Posts Categorized: Random House

Live – Mary Ann Rivers – 5 stars

January 16, 2014 NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Live – Mary Ann Rivers – 5 starsLive (The Burnside Series) by Mary Ann Rivers
Published by Random House LLC on 2014-01-21
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Mary Ann Rivers kicks off a new contemporary romance series—sure to please readers of Ruthie Knox, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis—where love can be found unexpectedly.   If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.   Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.Praise for Live  “Sizzling, sweet, and superbly written, Live is a marvelous love story.”—New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes“A beautiful, aching exploration of love, family, and loss—highly recommended!”—USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox  “Such an elegantly layered story.”—Dear Author“The romance in this book is super hot. . . . Such care is taken to craft the characters’ lives. . . . Just when things get really heavy there is naughtiness in a batting cage and sex in a limo. And Hefin, with his stubble and curls about his ears make things very steamy and put a smile on my face. He is such a good guy, and just what Des needed.”—Smexy Books   “Live blooms with the freshness of thoughtful storytelling carefully tended by beautiful prose. . . . Rivers is actively staking new, lyrical ground in a genre often sidelined as a guilty pleasure. There’s no need to choose between heat and good writing. From this author, readers get a two-for-one deal.”—New York Journal of Books   “Mary Ann Rivers’s debut full-length, Live, will make you curl up with your box of tissues and cry until you’re not even sure whether they count as happy or sad tears. Rivers’s world and characters feel so real, their emotions so raw, that I need the almost poetic beauty of the words to bear so much truth.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers  “This is a rich, tender story, not at all the usual contemporary family series fare. I’m looking forward to seeing where life takes the Burnside siblings next.”—Karen Knows Best   “Rivers has written a remarkable romance novel: beautifully . . . written; tormented as only youth can be; serious as only the un-ironic are.”—Miss Bates Reads Romance“Emotionally enthralling . . . intense, complicated, lyrical, passionate.”—Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews   “A stellar start to a new series that is so compelling and emotional, the characters won’t soon be forgotten.”—The Window Seat on a Rainy DayIncludes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Words cannot express the gem that this story ends up being.  I cannot wait to see the siblings find their loves but this story will tug at your heartstrings.  You will tear up, sniffle, mope and find great joy as two damaged souls finally find themselves while finding each other.

Do not go into this book expecting a happy, everything is roses love story, please go into the story expecting to see two people who are at a major crossroads in their lives and find that by letting someone else in they might just get their true selves back.

Destiny has been floundering since her dad  passed away and she lost her job.  What she’s had is fantasies of The Woodcarver, a man who she has been covertly watching while she does her best to find employment by using the library’s computer system.  When she gets one too many lumps thrown at her and breaks down she is surprised by the fact that the person that comes to pull her out of it is none other than this man she has been wanting to know more about.  Hefin is also surprised by his need to be there for her and cannot stop the impulse to finally talk to the woman who has kept his attention all of this time.  As they start to open up to one another we get glimpses of their pasts, presents and potential futures which lead us on a journey to discovering what it really means to be happy and to just LIVE.  They both put such pressure on themselves to not name what is happening between them and to ignore the brutal fact that he will be leaving for Wales (home) soon but just to live in the moment as if that day will never come.

There was something poignant about watching Destiny finally come in to her own and understand that she needed to do what truly made her happy.  She is stuck so hard in her life and while it isn’t a bad thing I was cheering when her friend, Lacey, finally took the gloves off to make her see what she was doing.  She’s such a strong person but there was also an almost painful amount of need that emanated from her to be seen as a real person that you couldn’t help but struggle with her as she tried to just be something she thought everyone needed.  The only person other than Lacey that I think really saw this was Hefin.  Others in her family were too caught up in their own hells that they didn’t fully understand what was happening under their noses.  Her neighbor also recognized it in many respects but floundered on what to do to help her.

