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Feature book: Slammed

16 April 2014

SlammedSlammed by Colleen Hoover

When Layken’s mother suddenly announces the family is moving from Texas to Michigan, Layken is left confused and angry. It’s only been a few months since her father died and to find they need to move away from the only home she and her brother have known, to such a distant and different location, only adds to her heartbreak. She dreads starting a new school in her senior year. First impressions of her new home are not good, but second impressions, in the form of the sexy guy standing in her driveway, have Layken wondering if maybe it’s not so bad after all. When he speaks and smiles, Layken is won over. Ypsilanti, Michigan is looking very good indeed. And Will looks even better.

Will Cooper is blown away by the gorgeous girl manoeuvring the large van into the driveway with confidence and aplomb. He can’t help but introduce himself and immediately ask her out. There’s an instant connection and for the first time in years, Will is going to allow himself some time to get to know a girl, this amazing girl.

But that promising start for both of them is brought to a sudden halt within a few days when they make a devastating discovery. Instead of looking forward to a bright and wonderful future, both must find ways of ignoring the attraction and getting on with separate lives. But too many other factors are making this impossible and with the help of Will’s passion for slam poetry and a shared love of a particular music band, the pain and agony of tragedy might just be what it takes to bring them together after all.

This is no lightweight love story and it draws you in from the first page. It’s not just the courage of these two people, but the realness of their connection. And did I mention how beautifully written it is? Plus, an obvious talent for slam poetry from the author? A very, very talented writer.

Loved it! I am so inspired by the slam poetry! I wanted to join in and give it a try, to be young again and express the angst in such a creative way. I love how the author has used and blended the phenomenon of this public outlet to enhance the story. I also dearly loved Eddie. What an amazing friend Layken has in her. I’m hooked and, luckily, have more of this series to indulge in. I’m in for the long haul with these two and, hopefully, more slam poetry. :)

Reviewed by Rosalie

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Feature book: Seducing Phoebe

16 April 2014

Seducing PhoebeSeducing Phoebe by Nicole Flockton

Phoebe Fitzgerald has had a pretty bad life, feeling unloved and being left by anyone that she loved, including her parents and the neighbour who took her in. But she has worked hard and is a nurse in the emergency department, and she has some great friends. Phoebe is engaged to be married to a wonderful man but she can’t help thinking that all is not what it should be. Oh, the sex is awesome but they don’t seem to have fun. She doesn’t laugh like she did with John (her ex). She has always made jokes of things and this is what has kept her going. When her ex walks back into her life after walking out, this really has her mind turning over, so much so that she calls off the engagement.

Marco Petronelli has been burned badly by love and made a fool of, so falling in love is not what he wants. He is an architect and very good at his job, but there are things in his past that he doesn’t speak about and only his closest friend, Alex, knows about them. When he meets Phoebe at the marriage of his best friend, he is drawn to her but she is in a relationship with someone that Marco feels is not good for her; he bides his time and waits. When Phoebe is free again, Marco steps in. Their relationship is strong; the compatibility between them will make it all work out. But when Phoebe breaks the engagement, Marco is determined to win her back.

Phoebe needs time to think everything through and takes a trip up the coast to be alone. She is over her ex stalking her and she doesn’t like hurting Marco. She also knows there is something Marco is holding back from her, and that she is keeping secrets from Marco. If this relationship is to succeed they need to be honest and open with each other. But Marco is not going to let go of Phoebe that easily and finds out where she is and shows up on her doorstep, much to Phoebe’s displeasure. How is she to think with Marco around? Just his touch does things to her, but she needs to think a happy marriage can’t just be about the sex. Their relationship is a good one and he needs her in his life; he is not in love with her, but he sets about seducing Phoebe.

This is such a great story. They really need to overcome things that have happened in their pasts and learn to tell each other about them. Both are determined people and opening up about their hurts is hard, but with strength and their love for each other getting stronger they get there. This one is emotional and heartwarming as they learn to trust each other and when exes and work and friends get involved, it moves you. This is a story you should read.

Reviewed by Helen S

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

Feature book: Bonjour Cherie

16 April 2014

Bonjour CherieBonjour Cherie by Robin Thomas

Beth Jenkins is a 21-year-old under-achiever still living at home with her parents, working at the local IGA store. She’s smart, but she’s not as smart as her older sister and, knowing she can never win, she gave up competing. She has one burning ambition: to go to France.

She has very little money and no immediate prospects of fulfilling her dream, but still. She’s taking Introduction to French lessons at the local TAFE, run by gorgeous Frenchman Andre LeBlanc. Andre is urbane, pretty to look at and, even better, he’s French. Unfortunately, it seems he doesn’t share her attraction. She hasn’t given up—she knows they’ll be just perfect for each other if only he’d notice her.

When hunky Zach Mills joins the class, sparks fly. He’s flirty and charming but he’s also built like a mechanic and he’s a local, so she associates him with a small town life—a life she doesn’t want (even though she’s not actually doing much about it herself).

Zach comes to her rescue in little ways, but she continually rebuffs him. He’s not what she wants—she wants Paris and Andre.

The book is very light-hearted and it’s not difficult to see what the barrier to Beth’s romantic dreams is when it comes to Andre, and that there’s much more to Zach than first impressions. I couldn’t help feeling that Beth ended up being a little too ‘material girl’ when it came to Zach—he wasn’t as acceptable boyfriend material as she assumed him to be. It was only later when, to paraphrase Pride and Prejudice, she saw Pemberley (metaphorically speaking) she realised that maybe she’d made a mistake.

I was pleased that by the end of the story Beth had decided to start living her life and reaching for her dreams rather than waiting for them to come to her and, of course, there is a happy ending. There is a very Australian vibe to the novella and it was a fun evening’s read.

Reviewed by Kaetrin

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Publisher pitch: Entangled Indulgence, Apr 2014

15 April 2014

Entangled IndulgenceIndulgence, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, launched in February 2012 and literally changed the face of category romance. Over the years, the line has stayed fresh and current, and we are thrilled to launch our new, slightly tweaked covers, this April. Indulgence books offers a fast read filled with sexy, powerful heroes who know what they want and go after it, and heroines who get swept off their feet and into a world they would have never otherwise known if it hadn’t been for their sexy hero. If you haven’t already, check us out and fall in love with one sexy alpha after another!

You can find our books at www.entangledpublishing.com/category/Indulgence

Betting the Billionaire (novella) by Avery Flynn: Bad boy billionaire, Gabe Campos, and Keisha Wilson, the woman determined to take him down a notch or twelve, must take cover together while a blizzard rages. Sparks fly threatening to melt even the deepest snow drift as these two enemies battle each other and the attraction growing between them.

A Night of Misbehaving (novella) by Carmen Falcone: For just one night, Georgia Taylor wants to forget about her job and being a single mom. But her plans for some fun fly out the window when Brent Turner turns out to be her Internet date. Brent’s determined to win Georgia’s trust and show her a good time, and their no-strings evening promises to become much more … but then Georgia discovers what he’s really after.

The Seduction Game by Emma Shortt: Millionaire bad boy, Will Thornton, is determined to buy computer-geek Kate Kelly’s building out from under her. Problem is, the snarky, geeky, computer-wiz is impossibly cute and a match for him in every way. Kate is prepared to wait Will out, but it will take every ounce of her self-control to win this game.

An Unsuitable Husband by Ros Clarke: Theresa Chartley has no time for marriage, but French soccer player Emile Renaud is the perfect unsuitable husband to shock her parents into silence and put an end to their marriage campaign. A year of marriage tests them both in unimaginable ways, but maybe Emile isn’t unsuitable after all …

Release day: World Change

15 April 2014

Today is the official release of World Change by Maggie Mundy (ebook, Rogue Phoenix Press). Here’s the blurb:

World ChangeClare gets transported from present day Florence to an alternate world, one that looks like fourteenth century Italy. The only way back is through a portal half a world away, plus the local High priestess wants her dead, and the only one she can trust is a vampire called Trevi. He is the only vampire who exits in this world, and she knows more about what he is than he does. He is hard to resist, especially when he saves her life. Trevi can take her home but he is keeping one big secret. She will have to be like him to survive the journey through the portal back to her world making a myth a reality.

Maggie dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

I have always wanted to visit Italy, and to be a more specific, Florence. I love the history that abounds in the region of Tuscany. It has political intrigue with a past involving the Medicis. It also has some of the greatest art work in the world by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci there. In my novel World Change I tried to capture some of the political intrigues and beauty of the time and mix it with something supernatural. At present I am writing Book 2 called World Apart.

You can find out more about this book at Maggie’s website.

All ARRA members who comment on this post will go in the draw to win a copy of this book. The giveaway closes on 5 May 2014.

ARRA newsletter #57

15 April 2014

Purple newsThe April issue of the newsletter is out today. Members should have received the download code via email.

The lead article is all about the awards dinner last month. We also have a wrap-up of the entertainment for the evening (if you missed the dinner, believe me you missed out on the most hilarious evening), plus details of all the award winners.

Keynotes for ARRC2015 were also announced at the dinner – we have all the details on page 4.

Plus wrap-ups from a number of other recent events. And of course columns from our regulars: a Roundup from Tez, news, reviews and author interviews.

Happy reading everyone!

Release day: The Playboy’s Dark Secret

14 April 2014

Today is the official release of The Playboy’s Dark Secret by Madeline Ash (ebook, Destiny Romance). Here’s the blurb:

The Playboy's Dark SecretLeaving behind an international career and an elite party lifestyle, soccer star Dean Thorn has returned home to run the family vineyard after thirteen years abroad. Tormented by a dark secret, he has vowed never to get close to a woman again.

No stranger to hard work, Rafi Dalton is too busy for love. Since running away from her career as a professional ballerina, she has been building a new life for herself as a seasonal worker with little money and no fixed address.

Rafi is nothing like the women Dean left behind. She is strong, independent and not remotely interested in his fame or money. The attraction between them pushes him right to the edge – but can he trust her enough to leave his past behind?

The Playboy’s Dark Secret is a tender, sexy romance set on a beautiful Australian vineyard.

Madeline dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

The setting of this book came to me before the plot or characters. A vineyard in the Yarra Valley during harvest season. Green vines heavy with the weight of ripe grapes. Hot air balloons wafting overhead each morning. A lush landscape with distant blue mountains. With such rich imagery, my heroine needed to be a part of the setting, not simply surrounded by it. And so she became a grape-picker on the hero’s vineyard, showing the hard work behind the beauty. Their romance is one of strong attraction and clever conversation–combined with the gorgeous vineyard, I wrote my perfect love story! I hope you enjoy it too.

You can find out more about this book on Madeline’s website, and find buy links on the Destiny Romance website.

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