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Taking the Reins Takes Me to a Happy Place


I just finished Taking the Reins by Kat Murray. I am a western girl and this book meets all the standards for a western read. To top it off, it is  winner of a book.

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I bought the book when Barnes and Nobles ran it at a discount, but even at full price I think the story is a winner and well worth the expense.

Peyton Muldoon is keeping her ranch together by the skin of her teeth. She fires the cheat of a trainer her mother was sleeping with before she died, but needs a new trainer in a bad way to give the ranch the credibility it needs. Redford Callahan is the answer to her prayers, in more ways than one, but she’ll never admit that.

The attraction between the two is undeniable, but Peyton is hell-bent on making the ranch productive without falling into her mother’s footsteps. Red will put the place on the map, his reputation precedes him as a top rated cowhorse trainer. Who can fight nature though? When Red kisses her, she’s a goner and her high road ethics fly out the window.

I love the way the characters play off each other and the sassy easy banter in all of the dialogue. The story line is light and breezy with enough sexual tension on every page to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Kat writes a great book. Her story is believable and the characters are believable and easy to like. What’s not to like about a great looking cowboy with manners and heaps of character?

This is a five-star summer read. Enjoy!!

Thanks for the book Kat!

Nena

One For Kami Guest Review


How appropriate I am talking about a love story the week of Valentine’s Day.

Today I want to tell you about a story available now from Amazon on Kindle from Charlene Wilson.

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Charlene is the author of romantic tales that take you to other worlds, dimensions, and times, as well as our very own. Whether it be Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Contemporary, she weaves lasting love and intrigue into multi-layered story lines to immerse you in the lives of her characters. Fate and destiny have a plan. Are you ready to believe again?

Author site:  http://CharleneAWilson.com
Blog:  http://bit.ly/CharBlogs
Facebook:  http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonFan
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/AuthorCAWilson
Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonGR
Pinterest:http://pinterest.com/charleneawilson/

Today her newest creation is One for Kami.

One for Kami cover 3 800x1200

http://www.amazon.com/One-for-Kami-

Print Length: 38 pages

Publisher: Oracle Bay Books (December 21, 2012)

ASIN: B00ARU2Z6A

This is a story of what true love is all about. Kami lives in a society where men of the Elite are required to take three wives. When confronted with the possibility of sharing her love for Ian with two other women, she would rather live a life away from him than suffer that heart ache. She takes a position on another planet to forget her feelings and tries to start a new life without him. New surroundings do little to ease the feelings she carries for him in her heart.

(spoiler) Just before she embarks on the mandated return to her world, a figure reveals himself to her. Imagine her shock to find it is Ian, who leaves his status and his world behind to be with her. *swoon*.

We are transported to a new world through this story. Excellent descriptions place us in Kami’s surroundings. Charlene pulls us into Kami’s world and reveals her deepest thoughts and her most intimate feelings. We experience the pull of Kami’s heart and the confusion she experiences as she encounters a new culture. Coupled with the frustration she goes through as she tries to forget about Ian, but everything always leads back to him.

I love the way Charlene still uses the lure and pull of true love to transcend the boundaries of worlds and time. Her story is poignant and tender, a read worthy romance.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

 

Kami’s blouse bunched up her back as she slid down the wide oak’s trunk. Bark grazed her skin and snagged her hair with its aged layers until her bottom hit the ground. She cringed at the sharp pangs. Folding her knees to her chest, she buried her face in her arms and welcomed the punishment. Hurting Ian pained her more than anything she’d done in her life.

Autumn leaves crunched beneath his footsteps as he paced the woodland’s small clearing. Each stride matched two beats of her heart and crushed the sweet memories of their grove. Dust scented the air as he shuffled into a turn.

“Why are you just now telling me this?” His breath hitched and he cleared his throat.

Words wouldn’t form as Kami lifted her gaze.

Setting his hands at his slender waist, his hazel gaze shifted to the shadows of the young birch trees. A cloud of insects drifted through the pale trunks, soft hums filling the air as they paused. Wiping his hand across his strong jaw, he looked back at her.

“You know I love you, Kami.”

Tears stung as they seeped beneath her lids and she blinked to relieve the burn. “I need to be the only one, Ian. I can’t know you might love someone else more than me when you choose another wife.”

She lowered her gaze to the thick roots that surrounded her. They wove within the caramel-colored ground, creating a perfect lounge for two lovers in an embrace. How many times had they sat there and shared their secrets, their love? How many times had he told her she was the one, the only one? She cursed the fact that she was gullible enough to believe it could be true.

Kami forced her voice through her tight throat. “When I first saw you, you were playing with that scruffy looking little dog in the park. Its hair was so long and matted I thought you couldn’t afford to pay a groomer. I thought that sock with the knot in it was all you could come up with to be his toy.”

He lowered his gaze. “That stray lives at the park and I removed my sock to have some fun with him.”

“I know that now. But then I assumed you were poor. And after the third date of peanut butter sandwich picnics by the river, I thought I knew for certain. I mean, who could love peanut butter that much? And what member of the elite class prefers such a simple activity for a date?”

She scanned his solemn countenance. His love of nature was one of the things she adored about him, alongside the fact that he didn’t feel the need to flaunt his wealth. But to keep such a fact from her under the circumstances… “I fell in love with you, believing you would make me the one choice you were allowed as a member of the lower class.”

A gust of wind lifted his black hair to dance around his face. The cheery motion seemed to mock his lips as they dipped into a deep frown. “If it were up to me, I’d have only you. Can’t you believe that? I’ve waited, pushed the age limit to wed, looking for the right one to be my first. My first, Kami. The others will never mean what you do to me.”

“If you really love me, you’d want me alone. No other. Period.” Frustration bubbled in her chest at her misconception of their love.

He tilted his head and bit his lips together. “I can’t help that I was born an elite. If it were possible…”

“If it were possible, what? You’d give up your birthright and join the ranks of the vagabonds who can’t afford food for the one wife and child they’re allowed? Or you’d buck the system and refuse to wed the other two? That would only land you earthbound, exiled to a foreign dimension, and stripped of everything but the clothes you wear. And while you’re considering it, I’d advise you to wear a thick coat and heavy boots because I hear they choose some pretty rough climates for those who refuse to live by this law.”

The sarcastic response rolled off her tongue before she realized it, but she didn’t care. It wasn’t right. None of the counsel’s decisions on eliminating poverty was. The lower class weds one spouse and bears only one child while the elite must choose three and produce as many offspring that would come to them? It was absurd.

Find another way to spread the wealth than through inheritance.

She looked at him, and her voice rose with her exclamation. “I can’t stay here and conform to the laws of this dimension. Not when I know there are other places that don’t require such things. I need the freedom to love whomever I want whoever they are, without the stipulation of a quota. And if that means transferring, then that’s what I’ll do.”

“If your mother was alive…”

“Well, she’s not.” Kami scowled. She had expected him to try to bring her mother into this, but it hurt just the same. “But, I can’t believe she wouldn’t want me to be happy. She was one of a quota, Ian, one that had only one child. Father’s attention stayed on the others.”

Ian’s broad shoulders lifted as he took a deep breath and sent his gaze back to the trees.

“I’m leaving for a six-month stay in Three-Two-Three. With me gone, you’ll be free to start your family before you turn twenty-five. I won’t stand in your way to fulfill your obligation. You’ll have time to find a woman that will happily live by the law.” Her voice lowered to a mumble. “And I won’t have to see you do it.”

Ian’s heavy brow furrowed and his dark lashes narrowed his gaze. “And what will happen if you find someone while you’re there? That realm doesn’t know we exist, Kami. What will you tell him when you leave every six months to come back to renew your travel rights?”

“When I choose someone, it will be because our love is true. He’ll understand I need some time away.”

His mouth dropped open and he shook his head. “What love that’s true has those kinds of secrets?” A scowl crossed his face and he drew his hand through the air. “And what makes you think a love there would be truer than my love here?”

“They choose only one. They pledge their hearts and it lasts a lifetime.”

“Promises can be broken whichever realm you’re in.” Orange and yellow leaves scattered as he marched across the small tract and sunk to the ground before her. Taking her hands in his, he looked into her eyes. “Stay here. Marry me. Be my elite choice. There can be only one first time, and I want it to be you. Let it be enough.”

It took all of Kami’s strength to look away. She clenched her jaw, trying to control the hiccup that would surely release a sob.

Ian shook his head and his voice lowered to a plea. “Please, Kami. Don’t go.”

She pinched her lips together and the hiccup forced its way to her throat. Snatching her breath, she kept it silent, but it jarred her into action. “The consort has already granted my leave. I’ve taken the training and temporary employment is waiting for me. If I can make it work, I’ll arrange to stay longer.”

The frank tone of her voice gave her strength as she stood. “Goodbye, Ian.”

Ian’s hands slowly released her as he rose and stepped back. His square jaw flexed. “Never say goodbye. This isn’t the end.”

Tearing her gaze from his hazel eyes, Kami focused her thoughts on the Inter-dimensional Courtyard. A wave of heat sizzled through her veins as her elements prepared to shift through space. The scene before her distorted and a soft fizz buzzed in her ears as she synced into the atrium.

 

A tourwide giveaway is hosted by Rafflecopter. Click on the link to join in the fun.

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Charlene has graciously offered to give away a copy of One for Kami. One of our lucky commentors will win a free copy. Since we are in the middle of Valentine’s Week I’d love to hear from you about a favorite love story or Valentine’s tale. Let’s spread the love!

Thank you Charlene for sharing your story with us. And good luck to all of you in the give away!!

Nena

Never Stay Past Midnight – review


So this is what my blog looks like!!!

I’ve spent so little time here lately I almost forgot it’s location. Though, this is nothing in comparison to my regular name blog. Shame compels me to post… that and a wonderful book I read by an awesome author.

Never Stay Past Midnight by the New York Times award winning author Mira Lyn Kelly is a sexy, tender, romantic read from Harlequin Presents.

Ms Kelly writes so poignantly and pulls the reader so completely into the story one can’t help but become enthralled with her characters.

Levi is the sort of man who believes he can’t commit to anyone, but it takes knowing the right woman in Elise to show him how wrong he is. Levi is a self made man, starting up businesses in one place and leaving to start up another somewhere else. He attaches himself to nothing and no one.

Elise is focused on making a go of her own yoga studio, working like a dog to meet that reality. Her life is grounded in the place where she lives, her family and her work. Yet these two develop a relationship despite knowing all the stipulations of no attachments.

The strength we see in Elise is inspiring and the compassion of Levi makes the reader swoon along with our heroine. The flaws and foibles of the characters are so well written and interspersed strategically throughout the story and the emotions so well depicted the reader is pulled right in.

Ms Kelly immerses her characters into a genuine love affair so seamlessly that it isn’t until Elise discloses her love for Levi that realizes how far he’s fallen. He, in turn, runs away until he realizes life without this beautiful woman isn’t life at all. I love stories like this.

Thank you Mira for giving us such touching stories to cherish.

Nena

A Review! And She Liked It


This is a sultry, sensual quickie that will make your nerves sizzle and your insides come alive.

Book Length: Quickie
Book Type: eBook

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing

ISBN: 9781419938580
MSRP/List Price: $2.99
Our Cover Price: $2.49

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A six-foot-plus mountain of sexiness is trying to seduce Janie and doing a damn good job of it. Just one problem…her husband is watching the whole thing.

To her surprise, Edward has no problem with his wife being seduced. In fact, he’s encouraging it. They share a deep love, but the mindless lust that drove them as a new couple has been missing for a while. And Paul is just the man to bring heat back into their marriage. Edward knows if Janie is brave enough to allow Paul to join them, she just might like it.

Janie’s husband broadens their sexual pleasure and intensifies their deep emotional bond by adding another man to the mix. Who would have thought to come up with a threesome like this? None other than Voirey Linger. It is titillating and tantalizing, frivolous and fun and oh so sexy. The best part, for me at least because I am a romantic at heart, is the love relationship between the married couple. Adding a sexy Australian to their romp intensifies everything, heightening the sexual tension and leaving everyone gratified and sated.

