Tuesday, January 27, 2015

*Book Blast* [Review] & SCAVENGER HUNT! Sweet Surprise by Candis Terry


Sweet Surprise 
Sweet, Texas #4
by Candis Terry
Releasing January 27th, 2015
Avon Romance

Join the Hunt!
(See Details Below)


Synopsis

Playing naughty or nice . . .



Fiona Wilder knows all about falling in lust. Love? That's another story. Determined not to repeat past mistakes, the single mom and cupcake shop owner is focused on walking the straight and narrow. But trouble has a way of finding her. And this time it comes in the form of a smoking hot firefighter who knows all the delicious ways to ignite her bad-girl fuse. Can lead to heartbreak . . .

Firefighter Mike Halsey learned long ago that playing with fire just gets you burned. He's put his demons behind him, and if there's one line he won't cross, it's getting involved with his best friend's ex. But when fate throws him in the path of the beautiful, strong, and off-limits Fiona, will he be able to fight their attraction? Or will he willingly go down in flames? Or a sweet surprise!

Excerpt 


Lightning never strikes twice.

Bullpucky.

On a stormy, sleet-driven afternoon, Fiona Wilder sat pinned between the steering wheel and the driver’s seat of her once-pretty-cool little Ford Focus.

If anything had to happen to her more than once, she’d prefer something fabulous like winning the lottery, trips to Hawaii, or even free groceries at the Touch and Go Market. At the very least, she’d appreciate a double-dip victory from the Bubble Buster Car Wash.

But nooooooo.

Thanks to someone else’s road rage, she got to be the unlucky recipient of a car accident on San Antonio’s busiest highway.
For the second time.

From the moment she’d merged from the on-ramp, she’d watched the van and pickup truck play a dangerous, aggressive game. She’d even changed lanes to get out of their way. Instead, she’d lucked out. Judging by the van attached to the hood of her car and the SUV tucked into her rear bumper, she’d become the cheese in a three-car collision road-rage sandwich.

Last time she’d escaped with minor bruises. This time, the pain charging through her head and left leg signaled the fate factor had flipped her a fully extended middle finger.

Though her current situation had her packed in like a sardine, she thanked God Izzy hadn’t been in the car. Nothing in the world meant more to her than her little girl. And that little girl would start to worry when her mommy didn’t show up on time.

Fiona sighed. With her car currently jam-packed between two heavyweights, the likelihood of going anywhere for a while seemed slim.

A wave of dizziness spun her head while she blindly reached for her purse to grab her cell phone. When her searching fingers came up empty she realized the impact must have flung her bag to the floor. Anxiety twisted through her stomach. Someone else could dial 911; she needed to get a call to her babysitter.

Through the sleeting mist, she heard the oh-too-familiar wail of emergency vehicles and tried to remember if Jackson was on duty. Ironically, her first accident was what had brought them together. He’d been the hunky fireman to rescue her. And she’d found love.

Sort of.

Now, as the sirens grew closer and louder, and the familiar flash of red lights cut through the storm-filled sky, Fiona tried to take a deep breath to stifle the pain. Just more of her good fortune that her lungs weren’t willing to cooperate without making it feel like her chest was caving in. She shoved panic aside and settled for the quick shallow breathing pattern she’d used giving birth to Izzy. In the meantime she waited for San Antonio’s finest to show up and pry her out.

“Ma’am?” A big fist rapped on the driver side window. “Are you okay?”

With another hee-hee-who, Fiona lifted her groggy gaze up past the big khaki coat with yellow and reflective stripes, to the handsome face and intense dark eyes staring back at her from behind the rain-streaked glass.
Her heart played a quick game of hopscotch.

Apparently, even pressed in the car like a ravioli, she could appreciate a handsome face.

A wicked bolt of lightning struck not far beyond the massive fire engine. From beneath the yellow helmet, the most perfect masculine mouth she’d ever seen lifted in a reassuring smile, even as the slash of brows over those dark eyes pulled together. The fireman said something she couldn’t hear over the drumming of rain, the shriek of sirens, and the ringing in her ears.


Squinting, she tried to identify him, but the aftermath of the collision had other ideas and sent another wave of vertigo tilting through her head. This time, everything went black.


My Review

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. 

This is another wonderful book by Candis Terry! I've read the other Sweet, Texas novels and I always love them! Fiona and Mike were great characters; both have gone through so much in their lives that you can't help but root for them! Plus Fiona's daughter Izzy seems so sweet! I have major baby fever, so I love books with little kids :) You would have thought baby fever would begin with getting married, but let me tell you, I've had it waayyy longer than that! Scares my husband a little bit, but that's ok! I'll just live through the people in my books who have children! Plus, I'm a huge sucker for guys who are good with kids, and Mike definitely is in this book! He is charmed by Izzy right away (almost as much as he is by Fiona)! I love the way these characters interact with each other, and I love that there's not a huge fallout between the two of them before they realize they were meant to be! While I really do love that in romance novels because it pulls at my heartstrings, that's not always what happens in real life, so it just seems more real to me if there isn't a huge fight/fallout. Basically, I think Candis Terry did a wonderful job in this 4th installment of the Sweet, Texas novels! I cannot wait to read Truly Sweet, the 5th book in this series! Based on how these last 4 novels have gone, I already know its going to be a good one! 


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*SCAVENGER HUNT*


Each host will have a different letter placed within their post during the SWEET SURPRISE Release Blast! Readers, you will have to visit EACH tour stop to find the letters, and then enter the "Secret Word" into the Rafflecopter for more chances to win!   

You can enter ONE WORD per day, five words to find!






About the Author



Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

Find Candis Here





SOMETHING SWEETER by Candis Terry is the 
Harlequin Junkie Book Club Read for January!

Mark your calendars for Jan 29th!
(6pm PST/9pm EST)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

[Review] Running In Place by LB Simmons

Running In Place by LB Simmons
Series: Mending Hearts, #2
Publishing Date: Nov. 18, 2013
Format: ebook
294 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis 

**NA Contemporary Romance, can be read as a STAND ALONE. Due to theme of Child Abuse, Explicit Language, Mild Violence, and Sexual Situations - Recommend Readers 18+ **

Tatum O’Connell: 

Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me - really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me… And I’m never going to let that happen. 

Noah Reese: 

Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy… I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.

My Review 

Oh. My. God. The feels! So many thoughts going through my head right now. I don't even know how to describe this book! But once again, Simmons has created a gut-wrenching story that I. Couldn't. Put. Down. This book was so real. It wasn't just another love story, but a tale of two people who are so broken until they find each other. What I love about this is that while both Tatum and Noah learn to grow and love while they're together, they learn to love themselves while they're apart, too. It shows that you need to find yourself and love yourself before you can truly love another person. 

The writing in this book is really great. Simmons knows just want to write to make these characters jump off the pages and into your heart. I admire her ability to do this and can't wait to read more from her! This book makes me hurt so much for those who suffer in a unloving home, whether it be ah child, teenager, or adult. It makes me so thankful for the childhood I had and the amazing family I have. 

Others in this Series

Review                                 Review

Thursday, January 22, 2015

[Review] Recovery by LB Simmons

Recovery by LB Simmons
Series: Mending Hearts, #1.5
Publisher: LB Simmons
Publishing Date: June 13, 2013
Format: ebook
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis 

I have the perfect life. 

I’ve finally found my happy ending. 

I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems. 

What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess? After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?

Well…

This is our story. 

My Review

What a great novella to follow up Running on Empty (click to read my review)! I love that this novella continues to follow Blake and Alex after they've found their happily ever after. This is probably one of the first books/novellas I've read that follows a couple after they fall in love and find their fairytale ending, as the synopsis says. So many times we read a book and the couple falls in love and that's about it; they live happily ever after without any problems or concerns, live is great. But that's not how real life is. Even when you find your true love or soul mate, however you want to look at it, life, love, marriage, it's all something you have to fight for. It's not easy; everything isn't perfect. Couples have their ups and downs. I've definitely realized this with my husband. We've only been married a few short months, but its not all roses and rainbows. We have to be conscious about making our relationship work and not letting little things bother us or get in the way of our relationship. I'm not saying that it's SO difficult by any means, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it, but it's not SO easy either. I think a lot of people know that, but don't want to hear about it in books; they want a happily ever after (don't get me wrong, I love those too!). But that's what I love about this story. Alex and Blake have to make conscious efforts to keep their relationship and spark alive. I love that these two show what a real-life relationship can be like. Yes, there are hard times, but there are also so many good times that outweigh the tough. If you really want your relationship to work, you both have to put in 100%, not just 50/50 each. Ok, enough about me preaching. :) 

