Saturday, February 26, 2011

SHEIKH'S DEFIANT QUEEN - Jane Porter and Annie West

THE SHEIKH'S CHOSEN QUEEN - The Desert Kings - JANE PORTER


Yet again, Jane Porter mesmerizes her readers with a magnificent and magical “sheikh” story, part of The Desert King series. It’s a bit of a reunion love story as nine years ago, Jesslyn and Prince Fehr were lovers in every sense of the word. They were brought together by a tragedy when Fehr’s two sisters and Jesslyn were in a horrible accident and the sisters were killed. The other tragedy was that Jesslyn was not only left with their loss but injuries which would affect the rest of her life, probable infertility.

Your heart will break as you take the journey with them…..you’ll meet his three sweet girls, his horrible and meddling mother and watch from the sidelines as secrets, lies and manipulation unfold.

Jesslyn walked away nine years ago from the love of her life, Sharif Fehr. Why? His mother hated her, told her he was to marry and that she was not fit to love and be his wife due to the fact she could never give him children. So she walked, still secretly hoping he could come after her. He did not, he married another and had three beautiful girls and now he’s a widower and needs Jesslyn’s help with his girls. Sharif realizes something is dreadfully wrong with the children and knows that Jesslyn is a teacher not living far from his palace. He “demands” she come to the palace, teach the girls and hopefully help them to adjust to their life without their mother. Sharif also has an agenda, one you’ll learn about when you read this incredible book.

You’ll love Sharif, his lack of understanding of how to be the father his girls need and how Jesslyn helps to heal and bring this family together through love and determination. It’s an exceptional romantic and sweet story as only Jane Porter can write with promises of more to come in her next release, Captive Bride.


THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE - ANNIE WEST

Trapped by desire and something else, you won’t want to miss The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride!

Sheikh Khalid Bin Shareef and Ms. Maggie Lewis were like “two star-crossed lovers” when they met one dark, blustery and rainy evening. They were meant to be but they didn’t know it; not at the time they first met nor did the handsome sheikh realize it until it was almost too late! Even taking into consideration how they were both raised, the emotional obstacles they needed to overcome; they were meant to be….lovers.

Maggie is upset, soaked to the bone and realized what a fool she’d been in wanting to take her relationship with her boyfriend a step further. It was like a slap in the face when she found him in the arms of another; she flees, stumbles and is rescued by a handsome stranger who she later finds out is visiting royalty. Khalid persuades Maggie to take a ride from him and upon close inspection sees that she’s troubled; instead of taking her home he takes her to the lodge where he is staying while visiting Australia. He’s determined to soothe her by getting her warm and dry clothes, just talking to her to reassure and comfort her. He realizes he might be in trouble because he finds her attractive and she intrigues him; he wants to protect her and more.

Khalid hasn’t felt like this since his wife died 8 years ago and it disturbs him. While soothing and holding Maggie, things change and they act upon their attraction to each other (I call it fate). She gives Khalid the greatest gift of all, her virginity. However, the next morning she’s determined to leave while Khalid sleeps; when he awakes and finds her gone, he’s determined to see her again! However, on top of everything, his brother dies and Khalid is forced to return to his country and become the ruler.

Maggie felt foolish and stupid that she was so trusting. She’d never felt loved……her father used, rejected and over worked her; her mother left and took her younger sister when she was very young. She had no sense of belonging, of being loved or self confidence as a woman that she might be desired by a man. It was painful to read about Maggie’s childhood. However, that one night in Khalid’s arms, and their passionate love making would stay with her for a lifetime, she was sure if it!

As for Khalid’s youth, his father was selfish; he only cared about his mistresses and Khalid's half brother which left Khalid on his own to forge his own future because he was not heir to the throne. Khalid married young; a few years his wife died. He’s vowed never to give his heart again. He desires Maggie, wants to see her again and arranges for her to travel to Shajehar on the pretence of purchasing horses. It’s an accident which causes Maggie to be seen by a physician and later they both learn she’s pregnant with his child. He’s determined they will marry, she agrees because they are both committed to giving their child support, love and stability, something neither of them experienced when they were growing up. However, Maggie questions if she can live without love knowing Khalid is still mourning his dead wife?

The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride was a moving, touching and very enjoyable love story set in a progressive country with its people accepting Maggie as their queen. Watching Maggie grow as a person, taking language lessons, meeting with the women of the village, promoting education, and bonding with Khalid’s relatives, lovely!

As for this handsome Sheikh Khalid, his protectiveness and tenderness towards Maggie was incredibly sweet. Yet one wanted to shake him because he held on to a ghost; his dead wife. He was afraid to give his heart and you’ll cry for him because it’s obvious he adored Maggie.

This was a fascinating book to read. Their passion burns with their strong desire for each other. Annie West pens a wonderful romance novel with The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride being her third sheikh book. I think my favourite parts of this story were watching Maggie grow, feeling more confident as a person, and taking charge of her life. As for the sexy sheikh…..his tenderness, his concern and desire for Maggie and reading about how he was brought to his knees! Thanks Annie for another wonderful story…..I felt as if I were in your lovely home country, Australia and the beautiful desert!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day

My friend and author Jenna-Bayley Burke posted today and shared a cherry pie recipe.  Our first president George Washington chopped down a cherry tree.  While I'm not fond of the pie myself, I'm sure there are some of you out there who might be, so here goes......

Regardless of when the U.S. celebrated "Presidents' Day" these days, when I was a kid in school we had TWO Presidents whose birthdays we celebrated -- Abraham Lincoln on February 12th and George Washington on February 22nd.  And we had cherry pie. 
The cherry pie was for George W's birthday, as we were all taught the George Washington cherry tree story, the one where he didn't tell a lie and, when asked, admitted he chopped down a particular cherry tree.

Thus it was that, as Americans, we had a value lesson: don't lie, and a history lesson: George Washington was the first President of the U.S., and good tasty comfort food at the same time.

We had a cherry tree in our yard for years, until a storm took it down one spring. But as a result we got lots of cherry pies, few of them, however, in February, unless I was prescient enough to remember to save a quart of frozen cherries from the previous summer's crop.

