Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: The Arrangement by Mary Smith

The Arrangement (New Hampshire Bears Novella) 
The Arrangement (New Hampshire Bears) by Mary Smith
Release Date: April 28, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Source: E-Book, ARC

Goodreads Description:

The Arrangement is a novella being released as a part of the Seduced by the Game Cancer Charity Collection. All proceeds will be donated to support cancer research and patient care. More information may be found at:

Vance Pemberton is Irish and his only love is hockey. He sleeps, breathes, and lives for hockey. He’s been in Canada for the past two years paying his dues as the League’s Draft quickly approaches. This is going to be his year. He will be drafted. There’s just one other issue he needs to handle as well.

At the age of ten, Dacey Grion was told her marriage to Vance Pemberton had been arranged. Eleven years later, she has finished university in Belfast, Ireland, her hometown. Now, she waits for Vance to return to Ireland, in hopes they can fall in love and move forward.

It’s not until Vance’s secrets about his family and his life that their arrangement is threatened. What is the right thing to do? Is faith and respect for long-held traditions enough to repair the damage? Can their arrangement be saved? 

Notes about the book:
I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This is a novella and give some more insight into characters introduced in the second New Hampshire Bears book. The action in this book takes sometime before book 2.

Book Quote:
“I'm so selfish in putting my wants and needs before yours. But not talking to you this past week really got me going. I missed hearing your voice and talking with you and then. . ." he stops and looks down at his skates. "Then you showed up at the airport and I knew then I would do everything to show you I care." When he looks back up, there are tears in his eyes.

My Review
When I read book #2 in this series, The Workaholic and the Realist (click title for my review), I was intrigued by two side characters, Vance and Dacey. Then Mary sent me this ARC out of the blue and I was pleasantly surprised to see it was about Vance and Dacey.

Vance and Dacey are in an arranged relationship (think arranged marriage, but starts at a much younger age). They are set to marry. Yet they barely know each other - even though they've been a part of each other's lives since birth. I don't believe I've ever read about a couple that were in this type of relationship. There was also some mystery about them in book two that just made you want more of them.

As the book starts, its glaringly obvious that Vance and Dacey have spent no time getting to know each other. Their relationship is in danger. But you can also see that they care about each other. Then just when you think they are making progress, the author throws them (and you) for a loop! Both characters were unsure what to do in the aftermath. They were loyal to their heritage of arranged marriages and were both deeply disturbed that their arrangement wouldn't work. It was a bit baffling to me. They both felt that the arrangement was their best option. I guess it must be hard to understand if you don't live in this type of world. 

Vance had me calling him bad names and I loved seeing Dacey come out of her meek shell. I still hope we get more of these two.

In addition to learning more about these two great characters, all proceeds from this book will go to a cancer charity. I couldn't find information anywhere on which charity the money will go to. I'm not sure Mary has chosen the charity yet.

Sometime down the road I may offer a giveaway featuring this book. I love the idea of getting a great book in exchange for helping a great charity. If you'd be interesting in a giveaway featuring this book,please leave a comment below. I've tried contests on my blog before. But I just don't get enough traffic and have actually never had anyone enter the contest I've run. So I'm not sure when I'll do such a contest. I'd love to hear from you if you have any suggestions about making my contests/giveaways successful!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #18

Welcome to my post for this week’s Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. This is where I can post about the books and book swag I received this week. I will be posting my list on Sundays and will include anything I received Sunday through Saturday. 

Sorry, I just couldn't get this posted this weekend. Then I had some other posts I wanted to do or scheduled. I was actually going to try to include this in my update post, but thought it would be too long of a post. So it's going on an odd day.

I really thought I hadn't picked up that many new books. BOY, WAS I WRONG! I have put myself on a book purchasing ban. We are going on vacation this summer and I'm trying to save for that. Probably should have thought of that sooner. But, oh well! Of course, freebies are always welcome!

Here’s my list for this week.

*Please check prices before one-clicking*

Melting into You (Due South, #2) Romance: Playing to Win: A Sports Romance (Contemporary New Adult and College Romance) (Gridiron Series Book 1) The Girl with Hearts Only the Beginning (Rockin' Country, #1) 
Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker, #1) The Fall of Sky Sugar Kisses (3:AM Kisses, #2) Only for You (Forever and Always, #1) 
The Amber Project (Volume 1) Keeping The Tarnished Self Destruct (Destroy Series Book 1)


The Arrangement (New Hampshire Bears Novella) The Midnight Sea (The Fourth Element, #1) Bet On Me 

What did you pick up this week? Be sure and leave a comment with a link to your post so I can check out your Stacking the Shelves haul.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Review & Giveaway: Debauched by Jennifer Dawson

Please note that this book is an Erotica book. If you are easily offended by these books, please come back another day when I post a review for something in another genre. I should have another review up Thursday.

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Welcome to my stop on the Debauched Blog Tour! I loved this book! It was one of the hottest books I've ever read. If you like a steamy read, you'll love this book. Below you'll find my review along with an excerpt from the book.

Debauched(Undone #3)
By Jennifer Dawson
Contemporary Erotic Romance w/BDSM elements
Release Date: April 26, 2016


One night in a moment of sheer madness I confessed my secrets to him. All my life I’ve been pretending. Pretending to be the woman I thought I should be instead of the woman I really am. I’ve been faking it and I am good. No one has ever guessed. Except him. He just looked at me and knew. 

Chad Fellows is not the man I want, but he’s fast becoming the man I need.

One night in a moment of sheer madness I held her in my arms and let her cry. I did the right thing, letting her walk away, no matter how much she calls to the part of me that wants to rescue her. We are nothing alike, and she’s a mess of complications in a life I’m trying to keep simple. But then I touched her and made her tremble and now I can’t turn away. 

Ruby Stiles is not the woman I want, but she’s fast becoming the woman I need.

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Please note that I received a copy of this review in exchange for my honest review. It in no way affected my opinion of the book. Also, not that I have not read the first two books in this series. I didn't not feel that it affected my understanding of this book. However, I will be going back to read the first two when I find the time.
I loved this book! The only issue I had with it was that I found the female main character confusing from time to time. But really I think that was because the character was confused and didn’t know what she wanted. In the end it all worked out.

What I really liked was that we were on the journey into kinky sex with Ruby. A lot of books in this genre jump in with a character who has already been a part of this world and things are explained as you go along. Ruby was not part of the D/s world when we’re first introduced to her. She has friends who are part of that world. So we learn along with her. However, she wants no part of this world and does everything to avoid it. But then she meets Chad who is part of that world and she can’t stop thinking about him.

Chad is definitely a swoon-worthy guy! He thinks he can help Ruby. (I so want to put more here, but that gives away part of the plot-line.) He goes about helping her in a gentlemanly way without her really realizing he’s helping her.

Ruby is a little lost as far as life goals and is pretending to her friends to have her stuff together. Chad sees right through this and breaks down her walls. I like that as she relinquished control of her sex life to Chad she gained control of her personal/business desires and began to get her life together.

I tend to do a lot of my reading on my lunch break while at work. When I started reading this book, I purposely did not read it at work. However, there came a point in the book where I just had to keep reading and so I broke it out on my lunch break. I may have even continued to read it after my lunch was over just to finish the book - wink wink.

If you like this genre of books, you definitely need to give this book a shot!


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Chapter 2


I keep my eye on Ruby Stiles, even though I want to forget that night where I’d held her in my arms while she cried. I have a lot going on right now, work’s crazy, I just got a promotion and my competition for the job now works for, and hates, me. I’ve got building development going on—a little side project I started with one of my friends— that’s now taken on a life of its own. I’m putting everything I have into business right
now and Ruby is not something I want to distract me. 

It’s why I didn’t press after I called her the day after Valentine’s and she gave me the brush off, even though I wanted to. I’d hung up the phone and sighed in relief, because when I’d called I’d been half afraid she’d want to follow up on what had gone down between us the night before. Most guys in my situation wouldn’t have called Ruby at all, but I’m unfailingly responsible, especially when it comes to women. I’d done the right thing, ensured she was okay, and asked if she needed to talk. She’d said

Responsibility absolved. That should have been the end of it. 

Only, I haven’t been able to get her out of my mind since that night. That strange, perception-altering night, where nothing played out as I’d been expecting. Before then, I’d always viewed Layla Hunter’s best friend as a pretty rocker girl with whom I have nothing in common. She’s beautiful and has a body that won’t quit, but she didn’t interest me that way I need a woman to interest me. 

Then Valentine’s happened and—I don’t know—something changed between us.

I can still feel her quivering, trembling body in my arms. The stain of tears on her cheeks as she looked up at me with her blue, watery, desperate gaze. Still remember thesound of her voice as she spilled her secrets.

She is nothing I need in my life right now. And even though I don’t want anything to do with the complications she presents, I can’t take my eyes off her. 

As Ashley drones on and on about a subject I can’t even remember, I watch Ruby and that ridiculous excuse for a man she brought with her tonight. She might not be my type, but she looks gorgeous. Her code of dress seems to vacillate from retro rocker topinup girl with an edge. Like a rebel Snow White.

She pulls it off very, very well. 

Tonight she’s decked out in an outfit right out of the nineteen forties, that slimfitted skirt and black-and-white top hugging every curve to perfection. She’s curled her shiny black, shoulder-length hair into sleek waves and even from across the room I can see the brilliance in her blue eyes. And then there’s her mouth, full and ruby red,matching her name.

