THE PERFECT DATE by Evelyn Lozada – Book Blog Tour Review

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THE PERFECT DATE

by

EVELYN LOZADA

with Holly Lörincz

 

SYNOPSIS

The Perfect Date cover

When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.
Angel Gomez has never lived by the book. A Bronx-based unwed mother by the time she was sixteen, Angel’s personal mission has always been to show the world that a Puerto Rican girl is not to be messed with—especially by a man. The only thing that matters to Angel, now, is providing for her son and earning enough tips at the club to complete her nursing degree along the way. Love is nowhere on her agenda.
Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is a star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts whose romantic escapades make delicious fodder for gossip columns. But lately he’s been trying to keep a lower profile—so much so that when he meets Angel, first while she’s in her nurse uniform and the next time behind the bar, she has no idea who Duke is, fails to fall for his obvious charm, and ends up throwing a drink in his face! She is the perfect woman for Duke … to fool the tabloids into thinking he’s finally settling down. But what begins as a charade soon has Duke and Angel hurtling into a full-blown romance that rocks each of their worlds and begs the question: Is this the real deal—or are some love stories just too good to be true?

Buy Link:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250204882

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Copy of Evelyn Lozada

EVELYN LOZADA is a high-profile Latina-American reality television personality, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her role on VH1’s hit series Basketball Wives (2010-present), OWN’s hit series Livin’ Lozada (2015), author of the first installment of the book series: The Wives Association: Inner Circle (2012), and creator of Healthy Boricua (A Puerto Rican Lifestyle Guide to Healthy Living). Evelyn has become a national trendsetter, a “go to” fitness export, jewelry designer, fashion and beauty maven, social media royalty, and a stimulating voice and proactive supporter of causes that effect women and girls through the Evelyn Lozada Foundation. Evelyn is a Bronx native, mother of two (Shaniece Hairston and Carl Leo Crawford), who currently resides in Los Angeles.

Copy of Holly Lorincz

 

Holly Lörincz is a successful collaborative writer and owner of Lorincz Literary Services. She is an award-winning novelist (Smart Mouth, The Everything Girl) and co-author (best-selling Crown Heights, and How to Survive a Day in Prison) living in Oregon.

 

 

 

REVIEW 

When St. Martin’s Press’ publicist offered me an advance copy of The Perfect Date to review, I readily accepted after seeing the cover and the name of a PoC author. I was like, “Yay for representation and inclusion.”

I had high hopes for this book as I love some of its elements: multicultural main characters, placing a priority on education, desire to rise up from poverty. I thought I would be able to relate to the heroine since I also have a little boy. I thought there would be strong family support and solid female friendships.

I thought wrong. The Perfect Date did not live up to expectations. The writing is unpolished, the pacing is uneven, and the editing is unsatisfactory with plenty of grammatical errors and head hopping points of view. The main characters are unlikable and the many sub-plots are too heavy and angsty without let-up.

I cannot even consider it a proper romance since the main focus of the book was not Angel and Duke getting together to form a loving relationship. Each went about their own way – Angel to deal with the creep of a doctor she works for while studying for her exams, and taking care of her sickly son; Duke to return to playing baseball while hiding his injury and warring with his blackmailer of an ex-girlfriend. Their association was forced, their meetings combative. They never had a perfect date, so the title doesn’t fit.

Only Angel’s friend Gabrielle and her son Jose are positive representations of people of color. The rest, including Duke, are abusive, drug addicts, amoral cheaters and blackmailers, and in the case of Angel, whiny and hot-tempered.

Contrary to the blurb, The Perfect Date is not fun. It’s a soap-opera drama better suited to a reality show on TV. If you’re a fan of that, this book might be for you. Sadly, it is not for me.

 

Two-half-stars

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

 

 

UNLACED BY THE HIGHLAND DUKE by Lara Temple – Release Day Review

UNLACED BY THE HIGLAND DUKE

by

LARA TEMPLE

 

unlaced cover

 

Unceremoniously packed off to Scotland to care for the Duke of Lochmore’s young son, practical widow Jo Langdale fears she will be ignored as always. But the deep connection and heated passion that develops between her and Benneit is far more dangerous! When Benneit is expected to propose to another, how dare Jo dream of becoming his duchess?

Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages

Buy links:
https://www.books2read.com/lochmore
Amazon: https://mybook.to/Lochmore
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNlochmore
Kobo: http://bit.ly/LochmoreKobo

 

REVIEW

I thought I’ve gotten tired of reading about a handsome duke and a plain “poor relations” governess until I read Unlaced by a Highland Duke and realized I can still love this classic trope. That is provided the author is as talented as Lara Temple and the story and its characters are as well-written as this book.

I continue to admire Lara’s mastery of the English language. Her impressive vocabulary lends her narrative authenticity in terms of placing the story in its proper time period and exact locations. Whether the scene is inside a carriage, on a beach, or in a castle, the reader views them the same way a character does through exquisite visual descriptions. One could see the stark beauty of the landscape, feel the jagged edges of the rocks, hear the roar of the wind as they happen in the book.

That high quality is carried through in the well-developed characters, especially Jo and Benneit. What I love is that they didn’t need to change who they are and that layers of their personalities are revealed throughout the book. Their discovery of their feelings for one another was beautifully laid out amidst the obstacles they face especially that of Benneit being unofficially affianced to someone who can secure his son Jamie’s future. It’s incredibly easy to root for them to obtain their happy-ever-after.

Another thing I appreciate from this Unlaced is the fact that the secondary characters all served a purpose. They’re memorable and each is distinct from one another. I really approve of Lara making Jamie a normal boy who is adorable but can also be a brat sometimes.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. It has the style and feel of the old school romance books by Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, and Johanna Lindsey that I love so much. Great story, fascinating characters, engaging dialogue,  and fantastic writing. A five-star read.

 

ABOUT LARA TEMPLE

Lara Temple

Lara Temple writes strong and sensual regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.

When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s historical romance novel Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store and fell completely in love with historical romance. It took three decades and several fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech before she turned this love into writing Regency romances.

Lara lives with her husband, two children and a very fluffy dug who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She recently went looking for that crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was. Hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

Social Media links:
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaraTempleAuthor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaraTemple1
Twitter: @laratemple1
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2mWin9R
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LaraTemple
Website: www.laratemple.com

IT’S GETTING SCOT IN HERE by Suzanne Enoch – Release Day: Review and Giveaway

IT’S GETTING SCOT IN HERE

The Wild Wicked Highlanders

Suzanne Enoch

 

Synopsis

The first in a wickedly seductive new Scottish historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch!

“It’s time to fall in love with Suzanne Enoch.” — Lisa Kleypas

It's Getting Scot in Here cover

HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal—and won’t try to tame her wild heart…
IN THE HIGHLANDS
Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HOTTER
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out…

Buy-Book link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250296375

Review

A fun new Highlander series from Suzanne Enoch. The MacTaggert brothers’ entrance was spectacular and getting to know each of them (Coll, Aden, and Niall) as the book progressed was enjoyable. They were not necessarily nice, more often rough and rude, but they love one another and have the best intentions even if they didn’t show it to the hated Sassenachs.

Being a series starter, It’s Getting Scot in Here is understandably filled with introduction of multiple characters, but it became very obvious quickly that Niall and Amelia are the stars of this particular book even if you don’t read the blurb. I like that their attraction grew from proximity and lots of conversations. I like that there is a true societal conflict–which is reflective of the times–that they have to overcome to be together. And, I especially appreciate how the entire family came together to help them get their happy resolution.

With a fascinating background of the cross-cultural clash between English ton and Scottish highlands, this is a great start to the Wild Wicked Highlanders series and I’m looking forward to the next installments.

 

Giveaway

St. Martin Press is giving away a paperback copy of It’s Getting Scot in Here to one lucky follower of Carpe Diem Chronicles. All you have to do for a chance to win is Like this post and Comment. I will draw a winner on Monday, March 4 at 12 noon Central time.

 

Author Bio

Suzanne EnochA native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies almost as much as she loves books, with a special place in her heart for anything Star Wars. She has written more than forty Regency novels and historical romances, which are regularly found on the New York Times bestseller list. When she is not busily working on her next book, Suzanne likes to contemplate interesting phenomena, like how the three guppies in her aquarium became 161 guppies in five months.
Some of Suzanne’s books include Barefoot In The Dark, It’s Getting Scot in Here, Lady Whistledown Stirkes Back and The Legend of Nimway Hall.

ILLEGALLY YOURS by Kate Meader – Book Blitz Review and Giveaway

 

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ILLEGALLY YOURS

by Kate Meader
Laws of Attraction, #2
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Loveswept

illegally-yours-cover

AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T33QbR
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RDdmWA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2CwCwvN
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2RyxTvs
B&N: http://bit.ly/2Cwewsq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FMsPwe
iTunes: https://apple.co/2sz1UMP

 

add to goodreads

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Rule #1: Never fall for your client.
Rillegally-yours-teaser-1ule #2: Never fall for your client’s fiercely protective, smoking hot sister-in-law.

I’m the kind of guy who believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation money can buy—which just so happens to be me, Lucas Wright. Give me your henpecked, your cuckolded, your irreconcilable differences yearning to break free! And if you’re the bad guy in your marriage, that’s cool too. Your green is as good as anyone’s.

Tell that to Trinity Jones. It’s my job to destroy her sister—the soon-to-be ex-wife of my a-hole of a client—and Trinity’s “big sis” instincts are dialed up to the max. I admire that. I admire her. But she won’t stop me from representing my client to the best of my ability.

Not even if my chemistry with Trinity is undeniable. Not even if we can’t keep our hands off each other. Not even if she injects life into a heart assumed to be long dead.

Because when faced with a choice between love and duty, the job will always win—or at least that’s what I thought before I met Trinity . . . and suddenly conflict of interest never felt so right.

 

REVIEW

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I read Illegally Yours to reward myself when I reached the word count goal on my upcoming novel. After crying my eyes out from writing a break-up scene, I needed the humor and the clever banter Kate Meader provided through Lucas and Trinity.

I thoroughly enjoyed Down With Love, the first book of this series, but I have a soft spot for this one as interracial romance is my jam. Add that to the fact that there’s so much about family and friendship along with romantic love in this book, I can’t help but, well, love it.

I’ve been reading Kate’s books for a couple of years now and I’ve come to expect her to deliver an engaging read. She didn’t disappoint. She never does.

Amidst the divorce proceedings of Trinity’s overly-dependent younger sister from Lucas’s douche of a client Brian, we find a slow(ish)-burn love story that skirts ethical standards (hence the title). We learn that what these two show to the world–Lucas’s loudmouth clown persona, Trinity’s dependable competence–are nothing more than masks hiding painful personal history. Neglectful parent, guilt, misplaced pride, long-held resentments, etcetera. Their slow opening up to each other matched with simmering physical attraction made their relationship work for me.

I loved the older woman-younger man scenario, the varied locations, the trivia quiz, all the pop culture references, and the fascinating side characters. Grant and Aubrey’s awesome back-and-forth in this story had me excited for their own happy-ever-after.

Illegally Yours had been a great break from writing and I must get back to it so as to add more love to the world.  Thanks, Kate, for this fantastic story. Looking forward to more of these in 2019 and beyond.

ABOUT KATE MEADER

Kate-Meader-e1434416954712

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Reader’s Group | Bookbub | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 
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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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add to goodreads

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/