Hefin was another case entirely.  He’s such a contradiction between a strong man and an extremely sensitive soul that reading about his own torments just made me tear up.  I loved how he loved with every fiber of his being even as he was trying hard to deny it.  There is no question in your mind as a reader that both of them really are meant for one another as they begin their courtship and I loved how that made you secure as Ms. Rivers pulls you thru their mutual torments to get to such a wonderfully healthy place.  I really don’t want to completely flesh out the torments that Hefin has or more about him as I enjoyed getting to know him by reading the words that Ms. Rivers puts in place for him and their journey.

Mary Ann has such an amazing way with words and I am glad that I was able to read my first full-length novel from her.  She took my breath away with how masterfully she pulled off The Story Guy and I had high hopes for her in a longer format.  She pulled it off and I think readers will be amazed at how much emotion and heart that this book conveys.  I cannot wait for more of this series and more from her in general.  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful people at Random House who were nice enough to let me get my hands on this with no expectations of any particular type of review.

BTW – Mary Ann…. if you happen to read this…  you can stop past any time or send me anything you wish…  Your mastery of how to weave words together to tell these amazingly beautiful, poignant stories has the ability to make me cry and laugh often within the same paragraph.  Thanks for sharing this talent with us!!

five-stars

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Roman Holiday #1 – Chained – Ruthie Knox – 4 stars

November 10, 2013 NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2013 0

Roman Holiday #1 – Chained – Ruthie Knox – 4 starsRoman Holiday: Chained Published by Loveswept, Random House on November 11, 2013
Pages: 40
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Meet Ashley and Roman—complete opposites who can’t hide their attraction—in Episode 1 of Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday.

Ashley Bowman is having a bad week. Reeling from the death of her beloved grandmother, she returns to the Florida Keys only to learn that a heartless Miami developer has gotten hold of the crappy vacation rentals she calls home. Ashley has one day to clear out before Roman Díaz destroys the only place in the world that matters to her. Chaining herself to a palm tree in the bulldozers’ path seems like a good way to stop him . . . until she realizes she should’ve brought food and water. And pants. Also, it would help if the evil developer weren’t so ridiculously hot.

The last thing Roman Díaz needs is some sun-kissed blond protester getting her picture in the newspaper and messing up his plans. He bought the property fair and square, and the resort he wants to build on the site is the key to realizing his highest ambitions. But when a hurricane blows through, Roman has to hustle Ashley to safety if he wants to protect his reputation—and that means giving in to her unreasonable demands.

Roman needs to learn a little compassion, and Ashley’s decided to teach it to him . . . even if she has to drag him all over the Eastern Seaboard to do it.

I know not everyone likes serials but this is from one of the authors I admittedly fan girl over so I am definitely going to want the rest of this.  Granted I prefer full release novels but for Ruthie I’ll make an exception!

This is definitely a brief introduction to the characters that will draw us in more as the story evolves but my initial thoughts are as follows:

 

Ashley is someone who needs to find something to center her.  She’s at loose ends with the loss of her beloved grandmother but the impression she’s left with me is of a woman who isn’t sure of what she wants in her life so proceeds from adventure to adventure secure in the knowledge her grandmother would be there as a rock.  The loss of this rock is going to cause her to have to grow up and make some hard decisions but at her core she’s a woman who believes in living life and not closing herself off.

 

Roman is a bit harder to pin down.  He’s a man who is driven to escape his past but I think this is coloring his future to the point that he isn’t 100% sure of who he is any more.  Sure he acts like he knows who he is but I think as this book plays out we are going to see him have to face his past in order to have a happy future.  I’m looking forward to his interactions with Ashley as I think we will get a lot of fireworks as he fights the hard fight to not let passion rule him but only logic.  This should prove fun as I think our lovely Roman has a naughty streak a mile wide that I can’t wait to see.

 

I’m ready for more and hope that my guess about Roman proves to be true….  Thanks to NetGalley.com and the folks at Random House Loveswept for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

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FLIRT’S “BACK TO SCHOOL” NEW ADULT BLOG HOP GIVEAWAY

August 26, 2013 Contest, Random House 2

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Welcome to Flirt University’s Back to School celebration! It’s time for the Three R’s, Flirt style—Reading, (W)Riting, and Romancing! In the spirit of getting to know one another on the first day of school, Flirt, Random House’s New Adult imprint, has set up a New Adult blog hop so you can discover other blogs that love the hottest new romance genre.

