A David Gandy side note…

ImageIf you love all things David Gandy (ahem) you may be interested in purchasing the March edition of GQ Tawain online via eBay.  The link went live today and you may want to act fast – I’m guessing this gem won’t be around long.  Shot by the always fabulous Chiun-Kai Shih (@MrChunkyExpress on Twitter) the previews of this issue have been absolutely drool-worthy.

So, friends, find an extra $19.99 and go buy yourself some good ‘ol Gandy Candy today.  Click HERE to visit the site.

 

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Break In Two ~ a review

Break In TwoHang on tight readers, this book will take you through every emotion you’ve got at your disposal. 

We first meet Claire as she is packing her things to run far, far away from her cheating realtor boyfriend.  *Anger!*

She’s packed up her car and has decided to leave rainy Seattle to take a job as a Chef at a ranch in Colorado.  Yes, a ranch with cowboys.  YeeHaw! *Excitement!*

Summers does a great job of keeping the reader engaged at the beginning of this book while utilizing minimal dialog.  We learn about Claire – “She went from crying to being terrified to feeling excited at least twice an hour”, her cheating ex, Antonio, and her lovely London living sister.  Eventually, Claire arrives in Colorado taking in the beauty of the scenery as well as her beautiful boss, Cole.  *Intrigue!*

Much to my delight, Cole is one of the good guys.  He and Claire instantly have a sweet connection and we fortunate enough to get to hear about it from both their perspectives.  Soon enough (much to my delight once again) that sweet connection gains quite a bit of heat.  We see Cole and Claire’s relationship progress at a fast clip, and I think you’ll find yourself falling right along with the characters.  *Love!*

Just when I started to think “Well, this has been a great love story!  Simple, sweet, and tied up with a pretty bow” Summers takes that perfect love story and breaks it right in two. *Sadness!*

Honest to goodness, I was on the verge of the ugly cry as I moved through the second part of this book.  She tells the story with such real emotion that each event feels like it’s actually happening to you. *Despair!*

As much as I’d like to give you insight into the second part of the book – I don’t want to spoil or ruin it for you.  Just know this – never in my life have I felt such a connection to a character as I did with Claire.  Not only do we get to see her grow emotionally through the story, we get to see her battle back from the depths of sorrow and grief.  Also of note – one of the characters we meet in the second half will have their own book soon!!! *Anticipation!*

If you loved the sweet heat of Katy Regnery’s Playing For Love at Deep Haven, you’ll love this book too.  The sex scenes are spicy and sensual, the characters become a part of you and the language is right up my alley with lots of swearing.

Learn more about MJ Summers on her website and her twitter feed.

Oh, one more thing….

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the one and only David James Gandy who turns a dashing 34 years of age today.  Not only is he hot as hell, he is a true gentleman, charitable, an incredibly talented writer AND takes time to talk to his adoring fans each and everyday on his Facebook page.  What a guy!!! 

There are literally HUNDREDS of photos I could share with you here ~ but I’ll share my all time favorite shot of him.  When you have some free time today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that) simply throw his name in Google and prepare to SWOOOOON.

~Cheers~

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Beautiful Bastard ~ a review

ImageWOW.  Just…WOW.

I was honestly left speechless after this incredible read.  This book is, quite frankly, the hottest damn thing I’ve ever laid my hands on (well…that may not be technically true).  It is, however, the hottest book I’ve ever read.

Within the first two chapters I found the authors (yes, two) on Twitter and alerted them that they had me both blushing and laughing out loud.  It’s true, this book will leave you breathless for more reason than one.  Between the hilarious inner-dialog and the amazingly hot sex scenes this book is one of a kind.

Quite possibly my absolute favorite part of this book is the fact we get to hear the story from BOTH points of view.  Not only do we hear from the amazingly strong and stubborn Chloe Mills, we also hear from the Beautiful Bastard himself, Bennett Ryan (swoon alert!)

Mr. Ryan has his fair share of hilarious thoughts throughout the entire book – for instance – “One of my recurring fantasies was taking all of those damned pins out of her hair before I grabbed a handful and **cked her.  God, she pissed me off.”  Bennett is devilishly handsome, absolutely infuriating and a whole lotta sex on wheels.

While the book takes a familiar track, the witty dialog, POV shifts and the moments of panty-ripping make it totally worth the read.  And be warned – I read this book in under 24 hours.  Once you start it’s next to impossible to stop.  I cannot wait to read the next book in the “Beautiful” series.

Find out more about Christina Lauren on their website and on their Twitter feeds: @seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren.

Coffee with Katy – Part 2

ImageIt’s snowing here today.  Again.  What better way to get the morning going than with a nice cup of coffee and the always fabulous Katy Regnery.  If you’re new to this blog – WELCOME! – take a moment to read the first installment of “Coffee With Katy” down the page a bit.

This morning, Katy talks to us about her inspiration for “Playing for Love at Deep Haven” which is a wonderful read.  My full review of that book was/is the driving force behind this blog, so also take a moment to read that in its entirety (also down the page a bit).

Question #2:  What was your inspiration for this novel?

Okay…this is a weird answer, but I didn’t actually have an inspiration for this book. The goal was always to write Cora Aubrey’s story…let me back up.

On a vacation last summer to the 1000 Islands in upstate New York, we visited Boldt Castle and I thought it would be a marvelous place to set a romance. I remember walking around the castle, and the idea for my Enchanted Places series came to me – stories told against the backdrop of a gorgeous museum, home, estate or cottage. The idea for Restoring Love at Bolton Castle, Enchanted Places – Book Two, pretty much entered my head fully formed that July. I could hear Cora’s voice in my head, see her with James. But for whatever reason, when push came to shove, I wasn’t ready to sit down and write her story…I guess I wanted to get to know her a little better first because she’s pretty complex.

So, I started thinking about her background and childhood and created the character of her twin brother, Zach. From that mental exercise, Zach Aubrey started coming into focus and I decided to write his story first. A couple of months later, in September, my husband and I spent a day at Yale University  and that visit solidified the location in my head. Then it was just a matter of writing Playing for Love at Deep Haven first.

The Weight of Words ~ a review

ImageThis book came as a recommendation from Sylvain Reynard via his Twitter feed.  If you are not following him, take a moment right now and go do so.  It’s OK, I’ll wait…

Followed?  Good work.  Let’s continue.

As I was saying, this book was recommended via Reynard and I immediately went to download.  After falling head over heels in love with his writing, I figured he knew better than anyone what book I would like next.

This sexually charged first installment from  Guthrie follows the lives of the impossibly charming Aubrey (whose inner dialog made me laugh out loud at times) and the difficult Daniel Grant.  We find the pair in a similar predicament as Professor Gabriel Emmerson and the lovely Julianne Mitchell in Reynard’s books.  Aubrey is an undergrad taking literature classes and working as an assistant to Dean Grant (yep, same Grant) and Daniel is a TA in (you guessed it) Aubrey’s Studies in Shakespeare class.

We first meet Daniel in a heated discussion with his father, leaving in a flurry of activity.  The first time Aubrey lays eyes on his eyes – she’s done.  Those “glorious blue eyes” as she puts it, will be the bane of her existence for the remainder of the book.  We learn very little about Daniel through the first quarter of the book, until Aubrey is invited to dinner at the Grant home.  She accepts, knowing the ever-aggravating Daniel will not be in attendance…or so she thinks.

He turns up at dinner (much to my delight) and a wonderful pool table scene ensues – it gets the pulse racing and the rest (as they say) is history.  The book barrels full speed ahead from that point on- filled with stolen moments, text messages, love notes and a constant mental tug of war between what’s “acceptable” and what’s “wanted”.   Guthrie does an amazing job of keeping you engaged, and shall we say…excited…while managing to keep the book acceptable for ALL types of adult audiences.

One of the great moments in this book is Chapter 24 where the POV (point of view) changes from Aubrey’s to Daniel’s.  Very, very rarely in books such as these do we get a first person account from the man’s perspective – and it’s fantastic.  We get to hear directly from Daniel for four chapters – four very important chapters I may add – before ending the book with Aubrey’s perspective.   The final chapter of this book will leave you breathless and absolutely wanting more…which we will get this summer according to Guthrie on Twitter {happy dance commences}.

I’m anxiously awaiting the next two books in this series and I’m so thankful that I was able to find this gem.  If you loved the Gabriel series this book is right up your alley.  This is also a great book for anyone who may be new to the romance genre and doesn’t want to dive in head first with FSOG or Crossfire but rather wade into the shallow end and get comfortable with the temperature.

Why I’m obsessed with a Professor and a Rabbit

ImageIn honor of Valentine’s Day I feel it necessary to review what I consider the most romantic of love stories ~ the Gabriel series by Sylvain Reynard.

Gabriel’s Inferno

I came across Gabriel, Julianne and their writer Sylvain Reynard after I’d heard such a crazy amount of talk on Twitter about the release of Gabriel’s Redemption – the final installment of the trilogy.  I figured since book three was on its way, I should probably catch up.  And I did.  In like 3 days.  I’m serious people – once you start this series you best clear your calendar because you will need every waking, breathing minute to read. 

As I began reading this novel, I quickly learned there’s nothing light about it. Along with the beautiful character development and the intellectual story line, there is a story of love, loss, and burning forbidden passion.  Reynard is quite simply, magic.  I can’t tell you the number of times I stopped reading to find him on twitter and comment about a specific scene or line.  He’s just brilliant.

Being the first book in the trilogy, we get quite a bit of insight into Julianne Mitchell – a meek and mild mannered girl who lost her heart to an older man years ago.  We also meet and begin a love/hate relationship with Professor Gabriel Emmerson (think David Gandy ladies…) who is described as “an ass” by one intriguing character that cares deeply for Julianne. 

The journey Gabriel and Julianne embark on in this book is one of the greatest story lines I’ve ever read.  Not since FSOG have I been captured and held by a series this quickly.  Reynard has a way with words that I’ve rarely encountered and although I wanted to tear through the book to learn more about Professor Emmerson and Miss Mitchell, I didn’t want this book to end.

If you loved Fifty Shades and the Crossfire series – this is a MUST READ for you.

*Side note – after reading this series I was alerted there is another main character I missed!  The Snarky Narrator is found throughout all three books (look for him in parenthesis).  Now that you know about him, you’ll find yourself giggling at his comments throughout the books.

Gabriel’s Rapture

This is the second book in the Gabriel trilogy and boy is it a doozie.  If you’re lucky enough to have found Professor Gabriel Emmerson on Twitter after reading Gabriel’s Inferno he’ll be quick to remind you not to hate him as you read this book.  *If you don’t follow him, go now, he’s a gem*

I could never, ever hate the Professor and this book demonstrates why.  Gabriel does things in this book that will make your heart hurt, your head spin and leave you absolutely breathless.  But, the great part about Reynard’s writing is SO WILL Julianne!  I found myself alternating between feeling badly for both of them in some points, to absolutely furious with BOTH of them in others. 

I’ve heard many readers (via Twitter) say this is their favorite book of the series and it’s easy to understand why.  It’s a very turbulent, emotional, and gut-wrenching ride on one hand and an incredibly sweet, caring and loving one on the other. 

We begin to learn so much more about Gabriel, Julianne, Paul and their families in this book.  In addition, we are introduced to another set of characters which add a wonderful dynamic throughout this book and into book three.

Gabriel’s Redemption

I’ve read my fair share of trilogies and love stories, heck I read FSOG three times and the Crossfire series twice.  I used to think no other trilogy could stack up – I was right.  This trilogy (in my mind) blows them both completely out of the water.

With no offense to Sylvia Day or E.L. James, I believe this trilogy is the best on the market today.  And trust me when I tell you I never thought I would say that after falling for both Christian and Gideon respectfully.  There’s something about the intellectual aspect of these books that completely captured my heart and mind.  For weeks after reading them I still find myself daydreaming and thinking of the story and the characters – thanks in no small part to having Gabriel, Julianne and Reynard on Twitter.

Gabriel’s Redemption is exactly what it says – a love story about redemption and what it takes to get there both for yourself and for your partner.  We often see ourselves in a different light than others do- some bad, some good.  The incredible thing about Professor Gabriel (who Reynard has so brilliantly brought to life through these books) is that despite how caring, honest, loving and accepting he is of Julianne…he doesn’t understand why he is deserving of her love.

It’s difficult to give a good review of this book without spoiling the plot line but I think if you’ve trampled your way through the first two books as quickly as I did, there’s nothing stopping you from Redemption.  

EYE CANDY ALERT!!!

Because, really, who makes a better Professor Emmerson than David Gandy?!?!

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~Cheers & Happy Valentine’s Day~