RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


The Great Heroine Round-up! Readers please comment!

Dear readers,

I'm still 'on vacation' which has definitely been rejuvenating in that I'm not feeling as exhausted and crabby. Having the holidays over—and getting to see The Hobbit—has made a huge difference. Now I'm working hard on meeting my 75 books read in 2012 goal for Goodreads, one to go! Then it'll be a busy week with taking all the decorations down, the boy back in school, and getting a jump on goals for the new year.

In the meantime, I was checking my email and had a note that brought a big smile to my face.

Years ago I grew quite disenchanted with the porny changes in a series I had been a big fan of. There's a difference between erotica and porn and the author really lost track of how to plot a story and in doing so made me not simply lose interest in the series but actively seek something with similar traits minus the orgies. (If you don't know which series I'm referring to yet don't worry, you're not missing anything).

Once I began finding some great heroines in similar stories I started a list on Amazon for other readers facing the same dilemna and through it a reader found me here and emailed me for some help. She's seeking witty heroines that lean into the fantasy to urban fantasy genre so in addition to some of my own suggestions I thought I'd do a quick call-out to you guys, because I know that together we have an extensive list of heroines we love. The reader is seeking non-romances but the stories can contain a romance.

If you have any suggestions and recommendations please leave them in the comments. I'm hoping to compile a list that will be available for future readers as well.

See you guys next week when I get back here with a cram session of reviews and plenty of fresh enthusiasm. (And there'll be a cool giveaway going on at my other blog so be sure and check there too). -- Rhi


Leave of Absense: 12/23-01/07

That (look up) dear readers is the project we've been working on. Finished it about an hour ago. I am beyond exhaustion and into kinda feeling dead territory. lol
But in all seriousness... I realized over the past few days that I've been stretched way too thin. Juggling working on the dress-up closet, trying to figure out all of the gifts I needed to buy, the 2 dozen Christmas cards I had to write, school programs, birthdays, and everyday life stuff... Oh, and planning Christmas dinner for the first time.
So I've decided to take an official 2 week break from my blogs. That way I don't have a nagging pressure in the back of my head demanding I get reviews done or join into a meme or work on scheduling guests or answering the mass of emails or checking for comments and so on and on and on. I'll have a notice turned on should you happen to send an email that'll tell you I'm away but don't panic... I WILL BE READING!
I'm almost done with Indigo Awakening and have several books I need to start on.
I plan on getting out to see The Hobbit, have drinks with some friends, play with my baby girl with all of those kick-ass Monster High (and many more) costumes, play The Sims with my son (guess what he's getting for Christmas? lol), catch-up on Pretty Little Liars, spend some much needed time with the hubs, and get started on my goals for 2013.
So let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'll see you in a couple of weeks. ♥ -- Rhi


Review: How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #1) by Jax Garren
Urban Fantasy, Romance, Futuristic
Ebook $1.99 (104 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Audiobook $4.95

Book one in Tales of the Underlight
The Beast
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope...and then he sees her.
The Beauty
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
38,000 words
The trilogy continues in How Beauty Saved the Beast.

Author Site: www.jaxgarren.com

A 'beauty' and a 'beast', but not Beauty and the Beast (3 stars)

A Beauty who has a naughty side. A Beast who has a nice side. Some really nasty bad guys in a futuristic world where a burlesque dancer and a former soldier get thrust into an adventure to save a young girl. Welcome to the Underlight.

Readers of my blog know I'm a hound for any form of Beauty and the Beast influenced story but especially when it's got elements of urban fantasy. It's that area that I immediately began having trouble with this one. It's not quite futuristic or urban fantasy or paranormal romance. I'm still not sure what to peg it as. The novella opens with one of the steamiest sex scenes I have ever read but then the rest of the story feels cold. It definitely falls into the catagory of series problems I hate most... never open a series with a novella. Why? In this case it's going to be a trilogy so it's not quite a romance, there's no HEA, but the hints that it might come along eventually. That doesn't work for everyone.

I liked both Jolie and Hauk immensely but felt like not enough world building happens to leave readers with a strong understanding of how their world has become the way it is. That aside, Garren has a great voice that I will definitely give another chance to win me over. While I didn't ultimately like HOW BEAUTY MET THE BEAST I will probably give HOW BEAUTY SAVED THE BEAST a try because I liked Hauk and Jolie.

If you're looking for a Beauty and the Beast retelling this isn't one. The only element that hints at it is that Hauk is physically hideous and scarred and Jolie is gorgeous (and pretty enough on the inside to see Hauk's inner beauty). This probably won't work for readers who aren't into futuristic might-be-a-little-dystopian or urban fantasy-esque romances and for readers who want the HEA in a single book rather than over a trilogy.

Other Reviews:
Vampire Book Club
Under the Covers Book Blog
Smexy Books

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.


Review: A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards

A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation #1) by Hailey Edwards
Fantasy, Romance
Ebook $4.99 (193 pages, SAMHAIN)
Paperback (pre-order) $15.00

Hope dangles by a silken thread.
Araneae Nation, Book 1
When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.
Author Site: haileyedwards.net

Striking Romantic Fantasy (4 stars)

The Aranae Nation series is probably one of the stranger things I've tried to wrap my head around recently. Are they part dragon, part spider, part vampire? The people are definitely something 'other' and that is what made me instantly enrapt in A HINT OF FROST. Each clan seems to have different traits that set them apart from others. Some eat flesh, others spin silk, and so on. It's rare a fantasy setting can be so intricate, yet vague and keep me interested but Edwards did an amazing job.

As far as the plot goes, the blurb covers it pretty decently. A marriage of convinience between two very different people brings lots of surprises, twists, and naturally an eventual love connection. But the getting there is plagued with misconceptions, secrets, and duty.

There were a few flaws to the plot that had me raising an eyebrow and wondering how the characters could have really pulled certain things off. But aside from one that fantasy readers might instantly find problematic, I didn't find it so hard to 'just go with it'. It's an entertaining journey tale with a romantic union at the center, for a romance reader, there's really nothing to dislike in that regard. Rhys is quite alpha—something readers of my reviews know I don't generally like—but not brutish which made me really like him. Lourdes was a little tougher to like as I found her a tiny bit Mary-Sue-ish but she's not without things that make her fate something you'll care about either.

Though I didn't quite love it, A HINT OF FROST is a read I would recommend to fantasy readers who like romance and vice versa. It's just the start of a series which means more adventures in a world building set I personally found exciting, I definitely want to read more of it. be sure and check out A FEAST OF SOULS which released today!

Notes: Review copy received via author.

Check this book out if you liked:


20% off Carina Press Fantasy Titles TODAY ONLY!

Happy Sunday dear readers! I'm nursing a bit of a hangover from last night's Christmas party. I rarely get them so it's a bit of a doozy. Perfect time to try and catch up on all of these emails though. Which is how I discovered that Harlequin's deal of the day is 20% off Carina Press Fantasy Titles (on their site). Since some of my favorite reads in this catagory are in the sale I figured I'd share it just in case.
Try Dark Vow by Shona Husk, Cat's Tale by Bettie Sharpe, or Badlands by Seleste deLaney or check out any of the other fantasy titles featured in the sale. I can honestly say that I have several more of these that I haven't yet had time to read because they put out so many great niche titles! -- Rhi


Review: Born to Be Wild by Patricia Rosemoor

Born to Be Wild by Patricia Rosemoor
Romantic Suspense
Ebook $2.99 (192 pages, DEAD SEXY / ENTANGLED)
It's been twelve long years since Western rancher Micah Wild gave up all hope of being with his forbidden high school love—and the child they created together. When she tells him that their daughter has been kidnapped, they must reunite to convince their stubborn families to set aside a generations-long feud and help save their little girl. As old emotions are churned up—and love is rediscovered—Micah doesn't know how he's survived without Isabel Falcon in his life. After so many years and painful betrayals, can he win her heart again, rescue their child, and find a way for them to finally become the loving family they should have been all along?
Author Site: patriciarosemoor.com

Great writing, small plot problems... (3 stars)

Twelve years ago Micah Wild didn't fight for the woman he loved and the baby they were having together. The third generation in a feud between two families nothing could bring them back together. But when their daughter is kidnapped, he and Isabel Falcon will have to force a truce between their kin to root out the kidnapper. Years may have gone by since Micah's betrayal but a rekindling of the passion between them is inevitable. Can Isabel trust him to fight for her this time? Will they find their young daughter before the kidnapper harms her?

I'm not much of a romantic suspense reader, but I was in the mood to break it up when I saw BORN TO BE WILD. The family feud element is as old as time and always manages to be entertaining so I was really pleased with how well Rosemoor built that up and gave perspectives from both sides that made it feel real and interesting. I was glad to see Isabel and Micah trying to get their families to put what was important ahead of the feud too.

What ultimately made me not quite like BORN TO BE WILD was a mix of two things I loathe. I can't comment on the one without giving a slight spoiler warning so SPOILER-ish ALERT... Isabel and Micah rekindle the sexual side of their relationship way too soon. The last thing I would be doing if my daughter was kidnapped and possibly being molested is have sex with my ex. The second is that as the plot draws to a close and you think it's over there's another twist and another and another and so on... and it feels really silly.

As a whole, the two things that bugged me made it hard to really like BORN TO BE WILD but I loved Rosemoor's way of telling the story and will definitely consider reading her when I'm in the mood for a romantic suspense break.

Other Reviews:
Jonetta on Goodreads

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.


Weekend Reading [12/14-12/16] :: Catching Up and still BUSY as hell.

I'm absolutely wiped out dear readers. There's been some trouble in my private life that kind of set me spinning and somehow in the midst of it I reinjured my neck. I'm absolutely miserable. I'm having a hard time sleeping on top of it. Why couldn't all this arrise after the holiday stress was over?

I am, however, trying very hard to get some of those pending reviews completed. It's been a handful of books that are tough to review all at once so it's been frustrating. Now if only I wasn't 2 books behind on my reading goal for the year. :(

What an awful day though. Hearing about the horrific school shooting back East has my stomach in knots. It makes it hard to want to send your children out into the world. Ever. My heart goes out to those poor children who survived that, for the fear and horror it's brought them and to the families of those who were slain. Stuff like this makes me just want to live in books where the bad guys rarely win and when something bad happens you know it's not real.

Lots of work to do here in casa de Walker this weekend. We finally got the paint for the dress-up closet project and we're going to get on top of that tonight. Then tomorrow we have a Christmas party to go to. I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. I don't get out with adults enough. lol Yesterday was our son's holiday concert and man were they good for 7th graders. I was super proud. I'm hoping this means violin will be a lifelong passion for him. :)

Last night I finished A Galactic Holiday which was freaking awesome. If you love scifi romances DO NOT miss out on it! It's going to get a 5 star rating from me when I get the review written up. Now I'm still on the GraveTells Book Club reread of North of Need and I started Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane. I'm about 10% in but really confused so far on the latter. It releases on Tuesday so hopefully I can get a jump on it between projects, parties, and finalizing Christmas cards. I loved one of Dane's books and didn't care for another so it'll be interesting to see what comes of it. OH! And if you're interested 10 copies of Indigo Awakening are being given away on Goodreads.

Well... I just realized I've got to get dinner started and figure out what's going on with my kids. Much to accomplish still today and only one me to do it. I hope you all have some fun, festive weekend plans and that you'll tell me all about them—and what book you're currently devouring—in the comments! ♥ -- Rhi


Review: Pilgrim of the Sky by Natania Barron

Pilgrim of the Sky by Natania Barron
Fantasy, Mythology
Paperback $19.95 (324 pages, CANDLEMARK & GLEAM)
Ebook $4.99

Just when Maddie Angler thinks she's over the death of her longtime boyfriend, Alvin, she discovers that he's not only alive, but he may just be part god. And a killer. Now it's up to her to unite Eight Worlds she didn't even know existed in the first place, before chaos reigns.
Author Site: nataniabarron.com

A Genre-Defying Masterpiece (4 stars)

There's a reason PILGRIM OF THE SKY has such a vague and short blurb. If it said much more, the richness of its imaginative concept would be ruined. While I've seen it mentioned as a steampunk read it really is not. There's a steampunk element to part of it, but ultimately this is more a fantasy novel that truly bends and twists the genre.

This is not fantasy of the swords and sorcery formula, but rather, something more akin to Alice in Wonderland. Maddie never quite felt authentic to me as a reader, I always felt like she was a bit flat in personality and her veiled past and motives got very frustrating. As the plot thickens and then thins it works yet I still was left barely caring what her ultimate fate would be.

PILGRIM OF THE SKY has been the hardest book for me to review! The overall story is so fantastic and well imagined I would love to have seen it told in a less literary fashion. If I'm fully honest one of the reasons I couldn't give it five stars was because it was a little too intelligent for me, forcing me to pause at certain junctures to attempt wrapping my head around it all. If you're looking for a really brain bending read please look no further. Desirous of something entertaining and easy? Take a pass.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.


Guest Post: Author Jenna Bennett [FORTUNE'S HERO Blog Tour]

Dear readers,

I am so thrilled to have Jenna Bennett on the blog today. The tour for Tall, Dark, & Divine filled up in hours so I couldn't have her here then (and I had a total inner tantrum over it). Her new release, FORTUNE'S HERO, is crazy up my alley for obvious reasons, though I'm swamped and can't start it until next weekend. *sad face* So please join me in making Jenna feel super welcome and be sure and drop by her blog for her Entangled Under the Mistletoe Holiday Hop giveaway... book and cookies... it doesn't get much better this time of year. ;)

Now read on and enjoy! -- Rhi

A galactic smuggler must risk everything to get his crew out of prison, his ship out of impound, and everyone out of orbit...

It’s almost impossible to say the words “galactic smuggler” these days without bringing to mind the incomparable Han Solo, isn’t it?

(Yeah, Mal Reynolds was all right too, and maybe more familiar to some of you—the ones still in the cradle or not even born yet when the first Star Wars movie made its debut back in 1977. But for those of us of a certain age, Han Solo was it. It, I’m telling you. Nothing against Nathan Fillion, who’s quite dishy in his own right, but young Harrison Ford... yum.)

I was a little girl when Star Wars came out, and although I saw it, I was in no position to appreciate Han. At that time, I was just beginning to like boys—ergo, I liked Luke Skywalker. It took growing up to appreciate the charms of Han Solo.

Luke was cute, but Han was hot. You don’t appreciate sex appeal much in middle school. Or at least you shouldn’t.

As I got older, though? Oh, yeah. He definitely had it going on. Good looks—although not too good. A little rough around the edges. Able to, as the saying goes, charm the snakes out of the trees. And by no means a gentleman.

All good qualities.

And don’t even get me started on that whole “Han shot first” controversy.

On second thought, let’s talk about the controversy. Because I happen to think that’s exactly the kind of thing that separates the boys from the men.

(from the RhiReading Star Wars tree!)
Would Luke Skywalker shoot first?

Not bloody likely. Because he’s the hero. He’s the good guy. And good guys don’t shoot first.

But as one of the characters in Fortune’s Honor says to another, “There’s self-defense and self-defense, kid. There’s the kind of self-defense where someone comes at you with a gun, shooting, and you shoot back. And if you kill him, then you’re honorable, and if he kills you, then you’re dead. But there’s also the kind of self-defense where someone’s coming at you, and you know he’s got a weapon even if you can’t see it, and you know he’s just waiting for a chance to use it, and you’d better kill him first, before he has a chance to pull it out and kill you. Cause honor don’t do you no good when you’re dead.”

Sounds like something the incomparable Han would say, doesn’t it?

(In case you’re not familiar with the “Han shot first” controversy, it’s something that happened in the first movie, in the Mos Eisley Cantina, where Han Solo is discussing matters with Greedo the bounty hunter. In 1977, Han shot Greedo without Greedo ever firing a shot. For the 20 year anniversary edition in 1997, the scene was remastered and Greedo shoots first. A lot of us feel that it’s dishonest to the character and a transparent ploy to make him more morally acceptable. You may, of course, make up your own mind.) 

At any rate, that kind of attitude isn’t for everyone. The honorable hero doesn’t go around shooting first. He waits until someone shoots at him, and then he dispatches the threat with all speed and ease.

There’s a lot to be said for an honorable hero. Someone upstanding, principled and praiseworthy.

Although there is, perhaps, even more to be said for a wily, devious, clever and scheming hero. If nothing else, he’s more likely to be alive to fight another day.

I have occasionally been known to write upstanding, principled and praiseworthy heroes, usually in conjunction with wily, devious, clever and scheming heroines. I’m much more partial to a good bad-boy, though.

Quinn Conlan, the main character in Fortune’s Hero, fits the bill. He’s plenty devious and clever. However, he’s also principled in his own way.

Like Han Solo and Firefly’s Mal Reynolds, he owns a freighter. It’s called the Good Fortune. Some of the freight he carries is hot, and has to get where it’s going under the radar. In other words, he’s a smuggler. And he’s not above bending and breaking every rule he has to, to get the job done.

What he’s not willing to break is his own moral code. It’s not a code that necessarily coincides with anyone else’s, let alone with the law, but he has one, and it’s important to him. He’ll lie, he’ll cheat, and he’ll steal—but he won’t compromise what he thinks is right, even if no one else agrees with him.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good anti-hero.

