My Not So Wicked Boss

mynotHave you read any of Jennifer Peel’s books? Or all of them? Ha ha. If you read one, you might get addicted and have to read all. Just a warning. Her Not So Wicked series has been a super fun set of books to read. This latest one was so yummy. (Can you tell I’m hungry? I should probably go eat a cookie instead of talking about books, but priorities.) I have to share this one with you, because it was just fun-fun-fun.

MY REVIEW

My Not So Wicked Boss was fantastic. This forbidden celebrity romance features Aspen, who has been a man-hating side character in other books. She meets best-selling author Miles Wickham (who happens to be her favorite author ever), who goes by a pen name, and he asks her to quit her bank job and work for him as his nanny for the little boy he has “inherited” and as his personal assistant.

Though the chemistry between them sizzles, he makes his attorney write up a contract to keep things strictly business between them, on grounds of terminating employment if a romantic entanglement happens.

5 Yummy 3Ah, what Aspen wants (him) and is finally read to give (her heart) is now completely forbidden. Seems par for  her life.

Squeal! I loved this book. The characters were perfectly done and had hidden depths that come to light slowly. I adored them. The plot was fun, yet had depth that some other romances these days are missing. It’s a fast read, but not a light, fluffy one that doesn’t make you grow. It’s a fulfilling read worth reading again (and I think I’ll do that). I would recommend this to anyone who loves contemporary romances. It’s a Decadent Read.

Giveaway

Because I love Jennifer Peel and my readers so much, I’m going to give away a copy of this book to one lucky commenter. So say Hello, or tell me if you’ve read her before, or tell me your favorite dessert…anything, and maybe you’ll be reading My Not So Wicked Boss very, very soon. Good luck.

Happy Reading

Char

The First Girl Child

nr27Wow, I’ve been MIA here for the last month. Sorry. Got caught up in my own writing/editing projects and kind of forgot about social media. But I’m back and will try to catch up on some of the awesome books I’ve read recently.

Today’s feature romance is a fantasy. I don’t usually read much fantasy because it can be cheesy at times, but Amy Harmon’s fantasies are one of the exceptions. Her fantasies are her strength, I believe (although I love any genre she writes). But I find myself rereading her fantasies because they make me feel things I don’t often feel, and she makes me think deeper and she makes my heart stretch farther. Her latest did not disappoint. I know I’ll be rereading this sometime next year.

My Review

The First Girl Child is a suspenseful fantasy with angsty romance, strong unique characters, fantastic world-building, and intense emotion woven all together. Harmon did a superb job of grounding me in the land of Saylok, where there are six different clans based on different animals—the eagle, bear, wolf, boar, lion, and horse. The story starts with two siblings who discover a magical cave of runes. The girl is entranced with the power, her brother is appalled and asks her never to visit that cave again.

Skip forward in time, the brother has grown and is a Keeper at the temple of Saylok. His sister shows up in the wood nearby, at death’s door after giving birth to an illegitimate son. With her dying blood, she makes a rune in the ground and curses the father of her baby and the land of Saylok with no more daughters until they can treat their woman better. This is how Bayr enters the world.

Bayr is blessed with godly strength, like Thor, and amazes those who know him. Meanwhile, his father (that he is never told about) becomes the new king—a bloodthirsty, selfish ruler—by tricking the people into believing his wife has given birth to the first daughter in the land in 7 years.

Literary FeastAlba, his supposed daughter, is truly the daughter of an albino slave girl brought in from another land. Ghost, as the mother is called, overhears the chieftain aspiring to be king order the execution of her and her owners after he takes her child from them and puts it in the arms of his unconscious wife who has just lost another baby. This is how Alba, daughter of a slave, becomes princess of all Saylok. Bayr, who is 7 at her birth, vows to be her protector.

This is the setup for this amazing, heart-rending story of forbidden love, power, promises, and undoing a blood curse that is tearing a nation apart. I couldn’t put this book down. The writing and plot pulled me in into this fascinating world, immersing me in magic, intrigue and love with unique and powerful characters. One word: exceptional!

Excerpts

Shh. Surely you know I will not hurt you,” he chided, wetting the cloth once more.

But he WAS hurting her. His kindness was like salt on raw skin. It would have been less painful if he’d struck her, and humiliating tears trickled down her cheeks and slipped between her lips. They were salty too, and the keeper sighed as he wiped them away.

~~~

Your strength is not just in your sinews and in your size. Your strength is in your faith and your courage. I’ve never seen you doubt.”

“I c-can’t sp-speak,” he insisted.

“It is your weakness. But weakness can make a man wise. You will listen more. You will think before you speak. You will never believe yourself all-powerful and all-knowing. You will never say what you do not mean.”

~~~

Seriously, if you have not read an Amy Harmon book, you’re missing out. Her books are always an experience to the deepest places of your heart, and you will finish being a better person for having read it. I know I am. I’m beyond grateful for authors like Harmon, who write books worth reading and rereading.

Char

A Lady’s Maid

IMG-2062Here’s a new release by Jen Geigle Johnson that documents the suffrage movement in England during the 1800’s, with some romances woven into the plot. Yea! The publisher is hosting a rafflecopter giveaway, so check that out at the end of the post. And without further ado…let me tell you about this story.

SUMMARY

Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

My Thoughts

I liked it. This story entertained, as well as taught about a less known part of history. Many historical details are skillfully woven into a tapestry that includes a cool setting, action, intrigue, suspense, and romantic elements. The story before this one, The Nobleman’s Daughter, has some of the same characters and covers the Peterloo massacre (years earlier). You don’t have to read that one to read this one (I didn’t).

The characters are Lord and Lady Halloway and their servants Molly and Thomas, and Lord Annesley and Lady Chloe. The story is organized with two separate story arcs—one featuring Molly and Thomas and the other Annesley and Chloe. They are all fighting for suffrage, and want to enlighten the ton about the right for every adult person to have a vote in society. There is an evil villain, suffering victims, and of course, our awesome heroes and heroines. It was a fascinating peek at history and the war to get voting rights for everyone, not just those born into wealth and status. The story had high stakes and lots of twists and turns, so I never knew quite what to expect. It was ghastly to realize how some people and children were treated back then, but I appreciated knowing. This was a great piece of historical fiction that I’d highly recommend. Bravo.

About the Author

authorJen Geigle Johnson is an award winning author. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. Visit her at: jengeiglejohnson.com

Have a great week!

Char

 

Best Friends Fall in Love

newrel1Here’s another billionaire romance. Falling for Her Billionaire Best Friend. This one is by my friend from Idaho, Maria Hoagland. It goes with a series–the Billionaire Bachelor Cove–done by different authors, but each book can be read alone. If you read them all, you get a more wholistic picture of these group of neighbors, but it’s not necessary.

In this one, next-door neighbors, Ryland and Mary Alice, are the MC’s. They’ve known each other all their life, run in the same power circles, and their parents have been pushing them together forever, hoping that a romantic relationship will stick. But both are comfortable in their friendship and don’t feel the need to rock the boat, so to say, until they do. Here’s the blurb. Continue reading

The Redgrave Murders

img-1983.jpgI have a great book giveaway today! This is by one of my awesome writer friends, Amanda Sowards. She writes thrilling historical fiction that you seriously can’t put down. Read on to learn more, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of this great murder-mystery. Good luck!!!

Synopsis

Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and her older brother to a war, she knows she’s one of the lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history. And she has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the emotional scars he carries from the Second World War–and despite her father’s opposition to their relationship.

When Evie’s car suddenly careens off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning–the car was her father’s, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead–but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he’s involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her–and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success. Continue reading

The FriEND Zone

friend zoneHere’s another fantastic, fun read for summer! I love Sariah Wilson’s romances. They are both funny and swoony. You can’t ever go wrong with her books. Her newest release was star-worthy material. The characters, Logan Hunt and Jess, meet each other when he comes to play football for her father at a junior college in Washington after getting kicked off a superior college team in Texas for a bar brawl. The new coach has rules—#1 being stay away from girls, especially his daughter, Jess. When she is paired up with him to tutor him in math, sparks sizzle, but they must keep their relationship strictly in the friend zone. But when the sparks ignite into flames, will they be able to keep their feelings in check and keep her dad from discovering their forbidden romance?

I read this one in a day. It was captivating. The characters were fun, their inner demons great, but my favorite part was the last quarter of the book when Logan really grows and determines to be the man he knows he can be so he can respect himself. Love-loved seeing his courage to do what was right. The romance was swoon-worthy, and it was just a feel-good book with funny parts that made me laugh. I love how this author always writes fun, clean romances that still have sizzle.

And on the sizzling note, enjoy your 4th of July if you live in the good ole’ USA. Have a sizzling BBQ and sizzling fireworks, and if you need even more sizzle, grab a copy of this book! You won’t regret it.

Char

My Not-so Wicked Ex-Fiance

IMG-1487This was amazing! I gobbled it up in one day—just took a break from my own writing to splurge on Peel’s latest. And I don’t regret a second. 😊 This romance feast had everything I loved—clean sizzle, a heart-tugging plot that made me grieve with the heroine for much of the book, and spectacular Southern characters with grace and charm I adored. Peel’s good at making me gain long-lasting friendships with her characters, and Ryder and Shelby are some of her best yet! And the chemistry between them—sizzling hot. I loved seeing Emma in here from her last Wicked book, and can hardly wait for the next one in this series that will feature Aspen.

Short non-spoiler summary of this book is: Shelby escaped to Colorado in the last book when she was shown pics of her fiancé cheating on her with another woman. When she learns that he’s moving to her same city to open a new dot.com business, she wants to die. It’s been a year since she saw Ryder, and her heart can’t stand to see him again…because she still hasn’t gotten over him. Ryder is ticked when he sees Shelby. He’s still bitter about how she ran and left him without even a goodbye…or an address. Or a reason for breaking off their engagement. And the story begins. Dum-dum-dum! And it’s a wild ride I enjoyed the whole way through. I hope you get to enjoy it, too!

Char