And She Liked It is beautifully written. The apprehension in Janie is palpable and her husband’s permission to explore gives her a freedom she isn’t really sure she wants to indulge in. Will it change the way she feels about her husband? When she finally gives in to her desires, both she and her husband are satisfied beyond measure.

You have to give this a quick read and decide for yourself.

Nena

Ambersley – A Review


This is one heck of a historical!! I loved this book. Ms. Atwell weaves an enthralling story with enchanting characters through masterful writing.

I was so doubtful about the book when I started it, but the writing is so amazing I couldn’t put the darned thing down! As I read on, the characters captivated me drawing me into the plot and I had to find out what would happen.

Johanna’s parents, Duke and Duchess of Ambersley, die in a fire when she is very young. Traumatized by the ordeal, she doesn’t remember anything of her privileged past. Servants raise with a sense of   helps her survive the betrayal that unmasks her true identity. Once she is forced to take her proper place in Regency society as the highly sought heiress to the Ambersley fortune, she must defy the relatives who would make her a pawn in their struggle for power.

When Derek Vaughan inherits the dukedom. his dubious parentage makes it a sacrilege to accept. But touched by the ravaged estate and its destitute staff, he braves a society that once shunned him while he rebuilds Ambersley and guards it from his stepmother’s bankrupting clutches. He intends to grant the title to his half-brother when the boy comes of age, but Derek’s plans go awry from the moment the gardener’s apprentice—once his trusted young friend—is revealed to be not only an heiress of beauty and spirit, but the one woman who may finally capture his heart.

This is recommended reading from this reviewer. The beautiful prose and touching story met all my expectations. I can’t wait until Ms. Atwell writes another historical. She can’t turn them out too soon as far as I’m concerned. Thank you Amy for a wonderfully warm and enthralling read.

I give this book 5 slices of the pie.

Nena

Lord of Scroundrels – review


I picked this book up as a freebie several months ago as a freebie for my kindle several months ago. In need of a book to read while at break, I tore into this one. I am fairly new to romance and the wonderful authors writing such amazing stories and this was a find as far as I was concerned. This book was written several years ago, 1994 to be exact.

I loved this book.

As a writer learning to perfect my craft, this book inspired me. I’ve never read Loretta Chase before, but I will now.

The hero is damaged and strong and flawed and yet he can grow and become a better man. He is the sort of man I hope to write as one of my heroes. The heroine is strong and willful. She knows how to make him a better man yet she doesn’t sacrifice any of her integrity or her standards. Great inspiration for a new authoress.

This is a historical set in the Regency era of England. Sebastian Ballister the Marquess of Dain is known throughout society as amoral and callous. Jessica Trent is set on rescuing her nitwit of a brother from Lord Dain’s horrible influences. Little does she realize a passion exists between them that culminates in a compromising position for which Jessica demand’s satisfaction.

Sebastian wants only to put the annoying bluestocking in her place, but when he’s forced to salvage her reputation he finds keeping aloof and shielding his heart from her many charms more than a man can stand.

You have to read this to experience the twists and turns the author takes on our journey to these two finding true love. This is such a great story and timeless as ever.

I give this one 5 slices from my pie.

Nina

A Desperate Journey – Review


I just finished a western novel by, at the time, a first time author. I’m talking about A Desperate Journey by Debra Parmley.

  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing (March 31, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1605042765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605042763

As an aspiring author, I love to read debut books. It gives me hope for my own work. This is a wonderful story. Ms. Parmley has an excellent sense of pacing and all the troubles our heroine encounters are compelling and drive the story very well.

Sally Wheeler comes back to her homestead after helping a neighbor to find her husband, Luke, is gone and her son with him. Sally finds an old trail boss to take her to Texas. Following her is a man hell bent on finding Luke for his own revenge. When she discovers Rob on her trail, she invites him to go with her, much against her better judgement. Worse yet, she finds herself falling in love with him. Who wouldn’t after he saves her life a couple of times from the terrible dangers they encounter.

I love Ms. Parmley’s voice and the wonderful western language. Westerns are a favorite of mine so I have great base for the feel of them and the language. She did a great job with this.

Debra Parmley will have another novella out in Feb 2012 called Dangerous Ties.

I wish her all the best with her new release.

Nena