Winners Announced! "Desire Me"

Winners Announced!!

The five winners of Robyn DeHart's "Desire Me" are:


Lea (YA Book Queen)
nfmgirl
Brenda
Missie
Allison

Winners were chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to all five winners!! I will be emailing all of you for your mailing address so I can send it on to Hachette. Congrats and a huge thank you to everyone who entered!!


Check out my current contest for a chance to win "To Surrender to a Rogue" by Cara Elliott!!

Giveaway and Review: "To Surrender to a Rogue"

For my stop on the "To Surrender to a Rogue" blog tour, I have my review of the second book in Cara Elliott's Circle of Sin series, and a giveaway of 5 copies of the book, sponsored by Hachette! So read on to see my review of this fantastic historical romance and please enter for your chance to win!!

"To Surrender to a Rogue"
by Cara Elliott
Source: provided for review by Hachette Books

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
Things are off to a rocky start between Lord Jack Pierson and Lady Alessandra della Giamatti. Jack has just tied Alessandra's daughter, Isabella, to a tree! It's not how it sounds-if he hadn't, adventurous and curious Isabella would surely have fallen off a cliff to her death. Jack and Alessandra fight to vigorously, they hope to never see each other again after their friends, Ciara and Hadley, are rescued. But unbeknownst to them at the time, they share a passion for antiquities. Both are assigned to a rare and important excavation in Bath. Alessandra treats Jack poorly, accusing him of being able to buy his place in the excavation party because his father is a duke. Jack can't make himself stay away from Alessandra and her equally prickly daughter, and he soon learns that both ladies are in grave danger.

Having read "To Sin with a Scoundrel", I loved how this book started off exactly where the previous book ended. It was later the very same day! I had been looking forward to what would happen between Alessandra and Jack, and especially how jack would deal with Isabella, from the set up in the first book. There's also a set up in this one for the leads in Elliott's next book, Kate and Marco.

I really enjoyed how the book dealt with things in a different way than most historical romance. Alessandra admitted her weakness to herself-that she was lonely. She even admitted that her weaknesses were what caused her to reach out to Jack, and why she loved being near his strength and noble nature. I think it's rare for a heroine to be able to admit to herself how vulnerable she is throughout the story.

Also, Jack was very straight forward about his nature. He spent the first years of his adult life as a successful soldier, to fulfill his duty and to please his family. But with his war years over, his interests lie in drawing, art, and scholarly pursuits. He admits this to himself and pursues art, even though he thinks his family will never approve of his choices.

I loved how Jack's relationship with Alessandra's spunky daughter proceeded. I think he never knew how much a child could add to his life because he'd never been around children before. Isabella was as much of a firecracker as her mother and her arguments with Jack were so funny!

Jack and Alessandra's secret rendezvous were hot and exciting, but you could still tell they had true feelings for each other. Elliott shapes fantastic, lovable characters and really lets us know what's going on inside their heads.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5 (Isabella is adorable)

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5 (love it!! great color)
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: I'd recommend this book to any fan of historical romance. This book has everything for the historical romance reader, a great leading couple, fun supporting cast, humor, and of course, love.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Contest is closed. Thanks to everyone for entering.

Hachette books has generously provided FIVE copies of this historical romance for readers of my blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment on this review with your email address!

Extra Entries:
  • +2 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +2 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US and Canada only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by Hachette
  • Ends Sunday July 6
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

In My Mailbox (28)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

Contest Wins:

"Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson


Thanks, Karen at For What it's Worth!! I've heard it's soooo good!

"Amazon Queen" by Lori Devoti


Thanks, Bridget at Readaholic and Pocket Books! Not really my genre but the heroine looks like such a
strong character, I couldn't resist!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??


LAST CHANCE TO ENTER THE CONTEST!!

The giveaway for DESIRE ME by Robyn DeHart ends tonight at midnight!!

Book Blog Follow Friday June 25

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

I'm trying something new this week!! I found another great book blog event for Fridays! It's the Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com!! I'm hoping to find some new blogs to read by joining this new event. Check it out by clicking the pic!!


If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)


CONTEST TIME!!

While you're here, don't forget to enter my contest to win "Desire Me" by Robyn DeHart!

I have five copies to give away!!

The contest ends Sunday night, June 27!



"A Touch Of Scandal" Review


"A Touch of Scandal"
by Jennifer Haymore

Source: sent for review by Hachette

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Kate Fisk is forced by her family to be a maid in her brother's home. Between those duties and caring for her sickly young brother, Reggie, Kate never has time for herself. Until she spots the handsome stranger in her special spot, the pool between her brother's house and the abandoned manor where she lives with her mother and Reggie. She feels like the stranger has been sent from Mt. Olympus and she isn't even sure if he's real. But when he spots her spying on him and introduces himself, she realizes that reality is better than any fantasies she's made up about him. Garrett doesn't trust anyone anymore. Not even the seemingly innocent girl that his heart keeps telling him to trust. The two of them fall in love against all reason and before learning who the other really is. Little do they know how entwined their lives really are.

I loved the feeling of love at first sight at the beginning of the story. It felt really natural and real to me and had a sense of innocence about it that I really liked. Garret and Kate both had a lot of baggage. Garrett was already divorced and had a child, and Kate was responsible for Reggie. This didn't matter when they were together, it seemed like they could beat any odds against them.

I really liked Garrett's sister, Rebecca and can't wait to read her story next. She was very frail and delicate on the outside, but whenever it was needed, she mustered up everything she had to get the job done.

The only thing that kept this book from being a five star read for me was the long period of separation for Garrett and Kate. I wanted to read more about their interactions with each other, because they were so sweet together. But instead, they spent a lot of time pining away for each other.

I tried to read the first book from Haymore when it was released, but quit reading soon after I started. After the first scene, I felt like it was going to be erotica (which isn't my cup of tea) instead of historical romance. But this book never seemed over the top in that regard, so now I'm going to go back and give "A Hint of Wicked" another try. Although, that book involves a love triangle with Garrett and I have a feeling I'm going to have a soft spot for him over the hero of that book.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5 (definitely a true love conquers all story)
Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5 (pretty but the step-back is better :))

Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
If you are in the mood for a sweeping, dramatic, 'true love conquers all' type of story, I highly recommend this one. It really stands out from the crowd.

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Wicked Girls"

by Stephanie Hemphill
HarperCollins
Release Date: July 1, 2010

The following description is from Goodreads.com


Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.
When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents' house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should t
hey finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?


This one looks so interesting to me, I love reading about the Salem Witch Trials. I think it's so horrifying how women were thought to be 'witches' for practically no reason, and then were actually killed for it. This book is going to explore the people who did the accusing, and why, along with the consequences of their actions. PLUS we don't have to wait long for this one :)

What are you waiting for this week??

"The Possibilities of Sainthood"

"The Possibilites of Sainthood"
by Donna Freitas

Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Antonia Lucia LaBella is obsessed with Saints. She knows everything about them and has a scrapbook-like Saint Diary where she keeps her prayers to specific saints. She even petitions the Vatican, hoping the Pope will make her the first living Saint. She's so caught up in her Saints that she doesn't even seen the miracles happening all around her in her everyday life.

I liked how Antonia is really into her religion, but she's not goody-goody about it. She still rolls her uniform skirt up and is dying for her first kiss. The author paints a vivid picture of Catholic school life.Just because she rebels a little, like any normal teenager, doesn't mean she isn't a good person. Antonia is always nice to those around her, from her older neighbors, to her friends' little brothers.

I really liked Michael, he was just so cute and sweet! I loved how he and Antonia were best friends until all those pesky teenage hormones showed up. Then Antonia got scared and ran away from his attentions. Antonia's hesitancy to "like" him is sweet and I think it's realistic for a girl's first love. I loved how Michael was persistent and really cared for Antonia, even when she pushed him away.

