Tag Archive | Entangled Publishing

Ready to Wed – Cindi Madsen

Happy Tuesday darlings!

After my unseemly wallowing in unemployment, I am getting back into the swing of things with a new book review! The lovely folks at Entangled Publishing offered me a chance to review Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen. And as always, I lept at the chance. Not only is Cindi a lovely person, I enjoy her writing, so it’s always a pleasure.

In a nutshell:

Dakota Hallifax is 100% type A. (Having those tendencies myself, I appreciate this.) So being a wedding planner is readytowedpretty much the perfect occupation for her. But how do you plan the biggest wedding of your career when your wedding just crashed and burned with a no-show groom?

Just when Dakota is sure that her life is a total mess, her childhood best friend Brendan West moves back to town. He helps her pick up the pieces.

The Good:

There’s a lot that I loved about this book. I’m a total sucker for happily ever afters, and this book has an awesome one. No, I won’t tell you what it is.

Beyond that, I like Dakota. I can relate to being something of a control freak and can sympathize with her mother issues. I also like the fact that in spite of the utter blow of having her fiance stand her up at their wedding (mental note: do not get married on a cruise, because awkward if it doesn’t work), she doesn’t completely fall apart.

True, I wanted to slap her when she actually considered giving the jerk another chance, but really, who can blame her? Been there, done that.

Then there’s Brendan. Who doesn’t love a genuinely nice guy? Especially one who swoops in with a nice broad set of shoulders just when you need them? It doesn’t hurt that he’s a hottie and wears suits to work 😉

Jillian, Dakota’s catering bestie, is awesome. She’s all snarky and no nonsense. She’s the kind of friend that everyone needs at least one of. Completely supportive in every way, but doesn’t pull punches or sugarcoat things.

I also love her color coding system for bride moods. It’s kind of awesome and I may just steal it for my personal mood ring.

The Bad:

There’s that whole getting stood up at the altar thing, that’s bound to give any girl (or guy!) nightmares about getting married. Just breathe through it and keep reading! It works out.

Overall:

This is a great read. It hits you in all the feels and I admit to getting a tad weepy there at the end. I hope to see Jillian’s story at some point in the future.

Where you can buy:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Take it Like a Vamp – Candace Havens

This review is so horribly overdue, I cannot EVEN begin to say. All I can do is apologize profusely for the lack. Work blew up like nobody’s business and I’ve been running to exhaustion since about mid-May. Again, my deepest apologies to the ladies at Entangled and to Ms. Havens (whose work I really enjoy).

I could fill the whole blog post apologizing, but really, no one is here for that. Nor should you be!

View the details here.

In my fogged and totally out of it brain, it took me a minute to remember the book and why the name Candace Havens was so familiar. Well DUH. She was one of the authors featured in A Riveting Affair – A Steampunk Anthology. All the squees. I really love this woman’s work! I reread the first line of Take it Like a Vamp and immediately remembered the entire story. It’s pretty darn groovy.

Casey’s best friend is a super hot guy, and really, who doesn’t wish they had one of those! Hers also happens to be a vampire, a rather high ranking one at that. Naturally, Casey doesn’t believe that she is good enough for the hottie but still manages to end up right in the middle of a vampire power struggle with said hottie wrapped around her little finger.

I know what you’re thinking, but the truth is, no. Vampire stories never get old. They’re a whole lot of fun to read and this one is no exception. TakeItLikeAVamp

The Good:

I love Casey. She’s a terrific character. While she has insecurities, they aren’t enough to where she lets people walk all over her. She’s got some serious fight going on. One of the things that I really enjoy about her as a female lead is her strength. Yeah, her man is all kinds of alpha and intimidating, but she holds her own and stands up to him. Repeatedly. She insists on a partnership. For this alone I could totally kiss the author. In a non-creepy way, honestly. It isn’t just Nick she stands up to, though. She also kicks some serious ass when his psycho ex (from like a hundred years ago) shows up and tries to take a bite (literally) out of her.

Nick is the hottie, head of the council, vampire. He’s a pretty good guy, who has fallen in love with his neighbor. It’s sort of cute how he tries to resist her, being a vampire and all. But boy, does he jump at the chance to have Casey, when he has to get married, or else. He’s kind of a dumbass for not just telling her straight out from the get go that he thinks she’s amazing, but guys are silly like that sometimes, and where’s the fun in

Now, I know that I should be all swoony over Nick, and don’t get me wrong. He is totally swoon worthy, but his bff Linc totally steals the show. He’s got all of Nick’s swooniness and a smart ass sense of humor on top of it all. Every alpha male needs a best friend who keeps him grounded and tells him how things are without sugar coating, and Linc is that guy. I’m pretty sure he has his own book, but if he doesn’t yet, he really needs one!

The Bad:

There’s not a lot that I could pick out that irked me in this one.

Casey, while initially down on herself, really came into her own and shined like mad by the end of the book. Her self-esteem improved, but NOT just because she had a man. So there was nothing there to piss me off about her. I related on all kinds of levels. She’s really a wonderful character.

Overall:

Candace Havens had already impressed me in A Riveting Affair and she did so yet again with Take it Like a Vamp. I really enjoyed this and am seriously considering another read through. The writing is great and the characters develop really well. Especially my girl Casey! I highly recommend giving it a read, you won’t be disappointed!

Desire by Design – Paula Altenberg

View the details here.

Once again, I had the privilege of reading an early copy for review purposes. Naturally, I am totally honest in these reviews. So it’s good that I enjoy the books, cause I’d really feel awful if I didn’t and had to give one a less than favorable review. So thank you, authors, for writing entertaining stories that I can totally get behind!

And also, wordpress has totally wonked with my layout and control screens and they look like pewp and are making me cranky. *shakes fist* Anyway. Back to the book!

DesireByDesignThe Story:

Evie is a driven project manager, with some mad design skills. She’s finally landed a terrific job working on the new City Hall building that will do great things for her career.

It seems like everything is going swimmingly until the Mayor starts “helping” things along. He brings in a professional architect to design the new building. Not only does this do awful things to Evie’s budget, it sends her heart (and hormones) sky high.

Matt thinks he’s just doing Uncle Bob a favor to repay him for all his help and support over the years. He has no idea the mess he’s walked into. Not only is he working with a super hot project manager, he’s also replacing her as the designer on the project. It turns out, that isn’t the only reason that she’s prickly and hard to get close to.

The Good:

I really enjoyed reading Desire by Design. It was a fun and fast read. The characters were sweet and watching them get to know each other and get close made me want them to end up together.

I liked that Evie was a tough cookie and could hold her own on a construction site. I also appreciated that she really wanted to be independent and make her family proud of her as well as being proud of herself.

Matt is a sweetheart. He’s just an upstanding kind of guy who tries really hard to do the right thing and live up to his expectations of himself.

Uncle Bob, the Mayor, steals the show for me, though. He is so totally offensive and over the top with how he treats Evie. It’s like he goes out of his way to be “that guy” and push every last one of her buttons. Obviously, you aren’t supposed to like him at the beginning of the book, because he comes off like a jerk. But as soon as I figured out what his real agenda was, everything he did was pretty hysterical. Uncle Bob’s talent for manipulation is epic and I love the twist to the title in light of his hijinks.

The Bad:

Evie, while a good character, kind of irked me a bit. She did things that made me want to smack her and yell at her to smarten up. As much as she made me cranky, her actions were consistent with her character and her internal motivations. So I can’t complain TOO much about it.

Overall:

Desire by Design is a fun read and leaves you feeling good after you’ve finished. Even without that, it’s totally worth reading just to watch Uncle Bob work his crazy manipulating magic.

Famously Engaged – Robyn Thomas

View the details here.

As always, the lovely women at Entangled Publishing provide me with some of the best ever reading material! I really love getting the opportunity to review books for Entangled, because they are, without fail, well written and famouslyengagedentertaining.

Famously Engaged, by Robyn Thomas, is a fun read.

Super famous rock god, Jake Olsen is just looking out for his baby sister’s best interests when he decides to very publically engage himself to Beth Carlisle. What could go wrong? Only lots, of course!

The Good:

I liked the premise of the book. It was unique and a lot of fun. I liked the fact that Jake was doing his best to look out for his family, even though his sister didn’t know they were related. It was touching that he went to such ridiculous lengths to try and head off a problem that really wasn’t even there. Sure, there were probably easier ways to do it, but then there wouldn’t have been much of a story there!

I loved that Beth was such a sweetheart. She really deserved the happily ever after that Jake gave her and she wasn’t so sickeningly sweet and perfect that you ended up not liking her. She was a real trooper through all the media nonsense and it was easy to admire her pluck. Nothing beats a sassy heroine! I also got a kick out of the fact that all of Jake’s band and entourage immediately adopted Beth as one of their own.