As part of the hop, Flirt is giving away its signature “I <3 New Adult” tote (for carrying books, ereaders, and other fun things), and its signature “I <3 New Adult” mug (perfect for that morning coffee pick-me-up)! Just check out the Rafflecopter below—stop by each blog for more chances to win, and to meet awesome New Adult fans and reviewers!

Head back to Romance at Random on Tuesday, September 3 to find out if you won (we’ll email winners, too!), and don’t miss your first Flirt University “lecture” from one of Flirt’s esteemed New Adult Author Professors! They’ll be sharing their thoughts on everything New Adult!

 

Even better in addition to the giveaway at the end of the post from Flirt..  They are letting me give away a copy of the upcoming title – Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne.  This copy will be sent via NetGalley.com and to win you just need to tell me either what excites you about the New Adult Genre or what interests you in this book.  I’ll pick the winner from all entries posted by September 3rd at 11:59 pm CT.  🙂

17883712
Isn’t She Lovely
Flirt New Adult Romance
Written by Lauren Layne
On sale October 28, 2013
978-0-345-54911-2
 
The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.
 
“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?” Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

About Lauren Layne
Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.
Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop away!

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Cover Reveal – Molly O’Keefe’s All I Want For Christmas Is You

August 21, 2013 Cover Reveal, Random House 0

 

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In this touching eBook novella, a prequel to Molly O’Keefe’s Crazy Thing Called Love, a young woman swept up by first love is ready to say “I do”—until challenges arise during the holiday season.
Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. Her parents are more than a little reluctant to give their blessing to the impending nuptials. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?
About the Author
Molly O’Keefe published her first Harlequin romance at age twenty-five and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring each character’s road toward happily ever after. She’s won two Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice awards and the RITA for Best Novella in 2010. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, two kids, and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.
Connect with Molly: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Cover Reveal – Heating Up the Holidays – Lisa Renee Jones/Mary Ann Rivers/Serena Bell

August 19, 2013 Cover Reveal, Random House 0

Heating Up the Holidays - Final Cover

 

HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS
3-Story Bundle (Play with Me, Snowfall, After Midnight)
Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers, Serena Bell
Published by Loveswept
On Sale October 28, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8041-7840-2
 
HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS features three sexy holiday novellas, each one centered on a different holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. With stories from bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones, the popular Mary Ann Rivers, and Loveswept debut author Serena Bell, HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS is the perfect anthology to keep the romance going throughout the holiday season! 
 
 
ABOUT LISA RENEE JONES (Play with Me): 
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES which has sold to more than twelve countries for translation with negotiations in process for more, and has now been optioned by STARZ Network for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland).

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 30 books with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, NAL, Berkley and Elloras Cave, as well as crafting a successful indie career. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

ABOUT MARY ANN RIVERS (Snowfall)
Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.
 
ABOUT SERENA BELL (After Midnight)
Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better. She wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-age children.
 
 
Pre-order HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS from your favorite retailers!
 
Connect with Lisa Renee Jones: Facebook | Twitter | Website
Connect with Mary Ann Rivers: Facebook | Twitter | Website
Connect with Serena Bell: Facebook | Twitter |  Website
Connect with Loveswept: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Julie Kenner’s Complete Me Blog Tour with Prizes from Random House

July 21, 2013 Contest, Random House 2

JKennerBlogTour2

For fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You comes the third novel in the erotic, fast-paced trilogy including Release Me and Claim Me. This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and Nikki Fairchild, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.
 
Our desire runs deep. But our secrets cut close.

Beautiful, strong, and commanding, Damien Stark fills a void in me that no other man can touch. His fierce cravings push me beyond the brink of bliss—and unleash a wild passion that utterly consumes us both.

Yet beneath his need for dominance, he carries the wounds of a painful past. Haunted by a legacy of dark secrets and broken trust, he seeks release in our shared ecstasy, the  heat between us burning stronger each day.

Our attraction is undeniable, our obsession inevitable. Yet not even Damien can run from his ghosts, or shield us from the dangers yet to come.

