kristi Ann Hunter from Georgia. Welcome Kristi!

Tell me about your GH Finalist manuscript. Is this your first time entering and/or finaling?

My GH finaling manuscript, My Lord Valet, is a Regency romance set in 1813 England. It deals with spies, families, and an embarrassing childhood crush that never quite died. This is my second time entering the Golden Heart, but my first time finaling. Last year they didn’t have the Inspirational category, so I entered the Historical.

Chocolate or peanut butter?

BOTH! Love me some peanut butter M&Ms.

What’s your day job?

Mom to my kids and a bit of a personal assistant for my hubs.

Tell me a bit about yourself. Family, hobbies, etc.

I have three young kids that keep life more than interesting. My husband is a bi-vocational youth minister (he works a full-time job in addition to part time at the church). That keeps us busy, but I love working in ministry with him. When I’m not living out of our mini-van I enjoy over-analyzing television shows, crocheting, and messing around on my computer.

Who are your favorite authors? Your go-tos for fiction?

I read a wide variety of authors. I have everything from Karen Witemeyer and Julia Quinn, but they have some good company on my shelf. Robin McKinley, Lindi Peterson, Laurie Alice Eakes, Patty Smith Hall, and Trish Perry take up a good bit of space as well. While certain authors get my first attention, it usually matters more if the story catches my interest.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere. Seriously, we don’t get to vacation much. We do take an annual trip to the lake (Lake Blackshear) with my whole family and that is a lot of fun and very relaxing.

Are you coming to San Antonio this summer and what are you looking forward to most?

Sadly, no, I won’t be in San Antonio. I’ll be on that annual trip to the lake, which might take a little of the relaxation out of it. 😉 I’ll be anxiously waiting by my phone for my friends to text me the results from the gala.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Gee, I don’t know. I would NOT be a Bradford Pear. Those are the worst trees ever.

I don’t know what kind of tree it is, actually, but there’s a style of tree my husband likes to photograph a lot. I’d want to be that. The limbs are always in interesting angles and twists. They make great sun flares when he takes pictures through the leaves. I like them because he can go back and photograph the same tree and it is recognizable but then not the same. I want to be a tree like that.

What did you do/think when you got “the call” (that you are a finalist) on March 26th?

Danced around my house squealing, then proceeded to be ticked off at all my friends and family because none of them were answering their phones.

What are you currently working on?

This questionnaire. 😉

I actually have two projects going at the moment. One is another Regency. The other is a contemporary. Having two projects going at a time allows me to step away from a problem area but still keep my brain engaged in writing. This is the first time I’ve had two projects going from different time periods though, so that’s interesting.

Thanks, Kristi! And God’s blessing on you and your work.