Friday 30 May 2014

Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties #2) by Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication date: June 3rd 2014
My rating:  4.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…

Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…

Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.

My Thoughts:
I LOVED Bitter Spirits so I was eager to get my hand on Grim Shadows.  It did not disappoint! Grim Shadows is a wickedly fun paranormal romance, complete with danger, and mystery, set in the glorious 1920s. Jenn Bennett thrills again with Lowe’s story!

Lowe Magnusson is back home from Egypt after excavating a mystical djed amulet “purported to open a door to the land of the dead” but Lowe could care less about that. He just plans to sell it to the highest bidder, to get him out of some hot water. This is how he meets Hadley Bacall, a curator at de Young Museum whose father is the most promising buyer so far. Hadley is standoffish and seems to be wound very tight, but Lowe can’t help but be intrigued by this icy woman. They don’t get off on the best foot, but that makes it all the more fun.

Hadley is sent to meet with Lowe and arrange buying the amulet her father scoured Egypt for.  Mr. Bacall is willing to pay a hefty price to Lowe, yet something about him gets sets her senses prickling.  He’s charming, and gorgeous (my character picks), but he screams scoundrel.  Unfortunately, Hadley’s father's plans insinuate Lowe further into her life.  He’s hired Lowe to find the missing pieces of the amulet, and as icing on the cake the directorship of the museum once Mr. Bacall retires. Hadley will have none of that, because she’s worked hard to make sure that job will be hers.  Working close together ignites desires in Hadley that could prove dangerous, because there are supernatural reasons she keeps everyone at arm’s length.

Lowe’s smarts, crafty imagination, and good looks make it easy to charm himself in or out of anything he wants.  He has no qualms about bending the truth to do it. The clever cover stories Lowe concocts to aid in their investigations had me cracking up! Lowe was impulsive and always out for the next big deal, but we find out there is a reason behind that, and you begin to realize he is a good man underneath all the trickery.

Hadley was basically raised by her nannies and after her mother died she inherited the dark spirits that come out whenever she can’t control her anger.  It’s easy to understand why Hadley wasn’t close to anyone.  She’s never had any romantic entanglement stir up half the emotions and intense longing she feels for Lowe. Their encounters were delicious and lusty!  Hadley and Lowe’s relationship starts out antagonistic with sparks of desire simmering just below the surface.  Their banter had me laughing:

“Are you here to make my life miserable?”
“I’m here to empty your father’s bank account. Making you miserable is a bonus.”

Every interaction was crackling with heat and the sensual build up, and it was a welcome torture.  I loved Hadley’s her secret frivolity that showed her to be a passionate woman in spite of her exterior reserve. Seeing her passion come out in the midst of all the danger was a complete pleasure!

Jenn Bennett continues to impress me with her writing talents. She transports you to the 1920s effortlessly, and it’s clear she did a lot of research on the time period and location. Yet, I never felt it overshadowed the overall story.  Ms. Bennett writes realistic, multilayered characters, and a plot that keeps you at the edge of your seat.  I can’t wait for the next in the series, Grave Phantoms, Astrid and Bo’s story!

About the Author: Jenn Bennett is the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series from Pocket Books and the Roaring Twenties historical paranormal romance series from Berkley. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She currently lives near Atlanta with one husband and two very bad pugs.

Connect with Jenn Bennett:

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Review: The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication date: May 29th 2014
My rating: 4.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodline series returns with the second installment in her acclaimed Age of X series.

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.

My Thoughts:
The Immortal Crown was an impressive sequel, and even better than Gameboard of the Gods (my review), in my opinion. I refreshed my memory (thank you Recaptains) I got right back into this story, and enjoyed the ride even more this time around.

Be warned, my review contains some spoilers if you haven’t read Gameboard of the Gods.

Justin and Mae are up to their usual, investigating “religious groups and supernatural claims” making sure they’re not a threat to the RUNA, Republic of United North America.  Justin is still riding a fine line with the god Odin after barely escaping servitude in the last book.  Sleeping with Mae almost sealed the deal, as she is his perfect match, and his taking her meant Justin agreed to Odin’s offer. He barely got off on a technicality.  There’s always a price to tying yourself to a god and Justin is trying desperately to avoid it.  Justin and Mae are “elect”, “someone marked as special who have the potential to be strong servants for the gods” and that’s especially helpful to those gods who are trying to reestablish power and dominance. Needless to say both Justin and Mae capture the attention of many deities out there.

When Lucian Darling, Justin’s college friend and candidate for consul, invites him on a goodwill delegation to Arcadia, a country in opposition to the RUNA, and Justin wants no part of it.  That is, until Mae asks that they agree to go. 

Mae, a Praetorian guard is an elite, super soldier, who never had any belief in gods or the supernatural until meeting Justin and after the events of the last book. Now, however, she’s been having visions about the niece her sister discarded like garbage, and the location shown gives her the chills. If they’re correct, her little eight-year old niece is in Arcadia where woman are considered second class or worse.  Mae has no idea how to go about getting her niece back until Lucian Darling’s offer. 

This story had me on edge and gritting my teeth in many parts. The customs of Arcadia infuriated and disgusted me! This is a society where woman are treated as property, sold either as concubines or if they’re “lucky” as wives (as in multiple for a man) to the highest bidder as early as the age of thirteen or whenever they hit puberty!! The women slave over preparing meals and cleaning the home, often deprived of modern technology to assist, not because they don’t possess inventions like plumbing, dishwashers or vacuum cleaners, but because doing it the manual way builds character and instills humility. Ugh!! Women must keep every part of their body covered so that they don’t tempt men, and if they are caught making any infraction, they can expect beatings or other forms of punishment as far as even death.  To say I was OUTRAGED would be putting it mildly!! 

Mae’s desperate worry over her niece is understandable, and so is her reliance any means of help, even if it comes from supernatural sources. However, her relationship with gods in this installment is a rocky one. I’m troubled by the newest god to reveal himself to Mae at the end. I looked up some of the gods mentioned in this series, and one of the abilities ascribed to this newest god is troubling. Does he have anything to do with something traumatic that happens to Mae at the end?  I guess we’ll see.

Justin has his own troubles in Arcadia with Odin’s warning of a supernatural threat to his power and to the RUNA.  It becomes apparent early in their trip exactly what/who this threat is, but Justin masterfully maneuvers things to his county and Odin’s (reluctantly, albeit) benefit. 

Mae is still somewhat icy in the beginning towards Justin after their one-night stand, and his harsh words meant to keep her away.  But they work together well, naturally in sync, and having a connection where they trust each other implicitly. They reminded of a futuristic Mulder and Scully from the X-Files.  They have the same amazing chemistry and underlying attraction neither wants to admit. This becomes more evident when Mae is posing as Justin’s concubine in Aracadia, where they must rely heavily on each other. Justin surprised me with his courageous behavior when it came to Mae, because he didn’t really step up like this in the last book. I was heartened with the progress of Mae and Justin’s relationship at points, but then upset by others.  It’s foolish to think all will be settled happily seeing as there are more books to come, but a girl can dream!  I will give you this lovely quote that made me swoon from Justin:

“All those other flings I’ve had are just ashes in the wind, shattered and forgotten. But you…you’re the real thing. The fire that keeps burning in my life. You’re the one. There’s no one else I feel this connected to.”

The Immortal Crown was an amazing sequel, and I have a feeling the series will continue to get better with each installment. This was somewhat of a cliffhanger, and I was torn up by the concluding events and how things were left. It’s going to be a long wait for the next book!

Connect with Richelle Mead:

Monday 26 May 2014

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: April 15th 2014
My rating: 5 stars 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Jenny Han has never let me down with her books, she has the knack of lifting my mood when I’m feeling low and have me grinning away like a fool. With the slump I had been going through, I really should have picked up my copy of All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as soon as it arrived, but I decided to trudge through my pile instead. But when having the week from hell literally, I couldn’t resist any longer. And honestly it was just what I needed, I found myself flying through the pages, with all the stresses around me forgotten. 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was perfect in every way, Han captured perfectly how it would feel like to have all your previous crushes know exactly how you felt like. Lara-Jean was lucky her list only consisted of five guys, as I knew that mine would be so long. But I loved seeing Laura-Jean cope with it all, and despite it being a humiliating time for her, for everything coming out in the open. I adored Lara-Jean. She wasn’t the most confident person (she reminded me of myself at times); she was always in the shadow of her sister Margot and was scared to admit her true feelings at times. So Margot leaving for Scotland and was a good thing for Lara-Jean too, it allowed her to take more responsibility over her younger sister Kitty and around the house and actually do more things she wouldn’t have. And to be honest I wasn’t really a true fan of Margot’s character.

But with the letters being sent out to her crushes, I loved that she got to know one person in particular (highlight to view spoiler). Peter.And yes it wasn’t under the best circumstances, but I adored that what started off as a not so great relationship was able to develop into something so sweet. The small gestures of fluffing of Lara-Jean’s hair, as it looked better, arriving late just so that he could get her donuts and even spending time with his friends, really left a great impression with me. Okay he did at times mess up too, but I loved how when things didn’t go his way, he was quite miffed about it and showed it. This more than anything showed that he did care more than he was letting on. And I truly did end up falling for this character. 

There were also many other wonderful characters that Han created such as Kitty, Josh and Chris. I really thought that Kitty would be a brat, she was only so little, and would throw a strop over the smallest thing when it came to Lara-Jean, but I loved watching her grow and mature and even take Lara-Jean’s side on occasions. Also she was quick to bring a smile to my face in many scenes. Josh was the perfect boy next door. It was just a shame things happened at the time they did, I really do think this was partly down to Lara-Jean changing the subject when something vital was going to happen, like declare their feelings for her or kiss her, and this is the only thing about her that had me miffed. But at the end of the day, I think what she ended up getting instead was way better. But I did enjoy the part that Josh played in the Song sister’s lives. 

Han created a wonderful novel here which centres around family, with having two sisters myself, I loved watching the family dynamics between the Song family, how different and unique each sister was, how they could quarrel over small things, but also be there for each other when it mattered the most. I really did adore the Song family and can’t wait to be back with them once more in book two. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before really was a wonderful read, it was funny, had smart witty characters, (one who made me swoon) and had some achy beautiful scenes along the way too, and for sure will be one of my favourite reads of this year. 

My sister’s decided it was fun to write a list of All the Boys I loved Before; 

1. Brad Friedel, (I never in my life had a crush on him, I respected him as a incredible goal keeper, but my sister and cousin never let me live this story down) 
2. Tom Hiddleston. 
3. Chris Hemsworth. 
4. Manu Tuilagi. 
5. Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Showcase Sunday #53

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.  

Hi all, I hope you've all had a wonderful couple of week's. Rachel and I have a three day weekend this week! I'm sure I can say this from both of us, we are absolutely thrilled about this. I'm hoping to use it to catch up with reading, I am so behind on my Goodreads reading goal at the moment, I did pretty well for Bout of Books last week, as I read four books! But this week I didn't end up finishing anything, I seem to be getting distracted way too quickly, by Instagram, Twitter or just binge watching Game of Thrones (I am finally up to date, my gosh things are crazy!!), so definitely need the motivation to read more :(. Anyway I received some amazing books this past two weeks, so I'm hoping these pretties will get me back to reading.


Thank you Indigo and Bloomsbury UK

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay | Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Can you believe there's less than a month before the release of Ruin and Rising? I can't wait to find out how things will go in this latest book, so I was thrilled to receive a sampler from Indigo, I really want to read it right away, but I'm thinking I'll be dying for more, so may wait closer to the release date. I read The Winner's Curse a few months back and it really was a gem of a read, the UK publisher's were nice enough to send me a UK edition (I definitely think it's my favourite out of both covers). And the lovely Siiri at Little Pieces of Imagination, who I can say has become an amazing friend this last few months, sent me Of Beast and Beauty and Open Road Summer from my wish list *hugs* I can't thank you enough!!

Let's see what Rachel received.

Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell, #1)  Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell, #4)  Turning Up the Heat (La Vie en Roses, #0.5)  Attachments Cruel Beauty Happenstance

Thank you to Pocket Books, SYNC and Edelweiss.

I'm excited to start Jenn Bennett's Arcadia Bell series. After reading and LOVING Bitter Spirits I wanted to get my hands on her other titles and big bonus: all the books are out! I saw that Laura Florand's Turning Up the Heat was only .99 cents on Amazon I had to get a copy!  The audio book of Attachments was on sale at Audible for $3.95 so I snatched that up. If you like audio books you should definitely sign up for Audible's Daily Deal email.  I get so many great books on sale that way.  If you didn't know SYNC has a program running all summer for free audiobooks.  Two titles are released each week and you can still download Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Click HERE for the schedule and instructions.

Friday 23 May 2014

Mini Review & Giveaway: Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: October 29th 2013
My rating: DNF

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

My Thoughts:
I was looking forward to this story, but unfortunately it just didn't work for me. Instead of feeling horror at events described (which I think is what the author was going for) I was just bored. Probably doesn't help that there's frequent info dumping in between actual plot progression.

Also, the story felt very similar to the Feed/Newsflesh series which I liked overall, but not enough to read/listen to another 500+ pages worth. I had just read *listened* to the Newsflesh series over the last two months, so maybe the close time between reads made the similarities stand out more to me. Others may not have the same issue.

I'm not going to rate this because even though I did read 85 pages that's still only 17% of this book.

There are a whole host of 4-5 star reviews out there for this story so don't just take my word for it.  Check out a couple of my bloggy friends reviews before deciding: Maja @The Nocturnal Library and  Melanie @YA Midnight Reads.

I thought I'd pass my ARC copy onto someone who will enjoy this more than I did.  Why should it languish sadly on my bookshelf?  Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  US Residents only.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Review: Out of Control by Sarah Alderson

Out of Control by Sarah Alderson 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication date: May 22nd 2014
My rating: 3.5 stars 

When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target. Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.

It seems like ages that I last devoured a full length novel by Sarah Alderson. Her novellas from her Lila series have since being keeping me occupied, but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest thrilling release. 

Out of Control was definitely a lot different than what I was expecting it to be; it had a great mystery, lots of suspense and of course swoony characters. Liva finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Goldman’s who were meant to be looking after her ended up dead, Liva barely made it out and to the police station. What is meant to be a secure place, ends up being attacked to with police officers dead all over the place, a suspect who was bought in whilst Liva was sharing her story with a cop, ends up being the one who helps her to get out on the run from who knows what. Liva had a lot to deal with in a small amount of time, she’s only been in New York for a week, her dad is in Ghana and her mum in Oman, and she’s all alone and has a mad gunman for who knows what reason chasing her. And she has to trust some guy who she doesn’t know and who can be a criminal of all sorts. 

I liked how we were thrown into the mix of things right from the beginning, Liva had to rely on a guy she only just met and we were left guessing what was going on right until the very end. Despite things being very tense early on, Alderson was able to infuse some great light hearted scenes through Jay’s character (the supposed criminal Liva meets). Liva was quick to make judgements about his character, but he was forever thoughtful risking his and his family’s life to help protect Liva, but he also had a cheeky sense of humour too. He could easily lighten a dire situation with his cheeky comments and have your brain getting ahead of itself and thinking things that you wouldn’t have considered (I really found myself blushing on so many occasions). Liva and Jay also did end up making an incredible team together, with your life in danger and being thrown together with some random hot guy, could throw anyone off, but Liva and Jay slowly began to trust one another and form a brilliant relationship. 

Alderson had a lot going on in this book, but she was able to work it all well together. If you’re looking for a fast paced story, with a guy who will create all the swoons with his dimpled grin and a mystery that will keep you continually guessing, I recommend giving Out of Control a go!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Review: Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

Sun Kissed (Snow Queen #2) by Laura Florand
Publication date: May 20th 2014
My rating: 4.5 stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?

Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

My Thoughts:
Sun-Kissed was another heartfelt, beautiful romance by Laura Florand, and as usual, I was awed by her writing talents. She makes you feel so profoundly with her words that I always come away from her stories moved emotionally.  I swear, every time I read one of her books I’m tearing up at least once because I’m overcome by feelings.  

Mack Corey is a character I’ve met through his daughter’s, Cade and Jaime’s, stories.  He’s a fifty-three year old widower, but also the owner of Cory Chocolates, the monster chocolate company worth billions. With both his daughters marrying and moving to Paris, he feels a little bit off kilter and unnecessary.  Yet, he has Anne Winters at his back.  They’ve seen each other through the best of times and the worst, and Mack is finally ready to make a move on her, no longer worrying that it may ruin their friendship. Breaking down Anne’s walls will definitely be a challenge, because they don’t call her the Ice Queen for nothing. Fortunately, Mack’s not afraid of a challenge; in fact it ignites some fires and spurs him on!

“I don’t know if I’ve told you this in the past twenty years, but since you’re already at the point you’re ready to knee me in the groin, I might as well go for it.

You’re hot, Anne.”

Anne Winters is sort of a younger version of Martha Stewart, with the same icy, perfectionist reputation as well.  She survived a failed marriage, became a single mother, and still managed to create a multi-million dollar business. Anne’s come to rely on Mack and his friendship over the years, because he’s always been there for her.  She is shocked at his sudden advances, but also very thrilled!

I wouldn’t have guessed that we’d get a story for Mack because it’s not often you find a romance between fifty-somethings these days. Now before you start thinking that fifty is old, let me give you a few examples of how sexy a fifty year-old can be: George Clooney is fifty-three (thanks, Andrea @The Bookish Babe for that example), and oh my, does he ever exude male sexiness!  Dana Delany is fifty-eight!! I still can’t believe it, but I’ve always thought she was beautiful and classy. Anyways, I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Fifty is the new thirty, lol.  Plus, with that age comes the knowledge of what you want, what works for you, and the confidence to go for it.

One of my favorite types of romances is friends to lovers, so seeing Mack and Anne’s enduring friendship shift into a steamy romance was very gratifying. And it was such wicked fun! I loved Mack’s boldness, and Anne’s stunned reactions.  Mack was something else! Yum!

“Told you that you’d run,” he said, with that glittering challenge in his eyes. “Of course, the problem with running is that then somebody can catch you.”

I feel like Sun-Kissed was partially a reward for loyal readers, giving us a glimpse into the continued HEA of other beloved couples. Jaime and Dominique’s wedding was the primary setting for this story, and I felt like I was a guest as well, overflowing with happiness for these two, and yes, of course I cried. 

Sun-Kissed is a must-read for all fans of Laura Florand, or any romance junkie out there. Her prose is gorgeous and always manages to touch me profoundly. Plus, they’re utterly HOT!! If you haven’t taken the opportunity to pick up one of her stories you are missing out. Seriously, do something about it!

Snow Queen Series:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Snow-Kissed (Snow Queen #1)   Sun-Kissed (Amour et Chocolat, #7; Snow Queen, #2)
Amour et Chocolate Series:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

The Chocolate Thief (Amour et Chocolat #1)  The Chocolate Kiss (Amour et Chocolat #2)  The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, #3; La Vie en Roses, #1)  The Chocolate Touch  (Amour et Chocolat #4)  

The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat, #5)  The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolat, #6)  Sun-Kissed (Amour et Chocolat, #7; Snow Queen, #2)

About the author: Laura Florand is the international bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, etc). Her books have been translated into seven languages, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Four of her past five books have been recommended reads by Dear Author and two have been Sizzling Book Club Picks by Smart B*, Trashy Books.

Laura was born in a small town in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking in New Zealand and Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman. You can find out quite a bit more about those crazy adventures in her memoir, Blame It on Paris. She is now a lecturer in Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, that means she studies and teaches French language and culture, rather than romance. Fortunately, French culture includes French chocolate, research to which she is very dedicated. You can catch some glimpses of that research in the books, on her blog, and on her Facebook site, where you are welcome to join her and other readers!

Connect with Laura Florand:

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