28 Aug 2014

Release Day Launch and Review of Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

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Blitz and Tour: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny ReidTitle: Beauty and the Mustache
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: August 28, 2014

Purchase from: AmazonNookKoboiBooks
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Synopsis

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

   
About Penny Reid


Author-Photo-Penny-Reid-300x300
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.


Review

This is book 4 in the Knitting in the City series and while the previous books are more of contemporary romantic comedies, this is definitely not a comedy though it has its funny moments. It much more serious, sadder and more melancholic than the previous ones. This is not a bad thing, on the contrary, I enjoyed reading every word of it, even in the moments when it made me cry.

The heroine here is Ashley and she meets the love of her life in the worst possible moment for her. She is a reader, a knitter and has six brothers and I liked her from the start. The story, as in the other books in the series, is told mostly from her POV (except the Epilogue, where we hear Drew's voice). She was real and easy to relate. There was some vulnerability and delicateness about her which I really liked and they didn't come just from the fact that she was facing a very painful moment in her life. At the same time, she showed strength and resilience which just made me like her even more and ultimately all these qualities mixed together made it impossible for Dr. Drew Runous to resist falling for her. 

Now, Drew was unlike any romance hero I've read - he was both apha male, possessive and protective and the same time he was a poet and a philosopher (and a game warden). He was just amazing. I might even love him more than Alex (Love Hacked) who is my favourite male characters in this series.  At the least, he shares the first place of my affections with him. There is something irresistible about a big, rough-looking guy who writes poems, plays music and loves you with all his heart. He was a man of few words but when he spoke, everybody listened. 

The romance between Ashley and Drew was slow, interlaced with Ashley's suffering and pain and Drew's desire to offer comfort and consolation. In the end, it was an epic kind of love that brought them together despite the circumstances. 

I wish there were more funny moments, but the plot doesn't really allow it. The knitting club ladies and their husbands were great, amusing and supportive as we have come to expect of them. 

One of the best things in the story were Ashley's brothers. Ms Reid has created six unique character, so different and unusual, yet perfectly fitting in the story. I can't pick a favourite of them and I'm excited that each one will be getting his story told in upcoming books (the first one is expected to be released next summer).

Overall, despite having a different feel than the other books in the series, this story is definitely one of my favourite. It's a deeply emotional tale  of love and loss, of family and friendship and it's told in a witty and engaging manner. A recommended read to anyone (it can be read as a standalone, though reading the previous books will only make your enjoyment of this one even better).

I will leave you with three teaser pictures made by Penny herself. Enjoy!





26 Aug 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #15: Echoes of Scotland Yard by Samantha Young


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Echoes of Scotland Street (On Dublin Street #5)
Author: Samantha Young
Genre: Romance
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Release Date: 7 Oct 2014
Pre-order: Amazon





Synopsis

Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.

Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.

As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good

Why am I waiting for this? I really enjoy this contemporary romance series and I've read all the books but one. I had some issues with the last one, Fall From India Place, but Cole (the hero in this one) made a nice impression on me and I'm curious about his story. I like Ms Young's writing style and hope this book will ne another winner for me.

25 Aug 2014

Review: Branded by Laura Wright

Title: Branded (Cavanaugh Brothers #1)
Author: Laura Wright
Date of publication: 3 June 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Cowboys

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 2 stars




Synopsis

In the small town of River Black, Texas, sits the Triple C—a working cattle ranch that sustains the town. But it also holds painful memories and shocking secrets for the Cavanaugh brothers...

When the Cavanaugh brothers return home for their father’s funeral, they discover unexpected evidence of the old man’s surprising double life—a son named Blue, who wants the Triple C Ranch as much as they do. The eldest son, Deacon, a wealthy businessman who couldn’t wait to leave the ranch and move on with his life, is looking to use his powerful connections to stop Blue at any cost. He never expected the ranch’s forewoman, Mackenzie Byrd, to get in his way.

Mac knows Deacon means to destroy the ranch and therefore destroy her livelihood. But as the two battle for control, their attraction builds. Now Deacon is faced with the choice of a lifetime: Take down the Triple C to feed his need for revenge, or embrace the love of the one person who has broken down every barrier to his heart.

Review

I've read a previous book by Ms Wright - a contemporary romance, First Ink (my review) - which I enjoyed and my main complaint was its novella length didn't allow for much character development. So, when I got a chance to read an ARC of her full-length cowboy romance, Branded, I was curious to read it. 

Unfortunately, it didn't work well for me. I expected a cowboy story of love and second chance and instead I got a billionaire hero (a character which I generally don't like and avoid reading about) and some instalust and over-the-top love scenes which read more like paranormal that contemporary.

The hero and heroine had a complicated history, he was her best friend's older brother, her teenage crush and he had tried to stay away from her. At present they have opposite goals and nothing much in common. The beginning was promising - liked the atmosphere at the ranch and getting to know the characters, not Deacon and Mac, but Deacon's brothers as well. They had an important role and strong presence in the story which I quite liked. 

Deacon and Mac didn't work for me as a couple. I felt we were not given any reasons for them coming together (except, pure lust) and no real development of their relationship. They became from adversaries to soulmates overnight. It was unrealistic and their romance seemed forced. 

The love scenes, which were plenty, were so over-the-top that I skipped a lot of them. The chemistry didn't seem authentic but forced, the dialogue was stifled. 

On the positive side, there was a strong mystery/thriller element and it really held my attention throughout the whole story. This, together with the interactions between the Cavanaugh brothers were the best elements in this book.  

Still, despite being intrigued by the mystery I had too many issues with this story and I'm on the fence about continuing with series.

Purchase links: Amazon | B&N

19 Aug 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #14: Afternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Afternoon Delight
Author: Anne Calhoun
Genre: Romance
Add on Goodreads
Release Date: 16 Sept 2014






Synopsis

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he's avoided. Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah.

Why am I waiting for this? Anne Calhoun writes intensely emotional and realistic love stories in a engaging style and I can't resist a good romance by a favourite author. 

18 Aug 2014

Teaser Tuesday 67


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read 
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) or a few more “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

Today's teaser comes from Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid. It's book 4 in her Knitting in the City series. I really enjoyed it though there is less humour and more seriousness and sadness in this one that in the previous books. It's releasing on 28 Aug and I greatly recommend it!

I was far away from my friends, from the life I loved and the family I had chosen in Chicago. I was surrounded by essentially strangers, people I'd rejected ad now regretting pushing away, missing out on years with more brothers.

Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

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