Thursday, September 27

Review: Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

Wow, I just took a look at our archive, I was curious to see how many buddy reviews we've posted this year. We've done at least one each month, except for May! So much better than last year LOL. Hopefully, we can keep it up! If there's a book you'd like to buddy review with one of us, please feel free! :)

(Ames here. I'm too shy to email people out of the blue and ask for a buddy review.  So hit me up!  I don't bite.  Unless you want me too. hehe)

In the meantime, today's review is Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex. This book came to my attention when I was looking for new releases for the New Releases post :) It also caught Ames' eye and voila, a buddy review. I love it when it happens! Hope you enjoy!

Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex
published by St. Martin's in July 2012
Bold, brazen, and beautiful, the Reckless Brides refuse to play by society’s rules of courtship. But—come hell or high water—they always get their man..

For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place—at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues...

Dedicated to his ship, sworn to his duty—and distractingly gorgeous—Lieutenant David Colyear sees through Sally’s charade, and he’s furious. But he must admit she’s the best midshipman on board—and a woman who tempts him like no other. With his own secrets to hide and his career at stake, Col agrees to keep her on. But can the passion they hide survive the perils of a battle at sea? Soon, their love and devotion will be put to the test...
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Reckless Brides, Book #1

The Story: Sally Kent's father and older brothers are all serving the British Royal Navy. As such, nobody understands Richard's, the youngest Kent, desire to become a man of God... And on the eve of his enrollment as a midshipman, Richard runs away. To preserve the family reputation, Sally decides to disguise herself as Richard and takes his place aboard the Audacious. However, family pride is an excuse... Having grown up on a ship and raised in a family of such tradition, Sally yearns for the sea and life on a ship. She also knows that she'll be better at it than Richard too. The only obstacle to her charade is Lieutenant David Colyear, her brother's best friend who has actually spent time at Sally's home and thus, has met her. And indeed, it doesn't take Colyear much time to recognize Sally, who used to tag along in her brothers' adventures - but will he rat her out or keep her secret?

Nath: So Ames, did you enjoy Almost a Scandal? I hope so because I sure did! :)

Ames: You know I did too! It has a cross-dressing heroine and it takes place at sea. Those are two things I absolutely love in my historicals. I don’t know why I enjoy naval adventures so much, but something about that setting really floats my boat. haha

Nath: LOL, nice wordplay! And I know you enjoyed it :) I’m really happy too because as soon as I read the blurb, I thought of you... Perhaps because the setting is quite similar to Sea Change by Darlene Marshall which you absolutely adored :)

As for me, I admit I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Almost a Scandal. I like cross-dressing historicals and it was definitively the key element of the book and Ms Essex sure pulled it off. I liked how Sally had an affinity with the sea, how she loved it and had she been a man, she would have gone into the Navy, just like her father and three older brothers. She has also grown up on a ship and helped her brothers study for the lieutenant examination. With all this, I really believed that Sally could pass as a man and as a midshipman and so the book worked for me :)

Ames: Yes, I loved that aspect of Sally’s character. She was ideally suited to life at sea except for the fact that she was born female. I like how she became a protector to the other young midshipmen on board as well. She wasn’t someone to take something lying down - her character was very much a go-getter. Sometimes that can be unappealing, especially if she’s too goody two-shoes, but Sally was just the right amount of gumption and fortitude.

Nath: Oh yeah, I agree with everything you’re saying Ames :) I thought it was cute that she took the younger boys under her wing, a mix of maternal and older sister instincts. Aside from her guts, you know what else I liked? That she wasn’t a whimpering, simpering, virginal missus. She grew up with brothers, held her own against them, was included in their antics and as a result, not only was she knowledgeable with boats and the navy, but she knew about life and men and that means sex. I really liked that she wasn’t offended when she first stepped on the ship and witnessed the debauchery and instead, joked about it! :) That was definitively refreshing LOL.

As for the romance, I enjoyed it too. I thought the prior connection with the hero was a good idea - it made all the subsequent events more plausible and believable :) And Sally and Colyear made a good couple.

