I bought, borrowed from the library, or got books free in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Sir, Yes Sir by L. L. Ash


Sir, Yes Sir
L. L. Ash
Publication date: April 12th 2024
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


One single moment changed everything. After receiving life-altering injuries on my last operation, I was forced to retire early. What was I if not a Raider and a Marine? When my brother in arms Tommy (Gun) Blair offered his home up to me to finish my recovery, I snatched up the opportunity with both hands because I had nowhere else to go. Amidst all my calculations, however, I realized that I’d missed one significant detail. Freya, Tommy’s daughter. She’d been a kid last time I’d seen her. She was definitely NOT a kid anymore. Living up to her namesake, the daughter of my best friend was beautiful, sweet, and deadly. If Tommy knew the kinds of things running through my head, he’d kill me in my sleep with a rusty spoon. Didn’t matter though. The woman was temptation embodied, and despite all my training, discipline and control, she was the one weakness that I just couldn’t give up.


I’d never met a man like him. Ashton was solid, confident, rigid, and bold. He also had the body of a god. No joke. But I was just the kid of his best friend. Seeing a man as powerful as him bow to the agony of injuries and PTSD…it broke my heart. It also proved that he wasn’t just a fighting machine. When he started working at Dad’s dealership with us, I started to get to know the man instead of the legend, and I loved what I found. Good with his hands, and loyal to a fault, I fell so deep in love with him it’s almost disgusting. Too bad he was my father’s best friend and would never love me back.

Goodreads / Amazon


“Sorry,” Freya said from…yep, the kitchen. “Mom’s been into that stuff ever since I can remember. She thinks that good thoughts and crystals can heal just about everything.”

“You don’t buy it?” I asked her.

She just blinked at me.

“She once tried healing my broken arm with obsidian and selenite. It took me two hours to convince my mom that a couple of pretty rocks weren’t going to reset my bones.”

I whistled.

“How old were you?”

“Eight. Eight and a half, I think.”

Holy shit.

“Where was Tommy? Your dad, I mean.”

“Working. In Afghanistan, I think. He’d been gone for months before it happened. Mom always got super sucked into that stuff when he was away for a while.”

“I’m sorry, kid,” I told her, which made her bristle.

“I’m not a kid, you know that, don’t you, Ashton?”

Oh, I fucking knew it. I remembered the feel of her very grown-up breasts pressing against my chest while I was having a full on mental breakdown in the employee bathroom at work.

She’d never brought it up though. After Tommy had led me away, Freya never mentioned the incident again. Maybe she just wanted to forget the traumatizing moment, and I could respect that. I’d taken full advantage of her sympathetic and loving heart, and I knew it.

But I digress.

I didn’t remember things being so bad. Tommy had mentioned that he’d needed to leave the Marines to be with his wife and daughter, but he’d never mentioned how bad it had evidently gotten. Had Freya been dealing with being the grown-up in the house ever since she was a kid? Maybe our pasts were more similar than I ever realized.

“You look like you’re thinking too hard,” Freya said as she dipped to look into the fridge for something.

Damn, that ass…

“I’m afraid that maybe your head will explode or something,” she mused.

I barked a rusty laugh, just as she stood and graced me with a grin over her shoulder.

“You’re insane,” was the only comeback I had, because maybe she was right.

I was thinking way too hard about her and that peachy ass when I should’ve been focused on other things. “Is Tommy still at the dealership?”

She nodded, then slid over a beer to me.

“You know him. Workaholic.”

Yes, I did, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. He had such an amazing life to come home to, why would he choose work over this?

I grunted instead of answering, but took the beer happily.

“So?” she asked after a minute. “You took the day to go to the base. How’d it go?”

I didn’t fucking answer. I didn’t want to.

Funny though, as it turned out, I didn’t need to.

“Oh…Ash…” she moaned, sadness and sympathy coloring her cheeks.

“Guess my nickname Citizen really matches now,” I grunted out, thinking it would be funny, but my voice cracked like a prepubescent boy, showing my emotions.

Freya came right around the counter and took me into her arms, beer and all where she squeezed me harder than anybody had ever hugged me before.

“You’ll be ok,” she muffled a whisper with her face in the crook of my neck and shoulder. “You’ve got us, and we’ll be your team.”

An unwelcome tear started slipping out of my eye, and I quickly tried sucking it back up before she could notice. But funny that, tears don’t suck back up like snot.

When she let me go, Freya looked into my face and lifted her hand, sweeping the trail of that singular tear away.

“You’ve got us,” she said, looking me right in the eyes. “If you need a wingman, I’m your girl. I’ll help get you laid and help you find a place when you’re ready. I’ll even watch sports with you, even though I hate everything other than hockey and MMA.”

I snorted a laugh, which made her sad lips turn into a small smile.

“I appreciate that,” I told her, pressing my palm to her cheek now. “But I’m ok. I don’t need a wingman. I can get laid all by myself. As for sports, what other real sports are there other than hockey and MMA?”

She snorted a laugh, legit making snot burst out of her nose, which made her cheeks flame with embarrassment.

I laughed too while she hurried away to the bathroom to get away from me.

That girl was too much.

And fucking everything.

Author Bio:

L.L. Ash is a Washington-born writer who has traveled and lived across the western coast of the US. Ash has been writing fiction since she was a pre-teen, and while her writing has improved since then, her love for literature has not changed.

Oftentimes you can find Ash reading an indie romance or enjoying a historical fiction. Dabbling in culinary arts and music, Ash has been an artist for decades but found her true love and passion in romances.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Enter to win HERE!

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Review of Passcode to the Third Floor

 Passcode to the Third Floor 

Thae Yong-ho. Translated by Robert Lauler.



This is a serious book, yet it is engaging. Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean diplomat who eventually defected to South Korea, is frank and honest on a high political level, yet he manages to be down-to-earth in his account as well.


Readers are treated to such personal accounts, and one cannot help but to sympathize with this author for all he went through. The discussions about family and children are touching. The look into what civilians experienced is interesting, and it is good to know that the international community helped when needed.


Thae Yong-ho offers us insights at the top most of the time, and this offers a wider context in which to put the more personal and human aspects of the account.


For those who like politics and diplomacy on a more day-to-day level, this book is sure to please.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Two Truths and a Marriage by Nicole Snow


Two Truths and a Marriage
Nicole Snow
Publication date: March 29th 2024
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The grumpiest billionaire accidentally scores a sunshiny fake fiancee and pure chaos in this hilarious, sweet, and deliriously steamy romance by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow.

I can still pinpoint the exact second when my life became two truths and a lie.
You don’t forget delivering a mountain of fresh-baked sweets to a man like Dexter Rory.
I never wanted to see his scowling, bossy, brutally godlike face again, no matter how well he tipped.
If you told me I’d wind up wearing his ring, I would’ve died laughing.

But here I am, trying to cling to my sanity while I confront the undeniable.
Truth #1: I’m spiritually allergic to this man.
He’s as grumpy as a storm, twice as unpredictable, and he thinks my life’s work is the devil.
Truth #2: I need his money—it’s the only Hail Mary I have to keep my family bakery alive.

That’s why we’re living a ginormous lie that can’t last.
I mean, who would believe we’re engaged when we can barely share the same oxygen?
But Dexter can be wickedly convincing when he needs a win.
And the way he kisses me dizzy right in front of my adoring grandmother…
Hello, butterflies.

What happens when the truth matters less by the day?
What happens when you start falling in love with a lie?

This standalone read brings heat, heart, and mammoth feels all the way to the happily ever after. Witness two opposites attract, collide, and go down fighting the beautiful truth called love.

Goodreads / Amazon


I’m instantly peppered with goosebumps at what he’s proposing.

Another date.

Another important family member to impress.

Another lie.

More people we have to deceive to keep this big ball of fake engagement crazy going.

Even if we’re getting better at this, something’s got to give.

“There’s something else I had to bring in person,” he says slowly, watching me warily. “For your trouble.”

What’s he talking about?

His hand drifts out of his pocket, clasping a small grey box with gold lettering.

Oh no.

Oh no, no, no.

When he opens it, revealing what I’m dreading, I don’t remember how to breathe.

A freaking ring.

And not just any ring.

No, this is a ring from Dexter Rory, a man who never learned how to do anything without going all out.

Of course, it’s gorgeous enough to make me stupid.

All diamond-studded white gold with a sparkling blue stone in the middle. The whole vibe is both delicate and totally over the top.

I’m already in love with the wretched thing.

And I hate that I love it.

“There’s no sense in being subtle anymore. Counting my brothers, a ton of people know we’re engaged,” he explains. “No one will believe I’ve proposed without a ring on your finger.”

“Oh my God.” I’m hyperventilating. “You just… you went and… you bought me an engagement ring?” I say faintly, knowing full well there’s no doubt.

An engagement ring.

Those three little words feel completely alien.

His face blanks, but he’s smiling with his eyes, midnight-blue apologies sparkling like stars.

“I’m sorry if it’s not your style, Junie. There’s still time to swap it out.”

“Are you insane?”

I could have searched the world twice over and not found an engagement ring half this magnificent. This man, who doesn’t even know me, is some sort of personal jewelry genius.

“It’s really pretty,” I whisper.

“It’s yours to keep when this is over. Don’t even ask how much it costs,” he says. “Sell it, keep it, give it to your cat, whatever. I’m sure this isn’t the type of engagement you wanted—and technically, it’s not. I’m just grateful you’re willing to go along with it.”

Why does he sound like he’s trying to make himself believe it?

My brain sputters.

All I can see right now is that ring in its little grey box, the blue velvet inside cushioning the precious diamonds and stillborn promises.

I don’t doubt for a second they’re real, and they’re spectacular.

Oh, and its resale value will probably break my jaw when it hits the ground. He’s paying me a massive premium in jewelry on top of the six figures hitting my account.

The bigger the lie, the more I earn.

That should thrill me, coming into a small fortune I never imagined, but it doesn’t.

Not while I’m staring at something that shouldn’t exist.

A ring from a man who’s hilariously out of my league. The one thing I never thought I’d get with a monster catch.

A fake fiancé.

A man who doesn’t want to marry me.

Of course, he shouldn’t. He doesn’t even know me.


Still, I can’t help feeling it bone-deep, knowing that the only ring I’ll ever get is just a whacky business transaction.

Not because I’m lovable.

Not because it means anything.

Not because I’m someone he’d ever date, much less marry.

Author Bio:

Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Cure for Spring Fever by Barbara Robinson




Barbara Robinson



GENRE:  Paranormal Romance






For centuries, Gamekeepers have used their magical abilities to create a buffer between the creatures who dwell in the enchanted forest and the sleepy coastal town that sits in its shadow. When Gamekeeper Stan Ross’s magic begins to fail, he must find out what went wrong, then fix it before the two worlds collide. His hit or miss magic has already led to a few close calls so he journeys to the Sacred Isle searching for answers and advice. Finding a cure proves elusive—until Stan encounters a kitchen witch who captivates him body and soul. Lynnette Peters is healing from her own wounds, however, and it isn’t clear whether she’s ready to open herself to the possibility—or the peril—of love.






Another success, he thought, as he relaxed against the gate. In the few weeks since his return from the Sacred Isle things had been quiet enough that the gamekeepers were able to get out and do some quality assurance, checking both physical enclosures and magical wards to ensure future disasters were averted. A stitch in time, as his grannie would say.


Some of his colleagues complained of feeling bored and restless, grumbling about ‘busy work’ and unnecessary maintenance, but Stan didn’t mind. Monotony meant that things were working as they should be, with the creatures safely in their enclosures and his bosses sitting contented in their offices. All was right with the world again.


Except that it wasn’t. Not quite.


If someone had asked him when he left for the Sacred Isle what his purpose was in going, he would have said it was to fix his magical misfires and sort out the problems with his accuracy and staying power. Mission accomplished, so he should be content. Instead, he was overwhelmed by a sense of ambiguous loss—like he was pining for something he couldn’t even define. It was all wrapped up in the woman from the grove.


There had been undeniable physical attraction, but the bond they’d shared went way beyond chemistry. They hadn’t even spoken, but somehow, she managed to intrude upon his waking thoughts and haunt his dreams when he slept. He’d even imagined that he saw her the


other day, walking down the street, but he’d dismissed it as fantasy. After all, what would his elf-woman be doing in the sleepy little village of Maywater?




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Barbara Robinson is an author of contemporary and historical romance set against a backdrop of magical realism. She is a deep thinker and tea drinker who finds inspiration in myths and folktales, poems and ballads, and academic writing on a variety of subjects. Diagnosed with autism and giftedness as an adult, she enjoys exploring themes of neurodiversity and opposing character perspectives in her writing. 


She is an avid gardener and lover of nature who works out plot lines and character sketches while nurturing her garden, walking in the woods, or sitting by the shoreline watching waves. She is known for world building that features rich and immersive detail, supported by meticulous research and careful observation. 


Barbara lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the shadow of ancient mountains that lie along the Bay of Fundy coast. These rugged vistas shape her story settings, while providing the perfect backdrop for life with her husband, her hounds and her dragon (Pogona Vitticeps). She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of King’s College and a Master of Arts at Dalhousie University, and she recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers (Humber College, Toronto). 


Website: https://www.barbararobinsonauthor.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraRobinsonWrites/


Amazon: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Fever-Jelly-Beans-Things-ebook/dp/B0CVHHR5ND/ref=sr_1_1








The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.


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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Hudson at the Track by Alexis Levesque



Hudson at the Track

by Alexis Levesque




GENRE: JUVENILE NONFICTION / Sports & Recreation / General




BLURB: Discover the importance of safety gear, perseverance, and bike maintenance in this thrilling motocross adventure. Let the story be the starting point of your child`s imagination. Encourage them to step outside of the book into the world of motocross where they set the limits and make anything possible.







For your excerpt, please use one of the excerpt image files.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Alexis Levesque is from Québec, Canada, and always had an interest in motocross. Fueled by this passion, he embarked on a creative journey to craft a children's book centered around motocross, featuring his son Hudson as the main character. Today, Alexis, along with his family of four, resides in New Brunswick, Canada.


Social media


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mx_kids_book/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/biobuzzco 










Alexis Levesque will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Enter here:




Friday, March 1, 2024

Secret Admirer Pact by Bernadette Marie



Secret Admirer Pact

by Bernadette Marie




GENRE:   Romance






When Will seeks to rekindle a flame with his ex-girlfriend, his best friend Monique reluctantly suggests a plan involving secret admirer notes to divert his ex’s attention. In a surprising turn, Monique finds herself infatuated with her new boss, prompting Will to reciprocate with anonymous tokens of affection. However, as the deceptive game unfolds, both Monique and Will come to realize that the heartfelt sentiments expressed in the secret admirer notes were their own true feelings. So, what happens if the plan works? What happens if it doesn’t?






First, I need coffee. I push back from my desk and pick up my coffee cup. The coffee in it is cold, so I head out of my office to refill it. As I turn the corner to the break room, I wave at Val who catches my attention, and then I crash into a hard body. Coffee splashes up and out of my cup. It’s cold against my chest as it soaks through my blouse. But there are drops of hot coffee too, and I notice as my new boss jumps back. He’s holding his coffee mug out to the side, but wincing because his hand is covered in hot liquid.


“Oh my god!” I shout as our bodies separate.


My blouse is soaked. His tie and shirt are wet as well, and there’s coffee on his suit jacket.


“I’m so sorry,” he says as he turns back into the break room. He sets his coffee on the counter, turns on the cold water at the sink, and runs his hand under it.


“Are you hurt?” I ask, following him.


“Stings a little. I’m okay,” he says turning off the water and examining his hand.


I set down my mug and reach for the roll of paper towel at the same time he does. Our hands actually slap together, and we each jump back.

I’m not sure which one of us laughed first, because from there, it just became more funny.



Topic: Author's choice

URL:  http://www.traveltheages.blogspot.com/

The Art of Crafting Captivating Romance Novels by Bernadette Marie


Romance novels stand out as timeless tales in literature that weave the intricate threads of love, passion, and connection. Crafting a compelling romance book requires a delicate balance of creativity, emotion, and understanding of human relationships.


The characters are the heartbeat of any romance novel. Writers must create protagonists whose personalities resonate with readers. Whether it's the brooding hero with a mysterious past or the spirited heroine overcoming adversity, these characters must be crafted with depth and authenticity.


Setting is pivotal in setting the stage for love to blossom. From charming small towns to busy cities, the backdrop can enhance the romantic atmosphere and immerse readers in the world of the characters. A well-described setting becomes a character in itself, influencing the dynamics of relationships.


Plot twists are the spice that keeps readers turning pages. While the central theme revolves around love, injecting suspense, conflict, and unexpected events adds layers to the narrative. Romance readers have expectations that vary by trope, which authors must understand.


Dialogue, laced with wit and charm, breathes life into characters and their relationships. The chemistry between characters should be palpable, creating a connection that resonates with readers personally.

In the art of writing romance novels, the author orchestrates emotions and weaves a tapestry of love that transcends the pages. 




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie writes contemporary romances and believes in Happily Ever After. The married mother of five believes in love at first sight, quick love, and second chances. An avid martial artist, Bernadette Marie is a certified instructor and holds a third degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. She loves Tai Chi, traveling to Disney parks, and having lunch with friends. When not writing, or running her own publishing house, Bernadette is probably immersed in a Rom Com, from which she will often quote one-liners.











AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CP4T78KG

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book/1144426105?ean=2940185950555

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1485967






Bernadette Marie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thursday, February 22, 2024

IF THE DUKE DARES by Darcy Burke


by Darcy Burke




GENRE:  Regency Historical Romance






Incorrigible flirt Acton Loxley, Duke of Wellesbourne is in need of a duchess. En route to greet a potential bride, he encounters a most intriguing and captivating widow who completely distracts him from his task. However, she disappears before he can deepen their acquaintance. Acton begrudgingly goes to meet his bride, unaware she and the widow are one and the same.


When Persephone Barclay’s younger sister is compromised, Persephone must wed before the scandal spreads. Her parents scramble to present her to the Duke of Wellesbourne; except he’s precisely the kind of rogue she has now vowed to avoid. Taking flight to avoid a match, Persephone runs straight into her would-be betrothed and pretends to be someone else. But dash it all, the duke proves to be irresistibly charming! If she remains in his company, she’ll end up in the wicked scoundrel’s clutches.


Even worse, her second attempt at escape lands her in increasingly poor circumstances. With nowhere to turn and her safety at risk, she may have to accept help from the one man who threatens her resolve—and her reputation.






His gaze smoldered. “I confess it is taking all my willpower not to propose that you meet me in your aunt’s garden at, say, eleven this evening.”


Heart pounding, Persephone recognized his flirtation for precisely what it was: a rogue roguing. She should be offended, even if he wasn’t serious. Instead, she was incomparably thrilled by the way he was looking at her, by the singular way the sultry tone of his voice caressed her. Apparently, she could still be wooed, as she had been in her youth. Despite those situations turning out poorly—unsatisfying physical interactions and no interest or hope for a future—here she was again actually pondering meeting a man alone. Not just a man, but a scoundrel with a terrible reputation.


“We shouldn’t,” she whispered unconvincingly, which surely conveyed she was considering it.


“Probably not.” He sighed. “But wouldn’t it be lovely if we did?”


It would be more than lovely. It would be something she chose. Something she wanted. “Will you be there?” she asked, holding her breath.


His eyes lit with surprise. “I will. And I promise we’ll just talk. No kissing. You’ll meet me?”


“I’ll consider it.” Strongly. Indeed, she would probably think of little else. Anticipation vibrated through her. She took her other hand from his arm lest she do something foolish, such as grasp him even tighter as she pressed her side to his. Anything to increase their contact. “But what if I want to kiss you?”


“All I can think about is kissing you again.” He sent her a pained expression. “I do realize that makes me the worst sort of rogue—precisely the man you thought I was.”





AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of over sixty captivating, compelling historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Her novels have been translated into five languages and are also available as audio books. Join her Reader Club at https://www.darcyburke.com/join.


A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming, teacher husband, artist daughter, and writer (yes!) son. They’re a crazy cat family with two Bengal cats, a small, fame-seeking cat named after a fruit, a rescue Maine Coon with attitude to spare, an adorable former stray who wandered onto their deck and into their hearts, and two bonded boys who used to belong to (separate) neighbors but chose them instead. You can find Darcy in her comfy writing chair, folding laundry (which she loves), or enjoying game night with the family. 

Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcyburke.com and follow her social media: 

Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans 

Instagram at http://www.instagram/darcyburkeauthor 

and Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/darcyburkewrite


If the Duke Dares website link: https://geni.us/IftheDukeDares


If the Duke Dares buy links


Amazon: https://geni.us/IftheDukeDares-Amz

Apple: https://geni.us/IftheDukeDares-App

Barnes & Noble: https://geni.us/IftheDukeDares-BN

Google Play: https://geni.us/IftheDukeDares-GP

Kobo: https://geni.us/IftheDukeDares-Kobo







Darcy Burke will award a $25 Amazon/BN GC + swag to a randomly drawn winner (swag US/Canada only)

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Sir, Yes Sir by L. L. Ash

  Sir, Yes Sir L. L. Ash Publication date: April 12th 2024 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance Ashton One single moment changed ev...