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review 2017-07-24 03:04
ARC Review: The Garden (Lavender Shores #2) by Rosalind Abel
The Garden (Lavender Shores Book 2) - Rosalind Abel

I may have asked the author for an early copy. Possibly.

Oh, who am I kidding - I shamelessly begged as soon as I saw CrabbyPatty reading it. 

And I would beg again, if given the choice, because this book was fabulous. Gorgeous. Rapturous. Captivating. Brilliant. If my 15 status updates didn't convince you to pick up a copy of this as soon as you can, hopefully my review will.

Where book 1 was a mostly easy love story between Andrew and Joel, book 2 isn't like that at all. In this 2nd book, the author created a much more emotional and pain-filled plot, giving both of the MCs past hurts and some big issues they must overcome.

Gilbert Bryant (Andrew's cousin who sold him the cabin), a member of one of the founding families of Lavender Shores, has escaped his hometown as soon as he could. He designs one of a kind jewelry for the rich and famous, and he's perfectly happy in his cabin above Lake Tahoe, having no illusions that he'll ever be as happy as his cousin. Not that he thinks he deserves to be. Except he's having to go back for family get-togethers every so often, one of which is Andrew and Joel's engagement party.

Walden Thompson has recently moved to Lavender Shores, a place he visited once as a kid and dreamed of making his home ever since. He's a teacher and running from a past he's not proud of. It's clear early on that Walden keeps mostly to himself, and also doesn't have any aspirations of finding someone to love. 

The two meet at the gym, where Gilbert is on a treadmill behind Walden on a Stairmaster. Lusting for the well-formed ass in front of him, Gilbert thinks Walden is a tourist. Attraction is immediate, and after some steamy times in the steam room, they spend a hot night together. Their specific kinks line up pretty well, and that first bedroom scene was .... uh, well... let's call it rough and rowdy. I don't think I've ever read a scene like that in an M/M romance novel... not even in one that I knew would be kinky. 

I might have fanned myself.

Moving on.

Then Gilbert and Walden meet again at the engagement party, and Gilbert finds out Walden is a teacher. Immediate recoil by Gilbert makes things a bit awkward for Walden. I was scratching my head as to why that would be an issue for Gilbert, since no reason is given at that time.

Still licking his wounds, Walden ends up in a resort kind of place on a short vacation near Lake Tahoe, unaware that Gilbert lives in the area. While being propositioned by a Gilbert-lookalike, the real deal shows up, and the attraction still burns brightly. Also, Gilbert might be a little jealous. Possibly. Even if he tells himself that he shouldn't be, because he's no good for Walden.

And Walden fears being hurt again, and possibly falling down that rabbit hole of pain and shame once more if he lets himself get close to Gilbert. Sex is easy (and super hawt) - feelings are not welcome here. 

I really liked that the author didn't make things easy for them. There's a lot of angst here, and both men have pasts that still haunt them. No, I'm not going to tell you what those pasts are, but let it suffice that they both struggle, in their own ways. They're both still hurting, and while they don't immediately share their deepest and darkest secrets, they are both honest about being troubled, and how those troubles are impacting their views and actions. 

Of course, true love will not be thwarted, no matter how hard they both fight it. This is a romance, after all. 

What I really loved is how Gilbert and Walden help each other come to terms with their pasts. Even as Gilbert believes he doesn't deserve Walden, believes the things hateful people have told him in the past, even as he confesses his fears, his depression, his attempts at ending things when the pain got too much, all of his darkness, it is clear that Walden doesn't judge Gilbert for his past. And when Walden comes clean about his own past, he realizes that Gilbert isn't judging him either. 

The author created two complex, flawed, and yet strong characters, with histories that still shape their actions, but also allowed them to grow, to realize things, and to forge a new path - together. Their story isn't without pitfalls, and for some time, it's two steps forward, one step back, but as the plot progresses, their relationship goes from hot animalistic sexy times to real intimacy. Their fears don't disappear overnight, there's no magical healing here, but they face their fears, they move forward, they learn, they grow. 

This is hurt/comfort/healing at its finest, and I didn't want to put this book down until I had finished their story, only stopping for such pesky reasons as work and sleep. Absolutely heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. A fantastic supporting cast rounded out this novel, with many of the characters making repeat appearances in this book and its predecessor. 

While this book could easily be read as a standalone, I would personally recommend you read the first one too, because a lot of the history of the town, as well as the intermingled family history, is explained in that first one.

 

What I also want to mention are the titles. The Palisade and The Garden are both places that are important to the stories and to the characters. I thought that this was rather clever on the author's part, since both places play a huge role in the plot lines of their respective stories. I imagine that a veranda will be prominent in the third book, which is Donovan's story.

That's next. I'll be begging for a copy, for sure. 

This is one series you do not want to miss. Read it!


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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text 2017-07-19 15:52
Win It Wednesday: Kinked by Thea Harrison

 

The original creator of Win It Wednesday is Vampire Book Club.

 

☆.•°*°•.☆

 

I’ve got several books on my shelves that I received from authors, publishers and ones I’ve bought to giveaway to a follower of the blog. You know the drill. If you want this copy of KINKED to be yours, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Check out the giveaway policy for the rules. I’ll ship USA and CANADA. You also get 4 bonus entries for joining my newsletter (Note: Newsletter is sent only when a new post is featured on the blog. Only once a day.)

 

☆.•°*°•.☆

 

Kinked
(Elder Races #6)
by Thea Harrison

 

Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…

 

As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.

 

To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.

 

See my review for Kinked

 

Books In The Elder Races Series

 

  • Dragon Bound
  • Storm’s Heart
  • Serpent’s Kiss
  • Oracle’s Moon
  • Lord’s Fall
  • Kinked
  • Night’s Honor
  • Midnight’s Kiss
  • Shadow’s End

 

 

 

 

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures is giving away one new un-used Paperback copy of Kinked. Thank you to Thea Harrison for the extra copy!
(Open USA/CA Only)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Owner/Review and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. However what I am not is a writer. I apologize now for the grammatical and punctuation errors I make, because I know I’m going to make them. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. My favorite animals are horses. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/07/wiw-kinked-thea-harrison
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text 2017-07-05 16:56
Win It Wednesday: Kissed by a Dark Prince by Felicity Heaton

 

The original creator of Win It Wednesday is Vampire Book Club.

 

☆.•°*°•.☆

 

I’ve got several books on my shelves that I’ve received from authors, publishers and ones I’ve bought to giveaway to a follower of the blog. You know the drill. If you want this copy of KISSED BY A DARK PRINCE to be yours, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Check out the giveaway policy for the rules. I’ll ship USA and CANADA. You also get 4 bonus entries for joining my newsletter (note: Newsletter is sent only when a new post is featured on the blog. Only once a day.)

 

☆.•°*°•.☆

 

Olivia thinks it’s her lucky night when a dangerously handsome unconscious fae ends up on her inspection table. He’s her chance to redeem herself with her employer, the demon-hunting organisation, Archangel. But when the tall, dark and deadly immortal warrior awakes, she gets much more than she bargained for…

 

Attacked by his enemy in the elf kingdom, the last thing Prince Loren expects when he comes around is a beautiful angel watching over him and medical technology of the mortal realm. Hazy from his injuries, all he can focus on is the pulse ticking in her throat and the sweet allure of her blood.

 

One single bite reveals she is his eternal mate, triggering a bond between them that will leave him weakened until it is complete… or broken, and pulling Olivia into the crossfire of his ancient feud.

 

To protect his people and his mate from the machinations of a madman, Loren must risk everything by working with Olivia at Archangel to find a way to break the bond blossoming between them.

 

But will Loren be strong enough to place duty before desire and give up the one thing he has waited millennia for and craves above all others—his eternal mate? And will Olivia be able to resist the incredible heat that burns between them and the temptation of her dark prince’s kiss?

 

See my review for Kissed by a Dark Prince

 

Other books in the Eternal Mates series:

 

  • Kissed by a Dark Prince
  • Claimed by a Demon King
  • Tempted by a Rogue Prince
  • Hunted by a Jaguar 
  • Craved by an Alpha 
  • Bitten by a Hellcat 
  • Taken by a Dragon
  • Marked by an Assassin
  • Possessed by a Dark Warrior
  • Awakened by a Demoness
  • Haunted by the King of Death

 

 

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures is giving away one new un-used Paperback copy of Kissed by a Dark Prince
(Open USA/CA Only)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Owner/Review and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. However what I am not is a writer. I apologize now for the grammatical and punctuation errors I make, because I know I’m going to make them. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. My favorite animals are horses. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

Facebook Twitter Google+   

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/07/win-it-wednesday-kissed-by-a-dark-prince-by-felicity-heaton
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text 2017-06-28 18:14
Win It Wednesday: The Sight by Chloe Neill

 

 The original creator of Win It Wednesday is Vampire Book Club.

 

☆.•°*°•.☆

 

I’ve got several books on my shelves that I received from authors, publishers and ones I’ve bought to giveaway to a follower of the blog. You know the drill. If you want this copy of THE SIGHT to be yours, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Check out the giveaway policy for the rules. I’ll ship USA and CANADA. You also get 4 bonus entries for joining my newsletter (note: Newsletter is sent only when a new post is featured on the blog. Usually once a day.)

 

☆.•°*°•.☆

 

The Sight


(Devil’s Isle #2)


by Chloe Neill


Published August 16th 2016

 

The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

 

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

 

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

 

See my review for The Sight

 

Books in the Devil’s Isle series:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures is giving away one used Paperback copy of THE SIGHT
(Open USA/CA Only)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Owner/Review and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. However what I am not is a writer. I apologize now for the grammatical and punctuation errors I make, because I know I’m going to make them. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. My favorite animals are horses. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

Facebook Twitter Google+   

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/06/win-it-wednesday-the-sight-by-chloe-neill
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review 2017-06-26 01:57
How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie

"One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them."

As I read this book the main word that kept jumping out at me is 'manipulation.' 
By doing (or not doing) certain things, you are kind of manipulating the person into doing what you want. I am not a proponent of manipulation by any means. I do feel that helping the other person come to their own conclusions through some of these principles is helpful. 

I read a review on this book by a reader on GoodReads and she said that this book had a negative effect on her life. With any self-help books that you read, you must take things with a grain of salt. With "How To Win Friends And Influence People," I believe many of the insights are mainly geared to a person who is in business (salesperson.) That is not to say parts may not be applied to personal friendships/relationships. I think you have to remain true to your personality and not force something that is not natural. 

The negative reviewer said "The book basically tells you to be agreeable to everybody, find something to honestly like about them and compliment them on it, talk about their interests only and, practically, act like a people pleaser all the time. After being a smiley happy person with loads of friends for about a year, the unpleasant realization began to creep in, that by being so agreeable to everybody else, I rarely ever got my way. I also sustained friendships with people who were self-centered, so talking about their interests was all we got to do together, which drained me of my energy. The worst thing still, is that by trying to find something to like about every person, I completely disregarded their glaring faults. It didn't matter that those people did have redeeming
qualities - they weren't redeeming enough! I ended up with a bunch of friends I didn't really want and, because I was so preoccupied with "winning" those friendships I missed out on the chance to form relationships with good people."

I think what the reviewer did was to conform to the different principles and took them to heart a bit too much. There is definitely a time and place for everything and if you're using these principles all of the time, well that can seriously get tiring in my opinion. If you're thinking of reading this book because you are lonely & want friends, don't read it. 

I read this book on my Kindle and plan on going back to all of the notes I highlighted. A lot of what is presented in this book is common knowledge, it's just that it is presented in a way that really makes you think about how to use the principles. Having examples of each is also extremely helpful.

I think this book should be a requirement for college or anyone working in a business setting. I also believe it was completely written at the time aimed towards salesmen. Not all people have the natural ability to do the things presented in this book; some do. This book is obviously a best seller for a reason and I think the reason is the way the principles are presented.

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