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Showing posts tagged: First Looks click to see more stuff tagged with First Looks
Tue
May 23 2017 9:30am

First look: Graceley Knox’s Mark of Truth (May 23, 2017)

Mark of Truth by Graceley Knox

Graceley Knox
Mark of Truth (Wicked Kingdoms #1)
Graceley Knox / May 23, 2017 / $5.99 digital

If you like your heroine strong, sassy, and sarcastic, then Ever is your girl and Graceley Knox's Mark of Truth is your fantasy romance. She's been raised among humans but her kind has not been secreted from her. In fact, she goes around and hunts messed up fae and brings them back to their world. 

But a prophecy years ago talks about how a girl with fire red hair will eventually rule the realm of the fae. Also years ago, a decree was created that made it illegal for the different type of fae to marry.  Yeah, we're talking purification of species. And Ever is of course tied to everything. Even she may not be what she seems, being of half Elf and half human.

Ever Leath Cine knows her mother is Elven loyalty. She’s no nonsense and has come to love her role hunting messed up fae. Part human and part Fae, she roams the earth and protects us from fae gone bad.  That is until thee goblins decide they must protect Ever, convince her she’s the daughter of a lost goblin king. Which would make her half-goblin , not human. She’s not quick to embrace this new stature since it implies a death sentence. Apparently, when the light elven king purified the races, it also made offspring like her illegal.

[Read more...]

Sun
May 21 2017 11:00am

First Look: Madeline Hunter’s The Most Dangerous Duke in London (May 30, 2017)

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter

Madeline Hunter
The Most Dangerous Duke in London (Decadent Dukes #1)
Zebra / May 30, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Madeline Hunter begins a new series with The Most Dangerous Duke in London, a story of revenge turned to love.

Adam became the Duke of Stratton when his father committed suicide over rumors that Adam’s father helped finance Napoleon’s escape from Elba many years ago. Adam and his French mother retreated to Paris, but now, ten years later, he returns with a dangerous reputation for dueling and a desire for revenge.

The rumors that lead to the duke’s death were started by the late Earl of Marwood and he is surprised when the old Dowager Marwood proposes a truce between the families by means of a marriage. Adam is intrigued by the possibilities for revenge by marrying the young and sweet Emilia, but he becomes downright enthusiastic after he meets the elder sister, Lady Clara.

[Read more...]

Sat
May 20 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Lorraine Heath’s An Affair with a Notorious Heiress (May 30, 2017)

An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath
An Affair with a Notorious Heiress
Avon / May 30, 2017 / $7.99, $6.99

Lorraine Heath returns with a historical romance that touches on all aspects of love. We understand why the hero is jaded, why the heroine is shunned and why these two should be with each other.

Alistair Mabry is the Marquess of Rexton and he has had the unfortunate reality of growing up under the scandalous union of his common mother and the Duke of Greystone. Hence after he has built a prestigious life over the years, and she the scandal, the last thing he wants is another scandal. Nope. The future Mrs. Mabry must be of the utmost stock of aristocracy, untainted and innocent and pure.

Of course, we know that love is not so simple.  

[Read more...]

Thu
May 18 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Cecy Robson’s Feel Me (May 23, 2017)

Feel Me by Cece Robson

Cecy Robson
Feel Me (The O'Brien Family)
Cecy Robson / May 23, 2017 / $12.99 print, $3.99 digital

In Cecy Robson’s latest O’Brien Family novel, she turns the spotlight on the O’Brien who truly enjoys his time there, and expects his name to be one everyone’s lips.  Declan O’Brien has always been the most serious brother of the crazy clan.  Not that he doesn’t have his own collection of outrageous stories growing up.  It is just that after his father’s death, while his older brothers went to work to support the family, Declan felt it would be up to him to shoot higher for the family’s success.  Nothing has gotten in the path of his life plan until Melissa Fenske stepped in the way and he has been tripping over his own feet ever since. 

After law school, Declan joined the District Attorney’s office.  He plans on taking over the Homicide Division and someday replace his mentor, Miles Fenske, and become the youngest District Attorney in Philly.  And his goals don’t stop there.  Declan plans to become Mayor and eventually even Governor someday. 

Everything in his life is planned out with each goal in mind.  The one thing Declan O’Brien does not plan for is love and romance.  He doesn’t believe in either and after watching his womanizing father crush his mother’s love slowly and painfully, Declan knows he has no time or desire for a woman in his life.  A beautiful woman on his arm for a formal function and maybe a night of hot sex is necessary from time to time but he only bothers with women who understand that his interest wanes with the coming dawn.

[Read more...]

