Saturday, October 26

Buddy Review: Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross

The groove has been elusive so far ^_^; However, we're trying :) Enjoy the review!

Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross
self-published in August 2013
Set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics... I've gotten used to the dead parents face. I've gotten used to living with my gymnastics coach. I've even adjusted to sharing a bathroom with his way-too-hot son. Dealing with boys is not something that's made it onto my list of experiences as of yet. But here I am, doing it. And something about Jordan--being around him, talking to him, thinking about him--makes me feel like I can finally breathe again. That's something I haven't been able to do lately. He knows what it feels like to be me right now. He knows what it's like to wonder--what now? I think about it constantly. I need answers. I need to know how to get through this. In the gym, if you're struggling, you train harder, you do drills and conditioning. How do I work hard at moving on? At being on my own? And what happens if I might be...maybe...probably falling for Jordan? I mean we live together now. That can't happen, can it? But kissing him...well, let's just say it's not an easy activity to forget.
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary
Series: Letters to Nowhere, Book #1

Ames:  Thank you so much Nath, for bring this book to my attention! I didn’t notice it mentioned anywhere in blogland. And then when I was looking for a book to read and asked you what was the last excellent book you read, you recommended this one and you were right. It was really good!

Nath: LOL, I’d love to take credit for it, but I got lucky as others recommended it to me :) So big thank you to Brie and Li!! Because Letters to Nowhere was really a good book!!

I think what I loved about it is the fact that it wasn’t stereotypical at all. When I first read the blurb and saw that Karen was going to live with her coach, immediately, I thought the worst scenarios possible. Bad coach or bad son… and it wasn’t like that at all. Aside from Karen’s parents’ deaths which is a common theme in New Adult/Young Adult books, Letters to Nowhere was just sooo refreshing!

Ames:  I agree. The whole parental death thing is so overdone, but despite that, Letters to Nowhere definitely stands out among other NA/YA books I’ve read lately.

One aspect I really enjoyed was the gymnastics. She’s an elite gymnast and has to train hours and hours a day. And I found it all interesting, it wasn’t tiring to read about at all. And the dynamic with her teammates and the coaches. I loved it.

Nath: I agree. The gymnastics aspect of the book was well-done and felt real. I think it helps that Ms Cross knew what she was writing about given her experience. I liked seeing the life of an elite athlete - how much of her life is dedicated to gymnastics and how much she had to give up. The fact that she took online classes instead of attending school which actually makes a lot of sense! The fact that her social life was almost non-existent… It is often said that young athletes are very mature… and it’s true. But at the same time, they are very immature, or I should say inexperienced, in some aspects because they are missing out on the regular evolution of growing up and Ms Cross showed it really well in Letters to Nowhere. In addition, I think Ms Cross captured the atmosphere of the gymnastics world very well. I loved seeing Karen’s relationships with her teammates - friends, but rivals at the same time... a fine balance between camaraderie and jealousy. Their interactions with the coaches and the competitions, dealing with the selection committees. This all contributed to make Letters to Nowhere very unique in my opinion :) 

Ames:  Exactly!! Ms. Cross did an excellent job of balancing the story with introducing the reader to an elite athletics world. And showing the maturity with the inexperience. Another thing was Karen’s parents. I like how that affected her in such a visceral way - she was having panic attacks, she couldn’t go back into her house. And how her parents were shown as not being perfect. Her reaction to that revelation made perfect sense to me. I feel like the angst from their deaths really moved the plot forward in a way that I haven’t felt with other YA books I’ve read.

Nath: I think part of it is because Karen had a good and normal relationship with her parents. There weren’t any dirty secrets, any guilt… Karen got along well with her parents even though they had some conflicts. What I loved about Karen’s parents were the fact that they did not push Karen in her gymnastics career, they weren’t obsessive about it. Overall, this was another good aspect of the book that the author handled very well. Even dead, her parents were present in the story :)

What did you think of Jordan and Coach Bentley?

Ames:  I liked the Coach and Jordan. I liked how they had their own problems, as father and son and dealing with a shared loss, that Karen helped them bridge a little bit by her presence and what she was going through. Jordan was the perfect person for Karen at that point in her life. And that made me like him a LOT. A lot a lot. LOL

Nath: At first, when I read the synopsis of the book, I was a bit hesitant. I immediately assumed the story would go in a bad direction, what with Karen going to live with her coach and his son. We’ve all heard about how tough the gymnastics world is and a lot of coaches are portrayed negatively in the media… However, I was so wrong and so happy to be wrong! Letters to Nowhere was a great read because the characters weren’t dark or bad… Instead they were normal and that includes Coach and Jordan   Yes, they had some personal issues, but that only made them more realistic.

I liked that both Coach and Jordan  understood what Karen was going through and wanted to help her. Ames, you say that Jordan  as the perfect person for Karen at this point in her life, but I think so was Coach. And I liked how Coach, Jordan and Karen were all looking for their footings in this new relationship :)

Ames:  I didn’t include Coach because I felt like there was something left unresolved between him and Karen. They did come a long way together and that feeling of unfinished business does not take away my enjoyment at all. I think I just wanted a wee bit more there.

This book, although very enjoyable, had some major emotional stuff going on and I thought that the author handled it very well. Karen went through a major trauma and I thought the author dealt with her grief in a realistic way. She didn’t heal instantaneously, she went through the whole process and it was good to read about that. Nothing was glossed over. I appreciated how down to earth this book was. And a major thing here was that life goes on. Karen lost her parents, but her life, especially gymnastics, went on and she had to learn to cope with that loss and the fact that she had to keep moving forward.

Nath: For sure, the relationship between Coach and Karen is not perfect. I think it’s the newness of it. They haven’t known each other long and suddenly, Coach Bentley is not only coach, but guardian and parent and so both are struggling to find the perfect balance to their weird relationship. Still, I want to see that relationship develop :)

Ames, you nailed it. 
What I appreciated most is that Ms Cross didn't go with the destructive road for Karen like so many other heroines. Instead, Karen dealt with everything - the tragedy, her grief and the aftermath - the best way she could, relying on the people around her when she could.  I liked that nothing was instantly resolved. I think the most interesting was seeing Karen deal with her future, take decisions that she knew her parents hadn't been 100% in favor for before their deaths… especially in her gymnastics career. Many other heroines would have continued on the path their parents would have wanted, because it was their “last” wishes. It took courage for Karen to make her own decisions and I really admired that about her. 

What did you think of the romance between Karen and Jordan   I thought it was sweet and can’t wait to read more about it!

Ames:  I like that Karen forged her own path too.

Ok, the romance. I loved it. Karen’s never had a boyfriend before and I like how at first she didn’t care for Jordan but then they got to know each other and things grew from there. Jordan was so great. He was very empathetic with Karen’s situation and he helped her so much. He was just so cute. I could go on and on about all the things I liked about him but I think readers should find out for themselves how cute he can be. :P

Nath: Me too, I loved the romance. It just simply worked and felt natural :) I liked how Karen didn’t just see Jordan  nd started crushing on him. They got to know each other and be friends. I think in the end, they were both there for each other and that’s the sign of a good relationship. Also, I liked that they are taking their time, that Karen doesn’t feel pressure to take the next step right away… and I liked their honesty to each other. Also, there was a lot more to Jordan than simply being a 17 years old boy and that was interesting :)

Letters to Nowhere was an excellent book :) In the sea of YA and NA books, it definitively stands out for the writing and the characters. I’m giving it an A- :) I loved it, but thought there was still some loose ends… I’m so glad that there’ll be a sequel soon!!

Ames:  I know! I’m excited for the sequel. :P I’m giving Letters to Nowhere a B+. A really enjoyable read and I totally agree that it stands out.


Because we enjoyed this book so much and want to support the author, we're doing something we haven't done in a long time, a....


You have till next Saturday, November 2 11:59pm EST to leave a comment to be eligible for the giveaway. The lucky winner will get an electronic copy of Letters to Nowhere :) However, if you already own a copy of Letters to Nowhere, it'll be our pleasure to gift a copy of the sequel, Return to Sender!!

Tuesday, October 1

New Releases - October 2013

Finally, more new releases! Yay! I love October because of its number usually. And this year, it's going to make up for the lack in September :)

So ready to see what we're looking forward to? I'm warning you, the list is long :)

October 1

Because of Audrey by Mary Sullivan
published by Harlequin (SuperRomance)
Coming home is never simple!

Audrey Stone and her floral shop are thorns in Gray Turner's side! He's in Accord, Colorado, trying to focus on wrapping up his family's business affairs. Instead, thoughts of Audrey and her tempting Hollywood beauty keep filling his head. How can he be this preoccupied with someone whose goals conflict with his?

Then suddenly, he needs Audrey's support. Digging into his family affairs has revealed secrets that could ruin everything. With her help, he might be able to stop that. Funny how he once thought she stood in the way of his plans. Now he thinks Audrey could be the answer to his future!
Genre: Category romance, Contemporary
Series: None

Nath: The cover first caught my attention and then I liked what I read in the blurb. I think it's the fact that the hero is a businessman and I like that the heroine is a florist.  I've never read Ms Sullivan so hopefully she'll be a new author on my radar.

For the First Time by Stephanie Doyle
published by Harlequin (SuperRomance)
Being a father shouldn't feel this risky!

There's not a lot former CIA agent Mark Sharpe hasn't done. Yet suddenly he's in a world of firsts—first time being a father, first time being self-employed…and first time being attracted to his employee. JoJo Hatcher, with her attitude, her tattoos and her investigative talents, tempts him in ways he can't explain. With each day she becomes more irresistible. How is he supposed to function in this messed-up situation?

Then his teenage daughter, Sophie, is threatened. There's only one person he trusts to help him: JoJo. As they work to untangle the mystery, Mark imagines a future together that includes another first—family.
Genre: Category romance
Series: None

Nath: This one is on my radar because the author is Ms Doyle. I'm still looking to read my first book by her LOL. Perhaps this one will be the one...but quite frankly I'm not sure about the story described...

Not Another Wedding by Jennifer Mackenzie
published by Harlequin (Super Romance)
Yeah, yeah… happily ever after. Whatever.

Sure, Poppy Sullivan believes in love…but love at first sight? Not likely. That’s why she’s determined to stop her good friend from marrying the wrong woman. So she sets to work immediately and walks right into the very impressive chest of Beck Lefebvre. Not a good omen, considering how things ended up the last time he was in town.

She isn’t surprised to see Beck at his cousin’s wedding, but she’s appalled at his assumption that he deserves a second chance. She’s equally appalled at her inclination to give it to him. No way is she falling for his charm again! Although her vow to resist him may be too late…
Genre: Category romance, contemporary
Series: None

Nath: Lol Kind of like the opening line of the blurb :) I think this is Ms Mackenzie debut novel and it sounds cute. I like second chances story and seems like in this one the hero as some groveling to do :)

Drawn Together by Lauren Dane
published by Berkley
Beauty is more than skin-deep…

Tattoo artist Raven Smith is blunt and hard, broken and jaded, dark and beautiful. While she doesn’t hide her painful past, she does keep a wall around her heart. She’s free sexually—but no one gets to the real Raven beneath the prickly exterior.

With a voice like smoke, Jonah Warner is a smooth-talking, highly successful attorney, with a body that should never be hidden by a suit. He’s the kind of man who never takes no for an answer and always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Raven. She’s a survivor, and he finds that incredibly alluring.

Jonah gets under her skin in a way Raven has never experienced. He makes her break all her rules—including her no-monogamy rule.

But when a figure from Raven’s past shows up at the tattoo parlor and drops a bomb into her life, their relationship will face the ultimate challenge…
Genre: Contemporary romance, Erotica
Series: Brown Siblings, Book #6

Ames: Oooh Raven got on my nerves in Coming Undone (book 2) so I am very interested in seeing how Lauren Dane is going to bring us around to this character.  And I know she will.  She's good that way.

Nath: Funny how even characters whom we didn't like much, we are still curious :P I've read one or two books in this series and they don't seem to be working for me, so I think I'm going to skip this one.

The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
published by Berkley
Second Sight And Seduction…

Daniel Mackenzie lives up to the reputation of the scandalous Mackenzie family—he has wealth, looks, and talent, and women love him. When he meets Violet Bastien—one of the most famous spiritual mediums in England—he immediately knows two things: that Miss Bastien is a fraud, and that he’s wildly attracted to her.

Violet knows she can’t really contact the other side, but she’s excellent at reading people. She discerns quickly that Daniel is intelligent and dangerous to her reputation, but she also finds him generous, handsome, and outrageously wicked. But spectres from Violet’s past threaten to destroy her, and she flees England, adopting yet another identity.

Daniel is determined to find the elusive Violet and pursue the passion he feels for her. And though Violet knows that her scandalous past will keep her from proper marriage, her attraction to Daniel is irresistible. It’s not until Daniel is the only one she can turn to that he proves he believes in something more than cold facts. He believes in love.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Highland Pleasures, Book #6

Ames:  I'm still buying this book even though I'm not caught up on the series.

Nath: I'm getting this book too since it's Daniel and I always liked him. Curious to see the man he has become. Got to say though, the fact the heroine is a medium kind of reminds me of Ms Milan's debut novel...

Spy's Honor by Amy Raby
published by New American Library (Signet)
Rhianne, mind mage and Imperial Princess of Kjall, cannot openly challenge the emperor. Instead, she acts in secret to aid the victims of his worst excesses. But now the emperor plans to wed her to the cruel Augustan, the man leading Kjall’s attack against the nation of Mosar. Soon she will be torn from her supporters and shipped overseas, where she can help no one.

Mosari crown prince Janto is desperate to save his country from invasion. When one of his most trusted spies disappears while gathering intelligence at the Kjallan palace, Janto takes his place and continues searching for information that could save his people. But falling for the Imperial Princess was not part of his plan. Nor was having his true identity revealed…

Now Rhianne must make a choice—follow the path of tradition or the one of the heart, even if it means betraying her own people.
Genre: Fantasy romance
Series: Hearts and Thrones, Book #2

Nath: So I didn't love the first book, but I'm curious about Rhianne and Janto's story... Although the events of this book take place before Assassin's Gambit, so I wonder if Ms Raby is going to be able to pull it off because this can be very tricky.

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan
published by Samhain Publishing
Love doesn’t come with a syllabus.

Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.

Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.

Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.

As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.
Genre: M/M
Series: None

Ames: I like these kind of stories, an experienced guy drawing someone out of their shell.  And then the experienced guy totally falls for the shy guy.  So yes, definitely going to read this one.  :P  Plus I like Heidi's writing.

Nath: I love the cover!

October 7

Rhythm and Bluegrass by Molly Harper
published by Simon & Schuster
Bonnie Turkle, multimedia historian for the Kentucky Commission of Tourism, is dispatched to Mud Creek, a tiny eastern Kentucky town, with few prospects but many oddballs, to rescue important artifacts from McBride’s Music Hall. Now fallen beyond disrepair, McBride’s was once a jewel of the early American music scene, an intersection of the country-western and rhythm and blues circuits. The former owner’s grandson, Will McBride, who also happens to be Mud Creek’s esteemed mayor, would like nothing more than to see the place bull-dozed in favor of a factory that will provide much-needed jobs to his citizens. But Bonnie finds evidence of a legendary musical event at the music hall and her plans to turn it into a museum put Mud Creek’s economic future at risk – not to mention the growing flirtation between the two of them. If Will and Bonnie can’t find common ground, the town’s past and future will be lost.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Bluegrass, Book #2

Nath: I enjoy Ms Harper's writing and am always happy for more :)

Ames: I enjoy her writing too.  I haven't read the first book in this series yet.

Good Boy by Anne Tenino
published by Riptide Publishing
Brad “Frat Boy” Feller and Sebastian “Toppy” DeWitt have been together for nine months, and their relationship is as hot as ever. The only cloud Brad sees on their horizon is Sebastian’s stress over his thesis. And their uncertain future together after graduation. And how Sebastian sometimes takes Brad for granted. And Sebastian’s unwillingness to introduce Brad to his father. Other than that, everything’s awesome. All of Sebastian’s energy is currently devoted to his thesis, and getting into a top-notch PhD program. Fortunately, his boyfriend takes care of all the domestic stuff and Sebastian’s needs. Any minor strain between them will disappear and they’ll return to the status quo after Sebastian graduates. As long as nothing upsets their delicate balance in the meantime. Then a friend Brad once had a small fling with is forced to take refuge with them, and Frat Boy and Toppy’s delicate balance topples like an elephant on a waterski. Now Sebastian has to face some truths about how he’s been treating Brad, what he wants for their future, and what he has to do to get it.
Genre: M/M
Series: Theta Alpha Gamma, Book #4

Ames: I've been enjoying this series and the conflict between Brad and Sebastian was hinted at in book 3.  I'm looking forward to this one!

October 8

The Scandal before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
published by St. Martin's Press
Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can't afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea - all within a matter of days. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for - daughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: The Reckless Brides, Book #3.5 (First of four serials)

Ames: I don't care for Christmas-themed books, but this one sounds cute.

Nath: Is Ian the other little boy in book #1? This series has been fun so I'm definitively picking this up.

House of Hades by Rick Riordan
published by Hyperion
At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Heroes of Olympus, Book #4

Nath: Woohoo, can't wait to find out what happens next ! Plus I think this time, it'll be the first time Nico is really in the mix of things instead of on the edges... I always had a weakness for him LOL. At the same time I'm already dreading the cliffhanger and year wait for the final installment ^_^;;

Ames:  I'll be picking this one up for my brothers.  And one day I'll get around to reading this series.  LOL

October 14

What Not to Bare by Megan Frampton
published by Random House Publishing (Loveswept)
Lady Charlotte Jepstow certainly knows how to make an impression—a terrible one. Each one of her ball gowns is more ostentatiously ugly than the one before. Even she has been forced to wonder: Is she unmarried because of her abysmal wardrobe, or does she wear clashing clothing because she doesn’t want to be pursued in the first place? But when Charlotte meets Lord David Marchston, suddenly a little courtship doesn’t sound so bad after all.

David will be the first to admit he’s made some mistakes. But when he gets yanked from his post by his superiors, he is ordered to do the unthinkable to win back his position: woo his commander’s niece. If David wants his life back, he must use his skills as a negotiator to persuade society that Charlotte is a woman worth pursuing, despite her rather unusual “flair” for color. But David does such a terrific job that he develops an unexpected problem, one that violates both his rakish mentality and his marching orders: He’s starting to fall in love.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: None

Ames: I enjoyed Megan's writing as Megan Caldwell with Vanity Fare and this one sounds good.

October 15

Broken Silence by Karen Rose
published by Penguin (InterMix)
After a traumatic kidnapping, Daphne’s boss insists that she take time off. But she refuses to sit on the sidelines when she meets a six-year-old girl who the police call Angel. Angel hasn’t spoken a word since they found her four days ago next to a burned out car, frozen with shock, not far from the bodies of two adults who may or may not have been her parents.

Joseph knows that helping Angel is exactly what Daphne needs right now. But when Daphne gets Angel to talk, a mysterious and chilling crime begins to unravel—one that drives Daphne into the darkest corners of her past as she and Joseph track a ruthless killer.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Baltimore, Book #3.5

Ames: Auto-buy, auto-buy.  :P

Nath: LOL as Ames said, "auto-buy, auto-buy!"  Woohoo!!!! More of Karen Rose is always a good thing in my opinion, even as a short story. Can't wait to read more of Joseph and Daphne :)

The Wrong Billionaire's Bed by Jessica Clare
published by Penguin (InterMix)
The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success--at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They're just not always as successful when it comes to love...

Audrey Petty's always been the responsible one. The good twin.  Successful, dependable, and trustworthy--that's Audrey. She'd be the perfect girlfriend for her childhood crush, billionaire Cade Archer...except that she's pretty sure she's not even on his radar. But when fate (and her chaotic twin) come together, Audrey finds out that she'll be spending the next month with Cade at his remote cabin retreat. It's a dream come true...

Until she meets her worst nightmare.

Billionaire playboy Reese Durham is used to seducing women to get what he wants. But when stiff, too-proper Audrey bursts into the private mountain lodge and scares his companion out the door, it's time for a little revenge. It's clear that Audrey's in love with his buddy, Cade...and it's clear to Reese that blackmailing Audrey with this information can get her to agree to just about anything. Like furtive kisses in the dark, or a secret rendezvous in the woods. Audrey may think she knows what she wants, but Reese is determined to show her what she needs.

And as Reese discovers the volatile minx behind the buttoned-up exterior, he starts to think maybe she's just what he needs, too.
Genre: Contemporary romance, Erotica
Series: Billionaire Boys Club, Book #3

Ames: I am really enjoying this series so far.  I thought the first one was good, solid writing but nothing to swoon over.  But the hero of book 2?  OMG Swoon-worthy at its best.  I should review that one.  I'm looking forward to more in this series.

Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt
published by Grand Central Publishing

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe-and won't back down...


Artemis Greaves toils as a lady's companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She's even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day...


Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn't without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Maiden Lane, Book #6

Ames: Elizabeth Hoyt is an auto-buy author for me.  And the Ghost's book finally!  I like the sound of Artemis' character too.  :P

Revealed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
published by Atom
Drastically altered after her fall at the end of Hidden, Neferet is now more dangerous than ever—and her quest for vengeance will wreak havoc on humans, as well as Zoey and her friends. Chaos is loosed in Tulsa and the House of Night is blamed. Can Zoey stop Neferet in time to keep her anger from escalating to full-on war? Or will someone else have to step in to take the fall?
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Series: House of the Night, Book #11

Ames: I am a few books behind on this series...but still going to pick this one up.  :P

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

published by Dutton
When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or home in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought...
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: Companion book to Just One Day

Nath: I was interested in Just One Day, but decided to wait for Just One Year because I didn't want to be biting my nails to find out how everything woild be resolved. These sounds like cute stories snd I like that they take place in Europe :)

October 21

Bad Idea by Damon Suede
published by Dreamspinner Press
Some mistakes are worth making.

Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling super-square, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership.

Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas’s help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a “very graphic novel” that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can't save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can't escape.

What will it take for this dynamic duo to discover that heroes never play it safe?
Genre: M/M
Series: None

Ames: I read and enjoyed Hot Head by this author and I like shy, introverted heroes, so Trip sounds like my kind of character!

Running Back by Allison Parr
published by Carina Press
Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O'Connor, popular NFL running back.

On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she's not prepared to deal with the arrogant—and adamantly opposed—man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine…

Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams.
Genre: New Adult
Series: New York Leopards, Book #2

Ames: I had some issues with Rush Me but overall, I thought Allison Parr showed some promise with her writing.  The heroine bugged the crap out of me in that book, if you were wondering.  But I want to read something else by her and I like sports-themed romances.

October 22

What the Bride Didn't Know by Kelly Hunter
published by Harlequin (Harlequin KISS)
Shh… it's a secret!

Special ops expert Trig Sinclair is a man's man, and that means he knows the cardinal rule of the bro code—no matter how dynamite Lena West is, as his best friend's younger sister, she's strictly off-limits!

But when a secret mission to Istanbul sees Lena and Trig pretending to be married (and sharing a bed!), he finds himself in a whole new world of sweet torture…. But if Trig thinks playing the honor-bound hero is tough, it's got nothing on how Lena feels when she discovers what her "groom" is really hiding…
Genre: Category romance, Contemporary
Series: The Wests, Book #3

Nath: Ms Hunter is on my list of auto-buy authors :) I'm happy that she is continuing the Wests series :) Although a bit surprised that the book is being published as part of the Harlequin Kiss line... but that's me :)

Up to the Challenge by Terri Osburn
published by Montlake Romance
Opposites attract in a sexy tale of unexpected love

When the Dempsey patriarch suffers a heart attack, Lucas Dempsey steps up to keep the doors of the family restaurant open. The proverbial prodigal son returns home to Anchor Island—putting family first and his quest to make partner at his high-powered law firm on hold. Sporting a bruised ego after losing his fiancĂ©e to his older brother, Lucas would rather walk on glass than spend six weeks within spitting distance of the happy couple. But family duty calls. And that duty includes working side-by-side with a tantalizing spitfire intent on driving him mad.

Tough-as-nails boat mechanic Sid Navarro is happy to trade her tools for an apron to help the Dempseys in their time of need. That is, until she realizes she’ll be working alongside Lucas, the man she’s loved from afar since she first laid eyes on him in high school. Lucas could charm the paint off a schooner, but Sid knows she doesn’t fit his girl-next-door type. To show her true feelings would mean certain heartbreak, but the temptation of Lucas in her bed might be more than she can resist.

After a rocky start punctuated by verbal barbs and exasperating arguments, things heat up between them—big-time—but their steamy affair turns more than casual in a matter of weeks. Sid’s life has become the dream she’s always wanted, and Lucas has fallen hard for the last woman he ever expected to love.

But this affair has an end-date, as Lucas must return to his life and career in the big city, a place where Sid would never fit in. When the end comes earlier than expected, walking away turns out to be a challenge neither of them wants to win.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Anchor Island, Book #2

Ames: I really enjoyed book 1 in this series, Meant to Be.  I thought it was a light fluffy read and I'm interested in the heroine, based on what I saw of her in book 1.  I also have a big weakness for heroines with male names.

Nath: I know how you enjoyed Meant to Be Ames and so I've been wanting to try this author... and I think I'm going to do so with Up to the Challenge. Sounds like much more my speed :)

Theirs to Keep by Maya Banks
When Cade Winslow and Merrick Sullivan find Elle hiding in the cabinet of a gun store, they know they can’t just walk away from the fragile woman with no memory of who she is or who tried to kill her. Merrick is training for the title shot in the heavyweight division as a mixed martial artist and can’t afford distractions, but neither can he turn his back on the woman who tugs at his heartstrings.

Elle feels safe with her two protectors, and the longer she spends with them, the more she realizes that she has no desire to remember her past. Not when it could compromise her future with Cade and Merrick.

Cade has his own set of concerns when it comes to Elle, and it quickly becomes clear to the two men that for the first time in their friendship, a woman is coming between them. But what if they just kept her there? Between them. Where she belongs.
Genre: Contemporary romance, Erotica
Series: Tangled Hearts, Book #1

Ames: Hmmm...I'm torn on this one.  It sounds similar to other books Banks has written AND her last three releases did not impress me.  But I'll see...

October 29

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
published by Berkley
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.


County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…
Genre: Contemporary romance with magical elements
Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book #1

Ames: Nora Roberts does amazing research and I can't wait to read how she handles horses.  And I'm glad she's heading back to Ireland.  I'm very excited to read this one!

Nath: It's La Nora :) It says it all :)

Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh
published by Berkley
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Guild Hunter, Book #6

Ames: Auto-buy.  'Nuff said.

Nath: Looking forward to going back to Elena and Raphael. With them, you already know the level of torture and darkness.

After Dead by Charlaine Harris
published by Berkley (Ace)
Dead Ever After marked the end of the Sookie Stackhouse novels—a series that garnered millions of fans and spawned the hit HBO television show True Blood. It also stoked a hunger that will never die…a hunger to know what happened next.

With characters arranged alphabetically—from the Ancient Pythoness to Bethany Zanelli—bestselling author Charlaine Harris takes fans into the future of their favorite residents of Bon Temps and environs. You’ll learn how Michele and Jason’s marriage fared, what happened to Sookie’s cousin Hunter, and whether Tara and JB’s twins grew up to be solid citizens.

This coda provides the answers to your lingering questions—including details of Sookie’s own happily-ever-after…

The book will feature extensive interior art by acclaimed Sookie artist Lisa Desimini, including a Sookieverse Alphabet, color endpapers, and several full-page black and white interior illustrations.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Sookie Stackhouse, Book #13.5

Ames: I want to read this one because although I was happy with who Sookie chose at the end, we didn't get to see their HEA.  Yes, I could easily imagine one, but I want to know what Harris envisioned for her characters.

Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols
published by Simon & Schuster (Pocket)
As an expert in public relations crisis management—that is, babysitter to the stars—Sarah Seville just spent nine months in Rio trying to keep rock singer Nine Lives out of jail long enough to record his new album…and barely succeeded. Now she needs a triumphant success so she can keep the Manhattan-based job she loves. Trouble is, her new assignment is to travel to Alabama to prevent the breakup of the raucous country band The Cheatin’ Hearts, headed by sexy Quentin Cox. As she edges closer to Quentin, she discovers layers of secrets. It seems Quentin is taking the spin doctor for a spin.

The Cheatin’ Hearts have stayed on top of the charts two years following three rules. Rule One, no drugs. Rule Two, no sex with other band members. Rule Three, no sex with record company spies. Quentin figures he’d better follow the rules, because he made them. And because if you break a rule, you’re out of the band. But he can’t resist the record company’s beautiful PR agent, and inevitably he breaks Rule Three with hot Saratah Seville. As he falls for her, he finds out that she has plenty of secrets of her own, and one of them comes knocking on her door: what really happened to her in Rio.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Stargazer, Book #2

Ames: I wonder what is putting the band on the rocks if they're not doing drugs?  It'll be interesting to find out.

The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
published by Harlequin (HQN Books)
What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise? Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there… or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancĂ©, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Blue Heron, Book #2

Ames: Aww, this one sounds cute.  I like modern day marriages of convenience.

Nath: Indeed sounds cute :) Hope this one is a winner!

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
published by Harlequin (HQN Books)
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: O'Neil Brothers, Book #1

Ames: Nath, I know you enjoy this author, so I'll wait to see what you think of it. Like I said, I don't really care for Christmas themed books.

Nath: I'm interested because of the longer length :) I'll let you know how it turns out :)

Wild Child by Molly O'Keefe
published by Random House Publishing (Bantam Books)
Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too... unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.

Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Bishop, Arkansas, Book #1

Nath:Not sure about the blurb, but this book is on my radar because I read and enjoyed the author before.

The Sum of all Kisses by Julia Quinn
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't care that his leg is less than perfect, it's his personality she can't abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless ...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet, Book #3

Ames: It's Julia Quinn.  If there was ever an author on anyone's auto-buy list, it's her.  Right?  Right!

Nath: Looking forward to this one so much! I've wanted Hugh's story for awhile :) Not sure about the heroine though. She wasn't the most likable in previous books, but I still have high hopes for The Sum of All Kisses.

When the Marquess Met his Match by Laura Lee Guhrke
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
What happens when a carefree, disreputable, stone-broke bachelor is forced to find a wife in a hurry? He hires a matchmaker, of course. What happens when the matchmaker doesn’t want to help him? Well, that’s when the fun begins…

Nicholas Stirling, Marquess of Trubridge, loves his life just as it is: dissolute, scandalous, and deuced good fun. His father, the Duke of Landsdowne is not amused, and when he cuts off Nicholas’ trust fund, the fun-loving marquess is forced to find an alternate source of income—in other words, he has to marry an heiress.

Every new-money American heiress knows Lady Belinda Featherstone is the key to social acceptance. Once a new-money nobody herself, Belinda discovered first-hand how heartbreaking the game of love and matrimony could be after a reprobate British earl married her for her money. Now a respectable widow, Belinda has become England’s most successful matchmaker, guiding young American heiresses through the hazards of the London season and helping them to find husbands worthy of them. To her mind, the Marquess of Trubridge is nothing but a fortune-hunting scoundrel and she has no intention of allowing him to charm his way into any American girl’s heart, including her own.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: An American Heiress in London, Book #1

Ames: I enjoy Guhrke's writing and the plot for this one sounds like something I've read before, but I trust her to put a fresh spin on it.

Nath: Ms Guhrke is another of my auto-buy authors :) So happy that she had a new series out! I'm sure she will come up with something interesting and refreshing :)

The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement—to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade.

A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke's tattered reputation. Seducing her is simply a bonus. And then Emma does what he never expected: she refuses his advances. It's unprecedented. Inconceivable. Quite damnably alluring.

London's Least Likely to Misbehave has aroused the curiosity—among other things—of London's most notorious rogue. Now nothing will suffice but to uncover Emma's wanton side and prove there's nothing so satisfying as two perfect strangers…being perfectly scandalous together.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Wicked Wallflowers, Book #2

Ames: I love when the advances of a guy are spurned by the woman he's trying to woo.  Nothing makes me more giddy than that kind of plot.  :P

Nath: LOL indeed! Show us that he has more than a pretty dance and smooth moves. I do hope the heroine is a real wallflower.

In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
What does it matter if Kate, Lady d'Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects? She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless. Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest's wicked kisses.

Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival. Feared and vilified as proprietor of London's most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering—and more.

But when Edward's memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: ?

Ames:  Liz Carlyle is a strong historical writer that I feel doesn't get enough buzz.  I always look forward to her new releases.  The amnesia doesn't even turn me off.  LOL

The Once and Future Duchess by Sophia Nash
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
A duchess in time saves a noble line...

In theory, the Duke of Candover is the most eligible peer in the realm. But in truth, he has a deep aversion to the merest hint of marriage, not to mention two botched engagements which have marked his jaded soul. Now, after a debauched bachelor party that causes public outcry, the Prince Regent is demanding that it's Candover's turn to be brought to heel. And Prinny secretly believes that Isabelle Tremont, the Duchess of March, is precisely the lady up to the challenge.

Isabelle must marry, but a day of reckoning with the man she's loved for years is her greatest fear. If Candover insists she's too young and innocent for a seasoned world-weary man like him, there's no shortage of other candidates. Gentlemen of prestige and position. Gentlemen whose attentions are driving Candover to jealous distraction. Yet one abandoned moment under the stars hints that if they can put aside pride and duty, then a love once denied might just be their destiny.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Royal Entourage, Book #4

Ames:  I like Sophia Nash and this one sounds cute.

Nath: Interesting, they changed the look of the series. I think it's a good decision :) Candover and Isabelle have been tangling around for awhile. Looking forward to their romance!

Horde by Ann Aguirre
published by Macmillan (Feiwel & Friends)
The horde is coming.

Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they're not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born. She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn't run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade's love.

Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn't been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight. Unless Deuce can lead them.

This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity.
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Series: Razorland, Book #3

Ames: I really enjoyed Enclave so I need to hurry up and read Outpost so I can read this one.  LOL  Is anyone surprised at this point when I'm NOT caught up on a series?

My Date From Hell by Tellulah Darling
Sophie Bloom’s junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world’s greatest kiss re-awakened Sophie’s true identity as Persephone (Goddess of Spring and Savior of Humanity), she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated mean girl Bethany’s bitchy troublemaking, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex, Kai (sexy Prince of Darkness). You’d think a girl could catch a break.

Yeah, right.

With Zeus stepping things up, it’s vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone’s memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie’s pre-mortal past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept?

The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together … and treat this suicide mission as a date. Which could work out for Sophie’s plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her–if she doesn’t kill him first.

Add to that the fact that BFF Theo’s love life and other BFF Hannah’s actual life are in Sophie’s hands, and suddenly being a teenager—even a godlike one—seems a bit like … well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Blooming Goddess trilogy, Book #2

Ames: I haven't read the first book in this series yet, so this one is just going on my radar.  But based on how much fun I had reading Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls, I'm looking forward to more by this author.

Wowzer! Told ya the list was long! What about you? What are the books you're looking for?