Tag Archives: Entangled Publishing

You’ll Be Signing Up For This Dating Service After Reading Meeting His Match by Katee Robert

21 Jul

Meeting His Match (Match Me #1 – Addison and Caine) by Katee Robert (Entangled: Lovestruck, June 21, 2014)

Last month, I raved (justifiably so) about the multi-author Wedding Dare series, so I was thrilled to see that Katee Robert took a minor character from her contribution, Seducing the Bridesmaid, to form a spin off series, Match Me, the first novel of which features professional matchmaker Addison St. Claire, the good friend of New York headhunter (and nature-phobe) Regan Wakefield. In Meeting His Match, Regan has gotten her happily ever after with the gorgeous playboy Brock McNeil, but – worried about Brock’s older and more tightly wound brother Caine – she asks Addison to travel to Tennessee and do what she does best, namely find Caine a soul mate so he can find a little happiness.

Addison has not been feeling the joy her work previously gave her so a change of scenery is pretty appealing although she gives Regan the caveat that she can refuse the work after meeting Caine if she thinks it’s not going to work. One look at the gorgeous, harried CEO and she recognizes the loneliness she sees in herself. Installing herself in the McNeil mansion, Addison doesn’t hesitate to enact changes in Caine’s life and give him some home truths about the choices he’s making and how they can lead to a lifetime of emptiness if he doesn’t get his priorities straight.

Caine doesn’t know if he wants to strangle the gorgeous redhead bent on helping him or kiss her senseless. Her holding a mirror to his life shows him that he’s unfortunately closer to his father’s constant work and no play ideal, and it’s not a pretty picture. Her flying in one beautiful woman after another just proves to him the obvious truth – that the only woman who can divert him from his early heart attack path is Addison herself, but as Caine realizes that the feelings he’s developing go way beyond lust, he’s also aware of a major obstacle. Addison believes in one soul mate per person and she’s already had hers.

It’s tough not to fall for Komondor puppies, particularly when they are named for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Katee Robert cannot be beat for outstanding storylines and compelling characters. While a knowledge of the characters in Seducing the Bridesmaid certainly aids in understanding the McNeil family background and some of the characters, it’s hardly necessary to enjoy every page of this wonderful novel. Addison is so firm in her belief that her dead husband was her only soul mate that she’s unable to see Caine for what he is – the perfect counterpoint and partner for her. Seeing Caine grow and change as Addison resuscitates his zest for life is heartwarming and those fantastic Komondor dogs don’t hurt either! The heat between them is exactly what you expect from Robert’s writing, and I guarantee you won’t be looking at the dining room table the same way again.

I’m hoping that some of the women flown in for Caine’s perusal (part of Addison’s desperate bid to deter him from his pursuit of her) are going to meet their match in future books in the series as they were fascinating in the few pages in which they appeared. Katee Robert has hit another home run with this new series and these fabulous characters, so be sure to take advantage of the introductory $.99 price for the first couple of weeks to get this book at a bargain price.

Another great point to note is that this novel is one of the first on Entangled’s new Lovestruck line, it’s new category romance line that provides great contemporary stories longer than a novella but still a quicker read. If Robert’s newest novel is any indication of the quality we can expect, I’m looking forward to devouring future publications.

Happy reading! 🙂

Dragons, Humor and Sensual Heat Abound in Jamie K. Schmidt’s Latest, The Queen’s Wings

31 May
The Queen's Wings (The Emerging Queens) by Jamie K. Schmidt (Entangled: Edge, May 27, 2014)

The Queen’s Wings (The Emerging Queens) by Jamie K. Schmidt (Entangled: Edge, May 27, 2014)

It’s an exciting fact about the romance industry today that publishers (and maybe authors) are becoming more open to publishing books that don’t quite fit exactly into one subgenre of romance. It’s completely and utterly due the rise of ebooks, since knowing what genre you are is vital for the bookseller who needs to (literally) put you on a given shelf. With an ebook however, you can be tagged into multiple categories, with all those interested readers empowered to discover you with just the click of a mouse. Undoubtedly, readers (at least those with ebook access) are the richer for it.

Jamie K. Schmidt‘s latest novel, The Queen’s Wings, is a great example of a unique novel that straddles a few subgenres. Containing a world in which male dragons abound and everyone knows it, it’s undoubtedly a paranormal romance, but the fact that it is written in the first person and involves a human who is unexpectedly nearing a dragon transformation (and therefore needs to be indoctrinated into a foreign world), gives the novel several strong urban fantasy elements.

