Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Unlikely Allies by C.C.Koen



I am hosting one of the blog tour spots for Unlikely Allies by C.C.Koen today. I am reviewing the book today. Do read on to know my thoughts on it. I received a free copy from the author via Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the review.

Title : Unlikely Allies
Author : C.C.Koen
Genre : Contemporary Romance



Blurb :

What happens when a single mom’s four-year-old daughter falls in love with Mr. Right and she doesn’t?

Maggie Tyson’s rule: no bad boys. Her incarcerated ex-husband broke her of that attraction. Needing to escape his threats and the scrutiny of the people in her hometown, Maggie relocates to New York City. Determined to not make the same mistakes, she has a mile-long list of dos and don’ts. Unfortunately, her daughter, Cecily, doesn’t like to follow them. When Cecily wanders away from her and right into Rick Stone’s office, Maggie knows he’s the exact type she’s been trying to avoid. Can she resist him or will she succumb to his willful charm?

Rick Stone’s rule: bed them don’t wed them. Running a multi-billion dollar business doesn’t leave him with much time to do anything else, particularly with an overbearing grandfather breathing down his neck. But when a man works hard, he needs to play even harder. Voted America’s most eligible bachelor, Rick doesn’t have any problems getting women into his bed—except one.
Two auburn beauties stumble into his life.
One will break his heart.
The other—heal it.
Will he love or leave them?


A Teaser to get you interested in the story

“This place is packed. Why’d you pick it?”

Lodged in her brain for several weeks now, Mr. Stone’s guttural tenor replayed in her 

daydreams and in her sleep. She inched around performing a mental countdown from ten to zero, 

which helped cool her off when Cece pushed her buttons, and by some miracle she hoped would 

work in this instance too. 

A steel gray oxford, no tie, and slim-fit pants with the same sheen as his button-down 

vest produced an unnatural reaction. Her tongue rolled to the roof of her mouth and withheld the 

groan his arousing professional attire and fresh-air scent planted in her head. 

“Uh…” Mr. Stone narrowed his eyes at Matt and clamped a hand on his shoulder. His 

flushed face resembled the cherry red that often tinted joggers’ cheeks. “Buddy, you didn’t tell 

me Maggie would be here. Thought you said this was a business lunch.” He waved a folder and 

tossed it on the table. 

Matt’s grin flashed toward her and then to his friend. “You do realize she’s cooking, 

Just then Mr. Stone’s gaze drifted across her chest, becoming transfixed for a while on 

the crisscrossed fork, spoon, and knife emblem at her left breast and then darted up to her face. If 

possible, his skin reddened even more as he dropped onto the wooden stool, an impact that 

scraped the chair back a few inches, rocking him into Matt’s shoulder. 

“Let’s order. I’m starved.” An elbow shot given to his buddy, Matt knocked Mr. Stone’s 

bent arm off the edge of the table and pointed to the menu. “Pick something, fast. I need to get to 

dessert before it’s all gone.” 

Using a similar mocking tone like Matt had earlier, Mr. Stone scanned the room while he 

spoke. “You realize we’re in a restaurant that has loads of food.” 

She got a chuckle out of the amusing banter. Normally, she and Kat rubbed each other the 

wrong way. It was good to see the ribbing happening to someone else for a change. 

“No, smart ass. Maggie’s extra special, sweet treat. There’s a limited amount.”

The menu forgotten and dropped onto the table, Mr. Stone set his chin in his hand and 

repositioned his arm where it had been before Matt knocked it down. In a seductive murmur he 

asked, “What sinful goodies do you have for me, Maggie?” Extended across the counter, his 

hand cupped hers from underneath and gripped it like a beggar pleading for anything and 

everything she could give.

My Musings : 

When this title came up for a blog tour, the book cover appealed to my love of kids' part in a romance. I am a sucker for romances with kids involved. They usually add enjoyment to a love story with their mischievous actions. And the blurb captivated me enough to give it a try though the author is a new one to me.

I always find romances a bit hard to review though I love them. And this book is also one such story. The storyline isn't any thing exceptional. There has been a few along this line but the special part of this book is the author's touch. She dwells right into the feelings of the charaters and I was very much immersed in the daily happenings of the protagonists. I felt like I was watching a movie the way the scenes were written.

And the characters are no slouch in the appeal department. I especially loved Cece!! She is such a loveable and cheerful kid always up to something. Then there's Kat who is another side character impacting the story with her wild character. I shouldn't forget to mention the protagonists, Maggie and Rick. The chemistry between them was awesome. I could literally feel the heat. There was a bit of spice added to the story to keep the sensual rating in the mid range. I couldn't get enough of them and I was a bit sad that the book ended.. But I am now looking forward to Kat's story if there is one.

The only thing which didn't gel for me is the book name. I think it should have been Unlikely Love/Lovers than Unlikely Allies. Otherwise the book was good.

The Mama's rules at the start of each chapter had me smiling while the epilogue had me chuckling at the end. I can't recommend this book enough to contemporary romance lovers.

My one line review : A love story with a bit of spice and a mischievous pixie makes an enjoyable afternoon read!

My rating : 4/5

My reread factor : 4/5

Meet the Author :

C.C. Koen writes contemporary romance with a twist. An avid reader who enjoys mystery and suspense, her stories will never be what you expect. Determined to find adventure in her dreams and life, she enjoys skydiving, sailing and any activity that challenges her. Teacher by day, romance writer at night produce an active imagination that comes to life in her writing.

Website: www.cckoen.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/authorcckoen @authorcckoen

Blog: www.authorcckoen.com     

Author Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/authorcckoen





Purchase Links


And finally the giveaway!!!!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Book Musings - The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

Title : The Ugly Stepsister
Author : Aya Ling
Genre : Contemporary Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Young Adult
Source : Free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Blurb : 

When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she's magically transported into the world of Cinderella--as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she'll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?



My Musings : 

I confess that the first thing which attracted me to the book was the book cover. The blue kind of overwhelmed me. But the second I read the blurb, I was sure that I was going to read this book ASAP! I love the Cinderella story and if it comes with a twist? Then it's time to cozy up for a read. The premise of a torn book distorting a known fairy tale was very intriguing. I had to read it to satisfy my curiosity.

This is an original take on a classic fairy tale. If you are looking for the usual retelling then this book isn't for you. If you are one who loves twists to tales and thinks out of the box, then you will love this book. Trust me!

The book starts off with the introduction of Kat and her trip into fairyland. And then it's a ride through the lives and emotions of the characters involved in the story to a satisfying but sad finish. I will get back to the end part later on. Right now let me tell you what I liked .. no.. loved about the book. Where to start? Ok, let's go with the characters. I love Kat, obviously. Though she is clumsy in certain areas, the inner lady comes out in others. She made me her fan with her fight within herself for doing the right thing on one side and to do what is required of her for getting back to her family. I felt so bad for Edward because he falls in love with a person who's to leave soon. The other characters add more dimensions to the story among whom Elle and Henry stand out for me with Elle being a strong character inspite of her station in life and Henry being a loveable geek.

The plot is same as the classic tale but with the spotlight on Kat and this adds to the appeal of the book. The antics Kat goes through to get Edward to fall for Elle were hilarious. I was in turns smiling and sniffling while reading the book. It was a fast read because of its variation from the usual. It kept me wanting more, to learn more about Kat and Edward and how it will all play out at the end. The writing flowed with little difficulty and this enabled me to get the book read in a short order.

And coming to the ending, this part broke my heart. Though I liked how it was done in the last chapter, I still felt sad in one corner of my heart. Sighs.... But it was all for good. Now I can't wait to see if the author would continue this as a series of other fairy tales..

I will conclude saying that if you are a romantic like me, you will love this book! Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

My one line review : A classic fairy tale with an original twist to it.... 

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5

Floryie

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Book Musings - The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete

Title : The Soul Thief
Author : Majanka Verstraete
Series : Angel of Death, Book 1
Genre : Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source : Free copy from the author via Enchanted Book Promotions 

Blurb :

When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.


GOODREADS


My Musings : 

I had seen this title on a few blogs being reviewed and I was,at first, eager to get a chance to read it but later on, as usual I got struck with what I call the familiar books indifference syndrome. Yes, you read it right, sometimes I lose interest as I keep on seeing a book almost everywhere. Then I saw it at Enchanted Book Promotions and I requested it for review purposes and I am still kicking myself for NOT getting the book faster.

As far as I am concerned, the book cover is very good and it has captured the main "element" of the book. The blurb is also attention grabbing with the mystery associated with Riley and the deaths respectively.

This is one book which doesn't start slow but is at a flat out run from the beginning to the end. The story is well crafted keeping me immersed in the action of the characters. The plot is solid and has very few potholes. The story flows easily and there are no hiccups between the scenes. The book has all the markings of a good paranormal fantasy with the Angels and Reapers and add in suspense and mysterious deaths and you are in for a treat.

The characters aren't that many so I wasn't confused at all at any point in the story. The protagonist, Riley made a good impression on me with her adaptability and her loyalty to her friends. Mich was my favourite among the supporting characters while Leander made me wince many times with his indecisiveness. I think I almost got a whiplash because of his actions.

The beginning of the story is intense but then death is always intense, and moves onto a fast paced tale. The thing I liked about it, was that it was a well rounded book with the right amount of world building. The ending was kind of surprising because of the book's villain's actions and well the cliff hanger made me groan in frustration.

In short, this is a book every paranormal fantasy lover would enjoy with a smattering of romance and copious amounts of adventure. Now I am awaiting the next book with eagerness!

My one line review : A paranormal tale with a smattering of romance and copious amounts of adventure.

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 5/5

Floryie 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Book Cover Reveal - The Espionage Effect by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

We are thrilled to bring you the cover reveal for Kat & Stone Bastion's THE ESPIONAGE EFFECT!
THE ESPIONAGE EFFECT is a standalone, full-length, action-adventure romance filled with plenty of the sexual tension, deep emotion, and scorching scenes the Bastions are known for.

This sexy action-adventure romance releases July 14th!

The Espionage Effect cover

Do you like romance a little more erotic, edgy, darker, filled with action-adventure, toned with mystery, complete with a twist...or two? If so...

Be sure to preorder your copy today! Amazon * KOBO * iBooks



Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations

About The Espionage Effect:

When desire sets you free…control is a matter of perception.

I'm Devin Hill.
Darkness taints my soul.
I'm suffocating. Drowning.
The sweet promise of air? Pure illusion.
Tested as a genius at age seven, I hide my emotions, become what they expect...bury my secrets. At nineteen, I trudge toward a predestined path, blinders on, heart safeguarded.
Until I dare to be wild.
Until Alec Marquez crashes into my world.
Until all that follows redefines everything I've ever known.

What happens when you stumble into a world of spies...and discover you belong there?

The Espionage Effect - The Blindfold Pic Quote


Excerpt

“Do you remember their love?” An odd question, even to my ears, but I needed to know.

He didn’t reply right away, only briefly paused, then continued typing.

I didn’t release the photograph. Didn’t turn around. Entranced to a level I couldn’t resist or deny, I remained rooted to the spot on his bamboo office floor, clinging to a fragment of someone else’s joyous life, stuck in my admiration for those who’d been able to defy the choking darkness of the world for its breath of light.

The keyboard clicking ended entirely. But I barely noticed.

My heart pounded in my ears as I gripped the frame, thumbs slipped into place on the perfect silver surface. My fingerprints might as well have marred the perfect picture. Its image marked me. Indelibly.

How had one two-dimensional image branded my heart so fast?

On a shaky exhale, it hit me. It hadn’t. The delicate aging photograph hadn’t been the one thing, it had been the last thing, the proverbial straw on the camel’s back—the catalyst to the fractures spider-webbing through an armored fa├žade I’d so carefully constructed finally shattering apart, blowing to dust the once impenetrable fortress walls I’d imprisoned myself within.

“I remember.” His voice slid over my senses, warm and soft. His heat came up behind me, wrapping around me as his strong hands ran down my arms, then covered my hands as they still clutched the frame.

For the first time in my life, I finally stood without my armor. Terrified, yet convinced I needed to take the leap of faith even if I died from the fall, I leaned back into his strength.

And he held me. As I began to shake, gripped the frame tighter for fear of dropping it, he simply held me.

“Their laughter is the greatest memory; I can still hear its echo in my head, feel its presence in the middle of the night.”

An aching pang thumped from behind my ribcage. That he would be lonely in the darkness too, seek the memory of what he’d once had to lull him to sleep.

I’d done the opposite. “I can’t remember mine.” My voice croaked. Hands trembling uncontrollably, I clattered the bottom metal corners of the frame down onto the perfectly polished surface before I dropped it. “Their love, I mean.” I sucked in a ragged breath as my arms drew against my middle. I hugged myself, trying to hold in the pain that I’d never let myself feel.


His arms followed, covering mine. A cramp burned at the base of my throat, and I closed my eyes, pinching back hot tears, afraid of losing myself to the scathing onslaught of feelings. As my breathing grew shallow, Alec tightened his hold, wordlessly providing his protection from the unseen threat.

The Espionage Effect - Sensual Kiss Pic Quote


The Espionage Effect - Sculpted Back Teaser Pic
 
The Espionage Effect - Passion on Bed Teaser Pic

The Espionage Effect - Kiss in Surf Teaser Pic


About Kat & Stone Bastion:


Shoe and Boot Photo

Kat Bastion won several awards for her bestselling debut novel Forged in Dreams and Magick. Kat and Stone Bastion’s bestselling first novel No Weddings and the No Weddings series were named Best of 2014 by multiple romance review blogs. When not defining love and redemption through scribed words, they enjoy spending their time mountain biking and hiking in the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

Be sure to follow Kat & Stone's social media pages to keep informed:


P.S. ~ Have you joined their new-release list?


One lucky subscriber will win an eBook of their choice from their backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card each time they send out a preorder or new-release announcement.
Sign up for their Email Subscription list here: http://www.katbastion.com/email-subscription/
(They solemnly promise to email only a handful of times a year to announce preorders and new releases.)

Enter Kat & Stone's Giveaway!

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Book Cover Reveal - The Duality Bridge by Susan Kaye Quinn

Today is the cover reveal for The Duality Bridge by Susan Kaye Quinn. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.



Title : The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2)
Author : Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre : Science Fiction
Age category : Young Adult
Release Date : late summer 2015


You can find The Duality Bridge on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25181811-the-duality-bridge


First book in the series:


Title : The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)
Author : Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre : Science Fiction
Age category : Young Adult
Release Date : March 2, 2015

Blurb :

What would you give to live forever?

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

When immortality is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

You can find The Legacy Human on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25223919-the-legacy-human

You can buy The Legacy Human here:

- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U1VKGSE/



Meet the author :




Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

GET A FREE STORY (subscribe):

http://smarturl.it/SKQnewsletter

More about Sue:

- Website: http://smarturl.it/SKQwebsite

- Facebook: http://smarturl.it/SKQonFB

- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/susankayequinnauthor

- Twitter: http://smarturl.it/SKQontwitter

- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4094557.Susan_Kaye_Quinn

- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Kaye-Quinn/e/B003TTJRXU/

- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susankayequinn/



There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of The Duality Bridge. These are the prizes you can win:

- 5 paperbacks - The Legacy Human or any other Susan Kaye Quinn book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 19 June 2015

Blogger Meet - Ara from The Booksnake Etc., - What kind of reader are you?

Hey Floryie's reader(s)! I'm so honored to have this opportunity to guest blog here on The Travelogue of A Book Addict. I'm Ara, by the way. Ara the Booksnake (not my middle and last name) of The Booksnake Etc. Hope you can take the time to visit my blog as well. It's not as awesome as this blog right here, but I'm pretty proud of my baby. I think I've done enough promoting now, so onto my post...

Have you ever wondered what kind of reader you are? Did you even know that there are actually different kinds of us in the world? No? Well dude, you have been missing out. I have [compiled] right here, a few categories of our people. (I say our people like we have our own nation or something.)

P. S. Do try to figure out where you fit in after reading all of them. You might be surprised at the number of groups you find yourself relating.

1. Samantha "Snob" Sanchez

They are our mortal enemy. Okay maybe that's stretching it out a bit, but these are the people who cannot understand why we like to read. You tell them you can't go out because you're reading and he/she looks at you all weird and rants about how boring reading is.



Like, "Pfft! You're just jealous because your imagination is non-existent." Am I right? Can I get some hands.

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2. Alexa "Audiobook"

I have absolutely nothing against audio books, and I think that they're pretty useful. I just get annoyed though when I suddenly find myself in a conversation with someone who says they love reading books, but then I find out they don't actually read it...they listen to it. I try to jokingly point it out, and they tell me "It's the same thing." Then I'm like...


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3. "Hoarder" Houdini

These folks buy books faster than a magician can say "Abracadabra". And they don't -- can't -- settle for just one or two...they need to buy A LOT. If they get one part of a series, they need to buy it all. When you tell them that they already have tons of books they haven't even read yet, they go...


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4. "Emotional" Emma

You either know one or you are one. You're the type who gets so attached to a story and its characters that you feel what they feel; happiness, sadness, anger, lust maybe? When you write reviews, you usually base what you write on your feelings about the book. It's okay...I am one too.


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5. "Speedy" Gonzales

These are also my people. We read like someone's going to steal our book from us. 700-page book? Yeah, that's not really going to take too long. A fantastic trilogy? We'll start today and let you know how we liked all of them by tomorrow. If speed-reading is a sport in the Olympics, we would be champions. But this comes with a price...we sometimes forget faster than others.


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6. "Slow"-rida

Obviously the complete opposite of Speedy Gonzales, the "Slow"-ridas like taking their sweet time in reading their books. They really bathe in the information, and they like going back through lines they've already read. It's also easier for them to remember the details of the story as well as all the significant characters. They're what we would call, relaxed readers. Word of caution though, do not lend them books, especially those that you like to re-read. Why? You probably won't see them again...for at least a year or so.


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7. Dr. Spencer Reid or The Sheldon Cooper

If you didn't get that, you have to get out more. They are the know-it-alls. They're like robots pretending to be human just so they can make us feel inferior. They read fast, they completely understand what they read, and they can even quote you lines from the book. They're freaking annoying, but you love them because they're just awesome. It's a strong love-hate relationship.


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8. Cristopher Mc"Critic"

He is the Anton Ego to your Auguste Gusteau (from Ratatouille). He is never satisfied, and feels no shame in letting people know that they did not like the book they've read. They don't care about haters, because they hold on to the belief that we are all entitled to our own opinions. But hey! If they really liked a book, they can write the longest and most colorful reviews.


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9. Corina "Cover Lover"  

I am 60% a Corina "Cover Lover". I am guilty of judging a book by its cover, and more often than not, I pass up on books I don't like the cover of. But come on, you have to admit that you are one too...even if it's just a small part. Don't you go rolling your eyes at me!


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I hope you guys enjoyed this post of mine. I will be making a longer version of this which would be found on The Booksnake Etc. and I hope ya'll would watch out for it.

THANKS SO MUCH FLORYIE for giving me the opportunity to do this wonderful thing. I look forward to more guest blogs between us, and of course, other bloggers as well.


Thursday, 18 June 2015

A quick update

Hey all!

If you guys noticed, I failed to do my update for the buddy read, Book Chat of The Leopard Vanguard and the final review on the scheduled date. I was sick and  I wasn't able to do anything for a while. I know that's no excuse but it happens. Those are a few of what's pending on my side. I hope to get it all done soon.

Do check out Sue's blog for the Book Chat update and the review while I will be posting the book review soon.I will be skipping the third Book Chat update though. I felt sad that I had to deviate from the prescribed date since this is my first featured post. Oh well.

See you soon-er!

Floryie 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Book Cover Reveal - Love Hard by Roe Valentine


Today is the cover reveal for Love Hard by Roe Valentine. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Title : Love Hard
Author : Roe Valentine
Genre: Roaring Twenties Historical American Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: July 1, 2015


Blurb:

Ingrid Crawford isn’t the careless flapper everyone thinks she is. In fact, she’s carrying around a heavy load, thanks to her loose-fisted father who’s gambled the family fortune away. While moonlighting at the Tease, she meets a man who might get her out of her financial troubles for good.

Jovanis Koulis is a Greek immigrant who works as a courier, but he strives for much more. While visiting a burlesque joint, he is hit by Cupid’s arrow in the worst way when he lays eyes on the Veiled Vixen. Though he doesn’t tell the fair lady who he really is, he lets her believe what she wants…until he meets her face-to-face days later and neither are who they thought they were.

Will they be able to live up to each other’s expectations without finding themselves in hot water first?

You can find Love Hard on Goodreads:

GOODREADS

You can pre-order Love Hard here:

- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Hard-Roe-Valentine-ebook/dp/B00YJERTN4/

Heat Index: Spicy

Note: Love Hard contains explicit scenes. Intended for adults.

Note: Love Hard is a standalone novel, but best when read after Love Easy


Excerpt:


“And you lied to me, Vixen.” They stared, chests rising and falling with hard breaths. He didn’t care for her name calling. The heat of a hundred fires lashed his insides, eased up to his face until he had to wipe his sweating brow.

“You said you were a businessman.” Her full pink lips remained thin somehow. Her body remained tense, shaking somewhat.

“No, I didn’t. You said that.”

“And you didn’t disagree.” She placed both hands on her hips. He followed the movement, taking in the curves of her suited body and remembered how luscious she was without clothes on. A twitch in his crotch jerked his eyes back to her blushing cheeks.

He smirked. “Well, I was in the middle of something.”

Her angel face reddened, proving to him how angry she was. In fact, the steam of her anger misted into the air between them. “You’re just a con!”

“If I’m a con, what are you?” Her eyes widened. He’d hit a nerve. But he had to continue. She wasn’t going to get off so easy. “Does your employer know you dance at the Tease? Do they know you strip for money?”

He was being cruel, and he should stop. Or he should take her and kiss her like she needed to be kissed. Only his mouth would shut her up—he’d proved that the night before. Though, she might not be screaming his name there.

“How dare you!” Her large eyes glossed over.

Just as he was going to say something, apologize for being a brute, the elevator doors opened. Both sets of eyes turned to the empty vessel waiting for passengers to enter. One foot in and she grabbed him by the bicep. “We aren’t done.” Her gaze went to his mouth, lingered there in that split second that could have been a lifetime. To test her intention, he licked his bottom lip slowly. Sure enough, her stare moved with the motion, and her lips parted in time to release a small whimper.

Something overcame him. The same something that overcame him last night to even be so bold with a woman. He pulled her into the elevator with him, pressing her back against the elevator wall just as the doors closed.

Meet the Author


Roe Valentine was born into the right family. Not only does the name Valentine suit her, but her grandmother, unknowingly, introduced the young Ms. Valentine to her first romance novel. She hasn’t read anything else since. She calls herself a romantic at heart and believes that love conquerors all.

The San Antonio native, who now lives in Houston, attempted to write her first contemporary romance novel when she was nineteen years old. That attempt didn’t take, but her story has a happy ending. She kept pursuing the dream until she landed her first publishing contract in 2013.

When not busy writing or reading love stories, Roe can often be found in a yoga class or chatting with friends at her favorite coffee shop. Enjoying margaritas with some girl-talk isn’t unusual for her either. For a night in, she watches reruns of her favorite TV shows and, of course, romantic comedies on her Roku, usually with a glass of wine.

She writes spicy Contemporary, Historical, and Erotic romance novels.

Roe Valentine also LOVES talking to readers. You can contact her in the following ways:

- Website: http://www.roevalentine.com

- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoeValentine

- Twitter: http://twitter.com/roevalentine

- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/RoeValentine

- Email: info@roevalentine.com

Blog Tour / Book Musings / Giveaway - The Chronicles of Izzy Boxed Set by Michelle Graves

ChroniclesofIzzyTour

Welcome to the blog tour of The Chronicles of Izzy Boxed Set by Michelle Graves. Today I am reviewing the entire series for it. Read on to know more about Izzy and her adventures and my thoughts on it.


Title : The Chronicles of Izzy The Complete Series
Author : Michelle Graves
Series : The Chronicles of Izzy 
Genre : Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
Source : A free copy from the author through IndieSage

Tour: The Chronicles of Izzy Boxed Set by Michelle Graves
Blurb : 

I lived an ordinary life. Perhaps it was life of loss, maybe even a lonely life, but ordinary all the same. Never in a million years could I have predicted the events that would unfold after that fateful delivery. Some Seer I was.

But that doesn't matter any more, that life, the one I'd thought was my reality, was nothing more than a weakly constructed facade. The lines between reality and fiction have blurred, leaving me with nothing but the cold hard facts. The world is vastly different than I ever understood. Guardians and Seers are real, and I have the power within me to tip the balance in a war between good and evil that had been brewing since the beginning of time. The fight was coming to a head and the outcome hinged entirely upon me. I have to make an impossible choice. Would I step into my role as a Seer and face the growing Darkness head on, or would I cower and let everyone I loved suffer and die? The Darkness will rise and the Prophecy remains, the Seer must Fall. So Fall I will. Friendships, love, and sacrifice will all play out transforming Izzy into the Seer of prophecy. Find out what happens in The Chronicles of Izzy. 



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My Musings : 

I am so buying the boxed set!

I hope that shows how I feel after reading the series.

To be honest, I spent the prequel thinking what is so special about Izzy. Yes, it didn't prepare me for the roller coaster ride of destiny and love and sacrifice. The action begins in the first book, See how she runs and continues till the end. There's non stop suspense and thrill throughout the series. 
This is one series I read without looking at the book covers. Yes, I am a book cover lover but the blurb of this series had me so much interested in the story that I didn't even think to peek at them. And the author delivers much more than what is hinted in the synopsis. If I had read it as single books I would have not been able to withstand the wait for the next book. And that's saying something because it's not that easy for me to continue with series books. 

What to say about the story? Basing a book on Seers isn't anything new but the way they have been paired with Guardians and the powers bestowed on them was different. The world created around them with their supposedly good and bad factions was unique and was shown in a fresh light. Of course, what's a fantasy story without a prophecy in it? The convolutions in it was, in one word, scary. Seriously, if I was Izzy I would have gotten out long ago. But then Izzy is special and braves everything for her loved ones. 

The theme of the book, I felt, suits the modern world well. I especially liked that the Darkness brings out the worst in everyone even the protagonist, Izzy who is to be the ultimate fighter against the dark ones. The book is chock-full of adrenaline based incidents which happen one after the other without any respite to the characters and to the readers. This kept me on my toes anticipating the next move. There were many scenes which had me surprised with their ability to turn the story in a totally different direction. 

The characters were very good and they kept me engaged with their intensity and action. I absolutely loved Izzy's snarkiness and Molly's bull headedness and Sena's no-filter mouth. I had such a great time reading about their antics. I missed Izzy's attitude in the second half of the series. Other characters who impacted me were Kennan and Aberto with their pure love ( I call any love which is selfless as pure ) and Conall and Ian with their acceptance. All other characters were peripheral. They were there to pull the story forward. The demon, Sonneillon made more of an impression than Damali. That's one part which disappointed me. I usually expect more from my villains! 

The pace was very fast and at no place did it slow down. The story flowed beautifully from scene to scene. There was always this continuity with the plot and the characters. The plot was made intricate with the convoluted turns in the prophecy leading to action half the time while the other half was spent in waiting and behind-the-scenes details. In spite of less direct action, it did well as a page turner. 

So if you guys want to know my verdict, just read the first line of this review. And guys, do read this series! It is a lovely addition to the urban fantasy lovers' shelf.

My one line review : A prophecy oriented fantasy tale for strong heroine lovers.

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5
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So now you guys know what I think about the chronicles, read on to peek into the books. 


See How She Runs Excerpt

I dreamt of rolling green hills. I found myself standing on the precipice of a cliff staring down into a raging ocean. The waves beat ruthlessly against the cliffs and I wondered what it must be like to try and swim against such a force. The sound of my name being called pulled me from my reverie.

“Mom?" I asked, wondering if this was just a dream or if she were really there.

“Baby, I won’t be back again. I want you to know how much I love you. But it is my time. I feel myself fading. I just couldn’t leave without telling you goodbye.”

My feet carried me towards her before I could even make sense of what she was saying. Violently, I threw myself into her frail arms.

“Please don’t leave me!" I pleaded with her, burying my face in her boney shoulder. “I can come and get you. Just wait a little longer. Please mom. Please don’t leave me again, not when I just found you.”


Fool's Errand Excerpt

“The darkness will reemerge. There are steps being taken, lies being spoken, plans being laid. The threat shall come and you, my dear, must protect our kind.”

“How am I expected to do that when I could not stop it the last time?”

“You will do it the same way you did the last. There is a Seer.”

“Surely you are not talking about that old prophecy! I believed that to be a falsehood, a fairytale of sorts to keep Seers in line.”

“You, yourself, should know all tales have some bit of truth in them. This is no different. She lives now. The elders have all felt her presence for a long time, yet her power grows every day. She must reach her potential. You are entrusted with this, Conall.”

“Who is she?” The woman’s riddles grated on my nerves. Surely she could not expect me to seek out this Seer.

“You will know when the timing is right. Of this, I am sure.” She smiled as I spun her around the room, making everything else a blur.

“Do you know what is coming?” I tilted my head to the side, wondering if the woman was altogether there.

“Of course, child. I’ve seen what is to be and what cannot be. It is my blessing and my curse. It is why I live alone in a city of pretenders and practitioners. But this knowledge is not yet yours for the knowing.” Again, a smile ghosted across her lips before her face turned serious once more. “There is something more. Something that I feel I must tell you.”

“What?” I sighed.

“Protect her, and she will find the truth you seek. She will be your savior.”





See How She Fights Excerpt

“Hello?” I yelled. Even in the dreaming I knew this was a half-baked idea. I heard moaning in the distance. I moved forward through the foggy oblivion, the sound my only guide. The eerie noise echoed and bounced until I could not find my way. I was lost.

I turned to run but was greeted with a new nightmare. I looked down at almost a dozen bodies. Each one more gruesome than the last. They reached out for me with blood crusted arms. Their wails shredded my soul. I couldn’t breathe. Everywhere I looked, there were eyeless figures, begging me for help. I wanted to save them. I wanted to make them whole again. I tried to remember that it was just the dreaming. It was not real. This was not reality. I closed my eyes and tried to steady my breathing.

“It isn’t real,” I shouted into the fog. I opened my eyes to find them moving towards me. The sightless mob closed in around me and as I began to scream, I heard him. I heard Xavier whisper.

“Oh, but it is real. This is what shall become of you all.”

I screamed out as their cold fingers brushed against my skin.


See How She Falls Excerpt

As I let the inevitability sink in, I heard it. A familiar voice called out of the fog. A voice I hadn’t heard for two months, yet there he stood. The culmination of nightmares and fears wrapped into the body of a cloaked figure. My future cradled in the palms of his crushing hands. Motionless, I was rooted to my place. The unchangeable darkness, the coming storm, it all pushed down upon me.

He moved towards me, cutting a path through the fog to stand above me like some sort of centurion. The robe covered all but his sneering mouth. The mouth that housed the words that would end me. “Do you see it now? The inevitability? This world will burn for its sins, Izzy. These people, they don’t deserve the grace they are given, or the protection of our kind. Why not just join us? Fighting really is futile.”

The hopelessness pushed against me, prodding me, taunting me. Swallowing deeply, I rose to my knees. I’d never been a quitter, I wouldn’t start now. I’d been warned that the darkness would call for me, that it would tempt me. Strength I didn’t know I possessed rose up within me. Whatever this person was doing, I could fight it. I could fight him. Taking a deep breath, I stood on shaking legs to face the robed figure.

“I will do everything in my power to protect this world from whatever it is you are trying to bring.”

“Look down at your leg, Izzy. Do you really think that you can stop us? Just two more runes and the bridge will be complete. Your fight was lost before it began.”

At his words, the burning began on my calf, ripping deep into my soul. I knew that when I awoke, I would have another mark. I wondered if this one would be my undoing. My rubbery legs failed me, and as I began to fall I heard a laugh.


Seeing is Believing Excerpt

“But they said the darkness will still fall, Ian. Doesn’t that seem like everything we’ve done has been for nothing? I just can’t believe a loving God would allow all of that sacrifice to be done in vain.” Giving voice to the thoughts that had plagued me since we got the news sent a chill down to my bones. I hadn’t wanted to face my anger or my fear. I’d wanted to plow on like Izzy. But I wasn’t her; I was a freaking empath.

“It isn’t solely up to the Gods. We are in a battle against much darker forces, unimaginable beings. The Gods could not combat them alone; that is why we were created. We are meant to maintain the balance.”

“This doesn’t feel like balance to me, Ian,” I replied around a yawn. The day had been one of the longest of my life. Bone tired, I climbed into bed next to Ian. I didn’t care if I was still in my gross clothes from tromping through the swamp. The only thing on my mind was sleep.

“We will try tomorrow to make sense of all of this. For now, sleep.” Ian whispered words sending me into the one place I absolutely did not want to be – the dreaming.

Please don’t let there be Revenants, please don’t let there be Revenants. I chanted to myself, hoping when I opened my eyes I would be alone.
See How She Awakens Excerpt

The Old One will lie, the darkness whispered inside of me. The voice a twisting darkness that seemed to ooze with every syllable. He will betray you once more. Don’t trust him.

“GO AWAY!” I shouted. The voice was growing stronger. I hadn’t heard it like this in the void. Why had Aberto taken me away from my refuge?

“I will never leave you again,” Aberto swore. “You may rail against me, vent your rage, tell me to leave a thousand times, but nothing will sway my resolve.” His face transformed, frightening me. The way he looked at me, as though he wouldn’t be able to survive losing me again, made me want to run. I couldn’t do this. I’d lost everything. “Izzy, I would not survive losing you.”

As Aberto lowered himself to the ground, he raised his knees, resting his arms across them so his head hung there. Defeat and exhaustion warring with one another.

He lies, the darkness murmured.

“STOP!” I screamed, curling in on myself. “GET OUT!” I could feel it churning within me, trying to stretch itself to consume the light left within me. I clawed at my stomach, trying to rip it away.

“What is this? What has happened?” Aberto rose to move toward me. All emotion washed from his face. This Aberto I remembered well. He was the one that had taught me to soul walk; that taught me my soul was not my own. He was ruthless.

“You should’ve left me in the void. Now everyone will perish.” Repressed tears swept forth, bringing with them the pain and loss that had been walled up within me for God only knew how long.

“Why would you think that?” Aberto’s voice softened as he cradled my face in his hands. My eyes looked up to meet his, and I was sure he could see it. The darkness that lingered in the background, pushing me, twisting me into something I never wanted to be.

“You see it, don’t you?” I pleaded with my eyes.








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Meet the Author

AuthorMichelleGraves
Michelle Graves is a self-proclaimed nomad, moving every two to three years with her husband the Army man, her beautiful daughter, and a fat tailless cat named Torri. When she is not writing away trying to purge her mind of yapping characters she can be found entertaining her daughter, attempting to craft (whilst trying not to injure herself with the glue gun), baking yummy treats, or reading. She admits to having a restless spirit and forces her family to go out on adventures whenever possible. They lovingly play along.

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Book Cover Reveal - Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves





Welcome to the cover reveal and chapter reveal of Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves.



Blurb : 

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.





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© 2015 Tracey Garvis Graves
Heart-Shaped Hack
CHAPTER ONE





“The babies are going to starve,” Helena said.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” Kate replied. “No one is going to starve, least of all the babies.” But her pinched expression and the way she was jabbing at the keyboard as she refreshed the donations page on their website said otherwise. For the first time in the sixteen months since Kate had left her position as a corporate attorney to open the food pantry, she faced the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away. She couldn’t stand the thought of letting down her regulars, especially the young mother of three who relied on the pantry to feed them.

The problem was that Kate’s nonprofit organization was not the only one in Minneapolis that needed help. Tomorrow was the first of September, and everyone was trying to stockpile whatever resources they could before they headed into the colder months.

“Let’s see,” Helena said. “We could rob a bank. We could pawn our valuables. You could sell your body on a street corner.”

Despite their dire circumstances, Kate cracked a smile. Helena had walked through the front door of the food pantry shortly after Kate opened and said, “I’m sixty-five, and they’re forcing me to retire from my job at the insurance company. My husband retired two years ago, and now he’s home all day. That’s too much togetherness for us. I have to find something to do outside the house, and you wouldn’t have to pay me much.” Kate hired her on the spot and had never regretted it.

She swiveled her chair toward Helena. “Why am I always the one who has to sell her body? Why can’t you sell yours?”

“Who do you think is going to bring in more money? A gray-haired grandmother of seven, or a willowy twenty-nine-year-old beauty? It’s a no-brainer.”

It was hard to argue with logic like that.

Kate had been so determined not to let down their clients that she’d resorted to begging her ex-boyfriend Stuart—who worked as the executive producer on an hour-long talk show on the local ABC station—to let her appeal to the public during the afternoon broadcast.

“Do you know how hard it is for me to be around you, Kate?” Stuart said when he received her call. “Do you ever think of that?”

“Of course I do. But this is really important to me.”

“I used to be really important to you.”

Kate remained silent. They’d been through this before.

He sighed in defeat. “Come in tomorrow. I’ll squeeze you in after the cooking segment.”

“Thanks, Stuart.”

The skirt had been Helena’s idea. “We need to do whatever we can to grab viewers’ attention.”

“You mean I need to do whatever I can.”

“Of course I mean you. You have great legs.”

On the day of the broadcast when Helena arrived at the food pantry, Kate said, “I don’t remember this skirt being quite so short. I’m actually a little worried about the type of viewer I might attract with it.” She tugged on the hem, pulled out her desk chair, sat down, and crossed her legs. “Can you see anything?”

“You’ll be fine unless you decide to recross your legs in the middle of the segment like Sharon Stone did in that one movie.”

“I can assure you I will not be doing that. The skirt is as far as I’m willing to go. I draw the line at flashing people, not even for the babies.”

Kate had paired the black-and-white houndstooth skirt with a black short-sleeve top and her favorite black heels. When she arrived at the TV studio, she ducked into the bathroom to check her teeth for wandering lipstick. Before she left the food pantry she’d applied a raspberry lip stain that Helena claimed looked stunning on her. That morning she’d curled her long dark hair and then brushed through the curls with her fingers so they draped across her shoulders and down her back in loose waves. She’d used plenty of mascara to play up her brown eyes. The extra primping made her feel a little like she was standing on a street corner, but she banished those thoughts. At this point, they needed all the help they could get.

After Stuart snaked the mic up the back of her top, his hands lingering on her skin in a way that made Kate feel sad, he positioned her on a stool and told her to wait for his signal. She kept her legs tightly crossed, and when the light on the camera turned red, he pointed at her and she began to speak.

“Good afternoon. My name is Kate Watts, and I’m the executive director of the Main Street Food Pantry. As we head into the winter months, our needs—and those of all local food pantries—will be greater than ever.” Kate stared into the camera, imagining she was speaking directly to anyone who might have the means to help them.

“No child should ever have to go hungry, and many of our local residents depend on the food pantry to feed their families. I’m here today to personally appeal to you should you have the ability to help us in any way. The families we assist, and especially the children, depend on your generosity more than you could ever imagine. Thank you.” She ended the short segment with the food pantry’s telephone number and street address, and when Stuart gave her the all clear, she reached under her shirt for the microphone and handed it back to him.

“Thanks, Stuart,” she said, giving him a quick hug. “I really appreciate this.”

“Sure,” he said, looking over her shoulder as if there was something very interesting across the room. “Take care, Kate.”

That was yesterday, and so far only a few additional donations had trickled in. She and Helena spent the rest of the afternoon making calls to local churches and schools to set up additional food drives while continuing to monitor the donations page. Finally, at a little before three, Kate went into the back room to recount their inventory. It was the end of the month and they were down to their last cases of infant formula and baby food. Almost all of the canned vegetables had been depleted, and they were completely out of peanut butter and soup. If it was this bad now, Kate didn’t want to think about what might happen when budgets were stretched even thinner by holiday spending. Dejected, she was sitting on the floor, clipboard in hand, when Helena burst into the back room.

“I ran after him,” she said, gasping for breath. “But he was too fast. Boy am I out of shape.”

“Who did you run after?”

Helena tossed a brown paper bag to Kate and leaned over, resting her hands on her knees as she took in giant gulps of air.

“The man who dropped off the money. Seriously, I may need supplemental oxygen over here.”

Money?

Kate looked into the bag and blinked several times. “Did you lock the front door?”

“Yes.”

She turned the bag upside down and watched in disbelief as hundred-dollar bills rained down on the concrete floor. She counted it quickly. “There’s a thousand dollars here.”

Their website listed four levels for donations with amounts ranging from ten to one hundred dollars. There were higher amounts for corporations, but this was the largest donation they’d ever received from one person, and it was more than enough to replenish their shelves. Kate was already picturing herself pushing a giant cart through Costco. “Did he leave his name?”

“No. He walked up to my desk and said, “Give this to Katie. He must have seen you on TV yesterday.”

“Young? Old?” Rich?

“Young. Early thirties, maybe? Tall. Blondish-brown hair. He was in a real hurry to leave. I chased him out the door, but he jumped into the driver’s seat of an old blue car.”

“An old car? Are you sure?”

“I think it was old. It didn’t look like any car I’ve ever seen. It had stripes on the hood. And then he burned rubber.”

“Why would someone who drives an old car drop off a bag full of money?”

“I have no idea. But whatever the reason, he just saved us.”




Meet the Author :

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish
Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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