Review: Naughty and Nice: A Holiday Romance Collection, by Various

Naughty and Nice, by Various

Naughty and Nice: A Holiday Romance Collection by Various
Published by Carina Press on December 6, 2010
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 261
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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

‘Tis the Season for Romance

A famous singer reunites with an old flame. A couple explores their desire to be truly bound together. Newlyweds heat things up when they’re trapped indoors. And sparks fly when the lights go out. Whether you are naughty or nice, you can still get what you really want for Christmas in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes nice novellas:

Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey
All She Wants For Christmas by Jaci Burton

And naughty novellas:

Unwrapped by Megan Hart
Believe by Lauren Dane

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Review: A Murder for the Books, by Victoria Gilbert

A Murder for the Books, by Victoria Gilbert

A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert
Published by Crooked Lane Books on December 12, 2017 (expected)
Series: Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, #1
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 336
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Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

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Review: The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 8, 2016
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, romance, thriller
Format & Pages: hardcover, 521
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Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.

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Review: Select, by Marit Heisenberg

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Select by Marit Weisenberg
Published by Charlesbridge Teen on October 3, 2017 (expected)
Series: The Select, #1
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, romance, science fiction, young adult
Format & Pages: e-book, 352
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Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?

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Review: Win, by Vera Nazarian

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Win by Vera Nazarian
Published by Norilana Books on July 11, 2017
Series: The Atlantis Grail, #3
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, romance, science fiction, young adult
Format & Pages: e-book, 949
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The Games are Forever!
It’s one thing to Qualify and Compete…
Now she must Win.

Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, is among the lucky ones. She’s one of several million teenage refugees to escape the extinction-level asteroid barreling towards Earth and reach the ancient colony planet of Atlantis.

But Atlantis is a strange new world with higher gravity and a blazing white sun, where nothing is as expected. The new arrivals from Earth will now belong to the majority class of non-citizens who face a lifetime of hard work and limited rights.

To make matters worse, Gwen’s rare and powerful talent […] is viewed as a potential weapon to be exploited by the Imperator, as well as a threat to the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its uncompromising control over the people of Atlantis.

A last-minute heartbreak prior to arrival turns to joy, when Gwen receives a declaration of love from an unexpected source. The Wedding date is set, but before she can be joined with her true love, she is forced to compete in the brutal and deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail to save herself, her family, friends, and everything she cares about. Once again, her intelligence, quick thinking skills, resilience, and creativity are challenged to the breaking point.

The Games are monumental, intricate, lethal . . . and the Games are Forever.

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Book vs. Movie: Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Published by Listening Library on September 1, 2015
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, young adult
Format & Pages: audiobook
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My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

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Review: Ensnared, by Rita Stradling

Ensared, by Rita Stradling

Ensnared by Rita Stradling
Published by Kindle Press on May 23, 2017 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, new adult, romance, science fiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 380
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A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast 

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

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Review: Faulty Bones, by J.M. Fraser

Faulty Bones, by J.M. Fraser

Faulty Bones by J.M Fraser
Published by Natalyn Press on December 19, 2016
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 242
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Destined love thwarted by a supernatural con game.

Two bankrupt card players, lured by black magic and a casino-chip counterfeiting scam, get lost within the folds of a world no longer true.

Faulty Bones follows the journey of Mike and Amy–a couple of restless drifters who misdirect their anchors to the shifty part of town. Can they overcome her gambling addiction and his tenuous grasp of reality to find their way back on the grid? A pair of scheming mobsters, a demonic con man, and a series of ripples in the sands of time won’t make the going easy.

Nothing proves to be as it seems in this novel, and that’s the essence of a good scam. Are you a clever enough detective to guess the secrets before they’re revealed?

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Review: The Thief, by Michele Hauf

The Thief, by Michele Hauf

The Thief by Michele Hauf
Published by Lyrical Press on April 11, 2017 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 320
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The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one . . .

The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way.

Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . . .

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Review: Barefoot with a Bodyguard, by Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot with a Bodyguard, by Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot with a Bodyguard by Roxanne St. Claire
Published by South Street Publishing on June 12, 2015
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 307
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Introducing Barefoot Bay Undercover, a romantic adventure series set on the tropical beaches of Barefoot Bay. When former CIA consultant Gabe Rossi creates a secret “privatized witness protection” operation hidden within the security firm at the local resort, things get a little more suspenseful on the island paradise. Gabe’s clients need to keep a low profile and stay safe while he helps them create new identities…and, sometimes, they find love. (To find out how Gabe started the operation, be sure to read the series prequel novella, Barefoot Bound.)

Barefoot with a Bodyguard – book one in the series

About to take the bar exam after ending a five-year marriage that derailed her career plans and her life, Kate Kingston craves independence and a vacation. Somewhere warm with sea breezes, sunshine, sand…and no scary threats against her that have been showing up in her dad’s office. Barefoot Bay is the perfect place for some serenity while she studies and puts her life back together. But when she meets the brooding wall of muscle her father hired to protect her, Kate feels her hard won independence slipping away as fast as her resolve to avoid men who wield power over her.

Mixed martial arts trainer Alec Petrov has been on the run for a long time. Guarding a young attorney-to-be while pretending to be her husband is not a bad way to live off the grid, hidden from the Russian mobster who is hunting Alec with deadly intent. But Kate brings out a tender side Alec doesn’t understand, or believe he deserves, and he soon realizes that keeping them both safe is only half the challenge. Keeping his hands off her and his attraction under control will be every bit as difficult in the closed quarters of an exclusive resort.

When their make-believe honeymoon in paradise turns sensual, complicated, and dangerous, Alec and Kate realize it’s not just their lives that are in jeopardy, it’s their hearts. And they’ll have to fight to the end to save each other…and their love.

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