Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Toni's Review of Froggy Style: A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale by J.A. Kazimer - 4 Stars




Jean-Michel La Grenouille has a lot going for him. He’s a prince. Handsome. Filthy rich. And definitely charming. But he also spent his first few years as a fly-catching, pond-dwelling frog. All that saved him was the kiss of The One, the girl who saw nobility through his slimy form and fell into True Love. Okay, fine. Technically she was a toddler who tried to eat him, but whatever. The curse broke, and as long as he finds and marries her by his 30th birthday, he’s a free man.

Trouble is, he’s going to be 30 in ten days, and he’s getting some seriously cold-blooded feet. He’s pretty sure Princess Sleeping Beauty is The One. But his best man has some villain issues, his in-laws-to-be belong in a really special castle, and a smoking-hot lady biker named Lollie Bliss has him rethinking all this happily-ever-after stuff. Oh, and he may have accidentally put out a hit on his blushing bride. Oopsie.


Here is a sample of what to expect: Froggy Style Excerpt

OK. I know I had this in my first review of Curses, but I forgot I did and then I went and mentioned how the book compares to SNL in this review.  Maybe it was my sub conscience, but this is Ms. Kazimer's fairy tale universe.  In all it's screwed up glory!  I just had to share it again.




J.A. also has a few contests going on at her website:  Kissing Frog Sweepstakes & Kiss a Frog Photo Contest so stop by and enter!!


******************************

Take one froggy prince and a sleepy princess.  Add in screwed up family members, a trashed fairy godmother, a matchmaking cockroach and an acrimonious yet strangely loyal manservant and you have the start to a really messed up story.  Watch out Saturday Night Live, Ms. Kazimer may have you beat in the hilarious skit category. 

First he was a frog and then he wasn’t, but if he doesn’t get his act in gear, he will be a frog again.  Jean-Michel La Grenouille must find the woman that broke his froggy curse twenty-two years ago and he has only ten more days to accomplish it.  His fairy godmother believes it is the stunning Sleeping Beauty.  The prince has his doubt that the sleepy, flannel wearing woman is his One, but hey he needs to trust his wand welding granny.

At this point I usually write about the heroine in the story, but I can’t.  There are more than one love interests in the story and they can be pretty much summed up in a few words…borderline psychotic, rude, whiney, with whips for tongues.  They sometimes encompass one or ALL of those traits.  When you think of princesses you think of loving, beauties with hearts of gold.  Well in this convoluted fairy tale we visit the world of opposites.  Oh how sweet it is!

I really can’t go off on the women of the story without pointing out that Jean-Michel, aka Kermit *insert snicker*, is not your normal handsome prince.  He may be gorgeous, rich and at times charming, but all in all, to put it plain and simple, he is an asshat.  He is egotistical, selfish, conceited and at times a complete idiot.  Not your normal portrayal of a Disney type prince.

Kermit, needs to save Beauty.  On a drunken night out with his ex-best buddy, it appears he may have put out a hit on his beloved.  She is his last hope to remain human, so he sets out with his faithful manservant Karl, to find the hit man and to protect Beauty.  Along the way he meets Lollie.  She knocks him off out of his fancy Ferragamos.  She is everything Beauty is not.  She is awake…no wait, she is a lot like Beauty; vicious, gorgeous and a touch crazy.  She’s perfect.  Now all he has to do is fight his lustful feelings for Lollie, find the mysterious hit man, stop someone from killing him and then finally force himself down the aisle to marry his sleepy bride.  Whew and all in less than 10 days.  Easy-peasy!

First off I will say I loved the first in the series, Curses.  Loved, loved, loved it!  I only really, really, really liked Froggy Style.  Ms. Kazimer’s humor was still amazing.  She can write one line zingers like nobody’s business.  Her writing is fast, quirky and is truly hilarious.  How she can twist such long loved innocent fairy tales into this twisted perverse alternate universe, I will never know.  So what happened to my love-fest you ask?  I’m not really sure.  I could be in a princess kind of mood, or I just didn’t click the whole 100% like last time.  It’s more like 90%.  I still had snort out loud moments, and the way she can tell a story is beautifully unique.

If you want a good hearty laugh, Froggy Style is for you.  You cannot be easily offended though.  No matter the sex, race, heritage, sexual orientation, height or even inability to grow hair; nothing is safe or sacred in the hands of Ms. Kazimer.  She is brilliant in her ability to screw with everything and not take anything serious, except her ability to be seriously funny.  This is a raunchy, light hearted, fun read.  There is no meaning to life, heart pounding romance or insightful a-ha moments.  I compared her to SNL skits above and I can’t say it enough.  She would fit right in with that group and make everyone laugh.  So, if you are uptight, staunchy, proper, snooty and just no fun to be around, you will not like this book.  You have been warned!  Otherwise, if you are like me, you’ll enjoy it for what it’s worth; a hysterical escape, with great adult humor and characters you are glad you don’t know in real life.  They are downright scary at times!

Wanna know what I loved about Curses?  Check it out here!


Thanks for reading - Toni

BOOK GIVEAWAY & Toni's Review of A Woman Made for Pleasure by Michele Sinclair - 4.5 Stars



Drawn to a life of excitement and risk, Lady Millie Aldon made a pact to forsake marriage. But her plans are thrown into chaos when Chase Wentworth returns to town. The lanky lad she remembers from childhood is now the Marquess of Chaselton, possessing an air of mystery Millie can't resist. As Chase moves through London's elite circles, his stealth manner has Millie convinced he harbours a secret - one she is determined to reveal. As Millie makes a game of observing Chase's every move, she finds her attraction to him unsettling. When a stolen kiss threatens to turn their flirtation into something more powerful, she questions her vow of freedom. But Millie has no idea of the danger she's facing. Chase has a complicated past - and his clandestine efforts to expose a traitor will soon provide a more perilous - and passionate - adventure than Millie could ever have planned.

**********************************

A Woman Made for Pleasure is a very enjoyable historical romance with a touch of mystery. 

The idea behind the Promises Trilogy is fascinating and fun.  Three young girls, aka The Daring Three or Three for short, make a pact to never get married.  Each are allowed an exception, and all three have listed some very extraordinary exceptions.  Millie Aldon is the instigator of this promise.  She has no desire to ever wed, but she wants to ensure that her best friends will be with her always.  Millie is adventurous, contemptuous and put quite plainly…a handful.

Years later, she remains steadfast against marriage.  The three ladies have put off their season long enough and are sent to London to find husbands.  None of them have changed their minds, but they put on their best faces to appease their families.

It’s been eight long years since Chase Wentworth has been home.  He is being called home to escort the Three into society.  He will gladly return home to accompany his sister and her two friends at least that is what he wants everyone to believe.  He is getting closer to the identity of a traitor to England and this is his opportunity to search closer to home. 

What he doesn't expect is his feelings for Millie.  Her personality has always fascinated him, but now that she is a beautiful young woman and he can’t stop thinking about her.  Trouble is she hasn't changed much since he last seen her.  She is still impetuous, adventurous and challenging, but she makes his blood boil with a mere smile.  Now he has to guard his heart, protect Millie and find a killer.

These two were a joy to read and the supporting cast was just as much fun.  The mystery was well executed and developed nicely.  Even though I had an idea who the traitor was, I was guessing right up to the end.  Well done, Ms. Sinclair.  Millie kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what she was going to next and Chase’s hardheadedness did him no good, but it was exciting to watch Millie put him through the paces.

While I absolutely enjoyed this story, I’m unsure about the series.  A Woman Made for Pleasure was actually titled Promises back in 2007 and placed first in the Historical Romance category for the PASIC 2007 Book of Your Heart contest.  According to her website Promises was never published.  It also appears the other two books of the trilogy have already been outlined.  Ms. Sinclair has blurbs up for the other two books but no ETA’s.  I doubt they will remain titled Consequences and Choices, but it sure would be nice to know when they will be published.

A Woman Made for Pleasure was a hit for me.  I know I have mentioned my uneasiness about the other two, but only because I want them now.  In my very selfish opinion, she has had plenty of time to have them ready for me to read *grins*.  If you like saucy heroines and stubborn heroes, with a sweet romance, with some mystery thrown in, I think you will enjoy this novel.  Once you have read them, you can join me in a campaign to get the other two released ASAP. 

Thanks for reading! - Toni

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

I am giving away my never before read ARC of A Woman Made for Pleasure. 


By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the Rafflecopter widget.

Open to US / Canada only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations


Duncan Hines Frosting Creations

I bought this product this weekend and I have to say I absolutely love it!  I bought two different flavours.  The one above, Caramel and the Cinnamon Roll.  So yummy!

They are so easy to make, you buy a can of icing and burrow a hole into the middle of it.  Then dump the powder in and mix.  I used a vanilla frosting for the Cinnamon and a French vanilla frosting for the Caramel. I'm thinking all these new flavours are going to make birthday cakes and desserts so much more fun.  There's some great recipes on the Ducan Hines website.



If you enjoy trying new things like I do I highly recommend you try Duncan Hines newest products, they made a home run with these.






Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BOOK GIVEAWAY & Toni's Review of Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady - 3.5 Stars




In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…

Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.


************************************


Ms. Brady did a very fine job on her first novel.  There were a few bumps; some small, some big, but all-in-all, a very entertaining read.

Kayla is light and Hart is dark.  She is a healer and he is a killer.  Put these two together and something special is made.

Kayla has returned to Seattle to expose her sister’s murderer.  From the very start, things aren't what they seem.  Seattle is not the city she expected; shadows are everywhere, buildings are crumbling, electricity is sparse and even more questions arise the moment her eyes are set upon her sister’s dead body.  Unknown to her, her life is going to be thrown into a world she never heard about and to her surprise, a world that she was forever to be a part of.

Hart is bound and determined to get free from his blood bond.  Only two more jobs and he will be a free man.  His plans of running in the wilds are derailed the moment he sets his rifle scope on Kayla’s face.  She sparks something in him that makes his wolf sit up and take notice.  He is too close to fail now and he will not let one woman ruin his plans.

Warring factions, prophetic futures and raising passions have forced these two to work together.  Can they trust each other?  Can they save the world?  Can they find solace in each other’s arms?  With time ticking away, neither have time to think on their choices or the consequences.  All they can do is hope for the best.

Hearts of Darkness is a hard novel for me to rate.  The plot is fascinating, the characters have been developed nicely, the setting is chilling and the book as a whole is rather well written.  I really liked the idea behind the book, but what I didn’t like was inconsistencies in the story telling. 

I have to admit first off that I’m a stickler for continuity and reasoning.  There were several areas in the book that something would be clearly stated and then a page or so down the road it would be contradicted and then explained away even further in the book.  If the order of the story telling would have been laid out better, I believe a better product would have been achieved.

To not give any spoilers I’ll just use one example:  The villain states that the dragons can’t have children; why I won’t divulge.  But his mistress was pregnant.  He also states that while he is very old, well over a century, he has a brother that is two hundred years old.  So wait…they CAN have children?  Much later in the book the reasoning was explained, but if the subject came up, prior to the explanation, I was sent back into confusion.  What it turned out to be was that they can’t have children within their species.  Yes, I know a minor spoiler, but this type of problem popped up more than once.  Make a rather important statement, contradict it and then explain the real reason much later.  It was very frustrating.  When this type of problem came up, it yanked me away from the novel and made me engage my brain to think it out, when it should have been lost in the storytelling.

I do have to say, I am rather interested in the base story.  I have not read many steam punk or apocalyptic type novels, but I enjoyed how these two ideas were merged.  When I think of the genres, steam punk is set in the past and apocalyptic in the future, but Ms. Brady gave it a very contemporary feeling.  She also did a great job with her imagery and the premise of the trilogy is superb. 

For her debut novel, I give her two thumbs up and I foresee with time, patience and hard work, her storytelling will only get better.  I have very high hopes for this author and I will keep an eye out for her future works.

Thanks for reading! - Toni

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

Up for grabs is a brand new ARC copy


By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the Rafflecopter widget.

Open to US / Canada only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toni's Review of To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone by Bronwen Evans - 4 Stars





They Say Revenge is Sweet…

Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is renowned for his cynical demeanor. It's rumored that long ago, a beautiful woman broke his heart. Now he lives life for pleasure. He’s the consummate, handsome rake. If anyone tries to get too close—let’s just say his bark is as bad as his bite. That is, until the beautiful, as she is deceitful, Contessa Orsini re-enters his life with a wager he cannot resist. When he wins, he’ll have Sabine exactly where he wants her—in his bed and at his mercy.

Forced to return to England and avenge her father’s death, Sabine knows the one person who can help her is the only man she has ever loved—Marcus. The man who hates her with as much passion as he once loved her. But Marcus doesn’t know that by winning the wager he’ll also be getting his revenge. For there are some secrets best left buried…

*****************************************

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone is book two in the Wicked Wagers trilogy and it is a dark delightful addition.

Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is a man who takes what he wants and doesn’t care who is left wanting.  A past hurt has changed him forever and if his cold demeanor doesn’t suit you, well just walk away.  He will make no apologies and will not ask for forgiveness.  His tough exterior begins to crack when the reason for his cold heart reenters his life…Sabine.

Sabine Fournier has returned to London with revenge, secrets and unrequited love in her heart.  Unfortunately they are all connected to one rake, Marcus Danvers.  She must beg the former love of her life to help her get revenge on the man who ruined her future and along the way keep all her life altering secrets to herself to save the people she loves.  But first she must convince the Marquis of Wolverstone to help her.

Revenge is never sweet and these two learn that the hard way.  While they work together, Sabine keeps her secrets close to her heart and Marcus must just try to protect his.  Family and friends are forward with their opinions and help, but in the end they must do it alone.  Unforeseen problems arise that endanger both Marcus and Sabine.  Will it be too late to save themselves and their love?

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone is a bit darker than the first in the series, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield.  While I think the first could be categorized as playful competition, this one could be hurtful vengeance.  I think the extreme shift has turned many people off from the second in the trilogy, but if you have read the first one, you would remember that Marcus was rather forbearing and morose.  I have no problem enjoying this story because of it.  I think if Ms. Evans had done a complete reversal with his character, I would have faulted her for it.  She did Marcus justice by sticking with his character and following through.

While To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield seemed like a complete package to me, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone left me a little wanting.  Their past was too hurtful and secretive to be solved in a novella.  The story was still well written, but sudden changes of heart and forgiveness seemed too fast and forced.  Ms. Evans still did a nice job with the word count she was allowed, but I think the story would have been more fulfilling as a full novel.  Am I disappointed in the book? Not really and I would still recommend it, but I just wanted more depth to go with so much pain. 

I am looking forward to the last in the series, To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood.  It tells the story of the last of the bachelors, Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood.  On that note I have something to mention, Ms. Evans has released the complete trilogy in one novel – Wicked Wagers.  It’s available now, so if you are interested I would recommend that you get the complete series in one great collection.

Click on cover to read my review for the first in the series.


Here are some links for the competed novel for the trilogy.

  




Thanks for reading! - Toni

Monday, February 11, 2013

Toni's Review of To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield by Bronwen Evans - 5 Stars




Lady Caitlin Southall’s temper has finally got the better of her. She’s challenged Harlow Telford, the Duke of Dangerfield, the most notorious rake in all of England, to a wager. She wants her house back. The one her destitute father lost to Dangerfield in a card game. But if she doesn’t win their bet, she not only loses her home, she loses her dignity and pride and damn it all, maybe her heart... For the handsome Duke has decreed, when he wins, she must spend the night in his bed.

Harlow Telford is amused by his hellion neighbor, Caitlin, or Cate to her friends, who seem to encompass everyone on earth except him. When she bursts into one of his private gatherings, he mistakes her for the entertainment. Her slap across his face sets him straight and raises the absurd desire to seduce the unconventional beauty into his bed. When she issues her daft challenge to win back her father’s pile of rubble, the terms are set. And he’ll do anything to win—except fall in love...

**********************************

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is a fast and furious read.  I was captivated from start to finish, and couldn't wait to see what was up next for these two stubborn people.

Lady Caitlin Southall’s lost her home and she knows if she can race her prize horse Ace against the Duke, she can win it back.  What she doesn't count on is him making a counter bet.  Even though his bet has a steep price, she can’t back down.  Her home is the only thing she has left from her mother and this rake will not deter her.

Harlow Telford, Duke of Dangerfield, was instantly fascinated by the beauty bent over her horse’s hoof.  His passion ignited and desire flared.  What he didn't count on, was that she was the brat that dared laugh at him years ago.  Even though he now knows her identity, he is more determined to bed her.  But what surprises him the most is that his desire to bed her turns into a need to wed her.

What was once to be one bet turns into the best two out of three; wits, skills and tenacity are used to win at all costs.  Down to the last trial, things are neck to neck; one wrong move and everything changes.  Can they heal from this new disaster?

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is the first in the Wicked Wagers trilogy.  They are a collection of novellas involving three friends.  To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is a wonderful start to the series.

Sometimes you can’t get a clear picture from a shorter story.  Ms. Evans does a fine job telling the story, detailing the characters and engaging us in the plot.  As I sit here, I don’t even wish To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was longer, which is frequently the case.  I’m very pleased with this little gem and I can’t wait to read the next in the trilogy, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone.

Thanks for reading! - Toni


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Toni's Review of Forever Hers by E.B. Walters - 5 Stars




She wants her past hidden...

Amy Kincaid is running from her controlling ex-husband, who will stop at nothing to find her. With a new identity and a new job as a housekeeper, she just wants to be left alone to raise her daughter. Then Eddie Fitzgerald rolls into town and turns her world upside down.

He’s in the business of exposing the truth...

Eddie Fitzgerald, L.A.P.D.'s finest, lives for his job and nothing else, until he decides to take a break at the family summer home and is held at gunpoint by the most annoying, sassiest woman to ever cross his path. But something is off about Amy, and the more he learns about her, the more he’s convinced she’s a fugitive.

When her past catches up to her, Amy has no choice but to trust Eddie. Unfortunately, Eddie has demons of his own, and struggles with the decision to protect her or uphold the law.

The truth takes them down a deadly path, and only love can save them.

*****************************

I had the pleasure of reading this novel before it was released and I have to say I squealed when it hit my inbox.  I have loved Eddie from the very beginning.  I will say though that he is still second to Chase, because I just see him as mine and he makes me purr.  Hey, a girl can dream, but Eddie still rocks my world!  *smiles*

Amy is a woman that can be any woman.  She is coming out of turbulent relationship that was filled with pain, fear and lies.  She has done what most women would do, left her abusive husband for her own sake, but mainly for the safety of her innocent daughter.  This momma bear will protect her baby and you better watch out for her claws.  She is a new woman and full of surprises.

Eddie needs a break.  A nice quiet escape from L.A. to northern Idaho should do it.  He is not going cold turkey, though.  He plans to quietly assist the local police department on a baffling case, but he doesn’t see that as a problem.  He is away from his precinct, family and daily troubles, so all is good.  He expected a quiet reprieve and got a woman and her daughter that will not leave him, his body or his heart alone.

These two start off very rocky, but find that they enjoy each other’s company.  They are both leery from their pasts, but slowly through quiet companionship, sexual attraction and a vibrant little girl, their relationship begins to blossom.  It’s too bad that Amy’s ex has found her and he decides that no one will get in his way of getting what he wants…Amy.  What the man doesn’t expect or plan for is Eddie Fitzgerald.  Eddie is a force not to be reckoned with and he has the support and tools to protect Amy.  The ex-husband also has no idea the lengths Amy will go to protect her daughter.  It’s a double whammy and I really enjoyed the show.

Forever Hers is the fifth novel in the Fitzgerald Family series.  I have yet to be disappointed with any of the stories this series.  This novel did seem to have a stronger “danger” presence than the prior book and I have to say I really enjoyed that aspect.  There has also always been a touch of mystery encompassing Eddie.  It was so nice to get a peek into the man and learn what makes him tick.  I also enjoyed that Amy was able to break through his shell, but truthfully Eddie didn’t stand a chance once he met Amy’s daughter, Raelynn.  She was an entertaining and lovely addition to the story.

Great plot, devious villain, enchanting secondary characters and a cute as a button little girl; how can you go wrong?  You can’t!  Oh, oh, oh – I forgot to mention, these two have amazing, ahem, scenes together, *wink-wink*.  Forever Hers, is a well-rounded novel that shouldn’t be missed.  I suppose you can read it as a standalone, but you really can’t beat the series as a whole.  Check them out.  This is contemporary romance at its best! 


Check out my other reviews from this fantastic series!!




 Thanks for reading - Toni!


BOOK GIVEAWAY & Toni's Review of His Bonnie Bride by Hannah Howell - 5 Stars




Hannah Howell traverses the embattled border between England and Scotland, where two warring families prolong centuries of discord...

Storm Eldon was first caught up in the war between England and Scotland as a young girl, when she and her family were held hostage by their sworn enemies, the MacLagans. Years later, Storm finds herself trapped in the clutches of her Scottish adversaries once again. Now she must fight to preserve her loyalties, guard her virtue, and resist the charms of Tavis MacLagan, her handsome Highland captor...

****************************

There is something very special about this story.  I loved the characters, the plot, well everything.  It was a real treat.  I’m having a heck of a time pinpointing the exact thing that made it special.  It’s a complete package of history, love and action with amazing characters, exciting times and a titillating plot.  If you enjoy this genre, you really should pick up a copy of His Bonnie Bride.

Storm Eldon captured my heart from the very beginning.  She was a woman born out of her time and with all of the trouble she caused, stirred and instigated; she should have been beat more.  I know you are thinking, WHAT - BEAT MORE?  It is a running joke in His Bonnie Bride. To find out what I mean, you’ll just have to read it.  But trust me, if I had an ounce of her tenacity and spunk I would have been beat too.  Storm seems to have an internal light that when it emerges, it shines brightly.  She is blessed with more than beauty, but also with a strong sense of worth and the importance of treating people fairly.  She is also a person not to be crossed.  I love how she handled her adversaries.  She is funny, smart and a person you would be proud to know.

From the moment Storm blew into Tavis MacLagan life, it was changed forever.  She is a force of nature and at their first meeting, when she was a young girl; Tavis and his whole clan knew they were witnessing something special.  Years later when another opportunity came around for him to claim her as a woman, he jumps at the chance.  Now she is his prisoner and he will possess her body, but nothing more.

Storm has an amazing ability to weave magic and capture the whole MacLagan clan with her mere presence.  I enjoyed the progression of Tavis and Storm’s relationship, life in the clan and the intricacies that it entailed.  I also appreciated the glimpse of these turbulent times and to witness how love could cure generations of fighting and change the future.  I found the storyline strong and well-paced; excellence all around.

One spoiler...BRIDE?  The title of His Bonnie Bride is a misleading title and in my opinion, a very bad choice.  The blessed event doesn’t materialize until page 309/346.  Yes, it happens after you have read almost 90% of the book.  This book doesn’t have much to do about marriage or brides.  Yes, you get to enjoy the hurdles they had to overcome to become a couple, but I feel it had to do more with how the people, as a whole, were able to get past their cultural differences and the preconceived misconceptions of labeling a person a bloody Scot or a Sassenach.

Despite the title, I utterly enjoyed His Bonnie Bride.  This is the first novel in the Highland Brides series.  But I also must mention that this is a rerelease of the previously titled novel, Amber Flame (better title IMHO).  Ms. Howell is a well-known author in this genre and I can see why.  When I get my next craving for some Scottish lovin’, I’ll be sure to check out her other releases.  Ms. Howell is very talented in her ability to draw me into the story and to become absorbed into her amazing world building.  His Bonnie Bride is a treasure and I can see myself enjoying it over and over for years to come.

Thanks for reading - Toni

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

Up for grabs is a brand new paperback copy


By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the Rafflecopter widget.

Open to US / Canada only!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK GIVEAWAY & Toni's Review of The Mad Lord's Daughter by Jane Goodger - 4 Stars



Locked away by her reclusive and intensely protective father, the recently deceased “Mad Lord of Northumberland,” Melissa is beautiful and educated but painfully naïve about the real world—and the dark secrets of her birth. Now in the care of her uncle, the Earl of Braddock, she must prepare to enter London society and find a proper husband, a task that grows complicated when she falls for the one man she can never have. Just as a promising new life begins to eclipse her tragic past, she’ll find herself consumed by a forbidden love that could destroy it all…

*******************************

What a fun historical!  The Mad Lord’s Daughter is not a deep story, but I still found it very entertaining with an interesting storyline and enchanting characters.

A young woman has lost everything; her mother, her father and her home.  The worst is yet to come.  For years, her father has protected her.  He loved her fiercely, but he did her an injustice because of his fear of losing her.  He kept her safe from the world, but he also kept her from life.  He kept her a virtual prisoner in her own home.  Only she didn’t know it.

Melissa Atwell must hold her head up high and face her fears of the new world around her.  Even the simple pleasures in life are new to her, like babies, puppy kisses and even snow.  She will not fail her father or herself.  She will face her new life with dignity and grace.  Every day is new to her.  With the help of her companion, Diana Stanhope, Uncle Lord Braddock and his son John Atwell, she will take London by storm.

From the beginning John Atwell knows of Melissa’s circumstances.  While initially he doesn’t know what to think of her, she quickly wins him over.  It really is too bad they are first cousins though, because for a man that doesn’t believe in love, he sure is seeing things in a new refreshing light and it is all because of Miss Atwell.

What can I say that won’t give the story away?  Yes, the plot is very straightforward and the Ms. Goodger tells you upfront what is going on, but to put it into a review just seems wrong.  She has some nice surprises.  What I will say is:

  • The title, The Mad Lord’s Daughter, is perfect.  It encompasses the mystery and truth of the story in so many ways.
  • Love is in the air and it is spread everywhere.
  • The women in the story are all strong in their own right and are fun to read about.  They sure know how to keep the men on their toes.
  • The men…what can I say.  Dashing, clever and gentlemanly, oh and don’t forget clueless.  You got to love a romantically dimwitted hero every once in a while.

The Mad Lord’s Daughter is basically a standalone book.  Unfortunately, you discover at the end of the story that it is actually the second book in an unnamed series.  WooHoo!  But wait, it turns out I already read it, huh?  I state this because I did not need the first book, When a Duke Says I Do, to enjoy this story.  In fact, I didn’t even catch the hints that there was another book from the couple’s names, or their mentioned plot.  I was totally clueless and it’s OK.  It just shows that you can enjoy each novel alone without taking away from the other.  I will say though, that I did enjoy the first book more, so be sure to check out the review if you want to know why.

The Mad Lord’s Daughter is a sweet read.  It was smoothly written and didn’t fail to put a smile on my face.  It was a nice change of pace and if Ms. Goodger decides to write more in this series, I can see myself checking them out.  I have not been disappointed yet.  Great storytelling all the way.


