Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NetGalley w/REVIEW - Virtual Tour - Playing the Spanish Billionaire (International Temptation, #2) by M.K. Meredith

Playing the Spanish Billionaire
International Temptation, #2
by M.K. Meredith
Releasing April 24th 2017
Entangled Indulgence

The Book Junkie Reads . . . PLAYING THE SPANISH BILLIONAIRE (International Temptation, #2) . . . London’s secret was out, even before she hit the ground. She knows a secret also. Mateu is not just a simple tour guide seeking to make some change. He was the CEO of the very hotel that she came to experience and write about. But the thing was that this was just a chance to make herself have the fun that she so richly deserved. She was a hard-working woman.

This read was rich, warm and full of things specific to Barcelona. I loved the history brought in to make things feel more authentic. The sights. The sounds. The chemistry. Mateu bite off a bit more than he was expecting too. London’s world change and she had decisions to make.

This was a good afternoon read that gave you a taste of vacation and the sun of the tropics.

BlurbMateu Espasa, CEO of Barcelona’s most luxurious hotel, knows how to deliver a five-star experience. When he learns the identity of hotel reviewer, London Montgomery, it seems harmless to play as her local tour guide to make sure she enjoys her stay and places his hotel back in the running for the Elite Life and Travel Magazine's hotel of fame. But every moment with London makes Mateu want her just as much as he needs that review.

Constantly working to cover her mother’s medical bills, London needs to have a little fun on this vacation. First on her list: Kiss a hot Spaniard, and her knight-in-shining-Armani at the train station seems to fit that bill—he’s local and definitely hot! But when she discovers the man charming her is really CEO of the hotel she’s reviewing—supposedly secretly—she decides to see how far he’ll go to make her dream vacation a once in a lifetime experience.

Mateu shows her the romance of his city and his soul, but when the truth comes out, the fun is over, and it turns out nobody wins in a game of hearts.
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She picked up a tomato as Señor Bustillo suggested. “He is adorable.” Mateu chuckled softly. “He isn’t the only one.”
“Now, choose a bright, deep red tomato. No bruise, no blemish. Yes?” Bustillo spoke to the group. She turned hers over in her hand, carefully inspecting for marks, cracks, or soft spots.
“You want a heavy tomato. Ripe and juicy makes for tomato with weight.” As the group inspected their finds, Señor Bustillo checked in with each. “Good. Good.”
“Give gentle squeeze. You want a tomato that responds to your fingers, like the perfect woman, yes?” He directed the last part at Mateu, making London want to roll her eyes.
All men were the same. Mateu wiggled his brows, and she chuckled softly. It wasn’t his searing good looks she needed to guard herself against, it was his playful side. While Bustillo spoke, Mateu stayed close. She could feel the heat radiating from him, though he didn’t touch her.
Choosing a plump tomato from the crate, he wrapped his large hand around it in a light grip. He gave a slight squeeze, and the atmosphere seemed to go from comfortable to sweltering as her imagination took off on a path all its own. Holding it out to her, he asked, “What do you think?”
She blinked twice. “Perfect.” She snapped her eyes to him. “I mean…” Mateu’s smile was slow and deliberate. She couldn’t help but fall for his teasing. It reminded her of how fun living could be when stress wasn’t a persistent, heavy blanket.
“Finally, test the tomato for a sweet, earthy odor. You want strong scent, not light.” Bustillo’s animated voice boomed over the din of the crowd. Pulling herself together, London ignored the look in her sexy concierge’s eyes and dipped her nose toward his hand. She smelled the tomato close to the stem as directed. “Strong and sweet, just as Señor Bustillo suggests.”
“Strong and sweet. I’m glad you approve.” She raised a brow. “We’re talking about your tomato.”
“My favorite topic.”
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Author Info
MK Meredith writes single title contemporary romance promising an emotional ride on heated sheets. She believes the best route to success is to never stop learning. Her lifelong love affair with peanut butter continues. Only two things come close in the battle for her affections: gorgeous heels and maybe Gerard Butler…or was it David Gandy? Who is she kidding? Her true loves are her husband and two children who have survived her SEA's (spontaneous explosions of affection) and live to tell the tale. The Meredith's live in the D.C. area with their large fur baby...until the next adventure calls.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

NetGalley REVIEW - Virtual Tour w/INTERVIEW - Forbidden Kisses (Blushing Bay, #1) by Annie Rains

Forbidden Kisses
Blushing Bay #1
by Annie Rains
Releasing April 11th 2017
For years, Jack Sawyer’s family has been running their upscale seafood business like a finely tuned machine. But every machine breaks down eventually, and suddenly Jack needs a new office manager, a new kayak launch, and a new lease on life. Then Grace Donner shows up again. She’s smart, motivated, and perfect for the manager position, but if she’s anything like her mom, she can’t be trusted. And Jack has never been able to trust himself around Grace.

Grace hasn’t seen her former stepbrothers since their parents’ messy divorce, but she never forgot them—especially Jack. She misses being part of the big rambunctious Sawyer clan, and if there’s an opportunity to set things right, she means to do it. 

READ more of FORBIDDEN KISSES (Blushing Bay, #1) . . . Review, Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway 

Author Info
Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling author who writes small-town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and three children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I would say my books are emotional and heartfelt. I love happy and sad tears. 

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
I have 2 books coming out with Loveswept/Random House this year. I’m also writing another book for a different series right now that I’m hoping to get off the ground. 

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
Both! Writing has always come naturally to me, but I needed to learn some of the “rules” of storytelling. Characters need all kinds of arcs, motivations, goals, conflicts. It’s a blend of doing what comes naturally and also using the knowledge that I’ve accrued through experience. I’m still learning and suspect I always will be. Whoever says writing a book is easy should become a stand-up comedian. I’d sit in the front row of that audience and laugh my head off. 

Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?
One of the first novels I wrote had two very tragic characters brought together by a secondary character who I just love. I love that secondary character still to this day. I wrote that book without all the knowledge of what is required to make a good story. I’d love to see that story rewritten for readers one day.

If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional characters, who would they be?
Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, of course. Iron Man. Forest Gump. Captain Jack Sparrow. That would be an interesting group to keep company with over a week, isn’t it?

Where would you spend one full year, if you could go anywhere? What would you do with this time?
I think I’d go to Hawaii and I’d spend the year with my family on the beach. And I’d write A LOT, of course J

Can you share your next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
I’m writing a book set in the North Carolina mountains right now. It’s my first venture away from the coast. It’s a romance, of course, and it’s full of all the emotion that I love (to read and write). That’s all I can tell right now, but stay tuned!
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NetGalley REVIEW - Virtual Tour - A Charmed Little Lie (Charmed in Texas, #1) by Sharla Lovelace

A Charmed Little LieCharmed in Texa,s #1
by Sharla Lovelace
Releasing April 18th 2017
Lyrical Shine
The Book Junkie Reads . . . A CHARMED LITTLE LIE (Charmed in Texas, #1) . . . A Charmed Little Lie charmed me right off. I loved Lanie. I loved that she loved her aunt and the home she provided. I loved that she was willing to do what it took to make her aunt’s last moments happy. Even if Aunt Ruth did not buy the lie. It was total fun watching Lanie and Nick getting to know each other while pretending to know each other. Charmed, Texas had its own quaint small town charm. I loved the characters that played secondary. I loved the closeness. I hated the closeness. It was warm, fuzzy, funny, crazy, and more. What do you get when you lie about and husband and then have to produce that husband? You get this charming little read that will brighten your day and make you smile.

Charmed in Texas series:
A Charmed Little Lie – Charmed in Texas, #1
Lucky Charmed -  Charmed in Texas, #2    COMING JULY 2017

BlurbLanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to Charmed, Texas for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.

Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described. He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .
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There are things a girl hopes to hear in her lifetime, and a marriage proposal definitely tops that list. A proposal offered as a business deal, probably thrown out in desperation to stop my meltdown and pending dehydration, however, was not what most women have in mind.
             “Don’t, Nick,” I said, hiccupping through my sobs, trying to make it stop. “Don’t play with that. Don’t make fun.”        
“I’m not,” he said, still facing Ralph, the dog’s face in his hands as if it were all addressed to him. “I’m dead serious.”
I waited for more and it didn’t come. Um, I needed more explanation than that.
Wiping at my face in vain, I leaned against the post and looked down at possibly the hottest man I’d ever met. Sitting on my porch in a black-on-black suit, asking me to marry him by proxy of Ralph.
Finally, he let go of Ralph’s large head and stood, turning to face me as though it was with his last dying breath.
“You need this house,” he said, his words slow and precise. His dark eyes didn’t blink, didn’t look away uncomfortably, didn’t falter. “You may or may not need the money, I don’t know. I don’t see you getting all emotional about that, but you’re hugging the house, so I’m guessing the money’s not an important factor.”
“I didn’t even know about that money.”
“Which brings it to me,” he said, closing his eyes briefly. “I need a job.”
“Are you saying—”
“I’m saying I just got in a car with a stranger for five hundred dollars,” he said. “That’s how far I’ve fallen. Three months of my life—what would that be worth?”
My tongue felt as swollen and stuck as my eyelids.
That sentence, along with the glazed over look his eyes got and the hard set of his jaw, was possibly the saddest thing I’d ever witnessed. To be followed closely by the strong possibility of my saying yes.
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Author Info
Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs.  She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series.

For more about Sharla's books, visit www.sharlalovelace.com, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter.  She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tasty Q&A with Sharla Lovelace
Describe yourself in five words or less.
1.     Snarky (Might be kind of scary that this was the first one that came to mind.)
2.     Introverted
3.     Sneaky
4.     People-watcher (notice how I hyphenated to get an extra word? Yeah, see #3)
5.     Dog-lover (it worked last time)

Can you tell us a little about your book?
          It’s about lying! LOL. Truly, it’s about when all your little white lies catch up to you, and what the hell do you do then? You make up a gargantuan sized one to cover them, and then hope it doesn’t swallow you whole. Unless it’s in the form of a hot sexy get-under-your-skin man….then by all means swallow!  (I did not just say that.)
          Lanie and Nick’s story was honestly one of my favorite books to write—EVER. It was so much fun, and such a runaway train ride with no hands!  I loved literally watching them fall for each other, I loved Lanie’s spunk! I loved every second of it, and it birthed the town of Charmed, so I hope you will love it as much as I do.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?
I Hope You Dance

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
          My phone and a hair tie on my wrist. (That’s 2. Damn I have trouble following rules.)

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
          I adore writing intense scenes with either sexy-smexy chemistry burning up the page or fast snappy dialogue. Sex scenes before the sex…with the tease and the tension and the snarky back and forth talking…I love that.  Also fights are a blast with all that emotion churning around.  Dialogue is always the most fun. I groan to write description…
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
          Everyone says this, but seriously, never give up. I met Sandra Brown at a writer’s conference, and she was behind a table signing for a line of hundreds, and when I got up there I said “Everyone in this line wants to be you one day.” She looked at me and said, “You’re here. You’re already halfway there. Don’t ever stop learning and don’t ever stop writing. You’ll get here. One day, maybe I’ll be in your line.” I never forgot that. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing by any means, but my first book was published almost exactly 5 years ago, and now A CHARMED LITTLE LIE is my 10th published book, and I’ve just finished writing my 12th.  Don’t give up on your dream. Also, remember that you write about life, and to do that you have to live. There are times (deadline evil times) that you have to stay in a cave and pound out words, but outside of that, find a balance and enjoy your life. It will show in your writing when you do…and when you don’t. If you write romance, kiss your husband every day. And if you are writing about hot sex and he is one of your readers, you’d better be prepared to give up the goods. Saying you aren’t in the mood after penning being banged against a wall—doesn’t cut it honey. ;)

