Tag Archives: Audra North

Tango Into Love With Two New Releases from Audra North and Amanda Byrne!

14 Jul

The tango is without question the sexiest dance and two of Entangled Publishing’s newest releases feature it. I agreed to review them both, the first title because I’ve loved all of Audra North‘s Stanton Family novellas and wanted to read about the youngest sibling, Julie in A Lesson in Temptation (Bruno and Lily’s story, One Night in Santiago is my favorite but Adam and Meredith’s book, Falling for the CEO, is a close second). The second book by new author Amanda K. Byrnes, One Night in Buenos Aires, was a must-read because I love friends to lovers novellas. Both were excellent, so I wanted to showcase them for you in case they fit your romance reading beach pile.

A Lesson in Temptation by Audra North

Julie Stanton is the baby of the family, but she’s no less talented or driven than her older siblings. Having had a rough high school experience, she promised herself that she was going to chose to be happy and have fun, even while she accomplished all the goals she set for herself academically. A stellar finance student, she’s graduated with honors and landed a prestigious job at a financial firm where she was just promoted to senior analyst. But she’s resolved to not let go of playing, hence her signing up for tango lessons. Just milling around with the other people before class is enjoyable but her heart stops when she spots the man she had a huge crush on during college – hunky teaching assistant Adam Harkness.

Newly minted Columbia professor Adam Harkness cannot believe that he let his friends rope him into taking this tango class. He’s under enormous pressure to publish or perish plus he’s still supporting his family and their struggling farm back in North Dakota. Adam hasn’t had “fun” of any type since he started working at age 12 and he doesn’t want to start now. Tempted to turn on his heel and head home, he stops cold upon spotting Julie Stanton, the gorgeous student he almost kissed during a study session when he was her TA a few years ago. She’s not his student now and her smile has him drifting over to talk to her. She’s just as full of life as he remembered, and when they are partnered for the duration of the course – and when Julie proposes a drink and something more after class – Adam wonders if he can loosen up enough to have a no strings fling each week with the woman he couldn’t forget.

Julie is a delightful heroine, someone who experienced the loss of a parent and an episode of horrible bullying and decided to commit herself to getting the most out of life as a result. Her gamut of emotions dealing with not only her attraction to Adam but his stubbornness in resisting anything more is honest and natural. Adam is a little uptight and dickish in his one-track mind, but you understand why even while not loving the result. It’s great to see him loosen up slowly (and realize that his work doesn’t suffer) and he ends up having quite the messy epiphany at the end of the book about how much he might lose if he can’t win Julie back. His attitude turnaround seemed quick to me, but his is a brilliant mind, so I think when he finally got it, he GOT it. I loved hearing tidbits about the other Stantons and just wish we could have seen a few of them in person. Love those Stantons!

One Night In Buenos Aires by Amanda K. Byrne

I make no bones about how I adore the friends to lovers trope in romance fiction. Two people, already acquainted with the best and worst of each other who have enough in common to be friends, giving into a suppressed lust for one another is a recipe for heat in my book. Add to it a gorgeous foreign location, and I’m there.

That’s exactly what debut author Amanda K. Byrne gives us in her first book, One Night in Buenos Aires. Drea and Joe have been friends for years, working at the same firm and hanging out outside of the office, both with their significant others and with each other. Having landed a hotel chain client, they are given an all expenses paid trip to Argentina to check things out in person, but the trip goes awry when after an interminable series of flights, they arrive at the hotel to find that they have only one room, not the two bedroom suite they were promised. Dropping into the same bed from exhaustion, they awake to hot kisses and hotter caresses, before they both come to their senses. But the cat is out of the bag now, and there is no ignoring the lust between them.

Byrnes does a couple fascinating things with this story. Most friends to lovers have one or both parties as a playboy/playgirl type who don’t get involved in relationships, but Joe and Drea have had successful long-term relationships (which break up for various reasons) and more importantly they’ve seen each other in them. Drea is so hesitant about engaging in an affair with her best friend that she blows hot and cold, allowing her lust for Joe to take over one minute and then having her heart and head – which both know that sex means something to her and she doesn’t just want to be a hook-up – assert their good sense. Joe is a complex character who sometimes felt too much like a pitch-perfect guy to me (he isn’t a strong communicator and he said a few jackass things which he actually forgot until Drea brought them up again). Yet both characters are incredibly real amidst all their flaws and the emotion and heat they feel for one another is palpable. I loved that Byrnes brought this relationship back to their hometown and even gave us an outstandingly touching epilogue, all challenging to do within the page confines of a novella. She’s an author to watch, for sure!

It’s always great when an established author gives you yet another great book AND you get to discover a new author worth reading, but when both their novellas are priced at $.99 and there is a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 gift card, well, that’s pretty damn awesome. These are two novellas which provide a fun, quick read for your summer romance pile. 🙂

Happy reading!

Audra North Adds To Her Excellent Stanton Family Novellas with Healing Her Heart

1 Jun

Healing Her Heart (Stanton Family Novella #3 – Greg and Carrie) by Audra North (Entangled: Edge, May 27, 2014)

I really adore a well done novella, preferably one that manages to pack an emotional punch, preferably so effectively that I feel like I’ve read a full-length book upon finishing the last page. If you feel the same, than look no further than contemporary romance writer, Audra North, and her trifecta of Stanton Family novellas.

Having fallen for her writing (hard) upon reading, One Night In Santiago, I quickly found the driven but loving Stanton family to be pretty irresistible. Falling for the CEO continued the trend, so I was pretty much panting to get my hands on Healing Her Heart.

Healing Her Heart focuses on the oldest Stanton – hard-working cardiac surgeon Greg Stanton – who finds himself confronted by death at every turn, to the point where he now is suffering anxiety attacks and exhibiting mild PTSD symptoms. The only person who brings him out of his panic is Carrie, a blond beauty who runs the local assisted living center.

This nurse administrator is warm and caring, and Greg thinks that time with her might be exactly what the doctor ordered. With his schedule he has no room in his life for a relationship, prompting Greg to make an executive decision and take a week off to convince Carrie that a fling fitting into that time period – nothing more or less – would help them both work through the overwhelming attraction they feel for one another. In order to have the ultimate proximity to do his seducing, Greg agrees to help Carrie out with her short-staffed facility as a volunteer.

Falling for the CEO (Stanton Family Novella #1 – Andrew and Meredith) by Audra North (Entangled: Edge, 2013)

While there is zero doubt in Carrie’s mind that she wants to take the sexy doctor up on his all-too-enticing offer, reservations exist. Carrie had a scarring experience with her ex-fiancee, a man who betrayed her trust and used her for his own family power play before abandoning her the day before their wedding…via email. She’s actually relieved at Greg’s caveat of only the one week, but it’s only a couple of days before she’s feeling a lot more than she bargained for. When she begins to suspect that Greg might be using her as crutch to help with his untreated anxiety, that bad taste in her mouth is the feeling that she is once again a means to an end – only this time, she might actually love the man using her. It’s going to take all the many years of wisdom found in the funny, wise residents of her facility to help Carrie see something freely given is different from something taken.

One Night in Santiago (Stanton Family #2 – Bruno and Lily) by Audra North (Entangled: Edge, December 2013)

I’ll admit that the uber-sexy Bruno in One Night in Santiago is hands down my favorite Stanton Family hero, but Greg is no slouch and I love the members of this brilliant, hard-working family who clearly share a strong love for their siblings. While Carrie is horribly jaded when it comes to men, she is a warm, giving person in every other relationship in her life, so you know there is hope if Greg can chisel through those walls. Greg has worked a schedule that would kill a lesser doctor for so long that his time with Carrie not only helps him work through the cause of his anxiety but helps remove the blinders that have blocked the knowledge that he’s been neglecting the maintenance of his familial relationships. He’s still blind enough to be oblivious to the fact that Carrie is not a mind-reader, but he comes through with a big enough gesture in the end to prove he’s a Stanton (and we love the Stantons!). Thank heavens there’s still the youngest sister on the horizon!

Each of the three installments are only $.99 each so you could get three outstanding stories for less than $3.00, which is a total bargain. Entangled is also running a a Rafflecopter giveaway for gift cards that you should definitely enter to see if you can offset your romance reading addiction.

Audra North is a talented writer who has made us all appreciate the Stanton family even more with the latest addition to her series about this family. Thanks, Audra!

Happy reading! 🙂

Seven Titles You Cannot Miss This Week

27 May

I make no bones about the fact that Entangled Publishing produces the greatest concentration of outstanding romance authors on the market, so I was happy to offer to highlight some really terrific books that are coming out this week (many of which I will be reviewing independently).

These books are from solid authors who know how to get readers “lost” in a longer story and -considering that Entangled is great with giveaways and author events (check out the link to the Tonya Burrows/Katee Robert event below) – I figured you should know about it. I’ve already reviewed Queen of Swords by Katee Robert (SO GOOD) and will be following that with reviews for Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows (because she’s an amazing writer and this HORNET series rocks), The Queen’s Wings by Jamie K. Schmidt (because who doesn’t love dragons) and Audra North’s Healing Her Heart (because it has friends-to-lovers and I’m a sucker for that). Do note that several of these titles are at the $.99 price which is Entangled’s introductory deal, so snap them up for yourself at the low price and tuck them away for later!

To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.
Today I’m happy to be featuring Select’s May releases:

 

A Hornet Novel



Available in Print and eCopy!



Find out more!



Giveaway

A Sanctify Novel



Available in Print and eCopy!



Find out more!



Giveaway

Never show fear to a demon.



Special $0.99 Introductory Price!



Find out more!



Giveaway

Save the Dragons


Special $0.99 Introductory Price!



Find out more!



Giveaway

A week together could be
just the cure she needs…



Only 99 Cents!



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Giveaway

It’s never the
same old song…



Only 99 Cents!



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Giveaway

 

 

Fall in love,save some immortal souls,

break a curse…

No problem.




Special $0.99 Introductory Price!



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Giveaway

Plus don’t miss these two special events!
 

 

You’ll Book Your Ticket to Chile After Reading Audra North’s One Night In Santiago

30 Dec

One Night in Santiago by Audra North (Entangled: Flaunt, December 30, 2013)

Now, I don’t know if you can afford the Executive Suite at the Ritz in Santiago, but I bet there will be plenty of women loitering in that hotel’s lobby looking for a hero like Bruno Komarov after reading this story. Hot. Damn.

Lily Stanton is stressed and tired. She’s ready to leave Santiago and her so-called vacation behind but the airport isn’t cooperating. Rolling in the lobby of the Santiago Ritz soaking wet in yoga pants isn’t her most elegant moment, but she’s a seasoned traveler with her consulting company so she can handle it. Waiting in line, she can’t help but notice the gorgeous guy who has come in from the storm on her heels. When they are both told by two different hotel clerks that there is only room left, there’s a scrabble for it. When Lily is declared the winner (by Mr. Hunkalicious giving it to her – his Ritz Rewards card trumped her claim), the least she can do is offer to share the suite. After all, the sofa turns into a bed and there is something inherently trustworthy about Bruno Komarov and his voiced worry that he wouldn’t want his sisters to offer to share a hotel room with a stranger.

Santiago, Chile – surrounded by the mountains Lily skiied in is a modern city filled with contrasts between its historical buildings and modern architecture (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

While Lily has nothing to fear from Bruno, she should still worry. He’s done nothing but have lascivious thoughts about her gorgeous body and megawatt smile since he spotted her in line in the lobby and the thought of sharing a room is a bit more than his nether region appears capable of handling. Even worse is watching her talk to her sister and discuss her life and work over their dinner – Bruno realizes that this kind, intelligent, capable and slightly damaged woman is exactly what he’s been waiting for while immersing himself in his family’s California and Chilean vineyards. He desperately wants to be a gentleman but when her face reflects his obvious arousal, all bets are off, and this Santiago hotel room is about to get a lot hotter. Convincing a woman he’s known for hours that they might have a future even when they live so far apart is going to be a bit harder, but Bruno is going to make it happen – if she doesn’t escape in the morning, that is.

Audra North – where has she been all my life? A newer addition to Entangled’s stable of authors, her writing proves that the editors at this publishing house have an incredible nose for talent. I was astonished looking over the specs that One Night in Santiago was only about 58 pages. You could have easily convinced me that it was twice as long (and charged me twice as much) because I felt so emotionally invested in the characters. Bruno is Latino-Russian sex on a stick and such a great person that it’s impossible not to fall for him right along with Lily. Lily is a smart, sexy heroine recovering from her ex, but so full of optimism while she rebuilds her confidence that she genuinely deserves Bruno and what he can give her. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that while North continues to write, she might consider giving us a glimpse of these two amidst their HEA while telling us the story of another wonderful couple.

Happy reading!

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