Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Book Review: Echoes of the Past, by Emma Kaye

Echoes of the Past, by Emma Kaye
Published December 2015 by The Wild Rose Press


About the Book:
In 1692, Isabeau Munier cast a spell to flee Lobster Cove and escape burning at the stake for witchcraft. Instead, she’s trapped by a curse that tosses her through time whenever she attempts to leave the small town. With her curiosity shop and Great Dane familiar, Isabeau has finally found her place in time. When her landlord’s sexy nephew moves in, she thinks she may have found Mr. Right as well.

Grayson Wright’s intrigued by the beautiful Isabeau, but a friend’s accusations make him worry Isabeau took advantage of his beloved uncle. Gray’s determined to learn the truth, even at the risk of losing his heart.

Can Isabeau prove she’s not the gold-digger Gray fears and that her love for him is true? Can Gray learn to trust his heart, which tells him Isabeau’s the perfect woman for him? Or will Isabeau’s curse take the chance away from them both?
My Take:

I have to admit, I've been a sucker for time travel novels well before I ever heard of Outlander (although, yeah, that is one awesome series!) I also admit that I read and loved Emma Kaye's FOR YOU Valentine novella back in January or February, without even knowing the author had this other story out there. When I found out she had this Lobster Cove time travel romance, I grabbed a copy.

I guess I didn't realize it's a novella, and was disappointed when the story ended, but if you go into it with the proper expectations, it's a wonderful tale.

Isabeau Munier is a witch who was able to escape being burned at the stake in the 1690s by transporting herself through magick away from the flames. Unfortunately, her spell twists so that instead of leaving her small town, she leaves her time period and ends up almost 300 years into the future, landing in the 1960s. Isabeau eventually realizes that she can't physically leave the borders of the town now known as Lobster Cove, or else the time travel spell is triggered and she ends up hurtling into another era once again.

After fifteen years of bouncing through time, she's come to terms with that limitation - hey, better than burning at the stake - and is at peace with her life, until a new man returns to Lobster Cove and turns her emotions inside out.

Grayson Wright (Mr. Right? LOL!) is immediately intrigued by the sexy blonde renting his uncle's property - property that has now been passed down to him. As Isabeau's new landlord, he finds himself oddly curious about the woman and her relationship with his uncle. Sparks fly between Gray and Isabeau, until it becomes too hard for her to keep her secrets from him.

Will he - can he - believe her story?

I whipped through this book in a few hours and enjoyed every minute. I would have loved to see the whole tale slowed down and drawn out - maybe even include a few more scenes from other time periods. But for a novella-length story, it was well-plotted and engaging, leading to a satisfying conclusion. I loved Isabeau's strong-willed character (although I truly hated her name) and while I would have liked some more development of Grayson's character as well as his Uncle Stan, I liked the way the author dealt with all of her characters. There were enough loose ends that it left me wondering about a lot of things and wishing there was more to read. A sequel maybe? Or a long-version of this same story? *sigh* I also felt like the cover didn't convey the tone of the story as well as it could have - I mean, yes it starts with a witch about to be burned at the stake, but the general tone of the story is more of a slow burn than the whirlwind suggested by the cover art.

But.

If you enjoy time travel romance, I totally suggest giving this quick read a try. Enjoyable, intriguing and filled with romantic tension, this made for a great evening of summer reading.

Grab a copy on AMAZON.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Feature: New NA Release WHEN WE'RE ENTWINED, by Jody Kessler



When We’re Entwined by Jody A. Kessler
Genre: New adult romance and coming-of-age
Release date: July 28th, 2016


“Do not judge me for where I stand today,
until you know how far I’ve traveled to get here.”
— J. Pyrah, When We’re Entwined

Former circus performer and aerial gymnast, Tara knows it’s time to move on. Tired of the constant abuse and the emotional rollercoaster ride at home, she takes to the road to perform on stage with her boyfriend and his band, Paradox 21.

Drunken excursions and late night after-parties lead to an unfathomable betrayal by her boyfriend, Keel. Tara never imagined her summer tour would come to an abrupt end that lands her jobless, homeless, and broke in a city far from home. Unable to reach out to her emotionally distant and unstable mother and her abusive stepfather, a knight disguised as a homeless man gives Tara new perspective. And a punk named Corban, with his gemstone inspired eyes, takes her on a spontaneous road trip that ultimately lands her a job with the traveling sideshow, The Circus of Misfit Marvels.

