Love Literary Style, by Karin Gillespie – With Giveaway

About the book, Love Literary StyleLove Literary Style

They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?

Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him.

Their relationship is initially made in literary heaven but when Aaron loses his contract with a prestigious press, and Laurie’s novel is optioned by a major film studio, the differences in their literary sensibilities and temperaments drive them apart.

In a clumsy attempt to win Laurie back, Aaron employs the tropes of romance novels. Too late. She’s already taken up with Ross, a prolific author of Nicholas Sparks-like love stories. Initially Laurie is more comfortable with the slick and superficial Ross, but circumstances force her to go deeper with her writing and confront a painful past. Maybe Aaron and Laurie have more in common than they imagined.

In the tradition of the Rosie Project, Love Literary Style is a sparkling romantic comedy which pokes fun at the divide between so-called low and high brow fiction.

Buy, read, and discuss Love Literary Style

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Read an Excerpt


About the author, Karin Gillespie Karin Gillespie

Karin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016.

Connect with Karin

Website | Facebook | Twitter


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

I’m old enough to have grown up with reruns of a silly 1970’s anthology show called “Love, American Style,” and for some reason, the theme song from that show keeps running through my head every time I see the title of Karin Gillespie’s funny, sweet, clever novel, Love Literary Style.

I always enjoy it when authors take a well-known trope and subvert it, and that’s what Gillespie has done in this book. She’s taken all the conventional trappings of a conventional romance – Girl and Boy are unhappy alone and have similar, but not duplicate, aspirations. Girl and Boy meet in a controlled environment, fall madly in love, and can’t make it work, then angst about it until they put themselves back on the ‘correct’ path – and turns them into something that skirts the edge between contemporary romance, general fiction, and literary fiction.

Her lead characters, Laurie and Aaron are both quirky, engaging people, who feel like slightly heightened versions of the types of people we all know: the bubbly, boisterous, young woman who doesn’t just wear pink, but lives it, and the charmingly dweeby academic who, deep down, wants to break out of his shell.

But far from being stereotypes, they are truly dimensional characters. Laurie wants to write romances and Aaron wants to publish his literary novel, but both of them are very much akin, in that they each want a committed partner who will support their artistic endeavors and their emotional needs, and I found both their journeys to be interesting and somewhat uplifting.

As an aspiring writer myself (aren’t we all?) I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpses at the publishing world, both mainstream/commercial and indie/self, as well as the “class wars” between mass market and literary fiction. (Personally I read a little of everything.)

Overall, Love Literary Style is a refreshing romp of a literary romance – light enough to be enjoyed by almost anyone, but deep enough to give those who want a meaty read their satisfaction, as well.

Goes well with pink cocktails followed by grilled pork chops.


Giveaway Love Literary Style

One person in the U.S. or Canada will win a copy of Love Literary Style. How? There are three ways to enter:

  1. Find my tweet about this book, and retweet it (make sure my tag is intact @melysse)
  2. Find my post about this book on Facebook, like it, share it, and comment that you have done so.
  3. Leave a relevant comment about this book, here on this post. (Comments from first-timers must be approved and may not go live for 24 hours).

Deadline: 11:59 PM Central Daylight Time on Tuesday, November 8th.


Karin Gillespie’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS TLC Book Tours

Tuesday, November 1st: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, November 2nd: Bibliotica

Wednesday, November 2nd: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Thursday, November 3rd: Mom in Love with Fiction

Friday, November 4th: View from the Birdhouse

Monday, November 7th: Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, November 8th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, November 8th: Buried Under Books

Wednesday, November 9th: Wall to Wall Books

Thursday, November 10th: Reading is my Superpower

Friday, November 11th: Not in Jersey

Sunday, November 13th: Writer Unboxed – author guest post

Monday, November 14th: From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, November 15th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, November 16th: Buried Under Romance

Thursday, November 17th: Thoughts on This ‘N That

Monday, November 21st: Joyfully Retired

Tuesday, November 22nd: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Monday, November 28th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Review: Secrets of Nanreath Hall, by Alix Rickloff

About the book, Secrets of Nanreath Hall Secrets of Nanreath Hall

• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 2, 2016)

This incredible debut historical novel—in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson—tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers.

Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn her adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home—Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six-years-old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known—and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.

Cornwall, 1913. In the luxury of pre-WWI England, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is expected to do nothing more than make a smart marriage and have a respectable life. When Simon Halliday, a bohemian painter, enters her world, Katherine begins to question the future that was so carefully laid out for her. Her choices begin to lead her away from the stability of her home and family toward a wild existence of life, art, and love. But as everything begins to fall apart, Katherine finds herself destitute and alone.

As Anna is drawn into her newfound family’s lives and their tangled loyalties, she discovers herself at the center of old heartbreaks and unbearable tragedies, leaving her to decide if the secrets of the past are too dangerous to unearth… and if the family she’s discovered is one she can keep.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


About the author, Alix Rickloff Alix Rickloff

Alix Rickloff is a critically acclaimed author of historical and paranormal romance. Her previous novels include the Bligh Family series (Kensington, 2009), the Heirs of Kilronan trilogy (Pocket, 2011), and, as Alexa Egan, the Imnada Brotherhood series (Pocket, 2014). She lives in Chestertown, Maryland, with her husband and three children.

Connect with Alix:

Website  FacebookPinterestTwitter


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

In Secrets of Nanreath Hall, author Alix Rickloff gives us an interesting well-written historical novel that takes place in two time periods without the use of time travel.

Instead, we meet Lady Katherine (Kitty) first as she’s announcing to her close friends that she’s been diagnosed with cancer, and doesn’t have much time left, and later in alternating chapters that flash back to show us her personal history. Her story is set against the backdrop of World War I, and we follow her constant straining against the society family she was born into and her love for an artist who paints her the way he sees her, but dies far too soon.

We also meet Anna, Kitty’s daughter, who is serving as a  Red Cross nurse. Her story is also set during wartime, World War II, and her chapters have a snap and sparkle to them that the Kitty sections do not, which fits the energy of the time.

Of the two women, it’s difficult to say which is stronger. Anna is certainly more self-sufficient, but Kitty is more unconventional, and yet, Rickloff makes them undeniably mother and daughter, even though Anna loses her mother when she is only six.

Both women have stories that involve coming of age, losing family, and finding their right place in the world. Kitty’s is more languid, especially as we know her ultimate end – dying essentially alone – from the beginning. Almost, it feels like lassitude slowly creeps into her story.  Conversely, Anna’s story increases in tempo as it goes on. Her early scenes paint her as very much a lost lamb, having just lost her guardians in an air raid.

There are other characters in this story of course. Kitty’s lover (and Anna’s father) the painter Simon Halliday is one. Anna’s cousin Hugh and friend Tilly are others. These characters are well drawn, each with their own flaws but they serve to highlight the women at the heart of the novel.

A final character is the family manse, Nanreath Hall, a house that has been conscripted for use as a convalescent home – the house where Anna is assigned. If the actual secrets held by the Hall were somewhat predictable, it wasn’t a detractor. The novel is so well written that even the predictable is a delight to read.

While this book will most appeal to Anglophiles and people who love historical novels, I think it would suit a broad variety of readers.

Goes well with warm pastry and hot tea, or maybe a splash of brandy.


Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

Tuesday, August 2nd: BookNAround

Thursday, August 4th: Bibliotica

Friday, August 5th: Let Them Read Books

Monday, August 8th: Ms. Nose in a Book

Tuesday, August 9th: A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, August 10th: Broken Teepee

Monday, August 15th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Tuesday, August 16th: A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, August 17th: Savvy Verse & Wit

Thursday, August 18th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Review: Under an Adirondack Sky, by Karen Rock

 About the book, Under an Adirondack Sky Under an Adirondack Sky

Can he juggle everything…including her?

After raising his siblings and running the family pub for more than a decade, Aiden Walsh has set his own dreams aside. Until the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen stumbles into his bar, and his arms. Too bad Rebecca Day is the school psychologist in charge of his brother’s future. Who’s he kidding? He doesn’t have room in his full life for romance anyway. But forced to join Rebecca and her group of troubled teens on an Adirondack retreat, he realizes keeping his family afloat isn’t enough for him…not by a long shot.

Read the first three chapters on Wattpad!

Purchase Links

HarlequinBarnes & Noble| Amazon| Kobo


Karen Rock Karen Rock

Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet and spicy–at least when it comes to her writing! The author of both YA and adult contemporary books writes red-hot novels for Harlequin Blaze and small-town romances for Harlequin Heartwarming. A strong believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers with a smile. When she’s not writing, Karen is an avid reader who’s typically immersed in three different books at a time, all in different genres. She also loves cooking her grandmother’s Italian recipes, baking, Christmas (no need to specify–she loves every bit of it), and having the Adirondack Park wilderness as her backyard, where she lives with her husband, daughter, dog and cat who keep her life interesting and complete.

Connect with Karen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

I don’t read a lot of romance novels. I read a decent amount of contemporary fiction, some of which has romance in it, but typically, I don’t read ‘traditional’ romance novels. However, when it’s high summer, the temperature is over a hundred, and the humidity is so intense it makes me wish I had gills, there’s nothing so relaxing as devouring a Harlequin novel, and the most recent such book to help me feel calm and cool was Karen Rock’s Under an Adirondack Sky.

The formula is fairly de rigueur: Rebecca Day is a school psychologist up for tenure. Aidan Walsh owns a bar and takes care of his younger brothers and sisters because his father is dead and his mother has early-onset Alzheimers. With Connor, Aidan’s teenaged brother and Rebecca’s patient, as the catalyst the pair become first adversaries, then allies, and finally fall in love.

That much, you can glean from the back cover.

But what the cover doesn’t tell you is that author Karen Rock has given us a story that is fresh, fun, and doesn’t feel at all formulaic when you’re reading it. Sure, there’s a little bit of contrivance in getting Rebecca, some of her colleagues, a few parents and the most challenging students out to an Adirondack farmhouse for a couple of weeks of tech-free living and personal encounters, but really, it’s no more contrived than when Agatha Christie throws a dinner party so Miss Marple can solve a crime.

Besides, the time at the farmhouse makes you want to step into the novel and hang out with everyone, fishing and grilling food on the porch and learning to knit, and being nurtured by the homeowners as well as the mental health professionals.

Rebecca is a lovely character, sunny and bright much of the time, but no Pollyanna, and her pleasant manner hides depth that we do get to peek at. Aidan is much more interesting than the typical “twinkling brown eyes” romantic hero, and is also surprisingly complex. Connor, around whom the story revolves, is well-drawn, as are the rest of his peers.

In fact the whole novel is a good look at the way young teens process emotional distress, and at the way communication is a key element of all relationships, not just the romantic ones.

Curl up with a glass of ice tea and a healthy amount of sunscreen, and spend and afternoon reading Under and Adirondack Sky; it will leave you smiling.

Goes well with fresh-caught fish, grilled on a back-yard BBQ, homegrown vegetables, and jacket potatoes.


Summer Lovin’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, July 4th: Romantic Reads and Such – Under an Adirondack Sky

Tuesday, July 5th: A Chick Who ReadsThe Girl He Used to Love

Wednesday, July 6th: Romancing the Readers – Sophie’s Path

Thursday, July 7th: Wall to Wall Books – Under an Adirondack Sky

Friday, July 8th: Just Commonly – When I Found You

Friday, July 8th: Books A La Mode – Karen Rock guest post

Monday, July 11th: From the TBR Pile – Sophie’s Path

Tuesday, July 12th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty – Under an Adirondack Sky

Wednesday, July 13th: Books and Spoons – When I Found You

Friday, July 15th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – The Girl He Used to Love

Monday, July 18th: Stranded in ChaosUnder an Adirondack Sky

Wednesday, July 20th: Books A La Mode – Amy Vastine Guest Post

Thursday, July 21st: Romancing the Book – When I Found You

Friday, July 22nd: Wall to Wall Books – Sophie’s Path

Monday, July 25th: From the TBR Pile – The Girl He Used to Love

Tuesday, July 26th: Bibliotica – Under an Adirondack Sky

Wednesday, July 27th: Books and Spoons – Sophie’s Path

Friday, July 29th: Books A La Mode – Kate James Guest Post

Saturday, July 30th: The Sassy BooksterWhen I Found You

Monday, August 1st: A Chick Who Reads – Sophie’s Path

Tuesday, August 2nd: Reading Is My Superpower – Under an Adirondack Sky

Wednesday, August 3rd: Reading Is My Superpower – When I Found You

Friday, August 5th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews – The Girl He Used to Love

Monday, August 8th: Why Girls are Weird – Under an Adirondack Sky

Tuesday, August 9th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty – When I Found You

Wednesday, August 10th: Reading Lark – Sophie’s Path

Thursday, August 11th: Romancing the Book – The Girl He Used to Love

Friday, August 12th: Books A La Mode – Catherine Lanigan Guest Post

Monday, August 15th: Romancing the Book – Sophie’s Path

Tuesday, August 16th: Read-Love-Blog – Amy Vastine Guest Post

Thursday, August 18th: Romancing the Book – Under an Adirondack Sky

Click to purchase any book in the series

Review: A Thousand Salt Kisses, by Josie Demuth

About the book A Thousand Salt Kisses A Thousand Salt Kisses

  • Publication Date: April 2016
    Wise Ink Press
  • Series: Salt Kisses, Book One
  • Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance/Mer-Stories

Beautiful Crystal White is the new girl on the remote Starfish Island. During a party on the mainland, she goes for a midnight swim with other party goers where she meets the handsome, intriguing Llyr amongst the waves.

As she heads back to shore she realizes that he is not behind her and that nobody at the party remembers him. Crystal can’t seem to shake Llyr from her mind and returns to the beach in the hope of meeting him again. When she finally does, she realizes there may be more truth to the ramblings of the island folk than she thought.

To add more drama to her life, Crystal’s mother and her father are at war over a local power station that is devastating local marine life.

Over a sizzling roller coaster summer, it becomes apparent that all these events are not entirely unrelated and Crystal finds herself both caught up in a deep mystical romance and at the centre of an exploding environmental scandal…

Buy, read, and discuss this book

AmazonGoodreads


About the author, Josie Demuth Josie Demuth

Josie is a 31 year-old writer from London. Her Salt Kisses books became popular on Wattpad, and are now also serialised on Radish Fiction. A Thousand Salt Kisses is her third book.

For more information please visit http://www.saltkissesbooks.com/ and https://josiedemuthwriting.wordpress.com/.

Connect with Josie

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Wattpad

 


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

I got this novel later than I expected, had an exhausting weekend at Dallas FanExpo (Comic-Con) and have been fighting a slow internet server all day, so apologies to the author and BookJunkie Promotions (the tour host) for this review being late.

I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I call myself the Bathtub Mermaid, so you can guess that I was excited about any story related to mer-folk, and I often tell people that I believe the YA market is home to some of the most provocative stories and strongest female characters in all of contemporary fiction. Crystal is smart, feisty, and very much her own person, and while she’s initially less-than-thrilled about her new life on Starfish Island, a new friend, a new romance, and a new-found love of the ocean all conspire to change her perspective – a literal sea-change, if you will.

I really appreciated the way author Josie Demuth made sure Crystal’s parents had their own story, rather than making them mere ‘props’ for Crystal’s tale. While some of the plot twists were a bit predictable for me, aged 46, I suspect my teen self, and contemporary teenagers who might read this, would find them less so.

I have only two major complaints about what is, essentially, an engaging, well written novel that gives us a version of mer-culture that is unique to this author:

  1. Some of the dialogue is a bit ‘off.’ I don’t know if it’s my American ear reading a London-based writer’s work, or if Demuth was having trouble channeling her inner teenager – it’s not every scene, and it in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
  2. It’s very much a ‘first in the series’ novel, and I felt there wasn’t quite enough resolution. On the other hand, I absolutely want to know what happens NEXT, so in that, author did her job incredibly well.

If you are looking for a literary work of art, to be discussed in English classes for the next century, this is not the book for you. If, however, you want a fun, romantic, beach-read that you and your teenage daughter/sister/cousin/friend can share with no worries about adult content (there is implied sex, but nothing explicit) this would be an excellent choice.

A Thousand Salt Kisses will make you long for a day at the beach and a hot mer-guy to hang out with

Goes well with a hot dog and crinkle-cut fries, served from a beach concession stand. Frosty root beer optional.


Giveaway A Thousand Salt Kisses

To enter the giveaway for a signed copy of A THOUSAND SALT KISSES, please see the GLEAM entry form below. Three copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY!

A Thousand Salt Kisses


Blog Tour Schedule A Thousand Salt Kisses Blog Tour

Monday, June 6
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, June 9
Excerpt at Brooke Blogs

Friday, June 10
Review at Bibliotica

Monday, June 13
Interview at I Heart Reading

Tuesday, June 14
Spotlight at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, June 15
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Friday, June 17
Spotlight at AC Reads

Monday, June 20
Excerpt at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Tuesday, June 21
Spotlight at Fiction Conviction Book Blog

Friday, June 24
Spotlight at A Leisure Moment

Monday, June 27
Spotlight at It’s a Mad Mad World

Monday, July 4
Review at A Book Drunkard

Tuesday, July 5
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, July 8
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Book Junkie Promotions

Review: Out Rider, by Lindsay McKenna

About the book,  Out Rider Out Rider

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (April 26, 2016)

With her return to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, New York Times bestselling author Lindsay McKenna shows how love can find a way out of the darkness… 

A fresh start—that’s all Devorah McGuire wants. As a former Marine and current Ranger with the US Forest Service, she’s grown accustomed to keeping others safe. But when the unthinkable happens, she can only hope that a transfer to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will allow her to put the past behind her for good.

Dev’s mentor at Grand Tetons National Park is fellow canine handler and horseman Sloan Rankin. He shows Dev the spectacular trails, never knowing the terror that stalks her every move. Despite her lingering fear, Dev feels an attraction for Sloan as wild as their surroundings.

With Sloan, Dev can envision a new life—a real home. Unless a vengeful man fresh out of prison succeeds in finishing what he started…

Buy, read, and discuss this book.

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

 


About the author, Lindsay McKenna Lindsay McKenna

A U.S. Navy veteran, she was a meteorologist while serving her country. She pioneered the military romance in 1993 with Captive of Fate, Silhouette Special edition.  Her heart and focus is on honoring and showing our military men and women.  Creator of the Wyoming Series and Shadow Warriors series for HQN, she writes emotionally and romantically intense suspense stories.

Connect with Lindsay.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

I’ve reviewed and/or spotlighted a few of Lindsay McKenna‘s books now, and I find that even though I’m not a heavy reader of romance novels, I always enjoy visiting with her characters, because the women are always strong and independent, and the men are usually sensitive and incredibly respectful of women, and both of those things need to be modeled more in our media.

While I’m NOT a fan of anything that smacks of Western, I have five dogs, and I grew up with a love of horses, and was fortunate enough to spend a couple of summers at riding camp in New Jersey, or visiting friends in Nebraska and Colorado who had horses. It was the horse-and-dog connection, as much as McKenna’s name,  that really drew me to this novel. I mean, the story was so engaging she made me want to visit Wyoming.

What I love about McKenna’s characters is that they’re usually seasoned adults. In the case of Out Rider, Dev and Sloane have each had their requisite tragic (for whatever reason) love affair/marriage. They’ve lived in the world, and experienced life’s fears and joys. That tempering, the fact that they’re not twenty-two-year-olds, is what I really love about this novel, in particular, and this author’s work in general. Yes, this couple is slightly idealized – it’s a romance novel, after all – but they’re still believable, dimensional characters.

I also appreciate the way McKenna, who is ex-Navy, works military backstories into her work. Many of her characters, both men and women, are either active-duty or ex-military, and not just as a line-item in a description. They rely on skills taught while they were in the service, and demonstrate a love of country that feels sincere without being preachy. It takes a really smart writer to pull that off.

As I mentioned before, part of what drew me to this novel was the animals. Dogs and horses are a classic combination, in life, and in fiction, and stories built around them always appeal. McKenna ties the love of these animals into the story making them almost-characters, but never, ever, allowing them to stray into cuteseyness.

If you want to read a formula romance, this is NOT the novel for you.

If, however, you want to read a really good love story about people who could be real (and maybe fall a little bit in love with Wyoming), I highly recommend Out Rider.

Goes well with chili rellenos, black beans and rice, and a cold beer.


Giveaway Out Rider

Want to read Out Rider for yourself. One lucky winner will get a DIGITAL COPY (e-book) of this novel. How do you enter? Find my post about this review on Twitter (@Melysse) and retweet it, or find my post on Facebook and like/share it. One of my dogs and I will pick the winner from all entries received by 11:59 PM  US CDT, on Sunday, May 29th.

Please note: aside from selecting the winner, I have NO CONTROL over this giveaway. I will supply the winner’s email address to the publicist, and they will be responsible for sending the book (in this case, an ebook).


Lindsay McKenna’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, April 25th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, April 27th: The Sassy Bookster

Wednesday, April 27th: Written Love Reviews – guest post

Friday, April 29th: Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous

Monday, May 2nd: Read Love Blog

Tuesday, May 3rd: From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, May 4th: Booked on a Feeling

Thursday, May 5th: Reading Reality

Friday, May 6th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy – guest post

Monday, May 9th: Books a la Mode – guest post

Wednesday, May 11th: Palmer’s Page Turners – guest post

Monday, May 16th: Bibliotica

Wednesday, May 18th: Stranded in Chaos

Thursday, May 19th: The Reading Cove Book Club

Friday, May 20th: What I’m Reading

Monday, May 23rd: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, May 25th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

#Bibliotica reviews: The Summer of Me, by Angela Benson

About  the book, The Summer of Me The Summer of Me

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 19, 2016)

The national bestselling author of Delilah’s Daughters and The Amen Sisters returns with a moving story about a single mother who, in one unforgettable summer, discovers the woman she can become.

As a single mother, Destiny makes sacrifices for her children—including saying good-bye for the summer so they can spend time with their father and stepmother. Though she’ll miss them with all her heart, the time alone gives her an opportunity to address her own needs, like finishing her college degree. But Destiny’s friends think her summer should include some romance.

Destiny doesn’t want to be set up . . . until she meets Daniel. The handsome, warm, and charming pastor soon sweeps her off her feet. But is romance what she really wants? Or needs?

As the days pass, Destiny will make new discoveries—about herself, the man she’s fallen for, and the people around her. And she’ll face challenging choices too. But most of all, she’ll grow in ways she never imagined, learning unexpected lessons about trust, forgiveness, and the price of motherhood . . . and becoming the woman she truly wants to be.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


About the author, Angela Benson Angela Benson

Angela Benson is a graduate of Spelman College and the author of fourteen novels, including the Christy Award–nominated Awakening Mercy, the Essence bestsellerThe Amen Sisters, Up Pops the Devil, and Sins of the Father. She is an associate professor at the University of Alabama and lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Connect with Angela:

Website | Facebook

 


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

The whole time I was reading Angela Benson’s latest novel The Summer of Me, I kept thinking about two things: one, this author has really nailed what it is to be a single parent in the contemporary world, and two, lead-character Destiny’s experience is not all that different from my own mother, who, as she recently reminded me (and the world) through her blog, “worked at shitty jobs to pay for cello and tap lessons, big hair perms, and the latest Michael Jackson record.” (Well, it was the 80’s.)

Here’s what I loved about Destiny: unlike the hoards of Mommy-bloggers out in the world, who seem to let their role as “mother” subsume their entire personalities, Destiny is a dimensional person. She loves her kids and wants the best for them, yes. She makes choices based, at least in part, on what would be best for her kids. While I’m not a parent (I have dogs. Lots of dogs.), I have many friends who are, and most of them make their decisions in a similar fashion. But she also retains the ability to be a whole person – it’s rocky, at first, because when we meet her she’s just had a job offer – one that would have changed life as she perceived it – rescinded, so she’s not as hopeful as she should be – but once her confidence is somewhat restored, she begins to date, and make choices about what is best for her.

Here’s what I loved about The Summer of Me in general: Destiny is the center of the story but her mother and friends have their own arcs as well. They’re subtler, but they do exist. I also liked that the kids ‘read’ like real kids – not grammatically perfect fictional characters – I especially appreciated that Kenae, Destiny’s daughter, had her headphones in her ears more often than not. This is behavior I see everywhere (and, sadly, not only with kids) and it lent an air of realism to what is basically a contemporary romance novel. I also appreciated that the kid’s father and his wife were not portrayed as monsters, just as two people who share a common interest – the children – and our doing their best to work with each other. None of the relationships are perfect, but they are all fairly positive, and okay, it’s a romance novel, so it’s not like anyone was going to be truly evil, but still… Author Benson really showed off her ability to find the nuances in every-day situations and enhance them to make a compelling story.

I’m never sure if I should mention that most of the characters in this novel are people of color (which is the phrase that was in our descriptions when we were given the opportunity to choose books for this spring – Thank you TLC Book Tours for giving us such great choices), or if I should just assume that readers will understand, as I do, that a good story is a good story, that single mothers of all cultures and skin tones have similar experiences, and that you don’t have to be exactly like the protagonist of any novel to be able to relate to it. So, I’m mentioning it in this left-handed fashion, because it shouldn’t matter. (But there’s a whole rant about labeling books, and this isn’t the moment for it.)

I found The Summer of Me to be incredibly well written, just sexy enough to keep things interesting, and full of dimensional characters I truly cared about. I recommend it for anyone who wants an easy (but still satisfying) summer read, especially children of single parents.

Goes well with Chinese chicken salad and mango-peach iced tea. Followed by a phone call to your mother, whether she was a single parent, or not.


Angela’s Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

Tuesday, April 19th: Raven Haired Girl

Wednesday, April 20th: Comfy Reading

Thursday, April 21st: Becklist

Friday, April 22nd: Kritters Ramblings

Monday, April 25th: A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog

Tuesday, April 26th: I’m Shelf-ish

Wednesday, April 27th: Thoughts On This ‘n That

Thursday, April 28th: Bibliotica

Friday, April 29th: As I turn the pages

Monday, May 2nd: Reading is My Super Power

Tuesday, May 3rd: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Wednesday, May 4th: From the TBR Pile

Thursday, May 5th: 5 Minutes For Books

Lies and Other Acts of Love, by Kristy Woodson Harvey (@kristywharvey) #review #contest #mustread

Lies and Other Acts of LoveAbout the book, Lies and Other Acts of Love

 

  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (April 5, 2016)
  • Publication Date: April 5, 2016

 

Dear Carolina was praised as “Southern fiction at its best.”  Now author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth…

After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.

Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.

But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves….

Buy, read, and discuss this book.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble. | Hudson Booksellers | IndieBound | Kobo | Goodreads


Kristy Woodson HarveyAbout the author, Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina, which was recently long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize and Lies and Other Acts of Love, a Romantic Times top pick and Southern Booksellers Okra Pick. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodsonharvey.com. She is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a Master’s in English from East Carolina University. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Southern Living, Domino magazine, Our State, Houzz, the Salisbury Post and the New Bern Sun Journal. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and four-year-old son where she is working on her next novel.

Connect with Kristy

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Contest: Order to Enter

Contest

Order Lies and Other Acts of Love and send a picture of the receipt to kristy@kristywoodsonharvey.com between now and April 10 to be entered to win a $1,000 Shop Design Chic gift card. Everyone will receive copies of four gorgeous printable quotes from the book! Order or pre-order from an independent bookstore or Indiebound for two contest entries!

Link to blog post: bit.ly/1UE6elP

(See above for buy links.)


Melissa A. BartellMy Thoughts

I had the privilege of reviewing Kristy Woodson Harvey’s first novel, Dear Carolina before it’s release, and I quickly fell in love with both that novel and Harvey’s writing, so when she sent me an email asking if I’d review her sophomore outing, Lies and Other Acts of Love, I made time to do so, and I’m glad I did, because I think this may be one of the best novels of the spring/summer of 2016 – and we’re barely into April.

Told in alternating chapters from Lovey and Annabelle, this novel holds the richness of family tradition in every page, but tradition isn’t always fluffy, and I really appreciate the way Harvey’s characters are flawed and dimensional. Lovey is at an age where secrets really start to weigh upon you, and we feel that in every one of her interactions, though we feel the equal – greater – weight of her love for her family as well.

Annabelle, by contrast, is still young enough to retain some element of capriciousness, though her maturity increases as the story goes on.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for stories about big families with overlapping generations, but I felt that the collection of women in Lies and Other Acts of Love was incredibly important. Our mothers and grandmothers and aunts – our cousins and and nieces and daughters – these are the people who hold our histories and our stories, but they also hold our hearts. There’s something incredibly powerful, to me, about women supporting other women, and it drives me crazy when they don’t. In this novel, we see more support than not, but both sides of the coin are reflected, and that balance is part of what makes these people seem so real.Lies and Other Acts of Love

I want to say a word about the men in the story, and especially D-Daddy – Lovey’s partner, who is declining much faster than she is. The scenes between the two of them were so poignant, and so naked, full of the little fictions we tell the people we love to ease their days, but also full of the impact of a decades-long relationship. Despite the requisite pain that comes with knowing someone you love is fading, the scenes with these two people were some of the most interesting, and most passionate, in the novel.

Overall, I found that Kristy Woodson Harvey’s voice, while remaining once the same as it was in Dear Carolina, has evolved into a confident, warm voice made for telling these distinctly human tales, that are the perfect blend of realism touched by romance. It’s no lie that I loved this book, and I’m certain you will, too.

Goes well with fresh-caught fish, a garden salad, and sweet tea (or maybe a vodka cranberry).

 

 

The Darkest Secret, by Gena Showalter #review #TLCBookTours #giveaway

In June, 2016, Gena Showalter will be releasing the newest installment of her series The Lords of the Underworld. That novel, The Darkest Torment, is not yet ready for review, so, in conjunction with TLC Book Tours, many of us are reviewing other books in the series. I chose to review The Darkest Secret.  Read to the end of the page for the entire list of tour stops, and the chance to win a signed copy of the entire collection.

About the book, The Darkest Secret The Darkest Secret

  • Series: Lords of the Underworld
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (March 29, 2011)

Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when new demons possess him, the immortal warrior must be chained and isolated to protect those he loves. Death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty…. Haidee is an infamous demon assassin, raised to despise Amun’s kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her.

Buy, read, and discuss this book.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


My Thoughts Melissa A. Bartell

This novel, The Darkest Secret, is number seven in a series, and while each of the novels can be read as standalone stories, I can’t help but wonder if it would have been a different experience reading them all in order.

But that’s beside the point.

The Darkest Secret opens with a homecoming, as we witness the changes in a place I’m calling Casa Demonica  – a sort of group home/mansion/commune for angels (warriors) and demons, each of whom is the ‘keeper’ of some great evil – some of them are four horseman-level evils, others are less intense – fatigue, for example – but all of the demons represent the darker side of humanity. Or demonity. Or… both.

Author Gena Showalter does a really good job of blending world-building with paranormal romance. I enjoyed the fact that there was nuance to her darkest creatures – they regret that their appetites cause harm, and actually try to make things easier for their human partners, as a rule.

I also enjoyed learning about the interpersonal relationships between these creatures. How precarious it must be to have friendships that could so quickly turn to death and destruction, or just as easily become true kinships – or switch between both extremes in the space of days, weeks, or years?

But beyond the demons themselves are their human hosts. In this case Amun is living within Micah, and Strider – it’s his point of view we first experience – has brought a human woman – Haidee – into Casa Demonica, but Haidee isn’t just a chick of the week, she’s Micah’s girlfriend.

Yeah. That’s not awkward at all.

Because Amun/Micah is experiencing the physical manifestation of a psychic disease, he’s strapped to a bed, and in terrible shape, and Haidee, of course, answers his mental call and makes her way through the house to be at his side.

Hurt/comfort is a very big part of this novel.

And yet, with the author’s fresh spin, and clear writing voice nothing ever seems trope-y or overdone. Instead, everything that should be cheesy or over the top combines in to a deliciously dark, exquisitely erotic fable for contemporary adults.

Goes well with dark chocolate, red wine, and a seriously plush sofa.


Giveaway Gena Showalter

The publisher is sponsoring a RaffleCopter contest to win a signed copy of the entire series of these books. Enter below. PLEASE NOTE: I have nothing to do with the giveaway, except as a facilitator.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Gena Showalter’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, March 28th: Read Love Blog – Series spotlight

Tuesday, March 29th: Supernatural Snark **The Darkest Craving

Tuesday, March 29th: Booked on a Feeling **The Darkest Night & The Darkest Kiss

Thursday, March 31st: Bewitched Bookworms – spotlight, The Darkest Passion

Friday, April 1st: Reading Reality **The Darkest Touch

Monday, April 4th: Reader Girls **The Darkest Lie

Tuesday, April 5th: Bibliotica **The Darkest Secret

Wednesday, April 6th: Romancing the Book **The Darkest Seduction and The Darkest Craving

Thursday, April 7th: From the TBR Pile **The Darkest Night

Monday, April 11th: Lovely Reads  **The Darkest Whisper

Monday, April 11th: Books that Hook **The Darkest Touch

Tuesday, April 12th: Stranded in Chaos  **The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss

Wednesday, April 13th: Romancing the Readers **The Darkest Seduction

Friday, April 15th: Bibliophilia, Please ** The Darkest Night

Monday, April 18th: Stuck in Books – **The Darkest Pleasure

 

Spotlight on Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster (@LoriFoster) – Read an Excerpt

Spotlight on Fighting Dirty Fighting Dirty

  • Series: An Ultimate Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (February 23, 2016)

He’s the hottest MMA fighter in the game, but one woman is ready to try out a few steamy moves of her own in an unforgettable new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster 

With the life he’s led and the muscles he’s gained, Armie Jacobson isn’t afraid of anything. Except maybe Merissa Colter’s effect on him. It’s not just that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Fact is, she deserves better. Women pursue him for one night of pleasure, and that’s all he wants to offer. Until rescuing Merissa from a robbery leads to the most erotic encounter of his life.

Good girl meets bad boy. It’s a story that rarely ends well. But Merissa is taking matters into her own hands. No matter how he views himself, the Armie she knows is brave, honorable and completely loyal. And as past demons and present-day danger collide, they’re both about to learn what’s truly worth fighting for…

Buy, read, and discuss Fighting Dirty

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Read an Excerpt from Fighting Dirty

Bestselling author Lori Foster shares a fighting scene from the last book in her Ultimate Series, Fighting Dirty

Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster is the final book in her addicting and wicked hot MMA-themed Ultimate Series. Check out the excerpt below to see just what we mean. Happy reading!

***

“Jesus, Quick. You’re a freak of nature. You know that, right?”

Armie Jacobson, known as Quick to his fighter friends, ignored the complaint and threw a few more jabs, then a solid body shot, making Justice, a six-foot-five heavyweight, double over. Stepping back, Armie flexed his hands, bounced on the balls of his feet, and waited.

Unfortunately, Justice only put his hands on his knees and sucked air.

Frowning, Armie removed his mouthpiece. “Seriously? Come on, dude. Let’s go.”

“Screw you.” Schlepping back to his corner, Justice grabbed up a water bottle. He doused his head and chest, and then started chugging.

Aware of others watching, Armie said nothing. Everyone worked out, trained and sparred in the rec center, but lately, whenever he did, a dozen or more people stopped to watch. He didn’t mind an audience. Hell, he couldn’t be a competitor if he did. For the most part he paid no attention. Once he got in the cage, he went into a zone and the world receded.

But this insane ogling shit, like he was a damned sideshow, bugged him big-time.

A trickle of sweat tracked down his temple from his headgear, and he swiped a forearm over his face. His muscles burned and more sweat soaked his chest, abs and rolled down his spine. He was figuring out what to say to Justice to get him back in action when he picked up her scent. The faint perfume cut through the rec center air, thick with the smells of sweaty men working hard.

Trying to look casual, Armie stared at Justice but in his peripheral vision he saw her striding across the room. No mistaking that long-legged gait, or that longer dark hair. He swallowed, frozen.

“What?” Justice asked, sounding both suspicious and ridiculously alarmed with the way Armie had locked onto him.

Armie shook his head – and thankfully Merissa disappeared into the hallway leading to the offices.

Releasing a breath, he looked toward the clock and frowned. Yeah, they’d been at it for a while, maybe longer than he’d intended. His cardio was better than most, definitely better than Justice’s, the big lug.

Armie walked over to him. “You need to get more gas in the tank.”

“Go fuck yourself.”

When Armie grinned, Justice eyed him warily. “Stop it.”

That switched his grin to a frown. “Bitchy much?”

Justice slouched against the wall and glared back. “You shouldn’t be able to grin, you prick. You should be as tired as me.”

A natural trainer, Armie took pity on him. “You’re a lot bigger.” As a six-foot tall middleweight, Armie stood five inches shorter and weighed a lot less than Justice.

“Lotta good it does me.”

Squatting down in front of him, Armie said low, “People are watching, so stop whining.”

Justice’s gaze slipped past him and he groaned.

“Yeah, the big dogs are here again.” Damned nosy bastards. Ever since he’d signed with the SBC, the powers-that-be had been scoping him out like their newest lab rat. “Stand up, go another two minutes with me, then we’ll call it quits.”

Huffing out a breath, Justice lumbered to his feet. “Freak of nature,” he muttered again, but he followed Armie out to the center of the ring, and he did his best.

His best was nowhere near good enough against Armie.

But then, they fought for very different reasons.

Twenty minutes later, fresh from the showers, Armie was ready to head out. The mid February weather left frost on every surface, so he tugged on a stocking hat over his still wet hair and pulled a thick hooded sweatshirt on over his clothes. Carrying his gym bag, he entered the main area cautiously. This late in the day, the mats were now cleared. Miles and Brand took their turn mopping with sanitizer. Many of the lights were turned down and only the core group of friends remained, clustered together in conversation.

The SBC heads were gone, and better still, he didn’t see Merissa anywhere. She’d probably just been dropping off paperwork for her brother, Cannon, who owned the rec center.

Relieved, Armie started for the door. With any luck, he’d manage it before someone stopped him –

“Hey, Armie.”

Damn. After a slight hesitation, he turned to where Denver, Stack and Cannon all stood together. “What’s this? The three Married Musketeers?”

Stack, who’d only married a month ago, reeked of satisfaction. “Aw, he’s jealous.”

Yup. But since he’d die before admitting it, Armie said, “Nope.”

Denver, still a newlywed himself, grinned. “Probably lonely too, poor guy.”

Very. Groupies, orgies, and random one-night stands could only take a guy so far. He had a rep for sexual excess, and that’s what the ladies wanted from him. That, and nothing more.

Checking the time, Armie said, “I could be lonely with three very nice ladies if you yahoos would let me leave.”

Unlike the others, Cannon didn’t laugh. “Seriously? Again?”

Why the hell did his best friend have to sound so disapproving? And if he knew why Armie had made those plans, he’d probably be pissed as well as disapproving, because it was thoughts of Cannon’s little sis that he worked so hard to obliterate. Not that a foursome would accomplish much beyond taking the edge off. His obsession with Merissa seemed to amplify by the day.

Copping an attitude, Armie shrugged. “Yeah, really. Unless you have something –” Or someone “- better for me to do?”

“As a matter of fact, that’s why I wanted to talk to you.”

Well hell. He hadn’t figured on that. Armie ran a hand over his hair. “Then let’s hear it.”

“Yvette wanted everyone to come over tonight to hang out and visit.”

Armie adored Yvette. She was perfect for Cannon and a real sweetheart. But damn… “Who all will be there?”

With a very knowing smile, Cannon said, “Everyone important to us. So don’t miss it.”

Double damn. Merissa definitely counted as important.

Armie didn’t want to, but with all the guys eyeballing him, how could he refuse? “What time?”

“Now.”

Armie scowled. “What do you mean, now?”

“Now, as in you don’t have time to do anything else, so forget it.”

Justice came dragging out, his faux-hawk hair still wet, his goatee in need of a trim, and his cauliflower ears worse than ever. He shoulder-bumped Armie as he passed. “If you hadn’t been determined to cripple me, maybe you’d have had more time for playing.”

“Wuss,” Armie accused with a grin.

“He has a point,” Brand said as he pushed a mop bucket toward them.

Miles, giving one last swipe of the mat, followed him. “Keep pushing that hard and you’re liable to hurt something before the competition.”

“I still have two months.” Two months of freedom and he’d spend it however he wanted. Sure, Armie knew there were established training methods, but they weren’t for him. Never had been, never would be – no matter who he fought for.

“This isn’t local fighting anymore,” Denver reminded him.

As if he’d forget.

“Carter Fletcher isn’t a slouch,” Miles added. “You might not walk through him like you do the local guys.”

“They call him Chaos for a reason.” Brand frowned. “I’ve seen him fight and he’s unpredictable.”

Yeah, so his first opponent was supposed to be a stud. Big deal. Armie shrugged to show he didn’t really care. Not that long ago the SBC, the most widely known MMA organization, had run him to ground and all but coerced him into signing on with them. Cannon had helped with that, pushing him to take the next step since he’d already demolished all the records in local venues.

It was a big step, too, something all the other guys had worked for. The SBC paid a lot more and offered incredible name recognition. Their fighters traveled the world to compete.

But Armie liked being low key; it was a hell of a lot safer for multiple reasons. If it wasn’t for Cannon –

“He’ll do fine against Carter,” Cannon said. “And don’t worry about his training. Armie motivates differently, that’s all.”

Always, no matter what, Cannon had his back. As the only other person to know why he’d avoided fame and fortune, Cannon understood. They weren’t related, but they were brothers all the same.

Which was the second biggest reason he couldn’t, shouldn’t, crave Merissa the way he did. Cannon protected those he loved.

And he loved his sister a lot.

“It’s getting late,” Cannon added. “Don’t want to keep Yvette waiting.”

Glad for the switch in topic, Armie pulled out his phone. “Guess I better make some calls and let the ladies know I won’t make it after all.”

Stack looked at Denver. “If it was anyone but Armie, I’d think he was making it up.”

“Lonely,” Denver confirmed.

Armie walked away knowing they were right.


About the author, Lori Foster Lori Foster

Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. She’s had top-selling books for Amazon, Waldenbooks and the BGI Group.

Connect with Lori

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Lori Foster’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, February 8th: Bibliotica – Excerpt 1

Wednesday, February 10th: Read Love Blog – Cover breakdown

Thursday, February 11th: Books a la Mode – Valentine’s post

Friday, February 12th: A Chick Who Reads – Arnie, a fan favorite character

Monday, February 15th: Bewitched Bookworms – Series overview

Wednesday, February 17th: Written Love Reviews

Friday, February 19th: Worth Getting in Bed For

Friday, February 19th: Mignon Mykel {Reviews}

Monday, February 22nd: Reading Reality

Monday, February 22nd: Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, February 23rd: Majorly Delicious

Wednesday, February 24th: Stranded in Chaos

Thursday, February 25th: Bibliophilia, Please

Friday, February 26th: The Sassy Bookster

The Lady’s Command, by Stephanie Laurens #review #TLCBookTours

About the book, The Lady’s Command The Lady's Command

  • Series: The Adventurers Quartet (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mira (December 29, 2015)

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens brings you THE ADVENTURERS QUARTET, a riveting blend of Regency-era high seas adventure, intrigue and romance

His to cherish

Declan Frobisher chose Lady Edwina Delbraith as his wife. Scion of a bold, seafaring dynasty, he’s accustomed to getting his way—Edwina would be the woman who graced his arm, warmed his bed and remained safely at home when he returned to sea. But once the knot is tied, Declan discovers Edwina is unconventional and strong-willed, and his marriage promises to be as tempestuous as the high seas.

Hers to command

Edwina’s fairy-princess beauty hides a spine of steel. Born into the aristocracy—born to rule—and with Declan’s ring gracing her finger, she expects to forge a marriage by his side. Then bare weeks into their honeymoon, Declan is recruited to sail on a secret mission. Edwina—naturally—declares she must accompany him.

Theirs to conquer

Facing unforeseen perils and unexpected enemies while battling to expose a dastardly scheme, Declan and Edwina discover that their unusual marriage demands something they both possess—bold and adventurous hearts.

JOIN THE ADVENTURERS—four couples whose passionate voyages will transport you. Start the journey here and follow the adventures, the mysteries and the romances to the cataclysmic end!

Buy, read, and discuss The Lady’s Command.

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


About Stephanie Laurens Stephanie Laurens

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career; she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she spends most of her days writing new stories in her signature ‘Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen” style.

Connect with Stephanie

Website | Facebook


My Thoughts MissMeliss

Buckle your swashes and loosen those corsets so you can breathe because this book, the first in a quartet, both honors the historical romance genre and turns it on its ear, and it does so with a fast-paced adventure balanced with a believable love story that may not make you swoon, but it will definitely make you long for the cool sea breeze (and salt spray) in your face as you and your beloved ride the wild waves.

Here’s what I loved about this book: Declan and Edwina could be cookie-cutter romance novel characters. He’s the son of a seafaring family – rugged, dashing, well-informed. She’s an aristocrat born and bred, with the expected beauty that goes within such characters. But author Stephanie Laurens defies the trope by making Edwina an action-seeker in her own right. She doesn’t want to sit at home or pace a widow’s walk, she wants to be on the ship, at the wheel, with her husband. Better yet, Declan goes along with it, so husband and wife form a team.

I enjoyed the interplay between the two characters, and the way they would play against either other and with others when situations required it, but I also loved the way they would always come together in the end.

The dialogue and settings felt true to the period without being at all stilted (as can often happen in historical novels) and the supporting characters had enough dimension to feel like real people, whether they were sailors, other members of society, or just average people.

I’m not usually a fan of historical romances, but I am a great fan of any kind of high seas adventure, so asking to review this was an impulsive choice, and one I’m glad I made, because I was engaged the entire time I was reading.

My only issue with this novel is that it’s book one of a quartet, which means I have to read three more books to have the whole story!

(I expect I’ll survive.)

Don’t be a scurvy dog; read this book. You’ll enjoy every word of it.

Goes well with fresh caught fish, pan seared with limes, and a crisp chablis – OR – fish’n’chips with proper vinegar and a good local lager.


Stephanie Laurens’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, January 4th: Romancing the Book

Tuesday, January 5th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, January 6th: The Sassy Bookster

Friday, January 8th: A Chick Who Reads

Monday, January 11th: The Romance Dish

Tuesday, January 12th: BookNAround

Wednesday, January 13th: From the TBR Pile

Friday, January 15th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Monday, January 18th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, January 19th: The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, January 20th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot

Thursday, January 21st: FictionZeal

Friday, January 22nd: View from the Birdhouse

Tuesday, January 26th: A Night’s Dream of Books

Tuesday, January 26th: Books a la Mode – excerpt and giveaway

Thursday, January 28th: It’s a Mad Mad World

Friday, January 29th: Stranded in Chaos

Monday, February 1st: Bibliotica

TBD: One Curvy Blogger

TBD: Worth Getting in Bed For