Antonia's relationships with her mom and grandmother are realistic and loving. Even through their disagreements, you can tell the ladies really care about each other.

I enjoyed learning about the different saints mentioned and how Antonia would pray to them in very specific situations. For instance, when she thought Michael was trying too hard for her attention, she prayed to St. Vitus, Patron Saint Against Animal Attacks!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5 (so cute and age appropriate)
Uniqueness: 5/5 (loved all the saint references and there aren't too many books with a big Catholic influence)
Cover: 4/5 (adorable, love the saintly influence)

Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
This was a fast-paced read with a lot of heart, as Antonia learned a lot about family, herself, and even first love.

CSN Bookshelves

I have been contacted to write a review for CSN stores. This family of stores has SO many great products, that it's tough to choose something to review! They have a great selection of sectional sofas, as well as kitchenware, housewares, and of course, bookcases!! Since I have piles of books with no homes, I think I need to choose one of their great bookcases, don't you? Here are some of the many to choose from:

This one is pretty basic, but I like it!! And it will hold a lot of books:


I really like this one with the doors, but I'm not sure I want to cover up all of my beautiful books!!

Finally, this one is really classic and has lots of space:




What do you think??

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this promo post, I will receive a bookshelf in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Winners Announced!! Knight of Passion!

Winners Announced!!

The five winners of Margaret Mallory's "Knight of Passion" are:


Karen
Allison
Barb
Wanda
nfmgirl

Winners were chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to all five winners!! I will be emailing all of you for your mailing address so I can send it on to Hachette. Congrats and a huge thank you to everyone who entered!!


Check out my current contest for a chance to win "Desire Me" by Robyn DeHart!!

Review and Giveaway! "Desire Me"

For my stop on the "Desire Me" blog tour, I have my review of the second book in Robyn DeHart's Legend Hunters series, as well as a giveaway of 5 copies (CONTEST CLOSED, THANK YOU) of the book, sponsored by Hachette! So read on to see my review of this fun romantic adventure and please enter for your chance to win!!


"Desire Me"
by Robyn DeHart

Source: finished copy provided by Hachette Books

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Maxwell Barrett found an ancient map of Atlantis when he was only 17. This discovery led of years of searching for even more proof of the lost city's existence. Sabine Tobias is an actual descendant of Atlantis and her aunt is even a "guardian" of the healing elixir from Atlantis. When Sabine must use the map to uncover clues about an ancient prophecy that may save her aunt's life, she has no choice but to seek Max's assistance. Sabine and Max are not happy to be together on this adventure, piecing together clues and possibly even falling in love.

"Desire Me" was heavy on the action-adven
ture and light on the romance. The romance did kick into gear in the last 100 or so pages and I finally felt like I got to know the characters. I didn't feel like I knew much about the characters at the beginning. I did like how Max slowly (very slowly) revealed his real self at the end, including why he pushed away anyone who got close to him.

The most interesting character to me was probably one of the villains. Cassandra was a great villain, a vain society girl you love to hate. She even had her evil footman/lover at her side to do all of her dirty work. I would have liked to have seen more of the other Legend Hunters in the story because I love secondary characters, especially in a series.

The Atlantis myth is fascinating to me and the Atlantaen elixir adds a bit of the paranormal to the story. The paranormal elements seemed believable and blended into the story seamlessly.

Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5 (the villains count, right?)

Setting: 4/5 (pretty unique, I gotta say)

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5

Bottom Line: This book will appeal to readers who like a good adventure and hidden clues to solve a la The DaVinci Code, with a bit of romance thrown in.



GIVEAWAY RULES:

CONTEST IS CLOSED! THANKS FOR ENTERING!

Hachette books has generously provided FIVE copies of this historical adventure/romance for readers of this blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment on this review with your email address!

Extra Entries:
  • +2 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +2 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US and Canada only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by Hachette
  • Ends Sunday June 27
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Vixen"

by Lila Fine
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 14, 2010




The following description is from Goodreads.com

Set in Jazz Age Chicago, the first book, Vixen, follows 17-year-old socialite Gloria Carmody, who longs to be a flapper and is caught between her conservative fiancé and a sexy jazz musician.


I know I know, this one doesn't come out for a LONG time, but it looks sooooo good, I am already waiting on it to be released!! I love reading about the 1920's and the description for this one reminds me of a Sunfire romance!!

What are you waiting on this week??

"She Walks in Beauty"

"She Walks in Beauty"
by Siri Mitchell

Source: provided for review by Bethany House Publishers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Clara Carter has no desire to be a debutante in New York City at the height of the Gilded Age. At 17, she expected to have one more year of freedom before devoting her life to tedious balls, operas, and dinners, not to mention restrictive clothing. But her father and overbearing aunt force her to come out a year early in order to snag the covet-able DeVries heir. But as the season progresses, Clara finds herself questioning just what she "has" to do for her family and how much is her own choice. She questions even more when the younger DeVries son is the brother who catches her attention instead of the heir.

I loved the message of this book- be yourself! Sometimes, beauty has a very high price as does social popularity and power. I was happy to see the overall message of female empowerment in the book.

Sometimes, reading historical fiction, the reader gets the big picture, but some of the everyday details are left out. This book really helped me to see, in shocking detail, all of the aspects of daily life of the not quite so glamorous Gilded Age. A lot of times these details are overlooked and we only see the glitz and glamour. Poor Clara was squeezed into an extremely tight corset, shrinking her waist to 18 (!!) inches. She was even forced to wear gloves that were several sizes too small, all in order to catch a man.

And what a man Harry was! Always making awkward social mistakes, but always saying the right thing to support Clara. Harry would question why she should feel so hemmed in by society and her family, helping her to let go of the restrictions she had placed on herself.

The first part of the book is a lot of day to day descriptions of a debutante's life. The real story with all of it's twists and turns gets started in the second half. I absolutely flew through the last half of the story!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5 (I love to read historicals set in America, they seem rare)

Romance: 5/5
Uniqueness: 5/5 (I read a lot of historicals and I learned so many new things)
Cover: 5/5 (absolutely gorgeous, you should see the back cover as well)

Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line:
I can't say enough how much I love the message of this book. Even though it's about the Gilded Age, you can see mirrors to our society today. We can still learn from our past and remind ourselves not to pay such a high cost for beauty or to cave to the demands that society puts on us, especially on women.

In My Mailbox (27)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


Received for review:

"Manifest" by Artist Arthur

looks like a great new fantasy!

"To Surrender to a Rogue" by Cara Elliott


Wow, I read the first one in this series and loved it! Can't wait to read the second in installment!

Bought:

"Fallen" by Lauren Kate

I've heard so much about this one, I finally caved and bought it to see for myself!!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Review and Giveaway! "Knight of Passion"



As part of the "Knight of Passion" blog tour, I have my review of the newest book in Margaret Mallory's All the King's Men series, as well as a giveaway of 5 copies of the book, sponsored by Hachette! So read on to see my review of this wonderful medieval romance and please enter for your chance to win!!

"Knight of Passion"

by Margaret Mallory

Source: finished copy provided by Hachette Books

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Lady Linnet and Jamie Rayburn hadn't seen each other for the five years since their relationship ended badly. They were each other's first love, and even over so many years, they still haven't gotten over each other. Headstrong Linnet has since become friend and confidante to Queen Katherine, and young and innocent Jamie is now a knight, Sir James Rayburn. When Jamie is sent to watch over and protect the Queen, he and Linnet realize that no matter their differences or how hard they try, they can't stay apart any longer.

From the very first few pages, I knew I was going to like Jamie, A LOT! He was that perfect combination of strong, powerful knight, with a sweet and loving heart, and of course, eyes only for Linnet. Jamie didn't disappoint, even when he wasn't a wide-eyed innocent anymore, he still retained all of those noble qualities.

I had a bad taste for Linnet at the prologue, but it was explained that Jamie was a little at fault too (hard to believe, I know) so I forgave her. Sometimes, she irritated me just a tiny bit, but I admired the fact that she was so strong and knew what she wanted.

Together, Jamie and Linnet had so much chemistry! Sparks were flying right off the page! You could really tell how much they loved each other too, it wasn't all physical. I loved that the author wasn't afraid to deal with jealousy. Boy, did Jamie get jealous!! I could positively see the steam coming out of his ears! Linnet had her share of jealous moments too. I was glad to see them envious, it made them more human and provided even more sparks.

Mallory's writing is fast paced and some of the dialogue was so unexpectedly funny! Linnet and Jamie's relationship is a roller coaster ride of extreme ups and downs.

There is a great supporting cast of characters as well. I loved the true story of Queen Katherine and Owen Tudor. I'm so intrigued, I definitely need to find more books about this couple!

There were some creepy devil-worshipping scenes (the villains) that were really uncomfortable for me to read. These scenes are not for the faint of heart! If not for these scenes, I would have given the book a full 5 stars!!

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5 (I must read more about Queen Katherine and Owen Tudor!!)

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 5/5
Uniqueness: 4/5


Bottom Line: I really loved this book! Especially Jamie! I have found a new historical romance author to watch out for!

Extras: Check out this site for more extras from the All the King's Men Trilogy. I LOVE the illustration on the main page!




GIVEAWAY RULES:

Contest is closed! Thank you everyone for entering!!

Hachette books has generously provided FIVE copies of this awesome historical romance for readers of this blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment on this review with your email address!

Extra Entries:
  • +2 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +2 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US and Canada only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by Hachette
  • Ends Sunday June 20
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

Book Blogger Hop June 11


It's Friday: Time for the Book Blogger Hop!!

Welcome to any new visitors from the Hop, I'm glad you stopped by!!

I haven't participated in the Hop for awhile so I'm eager to find some new blogs!!

If you're interested in joining the Book Blogger Hop, check out Jennifer's page, Crazy-for-Books, and enter your link and check out some of the other book blogs out there!!

Have a great weekend!!

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Dracula in Love"

by Karen Essex
Doubleday
Release Date: August 10, 2010

The following description is from Goodreads.com


Karen Essex turns on the heat in this transporting and darkly haunting new tale of love and possession that puts forth the question: What if everything you knew about Dracula . . . was wrong?

From the shadowy banks of the River Thames to the wild and windswept coast of Yorkshire, the quintessential Victorian virgin Mina Murray vividly recounts in the pages of her private diary the intimate details of what transpired between her and Count Dracula—the joys and terrors of a pas­sionate affair and her rebellion against a force of evil that
has pursued her through time.

Mina’s version of this timeless gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into the dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and locked asylum chambers where she led a secret life, far from the chaste and polite lifestyle the defenders of her purity, and even her fianc√©, Jonathan Harker, expected of her.


Bram Stoker’s classic novel was only one side of the story. Now, for the first time, Dracula’s eternal muse reveals all. What she has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than ever imagined. The result is a scintillating gothic novel that reinvents the tragic heroine Mina as a modern woman tor­tured by desire.


I'm intrigued by this one!! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and it sounds so gothic!

What are you waiting for this week?

In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

I went to the library this week!! Woohoo!! Here's what I've already read (expect reviews later in the week!) Have a great weekend, everyone!


"What I Saw and How I Lied" by Judy Blundell



"Alchemy and Meggy Swann" by Karen Cushman



"The Possibilities of Sainthood" by Donna Freitas



What did you receive in your mailbox this week??
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