Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

by:  Mary Kubica
published by:  Harlequin Mira
publish date:  July 29, 2014

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life. 

This book is going to be one of the big hyped books of the summer.  It's supposed to be the next Gone Girl and be a major psychological thriller.  That's what all the buzz about this book has been so far.  I'll grant that it was pretty good.  It wasn't Gillian Flynn good though, so all these critics and publicists need to stop hyping everyone in comparison to the big GF, because it ain't happenin'.  I read The Good Girl all the way through, thought it was well written and when I got to the big reveal I was still somewhat surprised.

The Good:  I liked the overall plot line.  It was an interesting story, however I didn't completely understand Mia's behavior.  The story is told in current and past tense.  Her current behavior doesn't really add up, even after the reveal, I didn't quite understand why she was acting the way that she was.  I like a story that makes me think.  I like the cover, the minimalism is quite nice.

Things I didn't like:  There's something about the cover that disturbs me, which contradicts what I last said, but there it is.  I like it, but it's also unsettling.  I understand things like Stockholm Syndrome exists, but it seems like in this case, it's something entirely different.  Without divulging any of the details of the book, it seems like Mia's problems would be a little different than Stockholm.  The motivations in this book seemed to be a bit murky at best.

This would be a great book for book groups, they could pick apart all these details and figure out these things.  I would definitely recommend it to the psychological thriller fans.  If you've read it, let me know what you think.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour: What Strange Creatures by Emily Arsenault

Author: Emily Arsenault
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: July 2014

The Battle siblings are used to disappointment. Seven years after starting her PhD program—one marriage, one divorce, three cats and a dog later—Theresa Battle still hasn't finished her dissertation. Instead of a degree, she’s got a houseful of adoring pets and a dead-end copy-writing job for a local candle company.
Jeff, her so-called genius older brother, doesn't have it together, either. Creative and loyal, he’s also aimless, in both work and love. But his new girlfriend, Kim, a pretty waitress in her twenties, appears smitten. When Theresa agrees to dog-sit Kim’s puggle for a weekend, she has no idea it will be the beginning of a terrifying nightmare that will shatter her quiet academic world.

Soon Kim’s body is found in the woods, and Jeff becomes the prime suspect.

Though the evidence is overwhelming, Theresa knows that her brother is not a murderer. As she investigates Kim’s past, she uncovers a treacherous secret involving politics, murder, and scandal—and becomes entangled in a potentially dangerous romance. But the deeper she falls into this troubling case, the more it becomes clear that, in trying to save her brother’s life, she may be sacrificing her own.

What Strange Creatures is a well-written and engaging book. When Teresa's brother is accused of murdering his girlfriend, she makes it her mission to figure out what really happened.  This sets her on an unexpected journey where many secrets are discovered.   I did enjoy the mystery. There were many twists and possible reasons for Kim's murder.  It definitely kept me guessing.  

What I liked even more was Theresa.  She is such an unlikely detective, yet she made sense to me.  Maybe it was her research background that gave her credibility.  I liked how she went about trying to help her brother out. I loved her relationship with her brother and how they took care of each other. The game that they played all the time was really cute.

I do recommend this one.  The story flows fairly quickly and is a great one for a rainy afternoon curled up with a cup of tea.

About the author:

Emily Arsenault is the critically acclaimed author of The Broken Teaglass, a New York Times Notable Mystery, and In Search of the Rose Notes. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.

Find out more about Emily at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Purchase Links

Emily’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, July 22nd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, July 23rd: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, July 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, July 28th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, July 29th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, July 30th: Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, July 31st: cupcake’s book cupboard
Monday, August 4th: bookchickdi
Wednesday, August 6th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, August 7th: Book of Secrets

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hard As you Can by Laura Kaye

Author: Laura Kaye
Publisher: Avon
Date of publication: February 2014

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed. 

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go.

Hard as You Can picks up pretty much where Hard as it Gets left off. I really liked the first one, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this second one.  I felt like this book was a little longer than it needed to be.  After the length of this book, I was disappointed that they team had not really gotten any further along in clearing their names and bringing down the bad guys.  I was hoping for more progress.  The upside was that the camaraderie between the men began to get back to what it once was especially between Nick and Shane.  Their conversation at the end was wonderful.

As for the romance between Shane and Crystal it was a bit fast and a bit forced.  I had a hard time buying the "I love You" so fast since they didn't actually spend a lot of time together.  I could see the infatuation, caring and lust, but for me the love was too quick. I also felt like Crystal had too much baggage after what she went through and really needed to do a lot of work before she could commit to anything or anyone.  

