A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk

A Little Bit Cupid
by Jennifer Shirk
Published January 13th 2013 by Entangled Publishing

review courtesy of author and publisher
Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Phoebe Ward knows better. When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her —and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought. Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right , she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.

Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe. Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right? But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.

Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake. But maybe Cupid has it wrong. Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.
My Thoughts:
Talk about the weight of the world on your shoulders!!!  Phoebe learns that she doesn't fall in love with her soul mate by Valentine's Day~ all love will cease to exist on earth!!   Geez!! No pressure!!

Cupid has made it easy for Phoebe  he has already found her soul mate, now all she has to do is get him to kiss her, not just a peck, nope this must be a toe-curling kiss before midnight on Feb 14.  But fate has different plans for Phoebe and her heart.

This is a cute, quick read... I would have love to read more about Phoebe and her romance, see more of what the "gods" had in store for her and the world.

Find out if Phoebe can save the world... Does love at first sight exist?   Fall in love with falling in love, pickup Jennifer Shirk's novella, A Little Bit Cupid today... 

If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton #2) by Shana Galen

If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton #2)
by Shana Galen
Publish Date: March 5th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN:1402269765 (ISBN13: 9781402269769)

review courtesy of netgally

Her Mysterious Past Is The Best Revenge . . .

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her A Dazzling Future . . .

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line  .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire .

My Thoughts:
Just finished this one today, I started it two days ago and couldn't put it down...
This is the second in the series, in my opinion it is a stand alone although there is a mystery that began in the first book and carries over to this one, the author provided just enough substance that you don't feel lost. I love the gown on the cover, I was waiting to see where in the book she wears this stunning gown and OMG, it was just the perfect setting... **hush* *zip* my lips are sealed.

Lately, most of my recent romance reads have involved some suspense, espionage, murder and kidnapping.. Hmm, I wonder what the means ??  This is far more than a historical romance, the author takes you on a suspense journey- from dark allies to brothels to elegant balls...

The nickname Fallon fits her perfectly, "Mystery", a past she has put behind her only for it to come back to haunt her.. And haunting is exactly what our hero, Warrick faces every night in his dreams...

I was intrigued on how Shana introduced a hero with some internal demons which carries him away to a past that he can't quite escape until Fallon comes into his life. The author's depiction of Warrick's PTSD was moving, the realistic reliving of the war scenes and the death that he kept having in his nightmares was chilling. Unless you walked in the boots of a solider, you could not  fathom what they suffered through. Bravo to Shana Galen for  bringing these stress disorder to light to her readers.

Shana gave us just a tease about what we may expect from the last of the Three Diamonds, Lily. I won't say anymore but once again, not everything/everyone is what it appears to be... I am anxiously awaiting....

My Rating:

Order This Today!

Exclusive Interview ~ Alison Kent author of Second Chance Cafè

Welcome to the 400th post on my blog~ Forever Book Lover. What a great way to celebrate then to have an exclusive interview with Alison Kent~ author of  Second Chance Cafè. If you missed my review you can find it here.

Thanks so much for stopping by....

Amazon Montlake
"A Hope Springs Novel"
March 2013

Kaylie Flynn was just five years old when her mother abandoned her to the Texas foster system and vanished. But Kaylie was luckier than most, blessed with a foster mother who taught her the comfort of home…and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie.

Now two decades later, Kaylie has journeyed back to Hope Springs to open a café in the rambling Victorian she once shared with her foster family—and hopefully to find answers to lingering questions about her birth parents.

Yet Kaylie’s carefully laid plans quickly take a turn for the complicated. The house needs more work than she ever imagined, and handsome Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires for the job, is having an unnerving effect on her heart. Add an unexpected crisis to the mix, and Kaylie has all the ingredients for a perfect disaster—or a perfect love.
Digital: Kindle

Here is what a few reviewers are saying about her latest release.....

"Kent is a favorite for steamy erotica, but she also writes beautiful contemporaries, and in Second Chance Café, her voice is reminiscent of an early Nora Roberts. The attraction between Kaylie and Ten is immediate, but the relationship builds slowly. A diverse secondary cast gives hope that the series will continue, perhaps with Kaylie's friend, Luna. The sporadic inclusion of brownie recipes is a total bonus that I imagine many readers will eagerly test for themselves." RT Book Reviews, 4 stars

"Superb writing makes this emotional story a standout. Alison Kent bakes up a winner." New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde

Can you tell us how this story was developed. Did you first have a story in mind and the characters just happened? Or did the characters come to you, begging you to tell their story?
I have a thing for old Victorian houses, and the story developed from there. Coworkers and I used to lunch at a small cafe in such a house, and I wanted to recreate that experience. Kaylie Flynn came next, as I needed the house to have some importance to someone. And of course she needed an adversary to keep her from destroying the house's historical authenticity - though Tennessee Keller wasn't much of one once they met. :)

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The only thing in the book based on real life is my love of brownies, and my devotion to rescue dogs. I have three, and can't imagine my days without them underfoot. Well, I can, but I would probably miss having to shove them out of my way all the time. ;)

What was your favorite part of the book?
Besides the brownie recipes (which I baked several times each to get them right!), I have to say Magoo. I'm a sucker for big hulking dogs! But I also loved the scene with Mitch and Kaylie driving home from Austin. That scene pretty much wrote itself!

What was the hardest part to write in the book?
I'm not sure any part was harder than any other, but when I got deeper into the book, dealing with Kaylie's search for her parents became difficult. Probably because it was difficult for Kaylie.

If you could only describe a single scene to encourage someone to read your latest release, which scene would it be? (Grabbed this question from a fellow blogger, thanks Nat @ Reading-Romances)
The scene in the kitchen when Ten and Kaylie first kiss. It shows the tension between them, the uncertainty and doubts, but also moves their relationship to a new level, and hopefully gives the reader more to look forward to.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I have one that's a work in progress that hasn't been published. I have a couple of those, actually, but I love that now once they're done I'll be able to self-publish them.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My next release is an erotice romance coming in August from Berkley Heat. UNFORGETTABLE is the third book in my contemporary western (yay, cowboys!) Dalton Gang series. Then in January, I'll have my first historical novella released from Berkley in an anthology with Jodi Thomas, Jo Goodman, and Kaki Warner. My story is related to my Dalton Gang series, and I'm so excited to be in this collection.

Next year I'll also have two more Hope Springs novels from Montlake - Luna's story will be first, followed by Indiana Keller's, but I don't yet have firm release dates on those.

The Second Chance Cafe (Hope Springs #1) by Alison Kent

The Second Chance Cafe (Hope Springs #1)
by Alison Kent
Published March 5th 2013 by Montlake Romance

review courtesy of Netgalley

Growing up, Kaylie Flynn was shuffled from foster home to foster home before being welcomed into Winton and May Wise’s family. It was May who taught Kaylie the comfort of home, and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie. Years later, May leaves Kaylie the money she needs to open her own café in the charming Victorian house they once shared. Now back in Hope Springs, Kaylie’s determined to finally make all her dreams a reality—and unearth answers to lingering questions about her past.

Soon, however, Kaylie’s carefully laid plans take an unexpected turn. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, is proving to be a very handsome and very unneeded distraction from her quest to uncover the truth about her parents. When a crisis threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build, Kaylie must decide where her heart lies: with the ghosts of her past or the love and promise of her future.

My Thoughts:
I have been looking forward to reading Second Chance Cafe. I have read several of Alison Kent's books and enjoy her writing style.

Time heals all wounds. Several of the characters had some internal demons at work: guilt, regret and secrets. There are several subplots in the storyline, some where tidied up at the end, but some left you wanting more- hopefully to be explored in future books in this series.

The characters were well developed, the author created a realistic town, everyone seemed to know each other, I chuckle as I write this, the one thing you didn't find is the town gossiper. The secrets and past of these characters developed on their own without the help of some snitch creating "drama".

I cried and cheered for Kaylie. She may not have had the typical two parent upbringing, but growing up with her foster family(Wise's) filled the void. I loved the fact that Alison Kent showed that foster care can difficult but a rewarding job. It is a labor of love.  I liked the play on words of the name of her restaurant- Two Owls Cafe, her foster family name - Wise, both offering Kaylie their "wisdom."

Strong bonds of friendship were built or we saw them strengthen in this book from Luna, to Dolly, to Mitch and Indy. These were people that I can picture in my own life and they came to life before my eyes.

The romance is a slow bloom, more time spent building a foundation and friendship. .. the emotional involvement in the characters was not as intense as I would have expected. The characters interactions with each other were leading up to a sizzling scene but the author took a soft sex experience, in my opinion.

I want to learn more about Luna, Will and Ten's brother and sister-Dakota and Indiana. At the end of this book, the readers got a glimpse of the next book in this series, Beneath the Patchwork Moon, set to come out September 2013.  I will be one of the first in line for this one.

edited March 7th.... Special Thanks to Melissas Midnight Musings and her comment ...

I love romance book with food as a center..and thanks for reminding me... one thing I did not mention, so I will need to edit my post,  was there are scrumptious Brownie recipes... I can't wait to try them...
She even created one with Ten in mind, all the dark and sinful things..  :)  LOL

My Rating:

Ryelee's Cowboy by Kathleen Ball

Ryelee's Cowboy (Dawson Ranch)
by Kathleen Ball
Published August 24th 2012 by Secret Cravings Publishing
ISBN13:  9781618853516

Review courtesy of the author

Twenty-year-old Ryelee Snyder is pregnant and alone. Fortunately, she finds a job as a nanny to precocious four-year-old Rheenie Maloney. Life is perfect except for Horse Trainer, Clint Maloney. Ryelee feels his disapproval and is in constant fear of being fired.
Clint Maloney needs help with his daughter but he never bargained on Ryelee Snyder. The tall, gangly, girl is a menace. Clint spends too much of his time rescuing her from her latest mishap. Upon finding out about her pregnancy, Clint’s feelings begin to change. He no longer views her as a nuisance but as a passionate woman with a generous heart.
Secrets, misunderstandings, and cattle rustling put an increasing strain on their relationship, until they finally turn from each other. Just as they seem to find their way back, Ryelee’s part in the cattle rustling is unveiled. Ryelee fights unyieldingly to win the love of a lifetime.

My Thoughts:
This one was an emotionally packed wonder. It is the second in the series, and I recommend reading Texas Haven prior to reading this.

What we find here is a dysfunctional family or family in the making.. Clint is a widower with a young spunky "princess", Rheenie. Her momma died in a car accident and left these two to fend for themselves, it also left young Rheenie with a leg brace- a result from the accident.

Ryelee is a twenty something live- in nanny and housekeeper. When we first meet her she is stuck up in a tree ~ it seems Clint is constantly rescuing her from one thing or another. She had the most horrid childhood imaginable. Her drunken daddy whipping, keeping her in a windowless bedroom. Seems daddy has some debts to pay and the only thing he had to give as payment for the debt with was Ryelee. Can you imagine someone gambling away "any one's" virginity? What an SOB.. and I was being kind.  When Ryelee found out she was pregnant as a result of that unfortunate horror, her daddy threw  her out when she refused to get rid of the baby.

It seems that all is going good in uniting these two lost souls and creating a family.  But, good ole daddy is up to no good, threatening and blackmailing our young heroine. She made some wrong choices that caused Clint to not trust her.

There was times I disliked both Ryelee and Clint... Ryelee for not trusting Clint enough to protect her and her child from the nasty sordid stuff her daddy was forcing her to do.. He ended up in jail after it all happen, she could have just avoided all the heartbreak and brought that man down.  And then there's Clint, he himself was nasty to her.. kiss her one minute, evil eye the next.  I found him spineless in some scenes.   If it wasn't for Annie and Burke (Texas Haven) coming in more than once and spreading their love and joy, this would be more of a heartbreaking book.

This author spins a great tale.. your emotions will go up and down and then sometimes you want to reach into the pages and slap them silly..  :)   I found this book very engaging and easy to read through; all in all an enjoyable read... Kathleen Ball is a new author to me and one that I will read again.

Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18) by Lynsay Sands

Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18)
by Lynsay Sands
Publication Date: February 26th 2013 by Avon

review courtesy of edelweiss

A kiss doesn’t mean eternity . . .

Valerie Moyer doesn’t believe in vampires—until she is kidnapped by a fanged psychopath! After escaping her bloodthirsty captor, she’s through with creatures of the night. Until she finds herself under the protection of the darkly handsome Anders. Not only is she expected to accept that Anders is immortal, but also that she is the woman destined to be his life mate!

. . . Or does it?

Anders felt a connection to Valerie from the moment he cradled her bruised body in his arms. But before he claims her, he must destroy the vampire who almost stole her from him forever. His job would be easier if Valerie didn’t fight him every step of the way. Still, Anders loves a challenge, and the green-eyed beauty is worth fighting for!

My Thoughts: 
I am a stalker when it comes to the Argeneau series, so when I saw this as an ARC in edelweiss I requested it without any idea of who the main characters were or what the plot was!!

This started out very very dark, honestly it was a bit scary. It was did not start out as a Lynsay Sand's typical lighthearted Argeneau book.  Someone was kidnapping women, drugging them and keeping them prisoner in a small cage. What was scary was that the guard would take one of the girls where they would become the "toy" for a sadistic vampire..  Luckily, the sexy Anders is nearby and is just the perfect bodyguard that Valerie needs.. In the previous books in this series, Anders is always portrayed as a loner, a quiet one... but it was fun reading how he deals with finding his life mate. Wait until you hear the "nickname" Valerie gives him, LOL. This book is filled with twists and turns until a final showdown at the end...

We see our favorite vampire/soul mate couples throughout this story, like a homecoming.  I love the antics of Leigh, she is hilarious.  As this is the 18th book in the series, I am wondering if it will continue, I think all of the main and secondary characters have had their story told, well the only one i think left my be Justin.  I hate to see this series end, but we may have run out of romance and life mates to pair up.

My Rating