Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Blame It On the Cowboy by Delores Fossen (4 stars)

About Blame It On the Cowboy

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (September 27, 2016)

Every cowboy has a wild side—all it takes is the right woman to unleash it…

All of Logan McCord’s carefully laid plans erupt the day he walks in on his would-be fiancée getting…well, not so carefully laid. Tonight, just once, Logan is acting on instinct. And that instinct is telling him to say “Happy to oblige” to the cute stranger looking for a no-strings fling with a Texas cowboy.

When chef Reese Stephens made her bucket list, she mistakenly thought she had weeks to live. Not that she regrets her one-night-stand with the gorgeous rancher. But she does regret leaving an heirloom watch as a parting gift. Tracking Logan down is easy. Walking away again is another matter. Because Reese’s crazy past and Logan’s battered heart are no match for the kind of chemistry that could turn one night into the start of a passionate lifetime.

Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links


No reason to reiterate the summary above. Instead, I'll jump right into what I liked. To start... Kudos to the way these two characters met. I found it much more appealing than the look-across-the-room-and-fall-in-love go-to of far too many romance novels.

I also appreciated that every time I thought I knew what would happen next, the story took a turn. So refreshing to not see everything coming in a too-fast relationship. And extra points for the humor I wasn't expecting.

If you enjoy a hot romance that defies standard romance storytelling, then take a chance on this one. I think you'll find it refreshing without forgoing any of the heat and romance.

Rating: 4 stars

About Delores Fossen

871833-300x200USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®.

In addition, she’s had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines.

Connect with Delores Website | Facebook | Twitter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 
Please visit other stops on the Blame It On the Cowboy blog tour page.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Marrow by Elizabeth Lesser (5 stars)

About Marrow

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave (September 20, 2016)

The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.

 A mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically.

Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a “soul marrow transplant,” examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives.

But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves.

Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links 


It has been a while since I read a non-fiction story that so captured my heart. From page one, I became emotionally attached to this story of two sisters and cancer's effect on their relationship. And I read the whole thing in one day, knowing I'd need to re-read it again and again to truly absorb its magnificence.

This book is about so much more than cancer and loss. It's about who we are in the deepest part of ourselves. I highlighted so many sections, but a few lines really stood out to me:  "... someone forgot to tell us that our own journey never ends... There is always more to uncover, more to know, more to heal, more to love, more to give. Being true to yourself is a rough-and-tumble ride."

None of us should wait for death to force us to learn more about life, and this book is testament to that. I could run through a litany of adjectives to compel you to read this, but it'll mean something different to everyone. But I truly believe it will touch you in some way. 

Rating: 5 stars

About Elizabeth Lesser

ELIZABETH LESSER is the author of The Seeker’s Guide and the New York Times bestseller Broken Open. She is the cofounder of Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences that focus on holistic health, psychology, spirituality, creativity, and social change. Prior to her work at Omega, she was a midwife and childbirth educator. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.

Find out more about Elizabeth at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 
Please visit other stops on the Marrow blog tour page.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Honor Bound by BJ Daniels (3.5 stars)

About Honor Bound

Mass Market Paperback 384 pagesPublisher: HQN Books (October 18, 2016)

Protecting her life will mean betraying her trust

Ainsley Hamilton has always been the responsible one of the family. As the oldest daughter of presidential candidate Buckmaster Hamilton, she’s also a potential target. For months she’s sensed someone following her. When an expedition to scout locations for a commercial takes a terrifying turn, she’s rescued by a natural-born cowboy who tempts the good girl to finally let loose.

Sawyer Nash knows just how reckless it is to fall for someone he’s gone undercover to protect. Yet masquerading as an extra on set, he starts to see beneath Ainsley’s controlled facade. And with the election—and a killer—drawing closer, Sawyer stands to lose not just his job and his life but the woman for whom he’d gladly risk both.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links


Ainsley Hamilton has been living life looking over her shoulder, sensing someone is following her. Sawyer Nash is recuperating from an injury when he's asked to look out for her. That her father is a presidential candidate only ups the ante for keeping her safe.

When lives are on the line, who we really are comes to the forefront.

Honor Bound is part thriller, part political commentary, part romance, and part suspense. It's a few too many parts, in my humble opinion. Just as I was getting wrapped up in a growing attraction between Ainsley and Sawyer, the focus would switch to a thriller about the past and politics. 

While I was interested in all the stories, I found transitioning between them sometimes difficult. But, honestly, my reaction could be as simple as being swept away in a story and then needing to reboot to another, equally intriguing plot line. 

Honor Bound is a roller coaster ride of intrigue, romance, and action. Even though it might feel like you are getting on and off different rides, the entertainment never stops. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

About B. J. Daniels

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author B.J. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and three springer spaniels. When not writing, she quilts, boats and plays tennis.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 
Please visit other stops on the Honor Bound blog tour page.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

They Were Like Family to Me by Helen Maryles Shankman Blitz

They Were Like Family to Me: Stories

Critically praised, beloved by readers, In the Land of Armadillos has an evocative new cover and title, They Were Like Family to Me. Now in Paperback! Available October 4.

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, the occupying army empties Poland's towns and cities of their Jewish citizens. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival often demands unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire—a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.

Blending folklore and fact, Helen Maryles Shankman shows us the people of Wlodawa, a remote Polish town. We meet a cold-blooded SS officer dedicated to rescuing the Jewish creator of his son's favorite picture book; a Messiah who appears in a little boy's bedroom to announce that he is quitting; a young Jewish girl who is hidden by the town's most outspoken anti-Semite—and his talking dog. And walking among these tales are two unforgettable figures: silver-tongued Willy Reinhart, commandant of the forced labor camp who has grand schemes to protect "his" Jews, and Soroka, the Jewish saddlemaker, struggling to survive.

Channeling the mythic magic of classic storytellers like Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer and the psychological acuity of modern-day masters like Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander, They Were Like Family to Me is a testament to the persistence of humanity in the most inhuman conditions.

“One of the most original and consistently captivating short story collections to have appeared in recent years…(They Were Like Family to Me) is a singularly inventive collection of chilling stark realism enhanced by the hallucinatory ingredient of top-drawer magical realism, interrogating the value of art, storytelling, and dreams in a time of peril and presenting hard truths with wisdom, magic, and grace.” —Jewish Book Council

“Moving and unsettling…Like Joyce's Dubliners, this book circles the same streets and encounters the same people as it depicts the horrors of Germany's invasion of Poland through the microcosm of one village…Shankman's prose is inventive and taut… A deeply humane demonstration of wringing art from catastrophe.” —Kirkus Reviews

“ turns forthright and tender, oblique and intimate, brutal and ethereal…Though each story stands beautifully on its own, it is the completed tapestry of interwoven details that finally reveals the entire picture and provides the full emotional depth of the collected stories…The author’s greatest accomplishment is in leaving the horror to speak for itself, and instead giving voice to the enchantment.” —Historical Novel Society

Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links 

About Helen Maryles Shankman 

Helen Maryles Shankman’s stories have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. She was a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Story Contest and earned an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers competition. Her stories have appeared in The Kenyon ReviewGargoyleCream City Review2 Bridges ReviewGrift,, and other publications. 

She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Color of Light and the story collection They Were Like Family to Me. She lives in New Jersey, with her husband and four children. 

Connect with Helen 
Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Last Chance Rebel by Maisey Yates (4 stars)

About Last Chance Rebel

Series: Copper Ridge

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (August 30, 2016)

The prodigal son of Copper Ridge, Oregon, has finally come home 

The man who ruined Rebecca Bear’s life just strolled back into it with one heck of an offer. Years ago, Gage West’s recklessness left Rebecca scarred inside and out. Now he wants to make amends by gifting her the building that houses her souvenir store. Rebecca won’t take Gage’s charity, but she’s willing to make a deal with the sexy, reclusive cowboy. Yet keeping her enemy close is growing dangerously appealing…

He’s the wild West brother, the bad seed of Copper Ridge. That’s why Gage needs the absolution Rebecca offers. He just didn’t expect to need her. After years of regretting his past, he knows where his future lies—with this strong, irresistible woman who could make a black sheep come home to stay…

Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links


Rebecca Bear has lived her life in the shadows of the scars from a car accident and hoping she never had to see the man responsible ever again. But then he waltzes back into town, and instead of avoiding her, he seems intent on lessening his guilt.

Two people in need of healing... can they embrace the future and heal the wounds of the past?

I love to read a good love story, but it has to start with caring about the characters and having a build up that makes sense--no instal-love for me. Rebecca and Gage have depth to them, which makes their growing feelings more intriguing. Love isn't easy, and it's definitely not for the two of them, but two damaged people can work through the pain when their hearts are in it. Their love story is reaffirmation of this kind of hope.

Their story stirred many emotions in me, something I wasn't expecting. To say I was pleasantly surprised by this is an understatement.

If you love a good romance with an added emotional attachment to the characters, then pick up a copy of Last Chance Rebel. And there's plenty of steamy scenes, too... just saying.

Rating: 4 stars

About Maisey Yates

81fGrlUjP2L._UX250_New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

Connect with Maisey 
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 
Please visit other stops on the Last Chance Rebel blog tour page.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Surrendered by Case Maynard (4.5 stars)

THE SURRENDERED by Case Maynard is LIVE. You can find out all about this YA dystopian and Vee’s fight against the #taxonkids by following the links below to your preferred retailer. Don’t forget to come celebrate tonight on Facebook, where Case and some other amazing authors will be raffling some awesome prizes.

About The Surrendered

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

Now available!


Vee Delancourt has a burning desire to be more, to do more. Unfortunately, the world operates under a new set of rules since a devastating financial collapse. Parents are forced to pay fees or turn over their children. Vee and her twin brother, Oliver, are surrendered.

Vee and Oliver live a life of servitude, a fate Vee struggles to accept. When she can't take it anymore, Vee decides to take action... and nothing will ever be the same, especially as unsettling secrets are revealed. 

Nothing makes me happier than reading a strong female character who doesn't have all the answers but trusts her gut to fight for what she knows is right. Vee fits this description perfectly. Twists and turns abound as Vee unearths one secret after another, leading to a captivating conclusion sure to leave you wanting more.

If you love strong characters, fast-moving action, and great storytelling, then take a chance on The Surrendered. You'll be hooked.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About the author:

With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). 

You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

Want to stay up to date on everything from Blaze Publishing? Sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss a thing! The first 100 subscribers get free Blaze bookmarks (UK, US, and Canada only) AND get added to our Loyal 100 group, which gives you access to exclusive news, teasers, prizes, and ARCs!

Website - Instagram - Twitter - YouTube - Facebook - Tumblr - Google+

Note: I served as Editor through Indie Books Gone Wild. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Being Me by Tricia Copeland (5 stars)

Title: Being Me
Series: Being Me Volume 4 
Author: Tricia Copeland
Genre: Clean New Adult
Release Date: September 20, 2016

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”-The Great Gatsby

In attempt to manage her rage and shame after a violent assault, Amanda loses touch with reality. Her spiraling physical state forces her to act or die. To face her demons, she must revisit the emotions she ran from in the first place. Still unsure of what life she wants, but determined to pick up the pieces, she seeks out the right path. Can she mend broken bonds with her friends and family? 

Will her epic love survive? 

Find out in this roller coaster finale of the Being Me series.


Amanda is forced to face her demons after months of walking the edge of keeping it together. To do so, she has to accept some things she can't change and walk away from relationships she holds dear. When someone breaks, you really see the depth of their character. This is especially true for Amanda. And I love a strong female spirit, one that doesn't take the easy way out. And there's nothing easy about Amanda's breaking point and resulting backlash.

All the supporting characters--Doug, Zack, friends, parents, sisters--play a part in Amanda rebuilding her life, and not all of them in the way I thought they would. And as much as a reader might love a main character, it's all the supporting ones that make the whole experience truly memorable. But, in the end, it's about Amanda trusting her own instincts and standing strong without a crutch. 

And let's face it... the final book in the series is what you walk away with, the lasting impression. And Tricia Copeland makes everything worthwhile. Although Amanda's journey has been rocky, it's worth every moment in this satisfying conclusion.

If you are a reader who wants a whole series out before you start, take the time now to invest in Being Me. You'll appreciate the journey.

RATING: 5 Stars

Reviews for the rest of the series:
Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in Colorado with her family and multiple four legged and finned friends. Her new adult Being Me series includes, Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, Thinking You Know Me, and the final installment, Being Me. Drops of Sunshine, released in July 2016, is her first young adult and paranormal book. If she’s not on a trail, you can find Tricia at or on your favorite social media.

Note: I worked as Editor on this novel through Indie Books Gone Wild. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.