Complete Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

 

Contest with 22 great prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other stops:

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Guest Interview – Mary Ann Rivers – The Story Guy Blog Tour – Contest!

July 19, 2013 Contest, Guest Post, Random House 2

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In this eBook original novella, Mary Ann Rivers introduces a soulful and sexy tale of courage, sacrifice, and love.

I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won’t share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?

 

 

Interview with Mary Ann Rivers

 

What made you decide to write the story from Carrie’s perspective?

I always imagine my heroines first, before starting a story. In the case of Carrie, what I had in my imagination right away was her voice. I could really hear her, this intelligent, wry, woman who liked to play with language and maybe had a tendency to over think things, a little. She spoke in little stories, vignettes, verses, it was a way she thought and entertained her. I wanted to try to really immerse the reader in this voice because it seemed liked one that really enjoyed telling a good story.

Justin calls Brian a “Russian novel.” Did you have any particular ones in mind when you wrote that line?

Justin is a librarian, so I do feel like he would have a Russian novel in mind beyond ANNA KARENINA, which is what I was thinking of, just for the intensity of the angst. Justin would have one in mind that was much more obscure, I think. Something like Leskov’s NO WAY OUT.

What sparked the idea of this story? Did you think of the online ad or did Carrie and Brian come to mind first?

I thought of Carrie, her voice, her profession, where she was in her life, first. I knew that she would meet a man who had to compartmentalize his life and why he was in that position, and I also knew I wanted to intersect all that with the internet, how it cultivates relationships.

It wasn’t until I ran across Craigslist ads for casual encounters that I started moving the pieces together. There were definitely ads for lunchtime meet-ups, but they were all for anonymous sexual affairs. We learn that Brian puts assigns a lot of stakes to deeply intimate sexual encounters, that he tends to want more, imagine more, and so I didn’t think it was quite right that Brian would post an ad like the ones I’d found on Craigslist. I started thinking about kissing–about how it’s something that is very intimate and transforming, and about how it’s something we often miss about not dating or when our long term relationships don’t prioritize make-out sessions.

It would be very evocative and safe, I thought, for Carrie to actually answer one of these ads if the promise was kissing, and it would be something, something for Brian to ask for that he could both accept and fit into his life.

 

Brian has a very serious and complicated life. How do you manage to balance those sad elements with the rest of the romance, which has its funny moments?

Life is such that it is impossible to sustain hopelessness and sadness for very long before we start to crack, at least a little. In my work as a pediatric nurse practitioner, I bear witness to a great deal of range of emotion in difficult situations, and I’m someone who resorts to humor or wit when I’m likewise malleted with sadness. Writing, it was less of a balance and more letting a mood unspool from the greatest intensity of emotion at the point of tension which the character could likely no longer sustain that intensity.

So in a scene where Carrie is restless, frustrated, and angry of library budget cuts, in addition to sort of frantically mulling over what she had done in the park with Brian, and she finds herself staring at a pile of tutoring materials, all wrapped up in that intensity, well, we’ve got it, we know she’s kind of crazed, so there’s the point to unspool from, so then I can Bring Shelley in for a funny bit about family planning.

 

I adored how much you managed to put in such a short story. How does writing a novella affect how you set up plot and characterization?

 There is a way in which you have to make a lot of choices and limit yourself as much as possible. Carrie and Brian have a lot of backstory, but I am limited myself to one particular point in their lives where Carrie is her most frustrated, feels she’s not taking risks, is faced with the social clock of her friends, and where Brian’s situation is the most deteriorated and he is the most afraid. So then, I can characterize them at this moment, pull out their behavior and reactions from this particular moment.

The plot is really a very simple one, and I framed it with a temporal device of one hour at a time. This broadcasts how limited Brian and Carrie are, but also gives us something to hang on to as a reader–we can watch how much fuller their hours get, one by one.

I think there are a lot of different ways to get at the novella, and this was just one, and the novella is an irresistible medium for experiment. You can try things–try out structure, language, themes, ideas–that if you were “trying” at the novel length may alienate readers. In this space, if it’s not entirely successful, it’s at least interesting and fun and play as a writer and something to have seen and considered as a reader. It’s an exciting space to write in.