So what do you think? Is it okay for the hero to be less than heroic? Is it okay if he shoots first? At which point does he stop being the loveable bad-boy hero and start being the bad guy, do you think? (And if you feel so inclined, feel free to give me your opinion on the whole “Han shot first” controversy too, while you’re at it.)

* * *  

New York Times bestselling author Jennie Bentley/Jenna Bennett writes the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and the Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. She also writes a variety of romance, from contemporary to futuristic and from paranormal to romantic suspense. Her latest release is Fortune’s Hero, first in the Soldiers of Fortune science fiction romantic suspense series from Entangled Publishing. For more information, please visit her website, www.jennabennett.com


S.O.S. :: Seeking On Sunday Meme (#3)

Seeking On Sunday is a once-a-month meme hosted by RhiReading to bring together readers who are looking for book suggestions. It is open to any blogger on the 2nd Sunday of each month who wishes to post one of the following:

  • an 'If you like this book/series/author, I think you will enjoy this book/series/author because...' suggestion post
  • a post seeking commentors' book suggestions within a certain set of terms
  • a post seeking the name of a book the blogger can recall details about but can't remember the name of

This is for ALL bloggers, not just book bloggers! If you're seeking bread baking books or suggesting board books for babies or having a difficult time finding the name of the romance novel you read the blurb of while standing in line at the grocery store this meme is for you. Here is a great example of how you can do it.

Grab the button to share in your post &
feel free to share it in your sidebar too.

This month I'm seeking...


Weekend Reading [12/07-12/09] :: Happy Hanukkah & whatcha reading?

Drat! The hubs was away on business all week so we carved out this afternoon to go see a movie together. Ever since we got home I've had the start of a headache coming on. Now I'm getting migraine symptoms. Grrrrr. So I'll try and make this short and sweet...
Saw BD:2 and owe thanks to everyone who behaved and didn't spoil the little twist there for me. Even knowing there was one I didn't see it coming. I was actually pretty pleased with it aside from a few cringey silly parts. It was nice to see the credits went full on for all 5 flicks' cast. Our son started laughing at us for going to see Twilight... as all 13-year-old boys have to (duh!) but I'm still glad we spent the astronomical amount of money a movie ticket costs anyway. ;) Anyone else who's not a Twihard still enjoy the films?
This weekend we've got our Christmas project for the tot to work on again and we're hoping to get our Star Wars tree decorated. Speaking of trees... you have got to check out one of my bestie's pics from the Festival of Tree that benefits Primary Children's Medical Center, the facility that cared for her little boy when he was born with a heart defect. I wish I could go see all those trees in person. Very cool!
This weekend is also time for another S.O.S. meme... I'd love to see anyone participate! Even if it's not until later in the week. I have a recommendation request already ready to go so be sure and drop in to answer, it's a broad one.
I'll be continuing my re-read of Laura Kaye's NORTH OF NEED and the first story from A GALACTIC HOLIDAY which seems pretty fitting to my weekend project. Scifi Romance plus Christmas = Geekgasm. I liked Stacy Gail's short from last winter's Steampunk Christmas anthology from Carina Press and so far this one is good.

Anywho, the nausea and light sensitivity is kicking into high gear. Time to go figure out dinner and take my meds so I can survive the rest of the evening without sticking my head in the oven. :P Have a good one... and as always... tell me what you're reading! -- Rhi


Guest Post: Author Karen Erickson [JANE'S GIFT Blog Tour]

The holidays are a busy time. With the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, parties and family get-togethers, it can be exhausting. Did you also know it’s one of the busiest times for your local fire station? Unattended candles, old Christmas lights on trees, old lights strewn around your house…all of these things are major fire hazards.

My dad is a retired arson investigator so this was an extra busy time of year for him. Even before he was an arson investigator, he was a captain at a CAL Fire (California’s state run fire department) station—just like my hero Chris Nelson from my latest book JANE’S GIFT. My dad spent a lot of time away from home during the holidays, or he was on call. And forget about the summer. That guy would disappear for a month sometimes, out on a huge forest fire!

So let’s not forget to thank the people who are out there working their tails off during the holidays. From the firefighters to the police officers, from the mall cops to the poor bedraggled retail workers (ha, I’m talking from five years’ experience as a poor, bedraggled retail worker), from the doctors and nurses to the guy who’s out there plowing the snow from the highways so you can make it to grandma’s house, they all deserve a hearty thank you!

And they also deserve a very Merry Christmas—so do you. J

Jane’s Gift blurb:

A fire captain afraid of commitment. A widow afraid of fire. Can the holidays bring them together?

A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she's living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children's lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother's best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.

Lone Pine's resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He's an everyday local hero, so he's never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow--even though kids and commitment have never been his style.

Despite her brother's warnings about his friend's playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can't help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?


You can find JANE’S GIFT at Amazon | B&N | Kobo

You can keep up with the Jane’s Gift blog tour by visiting the official virtual book tour page.

Where you can find Karen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest



Review: Jane's Gift by Karen Erickson

Jane's Gift by Karen Erickson
Category Romance, Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Ebook $2.99 (171 pages, BLISS/ENTANGLED PUBLISHING)
A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she’s living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children’s lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother’s best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.
Lone Pine’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He’s an everyday local hero, so he’s never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow—even though kids and commitment have never been his style.
Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?

Author Site: karenwritesromance.com

Short, Sweet & Filled With Holiday Spirit (4 stars)

Two years ago, Jane Clark lost her husband and her home in a tragic house fire. Left with burn scars that remind her of how she almost lost her life too, she's still struggling to rebuild the life she lost. Returning to her hometown of Lone Pine Lake, Jane's focus is on making her three children feel safe and happy after so much trauma. There's nothing like the Christmas season to bring joy and smiles. But on a trip to the local firehouse where the idea is to strip away some of the lingering fear from the accident that took their father and scarred their mother, it's the handsome fire captain who charms the kids.

Christian Nelson has a reputation for serial dating that suits his lifestyle just fine. Lone Pine Lake has plenty of female attention for a sexy local hero but from that first encounter he's drawn to Jane. Everything about her goes against what usually interests him but maybe she's just what an emotionally scarred commitment-phobe needs. And maybe Christian is just what Jane and her kids need at the holidays... and beyond.

I'll admit that JANE'S GIFT is not something I would usually pick up. If it were set during some other time of the year it probably wouldn't have caught my attention. But as Christmas approaches I always find myself eager to dive into holiday themed romances. They just have a way of helping me get into the mood for celebrating in a way nothing else does. If you experience the same thing it's definitely one to pick up!

While it's about the equivalent of a made-for-TV movie by literary standards it's by no means bad. Christian is a little cookie-cutter and Jane is a little flat but their struggles are relatable and the fluffy storyline a sweet, quick read. The secondary characters help the story along and could easily get your wondering if Erickson might not write about them in future Bliss titles (hint, hint).

If you're looking for a light romantic read for a boost of holiday spirit I definitely recommend giving JANE'S GIFT a go.

Other Reviews:
the book girl
Guilty Pleasures Book Review
Sonya's Stuff

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Review: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Young Adult, Mystery
Paperback $9.99 (304 pages, ENTANGLED TEEN)
What if your life wasn’t your own?
Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.
Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

Author Site: cindimadsen.com

For every teen who has ever struggled to find where they belong... (4 stars)

When Liv awakes from a coma the circumstances of her car accident seem like a reasonable answer to her lack of memories. In a new town her family is making a fresh start after the tragic accident that nearly took her from her parents. But there's something off about it all. Torn between two different instincts as a pair of voices conflict within her head she questions her sanity, Liv tries to understand where its all coming from. Struggling to make new friends and find her place amongst her peers, Liv befriends the enigmatic Spencer, a boy with a past that he doesn't want to remember... the very opposite of her problem.

With Spencer's aid Liv is determined to unravel the questionable lucid dreams that feel like memories that are making it impossible to be normal. But every new development only makes the possiblities of what really happened in her accident more unbelievable. If Liv wants to find the truth it could mean destroying the only life she knows.

ALL THE BROKEN PIECES is one of those 'what-if' type of stories that is a little bit predictable just from seeing the cover. That aside, the journey from there is well executed and has enough showing instead of just telling to make it an enjoyable read. Liv begins as a bit of a blank canvas and through the book you can feel that everything really is a struggle for her. Somehow that makes her endearing and relatable. Spencer is mysterious and a little bit unreal but in the sort of way that really works for YA novels. He's a little broody in the way that Twilight fans seem to relish.

While ultimately lacking in the twist I was hoping for, ALL THE BROKEN PIECES was a good read that I would definitely recommend for YA readers in need of a weekend page-turner. Whether intentional or not I really felt like Madsen did a great job of taking a predictable plot and making it a great metaphor for one of the biggest frustrations of teenhood—figuring out who you are!

Notes: ARC received via publisher.


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