Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Promise MadeA Promise Made by Anissa Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some stories just make the reader feel good. A Promise Made is one of those stories. I received a copy from Barclay Publishing in exchange for an honest review. A Promise Made is the second in the story of three friends, Josh, Evan and Zach who each have promises that they have to live up to when they meet the one. Josh has wanted Marla from the moment he met her. She and Grace (A Promise Kept) are best friends and Grace is well aware that Josh is interested in Marla who won't give him the time of day. Not only will she not give him the time of day. She acts as if she seriously dislikes him. The harder he tries, the meaner she seems to get. Marla is having trouble at work. She has worked hard to get a raise so she can afford to take the vacation she has dreamed of and saved for soon. However, the owner's son is now working at the firm and he is showing a lot of interest in Marla, very unwanted interest. It is not long until his interest turns hostile when Marla turns him down.

Josh is a well-accomplished personal trainer who trains several Hollywood actors, one of which is his friend Evan. He is in Austin because Evan is there temporarily until he goes to his next site for filming. Since Josh is Evan's dedicated personal trainer he travels with him on location. Grace is worried about her pal Marla after she is mugged in the parking garage where she parks during work hours. Grace asks Josh to look out for and train Marla in self-defense after the mugging. This is Josh's chance to spend time with Marla and hopefully, work up to convincing Marla to go out with him. Marla's problems get worse when her home and car are vandalized. Josh wants to protect her and he has a promise that he made to Grace that he has to keep. Things take a turn and both Marla and Josh have to determine how long they both plan to let the past affect their future. It is a great story with a great ending.
 by Anissa Garcia

A feisty redhead and an alpha male makes for a steamy pairing you can't resist. Fans of The Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken and Violet Duke’s Resisting the Bad Boy, will love this super sweet and sexy romance from Anissa Garcia. 

Title: A Promise Made
Author: Anissa Garcia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 3, 2016
Publisher: AG Romance Reads LLC                                                  
Josh McKenzie may come off as intimidating with his solid build and cold stare, but when trouble calls, Marla quickly learns there is more to the sexy tatted man with the British accent. And if she’s not careful, she can easily lose herself in his gentle touch and soft voice.

A feisty redhead with a mouth that won’t quit, Marla Sullivan knows how to push all of Josh’s buttons, making him want her in the worst way. His biggest hurdle is breaking through her stubborn walls and proving he’s here to stay.

When Marla’s faced with an unknown danger, Josh is forced to reveal his buried past. Promises made and surfaced truths may be the catalyst that brings them together...or pushes them further apart.

Get More information at: Goodreads  | Amazon
Learn more about her debut novel, A Promise Kept : Goodreads  | Amazon

Anissa Garcia resides in Austin, Texas and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications and English. She held an array of jobs including Public Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble. Wanting a change of pace, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and trained full-time in theatre. After working in Hollywood, she returned to Texas where she has written articles for Cosmopolitan and Lady Couture. When not writing stories, watching movies, or drinking a latte, she loves to daydream about romantic fictional men.
Connect with Anissa at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram


Marla’s form strutted out the door, her long hair flowing down her creamy white shoulders and hourglass frame.  That black dress hugged her petite body, and I observed the way her ass moved as she hooked her coat and purse over her arm.  Her femininity was alluring.  The way she held herself and her delicate skin smelling like cinnamon made me hard.  It matched her sizzling mouth that I wanted to suck on and kiss raw. 
            I lifted myself out of the seat and crossed the room to her as she fumbled to put on her coat.  One side hung down and I grabbed it with ease.  She jerked away, attempted to escape me as I held it up.  Mahogany eyes glared at me.  She was on defense, no doubt from Ryan and whatever other idiots had disillusioned her about chivalry and romance.  I would prove to her it wasn’t dead. 
            “Is the date set with Dumbledore?”
            Her ruby red colored lips pressed down a smile as she shook her head.  “His name’s Gandalf, and he asked me to an early bird dinner at Denny’s.” 
            Cute.  At least she was open to joking with me, if only a bit.  But she was also nervous.  I could see it reflected in the way she moved, even the way she breathed.  “Let me walk you to your car.”
            “No, I’m fine.”
            She moved at a faster pace and I kept up easily.  I wasn’t letting her walk alone at night, especially with the type of men I saw in there.  “I’m walking you out.”
            “My car’s in the parking garage, they have security cameras.” 
            She was one tough cookie.  Independent, used to doing things on her own, she probably attracted the men who were complete opposite of her.  She liked to be in control and so did I.  You’d think this would pose some type of problem, but I was attracted to it.  I moved closer to her, my mouth near her ear.  “You like pushing me away, don’t you?”
            She turned her head toward me and rolled her eyes.  “Let me guess, you’re one of those alphas who likes to see his woman submit.  You want the type of woman who will adore you every night, follow you around all day, and tell others how amazing you are at everything you do.” 
            “You certainly like pretending you know who I am.  Since we met you’ve been nothing but judgmental toward me and only me.  Why is that?” 
            We were riding in the lift, but she didn’t dare give me a glance.  Instead she pressed the button to the ground floor, even though it had already been lit up.  She pressed at it again, as if it would make it go faster. 
            “I don’t like guys like you.”
            “Guys like me?”
            “Yeah.  I’ve dated guys like you.” 
            I couldn’t help but laugh as I rested in the corner against the wall.  What to say to a woman who thought she already knew everything about you?  I’d give it a go.  “So, some idiot who lived in the gym dated and hurt you, and now you think all men who work out are the same?”
            “Whether they live in the gym or not, they all end up being the same.  They all want a certain type of woman.” 
            “Which is what?”
            The doors finally opened and she scurried out, searching for her keys in her bag.  “The easy woman to comply with whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want.”
            “That type of woman is boring.” 
            She turned to her red Toyota Prius and opened the door, throwing her purse in the passenger side and starting her car.  “Exactly.  Yet they all want it.” 
            Before she could shut the door, I stepped in front of it and leaned down as she strapped on her seatbelt.  “Darling, I’m not afraid of hard work.  I know you’re an independent woman, and though most men find that threatening, I find it extremely sexy.”
            “You know what I find extremely not sexy?  The fact that you find a woman like me to be hard work.  Strike one, pal.”    
            She threw her hand up holding two fingers, and either she was warning me that I had two chances left, or she shot me the peace sign.  I believe it was the latter.  Either way, she was not happy.  If I wanted to make headway with Red, I was going to have to get some inside help to thaw the icy heart within that fiery woman. 
The knock on the door stirred me out of my thoughts and my mind reeled over who could be keeping me from my dinner.  The doorbell then chimed.  Not once, not twice, but three annoying times in a row, followed by a series of fervent knocks. 
            I inaudibly walked toward the door, careful to not give myself away, in case it was someone selling me a subscription to the newspaper or converting me to their religion.  I peered into the peephole and scrunched my face in aversion as my mouth emitted an aggravated sigh.  I swiftly opened the door as his hand stopped midair. 
            My hip jutted out as my irritation level climbed.  “What are you doing here?”
            Josh’s cool exterior, the tight forest green shirt, the peekaboo tattoos, his dark jeans were all too much to take in.  Good God, this man was delicious.  It was enough to make me go nuts, but instead I kept myself calm.  “Did you forget?  Lessons.” 
            “Are you serious?”  He nodded as his blazing eyes trailed down to my chest.  I followed, remembering I had opened my blouse.  I shrugged, closing the satin around my body.  “What?  You haven’t seen a great pair of breasts before?” 
            “Not those,” he smirked.  “At least not yet.” 
            “Want me to shut this door in your face?”  I flung it and walked away, but heard as his hand caught it from closing completely.  I could feel his presence as he walked in and shut the door, locking it behind him. 
            “Thanks for inviting me in,” he said softly, as I glanced back, buttoning my blouse up.  His eyes scanned my living room, and I ignored the idea of him seeing my untidy home.  My shoes were set in an accumulating pile near the corner of the entrance, my sweaters and jackets hung over one another on hooks near the door, and magazines were scatted across my coffee table.
            I turned and glared at him as he set his hands in his pockets, his eyes on my pretty heaps of high heels.  “What?” 
            The grin playing over his lips stayed small, as if he knew to be careful with me.  At the same time there was a hint of mischief behind those glassy light blue eyes.  “Nothing,” he said, shaking his head slightly.  “Nice shoes.”
            “Fine.  You can borrow a pair, but only if you promise to return them.” 
            A very rare smile spread over his lips.  It was one that made his eyes twinkle, his teeth show, and a laugh emit from his throat.  I shockingly found myself grinning back, a twirl in my stomach reminding me of what it felt like being on a rollercoaster right at the drop.  Satisfaction built inside me knowing I had earned that moment of sincerity from him.  It was one he hardly let others see.  Wait.  Why should I care that he smiled?  Pull yourself together, Sullivan.  “What are you doing here, Josh?”

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Blind Date Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 18)Blind Date Collection by Annette Lyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blind Date Collection is an anthology of books by different authors telling the story of blind dates or finding unexpected love where it was least expected. I received a free copy from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review. I have to be honest. I typically do not read anthologies as I am not a big fan of short stories. I typically find that they build the reader up and end so quickly when there is so much more I want to know. This is why I never read first chapters released by authors or publishers. I cannot stand getting into the first chapter and having to wait weeks or months for the rest of the story. I was willing to give this anthology a shot because the synopsis provided some good bait for drawing me in and giving it a try. The stories varied locations and times in history. They appeared to have gone in a bit of chronological order from historical to current stories. There was not one that I did not like. Each had something interesting and offered the reader a chance to sit back and enjoy the couples meeting, finding each other and realizing who they found. They were all clean romances with interesting storylines that have the reader hoping that the couples find each other and give each other a chance. It was a great time to give anthologies a chance.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Royal Scandal (Royals in Exile, #1)Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Royal Scandal was a great read. I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Colin and his family are in exile from their home where his family is the ruling royal family. He, his brother Theo, twin sisters Charlotte and Imogen and two baby brothers, Aiden and Pierce are living in the U.S. where they are running their family's company after being exiled after a tragedy occurred in their family. When they arrive at their property in the U.S. Colin butts heads with the current caretaker family's daughter Della, who is outspoken and totally angry at Colin for evicting her family from the property so that he can have privacy with his family. This confrontation leads to a 10-year friendship.

After 10 years, have passed and the Sinclair's are still in exile, their government wants its royal family back and as in the past they are willing to bully and lie to get them back, especially since the Sinclair family business followed them off the island to the U.S. and their homeland needs the jobs back. The prime minister is still up to his machinations and wants to force Colin to wed who they think he should marry and force him to be king when Imogen is next in line. Colin and his siblings are tired of being bullied and are homesick and they plan to take the necessary steps gain to take back their rightful home and roles in their home country. But, Colin wants to marry the woman he has loved for 10 years and knows it is just the thing to keep the prime minister from getting his way and choosing who he loves will help preserve the heritage of the country and just might force them into accepting Imogen as Queen as it was always intended in a country that is a matriarchy for the line of succession. What follows is a lovely story where the secrets in the Sinclair family and in Della's family rip at Della and Collin's relationship and both of their families. It is a great start to what I think will be an entertaining series.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Her Fateful DebutHer Fateful Debut by G.G. Vandagriff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Her Fateful Debut was a fun, clean romance. I received a free e-Arc from Ebooks For Review in exchange for an honest review. Although I have been reading romances for a couple of years now, I am much newer to the historical romance sub-genre. I do enjoy books in locations outside of the U.S., especially if they give me a good sense of being there. I can honestly say that although I enjoy reading about this era in British history, I most certainly wouldn't want to live there. The entire concept of a woman not inheriting from her own father because she is a woman is completely horrible. I have no clue when this atrocious rule stopped, but, I do know that there are still some people out there that leave things only to the first-born son. I wonder how that works when the first-born son is an idiot who wastes and gambles things away.

Her Fateful Debut introduces Penelope who apparently is a great beauty, an excellent artist, a bit of a tom-boy, smart and someone who speaks her mind. She has been sent to London to stay with her aunt who is introducing her to society so that she can find a husband. It seems to be going extremely well until she happens upon Deveraux, a French spy, at a park where she is sketching what she sees in the park and that someone does not want to be drawn. He is in the middle of doing something extremely dangerous and he has no problems taking his anger out on a woman. Penelope's life is in danger and Viscount Beau Wellingham is present in the park and witnesses the French man's verbal abuse of Penelope. He is so concerned for her safety that he thinks he needs to keep an eye on her to ensure that Devereaux does not attack Penelope again. He is right to be concerned because at Penelope's very first ball she is attacked and Beau comes to her aid. What follows is the story of a gentleman of the ton is supposed to do when caught alone with an unmarried woman, he protects her honor by becoming engaged to Penelope. A sweet romance develops between Beau and Penelope, but, it is not an easy trip down the aisle. There is more intrigue, and even the dreaded love triangle in Regency times. Although that is not my "trope" this one was not too painful. I would imagine this would occur quite a bit in Regency times when a woman is put on the market for all eligible bachelors to come 'acallin and she has several viable suitors. In Penelope's case she has to choose between a childhood friend and this exciting man. It is a fun read that I enjoyed very much.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Return to Umbria (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #4)Return to Umbria by David P. Wagner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Return to Umbria is the fourth installment in the Rick Montoya series. I just love this series more and more. I received an early released copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This time, we find Rick and his new girlfriend, Betta, in Orvieto where Rick has been sent by his family to talk his cousin into coming home and stopping his current extracurricular activities. Along the way, Rick falls into a murder mystery. Three women are on the funicular that Rick and Betta take up to Orvieto. They get a first-hand look at the victim, who is not quite the nicest person anyone has met. It turns out that not only are her traveling companions possible suspects but, the victim has history in Orvieto which means there are several more possible suspects from her past.

The victim attended school in Orvieto many years ago and she appears to know several people that are still in Orvieto or the surrounding areas. Most importantly, she was involved in something that has put her life at risk once she steps foot in Orvieto. As these things go in any good Rick Montoya mystery there is another murder and Rick works with someone from his past to determine who is committing the murders before Rick becomes a victim. This is a story that looks back to multiple shady characters, one of which is from Rick and Betta's past. Rick has his hands full putting his Uncle the commisario off who wants Rick to become a police detective, investigating two murders, handling Betta's history, not to mention his original purpose in traveling to Orvieto. He still has to work on getting his cousin Fabrizio to go home. None of these tasks turns out to be easy.

The reader is treated to a wonderful armchair trip to a different part of Italy, Umbria. One of the great things about this series is that Rick moves across Italy a lot. The reader is treated to a new area of Italy in each book along with a great mystery and Return to Umbria no exception. It has the reader ready for the next book and trip to Italy.