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Release day: Run for the Hills

25 May 2017

Today is the official release of Run for the Hills by Carla Caruso (ebook, Harlequin Escape). Here’s the blurb:

The Belshaw brothers are back in Balkissoch…

Bridie Porter is wearing her Vera Wang gown and veil in the back of her wedding limo when she receives a compromising text about her hotelier groom. Panicked, she tells the driver to keep going and she flees from Melbourne to the small town of Balkissoch in the Adelaide Hills.

It’s the perfect pit-stop to hide from her ex and the press and to earn enough cash to stay out of sight. Unfortunately, the admin job she gets is for a wedding photography business and she’s had her fill of weddings lately. But it’s slim pickings on the work front in a town so teeny. And her new boss is strangely compelling…

After the rush and adrenaline of his job as an LA paparazzo, the last place Cody Belshaw wants to be is back in the small town where he grew up. But thanks to a clause in his father’s will that amounts to blackmail, Cody and his two brothers are stuck running a wedding business for at least a month. If there’s one thing that he’s learned in LA, however, it’s to keep business and pleasure very, very separate. Which makes his new admin employee the definition of temptation.
Bridie is desperate to stay anonymous. Cody seeks out secrets for a living. As they delve into the world of brides, boutonnières and dogs-as-best-men, both Cody and Bridie will have to decide if this is a fling…or forever.

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

What happens when a runaway bride lands on the doorstep of triplet wedding photographers? That’s the premise of this story! This was one of those pesky ideas that hit me when I was trying to work on another manuscript. As a stay-at-home mum, I get more inspiration from my husband’s work these days than my own. (Previously I was a journalist.) The hubby’s a photographer and sometimes shoots weddings and was teaming up with some other snappers. And then I thought what if the photography collective were Hemsworth-handsome triplets? And what if the only employee to work for their new business was a runaway bride ‘in hiding’—aptly named Bridie? The story’s set in the Adelaide Hills, a beautiful part of the world, especially in autumn. My father-in-law lives there, so I got plenty of fiction inspiration when visiting!

You can find out more about this book at Carla’s website or buy it from Escape.

Feature book: Scorched

24 May 2017

Scorched by Erica Hayes

Scorched is the first book in the Sapphire City series written by Erica Hayes. It is written in the first-person and is ‘super-hero’ urban fantasy.

Scorched is set in a world where the citizens of Sapphire City are either augmented or not, meaning they have supernatural abilities like telekinesis and invisibility. The augmented wear masks while using their powers as they are feared by the population who don’t have powers.

Verity Fortune is a 31 year old freelance journalist but her secret identity is the crime fighter ‘The Seeker’ who has telekinetic/force bending powers. While trying to save her father from her arch-nemesis ‘Razorfire’, she is abducted and placed into a mental asylum where she has her memory erased. Verity is tormented by memories that she doesn’t know if they are real or were planted by the people who captured her. This consumes her and makes her set out for revenge on all the people who have hurt her.

When Verity escapes she sets fire to the asylum and goes to FortuneCorp which is owned by her family. FortuneCorp is a front for fighting evil, particularly ‘The Gallery’; the local gang of villains. Verity’s whole family works in the company and they all have augmentative powers. Her brother Adonis has ‘Charisma’ and works in PR. Equity, their sister has ‘Photonic power’ is running for mayor of Sapphire City. Verity thinks she will be safe returning to FortuneCorp but she uncovers a conspiracy within her own family and now she is on the run by herself, being hunted by the ones she thought she would have been safe with.

After a violent confrontation with her siblings she is nearly abducted again but a mysterious masked stranger, ‘Glimmer’, saves her. Not knowing who to trust and having nowhere safe to go, she teams up with Glimmer to hunt for the truth about the night she was abducted.

While on the run she also learns that Razorfire is planning to release a neurotoxin into the city. Verity must don the mask of ‘The Seeker’ once more in an effort to take down Razorfire and stop his nefarious plans in its tracks.

Glimmer helps Verity unravel and remember what happened to her the night she was captured while trying to save the world from Razorfire. However, Verity is still burning with revenge and walks a thin line on the balance of good and evil. Will this consume her? Can she take down Razorfire? Who is out to silence her once and for all? Who in her family wants her dead? Is there anyone she can trust at all?

Scorched keeps giving you twists and turns, making you question if you have figured out who it is at the bottom of the conspiracy laid before you before making you change your mind again and again. A fantastic read and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series.

Reviewed by Juliette

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

Feature book: The Governess was Wild

24 May 2017

The Governess was Wild by Julia Kelly

A governess relies on her reputation. They are the women at the top of their field. These three woman are friends through their work and their circumstance.

Jane Ephram knows her charge. She knows she is in love with a totally unsuitable gentleman. She knows she has run away to elope. All she needs to do is to find Lady Margaret and return her to her family’s bosom. As she begins her initial search for her charge, Jane runs into Sir Nicholas. He is looking for the thief who stole his horse. The horse he desperately needs for breeding purposes so that he has money for his extended family.

Jane and Nicholas pair up to search for Lady Margaret and the horse, of course figuring that Lady Margaret took the horse. As they are not married, they need to pretend to be married as there is no companion to keep all things above board, and they need to keep Lady Margaret’s flight a secret for her reputation’s sake. They finally catch up with Lady Margaret and the man she was going to elope with to Gretna Green. The road trip for Jane and Nicholas is eye opening as they search for the horse and charge, and they also have to fight their attraction to each other. This means that Jane and Nicholas end up in those couple situations, which gets them closer and closer.

This road trip story is another good read from Ms Kelly. The three woman are friends and rely on each other for advice and to bounce ideas off each other. It is nice to see that friendship continue after their respective marriages.

Reviewed by Heather

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

Release day: Hot Mess

22 May 2017

Today is the official release of Hot Mess by Amy Andrews (book 1, Hot Aussie Knights) (ebook, Tule Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

“I never thought I’d get a second chance at a first time with you.”

Firefighter Logan Knight thinks it’s fate when he meets Arabella Tucker again, nine years after their brief, intense relationship ended. Until he realizes that Bella doesn’t recognize him and all of their memories together are completely erased from her memory.

Bella may be oblivious to their history but she can’t deny their scorching chemistry and the possibility of a future with the mystery man from her past. Logan wants a future too, but he can’t go there until Bella knows everything they shared. Her parents, though, want to protect her from the emotional cost of old memories and so Logan is reluctantly persuaded to let the past lie.

But when Bella starts to uncover the truth, she is shocked by the revelations. Can she move beyond the hurt of her shared history with Logan and begin their new story?

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

Hot Mess is the first cab off the rank in the Hot Aussie Knights series, which revolves around a family of Aussie fire fighters. I had a lot of fun collaborating with Trish Morey, Victoria Purman and US author Sinclair Jayne on these books. No kidding, my email folder for our little group had 942 emails in it!! The most exciting thing for me is that this is my first ever amnesia storyline. I’ve been wanting to write one forever but have never quite been able to figure out how to deal with the ugly reality of it. I think I’ve pulled it off and even though the book is at times heart wrenching, Bella and Logan do get their HEA.

You can find out more about this book at Amy’s website or buy it from Amazon.

Guest blogger: Anne Gracie

21 May 2017

A hero’s troubles

It’s pretty much a ‘rule’ in a romance, to get the hero and heroine together as soon as possible. I try, but sometimes I just can’t manage it. My book Autumn Bride was a case in point—the hero arrives on the scene quite late. I worried that readers would hate it. They didn’t.

The same thing happened with Marry in Haste. The first part of the book is mostly about the hero. My hero, Cal Rutherford, has a lot to learn, especially about women—women of all ages. Not in that way <g>. I mean he’s got a lot to learn about handling females in general, particularly relatives. He’s grown up in an all-male environment—first a boys’ boarding school, then the army. He’s still in the army when the story starts, but suddenly he inherits a title, and responsibility for vast estates and a gaggle of females—from elderly aunts to young, flighty half-sisters. But none of them is a priority for him, not compared with his ‘serious and important army work’. Clearly, Cal has a lot to learn.

From the start, his sisters take very little notice of his orders. It’s quite confronting for an officer, used to having his every order obeyed. As Cal explains to a former army buddy:

“And soldiers don’t burst into tears at a—very mild—reprimand, or flounce from the room, or sulk, or look at you with big wounded eyes! Or ignore my—very reasonable—orders and go their own merry way!”

There was a muffled sound from the chair opposite. Cal narrowed his eyes. “Are you laughing at me, Galbraith?”

His friend pulled a large handkerchief from his pocket, blew noisily into it and said with an unnaturally straight face, “No, no. Wouldn’t dream of it.”

It takes Cal quite a while before he comes to the extremely reluctant conclusion that he needs a woman to look after his sisters and so he’s going to have to … gulp … marry someone. And beget an heir for the title. It’s duty—pure, inescapable duty. But when he does bite the dutiful bullet, his formidable Aunt Agatha has something to say about his choice:

“Now explain to me, Ashendon, if you please, the reason for this disgracefully hasty marriage to a complete and utter nobody! Did you give any consideration to what you owe your name? Obviously not!”

“I beg your pardon?” said Cal, outraged by this description of his wife.

“Apology accepted,” Aunt Agatha said regally, “but you still haven’t explained yourself.”

“My wife,” he began stiffly, “is not a nobody. She is—”

“Oh, pish tosh, of course she is. Nobody has ever heard of her, and those that have know nothing good of her. A governess, Ashendon! Could you find anyone less distinguished? A washerwoman, perhaps, or a milkmaid? Milkmaids have good skin, or so I’ve heard—does she have good skin, at least?”

Cal leashed his temper. “My wife is well educated, well born and—”

“Well born? Nonsense! According to my sources she is a nobody, a spinster long past her prime with neither background nor looks to recommend her.”

“Rubbish!” snapped Cal. “She is the daughter of a baronet—”

“Exactly—not even a member of the nobility!”

Poor Cal—he just can’t win. I should be ashamed of myself for enjoying his troubles with females so much, but I’m not. I loved watching him slowly coming to realise what is really important in life. And his heroine, Emm, thrown into the deep end of society and marriage, shows spirit and quiet strength as she gradually builds a family out of a disparate collection of individuals—and falls in love. I hope you enjoy it.

I’ll give a copy of Marry in Haste to someone who leaves a comment or an answer to this question: Do you enjoy a slow-build romance or do you prefer to get down-and-dirty as soon as possible? And how about the ‘marriage of convenience’ trope—yeah or meh?

You can find Anne here: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Release day: The Brothers of Brigadier Station

17 May 2017

Today is the official release of The Brothers of Brigadier Station by Sarah Williams (ebook and print, Serenade Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

She came to the outback to marry the love of her life. She just didn’t expect him to be her fiancé’s younger brother.

When Meghan Flanagan, a vet-nurse from Townsville, moves to Brigadier Station in outback Queensland to marry the man of her dreams, she is shocked to discover that perhaps her fiancé isn’t the man she wants waiting for her at the altar. The man she’s destined to marry just might be his younger brother.

Cautious of women after a disastrous past relationship, Darcy is happy living on his beloved cattle station, spending his spare time riding horses, going to rodeos and campdrafting. He didn’t expect the perfect woman to show up on his doorstep. Engaged to his brother.

With the wedding only hours away, Meghan must make the decision of a lifetime. But, her betrayal could tear the family apart. She knows all too well the pain of losing loved ones and being alone.

Now that she has the family she so desperately wants; will she risk losing it all?

Set in the drought stricken plains of Julia Creek, North Queensland and the coastal city of Townsville this is a rural romance that will leave you asking: Will she marry the right man, for the right reasons?

The Brothers of Brigadier Station is the first in the Brigadier Station series and can easily be read as a standalone. Each of Sarah’s stories are linked so you can find out what happens to the other brothers and your favourite characters in future books.

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

I first realised I was a romance writer two years ago when I attended a workshop by Barbara Hannay, here in Townsville, north Queensland. The workshop was call ‘How to write a romance’. At the beginning of the workshop I said I wanted to write like Nicholas Sparks and have his fame and fortune, by the end of the workshop I still wanted the fame and fortune but romance was my new genre, including the HEA (happily ever after). Two years on I am so glad I switched. With awesome groups and communities such as ARRA and Romance Writers of Australia I have refined my craft and learned so much about writing and business. I am thrilled to finally be releasing my debut novel—inspired by Barbara’s workshop—The Brothers of Brigadier Station. It is set in two locations close to my heart: Townsville where I am currently living and Julia Creek, a town so community-oriented and friendly I knew I wanted Brigadier Station to be located there. I hope I have done the towns justice and that, just maybe, readers will consider coming up and visiting us sometime…

You can find out more about this book at Sarah’s website or buy it from Amazon.

Feature book: The Governess was Wanton

17 May 2017

The Governess was Wanton by Julia Kelly

A governess relies on her reputation. They are the women at the top of their field. These three woman are friends through their work and their circumstance.

Lord Asten has a dilemma. He is a widow but wants his daughter to have the guidance of a woman. He hires Mary as she was the best governess and one who was available. Mary has to contend with Lady Laughlin, a baron’s widow, who has designs on Eric and tries to bully Eleanora, Eric’s daughter.

Eleanora admires Mary’s ability to put Lady Laughlin in her place. Mary also attracts Eric’s attention for her gentleness and kindness to Eleanora but also because he is attracted to her. He finally sees what his daughter had been trying to tell him about Lady Laughlin. Mary is also about reputation and is unable to reconcile that Eric wants her and is willing to marry her, despite the fact it would elevate her to the peerage (and well over Lady Laughlin!).

This story was a great read. It has many elements of the Cinderella trope all with the possible wicked step mother and step sisters. We also see the friendship between the three governesses as they talk, or don’t, about their love life. Each of them understands the anxiety they might feel about loving out of their circle.

Reviewed by Heather

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