Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review & Giveaway - - Too Wilde to Wed

Too Wilde to Wed
By Eloisa James
The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Reviewed by PJ

At first glance, Lord Roland Wilde a/k/a North and his fiancée, Miss Diana Belgrave seemed the perfect couple but a look beneath the shiny exterior would have revealed something very different.  Neither put forth the effort to look beyond the surface presented by the other or to dig too deeply when Diana ran from her own betrothal party. Is it any wonder they didn't make it to the altar?

The North who returns from war in the colonies two years later is vastly different from the man who left believing he had been betrayed by Diana, a woman he hasn't quite been able to forget. He's a man haunted by war, unable to sleep, searching for peace. What he finds is his former fiancée working at his family home as a (rather inept) governess for his youngest sister and the young boy society believes is his but this Diana is nothing like the demure fashionista to whom he was betrothed. Living in close proximity to one who chose to run away rather than become his duchess is an upheaval he doesn't need. Or maybe, this new Diana is exactly what he needs. 

The gorgeous stepback
Diana had a very good reason for her actions two years ago but those actions steered her onto a path that no one could have foreseen. Who would have thought the young woman destined to be a duchess would now be working as a governess for the same family of which she would have been a member? And, more amazingly, who would have imagined that she would be happier than she ever could have been as a duchess; happy, independent, and free to be herself, with no expectations of society hanging over her or watching her every move. Only one thing threatened that happiness: the return of North. 

I love this couple. I love the entire Wilde family. In fact, not since Julia Quinn's Bridgertons have I fallen in love with a family so quickly or completely. I've read Diana and North's story twice and already I'm eager to go back to the first page and begin again. They're just so darn good together...even when they're both certain they'll never be together. The sheer yearning in those moments had my heart clutching and my hand reaching for the tissues. I also love the humor in this story (and there is plenty), the witty banter, the sparks that fly when North and Diana go toe to toe, and the sweetness that flows between them in the quiet moments of the darkest hours of the night. I enjoyed their growth, both individually and as a couple, a process that enabled them to better understand - and accept - one another as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. I was in their corner, cheering for a happy ending, though I had no idea how James would pull it off. In the end, the solution, so simple, really, and from such an unexpected source, was perfection. Though I'm no fan of roller coasters (the real ones), this book coaster, filled with peaks and valleys, laughter and heartache, love and acceptance, is well worth the ride. 

If you're in the mood for a feel-good romance that will tickle your funny bone, carry you through a range of emotions, and, ultimately, wrap you up in a warm, loving hug, look no further than Too Wilde to Wed

Who is your favorite romance family?
Are you reading the Wildes of Lindow Castle series? 

I have a print copy of Too Wilde to Wed for one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on this post before 11:00 PM, June 1, 2018. (US only)

Today's Special - - Kat Martin's Beyond Control - - Review/Post/Giveaway

Beyond Control
By Kat Martin
Texas Trilogy - Book 3
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Reviewed by PJ

Victoria Bradford and her four-year-old daughter are on the run from Tory's abusive ex-fiancé. Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere, exactly what Josh Cain wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

When Tory shows up with her adorable little girl, Josh realizes he is in for trouble of the most personal kind. But Josh has seen trouble before, and he doesn't scare easy. Not when "accidents" start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory's best friend is abducted. Not even when he realizes their troubles are only the tip of the iceberg. 

In Beyond ControlKat Martin has crafted a compelling tale with edge-of-your-seat suspense, heartfelt romance, emotionally wounded characters, and a life-or-death battle against a charming psychopath with serial killer potential. This story grabbed me from the breath-stealing first scene and kept me glued to the pages until the very end. While their circumstances are different, Tory, her young daughter, and Josh are all survivors, vibrant and real. I felt compassion and affection for all three while Tory's diabolical former fiancé - and abuser - filled me with rage. Kat Martin sure knows how to create a despicable villain. Thankfully, she also knows how to give him the justice he deserves. Josh's innate protectiveness and gentleness toward Tory and her daughter while dealing with their unwanted intrusion into the solitary ranch life he craved after his service as a sniper in Afghanistan endeared him to me and had me hoping the three of them could find a way to be a family...if they lived long enough. 

While some crossover characters make appearances in this book (Josh is the younger half-brother of Lincoln Cain, hero of Book One, Beyond Reason), this third book can easily be enjoyed as a standalone. However, there is a secondary plot in the latter portion of the book that will make more sense and not seem as if it comes out of left field if you've already read the earlier books. All three are fast-paced thrillers, with emotionally satisfying romance, that will have you coming back for more of Kat Martin's outstanding storytelling.

A Message from Kat Martin

A Little Time At The Beach

Everyone loves the beach.  Though I live in Montana, I’m fortune to spend my winters at the beach in sunny California.  My writing space looks out on a boat channel that leads to the harbor so I watch the tide go up and down several times a day.

A bicycle-ride away, a sandy beach slopes down to the water where a frothy tide rolls in and out, the perfect place to talk a stroll at the end of a long day or just dig your toes into the warm gritty sand.
For me, there is no better way to spend an afternoon than lying in the sun on a bright-colored beach towel, straw hat shading your face while you read a delicious, page-turning novel.  The rhythmic curl and tug of the waves is the perfect backdrop, lulling me into the story, shutting out the day-to-day troubles of the world, if only for a little while.

As a writer, lying half-asleep in the sun, listening to the soft rush of the wind and the cry of seagulls, is a great way to get story ideas. 

Too often I get stuck when writing a novel (I refuse to call it writer’s block, which is way too scary).  The beach, I’ve discovered, is a great antidote.

While I was writing the third book in my Texas Trilogy, BEYOND CONTROL, Josh Cain and Victoria Bradford’s story, I found myself unable to figure out how the heroine was going to escape the perilous situation I had put her in.  After several sleepless nights, I took a drive along the beach just a few blocks from my house. 

As I looked at the clear blue ocean stretching endlessly in front of me, my whole body relaxed--a little slice of heaven.  An hour away from the computer, watching the waves crash up on the shore, my creative juices started flowing.  Ideas flashed in my head, some good, some not-so-good, as the next part of Josh and Tory’s story opened up in my mind. 

Hurrying home, I madly began pounding on the keyboard, desperate to get my thoughts down on the page.  The story started moving forward again, and I was even able to get a good night’s sleep! 

So the next time you’re feeling jammed up about something, whether you’re a writer or not, whether you live at the beach or in the desert, the mountains or the city, find a place that lets you breathe, refreshes you and lets you face the world again. 

Have a great summer and happy reading. 

Till next time, Kat


Readers, what place allows you to breathe, refreshes you, and lets you face the world again? One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, June 1 will receive a copy of Against the Storm. (U.S. only) (Winner's choice of Nook, Kindle, or Paperback)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On the Road with Anna Campbell

On the Road with Anna Campbell - - Episode 4

Cheers to you, PJ and your fellow Romance Dish peeps!

I can hardly believe that this is my last On the Road with Anna Campbell – at least for this year’s trip. I’m currently tucked up snugly with some friends in the UK where it’s raining and we’re wondering if we’ll risk going to see a walled garden this afternoon. 

I fly home in a couple of days with so many wonderful memories of my adventures. And it’s been such a pleasure sharing them all with you here.

Life has become a little more exotic since we last spoke from lovely Poolewe in far northern Scotland. I’ve had a couple of weeks in the Balkans, visiting four different countries in the former Yugoslavia. I took so many photos – if you’d like to see more of this beautiful part of the world, please check out my Facebook page:

First up was beautiful Slovenia where in between playing tourist, I did a big signing at Felix Bookstore in the middle of Ljubljana, the capital. The readers there are so generous and enthusiastic, I felt like a rock star. Many of the people in the audience came from several hours away. Thanks to my publisher in Slovenia, Učila International, and Publishing Director Mojca  Benedičič, and all the lovely people who showed up to turn the evening into a party.

Outside the signing, I got a little bit of time to play tourist. Slovenia is tucked up under the Alps so the scenery is like The Sound of Music, the air is like crystal, and the water is like champagne. Ljubljana is a gorgeous city full of magnificent Art Nouveau buildings. It's a lovely place to sit beside the river and watch the world go by while enjoying a drink or two.

The dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana and in the castle, which has been used for Game of Thrones filming, there were these fun dragon wings for people to pose with. Don't be too afraid – I'm a reasonably tame dragon lady! You're only at risk of being lightly singed!

From Slovenia I traveled via Zagreb to the gorgeous Croatian town of Trogir, which is like a mini Venice. A friend and I were joining an eight-day tour of the Dalmatian Coast which ended up being full of lovely surprises, too. I took a million photos but I've restricted myself to some from the beautiful island of Korcula which is another mini Venice. That palazzo-looking place in the collage IS a palazzo and was also our hotel. I was definitely leading the high life during those few days!

From Korcula, we visited Kotor in Montenegro – the picture at the top of the blog of me looking very happy with a glass of wine comes from dinner that night. Then we ended our week with a couple of days in beautiful Dubrovnik. Another Game of Thrones location – GoT followed us most of the way along this coast. I'm not surprised film crews gravitate to this area – it's all so darn photogenic!

After the tour finished, I stayed another two nights in Dubrovnik and used my spare day to visit Bosnia – see what I mean about lots of countries! Brave souls jump from the famous Ottoman bridge in Mostar into the cold water below – I spent a lot of my time on the Adriatic coast wishing I'd brought my swimming costume. I didn't that day! The water is apparently freezing in the river flowing under the bridge.

I'm already planning next year's jaunt! This trip I'm just finishing has been amazing – and even better, I'm going home with a lot of pages written as well. Win win!

So are you a water baby? Do you like to swim? Where is your favorite swimming place, if you do? I'm actually better in the water than I am on land – I don't know what that says about me. I'm definitely bringing the swimmers next time I'm over this way!

I've got 2 Kindle downloads to give away – your choice of Lord Garson's Bride or The Dashing Widows boxed set. No geographical restrictions. Just leave a comment on this blog to be eligible to go into the draw. Good luck! (Winners will be chosen from all comments posted before 11:00 PM, May 31, 2018)

And thank you to all of you who have come on this voyage of discovery with me over the last four months!

Thank you, Anna for taking us along on this journey and giving us the opportunity to experience all the wonders of your discoveries through your beautiful photos and words, both here and at Facebook. I can't wait to "travel" with you next year! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway - - You Never Forget Your First Earl

Meet the Worthingtons. Start with eleven kids, two great danes and two houses filled with family and friends all looking for happily ever after. Add love and laughter, and hijinks and shenanigans ensue. Discover strong women who know what they want and the devoted men who cant live without them. The Worthingtons—where Regency romance is a family affair. Its time to fall in love.

You Never Forget Your First Earl 
by Ella Quinn
The Worthingtons - Book 5
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: May 29, 2018

Within the Worthingtonsextended family circle, laughter and romance rule, and a young lady never settles for less than true love . . .

With her three good friends all recently married, Elizabeth Turley is ready for some husband-hunting of her own. One gentleman in particular sparks her interest. Geoffrey, Earl of Harrington is tall, handsome, and dashing. Hes also just a bit too sure of himself. But Elizabeth has observed enough about the rules of attraction to pique the earls attention. Yet once she has it, the discovery of a troubling secret taints her future happiness . . .

Lord Harrington must marry or lose a prestigious position in Brussels, and pretty, well-connected Elizabeth fits his needs admirably. But could it be that he has underestimated his bride? She doesnt bat an eye in the face of the danger they encounter overseas. Shes strong-willed, intelligent, and more enticing each day—yet also more indifferent to him. Now Geoffrey faces his greatest challenge: to woo and win his own wife, or risk losing her for good . . .

You Never Forget Your First Earl
Exclusive Excerpt

Littleton had to be the reason Miss Turley didnt have another set to give Geoff.
Damn it all to perdition. He hadnt liked the man at Eton or university, and he damn sure didnt like him now that the blasted fellow was trying to steal his bride. Everything came too easily to Littleton, and Geoff was bound and determined that Miss Turley would not be one of them. She was his.
He just had to find a way to make her—and everyone else in the ton—understand that simple fact.
There must be something he could do. If things progressed as they had with Lady Charlotte, hed lose Miss Turley as well. That meant losing his position with Sir Charles. An untenable proposition.
Turning to walk out of the ballroom, Geoff ran into one of the people he least wished to see. He bowed. “Cousin Apollonia, how are you this evening?”
“Better than you, I dare say.” Shed raised one brow, and her tone was as dry as the desert. “I can only assume you did not take her ladyships advice.
He was not going to have this conversation. Not now when his temper was already frayed to a fine thread. There was only one thing to do. Geoff inclined his head. “Please excuse me,” he said in his haughtiest tone. “I was just leaving.”
“I do not doubt it.” His cousins remark was like a knife twisting in his gut. “Mayhap next time you will listen to older and wiser heads.” She glanced to where Miss Turley danced with Lord Littleton. “Two in one Season. I wish you better luck next time, but I doubt you will have it.”
As Geoff strode off with as much dignity as he could muster, his cousins light laughter followed him. He was not going to be made a fool of. Somehow he would get back into Miss Turleys good graces.
Twenty minutes later he strode into his rooms and began searching his desk. “Nettle!”
“I did not expect to see you so early, my lord.”
“The ball was a dead bore.” Papers spilled off the desk scattering on the floor. “I need that list.”
“List, my lord?” Geoffs valet stood just out of arms reach or he might have grabbed the man. He had always prided himself on his calm temperament. Now he wanted to strangle someone.
“Yes. I threw it on the desk a few days ago after I got back from my grandmothers house.”
“And would the list have been in her ladyships hand, my lord?”
“More likely Cousin Apollonias.”
He raked his fingers through his hair. “Blast it all. Where could it be?”
Nettle stepped forward, opened a drawer, pulled out a piece of paper, and held it between his thumb and forefinger. “Would this be what you are searching for, my lord?”
Geoff snatched it from his valets hands. “Yes.” He read down the items. “First thing tomorrow I want you to go find roses.”
“Roses?” His valets brows rose briefly. “What kind of roses, my lord?”
He read the list again. “Pink. Have them put some greenery with them as well.”
“And after I have procured the blooms?” Nettle appeared perplexed as he well might. With one major exception, that had made him look like a popinjay, Geoff had never given flowers to anyone.
“Ill have a note ready to go with them to Miss Turley.”
“Ah, very good, my lord. I will endeavor to arrive at the market when it opens. I believe this will require my personal interest.”
Good man.” He poured himself a large glass of brandy. “Have the messenger wait for an answer.” Geoff just hoped she didnt take an hour to respond like she had the last time. Although then, he had not been on pins and needles wondering if she would accompany him instead of already having an engagement with Littleton.


Ella Quinn has lived all over the world, including three years on a sailboat in the Caribbean. If money was no object, where would you choose to live?

We have two giveaways today: one for U.S. addresses and one international. Each randomly chosen winner will receive a print copy of You Never Forget Your First Earl and a choice of either Three Weeks to Wed (Book 1) or The Marquis and I (Book 4). 

Please include US or INT in your comment. Winners will be chosen from all comments posted by 11:00 PM, May 30, 2018. 

USA Today bestselling Regency author Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, and Europe before discovering the Caribbean and living on a sailboat for three years with her husband and a Portuguese Water Dog. She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement. Learn more about Ella and her books at her website, connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter, and follow her at BookBub

Buy links for You Never Forget Your First Earl:



Monday, May 28, 2018

Review - - Then There Was You

Then There Was You
By Miranda Liasson
Publisher: Grand Central /Forever
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Reviewed by Janga

Dr. Serafina “Sara” Langdon has returned to her hometown of Angel Falls, Ohio, to help care for her grandmother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Sara is eager to be there for her beloved Nonna, but she has mixed emotions about returning. She is happy to have more time with her siblings, sisters Evie and Gabby and younger brother Rafe and Evie’s two adorable kids, but she wonders if her father is pleased to have her join him in his practice. She is also still haunted by the debacle of a bachelor party a year ago that left her a jilted bride with a distaste for cake and left Tagg Milhouse, her boyfriend of ten years, living with the woman who jumped out of the cake in the house where Sara and Tagg expected to start their married life. Sara holds Colton Walker responsible for what she lost at that bachelor party, and she knows there is little chance of avoiding the man with whom she has been at odds (most of the time) since she was fourteen.

Colton was an angry teenager who could easily have gone in the wrong direction had it not been for his dead father’s cop friends and Tagg and his family who befriended him. Now he’s chief of police in Angel Falls and a favorite son of the town where he constantly goes the extra mile to care for the people. Colton has had a crush on Sara since high school, but he has always stepped back in favor of Tagg to whom he owed a debt. But now Sara is back, Tagg is not, and Colton is determined to take his chance at winning Sara—if only he can find time between his job and caring for his grandmother and younger sister.

Sara’s brother insists that Colton is a better man than Tagg, and the more time Sara spends with the police chief, the more she believes her brother. But just as she starts to believe that Colton is her Mr. Darcy, Tagg is back in town, begging for a second chance and creating complications in a relationship that seemed headed for an HEA.

Then There was You introduces Liasson’s Angel Falls series, and it does exactly what a first book in a small-town series needs to do. First, it establishes Angel Falls as the kind of heartwarming but imperfect place that readers will want to revisit. Second, it introduces a cast of characters that readers will want to know more about. Sara’s family is an interesting group. They have suffered from the death of her mother when the Langdon siblings were young, and now they are dealing with their grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. Their father has remarried, but his silence about his first wife bothers his daughters. Lawyer Gabby is dissatisfied with her job and seems to be settling in the romance department. Firefighter Rafe’s life has been filled with loss, and he now avoids commitment. Readers will be longing for both their stories.

Colton’s relationship with his young sister Hannah furnishes some leavening humor as well as some touching moments, and young as Hannah is, she is already in love. Will he prove to be the love of her life? Most important, Sara and Colton are believable, likable characters who are interesting people as individuals and whose romance offers an enemies-to-lovers tale with a bit of a twist that will win contemporary romance fans, especially those who have a fondness for that trope.

Kudos to Liasson for making the Alzheimer’s thread read true. This is not anther trendy disease story. This author shows the pain of losing someone you love by degrees, the need to cherish the moments when the real person shines through, the difficulty of recognizing the patient’s autonomy as long as possible while protecting them from the dangers into which they may wander, and the reality of laughing sometimes to keep from crying. I’ve been there, and I confess this story moved me to tears more than once. At the same times, Nonna’s story never overshadows the romance. And I love the fact that her unfiltered comments move several threads in the right direction.

This first book was sufficient to make an Angel Falls fan of me. If you like small-town romance that feels real and touches your heart, I think you will like this one too.


Have you read any of Miranda Liasson's books?

Do you enjoy light, fun contemporary romances or those with more emotional depth? Or maybe, a bit of both?

Colton is a police officer and and Sara's brother, Rafe (please let him have his own book!) is a firefighter. What is it about a man in uniform?

One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on this post before 11:00 PM, May 30 will receive a print copy of Then There Was You. (U.S. addresses only)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sneak Peek Excerpt & Giveaway - - Threat of Danger

Threat of Danger
By Dana Marton
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: June 5, 2018

Jess Taylor and Derek Daley were in the throes of first love in a small Vermont town when they were kidnapped by a serial killer. They escaped his clutches—but not the trauma of the unsolved crime. With their lives changed forever and their romance cut short, they went their separate ways to exorcise their fears.
Jess is living on the edge as Hollywood’s hottest stuntwoman. It’s no longer terror thrumming through her veins. It’s adrenaline. Derek is a former Navy SEAL spinning his ordeals into heart-pounding bestselling thrillers. But when Jess is called home on a family emergency, she must face the past—and face the man she left behind, who is just as haunted and, like her, still so much in love.
Now, as an old flame reignites, Jess and Derek are taking advantage of second chances and putting their bad memories behind them. But here, in the quiet town of Taylorville, a killer is getting a second chance as well.


Common sense said to walk away. She’d worked hard to make a life for herself in LA that worked for her.

Screw common sense. He stepped forward and reached around her, looped his fingers around her slim wrists, and tugged her hands from her pockets. Then he took those hands and drew her closer to him.

“Derek . . .”

“I wasn’t sure if you’d ever come back.”

“I’m only back temporarily.”

“Is that how you left things with Eliot?” That she’d be going after him soon? His mouth tightened at the thought.

“He had to go. He had meetings scheduled with directors. And new equipment coming in that he has to test and make decisions on before the next shoot.”

When she talked about Eliot, she talked about the business. That gave Derek hope. Sounded like they’d parted as friends and colleagues, not as lovers who couldn’t wait to reunite.

Two and a half weeks left, at the most. He knew her shooting schedule from talking with Zelda. About eighteen days more before Jess had to report to the set. So why in hell was he wasting time?

He dipped his head and brushed his lips over hers. He’d gotten lost once in the Iraqi desert for three days. He hadn’t been as thirsty for water back then as he was now for a taste of Jess.

When she didn’t protest, he pulled her fully into his arms and kissed her.

The point of no return. He needed to find out if things could still work between them. He wanted her, and he could no longer pretend that he didn’t.

Her body was firm, but her lips were soft and silky, as sweet as Zelda’s prizewinning angel food cake. As sweet as the old Jess. Except, this new Jess, she was a woman. She had the power to bring Derek to his knees.

He’d told her that he would give her whatever she needed from him. He hoped she’d figure out that he was what she needed. He was going to have to help her reach that conclusion.

He breathed her in. She smelled like redemption. Like maybe he could have a do-over and get it right this time.

She stood still in the circle of his arms. Undecided. Wary.

Better than a sharp knee in the balls, but Derek wanted more. He nibbled her lips and licked the seam, tasting her.

She tasted like a whole new world opening up. She tasted like the blank page of a book before he’d written the first word, the possibilities limitless.

Was the story of his life written on her heart? Was the story of her life written on his?

Too early to tell. But he wanted to find out. Letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence. If only she’d let him.

She did let him in, let him deepen the kiss. Progress, but this was just the opening of her lips, not the opening of her heart. Still, Derek wouldn’t have been a good SEAL if he didn’t grab every advantage, no matter how small. And, really, the kiss could not be called small by any measure.

As he swept into Jess’s mouth, he felt his boundaries expand. Need rushed in, and filled him like water flooding into a torpedoed submarine. He sank onto the seabed of things he always wanted but never believed he could have. Jess’s forgiveness . . . and more.

All these years, he’d thought her forgiveness was all he wanted.

He’d been stupid.

He wanted thisJess. And he knew in that moment that he was going to do whatever it took to get her and keep her. Eliot couldn’t have her, no matter how handsome he was, or how much they had in common, or how hot women thought it was that the guy was some grandmaster of stunts.

Derek wasn’t going to let Eliot have Jess. He didn’t care if the guy jumped out of a burning helicopter, tied hand and foot, with a ticking bomb in his backpack, and got an Oscar nomination in every single category for the performance.


Are you a fan of second-chance romance?

Have you read any of Dana Marton's books? Do you have a favorite?

Do you get as excited as I do over the prospect of a heroine who takes control of her life and goes head-to-head against the forces threatening her?

One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM (eastern), May 29 will receive the Dana Marton tote bag (shown below) and a book from my conference stash.  

Be sure to come back Monday, June 4 for my review of Threat of Danger