Monday, May 11, 2020

Guarding the Princess by Marika Ray



Synopsis:

I hired a new bodyguard. I should have guarded my heart instead.

Charlotte

The way out of my gilded cage was clear; the reward, freedom.

Fall in love and get married before my twenty-first birthday and I can give up the throne I don’t want.

Unfortunately, the boyfriend I propose to turns me down just days before my birthday and my mother, the Queen, summons me back to my country.

New plan: fake a boyfriend.

Ryker

First rule of bodyguarding: don’t get involved personally with clients.

I’m only supposed to get her back to Regora safely and on time.

But then she cries on my shoulder when I catch her running away and she shares her family secret.

Now I want to protect her heart.

The only problem is princesses don’t fall for bodyguards. Not in real life.

My review: 5 Stars

I had plans today. Plans to get up bright and early, go for a walk, make breakfast, shower and get ready to run errands that I didn't do on Saturday. Before I climbed out of bed, I decided that just one chapter wouldn't hurt... and then I could get on with my day. Famous last words for this Book Dragon! Here I am, 5 hours later, sitting in my pajamas and curled up in my big chair after finishing this amazing book. What do I have to say for myself? I am so glad I decided to read instead of be an adult! I can always adult later, right?!

*dreamy sigh*

Oh how I loved this book! I couldn't devour it fast enough. Y'all this book as all the feels... and I mean... All. The. FEELS! You want to laugh? Get teary eyed? Feel the frustration for the characters? Sit on the edge of your seat feeling the anticipation and needing to know what happens next? Not want to put the book down? Because that is exactly what happened to me while reading this book!

I absolutely adored Charlotte and Ryker and found myself routing for them from the very beginning. I loved watching their friendship grow, watching them open up to each other about their insecurities, learning who each other is and what makes them tick. The love these two felt for each other was palpable. They were determined to put each other and their love before anything else. I love that in couples!

This book was the perfect ending to an amazing series! Even though the series is called "Faking It" and I've been swearing off certain tropes for over a year now, I'm definitely glad I took a chance on all these books. It's definitely fun and one of those series that I'll be reading over and over again! 

Y'all Ms. Ray is a phenomenal storyteller and I'm so glad I stumbled upon her books! Not only has she become a favorite of mine, but also an auto-buy for me. I can't wait to read more of her sweet reads!

As for my casting... I'm in love! What do you think?

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Weekend Ramblings


Hey party people! Are you ready for another Weekend Ramblings a la KJ?!

Well then... let's get ready to raaaaammmmmbbbbbllllleeeee!!!!!

This week's rambling topic is...

** Negative Reviews **

This week I've tried to stay off social media. I did come on a couple of times to post to my Facebook page but other than that, nothing. 

Staying off social media gave me a lot of time to do other bookish things. Researching some new books to try happened to be one of them. I shouldn't have been surprised when researching gave me my next Weekend Ramblings post. Negative reviews. But not the negative reviews you're thinking of. I'll have to do a part 2 on this topic.

So what did I discover while researching books? Something that might alienate me from some authors. But I feel like it's something that needs to be said. 

If you think that there is nothing worse than negative reviews, think again. What's worse you may ask? Other authors leaving the kind of negative reviews that not only tear the books apart, but the authors as well. Sadly, I figured out who a few of the authors were, while others I could just tell they were authors themselves. I was disgusted by some of the reviews I saw this week. A saying from Bambi comes to mind... If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all. 

I know this is probably not new to authors, but it is to me. It makes me extremely sad to know that this is even going on. How can some authors do that to other fellow authors? Does it make them feel better about themselves and their books that they would be willing to throw such hatred around at other authors' expense? What is the reasoning behind it? The only reason I can think of is jealousy. One would hope and pray that authors would be lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. For crying out loud, they know the creative process. They know what it takes to put books out there. They know how much blood, sweat and tears go into each and every book they write. They know how they feel when people leave them bad negative reviews. So why do it? This seriously breaks my heart.

To all the authors out there who have been victims to the bad reviews from fellow authors, I'm sorry. I know that doesn't make things better, but I am truly sorry that the people who should always have your back, are responsible for trying to tear you down. But you listen to me. Chin up Buttercups! You got this! Don't let them win. You are AMAZING! You are BRAVE! You are LOVED! And you are APPRECIATED! Reading has helped me through some extremely difficult times. I would honestly be lost if it wasn't for authors, like you, who are willing to put yourselves out there and lay everything on the line so that I can have those much needed breaks from reality. 

You guys, life is tough for everyone right now. Let's all be a little kinder and do our part to help lift each other up just a little bit higher. 
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

An Exclusive Interview and Giveaway!

