Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Bend Me, Shape Me by Debra R. Borys

Bend Me, Shape Me
by Debra R. Borys
Series: Street Stories #2
Publisher: New Libri Press
Publication date: March 2013
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon
*purchases made through links help support this blog

Bend Me, Shape Me is the second novel in the Street Stories suspense series and tells the story of Snow Ramirez, a bi-polar street kid about to turn 18. She’s convinced that psychiatrist Mordechai Levinson is responsible for one kid’s suicide, and may be targeting her brother Alley as his next victim. Once again, reporter Jo Sullivan finds herself the only person willing to listen to one of Chicago’s throwaway youth. Snow Ramirez hasn’t trusted anyone in a very long time, not even herself. Memories of her childhood on Washington’s Yakama Reservation haunt her even on the streets of Chicago. When her squat mate Blitz slits his own throat in front of her, she knows it’s time to convince someone to trust her instincts. Blitz may have been diagnosed bi-polar, like Snow herself, but no way would he have offed himself like that if the shrink he’d been seeing hadn’t bent his mind completely out of shape. Normally she wouldn’t care. Who wasn’t crazy in one way or another in this messed up world? After all, she’d gotten out from under the doctor’s thumb weeks ago and it was too late for Blitz now, wasn’t it? Snow’s little brother Alley, though, there might still be time to save him. If only she can get reporter Jo Sullivan to believe her story before Snow loses her own mind.
While the cover did little to impress me, I was curious after reading the synopsis to Bend Me, Shape Me and I am delighted I agreed to read it. Borys offers fascinating characters, a look at inner city homeless children and combines it with a suspenseful mystery that kept me flipping the pages. This is the second book in the Street Stories series but each work as a standalone. Three world review: suspenseful, enlightening and well done.

The tale begins with Blitz and Snow in an abandon building. Blitz is having a bi-polar episode when he begins chanting about warriors and the CIA. He kills himself right in front of eighteen year old Snow Ramierz and she is convinced their doctor had something to do with this. Now she must find a way to prove it and protect her brother Alley..but first she will have to learn to trust others.

Snow is a powerful character who has seen way to much darkness for a young girl of eighteen. She is street wise and has spent her youth protecting her brother Alley and drowning her sorrow in pills.  Snow and Alley are half Native American and left the Washington Yakama Reservation with her mother and father. Their life went downhill from there. Orphaned they have become wards of the state and both show signs of mental illness. Snow is strong, brave, troubled and incredibly fierce.  Watching her open up and trust was profound. Jo Sullivan is a reporter plagued by the conditions of the homeless children on the streets. When Blitz dies she begins researching and eventually meets Snow. I liked Jo; she cares and takes an active role in bettering her community. She can be fearless and I enjoyed watching her work to find the truth. Ben runs the center and while we didn’t have a lot of interaction with him, I enjoyed those we did. Dr. Mordechai Levinson is someone you will love to hate and I found him to be pompous and manipulative.  We meet other characters you help round out the tale including the Ramirez’s uncle.

Borys spun a fascinating and suspenseful tale all while weaving in the lingo and life of homeless children in the intercity. She cleverly wove in government experiments and repressed memories keeping me on edge. The tale has darker sides with drugs, and implied sex. The novel is well researched and it clearly shows in the characters giving the tale a realistic feel. There was one or two characters and scenes I felt could have been eliminated for a tighter tale. The pace slowly built towards the climatic conclusion keeping me engaged. Borys did an excellent job of bringing all of the threads together.

Bend Me, Shape Me is the second novel in the Street Suspense series and my experience with Borys work. Fans of realistic suspense and unique characters will appreciate this tale.

Four cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tour Review: From This Moment On by Bella Andre

As part of the Summer of Love tour with BookTrib and Media Muscle each month we will be sharing a new review of Bella Andre's Sullivan series. Today I am sharing book two From This Moment On and this was bittersweet, hot and tugged at my heartstrings. Did I mention it's hot? Enjoy my review and pick up a copy today:

From This Moment On
by Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans #2
Publisher: Harlequin/ Mira
Publication date: June 25, 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Tour in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*purchase made through buy links support this blog 

Just one night-Marcus Sullivan has always been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings when their father died. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned turns out to be a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all. Known throughout the world by only one name—Nico—pop songstress Nicola Harding is seen as the ultimate sex kitten. But it's all a lie. After a terrible betrayal she refuses to let anyone else close enough to find out who she really is or to hurt her again. Especially the gorgeous stranger at the bar. One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But instead, a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated begins.
I absolutely loved The Look of Love by Belle Andre and almost immediately began reading From this Moment On. The tale features Marcus Sullivan who impressed me in book one and made me fall in love with him in book two. Andre has created such a wonderful and interesting family with the Sullivans’ and her writing style allowed me to slip into the pages and escape. Three word review: romantic, touching, hot.

Marcus is the oldest Sullivan and has always felt responsible for his seven siblings since his father’s passing.  For the past two years he has dated a woman whom he thought he would marry and create a family with.  In one afternoon he discovers he had it all wrong.  Wounded and needed to let loose a little he sets out to have a wild one night stand. Nicola Harding is tired of life in the spotlight and the demands of her career. She wants a little escape and sets out to have an anonymous night of fun. When these two meet the sparks fly, and they agree to share one night but sometimes one night is never enough!

Marcus is totally swoon worthy and 99% good guy with just a hint of naught in the bedroom. *swoons* He is a successful family man and a natural at making some of the best wine. Marcus is loyal, caring, intelligent and grounded but he can also be uptight while appearing to be all cool and collected. Seeing him cut loose was wonderful and I loved that he had no idea who Nicola was or any of the movers and shakers. Nicola is sweet and hides behind her public image. She appears so confident and assured on the outside but Marcus sees below the persona. I loved the banter and heat between them. Andre allows both characters to grow and I loved watching it unfold. Of course we see the other siblings and I cannot wait to read all of their stories.

I literally consumed this in a single evening as the rest of the world slipped away. I laughed, burst out giggling, blushed and fell completely for the characters.  Andre gave us some twists and turns on the way to our happily ever after, and I enjoyed watching it all unfold and fall into place. Marcus took me by surprise in the bedroom, adding a little more heat with his dominating side. Ooh-la-la peeps!  Even though the relationship developed rather quickly, Andre made it feel genuine. While the romance was hot, one of the things that appealed to me the most was the growth and healing we see in both characters as they lean on and learn from the other. I closed the book with a smile and cannot wait to crack open the next book.

Fans of close-knit siblings and hot little romances will enjoy From this Moment On and the entire Sullivans’ series. Can’t Help Falling in Love is the next book in the series. Look for my review in August.  Bella Andre is quickly becoming one of my favorite new series authors. Fans of Robyn Carr who wouldn’t mind a little more heat will adore this series. 

Four and half cups of coffee out of five 
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First Three Sullivan Books Now Available in Paperback 

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: If the Shoe Fits by Megan Mulry

If the Shoe Fits
by Megan Mulry
Series: Royal Pain #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Adult  Contemporary Romance 
Source: publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

Second in a sexy, playful new series of women's fiction imagining what it might be like for a modern American woman to fall in love with a British aristocrat, from new author Megan Mulry. Sarah James is an accomplished American woman who heads her own chic shoe company. Devon Heyworth is the rakish, ne'er-do-well younger brother of the 19th Duke of Northrop. When the two meet at the Duke's wedding they embark on a whirlwind weekend romance. And what begins as a casual fling at a royal wedding quickly proves to be far more meaningful. But when a string of misunderstandings threaten to tear them apart, their meddling aristocratic relatives join forces to reunite the star-crossed lovers.
When I began If the Shoe Fits I didn’t realize it was part of the Royal Pain series, but it worked well as a standalone. It is the tale of a modern day American who falls in love with a British aristocrat.  Filled with humor, shoes, angst and a delicious romance I enjoyed this romantic tale. Three word review: steamy, charming and entertaining.

We meet Sarah James a young successful owner of a shoe company who has dreams of having her boutiques all over the world. She is the maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding who happens to be marrying the nineteenth Duke of Northrop. At the rehearsal dinner she meets his very sexy, smooth talking younger brother Devon Heyworth. They have a whirlwind weekend fling where they agreed to enjoy themselves, no strings attached. Well we all know how those turn out. The tale is steamy, but as the couple discovers this isn’t a fling things get complicated since these two have zero experience in the relationship department.  Devon’s family and Sarah’s forward thinking Grandma step into the mix and the tale that unfold was entertaining and at times overly complicated.

Devon is such a player, an aristocratic brat who is bloody brilliant but hides it behind a never care facade. He has never been in a committed relationship and is overwhelmed by his emotions regarding Sarah. Sarah has daddy issues, has managed to start up a successful company and has her future all laid out. Until Devon she hasn’t even considered a relationship as her business has been her only lover. I loved their interaction, and their tryst. Sarah has some secrets and it leads to some mishandling of situations, misunderstandings and some hilarious moments. I really enjoyed watching these two come together and figure out their emotions. I enjoyed the other characters, especially Devon’s mother and Sarah’s grandmother. Throw in a sexy American, a meddling BFF and her hubby and things get interesting.  

The relationship between Sarah and Devon felt genuine and the sexual tension and steamy love scenes were hot and I found myself rooting for them. While I love angst, and twists and turns before a couple reaches their HEA, I felt some of this was overdone making me scream, “enough already!” Devon makes some serious mistakes, and the author does a good job of making us understand his actions even if they were bone-headed. Sarah was also hot and cold at times, and reacted over the top since she really had no clue and missed signals. The characters were fleshed out and the tale easy to slip into.  We get some interesting back history and side stories but I found myself skimming a few times because of the unresolved angst. This is something I rarely do, which makes me believe some of the story could have been tighten up. Or maybe I just wanted less talking and more relationship development. LOL!  Despite two many conflicts I enjoyed this tale and found myself laughing aloud and turning the pages to get my happily ever after. There is a thread regarding Devon’s younger sister and the author hinted about things which has me curious and I will pick up the next book. 

Fans of humor, angst, and steamy romances and ooh shoes will find If the Shoe Fits to be an entertaining read.  A Royal Pain is the first tale and features Devon’s older brother Max and Sarah’s BFF Bronte. R is for Rebel is the third book and releases in November. 

Three cups of coffee out of five 
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

How The Heck Did You Do That?!? Blogger Tips & Tricks #12

Great Websites to Utilize

Here is a list of some great websites that can help you with blogging. 

1. Grab My Button Code Generator -all you need is your image url and blog url address and the generator does the rest! Whether it's for a blog follow button or an event button..have fun! 

2. Vector Stock Media- they have free vector images as well as ones that you can purchase for less than 1.00. Easy to use! (this is where I bought my button images and feature buttons) 

3. InLinkz- having a read-a-thon, hosting a meme you can use this tool. It allows peeps to link up and you can customize it. It has a free version and one you can buy. Since I host a weekly meme and do frequent events I chose to pay 19.99 a year for the full service. 

4. HTML Color Codes and Numbers - lists all the html color codes and the site Computer Hope also has tips and tricks.

5. Helper Blogger - is a website that offers a wealth of information for bloggers from CSS code to cool widgets for blogger. 

6. After the Deadline- check spelling, style and writing. This is a great little site, to copy and paste a letter, blog post etc to check for errors.

7. WHdb- offers 100+ Resources for Wordpress. Tips, Tricks and Tutorials

8. Box the Web- find and make dynamic widgets for your website or mobile site. 

9. -html reference codes 

10. McAfee SiteAdvisor -claim your site so others know your site is safe

11. Norton Safe Web- claim your site so others know it is safe

12. Google Analytics - measures your site's traffic from unique visits, traffic source, and bounce rate etc. Accurate and easy to read charts.

These are only a small handful of sites. 
Do you utilize a site not listing? Leave
tells us about it in your comments. 

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: The Night Is Alive by Heather Graham

The Night is Alive
by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #10
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA 
Publication date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

MIDNIGHT IN SAVANNAH. It's a city of beauty, history. And one of the most haunted places in Savannah is a tavern called The Dragonslayer, built in the 1750s. The current owner, Gus Anderson, is a descendant of the original innkeeper and his pirate brother, Blue. Gus summons his granddaughter, Abigail, home from Virginia, where she's studying at the FBI Academy. When she arrives, she's devastated to find him dead. Murdered. But Abby soon learns that Gus isn't the only one to meet a brutal and untimely end; there've been at least two other victims. Then Captain Blue Anderson starts making ghostly appearances, and the FBI's paranormal investigation unit, the Krewe of Hunters, sends in Agent Malachi Gordon. Abby and Malachi have a similar ability to connect with the dead; and a similar stubbornness. Sparks immediately begin to fly; sparks of attraction and discord. But as the death toll rises, they have to trust each other or they, too, might find themselves among the dead haunting old Savannah!
Argh! Me Matey’s The Night is Alive by Heather Graham is filled with mystery, murder, tunnels and pirates!  The tenth book in the FBI Krewe of Hunters series, each book deals with one case and a romance from this elite team that solves murder mysteries involving paranormal anomalies.  Three world review: suspenseful, dark and entertaining

The tale is set in historical Savannah, Georgia at a tavern built in the 1750s known as the Dragonslayer. Gus the owner is a direct descendant of the original innkeeper and is pirate brother Blue Anderson.  Abigail his granddaughter who has recently graduated from the FBI academy receives a message from her grandfather Gus asking her to come home. When she arrives she discovers her grandfather is dead, and he isn’t the only one. When the police dismiss her grandfather’s untimely death as nothing more than a heart attack, and the ghost of Blue appears she emails Jackson Crowe the leader of an elite FBI unit. When Malachi Gordon arrives from the Krewe of Hunters the tale begins to heat up and the story that unfolds was fascinating, suspenseful with just a touch of heat.

Abigail is fresh from the academy and reeling from the loss of her grandfather. She is a strong character, and pieces things together but some of her actions annoyed me. Maybe it was because she was a newbie, or the fact that the suspects were all childhood friends but I never totally connected with her. Malachi Gordon, a former New Orleans police officer turned PI, has a unique ability to talk to ghosts and is assigned this case as a test run after being vetted for a position on the team. I liked Malachi, but didn’t like the way he went off on his own without his partner. The two had an interesting chemistry, he is laid back and she is more “I need facts” with a little snark and this created some tension, banter and heat. It had wonderful moments, but it all kind of fell a little flat for me. I bought into the relationship but just wasn’t wowed by it or searching for me HEA. The suspects and townsfolk were a lively bunch and I loved sorting out who was who.

Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Suspense, the world building is this tale was fascinating, had historical accuracy and I found it to be dark and entertaining. Wrapped in some paranormal woo-woo I was completely caught up in the case. Graham brought this historical area of Savannah alive and shared details of the original settlement, the tunnels, pirates, small pox and other interesting tidbits. The ghosts gave us a glimpse into the past and Blue aided in solving the murders.  While I figured out who the murderer was, I found it all to be quite clever as Graham weaved all of the threads and clues together.  The ghosts in the cemetery touched my heart and softened me towards the main characters. The tale offered up some darkness, humor, lively suspects and some clothes tossing! The tale has me itching to visit Savannah, but I will be looking over my shoulder for pirates and ghosts!

Fans of romantic suspense, historical sites, and murder mysteries will find The Night Is Alive to be a captivating and entertaining escape. The Night is Forever, the eleventh book is due out in September 2013.

Three cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Tin God by Stacy Green

Tin God
by Stacy Green
Series: Delta Crossroads #1
Publisher: Twisted Minds Press
Publication date: April 30,2013
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: ARC from author in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon

Getting pregnant as a teenager and being coerced into giving her baby up for adoption left a festering scar on Jaymee Ballard’s life. Trapped by poverty and without many allies, Jaymee nearly gives up hope of getting her daughter back after her best friend is murdered. Now, four years later, a wealthy woman with legal connections hires her as a housekeeper, and Jaymee gathers the courage to seek her help. But Jaymee’s last chance ends up in a puddle of blood in one of the historic antebellum mansions in Roselea, Mississippi. I just murdered your wife...again. An unsigned letter consisting of six horrifying words turns Nick Samuels stagnant life upside down. Stuck in emotional purgatory since his wife’s unsolved murder four years ago, Nick is about to self-destruct. The arrival of the letter claiming credit for his wife’s murder and boasting of a new kill sends Nick to Roselea, where he and Jaymee’s worlds collide. Jaymee and Nick realize exposing the truth about her daughter’s adoption is the only way to solve the murders. Up against years of deception, they rush to identify the killer before the evidence–and Jaymee’s daughter–are lost. But the truth doesn’t always set the guilt-ridden free. Sometimes, it destroys them.
You know that thrill you get when you open a new book and realize within the first few pages that you are going to enjoy the ride ahead?  The one where you know the laundry isn’t going to get done as the world melts away and the story surrounds you? That is exactly what happen when I opened up Tin God and began this suspense. Filled with secrets, murder and clues with a side dish of romance I quickly found myself immersed in Green’s book and the small town nestled against the banks of the Mississippi. Three word review: suspenseful, tightly-woven, thriller

The tale begins when we meet Jaymee Ballard a struggling waitress whose back history is enough to make you shudder. At seventeen she was forced to give up her newborn and with the help of a friend she had hopes of finding her daughter. It’s been four years since her friend’s murder and the noose of poverty is making it harder to fulfill her deepest desire. All of that changes when the wealthy woman she cleans house for is discovered murdered and her best friend’s husband returns bearing a note that says, “I just murdered your wife…again.” Nick Samuels failed his wife years ago and is determined to solve this case. A discovery that Jaymee’s daughter is somehow connected leads the two to work together and the tale that unfolds is riveting, filled with twists and turns that kept me on edge.

The characters in Green’s novel are fleshed-out, tormented and genuine. From the sinister to the sweet, Green fleshed them out bringing this town and its secrets to light. Jaymee is angry, frustrated and so courageous. She is also stubborn, independent and proud. I loved watching this emotional, head-strong woman makes steps to trust, and confront her past. Nick is a well-known investigative newspaper reporter but since his wife’s death he has just been stuck in a rut as he obsesses over everything he did and didn’t do in his marriage. The fact that her killer still roams free torments him. I liked the interaction between Nick and Jaymee, without trying to they help each other confront the past and deal with their own emotional baggage as they hunt down answers. A romance develops slowly and felt genuine as it held the promise of healing, hope and love. The suspects in the case, all affluent members of this society’s small-town gave us a glimpse into its dark secrets. There are giant pink elephants wandering the streets but townsfolk ignore them. We often see this dynamic in small town politics and Green captured it beautifully.

Stacy Green weaved a fantastic suspense thriller that felt plausible and made me shiver. Her descriptions from the homes to the oppressive heat in the small town of Roselea were captivating and so fleshed out that I could taste the humidity and smell the river. From the beginning she gave us a strong sense of the town’s mentality and deeply religious convictions. The more we learn about Jaymee and her baby the darker the tale becomes. Green wove all of the murders together with a common thread and I found it riveting as Nick and Jaymee unraveled clues and got closer to the truth. The tale gradually picked up intensity as the pieces clicked together. The facts and events had an air of believability about them and could have been ripped from today's headlines. Green added some twists that even I didn’t see coming, and anymore that is hard to do. The tale wrapped up nicely and I was delighted to hear there is a second book that deals with one of the secondary characters.

Fans of mysteries, thrillers and romantic suspense will find Tin God captivating. Green writes like a seasoned author, and could hold her own against some of the big thriller authors whom I love. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in this series.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review/Giveaway: Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry

Anything But Sweet
by Candis Terry
Publisher: HarperCollins/Avon
Publication date: June 25, 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

HE’S STUBBORN AND THOROUGHLY MALE . . .If Charlotte Brooks thinks she and her TV makeover show can turn Reno Wilder’s hometown upside down, he’ll be happy to prove her wrong. The x-Marine has seen too much turmoil and he likes Sweet, Texas, just the way it is. Traditional. Familiar. A little dull. Everything Charli isn’t. But instead of backing off from his scowls like everyone else, Charli digs in her skyscraper heels. SHE’S TENACIOUS AND WICKEDLY TEMPTING . . .Reno Wilder is a one-man unwelcoming committee, but Charli isn’t budging. It’s clear the gorgeous cowboy needs an overhaul just as much as Sweet. Someone needs to break him out of that gruff shell and show him how fun and rewarding a little change can be. THEY’RE ABOUT TO FIND THAT LOVE IS ANYTHING BUT PREDICTABLE.
When it comes to contemporary romance one of my personal favorites are those set in small-towns. Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry set in Sweet, Texas delivered a delicious tale with townsfolk that captured my heart, had me singing country western songs and swooning over a hot, ex-marine, cowboy. Three word review: romantic, captivating and hot.

Sweet, Texas is off the beaten track, where everyone knows everyone and tradition and family are everything. When townsfolk apply for and win a makeover from a TV makeover series the town is elated. Well everyone that is but Reno Wilder whose suffered loss and deliberately and stubbornly avoids change. When Charlotte Brooks the spunky, sexy and friendly host of the show and her team arrive, Reno has no intention of being part of the welcoming committee, but Charli has a way of getting under his skin. The tale that unfolds is romantic, filled with memorable moments and maybe just maybe change is a good thing.

Reno Wilder is yummy, honorable, a family man and his heart has been damaged. He is mourning the loss of loved ones and trying to honor his father’s memory. He is also stubborn, afraid and I just wanted to hug him. He takes care of his mama and siblings but keeps the world and his heart at a distance. Charlotte or “Charli” is bubbly, loves people and is a constant chatter box. Life wasn’t easy growing up as a military brat and she is envious of the small-town folks and the roots they have established. She loves interior and exterior decorating and thrives in helping people make their lives brighter. I loved watching these two tango as she took two steps forward and he jumped three steps back even as he wanted to turn things into a hip-hugging slow dance. Their banter was delicious and I couldn’t get enough. Terry mixed in other characters who added to the tale, with threads about them and I am desperately hoping we will see additional books in Sweet, Texas.

I loved the idea of the town makeover and getting to know the different townsfolk. Learning about Reno, his family and others held me captive as I devoured this tale. Terry created genuine characters that were fleshed out and I felt as if I knew them. The romance developed slowly but went it heated up-woozier! Terry gave us some scenes that curled my toes with just enough details to make the pages burn beneath my finger-tips. Filled with lessons of loss, love, family and taking chances this was a feel good tale, low on angst and high on realistic issues. It’s a book you will close with a smile on your face, hope in your heart and an unbelievable yearning to pack your bags and move to Sweet, Texas. Yeha!

I highly recommend Anything But Sweet to fans of small town feel good romances. If you like Robyn Carr, Shannon Stacey and Bella Andre you will adore Candis Terry.

Four cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
US/CAN Rafflecopter Giveaway of 3 paperback copies of Anything But Sweet

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Fair Play by Tracy A. Ward

Fair Play
by Tracy A. Ward
Publisher: Entangled
Publication date: June 10, 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon

Writing three plays for a nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas, wasn’t supposed to put my inheritance at risk and force me into constant contact with Noah Blake--the very guy I love to hate. But with one chance to prove to my controlling father that I can succeed as a playwright, I’ve developed a major case of writer’s block. Cue Noah, my older brother’s best friend and the guy I’ve avoided since my crush-gone-bad days. And now my director thinks he’s the key to unleashing my creativity. He thinks Noah is my muse. Discovering the fate of the theater is also in my hands, I have no choice but to collaborate with my worst enemy. But it’s more than just a great scene Noah inspires. Now everything I thought I wanted is put to the test. And the guy I swore I was over still has a hold on my heart. 
Fair Play caught my attention from the cover to the synopsis and I was eager to jump in and read Noah and Ashlyn's story. This was a fun, hot read that I consumed in a single evening. Three word review: sweet, sexy and entertaining.

Ashlyn is a struggling writer who has been hired to write three plays for the nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas. Her first two increased sales but didn’t enthrall the critics. With just a few weeks to go before the playwright festival she hands in a rough draft of her first scene and admits she is suffering from writer’s block.  Her director thinks there is a link between her characters and her relationship with her brother’s best friend Noah Blake. He wants Noah to be her muse and insists they spend time together. Blake runs a successful pub chain across the street from the theater that is about to go international.  She has a love/hate relationship with Noah and the tale that unfolds found me laughing, swooning and completely captivated.

The tale is told from Ashlyn’s POV which in my opinion added to the tale. I found her to be strong, brilliant, witty and carrying around a few issues. It was fun seeing her overcome them and take a chance. Noah just oozes smexy from his handsome good lucks, smirky smile and brilliant career mind. He has known Ashlyn forever but as his best friend’s little sister she is off limits. The banter between them was hilarious with an edge of snark. They both have commitment issues which only added to the tale and had me wanted to bop them over the head. We meet other characters and a sleazy character from their past, all of which had me turning the pages. The town of Phair is one I would like to visit and the townsfolk we met added to the story and made you envious of the people who lived there. I am hoping the author decides to revisit this small town and create new stories there.

I love troupes that force two characters together. Especially when it’s obvious the couple is attracted to one another and are the only ones who can’t see it. Ward added some clever twist including the play Ashlyn was writing which created some delightfully sinful and smoking hot scenes. I laughed and giggled despite the predictability of the tale. The romance and sexual tension built slowly and when it all collided it was oh-la-la! I found the characters to be fleshed-out, genuine and believable. This book offered me a lovely escape as reality simply slipped away. I loved that it made me burst out laughing and had me sighing the next moment. 

Fair Play is the perfect late night or beach read that allows you to slip away from reality for a short time. This is Tracy A. Ward’s first published work and I look forward to seeing what she delivers next.

Three and half cups of coffee out of five
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Sunday Post #65~sharing blog news and book haul

The Sunday Post ~ 65th Edition
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 
This week we reached 400,000 visits, thank you all for that! I am moving the blog this week to self-host and I am both nervous and excited. I have hired Carmel @Rabid Reads to move me. I am somewhat confident after reading about the move, that I could do this on my own..but for those of you who don't know me, I am anal, and if something isn't right I panic. So having an expert just makes me feel more confident that everything will transition smoothly and will keep my blood pressure in check. How does this impact you? Since I already own my own domain, the site will automatically come up once the move is done. For those of you following via GFC, please follow by email or bloglovin'. There may be a slight change in the schedule mid-week depending on when we do this and my commenting system may change to allow for your links. Have an awesome week! 

Last week on the blog we brought you
This week on the blog look for
  • Fair Play by Tracy A. Ward (review/tour)
  • Tin Cup by Stacy Green (review)
  • Anything But Sweet by Candis Terri (review/giveaway)
  • The Night is Alive by Heather Graham (review)
  • The King's Deception by Steve Berry (review)
  • How the Heck Did You Do That?!? #12 Blogger Tips & Tricks  
Around the Blogosphere 
New arrivals to the Caffeinated Cafe
For Review

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan 

Panic by Lauren Oliver 

The Outside by Laura Bickle
thanks to Harcourt Books 

Won/Gifted or Received for Review Consideration

Ghosts of Demons Past by Matt Schiarti
gifted by a lovely blogger friend 


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That's my news
Leave a comment and I will stop by and read your news! 

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