Thursday, September 29, 2016

Near Perfection (Aspire #1) by Allyson Young

Heat Rating

Haley leaves one Dom even though she loves him, just to save him the trouble

I am not really sure why I like this book enough to read it again and again but I do. I mean any woman who would completely change herself for a man has some major self-esteem issues. Any man who expects a woman to be what he perceives as perfect truly does not deserve to have a woman, although at this point I should stipulate that this part does work both ways, just something to keep in mind when expecting someone to be perfect. Gordon Sinclair has to be the reason I keep coming back to this book because he is the only character who is comfortable in his own skin and seems to have no problem calling a Spade a Spade while Haley and Warren are burying their heads in the stupid sand, they really need a clue. Then again the bedroom scenes aren’t too bad either, not that there are that many to begin with. Warren is a very selfish shallow man who reminds me of a spoiled child who gets what he wants only to throw a tantrum because he wants his toy back.

Near Perfection is an ok book that for some reason I can’t stop re-reading but it honestly is not a five-star book, so if you choose to read this book maybe you can enlighten me to my weird fascination with this book.

Book Cover Rating
Given that I purchased this book back in 2012 I can’t exactly remember what it was about this cover that even made me think I would even remotely like the book. Since I have read this one a few times now I can say please don’t judge this book by its bland cover. And I think the man on the left needs to be replaced with something that looks less like a pansy although given my thoughts on Warren, I could be mistaken.

Book Blurb Rating
The blurb gives just the right amount vague to the blurb about Near Perfection to get you to pick it up and read more.

Purchase Links

Book's Blurb
Haley Snider thought Warren Chalmers was the perfect Dom, so she made herself into the perfect sub. A woman in love is truly blind, because Warren can be such an ass. Warren doesn't really know what he wants, and questions the very perfection he apparently sought. Haley leaves Warren before he can reject her, unveiling a surprising temper and steely determination. Warren is both intrigued and forced to look at himself. He doesn't much care for what he finds, and is determined to change, to seek Haley out and really get to know her. Realizing that her obsession with Warren has kept her from being true to herself and him, Haley decides to embrace life differently. Upon reconnecting with Haley, Warren discovers that his best friend Gordon Sinclair has a different idea in mind for them all, and that life can be filled with both friendship and love. And hot sex.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Our Grand Adventure To Passion In Portland / Raffle Drawing

Friday, September 9th to Sunday, September 11th

At the Meet and Greet
This Passion in Portland was a three-day event consisting of the Meet and Greet on Friday night where we all enjoyed some really yummy rich deserts, that my daughter, Kara, raised her eyebrows at when I brought us a plate to share, I am supposed to watch my sugar intake, hehehe. There was also karaoke, that I myself will never do, it was a lot of fun watch others getting into it. I myself enjoyed some great conversations with Heather Carver and R. J. Van Cleave.

Roslyn McFarland and Tess Thompson
The Book Signing took place on Saturday, where Kara kept vanishing on me and always turning up with a new book, she enjoyed telling people that she was my driver but the loved the benefits of this event. The first table I just had to hit was Brandy L. Rivers table, I REALLY wanted the first box set of Others of Edenton which I got along with the first box set of the spin off Other of Seattle. I also needed to find a few books to donate, to the book basket, for the auction for the senior grad night party in June. Thank so much to you authors, Roslyn McFarland, Tess Thompson and Kristen Kehoe, who charged me half price and donated to the cause, it was truly
Sierra Hill and my myself
appreciated by me and the person in charge of handling this fundraiser.

The Blogger’s Brunch took place on Sunday and Kara and I were joined by Erika who was coming home on leave, making it hard for me to decide which one I was excited about, Erika being home or the Blogger’s Brunch. I was really looking forward to this part of Passion in Portland because I had recently just learned that some Authors didn’t like how bloggers (me included) were writing up blurbs to add to our reviews. Some of those blurbs just give too much
away and I get it, I really do. Not sure what exactly I will do about that in the format of my reviews but I want these wonderful Authors to want to read my reviews about their books to I am willing to work with that. For the Authors part the listened to us about what we need from them to help promote their books when they come to us directly when they seek us out.
Me and R. J. Van Cleave

This year’s Passion in Portland was so amazing, Kara and I had a such a great time meeting the authors that recognized us from last year and the new authors that we hope to meet again next year.

Kara and R. J. Van Cleave

Myself and Susan Hatler
Virna dePaul and me

Suana Hatler, Kara, Virna dePaul

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Wallflower Weddings Series by Vivienne Lorret and giveaway

Enter to Win a Wallflower Weddings Tote Bag Prize Pack

Wallflower Weddings #0.5
Vivienne Lorret

Penelope Rutledge longs for passion, but only with the man of her dreams: the brilliant, dashing Ethan Weatherstone. If only her longtime neighbor would open his eyes and realize how much she loves him. If only they weren’t best friends with so much at stake. Penelope knows her future - and their friendship - is in her hands, but is she willing to take the biggest risk of all on the man she loves?

If it were up to Ethan, life and love would be as predictable as the figures in his ledgers - certainly nothing like the adventures Penelope longs for. Yet his childhood friend has grown into a beautiful, feisty woman blissfully unaware of the danger she causes when near. Ethan knows he must save Penelope-and her reputation...but can he save himself from the temptation of her lips?

Wallflower Weddings #1
Vivienne Lorret

It’s all fun and games...until someone falls in love.

Oliver Goswick, Viscount Rathburn, needs money and soon. With time ticking away and his inheritance held hostage until he’s properly wed, Rathburn’s slim options point to just one solution: a mock courtship. In need of the perfect bride, he knows of only one candidate: his best friend’s wallflower sister. The plan seems flawless; except for just one thing...he can’t help falling in love with her.

Poised, polished Emma Danvers knows nothing good can come of Rathburn’s scheme. Spending the next two months engaged in a mock courtship is not what she’d imagined for her final season. Yet, charmed by his roguish ways and the inexplicable hammering he causes in her heart, she accepts his challenge.

For Emma, keeping the secret seems easy when it was just a game... but as Rathburn begins to see past her reserved exterior to the passionate woman within, the risk of losing her heart becomes all too real.

Wallflower Weddings #2
Vivienne Lorret

She’s got nothing left to lose…

With her fiancĂ© suddenly engaged to another and her reputation in tatters, Merribeth Wakefield needs a bold plan to reclaim her life. She must be brave. Confident. She must… kiss a rake? The suggestion is ludicrous! Yet, when Merribeth finds herself alone with the dark and brooding Lord Knightswold, suddenly the plan doesn’t seem so farfetched. So she does something she never thought she’d do—she kisses him.

But he has everything to gain…

The Marquess of Knightswold—Bane to most—has no use for the affections of women. Well, none lasting longer than a single night. A plot for revenge weighs heavy on his mind, leaving no room for romance. So, when a shy, witty miss borrows a kiss from him in a darkened room, everything he thought he knew about innocent debutants vanishes along with her.

Yet when a twist of fate brings Merribeth within Bane’s grasp, he’ll have to resist her charms—or risk losing everything—for the sake of his heart.

Wallflower Weddings #3
Vivienne Lorret

Fans of historical romance authors Lorraine Heath and Sophie Jordan will adore Vivienne Lorret's latest Wallflower Wedding novel.

Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband—preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of convenience—one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses—is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money … or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life—in a most memorable way—Griffin Croft hasn't been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin's noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney's wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death … a life without love..

    Amazon | B
& N
 | Google | iTunes | Kobo

USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her
pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but
there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon
Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower
Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke’s Christmas Wish, and
the Season’s Original Series.

Q & A with Vivienne Lorret

Q: Vivienne, where had you gotten the idea for the Wallflower Weddings Series?

Strangely enough, the Wallflower Wedding Series began as an afterthought. I wrote a Christmas novella (Tempting Mr. Weatherstone) and submitted it to an Avon “call for submissions.”

When the novella was well received, my editor at the time suggested that I create a spin-off. I was so excited about the opportunity! Since Ethan and Penelope’s story lacked unmarried sub characters, however, I had my work cut out for me.
But then inspiration struck! I remembered that, in Tempting, Penelope enjoyed embroidery. So I gave her a circle of friends who shared that interest. Adding in a few details here and there… and voila, the Wallflower Wedding Series was born.
Q: Which title or couple was the easiest to write and which gave you the most trouble?

Hmm… This is a tough question. Each story had its share of smooth sailing, as well as bumpy roads. I practically held my breath the whole time while writing Emma and Oliver’s slow, burgeoning love. I was as eager for them to realize it as, I imagine, they were. I blushed when Merribeth “borrowed” that kiss from the deliciously naughty Bane. And I laughed (horrible of me, I know) during Delaney’s incident at her debut, all over Griffin’s shoes.

What gave me the most trouble for each book was reaching the end and knowing that I had to say goodbye. I suppose that’s why I proposed the Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, so that I could check up on them.

In fact, I’ll tell you a secret. I even added a mention of Bane in my upcoming novel, WHEN A MARQUESS LOVES A WOMAN.

Q: Which heroine do you feel most closely relates to your personality?

 Out of the Wallflowers, I’d have to say that I relate to Delaney McFarland. Sadly, we’re both socially awkward. In fact, the beginning of her story—the incident at her debut—is one of my own fears. Thankfully, I have never cast up my accounts in public (and knock on wood that it never happens), but there’s always that fear when facing a crowd.

I guess you could say that writers have secret ways of facing our fears by forcing our characters to live them out. It’s good for us, but not-so-good for our characters. On the bright side, I think Delaney handled the incident with a strength of character that even surprised me. 

Q: What is one of the most interesting things that you have learned from researching for your historicals?

 I just love research! Discovering little historical tidbits feeds my inner nerd. I can’t begin to tell you how tired my family is of hearing “Guess what I learned today?” So much eye rolling! 

But one thing, in particular, I found fascinating came from an 1800s play (the title of which I have presently forgotten). The main character went into a taproom and ordered his food and drink “hot and hot.” Instantly, I wondered what that meant. Did he want hot ale, too? Was this a popular figure of speech? Inquiring minds…
I searched online and found nothing. I went to the library database and found nothing. Then I asked my friend and local research librarian, but she didn’t know either. She came up with the same results that I had. However, she had a secret weapon that I didn’t have—connections. She knew a food historian.

This “hot and hot” became such a puzzle for all of us that, after compiling research, the food historian blogged about her findings. So cool!

In the end, she found that asking for your food and drink to come “hot and hot,” meant that you wanted everything when it was ready. No waiting. In other words, bring the ale now. And if the broth is done, then bring it to me, as well, while the kitchen prepares my leg o’ mutton, aspic and eggs. Um… yum?
Or, to put it in a modern context…  If you make pancakes in a skillet, one by one, then instead of waiting to compile a short stack for your family, you’d serve each steaming flapjack—butter melting, syrup oozing—one at a time, and fork at the ready.

So, the next time you’re at IHOP, pound your fist on the table hard enough to jangle the silverware, and tell the server that you want your rasher of bacon, scrambled eggs and each fluffy pancake “hot and hot”… because you’re worth it. ; )

Q: What is your favorite part of writing historical romances?

 All of it. I love the rules of society (and breaking them). I love the layers of clothing, and how even removing a glove can be racy. I love the fact that they didn’t have immediate knowledge of a potential scandal. There’s so much that can be done with slow-moving information. And on the flip-side, so much can happen when news or rumors spread like wildfire. It’s fun playing with the differences.
Also, as I mentioned before, I love the research and discovering new-to-me tidbits of history.  I often like to imagine how my current character would have reacted to the latest scientific invention, or how they felt about their changing world.

Q: What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a proposal for a potential new series. At this time, I can’t go into detail, but I can tell you that I’m having a lot of fun with this new set of characters.

Also in the works, is a novella that will finish the Season’s Original Series and answer some important questions, such as:
·         Will the evil Miss Leeds and Miss Ashbury get what’s coming to them?
·         Will the Fates smile upon the overlooked but handsome Viscount Ellery?
·         Will Gemma Desmond escape ruination after her father’s misdeeds? 

Are you curious, too?

Thank you for having me here today!

I wake up each morning, incredibly thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to write these stories. But even more than that, I feel immensely blessed to have readers who have enjoyed them.

Warm wishes and happy reading!


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