Beastly Second Chances & Slaves

NOTE: That title is NOT a name of a book. Unless you decide to name your next book that. But Beastly Second Chances & Slaves is a hodgepodge of three books I’ve recently read that went in my FAV bucket. So put on your flip flops, because I’m taking you wading through books today. (Pretend you’re at the ocean since it’s summer).

Second Chances in Paradise by Jennifer Peel

seconPeel is one of my favorite go-to authors. Thankfully, she writes quickly and keeps my sweet romance tooth satisfied. This is a first love-second chance trope set in a gorgeous beach setting in Paradise, Alabama.

Holland is a brilliant scientist working on her doctorate degree. She comes from a rough background where she never felt any love from family or those who should have cared for her. She’s always focused on her studies to fill the emptiness within her. Except for a summer she spent working at the Claibourne hotel in Paradise when she was in high school and met Porter, the owner’s son. He taught her how it felt to be loved…before he broke her heart and she fled Paradise forever.

Circumstances (aka, a friend’s wedding) bring her back eight years later…and she meets Porter again for a second shot at love. If she dares take it. The risk to her heart might be more than her scientific brain can allow.

This story made me smile. The characters are fun and lovable, The romantic tension clean, yet steamy. The side characters added great dimension and reality to the plot. The setting is stunning and fun to immerse yourself in. The character growth made this poignant and touching. It’s an all-around solid, good romance that’s perfect for the beach or wherever you might be when you need a heart-lift. I highly recommend it.

Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Favorite Quotes

He wove his fingers between mine and held on like a covalent bond, tight and strong.

~~~

I’m always up for a good science experiment.”

“Mmm.” He made some guttural sound while closing the gap between us. “Well baby, get ready, because I’m going to light your Bunsen burner.”

~~~

Porter’s smile said I amused him. “To know even a tiny part of your brain is a beautiful thing.”

“Now that is a line I could fall for.” –Holland

Slave Queen by H.B. Moore

slaveThis was a super good historical/modern suspense book. The slave queen is Aleksandra, a village girl in the kingdom of Poland in the 1500’s. When the Turks come through and slaughter her people, she is taken by the sultan Suleiman himself and made a slave to his caravan. So begins her new life as she works her way up to favor in his eyes through bravery, loyalty, and sheer will.

This story also has a contemporary plot that ties in with the historical one. Omar Zagouri is an Israeli agent who is trying to find the person who beat up and hospitalized his mother. Mia, his almost fiancée, helps him on his mission. They run into others, including the son of his bitter enemy who runs Bata Enterprises. Bata has discovered ancient letters from the Slave Queen to the Sultan that could make a difference in modern day Turkish government if a sinister organization has anything to do with it.

The plot was interesting, with tons of twists and lots of great suspense and tension. It’s an action-filled story, with great characters put in scary scenarios. I loved the switch between modern day Turkey and ancient Ottoman Empire. Learning about how a Turkish harem ran, with all the subtleties and intrigues and deceits and power plays was fascinating. Aleksandra, the Slave Queen, was incredible. I loved whenever the story switched back to her and the sultan. Their love story was beautiful.

Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Allen Campbell

bequThis one’s my first or second steampunk I’ve read. There’s a book–Third Daughter–that I read a while back and I’m wondering now if it was steampunk. But I’m not sure. This books is historical, set in England kind of in the Regency era, but with steam powered technology that didn’t exist then. It felt sort of science-fiction-y but had a paranormal element as well, with vampires and werewolves as part of normal life.

Lucy Pickett is our heroine. She goes to Lord Blackwell’s manor to take care of her cousin, who has married the earl’s brother. She’s intent on learning the cause of her vibrant cousin’s illness. Lord Blackwell would like her to leave, because he’s attracted to her but cannot act on his desires since he is secretly a werewolf. What?!?

As weird as it sounds, it’s a riveting story with great characters (main and side ones). The story has a good mystery element to it and lots of twists that made it very appealing and easy to read. Overall, I liked it very much and now know more about the steampunk genre. Yea me!

Favorite Quote

You are not, at your core, as you would have people believe. You’ve been sorely misjudged, and your foster the harsh exterior as a means of self-preservation. You are an enigma, a contradiction.” – Lucy

Blackwell’s expression was flat. “My, but you are a dramatic one.”

Available on Amazon

That’s all for now. You can go swim or something. Or drink lemonade in the shade…with a book. Happy reading.

Char

 

Welcome summer – book ideas

To end the month and welcome summer, I thought I’d review a bunch of my favorites I’ve been reading from March to beginning of May.  These books range from Regency to contemporary to paranormal even. Enjoy!

The Husband Mission by Regina Scott

husbandThis Regency romance features a spunky, organized, and very strong heroine. Katherine is determined to see her step-sister wed before her 21st birthday so she doesn’t lose her inheritance to her evil cousin. She sets out on a mission to entrap the perfect husband for Constance in the form of Alex Wescott, Viscount Borin. But Alex is on his own mission to prove to the Foreign office that he is capable of being a spy. When he discovers a tail as he walks through London, he follows the kid back home to solve the mystery of who is having him followed and why. Continue reading

The Brothers Maledetti – Mama Mia!

hookLast month Nichole Van was featured on one of the giveaways I hosted with other authors. Her books intrigued me. So I’ve been checking a couple of her books out on Kindle Unlimited, and I’m HOOKED! Like a big fat tuna caught out at sea, baby! Seriously. I might have found a new favorite author.

Her books have everything I adore: 

  1. Great characters that I connect with (even though they’re nothing like me)
  2. Incredible plots with lots of twists and tangled turns to keep me guessing
  3. A gorgeous setting–Tuscany Italy (that’s hard to beat)
  4. Romantic tension that tugs at my heart strings
  5. Humor

Gladly Beyond

1This story was Beyond Riveting. I couldn’t put it down once I started. The premise is a family curse that has afflicted the D’Angelo family for centuries. A great-great-and-so-on Grandfather asked a gypsy for the gift of sight to turn around his family’s fortunes, and the gift became his and generations of first-born sons curse that drove them mad at the end, driving them to suicide.

Skip to modern day Italy. The curse fractures when not one son, but triplets are born. Each son has part of this gift. This is Dante’s story, but nothing will stop me from reading the other brother’s stories now too. Dante and Claire meet when a crazy old rich guy has them and Claire’s ex-fiance, Pierce, all meet to contend for the job of working for him and cataloging his art collection. Claire and Dante don’t like each other at first, but she intrigues him because he can’t see any shadows around her Continue reading

My Fav Feb Reads

GIVEAWAY OVER: Winner is Kayli Garvin. YEA!!!

It’s time to play a little catch-up (not to be confused with ketchup). Here are a few of my favorite February reads. Most of these I rated 5’s on Amazon & Goodreads, but my Sweet Scale is a little more critical, so a lot are 4’s on here.

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away a copy of the winner’s choice among these, so leave a comment to enter the drawing for March 16th.

Blemish by Jewel Allen

blemishThis historical fiction takes place in the Philippines (early 1900’s) in the Phillipines. The heroine has lived a life of luxury and has a beau ready to propose to her. But one blemish changes everything. Leprosy! Banished to a forsaken island with other lepers, Maristella must learn how to work and live in more primitive conditions as she adjusts to losing everything she cared for—family, privilege, love. As she meets Basilio, another leper in the colony, her heart opens to him. But lepers are forbidden to fall in love and marry. Continue reading

Sweet Reviews

5-1012 (2)Thanks to everyone who has bought and read Game Changer since its release. And especially thank you to those who have reviewed it as well.

Leaving a review on a book you read and like is one of the best things you can do to help an author spread the word about their book and whether it’s worth reading. I know my husband is the kind of reader who goes to Amazon and looks only at books that have a certain number of reviews. So when a book sits there with only 10 or so reviews, even if it’s the most amazing book ever written, most readers won’t give it a chance. Reviews are the lifeblood of authors’ success or doom.

stars

Here are some snippets from some 5 Star reviews that have made me smile.

…The reader will enjoy getting to know these two college students. Both have more depth than they first appear to, and both are wrestling with personal demons. The writing is sharp and the scenes fluid. Though not my typical genre, Game Changer added some sweetness to my normally dark salty fare. A little lightness is always welcome. “(Carrie, Amazon reader)

 * * * Continue reading

Grateful

DSCN9570It has been a rough few months, but there is still so much to be grateful for in my life. I just spent a few days down in Vegas with my mom and youngest daughter, and that made me realize just how precious each moment in life really is.

My mom suffered a severe stroke in September which stole her speech and movement on her right (dominant) side. It’s been a long recovery (and probably still a lot more to go), but I am so tickled pink by her progress. She is learning to communicate again and each word she manages to utter is completely precious. Seriously. I already love the power of words because I’m a writer. But seeing her lack that gift right now makes each word even more powerful when they leave her lips. Continue reading

Goodbye Summer

Summer has gone by like a whirlwind, and Fall is peeking around the corner. I thought I’d share my second book trailer today to give you a few more peeks into my new book that will be released in three weeks. Squeal!!!!

I’m super excited for you to read this book. It’s been so fun to write…and I’ll admit, I’m in love with my characters–Liz, Rawson, Benny and Addie. They’re fun imaginary friends (we authors have lots of those).

As I say goodbye to Summer, I wanted to pay tribute to some awesome books I’ve read in the last month that have made my summer better. Continue reading