Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of 2013

Best of 2013 Reads

I’ve managed to read 160+ books in 2013 and it was really hard to get my “Best of” list down to just 20 books. Honestly, I really didn’t make it happen, as I picked a couple of books for a couple of the authors. However, when I went back and looked at all the books I’d read, even getting my list down to just these books was really hard.  

1. Dare to Love by Carly Phiilps

I’m so excited that Carly Phillips is now an indie published author. I’ve been a fan of her books for years and loved with Dare to Love she went hotter than her usual books. I loved Dare and Riley as a couple and readers were given an awesome book to start this new series. I’ve already read this book multiple times and even gifted it to friends and family to get the word out more about the series.

2. The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz

Tiffany had said, “trust me” many times as I was reading the first 3 books in the Original Sinners series that everything would turn out how it should.  I’m so glad I kept reading with this series. One of my favorites ever and I can’t wait to read the 4 prequel books in the series starting with The Saint next year.

3. One & Only by Viv Daniels

I read many books in the NA genre this year and honestly loved each of the authors’ books I read. However, One & Only was my favorite of the books I read in the genre. I loved Tess from the very first and think she and Dylan were the perfect couple.  This book pulled so many emotions from me and I pretty much had to re-read it as soon as I finished reading it the first time. I can’t wait to read Sweet & Wild, when it comes out next year.

4. Love Irresistibly by Julie James

I’ve had Julie James on my auto-buy list since I read her very first book. She has never disappointed me and I buy her new book each year as soon as it is available for order. Cade and Brooke’s love story was so fun to read, as they both are total control freaks and it was fun to watch them figure out how to make a relationship work.

5. Don’t Look Away by Leslie Kelly

Leslie Kelly is another auto-buy author for me. I love her super sexy books as well as her darker books. Don’t Look Away is one of her darker romantic suspense thrillers. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I loved it!

6. The Marriage Diaries Volumes 1-4 by
Erika Wilde

I’ve loved each and every one of the episodes in The Marriage Diaries so far. I love reading about a happily married couple that has decided to explore their sexual fantasies together. Dean and Jillian are so sexy together and I can’t wait for more episodes in this series.

7. Night Blade by J.C. Daniels

This book killed me yet I still loved it so much. Seriously had to have tissues with me to get me through this book. I love the Kit Colbana series so much and countdown until the release of each book.

8. Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones

I love the Charley Davidson series so much! Charley is one of the funniest characters ever. I love so many of the other characters from this series, especially Reyes. If you’ve never tried audiobooks before, this is the perfect series for audiobooks.

9. Beyond Control & Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha

I couldn’t pick just one of the books from Kit Rocha. I loved them both so much.  I was super excited to get Dallas & Lex’s book so early in the series. Bonus was getting to read Six & Bren’s story this year too. I’m so glad my friends on twitter introduced me to the Kit Rocha books in 2012, and they are now auto-buy books for me.

10. Barefoot by the Sea by Roxanne St. Claire

Roxanne St. Claire is another auto-buy author for me. I’ve been a fan since I found her Bullet Catcher books. I love her romantic suspense, but have totally fallen in love with her contemporary romances.  I’ve really loved each of the books in the Barefoot Bay series, but Tessa and Ian/John’s book is my favorite. Yet another book that pulled all the emotions from me this year.

11. Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis

We had another year of awesome books from Jill Shalvis. However, my most favorite book this year from her was Rumor Has It. I loved watching Griff fall in love with Kate. I loved it so much that Griff almost knocked Ford off my top Jill Shalvis hero ever list.

12. Anything For You & I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Jessica Scott

I’m a huge Jessica Scott fan. I love her Coming Home series so much! I’ve fallen for all the characters in this series and look forward to visiting with each of the characters again and again with each new book.

13. Perfect Fling by Carly Phillips

There was no way I could leave out Erin and Cole’s book on my best of list. Hands down one of the best books ever from Carly Phillips and my favorite in her Serendipity’s Finest series.

14. Starting From Scratch by Stacy Gail

I found this book thanks to so many of my friends on twitter talking about it. I’ll totally quote from You’ve Got Mail and say “read it with a box of tissues”. One of the most emotional books I’ve read this year, and I loved it.

15. Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Bella Andre

I was so excited to finally get to read Mary & Jack’s story. While I’ve loved each of the books about the Sullivan siblings, Jack & Mary’s story is my favorite in the series so far. My favorite scene in the book is when Mary is putting all the Christmas ornaments her children made over the years and remembering each instance. Tissues were required.

16. Making It Last by Ruthie Knox

I loved seeing Amber and Tony 14 years after they were married. I loved most of all that they had a normal life.  They still had daily concerns with kids, jobs and just everyday life. It killed me that spending time together had moved to the back burner, but once they were together, their chemistry was just as strong as when they were first together. This was yet another book I read that required tissues.

17. United We Spy by Ally Carter

I’ve been a fan of the Gallagher Girl series from Ally Carter since I found the very first book. I knew going in that this was the final book and have to say that the wrap up was done flawlessly. I did figure out a few things before Cammie and her friends, but still loved every single thing about this book.

18. The Practice Proposal by Tracy March

The Practice Proposal was my first book from Tracy March, but it won’t be my last. I love her writing style and really hope she writes more sports romances in the future. I’m a huge fan of sports, but baseball holds a special place in my heart since I grew up watching games with my mom. I loved the chemistry between Cole and Liza and really loved watching them fall for one another.

19. Personal Assets by Kelsey Browning

I fell in love with Allie and Cameron as a couple the more time they spent together. Not that everything was smooth sailing between them, but there was never a lack of emotion as I read this story. I loved Personal Assets so much. This book is laugh out loud funny at times. Add in the sinfully sexy moments between Cameron and Allie, and this book is a winner all around.

20. All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey

We were lucky enough to get 2 Kowalski books from Shannon Stacey this year. I have to say reading about Josh and Katie falling head over heels in love was the best. I loved how they moved from friends to lovers and thought it was done perfectly.

There were so many other books I wanted to include on my list this year, but I made myself limit to the ones above. However, I’d be remiss in not mentioning a few other authors whose books I also loved this year. Lily Everett’s Sanctuary Island series, Silver James’ Penumbra Papers series, Julie Leto’s Dirty Dare series, Toni Aleo’s Nashville Assassin’s series, Alannah Lynne’s Heat Wave series, and Heather Lire’s Holiday, Vermont series. I loved them all, but made myself end my list with 20 books.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Roxanne St. Claire Guest Post and Giveaway

I'm so excited to welcome Roxanne St. Claire to my blog today! I've been a fan for years and have already fallen in love with her Billionaires of Barefoot Bay with Zeke's book. 

***Update Winner of the set of Barefoot Bay books is Silver James. Thanks for everyone who stopped by and visited my blog.***

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Roxanne St. Claire has been enchanting readers with stories set on an idyllic slice of paradise off the coast of Florida known as Barefoot Bay for two years. In the first Barefoot Bay series, four friends joined forces to build and run a homegrown resort and spa and, in the process, found life-long love. 

Now it is time to get to know some of the special guests of Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, which is fast turning into a playground for the rich and an elite destination wedding site. In the brand new Billionaires of Barefoot Bay trilogy, meet a trio of sexy heroes and the most unlikely ladies who steal their hearts in three novella-length (appx. 150 pages) love stories. 

In Secrets on the Sand, Zeke Nicholas has turned his mathematical genius skills into a mountain of money. But Zeke sits on that mountain all alone, longing for the one thing money cannot buy: a lifelong partner and true love. Zeke grew up near Barefoot Bay and is staying at the resort for a week while he’s in town for a family event. Enter Mandy Mitchell...the maid. Except, Mandy is much more than that to Zeke—she was the object of his every teenage dream back in the days when she was known as “Mandy the Magnificent” but he'd earned the unflattering high school senior adjective of “Ezekiel the Geekiel.” 

Zeke is no longer a geek—he’s gorgeous. And Mandy doesn’t feel so magnificent since her marriage fell apart and left her up to her eyeballs in debt and despair. The minute they meet again, Mandy knows he’s exactly the kind of trouble she should avoid...but Zeke does have one thing Mandy needs to gain the independence she craves. Will he give it to her? One look at Mandy, and Zeke turns his relentless ability to get what he wants into a full-on seduction and he’s ready to give her anything. But can Mandy face down the secrets of her past to find a fairy-tale future with Zeke? 

Thank you so much for having me here! You know I love this blog! 

I loved Secrets on the Sand and can’t wait to read the other books in the Billionaire of Barefoot Bay series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

After I finished writing the Barefoot Bay quartet, I really felt like I needed a palate cleanser of shorter, sexy, fun, hero-centric stories.  These are long novellas or short novels, so they can be read in one or two nights as opposed to one of my longer books that can take a bigger investment in time.  I wanted to write about the “guests” of the resort that readers had fallen in love with and what better resort guest than a billionaire?

Was it fun getting to visit with the original characters from Barefoot Bay again?

So much fun to give them cameos and secondary roles.  As the owner of the resort, Lacey plays a nice part in the first book.  These characters are integral to the series, but it was important to me that a reader who’d never read a Barefoot Bay book could pick up a Billionaire book and not feel at all lost.  Like every book I write, each novella in the trilogy stands entirely on its own.

I love we will get more Barefoot Bay books with the Brides of Barefoot Bay. Do you have any further books planned at Barefoot Bay?

Yes, there will be four Billionaires of Barefoot Bay long novellas (December, January and February) and three Barefoot Brides novels in the summer and fall of 2014.  I don’t know what’s coming beyond that -- I’ll be busy writing these!

I loved Don’t You Wish so much. Loved it was a book I could share with my teenage niece. Will you be writing any more YA books?

Thank you so much! I loved that book, too.  From the moment the concept flashed in my head (inspired by a question my daughter asked) to the day I held the final book in my hand, that one has been a joy.  It’s even been optioned for film! Sadly, I don’t think the publisher printed very many and the ebook is priced quite high, so I’m not sure DON’T YOU WISH found the audience it deserved.  I’m glad you liked it.

Yes, I have another YA coming out in October, 2014, but this one is entirely different.  This is a young adult thriller called THEY ALL FALL DOWN.  I had a lot of fun with it, though it’s quite a bit darker than DON’T YOU WISH.  It’s kind of a riff on Mean Girls meets I Am Number Four.

Will we ever get anymore Bullet Catcher or Guardian Angelinos books (Gabe…hint, hint, hint)?

Ah, the Gabe question.  I hope so.  Those two series are not “finished” in my heart or head, and I get requests for more every single day.  I need to write the Barefoot Bay books that are really resonating with readers right now and then decide what I want to write next.  Gabe haunts me, I will say that!

Let’s do a giveaway! It’s cold where most of you are and you might be dreaming about a trip to the beach soon.  What’s the prettiest beach you’ve ever seen? One commenter will get to go...four times! Leave a comment to be eligible to win a COMPLETE set of the Barefoot Bay quartet, signed to you or to a friend (makes a great gift).

Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty novels of suspense and romance. A six-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award for outstanding romantic fiction, her books have also won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense for two consecutive years.
Roxanne lives in Florida with her husband and two teens, and can be reached via her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter. 

The contest is open until December 23, 2013. Please include your email address with your comment so I can get the winner's information to Rocki. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Deathblow Release Day

Former small-town football hero turned cop, Joe Kessler never met a linebacker, perp, or a woman he couldn't handle. Then a troubled single mom walks into his life, and the only place this hot jock will ever see 'easy' again is in the dictionary. 

Hiding out in Broslin, PA was working pretty well for Wendy Belle until Cop Casanova took her under his protection. Now she’ll either lose her life to one man, or her heart to another. 

 Here's an excerpt: 

She had one of those dreams where you’re aware that you’re dreaming. Wendy could have fought to come awake, but she didn’t. She was in Philly, heading back into the Ritz Carlton to have concierge call her a cab when Joe Kessler walked out, the after-party still in full swing in the Grand Ballroom behind him. Glittery models, industry people, and paparazzi filled the place, including the foyer and the hallways. In a sharp tux, he looked good enough for the runway. No, not the runway. He had those wide shoulders, that easy cop walk of his, that athlete’s body. He looked good enough for a spy-thriller blockbuster. The zing she’d felt the first time they’d met was still there, which annoyed the living daylights out of her. “Can I give you a ride home?” He had a smile that should have been on billboards. Lips that put sinful thoughts into a woman’s mind. A playful glint in his eyes that a person should simply turn away from unless heartache was her hobby. She put on her coolest, most unaffected model expression. “I’m not going to sleep with you.” Her life was plenty complicated already. “There’s always next season.” “Is that some clever football expression?” He shoved his hands into his pockets and looked her over, took his time, missing no detail of her floor-length gown, not the slit over her thigh or the neckline’s dangerously low dip. His gaze had a life of its own, leaving tingles on her skin. A cocky smile flickered over his masculine lips. “Odd how sex is the first thing you think of when you look at me.” As a model, she was good with facial expression, so she managed to keep her unaffected smile. “A ride?” he offered again. “Nothing implied.” She glanced through the glass doors at the concierge, where people waited ten deep. Somewhere behind them, Keith was searching for her. He’d shown up unexpectedly. She turned back to Joe. “Fine. But I’m not inviting you in for a nightcap.” He nodded, then handed the valet attendant his ticket and a generous tip. She half expected a police cruiser, but the car brought up was a souped-up black Camaro with red racing stripes, the engine a throaty rumble. The car fit him. When he opened the door for her, she slipped onto the black leather bucket seat with appreciation. “You attend charity balls a lot?” she asked after she gave him her address. His lips stretched into a mysterious smile. She refused to acknowledge the tingles. The guy had BIG MISTAKE stamped all over him. She’d already made her big mistake with Keith. She was determined to be smarter going forward, if it killed her. “Look, I know you probably came because of me. It’s flattering. And, okay, there’s an attraction here, I’m not going to pretend there isn’t. I’m just saying I’m not going to go with it. Under any circumstances. You look like a nice guy. I don’t want to waste your time.” His smile turned devilish. “You admitted to being attracted to me. And you care. Otherwise, why worry about wasting my time? Attraction and caring.” His dark gaze cut to her with an amused glint. “Sounds like you’re half in love with me. You might be going too fast. I don’t want you to get hurt.” She might have responded with some travel advice, recommending a hot, dry climate. “I won’t take offense,” he told her causally. “I know city girls can be a little brash. They lack that sweet hospitality of a good country woman.” “Maybe you should stick with those country women. Could be you’re out of your league here.” “Could be,” he agreed, but didn’t look the least disturbed. At the end, she did invite him in. For a cup of coffee, because it was two in the morning and he still had a long drive ahead of him to get back home to Broslin. He’d given her a ride. She’d been rude to him, presumptuous too, and she wasn’t normally like that. She didn’t know why he got her hackles up so thoroughly. And then there was the fact that he’d walked her to her door to make sure she was safe, then pulled a small police car from his pocket. “For Justin.” So really, she couldn’t just say, Go away. But she gave him the coffee in a travel mug. She wanted him gone and her equilibrium back. As she handed him the mug, he gently folded his long fingers around her wrist, pulled her to him, and brushed his lips against hers. “Thank you. Good night, Wendy.” His gentle touch was like a whisper against her skin. And despite the fact that he made her blood flow faster, he did have a steady, calming presence that felt nice to be around. Definitely a contrast to Keith, who’d dragged her across the apartment by her hair that morning, threatening to take Justin away from her. “I’d like to give you a proper good-night kiss,” Joe had said, asking for permission, and then he waited patiently for her answer. No. The word was on the tip of her tongue. She didn’t want a kiss. She didn’t want sex. She’d managed to avoid Keith’s advances for months. She didn’t like sex anymore. She couldn’t remember the last time intimacy hadn’t hurt. She wasn’t sure anymore if she believed that things could be different. Yet part of her desperately wanted Joe to show her that it could be. And then the next thing she knew, she was kissing him. “I’m on the pill.” “I have protection. I’m going to use it anyway.” “Yes, you will.” And then they were naked, and he was carrying her to bed.

 Buy Links: Amazon: 
iBook: Smashwords:

 DEATHBLOW Facebook Launch Party: The DEATHBLOW Launch Party will be on December 16, 2013 from 8-9pm EST. An hour of prizes, chat, and fun! Link: (

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hot Holiday Hunk Hop

HOT #HOLIDAY HUNK HOP BEGINS 12/10 ENDS 12/20 #Gifts and #Giveaways Galore including a $50 EGC!!!
Happy Holidays to everyone – what better way to celebrate this time of year than to heat it up with hot hero hunks? Ladies meet Ethan (Ruined) and Evan (Wanted) — these are two hot, to-die-for hunks that you’ll definitely want to get to know — both of their books release January 7, 2014. More details here: RUINED ; WANTED a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Slow Ride Home

Slow Ride Home is Book one of The Grady Legacy by Leah Braemel. The publisher is Carina Press. The release date was November 11, 2013. From the back cover.
Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family's legacy, he's forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O'Keefe. Ben's never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago--or forgiven himself for letting her go.
Allie thought she'd moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she's become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben's sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories...
Allie has every intention of leaving Bull's Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie's lost her heart.

This was my first book from Leah Braemel. I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

I enjoyed this book enough that I want to read the next book in the series. I really loved Ben and Allie both as individuals and as a couple. I did have a problem with Allie giving Ben mixed signals over and over when it was clear she still loved him. I understood because of their past her being somewhat hesitant, but really wanted her to let go of her issues a bit sooner.

I did like how Allie stepped in to help Ben and his family deal with the legal situation with his family's ranch. She went above and beyond her job duties to find the truth and was there for Ben every step of the way. When the truth came out about what had really happened when they were kids, I love that Ben was there for her completely, and really wasn't surprised in the least as to who was a part of the betrayal that kept them apart for so many years.

I look forward to reading the rest of the books in The Grady Legacy series and plan on looking into Ms. Bramel's back list for more books.