Friday, August 28, 2015

Blog tour: Falling For The P.I. by Victoria James


FALLING FOR THE P.I.
Still Harbor #1
Victoria James
Releasing Aug 10th, 2015
Entangled: Bliss



Teacher Kate Abbott's fresh start in Still Harbor was the beginning of the life that she and her two best friends always imagined for themselves. Still, being a working single parent of a special needs daughter hasn't exactly improved Kate's love life. But Kate's preference for nachos over men quickly disappears when she meets the oh-so-sexy Matt Lane.

Until she finds out he's a cop.

Matt is a former cop-turned-private investigator, and he knows fear when he sees it. A cop clearly spooked Kate…or hurt her. Still, something about the gorgeous professor catches his attention, and despite his “no settling down” policy, he can't resist her. But all of the attraction in the world won't be enough to overcome Kate's past…







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Matt’s mind was spinning. What the hell had he gotten himself into? Kate was a mother. Well, one date wasn’t going to hurt him. He could sign up for the donation and then never see her again. He paused before getting into the SUV and pretended to glance down at his phone. He hadn’t made any commitments. It was a working date, nothing more.

He opened the door for her and he could read the surprise on her face when he did. “Uh, thanks,” she said, but then paused, not stepping into his SUV. Instead, she turned to look at him, crossing her arms in front of her.

“I just want to be clear,” she began softly. “I’m not looking for anything other than a donation. I can tell you’re surprised that I have a daughter.” Her head was tilted back so that she could look at him squarely in the eye.

He cleared his throat. “So only one is yours?”

Kate surprised him by smiling, and he found himself smiling in return, then looking at her mouth. She was not what he’d expected, and his attraction to her was only increasing instead of diminishing. That should have sent off some warning bells.

“Yes. The little girl with glasses, Janie, is my daughter. She has Down’s syndrome. I adopted her. There is no father, no husband, no anyone,” she said softly, but in a voice that was filled with conviction, slightly defensive.

He stared at her, speechless, impressed. She made him think of all the good women in his life, the ones who had sacrificed and loved him. She made him think all the naïve thoughts he’d once had about people when he was little, before he learned how horrible they could really be. Her expression reminded him of himself when he’d defiantly look up to his father, hoping for acceptance, but bracing himself for the worst.

He swallowed, hard. “Why didn’t you introduce me to your daughter?”

Her eyes narrowed. “I read the expression on your face. I saw the shock and I have no intention of introducing my daughter to someone who won’t be around tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten used to it. I also know that I’ve had to choose my…friends wisely. I don’t put up with crap from people, so if you want to donate, it will be greatly appreciated. If you were after something else and now want out, that’s fine too. Just don’t waste my time and don’t bother acting all charming if you’re after a quick screw. I don’t work that way,” she said, backing up abruptly.

Matt grabbed her hand, finding his voice. “Don’t do that, don’t assume I’m like everyone else.” He didn’t know  what the hell he was doing, or what he was promising, but he didn’t want to be that guy she was describing, and he didn’t want to say good-bye to Kate.



A sweet and cute romance with a bit of angst to keep you holding your breath until you reach a beautiful happy ending. 

Falling For The P.I. is a clean romance (yay!) about two people who aren’t looking for love but have a bad case of insta-love for each other the first time they meet.

Kate had a troubled past, one that left her longing for a quiet life, away from cops and men in general. The sole recipient of her love is her adorable daughter Janie, a six-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome she adopted and is raising as a single mother together with her two best friends, whom she considers her sisters – and who also adopted two little girls of their own.

Matt is a former cop turned private investigator after being badly injured while at work. His marriage imploded after the accident and when his wife cheated on him and walked out of his life, she took away with him every bit of trust he had in him.

When Matt and Kate meet in a bar, the last thing either of them wants is to think of a future together. Matt isn’t planning on committing any time soon, after his first attempt went south, and Kate doesn’t need a man in her life right now.

The attraction they feel for each other is immediate and strong, but once Kate discover Matt is a cop, or actually was, she runs away and doesn’t want to ever have anything to do with him. Too bad fate doesn’t agree with her decision.

What follows after their first encounter is a beautiful tale of learning to trust and love, to open up and share the darkest secrets with the person you love. It’s a story filled with heart-warming family moments, with tear-jerking scenes involving adorable little Janie and Matt, and a bit of humor, too.

Both the hero and the heroine had a tough childhood and adolescence, and they both had to toughen up and grow up faster than their friends. With this major hard experience in common, they both pull down their walls a little, just enough to let the other peep in. It will take a while for the walls to crumble down completely and for them to surrender to love, but every step of the way to their happily-ever-after is full of lovely scenes and a bit of tension toward the end, when Kate’s big secret is just about to be revealed.

