Excerpt: The Devil’s Thief by Samantha Kane

Thanks to Random House, I have an excerpt from Samantha Kane’s The Devil’s Thief to share.  This Loveswept release will be available digitally November 12.  Enjoy!

If you enjoy the excerpt, you can pre-order a copy by clicking this Amazon link: The Devil’s Thief: A Loveswept Historical Romance

The Devil’s Thief by Samantha Kane, Excerpt

Review: Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett

 

Title:  Blaze of Winter

Author: Elisabeth Barrett

Publisher:  Random House

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.
Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.


Review:

I have mixed feelings about Blaze of Fire, and most of them are because I have a love-hate relationship with Theo.  Of all the Grayson brothers, he somehow ended up my least favorite.  I don’t know why, exactly.  Maybe I don’t find bespectacled authors of historical yarns intriguing.  Maybe I’m jealous that he was able to live in a bed and breakfast indefinitely,  never having to worry about making his bed or cleaning the bathroom.  Or maybe it’s because I found him a bit too inconsistent.  For most of the book, he is sweet and mild-mannered, with infinite amounts of patience to support Avery during her moments of insecurity.  But like Clark Kent, once those glasses come off, he changes, but not always for the better.  He could be a smug jerk, and I didn’t feel quite so fond of him then.

I did enjoy the tempo and tone of this story.  Avery is emotionally bruised after finding one of her therapy patients dead from an overdose.  Upset with herself for not realizing that she was being lied to and not able to forgive herself for not being able to keep Mia from harming herself, Avery is hiding out in Star Harbor.  Helping run her aunt’s business while the older woman recovers from her battle with breast cancer, Avery is moving from one day to the next, trying to stay on the fringes of Star Harbor society.  It drives her nuts that everyone in the small community knows everyone else’s business, and she doesn’t like feeling like she’s under a microscope.  She just needs to be left alone so she can come to terms with her feelings of inadequacy, and figure out what to do with the rest of her life.

Theo is struggling, too, but his internal strife is based on his inability to write.  He’s under pressure to complete the next volume in his privateer adventure series, but he’s stuck.   He can’t write a word.  He has no inspiration, and he feels empty.  Leaving his meaningless life in San Francisco behind, he heads back to his childhood home to rediscover his writing roots.  Instead, he discovers Avery, and one glimpse of her vibrantly hued hair has him captivated.  He has discovered his muse, and he’s not going to let her out of his sight.

I liked Theo when he was gently wooing Avery, giving her the emotional support she needed so desperately, but backing away when she needed space.   He taught her how to have fun and take risks, while teaching himself how to open his heart at the same time.  His courtship methods were occasionally questionable, and I didn’t know whether to be amused or appalled as he basically stalked her to her favorite hangout in Boston.  That was a little creepy.  He also showed an epic lapse in judgment that almost destroys his relationship with Avery, and for such a smart guy, I was disappointed with his behavior.  Of course it’s all set up so the good folk of Star Harbor could meddle in his business, but for him to completely disregard everything he knew about Avery and to push back like he did didn’t make sense to me.

The drug runner plot thread had a bigger role in Blaze of Winter than in the previous book in the series, and I am assuming it will be played up even more in Val and Cole’s books.  They are my favorite characters, but they didn’t get much page time here, only serving as backup for Theo.  I was a little disappointed that they didn’t get to play a bigger part in the story, but that just gives me something to look forward to in the future when they get their own 200 pages.  Bring those on! 

Blaze of Winter is a quick read with a (mostly) sweet hero who occasionally displays a lack of common sense.  Avery is an emotionally wounded heroine who needs a lot of handholding to get through the train wreck in her past that has her questioning every decision she makes.  It was gratifying to see her finally set her fear aside and embrace the love Theo, and her own family, were desperate to give her. 

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Excerpt: The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

Thanks to Random House, I have an excerpt from The  Dark Garden by Eden Bradley to share with you!  Readers who enjoyed 50 Shades of Gray may want to take a look at this book.    If you enjoy the excerpt, you can order a copy from your favorite bookseller or by clicking here: The Dark Garden: A Novel.  There’s a plot description:

 

If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey . . . get ready to enter The Dark Garden.

A deliciously potent tale of one woman’s quest for self-discovery.

Rowan Cassidy likes to be in charge—especially in her personal life. As a mistress at Club Privé, the most exclusive bondage/S & M club on the West Coast, Rowan can live out her dominant fantasies safely, and with complete control—until the night Christian Thorne walks in. Self-confident and sophisticated, he’s a natural dominant if Rowan’s ever seen one. Yet she can’t stop thinking about him and imagining his touch.

Christian has returned home, hoping to break free from his dissatisfaction and malaise—and discovers the cure in Rowan. He’s dying to get his skilled hands on her and watch her surrender, to unlock the mystery of her that captivates him. Determined to be her master, he makes Rowan a daring proposition: give herself over to him for thirty days.

Rowan finds Christian’s offer terrifying—and impossible to resist. But abandoning herself to Christian’s power might be more than she can handle. . . . Or it might be the realization of her true nature and the dark garden within her. There will be only one way to find out. And once the game has begun, there’s no turning back.

 

The Dark Garden; A Novel

Labor Day Hop! Help Random House Celebrate Blaze of Winter!

Random House is celebrating the release of Elisabeth Barrett’s Blaze of Winter by holding the Labor Day Giveaway hop!  They are giving away:

  • A Free Romance book! (10 winners in all)
  • Be one of 5 winners to win a prize pack from author Elisabeth Barrett (Check out the information below!)
  • Fill out the widget below to enter! US only, please.  After filling out the Rafflecopter widget, click on through to visit all of the blogs participating in the hop!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

    Here’s what Random House has to say:

    Celebrating our next Loveswept release – BLAZE OF WINTER by Elisabeth Barrett – on sale 9/10 – Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

  • Excerpt: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford

    Random House is sharing an excerpt of When You Wish Upon a Duke, the first book in Isabella Bradford’s Wylder Sister’s series.  Check it out, and if you want to read more, click the widget below to order.

    When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford (Preview)

    More about When You Wish Upon A Duke -

    In a sparkling new series filled with irresistible charm and sizzling romance, award-winning author Isabella Bradford introduces us to the eldest of three Wylder sisters—unruly country girls whose passion for life leaves their London suitors breathless.

    Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.

    But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?

    You can order When You Wish Upon a Duke by clicking the widget below: