Tuesday, April 30, 2019

#BookReview - "Lion Dancing for Love" by Laura Boon


Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn't planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans. 
Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart. 

Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?


In this Deerbourne Inn series book, accountant Caitlin Summers is visiting Willow Springs to help her friend Annette with the annual Maple Sugar Ball. Even though she’s been traveling the world for a year, she still hasn’t gotten over her bad breakup with her ex-boyfriend.
Widower Corey Duncan lives his life around his feed store and avoids entanglements with women, but he can’t deny the instant attraction he feels for Caitlin, no matter how much he wants to. As their mutual friends play matchmaker, he and Cat are roped into working together to perform a special Chinese lion dance at the Christmastime festivities.
Cat and Corey are great characters. Both of them were suffering from loss and they helped each other heal. Cat, especially, was very understanding and considerate when Corey talked about his deceased wife. Love and romance bloomed from friendship and sexual attraction.
Cat’s Lao Lao (grandmother) was hilarious, and I would’ve loved more scenes with her! I found the history of the lion dance very interesting, and the lion costume and dance moves were described so vividly that I easily pictured it in my mind.
The townsfolk play a big a role in the story. Even though Annette, Lynn, and Stan are series stock characters, Ms Boon really brought them to life and made them interesting in their own right.
Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the romance. The sex scenes were both hot and heartfelt, showing the healing process. I would definitely like to read more books by Ms. Boon.
4 Stars

Disclaimer – I received this book from Net Galley. I volunteered to read and review this book. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

Monday, April 29, 2019

#BookSpotlight - "Cameron & Rylan" by Valerie Ullmer

Cameron & Rylan (A Chance Meeting Novel Book One)
Valerie Ullmer

Genre:  New Adult M/M Romance



Cameron Hayes believed himself to be a dedicated friend and a good son but destined to be alone.  Because in his twenty-one years, he’d never fallen for anyone.  Dating never appealed to him when he would rather spend a night at home.  Despite his friend’s best intentions for Cameron to find a hookup for the night, he stayed at the bar as he nursed a beer.  And that’s when Cameron spotted him and everything he knew evaporated with one look.
Rylan Ellis wanted one night out without complications.  To forget about his overwhelming responsibilities and stress at home.  He loved to lose himself in the music and ignore everyone around him.  But when he happened a glance at the bar and spotted the tall, broad, and sexy-as-sin man, he felt drawn to him.
Soon, Cameron and Rylan learn about each other and establish their lives together.  They also have to deal with a group of well-meaning friends, loving parents, and unexpected friendships.  But most of all, a dangerous threat that could tear their lives apart.
Will a chance meeting turn into something more?
This novel contains heavy attraction at first sight and first-time gay sex between two men.  There is no cheating or cliffhangers and ends with a happily ever after.


“Are you okay?”
Rylan swallowed at Cameron’s concern and nodded.  “Are you sure you still want me to move in?”  The look of concern on Cameron’s face made his throat feel tight.
“I want you safe but more than that, I want you in my life.  I still want you very much to move in with me.”
“Yes to both.  I… I want that.”
Cameron’s gaze dropped to his mouth and paused for a long minute before he met Rylan’s gaze.  “Can I kiss you?”
Oh, yes, please.
Unable to force the words past his throat, he nodded instead.
Rylan not knowing what to expect, couldn’t prevent the shiver when Cameron cupped his face.  He moaned aloud when Cameron’s lips grazed over his lower one.  Cameron took his time exploring, searching and yet not deepening the kiss as he passed over Rylan’s lips with his own.
“Rylan,” Cameron breathed.
That one word was all it took.
“I’ve wanted nothing more.”  Cameron tilted his mouth as he pressed their lips together, causing Rylan’s entire world to tilt on its axis.
Rylan gripped Cameron’s hips tighter in his hold, pulling him closer, as Cameron slid his tongue over the seam of his lips, asking for permission to enter.  Rylan eagerly opened, savoring the taste of peppermint and black coffee as Cameron deepened the kiss and stole Rylan’s breath in the same moment.
When they broke off and dragged in deep breaths, Cameron moved his lips behind his ear before he explored Rylan’s neck.  Rylan tilted his head back, giving him access and drawing sensations from his untried body that left him throbbing.
Rylan never knew his neck and the area behind his ear would turn him into mush.  He bit his lip to prevent a moan from escaping his throat, but Cameron bit his earlobe and spoke.
“Let me hear you.”
“You’re driving me crazy.”
“Now you know how I felt the moment I spotted you on the dance floor.  For me, that’s saying something.”
Before Rylan could form a thought to reply, Cameron moved his mouth over Rylan’s and he lost himself to the sensations that shivered throughout his body.  Cameron’s growl absorbed his moan as he deepened the kiss, pulling him closer to his hard body.
Rylan’s eyes fluttered closed, unable to keep his eyes on the sexy-as-sin sight of Cameron’s flushed face.  The kiss turned into an inferno and Rylan could feel his cock swelling in his sweats and he knew if Cameron stepped closer, he would experience Rylan’s excitement first hand.
He opened for Cameron’s exploration and instead of the intense sensations of an aggressive kiss, Cameron’s slowed his movements as his tongue explored him until he was panting and all thoughts disappeared.  There were only the sensations Cameron drew from him.


Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

#BookReview – “Fired Up” by Jayne Ann Krentz


More than three centuries ago, Nicholas Winters irrevocably altered his genetic makeup in an obsession-fueled competition with alchemist and Arcane Society founder Sylvester Jones. Driven to control their psychic abilities, each man's decision has reverberated throughout the family line, rewarding some with powers beyond their wildest dreams, and cursing others to a life filled with madness and hallucinations.

Jack Winters, descendant of Nicholas, has been experiencing nightmares and blackouts - just the beginning, he believes - of the manifestation of the Winters family curse. The legend says that he must find the Burning Lamp or risk turning into a monster. But he can't do it alone; he needs the help of a woman with the gift to read the lamp's dreamlight.

Jack is convinced that private investigator Chloe Harper is that woman. It doesn't take long for Chloe to pick up the trail of the missing lamp. And as they draw closer to the lamp, the raw power that dwells within it threatens to sweep them into a hurricane of psychic force.


In book one of the Dreamlight Trilogy (an Arcane Society spin-off), private investigator Chloe Harper comes from a family of brilliant forgers who make their living in shady, underground deals. Needless to say, the Harper family steers clear of the secretive, rule-making Arcane Society (a mysterious psychic research organization) and Jones and Jones (a paranormal investigation agency that primarily works for the society).
Jack Winters avoids them as well. As the direct descendent of Nicholas Winters, a powerful alchemist and the enemy of fellow alchemist Sylvester Jones (the Arcane Society’s founder from the 1600s), Jack is one of three destined men to be affected with the Winters Curse. If he turns into a monster as part of the curse, J&J will kill him, no questions asked. As a dreamlight reader, Chloe can save him before he loses control of his new unwanted talent, but to do so, they have to find a mysterious lamp that can harness their combined powers into a weapon.
Jack and Chloe were awesome together. They formed a fast friendship before they jumped into bed, and it was enjoyable seeing them both grow as people and as a couple.
I liked this book, but it jumped around a lot. If I hadn’t read the previous Arcane books, I probably would’ve been confused. Not only did Jack and Chloe have trouble with the lamp and the so-called curse, they also had to deal with Nightshade, a renegade paranormal group out to enhance their psychic abilities through a dangerous drug.
For some reason, Ms. Krentz wrote this trilogy backwards. I like the fact that the ongoing mystery of the Burning Lamp and the Winters’ family curse takes place in three different time periods (all under different author names), but the layout is odd. The contemporary story comes first, the historical one is second, and the futuristic story is third. In this modern day story, there were references and spoilers about the couple from the historical book, but most readers (me included) probably wouldn’t have read that story yet.
This book seemed to drag a little in the middle and could use a light edit (for example, Chloe’s last name is Harper, but it’s written as Winters in one scene). The best parts were with Fallon, the head of J&J, and I’m so happy to see the set-up for his story. As this trilogy stands, I’m definitely interested in reading the other books.
3.5 Stars

Disclaimer – I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

#BookReview – “Obsidian Prey” by Jayne Castle


The world of Harmony has its own special glow, thanks to the aliens who left behind powerful amber and twisting underground catacombs. Sparks fly, senses are rezzed, and passion can take you by surprise...

Three months ago, amber tuner and independent prospector Lyra Dore made the find of the decade in an underground rain forest: amethyst ruins. But the very man she was dating stole her claim -- and her heart. At least she has her artistically talented dust bunny, Vincent, to comfort her...

Amber Inc. CEO Cruz Sweetwater never meant to hurt Lyra. His affinity for obsidian amber gives him the ability to sense that she is his true love. But the ruins have mysterious powers, putting everyone involved with the project in danger. Only by trusting their psychic instincts will Cruz and Lyra survive -- and surrender to the desire that binds them.


In the sixth Harmony series book, Lyra Dore finds a remarkable amethyst ruin in the jungle. Instead of doing the legal thing and reporting the discovery to the local authorities, she decides to sell some priceless relics in the shady underground antiquities market. When her first client turns out to be an undercover agent in search of the ruin, she’s devastated because the client is also her boyfriend.
Cruz Sweetwater planned to use Lyra but never expected to fall in love with her. After he and his private security firm takes control of the ruin, she breaks up with him and unsuccessfully sues the company. When they reconnect a few months later, they have to team up to survive a frame-up and a mysterious stalker who’s determined to make Lyra his.
I couldn’t connect with Lyra and Cruz, and I didn’t feel any real romance or chemistry between them. In my opinion, Cruz did nothing wrong when he took the ruin from her except that he lied to get close to her. (Lyra didn’t have the money or the connections to properly research the ruin as needed, and she also wasn’t able to defend the ruin and herself from thieves and murderers who wanted to take it from her.) Cruz was able to do all that and more, and offered to pay her outrageously for the find. Unfortunately, she refused the money and stubbornly insisted throughout the course of the whole book that he “stole” the ruin from her. It really annoyed me. Cruz, however, foolishly thought she would forgive him because of their “connection” but never apologized for hurting her.
Lyra is portrayed as determined and strong-willed, but she cried too much and humiliated herself by shouting and screaming for no good reason. I also didn’t like the fact that everyone in Cruz’s family accused her of breaking Cruz’s heart. She did, but he broke her heart too. No one seemed to care about that.
The best part about this book is that the Sweetwater family from the Arcane Society series is back and that the Society is still thriving in secret on the planet of Harmony. Awesome!
The book could use a light edit to fix missing punctuation marks. I usually breeze over all the “he said” and “she said” taglines, and I really enjoyed the murder-mystery and theft part of the book. This is a good series and I recommend it, but this particular book just didn’t strike home for me.
3 Stars

Disclaimer – I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Blog Tour - "Sexing up the Spy" by Tina Holland

Title:  Sexing Up The Spy
Series:  Caulfield Cowboys Prequel
Author:  Tina Holland
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Release Date:  April 2, 2019

Lexi Andrews keeps her erotic writing a secret but she'll gladly risk exposure for the chance to work with “Killer” spy creator Jake Stone. While Jake is hesitant to work with anyone, he'll meet Lexi to appease his female fans. They hatch a plan to rehearse the love scenes and give Jake's novel realism.
But what starts out as an experiment soon takes on a life of its own. Jake's deadline doesn't seem as pressing as Lexi's lovely body. Can Jake and Lexi keep their hands off each other long enough to “Sex up the Spy”?


“Lexi, are you in there!”
A muffled voice came through her dreams. Lexi’s head screamed and she was
damn uncomfortable, “Go away,” Who was at the door this late? Sounded like Jake,
“Jake, come back tomorrow!” She shouted back. Lexi rolled over. The sun blinded her.
Oh, crap! Sunlight!
She shot up like a springboard.
“I’ll be right there!” She fell to the floor with a loud thud trying to run to the door.
While she slept, Lexi’s usual thrashing tangled her up in the afghan. “Are you okay?”
Jake called from the other side.
“Fine.” She started to pull the afghan off her feet, but the knots were stuck through
her fishnets. Great, just great. She managed to raise herself up and shuffle to the door
like a penguin. She threw the door open, but the action propelled her forward. Lexi lost
her balance and collapsed once again.
Jake looked down at Lexi sprawled on the floor, “Are you alright?” he lowered
himself to help Lexi get to her feet.
“Sorry, I’m all tangled. The knots of the afghan got caught up in my fishnets.”
“Why are you still wearing last night’s clothes?”
Lexi turned red, “I wanted to get some cleaning done before you came over. Guess I
fell asleep.” She teetered forward, while motioning her hand around the house. Jake
caught her along her back and under her knees, lifting her against his chest.
“Where do you want to go?”
“The bedroom.”
“Lexi, I do love your line of thought.” He winked at her.
“I need to shower and change, of course,” she hit his chest playfully, “Go that way,”
Lexi pointed to the opposite wall. Jake started in the direction, “Turn right.”
Jake took in the surroundings of the room, soft green walls, dark brown wood
furniture, and sheer off-white curtains. It suited Lexi and more to the point, him. He could
seduce her in this room. At least it wasn’t pink with stuffed animals everywhere. He
shuddered remembering his first time with his high-school sweetheart, Fran Something.
Jake never was good at names.
“Do you need anything else?” Jake asked with anticipation, depositing Lexi on the
“I don’t think so.”
“Alright, I’ll go wait in the living room.”
Jake no sooner closed the door than a loud THUMP came from the other side of it,
“Are you okay?” he peeked back into Lexi’s bedroom.
Lexi was face-first on the floor trying to get back up. She looked like a bright
caterpillar inching its way along the wooden floor. “It seems I need help taking off these
stockings,” she said, without even looking up.
Jake smiled wide. “My pleasure.” He helped Lexi back up onto the bed and looked
into her sea-green eyes. She seemed to stare at him mesmerized, mouth agape. Lexi
darted her pink tongue out to lick her lips. Jake let out a guttural exhale.
“The afghan,” she spoke at last.
“Of course.” Jake looked down at her black stockings and wondered how to
accomplish the task at hand without seducing Lexi. Why not seduce her? It was good
practice, and really, what was the worst that could happen? She might say ‘no’. Jake
could live with a ‘no’. He wondered if he would regret not touching her.

Buy Links:

About the Author:  Tina Holland was born in Frankfurt, Germany and is now settled in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.  She lives on a hobby farm and enjoys horseback riding, camping, traveling, and reading books by her favorite authors.
Tina has been published since 2005 and continues to pen new stories for her readers.  She is a member of RWA, Writers Zen Garden, and the F-M Word Weavers.

Author Social Links:

Thursday, April 25, 2019

#AuthorInterview - Misty Simon


Olivia Jameson runs a summer camp called Breathe, giving inner-city kids a chance to see a different life. When the man who owned the camp died, leaving his dream to his son, Liv took charge, and the work means the world to her.
As far as Alex Campbell is concerned, the camp is a hands-off tax write-off. But when Liv calls because her boys are accused of property damage, Alex returns to the place he hasn’t called home since age twelve…and to a girl he barely remembers, now a woman who stirs him like no city sophisticates ever have.
This is Liv’s livelihood, her mission, her dream. Sharing it with a man who doesn’t understand the impact is frustrating. But as he begins learning truths that were hidden from him, both Liv and Alex may have a change of heart. Can Liv open up her life one more time to love?
Buy links:

Author Interview
Welcome Misty Simon! Thank you so much for chatting with me.

How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?

I’ve been writing since 2000 approximately. I decided to become an author because I found myself watching way too much Lifetime TV and figured I should probably go find something else to do like read again. So I did and I fell in love with couples falling in love. I’ve been published since 2005 and have loved every single minute of it, even the rough ones!

What did you do when you received your first Acceptance Letter?

Uh yeah there was a lot of squealing, probably some crying, more squealing, I’m pretty sure I did some sort of dance that should never be done again, and then I drank a bottle of champagne.

All writers suffer from writer’s block at least once in their career. What’s your go-to cure?

I get myself away from what I’m working so hard to make happen and put on some music and then I wander around the house. I look at different book covers and look at all I’ve created, I trust that this will work itself out and then I journal. That’s usually enough for me to get back on track.

Any advice for the aspiring authors out there? Particularly those who are feeling a little discouraged?

Please write what calls to you and makes you happy. I know it’s tempting to follow trends and if you see one that fits you or if slight changes to your book could fit you in that subgenre then by all means go for it. But if your emotions and your heart aren’t in what you’re spending so much time on, it shows. So write, and write often, trust that your stories need to be heard, and then sit down and get that stuff onto the paper or computer screen!

We all need a little inspiration in our lives. What’s your favorite quote and why?

First think, Second, believe, Third, dream. And finally, dare. – Walt Disney
I love this one because it’s so simple and yet so profound at the same time. You need to believe in you before anyone else can and sometimes you’re the only one who does believe in you at first. But no matter what, you are important. What you’re doing is important, and the world needs your stories. So tell them!

Misty Simon always wanted to be a storyteller…preferably behind a Muppet. Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock… Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time. She knows how to hula, was classically trained to sing opera, co-wrote her high school Alma Mater, and can’t touch raw wood. Never hand her a Dixie cup with that wooden spoon/paddle thing. It’s not pretty.
Touching people’s hearts and funny bones are two of her favorite things, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

#BookReview - "Witches' Cliff" by Peggy Chambers


Penny Winters flees to her birthplace in Vermont to consider the marriage proposal she left behind in Salem. Complicating her already difficult decision, she is smitten when she encounters handyman Liam on the porch of the quaint Deerbourne Inn. 
A modern-day wiccan, Penny intends to contact her distant great-grandmother, who died on the cliffs when Willow Springs held witch trials. Penny needs advice, and the best time to connect to her ancestors is on Halloween. But she is not the only witch in Willow Springs, and they both have their eye on the same man. And who is the old woman who keeps appearing, telling her to go home? 
Penny comes to the cliff to seek Grandma's advice. But Halloween is an important holiday for a witch, and she is not alone on the cliffs that night. Penny will have to battle not only for Liam's attention, but for her life.


In this Deerbourne Inn book, practicing Wiccan Penny Winters goes to Willow Springs in order to conjure the spirit of her tenth-great grandmother, whom died in the 1692 witch trails. It’s Halloween, the perfect time for a witch to perform magic. There she meets Liam, a sexy electrician who always pops up when she least expects it.
This novella is pretty short and a little repetitive, but the writing is clear. Penny and Liam are great characters. The narrative is told from Penny’s POV only, but I would’ve liked some scenes from Liam’s perspective as well. There isn’t a solid HEA, but the possibility of one in the future does exist.
Ms Chambers described a beautiful, mystical setting, especially the cliff and the tunnel of trees. I loved seeing the town in full holiday swing. I’m interested in witch history and folklore, so I found those parts very interesting. Overall, I enjoyed the story.
4 Stars

Disclaimer – I volunteered to read and review this book. Thank you, Peggy Chambers, for sending me an ebook copy. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Spotlight - "Ghost Lover" by Liza O’Connor

Contemporary Romance with a touch of paranormal

Two sexy English brothers. One irresistible ghost. Who would you choose as your lover?
Completely broke and with a criminal record to boot, Senna Smith is one day from eviction from her apartment when Brendon, her promiscuous roommate from London, suggests she go to England, marry him, and manage his fortune. With few other options, she agrees to an open marriage. But she’ll never, ever, have sex with him, knowing if she falls in love with him, he’ll break her heart.
As trustee of Brendon’s family fortune, there is no way Brendon’s older brother, Garrison Durran, is going to let him marry a self-professed American gold-digger. As Senna tries to embrace castle life and English society for Brendon’s sake, Gar discovers Senna is the perfect woman for him--beautiful and intelligent, kind and caring. Now, if she wasn’t already engaged to his brother…
The ancestral ghost of Durran Castle has to intervene if the Durran brothers have any chance of an heir. He can’t leave them to fix matters on their own. They are useless buggers when it comes to love. As counselor to Gar, matchmaker for Brendon, and lover to Senna, a ghost’s work is never done.
CONTENT WARNING: Allergy warning: Ghost cat in book.   


“So my brother steals all your money and to compensate you, he suggests you come to England, marry him, and he’ll give you his trust fund.” Only his brother could contrive such an absurd plan.
“Yes.” By her brief answer, he gathered she thought it a perfectly reasonable solution.
His brother might be an idiot, but this gold digger would soon discover Gar a force to reckon with. “Did he steal a half million from your bank account?”
Brendon laughed. “Do you have any idea how long that would take? Cash machines only allow you two visits a day at two hundred dollars a pop.”
“How much did he take?” Gar restated his question.
“Four hundred,” Senna replied.
Gar stared up at the ceiling praying for patience, then glared at Ditz. “So why didn’t you pay her back the four hundred?”
Ditz stubbornly refused to answer, and instead glanced at the girl.
She sighed and faced Gar. “Precisely what I asked. He said he didn’t have the four hundred, but if I married him, he would come into a half million. Since the landlord planned to evict me, I really had no choice but to accept the offer.”

About Liza O'Connor
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog, Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.


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