Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Eternity Elixir (Potion Masters #1) by Frank L. Cole {Review}

The Eternity Elixir (Potion Masters #1) 
by Frank L. Cole
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Shadow Mountain 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34525558-the-eternity-elixir?ac=1&from_search=true
Twelve-year-old Gordy Stitser is one of the few people who knows the truth about the secret society of potion masters, because not only is Gordy’s mom on the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide (B.R.E.W.), but she has also been training Gordy in the art of potion-making.

Gordy is a natural, and every day he sneaks down to the basement lab to invent new potions using exotic ingredients like fire ant eggs, porcupine quills, and Bosnian tickling juice.

One afternoon, Gordy receives a mysterious package containing an extremely rare potion known as “The Eternity Elixir.” In the right hands, the Elixir continues to protect society. But in the wrong hands, it could destroy the world as we know it.

Now, sinister potion masters are on the hunt to steal the Eternity Elixir. It’s up to Gordy, his parents, and his best friends, Max and Adeline, to prevent an all-out potion war.
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My Review: 4 Stars
Cole has a great way of bringing a normal human being into a magical world and making it seem completely normal. Gordy is from a family of potion elixirists and has a natural talent for it. Although he's young, he's completely capable of fighting villains and doing what he can to protect his family and this secret world.
When an eternity elixir falls into his hands, he and his father and two best friends fight long and hard and at times, Gordy doesn't even know what or who he is going up against. There are still some mysteries left open and I'm curious to continue on with the series to discover the secrets along the way.
There are many fascinating and intriguing characters within these pages and it's not always apparent who is good and who isn't, but it's sure a fun adventure discovering this magical world and what role each character plays. It's a fun and entertaining story.
Content: mild violence
*I received a copy and voluntarily read and reviewed this book, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions*
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 Buy Links:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eternity-elixir-frank-l-cole/1125991185?ean=9781629723587#/  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eternity-elixir-frank-l-cole/1125991185?ean=9781629723587#/
 

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Trustworthy Groom (Texas Titans Romances) by Cami Checketts {Spotlight}

 

 
The Trustworthy Groom by Cami Checketts 

Hailey Knight has two choices: fall prey to a predator who is out to own her and destroy her football team, or marry a man she’s just met. True, her fake husband can make her quiver with a touch, gets her jokes, and is patience personified, but she knows better than anyone how quickly charm can turn ugly. Brady Giles has dealt with a sweetheart stalker for two years and has no hope of shaking the annoyance. He steps in to rescue the beautiful and feisty Hailey Knight from a leering idiot and somehow ends up engaged to her. The marriage is supposed to help them both out of sticky situations, but instead turns into a media hailstorm with lies and attacks coming from all sides. When Hailey falls in love with her fake husband and danger lurks around every corner, she knows it’s time to run, but Brady has never given up on an impossible battle. 

 

Excerpt

Hailey’s brain scrambled for an out, any out. She put on a fake smile and said, “You don’t know how much I wish I could have dinner with you tonight, but you must not have heard … I’m recently engaged.” She kept a straight face when she wanted to gasp in shock. Where had that come from, and who was she going to claim she was engaged to?

William released her hair and actually took a step back, the scowl on his face ruining all his supposed good looks. “You are?” His eyes strayed to her left hand. She clasped it with her right to hide her naked finger. “To whom?”

A dark-haired man appeared at her table. Hailey dealt with burly football players every day of her life, but this guy’s shape still gave her pause. He was probably around six three and two hundred and fifty pounds. Every inch was muscle, not bodybuilder muscle but lean and functional and covered by smooth, tanned skin. He definitely had some Italian heritage in him as dark and good-looking as he was. Hailey had a strict policy of not checking out her own team’s football players, but she knew every single one of them. This guy wasn’t on her roster.

“Excuse me.” The man’s deep voice washed over her as his dark eyes looked at her with concern then flashed to William with annoyance. “Do you need some help?”

Yes, yes she did. Hailey grasped his arm and cuddled into his side, wrapping her other arm around his waist. “Thank you for coming to check on me, sweetheart.” His body tightened at the way she was trying to manhandle him, impossible to really do as she was almost a foot shorter and less than half his bodyweight, but she needed help, and she needed it now. The solution was so clear. William would back off if she were engaged. He would have to. Then there would be no repercussions on her football team and no coercion to date, and especially not to stay the night with, the slime ball VP.

“Um, sure … anything for you, honey.” The man wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and Hailey had never felt so safe as he gently pulled her close. Safety and reassurance were amazing and unexpected feelings to have at the moment, especially after the fear of William clogging her throat mere seconds ago and the fact that she naturally shied away from well-built men. The emotion of it all made her weak, and she found herself leaning against his muscular chest.

The dark-haired guy glanced down at her and winked. Ooh, he was quick too. She ticked off his positive qualities in her mind—not one of her football brothers, handsome with strong facial features, brown eyes framed with dark lashes, and smart. She might even give this guy a date to prove they were engaged.

“This is my fiancĂ©,” she said to William, inclining her chin with pride.

The man kind of started, but he stayed close to her side as he released her from his hold and stuck his hand out to William. “Brady Giles. Pleasure to meet you …”

Brady Giles? Oh, crap, he was one of her players! He’d recently transferred from New England. He was one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, and they were extremely blessed to get him, but the Brady Giles she’d seen from the sidelines had long, dark wavy hair and a full beard. This guy with the cropped hair and clean shaven model-gorgeous face was a Brady Giles she’d never expected—sharp and way too appealing. What had she done?
 
   
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His One and Only Bride by Tara Randel {Blog Tour Spotlight + Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


His One and Only Bride
(The Business of Weddings #5)
Tara Randel
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He never thought he’d see her again!

After being reported missing, presumed dead, globe-hopping photojournalist Mitch Simmons never thought he’d see his estranged wife, Zoe, again. Yet here he is back in their coastal Florida town, where Zoe is mayor. Turns out she isn’t the only one he left behind.

Discovering he has a baby son awakens thrilling new emotions in Mitch. And there are his still-powerful feelings for the high school sweetheart he vowed to love and honor forever. Thankfully, they’ll have the chance to find the love that was always there…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Excerpt 
 
Mitch expected his wife’s surprise. After all, to her, he’d risen from the dead.
His hand gripped the cane that had become his lifeline. He wanted to heave it over the railing,
but that meant lifting an arm that still needed rehab to function properly. Instead of cataloguing
his injuries, he focused on his shell-shocked wife.
“I don’t understand. We were told…I thought you were…”
“Dead?”
She reached out to place her palms on the deck railing.
“The report was mistaken.”
“But…How…Why?”
“I was injured in a truck accident while leaving a refugee camp.”
She visibly pulled herself together. Took a step toward him, faltered and stopped. “Pretty soon
I’m going to have a ton of questions, but right now…I don’t know what to say.”
“How about ‘welcome home’?”
He watched her struggle with this major surprise. “When did you get here?”
“About fifteen minutes ago.”
“How?” Her gaze took in his appearance and he knew what she saw. A guy who’d lost weight,
whose complexion had turned pasty after weeks in the hospital. Not the image of the healthy
husband who’d walked out of her life nearly two years ago.
“Wyatt. I called him to tell him I was heading home. He picked me up at the airport.”
A flush of red crept up her neck. “You didn’t think to call your wife?”
“I did, but considering how we ended our last conversation, I thought it would be better if I
talked to you in person.”
She ran a hand through her shoulder-length black hair. What had happened to the long straight
strands that had reached to her mid-back? In the hospital, he’d dreamed of running his fingers
through it. Had dreamed of her easy smile, which was nowhere to be found right now. Had he
expected her to jump into his arms when she saw him again despite the circumstances? Expect
that old feelings would rush over her again? Disappointment swamped him. She looked like the
same Zoe, yet there was something different about her. He couldn’t put his finger on it.
“I’m sorry, you didn’t want to call me? Despite everything, didn’t you think I’d have wanted
to know you were at least okay?”

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

- US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of Rival HeartsThe Bridal Bouquet and The Wedding March, a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag, a 2018 appointment planner and a $25 Amazon gift card
- US residents only
- Ends January 31st

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Illegally Wedded by Jennifer Griffith {Review}

Illegally Wedded (A Legally in Love Romance)
by Jennifer Griffith
Kindle Edition, 619 pages
Publication: January 23rd 2018

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37822368-illegally-wedded
 
He needs a promotion. She needs to stay in the country.
Piper Quinn has a great thing going. She’s young, talented, and the sole chef at Du Jour, San Antonio’s hottest lunch bistro. She and her business partner just have to stay open one year to be eligible for the coveted Texas Star.

Days before eligibility though, Piper gets terrible news: she’s getting deported. To New Zealand. Where her parents have joined a hobbit cult.

Attorney Zach Travis can’t seem to break into the partnership bracket at his big, respected firm—despite his stellar record. Then, Zach hears a rumor his bachelor status may be holding him back, and he needs a wife to advance his career. The girl at the bistro is an intriguing candidate.

As Piper shares her desperate plea for legal help, Zach realizes he can fix both their dilemmas—with a marriage certificate. However, their plan puts them in the cross-hairs of more than one vindictive enemy. Worse, neatly ending their marriage may be tricky due to a sparking chemistry neither Zach nor Piper can ignore.

Illegally Wedded is book 7 in the Legally in Love Collection by clean romantic comedy author Jennifer Griffith. Great fun for fans of Cami Checketts and Jennifer Peel.


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My Review: 5 Stars

I always think of marriages of convenience being back in history, when things were arranged because of hard times or situations, but this modern-day arrangement totally made sense and worked! Oh, my...this one definitely worked. And I think this author is really making a name for herself with these modern-day twists.


I think this one is my favorite Jennifer Griffith novel to date. Piper and Zach are great characters and they each need each other in different ways. Zach...wow...he could sure swoon the socks off of any woman. And Piper's loyalty is as strong as her presence in the kitchen. I don't know if I drooled more over the yummy food descriptions or over the swoon. How can two such perfectly matched people who complement each other in indescribable ways end up together on a chance whim?

There is comedy and romance in spades and between the igniting sparks and my desire to know how this was all going to go down, I couldn't stop reading. I woke up twice in the middle of the night and had to read for just "one more chapter." All this drama and deceit felt like a hopelessly fast runaway train, but let me just tell you--it worked and I don't know if my heart is going to recover any time soon.
  
Content: mild+ romance (spicy chemistry, kisses)

*I received a copy, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions*

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Buy Link:

http://amzn.to/2B3lH93
 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Peaslee {Blog Tour Review}


Finding Beauty in the Beast 
by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee
Paperback, 263 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Sweetwater Books 
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35585283-finding-beauty-in-the-beast?from_search=true
 
Princess Rose's fiery temper has kept every potential suitor away...until now. After being spurned and humiliated for the last time, the princes forces every eligible man to present a gift to her under pain of death. The man who brings her the best gift will be chosen as her husband.

When Corbin presents his gift, he hopes that his simple offering will keep him safely overlooked. All he wants is to return to his quiet life as a blacksmith away from forbidding castles and beastly princesses. But love works in mysterious ways, and it all starts with a rose...
 
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My Review: 5 Stars
  
I love fairy tales, especially Beauty and the Beast. It's especially fun when the characters are gender swapped and that's the case in this story. Corbin is a blacksmith and his simple gift is accepted by the princess, otherwise known as the Beast, which causes the world as he knows it to turn upside down. 
I love how the characters are really portrayed in a realistic way--not just the vague fairy tale way--but in a way that really makes them three dimensional and like real people. Their stories each unfolded in a way that played on emotion and really made me care about what happened to them and the way it happened. I love great journeys of self-realization and growth and combined with a sweet romance and fun plot, this one is going on record as a favorite retelling of this story.

There are enough twists and appearances by Peaslee's previous books characters that this story can stand on its own, while still delivering the beloved elements that make B&B a favorite of many.
 
Content: mild romance
 
*I received a copy, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions*
 
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Buy Links:
 
http://amzn.to/2DiC1oo https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-beauty-in-the-beast-jessilyn-peaslee/1126682744?ean=9781462128631  https://deseretbook.com/p/finding-beauty-in-the-beast?ref=Grid%20%7C%20Search-1&variant_id=158052-paperback
  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Falling for a Cowboy (Rocky Mountain Cowboys #2) by Karen Rock {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Falling for a Cowboy
(Rocky Mountain Cowboys #2)
by Karen Rock
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
January 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Doesn’t he get that she’s blind?

Barrel racer Amberley James wants to join the premier rodeo circuit more than anything, but she faces the ultimate hurdle when she loses her eyesight to a rare genetic condition. All she’d ever wanted seems out of reach. Giving up is the only option…until her best friend and local hero Jared Cade steps in. The last thing she wants is Jared’s help. But his persistence at encouraging her to get back in the saddle is ridiculously annoying. And undeniably inspiring…


Other Books in the Series

Christmas at Cade Ranch
(Rocky Mountain Cowboys #1)
by Karen Rock
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
November 7th 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The Christmas they never had.