Fresh pie cherries are one of the best things in the world. But as you're not going to be finding lots of them right now, here's a recipe that uses canned cherries,

If you are going to use "cherry pie filling" -- the kind that you just dump into the pie shell, omit all the filling ingredients and use that instead.

Caveat: Don't just go for the cheapest brand. Get a good brand. One I got had 12 cherries floating around in syrupy stuff. I did not buy that brand again.

Apologies for the US measurements by volume, not weight. I'm sure you can find somewhere on the internet that will convert them for you to your local measures.

George's Cherry Pie

1/2 to 3/4 c. sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

dash salt

1 c. juice from cherries

1 tablespoon butter

5-8 drops almond extract

4 cups thawed, drained, frozen pitted pie (tart) cherries

pie crust for a 9" pie, with lattice topping

(use your own favorite pie crust recipe, Everyone seems to have their own version)

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in pan. Add cherry juice gradually. Stir till smooth. Cook on top of stove over medium heat until thick and clear. Add butter and almond extract. Cool.

Line pie pan with bottom crust. Add cherries to cooled sugar and cornstarch mixture. Pour this into pastry-lined pie pan. Top with lattice strips. Crimp edges.

This pie can bubble over, so put aluminum foil around the edges to keep them from burning and the pie from running over. Bake in the middle level of the oven. Put a cookie sheet below it to catch drips unless you like to clean ovens.

Bake in hot oven (425 degrees. Google tells me this is gas mark 7) for about 40 minutes. If you dare, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.

If you don't have canned cherries and you are, bless your heart, using fresh ones, combine 3 cups, pitted sour c herries with 1-1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 c all-purpose flour, anda dash of salt. You can do this in an 8" pie pan. Dot it with 2 tablespoons of butter, add the lattice top and bake as above.

Frankly, I think George was crazy to have cut down the cherry tree. There are just too many great things you can do with cherries!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

MILLION-DOLLAR AMNESIA SCANDAL - Rachel Bailey



Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal was an incredible blend of passion and gripping emotions. Seth Kentrell was the “total package” He was a ruthless and sexy billionaire and was determined to get his Lighthouse Hotel back!

One met his half brother Ryder Bramson in The Billionaire’s Beck and Call so I couldn’t wait to read Seth’s story. Truth, lies and seduction all rolled into one! There was one thing for sure, Seth had lost his brother Jesse who died in a car accident. But he also had a problem, the woman April Fairchild travelling with Jesse somehow got her hands on one of his hotels and he wanted it back but she couldn’t remember their deal because she was suffering amnesia from the accident.

There was only one way he could get his hands on the Lighthouse Hotel and that was to keep the beautiful April close, so when she was released from the hospital he picked her up and drove them both to the property. She felt safe with Seth and she knew he would do the right thing but she wanted her memory to return, she wanted to remember why this hotel meant so much to her. April also knew Seth was dangerous because there was a mutual attraction between them and would he use this against her?

April couldn’t even remember her own mother who was also her agent. She was told she owned Fairchild Creative which was her own label and recording studio. From the age of 13 she had launched a career as a very successful jazz singer and piano player. However, she signed over her home and studio to Jesse Kentrell in exchange for one of the hotels owned by Bramson Holdings.

Seth couldn’t loose the Lighthouse Hotel, it would mean he could loose his inheritance. Seth and his brother Jesse were the illegitimate sons of Warner Bramson and now that Jesse was gone that meant that he and his half brother Ryder owned the shares but would they be enough for Seth to gain control of the board? He wasn’t going to let Ryder Bramson get control nor JT Hartley, the other man claiming he was also an illegitimate son of Warner’s. This hotel meant the world to him, it reminded him of the family vacations they took to the hotel. Even though he felt the attraction to April, he was not going to let her win but he couldn’t deny that he wanted her in his bed. Of course, all of this passion between them, in the end I wondered who would suffer, Seth or April or possibly both of them? Would getting his hotel back be more important than having April in his life?

Seth didn’t want to want her but he did. However, he wasn’t going to be weak like his brother Jesse who had in the past tried to impress the opposite sex and was always trying to be the big man around women. Nor was he going to be foolish like his mother who had been the public mistress for 32 years to his father. He wanted his relationships simple, but he couldn’t deny the fact that he wanted April and that made him angry with himself. As for April, she wondered if he was trying to seduce her to get his hotel back. Talk about a mess. Add to the mix because she didn’t have her memory back, had she slept with his brother Jesse? She honestly didn’t know so that put them at odds. Even with those obstacles, I wanted this couple together not only because of their hot passion, I just knew they would be perfect together.

Seth Kentrell actually believed that “nothing good ever came from love and commitment.” His father had taught him that every time he left his mother crying because he was going to visit his “other” family. I remember from reading Ryder’s story, that he felt the very same. It caused me to wonder how they would work out their respective ownership in their father’s company and would this supposed new brother appear on the scene? Talk about a bizarre family plus the fact that Seth desperately needed the Lighthouse Hotel back in his portfolio.

Seth and his brother Ryder had a short meeting and decided to unite due to the fact that JT Hartley was claiming to be the son of Warner Bramson. They included April and Ryder’s fiance Macy in their meeting. It gave me hope for Seth and April’s relationship because he thought enough of her and trusted her to invite her to brunch. However, she also feared Seth because he and his brother were so ruthless.

April knew she needed to walk away and go home. If Seth could be this ruthless about his brother and business, what would he do to her? Everyone wanted something from her, her mother and Seth and she needed peace and to get her memory back. Walking away would hurt them both. Would he ever put her first instead of Bramson Holdings I wondered? Would he and his brother Ryder ever come to terms with their past family hurts? Plus, what would happen when her memory returned? Would she be hurt by what she found out about her life?

Rachel Bailey has written a real “winner”, a beautiful love story one of hope with Millionaire-Dollar Amnesia Scandal. The way the author dealt with Seth and April’s emotions, the return of her memory, the revelations about her mother, his brother. Talk about a roller coaster romance! Plus there was the most magnificent love scene on a grand pianoI promise you this book and The Billionaire’s Beck and Call are both must reads. Talk about sexy billionaires, scandal, mistrust, lies, sexual tension they both have it all. However, Seth’s and Ryder’s story doesn’t seem to be over because out there lurking is a possible half brother wanting his piece of the pie!

Book Description::

An accident left April Fairchild with no memory, ownership of a multimillion-dollar hotel and the nagging sense something wasn't quite right in her life. It also brought her intensely sexy businessman Seth Kentrell, whose late brother had left her the property. Seth believed her a gold digger—and how could April deny it, when she couldn't even remember her name? Now Seth was ready to play hardball to get the hotel back.

But April knew enough to refuse to sign over the property until her memory returned. And if that meant Seth needed to persuade her…well, that was something she could enjoy! At least until the whole truth came out….



Behind the Book:

"I've always wanted to be able to play the piano well. I had lessons as a child, I even made half-hearted attempts to practice, but I'm still not that much chop. So I did the natural thing - I created a heroine, April Fairchild, who could play (and sing!) so well that she's become world famous. (And her hero, Seth Kentrell, finds her playing very attractive. :))

The next question was what type of singer / pianist she was. I don't know about you, but I think some slower jazz numbers can be very sensual and just seemed to fit perfectly for a romance. I listened to a lot of Diana Krall, in particular, while writing this book. Side note: I listened to Ravel's Bollero over and over while writing At The Billionaire's Beck and Call - the slow, controlled build to the explosive end really worked for Ryder and Macy's journey.

The heroine in Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal, April Fairchild, is a jazz singer and pianist. As a failed pianist myself, I have to tell you, I really enjoyed writing the scenes where she's playing. But more than April's playing - when I was writing this book I knew I wanted to write about her being kissed on her piano. Perhaps it was memories of watching The Fabulous Baker Boys and seeing how sexy the piano could be. Perhaps it was having stared with awe at gorgeous men while they tinkled the ivories, but I knew this book wouldn't be complete without that kiss.

April's hero, Seth Kentrell, also thinks the piano is kinda sexy after he hears her play. Naturally. I've always been fascinated by star gazing. I love sitting under the stars and night and seeing if I can recognize any shapes - both the official constellations and ones I make up myself.

When I was a child, my family spent our school holidays at Byron Bay. For those who don't know the spot, it's Australia's most easterly point, with stunning beaches, and, when we used to go it was a relatively unknown piece of paradise. It's become much more popular in recent years, but the beaches are as gorgeous, and the whole bay is still presided over by a grand old lighthouse. The Cape Byron Lighthouse is not only Australia's most easterly lighthouse, but it's also the country's most powerful. At night we would watch the light go round and round from the sand dunes, and during the day, we could see the tall white tower from the beach. So, is it just me and the effect of my childhood memories, or do lighthouses hold a special fascination for others too? Perhaps the appeal is symbolic - a guiding light for those in troubled waters.

Since I've laid bare my love for all things lighthouse, you probably won't be surprised to learn I managed to sneak a lighthouse into a book. In fact, I set an entire book at a fictitious luxury hotel: The Lighthouse Hotel in Connecticut, New England. In Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal, one of the first things April wants to do when she arrives at the hotel, is climb the steps of the lighthouse. April has many traits that have nothing to do with me - eg., she can sing and play the piano beautifully - but that need to climb to the top of the lighthouse is all me. :)
One of the most fun aspects to research for Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal was which constellations would be visible to the naked eye in Connecticut at that time of year. You see, April is a bit of an amateur astronomer. It's not something that has a lot of page space devoted to it in the book, but I loved having that small thread there for April. So, it turns out that in my ficticious town of Queensport, with the naked eye, you can see the stars Vega, Altair and Deneb, and together they form a triangle. You can also easily see Venus, which is a planet, but often called the Evening Star or the Morning Star." R. Bailey

Friday, February 18, 2011

HAVE BABY, NEED BILLIONAIRE - Maureen Child


Maureen Child has written a heart warming love story with Have Baby, Need Billionaire. What this billionaire didn’t know was he had a son and that the lovely Tula Barrons and his son, in the end would steal Simon Bradley, the ruthless businessman’s heart!

In Maureen Child’s Christmas love story The Wrong Brother (Under the Millionaire’s Mistletoe) the reader met Anna Cameron and her best friend Tula Barrons. Tula writes children’s books, a “Lonely Bunny” series. The Cameron’s have been like family to Tula because even though her parents were divorced she relied on her friendship with Anna and the warmth she felt with the Cameron’s because it had been missing from her life. Her mother just as soon as she graduated from high school left town and basically her father years later disowned her because she wouldn't live her life his way. Now she was taking care of her cousins baby, actually had custody of Nathan because his mother had died in a car accident.

Tula had to get in touch with Simon Bradley, the man who was Nathan’s father, the same man that didn’t know he had a son. It was her intention to make sure Nathan and his father would adjust and then she would be on her way back home. Sound easy? Definitely not because the little boy had over the weeks she cared for him had stolen her heart. Of course, she wondered what kind of a man Simon Bradley was and when she went to tell him the news, she was immediately aware of him physically and that bothered her, even though she knew he was the same ruthless businessman, just like her father. One up tight buttoned up man who lived by schedules and was a workaholic. Not her type, no way even though when she shook his hand, the sparks flew and her fingers tingled.

Talk about being center punched in his gut! A son he didn’t know about and the mother was dead? Well he needed a plan and the plan was for Tula to leave her hometown with the baby and move into his mansion in San Francisco. But first the paternity test even though he knew in his heart the baby was his. Tula and baby literally took over his home, but that’s not all they took over because in the end he really enjoyed having them both there, they brightened up his home plus she intrigued him, she was beautiful, sexy, warm and she and Nathan brought sunshine into his home. His life had been orderly and he had brought his father’s failed business from ruin to a successful chain of department stores. However, no thanks to the man that almost ruined them and cost them their home, Jacob Hawthorne. The very same snake that was always purchasing property Simon wanted, the man he hated, and he wanted revenge. What Simon didn’t know was his arch enemy was actually Tula’s father.

Tula and Simon definitely had chemistry and I wondered how they would both survive their attraction for each other. I also wondered what sort of father Simon would become. The days up until he found out the paternity results Simon held himself back. When the results turned out to be positive, everything changed not only for Simon but also for Tula. All of her life, Tula had wanted a family, to feel the warmth of love and now while living in his home, watching him with the baby, the sexual attraction between them, it was all too perfect and I knew in my heart that this would end badly especially for her because of her big heart. And what would happen when Simon found out who her father was because that surely would come out? He had absolutely no idea who Tula was because she didn’t use the Hawthorne last name. He had his best friend Mick who he employed investigate Tula’s background just to make sure she was everything she said and then the bomb was dropped when he found out who her dad was. On top of everything else, they had slept together and he still wanted her even though he wondered if she was working with her father to try to bring him down. As Nathan’s guardian, she held all of the power. However, Simon knew he could prove he would be a good father.

Simon thought of Tula night and day but he still had a plan to bring down her father. He would throw their relationship in his face and then send Tula packing. His friend told him it would backfire and it did, it cost them both so much and trust me, you’ll cry for all three of them. Tula was so kind hearted, so loving, an incredible mother who only wanted both Nathan and Simon……a family, the warm and wonderful family she never had as a child. And then the rug was pulled out from both of them. Shock for Simon when he confronted Jacob Hawthorne. Nothing but sadness and heartbreak for Tula when Simon revealed his meeting with her father.

Sadness does not even describe what I felt for Simon Bradley, the man who lived my his own rules and a orderly life. Because as the last chapters unfolded I had hoped that he would see what was right before his eyes and it wouldn’t be to late. Heartbroken, Tula left but she couldn’t return home because she had promised to do a reading and booking signing for her latest “Lonely Bunny” book. You absolutely won’t want to miss the last chapters of Have Baby, Need Billionaire because Maureen Child's gives this couple a most beautiful and happy ending and the wonderful family they both so deserve.

Book Description:

He'd certainly never set eyes on—much less gone to bed with—Tula Barrons. That he would have remembered. Yet businessman Simon Bradley agreed to let Tula and her infant cousin—a child she claimed was his—stay in his mansion until he had proof of the little boy's paternity.

But having Tula under his roof revealed something unexpected—her father had once nearly destroyed Simon's business. The billionaire now had the perfect opportunity for revenge. He could seduce Tula and take away the baby she loved…but if he succeeded, he could lose all he'd come to care for.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You've Just Got to Read "TOP 11 THINGS YOU WON'T SEE HEROES DO IN ROMANCE NOVELS"

AND now for a surprise. Believe it or not, us women don't just read romantic bodice-rippers strictly for the sex.

That's right, according to the romance writers, sales of the world's biggest-selling genre are fanned not by the thought of Mr Darcy lunging through the french doors and pinning you to the four-poster, but by something so much more mundane.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, authors such as Jayne Ann Krentz (writer of the classic In Too Deep) and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Pages Of Passion) have armed men with some vital information the scenes their readers recall the best are those in which the rugged hero strides in for a . . . chat.

Contrary to girl-wisdom, the leading man's appeal is not so much down to what he does with his swarthy manhood, but the fact he's "very verbal". The true prince charming looks into her eyes, focuses on what she says and "really talks to her".

He shows her he loves her by "nodding" when she's talking and looking at her face. Those seductive buggers! No matter how macho, the ones who get the girl always "talk things out".

But, for mine, the sparks of true romance do not ignite on banter alone. In fact, my Valentine's advice to red-blooded Aussie blokes is that we women are at least as interested in the things our thoughtful heroes do not do, as we are in nodding. Hopefully, my tips give you a swashbuckling head start.

TOP 11 THINGS YOU WON'T SEE HEROES DO IN ROMANCE NOVELS

Lose their keys, wallet, phone and/or thongs with scary regularity . . . and accuse you of moving them every time.

Fiddle on their iPhone . . . as their beloved, having found a few precious child-free minutes, tries to discuss a matter of vital importance (such as who has the time after work to drive the dog to the diagnostic specialist in Mount Waverly to get his mystery itch checked out).

Take the kids to sports games a long way away (boosting romance points) . . . with the petrol nearly on empty. Then deliver the car back with 15 minutes to spare before you have to get one to a party in McKinnon with the fuel gauge beyond red.

Snore. Or if they do happen to be afflicted, they'd never allow their own Scarlett O'Hara to be the one who shuffles to the couch.

Fart in bed. I'm pretty sure Ryan O'Neill didn't do that in Love Story.

Leave wet towels from this morning flung on the bed or yesterday's, or last week's, clothes all over the floor.

Announce they have bought tickets with a bunch of friends to see Paul Kelly (romance points!) . . . then inform you it's tonight, and you have to find a babysitter. Ugh.

Always expect to do the driving. Even Scarlett got a turn to drive the sulky. She'd have every right to be that if Rhett always took the reins.

Make her and the little ones listen to bloke music for more than 50 per cent of any long drive. The bloke-music genre includes all 30-something singer-songwriters perpetually in the throes of a premature mid-life crisis, Nick Cave's murder ballads and anything by bands with names such as Eagles Of Death Metal.

Give an honest answer to the question "does my bum look big in this?" That's just common sense.

When his lady heroine gets sick, suddenly develop symptoms that make him even "sicker". Sure, it may be a bona fide bout of man flu, but, when your temp is hitting 40C and you just need a white knight to gallop to the kitchen and cut three lunches, then frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
Source:  Herald Sun.com.au

Saturday, February 12, 2011

RECKLESS IN PARADISE - Trish Morey



Again Daniel Caruana’s sister had fallen in love and would her brother have to pay him off like the others? Not until he found out its Jake Fletcher, a man he hates, a man he holds responsible for the death of a woman he loved. Now he’s faced with Jake’s sister Sophie Turner, the wedding planner and a woman who wants the best for her brother and his bride. Could Trish Morey pull this off and give them a happy ending………you bet!


So how would author address this dilemma and since the wedding was immediate, how would they deal with the family issues and their mutual attraction? Throw in the beautiful secluded island located in Queensland, a posh resort with a horrible thing to about to happen, Daniel would as he had in the past, try to pay off Jake Fletcher NOT to marry his sister. He hated Jake, they had a past and he would not allow Monica’s marriage to happen.

Sophie Turner not only was the sister of a man he hated, she was his sister’s wedding planner and a woman he desired. His plan was to stop the wedding, could he pretend to be in compliance with the plans and in the end halt the process? You bet and then some…..did he have a plan? First of all, he wanted Sophie where he could control the wedding planning plus bed her. However, he had a grander plan. Buy off her brother who was his arch enemy. It had worked before with Monica’s other boyfriends so he was sure it would work with Jake. Why did he hate Jake, Sophie’s brother? They had not only a competitive past; Daniel blamed Jake for his fiancée Emma’s death.

It was all too much while trying to mend fences between Daniel and her brother. It was obvious Daniel hated Jake and absolutely didn’t want his sister to marry. However, what lengths would he go to stop the wedding? Buy out the venue, offer Jake money to stop the wedding, bed his sister? Yes to all three. Daniel, Jake and Daniel’s security man Jo all had a past, they grew up together, went to high school together. Jo hated Jake almost as much as Daniel, so he agreed to again offer Monica’s boyfriend or in this case fiancé money. Jo, well let’s just say, was a bit snake and soon to slither out from under his rock.

I adore a tormented alpha and that’s exactly whom Daniel was yet I could also feel his emotions crumbling towards Sophie, the woman he didn’t want to like, only use. However, while he had her on his island, had control of her and the wedding plans, he thought why not take it a step further and have a short affair. Did I agree with his tactics…..no. Did I want to see the tables turned…definitely yes! Obviously he adored his sister, had taken care of her after their parents had died and he was sure her fiancé, Jake was only using her. He was so wrong on all counts and so much more

The word angst described it all especially the ending chapters. I looked up the word and its definition was as follows: “anguish, torment, anxiety, trouble, sorrow, worry, fear”……..let’s just say It’s exactly what happens on all counts! Not just for the happy couple Jake and Monica but also for their respective siblings it all ends horribly. Could all of their relationships be salvaged and could there be a wedding?

Well Ms. Trish Morey, you’ve done it again with Reckless in Paradise, explosive, secrets, lies, passion but you also gave your hero a very valuable lesson, one that Sophie taught him. Sophie taught him “that the bonds of love were stronger than the chains of hate. She also taught him the love wasn’t about control.” Sophie taught Daniel if he truly loved her, he would have to let her go and hopefully she would return to him because she wanted him! Happy ending? Yes, not only for his sister Monica and Jake but also for the two of them, in paradise!

Book Description:

Merciless Daniel Caruana will do anything to prevent his sister marrying his nemesis! It just so happens that her wedding planner is the groom's sister—and in the flesh, despite her prim clothes, Miss Sophie Turner is very tempting.


An eye for an eye, a sister for a sister….

Daniel will have Sophie exactly where he wants her—with him on his private island and willing in his bed! But when Daniel realizes that true love does exist, it's not just his sister who's in trouble….



Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Emily Lear - Author of Ladies of Market Street (Kindle edition)

Book Description:

When Veronica Baldwin unexpectedly finds herself fighting a sex slave ring, she is not only struggling for her own life, she is fighting for her stolen “sister,” An.


Veronica knows well the face of the man responsible for An’s disappearance, and tragically, she knows his involvement means An is dead.

Only this time, Veronica makes sure he pays for his sins with an eye for an eye.

Veronica’s war has begun, but it is not her’s to fight alone.

When Veronica chased after her stolen sister, she left behind her flock of soiled doves. Three ladies just as devastated by their common sister’s abduction and violent death as Veronica, and just as ready to seek vengeance.

Veronica brought together those ladies to save them from deadly fates on New York’s meanest streets.

She took them from their rootless and solitary lives and gave them back their minds, their souls, and their choices.

Together they created their sisterhood; a modern-day brothel disguised by the façade of a real-estate firm.

These women bring men’s fantasies to life in vacant apartments scattered throughout Manhattan, and their services are highly sought after.

Now, Veronica has failed one of her sisters. The pain inside her guides her and the sisterhood to avenge the murder of one of their own.

Through a thrilling but heartbreaking investigation that utilizes their access to the most powerful men in New York, the girls realize that the slavery ring’s chain of command runs all the way up to the City’s highest levels.



Emily, welcome to Marilyn's Romance Reviews. How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

I actually just found my journal from elementary school. For some reason I wrote every entry as if speaking to my journal like it was my best friend. I even thanked it for listening in my sign off. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. It was during my first heart wrenching breakup that I became truly attached to writing and just couldn’t stop.
What are you currently working on?

Now I am writing the Ladies next journey, and I am excited to see what path Veronica and Jake take. The awesome chance to write a sequel has given me the opportunity to dive deeper into the world of the Ladies, and their individual backgrounds.
Is there a back story to Ladies of the Market?

Yes there is a back story, however it has nothing to do with running my own brothel. I did work in a real-estate agency in New York City. The agents were all starving artists of some kind trying to pay the rent. When you give beautiful, creative, young New Yorkers keys to every empty apartment in Manhattan… Well let’s just say I had to write about it.
It wasn’t until I met my husband that I wrote the character Jake. I never felt comfortable writing a man until I met him. After that I just couldn’t get the character out of my head
Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you.

I do plot my stories. I always think the plot makes perfect sense until I put my characters in it. That’s when I have to give the story up to them. When you write about such strong women you can’t make them do anything. The best part is when they end up doing something so much more amazing than you could have ever plotted out. 
Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

My favorite character is Jake. I adore him and love writing him. He is goofy and debonair at the same time. I don’t want to call him charming because he is so sincere, but he does have a way about him. Writing his dialoged comes so easily to me. I love his back and forth with his FBI partner Holland, and when he is with Veronica I just lose myself in the moment. It’s my favorite kind of day dreaming. I put a lot of my husband into Jake, but he does have my sense of humor, and when it comes to opening his heart to Veronica it is all me. He knows there is something special about her, and even though he has no idea what he is doing as far as winning her heart, he doesn’t play games. He is just Jake.
What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

The best thing about my job as an author is the opportunity to be creative. I have always been a day dreamer. I have struggled my entire life to stop day dreaming, so I can concentrate in class or on my job. When I’m writing I don’t have to stop day dreaming. I get to let my mind go where ever it wants, and then follow it on an amazing adventure. Then I write it down to share it with the world.


The hardest thing about writing is actually putting the writing out there to be read. This story has come from so deep within me that when someone reads it I feel I am standing naked in front of them, letting them see every part of me. This is the hardest part, but it can also be the most thrilling.
Describe a day in the life of Emily Lear.

Oh my writing days are my favorite days of the week. I start the day with Morning Pages. These are three pages of all the junk that is flowing around in my head. By page three my mind is organized and ready to wander down the fun path. I am crazy organized on these days, so next I make my To Do List. It is everything down to the littlest detail, like kiss your husband, and have breakfast. As if I would ever forget to do either of those. After breakfast I go into my writing space. My dog River sleeps at my feet, and my cat Paddle is lurking around at all times. I grab a few pens and my crisp pad of paper and off I go. Once I am in writing mode, it’s hard to get me out. But somehow Paddle always knows if I am taking my story in the wrong direction. Only then will he insist that I scratch his nose until he yawns. By the time I return to my writing, I have to go back and read a bit, and that is when I realize I need to trash some stuff and try again. Good kitty! This goes on until the sun starts to set.
At this point my head is so lost in the world of my story that the only way to join reality is to take River for a run. By the time we get back, my husband is home and cooking something amazing for dinner. I tell him all about the adventures I’m discovering with my Ladies, and he tells me all about his day. The food is excellent and my mind is exhausted, and I can’t wait to do it all over again!
What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

My writing is fiction. My plots are totally made up, but the soul of every character I write is based on someone I truly love. I am surrounded by strong women in my life, and each character is so close to my heart, because they are borne from my best friends. They are all women who have inspired me throughout my own adventures.
Scene you like most and would never cut.

My favorite scene would have to be when Veronica and Jake have to work in close-quarters with one another. Men and women have a hard enough time figuring each other out, but Veronica comes from a world that sees men solely as means for profit. Understanding that Jake has feelings and a mind that is not dictated by his mojo, is a brand new concept for Veronica and extremely hard for her to comprehend. But she can’t deny or control how she feels around him. Jake’s sweet charm carries the conversation between them, and even though Veronica only says one syllable words in response, her heart flutters at how easy it is for them to have a conversation. This moment makes me laugh and fall in love with both of them.
Thing your heroine would never be caught dead doing/saying:

Veronica would go to the end of the earth for the people she loves. Though “Ladies of Market Street”” is full of women, there is no cattiness or back stabbing. Veronica would never betray the ones she loves. That’s not to say there aren’t strong opinions bouncing back and forth. Veronica is just strong enough to say what she has to say to their faces. I feel this quality makes Veronica stronger and so much easier to fall in love with. 
Scene in the book that moved you the most as you wrote it, or made you the most happy?

It would have to be when we get to see Veronica as a child. Veronica is beaten very badly, and in her pain, she escapes to her childhood home. Veronica has a moment with her mother that is from a very raw part of me. The two of them are very close, and the underlying emotion is Veronica’s fear of losing her deathly-ill mother. Veronica tells her Mother about a boy from school who wanted to kiss her. This is where we see how Veronica’s upbringing colors her attitude towards men, because neither one of them can figure out why he would expect her to kiss him. By the end of the scene, Veronica is sleeping in her mother’s arms. I feel we get to see into Veronica’s heart in this scene, and afterwards you just want her to find love and be happy. Every time I read this scene I tear up. Their bond is very real to me, and I hope my readers find it the same way.
Have you learned or found any bizarre facts while doing research?

Veronica’s family tree travels back into the Wild West brothels. I had a lot of fun researching this era. The madame’s of the brothel’s, and the women within them, were some of the most fascinating women of the time. By day, the women would use their time to help the sick and homeless. By night, they were “helping out” the most powerful men in town. Because these women were so well-connected, men would go to the brothels for their news and political banter.
What is one thing in your history that has influenced your writing, whether it’s a character, your work habits, or your favorite plot conflict?

I love writing about love. I am a romantic, and letting my head wander into a world of romance has always been my favorite day dreaming escape. But every time I used to write about love there was something missing. My heroes were never real. I was incapable of writing about the great guy in my head, because I had never met a real one before. Once I met my husband, that door just opened. I started to understand him, and as I did so, my heroes became three dimensional. Now I am not only able to write a great hero, I am able to put him into a great love story.
What’s next?

Next is “Ladies of Market Street” number two! I am having so much fun finding out where my characters are going, and what they are doing next. Veronica and Jake are from such different worlds. I am just as excited as my readers to find out what is going to happen with them. And whether or not I will have to answer the age old question, “A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where are they going to live?” I’m having way too much fun!
What are you currently reading?

Believe it or not, I just picked up “Romeo and Juliette” for the nine hundredth time. I like to pick it up whenever my life takes a new journey to see how I react to it. Funny, I still get just as many goose bumps as when I was a teenaged girl reading it for the first time.
Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

I am so excited to be talking with you about “Ladies of Market Street.” My entire journey from writing to publishing has been such a thrill, and to be interviewed by a resource I turn to for my next reads is icing on the cake!
Ladies of the Market Street has received five 5 Star reviews

Website
Emily on Twitter
Ladies of Market Street
XYNO Books

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

WILD NIGHTS WITH HER WICKED BOSS / HER BAD, BAD BOSS (NA) – Nicola Marsh



Author Nicola Marsh brought back so many memories for me with Wild Nights with her Wicked Boss. This heartfelt and warm romance takes place in the state of Alaska. A place I not only visited so many times due to work but a place that stole my heart. I can’t even begin to describe my experience while reading this beautifully crafted romance. Both of these characters tugged at my heart and their personalities leaped off the pages and so did their chemistry.

Rhys Cartwright was quite the handsome millionaire and owned a tour operating company which catered to clients who wanted to experience Alaska. However, early on he had experienced the loss of his older brother and he and his brother the rejection of their parents after his brother’s death. Later on he would also experience the loss and death of his girlfriend for which he blamed himself. So love and commitment, absolutely not! However he did care very much for his brother and family who lived in Australia. Callum and Starr's story were in Overtime in the Bosses Bed.

And then there was the lovely Australian society girl, Jade Beacham. She had lived the high society life and had been spoiled by her parents. However, not only did her parents let her down by their betrayal in their own marriage, so had her fiance when she found out he had been cheating on her. Now she had the chance to make something of her life and live independent from her family. Her first interview to be a tour guide with Wild Thing was with Callum Cartwright, the CEO’s brother and now she would have her interview with the owner of the Alaska tour company, Rhys Cartwright. Let’s just say it wasn’t the normal interview and there were lots of sparks flying on both sides. However, she got the job and was quite surprised due to her lack of experience. What she didn’t know was that dear old dad had secured the job for her.

Jade was determined to succeed because at the end of season she wanted to return to Australia and study biology. However, she was so attracted to Rhys and he was attracted to her as well. They fought their attraction every step of the way but in the end when they were left along at his lodge, they made love. Rhys could tell she felt something for him and he didn’t want to hurt her so he told her absolutely no more, it was over. Her pride and determination in tact, she worked doubly hard and her two male co-workers admired her determination and secretly so did Rhys.

Jade was under Rhys skin and she drove him crazy. He was determined she would never have his heart but he wanted her so badly. It was their turn to make the journey to Skagway, AK for supplies. Rhys was determined to give Jade the date they never shared. They went to dinner, again made love and stayed overnight at his condo. He knew then and there he was in trouble but what he didn’t know was that he would hurt her beyond repair when she overheard a phone conversation concerning the terms of her employment with Wild Thing.

The hero Rhys Cartwright and heroine Jade Beacham were so real, warm, spirited and funny and you’ll actually feel like you’re personally on their journey. Jade and Rhys had suffered so much loss; Jade due to betrayal by her fiance and her parents and Rhys by the death of his brother and girlfriend. Their journey wasn’t an easy one, it was full of obstacles but in the end and oh what an ending it was spectacular!

Wild Nights with her Wicked Boss had a most creative and beautiful ending. It’s one you definitely won’t want to miss because Nicola Marsh’s love of romance, love of Alaska was truly portrayed in this most amazing love story.

Behind the book:

"I'll let you in on a little secret: this book in its original form is the first partial I ever submitted to Mills and Boon! While 'Fire and Ice' wasn't suitable for Harlequin Modern at the time, Kim Young wrote a 2 page encouraging rejection, asking for anything else I'd written. The result? I sent in THE TYCOON'S DATING DEAL and it sold!

Cue forward five years and with a hefty rewrite, Rhys and Jade have their romance in Alaska published! I'm thrilled this book will be released, considering it was inspired by my honeymoon. Glacier Point, Davidson Glacier, all real. And the canoe? I actually rowed out on it to the glacier, incredible experience! As for the hot tub in Skagway, sadly, I didn't get to research that first hand!" Nicola Marsh

Connected book Overtime in the Bosses Bed

A Personal Note from Marilyn::

For more than 17 years, I worked for Princess Cruises and Princess Tours. At first as PA to one of the Vice Presidents and then as a tour and shore excursion coordinator. The places Nicola writes about Davidson Glacier and Glacier Point, I've visited several times. Years later I planned personalized tours to the state with Knightly Tours. If it’s your dream to see Alaska, I highly encourage it whether you travel by cruise ship, rail or personally drive. It’s glorious country with beautiful vistas, lodges, especially South East Alaska. And there is no better way to see by a tour operator like Rhys Wild Thing. It's a wonderful way to view a glacier in canoes or kayaks, by helicopter, by float plane .  On land by rail or rafting down a river in Denali National Park.

Book Description:

Her red-hot boss definitely shouldn't be on her "To-Do" list!

When glittering socialite Jade Beacham's life falls apart she's determined to make a completely fresh start. Packing away her designer wardrobe, she heads out to the arctic splendour of Alaska to become deliciously dangerous Rhys Cartwright's newest - and feistiest! - employee.

Expecting a high-maintenance princess, Rhys finds Jade's enthusiasm and natural beauty surprising...and outrageously enticing! If working together is wicked torture, then giving in to temptation is worse - as their blistering night together plays havoc with Rhys's strict "one night only" rule...

THE MILLIONAIRE MEETS HIS MATCH - Kate Carlisle

I couldn’t wait to read The Millionaire Meets His Match by Kate Carlisle, which was Book 1 in Kate’s Duke Brother series. The series I just know is going to be fabulous because I read Book 2 (Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise) first, and adored it!

Brandon Duke said to his brother Adam, “just don’t be surprised when you find yourself on a honeymoon with some woman who was planted right under your nose by our diabolically clever mother.” And yes, their mom Sally Duke was not only a matchmaker she was an incredible mother to her adopted sons.

Adam was at the top of Sally’s list to marry off and he wouldn’t put it past her dear friend Marjorie, the HR Director to have this so called woman right under Adam’s nose. If Trish was a plant and a gold digger, then Adam was on top of the situation and he would out maneuver his mother and her best friend!

And then Adam remembered a conversation he overheard when Trish said, “he won’t even know what hit him” not realizing they were speaking about something else entirely. But what he didn’t know was the conversation was between Trish and her best friend. He had asked Trish to join him on a business trip to Fantasy Mountain, Duke Enterprise’s new resort. He wanted to check out an error that was made in the construction of the new parking garage because it wasn't up to code or user friendly for the ADA traveler. The very same facility that had displaced Trish, her grandmother and other family friends because Duke Enterprises had purchased the entire block before they could bid on it themselves because they wanted it for Fantasy Mountain's parking garage.

Trish was on a mission to find out something negative she could use against Adam and bring him down. What she didn’t count on was she was attracted to her new boss and nervous about the trip. However, she remembered her promise to her grandmother on her death bed and she wouldn’t let her feelings for him to get in the way. She would take him down no matter what or how handsome and nice he was because it was about doing the right thing. She didn’t want to let down the past residents of Victorian Village, the property they lost because they weren’t the owners when they had applied for historical designation for the Village. She was furious with the city to allow a historical building to be bulldozed and in it’s place a parking garage erected by Duke Enterprises. And then it was suddenly clear, if she messed up she would never find work in this town again.

