It Had to Be You by Keris Stainton


It Had to Be You: A funny romance that will make you laugh out loudIt Had to Be You: A funny romance that will make you laugh out loud by Keris Stainton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At twenty five Bea seems to have gotten most of her life on track but she is still lacking that Mr. Right that she dreams of finding. Bea has been having a dream of the same man for as long as she can remember and even moved to the city and took her current job to be near the park where she sees him in her dream. She’s certain that this is her Mr. Right and she’ll find him someday.

In the meantime Bea heads to work with her good friend and roommate every day and watches rom coms on her computer while her other roommates fight then kiss and make up loudly in the other room. Bea’s patience pays off one day when she heads through the park only to see the man of her dreams sitting on the bench she knew she’d find him at. But will the romance be as good in person as it has been in her dreams now that she has met him?

It Had to Be You by Keris Stainton is a contemporary romance read with a main character that is trying to navigate her way through life and love. The story inside is one that would go along with a few sayings in life such as be careful what you wish for or the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, or quite a few other little tidbits as the character finds what she was looking for was there all along.

This one is a romantic comedy with little one liners and funny moments all throughout the book but as much as sometimes I laughed there were other times that I think Bea’s timidness and past made me a bit sad and I would feel sorry for her instead of laughing at the joke. Hard to put into words but I think there was just a thin line between being self deprecating or the joke succeeding. In the end I ended up just thinking this one to be an OK read that to pull off the humor better should have had a slightly stronger main character.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.


Believe in My Heart by Maria K. Alexander blitz with giveaway


Believe in My Heart
Maria K. Alexander
(Tangled Hearts #4)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: November 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Culinary arts student, Hope Mastriano, is down on her luck. Homeless on Thanksgiving Day, she’s caught trying to break into her cousin’s apartment by her sexy boss and lifelong secret crush.

Since getting dumped seven months ago, head chef Vinnie DiFrancesco has been in a frustrating holding pattern. He returns relaxed from a retreat, but his life is sent into a tailspin when he offers Hope, the event coordinator at his family’s trattoria, temporary housing.

With the trattoria’s traditional Italian Christmas Eve charity dinner slated to be featured on a local TV segment and things heating up in his apartment, the two must set aside their different visions to make the event a success. When a computer glitch threatens their plans, Hope proposes a risky solution. Vinnie must believe in Hope and his heart in order to secure the future of the restaurant and make it a Christmas to remember.

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He jogged up the stairs to the fifth floor. Turning into the main hall, Vinnie made his way toward his apartment while digging in his pocket for the key and almost collided with three suitcases and a stack of boxes blocking his path.

Someone was moving out…or in, given the person was fiddling with the lock—with a hanger. He had moved in a couple days before his trip to California and hadn’t met any neighbors, but he did recall seeing a tall blonde woman walking out of this apartment one morning as he came in from his morning jog. This one was a few inches over five feet, and although he couldn’t see much, dark hair peeked out of the white knit cap on her head.

“Hey, can I help you?” he called.

She shrieked and dropped the hanger. “I can’t find my key and locked myself out.”

He knew that voice. “If that’s the case, why don’t you call the super?”

“My phone’s dead, and I don’t have his number.”

Vinnie pulled out his phone. “Then it’s a good thing I have it. I’ll give him a buzz.”

“No!” she cried and turned to face him.

Wide brown eyes framed by long brown lashes stared up at him.


She pushed back the cap and brushed aside the bangs that fell into her eyes. “Vinnie. Funny meeting you here.”

“Same goes. You don’t live here,” Vinnie countered, surprised to be faced with one of the pantry chefs from where he worked.

Hope raised her hands. “I know how this looks, but I can explain.”

“You can explain why you’re trying to break into this apartment?”

“It’s my cousin Faith’s place. And I wasn’t breaking in.”

Vinnie raised an eyebrow and shifted his gaze to the hanger on the ground.

“Okay, so maybe it seems as though I was breaking in, but the key she gave me no longer works.” She reached in her coat pocket and withdrew a key similar to Vinnie’s.

“Did you try calling your cousin?”

“Gee, no, I didn’t think of that,” she sneered. “She’s on a cruise and then staying in Florida a few days for business. I wasn’t kidding about my phone dying and not knowing the super’s number.”

Vinnie felt a pain in his temple. Probably from not having enough to eat or drink on the red-eye from LA. “Fine, let’s get your stuff in my place. You can use my phone.”

Hope grabbed a handle of a suitcase. “Thanks, Vin. You’re nicer than people at work say.”

He paused while unlocking his door. Well, hell. Is that what they say about me? Guess he needed to do damage control with his staff. Even though his parents owned Trattoria DiFrancesco, Vinnie was the head chef and in charge of hiring of anyone who worked in the kitchen.

Including the pretty spitfire who had just swept past him, Hope Mastriano.

He hoisted the stack of boxes and followed her inside. When she headed back out, he perused the hall to see how much more stuff she had.

There were two more suitcases and a pet carrier.

“You run away or something?” Vinnie asked.

“Moved out of Steve’s place. I’m done with that deadbeat.”

“On Thanksgiving Day and with nowhere to go?”

“It’s been long overdue. Besides, I thought I could crash at Faith’s until I figured out my next step.”

“And in there?” He nodded to the carrier.

Hope raised it up a few inches. “This is Lucky, my cat.”

Vinnie was not a fan of cats, with their sharp eyes and sneaky ways. He peeked inside and into the green eyes of a white cat. He closed the front door and stepped around Hope’s stuff, including the cat, which she pulled out of the carrier. Lucky leaned forward and sniffed him before letting out a soft mew.

Between the pixie-haired cutie and the cat, the peace and relaxation he had found out west was a distant memory. By the time he got to the trattoria for Thanksgiving dinner, Vinnie was going to need a beer or glass of wine.

Possibly both.

Author Bio:

A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.

Maria is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.

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The Trouble with Murder (A Gourmet Cat Mystery #1) by Kathy Krevat


The Trouble with Murder (A Gourmet Cat Mystery)The Trouble with Murder by Kathy Krevat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Colbie Summers never expected to be moving back to her childhood home in the small town of Sunnyside, CA but after her father gets ill that is just what she does. Colbie packed up herself, her son and their pet cat trouble as soon as she could wanting to be there for her father and with her business being small she was able to work on her gourmet cat food in Sunnyside.

Things were actually going well for Colbie after the move with her business taking off and getting herself involved with the Sunnyside Power Moms. When one of the other women in the group is found murdered however Colbie finds herself a suspect in the crime and needs to do whatever she can to clear her name.

The Trouble with Murder by Kathy Krevat is the first book in the cozy Gourmet Cat Mystery series. This opening introduces readers to Colbie who runs a gourmet cat found business and tests her treats on her own feisty feline, Trouble, who has a personality of his own. Along with a chicken that has a doorbell fetish this series certainly has it’s own unique set of critters to gain a chuckle or two and warm the heart.

Colbie was certainly a strong female lead but also realistic on the investigating front in not really knowing where to start or how to go about figuring out the murder. Eventually Colbie finds her way and questions everyone involved opening the door for a few twists and turns as she goes about finding other suspects to clear her name. Definitely a nice start to this series and I’d return just for that wandering chicken alone!

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Bound to the Bad Boy Series by Alexis Abbott blitz with giveaway


Bound for Life
Alexis Abbott
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

The start of the Bound to the Bad Boy trilogy by Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Alexis Abbott

I never knew what he sacrificed to save my life. I never knew why he abandoned me all those years ago.

My soulmate. My first love. The only one I’ve ever wanted.

I moved on, tried to forget his smile, the way his hands felt on my skin.

But when my life gets dangerous again, he walks back into my store, white knight to the rescue.

The Mafia is breathing down our necks, threatening our second chance at romance.

But what they don’t realize is that our love makes us strong. Makes us dangerous.

The Mafia wants to kill us both, but we’re not going down without a fight.

This is a full-length romantic suspense novel that is Part 1 in an exciting new trilogy by Alexis Abbott. Explicit language. Safe from cheating.

The complete trilogy:

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“After everything that’s happened today, I never expected a stranger to take that kind of time,” Serena says with a sigh.

“What’s happened today?” I ask, quirking a brow, and I see her cheeks tinge with a bit of color.

“Wh- oh, nothing. The guy who caused the accident just kind of ran off, is all,” she lies, averting her eyes to the setting sun outside.

“Dirty move,” I say, crossing my arms. “Good thing you run a soap store.”

She just stares at me in disbelief for a beat before she bursts into a laugh at my awful pun, covering her face for a moment. “Oh…wow,” she says, starting to take a few steps toward me. “Who are you?”

“Someone who can tell you’ve had too much on your plate for one day,” I say. Every muscle in my body wants to take a step toward her as well, to play the game between us that she’s slipping into already. I want to flirt with her, charm her all over again, even as a stranger, take her out for a good time. If I’m really honest, I want to bend her over that counter and take her right here and now.

But for her safety, I have to keep my distance.

“Oh, who am I kidding,” she says, running a hand through her hair and looking out the door. “You’re right. Today’s been a nightmare.” She looks back to me, eyes flitting up and down my form. “Thank you, though. Really. God, I feel so silly, you didn’t come here to-”

“Get some rest,” I say, her name on the tip of my tongue before I reel it back in. “I’ll come back by tomorrow. Maybe I can take care of any other messes that come up,” I say, a boyish smile on my face.

I see the color flush into her cheeks, and she loses her words for a moment before she says, “I’ll be here!”

She was a spoiled brat when I knew her, but even then, it was the easiest thing in the world to get her off her guard and swooning. But I liked that about her. She didn’t feel shame for her feelings. She felt everything intensely. It was good to see that hadn’t changed.

There’s so much more I want to say, but I step out into the cool air without another word to her as I hear her voice calling, “Wait, I didn’t get your name!”

I pretend not to hear.

Seeing how happy she is now, I can’t let our tangled past flood into her life and upset everything she has. She’s running her own business, for god’s sake.

How would she feel about me if she knew I was an enforcer for the mafia?

Author Bio:

Alexis Abbott is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes about bad boys protecting their girls! Pick up her books today and find yourself transported with super steamy sex, gritty suspense, and lots of romance.

She also writes as Alex Abbott for her erotic thrillers and contemporary romance.

She lives in beautiful St. John’s, NL, Canada with her amazing husband.

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Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre


Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1)Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Zara Cole has been separated from her family for quite awhile after having medical issues as a young child. Zara’s mother and sister have gone to live on Mars but for Zara that would feel too much like being caged in. She has been surviving on the outskirts of New Detroit living off her wits and what she can steal but when Zara picks the wrong target to steal from and she finds herself in quite a bit of danger.

After stealing the purse guards are sent to retrieve the contents from Zara so she let’s herself get sent to a home for wayward youth that she had done everything to escape from in the past. Just when Zara thinks that her plan to get locked up might keep her safe the man after her makes an appearance but lucky for Zara she is recruited into the Honors, one of the one hundred humans this year selected by the Leviathan, a race of sentient alien ships, to board and explore outer space with them.

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre is the first book in the new young adult science fiction fantasy series, The Honors. The story revolves around street smart Zara who has shunned the alien advancements and technology and chose to live on the streets until she needs an escape. The ship that Zara boards is actually a sentient being with whom Zara forms an intense connection.

There is plenty of action in this new series to keep the pages turning and the excitement level up while reading. The world the authors have built within this first book was one that was quite intriguing and done rather well so far although my one complaint came with just wanting more with a few unanswered questions at the end of this first book. I definitely became hooked on the series though and would rate this one at 4.5 stars while hoping that the story continues to grow and thrive in the next book.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry


Blood SistersBlood Sisters by Jane Corry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fifteen years ago there were three young girls heading out on their way to school when tragedy strikes the trio. After that day one of the girls has been buried by her parents, one lives in a care home with permanent brain injury and one walked away with the emotional scars of being the survivor of the tragedy.

Alison who has gone on to become an artist has never forgiven herself for being the one that walked away from the incident while her younger sister, Kitty, lives in an institution. Alison punishes herself in her own way on a daily basis and Kitty is never far from her mind with each choice she makes in life. Alison has taken a job at a prison as an art teacher when she begins receiving threatening notes and if in fear that someone out there knows her secret she’s been hiding all these years.

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry is a psychological thriller that is told by alternating the point of view between the characters all throughout the read. Alison of course gets more focus in the book but Kitty is also given a voice despite her disabilities letting the reader in on her personality and thoughts even though she cannot speak outright. The character building was quite wonderful especially bringing in the thoughts of Kitty to give readers a glimpse into the past as the girls look back on that day while living very different lives in the present.

To me this one did get off to a slow start a bit as the story is being set up for the readers but once it got going it certainly made up for the slow start. I found myself quite interested in the story but would warn other readers that there are a couple of things within that need a trigger warning as the story involves not only rape but self harm as well so some may want to avoid those topics. The story of these girls is a pretty dark one with a ton of twists to keep one guessing right up until the very last page.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.

Can’t Miss Christmas by Miranda Liasson


Can't Miss ChristmasCan’t Miss Christmas by Miranda Liasson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Graham Walker is passing by the bookstore where his ex wife is signing her latest children’s book just two days before Christmas when he thinks perhaps he should stop in, say hi and pick up a book for his niece. After entering and seeing the crowd and knowing he has quite the long drive ahead Graham thinks twice but is stopped before leaving. When Graham is ushered up to his ex he overhears her travel problems due to the weather and before he knows it he is offering to drive her to her next signing at a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.

Grace Alberts never thought she would be climbing into a car in a snowstorm with her ex-husband just two days before Christmas but with no other options she reluctantly agreed to the ride. After some awkward conversation the couple finally seem to just starting to relax around one another when a deer pops out of nowhere and they find themselves stuck in Mirror Lake, Connecticut facing all the problems that were never resolved between them and the love they still feel for one another.

Can’t Miss Christmas by Miranda Liasson is a contemporary romance novella that is a part of the Mirror Lake series. As with most romance series out there this can be read fine as a standalone book with new main characters involved in this holiday read. For the fans of the series overall though there will be mentions here and there of previous characters in the very small town of Mirror Lake.

I will say this one was a bit deceiving in looks, I was expecting a cute, light holiday romance when picking up this novella and while it is written with holiday hope in mind the story is one that was quite heartbreaking reading about. A couple coming back together to work things out is perfect for a novella length read since the reader knows they have a history and chemistry between them but this particular couple had split apart after the loss of their child so it’s quite touching. With great writing and an emotional tale to bring tears to the eyes this was a quite the lovely holiday read.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

The Duke Who Came to Town by Sophie Barnes Release Blitz with giveaway


The Duke Who Came to Town

The Honorable Scoundrels
by Sophie Barnes
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

She doesn’t want to be a kept woman…

Josephine Potter knows she must retain her employment to provide for her younger sisters and to maintain the house. While a young woman working as an accountant – at a hotel no less – could be frowned upon by some, it’s still a respectable way to earn a living. No matter what a certain duke might think. Besides, Josephine has a few rules she lives by: Don’t rely on others, don’t accept money from someone you don’t know, and never allow a man to control your life. But when she is fired from her job, Josephine may have to bend a few rules…

Devon, the Duke of Snowdon, has never met a more bull-headed woman than Josephine Potter! The Potter sisters are granddaughters of a Viscount and should not have to work for a living. So despite Josephine’s arguments, Devon insists she end her employee status immediately and accept a stipend for her and her sisters. When she is then fired, she accuses him of meddling in her life…and things are about to heat up despite the cold winter weather. As they work together to figure out why Devon’s hotel is losing money, a mutual attraction that won’t be denied, grows between them.

But when rumors of impropriety abound, can Josephine’s reputation be saved…or will her life be destroyed by scandal?

About Sophie Barnes

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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Snow and Seduction: A Steamy Reverse Harem Winter Collection blitz with giveaway


Snow and Seduction: A Steamy Reverse Harem Winter Collection
Publication date: November 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Warm up from that kiss of winter snow with eighteen steamy contemporary romance stories–reverse harem style. From international, USA Today, Amazon bestselling and debut authors alike, this collection features eighteen tales of love in winter.

And what could possibly keep a woman warm better than a heated holiday romance with the perfect guy? How about three or more perfect men in each story: from billionaires to snowboarders, rockstars, cowboys, and more. That’s right–each story has at least three male love interests and our heroine…she doesn’t have to choose.

She gets them all.

“Snow and Seduction” is the sexy reverse harem romance anthology you’ve been waiting for.

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Cover Reveal: Warning Call by Danny Bell


Warning Call
Danny Bell
(The Black Pages, #2)
Publication date: December 21st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Elana Black. Saving the day even if she has to tear a hole in the universe to do it.

An unbeatable mythological horror has its sights set on Elana, and that’s not the worst of her problems. Gods want to use her, shadowy agents want to eliminate her, and a powerful sorcerer wants to kill her; all as she rushes to stop an event which portends the death of her best friend, Olivia. It’s all catching up with her, and just in time for Christmas. Elana is going to have to figure out how all of it is connected but she’s in over her head, outnumbered, and running out of time.

And she always thought magic would make her life easier.

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There is also a limited release cover:

Author Bio:

My name is Danny Bell. I want to tell stories and avoid writing author profiles. I read—when I should be interacting with people, I named my cat after a cat I liked in a book, I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost one time—though I’ll never admit it publicly, I’m too tall for the earth, and I’ve never eaten a vegetable. I lied about the vegetable part. Wait… is someone going to read this?

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