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Love's Kiss
Sabrina Zbasnik
Progress: 95 %
Voyager
Diana Gabaldon
Progress: 236/870 pages

Read for a Better World Hall of Fame Round-Up 2019

Reading progress update: I've read 95%.

Love's Kiss - Sabrina Zbasnik

The author wasn't kidding about the epilogue being a tear-jerker. I've already cried a couple of times and the story is just getting started. 

Books For Every #Indiecember Challenge

Source: Megan Tennant

Megan Tennant created a fun way to spread the love for indie authors this December with a bingo game called Indiecember. Mark off squares on this bingo game by leaving a review for a matching indie book. Everyone who gets bingo before 2020 will be entered into an epic giveaway.

 

Even though December is halfway over, it’s not too late to participate, and it’s really cool.

Here’s an indie book for every category.

Red: Carnal Compromise

Genre: Erotica

 

Word Count: 69,360

 

This is a book that has to have red on the cover and Carnal Compromise has its title in bright red letters.

 

When you’re down on the farm, things are bound to get dirty!

 

Joe Remke just has one qualification for his lovers–he wants them gone before sunrise, which makes his new bunkmate AJ about as safe as a woman can be around him. It also makes his determination to sleep with his boss downright stupid, because if Brent ever gives in, he’ll be looking for a new job.

 

Brent Andersen knows sex with his right-hand man Joe is inevitable, but he’s not going down without a fight. Putting the new female hired hand in their cramped RV was a stroke of genius, taking the heat off him while protecting her from the horny guys on his custom farming crew.

 

AJ Pender’s bunkmates may hide their feelings for each other from the rest of the crew, but they aren’t fooling her–Brent and Joe are hot for each other, and it’s all she can do not to cry at the thought. Not that they’d be interested in her, of course, and if they ever found out she fantasizes about being the meat in their farmer sandwich, they’d probably die laughing.

 

Fortunately for Brent and Joe, fantasies have a way of outing themselves and AJ’s are right up their alley. But even three-ways have their risks, and AJ can serve as a buffer for only so long before the tension between them explodes.

 

Warning: Flying BOBs ahead–and that’s just the warm-up! Strap yourself in for a wild ride complete with ménage, m/m, and a voyeuristic f/f scene hot enough to make three grown men beg for mercy.

 

Get Carnal Compromise on Smashwords.

 

30-60 Reviews: Richochet

Genre: Erotica, LBGTQ

 

Word Count: 173,870

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 4.74 out of 5 stars

 

Authors have to fight tooth and nail for book reviews on Smashwords, my ebook retailer of choice, so it was difficult to find a book with over 30 reviews. But I did find Richochet, with 34 reviews while I’m writing this.

 

When the right dom is all wrong!

 

Even in a BDSM universe, where everyone is bisexual and identifies as sexually dominant or submissive, finding the right partner isn’t always easy.

 

Matt is a big star on the hit TV show, Collar Crime, and he’s looking for a dom who ticks all the right boxes, including being as tidy and organized as himself.

 

That definitely isn’t his chaotic co-star, Rick, with his spanking fetish and habit of tying a different sub to his bed every night.

 

When Matt meets the perfect dom he’s swept off his feet, but he soon discovers that being pursued by a handsome, controlling billionaire isn’t the erotic fantasy he’d imagined.

Maybe the right dom for him is the one he thought was all wrong…

Get Ricochet on Smashwords.

 

Released 2019: Fixer-Upper

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 75,030

 

Not only was Fixer-Upper released this year, it was released this month. If you decide to use this book for your Indiecember, you might be its first sale, let alone its first review.

She’s an up-and-coming interior designer with a multimillionaire client. If only she could make him see that it’s his life—not his house—that needs a remodel …

 

Martina Russo’s career has been coming along nicely, including a write-up in a regional design magazine. When tech mogul Christopher Mills asks her to freshen up his historic Victorian mansion, it’s the kind of job that has the potential to launch her business to the next level, making her a premier designer to the rich and famous.

 

The problem is, she’s got a nagging feeling that a new kitchen and a bigger master bath are not the kinds of changes he really needs. He’s looking for a bigger renovation—one that will bring love and meaning to a life that’s in desperate need of repair.

 

Fixer-Upper is the third book in Linda Seed’s Russo Sisters series, but it can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone romance.

 

Non-Western Inspired: Socks for An Otter

Genre: LGBTQ, Contemporary

 

Word Count: 69,6990

 

This seemed like a random category, but I don’t go for Westerns that often anyway. Here’s one inspired by a fairytale instead of by the Western genre.

 

He fell from his ivory tower and landed in the gutter.

 

But Sebastian would rather be homeless and hungry than clueless.

 

On his way to the food pantry, a guy on his cell phone runs into him and triggers his prickly side. As a sign of goodwill, Louis offers to cook for him. But all Sebastian sees is the privilege he used to have.

 

This isn’t a fairytale. Louis isn’t Prince Charming. And Sebastian can make it on his own.

 

But it’s been days since he’s had a hot meal. And a blizzard is coming.

 

Will Sebastian’s pride be his appetizer?

 

Get Socks for an Otter on Smashwords.

 

Gold or Silver: Complicated

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 190,930

 

Gold or Silver means there needs to be gold or silver on the cover. And that shiny badge is looking pretty silver to me.

 

When small town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.


Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids, and himself, is his only priority.


Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them—a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.


Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.


But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.


In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.

 

Get Complicated on Smashwords.

 

10-29 Reviews: Linus and the Angel

Genre: Fantasy

 

Word Count: 61,910

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 4.91 out of 5 stars

 

It’s still quite a feat to get even 10 reviews on Smashwords and Linus and the Angel has 11 of them, all of them positive, making it one of the most highly rated romance novels on Smashwords.

 

He thinks he’ll be alone forever:
Linus Mayfield has a lot of good things in his life: fourth-ranked in the Tressel wolf pack, nice house, decent job, and plenty of friends. What he doesn’t have is what he longs for most – a true mate. His first foray into marriage was a disaster and he’s certain he’ll never be free to love again.

 

She’ll prove him wrong:
Karly is an Angel, a supernaturally perfect mate for one special werewolf. She’s spent the last 15 months looking for her mate, only to nearly die before she ever meets him. One icy winter night changes both of their lives forever.

 

When their past interferes with their future, will all be lost in the darkness, or will he find his perfect angel in time? This book contains plenty of claws and fangs, possessive werewolves willing to move heaven and earth for their mates, red hot werewolf sex, a sweet wolf with a heart of gold and an angel made just for him.

 

Get Linus and the Angel on Smashwords.

 

Dystopia or Post-Apocalyptic: Corded

Genre: Dystopian

 

Word Count: 54,240

 

A sexy dystopian romance perfect for someone wanting to support an indie author this December. However, if power imbalances turn you off, you may want to skip this one.

In a world where women are commodities, the only thing more rare than finding true love is a happy ending.

 

Kayla is in hiding—her only crime being born a girl in a society of 99 percent men. When her sister and niece are kidnapped, she is willing to do anything to save them. Kayla ventures into the dangerous streets of the city, a place where a woman can be claimed by anyone unless she has been marked by a club.

 

Desperate, she turns to Mason, a powerful club leader whose help comes at a cost—her freedom.

 

Get Corded at Smashwords.

 

Jolly: Kiss Me Again

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 51,010

 

Jolly is the category for funny books, and this rom-com is the perfect match for it.

WANTED: ROOMMATE. Must be tidy, polite, and absolutely not my brother’s hot as sin best friend.

 

I have no idea why I said yes.


Maybe I’d had one too many wines. Maybe I’d done it accidentally. Maybe I’d been sleep-texting.


One thing I know for sure is this: I absolutely do not want Ethan Hawkins in my apartment, up in my business, taking over my space.


Yet he’s here. Moving his stuff into my spare bedroom. Sending a wave of panty-melting, musky man-scent my way every time he walks past me.


Here’s the thing.


We don’t get along–at all. We never have, and I don’t think we’re going to start now that we’re under one roof.


There’s also that little issue where I’m kinda, sorta, totally in love with him…

Uh-oh.

 

Get Kiss Me Again on Smashwords.

 

Magical: Earthsinger

Genre: Fantasy

 

Word Count: 44,460

 

Here’s an interesting fantasy romance novel that falls under the category Magical.

 

Meet the Elementals – a magical race that inhabits our world embodying the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water.

 

Manni is the half-human daughter of a powerful Earth Elemental. When she’s thrown together with ex-MMA fighter Matt, they must fight the forces of nature to solve a global mystery that puts humanity in jeopardy and threatens to tear them apart.

 

They’ll both soon learn that love is Elemental—and blooms where passion grows.

 

Get Earthsinger on Smashwords.

 

Mythology Inspired: Bad Things Play Here

Genre: Fantasy

 

Word Count: 91,910

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

I read this book a couple years ago and loved it. It’s the perfect book for those who like alphas who aren’t possessive, abusive dickheads. And it’s based in Greek mythology, which is a nice plus.

 

You can’t escape destiny…

Piper Anesidora hates her last name, and the Reaper and demon infested life that comes with it. For centuries, her family has been tasked with protecting Pandora’s Box, and ensuring it’s never reopened. That’s why five years ago she ran away, hoping to build a normal life, one of her own choosing. And it worked. For a little while. But now her brother has been taken by Orpheus, a malicious soul who’s escaped from the Underworld, and if that isn’t bad enough, he’s also stolen the box. The sooner she finds her brother and stops Orpheus from unleashing hell on earth, the better. Piper wants nothing more than to return to the mundane existence she’s created for herself. That is until she’s partnered with the one guy capable of making her crave more. She’s always been told giving into sin is wrong, but her ancestors clearly never met Lust.

 

You can’t resist temptation…

Reece Luben takes intimate knowledge to a whole new level. As the Greek god of lust, he has a long standing reputation to uphold as a playboy, despite the fact he’s grown bored with the game. It’s been centuries since he’s cared about someone other than his maenads, so he passes the time getting people to shed their inhibitions. As one of the few beings who can sense Pandora’s Box, Reece has no choice but to help Piper find and stop Orpheus, even though he’s avoided her family since the start of his second life. But the feisty Anesidora woman makes him feel things he’s long forgotten, and what starts out as one night giving into desire turns into another…and another. What happens when the god of lust decides he’s changing the game and playing for keeps?

 

Get Bad Things Play Here on Smashwords.

 

Friends of Rudolph: Having Hope

Genre: Fantasy

 

Word Count: 48,310

 

Friends of Rudolph means a book containing a named animal companion or a named animal-like character such as a shifter, or a mythological creature like a dragon. Having Hope is about a mountain lion shifter, so it counts. However, I can’t picture Rudolph getting along with a mountain lion.

 

After graduating from college with a degree in elementary education, mountain lion shifter Hope Parkins is thrilled to accept a job at Ashland Elementary School. She heads to Ashland to stay with her best friend, Treasure, a fae-dragon hybrid. When she arrives in town, she’s greeted by not only her bestie, but three mountain lion males who she and her cat recognize on sight. They’re her mates, and she knows her life will never be the same.

Owen, Ben, and Nathan Fallon have felt an odd longing for years. They believe they’re meant to share a mate, but none of the females they know are her. While visiting their Uncle Rhett, they sense a presence that draws them to the farmhouse, where they meet a beautiful mountain lion female. They know immediately that she’s their shared mate. The gorgeous Hope is everything they ever wanted and more, and they can’t wait to make her theirs.

 

Despite finally finding her truemates, Hope feels compelled to help the female mountain lions who were cursed by their goddess to never know love. When her one opportunity to set things right for her people fails, she believes that all’s lost, and the females will never know the joy of family and finding love. Will a phone call from an old friend of the pride help Hope to change the course of the females’ lives forever?

 

Get Having Hope on Smashwords.

 

Nice: Simplify

Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction

 

Word Count: 12,330

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

For Indiecember, you need to review a self-help or educational book to get the Nice square. I have to admit, I’m always a little hesitant of self-published nonfiction unless I know and trust the author, especially when it comes to self-improvement.

 

I’ve never heard of Simplify or Joshua Becker. However, the first 10 percent intrigued me and a book about living a minimalist lifestyle is a lot less risky than a book about weight loss or mental health.

 

Simplify is a celebration of living more by owning less. Written by Joshua Becker, who inspires hundreds of thousands of people on his personal blog, this is a book that calls for the end of living lives seeking and accumulating more and more possessions by highlighting the enjoyment of living with less.

 

Three years ago, his typical, suburban family of four made the decision to minimize their possessions, declutter their home, and simplify their lives. In so doing, they discovered countless real-life benefits of living with less. And now, to help others experience the same freedom, they offer the most important lessons they’ve learned through the process. Simplify is full of personal stories, practical tips, and powerful inspiration.

 

It is based on a rational approach to minimalism. It will forever change the way you look at physical possessions. And most importantly, its approach will free you from the burden of clutter and provide you with the extra motivation to realign your life around your heart’s greatest passions… however, you choose to define them.

 

Get Simifly at Smashwords.

 

Gift an Indie Book: Any Book

 

All you have to do for this one is gift an indie book to someone. Any book. If you’re looking for some great deals and some last-minute gifts, you can check out the Smashwords End-of-The-Year Sale starting December 25th until January 1st. Or share one of these free books with your friends and family. Just remember, according to the Indiecember rules, authors who published with an indie press do not count as Indie. Luckily, on Smashwords, most authors are indie authors and it’s easy to see if they’re with an indie press in the book description.

 

Naughty: Bed and Breakfast and Bondage

Genre: Erotica

 

Word Count: 44,390

 

Okay, I’m warning you right now: Smashwords has a lot less restrictions on erotica than Amazon. As long as the characters are over the age of 18, it’s approved. Not that I’m complaining, but if you don’t want to see the more naughty stuff, you can change your settings to filter out taboo erotica or all erotica.

 

Cat escapes a bad Dom but needs another to fulfill her. Can Mason find it in himself to be the Dom to bring her to her knees?

 

St. Helena, with its charming streets and verdant hills, is the perfect place for Tulip House, a quaint new B&B. Just days away from opening her doors to weekenders who’ll come to enjoy the luscious vineyards, Catriona Fern Morrison knows that sometimes the most succulent delights take place behind closed doors. And sometimes those delights are deliciously wicked.

 

Having previously managed the prestigious Malibu Inn, Cat knows hospitality inside out. So when she inherited an old Napa Valley farmhouse, Cat seized the chance to break with her past—to start a new life away from family that doesn’t understand her, away from feeling shame about her private desires, and away from a powerful Dom who wants more of her than she can give.

 

Mason Steele can’t get St. Helena’s newest resident out of his mind. Two stints in Iraq before returning to take over his dad’s plumbing business has given him a tough can-do attitude toward work—and work he does, all the time. It’s almost enough to mask his loneliness. Meeting Cat while working on her farmhouse has made him want more. Everything about her is intriguing. Her springtime-fresh innocence that seems at odds with her sultry allure. Her quiet drive and strong work ethic that contrasts with a free-spirited enthusiasm for life. But Cat has secrets too and that are driving Mason crazy. Who’s the man from SoCal who has some kind of hold over her? Why did her thighs have bruises after he left? And what in the heck is going on inside the farm’s old wine house at night?

When disaster strikes the B&B and Cat’s past refuses to let go, she must decide what’s most important in life and who she wants in it.

 

And Mason is determined she make the right choice.

 

Get Bed and Breakfast and Bondage free on Smashwords before December 31st.

 

Nightmare Before Christmas: Capturing a Unicorn

Genre: Horror, Weird Fiction

 

Word Count: 54,370

 

I was thrilled to find a horror romance and the weird fiction category intrigues and terrifies me. This book looks pretty interesting, though.

 

Will he betray or save the world’s only unicorn?

 

Oliver is on a mission to expose the secrets of a clinic that dared to perform illegal experiments on humans. Against all laws and morals, there are doctors making monsters, and it has to stop. Humanity itself is at stake, which is why he must destroy the knowledge of their creation and eliminate any living threats.

 

Then Oliver meets Emma, a former patient, living within the ruins of the clinic. She’s sweet and gentle, pretty, too—despite the horn projecting from her forehead.

 

It seems Oliver has found one of the monsters, and she’s like nothing he imagined. Will he go through with his plan to eradicate those changed by Chimera’s secret, or save Emma for love?

 

Get Capturing a Unicorn on Smashwords.

 

Contemporary: Christmas on Main Street

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 61,590

 

This Christmas, something magical is happening in Sapphire Bay.

 

Emma loves everything about living in Sapphire Bay. The scenery in the small Montana town is spectacular, her communications business is thriving, and her six-year-old twins are happy. When a Christmas Facebook post goes viral, Emma and her friends are swamped with people asking Santa for help. But it’s her twins’ Christmas wish that breaks her heart.

 

Jack Devlin finds missing people. When his brother asks him to locate Emma’s ex-husband, he thinks it’s going to be an easy case. But the more time he spends with Emma, the more complicated their relationship becomes. With more than one heart on the line, will they go back to their old lives or risk everything for a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love?

CHRISTMAS ON MAIN STREET is the first novel in the Santa’s Secret Helpers series and can easily be read as a standalone. Each of Leeanna’s series are linked so you can find out what happens to your favorite characters in other books. If you would like to know when Leeanna’s next book is released, please visit leeannamorgan.com. Happy reading!

Get Christmas on Main Street on Smashwords.

 

Science Fiction: Falling for Kindred Claus

I wasn’t expecting to find a science fiction Christmas romance novel. But I did, and it looks great.

 

It’s a week before Christmas and Lisa James is stuck in a dead-end job, playing Santa’s little Elf at the local mall. After fleeing her home to get away from an abusive drunk of a husband, she’s trying to keep a low profile, so it’s not exactly like she has her pick of career paths. Still, she can’t help feeling like she’s hit rock bottom…that is until the mysterious Kindred playing Santa at her mall shows up.

 

Asher is part of the Kindred Elite Espionage Corps. Sometimes he serves as an assassin, other times a diplomat, but he’s never been Santa before. And he’s not supposed to be now. When he mistakes Lisa for his contact and she mistakes him for the Kindred who is scheduled to be Old Saint Nick, two hours of confusion and peeing, puking kids are the result. After all, who ever heard of a seven-foot-tall Santa with fangs? The kids are scared, Asher is frustrated, and Lisa loses her job.

 

To make up for the confusion, Asher offers to take Lisa on his next diplomatic mission–a boring and safe affair where all they have to do is attend the coronation of an alien Potentate. But things go horribly wrong when there is an assassination attempt and Lisa and Asher are caught in the middle of it.

 

Will the two of them escape with their lives? Will Asher listen to his heart, which tells him Lisa is his fated mate? And will Lisa be able keep herself from…
Falling for Kindred Claus?

 

Get Kindred Claus on Smashwords.

 

Mistletoe: Mistletoe

Genre: Romance, LGBTQ

 

Word Count: 37,740

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

For Indiecember, mistletoe just meant romance. But since this entire blog is about romance novels, I wanted to do one better, and found a romance novel named Mistletoe.

Four-year-old Diana Clarke sends her wish to Santa Claus, but lost in the lining of a sack, it isn’t discovered for thirty years. Now, Santa has a problem. No child’s wish has ever gone unanswered, but the child isn’t a child anymore.

 

Believing there is nothing in Santa’s Village to satisfy the little girl’s wish now that she’s an adult, he calls on a Higher Power and is given a suggestion. Although most of Santa’s workshops contain only toys for boys and girls, there is one that holds a possible solution to his problem. Learning that Diana will be attending three upcoming Christmas parties, Santa calls on his lead elf to deliver three sprigs of mistletoe, hoping that under one, Diana Clarke will find what she asked for thirty years before.

 

Get Mistletoe on Smashwords.

 

Mystery or Thriller: Touched by Lightning

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

 

Word Count: 85,230

 

Since his death three years earlier, his life hasn’t been the same…

 

Nikki
In the West Palm Beach homeless scene lives a young woman in tattered clothes. Every night she is haunted by the frightening secret that drove her to a furtive and anonymous life.

 

Adrian
New York City fashion photographer Adrian Wilde is a man with everything—except love. When he is struck by lightning, it’s not his life that flashes before his eyes; his soul connects with a beautiful woman in a fiery explosion. In the three years since, the one person who touches his heart is only a specter in his dreams. Even if she was real, she must be dead. So, why can’t he move past her?

 

Then, as he’s going over photographs of a recent Florida shoot, he spots his dream girl in the background. Adrian is determined to find her … and rescue her from what looks like a tenuous life. And when he learns why she’s hiding, he must gain her trust to put a murderer behind bars…and free them both.

 

Get Touched by Lightning on Smashwords.

 

0-9 Reviews: Kind of Cursed

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult

 

Word Count: 118,230

 

I cannot state this enough: leave book reviews. The vast majority of books on Smashwords don’t have any reviews. Even some of Smashwords’ bestsellers and most downloaded books don’t have any reviews. This is despite being able to leave video reviews and Smashwords not having nearly as much of the BS Amazon has when it comes to reviews.

 

Kind of Cursed is one of many books without reviews.

Every woman in Millie Delacroix’s family is cursed—kind of.

Birth control just doesn’t work for them. Like ever. Going to the altar knocked up is pretty much a family tradition. And twenty-four-year-old Millie refuses to let that happen to her—again.

 

Especially now that she’s responsible for raising her brothers and sister. A life of celibacy is her best defense—at least until the kids are grown and can take care of themselves. And, really, what’s ten years with no sex? No men. No sex. No love. It’s a fool-proof plan.

Until she meets Luc Valencia.

 

The Mexican-American contractor is just trying to do his best. Since his father handed him the reins to the family business, every day is a test to prove himself. At this point in his life, professionalism has to be his top priority.

 

At least until Millie becomes Luc’s client. Even with too much on her shoulders, the feisty redhead has the power to set him off, crack him up, or bring him to his knees.

 

All he has to do is resist falling for her through one kitchen remodel, and everything will be fine. Right?

 

Get Kind of Cursed on Smashwords.

 

White and Blue: Valley of the Shadow

Genre: Fantasy

 

Word Count: 28,300

 

For eight years, Baojia and Natalie have pursued their goals: family, career, friendship and love—trying to carve out an ordinary life in an immortal world. And for eight years they’ve been mostly successful save for a world-bending adventure every now and then.


Except that their life was never ordinary. It was never going to be.


 

Natalie and Baojia might have made plans, but when ordinary life comes crashing down, they’ll have to turn to the family they have chosen—vampire and human—for help keeping their world together.
Five couples, four kids, three weeks, two paths… and a partridge in a pear tree? Return to the Elemental World for a Christmas reunion of old friends and forever loves.
 For Natalie Ellis, it’s time to come home.


 

Get Valley of the Shadow on Smashwords.

 

Novella or Poetry: Beautiful Mess

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 15,700

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

love this novella so much! I read it for the first time years ago and I still read it when I need a quick dose of love. It’s amazing and I can’t recommend it enough. But, just to warn you, it does take place in England and the C-word does come up.

 

Warning: contains pet rats, hot YouTube celebrity roommates, and one spurned girlfriend about to get even…

 

Working in a wedding cake shop sucks when you’ve just been dumped.

 

Bailey Frost has a recipe for disaster: one cheating ex, one big glass of liquor, and three well-meaning male friends who think her lack of a sex life is funny. Before she knows it, she’s confessed that she’s never had an orgasm with a man.

 

Now Bailey has to navigate sappy couples at work, while her friends are hell-bent on helping her get revenge on evil Craig…by dressing up as werewolves, on YouTube.

And one of those friends– the tall, shy-but-gorgeous Linc–might just want to help Bailey with that other little problem…

 

Get A Beautiful Mess for free on Smashwords.

 

Over 500 Pages: Love’s Kiss

Genre: Fantasy

 

Word Count: 1,311,890

 

This is a fantasy romance boxed set that I’m obsessed over. I’m almost finished with it. The plot and the world-building was a little confusing at first, but it gets better as it goes. It’s also full of badass heroines, which I’m a huge sucker for.

 

A massive collection of eight novels that follows the love and lives of couples over two generations as they struggle to overcome a world trying to tear them apart in order to find each other. Contains My Warden, My Templar, My Hope, My Future, Guarded Love, Miracle, A New Hero, and Epilogue in one giant book.

 

My Warden – A what if story if the mage Warden required Cullen’s assistance while he was in Kirkwall. After connecting in the deep roads, they begin to rekindle their momentary romance in Skyhold. But with Adamant looming, it’s not meant to be.

 

My Templar – When the Hero of Ferelden agreed to help Hawke solve the mystery of the red lyrium she never thought it’d draw her into the grasp of the Inquisition and back into Cullen’s life. When the world’s falling down around her and her own blood is trying to kill her, she knows she has no right to rekindle what they began in the deep roads. Then why can’t she stop thinking about him?

 

My Hope – Cullen thought he lost Lana Amell when she sacrificed herself to remain in the fade, but now the king of Ferelden has her phylactery and insists she’s alive somewhere on the other side of thedas. Can he trust this man he barely knows or can stand as they travel through treacherous waters and lands while searching to find the woman he loves? All he has to cling to is his faith and hope.

 

My Future – After Cullen rescues Lana Amell from the fade, the two of them find their lives at a junction. With no Grey Wardens, no Circles, and no Inquisition, what will they do? All they have is each other and a lot of questions.

 

Guarded Love – Alistair’s life isn’t all bad. He’s King, he’s got two kids he adores a wife he’s vaguely aware exists. The only thing missing in that blissful domestic picture is someone to love. But all in all, things are weirdly working out for him.

 

That all changes when assassins dare to come after him and his children on the little prince’s naming day. With a threat daring to be so brash to attack the King, he takes on a personal bodyguard. Picked seemingly at random from the City Watch, Reiss thought she was little more than an average elf trying to make it in thedas. Now it’s all on her to keep the King alive against this enigmatic threat, and try to ignore the fact she keeps blushing whenever he smiles.

 

Miracle – After the Hero of Ferelden thinks she stumbled into a way to cure the taint and shares it with King Alistair, neither of them took into account any unexpected side effects emerging 9 months later. Two unexpected pregnancies, two unplanned babies, two terrified fathers, hilarity ensues.

 

A New Hero – Gavin Rutherford dreamed of one thing — becoming a Knight. His and his parents plans are thrown into chaos when he’s sent to Denerim. He finds himself embroiled once again with Myra Sayer Theirin who’s struggling to figure out her magics and place in the world. In the middle of it all is Princess Rosamund neé Spud who’s doing all she can to prepare for the hurdle of leading a nation.

 

Epilogue – This is it. The final tale of Lana, Cullen, Alistair, Reiss, Gavin, Myra, Rosie, Anjali, and the rest. The last period on a tale that started with a templar standing before a door terrified to enter. There will be tears. So many tears (I’m not kidding, I hold no punches here). But also laughs, smiles, hugs, love, hope.

 

Get Love’s Kiss for free on Smashwords.

 

Over 60 Reviews: Knight in Shining Suit

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 163,840

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 4.88 out of 5 stars

 

There is no book on Smashwords with over 60 reviews.

 

After scrolling through over 200 pages of book listings, I’m confident about this. But if you know of a Smashwords book with over 60 reviews, comment below, please.

Knight in Shining Suit has the most reviews, with 40 reviews.

 

Sometimes, getting over pain and betrayal means Getting Up, Getting Even and Getting a Better Man.

 

Astrid has planned out her perfect wedding. That is before she found out that her fiancé, Bryan, is cheating on her with her cousin-slash-best-friend-slash-maid-of-honor, Geena. And worse, Bryan got Geena pregnant.

 

Just when Astrid thought it couldn’t get any worse, she received a wedding invitation telling her that her wedding will happen exactly the way she planned it. Except that she is no longer going to be the bride!

 

So when her parents urged her to attend the wedding “as family”, she planned the perfect revenge.


She will put on a show for everyone to see. She’ll show them that she moved on with a better man—handsome, smart, rich and crazy about her.

 

She’s even willing to pay a guy to be her “Knight in Shining Armani”.

 

Then she met bartender, Ryder. Totally smoking hot and quite a charmer. Astrid thought he was perfect for the job.

 

He pulled off the role quite well. Soon, her family thinks that Astrid was really with a smoking hot guy who wears Armani suits on a daily basis, drives a luxurious McLaren, and was totally in love with her.

 

Astrid invented the perfect guy every girl would kill to date, and every ex-boyfriend would hate to be compared with.

 

Or did she really just invent him?

 

What if she really did kiss a frog, or tamed a beast?

 

And that her quest for revenge was just the beginning of her happily ever after?

 

Get Knight in Shining Suit on Smashwords.

 

Green: Onlyness

Genre: Contemporary

 

Word Count: 38,970

 

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

Dumped by her billionaire fiancé, a resplendently beautiful woman, the reigning royalty of Hollywood’s dream factory, lands herself in all sorts of woes – hospitalization for slipping pill overdose, bad Press, peer group backstabbing and paparazzi. She escapes to anonymity at India’s Yoga capital but the threat of paparazzi follows. A young yogi bails her out and detours her to an unusual world where he introduces her to the super consciousness of ‘Onlyness’ within her. The redeemed empress unconsciously discovers her true elements being in linearity with that of the yogi and believes, she may be second time lucky. However, more shocks await her.


The singularities of life have elemental eccentricities of happening and un-happening; almost as weird and randomized as love. The elements of one’s own life and that of the equally precarious milieus are both patterned as well as un-patterned. The juxtaposition of symmetrical possibilities amid the larger probabilistic asymmetry of arbitrary milieus engender such beautiful marvels of life-living experiences, which people can accept only in one way – the destiny! The true and lasting relationship can happen only between similar and generic elements. Destinies shape this way.


What destiny has in store for Melissa, the empress, who finds a yogi in her new and metamorphosed life, shall be decided not by factors outside in her near and far milieus, rather by what she finally accepts as something, which is her own internal positioning of consciousness. The moment, she accepts, love shall happen and destiny shall be signed in.

 

Get Onlyness on Smashwords.

 

All the Smashwords links are affiliate links except for the free ones. This means I get a small commission if you purchase the book but at no additional cost to youI donate half of my affiliate earnings to Trees for the Future.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2019/12/16/books-for-every-indiecember-challenge

Reading progress update: I've read 92%.

Love's Kiss - Sabrina Zbasnik

Really loving this boxed set. I can't believe it was free on Smashwords. The plot and worldbuilding was confusing at first but now I enjoy it and the series is packed with badass heroines, one of my favorite tropes of all time. 

Book Review: Fractured by Zelly Jordan

Fractured - Zelly Jordan

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Page Count: 198

 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

I am many things. A man. A soldier. Trained to kill. Born to hunt. Focused and lethal.

Nothing gets through the stoic control that hides my inner animal, an animal that simmers with rage and power. And that power makes me the perfect assassin. My first task—eliminate the vile head of a science lab responsible for creating and distributing a cruel mutation. Easy. And almost done when suddenly she invades my world.

 

Charlotte—petite, beautiful, and sexy as hell—a cop who claims a past with me that I don’t remember. At all. Suddenly she’s everywhere, interfering, asking too many questions, endangering herself and my mission, and pushing buttons I didn’t know I had. A dangerous distraction. My beast is captivated but suspicious, torn between wanting to sink teeth into her and wanting to sink teeth into her. My body craves her.

 

But I don’t remember her. I don’t trust her. And I don’t trust myself around her. Who is she? Is she lying? And do I have enough control to not be blinded by her? To protect my secrets and uncover hers? And who pays the price?

 

First of all, I’m so, so happy this book was from Kellan’s point of view. He’s very private and evasive, preferring to give into his near-constant lust than focus on the task at hand. Frankly, I don’t understand what makes him such a good soldier. Sure, he’s deadly and can shift into a killing machine– when he’s not too busy staring at Charlotte’s ass.

 

If the book was from Charlotte’s point of view, Kellan would have been completely unsympathetic. But after reading his thoughts and seeing how much he cares for Charlotte, I like him a little more. I especially like how he acknowledges Charlotte’s ability to take of herself. After all, she is a cop, not a damsel in distress.

Charlotte actually reminds me a lot of Meg.

Charlotte was pretty good. She’s definitely a badass and I liked seeing a glimpse into her work life. She’s calm and peaceful, which is a good contrast to Kellan. But honestly, I’m not sure they’re a good fit.

 

I love how she’s not afraid of him even though he was so afraid of hurting her. And it’s really obvious how much they care about each other. I also can’t deny that I loved the sex scenes. But Kellan and Charlotte’s relationship still felt pretty toxic.

 

Not only does he have to keep everything a secret from her, but he also knocked her out and tied her up, supposedly for her own protection. Less than an hour later, they’re having sex. After the sex, he still won’t tell her what happened to him, and he laughs and ties her back up again because she’s pissed and he finds it cute. Seriously, she had a legitimate reason to be angry and he does the caveman version of “calm down”.

A lot of things don’t make sense to me. Kellan is trying to keep Charlotte a secret from his boss, but he brings Charlotte to his apartment and gives her his phone number. As if his boss, who is running a classified military operation, doesn’t have cameras in Kellan’s apartment and hasn’t bugged his phone.

 

However, I can forgive other things, like how he thinks his boss, who is anonymous and only communicates with a voice disguising device, is not sketchy at all. Judging by how Kellan acts when on the phone with him, I think he’s being hypnotized and that’s why he has amnesia. It would explain a lot. So maybe that can make up for some of his behavior.

The ending was abrupt and didn’t feel like an ending. Which makes sense considering there’s a sequel. I’m definitely going to read the sequel eventually because I want to find out what happened. However, I think I would have enjoyed this more if books 1 and 2 were combined into one complete book. There was no real closure for the first book. It barely even felt like a chapter ending, let alone a story ending.

 

If you want to read Fractured, plan on reading both at the same time. This is a good fit for those looking for a shifter romance full of steamy sex scenes and an alpha hero. However, I’m rating it only a 3.5 out of 5 stars because Kellan and the plot confused me.

 

Get Fractured at your local bookstore or your favorite online retailer.

 

Zelly Jordan was generous enough to donate to Trees for the Future in exchange for this review. Find out how you can do the same.

 

The Indiebound link in this post is an affiliate link, meaning I get a small commission every time you purchase a book through that link, but at no additional cost to you. I donate half of my affiliate earnings to Trees for the Future.

Willa Gets Wild in Wilde in Love

Wilde in Love: The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Eloisa James

Genre: Historical

 

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

Miss Willa Ffynche is a master at navigating English high society in the Regency era. Keeping her vivacious personality and love of bawdy jokes to herself, she makes herself one of the most refined, desirable ladies of the Season, along with her best friend Lavinia.

What she most definitely does not want is to be a public spectacle. And that’s exactly what Lord Alaric Wilde will make her if she gets tangled up with the likes of him.

 

Alaric never thought he would be famous when he started writing about his daring adventures abroad. But when he returns home, his ship is met by a mob of screaming ladies who adore him and have his likeness posted on their walls. To make matters worse, he finds out a godawful play is starring him in a fictionalized adventure.

 

When he meets Willa, he is drawn to her. She was beautiful and witty and everything he wanted. But she would have nothing to do with a man so infamous. Unless he could convince her otherwise.

 

I really enjoyed this book. I tend to read regencies where the heroine is either socially awkward or is in some way an outcast from high society so it is refreshing to read a book about someone who navigates the world successfully.

 

Lord Alaric is, well, about the same as any other rakish Regency hero. But I enjoyed him anyway. Sometimes if the plot device ain’t broke…

 

What I didn’t care for, though, was Willa, or at least how her personality was drawn out by Alaric. In public, she is very prim and proper, if a little bookish. But when she’s in private with Alaric, she’s confident and care-free. However, it felt more like an abrupt change in character than an actual character arc. She never felt like she was holding back in public, so her “real” personality felt inauthentic.

 

I didn’t care for the villain, the love-crazed woman who wrote the play. She was a weird mix of religious fanatic and teeny-bopper and it didn’t work for me. Maybe if I saw more of her background I would like her as a villain more. Her mental instability wasn’t well fleshed out at all. She was instead a half-baked plot device. The bloodthirsty Lady Helena Biddle who hunted Alaric before disappearing less than halfway through the story would have been a better villain. Yes, she was two-dimensional, but at least she made sense.

However, people looking for a run-of-the-mill Regency will probably enjoy Wilde in Love. It didn’t give me any thrills, but I bet these characters will resonate well with other readers.

Have you read Wilde in Love? What did you think?

 

Get Wilde in Love at your local bookstore.

 

Disclaimer: these links are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you purchase a book through one of them but at no additional cost to you. 50 percent of my affiliate earnings is donated to Trees for the Future.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2019/11/11/willa-gets-wild-in-wilde-in-love

Vicki Lesage Shares Hilarious Memories in Confessions of an Expat in Paris

Confessions of an Expat in Paris - Vicki Lesage

Genre: Memoir

Page Count: 214 pages

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

From champagne bottles to baby bottles, this memoir offers a humorous glimpse of an American expat’s years abroad…

Party girl Vicki moved to Paris hoping to drink wine and fall in love. She accomplished both goals, but not without bumps along the way: romantic encounters gone awry, uniquely French situations threatening her sanity, and two adorable yet tireless kids keeping her on her toes…

Discover the real Paris through Vicki’s eyes as she shows you the funny side of life, love, and raising a family in the City of Light. Each chapter is paired with a delicious cocktail recipe! Enjoy drinks like the Sangria Spritzer, Pretty Good Bloody Mary, and Teeny Bellini.

I’ve been a fan of Vicki Lesage for years. I’ve read both Confessions of a Paris Party Girl and Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer. So I was thrilled when she contacted me for an honest review (click here to learn how to get me to review your book).

Paris Potty Girl details her first few years in Paris, from bar-hopping to getting her first apartment to meeting her husband and Paris Potty Trainer, of course, details pregnancies and getting used to parenthood.

Confessions of an Expat in Paris is an anthology of anecdotes spanning across both these eras in Vicki Lesage’s life. You’ll learn about the cheesy and downright weird pick-up lines she received from French guys as well as the time she might have eaten part of her friend’s thumb.

Yep, you read that last sentence right.

Each anecdote is paired with a drink recipe, many of which sound really good. I can’t wait to try the mulled gin recipe.

Mulled Gin

For when you need to recover from face mask fails

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 12 oz. gin
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Add all the ingredients to a pot
  2. Stir and Simmer until honey is dissolved
  3. Serve warm

I really enjoyed Expat in Paris. The stories are usually hilarious and sometimes just a little bit cringy in a good way. Others are sweet and make me smile, like when she was on her honeymoon with her husband.

With her first two books, I felt like there was more of an overall story instead of disjointed anecdotes. As much as I liked being able to enjoy a quick and witty snapshot of her life before I had to get back to my own, I think I preferred the more continuous storyline in Party Girl and Potty Trainer.

While some of the stories were without a doubt hilariously absurd, like her boss’s father asking about how her vaginal rejuvenation was coming along in front of her coworkers (what the everloving fuck), others were less climactic. Lesage included an entire chapter about how she’s an awkward dancer, except when she did the Dirty Dancing move with her brother on her wedding.

A perfect wedding dance move.

The dancing chapter felt more like a summary than a specific moment in her life, which made my eyes glaze over. And she only casually mentioned what could have been some good stories, like her drunkenly dancing on tabletops in public. I would have loved a complete chapter about one of those times, but they are only mentioned now and then.

Vicki Lesage often makes me laugh out loud when reading her books. Her chapter “10 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work” will always make me smile. She talks about how both involve interesting flavors, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of money, and I’ll go “Oh shit, she’s right.”

Now and then, however, her jokes miss the mark. At one point she veered off-topic to stage an imaginary trial to defend herself against herself for eating so much Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and then, within the trial, she goes even more off-topic by talking about how France doesn’t have Phish Food flavor until I just wanted to skip the chapter.

As of this review, I still haven’t tried any of the drink recipes, but I trust a former hardcore drinker like Vicki Lesage to come up with some good drinks, although I don’t think I’ll ever try The Fluoride Treatment because, well, ew. Not the drink itself, but the name. Even though it’s relevant to the chapter, I’m weirdly squeamish.

However, most of these drinks are probably not for amateurs like me, who drink wine out of a box and can’t tell the difference between Stella Artois and Schlitz (I’m guessing. I’ve never actually had Schlitz. But Stella Artois tastes like every other beer to me).

With the exception of the mulled gin, most of the drink recipes require either a martini shaker or a blender. You can probably mostly pull off these recipes without either, though. Just don’t take a page out of Lesage’s book and use lite pancake syrup instead of honey.

I rate Confessions of an Expat in Paris 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a hilarious book that I recommend to anyone who wants a light-hearted memoir. You can get it for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2019/09/16/vicki-lesage-shares-hilarious-memories-in-confessions-of-an-expat-in-paris

5 Romance Novels to Read If You LIke Stranger Things

— feeling evil grin

Outcast Witch Rises to the Top; People Try to Kill Her

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.45 out of 5 stars

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Catherine Baker hasn’t been very attached to the magic world for years, aside from her witch friend Morgan, her fairy cousins, and her boss who’s a librarian AKA magic historian.

But who needs the magic world after what it did to her? Her boyfriend, Alexander, outted her to the witch community for using forbidden magic to defend herself. And the martyr-loving jerks outcasted her for it. And needless to say, her relationship ended.

But she’s fine with that. She’s scraping by with her waitressing job and has two cats that she loves. If only she can quit smoking so her bank account would be a bit fuller.

But when Morgan dies, Alexander shows up in her life yet again to urge her to run for Morgan’s job as Titania– the ambassador between the fairy world and the magician community on Earth.

Catherine would have just told him to go to hell if her boss and cousins also didn’t want to her to become the next Titania. She eventually agrees.

But complications ensue when her estranged father runs against her, sponsored by necromancers who put a price on her head.

As she fights to become Titania, Alexander is appointed as her bodyguard to keep her safe. Catherine has convinced herself that things with Alexander are completely over, but slowly it becomes very clear that things are just getting started.

 

Read Like a Rebel: Banned Books to Read in 2019

— feeling bloody

How to Win $20 Worth of Romance Novels and Help Save the World in Two Minutes

Win 5 Romance Novels This Earth Month

5 Romance Novels to Read If You Like Mission Impossible

Spies, action, crazy stunts, and more. If you like the Mission: Impossible movies, you’ll love these romance novels.

 

How to Get Books When You’re Broke or On a Budget

There’s nothing wrong with getting new books at your local bookstore but if you’re an avid bookworm, then your budget probably can’t handle it if you get all your books there.

Luckily there are plenty of legal ways to get books for free or cheaply and here are some of the best ways to do that.

5 Romance Novels if You Like Lucifer

— feeling evil grin

Like many other fans, I was really sad to hear that Lucifer had been canceled. Lucifer’s humor and dashing good looks made me fall in love with the show, not to mention the badass demon Maze who would probably stab someone for Chloe’s daughter Trixie. The show definitely deserved more than three seasons and I was ecstatic when Netflix picked it up.

Lucifer season four is expected to be released sometime in 2019, even though Netflix is being annoyingly cryptic about it. But, if you’re tired of waiting like I am, then many some of these romance novels will keep you occupied.

Why Character Names Matter — and What You Can Do To Create an Unforgettable One