Book Review: Love by Design by Katy Ames

About the book:LbD_ebook

Title: Love by Design

Author: Katy Ames

Published: April 6th 2020

Source: ARC received in exchange for an honest review from Forever Write PR

Format: e-copy



Cheating husband. On-air meltdown. Public humiliation.

Lucky me, I’ve experienced them all.

Oh, and the implosion of my career as an up-and-coming designer and renovation television darling.

That was then.

Now, I’m in the TV studio, more determined than ever to prove to myself (and the few fans I have left), that I’m back for good. Nothing from my past—no man, no mistake—is going to knock me down again.

If only fate—and Grayson Hesse—had gotten the memo.


Woodworker. Stone house restoration guru. And the new host of Hesse and a Hard Place.

This is what I know:

If this show’s a success, I’ll finally be able to give my family the financial stability they need. My chances of success go way up if I have the best designer in the business working by my side. And the best in the business (despite the lingering rumors) is Annika Hale.

She’s the triple threat: brilliant designer, restoration maven, and the woman who stole my heart six years ago…and hasn’t looked back since.

But that was then.

Now… Well, what is it they say? After all, 425 Madison is the perfect place to fall in love.

Check it on: Amazon & Goodreads

My Review

The “425 Madison” series is a great one. It has a lot of amazing stories and I cannot wait to read them all. I did manage to finish only a couple until now, but I am following up on them slowly. For today, let me tell you my thoughts on “Love by Design”.

 While I devoured this book, I admit I was not too found of it. It’s an easy read, with likeable characters, but the plot was not to my taste. But I should start with the things I really enjoyed.

Annika and Grayson have had their fair share of misfortune and now they plan on making their careers as successful as possible. I like their simple life, their desire to gain success through hard work and dedication to a job they really love! I envy them for this. It’s a breath of fresh air seeing two normal people try to combine professional with personal, acting like the adults they are.

But the plot was so predictable. And the fact that we learn about the issues very early in the book, makes all the following events feel like a drag. At some point I was thinking: “Come on, kiss and make up already! You know this is not serious.” I understand Annika’s mistrust and her fears of being let down, but I find it misplaced. The guy proves he is there to stay with every step. Also, there is one additional conflict close to the end that felt unnecessary and forced. This is what made me take several steps away from the five-star rating.

Overall, I did not dislike it and I think it’s an ok book. With good characters, a sweet second chance romance and an interesting TV show, “Love by Design” by Kate Ames will definitely offer you a good reading time 😉

Cover review: I like the happy couple, I like the consistency with the city in background, as it appears on the covers of the other books in the series. But nothing makes me think about the characters or the plot.

3 stars

About the Author

Katy writes contemporary romances about heroines who aren’t afraid to kick ass, heroes brave enough to love them, and stories that get a little messy before ending happily ever after.

She’s mom to two boys whom she loves to bits but wishes would sleep a lot more than they do, and wife to a man whose reading habits are far too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city in which she never planned to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about it for hours. Just ask.

Katy is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Washington Romance Writers.


Book Review: Mischievous Christmas Angel by Mimi Barbour

Mischievous Christmas Angel
Angels With Attitudes Series Book 5
by Mimi Barbour
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sarna Publishing
Publication Date: October 28, 2019
After one night of blistering lovemaking that would bring any sane man to his knees clutching a ring, Jack’s forced to accept Mia’s unexpected rejection. Then when she seems to be warming up to having a relationship, danger erupts around him in freakish accidents and mystical happenings. How can he permit her and her little girl to be anywhere near these threats?
Mia lovingly adopts her best friend’s four-year-old child in accordance with her will. She also agrees to move her new family and her business to live with her aunt before the Christmas holidays arrive. But… she isn’t willing to hold on to a man because of one incredible night’s loss of restraint.
**On Sale for only .99cents! **

My Review

I am quite conflicted here. On one hand, I liked the characters and their backstories, but a part of the plot is with a small question mark and as well something about the writing doesn’t resonate with me. However, I also have to mention that I am reviewing an ARC copy, so the finished product can be different. Let me explain what I mean.

Mia’s best friend recently passed away and she is left carrying for her little girl. Painful memories and the desire to offer little Maisie a future away from the hurt of losing her mom determine her accept her aunt’s offer to move in with her. She then meets Jack – sent by her aunt to help with the moving and then to renovate her future home, they have an instant connection. His strong and kind nature as well as his behavior toward the little girl are just some of the attributes that bring Mia close to Jack. The one night of passion they share feels like an escape for her, a little ray of light in her sad heart. But if they both are willing to see this forward or not, is a different and more complicated story.

The author created two strong characters that had to face a lot in their younger years. When Mia’s parents became ill, she started writing a blog and then developed a business from sewing. I appreciate her desire to be financially independent and the strength she has shown professionally, as well as personally, with carrying for her parents and Maisie. Jack’s return from Afghanistan finds him battling physical injuries and worse: mental ones. He somehow manages to find the strength to push forward and get over his addictions.

While I liked the two and I liked the themes Mimi Barbour incorporates, I did not fully like the implications of Jack’s guardian angel. For me it was too much, in some situations and I would have preferred to see him less, probably this would have made me accept the concept easily.  Also the reason Jack decides to run for mayor is … not the most mature.

Si I’ll go ahead and give “Mischievous Christmas Angel” 3.5 stars. It’s a quick read, with enjoyable moments and an adorable 4 year-old kid. I liked it for the most part. Enjoy!

Cover Review: I like little Maisie in the front, spreading her magic and bringing the two main characters together, but I am not as fond of the way the title is written. The red is too bright and takes all the attention from the other elements in the cover.

Favorite Quote: “I can’t mawwy you, Jack, ‘cause I’m too little. I wanted you to be my daddy.” (just read the book, the context of this line is to die for ! )


3.5 stars

Mimi is an incredibly busy NYT and USA Today award-winning, best-selling author who has seven series to her credit. The Vicarage Bench Series – Spirit/Time -Travel tales that have a surprising twist / The Angels with Attitude Series – Angels Love Romance / The Elvis Series – Make an Elvis song a book / Vegas Series – 6 books full of romantic suspense, humor and gritty conflicts / and… the fast-paced, edgy, humorous, romantic suspense, Undercover FBI Series /The Holiday Heatwarmer Series – puppies become cupids. And the latest, explosive Mob Tracker Series – six books full of conflicts and characters you’ll hate to leave.
Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
**1st place prize of the 2015 – Chanticleer Reviews – Clue Awards. Special Agent Francesca
**A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.
$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Review: Jackson by Emily March

About the book:

Title: Jackson (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas #1)

Author: Emily March

Published: June 25th 2019 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Source: St. Martin’s Press

Format: e-copy


Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?

This is quite conflicting. I had several expectations from this book when I started reading it and, while these expectations were not met, I cannot say that I disliked it.

Let me start with the title. Jackson’s story is definitely more elaborated than Caroline’s. Both characters have a backstory and they came to Redemption to start over. But if for Caroline the past life concludes quite quick, for Jackson we need to wait until the end. So it is somehow fitting.

This is a clean Romance book, focused on starting over, building a good life and making friends. We have a hint of a blessing here and there, which just makes the atmosphere even more warm. If you are expecting lots of skin and clothes scattered around, this is not it. Which is fine by me, as long as we feel what our characters feel.

The backstories are quite strong. Both characters have struggled a lot in life. She has had to deal with a husband who was forgetting her a little more every day and he has to deal with the absence of her daughter. Hearts mend in Redemption and the intervention of two awesome innkeepers has something to do with it.

So we have quite a good start here. However I had issues with the slow pace of the story. In some chapters, I got lost in the details and I received little if the chemistry I was expecting. For how much they were saying they wanted to stay away from love, both started an exclusive relationship quite quick, but I did not feel that emotion. I didn’t feel the Sparks and their connection. I would have expected more butterflies and more passion when these two meet.

All in all, I do have some plus and minuses her, but I cannot deny the warmth of Redemption. I do believe the other couples will be even more interesting and I expect a little more intensity. For now, I am keeping my 3 stars rating and I am looking forward for book 2 of this spinoff. Happy guys !

Book Review: Kiss Me at Christmas

About the book:37638149


Title: Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides #10)

Author: Valerie Bowman

Published: October 30th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Source: received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy


A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

Looks like this Christmas I did read books with a theme. It is a great feeling, I liked that! Some were great, others were just good for the time. Unfortunately, “Kiss Me at Christmas” falls under the latter category. I liked the premises so much, but sadly the plot was not at all what I had expected.

This is Regina and Daffin’s story. She is a lady of the ton, he is a Bow street Runner. Their interaction starts before the action in “Kiss Me at Christmas” and those flirtatious moments are what brings Regina at his office, to strike a deal. She needs someone who can offer her a night of true passion before her official engagement with a man only interested in developing his fortune, by acquiring the lands promised as dowry for Regina. As tempting as it may be, Daffin cannot even imagine accepting such a scandalous proposal. Not only is she promised to another, but she is also his best friend’s cousin. With her dignity offended, by her own actions and his refusal, Regina returns to her cousin’s estate, hoping to avoid any further encounters with the Bow Street Runner.

When danger appears, Regina’s cousin knows just the perfect person who can best protect her and his wife and also investigate who is behind. From here on, the romance and mystery go in parallel, though one falls second to the other in terms of development.

I admired Regina’s courage to face the enemy and her determination to raise Daffin’s interest. He is a professional in how he does his job, but he is also a man, so cannot stay indifferent to the charms of a beautiful woman. I did not like the action at all. The negative characters were more like silly actors and very poor participants. The threats against Regina and Nicole (her cousin’s wife) felt superficial and not well developed.

Everything in regards to the romance was good, even if I may have my complaints in that regard as well (especially in the end). What starts as more of a necessity, more like a desperate need of passion before submitting to a loveless marriage, becomes more for Regina. It is up to our Bow Street Runner to see if his desires are physical or if they can amount to something else.

So as much as it pains me, I’ll give “Kiss Me at Christmas” 3 stars, just because of the ok romance and our main characters. The adventurous side of the story disappointed me. With all these in mind, I still liked it. It is a nice book to read, especially around Christmas. Happy Reading!

About the Author5414544


Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps!

Valerie’s debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dogs. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Website                      Twitter


Book Reviews: The Immortal Kiss Series

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Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Date Published: 4/28/17
Publisher: Story Bound Publishing
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Centuries ago ten powerful vampire gods first walked the earth; their blood thirst knew no boundaries. The destruction of mankind was inevitable. Recognizing their weakness, they selected twelve wise human beings to transform with their godly blood. These twelve, known as The Old Ones and The Council, govern The Ten. A blood lottery appeasing The Ten’s hunger was set forth into the human world and passed down every fifth generation, continuing into the present day.
All of Beth Ryan’s life a mysterious mist has watched over her; a mist she believed to be a vampire. On a cold winter night, Philippe Delon, a 700-year-old vampire walks into Beth’s life. She is drawn to him, certain he is the vampire behind the mist…but is he? 
Beth and Philippe cannot deny their love for each other, nor do they try to fight it. Within days of their encounter, Beth accepts Philippe’s invitation to move into his mansion. The mansion unlocks the door to the vampire world and exposes secrets from Beth’s past. Within its walls, she learns the true identity of the mist, her link to the blood lottery, and betrayal of her loved ones. Surrounded by lies, Beth stands before The Council begging for resolution.
My Review

Oh, how could a vampire book miss my end of the year list of books read? If there is an entire series with vampires, that’s even better. So I started this one with an open heart.

“Immortal Kisses” is one mountain of twists and political intrigue. There is this history behind all vampires, there is a sacrifice and a naïve girl willing to pay it without knowing. Until she finds out, that is. There is big trouble out there for Beth Ryan. Falling in love with a vampire who ends up betraying her, moving in with the enemy, these are things that do not foretell a good future for her. And I am not even sure if love can conquer all in this book.

I loved the story so much, it was refreshing and brings something new for a devoted reader of vampire books. There are so many twists and so many scenes that will keep you living on the edge. And there is always that question: does he really care for her? Or is it only the blood? Hmm… though one!

Ok, we have it clear that I love the story. Now the characters. It took me a while to understand what role each one plays as there are many out there, but I did not like Beth at all. She was silly and just immature for the life she was accepting. I just could not connect with her.

I cannot say I disliked the book, on the contrary. But just because I wanted more involvement from the main character and I wanted her to man up (actually woman up, but…  you got the idea) I am giving this book 3.5 stars. I loved the story, it’s very refreshing, but I wanted more from the protagonists.

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Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Date Published: 3/17/17
Publisher: Story Bound Publishing
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Five years crawled by at a painfully slow pace for young vampire, Beth; each year more agonizing than the next. The powerful unyielding spell which masked Amon’s whereabouts showed no signs of weakening.  Influenced by the binding ritual and Amon’s blood surging inside her, Beth will stop at nothing, and risk everything, to find him and turn the tables on Osiris, Isis, and Hathor.  In foggy streets of London, lives are threatened by a new breed of hunter, and nothing is what it seemed.  Beth once again finds herself surrounded by betrayal.  In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between Philippe and Amon – knowing that her decision will change one life forever. But whose?
My Review

One would think that becoming a vampire, you also become stronger and smarter. Nope, our main character remains unpolished in “Bound by Blood” as well, but we have the same good plot with great action.

It’s difficult to discuss about book 2 without spoiling the previous one, so I’m going to keep this vague, short and simple. Beth is a vampire now (not a spoiler, you got that from the blurb!) and she fights for her loved one(s) and against (maybe) her husband, like some marriages these days. We are still reminded that humans are just food and that vampires are ruthless and hungry. We have vampire slayers and the action becomes more and more intense.

My feelings are the same as for the previous book, which you must read in order to follow up with the action in this one by the way. Good action, not so good characters. Again I failed to connect with Beth and I am really really sorry. But there are so many other elements that captured my attention and I was so curious to see what happened with Amon and where everyone sands in this picture.

All in all, I’m keeping my 3.5 rating and I do hope I’ll manage to increase it in the next book.

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Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Date Published:  3/16/18
Publisher: Story Bound Publishing
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Brandon Cass is not your average teenager. He has a taste for blood—human blood. For sixteen years, he stumbled through life without a hitch until the enigmatic aroma of blood awakened something dark within him. Visions of a beautiful young woman with chocolate brown hair and ocean blue eyes haunt his mind, yet her identity is a puzzling mystery.
His hunger for blood strengthens, and the cravings become too powerful to control. No one is safe, not even his family. To safeguard all he once found dear, Brandon sets out on a quest for answers. In an unfamiliar city, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful young woman, confronts the dark force which controls him, and learns what he must endure to reclaim his soul.
My Review

Book 3 of the Immortal Kiss series brings a different story, this time with less romantic drama and more with a psychological aspect. We have a teenager dealing with … the monster within! Brandon realizes he may like a different kind of beverage, the kind that runs through the veins. But is he really a vampire?

Again, this is something new, I would even dare say it challenges what we, the vampire readers, may struggle with. We all know vampires are made, they have no souls and they have a body of their own. Laura Daleo comes with something interesting and even bold. I liked it. The plot is amazing, the struggle our main character has to accept and to find out his identity is well done. We have dark and messy scenes that add up to the twisted part of being a vampire.

I liked it even more than the previous two, even if we have some holes in the story here and there. But we have great interactions between the main character and his friends and family and his torment feels very much real.

All in all, I am giving this book 4 stars with all my heart. This was a great read and such a refreshing take on a vampire story. Happy Reading!

About the Author

 photo _DSC0499-webready_zpspmkx1yqp.jpgLaura Daleo was born and raised in San Diego, California where she majored in Fine Arts at Mesa College. She is best known for her love of animals and shares her home with three humorous Basset Hounds, Stuart, Morgan, and Dexter, her toughest critics. Laura has held positions in several industries, Restaurant, Telecom, Biotech, Research, and Retail. Throughout Laura’s professional career, she furthered her writing skills by taking courses and by joining writer’s critique groups and Writers Digest. She is now the owner of Story Bound Publishing, a fresh voice in the supernatural realm of ebooks and traditional print, committed to publishing unearthly tales of Aliens, Angels, Demons, Fairies, Ghosts, Shifters, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Zombies and all other creatures that go bump in the night.

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Book Review: Until We’re More

About the book:40954477


Title: Until We’re More (Fighting For Her #2)

Author: Cindi Madsen

Published: August 27th 2018 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Embrace)

Source: received in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy


Chelsea is smart, funny, gorgeous, and the best friend I’ve ever had. Ever since she left, I’ve been a wreck. I’ve been focused on keeping my family’s MMA gym afloat while I train and coach fighters, anything to not miss her more. But now she’s finally back, along with her grumpy, possessive cat, and things are weird between us.

By weird, I mean I can’t stop thinking about her in that way. She’s in the room next door, and it takes all my control not to storm in there, sweep her up, and bring her back to my bed. Even stranger, I’m pretty sure she’d be into it.

And this time, I’m not going to stop fighting until we’re more.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads


My Review


“Friends to lovers” is always a great trope, if explored to its fullest.  Cindi Madsen does a good job in “Until We’re More”, creating a beautiful friendship that our main characters are afraid to ruin.

Chelsea and Liam have been best friends for a long long time. She is the only person he feels comfortable with, he is he only guy she can feel herself with, the guy who puts up with her love of books and her family’s complicated issues. However, one moment between them changes everything and she decides to put distance between them. Chelsea returns after 6 month away from home, willing to build her career and change her personality. Can Liam keep his emotions in check? Are they able to stick to the friends zone? You’ve already figured the answer to these questions, but the steps they take are interesting and even funny.

I like how comfortable their relationship feels and how they see each other’s flaws or particularities and accept them, no questions asked. Liam is not much of a talker, but Chelsea manages to get more than one word out of him. She is lacking self-confidence, but with a little help from him, she will manage to build it.

There are good things about this book, but also many that were not as much to my taste. I did not feel the relationship between the main characters and their friends and family. They felt like being thrown in there and I did not feel the substance. Also, these particularities of the main characters feel a little contradictory. He is shy, but I didn’t feel this from his interactions with others. True, there is not much dialogue with other characters. She is not very imposing, but I didn’t get that part, except in her professional career. I don’t know, I just didn’t feel it.

As for the writing, I would have preferred to see a bigger difference between the chapters from Chelsea’s perspective and the ones from Liam’s. The plot is great, but the family aspect that she has to deal with is not well defined from my point of view.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read. Granted, I would have preferred much more, but I liked it nonetheless. For now, I am going with 3 out of five stars and my love for the author 🙂 She has many amazing books and many I still need to go through 🙂 Happy Reading 🙂

About the Author1029223


Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

If you’re interested in ARCs, interviews, and/or blog tour information please contact the publicity department at


Twitter: @cindimadsen

Book Review: The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling

The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling
Leslie North
(Christmas With the Yared Sheikhs, #1)
Publication date: December 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

It’s the Christmas season in the tiny Kingdom of Maatkare, and the royal family needs a chef. Desperate to prove herself after her first restaurant failed, Ana Rizzo jumps at this chance for redemption and nabs the high-paying, short-term job. The opportunity couldn’t be more perfect. Ana will be able to stretch her culinary skills, earn enough money to open another restaurant, and still be able to give her adopted daughter the attention she needs. Her biggest challenge will be winning over the family’s elderly cook and getting Noel Yared, the middle son, to give her food his stamp of approval. She only cares about Noel’s palate, not his soulful brown eyes, his gorgeous runner’s body, and his amazing kisses. An avid runner herself, Ana pushes herself to keep up with Noel during their daily runs. But she’s finding the biggest challenge is resisting Noel’s charm.

Noel finds Ana endlessly fascinating and incredibly sexy. With a bit of charming persuasion from him, the two begin what they both know is a short-term affair. No rules, no heartache, just great sex and a bit of fun. So when he believes Ana has betrayed his family’s trust, he’s glad his heart wasn’t involved. Glad she’s gone. Glad he’ll never see her again. Until he realizes a couple terrible truths too late: Ana was actually the one who was betrayed, and somehow he’s fallen hard for her. Now he needs a bit of Christmas magic to prove he’s worthy of her love.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I love Leslie North’s books and I love her stories with sheikhs and all this interesting land. However, for “The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling” it’s the short length that bothers me so much.

We have characters with potential and an interesting plot, but there is not much room for development. Ana is one of the most determined heroines I’ve encountered. She has faced a failed marriage, a ruined business and career. Now she starts over in a small country, where tradition is key and food customs are to be respected. Little did she expect to feel this attraction for her employer’s son – Sheikh Noel Yared. He shows her his country, with all its beauty, the spices that are at the heart of their culinary tradition and all she has to do is work her magic. However, not everybody is happy with the arrival of the new chef and she has to deal with a disgruntled employer, willing to do whatever it takes to see her out of the kitchen.

He knew he should stay away from Ana. The mother. The employee. The future complicated situation.

As I was mentioning, there is so much potential here. I wanted to see Ana explore more of the food, I wanted to see more traditions, just more of Maatkare. Noel knows he should stay away from a single mother, but this angle is not explored enough. As for Ana, she has adopted her daughter from a foreign country – cheers for that! But I wanted to know why. Charlie, Ana’s best friend is more like a shadow and for now I don’t see where he fits in the bigger picture.

With all my complains, we do have this intense attraction between the two and I loved to see Noel’s respect and pride for his country. They are a match for one another in terms of ambition and success.

“I’m a chef,” she went on. “I am a professional organizer of flavors. It’s more than just math. It’s not just carbs and proteins. It’s a beautiful dance that brings in emotion and memories. It’s a journey, and it’s one of the fine arts of life.”

All in all, I would never pass a Leslie North book. Even if this is not the great start I was expecting, I cannot wait to discover the other stories in the series. I saw that they are a little longer so I  have high hopes.

Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of Leslie’s books and if not, try them! She is a prolific writer and you have plenty of stories to choose from 🙂



Author Bio:

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to contact her via e-mail:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



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Book Review: Hard Drive (Tech Titans #1)

Hard Drive
Tech Titans Series Book 1
by Marcella Swann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Can I tame the Bad Boy Playboy of Silicon Valley?
Damian Black: He’s gorgeous and knows it.
A titan of the tech industry and not yet 30.
Models and starlets are his for the taking.
A billionaire.
And so very good at being bad.
I tell myself I don’t want him even though I do, in the worst way.
But I’ve got a secret that could ruin everything.
Gigi Stevens: She’s brainy and beautiful and has a tongue as sharp as an
ice pick. 
I’m the face of a multi-billion-dollar tech company and I’ve got a rep.
I’m used to shallow and superficial but that’s not her.
That’s not her at all.
And it throws me.
Is something real worth the risk?
There’s only one way to find out.
It’s a dangerous dance:
Will she tame the Bad Boy or will she be the one who’s conquered?
**Only .99 cents!**

My Review

While this book is a love story that happens in a shot amount of time… and pages, I see it as a little more, maybe because both characters have flaws and personality traits I am not crazy about. I am trying to see this as a positive thing. Let me explain a little what I mean by that.

Damian and Gigi meet at a party organized by him and his major tech company. The meeting, while accidental, has an important effect on their hearts. None can escape thinking about the other. So, at some point, Damian takes her away to lunch, at 10 PM. The book explains it all, I won’t get into too much, as I’ll end up spoiling it. During this short amount of time, they eat, they talk, they get to know each other better and … things move south.

Probably because this is a novella, we do not get a significant plot development, but we see enough about the characters to view them interesting. Damian’s ego is as big as his empire. The author gives us info about how he and his partners started, but he is the one most aware of what power can do. He pushes the limits of his influence and is not ashamed to admit it. Gigi has had a difficult upbringing and because of that, she has left her family behind once collage began. She has never looked back since then and is ashamed of her origins (family and accent included). In a way, they are both being someone they are not. Damian is actually a pretty nice guy and she is not as innocent as they come.

I wanted a little bit more. I  wanted more plot development, I wanted a bigger conflict and a less rushed conclusion. But it was a very fun read and I enjoyed my time with “Hard Drive” (don’t quite get the title yet though). The writing is beautiful, with funny moments that made me enjoy it even more. All in all, I am giving this book 3.5 stars and I am looking forward for what’s next in the series.


Marcella Swann is an Amazon #1 bestselling author of heart-thumping and
heart-melting contemporary romance. She’s plied her trade in the
newspaper business, written and produced a way off Broadway play, and
is the proud mama of a singer-songwriter. When she’s not trying to
save newspapers from eminent doom (by subscribing to them all), she
loves to take her readers on dreamy journeys to that place where all
the men are hotties and the women are beautiful and strong. She also
swings a mean kettle bell at the gym and likes people watching at
Grand Central on a busy day. 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Book Review: Frede and Santa

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you have received a lot of presents, but just in case, I can tell you that Santa has left a lot of joy and happiness for you guys under my Christmas tree so here I am sending those your way

 I have a special review today: a children’s book.

About the book:35299835


Title: Frede and Santa

Author: Leen Lefebre

Published: June 2nd 2017 by Leen Lefebre (first published December 6th 2014)

Source: received from the author, in exchange for a review

Format: e-copy


In a faraway village there lives a farmer with his wife. The summer harvest has failed and winter already arrives. So, how should they feed their three sons? The idea arises to fetch wood in the northern forest. They could dry it, sell it from door to door and earn some money to buy food.

Frede knows that his parents are doing their best, but is it enough to withstand the most barren period of the year? Together with his brothers, Rhune and Folke, he wants to visit Santa and ask him for help. But, first they must travel through that extensive forest where the evil Elf King lurks.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

A story about how a boy manages to help his family by asking for Santa’s help. Frede and his brothers leave in the middle of the night to the Christmas village and are faced with numerous adventures. The youngest of them all is also the bravest.

All three brothers have distinct features and are compared with children of the seasons. But freed is the one that stands out, not only because of his physical appearance (he looks like an elf, with his pointy ears), but also because of his determination. He will not allow any distractions from his mission. Moreover, he plans to be back home by morning, so his parents wouldn’t have time to worry. Sweet J

There are a couple of items that kept me from giving it 5 stars. Main one is the short length, which did not allow the story to develop. It all felt rushed and some parts could have been presented in more detail. Then we have the cover, which shows just a little boy. I would have added Santa, elves or maybe Santa’s carriage just to brighten it up a little. And maybe some drawings inside the book would have been nice. But maybe the physical copy looks different.

Since this book is about family and encourages parents to read to their children or buy books for them, I can only do the same. “Frede and Santa” is a good read for this time of the year, it brings family together, and that is nice.

Happy Holidays J

About the Authorleen

Leen Lefebre (1982) grew up in West Flanders, where she works at the Local Heritage Service. She threw herself early on any book that was available. Later she rolled and settled in the worldwide web. Literary, musically and sportively Leen emerged as a true explorer. She is a dreamer and a doer. In this way all of her books have arisen as well: stories for all adventurers – young and old.

Book Review: The Heart of the Alchemist

heart of the alchemist_banner

About the book:


Title: The Heart of the Alchemistheart of the alchemist

Author: Penny Wells

Published: August 13th 2017 by Blushing Books Publications

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy


When the love of her life dumps her, Katie spends three years living with a broken heart.

Seeing him with his new fiancée prompts her to make some changes, but before she can, Katie is torn abruptly from twenty-first century Chicago.

Landing in Elizabethan England, she finds herself in a room with a handsome alchemist named

Robert. Unable to send her home, Lord Robert assumes the role of her guardian and helps her learn how to live in 1566 London. Robert’s father, the spymaster to Queen Elizabeth, sees the value in Katie’s knowledge from the future and allows her to come to court. Plunged into a world of scandals and secrets she doesn’t understand, Katie risks her life to earn Lord Robert’s trust.

As a man with questionable intent begins to pursue her, stirring Robert to jealousy, Katie discovers she may feel more for Robert than she thought. Being a woman in the sixteenth century where she may be disciplined, married off, or locked away is fraught with perils. But has Katie found love despite these dangers?

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

I think this is my first time travel romance, which is strange. How come I’ve never come across one? Ok, never mind. For one first time travel romance books I’ve ever read, this was not that bad, though I would have expected more.

The blurb describes well enough the plot but let me give you a bit more. Katie ends up in Lord Robert’s alchemy lab after his failed experiment to obtain gold. She finds herself in Elizabethan England, with no internet or phone (or denim), captive in a strange man’s house. But as scared as she may be of the entire situation, Robert has at least the same amount of worry. Step by step, they will earn each other’s trust and Katie will be thrown into a world of secrets and spies.

I have no complains when it comes to the writing, my main issues are related to how the story was built. For me, it was not very believable how easily Katie has forgotten about her family. I had the feeling her worry was mostly for the material things she would miss, not necessarily her loved ones.

As a trigger warning, there is a scene of violence towards her that was too much for me. I have not experienced such acts, but I would expect any woman to fight a little, not accept it and that’s it.

Lord Robert was living too much in his father’s shadows. He gave me the impression of being afraid of him, like he was cruel, old man. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad book, it has things that I enjoyed. As I was mentioning, the writing is not bad at all. For example, Lord Robert’s panic when he sees this strange woman, dressed in weird clothes, in his lab and the way he tries to deal with the situation are really some great scenes. The author has done a great research on the customs from that era, so the documentations is visible. The romance is built quite well also.

So yes, I am going with a 2.5 stars (round up 3 stars) for this one. I liked it, just that it could have been better. Let me know your thoughts below. Enjoy!


About the Author

Penny Wells has been writing stories since she knew what a story was. She loves reading penny wellsand especially enjoys a lush fantasy novel or an engaging historical drama. Wells lives in the United States with her husband, who is an avid reader of nonfiction. When she isn’t wrapped up in the consumption or crafting of words, she can often be found curled up with a warm drink and cozy craft.