Monday, November 19, 2012

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson

Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever.
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?   

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.

My Thoughts:

I cannot repeat too many times how much I LOVE Mona Hodgson! I fell in love with her as an author when my Christian Fiction Book Club read Two Brides Too Many a few months ago. I voraciously devoured the rest of the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series and this novel was the perfect end to a fantastic set of reads!

Cripple Creek is the ideal setting for these novels - and Ms. Hodgson does a fantastic job of sprinkling the setting in just enough to paint a breathtaking picture. I love the details of the mountains and train coming in and out of town.

The Sinclair sisters have always been characters near and dear to my heart and in Twice a Bride, the addition of Willow really does add a new dimension.

My favorite parts of this novel were the attention to detail - down to the dresses and handbags the women carried. Ms. Hodgson has a way with words and I was swept back in time to walk the streets of Cripple Creek!

I so look forward to what comes next - this series is a keeper for me and I am sincerely grateful to WaterBrook Multnomah for supplying me with this novel to review.

Beside Two Rivers by Rita Gerlach

Darcy’s story and the sequel to Before the Scarlet Dawn:

Eliza Morgan’s daughter seeks to unravel a lifetime of memories and the absence of her parents, unaware that the young Englishman who loves her holds the answers. Her search takes her far from her beloved home along the Potomac, to a manor house in faraway England.

Will she discover the secrets of the past and be reunited with the most important people in her life? Will Hayward and Eliza find peace and reconciliation? Will Darcy’s faith sustain her to make the difficult choices, and will love endure?

About the Author:

Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland.  In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with both American and English settings. Her new historical series for Abingdon Press entitled ‘Daughters of the Potomac‘ was launched in February 2012, with Before the Scarlet Dawn, book 1, followed by Beside Two Rivers, and Beyond the Valley to be released in February 2013. In 2009, Abingdon Press released Surrender the Wind, which gained four and five star reviews.

You can visit her blog at

Connect with Rita on Facebook.


The Potomac Heights, Maryland

She’d been warned not to venture far from the house, nor go near the river, nor climb the dark shale bluffs above it. But Darcy Morgan had inherited an adventurous spirit that could not be bridled. It had been her favorite place to retreat since the age of nine, when she had discovered it one morning while trekking with her cousins over the ridge that shadowed the Potomac River.

Bathed in sunlight, she stood at the bluff’s edge and gazed down at the water like she had one hundred times before. She looked at the sky. Pink and pearled, speckled with white summer clouds, it looked heaven-like in the glow of a golden dusk.

Mottle-winged caddis flies danced in hordes at the brink and Darcy paused to study them. How could such delicate wings flit so high without turning to dust in the breeze? It caressed her face, blew back her dark hair and eased through her cotton dress. She breathed deep the scent of wild honeysuckle that traveled with it. Drowsy warmth hung everywhere, while the birds sang evening vespers.

With closed eyes, Darcy listened to the water tumble over the boulders and rocks below. Stretching out her arms, she turned in a circle and soaked in the majesty of creation.

“Darcy . . . Darcy Morgan . . . Where are you, you adventuresome pixie?”

Turning she spied her uncle, William Breese, as he lumbered along the ridge toward her. With caution, he stepped over rocks, between roots of great trees, a barrel-chested man with stocky legs. His eyes were pale green against his swarthy face, his head framed in a nimbus of white hair. Darcy’s father, Hayward Morgan, had been his half-brother, and Darcy wondered if her father’s eyes had been like her uncle’s, for she could not remember his face. Breathless, her uncle glanced up to see her, and she skipped down the path toward him.

My Thoughts:

I love this series - Christian fiction is right up my alley and this book fit the bill for sure!  Rita Gerlach was first introduced to me through a Christian Fiction Book Club and this novel, everyone agreed, was a fantastic choice.  When I saw it up for review I just knew I needed to help promote it!

Darcy is a great that you are truly vested in throughout the novel and intrigued to find out what becomes of her!  I went back and read the first novel to get a feel for what to expect and I am so glad I did - what a building block it provided! 

History...secrets, and a great line-up of characters makes this a fantastic read.  Congratulations to Ms. Gerlach on an amazing novel, I am so looking forward to the third book in this series which is due out in 2013.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Breathless Press: Blitz Tour

About Breathless Press

Breathless Press is an e-book publisher specializing in Romance and Erotic(a) stories.

Our mission statement is simple: To provide the opportunity for readers to connect with romance authors through the purchasing of quality e-books at a low price.

Starting in the summer of 2009, Breathless Press came into existence. Since then, we have been producing top end romance and erotic stories for valued readers to enjoy.

Our Goal?

Breathless Press is an electronic publisher of paranormal, erotic, and mainstream romance, releasing one to three e-books a week in a variety of downloadable formats. It is Breathless Press' mission to provide readers with quality romance books in electronic formats and to raise the standard in e-publishing.

Breathless Press will be awarding a $20 Breathless Press GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Breathless Press GC to a randomly drawn host from the tour.

Reawakened by Carrie Pulkinen


Her magic has been reawakened. But will her heart let her follow her destiny?

Jules Hume lives in a world where magic is a myth and supernatural creatures are fiction. Or so she thinks. Her boyfriend Ian would have to disagree. When Jules discovers the man of her dreams is not only a vampire, but a vampire king who’s tasked with saving the world from a demon attack, life as she knows it ends. Can she accept her fate and take her place by Ian's side as ruler of the paranormal world? Or will she close her mind and her heart to the chance at love and adventure?


This is the night, I thought. After what just happened, he had to tell me everything. I braced myself, and walked into the bedroom.

My clothes were gone. Ian must've put them in the dryer already. On the bed lay a soft, midnight blue robe. The bedroom door was closed, and I could hear the shower running down the hall. I figured it would be a while before Ian came back, so I left the towel in the bathroom and walked naked across the room to get the robe. Distracted as I was with everything that had happened, I wasn't paying attention to where I stepped, and I tripped on the rug, falling face-first on the ground. I let out a little squeal as I went down. I didn't think I was loud, but Ian was in the room in seconds.

"Are you okay, my Jewel? I heard you scream." He took me by the hand and lifted me to my feet.

"I'm fine." Heat flushed my cheeks. "And I didn't scream. I just squealed a little bit when I fell. You didn't have to stop your shower to come rescue me again."

It was then that I realized I was naked. And my eyes had been locked with his since he came through the door, so I was just beginning to realize that he was naked too. And he was wet. His muscles flowed down his body like a perfectly carved statue, firm and hard. My eyes took in his form. From his eyes, down to his chest. His muscular arms had me longing for his embrace. His perfect six-pack abs had my hands twitching with the need to touch. Down my eyes went to his...oh my! He was definitely excited. I forced my gaze back up to his eyes, and the expression I found there was one of pure need...of lust…and love. His eyes went down my body and back up to return my gaze. He licked is lips.


All for a Fist Full of Ashes: Tour Director Extraordinaire, Book 2 by R. Ann Siracusa


A fast-paced romp through Italy with tour director, Harriet Ruby, and handsome spy, Will Talbot, in hot pursuit of a lost grave and an assassin.

I’m Harriet Ruby: Tour Director Extraordinaire.  At least, I thought I was worthy of that title, until…

My first mistake: Agreeing to conduct a private tour of Italy. Fourteen Italian-Americans from New Jersey? All family, for three weeks, with four teenagers? What was I thinking? Fate responds to my engraved invitation by placing one of the family under surveillance as a suspect in an assassination plot, and who is assigned to the case?  None other than my favorite drop-dead-gorgeous spy, Will Talbot.

My second mistake: Allowing Will to coax an invitation from the family matriarch to join the tour.

And that was just the beginning. The matriarch, searching for the unknown location of her mother's grave so she can bury her brother’s cremated ashes (which have been smuggled into Italy wrapped in Cuban cigars), and her quirky family members sweep through Italy leaving chaos, hilarity, and danger in their wake.


Still standing inside the terminal with one hand on the door, I prepared to push it open, when an intense shiver skittered up and down my spine. I tingled all over and heat zinged to every to every erogenous zone, a sure sign of Will Talbot's presence in the airline terminal.

I hadn't seen him, but I didn't have to. When we're in the same space, he and I exchange a flow of energy, and my body's reactions said it all. We had a way of speaking to each other without talking.

Will was my…well, he's…hmm. Now, here's the thing. Will Talbot and I had this incredible, overwhelming physical attraction and a no-strings agreement to get to know each other better and see if the rest of our relationship could catch up with our lust.

Since he lived in Spain and I resided in Rome, we only got together every two or three weeks. We hadn't progressed much beyond the lust stage of "getting to know you," but there seemed to be a lot of other stuff going on between us, which neither of us had figured out yet.

Excited, I opened the door and stuck my head out. "I'll be there in a few minutes, Mario," I yelled, my voice tinged with anticipation, trying to keep an eye on the terminal at the same time. "Please, get everyone on board. Thanks."

He cocked an eyebrow and grinned. Mario knew about Will and me and, like I said, nothing surprised him.

Stepping back inside and away from the entrance, I closed my eyes and waited. I sensed Will's approach and the closer he got, the more my girly parts tingled with anticipation.

Even though I expected it, I gasped when he placed his warm hands on my shoulders and turned me around to face him.

A Mistress for Magnus by Ann B. Harrison


Is Kate prepared to trade six months as Magnus' mistress to save the home and people she loves?

The death of Kate's mother sends her father on a gambling spree that he keeps hidden from his family. When the will is read after his death she finds out how bad things are and can see no way out, except one.

In a desperate attempt to save her home and the people she loves, Kate offers her neighbour water rights to the largest dam in the area that also happens to be on her land.  What follows is an introduction to a world of passionate sex that she doesn’t want to give up after the contract ends. Kate also didn't expect to fall in love with him.

Magnus is intrigued with Kate after years of having women drop at his feet and granting him his every desire. On a whim, he adds an extra clause to the contract—she is to be his mistress for six months.


Magnus held the lead rope tight as a slight shadow filled the doorway. The mare skittered around, startled by the figure hesitantly coming toward them.

"Mr. Lane?" A soft female voice quivered slightly as the words were spoken.

"Yes," he answered as he steady the mare, his hands soothing her. "And you are?"

"Kate. Kate Holden."

She was a good head shorter than him, her dark brown hair tucked under a dusty, battered Akubra. The red and black checked shirt which had seen better days hung on her slight frame; the sleeves rolled up to her elbows showed tanned arms. Her jeans, faded and dirty, were tucked into scuffed brown boots. She looked like a homeless waif.

"What can I do for you, Miss Holden?" A strange feeling tingled his scalp. Crossing his arms, Magnus watched the emotions roll over her face, a face that belonged to a Botticelli angel, not a dusty cowgirl. He suddenly realized he craved this woman with a passion that almost frightened him. Magnus pushed the feelings down and tried to concentrate on her next words.

"You were trying to negotiate with my father, weren't you?" she asked.

He nodded his head, not trusting himself to speak until he knew what she wanted.

"You wanted to buy us out, but that's something I can't do. I wondered if you'd be interested in buying water rights instead?" Kate was wary of the man in front of her. She stood dead still even though her heart thudded. With his heavily muscled arms, he looked every inch the hard businessman her father had warned her about. She had no choice. She had to try and talk him into buying what she had to offer.

"I hardly think this is the place to conduct a business meeting, Miss Holden," he said, looking down at her, a frown marring his brow."But if you would care to come up to my office we can continue this conversation. Jock, would you mind putting the mare back in her stall please?"

La Bella Isabella by Raven McAllan


When your life is all arranged for you, there's only one thing to do—enjoy yourself while you can.

When Amanda finds out whom her parents have chosen for her to marry, it puts her into despair. The one man occupying her dreams is to be hers in name only. Determined to enjoy life before it's all too late, La Bella Isabella and Her Dancing Girls is formed.
The beautiful girl he keeps meeting by accident intrigues Harry. There is something familiar about her…he just cannot place.

A private performance by La Bella Isabella provides a little knowledge, but is a little knowledge a dangerous thing?


The snow was beginning to fall faster, and there were no cabs to be seen.

"Bloody hell, I'll be too cold to warm anyone up at this rate," he muttered as he slid through the thickening snow, his footsteps muffled by its depth. "My prick will be so shriveled up, it'll take a week to be normal again. Even with help."

So engrossed in keeping warm and muttering to himself, he heard nothing until a snort and a jangle of harness immediately behind him almost made him loose his footing.

A black carriage had drawn level.

"My lord," said a soft voice from inside, "this snow is getting thicker, and walking must be hazardous. As I trust there are no dogs out and about, I believe it is safer traveling in a carriage. May I give you a lift anywhere?"

He recognized that voice. So did his body. No, not a week, after all. He felt light-headed and somewhat giddy. Not even a minute.

