Monday, January 25, 2016

Lauren Reads- Ashes by Sophie H. Morgan

 I had the pleasure of reading Sophie H. Morgan's book Ashes and just had to share my thoughts!! For all you paranormal romance and fantasy romance fans, definitely check this book out!!



Book Description:

Secrets can burn.
The Divided Kingdom, Book 1
Reared from birth to rule the Phoenix territory, Ana fled her future and her past when her parents were murdered. Now she secretly leads a rebellion to stop the human ruler, Edward, from experimenting on supernaturals.
When she finds herself cornered by an assassin, she knows just what to do: Roast him and toast him. Then recognition sends blue-tipped flames licking through her veins. It’s Cade, the royal bodyguard who once rejected her youthful confession of love.
When Cade regains consciousness from the force of Ana’s punch, he’s still reeling from shock—and fury. He’d loved the princess, and for ten years he thought her dead. Though his inner jackal growls with desire for her, she is the key to completing his mission for Edward—hunt down the rebel known as Liberty.
Ana can’t believe Cade doesn’t know the truth about Edward. If she can convince him of it, his blade could turn the tide of the rebellion. But first they must get beyond their past, or the whole kingdom could go up in smoke.
Warning: Contains incendiary sex between a phoenix princess with a secret identity, and a jackal shifter who can take a lot of heat. Boys from the “hood”, a king jacked up on enhanced DNA, and killer heels. Anybody got a match?

My Review: 5 Stars!

This was my first book to read of Sophie Morgan and I was delighted by the reading experience!
First off, while it's a paranormal romance, it's also got a lot of wonderfully developed fantasy aspects to it. The world building is intense and well done and it fully immersed me as I read along. I don't always like a super complicated world developing because most authors can't pull it off and they lose me because they lose focus on the characters which is why I read books to begin with. That being said, Morgan doesn't fall prey to this loss of interest. Rather, she uses the world building to enhance her already stunning and amazing characters. Even the secondary characters like Trick the vampire had me desperate for the stories of the upcoming books.
But i digress. I loved reading about Ana, the phoenix. I LOVED that the heroine was a feisty, fiery phoenix. :) And her sexy hero is Cade a shifter. I loved the chemistry between them and how it sizzled and then burst into flames just like a phoenix! This is a must read for all paranormal and fantasy romance fans!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cover Reveal For Jenna Jaxon!

I'm happy to be sharing Jenna Jaxon's cover reveal for her latest book Time Enough To Love!!





TIME ENOUGH TO LOVE
Blurb for Time Enough to Love

When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend. 
From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.
As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

TIME ENOUGH TO LOVE EXCERPT 1
“Lady Alyse de Courcy!” King Edward called out again, bringing Alyse’s head up like a startled deer. “Present yourself before the court.”
Alyse shot off her seat. Oh, Lord! She had kept King Edward waiting.
“I beg pardon, sire.” She hurried from behind the table, too aware of all the eyes now on her. As she moved to stand before the king, the low drone of many voices rose around the room.
“Impudent girl.”
“I’d not want to be in her place.”
“Do you think the king will…”
Each snatch of conversation made her heart beat faster.
What will he do to me?
Her normal embarrassment at being the center of attention tripled at the thought of this blatant lapse of protocol. She stopped several feet from the dais and the room hushed as though everyone held their breath.
“What do you require of me, Majesty?” Her mouth so dry she could taste sand, Alyse fought to speak in a normal tone. With a sigh of relief, she dropped into a deep curtsy, hiding her face in the folds of her skirt. If only she could remain bowed thus before His Majesty for the remainder of the evening.
King Edward laughed. “Obedience, Lady Alyse, as I require of all my subjects. As your father requires of his daughter.”
Her heart thumped wildly in her breast. That could mean but one thing.
“Rise, my lady.”
She did so on unsteady feet. “I am ready, as always, Your Majesty, to obey my father as I would you.”
Holy Mary, let it be Lord Braeton.
King Edward lifted an eyebrow toward Alyse. “A very pretty answer, my lady. And are you ready to accept your father’s decree for your betrothal? His messenger has today reached me with the contract, as I am to stand in his stead in this matter.”
Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father.”
King Edward nodded and leaned over to whisper something to Queen Phillipa, who sat beside him, heavy with their twelfth child.
Mere seconds before she learned her fate. She could scarce affect an indifferent pose before the court when inside every inch of her quivered with anticipation of the name. His name, pray God, on the king’s lips.
Thomas.
In her mind, she heard the word.
The king straightened, glanced at her then at the man by her side.
“What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife and a dutiful one as well.”
Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.
Not Lord Braeton.
Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford.
God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not



AUTHOR INFORMATION

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Find Jenna Jaxon online:






Saturday, December 5, 2015

12 Days of Giving Blog Hop with Prizes Galore!

Hi Readers!!