Pretty much everyone thinks Carolyn is crazy. She dreams of flying as a dragon at night, one of the rooms in her bargain house is possessed by a ghost who writes messages in blood, and now she’s coughing up stinky belches which take the wallpaper off her walls. She feels everything is pointing to her becoming a dragon, even though as a graduate student in parazoology she’s well aware that 1) there are only five female dragons in the whole world and 2) you’re either hatched from a dragon egg or transform into one at the onset of puberty.

While there are many breeds of dragons in Schmidt's alternate world, the descriptions are terrifying, and probably much closer to this beautiful Thai sculpture than the dragons of fantasy literature. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

While there are many breeds of dragons in Schmidt’s alternate world, the descriptions are terrifying, and probably much closer to this beautiful Thai sculpture than the dragons of fantasy literature. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

Chalking her impending transformation as another example of her being a late bloomer, she goes about attempting to convince everyone, or anyone, that she is one, but there are no takers, especially not the nice dragon at the local embassy. When she witnesses the embassy’s attack by two rogue dragons and ends up spewing up some kind of debillitating clear liquid, all of sudden her claims are being looked at with more care, particularly by two smoking hot dragon operatives. The sexy looks are par for the course since most male dragons could double as underwear models, but one of the officials, Reed, will barely give her the time of day since he’s got a “no humans” rule. That she seems to chip away at his good intentions the more time they spend together has lots of benefits for Carolyn, but as her oncoming transformation is confirmed, she’s not sure that she actually wants to join the dragon club.

Because according to everyone – Reed, his mother the crazy dragon queen of North America, and even Carolyn’s ancient boss, the dragon Niall – a female dragon has no life of her own, and is instead is sequestered away where she MUST take a harem of many male dragons and produce eggs to replenish their numbers. No love, marriage, or monogamy – all qualities of a relationship that Carolyn’s very human heart wants, and that Reed, the growing object of her affection, can’t possibly give her. When Carolyn and Reed begin to uncover exactly why there are so few female dragons – and a dangerous plot to bring more of them to light – Carolyn’s very life and her future happiness are in grave danger.

Jamie K. Schmidt has crafted a fascinating world, one in which dragons have never passed into lore and instead live among humans. The voice of her heroine, Carolyn, is fascinating – she’s a quirky, absent-minded professor with an internal filter resembling swiss cheese based on how many comments come out of her mouth that she meant to stay in her mind. Because of the first person perspective, Reed ends up coming off as a pretty big asshole for much of the book, in that really good, “wowza-he’s-an-alpha” kind of way.

The fact that this compelling first novel of the Emerging Queens series is going to have successors leaves me with more questions than answers. Will the next book, The Queen’s Flight, continue to star Carolyn and Reed or will one of the other new queens (say Arianna and the hunky, red-headed Jack) be the main focus? There is certainly plenty of political wiggle-room to continue the larger conspiracy and conflict and the existing characters are strong enough to continue the series.

Paranormal and urban fantasy fans (and dragon shifter lovers) should definitely give this novel a try. I have a feeling this is going to be a series I’m going to get a lot of enjoyment out of. 🙂 Hopping on the bus now insures you take advantage of Entangled’s $.99 offer for new books (which only lasts a couple of weeks). There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway for a pair of silver dragon earrings and a $25 Amazon gift card for interested parties, so take a look!

Happy reading!

Enjoy a Great Addition to Sheikh Romance with Alexandra Sellers’s Latest, Her Royal Protector

30 May

Her Royal Protector (a Johari Crown Novel – Arif and Aly) by Alexandra Sellers (Entangled: Indulgence, May 27, 2014)

If you want a good sheikh romance, I recommend putting yourself into the hands of an expert. Since there are few romance writers with more sheikh romances under her belt than Alexandra Sellers, you instantly know that you are in for a treat with her latest romance, Her Royal Protector.

Aly Percy feels like a duck out of water at a Johari royal event, stuck in one of her sister’s cast off formal gowns. With the team leader of her environmental expedition is suddenly hospitalized, it’s up to her to represent their interests at the black tie fundraiser for the endangered Johari sea turtle, a creature so enmeshed with this history of this gulf nation that the country’s legend indicates that as long as the turtle exists, so will the crown. Aly knows her strength is doing research for her Ph.D. dissertation in cut-off shorts and sunscreen, so she is utterly out of her element in this crowd, particularly with one of the Sultan of Bagestan’s stunningly handsome advisors looking right through her in his dress uniform.

