Welcome to my little part of the blog world of reviewing.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Day and Changes

My sweet son chilling out after swimming
Welcome to 2012.  Can you believe its 2012?  I can't.  I look at my son and realize that he's almost 7 years old and how the time has flown by since he was born.  Hubby and I were talking last night over the changes in our life since we moved from Dallas to the sticks in East Texas over five years ago.  We've had some bumps and bruises along the way but we have always had each other backing the other one up.  

This blog is not to get all weepy and such, since I've been told that I'm not an overly emotional person.  Yes, I do cry but it takes alot for me to cry.  For the most part, I'm easy going, it takes alot to  get me riled up but when the emotions come into play...watch out!  But there are a few things that I would like to mention and talk about.

1.  Harlie's Books is going through some changes right now.  I think that they are for the good.  I put a shout out about reviewing more books on my site and I got a really good response.  So far, I'm pretty booked for January but I'm looking for February reviews now.  This blog was intended to be a review site for my own pleasure and somehow between reviewing for other sites it got lost.  I was reading for other people and not for me.  I decided to not review for the big sites anymore but I'm loyal to my smaller sites.

2.  The blog design has changed, too.  I put a pages banner on top with more information about me, the books I read, FTC disclaimer and a request for review button with my contact information.  When you do request a review, please put that in the subject line.  Keep in mind, its only me reviewing so it could take up to three weeks for the blog review to be posted.  

3.  Most people don't know this but I'm also an aspiring writer.  I write under a pen name and I got my first big rejection in October.  It was devastating to me considering that I was dared to write it and I so wrote out of my comfort zone.  Well, that only spurred me on to do a complete 180 and write in my own comfort level.  I've gotten a few bites and I'm very pleased with that.  Its slow coming when you are married, a mother to a very active six year old and have a EDJ that is draining, to say the least.

4.  I don't make resolutions at all.  Don't believe in them because they just get broken anyway.  I do set some goals for the year and I did achieve one of them last year...write and sub a book.  For that, I'm proud of myself and I have two others that I will sub this year.  My husband is very encouraging but would like to see something for all the blogging, writing, loop messaging that I do.  :)  I have some other things in the works, too and I'm really hoping that it works out for me.

I would like to thank everyone that has supported me last year and to some of you, you will never know how much your support and love has meant to me.  If you have sent me a book to review for January, those reviews will start going up on January 3rd.  I have a promo review that goes up tomorrow.  

I hope that 2012 is a better year for me in my writing, blogging and in my friendships that I have made in 2011.  As someone once said, its got to get better...it can't get any worse.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caught Offside by Liz Crowe-review


Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player and international playboy has been brought low by a career-ending injury. After the humiliation of a shattered leg at the World Cup final, he has spent a year enduring surgeries and painful therapies, the last three months of which are at the Castillo resort in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of his cousin, Jackson Castillo and owner of the Castillo hotel chain. But Ramon’s lack of interest in soccer, women, or in anything besides the blackjack tables has Jackson worried.

Gillian Winter, catering and banquet manager for the MGM Grand Hotel is nurturing her own deep wounds. Her beloved husband has died unexpectedly, leaving her with a young son whose one dream is to meet his hero: Number 17 on the American National Soccer team, Ramon Castillo. When an apparent chance encounter in the lobby of the MGM reveals Ramon's presence in their midst, everyone's lives are changed forever.

Can Madame Eve work her magic and bring true healing to Ramon and Gillian? Or is it too late?



Caught Offside is one of those stories that you are instantly drawn into and never want to leave.   As a lover of soccer and has a player myself of well, too many years, I instantly understood the pain and the heartache that Ramon felt when his career ended too soon.  It defined him as a child and also as an adult.  Some of it for the good and some for the bad.  When he came to Las Vegas to finish up his therapy, he never expected to meet the most important person in his life in his cousin's hotel lobby.  


Ramon has to be the sexiest character that I've read in awhile.  While he is sexy, he is also smart, thoughtful, funny and completely devoted to his family.  Without the Castillo's, he would be nothing.  His cousin Jackson can be a little overbearing for his taste but he knows that Jackson only has his best interests at heart.  


Gillian Winter is a dream.  Devoted mother, manager for one of the most successful hotels in Las Vegas but somehow after losing her husband, she lost herself.  Gillian and Jackson have been friends for awhile and he continues to try to steal her away from the MGM Grand for his own hotel.  The banter between them is hilarious and real.  I felt as if I could sit down with both of them and have a drink with them.   


When Gillian and Ramon finally meet in the lobby of the Castillo Resort, you could light firewood with the sparks that flew off of them.  Leave it to a 7 year old boy to put a little bit of a damper on those feelings until they agree to a date that evening.  The scenes at the restaurant are some of the funniest, romantic and highly sensual scenes that I've read in awhile.  Trust me on this...one word...bathroom.  :)


I still can't believe that this is actually Ms. Crowe's first 1NS.  She wrote the Turkish Delights series after Caught Offside.  It was interesting how she integrated Jackson into the story and still retained the whole 1NS premise.  Outstanding job.  


I highly, most highly recommend Caught Offside for the laughter, chemistry, nervousness between Gillian and Jackson and overall sigh worthiness of it being a one night stand.  


5 Harlies and a recommended read




Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beck & Call by Nicole Morgan-review

All Jenny wanted was to run her resort hotel without the constant interference from her boss. All Beck wanted, was her.
Jenny Somers is the General Manager at a resort hotel in the beautiful Caribbean. She loves her job, but she hates her boss. Constantly cutting corners to meet budget constraints she finds herself doing handyman work just to keep the hotel running.
Beck is a drifter who comes to Jenny’s rescue during a plumbing emergency at the hotel. He is arrogant, cocky and absolutely everything that Jenny despises in a man of his type.
Together Jenny and Beck find out just how real the term “opposites attract” is, and along the way find something they weren’t quite expecting along the way.


For such a short story, its packs a punch.  Nicole Morgan is a new to me author but I will quickly rectify that soon.  The story takes places in a span of a couple of days but I never felt like it was rushed.  Jenny is the type of woman that has done everything right in her life but with a penny pinching boss to contend with at the resort sometimes its hard to be nice.  When a plumbing emergency happens, she didn't expect to happen upon the very man that she had rejected for a handyman job.

Beck is an enigma.  Cocksure, gorgeous, handy and then sweet, caring and sexy to boot.  He has plenty of secrets, too.  He isn't what he seems.  I really liked Beck.  He had me from the first page and never let go of me.  I wanted to know more about him and what makes him tick.  The genuine feelings that he had for Jenny were real and heartfelt.  His twist at the end I never saw coming and it just made me love him more.  ***hint for another book about Jenny and Beck***

While the bedroom scenes were hot, to me they were high sensual and felt real to me.  The tenderness and the emotions were there between the two and made me sigh in the end. 

If I had a complaint about the book is that I thought the ending was incomplete for me.  I would have liked to know what was going to happen to the resort and Jenny's job.  ***again, hint for a sequel***  I would highly recommend Beck & Call to anyone that wants a quick and fun read that brings two of the most opposite people together and makes them realize what is important to themselves.

4 1/2 Harlies

Buy Link from Total E Bound

Cover Love for Motor City Mage-Cindy Spencer Pape

If you have never read any of Cindy's Motor City books, you are missing out.  I highly recommend them.  I'm like Cindy, I'm going to miss the Motor City gang.  


As a cop who keeps paranormals in line, Des has a hard time trusting them. So why does he want the beautiful werewolf Lana more than his next breath? She's mouthy, flamboyant and distractingly sexy—not the type of woman for a reserved mage like him. Lana admires Des, but she can't be with someone who won't take her seriously, no matter how much she'd love to rip off his dress shirt.

When a dangerous new drug shows up in Detroit , Des must locate the source, and Lana is determined to help. But their plan goes awry, trapping them in a demon dimension. To return home, Lana and Des must flee through a series of unpredictable alternate realities, fighting enemies while trying to shut down the drug trade. But if they're going to survive, they'll have to rely on each other, even though getting closer will add fuel to a fire that's already burning out of control...

Coming March 12, 2012 from Carina Press

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sing We Now of Christmas

When Jessica Martin met Johnny Devereaux that December, holiday magic filled the air but their love was no enchantment….he was, without doubt the love of her life and by summer, they were happy newlyweds with all their life and holidays ahead.
But when he failed to return home from a fishing trip on the Fourth of July, Jessica’s world is rocked to the foundation and when the authorities tell her that her husband is missing, presumed dead, she refuses to believe it.
As the months and seasons pass, no one else holds out hope but Jessica believes.
She knows he’ll be home for Christmas no matter what.  Her family calls her crazy, Johnny’s family tries to help her find closure but Jessica’s heart refuses to surrender hope.
When Christmas comes, the truth will come out to shock them all.

Book trailer - http://youtu.be/mLQBf90xFMM

EXCERPT #1 (Sweet):
“How did you know that’s what I was thinking?”
“I know you,” he said, “I don’t know how but I know you, inside.  I may not know yet what your favorite color is,”
“Or what season you love the most,”
“Christmas,” she supplied and he grinned.
“Or if you are seeing someone,”
Jessica smiled at him, feeling a rush of affection for him.  “I am now.”   
Johnny understood; she watched the knowledge of it soften his features and curl his lips into a sweet smile.  “Darlin’, you’re my woman, just like that.  I never saw it coming but now that you’re here, I’m glad.  I’ve wanted someone like you in my life for so long but I never knew your name or what you looked like.  I always kind of figured that my heart would recognize you when you showed up.”
“Did it?” Her voice sounded normal with no hint of the tears that ached within at his tender words.
He released her hands to put his right one in the center of his chest, over his heart.
“Oh, yeah, Jessica Martin, it totally did.”
No guy ever said such romantic things to her.  His words weren’t flowery or fancy but delivered in that Oklahoma twang; she savored each one and filed it away in memory to keep forever.   Before she could think up something to say back, the waitress brought their food and he took her hands in his again, this time to ask a blessing.
After that, hungry, they ate. First, they had the homemade soup, perfect for the cold winter’s night, then they enjoyed the rest of the meal.  Although the food was tasty, the burger juicy, the bacon crisp, and fries just right, Jessica could have dined on oatmeal and been just as happy.   They never stopped talking, their pauses timed to accommodate the other’s answers and by the time they headed back out into the snow-filled night, they both knew the basic life history of the other.
And more important than that they knew how much they loved each other, for now and for always.

EXCERPT #2 (Romantic):
Jessica daydreamed about their very first time together, that night they became intimate.  She’d come home late from her teaching job and found Johnny there, asleep on her couch.  When she went to change clothes, she found that he’d transformed her ordinary bedroom into a lovely bower, a romantic place where anything could happen – and did.
A vase of white, red, and pink roses stood on her dresser, the fragrance of the flowers heavy and sweet in the room. Jar candles sat near the posies on the table beside her bed, even on the headboard.  As they flickered, she caught their scent, a rich gardenia smell she liked, one that reminded her of the classic White Shoulders perfume.  A brand new comforter, soft and fluffy, covered her bed replacing the worn out old discount store navy blue bedspread.  Jessica stroked her hand across the surface, admiring the white comforter where big pink and crimson roses bloomed. Music flowed from her CD boom box, not rock, not country but the pleasant sounds of Mannheim Steamroller.  Impressed by the effort he’d made to create a romantic scene, she smiled.
If he could create this mood, then she could follow his lead.  Jessica opened a dresser drawer and searched.  She rejected the full-length flannel nightgown, the faded and well-worn nightshirt, the silky shorts she often slept in and pulled out the one piece of sexy lingerie she owned with triumph.   The satin baby doll still had the store tags from when she bought it at clearance after Valentine’s Day last year, unable to resist the pretty crimson garment.  She’d wondered who she might wear it for or if she’d ever have the nerve but tonight, inspired by his preparation, she changed into it.   She sprayed on a little Obsession and brushed her hair until it hung smooth past her shoulders.   Inside, she trembled from a volatile combination of nerves and desire but she walked into the living room with a siren’s strut only to find Johnny still asleep.  
She knelt down, noticing the way that his long eyelashes brushed his cheek and how a slight smile teased his lips.   Judging by his even breath he was deep into sleep country but Jessica bent down to kiss his mouth, slow and serious.  He responded before he awoke, his lips sculpting to fit hers and when he opened his eyes, he grinned.
“Hey, Johnny,” she said in the huskiest whisper she could summon.  “It’s bedtime.”
He blinked, still smiling. “Is it?”
“Then come here, honey,” he said, “let me rock you to sleep.”
He sat up and then snagged her with his arms.  He cuddled her on his lap and began to kiss her with gusto.  Johnny tasted her with the same eager zeal she thought he would have for a good steak, the perfect hamburger or maybe a fine wine.   Her appetite equaled his and she returned his kisses.   Her arms locked around his neck to hold tight as his hands roamed, caressing her with both ardor and appreciation.
When he gathered her up and carried her into the bedroom Jessica thought she would swoon with delight.  She loved it, adored being mastered and loved with such intensity.  He put her on the bed as her senses embraced all the sensual triggers around her, the rich aroma of gardenias, the delightful music that evoked emotion, the candlelit ambiance, and his touch against her skin.  Jessica gloried in it and surrendered.
Any lingering restraint, old fears from previous relationships that went sour vanished in the total power of Johnny’s lovemaking.   As they fondled and caressed, kissed and touched, Jessica crossed the last boundary to the total certainty that this man was the love of her life, her significant other, forever.
When they came together like a force of nature, on a grand scale like a cold and warm front intersecting, everything was right.   Their timing brought them home together on a slow, full rush of delight, a pleasure that enveloped and encompassed them both.  In those moments, that eternity that could never last long enough, they became one, united in a way that transcended any words, any laws, any binding.   Nothing could be more full or complete that this and with wonder, with joy, they both knew it well.
After, as they unwound with sweet lethargy they whispered together, words of love and promises that didn’t have to be spoken to be valid.   By the time that the shadows cast by the candles grew tall on the walls, they knew they would have to move but neither had energy or inclination.

EXCERPT #3 (Sensual):
He pulled her tighter against him and his mouth touched hers, light at first and then with strength.  Johnny engulfed her the way that floodwaters take over farmland, consumed her like a hungry man at a banquet and fired her like a tiny ember sparks a candle flame against the night.  His warm lips took hers, caressed them and made her whole again.   In his arms, her mouth on his, Jessica burned with passion, a fever that no one else could cure.   Her head swam with such dizzy delight that when he stumbled they both almost headed down the stairs.   He caught her up in his arms and carried her into the apartment, kicking the door shut behind him with one boot.
In one graceful shrug, he slid out of the snow covered jacket and it dropped to the floor.  Jessica unsnapped his shirt, one slow snap at a time, her hands burrowing beneath it to touch flesh.  He slipped her out of her black jeans and pulled that red sweater over her head, catching her hair and tousling it but she didn’t care.  Before it joined his jean jacket on the carpet, a splash of red beside the blue, she unzipped his jeans and let them slide down to his ankles.  Johnny stepped out of them, removing his briefs in the same motion and he caught her to him, kissing her this time until he robbed her breath.
Her hands roamed over his body, touching bone beneath the flesh, marveling at how lean he was now although he’d not been fat before.  His scars beneath her sensitive fingertips made her want to cry for him but that could wait because the living force that seared them both wouldn’t be denied.
That first time, he took her there, still standing, entering her with a roughness she liked and filling her with his cock.   Jessica bent backward, balanced against the edge of the couch so he could go deeper and when he did, she cried out with the pleasure of it.   He came like a shot, fast and true, and they both shouted together in a wordless cry.  Legs wobbly, knees weak, she leaned against him for support and he snatched her up into his arms, took her to the bedroom.
“More,” he whispered, “I need more.”
She made no protest but writhed against him in need.  That undeniable flame roared again between them, older than time, sweeter than heaven, stronger than death and they coupled, coming together twice more before they lay, legs wrapped together, arms across one another, sated for now.

All Romance eBooks - http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-singwenowofchristmas-649933-149.html
Siren/Bookstrand - http://www.bookstrand.com/sing-we-now-at-christmaas
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Sing-We-Now-Christmas-ebook/dp/B006H3K73E/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1322856552&sr=1-6
Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/rebel-ink-press?store=ebook&keyword=rebel+ink+press

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is a full-time romance author.  A native of the old historic city of St. Joseph, Missouri, one time home to both Jesse James and the Pony Express, she now lives and writes in the beautiful Missouri Ozark region.  Her romance novels include Wolfe’s Lady (December 2010 Evernight Publishing), Love Tattoo, (March 2011, Evernight), Love Scars (June 2011, Evernight), Love Never Fails (May 2011, Rebel Ink Press), Kinfolk (July 2011, Champagne Books), The Marriage Cure (Astraea Press, July 2011), Love Scars, July 2011 (Evernight Publishing). Love Tattoo, Love Scars, and Love Knots are the first three volumes of her Love Covenant paranormal romance series. Love Shadows, book four will be out in December.  Just released in October are Witness Protection Program (Rebel Ink Press, A Time to Love (Champagne Books. Coming soon are Sing We Now of Christmas (Rebel Ink Press, December 2011).  Upcoming in 2012 are five (for now!) more Rebel Ink Press titles (A Patient Heart, Miss Good Samaritan, Guy’s Angel, In Love’s Own Time), In the Shadow of War, and a novella, Long Live the King (Champagne Books).  Her work also appears in more than twenty anthologies and she has multiple short story/non-fiction credits.
She is a member of RWA, Missouri Writers Guild, EPIC, and the Ozarks Writers League.
Her work also appears in multiple anthologies. She earned a BA degree in both English and History from Missouri Southern State University as well as an AA Degree in Journalism from Crowder College.  She worked in broadcast media for a decade and also has a background in education.  Her weekly column “Hindsight” appears each week in the Neosho Daily News.
She is married to Roy W. Murphy and the couple has three children, Emily, Megan, and Patrick Murphy.
If Lee Ann – or Lee as many of her writing friends know her – isn’t writing, she’s reading or spending time outdoors.
In Neosho, Missouri, the small town she now calls home, she serves on the local library board, is active in the annual Relay For Life fight against cancer, has worked with the local Arts Council, and is active in her parish.

A Page In The Life
Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Website http://leeannwriter.weebly.com
On Twitter @leeannwriter
On Facebook Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Tour link 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dating 9-1-1

I would like to welcome Kathleen Grieve to Harlie’s Books today.  She is giving away a copy of Dating 9-1-1 to one lucky commentator.  Please leave a comment and your email for your chance to win.  Thanks.  And don’t forget to go to http://coffeebeanslovescenes.blogspot.com/2011/11/vbt-launch-party-end-of-tour-giveaway.html for another chance to win tomorrow.

Emergency room nurse, Roxanne Carter is a loser-magnet wishing she could enjoy her single life. Commiserating with girlfriends over butterscotch martinis creates the idea of The Dating Manifesto--a not so scientific research project which promises to point the way to dating success. While gathering data to find the most suitable single men available, she wades through a series of unsavory, stale dates, which literally places her back at ground zero. Just when she is ready to give up, sin personified in the form of sexy firefighter Jett Avery, arrives tainting all of her previous data.
A traumatic warehouse fire, in which firefighter Jett Avery's closest friend dies, has him suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Attempting to stave off the worst of his depression, he decides to use his brand of therapy...Sex. The remedy has lost luster until he encounters ER nurse Roxanne Carter.
The pursuit of Roxanne by Jett's twin brother, Doctor Cruz Avery, complicates her research and interferes with Jett's therapy. Does Roxanne choose the brother who by analysis is the perfect match? Or the broken, dark and irresistible one?

She held up her hands, palms facing toward him. “Stop. This is a hospital. Not some stupid television show where the medical staff is always making out in a closet. I work here. Don’t even think about it!”
Jett closed the distance between them until her hands pressed against his chest, searing their imprint through the thin cotton of his T-shirt. He grasped her fingers and lifted them to his mouth, licking the sensitive tips with his tongue one by one. Heat filled her eyes and she trembled.
“You feel the pull, too. Don’t you?” he asked, dropping her hand.
Jett slid his hands to her waist, and molded her against his erection. A perfect fit. Her sharp intake of breath as she shook her head told him all he needed to know. He smiled. Satisfaction filled him.
“Liar. Shake your head in denial all you want, but I can see the reflection mirrored in your eyes, and feel the powerful draw when I touch you,” he said in a husky tone. He rubbed his stiff cock against her stomach. The intensity of his desire eliminated all reason.
Jett buried his face in her neck and breathed in her sweetness. “Hmm. Today you smell like chocolate.” His tongue traced the delicate shell of her ear as his hands stroked her bare arms. “But you taste like honey.”
Her knees bent and he placed his leg between hers to support her. On the brink of total insanity, he continued his light exploration. His hand skimmed her torso, and skirted the side of her breast. With slow, deliberate care, he let his fingertips graze her collarbone on the way to grasp the back of her neck. Another tremor rippled through her.
God, she felt so damn good.
She tilted her chin and her head rested in his open palm. “Jett,” her sultry voice caused his penis to throb. “This is not a good idea. Anyone could come in here and….”
He pushed his thigh against her crotch. She inhaled sharply, desire deepening the blue of her eyes. “You were saying?”
Her brow furrowed. “And…”
“Intoxicating being a little naughty, isn’t it?” he rasped. He gently tugged her face closer to his. “Hmm. I believe you mentioned the other night that your most recent sexual exploits have been lacking. Let’s add something of interest for your science venture.”


A graduate of University of Nebraska Medical Center, Kathleen Grieve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Nursing in 1994. She has been a dedicated nurse for the past seventeen years, serving most of those years in intensive care. Always writing, Kathleen chose to pursue yet another career- that of a writer. An avid romance reader of all genres since age 13, she decided to try a hand at writing her own novel in the summer of 2006.
She draws a lot from the real-life medical drama she experiences as a RN for her novels. Writing romance is a creative outlet where she can effectively deal with the daily stress and sorrow, adding levity and humor to situations that provide a happily ever after when there isn't one. 
To find out more about Kathleen Grieve and her books, you can stop by her blog, Keeping A Pulse On Life & Romance at: http://kathleengrieve.blogspot.com
Follow her on Twitter: @KathleenGrieve

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Turkish Delights by Liz Crowe

Sure are pretty covers, huh?  Well, underneath those covers are some of the best books that I have read all year.  I have decided to review the whole series instead of individually.  There is a reason for that I will get to that later.  

Turkish Delights is a story about an American woman, Elle, that is has been living in Turkey for the past couple of years.  Elle finds herself falling in love with a Turkish man, Emre, fifteen years her junior. When she decides to contract to Madame Eve’s dating service for a night, she has no idea what she is store for and the delights that wait for her.  I adored this book from the start.  Elle is a strong woman that has fallen for Emre and thinks that it would never work between them.  Emre has one shot with Elle before she leaves and believes that a relationship between them is destiny.   You can feel the intensity that Elle and Emre have for one another and the lengths that they go to be with each other.  Age is just a number and it doesn’t care if two people love each other.  This is a multi-cultural story actually set in Turkey.  The richness in Liz’s writing shows the depth of her love for the country and the people.  I can still smell the spice bazaar as I type.  While the sex is hot from the beginning, what sets it apart is the emotional depth and intensity that Liz has created between Elle and Emre.  Elle and Emre set the tone for the entire series and it is best that you read the books in order.