I'm happy to be participating in a holiday blog hop with several other fabulous authors! Be sure to check the details of this post for yesterdays' link and tomorrow's link and be sure to enter the giveaway below! Here's what prizes we're offering!



Grand Prizes

1 Kindle Fire 7"
1 $50 Amazon Gift Card
5 $5 Amazon Gift Card
My Prize
1 Signed copy of Wicked Designs the first book in my steamy historical romance series The League of Rogues!

To Enter the Giveaway enter here:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5b5635ce55/
 Want to check out the other authors on the hop? See the post schedule below!



12/1/2015    Lia Davishttp://authorliadavis.com/blog
12/2/2015   Kerry Adriennehttp://kerryadrienne.com/blog/
12/3/2015   Amy Gregoryhttp://www.amygregoryauthor.com/
12/4/2015   Merryn Dexterhttp://www.makingmerryn.blogspot.com
12/5/2015   Lauren Smithhttp://theleagueofrogues.blogspot.com/
12/6/2015   Jessie Lanehttp://jessielanebooks.com/blog/
12/7/2015   Emmy Curtishttp://emmycurtis.com/blog-2/
12/8/2015   Virginia Cavanaughhttp://virginiacavanaugh.wordpress.com
12/9/2015   Louisa Baciohttp://louisabacio.blogspot.com
12/10/2015   Sheri Lynhttps://www.facebook.com/Sheri-Lyn-Author-1404626999860565/
12/11/2015  TL Reevehttp://www.tlreeves.com
12/12/2015  Alyssa Richarshttp://www.alyssarichards.com/paranormal-romance-blog/



Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Love & Vengenace

My friend Gina Danna has just released a new book!!

If you love steamy gladiator romances, this is a must have!



Blurb:
Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.
Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.
But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?

Want to get your copy! 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengenace-Gladiators-Gina-Danna-ebook/dp/B017UNF21G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Amazon paperback:  http://amzn.to/1Y4BzhU

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lauren Listens - Contest and Audiobook Review of Bella Andre's Love Me

Hi
Guys!!

I'm happy to be doing another audiobook review this week and a contest! Keep reading for details.

Last week's winner is Pompie1999. Please email me at ldsmith1818@gmail.com to collect you prize of an audiobook from me.

Now last week I had fun talking about Laura Kaye's book Hearts in Darkness.

Today I'm talking about Bella Andre's Love Me.


 Narrated by Eva Kaminsky.

What's it about?


In the long awaited sequel to Take Me by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre, if there's one thing that Janica Ellis is absolutely certain of, it's that she and Luke Carson are totally wrong for each other. She's a wild, artistic, and outspoken fashion designer. He's a type-A, workaholic trauma surgeon. But Janica is about to be proven wrong when opposites attract...in the sexiest possible way.
After a life-changing night in the ER, Luke is desperate for escape and relief from his personal demons. For five years he has fought his attraction to Janica, but when he's pushed too far, he can't fight it another second. He needs her. Desperately. He's spent his whole life doing the right thing. For one night, he's going to follow desire instead, straight into Janica's arms.
Janica can't believe Luke is finally at her front door...and that he's kissing her as though he's been waiting his whole life to touch her. But even as their sensual connection deepens with every touch of skin on skin and the man she always thought was such a good boy turns out to be sinfully, toe-curlingly bad between the sheets Janica soon realizes she wants more than Luke's body. She wants his heart too. But what will Luke do when one night of extreme passion turns into an all-or-nothing proposition?

My ThoughtsLove Me is a sequel to Bella Andre's fantastic book Take Me.  Take Me and Love Me involve a set of two sisters an a set of twin brothers.  The first book Take Me is about the eldest sister, the plump and heartwarming Lily who falls for the  "bad boy" of the twin brothers named Travis.

Love Me takes place five years after the happily ever after takes place in Take Me. Now Lily and Travis are married with two darling children. And Travis's straight-laced brother named Luke is falling for the tiny, fiery little sister of Lily named Danica.

What did I love about this book? Well for starters we get two great contrasted couples. Danica and Lily are nothing alike, just as Luke and Travis are nothing alike. Danica is a force of nature (as a fashion designer) and she sweeps Luke away from the start. All four characters have a strong backstory where they knew each other as young children and grew up together. All of them suffered a great tragedy of losing parents and it all affected them differently. I love how Bella Andre evokes such wonderful, deep emotions regarding these losses and how each of the heroes and heroines in both books move forward.

So, back to the story and what I loved. Luke is suffering in his job as an ER doctor and the stress gets too much for him. When he has to go on leave from the hospital, he goes straight to Janica and they end up sleeping together that night. One of the things that shocked me (but not in a bad way), was that Janica flat out tells Luke she loves him that night. Normally in a romance, the love declarations come towards the end. I actually liked this twist, the upfront declaration and Luke struggling to accept that he has loved her back for years. The emotional battle between Luke and Janica is heartfelt, realistic and sexy. BOY HOWDY is it sexy!!!! Sometimes books feel too forced, but not this one. Andre hits another home run for me!

