Novella Review: Snowfall by Mary Ann Rivers

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am very torn about this story.  At first I just wasn’t engaging with Jenny and her cybersex sessions with C, a talented macro photographer she connects with online.  She’s a recent transplant to Ohio, where she works as a researcher at the university.  C also works there, and at one time he lived in her apartment.  She doesn’t want to ever meet him, and she’s comfortable with her current routine of working, then getting home and whooping in it up with C online.  Meh.

But as the reasons for her reclusive behavior emerge, I was all over the book.  Jenny has been diagnosed with a degenerative eye disorder, and she will eventually lose her vision.  It is slowly closing in on her, and she has already lost most of her peripheral vision.  Her dream has always been to study microorganisms under a powerful microscope, and the prospect of not being able to fulfill her dreams, and the fear of becoming dependent on others is eating away at her.  She is hostile with her occupational therapist, and gives him nothing but resistance during their weekly therapy sessions. 

There are moments of overwhelming emotions in Snowfall.  Though it took me a bit to become immersed in the story, once I was it was hard to put down.  I felt so much empathy for Jenny; the prospect of slowly being rendered blind is terrifying.  Her anger and grief were palpable.  And through her emotional turmoil, Evan remained steadfast, frustrated with himself for not being able to reach through her wall of resistance.   I enjoyed the slow development of their romance, and how intense it burned after Evan resigned as her therapist because of professional conflicts and because he couldn’t deny his feelings for the “fiercely intelligent” Jenny.  If there is a happy ending to Jenny’s condition, it’s that she no longer had to worry about facing her difficult future alone.  I know that between Evan’s sheltering love and Jenny’s inability to give up, her future will remain bright.

Grade:  B/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

As leftover turkey and stuffing give way to stockings and little black dresses, this tantalizingly sexy eBook bundle offers up holiday-themed novellas from a trio of beloved romance authors. Lisa Renee Jones gives a dedicated reporter and a powerful businessman a chance to count their Thanksgiving blessings in Play with Me; Mary Ann Rivers presents Snowfall, the story of a woman who confronts a life-changing event—hopefully with a special man by her side—just in time for Christmas; and in Serena Bell’s After Midnight, an explosive New Year’s kiss leaves two strangers wondering whether they’ll ever see each other again.

PLAY WITH ME by Lisa Renee Jones
Kali Miller has spent three years reporting fluff stories, waiting for the article that will launch her career to new heights. When she suddenly finds herself forced to take a job as an executive secretary at a Vegas casino, Kali meets the subject of what will surely be a shocking exposé: her boss, Damion Ward, the arrogant and undeniably sexy CEO. But after Damion invites her to help him plan a Thanksgiving charity event, Kali begins to see another side of the man. And when she surrenders to the exhilarating tension simmering between them, Kali hopes her story will have a happy ending.

SNOWFALL by Mary Ann Rivers
Jenny Wright can’t get enough of her erotic conversations with someone she knows only as “C.” Flirting online helps Jenny temporarily escape confronting the changes to her life as she slowly loses her vision. Jenny’s occupational therapist, Evan Carlisle-Ford, is helping her prepare for the challenges ahead, but the forthright, trustworthy man can no longer ignore his growing attraction to his fiercely intelligent client. Now Jenny must choose between the safe, anonymous “C”—or the flesh-and-blood Evan, whose heated kisses can melt snow faster than it can fall.

AFTER MIDNIGHT by Serena Bell
The clock is ticking down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, and all Nora Hart and Miles Shephard can think about is kissing each other—even though they met just minutes before. Then, as fast as Miles enters Nora’s life, he’s gone . . . and she never even gets the name of the man she thinks might just be “the one.” One year later, Nora and Miles are reunited. The chemistry between them is just as strong as they remember. But Miles broke her heart once before—and this time around, Nora’s not sure whether she can give love a second chance.

Novella Review: Roman Holiday 2 Hitched by Ruthie Knox

 

 

Roman Holiday 2: Hitched: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

This episode of Roman Holiday is a blast.  Ashley has convinced (tricked) Roman to help her evacuate with her things from the approaching hurricane.  What she neglects to tell him is that her “things” means the ancient Airstream trailer that her grandmother left for her.  She also fails to mention that her evacuation plans involve driving hundreds of miles to her friend’s house.  She is convinced that her friend can convince Roman that his plan to tear down the resort community is a terrible idea. Ashley is so fortunate that Roman is a man of his word, and that after learning he’s been played, he doesn’t just dump her and her beat up trailer on the side of the road.

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Novella Review–Play with Me by Lisa Renee Jones

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I haven’t read anything by Lisa Renee Jones before, so I was eager to start Play with Me.  From the first sentence I was sucked into the story.  I loved Kali’s voice.  She’s a no nonsense young woman who knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to work to achieve her goals.  After suffering a major setback in her plan to reboot her life, she takes a temporary position as Damion’s personal assistant.  She quickly discovers that he’s a beast to work for.  An attractive beast, but a beast none the less! Relying on a strong sense of self, though, she quickly lets him know she won’t let him push her around. 

The sexual tension sizzles, and both Kali and Damion try to keep their attraction in check.  Kali doesn’t want to give  gossip to the rumor mill, and the thought of sleeping with her boss doesn’t sit well with her.  Try as she might, though, she can’t deny that all she wants to do is rip off his clothes and play out every naughty daydream she’s entertained, with Damion taking center stage.  The push and pull between them is occasionally maddening, but Jones draws you right into Kali’s head, so you know exactly what she’s thinking and exactly what she wants. 

In addition to fending off her blazing desire for Damion, Kali finds herself in the middle of a suspected embezzling case.  Something fishy is going on at the casinos Damion’s in charge of, and Kali’s first hint that something’s very wrong in Damion’s kingdom includes being locking in a hotel room for most of the day with no contact with the outside world.  She’s pissed about her treatment during the casino lockdown, and who can blame her?  Her introduction to her employment at the casinos totally sucked.  Her first encounter with HR had her wasting most of the day while the indifferent staff ignored her, and then, BAM! solitary confinement.  Not a great start to her new job, and not a great start to her new life! 

The resolution of the corporate intrigue felt a bit rushed, as did Kali’s offer to expose Damion’s misdeeds and write an expose on the casinos after a chance meeting with a former employee. Despite these quibbles, Play with Me is an entertaining read featuring a demanding man who gets what he wants, and an equally forceful woman who knows what she wants.  Part of the story takes place during Thanksgiving, but I didn’t find the holiday flavor very strong, so if you were avoiding Play with Me because you don’t like holiday themed stories, you won’t have an issue here.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Heating Up the Holidays 3-Story Bundle (Play with Me, Snowfall, and After Midnight): A Loveswept Contemporary Romance

PLAY WITH ME by Lisa Renee Jones

Kali Miller has spent three years reporting fluff stories, waiting for the article that will launch her career to new heights. When she suddenly finds herself forced to take a job as an executive secretary at a Vegas casino, Kali meets the subject of what will surely be a shocking exposé: her boss, Damion Ward, the arrogant and undeniably sexy CEO. But after Damion invites her to help him plan a Thanksgiving charity event, Kali begins to see another side of the man. And when she surrenders to the exhilarating tension simmering between them, Kali hopes her story will have a happy ending.

Review: Roman Holiday 1: Chained by Ruthie Knox

Roman Holiday 1: Chained: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I adore Ruthie Knox’s writing, so when I saw Roman Holiday on Netgalley, I was curious to check it out.  Roman Holiday is being released in a serial format, in two seasons.  Season One has five episodes, and Season Two will be released starting next March.  Chained is about 50 pages in length, and what a great 50 pages it is!

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Guest Post: Learning Spanish by Serena Bell and Giveaway!

 

We have a special treat today! Serena Bell, author of Yours to Keep, dropped by the virtual offices to share her adventures learning Spanish.  Be sure to enter Serena’s giveaway, too!

Guest Post – Learning Spanish by Serena Bell

Thank you so much for joining me today at Manga Maniac Café, the latest stop on my Yours to Keep blog tour. I’m thrilled to be here today, talking about how I learned Spanish. Ana, the heroine of Yours to Keep, is a Dominican immigrant, a Spanish speaker by birth. She’s fluent in English, because she moved to the U.S. when she was a little kid, around the same time her parents made the immigration mistake that has resulted in her not having a valid visa. She works as an English-as-a-second-language teacher and a Spanish tutor, which is how she meets Ethan, a widowed pediatrician with a habit of saying everything Ana needs to hear, if not quite all in the right order.

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Cover Reveal: All I Want For Christmas is You by Molly O’Keefe

LoveSwept has another holiday romance hitting shelves soon.  All I Want For Chiristmas Is You is penned by Molly O’Keefe, and it will be available November 4.  Because it’s a novella, I will more than likely bite on this one.

 

All I Want for Christmas Is You (Short Story)

By Molly O’Keefe

Loveswept | 978-0-345-54244-1

On Sale November 4, 2013

About the book:

In this touching eBook novella, a prequel to Molly O’Keefe’s Crazy Thing Called Love, a young woman swept up by first love is ready to say “I do”—until challenges arise during the holiday season.

Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. Her parents are more than a little reluctant to give their blessing to the impending nuptials. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?

About the Author

Molly O’Keefe published her first Harlequin romance at age twenty-five and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring each character’s road toward happily ever after. She’s won two Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice awards and the RITA for Best Novella in 2010. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, two kids, and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

Pre-order ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU

Connect with Molly: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Cover Reveal! Ruined by Tracy Wolff

Here’s another LoveSwept cover reveal, this time for Ruined by Tracy Wolff.  I don’t know why, but I really like this cover.  I have included info about Tracy’s Full Exposure, which got a new cover, too.  I don’t like that one as much as I like Ruined.  What do you think about them?

 

 

RUINED Book Blurb:

He was the last man I should love … but the first I ever could.

Ethan Frost was a visionary. A genius. Every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I was his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give. Gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours was no exception.  Because my nightmares were darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal.  And much as Ethan wanted to protect me, the secrets we didn’t know we shared could only tear us apart. 

Pre-order RUINED

FULL EXPOSURE

Written by Tracy Wolff

Loveswept Contemporary Erotic Romance | 978080417764

On sale October 28, 2013

FULL EXPOSURE Book Blurb:

In Tracy Wolff’s sizzling novel of erotic tension—perfect for fans of Sylvia Day, E. L. James, and J. Kenner—sex and suspense steam up the sultry bayou.

Desperate to leave a traumatic past behind, photographer Serena Macafee prefers sex with no strings attached—no commitment, just pure pleasure. Her new subject, sculptor Kevin Riley, seems like the perfect man to fulfill her hottest fantasies. And where better than the torrid wetlands of Baton Rouge, where Kevin works—and plays? But as their sessions heat up, so do Serena’s feelings for Kevin.

As she opens herself up to emotions she never wanted, Serena leaves herself vulnerable to everything she thought she’d escaped. As her guard breaks down, her fears are aroused. Something has followed her to the sweltering southern bayou, exposing her to the twisted fantasies of someone in the shadows—and to dangers beyond her wildest dreams.

Pre-order FULL EXPOSURE

About Tracy Wolff:

Tracy Wolff lives in Texas and teaches writing at her local community college. She is married and the mother of three young sons.

Find Tracy: Twitter | Website

Connect with Loveswept: Facebook | Twitter | Online Street Team