Blue Cruise was a rare book for me to read for a couple of reasons.  I laughed, I fell in love, I cried buckets and I sighed.  This is only my second m/m read so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Caleb and Tarkan were destined from the start.  We pick up their story after being together for a couple of years.  Caleb is Elle’s personal assistant and instrumental in talking some sense into Elle’s head about Emre.  Tarkan and Emre are twins and couldn’t be more different.  Tarkan’s culture sees their relationship as wrong and his father has made the decision that he does his stint in the military.  Much to horror of Caleb, Elle and Tarkan’s family, his station is attacked.  Caleb is numb with grief and has a hard time being around Emre because of it.  Elle decides that the only way for Caleb to deal with his grief is to contact Madame Eve and set up a Blue Cruise for him.  Deciding that Elle is right, Caleb goes back to Turkey and finally starts to heal the pain that has had a hold on him for the past couple of years.  Adem is perfect for Caleb.  He doesn’t rush Caleb into a relationship and he listens to Caleb.  The communication between Caleb and Adem was open, honest and done with a deft hand.  Again, the emotional intensity between Elle, Emre, Tarkan, Caleb and Adem is layered and believable. 

I will admit that Tulip Princess was a hard read for me.  It is the final book in the trilogy of the Deniz siblings.  Lale is wild and doesn’t seem to want to settle down anytime soon.    Her parents are at their wit’s end and decide that she needs to go live with Elle and Emre.  While she is there, she helps them with her niece and finds that she doesn’t need that lifestyle anymore.  When Elle decides that Lale needs a night out, she sets her up with Madame Eve and Emre is livid.  The intense dialogue between Lale, Emre and Elle is beautifully written and handled with humor (yes, you will chuckle at Elle) and honesty.    While I liked Lale very much, I didn’t like Andreas in the beginning.  It wasn’t until the end of the book that I finally made a connection with him.  Lale and Andreas were too much alike and it took them to fall apart before they realized that they were perfect for each other. 

As a whole, the series was one of the best trilogies that I have ever read.  The writing, pacing, plots and dialogue were beautifully done.  Each book delivered on the emotional scale for me, too.  With Elle/Emre, I was laughing and sighing.  With Tarkan/Caleb/Adem, it was crying and joys in Caleb’s healing.  Lale/Andreas it was frustration and then belief that they would make it as a couple.  If you have put off buying the series because its multicultural or that some of the subject matter that Liz brings to the surface is not for you…think again.  It is a series that should be read, discussed and re-read again.  A word of caution though…okay, a couple…bring tissues, carve out a couple of hours and please, please read them in order.  You can read them as stand alones but reading them order only enhances each book.

Overall rating:  5 Harlies and a recommend read

Buy Link for Turkish Delights

Buy link for Blue Cruise

Buy link for Tulip Princess

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Her One-Night Prince

Her One-Night Prince is a Cinderella story about a woman’s dream to be something she’s not for just one night at her class reunion.

As all fairy tales go, however, happy endings don’t come easily.

Shy and sheltered Lydia St. Clair is uncomfortable around men, so she advertises for a gay man to be her date and revamp her style. Mitch Gannon answers Lydia’s ad and he’s perfect for the job--he’s handsome and, even more important, he’s charming.

Unbeknownst to Lydia, Mitch is straight and answered the ad as the unwitting victim of a practical joke. Before he can reveal the truth, Lydia is convinced he’s her fairy godmother, ready to transform her into the belle of the ball. And Mitch, prince that he is, doesn’t have the heart to set her straight.

With a firm hand against her upper back, Mitch propelled Lydia out of the bar and out the door. She peered back through the windows and could just make out that waitress standing behind the bar and staring out at them.
“She’s beautiful,” she said, turning back to Mitch. Something about that woman signaled a déjà vu of sorts in her mind, but she couldn’t quite put a finger on it.
“Who? Edwina?” He glanced into the pub. “Yeah, she is.”
Edwina’s showstopping figure and stunning looks caused Lydia to self-consciously smooth back her boring, pulled-tight-into-a-bun-as-usual hair. She couldn’t imagine a woman like Edwina ever advertising in the gay personals. She couldn’t imagine Edwina making a boob of herself by assuming Mitch worked at a gay bar.
With the heel of her palm, she bonked herself in the side of the head a few times. “Just shoot me, will you?”
Mitch pulled her hand away from her head. “You’re too hard on yourself, Lydia.”
For a moment she zeroed in on the feeling of his large, warm hand holding hers. It felt good, like it belonged there, which was a crazy thought. Reality returned, and she pulled her hand from his grasp.
“What in the world was I thinking?” she asked. Her skin burned from embarrassment, or the heat of summer, or his touch…or all the above.
“It’s understandable you’d assume I worked at a gay bar. I mean, you think I…er…”
She waved her hand back and forth. “No, no. That was just plain stupidity. What I meant was, I had this grand notion of you helping me out and transforming me into the belle of the ball. You know, Queer Eye my style or something.” She wrapped her arms around herself despite the warm air and strode down the alley. If a sinkhole opened up in front of her, she’d gladly fall into it.
He jogged up beside her as they reached the sidewalk. “I don’t know about the clothing and hair stuff,” he said, “but I could certainly give you advice on men.” He cleared his throat and coughed. “I mean, since I’m a, ah, man.”
“That’s okay. It was a dumb idea. Besides, I don’t want advice on men. It would be pointless.” She pulled black-framed sunglasses from her purse and exchanged them for her regular glasses to block the blinding glare off the sidewalk.
Mitch didn’t respond right away, so she knew he silently agreed with her. Finally, he asked, “Why would it be pointless?”
She had about a million reasons. “It just would be.”


Where you the kid that everyone made fun of growing up?  Were you not part of the cool crowd?  Lydia was the kid that everyone made fun of at school.  When she receives the invitation to her class reunion she decides that she is going.  She's needs a makeover and decides to advertise for a man, a gay man, to help her with her transformation.  What she gets is a very straight, sexy and great guy in Mitch.  

Mitch is the guy that you want to date, marry and generally hang out with on a daily basis.  Problem is that he doesn't directly answer the ad, he friend Hal does.  When Mitch realizes what Lydia wants from him, he can't deny her.  He instantly likes her and wants to help with her transformation.  What Mitch didn't count on was falling in love with her.

Lydia is definitely a fish out of water.  She really does have a heart of gold and a great girl.  She just has no self confidence with herself.  Lydia is a character that is instantly likable and you are totally rooting for her.  She has the self confidence but it takes some bumps and bruises with Mitch for her to realize that.

I loved this book.  The secondary characters are brilliant in the fact that they enhance the story and make Lydia and Mitch step back and take a breath.  Its a sensual book and you can feel the chemistry from Lydia and Mitch's first meeting.  Lydia is a girl that I was in high school in some respects.  She is always a person that I would have been friends with and defended to the mean girls.  Mitch didn't know what to really think of Lydia at first, but he soon realized that he couldn't be without her.  

I highly recommend Her One Night Prince for anyone that was the "made fun of kid" in school or the kid that did the teasing.  You might learn something from one another. 

Rebecca Clark has wanted to write romance novels since she read her first Harlequin Romance at age 11. When she’s not writing, she works as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor, where she teaches Pilates, Turbokick®, Zumba®, and yoga. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 24 years, two kids, a German Shepherd beast who thinks he’s a lap dog, two cats, two rats and a gecko. In her not-so-abundant free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, watching Criminal Minds reruns on TV, and doing absolutely nothing.

Twitter @rebeccajclark