Book Talk Tuesday: SAILING AT SUNSET


This is the first romance I’ve read that featured sailing as the “vehicle” to get the hero and heroine together. It turned out to be a fun one.

Danae is focused and driven and organized. So she’s more than a little thrown when her boss tells her she’s taking her marketing team on a week long team-building cruise on one of the company yachts. The captain has been hired and he’ll also be their tour guide around Martha’s Vineyard.

Josh got off the corporate hamster wheel and is perfectly content taking chartered cruises out on his own ship, or hiring himself out for other events. The current job looks to be a pain, because the gal in charge keeps emailing him with changes in the agenda.

This is a romance, so we already know the ending, but getting there was very fun. I’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard, but I feel like I’ve visited it. Madsen did a great job with her setting and her characters. Danae and Josh both had to overcome what they thought they wanted in life, in order to be open to the possibility of something more.
I enjoyed this one a lot and I recommend it!

I received a free advance electronic copy of this book from the publisher, but that did not induce me to review it, either favorably or not.

Book Talk Tuesday: A COTTAGE WEDDING

A Cottage Wedding is the perfect summer romance read. Two likable characters who are perfect for each other, though they have real issues to deal with that are keeping them apart. But you’re confident they’ll figure a way to make it work.

ACWTara Stewart is a lowly editorial assistant at a wedding magazine, yearning to prove herself a serious journalist. She gets her chance when her boss gives her an assignment: do an expose’ on Hearts Landing, the idyllic town that’s been the nation’s leading wedding destination for the last several years.

Unfortunately, Hearts Landing is just as perfect as it seems. More so, since Jason Heart is overseeing everything. Jason is the great-great-great-grandson of the town’s founder and the basis of many legends contributing to Hearts Landing’s reputation as a romantic destination.

As Tara and Jason grow closer, Tara has to make a choice: get that promotion and ruin Jason’s heritage and livelihood, or surrender her journalistic ethics and get fired.

Even though I saw the dilemma coming from the beginning, I thought the author handled it well and resolved it sensibly.

This is an excellent book with lots of fun wedding details and other characters worked into the story. Hearts Landing is as much a character as Tara and Jason.

Definitely recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but it did not induce me to review it, either favorably or not.

Book Talk Tuesday: Fatal Flashback

I love well-written suspense and Kellie Van Horn’s Fatal Flashback did not disappoint. The suspense is tight, the characters are real, the romance is sweet, and the setting is unusual but felt just right.

FFAshley is reporting for duty as a ranger at Big Bend National Park in Texas when she finds herself in deep water–literally. She’s been thrown into the Rio Grande with no memory of who did it or why.

Logan Everett is a ranger, still reeling from the death of a trainee ranger three months ago and the abandonment of his almost-fiancee five years ago. He fights his attraction to Ashley, especially since she’s clearly hiding something.

As Ashley’s memory creeps back, she and Logan search for a crime ring operating inside the park. They don’t know who they can trust, except for each other. Logan also trusts God, but Ashley doesn’t. She can’t remember why, but she knows God abandoned her.

I loved this fast-paced story. Ashley’s memories returned at a realistic pace, just as they would to someone with a head injury. The clues were doled out fairly. The romantic tension built organically, just the way I like it.

I highly recommend this book!

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This did not influence my review, nor did it induce me to review the book.

Book Talk Tuesday: Meant to be Yours

It’s no secret I love Susan Mallery’s books. I love her women’s fiction. I love her Fool’s Gold series. And I love her Happily Inc stories, too. This is book #5 set in Happily Inc, a wedding destination town in the California desert.

MtbYRenee has been working for Pallas at Weddings out of the Box for a while now. We haven’t gotten to know her very well in previous books. Same with Jasper Dembenski, a veteran with PTSD and a bestselling thriller writer. Neither is looking for a relationship, so it seems perfect for them to agree to a “friends with benefits,” arrangement. Especially since Jasper needs helping writing a feminine point of view for his newest book.
Of course, this is a romance, so it isn’t long before feelings get tangled up. Mallery does a great job dropping hints about Renee’s past hurts and struggles without making us wait toooooo long for the details.

And of course, we know, just like one of the characters tells him, Jasper isn’t nearly as broken as he thinks he is.

I loved how both Jasper and Renee had to learn some things about themselves and each other as they traveled the road to happily ever after.
I’m already looking forward to the next installment in Happily Inc!

I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, just give my opinion. Which I gladly did.


We all know I’m crazy about Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold and Mischief Bay series. Susan visits a new town in her latest book (and first hardcover!).

Dcv-dotbAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE takes us to Los Lobos, on California’s Central Coast. Courtney, Rachel, and Sienna are the title characters. Rachel’s the oldest, a single mom still in love with her cheating ex, and used to doing it all. Sienna is the middle sister, the “pretty” one, works tirelessly for a local shelter for battered women, and dating a man she’s not sure she likes, much less loves. Courtney is the youngest of the trio, working as a housekeeper in the local hotel and going to college but keeping it a secret from her family.

After being widowed early and left with three daughters to raise, Maggie has finally allowed herself to fall in love again. The wedding planning brings out the best — and worst — in her daughters.

I really enjoyed this book. I finished it in about a day and a half. The writing has plenty of Susan’s trademark humor. And sex. Yep, it’s steamy. So you’ve been warned.

My only quibble, and it’s a teeny tiny one, is she kept referring to Los Lobos as being in Central California. I live in Central California and there are no beach towns here. Los Lobos is on the Central Coast. It could be Morro Bay or Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz or Pismo. Any of the small towns. And nowadays, they’re all anything but “sleepy” as Mallery describes Los Lobos.

But that aside, I loved the book and would gladly read more set in Los Lobos. Or anywhere Susan Mallery cares to take us.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review, which I gave.


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:   B&N: iBooks: GooglePlay: Kobo: BAM: Indiebound:
Author Links: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:
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: Barnes & Noble: HarperCollins Publishers: Author Links: Website: Facebook: Twitter: LinkedIn: Pinterest: Tumblr:

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: Amazon UK: Barnes & Noble: Chapters Indigo: iBooks: Author Links Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: ———————————————————————————————
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: Barnes & Noble: Kobo: Google: iTunes: Author Links: Website: Twitter Facebook:

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: Barnes & Noble: Books-a-Million: Indie Bound: iTunes:
Author Links: Website: Twitter: Facebook: Goodreads:
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: Barnes & Noble: Books-a-Million: Indie Bound:
Author Links: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Pinterest:

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: Barnes & Noble: Kobo: Book Depository: iTunes:
Author Links: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Goodreads:
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: Barnes & Noble: GooglePlay: Kobo: iTunes:
Author Links: Website: Newsletter Sign-up: Facebook: Twitter: Google +: Goodreads: Amazon:

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

Enter here:

Book Talk Tuesday: Waiting on You

Kristan Higgins is one of the few writers whose newest book always goes on top of my Mt. TBR.

She’s so good, my superlatives needs superlatives to adequately laud this new book.

WOYfcWaiting on You has everything I love. Even a great title! I’ve mentioned a few times that with one exception, all her titles were interchangeable and I couldn’t remember which story was which.

With her new Blue Heron series, she seems to have broken out of that mold a bit. The first book in the series, The Best Man, fit the name and plot well and made it instantly recognizable. The next, The Perfect Match, while still good, was not quite identifiable enough to me. This third one, Waiting on You, is again spot-on.

Colleen O’Rourke is a Manningsport, NY fixture. She owns the local hangout/bar/restaurant with her twin brother Connor. She plays for their baseball team. She visits her grandfather at the local rest home. She flirts with the customers and fixes up couples who have potential. Her first and only love, Lucas Campbell, has obviously moved on, so why doesn’t she?

Lucas returns to Manningsport to help take care of some family matters. He doesn’t plan to spend time with Colleen, his high school and college girlfriend. Yeah, he did a dumb thing years ago, but she blew up and they weren’t able to fix it.

I love how Higgins wove the backstory of these characters so perfectly. Things hinted at early on were explained in full later. No word, no character, no scene was wasted.

Being a romance, of course we know Colleen and Lucas will work it out and get to their happily ever after. But the fun is in the journey. I’m so glad I was invited along on this one.

Highly recommended!

Book Talk Tuesday: A Beauty So Rare

Eleanor is tall, nearly 30 years old, and in possession of a dream: to own a restaurant.

Marcus Geoffrey is taller, older, and in possession of a secret: he’s a archduke of Austria and second in line to the throne.


Post-Civil War Nashville and the Belmont Mansion is the setting for Tamera Alexander’s newest historical romance. I loved other books I’ve read by her and was eager to get to A Beauty So Rare.

I love how layered and deeply textured Tamera’s characters and plots are. She uses many true historical details to add authenticity and the books are the richer for it.

Eleanor never feels like a stereotypical spinster. She’s a real woman who’s given up on finding love and being married and having a family. Marcus is a fine hero, caring and considerate. Since this is a romance, it’s clear they will end up together, the fun is in how they get there.

Although Eleanor’s dream of a restaurant is quashed almost immediately, she soon sees that God has an even better idea. A thank you dinner for a few friends grows until Eleanor is feeding a host of Nashville’s widows and children. Along the way she navigates Nashville society, an arranged marriage, and tending to her father’s failing health.

Marcus also harbors a dream: creating a blight-resistant hybrid potato and designing a building acclaimed for its beauty as well as its practicality. I thought his two passions were very different and wasn’t sure how Alexander could marry them in one man. But he’s a archduke and therefore very accomplished. I believed he’d be passionate about both endeavors.

As Marcus and Eleanor spend time together (and after she realizes he’s not the Belmont under gardener) their hearts are knit together as surely as a scarlet wool scarf.

I highly recommend A Beauty So Rare to anyone who loves romances, historicals, or just plain just books.


I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Done and done.