Changing the World One Woman at a Time



I don’t know about you but I can’t seem to go 5 minutes without someone taking a pot shot at a woman and I’m over it.
This includes everything from her clothes to her weight to her favorite reading material to a movie she sees. And everything in between.
Just this morning I was gearing up for another day at the office when I came across two such posts. One was one woman being snarky about another woman’s weight. The other is even more disturbing about a woman being stalked by another woman.
I don’t know about you but I’m DONE! Woman are amazing. We are typically the more nurturing and caring of the species and yet there are some out there that have nothing better to do than attack virtually or unfortunately physically others of the same gender.
Why?
I say it is time to show the world what #truegirlpower is all about. Take the opportunity to encourage a woman in your life. Send a positive note to one of your favorite authors and let them know you value them for their work and to keep it up. Tell the woman in your office that you value them even if they are having a bad day. Not to mention stop and send a word to your mom, sister, daughter, cousin niece or your best friend and tell them how much you value them in your life.
Let us see what sort of impact we woman can have when we see value instead of difference, gratitude instead of body shape, and encouragement instead of a snarky quip that you post or tweet.
Because truthfully don’t we get enough of that from Men. Why do we want to do it to each other too?
So make a woman’s day by being a spotlight on her uniqueness and personality. Then let’s watch as we change the world one woman at a time.

Review: Finding Holland by Grace Ryles

Title:  Finding Holland

Author:  Grace Ryles

Series:  Grand Oak Springs #3

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Rating:  3 Stars

Publication Date: January 7, 2015

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 137

Published by: Siren-Bookstrand

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Synopsis:

A betrayal six years ago sent Holland Mathers’ world spinning. Forcing her to flee the only place she’d ever known and the only men she’d ever loved. Vowing to move on from the past, lands her in a local dungeon being manhandled by her date, Mitchel. The men who come to her rescue are non-other than the objects of her desire, the men she thought she’d lost forever.

Adrian Reyes and Oliver Edwards have loved Holland ever since the day they found her on the side of the road. Their relationship lasted only six months, but that was enough for them to spend all of their time searching for her when she fled their small town, without an explanation. Knowing that without her they will never be complete, they are determined to show her that their love can overcome whatever she is hiding from them.

A chance encounter leads them to reuniting again, but things aren’t that simple. Can they find a way back into her heart and bed or will they lose her forever?

Review:

As many shades of love abound there are a plethora of shades and nuances of misunderstanding and hurt.  This book revolves around a miscommunication on the part of the lovers and fear of rejection.  Unfortunately it has cost all of our main characters time and heartache but they seek to rectify all of that in Finding Holland.

Holland’s determination to move forward in her life amidst her strife and turmoil was very touching.  She is a woman who believes that she will eventually be left behind which has driven her to re-imagine and re-shape her life.  So she seeks and eventually finds a sanctuary in Grand Oak Springs where she has found a measure of peace.  She has even begun dating again in the hopes of finding love again.

Adrian and Oliver, however, have been searching for Holland since her disappearance from their lives.  She is the missing part of each of their lives and they want her back for good this time.  These two men are interesting characters.  They both have distinctive drives but a singular purpose in finding Holland and placing her squarely back in their lives.

The heat between these three characters is combustible.  Once past hurts are soothed and misunderstandings are rectified the reader is in for a ride.

Final Thoughts:  This is a very enjoyable read and one that can be read as a stand-alone if you want to wade into the deep end of this series.

Grand Oak Springs Series

Will you continue with the series: Yes

Will you read something by this author again: Yes

 

Ms Ryles provided me with a copy of Finding Holland but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

An Alpha’s Fate by Lia Davis Pre-order & Giveaway

An Alpha's FateWelcome to Ashwood World

In An Alpha’s Fate, Reagan is the princes of the Greenhedge Pack–a small Pack of about 100, give or take, members nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains about 50 miles from the Brichwood Pack. She’s the only child of the Alpha and the heir to the Pack. When she met Logan, Alpha of Birchwood, she knew he was hers. They fell in love and made plans to merge the Packs together, since her father was ill and would soon pass. However, when she returned to her Pack to tell her father, all plans of a happy future crumbled. Her father had signed a mating contract with a male Reagan didn’t know or wanted.

  

An Alpha’s Fate (An Ashwood World story)

Pre-order it now for $0.99: http://amzn.to/1wJkf1M

Greenridge Pack princess, Reagan Summers, will protect her wolves at all cost. After finding out about his illegal activities that harmed so many innocents, she kills the Alpha Wolf her father arranged for her to marry. Afraid and on the run, she turns to the only person she trusts, her true mate, Logan.

Birchwood Pack Alpha, Logan Webb, watched Reagan walk out of his life over ten years ago. When she contacts him needing help, something in her voice puts his wolf in full protection mode. But seeing her in the flesh wakes a raw, primal desire long buried.

 AAF HD6 giveaway

Giveaway!

Celebrate the upcoming release of An Alpha’s Fate by following the Rafflecopter instructions and enter to win a Kindle Fire HD 6 or one of four $25 Amazon gift cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Hoodoo Blue by Katalina Leon

Title:  Hoodoo Blue

Author:  Katalina Leon

Series:  Magic & Mayhem #1

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating:  4 Stars

Publication Date: January 27, 2015

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 105

Published by: Fated Desires Publishing

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads /ARe

Synopsis:

Fredi is a passionate witch with a scorching hot secret. Every time she has a sexual thought, green fire blasts from her fingertips. Gus is a gorgeous lycan who scares women away with his wild wolf-shifts. Not the best way to find relationships.

Both have vowed not to date until they get themselves under control, but a witchy friend thinks differently. The pair get tricked into sharing a frosty pitcher of “Hoodoo Blue” and fall prey to a wayward love potion that has them blurting out every lustful thought. Worse, it won’t allow them to walk away from each other. They’re stuck together until dawn under the devilish effects of a time-released hoodoo that makes them do outrageous things. For everyone’s safety, Fredi is forced to take Gus home and tie him to her headboard and only some very witchy lovemaking can calm the storm.

Fredi and Gus might find themselves on the set-up date from hell, but even a hilarious cascade of disasters can’t keep a plus-sized blonde witch with attitude, and a hunky lumberjack of a lycan from seeing the other would be the perfect mate.

Review:

Sometimes books sit in my review pile for a while waiting for me to crack the proverbial spine open and delve into the world that the author has taken great time and thought into creating for their characters.  I’m not exactly sure what caused me to keep pushing this to the back of the pile of “must read books” but it lingered there for far too long.  And now I’m looking forward to reading more by this author because the story was told with a light touch that I found charming.

As most single people are fully aware, first dates have a scale from “I’m shocked it went so well.” to “Who in their right mind thought that he or she would be a good fit for me?” to “I’m so embarrassed because (fill in the blank here) happened.”  Fortunately for us readers we are the recipients of an “I’m so embarrassed” first date between Fredi & Gus.  The cause and effect were delightful and completely believable if you are as big a klutz as I am.

There were moments that I really wanted to step into the bar and experience one of these drinks for myself.  May I suggest Ms. Leon create the Hoodoo Blue drink for a convention or just for your readers and post on your website.  Because I would love to have been sipping this while I read the book.  Just a thought.

The writing is tight and the story moves at a brisk pace which allowed me to read it between working on laundry and Saturday morning chores.  This is definitely a world that has potential and I would definitely enjoy a repeat visit to the bar for more hijinks.

Final Thoughts:  Wonderful introduction to this series and Ms. Leon’s work.

Magic & Mayhem Series

Will you continue with the series: Yes

Will you read something by this author again: Yes

 

Fated Desire Publishing provided me with a copy of Hoodoo Blue but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Promo: Mary’s Menage Reviews

logo

One of my new favorite genres is menage romance.  Mary’s blog is completely dedicated to this genre 100% which I was thrilled to find over the last year.  Her reviews are witty and honest but has a strict no spoilers policy which I appreciate whole heartily.

The Happy Menage Holiday blog tour, which ran from December 21 to Jan 2, was a ton of fun to follow and garnered a whole host of new authors and series for me to read.  Each day was hosted by a different author highlighting one of their menage stories with some amazing excerpts.  Unfortunately my wallet was a heck of a lot lighter by the end of the tour.

2015MenageContestLogoHer Valentine 2015 Authors Tour will run from February 9-17 and looks to be just as much fun and great way to hear about new authors.  I highly recommend you check her blog if this genre is on your must read list too.  Her blog is found HERE. I know I will be waiting with bated breathe every morning for the next installment.

And I recommend you check out her 1,000+ list of menage stories if you are looking for a new or old menage to read.  It can be found HERE and can be sorted in multiple ways if you are looking for a specific sub-category or even publication date.

You can also participate in the 2015 Erotic Menage Romance contest and nominate your favorite author in a whole host of genres.  The contest nomination form can be found HERE.

I want to thank Mary for allowing me to help promote this tour and wish her continued success because it means I have an amazing resource for this new reading addiction of mine.

Review: Bite Marks by Rebecca Royce

Title:  Bite Marks

Author:  Rebecca Royce

Series:  Paranormal by Mistake #1

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating:  4 Stars

Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 94

Published by: Fated Desires Publishing

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads /ARe

Synopsis:

George is a mystery writer in a small town who wants nothing more than one date with the local bartender named Trudy. When he finally scores a date, he is ecstatic. But the night before he his bitten by a vampire–and accidently transformed into a member of the Undead. He assumes any chance he had with Trudy died the same night his need for food did.

But, Trudy is more than she seems. A werewolf hunter on the run she knows all about vampires and if she can keep them both alive for any length of time, she might be just what George needs to survive.

Can love survive an accidental bite?

Review:

No matter how many paranormal series that I pick up and read I’m forever amazed by the nuance that each author brings to her story.  Ms. Royce’s new work, Bite Mark fits this to a T.  What I’m truly amazed by is the depth of world building and character development that is ever present in this story.  Rogue vampires, politics, werewolves and a newbie vampire are here but there is a level of care and placement for each of these items into the story.

Our hero, George is such a character.  I enjoyed the fact that he had patiently asked Trudy, the local bartender, out numerous times and refused to give up.  And yet when he finally is granted his date he unfortunately can’t go because he has been attacked and transformed into a new vampire.  His perseverance and character is demonstrated in his actions to a woman that he truly cares for and doesn’t want to harm.

Trudy has secrets of her own.  She has been on the run from a pack of werewolves for a long time and refuses to settle down or stay in one place because they will eventually track her down.

The tension and chemistry between our main characters is exactly what I was looking for in an afternoon read.  Well done, Ms. Royce.

Final Thoughts:  Looking for a new series to seek your teeth into that allows you to escape for an afternoon’s adventure than Rebecca Royce’s new work will fit the bill.

Paranormal by Mistake Series is written by multiple authors.

Will you continue with the series: Yes

Will you read something by this author again: Yes

 

Fated Desire Publishing provided me with a copy of Bite Marks but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Review: Convincing the Rancher by Claire McEwen

Title:  Convincing the Rancher

Author:  Claire McEwen

Series:  N/A

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Rating:  4 Stars

Publication Date: January 1, 2015

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Sweet

Page Count: 384

Published by: Harlequin

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Synopsis:

About that night…

Benson, CA, represents all that Tess Cole doesn’t want. So she intends to keep her business trip there brief. Too bad her plan to quickly change the mayor’s mind about some planning issues dissolves the moment she recognizes him!

That one night with Slaid Jacobs remains a personal favorite for Tess; and for him, too, it seems. Even though he’s gorgeous and hot, it’s clear to Tess that the single dad wants a commitment; something she avoids. It’s also clear Slaid is bent on convincing her they can build a future out of their passionate past. And that’s a very tempting offer.

Review:

Wow this is a flash from the past.  Harlequin books were a large portion of what I started reading too many moons ago.  The “formulaic” nature of the books published has made huge steps forward since I last picked up one of their books.  Plus the books placed in the Super Romance section have real depth of character and story lines which I’m thrilled to see.

This story revolves around a woman coming to a small town to sell them on natural energy and in particular windmills.  Unfortunately the woman had a one night stand two years previously with the mayor of the town and the fireworks ensue from that point forward.  There seems to be a real appreciation of such a complex concept and I applaud the author in adding this portion to her story.

Slaid Jacobs has the boy next door vibe and you do want to adore him even when he is being pushy and, at times, judgmental.  Tess Cole is a woman of many depths.  She has risen from a troubled background and seeks to protect herself at all cost by projecting and telling lies to any and all that know her.  And yet, she is a woman that I believe many will not only sympathize with but understand.  This is a woman that despite the odds stacked against her has persevered, survived but unfortunately has never allowed herself to truly live.  Slaid helps to bring that out for Tess including taking her on interesting dates once he convinces her to go.

Final Thoughts:  If you are looking for hot and heavy then this book doesn’t fit the bill.  But if you are looking for a story where both main characters have flaws and learn to work through them and overcome them then you should grab this book ASAP.

 

A copy of Convincing the Rancher was provided to me by the author and nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Review: Betting on Fate by Katee Robert

Title:  Betting on Fate

Author:  Katee Robert

Series:  Serve #4

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Rating:  3 Stars

Publication Date: January 5, 2015

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 150

Published by: Entangled Publishing

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads /ARe

Synopsis:

This time, all bets are off…

Penelope Carson loves to steal clients from Will Reaver. Yet something in her business nemesis’s icy blue eyes makes Penelope…nervous. It certainly doesn’t help that the man is the living embodiment of a Norse god. A controlled, powerful Norse god. Which she really should have remembered before she made a bet with him—because losing means becoming Will’s personal submissive for a week.

There’s nothing Will would like more than to have Penelope kneeling before him in complicit submission, her fiery dark eyes inviting him in. Challenging him. But their bet takes Will and Penelope deeper than either of them have ever been. Where control is an illusion, and boundaries are pushed aside. And where hearts become the stakes in a game that neither Dominant nor submissive can win…

Review:

This book had so much potential including a well crafted world, great back stories and my desire to love it from the beginning.  But it just didn’t reach quite the same level as the other three books in this series.  I’m unsure exactly why but this book didn’t ring with the same clarity and realness as the others.  Sure the elements where all there but it didn’t have the same cohesiveness and drive as the other books.

The main characters in this book we had met in Mistaken by Fate.  Will seemed to have lost his way in his own book.  Almost as if the actions he was involved in were not of his own choosing.  Sure there were moments when I saw glimmers of his uniqueness but he felt stiff and withdrawn in his own story.

And Penelope was a woman that I really didn’t like in Mistaken and I never felt connected to her here.  She seemed to also waver between what she wanted, needed, demanded with a willingness to just roll over.  When she was determined and feisty was when she seemed herself.

Final Thoughts:  This book was well written but just lacked the special ingredient to make it outstanding which is very unfortunate because the rest of the series has been stellar.  So if you are looking for an amazing book may I highly recommend the first three books in this series.  And if you are as big a fan of Katee Robert’s work as I am then you will enjoy this book too but don’t be surprised if the main characters don’t ring completely authentic.

Serve Series:

1. Owned by Fate

2. Exposed by Fate

3. Mistaken by Fate

4. Betting on Fate

A copy of Betting on Fate was provided to me by Entangled Publishing and nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Year in the Life of a Romance Reviewer/Blogger-January

mqywpT0My New Year’s Resolution

I’m thrilled and delighted to see the end of 2014 and yet it brought some clarity mixed with a ton of “I actually did it”.

This blog was started January 30, 2014 and I have posted 86 times including Blog Tours, Year in the Life, Spotlights, Conventions, Giveaways, Cover reveals and occassionally My Thoughts.  I’ve stretched and read over 206 books, 33,773 pages with 47 books being reviewed here.  I have read contemporary, erotic, paranormal, sports, cowboy, sci-fi, menage, vampires, bear, angels, demons, dragons, BDSM, inked characters, and motorcycle heroes.

But what stands out is the journey that each story has added to my life.  Some of them were hard to read because they were direct parallels with my life eg Carrie Ann Ryan’s Delicate Ink.  My life was suddenly hit with a close family member being diagnosed with Cancer.  But then there have been other books that have brought inspiration into my life like Ann Mayburn’s Casey’s Warriors along with Evangeline Anderson’s Brides of the Kindred series.  These helped to fuel my imagination and resulted in my own book, Male Order Brides that I wrote during #NaNoWriMo.  While other stories just made me laugh out loud and remember to breathe.  Milly Taiden’s series Paranormal Dating Agency and Eve Langlais’ Kodiak’s Point series have had me laughing so hard I woke my poor dog from a sound sleep.

But most of all this blog has allowed me to connect with the woman and handful of men who slave tirelessly to bring us the books every day, the other passionate readers that also write and share their loves and sometimes dislikes about different stories being told and finally other readers.  Every last one of you is important.  You bring your life experiences, challenges, triumphs, joys, and heartbreak to the table.  Every conference I have met more amazing woman.  Some have overcome tragic relationships, heartbreaking loss or another view to the world.  It has been my true pleasure to have you join me on this journey.

This year I will be focusing primarily on polishing, editting, and beginning the whole process all over again for my own romance novel.  I’m hopeful that by my June birthday I will have a manuscript that I will have submitted to a few publishers.  I will continue to post here but it will be more random and depend on how busy my day job is this year.  I know I also promised to let you all know once a pen name had been decided.  I have talked to a few people and pretty much had the all clear on this one and it makes me very happy.  So with out further delay my pen name is Shy Bridges.

I wish you all all best and may we make 2015 a year where we encourage and uplift each other because we can change the world one book at a time.

As always please feel free to contact me via Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Tsū or through the contact form below if you have questions.

My other posts for a Year in the Life of a Romance Review can be found at the following places:

January- My 5 stars books from 2012

February- How I came to be a review in the first place

March- 5 tips I use to write reviews

April- 5 lessons I’ve learned as a review/blogger

May- Time to check out Audiobooks

June- 5 top reasons to attend a book convention

July-5 things to do following convention or signing

August-5 reasons to say No

September- Making Time for Life

October – DNF Guilt

November – NaNoWriMo Here I Come

December – New Directions

Review: Fearless by Brynley Bush

Title:  Fearless

Author:  Brynley Bush

Series:  Black Brothers Trilogy #1

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Rating:  5 Stars

Publication Date: November 4, 2014

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 214

Published by: Brynley Bush

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fiercely independent and newly single mom Emmaline Hart has spent the last thirteen years putting everyone’s needs before her own. Secretly afraid that her ex-husband’s assertions that she’s too uptight are right, Emma nonetheless keeps her life, and her emotions, firmly under control, fearful of getting hurt again. However, when she meets the dangerously attractive Beckett Black on a job assignment, the way his casual touch sends her pulse racing forces her to acknowledge her growing need to move beyond her fear. When Beckett offers her a job writing the memoir of his father, a renowned cancer researcher, Emma jumps at the career opportunity and the chance to get to know Beckett better.

Emma spends her days with the renowned doctor, who has spent his career studying a plant in the Amazon that has the potential to cure cancer, and her nights with Beckett, who slowly pushes past her fears and breaks down her barriers, introducing her to a passionate and forbidden love that surpasses her wildest fantasies. As the doctor’s story of secrets and cover-ups unravels, so does Emmaline’s view on everything she thought she knew about herself and the power of surrender.

Review:

Review books are so precious.  More often than not I actively solicit them and some times they end up on my Kindle before the release date.  However from time to time I have someone come to me and ask me to read their book for which I’m extremely humbled and grateful.  This is such a book.  Ms Bush contacted me in November and asked that I review her book.  I’m now thrilled to pass along my impressions and feelings about this book.

This book is very much about new beginnings.  Emma has spent the majority of her life looking out for others and is finally granted the opportunity to experiment not only for her professional career but in her personal life.  The fact that this is a woman with a firm grasp on who she is and her responsibilities really resonated with me and helped me to appreciate not only her decisions but her attempt at being “free”.  The fact that she is struggling in one area of her life just made her that much more of a woman I could go out for a cup of tea and a great long chat about our respective relationships or lack thereof.

Our hero is such a complex character that at first I was fearful we would only be given a sliver of the depth  but thankfully as Emma learns then so do we as the reader.  Before the end of the book I had run the gamut of emotions with Beckett: loved him, hated him, wanted Emma to never see him again but just as she was irresistibly drawn to his magnetism I was drawn.

When these two are in the same room together, Wow!  Words fail to grasp the sheer level of heat that these two naturally exude and combustible when they are in the same room with each other.  And Beckett does like to have control when they are together.

Every now and then a story such as this comes along and you truly enjoy it for the interactions and chemistry between the characters.  However this story has depth and darkness for those longing to suppress this knowledge that had me on the edge of my seat hoping and praying that all would be sorted out by the end.

This is part of a series but is NOT a cliffhanger for those of you on the cusp of buying it.

Final Thoughts:  If this sounds even remotely like a book you would enjoy that may I suggest, no recommend, that you click on one of these buy links because Beckett is one book boyfriend that you may not want to say goodbye to any time soon.

Black Brothers Trilogy Series:

1. Fearless

2. Matchless

3. Shameless (Available February 4)

Brynley Bush provided me with a copy of Fearless but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.