Nicole Helm’s Top 5 Requirements for Being America’s Sweetheart and Giveaway

  I invited Nicole to drop by the virtual offices and share the qualities required to be America’s Sweet.  Check out what she has to say!

Top 5 qualities required to be America’s Sweetheart

Thanks so much for having me on the Manga Maniac Cafe! In my recent Entangled Indulgence release, Risky Return, the heroine is not just a movie star, but she’s been deemed America’s Sweetheart by the press. Celia has some very clear ideas on what it takes to be America’s Sweetheart.

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Spotlight – Sweet Southern Betrayal by Robin Covington

 

Title: Sweet Southern Betrayal
Genre: Romance
Author: Robin Covington
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Pages: 161
Language: English
Format: Ebook

Privileged and ambitious attorney Teague Elliott is on the fast-track to getting everything he wants. All he has to do is stay on the straight and narrow and a high-profile political career is his for the taking. Until he wakes up naked with a Vegas showgirl…

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Review: Falling for Mr Wrong by Inara Scott

 

Falling for Mr. Wrong: A Bencher Family Book (Entangled Indulgence)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I had a few problems with Falling for Mr Wrong, though I did enjoy the read.  I thought that the plot relied on too many convenient coincidences, and  at one point, it felt too contrived.  After repeatedly pushing Kelsey away, Ross takes advantage of her to close a business deal.  My biggest problem with the book is that I never really cared for Ross.  Sure, he’s a great dad, but he’s not such a great supporter of Kelsey. Because she climbs mountains, and because he’s risk adverse, he doesn’t even try to see her point of view until very close to the end of the novel.  He also has a distressing way of looking down on her, and I had a hard time getting over that.

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Novella Review: ‘Tis the Season to be Kissed by Amy Andrews

 

‘Tis the Season to be Kissed (Entangled Indulgence)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I loved this novella!  It’s sweet and sexy at the same time, and is funny as hell.  I couldn’t put my Kindle down once I started ‘Tis the Season to be Kissed, and I was completely engaged in the story from the first page.  Both protagonists are extremely likeable,  the story is told with humor, and the set up and character interactions are completely believable.   This novella blew me away with its charm, and I can hardly wait to read more by Amy Andrews.

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Novella Review: Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy

‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa (Entangled Indulgence)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

That description below?  It does not do this novella justice.  Not at all!  This was a surprisingly emotional read that actually had me blinking back tears a couple of times. 

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?  Grumpy Mitch has no reason to love Christmas, so it’s an unpleasant shock for him when his boss asks him to play Santa at a party for siblings of children at a local hospice.  While he really wants to refuse, CJ reminds him that even though Mitch has worked hard to ensure that he’ll take over as head of CJ’s PR firm when he retires, nothing is written in stone.  To prove he is the man for the job, Mitch has to show that he has a heart to go along with his ambition and drive.  CJ isn’t about to leave his company in the care of a guy who doesn’t understand the value of social responsibility.  It’s nice to be dedicated to work, but a leader is also dedicated to the community.

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Interview with Elizabeth Otto, Author of Tempting the Cowboy

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Elizabeth!  Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Elizabeth Otto] Introverted country girl with a quirky sense of humor and a deep love of animals, my children, football and dark chocolate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Tempting the Cowboy?

[Elizabeth Otto] TEMPTING THE COWBOY is really a story of making a major life change and taking all the chances and risks that come with something that big. The heroine, Rylan, isn’t looking for anything beyond hard work to take her mind off her personal pain, but when she allows herself to really see this new life she’s started, so many possibilities crop up. The hero, Cole, takes a big chance in putting his heart, and his family, on the line for love. I think anyone who has made a drastic life change, or even daydreamed about it, will be able to relate to the basic fears of letting go, finding acceptance and opening your heart to new things, which both characters face.

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

[Elizabeth Otto] One day while working a slow 911 shift (I’m an emergency medical technician in my professional life), I had a random thought of what would I do if I got off a Greyhound bus in the wrong town—the middle of nowhere? What would I do? Why was I on that bus in the first place and where was I heading? My brain took these thoughts and ran with it, and when it came down to plotting the story, Montana was a natural setting. I have a deep appreciation for female police officers and how they tackle a “man’s” job. Rylan’s character developed around her past a cop, and the one, excruciating thing that would make a woman that tough and strong, basically run away from everything she knows. Because cowboys have a special place in my heart, Cole’s occupation was a no-brainer. Everything else just developed from there.

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

[Elizabeth Otto] Independent, loyal, vulnerable.

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

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Meet Jack Macintyre from Coleen Kwan’s Baiting the Boss

Please give a warm welcome to Jack Macintyre, hero of Coleen Kwan’s Baiting the Boss.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Jack Macintyre] Stubborn, independent, pain in the ass.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Jack Macintyre?

[Jack Macintyre] When I was working for my grandfather, my days were filled with business meetings, paperwork, and clambering over construction sites. I worked insane hours because I was so caught up in my career. Now I’m living on this tropical island, my life is very different. Each day I wake up to a picture perfect sunrise. I might go for an early swim in the ocean or a paddle in my canoe before breakfast. Then I spend the rest of the day on construction work. First I repaired my bungalow, and now I’m working on a village hall. It’s hard, physical labour, but I enjoy it a lot. At the end of the day I might go fishing and chat to the locals. Often I have dinner with my friend, Tupua, his wife, Mary, and their kids. I love my life as it is now—simple, industrious, honest.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Grace?

[Jack Macintyre] Tenacious, sweet, sexy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Jack Macintyre] Is she going to read this interview? Okay, one exasperating thing about her is that she can be very stubborn. When she first landed on the island I thought it would be a piece of cake refusing to return to Sydney with her, but I didn’t count on her hanging around, trying to make me change my mind. In a way I admire that, because as I already said I’m a stubborn bastard myself. But it’s hard, too, because I can’t help noticing how gorgeous she is, and that’s interfering with my resolve to make her go away.

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Review: Love Lost and Found by Michelle de Winton

 

Title: Love Lost and Found

Author: Michelle de Winton

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Felicity Williams can’t remember the last five years thanks to an accident that wiped out her memory. She fled her old life in hopes of starting fresh and found refuge working on a cruise ship. But her past is coming for her…

Rick McCarthy awakens after a climbing accident to discover that his business partner and fiancée has quit her job and disappeared. He’s trying to accept that she’s run out on him, but now he needs her signature to close a deal that could literally be life or death. He’ll go to any extreme to get what he needs…even if that means becoming someone else to win her back.

But a little lie becomes a large mess when they’re stranded on a deserted island together, and old misunderstandings might ruin their chance at new love…


Review:

While Love Lost and Found didn’t completely work for me, there were several aspects of the story that I found very compelling.  After Felicity suffers from a fall while rock-climbing with her business partner, Rick, she reawakens with no memory of the last five years.  She tries to readjust to her old life, but nothing feels right.  Her apartment is cold and sterile, and she can’t remember her co-workers.  Worse, what she does remember is breaking up with her old boyfriend after catching him cheating on her.  As she contemplates the emptiness in  her life, she decides that starting over somewhere else is preferable to trying to fit back into a life she doesn’t remember, and one that seems lonely and isolated.  She takes a job on a cruise ship, and sails off into the horizon.

What she doesn’t remember is Rick, the man she has been working with and dating.  She doesn’t remember that he had proposed to her just before the accident that sent them both to the hospital.  Rick was in a coma for six weeks, and when he comes to, he can’t believe that Felicity left him, without a word or a note.  Worse, he company is on the verge of a remarkable research discovery, but he needs Felicity to sign the paperwork that will see the fruition of his labors since the death of his brother.  With Felicity’s assistance, he’s on the path to a breakthrough for a leukemia treatment.  Desperate to keep his promise to his brother to get the process approved, he hires a private detective and tracks his errant fiancée down.

First, what didn’t work for me; Rick doesn’t believe that Felicity lost her memory, so he pretends to be a prospective investor for the cruise line, and makes his re-acquaintance with Felicity under false pretenses.  There isn’t a time during the story, except for the very end, that he isn’t lying to her.  That just grated on my last nerve.  He is given the opportunity to start over with her, but every overture is based on a falsehood.  He doesn’t trust her enough to be upfront with her, and he suspects that she is faking the amnesia.  Great way to make a new start, Rick.  And by not being honest, it just made his motives for reconnecting with her suspect.  If I were Felicity, I wouldn’t have been able to believe anything he said after discovering that he wasn’t being straight up from the beginning.

The second thing that didn’t work was the couple being left on a desert island.  Rick makes arrangements with the captain of the cruise ship to have them “left” on an island with no supplies – no food, shelter, or water.  First, the liability of the scenario makes me cringe.  Regardless of whether Rick signed waivers promising not to sue the cruise line, Felicity did not.  I would have been furious when I discovered that I spent a night with no provisions  by design instead by accident.  I don’t care how romantic it was; either one of them could (and did) have gotten injured with no help nearby.  Plus, there are bugs on that island, and everyone who knows me knows how much I hate bugs.  Ugh! The whole episode on the island was like a nightmare to me.

What did I like?  Felicity looked at her old life, and realized that she didn’t like what she saw.  She had no close friends, and no real connection with anyone.  Her apartment was as barren as she suspected her life was, and so she decided to make lemonade out of the lemons life had handed to her.  She starts over, and she’s a completely different person.  Her change in circumstance opens her up to make the first real connections she ever made, and allowed her to re-discover her love for Rick.  She was all business before the accident, but after, she was able to embrace a softer side of herself and truly begin to like herself and the people in her life.  I loved this about the book.

While Love Lost and Found didn’t completely win me over, there were enough positives to keep me engaged in the story.  I just wish the hero had been more likable, and had acted a little more, well, heroic.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher