Friday, November 18, 2011

Doukakis's Apprentice - Sarah Morgan

Honestly, there is no way to describe how absolutely fabulous Sarah Morgan's Doukakis's Apprentice was to read.  I don't think I can ever remember reading about such a wonderful heroine as Polly Prince. 

This lovely young woman lost her mother at an early age and was raised by her somewhat irresponsible father.  Did he love his daughter?  Yes of course, but he was a romantic and when he dated, they were usually much  younger.  He usually fell in love and married them.  Now he was missing along , along with her friend, Ariana Doukakis.  Her brother Damon was out for blood because he knew Peter Prince's MO and was afraid his sister was going to end up marry him.  The sister he had raised, loved and adored.  He was protective of her and he wanted Prince's blood.  So much so he bought out the business and Polly Prince was afraid he would lay everyone off.

Polly was loyal to the Prince employees and her friend.   As a young teen, Polly and Ariana had attended the same school and had been kicked out.  Damon didn't think his sister should be friends with her and now that Ariana had gone missing with Polly's father, he was so angry, he thought he would kill him.  What Damon didn't understand was why Prince Advertising and the employees were so important to Polly.  He didn't realize that most of those same employees were like family to her, they had practically raised her and showed her the ropes.  What he didn't also know was that the Board of Directors and her father's deputy had been skimming money from the business and had sold her father out.  However, Damon was one smart and ruthless business man and decided to give Polly and the staff a trial period and hoped that Polly's father would get in touch with her and Damon could sort everything out with his sister.

Polly was bright, lovely, cheeky and hard working and Damon in the end, couldn't fight his attraction for her.  They were perfect for each other, loyal to those they loved, both were survivors and each had such strong personalities, I just knew they would be perfect for each other.  Yes, they both fought it and add to that their family situations was like a roller coaster.  I definitely would put this romance on my Top Ten for 2011 and I sincerely recommend you reading it, especially if you like "strong" heroines.  However, let's definitely not forget the sexy, Greek billionaire had how surprised he became when he learned that most of the success of Prince Advertising was due to Polly.  Thanks to Sarah Morgan, I so enjoyed Doukakis's Apprentice, so much so, I read it three times and really loved the last chapter giving this couple their happy ending.

Sarah talks about the Doukakis's Apprentice at I(Heart)Presents

Book Description:

With her family business in crisis, Polly Prince does her best to keep calm and carry on. But hard work alone can't save her London company from a takeover by the infamously ruthless Damon Doukakis…or her traitorous body from the lethal sensuality of her boss!

As his new apprentice, Polly accompanies Damon to Paris to negotiate the most challenging business deal of her life! Worse still, Polly must at all costs resist Damon in the most dangerously romantic city in the world.…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Man With the Money - Lynn Raye Harris (The Nortorious Wolfe's)

Lynn Raye Harris has sincerely written a winner, especially with her dark, dashing and ruthless billionaire/gambler.  Plus her heroine Cara Taylor, what a sweet and loyal woman who didn't have a clue what to do with Jack Wolfe.  She was told by her casino boss to throw the game, it back fired and the  tables were literally turned on both Cara and Jack and they fled the casino when Jack tried to save Cara from her boss.  However, at what cost to Jack?  A beating, bruises and fleeing to safety.

If you are a fan of the Notorious Wolfe's you'll know that the family has a dark history.  They were all brutalized by their father who ended up dead due to an accidental fall at the hands of their oldest brother Jacob.  One has learned from this series that Jacob left all of his siblings and they are all tortured because now Jacob has returned.  For Jack, everything is like an open wound because one brother was getting married, Jacob was back in town trying to rebuild the family estate and all Jack could do is remember the past because in the end,  it was Jack who had to stepped up to the plate to take care of his family and he didn't get the opportunities his other brother's had.

Jack and Cara's journey was exciting to read from their running from Jack's beating at the hands of Cara's boss, going to Paris, to attending his brother's wedding and finally when their personal relationship began.  Cara was an incredibly lovely woman, very loyal to her family, sending money home because, first Katrina took their home, then her father had left them for another family he had and no one knew about.  Plus she had a sick sibling who needed additional care.  So they struck up a deal, she would be his date for the family wedding and Jack would pay her so she could help her mother.

Jack was arrogant, couldn't get over his past and even though I believed her enjoyed being around Cara, in the end her hurt her and she definitely deserved more from him.  She wanted more and in the end, she left and went back home to Louisiana.  The Man with The Money was such an overwhelming read, I stayed up all night because I absolutely couldn't put it down; it was that amazing.  Each of the Wolfe brother's are dark and tortured and in each case so far, it was the women who loved them who brought love and joy into each of their lives.  In Jack and Cara's love story the stakes were high and the ending was by far, absolutely stunning thanks to Lynn Raye's talent.
Back of the Book

Notorious gambler Jack no longer gets a buzz from the risks, or the money, he takes at the card table. In fact, it bores him. Until one night he wins more than he ever bargained for.…

His prize is the stunning Cara Taylor—she might be down on her luck but she certainly doesn't need rescuing by a maverick card-shark like Jack! Now she's stuck with him and she doesn't know whether to love him or loathe him. But, cut from the same pack, playing Jack at his own game is the most fun she's ever had!

Lynn Raye shares her Behind the Book and inspiration for The Man with the Money at I(Heart)Presents

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Winter Scandal - Candace Camp - US Giveaway

About the Author:

Candace Camp cannot remember a time when she was not interested in creating stories. Born into a newspaper family – her mother had been a reporter and her father was the business manager of the Amarillo, Tx., newspaper – some of Candace’s earliest memories are of making up stories which she played out on the floor of their den with whatever objects were handy. She began writing down her stories when she was ten, and from then on writing was her favorite form of relaxation. Explains Camp, “I was always very shy and did not talk much. However, in written form, I could express all my thoughts and feelings.”

Writing remained only a hobby, though, as Candace attended college at the University of Texas at Austin and West Texas State University, then became a secondary teacher in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She later moved to North Carolina, where she worked in the trust department of a bank. It was there that she discovered the romance novel in modern form and started to write her first romance. She also began law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and while she was there, she finished her first novel, entitled Bonds of Love. Ms. Camp credits the rigorous training of law school with teaching her the discipline to finish a book.

Bonds of Love was published by Jove Publishing in 1978, under the pseudonym Lisa Gregory. Ms. Camp gave up the practice of law to devote her time to writing. Two pseudonyms, over 60 books, and 30 years later, Candace Camp writes under her own name for HQN – and still loves creating stories.

Earlier in her career, her historical were primarily set in the United States, usually in the post-Civil War west, a time and place that are very special to her

In recent years, however, she has turned to writing books set in Regency England, another period that ‘speaks to her.’ England in the nineteenth century, especially the early years, offers an ideal setting in which a romantic story can be played out, according to Ms. Camp.

She has been married for twenty-eight years to Pete Hopcus and has a daughter, Anastasia Hopcus, a writer of young adult novels.

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Candace Camp weaves a heartwarming tale, first in a thrilling new series, of Christmastime love, discovery, and scandal. . .
When plain and proper Thea Bainbridge stumbles upon a baby in the manger of her church’s nativity, she is understandably shocked. Discovering a brooch bearing the insignia of Gabriel, Lord Morecombe, hidden among the child’s clothing, she is certain the dissolute rake is to blame. Incensed, Thea sets out to reproach the arrogant lord—only to find herself utterly swept away.

Gabriel is intrigued by the vivacity in Thea’s flashing gray eyes when she accuses him of fathering the orphan, even as he adamantly maintains his innocence. The brooch is one he remembers all too well, however, and Gabriel is determined to find the mother of the missing child. As the mystery around the baby deepens, Gabriel is continually thrown together with Thea—and finds himself growing more entranced every day.

Even with whispers of winter scandal swirling around them, they cannot deny the longing in their hearts. A longing which promises the best gift of all: a shelter from the storm . . . in each other’s arms.

Thanks to Pocket Star Books, I’m offering this book to one lucky US resident. Comment on this post, follow the blog and don’t forget to leave your email address. Contest will end December 15th.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cowboys Like Us - Vicki Lewis Thompson (Sons of Chance)

This Sons of Chance series by the fabulous Vicki Lewis Thompson has been a pleasure to read.  If you've read each book in the series you've learned about the history of the ranch and how Johnathan and Sarah met and married, and about the Chance sons.  Sarah had two adopted sons and one through her marriage and she was an incredible mother to her sons and their new wives.  Now more cowboys were working at the Chance Ranch and also falling in love.  Each is a stand alone book but I encourage you to read all of the books in this series.  What's not to love about a handsome, sexy cowboy?

Logan Carswell was also a guest at the Last Chance Ranch.  He was here because his friend Alex Keller had just gotten married.  Alex, at one time had also been a  ranch guest, then worked PR for the ranch and fell in love.  Logan was at loose ends due to an injury while playing baseball from the Chicago Cubs.  He's also attracted to Caro Davis, a bartender at the Spirit's and Spurs Bar, a bar it was said to be haunted.  The attraction between Logan and Caro was immediate and in the end, they ended up in Caro's apartment and made love.

There was so much for each of them to deal with.  Caro was caring for her grandmother and Logan had to decide what to do with the rest of his life.  Although he tried not to feel sorry for himself, it was hard.  However, the hours he spent with Caro and out at the ranch making a baby cradle for an upcoming Chance grandchild.was enjoyable.

There were so many secondary characters in this book from the Chance men, to their wives, the Foreman, the cook, Sarah Chance......they all gave me the sense of family and community.  However, I could see that Logan and Caro's relationship was changing especially when they decided to go public.  Their relationship was in danger because it was changing into something serious for both of them.  Plus there was the cloud hanging over Logan's head as to what career path he would follow.

Cowboys Like Us was another amazing read.  Plus the fact it also had a 10th Anniversary Collection Edition which featured Notorious, another VLT amazing romance, thanks to the talented Vicki Lewis Thompson.

Back of the Book

Real cowboys aren't born. They're made…

Logan Carswell has just kissed his professional baseball career goodbye. Goodbye dreams, career and future. For now, though, he's working at the Last Chance Ranch and the town saloon, where sexy bartender Caro Davis is definitely taking his mind off his troubles…

Caro's days have been so hectic, she's forgotten all about the finer aspects of life. Like men. And sex. And really smokin'-hot sex with men like Logan. But when their two worlds collide—and boy, do they ever collide—they both realize that once the gear is off, a cowboy is still a cowboy!

(This book purchased by the reviewer)

Sandra Marton - The Ice Prince (Orsini Brides)

To say I was ecstatic to finally hear that author Sandra Marton was going to continue her Orsini Brother's series with her Orsini Brides, well I did the "happy dance".  The "Queen of Romance" didn't disappoint me with The Ice Prince because like her strong and proud brother's, Anna Orsini was just as proud and "fierce".  She was firm at what she wanted and no one, especially the sexy Italian would tell her different.  This arrogant man had taken up two first class seats and she needed one for her computer.  His was defiant but what Anna didn't know was this very same alarming man was Draco Valenti, the very same man her mob boss father had sent her to meet with to get back some Sicilian owned property. 

Just like her brother's, her father asked Anna to fly to Italy as he wanted her to get back the property he felt belonged to her mother. Let the games begin, because this surely was going to be one tug of war match between these two spirited people.  That's putting it mildly, their emotions were like a force of nature, with neither of them wanting to negotiate nor give.  However, even in business attire, Draco was definitely attracted to Anna and as far as Anna was concerned, she fought her attraction every step of the way.  Their sparing was fun to read, especially a scene on the aircraft where after a nap, they touched, kissed and more and their chemistry sizzled off of the pages. This was going to be one hot romance I could tell from the first chapters and I couldn't imagine how it would all play out because they were two determined and stubborn individuals.

How would one describe Anna?  A professional of course, "tough", "prickly" and "difficult" but they were all for a reason.  She was adored by her family but her relationship with her father was strained.  She, like her sister and brother's hated that he was a mob boss in "Little Italy" in New York.  

As their pasts were revealed, especially Draco's I applauded him as a man and how from having nothing he restored the family properties and name.  His past was more sordid than Anna's, even  though her father was a Don and a Sicilian mobster.  In their own ways, they were better people from what they had endured.  However, Anna at least had her family where Draco had no one.  Anna also did not believe in "forever".  Sex was sex and being with Draco was great but definitely not forever.  Until he took her to see her Mother's supposed property, learned it's history and Draco said when they returned home, he wanted to "make love".  There it was.......... the word.  I wondered, how would their relationship develop from this moment on or even, could it because they both had trust issues.

The ending chapters full of emotional and confused feelings.  Anna didn't want to fall in love and I certainly believed Draco was just as confused as Anna.  Let's just say, in the end, I cried my eyes out and in only the way Sandra Marton can weave a romance, this one was just as incredible as her others.  I hope you'll read all of the Orsini books.  I for one am getting quite sad as there is only one more Orsini Bride and that Isabella's story, The Real Rio D'Aquila

(Reviewer purchased this book)

Sandra Marton talks about The Ice Prince at I(Heart)Presents

Back of the Book

Prince Draco Valenti, known as the ice prince, bears his title reluctantly, and wears his icy exterior like a suit of armor that no opponent can penetrate….

Except Anna Orsini. She isn't any ordinary adversary, she's a high-flying, straight-talking lawyer in a no-nonsense suit and killer stilettos—conflicting signals that perplex, frustrate and attract Draco all at the same time.…

While they're at odds in business, in the bedroom Draco's desire for Anna has the power to melt his defenses. The temptation to play with fire is overwhelming.…

To Touch a Sheikh - Olivia Gates (Pride of Zohayd)

If you love a hot romance, especially one set in the desert with one hot royal sheikh as only author Olivia Gates can deliver, you'll sincerely love To Touch a Sheikh. This was sadly for me, the final book in Olivia's  Gates Pride of Zohayd triology.  I would say probably one of the "darkest" sheikhs I've ever read and that was for a reason, betrayal!  I wondered if Prince Amjad's wounds would ever be healed and if he would find love his his brother's.

To Touch a Sheikh I would also describe as a romance/suspense because there were so many twists and turns;  betrayal, family drama and just plain hot sex!  Maram Aal Waaked was a lioness.  She was determined to have Prince Amjad Aal Shalaan not only in her life, but for the rest of her life.  However, what was on his mind, and that of his father and brothers were finding the jewels which had been stolen with fake ones put in their place.  His family honor and ruling their country were at stake and he had a plan but it backfired and in it's place the smart mouth and sexy Princess came in the place of her father.  So how to continue their plan for the kidnapping?  I could only see heat, no not desert heat but sexual tension and heat between these royals.

There were issues about the Princess's past, her father and first and foremost trust.  Because she gave him a different version of her past and she had given him everything, herself.  It was so very obvious that this adorable Princess wanted this man forever, but at what cost to her and to him?  Their time stranded in the desert was lovely to read.  They had both suffered so much thanks to duty at the hands of people that used them both.  To go any further into each of their past marriages, the rivalry between countries, and who would end up in power would ruin the last book in this incredible series.  Let's just say, this "dark" prince gets his happy ending with the woman who had stolen his heart.  This triology has been such a joy to read and I highly recommend all three books.

Back of the Book

No one gets past Prince Amjad Aal Shalaan's defenses. No one. But when Princess Maram shows up at Amjad's gala in her father's place, destroying Amjad's plans to reclaim what was stolen from his family, Amjad sees red…and uses a freak sandstorm to make her his prisoner of passion.

Swept to safety by the man she's always loved from afar, Maram knows she has one chance to make Amjad see her as a woman. His woman. But when the impossible prince and the unstoppable princess take shelter from the storm, neither is prepared for the aftermath of their desire…

Millionaire Playboy, Maverick Heiress - Robyn Grady (Texas Cattleman's Club: The Showdown)

The lovely and extremely talented author, Robyn Grady has produced such a fabulous love story with her contribution to the series, The Texas Cattleman's Club: The Showdown. I have enjoyed all of the Desire authors contributions to this series and Robyn's shines as a very special one.

Women were infiltrating the exclusive men's club and some of them were not happy. One woman running for President was a friend of New York acclaimed architect Daniel Warren. Daniel was a talented and highly respected but oh boy did he and his design team have their submission back to the drawing boards.

Elizabeth Milton's fate was sealed thanks to her parents will. She was only allowed two weeks of each year to leave Texas until she reached age 30. She was left quite well off and she had an older financial advisor by the name of Chad who was crazy about her. The family ranch home she inherited was full of fond memories for her but she also loved to travel and visit her boarding school friends but her hands were somewhat tied. However, the moment she met Daniel Warren she was interested, especially when he, on the spur of the moment kissed her and she definitely wanted more. She wanted more of everything while he was in Royal because once they made love they both were hooked.

Daniel didn't share much about his upbringing because he put it in the past and didn't want to revisit it. However, unlike Elizabeth who came from a loving home, he hadn't. His parents divorced when he was five and it was bitter. His father wanted him to go into his profession; of course, he didn't. In the end he and a younger brother were shuttled back and forth. In the end a tragedy occurred. His brother was killed due to a hunting accident and Daniel blamed his father. They continued their affair, were so happy in each others arms and then he took her away for a three day trip. Would they fall in love I wondered? Because of his past would Daniel commit?

Elizabeth Milton I adored. She was spunky, she had spirit, she felt a connection to her family ranch and estate but she loved Daniel as well. In the end, they parted and I wanted to shake Daniel because after reading about their time together in and out of bed, I new she probably was the one for him but would he realize it?

There was so much going on in the town of Royal, the race for presidency between Brad and Abagail, reworking the design for the club and Elizabeth and Daniel's time was heating up. They couldn't see enough of each other and in the end, Daniel took her away to a private island. They had a wonderful, way too wonderful, until they returned back to Royal and then it all ended because Daniel didn't do forever and Elizabeth bless her heart, somehow Elizabeth got through the break-up with her dignity in tact. However, Daniel had to return to Royal and I wondered would they see each other? Would he realize how much he needed her and loved her, because I was sure he did.

Robyn Grady is a master story teller and her closing chapters were amazing to read. It took an incident to wake up and a discussion with his friend Rand to make Daniel realize life wouldn't be a full life with Elizabeth in it. The light bulb finally went off in his brain when he finally realized on his own "it wasn't the walls or the roof that made a home, it was the person or people you were with". However, most important he wanted Elizabeth permanently in his life and he also realized he had to get over his past.,

(The reviewer purchased the book)

Back of the Book

For successful New York architect Daniel Warren, designing the new Texas Cattleman's Club is an exciting challenge. And so is getting to know the delicious Elizabeth Milton. The fiery Texas heiress combines cosmopolitan chic with down-home sass—a mix impossible for a city slicker to resist.

But a carefree affair is all they can have. A stipulation in her family's will keeps Elizabeth honor-bound to stay in Royal. And this millionaire's business will soon force him to move on. Unless either dares to make the ultimate sacrifice and put love first.

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