Ames: Yes! I love that she was the younger sister to his friends and actually knew Sally from before. It gives them history. Another thing that made them work so well for me was their partnership. Sally could keep up mentally and could actually predict some of the things he’d need on board. She was a true asset and did not put anyone in jeopardy with her presence.

Now what did you think of Colyear? I liked his character. But I felt that he was somewhat overshadowed by how awesome Sally was. LOL

Nath: The fact the two were equals and matched so well definitively made the romance :) As for Colyear, I like the man he was. I mean, what’s not to like? Fair, upstanding, competent and charismatic :P However, as you said, he was overshadowed by Sally and as a result, I find he wasn’t that well-developed. Although in the scope of things, I didn’t really mind because Almost a Scandal was really Sally’s story. And it was a really good story. I have to say that mid-way through the book, I got a bit confused in the action, especially the part when Sally and Colyear sneaked on the island. However, that really is my only complaint in the book. I liked the way Ms Essex spinned the story around and Sally’s revelation that she is a woman. I also liked we got to see the aftermath when Sally returns home.

Ames: I agree with you about Col. He was a good character, a good man for Sally, and I liked his connection to her family. But it was about Sally. My only complaint about him (and thus the writing) was the overuse of the phrase “damn her eyes” or “damn her fine eyes.” At first it was cute and I liked that he said it, but then it was used too much and even another character used it at one point. That was too much.

I liked the action bit that had to happen for Sally and Col to come together without an audience. It was necessary and it showcased how well they really work together.

I also liked that we saw the aftermath of Sally’s adventure and her going home. I was a bit annoyed at how she reacted to Col’s return though. I wished she’d stood up for herself a bit there.

Nath: It’s funny that you picked up on Col’s “damn her eyes” because I didn’t. Instead, I picked up on Sally’s phrase - which I can't remember at the moment ^_^; But the result is the same, the repetition got tedious and annoying.

Oh and you’re right. The action involving Sally and Col allowed them to come together without an audience. Gotta say, it was a clever move on Ms Essex’ part and much more believable than if they had been able to sneak somewhere on the boat. As you said, it was necessary and well executed.

I liked the reunion with Sally’s family. LOL, so funny how her brothers were all: “It’s not much of an injury.” Men, LOL. The ending with her younger brother was interesting. I liked that it was not kiss and hugs and we forget everything. Instead, both were still a bit angry at each other and they still didn’t see eye to eye; however, family prevailed :)

And what do you mean by wanting her to stand up for herself?

Ames: I found her very passive when she went home. I didn’t like that.

Nath: Oh okay, I know what you mean now :) I agree with you, she was kind of passive, but at the same time, it made sense. She’s come back from a life that she loved, surrounded with people, to an empty house... with a scar on her face. I think what hit the hardest for her is that she was home alone, none of her family was there. This makes it more real. It would have been weird for her to come home and be all happy and cheerful. And what matters in the end is that she stood up again and on her own when she was ready and not because Colyear showed up :)

All in all, I really enjoyed Almost a Scandal. I’m giving it a B+ :) I can’t wait to read William’s story, A Breath of Scandal, which comes out in December! I hope Sally and Colyear make an appearance!!

Ames: I enjoyed Almost a Scandal as well. It was a solid read with a strong heroine and it was set at sea. Win win. I’m giving this a B.

Thursday, September 6

Review: Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis

See, Ames did not lie when she said in The Proposal review that we had some more reviews coming down the line! Today, we're discussing Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis, a book I discovered because I was looking for new releases for our monthly post here at Breezing Through. The cover was just too cute to resist and the blurb was really appealing :) Read our review to see if the book measured up!

Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis
published by Berkley in July 2012
As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes—and that’s just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick’s cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.

Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana’s priorities shift, and Patrick—and Dumpling—find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table—one delicious dish at a time...
Genre: Chick-lit, Women's Fiction, contemporary
Series: None

Ames: Nath, thank you for bringing this book to my attention in our July New Releases post. :P This never would have made it onto my radar otherwise and I’m so glad I read this book, I really enjoyed it!

First things first, I want to make a small note to potential readers out there. The blurb kind of insinuates that Alana’s boss, Patrick, is jealous of her new man, and I misread that to be in a romantic way. So in case you get the same idea, that’s not the case. This is not a love triangle where her boss suddenly makes a play for Alana’s affections because there’s another man in the picture. Patrick is jealous, but because he’s no longer the centre of Alana’s world. So just wanted to get that out there. LOL

So Nath, what did you think of the book?

Nath: No problem, Ames :) The blurb just caught my attention and I was happy to share. From the blurb, I too thought Patrick was jealous in a romantic way... and while I’ve never been a fan of love triangle, I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t so. For the rest though, the blurb was pretty spot on :)

Overall, I enjoyed Off the Menu. I thought it was a solid book with a great heroine. I really liked Alana because she felt so real - I think a lot of readers will connect with her. I also liked the fact that she knew what she wanted in life and was happy with her life: a good relationship with her family, working in a field she loves and with an adorable dog to keep her company. I thought it was refreshing that she wasn’t desperate for a man and wasn’t pressed by her biological clock ^_^; Not that I don’t understand, but I don’t think everyone heroine should be that way...

Ames: I am definitely one of those readers that connected with Alana. Even her food dislikes! I read that and my jaw dropped. LOL But I think that’s why I enjoyed this book so much, Alana was such a great character. She had a fulfilling life, a wonderful dog, a great job and the most wonderful circle of family and friends. Those secondary characters really made this book for me.

I like how her and RJ met and his story about why he was on the dating site and how they both waited for free weekends to see who their matches were. I don’t know, everything about the story felt real - like Alana could have been a real woman and I would have loved to be her friend. It just clicked with me.

Nath: Nod nod, as I said, a lot of readers are going to connect with her :)

I enjoyed Alana and RJ’s romance. I liked that it was low-key with very few conflicts. Once again, this aspect of the book felt real. I loved how RJ was understanding as well, he and Alana really complemented each other. I do think it progressed a bit fast, but that’s because of the timeline.

It was also fun to see the two men in Alana’s life - her boss Patrick and dog, Dumpling - become jealous of RJ LOL. I liked Alana’s friendship with Patrick, even if it was a bit dysfunctional :) And Dumpling was simply adorable!

Ames: I loved her relationship with RJ! What got me was the communication. A relationship started with emails is of course going to have great communication but I like how they kept it up after they met. And a part of me kept waiting for the other shoe to drop...I didn’t realize I turned into such a cynic! But RJ was great and I liked the timeline. They both knew what they wanted and they went for it.

I loved how Patrick and Dumpling were both jealous. Dumpling, I can believe the way he was. LOL Animals can be little stinkers when it comes to the person they love. I know Max didn’t like the guys I dated. hehe And the description of Dumpling’s parts and pieces. He was such a Heinz 57 of a dog, I loved it.

Patrick - again, I thought the blurb meant he was jealous romantically. But Patrick was jealous just because he’s selfish and Alana made his life a lot easier. I like the descriptions of how they worked together, how they began work together and when Patrick pulled his jerk move there, I like how Alana laid down the law, and that RJ backed her up.

Another thing, this is a book about culinary people. But I never felt that the food aspects took over. Sometimes I feel an author can get too descriptive in what the characters are cooking, but Ballis did a good job of reining it in and keeping everything relevant.

Nath: I think in that aspect, Ms Ballis did a great job at keeping things balanced. The foodie aspect did not take over the book, but was enough to make us drool; the romance was just perfect and complemented the story which was all about Alana :)

And it’s not that you’re a cynic, it’s just that you were looking for conflict. It’s nice to read a romance like the one in Off the Menu from time to time where everything goes well... but we all know we’d get bored of it if all the books were that way :P

I thought Patrick was really an interesting character and I’d be worried too if I was him to lose Alana, the one person that put up with his crap. I liked the way how Patrick was part of Alana’s family and how he and Dumpling got along LOL.

One more thing that I liked in Off the Menu was the ending, how Maria showed Alana that life is not “or” but can be “and.” She was so focused on making choices that she forgot she could compromise... and I think that’s a great lesson for us :P

I know you loved this book, Ames, and I really went into Off the Menu hoping it’d be the same for me. Overall, I thought Off the Menu was a good, solid book with great writing and really good characters. I really enjoyed the “real” aspect of the book... However, at the end of the day, it didn’t suck me in, it didn’t grab me wholeheartedly... and that’s why I’m giving it a B :)

Ames: Just a B? I’m giving Off the Menu an A-! I really enjoyed almost everything about it and I thought it was a great read. I thought it was refreshing to read about two people who actually communicated with each other. Alana and RJ were great. And all those secondary characters were icing on the cake of fabulousness. LOL

Nath: LOL, reading your description, I feel I should give it a higher grade... But after closing the book, it felt like a B for me, a very strong, solid B :P Just a matter of connection, which could be due to me being tired and jet-lagged ^_^:

Saturday, September 1

New Releases - September 2012

September to me always feels like the real beginning of the year.   School is starting or has started for many and it's time to put the lazy days of summer behind us and get back to work.  It always makes me sad to see summer coming to an end, but I have to admit, fall is my favorite season.  But no matter the season, I still buy books.  And back after having her baby, Monroe has joined us to chime in on what new releases she's looking forward to as well.  Welcome back Monroe!

September 4

Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh
published by Berkley
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal romance
Series: Guild Hunter series, Book #5

Nath: A Nalini Singh book is always a good way to start a month off no? :)  I'm not sure how I feel about Jason; however, the blurb sounds interesting and I have to say, I'm glad it takes place away from New York. I feel it has the potential to be different than previous books.

Ames:  I'm going to try my darndest to catch up on this series soon.  I feel like I should know these characters but I cannot recall them.  I'm bad.

Monroe: I agree with Nath! A great way to start the month off! LOVE Nalini!

Riveted by Meljean Brook
published by Berkley
A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home... but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam...
Genre: Steampunk romance
Series: Iron Seas series, Book #3

Nath: I'm not a huge fan of this series, but I am of Ms Brook, so I'll be picking this one. Actually, I've pre-ordered it this week. It helps that it has already gotten positive comments.

Ames:  Another series I'm behind on.  LOL  But Meljean is an autobuy author because she is awesome!

Playing to Win by Jaci Burton
published by Berkley
Someone’s going to have to let down their guard…

Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) Southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.

When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.
Genre: Contemporary romance, sports romance
Series: Play by Play series, Book #4

Nath: I'm going to wait for reviews to pop up for this book... but at least, it's on my radar :)

Ames:  I'm the same way.  I'm going to wait and see.

Monroe: I havent even read book 2 or 3 lol 

The Last Renegade by Jo Goodman
published by Berkley

As the owner of the Pennyroyal Saloon and Hotel, Lorraine Berry is privy to almost everything that goes on in Bitter Springs, Wyoming—including the bloodshed plaguing its citizens. With all of the good men dying at the hands of a local rancher and his three sons, Raine hires a shootist to be the town’s protector. But her handsome new employee is more than a hired hand; he’s a man who keeps his guns close and his secrets closer.


After a chance encounter on a train, Kellen Coltrane travels to the Pennyroyal to carry out a dying man’s last wish. But once he meets the hotel’s fiery-haired proprietor, Coltrane finds himself assuming the role of the shootist’s accomplice and agrees to protect Bitter Springs. And as he learns more about Raine’s own tragedy, Coltrane can’t deny his growing desire for the courageous widow, or the urge to protect her from the threat that draws near...
Genre: Historical romance, Western
Series: ?

Nath: I'm not a huge fan of Western romance, but if I'm to pick one, it'll be by Ms Goodman. So I'm keeping this one on my radar as well :)

Ames:  I really enjoy Goodman's westerns so this is a no brainer for me.  :P

Not Proper Enough by Carolyn Jewel
published by Berkley
Meant to be?

The Marquess of Fenris has loved Lady Eugenia from the day he first set eyes on her. Five years ago, pride caused him to earn her enmity. Now she's widowed, and he's determined to make amends and win her heart. But with their near explosive attraction, can he resist his desire long enough to court her properly?After the death of her beloved husband, Lady Eugenia Bryant has come to London to build a new life. Despite the gift of a medallion said to have the power to unite the wearer with her perfect match, Eugenia believes she won't love again. And yet, amid the social whirl of chaperoning a young friend through her first Season, she finds a second chance at happiness.Unfortunately, the Marquess of Fenris threatens her newfound peace. Eugenia dislikes the man, but the handsome and wealthy heir to a dukedom is more charming than he has a right to be. Constantly underfoot, the rogue disturbs her heart, alternately delighting and scandalizing her. And when their relationship takes a highly improper turn, Eugenia must decide if the wrong man isn’t the right one after all.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Seducing the Scoundrels series, Book #2

Nath: Interesting blurb. I still haven't read the first book in the series though ^_^;  However, I gotta say I'm not crazy about the cover. The lady is fine, but the background... A shame given Not Wicked Enough's cover was so stunning.

Ames:  I really really enjoyed Not Wicked Enough and I've been eagerly awaiting this next book.  The characters are introduced in NWE but you can probably read this as a stand alone if you were thinking to start here.  But really, NWE is good, so why not go back and read it first?  LOL

Ruined by Moonlight by Emma Wildes
published by New American Library (Signet)
What is society to do when the diamonds of the first water are caught in compromising situations, one after the other? Can the young ladies survive the season with their reputations intact…or will the scandalous whispers surrounding them bring about the ultimate ruination?

When Lady Elena Morrow, the reigning belle of the ton, suddenly disappears, her family is desperate to find her—and to keep the story from spreading through London society like wildfire, before her reputation is ruined. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to avoid a scandal. Viscount Andrews, better known as the Raven, London’s most notorious rake, has gone missing at exactly the same moment.

Benjamin Wallace, Lord Heathton, is more accustomed to untangling political difficulties, rather than those of the heart. But when he is pressured to help find Lady Elena, he can’t refuse—the distraught father is also his wife’s uncle. Now he must find the beautiful debutante before the connection to Andrews does away with her innocence—assuming the vulnerable young lady wants to be found...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Whispers of Scandal series, Book #1

Nath: Oh I am sooo looking forward to this book! Simply because it's written by Ms Wildes. What can I say, I really enjoy her books. Although I was surprised this was the debut of a new series.

Ames:  Me too!  And believe me, I kind of had trouble finding information about it when I first heard it was coming out.  I thought at first it was e-book only but nope.  The only problem is, when will it make it's way to the bookstore?  The last few EW titles took forever to appear!

Nath: I'm lucky. Some of the bookstores in my neighborhood have gotten it already, so it's just a matter of putting it on the shelf. I've also checked and now, I remember reading an excerpt of Ruined by Moonlight at the end of Twice Fallen and the excerpt was good! Now, I can't wait to get the book!

Outpost by Ann Aguirre
published by Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.
Genre: YA, dystopia
Series: Razorland series, Book #2

Ames:  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEp!  I've been waiting for this book for what feels like forever!  My coworker who also read the first book has kind of been hounding me for it too.  "When does it come out?"  LOL  I know she borrowed my copy and then had to go out and buy her own.  She really enjoyed it.  I did too and now I'm so very very glad I get to read it soon!

His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty
published by Simon & Schuster - only as an ebook
After the War took the lives of Lulu Davies’s parents and her fiancé, she promised herself she would guard her heart carefully and concentrate on her great love—flying the biggest and best airplanes in the sky. Lulu is a pilot in the British civilian air force, ferrying planes around Great Britain and keeping her eye on a coveted spot in a training program for world-class pilots. She’s perfectly content to strive for greatness in the skies, and dance with a few GIs on the way.

Brawny, quiet American medic Joe Weber signed up with the paratroopers to escape his checkered past; he’s hoping that jumping out of planes and patching up soldiers will earn him respect and a hopeful future. Joe’s first real test of medical skill is on a pilot whose plane takes a hard landing in a training field; after rushing to the crash scene, he is stunned to come face-to-face with a gorgeous Rita Hayworth lookalike. And when the two cross paths at a dance hall a couple weeks later, he can’t resist the urge to find out more about this spirited, dark-haired beauty.

Their flirtation breaks all of Lulu’s rules, but dance by dance, week by week, walk by walk, she finds herself falling in love with this honest, vulnerable man on the run from his demons. But as Lulu and Joe’s undeniable attraction gains momentum, World War II steadily intensifies toward D-Day. The lovers only have one night together before Joe is transported to France for the Battle of the Bulge, where his skills and his instinct for survival will be pushed to their limits. Lulu distracts herself with flight school and the friendships of her colleagues, but she can’t get the handsome medic out of her head. Only time and hope will tell if her love will return unharmed from War, and if the two will be able to overcome their pasts to form a beautiful life together in peace-time.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: None

Nath: I was unaware of this book till I saw it on Ames' list of new release, but this sound good!! And so refreshing! Thanks Ames for bringing it to my attention! I'll definitively give it a try :) Love the cover - it really conveys a post-War feel to the book and that's a good start in my opinion!

Ames:  *takes a bow*  You are welcome my friend!  LOL  I really like the look of that cover too.  And definitely sounds interesting.  I used to shy away from books set during both WW eras but I found that lately they've been piquing my interest.

Nath: I'm not a huge fan of the WW eras either, but this one just looks fun!

Alone Time by Lauren Dane
published by Samhain Publishing
Visits to Petal, Part 1 – ALONE TIME

It’s date night in Petal, Georgia, and Nathan, Matt and Shane have some long-awaited alone time with their women and they’re not about to let that opportunity go.
Genre: Erotica romance
Series: Visits to Petal series, Book #1

Ames:  Umm...this is free on Amazon right now and it's Lauren Dane.  I'm there, no questions asked!

Monroe: Ditto!

September 10

All He Ever Needed by Shannon Stacey
published by Carina Press
Born to Roam

Mitch Kowalski lives out of a suitcase—and he likes it that way. Traveling for work has the added bonus of scaring off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. But when he’s called home to help with running the family lodge, he’s intrigued by the new girl in town and her insistence that she doesn’t need a man—for anything. If there’s one thing Mitch can’t resist, it’s a challenge, especially a beautiful one.

Looking for Home

After a nomadic childhood, Paige Sullivan is finally putting down roots. Determined to stand on her own two feet, she lives by the motto men are a luxury, not a necessity. But when Mr. Tall, Dark and Hot pulls up a stool in her diner and offers her six weeks of naughty fun with a built-in expiration date, she’s tempted to indulge.

Mitch won’t stay put for a woman, and Paige won’t chase after a man—they’re the perfect match for a no-strings fling. Until they realize the amazing sex has become anything but casual...
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Kowalski Family series, Book #4

Nath: Not a huge fan of this series, but I do enjoy Ms Stacey's writing. Guess I'll be checking it out :)

Ames:  I still haven't read the first three books in this series!  I'm horrible.  But yes, this one sounds cute and can't wait to see what others think of it.

September 11

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
published by Random House Publishing
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met... a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Series: The Lynburn Legacy series, Book #1

Nath: I have this book on my radar thanks to Li because I know she enjoyed this author's previous series so much. However, quite frankly, I have no idea whether I'll jump and pick it up or not ^_^;

Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb
published by Putnam
t was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks... until something went terribly wrong. And after twelve minutes of chaos and violence, eighty people lay dead.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is trying to sort out the inexplicable events. Surviving witnesses talk about seeing things—monsters and swarms of bees. They describe sudden, overwhelming feelings of fear and rage and paranoia. When forensics gives its report, the mass delusions make more sense: It appears the bar patrons were exposed to a cocktail of chemicals and illegal drugs that could drive anyone to temporary insanity—if not kill them outright.

But that doesn’t explain who would unleash such horror—or why. And if Eve can’t figure it out fast, it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. Because it’s airborne...
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Futuristic
Series: In Death series, Book #35

Nath: Woohoo, another In Death book! The last couple of installments haven't been wowzers, but it's nice to revisit great characters and a familiar world :)

September 18

Don't Cry for Me by Sharon Sala
published by Harlequin (Mira)
Mariah Conrad has come home. Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go—until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside. Quinn…her brother-in-arms, ex-lover and now maybe her future.Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate both physically and emotionally. While she's incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated. She's always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can literally be torture. She's having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night. She wants to push Quinn away—and hold him closer than ever.

But will she get the chance? Those helicopters are more than just post-traumatic stress; they're real—and dangerous. Bad things are happening on the mountain. Suddenly there's a battle to be fought on the home front, and no guarantee of survival.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Rebel Ridge series, Book #2

Nath: The last couple books by Ms Sala has not been my favorites - they've just been so familiar. However, this one sounds interesting. Plus, it's Ms Sala :)

The Space Between Us by Megan Hart
published by Harlequin (Mira)
Tesla Martin is drifting pleasantly through life, slinging lattes at Morningstar Mocha, enjoying the ebb and flow of caffeine-starved customers, devoted to her cadre of regulars. But none of the bottomless-cup crowd compares with Meredith, a charismatic force of nature who can coax intimate tales from even the shyest of Morningstar's clientele.Caught in Meredith's sensual, irresistible orbit, inexpressibly flattered by the siren's attention, Tesla shares long-buried chapters of her life, holding nothing back. Nothing Meredith proposes seems impossible—not even Tesla sleeping with Meredith's husband, Charlie, while she looks on. After all, it's all in fun, isn't it?

In a heartbeat, vulnerable Tesla is swept into a spectacular love triangle. Together, gentle, grounded Charlie and sparkling, maddening Meredith are everything Tesla has ever needed, wanted, or dreamed of, even if no one else on earth understands. They're three against the world.

But soon one of the vertices begins pulling away until only two points remain—and the space between them gapes with confusion, with grief and with possibility….
Genre: Erotica romance, contemporary
Series: -

Ames:  I really enjoy Megan Hart's writing and this one sounds both hot and angsty.  I can't wait to dive into this one!

Nath: I admit that Ms Hart's writing is top-notched! However, I'm not sure about the story...

Hunter's Season by Thea Harrison
published by Samhain Publishing
No blurb available
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Elder Races, Book #4.7

Ames:  I'm so far behind in this series, but I will wait to see what others think of this before buying it.  I find that these novellas are not getting positive feedback.

Monroe: Im somewhat behind in this series...not as much as Ames however but I may pick it up once I get caught up.

September 25

Outlaw Derek by Kay Hooper
published by Random House Publishing
After asking the wrong people the wrong questions, Shannon Brown barely escapes with her life—and crosses paths with a handsome outlaw who cannot resist a lady in distress. Moved by the troubled stranger, Derek Ross agrees to help Shannon elude her pursuers. But the ferocity of his desire for Shannon stuns him... and mystifies her. She’s known so much hurt in matters of the heart—how can Derek be any different?

Drawn into a shadowy world of danger and deception, Shannon is reborn in the arms of a man who lives by no one’s rules. Derek’s voice calms her fears and lowers her guard, making Shannon long to hear another heartbeat beside her own. But trusting Derek might cost Shannon deeply, as she wonders whether this outlaw is hers to keep or merely an intoxicating illusion.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Hagen series, Book #7

Nath: This is another re-print of Ms Hooper. I'm picking it up because I love Ms Hooper's writing... and one day, I'll read them all in one go :)

When the Duchess Said Yes by Isabella Bradford
published by Random House Publishing (Ballantine Books)
Notorious for her free-spirited antics, Lady Elizabeth Wylder revels in attention—but not the sort that leaves her humiliated when her future husband, the Duke of Hawkesworth, fails to appear for their much-anticipated first introduction.

So when a chance encounter leads to a sizzling kiss with a dangerously handsome stranger, she nearly succumbs. The shock of finally meeting her betrothed only to come face to face with her rakish would-be seducer inspires fury—and fans the flames of a fire that both Lizzie and the Duke acknowledge is a most agreeable way to start a marriage. In her husband’s arms, Lizzie knows she has found love. But is the passion that accompanies endless nights of erotic discovery enough to persuade a duke whose scandalous lineage and lifestyle prevent him from giving his heart completely?
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Wylder Sisters, Book #2

Ames:  I read the first book in this series (here's my review) and enjoyed it enough to look forward to this one.

Nath: I know you enjoyed the first book Ames! I'm definitively going to pick up this series at one point to check it out :)

Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
published by Random House Publishing (Ballantine Books)
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs series, Book #1

Nath: I have yet to read any historical by Ms Banks, but this one tempts me so much!! I have a weakness for deaf characters and Never Seduce a Scot sounds like a great romance :)

Ames:  Awww, this sounds good!  It's funny that his deep voice can be heard...because with my dog Charlie we realized she can hear high pitched noises...but doesn't know what to make of them.  I think deafness in historicals is always different and interesting, the way it's written about.  One of my favorite books is Annie's Song (Catherine Anderson) and I look forward to reading this.  Plus, I do enjoy Maya Bank's historicals.

Monroe: Oh this sounds so good!!! I cant wait to read a historical from her! I never have!

Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch
published by St. Martin's Press

Sophia White knows she will never marry into polite society. The illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, she works at the Tantalus Club, a discreet establishment for gentlemen—and her only suitor is a pastor who wants to save her soul. So when Sophia is invited to spend the holidays at the estate of Adam Baswich, the devilishly handsome Duke of Greaves, she is delighted—and determined to enjoy her last nights of freedom before surrendering her hand…


Inviting Sophia for Christmas is a daring courtesy on Adam’s part, but he soon finds the pleasure is all his. Sophia is beautiful, courageous, and stubbornly self-sufficient despite her scandalous circumstances—and not at all the kind of woman he could possibly marry. Adam knows he must find a wife by his thirtieth birthday or he will lose his fortune. But can he defy convention—and convince Sophia—to risk it all in the name of true love?
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Scandalous Brides series, Book #3

Nath: I've yet to read this series, but Ms Enoch's books are always on my radar. I think when it comes to historical romance, she is a sure value :)

Ames:  I see positive reviews for Enoch's books so I buy them...even if I haven't read any yet.  I'm so bad!

Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
Once upon a time, he was Lord Tristan Easton—now he is Crimson Jack, a notorious privateer beholden to none, whose only mistress is the sea. But all that will change when exquisite Lady Anne Hayworth hires his protection on a trip into danger and seduction. . .

Desperation brought Anne to the bronzed, blue-eyed buccaneer. But after the Captain demands a kiss as his payment, desire will keep her at his side. She has never known temptation like this—but to protect her heart, she knows she must leave him behind. Yet Tristan cannot easily forget the beauty—and when they meet again in a London ballroom, he vows he won't lose her a second time, as fiery passion reignited takes them into uncharted waters that could lead the second lost lord home...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: The Lost Lords of Pembrook series, Book #2

Nath: I can't wait for this one!! I enjoyed She Tempts the Duke and can't wait to find out Tristan's story!

Ames:  Hey a new series!  I can easily catch up on this one!  LOL  Also, I like pirates and other sea-faring folk.

Sacrifice the Wicked by Karina Cooper
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
Parker Adams has always done what’s expected of her... until a double agent with nothing to lose ignites a passion she doesn’t dare give in to.

Mission Agent Simon Wells is everything Parker Adams has been trained to fight: manipulator, murderer, spy… witch. But for her, what makes Simon most dangerous is his mesmerizing sexual magnetism, powerful enough to tempt even the famed ice queen of the Mission. Though she knows better, each encounter with the deceptive agent leaves her craving more.

Simon isn’t a man to let go of what’s his, and his pursuit forces Parker, a woman he can’t get out from under his skin, to make a stand that could destroy her. If they can work together, they might survive the politics that have enslaved their devastated world—or fall victim to the pitfalls of desperation, bone-deep mistrust, and a hunger that threatens to consume them.
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Dark Mission series, Book #4

Nath: I have the first two books of this series in my TBR pile and I have yet to read them ^_^;  But something about this one just caught my attention and I can't decide if it's the blurb or the cover LOL.

So have we missed anything?  What titles are you looking forward to?