Featured New Release Of The Week: Snowbound With Her Mountain Cowboy by Patricia Johns

This week we’re looking at a nearly 400 page romance with lots of secondary love stories embedded within it that reads much faster than its page count suggests. This week we’re looking at Snowbound With Her Mountain Cowboy by Patricia Johns.

Slow Burn Clean Second Chance Romance – With A Disaster. This is exactly what I noted in the title – a slow burn romance where the couple never really gets together until the very end, clean in that there is barely any kissing and certainly nothing beyond that (sorry, fans of near-erotica level steam), and featuring a couple that has been divorced far longer than they were ever married… but who neither ever quite got over the other. This one also has a few other love story tales embedded naturally within the story, all of which contribute nicely to the primary romance of the story here. Not short at nearly 400 pages, but does actually read a bit faster than other books of its length I’ve encountered. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of The Week: Snowbound With Her Mountain Cowboy by Patricia Johns”

#BlogTour: The Christmas She Married The Playboy by Louise Fuller

For this blog tour, we’re looking at an entertaining romance featuring a bickering billionaire and an ice-queen iceskater. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Christmas She Married The Playboy by Louise Fuller.

Entertaining Royalty/ Commoner Romance. He’s a dude that was burned years ago and reacts by pretty well sleeping with anything that moves. She’s a figure skater with a troubled past. When they happen to see each other in the airport where they both happen to be going to the same hotel… y’all, this is a Harlequin Romance. You know how this goes. I for one loved the bickering of the first half of the book, though I do wish the antics in Vegas had been shown. Instead, at the halfway point we fly (almost literally, in story) right past the Vegas wedding and suddenly we’re en route to the honeymoon. But here is where the sweeter side of the romance – and the steamier side – really kicks in and becomes arguably more in-line with what most Harlequin Romance readers expect. I love how both of our leads here make active choices to go against their nature – rather than it just happening, here Fuller actually has the characters’ internal monologues *showing* it happening – for the preservation of their new marriage. In that, it becomes atypical – and yet totally in line with the genre and publisher. Could have done without the last bit of the epilogue, but otherwise truly a great story here. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Christmas She Married The Playboy by Louise Fuller”

#BookReview: Pretend To Be My Cowboy by Sophia Quinn

Solid Series Starter. This is the beginning of a new series by two authors combining under a single pen name, and while I had only read one of the two before… this is truly a solid sweet romance that her fans will enjoy, but also shows where she is not the only voice in the room. And yet, there is never a *blatant* change of perspective or anything that overtly gives away that two different people were writing this – which actually speaks to just how well they work together both as storytellers and through the editing process. Absolutely one for the sweet/ clean crowd – there is barely any kissing, much less anything else. (Sorry, steamier fans.) Also one for the Hallmark Movie type crowd, as this is absolutely one of their infamous general plots – big city girl comes to the wide open country, falls in love with the charming small town and one of its resident cowboys. While this book had *some* minor (Hallmarkie) level drama, there is a fair amount of foreshadowing here that there is at least the potential for meatier drama down the road in the series, and that could actually be a welcome change of pace for the one author I’m familiar with here. (For those that read this book and enjoy it, you’re absolutely going to love that author’s work as well.) Excellent work, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this progresses and how many books are ultimately in the series. Very much recommended.

This review of Pretend To Be My Cowboy by Sophia Quinn was originally written on December 1, 2021.

#BookReview: The Language Game by Morten H Christiansen and Nick Chater

Fascinating. This is a book that basically argues that Noam Chomsky had some great ideas, but ultimately was quite a bit wrong and quite a bit off. And yes, that is an oversimplification explicitly designed (by me) to hook you into reading this book while also giving you an idea of the ultimate direction here. The authors are consistently afraid of “anarchy” *even while actually touting its exact benefits* – their entire argument is that language (and humanity) evolve best and most usefully outside of the bounds of rules (and thus outside the bounds of rulers – and since the literal definition of “anarchy” is “without rulers”… 😉 ). Which is where they ultimately come into conflict with Chomsky’s ideas of a universal language and a universal grammar machine. For someone that is decently educated but well outside the specific field at hand (Bachelor of Science in Computer Science), I found this to be a solid examination of the topic in language that I could easily follow- whenever technical discussions within the field were at hand, Christiansen and Chater did a solid job of using their running metaphor of a game of charades to explain the differences and similarities in what they were describing using a system that so many of us know fairly well and can relate to very easily. As I said in the title here, truly a fascinating book, one anyone “of the word” – and thus, any reader, since we are *all* people “of the word” – should read. Very much recommended.

This review of The Language Game by Morten H Christiansen and Nick Chater was originally written on December 1, 2021.

#FallIntoChristmasRomance #BlogTour: A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Roberts

For this #FallIntoChristmasRomance blog tour, we’re looking at a strong amalgamation of A Christmas Carol, The Grinch, and Up – with a romance tacked on + an even stronger romance that “romance” purists will claim is just a love story. For this blog tour, we’re looking at A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Roberts.

A Christmas Carol / The Grinch / Up Mashup. If you go into this book expecting a romance – how it was marketed to me – … ummmm…. yeah, this isn’t really that. The “romance” here is fully tacked on in the last 20% of the book, with the guy barely mentioned at all before that point (and even in the “romance” here, the rest of the plot of the book is still truly the driver). But if you go into this as more of a women’s fiction / Christmas type book, it works quite a bit better. The focus is largely on Stanley, who is an amalgamation of the memorable parts of Scrooge (from A Christmas Carol, including a Christmas Ghost in the form of his dead wife), The Grinch (and his too-small-due-to-pain heart), and Carl from Pixar’s Up (grump old widower who doesn’t really like kids… at first). Then we’re introduced to Lexie and her son Brock, and from that point on Stanley’s life will never be the same again. But the majority of the book really is spent on Stanley, Lexie, and Brock, with the edge to Stanley and his memories of his wife (and interactions with her ghost). Here, it really does work to be a heartwarming tale (or heartworming, for those adverse to stories that get a bit saccharine at times, and in nod to the word I originally wrote there :D) again in line with A Christmas Carol and The Grinch. A fun tale that could have gotten a lot more depressing than it ever did, this is a solid Christmas tale… just not a Christmas Romance. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#FallIntoChristmasRomance #BlogTour: A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Roberts”

#BlogTour: Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a slow burn psychological suspense that could be incredibly difficult for some readers but which ultimately turns out to be a solid tale. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins.

Slow Burn Psychological Suspense. This is one psychological suspense that features a tremendous amount of active gaslighting, so be aware of that up front. The actual conflict here is slow, told in two perspectives in two different time periods – from the nanny’s perspective in the mid-late 1990s, and the child’s perspective as a now-adult circa 2020. In the present, we see the child as a sort of aimless, emo-chic drifter overwhelmed by recent events (personal, not global – the real-world insanities of the era are never mentioned here, thankfully) and the nanny appears to be perfect… at first. In the past, we see how non-perfect the nanny actually is… and discover quite a bit that ratchets up the tension for the reader in the present day scenes. Solid work that fans of the genre will likely enjoy. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social/ web links, and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins”

#BlogTour: Forever Home by Elysia Whisler

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a strong tale of second chances and taking risks… in more ways than one. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Forever Home by Elysia Whisler.

