Review and giveaway at Dear Author

Waaaay back when I was 14 years old, I got a B+ in my geometry class and had an emotional meltdown, begging my teacher for a chance to do extra credit. (It’s true. Just ask my friend Amanda.)

Today I got a B+ review from Dear Author and I’m CHUFFED TO BITS! (That’s a good thing.) Dear Author is a much harder grader than Mr. Hinrichs was.

Jayne wrote a really, really lovely review. Here’s an excerpt.

The book is funny and real and the dialogue is fantastic…I want Spencer. I want to marry this man. We’ve had some reviews recently that mentioned heroes winning their heroines by treating them nicely and that fits here in spades. Not only is he patient and a sweetie, he’s sexy as hell. Spencer should be cloned and mass produced for export. Britain would have a trade surplus that would be the envy of the world.

London Legends field bagI’m giving Dear Author readers a chance to win Knowing the Score. Three people will get a copy of my book, and one of those people will also win this London Legends field bag.

Friends, head over to Dear Author, read the review, and enter the giveaway. But hurry because it ends Monday!

Review: Planning for Love by Christi Barth

Planning for LoveIvy Rhodes is the best wedding planner in Chicago. She’s professional, competent and highly in demand…until one of her brides signs up for a trashy reality TV show filmed by irresistible videographer Bennett Westcott.

Bennett used to have an exciting career in journalism before a scandal took everything from him and left him working on bridal TV shows. But there are perks – like meeting beautiful women at weddings.

The chemistry between Bennett and Ivy is scorching hot, and he thinks he’s hit the jackpot with a woman who knows their relationship will be limited to one night and one day. But when Ivy’s desire for love and a family becomes clear, he takes off…only to discover his next assignment is to follow her around videoing her for her own TV show.

This is the first Christi Barth novel I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last. Christi Barth writes exactly the kind of contemporary romance I love: smart, sassy and real. She wraps deep emotion in humor, like in this scene where Ivy tells Bennett he should be proud of what he’s made of his life after he lost his first career:
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Review: When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen

When You Give a Duke a Diamond
by Shana Galen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When You Give a Duke a DiamondAs a courtesan, Juliette’s life depends on being seen as notorious and fascinating.

As a duke, William’s self-respect depends on being reserved and haughty.

When Juliette witnesses William’s intended being brutally attacked at a ball, she tells him what she saw and asks for his help protecting herself. It’s no wonder William is slow to believe her at all.

But when the evidence mounts up and William realizes she’s truly in danger, he whisks her away to Yorkshire where she’ll be safe and he can investigate. But doing so may tarnish his own reputation beyond repair.

I loved these characters. Two people for whom reputation is everything, but one of them craves discretion while the other has to give at least the appearance of indiscretion in order to survive.

William is every inch a duke. He believes he should never have to apologize because he’s above nearly everyone around him. The only person he needs to avoid is the Prince Regent, because he can say no to every other request that’s made of him.

Both William and Juliette are survivors of abuse. This hidden vulnerability helps them look beyond the masks that they each show the world and see each other for who they really are. With William, Juliette learns to stand up for herself (even if he’s sometimes the one she needs to stand up to). With Juliette, William learns how to have an identity beyond his title.

Shana Galen’s novels are always a treat for me to read. When You Give a Duke a Diamond has a bit of suspense, a good dose of humor, and a bucketload of irresistible sensuality. I look forward to the next two novels in this series, featuring Juliette’s fellow courtesans.

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Have you read When You Give a Duke a Diamond, or any of Shana Galen’s other novels? What did you think?

Last chance! Subscribe to my blog and comment on any post by August 31, 2012, for a chance to win my Bookstravaganza! giveaway.

When You Give a Duke a Diamond

He had a perfectly orderly life…
William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…
Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

Review: Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe

Boomerang BrideMatilda Geoffrey has risked it all for love, just as her Nana did when she left her own country to marry an American serviceman. Matilda has invested in her fiance’s business, left her home in the Australian Outback and moved to rural Wisconsin…only to discover she’s been jilted in the worst possible way.

Marc Olsen kicked the dust off his Wisconsin childhood and is a happy New Yorker who only visits for Thanksgiving. But when he arrives home and finds a sad-looking foreigner wandering through town in an antique wedding dress, he can’t walk on by. And when his little sister confides in him that she’s very ill and needs help, he feels the tentacles of his family pulling him back to the place he never wanted to be.

Two people  who both feel the weight of family history and tradition…only Marc desperately wants to escape them while Matilda craves their comfort.

Boomerang Bride won this year’s RITA award for best contemporary romance, and I can totally see why. It’s got characters who are full of heart, a secondary romance that’s so good it nearly outshines the primary romance, and a small town populated by wonderfully normal characters – not people who are so quirky it kills the illusion that this place could actually exist.

Plus, Fiona Lowe makes Wisconsin in winter sound sexy. Seriously! No offense to Wisconsin because I’m sure it’s a very sexy place. But in winter? I never would’ve believed it. Fiona Lowe made me a believer.

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Review: Can’t Hurry Love by Molly O’Keefe

Can't Hurry LoveVictoria’s husband stole money from their friends then killed himself when he was found out, leaving her with a sick son, no house and friends who despised her. When her father dies and leaves his ranch to Victoria’s half-brother, her brother asks her to live at the ranch and run it.

Liam’s family has worked on the ranch for generations. In fact, they used to own the land but lost it in a dodgy deal. So when city-girl Victoria shows up with no clue how to run the place, Liam takes immediate advantage and sells all the cattle.

Needless to say, this does their relationship no favors. But as an inexplicable attraction draws them together, they both have to decide how much they’re willing to trust the other when they’ve both been betrayed by the people who should’ve loved them most. (Liam’s mother left when he was a boy and never contacted him.)

Have you ever read a book that seeped into your soul while you read it, leaving you feeling both destroyed and elated when you finished? Can’t Hurry Love was that book for me.

I’d never read any of Molly O’Keefe’s books before, but a couple of my blog readers had highly recommended this one so I bought it. Holy cow, this is exactly the kind of novel I love. I have a soft spot for heroines who start off with a critical lack of self-confidence, and Victoria certainly has a lot to learn about her own capabilities throughout the novel. All of the characters—not just Liam and Victoria—are driven to emotional hell and back, making their redemption all the sweeter.

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