Showing posts with label Contemporary Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contemporary Romance. Show all posts


Today I'm excited to share the cover reveal for Robin Covington's newest release, Bad Idea and offer you the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card down below! I really love this illustrated cover and can't wait to get my hands on this book! What do you think? 

Bad Idea Cover

From Robin: 

I’m ridiculously excited about the release of BAD IDEA on 8.24.20!  

This is my first cartoon cover and it was a long journey to get to it. When I decided that I wanted to write a series about three biracial, Native American (just like me) brothers it was impossible to find a photo that was a good representation. They were all stereotypes or just awful – I almost gave up. But then I found this amazing artist, CM Donovan, and they took the guys in my head and made them come to life!

I couldn’t be happier with how BAD IDEA turned out – wait until you see the next two covers!

The two other books in the series will be out in a quick release: BAD BET will debut on 9.21.20 and BAD HABIT will be on your e-readers on 10.19.20!






Book Blurb:

Twelve years should have been long enough . . .

Twila Parsons left me high and dry on prom night with nothing but a purple rented tux (don’t judge), a wilting corsage and, an “it’s not you, it’s me” note to explain her escape from Jezebel Cove.

I got over her pretty quick – or at least that’s the lie I believed until Twila strutted back into town and my life. 

One unforgettably hot kiss later and I realize that getting within five feet of her is the dumbest idea I’ve ever had.

But the Cove’s not that big and I can’t stop from getting closer and closer – until I’m falling for her all over again.

And this town’s only going to get smaller when she finds out that I’m the reason she had to leave her new life behind and come back to the last place she wanted to be – Jezebel Cove.

**This is the first book in an exciting, fun, & sexy series – but it can totally be read as a stand-alone. It features a hot, second-chance romance between a grumpy, commitment-challenged builder and woman who’s sick and tired of her family nonsense and determined not to fall in love with the man she won’t be able to leave a second time.**

Buy Links:

Universal Link:



Barnes & Noble:


Click here to enter the $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! 

Book Review: Dance Away with Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Book Review: Dance Away With Me
By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips 
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: 6/9/2020
ISBN: 9780062973054
Genre: Contemporary Romance /Women's Fiction
Rating: 3 Heart Review

TW: Traumatic birth scenes, Mother death, Miscarriage, Depression, Baby kidnapping, Child abuse mentions

Run, run, as fast as you can!

When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal. 

But instead of peace and quiet, she encounters an enigmatic artist with a craving for solitude, a fairy-tale sprite with too many secrets, a helpless infant, a passel of curious teens, and a town suspicious of outsiders, especially one as headstrong as Tess. Just as headstrong is Ian North, a difficult, gifted man with a tortured soul—a man who makes Tess question everything. 

In running away to this new life, Tess wonders— Has she lost herself . . . or has she found her future? 

Cheeky Thoughts: 

While I've know for awhile that more and more romance writers were starting to try to crossover to women's fiction, this is the second review in a row now that I feel is more women's fiction than it is romance. I totally get it, it expands your readership and fan base, but it leaves romance lovers at a disadvantage when the story isn't what we expected. It just didn't give me enough of the romance side of the story I was hoping for. 

If I had gone into this book with less knowledge of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' work in romance, I might have enjoyed it more, but I will admit this might be my least favorite of her books I've read. Even if this was classified as women's fiction, there were areas of the story that bothered me. 

I will try to keep my promise of no spoilers, but it's hard to speak to what didn't work for me in this story without doing so. But I will try. 

While I did like the characters of Tess and Ian, I was left constantly wondering why Ian wasn't pushing Tess to get help for her very obvious mental health issues. From the very beginning of the story, it's clear that time has not helped her with her grief over the loss of her husband. Yes, grief is different for everyone but the level of dismay and anxious/manic dancing that opens the book speaks to a need for more help than just a visit to nature. 

There is another major plot point of the story where Tess acts in a completely unhinged way and instead of taking that as a sign that Tess needs professional help, Ian feeds into her mania and even aids her in continuing with making unhealthy and illegal actions.  

I just couldn't get past the need for Tess to get true mental health help from a professional. The story was perfectly set up to talk about mental health and to explore important issues, but instead chose to leave two main characters to their own devices and not show either getting better. 

Yes, the story showed some progress for both characters becoming more balanced, but only after completely acting like a MAJOR manic plot point decision - which should not have turned out okay - turned out not okay but also like it was completely fine and meant to be. It just kept reading thinking, the shoe has to drop. There has to be the next extreme action or decision that will lead to professional help. But no, it never happened.  

The depth of character and interesting storyline were enough to keep me reading and made for a solid read, but not one that I can see myself revisiting with the other issues I mentioned. I really had been in the mood for an amazing SEP romance and if you are to, I suggest revisiting her backlist. 

If you are looking for s story more in line with women's fiction and can overlook mental health flags throughout the story, this might be a much better read for you than it was for me. I really struggled with what rating to give this book and went back and forth between a 2.5 and a 3 heart rating. I went with 3 because the writing is obviously stellar, but the story itself just didn't work for me. 

Review & GIVEAWAY: The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis

Book Review: The Summer Deal 
Publisher: Harper Collins  
Release Date: 6/2/2020 
ISBN: 1472269624
Genre: Women's Fiction/Contemporary Romance 
Rating: 4 Heart Review 

BLURB: Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.


And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She's fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn -- her long-time frenemy.


But then Brynn runs into Kinsey's best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell.


The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.


As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

First, let's talk about that cover. It just screams summer read and I'm totally here for it. I'm also a BIG fan of animals on covers when they play a role within the story, as yellow lab puppy "Mini" does.

For me, this book straddled the line between women's fiction and romance and Shalvis does a great job at balancing the story elements of friendship and family with a real romance. Not every author can pack as much "other" into a romance and still achieve the character arcs for a hero and heroine to pull off a satisfactory HEA. If there was one area of the book I wanted to be more fully fleshed out, it would have been a little more of an arc for Eli. While I was satisfied with where he ends up in the story, I could have done with a little more emotional growth than we got. Maybe a few more challenges to his status quo?

One of the other relationships in the book is that of Brynn and Kinsey and it truly is done exceptionally well. There was real depth and development on the page between these two characters and you cheered and cringed as they muddled their way to a deep bond. 

Brynn's Moms and their relationship with not only her, but also Kinsey, Eli and Eli's brother Max, were a delight. My hope is that they continue to show up in any upcoming books in this series. Hell, I want them to come be my Moms for awhile! 

We do get insight into Brynn and Kinsey's past relationship through excerpts from their Summer Camp journals. These short flashes into their childhood worries and fears gives the reader a deeper understanding of how these women came to be who they are, and how intertwined their lives have always been. Also a fantastic reminder that you never know how your small actions can impact someone else's feelings and potentially, their life! 

This is my second review in a row to focus on books that explore family dynamics and while completely by accident, I've found myself finding comfort in that during these times. Shalvis makes a substantial statement about the powerful role family can play in someone's life, for good or bad. But much more importantly, Shalvis speaks to the power of unconditional love and support being the true marker of who makes up a family. 

Shalvis once again crafted a winner of a summer read. Do you think I can get away with reading them again in Winter? 😍


UPDATED: The Winner is Katelyn! 

Want to win your own copy of The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis? I want to hear how you are planning to find some joy in your Summer this year. We all need to find some joy, so let's share ideas with one another! Comment below for a chance to win and make sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win. 

Want an extra entry? I just joined Instagram as @Cheeky_Reads and would love some more friends! Check out my account there and if you like, give me a follow or like a post. Come back and comment with your Instagram account for an extra entry to win! 

Winner will be chosen on Monday June 8th and contacted via email. Open to US and Canada residents only. 


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill


Facebook: @JillShalvis

Twitter: @JillShalvis






Book Review: Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras Cover

Book Review: Island Affair 

Publisher:  Zebra  
Release Date: 4/28/2020
ISBN: 1420150170
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Heart Review

TW: Eating Disorders

Book Blurb:
Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancĂ© . . .

Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their fake relationship fade like the stunning sunset . . . or blossom into something beautiful?

Cheeky Thoughts: 
This was such a fun book! Exactly what I needed at this time and I finished it in a day and then found myself looking at photos from my last trip to Key West! Priscilla really brought Key West and that community to life in this story and her love for it just comes out on the page. 

My favorite part of this story was how Priscilla deftly handled the inclusion of the eating disorder of the main character. It was woven into the story in such a believable and heart-felt way without this turning into a dark and heavy read. It's a perfect example of how you can write REAL characters who live with secrets and struggles just like we do in real life. Her characterizations felt well written and true to the characters she had created. 

For me, there were a few areas that made this a 4 Heart review instead of 5. 

The first issue I had was the initial meet cute of Sara and Luis. While I loved the premise and set-up, it felt a little too quick to be believable. As much as Sara was in a tough spot, it was hard for me to suspend my disbelief for how quickly she jumped right into Luis' truck (basically a total stranger) with him and offered to take him to stay with her family. I would have liked a little more time of Sara still being wary even after Luis agrees to help her. 

My other issue was the resolution of the relationship issues between Sara and her sister. While I LOVED Priscilla digging into this sister dynamic and showing family relationships that are strained, it felt to me that this particular issue needed much more than just one conversation for it to start being turned around. The animosity is sooo deep at the beginning of the story, that I would have liked to have seen multiple steps/touchpoints between the sisters as they get toward the end of the story events. 

All in all, I highly recommend this book and loved both of the families dynamics, the setting and most of all the great characters Priscilla created. Luis and Sara are a wonderful romance story surrounded by families you want to keep reading more and more of. I will be checking out Priscilla's backlist, but also cannot wait to hear when the next book in this series will release. Because this one is so good, of course there will be another book in this series! 

I you haven't read this yet, pick up a copy today and enjoy a fantastic summer romance! 

Bare It All Blog Tour! A Review of The New Lori Foster Romance

Bare It All by Lori Foster - Book 2 in the Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor Series
3 Heart Review
Harlequin HQN

A cop’s craving to know more about the woman next door could prove fatal.
As the person responsible for taking down a brutal human trafficker, Alice Appleton fears retaliation at every turn. No one knows about her past, which is exactly how she prefers it…until the sexy cop next door comes knocking. Detective Reese Bareden thinks he knows what makes women tick, but his ever-elusive neighbor keeps him guessing like no other. Is his goal to unmask Alice’s secrets? Or protect her from a dangerous new threat? One thing is certain: their chemistry is a time bomb waiting to explode. And with no one to trust but each other, Reese and Alice are soon drawn into a deadly maze of corruption, intrigue and desire—and into the line of fire…
While the book is very interesting and I adored the side characters, I had mixed feelings about this book for a few reasons. The first is that the heroine Alice was very hard for me to get attached to. I felt she fell a little flat and too easily got over things upon sudden realizations. The second was that I found it too coincidental that the hero Reese is a cop who investigates human trafficking and Alice is a former victim who just happens to live next door.
One of the most important part of a plot for me is that even if it's the most way out there story idea ever, a writer has to be able to get the reader to suspend their disbelief and come along for the ride. That didn't totally work for me with this book. I just kept coming back to this being way too much of a coincidence and it kept me from really getting into the story. 
It is otherwise an engaging book and I really enjoyed the side characters most of all! I cannot wait for Rowdy's book and to learn more about Lieutenant Peterson. I think her story might even be one of the most interesting.
I will most definitely be picking up the next books in this series because again, I like the other characters but Alice just didn't speak to me and I couldn't get over how everything just fell into place at the beginning.
Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Welcome Guest Author Ana Blaze & Her Latest Release The Best Man & Enter to Win!!!!

Six smoldering…Beta heroes?
Yup, I’m here to show some love for the good guys. Hi. I’m Ana Blaze and I was lucky enough to get a coveted invite to introduce myself and my new release, The Best Man, here at Cheeky Reads. Thank you, Sabrina and, may I say, that’s a super cute blog name you’re wearing.

I’m not going to say that I don’t love a good Alpha man. I am romance writer after all. Alphas are, by definition, hot and steamy and their testosterone-driven antics can certainly be charming.
But at the end of the day, it’s the Beta boys that stick with me. They shyly and cleverly worm their way deep into my heart, curl up all cute and cuddly and stubbornly refuse to leave. They are the guys every woman really wants to marry.

I’ve narrowed down my favorite beta romantic heroes to a svelte list of Six Sexy Sweeties. They will appear in no particular order because Beta guys just aren’t very competitive.

Edward Ferrars Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Edward. Some of the girls may not think much of shy and often tongue-tied Edward, but he is a good man. He is studious, unfailingly kind and honorable. He is a man who will sacrifice his own happiness to keep a promise. Edward Ferrars might not be as flashy or witty as Mr. Darcy, but he is decent and loving from his first appearance until his last.

Carter Maguire Vision in White by Nora Roberts (Book 1 of the Bride Quartet)
Carter. He’s a quiet, klutzy, tweed-wearing, English teacher, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got any moves. Carter is patient, persistent and has a delightful and often self-deprecating sense of humor. He has a three legged cat! Oh, and when he gets embarrassed, the tips of his ears turn red. Now, tell me you wouldn’t want to kiss this guy…every day for the rest of your life.

Peeta Mellark Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Okay, let’s talk about Peeta. He’s not a wimp. At sixteen he can toss a hundred pound bag of flour with ease. But the boy with the bread is most certainly a Beta. He bakes. He paints. He decorates cakes (with pretty flowers!). He can’t walk quietly through the woods even when his life literally depends upon it. Peeta is a classic good guy. He’s the boy next door that girls overlook during their teen years only to realize he’s a catch later on. He’s too shy to talk to the girl he loves, but he’ll take a beating to help her.  In the face of almost certain death, Peeta Mellark maintains his deep-rooted sense of right and wrong and that, my friends, is sexy.

Ford Sawyer Tribute by Nora Roberts
Ford is living the geek boy dream as a successful graphic novelist. Yup, like comic books but longer. He’s quirky and full of nerdy references. He’s got a dog named Spock. He does not pick up power tools and instead he leaves those and the sledge hammer to the heroine. That’s right. He is absolutely comfortable with himself. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses. His girl doesn’t have to hide her strength to make him feel manly. He wants her to pose with that hammer and be his new superhero. Hot? Oh yeah.

Lucas Cortez Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong (He reappears in several other books in her Otherworld series)
Lucas may be a powerful sorcerer, but he is also a rather nerdy lawyer. He was born into a powerful family (of crime and magic), but chooses to set out on his own and do good. He actively fights against the wrongs committed by his own family. When Lucas first appears, the heroine thinks that the most remarkable thing about him is his utter lack of any remarkable quality. He changes her mind, of course, and is undoubtedly the only sorcerer in the world with enough inner goodness to convince her to ignore the long and hostile history between their races (she’s a witch) and trust him.

Colin Pratt The Best Man by Ana Blaze
I can’t leave without introducing my Colin. He’s shy; if I don’t say something he might spend the whole evening with his handsome face buried in a book. Colin is a British Literature professor who dabbles in a little sci-fi writing on the side. All that time spent reading has given him a sharp wit and a clever tongue but he hasn’t had much luck with women in the past. Losing his fiancĂ©e to his brother didn’t help his confidence; but when he finds the right woman, Colin isn’t too proud to chase her.

The Best Man Blurb: 
Beth Chase is too busy planning perfect weddings to worry about the lack of action in her own love life. But if she was looking for a man, she wouldn’t be looking at Colin Pratt. Her boss swears that Best Man Colin is a quiet scholar and science fiction writer who couldn’t possibly cause a fuss at his own brother’s wedding. He’s clearly never met the man in question. Snarky, sexy and more than a little inebriated, Colin is the final obstacle between Beth and the last perfect wedding she needs to make partner. Of course, when she helps him into a taxi at the end of the night she has no idea that he’s only just begun to poke holes in her professional exterior. Colin might have the skills to seduce a romance professional, but can he convince her that he’s the best man to share her happy ever after?

About Ana: 
Ana lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, IKEA, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she’s going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office.

Twitter: @ana_blaze

Thanks Ana! 
One lucky US reader will win The Best Man ebook and a goodie pack to share with the best man or woman in their life. The pack contains candles, Godiva chocolate, Tuscan lavender soap, Sensual Massage Oil from The Body Shop and two lip treatments from The Body Shop. It will come packaged in a pretty photo box - Click Here to Enter to Win! 

I'd love to hear what you think about beta heroes. Have any favorites we should get to know?

TONIGHT: Chat with RITA Nominated Authors

Romance Writers of America released the following news on their site that I'm so excited about that I had to share all the details. I've taken the entire press release from the site below. Tonight is the chat with the Contemporary Single Title authors!

In an effort to connect America’s most popular romance writers with their fans across the world, Romance Writers of America® (RWA) is launching an 11-week series of interactive video chat events highlighting 2013 RITA Award finalist authors. Fans will have the unique opportunity to meet one another and ask their favorite authors questions face-to-face in an intimate online environment.
Each week, RWA will host several of the finalists of a 2013 RITA category in a fun Q&A through Find out about those dashing heroes and daring heroines, writing habits, and more!

How to participate: All you need is a webcam and computer microphone. The events are free to the public, but only the first 1,000 people to RSVP will be granted access to each of the weekly events.

Follow RWA on Twitter @romancewriters (#RITAchat hashtag) during the chats.

RITA Reader Series Schedule:

Contemporary Single Title Romance April 11, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Barbara Freethy, Barbara Hannay, Ruthie Knox, Kim Law,
Roni Loren, Jill Shalvis, and Roxanne St. Claire
Click here to learn more & register

Paranormal RomanceApril 18, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Kristen Callihan, Cynthia Eden, Angie Fox, J.T. Geissinger,
Larissa Ione, and Maggie Shayne
Click here to learn more & register

Romance Novella April 25, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Sophie Jordan, Ruthie Knox, Sally MacKenzie, and Jodi Thomas
Click here to learn more & register

Historical Romance May 9, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Pamela Clare, Cara Elliott, Anne Gracie, Sabrina Jeffries, Jade Lee, and Sarah MacLean.
Guest appearance by Romance Novella finalist Eloisa James
Moderated by: Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal
Click here to learn more & register

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements May 16, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Maria Geraci, Pamela Hartshorne, Anna Lee Huber, Sharla Lovelace, Kristina McMorris,
Jane Myers Perrine, and Simone St. James
Click here to learn more & register

Short Contemporary Series Romance May 23, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Jessica Hart, Day Leclaire, Susan Meier, Sarah Morgan, Robin Perini, Christine Rimmer,
and Loreth Anne White
Moderated by: Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Click here to learn more & register

Inspirational Romance June 6, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Elizabeth Camden, Jennifer Delamere, Robin Lee Hatcher, Rachel Hauck, Marta Perry,
Cheryl Reavis, Missy Tippens, and Becky Wade
Click here to learn more & register

Best First Book June 13, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Tracy Brogan, Kristen Callihan, Sharon Lynn Fisher, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Anna Lee Huber,
Katie McGarry, and Simone St. James
Click here to learn more & register

Young Adult Romance June 20, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Robin LaFevers, Katie McGarry, Emily McKay, and Erica O'Rourke
Click here to learn more & register

Long Contemporary Series Romance
June 27, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Jean Brashear, Michelle Celmer, Pamela Hearon, and RaeAnne Thayne
Click here to learn more & register

Romantic Suspense
July 11, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Authors participating: Cherry Adair, Cindy Gerard (tentative), Laura Griffin, Bronwyn Parry (tentative), and Sharon Sala
Click here to learn more & register

We hope you join us for these fun video chats!

