Review: Love Me by Diane Alberts


Title:  Love Me

Author: Diane Alberts


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


Thomas Jones has come to Vegas to win yet another account for his marketing company. But when he sits across from beautiful and sensual Brianna Faulk to deliver his pitch, his desire to leave Vegas as quickly as possible is replaced by the need to get close to her. Yet she resists his charm.

Brianna knows a date with Thomas could jeopardize her job, but he’s so maddening and insistent, she has a hard time denying him just one date. But that’s all it can be: one date. Because she has to protect her job and her secrets, even if it means giving up a chance at a life she never thought she’d have again.


After learning that the heroine is a widow with three children, I was itching to read Love Me.  Because it’s a novella, it got bumped up to the top of the review pile. This is a fast read that left me conflicted.  I loved the interactions between Thomas and Brianna’s kids, but I wasn’t so charmed when it was just Brianna and Thomas on the pages.  Their relationship felt very forced and beyond awkward to me, so much so that I cringed most of the time they were together and wondered what drove them to keep torturing each other with their company.  By the end of the story, their goals in life had aligned and become compatible, but man, I had my doubts that they would ever stop being so distrustful and just allow themselves a shot at the happiness they deserved.

The first third of the book was the most difficult for me to get through.  Thomas is in Vegas, a city he hates, for business purposes.  He’s here to convince Brianna to hire his marketing firm to make over her struggling casino.  Their first meeting is confrontational, as are the next few.  Despite having super hot sex in Thomas’ hotel room.  Brianna isn’t one for dating, and she resists any attempts Thomas makes to get to know her better, and Thomas is still reeling from a cheating wife who demeaned him at every opportunity.  Brianna’s husband succumbed to a terminal illness, and with three kids in tow, she’s having a hard time trusting other men.  They don’t want to get caught up in her emotional baggage, and three kids?  Deal breaker.  Good thing that Thomas has a luggage set of emotional issues to work through, too!

As I already stated, I loved this story when it was about Thomas trying to convince Brianna and her kids that he was the man for them.  Her children still miss their father, and her oldest son has a chip the size of a casino perched on his shoulder.  He’s not dealing well with the death of his father, and he resents Thomas’s presence in their lives.  He’s the man of the family, and he doesn’t need a smooth operator like Thomas mucking up his family or his mother’s heart.  The younger children are more welcoming, and I enjoyed how they brought out Thomas’s softer side, something he didn’t realize he possessed. This is when the story worked for me, and kept me engaged in the lives of all of these characters.

I wish that I could say that the interactions between Thomas and Brianna were as compelling.  I thought that both of them, even at the end, were too quick to negatively judge the other.  There was no trust there, and since that is the fundamental basis of a lasting relationship, I was left wondering how they were going to keep their HEA.  They were both too quick to jump to the wrong conclusion, even after establishing that they had the makings of something special.  I found it frustrating and juvenile, and that aspect of the story just didn’t work for me.

Grade:  C+

Review copy provided by publisher

Spotlight: Tessa Dare’s Any Duchess Will Do and Giveaway!

This morning I have an excerpt from Tessa Dare’s latest release Any Duchess Will Do.  This is part of her Spindle Cove series, which I really enjoy.  I’ll have a review of Any Duchess Will Do soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win Tessa’s books!

Excerpt: Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

“I thought you didn’t have noble impulses.”

“Believe me.” He stared into her eyes and spoke the words without lewdness or irony. “I don’t.”

If he possessed a single grain of decency, he would have set her down long moments ago. Wicked as it made him, he loved the way she was clinging to his neck. As though the world around them were a vast, frozen waste and sharing the heat of his body was her only chance to survive. It was so easy to believe, for this moment, that she needed him. Needed his touch, his mouth, his heated breath. His bared, feverish skin all over hers.

Amazing, what acrobatic contortions the lusting male mind could achieve. He’d almost convinced himself that kissing her lush, sweet lips was the noble thing to do.

Almost. But not quite.

“I’ll put you down now,” he said.

She nodded.

And then she pressed her lips to his.

Praise and curses be heaped. The girl kissed him.


Tour Wide Giveaway 5 print copies of each:




Open to US Shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Link:

About the book:

Today Pauline is just a serving girl in Spindle Cove but tomorrow… she’ll be a Duchess?! It’s a Spindle Cove Pygmalion story as only New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Dare can tell it.

What’s a duke to do, when the girl who’s perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can’t live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season-or any season-but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn’t dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week’s employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother’s "duchess training"… and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn’t a miserable failure. She’s a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure-a woman who ignites Griff’s desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won’t be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess-can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?

About the Author

Tessa Dare a part-time librarian, full-time mommy, and swing-shift writer. She makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a dog.

Interview with Brooke Moss, Author of The “What If” Guy

Please welcome Brooke Moss to the virtual offices!  Brooke is here to chat about her book The “What If” Guy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Brooke Moss] Sassy, silly, self-deprecating, chubby….but writes on hell of a good book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The “What If” Guy?

[Brooke Moss] Single mother Autumn Cole is returning to the minuscule town of her youth to care for her ailing father. As it turns out, her son’s history teacher is none other than the college sweetheart she left behind, but never stopped loving.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Brooke Moss] Autumn is loosely based on me–except that she’s thin and has red hair. 🙂 Henry was simply an excuse to base a character on a Gerard Butler/Eric Bana hybrid. And Elliott is based on my oldest son.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Autumn?

[Brooke Moss] Strong, stressed, and devoted.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Henry had a theme song, what would it be?

[Brooke Moss] Good question…..hmmmmm. Adele’s version of "Make You Feel My Love".

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Autumn is never without.

[Brooke Moss] Her mustard colored Fairfield pharmacy smock.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Henry’s bathroom?

[Brooke Moss] Bubble bath, prescription for an unwanted itch, and tampons.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Autumn’s greatest regret?

[Brooke Moss] Leaving Henry behind in the rain back in college.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Brooke Moss] Real life and real love. It’s all around! You just have to listen to people’s love stories….

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Brooke Moss] Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi, music, and cheese to munch on.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Brooke Moss] World of Shell and Bone, by Audriana Ryan.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Brooke Moss] Silas Marner.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Brooke Moss] Read, watch cheesy reality TV, play with my kids, go vacationing with my family, and watch movies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Brooke Moss]

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase Links:


About the book:

The "What If" Guy

What would you do if you’re "what if" guy showed up at the lowest point of your life? (Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?

About the author

Brooke writes complex, character-driven stories about kismet, reunited lovers, first love, and the kind of romance that we should all have the chance at finding. She prefers her stories laced with some humor just for fun, and enough drama to keep her readers flipping the pages, and begging for more!

When Brooke isn’t spinning tales, she spends her time drawing/cartooning, reading two books a week (ask her who her faves are), watching movies then comparing them to books, and, of course, wrangling four kids, one hubby she lovingly refers to as her "nerd", and attempting to conquer the Mount Everest of laundry that is the bane of her existence.