EDEN’S VOICE by Catherine Stein – Release Day Review

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Happy Release Day to Catherine Stein’s Eden Voice, the first book of a new series she’s calling Sass and Steam.

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Football, mechanical dragons, industrial espionage, sexy romance. Welcome to fall in Ann Arbor.

Eden Randall has her life under control. Sure, people call her weird for having a mechanical dragon with her at all times, but she’s content. All she needs are her studies and her sports—and for the football team to have another undefeated season. What she doesn’t need are nosy men from out-of-town poking into her business.

Spending months in a tiny town shadowing the football team is the last thing Boston reporter Bruce Caldwell wants to do, but the tedious job could be his ticket to something bigger and better. When he meets a sports-mad spitfire on the sidelines, he realizes the town may hold stories far more interesting than he expected.

With dragons running loose in the laboratory and a ruthless New York industrialist threatening their budding friendship, Eden and Bruce find themselves players in a game far more dangerous than the one on the gridiron. Never ones to quit, they know the only way to emerge as The Victors is to become a team. This football season, winning might mean losing their hearts.

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Buy links: 

Books2read      Amazon      Google Play      Kobo     Barnes and Noble

 

ABOUT CATHERINE

Catherine Stein

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras and full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious girls. She loves steampunk and oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in clothing that was purchased at a Renaissance Festival, drinking copious amounts of tea.

Follow Catherine here: 

Facebook page        Facebook group        Twitter        Instagram        Pinterest               Bookbub        Goodreads        Amazon        Book + Main        Newsletter

 

REVIEW

In a genre often accused of being formulaic, Catherine Stein and her latest work of genius Eden’s Voice stand out as refreshingly original.

First, there’s the setting: 1904 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most historical romance novels I read are set in England during the Regency. If they’re American-based, they’re typically in New York during the Gilded Age or in wartime Texas. I’m astounded by the depth of research Catherine must have undertaken to make the time period come alive as she did in this book.

Next, there’s the football theme. The historical sports romance category has only one entry and this is it. The author’s love for the game shines bright. Competence porn at its best.

Oh wait, there’s another unique sub-category for this book–historical STEM romance. All the biomechanics were explained in an engaging manner, I felt smart after reading those passages.

And then we have the characters. How I love Eden and Bruce. They come across as real, compelling, and sympathetic people to me and that’s not just because they both have disabilities. It’s because their thoughts, feelings, decisions, and actions appear true to who they are.

Catherine Stein has become my favorite steampunk romance author from the moment I read How to Seduce a Spy. Eden’s Voice only cemented that status in my mind with its fantastic story, smooth flow, wonderful characters (even including the villains), steamy sexy times, and amazing originality.

5 stars

HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS by Kerrigan Byrne – Release Day Review & Giveaway

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HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS 

by 

Kerrigan Byrne

 

SYNOPSIS

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These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

Buy-book link:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250243270

 

ABOUT KERRIGAN

Kerrigan Byrne

 

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. With her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, Kerrigan has fulfilled her dream of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW

I am such a huge fan of the Victorian Rebels series that when a new Kerrigan Byrne series-starter was announced for the anticipated August release instead of Inspector Morley’s story, I was slightly disappointed. That feeling didn’t last long because this new Devil You Know series promises the same intensity and vivid imagery that made me love Kerrigan’s books from the first moment I started reading them in 2015.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days introduces five (?) of the compelling characters in this new series: Alexandra and Piers, Cecelia and Case, and Francesca. (I have a suspicion about who Francesca’s partner will be. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the book yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s someone from her past.) A close friendship, hair color, and shared secrets bind the three female leads while familial ties connect two of their love interests. Kerrigan drew each character so distinctively, I can picture them in my head clearly.

She did the same with the book’s many locations and action sequences, so much so that it has the feel of a gothic screenplay. There’s plenty of violence — from the shocking Prologue to the dramatic denouement. There are also tender moments in between wherein Piers and Alexandra learn one another on their way to falling in love. Instant chemistry, mutual interest in exploration, and emotional connection make these two work as a couple. After suspicions, misunderstandings, secrets, and threats to their lives, their happy-ever-after is well-deserved.

Both are heavily scarred. Piers physically, from a skirmish with a jaguar, and emotionally, from a negligent mother and an unfaithful lover that colored his opinion of women. Alexandra’s sexual assault when she was a teenager and the tragic events afterwards forever changed her personality. Fear, shame, and guilt warred within her despite accomplishing so much from her archaeological pursuits. Their coming together is a miracle only a romance novel and a talented author who wrote it can achieve.

The use of male names for the female characters, an abundance of villains, and the over-elaborate language are some of the elements I didn’t fully appreciate, but aside from these, I really liked this book and I’m extremely excited for All Scot and Bothered –Cecelia and Ramsay’s story.

4 out of 5 stars

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, I’m giving away a paperback copy of Kerrigan Byrne’s How to Love a Duke in Ten Days to one of my US readers. All you have to do for a chance to win is comment below. I will draw a random winner at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 3. Watch out for the announcement here and on my Facebook author page Maida Malby.

TO RESIST A SCANDALOUS ROGUE by Liana De la Rosa – Happy Release Day

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TO RESIST A SCANDALOUS ROGUE

Liana De la Rosa

SYNOPSIS

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𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩.

For Finlay Swinton, Viscount Firthwell and only son of a powerful earl, life has been a lark…until he discovers a terrible family secret that could ruin him. Determined to make a name for himself free of scandal’s shadow, he runs for Parliament. However, he encounters Charlotte, the mysterious woman who disappeared after their one night together, and he finds it impossible to stay away, despite her working class status and Jewish faith that threaten to destroy his chance for success.

Widowed, penniless, and desperate, Charlotte Taylor secures a teaching position at a foundling home and relaxes into a predictable existence. That is, until Finlay, the man she shared one romantic night with, reappears, a specter from her past. He ignites her passion, even while he threatens the precarious foundation on which she’s rebuilt her life. But when those from her past return to endanger her hard-earned security, she’ll have to reveal his secret or go to prison.

Buy Links: books2read.com/u/3GxL0p

 

ABOUT LIANA

LianaProfile1Liana De la Rosa is a historical romance writer whose stories are set in the Late Regency and Victorian periods. Her Once Upon A Scandal series is published by Entangled Publishing’s Amara Imprint. Her writing also appears in the Avon Romance anthology, A DUKE TO REMEMBER.

Liana has an English degree from the University of Arizona and enjoys cheering on her alma mater in all things. When she’s not writing witty heroes, saucy heroines, and secondary characters screaming for their own stories, she’s a wannabe domestic goddess and fashionista who wrangles her rambunctious brood of small children with her patient husband in Arizona.

Follow Liana here:

Twitter and Instagram: @LianainBloom

THE KEY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Tif Marcelo – Happy Release Day

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THE KEY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER

by

Tif Marcelo

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All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

Buy here: 

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2HitZik
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LH1Dni
B&N: http://bit.ly/Key2HEABN
ibooks: https://apple.co/2wYD7En
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2WEIh3f 

 

REVIEW

tkthea flowersI hardly ever see myself represented in romantic fiction (which is why I write them myself), so I can’t help but gush whenever I read one that has someone like me as a main character.

Vanity, thy name is Maida, for when I read The Key to Happily Ever After–the latest work by Tif Marcelo–I feel like she based her heroines on me. I’m Filipino-American, a (former) wedding planner, and I lived in Alexandria. Like Marisol de la Rosa, I’m the eldest, the one who is expected to be responsible, to take care of her younger siblings, and someone who is a tad dictatorial. I’m also Jane, the middle sister, who is good with numbers and has a sweet little boy. Like Pearl, I’m resourceful, creative, I (used to) do yoga, and a little impulsive at times.

Even if I wasn’t Tif’s inspiration for her characters, I can still lay claim to these wonderful women like I never can for all the other female main characters in the hundreds of books I read and review every year. That’s what makes this book and this author special to me.

Not to say that only Filipinas can relate to these beautiful, complicated women. For surely, everyone who has ever had siblings, especially sisters, can put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists in this book. These are women who want to break free from long-held stereotypes regarding birth order, who struggle for individuality even as they remain loyal to the family, who retain unresolved issues from the past that color, if not outright dictate, their present attitudes and actions. They attempt to balance work and love amidst family drama and mostly succeed. Hey, it’s romantic fiction, after all.

Light but not fluffy, deep but not angsty, The Key to Happily Ever After is well-written, well-told, well done. I highly recommend this book to readers who value excellent storytelling  and who are open to reading books that accurately reflect the diverse world we live in today.

 

ABOUT TIF MARCELO

Tif Marcelo

Tif believes in and writes about heart-eyes romance, the strength of families, and the endurance of friendship. A veteran Army Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration, she is a craft enthusiast and food-lover. As a military spouse, she has moved nine times, and this adventure shows in some of her free-spirited characters. Tif currently lives in the DC area with her own real life military hero and four children.

Follow her here:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

 

 

Of Birthdays and Thanksgiving

Happy Birthday to me and Boracay Vows and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

In the Philippines, a child’s first birthday is among the best celebrated events in their life. Parties take on fiesta-like proportions with lots of food, including pancit and lechon, and oftentimes karaoke competitions. Having survived their first year, the child is expected to live a long life from then on.

As I consider Boracay Vows my first book baby, I’m celebrating its first birthday with so much joy and gratitude.

I am incredibly grateful for all the support from family, friends, and even strangers. My debt to those who bought Boracay Vows, and especially those who reviewed it, is something I can never repay. I can only try to return their generosity by sharing more of my stories and writing them with love.

My appreciation also goes to the romance writing community. I wouldn’t have been able to move forward in my writing if not for the tips and sharing of their time and resources by other authors.  

To my tribe: OSRBC, Writing Group, SARA, Indie Author Support, Romance Café, Lone Star Book Blog Tour, Romances That Sizzle, Love Romance Reads – Thank you very much for the inclusion, acceptance, and encouragement.  

To my wonderful family here in the US and in the Philippines, thank you. I love you.

I’ve been so blessed in my life, it’s only fair that I give back. For my birthday I’ve placed both Boracay Vows and its sequel New York Engagement on sale for only $0.99 each until November 28. I will donate all earnings from this period to the American Red Cross, my small way of helping those in need.

Buy links to the books can be found here: 

THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Kerrigan Byrne – Release Day Review and Giveaway

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THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

(Victorian Rebels Vol 6)

by

KERRIGAN BYRNE

 

Duke with dragon Tattoo coverSUMMARY:

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

Buy Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
IndieBound
Powells

 

REVIEW:

I love Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series. I’ve only ever complained about the title of the last book (should have just been The Scot period), but the stories have all been compelling, the writing outstanding.

My favorite had always been The Highwayman. The first book, it set the bar high. Dougan and his Fairy are ❤️❤️❤️. Now, The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo’s The Rook and his Lorelai are seriously competing for the title of the series’ best couple. There’s just something about them falling in love as teens and staying true after twenty years that tugs at my heart. It’s the ideal of the “one true love” in fairy tales that’s the basis for most romance novels and it works for both The Highwayman and The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo.

“Lorelai, there are only two indisputable facts in this world: The sun will set in the west, and I’ll come for you. Always.”

The lines in this book are so memorable, my Kindle is filled with highlights and bookmarks. Amazingly, most of them are uttered by the hero. That the hero is a pirate/murderer/kidnapper/smuggler/bad, bad, bad boy makes it even more incredibly romantic.

If I write as if the characters are real people, it’s because Kerrigan fleshed them out so expertly, they come alive in my mind. The characters, both main and secondary, are nuanced. They’re flawed, damaged, human.

I always start Kerrigan Byrne’s books at five stars and would adjust at the end for things that didn’t work for me. With TDWTDT, everything worked–the storytelling, the sexytimes, the reunion, the treasure hunt, the revelations in the end. That’s why I’m giving it the full five stars.

 

GIVEAWAY:

Duke_with_the_Dragon_Tattoo_FB_Cover_v2I’m giving away a paperback of The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo to one US reader. To enter:

  1. Like and Follow this blog Carpe Diem Chronicles by Maida Malby. Comment below. (2 points)
  2. Like and Follow my author page Maida Malby on Facebook and comment on this post there. (1 point)
  3. Follow me on Twitter @maida_malby and reply to this post there. (1 point)
  4. Follow me on BookBub. (1 point)

I will draw the winner on Monday, September 3 at 12 midnight CDT.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kerrigan ByrneWhether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She now lives at the Pacific Coast, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Social Links:
Author Website: http://www.kerriganbyrne.com/
Twitter: @Kerrigan_Byrne
Facebook: @KerriganByrneAuthor
Instagram: @KerriganByrne

Happy Release Day – THE MAGICIAN’S BLOOD by Linda G. Hill

Congratulations to my fantastic editor Linda G. Hill on the release of THE MAGICIAN’S BLOOD, Book 2 of her The Great Dagmaru paranormal romance series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Magicians Blood SOCIAL MEDIAHerman Anderson is in love. Thrilled to travel across Canada with her boyfriend as his assistant onstage, she returns to her hometown—the first stop on the Great Dagmaru magic tour. Anticipating a reunion with her brother, instead she finds her family has moved without a trace.

Stephen Dagmar’s career as a stage magician is taking off. With Herman by his side, his only concern is her father’s dislike for him. But as Herman’s father makes a prediction and resolves to come between them, Stephen’s family curse returns to haunt him.

Darkness descends as the reality of the Dagmar’s incubus bloodline surfaces for the first time in over a generation. Can Herman and Stephen’s relationship survive this new trial? Will Herman survive at all?

A sinful tale of beauty and romance, love and determination, The Magician’s Blood will chill you and leave you breathless for more.

*18+ Contains explicit scenes.

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Buy it on Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FKZMVLS/

And everywhere else: https://books2read.com/u/bzPZQ9

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

51zEkWS7bmL._US230_Award-winning author Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.

A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

Website: https://lindaghill.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/lindaghill.fiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaGHill

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/linda-g-hill

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/lindaghillfiction/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linda.g.hill/