James Cade has one priority: keep the family ranch running smoothly in the wake of his younger brother's death. With Jesse's ex, Sofia Gallardo, and her young son, Javi, stranded at Cade Ranch over Christmas, this task just got a lot harder. The longer Sofia and Javi stay, the harder it is to imagine the ranch without them. James couldn't save his brother from his inner demons, but he can give his nephew a secure future. Maybe more—if he can figure out how to trust Sofia, and stop feeling like he's betraying Jesse. Because trying to stop thinking about beautiful, determined Sofia is impossible.

My Review: 5 Stars

I love cowboys! Jared is a unique one because not only does he work on his family's ranch, but he's a NFL football player, recovering from an injury. I love how hardworking, competitive, and passionate he is and even though he's a bit indecisive and dense at times, I absolutely adored him. I especially love the loyal friendship he shares with Amberley. 

I can't even imagine the uncertainty and devastation that Amberley must have went through, but that woman is as tough as nails! She's more stubborn than a mule and when she wants something, she's all in--whether it's for her family, her career, or her love interest. It's so hard to let your faith be stronger than your fear and that's exactly what Amberley has to learn.


My favorite part was the romance, which is no surprise. The anticipation shot butterflies straight to the pit of my stomach and I enjoyed watching the gradual realizations progress amid the sparks. Very well done, as it's both heartwarming and swoony.

Karen Rock does a really amazing job at bringing these two broken characters together in a way that gives them strength in many facets. She's a very good storyteller and I felt right at home in Carbondale, Colorado and could picture the rodeo circuit/life pretty vividly. I loved seeing more of the characters from her previous books and I can't wait to read more about this family, as each book is centered on one of the siblings.

Content: very mild violence; very mild language; mild, swoony romance (kisses)

*I received a copy through Netgalley, which had no influence on my opinions*

About the Author

In a quest to provide her ELA students with quality reading material, educator Karen Rock read everything out there and couldn't wait to add her voice to the genre. In addition to her work as a Young Adult romance novelist, she's now an author for Harlequin's Heartwarming line and thrilled to pen stories that moms can share with their teenage daughters. She's loved Harlequin books since she spent summers going through her grandmother's Presents books that she passed along in paper grocery bags each year. As half of the writing duo J.K. Rock, Karen also pens young adult romance. When she's not busy writing, Karen enjoys scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, reinventing her gardens to suit her moods and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels, who have yet to understand the concept of "fetch" though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website.

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Other Heartwarming Books by the Author


Tour Giveaway


- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card along with print copies of HIS KIND OF COWGIRL, A COWBOY TO KEEP, and CHRISTMAS AT CADE RANCH by Karen Rock
- US Only
- Ends January 24th

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Publication: January 16th 2018 by Montlake Romance 
“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down.

Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

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My Review: 5 Stars

Anyone with an interest with celebrities will get this one, especially the inner fan girl inside. I remember being a young teen, obsessed with certain actors/singers and just knowing that they'd fall for me, for sure, if I ever had the change to meet them or to interact with them. Zoe is one lucky girl!

One tweet. That's all it took for Zoe to capture actor Chase Covington's attention. I love the lengths he went to in order to keep his private life private. All of the nerves, anxieties, angst, insecurities, butterflies, attraction, connections, and chemistry are wrapped up into one nice tidy book and let me tell you, this one is a zinger. I could feel everything. In fact, I even found myself talking about this book and not mentioning who-was-seeing-who for fear that I'd be breaching a confidentiality agreement or inviting the paparazzi to storm my house. Seriously. I was that engaged.

I'm all about connections and I adore the strong friendship of Zoe and Lexie; I loved Zoe's relationship with her siblings; and Zoe's romance with Chase make me swoon. This book keeps that tiny flame of hope alive for every "normal" girl.

My only complaint with this book is that I now have another book hangover. :)

Content: moderate romance--lots of swoony kissing; some talk of sex (not graphic); some innuendo

*I received a copy, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions*

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Buy Links:


   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starstruck-sariah-wilson/1127092832?ean=9781503949362

About the Author:

Sariah Wilson 
Bestselling author Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters--which is why she writes romance. She has published many happily ever after stories. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

Her website is www.sariahwilson.com. 
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Blog tour schedule:


Giveaway:
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