Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Level Up by Cathy Yardley

27068944Title: Level Up 
Author: Cathy Yardley
Publisher/Publication Date: Cathy Yardley, January 3, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Source/Format: Purchased (freebie), ebook

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can't do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?

My Thoughts:

I don’t typically read contemporary since sci-fi and fantasy novels are more my thing. However, when I do pick up a contemporary, then that means I’m specifically interested in the book in question. Level Up seemed like a good one, so, I went ahead and gave it a try. Going into this book, I was unfamiliar with Yardley’s novels. The shiny golden feature that drew me to Level Up was the synopsis. 
I like video games and I play them when I have the time, so, Level Up seemed like my kind of book.

And I was right.

The story follows Tessa Rodriguez, a self-proclaimed introvert who designs video games for a living—she was also looking to get promoted, and had a very career based mindset, which I found refreshing.

I really enjoyed reading about Tessa, and some of my favorite parts were seeing her find a comfortable environment with people who she could really talk to. It was the kind of friendship between female characters that I look for in books. And then there was Adam, Tessa’s roommate. He was sweet and caring despite the fact that he had his own share of problems to deal with. The other characters that were directly associated with Tessa and Adam were great too. And despite the short length of Level Up, these side characters were developed pretty well. They had differing personality, which added an extra layer of depth to the story.

My only real complaint was the length. It was too short. I wanted more! Still, the story was a good one and the ending was satisfying. All-in-all, Level Up was a quick and very fun read.

Rating 4/5

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Blitz, Re-release Spotlight, Excerpt & Review: Her Secret, His Surprise by Paula Altenburg

Her Secret, His Surprise by Paula Altenburg
Re-release of newly edited version: 4/11/16

Special sale price! Her Secret, His Surprise will be on sale for $.99 for a limited time only!

About the book:

Conflict of interest is an understatement…

Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up...until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy as ever.

Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded...and then he meets Cass’s daughter.

**Note: this title was originally released July 14, 2014 and has been updated to be a closed door Bliss.

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My Thoughts

I reviewed this novel in 2014, prior to the revisions. You can read my thoughts about Her Secret, His Surprise by clcking on the link.

About the Author

Multi-published author Paula Altenburg has written short contemporary romance, as well as fantasy and paranormal romance, for publishers Entangled, Tule, and Tor. Her Spy to Have, the first book in her new and exciting Spy Games series, marks her 13th published work of fiction. She lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys working from home and writing fulltime.

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What Is That Book About —excerpt spotlight
Reads Your Writes Book Reviews —release day blast, excerpt spotlight



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Nicole's Book Musings —excerpt spotlight
Kindle and Me —excerpt spotlight


One Page at a Time —review
Becky on Books —excerpt spotlight

Monday, April 11, 2016

Blog Blitz, Excerpt, and Spotlight: The Bouquet List by Barbara DeLeo

The Bouquet List by Barbara DeLeo
Re-release of newly edited version: 4/11/16

Special sale price! The Bouquet List will be on sale for $.99 for a limited time only!

About the book:

He's #5 on her Bouquet List. Tall, dark...and completely forbidden.

After a too-close call with death, Yasmin Katsalos is checking some things off her Bouquet List—things to do after you thought you were going to die. Fun fashion choices? Check. Purple hair and a cute diamond nose stud? Check, check. Now she's on to item #5: a flirty fling with a man who's tall, dark, rich...and totally out of her league.

And restaurateur Lane Griffiths definitely fits the bill.

Lane isn't just out of Yasmin's league. He's also her brother's best friend and therefore off-limits. Now that they're working together on renovations for her family's wedding hall, however, Yasmin has plenty of opportunities to bewitch, bother, and boldly seduce. He's reserved. She's relaxed. The only thing they share is a spark of attraction that's too strong to resist. But is Lane just another item on her bouquet list... or has Yasmin found something on her list that will last?

**Note: this title was originally released July 14, 2014 and has been updated to be a closed door Bliss.

Excerpt #2
She spooned bright red jam onto each half of the scone and then followed it with a dollop of cream. She smiled brightly. “Would you like one of these? I’ve heard they’re disgustingly delicious.”
He shook his head as he watched her finish the job, then take a huge bite. She closed her eyes and made a low noise at the back of her throat that made him feel like he was intruding on a private moment, and he wanted to hear it over and over. “God, these are good,” she said as her eyes opened and rested on him again, her voice muffled by scone. A thin line of whipped cream sat above her top lip before she carefully wiped it away with a finger. “And we could have the whole place look rustic but a lot more modern.” She licked the cream from her finger, then chewed, and a ripple of need shuddered through him. A completely inappropriate reaction to the sister of his oldest friend.
About the Author

Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.

She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.

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What Is That Book About —excerpt spotlight
My Fictional Escape  —excerpt spotlight & review


Becky on Books —excerpt spotlight
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Bitches n Prose —excerpt spotlight
bujoijoi22 —review

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review: The Travelers by Chris Pavone

The TravelersTitle: The Travelers
Author: Chris Pavone
Publisher/Publication Date: Crown, March 8, 2016
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Source/Format: Blogging for Books, Review Copy

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

It’s 3:00am. Do you know where your husband is?

Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he’s living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Soon Will’s bad choices—and dark secrets—take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland. As he’s drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications—and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.

It’s 3:00am. Your husband has just become a spy...

My Thoughts:

I wanted to try reading something else besides fantasy for a change of pace and to sort of cleanse my reading palate before moving on. Thus, I read The Traveler’s by Chris Pavone. I’ve had this book for a while, and it took me a long time to finish it. This book wasn’t necessarily the worst thing I’ve ever read, but I did have some problems with it and ended up a bit disappointed.

The story is about Will Rhodes, a travel writer, who makes bad choices while abroad and who plays a part in making trouble for himself and those around him.

The Travelers wasn’t very thrilling for me since I ended up guessing what was happening, early on in the novel. I repeatedly found myself bored and ended up putting the book down on several occasions. But I kept reading despite the fact that I struggled to get through the first part of the book.

Will is everything that the synopsis describes him as, with the addition of his monologue, which didn’t help his case. The other characters were just alright, and I don’t really have much to say on them.

The last few chapters of the book were the best parts. They were somewhat exciting and suspenseful. Overall, The Travelers just didn’t end up being my kind of book. Still, if this book seems like something you want to read, then don’t let my opinion stop you—and I recommend checking out other reviews.

Rating 2/5

This copy of the book was provided by Blogging for Books for this review, thank you!

About the Author...

Chris Pavone is the author of the New York Times bestsellers THE ACCIDENT and THE EXPATS, which won both the Edgar and Anthony awards, has been translated into 20 languages, and is being developed for film; THE TRAVELERS, which publishes March 8, 2016, has already been optioned by DreamWorks. Chris was a book editor for nearly two decades before moving to Luxembourg, where he started writing THE EXPATS. He now lives again in New York City with his wife and children...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cover Reveal: Smolder by Karen Erickson

About SMOLDER (on sale from Avon Impulse June 21, 2016)

Lane Gallagher wants Delilah Moore-bad.

He's imagined the sexy brunette in his bed more times than he can count.

She's everything he's ever wanted, but the only problem is…

She's his brother's ex.

For years, the stoic sheriff's deputy has fantasized about the sweet, bubbly dance teacher who stirs his deepest desires. But Lane's too loyal to ever move in on forbidden territory and he knows that while he can look, he definitely can't touch. Fighting his attraction to Delilah is nearly impossible, but the infuriating-and incredibly sexy-woman seems determined to drive him crazy.

And she's bringing him to his knees. One smoldering kiss at a time. 


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Posted 7:00 AM PDT/ 10:00 AM EDT

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