Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Review: Breakway by Heather B. Moore, Sophia Summers, Rebecca Connolly



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

He’s trying to keep his position on the team, but everything seems to be working against him. She has one job to do and won’t let anything get in her way. Especially a hockey player.

Pro hockey player Declan Rivera is nicknamed Dice for a reason. His playing is either hot, or cold, just roll the dice. And right now, things aren’t great. He’s on his fourth trade, and once again, his contract is on shaky ground. So he vows to do everything he can to please the Denver Chargers team’s owner, even if it means taking part in the dreaded social media campaign.

Camila Brandon, daughter of the Denver Chargers team owner, is hired to amp up the team’s image and get tickets sold. This is not her first time dealing with a group of pro hockey players and working with them to turn social media into positive exposure for the team. She just has to stick to her rule of never dating a hockey player. Not even a guy like Declan Rivera, who is nothing like she expects, and makes her question her own rule.


My Review

I swear, I acquire a new favorite hockey player with each book I read in this series! Declan is attractive for his quiet protectiveness, his devotion to his mother, and his tenacity on the ice. He and Camila have amazing chemistry, and the things they had in common made their relationship naturally develop in spite of their hesitations. Camila is struggling with her perception of men since being betrayed by her former boyfriend, and also the image she portrays as a beautiful woman who wants to be taken seriously as a professional. Declan is in a vulnerable position on the team with his inconsistency, but when his head is in the right place he makes incredible plays. Camila and Declan are so good for each other as they provide encouragement, support, and friendship. The scenes with the rest of the Northbrook alumni were fun as always with their banter and loyal brotherhood. The hockey scenes were full of action and brought a sense of excitement to the story. Another great addition to this addictive sports series!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Welcome to Northbrook Hockey Elite

Six professional hockey players used to play on an elite club team together, but have all separated and now play in the pro-hockey leagues. Not all of them were friends, yet circumstances bring them together, and for the greater good, maybe they can put aside their differences.

Visit us on Facebook: Swoony Sports Romances

Northbrook Hockey Elite series:



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Monday, June 29, 2020

Review & Giveaway: Pillar of Light by Andrew Knaupp and Sal Velluto


My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, Andrew Knaupp and Sal Velluto, have created a graphic novel adaption of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. “Pillar of Light” teaches youth through a talented blend of imagery and words. Their goal is to inspire young readers to build their testimonies of the Prophet Joseph Smith and provide insights for receiving their own personal revelation. Details from all four wondrous accounts written by Joseph Smith as well as from those who heard him tell his firsthand experience are captivatingly blended together.

My Review

Graphic novels are not my usual reading material, but both the content and the quality of artwork of Pillar of Light caught my attention. It tells of the miraculous vision where God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a young Joseph Smith, beginning the restoration of the fullness of the gospel. I appreciated the foreword by history professor Steven C. Harper and the way he makes Joseph's dilemma pertinent to young readers. The text combines elements from the various accounts to create a rich retelling. The dynamic artwork brings the setting and characters to life and uses symbolism to depict the intensity of Joseph's experience. I was also very interested in the content at the end, which includes an explanation of the source material, a page about Joseph's mother's near death experience which greatly influenced her religious feelings, and the making of a page from Pillar of Light which shows the author's and artist's process. This book is a wonderfully creative depiction and perfect for children and teens.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Extras

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Giveaway






Sunday, June 28, 2020

Review: The Heiress's Convenient Husband by Regina Scott



My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

The magistrate over a little Regency coastal village, James Howland, takes pride in protecting Grace-by-the-Sea from ne’er-do-wells, including his distant cousin, the Earl of Howland. So, when he discovers a young lady hiding in the family’s castle, his heart cannot decide which comes first—her rescue or his duty.

Outspoken Eva Faraday has been exiled to the castle for refusing to marry the man the earl picked for her. Her late father appointed the earl trustee over her considerable inheritance, which she cannot access until she turns twenty-five or marries. And if she marries, her husband controls the money. She’s not about to trust any Howland, but James seems ripe for rebellion. To thwart the earl’s power, the two agree to a marriage of convenience, only to discover there are others intent on using the earl’s castle for nefarious purposes. Eva and James must work together to solve the mystery and stop the earl once and for all so they can make a marriage that is far more than convenient.


My Review

I love the contrasts in the close-knit community of Grace-by-the-Sea. There's a definite small village vibe, but the visitors to the spa and castle bring in fresh blood and new personalities. The excitement continues in this second book in the series (which can easily be read on its own) with a controlling and threatening earl, mysterious visitors to the castle, and the possibility of a French invasion. James has a history of placating the earl, until he established a local militia from the villagers in the last book. Eva is confidently defiant, and gives James what for as she takes up residence at the castle he is protecting and also investigating for use by nefarious spies or smugglers. It was fun to see Eva get to know the villagers and James when she was supposed to be on lockdown. Her genuine friendship with quirky chaperone/companion Aunt Maudie was heartwarming, and she easily develops strong feelings for James as together they rebel against the earl. James is empowered by her support and they face the earl together. The pace of the book is steady as their romance is woven in with a new doctor taking over the spa, displacing Jess as hostess, solving a dangerous mystery, and coming to terms with their future. I'm excited for more in this series!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Excerpt from The Heiress's Convenient Husband

He crossed his arms over his impressive chest. “Nevertheless, I must insist that you leave.”

Was every Howland this pig-headed? If only she could wash her hands of the lot of them! But the earl was trustee over her funds, and he would give her nothing unless she bent to his will. This man might find it acceptable to live like that. She didn’t.

“And I must insist that we stay,” she said. “I promise to disturb as little as possible. I’ll need a bedchamber, a withdrawing room, the dining room and kitchen, and quarters for the staff. From what I can tell, that’s less than a quarter of the space in this pile.”

She thought she caught a sigh. “The castle hasn’t been used as a long-term habitation in years. You’ll need coal, candles, food. How do you intend to pay for them?”

She smiled. “I intend to put them on the earl’s credit. He sent me here. He can pay for the privilege.”

“No,” he said, tone as solid as his chin. “The budget here doesn’t allow for such expenses.”

She waved a hand. “Then send the bill directly to the earl.”

He caught her hand mid-air and held it, gaze fastened on hers. “Have a care, Miss Faraday. I’m only trying to protect you. This castle is more dangerous than you can know. It isn’t safe for you here.”

If he was trying to frighten her off, he was doing a good job. She could almost believe the concern in his voice.

But the earl could sound concerned too, even as he tried to steal her future.

She yanked her hand from his grip. “Then make it safe. Tell me what dangers to avoid. This is apparently to be my home until I earn my inheritance in ten months. Help me survive my imprisonment.”

He eyed her a moment, and she steeled herself to keep fighting. Truly, what else was she to do? If her father had guessed the depths to which the Earl of Howland would sink to get his hands on her inheritance, he would never have made the man trustee and expected him to care for her. In the last six months since her father had died, she had learned to fight for what was best for her and her servants. James Howland would simply have to accustom himself to the fact.

“Very well, Miss Faraday,” he said. “I’ll help you. You may stay in the castle until I hear from the earl.”

Best not to let him see her relief. “How very sensible of you.”

He inclined his head. “But you must allow me to do my duty as well. I am responsible for safeguarding the earl’s interests in Dorset.”

And she would try not to despise him for it. “Of course. Shall I send you a report each week of what furniture I’ve moved? Which dishes we used?”

That smile could have frozen the waves on the Channel. “No need. I’ll be able to verify all that on my own. I’ll be moving into the castle with you, Miss Faraday.”



Don't miss the other books in the Grace-by-the-Sea series . . .

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Book Tour Grand Finale: Not a Fine Gentleman by Donna Hatch #NFGPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

. . . This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry will love this story!

—Donna


Margaret had no one to blame for her current misery but herself. She’d been so blinded by the opportunity for an advantageous match, and so proud she’d garnered the attention of a handsome, charming marquis, that she’d failed to notice his legion character flaws until too late. Now, sixteen years into her marriage, she had few options but to keep a brave face and pretend her heart hadn’t been broken a hundred times over.


"A plucky heroine with more strength than she’s given credit for & a swoony hero with more class than he’s given credit for. Intrigue. Suspense. Romance. A well-constructed plot. Charming writing style. What more could you ask for? Even though it’s been a while since the previous Rogue Hearts book released, Hatch hasn’t lost her touch with this series or characters in the least. Her writing voice achieves a delightful balance of tender affection, dry wit, and intense feelings that proves ‘clean fiction’ doesn’t have to be boring or staid at all! Regency intrigue fans, don’t miss this series!"
 
Hallie Reads - Excerpt

Under his voice, Jackson said, “Best not to let them know who you are. Follow my lead.”

Before Margaret could reply, the justice of the peace called to Jackson.

“Sir, a moment?”

Jackson stood and replied to the JP, “Of course. But as you can see, my wife has sustained some injuries and I’d like to get her to the nearest inn where she may rest.”

Remembrancy - Review

"With a heroine whose dons a fa├žade of strength to hide her vulnerability, a hero who admires said strength but tries not to become enamored by her, and plenty of chemistry between them, [Not a] Fine Gentleman is a diverting romp."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

His question thinned whatever spell he’d wrapped around her. “Don’t you dare. As I said, I’m fully capable of warding off unwanted advances.”

“How are you at warding off wanted advances?” As his lips moved the words, they fed her craving for his kiss.

She turned her head away. “I wouldn’t know.”

He chuckled again, the lout. Oh, this would be a very long journey!


He had no pretenses. He wore his honor like a badge, or sometimes like a shield. His confidence rivaled that of any member of the haut ton, emanating from him naturally. Most men drew their confidence from their self-importance. Connor’s confidence came from a deeper source—the knowledge of his value as a human being and his ability to contribute to society. He did the right things for the right reasons. A man of integrity. Men like that were rare.

Did it really matter to Connor that they came from different worlds or did he resist because he assumed it mattered to her? Or was there another reason?

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"This story contains romance, social intrigue, mystery, and suspense. This is the fifth book in a series but can be read as a stand-alone. There are references to the other stories, but I followed along well. I really enjoyed this book."

E-Romance News - Excerpt

Glaring at him, Lady Margaret pushed again at her hair hanging around her in such a mess that her lady’s maid would probably weep. In an imperious tone, she demanded, “You didn’t sleep in this room with me, did you?”

“Of course I did,” Connor drawled. “I couldn’t risk you slipping away in the middle of the night, now could I?”


"I felt like I was in the game of Clue at times, although we know where and with what weapon the murder took place. I loved the cat-and-mouse mystery and watching the puzzle pieces slip into place, and I thought this element was well done.

This is a story for lovers of intrigue and romance to settle in with, with its thrilling plot and enchanting characters."

Splashes of Joy - Excerpt

Connor Jackson sat across the desk from Richard Birnie and gaped at the magistrate who commanded the Bow Street Constables. “You want me to hunt down Grant Amesbury’s sister? He’ll kill me.”

Truth be told, Connor wouldn’t cross any of the Amesbury men. Angering all four would be an act of suicide.

Not to mention, Grant had saved Connor’s life in battle and had treated him like an equal, a friend, all the years they’d known each other. Could he really arrest the sister of a friend?


"I must say I do enjoy a good Regency/Victorian era type story and this one did not dissappoint! I was thoroughly engaged from the first page. . . . If you like this genre then I definitely recommend this book. I suggest starting from the beginning too if you want to know the story between this whole family."

Becky on Books - Excerpt

“She didn’t kill him.” Amesbury’s vehemence set his features into one belonging to a formidable foe, should they ever find themselves on opposing sides—which they might if Connor found evidence that Lady Hennessy was guilty.

After fixing her face in his memory, Connor handed back the miniature.

Amesbury gestured. “Keep it if it will help you find her.”

Tucking the miniature safely into a pocket, Connor vowed, “I’ll find her and deliver her safely to you.”

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

Not a Fine Gentleman
(Rogue Hearts, #5)
By Donna Hatch
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 448 Pages
June 18, 2020 by Mirror Lake Press LLC

Lady Margaret secretly yearns for love, but fate has exchanged wedded bliss for a lie. When she is caught hovering over her cheating husband’s dead body, she is instantly doomed to hang for his murder. Without hope for justice, Margaret flees into the night alone.
 
A cynical Bow Street Constable, Connor Jackson, vows to bring the fugitive Lady Margaret to face the law—but, he doesn’t expect sparks to fly between them. Could the strong yet tender lady truly be a killer? 
 
As more suspects—and even more condemning evidence—surface, the less certain Connor is of his duty. He must choose between his growing feelings for Lady Margaret and the demands of justice. Will the truth tear them apart or set them free to find love?

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Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Multi-award-winning author of more than twenty best-selling Regency Historical Romances, Donna Hatch is a hopeful romantic and an adventurer at heart. Each book she writes is filled with wit and heart and plenty of swoon-worthy romance. Donna sings, plays the harp, and loves to ballroom dance. Her family, including six children and two cats, recently left their native Arizona for the Pacific coast of the US. No matter where they live, she and her husband of over twenty years are proof that there truly is a happily ever after.


Tour Giveaway


- One winner will receive ebooks of the first four books in the Rogue Hearts series, The Stranger She Married, The Guise of a Gentleman, A Perfect Secret and The Suspect's Daughter
- Four winners will each receive an ebook of the first book in the Rogue Hearts series, The Stranger She Married
- Open internationally
- Ends July 1, 2020

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Not a Fine Gentleman by Donna Hatch




Lady Margaret secretly yearns for love, but fate has exchanged wedded bliss for a lie. When she is caught hovering over her cheating husband’s dead body, she is instantly doomed to hang for his murder. Without hope for justice, Margaret flees into the night alone. 

A cynical Bow Street Constable, Connor Jackson, vows to bring the fugitive Lady Margaret to face the law—but, he doesn’t expect sparks to fly between them. Could the strong yet tender lady truly be a killer? 

As more suspects—and even more condemning evidence—surface, the less certain Connor is of his duty. He must choose between his growing feelings for Lady Margaret and the demands of justice. Will the truth tear them apart or set them free to find love?

The Rogue Hearts Series:
The Stranger She Married 
The Guise of a Gentleman
A Perfect Secret
The Suspect's Daughter
Not a Fine Gentleman

Praise for Donna Hatch:
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews

“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.”  ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author




Excerpt from Not a Fine Gentleman

Under his voice, Jackson said, “Best not to let them know who you are. Follow my lead.”

Before Margaret could reply, the justice of the peace called to Jackson.

“Sir, a moment?” 

Jackson stood and replied to the JP, “Of course. But as you can see, my wife has sustained some injuries and I’d like to get her to the nearest inn where she may rest.”

Margaret barely managed not to let her mouth drop open. Wife! Of course. His gentle attentiveness had all been part of that ruse. He’d been playing a role, like an actor. Her pleasure popped like a bubble. She clenched her hands and clamped down her jaw. It shouldn’t rankle. After all, he was a low-born working man with the manners of a sailor and the hands of a field worker. As soon as she safely reunited with her family, she’d dismiss him and never give him another thought. Ever.

The Justice of the Peace asked Jackson a few questions. Finally, the JP nodded to Margaret. “Ma’am. Do you have anything to add?” 

Margaret spoke in a higher range than usual and put in a breathy quality to her voice as she once did when prowling ballrooms looking for a gentleman of rank and wealth to charm her way into a proposal. “Oh, no, sir. My beloved husband”—she shot an overly adoring gaze at Jackson— “said it all so beautifully that I have nothing at all to say.” She batted her eyelashes at him.

Jackson blinked and his eyes widened just enough to reveal his surprise. He recovered and shrugged at the JP with a smile. “We’re newly married.”

“Er, thank you both.” The JP strode away to speak to another passenger.

With his brows raised, Jackson let out a half laugh. “You should have been on the stage.”

“I might say the same about you.” 

Scoundrel. Of course he knew she was playacting and not speaking in earnest. She’d been foolish to believe, even for a few seconds, that he could be tender instead of a complete cad. He was far beneath her notice. A servant. A peasant. A worm. There, that felt better.




Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Review: Not Over You by Heather B. Moore



My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

He left her behind. She's spent years ignoring him. But some things can never be forgotten.

Knox Prosper knows he can never go back in time and correct his mistakes, so he has to find a way to move forward, and start a new life. Become a better man, and a father, if only for his young daughter. His regrets have taught him to simplify and to focus on what’s real and important. Returning to his hometown to ride in the rodeo gives him a chance to spend time with his daughter and to continue mending bridges with the rest of his family. But what he doesn’t expect is to run into Jana Harris—the first woman he loved—the woman who faded from his life years before because Knox continued to mess up one thing after another. Someone as good and as sweet as Jana is the last person he deserves. Hope is dangerous. And hope can break his heart once again. Yet Jana might be the one person with the power to redeem his past once and for all.


My Review

I'm not a fan of the bad boy type, but am always up for a good redemption story. Knox plays the part of the cheating ex-husband in the first book, but by the second book he had started to make amends to his family, so it was gratifying to see the rest of his journey to becoming a better man. The author did a great job of making his transformation genuine and sincere, while still staying true to his personality. Knox has so many regrets, but the one person he feels wronged by is Jana. I loved their reconciliation and the revealing of unknown secrets that caused the rift between them so many years before. I think I would have struggled with being as forgiving as Jana, and I admired her compassion and understanding, without trying to excuse or justify. They have a strong chemistry which quickly reignited their romantic relationship, and they are easy together, able to be their true selves. Small-town gossip, strained family relationships, and trust come into play to challenge their happiness, and I was rooting for them to stay strong and find solutions to their challenges together. A wonderful addition to the Prosperity Ranch series! This book can easily be read on its own but I recommend reading the series in order if you can to better understand the background between Knox and his family.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Prosperity Ranch



About the Author

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty publications. Her historical novels and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

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