Like I said, this is a clean romance, but the chemistry isn’t missing. Even without any sex scenes, you will enjoy every minute and feel the strong attraction the hero and heroine feel for each other.
I would recommend this book to fans of clean romance and sweet stories about making the most of life even after a tough past.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, because the final chapter with Matt’s innuendo to some unpleasant news he had to share with one of Kate’s sisters intrigued me to no end.







Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.

In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.

Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after's for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she's quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

Sign up for Victoria's Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!




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Friday, August 21, 2015

Book review: Tangled Up by Robyn Neeley




Do you believe in soul mates and a little bit of magic? If you do, then go ahead and purchase this book without a second thought: You will not be disappointed, I promise.

When the author contacted me to ask me whether I wanted to review her newest release, I did a double-take. I’ve read three books by this author and she’s become one of my one-click authors—those authors whose books I’d buy without even reading the blurb (read my reviews of Batter Up, Destination Wedding, Holiday Wedding). Needless to say, I was flattered one of my favorite authors contacted me and I immediately said yes.

Best decision I’ve ever made. 

Robyn told me there was no rush and I could take all the time I wanted, but seriously? Telling a bookworm not to rush reading a book she’s been wanting to read would be like telling a dog not to eat a bone in front of its mouth! After two days, my Kindle called to me like a siren to a sailor and since I’m currently off work for the summer holiday, I took advantage of a very lazy day and picked up the book.

And so I lost myself in the beautiful town of Buttermilk Falls again and spent the whole day in a daydream world. And in case you’re wondering: Yes, I read the book in one day. I seriously couldn’t put it down!

Tangled Up is book two in The Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls series, but it works perfectly as a standalone. Although, if you ask me, I highly recommend reading Batter Up first, not because you wouldn’t understand Tangled Up but because Batter Up is a fantastic story and it was one of my 2014 top fave reads.

Anyway, back to Tangled Up: Abby and Brandon’s story—which is just as amazing and Emma and Jason’s (Batter Up). 

These two characters appeared in book one as secondary characters, and I was looking forward to reading their story. In the previous book, during one of the Batter Up nights where Emma (Abby’s cousin) casts her special cake batter spell on a bachelor of Buttermilk Falls and predicts the name of his soul mate, Abby’s name appeared in the batter Emma had mixed for Brandon.
The main problem though is that Brandon is a self-proclaimed eternal bachelor, who got out of a bad divorce and left his life and career in LA to relocate to the small magical town on the East Coast, while Abby, on the other hand, wants to find her true love and, magic batter or not, she knows he can’t be Brandon.

“Brandon Swift isn’t the guy for me. I need to be with someone who isn’t so arrogant and knows how to treat a woman.” She scrunched her nose. “And has more to his wardrobe then plaid flannels.”

What her mind wants is not what her body wants though. 

The book opens with Abby waking up in Brandon’s bed and swearing to herself she will never fall for his charm again. He doesn’t want anything more than some good time between the sheets and she wants more. She wants the whole package: body, heart and soul.

Brandon was not boyfriend material. She knew it. He knew it. Everyone in Buttermilk Falls knew that the latest bachelor in residence was hell-bent on keeping that status. She wanted more, but definitely not with him. She was ready to fall in love and be in a long-term relationship with a man who loved her back.

Since she can’t seem to make her body get the memo, she decides to cast a reverse attraction spell on Brandon. With the help of Emma’s mother’s recipe/spell book, Abby bakes a cupcake that will make Brandon’s attraction to her disappear, so she will finally be able to move on and find herself a decent guy to marry.

What happens when the spell works and she regrets her rush decision? You will have a lot of fun finding out, trust me!

Just like in Batter Up, there are lots of fun-filled town events that will involve the hero and heroine, helping them achieve their happily-ever-after, and this is one of the things I loved the most. The side characters are great, and I enjoyed going back to Buttermilk Falls and being pulled into this quirky small town life. I particularly loved meeting Emma and Jason again, and seeing how things had worked out between them.

The banter between Abby and Brandon is hilarious, and the sweet, romantic moments they share are heart-warming. Both characters have strong personalities but deep down they also have insecurities and fears—faults and obstacles they seem to be able to overcome only when they are together. 

She looked down in horror at her green pajama bottoms with little red apples and wrapped her arms around her matching green night shirt. “What are you doing here?”
“I thought I’d come by and make sure that you’re not having cold feet.” He grinned down at her big, red, fuzzy slippers. “Doesn’t look like there’s a chance of that in those.”
“They’re extremely comfy, thank you very much.”

With the realistic descriptions provided by the author, I could perfectly envision the small bakery, the Lakeside Inn, the starry sky above the lake and all those little things that made me wish the town existed, so I could move there.

I am happy to say that this is a clean romance, and I’m glad the book proved me right, when I say, time and time again, that you don’t need steamy, graphic sex scenes to truly enjoy a story. I loved this book more than I enjoyed others I read which contained lots of unnecessary detailed steamy scenes that annoyed me more than they enticed me.

Even though Abby and Brandon start their “relationship” sharing Brandon’s bed but not their hearts or feelings, there isn’t a single sex scene in the book. They’re all behind locked doors, but there isn’t a single moment you can’t feel the chemistry, the heat and the strong attraction they have for each other. This is one of the most descriptive scenes you’ll find:

“You are very bad for me. I’m going to prove to you, and everyone in Buttermilk Falls, that, for once, my cousin was wrong.”

“Right.” He reached over to his nightstand for a foil before flipping her onto her back and pulling the comforter halfway up. “Care to let me show you how bad I am one last time before this never happens again?”

Abby sighed, running her hands down his rock hard abs. “This is the last time,” she insisted before his lips crushed hers.

This is one thing I love in an author: The ability to make a reader feel the attraction without resorting to graphic sex to convey the feeling. I will be labeled a prude, maybe, but I much rather prefer reading a story based on strong feelings where the characters’ love for each other jumps out from the pages at me, rather than reading how many times they tear each other’s clothes off and what happens afterward. After a while, it gets old, don’t you think?

But love and feelings, well, they never get old. I’ve read many romance novels since I discovered the genre, and when I started out they were all clean romances. They’re the ones that stuck, the ones I still remember and still want to read years after I first read them.

Tangled Up will go on that virtual shelf in my heart, the shelf where I keep my favorite books, those that brought a smile to my face, warmed my heart and made my eyes water a little when I reached the happy ending I’d been longing for. 
Now, I’m looking forward to the next book. Judging by the excerpt, it’s going to be another 5* read for me and I can’t wait!

I highly recommend this book to all fans of sweet romance and to those who believe there is always a little bit of magic in love—whether we are aware of it or not.

Tangled Up releases on September 1st, but you can preorder it now. What are you waiting for?








Monday, August 17, 2015

News updates: changes to the blog

Dear reader,

this post is long overdue but I've finally found the time to sit down and write it. I will not bother you with all the details but I thought it fair to inform the few loyal followers of the blog that as of August there will be a few changes to the blog.

Due to real life getting in the way and my need to dedicate more time to my writing career, I have found it hard to dedicate time to the blog and to deadlines for tours, events and scheduled reviews. What started as a way to share my love for books with other bookworms and make new book fanatic friends was turning out to be a third job (my day job and my author career being the other two). Add to that the need to eat, sleep and be social with family and friends—plus, a terribly hot summer which nearly melted my brain—and I was close to a breakdown. I guess I bit off more than I could chew, which turned everything I enjoyed doing (writing and reading) into an obligation, thus taking away all the fun I usually found in those things. 

Since I don't want to stop writing my books (I can't help writing!) nor I want to stop reading (books are my one escape from reality) and I have to concentrate on finding a new day job on top of it all, I've decided to cut down on the promotional events I'm hosting. From now on, at least until I've caught up and found a way to juggle everything, I will only post reviews of books and a few blog tours I'll be reviewing books for. I will no longer post cover reveals, release events, etc. unless I really really love the author.

There will no longer be daily posts with events and the posts will probably every week or so, depending on how many books I will be able to read. I want to rediscover the pleasure of reading just because—reading with a deadline for blog tours and events was slowly taking the pleasure from the reading experience, since sometimes I didn't have much free time to read and had to do it fast before the deadline. 

All this said, I hope you decide to stick around anyway. Hopefully, in the next few months things will get better and I will be able to dedicate more time to the blog.
Since I won't be posting very often, I suppose this will affect my Facebook page as well—rare posting usually equals not showing up in followers' newsfeeds. Therefore, if you would like to keep in touch and keep reading my reviews, make sure you sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss a post. I promise I won't spam and I will only e-mail when a new review or event is live.

One last thing before I leave you: if you're following on Google+, please note that I will keep the current URL for my author profile, while the blog now has a new page of its own. Check the Google+ gadget on the right and add Roberta's Dreamworld to your circles, so the posts will show up in your Google+ newsfeed whenever they're live. 

Okay, I think I've said it all. Thanks for taking the time to read this looong post and I hope we'll keep in touch. I love sharing my passion for books, so please don't leave me alone! :) 

Happy reading,
Roberta




Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blog tour: A Wish On Gardenia Street by Shelley Shepard Gray


A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET
An Amish Brides of Pinecraft Novella
Shelley Shepard Gray
Released July 28th, 2015
Avon Inspire





Bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray continues her Amish Brides of Pinecraft series with a special addition—a tale of wishing and wanting...and what the heart really needs.

Good things may come to those who wait, but Mattie Miller is confident that great things come to those who go after what they want…and Mattie wants Danny Brenneman. Danny is the reason she's returned to the sunny Amish community of Pinecraft, Florida—well, that and to see her best friend Leona get married.

Mattie's met Danny only once before but she knows the spark between them is sure to lead to something special. Despite a missing cat, wedding day chaos, and Danny himself, she's confident this vacation can only end one way: in an engagement of her very own!







Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.



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Monday, August 3, 2015

Blog tour: The Orchard At The Edge Of Town by Shirlee McCoy


ORCHARD AT THE EDGE OF TOWN
Apple Valley #3
Shirlee McCoy
Releasing July 28th, 2015
Kensington: Zebra




Apple Valley, Washington, is where starting over means surprising new chances, facing trouble always brings a helping hand—and the most unlikely hopes can forever come true…

Apricot Sunshine Devereux-Miller needs to stay lost. Her eccentric aunt's home in Apple Valley is the perfect place to forget her cheating ex-fiancé and get her no-longer-perfect life back under control. Plus, it couldn't hurt to fix up the house and turn its neglected orchard into a thriving business. And if Apricot can keep Deputy Sheriff Simon Baylor's two lively young daughters out of mischief, maybe she can ignore that he’s downright irresistible—and everything she never dreamed she'd find ...

Simon isn't looking to have his heart broken again. He already has his hands full raising his girls. And lately he's thinking way too much about Apricot's take-charge energy and unwitting knack for stirring up trouble. He can't see a single way they could ever be right for each other. Unless they can take a crazy chance on trusting their hearts—and risking the courage to finally find their way home.





Shirlee McCoy spent her childhood making up stories and acting them out with her sister. It wasn’t long before she discovered Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, her mother’s gothic romances . . . and became an ardent fan of romantic suspense. She still enjoys losing herself in a good book. And she still loves making up stories. Shirlee and her husband live in Washington and have five children.

Readers can visit her website at www.shirleemccoy.com.



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She unlocked it and pulled it off the rack, the old 1940s Schwinn as sturdy as any modern bike, its oversized wicker basket roomy enough to carry groceries from the farmers’ market she loved to visit on Saturdays.

Used to love to visit.

Now she planned to spend Saturdays closed away in Rose’s house until she decided what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. The life that she’d planned to spend with Lionel.

She climbed onto the bike, bunching the dress up around her thighs, the strap of the dainty little blue purse Lionel’s mother had loaned her tossed over her shoulder. The key to Rose’s house was inside. Otherwise she might have been tempted to throw the purse into the roadside ditch and leave it there.
If only she could do the same with the past thirty six hours.

Actually, she’d like to do it with the past five years. Toss them into a ditch, let them be covered by dirt and time until the only reminder that they’d ever been there was a tiny little lump of nothing.

Seeing as how she couldn’t do that, she started pedaling, her legs pumping, the poufy skirt shredding as it caught under the wheels and in the spokes of the old bike.

All that money down the drain.

All that time.

All that commitment and trust and faith that things would work out.

Gone!

Just like that.

Hot tears burned behind her eyes, but she’d be darned if she was going to let them fall. Lionel didn’t deserve them. What he deserved was to be forgotten, and that was exactly what Apricot intended to do. She also planned to down a quarter-pound burger and an entire batch of homemade fries. Two things that she hadn’t eaten since Lionel had moved in three years ago. He believed in organic whole foods. Raw.

Apparently he did not believe in fidelity.

“Better to learn that before the vows than after,” she told herself. A magpie screamed a response. Rose would have said it was a sign of trouble. Apricot didn’t believe in signs and portents. She believed in hard work and integrity. She believed in doing her best and in treating people with respect. She believed in keeping the peace and compromising.

“And look where that got you,” she muttered.

This time, the magpie didn’t reply.

She pedaled like mad for ten minutes, then coasted down a small hill, her lungs burning, her ribs chafed from the built-in corset. She couldn’t wait to tear the dress off, toss it in the burn pile, and set a match to it. Couldn’t wait to send her family over to the condo to kick Lionel’s butt out, either.
Although, knowing them, they’d already been there, and he’d already been kicked to the curb.

She still wasn’t going back.

Not for a while.