"That would be kind...miss? Lady?"

She laughed. "Yes, wouldn't it. Now, if you wish, get in and tell my coachman where you are heading."

"Smithson Gardens," he said to the coachman, knowing that was near enough to his destination without revealing exactly where he was heading. He opened the door and swung inside, shutting it quickly after him to keep as much snow out as possible. The occupant was cloaked in dark velvet, a hood covering most of her face. She showed no inclination toward removing the hood.

"I do hope I'm not taking you out of your way," he remarked urbanely. "For I believe on our earlier meeting, you were heading in the opposite direction.

"I was, wasn't I, my lord? But as you see, now I am heading in this direction. And indeed, you will not take me out of my way."

Harry sat back against the squabs. It was definitely his damsel in distress. And she obviously felt secure enough to invite him into her carriage even though she had no companion. But who was she? Obviously quality, but surely no lady of quality who valued her reputation would be in a carriage without a companion, let alone would invite a gentleman to share it with her. "I feel you have the better of me. You know me, but do I know you?"

Again, that musical laugh.

"You feel so, my lord? I wonder why? Because I call you 'my lord'? Are you a lord?"

"I am. As to why? I thought I did feel so, perhaps I will feel so again."

Such gentle innuendo, but realized—and judging by the brief laugh he heard—appreciated. "Are you a lady?"

She considered. "Well, I am female, so that makes me a lady. Am I a lady? One of life's mysteries, my lord."

Harry moved slightly, so his thigh rested against her cloak. "I love a mystery."

"Oh, so do I."

The coach came to a halt. "I believe we have reached Smithson Gardens, my lord. Are you sure you do not want to be taken all the way to your destination? We wouldn't want you to catch a chill and be unable to...shall we Lady Mellissa, would we?"

The minx! So she did know who he was! And about his involvement with Mellissa, something he was sure very few people were aware of.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Texan's Choice by Shelly Gray

When notorious outlaw Scout Proffitt wins a rundown ranch in west Texas, he expects to find the home he’s never had. Instead, he finds a run-down shack, a barn in dire straits…and a lovely woman who’s in no hurry to give up her ranch.

When Scout discovers that Rosemarie has nowhere else to go, he   reluctantly allows her to stay with him for two weeks until she can find another home. But soon the locals get involved and insist they marry.

Determined to do at least one thing right in his life, he marries Rose. Then people from his past come back and give him an offer he can’t refuse. If things go well, he can make a fresh start. If not, he’ll be even worse off than before.

Which was something he never thought possible…

About the Author:

Shelley Gray’s first Amish novel, Hidden, was nominated for the Inspirational Readers Choice award. Her book Simple Gifts won the Reviewers Choice Award. Shelley’s novel, The Protector, recently made the New York Times bestseller list.  Her novels have won the prestigious HOLT Medallion Award, the Reviewers Choice Award, and been highlighted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, Time Magazine, and USA Today. She’s also been interviewed on NPR as well as numerous regional radio stations. In addition, her novels have made both the USA Today and New York Times Bestsellers lists.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degrees in educational administration. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time.

You can visit Shelley’s website at

Connect with Shelley: Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase A Texan’s Choice: Amazon | Barnes & | Abingdon Press

My Thoughts:

I will definitely say that you need to read these books in order to get the background that you need - I did not do that, I started with this one and there was a lot that I had to catch up on.  In fact, this book inspired me to go grab the first two so I can read up on what happened before the third novel.

I liked the premise behind A Texan's Choice and I thought the plot line was believable and interesting, my only suggestion would be that the characters needed a bit more depth - but I wonder if that was missing because I was just meeting them this novel, perhaps more depth was present in the first two so I certainly can't hold that against the book!

I love Christian Western romances and this one really did fit the bill - I look forward to reading the first two and more by this author!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Billionaire Playboy by Christina Tetreault

She's spent her life avoiding love

Captain Charlotte “Charlie” O'Brien, a doctor in the United States Navy, returns to her home in North Salem, Massachusetts to visit her family and make an important decision about her future. Mother Nature has other plans when a hurricane strikes, flooding the town and throwing Jake Sherbrooke in Charlie's path. Initially she believes Jake is nothing more than a rich playboy, but quickly, she learns that he is so much more.

The media calls him Prince Charming

Jake Sherbrooke has never been one to follow the path laid out by his parents. That is why he started the Falmouth Foundation, a non-profit disaster relief organization rather than enter politics. When he learns of the destruction in North Salem, he immediately travels there to offer aid and meets Charlie O'Brien. Charlie is unlike any woman he has ever meet and he can not help but be drawn to her.

Soon neither can ignore the incredible chemistry between them. But will his reputation as a billionaire playboy damage their budding romance?

Welcome to today's stop for The Billionaire Playboy by Christina Tetreault.  Christina has been so kind as to offer a $10 Amazon gift card to one random commenter during the tour so follow along for a chance to win!

About the Author:

I wrote my first story with characters similar to those in the Sweet Valley Twins books at the age of 10 on my grandmother's manual typewriter.  As I got older my stories and characters became more mature.  During my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth, I read my first romance novel and fell in love with the genre.  I have been writing romance ever since.

Today I live with my husband, three beautiful daughters and two dogs in Massachusetts.  Whenever I have a free moment you'll find me either reading a romance novel or working on my most current story.

You can follow me on facebook and twitter @cgricci

You can also follow my blog at

My Thoughts:

I was glad that this was a stand alone book despite being the second in the Sherbrookes of Newport Series.  I haven't read the first one and it was nice to be able to pick this one up and jump right in without worrying that I would be missing something.

The main character is Jake, a world-class playboy - someone who everyone views as a literal playboy.  Charlotte (Charlie), is a strong independent woman who vows that she will never fall in love or enter into a relationship.  Jake proves to be a greater strength than her resolve to stay single and this book really is a cute story of their path towards happiness. 

I liked this story, it was a light read and one that really went quick for me.  It made me want to pick up the other book in the series and see if that one was as good as this one was! 

Looking forward to following Christina's work in the future!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hollywood Ever After (Red Carpet #1) by Sasha Summers

She wasn’t meant for movie stars, Hollywood, or happy endings. And then she met him.

Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises. Her plans for rest and relaxation are forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two… And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair? Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?

Sasha will be awarding two $10.00 Amazon gift cards and One Romantic Movie Gift Basket (Movies that inspired Hollywood Ever After – Notting Hill, The Holiday, Love Actually, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (US/Canada only)) to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

Click HERE for the rest of the tour information!

About the Author:

Sasha Summers is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, romance, and travel. She writes both lyrical romantic fantasy and contemporary romance. Her first play was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She's been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she's doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Facebook Author Page:

Book Excerpt:

My phone vibrated in my clutch, snapping me out of my wayward thoughts. It was Natalie. “I’ll be right back.” I took a steadying breath and walked from the railing. It took a minute to find a small path detouring off of the deck. “Hold on Nat.” I spoke into the phone as I wandered along and settled onto a stone bench hidden at the path’s end, hidden beneath a small gazebo and bench wrapped in fragrant honeysuckle vines.

I smiled. “Hey baby girl.”

“Are you at a party, Mom? Wow, it’s loud! What do you see? Tell me everything!”

“Yes, I’m at a party.” I looked up, staring out across the wide night sky. “I went to a premier with Shannon.”

“See anyone cool?” she sounded excited.

Hazel and gold eyes appeared before me, stirring feelings I was not going to share with my adolescent daughter.
Instead I said, “I did see a few actors. You’ll be able to find it online tomorrow. You and Will okay? Not missing your mom too much?”

Natalie laughed. “Um, it’s been less than twenty-four hours Mom. But, yes, Will told Grams he missed you. And I do too. But I want to hear about California and Hollywood and everything. What do you see now?”

“I’m kind of hiding in the garden while we talk so just flowers and stuff. Like you said, it’s really loud. We’re at this fancy hotel movie premiere after party thing on the beach.”

“Is anyone there that I might know? I mean, other than you and Shannon?” She wanted details, I could tell.

“There are so many people here, sweetie. I don’t think so.” I looked up when I heard someone on the path. Josh was walking towards me, a slight smile on his lips. He had his phone to his ear, listening.

“What are you wearing?” Natalie asked.

He stood, looking down at me, his smile slow and lazy. “Can I sit?” he whispered, his hand covering his phone.

 I moved over, instantly aware.

“That’s fine, thanks.” He spoke into the phone as he sat, listening for a minute. “I’ll look forward to it,” he hung up and turned to look at me.
“Mom?” Natalie tried again. I had no doubt he heard her voice, he was sitting so close. “What are you wearing Mom?”
“What am I wearing?” I asked, flustered. I looked down at my dress and shrugged. “I’m barefoot.”
He laughed, snapping his mouth shut to muffle the sound.
“And?” she wasn’t going to give up.
I tore my eyes from him, then murmured, “A red dress. I think Shannon sent you a picture…”
“Hold on,” her voice elevated, making me hold the phone from my ear. “How do you look?”
“Well.” I swallowed.
“Lovely,” he said, softly.
I was absolutely frozen. My heart raced as he gently pushed a strand of hair from my shoulder, his touch a whisper on my skin. His hazel eyes were wide, regarding me intently as I flushed warmly. 
“K, hold on.” There was more movement, then a squeal. “Mom, you look gorgeous! I’m sending this picture to, like, everyone! Wow Mom! Call me tomorrow?”
“I will, I promise.”

“Can’t wait to hear all the details. Gotta download this one! Love you.” Her words flew out in a rush.

“Love you too, sweetie,” I added. “And kiss Will for me please.”

“I will Mom. Night.” The phone went dead.

His eyes held mine, I let myself look. If I sat like this, would he lean in to kiss me?  Me. What the hell was going on? I snapped my phone shut and turned away from him. My heart slammed against my ribs. I ran a shaky hand over one shoulder and pushed my hair from my face.
How long had it been since I was alone with a man? Without fear? And I wasn’t afraid of him, for some inexplicable reason. Well, I was a little. Not of him, but of the feelings he was stirring. Why? Why did this man, this young man, affect me differently?
“You do. Look gorgeous, I mean. Don’t you know that?” he asked softly, curiously.

I stood, breaking the hold his eyes had on me. His presence in this intimate space was making it hard to breathe.  “You’re very sweet… and young… and an actor…” I took a deep breath. This wasn’t making any sense to me.

“Oh?” His smile grew. “Which bothers you more - the acting or the age? I’m assuming being sweet isn’t a bad thing?”

I shrugged, waving my hands awkwardly, at a loss. My phone slipped from my hand. He reached for it at the same time I did, catching it before it hit the ground. His hand was warm as it closed over mine. His golden eyes held me captive. I couldn’t help it, I had butterflies.

My Thoughts:

This book reminded me of another novel I read recently, Sparkleicious.  Same premise but different characters and plot-line which I enjoyed.

I like contemporary romance, it is a genre that I go to in-between heavy reads and I enjoy these types of novels because they are a bit of escape from reality!

Claire and Josh are good characters and their story is easy to follow and fall into.  This novel is about starting over, after a bad situation and I like the way it was handled...this isn't something the author took lightly but it was light enough that you didn't get bogged down with it.  As a reader I came to be invested in these characters and I like that...despite the "Hollywood" setting the author does a great job of making it realistic and something that you really get interested in.

I love fairy tale endings and this novel didn't disappoint...get a copy today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Torn Together by Emlyn Chand: Review

From her cheating boyfriend to her dead father and cold, judgmental mother, Daly knows she can’t trust others to be there when it counts. This cynicism begins to melt away when she meets Kashi, a light-hearted charmer from India, who decides he cares too much to let her fade into the background of her own life. After a series of false starts, their quirky romance carries them to India, where Daly must win the approval of Kashi’s family in order to seal their “forever.”

Meanwhile, Laine struggles to cope with the pain of early widowhood, fleeing into the pages of her well-worn library and emerging only to perform her duties as a social worker at the crisis pregnancy center. Although her daughter wants nothing more than to work as an artist, Laine doesn’t know how to redirect Daly to a more suitable profession without further damaging their tenuous relationship.

Can Laine look past her pain to learn from an unlikely mentor? Has Daly finally found someone whom she can trust? Will the women recognize their common bonds before the relationship is broken beyond repair?

"Torn Together," Emlyn Chand’s first sojourn into Literary/Women's Fiction, illustrates how our similarities often drive us apart.

Emlyn will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC and autographed copy of Torn Together to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

About the Author:

Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


Kashi pushed the second door open, and a wall of heat crashed into them. She peeled off both Kashi's jacket and her own, letting the hot air dry her clothes.

"Told you." He smiled when she handed his jacket back to him.

She stepped toward the stacked stone fountain at the center of the room, and listened to the simple harmony of the flowing water.

"I love this place," Kashi said. "Engages all the senses."

She agreed, taking in the sights and scents of the blossoming flowers, listening to the gentle trickle of the fountain, and allowing the warmth of the garden to embrace her. It engaged all the senses, as Kashi had said, except for taste. She glanced over at him, fixing her gaze on his full lips.

Why aren't I brave enough to initiate the kiss myself? "So beautiful," she said, bringing her eyes to meet his.

A curious Postman Butterfly landed on the fountain next to them. They watched the beautiful insect rub its forelegs together and flex its wings before flying away almost as quickly as it had landed. She followed as the Postman flitted upward, watching as dozens of butterflies floated above at the top of the glass dome. She reached to her side and took Kashi's hand, then closed her eyes and imagined him reaching up to pluck a butterfly from the sky, thus completing the picture from her diary, completing their hat trick of fate.

Someone bumped into them from behind, ruining the moment.

"Excuse me," said a middle-aged woman corralling two toddlers.

Zoo visitors continued to pour into the tiny garden, seeking shelter from the rain. The influx of too many people into too small a space compromised the romanticism of the place. A handful of volunteers in red vests stood guard, watching for any misconduct.

"This way." Kashi headed toward the exit. "It won't be so crowded."

She followed him through the chain curtain and into the free-flight aviary.

A Scarlet Macaw greeted them with an impertinent squawk as they strolled deeper into the indoor jungle.

Daly stopped to examine the colorful parrot, but Kashi continued forward, pulling her deeper into the warm sanctuary.

The winding trail was all but deserted. Most visitors clung to the more popular butterfly garden, which meant the two of them were alone in the presence of the birds. Rounding a corner, they came upon a secluded nook under a Caribbean bleeding tree still vibrant with greenery, even though the trees outside had long since begun to yellow and shed their leaves. High in the tree, long-necked Scarlet Ibises hopped about, competing to find the best branch for perching. A concrete wall, carved to resemble a natural rock structure, shielded them from the view of potential onlookers.

Daly marveled at the playful Ibises above. "They're so—"

Kashi interrupted her by bringing a hand to her cheek and taking a step into her.

Is this it? Is this the moment I've been waiting for all day? She didn't have much time to wonder, because within an instant, his lips drew forward to meet hers.

Her heart trembled as he parted her lips with his tongue. She pressed closer still and raked her hands into his hair. Locked in his embrace, she let her inhibitions go, wanting only more, more, more as they kissed in time to the cacophony of tweets, chirps and whistles of their avian companions.

If only this moment could last forever. If only I could live here permanently instead of at home with Laine.

Kashi pulled away and ran a finger across her lower lip.

She cast a weak smile. Her face flushed warm, but not from embarrassment. She couldn't allow this encounter to go on any longer—unless, of course, they really wanted to get in trouble with zoo security.

Kashi hummed one long beat and once again pulled her into him, this time in an embrace of arms rather than lips.

Her cheek pressed into his collarbone, where the rhythm of his heart thumped wildly against her face.

Bringing his lips to her ear, he whispered, "So, how was that for life-changing?"

My Thoughts:

 Before I write a review, or sometimes after, I always look around out there to see what other people said about the book - see if I am "in-line" or with the majority or if I am really out in left field.  Perusing through the reviews on Amazon, I saw this:

To me this book is more than just about two people meeting and falling in love. It is about overcoming demons from the past. Learning to live with your mistakes and learning from the mistakes. Learning to pick yourself up from the pit you have fallen into moving forward, to stop looking back. - KYBunnies, Kentucky

I couldn't agree with this reviewer more...and I couldn't have said it better myself.  This is a delightful story, one that stuck with me long after I read it! 

The relationships in this novel are the most striking part of the book - the title does it justice, Torn Together.  The characters in this piece literally are torn together!  They come into and out of each others' lives, and it is fascinating to see how the author writes and weaves them to and against one another.  The most interesting relationship is of course the one between Daly, the daughter, and Laine, the mother.  Chand writes Laine's character so that you really do dislike root for Daly to overcome her past and her present through the novel.

Another part of this novel that struck me were the references to art and through Kashi, to India.  The author did her research and it was so neat to read about these two that I am not so familiar with.

Emlyn Chand is a talented YA writer, I am intrigued by her work - I imagine we will see much more from her in the future!