Have you ever read a book and loved the characters so much that you didn't want to leave them? Did you ever want to get to know them a little bit more? To learn things about them that weren't in the book?

If the answer is yes, then you'll know exactly how I felt after reading The Book of Sorrel. I could not get enough of Sorrel and Eric! When I had the opportunity to interview them, you better believe that I jumped on the chance!

But before we get to the interview and giveaway, let's take a look at their book!


An ancient curse. A forbidden love. Which will die first?

Sorrel Black’s family has been ruled by a book passed down from generation to generation. But now that it is in her possession, it has stopped working. For her alone, one critical piece of information is missing that will keep the curse, cast long ago as a punishment for her family’s rebellion, from being passed down to her daughter. She hopes the book’s silence means the curse will end with her—even if it means dying alone. But then Eric Knight walks into her life and changes everything.

When investigative journalist Eric Knight is forced to take an assignment to interview bakery owner Sorrel Black, he has no idea that her story will become their story. That his secrets are her secrets. Now together, these born enemies turned lovers must not only face the curse that has separated their families for generations, but the reality that breaking the curse means breaking their hearts. For, in the end, only one family can survive.

You can see my review here.


          https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-book-of-sorrel-by-jennifer-peel?bookstory=4433247
Now... for the moment you've all been waiting for. Let's.... 


Out of all the places you have traveled to, which place is your favorite and why?

Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos. It’s stunningly beautiful, quiet, and it has several hotels focused on wellness.

What is your favorite memory of a loved one who is no longer living?

My dad could make the best tasting pancakes, and he always spelled out my name with them.

What is "your song"?

Love Walks In by Van Halen.

Sorrel, what inspired you to open up Love Bites? 

Cooking and baking were ways my mother and I connected. And I thought it was the best way I could help people unbeknownst to them.

Eric, what kinds of things did your grandmother do to inspire you to be a better person? 

She always reminded me that it didn’t matter from where I came, it was where I was going.

Who is your hero?

Each other.

How do you guys spend a typical Saturday night?

Sorrel gives me a cooking lesson then we cuddle on the couch and not watch the movie we put on.

What is your biggest fear?

Losing each other.

What do you think each other's greatest strengths are?

I think Sorrel’s greatest strength is her compassion.
I think Eric’s greatest strength is his passion. He has an all-in attitude.


What is the craziest date you've ever been on? Who's idea was it?

Sorrel signed us up for an art retreat in France.

What is the best gift you have ever given each other?

Eric painted me a picture of Love Bites.
Sorrel gave me the gift of hope.


What are three things on your bucket list? 

See the Northern Lights together. Change the world. Discover our "where we came from".

Do either of you have any odd quirks?

Sorrel loves pink everything.

How would you describe each other to someone else in three words?

I would describe Eric as fierce, brave, and a little broody.
I would describe Sorrel as, adorable, beautiful, and all mine.

GIVEAWAY TIME!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, May 3, 2020

Hidden Gems - May 2020


Welcome to Hidden Gems hosted by KJ's Book Nook! Once a month I'll feature a new to me author that I've discovered and fell in love with their books. I'll share the author's bio, one of my favorite books of theirs and a review.

For this month's Hidden Gems I am going to choose...


Marika Ray spends her time behind a computer crafting stories, walking the beaches of southern California, and making healthy food for her kids and husband whether they like it or not. Prior to writing novels, Marika held various jobs in the finance industry, with private start-up companies, and then in health & fitness. Cats may have nine lives, but Marika believes everyone should have nine careers to keep things spicy.

Marika is a national bestselling author, writing steamy RomCom, sweet romances, and urban fantasies to make your heart explode and bring a smile to your face. All her books come with a money-back guarantee that you'll smile at least once with every book.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

As most of you know, I have made it my goal to find new to me authors this year. I spent an entire day trying to find new authors but I was striking out left and right. Out of nowhere I stumbled across Markia Ray. I downloaded a sample of Lines We Cross and crossed my fingers that this one was going to be a successful find. And guess what?! It was! I quickly fell in love with the small town of Nickle Bay. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! 😊

And since Lines We Cross is her book that got me hooked, I thought it was the perfect one to feature!


Small towns were made for second chances--even if it’s your best friend’s sister.

Skylar Rae

I’m getting by just fine on my own when the boy who stole my heart and ran away twelve years ago shows up in town again. He’s a big shot baseball player now, needing my help to rehab his knee. If he’d just lay off the flirting and the dimples he throws with each grin, I might be able to do my job. Good thing I’m not dumb enough to fall for him a second time.

Max

I promised my best friend I would never make a move on his little sister. I kept that promise—if you don’t count that one kiss senior year—but now that we’re adults and I’m moving back home, all bets are off. Skylar Rae isn’t the same person I knew twelve years ago and neither am I. It’ll take a lot more healing than I expected to see if she and I can cross that line again.

You can check out my review here.

Happy reading my fellow Book Dragons!
Saturday, May 2, 2020

Security Breach by Rebecca Deel


Synopsis:

On the run for more than a year, Emma Tucker narrowly escapes another attempt on her life. When the U.S. Marshals fail to keep her safe, Emma turns to the most dangerous man she knows, a Navy SEAL who stole her heart before a serial killer murdered her family.

After Sheriff David learns the woman he adores is the target of a vicious killer, he’s determined to free Emma from the threat and resume his campaign to win her heart. When they fall into the hands of the enemy, David’s skill and experience might not be enough to help them survive the killer’s trap.

My Review: 5 Stars

Hello new series! Maple Valley features the Montgomery brothers who made their appearance in SEAL's Promise. Five single brothers, all former military and all apart of the Sheriff's department in the small town of Maple Valley? Wouldn't you be screaming for a new series?! I know I was! But y'all... 

What in the world just happened?! Holy crow Batman! Talk about intense and on the edge of my seat! Every time I went to put the book down to get a few things done, something happened in the book to make me keep reading. I was just about to put my book down for the night and finish it in the morning when all of the sudden... PLOT TWIST! After that, sleep was the last thing on my mind. I just HAD to know what happened!

I'm sure everyone knows by now that small town, second chance romances are one of my all time favorites. This one did not disappoint. Emma knew, and David hoped, they would be reunited again. I really enjoyed getting to know Emma and David and watching them rekindle their relationship. You could tell from the very beginning that the time they spent apart only made their feelings for each other grow stronger. I loved that they both did everything in their power to not only take care of each other, but protect and love each other fiercely. They're definitely some of my favorite characters. 

And speaking of favorite characters... I loved seeing old friends from both the Fortress Security and Otter Creek series! I think that's one of the things I love most about Ms. Deel's books. We always get to see characters from her previous books. I love seeing how their HEA's continue. I also loved the setups for more books in the Maple Valley series. I can't wait to read them! But I'm secretly hoping that we'll get Rafe's book next. I have been dying for his book!

Ms. Deel knocked this one out of the park! It's definitely one of my favorite books of hers and I'll be rereading it many, many times. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!

As for my casting, it was a bit hard with no descriptions so this one was all me. What do you think? Personally, I love them! Haha.

Friday, May 1, 2020

The Book of Sorrel by Jennifer Peel


Synopsis:

An ancient curse. A forbidden love. Which will die first?

Sorrel Black’s family has been ruled by a book passed down from generation to generation. But now that it is in her possession, it has stopped working. For her alone, one critical piece of information is missing that will keep the curse, cast long ago as a punishment for her family’s rebellion, from being passed down to her daughter. She hopes the book’s silence means the curse will end with her—even if it means dying alone. But then Eric Knight walks into her life and changes everything.

When investigative journalist Eric Knight is forced to take an assignment to interview bakery owner Sorrel Black, he has no idea that her story will become their story. That his secrets are her secrets. Now together, these born enemies turned lovers must not only face the curse that has separated their families for generations, but the reality that breaking the curse means breaking their hearts. For, in the end, only one family can survive.

My Review: 5 Stars

Sorrel Black has known since she was a little girl that not only was she cursed, but that she would be the one to break it. Her dream to find the love her parents shared would never come true. She never had a problem with it until the day she met Eric Knight.

From the moment these two laid eyes on each other, they knew they were in trouble. Never before had they felt such strong chemistry for anyone else. But there was no way that they could be together. The curse made sure of it. Both Sorrel and Eric do their best to stay away from each other.

However, fate has something else in store for them. They must work together to break the curse and make sure the rightful family survives. With Sorrel's book not speaking to her, they'll have to rely on Eric's book to guide them.

Along the way, their love grows. Both of them want nothing more than to live together forever but one of them must make the ultimate sacrifice so the other can live out their destiny.

*dreamy sigh*

Every time I think I've found my new favorite couple, Ms. Peel releases her next book. I could not get enough of Sorrel and Eric! Their selflessness, their love and their willingness to sacrifice anything and everything for the other had this girl letting out endless dreamy sighs and hoping that everything would work out for them in the end.

Y'all... I'm beyond speechless that this is Jennifer's first paranormal romance. In my opinion, she nailed it! I was sucked in from the very beginning and I knew that I would not put this book down until I finished it. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what would happen next. The twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end. I loved how unique this book felt. It is SO good! I already know this is one that I will be reading over and over again. If you are a paranormal romance fan, then I highly recommend grabbing this book! You can thank me later.. 😉

As for my casting... I absolutely LOVE these two! What do you think?!