Lots Of Moving Parts And Yet It All Works. This book has a *lot* of moving parts with a primary romance, a secondary romance setup, two different tragic female backstories to encounter and mostly resolve, and a primary mystery and a secondary one to boot. And yet Whisler somehow manages to make all of that work, though the fact that she has 400 or so pages to play with here probably plays into this working as well as it does. The story is well paced – if you don’t mind a very slow burn primary romance. As in, not so slow that there is zero “piano playing” at all, but slow burn enough that this doesn’t actually happen until the last 15% or so of the book. So for the clean/ sweet crowd… eh, *all* of these characters have enough rough edges you’re likely not going to like this one. For those that *like* a bit more edginess… yep, this one is for you, particularly if you’re closer to the clean/ sweet side but like to get brave occasionally. 🙂 Overall a great tale that never overly feels like a “Book 2”, even though it is explicitly noted that this tale is, in fact, a “Book 2”. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Forever Home by Elysia Whisler”

#BlogTour: The Hostage by John Ryder

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a tale that is essentially a retelling of the Biblical story of Job… in a modern action thriller context. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Hostage by John Ryder.

What Would Job Do? For those unfamiliar with the Biblical story of Job, Job was the most honorable man on Earth. One day, God and Satan decided to test Job to see if he would ever turn his back on God, in any situation. And… that is where the tie to this book comes in. Meet Jerome. Jerome is a stand-up guy that generally tries to help people where he can and is known to all – certainly to his superiors at work – as an absolutely honest man. So what is this man going to do when he wakes up to guns pointed at himself and his wife, and his wife kidnapped to ensure his compliance with the scheme of the kidnappers? Well… you’re going to have to read this explosive yet realistic (within reason, this *is* fiction) tale to find out. Very well crafted, this book does a tremendous job of keeping you in the heads of both Jerome and his wife, Alicia, as they try to stay alive long enough to figure a way out of this mess. This is one of those books that will keep you guessing and racing to the end… even as it has a few unconventional elements that might make you think there is no possible way the author can keep the tale going that much longer. He does, and you’ll be glad he does. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the “publisher details” – including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Hostage by John Ryder”

#FallIntoChristmasRomance #BlogTour: The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery

For this blog tour we’re looking at a very Hallmark Christmas type tale that happens to be a two-for-one romance, with *two* couples’ stories told at once. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery.

Two-For-One Christmas Romance. This is one of those Christmas Romance novels that almost seems destined to be made into a Hallmark Christmas movie – you’ve got the quirky town, the various leads that have no interest in an actual relationship, the innkeeper, the local shop owner, the mysterious stranger, and even the unusual-yet-cool career… and *none* of them are actually looking for romance. And yet… Mallery has a lot to cover in nearly 400 pages, and does a solid job of showing the two relationships – one new, one second chance – building throughout. If you’re looking for a book where the couple is already together a quarter into the book… this isn’t that. This is one of those where they finally actually get together closer to the end (which isn’t a spoiler due to genre 😉 ), and it is indeed a satisfying conclusion. It will be interesting to see where Mallery takes Book 2 of this new series, with a couple of interesting possibilities there. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the “publisher details” including book description, author bio, social media links, and links to buy the book.
Continue reading “#FallIntoChristmasRomance #BlogTour: The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery”

Featured New Release Of The Week: Mind Bullet by Jeremy Robinson

This week we’re looking at yet another imaginative scifi romp from The Modern Day Master of Science Fiction. This week we’re looking at Mind Bullet by Jeremy Robinson.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Avengers Level Event 2 Imminent! This book adds yet another compelling – and, by the end, truly powerful – character to the “Robinsonverse” being crafted by The Modern Day Master Of Science Fiction, Jeremy Robinson. We open up with an action packed scene showing off this character’s particular power in an awesome action scene, and we quickly get into an almost Scott Pilgrim vs The World vibe with a wide range of bad guys coming after our hero. We also get the clearest indications yet that the “Avengers Level Event 2” second crossover novel within the Robinsonverse is imminent, as certain characters appear near the 2/3 mark of the tale rather than just in the epilogue as is more normal in a Robinson book. And yes, we *also* get *another* cameo in the “after credits scene” epilogue. Truly an awesome scifi action tale, one with quite a bit of hilarity and a surprising amount of heart… and a surprising amount of F-bombs for an author not generally known for dropping them so casually. Very much recommended.

Update: After I wrote this review, Robinson officially announced his plans for what I call “Avengers Level Event 2”.