I was so intrigued by this storyline and yet I hadn’t even got to the “good parts”, their business trip, their love making, the feeling of betrayal and Adam finding out if his mother and her best friend had played a part in all of this or had they? Well I wasn’t disappointed because their chemistry sizzled! .Trish fell in love and Adam fought it and he realized after the gala and grand opening that he would need to end their relationship because he didn’t “do forever” even though he had feelings for Trish.

Of course when one keeps secrets they are bound to come back to haunt them and for Trish it was devastating when a man recognized her as one who had pleaded for him not to tear down Victorian Village which destroyed all of their homes and businesses.. However before leaving so abruptly, she managed to tell him about what his company had done to her and had in the end caused the death of her grandmother. Not before revealing and handing him a disc that told him he was about to do it again. What a mess and it all took place in front of his guests and family.

They were both miserable without each other but trust me, in the end Adam did the most incredible thing for Trish to make up for Duke Enterprises involvement in the destruction of the Victorian Village. It was so obvious to me that not only did Adam Duke have charisma and charm, he was a good man. However Trish had other ideas because she found an incriminating file and when Adam had to address this issue, in the end, he did the right thing not only giving them their happy ending, one for the residents of Victorian Village as well.

These three Duke brother’s who came from similar backgrounds, who were adopted by the lovely Sally Duke, nurtured and loved and who together built up a corporation, have been a joy to read. Brandon Duke will be the last of the miniseries and I’m hoping author Kate Carlisle also gives their adorable and meddling mother Sally, a “love interest”.

Book Description:
 
Mr. July: Adam Duke, committed to his company

His Foil: A matchmaking mother

His Future: Avoid Operation Matrimony

The CEO of Duke Development had been on guard since he discovered his mother's diabolical plot to marry him off. Him and his brothers. And when his desirable new assistant, Trish James, hinted she wanted more than just a business relationship, Adam figured she was in on the scheme. So the boss decided to play along and seduce the secretary...then put a stop to his mother's meddling marriage plans once and for all. But even Adam could not have guessed Trish's true agenda for wanting him in her bed....

Kate's website

Win a Trip to Las Vegas From Harlequin

Harlequin wants to hear all about your unique kiss, from romantic to downright quirky. And if yours gets the most votes, you could win a trip for two to spend New Year’s Eve 2012 in fabulous style.
3-Night, 4-Day trip for 2 to Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino + Airfare
Hurry! You have until March 30 to design and submit your kiss. The winner will be chosen from the top ten kisses with the most votes. So don’t forget to vote for your kiss!  If you're voting, mine's named "Marilyn"

Click here for full contest rules and regulations to make sure you’re eligible.

*No purchase necessary required for the Submit Your Kiss Contest. Contest ends 30/03/11. Click here for details. Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start. ® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. © 2011, Caesars License Company, LLC. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Opens on 2/3/2011 at 12:01 AM (ET) and closes on 3/30/2011 at 11:59 PM (ET).
Enter online at www.PatentYourKiss.com (http://www.PatentYourKiss.com) . Open to legal residents of U.S. (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Overseas Military Installations and other U.S. Territories) and Canada (excluding Quebec, Yukon, NWT and Nunavut) who are 21 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. One (1) prize is available to be won, consisting of a 3-night/4-day trip for two to Las Vegas, NV (12/30/2011 to 01/2/2012). Approximate retail value: $3,000.00 USD. Official Rules available online at www.PatentYourKiss.com (http://www.PatentYourKiss.com) . Sponsors: Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Paris Las Vegas Operating Company, LLC d/b/a Paris Las Vegas.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Book Blogger Hop - February 4 thru 7th - Winner Announced the 8th



To Win a Copy of India Grey's The Society Wife, answer the question below.  Don't forget to checkout the other contests listed to the right on the sidebar.



Contest Question:  "What are you reading now and why are you reading it?"  Contest is International!  Don't forget to leave your email address so that you may be contacted.

My answer is I'm reading The Millionaire Meets His Match because I read the second book first and loved it!

Other bloggers participating.......

Sorry, I've had to cut this a day short due to a family illness so I'm announcing the winner today NOT tomorrow.   Thanks for your understanding and please check back next week! 







Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Untamed - Harlequin Presents Series

This is going to be an interesting and unusual series.  If you read Sandra Marton's 2010 realease Blackwolf's Redemption, it dealt with time travel.  Well The Untamed will also deal with the past, the 1960's per a Susan Stephen's recent post at I(Heart)Presents and her February release Gray Quinn's Baby.

THE UNTAMED


Arrogant and proud, unashamedly male!

The editorial team are always on the look out for new and exciting ideas from other cultural references (all that TV-watching and cinema-going is research – honest!) and the current one that’s got the office talking is Mad Men.

In case you haven’t caught an episode yet, Mad Men is a TV drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s. It’s a world where men rule and women (with the exception of Peggy) type.

The series centres around Donald Draper, the firm’s mysterious but extremely talented ad executives. Love him or hate him, Don Draper is the ultimate alpha male, powerful, ruthless and always gets what he wants.

The editorial team were in agreement that what a man like Don Draper needs is a twenty first century woman tame him! And so the idea for Gray Quinn’s Baby was born! Luckily Susan thought it was a great idea! Her wonderful storytelling brought the period to life and her penchant for Steve McQueen certainly helped! Below is brief outline for Susan’s story to whet your appetite:


Wanted in the bedroom…not the boardroom!

Magenta knows having a new employer might be tricky. But she isn’t expecting the old-fashioned ruthlessness of Gray Quinn! However, plucky Magenta is up for the challenge, and tries to play the distractingly gorgeous Quinn at his own game…

Quinn is no New Man: he wants temptingly innocent Magenta in his bedroom, not the boardroom. But he can make her no promises. He’ll give her the night of her life, but he might not be there when she wakes up… And he definitely doesn’t want her taking maternity leave!

A little time travel is may be needed to transport the reader and the heroine back to the 1960s, but the relationship is pure Presents – passionate and exciting!




 

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