A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove #3)
by Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Expected publication: August 28th 2012
ISBN:0062049895 (ISBN13: 9780062049896)

review courtesy of edelweiss

Spindle Cove, nestled in a peaceful corner of Regency Era England, has long been known as "Spinster Cove," due to its preponderance of unwed ladies of "delicate constitutions"--and that's the fictional setting for a delightful historical romance series by USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare. In A Lady by Midnight, a young woman searching for her family finds love unexpectedly with a handsome colonel--but the secrets of her heritage threaten to disrupt their romance...and their upcoming nuptials. Concerning the heart-soaring romantic fiction of Ms. Tessa Dare, fans of Lisa Kleypas and Eloisa James would do well to heed Julia Quinn's admonitions and "prepare to fall in love "

My Thoughts:
Kate peaked my curiosity in the previous book, there was a passage in the book and after reading it I knew I must read her story... "For all the nights she’d spent weeping into her pillow in that drafty, austere attic dormitory, pleading and bargaining with God for a mother of her own … Occasionally, Mrs. Highwood’s behavior made Kate thankful for unanswered prayers. Not all mothers were blessings, apparently."

I loved this book, it was a page turner for me. I loved the snippy banter between Kate and Thorne. When I began learning snippets of Kate's life as a child, my heart broke. Thorne was complexed, he was always grumbling or negative in previous books, but his character was much more than that!

Thorne saved Kate's life as a young girl and in turn, despite everything that Thorne did to turn Kate away, Kate's love for Thorne stayed strong, giving him the courage and strength to love in return. This was a wonderful romance and I loved watching their love develop.
Whatever soul I had, Katie, I think I placed it in your keeping twenty years ago. And now, it's as if... every time we kiss, you give me a little piece of it back.
This book can be read without having read the others in the series, but why miss out, I recommend you read them all! I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Tessa Dare is a writer that will always appear on my bookshelf.

My Rating:

In the Spotlight ~ Daydreaming Bookworm

Hello all, as many of you know I am caring for my mom and posts have been limited.  I was able to juggle somethings and was able to get this posted.  This week we are joined by Nobonita from Daydreaming Bookworm.  

I grabbed this from her profile..
Nobinta is from Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is a 15 year old blogger. Avid daydreamer. Lover of books,video games, anime/manga, sushi, chocolates and good looking + insane boys. Is a certified geek.
has the prettiest button for her blog.  

What a beautiful button, they are both very pretty.  Welcome!!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger? 
To tell you the truth,it wasn't actually a matter of decision.It just happened.It was right after the day my finals were over that I started my blog.Twenty-ninth of May to be the exact. :)

So far, what’s the hardest part of being a book blogger? 
Hmmm...... probably designing the blog since I'm not handy with those kinda' stuff. 

What genre do your typically read, is there one you don't or one that you always wanted to but haven't yet? 
I mostly read YA novels of the following genres: paranormal, dystopian, thriller, suspense, fantasy, mythology...and so on. I used to read a lot of chick-lit at one time but then I officially gave up. But that doesn't mean that I'm limited to an area. I also read children's books( most of them stolen from my brother's shelf) and sometimes those really complicated books of my dad's. The one genre I don't read at all is probably self-help books. Not that I don't like them it's just that I haven't come across them much. 

How many followers do you have? How often do you post to your blog? How can people follow you? 
Right now I have a 115 followers via GFC. But by the time you post this I'll hopefully have more. I've just started Linky today. So now people can follow me both via GFC and Linky,whichever they prefer. :) 

For those new out in the blogging world, tell us what a meme is. Which ones do you follow? A meme is a weekly virtual event, hosted by one blog,where other blogs can participate. It's a great way to bring traffic onto your site. The weekly events I regularly follow include Teaser Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesday,  My Book Boyfriend, Showcase Sunday, and my very own meme which I've recently started called Manga Crush!

You have a catchy name for your blog, tell us how you came up with the name “Daydreaming Bookworm.
Why I'm so glad that you think that it's catchy! Actually,the name reflects my personality. I daydream a lot,especially during history and bio classes or just at home,whenever I'm bored or upset. The latter,"Bookworm" goes without saying.I practically devour books. 

Who are your three favorite authors? 
That is one tough question. I have so many favourite authors that it's hard to separate three distinct people out of so many of them. But if I HAD to pick,then probably Rick Riordan,Anthony Horowitz and Pittacus Lore(which is a pseudonym for two authors,but still....) 
Which author would you most like to meet (dead or alive)? Tell us more.. 
I'm in a dillema here. I can't choose between Rick Riordan and Anthony Horowitz. If it were Rick Riordan, I'd ask him to make a daughter of Nyx and a son of Nike in his Heroes of Olympus series. Honestly, he could make a really awesome story out of them. And if it were Mr.Horowitz I'd probably hold a gun to his temple and threaten him to continue writing more books for the Alex Rider series.I'm practically dying with such a horiible ending! :'(

How big is your TBR pile? How many books do you read/review in a month? 
According to goodreads, my TBR pile currently has 151 books and my Wishlist has 73 books. The number of books I review/read in a month depends on which month it is. When I have too much pressure on schoolwork, I can't read much but I still read more than anyone else in my class. Maybe ten to fifteen on a good month. As for reviews,it all depends. Maybe five to six as an average per month? 

Finally, if someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? 
That is an excellent question! Probably "The Life of a Teenage Billionaire". I've always wanted to be one, and who knows, there's still time! 

On A Personal Note
Sadly, I don't have facebook and librarything. If you'd like to get social with me, I do have twitter and Goodreads! Or you can always reach me through comments at my blog.

Thanks for reading! -Nobonita

Are you interested in being featured "In the Spotlight", stop by and fill on contact form.

Guest Post ~ Jenna Jaxon, "Only a Scandal Will Do" Blog Tour

Today FBL welcomes Jenna Jaxon, she is in the midst of a virtual blog tour promoting her latest book, Only a Scandal Will Do, click here for more on her tour schedule.

Keeping The Romance Fresh

Just like in real life, it takes work to keep romance fresh in novels.  Authors who write constantly are challenged to find ways to vary ideas, plots, and characters while still staying within the parameters of the romance genre or sub-genres.  Even though I’m still new to the business, with only three novellas and one full-length novel published, I’m working on several other projects and by now I’m having to work just a little bit harder to make sure my work doesn’t fall into the trap of repetition.  I’ve got to keep it fresh.

The first trick I’ve learned to keep my work unique is to be very careful in my plotting.  Plots are already an issue--most people will tell you that there are only about seven different plots in existence.  Therefore, it’s all in the way you use your plot points, your characters, your language that sets your work apart from others. 

If I stand back and look at the tropes used in writing romance, I find that I’ve had a tendency to use the “arranged marriage” trope a fair share of the time.  I’ve currently got three works either published or awaiting publication that use this conflict as the core of the book.  Are these books just three cookie-cutter versions of one plot device?  No.  I believe that people who have read these three works (and there are several who have read them all) would deny that they were similar at all.

So how did I use one trope and come up with three distinct, unique works?  Variety within the framework.  Each one of these books is set in a different time period:  Only Scandal Will Do is set in Georgian England; As Long As You’re Mine is set in Victorian England and America, and Time Enough to Love is set in medieval England and France.  Therefore, each book will have a different flavor, different settings, different descriptions, different social customs under which the characters must operate.

The characters in each of these books are all very different physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Scandal’s hero is a marquess with golden brown hair and dark eyes, an arrogant nobleman who is emotionally damaged.  The hero of As Long As You’re Mine has dark hair and eyes also, but is an American architect with strong family ties and a jealous nature. And Geoffrey, of Time Enough to Love, has dark hair and blue eyes, is a towering knight schooled in the sword and the joust who proves a gentle giant to his lady fair. The heroines vary even wider: copper hair with a feisty nature and a wicked shoulder cut; blond hair and gray eyes with a determined nature that won’t take no for an answer; black hair and crystal blue eyes, a gentle woman who overcomes adversity through a sweet personality and sharp intelligence.  Playing with combinations of heroes and heroines is an excellent way of keeping the romance between them crisp and the reader just a little off balance.

And a final trick to keeping your writing cutting edge is to continue to perfect your craft.  If you, the author, stop growing as a writer, your books will cease to grow along with you.  You can take formal writing classes at university, you can take any number of online classes on the craft, you can critique others work and have them critique yours, attend workshops at conferences.  The key is to work at your writing.  As you evolve as a writer, you will bring new insights to plot, setting, characters, dialogue.  Your work will remain fresh and vibrant because you push yourself to make it so.

Buy your copy today!

He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?

Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.

Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she's a lady, but how can she be?

No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he'll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who'll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family's name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He's betting their future he'll capture her heart, but does he have what it
takes to win the wager?

Forbidden (The Scandalous Women of the Ton #6) by Nicola Cornick

Forbidden (The Scandalous Women of the Ton #6)
by Nicola Cornick
Expected publication: August 21st 2012 by Harlequin HQN
ISBN: 0373776675 (ISBN13: 9780373776672)

review courtesy of publisher

Get your copy today!

As maid to some of the most wanton ladies of the ton, Margery Mallon lives within the boundaries of any sensible servant. Entanglements with gentlemen are taboo. Wild adventures are for the Gothic novels she secretly reads. Then an intriguing stranger named Mr. Ward offers her a taste of passion, and suddenly the wicked possibilities are too tempting to resist…. Henry Atticus Richard Ward is no ordinary gentleman. He's Lord Wardeaux and he is determined to unite Margery with her new found inheritance by any means—including seduction and deception. But when the ton condemns the scandalous servant-turned-countess and an unknown danger prepares to strike, will Margery accept Henry's protection in exchange for her trust?

My Thoughts:
From rags to riches, from servant to Cinderella,  who wouldn't want to go to bed one day being a maid and wake up the next being to wealth and a title!!   My childhood dream came to life in this book.

What I loved about our heroine, Margery is that she simple didn't want the title, the money, she wanted things to stay status quot.  She wanted to save her hard earned money and maybe open up her own confection business.  But what she wanted and what was to be are two separate things.

The hero, Henry, well I felt sorry for him at first, the man who was targeted to earn the title and the money.  It was earmarked for him from the beginning, he loved the land, you can tell by how the author wrote about his dreams, his desires. But the best of both worlds happened in this story, both these unbelievably made for each other characters fell in love and things couldn't have worked out better for them.

Not to give the plot away, our young heroine didn't recall much of her early years but there was one pivotal moment when her memory of her past came back, it was then that her life was in jeopardy. It was during this time that Henry finally accepted that he loved her and she was worth finding and fighting for.

The author brought back all the "scandalous" ladies of the ton, united they are a force to be reckoned with.  I love the "Charlie's Angel's" part it was perfect!!

I also loved all the beautiful covers, the gowns were gorgeous. Bravo to a wonderful ending to a just as wonderful series. I do hope to hear more from Nicola Cornick in the near future.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating
The Scandalous Women of the TonForbiddenDesiredNotoriousMistress by MidnightOne Wicked SinWhisper of Scandal

In the Spotlight ~ Booker Talk

Today we welcome Karen from Booker Talk.

For those of you who love the feel of a paperback or hardcover, Karen feels the same way, she is a lover of books – real ones I can touch.

"E-readers are great for travel but I miss the feeling of the printed page."

Her tastes are eclectic. It’s easier to say what she doesn't like – science fantasy is a big turn off. So is anything in the science fiction genre. Gothic novels don’t do much for her either.

"A good book for me has to have characters I feel I could get to know and a plot that intrigues. Over-blown descriptive passages leave me cold. I want writing that sparkles and doesn’t feel like someone has laboured in the literary mines for days to find yet more adjectives."

Welcome Karen!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
I'm very much a new girl on the block since my blog has only been up and running since February this year. I decided to do this in January when I embarked on a plan to read my way through all the Booker prize winning novels. It took me weeks to figure out all the technical stuff. And even longer to decide what theme and colour combination I wanted. I'd tried blogging a couple of years ago after a terrible customer service experience at one of the big supermarket chains in the UK - but I quickly ran out of steam and realised that blogs are only worth doing if you actually have something to talk about.

So far, what’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?Just finding the time to write my reviews. I usually like to include some info about the author or comments by critics on the book which takes time to research and absorb. Then of course I want to keep up to date with all the blog sites I follow and comment on some of the postings. The deep sighs coming from my husband in the living room are usually a sign that I've spent too long on the computer

What do you do when you are not blogging? 

My days are pretty full since I work as a communications manager, helping managers to communicate with employees. Outside of work I am in the final stages of a literature degree course - I actually started this about five years ago thinking it would be 'fun'. How naive could I be? It's fascinating to read about different interpretations of the novels on our course but actually writing essays is a totally different thing. I have to constantly remind myself I already have a degree, no-one is making me do this and it is supposed to be enjoyable! One more module and that will be it.

How many followers do you have? How often do you post to your blog?My follower base is quite small at the moment but it's growing. And what pleases me even more is that people are actually commenting on my posts. I try to post every few days - I know I should really be more active but there are only so many hours in the day.

You have a catchy name for your blog, tell us how you came up with the name, Booker Talk?
The name wasn't difficult to choose since I wanted it to be about the Booker prize. Now that the content is evolving into more general content around books, it's still relevant. I chose 'talk' as a signal that I really wanted the site to be a way of getting into discussion with other people who have similar interests.

What genre(s) do you read, can you tell us what is it about the genre(s) that grabs your interest?
My tastes have changed over the decades - I used to read a lot of historical fiction at one time but became increasingly irritated by authors who created caricatures rather than full-blooded real people. So now I'm a 22 carat realist fan. Anything which smacks of science fiction or fantasy is a turn off - I need to feel the places and people I'm reading about might actually exist.

Who are your three favorite authors? I can pick only three??? That's a tough one. George Eliot is one author whose work I can read and re-read (Middlemarch in particular). Emile Zola is someone I am just getting into though reading one of his novels can be harrowing at times. And for a complete contrast, I enjoy Maggie O'Farrell - The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a master class in how to handle multiple narrators.

Which author would you most like to meet (dead or alive)? Tell us more..
There are many long-dead authors who would fascinate me but if they're dead the conversation would be rather one sided wouldn't it? So I'll settle for someone who is still living and breathing. They can't be too much of an intellectual otherwise I'll just be intimidated and won't be able to think clearly about what to ask them. My choice would be Anjali Joseph, a young writer who has been tipped as most exciting of new authors. A native of Mumbai, she writes about the city in a way that is endering and evocative without being sentimental. I recently finished reading her first novel, Saraswati Park and loved the way she recreated the vibrancy of a city I've visited a few times. I would love to talk to her about how writers can conjure up a strong sense of a place within their novels in a way that appeals both to people who know the location and to those who have never been there You can see Joseph talk about her work in this You Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8uNw5wFxHY

How big is your TBR pile? How many books do you read/review in a month?
 My pile has just passed the 50 mark but I haven't counted all the ones on my husband's bookshelf that I also want to read. And of course it just keeps growing because I really can't resist buying books. If I'm on a long haul flight I usually have one novel in my hand luggage and another one in the suitcase, then I will buy two more in the airport bookshop 'just in case' I don't like the one I already have. I thought having a Kindle would cure me but I just end up buying a book anyway because there is always at least 30 mins at take off and landing where you're not allowed to have electronic equipment switched on. That's an hour less reading time!

I don't actually read that many books in a month because I don't like to rush them. So probably I read no more than 3 a month and listen to at least one on audio while commuting to work. But if I do any travel in that month then I get to read more....

Finally, if someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? 
Butterfly Girl' ( a reflection of the fact that my brain always seems to be attracted by something new and off I go down another avenue

On a Personal Note: 

I live in Wales in the UK with my husband. Both of us were journalists many moons ago so have a shared passion about the art of writing. And a shared distaste of lazy use of language - my pet hates are words like 'leverage' and 'pre-book'. I sometimes write about this in my Twitter feed. 

Contact info; 
Twitter handle is @kheenand
I'm also on Facebook 
and on Goodreads 

Karen Heenan-Davies

I'll be away for awhile ......

Just a quick blog to say I'm not going to be posting as often. I definitely won't be able to blog until next week at the earliest. My mother has taken ill. I will be traveling back and forth, 2 hours each way going to doctor/specialist visits with her. This is a scary time for both of us and something that I was hoping would not happen for awhile.  With my recent move, my worst fear was that I would not be close enough if something was to happen to her, well, I received a phone call late in the evening to tell me she was rushed to the hospital.. Still unsure what we are dealing with....

I'll have to play next week by ear, too. I am aware that I may have made some review/posting commitments but I am unable to fulfill them until things get more settled. But I will try my best to keep the deadlines if I can.  If it is ok with the authors/publishers I will post them as soon as I am able to.  I'm not reviewing much right now, so it probably won't be beyond my abilities to keep on top of my TBR list.  Just expect a few delays here and there. But there isn't too much planned. My recent reviews & some upcoming posts were actually automated, just to give the illusion that I'm really here and writing. Just like this blog post you're reading right now. Thank goodness for "high tech"...  is it memorex or is it live...

Thanks again for everyone's understanding.  I promise I will be back in full force soon...

and the Winner is....

Thanks for everyone who participated in the chance to win a copy of  Manda Collins's last book in the Ugly Duckling series, How to Romance a Rake.

Mary, I sent you an email, you have 48 hours to reply or I'll have to pick a new winner.

For everyone that didn’t win this time around, thank you for taking part and remember you can still buy the book

How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2)
Published July 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312549253 (ISBN13: 9780312549251)

In the Spotlight ~ Little Hyuts

Once again it is time to spotlight another blogger, today Jill Marie is stopping by.  Take a few moments and meet Jill Marie and learn about her and her blog, Little Hyuts.

Her blog is dedicated to helping support indie and self-pub authors (mainly YA)through author interviews, giveaways, reviews and more!

"The most important thing for everyone to know about my blog is that it helps support indie authors"  :] 

Welcome Jill Marie!!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger? 
I have been reviewing books for the major publishers since I started working for Barnes and Noble back in 2009. I have always loved to read and wanted to be able to share my thoughts on books with others. I also have a passion for baking so I decided to combine the two and start a blog. Initially, I just wanted something fun to pass the time. The more I got into it the more I realized there was definite potential for my blog! I decided to focus on supporting Indie and self-pub authors. I so admire the written word and indie authors really deserve more of the spotlight than they get. 

What’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?
I would definitely say Time! I get so many review requests now! I had to buy a special calendar to plan out my posts :] 

What do you do when you are not blogging? 
Well, me and my fiance just got our first apartment together in March. We have a puppy and a new kitty that require a lot of attention. My fiance and I do not have normal 9-5 jobs, so I suppose you could call me a bit of a "house wife." I love to cook and bake and of course I am reading all the time. I love watching scy fy shows and Star Trek ^^ I am also active in my church and volunteer in their bookstore. Recently, I have started editing books for authors as well. 

You have a catchy name for your blog, tell us how you came up with the name, Little Hyuts? 
The history behind Hyuts is kind of lengthy. Hyuts itself is a catch phrase my fiance started back in high school. Over the years he and our group of friends started using it as their gamer tags and such. Since my fiance is the creator of the name he uses "Mega Hyuts." Since I am the only girl who uses it, we felt it was only right for mine to be "Little Hyuts." Surprisingly, Hyuts is now very well known and used in our town. We always get a huge kick out of hearing someone we do not know use it.

What genre(s) do you read, can you tell us what is it about the genre(s) that grabs your interest? 
I love and read any genre of books. For my blog I have concentrated on Young Adult. There is something so compelling about YA novels. I love how fun they can be. I also have a huge interest in Psychology books and read those quite often as well. My first major was in Psych and you should never stop expanding your knowledge on subjects you love. 

Who are your three favorite authors?
This is a hard one. Currently my favorite authors would be Jennifer Armentrout, Haruki Murakami and an indie author I recently worked with, M.L. Wooley. If I had to pick favorites from all time they would be: JK Rowling, Sharon Creech and Neil Gaiman. Those authors are probably the only ones where I have read a book of theirs numerous times. 

Which author would you most like to meet (dead or alive)? Tell us more..
I have had several authors I would like to meet, Ray Bradbury was one of them. I actually did meet him at comic con a couple years ago and it was fabulous! The #1 author I would want to meet would be H.G. Wells. He is referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction." His work influenced some of our greatest science fiction themes today. I would be remiss if I did not include him! 

How big is your TBR pile? How many books do you read/review in a month? 
I have two separate TBR piles. One for blog reviews and another that is just for me! The Just for Me pile is quite long. I give precedence to books that are review requests, of course. On average I would say I read 25 books a month. 75% of those are usually for review. More often than not I include an interview with the author in my review post, so getting posts ready can take a while. The last couple months have been crazy full of ARCs and other requests. I might have to take a break on accepting them soon, we'll see. 

Finally, if someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
The Life and Times of a Little Hyuts :D On a more serious note, Living Through the Written Word might be acceptable as well. I would want them to write the biography where each chapter of life that is being written about is backed by a book that made an impact on me during that time. 

On a Personal Note:
Jill Marie was adopted when she was very young. All though she has yet to meet her birth parents, that adventure might very well be on the horizon.

Being an only child she developed a strong sense of independence and has always been better at reading by herself than playing organized sports.

Jill has worked in several different industries, one of her favorites has been healthcare. Some of her best life moments have been while caring for the elderly as a CNA.

She hopes to one day work for a publishing company as a copy editor and book PR (publicist).

She also wants (*dreams) to have at least two published children's books on adoption. On picture book and one beginning chapter book.

Follow her on Twitter   Find her on Goodreads. Most importantly become a follower of her blog and help support indie authors!

Thanks so much for doing this Kat! I appreciate you Spotlighting me and other bloggers!

Are you interested in being featured "In the Spotlight", stop by and fill on contact form.

Blog Tour Spotlight ~ Waking up in the Wrong Bed by Natalie Anderson

I am part of the Waking in the Wrong Bed blog tour, Natalie Anderson is touring the blogosphere sharing her new book. The tour is scheduled to run August 1 - August 15th.  Take a peek of what you can expect when you purchase her book...

Waking up in the Wrong Bed 
by Natalie Anderson 
Harlequin Presents

Aug 2012
Miniseries: For One Night Only?
Category: Classic Romance
ISBN: 9780373528806 (#212)

Back of the Book

When film location scout Ellie Summers sneaks into a colleague's hotel room with seduction in mind, she's thrilled by her own daring!
But the smug morning-after glow morphs into red-faced mortification when she wakes in the arms of a total stranger! Ruben Theroux might be fine with the situation, but a flustered Ellie most definitely is not.
Ellie's only defence against this very attractive guy is to insist they're friends only—strictly no benefits! But Ruben isn't a successful businessman for nothing—they'll be good together, and he's happy to play dirty to get what he wants.…

When film location scout Ellie Summers sneaks into a colleague's hotel room with seduction in mind, she's thrilled by her own daring!

 But the smug morning-after glow morphs into red-faced mortification when she wakes in the arms of a total stranger! Ruben Theroux might be fine with the situation, but a flustered Ellie most definitely is not.

Ellie's only defence against this very attractive guy is to insist they're friends only--strictly no benefits! But Ruben isn't a successful businessman for nothing--they'll be good together, and he's happy to play dirty to get what he wants.... 

[After making the most mortifying mistake of her life, Ellie has been determined to keep Ruben at bay. Especially now she knows who he is and how he’s completely wrong for her… She’s determined to put him on the ‘friend’ level—only trouble is Ruben is resisting that assignment and Ellie’s hormones are totally on his side!]

 Oh help, that had her toes curling, but the rest of her was paralysed. She couldn’t walk, couldn’t run. She just waited as he took the two paces through the water. So close she had to tilt her chin to maintain eye contact – which she was damn well determined to do. So close she could feel his breath, could feel her own muscles weakening as excitement erupted. 
  He inclined his head, lowering it almost enough. “You want fantasy?” his lips barely moved as he challenged. 
 Ellie couldn’t breathe at all now, couldn’t hear a thing other than the echo of his words and the amplified thud of her heart. Blood shot to her extremities, her skin suddenly super sensitive. Every cell sensitive. And screaming out. Screaming so loud her reason was muted. So she was the one to tilt her chin that tiny bit further, bringing their lips into contact. 
 She was lost in that instant. She shut her eyes, only able to focus on the velvet warmth of his kiss. The insistence of his lips, his tongue. Oh she opened, she let him in. She let him, let him, let him. Because what he demanded was exactly what she wanted – passion and need. So swiftly his touch swept her into that burning vortex where thought and caution were flung away because this ecstasy was all that mattered. 
 With every lush caress of his mouth, her resistance melted. She melted, her muscles sliding towards his strength, her mouth moving to welcome his demand. But there was a kernel of tension, slowly knotting, growing, sending the message that only his lips touching hers was not enough. Not nearly enough. She craved closer contact, craved for them to meld completely. Chest to breast, thigh to thigh, for their arms to curl and cling and for them to literally be locked in intimacy. Oh she wanted that, she wanted that now. 
 She moaned – a song of need, a plea. The pressure of his mouth increased, his tongue flicking in an erotic tease that saw her tremble with it. For her body to move of it’s own accord – closer, closer, closer. They were inches apart in warm water, she wanted to feel his strong muscles, to press their wet skin together… 
 “That fantasy enough for you?” he asked, his voice rough as he stepped back. The water splashed as he sat down again on the opposite side of the tub. 
 Ellie couldn’t believe he’d kissed her like that and then let her go. She couldn’t believe the intensity in his expression – in his action – had suddenly vanished. “You’re the most awful tease.” 
 “Actually I think you’re the one who can claim that crown,” he argued in that charming rogue way.           “I’m not teasing at all, you’re the one who keeps crossing the boundaries.” She swept her sodden hair from her face. 
 “You keep tempting me to,” he shrugged. 
 “So it’s all my fault?” 
  Unable to help it, despite knowing it was what he wanted, she laughed. “You think it’s funny?”
  She nodded. “You’re so good for a girl’s ego.” 
 “Well, that is my raison d’être,” he inclined his head. 
  Ellie nodded. Yes, he’d gone back to form – a charming, carefree man made for good humour and good times. Yet she sensed that impenetrable wall only a millimetre beneath his surface. 
  Damn it, the whole complicated package fascinated her. 

Waking Up In The Wrong Bed is available from Amazon  Barnes & Noble
And will be on the shelves in bookstore from Mid-August.
USA TODAY bestseller Natalie Anderson writes fun, frisky, feels-good contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon and Entangled. With over twenty books published, she’s also been a Romantic Times Award nominee & a finalist for the R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year).

She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband, four children and what feels like a million ducks.

Find out more at her website http://www.natalie-anderson.com and be sure to sign up for her newsletter there as she often has subscriber only eTreats!
She’s also on  Twitter and Facebook

Interview with Author Manda Collins and Giveaway

I am happy to welcome back Manda Collins,her latest book in the Ugly Duckling series,  How to Romance a Rake (my review) was just released July 31st. She stops by today and answers a few questions.

Don't miss out on the Giveaway- Enter to win for a chance to receive your own copy of How To Romance A Rake!

Manda Collins is definitely one to look out for! You can find my review here.
Welcome back Manda!

You shared a bit of personal experience with the reader in the beginning of How to Romance a Rake, did your life experience help create Juliet?

Thanks for having me back, Kat!
My life experience definitely played a part in my creation of Juliet. Though I don't want anyone to think that Juliet is me. She's not. But I did tap into what it felt like to be a teenager dealing with a disability—and all those insecurities about not being like the other girls during that time in your life when you want nothing more than to blend in. Of course Juliet is an adult by the time the book begins, but I imagine that being on the marriage mart during the Regency was not unlike being at a high school dance. Multiple nights a week. (!) Which is pretty much my worst nightmare.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think I'd be happy to know that readers come away from this book knowing that we're all deserving of love. No matter our physical or mental imperfections.

What is the hardest part of writing this book?
The scenes where Juliet had to deal with her disability were the toughest. Mostly because I had to dip into my own personal experiences to make them authentic.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Definitely the scenes between the men. I love writing bromance and Monteith and Deveril baiting one another was superfun to write.

I am always intrigued on what an author is reading, what are you currently reading?

I've been reading some suspense novels lately. I just finished SISTER by Rosamund Lupton which was amazing. Now I'm reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips' THE GREAT ESCAPE.

Do you spend a lot of time deciding on names for your characters?

You know, I don't really. They sort of just come to me and I can feel whether it's right for the character or not. I can't really explain it. It just sort of happens organically.
Do you prefer writing series to stand-alone titles?

I really like writing books in a series because I like knowing that every part of the story doesn't have to be told in one book. And as a reader I adore a good series and watching the various relationships pay out.
You self-published a novella, Legally Yours, which was pretty darn hot! What made your branch out to this genre? Do you plan on continuing multiple genres?

It was really an experiment to see how well I could write in a contemporary voice. I've always been a historical fan, but I was curious about whether I'd be able to succeed in a contemporary vein. I'm glad to hear you liked itJ I'm going to write more of these shorts, but for now I don't really have the time to write a full length contemporary. That might change one of these days though.

Can you give us a teaser from your upcoming book, How to Entice an Earl?

Well, in my next book, Maddie—the last of the Ugly Ducklings—will find herself in a bit of a fix when she sneaks into a gaming hell to research her novel and stumbles upon a dead body. Who should be there to come to her rescue, but Monteith? There will be plenty of sparks between these two. And kissing games!

Thanks, Kat!

Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches college students how to navigate the tangled world of academic research. A native of coastal Alabama, Manda lives in the house her mother grew up in with three cats, sometimes a dog, sometimes her sister, and always lots of books

Where you can find Manda Collins: Website Facebook Twitter

To celebrate the release of 'How To Romance A Rake', Manda is giving away a copy of this wonderful book to one (1) lucky winner. Open internationally. You must use the Rafflecopter form to enter to win. 

Answer this Question in the Comments- for a Chance to Win!!

What are some of your favorite romances that feature 
characters with either a physical or mental disability?

Good luck to all! For those who just love to read the fine print, before you enter a giveaway please be aware of a few simple rules: Giveaway Policy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the Spotlight ~ Chrissy's Chatter

Today FBL is welcoming Christa from Chrissy's Chatter.  I snagged this from her profile:

"A former nurse who has a heart to serve those who are underserved, underprivledge, hurting. I work in a non profit agency. I did head to Haiti to help out for a week in 2011 and it changed my heart forever. I hate having my picture taken. I LOVE TO READ!"

It seems that Christa and I have something else in common that our love for reading, my mom is a retired RN. I am so proud of her commitment and dedication to helping others!  Welcome, Christa!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
It was just recently- June 2012. I decided that I wanted to be a book blogger when my twitterfeed was blowing up with book reviews and book blog posts. I was new to blogging and found it easy to write posts when I featured a book. I was asked to join a facebook group of writers looking for reviewers and viola! here I am.

So far, what’s the hardest part of being a book blogger? 
Getting all the books read that I have received to review. So many good books, so little time!
What do you do when you are not blogging? 
I work full time at a homeless shelter on the overnight shift. I am a mother of three wonderful cats and wife to a great guy. We like to travel with our travel trailer to the nearby mountains. I love to read, hike, climb, whitewater raft, cook and I am always taking a class in something that interests me.

Tell us how you came up with the name, Chrissy’s Chatter? 
That's a great question. I was looking for something cute to name my blog, and since it is more that just a book blog or a personal blog, I needed a name to go along with the diversity.

What genre(s) do you read, can you tell us what is it about the genre(s) that grabs your interest? I love chick lit. I enjoy medical thrillers, historical fiction, Christian fiction, humourous stories, autobiographies of the celebrities that I love, and non fiction that makes you think. Chick Lit causes me to just get lost for a few hours in a story, and it is usually a heartwarming story that makes you feel good when and after you read it. I love medical thrillers as I was trained to be RN and know all about that . Biographies and autobiographies make me learn more about the person that I am reading about, bring out more respect for that person. I have a stressful job at times and humor helps me get through it all! Fiction of any kind is enjoable to me as I can escape the world that I am in for a few hours and get into a world that someone else has come up with.

Who are your three favorite authors? 
Only three? Sophie Kinsella, Emily Griffin, and Mitch Alboum

Which author would you most like to meet (dead or alive)? Tell us more..
Lucy Maud Montomery. She wrote the Anne of Green Gables series, a well loved Canadian classic. I would like to meet her to learn about how she developed Anne's character and all of her shanigans... was she based on Lucy's own behaviour or someone she knew? Why did she choose PEI to be the backdrop of the series? Did she remember meeting my wonderful great aunt? :)

How big is your TBR pile? How many books do you read/review in a month? 
I try to read a book a week. My Kobo has 4 pages of books on it and my email has 6 books to be downloaded. .. and there are more coming every day!

Finally, if someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Go West , Young Woman

On A Personal Note
I am a Candian woman in her mid thirties. My heritage is a mix of Romanian, Scottish, Irish and English. I work the overnight shift in Canada's, if not North America's, largest homeless shelter. I am a trained RN and Counsellor. I am engaged to a great guy and we are parents to three adorable cats (Buddy, Bella and Marmalade). I love to travel all over the Western Provinces and Carribean. I love to cook, and discover new and exciting foods. I enjoy a great glass of merlot while I read, when on my days off. I love to attend theatre, plays, and concerts. I am a social butterfly when I am comfortable where I am and with who I am with. I support our troops as some of my favorite people from high school serve in all fractions of the Candian Armed Forces. Some things on my bucket list are: learn to fly, raft the Grand Canyon, and Drive across Canada.

How the can reach you Picture/twitter/facebook/goodreads :
Twitter: Canadiancowchic 
Facebook: Christa Bistretzan 
Goodreads: Christa Bistretzan 

How to Romance A Rake by Manda Collins

How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2)
by Manda Collins
Published July 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312549253 (ISBN13: 9780312549251)

review courtesy of the author

You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom—unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms…

My Thoughts:

Once again, Manda Collins proves to me that she is an author to watch! This was a heart warming book I really enjoyed!

The cousins are at it again, once again getting deep into solving a mystery. This time Juliet is spotlighted. Her piano teacher is missing, and not only did she disappear in the night, she left behind her most precious possession- her baby daughter. With not much to go on, Juliet makes it her mission to find the missing woman.  Don't try to guess this one, I thought I knew exactly who was behind the missing woman, but Manda fooled me!! In addition to penning historical and steamy, hot romances, she now can add mystery/suspense to her writing genres. LOL

Prior to an accident at age fourteen, Juliet was the most animated of her cousins. After the accident, she was left with a pronounced limp. Juliet would have been the belle of any ball, had it not been for the injury to her foot. Sure society knew of her disability but not the extent of her injury. She kept that to herself, even from her two cousins, the infamous "Ugly Ducklings". To make matters worst for Juliet, her own mother wished her to remain in her current position "at the edges of the ton", little by little her mother whittled down her self esteem and took her out of society's eye  as to not draw attention to herself.

One night, Juliet gets a verbal lashing from her mother as she catches her daughter doing the unthinkable, "learning to dance". Deveril witnesses the attack and comes to her rescue. Upon learning the Julie didn't dance, he took it upon himself to be her dance partner.  I immediately fell in love with Deveril. He comes to her aid more than once during this book, a true hero.

This was more than a love story, it had grit, determination, mystery, laughter, or my!!  I don't know that I have adequately expressed my thoughts on this book. It was a loving romance, a perfect romance on loving unconditionally. It makes me believe there are knights in shining armor out there for everyone. And can we be so lucky to find one of our own?

I want to thank Manda for offering me an ARC of this book. Don't miss out on my Interview with Manda Collins and Giveway. She's coming to Forever Book Lover on August 9th to chat about her new book, her characters and more.   She is also offering a copy of her latest book, How to Romance A Rake.  Please come by and check it out!!!

My Rating:

Blog Tour ~ Spotlight ~ Navy SEAL's Bride

I am happy to welcome Soraya Lane to FBL. She is out promoting her romance book, "The Navy SEAL's Bride.  She is touring blogs from August 1-15, you can find where she is appearing here.

Too much armor to let anyone close... Ex-navy SEAL Tom Cartwright is struggling to return to civilian life. His little niece is his only ray of sunshine and he agrees to be the "show" in her school show-and-tell. Teacher Caitlin Rose knows all about past disappointments-once, she danced in the spotlight but now she shows others how to. She's learned the hard way to rely only on herself. Yet as soon as Tom looks at her with those big brown eyes, she's done for.... 

Romantic Times award winning author Soraya Lane describes writing for Harlequin Romance as a dream come true. An avid book reader and writer since her childhood, Soraya hopes to be writing heart-warming, emotional romances for many years to come. Soraya lives with her own real life hero and young son on a small farm in New Zealand, surrounded by animals and with an office overlooking a field where their horses graze. For more information about Soraya and her upcoming or past releases, visit her at www.sorayalane.com or follow her on twitter @Soraya_Lane, or www.facebook.com/SorayaLaneAuthor. 

 “Gabby?” Caitlin stood behind her desk, leaning toward her young pupil. “You know how I feel about notes being passed in my class.” 

She watched confusion cross Gabby’s face as she put the neatly folded piece of paper on her desk. “But it’s for you.” 

Caitlin’s eyebrows rose. “For me?” 

Gabby giggled and ran back to her seat. 

“Ten more minutes to finish your writing,” Caitlin instructed, before sitting back down herself. “Then you can all share your stories with the class.”

She carefully unfolded the paper and looked to the end of the letter as soon as she had it open. Tom. His name was printed neatly, his handwriting bold and uniform, as she imagined he was at work. 

For the first time since he’d walked out on her his name made her smile. 

Caitlin looked up to make sure all the children were busy before letting her eyes rove back to the start. Her pulse started to race, her body tingling with … anticipation. She’d never been sent a letter by a man before. 

Dear Caitlin Gabby came home with a note in her bag last night and it made me think of you. I’m sorry for the way I behaved. Thank you for a lovely dinner and please don’t think I’m some rude idiot with bad manners. My mom would kill me if she found out. 

Meet me Saturday afternoon? I’d like to make it up to you if you don’t mind giving me a second chance. Let’s go hiking. I’ll pick you up around 2pm.