So, in the end it was just an OK read for me.  I will probably continue with the series because I like the characters.  Hard to Come By is Marz's story and comes out later this fall.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover

Author: Jay Crownover
Publsiher: William Morrow
Date of publication: June 2014

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

I have really enjoyed the Marked Men series by this author.  So when I saw a new series starting by her, I was excited to dive right in.  While I enjoyed the book, I didn't love it as much.  To start, this series is a bit darker than the other one.  In the foreword, the author says she wanted to create a truly "bad boy".  Being an ex-con, Shane is a bad boy.  Recently released from prison, he finds out his best friend has gone missing.  With the help of Race's younger sister, he tries to track him down to reconcile what happened the night he was arrested.

I liked the mystery part of the book.  The hunt for Race and the truth of what happened 5 years before was well written and intriguing.  I liked the little twist about the bad guy at the end.  I also thought that the last scene was pretty intense and made me hold my breath.  

What I didn't like too much was the chemistry between Dovie and Shane.  It never really went beyond lust for me.  I also got tired of Dovie always talking about Shane vs. Bax.  By the end, I think I got that he could act like two different guys.  It got a little old. The epilogue did go a long way toward making me buy into the relationship a lot more.

So, if you are going into this series expecting the boys and vibe that you get in the Marked Men series, you won't find it here.  I think fans will like this book.  I'll check out the next one. I was a bit disappointed in end with Race's decisions.   I'm just hoping that he has a change of heart in the next book. I'm not sure how I will like a truly bad boy who can't turn himself around.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blog tour: The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan

Author: Stephen P. Kiernan
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks;
Date of publication:  Reprint edition (July 1, 2014)

What if the love of your life died decades before you were born?

When Dr. Kate Philo and her scientific exploration team discover the body of a man buried deep in the Arctic ice, her egocentric and paranoid boss, Erastus Carthage, orders the frozen man to be brought to his lab in Boston and reanimated. The endeavor is named The Lazarus Project, and as the man, Jeremiah Rice, begins to regain his memories, the last thing he recalls is falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. When news of the project breaks, it ignites a media firestorm and protests by religious fundamentalists.

Thrown together by fate, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah’s new life is slipping away. With Carthage planning to exploit Jeremiah while he can, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love. A gripping, poignant, and thoroughly original thriller, The Curiosity raises disturbing questions about the very nature of life and humanity.

When I saw the synopsis for The Curiosity, I was intrigued enough to sign up for the tour.  What could be more exciting than a man brought back to life after almost 100 years in a block of ice?  Sadly, the book never got exciting for me.  I think I am in the minority for this book.  It has received very good reviews.  While I thought it was well written, I just found myself not being able to get into it.  I kept putting it down in favor of other books and finally gave up after about 25%.  I think it really is a case of just not connecting with a set of characters and story-line.  I'll chalk it up to not being for me, but I say still give it a shot.  Maybe you will like it.  Check out what others on the tour are saying below.

About the author:

Stephen P. Kiernan is a journalist with an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of two works of nonfiction, Last Rights and Authentic Patriotism, and has been awarded the Brechner Center’s Freedom of Information Award, the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, and the George Polk Award. He lives in Vermont with his two sons. The Curiosity is his first novel.

Find out more about Stephen at his website and connect with him on Facebook.
Stephen is taking over the @harpercollins Twitter account on Thursday July 17th from 2-4pm ET! Please swing by and keep him busy with your questions!

Purchase Links

Stephen’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, July 1st: Booksie’s Blog
Wednesday, July 2nd: Book Loving Hippo
Monday, July 7th: More Than Just Magic
Tuesday, July 8th: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, July 10th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Wednesday, July 16th: Literary Feline
Monday, July 21st: Bookshelf Fantasies
Friday, July 25th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, July 31st: Books à la Mode

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

Author: Susan Wiggs
First published in 2008 by Harlequin (Mira)

Can a single moment change your entire life?

International lawyer Sophie Bellamy has dedicated her life to helping people in war-torn countries. But when she survives a hostage situation, she remembers what matters most--the children she loves back home. Haunted by regrets, she returns to the idyllic Catskills village of Avalon on the shores of Willow Lake, determined to repair the bonds with her family.
There Sophie discovers the surprising rewards of small-town life--including an unexpected passion for Noah Shepherd, the local veterinarian. Noah has a healing touch for anything with four legs, but he's never had any luck with women--until Sophie.

So far, I have enjoyed this series.  I like visiting with the Bellamy families and the town of Avalon.  Having said that, Snowfall at Willow Lake is probably my least favorite out of the first 4 books so far.  I did enjoy it, but I thought it was the weakest for a few reasons. 