THE STORY GUY on Goodreads

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBookstore  |  Google Play  |  Other Retailers

Mary Ann Rivers

About Mary Ann Rivers

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

 

Connect with Mary Ann:  Website  |  Twitter |  Facebook

The wonderful folks at Loveswept are sponsoring a great giveaway of this lovely novella (see my review here) so please enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Making It Last – Ruthie Knox – 5 stars

July 10, 2013 NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2013 0

Making It Last Published by Loveswept, Random House on July 15, 2013
Pages: 136
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

In a brand-new eBook original novella, RITA finalist and USA Todaybestselling author Ruthie Knox takes her spectacular Camelot series to new heights with a tale of desire reinvented.

A hotel bar. A sexy stranger. A night of passion. There’s a part of Amber Mazzara that wants those things, wants to have a moment—just one—when life isn’t a complicated tangle of house and husband and kids and careers. Then, after a long, exhausting “vacation” with her family, her husband surprises her with a gift: a few days on the beach . . . alone.

Only she won’t be alone for long, because a handsome man just bought her a drink. He’s cool, he’s confident, and he wants to take Amber to bed and keep her there for days. Lucky for them both, he’s her husband. He’s got only a few days in Jamaica to make her wildest desires come true, but if he can pull it off, there’s reason to believe that this fantasy can last a lifetime.

My Thoughts:

Ok…  I’m going to admit something that anyone who follows my blog already knows –

I’m a huge huge huge Ruthie Knox fan girl.

Ahhhhh that feels better to finally get that out in the open…  LMAO

Please read the other books in this series before you read this one.  Tony and Amber play a part in every story and this is an amazingly heart-wrenching read that hits very close to the heart of any married or long-term couple.  Have tissues available and make sure you won’t have to be any where until you have a chance to recuperate from this read.

Amber should be happy.  She knows she should be happy but she is having trouble living up to the facade she believes people expect of her.  I mean she loves her kids and her husband but something is wrong that is shaking her to the core.  She wonders does her husband really love her or is this the way it ends with mad lust/love dying to being just two ships that pass sometime during the week but really seem to have no soul deep connection.  You feel her pain coming off the page as she struggles with what the economy and life has done to her self-worth and marriage.  When Tony leaves her behind at the resort for some “her” time she’s lost without any idea how to get her self back and starts to really look at if she’s willing to deal with living a half-life back home or not.

Tony is in pain wanting nothing more than to make Amber happy.  He’s been working himself to the bone to try to have it all.  The amazing company, home, marriage and all the trappings of success while feeling like he’s trapped in a never-ending downslope.  The economy has severely impacted his construction firm and losing the help of his brother seems to be throwing the final nail in the coffin.  He leaves Amber at the resort in hopes that she’ll return to him healed and happy but is forced to realize that maybe he needs to be there with her to save the stagnant pool their marriage has become.  This is a man who is deeply in love with his wife but is so caught up in wanting to give her everything he has lost sight of what maybe is all she ever needed…

I’m going to stop here as you need to read this wonderful story (wiping tears as I write this) and blubber like most of us that have been lucky enough to read this early.  I cannot stress enough that Ruthie has captured the essence of a marriage at a crossroads where both parties have to decide on what the path forward will be – stay married or divorce?

Ok enough blubbering and say many thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful people at Loveswept who were nice enough to give me a chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  This was an amazingly heart wrenching wallop to read and I really cannot stress enough that you have tissues available.

I’d really love it if you would share your thoughts once you read this amazing story as I found it immensely real and true to life.

 

 

five-stars

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The Story Guy – Mary Ann Rivers – 5 stars

July 7, 2013 NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2013 1

The Story Guy – Mary Ann Rivers – 5 starsThe Story Guy Published by Loveswept, Random House on July 8, 2013
Pages: 120
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

In this eBook original novella, Mary Ann Rivers introduces a soulful and sexy tale of courage, sacrifice, and love.
 
I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won't share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from the Loveswept title Flirting with Disaster.

My Thoughts:

I swear to god this story will make you cry and yet leave you happy at the way it ends.  I really cannot wait to see more by this author as for such a short story it has such an amazing amount of angst and heart you just can’t help but want more.

I’m going to keep this review short in order to not give away the full story but it is such an amazing glimpse at two people with major issues in their lives – one at a crossroads where she thinks she should be happy and one thinking he’ll never be able to have happiness for himself.

Carrie pretends to be completely happy in her life but deep in her heart she knows she’s missing something important.  She’s happy to be a librarian, friend to a small group of people and loving daughter but recently her thoughts have been increasingly drawn to finding something…  she isn’t sure what but she does find herself wondering what is missing in her life.  I mean she shouldn’t complain but there is just this emptiness she can’t quite put her finger on.  She impulsively answers an ad for a regular Wednesday only date for just kissing in a public place and finds more than she ever thought possible.

Brian is kept a bit of a mystery in the beginning but is also at a point in his life where something has to give.  He puts the ad out there in the paper and has a had a couple of Wednesday meeting with people who have answered the ad but as he asked for they have led to nothing more than just kissing with no strings or other entanglements.  When he meets Carrie we get an amazing story of a man who is so far beyond incredible you can’t help but want to pull him to you and smother him with love and affection.  He’s just that kind of guy even when he is pushing her away he is calling to something deep in her soul that just won’t let this incredible man go.

Ok…  I’m promising myself to stop here because you really just need to read this to understand why myself and others have fallen in love with Ms. Rivers and why you should as well.  I mean I want a longer story from her because this one just took my breath away at the amount of heart is contained in so few pages.  I can’t imagine how much more we might see from her in a longer format.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Random House/Loveswept for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Please revisit my site on Friday, July 19th for a visit from Mary Ann Rivers.

five-stars

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Flirting With Disaster – Ruthie Knox – 5 stars – Contest

June 11, 2013 Contest, NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2013 4

Flirting With Disaster – Ruthie Knox – 5 stars – ContestFlirting With Disaster Published by Loveswept, Random House on June 10, 2013
Pages: 342
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

In the latest eBook original novel in Ruthie Knox’s scorching-hot Camelot series, a no-strings fling looks an awful lot like falling in love—or flirting with disaster.

Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.

Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: How to Misbehave, Along Came Trouble, and About Last Night.

My Thoughts:

I have to keep this review short because otherwise I would never stop writing this down.  This is a very nice story where you will want to hurt the hero for being so hard for his lady love to understand but when you find out why he is the way he is you just want to cuddle him.

Katie is at a crossroads in her life.  She’s now divorced from her disaster of an ex but she can’t quite decide where to land now.  She’s intrigued and pissed off by her brother’s recent hire as she’s convinced he hates her.  I mean he never talks to her so what else could it be?  As she works to become something she can be proud of she tends to put her natural caregiving tendencies down as she feels like it has made her a doormat in real life.  She’s very smart but because of past bad choices she doesn’t trust anything her gut tells her instead trying to be something/someone she isn’t.  Since Judah has decided to hire the company but only if she works his case she decides why not have a torrid fling with a rock star.  I mean hell why shouldn’t she have the same fun most men have?  She does a lot of silly stuff as a result and what she finds as time passes is her natural abilities are worth more than she ever thought and the man of her dreams has been there all along provided they both wake up.

Sean is in severe lust/love/oh what ever you want to call it with Katie.  She’s the only one who makes him feel more than just lust but she also has this ability to get behind the control he has lived his life with for decades.  He’s a thinker and doer but needs someone to make him face ghosts in his past so he can really be free of some horrible things.  He does everything to push her away as his life is back in California not in Camelot but he wants her so badly he ends up letting her in to places others have never been close to.  He is such a great man and I adored how much he struggled with his stuttering in the face of Katie but I really loved how much he was able to help her believe in herself.  He’s such a supportive person and watching him bloom while he helped Katie become who she was meant to be was very sweet/heartwarming.

As always I adore Ruthie and cannot thank NetGalley.com and Random House enough for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars

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