Tuesday, October 23, 2018

An Ideal Halloween Read!

I recently read the most wonderful October/Halloween read! Love Bites, by Annabelle Costa. This is NOT your run-of-the-mill vampire book at all! This novel weaves together two suspenseful, eerie, mysterious narratives. Tom Blake is a young man in 1905 who is falling in love when he gets his first job. Soon he'll be out of his cruel father's house and his life will truly begin ... but why does he have such a craving for blood? When he is working at the butcher shop, and every time he gets close to his sweetheart Mary...
In present day New York City, Brooke wonders if adorable, reliable, all around good-guy Jamie might be more than a friend. When her gorgeous gal-pal Sydney is murdered and strange things start happening to Brooke, she turns to Jamie and yeah ... she's pretty sure he's more than a friend. But before she can act on her realization, Hunter T. Stone walks into her life and mesmerizes her. Brooke finds herself under his spell, but the closer she gets to him, the more it seems like he has something to do with Sydney's murder ...
OMG this book is soooooo good!!!! It hits the ground running and both narratives unfold with compelling grace and precision. The romances and the spine-tingling mysteries kept me turning the pages, ravenous to devour every next word! And the best part? As the story unfurled, I had NO IDEA what was going to happen - or even what I wanted to happen! I didn't know who was going to end up being the good guy and the bad guy. I couldn't guess who was going to end up with whom. Every new chapter offered another tantalizing piece of the puzzles, something else to consider. The stakes keeping getting upped and upped and upped! Even when you reach the climax, you still have no idea how it will all play out until the very last page. What an exciting read! Sex in the Citymeets Sleepy Hollowin an intriguing and unique book about vampires, murder, romance, and survival. A perfect Halloween read! 


Friday, September 28, 2018

Mary Stewart on Kindle!

How awesome is this? Mary Stewart books are now available on Kindle - and many of them at very affordable prices! If you don't know Mary Stewart, she wrote books that are gothic-like romances sprinkled with some magic elements and some suspense, set in (her) present day of the nineteen fifties, sixties and seventies. I have been reading her books in paperback since I was a kid, but now that I have time to read only when I am in my car and my Kindle reads aloud to me, I am overjoyed to be able to enjoy her books!!!!! This week, I reread one of my all-timefavorite books: Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart on Kindle.

In this book, Bryony Ashley, who is living abroad, wakes suddenly one night, receiving a telepathic message from her Lover - a boy and then a man she has been secretly communicating with telepathically her whole life - but she doesn't know who he is - she just knows that they grew up together and have known each other all their lives. He tells her that her father is dying. Her father's questionable car accident leaves Bryony an orpahn disinherited from her family's large, crumbling estate back home in England. Bryony returns to Ashley Court to settle estate matters and hopefully discover the identity of her Lover. But when she gets home, the comfortable and familiar are laced with secrets and danger ....

Enjoy this and so many Mary Stewart books on Kindle at beautifully affordable prices!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Remington Steele Meets Thor

In the captivating Regency romance The Lawrence Browne Affair, Cat Sebastian crafts a many-layered love story reminiscent of a rejuvenated tale of Beauty and the Beast. The story of Radnor and Georgie delights with winsome, finely-tuned prose that renders the narrative sexy, dashing, funny, and deeply poignant.
From the book description: 
An earl hiding from his future . . . 
Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down.
A swindler haunted by his past . . . 
Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl.
Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives? 
Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.

When I was in college, my drug of choice was not pot or beer – it was Beauty and the Beast. The Disney cartoon. I would watch it on a loop as I pulled an all-nighter or pop it into the VCR when I needed to relax and remember sanity. While I was always aware of what bothered me about the story, I successfully muffled my misgivings. Like the whole kidnapping angle, for instance. Not an auspicious start to a romance. And quite frankly, the theme of the whole story raises my hackles – a boorish male kidnaps a young woman and treats her terribly, but they fall in love and then he turns into a handsome prince. Just writing it out makes me feel a bit sick. Because let’s face it, a boorish man who treats you terribly tends to get worse, not better, as the relationship progresses. And thinking you can change a beast into a price is a dark road to go down.
So why do I love the story so? A line from the song “Beauty and the Beast” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken best explains my love for this story: “Barely even friends, Then somebody bends Unexpectedly.” I love the unfurling of the relationship, the quiet thrill of two characters discovering one another, and realizing what is most essential about the other person. Is there a book-loving woman alive who doesn’t swoon when The Bet presents Belle with his entire library?
The most wonderful thing about The Lawrence Browne Affair (and there are MANY wonderful things) is that it tells a Beauty and the Beast story without all of the disturbing elements. The Beast – the “mad” Earl of Radnor, does not kidnap Georgie and then scream and yell and frighten his victim just because he is so angry at his own bad choices and where they have led. Yes, Radnor is gruff with Georgie, a secretary he did not invite – and does not want – in his home. Radnor’s manners can be gruff, but evidence of his life-long decency and compassion reveals itself throughout the story. And far from kidnapping Georgie, Radnor has Georgie foisted upon him and once Georgie is there, he just won’t seem to leave.
Once they are together in the crumbling mansion, each man’s personality, history, and motives become less murky, and as they begin to fall for one another, these characters crystalize into unexpectedly brilliant gems. And Sebastian keeps the twists coming throughout the book, as more and more gets revealed about each character, and as the life of each man evolves in tune with the other.
Sebastian has written many books, and I confess I love them all. The Lawrence Browne Affair is my favorite. Each book of hers if sexy, funny, richly poignant, and so deftly written! Each of her books in a stand-alone read and the books in Cat Sebastian series do not need to be read in order. If you are looking for a new author to binge-read, I dare say, you might just have found her. Happy reading, indeed!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Beautifully Crafted Gem!

Mmmrrh ... pull up a chair and settle in to make jewelry as you chat and bond, lick wounds and discover new doors, break up and fall in  love ... and unravel a mystery with the women of The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club by Holly Tierney-Bedord.


From the Book Description: 
It's been five years since the idyllic oceanside town of Port Elspeth was rocked by tragedy. Shortly after their high school graduation, Evangeline Maddingly, daughter of one of the town's wealthiest old-money families, and Oliver Prescott, son of one of the town's wealthiest new-money families, were found dead in an isolated cabin in the woods outside of town. The circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths are murky at best, thanks in large part to a coroner with connections to the town's founding families and a sweeping effort from those in power to shut down any negative publicity that could harm the reputation of their pristine community.

~Five years later~



A small group of strangers gather to create jewelry for one of Port Elspeth's many fundraisers. Before long, friendships are forming and old secrets are being revealed. Along with solving the mystery of how to make a perfect pair of chandelier earrings or cabochon necklace, these unlikely friends find themselves at the heart of solving the murders that took place half a decade earlier.  


This book sweeps you away with shades of The Jane Austen Book Club and piques your interest in ways reminiscent of The Bletchley Circle. As the women meet, ostensibly to make jewelry, they learn about their own lives and loves and make decisions that change everything. And one of those decisions is to solve an unsolved murder in the community.

The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club follows the lives of six women – one teenager, one woman in her twenties, two women in their thirties, one woman in her fifties, and one woman in her seventies. We become immersed in their relationships with lovers and family members in all their glory and ignominy. This comfortably intimate novel makes you feel as if you are a part of the club as you piece together dangly earrings, smile at a new friend you feel like you’ve known forever, cringe at flashes of boorishness, and feel chills slide down your neck as you realize a killer is on the loose from a murder that no one ever tried to solve. After all, to delve into the crime, in a place such as Port Elspeth, involving such renowned families, just would have been too, too gauche. But Cadence, the founder of the club, is new to town. And all the other club members have quirks in their lives that allow these craft club meetings to turn into stealthy investigations. 

What begins as a compelling voyage into the lives of six very different women escalates into an edge-of-your seat hunt for a killer! Because whether it is fashioning bracelets or making justice happen, these women get the job done. In The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, jewelry, and life, is what you make of it, with your own talent and instinct, but more importantly, with the love and support of others. 

Holly Tierney-Bedord, a gifted story-teller, has given us yet another gem!  

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kat Martin's New Romantic Thriller

In Beyond Control, bestselling author Kat Martin goes from sexy romance to mile-a-minute suspense as she interweaves compelling characters and well-crafted plots all to culminate in a thrilling, immensely satisfying ending!

"When Victoria Bradford got engaged, she told herself to give love a chance. Six months later, she’s on the run from her angry, abusive ex-fiancĂ© with her four-year-old daughter and nowhere to go.

Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.

But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training 
can prepare him for . . ." --From the Amazon description 
In this book, Kat Martin weaves together compelling characters and well-crafted plots, all to culminate in a thrilling, immensely satisfying ending.
When Josh Cain meets Tory Ford (aka Victoria Bradford), he quite likes her fiery red hair and cute behind. But that’s after we’ve already seen Tory’s true worth: her strength and courage shine through in the opening scene when she stands up to her monster of a fiancĂ© Damon, a man who believes he owns Tory lock, stock, and barrel. Tory survives his nearly fatal beating, escapes, and keeps on surviving.
Once she gets to the Iron River Ranch, the attraction between Tory and Josh simmers and sizzles. We get heart-wrenching and thought-provoking glimpses into Josh’s heroic military career, a career that haunts him… in more ways than one. We meet the tough and charming Clara Thompson, the baby-sitting neighbor who can be trusted to the hills and back. We get to know the eminently likable Cole and Noah, former marines who work on Josh’s ranch. And we are introduced to Satan’s Star, a troubled stallion who has suffered, like Tory, at the hands of an abusive man.
But this warm, romantic, and exciting story becomes chilling as chapters from Damon’s POV begin creeping in as he hunts for Tory. He beats women, rapes women, and kills with abandon. When Damon gleefully and arrogantly kidnaps and rapes one of his victims, this scene is intercut with the sexual culmination of the flirtation between Tory and Josh. While the juxtaposition of sickening brutality with incandescent romance is viscerally disturbing, it is also ingenious in how it undercuts the romance, shifting the focus of the book away from the relationship between Tory and Josh and onto the battles both are facing as they try to elude and conquer the bad guys in their lives. The lovers must stop the villains and the story kicks into hyper-drive.
Josh’s friends and family circle around Josh and Tory, helping them both ward off and fight the evil blasting at them from all directions. The camaraderie is heartwarming; the suspense is so compelling it will have you flipping pages with the speed of a stallion.
And the ending? It is breath-taking, comprised of brilliance and absolute perfection in the narrative. And even to hint at it would be to do this tightly woven story a disservice.
Beyond Control is available starting TODAY!! Happy reading!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Crazy About These Books!

I have a confession to make - I usually do not choose to read Chick Lit or RomCom sequels. In Chick Lit and RomCom, a romance is usually central to the plot. So, when the couple gets together at the end of the book, I tend to lose interest in their story. Discovering each other, understanding each other, and finally getting together with each other is, for me, the culmination of the story, the end of the arc. I am seldom interested enough in the characters themselves to read about the trials and tribulations of their relationship, wedding plans, marriage, and babies. I have nothing against these books, and I know books like these can be very successful and I rejoice in the authors' successes, but these stories tend not to be my cup of tea.

But then I met Anna and Matt. 

In Annabelle Costa's Chick Lit novel Crazy in Love, Anna works on her OCD so she can have a relationship with Matt, her kind, gorgeous co-worker who suffers more and more from multiple sclerosis. Their stories are deftly told with humor, compassion, romance, and more humor, building up to the story's wonderful ending. 

So usually, I would have no interest in reading more about Anna and Matt. But these characters are so quirky, charming, real, and interesting that I just want to read more more more about them!!!!!

And at midnight tonight, the sequel to Crazy in Love - Baby Crazy - becomes available. Yay!!!!!!!!!! Here is the blurb from Amazon:

Reasons why Anna Harper never wanted to have children:

-- The lifetime cost of raising a child is a quarter of a million dollars.

--The baby might vomit. And then she would have to have the entire house sterilized.

--What if while she was driving in the car, the baby managed to open its car seat, and then she got into an accident while the baby was out of the car seat?

--What if the baby doesn’t like her? After all, she has observed that most people don’t.

Reasons why Anna Harper has started trying for a baby:

--Her husband is baby crazy. And it’s beginning to seem like he can’t be happy without one.
This is Book 2 of the Matt & Anna series.

I am so excited about reading this book! I really want to see what Anna and Matt's marriage is like and I am looking forward to reading about all of Anna's unique and interesting and delightfully funny hurdles with Matt. 

It is such a wonderful thing when a book is so good it knocks you right out of your comfort zone and into a delightfully new place. This feeling of warm anticipation reminds me of how I felt after I read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and just before I read its sequel, Speaker for the Dead. Even though I do not usually read science fiction, I adored these books! And after reading the first, I could not wait to get to the second!

And now ... Baby Crazy is about to become available. Oh, what reading pleasure awaits us all! 

Baby Crazy on Amazon 




Sunday, March 11, 2018

SUCH a Good Book!

To me, the hallmark of a good book is that it does not let me go: I keep thinking about the lives of the characters long after I've read the final page and closed the book. 


And The BestMan by Annabelle Costa definitely fits the bill for a good book! 





For days I have been daydreaming about the lives of Kirby and John - their hopes, their dreams, their careers, their future. The book begins like many chick lit books ... 

Kirby is tired of being single. So when Kirby’s long distance boyfriend Ted pops the question, her answer is an eager “YES.”

Then Kirby meets Ted’s best man, John.


But then Costa throws in a twist:
John is obnoxious, he’s opinionated, and he uses his disability as an excuse to keep everyone at arm’s length. 


Then Costa's brilliance takes off as she weaves a love story with humor, wit, and boundless depth.

But as the wedding planning proceeds, Kirby gets to know John better and realizes she’s never met any guy she’s connected with more—not in her entire life.

What do you do about your wedding when you’re falling in love with the best man?


Here are 8 things that I absolutelt ADORE about this book:

1. I love that the chapters jog between the heroine and hero's perspectives. After the first meeting, John comes off as SUCH A JERK, but then we get his perspective which is so humorous and eye-opening.

2. This is a love story in its truest form - like a flower blossoming, this story unfurls the deepening friendship and romance petal by gorgeous, sometimes thorny, petal.

3. This book is so funny! I laughed and guffawed out loud at some points at Costa's way of turning a phrase!

4. The view into John's life as a paraplegic - a young man injured in a car accident at 25 - is soulful, enlightening, and sometimes, heart-breakingly shocking. And I read in Costa's bio that she is a physical therapist so I know she knows what she is talking about.

5. I love the way John loves Kirby. He adores her fuller figure, he totally supports her in her career, he loves her quirky take on life.

6. I love the way the story unfolds through point and counterpoint in the different perspectives. Ex: Kirby keeps thinking about how much weight she has to lose before the wedding, but John thinks she is so gorgeous exactly as she is. John knows he will never have a snowball's chance in hell with someone as amazing as Kirby, but Kirby just keeps thinking about John more and more.

7. So sexy and romantic! The friendship develops with such a brilliantly paced slow burn that the culminating moments are just so good!

8. I love stories that show the difference between picture-perfect romance and, well, love.

If you indulge in The Best Man, I hope you enjoy it!




* The text in red is taken from the book's description on Amazon.