Posts Tagged Romance
Witch of the Cards by Catherine Stine
5/23 – 5/27
Fiera was born a sea witch with no inkling of her power. And now it might be too late.
Witch of the Cards is historical, supernatural romantic suspense set in 1932 on the Jersey shore. Twenty-two year-old Fiera has recently left the Brooklyn orphanage where she was raised, and works in Manhattan as a nanny. She gets a lucky break when her boss pays for her short vacation in Asbury Park. One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Tarot & Séance, where they attend a card reading.
Fiera has always had an unsettling ability to know things before they happen and sense people’s hidden agendas. She longs to either find out the origin of her powers or else banish them because as is, they make her feel crazy. When, during the reading, her energies somehow bond with Peter Dune’s and form an undeniable ethereal force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events begin to unspool. For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful sea clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever. And though she is falling in love with Peter, he also has a secret side. He’s no card reader, but a private detective working to expose mediums. Despite this terrible betrayal, Fiera must make the choice to save Peter from a tragic Morro Cruise boat fire, or let him perish with his fellow investigators. Told in alternating viewpoints, we hear Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this dark fantasy.
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I enjoyed this witchy novel!
This is an excellent read for fans of H/F and the occult. Setting is detailed expertly, and the tempo progresses with each page nicely. I’m not particularly fond of the hero, but he started to grow on me towards the end. I’m a sucker for the details, anything including witches, and historical fiction. This was my cup of tea.
A fun read!
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
Catherine Stine’s novels span the range from futuristic fantasy to paranormal to contemporary. Her futuristic thriller companion novels Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire are both indie award winners. Her paranormal-horror YA, Dorianna won Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub Awards. Her YA contemporary Heart in a Box is an Amazon Top 100 in Teen.
She also writes new adult fiction as Kitsy Clare (see her separate GR Kitsy Clare page for 18+). Her Art of Love series featuring artist Sienna Karr, includes Model Position and Private Internship.
She suspects her love of dark fantasy came from her father reading Edgar Allen Poe to her when she was a child. Learn more at www.catherinestine.blogspot.com,www.catherinestine.com, and on her Catherine Stine and Kitsy Clare FB author pages.
More Ways to Contact Catherine Stine:
BROUGHT TO BY:
Black Lyon Publishing, LLC
Released: November 1, 2015
A week before Christmas, Jeseca Reed sets off for Blue River, Oregon—her childhood home and a vault of tender memories. However, fate takes an unexpected turn when she’s left stranded in the mountains’ vast, untamed wilderness. Desperate and alone, she seeks shelter at a cottage and finds herself in the arms of a mysterious stranger.
Dr. David Drake was once a renowned cardiovascular surgeon. But a devastating tragedy has left him scarred both inside and out, unable to use his hands to operate again. For the past five years, his Blue River cottage has been his sole escape—a safe haven where he can shut out the world, bury himself in his grief, and reunite with his son’s memory.
Together they are summer and winter. Fire and ice. And yet a poignant connection forms between them. Jeseca awakens David and thaws his heart with a romance hot enough to melt snow. But before David and Jeseca can fully embrace each other, they must wade through darkness and confront the ghosts of their pasts…
Equal parts steamy and heartfelt, A Kindled Winter brings the spirit of the holidays to life with a passionate story of second chances and healing love.
I’d like to apologize to Rachel Demeter for the delay in reviewing this wonderful novel.
I was a lucky enough to receive a copy of this beautiful novel in exchange for an honest review.
Simply, a wonderful story that’s hard to put down! The focus stays on the couple, with no interruption, and flows quite smoothly. Sensual scenes are naughty and divinely descriptive, but tasteful. There was a point in the story in which I wanted to put this down because it tore me apart, but I just couldn’t stop reading. Jeseca and David were well written, and easily acceptable as every-day people. Their struggle resonated with me, and the emotional impact was powerful.
Demeter has the unique gift of making the emotion stand out, and has delivered another sweet romance born from the ashes of tragedy. I’ve yet to walk away unaffected by her writing.
**Mature readers due to adult situations, death, and sex.**
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.
Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.
Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.
Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
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Book Title: Sweet Bea
Author: Sarah Hegger
Genre: Historical Romance (Medieval)
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
In a family of remarkable people, ordinary Beatrice strives to prove herself worthy. When her family is threatened with losing everything, she rushes to London to save them. Unfortunately, she chooses as her savior the very man who will see her family brought low.
Garrett has sworn vengeance on Sir Arthur of Anglesea for destroying his life when he was a boy and forcing his mother into prostitution for them to survive. He has chosen as his instrument Sir Arthur’s youngest daughter, Beatrice.
Can Beatrice’s goodness teach Garrett that love, not vengeance, is the greatest reward of all?
Time to be wooed. Wooed with honeyed words and sweeter touches. Delightful tingles spread to Beatrice’s fingertips, rushed back again, and pooled in her stomach.
Spring filled the air with scents of new grass and wildflowers. The sun beamed from a cloudless arc of blue above her. Birdsong serenaded her, as cornflowers merrily bobbed beside the path. Even the insects buzzed encouragement. Only one thing was missing.
She dare not tarry much longer. Someone from the keep would soon come looking for her. Beatrice shifted her basket to the other arm and investigated a patch of what might be vervain. From the keep, anyone would see her picking wildflowers. Just as she intended.
A footpath disappeared between the dense green beech thickets. It crossed a small stream before meandering through the trees and down to the village below. Was he still down in the village? She tried to picture what he’d be doing. Working at the forge, perhaps?
She gave up on the plant and straightened. She wouldn’t know vervain from, well, anything. Opposite the village, a path shot straight as an arrow through the meadow toward the castle. For certain, Garrett wouldn’t come from that direction. Perhaps he wasn’t coming at all. He’d made her no promises. There was no understanding between them. But, she dearly hoped all the same.
Hoping, however, didn’t make him appear.
The sun blazed down harsh on her face and she’d freckle.
“Wish, wish, planted a feather and wished a bird would grow.” Nurse’s voice
sang in her head. It was nonsense, pure and simple. Nonsense, like lingering alone on a path, pretending to pick wildflowers, whilst waiting for a man she barely knew to appear. A man with dark and mysterious eyes that whispered of secret places and forbidden pleasures. She was a goose. When she pictured the scene in her mind, it went thus. A beautiful maiden, garbed in her finest blue samite, engrossed in the gentle occupation of picking flowers by the roadside. The sun gleamed off her flaxen hair and brought roses to her alabaster cheek. Her slender form, bent like a reed to her feminine labors…
Roses be damned, she was sweating beneath her silk. It would leave stains on the fabric. She’d never hear the end of it from Nurse.
A soft whistle jolted her.
Her heart leapt.
There he stood, by the thicket.
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.
She currently lives in Salt Lake City with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
Sarah is the recipient of the 2015 EPIC Award for Historical Romance.
Title: Skin Deep
Author: Pamela Sparkman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2015
Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen with Okay Creations
She hates me.
I’m in love with her.
Her life is a masquerade.
Mine is cloaked in secrets.
She thinks I can’t see her.
But she’s the only thing I can see.
he thinks we have nothing in common.
We have everything in common.
And I’m done being patient.
You think you know us.
The things you know about us are only Skin Deep.
*Warning – This book contains instances of self harm in the form of an eating disorder and may be a trigger to some readers.*
Beth had been good at pretending to be this happy carefree girl – bubbly and energetic. Looking at her now, I saw a girl who was anything but carefree. She obviously had demons that haunted her, and I knew from experience that fighting certain demons can be almost impossible.
I listened through the door, making sure Lily had gone. “This isn’t over. Me keeping your secret from Lily is not a sign I’m letting this go. It’s a sign that I’m going to be a thorn in your side until you let me help you.”
Beth prickled at my comment and unfurled herself from the protective ball she had curled into. “I don’t need your help!”
“Yes, you do.” I took another step towards her. Beth took a step back. “And the way I see it, you don’t have much of a choice.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Do you want Lily to know what you’ve been doing?”
Beth’s eyes pooled with unshed tears. She looked hurt by my words. “Please don’t tell Lily,” she pleaded in a whisper.
“I’ll tell her everything unless you let me help you.” The look of fear and disbelief on Beth’s face made me feel like a total jackass.
Her expression changed again. She glowered at me like she wanted to set me on fire. “I hate you so much right now.”
Her words, she meant them. And hearing her tell me she hated me… it hurt, because somewhere along the way I had fallen in love with her.
“I know you do. But I’d rather you hate me for the right reasons, than like me for the wrong ones. I guess we’ll both have to figure out how to fucking live with that.”
I cried, I laughed, and I swooned!
This is not your average romance novel; it’s a thought-provoking, tear jerking, and profoundly emotional love story. Family values, love in its most rare form, and friendship are the core values Sparkman has exemplified with perfection.
The narration alternates between Hayden and Beth with acute precision, making the complexity of the story line flow naturally. Sparkman’s writing style made me ache for our hero and heroine as the intimate details of their lives unfolded. Their story is never rushed, which made the relationship more genuine, and completely addictive. Serious issues are dealt with tastefully, and the supporting characters make this novel complete.
I fell in love with this story almost immediately, and I highly recommend it to any lover of romance!
About This Literary Chef
I grew up in Alabama and have always been an avid reader. I had a stack of those Little Golden Books and I can remember reading Three Little Kittens over and over and over again. It was my favorite.
Fast forward and the older I got the more in love with books I became. So, I’m admitting that I am a huge nerd. The only reading I don’t like are those math word problems. And I’m okay with that because no one has ever asked me in real life… “If I give you two bananas and take away six apples, how long will it take the southbound train to collide with the northbound train if Johnny left his house at midnight?” It just doesn’t happen.
So, yeah, books are my thing.
Oh and music. All kinds. Love.It.
Before I Fall
Release Date: 3/3/2015
Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father’s life.
Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah – a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.
Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.
A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.
This is a poignant tale that I simply could not put down! The author has delivered a wonderful novel in which we are given a realistic view of life after war, especially involving our new generation. Beth and Noah are powerful leading characters, and the story line is gripping. Admittedly, some of the narrative hit home for me which enhanced the heartbreaking nature of their circumstances. The romance was introduced with fragility, but the climatic surrender was worth the angst!
There was never a dull moment, and I highly recommend this to romance readers!
***Quick Note: This novel discusses several angles of PTSD, along with other traumatic experiences our veterans and their families endure. The author’s knowledge of the little things can stir emotions, as certain idiosyncrasies mentioned are very accurate.
About This Literary Chef
USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.
She’s also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.
She’s pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.
Title: Anissa’s Redemption
Author: Zack Love
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Cover Design: Ashley Byland
Anissa Toma fled war-torn Syria after narrowly escaping the massacre of her Christian family by Islamists. Fortunate enough to rebuild her shattered life in New York City, the young refugee gained admission to an elite college, where she excelled. Her beauty, brains, and purity soon captured the interest of two powerful men: Michael, an activist working to establish Antioch, the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien, her professor and one of the city’s wealthiest bachelors.
As Anissa’s saga continues, the refugee-turned-rising-star must navigate between Michael and Julien, while trying to help her surviving relatives and other vulnerable Christians in Syria. As she gets closer to both men in a complex and evolving love triangle, can she unlock Julien’s traumatic childhood to open up his heart? Or will Julien find greater solace from his nightmares and other demons in the sessions with his intriguing therapist? What will Michael do for Antioch and for Anissa, and what will Julien’s role be? How far will each person go to help Anissa’s remaining family and other persecuted Christians at risk in Syria? Find out in this stunning sequel to “The Syrian Virgin.
Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write a novelette titled “The Doorman” and heightened his interest in the Middle East. A decade later, that interest extended to the Syrian Civil War, which provided the backdrop for his latest work. In late 2013, Zack began releasing his unpublished works of fiction and became a full-time author. He has published comedy, psychological and philosophical fiction, and romance. Zack enjoys confining himself to one genre about as much as he likes trying to sum up his existence in one paragraph.
By Tanya Vought
Published: February 23, 2015
A decision that will change her life forever.
After the loss of her husband, Gracelynn Calhoun has struggled with her life and career. Forced to take a four week vacation or be fired from her job, she surprises everyone including herself and agrees to the vacation.
The owner of Antonetti Suites, Giovanni works hard and doesn’t have time for relationships or love. That is until he literally crashes into Gracelynn. She brings back all the feelings he thought he would never feel again.
With the odds stacked against them in every way possible, will they forge ahead together or will this be the end of the road for their newfound love? Will the whispers from above bring them together or will misunderstandings ruin what could be an amazing second chance at love?
Vought’s debut novel is endearing, witty, and fun! The romance gently blossoms into a beautiful love story, and the healing process for both the hero and heroine is quite inspiring. Second chances and learning to love again is the journey here, and one in which I enjoyed the passage.
About This Literary Chef
Tanya Vought is a hopeless romantic. She loves reading, writing, singing and doing crafts with her children. What started as a lifelong dream became reality. She’s overjoyed that readers will get to read her debut, Granted Wishes. She loves her characters sexy and sassy. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two amazing and imaginative children.