The book isn't that long, only a little under five hours, but the narrator Eva does a lovely job of bringing the love story together.

Want to get a copy?  Check out Love Me right here:
http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Love-Me-Audiobook/B00GB66TXO/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1440208847&sr=1-2

Contest:  
This week I'm offering one lucky random commenter on this post their choice of one of my books autographed. All you have to do is answer this question:

What's your favorite recent audiobook listen or if you aren't an audio listener, what is your favorite recent book you've read that you would like try out as an audiobook and why?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lauren Listens - Contest and Audiobook Review of Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Hey Guys!!


I'm starting a new trend this week. It's called Lauren Listens. Here I'm going to be talking about my thoughts on a current audiobook I've been listening to this week. I'll be hosting little contests hopefully on each post so check the bottom to find out how to enter this week's CONTEST!

A lot of you guys are curious as to what I read and what I recommend, and since I send most of my days during the week driving, audiobooks are the way I'm getting my reading done.



Now the good news is that say you're not an audiophile like me, these books will all be available either in print or ebook so if something sounds good, don't let the audio aspect scare you off from trying a new author.

Let me preface this new series with my thoughts on audiobooks in general. I am not an auditory learner. I'm straight up visual. So how did I get into listening rather than reading when it comes to books? It was really by necessity more than anything. I travel upwards of 35 hours in the car every week and at night when I get home from lawyer, I'm looking for those few precious hours before bed to work on my novels. So I thought I'd give audiobooks a try.

I went in expecting to fall asleep, or get distracted by them, and not remember anything that happens. But it was just opposite!! Color me surprised when I realized that by learning to listen to audiobooks, I actually got much better at listening in general. This was great because as an attorney during the day, I have to argue in court and hearing and remembering what the judge and opposing counsel says is REALLY important. So diving in to the world of audiobooks was actually fantastic for both my jobs!

Another cool thing about audiobooks? In some ways you don't have to work as hard at reading. You know those nights when you're exhausted and you can't stare at a page? Well I figured out I could just put my cell phone with the Audible app playing by my pillow and just listen. Also, if you have chores or cleaning around the house like I do, it seems to make them go so much faster when you've got a good book on tap!

Now, on to my review of my first book in the Lauren Listens series.

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella



First off, I love this cover!!! How stunning is that? Sexy, edgy, gritty. YUM! If you've never read a Laura Kaye book I REALLY recommend her stuff. What I like is that her books are off the charts sexy, but still feel really realistic and emotional too. That's the way I like romance. A book has to answer two questions: 1) Does it get me hot under the collar and 2) Do I feel like it seems like this could happen somewhere in the world? Now let me clarify, I don't mean when I'm reading a book that it has to be 100% possible. That's not what I mean. I'm not a reader who will criticize a writer and say "a nerd girl and a hot billionaire stranded on an island? Not possible- therefore bad book." That's not at all what I mean. What I'm saying is, if I read the book and the author does such a good job of developing the characters and the situation and the emotions and conflicts that it feels truly real to me? Then we have a jackpot.



So on to Hearts in Darkness...

Blurb:
Two strangers...
Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.
Four hours...
Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator...
To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

My thoughts:
I really liked the narrator. Erin Jones did a fantastic job bringing both sides of the story, Caden and Makenna to life. :)
As for the story it self. It was superb! I loved the concept of the story, two strangers stuck on an elevator in the darkness? All the girl gets is a glimpse of a tattoo before the doors shut? Sexy, exciting, and a little scary! But the best part was when you start to listen, you don't get scared. The hero Caden is so likeable, yet he has that brooding, tragic back story without being cliché, that just melts your heart. I wanted to hug him and sleep with him. He was that good. And Makenna provides a great foil of a female character against Caden. She's just as strong but brings different emotional issues to the table. As they bonded in the elevator I found myself hoping they wouldn't have to get rescued...at least for a bit longer.

My conclusion: It was in turns sweet, sexy, seductive, exciting, and just a perfect way to get introduced into Laura Kaye's writing world. I'll be listening to more of hers for sure!

Want a copy of Laura Kaye's Hearts in Darkness audio? Here's the link to where you can get your own!

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Hearts-in-Darkness-Audiobook/B00GSX69L2/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1439579376&sr=1-1#publisher-summary


**Contest** 1 Randomly selected commenter will win their choice of an audiobook from my current selection of available audiobooks. To enter, please answer below and be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win!! Winner will be announced next Friday publically on the next Lauren Listens post but will be contacted privately as well!

What do you think about Audiobooks? If you've never tried one, would you give it a shot? For those of you who are avid listeners what's your most recent book you've enjoyed listening to?