Friday, July 31, 2015

Racing the Sun by Karina Halle: Blog Tour Review & Giveaway


Blurb:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.


Click to Buy Racing the Sun & Related Books on Amazon:

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About the Author:

Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

**I love to read when I have a chance. I love making new friends, too. But PLEASE don't add me if you're an author just wanting me to read your book and promote yourself shamelessly. You should have more of a reason for friending me than THAT. Also, please don't recommend me books, I have enough on my TBR and not enough time to read. And I'm a super picky reader. Cheers!**

The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

***disclaimer***

When I'm not writing, I'm reading. And when I'm not reading I might be writing up a review. I'm wary of books with a lot of hype but unless something has bad reviews across the board, I'll probably still take a chance on it and give my honest opinion. Everyone is different and I won't pass up an adventure just because someone else didn't like it. And that's what I think when I look at my bookshelf...what adventure can I go on today?

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Review by Yvette:

Breathtakingly beautiful writing, a swoon-worthy whirlwind romance, and characters that stealthily burrow their way into your heart – Racing the Sun by Karina Halle has all the makings of an unforgettable and hopelessly romantic love story. Fans of Karina Halle will recognize protagonist Amber MacLean as Gemma’s shy and unassuming cousin from Where Sea Meets Sky, but Racing the Sun presents a new opportunity for Amber, one in which she follows her heart and takes control of her own destiny. Every page of the story is filled with vivid descriptions that brought the story to life in front of my eyes, making me feel as though I were traipsing alongside Amber as she explored the island of Capri. Halle's writing is pure poetry, weaving a tale of adventure and romance with the perfect paradisiacal backdrop.

I remember Amber being quiet and easygoing when we were first introduced to her character in Where Sea Meets Sky so I was pleasantly surprised to see a different side of her in Racing the Sun – one that's confident, independent, and spunky. It’s not an exciting prospect being in a foreign country and running low on money so I admired her spirit when it came to finding and accepting a job as caretaker to two rambunctious children and their handsome, but troubled older brother, Desiderio Larosa. The moment Amber met her broody employer, I immediately likened the story to Beauty and the Beast, so I had to laugh when Amber echoed my musings shortly after taking the job. Her "inner nerd" called to my not-so-inner nerd, further cementing her likability factor.

With the delicious temptation of a sexy Italian in close quarters, I assumed the author would delve right into a romance between Derio and Amber. Their relationship, however, is more professional than romantic for a good portion of the narrative, thanks in large aprt to Derio’s standoffishness. While Amber is friendly and charmingly sincere with a pleasant disposition that's incredibly inviting, Derio is much more mysterious and slow to trust. He’s surly and world-weary in a way that prevents others from getting close to him, but there's something compelling about his story that drew me in and made me want to learn more about the man behind the gruff fa├žade. There’s an undeniable spark between Derio and Amber, although it took eons (slight exaggeration) for them to act on their attraction – a fact that I both loved and loathed. Luckily, the author more than made up for lost time.

Amber and Derio aren't perfect. This is a fact that we become well acquainted with over the course of the narrative. These characters have flaws and they make mistakes, but I appreciated getting to discover their strengths and their weaknesses because it made them more relatable. So much of what happens in the story is beyond the scope of what I myself have experienced to so it was nice to be able to connect with Amber and Derio on a baser level. Their romance may be fun and flirty, but it also packs just enough of an emotional punch to throw in some obstacles along their road to happily ever after. Racing the Sun is a modern day fairy tale about discovering yourself, facing your fears, and living life to the fullest and I enjoyed every moment of Amber’s incredible journey.

*complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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Letting Go (The Garage Series #1) by Holly Renee: Cover Reveal & Giveaway


Blurb:

When Kat was forced to leave the only home she had ever known due to her brother's secrets, she wasn't prepared for what was waiting for her in Tennessee or the choices it would force her to make.

Kat instantly knew that she didn't like Blake Reagan. He was cocky, stubborn, and infuriating. What Kat didn't understand was why she couldn't stop thinking about him or the way he made her feel.

The last thing Blake expected was for Kat Archer to storm into his world and turn it upside down. He thought he had her pegged from the beginning, but she destroyed everything he thought he knew. Blake was willing to fight to push his way into Kat's heart, but she put up a wall at every turn as she clung to her past.

If she stayed, she'd risk the only family she had left. If she left, she'd lose Blake and every piece of her heart that he'd managed to steal.

Releases: August 31, 2015


Click to Pre-Order on Amazon:

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About the Author:

Bookaholic, firm believer in grand gestures, and obsessed with happily ever afters.

Holly Renee is from the small town of Maryville, TN where she was born and raised. She currently lives with her husband and fur baby, Luna. (Yes. She was named after Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.)

Holly Renee is the author of her debut novel Letting Go.

During the day, Holly spends her time as a nurse, but once her shift ends, she falls deep into her passion of reading and writing.

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Onslow Boys Boxed Set by C.J. Duggan: Cover Reveal & Giveaway


Blurb:

For the first time in one collection

The ONSLOW BOYS Boxed Set

This SUMMER fall in love with an ONSLOW BOY

INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE FOREVER SUMMER TEASER CHAPTERS

STAN

Stan Remington is the go-to man; what he doesn’t know about Onslow means one of two things: it doesn’t exist or it hasn’t happened yet.

The wild and annoying doctor’s daughter spends her summer family holidays at Remington’s Caravan Park, and normally she’s not Stan’s problem. But then she sabotages his planned weekend escape. Now Stan finds himself not only caretaking the caravan park on his own, but also responsible for Bel.

Just the two of them. Under the one roof. For one long, long weekend.

MAX

Melanie Sheehan didn’t set out to be a liar, but her last lie landed her in big trouble. Now Mel must suffer a harsh consequence – she’s not allowed out of her father’s sight.

Max, the new head barman at the Onslow Hotel, is the one boy Mel has been crushing on since forever. At a time when Mel plans to go on the straight and narrow, she is about to tell the biggest lie of all. Will Max be able to handle the fiery farm girl or should he be considered the last boy in Onslow to trust?

RINGER


Ringo ‘Ringer’ James has a no-strings-attached policy.

Love them, leave them, and remain the eternal bachelor.

After a summer in which every one of his mates has succumbed to settling down, or so it seemed, Ringer is on the lookout for a quick exit. Having had enough of the stomach-turning love fest witnessed over the past three months, Ringer jumps at the opportunity to help out his mate, Max, by heading to Max’s dad’s property for a working holiday.

It’s just what he’s looking for. A remote, dusty homestead in Ballan, with only hard work, a cold beer and a comfy bed to worry about – no women.

Until Miranda Henry.

The privately educated daughter of his boss has returned home from overseas and things are about to get very complicated, very fast.

Releases: September 1, 2015

Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.


Click to Buy the Summer Series Boxed Set on Amazon:

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About the Author:

C.J Duggan is a number one internationally bestselling Australian author of seven independent titles of her popular New Adult Summer series. In addition to her chart-topping indie novels, C.J is set to publish two titles with Hachette, Australia with her brand-new Paradise Series in 2015 (Paradise City and Paradise Road).

C.J lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.

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Cowboy Redemption (Down Under Cowboys #6) by Kasey Millstead: Release Blitz & Giveaway


Blurb:

Kennedy:
If you learn from your mistakes, you’ll be a better person.
Life is all about making mistakes. I’ve made a lot of them in life, and learned from none of them. Until now. My biggest mistake of all, was letting him go.

Kye:
I had it all. Money. Fame. Success.
Then I lost it.
I thought I finally had my life back on track when I found her.
But one slip up and I lost everything. Again.

Kennedy Crawley spends her days helping others conquer their demons at Hope and Chance Retreat, in Australia’s Northern Territory. After spending her life being someone even she didn’t like, she finally sought the courage to overhaul her life, dreams and aspirations. Now, she’s determined to stay on track and be a better person.

Kye Austin was living his dream life as a professional football player. Until the day his sins caught up with him. He was sent to Hope and Chance Retreat to get his life back on track. After winning his battle, he decides to stay in the area and try to win the affections of Kennedy.

There’s just one problem: she’s not interested.


Click to Buy the Down Under Cowboys Series on Amazon:

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About the Author:

Kasey Millstead lives a quiet life in country New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and their four young children. She enjoys baking, singing (ridiculously out of tune) & spending time with friends and family. Kasey has always harboured a deep love for reading and writing, and she is now lucky enough to be living her dream of being an Author.



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Gloria's Secret: The Trilogy by Nelle L'Amour: Sale Blitz w/ Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

Gloria Long is the beautiful, self-made CEO of Gloria's Secret, the world's largest retailer of lingerie. While her global emporium is famed for selling erotic fantasies, Gloria's emotional scars inhibit her own sexual desires. Her powerful defenses melt when she meets Jaime Zander, the devastatingly gorgeous advertising guru, who is determined to win not only her account but also her heart by awakening her sexuality.

A man who has never heard the word "no," Jaime takes his creativity to the limit to make Gloria fall apart and fall for him. But major obstacles stand in the way--Gloria's Secret's ruthless Chairman, who covets Gloria and is out to destroy Jaime, as well as his manipulative sexpot daughter, who wants both Gloria's job and her hot, new love. Complicating matters further, Gloria harbors a dark, horrific secret, that when exposed, will shatter both her empire and her life. Will she be able to have it all or will the walls come tumbling down?


Click to Buy on Amazon:

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About the Author:
Nelle L’Amour is a former executive in the entertainment and toy industries with a prestigious Humanitus Award to her credit. While she gave up playing with Barbies a long time ago, she still enjoys playing with toys with her husband. She aspires to write juicy stories with characters that will make you both laugh and cry and stay in your heart forever.

Her other books include the erotic romance series, Seduced by the Park Avenue Billionaire and the highly acclaimed erotic love story, Undying Love.

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Excerpt:

I was off to a strong start. Just focus on the race. I forced myself not to take any breaths—a means of keeping him out of my field of vision and not letting him distract me. Kicking and stroking at torpedo speed, I flipped around at the other end of the pool and finally came up for a much-needed gulp of air. To my horror, there he was…several lengths ahead of me. Calling upon every muscle in my body, I caught up to him only for him to swim ahead of me one more time. He shot me a cocky smile on a breath as he passed me by. Damn him! I couldn’t let him win! Furiously, I propelled myself forward, stroking and kicking harder than I’d ever had. We were neck to neck. Breath to breath. Splash to splash. Every muscle in my body stung as I took my last stroke. My head shot out of the water. Clinging to the edge of the pool, I was panting like a dog. I couldn’t catch my breath. My waterlogged eyes fluttered. He was in my face. At the finish before me.

“Come here, you,” he rasped. Breathing heavy, he took me in his powerful arms and drew me against him. I was too exhausted to resist. My heart pounded against his; I hadn’t been this close to someone else’s heartbeat in years. Before I could say a word, he tilted back my head by the tail of my braid and crushed his mouth upon mine. The warmth of his breath heated mine. His kiss was passionate and fierce. I was panting into his mouth. Once again, I was losing control to this outrageous man. I don’t know why, but I just let him do it. Even deepen the kiss as his tongue parted my lips. Inside my mouth, it did a synchronized swim with mine. Swirling and twirling. It was as if we had practiced these moves for years. He broke away, leaving me breathless for more.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

And Then He Kissed Me (White Pine #2) by Kim Amos: Release Blitz w/ Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

PLAYING WITH FIRE...

Five years ago, Audrey Tanner flung caution to the wind and herself into the arms of an emerald-eyed bad boy biker she met at the White Pine Asparagus Festival. Two blissful weeks together convinced her that Kieran Callaghan was The One-until The One blew town without a word, leaving her brokenhearted. Now, starting a new job at the new Harley Davidson showroom, Audrey is floored to meet her new boss: Kieran. He's still hot as hell, but she won't fall for his sexy smile again. This time, she's calling the shots.

...OR PLAYING FOR KEEPS?

Kieran never thought he'd return to White Pine, Minnesota, much less see Audrey again. Gorgeous and smart as ever, she's just as irresistible as he remembered. She still doesn't know why he had to leave-or that he's missed her every day since. But he can't deny he wants more than the no-strings fling Audrey proposes. As things between them heat up, Kieran must choose between the secret he's sworn to keep and the woman he never stopped loving...


Click to Buy the White Pine Series on Amazon:

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About the Author:

A Midwesterner whose roots run deep, Kim Amos is a writer living in Michigan with her husband and three furry animals.

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Excerpt:

In one smooth motion, he scooped her off the Harley and into his arms. He shook his head when he saw her getting ready to protest. “You yell or whine, and I’ll carry you outside and lock the doors on you. You stay quiet, we can talk in the back room. Agreed?” He saw an angry muscle working in her jaw, but she nodded nevertheless.

And then, just like that, Audrey Tanner was back in his arms.

He’d been so sure that he’d be able to return to White Pine and avoid his past altogether. So how he came to be carrying part of it in the form of Audrey Tanner, how her arms came to be looped around his neck, how her smell was everywhere, intoxicating him as he stormed toward the back room, was a turn of events he could never have predicted. It was also a dangerous set of circumstances, and he never should have let it get this far.

He had a job to do, dammit. He was here to build on his future—not relive the past

When he reached one of the back offices, he kneed the door open, then placed her roughly on the floor. She stumbled a little in the heels, but righted herself, glaring at him. He was about to tell her to change clothes and get out of the dealership, when he heard a pop. Something on the bustier came loose—he wasn’t sure what—and before Audrey could stop it, the front panel covering her chest slid downward. Her mouth made a horrified little O as her breasts sprang from their constrictive covering. Her nipples pebbled at the sudden exposure to cool air. Kieran got a hungry eyeful before Audrey scrambled to cover herself with a mortified, “Oh!”

Instinctively, he reached forward to help her. “I’m so sorr—” he started before she swatted his hand away.

“Stop it!” she cried. “Get back!”

Just then, Fletch Knutson walked through the office door, and pulled up short. His neat moustache twitched. His ice blue eyes flicked back and forth between them. “What in holy hell is going on here?”

“It’s nothing,” Kieran said, stepping away from Audrey.

Fletch’s face was bunched with concentration, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. His gaze settled on Audrey.

“Did he hurt you?”

Audrey clutched the broken bustier to her chest. “No, of course not,” he interjected. “It was just an accident.”

“I’m waiting for her to answer,” Fletch said.

Audrey’s knuckles whitened around her handful of clothing. He realized right then that she held all the cards. Her hand trumped his.

She could take him down with a smattering of words, could pretend like this had been more than it was and put his job at risk. Kieran forced his breathing to be steady—in and out, calm like it wasn’t the last play of the game—and tried to remember that the woman he’d lost his heart to five years ago had a blazing white soul, the stark opposite of his black one. She wasn’t like him, she wasn’t always calculating how to turn the odds in her favor.

Audrey had been so kind, so willing to trust him and believe the best. But even her shining golden goodness—her love for her friends and family and her hometown, her faith in the people around her—couldn’t lighten the darkness inside him, even though five years ago he’d wanted it to.

Underneath the makeup, Audrey’s face was pale. “No,” she said, “he didn’t hurt me. It’s just a misunderstanding.”

Kieran let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

“But I’d appreciate it if you’d tell him that he can’t fire me. I need this job.”

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