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Friday, June 16, 2017

Harper Collins Spotlight + Excerpt: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network
Kate Quinn
Harper Collins
June 6, 2017

ABOUT THE ALICE NETWORK
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.

Excerpt:
Night had fallen by the time I staggered, weary and starving, off the train in London. The city rolled out in front of me in one huge dark smoky mass—I had no idea where 10 Hampson Street might be. I had a few coins left in my pocketbook, and as I hailed a cab I prayed it would be enough. I really didn’t relish having to yank a pearl off my grandmother’s necklace just to pay for a taxi ride. Maybe I shouldn’t have left that waitress a whole pound . . . But I wasn’t sorry.
The driver took me to what he said was Pimlico and dumped me at a line of tall row houses. It had started to rain in earnest. I looked around for my hallucination, but there was no flash of blond hair. Just a dark street, the spitting rain, the worn steps of number 10 climbing to a dingy peeling door. I hoisted my case, clambered up, and banged the knocker before my courage deserted me.
No answer. I banged again. The rain was falling harder, and despair rose in me like a wave. I pounded and pounded until my fist ached, until I saw the minute twitch of the curtain beside the door.
“I know someone’s in there!” I wrenched the door handle, blinded by rain. “Let me in!”
To my surprise the handle turned, and I flew inside, falling at last off my impractical shoes. I hit the floor of the dark hallway on my knees, tearing my stockings, and then the door banged shut and I heard the click of a pistol being cocked.
Her voice was low, graveled, slurred, ferocious. “Who are you, and what the bloody fuck are you doing in my house?”
The streetlamps sent a blurry light through the curtains, half-illuminating the dark hallway. I could see a tall gaunt figure, a straggle of hair, the fiery end of a lit cigarette. The gleam of light off a pistol barrel, pointing straight at me.
I should have been terrified, recoiling from the shock and the gun and the language. But fury had swept aside the last piece of my feel-nothing fog, and I gathered my legs under me to stand, torn stocking snagging. “I’m looking for Evelyn Gardiner.”
“I don’t care who you’re looking for. If you don’t tell me why I’ve got a damned Yank breaking into my house, I’ll shoot you. I’m old and I’m drunk, but this is a Luger nine-millimeter P08 in excellent condition. Drunk or sober I can take the back of your skull out at this range.”
“I’m Charlie St. Clair.” Pushing the wet hair out of my eyes. “My cousin Rose Fournier went missing in France during the war, and you might know how to find her.”
Abruptly the electric wall lamp switched on. I blinked in the rush of harsh light. Standing over me was a tall gaunt woman in a faded print dress, her graying hair straggling around a time-ravaged face. She could have been fifty, or she could have been seventy. She had the Luger in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other; she kept the pistol steadily trained on my forehead as she raised the cigarette to her lips and took a long drag. Bile rose in my throat as I saw her hands. Good God, what had happened to her hands?
“I’m Eve Gardiner,” she said at last. “And I don’t know anything about this cousin of yours.”
“You might,” I said desperately. “You might—if you’ll just talk to me.”
“That’s your plan, little Yank?” Her hooded storm-gray eyes surveyed me like a contemptuous bird of prey. “Burst into my house at nightfall, no plan, and I’m betting no money, on the chance I’d know something about your m-missing friend?”
“Yes.” Faced with her gun and her scorn I couldn’t explain why, why the chance to find Rose had turned suddenly all-consuming in my wrecked life. I couldn’t explain this strange savage desperation, or why I had let it drive me here. I could only state the truth: “I had to come.”
“Well.” Eve Gardiner lowered her pistol. “I suppose you’ll want t-tea.”
“Yes, tea would be—”
“I don’t have any.” She turned and made her way back down the dark hall, walking long-strided and careless. Her bare feet looked like an eagle’s claws. She weaved a little as she walked, the Luger swinging freely at her side, and I saw she still had a finger through the trigger. Crazy, I thought. The old cow is crazy.
And her hands—they were monstrous knobbed lumps, every knuckle misshapen and grotesque. They looked more like lobster claws than hands.
“Keep up,” she said without turning, and I scurried after her. She struck a door open and flicked on a light, and I saw a cold sitting room—a mess of a place, grate unlit, drapes drawn so no chink of light could come in off the street, old newspapers and dirty tea mugs lying everywhere.
“Mrs. Gardiner—”
“Miss.” She flung herself down in a shabby armchair overlooking the whole messy room, tossing her pistol down on the table beside it. I winced, but the thing didn’t go off. “And you can call me Eve. You’ve f-forced your way into my house, so that’s a level of intimacy I’m already disliking you for. What’s a name?”
“I didn’t mean to force my way—”
“Yes, you did. You want something, and you want it badly. What is it?”
I pulled up a hassock and sat down, suddenly uncertain where to start. I’d been so focused on getting here, I hadn’t thought how exactly I should begin. Two girls times eleven summers, divided by one ocean and one war . . .

Purchase Links:

ABOUT KATE QUINN

Kate Quinn is a native of Southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia.



Thursday, June 15, 2017

InkSlinger PR Spotlight + Review: Blackmailing the Bad Girl by Nina Croft


Today we have the blog tour stop for Blackmailing the Bad Girl by Nina Croft! Check it out and grab your copy today!


About Blackmailing the Bad Girl:

Cynical CEO, Nik Masterton, believes he’s finally met a woman who isn’t interested in his money…until she vanishes with a hefty amount of it. He’s been searching for her ever since and has finally found her doing a stint in Holloway prison for stealing...from someone else. Clearly, he’s just one of many. Now she’s coming out, and it’s time for a little payback.

After two years in prison, Summer Delaney is determined she’s never going back. While she had good reasons for doing what she did, it’s time to move on to a new life and earn an honest living. Unfortunately, there’s a glitch in her plan, and he’s waiting at the gate as she comes out.

Nik isn’t above using blackmail to make Summer work for him until he decides just how he’ll get his revenge. But this time they’re both determined to keep their distance. Right until the inconvenient attraction explodes between them...

My Thoughts:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Cajun Doctor by Sandra Hill (Review)

Yes, I wanted to read The Cajun Doctor, because the hot guy on the cover. I also did want to read it, because I like Sandra's Vangel books. I actually didn't realize this was part of a previous series, now I know. However, those who have been following Cajun books will remember some of the characters, while it's all new to me.

We meet Daniel and Aaron LeDeux, twin brothers, after their mother's death find out they have more family. Their father's family, so they travel down to Louisiana to meet them. At this time, they aren't sure what they are going to do with their lives. Then the story starts to focuses on Daniel, and Samantha Starr. When Samantha was trying to fix her life after a blip of a marriage, she had decided that all doctors were scum. Gotta love scum sucking ex-husbands. So, you might say that Daniel and Samantha don't see eye-to-eye. Actually, they tend to egg one another on. They seem to rub each other the wrong way, so the banter between them is pretty fun. However, her brother finds himself in some serious trouble decides to turn to Daniel for help.

The Cajun Doctor was an all right read. I liked the story, but the cajun dialect got a little too much for me granted it was in the bayou area. I guess I'm use to redneck Louisiana, which there is. However, I did like the relationship between Daniel and Samantha. It was pretty much all sexual tension they were going to ignore until they were forced to be together. Now I'm curious where Aaron was while he was missing in action. He was always gone, but he would come back here and there. I wouldn't mind knowing what's going on in his life. Anyway, an all right read.

Copy provided by Avon.

Rating:
3 1/2 Stars

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Forever Romance Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: The Story of Us by Tara


THE STORY OF US 
Tara Sivec 
Forever Yours eBook
June 11, 2017



How much can a man take before he breaks?

1,843 days. That's how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I'll do anything to get back to her.

Only Shelby Eubanks isn't the girl I left behind all those years ago. She's someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother's ambitions. But I won't give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.

My Thoughts:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Forever Romance Playlist + Excerpt + Giveaway: Forbidden Promises by Katee Roberts


FORBIDDEN PROMISES
The O’Malleys, #4
Katee Robert
Forever
May 30, 2017



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert delivers the next book in her sizzling O'Malleys family series, hailed as "The Godfather meets Romeo & Juliet."

“A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down.” –Publishers Weekly

“A great read from the talented Robert!” –RT Book Reviews

“This is an extraordinary series by any standards, and FORBIDDEN PROMISES slays the competition.” –Fresh Fiction

Some lines should never be crossed . . . not even for love.

Sloan O'Malley just left her entire world behind—her family, her wealth, and even her real name. For the first time in her life, she's free. She can live the "normal" life she's always wanted. A life without fear. But there's nothing safe about her intensely sexy next-door neighbor.

Jude MacNamara has no room for innocence in his life. Only revenge. Still, he's never been able to walk away from the forbidden, and Sloan—who is every inch of pure, mouthwatering temptation—has forbidden written all over her. Only after it's way too late does he discover the real danger: claiming Sloan as his puts a target on her back. To protect her, Jude is willing risk everything . . . and to hell with the consequences.

FORBIDDEN PROMISES Playlist

Thursday, June 8, 2017

TLC Spotlight + Review: The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen 
Lady Travelers Guide, 1
Victoria Alexander
HQN
May 30, 2017

Blurb

Embark on the breathtaking romantic adventures of The Lady Travelers Society in the brand-new series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander

Really, it’s too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders’s favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what’s a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he’s escorting the world’s most maddening woman to the world’s most romantic city to find her missing relative.

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she’s certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart.

My Thoughts:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tasty Book Tours Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn


The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
Rokesbys #2
By: Julia Quinn
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon




While you were sleeping...

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true...

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

My Thoughts:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Sweet Home Alabama by Erin Knightley (Review)

Okay, I read My Sweet Home Alabama by Erin Knightley. Let me say that this story is super quick and sweet. We have Delaney Hart who is leaving behind the life she knew, because of a no good ex-fiancee. Basically, the no good ex-fiancee was causing problems between her and best friend Beauregard Rodney (by the way love the name Beauregard), which Delaney had no clue what had happen. So, they have to come to an understanding before they can move on in their lives. That's the gist of the story.

Like I said super quick and sweet. This a pretty good story if you are not looking for something super deep and complex, but something short and sweet with a satisfying happy ending. That's all I got for My Sweet Home Alabama.

Copy provided by author

Rating:
4 Stars