Sixpence & Whiskey by Heather R. Blair

Title: Sixpence & Whiskey
Author: Heather R. Blair
Series:
Toil & Trouble – #1
Genre:
Urban Fantasy
Release date: April 5, 2016
Pages:
173
Synopsis:

29231530By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…

It’s not easy being a witch. Especially when you’re the youngest and least talented of four sisters. But Persephone Gosse manages the same way she manages her Duluth bar, Toil & Trouble.

With hard work, a smart mouth—and a lot of whiskey.

Seph likes her quiet life…as quiet as it can be when the king of the bears wants her as his queen, a werewolf (or three) wants her dead, and her cold-as-ice ex, Jack Frost, wants…

Well, she hasn’t quite figured that out yet.

But with a bounty on her head and time running out on a half-forgotten prophecy, Seph better get a clue before this witch’s brew blows up in her face.

This book is the first of a 3-book serial.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Full
Reviewer: Kat

Sixpence & Whiskey is something new from Heather R. Blair. By something new, I mean really new, definitely a different dynamic than her previous titles.

Sixpence & Whiskey is the first of a series of three, centered on the life of Persephone “Seph” Gosse who sees herself as an ordinary witch and wants nothing more than to just live a quite life (as quiet as it can be in her world) running her bar in Duluth called Toil & Trouble, but everything and everyone around her is hellbent on making her life the opposite of ordinary where she cross paths with all different FTCs around her with malign intent–in other words, kill her, or in the king of the bears’ case, marry her. Her world is rocked even further when her ex-lover, Jack Frost, shows up with intentions that is unknown to her…

First of all, I loved this book which is not at all surprising. I’m hooked on this author and her books like a druggie hooked on heroin or something! I made the mistake of reading this book before I went sleep which resulted in me not actually sleeping and just kept reading until I reached the last page. So that should tell you something.

This author has a way of keeping a reader hooked, especially if you’re an Urban Fantasy fan. As I understand it, this was her first Urban Fantasy (she usually writes PNR) but wow, she did a great job on it, it was off-the-charts-amazeballs!

This was an exciting story all throughout but not to the point that you’ll feel burned out in the middle of it all. Seph is a quirky and fun witch that you can’t help but love, and each character you meet in this book is well-developed and more than a little interesting (which is an understatement, I can’t get enough of them).

I HIGHLY recommend this to all fans of this author, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this one! But if you haven’t read any of her stuff and happened to be a fan of Urban Fantasy, I think you should read this–you have to!

This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

** There is currently a special pre-order sale for this book of $0.99 on Amazon! 

About this author

Heather R. Blair wrote her first book in the first grade and hasn’t stopped since. Back then it all about horses, now it’s pretty much the dark, sexy and shivery.

She lives in the frozen north of Minnesota, near that big gorgeous lake called Superior and enjoys hiking when the snow melts. She also does murals, rides herd on four monsters (otherwise known as children, ages 7-17), is slightly obsessed with Martin Freeman, British television and things that go bump in the night.

She loves reading (duh!) and interacting with other bibliophiles and authors.

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The Rules by Elizabeth Brown

Title: The Rules
Author:
Elizabeth Brown
Series:
Off-Limits – #2
Genre:
Erotic Romance
Release date: February 2, 2016
Pages:
324
Synopsis:

25891968When you’re a guy, the rules are simple. Live by the Bro Code:

Rule #1: Always have his back.
Rule #2: Don’t ever leave him stranded.
Rule #3: Never, ever, touch his sister.

Aw, hell. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Warning: This story contains mature humor, a lot of cursing, and of course, sexual situations. It’s intended for adult readers who enjoy that kind of thing.

Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Full
Reviewer: Kat

I’ve had a fallout from Contemporary Romance. In fact, before I read this book, I actually told myself I will never read another Contemporary Romance book for the next year or so–then Elizabeth Brown ruins it and publishes this book, then I fell in love this book; didn’t expect it, didn’t expect to love this book so much, and most especially didn’t expect it to be something more than what it seems.

Ainsley is suffering from a condition and she’s determined to break through it so she can move on and finally settle in a normal and healthy relationship with someone. Enter Lambo, manwhore extraordinaire. Lambo is everything you want in a book boyfriend. He is hot, rocks the sheets, witty AF, but more than that, sweet as sin. He always had the hots for Ainsley (and vice versa) and when the opportunity presents itself to get tangled (naked!) with Ainsley, naturally, he takes it. He knew it was wrong, Ainsley is his best friend’s little sister and he needed to back off, but the more time he spent with Ainsley, he finds himself deeper and deeper until she’s under his skin…

This book. Wow. Loved it. I already said it above but I couldn’t help but say it again.

Honestly, I’m not a fan of manwhore heroes. I’m so over them, but Lambo was just too charming and I couldn’t resist falling a little for him.

Ainsley. Now, I don’t know where to start. Ainsley is the star of the show for me. My heart reached out to her. I don’t know what else to say, except that she’s a character that will surely stick with me for a very long time.

Overall, great read, great characters, great plot. Highly recommended! I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

This book is more than just a book for me and Elizabeth knows that, but that’s between me and her. 😉

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About this author

I’m just a girl with a computer who writes smut. Sometimes it’s funny.

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Begin Again by R.C. Matthews

Title: Begin Again
Author: 
R.C. Matthews
Series:
Wish Come True – #3
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release date: August 4, 2014
Pages:
125
Synopsis:

22876801When Tyler Johnson spends the evening at a bar celebrating her cousin’s pseudo bachelorette party, she boldly takes on Jordan’s bet. A note on a napkin, placed provocatively in their waiter’s back pocket, and two minutes later he’s calling Tyler’s cell phone…asking her for a date. Bet won! It was all in good fun. So when things start to heat up on their first date, she suddenly has cold feet. He works at a strip club and picks up babes on a regular basis. No thanks.

That is until college resumes in the fall and Mr. Hottie shares her English class and turns out to be everything she has ever wanted in a boyfriend…but can’t have now…because she judged the book by its cover. Unless she can convince Chase Bronson to begin again.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Kat

Steam, romance and angst. Sounds like any typical New Adult Romance, right? Perhaps, perhaps not. I can’t believe R.C. Matthews played with my emotions back and forwards in a matter of 100 or so pages. I ended up loving Tyler and Chase as much as I loved JT and Jordan (and those two I reaaaaally adored)! This was a really fast read so if I told more about the book I might reveal the plot. I’m just really that excited about the story. 😉

This is the last installment of Wish Come True series. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, I highly recommend that you do so RIGHT NOW. As a non-fan of New Adult, I really enjoyed this series! That’s saying a lot for me. R.C. Matthews is one of the very few authors that made New Adult work for me. 🙂

About this author

I was born and raised by deaf parents in the Metro-Detroit area along with four siblings. Growing up in a house full of children, there was never a dull moment! We all inherited the reading gene from our father, who is a voracious reader. And the reading gene continues strong in my own two sons. I’m happily married (second time is a charm) to a patient and loving man who always cheers me on from the side-line to pursue my dreams. What more can a girl want?

rcmatthews.com

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Playing for Fun by Tracey Alvarez

Title: Playing for Fun
Author:
Tracey Alvarez
Series:
Due South – #6
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release date: December 15, 2015
Pages:
290
Synopsis:

27160277

PLAYING FOR FUN is the sixth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Due South books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like Jill Shalvis, Marie Force, or Bella Andre, then you’ll enjoy diving into these heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.

Wanted: A woman for Ford.
Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.

Offered: Dream job with a catch.
What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.

Warning: One kiss is never enough.
As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Kat

Every time I read a small town romance novel, I feel like it’s Christmas time for me! While I’ve read my fair share of them, I’ve never read one that is set in New Zealand which I found pretty exciting because I’ve always wanted to go there. Aotearoa, as the Maori called it. Before we get to the romance part of the story, I really would like to say first that I appreciated the glimpse of the Maori culture in this novel. I have always been intrigued by them and had always meant to do read a little more about them but I never found the time. Anyway, if you are not familiar with the Maori, you might find yourself a little confused with how much the author threw around terms and practices of the culture, etc., but I can assure you that you’ll fall in love with them as a whole as I have had by the time I finished this book.

Now onto the review! This was a crazy friends-to-lovers story. Really, I’m not even using the word ‘crazy’ lightly, but I actually mean that in the good way. It’s a little quirky, gives you a ‘familiar’ feeling (I don’t quite know how to explain it), and it’s definitely a book that stands out! Holly and Ford had been friends for as long as they could ever remember, but what they don’t know is that they’re attracted to the other but are also both so deep into the friendzone. It was back and forwards with Holly and Ford, that you’ll find yourself annoyed and frustrated–especially when it came to Ford!

A charming (exasperating) group of ladies have decided that it was high time for Ford to have a woman of his own. Holly didn’t agree, because she herself had always liked Ford more than she ever let on but that didn’t really matter now because if Ford did end up getting the woman of his dreams (via an online dating site) or not, she’ll be away for the job that she had had always wanted.

Overall, I really really really enjoyed this book. It was fun and charming and the sex scenes are hot. While the plot is considerably familiar, the way it is executed is impeccable. Steamy contemporary romance lovers shouldn’t miss out on this book!

While this book is the sixth in a series, this can be read as a standalone. I have a mind to read the series from the start to get the full experience of Due South. After all, it was easy for me to fall in love with these characters.

This copy was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About this author

Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

traceyalvarez.com

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Twin Flames by Cassandra L. Shaw

Title: Twin Flames
Author:
Cassandra L. Shaw
Series:
Katoom – #1
Genre:
Sci Fi Romance
Release date: July 25, 2015
Pages:
330
Synopsis:

25953986She’s in grave danger, but she doesn’t want his protection…

After a long and bitter world-war for pure human supremacy, humans and two sub-species the Eli and Crea reside on Earth in an uneasy harmony. One morning on a jog, Bliss Jacobs finds a murdered fellow Eli. She scents the killer on the body, but other evidence is washed away by a savage storm, leaving Bliss as the sole witness and the target of an assassin—and forcing her back into the world of the man who shattered her heart.

He believes she is his destined mate, but he knows there are no second chances…

Kaid Sinclair is chasing more than his best friend’s murderer. He wants Bliss in his bed and in his life, but after their relationship went south several years ago, he knows he has to tread carefully. So how can he keep her safe, while still proving to her that they are destined to be mates, and he doesn’t just want to control her? All he wants is for her to be safe—but with a killer who sees her as Kaid bait, Kaid may have to choose… his life or hers?

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Half-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Rachel

Twin Flames is a unique romance read. Ms. Shaw has created an unquestionably Sci-Fi world, but within it are the shifter/were-type pack dynamics that would be familiar to any PNR fan. While my actual rating is three and a half stars, this review has been rounded up to four stars on Goodreads and Amazon since neither offers half-star options.

Our heroine, Bliss, is an Eli. She possesses preternatural strength, the ability to shift to the form of her Eli beast, and liquid silver runs through her veins–displaying every heightened emotion despite her best efforts to conceal them. Along with the Crea, Eli are one of the two sub-species living uneasily among humans on an alternate history future earth. Subs typically live with others of their kind on Clan land, but many years ago Bliss chose to leave the Clan and live on her own. Away from Clan rules and the dominant leader of the Eli whom she loved and left as a young adult.

Kaid is our hero and the uber-alpha leader of the Eli. Bliss wants to distance herself from her former love instead of working with him to solve a murder, and I can understand why. Kaid is a self-proclaimed womanizer and is unnecessarily crass to Bliss. Though he provides an explanation for his actions later on, it wasn’t enough to move me to Team Kaid. Throughout the book, even after he and Bliss are together, he comes off as somewhat misogynistic. Early on he describes Bliss as having “a body belonging in porn magazines” and toward the end he refers to a woman who came on to him with a low-cut blouse as a “whore”. Admittedly, I don’t go for the most alpha-y of heroes anyway, and this is just my personal opinion.

The copy I received for review was an ARC, so hopefully the copy editing errors I noticed will be corrected for future editions. I gave this around a four star rating because despite my negative opinion of the hero, it was a well-woven story and I’ve never read a Science Fiction Romance which managed to blend the pack elements of Paranormal Romance to create something brand new.

This copy was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About this author

Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Contemporary Romance. She lives in a small farm on the Sunshine Coast of Australia with her family and a mix bag of much loved animals. Her eclectic past includes fashion design, environmental science and years of drudgery as an office worker where she dreamed of NOT being an office worker.  She discovered writing a few years ago and has decided that with its mix of art, writing craft, and study she’s at last found the ultimate career.

cassandralshaw.com

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Get Your Shift Together by Ruby Dixon

Title: Get Your Shift Together
Author: 
Ruby Dixon
Series:
Bear Bites – #2
Genre:
Paranormal Romance
Release date: December 31, 2015
Pages:
98
Synopsis:

28177730I’ve been looking for a mate in all the wrong places. When the right one shows up in Pine Falls with a man in tow, I almost miss her. Caroline Abbott is a sweetheart of a city girl who is making one last stab at keeping her (dead) relationship together. When her fool of an ex takes off and leaves her alone in the forest, I’m more than happy to step into his abandoned shoes.

While I can make her shout with pleasure, I worry those screams will turn to fear when she realizes that my hidden half is a bear.

I can’t keep the secret much longer, but telling her might scare her off for good.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Full
Reviewer: Arys

Get Your Shift Together by Ruby Dixon is book two in her Bear Bites series and I was happy to see it was about playboy bear shifter, Leo Prufuchs.

Leo is best friends with the hero from book one, Cole Braxton. A playboy, who never really sees a woman past one night, he isn’t expecting to find his mate and nearly misses her especially when she comes into town with her boyfriend in tow.

Caroline Abbott comes to Pine Falls on a last ditch effort to save her dead-end relationship with her boyfriend, Bill. Unknowing, that she’d be the one ditched in the middle of the woods by the jerk. Luckily for her, Leo finds out about her being stranded and goes into the woods to check on her.

Once alone in the woods, the story really picks up as Leo realizes Caroline is his mate and luckily for us we don’t have to wait long for him to go after his girl or make her his.

What I really like about book two is that there is no reluctance in the hero in regards to being with a human like there was in book one. Once the boyfriend is out of the picture and he realizes that she is his mate, he goes for it. And boy is he charming and sexy.

This was a short read, but really sweet and enjoyable. Leo and Caroline are great characters. I very much recommend and can’t wait to read more from Ms. Dixon.

About this author

Ruby Dixon is the secret penname of a NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author.

Home Again by Lisa Emme

Title: Home Again
Author:
Lisa Emme
Series:

Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 29, 2016
Pages:
352
Synopsis:

27886200They say you can’t go home again. Allie Daniels hopes they are wrong, whoever they are. After a series of misfortunes, she and her small son have come home to the town she thought she had left behind. She’s just looking for a safe place to raise her son. The last thing she wants is any more complications.

Mike Finn didn’t roll into town on his Harley looking for love; he just wants to find a place to call home. Hoping to escape the fast-paced, anonymous life in the city, he’s bought a partnership in the local veterinarian practice. The small town has a lot to offer – especially after a chance encounter with Allie.

When Mike first sets eyes on Allie, sparks fly. He knows there’s something there, but the reluctant, single mom is going to take some convincing. Good thing Mike is a persistent man. When strange things start to happen around town, his protective instinct is sent into high gear. It’s just as well, because when Allie starts playing detective, she may find herself in over her head.

Don’t let the sweet cover fool you. This book brings the heat as well. Intended for a mature audience. Graphic sexual content and language.

Button - AmazonRating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Kat

First of all, I LOVE SMALL TOWN ROMANCE! I don’t know why I love them so much, especially when it comes to romance. It’s just so homey and cozy to read, and it makes me want to just up and leave the city every time I read one. So heartwarming.

Lisa Emme is a new-to-me author. I have heard nothing but praises for her Urban Fantasy series (which have been previously reviewed by Veronica in the blog) so I really looked forward to reading Home Again. Can I just say that I really enjoyed this story? To be honest though I can’t really count this as Romantic Suspense as this was more romance focused than on the mystery/suspense part, or that element was not that strong to be counted as Romantic Suspense but this is my own perspective. Other readers might think otherwise.

Highly recommend reading this book for contemporary small town romance lovers like me, especially if you like a bit of suspense in it. You’ll definitely enjoy this book! The characters were endearing, Mike and Allie and their cozy family. This book is more than just romance. This is a story of second chances (family) and taking a risk (love). It’s also about facing the past and overcoming it.

This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About this author

Lisa Emme is a Canadian who proudly ends her ABC’s with ‘zed’. A self-professed book-a-holic, she has spent the last few years trying to stem her book hoarding tendencies by writing her own stories and by avoiding the bargain table at the bookstore like the plague.

A bit of a thrill seeker, Lisa has tried such death defying activities as bungy jumping off a bridge and rappelling down the side of a 17 storey building. She’s also single-handedly raising a teenager.

Lisa has worked as a veterinary assistant, playground instructor, bank teller, store clerk, waitress, telephone solicitor, research writer for an environmental think tank, computer programmer, and systems analyst. Her passion however, is writing. What else is she going to do during the long, cold prairie winter?

lisaemme.com