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
          I wouldn’t be here without you, and I love and adore you so much for taking the time to buy my books and give my stories a try. And when you email or message me to tell me about it…oh my God you just don’t know the rainbows and unicorns that fill me up. Nothing is more important in this job than readers. When I make you happy…when I make you laugh or cry or feel something that you are moved enough to tell me about…my God, ice cream isn’t even as good as that. It’s close. But not quite. ;)
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NetGalley REVIEW - RELEASE BLAST - Walk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly, #4) by Lauren Layne

Walk of Shame
Love Unexpectedly, #4
by Lauren Layne
Releasing April 18th 2017
Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . WALK OF SHAME (Love Unexpectedly, #4) . . . This was one read you will have to read yourself to understand the fun, hysterics, cheeky, sexy, tempting and more. I have so much fun with this one. Now, I have this one as my favorite in the series. I was not expecting a whole lot of sparks for a socialite and her slowly fading desire to party and have fun, but this one was one I am very happy that I did not miss. The banter early in the morning was something to look forward to. The princes and the worker was just what I needed to slide my day in to gear. 

I think they had their own ways of balancing each other out. They had a way to make the other understand work and party. I loved the banter. The interaction. I found that I had so much fun with these two. They are a riot together. Andrew and Georgie blow all the other character from this series out the water. They had it all and then some. The early morning encounters. The sexually charged banter. That electric kiss that went everywhere. 

This one is the best of the series. This most certainly was Lauren at her best. I laughed so much. I have snark on super charge. It was full of it all banter, passion, chemistry, humor, sexy hot male, sassy sexy female. This was one heiress that you will be happy that you read about her. This was not the typical spoiled little princess.  She had more to her than anyone took the time to get to know. Well except Andrew. But that was not all by choice. More so circumstances. But it all worked out for them in the end. 

Love Unexpectedly series:
Blurred Lines  -  Love Unexpectedly, #1

Good Girl  -  Love Unexpectedly, #2
Love Story  -  Love Unexpectedly, #3
Walk  of Shame -  Love Unexpectedly, #4
A Ex for Crhistmas  -  Love Unexpectedly, #5  coming later 2017

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.
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Tuesday morning
Let’s talk about five a.m. for a second.
Also known as the worst hour of the day, am I right?
Here’s why:
If you’re awake to see five in the freaking morning, it means one of a few things, all of them heinous.
Scenario one: You’re on your way to the airport for an early morning flight. Heinous.
Scenario two: You’ve been out all night, and now your vodka buzz is fading, and you’re just sober enough to realize that the rest of your day will likely involve Excedrin, carbs, and indoor voices. Heinous.
Scenario three: You’ve got a crap-ton on your mind, and you’re lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, hating your life. Maybe hating yourself a little bit, I dunno, who am I to judge? Heinous.
Now brace yourself, because scenario four is the most heinous of them all: You’re awake at five a.m. because you’re an uptight prick whose schedule is even more rigid than your posture, and your life is an endless string of working out, the corner office, repeat. You’re also likely the type of person who subsists on protein shakes and kale smoothies, and you have been known to utter the phrase the body is a temple, thus solidifying what we already knew about you.
You have no friends.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
See, it’s five a.m., and I, Georgie Watkins, am . . . kind of excited about it.
I know. I know. Four months ago I’d have bet my favorite vintage Chanel bag that there was exactly zero chance I’d actually look forward to the ghoulish hour of five in the morning.
And yet here we are.
I guess you could say there’s a scenario five on reasons to be up this early.
“Good morning, Ramon,” I sing, pushing through the revolving doors of the luxury high-rise on 56th and Park, the place I call home.
The concierge/security guard/all-around good guy glances up and gives me a friendly smile. “Ms. Watkins. Good morning.”
Usually the massive front desk is a bustling, busy affair. Starting at around seven, an army of well-dressed concierges will be smoothly facilitating the needs of impatient residents, as tiny dogs let out sharp, high-pitched barks of greeting from their Louis Vuitton carriers.
But that’s later.
Right now, the luxurious lobby is mostly silent, with just the lone overnight guy working the front desk, holding down the fort until the day guys arrive to handle the morning crush.
My new Tory Burch clutch tucked into my armpit, I hold up the box in my hands and waggle my eyebrows. “Brought you something.”
Ramon’s smile grows wider, brown eyes lighting. “My wife says you’re going to make me fat.”
“Tell Marta that the dad bod is totally in style right now,” I say, setting the box of donuts on the counter and lifting the lid. “Unless, of course, you don’t want a maple bacon donut?”
Ramon is already reaching inside the box, shaking his head in reverence as he lifts the sugary treat. “Still warm.”
“Well, technically the shop doesn’t open until five, but I’m such a loyal customer, they let me in a bit early,” I say, surveying the array of donuts and trying to decide if I’m in a chocolate kind of mood or if I want to risk the powdered sugar one.
Since my Alexander McQueen minidress is black (the archnemesis of powdered sugar), I reach for the chocolate as I set my clutch on the counter and fish out my phone: 4:58 a.m.
Two more minutes.
“How’s Marta dealing with the pregnancy of baby number three?” I ask, taking a bite of the donut and shifting attention back to Ramon, who’s already polished off his donut and is contemplating a second. I nudge the box toward him.
“She’s good,” he says. “Excited that we’re finally having a girl.”
“A girl!” I say, reaching across the counter and squeezing his massive forearm. “Congratulations, I hadn’t heard!”
“Just found out yesterday,” he says with a happy smile, apparently deciding that the occasion calls for another donut.
“Oh my gosh, I have the perfect baby gift,” I say, nibbling at a piece of my donut. “I saw this adorable Burberry onesie in Bergdorf’s the other day, with this precious little red bow—”
“Yes, because that’s what every infant needs,” a low voice interrupts. “A four-hundred-dollar piece of fabric that needs to be dry-cleaned. Don’t be ridiculous, Georgiana.”
I don’t have to look at my clock to know what time it is.
Five o’clock.
On the dot.
Not even bothering to turn around, I roll my eyes as my red nails tear off another piece of donut and pop it into my mouth. “Ramon, do you think you could talk to maintenance about adjusting the temp? It just got a little cold in here.”
Ramon’s been working here long enough to know my request isn’t for real. He’s not even paying attention to me. He’s already set his donut aside and has straightened up, practically saluting the newcomer.
“Mr. Mulroney. Good morning, sir.”
“Mr. Ramirez.” The voice is low and serious, a touch impatient, although not quite rude.
You know that adage that you catch more flies with honey? I’m not so sure it’s true. I bring donuts to the front desk guys just about every morning, and they adore me. I know they do.
But they respect him.
Giving in to the inevitable, I finally let my eyes flick to the side, my gaze colliding with a stern brown scowl.
I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy.
As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.
“Good morning, Andrew,” I say sweetly.
I resist the urge to roll my eyes. Only my late grandmother has ever called me that, and I’m pretty sure that’s because I was her namesake. Everyone else calls me Georgie. Well, okay, not everyone. Ramon and the other guys still insist on calling me Ms. Watkins, but I’m working on it. See: daily donuts.
I smile wider and push the box in Andrew’s direction. “Donut?”
His lip curls. In case you haven’t already gotten a read on this guy, he’s the type that sneers at donuts.
He lifts a boring black travel mug. “Already have my breakfast.”
“Blended-up quinoa sprinkled with a few bits of spinach and pretension?” I ask.
“Whey powder protein shake.”
“Sounds immensely satisfying.”
He takes a sip of the nastiness and watches me with cold brown eyes. “The body is a temple, Georgiana.”
There it is.

Full circle to my above commentary about what sort of people are up and about at five a.m.

Author Info
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
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