Thursday, August 17, 2017

NetGalley REVIEW w/ INTERVIEW - The Importance of Being Scandalous (Tale of Two Sisters, #1) by Kimberly Bell

He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both.
The Importance of Being Scandalous
Tale of Two Sisters, #1
by Kimberly Bell
Releasing July 25th 2017
Entangled Select
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS (Tale of Two Sisters, #1) . . . LOVED IT. LOVED IT. LOVED IT. I can’t seem to say it just once. I loved this read. I loved the boy next door. I loved the unacceptable girl next door. I loved that they were childhood friends. I loved they made it work for each other. I loved they found love with each other. I loved their romance. I loved the way their romance came about. I loved this read from beginning to end.

The Tale of Two Sisters series has gotten off to a wonderful start. I loved Amelia (Mia) and Julia the undesirable next-door-neighbor-girls. They were beautiful together and separate they still made an impact. The two were mischief, adventurous, and romantics. That made the read feel full of mischief, adventure, romance, scandal, fun and more. Nick being second in line has his own mind. His family wants nothing to do with the neighbors or scandal.

Getting to know Nick and Mia was fun. Their family dynamics added to the read. The other secondary characters made the read fuller and richer. The writing was smooth, clean, clear and enticing. I want more. I look forward to Julia’s story. I have some ideas. I want to see if they pan out.

Tale of Two Sisters series:
The Importance of Being Scandalous – Tale of Two Sisters, #1
A Scandal by Any Other Name – Tale of Two Sisters, #2

BlurbA horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…
None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancĂ©.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.

Nicholas tried to stay close to Amelia when they insinuated themselves into the crowd around Lady Chisholm, but Amelia kept insisting they should stand apart. He strongly suspected she was trying to insulate him from the scandal she was about to cause. He had no one but himself to blame for her thinking that way. Their whole lives, he’d let his family name hold too much sway. Somehow, he would have to convince her things were different now.
“I rather like the new styles from the continent,” some young miss made the mistake of saying.
“Nonsense,” Lady Chisholm barked. “They stray much too far from tradition.”
From the other side of the group, Amelia spoke up. “I don’t think they stray nearly far enough.”
“Excuse me?” Lady Chisholm gasped.
“I said I don’t think they stray nearly far enough.”
“I heard you, Lady Amelia. I only hoped I was mistaken.”
Amelia frowned. Nicholas thought she might give up, but then her shoulders straightened and she lifted her chin. “Are you mistaken often?”
“Rarely.” Montrose’s aunt peered at Amelia. “And what do you imagine might be appropriate attire for a young lady?”
“Trousers,” Amelia announced.
A murmur went up through the crowd. It was everything Nicholas could do to hold in a laugh. All the more so because he knew Amelia was being honest. In this regard, he was on Lady Chisholm’s side. He’d seen Amelia in trousers a number of times and he knew how distracting it was. Were it to become a popular trend in women’s fashion, the entire country would devolve into anarchy inside a week.
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Kimberly Bell writes historical romance from her cabin in South Lake Tahoe or the beaches of Southern California (it’s a super tough life).
She's a pretty hardcore introvert that loves dogs, cheeseburgers, and occasional day drinking. She also spends way too much time on twitter because she thinks she's super hilarious and she’s trying to get that rumor to catch on.

How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work? 
My books all end up being funny, feminist historical romances. They also tend to be a fast read because I use a lot of quick-flowing dialogue.

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
just finished the first five books I contracted two years ago, so this year is about taking a short breather and then knocking out the next three-book series.

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you? 
Definitely a natural thing. I'm starting to pick up some deliberate craft techniques now, but my first book was my first attempt at writing a book, and I worry about -over-training and losing whatever that spark was that people saw in the first book.

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?
I don't have any that I have worked on a long time, but I do have a few I won't be able to get to for a few years, if at all. Every once in awhile their story comes at me louder than before, and I get a ton of new ideas for it.

If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional character, who would they be?
Oh, man. In no particular order: Hermione Granger, Sherlock Holmes (in Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch form. I'm not picky), Jamie Fraser from Outlander, River Tam from Firefly, and Olivia Pope from Scandal.

Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere?
Bed? :P Probably Italy. I haven't been yet, but it already has my favorite food, coffee, fashion, and architecture.

What would you do with this time?
Learn Italian, gain 50 pounds, and see every fresco in the country. 

Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
I just finished edits on my fifth book, the sequel to The Importance of Being Scandalous that features Julia as the leading lady, and now I'm working out the details on a companion series that starts with a book for Jasper's twin-sister, Ruby.
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NetGalley REVIEW - Leave The Night On (Cottonbloom, #4) by Laura Trentham

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge--
life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .
Leave The Night On
Cottonbloom, #4
by Laura Trentham
Releasing August 1st 2017
St. Martin’s Press
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . LEAVE THE NIGHT ON (Cottonbloom, #4) . . . Sutton and Wyatt began as just a way to get payback. Neither was expecting to find the experience to be so bonding. This small-town romance has a taste of this and a hint of that. Cottonbloom has made its presence known. Watching Sutton and Wyatt get to know each other while at the same time stirring a bit of a ruckus in town was fun and entertaining.

This was my first read from Trentham in this series. I found this small-town life had captured my attention, gave me laughs, good people, and a sense of home. This read gave me good writing, well rounded characters, a few laughs, and a sweet building romance between two people that have seen each other but didn’t really see each other. Watching then grow closer was beautiful.

Cottonbloom series:
Kiss Me That Way – Cottonbloom, #1
Then He Kissed Me – Cottonbloom, #2
Till I Kissed You – Cottonbloom, #3
Candy Cane Christmas – Cottonbloom, #3.5
Light Up the Night – Cottonbloom, #3.75
Leave the Night On – Cottonbloom, #4
When the Stars Come Out – Cottonbloom, #5

BlurbSutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiance's classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton's whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton's shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage--and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she's got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along? 

Sutton's hand found Wyatt's like a magnet finding its mate, and she knitted their fingers together. Music drifted through the trees.
“You know how to two-step?” Wyatt asked.
“No, but I learned how to waltz and foxtrot during cotillion, a lot of good that does me.”
Wyatt tugged her into a faster walk. “I’ll teach you.
“No way. Not in front of everyone. I’ll look like an idiot.” She pulled at his arm, but inertia was on his side.
“That’s your fear talking. Come on and take a chance on me.”
Even though he was talking about something as simple as a dance, the moment felt like a tipping point. Fearful or brave? Which did she choose?
She quit fighting and let him lead her into the circle of light. A handful of couples danced, but a majority of the partiers hung around the edges talking and watching. Before her feet could mount a rebellion and retreat, Wyatt spun her around and put a firm hand on her upper back, holding her other hand in a typical dance hold.
“The two-step is simple. Four steps, two quick, two slow. I step forward on my left, and you step back on your right. Okay?”
She made an affirmative sounding hum and tried to assimilate what he was saying, but heat streaked across her back where his hand branded her. All the eyes fixed on them didn’t help her concentration.
He counted them off, and she made it two steps before screwing up. She bit the inside of her cheek. “I can’t do it.”
“You’re acting like this is worse than a firing squad. What are you thinking about?”
He gave a slight shake of his head before bursting out in chesty laughter that sent vibrations through his hold to her. “Dare I ask why?”
“I feel like we’re being examined like reproducing amoebas through a microscope.”
“If I recall my high school biology, amoebas are asexual. I’m not. Forget about everyone else and look at me.”
She focused on his face. The flickering fire set gold sparking in his gray eyes, and since he’d invited her to, she let her gaze linger on all his features, but especially his mouth. His lips were mouthing “quick-quick-slow-slow,” and she dabbed her bottom lip with her tongue, remembering what they’d felt like against hers.
“You’re dancing.” His sweet, sexy lips turned up in a smile.
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An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.
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NetGalley REVIEW - My Hellion, My Heart (Lords of Essex, #3) by Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan

He fought battles for crown and country. She waged war for his heart.
My Hellion, My Heart
Lords of Essex, #3
by Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan
Releasing July 24th 2017
Entangled Select
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . .. MY HELLION, MY HEART (Lords of Essex, #3) . . . I found so much to love about this third installment in the Lord of Essex series. I did not find an overwhelming connection to the previous books that would require one be familiar with them before reading this one. I did love Irina was my hero. She was daring, courageous, feisty, headstrong, intelligent, sassy and pure woman-on-a-mission. Henry had no idea what hit him and how it hit him so hard. He has loved her from afar and was determined she needed better. She was not going to settle for less than she felt she desired. And she felt she deserved Henry.

I loved the entanglements that Irina got into. I loved her wit, charm, and spunk. She kept the story moving for me and that was the best part for me. I found a bit of intrigue around a few corners and a bit of a surprise or disappointment. I guess that would be determined on how your mind work when reading.

Full steam ahead. For me this one has topped the cookie jar. Pick this one up and let the Lords of Essex take you on a journey to forever.

Lords of Essex series: 
My Rogue, My Ruin – Lords of Essex, #1
My Darling, My Disaster – Lords of Essex, #2
My Hellion, My Heart – Lords of Essex, #3

BlurbHe fought battles for crown and country. She waged war for his heart.

Lord Henry Radcliffe, the scarred but sinfully sexy Earl of Langlevit, is a beast. The only way Henry can exorcise the demons of his war-ravaged past is through intense physicality. In and out of bed. An endeavor that has no shortage of willing participants.

Intent on scandalizing London, Princess Irina Volkonsky is a hellion and every gentleman’s deepest desire...except for one. Irina knows better than to provoke the wickedly forbidding earl, but she will stop at nothing short of ruination to win the heart of the only man she’s ever loved.

But when one scandalous kiss makes dangerous passions ignite, neither of them can fight their sizzling attraction. When a sinister plot emerges to threaten them both, they will have to fight one last battle, this time for the ultimate
“You’re good with children,” her sister commented as they left. “You should think about having some of your own.”
“I am content with yours, thank you.”
“Irina—”She stood, raising a hand and strode back to the window.
“I don’t want to fight with you about this, Lana. The truth is I have no interest in marrying anyone. And, yes, I do intend for London to be a repeat of Paris: diverting and fun. I won’t be anyone’s trophy.”
“Is it because of Lord Langlevit?”
Irina’s breath halted painfully in her lungs. She turned to face her sister, composing her face into a mask of indifference. “What do you mean?”
“You’ve carried a tendre for him for five years,” Lana said quietly. “Ever since you were fourteen. I suspect you still carry it, which is why no one else can measure up.”
A hundred reasons, excuses, words popped into Irina’s brain. Her sister had always been able to see right through her. She settled for four hard ones. “You mean my infatuation.”
“That doesn’t mean your feelings weren’t real.” Her sister rose unsteadily and met her at the window as Irina’s fingers wound into the folds of her skirts. “Certain events draw people close, tying them together in inexplicable ways. It’s not surprising that you...cared for Henry.”
“Hopelessly unrequited, as it were.”
“Be that as it may,” Lana said. “Henry is not the same man you knew, and I know you can see that for yourself. He has changed.”
“Because of France,” Irina whispered.
Lana nodded. “He’s never confided in me, but yes, Lady Langlevit has suggested that what happened to him is beyond understanding. I fear much of him was lost there.” She pulled Irina close. “I don’t want you to lose your heart to him and have it broken. You cannot save him, no matter how much you may wish to.” Her voice wavered. “Trust me, Henry does not want to be saved.”
“How do you know?”
“Because he told me so.”
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Amalie Howard’s love of romance developed after she started pilfering her grandmother’s novels in high school when she should have been studying. She has no regrets. A #1 Amazon bestseller and a national IPPY silver medalist, she is the author of My Rogue, My Ruin, the first in the Lords of Essex historical romance series, as well as several award-winning young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including WaterfellThe Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s IndieNext pick. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her website for the latest news and information.

Angie Morgan lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their three daughters, a menagerie of pets, and an extensive collection of paperback romance novels. She’s the author of MY ROGUE, MY RUIN, the first book in the Lords of Essex historical romance series, as well as several young adult books, including The Dispossessed series written under the name Page Morgan. Critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin, Angie’s novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Visit her website for the latest news and information
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