Friday, September 30, 2016

Courting the Countess by Donna Hatch {Blog Tour Review with Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Courting the Countess by [Hatch, Donna]
Courting the Countess
by Donna Hatch
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 388 pages
October 5th 2016 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc

When charming rake Tristan Barrett sweeps Lady Elizabeth off her feet, stealing both her heart and a kiss in a secluded garden, her brother challenges Tristan to a duel. The only way to save her brother and Tristan from harm—not to mention preserve her reputation—is to get married. But her father, the Duke of Pemberton, refuses to allow his daughter to marry anyone but a titled lord. The duke demands that Elizabeth marry Tristan’s older brother, Richard, the Earl of Averston. Now Elizabeth must give up Tristan to marry a man who despises her, a man who loves another, a man she’ll never love.

Richard fears Elizabeth is as untrustworthy as his mother, who ran off with another man. However, to protect his brother from a duel and their family name from further scandal, he agrees to the wedding, certain his new bride will betray him. Yet when Elizabeth turns his house upside down and worms her way into his reluctant heart, Richard suspects he can’t live without his new countess. Will she stay with him or is it too little, too late?

My Review: 5 Stars

When I was younger, I used to wonder what it would be like if my parents just arranged my marriage--then I wouldn't have to worry about finding the right guy. However, I really can't imagine how hard that would be! Can you really find love when thrown together that way? 

Elizabeth has a big secret and it's one that leaves her at the hands of her abusive mother. She hasn't had a safe environment to grow up in and has issues that stem from that, although it's all kept quite hush-hush. It's no wonder that she latches onto the first man to pay her romantic attentions, but he's got quite a reputation as a rake. Found in a compromising position with Tristan, Elizabeth's father has no choice, but to marry her off--to his older brother, Richard. And there you have it--the arranged marriage.
I adore the way this story thrusts the reader back into Regency England. I felt like I was there, experiencing the sights and sounds of London during this time. My attention was captured and never released. There's more than just a lovely romance to this story and I enjoyed those key elements, as they really added to the flavor and gave some meat to the book.

Of course, the romance is my favorite part and with some smouldering looks, touches that ignite, and swoony kisses, all clean of course, this book almost made me feel as if I were the one being courted and I loved it immensely!

Content: mild violence (abuse); mild romance (kissing). Clean!

*I received a copy through Prism Book Tours in exchange for an honest review*

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty five years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

$10 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook of The Stranger She Married
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Ends October 10th

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden {Review}

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Shadow Mountain
He's the most fearsome sheriff in the West. A force to be reckoned with. The stuff of legend.

So is she. . . . May the best sheriff win.

Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.

Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.

Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.
My Review: 5 Stars
I'm not a brave soul and I don't like to buck the trend, but I love reading about characters who are completely opposite of me. When the sheriff of Savage Wells leaves town, potential candidates move in and try to win the job. Paisley has been acting as sheriff, behind the scenes of course, for a few months and thinks she should be a shoe-in. But women in the Wild West aren't afforded the same positions that men are and it's a hard battle--especially going against well-known sheriff, Cade O'Brien. I'm not a person who wants the dangers that being sheriff in this time period brings, but Paisley can handle it. She's tough, sassy, and capable, but I felt a little sorry for her.
There's something very comforting about a tough, manly, and non-nonsense cowboy and Cade completely brings those warm fuzzies around. While he comes across as a bit gruff at times, he's a kind man and just what this town...including Paisley...needs. I almost couldn't stand the sparks between these two, that threatened to erupt into a full-blown wildfire--because they were sizzling hot, yet completely clean. *swoon* I love a book that has a lot of romantic tension, as well as some adventure and suspense, and this one has plenty of all of the above.
I love the quirky, small-town characters and they way they all interact; I adore the banter between Cade and Paisley and couldn't wait to see what would happen next; and I was fascinated by how well the story flowed. While there is plenty of action, it's not overwhelming--just the perfect mix of elements to make a very enjoyable story.

Content: mild violence; mild (but swoony!) romance. Clean!

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
Buy Links:

About the Author:

Sarah M. Eden 
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML's "2013 Novel of the Year" and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award's "2014 Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor's degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Hesitant Heiress (The Everstone Chronicles Book 1) by Dawn Crandall {Review}

The Hesitant Heiress (The Everstone Chronicles Book 1) by Dawn Crandall
Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Whitaker House
After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But can she ever really trust an Everstone man?
My Reviews: 5 Stars
What would you do if your dearest dream was to move back to the wilds of Washington state from Boston, in the 1890s, but you have no means of doing so? What if there was a chance of getting a good-sized inheritance if you married within a year, but you have no desire to do so? That's the dilemma that Amaryllis finds herself in. When she moves to her aunt's home and reunites with her cousin, Lawry, after years apart, she also finds herself face-to-face with his best friend, Nathan. A story of mystery, love, society expectations, and deep emotion ensues and had me devouring every page.
Amaryllis...don't you just love that name? She's very stubborn and it is aggravating at times.There's obviously a very volatile connection between her and Nathan, but she absolutely refuses to find out the truth of her past so that she can be free. You can run, but you cannot hide and I wished at times she would just face things head on, like she does with other aspects of her life. However, there are other times when she is extremely no-nonsense, naive, and likable. Her fight against her feelings and the resulting tension is entertaining. I couldn't get enough of Nathan's smoldering looks, unending patience, and all-around charm. He had me swooning, even with the mystery surrounding him. 

I came to really love the Everstone family and their circle of friends. The beginning of the story was a little confusing to me and I had to read it a couple of times, but once I got into the book, I couldn't put it down. I felt completely immersed in this world and I'm so glad there are other books in this series that will allow me to continue on. The plot is engaging and there's a perfect mix of mystery, religious elements, characters interactions and development, and romance. 

Content: mild-moderate religion; mild, swoony romance (tension, slight innuendos, kissing); mild violence (mainly talk of previous deaths; kidnapping). Clean!

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Buy Links:

About the Author:
Dawn Crandall 
Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which currently consists of: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. The Cautious Maiden is her fourth book.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn't take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo {Review}

The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo
Paperback, 287 pages
Expected publication: September 27th 2016 by Waterfall Press

Baseball star Will Vandergriff knows any number of women who would happily pretend to be his girlfriend. In a last-ditch effort to restore his good standing with his team’s higher-ups, he enlists the help of his neurotic, goody-goody neighbor. Schoolteacher Olivia Pratt might be a bit quirky and a bit of a loner, but she’s a lot more inviting than she knows. Will hopes that bringing her to his next game might revamp his reckless reputation and help get his career back on track. The only problem? The plan works a little too well. Not only do the higher-ups love Olivia, but Will plays his best game yet. Suddenly his losing streak is a thing of the past, and Olivia is his new good-luck charm. Will feels anything but lucky.

After years of keeping the world at bay, Olivia Pratt is pulling off the ultimate performance—not only reluctantly posing as Will’s girlfriend but also insisting that she’s oblivious to his major-league appeal. But she can only lie to herself for so long. Being by Will’s side feels good. Really good. Maybe it’s finally time to make a pitch for everything she really wants—and to find out just how exhilarating love can be.


My Review: 5 Stars

This is exactly the type of book that I love--a clean, romantic comedy! I love it when the romance isn't easy and the characters have flaws and depth, making them easy to relate to and to like...or dislike. Olivia is an OCD school teacher who isn't afraid of being herself. And that right there is a big reason why sparks fly--she doesn't know how attractive, endearing, and quirky she really is. I laughed out loud at the antics involving her cat, Perry! Will is Olivia's annoying neighbor and is a big shot baseball pitcher--a person completely opposite from herself. I love this author's style of writing!

I don't have an athletic bone in my body, but I love stories involving a sports figure. Will is hot, but he's kind of a cocky jerk. I mean, "I'm Will Vandergriff. The whole world is in love with me, even if I'm currently losing. Why do I keep forgetting that?" Yeah, he's very cocky. There were times when I wanted to slap Will on Olivia's behalf, but then these little hints of a good guy would shine through and all would be forgiven...or would they? Will comes up with a plan to turn things around in his downward spiraling career and the results are some fantastic and swoony (clean) chemistry, hilarious moments, tender times, and deep self-examinations on both parts. 

I love it when characters go through the gamut of emotions and experiences. Opposites can be a good balance for each other and it seems that the attraction is stronger when there is conflict. "It's funny how a body can go from cold to overheated in two sputtering heartbeats." I love a book that takes me on a roller coaster ride, leaving me completely content and satisfied by the end. Although I don't deal with similar issues myself, I was still able to connect with the characters and enjoy every single page.

Content: mild language; mild-moderate romance (kissing, innuendo, implied intimate past relationships); Clean!

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Buy Links

About the Author:

Amy MatayoAuthor Amy Matayo is an excellent speaker, mathematician, seamstress, chef...and liar. She's decent at writing books but not much else. Then again, the book thing makes her marginally cool and a whole lot intimidating.

Not really. Not even her kids are afraid of her.

She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But she's proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn't put it to good use.

She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.

visit her website at

You can also find Amy on Facebook:

Twitter: @amymatayo


Snapchat: amymatayowrites  

Release Day Blitz: Fall of Thrones and Thorns by Jennifer Ellision with Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Release Day Blitz for
Fall of Thrones and Thorns
By Jennifer Ellision

We're celebrating the release of this newest addition in the Threats of Sky and Sea series! If you haven't started this series yet, you can grab the first book in ebook for only 99¢. If you enjoy fantasy, you do not want to miss it! Make sure you check out the excerpt and giveaway below as well...

Fall of Thrones and Thorns
(Threats of Sky and Sea #3)
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 234 pages
September 27th 2016

War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.

After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.

And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.

The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.

Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.

In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.

And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.

Excerpt from Fall of Thrones and Thorns

My hand lingers on the window frame, thinking. I’ve read book after book about Nereidium. Every spare bit of text on a page that I could get my hands on.

Not one of them mentioned a history of earthquakes in the country.

I try to quell the pit of uneasiness that is my stomach. The instinct that tells me that, somehow, Langdon is responsible for this.

“You’ll want to add sauce to that dough.” Trycia calls my attention back to my abandoned work, nodding at it as she kneads the crust of what she’ll be serving to those who wandering their way in for a bite. “Preferably before you add the cheese and put it on a stone in the oven.”

I leave the window. Worrying over Nereidium is Breena’s chore now. I have food to make.

Still, while my hands stay busy, my mind keeps churning. This is no coincidence. That quake. Geological changes happen, of course, but the timing is too coincidental.

“So, these earthquakes… They’re a relatively recent development, then?” I ask, unable to suppress the question.

Trycia sighs, not giving me an answer as she tosses the dough into the air and catches it deftly.

Maybe she would have answered me. But I don’t find out. The door swings open, soft footsteps pad inside, and I look up as Tregle enters. My stomach flutters at the look in his eyes when he catches sight of me. The hope of a new day’s sunrise is painted on his face. Hesitant and just blooming, but beautiful.

Trycia raises an eyebrow. “Friend of yours, Fancy?” I glare at her, and she lifts her hands in a mocking show of surrender. “Sorry. Mind the fire. I can afford a break. Not as though we’ll have a crowd tonight after another quake. I’ll see myself out.”

Only when the door swings shut behind her do I let myself speak, my heart dancing a slow step in my chest.

“Adept—” I pause, collect myself, and address him, for once, without a title. “Tregle.”

This is the one good thing to come from learning that I’m not who I thought I was. I’m a commoner, just as he is. An Elemental, just as he is. We’re finally on equal footing.

Other Books in the Series

Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea, #1)
Threats of Sky and Sea
(Threats of Sky and Sea #1)
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 360 pages
May 20th 2014

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

Riot of Storm and Smoke (Threats of Sky and Sea, #2)
Riot of Storm and Smoke
(Threats of Sky and Sea #2)
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 350 pages
August 17th 2015

"War draws closer, like a tide to the shore." 

Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium-- the kingdom she's just learned is hers. But with the King's ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger-and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne. The only trouble there: Bree can't bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her. It's not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King's strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown... but she won't let her kingdom down without a fight.

Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Jennifer is the author of the YA fantasy series, Threats of Sky and Sea, as well as the New Adult contemporary novel, Now and Again.

Release Blitz Giveaway

$10 Amazon eGift Card & the entire Threats of Sky and Sea series (Sisters of Wind and Flame, Defining Justic, Threats of Sky and Sea, Riot of Storm and Smoke & Fall of Thrones and Thorns
Open internationally
Ends October 2nd

Monday, September 26, 2016

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon 2016: Wrap Up

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon is hosted by Wishful Endings.
You can see all the info here.
Wahoo! I finished! Although I didn't get
everything read that I wanted to,
I'm still pleased with my tackle.
Here's what I read:
Number of Books Finished: 13
Total Pages Read:  3,017
Books Read: