Weekly Wrap Up: August 25th through August 31st 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Requests,and Author/Publisher Requests will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

Merlin’s Shakespeare

Styx and Stones

Sweet Poisons

The Truth About Cowboys

Wilder Girls

Stolen Bloodlines

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days

Dirty Cooking


Books with Pending Reviews:


Books with Published Reviews:

Stolen Bloodlines—review here

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days—review here

The Truth Behind the Lie—review here

Dirty Cooking—review here

Small Spaces—review here

The Jumbie God’s Revenge—review here


NetGalley Requests:


Author/Publisher/Blog Tour Review Requests:

Amy’s Square—Author Request (not on Goodreads yet)

Delicious Disasters–Blog Tour Review


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

The Living Canvas—Cover Reveal

Playing with Fire—Cover Reveal

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days—Blog Tour

Wonderland Academy—Book Blitz

Two Thousand Lines—Cover Reveal

Phoenix Rising—Book Blitz

After She Fell—Excerpt

Just a Fling—Book Blitz

Knowing Nichelle—Playlist

Indebted—Book Blitz

Boundary—Book Blitz

The Bar Next Door—Book Blitz

Dangerous Paradise—Book Blitz

Beauregard and the Beast—Book Blitz

The Jumbie God’s Revenge—Blog Tour

The Body Painter—Book Blitz

Cross Crease—Book Blitz


Giveaways I’ve Entered:

The Bromance Book Club-–Read It Forward

The Highlander’s Christmas Bride—Goodreads


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Catch Up Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

Dirty Cooking by [Mercedes, Carley]

4 Stars

Publisher: Literary Wanderlust

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2019

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Dirty Cooking: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Trigger Warning: Talk of past physical and sexual abuse

Book synopsis:

Melanie is a broken-hearted chef who has a passion for fine food, but without any other job prospects, she’s stuck at the Jivin’ Diner, where grease is the main ingredient on the menu. She’s desperate to get a new job so she can start cooking the food of her dreams, and when her best friend calls her about an opportunity as a live-in chef, Melanie jumps at the chance. Not once did she consider that her boss would be hotter than her oven.

Growing up in foster care, Erik had a rough start. He escaped to Arizona to save himself and his foster brother from their abusive foster father. Now the owner of a successful app development company, Erik has more money than he knows what to do with. He has a huge home, fast cars, and even faster relationships. His life seemed perfect, but something was missing. That is…until he hires Melanie. This little chef makes Erik’s blood sizzle more than the oil in her frying pan.

The fire between them burns hot, and though they try to resist the delicious temptation, the attraction proves to be too much. Emotions flare up, but the past hangs around like the smell of burnt popcorn, and neither can fully trust the other. Will Melanie and Erik overcome their past fears and embrace what is bubbling up between them? Or will their romance flop like a ruined soufflé?


First Line:

“Did you find me a job that looks good?” Melanie asked her friend, Shelia, over the phone.

Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Dirty Cooking, I was intrigued. Dirty Cooking is the second book that featured a live-in chef turned lover that I have read. I wanted to see if the book lived up to the promising blurb. It did.

Dirty Cooking’s plotline was straightforward. Melanie wants to do more than work at a greasy diner. Her best friend tells her about a live-in chef position and she interviews for it. Sparks fly between Eric and Melanie. They try to keep their relationship professional, but it spirals into a sexual relationship. But Eric has secrets. These secrets have the power to tear their relationship apart.

I didn’t like Melanie, but I understood why she acted the way she did. Her ex hurt her bad. She was afraid even to try dating again. Her attraction to Eric scared her, and she used food and sarcasm to cover it up. I did think that Melanie was immature at times. Like when she found out about Eric’s past. I understood that there was a “no secrets” part of the relationship but seriously? They were dating for two weeks!!! He didn’t know her enough to trust her.

I did like Eric, and I did feel bad for him. I couldn’t imagine growing up as a foster child and not having a permanent home. He did the absolute right thing in taking Hunter and running. I did think he was a little over the top during Melanie’s interview. I also believe that he was in the right for not telling Melanie about his past. Like I said above, they had been dating for two weeks. That is nowhere enough time to get into that stuff.

My mouth watered while reading this book. I wanted to eat Melanie’s cooking for myself. Everything she made sounded so good.

The sexual tension was through the roof. The author did a great job of keeping that sexual tension at such a high level. Same with the sexual attraction. When Melanie and Eric finally did have sex, it was one of the hottest scenes I have read to date.

I want to mention the storyline with Eric and his past. My heart broke for him. He was only seven years old!!! All I have to say about that.

The end of Dirty Cooking was your typical romance HEA. Everything ended with no dropped storylines. There was no lag in the plotline, and all the characters stayed in the book. No one went poof.


I would give Dirty Cooking 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 Dirty Cooking. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

WWW Wednesday: August 21st, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan

Sometimes all you need is a big heart and burning desire.

Danny, a curious harp seal pup, has soft white fur and black innocent eyes. Helen is an environmentalist and member of a young activist crew of the Rainbow Warriors. Their mission is to save animals.

As winter turns into spring, a new generation of seal pups comes to life. A few weeks later, the killing begins. Against a spectacular backdrop of ice and snow, Helen prepares to look horrific human cruelty in the face.

I do not doubt I have a big heart and burning desire, but is that enough for a person to become a Rainbow Warrior, or is there something better? Something only some of us manage to turn into what we have long missed—humanity.

In the race against time and clubs, will Helen save Danny before the hunt begins and the ice turns red?

Though written for younger readers, Look for Me Under the Rainbow will appeal to anyone who cherishes our beautiful planet and wishes to protect its treasures.

Buy this book by Bernard Jan, the author of A World Without Color, and experience another emotional journey.

I am looking forward to reading this book. Something about the blurb called to me when I was considering it to review.

Look for Me Under the Rainbow is currently available for purchase. Look for my review at some point next week.


I recently finished reading:

The Jumbie God’s Revenge by Tracey Baptiste

In book three of the popular Jumbies series, Corinne must use her emerging supernatural powers to battle the angry god who would destroy her Caribbean island home.

When an out-of-season hurricane sweeps through Corinne’s seaside village, Corinne knows it’s not a typical storm. At first Corinne believes Mama D’Leau—the powerful and cruel jumbie who rules the ocean—has caused the hurricane. Then a second, even more ferocious storm wrecks the island, sending villagers fleeing their houses for shelter in the mountains, and Corinne discovers the storms weren’t caused by a jumbie, but by the angry god Huracan.

Now Corinne, with the help of her friends and even some of her enemies, must race against time to find out what has angered Huracan and try to fix it before her island home is destroyed forever.

I enjoyed reading The Jumbie God’s Revenge. It is well written and I would definitely let my kids read it.

The Jumbie God’s Revenge is currently on pre order. It’s expected publication date is September 3rd, 2019. Look for my review on August 24th, 2019.


What books I think I’ll read next?

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

Melanie is a broken-hearted chef who has a passion for fine food, but without any other job prospects, she’s stuck at the Jivin’ Diner, where grease is the main ingredient on the menu. She’s desperate to get a new job so she can start cooking the food of her dreams, and when her best friend calls her about an opportunity as a live-in chef, Melanie jumps at the chance. Not once did she consider that her boss would be hotter than her oven.

Growing up in foster care, Erik had a rough start. He escaped to Arizona to save himself and his foster brother from their abusive foster father. Now the owner of a successful app development company, Erik has more money than he knows what to do with. He has a huge home, fast cars, and even faster relationships. His life seemed perfect, but something was missing. That is…until he hires Melanie. This little chef makes Erik’s blood sizzle more than the oil in her frying pan.

The fire between them burns hot, and though they try to resist the delicious temptation, the attraction proves to be too much. Emotions flare up, but the past hangs around like the smell of burnt popcorn, and neither can fully trust the other. Will Melanie and Erik overcome their past fears and embrace what is bubbling up between them? Or will their romance flop like a ruined soufflé?

The Truth About Cowboys by Lisa Renee Jones

While I was off pitching in the big leagues, my family was back in the small town of Sweetwater, Texas, running the family ranch. Then tragedy hit and I discovered there were secrets that my family kept, problems they hid. I went home, left behind the money, women, and fame. I took over the ranch and took care of my grandmother. I took over hiding the secrets. Then she came to town. A smart-mouthed, clumsy, too-smart-and-too-pretty-for-my-own-good city girl hiding out to write a book. She’s right here, on my property, in the cottage my grandmother rented her without my permission, and she sees too much. She knows too much.

Now suddenly my world is spinning, and she’s shoving a baseball back in my hand while baking cookies with my grandmother. She’s the devil and an angel all in one fiery little package. I decide I’ll wait her out. She’ll go back to the city. Only suddenly I don’t want her to leave, and everything I’ve settled for in my life isn’t enough. I want to play ball and I want her, but there’s that secret that won’t let go, but neither will she.

Stolen Bloodlines by L.G. Rollins

The heritage she never knew was hers. The future he never believed could be. 

Jasper Wimple’s art is gaining popularity and life is falling into place for him at last. After meeting the Ambassador from China, a relationship that could propel him forward, Jasper’s street smarts tell him to steer clear of the man. But nothing could have prepared Jasper for a ghostly visit from one of the ambassador’s murdered victims, or taught him what to do when the ghost demands Jasper help protect his surviving wife and daughter.

Ju is done mourning a father she never knew for the entirety of Ghost Month, despite her mother’s insistence that they continue the tradition. Instead, Ju focuses on her upcoming audition—her one chance to enter London’s most prestigious dance school.

But then her mother’s life is threatened, and Ju sets everything else aside. Working together as new friends and unexpected allies, Jasper and Ju struggle to protect Ju’s mother and each other. With their own lives, the lives of those they care most about, and a budding romance all on the line, will they bring one of the most powerful men in England to justice before he silences them for good?

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.


Weekly Wrap Up: June 30th through July 6th, 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

An Unorthodox Match

A Highlander Walks into a Bar

29 Seconds

Books with pending reviews:

29 Seconds—review coming September 10th, 2019

The Truth Behind the Lie—review coming August 27th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—review here

Raze—review here

The Shadowverse—review here

We Went to the Woods—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Dark Alpha’s Redemption

Christmas Angels

Followers

The Wives

Email Haul:

Red Dawn Rising

Dirty Cooking

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Under the Skin—Excerpt

She’s a Spitfire—Excerpt

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—Blog Tour

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Toxic Toffee—from Kensington Books

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday