Blog Tour | Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers | Review

HONEY GIRL (Park Row Books; February 23, 2021; $17.99) by Morgan Rogers is a stunning #ownvoices debut, a charming, lyrical, and introspective romantic coming-of-age story about Grace Porter – millennial, Black woman, astronomy Ph.D. – who wakes up after a wild night in Vegas married to a woman she doesn’t know. 

Strait-laced and structured all her life, Porter now faces life without a plan for the first time ever. Between her disappointed military father, the competitive job market, and a consuming sense of aimlessness, finding and falling in love with her wife across the country seems to be the only right answer. But Porter’s problems are just as big in Brooklyn as they are anywhere else, and she realizes she’s going to have to face adulthood whether she’s ready or not.

Buy Links | Harlequin  | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Books-A-Million | Powell’s

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I would say that this is a great book for anyone on the precipice of their adult life and at a crossroads. It explores a lot of topics, ranging from depression to more coming of age aspects. It illustrates the feeling of being overwhelmed and unsure of where you want to go, which is often the case after finishing something as all consuming as a college degree (or in this case PhD). I really enjoyed how fleshed out Grace was, she was a wonderfully complex and real character. Some of the other characters weren’t as well established as her and for me some of the relationships weren’t completely believable in some aspects but these were very small nit-picking things. I really enjoyed this novel, and really appreciate that it was an #ownvoices debut novel, I definitely look forward to more from Morgan Rogers in the future.

Morgan Rogers is a queer black millennial. She writes books for queer girls that are looking for their place in the world. She lives in Maryland and has a Shih Tzu named Nico and a cat named Grace that she would love to write into a story one day. HONEY GIRL is her debut novel.

Social Links | Author Website | Twitter: @garnetmorgue | Instagram: @garnetmorgue | Goodreads

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery

MacKenzie Dienes’s life isn’t perfect, but it’s as close as she could ever hope to get. Her marriage to Rhys, her best friend’s brother, is more friendship than true love. But passion is highly overrated, right? And she loves her job as the winemaker at Bel Apres, her in-laws’ vineyard. So what if it’s a family business and, even after decades of marriage and incredible professional success, she’s still barred from the family business meetings? It’s all enough…until one last night spent together leads to an incredibly honest—and painful—conversation. Rhys suggests that they divorce. They haven’t had a marriage in a long time and, while he wants her to keep her job at Bel Apres, he doesn’t think they should be married any longer. Shocked, MacKenzie reels at the prospect of losing the only family she’s ever really known…even though she knows deep in her heart that Rhys is right.

But when MacKenzie discovers she’s pregnant, walking away to begin a new life isn’t so easy. She never could have anticipated the changes it would bring to the relationships she cherishes most: her relationship with Barbara, her mother-in-law and partner at Bel Apres, Stephanie, her sister-in-law and best friend, and Bel Apres, the company she’s worked so hard to put on the map.

MacKenzie has always dreamed of creating a vineyard of her own, a chance to leave a legacy for her unborn child. So when the opportunity arises, she jumps at it and builds the Vineyard at Painted Moon. But following her dreams will come at a high price—one that MacKenzie isn’t so sure she’s willing to pay…

Buy Links | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Books-A-Million | Target | Walmart | Kobo | AppleBooks | Google Play

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The more I read of Susan Mallery’s writing the more I enjoy it, I’m definitely thinking I’m going to need to pick up more of her books when I’m looking for chick lit. This book really covers the transitive nature of life and truly coming into your own when you discover that what you have may not really be what you need. Even though it was hard at times I really enjoyed Mackenzie’s journey as she found herself after the loss of her marriage and presumed place. It was interesting to see how relationships and actions towards her changed once her marriage ended, but also heartbreaking in some ways. This book will make you feel a wide range of emotions as you follow along with her story.

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives―family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Holiday Fakeout

Holiday Fakeout
Publication date: October 19th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Desperate for a *fake* date for the holidays? Oh Joy and Cheers! We’ve got you covered with 22 holiday tales to heat up your season!

Travel from small towns to cosmopolitan cities, snow covered mountains to gorgeous mansions. You’ll meet sexy billionaires, brainy tech gods, buff journalists, sinfully cocky athletes, and sizzling hot chefs. They’re naughty and nice (and everything in between) and they’re enough to fulfill any romantic fantasies.

These 22 swoon-worthy heroes are ready to be your plus-one at holiday events, from Christmas weddings to Chanukah and Kwanza celebrations. Each starts out as a charade, and though they might lie to family, friends, or co-workers, they won’t be able to fool themselves when a very real romance develops.

Escape into addictive tales of second chances, new beginnings, secret crushes, friends to lovers, love triangles, and forbidden rendezvous. Throw in a mix of suspense, laughs, passion, and temptation, and your holidays are set.

Download HOLIDAY FAKEOUT now to get your Christmashanakwanzika season started. The tingles, butterflies, and swoons brought on by these sweet and scorching stories will have you wondering which book boyfriend you should bring home for the holidays.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Blog Tour | The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa | Review

Wicked faeries and fantastic danger… Welcome to book one of the new trilogy in New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey fantasy series, as infamous prankster Puck finally has a chance to tell his story and stand with allies new and old to save Faery and the world. 

“YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF ME…”

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten. Filled with myths and faery lore, romance and unfathomable dangers, The Iron Raven is book one of a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the world of The Iron Fey.

Buy Links | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | AppleBooks | Google Play

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have not read the other books set in this world, but having loved some of Julie Kagawa’s other books I definitely wanted to pick this one up. It can definitely be read without reading the past books, but I’m sure having them as a foundation would give more oomph to it.

I really enjoyed how fast paced this was, I didn’t really feel like there were any sections that dragged. It was easy to get immersed in the quest that the characters went on and no one really felt superfluous to me. I will definitely be going back and reading the previous books in this world and look forward to any future installments that are coming in the future!

JULIE KAGAWA is the New York Times, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author of The Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, The Talon Saga and the Shadow of the Fox series. Born in Sacramento, she has been a bookseller and an animal trainer and enjoys reading, painting, playing in her garden and training in martial arts. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and a plethora of pets. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Back in the Texan’s Bed by Naima Simone | Review

He’s going to claim his child and the woman who got away…from USA TODAY bestselling author Naima Simone. Will they ever learn that giving in to desire is playing with fire?

After discovering he has a secret son, oil heir Ross Edmond isn’t letting Charlotte Jarrett walk away again. He proposes they move in together—to share their son…and a bed. But Charlotte has secrets, and Ross doesn’t know the real reason his family’s former chef left town three years ago—and they still have a powerful enemy who could bring them both down…

Buy Links | Harlequin | B&N | Booksamillion | Amazon | Indie bound

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This story contains a few different tropes, some that I often enjoy and some that don’t always hit right for me. I always enjoy a good second chance romance but the secret baby storyline isn’t always what I reach for. I really enjoyed the Charlotte herself, but the miscommunication between her and Ross was just too much for too long. There were also some instances where side characters didn’t seem to be quite consistent between their words and actions, but most of the characters were enjoyable to read. All in all I did enjoy the story and would read more of Naima Simone’s writing as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Published since 2009, she spends her days writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. She is wife to Superman–or his non-Kryptonian equivalent–and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern US.

Author Links | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria | Review

An Ember in the Ashes meets Mask of Shadows in Emily Victoria’s #ownvoices debut YA fantasy, This Golden Flame, in which asexual Karis, a servant to the mysterious Scriptorium, accidentally awakens long-dormant automaton Alix, initiating an epic adventure full of magic, rebellion, and finding where you truly belong.

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible – she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father – their nation’s greatest traitor – once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

BUY LINKS | Bookshop.org | Powell’s | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Amazon | Chapters | Kobo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was not expecting this book to suck me in from the beginning, but it did. The beginning definitely gives a good introduction to Karis and her motivations and it hits the ground running so to speak. I did enjoy the setting and aspects of Ancient Greek that were woven into the world/story. The duel perspectives of Karis and Alix were well played off of each other and it was nice to have a perspective that wasn’t just another human character. I loved the inclusion and diversity of the characters and their orientations without it being a huge thing. Those are my favorite types of inclusive stories, when it’s just normalized within the world. There were definitely aspects where the story could have gone a little farther, but overall I really enjoyed the story and the characters. Even minor characters were given fleshed out identities that were wonderful to read and breathed life to them even as the main characters worked through their adventure. I could see this having a sequel or companion, but I think it’s meant to be a standalone – still, the potential is there.

Emily Victoria lives on the Canadian prairies with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, works at her public library, and has just finished her Masters of Library and Information Studies.

SOCIAL LINKS |
Author website: https://www.avictoriantale.com/

Twitter: @avictoriantale

Instagram: @avictoriantale

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Forgiven by Garrett Leigh | Review

High school sweethearts Mia and Luke get a second chance at love in this brand-new contemporary romance from award-winning author Garrett Leigh. 

When Mia Amour returns to England to open a florist shop, all she wants to do is put her lousy ex behind her and never look back. But getting a fresh start is easier said than done when her first love, the boy who once broke her teenage heart, strolls back into her life. He’s every bit as sexy as she remembers, and the urge to melt back into his arms almost makes her forget how devastated she was when he took off without a word. Almost. 

Left with no choice, Luke Daley did what he had to do, leaving town to earn enough money to save his broken family, though it just about broke him, too. But now he’s back, running his uncle’s business and trying desperately to forget about Mia, the girl he left behind all those years ago. When he runs into her in town, the shock of seeing her again brings an intense rush of emotions: love, guilt…and an overwhelming urge to find out if it’s still as amazing between them as it used to be.

It doesn’t take either of them long to give in to desire and discover the fiery passion they once shared burns hotter than ever. With each new touch, each moment of forgiveness, old hurts heal and the future they’d hoped for ten years ago becomes possible again. But their fragile connection is tested by a threat neither of them saw coming—a threat that could end their second chance before it even gets started.

BUY LINKS | Harlequin.com | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Oh boy, if you’re looking for a second chances romance that is full of angst and very strong emotions, then this one will fit the bill. These characters and their feelings towards each other were deep rooted and intense, but not in a bad way. I really enjoyed Mia and Luke’s journey even though some of Mia’s reactions and emotions seemed perhaps a little too much, still it was believable with what she had been through as well as her personality overall.

It was an intense story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The writing style was easy to read and moved along at a good pace which made this a perfect read for a single sitting. I also really enjoyed some of the side characters and their interactions, which pointed towards the next book in the series.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess

Connect with Garrett Leigh

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Aftershock by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell | Review

When an earthquake strikes San Francisco, forensics expert Jessie Teska faces her biggest threat yet in this explosive new mystery from the New York Times bestselling authors of Working Stiff and First Cut.

At first glance, the death appears to be an accident. The body is located on a construction site under what looks like a collapse beam. But when Dr. Jessie Teska arrives on the scene, she notices the tell-tale signs of a staged death. The victim has been murdered. A rising star in the San Francisco forensics world, Jessie is ready to unravel the case, help bring the murderer to justice, and prevent him from potentially striking again.

But when a major earthquake strikes San Francisco right at Halloween, Jessie and the rest of the city are left reeling. And even if she emerges from the rubble, there’s no guaranteeing she’ll make it out alive.

With their trademark blend of propulsive prose, deft plotting and mordant humor, this electrifying new installment in the Jessie Teska Mystery series offers the highest stakes yet.

BUY LINKS | Harlequin | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | Books-A-Million | Target | Walmart | Google | iBooks | Kobo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After reading the first book in the series, I knew I wanted to read this one as well. While you can read this one by itself without reading the first one, there are some references which will stand out more if you have already read the first one. That being said, I loved this one just as much as I enjoyed First Cut.

The twists and turns of this one, especially with the earthquake thrown in, made for a fast paced story. Jessie is strong in her desire to discover the truth and admittedly that doesn’t always sit right with people, especially those who haven’t appreciated it in the past. Some of the best moments in the book are the interactions between characters and how hard Jessie works to uncover what really happened. To be fair she doesn’t always choose the best way to do it, but it makes the story more impactful.

Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell are the New York Times bestselling co-authors of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, and the novel First Cut. Dr. Melinek studied at Harvard and UCLA, was a medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. T.J. Mitchell, her husband, is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad to their children.

SOCIAL LINKS
Twitter | Judy: @drjudymelinek | TJ: @TJMitchellWS
Facebook | @DrWorkingStiff
Instagram | Judy: @drjudymelinek
Goodreads | Judy | TJ

Big thanks to the publisher for including me in the blog tour – happy reading!

Blitz | A Warlock’s Storm by Marie-Claude Bourque

A Warlock’s Storm
Marie-Claude Bourque
(The Order of the Black Oak – Stories #1)
Publication date: January 21st 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

A WARLOCK’S STORM: A Seasoned Urban Fantasy Romance

Meet the Order of the Black Oak: a powerful order of modern-day warriors fighting evil to protect the ones they love.

When rugged warlock turned fisherman Reynolds Stanford finds himself stranded in a haunted New England harbor at the approach of a powerful tropical storm, he must battle more than sea monsters and revenants. The gorgeous female panther shifter sent to help him by his family is tugging emotions buried deep within his soul and he fears that while he might survive the night from the deadly assault on his ship, he may very well end-up losing his heart in the process.

If you love loyal tough guys with hearts, satisfying slow-burn paranormal romance and safe Happily Ever Afters, the Black Oak World is for you.

Fantastic series of action, magic and awesome romance. You will fall in love with the characters and feel you are right with them.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Meet Rey…. (Her POV)

Reynolds Stanford was a tall strapping man. His shoulders were wide under the fitted white t-shirt now sullied from the slayed monster’s blood, his posture solid with the harpoon planted at his side.

Saira’s insides, still bristling from the shifting hormones, rumbled with lust. Her niece Kerala had forgotten to mention how hot the recluse warlock was.

“What the hell is this?” Rey glanced at the sea then back at her, his brows knitted in confusion. “Where did you come from?”

She shrugged, her lips still curled in gentle amusement at recalling his earlier shock of seeing her appear out of nowhere. “Your cousin Diesel sent me.”

“Diesel, huh?” His tone lightened as he shook his head and stored his harpoon by the hatch leading below. “I should have known, the boy likes his magic.”

“He thought you might need help.” Barely five minutes ago, she’d been standing inside a magical circle at Breaker Hall in Seaport while Diesel and his mother, both extremely powerful sorcerers, had performed the ritual that had sent her here.

When her niece Kerala—who also happened to be Diesel Stanford’s wife—had learned through her fishermen connections that their cousin Rey had decided to sit out the tropical storm in a haunted cove, Diesel had been worried for his safety. Saira had volunteered to help. She’d been visiting with the couple for a fortnight and getting bored.

From her perch on the top deck, she surveyed the perfect circle of bay in the last light of the ending day. The mounting surf crashed at the shore on high cliffs dotted with tall pines. The one narrow pebble beach was littered with small, broken derelict boats, their mismatched planks oddly jutted upwards in their final journey.

She shuddered and her smile vanished. “Devil Eye Cove. Doesn’t look like the friendliest place.”

Author Bio:

Marie-Claude Bourque is a Seattle-based author of gothic paranormal romance and the winner of the American Title V award with her first novel ANCIENT WHISPERS.

Her writing features modern-day fantasy skillfully weaved into infinitely romantic supernatural stories between smart strong women and complex passionate heroes.

Happily Ever After always absolutely guaranteed!

Newsletter / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Amazon


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Blog Tour | Playing With Fire by April Henry | Review

Playing with Fire
April Henry
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: January 19th 2021
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.

Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now she is cautious and always plays it safe. For months, her co-worker Wyatt has begged her to come hiking with him, and Natalia finally agrees.

But when a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back, a perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. With no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, a group of strangers will have to become allies if they’re going to survive. Hiking in the dark, they must reach the only way out―a foot bridge over a deep canyon―before the fire catches them.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


I was hoping that this book would be thrilling and keep me on my toes, and it sure did. It’s fast paced to the point of being frantic in some places, which perfectly suited the situation the characters were in. Definite trigger warnings if wildfires is something you have dealt with, or if you have a fear of fire – the way the story is told is very real and true to what people may experience in some cases. Going along this survival story with these people is anxiety inducing as they run into obstacle after obstacle, which made it a harrowing read, but also made it fly by. If you’re looking for something that will keep your pulse racing until the end, check this one out.

Author Bio:

April Henry is the New York Times–bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels The Girl in the White Van; Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Anthony Award for Best YA Mystery; Count All Her Bones; The Lonely Dead; Run, Hide, Fight Back; and The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, the first two books in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour too!

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1