The interaction between Jake and his friends was great. It’s exactly how guys who have been friends for a long time treat each other.

The dialogue was snappy and the descriptions didn’t drag.

The Bad:

I know that they’re secondary characters and all that, but Brad and Skyla kind of irked me. I get that Beth is a great person and all that. Like I said, almost too great.

Skyla being friends with Beth is cool. I like that she’s able to be friends with her fiance’s ex. But Brad? He’s obssessed. Like way more so than any normal person should be. They got divorced for crying out loud. Yes, it’s possible to still be friends with your ex, but it was really beyond what I’d tolerate in my fiance. So I wanted to kick Brad in the ding ding because he was stalkery in the extreme.

So, while Jake’s approach was a little heavy handed and ridiculous, it was totally understandable given the epic creepiness of his future brother-in-law. Honestly, in Skyla’s shoes, I’d have been looking for a new fiance long before the time he suggested moving in with his ex.

Overall:

It isn’t an instant classic or the next Harry Potter, but Famously Engaged was a good read. It was quick and entertaining with a sweet outcome for two people who deserved to be happy.

 

Love Me Playlist – Diane Alberts

Hello lovelies!

One of my very favorite people is guest posting today. Not only does this give me all kinds of awesome tingles, but it gives all of you a peek inside Diane’s head while she was writing Love Me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was sweet lovemeand left me all misty eyed. You can pick it up here. Besides, what’s not to love about those abs? *sucks it in and adds about a zillion crunches to the To-Do list*

 

Playlist for LOVE ME 

Hello, and thank you so much for letting me stop by to talk about my newest release from Entangled Publishing! Love Me is the second book in the Take a Chance series, and it’s about Thomas, an emotionally scarred man; and Brianna, a woman who’s already had it all…and lost it.

I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what I think is the perfect playlist for this pair—or, at least, what I listened to most while writing this book.

  1. Back To December—Taylor Swift
  2. I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing–Aerosmith
  3. Better than Me—Hinder
  4. It’s Been a While—Staind
  5. Freshmen—The Verve Pipe
  6. Hallelujiah—Rufus Wainwright

Those are the top six songs I played while writing this book. Listen, read, and enjoy!

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Jenna Bennett on Tall, Dark, and Divine

Good morning my lovelies!

I promised you a treat today and here it is! I reviewed Tall, Dark, and Divine the other day (loved it!) and today I have the privilege of hosting a guest post by the author, Jenna Bennett. She’s an absolute darling and I am eagerly setting aside some moola to read more of her work.

I mentioned that my favorite character was Dion(ysus) in part because he’s hilarious. It seems that Jenna agrees with me, because he is in most of her favorite scenes.

If you like what you read here (and I’m sure you will) you can find Tall, Dark, and Divine here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Entangled Publishing

Kobo

iTunes

About Jenna:

Jennie Bentley is the author of the New York Times bestselling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, while Jenna Bennett writes the USA Today bestselling Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. Jenna is also the author of various forms of romance, from contemporary to futuristic, and from paranormal to romantic suspense, including the award-winning Fortune’s Hero, first in the Soldiers of Fortune series, and JennaAuthorPic3winner of a 2012 SFR Galaxy award for best Enemies to Lovers story.

A former Realtor® and renovator and current full-time author, Jenna/Jennie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with a husband, two kids, an African dwarf frog, a goldfish, and a hyper-active dog. Originally from Norway, she has spent more than twenty years in the US and still hasn’t been able to kick her native accent.

Where you can find her:

Website: http://www.jennabennett.com/

Blog: http://jenniebentley.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bennett_Jenna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Bennett-Jennie-Bentley/192400104127600?fref=ts

And now *drumroll* the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or scrolling down to read 😉 ):

******

Top 5

I love to laugh.

Most people do, I guess, so that makes me no different from anyone else.

But that’s one of the reasons writing Tall, Dark and Divine was so much fun. I’ve written close to twenty books by now, some of them more and some less laugh-out-loud funny. They’ve all had their own brand of enjoyment. But TD&D was probably the best for sheer number of ROFL moments. I cracked myself up writing, and that’s always a good sign.

A large part of the reason why the book is so LOL funny is Dionysus, Greek god of wine and debauchery, owner of the bar in which the characters in the book hang out.

The hero in TD&D is Eros, Greek god of love, and Dion is Eros’s best friend. And their exchanges are pretty damn funny. Unlike Eros, who is the hero and as such has to be somewhat perfect, Dionysus doesn’t have to impress, and so I didn’t have to hold back when it came to writing him. He’s foul-mouthed, opinionated, sexist, and your classic a**hole alpha male, and he’s also a ton of fun to write and read.

Here’s a snippet of conversation, lifted from chapter 3, of Dion trying to talk Eros out of the funk he’s been in since his ex-wife, Psyche, left him.

Warning: there are a lot of f-bombs in this book, so if that isn’t your thing, you may want to stop reading now.

“I think you oughta get back on the horse,” Dion said, and brought him back to earth.

“Horse?”

“Saddle. You know what I mean. Find a woman and remind yourself what you’ve been missing.”

Eros shook his head. “I’m never getting involved with a mortal again.”

“I’m not saying you get involved with her,” Dion said. “You tried that. It didn’t work.” He shook his head. “We’re gods, man. We’re not meant to stay with just one woman.”

Right.

“You gotta spread the gift around, know what I mean? Every woman deserves a night in the sack with a god.”

“Sure.” Whatever. “But I’m the fucking god of love, Dion. What’s the world coming to, if the fucking god of love just wants to get fucked?”

“Seems to me you already did,” Dion said.

And then there’s this one, after Eros walks Annie home – Annie is the heroine – and ends up in bed with her, and then goes back to Dionysus’s Bar looking for Harry Mitchell, the guy he intends to set Annie up with.

“He left a few minutes after you walked out. Why? Were you gonna hurt him?” He looked delighted at the prospect.

The thought had crossed Eros’s mind. However— “No. Annie told me she wants him. I’m gonna get him for her.”

Dion tilted his head and contemplated him. “What did you do wrong?”

“Nothing,” Eros said. “It was before.”

“Before you showed her paradise. You did show her paradise, right?”

Eros shrugged. “She seemed to enjoy herself.”

“Not exactly the rousing confidence I was hoping for,” Dion said, “but it’ll do. So you took this woman home and nailed her, and she let you, and even kept her shoes on while you did—”

“That wasn’t deliberate.”

“Sorry to hear it. Even so, what makes you think she still wants Harry?”

“She said she did,” Eros said.

“Before you fucked her. And seeing as you’re the fucking god of love, when you fuck someone, they stay fucked, right? They don’t want anyone else afterward.”

“Will you knock it off with the fucking?”

“When I’m dead,” Dion said, and added, “which will be never, since I’m immortal.”

Of course, Eros hasn’t thought through his plan for putting Harry and Annie together very well, and as a result, their first date is a bit of a disaster. Annie works in a dog bakery, selling peanut butter bones to dog owners, and Harry owns a Schnauzer, Fiona. Annie has used Fiona as an excuse to talk to Harry, and when Harry shows up for the date, it’s with Fiona in tow. They end up walking to the dog park, where Harry buys Annie a hot dog and a Diet Coke. And this exchange takes place:

She waited for him to start talking to her—he had asked her out, after all, not vice versa—but when the silence lengthened and he didn’t speak, she said, “Fiona looks like she’s having fun.”

Harry nodded.

“How long have you had her?”

“Two years,” Harry said, around his hot dog.

“Is she your first, or did you grow up with dogs?”

Fiona was Harry’s first.

“Did you always want one?”

“I heard chicks like dogs,” Harry said.

Annie blinked. “Is that so?”

“Well.” Harry shrugged. “Look at you.”

Harry does wise up eventually, with the help of Eros and his golden arrows, and realizes that Annie is the only woman for him. By that point, Eros has realized the same thing, of course, and things come down to a big showdown in the Plaza Hotel, with arrows flying and people getting shot. And not always the people who should be shot, either.

“Now!” Dion said, and Eros let go of the arrow. It zinged through the air with a high-pitched whine, over the heads of the other diners—almost getting lost in the elegant upsweep of a Park Avenue matron’s hair and narrowly missing a tuxedo-clad waiter—before hitting Brita in the shoulder.

Fuck.

“Oops,” Dionysus murmured, as the Cretan goddess of hunting stopped in her tracks. Eros lowered the bow, cringing.

After a second, she turned to look at him, and he felt the force of her glare all the way to his soul. Moron.

“Sorry,” he mouthed. Brita scowled.

