Feb 27, 2015

The Jeweler by Beck Anderson



Adult Contemporary Romance 
Published by Omnific Publishing
Fender Barnes profits from an institution he doesn’t believe in marriage. He’s a talented designer, but a reluctant jewelry store owner, thanks to his pop’s retirement. He’s cynical, he’s jaded, he’s not entirely certain about the concept of love, but he’s happy to sell an eager young guy an engagement ring for his fiancĂ©e to be—until moments after the transaction when that eager guy is hit by a car and killed, and Fender’s conscience pays a rare visit.
He retrieves the ring and decides to find the woman his customer intended to marry. That woman turns out to be Ginger Stevens, twenty-something ski instructor, who—despite being full of guilt and self-doubt after the death of her boyfriend—is someone Fender finds he quite enjoys being around. He’s smitten.
Which is all well and good, except that after he meets her, Fender can’t do it. Though it’s right there in his pocket, he can’t tell her about the ring. Instead, he embarks on a long, ridiculous quest to find a way to tell her the truth he knows she deserves. Aided by advice from Pop and the antics of his best friend Sam, Fender tries desperately to juggle his budding romance with the reality he knows could ruin it.
Will he find love or foul it up? Can Ginger move out of the past to embrace what the future has to offer? Meet this unlikely pair in Beck Anderson’s heartfelt and fabulously funny second novel, The Jeweler.
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Review
This book was a surprise, in the best way. I didn't read any other reviews before I read it. I don't know why but I expected Fender to be completely different to what he turned out to be. I expected someone slight slick and maybe a little sleazy. Well, he does make his money from romance and love when he doesn't believe the hype. 
He was actually a fairly regular guy and much easier to relate to than I thought he would be. 
Ginger I took to straight away. I could really relate to a woman who is almost married but isn't quite sure how she got there or how much of herself she lost along the way. 

The writing flows. It's descriptive but compact, allowing for the story to zip by without feeling forced and giving all the characters plenty of time to develop naturally. This is good. I was pulled in quickly and knew who I was dealing with quickly. 

Ginger's grief and guilt is weaved  throughout and at times seems an insurmountable challenge for Fender to get through.He starts off on the wrong foot and just keeps stepping wrong. I was rooting for these too. 

I can recommend this book for anyone who loves romance with emotional substance. 

5 stars

About the Author
Beck Anderson loves to write about love and its power to heal and grow people past their many imperfections. She is a firm believer in the phrase "mistakes are for learning" and uses it frequently to guide her in writing life and real life.
Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two pre-teen males, loving one post-40 husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.



 



Feb 3, 2015

FOUR SOMETHINGS & A SIXPENCE by Rumer Haven



Adult Contemporary Romance
Available February 3, 2015 
from Battered Suitcase Press
(an imprint of Vagabondage Press)
SUMMARY: One wedding. Six participants. Be they sitting in the pews or standing at the altar, bearing witness in person or only in spirit, each of them knows something about the unsmiling bride. Go ahead—offer them a sixpence for their thoughts, and they'll make you these vows:
  • One would love to declare this woman his “awfully wedded wife.”
  • One fears what she already has and will have to hold—if not from this day forward, then soon.
  • One takes her to be richer, not poorer.
  • One is better for what she told him this morning, worse for betraying a friend to get to this point.
  • One worries whether today finds her in sickness or in health.
  • And only one already knows that not even in death will they part.
Whether they speak now or forever hold their peace, they all give the bride a little something she didn’t register for. One wedding. Six participants. With romance, resentment, faith, fear, mystery, and the mystical, Four Somethings & A Sixpence is a loaded yet light read just in time for Valentine's Day!

Add it to Goodreads
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and batteredsuitcasepress.com.

Review

I read this today. It's a quick read about a wedding celebration from a number of points of view. It kept me guess right up until the end and I wasn't sure who I should be rooting for. So, I ended up rooting for everyone a little. It's not a story about perfection but about the human condition and all of us muddling through, trying to do our best, taking chances, making compromises, and enjoying happiness when we can. The prose was beautiful and uncomplicated. I especially enjoyed the grandmother's POV and her rather no nonsense views. Loved it.

 RAFFLECOPTER: In celebration, Rumer is giving away 4 free ebooks of this 9,000-word novelette, and a lucky 5th winner will receive the ebook PLUS an authentic silver sixpence coin struck by the Royal Mint in London! RSVP at the Rafflecopter for your chance to win (runs from 2/3 - 2/14).

AUTHOR BIO: Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. Seven for a Secret is her debut novel.

 Author Links:  
Website: http://www.rumerhaven.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8379833.Rumer_Haven 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rumer-Haven/e/B00MU2NXXW/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RumerHaven (@RumerHaven)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rumerhaven
 

Feb 2, 2015

Defenseless by Elisa Dane Blog Tour - Review





Defenseless (Diamond Girls #3)
by Elisa Dane 
Release Date: 01/17/15
Swoon Romance

Summary
High school senior, Claire Reilly’s world revolves around All-Star cheerleading. The Diamond Girls, are gearing up for a major competition, which, if they win will allow them to compete at Worlds for the first time. But the unimaginable happens, and both Claire and her team are rocked by a devastating loss. Determined to get to Worlds any way she can, Claire finds help from the last person she imagined would give it—up and coming UFC fighter and notorious bad boy, Ryker Vaughn.

Fouled out of the octagon by a dirty opponent and a vicious kick to the head, Ryker loses control when he learns he may never fight again. Angry over the loss of his mother, an unsupportive family, and the world in general, he gives up, gives in, and unleashes his rage—destroying part of his cousin’s cheer gym in the process. Things go from bad to worse when Ryker is given an ultimatum: help the Diamond Girls compete for a bid to Worlds, or go to jail.

Overwhelmed with anger, sadness, and grief, the unlikely pair learn that what you see is not always what you get, and that the most difficult losses sometimes open the door to a frightening, yet amazing new future.

Review

I've  read all three of the Diamond Girls books. Each book can be read as a stand alone but it would seem a pity to miss the other two. It would be tough to name my favorite. Having said that, I loved the main character's voice in this one. 
Claire certainly goes through some extremes of emotion. At one point I was sure she was properly depressed, not just sad and trying to cope with the loss of her friend. I wasn't sure she would be able to pick herself up and get going again. But she had a lot of help, in the unexpected shape of Ryker Vaghn. Ryker is not what meets the eye. He has his own issues to deal with. His family have treated him abysmally and his baggage isn't all his at all. 
Then, there is the Diamond Girls, Claire's cheer team. This is a bunch of girls who consider their friends as family. They are tough athletes and work hard without the need to sacrifice every other part of their lives. If I had a daughter, these are the sort of girls I'd love her to be friends with and look up to.
I have to admit that going into reading the first book, Ex-Factor, I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with the jargon. Elisa Dane makes it easy. Without going into too much detail, she manages to explain just enough that the reader feels confident navigating the world of competitive cheer. 
But these books aren't so much about cheer, so much as cheer is the world they are set in. The girls and guys have so much more going on in their lives, from dealing with the consequences of drunk driving in the first book, domestic abuse in the second, and alcoholism and grief in the third. All the while navigating the eruption of teen hormones and budding romance. 
All the books give a sense of achievement and overcoming personal obstacles, but Defenseless, felt a little like an accumulation, like I've been getting to know the characters all along and this is where I was heading with them. 
I will be very sorry to say goodbye to this series. I recommend them to anyone who enjoys YA, regardless of age. 



Buy Links:



Links for Ex-Factor:


Links for Unbreakable:


About the Author
I'm a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!
I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it's my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you'll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.

Author Links:

http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/