Friday, January 29, 2016

Release Day: Lipstick n Lead by EM Petrova

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TITLE – Lipstick ‘N Lead SERIES (& Book #) – AUTHOR – Em Petrova GENRE – contemporary western romance PUBLICATION DATE – Jan 28, 2016 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 32,000 words PUBLISHER – Em Petrova COVER ARTIST – Love, Lust & Lipstick Stains

Lipstick and Lead - Cover


This feisty cowgirl can’t be tamed—at least not by one man.
Barrel-racer Bella Roberts is winning every competition she enters. She’s at the top of her game and has her sights set on the rodeo finals. So why should she slow down long enough to glance at the cowboys tripping over themselves to get to her? If you’ve had one rodeo guy, you’ve had ‘em all. Besides, she’s determined to live up to her reputation, and bad girls don’t settle down.
The feisty Bella has been giving Carter blue balls since he’d walked into an arena and clapped eyes on her. There’s nothing sexier than a woman who handles a horse with such grace and skill, and her feminine guiles are definitely working on him. He’s been trying to sweet-talk Bella into his hotel room for weeks but can’t land more than a kiss.
Quint knows exactly what Carter’s up to. It’s totally obvious his friend is putting himself in Bella Roberts’ path. But Carter won’t get anywhere because Quint already has. And after that first hot-as-sin kiss, all he can think of is the sultry cowgirl. She won’t let him any closer, but her sassy mouth and brazen attitude just need a firm hand. Good thing he has two—and a lot of rope.
Bella’s in a sticky situation in the middle of team roping partners Carter and Quint. And now that they know she’s been toying with both, they share the same goals in and out of the arena—to have her. Together. Oh, she’ll let them try, all right. But don’t they realize she can’t be bridled?


Author Photo - Em Petrova


Em Petrova lives in Backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to buy an old pickup and travel small-town USA meeting people and hearing their stories. Her heroes are hardworking—in bed and out—and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.


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Book & Audio Review: Promises Boxed set by Jessica Wood

Promises boxed set by Jessica Wood

Publisher & Release Date: Self-Published, November 16, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, Philly

Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult

Length:  373 pages

Heat Level: 3 Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Promise to Marry

We were best friends since as early as I could remember. We grew up together. We were next door neighbors. We shared each other's deepest secrets. When I was thirteen, we made a pact: if we were still single by the time we were 30, we'd marry each other.

Today was my thirtieth birthday. I was single. I knew he was single too.

But we were no longer best friends, and a part of me knew that he hated me.

Promise to Keep

I’ve loved her since we were seven. We were best friends. We even made a pact to marry each other if we were both still single at thirty. I grew up thinking I would always love her for the rest of my life.

But I was proven wrong. Because the first time I made love to her turned out to be the first time I hated her. It became the first time she hurt me, and the first time I wanted nothing to do with her.

Today, nine years after the day that broke us apart, we are both thirty and single, and fate decided to intervene. I finally discovered that the reasons behind her betrayal were far different from the ones I’d created years ago in my mind.

Now I’m torn between my hatred over what she did and my undying love for the one girl who I’ve held close to my heart for most of my life.

But is the truth enough for me to forgive her?

Promise of Forever

He promised to always be my best friend. He promised to marry me if we were both still single at thirty. He promised me a forever together.

But that was before I discovered a secret that seemed to shatter everything I’d come to believe in. Had I lost him before he was ever mine? Had this secret ruined any promise of a forever together?

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Vikki’s Musings

I downloaded the first book for free and added the audio for $1.99. After the first one, I was hooked and devoured the other two books in the series. Promises to Marry series is an extremely fast read since total pages really only equal one full-length novel. That is my main complaint and the main reason I’m giving this 4 Gold Crowns.

Promise to Marry drew me in from the first page. I thoroughly enjoyed following their romance from 1st grade to adulthood. This pair really had a bumpy ride to their happy ending! The first book starts in present day and goes back to their childhood, and I found it fascinating. The second book is mainly what happened to their friendship during their college days, ending back in present day. The third book picks up where the second one ends and is primarily about how they at last resolve all their issues.

Chloe is a very complex character with issues of abandonment because of her mother’s addictions. She’s basically raised by her aunt and uncle in a loving home. I had a bit of a problem understanding why she was so messed up, but it all comes down to loving your mother no matter how bad a parent they are. Also, Chloe feels a lot of guilt for what happens to them when she was in college and that is why she makes bad choices. I didn’t get a clear picture until the third book. I’m glad I kept reading because all is revealed in book 3.

Jackson’s character is complicated as well. His parents had a loveless marriage, so while he had everything money could buy, he didn’t have a close relationship with either parent. He knows his feelings for Chloe go much deeper than friendship–even as a teenager–but he pushes them down, not wanting to damage their relationship. In book 2 and 3, he definitely acts like an ass most of the time and every time Chloe tries to tell him what is going on with her, he doesn’t have the time. That contributed greatly to Chloe’s choices.

This is fairly typical of the New Adult sub-genre, lots of angst, wild behavior, and bad decisions on both characters’ sides. I really enjoyed Ms. Wood’s writing style. Even though she goes back and forth from events in the childhood, teen years and as adults, I found the books easy to follow.

I’m glad I gave this series a chance. It is a riveting read from start to finish. If you enjoy New Adult romance, then you will love this series. I highly recommend it. I’d love to read the follow-up book, but $3.99 is way too much for a 117-page story. Of course, I may not be able to resist because I’m dying to know after reading some of the reviews. Happy reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book & Audio Review: A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis

A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis

Publisher & Release Date: Jelly Bean Press, January 15, 2014

Time and setting: Present Day, Juniper Ridge, Colorado

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  264 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Cami DiCarlo doesn’t agree with her father that her life has been stuck in a rut, so she is not happy when he forces her hand into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel. The fact that he unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, and insists that they live together while they launch the new resort, only makes things worse.

When she meets Vince Talmadge, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything she and her sisters are working to build.

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Vikki’s Musings

I just love it when I find a new author, don’t you? This is the first book I’ve read the DiCarlo Brides series, and I found this a highly entertaining read. I listen to the audio version of A Perfect Fit. I found it while scrolling through loving for a contemporary romance with a twist when I discovered this one. It’s FREE on Amazon and the audio was only $1.99.
A Perfect Fit is a light-hearted story, yet is still a deep emotional reading. The pacing is excellent and I became engaged from the start and remained so until the end. I liked the plot quite a lot, and it is not one I have read before.

Cami DiCarlo is shocked and terribly hurt to learn that her beloved father had four other daughters she and her sister didn’t know existed. When his will dictates they must work together to open the newest 5-star resort in his conglomerate, she is not happy. How will this ever work?

When she meets landscape artist, Vince Talmadge, she is attracted instantly. Here is a man her father would never approve of for her. Perhaps, she can enjoy a carefree fling to help relieve the stress she feels about having to spend time with these new sisters.

Can Cami grow to accept her new sisters, learning to value each of their unique talents, while finding the man of her dreams, a man quite different from the men in her past.

Cami is an interesting character. She is a bit spoiled in the beginning, but it’s really a front to cover up the pain she feels over what she sees as her father’s betrayal. What I liked most about her was her willingness to change. She starts out determined to dislike these sisters she knew nothing about until the reading of her father’s will. I think most women would feel hurt and confusion to learn their father had fathered four illegitimate daughters.

I feel in love with the hero, Vince, right away. He’s sexy, yet kind-hearted, and not a playboy. He’s modest and likes helping people. I saw that immediately when he offers to take Cami’s bags inside when she arrives at the house she will share with her sisters. It’s refreshing to have more of the boy-next-door kind of hero, instead of one who is so emotionally distant, I sometimes wonder how the hero and heroine will either get past that.

Valerie Gilbert is the narrator, and while she doesn’t attempt to give the men masculine voices, I could still distinguish between the characters. She reads with a good bit of emotion, putting the emphasis where it is needed without going too far. I enjoyed her performance and will listen to future recordings by Ms. Gilbert.

If you enjoy a book with amusing characters, camaraderie between family members and a lovely romance, then you will like A Perfect Fit. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Blitz: Historical Romantic Mystery series by Joyce Proell

Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by. Today, the spotlight is on Joyce Proell and her Hostorical Romantic Mystery series. Joyce is giving away 3 eBooks, each book in the series. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing below!

Historical Romantic Mystery
Date Published: 5/25/2015

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When Doyle Flanagan finds two strangers in his library—one dead and the other the beautiful but meddlesome Cady Delafield, his life begins to unravel as all clues point to him for the murder. As the sexual tension sizzles and Victorian conventions crumble, Cady risks job, reputation and family ties to help him clear his name. But even as his life hangs in the balance, his passion for her drives him on, but will the truth about him be the one thing to scare her away?

Historical Romantic Mystery
Date Published: 5/25/2015

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In 1881, the air in Chicago is rife with worker discontent, yet business titan Doyle Flanagan is hopeful for the future. He looks forward to a lifetime of peaceful bliss with Cady Delafield and leaving the wretched past behind. But his life is once again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke.

Plagued by memories of four brutal deaths, school director Cady Delafield is determined to drive the recent tragedies from her mind and enjoy being courted.  Although his commanding personality threatens to overshadow her, Doyle Flanagan is the most dynamic man she’s ever met. When another tragedy unfolds placing him at the center, she takes action—action that could shatter her future dreams.

Historical Romantic Mystery
Date Published: 9/27/2015

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The wedding date is set, and life is magical for Doyle Flanagan and Cady Delafield. Honor bound to repay an old debt, Doyle agrees to help an old friend find her sister. As he searches for the girl, painful memories surface, stunning Cady when she discovers facts about Doyle’s hidden past.

In spite of incredible odds, Cady and Doyle’s love has flourished. But in the midst of a life threatening accident, murder, and Doyle’s secrets, their wedding date and happiness are in jeopardy. Mired in tragedy, can they overcome the turmoil with a fateful decision that changes their future forever?

About the Author

Joyce grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health, she retired at a young age to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. The Cady Delafield mystery series followed next with A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and the last, A Wicked Truth published in September, 2015. When she isn’t writing mysteries or historical romances, she loves to swim, walk and is a crossword puzzle fanatic. She and her husband live in Florida and Minnesota, in her very own little house on the prairie.

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One ebook each of: A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and A Wicked Truth

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Secrets and Lies by Susanne Matthews

Publisher & Release Date: Self-Published, November 16, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, Braden, Iowa

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Length:  340 pages

Heat Level: 1 Sweet Heart

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

DEA agent, Emily Shepherd, is after the Chef, a crystal meth cook, who sets up labs for the Mexican cartel and walks away—the same man responsible for the deaths of her husband and unborn child. Her search leads her to Braden, Iowa, a small town just right for the Chef’s specialty. But identifying her quarry won’t be easy when she’s up against a woman who sees her as a threat, a male chauvinistic deputy sheriff, and an attractive school principal who might just be at the center of it all.

Jackson Harris has sworn off women. Life is satisfactory, if lonely until he meets a hazel-eyed damsel in distress who gets under his skin, and triggers that protective instinct of his. There's a killer in town, one who may or may not be a notorious drug lord. Finding him, and keeping his town, his students, and Emily safe may be harder than he thinks.

Love is breaking out in Braden, Iowa. Follow all the romance with this collection of stories. Secrets and Lies is part of the Hearts of Braden Series, a multi-author series Secrets and Lies stands alone for your reading enjoyment, but the story doesn't need to end there.

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Vikki’s Musings
Once I read one of Susanne Matthews’ books, I was hooked. Her writing style flows beautifully across the page, her pacing is always superb. She pulls me into the story from the beginning and hold me enthralled until the last. When I received a request from the author to read Secrets and Lies in exchange for an honest review, I immediately accepted. As always, this book had me sitting on the edge of my seat at times and pulled at my heart strings.

DEA agent, Emily Jacobson Shepherd goes undercover to find the Meth cooker, known as the chef. It's reported that he is setting up operations in Braden, Iowa. Emily and the chef go way back. He was responsible for the death of her husband and her unborn child, along with coming close to taking her life as well, leaving her permanently disabled.

When Jackson Harris comes to the aid of a young woman, little does he know she’s the nutritionist sent to implement the Healthy Living Initiative for his school. The attraction is fierce between them, but when murders start happening, he wonders if he can protect the woman he is falling in love with, or will the chef get to her first?

 I really liked Emily’s character from the start. Her tragic backstory, which Ms. Matthews expertly weaves into Secrets and Lies, gains my empathy right away. She is a strong woman, determined to bring down the chef at all costs. She does not let the loss she suffered that left her crippled to keep her from accomplishing her goal. Ms. Matthews writing is so moving, it brought tears to my eyes when I learned what had happened to her and her family.

Jackson is a great hero. He’s strong, good looking, determined to protect his school and loyal to his friends. Even though Emily tries to keep him at arm’s length, he burrows his way under her defenses. Although he has good reason to be leery of secretive women, he looks below the surface to the loving and caring woman Emily is, and he is determined to earn her trust.

I truly loved Secret and Lies. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is a little stronger finish. While is does have a happy ending, it felt a bit rushed to me. However, the rest of the book is so strong, it deserves a great rating. If you enjoy stories with intrigue and suspense with a bit of a mystery, then you will love this book. Happy reading!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Thanks for stopping by today. Tanya is giving away 7 eBooks via Rafflecopter drawing during her tour. Don't forget to enter the drawing. The link is at the end of this post.

Granted Wishes by Tanya Vought

Publisher & Release Date: Booktrope, February 3, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, Small town USA

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal

Length:  236 pages

Heat Level: 1 Sweet Heart

Rating: 3 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

A decision that will change her life forever.

After the loss of her husband, Gracelynn Calhoun has struggled with her life and career. Forced to take a four-week vacation or be fired from her job, she surprises everyone including herself and agrees to the vacation.

The owner of Antonetti Suites, Giovanni works hard and doesn’t have time for relationships or love. That is until he literally crashes into Gracelynn. She brings back all the feelings he thought he would never feel again.

With the odds stacked against them in every way possible, will they forge ahead together or will this be the end of the road for their newfound love? Will the whispers from above bring them together or will misunderstandings ruin what could be an amazing second chance at love?

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Vikki’s Musings

I decided to give this a read this afternoon. It’s an easy and quick little romance. I liked both characters for the most part. I did struggle with the present tense in third person. Normally present tense works better with first person.

As I read along, I kept wondering about the age of the author. Ms. Vought uses quite a few outdated words, such as Giovanni calling Gracelynn doll along with a few other ones. Another problem for me was the amount of telling instead of showing. That kept me from truly getting into the story.

While this is a sweet love story with several engaging secondary characters, I like deeper emotion. Just because the characters cry doesn’t mean it’s an emotionally-charged read. I must also mention that Giovanni not only cries, he sobs like a baby on several occasions. While I don’t have a problem with men crying, when they do it every few pages, it becomes tedious, just as it would if it had been a female.

If you enjoy sweet romances with a strong paranormal element, then you may enjoy Granted Wishes. I did find myself laughing several times, so I was entertained and isn’t that why we read anyway? Happy reading!


The dark, somber sky matches Gracelynn Calhoun’s disposition. Her heart beats rapidly in her chest as she grips the steering wheel of her Hyundai Accent. From her windshield, she notices the barren trees that once held her favorite fall foliage. Looking at them makes her feel just as empty as the trees in the Layton Hills Cemetery. She releases her right hand from the steering wheel, and clutches her angel necklace as tears pour down her cheeks. She closes her eyes, continuing to hold the necklace, remembering the day her beloved gave it to her. She lets go of her necklace, opens her green-grey eyes and wipes her cheeks.
While walking to her beloved’s tomb, leaves crinkle under her favorite pair of black, high-heeled shoes. As she reaches the stone, tears trickle down her face and she drops to her knees. She immediately starts cleaning around his grave, removing all debris.

She stares at the gravestone, and drags her fingers over the intricately carved angel wings. She reads aloud, even though she doesn't need to. "Angelo Grant Calhoun. 11/28/1980 - 11/30/2012. "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." More tears stream down her face.

She reaches up and touches the top of the stone, resting her hand in the middle of the stone, like she’d be touching Angelo's heart.  “I miss you so much, Angelo. How can I move on with my life…move on without you?” she cries to the gravestone. "I love you so much. I wore your favorite dress and shoes, hoping that you’d see me today. How crazy is that?" She laughs through tears, wipes her cheeks with her hand and grabs her necklace. “I still remember the day you gave me this,” she expresses to the gravestone. “How can I move on when you were my whole life?......”

Author Bio:

What started as a lifelong dream became a reality when Tanya Vought penned and released her debut romance novel, Granted Wishes. She is a hopeless romantic who loves reading, writing and singing. You may know her as blogger "Tanya - The Book Obsessed Momma", where she's been a loyal supporter of authors and an active participant in the book community for several years. You'll find that Tanya writes stories that are sweet, sassy and unique--like her. When she's not inspiring others with her kindness, she's spending time with her husband and two imaginative children. She believes whole-heartedly that anything is possible. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

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