Sunday, September 25, 2016

Early Review of Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5) by Tessa Dare

Title: Do You Want to Start a Scandal
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Spindle Cove
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (September 27, 2016)
ISBN-10: 006234904X
ISBN-13: 978-0062349040
Author's Website: http://tessadare.com/
Notes: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Once upon a time a young English Miss attempted to do the noble thing and warn a Marquess about her mother's scheme to ensnare him for her daughter. Things did not go quite as planned...

'Charlotte wasn't even certain how it happened.
Had she bolted in panic? Had he swept he into his arms somehow?
One moment, she was staring in mute horror at the scraping, turning door latch, The next, she was ensconced in the library's window seat, concealed by heavy velvet drapes.
Pressed chest to chest with the Marquess of Granville.'

While they managed to initially escape notice, a couple. whom neither Charlotte or the Marquess could see, engaged in extremely scandalous behavior which was overheard by a small boy. Said boy mistook the throws of passion for sounds of murder. That same small boy came rushing into the library, quickly followed by others, in an attempt to save the poor woman he heard scream only to arrive after the amorous couple had left and Charlotte and the Marquess had come out of hiding.

Now, in order to clear her reputation and prevent herself from marrying a man she doesn't love, Charlotte must discover who was doing it in the library with the garter that was discovered at the scene of the crime. A task which will prove more difficult than she could ever have imagined.
This was a deliciously charming, hilariously funny, scandalously good read. If you have never read one of Ms. Dare's books this one will have you kicking yourself for not having done so sooner. It is the fifth installment of her Spindle Cove series, but you can read it out of order and not feel lost. I don't know if I can do this book justice with my review in conveying just how funny this one was. Needless to say, I'll be still chuckling over this one for days to come.

Charlotte is as smart as they come, but even smart people can make mistakes. Seeking out the Marquess in the study was by far one of her stupidest moves. She had meant to get in and out quickly, but from the beginning we can see the reaction these two have on each other, and immediately know we're in for a treat. The Marquess is handsome, rich, eligible, and is hiding a secret. One that will keep him from protesting too much to marrying Charlotte. After all agree to postpone a formal betrothal announcement until the house party is almost at an end, the two have some time to find out who really did it in the study.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was expertly crafted to tickle your funny bone. I adored everything from beginning to end. It is definitely going straight to my keeper shelf. I HIGHLY recommend this one. It had twists and turns, a touch of suspense, and a heaping helping of steamy romance. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a  STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. I loved it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Giveaway, Review, and Excerpt of The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan


~ About the Book ~

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

~ Praise for Jenny Colgan and The Bookshop On The Corner ~

“Losing myself in Jenny Colgan’s beautiful pages is the most delicious, comforting, satisfying treat I have had in ages.”
   — Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Summer Secrets

“With a keen eye for the cinematic, Colgan (Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, 2016, etc.) is a deft mistress of romantic comedy; Nina's story is laced with clever dialogue and scenes set like jewels, just begging to be filmed. A charming, bracingly fresh happily-ever-after tale…”
— Kirkus

 “This is a lovely novel with amazing characters who are hooked on books… at least some of them. The plot is believable and is a joy to read. The main female character, Nina, is the librarian who always figures out the best choice for a patron without fail. Jenny Colgan thinks outside the box and creates a memorable book.” 
— RT Book Reviews

“This charming tale celebrates the many ways books bring people together”
— Booklist

“This light, fresh romantic comedy is the perfect escape for bibliophiles. Enjoy it with a cup of tea on a crisp day.”
— Real Simple

“[A] love story about reading and the joys books can bring to people’s lives.”
— All About Romance 

~ About the Author ~

Jenny Colgan
Check out her Website: http://www.jennycolgan.com/
Follow her on Twitter – https://twitter.com/jennycolgan
'Like' her on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including Little Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.


~ Excerpt from The Bookshop On The Corner ~

The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”
That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.
A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.
She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.
Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.
(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.
Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)
It was just, Nina thought, trying to squash down the lump in her throat . . . it was just that they had been such a little library.
Children’s story time Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Early closing Wednesday afternoon. A shabby old-fashioned building with tatty linoleum floors. A little musty sometimes, it was true. The big dripping radiators could take a while to get going of a morning and then would become instantly too warm, with a bit of a fug, particularly off old Charlie Evans, who came in to keep warm and read the Morning Star cover to cover, very slowly. She wondered where the Charlie Evanses of the world would go now.
Cathy Neeson had explained that they were going to compress the library services into the center of town, where they would become a “hub,” with a “multimedia experience zone” and a coffee shop and an “intersensory experience,” whatever that was, even though town was at least two bus trips too far for most of their elderly or strollered-up clientele.

Their lovely, tatty, old pitched-roof premises were being sold off to become executive apartments that would be well beyond the reach of a librarian’s salary. And Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, bookworm, with her long tangle of auburn hair, her pale skin with freckles dotted here and there, and a shyness that made her blush—or want to burst into tears—at the most inopportune moments, was, she got the feeling, going to be thrown out into the cold winds of a world that was getting a lot of unemployed librarians on the market at the same time.
“So,” Cathy Neeson had concluded, “you can pretty much get started on packing up the ‘books’ right away.”
She said “books” like it was a word she found distasteful in her shiny new vision of Mediatech Services. All those grubby, awkward books.

Nina dragged herself into the back room with a heavy heart and a slight redness around her eyes. Fortunately, everyone else looked more or less the same way. Old Rita O’Leary, who should probably have retired about a decade ago but was so kind to their clientele that everyone overlooked the fact that she couldn’t see the numbers on the Dewey Decimal System anymore and filed more or less at random, had burst into floods, and Nina had been able to cover up her own sadness comforting her.
“You know who else did this?” hissed her colleague Griffin through his straggly beard as she made her way through. Griffin was casting a wary look at Cathy Neeson, still out in the main area as he spoke. “The Nazis. They packed up all the books and threw them onto bonfires.”
“They’re not throwing them onto bonfires!” said Nina. “They’re not actually Nazis.”
“That’s what everyone thinks. Then before you know it, you’ve got Nazis.”
With breathtaking speed, there’d been a sale, of sorts, with most of their clientele leafing through old familiar favorites in the ten pence box and leaving the shinier, newer stock behind.
Now, as the days went on, they were meant to be packing up the rest of the books to ship them to the central library, but Griffin’s normally sullen face was looking even darker than usual. He had a long, unpleasantly scrawny beard, and a scornful attitude toward people who didn’t read the books he liked. As the only books he liked were obscure 1950s out-of-print stories about frustrated young men who drank too much in Fitzrovia, that gave him a lot of time to hone his attitude. He was still talking about book burners.
“They won’t get burned! They’ll go to the big place in town.”
Nina couldn’t bring herself to even say Mediatech.
Griffin snorted. “Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost–benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed—sorry, running ‘mindfulness workshops.’ There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.”
“They won’t!”
“They will! That’s what they do with dead books, didn’t you know? Turn them into underlay for roads. So great big cars can roll over the top of centuries of thought and ideas and scholarship, metaphorically stamping a love of learning into the dust with their stupid big tires and blustering Top Gear idiots killing
the planet.” 
“You’re not in the best of moods this morning, are you, Griffin?”
“Could you two hurry it along a bit over there?” said Cathy Neeson, bustling in, sounding anxious. They only had the budget for the collection trucks for one afternoon; if they didn’t manage to load everything up in time, she’d be in serious trouble. 
“Yes, Commandant Über-Führer,” said Griffin under his breath as she bustled out again, her blond bob still rigid. “God, that woman is so evil it’s unbelievable.”
But Nina wasn’t listening. She was looking instead in despair at the thousands of volumes around her, so hopeful with their beautiful covers and optimistic blurbs. To condemn any of them to waste disposal seemed heartbreaking: these were books! To Nina it was like closing down an animal shelter. And there was no way they were going to get it all done today, no matter what Cathy Neeson thought.
Which was how, six hours later, when Nina’s Mini Metro pulled up in front of the front door of her tiny shared house, it was completely and utterly stuffed with volumes.

~ My Review ~

Title: The Bookshop on the Corner: A Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Chick Lit
Format: Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 20, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0062467255
ISBN-13: 978-0062467256
Author's website: http://www.jennycolgan.com/
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher for an honest review. Any errors with the quotes are most likely mine as they were hand typed.




Once upon a time a librarian lost her job due to budget cuts and library closings. With only one spot available to many displaced workers, her hopes of being the one to land the position are bleak. While attending a confidence building workshop hosted by her employer before the final choice is made, she is asked a thought provoking question that will change her life....

"What do you really want to do?"(...)

Very reluctantly, Nina edged toward the table. 


"I haven't really thought about it."


"Course you have," said Mungo. "Everybody has."


"Well, it'll sound silly. Especially these days."


"Nothing sounds silly in here. We've all been falling backward off tables."


Nina climbed up onto the table. The rest of the group looked at her expectantly. Her throat went dry and her mind went blank.


"Well," she said, feeling herself color in that awful way. She swallowed painfully. "Well...I mean. Well. I always ...I always dreamed that one day I might have my own bookshop. Just a very little one."


Sometimes all you need to make your dreams come true is to close your eyes and take a leap of faith...

'If you thought of all the tiny things that divert your path one way or another, some good, some bad, you'd never do anything ever again.

And some people don't . Some people go through life not really deciding to do much, not wanting to, always too fearful of the consequences to try something new, Of course, that in itself is also a decision. You'll get somewhere whether you put any effort into it or not. But doing something new is so hard. '
This book brought to mind two other books I've read, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin  and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It's not so much that they resemble this story, but rather it's the feeling you experience after reading them. Like Harold Fry, Nina is at a crossroads in her life and does something drastic that seems a bit crazy. In Nina's case an impulsive decision makes her life go in an unexpected new direction. Shortly after she purchases a van with her savings for the purpose of creating a mobile bookstore, the whole idea seems like a big mistake. She runs into one road block after another as she finds out she needs permits and permissions that don't seem to be forthcoming. Like A. J. Fikry, her love of books (of which many reading recommendations are given throughout) and the sharing of that love with others gives her life new meaning and purpose. I'd go into more details, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers.

Some of my favorite quotes:
- "But when you read a book, you feel like you're in it." (...) "Like actually being there. You plug straight into the writer's brain. It's just you and them. You experience what they experience."
- "But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad, her friends when she was lonely. They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down."
- "There was a universe inside every human being every bit as big as the universe outside them. Books were the best way Nina knew - apart from, sometimes, music--to breach the barrier, to connect the internal universe with the external, the words acting merely as a conduit between the two worlds."

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. A charming tale that spoke to the inner book lover in me It inspires you to be true to yourself, face your fears, take a chance on your dreams, and just go for it. I enjoyed all the bookish quotes and book recommendations. It's a must read for the avid book lover. There is also the start of a romance, but it is not the primary focus of the book, therefore, I'm foregoing my romance rating. I'll definitely be recommending this one to my friends. It left me feeling warm and fuzzy, and like all was right with the world.



You may also purchase a copy of The Bookshop On The Corner directly from HarperCollins at: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062467263/the-bookshop-on-the-corner


~ The Giveaway ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling #15) by Nalini Singh

Title: Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling Novel, A)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy/Changelings (Book 15)
Format: Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Berkley (June 14, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1101987766
ISBN-13: 978-1101987766
Author's Website: http://nalinisingh.com/
Notes: I bought this one.


Once upon a time a united group of individuals did the impossible--they changed the world. They put an end to Silence and defeated Pure Psy. Now they are dealing with the aftermath and despite their victory, the mistrust, discrimination, and prejudice that Pure Psy evoked still remains. This is the world after the fall. One filled with hope, hate, possibilities, and change.
I liked the book, but I must say, it read like a large transitional epilogue. If I was new to the series, I would have been seriously lost. I think almost everyone from the previous books was revisited--and that took up the majority of the book. There is a  threat to Lucas and Sascha's daughter Naya and a kidnapping of a Changeling from Black Sea--a group I've been hoping Ms. Singh would give us a bigger look at. Unfortunately, so far all we've gotten is a glimpse or two.

What I liked most about this one is we got to see how things are changing and evolving in this wonderful Psy-Changeling world that Nalini created. Plus, we get a hint of what is to come, which sounds promising. I will confess, however, this is my least favorite book of the series thus far. Now having said that, I have to admit I have rated most of her books (if not all) 4 out of 5 stars or above, so don't be too discouraged by that statement. I, however, don't recommend this to anyone who hasn't read at least a good portion of the previous books in the series as there are some major spoilers, you'll miss out on inside jokes, you'll feel a totally lost, and you'll miss out on a wonderful series that I highly recommend.

Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. Not really on level with her previous books, but in NO WAY was it disappointing either. The signature romance of the series was significantly missing, although there were plenty of old, ongoing romances as well as one which was renewed captured within its pages. It sets the stage for the next phase of the series, and I can't wait to see where Ms. Singh will take the series next. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1) by Jim Butcher

Title: The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut's Windlass
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Steampunk/Science Fiction
Series: The Cinder Spires (Book 1)
Format: Hardcover; 640 pages
Publisher: Roc; 1st edition (September 29, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0451466802
ISBN-13: 978-0451466808
Author's Website: http://www.jim-butcher.com/
Notes: I borrowed this one from the library.


“Events are in motion in the Spires,” she said quietly. “Signs and portents appear. No fewer than four Fleet aeronauts have reported sightings of an Archangel, and swear that they were neither drunk nor sleeping. Spire Aurora has recalled her embassy from Spire Albion, and our fleets have already begun to skirmish. The lower habbles have become increasingly restive and . . .” 

Esterbrook tilted his head. “My lady?” 

“The crystals are . . . behaving strangely.” 

Esterbrook arched a skeptical eyebrow. 

Lady Lancaster shook her head. “I don’t know how else to explain it. But I’ve worked with them since I was a small child, and . . . something isn’t right.” She sighed and turned to regard the shattered door. “There are dark times ahead of us, old friend. Strife such as has not been seen since the breaking of the world. 


The signs are all there, tensions run high, and war seems inevitably on the horizon. When an immensely precise attack on the Spirearch suggests a traitor exists within the upper ranks of the Spire, a group of unlikely heroes will band together and become the Spires best hope for coming out of the conflict intact. They will be the eyes, ears, and arm of their Spirearch.

The Players

Captain Francis Madison Grimm was dishonorably discharged from the fleet for cowardice, but under pressure he seems anything but a coward. He presently is captain of  the Albion Merchant Ship  "AMS" Predator. While his men are not highly trained in combat, they are large in number and loyal to their captain.

Bridget Tagwynn. of the House of Admiral Tagwynn is one of the last of her line. While her house is not as wealthy as it once was, it still is considered to be one of the most loyal among the aristocracy. She is a new recruit of the guard and is still in need of training. She can speak cat which will help with negotiations between man and cats.

Rowl of the Silent Paws tribe, kit to Maul, chief of the Silent Paws is not your average cat. A prince among his kind, he is the heir to his tribe. His skills for spying will prove invaluable, and contrary to belief, a cat can take down an opponent many times larger than himself. He considers Bridget (aka Little Mouse) to be his human.

Gwendolyn Margaret Elizabeth Lancaster is an aristocrat whose family is one of the most influential in the Spire. She is 16 and has just begun training for the Guard, but already shows extraordinary skill. She is smart but strongheaded. Her family owns the vatteries which create the trim and lift crystals which power ships, and many other crystals used in weapons. Her knowledge of crystals will prove invaluable.

Benedict Michael Sorellin-Lancaster, cousin to Gwendolyn, has already proved himself loyal to the Spire. He is a Guardsman and is warrior born which allows him to have almost inhuman strength and speed.

Efferus Effrenus Ferus, master etherealist, and his apprentice, Folly, can harness etheric currents and act as conduits to redirect the energy into other items such as weapons and can even be used to propel themselves elsewhere giving off the appearance of flying. This makes them very powerful and potentially dangerous especially since all etherealists eventually go mad as the etheric energy slowly takes a toll on their mental state.


This was a highly entertaining and fast paced story. The world is intriguing, but we know so little about it, and what we do know is given to us sparingly in bits and pieces scattered here and there. Most, if not all, of humanity lives above the surface in spires. The ground is covered in dangerous creatures you don't want the misfortune of meeting. Each Spire is ruled by a Council and has a Spirearch. Each Spire appears to be run as if it is its own country, and is independent of the others. People travel from Spire to Spire on floating air ships which are powered by lift and trim crystals. The Spires themselves were created by people referred to as "the Builders", but we know absolutely nothing else about them except that after the creation of the Spires they disappeared or left.

The airships brought to mind images from the movie Treasure planet and a bit of the Ether Chronicles by Zoe Archer.


Of course, Rowl reminded me more of Puss in Boots from Dreamwork's Shrek even though the book NEVER had him use weapons, wear a hat, walk on two paws, or speak English with or without Antonio Banderas' sexy accent (I know too bad). Perhaps it was the mention of his ginger coat and his superior attitude that did it?:

Despite the cartoon conjuring, I rather liked the book. The characters were three dimensional and complex yet easy to relate to. Each has something to prove and something at stake. My greatest wish is that we get more world building in future books. I want to know the history of the world. Is it ours years in the future, perhaps an alternate universe, or a totally different one? What forced humanity up into the spires? Is it a recent occurrence or something that happened millennium ago? Who are the Builders, and are angels abundant in this world? (There was mention of Archangels and I wasn't sure if they were literal Archangels or something else.) Why are the Spires so divided and just how many exist? Does anyone still live on the surface and what is at the base of the Spires? The list goes on and on.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. While a huge book, it didn't feel that way while I was reading. The series holds major promise and I can't wait to see where Mr. Butcher will take this one. While there is a budding romance between two characters. it's definitely not the focus of the story, therefore, I'm foregoing my Romance Rating Scale. I can't wait to read the next in the series. I'm definitely marking this series as one to watch. I can't wait to find out what exactly happened to Grimm and his crew that had him dishonorable discharged from Fleet.(By the way that is not a spoiler by any means.) There were so many tantalizingly loose ends dangling from this one with a tempting cliffhanger that I'm all but salivating with want for the sequel right now.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Early Review of The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel (Seduction Diaries #3) by Jennifer McQuiston

Title: The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel: The Seduction Diaries
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Seduction Diaries
Format: Paperback; 400 pages
Publisher: Avon (September 27, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0062335146
ISBN-13: 978-0062335142
Author's Website: http://www.jenmcquiston.com/
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Miss Mary Channing loves books and would rather get lost in one than join those in the real world, or so her family believes. Forced at six-and-twenty to have her first season in London, she can't help but compare Geoffrey Westmore, the future Viscount Cardewell, with the villains in her romance novels. Especially after her attempt at escaping notice within the confines of a library leads to her being compromised by the dastardly young scoundrel. While things look bleak, the overheard details of an assassination plot while the two attempted to avoid discovery will pull them together as they attempt to thwart the fiendish plan...

Recipe for a Scandalously Good Story

1 bookish young lady seeking shelter in a library
1 handsome young scoundrel seeking out whom he believes to be a young widow
1 unplanned ruination 
1 assassination plot 

Place all together in one novel. Stir and let sit. In no time at all you'll have all the trappings of one deliciously good read with all the perks from falling in love with a scoundrel .

This was such a fun story. Mary was definitely someone I could relate to with her love of books. She has led a rather sheltered life and starts out being rather shy and timid. Slowly, she starts to gain confidence and the adventurous spirit of her youth starts to reemerge. I loved seeing her come out of her shell and how West helped to coax her out of it. West, ironically, starts out looking to be Mary's polar opposite, touting a devil-may-care attitude. I adored how these two balanced each other out, and how we slowly find out what has driven each of these two characters to such extreme behaviors--one retreating into herself while the other acts rather reckless.

I enjoyed how the mystery regarding the details of the assassination plot which brings these two together. I liked how they worked as a team and gained respect for one another. I must confess, however, I wasn't entirely sure if what they overheard would end up being a true assassination plot or just a giant misunderstanding. I thought it entirely possible that  Mary and West's imaginations had gotten the better of them as they attempted to fill in the missing details of the conversation they accidentally eavesdropped upon. It was fun seeing how everything played out and there were quite a few twists added in that I didn't see coming.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was a sweet, touching, and amusing story that pulled a little at my heartstrings. The characters were more complex then they first appeared. I liked how each acted differently to situations that were somewhat similar, and how they understood one another. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the Seduction Diaries Series:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Early Review of The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2) by Jill Shalvis

Title: The Trouble with Mistletoe: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Heartbreaker Bay Novel
Format: Hardcover; 304 pages
Publisher: Avon (September 27, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0062567152
ISBN-13: 978-0062567154
Author's Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Willa Davis doesn't have the best luck when it comes to men so she's put herself on the ultimate no-man diet. Indefinitely. When a tall drink of water, Keane Winters, comes into her shop, she's determined to ignore his sexy, flirtatious advances. Armed with the memory of his having stood her up for a date in high school, she's positive she can ignore the situation, but when he ups the charm she finds herself in old familiar territory, and a kiss under the mistletoe seems to like it can lead to nothing but trouble...
'He caught her at her door and pushed her up against it. He had no idea if they were going to push their limits or what, but he wanted her to think of him after he walked away. To that end, he wrapped his fingers around her wrist, the one still holding the spring of mistletoe, and raised it slowly up the wall until it was above her head, held to the wall by both of them. 

Then he lowered his head and brushed her mouth with his. And then--to torture them both--again.

Moaning she gripped the front of his shirt in two fists and held tight. She was still holding tight when he lifted his head.

"It's the damn mistletoe," she whispered.

He let out a low laugh. "Babe, it's not the mistletoe."'
Sometimes, however, trouble can be a good thing...
This is the second novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis and let me just say, she kicked things up a notch with this one. Her trademark sense of humor shines bright in silly aprons, sexy banter, fun situations, and characters you wish you knew in real life. A true example of why I keep saying I need to read more of this author's books. I simply adored the romance and was sad to see it end. *sigh*

Willa Davis collects hearts and souls like some women collect shoes. Growing up in foster care, she was a little short on family, and so, over the years, she's created her own from those she's found here and there. She's generous, big-hearted, and wears her heart on her sleeve. I adored watching her trying to resist the ever growing attraction between her and Keane. The heat between them was scorching hot and if anyone deserved a happy ending it was Willa.

At first Keane seemed like someone Willa should definitely stay away from, but as we get to know him, we find out the two have a lot in common. He isn't how he first appeared, and there is more to him and his story then we first know. He turns out to be a deliciously swoon worthy choice for Willa, and it didn't take long before he ultimately won both Willa and me over.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 our of 5 roses. A lighthearted, sweet, fun and sexy read that had me laughing, smiling, and wanting more. I highly recommend this one. If you want to know why Ms. Shalvis is on the best seller's list, pick this one up and give it a try. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the series:


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Love On My Mind by Tracey Livesay

Title: Love On My Mind
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Interracial Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse (August 23, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0062497812
ISBN-13: 978-0062497819
Author's Website: http://www.traceylivesay.com/
Notes: I received an eARC loan in exchange for an honest review.




"To be clear: If I make Adam Bennett presentable for the Computronix project launch in five weeks. you'll make me a partner?"

Chelsea Grant is the Executive Managing Director of the West Coast Entertainment division of Beecher & Stowe and she's up for partnership. When her boss calls her into his office she thinks he's going to let her know if she's gotten the promotion. Instead, he gives her one final task to prove her loyalty to the company, and it goes against her ethics. She's a master of spin, but part of her success hinges directly on her insistence of brutal honesty with her clients. With the promise of a partnership hanging in the balance, she reluctantly agrees to take on the task. As she gets to know the man behind the serious facade, she soon realizes just how much trouble she's truly gotten herself in as she finds herself falling for the handsome young genius.
This was a seriously cute and sweet romance. It brought to mind the movie Jerry Maguire although a PR spin doctor and a happy ending are about the only things these two have in common. Adam Bennett is a genius who can hold his own at a serious tech conferences, but doesn't suffer fools gladly. He was named People Magazine's sexist man alive beating out countless actors and models for the spot. His response to questions not tech related reminded me a bit of Mel Gibson's negative response to actress Janeane Garofalo's questions during an unrehearsed skit at the MTV Movie Awards in 1996. I vaguely remember Mel saying he was a serious actor and didn't care for the line of questions thrown at him. In both cases, the interviewee walked off leaving a poor impression of themselves in the public eye.

Adam is not only the developer of the product Computronix is about to reveal, he's also the CEO, and he suffers from Asperger Syndrome. This presents a real problem because he has trouble interacting with the media. He doesn't get social cues and takes things literally which makes his responses appear arrogant and haughty. Chelsea is a PR whiz and once she knows what she's dealing with she comes up with a plan. Seeing these two interact, get to know one another, and fall in love was fun to watch.

Overall I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. This was a wonderful debut for Tracey Livesay. The characters were real and easy to relate to. The product Adam created spoke to my inner geek. As the wife of a person who co-founded a software related company, and a former computer consultant myself, I can see how you'd try to take advantage of the press' intrigue with the private entrepreneur named sexiest man alive by one of nation's most popular magazines when launching a game changing product. Could they have pawned the press conference onto someone else? Probably, but by utilizing Adam's claim to fame they got more coverage then if they hadn't, and that was a smart move. Plus, it made for an excellent love story with a little bump in the road. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.



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