Like I said with her first book, I feel like I could gush about this book until you are all sick of me! Simmons' writing is wonderful and her stories are so real. I think I could read her work forever! I can't wait to dive right into the next book with Tatum! I really do recommend these books if you like the romance genre. They're just wonderful! (: 

Others in this Series 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

[Review] Running on Empty by LB Simmons

Running on Empty by L.B. Simmons 
Series: Mending Hearts, #1
Publisher: L.B. Simmons
Publishing Date: Jan. 4, 2013
Format: ebook
292 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


Synopsis 

I had the perfect life. 

Beautiful and loving husband.Three gorgeous little girls. 
Successful career. 

The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence. 

Three years ago, I lost that life. I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse. 

But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle.

There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down. Absolutely no way. 

The question is…

How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?

My Review 

I saw this book and the two others in the series on Amazon for free, and since I have a hard time saying no to free books, I grabbed them right away. I figured they sounded pretty interesting and like something I might enjoy, especially while just biking or running away at the gym. Wow, was I in for quite a surprise! I never knew I would get sucked into this story so fast! I started reading it and couldn't think of anything else. I actually started it while I was biking at the gym; the next thing you know, It's 45 minutes later and I've biked 12 miles! What?! That's how good this book was! I was so engaged in the story that I didn't pay attention to my legs burning, people yelling around me, or the sweaty smell of a gym! It was absolutely wonderful! Then I couldn't wait for the next night at the gym to keep reading since it would be my next chance to actually do things other than sleep or work. I've never looked forward to the gym so much! 

Blake... ahh, Blake... So swoon-worthy! I love guys with motorcycles (my husband has one too! yay!); it's maybe as good as men in uniform?? Unfortunately, my husband doesn't have one of those... too bad! But anyways, back to the story. Alex is broken after her husband dies unexpectedly. She seems to be coping okay but doesn't realize how much she's just getting by until Blake comes back into her life after many years. She certainly doesn't welcome him with open arms; quite the opposite, in fact. But after spending an unplanned weekend together, she realizes what a great friend he was to her all those years ago and she could really use a friend about now. What she isn't expecting is him to sneak into her heart and that's exactly what he does. This couple is so freaking cute! I love everything about them and Alex's three little girls! They just melt your heart when they're trying to do things like make chocolate pancakes and glitter cards. It reminds me a lot of my niece and her silly but fun personality! 

I feel like I could gush about this book forever, probably with some ramblings thrown in there about things the story and its characters reminds me of. But I won't bore you all. To keep it short and simple: this book is WONDERFUL! So many feelings packed into one book! I almost can't handle it! Keyword: almost! I cannot wait to read Recovery (Mending Hearts 1.5), which continues the story of Alex and Blake! And then I'll be jumping right into the next book, Running in Place (#2). 

Others in This Series

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

[Review] Can't Always Get What You Want by Chelsey Krause



Can’t Always Get What You Want
By: Chelsey Krause
Releasing January 13th, 2015
Loveswept

Synopsis 

Fans of Ruthie Knox, Rachel Gibson, and Molly O’Keefe will love this deeply romantic and uplifting debut novel about losing everything you thought you wanted—and getting exactly what you need.

Sophie Richards has been looking forward to a much-needed girls’ night out: a Rolling Stones tribute-band concert, a few drinks, a distraction from her grueling nursing shifts in acute care. But when her best friend bails, Sophie gets stuck with a blind date.

Although Brett Nicholson may be the hottest carpenter alive, and Sophie may technically be single, she isn’t exactly on the market. Six years ago she found The One. He was everything Sophie dreamed a man could be—and then she lost him. In an instant, her whole life changed, and she forgot all about happily ever after.

But as she gets to know Brett, Sophie starts to wonder about the future for the first time. With a broken heart still clouding her mind, jumping into a new relationship feels impossible. When she’s in his arms, walking away feels even harder. Now Sophie faces an impossible choice: living in the past or choosing love in the here and now.


My Review

Oh. My. God. I couldn't get enough of this book and literally couldn't put it down! I brought my iPad with me to work today so I could read it over lunch and then pulled it out when I was sitting at the auto shop waiting for my oil change to be done. Seriously. So. Good.

There's something about these characters that I identified with immediately. Sophie and Brett's relationship and romance really reminded me of my relationship with my husband in the beginning. Everything is new and exciting, you get butterflies just thinking about him, and when he texts you? Takes it to a whole other level. When we started dating, I was so excited about getting a text from my husband; I'd get all giddy and have a huge smile on my face. That's not to say that the excitement has ended for us now that we've been together a few years, its just different, in a good way!

I also really identified with Sophie because she's in a job that she didn't like. I was in that same position a few months ago; I didn't like my job, but felt like I was going to be a disappointment if I left because I spent so much time and money on my education. Like Sophie, I'm still within the field I went to school for, but just different than what I think people would expect me to be doing. 

I just loved this book and feel like I could gush about it for quite a while (: Needless to say, this won't be the last book I read by Krause (as long as she keeps writing!). I highly recommend every gets a copy of this. Its such a fun romance, but has some very real issues. 


Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/11/cant-always-get-what-you-want-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23256189-can-t-always-get-what-you-want?from_search=true

Buy Links 



About the Author


I was born and raised in Canada, and live with my husband and two children. I’ve been a nurse since 2009. An essay I wrote on intercultural nursing has been published in a nursing anthology.

I love thrift shops, repurposing old junk and learning new belly dance moves. I can’t decide if my favorite movie is either “Bridget Jones’ Diary” or “Fight Club.”

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and in the spring of 2013, I finally sat down and wrote my first book. Now that that’s done, I’m working on my second.

I believe that the best way to become a great writer is to read.

A lot.

And then read some more.

I absolutely love books and would live at the library if they’d let me. 

Author Links:



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Tell Me Something Tuesday 1.20.15


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week a new question is presented. Check out Heidi's blog for all the details :)


This week's question: Audiobooks: Do you listen to them? Why or why not?

I do listen to them, but not very often. I really prefer to read books, but there are times when listening is just easier. I used to travel a lot in my previous job, just daily trips, but driving can get kind of boring, so audiobooks were a great way to pass the time. I don't listen to them as much, but I have a few left on my iPod that I'd like to listen to. But again, given the choice between an audiobook and a physical book, I'll choose the physical book. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

[Review] Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner

Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
Series: Tessa Leoni, #3
Publisher: Dutton
Publishing Date: Feb. 3, 2015
Format: ARC, paperback
386 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t.

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.

My Review


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I was really excited to start this book when I first got it! I jumped right into it and couldn't put it down! This book is not what I was exactly expecting! And I mean that in a good way. I can't describe too much of they story because then it will ruin it, but let's just say it was really good! Lisa Gardner knows how to write a story very well and I always look forward to what she'll write next. I really like Tessa Leoni; yes, she's made some questionable decisions, but she's truly looking out for her daughter and herself. Then comes Wyatt Foster - he's not her knight in shining armor because he can't solve all her problems. But he's there for her when she needs him and I'm hoping they stick it out! 

Nicky and Thomas Frank weren't what I was expecting, whatsoever. And what about Vero? Who is she and how does she fit into this story? Throughout the book, we learn more details that help us figure it out. But right when I think I know what's going on, something else happens that completely throws me for a loop! You never really know who you can trust and that makes me love this story even more! Gardner is a master storyteller and I always look forward to what she has in store for us next. I highly, highly suggest you read her work! 


Others in this series: 

 Review                          Review