Welcome Author Melissa Bourbon Ramirez & Enter to Win!

Cheeky Reads is pleased to welcome Melissa Bourbon Ramirez, author of the new release Deceiving the Witch Next Door! Melissa agreed to do an interview for our readers and is giving away an eBook copy of Deceiving the Witch Next Door to one lucky reader! 

Be sure to leave a comment on this post letting Melissa and me know if you love magical stories as much as we do! 1 comment will be randomly selected before 5pm Friday, Sept. 7th and will receive an eBook copy of Deceiving the Witch Next Door! 

Welcome Melissa!

Of course!  Thank you for having me today J  Storie Bell is a witch whose powers are fairly rooted in the natural world.  She comes back to Bloomington, Texas and has to figure out how to fit in.  But Reid Malone, a man she had a close encounter with just after high school, is also back (helping his dad with a very important task that forces him into the Storiebook CafĂ©, the business Storie just opened.  And, well, sparks fly—magical and otherwise. 

Survivor. Resilient.  Girl-Next-Door (does that count as one word?)

When Storie learns a truth about her mother, she goes to the lake and harnesses the power of a brewing Texas summer storm.  Clouds rolling in, thunder, lightning, and rain help ground her.  But Reid Malone is there, and he thinks she’s drowning and going to be electrocuted in lake.  I loved writing that scene and that’s when I knew Storie and Reid had to have a happily ever after.

Absolutely, the mirror scene!

I love writing, and I love creating magical stories.  I’d love the world to have magical realism.  I like light magic, and that keeps my stories grounded in a contemporary world, and that is what keeps me inspired!

As long as I have my computer and a mocha, I’m happy and can write!  Inspiration happens…eventually.

Good question!  I wish I had more time to read than I do.  I have a few standouts from the last year: Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution and Kristen Hannah’s Night Road.  I loved them both so much!

I’m working on the next book in my Magical Dressmaking cozy mystery series, A Custom Fit Crime.  Book 3, Deadly Patterns, comes out in October.  After that is my next romantic suspense, the next Deadly Legends book following Sacrifice of Passion.  Busy, busy!

About Deceiving the Witch Next Door:
Storie Bell has a little secret—she’s a witch. But magic hasn’t exactly kept her life from being a complete mess—her love life is non-existent and the town thinks she’s a total nutter. Plus there’s her neighbor Reid Malone who runs hot one minute and cold the next. 

Reid Malone can’t wait to escape Bloomington, Texas. Unfortunately, he’s stuck where he is unless he helps his father hide a very illegal secret. The only key to Reid’s freedom lies with the eccentric Storie…and he’ll do whatever it takes to get the information he needs from her. 

But Reid’s holding something back. Something big. And if he’s not careful, he’ll find out exactly what happens when you try to deceive a witch…

Also by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez:
Sacrifice of Passion
Texas rancher, Vic Vargas, finds himself facing more than his stubbornly silent son when the chupacabra, a supposedly mythical bloodsucking beast, starts killing his livestock—and stalking Delaney West, the town’s newly returned veterinary assistant, the sensual woman who ran from the altar and broke his heart twelve years earlier.

Reluctantly, he seeks her help to get to the bottom of the disturbing animal mutilations, only to have her break through to his sullen son...and rekindle the love he’d thought was lost forever. But her refusal to share a terrible secret sends her running straight into the lair of the chupacabra, plunging her back into her worst nightmare, and forcing them both to confront the wrongs of the past—in order to stay alive for the future they desperately want.
 Bare Naked Lola
Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but smile? If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves to keep under wraps…

About Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas.  She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
She is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspense titles.

Book Review: Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

Book Review: Somebody to Love 
By: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN - Contemporary Romance 
4 Heart Review 

Book Blurb:

After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father’s wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she’s not thrilled…even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

Having to fend for herself for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist’s assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn’t the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn’t the only thing that needs a little TLC…

Right up front I have to say I'm a huge Kristan Higgins fan girl. Every single book I've read of hers has been an above average to a full-blown *squee* read. So to say I was excited to read this book is a huge understatement. 

The heroine Parker is a character I met in a previous Higgins' book The Next Best Thing, a book I ADORED. It wasn't that I hadn't liked her, but she hadn't really called out to me from that book as a heroine in the making. 

Enter Somebody to Love and James Cahill. Although this was not my favorite of Higgins' books, it is a wonderful read full of everything that makes Higgins an auto-buy for me, deep emotion that's carefully developed in characters you will laugh and cry with. The realness of emotion is what I feel Higgins does like few others and it keeps me coming back for more. 

While I finally got Parker right off, it took much more time for me to warm up to the hero James. Even as I continued to read he was the one thing I felt just a little off to making the full on connection with me. I wanted...more. More depth of emotion I think. It was almost there. Really, so close. Maybe I needed the emotion earlier or this might have been one time I needed some back-story earlier. 

All in all, another heart-tugging, funny-bone tickling story from Kristan Higgins. She has yet to disappoint me, and sometimes she knocks it completely out of the park. Once again, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. 

Book Review: Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz

Book Review: Legacy of the Highlands
By: Harriet Schultz
Self-Published - Available at Amazon & Smashwords
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
2.5/3 Heart Review

Book Blurb:
When Will Cameron’s body is discovered in a Boston alley, the only clue to the thirty-four-year-old man’s murder is a pristine Scottish sgian dubh dagger left beside it. His devastated widow, Alexandra, flees Boston to find refuge in the Miami villa of Will’s best friend, Diego Navarro, who has the means, power and temperament to solve the puzzle and to avenge the senseless killing.

Diego, a handsome and wealthy Argentine, is equally determined to win the grieving widow’s heart. The growing attraction to each other becomes hard to resist as Alex and Diego follow leads that take them from Miami to Buenos Aires and Scotland, unraveling the Cameron family’s secrets and the Legacy of the Highlands.

Most of my blog and twitter followers know that I love a good romantic suspense.  I love the heightened emotions and truly I love to read about the villain getting his. I'm also a fan of historical fiction and so I was very excited to read this book by Harriet.

Let me start with the parts of the book I thought were done well, the historical research and the suspense.  The history included in this book is fascinating and I loved how it was presented. When the story was done, I immediately wanted to look up some of the things Harriet mentioned to see how much was creativity on her part and how much of it was real history. It's really amazing stuff! 

I also thought she created a compelling suspense story and the characters she created to move the suspense forward were interesting. She plotted the suspense portion of this story extremely well and it's not only fast paced, but you do keep trying to guess how this can come to a end, especially in light of the historical aspects of the story. 

What didn't work for me was the romance. Honestly, this book would have been so much better for me if it was a straight up suspense without the romance included. This might not be true for everyone as the reasons I have for the romance not working might not bother another reader. I can't go into too much detail in order not to let out any spoilers, but I just never bought into the romance situation or time-frame that it occurs in.

Likewise, the heroine is so different seeming between her suspense scenes vs. her romantic scenes it was to follow her story and believe in her romantic actions. It was hard to connect with the heroine since I didn't agree with what was going on romantically, which disappointed me since based on the first few chapters I really wanted to cheer for this character.

Style wise, the story set-up and flow were very well done but there were a few scenes that head-hopping pulled me out of the action sometimes. Mostly though, I was really into the historical story and also the suspense storyline and found that it propelled me along even if I wanted to forget the romantic plot that just didn't jive for me. It seemed almost as if the romance had been added to the story later to fit around the suspense.

Again, this would have made an excellent straight suspense story and the Scottish history alone is fascinating and worth the read.  Harriet moves a story along very well and her story was very entertaining. The romance just went into territory I couldn't buy in to so that didn't work, but it might for other readers. If you like Scottish history and suspense I think you'll enjoy this book for those alone!

Happy Reading! 
Cheeky Girl Sabrina 

Romance Book Review Round Up!

There are a lot of books that I read and somehow never manage to write a review for them at the time. This could be because I was busy, the book just didn't speak to me either way, or a handful of other reasons. Some of these books were really good and some not so much so just because these are shorter reviews doesn't automatically reflect how I felt about them.

So, I thought I would start doing occassional posts with short reviews of these books. Think of it like book review cliff notes. Most of these are not new books, but that's the beauty of finding a new book or author - who cares if it's a new release...It's new to you!

Coming Clean by Inez Kelley - 4 Heart Review
Coming clean never felt so good...
Grant and Vivi Michaelson share everything in their marriage: love, commitment--and their wildest sexual desires. But their relationship is tested when Vivi admits she wants a threesome with Grant's old friend Cade, proposing their annual trip to the lake as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her fantasy.

All three of them are aroused by the idea. Vivi and Cade have long felt a smoldering attraction to each other...and Grant and Cade have hidden an illicit desire for decades. Going through with the ménage will test their boundaries, reveal old secrets...and maybe tear them apart. After all, there might be room for Cade in bed, but is there room for a third in their marriage?

I had my doubts about this book because to be honest, I've never read a menage involving a married couple and the idea of it made me slightly uncomfortable with how I could enjoy this book. But wow. Inez Kelley can seriously write. This novella is insanely full of deep emotion and insight and so much of it just felt "right" for the characters. Which is really the difference between good and bad writing with any menege. These characters and their story just felt natural and because of how stellar this book is, Inez is on my auto-buy list.

The Scent of Jade by Dee DeTarsio - 2 Heart Review
Julie Fraser is the least adventurous person she knows…until she hops on a plane to surprise her husband who’s on a business trip in Costa Rica. Reeling from the discovery that her husband isn’t who she thought he was, she embarks on an unexpected rainforest adventure that leaves her not knowing where to turn, literally, or whom to trust. She knew she should have stayed home! Can a monkey, a Latin hunk, and a mysterious ‘love potion’ help Julie on her mission to find and forgive her husband?

Not a typical romance, this one kept me reading because I really wanted to figure out where it was going with it's plot, but in the end I wasn't happy with the outcome. I can't tell you the major reason I didn't enjoy the book without giving away a spoiler, but I can tell you that I was half way through the book and still wondering it is was really going to turn into a romance. The heroine had some good points in that I liked how she handled herself at first, but I felt like halfway through her actions and responses didn't fit with the character that has been introduced at first. I will give this story credit for being very creative and engaging since I never did put it down, but in the end, it really came down to not buying into the hero/heroine really belonging together.

Building Magic by Lilly Caine - 3 Heart Review
When architecture student and summertime welder Tina Moreland develops a reputation as a peeping Tom, it isn’t the first time she’s been teased for being different. Catching a glimpse of the man of her dreams is worth the aggravation. But when she witnesses him doing something stranger than stripping in his hightower office, it’s enough to make her forget that when working unharnessed on the fifth floor, the first step is a long way down.

Sent to Earth to find a power source strong enough to end the civil war at home, Devin Ken’Draga doesn’t have time to rescue a damsel in distress. But since she is literally falling at his feet, he can’t help but to save her. Bringing her home wasn’t part of the plan, but once they fall through the magical portal together, there is no going back. It is only when he spreads his wings in his true dragon form that Devin realizes something he hadn’t anticipated – the woman is a virgin, a temptation no dragon can resist. Together Devin and Tina create a sensual bond, gladly sacrificing virginity to find love and a solution to the bloody war.

I was plesantly surprised by this book and thought it was highly unique and I thoroughly enjoyed the heroine. If you are looking for more Dragon shifter romances I would suggest putting this one on your list. There were a few things about the writing that would occassionally pull me out of the story. Nothing big, or it wouldn't have still received 3 Hearts, but the occassional word choice here and there felt off to me. Again, this book suprised me with how creative the story was and I enjoyed the world-building very much.