“Shit.” Dion’s hands flexed. “Guess we’re done for. Sorry, man. It was a good try, but—”

“Shut the fuck up,” Eros growled. 

In front of them, Brita reached up to pull the arrow out of her shoulder. She turned to Harry with it in her hand. It looked like she hesitated for a second, before she lifted it and plunged it into Harry’s chest.

Eros held his breath. For a second, nobody moved. Harry’s eyes widened. He clutched his chest and staggered. In slow motion, his jaw dropped and his eyes widened. And then they rolled back in his head and he crumpled to the floor.

And finally, after Brita slings Harry over her shoulders, like Robin Hood with his steer, and walks out of the Palm Court, Eros and Annie work things out between them. It necessitates a trip to Zeus, head of the Olympians. Zeus and his wife Hera live in a row house on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, and Eros needs some special ambrosia from Zeus, ambrosia that will allow him to keep Annie with him forever.

Unfortunately, Zeus doesn’t seem too inclined to play.

Dion shifted. “You’re joking.”

His father glanced at him. “It would solve the problem.”

“For you, maybe. You’d love for Ross to give up his immortality. You’ve always been worried that he’ll challenge you for top god one of these days. He’s the god of love, and everyone wants love. You’re just the god of thunder, and nobody cares about that.”

Zeus’s nostrils flared. On the TV screen, thunder boomed and lightning flashed. The players scattered as hail the size of snowballs pelted the field.

“Big deal,” Dion said. “So you can make it snow.”

So there you have it. My Top 5 favorite moments from Tall, Dark and Divine. Hope you’ve enjoyed the quick view into the book!

****

HAH! You thought that was all, didn’t you? Well you’re WRONG! This is part of a whole big thing, blog tour, giveaway, the whole nine yards! Tall Dark and Divine Banner

Here’s the deets and how to enter!

Prizes (who doesn’t love prizes?)

1 Sweet Prize Pack including a “Follow Your Passion” bracelet, a Sugar Cookie candle, and a eBook of Tall Dark and Divine (US ONLY)

3 eBooks of Tall Dark and Divine (International)

How to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Today’s post is brought to you by…

Far too little sleep. And possibly sugar. If I’m lucky, anyway.

It’s been a lot of book reviewing here lately and not much else. Which, all things considered, is only half reflective of what I’ve been doing with my time.

Yes, there’s been a ton of reading. Sort of makes sense and all, seeing as how I do that writing thing and I’ve been reading since I could say beer. Don’t ask me why the two are related, because they’re probably not at all.

Other things!

TV. Yes, I know it’s a time sink with little to no redeeming value, but darnit, I love my shows!

Started watching BSG (the new one) for the first time ever. A put it on and said “It’s good. Watch.” So I did. Way less cheesy than I remember the original (via reruns, thank you, I am not THAT old) being. Pretty darn good actually. I love Boomer and I don’t CARE if she’s a toaster. So HAH! We’re almost to the end of season two. After we’re done with BSG, I’m gonna make A watch Caprica with me again, cause I really liked that, too. It makes perfect sense to me that drug dealer Jesus (also known as Eric Stoltz – don’t judge, that’s really what he looks like in Pulp Fiction) would be the one to start us on the road to destruction. Sort of like the people who invented Watson (I for one, welcome our new computer overlords) have laid the groundwork for Skynet.

We’re also watching Hell’s Kitchen, OF COURSE!! I’m calling Mary or Jon. Gordon Ramsay is the poo. And then there’s all that drama from Kitchen Nightmares. Seriously people, why ask to be on the show if you don’t really want him to fix your shit? He’s Gordon f***ing Ramsay. Trust me when I tell you that he knows more about running a restaurant than you do.

The day job has been… interesting to say the least. I know that I was tearing my hair out when I was juggling all the management, but I can honestly say that I’d rather go back to that than deal with the inanity I have now. I guess details will have to wait for the individual causing the havoc to be immortalized as a character in a book. Cause good grief. The person is almost unbelievable.

There are probably other things. Like A and I saw Iron Man 3. OMG! Loooved it. Need to do so many TV and movie reviews. Obviously I need to win the lottery so that I can update all the stuff I need to. Yeesh.

Special treat tomorrow! And on the 22nd. Guest blogs from Jenna Bennett and Diane Alberts. Squeee! I love guest blogs. And their books. You should totally go read their books!

And so that this post isn’t beyond boring… I leave you with:

avenger-dogs