Blog Tour: With the Band by Natasha Preston

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for With the Band by Natasha Preston. There’s a tour wide giveaway!

With the BandTitle: With the Band
Author: Natasha Preston
Series: standalone
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Texas Knight is daughter of the word’s biggest rock star, Mark Knight.

Kitt Daniels is lead singer in the hottest up-and-coming band, Filthy Sound.

Mark has mentored Filthy Sound from the beginning, seeing their potential, and now he’s supporting them on their first worldwide tour.

She’s off-limits.

He can’t help himself.

HeadshotAbout the Author:
UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since.
She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Protecting His Witch (Keepers of the Veil #1) by Zoe Forward

Protecting his witchTitle: Protecting His Witch
Author: Zoe Forward
Series: Keepers of the Veil #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The last thing he wanted was to fall for a witch…

Veterinarian Kat Ramsey hasn’t a clue that she’s a witch. Sure, she can read minds, and there’s the whole “dimension-hopping” issue that she can’t quite control, but Kat is determined to keep things normal. That is, until she accidentally hops into the Otherworld, and runs smack into Matthew Ryan–the seriously hot one-night stand from years ago who shoved her out of his dorm. Naked.

And there’s the tiny matter of the curse she gave him.

May you never find satisfaction with another woman. Billionaire and former druid Matthew Ryan hasn’t forgotten the curse, or the witch who gave it to him. Kat’s unexpected return means the curse will finally be broken. Unfortunately, his libido has other ideas–like how to get her back into his bed one last time. But far more worrying is his suspicion that Kat is the seventh Pleiades witch. Because while he’s turned his back on his druidic ways, he’s still bound to protect the woman who made his life hell…

My Review:
I received a review copy of the second book in this series, and then I saw a post the author put up about the first book being on sale so I snapped up a copy and got sucked right in.

Kat has no clue that she is a powerful witch, one of the seven Pleiade witches whom the Druids have sworn to protect. She has been stumbling in and out of Matt Ryan’s life for years, and they have made a lasting impression on each other. While he hurt her in the past, Kat can’t get him out of her head, and no other man seems to match up.

I loved their romance, and it was full of pushing and pulling, angst and misunderstanding, and plenty of lust-filled moments. Perfect. However, I did feel that the romance overshadowed the rest of the plot and I would have liked more insight into the paranormal world. What we were shown was really intriguing, and I hope that the author develops this as the series progresses. Also, did I mention how much I love the dimension-hopping aspect? Love, love, love it.

The confirmation ceremony at the end was a bit anti-climactic, and I never really felt the danger that Kat and the other witches were supposedly in. That said it didn’t dent my enjoyment of this book at all.

In the main the writing is solid, character development is good, and the pacing is consistent.

If you enjoy well-written paranormal romance then you should definitely check out this series.

Review: Ruin (Ruin #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

RuinTitle: Ruin
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Ruin #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

My Review:
I read this a few nights ago when I was in a bit of a funny mood. I had loads of great ARCs to read but for some reason none of them were jumping out and saying ‘read me now’ so I went on a bit of a prowl. This book was on sale and it sounded perfect. Then I did something I don’t normally do – checked out the reviews on Goodreads (I usually only look to see if it has a decent overall rating) and lots of reviewers spoke to the emotion and angst and I was hooked. Perfect.

Gosh, I think I’ve forgotten that this is supposed to be a review. Enough waffling!!

Ruin is beautifully written and the heartfelt note from the author at the start and end of the book was very touching. There is a very personal reason behind this story.

Wes is a reformed player thanks to a nasty ex and an equally nasty false allegation. He hasn’t gone near a woman in months, but all that changes when newly-arrived freshman Kiersten literally falls into his arms. Wes is instantly smitten with the stunning red-head. Kiersten has her own issues and she is still struggling to come to terms with her parents death. Both of them have their secrets and reasons for needing this relationship exactly at that time in their lives.

It’s pretty much a case of insta-lust/love, but they don’t act on it for a few months, as Wes doesn’t want to hurt Kiersten by pulling her into his drama. But he just can’t stay away from her and the inevitable does happen. When they finally succumb to their intense attraction, they both fall head over heels in love. Ah, I loved them as a couple. They were perfect together. And the romantic scenes were swoon-worthy in the extreme. Wes is definitely a new addition to my Book Boyfriend list (that very long list that just keeps on growing. Lol.)

Gabe and Lisa are great side characters though I felt both could have benefitted from some additional development.

The dialogue is funny and romantic and there was great chemistry between the two mains.

I really enjoyed the writing style and loved that we got both POV.

I did have a few minor issues that stopped me rating it higher. Kiersten was very naive when it came to the secret that Wes was hiding. After months in his company, it would have been obvious, so it wasn’t believable that she didn’t discover the truth. The same could be said for the allegation made against Wes – she doesn’t question or challenge him and that was way too trusting for someone she didn’t know. I get that she’s innocent, but she’s not dumb.

However, the main reason why this is a 4-star rather than 5-star read, despite how much I enjoyed reading it, is because I didn’t fully connect emotionally with what the characters were going through. I’ve read a few books recently which focused on illness and death and I was in floods of tears. My eyes didn’t even get moist reading Ruin, it just didn’t resonate with me strongly enough. Perhaps reading the other reviews in advance ruined it for me (no pun intended!)or maybe it lacked depth, or it was just my funny mood; I’m not quite sure.

Anyway, in summary, this is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys well-written NA with a fabulous male lead and heart-stopping romance. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Review: Forever with You (Fixed #3) by Laurelin Paige

Forever with YouTitle: Forever with You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.

But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets—secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.

Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach.

My Review:
Omg. This book gave me so many feels. Though I was shocked at how quickly Alayna forgave him, there is no way I could rate it less than 5 stars. Emotion drips off the pages and I felt everything. Such dark complex characters. Wow.

FULL REVIEW

Well, that was one hell of a read, and a fantastic way to bring Laynie and Hudson’s story to a close.

Initially, it started off a little slow and I wondered if there was enough of a story to support a third book. I’m happy to have been proven wrong. Once Laynie watched the recording things started accelerating at a manic pace. I knew immediately what Hudson and Celia had done and I was sickened to my stomach. Though I was hoping I was wrong, it turns out I wasn’t. I pretty much hated him a lot of this book as his actions really rocked my faith in him.

This book was so emotive – I felt everything Laynie felt. Explosive passion, scintillating chemistry, and the gut-wrenching angst of betrayal and heartache. I was a basket-case reading this book.

At one point, I wanted to kill Hudson. And don’t even get me started on Celia! Those two were so fucked-up! Alayna looked like a saint next to that pair and that’s saying something.

I was annoyed that Alayna forgave Hudsn so quickly. I would have loved her to have shown some strength of character and to keep him at arms length for a few months, so that when they finally reunited it was on her terms, not his.

But there is no way I could rate this book any less than 5 stars becaue it seriously blew my mind.

Another stomping read from the very talented Laurelin Paige. I wish I could read Hudson straight away but I’ve a ton of ARC’s lined up already so it’ll have to wait for a couple of weeks.

Saven Deception is free for limited time!

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Saven DeceptionSaven: Deception (The Saven Series #1)
By Siobhan Davis

Blurb:
I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

You can find Saven: Deception on Goodreads

You can grab your free copy of Saven Deception here:
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Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia
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Review: Find Me (The Found Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Find MeTitle: Find Me
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance/ Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
The Conclusion of Gwen and JC’s Story

Gwen Anders came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of her past. She fit in quickly, becoming good friends with her co-manager, Alayna Withers and the owner of the club, Hudson Pierce. Though the circumstances that brought her here were not the best, she’s never felt more at home.

But starting a new life means letting go. And there are some things she doesn’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught her how to let loose. The man she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. The man she doesn’t want to lose.

Now, with the reason she ran still a threat, Gwen fears she’ll never be able to move on completely. And if she does, can she still hold out hope that JC loves her enough to come and find her?

My Review:
I downloaded Find Me the minute I finished reading Free Me because I couldn’t wait even one second to find out what was going to happen next.

We finally learn the full story behind JC’s fiancee’s death and the extent of the danger he’s in. JC really wants to protect Gwen, but he can’t stay away from her even though he risks exposing her. Though they are initially a little wary of one another, their relationship pretty much picks up where they left off.

There is the added complication of Chandler who has unfortunately grown attached to Gwen and he hovers around making a nuisance of himself. Gwen feels rotten that she ever indulged him, and she’s also carrying a massive chip on her shoulder over Cory. She very much feels like she’s playing second fiddle, even though JC never treats her like that. It’s pretty much all in her head. JC is still quite controlling, but he’s a real sweetheart too.

This book ticked all the boxes – great plot development, complex characters, superb writing, and lashings of the steamy stuff.

I enjoyed reading about Alayna and Hudson and I’m definitely going to check out their book. I’m totally hooked on this series now, and can’t wait to read more from this author.

All in all, an epic read.

Review: Found in You (Fixed #2) by Laurelin Paige

Found in YouTitle: Found in You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.

With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best—Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far—revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.

This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…

My Review:
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Man, oh man does Hudson have a fucked-up family. They were very entertaining to read about though. LOL. I loved Mira and Jack and despised Sophia. She’s such a nasty piece of work.

Hudson and Laynie are together, but there are still so many secrets and lies threatening to tear them apart. Neither of them has any experience with relationships so they are both feeling their way as they go. It was downright painful at times, and there were plenty of gut-wrenching moments. He thinks he isn’t romantic, but he really was – actions speak louder than words.

Alayna needed a swift slap to the head in this book. It was so obvious that Celia was playing games, and Laynie was so stupid to trust her. And yes, I was screaming at my Kindle. It’s pretty ironic that Celia played Laynie so well given her stalker past.

This book was well written, fast-paced, full of drama and intrigue, with tons of the steamy stuff, and plenty of angst-filled love.

I lapped it up.

Excellent author. Excellent series.

Cover Reveal: She Laughs in Pink by Jessica Calla

Today is the cover reveal for She Laughs in Pink by Jessica Calla. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

She Laughs in PinkShe Laughs in Pink (Sheridan Hall #1)
by Jessica Calla
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: BookFish Books

Blurb:
Four years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place—dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben’s heart.

Then she meets Ben’s roommate, Chase.

On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he’s ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he’s never been more inspired in his life.

Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate.

You can find She Laughs in Pink on Goodreads

Jessica CallaAbout the Author:
Jessica Calla is a lawyer by day and a romance writer by night. Her favorite time is “bedtime,” when she’s free to open her laptop, battle with her blinking cursor, and pour out the contents of her heart. Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America and is involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters. She is also a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, two sons, and a dog. Besides reading and writing, she enjoys movies, coffee, and chocolate. She considers herself addicted to Diet Coke and Netflix (in a good way).

You can find and contact Jessica here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of She Laughs in Pink. One winner will win a 25$ amazon gift card.

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Blog Tour: Reid’s Deliverance (The Song #2) by Nina Crespo

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Reid’s Deliverance (The Song #2) by Nina Crespo. I’ll share my review with you, there’s an excerpt and a tour wide giveaway.

Reids DeliveranceTitle:Reid’s Deliverance
Author: Nina Crespo
Series: The Song #2
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Romance/ sci-fi/ Time Travel/ mystery/ paranormal romance
Links:

Blurb:
Can their bond withstand the test of time?

Lauren isn’t looking for love when she spends a scintillating night with Reid, the sexy keyboardist of Thane’s Redemption. While their passion may be off the charts, her trust issues–and Reid’s secret life as a time-traveling covert agent–makes any chance for a relationship impossible.

When operatives involved in a mysterious project begin dying, Reid defies orders and travels alone into the future to find the cause. But when things go dangerously awry, it takes all of his strength to get himself back to safety–and directly onto Lauren’s doorstep. While neither of them remembers their night of passion, their intense connection leads Lauren to help him. But as Reid’s memories reignite, will he be forced to sacrifice everything to finish his mission–including the woman he loves?

My Review:
When I read the blurb for this book and saw mention of secret time-travelling agents, I knew I had to read it. I used to love the TV series, Quantum Leap, as a teenager and it made me think of that. So, yeah, I really wanted to read it!

I enjoyed the paranormal aspects of the story, even though I was initially a little confused over certain things ( I haven’t read the first book and assume if I had that it wouldn’t have been an issue at all.) Once I got into the meat of the story, it was more transparent and my confusion cleared.

Lauren’s impulsiveness irritated me a little. She has a list she ranks men by yet she seems more than ready to throw it out the window once she meets Reid. There were a few occasions where she would say one thing only to immediately contradict herself, and that grated on me a little. She doesn’t want to go out with a guy in the military because of her daddy issues. I could understand that, but again she only gives that fleeting consideration with Reid, even though he’s ex-military and then she discovers the whole time-travelling complication.

I loved Reid, and I could understand why he kept himself detached. It made more sense than a list. I liked how the guys were all in a band (Thane’s Redemption) and it was a kinda funny mix, but it works.

They both try to avoid the burgeoning chemistry between them but inevitably give into it. The romantic/sex scenes are well written, and I bought into them as a couple.

There is a sub-plot going on in the background with the time-travelling aspect that was decent, but I felt it could have been further developed.

The balance of action and romance was well-paced, the writing was good, and the book flowed well.

Overall, this was a good paranormal romance, and if you like time-travelling stories then you should definitely pick it up.

Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Barclay Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Excerpt:
Excerpt:
Reid hustled into his jeans and grabbed the fire poker. Just his luck to have a gun in the loft, but no bullets. He’d take his chances. He wanted this perverted, dysfunctional motherfucker.

The French doors rattled as he flung them open. He took the stairs by twos and threes from the deck. At a flat-out run, he hauled it to the side of the house. The full moon illuminated the night. A shadow popped out from behind the covered woodpile. He swung the poker.

The guy ducked and blocked every swing as if he anticipated it. Then he charged.

Reid connected with an elbow to the head.

His opponent retaliated with a swift punch near the ribs.

Reid’s breath hitched. More punches connected for both of them.

“Damn it, Reid, stop. It’s me.”

This asshole knew his name? “Who are you?” Reid felt the opening, and he went for a headlock.

His opponent slipped out of his hold.

“Thane?” Lauren approached with a flashlight.

The beam momentarily blinded Reid. He blocked it with his hand. “Lauren, go inside.”

“No.” She pointed the light and the gun at Thane. “How do you know Reid?”

As Thane sat up, he gave Reid a quizzical look. Thane spat on the ground. “We were in the same band.”
****
In the kitchen, Lauren dabbed at Reid’s bleeding lip with a cloth. “It’s not as bad as I thought. I don’t think you’ll need stitches. What about your ribs? They’re bruised. Are you sure it doesn’t hurt when you breathe?”

“I’m fine. Take a look.” He lifted his shirt. “It looked worse than it really was.” Funny. It didn’t hurt like earlier.
“Looks like you’re a fast healer.” Her gentle swipes grew harder. The sting zipped into him. “I can’t believe you ran out there like that.”

He took the cloth from her hand. “I can’t believe you didn’t do what I told you.” He suppressed the hint of pride welling up. She hadn’t listened to him, but she also hadn’t shown fear.

“You knowing Thane is a weird coincidence. At least he can help you fill in the blanks.” Her gaze drifted to the living room. Thane was on the phone with Celine. “Do you think you two can talk without wailing on each other again?”

“Looks like we have to.” How were Thane and Lauren connected? Why did the two of them in the same room seem wrong? “You mind giving us time alone?”

“Of course not. I need to call Celine after Thane is finished. Just remember to keep it civil. I don’t like seeing you bruised and bloody.”

A frisson of irritation kicked up. “You make it sound like I got my ass kicked.”

She huffed in exasperation. “Give this to Thane.”

Check out the first book in The Song series, Thane’s Redemption
Thane's Redemption

Blurb:
The one night she’ll want to remember, she’ll be forced to forget.

It’s been almost a year since Celine’s fiancé’s death and she’s still struggling to move on. But when she meets Thane, the super hot lead singer of Thane’s Redemption, she finds her desire reawakening, and her heart opening. Soon one kiss leads them straight into a night of heated passion…

Thane’s unexpected connection with Celine only leaves him wanting more of her—but his life makes it impossible. For Thane’s Redemption is just a cover for a deeper secret: A former Army Ranger presumed dead, Thane is really a time-traveling, covert operative charged with saving the world from disaster. Each jump through time forces those around him to forget he ever existed—and Celine would be no exception. But can time work in their favor to give them a second chance at love? Or will a choice Thane makes in the future put Celine in mortal danger?

Links:

Author PhotoAbout the Author:
Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions—the beach, kickboxing, a good glass of wine, and dancing. Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel. Curiosity about people and places, including what’s beyond the stars, fuels her writer’s imagination. Indulge in her sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales to feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Blog Tour: Cowboy Resurrection by Mia Hopkins

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Cowboy Resurrection (Cowboy Cocktail #2) by Mia Hopkins. I’ll share my review with you, there’s an excerpt of the book and a tour wide giveaway.

Cowboy ResurrectionTitle: Cowboy Resurrection
Author: Mia Hopkins
Series: Cowboy Cocktail #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Marketing hotshot Monica Kaur has put her big-city life on hold to help bail out her brother’s failing business. Now she’s got three months to plan and promote a rodeo, the first her tiny hometown has ever seen.

To ensure the rodeo’s success, Monica enlists a local hero, a rancher’s son who’s made a name for himself on the bull-riding circuit. Problem? She can’t stop daydreaming about the cocky bastard—and all the things she longs to do to him out behind the chutes.

Professional bullfighter Dean MacKinnon is home helping his family while his father fights cancer. Haunted by bad memories, jaded by love, Dean finds escape in a no-strings-attached go-round with brainy, sexy Monica, whose close-knit Sikh-American family would sooner run him out of town than see her with a notorious rodeo Romeo.
In private, Monica and Dean play as hard as they work. But as the rodeo draws near, that clean break they promised each other is getting more and more hung up in the rigging.

Warning: Contains rope play, motel nooners, a blue-eyed charmer with a taste for kink, and a brown-eyed princess with a taste for cowboys.

My Review:
Another show-stopper from the wonderful Mia Hopkins. A truly great short read.

This book had it all:

*Well developed, intriguing main characters
*Sublime writing
*Fast-paced plot
*Scorching chemistry and tons of the sexy stuff
*Interesting world building

AND

*Cowboys (’nuff said)
*An interracial relationship (and the challenges that invoked)
*Cultural introduction to the American-Sikh community which I found completely absorbing and thoroughly refreshing and original.

I read Cowboy Valentine last year, and enjoyed it, so when the opportunity arose to read the next book in the series, I jumped at it. This was an even better read, and Mia has managed to accomplish what most writers haven’t accomplished for me – hook me on a book of this length. Most times I read shorter novels, I am left feeling disappointed in the character development. Mia delivered in this regard, on this occasion. I adore her writing too; it’s beautiful.

Dean and Monica fall into insta-lust pretty much straight away, but their relationship develops more naturally as the book progresses. I was left fanning my face in several places at their sexy shenanigans, and their chemistry was off the charts. I loved the risque nature of their relationship, and the fact they had to sneak around behind her family’s back.

It was in equal parts fascinating and abhorrent to witness Monica’s transformation from super-intelligent highly-successful career woman into a meek, cringing shell of herself whenever her family were around. To think this is the reality for many women in the modern day is shocking and saddening. Though, I could relate to her father’s sentiment when he told Dean they had to protect their minority community and ensure their traditions and culture didn’t die out. I can understand that on one level, but on another level if you are living in a different country you also have to adapt your culture to align to the culture of the country you are now a resident of. The balance/marriage has to be correct, and I don’t believe it’s right for any grown woman to be basically forced into marrying against her will (though it has to be said they weren’t picking the guy or actually forcing her into an arranged marriage but the effect was going to be pretty much the same.)

I loved the diversity and all the little Sikh influences. One thing I wish had been shown was exactly how Dean managed to change her family’s minds. I felt that part was too rushed, and it seemed too convenient. That’s the only reason I knocked off a half star, otherwise, the book was perfection on a page.

In summary, this is a superb read, and if you are looking for a quick read that is refreshingly different then you should pick up a copy.

Actual Rating 4.5 Stars

Thanks to Barclay Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Excerpt:
“Careful,” he said softly. With sure, swift movements, he hooked one arm around her waist and rested his other hand flat against her back, helping her gain her center of balance at once. She wavered a little bit, but his stance was solid, as though his legs were rooted in the earth like trees. Her skirt had ridden up just a little and she was straddling his thigh.

Sudden heat flared up wherever her body was touching his—her chest, her back, her waist, her hands. A powerful, greedy ache grabbed hold of her between her legs. She didn’t move.
Neither did he.

“Miss Kaur,” he whispered. “Are you all right?”

They were standing so close together that Monica could see the faint brown freckles on his cheeks, the crinkles that formed at the corners of his blue eyes when he smiled.

“Call me Monica,” she said.

“Monica,” he murmured, “are you all right?” His mouth, framed by that short, dark beard, was wide and luscious, as tempting to her as an oasis in the heat.

Monica wasn’t a fool. She’d watched videos of him in the ring. Dressed in his gear and cowboy hat, Dean was fast as a cat and completely fearless, putting himself between angry bulls and fallen riders again and again and again. In the most famous incident, a rider had gotten hung up in his rope and Dean had taken a hoof to the femur while cutting the man free. Dean was fearless.

His local legend went back much further. Back in high school, he’d been Oleander’s very own cowboy Casanova, a football player and weekend bullfighter more handsome than a movie star. Some of the women who’d known him in school had told her stories about him that had left her blushing. When he’d gotten married, they’d cried enough tears to fill the aqueduct. Mystery shrouded his eventual divorce. Monica couldn’t dig up the dirt even though she tried.

And there were dozens of fan sites dedicated to the hotness of Dean MacKinnon. From Dean’s Queens, a group of gay cowboys in San Francisco, to Jailbait No More, a small army of young women who showed up at his events wearing T-shirts that said Hey, Dean, I’m Finally 18. Dean MacKinnon lived in an all-you-can-eat buffet of willing sexual partners.

Up close, Monica saw the truth. Those fans weren’t wrong. The man was a bona-fide sex god.

He grinned as though he could read her mind. “Are you all right, princess?”

Temporary insanity was her only excuse. Months without sex, and her body was like a bull bucking in its chute. No brain. No logic. No words. All go.

“Don’t…call me that,” she whispered, staring at his mouth.

She leaned forward, tipped her head and, eyes open, pressed her lips against his.

Check out the first book in the Cowboy Cocktail series by Mia Hopkins!

CowboyValentine_300finalAbout Cowboy Valentine:

Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?
The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.
After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.
From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

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HEADSHOTAbout the Author:
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.”

She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

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