Category Archives: Some hot headboard rockin’

Blog Tour: Thrown by Love

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Book: Thrown By Love

Author: Pamela Aares

Series: Heart of the Game, #2

Tour Organized by: Indie Sage, LLC

Synopsis

A kiss in a dark alcove triggers the greatest challenge of their lives…

Ace pitcher Scotty Donovan has been traded from his longtime team—and hates it. But to his surprise, he now finds himself in the sweetest game of his life: winning the heart of smart, sexy physics professor Chloe McNalley.

Chloe loves teaching, but she’s never fit into academia. When she falls for Scotty, she discovers his arms and heart are where she belongs. They share a passion for the game, a fascination for the mysteries of the universe and an increasing love for one another.

Then Chloe inherits Scotty’s new team. As player and team owner, they shouldn’t be dating. They try to hide their passion, until a blackmailer threatens them personally and professionally. Exposure could be the end of everything–Scotty’s career, Chloe’s team ownership, and their new love—unless they find a way to transcend the taboo standing between them.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance

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About the Author

Pamela-Aares-Author-2600w-300dpiPamela is an author of contemporary and historical romance novels. Her first book, Jane Austen and the Archangel (Angels Come to Earth, #1) was released in 2012. Midnight Becomes You, (Angels Come to Earth, #2) will release in 2014, along with three more books in the Heart of the Game series, all releasing in 2014.

Before becoming a romance author, Pamela Aares produced and wrote award-winning films and radio shows including Your Water, Your Life featuring actress Susan Sarandon and the NPR series New Voices. After producing The Powers of the Universe and The Earth’s Imagination, she knew without a doubt that romance lives at the heart of the universe and powers the greatest stories of all.

Pamela holds a Master’s Degree from Harvard and lives in the wine country of California with her husband and two curious cats. Her love of nature led to adventures scuba diving the coral reefs of Fiji, exploring the cliffs of Greece, sea kayaking the Rosario Straits and white water rafting the wild and scenic rivers of the west—and romance!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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My Review

They say, whoever “they” are, that love comes when you least expect it. In the case of Scotty and Chloe, that certainly is the case.

For one thing, Scotty is a baseball player, and given that Chloe’s father owns a baseball team, that’s complication enough. Factor in the father dying, Chloe taking over management of the team, and Scotty getting traded to the team, and you have a recipe for certain romantic chaos.

Yet in the midst of all of this, the two fall in love.

There is a sweetness to the story that pulls you in and keeps you hooked. There is also some hot headboard rockin’, and you faithful readers know how excited THAT makes me. As nice and kind as Chloe is, though, Scotty is the heart and soul of this book. He is not the stereotypical athlete; as far as I know, not many athletes are into physics and the cosmos.

Scotty also cares. He cares deeply. He’s one of those guys who takes you home to meet his family (in Nebraska … but of course) within weeks, not years. He loves Chloe, and he wishes he could shout it from the mountaintops.

Naturally, there are obstacles and roadblocks. There is the whole “I own you and I’m your boss” thing, and then there is a dastardly general manager, and, even more significantly for Scotty, there is Chloe’s inherent reluctance and fear. Again, Scotty comes to the rescue because he’s FREAKING AWESOME.

This is a breezy, delightful read, and you may – just may – find yourself leaking a tear or two. You assuredly will find yourself wishing that professional athletes like Scotty really do exist.

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Filed under blog tour, chick lit, Some hot headboard rockin', sweet romance

Jane’s Melody

jane's melodyJane’s Melody
by Ryan Winfield
Published by Atria
337 pages
Genre: women’s literature, romance 
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

 

When you think of addicts – alcoholics, drug addicts, hoarders, gamblers – you tend to focus on them, the abusers. You don’t give too much thought to their friends and families, whose suffering is just as acute. Groups such as Al-Anon realize this, of course, and try to help the second-hand victims.

Jane is a member of Al-Anon, driven there by her daughter Melody, who abused drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse runs in Jane’s family, so perhaps it was inevitable that Melody would succumb. Jane sure hoped otherwise. And now, she sits in the car, staring at the grave of her daughter, whom she had not seen in a year.

That Jane cut off Melody from any sort of financial – or emotional – assistance gives us great insight into her. She’s tough when she needs to be, even if she lived with constant fear for her daughter. She kept Melody’s room as it was when her daughter left, and she continues to attend Al-Anon meetings. She is recovering, both from being the mother of an addict and from the decisions she made regarding her daughter.

As Jane stares at Melody’s grave, she sees a young man stop and visit. Jane wants to know about him. Was he friends with Melody? Her lover? When Jane later sees him playing his guitar on the streets, she asks those questions. He gives no answers. They meet again, and this time the young man accepts Jane’s help.

Jane and Caleb begin a tenuous friendship that offers the promise of moreJane, though, is afraid. She’s forty, he’s twenty-four. She’s an insurance salesman, he’s a street musician planning to move from Seattle to Austin. Getting emotionally entangled with him will only lead to heartbreak, and Jane can’t open herself up to more of that.

Fortunately, Caleb is very open. He slowly reveals himself to her, and he expects her to do the same to him. When he begs her not to hurt him and not to leave him, it is as poignant a scene as you will read. Caleb and Jane have been hurt so deeply, yet they know that to live lives worth living, they need to be open to the possibility of getting hurt again.

There is some delicious hot headboard rockin’, all the more delicious for the age differential tilting in favor of Jane. She takes full advantage of Caleb’s youthful endurance, let’s just say.

This is a case of fantastic storytelling and fantastic characters, which makes overlooking the flaws an easy task to accomplish. Caleb goes from being closed off to being emotionally available quite quickly, and Jane’s somewhat constant whinging about the age thing gets annoying. But these two are so enjoyable that you will forgive them their shortcomings.

It’s a fantastic book.

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Filed under literature, romance, Some hot headboard rockin', women's lit

Thoughtless / Effortless

Thoughtless
Effortless
by S. C. Stephens
Published by Gallery Books
544 pages
Genre: New Adult
Thanks to edelweiss and NetGalley for the previews
4.5 / 5 cupcakes

Thoughtless is the first of a three-part series; Effortless is the second.

In the first, we meet Kiera, a college student who heads to Seattle with Denny, her Australian boyfriend of two years. He goes for work, she for school, leaving behind her family in Ohio. They move in with Denny’s friend Kellen, a bad boy womanizer who fronts a band.

At first, everything is peachy for the threesome. But as Denny becomes more immersed in work, Kiera finds herself with free time. And Kellen. Well, Kellen likes it when Kiera has free time, because she gets to spend it with him.

The two bond as friends – at the start, anyway. We can see that Kellen’s feelings for Kiera far surpass friendship. She sees it too – or senses it – but she is loyal to Denny. She loves her boyfriend and doesn’t want to hurt him. When Denny says he accepted a transfer to Arizona, though, Kiera gets mad. And then she gets naked. With, uh, Kellen.

The tortured romance between Kiera and Kellen is quite well written. This may have the appearance of a YA novel, but really it’s more of a New Adult Lit genre. The sex scenes – and there are sex scenes – are not explicit in a Fifty Shades kind of way, but the camera doesn’t cut away, so to speak. Kiera tells the story, and when she discusses her sex life, she tells us what she does and how she feels while doing it. In that regard, Stephens knows her audience. Twenty-somethings have sex, and they allow themselves to like it. Kiera needs sex to feel closer to Denny and to connect with Kellen, even if some of her couplings are foolish or fueled by alcohol.

Then there is Kellen. He is intricate and interesting, and you cannot help but feel drawn to him. In fact, Kellen is the reason you keep reading. You want to see how he navigates his way with Kiera, especially when she’s with Denny. If you sometimes don’t understand what it is he sees in her, you can’t be blamed. She is frustrating and sometimes childish. But she gives him something other women don’t, and that is emotional strength. She is with him because she likes who he is, not what he does for a living.

In the sequel to Thoughtless, life for Kiera and Kellen is anything but effortless. They are together, and nothing comes easy for them. Denny may have moved out, but he’s still very present in their lives. Kiera cheated on him to be with Kellen, and that is something neither she nor Kellen can forget. As much as they love each other, the fact of her cheating does not disappear.

In this book, the happy couple face their share of challenges. First, there is Kellen’s job. He and his band sign with a record label, and the first task for a new band is to tour. Meanwhile, Kiera is still in college, and she has to come to terms with Kellen’s increasing popularity. Just as her past comes into play, so does his, and this is what Stephens does well. Kellen has a history of jumping from woman to woman, solely for sex. Sex is what also grounds him with Kiera. To say that sex is complicated for these two is an understatement.

I really enjoyed these books, and I look forward to Reckless. I’m not sure I want fourteen-year-olds to read them, but older, more mature teens certainly can. Sex is not casual here, but it happens. There are ramifications, and knowing that there is a cost to sex is important. What keeps you reading, though, are Kiera and Kellen. Their story is engrossing. You find yourself fully invested in the two of them as a couple, wondering how they will overcome the various obstacles that come their way.

This is a good series, off to an excellent start.

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Filed under New Adult lit, romance, Some hot headboard rockin'

When the Siren Calls

When the Siren Calls
Tom Barry
Published by Troubador Publishing Ltd
338 pages
Genre:  literature; romance; mystery
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
3.5 / 5 cupcakes

I am obsessed with Italy. It doesn’t take much to stoke the fires, either. So when I learn that a book is set there, I’m already inclined to like it. But inclination only lasts so far. The book does need to be good – fun to read, interesting, entertaining.

When the Siren Calls does not disappoint on any level. Not with its Italian setting, not with its story and not with its characters.

In a fit of pique with her husband, Isobel heads out, unaccompanied, to a Marrakech marketplace, where things get a little complicated. The dashing Jay rescues her, and Isobel immediately is attracted to him. And he to her. Uninspiring though her marriage to the driven and successful Peter may be, however, Isobel is not one to cheat.

Well …. not quickly, anyway.

Jay is a developer, or involved in some sort of real estate developing, and has a property in Italy – a sort of time share thing for rich folks. Isobel and Peter head to take a look, and Jay convinces them to buy in. Peter has to return to work, though, which leaves Isobel rather alone. And Jay rather interested. Alas, Jay has a girlfriend – the hot, comely Lucy, who does not take to competition very well. (There is a hilarious scene in which she confronts Jay very publicly.) Oh, and Jay also has a wife, although she is safely ensconced in the US.

Jay, as you can see, is a lover. He enjoys the ladies (boy, does he ever), and he finds Isobel irresistible. She doesn’t make it very difficult for him, nor does she struggle with guilt over cheating on Peter. Both Isobel and Jay share that commonality: they each feel somewhat entitled to pursue their concupiscent desires.

Dovetailing with the romance is a story of financial intrigue, sort of Bernie Madoff-esque in nature. Jay is not all he appears to be, but then again, neither is Peter. And Isobel is more than just the woman in the middle. She will frustrate you with some of her decisions, yet there are times you want to give her a high five for locating her backbone. Then there is Jay. When you read this, come back here and tell me what you think of him. I don’t want to give away much, but Jay is … complex.

This is a good book. Not great, not bad. I couldn’t stop reading it, which says something, and I really wanted to know what would happen with the financial story line, as well as with Isobel and Jay. Tom Barry knows how to pull you in, and he develops his characters with humor and irony. Oh, and the sex scenes. They are HOT. Jay – well – Jay can get it done, people.

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Filed under financial intrigue, shady romance, Some hot headboard rockin'