Sun, Sea and Sangria by Victoria Cooke #bookreview #contemporary #romance #chicklit

Title: Sun, Sea and Sangria

Author: Victoria Cooke

Publisher:  HQ Digital

Publication Date: June 10, 2020

Page Count:  322

My rating: 4 stars

About the book:

Kat swore off dating many years ago, after her marriage ended in a catastrophic mess. Having moved to the Canary Islands for a fresh start, she has never had much time for romance, channelling all her energy into managing an all-male dance troupe – the Heavenly Hunks.

With golden beaches, sparkling blue water and relaxing after work with a glass of sangria – or three – for Kat, it’s summer all year round.

But despite life being postcard-perfect, Kat can’t help but wonder if she is missing out on the most important thing of all . . . love.

The dancers are all well known for their flirtatious antics and aren’t looking for anything serious . . . except Jay.

Handsome, caring and a good listener, he ignites a fire in Kat’s heart that scares her witless. But her relationship with Jay should stay strictly professional . . . right?

As the temperature rises, will Kat be able to take the plunge, let go of her past and find romance in paradise?

Fans of As Greek as It GetsSunrise Over Sapphire Bay, and My Greek Island Summer will love Victoria Cooke!

Sun, Sea and Sangria by Victoria Cooke is a contemporary romance set in the Canary Islands. Of course being a fan of exotic locations and seeing this beachy beautiful cover I had to pick this one up.

Now getting into this one we meet Kat who had sworn off dating and dove into her work. Of course Kat’s work is most women’s fantasy because Kat manages an all male dance group known as the Heavenly Hunks. And being around these flirtatious hotties has only reinforced Kat’s non-dating policy over the years, that is until Jay joins Kat’s group and sparks fly.

At the time everyone is looking for beachy reads how could something called Sun, Sea and Sangria not fit into that category? This was actually a fun one to read with some laughs along the way and probably as close as I’ll get to the actual Canary Islands so A+ for the setting. I also liked the characters in here and getting to know Kat and her dance group while watching the relationship grow. Now excuse me while I make a cocktail and find my sunglasses!

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon**

About the author:

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

**This is an Amazon affiliate link which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commision on any purchase made through the link of the products I share and that commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.

Death by Auction (Abby McCree Mystery #3) by Alexis Morgan #bookreview #mystery

Title: Death by Auction

Author: Alexis Morgan

Publisher:  Kensington Books

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Page Count:  263

My rating: 4 stars

About the book:

Not only did Abby McCree inherit her aunt’s house in Snowberry Creek, Washington, she inherited a handsome tenant and a whole lot of trouble . . .

It’s hard to say no to Tripp Blackston. That’s how Abby found herself on yet another committee, organizing a bachelors’ auction to raise money for Tripp’s veterans group. The former Special Forces soldier is mortified when Abby enlists him to be one of the prizes, but she has a covert plan to bid on him herself. Before she can, she’s foiled by a sniper bid from a gorgeous stranger, who turns out to be Tripp’s ex-wife, Valerie.

Still reeling from the shock that Tripp was married and wondering what his ex is suddenly doing in town, Abby goes looking to pay the auction’s emcee, radio personality Bryce Cadigan. She finds him in the parking lot, dead in his car. Valerie appears to be the last one to have seen Bryce alive, so she’s the cops’ best bid for suspect. When she asks Tripp for help—and lodgings—it’s Abby’s turn to block by inviting Val to stay with her. But did she just open her home to a murderer?

Death by Jack-o’-Lantern by Alexis Morgan is the second book in the cozy Abby McCree Mystery series. As with most cozy series each book in the Abby McCree Mystery series has it’s own mystery that is solved within the book so each can be read in any order or as a standalone if choosing to do so. Those that follow along from the beginning of the series will have some character development that carries over from book to book though.

This series introduces readers to Abby McCree who had just gotten divorced and had to sell her half of the business she shared with her husband over to him when she found out what her Aunt Sybil left her in her will. Needing a fresh start Abby decided to move into her Aunts former home and make it her own in small town Snowberry Creek, Washington. After arriving in the small town Abby found herself surrounded by her aunt’s old friends who are turning to her to fill the hole that her aunt had also left in their lives and trying to get Abby to volunteer for project after project.

Now Abby’s tenant, the very handsome Tripp Blackston, has asked Abby to volunteer on yet another committee. Tripp is helping to raise money for his veterans group by organizing a bachelor auction. Abby jumps in and the event is a success with only one little snag, a woman outbids Abby when Tripp is up for bid and Abby finds out in this way that Tripp was once married. Abby doesn’t have time to dwell on this news however when Abby goes to pay the auction emcee and instead finds him murdered and with another killer on the loose Abby begins to investigate.

I have followed the Abby McCree Mystery series from the beginning and have really enjoyed it. This series is one that I’ve found has some laughs, likable characters, a darling dog and even a bit of romance included in the stories. This third book also had yet another fun mystery to be solved yet again making this one another series that I will have no problem coming back to time and time again.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon**

About the author:

USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always been an avid reader, and she loves spending her days with hunky heroes and gutsy heroines. She has published more than thirty books, novellas, and short stories, including contemporary romances, American West Historicals (as Pat Pritchard), Paranormal and Fantasy Romances. Her new contemporary series, Snowberry Creek, is being published by Signet Eclipse. She has been nominated for numerous industry awards, including the RITA© from the Romance Writers of America, the top award in the romance genre. Alexis loves to hear from fans. You can contact her through her website at http://www.alexismorgan.com

**This is an Amazon affiliate link which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commision on any purchase made through the link of the products I share and that commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.

Begin Again, Again by Eve Dangerfield blitz with giveaway

Begin Again, Again
Eve Dangerfield
(Rebirth Series, #1)
Publication date: August 4th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The chemistry’s right, the timing’s so wrong…

True love is never convenient…

What do Bethany Myers and infatuation have in common? They’re both bright, beautiful and refuse to conform.

What do Byron Thomas and denial have in common? Just about everything. But don’t worry about it.

Ex-party girl Beth moved to Melbourne for a fresh start—which was immediately derailed by the city’s COVID lockdown. After an isolated winter, summer has arrived and Beth (and her body) is crying out for connection. But the rules have changed and being vulnerable feels risky…

A pro-footballer turned electrician, Bryon has plenty of secrets and even more regrets. He’s the glue holding his dysfunctional family together and he wants things to stay simple—something Beth makes impossible.

After a roadside encounter Bryon and Beth’s worlds collide. What was supposed to be a hook up becomes a full-on summer romance. As they question their future, both together and apart, they learn you don’t come of age once but again and again.

Begin Again, Again is a return to the world of romance novels for critically acclaimed author Eve Dangerfield.

Amazon**

EXCERPT:

Beth wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t so perfect.

She was driving down a quiet rose-strewn street, Charli XCX blaring from her speakers, and there he was, striding across the footpath holding a big metal thing. Three weeks out of lockdown, Beth still wasn’t used to seeing men’s faces uncovered in public. But she’d never be ready for someone like him. He looked like he’d wandered away from a movie shoot, the drab suburbia a mere backdrop for his supernatural hotness. She slowed and he cocked his head at her. ‘Am I okay to go? ’

He had a slash through his left eyebrow. The thin, bisecting line was a flaw that somehow made him hotter, like a gap between a supermodel’s front teeth.

Beth waved him on. He raised two fingers in a tiny salute and walked toward the black ute on the other side of the road. Beth watched the muscles in his arms shift and lock as he carried his… work tool, or whatever it was, across the road. Charli sang about boys, needing boys, wanting boys, and Beth’s mood soared. It was a gorgeous day; lockdown was finally over and guys as hot as this still existed. Better than existed—existed near her.

She still might not have done anything, but then she saw the butterfly. It was royal blue, huge and beautiful. It flitted past his handsome face, and it was like a cosmic promise that after all these months of loneliness, she could, would, fuck again.

“Oh my god,” she said to no one. Without another conscious thought, she wound down the car window and stuck her head into the summer morning. “Hey! You’re fucking gorgeous!”

The guy turned—of course he turned, she’d yelled at him—and gave her a bemused look. Beth’s insides churned. His eyes were brighter than his hair suggested they’d be, hazel or even green. The butterfly shimmered across his throat, as reluctant to leave him alone as she was.

He looked at her as he hauled the big metal thing into the tray of the ute. He didn’t seem annoyed; he didn’t seem like anything. Beth knew she should move, but she couldn’t. She was stuck between shame and the strangest feeling she knew him. Or that maybe she’d been waiting for him. That she’d known to drive to this spot at this time and see this guy.

He moved toward her car and common sense kicked in. She’d catcalled a guy in the street. He might have thought she was joking. Fucking with him. Beth imagined his fist pounding the car windshield and saw him yelling that he wasn’t a woman and didn’t deserve that shit. She fumbled for the accelerator, but he was already in front of her, hand outstretched.

“Hey.”

His voice was deep but clean. Up close there was a boyish roundness to his eyes that unnerved her. He was young, younger than her. Mid-twenties maybe. Beth’s stomach roiled. “Hey, um, how’s it going?”

“Not bad.” He bent down, looking through her open window. His eyes were green, dark jade like pounamu. Her stomach swooped. Did she know him? Had they made plans to be here?

He glanced at her body, both brows lifting slightly. Lust hit Beth like a truck. She wanted him, wanted him with a clarity she hadn’t experienced since Ben Havish’s sweet sixteenth pool party.

“How are you?” he asked.

Beth looked into his face and saw enough interest to press wildly, recklessly ahead. “Good. Do you want to hang out?”

The guy leaned back, straightening up. “Right now?”

Beth’s brain jammed. Was he inviting her onto his worksite? To his car? She wasn’t opposed, but… “I’m on my lunch break. How about tonight?”

His gaze travelled down her body, and Beth wished she’d worn something hotter than a pink t-shirt and jeans. Like a dress and heels. Or a fur coat and lingerie.

“Tonight works.”

Beth resisted the urge to clap her hands to her face and squeal.

Author Bio:

Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels ever since she first swiped her grandmother’s paperbacks. Now she writes her own stories about complicated women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Her work has been described as ‘genre-defying,’ ‘insanely hot’ and ‘the defibrillator contemporary romance needs right now’…and not just by herself or those who might need bone marrow…OTHER PEOPLE! She lives in Melbourne with her boy and a bunch of semi-dead plants. She can generally be found making a mess.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Warrior Priest by Kate Hill blitz with giveaway

Warrior Priest
Kate Hill
Publication date: August 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

What happens when a warrior priest from a strict religion meets a free-spirited priestess from a new age commune? Jade and Selena are as different as two people can be, but to facilitate an alliance between their worlds, they engage in a cultural exchange. With their galaxy in danger from a planet that wants to conquer or destroy all others, they realize the importance of their assignment, but it is difficult for a warrior priest and a nonviolent priestess to understand each other. Selena is both attracted and appalled by his old school masculinity, and Jade is tempted to break his vow of celibacy until marriage due to his powerful desire for her. Will this unlikely pair not only find common ground, but unconditional love?

Goodreads / Amazon** / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“This is our last stop before the ceremony,” Ari Tobias said.

They walked through the courtyard to where dozens of priests engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Some wrestled, others kicked and punched, and others dueled with machetes.

They paused in a circular area where three priests attacked one.

“That’s Ari Jade.” Ari Tobias nodded toward the priest who fought the three. “He’s among those being honored at the ceremony today.”

Tall and broad with long limbs, Ari Jade moved like a predator. His braid lashed behind him as he defended against the attacking priests. The severe hairstyle did nothing to hide his remarkably large ears. His high-collared black uniform clung damply to his lithe, powerful body. A red-haired priest grasped him from behind, and he easily tossed the man onto his back and struck him in the stomach just seconds before spinning and kicking the second priest. The third lunged at him and for several seconds they traded blows before the redhead kicked Ari Jade’s legs out from under him. He landed with a grunt, partly breaking his fall with an extended arm. He kicked two priests and twisted to avoid a punch from the third.

“Is something wrong, Elspeth?” Ari Tobias asked, a smirk in his voice. His gaze fixed on the dark-haired priestess.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how all this bloodshed fits with religion.”

“Probably because our religion is quite different than yours. Whereas you’re upset by this, your companion seems fascinated.”

It took Selena a moment to realize that he’d been referring to her. For some strange reason, she couldn’t keep her gaze from Ari Jade. There was something almost savage about him. Some might consider his heavy features ugly—except for his eyes. They were dark, almond-shaped, and more intense than lasers. A faded scar—like a slice from a dagger—cut across his right eyebrow. He both frightened and fascinated her.

A gong sounded and the priests stopped training. At that moment, Ari Jade turned and stared directly into Selena’s eyes. A shiver ran down her spine again, but this time it was as much from desire as from fear. Ari Jade unsettled her, but she wouldn’t allow him to intimidate her. She stared back at him, refusing to break contact no matter how much she wanted to look away.

The red-headed priest punched Ari Jade amiably in the shoulder, drawing his attention away from Selena. Grateful for his distraction, she released a pent-up breath.

“It’s time to prepare for the ceremony,” Ari Tobias announced and led the way back to the temple.

Elspeth followed close behind him, but Selena hung back for a moment, her gaze fixed once more on Ari Jade. He turned to her. His dark, almond-shaped eyes narrowed and his lips twitched in an animal-like snarl. To drive off her fear and discomfort, she again noted the size of his ears and decided that she would now think of him as Ari Donkey. She couldn’t keep from smiling, and Jade scowled, their gazes still locked.

“Selena!” Elspeth called.

“Coming!” Selena hurried to join the others.

Author Bio:

Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who started writing many years ago for pleasure.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, watching horror and action movies, working out, and spending time with her family and pets.

She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest / Bookbub

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The Island House by Amanda Brittany #bookreview #thriller #suspense

Title: The Island House

Author: Amanda Brittany

Publisher:  HQ Digital

Publication Date: August 11, 2021

Page Count:  251

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

About the book:

A DARK FAMILY SECRET

When Alice’s father dies after a tragic hit and run, his death stirs up unanswered questions about her childhood. Who was her mother, why did her father never speak of the past, and why can’t she remember anything before the age of seven?

AN ISLAND CUT OFF

But when she receives an anonymous letter containing a photograph of a refurbished gothic guest house surrounded by water, and an invitation to stay, old memories fight to resurface.

Alice has visited before. She is certain of it.

WHO WILL SURVIVE?

Convinced the clues to her past lie at the hotel, she checks in. But once on the island, a wild storm rages, waves crash violently into the rocks, and the house is cut off by the roaring sea.

Then two guests are found dead. And the hotel owner is missing. Will Alice ever uncover her secret past?

And will anyone leave the island alive?

An utterly gripping thriller that will leave you reading long into the night! Fans of The Guest List and The Sanatorium will love this nail-biting read.

The Island House by Amanda Brittany is a thriller read that has a gothic touch to the setting. The story is another that is told from different timelines and differing points of view in those timelines.

Alice Hadley is a sculptor who has just lost her father in a hit and run accident and is not sure how to go about life without him. Alice has always had strange nightmares and doesn’t have many memories of her childhood so when she gets an invitation to stay at a secluded island hotel that seems her father might have once been she accepts hoping to get a glimpse of her own past.

The Island House by Amanda Brittany was another novel that I had some ups and downs with while reading. First, I’d say the setting of this one was excellent. The creepy gothic hotel on a remote island was definitely one thing that had me hooked into the tale. I almost seemed more entertained by the chapters of the past than I was of the current though. I felt while reading that the beginning with Alice was a little slow and then I kind of wanted more to happen in the current storyline too. There were parts I would warn are almost tipping this one into horror too which I actually didn’t mind but some readers may think is a bit much. Overall, I’d say this one ended at three and a half stars for me.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon**

About the author:

Amanda Brittany is the best selling author of five psychological crime thrillers HER LAST LIE, TELL THE TRUTH, TRACES OF HER, I LIE IN WAIT and THE ISLAND HOUSE.

Her debut, HER LAST LIE is being made into a film supported by Creative Scotland, and she has raised almost £8500 for Cancer Research UK from her eBook royalties, in memory of her sister.

Amanda lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two crazy, cute dogs. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family and friends, travelling, walking her dogs, reading & sunny days. Though, since childhood, she has loved the snow, which features in HER LAST LIE & I LIE IN WAIT

She also writes psychological suspense novels with Karen Clarke. The THE SECRET SISTER and THE PERFECT NANNY are out now, and the writing duo are presently working on their third novel.

You can follow her on:
Twitter: @amandajbrittany
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amandabrittany2
Instagram: @amanda_brittany_author

**This is an Amazon affiliate link which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commision on any purchase made through the link of the products I share and that commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.
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