She looks different from every other woman in the room, and when her dateslides a hand over her hip, I experience an inappropriate surge of possession.

As soon as he settles in next to her she darts a nervous glance in my direction. Our eyes lock, the air pulses, and she jerks her attention away from me. Right then Iknow her date is about me. That she’s brought him as a diversion.

“So what do you think?” Ashley says, ripping me from my thoughts.

I stare down at the cute little blonde who, in theory, is exactly what I need right now. She’s lush, pretty, and has a set of tits I could spend hours torturing. Best of all she’s not mentally taxing. I’m pretty sure she’s been discussing makeup for at least thirty minutes. She’s the kind of girl you take to dinner and don’t have to say a word because she talks a mile a minute.

I’ve clearly missed some sort of question. I give her my most winning smile. “I’m sorry, what did you ask?” I raise my hand to my ear and say in a too loud tone, “It’s kind of loud in here.”

She grins up at me, her expression brilliant and tinged around the very edges with desperateness. I’ve heard all about her trials and tribulations with the guy she used to hook up with. She’s on the rebound and I’m her prey.

She hasn’t seemed to cue into the fact that I’m not interested. What Ashley wants, I have no interest in giving her, and the truth is, I feel bad for her. She’s been screwed over enough. Only I don’t know her well enough to give her a much-needed lecture about men who don’t treat her the way she deserves.

Her lashes flutter and bat up at me in an exaggerated way. “I said I have tickets to the Bulls from work and I was wondering if you wanted to go with me.”

Oh hell. Now I’m going to have to hurt her feelings and I really don’t want to do that. But my lack of attention is not getting through to her, so I’m forced to be direct. I put my hand on her arm and her skin is cold. “Thank you, that’s very sweet, but I’m going to have to pass.”

Her expression falls but I trudge on. Ashley doesn’t realize this, but I’m doing her a favor by not wasting her time, and squashing any hope she might have for us. I want to give her the work excuse, but based off her history, that won’t cut it.

I rub my hand over her arm and smile. “I’m not an option for you, Ashley. I’m sorry about that, but you deserve a guy that is going to give you the time and energy you deserve, and I’m not that guy.”

She jerks a little under my touch. Her face twists for a moment before it surges with hope.

I repress my sigh. 

She puts her hand on my waist and I immediately drop my hand from her. She shakes her head and laughs a little. “That’s cute. But you’ve misunderstood; I’m not looking for anything serious. I’m not looking for commitment. I’m looking for fun. That’s all.”

All bullshit, but I’m more than happy to let her save face. She’s looking for the loophole most guys would fall into, but I’m not that easily manipulated. Most women confuse good guy with push over, thinking that I am not wise to their games, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I shrug. “I apologize if I misunderstood. But I’m not available.”

Her attention drops to my mouth, turning hungry. Annoyed, I glance over her head and see Ruby talking to Jillian Banks and Leo Santoro, she laughs at something they say and then her gaze catches mine.

She frowns, and then it disappears almost as though she’s caught herself. Which she probably has. I’ve noticed that about her. She filters everything. Reveals a glimpse of her true emotions before covering it up with what she believes she should feel.

“What about for fucking? Are you available for that?” Ashley’s words rip me back to her. She’s wearing a seductive expression and her hand has curled into the waistband of my pants. “We could go upstairs right now and I could blow your mind.”

I resist the urge to express my exasperation with her. In her defense, this approach would work on ninety-eight percent of guys, so it’s her misfortune I fall into the two percent. I contemplate my options. I could go stern, but she’d probably like that. I could continue being nice but assertive, but that doesn’t seem to be working. I run through a couple other choices but decide on the truth.

I wrap my fingers around her wrist and forcibly pull her off me. Then I look deep into her eyes and say with complete sincerity. “I am not an option for you. We are
friends and that’s where you and I will stay.”

Her expression falls again and her chin quivers the tiniest bit.

While I’m sympathetic, I don’t relent. I release her hand and reach up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear. “You’ve been hurt, Ashley. I’m sorry about that. But as a friend, let me tell you, this isn’t the way to mend your broken heart. A man won’t fix what’s broken inside you. You have to do that all on your own.”

Over her head I see Ruby climb the steps leading to the second floor.

I smile at Ashley. “I wish you luck. You deserve to be happy and I hope you findit. But I’m not your guy.”
Her eyes brighten. “Okay.”

I chuck Ashley under the chin. “You okay?”

She nods and points to a group of girls hovering around the kitchen island. “I should get back to my friends.”

I smile at her. “Sounds like a good plan.”

Ashley walks away, leaving me alone. I drain the rest of my drink and narrow my eyes on the stairs.

The last thing I should do is go upstairs.

I put my drink down on a small bar table.

But I’m going anyway.    

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  A tour wide giveaway for $25.00 Amazon gift card (Paypal for International winner) and eBook collection of the Undone series