Friday, September 29, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 145 - A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas, Nimbus by Jacey Bedford, City of Lies by Victoria Thompson

A Christmas Affair (Ransom Canyon)A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One new character and several from previous books get their own story all wrapped up in Christmas. Maria has decided that she wants a Christmas affair and choose the storekeeper where she sells her jam. It was fun to watch how she goes about getting what she wants or does she. At the same time a a new teenager arrives to stay with his great uncles. He is primed to run but does he. Read to find out. This was very lighthearted and fun. A nice addition to the Ransom Canyon story.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

NimbusNimbus by Jacey Bedford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This wandered a bit before it got down to the meat of the book. The first part of the book continues the world building, back story and character development. There is tension but it is not as focused as it becomes when they go after nimbus. I enjoyed visiting Crossways and seeing the characters again. This does come to a interesting conclusion; the problems are solved, the bad guy is taken care of, the characters are in a good place and all seems well in the world. A nice finish to the series.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

City of Lies (Counterfeit Lady, #1)City of Lies by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As soon as I saw that Victoria Thompson was starting a new series I was thrilled. I love her Gaslight Series and all the historical facts she puts into the story. City of Lies follows that same pattern. This time the setting is 1917 and features historical facts from the movement to allow women to vote. Elizabeth Miles is on the run when she joins a right to vote protest and gets everyone thrown into jail. Her family runs scams and she has just been caught up in one that goes bad. Elizabeth is very good at playing a role and her arrest and sentence have her playing a Lady in a time when the difference between Ladies and other women is very pronounced. It was fun to see how Elizabeth handled both her new friends and her less than honest family. Look forward to seeing Elizabeth in future books. Be sure and read what Victoria says about women and the movement involved in getting the vote for women. She used some actual historical events in the book and it is facinating to see all that was involved before women were allowed the vote.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

When I Fell For You by Candace Shaw - Book Blast and Giveaway

by Candace Shaw


GENRE: African American Romance


Has a wedding planner with a commitment phobia finally found the man to make her fall head over heels in love?

Reagan Richardson loves planning extravagant, classy weddings as the head planner of Precious Moments Events. Though the notion of walking down the aisle has never entered her mind … considering none of her boyfriends have ever lasted long enough thanks to her. However, meeting Dr. Blake Harrison changes all of that in a glance and she finds herself in uncharted territory.

Blake knows all about Reagan’s fear of commitment but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing the ravishing beauty. Breaking down the wall guarding her heart isn’t as easy as he thought but being with Reagan has stirred emotions in him that no other woman ever has. Can he convince her that history isn’t going to repeat itself this time around?



“And you’re going to try parasailing? I’m driving the speedboat.”

The thought of being attached to a parachute high above the ocean while dragged by a speedboat made Reagan nauseous. “I’m still contemplating, but I will go jet skiing with you.”

“Perfect. Can’t wait either way. I don’t care what we do as long as I see your fine bod in a bikini.”

Heat rushed to her cheeks. Blake always knew what to say to make her weak at the knees. Now she had to go shopping to find a sexy new bikini and a cover-up considering it was a family outing. She couldn’t be too sexy.

“You just concentrate on keeping me safe on the jet ski and the parasailing.”

“So, that’s a yes to the parasailing?”

“Mmm … only if you go really slow.”

“I’ll drive at whatever speed you can handle,” he said in a low, deep voice. “Just scream out my name when you’re comfortable and want me to go faster.”

“You have a dirty mind, Doc.” Not that I care.

“What?” he asked in an innocent manner. “That’s your mind in the gutter. Just want to make sure you can handle the excitement and stamina of it all. It’s a very … uh, thrilling adventure.”

“I bet it is.”

“Can’t wait for you to find out.”

“Are we still discussing parasailing?” she asked, crossing and uncrossing her legs. This conversation was causing her to have the urge to jump in the car and speed to his bed where he’d just finished his nap.

“Were we ever talking about parasailing?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Candace Shaw writes romance novels because she believes that happily-ever-after isn’t found only in fairy tales. When she’s not writing or researching information for a book, you can find Candace in her gardens, shopping, reading or learning how to cook a new dish.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her loving husband and is currently working on her next fun, flirty and sexy romance.

Social Media and Website Links

Buy Links for When I Fell for You




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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 144 - A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries, Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, Stand Down by J.A. Jance

A Talent for Temptation (Sinful Suitors, #4.5)A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Widow Meriel Vyse is living her life paying back her brother-in-law by spying on members of the ton when he asks. That means she cannot accept the suit of Quinn Raines even though she really wants to. When Quinn decides to change things all you know what breaks loose. A short fun read with to characters who want the same thing just have not know how it make it happen. I liked both Merrill and Quinn and loved how they finally found their HEA.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Deck the Halls (Darling, VT)Deck the Halls by Donna Alward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to give three cheers to Donna Alward for telling George's story. He is older, was homeless, and has never forgiven himself for the death of his best friend in Iraq. He has been a side character in the first Darling, VT stories and started on the road to recovery when he takes a job sweeping up and watering plants at the Ladybug Garden Center. Now he is full time, has an apartment and even owns a truck. He is thrown back in time when Amy, the older sister of his brother-in-arms, finds him just before Christmas. She wants to know about her brother's last days but realizes that she must take it easy and give George the space he needs before he can tell his story. George is not your usual main characters and his story does not follow the usual path to an HEA. Instead George finds a path to accepting that he was not the cause of his friends death and he and Amy are looking forward not back. Both decide to see what happens as they celebrate Christmas with Amy's family.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Stand Down (J.P. Beaumont #21.5)Stand Down by J.A. Jance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wondered what happened to the Special Crimes unit Beau and Mel belonged to and this tell what happened. The unit is gone and then we see Mel in her new job. Beau is at loose ends but that does not keep him from springing into action when Mel is in danger. A nice bridge novella that tells two stories in a very short time.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Temptation Trials by B. Truly - Book Blast and Giveaway

by B. Truly


GENRE:  Erotic Urban Fantasy



Lust Is the Epitome of Damnation

Lust, one of the seven deadly sins, was sweeping through the nation like wildfire. In its true essence, lust was leading mankind down the path to damnation. In this dystopian society, Cali and Stefani had to comply by the Regime’s strict rule of arranged marriage. But Eminence, the world dictator, doesn’t play fair.
Against all odds, they both decide to put their relationships through the ultimate test on The Temptation Trials—a reality TV show where every temptation of the flesh was set before them.
As participants on the show, they soon learn that losing may cost them more than the men they love. Cali’s torn, unsure of what her future holds with Cade. Stefani worries whether her relationship with Tobias can be salvaged.
Love can be blind. The betrayal they face from the Trials burden them. Will love be their redemption, or will it destroy them?
A million questions torment their minds. 
Can you love two people at once? If a person is chosen for you, can those feelings be real?
Cali and Stefani must overcome heartbreak and pull together with their loved ones before it’s too late. The abominable truth is unveiled, which sends them on a journey that will jeopardize their lives.
The will of the weak is his for the taking. Can love save their souls?



Glazed, cryptic eyes pierced through me, reminding me of a strung-out junky. His face seemed vaguely familiar, right down to his golden curls. Just couldn’t put my finger on where I’d seen him before. An eerie thrill rippled my spine. The way he was staring creeped me out. I quickly skirted past him, only to have Blondie clasp my arm. Okay, now I was officially freaked.
“Let go of me!” I seethed.
“What are you talking about?”
“The time has come,” he blurted.
“The decision is made … binding.”
This dude was clearly psycho. He spoke in riddles, none of which I understood. “You’ve got me confused with someone else.”
“No, you’re the one.”
My purse, where I normally kept my Taser, was nowhere to be found. He’d better be glad or I’d light his ass up. This whole scene was turning more bizarre by the second. I couldn’t figure out where I was. My surroundings were dim and heat began to consume me. Blondie leaned closer to me. Being nearer, I got a better look at his dilated eyes. His pupils were diamond-shaped, not the usual round. His grip tightened.
“Asshole. Take your hands off me!”
“You’re chosen, and you’re coming with me.”
Though I struggled against him, it didn’t do any damn good. Bright light blazed up ahead, mixed with smoldering heat. I soon realized the light and scalding warmth was coming from giant flames. Doubling my efforts, I fought harder, to no avail. Blondie’s face became a blur, and darkness encompassed me—the scalding heat grew stronger. Time seemed to stand still—my mind swirled in a haze. The only thought that became clear, which seemed to chisel into my mind, was that I had to make the right choice.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old and is grateful to have accomplished this dream. She has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of action and sci-fi. She writes New Adult and Adult, Romance. Sci-fi, Dystopian, and Paranormal genres.
B. Truly likes to explore different elements of sci-fi romance, and create various realms of reality. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.
B. Truly has three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.



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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #143 - Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase, Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thane, A Snow Country Christmas by Linda Lael Miller

Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers #4)Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I missed this book when it came out. I read the first three in the Dressmakers series and was surprised to see that Lady Clara Fairfax was getting her own story after being a side character in the first books in the series. Lady is Clara is anything but a proper lady. It turns out what she needs is someone like Oliver Redford. What starts out as a simple hunt for a missing boy turns out to be very dangerous. Lady Clara has to keep reminding Oliver about the restriction put on women and how she does have a brain and knows how to use it. They are a match made somewhere besides heaven but a very fun match indeed. A nice addition to the series.  

Sugar Pine Trail (Haven Point, #7)Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another Caine bites the dust but not without some drama and uncertainty. Librarian Julia Winston is ready for change in her life. It comes with Jamie Caine renting her upstairs apartment at the same time she takes two young boys who need a temporary home. It was fun to see Jamie who never lets a woman get to close being drawn into Julia's life and wanting to stay there. I liked the way the book once again brought two series and the character in the two together in a very nice story. Pick this up for a nice Christmas story and a nice addition to the Haven Point series. It can stand alone but is more fun if you have read the previous books.

A Snow Country Christmas (The Carsons of Mustang Creek, #4)A Snow Country Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Raine McCall and Mick Branson seem to be opposites and should not have any thing in common. Turns out that is wrong. Miller tells their story in two parts. One is a unfinished novel written by McCall's great grandfather. It is about a greenhorn and a independent western woman. Seems Raine is the independent woman and Mick is the greenhorn. It made for a fascinating story as Mick finishes the novel and he and Raine find that they have much more in common than anyone thought. I loved both Raine and Mick and it was great to see independent Raine finally get her HEA.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 142 - Way Station by Clifford D. Simak, Krinar's Desire by Cara Bristol, Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery

Way StationWay Station by Clifford D. Simak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In 1977 Clifford Simak became the third Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. His book Way Station was written in 1963 and is still revenant today. In the book we follow Enoch, how is the stationmaster for a Way Station on Earth. He know what is out in the universe but other people on Earth do not. He feels that life will continue for him for years but then something unexpected happens putting the station at risk. A interesting take on humans and how we act. The book has held up through ages and is still a good read today.

Krinar’s DesireKrinar’s Desire by Cara Bristol
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I purchased this because I like Cara Bristol's books. This is the first time to read any of the Krinar series and I did enjoy it. I liked Caitlyn Meadows. She is a hard working woman trying to make her way is a world that has not always treated her well. I had mixed feeling about Arak, the Krinar. He was very bossy. He wanted Caitlyn but he did try not to rush her. It was heavy on sex while doing a good job of presenting the world building that had already been done in other stories. It also did a good job on back story. It worked OK as a standing alone and left me curious about other stories set in the Krinar world.

Second Chance Girl (Happily Inc, #2)Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mathias Mitchell is a one night stand kind of guy. Carol Lund is off limits as she is a keeper. The two are friends but it turns out Mathias is more into Carol than he thought. Mathias is one of the twins who it turns out are not twins and he is still suffering from the withdrawal of his brother. We get more of the drama around the Mitchell family but Carol finally convinces Mathias that she is not like others in his life. She is not giving up on him and she is not leaving. There are two love stories in the book as both Carol and her sister find their HEA. Neither have a easy time and that makes for a very good read. While there is a wedding in book two it just provides the framework for the two love stories. Oh and the giraffe plays an important part in the story and gets her happy ending too. In her case it does not involve a male.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Chocolatier's Wife and The Chocolatier's Ghost by Cindy Lynn Speer - Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Chocolatier's Wife &
The Chocolatier's Ghost
by Cindy Lynn Speer


GENRE: Fantasy Mystery




A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

When Tasmin's bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn't have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William's own family, who all resent her kind - the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose - and he is intent on ruining William's family at all cost.

The Chocolatier's Ghost: Married to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

The Chocolatier’s Ghost is an enchanting sequel to Cindy Lynn Speer’s bestselling romantic mystery, The Chocolatier’s Wife.



Chocolatier’s Wife 1

Time was, in the kingdom of Berengeny, that no one picked their spouses. No one courted—not officially, at any rate—and no one married in a moment’s foolish passion. It was the charge of the town Wise Woman, who would fill her spell bowl with clear, pure water; a little salt; and the essence of roses, and rosemary, and sage. Next, she would prick the finger of the newborn child and let his or her blood drip into the potion. If a face showed in the waters, then it was known that the best possible mate (they never said true love, for that was the stuff of foolish fancy) had been born, and the Wise Woman could then tell where the future spouse lived, and arrangements were made.

For the parents of William of the House of Almsley, this process would turn out to be less than pleasant.

The first year that the baby William’s finger was pricked and nothing showed, the Wise Woman said, “Fear not, a wife is often younger than the husband.”

The second, third, and even fifth year she said much the same.

But you see, since the spell was meant to choose the best match—not the true love—of the heart the blood in the bowl belonged to, this did not mean, as years passed, that the boy was special. It meant that he would be impossible to live with.

On his seventh birthday, it seemed everyone had quite forgotten all about visiting the Wise Woman until William, who knew this of long habit to be a major part of his day--along with cake, a new toy, and a new set of clothes--tugged on his mother’s skirt and asked when they were going. She stared at him a long moment, tea cup in hand, before sighing and calling for the carriage. She didn’t even bother to change into formal clothes this time, and the Wise Woman seemed surprised to see them at all. “Well, we might as well try while you’re here,” she said, her voice obviously doubtful.

William obediently held out the ring finger on his left hand and watched as the blood dripped into the bowl. “She has dark brown eyes,” William observed, “and some hair already.” He shrugged, and looked at the two women. “I suppose she’ll do. I’m just glad ‘tis over, and that I can go on with my life.”

“For you, perhaps,” his mother said, thinking of what she would now have to accomplish.

“Do not fret, mother, I shall write a letter to the little girl. Not that she can read it, anyway.” He petted his mother’s arm. He was a sweet boy, but he was always charging forward, never worrying about feelings.

The Wise Woman rolled out an elegantly painted silk map of the kingdom and all its regions, his mother smoothed the fabric across the table, and then the Wise Woman dipped a brass weight into the bowl. Henriette, William’s mother, placed her hands on William’s shoulders as the Wise Woman held the weight, suspended, over the map.

Henriette held her breath, waiting to see where it would land. Andrew, her younger son, had his intended living just down the street, which was quite convenient. At least they knew what they were getting into immediately.

The plumb-bob made huge circles around the map, spinning and spinning as the Wise Woman recited the words over and over. It stopped, stiffly pointing toward the North.

“Tarnia? Not possible, nor even probable. You must try again!”

For once, William’s mother wasn’t being stubbornly demanding. Tarnia, a place of cruel and wild magic, was the last place from whence one would wish a bride. They did not have Wise Women there, for anyone could perform spells. The Hags of the North ate their dead and sent the harsh winter wind to ravage the crops of the people of the South. Five hundred years ago, the North and the South had fought a bitter war over a cause no one could quite remember, only that it had been a brutal thing, and that many had died, and it led to the South losing most of its magic. Though the war was long over and the two supposedly united again, memory lingered. “I have cast it twice.” The Wise Woman chewed her lower lip, but therewas naught else she could do.

“Not Tarnia, please?” Henriette, usually a rather fierce and cold woman, begged.

“I am afraid so.” The Wise Woman began cleaning up; her shoulders set a little lower. “I am sorry.”

William, staring out the window at the children playing outside, couldn’t care less. What did it matter where anyone was from? She was a baby, and babies didn’t cause that much trouble.

“Only you, William,” his mother said, shaking her head. “Why can you not do anything normal?”

This was to be the tenor of most of their conversations throughout their lives.


The Chocolatier's Wife - What a mismatch.  William is from the South and Tasmin is from the North.  The difference is magic and both sets of parents are in no hurry to let the match happen.  I loved both characters. Tasmin is so determined and William is following his own path.  When danger arrives it is a test of their match. What follows is a story with great world building, interesting backstory and filled with fully developed characters.  I found this hard to put down and hated when it was over.

The Chocolatier's Ghost - Well, Cindy Lynn Speer must have heard me lamenting about hating the fact that The Chocolatier’s Wife was over and there was no more William and Tasmin.  Turns out both are back and their HEA is about to get some unwelcome company.  This time there is more danger to the town and to Tasmin.  A very nice mystery filled with anxiety and danger.  Loved the new story and hope that there will be another in the series.

An additional thought.  You can never go wrong with chocolate.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13.  She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya.  Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows.  When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden.  She also loves road trips and seeing nature.  Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself.  You can find out more about her at, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).



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