DESIRES OF LADY ELISE by Rachel Ann Smith – Release Day/Review

Desires of Lady Elise image

DESIRES OF LADY ELISE 

by

Rachel Ann Smith

 

SYNOPSIS

Desires of Lady Elise book cover

One scandal. Two broken hearts. A decade apart.

Lady Elise knows all too well the risks of falling in love. Her heart was broken by a rake. Instead of hunting for a husband, she helps other ladies escape the nefarious plans of unscrupulous gentlemen.

After a scandal costs Lord Thornston Elise’s hand and heart, he has lived on the fringes of the beau monde. But when his best friend, the Duke of Fairmont, requests his assistance, Thornston is torn. Helping Fairmont means facing the woman who holds his heart and soul.

Succumbing to temptation, Thornston re-enters Society to find Elise still unwed. But as he seeks to reignite her desire for him and earn back her trust, he becomes entwined in one of her investigations. When events take a dangerous turn, he might lose the woman he loves before he can win her back.

Buy it here: Amazon

 

ABOUT RACHEL ANN

Rachel Smith

Rachel Ann Smith writes steamy historical romances with a twist. Her debut series, Agents of the Home Office, features female protagonists that defy convention.

When Rachel isn’t writing, she loves to read and spend time with her family. She is frequently found with her Kindle by the pool during the summer, the soccer field in the spring and fall, or curled up on the couch during the winter months.

She currently lives in Colorado with her extremely understanding husband and their two very supportive children.

Follow Rachel Ann here: 

WebsiteAmazonFacebookInstagramTwitter

 

REVIEW

Fast-paced and action-packed, Desires of Lady Elise is a delightful introduction to a new voice in Regency Romance. Rachel Ann’s debut novella is a quick, fun read that tells a complete second-chance story between Lady Elise and Harold, Lord Thornston. At the same time, it also has me intrigued by the upcoming series. If Lady Elise is the example of the brave, smart, and bold heroines of the Agents of the Home Office series, count on me to one-click every book. Especially if the heroes are as devoted and as besotted as Lord Thornston.

Rachel Ann’s writing is clean and fluid. Desires of Lady Elise shows a lot of potential in the kind of books she will be producing. For future books, I’d like to see more diversity in the main characters. Perhaps less protagonists from the nobility and more from the working class. Some international characters would also be welcome in order to differentiate her books from those by most authors in the historical romance sub-genre.

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

THE NEAREST EXIT MAY BE BEHIND YOU by Amulya Malladi – Release Day Review

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THE NEAREST EXIT MAY BE BEHIND YOU

By Amulya Malladi

 

SYNOPSIS

TNEMBBY cover

THE NEAREST EXIT MAY BE BEHIND YOU is “Up in the Air” meets “9 to 5” for the Pantsuit Nation.

Asmi knows that CPH (Copenhagen, Denmark) is the best airport to shop for clothes, and ATH (Athens, Greece) the best for shoes. The best Zara store is in BCN (Barcelona, Spain). The best airport to buy whiskey at is ARN (Stockholm, Sweden). And LHR (London, Heathrow) and CDG (Charles de Gaulle, Paris) should be avoided for a layover. Airplanes, airports and hotel lobby bars make Asmi feel just as much at home as her apartment in Laguna Beach does.

A marketing director in a biotech company, Asmi rose through the corporate ranks and never really took the time to think about couple-hood. She has good friends, a terrific sister who lives close by, and a married on-again, off-again lover in Paris she sees while she travels around the world for work.

As Asmi reaches the big 4-0 and contemplates making some life choices; her boss announces he is retiring, and she is suddenly thrown into a corporate Hunger Games against her nemesis Scott Beauregard III to win a promotion.

Worried that her inability to commit to a real relationship with a man is a personality flaw and afraid that she’s unqualified for the job she desperately wants, Asmi must learn to lean in to have the career and life she wants and deserves, without worrying about what society expects from her.

For women who read and learnt from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and any woman on her own journey towards leaning in, this is a “lean in” story of a career woman who finds the will to lead.

Buy it here: Amazon

 

REVIEW

IMG_8398Once upon a time, I was Asmi – single, hyper-focused on her career, racking up air miles and hotel points, expert on ranking airlines and airports. I even had the same titles: Director and Vice-President. The main difference is that I earned my title at age 29, the only female and the youngest to hold it, alongside three male peers over a decade older than me. In some ways, I can relate with the main character and her career successes and woes, in many, not so much. Mine happened in the Philippines, a different culture, different environment than Asmi’s GTech here in the US. Still, I found myself riveted by Asmi’s story and enjoyed Ms. Malladi’s telling of it. I’m sure many readers will be able to relate to the situations described in this women’s fiction/career coaching hybrid of a novel.

I appreciate Asmi’s growth throughout the book, although I got frustrated with her many times on her decisions and internal doubts, but I’ve accepted those as part of her character development. What I really love about the book is the strong female support — from Asmi’s sister Ananya, her friend Cara, a sort of mentor in Isadora, and the associates who prefer her to her competition for the position: Scott. This doesn’t mean it was all male-bashing. There are plenty of rational male voices in the story to balance things out, including a stranger at the airport and the main love interest Levi. I also love the multicultural cast of characters. I would have preferred a Southeast Asian to hold the regional role in that part of the world, but I understand the choice of a South Asian from personal experience. In the two companies I worked for in Singapore, both of my former bosses were Indian men.

This is a great read for women in the corporate world who can benefit from the many uplifting messages like silencing your inner critic and believing in your worth and, especially, from the career coaching part of the book. I personally prefer the fiction part, but I have to admit that the excerpts enhanced the storytelling.

I’m giving this four stars because of the excellent quality of writing. I deducted a star because I thought the dropping of brand names and alcohol intake were excessive and the overbearing mother lacked redeeming qualities.

4 out of 5 stars

 

ABOUT AMULYA

Amulya MalladiAmulya Malladi is the bestselling author of seven novels, including The Copenhagen Affair and A House for Happy Mothers. She knows airports well because she works as a marketing and communication executive for a large global company. After fourteen years of mostly bad weather in Denmark, she moved to Southern California where she now lives in sunshine with her husband and two sons. The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You is her eighth novel.

facebook.com/authoramulya | amulyamalladi.com author@amulyamalladi.com | +1 949 502 1432

 

 

PRAISE FOR THE NEAREST EXIT MAY BE BEHIND YOU
And Then She Said Press | 2017
“Every woman will be able to relate to the trials and tribulations that Asmi endures in the workplace as she struggles to climb the corporate ladder in this smart, witty novel. A true gem of a book.”
Deanna Lynn Sletten, Author of Maggie’s Turn

PRAISE FOR THE COPENHAGEN AFFAIR
Lake Union Publishing | 2017
“A sharp comedy of manners and mental illness.”
New York Post

PRAISE FOR A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS
Lake Union Publishing | 2016
“Malladi examines India’s surrogacy industry with honesty and grace. This thought-provoking novel will be a sure hit with book groups.”
Booklist, Starred Review

PRAISE FOR THE MANGO SEASON
Ballantine Books | 2003
“The Mango Season touches on a very human conflict with delicacy and humor…filled with the small details and sensual evocations of life in India without neglecting the claustrophobic aspect of that life.”
The Washington Times

PRAISE FOR A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Ballantine Books | 2002
“[Amulya Malladi] draws us into the novel with her characters, who are refreshingly free of stereotype…no mean achievement for a first-time novelist.”
Los Angeles Times

 

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

ToResistaScandalousRogue_500

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 PERFECT DATE by Evelyn Lozada – Book Blog Tour Review

PerfectDate-BLOG-BANNER-900x337-onsale (2)

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

cherry blossoms tkthea

THE KEY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER

by

Tif Marcelo

KeytoHappilyEverAfter (1)

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.