Wed
May 17 2017 9:30am

First Look: Alice Clayton’s Buns (May 23, 2017)

Buns by Alice Clayton

Alice Clayton
Buns (Hudson Valley Series #3)
Gallery Books / May 23, 2017 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

Clara Morgan’s ability to turn mud into miracles has kept her in high demand. Hired to help rejuvenate the Bryant Mountain Resort, Clara is excited to work with a historical family owned resort as it appeals to her curiosity of family traditions and their longevity. Having grown up in the foster care system, Clara has spent her life constantly on the move, never stopping long enough to form a deep connection to anything or anyone besides her two best friends, Natalie and Roxie.

Archie Bryant is on board with upgrading his family’s resort, he just doesn't appreciate outside help being brought in. He wants to do it himself at his own pace.  Clara and Archie’s very antagonistic beginning slowly begins to smooth itself out as Archie comes to realize that Clara doesn’t want to erase his family's history from the resort,  she just wants to bring the resort into this current century.  

The more time Clara spends with Archie and the entire Bryant family and staff, the more she begins to see that family isn’t always a bond determined by blood and love often strikes when you least expect it. When Clara is faced with a choice of the heart, she will have to decide if she has the courage to take a leap of faith or will her fear keep her feet and heart firmly on the ground.

[Read more...]

Mon
May 15 2017 3:30pm

First Look: Penny Reid’s Dating-ish (May 16, 2017)

Dating-ish by Penny Reid

Penny Reid
Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6)
Penny Reid / May 16, 2017 / $5.99 digital 

Penny Reid’s Dating-ish is the latest in her Knitting in the City series. The story focuses on Marie, a journalist and character who’s kind of been in the background for most of the series. The book focuses on Marie’s dating life and quest for love, with a twist. Turns out the date she goes on is actually a test for a study to develop AI that can provide companionship. Enter Matt, a robotics researcher who typecasts Marie in a group of women that are “all the same.”

The meet-cute is more like a meet-fail, there’s no sexual tension or sexy hatred going on here. Matt comes across as a jerk. He’s also Marie’s friend, Fiona’s neighbor. If your friends are warning you about a guy you’ve got to stay away. The relationship develops more as a tenuous friendship that evolves into a romantic relationship. Marie’s recovering from her last breakup and Matt isn’t the most touchy-feely guy. Marie is writing an article regarding the idea of romance/robotics and Matt is working on his project, so they quid pro quo each other into helping each other. Probably the best part of this book is seeing how the friendship evolves into a relationship.

[Read more...]

Mon
May 15 2017 9:30am

First Look: Ilona Andrews’ White Hot (May 30, 2017)

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews
White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
Avon / May 30, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

When I heard that the release date for this book had been pushed back until May 2017, I was sure I was going to die from lust for this book.

But I didn’t.

And now it’s here!

I love the husband and wife writing duo that is Ilona Andrews. Their books always work for me. They have this combination of fresh world building, kick-ass heroines and touching relationships—not only the romances—that hook me and suck me in.

The Hidden Legacy trilogy, of which White Hot is the second installment, is no exception. The world is a blend of modern American culture and an almost feudal social hierarchy and full of fun twists and surprises. In an alternate version of Houston, a family’s magic is as important as their wealth—more even—in determining their power and influence.

[Read more...]

Wed
May 10 2017 9:30am

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti’s Lethal Lies (May 16, 2017)

Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti
Lethal Lies (Blood Brothers #2)
Forever / May 16, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

There’s never any lack of drama, suspense or romance in a Rebecca Zanetti novel. And when you combine the badass virtues that make her stories exciting with the Blood Brothers saga, it’s a winning combination. Every time.

…but he’d give anything to smell his mom’s lotion again. Her scent had been soft and sweet, kind of like he imagined pink roses would smell. If he’d been stronger, smarter…he could’ve saved her.

I’m fascinated by this notion of blood brothers. My family is so small that three generations of us can ride together in sedan. When I was younger, I always got to ride in the front seat; as a parent of just one child, I never had to choose whose soccer game or track meet to attend. But small though it may be, it’s mighty. I always knew someone had my back. With the Jones boys, neither Ryker, Heath nor Denver had anyone to lean on until they found each other. And once that bond was forged, all three knew it was unbreakable.

[Read more...]

Tue
May 9 2017 9:30am

First Look: Amanda Quick’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much (May 9, 2017)

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Berkley / May 9, 2017 / $24.00 hardcover, $12.99 digital

I was in for quite a surprise when I began Amanda Quick’s new novel, The Girl Who Knew Too Much. I settle in for a nice, comforting read about an eccentric spinster who befuddles the enigmatic hero as they fall in love while solving a mystery in 19th century England. Instead, I found myself in Southern California in the 1930s reading an Amanda Quick version of L.A. Confidential. Imagine my surprise! But then imagine my delight as I found myself engrossed with the setting.

Irene Glasson is a new reporter at a third-rate gossip paper on the trail of a hot story involving Hollywood’s newest rising star, Nick Tremayne and his murdered ex-lover. Irene actually found the body in the swimming pool at the Burning Cove Hotel, a getaway for the stars just south of LA.

[Read more...]

Mon
May 8 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly’s The Dukes of Vauxhall (May 9, 2017)

The Dukes of Vauxhall by Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly

Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly
The Dukes of Vauxhall
Self-Published / May 9, 2017 / $3.99 digital

The prince regent’s splashy birthday celebrations at London’s notorious Vauxhall Gardens provide the backdrop for The Dukes of Vauxhall, a charming quartet of linked historical romances by Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain, and Vanessa Kelly. All set during the same handful of weeks and the same dizzying crush of events—a prize fight, a masked ball, etc.—each story gives the reader a different voice, a different perspective, and a different couple to love! And, oh, a different kind of duke! 

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a little bit of peerage fatigue. Like, how many freakin’ dukes do we have in Romancelandia? (I’m looking at you, too, viscounts. You’re not off the hook.) But the wonderful and engaging thing about this anthology is that the titular dukes are as unconventional as their love interests and each tale moves quickly enough that you don’t get caught up in a lot of the typical Regency romance beats. (But there are balls. Of many kinds. Heh.)  

[Read more...]

Tue
May 2 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Jaci Burton’s Love Me Again (May 2, 2017)

Love Me Again by Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton
Love Me Again (Hope Series #7)
Berkley / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

Sometimes, the biggest antagonist any of us can face is life itself. And this is the case with Loretta Simmons in Jaci Burton’s Love Me Again, the 7th book in her Hope series. A year before the narrative begins, Loretta has separated from her husband and moved back to her home town of Hope, Oklahoma with her nine year old daughter, Hazel. She’s forging ahead with the life she has envisioned for herself, and it’s one that’s largely been shaped by the way she understands her daughter wants to live. All of this varies widely from the politically-molded life they’d previously shared with Loretta’s now ex-husband, Tom. To this end, she runs a bookstore and has bought property that will one day hold the many animals Hazel imagines looking after. Life finally seems good.

True to form, this is when fate naturally steps in and throws a wrench in her plans. She discovers her old high school boyfriend, Deacon Fox, the one whose heart she broke when she left him to pursue a relationship with Tom, is working right next door and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. She’s also quick to understand that while she still holds guilt for what she’d done to him as a teenager, she also has never entirely lost her attraction to the man.

[Read more...]

Tue
May 2 2017 9:30am

First Look: Celeste Bradley’s Wedded Bliss (May 2, 2017)

Wedded Bliss by Celeste Bradley

Celeste Bradley
Wedded Bliss (Wicked Worthingtons #5)
Berkley / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print and digital

Wedded Bliss is a great addition to Celeste Bradley’s Worthington Family series. The Worthingtons are a large, eccentric family with more than their fair share of charm, but Bliss Worthington has added knock-out beauty to hers, a combination that is deadly to men.

Bliss has decided to marry her friend Neville. He is quiet, stable and dependable. The perfect antidote to her loving, but frankly bonkers, family. She arranges to marry him in secret, but after the ceremony is over, she discovers that she is instead married to the dashing sea captain—and Neville’s bastard half-brother—Morgan Pryce. Desperate for an annulment, she sets out to charm Morgan into it, just as she charms everyone who meets her, even hackney drivers.

“Pray, what is your name, good sir?”

He looked at her in surprise, as if no one ever recognized his existence, much less inquired about him. “Cant.”

Blissed tilted her head. “Why not?” He snorted. “Ephraim Cant. But folks mostly call me Eff.”

“Well, I shall not. Imagine shortening such a noble name as ‘Ephraim’! I shall call you Mr. Cant until we are better acquainted, at which time I should like to call you Ephraim. You may call me Miss – Mrs. Pryce. Is that agreeable to you, sir?”

His expression now drifted somewhere between bewitched and befuddled, which was precisely where Bliss preferred the gentlemen of her acquaintance to exist. She smiled at him gently. “Shall we drive on to Bond Street now, Mr. Cant?”

Ephraim Cant, former official grouch, now a prince of gallantry, pulled his cap from his head, pressed it to his breast, and bobbed a rusty bow. “Yes, m’um. I’ll ‘ave ye there in the twitch of a cat’s tail!”

