Author Spotlight

Friday Favourites #6: Jessica Topper


Friday Favourites is a new feature on my blog where you have a chance to learn more about my favoruite authors in a blitz interview and see what their favourite books are.

This week my guest at the blog is Ms Jessica Topper, author of the rockstar romance Louder Than Love (my 4-star review) and the series of contemporary romances/women's fiction Much "I Do" about Nothing.

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place
Red Rocks. It’s an open-air concert amphitheatre in Colorado, nestled into the landscape. Because the stage is literally surrounded by rock, the acoustics are amazing, and the scenery is breathtaking. I once saw a double-rainbow appear over it, Magical!

2. Favourite food and drink
I am currently obsessed with Chuao maple bacon chocolate bars. The salty/sweet combo is addictive! My drink of choice is Crown Royal with ginger ale, and I tend to make the characters in my books drink it, too. 

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Almost impossible to choose! I appreciate all kinds of music, depending on my mood. I’ll tell you what’s in my car’s 5-disc CD player right now: Sam Roberts Band, Iron Maiden, Black Eyed Peas (that might be my daughter’s CD), Arctic Monkeys and Chet Baker.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
When Harry Met Sally makes me laugh every time I see it. I don’t watch much TV, but Shameless is the one series I watch faithfully.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
Yoga, although lately I haven’t had much time to practice it.

Favourite books 

1) Girl Goddess #9 – short stories by Francesca Lia Block. She is an auto-buy author for me, and the books she released in the 1990s made a huge impact on me.
(Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy)

2) How to Kill a Rock Star - Tiffanie DeBartolo Best random library find ever – the title grabbed me first, then her voice hooked me.
(Rockstar romance, realistic)

3) Bad Haircut: Stories from the Seventies - Tom Perrotta. Clever and funny, even if you didn’t grow up in the 70s.
(Short stories, coming of age, humour)

4) The Collector – John Fowles. Not my usual genre, but so well done.
(Literary ficiton, suspense/mystery)

5) The One That Got Away – Bethany Chase. A new favorite, and a promising new Women’s Fiction author 
(Women's fiction, contemporary)

Author bio and links

Jessica Topper is an ex-librarian turned rock and roll number cruncher. By day, she does bookkeeping for touring rock bands. By night, she creates books of her own. She is the author of two novels from Berkley: Louder Than Love, and Dictatorship of the Dress. 

Her forthcoming release, Courtship of the Cake (Much "I Do" about Nothing #2), releases June 2nd. Here is the synopsis and you can also read an exclusive excerpt. Enjoy!


“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” has suited Danica James just fine…until the mysterious man who crashed her sister’s wedding steals her heart, leaves a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, and then disappears.

Hoping to forget her unforgettable fling, Dani takes a job as a backstage masseuse for a rock music festival, not expecting the tour’s headlining bad boy to make an offer she can’t refuse. Nash Drama needs a fiancée—and fast…

Mick Spencer is the best wedding cake designer in New Hope and the town’s most eligible bachelor. But despite the bevy of bridesmaids he’s sampled, Mick can’t get the evening he spent with Dani out of his mind.

So when she shows up for a cake tasting at the Night Kitchen—with his former best friend’s ring on her finger—Mick vows to charm the woman of his dreams into choosing a sweet and sinful ever after, with him.

*** *** ***
Exclusive Excerpt

“Smooth,” Dani said drily. “You should try frosting a cake with those moves.”

“I do. Every day. And I can’t wait to frost yours.”

“Not going to happen.” Her cheeks reddened. “The ‘cake consult’”—she air-quoted—“was Nash’s idea of a joke. He just wanted to bust your balls when he got to town, Mick.”

“Oh, so you two are not in need of a wedding cake, then?”

“I didn’t say that,” she stammered.

“Then I do need your help.” Reaching into my back pocket, I slid out the pair of photo booth strips I had taken out of my bakery appointment book. Her copies had been keeping mine company since New Orleans. She’d played her hand that night just as well as I’d played mine, and it was now time to return these to their rightful owner.

“I’m looking for this girl I’ve lost. Have you seen her?” I placed them in her hands.

Dani had been working to keep her shoulders held so defiantly, but at the photographic proof of our chemistry, I watched them drop in surrender.

“Yeah, I know her.” Her voice was whisper soft. “Used to, anyway. Heard she got herself engaged to another guy.”

“Because she plans on loving, honoring and cherishing him? And vice versa? Until death parts them, and all that jazz?” 

Because I didn’t believe that for a second. 

Dani’s eyes widened, and her delicate nostrils flared. But she remained mute, leaving my challenge un-refuted. She moved to give the photos back, but I shoved my hands in my pockets and refused to take them. Not gonna happen.

And this wedding wasn’t going to happen, not if I had anything to say or do about it. And suddenly I knew exactly what I was going to do.

I was going to go above and beyond. I was going to exceed expectations.

I was going to ruin their day.

Nash would not be having his cake and eating it, too. Not this time.

“You deserve a beautiful cake,” I said, gauging her reaction. “I insist. It’ll be my wedding gift to you and Nash.”

Dani’s lips parted and puffed a surprised sigh at my three-hundred-sixty-degree turn. “Seriously?”

“You heard Nash. I’m a lover, not a fighter. Who am I to stand in the way of . . .” I couldn’t bring myself to say it, just gestured with my hand.

“Of what Nash and I have?” she tested. Or perhaps she was having trouble buying into the words, too. Was that too much to wish for? 


“And I don’t want to come in between whatever it is you and he have,” she said softly. “You guys have known each other your whole lives.”

“Nash was the closest thing I ever had to a brother,” I admitted. “I love him dearly. But sometimes . . . sometimes I’m allowed to hate him fiercely.”

The blink of her long lashes flashed a wicked game of Truth or Dare. “He’s probably going to want you to be his best man, you know.” 

“I know.” 

And may the best man win.

*** *** ***

I hope you enjoyed the blitz interview and the short excerpt from Courtship of the Cake! Make sure to stop by next Friday when my guest will be the amazingly talented Alexis Hall.

Historical Romance

Review: Eagle's Honor: Banished by Sandra Schwab


Title: Eagle's Honor: Banished
Author: Sandra Schwab
Genre/Themes: Historical romance, Ancient Rome
Release Date: 5 June 2015

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Add on Goodreads

My rating: 3.5 Stars


A proud warrior.
A brave woman.
A forbidden love that is tested by the intrigues of ancient Rome and the hostilities at the northernmost edge of the empire.

Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus has a splendid career in the legions ahead of him. Yet a visit to Rome and a chance encounter with an old friend change his whole life: He falls in love with one of his friend's pleasure slaves and becomes entrapped in an evil scheme designed to destroy him. And yet—he cannot help risking everything for Lia, the woman he has given his heart to, even if it means he will be banished to one of the most dangerous places in the Roman Empire: the northern frontier of Britannia.


This my first romance set in Roman times and in generally, my first book by Sandra Schwab, so I was curious what it would be like. It turned out to be an engaging, tender love story which I greatly enjoyed. Ms Schwab's detail-oriented writing recreated convincingly the atmosphere of ancient Rome, the Legions, being a warrior/slave girl.

Marcus was a warrior through and through but he was also noble and caring and open about his feelings. There was so much goodness in him, he felt like a sweetheart.

Lia was a slave, dancing and providing other entertainment for her master who was a friend of Marcus and his guests. But she was proud and despite her fate she had preserved her inner self, a kind of innocence and the ability to trust and love.

I loved the dynamics of Marcus and Lia's relationship including in the bedroom. There is a lot of play, exchange of power but also sincerity and real intimacy.

The story included also all that ancient Rome is famous for - political intrigue, debauchery, war, slavery, etc. Still it was mostly a very personal, human story. The background, though vivid and intriguing, never overshadowed the romance. 

I expected more raw and gritty in this story but the somewhat sweet romance I got also worked well for me. I can recommend it to romance lovers who enjoy well tender and emotional love stories unfolding in a well drawn historical settings.

Purchase links: Amazon 


Waiting on Wednesday: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh


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: Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre/Themes: Paranormal romance, shifters
Release Date: 2 June 2015

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Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / ARE / iBooks


Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I'm a huge fan of this series and Nalini Singh's writing as a whole. The world building get better and more complex with each next book and the romances are strong and passionate and so diverse. Can't wait to see how to Arrows will get together as a couple. 


Release Day Blitz for Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry


Nowhere But Here RDL Banner  

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE!I It is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road Series, published by Harlequin Teen.

Nowhere But Here - cover

Amazon * Kobo * BAM * B&N * iBooks * IndieBoundAdd it to your Goodreads!


Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

  Hand rider on handlebars, close-up   

About the author

Katie McGarry Author Photo
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Take Me OnBreaking the Rules, and Nowhere But Here and the e-novellas, Crossing the Line and Red at Night. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.   

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Author Spotlight

Friday Favourites #5: Tammara Webber


The latest feature on my blog, Friday Favourites, an Author spotlight where you have a chance to learn more about my favoruite authors in a blitz interview and see what their favourite books are, enters its second month. In this edition, please welcome, Tammara Webber, author of some of my favourite New Adult books, the series Contours of the Heart

Friday Favourites

Favorite place
My bed faces a wall of windows with a view of the city and just enough sky to watch the sunrise. My husband and I sit with coffee and talk in the early morning before he goes to work and I go to my desk to write.

Favorite food and drink
My other favorite place is a Salvadoran restaurant on the ground floor of the building where I live. I love going there and sitting at the bar at the end of a long day, or sometimes in the afternoon. The food is delicious—I’ve never had anything there I didn’t like—and the bartenders are friendly and skilled and know exactly how I want my drink mixed. (My favorite drink is a margarita from this restaurant – Don Julio reposado, Cointreau, lime, no sugar – my husband hates it because it’s so sour, haha.)

Favorite music 
My favorite song for years now is Holcombe Waller’s song “Hardliners,” which is what Jacqueline and Lucas listen to in Easy. My favorite band at the moment is from my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. They’re called Green River Ordinance and I love just about everything they’ve ever done. (They’re fabulous live, too.) You can find a sample of their songs on my playlist for Sweet:

Favorite TV series
At the moment – Walking Dead is my favorite. I’m also watching Game of Thrones. Both are super gory and sometimes I need a break from it so I watch a favorite movie like The Princess Bride. Also waiting impatiently for Pinky Blinders to return because OMG, Cillian Murphy. *swoon*

Favorite hobby
I love to read, of course! I also lift weights. I’ve been doing that since I was twenty-one – I like taking walks if it’s nice out, but if I’m running, something is chasing me.

Five books that made me want to be a writer (in no particular order)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - and the Kindle edition is free on AMZ
classic romance

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Young adult, realistic

You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe
Fiction, classic, Southern American

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
Young adult, realistic

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolff
Fiction, Classics

Thank you!
Author Bio and Links

I’m a hopeful romantic who adores novels with Happy endings because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon. I married my high school sweetheart and I’m Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

Her newest release is Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) – a spinoff/standalone novel, which I absolutely loved!


He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:

Purchase links: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo |Amazon UK

Don't forget to stop by the blog next Friday when it's time for Jessica Topper to share her favourite things and give you her book recommendations!


Review: All for You by Laura Florand


Title: All for You (Paris Hearts #1)
Author: Laura Florand
Genre/Themes: Contemproary romance, chocolatiers, Paris
Release Date: 5 May 2015

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Add on Goodreads

My rating: 4.5 Stars


Some crushes aren’t meant to be

When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance.


This story is another winner for Ms Florand. I'm addicted to her writing, it's so rich and sensual, telling tender and passionate love stories.

This is book 1  in her new series, Paris Hearts, featuring female chefs. These books are sort of spin off of her Amour et Chocolat series. All for You tells the story of Celie, who is a chief chocolatier in Dominic Richard's shop (from The Chocolate Touch) and Joss!

It's a tale of second chance of love, a story of growing up. Both Celie and  Joss are young and passionate, a bit stubborn and ultimately meant to be together. She is 23 and her is 26 but they have overcome so much. Celie has had a crush on Joss since she was a teenage girl and he broke her heart when he left her and joined the Foreign Legion when she was 18.

I enjoyed the compelxity of their relationship, the constant push-and-pull and efforts they made to get together. There was a lot of growth for them both, especially for Joss who had this static image of Celie as a young, somewhat naive princess he felt he had to woo her, to take care and protect, to make himself worthy of her. In fact, in his 5-year absence she had grown into her own person, had become a successful chocolatier, a young women with a social circle of her own. 

The conflict between them is more than a simple misunderstanding. They seem to have completely opposite views on life. Ms Florand, like in her other novels, plays skilfully with traditional fairytale expectations/tropes to create a heart-warming contemporary romantic story. 

I liked how Dom and Jaime helped the younger couple find the path to being together. Dom was his grumpy, growling self and it was ironic and too funny to see him giving relationship advise. I'm excited to read the short story about him and Jaime which Ms Florand has included in her latest newsletter. 

It's one of the best books of the year for me so far, together with Ms Florand previous release, Once Upon a Rose which is book 1 in yet another new series! Recommended read for anyone who loves romance!

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

My reviews of other titles by Laura Florand:

Alexis Hall

Waiting on Wednesday: For Real by Alexis Hall


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: For Real (Spires Universe)
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre/Themes: Romance, MM, BDSM, May-December
Release Date: 1 June 2015

Add on Goodreads

Pre-order: Riptide


Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - Two words: Alexis Hall. I just absolutely love his writing and he is one of the few authors that I'd read anything they write. This book is a challenge for me since I don't usually read BDSM and I'm not a big fan of May-December romances but knowing Mr. Hall's style, it's bound to be a very emotional, real and touching story and I can't wait to read it.


Review: Sharp Shootin' Cowboy by Victoria Vane


Title: Sharp Shootin' Cowboy (Hot Cowboy Nights #3)
Author: Victoria Vane
Genre: Romance, cowboys, military men
Release date: 2 June 2015

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Add to Goodreads

My rating: 3 Stars


A Weary warrior… After eight years as a Marine sniper, war-scarred Reid Everett is back in his native Wyoming. He knows and loves this rugged land, so working for wildlife services to reduce the booming wolf population suits him to a T.

A Caring crusader… Wildlife biologist Haley Cooper is desperate to make a difference. Leaving the world of academia behind, she accepts a position as a wolf advocate to protect the animals she loves.

Raw attraction… Their jobs set them on a collision course, but chemistry sparks like wildfire between Reid and Haley. They’ll have to brave some rough territory if they hope to reconcile their polarizing views with a passion that won’t be denied.


I went into this book without reading the blurb really, I saw the cowboy cover and since I haven' read many cowboy romances I decided to give it a try. It turned out to be more than cowboy romance but rather a curious mix of military, cowboy and wildlife/environmentalist story.

I liked the writing and the story had an easy flow to. It takes place over the course of a few years and I especially appreciated the slow build up of the romance. Reid and Haley met when she was really young and there was strong chemistry between them but the timing was all wrong and with him on a mission in Iraq they started an epistolary friendship. After getting together some years later with a little help of some friends, unfortunate circumstances and personal difference drew them apart until they finally met again when both were ready for each other.

It's a nice, curious story of becoming your own person, making tough choices but deep down it is a tender, heartfelt love story. 

A really strong aspect of the story which I particularly enjoyed was the how different Reid and Haley were. They stood at the opposite sides on everything, yet they managed to overcome their differences once they were grown up enough to think things through and discuss them openly. 

Haley's choice of career, wildlife biologist, especially working for preservation of the wolf population was in direct conflict with Reid's family business as ranchers and lodgers/hunting guides. I liked all the details were given into these issues, they added a solid background to the romance and made the characters feel real.

I enjoyed most of the story, things were dynamic and there were a few surprise twists thrown in. It was engaging and felt realistic. Unfortunately, everything went too too sweet and cliche in the final 1/4 of the book after Reid and Haley got together eventually. I like the HEA in my romances as much as the next girl but I want it to feel a natural fit to the characters and the overall story line and not something forced and artificial, written there just to make everyone happy. 

In short, not a bad cowboy/military romance, a bit curious, a bit too sweet but still worth a try for fans of romance.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Indiebound / Books-A-Million

Author Spotlight

Friday Favourites #4: Molly O'Keefe


Friday Favourites is a new feature on my blog where you have a chance to learn more about my favoruite authors in a blitz interview and see what their favourite books are.

This week my guest at the blog is Ms Molly O'Keefe, author of the contemporary/small-town romance series Boys of Bishop which I love.

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place
Oh wow, well, my bed would be a good one. The park near my kids school. This shot-gun shack I rent with a friend on a beach of Lake Huron but really, my favorite is Spring Lake Pool in my home town. It’s just the best community pool. I loved it as a kid, I loved working their when I was older and I love taking my kids their now… Love that place and all the memories.

2. Favourite food and drink. 
First of all – a good cup of coffee, followed by a pint of dark ale. Favorite food…. Garbanzo beans and anything that can be made with them. Any kind of baked good. Mexican food. The virtuous side of me wants to say salad of some kind – but really, I love chicken wings. Love ‘em.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
I’m a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. I love him, love his music. I had If I Fall Behind sung at my wedding. I think that makes me some kind of crazy mega fan.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
Hmmmm…. I love Field of Dreams and Good Will Hunting – which makes me sound like an old man. I love Crazy Stupid Love. Right now I’m on a huge Grey’s Anatomy glom, which is so fun. What an amazing show.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
I love running and swimming. Traveling. I love playing board games with my kids. Going to the beach.

Favourite books 

Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Contemporary sports romance

Lover Awakened by J. R. Ward
Paranormal romance, vampires

The Shadow and The Star by Laura Kinsale
Historical romance

The Room by Emma Donague
Contemporary fiction

Oh, the 5th one is hard. I loved Elizabeth Lowell, but I don’t recommend that a lot. Maureen McGowan’s YA’s – I recommend a lot. Simone St. James’s gothic historical ghost stories, Susanna Kearsley. There are just so many great books.

Author bio and links

M. O’Keefe can remember the exact moment her love of romance began—in seventh grade, when Mrs. Nelson handed her a worn paperback copy of The Thorn Birds. Writing as Molly O’Keefe, she has won two RITA awards and three RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two kids.

Her latest release is a heart-warming story of two friends who find love where they least expect it in A DATE FOR A CHRISTMAS WEDDING. It's included in the Sweet Talk Box Set on 10 new romances compiled by author Brenda Novak and all proceeds of the sales will go to the Diabetes Research Institute via Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

Don't forget to stop by next Friday too when my guest will be Tammara Webber!


Mini Review: Salvation of Vengeance by Nancy Havilland


Salvation of Vengeance by Nancy Haviland
Title: Salvation of Vengeance (Wanted Men #2)
Author: Nancy Haviland
Genre: Romance, bikers, mafia
Release date: 24 March 2015

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Add to Goodreads

My rating: 3 Stars


Only something as important as her best friend’s wedding to mob boss Gabriel Moretti could allow Nika Paynne a reprieve from captivity. Her abusive husband has kept her under his thumb with footage of her beloved brother, Caleb, killing another man. But the respite from her violent life isn’t the only draw. Vincente Romani—Gabriel’s deadliest guardian—will be one of the best men at the wedding, and Nika has lingering thoughts about the fascinating mobster…covetous thoughts that may put her life in danger.

With the heartbreak he’s suffered and the brutality he effortlessly delivers, Vincente knows he’s the last person who can offer Nika a happily-ever-after. But his vow remains. He will do everything in his power to free his redhead from her violent prison—even if that means losing her forever.

In the second thrilling and passionate Wanted Men book, a dangerous line is drawn between loyalty to the mob and loyalty to one’s heart.


I haven't read many mafia romance and was curious to try more. this is the second book in Wanted Men series and it can be read as a standalone but I do feel it would be better if you read book 1 first in order to meet the characters,

I did enjoy the story both in terms of romance and suspense. I'd describe the beginning as a bit overwhelming - too many characters too quickly and briefly introduced. It was difficult for me to keep track of who's who. That is where having read book 1 before comes in handy. 

Despite this, the story grabbed me from the start. Nika's sacrifice for her brother and her husband's abuse were powerfully presented giving the book a rather raw and gritty feel. The main conflict kept the suspense going strong till the very end. In fact I felt it overshadowed the love story a lot of times which is unfortunate for a romance novel.

I liked Nika for her sacrifice for her brother, she appeared weak and vulnerable but was actually determined and loyal to her family. She had issues with intimacy and trust but her attraction to Vicente was overpowering. 

Vicente had his tragic past to deal with and his relationship with Nika started with forbidden lust and moved on to protectiveness and care without losing the chemistry between them. I expected him to act more roguh and tough but I also quite liked how patient and tender he was with Nika. What annoyed me about him how he kept seeing himself as unworthy of her love, his self-doubt was too much.  

The story involved a intermix of Russian and Italian mobsters together with bikers which created a lot of tension but also brought to the fore the relationships typical for both organizations - loyalty, sense of honour and brotherhood.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N 

Contemporary Romance

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev


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: The Bollywood Bride
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance. Bollywood
Release Date: 29 Sept 2015

Add on Goodreads

Pre-order: Amazon


Ria Parkar is Bollywood's favorite Ice Princess--beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof--until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin's wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar. 

Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria's exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love--until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it's taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she's been guarding for everyone else's benefit--and a chance to stop acting and start living. 

Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I loved the debut novel by Ms Dev, The Bollywood Affair, (my review). It was a wonderful bitter-sweet romance travelling between India and USA, vibrant, full of colour and emotion. I'm hope this book will be just as good. Besides, I really, really like the cover!

New Adult

Review: Sweet by Tammara Webber


I've been a lot NA lately, some m/f, some m/m, some college, some plain simple/complicated life of people in their 20s. I'm very happy to say most of my NA choices have been a success and I've enjoyed them a lot.

Title: Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3)
Author: Tammara Webber
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release date: 27 April 2015

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My rating: 3.5 Stars


He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:


Sweet by Tammara Webber is one of those NA romance which go straight into my favourite NA romances. I've read and very much loved both Easy and Breakble (my review) and Sweet is a companion novel to them. We meet both Boyce and Pearl in Breakable but even you haven't read it, I can guarantee you can enjoy their story on its own.

Ms Webber has created a lovely romance/coming of age story of a small-town bad (good) boy and good sheltered girl coming together. The story is told from dual POV and the reader is taken back and forth in time since the characters met as small kids.

I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and complexity of the relationship between Boyce and Pearl. There is nothing simple or cliche about their friendship, love and HEA.

There were a lot of plot twists that kept the story dynamic and were often a surprise for me. Boyce's background and family situation were heart-breaking but presented in a realistic manner without going over in melodrama. He is no longer the punk-ass teenager we met in Breakable but a young man trying to build a decent life for himself. I loved seeing him coming into his own, dealing with a lot of issues at home (and previously, in school) and becoming a caring and responsible adult. s;;d;.c

In a way, Pearl is his perfect opposite - she is sheltered, has a loving family, graduated from college. Yet, Boyce and Pearl have had this strong connection and intense chemistry ever since they were very young and which I absolutely loved. They both struggle to overcome their misgivings and fears and to be together.

The supporting characters were great and added diversity to the story, we even see Lucas/Landon all too briefly. Another strength of the story is the captivating, very tangible small-town in the Gulf atmosphere created by the author. Ms Webber is a great story-teller and Boyce and Pearl's romance had an easy, engaging flow to it.

I have a minor quibble with the final part of the story. The ex-boyfriend drama felt too much and it didn't fit the story very well. 

This was one-true-love type of romance and the epilogue completely reflected the title, sweet and a bit of sexy. There is just a minor element in it that threw me off guard and I wasn't happy about (the Ray and Arianna thing) but overall I'm pretty satisfied with the way things worked out for Boyce and Pearl.

If you like well-written captivating NA romance, this is a recommended read for you!

Purchase links: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo |Amazon UK

Favoruite books

Friday Favourites #3: Sarina Bowen


Friday Favourites is a new feature on my blog where you have a chance to learn more about my favoruite authors in a blitz interview and see what their favourite books are.

This week my guest at the blog is Ms Sarina Bowen, author of the NA romance series The Ivy Years and the Adult sport romance series, Gravity.

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place
When I need to think, I like the Tower Room in the Baker Berry Library at Dartmouth College. It has that old world feel, as if you've entered the grand library of a British lord. Green velvet chairs. Heavy drapes. Sleepy undergraduates. I love the place.

2. Favourite food and drink
I love love love Mexican food. Problem: there really isn't any in Vermont. So I have to make my own. Drinks: I love prosecco! And margaritas. And wine and cider... this could be a long list.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
It depends on the day of the week! While I was writing The Shameless Hour I listened to a lot of bachata music, since my character of Dominican descent is a fan. 

4. Favourite movie/TV series
It's not the most original answer, but The Princess Bride is the perfect movie. Not only is it romantic and exciting, it's truly appropriate for all ages. It's hard to name another film with such universal appeal. I bow down to whomever wrote it.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
Skating and skiing! That's what a girl gets for living in the mountains--fun winter sports. When all the snow melts, we garden.

Favourite books 

The top five NEW books that I'm most excited about are: 

Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber 
NA Romance
The Mistake (Off Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy
NA college hockey romance
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson 
YA LGBT realistic ficiton
Nothing Like Paris (Bend or Break #2) by Amy Jo Cousins
NA LGBT romance

The Friend Zone (Came on #2) by Kristen Callihan
NA College football romance

*** *** *** 

Meet Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty contemporary romance from Vermont's Green Mountains. She lives with her family, eight chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Her latest book, The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4), was just released last month. Here is my 4-star review and purchase links: Amazon / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo / iTunes


The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.

For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.

Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

Bella doesn’t want Rafe's help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can't be extinguished.


Waiting on Wednesday: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid


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: Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1)
Author: Penny Reid
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance
Release Date: July 2015

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Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her advisory, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this book? - Penny Reid writes this quirky, funny and awkward but deeply romantic stories which I greatly enjoy. I'm a big fan of her Knitting in the City series and this is book 1 in a spin-off series about the 6 brothers of Ashley Winston whom we met in Beauty and the Mustache. They each were unique and we will be getting all their stories in separate books starting with one of the twins, Duane.


Recommended Reads: April 2015


Here are my Recommended Reads from the past month.

I didn't read much in April but it was a month of great series for me and top is indisputably taken by Mnevermind trilogy by Jordan Castillo Price! Book 2, Forget Me Not, is the best book I've read this year so far and goes straight to my all-time favoruites!


I have yet to review this series but I sum it up as a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good furturistic/sci-fi story which rings true to the present day, skillfully written and intermixed with romance and the best non-neurotypical character I have ever read! It's a mixture of genres, described by JCP as speculative fiction, some m/m romance and very, very imaginative. 
Note: Must be read in order!

Honourable mentions go to another trilogy, Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid, which I finished this month and The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen.


I'm a big fan of Ms Reid's romantic comedy series, Knitting in the City (book 1, Neanderthal Seeks Human is currently free on AMZ). This is her first NA book and I was curious how her love for unique and socially awkward character will fit with college students. And it fitted quite well. It wasn't all smooth sailing for me with this series but I loved the final book, Capture, the most and it did create a very pleasant and satisfying complete picture. 
Note: Cliffhangers! Books must be read in order!

I love Ms Bowen's NA series, The Ivy Years! This is book 4 (my review)  in the series and it tells the story of Bella and Raffe. It's a bitter sweet college romance exploring both serious issues young people face - harassment, trouble at home, discovering self, losing one's virginity, STD - and the tender/sweet/sexy love life in college. Can be read as a standalone though I recommend reading at least the previous book in the series, the M/M romance, Understatement of the Year.

Elle Kennedy

Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy


Title: The Mistake (Off Campus #2)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult, Romance, College
Release Date: 28 April 2015

Author's links:

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My rating: 4 Stars


He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.


I loved the first book in this series, The Deal (my review), it was such an easy and refreshingly funny and sexy NA romance. I quite liked Logan whom we met there and who is the hero here. I was looking forward to his story and had very high expectations. The Mistake turned out to be a nice, entertaining read but little things here and there annoyed me and it ended a 3.5-star read for me.

I absolutely loved Logan, him having feelings for best friend's girl, hurting a nice girl he was actually falling for then trying to win her back - it all felt very natural and made an amusing college story. The mistakes and enthusiasm of youth can aptly describe many of the actions of the characters.

I was curious how the author will resolve the issue with Logan's feeling for Hannah. It was a tricky situation for all parties involved and I think Ms Kennedy handled in an unexpected, yet perfectly fitting way. It's one of the best elements of the story for me.

On the negative side, I was not a big fan of Logan's family story was developed. The issue of alcoholism and how it affects the whole family was realistically treated and very moving. Yet, even though Logan's decision to sacrifice his dreams may be understandable given his situation but I feel he acted stubborn and stupid about it. The resolution of the situation with his dad felt too neat to be realistic.

Grace was an interesting character, both sweet and somewhat shy and at the same time, no doormat. She was strong and I liked the open and honest relationship she had with her parents. Her list of tasks for Logan was such fun to read, I absolutely enjoyed it. 

Still, I feel this was very much Logan's story. There was more character development with him, he completely overshadowed Grace at times. The grand gesture at the end was a bit over-the-top for me but I guess it could work in college and it was definitely Logan's style, though I made Grace seem too high-maintenance.

I liked the humour, the fun and sexy times, though I have to admit that I found the way college life was portrayed a bit shallow and all to typical of NA romances - endless parties and hook-ups, sports games, very few real friendships and love relationships. 

I believe fans of NA romance and those who enjoyed The Deal will like this book. Recommended read!

Purchase links: Kindle / Nook / Kobo / iBooks

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