As Tara searches for a freedom she has never known, she documents her journey by writing her most embarrassing, profound, excruciating, and soul-searching moments in letters to her sister. Despite heartache, love and loss, Tara finds immeasurable strength and wisdom during her travels in this unforgettable adventure of self-discovery.

When We’re Entwined is a gripping, emotional modern-day adventure with a glimpse of alternative lifestyles in America as one vibrant, young aerial gymnast realizes cruelty and injustice can be outweighed by kindness, humor, and compassion with the help of a most unlikely and wildly colorful cast of characters.”


When We’re Entwined is on: Amazon and Goodreads


Excerpt:

Desperation is a wholly conscious nightmare. It grips me like a stone ogre engrossed in ripping my hair out. She sits on my chest throttling me with hairy-clawed mitts while breathing putrid stink breath in my face. This emotional beast isn’t going to let me breathe untainted air while I suffer for days over my inadequacies and failings.

I’m leaving home with my backpack on, dragging a duffle bag full of doubt and crooked memories. The knife of guilt stabs my gut for running away. I should feel worse about leaving Evie and Jonah, instead of Ollie, but my dog needs me. I need her—and I can’t take her with me. Evie will be all right. She always is. At least, it’s what I keep telling myself. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to abandon my sister. Jonah is too little to understand what it’s like to be a nineteen-year-old. Ollie is already living down the street at a neighbor’s house.

“Please don’t go,” Evie says, hanging on my neck.

Her kid arms are so thin. That doesn’t mean she’s a wimp. Evie is strong. She has way more strength than I do. Evie can hold up the Statue of Liberty in a hurricane. She grips me like she’s clinging to the edge of the world. A piece of my humanity shatters when I make her let go.

I’m breaking something that I can’t fix. It’s trust, but there’s probably a long list of sacred sisterhood principles being flushed down the drain as I make my way to the door. I dismiss the feelings like irrelevant background noise. Not that Evie is irrelevant or that she won’t ever trust me again, but I can’t trust myself not to hurt someone who I love more than anyone else in the world. If I can’t trust myself, then I can never forgive myself either.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~




About the Author:

Jody A. Kessler is the winner of the Readers’ Crown Award for Best Paranormal Romance and a runner up for Best First Book with her debut novel, Death Lies Between Us. She also writes historical time travel fiction, contemporary fiction and romance. 

When she isn’t navigating the terrain of her imagination and writing it down, she can be found exploring the wilderness of Colorado with her family, or in the kitchen baking cookies & brownies - and trying not to eat them all. She’s passionate about continuing to learn and reads anything and everything that catches her interest. Jody is a Reiki Master and has taught Hatha yoga for over a decade.

Jody invites you to stop by her website and see what’s new at: www.JodyAKessler.com Subscribe to the newsletter and receive a free copy of The Call (An Angel Falls novella.)

Connect with Jody here: Website  Facebook Amazon Goodreads Twitter


 





Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Book Review: Summer with a Star, by Merry Farmer


Summer with a Star, by Merry Farmer
Published 2015
 
About the Book:
All Tasha Pike has wanted for the past twenty years is to rent Sand Dollar Point for a summer. The grand Victorian on the beach of Summerbury, Maine was the object of her childhood fantasy and her standard of romance—and it was finally happening.

Her dream summer is ruined, however, when she arrives in Summerbury to find that Hollywood superstar Spencer Ellis has muscled his way into the house instead. His offer that they share Sand Dollar Point is not only infuriating—it’s insulting.

He’s a celebrity—and one she’s determined to hate.

Spencer’s summer in Maine was supposed to help him get his head screwed on straight. One look at Tasha, however, made that impossible. She’s beautiful. She’s angry. She doesn’t care who he is. She doesn’t care about his fame. In fact, she doesn’t even like him.

She’s irresistible.

He’s only got the summer. She’s only got her heart. They’ve only got each other.
My Take:

This cover drew me in and whispered "beach book." The cover was not wrong, and although I read this during one cold, rainy afternoon, the story transported me to its seaside locale and I forgot all about the nasty weather. The author does a really wonderful job giving the reader the sights and feel of living in an oceanfront mansion in a small, seaside village, as well as giving us well-drawn characters who are total opposites in every respect. Good thing for the reader that the cliche about opposites attracting is really so true!

School teacher Tasha Pike has been planning this summer by the sea in her dream home for years. Twenty years, actually. It took her that long to save up the money, but she doesn't regret any of the sacrifices...  Until she realizes the realtor made a last minute deal with someone else, just because he's a big time movie star.

Spencer Ellis is seriously burned out after back-to-back films and needs a break, so his agent finds him a house on the beach away from it all to rest and find his balance. No matter that the house had already been rented for the summer, nothing a wad of cash can't fix.

Except when the brunette shows up on his doorstep and bursts into tears, Spencer can't help himself, and he offers to share the house with her for the summer. (Because that kind of thing happens all the time. Well, this is a romance novel, so a certain suspension of belief is in order.)

This is a light, fun romantic romp with a few twists, a couple sordid secondary characters to spice things up, and a whole lot of summertime fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story which kept me happily turning pages until the satisfying conclusion. This would be a great book to take on vacation, for reading on the beach, or cuddled on the couch during a summer downpour.

Grab a copy on AMAZON.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Feature: NEW RELEASE! Dragon Knight's RIng, by Mary Morgan



Death destroyed their love. Yet, can a trio of Fenian warriors roll back time to reunite two lost souls?


Crusader, Adam MacFhearguis is on one last quest to the standing stones in Scotland where he seeks to bury the past. However, a silent prayer sends him to an unknown future and to his beloved Meggie. When he uncovers a shocking revelation, Adam questions everything about the woman he thought he knew and loved. He may have traveled the veil of ages, but time is now his enemy.

Margaret MacKay lives a life in the future without the memories of her past—her death. When Adam arrives at her door confessing he knows her, she is confused and wary. With each passing day, she yearns to learn more from this stranger. Yet, when a truth is revealed, can she trust the man to unlock the chains from her mind and heart?

Will love free the bonds to unite the two lovers who were doomed centuries ago? Or will evil finally claim victory over the Dragon Knights?



Excerpt:

Meggie brushed her fingers over the leather pouch. “It feels empty.”

“Are you not tempted to take a wee look inside?”

She snatched her hand back. “I’m not peering inside the man’s belongings. As soon as he wakes, he and his horse can leave.” Giving the horse a firm pat, Meggie walked out of the stall and away from her smirking cousin—only to run smack into her other cousin, Lena.

“Blast,” snapped Meggie, grabbing her cousin by the arm to help steady them both. “Sorry, didn’t see ye,” Seeing the excitement in Lena’s eyes, she stepped back. “What?”

“I hear you have a Highlander in the guest room,” she replied, giving Meggie a wink. “Are you going to share?”

Meggie placed her hands on her hips. “He’s not my Highlander. Feel free to have him, though as soon as he wakes he’s gone from here.”

Lucas strode out of the stables, wiping his hand on a cloth. “I think I’ll go introduce myself, since I think this man bothers you. You keep stating he must leave as soon as he wakes.”

Lena pushed her cousin aside. “No, Lucas. I will go check on him.”

“Ye are both crazy,” protested Meggie. “He’s just a man.” Stepping past them both, she marched away from the stables.

Approaching the entrance of the castle, her nerves tingled and the air cooled. Halting on the gravel courtyard, she slowly glanced up at the guest bedroom window. Gazing down at her was the dark Highlander. His hands were braced on either side of the glass, and Meggie could swear for an instant, she recognized him from somewhere. A dream, perhaps? The look he gave her pierced her soul, and she shivered.

“Impossible,” she muttered. “I don’t dream. And ye are leaving now.”

Breaking from his stare, Meggie entered the castle, almost running up the stairs. By the time she reached the guest room, her hands were shaking. Not even bothering to knock, she pushed open the door and stormed inside.

Her mouth became dry, unable to form the words to order this giant out of her home. His bulk blocked the light from the window as he leaned against the ledge staring at her. She was not one prone to swoon at men—any man, but this one made her a jumbled mess. Moving to the table, she picked up his sword and took it over to him. His eyes widened as she approached and she fell into their dark blue depths. 

“I…um…” she stammered before continuing. “Ye should leave.” There, she got the words out.

Instead of reaching for his sword, the man lifted two fingers and caressed her cheek. She gasped, the touch searing her skin, and she took a step back. She could see the look of shock pass over his features, as if he felt the same reaction.

Meggie shoved the sword into his arms and ran for the door. Yet, when her hand touched the handle, she heard him speak.

“Dinnae leave me again, Meggie.”


Buy Links: 










MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. 
Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

You can find more information about Mary Morgan here: