“Thrown for a Curve: A Perfect Fit Novel” by Sugar Jamison #Spotlight

For #ThrowbackThursday I’m sharing some of my favorite past reads WITH review!


“Thrown for a Curve: A Perfect Fit Novel”

by Sugar Jamison

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Amazon ButtonSynopsis

WHEN YOU’RE A big girl

Cherri has often wished she were thin and graceful like a ballerina instead of being a six-foot-tall blonde with curves that require serious caution. Surely a charming Irishman like her new boss Colin, with his throaty brogue and to-die-for bod, would never go for someone like Cherri. Unless maybe he’s looking for the exact opposite of a delicate lass?

There’s more of you to love
When Colin hired Cherri to work in his furniture-restoration shop, he had his eyes, first and foremost, on her artistic talents. But now he can’t help but see Cherri for the lush, spirited beauty that she is…and, soon enough, he finds himself mixing business with pleasure. But Cherri turns out to be more vulnerable than she appears. Is she in need of more than Colin can give? Or could it be that a feeling stronger than lust has him thrown for a curve?

~~~~~~~~~~~

Felicia’s Review

March 31, 2014

5/5 Stars!

Witty, Sexy, Sweet!

It took me a bit longer than usual to complete this book, because I kept going back over so many parts – not because they didn’t make sense, but because they were hilarious!

From the very beginning, with conversations about too much hair spray and homemade party dresses, Sugar Jamison spins a delightful tale that feels REAL. We all enjoy a little angst here and there, but for me, it must make sense and flow within the story. There was no shark jumping or forced HEAs found here – these people could be anyone we know.

At 22 years of age, Charlotte “Cherri” Rudy is still waiting for her life to ‘begin’. She works in a boutique to support herself, Baba – her elderly VERY Ukrainian grandmother, and Rufus – Baba’s dog. Her passion is to paint, and she even has a college degree – but there aren’t many opportunities for artists in her small town, and when a job does become available, she realizes combined with commuting time, she’d be away from her Baba too long during the day. But the bills are piling up and the house is falling apart, so Cherri soldiers on, trying to think up solutions.

That is when she isn’t thinking about Colin O’Connell – the 6’3″ friend of a friend who Cherri believes will always see her as a ‘friend’. Cherri doesn’t believe that Colin…or any man…could ever be attracted to her 6′ tall plus size body. But surprise, surprise, Colin is attracted to her! However, he’s at least a dozen years older than her and has a rep as a womanizer, so he denies his feelings for Cherri and hides them. She has had a thing for him since they first met, but she’s seen the thin, petite, “sophisticated” women Colin has dated and figures she doesn’t have a chance.

Cherri and Colin each carry tons of emotional baggage from as far back as childhood, and it’s that baggage that hinders this couple from having a real conversation. But, it doesn’t stop them from having sex. They have lots and lots of sex and they try to mask their feelings with humor. She’s always making self-deprecating remarks about her body type, while Colin is having arguments with himself. In a more somber tone, this would have been extremely annoying and aggravating, but the banter between these two is so incredibly sharp, you actually look forward to their next scene.

You’ll also look forward to scenes that include Baba. While this is Cherri and Colin’s story, Baba steals just about every encounter she’s involved in with her mixed up pop culture cliches and fussing. Rufus also manages to walk off with a scene or two.

Fortunately, the witty banter and laughs aren’t reserved for just the H/H, and when the couple’s support network of friends are around, there’s plenty of one liners and zingers to keep the reader engaged…and laughing.

All of “Thrown for a Curve’s” characters are likable and invested in the couple…except for Sean and Serena, and if there was any justice in FictionLand, those two would end up together. That would make me quite happy! 😉

Kudos to Ms. Jamison – I will definitely read more of her work.

Enjoy!

“Coming Around Again” by Billy London #Spotlight

For #ThrowbackThursday I’m sharing some of my favorite past reads WITH review!


“Coming Around Again”

by Billy London

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Multicultural

Release Date: October 20, 2014

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Synopsis

“I can’t exist in a marriage where you endure me…”

And with those haunting words, Stella’s marriage to Niels comes to a terrible, heartbreaking end. She thought she’d done everything possible to keep her life together and to the outside world, her marriage was nothing less than perfection. Not according to Niels.
As she struggles with the fall out of the divorce, Stella truly understands just how much she underestimated the strength and depth of feeling for her husband. And that they may never go away. However much she wants them to. And it seems, neither will Niels. Certainly not if she calls him. Invites him to her home. Sleeps with him.
Stella tells herself it’s a nostalgic habit she needs to break. Niels tells her it’s just how they are and always will be. Maybe the divorce was exactly what they needed to truly be married…

~~~~~~~~~~

Felicia’s Review

January 9, 2015

5/5 Stars!

*APPLAUSE!* Loved It!

Wow! How much did I love this story? Enough to lose sleep to finish it – and then sit right down to write this review!

Billy London has taken issues that can be found in far too many marriages and written a heartbreaking book filled with anger, insults, blame-placing, betrayals, unspoken words, loyalty, commitment…and love, and wrapped them in a gift with a big ribbon of sarcasm, humor, and wit. It is a gift that keeps on giving.

Niels Strom feels like his wife, Stella, merely endures him. He feels unloved, unneeded and unnecessary. She is Superwoman doing it all – wife, mother, business owner – not taking his help when he is around, and cursing him when he isn’t around. after nearly ten years of marriage, Niels files for divorce.

I really, really liked Niels. Even though he wasn’t as honest and forthcoming as I first believed, I understood why he wasn’t.

And Stella? I didn’t like her for most of the book! LOL! You have to read the book to understand, but she was her own worst enemy. Naturally, she felt betrayed by Niels, and felt his request for a divorce “came out of the blue”. This from the woman who after seeing her own mother fumble through three marriages, felt she had to rely on only herself and never expect much from men; this from a woman who used sex as a bargaining chip; this from a woman who didn’t even take her husband’s name after they married…not even hyphenated! C’mon. I think she did have some idea of where he was coming from, but anger, pride, and GUILT made her lash out to hurt him. The simple conversation that could have saved them was avoided by them both.

Their family and friends were all likable enough, but you could feel a “distance” between them all. There was never a real sense of familial closeness, which could also explain Niels and Stella inability to communicate with each other. But I had a new respect for Niels’ mother, Alwine after she and Stella finally had “the talk”. Judith, Stella’s mother, seems nice enough, but more stiff…and concerned about what other people think and appearances.

Daniel and William, the twins, are simply adorable, and it would seem, the best of both Stella and Niels. They are children dealing with the breakup of their family, but they’re also two sharp, little con men who know how to work a situation. The wedding scene is hilarious!

Revelations are eventually made that are eye opening…and heartbreaking. My heart went out to both Niels and Stella. I understood him much better, and I liked Stella – even though I still place more blame on her actions and attitude – but…her show of support for Niels near the end redeems her.

While the Stroms are an interracial couple, other than one or two remarks/thoughts by Stella, it isn’t mentioned. It isn’t an issue. It isn’t a distraction. I love that! Kudos to the author!

This is an enjoyable book that I’m sure I’ll read again. I highly recommend it.

Enjoy!

 

My Review ♥ Free, a novella

5-star reviews make authors smile. But when they take your breath away and leave you speechless… it doesn’t get any better than that!

A.C. Melody

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My Review

Title: Free, a novella
Author: Felicia Denise
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Length: Novella
Rating: 5 ‘s

I first started reading “Free” on Felicia Denise’s website and like all of her readers, I was captured, pulled right into the highs and lows of the main character’s story. Lennie and her memories are so real, I felt as if she’d taken me by the hand so I could walk beside her, a silent witness to the ‘walk-through’ of her life. I was so happy when the author decided to turn this into a novella and even more thrilled with the promise for more!

Though shorter than I wanted it to be, don’t let the size of this *Ahem* prequel, fool you. It is cleverly stuffed to the point of overflowing with emotions; good, bad, ugly and joyful. So, stick some Kleenex in your pocket, grab a glass…

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“Whipped (Hitched, Book 2)” by Alex Lux #Spotlight

For #ThrowbackThursday I’m sharing some of my favorite past reads WITH review!


Whipped cover

“Whipped (Hitched, Book 2)”

by Alex Lux (aka husband-wife team Karpov Kinrade)

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release Date: February 2, 2015

Amazon ButtonSynopsis

A USA TODAY bestselling series!

She’s a former dominatrix who owns a sex toy store in Vegas. He’s an Australian male stripper who stars in the hottest show in town. When sparks fly between Vi and Lachlan, they can’t tell whether it’s hate… or fate. Only time will tell.

But that’s the one thing they might not have.

As Lach makes plans to leave stripping for good, his company offers him a chance for one last world tour and all the money he needs to fund his life dream—but it means saying goodbye to whatever might be with the sexy redhead who has stolen his heart.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… but what happens if you leave?

Whipped (Vi’s story) is a sexy, full-length, STANDALONE contemporary romantic comedy. Content Warning: This book contains sex, swearing… and did we mention sex? Lots of sex. And abs. And Australian accents.

~~~~~~~~~

Felicia’s Review

February 2, 2015

5/5 Stars!

What a Fun Ride!

Karpov Kinrade delivers another fast-paced, sexy, race for love with two people who have nothing in common. Or do they?

Vi Reynolds is a free spirited, professional Domme, currently not being a Domme. She’s sunk everything into Whipped, a sex shop in Vegas, that’s she’s determined to make a success with her business partner, Zoe.

Lachlan Pierce is a man on a mission. He’s a popular male dancer who’s ready to stop dancing, and fulfill his dream. A dream that takes more money than he currently has. He’s also a “player” AKA man-whore. In his defense, he never makes any promises to any woman, and the women he has sex with are also only in it for the sex. (I did say defense, right?)

Getting Whipped off the ground is costing Vi and Zoe a lot of money. Zoe lives with her boyfriend, Henry – a religiously conflicted nut-job she needs to drop like a bad transmission – but Vi lives alone and advertises for a roommate to cut her monthly expenses. Imagine her surprise (and his glee) when Lach, a regular customer of Whipped, shows up as Vi’s possible roommate candidate! Desperation and Lach’s huge wad of cash upfront, cause Vi make a decision that she’s sure to regret.

While Vi relents and accepts that Lach will flirt with her, she immediately removes the option of sex from the picture. A decision she hedges on in her mind, and regrets totally after she finds out Lach’s job – and sees him dance! The “dance” of the two of them trying to come to a meeting of the minds…and bodies…will make this a one-sitting read!

I applaud the authors for once again giving us a heroine who is strong, confident, and independent. Yes, she does know there is “something” missing in her life, but she’s unable to figure out what “it” is, or what sacrifices she’s willing to make to find “it”. There aren’t buckets of tears, no endless whining, and no one uses Vi as a doormat! We come to find out that Lach is not the total sleaze he’s first thought to be, and his dream will win you over entirely.

Karpov Kinrade really amped up the humor with Whipped. The paintball scene is just hilarious. The night at the male revue with Tate… hilarious. Lach meeting Vi’s parents… hilarious. (I had to stop reading twice because I was laughing so hard!)

You will love Vi’s parents. Zoe is a sweetie, Tate is… still Tate and Kacie and Sebastian from Hitched are on hand for support. Lach’s friends, Kevin and his mom, Mary, will tug at your heart.

Whipped will have you laughing on one page, and going, “Aww…” on the next. I highly recommend it!

Enjoy!

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“Peace and Goodwill” by Hope Franke Strauss #Spotlight

For #ThrowbackThursday I’m sharing some of my favorite reads from the past WITH review!


“Peace & Goodwill (A Minstrel Series Novella)”

by  Hope Franke Strauss (aka YA & Cozy Mystery author Lee Strauss)

Genre: Romance/Inspirational Fiction/Holiday

Release Date: November 17, 2014

Amazon KU

Synopsis

*This is a Christmas Novella
**Peace & Goodwill is set in A Guitar Girl Romance world but can be read alone.

Belle gets the best Christmas present ever, a man in uniform! Ian is a soldier home on leave. Neither of them have any idea how good it will feel to fall in love or how hard it will be to say goodbye.

Anna is spending the holidays alone again with only her faithful dog Angel to keep her company. She can’t afford to pay the rent and her landlord threatens to kick her out. At least she’s finished with her chemo treatments. She can be thankful for that. Plus, there’s Rhys, the handsome visitor with kind eyes.

One fateful, cold and snowy night a chance encounter changes everything. Love is lost. Love is found. Life will never be the same.

The story in Peace & Goodwill was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s famous classic, The Little Matchstick Girl.

***Covers and book title may be different.

~~~~~~~~~~

Felicia’s Review

September 14, 2015

5/5 Stars!

Bittersweet & Beautiful!

This is not your typical Ho-Ho-Ho holiday piece. Sadness and pain greeted me almost from the beginning of this short read. Belle is a young woman all alone in the world and trying to avoid another holiday with her employer’s family… and their pitying and less than tolerant glances. Anna is a bit older, destitute and terminally ill with only her faithful dog, Angel, at her side. My heart went out to both women. So much loss and missed opportunities. So much loneliness. Endless self-esteem issues… always feeling unworthy.

But, this story begins just before Christmas, so for all the pain, there is happiness; for all the loneliness, there is hope; and for all the loss, there is love. Just when things appear to be sorted out, the cruelty of an insensitive landlord ripped my heart out and set this story on a different course that brought tears to my eyes – before slapping me with the mother of all plot twists! While it made me even sadder for a time, it was true genius – I never saw that coming!

I had a feeling our compassionate man on the street would play a pivotal role but wasn’t sure where he’d fit. But the chance meeting Christmas night (or should I say rescue?) blends right in to take the story in yet ANOTHER direction.

This read is bittersweet, but wonderful, with so many twists and turns… and a healthy dose of love. And, what would a holiday story be without a Christmas Miracle… or two?

Enjoy!

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“Race to the Gallows (Mavericks of the Heartland #1) by Jenny Bullington


 

Title: Race to the Gallows

Series: Mavericks of the Heartland #1

Author: Jenny Bullington

Genre: Adult, Historical Mafia Romance

Published: August 24, 2017

Jack and Ruby Walsh thought their sleepy town’s Independence Day would be like all the others. That is, until an accidental explosion of fireworks destroys downtown Cherokee, Iowa. A witch-hunt ensues as WWII tensions rise, causing everyone to blame one immigrant German family for the fire. But was it really them? Only Jack and Ruby have the courage to fight for justice, even as they stand against the most corrupt in their community. Ignited by their white-hot passion for each other, the two stick together until they have Cherokee on its knees, rectifying its wrongs and uncovering a more sinister criminal network. RACE TO THE GALLOWS is a harrowing tale of love, loyalty, and courage. Based on true events in Northwest Iowa.

Ever since she was a little girl on a farm in rural Iowa, Jenny Bullington’s heart has been filled with wanderlust and adventure. She started writing at an early age, and has never stopped. After exploring Italy, Ethiopia, and South Korea, Bullington’s desire to transport others to those places and to raise awareness of important humanitarian and social issues takes hold in her writings.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University and her Master’s Degree from Pacific Oaks College. In her spare time, Bullington enjoys teaching as an adjunct college professor, writes parenting and child development columns for a taekwondo kids program, advocates against domestic violence and human trafficking, and is passionate about social justice. She’s recently been featured as a storyteller at Ode, an Iowa organization that promotes positive impact through empathy. Her adventures never stop as she raises her five small children with her beloved husband, Branden, in the Midwest.

Join Jenny Bullington and friends today, August 24th from 6 PM to 8 PM CDT for a Release celebration for Race to the Gallows!

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“Ariella’s Escape (Book One of the Stars at Zenith Trilogy)” by Carolee Croft #ExcerptReveal1

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Excerpt:

It was strangely reassuring to know that he was not Chaldean, judging from his sun-bronzed skin, fine eyebrows and long brown hair, a shade so dark it was nearly black. And his eyes… like two pieces of a summer sky. She had always been a fool for a blue-eyed man. Judging by his elegant speech, very likely, he came from a noble lineage but was held here as a hostage to ensure peace with another kingdom.

“Then what is it, my lady?”

He sat down beside her on the bed, the scent of some innocent field flower with something more heady and musk-like tempting her to get closer to his bronzed body. She tried to discern his age… late twenties perhaps. His forehead was unlined, but there was something about him that made him appear older, a world-weariness perhaps behind his charming and carefree disposition.

There had been one or two times when she had bedded a man after less conversation than this, but this was strange territory with too many possible complications, and she could not afford to indulge herself on a whim. There was also his status to consider. As a slave, he was obviously not free in his choices, and she could sympathize with that. Ariella knew she would loathe being ordered to “entertain” guests in this manner were she in his place.

“Do my looks please you?” she asked tentatively.

“Yes,” he replied, a slight hoarseness in his voice.

His eyes scorched her, and she had to look away.

“It’s just that… I do not wish you to do this merely out of a sense of duty…” she said softly, “that is… if you did not want to…”

“My lady, I want to,” he said.


Title: Ariella’s Escape (Book One of the Stars at Zenith Trilogy)

Author: Carolee Croft

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

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~Author Bio ~

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the west coast of Canada.

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