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Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Historical Christmas Event with Sara Ramsey

Sara Ramsey is a historical romance author with great taste in Champagne, bad taste in movies, and a serious love for journals and washi tape. Her award-winning historical romances feature plenty of devious dukes, daring ladies, and happily ever afters. Sara has called both Iowa and San Francisco home, but she's currently wandering the globe while writing novels and searching for the perfect cup of tea. Find out more about her work at

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Friday, December 15, 2017

A Historical Christmas Event with Erica Ridley

Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance novels. Her two most popular series, the Dukes of War and Rogues to Riches, feature roguish peers and dashing war heroes who find love amongst the splendor and madness of Regency England. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

ARC Review: Beast: The Beginning by Mary Catherine Gebhard

Let me just start by saying that this book is neither as dark nor as erotic as it seems to sell itself as being and I found that disappointing. When I started this book I was super excited because I love me a dark/sold myself to a sexy dark man story. It seemed like that's where we were headed in this story. Frankie trades her life to Beast and the mafia in exchange for the life of her Father. Beast carries her back to his castle (well, it was more like a condo in NY but whatevs) and proceeds to possess her...sort of. 

Right away there is some non-consensual sex which may really disturb you given that Frankie is a virgin. This is followed by some other pseudo humiliation you might expect in a dark romance. But it all goes wrong really fast. First of all, beyond the opening scenes which don't give us much, there is almost no sex in the book. WHAT? What happened to all the steam? The thing that irritates me is that Beast, in his inner monologue is continuously discussing how much he wants Frankie and how she turns him on. Then in real life, he refuses to have sex with her and the reason was super annoying. Beast decides very early on that he wants Frankie to admit that wants him. Frankie is stubborn as heck. So even though her body is constantly "betraying" her, she won't admit that she wants Beast. 

Speaking of Frankie, I just honestly don't know what to think about her. Frankie is a strong character who does some really dumb stuff. Every time I thought I really liked her, she would do something that made me want to smack her. I think this may be a function of Frankie being really young. I think she is like 19 or 20. She hadn't really been anywhere in life or done anything and the author may have been too good at depicting her. 

It is obvious that Frankie wants Beast but they spend like 60% of the book locked in this battle of wills and honestly, it's kind of tedious and exhausting. Beast seems to actually fall for Frankie very early on. This is not a good thing in a dark romance. It cast the dark actions of Beast in a particularly unfavorable light. If you're going to be the dark character, be that. You can't be the beast and the good guy at the same dang time because it makes you look mentally unstable. 

Also, I appreciate the author's effort to weave some deep intrigue into Frankie's identity and the whole mafia subplot. However, I really couldn't follow the subplot. There were too many characters and family lines to keep track of. I couldn't remember who was who or who Frankie might have been. I thought the subplot could have been cleaner and clearer so that it wasn't so distracting. 

This is what I can tell you, this definitely is not a great dark romance but it's not a bad book. And even with all of the issues that I've described, I'm still going to read the conclusion to the story in Beauty because I'm intrigued enough to want to see how it all ends.

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | 

A Historical Christmas Event with Caroline Linden

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer code before discovering that writing fiction was far more fun. Eleven years, fifteen books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC-RWA Reader's Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA's RITA Award.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ARC Review: Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry

I have read and loved books by Brittainy C. Cherry before, but Behind the Bars absolutely blew me away. This book is a standalone story and the first in her new Music Street series and honestly it completely broke me and then put me back together piece by piece. It was hard at times and a very emotional read, but it was filled with love and hope and healing and was such a beautiful story. 

Jasmine was the popular new girl, with Elliot the shy and awkward loner when they first met. But their love of music had them forming an instant connection. Though their lives were lonely, they had each other and their music until suddenly Jasmine was gone. Years went by and both of them experienced dark times that changed who they were. Without contact, they were left to face things alone. But when Jasmine returns home she knew that she had to find Elliot again, even knowing that he wouldn't be the same boy she once knew. But after everything that has happened, can they possibly find a way to move forward together or will there be too much that has happened for them to heal together? 

I absolutely loved Jasmine and Elliott. My heart went out to both of them right from the start. Each of them had things they were battling, and nothing came easy for them. I couldn't believe just how much was thrown at them and how they managed to survive was a testament to how strong they both were, even when they struggled. These two needed one another, and time and distance didn't change that at all. They were at their best when they were together and their connection was one of a kind. It was so much more than just music and loneliness between them, though that is what originally brought them together. These two were meant for one another and honestly I couldn't imagine a world in which they didn't find some happiness and love together after everything that they had been through. 

Overall, this book was everything. It was sweet and hopeful, emotional and heartbreaking. I won't lie and say this is an easy book to read. A lot happens that upset me and I found myself in tears more than once. But the journey of these characters was one that I think is worth the read and it will stay with me forever. This is my favorite book of Brittainy C. Cherry's to date, and her writing just gets better with each book of hers I read. This is one of the best books I have read all year, and I highly recommend it!

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

Purchase: | Amazon |