Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen, My Review


Today I'd like to share a new book in the Proper Romance line from Shadow Mountain books and this one is a Steampunk Proper Romance.

When I first started reading Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, it took me a minute to find my footing as I realized that maybe I didn't know steampunk very well. In essence, this book takes place in London, long ago but the steampunk part is that people have access to electricity in Tesla coils and many clockwork mechanisms that provide transportation, robots, and even airships (planes). Also, there are vampires and werewolves. Not what I was expecting at all from a typical proper romance and totally different from Nancy's earlier release, My Fair Gentleman, (which I reviewed here) but this book was just as good. Once I recognized what continent/age I was supposed to be in, then I burned through this book.

The book blurb:
When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border.
Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Could Miles himself be to blame for the deaths?
Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

My thoughts: This novel had everything I love in a great story. Lucy is an interesting character and a force to be reckoned with. I loved the interactions of her and Lord Miles Blackwell. I also loved the mystery throughout! It was fun to watch the romance unfold even as I paid attention to the clues that Allen left along the way. I liked the otherworldly connections and the drawback to one of my favorite fairy tales--Beauty and the Beast. Allen is an excellent writer and she's created another enchanting story that I highly recommend. If you haven't tried Steampunk before--don't let that scare you. This story has all the same classic underpinnings as a traditional proper romance novel.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion which I've shared.
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kisses Between the Lines: An Echo Ridge Anthology #2 Now Available with a $25 Giveaway

I'm so excited that the 2nd book in the Echo Ridge Anthology is available. Kisses Between the Lines was so much fun to write and research! We're celebrating the launch with a giveaway for $25 so read on, enter, and enjoy!

Welcome to Echo Ridge, New York where romance finds its way into the hearts and lives of the people who walk the streets of the close-knit community. 
In these five novellas, readers will experience the power a book has to change a life, make dreams come true, and bring two hearts together as the characters work to fill the classic section of the library. Filled with charm, wit, secrets, and hope, each story is a sweet romance with a promise to keep you turning pages into the night. We hope you enjoy this book and the kisses between the lines. 

The Kiss Thief by Rachelle J. Christensen 
As the head librarian of the Echo Ridge Library, Britta Klein thrives on order and categorization. Unfortunately, the old church-turned-library is in desperate need of a renovation. The Harvest Hurrah fundraiser seems to be the answer, but plans keep going awry. With help from Milo Geissler, accomplished musician, piano tuner, and kiss thief, each catastrophe is narrowly avoided. When Milo goes to great lengths to help Britta find a key classic book, she begins to wonder if there is more to life than books and order. Can she allow this man who speaks the language of music to tune her heart to a new song? 

The Lion, The Witch, & The Library by Lucy McConnell 
Jennifer Solomon's birthday wish is for the one thing she's been too shy to go after: Kirke Staples, Echo Ridge’s resident playwright, an avid mountain biker, and her best friend. Friend, as in don’t kiss, don’t covet, and don’t under any circumstances fall in love with the man. But it’s too late—she’s already fallen in love. Hoping for a birthday kiss that will change everything, she arranges an "accidental" meeting with the handsomest man on the library board. Her carefully laid plans are thrown off track when the beautiful Bay Barington sweeps into town and casts a spell over Kirke. In her efforts to win Kirke’s heart, Jennifer is forced to take a look at her inner self and decide what type of woman she wants to be, a lion or witch. 

The Last of the Gentlemen by Cami Checketts 
Despite the hardships she’s faced, Emma Turner, is determined to make a good life for her three children. Working nights and struggling through life doesn’t leave much time for romance, which is just fine as far as Emma is concerned. But when her son's good-looking lacrosse coach takes an interest in her children, Emma has to fight off the smolder in her stomach and banish her daydreams. This school-girl crush needs to end before she embarrasses her son and herself. If only she could tell that to her heart. 


Much Ado About a Kiss by Heather Tullis 
Fay’s life is just fine, thank you. Running the cafĂ© she’d practically been raised in: Check. Her artwork in a gallery: Check. Volunteering on the library board: Check. The one thing she doesn’t need right now is a guy in her life—especially her brother’s irritating best friend from high school, so when the two men announce that they are moving home to start a ski and mountain bike shop in town, she isn’t pleased. If only she could completely forget that one kiss she and Austin shared in high school. Why does he have to upset her just-fine world? Not this time. Not if she can help it. But can she? 

Pride & Persuasion by Connie E. Sokol 
Lindy Marchant has left heartbreak and downtown L.A. to help her cousin kickstart an antique shop in sleepy Echo Ridge. That is, until she's roped into the library fundraiser to become an assistant for Armand D. Beaumont, the French bestselling detective writer. The two have met before, and Lindy hasn't forgotten the disastrous outcome. Now Armand's celebrity quirks threaten to upset her life yet again. Or, is there a deeper reason for his unpredictable choices? While Armand inadvertently assists Lindy with the shop, she uncovers his painful truth and an inconvenient growing attraction. Can Armand let go of his pride and face his fears? And can Lindy be persuaded to take the untried road, even together? 

If you haven't read the first Echo Ridge-- Christmas Kisses, then now's a great time to add that to your holiday to-read list. 


Enter to win the $25 giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Next Destination Billionaire Romance, Caribbean Rescue by Cami Checketts

Today is another day to celebrate a new book from Gelato Publishing!
My friend, Cami Checketts, has written an adventure full of romance for the Destination Billionaire Romance series featuring an ex-Olympian. Caribbean Rescue is now available by clicking here.

There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Just think of the fun you could have with $50 bucks! To enter, follow the link below.

CarribeanRescue_CVR_SML

About the Book:

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, bestselling sweet romance author, Cami Checketts, brings you a new Destination Billionaire Romance.
Superstar runner Zack Tyndale was the easy favorite to win gold in the Olympic Games, but a stupid decision shatters his dreams the night before the big race. Unable to face his shame, he escapes to the Caribbean and a life of blissful solitude ... until Madeline Panetto crash lands on his pristine private beach, trying to outrun a gang of pirates with nothing but a fancy evening gown and a flash drive hidden in her bra. Zack finds himself sucked into Maddy's world of mutiny and murder.
Madeline might find refuge from the pirates, but Zach is battling pirates of his own. When sparks fly between them, they're forced to look to their hearts for the answers and that could be more frightening than facing a mutinous crew.
Can these two find refuge from the pirates and with each other?

Excerpt:

A few steps from the French doors he heard the high whine of a motor. Zack whipped around and searched the ocean beyond. There were no lights, but the motor sound was unmistakable. What kind of an idiot would be out on the water with no lights on and in what sounded like a small boat? 
Zack raced past his pool and gardens, and took the steps to the beach two at a time. He could just make out a small boat, hurtling through the water. He didn’t even have time to be angry someone was invading his sanctuary as he saw the angle they were coming at. “No, not that way!” he yelled, though they couldn’t possibly hear him. 
Zack sprinted through the sand and onto his dock. He kept one eye on the boat as he ran the length of the dock, waving his arms and yelling, “Turn! Turn!” Large boulders and a former shipwreck resided just under the water, exactly where that boat was heading. Any other angle into the harbor was deep and safe to take even in his yacht, but this idiot was coming straight for the shallow waters of the dock instead. Why weren’t they slowing even though they were within a hundred feet of the dock?
“Stop!” he screamed. “Turn!”
The sickening crunch was louder than the howling wind and rain. The rear of the boat flung into the air, and the lone passenger flew forward then disappeared into the water. Zack dove off the dock, surfacing quickly, and using strong strokes to cross the distance. Water from the uneven waves splashed into his face, making it hard to see. The person bobbed up out of the water and started swimming his direction. That was a relief. From the hair streaming around her, he assumed it was a woman.
They came within a few feet of each other and Zack slowed and treaded water. “Are you okay?”
“I-I think so.”
“Can you make it to the dock?” His lights reflecting from the beach showed a mop of dark hair and a beautiful face.
In answer, she started slowly swimming that direction, but she hadn’t gone four strokes before she swayed and rolled over onto her back. That’s when Zack noticed the cut on her head. The water turned the blood a watery pink. She’d definitely hit her head on one of the rocks or maybe the old shipwreck. 
“You’re not okay.” 
“I can make it.” She started to kick. A wave rolled over her face and she jerked up, coughing and spluttering, but bravely kept trying to stay afloat, beating at the water with her arms and legs.
She was tough and not a complainer. Nice.
“I’ve got you.” Zack looped his arm under her armpit and over her chest and tugged her back to the dock. She had a small build, but her clothes must’ve been waterlogged because she seemed to weigh a ton. Zack was in shape, but he tired quickly. Finally, they made it to the dock and the woman clung to the edge. Zack grabbed hold and heaved himself out of the water then helped lift her up. She collapsed onto her back and released a loud breath. “Oh, thank you, I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with Saint Peter.”
“Saint Peter?” She’d hit her head hard or she was crazy. He looked over her fancy, waterlogged dress and the diamonds sparkling at her throat. She’d been out in the ocean like that, without a lifejacket? Crazy it might be, or with quite a good story to tell.
“You know—the angel at the pearly gates.”
 Zack let out a surprised laugh. “Glad you put that off for a little while.”
“Me too.” She sat up and touched the small gash in her head. Blood trickled between her fingertips. “Ouch.”
“I bet.” Zack pushed his way to his feet and offered her a hand. The wind whipped his wet t-shirt around him. He was glad he shaved his head and didn’t have hair whipping in his face like she did. “Let’s get you up to the house and cleaned up.”
She placed her hand in his, but wavered as he helped her up. Zack wrapped his other arm around her waist and lifted her onto her feet. She swayed. 
“Can you walk?”
Her eyes filled with stubborn pride. “Of course I can walk.”
She pulled away from him, took one step, teetered off the dock, and splashed back into the water. 
“Oh, boy.” Zack shook his head. He hadn’t smelled alcohol on her breath, but that had to be the explanation. Fancy dress, alone on a boat in the ocean at night. He’d have to help her tonight then load her onto his yacht tomorrow and get her to Belize. If she had any money it was probably sunk with her little boat. He’d get her to where she needed to go and be done with this mess. Oddly enough, he didn’t mind the excitement. It was a good contrast to his normally sedate lifestyle.
She came up to the surface sputtering and flailing. Zack knelt down, put his hands under her armpits, and hefted her back onto the dock. He stood slowly, supporting both of them then swung her off her feet and into his arms. Despite himself, he noticed how nicely she fit against him. It had been a long while since he’d been around an attractive, unrelated woman. “Shall we try this again?”
“Good plan.” Her voice rumbled against his chest and he kind of liked it. “I must’ve thumped my head harder than I thought.”
“Or something,” he muttered.
Her head whipped up. Brown eyes full of fire. “I’m not drunk, if that’s what you’re thinking, I’m…” She quickly looked down again, not meeting his gaze.
“You’re…” he encouraged. He’d like to hear her story and he did believe her that she wasn’t drunk. Her speech was too lucid and her breath smelled too clean. 
“I can’t. I don’t know who to trust.” She grabbed onto his arm. “Oh, holy monkey balls!”
Zack jerked in surprise and almost dropped her as she squirmed in his arms. “What are you doing now? You want to fall in the water again?” They’d reached the end of the dock, but she could still fall in the shallow water. 
“I’ve got to find something. Please. Can you help me look in the water? Back where my boat is?” Her eyes were wide and frantic. 
“Right now?” Zack gestured to the waves building as the storm increased in intensity. “No! You’re hurt. It’s dark. And there’s a storm.” His four-year-old niece had more common sense than this woman, and Chalise hadn’t spoken a word in two years
The woman deflated and burrowed herself into his arms. Zack liked this quite a bit better than her struggling. He tightened his hold on her. Hmm, her shape was really… shapely. 


