Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders

No one had ever looked at her and seen perfection - until now.
Delicate, titian-haired Theresa Noble has met her father’s associates in the past, but the gorgeous, Italian-born Sandro De Lucci leaves her speechless. Eighteen months into their marriage, however, Sandro has turned to ice. Desperate to escape a relationship that has proven to be as stubbornly passionate as it is cold and hateful, Theresa summons up the courage to ask for a divorce. But before he’ll grant her request, Sandro demands something from Theresa: a son.
The stalemate sickens her. Never mind that Sandro has yet to introduce Theresa to the large family that means so much to him. Or that Theresa overhears her husband on the phone with a mystery woman. Most damning is that Theresa senses, in Sandro’s treatment of her, the behind-the-scenes machinations of Jackson Noble, her cruel father. From the depths of her anxiety, Theresa must seek an empowering truth about the husband who calls her, with such cold affection, his cara, his beloved.
This book was a bit like a train wreck. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t.
If ever a marriage counselor was needed, it was needed for Sandro and Theresa. That way the line of communication that was severally lacking would have been open and Theresa wouldn’t have spent the entire book whinging worse than a somebody-done-somebody-wrong country song. 
Okay, so here’s what’s going on. (I know, I’m probably going to drive people up the wall with this review, but remember, it’s my personal opinion. So, if I offend you, go eat a piece of cake to console yourself.)
Jackson Noble, Theresa’s cold-hearted father, offered Sandro a deal he couldn’t refuse: Marry his daughter and produce a son. The first would ensure that Sandro received the property he was after. The second would free him from a marriage he didn’t really want to be in. Okay, let’s not automatically assume that Alessandro’s a pompous arse or the sing the Wanker Song in his honor, there was a valid reason he wanted the property and he thought that Theresa knew the terms of their marriage.
Now nearly two years in, a son still hasn’t appeared and Theresa has grown tired of the way Sandro treats her. Apparently, she had heard his post-climax plea for her to give him a son one too many times.
While he rocks her world in bed, in daily life, he keeps her at arm’s length, and I guess Theresa has finally decided enough is enough.  Keep in mind, Sandro was never abusive. He just didn’t seem to care. Although what I really want to know—given the derision Sandro felt for Theresa, because he more or less thought she was behind her father’s offer—is how he treated her before they married. I have a feeling that Theresa probably knew what she was in for.
Finally, Sandro discovers that Theresa didn’t know the terms of his and her father’s agreement. He also discovers that Theresa’s pregnant. With the secrets finally brought to light, Sandro now realizes that he can let his guard down and let his wife in. Although Theresa isn’t sure she can trust her husband anymore.  Yet Sandro is determined to make her love him once again.
If you’re looking for a novel filled with angst and a whole lot of hero groveling, then this is the book for you. While I absolutely wanted to thump Theresa over the head with something hard and tell her to stop whining and do something about it, I loved this book.
The writing was engaging and I found that I was quickly pulled into Theresa and Sandro’s life and wanted to know more. Depth and emotion flowed from this book and I thoroughly loved the way the hero was quick to realize he was in the wrong and try his best to make amends for the wrongs he committed.
I’m not going to lie. I liked Sandro. He wasn’t afraid to step up and say, ‘hey listen, I was an arse.’ I had a bit of a problem with Theresa and her whinging. I’m not sure if it was because she was naïve or if she just didn’t want to put on her big girl panties and face what needed to be dealt with, but a few times she came off as annoying. I was starting to wonder if someone was going to need to take out an ad on a billboard just so she could finally get what was going on around her. Of course, there were daddy issues from when she was child, (aren’t there always) but come on lady, ask some bleeding bloody questions and get on with it. Don’t just sit there and keep the tissue company in business.
Overall, I could not get enough of this book. Angst and a groveling hero, count me in! Natasha Anders has won another fan.  I will most definitely be reading—or listening—to more from this intriguing series.
This was an audiobook from Audible, which I listened to on my Kindle. With me, the narrator can make or break a character or a plotline for me. I remember when I read the Swan Thief, I loved the book, although when I listened to the audiobook on a car trip with a friend of mine, I hated the book, especially the main character, because of the annoying narrator.
Thankfully, Justine Eyre was a brilliant narrator. She truly brought the book and characters to life. While I had no problems understanding her, I have heard that some listeners had trouble understanding her accent. 

Written by: Natasha Anders
Narrated by: Justine Eyre 
Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins 
Series: Unwanted, Book 1
Format: Unabridged 
Release Date: 03-25-14 
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Rating: 4 Cups

Sunday, June 22, 2014

When You Are Mine by Kennedy Ryan

Forever is a heartbeat away . . . 
Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she's always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.
  . . . but what about love? 
As one of the East Coast's most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family's nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he's been distracted by the one woman he can't have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .

There was so much angst and sexual tension in this novel; I couldn’t help but to be glued to the pages. It’s definitely one of those let the phone ring off the hook until it’s finished books, although readers be warned, this book continues in the next.
Kerris and Cam share a bond because they both grew up in foster homes. While sexual attraction isn’t part of their relationship, she feels safe with Cam. With Walsh, Kerris has everything she doesn’t with Cam and they find themselves drawn to each other like moths to a flame and the chemistry between the two is undeniable.
Okay, so I’m not going to lie, there were a couple times I wished I was reading from a print copy rather than the Kindle, because the heroine made me want to chuck the book against the wall a few times…or climb in the book and beat her with it.
If love triangles with cheating are not your thing, you may want to skip this one. What drew me to the story was the heart wrenching emotion that poured from the characters. While I might not have always agreed with how things were handled, the depth of the characters drew me in.
I cannot wait until the next installment comes out.

Kennedy Ryan grew up in North Carolina, but loves living in Atlanta with her husband (tall – check, dark – check – handsome – check), and her handful of a son. Though she knew, like writers often do, that she was supposed to tell stories, the road to fulfillment has been paved with “some of everything” jobs that kept her family eating and living indoors. With her degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels!), she has focused on writing for non-profit organizations and even doing some non-fiction ghost writing. Only in the last few years did she start telling stories again.
 In addition to being a devoted wife and mom, she’s also a passionate advocate for families living with Autism. Her son was diagnosed at the age of two, and she has made it her mission to help as many families as possible find the resources and services they need. 25% of her royalties will go toward her national charitable partner Talk About Curing Autism and Myles-A-Part, her foundation serving Georgia families.

Book Details

Title: When You Are Mine

Author: Kennedy Ryan

ISBN: 9781455556816

Publisher: Forever Yours

Format: E-book $3.99

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Rating: 3.5 Cups 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Photo-A-Day Challenge Day 2 & 3

Seeing as I woke up yesterday with no power due to the storms that rolled through, here is day 2 (love) and day 3 (summer).

Day 2-Love: These two brown bears were recused as cubs when a car hit their mother. The zoo has tried numerous times to set them up in separate enclosures although they mourn until they are reunited.

Day 3— Summer: Living in the city, I look forward to getting away on the weekends. One of my favorite spots to visit is the Duck Pond at my family's cabin. 

The Photo-A-Day Challenge is hosted by
 If you want to join, please hop over to
 her master post and sign up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Photo-A-Day Challenge June 10—Guilty Pleasure


My guilty pleasure is Butler’s Irish Whiskey Truffle. I may have order an entire case from Ireland at the start of May and I may only have half of one left, because after I snapped the pic I nibbled on it whilst writing up this post.

The Photo-A-Day Challenge is hosted by
 If you want to join, please hop over to
 her master post and sign up.

Photo-A-Day Challenge Master Post
Anna over at Herding Cats and Burning Soup is hosting a Photo-A-Day Challenge that will run from June 10-30. Each day there will be daily prompts so, stop by and check it out then grab your camera and start snapping away.

June 11

June 12

June 13

June 14

June 15

June 16

June 17

June 18

June 19

June 20

June 21

June 22

June 23

June 24

June 25

June 26

June 27

June 28

June 29

June 30


Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts Available For Preorder

Graphic created by me

This Highland Laird won't bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do-he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep. 
But this lady spy might make him...
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess-a job easier said than done-she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.  
If she doesn't betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

Preorder Links

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Change of Plans by Nora Roberts

Second Nature

Celebrity magazine reporter Lee Radcliffe is at the top of her game when she scores an exclusive interview with bestselling horror writer Hunter Brown. But the notoriously private author has one condition: the interview must be conducted over the course of a camping trip. Lee will do anything to get the story, but after some one-on-one time with her ruggedly handsome interviewee, she finds the only thing she wants an exclusive on... is his heart.

Summer Desserts

When Summer Lydon, dessert chef extraordinaire, is approached to revamp the kitchen at Blake Cocharan's Philadelphia hotel, she's hesitant at first, but the project and Blake himself are too tempting to deny. Accustomed to traveling the world, love-resistant Summer gets her first real taste of staying in one place—and all the pleasures to be savored when love is on the menu.

Publisher: Silhouette  Genre: Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

Challenge Read For: Reading Through Nora Roberts

A Change of Plans is two novella length novels in one. Second Nature was the stronger of the two character-wise, while Summer Desserts would make for a fun little summer read.
Second Nature Rating: 4 Cups
Top Celebrity magazine reporter Lee Radcliffe is determined to score an interview with the highly sought after, highly private bestselling horror writer Hunter Brown. When she gets a tip that Hunter will be speaking at a writer’s conference, she mistakes him for an employee of the hotel. Lee’s mistake payoffs and Hunter offers her the exclusive she has been seeking. Although there’s a catch: to get her exclusive Lee must conduct her interview during a two week camping trip. There’s only one problem: the attraction between the two is hotter than the weather.  
I liked Second Nature. The plot was intriguing and both of the characters were strong characters. I found Hunter and his air of mystery exceedingly intriguing. I was drawn to him and wanted to know more about him and why he acted the way he did. 
The sexual tension was strong in this book but wasn’t overly done. My only problem with this novel was it wasn’t long enough. Leading up to the BBM was so detailed then after the BBM, I felt as though there was a rush to get everything done and dusted.
Overall, I loved Second Nature. Definitely one to read over during a weekend or a stormy night.
Summer Desserts Rating: 3 Cups
Summer Lydon is a highly sought after chef who Blake Cocharan wants to revamp his hotel’s kitchen. While Summer’s a bit hesitant, Blake refuses to take no for an answer. Although his offering’s not the only thing that’s tempting. Summer realizes she wants Blake just as bad as he wants her. However, she’s not sure she believes in loves and Blake not going to let her go.
Summer Desserts was a quick little read. The characters were charming, the plot fluid, and the chemistry was running high although there was sense of been-there-done-that to the concept. 
Overall, it was a good little read full of fluff that would make for a cute little beach read. 
A Change of Plans was a cute little collection. While both Second Nature and Summer Desserts were originally released in the late ‘80’s neither feel outdated and other than the character’s smoking like a chimneys and the lack of mobiles being used you couldn’t really tell that these were from the ‘80’s. 
On a side note,  I would have liked to have had the connected novels in the same book rather than having them in separate ones.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New to Me Tuesday 2nd Edition

I have no idea how it happens. I go into the store with an actual list of actual things that I actually need, (you know like eggs because I wasted three dozen making bloody meringues that looked like something out of a bloody bleeding cartoon, but that’s another story for another post, and if I’m being honest, I wished it had occurred in another kitchen because honestly when the great meringue war of 2014 was over my kitchen looked as though I had launched a full scale attack on an egg factory and lost) and somehow books seem to jump into my cart.

Oh, and it’s never one book mind you. They seem it appear in couples. You see, I’m convinced that the one book that jumped into the cart first must be lonely so it brings along a friend or two or in this case three. I’m fairly sure all of you bookoholics know what I’m talking about


Here are my New To Me Tuesday finds


Schooled in Revenge by Jesse Lasky (Hyperion, 978-1-4013-1110-1)
Ava Winters is young, beautiful, and the heiress to Napa's prized Starling Vineyards. She is also in love with the perfect guy at least that's what she thinks until he helps take everything that was once hers. With no place left to turn, Ava finds herself on Rebun Island, Japan, the site of Takeda's revenge school, where she trains to be mentally and physically strong enough to take revenge. On the island, Ava meets Emily Thorne, who has recently returned to training with Takeda. Emily shares her wisdom with Ava about revenge and the importance of looking for justice in a world where enemies thrive.

Four others are on the island preparing for their own personal vengeance—a handsome but guarded man, a feisty young woman and the guy who will do anything to protect her, and a girl who has no memory or idea of who she is or why she's on Rebun. Conflicts arise, bonds are formed, and romance even blooms. The trainees learn that their missions are intertwined. All roads lead back to Ava's home in Napa and Starling Vineyards' annual gala, and if the group attends, each will gain the chance to exact revenge. But to get there on time, they must leave Japan and Takeda before their training is complete. Are they ready? Will they succeed? Will they even survive

I’m a huge fan of Revenge (the telly show, not the act itself) so imagine my excitement when I spotted a book based on the show. I had no idea there was a book. I’m not saying that I did do a happy little snoopy dance…but it may have happened.


Devil’s Prize by Kat Martin (St. Martin’s Paperback, 978-1-250-04140-1)
They Played For High Stakes--Passion, Honor, And Revenge...

Damien, Lord Falon, made his ruthless proposal to Alexa Garrick at a gaming table where he'd cheated the exquisite young heiress out of a fortune--one night with him would discharge her debt. Yet, as claimed his prize, the handsome earl fought a craving for more than Alexa's body..and when a twist of fate turned seduction into matrimony, rapture and rage warred within him. How could he love the woman whose flirtation had destroyed his brother?

Alexa knew of Damien's French blood, scandalous liaisons, and the whispers that branded his a smuggler. Though she was playing with fire, the dark, devilish earl's hungry embrace plucked at her heartstrings with a haunting song of desire. But was Damien spinning a web of deceit and treason, as he brought her to his surfswept castle?

Okay, so I’m not going to lie. I totally bought this book because of the cover.


If You Can’t Stand The Heat by Joss Wood (Harlequin Kiss, 978-0-373-20729-9)
Resisting temptation has never been so impossible…  

Living on the edge used to make wild-card war reporter Jack Chapman feel alive. These days he needs some time-out before he burns out. So what better distraction than delectable pastry chef Ellie Evans? She's oh-so-tempting…and sleeping right next door! Perfect for a short-term fling!  

Ellie knows it would be beyond stupid to fall for a guy with ice in his veins who's always on the move. But daredevil Jack is even more irresistible than her death-by-chocolate cake—and saying no has never been Ellie's strongpoint!

Given how small this book is, I will probably have it read in 30 minutes or less, but it looked as though it would make for a quick summer read.


Love With A Perfect Cowboy by Lori Wilde (Avon, 978-0-06-221900-8)
Melody Spencer had long-ago wiped the dust of Cupid, Texas, off her cute shoes . . . and done her best to forget the chiseled jaw and strong arms of cowboy Luke Spencer. Their families might be part of a long-time feud, but he was her very first love, even if it turned out they never wanted the same things.

But now Luke's come striding back into her life, tempting her with the memories of long, lazy evenings and hot, passionate kisses. And he has an ulterior motive—as Mayor of Cupid, he knows Melody's business savvy can help save their beloved hometown. His smooth talking might get her to Texas, but that doesn't mean he'll get her in his bed. Still, people do say love can be more perfect the second time around . . .

This was a total impulse buy. I’m not normally into cowboys but this looked intriguing.

Tall, Dark, and Cowboy Launch Day Blitz with Interviews and Giveaways

Everybody loves cowboys! Now in this special six-book box set, meet the best of the tall, dark, and handsome cowboys and get ready for the ride of your life . . .
SOMEBODY LIKE YOU by Lynnette Austin: Cash thought he had plenty of time to find the right woman-until he learns that he must marry soon or lose his family's Texas farm. When Boston beauty Annelise enters his life, Cash wonders if she's what he's been looking for all along.

AIN'T MISBEHAVING by Molly Cannon: After her ex-husband leaves her for another woman, Marla Jean won't settle for another lonely night. And her childhood crush, Jake, may just be the right man to help make this good girl go a little bad.

 THE SWEET SPOT by Laura Drake: Charla Rae thought she was over her ex-husband-they'd both been through too much together. But when the championship bull rider comes back into town and offers to help with her ranch, will he also convince her to give their love a second chance?

 LOOKING FOR TROUBLE by Erin Kern: Fleeing her rich, overbearing family, Avery makes her way to Trouble, Wyoming. She soon tries things the old Avery wouldn't dare, like having a sizzling affair with her sexy new boss, Noah-and discovering he's just the kind of trouble she needs.

GOING COWBOY CRAZY by Katie Lane: When Faith is mistaken for her identical twin sister in Bramble, Texas, there's bound to be trouble-especially with her sister's ex-boyfriend Slate.

MONTANA LEGACY by R. C. Ryan: When Amy left Jesse, she broke his heart. Now she's back in town and stirs his old desires, even as she promises to help him find his family's gold. But under the prairie skies an unseen enemy is closing in to threaten their love-and their lives.
About the Authors
You can learn about Lynnette Austin at:

You can learn about Molly Cannon at:
Twitter @cannonmolly

You can learn about Laura Drake at:
Twitter @PBRWriter

You can learn about Erin Kern at:
Twitter @ErinKern

You can learn about Katie Lane at:
Twitter @ktlane3

You can learn about R.C. Ryan at:
Twitter @RuthRyanLangan


 Which of your characters has been the most fun to write so far?

R.C. RYAN- I really can't choose a favorite.  I love them all.  But Jesse and Amy are special. 

ERIN KERN- I love all of my characters. Picking just one is like picking a favorite kid. But I’d have to say I loved writing Courtney Devlin (the McDermott brother’s younger sister, and heroine of The Trouble with Trouble). She’s spunky, fiery and tells it like it is. She’s not afraid of backing down from anyone and has a great sense of humor. I always had a great laugh writing her character throughout the books.

KATIE LANE- Kenny Gene. Think Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show. Kenny’s not dealing with a full deck, but he has a heart of solid gold and always looks at life like it’s a big package just waiting to be opened.  I just love that about him.

LAURA DRAKE- Probably Katya and Cam, the Heroine and Hero of the last book in my Sweet on a Cowboy series, Sweet on You, due out in August. A Gypsy Army Medic turned PBR Physical Therapist and a beat-up bull rider in his last season on the circuit. Lots of conflict there!

MOLLY CANNON- Hoot and Dooley-the two retired men who sit in the front of Marla Jean’s barber shop, playing Parcheesi and gossiping all day. They’ve managed to get into all 3 books so far.

LYNETTE AUSTIN- Oh, this is hard to answer. I always fall madly in love with my heroes—Cash, Brawley, and Ty are magnificent men and not just because they’re gorgeous. It’s their big, generous hearts that make them unforgettable. I love Annelise Montjoy for the courage she showed in traveling across country to save her grandfather’s life. Sophie London, with her fondness for fairies and her belief in love, really hit home with me. But it might be red-headed, hot-tempered Maggie Sullivan that was most fun to write. She put everything she felt right out there, so I never had to hold back with the emotion.

What is the funniest note you’ve received from your editor?

R.C. RYAN- "Whew.  Hot."  I love reading that in the margin.

Despite hot love scenes, scary shoot-outs with bad guys, what really got my editor all charged up were the food scenes.  She claims to love the meals I serve my cowboys and their ranch families, and put a note in a margin that just reading the scene had her salivating.

ERIN KERN- It’s hard to say, because I’ve received a lot of notes! And after a while they all kind of run together. I’d say my biggest “doh’s” are the typos that even my five year old wouldn’t have made.

KATIE LANE- It’s not a note as much as pictures. My editor owns a cat named Clara, and every Halloween, I get a picture of Clara in costume. The cute photos always brighten my day and make my granddaughters giggle.


MOLLY CANNON- She asked if I was willing to change my cat into a dog. I was reluctant at first because I loved my kitty cat, but finally agreed when I found a picture of the puppy that became Sadie. 

LYNETTE AUSTIN- Lauren Plude, my fantastic editor, chewed out Ty Rawlins in Nearest Thing to Heaven. Lauren is a vegan, and every once in a while I stick something in, just to make sure she’s paying attention. And she always is. J Poor Ty got in trouble for it. Riding to his favorite fishing hole, he asked Sophie, “You don’t have a problem with fishing on some philosophical level, do you? I mean, you’re not a vegan or anything. I watched you devour too much Texas beef at the wedding to believe that.”  Lauren’s comment?  Hey no ragging on vegans, Ty! ;)

 What would readers be surprised to find out about you?
R.C. RYAN- I've been singing since I was a kid, and thought about a career as a singer. I chose instead to marry young and raise five great children. And then tried my hand at my great, driving passion - writing. 
ERIN KERN- Probably that I used to be a dancer. I danced ballet for about twelve years and actually performed with the Oakland Ballet two years in a row.
KATIE LANE- I married my high school sweetheart and he inspires all my heroes. (Even when he forgets to take the Chapstick out of his pant pockets and the entire load of laundry ends up with grease spots.)
LAURA DRAKE- I’m a thrill seeker. I Love roller coasters, riding motorcycles and I’ve even skydived – until my last jump when chute didn’t open, and I had to throw the reserve. If I were younger, I’d try getting on a bull!
MOLLY CANNON- I’m really good at trashcan basketball.
LYNETTE AUSTIN- I have, at present, sixty-two pairs of flip-flops, and one of those pairs traveled to Morocco with me where I rode a camel. I can’t resist a great pair of flip-flops.
What is the most interesting thing you learned from research?
R.C. RYAN- Just how dedicated our farmers and ranchers are to maintain the lifestyle and the land of their ancestors.  It takes true grit to stay the course when fighting fickle weather, predators, and the rising cost of feed for herds.  Ranchers and farmers can never take a vacation from their demanding job.  
ERIN KERN- In the Trouble books, the brothers are in the restaurant industry. I was really surprised to learn that chefs work really long hours. Way longer than I expected.
KATIE LANE- I did a lot of research on famous brothels for Miss Hattie’s Henhouse in Trouble in Texas. It is believed that the infamous Chicken Ranch got its name during the Great Depression. Money was so scarce that the prostitutes started taking chickens in exchange for services.
LAURA DRAKE- Next weekend I’m auditing a three day Bullfighting class! Not the ‘El Toro!’ type – the ones who distract the bull from a downed bull rider.  Cannot wait!
MOLLY CANNON- I love researching recipes for my books.  Reading cookbooks is less fattening than eating the finished product-but not as much fun.
LYNETTE AUSTIN- Cowboy hats should always be set down brim-up. Not only does this help preserve the shape, but it allows for all the luck that passes by to collect in it. Fun, huh?