Thanks for reading - Toni


Click here for my review for the first in the series:


BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

I decided to giveaway both of my copies of this series.  I have When A Duke Says I Do in the finished paperback and The Mad Lord's Daughter is a plain cover ARC.  Both are in perfect condition.



By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the Rafflecopter widget.

Open to US / Canada only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toni's Review of Dangerous Love by E.B. Walters - 5 Stars




She has her emotions on a tight leash…

Born to a Las Vegas showgirl, fashion designer Faith Fitzgerald’s childhood was not easy, until her father found her and whisked her off to L.A. to join his wealthy family.

The rejection by some of her family members hurt, but Faith has moved on. Or so she thinks. She works hard and never lets her guard down, until the day she discovers that someone stole and sold her designs to her competitor and former mentor. To catch the thief and salvage her collection for Fall Fashion Week, Faith turns to her ex-lover, a man who works under the radar and gets results fast. The problem is she has not seen him since she dumped him so unceremoniously.

He’s laid-back and spontaneous…

When former-FBI-agent-turned-security-consultant Kenneth ‘Ken’ Lambert receives a call from Faith asking for his services, he sees a chance to payback the gorgeous designer for the way she used him then walked out on him. But then he learns that she is being victimized by a man whose idea of love is both dangerous and toxic, Ken pushes aside his personal agenda and agrees to help her. 

As their investigation progresses, Ken discovers that Faith’s calm exterior hides a woman of character and strength, a woman on the verge of falling apart. Can he help her find the answers she seeks or will she accept his offer instead—acceptance, unconditional love and support?

***********************************

Fool me once…Shame on you…Fool me twice…well you better watch your back because I’m coming after you with guns blazing and the ability to take you down.

Faith has had it.  She about to have one of her most amazing shows of her career and an unscrupulous ex is out to rip it away from her…AGAIN.  Well she will not have it.  He has been a thorn in her side for years and she knows just who to call to make sure she has the proof to ruin him and his stealing ways.  She calls another ex.  Well he really isn’t an ex; he is more of a one night stand that has never left her mind or her body alone.  Cue in sinfully sexy security consultant and all around hottie – Ken Lambert.

Ken has never forgotten how Faith burned him.  Never quite knowing what to expect from their night of passion, he was blindsided when Faith loved him and left him.  They scorched the sheets, and her rejection of him has left a bad taste in his mouth and his body wanting much more.  Faith is drop dead gorgeous, witty, and the most maddening woman he has ever met.  He may have had reservations taking on this case, but he is not going to waste this opportunity for another chance with Faith.  He is going to pull out all the stops and she won’t know what hit her.

Now they are working together to get the proof they need to bring down her ex.  With the help of his employees, her family and her aunt’s feisty friends, they get what they need and entertain us along the way.  Old pains are healed, laughter is shared, face fanning is invoked and love blossoms, and in my book that is a great combination.

Once again we get to visit the fascinating Fitzgerald family.  Dangerous Love is book four in this ever growing contemporary series.  Ms. Walters has written a delightful story with strong willed and fascinating characters, and the love of a great family.  While the mystery is light, it is still a fun ride along the way.  We know “who” the bad guy is, but finding out the what, where and why is all the fun.  Along the way we get to be witness to Faith and Ken’s reluctant affair.  As readers, we know they are the perfect combination to ignite the pages and keep us clamoring for more, and boy, they do not disappoint.

Ms. Walters sure does satisfy with Dangerous Love.  The story is engaging and packed with goodness.  A sexy couple, revisits from past characters, spicy interludes and some action to top it off.  The combination is perfect and I have yet to be disappointed with The Fitzgerald Family series and Dangerous Love is another keeper for me.  Can’t wait for more from this author or about this family!

Check out my other reviews from this fantastic series!!


 Thanks for reading - Toni!