I felt like there was a lot of repetition about past occurrences.  Almost like the author was trying to make sure it could be read as a stand alone book.  That was annoying.  There were also way too many pop cultural references in the story that in another 10 years, people won't remember or care about.    There was a lack of romance as I didn't buy into Noah and Sophie fully.  I needed to see more of them together.  And really, who dates someone for MONTHS and never asks them their age?  I had a hard time buying that one!

What I did like was the way Sophie and her children's relationship grew and healed.  It was also good to see a lot of past characters and catch up on how they are doing.  I also loved the ending, it was very sweet.  

Book Spotlight: Back to You by Jessica Scott

We are excited to share with you an excerpt from Back to You by Jessica Scott.  It will be available for the first time in print on July 29!  I reviewed this wonderful book back in February.  If you haven't read it yet, I greatly encourage you to give it a shot!

Make sure to check out the giveaway below!

BACK TO YOU by Jessica Scott (July 29, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)
He's in for the fight of his life . . . 
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again...until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs ...if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.
Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?

“So, to what do I owe the honor of this visit?” she asked, minimizing her e-mail to be able to focus.
“Don’t throw me out of the office,” he said, trying to keep his voice light. “But I need to talk to you about Trent’s case.”
Laura leaned back in her chair, folding her arms over her chest, and started counting to ten.
“I know you’re having a hard time with him.”
Laura sucked on her top lip for a moment before answering. “I wouldn’t necessarily call filing for divorce a hard time.”
“And that’s what I need to talk to you about.”
“Just hear me out, okay?”
She ground her teeth but after a moment nodded.
“Listen, there’s no case against Trent. It’s weak at best. With the Article 32 about to start, we have a good chance of getting it stopped here before it goes to court-martial. But I need to plant doubt that the allegations against him are true.” He met her gaze. “I need you to do that.”
Laura chewed on her bottom lip, playing his words over and over in her head, not understanding what he was asking of her. “What do you mean, you need to plant doubt?”
“The primary witness against your husband, PFC Adorno—”
“Oh, we’ve met,” Laura said dryly.
Patrick’s smile was humorless. “Yes, well, that’s part of the prosecution’s problem. She’s alleging that Trent was inappropriate but the problem is that she and Lieutenant Randall were caught in their shenanigans downrange.”
Laura frowned. “So you think this is a ploy to get herself out of trouble?
“Her and her husband. If they were working together to steal the missing weapons systems, then what better way to get out of trouble than to make this stuff up against Trent? Takes the focus off her and her husband completely.” Patrick leaned forward, tapping his index finger on the desk. “If I can cast Trent as a sympathetic family man who would never do anything like what she’s alleging, this case is all but dismissed. I’m not attacking her. All I have to do is make Trent look better than the story she’s telling and we’ve got a win.”
“And you need me to paint on a happy face and be the loving wife.”
Patrick shook his head. “No, I need you to be one half of a loving couple. And I need you to do it publicly where everyone can see it—in the PX, in the chow hall, everywhere. I need the officers on this board to believe exactly what I’ll be telling them on the day of the hearing.”
She looked down at her empty ring finger, absently rubbing the bare skin beneath the bandage. “Everyone knows that we’re having problems, Patrick.”
“Then make sure everyone knows you’ve fixed it.” He leaned back. “I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I didn’t think it was our best shot at getting this whole thing thrown out.”
She looked up at him. “Why didn’t Trent ask me to do this?”
Patrick swallowed and looked away. “He refused to drag you into this,” he said quietly. “For what it’s worth, I don’t in a million years believe the allegations against Trent. I don’t think he would ever, ever be unfaithful to you.”
Laura pressed her lips together in a flat line. “You’re wrong, Patrick. He’s been cheating on me for years. It was just with the army instead of another woman.”
“Let me think about it,” she said quickly. “I won’t say no out of hand but I can’t make this decision on a whim.”
Patrick leaned across the desk, gripping her hand. “I know this is hard for you, Laura. I know what I’m asking you to do.”
She said nothing for a long moment and he gave her a sympathetic but firm smile. “Give it some thought, okay?”
When she was alone, she sat there, staring at the picture of her family. Wondering how she was going to bring him back into the kids’ lives and then rip him out again. What he was asking wasn’t fair. He had no idea what this was going to do to her family.
She glanced at the photo on her desk as she typed furiously, trying to get ahead of the flood of e-mails in her inbox.
There was a quiet rap on her office door. “I’m not here,” she said quickly, looking up.
Her fingers froze on the keyboard. Her heart stopped in her chest.
Trent stood in the doorway. He had a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. His glasses hid the darkness of his eyes. There was a streak of dirt on his cheek. An assault pack hung limply from his left hand.
A thousand emotions ripped through her all at once, rioting for supremacy as she drank in the sight of her husband.
Ex-husband, she reminded herself. Or at least he was supposed to be.
She wished that this were a normal homecoming. One where she would rush across the small space and crash into him. His arms would come around her and she would inhale the strong spicy scent of his skin. Feel the heat of his touch. Savor that first, wild kiss.
Instead she had this. This empty chasm between them, echoing with loneliness.
And she had no idea how to cross it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy Links:

About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She's pursuing a PhD 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.

Social Media Links:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Matchmaker by Elin Hildebrand

by:  Elin Hildebrand
published by:  Little, Brown and Co.
publish date:  June 10, 2014

Dabney Kimball Beech, the 48-year-old fifth generation Nantucketer, has had a lifelong gift of matchmaking (52 couples still together to her credit). But when Dabney discovers she is dying of pancreatic cancer, she sets out to find matches for a few people very close to home: her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech; her lover journalist Clendenin Hughes; and her daughter, Agnes, who is engaged to be married to the wrong man.  As time slips away from Dabney, she is determined to find matches for those she loves most - but at what cost to her own relationships? 

I'm a huge Elin Hilderbrand fan.  I've loved all her books.  This one was no different.  However, I did feel it had a different atmosphere than her other books.  I felt very frustrated with the main character throughout the story.  This character is dealing this a life changing illness and Elin Hilderbrand herself was recently diagnosed with cancer, so perhaps it may have been some of that in the writing.  I don't know how much of the writing happened during or after her diagnosis.

The biggest frustration I had with the character Dabney was that she just wouldn't go to the doctor.  She kept thinking she was "lovesick".  What the heck?  Is that really a thing?  You're a 50 year old woman, you should know better right?  Then, the people around her didn't seem to be very forceful about making her go either.  However, the reader has the luxury of knowing what's wrong with Dabney.

Once again, Elin Hilderbrand has written an excellent Summer read.  It's the perfect book for a lazy day at the beach or pool to dream about living on Nantucket.  We wish Elin the best of luck in her recovery and I hope she gets back to writing books really soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog Tour: The Husband Maker by Karey White

Husband Maker Tour

The Husband Maker by Karey White
Author: Karey White 
Publisher: Orange Door PRess
Date of publication: July 15, 2014

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

My thoughts:
The Husband Maker is a well written and clean read..  I did like the overall story as it dealt with trying to figure out what we truly want in life and relationships.   I really felt bad for Charlotte because I think she clearly was picking the wrong men.  She seems to be someone who is looking for true love, but keeps trying maybe too hard to find it.  She did come across as a genuinely nice and caring person. She has great friends and loves her family. 

Given her personality, I was surprised at her relationship with Kyle.  I never liked him throughout the whole book.  He kept coming across as selfish to me and that isn't someone I would want to see Charlotte with.  The book does end in a sort of cliffhanger.  Not as bad as it could have been.  I felt comfortable with the place that Charlotte was in and I am really rooting for her future.

I do recommend this book.  I am really looking forward to reading the sequel, The Matchmaker which comes out this fall.

Enjoy this excerpt!

My apartment intercom buzzed. “Yes?” I answered.
“It’s Kyle Aldsworth.” He had a deep, rich voice in spite of the static that accompanied it.
“Great. I’ll be right down.” I ran to the window that overlooked the sidewalk in front of my apartment. I didn’t have a great angle. The door to our building was narrow and sat behind a wrought iron gate between Cuddy’s Clip Shop and Grandpa Guo’s Shoe Repair. Cuddy’s was two floors below us, and if guests were standing too close to the door, they were blocked from view by the barber pole attached to the side of the building.
Kyle stood a few feet from the door, allowing me a birds-eye view of dark, thick hair and a navy suit. If he looked up, I’d be able to see his face, which Jayne had compared to a clean-shaven Jake Gyllenhaal. Of course, if he looked up, he’d probably see I was spying out my window instead of coming to the door. I took one last look at my gray and white striped dress, grabbed my yellow cardigan, and headed down.
“You must be Charlotte,” he said when I opened the door. I smiled and looked up—yes up—at one of the most incredible faces I’d ever gone on a date with. Jayne had been wrong. He wasn’t a beardless Jake Gyllenhaal. He was Jake plus Cary Grant plus Captain VonTrapp, with a little of Jonny Lee Miller’s Mr. Knightley thrown in for good measure. Perhaps that sounds ridiculous, but you weren’t looking at him.
All intelligent thought abandoned me, leaving me unable to remember for sure what my name was.
What kind of game was Jayne playing with me? Kyle was much too beautiful for me. He’d have probably been too beautiful for Grace Kelly.
“You are Charlotte Emerson, right?”
How long had I been standing there gawping at him?
“Yes. I’m Charlotte.”
“Whew! You had me worried for a second. I’m Kyle. It’s good to meet you.” He extended his hand and shook mine. His hand was perfect—good size, warm and dry, nice grip without too much enthusiasm. He was a hand-shaking artist. Great. He’d stopped shaking my hand and I hadn’t relinquished my grip. I quickly withdrew mine and turned to lock the iron gate. My face burned, and I fidgeted with the key for a few extra seconds to give my cheeks a chance to return to their normally fair complexion.

Kyle was smiling when I turned back around. “My car’s around the corner.”

Karey WhiteAbout the author:

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.  

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/15/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW
Coming Fall 2014 - Charlotte's Story continues in The Match Maker
The Matchmaker final ebook cover

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pre-publication blog tour: Love and Let Spy! by Shana Galen

We are excited to be taking part in a pre-publication tour to promote Shana Galen's new book, Love and Let Spy!  Over the next two weeks, a different blog will be releasing a new excerpt every day.  We have the first on for you below!  

Two Giveaways:

There is a giveaway sponsored by Sourcebooks.  Check out their rafflecopter below.

We are also giving away a copy  of Love and Let Spy to one lucky winner (US & Canada only), so make sure to fill out our rafflecopter as well!

Author: Shana Galen
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: August 5, 2014

Her name is Bonde, Jane Bonde…
A beautiful and eligible member of the ton, Jane has more than a few secrets: she’s one of the Crown’s most elite agents. She may be deadly, but she doesn’t know a thing about fashion, flirtation, or love…until Dominic Griffyn shakes up her carefully stirred world and asks her to be his bride. He’s exactly the kind of man she’s not looking for. And he’s dangerous, because falling into his arms is so much more satisfying than saving England from her enemies.

He’s an improper gentleman who needs a wife…
Tall, dark, and tortured, Dominic Griffyn is haunted by demons from his past. When his stepfather insists that he marry, Dominic allows himself to hope that the beautiful but mysterious Miss Bonde might help him forget his troubles. As they grow closer, it’s clear that there’s more to Jane than danger. She might be just what his neglected heart needs.

London Season, 1816
“I don’t care how beautiful or rich or bloody socially acceptable she is,” Dominic said, turning fiercely from the drawing--room mantel. “I am not marrying her.”
“Sir, need I remind you that your mother is present?”
The marchioness waved a hand. In her pale blue muslin morning gown, she seemed almost one of the furnishings in the drawing room, which had been done in blue and cream and a panoply of gilt and ormolu. “I have heard it all before,” his mother said. “One does not raise four sons without hearing a bit of the vulgar tongue.”
Dominic gestured as if to say, See?
“I do not give a bloody farthing,” the marquess said, standing and pointing at Dominic. “You will show your mother some respect.”
Dominic refrained, just barely, from mentioning the contradiction inherent in his stepfather’s curse. The man had no sense of humor and would not appreciate the irony. He also had a selective memory. At the moment, he chose to forget that his wife possessed a somewhat less than savory past.
Dominic wished he could forget.
“My lord,” Dominic said, tamping down his fury from long habit, “I do not wish to marry. I have no obligation to produce an heir, as I have no lands or titles to pass on. There is no need—-”
“There is every need!” Lord Edgeberry boomed. Dominic clenched his fists to keep from using them. He was a grown man and did not enjoy being treated like a child. But he would tolerate it for his mother. “Your behavior is scandalous, and I’ll be damned if I stand by while you produce a passel of bastards who show up on my door, begging for money.”
Dominic cut his gaze to his mother, and the marchioness hissed in a breath and shook her head at her eldest son, her eyes pleading for forbearance. “My lord,” she said, rising and taking her husband’s arm. “Might we speak in private for a moment?”
Dominic turned his back on the room and faced the mantel, staring at the figure of a small porcelain shepherdess. She was a typical English beauty with flaxen hair, rosy cheeks, and huge blue eyes. Dominic hated the type. Behind him he heard his mother’s rapid whispers. Every few moments, he was able to discern one of her words. “Fatherless…Pride…Careful.”

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