Arif al Najimi is irritated that he can’t help but be fascinated by the scientist working so hard to be invisible. She’s in an ill-fitting gown that does nothing for her, trips on her way to the podium and then fluffs her speech and yet he finds himself irritated when his assistant calls her plain. She might have no confidence to speak of, unless she’s talking about turtles, but he sees the underlying sensuality she works so hard to dismiss. When circumstances allow him to take his state-mandated undercover time with her to protect her while she researches her turtles, he finds himself drawn to Aly more and more, yet worried on behalf of his country about her intentions when he finds her acting suspiciously.

Baby sea turtles heading for the ocean - while Sellers's Johari turtles making a noctural journey, the little cuties would undoubtedly look a lot like these babies. (Public doman image via Pixabay)

Baby sea turtles heading for the ocean – while Sellers’s Johari turtles making a noctural journey, the little cuties would undoubtedly look a lot like these babies. (Public doman image via Pixabay)

For her part, Aly is totally conflicted. Being close to the compelling Arif and learning the extent of his patriotism and honor has her feeling an unfamiliar level of desire. Yet her shattered self-esteem, eroded over years at the hands of her family and led by her deceptive father (a Bernie Madoff-like businessman who bankrupted his family while losing the life savings of thousands of people), can’t bring her to believe that the heat she sees in Arif’s eyes is real. When she trusts him with her suspicions regarding the deliberate sabotage on the turtles she’s trying to protect, the heat between them reaches inferno levels, cracking open her heart. Aly knows that Arif is a player who has made clear that he plans to marry a Bagestani woman after a long life enjoying the stunning women who throw themselves at his feet. But his tender, protective behavior and the way he awakens all her desires is at odds with his declaration, yet she knows she needs to be ready to walk away to minimize the hurt. When the forces who threaten her life’s work also endanger her, Aly and Arif both have to confront their feelings for one another and see if they can work past their individual baggage to claim the happiness that is right in front of them.

Sellers does an outstanding job of building a country rich in history with a stunning coastal geography. Aly is an intelligent, sensitive heroine who has used her scientific interest as a necessary outlet for everything she couldn’t be with her emotionally abusive family. Arif is torn between two cultures, with a Bagestani father and an Irish mother. He’s passionately chosen to embrace his Middle Eastern heritage and work for the good of his country, but his heart is clearly guiding him toward Aly despite all his best-laid plans. While the sexual tension climbs throughout the novel, the nature of Entangled’s Indulgence line has everything built up only to slam the bedroom door in your face and open it the following morning (my only complaint). Even with that frustration, I was so utterly wowed by this book that I eagerly await the additional books in the series. Rich secondary characters and ongoing cultural and political tensions make this fictional country a terrific locale for future plotlines.

I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to ask Alexandra Sellers a few questions about her latest novel.

1) You’re an established romance author with a long history of specializing in the “sheikh romance.” What do you think is the perennial appeal for readers in that sub genre? 

Sheikhs can be more mysterious, more masculine, more powerful than many heroes, I think. They maybe hark back to the early days of category romance, when the hero embodied the powerful, unknown patriarchy—and the heroine brought it to heel.  I think the hidden masculine is still a draw, even though nowadays we get right inside the hero’s head.  Sheikhs seem to represent the masculine as Other. They embody the mystery of romance: that hidden other self that we all need to find before we can become whole. And of course there has never been a period in art and architecture to rival the Golden Age of Islam. From jewels to miniature paintings to palaces, there is no beauty to match it. For fantasy locations sheikhs can’t be beat.

2) Did you have fun putting a sexy scientist and a dashing royal together? What did you enjoy the most?

HER ROYAL PROTECTOR is more an ‘ugly duckling and a protective alpha male’ trope.  I always enjoy writing the fun and humorous bits, of course, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them, too. But this book has a serious side—Aly Percy, my heroine, is trying to save an endangered species from extinction. I worked as a volunteer with sea turtles in Crete while researching this story, and I enjoyed that immensely. Sea turtles are simply beautiful in every way.

3) I noticed on Amazon that there’s a series title next to Her Royal Protector – “a Johari Crown novel.” Do you have other books planned for us? When can readers expect to see them?

Yes, I do have at least two more books planned in the series. The second should be out in November, and the third early next year.

4) Now for the most important question. For your ideal cupcake, what is your preferred cake/icing combination?

My ideal cupcake is one that can be bought at Tim Horton’s with a cup of coffee.

Thanks, Alexandra! A Tim Horton cupcake and Her Royal Protector on an e-reader sounds like an ideal combination, particularly since the book is only $.99 right now with Entangled’s (God bless them) intro pricing.

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!



Find out more!



Giveaway

It’s never the
same old song…



Only 99 Cents!



Find out more!



Giveaway

 

 

Fall in love,save some immortal souls,

break a curse…

No problem.




Special $0.99 Introductory Price!



Find out more!



Giveaway

Plus don’t miss these two special events!
 

 

Lea Nolan Makes Pregnancy (and Billionaires) Sexy in Her New Release, His Billion Dollar Baby

19 May

His Billion Dollar Baby by Lea Nolan (Entangled: Indulgence, May 19, 2014)

Billionaires and babies go together, and it’s not just for the alliteration.

Gwen Radley has made a life for herself almost entirely on her own. A product of the foster care system, she managed to get an education and become a physical therapist, and she loves her job working with wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital. A few months ago she became friends with Ben Anderson when he was a patient and one tequila filled night led to a hot and heavy night prior to his getting shipped out.

Now it sucks that she has to go to his funeral after an IED claimed his life. The ten-weeks-pregnant Gwen knows this nice guy would have been a great dad and a good friend to her in her pregnancy, but all she has now is a sonogram to slide into his coffin. The high-end funeral parlor complete with bodyguards has Gwen quickly realizing that the low-key soldier she knew was actually one of the heirs to the Anderson fortune, money based on the success of football star Rocky Anderson who founded a billion-dollar fitness apparel corporation decades ago.

While Ben’s mother is elated to discover Gwen’s pregnancy, his older – and she has to be honest, hotter – brother, Carter, sees nothing but a gold-digging liar the instant the sonogram photo falls out of her purse. When a series of events has her reluctantly living in the Anderson mansion, Gwen is determined to pay her own way and not take any money from Ben’s family. She grows to care about Judith and especially Rocky, who is wheelchair bound after a debilitating stroke, too depressed after the loss of his son and his mobility to try and improve.

awaiting-18917_640Carter Anderson has always been the good son, and as much as he loved his younger brother, he resented that Ben could go off to the military and follow his dream in ways that Carter never could. He’s an excellent CEO of the family company, Work It, and considering his brother’s death and his father’s health, that’s a good thing. After his scheming bitch of an ex-wife betrayed his trust and attempted to take him for everything he had, he’s known that most women are in it for the money.

As attractive and compelling as he finds Gwen, Carter knows that she’s a woman like any other, and after he reads the background check with her foster home experience, he’s labeled her a ladder-climber as much as any of the blond floozies he squires around the city as one of DC sexiest bachelors. The problem is that the corporation is structured so that Ben’s baby – if it is Ben’s – inherits a third of the company, and there’s no way that Carter is going to stand for his family’s hard work resting in the hands of a manipulative stranger. He needs to charm Gwen enough to get her to sign the paperwork putting him in charge of the baby’s shares.

But the more he gets to know Gwen, the more she defies his expectations. This is a woman who wants to improve the world around her, from his father’s health to the soldiers she helps every day, and she doesn’t hesitate to tell Carter how his company can help. Denying his fascination with Gwen doesn’t last for long, but when Carter still insists on lumping her in with the women from his past, no epiphany on his part may salvage the fragile love he may have destroyed.

I have to warn you, Carter is a grade A asshole in every respect, but Lea Nolan’s choice of starting from that point is brilliant as the book becomes a vehicle for this character’s transformation. Gwen is a great person who has had a crappy stream of life obstacles that she’s managed to overcome time and again. Nolan’s secondary characters of the Anderson parents and Carter’s best friend/corporate attorney are well-developed yet never dominate the book, offering exactly the right amount of support. Being an Indulgence novel, the physical part of the relationship takes a while to develop, but in this case the pacing feels spot-on as these two people really don’t know each other, and Carter has a long row to hoe in terms of his personal development. Honestly, if it were me, I’m not sure I would have accepted his apology without more reassurance, but Gwen is a much better person than me. 🙂

I really enjoyed this novel and Nolan’s writing in particular, so I’ll be checking out more of her work as she adds to her adult contemporary romance titles. With writing friends like Laura Kaye and Christi Barth (who she lists as beta readers), it’s no surprise to discover this relatively new author producing a novel that leaves the reader wanting more.

Don’t wait nine months to check out His Billion Dollar Baby, do it now, especially as Entangled offers its new release discount. 🙂 Happy reading!

You Simply Won’t Dare to Resist the Latest by Laura Kaye

12 May

Dare to Resist (Wedding Dare #.5 – Kady and Colton) by Laura Kaye (Entangled Brazen, May 12, 2014)

I can be guaranteed to love everything Laura Kaye writes but sometimes she just outdoes herself (I don’t know how she manages it). Her latest, Dare to Resist, is one of those books that just left me breathless with its combination of emotion, intelligence, and heat.

Kady Dresco is a gorgeous, confident young woman who is making it in a man’s world. She’s been a coding prodigy since she took apart her parents’ PC as a kid and her career took off from there. It’s not easy being an attractive woman in the computer world, but she’s determined to land a big military contract, which is why she’s traveled into the middle of God-knows-where to kick ass in her presentation. Triumphing over her competition, who is currently sitting out in the lobby, is going to feel pretty sweet.

That’s not only due to how a solid win would feel, putting her in line for partner at her firm, but also because it would mean trumping Colton Brooks, sexy former soldier and owner of his own computer security firm. That he is her brother’s best friend and the man she’s crushed on since she helped him with his college comp sci homework is a minor technicality, as is the fact that he once brought her to screaming orgasm in her family’s pool house at the party welcoming him back from the Middle East. An untimely interruption and some really hurtful words cut that encounter short, but Kady has gotten over it, accepting their friendship/rivalry as the status quo.

Colton and Kady are hot, hot, hot with plenty of up-against-the-wall-while-I-hold-your-wrists sexy time. Yum. (Image purchased from Shutterstock under web license)

Colton and Kady are hot, hot, hot with plenty of up-against-the-wall-while-I-hold-your-wrists sexy times. Yum. (Image purchased from Shutterstock under web license)

Colton has never gotten Kady out of his head but the fact that she’s his best friend’s little sister  -combined with his own dark desires – means that this woman is off limits. When the crappy weather grounds them after their presentations, Colton is forced to share a room with Kady. What would normally be physical torture becomes something much worse as their camaraderie and playful banter further convinces him that this woman is all but perfect. A discovery in Kady’s luggage stuns Colton as he makes the realization that she could be exactly what he’s always wanted sexually as well.

Oh. My. God.

Not only are these two people who you instantly fall for – Kaye’s wonderful humor is laced throughout the couple’s banter, driving the sexual tension even higher – but she does an amazing job showing their shared history, the foundation upon which their friendship was built. Kady really does see and understand Colton – his crappy childhood and disastrous parents have convinced him he wouldn’t be any good in a real relationship, so he’s never had one. For Colton, Kady makes him want to take a chance and when he finally lets the blinders he’s worn since she was in high school completely fall, he sees a woman who is everything he’s ever dreamed off. It’s downright swoon-worthy.

Also making me faint is that the kick ass editors at Entangled have made this wonderful novella the kick off for a series – Wedding Dare – which manages to line up four of their best contemporary romance authors who will each write one of the full-length novels, using Kady and Colton’s wedding as a springboard for a relationship which develops between the couple’s friends and siblings.

And who will be writing the other books, you ask? Well, look at the window and check that it’s not actually December, because the series’ authors will be none other than: Tessa Bailey (who writes heroes who really know how to deliver the dirty talking in her Line of Duty series), Diane Alberts (author of the most wonderful tortured, emotional heroes and heroines in her Take a Chance series), Katee Robert (of Come Undone series fame) and Samanthe Beck (whose McCade Brothers series is a must-read for any contemporary romance reader).

The four other books in the series are due out in 2014, with all of them released on June 9th! Isn’t that brilliant? No stringing readers along month by month AND I’m on vacation that day, so you can bet I’ll be reading all of them in one sitting and just glorying in the fabulous writing. So psyched!!

Go out and grab Dare to Resist and begin building the anticipation for June 9th while enjoying another amazingly crafted work by Laura Kaye. It’s exactly the Monday you needed, I promise. 🙂

Happy reading!

Reese Monroe Brings Angsty Paranormal With Her Latest, Marked By Hades

15 Apr

Marked by Hades (Bound by Hades #2 – Justin and Yvonne) by Reese Monroe (Entangled Embrace, April 14, 2014)

When it comes to paranormal, the eternal battle between angels and demons is one of the more compelling story arcs and talented writer Reese Monroe (aka Lynn Rush) clearly feels the same way.

Her Bound By Hades series pits an ancient group of Gatekeepers and their Companions against demons who have escaped to earth to terrorize humans. Awaiting the time that “the Great One” decides to award them a mate, they toil in a rather lonely job, warriors to the core with nothing but their brothers and sisters in arms for companionship.

Marked By Hades is the second book of the series and the good news is that you can certainly read it out of order as Monroe does an excellent job catching the reader up without making them suffer through an unwieldy info dump. That said, much of the secondary characters’ behavior is predicated on a series of events from the previous book, so it might be worth taking advantage of this books’ initial $.99 offering and get both it and the previous volume, Forged By Fate, Theo and Sadie’s story.

In Marked By Hades, the heroine awakes naked on a park bench in the cold of an Arizona November, a kind man hovering over her as he wraps a blanket around her shoulders and gets her to his car. Sensing his goodness even as she remembers nothing about herself or her past except for her name – Yvonne – she goes to touch him in gratitude and is horrified to see him turn to dust in the driver’s seat. Learning to shield herself in leather and work menial day jobs that overlook pesky paperwork, Yvonne finds herself able to tell whether people are good or evil, with a strong fascination for the good ones. Yet she condemns herself to loneliness for fear of hurting the innocent while she attempts to figure out who and what she is.

Justin Bradford has seen his brother, the Gatekeeper and leader of their group, find his fated mate and doesn’t want to go through the emotional turmoil when he could just hook up with women like he’s been doing for nearly a thousand years. When he and his brother are working in Arizona, Justin is fascinated by a glimpse of a raven haired, green eyed beauty clad in leather. Feeling the throat mark indicating his destined mate, he fights it as as he searches for the woman he’s seen kill in a strange way. When he finally catches up with her (after noting with horror his lack of attraction to women he would have been happy to bed), he’s somewhat startled and disappointed that her upper arm does not wear the tattoo he expected.

Forged by Fate (Bound By Hades #1 – Theo and Sadie’s story) by Reese Monroe (Entangled Embrace, December 9, 2013)

His disappointment fades quickly after bringing her with him to his enclave – after all, she’s clearly paranormal, doesn’t smell of demon, and needs his help. Yet the greeting she receives from his sister-in-law – who claims Yvonne was the mate of the demon who kept her trapped – has him rejecting her even when he’s willing to protect her and a good look at her shoulder after her shower indicates she was covering up the sudden tattoo whose presence she couldn’t explain.

It’s the height of irony for a demon killer to be mated to a demon, even a beautiful, giving one who seems to be human. That there are multiple antagonists and a hell of a story arc accompanying Yvonne and Justin’s transformation adds to the reward of the two of them finally making it through hell (in this case, literally).

This book reminded me of A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford – do people remember her books? Her characters have near insurmountable obstacles placed in their path, to the point where you are emotionally exhausted vicariously living through their experience. Because so many readers adore this type of book, these are great reads for a chunk of romance enthusiasts, and fans of the “will they make it?” roller coaster should hop on a Reese Monroe book for a ride.

Please be warned that if you are someone for whom sexual violence is an issue, you may want to proceed with caution as Yvonne’s eventual capture and return to her demon state (complete with another memory wipe of her time with Justin) involves her being at the mercy of a demon who hurts her. Much of the violence is behind the closed door (in romance parlance) but when the memories resurface they are incredibly painful.

My very slight objection to this book is its characterization under the popular umbrella of “New Adult.” While undoubtedly the series is properly assigned that moniker – the previous book’s heroine fell in the early 20s age range and it appears likely that the next heroine will be her best friend also in that age group – I don’t think this particular volume fits the bill. The hero’s near millennium on earth and his mate’s leaving her second century behind doesn’t exactly have them hitting the new adult/coming of age target range. But hey, it’s paranormal, so maybe all bets are off. 🙂

Reese Monroe is a new author who has created a rather fascinating world filled with feisty heroines and compelling heroes, so if angels and demons who have to go through a literal and figurative hell to find happiness makes your heart flutter, you would do very well to check her out.

Happy reading!

Mystery and Murder in a Private School Setting Makes You Again by Ashlee Mallory a Page Turner

2 Apr
You Again by Ashlee Mallory (Entangled Ignite, March 24, 2014)

You Again by Ashlee Mallory (Entangled Ignite, March 24, 2014)

One of the reasons I am so faithful at trying out Entangled Publishing’s new authors is because they do such a good job picking new talent that I am rarely disappointed. Ashlee Mallory, with her debut book, You Again, is just such a talent, combining strong writing, excellent plot structure, and a unique voice to give readers a wonderful romantic suspense novel, yet one completely devoid of the military/mercenary/investigative reporter characters so overdone in that genre.

Having worked at private schools for most of my working life, You Again‘s setting of a private school in the heart of Salt Lake City was downright juicy and immediately sucked me in. The heroine, Allie McBride, patiently waits with her extended family for a relative to get back from his two-year mission. While Allie is Catholic, her stepmother and sister are Mormon and everyone has come to terms with loving each other while not necessarily sharing the same faith. With her mind wandering, she’s shocked to see none other than her high school crush Sam Fratto walk through the airport. He’s now a best-selling true crime author and any heart flutters she experiences upon looking at his still-athletic body are quickly quashed when he 1) doesn’t recognize her and 2) makes a dick comment about one of Allie’s nephews.

Sam is less than thrilled to be back in Utah. His distant father died a few years ago and when his mother was recently diagnosed with Stage Three breast cancer, Sam made the decision to take time away from his teenage son and come home at least for a while. Disillusioned about his parents marriage years ago, his own experience with women has only bolstered his distrust of the fairer sex, yet he can’t help having a strong reaction to seeing the blonde from the airport. Unfortunately, it’s in the principal’s office at Sam’s alma mater, St. Andrews, and the gorgeous and understandably icy blonde in question is his fellow English teacher. Sam was happy to fill in when he heard one of the older teachers had some health issues, but the lovely Allie does not appear to be welcoming.

A lovely shot of Salt Lake City with the surrounding mountains and distinctive architecture. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

A lovely shot of Salt Lake City with the surrounding mountains and distinctive architecture. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

Both of them are shocked the next day, along with the entire community, when the school’s under construction Peace Garden reveals the dead body of a former English teacher – one who had been a mentor to both Allie and Sam. Allie’s proposal to include a short tribute video as part of the school’s upcoming centennial celebration is met with a mixed response and her digging quickly results in a series of threats and attacks, a circumstance that has all Sam’s protective instincts rushing to the fore. Yet with his track record of not trusting women, he’s not sure he can negotiate the many feelings he’s having for Allie, particularly when what she uncovers opens up the closet on some family secrets.

I loved the eccentric secondary characters as well as the well-drawn hero and heroine with their strengths and weaknesses. Mallory’s writing has a clear, distinctive personality and I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a range of Mormon characters handled in such an honest and respectful way. Of course, being an Ignite book means that the entire, single love scene is behind a very closed bedroom door, but that’s what their readers enjoy. The romance in an Ignite book is always secondary to the suspense plot, but Mallory handles the mystery element with such aplomb that I sincerely hope she keeps writing them. I’ll keep reading them!

What a great debut novel for a wonderful writer who has clearly found a supportive home with Entangled. I look forward to reading her future books and hope she has a terrific response from readers! She made this one quite happy. 🙂

 

 

Friends to Lovers (Internet Start Up Style) with Joan Kilby’s Mad About You

1 Apr
Mad About You by Joan Kilby (Entangled Indulgence, March 31, 2013)

Mad About You by Joan Kilby (Entangled Indulgence, March 31, 2013)

Friends to lovers is my favorite trope – I’ll rarely ignore a book which indicates this is the romance theme – and if you throw in a geeky hero or heroine, I’m toast.

Veteran category romance writer Joan Kilby manages just this balance, giving readers in Mad About You the story of quiet accountant Cassy Morris who agrees to temporarily move to Seattle to help her best friend from grade school, the multi-millionaire Scott Thornton. Voted Seattle’s sexiest bachelor he needs her to not only fend off the women who keep throwing themselves at him but to also help him get his nanotechnology startup in financial order while vetting angel investors so he can beat a rival to the patent punch.

Complications naturally arise – both of them find the other incredibly attractive and always have – and it’s not long before they are pondering the fact that no previous girlfriend or boyfriend worked out because who they were really waiting for was each other. Yet acting on their attraction could not come at a worse time, with Scott’s estranged father attempting a reconciliation, dealing with a temperamental Australian billionaire, and juggling their fake engagement to keep vipers at bay.

Joan Kilby does an excellent job transmitting the weight of all these tensions (there were times reading I felt a physical heaviness in my chest) but she shines in her characterization. Scott is no typical geek – yes, he’s a genius, but he’s also a mountain bike enthusiast and works out constantly, hence his awesome body. No wonder the Seattle ladies go crazy for him! Yet, he’s still vulnerable at thirty to his father’s abandonment, and facing that issue is undeniably painful. He’s an introvert and it’s obvious the balance Cassy has played in his life since grade school. She’s got some risk-taking issues, making her pursuit of Scott all the more brave and gut-wrenching. Learning to stand up for herself and not settle as she has been in her career and romantic relationships is heartening to watch, particularly when Scott is busy earning the Captain Oblivious award.

I was fortunate enough to hear from Joan Kilby, who agreed to answer a few questions. Based on her cupcake answer, she’s a long lost sister of mine!

1.    Is friends to lovers a favorite theme for your writing? Why/why not?

Friends to lovers is definitely a favorite theme of mine. Maybe I’m drawn to these types of stories because that’s how my husband and I got together. We were living in a group house with mutual friends for a whole year before we got together romantically. At first I thought he didn’t like me! Later I found out he was a shy because he was attracted. Then we both went traveling, separately, and returned home within a few days of each other. I’ll never forget the first moment we saw each other again. It was like a scene from a movie. Time seemed to stop as we saw each other through new eyes. Not long after, on New Years Eve, we kissed for the first time. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In terms of writing a friends to lovers story, I enjoy exploring new aspects of the couple’s relationship and how they discover things they never knew about each other. There’s a lot of vulnerability and bravery involved in the big leap from being ‘just friends’ to admitting they’re in love. What if the romance goes bust and they lose their best friend in the process? In Mad About You, my hero, Scott, has abandonment issues so the possibility of losing Cassy from his life is really scary. As for Cassy, she can’t conceive of life without Scott.

2.    Why do you think readers can’t get enough of millionaires?

I think millionaires are the modern day equivalent of a Prince Charming. The fantasy appeal is that they have the money and the power to sweep the heroine away from her life of drudgery and into a magical new existence. Of course, a modern heroine is independent and fully able to provide for herself, but it’s still nice to know that if she needs him, the hero can protect her…and keep her in glass slippers for the rest of her days.

There’s also the underlying assumption that if he’s that rich it must mean he’s smart and has a strong character. Clearly not every rich person is nice or good but usually in a romance novel, a millionaire has done something impressive to earn his wealth. In Mad About You, the hero, Scott, has invented something with the potential to change the lives of everyone in the whole world for the better, not just the heroine.

3.    Your favorite cupcake/icing combination?

Great question! Devil’s food chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting. Yum!

Thanks, Joan! Keep in mind that Mad About You is currently at the low price of $.99 in keeping with Entangled’s fabulous new policy of an initial low pricing to reward on the ball buyers, so take advantage of this colossal bargain and pick up a great new book.

Happy reading!

 

Ooohhh, Nice Cover Reveal for Joan Kilby’s Latest, Mad About You

3 Mar

Today Joan Kilby and Indulgence Books are excited to reveal the cover of Mad About You which releases March 31, 2014!  Let Entangled Publishing know what you think of the cover and enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card courtesy of Joan.

And now for the cover…
 
About the Book
Title: Mad About You
Author: Joan Kilby
Publisher: Indulgence Books
Publication date: March 31, 2014
 

Accountant Cassy Morris knows she’s putting her heart on the line when she agrees to move in with her best friend, multi-millionaire geek Scott Thornton while she manages his nanotechnology lab and finds an angel investor for his revolutionary new product. She’s loved him forever even though he’s only ever regarded her as a friend. But Cassy never could refuse Scott anything…

When Scott is named Seattle’s sexiest man, the attention from women threatens to get in the way of him finishing his pet project and putting it on the market. Cassy steps up once again and pretends to be his fiancé. A lifetime of repressed sexual tension explodes in a passionate affair. Soon Scott is wondering how he can convince Cassy to turn their fake engagement into reality… 

About Joan
–>

When I’m not working on a book I can often be found sipping a  latte at my local cafe and indulging my favorite past-time of people watching. Growing up in Vancouver, Canada, I always wanted to be a writer. In university I took a detour to study marine biology. I worked as an environmental biologist for many years until the birth of my first child. I loved staying at home with my kids because not only could I  raise them myself but I could indulge my first love — writing. I soon realized story-telling was what I was always meant to do.

Twenty years later I’m still hooked on writing. I’ve published over twenty-five books with Harlequin. I’m now writing for Entangled Publishing and have a couple of self-publishing projects on the go. I live in Melbourne, Australia, with my husband and three grown children. As well as writing and hanging out in cafes (Melbourne has the best coffee!) I go to the gym, walk my dog, cook, hike, garden, swim and read. I belong to Toastmasters Club and numerous writing organizations. 

Find Joan Online:
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