Category Archives: review copy

Review: ‘Twas the Night Before Mischief by Nina Rowan

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About the book:

Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting-it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days-and nights-in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide . . .

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF is a delightful holiday read with wonderful characters and a romantic happily ever after. Penelope doesn’t want to be invisible. She wants more than the life she thinks that she will end up living. Darius is the one man who really sees her, but she doesn’t think that he sees her as anything other than his friend’s daughter. I loved their connection and how their feelings for each other change and evolve as they really get to know each other. Their romance is sweet and sexy. This is a great novella to read on a cold winter night.

the book girl gives ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF a 5/5

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Review: Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

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About the book:

Christmas in town has never been so steamy . . .

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady’s wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl’s kisses. And not only her dreams—her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden’s not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?

I loved this story. Shy Princess Jacqueline and her diary of fantasy was the perfect match for Cam, the rake who takes care of those in need. Jackie is in need – in need of someone who sees the real her and Cam does after finding her diary. I love how they circle around each other as Jackie learns to flirt and becomes more confident and Cam realizes what he really wants. They both have external forces telling them what they should want, who they should be with and it isn’t who or what will make them happy. There romance is slow and takes awhile to come to fruition, but when it does it is magical. I loved them together and the fact that although they don’t seem to be the most logical fit and no one else thinks they should be together they both follow their heart and find each other.

the book girl gives KISSES, SHE WROTE a 5/5

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Review: Ripped by Sarah Morgan

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About the book:

“Wardrobe malfunction” doesn’t begin to cover it.

With a rip louder than the “I dos,” Hayley’s hideous bile-yellow bridesmaid dress explodes. She’s always had enviable curves, but nearly naked wasn’t quite the look she’d been going for at her ex’s wedding.

She’s rushed from the altar under the best man’s designer tux jacket. Hayley’s expecting a blast of icy disapproval from sexy, sophisticated Niccolò Rossi—his usual reaction to anything she does. What she gets is a kiss that nearly melts what’s left of her polyester nightmare gown.

It’s impossible on a million levels. Exuberant engineer Hayley and buttoned-up lawyer Nico have never seen eye to eye—but skin to skin? Oh, mio… So when Nico shows up at her flat on Christmas Day to give her a fabulous gift—himself—Hayley’s delighted to do the unwrapping. But it’s just a holiday fling. By New Year’s Day, she’ll come back to her senses…unless Nico’s sensual skills tear away all her resolve.

Normally I’m not a fan of books written in first person, but after hearing lots of good buzz about RIPPED online I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad that I did. RIPPED is a sexy, romantic, wonderful story. Haley had me laughing and cheering her on at the wedding from Hell and hoping that her sexy Christmas present, Nico, would be so much more than she thought. I did wish to know what was going on in Nico’s head, but his actions broadcast loud and clear what he wanted from Haley. If you are looking for a short, sexy Christmas read, RIPPED is the novella to pick up.

the book girl gives RIPPED a 5/5

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Review: A Christmas for Carrie by Alison Packard

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About the book:

The very thought of Christmas is enough to darken Carrie Jones’s day. “Jingle Bells” and eggnog? Not for this girl; not anymore. But running into a handsome old crush might make this year different…

Home to celebrate with his parents, Nick Johnson loves the holidays and all that comes with them, from trips to the tree lot to the very last strand of tinsel. Stunned to bump into Carrie while on a coffee run, he realizes that his former study buddy has grown into a drop-dead-gorgeous woman. One with whom he’d like to share all the joys—and hidden pleasures—of the season.

Spending time with Nick and his warm, close-knit family, Carrie can’t help but feel the very beginnings of that elusive Christmas spirit. She’s falling in love with all of them…until an unexpected visitor arrives. It will take putting her trust in Nick—and all her new found happiness—to overcome the ghosts of Christmases past.

First, I will say that I hardly ever read books where the heroine and I share a name. It tends to throw me out of the story and I find it weird. It’s a quirk of mine. BUT, I love Alison Packard’s writing and really wanted to read this book, so I decided to try to read it even with the name thing and just hope that it wouldn’t bother me too much. I really loved this story. Nick and Carrie’s romance is sweet, sexy, and highly emotional. Carrie hates Christmas and for a very good reason. She wants nothing to do with it, but one sexy blast from her past has her thinking that maybe a few little Christmas touches wouldn’t hurt too bad. Nick is drawn to Carrie when he sees her and hates that he didn’t see how gorgeous she was in high school. I love how they reconnect and the attraction between them builds. Nick is able to make Carrie see how the life she has been living isn’t the life she is meant to live and that Christmas isn’t the terrible season she’s been letting it be. A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE is a perfect holiday novella and one that will be added to my annual reread list (even with a heroine named Carrie)!

the book girl gives A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE a 5/5

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Review: Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

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About the book:

Liz Kowalski  is heading home to Whitford, Maine—this time for good. Eager for her family, a fresh start and some fun, she doesn’t count on being rescued by the chief of police her very first night back in town. Drew is everything she’s not looking for…so why is she still so attracted to him?

After a brief, forbidden rendezvous at her brother’s wedding, Drew Miller expects Liz to return to New Mexico and stay there. He’s searching for someone to settle down with, not a casual fling with his best friend’s sister. But when they’re stuck together on the annual Kowalski camping trip, things start going a little sideways. Keeping their hands off each other proves just as impossible as keeping their secret from becoming public knowledge.

Amid family, mud and melted marshmallow, Liz and Drew try to fight what’s growing between them. But a little time alone, a lot of chemistry and too many opinions might be just what it takes to bring together two people so determined not to fall in love.

I’ve loved all of the previous Kowalski books and really looked forward to Liz and Drew’s book. I’m not sure what it was, but I couldn’t feel the same connection. The fact that Drew and Liz fight their attraction to each other for more than three-quarters of the book and we only get to see them as a couple for a very small part didn’t help me see them as a forever couple. I loved seeing all of the couples from the previous couples and the interactions between the siblings and cousins. Those interactions made the book work for me even though the romance was lacking. The writing is excellent as always. There is enough humor, sexual tension, and family games of doom to keep the reader turning the page and wanting more. I’m more than a little sad that Liz is the last of the Kowalskis, but I’m hoping that this isn’t the last that we will see of them.

the book girl gives LOVE A LITTLE SIDEWAYS a 3/5

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Review: The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Carolyn Brown

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About the book:

‘Tis the season for…

A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

I really enjoyed this story. It took a little while for me to like the characters – I think because it took a little while for them to warm up to each other – but once I did I couldn’t wait to see how the romance would play out. Natalie doesn’t take anything from anybody. When Lucas returns and is shocked to find Joshua in her arms, she basically tells him to accept the baby or watch her backside as she walks away. Lucas was looking forward to moving his internet relationship with Natalie forward when he came home from Kuwait, but her having Joshua changed his plans in a big way. Lucas doesn’t want for things to be any way but how he pictures them, but as he gets to know the real Natalie and baby Joshua he realizes that he wants both of them to be part of his life forever. I loved Natalie and Lucas both. They are both such strong-willed characters that don’t put up with any nonsense. However, I think that my favorite part of THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY are the secondary characters – especially Lucas’s grandpa, father, and surrogate uncle. These men add so much to the story and help move the romance along with the matchmaking efforts. This story is a sweet and sexy holiday read.

the book girl gives THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY a 4/5

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Blog Tour Review and Giveaway – Unstoppable by Shannon Richard

UNSTOPPABLE blog tour graphic

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About the book:

Some things you don’t dare let go . . .

Melanie O’Bryan knows life is too short to be afraid of taking chances. And former Air Force sergeant Bennett Hart is certainly worth taking a chance on. He’s agreed to help her students with a school project, but she’s hoping the handsome handyman will offer her a whole lot more. Yet despite his heated glances and teasing touches, Mel senses there’s something holding him back . . .

Bennett Hart is grateful to be alive and back home in Mirabelle, Florida. Peaceful and uncomplicated-that’s all he’s looking for. Until a spunky, sexy-as-hell teacher turns his life upside down. After one smoldering kiss, Bennett feels like he’s falling without a parachute. But with memories of his past threatening to resurface, he’ll have to decide whether to keep playing it safe, or take the biggest risk of all.

I loved the romance between Mel and Bennett. It was obvious at the end of Grace and Jax’s book that something was brewing between these two and I was so excited to finally read their story. Mel is a very happy character and has a very positive outlook on life. She has great friends, a good relationship with her family, a wonderful job, but she is missing one thing – The perfect man. Bennett Hart isn’t as happy and settled as Mel, but he is still a fantastic character. After surviving a helicopter accident in the Middle East he returned to Mirabelle to be near his family and to start work building custom furniture by hand. He isn’t looking for a relationship and the thought of being in anything serious sends him running. Bennett grows and learns what he really wants for life throughout his relationship with Mel. I absolutely adored these two together.Their relationship isn’t a walk in the park they have a few bumps (some small and one big one) along the way, but they are most definitely meant to be together. This is the third book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. (Although you should read them all because they are fantastic!)

the book girl gives UNSTOPPABLE a 5/5

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Contest:

Because I love this series so much (and because it’s almost Christmas), I’m going to give away the whole series (in digital format). One lucky person will get all three books in the Country Roads series – UNDONEUNDENIABLE, and UNSTOPPABLE.

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Unstoppable is set in the small town of Mirabelle. Are you a fan of small town romances?

US addresses only, please. Make sure to check to see if your name is chosen.

Contest runs through 12/8/13 at 5pm cst. Winners have 7 days to claim prize and you must check back to see if you are a winner :)

 

Review: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

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About the book:

A freshly wrapped Regency Christmas romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes.

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Lady Jenny is lonely in a family full of people. She is the “maiden-aunt” and shuttled around from sibling to sibling to dote and love on all of her various nieces and nephews. Everyone assumes that she is happy and doesn’t pay much attention to her true love – art. I really liked Jenny. She puts on a brave face and really does love her family, but inside she is dying a little each day. Then she makes a decision, thanks to Elijah, that changes the course of her life. Elijah Harrison is the perfect partner for Jenny. He sees right into her heart and wants everyone to know how important her art is to her and just how good at it she really is. I love how he sticks up for her to her family and how he tells her that she must make them see how important it is to her. Their relationship is a wonderful partnership and they have great chemistry. This is the last book in the Windham family series and I love how we were able to see little glimpses into each of the siblings lives and how they are still as happily in love as they were at the end of their books.

the book girl gives LADY JENNY’S CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT a 4/5

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Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

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About the book:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

Oh, Temple, Temple, Temple… I simply loved this mysterious character in the first two Rule of Scoundrels books and couldn’t wait to hear his story. It didn’t disappoint at all. Temple is so much more than the man he lets the world see and when Mara, who he has believed for years that he may have killed, comes back into his life he is finally able to become the man he was always meant to be. I loved Mara and Temple together. They have an instant spark that is a combination of anger, fear and lust. They are both drawn to each other and want nothing to do with each other at the same time. Mara isn’t afraid to push Temple. She won’t allow him to take control over her unless she is getting what she wants too. Temple doesn’t know what to do with Mara and it is amusing to see him at a loss as to how to deal with her at times. As the story unfolds so does the attraction between the couple and soon they find themselves unable to hold on to the anger. I love how their relationship changes and grows throughout the story and how they learn to forgive and accept forgiveness. NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is a very romantic tale.

 

the book girl gives NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED a 5/5

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Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

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About the book:

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

I loved the characters in this book. Jackson is a swoon-worthy hero. He leaves his lucrative business to come home and help the family business after his father’s death – even though his Grandfather does everything to make him feel unwelcome. I love how honorable he is and how he does what’s right for his family even though he doesn’t necessarily want to be there. Kayla is a tougher character to love, but I did come to love her. She hates the holidays. She thinks going to Snow Crystal will keep her away from all of the trapping associated with the holidays, but it lands her right in the middle of a real family Christmas. The chemistry between Jackson and Kayla is instant and off the charts. They both try to deny it, but it is inevitable that they give in to the pull. Kayla changes a lot through the story – she learns to open up and really share herself with someone else. Jackson teaches her that not everyone is going to let her down. Kayla is also able to give insight into what other people around Jackson might be feeling and help him deal with his family better. I love how their relationship was a partnership. I can’t wait for the next two books in the O’Neil brothers series!

the book girl gives SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW a 5/5

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