[Read more...]

Mon
May 1 2017 3:00pm

First Look: Sarina Bowen’s Pipe Dreams (May 2, 2017)

Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen 
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruiser #3)
Berkley / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital 

If you've enjoyed the Brooklyn Bruisers series as I have, and love reunion stories, you are going to be in reader heaven with Pipe Dreams. Mike and Lauren are meant to be - but they have not had an easy time of it. This is actually all Mike's fault, although he felt he had no other option. Mike got his high school girlfriend pregnant, and married her. Had they not had the child, it's unlikely they would have stayed together, so it's clear from the start that Lauren is the love of Mike's life. However, he absolutely messed it up. For good reasons—in fact he's a true hero for doing what he did, but the how of it is what caused problems. He took away Lauren's choice and agency years ago when it comes to their relationship. It separates them for five years, and in a way stunts Lauren emotionally. (Mike was seriously an asshole.) He leaves Lauren to help his ex wife. It's crazy, and you'll just have to read to see how it all works - but it does. In fact, I didn't even fault Mike for doing what he did. You can't. However, the way he treated Lauren is the problem. 

I really appreciated how Ms. Bowen portrayed the ex. While she's effectively the cause of all of Mike and Lauren's problems... you do feel for her. It helps that Mike has from the start always wished the best for her, even before Shelly got cancer and died. (That's not a spoiler - you know that from the beginning.) Shelly wasn't perfect by any means, but she was a great mom, and writes letters to both Mike, and their daughter Elsa, which really clears things up. I loved that this was realistic, and really allowed Mike and Lauren to move forward with Elsa. 

[Read more...]

Mon
May 1 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Anne Gracie’s Marry in Haste (May 2, 2017)

Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie

Anne Gracie
Marry in Haste (Marriage of Convenience #1)
Penguin / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print and digital

I love Marriage of Convenience stories and Anne Gracie begins a new series featuring these romances with Marry in Haste, about the marriage of a former soldier hunting an assassin and a girls’ seminary teacher with a shady past.

While the romance is quite nicely done, it is Cal’s relationship with his half-sisters and his niece that I found most illuminating in the progression of Cal’s character.

When Cal unexpectedly inherits the title from his ne’er-do-well brother, he only wants to settle his new responsibilities onto caretakers and get back to his “day job” of finding the assassin whose latest victim was his best friend. When he checks in on his half-sisters in Bath he finds them in the care of his too-nice Aunt Dottie who has absolutely no control over the hellions. Rose and Lily are not at all fond of Cal trying to exert his authority.

[Read more...]

Sat
Apr 29 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Juliet Lyons’ Dating the Undead (May 2, 2017)

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Juliet Lyons
Dating the Undead (Undead Dating Service #1)
Sourcebooks / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

In Juliet Lyons’ print debut, Dating the Undead, she introduces us to a world in which vampires are “out” and someone is making bank running a dating site for them. You can find a link to the pun-derful site and an excerpt here.

Our snarky heroine, Silver, is booted from a New Year’s Eve party after she catches her date making out with another girl and she reacts (justifiably) poorly. Lucky her, a sexy Irish vampire just happens to approach on the street while she considers whether or not to return to fetch her handbag. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-hot, and it leaves Silver interested in furthering her acquaintance with vampire men.

Logan, the sexy Irish vampire, is, of course, infatuated with Silver and is immediately tasked by his vampire overlord with glamoring her to hate vampires. Silver, meanwhile, is approached by the police for information on the vampire world that she may accumulate through dating vamps. Silver gets onto V-Date and proceeds to date a number of utterly boring vampires. None of them get her going quite the way Logan does.

[Read more...]

Fri
Apr 28 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Emmy Curtis’ Aces Wild (May 2, 2017)

Aces Wild by Emmy Curtis

Emmy Curtis
Aces Wild (Elite Ops #1)
Forever Yours / April 30, 2017 / $19.99 print, $3.99 digital

One thing 1986’s Top Gun proved to us is that we love smug, hot shot, Air Force pilots and we simply can’t get enough of their phenomenal acrobatics.  Emmy Curtis’s new Elite Ops series starts with Aces Wild and she takes us to the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for this year’s Red Flag exercises. These exercises help train NATO pilots in advance aerial combat by simulating combat situations. 

As the pilots and their crews arrive, representing the various nations, they believe this year will be just like every other year teaming the various fleets against the Aggressor Squadron made up of an elite team of pilots.   Securing an invitation to perform in these topflight training games is already impressive, but standing out as an exceptional pilot is something which both Royal Air Force pilot Dexter Stone and U.S.A.F. Major Eleanor Daniels are counting on since both their futures might just be riding on how well they perform in these games.

[Read more...]

Fri
Apr 28 2017 9:30am

First Look: Janna MacGregor’s The Bad Luck Bride (May 2, 2017)

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor
The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #1)
St. Martin's Press / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

So much to get excited about with The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor. One, she’s a new author! Huzzah! I always like cheering for a new author. Two, since she’s a new author, this is the start of a very promising series centered around the Canvensham family. Three, Ms. MacGregor knows how to steam the veggies, if you know what I mean. While the plot is interesting and keeps the reader turning the pages—more on that later—it’s the intimate scenes that honestly sealed my love for this book. I’m not sure what it was about them, seeing as how I’ve read my fair share of *ahem* scenes over the years, and many of them start to blend together. But something stood out of for me with this story.

Perhaps it was the voices of our hero and heroine, or that I could sense how the intimate acts brought the two together despite the initial terrible reason behind the coupling. Deception and revenge are never good bedfellows when love is the ultimate prize. Yet the scenes helped me see a softer side to the Marquess, and understand how Lady Claire might fall for the insensitive cad despite his machinations to ruin lives.

[Read more...]

Thu
Apr 27 2017 9:30am

First Look: M. O’Keefe’s Baby, Come Back (May 1, 2017)

Baby, Come Back by M. O’Keefe

M. O'Keefe
Baby, Come Back 
M. O'Keefe / May 1, 2017 / $3.99 digital

Baby, Come Back by M. O’Keefe is the follow-up story to Bad Neighbor, the hot and steamy love story of the shy artist Charlotte and the bad boy, MMA fighter Jesse. In Bad Neighbor, we learn about Jessie’s brother Jack, who may be a very dangerous person, and his quest to find Charlotte’s sister Abby. At the end of Bad Neighbor, Jack has discovered Abby’s whereabouts and about her pregnancy. He is determined to to find her, and we are left unsure of Jack’s motives and of Abby’s safety.

Despite this uncertainty, Baby, Come Back is Jack and Abby’s story. It picks up before the events of Bad Neighbor. Abby is working for a company as liquor hostess of sorts. She and her coworkers are booked to work different clubs, and they circulate among the guests to push/sell a particular type of alcohol. When Abby and her crew are sent to work The Moonlight, she meets Jack and is immediately drawn to him.

[Read more...]

Wed
Apr 26 2017 2:30pm

First Look: Kate Baxter’s The Untamed Vampire (May 2, 2017)

The Untamed Vampire by Kate Baxter

Kate Baxter
The Untamed Vampire (Last True Vampire #4)
St. Martins Press / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

For the Love of Strong Heroines

The strong heroine is a staple of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. It’s a glorious thing, everyone should read it. Whether they are born into the paranormal world or end up there after a bite or some magical event, heroines in paranormal and UF are typically, the toughest cookies on the block. Physically and mentally, these powerhouses of the story, are rarely the damsels in distress and often end up saving the day and usually the world. Kate Baxter’s Last True Vampire series is chock full of strong women and each one is a force to be reckoned with. The Untamed Vampire gives us Chelle’s HEA and let me tell you, the tethering/mating process might seem instant on the outside, but the work that goes into bringing two dominant characters together is never easy.

[Read more...]

Wed
Apr 26 2017 9:30am

First Look: Valerie Bowman’s Never Trust a Pirate (May 2, 2017)

Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman
Never Trust a Pirate (The Playful Brides #7)
St. Martin's Press / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

Valerie Bowman has morphed into an automatic buy for me. Why? Because the woman can write a story that lures me along until the final HEA. You ask, is Never Trust a Pirate just as good as her others? The answer is a demonstrative, Hell, yes. This one has everything. Undercover espionage, pirates, a strong female heroine, a smoking hot male lead, twists in the story, and chemistry. Oh, and I can’t forget the mystery as we read along while Cade Cavendish figures out who the Black Fox is.

You see, we have not one, but two spies, unbeknownst to each other. And ultimately, they’re both after the same person. Though Danielle LaCrosse’s current assignment is none other than the pirate Cade Cavendish, twin brother to Rafe Cavendish. (You’ll remember Rafe and Daphne from the Irresistible Rogue, Playful Brides #4). Posing as a Lady’s maid to the new Viscountess Daphne, Danielle is charged with learning as much as she can about the rogue twin brother, thought to be dead, who has apparently has risen from the grave and is staying with Rafe and Daphne.

[Read more...]