Wednesday 31 August 2016

Review & Giveaway: A Cowboy Christmas Miracle by Carolyn Brown

A Cowboy Christmas Miracle by Carolyn Brown
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: September 6th 2016
My rating: 4 stars 
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It will take a miracle bigger than the state of Texas for these two feuding families to survive the holidays!
Opposites might attract...
The Brennans and the Gallaghers put aside their one-hundred-year feud every Tuesday for their weekly poker game. This week, the stakes are sky-high. Goaded to recklessness, Declan Brennan bets one thousand dollars that he can woo the next woman to walk into the saloon. A minute later, fiery-haired Betsy Gallagher pushes through the doors. If Declan can tame this wild Gallagher, he'll have earned every penny.
If they don't kill each other first...
Betsy can outshoot anybody in Burnt Boot and loves ranching more than anything-until she falls for Declan. He's fallen for her too. But when she discovers what sparked their courtship, Declan will need a Christmas miracle to save his hide-and his heart.

My Thoughts:
Burnt Book, Texas has been the home of the ranching Brennan’s and Gallagher’s for over a century and the feuding between families has gone on just as long.  Can a joint covert effort by Declan Brennan and Betsy Gallagher to bring a Christmas program to their local church turn things around, and finally bring this modern day Romeo and Juliet together? Can it bring an end to the feuding? Or will the bet Declan made with Tanner Gallagher to win Betsy’s heart or lose a thousand dollars come out, and stand in the way of their love?

This was definitely a case of unrequited love on Declan’s part and so the bet worked in his favor and gave him an excuse to finally pursue the previously forbidden Betsy.  And Betsy couldn’t help but notice that sexy cowboy Declan for years! Working together also gave them time to feed their long-time, burning attraction. Sparks fly and fires ignite every time they get close!  Their romance as inevitable as Romeo and Juliet, although with a much happier ending! I love that none of the bumps they encountered together were insurmountable or made you think there was no way these two would make it. Carolyn Brown writes mature romances where the couples can fight and still know they’ll eventually work things out one way or another.

Both Declan and Betsy were sick to death of the pointless fighting between their families, spurred on mostly by their grandmothers, Mavis and Naomi.  These grandmothers should’ve been old enough to know better in my opinion! It was the younger generation that wanted to let go of the past, and move on while these ladies were always looking for ways to one-up each other in revenge. At one point in the series Mavis and Naomi were in a knock down, hair-pulling, dirty fight and while it was funny reading it, I thought: Shame on them!  I was thrilled that Besty and Declan working together gave hope that all this pettiness would finally come to an end!

I can’t write about Ms. Brown’s stories without mentioning her humor.  Her old fashioned one-liners always make me giggle! I’m sad to say A Cowboy Christmas Miracle is the last book in the Burnt Boot, Texas series, but I love the way things ended!  Carolyn Brown never ceases to make me laugh, smile and light my fires with her flirty cowboy romances!

About the author:
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author and RITA Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than seventy books.  These days she is concentrating on her two loves:  women’s fiction and contemporary cowboy romance. She and her husband, a retired English teacher, make their home in southern Oklahoma.

Connect with Carolyn Brown:

The lovely people of Sourcebooks Casablanca have offered up a copy of One Texas Cowboy Too Many to one lucky reader. Simple fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win!

Monday 22 August 2016

Review: In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White

In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: August 16th 2016
My rating: 3.5 stars 
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In the Barrens, a vast wilderness in northern Canada bordering the Arctic Circle, night consumes every hour of the winter. Humans are scarce; ferocious predators roam freely. Locals say spirits do, too.

Rookie cop Tana Larsson doesn’t mind the dark and quiet. Five months pregnant and hoping to escape the mistakes of her past, she takes a post in Twin Rivers, population 320. Maybe here she can find peace and community for her child.

But with her superior out of commission, Tana becomes the sole police officer in 17,500 square miles. One bitter night, she gets a call about the fatal wolf mauling of two students, and the only way to reach the remote scene is to enlist the help of the arrogant, irritatingly handsome Cameron “Crash” O’Halloran, a local bush pilot with a shady reputation for smuggling and a past cloaked in shadow.

When the macabre scene they uncover suggests violence much more sinister than animal, Tana must trust Crash if she wants to protect the town—and herself—from the evil that lurks in the frozen dark.

My Thoughts:
Tana Larsson is a young Royal Mountie policewoman, the lone law enforcement officer in the small town of Twin Rivers, way up in northern Canada.  Five months pregnant and looking to heal from past errors, she doesn’t mind the isolated post, but her situation becomes very complicated when two research students are brutally killed by what appears to be animals.  As details come to light, Tana questions whether it was just an animal attack. Delving into this mystery is a dangerous business, especially when it seems she has no one in her corner.  Should Tana trust the local pilot, Crash O’Halloran, with his shady business dealings for help or risk plowing in alone?

This is the third mystery I’ve read by Loreth Anne White, and while In the Waning Light is still my favorite, In the Barren Ground creeped me out, and had me guessing until the end. I was definitely surprised and didn’t see how it all came together until pretty late in the story. I love it when I don’t have everything figured out!

While I liked the story, the romance was a bit disappointing.  Tana was so suspicious of Crash until almost the end, so I didn’t feel a real bond between them, mostly because of Tana, for a lot of the story. I can see how she would have reservations about his character, but the situation was frustrating for me.

In the Barren Ground was eerie with the cold, dark, wintry setting of northern Canada giving it a sinister edge that felt similar (to me) to the movie 30 Days of Night. That was a paranormal horror flick, and while In the Barren Ground wasn’t paranormal, portions of this story had that feel to me. Definitely appealing to horror fans like me.

Connect with Loreth Anne White:

Thursday 18 August 2016

What I've been up to: Paris!

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been away for so long. Work took over once again, but I've been able to squeeze in some great events, I got catch up with Allie once again, by the end of the day I was left in a food coma, I also went to comic con, but the highlight for me was my trip to Paris. It was a last minute trip but I enjoyed every single day! 

My sister read Anna and the French Kiss just before we left, so she remembered all the places Etienne and Anna visited. It took us like half an hour to find Point Zero, but it was worth it in the end! And Notre Dame was as stunning as ever. 


Notre Dame

We also got to visit the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa! And of course I had to make a stop at Shakespeare and Company, this is one gorgeous bookstore, with piles and piles of books everywhere, I of course could have spent the entire day there, but my sisters weren't too happy with this idea.

The Louvre

One of my highlights was going up the Arc De Triomphe, the photo of the building below, when you went to the top it really had the most stunning views of Paris. 

When roaming around the Eiffel tower we also came across a beautiful Artisan Chocolatier known as Puyricard, of course it made me immediately remember Laura Florand's Amour et Chocolat series. The store was absolutely stunning inside and chocolatier even gave us some samples to try (he even knew without asking that I would be a fan of salted caramel!). My sisters even had to be pushed out of the store! 

Inside Puyricard.

Visiting Paris couldn't be complete without visiting Disneyland Paris, my inner child caqme out in full force, I actually think I was more excited than my younger sister. I had to take my individual shots with characters of course, Genie and Jafar ended up being my favourites! The best was of course the parade at the end where are the characters came out. 

Other highlights of my trip included seeing the Sacre Coeur, this Church had the most amazing view from the outside, but inside I loved how serene and beautiful it was. The Love Locke bridge and this gorgeous shopping mall known as Galeries Lafayette. 

Sacre Couer

Paris was definitely one of the most beautiful cities that I have visited in long time, it has stunning architecture and the most extravagant food. The macarons from Laduree were absolutely divine! I do highly recommend visiting Paris one day, its one city that you shouldn't miss out on. Since I've been back all I've wanted to do is devour all the books with Paris as their setting! 

Monday 15 August 2016

Review: Sting by Sandra Brown

Sting by Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: August 16th 2016
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Kobo

When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn't belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is . . . and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.

As Shaw and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. But Shaw has other plans and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden. However, Shaw is not the only one looking for the fortune. Her brother's ruthless boss and the FBI are after it as well. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits-and each other-to stay alive.

Miles away from civilization and surrounded by swampland, the two play each other against their common enemies. Jordie's only chance of survival is to outwit Shaw, but it soon becomes clear to Shaw that Jordie isn't entirely trustworthy, either. Was she in on her brother's scam, or is she an innocent pawn in a deadly vendetta? And just how valuable is her life to Shaw, her remorseless and manipulative captor? Burning for answers-and for each other-this unlikely pair ultimately make a desperate move that could be their last.

With nonstop plot twists and the tantalizing sexual tension that has made Sandra Brown one of the world's best-loved authors, STING will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final pages.

#1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sandra Brown jolts the reader from the first page of this heart-pounding story of corruption, treachery, and ceaseless deception . . .where nothing is what it seems and every truth brought to light exposes a darker lie.

My Thoughts:
I think reading the blurb is the most you should know about Sting. It’s best to experience all twists and turns without knowing what’s coming. I will say that once you get started on a Sandra Brown mystery it’s usually hard to put it down, and this was the case for Sting with me.  Every chapter conclusion is like a mini cliffhanger making it painful if you have to put the story down! I love to be fooled with a mystery, I want the author to get one over on me, and while I did have some suspicions that turned out sort of correct, Ms. Brown once again surprised me at the end!  

I worried if I was going to be able to like Shaw at the beginning, but I shouldn’t have doubted that Sandra Brown could make that happen.  I wondered at the romance at first, but there was definite chemistry right from the beginning!  Sparks of attraction between the Shaw and Jordie with the added thrill of danger! Is Shaw the kind of guy you should be attracted to or the kind you should run far, far away from?

Sting is fast-paced, well-written, and will keep you on your toes, trying to figure things out! Until the next new release I’ll continue to work my way through Sandra Brown’s backlist and lucky for me there’s quite a few to keep me occupied!

Connect with Sandra Brown:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Gone Too Deep by Katie Ruggle

I'm excited to be part of the Spotlight Tour for Katie Ruggle's Newest Search and Rescue story, Gone Too Deep, because I love this series!  The story only gets better with each installment! If you're a fan of romantic suspense and mysteries, I totally recommend it! Today I have my review, an excerpt, and a lovely giveaway provided. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and enter in the rafflecopter below!

Gone Too Deep (Search and Rescue #3) by Katie Ruggle
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
My rating: 4.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...
George Holloway has spent his life alone, exploring the treacherous beauty of the Colorado Rockies. He's the best survival expert Search and Rescue has, which makes him the obvious choice to lead Ellie Price through deadly terrain to find her missing father. There's just one problem-Ellie's everything George isn't. She's a city girl, charming, gregarious, delicate, small. And when she looks up at him with those big, dark eyes, he swears he would tear the world apart to keep her safe.
With a killer on the loose, he may have no choice.
Ellie's determined to find her father no matter the cost. But as she and her gorgeous mountain of a guide fight their way through an unforgiving wilderness, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous man in search of revenge. And they are now his prey...

My Thoughts:
Gone Too Deep is the third exciting installment in the Search and Rescue series.  The murder mystery presented in book one is still unfolding, with the dangers intensifying!  George and Ellie’s sweet romance added in made for a wonderful balance of romance, suspense and mystery!  I’m loving the series a little more with each book released!

This installment centers on George Holloway, a Search and Rescue member, guide, and tracker, and Ellie Price a Chicago city girl, in search of her mentally unstable father who went missing.

Ellie Price receives a troubling phone call from her estranged father that sends her straight to Simpson Colorado in order to find and help him.  Searching for her father in the vast wilderness of the Colorado Rockies is well beyond her experience, so she hires George to help track him.  Backpacking through the wilderness can be perilous enough without danger following them in, but they’re determined to find Ellie’s father and survive.

George is the quiet and taciturn Search and Rescue team member who proved very useful in the last book! He’s the perfect example of a large mountain man, made even more intimidating, because he hardly ever talks or smiles.  The reason behind his quiet disposition was kind of surprising and sweet, IMO.  George and Ellie’s romance felt like it developed gradually, because of the hours/days they spent together hiking. The situation forced close quarters, and a reliance that built trust and an intense connection quickly.  Even though Ellie was a city girl and George was country boy, I felt they matched quite well as far as relationships go. They both were pretty tentative and not very experienced in the ways of love so it was lovely watching them fall for each other.

There’s something about survival-type stories that always grab my attention. Maybe it’s the inherent danger that I find thrilling, I’m not sure, but I loved the whole backpacking plot! While reading, I was happily reminded of several trips I’ve taken, and understood the amount of work it takes to survive without modern conveniences.  From obtaining clean water for drinking and cooking to making sure your food is not a bear attraction, there’s a lot to do, but the untouched beauty you see and experience is well worth the effort.  Of course, I didn’t have crazed men following me at the time! At least I don’t think I did… *shudders*

I have to say my jaw dropped at the concluding revelation! I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what happens! I’m still stunned, and I wonder if Katie Ruggle planned this from the beginning or the idea came to her as she wrote the series? Whatever the case, consider me bowled over! I love it when a mystery shocks me! 


About Katie Ruggle:
When she’s not writing, Katie Ruggle rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can scuba dive. A graduate of the police academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota, near her family.

  Connect with Katie Ruggle:

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