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review 2017-04-27 07:05
Blog Tour w/Review - A Charmed Little Lie
  
 
Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make 
a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it?
 
  
 
A CHARMED LITTLE LIE
Charmed in Texas #1
Sharla Lovelace
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Lyrical Shine
 

 

Lanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to Charmed, Texas for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.

Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described. He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .
 
 
 
 
 

I didn’t look back, and I didn’t care. Nick’s hand was warm in mine, and when we reached the dance floor they’d cleared a space for, he tugged back gently to make me turn around. The look in those dark eyes nearly took out my knees. He pulled me into his arms, leaving no room for imagination, and I let my hands slide up his chest to his neck, and around back as his eyelids grew heavy.

 

Roberta Flack crooned softly, the first time…ever I saw your face… And something in me went warm from head to toe. Something besides whatever was in that punch. Something more real than that.

 

Nice save.”

 

I tried.”

 

How was the punch?” he asked.

 

I wound my fingers into his hair and pulled his head down.

 

See for yourself,” I said, the last word finished against his lips.

 

Sparks ignited throughout my body as our lips met. Soft. Slow. Wet. Needing. Our bodies moved as one with the music, so close, so tightly pressed together I could feel his heart beating. My hands traveled slowly back down his chest and around his middle as his came up into my hair. When his tongue ran over my top lip, I knew he could feel my gasp. And when I pulled him in deeper to taste him, I felt the low growl in his chest rumbling against mine.

 

His fingers twisted in my hair as he dove deep and then pulled back, deep again and back, teasing me, pulling back to kiss my lips one at a time, as I kept clinging tighter. I was drunk on it. Breathing shallow. My fingers curling into his shirt with the need for more.

 

The first time…ever I kissed…your lips…

 

It was erotic, the way he kissed me. The way I kissed him. Slow, matching our movements. Intimate. Electric and emotional at the same time. And so full of desire and barely restrained need, that my body was trembling with it when he held my face and leaned his forehead against mine.

 

I wanted to keep my eyes closed. Absorb the feel of him, the song, the words, the taste. Just hold on to it a little longer. But I felt the heat of his gaze and my eyes fluttered open. And everything inside me turned to liquid fire. No one—ever—had looked at me like that. Had wanted me like that. The mirror image of what was churning inside me was all over him. In the desire mixed with the trouble haunting his eyes. This wasn’t the game. That thought hit me like a sucker punch to the gut. This was—

 

His mouth covered mine again, hungrier, hotter, and I melted into it. The burn in my chest at the realization of just how fucking real this was, stole at my breath, and I didn’t care. It was more than we were supposed to be doing but—God, it was so good. It was so good my heart felt like it was swelling to the size of the room. Wrapping around us as his hands cradled my face and he broke from the kiss, moving his lips along my face, my cheeks, back to my lips, both of us breathing fast. It was more. Nick was giving me the more. It wasn’t just physical; it was bursting inside me.

 

When he pulled me to him, I buried my face in his neck and held him as tightly as I could as the words slowed to an end. I didn’t want it to be over. I didn’t want to let go.

 

I could hear my heart in my ears, pounding with every breath. He smelled like soap and something woodsy and Nick, and I always knew that but being up close enough to lick him made the smell intoxicating.

 

The music stopped.

 

 The lighting was changing. I had to let go of him, and the second I moved he backed up too. Just a little. Just enough for me to see the mouth I’d just gotten to know intimately. His gaze fell to my lips as well, before dragging up to my eyes. Things had changed. In the course of time it took for that song to make its evolution, our reality had shifted. And the real kicker was that I think we both knew it already had.



 

A Charmed Little Lie (Charmed in Texas, #1)A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lanie had given a lie to a dying aunt. Now, she must prove the marriage is real. No pressure, right? Especially since she is not even seeing anyone right now.

Nick comes across Lanie in the middle of a crisis and is not sure to take her seriously. She has him fitting the general description of the man she lied about. He needs the money, so he gives in. Then the attraction begins......

I really felt it all with this story. There is plenty of humor, heat, sarcasm, and lots of fun. I really wanted the characters to see what I saw for them. There was sparks flying between them and it was fun to see the slow burn speed up. I cannot wait to see the next book in the series.


****This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 
 
 

Tasty Q&A with Sharla Lovelace

 

Describe yourself in five words or less.

  1. Snarky (Might be kind of scary that this was the first one that came to mind.)

  2. Introverted

  3. Sneaky

  4. People-watcher (notice how I hyphenated to get an extra word? Yeah, see #3)

  5. Dog-lover (it worked last time)

 

Can you tell us a little about your book?

It’s about lying! LOL. Truly, it’s about when all your little white lies catch up to you, and what the hell do you do then? You make up a gargantuan sized one to cover them, and then hope it doesn’t swallow you whole. Unless it’s in the form of a hot sexy get-under-your-skin man….then by all means swallow! (I did not just say that.)

Lanie and Nick’s story was honestly one of my favorite books to write—EVER. It was so much fun, and such a runaway train ride with no hands! I loved literally watching them fall for each other, I loved Lanie’s spunk! I loved every second of it, and it birthed the town of Charmed, so I hope you will love it as much as I do.

 

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I Hope You Dance

 

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

My phone and a hair tie on my wrist. (That’s 2. Damn I have trouble following rules.)

 

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I adore writing intense scenes with either sexy-smexy chemistry burning up the page or fast snappy dialogue. Sex scenes before the sex…with the tease and the tension and the snarky back and forth talking…I love that. Also fights are a blast with all that emotion churning around. Dialogue is always the most fun. I groan to write description…

 

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Everyone says this, but seriously, never give up. I met Sandra Brown at a writer’s conference, and she was behind a table signing for a line of hundreds, and when I got up there I said “Everyone in this line wants to be you one day.” She looked at me and said, “You’re here. You’re already halfway there. Don’t ever stop learning and don’t ever stop writing. You’ll get here. One day, maybe I’ll be in your line.” I never forgot that. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing by any means, but my first book was published almost exactly 5 years ago, and now A CHARMED LITTLE LIE is my 10th published book, and I’ve just finished writing my 12th. Don’t give up on your dream. Also, remember that you write about life, and to do that you have to live. There are times (deadline evil times) that you have to stay in a cave and pound out words, but outside of that, find a balance and enjoy your life. It will show in your writing when you do…and when you don’t. If you write romance, kiss your husband every day. And if you are writing about hot sex and he is one of your readers, you’d better be prepared to give up the goods. Saying you aren’t in the mood after penning being banged against a wall—doesn’t cut it honey. ;)

 

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I wouldn’t be here without you, and I love and adore you so much for taking the time to buy my books and give my stories a try. And when you email or message me to tell me about it…oh my God you just don’t know the rainbows and unicorns that fill me up. Nothing is more important in this job than readers. When I make you happy…when I make you laugh or cry or feel something that you are moved enough to tell me about…my God, ice cream isn’t even as good as that. It’s close. But not quite. ;)

 

 


 
 
Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series.

For more about Sharla's books, visit www.sharlalovelace.com, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 
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url 2017-04-27 05:00
Author Of The Month - Rhys Ford - Grand Finale

Join us again today as we celebrate this fabulous author, with a look at Hellsinger and Half Moon Bay, the latter with excerpts, plus our Q&A with Rhys. We also have one more chance for you to win one of her books! See you there!!

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review 2017-04-25 14:02
Beautiful, hopeful, with a good dose of heartbreak
The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden

First of all: thank you to the publisher for the ARC.   This hasn't changed how I feel about this book.   

 

I don't even know where to start reviewing this.   The bizarre sex?   The mythological pantheon that seems to have a basis in real mythology, but is cobbled together into something new and fascinating?   The theme of tradition versus modernity?   The LGBT themes running throughout this?   I mean, this thing is jam-packed.   What's truly impressive is that you add a plot and fleshed out characters on top of all this, and it doesn't feel too busy.   No, it's just busy enough, just as busy as the characters and world call for it to be and no more. 

 

Drayden doesn't limit herself to a page count, either.   At a sprawling 400 pages - although keep in mind this covers the afterward, she gives herself plenty of space to add in all these elements.   This is also her debut novel, although she has collections of short stories out.   I've seen first time authors pack close this much into shorter novels, but it's tricky to pull off.   I've seen a lot of first time authors go at a more leisurely pace, too.   Could Drayden have pulled this off without spending as much time she does on this novel?   Perhaps, but I think she'd have to lose the multiple point of view chapters.

 

And disclaimer, I hate this technique most times.   It doesn't give you enough time to get to really settle with the characters most times, and I found myself questioning if I remembered Sydney correctly in her second chapter.   (I'd had to put the book down and came back and scratched my head.   It was only once, however, but shows at least one potential flaw of this device.)   This book tells you who the chapter will be sticking with, and does do third person but sticks with that character for the chapter.   The writing, characters and world building were strong enough for me to stop caring at all and just enjoy this book, too, which is why I didn't knock stars off at all.   

 

This is a look at a possible future for South Africa.   Drayden acknowledges it can't be the story of South Africa in her afterward, but rather is the story of her relationship with South Africa.   (I'm not sure how to pare that, as I didn't get that personal feel from this book: it seems to me that Drayden had a story to tell, did a lot of research into South Africa, and decided to set it there.   While some of the aspects - the dik-dik, the mythology, and the traditions versus modernity - are specific to the country, or even continent, a good deal feels like it could have taken place anywhere.   Then again, this author is compared to Lauren Beukes and Nnedi Okorafor on the back of the book, which sets up unrealistic expectations.   Those two authors steep their books - or the ones I've read - in African culture, and in Beukes case South African Culture.   Beukes is a white woman who is South African, though, so she's lived in that culture.)

 

So to me it was a look at the possibilities of the world in the future.   Or at least some of it is; the mythological aspects are there, and seem more unlikely than the cloning, the robots, or the hybridization of species that are rooted in scientific advances that we're making today.    And no, the mythological is never truly explained; it simply lives beside the science.   And I was okay with that.   It was far better than an explanation that didn't make sense, or was too complex to be coherent, which I've also seen done.   Drayden also writes with a sharp confidence, not needing to explain and simply writing as if we'll accept these two elements side by side.   She assumes we do, and I found it worked for me: I didn't question why there were gods among labs that were built upon genetic modifications. 

 

It's a bit of a slow start as Drayden sets up her characters, but not a page is wasted: she does immediately start setting up plot points, particularly with Sydney, and Muzi.  I feel like Nomvula's setup was a little slower than the rest, but it all makes sense at the end: Nomvula's insecurities, her abilities, all had to be revealed slowly for the best effect.   Even the ways that some stories seem to take an odd, or even unnecessary turn, end up feeling necessary at the end.   They're there to show why the characters could act in no other way than how they do. 

 

And, yes, I loved the robots.   Loved them so much!   

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-04-25 10:25
Star Trek: S. C. E.: #20 Enigma Ship by J. Steven York, Christina F. York
Enigma Ship (Star Trek S.C.E., #20) - J. Steven York,Christina F. York

This time, the da Vinci encounters an alien ship marauding in space, swallowing up any ship that crosses its path - at the latest a Starfleet ship. Is the ship even intact and its crew alive still? And if so, how are they going to be rescued?

 

What follows is an interesting tale about reality, dreams and how to differentiate between those two. Definitely one of the better entries so far, at least story-wise. At some points the characterization is lacking (not only in the overall sense as was the case with most of the other previous parts), but also that at some points I had the impression that this story should be set much earlier in the season, as some of the issues coming up (Soloman etc) were dealt with much earlier already. So, that's kind of redundant.

 

I'll keep reading until Wildfire which is said to be turning point, right now - but if, by then, the series hasn't managed to entirely captivate me, I'll likely give up on it. The characters are still too bland, the stories too superficial to satisfy me.

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review 2017-04-25 00:18
I will check out more by Jeff Young.
Fox Chase - Jeff Young

Fox Chase is a steampunk fantasy/paranormal short story about medium, Kassandra Leyden, as she assists in a life threatening situation.

Action-packed with a steady stream of information, this felt a lot fuller than its few pages. Well written and good, intriguing characters that capture the reader.

I will check out more by Jeff Young.

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