Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Not the Hot Chick by N. Raines

Not the Hot Chick
N. Raines
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Not the Hot Chick Boxed Set: Books 1 – 4
This complete set contains Not the Hot Chick, Not the Stand In, Not the Friend with Benefits and Not the Placeholder

No one would call curvy Layla Messner hot. Sweet and smart, yes, but not hot. All that changes when she meets sexy bartender Cam. This bundle contains all four of parts of the Not the Hot Chick serial featuring a BBW heroine with heart and a hero with plenty of substance beneath his seductive style. Contains hot hook-ups, bitchy neighbors, ice skating blunders and—just possibly—love to last a lifetime.
Sign up for Nona Raines’s newsletter and get Not the Hot Chick Book 1 for free!
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They sipped their cocoa in companionable silence. Layla tried not to let her thoughts dwell on Paige, whoever she was. To distract herself, she gestured toward the skaters young and old gliding by on the ice. "They make it look so easy."
"Lots of things look easy. Let me ask you a question. When a kid comes to you whining that the assignment is too hard or they can't figure out their homework, do you tell him, ‘Oh, that's okay, Jimmy. If it's too hard, don't bother. Just forget the homework.'"
She gave him a withering look. "Don't be silly. Of course not."
"Right. You work with him. Ask him what he doesn't understand. Go over it with him until you're sure he gets it. You don't let him give up."
She held back a sigh. "I have a feeling you're working up to something."
"Yeah, I am. Following your example, I'd be a pretty lousy teacher if I let you give up."
"I'm not giving up." Being compared to a whiny schoolkid wasn't a compliment. "And I don't whine."
He stared out at the ice rink. "Okay." He took a sip, swallowed, then began to murmur in a high, crybaby voice, "Wah, my legs feel like spaghetti. I can't lift my feet, I'm gonna fall. Don't go so fast. You're going too fast, you'll make me fall."
She gave him a shot with her elbow. "Teachers are supposed to encourage their students, doofus. Not make fun of them."
 He huffed a laugh. "You got me there. Okay, no more teasing. But you gotta promise you'll keep trying."
She smiled. "I promise."
It was so nice, joking around with Cam and hanging out. Just because they'd hooked up in the past didn't mean they couldn't be friends. Though Cam had indicated he'd be just fine adding "benefits" to the mix, Layla had no intention of letting that happen. First of all, Drew was in her life now. Second, Layla knew she couldn't be that casual about sex with Cam. She liked him too much. It wouldn't be hard for her to develop deeper feelings for him.
Not because he was hot, though of course he was. His thick, wavy head of hair made her want to run her fingers through it. His hazel eyes brimmed with mischief, and just a glance from him could send a tingle through her. More than that, he was smart, ambitious, and a genuinely good guy. It would be so easy to fall for him.
And what would Drew say if he knew all that? Maybe he'd want you to stop seeing him. Isn't that why you've kept your friendship on the low? Because you don't want to take that chance?

Author Bio:
N. Raines (who also writes as Nona Raines) is a former librarian who lives in upstate New York with her many pets. She’s currently working on her next novel between walking the dog and shooing the cats off the laptop. Her erotic romances are published with The Wild Rose Press and Loose Id. Her transgender romance His Kind of Woman was nominated for the 2014 DABWAHA sponsored by the Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review blogs. Her most recent work is the romance novella Write to Me and the transgender romance Her Kind of Man.


Friday, September 9, 2016

The Friday 56: Runaway Heart by Amity Lassiter

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*It's that simple.

Boy! It's been a long time since I've done one of these! This week's selection is from my current read Runaway Heart by Amity Lassiter.


Book 1 in Amity's Lassiter's first book in a new sweet western heat series!

Ren Maddock wouldn't call herself a runaway, but when she's backed into a corner by a childhood she'd rather forget, she's chosen flight every time. With her teenage sister in tow, Ren picks Three Rivers, Colorado and hopes that it will provide them with the quiet, simple life she's been looking for. She doesn't expect responding to a job ad will have her suddenly wanting to break her only hard and fast rule: never lay down roots.

Dane Baylor already has his hands full running the family cattle operation when a tragic accident leaves him as his young nephew's legal guardian. Before long, he finds himself over his head and desperate not to betray the trust his brother put in him. He doesn't know how badly he needs Ren until she shows up and balances out not only his life but his heart.

For the first time in years, Ren feels safe, and despite her best efforts, believing in the happy life she could have with the man who offers her the love she's never known. But when her past comes knocking, threatening her new family and her new life, she may have no choice but to fight for everything she holds dear.



From page 56 -- "Bad things happen to good people. It's part of the journey. Gotta be there to get here."

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Making Me Sane by Lindsay Paige

Making Me Sane (Sanity #2) by Lindsay Paige
Release Date: September 7, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 256
Source: E-Book, ARC

Goodreads Description:
He was my boyfriend. My rock. The love of my life.

She was my girlfriend. My love. My everything.

He abandoned me.

I walked away.

I hate him, but I love him.

I love her and have nothing but regret for letting her go.

He caused me so much pain; I just can't trust him.

I can't live without her. I will earn back her trust.

He's drawing me in but should I stay?

I'll fight for her with everything I have.

Is there a chance we can go from driving each other mad to making each other sane?

My Review

Thank you Lindsay for the opportunity to read this ARC for my honest review.

Lindsay’s books for me are all about the characters. I’m always drawn into the characters and end up falling in love with them. The characters are always one of if not the most important thing about a book for me. My favorite books are always the ones where I feel like the characters are friends. Then when I come to a second book I feel like I’m catching up with an old friend. Lindsay’s characters are like that for me.

So while this book is about a sad and depressing subject, I enjoy the characters. There is also a happy ending to this book. The whole book is about the character’s struggle to manage their depression and anxiety to the point they’re able to live a happy life. In the end, they get that.

This book picks up one year later from where Driving Me Mad left off and Trace is trying to win Brittany back. He comes up with some clever ideas - much better than the dates and sweet things to do I could think of. Brittany’s heart betrays her brain and she finds herself turning to Trace for comfort several times.

I absolutely loved the ending! In an effort to prevent spoilers, I will just say that it contained two things I love in a book. I also appreciated the fact that we got a full epilogue at the end of the book. A lot a books give you  short little epilogue that leave you with more questions. Not this one.

If the depression and anxiety don't hit too close to home for you and you like romance, I definitely recommend this book!

Check out Lindsay's website to read excerpts from the book at http://authorlindsaypaige.blogspot.com/.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon 2016

I’m joining the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon. I’m always interested in read-a-thons and this one is two weeks long. That means I will have ample opportunity to participate. I’m not sure yet what I’ll have going on in my personal life those weeks. But since it is 2 whole weeks I should be able to participate some. A lot of RATs I see are very short and almost require you to stay up all night to get anything accomplished in them. My old body just can’t do that any more.

I’m thinking I will have a weekly post where I update my progress throughout the week. Then on the weekends I might post a bit more just depending on how things are going and how the creative juices in my brain are flowing.

Here’s the list of books I’m going to try to read from.

These are books I went out and purchased because I found a good deal on them or they were part of a series I wanted to continue/finish. But then I’ve never made the time to actually read the books. So I’m making the time now.

Jesus Freaks: The Broken Ones by Andrea Randall
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Independence by Shelly Crane
Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

Then I have some books that I’ve won I would like to get around to reading.
The 5 Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson
Black Opal by Catie Rhodes
Cupcake Overload by Bethany Lopez (but I need to read 1st book)
East of Redemption by Molly E. Lee

Then there are several Freebies that I’ve really wanted to start, but just never did for some reason or other.
Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith
In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers
With Visions of Red by Trisha Wolfe
Not Yet by Laura Ward
From Gods by Mary Ting
The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank
Power of the Matchmaker by various authors

I could actually go on and list many more. :) I will probably only actually finish a few of these books unless I really get into one and/or stay away from other distractions (tv, video games).
The RAT runs from September 12th through 26th. If you’d like to join in on the read-a-thon, you can find all the information at Wishful Endings blog. You don’t have to be a blogger to take part. You can join in the fun via Goodreads or comments. It should be fun!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Blog & Personal Update

Sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. I’ve just been experiencing summer. I was going good until we took our summer vacation. Then when I returned, I just didn’t feel like blogging. 

I can tell you that I’ve thought about giving up my blogging and just recording my reading progress on Goodreads. Then I realized that there are some events in the reading blogosphere that I enjoy and look forward to taking part of in the upcoming months. So I’ve decided I’d just post when I feel like it. After all this is my blog, I can do want I want. It’s not like I’m making money from it. There are times where I just want to read and enjoy the book and not have to analyze my feelings about it. I almost feel like writing reviews has spoiled my love of reading. On the other hand, I’m reading more these days than I ever have.

One of the reasons I started blogging was because I wanted a place to discuss the books I loved and to help support the authors I’d discovered that needed more exposure. As I write this post I’m realizing that yes I’ve posted reviews on these books I’ve read. But I’ve not discussed them too much outside of my reviews or focused on the authors I’ve met through my reading and exposure to the internet book world. Maybe in my future posts I will try to focus on that. No guarantees. I’m just randomly typing my thoughts at this point.

Now to turn to a personal update. It’s been a good summer for me. My daughter was home for college. Shortly after returning home, she was accepted to study abroad next spring. This study abroad program isn’t a free program - we have to pay for it. My husband and I feel it’s a great opportunity and support it fully. To support herself, my daughter began job hunting almost immediately. She accepted a restaurant job and days after got an interview for a full time summer job at the plant where I work. So then she was faced with either giving up the restaurant job before even working her first day or working both jobs. Faced with having to pay for her study abroad program, she chose to work both jobs. So she spent the summer working 7 days a week - Monday through Friday at the plant I work and Saturday and Sunday at the restaurant. This meant we didn’t see a lot of her. But she made enough money for her airline tickets. I’m proud of her for her efforts!

We did have a week together in Orlando. It was the best family vacation we’ve ever had. We took my daughter’s boyfriend with us. The two of them and our son pal’d around a lot - searching for Pokemon a lot of the time. It’s the most I’ve seen my children willing spend time with each other and for the most part they got along. Our best day was the day we went to Clearwater Beach. I loved this day! It was relaxing and carefree! We spend an hour or two at the ocean and then were run out by a storm. We found a great local restaurant to eat at - Crabby Bill’s in Indian Rock Beach. I think it was our best meal of the whole trip. We ended that night at another beach searching for shells. It melted my heart to see my kids searching for shells for me because they knew that’s what I loved.

Now school has started again and my daughter has been back at college for two weeks. I’m not ready for summer to end. But I figure since the husband and kids are back at school, I might as well enjoy some cooler weather and football to go with it. My husband, son and I are planning to watch football all day (as soon as they return from the park from throwing some pitches :) ).

I hope you all have had a great summer as well! I know some of you have sent kids off to college and other great things. Feel free to share with me in the comments.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Release Blitz & Review: The Sex Education of M.E. by L.B. Dunbar

Title: The Sex Education of M.E.
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: August 22, 2016


I’m forty, flabby, and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good home, a decent job, and great children. I had a loving marriage for twenty years where we had our ups and downs. It wasn’t perfect; but it wasn’t awful. Then he died. 

After the grief took its course, and the reality of my life set in, I grew frustrated. It wasn’t the bills or the struggle to keep my interest in my work. It was life without a man – the only man I’d been with for twenty years. And before you go all feminist on me, it isn’t that I can’t be an independent woman, but there are certain areas where a man is necessary. 

You need a fuck buddy, my friend said.
I didn’t even know what that meant.
Is it friends with benefits?, I asked.
Better, you don’t even have to be friends, she offered.

Boy, did I need an education in the modern workings of dating, and sex.

A coming-of-an-older-age novel.
Something new from L.B. Dunbar -- a stand alone!

Purchase Links


Author Bio

L.B. Dunbar loves the original legend of King Arthur. Inspired by this classic tale, she pulled over to the side of the road to take notes when it hit her that if King Arthur lived today, he'd be a rock star. A lover of fairy tales, myths, legends, and anything with happily ever after, she loves to read and write contemporary romance. Her Legendary Rock Stars series is complete with the final tale: The Trials of Guinevere DeGrance, but the story began with The Legend of Arturo King. She also wrote The Sensations Collection, which includes five stand alones based on the five senses in a small town setting near Lake Michigan. Raised on one side of that lake, she grew up in Michigan, but now lives on the other side, in Chicago. Mother to four, wife to the one and only, and teacher to hundreds of former students, she looks forward to sharing more stories in the future.

Author Links



 I went into this book with interest because it was about a woman who had recently lost her husband and was looking to get back out into the dating world. She had met her husband in college and therefore had little experience in the dating world or with sexual relationships. I found similarities in myself and her and was interested to see how she handled it. 

Through her best friend she is put into situations that she's really uncomfortable with. But she finds herself going through with them even though that is totally against her character. I found myself living vicariously through her. If it were me in those situations, I would definitely have baled and run. 

We knew from the start that Merek was hiding something from Emme. But I have to say that the author did surprise me with what he was hiding. Although she did give some clues, I just didn't link them to the truth. 

I have to admit that toward the end of the book M.E.'s insecurities began to frustrate me and I really felt like slapping her.  In the end Merek turns out to be a real smooth talker. He knows how to express his feelings and wants in a swoon-worthy way. I really would like to share something he tells Emme at the end of the book, but I'm afraid of spoiling anything. 

L.B. Dunbar really knows how to write some hot and steamy scenes. If you're into those type of scenes, this book is worth it for those. 

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my review.