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review 2017-08-21 21:45
Outlaw Hearts by Rosanne Bittner
Outlaw Hearts - Rosanne Bittner

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this epic story! When I started reading this book, I really didn't expect the story to be quite as big as it turned out to be. This book doesn't cover just a year or two of Jake and Miranda's life. No, this is a book that covers decades and by the time it is over you want to spend more time with them. Since this is the first book in the series, that works out well for me.

This story is about Jake and Miranda. Jake is an outlaw and is wanted by the authorities. He actually has quite a sizable price on his head. Miranda became a widow at a young age when her new husband was killed during the Civil War. Miranda's father is killed by a group of outlaws just before the story begins. An unexpected string of events puts this pair together and they realize that they actually enjoy each other's company.

The scope of this story is amazing. It starts out in Kansas but then goes all the way to California and back during a period in time when this area could be quite dangerous and rather wild. I really enjoyed all of the descriptions of the travels and settling in these different areas throughout the story. There is something about the old west that I find really interesting. The conditions were harsh at times and there seemed to be danger everywhere you looked.

I really liked that we get to see so much of Jake and Miranda's life in this story. Learning Jake's backstory really helps in understanding how his life unfolded in the way it has. I really enjoyed watching them meet and get to know each other. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow over time. Jake never seem to believe that he deserves Miranda but she refuses to give up on him. She proves that she wants nothing more than to be with him at any cost several times during the course of this story.

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys an epic romance. I started the book out liking Jake and Miranda but by the time it was over I had fallen completely in love with them. I can't wait to read more of this amazing series!

Initial Thoughts
Wow! This was a much more epic story than I thought it would be. It doesn't cover just a year or two but a big chunk of time. I liked the characters from the beginning but by the end I had fallen in love with them.

Book source: Purchased

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text 2017-08-04 08:05
Cover Reveal - Chrysalis

 

 

 

Sheriff Peter Holbrook leads a simple life watching over the residents of Nowhere, Kansas, where the most noteworthy crimes are dognappings and brawls at the local tavern. He’s always had an inherent fear of the gray – the yearly spring storms that plague the area. Then one morning, a mysterious woman crashes her car just outside city limits. The tattooed stranger may not remember who she is, but Peter instantly feels a connection with her.

 

As the gray descends, the girl’s appearance isn’t the strangest event. Unusual behavior from the townsfolk, cattle mutilation, and death soon follow. Peter believes they are related, but only has a hunch and a prophecy from his deceased mother. With the mysteries piling up, Peter must rely on the help of their newest resident to save his sleepy town.

 

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads
Angie Martin - Author
Bestselling and award-winning

 

 

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text 2017-06-05 16:30
Reading progress update: I've read 41 out of 450 pages.
The Thrall's Tale - Judith Lindbergh

I went with this book for Tomorrowland #34 (child on the cover) since it's been on my shelf so long.

 

I've been trying to figure out just how long it's been sitting there unread, and I have to admit that I'm not sure. I know I picked it up for $5 or so in the bargain section at Chapters (actually I think it was at one of the stores still under the Indigo name). The book was published in 2006 so it probably wasn't put in the bargain section until 2007...maybe 2008? Regardless of which year it was, it's kind of sad that it's been on my shelf close to a decade even if it hasn't quite reached that mark.

 

It's about time I read it, isn't it?

 

So far it's about a bunch of people emigrating from Iceland to Greenland, and the main point of view character is Katla, a thrall (read: slave) of one of the leaders. I don't think this is going to be a very happy story.

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text 2017-05-27 03:45
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
Boneshaker - Cherie Priest

If your bread is so stale that it's barely edible, why wouldn't you eat it with the stew you're making to soften it up instead of eating it dry?

 

This one has been on the TBR for a really long time. I picked it because the random.org oracle spoke and declared that the time of Boneshaker was upon us (this was after the Morningstar decree). I've been procrastinating and not reading it most of the evening though, half waiting till I can roll for booklikes-opoly at midnight. However, maybe I should wait for morning, or wait to do my bonus rolls in the morning because I've had bad luck with rolls made too close to midnight.

 

Or I can read the book. Apparently there are zombies? Why did I want to read about zombies?

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text 2017-05-18 08:03
Excerpt Reveal - Black Tie Optional
 
 
The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's 
new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional!
 
 
 
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Wild Wedding #1
Ann Marie Walker
Releasing May 30, 2017
St. Martin's Press
 

 

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, "a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!"

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.
 
Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.
 
Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
 
So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
 
 
 
Chapter One
 
Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.
 
 
            A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?
 
            Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips - everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.
 
            “Mr. Grant,” she began.
 
            The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.
 
            He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.” 
 
            “I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”
 
            “Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.” 
 
            Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
 
            She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.
 
            “Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk. 
 
            Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
 
            “Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”
 
            “This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”
 
            “Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”
 
            “There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”
 
            “Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”
 
            Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.
 
            She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.
 
            He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”
 
            With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.
 
            “Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.
 
            “Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.
 
            “To the desert? You’re joking, right?”
 
            “I wasn’t sure.”
 
            “Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”
 
            “I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”
 
            “Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”
 
            “You sound like a tourism ad.”
 
            “All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”
 
            Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”
 
            “I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”
 
            “This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”
 
            “You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the
bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”
 
            “How’s that going by the way?”
 
            Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”
 
            “Maybe it’s time to—”
 
            “Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”
 
            Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”
 
            “Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”
 
            “Sounds like someone has wet panties.”
 
            “Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”
 
            “Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”
 
            “Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.
 
 
 
 
 
Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it's December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.
 
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