*Check out this new book here and enjoy another great Destination Billionaire Romance. There's a new story every month!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hawaiian Masquerade Book Release with Introduction by Taylor Hart

Aloha! Today is launch day for my latest novel, Hawaiian Masquerade and I can't wait to introduce this story and characters to you!
Here's a little sneak peek:
Lexi closed her eyes. The waves rolled in slowly, rhythmically, with a dependability that would never be doubted. Shawn had been her rock and they’d worked together with a rhythm that had kept their jobs and life in sync. Before Derek, she might’ve entertained a future with Shawn … but the dark-haired man with a camera bag slung over his shoulder had changed everything. 

And the backliner for the story:

When Lexi Burke escaped the remnants of a cold winter in Chicago for the beaches of Kauai, it wasn’t a random vacation. She left the hectic pace of Burke Enterprises behind with enough money to retire at age thirty-two, intent on settling into the idyllic existence of island life. Until she met local photographer Derek Mitchell—a talented man with a grudge against rich tourists. 

From art night to snorkeling lessons, hiking, and chopping coconuts, Lexi can’t talk herself out of spending time with the handsome, hardworking man who knows the value of every dollar. She also can’t find a way to tell him the truth about herself. But then Derek is selected to help in a benefit at a masquerade ball as one of the eligible bachelors up for auction. Lexi must decide whether to wear a mask or unveil her true self and risk losing Derek’s trust and a chance at love. 

This book was so much fun to write! I loved revisiting Kauai through notes and pictures from a vacation I took there. The characters in this story had lots to share--so much, that I'll be writing some of the stories of the side characters involved.

I'm also thrilled that Taylor Hart wrote the foreword for this novel and Kaylee Baldwin wrote the introduction. They are both authors and women that I admire. The Destination Billionaire Romance Series is fabulous and I'm grateful to be part of the Gelato Publishing family.

Right now, it's hot and dry in Idaho, the perfect time to curl up with a good book in an air-conditioned house. If you're looking for a way to escape with a clean and wholesome summer beach read, then get your ebook of Hawaiian Masquerade right here and it's also available to read on Kindle Unlimited!
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails