Weekly Wrap Up: March 1st through March 7th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Master’s Mistress

For the Win

Hometown Girl

Losing Kyler

The Only Good Indians


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Only Good Indians—Review coming May 19th


Books with Published Reviews:

Losing Kyler—Review Here

You Are Not Alone—Review Here

Queen of the Unwanted—Review Here (DNF)

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek—Review Here

Odriel’s Heirs—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Tigers, Not Daughters—Algonquin Young Readers

Tsarina—St. Martin’s Press


NetGalley Requests:

Playing Nice


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Blog Tour: Tucker (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas: Book 2) by Emily March

Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas: Tucker by [March, Emily]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: February 25th, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas

Jackson—Book 1 (Review Here)

Tucker—Book 2

Where you can find Tucker: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Hope springs eternal in this enchanting Texas town.

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue but when an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime. . .until death do they part.


First Line:

Tucker McBride fed coins into an ancient soft drink machine, heard the clink clink clink as they fell into the box, opened the door, and pulled out a frosty glass bottle.

Tucker by Emily March

My Review:

I had discovered The Eternity Springs series a couple of years ago. I fell in love with the romances. Then, I saw that there was a spin-off with the Texas cousins. Again, I fell in love with the first book. So, when I saw that Tucker was available for review, I jumped on it. I figured it had to be as good as Jackson and The Eternity Springs series. And let me tell you, I was right!!

Tucker is the 2nd book in The Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas series. This book can be read as a stand-alone. But, and I will say this about all of the stand-alone books in series, read book 1!! There are recurring characters that crop up in Tucker who’s background stories will make you wonder what’s going on.

The pacing of the plotline for Tucker was perfect. It was slow and sweet. Usually, I am not a fan of those types of plotlines. I need a bit of speed to them. But, considering everything Gillian went through in the book, the slower pace was required. There was some lag in the plotline, right around when Gillian broke things off with her fiance. But the author was able to get the book back on track. There were no dropped storylines or characters.

I loved Tucker. I liked that he called out Gillian’s fiance for what he was, a pretentious d-bag. I loved that he was honest with himself about being very attracted to a woman in a relationship. I loved that he knew that he wanted to be with Gillian but was willing to wait until she healed before he pursued her. I also know that he was comfortable in his skin. He got out of the Army when he was being pressured to make friends with the suits in Washington. He used his Army expertise to start a survival school, which I loved. I just loved him and was #TeamTucker the entire book.

I liked Gillian, but man, she was a mess for 90% of the book. She was engaged to a guy who was a jerk. She changed everything she wanted for a wedding to accommodate him. I wanted to shake her and say, “Wake up, sweet cheeks!!” I liked that she was honest enough with herself to admit that she was attracted to Tucker. What I didn’t like was that she did lead him on at points in the book. I get that she was trying to find herself, but man, do it away from Tucker. Also, how could she have never hiked living near that canyon? And to hike by herself? WTH was she thinking!!

The romance between Gillian and Tucker was slow-burning. It was so slow at times that I wondered if I had imagined the heat between them. But, once Gillian and her fiance broke up, it came roaring back, and it was electric.

The sex scenes were pretty tame, considering the heat between Gillian and Tucker. They weren’t explicit, but you knew what was going on. I liked that. It didn’t take away from the romance.

I was furious with the plotline with Gillian and her fiance. I figured something happened, but I wasn’t expecting who it was. I loved how the author ended that plotline. Talk about satisfying!!

The plotline with Tucker and his business was fascinating. It was the first time that I have read a book where survival training was written about. I liked that he started small and morphed it into a thriving business.

The end of Tucker was what I expected. Some of the plotlines were wrapped up, and some weren’t. I did like that Tucker and Gillian got their HEA. I also cannot wait to read book 3!! From the foreshadowing in the book, it looks like it will be a good one!!


I would give Tucker an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Tucker. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Blog Tour: Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses: Book 6) by Janna MacGregor

Wild, Wild Rake: The Cavensham Heiresses by [MacGregor, Janna]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: February 25th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride—Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky—Book 2

The Luck of the Bride—Book 3 (Review Here)

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—Book 4 (Review Here)

Rogue Most Wanted—Book 5 (Review Here)

Wild, Wild Rake—Book 6

Where you can find Wild, Wild Rake: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Her first marriage was an epic failure.

Lady Avalon Warwyck never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry―that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris―charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian―is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with vicar with a wild reputation―even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside―a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?


First Line:

“Send the bill to my husband.”

Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

My Review:

Wild, Wild Rake is Devan and Avalon’s love story and what a story it is!! Lady Avalon was forced into a loveless marriage against her will. No one knew how cruel and selfish her husband was. When her husband died, Avalon was relieved. Now, she would be able to help ex-prostitutes learn how to earn an honest living. That and raising her son has become her primary focus in life. So, she was surprised when the vicar of her church was suddenly replaced. Her surprise turned to anger when she realized that it was Devan.

Devan wasn’t a happy man. Being uprooted from another parish is one thing, but being asked to spy on his late friend’s wife is another. When he gets to the village where she has made a life, Devan realizes that what he thought he knew about Avalon was wrong. He is falling in love with Lady Warlock, and she seems to be returning the feelings. But, there are outside forces at work that threaten to tear them apart. Will they be able to weather the storm and come out on the other side?

I couldn’t read Wild, Wild Rake fast enough. The plotline went quickly, but there were not dropped storylines or characters. The flow of the plotline was terrific. Even though it is a two-person POV book, there was no hesitation when the chapters went between Avalon and Devan. It was smooth. There was also no lag in the plotline.

Avalon and Devan’s romance was slow and sweet. I loved it. What made it poignant was their shared history and the fact that he was there when Richard threw her out. That is when I got a glimpse of a Devan that would worship Avalon in this book.

The sex scenes were not graphic. The author was able to convey what was being done without getting explicit. I liked it. What I liked is that the roles were reversed when Devan and Avalon had sex. Devan had no experience while Avalon only had sex once (and got pregnant with Thane!!). That first time was sweet.

The main storyline where Avalon was helping the ex-prostitutes was interesting. I wasn’t aware that this was common during that time. The author’s note cleared up any questions I had about why people were getting irritated with the prostitutes settling in town.

The secondary storyline with Devan getting as much information as possible on Avalon was sad. The result was that her son was going to be taken from her and sent to a school where he wasn’t mentally ready to go to (Eton). I did think that the plotline was going to go sideways. I felt that way because women were not treated equally, and their children could be taken away from them. I was glad when Devan realized that Thane wasn’t ready for Eton or to leave Avalon.

The secondary storylines that involved one of the girls from the parish were interesting. I thought the storyline was going to go in another direction and was not prepared for what happened. I was left shaking my head and going, “No way.

The end of Wild, Wild Rake was action-filled. I was not expecting what happened to happen. I also was not prepared for what Avalon did. I am wondering if Sophie’s story will be next and, if so, who she will fall in love with.


I would give Wild, Wild Rake an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Wild, Wild Rake. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Weekly Wrap Up: February 16th through February 22nd 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Shorefall

In Her Shadow

Truths I Never Told You

The New Husband

A Bad Day for Sunshine


Books with Pending Reviews:

A Bad Day for Sunshine—Review coming April 7th, 2020

Odriel’s Heirs—Review coming March 1st, 2020

Highland Sword—Review coming March 31st, 2020

The Last Human—Review coming March 24th, 2020


Books with Published Reviews:

Lily for My Enemy—Review Here

The Borgia Confessions—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Big Summer—Atria Books request

Tales from Ara: Valentine’s Special—Author Request

Tales from Ara: Lost Dimensions—Author Request

Hello, Summer—St. Martin’s Press request


NetGalley Requests:

Gone with the Rogue


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

The Borgia Confessions—Blog Tour


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Blog Tour: The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo

The Borgia Confessions: A Novel by [Palombo, Alyssa]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: February 11th, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

Where you can find The Borgia Confessions: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.

Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.

As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare’s lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.

Alyssa Palombo’s captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy’s most infamous families–the Borgias.


First Line:

The day I learned of my father’s plans for me, I was but nine years old.

The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo

My Review:

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard a ton about the Borgia’s. What information I knew had been picked up in other books. So, when I was approached to the blog tour for The Borgia Confessions, I was intrigued. The blog painted the book as a romance set in Renaissance Italy. Then I read the book and man; it is more than what I thought. And I mean that in the absolute best way!!

The Borgia Confessions is told from the viewpoint of Cesare (1st person) and Maddalena (1st person). I am not a fan of dual storylines, but in this case, it was needed.

The pacing of The Borgia Confessions was fast-paced. It needed to be, considering the author was writing about a time where wars ended politics and people being murdered was commonplace. There were no dropped storylines, no dropped characters, and I didn’t have any issues keeping up with the plotline. What I enjoyed is that even though the plotline was fast-paced, I didn’t have to go back and reread chapters. That was a massive plus for me.

I will admit that I did some research into Cesare Borgia after I read the book. The author did a great job of keeping to who Cesare was. He was not a nice man. He murdered, bribed, and man whored. There was a hint of the scandal between him and Lucretiza. But, the author only let it stay a hint. The majority of the book focused on Cesare, his issues, and of course, his romance with Maddalena.

I did like Maddalena, and I loved the insight that her character gave to what was happening behind the scenes. But I found her almost too pious. Her constant praying and thinking about sin got on my nerves. I also wasn’t a fan of how two-sided she was. She was quick to condemn Cesare when he was sleeping with his brother’s wife. But when she was sleeping with him and was condemned by the other servants, she was hurt. I kept thinking to myself, “Can’t have it both ways, buttercup.

I did think Cesare was a manwhore. Him being a Cardinal didn’t slow him down. He went after anything in skirts. That included his own brother’s wife. I was expecting Maddalena and him to hook up, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as late in the book as it was. Honestly, I was glad. I liked that Cesare and Maddalena were able to form a relationship before they got involved. Did I believe that Cesare loved Maddalena? Yes, I do. I do think that in his way, he did.

The end of The Borgia Confessions was rather abrupt. I was left wondering what happened to Maddalena and Cesare. The author’s note, afterward, did clear up any questions that I had. The author, in her note, also explained why she didn’t touch upon the rumors that surrounded Cesare, Lucretiza, and Pope Alexander’s incestuous relationship. She also told why she changed Joffre and Juan’s names. In real life, they were Gioffre and Giovanni.


I would give The Borgia Confessions an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Borgia Confessions. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Weekly Wrap Up: February 9th through February 15th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Odriel’s Heirs

Highland Sword

The Last Human


Books with Pending Reviews:

You Are Not Alone—Review coming March 3rd

The Borgia Confessions—Review coming February 20th

Lily for My Enemy—Review coming February 21st

A Highlander in a Pickup—Review coming February 25th

Wild, Wild Rake—Review coming February 26th

All the Best Lies—Review coming February 11th


Books with Published Reviews:

All the Best Lies—Review Here

Been There, Married That—Review Here

Foul is Fair—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Don’t Look for Me


NetGalley Requests:

Devolution—wish granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Foul is Fair—Blog Tour

The Mocking Man—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: February 2nd through February 8th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

You Are Not Alone

The Borgia Confessions

A Lily for My Enemy (not on Goodreads Yet)

A Highlander in a Pickup

Stepbrother with Benefits

The Secret (no review)


Books with Pending Reviews:

Been There, Married That—Review coming February 11th


Books with Published Reviews:

Stepbrother with Benefits—Review Here

An Everyday Hero—Review Here

Things in Jars—Review Here

The Impossible Castle—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Silk and Thorne—Author Request

We Came Here to Shine—Publisher Request (St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin)

Lily for My Enemy—Author Request (not on Goodreads yet)

The Vacation—Publisher Request (St. Martin’s Press)

Who Did You Tell—Publisher Request (Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books)


NetGalley Requests:

The Split

The Fiery Crown

When You Wish Upon a Rogue

Flame

To Catch an Earl


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

An Everyday Hero-–Blog Tour


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Blog Tour: An Everyday Hero (A Heart of a Hero: Book 2) by Laura Trentham

An Everyday Hero (Heart of a Hero Book 2) by [Trentham, Laura]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: February 4th, 2020

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: A Heart of a Hero

The Military Wife—-Book 1 (Review Here)

An Everyday Hero—Book 2

Where you can find An Everyday Hero: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

From award-winning author Laura Trentham comes an emotionally layered novel about redemption, second chances and discovering that life is worth fighting for.

At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.

When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.

After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too.


First Line:

Disorderly conduct.

An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham

My Review:

For some reason, I have been reading a lot (and stress, a lot) of military-themed romances lately. I am not a massive fan of them. 90% of the book I have read, the soldiers come back from battle with PTSD or missing limbs, which is fine by me. But, by the middle or the end of the book, the love of a good woman makes their PTSD go away or they miraculously come to terms with how they lost their limbs. Not realistic, and that is the main reason why I stopped reading them. But, then I picked up the first book in A Heart of a Hero series and read a book where things didn’t go away. The hero and the heroine had to deal with their issues. That reason alone, I decided to read An Everyday Hero. I was impressed with what I read and the tact that the author showed when writing about PTSD in veterans.

The plotline for An Everyday Hero was medium paced. That allowed the author to develop the main character’s personalities and relationships with each other. It also allowed for the two main plotlines to be able to mature and then merge. I loved it.

I loved Greer. She had one of the more epic introductions that I have read, ever. I loved her sass and her wit during the book. She was the right choice to send over to get Emmett off his butt. I did find her character a little too much at times, but she was larger than life presence in the book. Her interactions with Ally were gold also.

Emmett made me cry several times during the book. His guilt and regret over what happened to his sergeant were palpable. I didn’t quite understand why he was so angry at his father at first. But as the book went on, I was able to piece things together. His character growth throughout the book was incredible. I loved seeing him at the end of the book, knowing what he had come from.

Emmett and Greer’s romance was medium paced. There were a few chapters of “does he/she or doesn’t he/she” going on for me. I liked that the author paced it that way, though. It allowed for Emmett and Greer to build their friendship. As for the sex, the author chose to be semi-clean with this book. I say semi-clean because while they do have sex, she didn’t go into detail. I loved it. I feel if she went into detail, it would have taken away from the more critical parts of the book.

The storyline with Ally was heartbreaking. But, I was surprised that when Ally told Greer about the online bullying, that Greer did nothing about it. She didn’t mention it to Angela (the head of the music therapy program). Instead, it was just dropped. I felt that it was an essential part of Ally’s story. It, along with the other issues, showed how tough she had it. I was a little disappointed about that. But overall, I did enjoy how Ally’s character grew during the book. I also enjoyed the twist that was revealed almost at the end of the book. I saw it coming, but I still enjoyed it.

The storyline with Greer, her community service, music therapy, and her issues was excellent. I loved seeing Greer grow during that storyline. I loved seeing her rediscover her love of music as she helped Ally.

The storyline with Wayne (who skeeved me out) was dropped after Greer invoked Emmett’s name. I was a little disappointed because up until that point, I thought he was going to turn out to be a “bad guy.” Plus, I wouldn’t say I liked that Greer had resort to using Emmett’s name to get Wayne to back off. It didn’t sit right with me.

I was also confused as to how An Everyday Hero fits in the A Heart of a Hero series. Other than Karen and Ally coming from Fort Knox, there was no connection to the other book. Maybe I missed something.

The end of An Everyday Hero was bittersweet. From the minute Emmett helped the foal be born to the not so surprising epilogue, I was a mess. The twist with Ally happened during that time. I will say that Greer’s parents were saints and that Emmett’s father ended up being not such a bad guy. The epilogue was a little predictable. I guessed everything that happened. Still, it was a great ending to the book.


I would give An Everyday Hero an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread An Everyday Hero. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Weekly Wrap Up: January 26th through February 1st 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Wild, Wild Rake

All the Best Lies

Been There, Married That

Obsidian (no review)

Things in Jars


Books with Pending Reviews:

Tucker—Review coming February 28th, 2020


Books with Published Reviews:

Scot Under the Covers—Review Here

Dark Alpha’s Temptation—Review Here

The Other People—Review Here

The Last Real Cowboy—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Pale Highway (author request)

Master’s Mistress (author request)

Stepbrother with Benefits (author request)


NetGalley Requests:


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Frozen, Stiff Drink—Cover Reveal


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: January 19th through January 24th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

The Impossible Castle

Tucker


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Last Real Cowboy—Review coming January 28th

The Other People—Review coming January 28th.


Books with Published Reviews:

Jane Anonymous—Review Here

No Mercy—Review Here

The Vanishing Season—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

The Borgia Confessions–St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin

Hometown Girl—author request


NetGalley Requests:


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday