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"Her Name Is Rose" Is An Emotionally Beautiful Read

Her Name Is Rose: A NovelTitle:  Her Name Is Rose
Author:  Christine Breen
Format:  Print
Length:  304 pages
Publication Date April 14th, 2015
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Rating:  4 Stars

People used to say Iris Bowen was beautiful, what with the wild weave of her red hair, the high cheekbones, and the way she carried herself like a barefoot dancer through the streets of Ranelagh on the outskirts of Dublin city. But that was a lifetime ago.

In a cottage in the west of Ireland, Iris--gardener and mother to an adopted daughter, Rose--is doing her best to carry on after the death of her husband two years before. At the back of her mind is a promise she never intended to keep, until the day she gets a phone call from her doctor.

Meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Rose is a brilliant violinist at the Royal Academy in London, still grieving for her father but relishing her music and life in the city. Excited but nervous, she hums on the way to an important master class, and then suddenly finds herself missing both of her parents when the class ends in disaster.

After the doctor’s call, Iris is haunted by the promise she made to her husband--to find Rose’s birth mother, so that their daughter might still have family if anything happened to Iris. Armed only with a twenty-year-old envelope, Iris impulsively begins a journey into the past that takes her to Boston and back, with unexpected results for herself and for Rose and for both friends and strangers.

Intimate, moving, and witty, Her Name is Rose is a gorgeous novel about what can happen when life does not play out the way you expect.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts

Her Name Is Rose is a story of connectedness.  Its beginnings, endings, reasons, and justifications.
Iris Bowen is a woman who should be enjoying the settled life of a married empty-nester.  Instead she finds herself grieving the loss of a husband, suddenly sacked from her job, and facing the "what if's" of what her doctor has referred to as an "architectural distortion" in one of her breasts.
With the possible diagnosis of a malignancy looming on the horizon of her immediate future, Iris is reminded of a promise made to her late husband.  A promise that will clear long forgotten paths to people and places from her adopted daughter's past, while forging new inroads  to people, places, and truths, meant to change everyone's futures.

The story told in this touching and vibrant tale, is not so much the story of Rose, as it is the who's why's and where's of her past and how they relate to those of her present and future.
One must take care when endeavoring to embark on this tale's journey.  For while the story's plot is quite direct, its piece by piece execution can be very disconcerting, to say the least.
   
Let me explain...

Rose's tale, as told through her adoptive mother, Iris, Rose, as a young adult, and Rowan, her birth father; is a story told in brilliant snippets of sight, sound, and interaction.  Each meeting, parting, conversation, and discovery is imbued with an undercurrent of emotion.

Iris' search for Rose's birth mother provides a bit of a mystery that proves quite interesting for the reader.  Her travels also open doors for her on more personal and unexpected levels.

Rose's part in the story seems to work more on an abstract level.  A reason for happenings than her actual role.  She really plays no significant part in the story, other than to provide the heartwarming bow that ties things together at story's end.

The real star of this story has to be Rose's birth father Rowan.  Here is a man groping his way through life, regretting  his past, and dreading his future.  Until he learns of Rose.  Until he learns to hope.




InkSlinger PR Book Blitz: Valorous

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for M.S. Force's VALOROUS!  VALOROUS is the second novel in M.S. Force’s Erotic Contemporary Romance Quantum Trilogy! Each title in the Quantum Trilogy is currently $3.99 for pre-order only. These prices will go up to $5.99 one week after release!! Grab the entire trilogy today! 

Valorous -cover
 

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** GooglePlay ** Kobo

Amazon CA ** Amazon UK ** Amazon Australia 

You can also order SIGNED print copies of the Quantum trilogy now at marieforce.com/store (best price in print). The books will be available in audio on release day--or that's the plan anyway!

  ABOUT The Quantum Trilogy: New York Times bestselling author Marie Force writing as M.S. Force… He’s a sexual dominant. She’s sworn off sex. There’s no way they can make a relationship work—or can they? After surviving a traumatic event at age fifteen and the ensuing estrangement from her family, Natalie Bryant has worked for years to reinvent herself into the woman she is today—a happy teacher fresh out of college and enjoying her first winter in New York City with her faithful dog, Fluff, by her side
. Natalie isn’t expecting her life to change completely during a routine stroll through Greenwich Village on a blustery January day. But when Fluff breaks loose and charges into a park, Natalie gives chase and crashes into her destiny. Only after Fluff bites and draws blood from the man who accidentally knocked Natalie down does she realize Fluff has bitten the biggest movie star in the world.

 He has no business being enthralled by the gorgeous, young, innocent teacher… Natalie captivates Flynn Godfrey from the first moment their eyes meet while she is lying on the ground and he’s fighting off her ferocious little beast of a dog. The only thing Flynn knows for certain is if he lets Natalie get away, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. After only a short time in her presence, Flynn is prepared to change who he is to be what she needs. He knows he’s in big trouble when she says she won’t sleep with him and he doesn’t care if it means he gets to keep her in his life. But can he turn his back on the lifestyle that has defined him? Can he deny the desires that drive him to give Natalie the introduction to love and romance she so deserves? And most of all, can he keep his truth hidden from her long enough to have forever with her? Join Flynn and Natalie as their story unfolds in three full-length books released three weeks in a row: VIRTUOUS, VALOROUS and VICTORIOUS.

From New York to Los Angeles, from Hollywood to Las Vegas, Flynn and Natalie’s whirlwind love affair has it all—romance, passion, steamy hot sex, relentless paparazzi and a murder that could be their undoing. If you hate dirty-talking heroes who put it all on the line for the women they love, who leave no desire unfulfilled, who will do anything it takes to protect what’s theirs…If elements of BDSM make you queasy, if smoking hot sex isn’t your thing, if cliffhangers make you rage, if you hate first-person points of view from the heroine AND the hero... this trilogy is NOT for you! You’ve been warned…   Quantum Trilogy Teaser 2 
 

Excerpt: From New York Times bestselling author Marie Force writing as M.S. Force is the new erotic Quantum Trilogy releasing three weeks in a row! Here's another taste of Flynn and Natalie from book 2, VALOROUS, releasing on April 21, 2015. Get books two and three now before the preorder and release week price of $3.99 goes up to $5.99 one week after release! April 14: Virtuous April 21: Valorous April 28: Victorious

 And now, a little something from VALOROUS....

  She’s so nervous her hands are shaking as she takes the wheel in the silver Mercedes sedan she admired when we were here for the Globes. I told her it was hers to use whenever we were in LA, and that’s when she said she didn’t know how to drive. My poor sweet Natalie missed so many of the rites of passage the rest of us take for granted, and I want to make it all up to her, starting with teaching her how to drive. “What if I hit something or damage the car? You love your cars.” From the passenger seat, I take hold of her hand and wait for her to look at me. “I don’t love my cars anywhere near as much as I love you.” Raising a brow, she says, “Even the Bugatti?” She’s bringing out the big guns. I swallow hard. “Even the Bugatti.” She loses it laughing. “You lie. You love that car more than anything.” “No, sweetheart, I love you more than anything. The cars are things. They can all be replaced. And they’re insured. Fully insured.” “If you’re sure.” “I’m positive. I want you to know how much fun it is to drive and to be able to go anywhere you want whenever you want.” We’re in the Quantum parking lot, where there’s plenty of extra room to practice the basics. I go over all the features of the car and tell her where everything is. “Driving is all about being predictable. Whatever you do, it should be what the guy behind you expects you to do. Does that make sense? In other words, you don’t stop at a green light or in the middle of a turn or anything that’s going to get you hit from behind.” “Okay… What else?” “Go slow at first, until you get a feel for the car and what it’s capable of.” “I can’t believe the first car I’m ever going to drive is a Mercedes.” “Mine was a Jaguar. My dad was a freaking mess the whole time. I accused him of being far more concerned about the car than he was about me. He didn’t deny it.” The story makes her laugh, as I hoped it would. “Let’s give it a whirl.” I point to the key, and she turns it, starting the car. “Now put it in Drive.” “You’re sure about this?” “Positive. Take me for a ride, sweetheart.” I add a wink and a smile to remind her of the last time I said those words to her, and she blushes adorably.  
 
Virtuous -cover

VIRTUOUS Out on April 14, 2015

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VALOROUS Out on April 21, 2015

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Victorious -cover

VICTORIOUS Out on April 28, 2015

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Author Photo  ABOUT M.S. Force: M.S. Force is the erotic alter-ego of New York Times bestselling author Marie Force. The Quantum Trilogy is M.S. Force’s first foray into erotic romance, but it won’t be the last! With more than 3.5 million books sold, Marie Force is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author of 40 contemporary romances. Her New York Times bestselling self-published Gansett Island Series has sold more than 1.8 million e-books since Maid for Love was released in 2011. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press, as well as the New York Times bestselling Green Mountain Series from Berkley Sensation, among other books and series, including the new Quantum Trilogy, written as M.S. Force. While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie. Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and possible appearances in your area. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups at marieforce.com/connect. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor, on Twitter @marieforce and Instagram at marieforceauthor.  

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InkSlinger Blogger Final

InkSlinger PR Presents: Master of Freedom

Master of Freedom: A Mountain Masters Novella (1001 Dark Nights)Title:  Master of Freedom
(A Mountain  Novella)
Author:  Cherise Sinclaire
Length:  232 pages
Format:  ERC
Publisher:  Evil Eye Concepts Inc.
Rating:  5 Stars

Detectihve Atticus Ware gave up his beloved Idaho to start again in the mountains of California, close to his imprisoned brother. He has a rewarding job and friends, but the experienced Dominant wants more than the Do-Me submissives who flock around him. He needs a woman who will give her heart as well as her body.

Virginia, “Gin,” is damn good at her challenging career as a prison psychologist. However, one problem inmate is mired in misery and unable to overcome his guilt at causing a friend’s death.
To clear her mind, she joins a friend’s kinky backpacking excursion, planning to hide in her tent during the evening BDSM pursuits. But Atticus lures her into the activities. She’s read about BDSM, but submission under the hands of a powerful Dom is beyond anything she’d imagined. She doesn’t trust men, doesn’t want a relationship, and yet…wants more from him.

Finally, Atticus has found the woman he wants in his life. In his bed. In his cuffs. But she’s not only his brother’s therapist, but also works in a prison. How can he tolerate his woman walking into danger every single blasted day?

Gin knows she has no future with Atticus Ware, but still, hope is rising in her heart.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
There is so much to love about this story.  
First, and most importantly, is the fact that this is a full fledged tale.  It is in fact the opinion of this reviewer, that the labeling of this work as a novella, serves as quite a misleading misnomer.
What we have here is a highly complex and emotionally charged "awakening" story.

Readers will note that the term "awakening" in this case is used in the blanket sense.  This is because our heroine is not the only person experiencing profound and life altering firsts.
Both Gin and Atticus learn and grow through the intermingling of their lives, both sexually and not.
In fact, it is the sexual play which allows both of these wounded souls to confront both past and present obstacles in their lives, with clear heads and unshakable fortitude. 



It is very clear that authoress Sinclair has taken great pains to ensure that every aspect of her characters' lives are balanced.  They have stressors, obligations, friends, etc., and these things make the time they spend together in play all the more of a treat.  And by extension, all the more emotionally and erotically compelling to the reader.
Miss Sinclare also shows herself to be a "mistress of mood".  Using a combination of setting, and a cinematic descriptiveness, she is able to immerse her audience in the complete experience of each character, at any given time.
Allowing her readers to not only champion a character for a time, but to becomes him/her.

The sensual scenes are a thing of beauty.  Though readers are given to understand that Gin is novice sub, there is never a stiff or awkward moment, or a time where things feel forced.  Instead, readers are allowed to experience the true dom/sub relationship as it is intended.  That being one of the dom as caregiver and and the sub as cared for, always with an underpinning of mutual  respect.  It must also be mentioned that the dom/sub roles are never muddied.  There may be times
when Gin is allowed to "top from bellow", but her place as a sub and Atticus' place as master is never called in to question.

This is truly a story of love, sex, and learned self worth on the part of both hero and heroine. A story that begins with two people bound in play by a length of cord, but ends with two souls forever linked in love.





About Cherise
Cherise SinclairHaving to wear glasses in elementary school can scar a person for life. Dubbed a nerd at an early age, Cherise Sinclair has been trying to live up to the stereotype ever since. And what better way than being an author?

Known for writing deeply emotional stories, the USA Today Bestselling Author has penned sixteen erotic romance novels, most with a BDSM theme. (Please do not mention the phrase mommy porn in her presence.) Her awards range from a National Leather Award to a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nomination to a GoodReads BDSM group award for best author of the year. Called an “ascendant erotica queen” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Cherise spends her days writing, supervised by a sadistic calico cat.


Find Her:  


 

InkSlinger PR Presents: The Quantum Trilogy

Virtuous RDL Banner  

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for M.S. Force's VIRTUOUS! VIRTUOUS is the first novel in M.S. Force’s Erotic Contemporary Romance Quantum TrilogyEach title in the Quantum Trilogy is currently $3.99 for pre-order and the first week of sales only. These prices will go up to $5.99 one week after release so grab your copy today!!

 Virtuous -cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** GooglePlay ** Kobo

Amazon CA ** Amazon UK ** Amazon Australia

You can also order SIGNED print copies of the Quantum trilogy now at marieforce.com/store (best price in print). The books will be available in audio on release day--or that's the plan anyway!

 
About VIRTUOUS and The Quantum Trilogy:
New York Times bestselling author Marie Force writing as M.S. Force… He’s a sexual dominant. She’s sworn off sex. There’s no way they can make a relationship work—or can they? After surviving a traumatic event at age fifteen and the ensuing estrangement from her family, Natalie Bryant has worked for years to reinvent herself into the woman she is today—a happy teacher fresh out of college and enjoying her first winter in New York City with her faithful dog, Fluff, by her side. Natalie isn’t expecting her life to change completely during a routine stroll through Greenwich Village on a blustery January day. But when Fluff breaks loose and charges into a park, Natalie gives chase and crashes into her destiny. Only after Fluff bites and draws blood from the man who accidentally knocked Natalie down does she realize Fluff has bitten the biggest movie star in the world.
 He has no business being enthralled by the gorgeous, young, innocent teacher… Natalie captivates Flynn Godfrey from the first moment their eyes meet while she is lying on the ground and he’s fighting off her ferocious little beast of a dog. The only thing Flynn knows for certain is if he lets Natalie get away, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. After only a short time in her presence, Flynn is prepared to change who he is to be what she needs. He knows he’s in big trouble when she says she won’t sleep with him and he doesn’t care if it means he gets to keep her in his life. But can he turn his back on the lifestyle that has defined him? Can he deny the desires that drive him to give Natalie the introduction to love and romance she so deserves? And most of all, can he keep his truth hidden from her long enough to have forever with her?

Join Flynn and Natalie as their story unfolds in three full-length books released three weeks in a row: VIRTUOUS, VALOROUS and VICTORIOUS. From New York to Los Angeles, from Hollywood to Las Vegas, Flynn and Natalie’s whirlwind love affair has it all—romance, passion, steamy hot sex, relentless paparazzi and a murder that could be their undoing. If you hate dirty-talking heroes who put it all on the line for the women they love, who leave no desire unfulfilled, who will do anything it takes to protect what’s theirs…If elements of BDSM make you queasy, if smoking hot sex isn’t your thing, if cliffhangers make you rage, if you hate first-person points of view from the heroine AND the hero... this trilogy is NOT for you! You’ve been warned…
  Quantum Trilogy Teaser- Virtuous    
Excerpt: When I can no longer deny the need for air, I break the kiss and suck in greedy deep breaths as he turns his attention to my neck. The plane hits a bump that knocks us out of the sensual haze we’ve slipped into. He raises his head to meet my gaze and smiles at me. I love that smile. It’s so sexy and potent. I could look at it all day and never get tired of seeing it. “How’re you doing?” His gaze is so tender, so totally focused on me. “Great. You?” “Never been better.” I snort out a rather unladylike laugh. “Sure you haven’t.” “Nat.” “Hmm?” “Look at me.” I do as he asks, and what I see there… God. All of that for me. “I’ve never been better than I am in this moment with you.” Though it’s against my better judgment and my inner cynic is crying out to be heard, I believe him. Whether that will prove to be a mistake remains to be seen. “Do you think we could…” “What, sweetheart? What do you want to do?” “I’m feeling kind of warm in this sweater.” I wore a black sweater with a skirt to school that day, hoping I’d look sophisticated enough to take this trip of a lifetime after school. His gaze shifts to my chest. I can almost tell he’s trying to gauge whether I have anything on under it. I don’t, except for a bra, of course. “Do you want me to do something about the cabin temperature?” I shake my head. “Natalie… I want to do the right thing here. If we start taking clothes off, it’s going to get even warmer in here.” I can hear the torture and inner turmoil he’s struggling with in his tone. It’s much more rigid than normal, as are the muscles that are pressed against me. He’s waiting for some sign from me about what’s going to happen. Reaching for the hem of my sweater, I pull it up and over my head.

Quantum Trilogy Banner
 Valorous -cover
VALOROUS
 
Victorious -cover
VICTORIOUS
Author Photo  ABOUT M.S. Force: M.S. Force is the erotic alter-ego of New York Times bestselling author Marie Force. The Quantum Trilogy is M.S. Force’s first foray into erotic romance, but it won’t be the last! With more than 3.5 million books sold, Marie Force is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author of 40 contemporary romances. Her New York Times bestselling self-published Gansett Island Series has sold more than 1.8 million e-books since Maid for Love was released in 2011. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press, as well as the New York Times bestselling Green Mountain Series from Berkley Sensation, among other books and series, including the new Quantum Trilogy, written as M.S. Force. While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie. Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and possible appearances in your area. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups at marieforce.com/connect. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor, on Twitter @marieforce and Instagram at marieforceauthor.    

"Four Nights With The Duke" Is One Romance That Is Second To None

Four Nights With the Duke (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #2; Desperate Duchesses, #8)Title:  Four Nights With The Duke
(Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #2)
Author:  Eloisa James
Format:  ERC
Length:  336 pages
Date of Publication:  March 31st, 2015
Publisher:  Avon
Rating: 5 Stars 

  
As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain...he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
One cannot help but to love what one loves."

In the cases of one Miss Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington and Evander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar. The above sentiment has never held more true.  For their's is a tale of youthful infatuation, turned to loathing. Of desperation turned criminal.  Of necessity becoming love.
Mia Carrington never dreamed that she would someday be forced to eat her words; when as an infuriated teen, she told Evander Brody that she wouldn't marry him "if he were the last man on earth."
But it appears that in the case of poor, put upon, Mia, that time and desperation do strange bedfellows make.  It seems that Mia must find a husband, and quickly. Now in her twenties, unmarried, and the guardian to her young disabled nephew, Charlie.  She must find a husband in order to insure young Charlie, and his inheritance, doesn't fall into the hands of his unscrupulous uncle.

Enter the "last man on earth".
Evander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar has a few issues of his own.
He feels that love is a complication that his life is best without.
So when Mia appears before him, scheme for blackmail in tow.  He feels more than justified in his belief that love is all for naught.
But no one ever said anything about attraction.

Four Nights With the Duke is a complex novel brimming with emotion, wit, charm, and hard won romance.  The juxtaposition of the necessity of their union,  and the obvious hurdle that their wounded prides present, makes this a story that readers must see to its conclusion.
The characters found here are in a word...fantastic!
Mia is strong, cunning, loyal, loving, and a writer!  YUM!
She may be terrified out of her stockings, but she never lets them see her sweat.  She faces every challenge set before her with a conqueror's spirit and a unquenchable humor.
As mentioned before, on top of everything else...Mia has made quite a name for herself as an author.  Seeing her added trials with said career, only serves to further endear her to those champions of her cause.

Evander is a man haunted by the mistakes of his past. The strange thing about that is, most of the mistakes are not his. They have however, managed to create in him a very closed and fearful person.  Said fears and insecurities often make him seem cold and unfeeling.
The list of supporting characters adding flair, spark, and color to this tale is quite lengthy, but honorable mentions include:
Chuffy: Evander's sweet and ever-inebriated uncle.
Charlie:  Mia's strong, smart, and very lovable disabled nephew.
Eloisa James spins yet another tale of love and life that once begun, is impossible to end.
Reviewer Note
Though this novel is the 2nd offering in the Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers series, it can be read as a standalone.



About Eloisa
 New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

Eloisa...on her double life:

When I'm not writing novels, I'm a Shakespeare professor. It's rather like having two lives. The other day I bought a delicious pink suit to tape a television segment on romance; I'll never wear that suit to teach in, nor even to give a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference. It's like being Superman, with power suits for both lives. Yet the literature professor in me certainly plays into my romances. The Taming of the Duke (April 2006) has obvious Shakespearean resonances, as do many of my novels. I often weave early modern poetry into my work; the same novel might contain bits of Catullus, Shakespeare and anonymous bawdy ballads from the 16th century.

When I rip off my power suit, whether it's academic or romantic, underneath is the rather tired, chocolate-stained sweatshirt of a mom. Just as I use Shakespeare in my romances, I almost always employ my experiences as a mother. When I wrote about a miscarriage in Midnight Pleasures, I used my own fears of premature birth; when the little girl in Fool For Love threw up and threw up, I described my own daughter, who had that unsavory habit for well over her first year of life.

So I'm a writer, a professor, a mother - and a wife. My husband Alessandro is Italian, born in Florence. We spend the lazy summer months with his mother and sister in Italy. It always strikes me as a huge irony that as a romance writer I find myself married to a knight, a cavaliere, as you say in Italian.

One more thing...I'm a friend. I have girlfriends who are writers and girlfriends who are Shakespeare professors. And I have girlfriends who are romance readers. In fact, we have something of a community going on my website. Please stop by and join the conversation on my readers' pages.






See What Hope Really Looks Like In "inside The O'Briens

Inside the O'Briens
Title: Inside The O'Briens
Author:  Lisa Genova
Format:  ERC
Length:  352 pages
Expected Date of Publication:  April 7th, 2015
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Rating:  5 Stars
 
From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington’s Disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s.

 Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.

 Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

 As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

 Praised for writing that “explores the resilience of the human spirit” (The San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core.  -Goodreads



My Thoughts
The story of a family struggling to come to terms with the devastating knowledge that their father/ husband, Joe O'Brien, has Huntington's Disease. A progressively debilitating and ultimately fatal neurological disorder.
Narrated by both Joe, and his youngest daughter Katie, Inside The O'Briens, puts readers on very intimate terms with both the disease, and the long reaching and life altering effects of Joe's diagnosis for himself and those he loves.
Written in three parts. The story chronicles Joe's life, and by extension, the lives of his family from life before his diagnosis, to well into its symptomatic onset.
Though often hard to read.  What this story offers the reader is an unflinchingly real view of the life choices, life changes, and often harsh realities faced by those lives touched by Huntington's.
On a brighter note.  This story is also one of profound hope.
Because although the specter of this disease's ramifications looms spectacularly large over thus family.  They each, in their own way, vow to live, love, and be more than a diagnosis.



About Lisa
Lisa GenovaI'm a Harvard-trained Neuroscientist, a Meisner-trained actress, and an entirely untrained writer!

My first novel, STILL ALICE, winner of the 2008 Bronte Prize, nominated for 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association, and winner of the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year Award spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. There are over 2.1 million copies in print, and it has been translated into 31 languages. It was chosen as one of the thirty titles for World Book Night 2013.

Originally self-published, I sold it out of the trunk of my car for almost a year before it was bought at auction by Simon & Schuster.

Still Alice is now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics.

LEFT NEGLECTED, also a New York Times Bestseller, was a #1 Indie Next Pick, the Borders “Book You’ll Love” for January 2011, and the #4 Indie Reading Group Pick for summer 2011, and a Richard & Judy Book Club Pick.

LOVE ANTHONY, also a New York Times bestseller, is about autism. It was an October 2012 Indie Next pick and a People Magazine Great Read. USA Today calls it “beautifully written and poignant to the point of heartbreak.”

"After I read STILL ALICE I wanted to stand up and tell a train full of strangers, YOU HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK." - Beverly Beckham, Boston Sunday Globe

“Lisa Genova is the Michael Crichton of brain science. What she proved with STILL ALICE, she proves again with LEFT NEGLECTED. This is huge, powerful human drama at its elegant best."

-Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

www.lisagenova.com







"The Mistake" Is One That You Will Gladly Make Again And Again

The Mistake (Sisters of Scandal, #4)Title:  The Mistake
(A Sisters of Scandal Novel)
Author:  Lily Maxton
Format:  ERC
Length:  225 pages
Expected Date of Publication:  April 14th, 2015
Publisher:  Entangled/Scandalous
Rating:  5 Star

Infamous courtesan Julia Forsythe is the former mistress of a ruthless marquess. She’s also expecting his child. But while she longs to flee from his cold clutches, the welfare of her unborn babe prevents it. Now she must find a way to remain a “mistress” in name, if not in deed. And her plans are only complicated by a growing affection for the estate’s head gardener...

Fifteen years ago, Adam Radcliff once shared a close friendship with Julia. Now they stand worlds apart in both lives and statuses, sharing only the memory of that old friendship. But even as Julia slips out of the marquess’s lascivious clutches, she finds herself seeking the pleasure of Adam’s company. Now Adam is falling more deeply for Julia, even knowing that wanting another man’s mistress will only bring ruin upon them both...  -Goodreads






The Mistake
by Lily Maxton

Copyright © 2015 by Lily Maxton. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Prologue
LONDON 1802
Sixteen-year-old Adam Radcliff suddenly understood why they called these establishments “hells.” The closed-in space was ripe with sweat and alcohol. It was overheated from the writhing mass of the drunken gamblers, and light and shadow warred with one another, playing across tables and faces. There were no windows to the outside world in the gaming house. No reality but this sweaty, loud, discordant one, where fortunes rose or plummeted with one flick of a card.
Adam felt suffocated. He felt sick.
He’d learned a girl who matched Julia’s description had been seen here more than once. He’d been searching the city for her, desperately, even though the brief note she’d left him the day after her father’s death had told him not to look for her.
Did she really think he’d sit and twiddle his thumbs while she roamed the streets, enduring God knew what horror?
Did she really think he’d let the girl who’d become his best friend leave her home and all those who cared for her
without a word to him?
The loss of her was a bitter ache he felt every moment of every day. He knew she was scared, but whatever the future held, they could face it. Together. He imagined finding her. Taking her home. She hadn’t smiled much since her father’s health had taken a turn for the worse. But Adam would make her smile again.
He’d think of more Irish folk tales to tell her. She liked the magic in the stories and he liked watching her face when he recited them—it took them both away from the cluttered, polluted streets of the stew where they lived. And he knew dozens of the old tales—there would always be more to tell.
He moved toward a busy hazard table.
And stopped.
Just…stopped.
It was Julia. The dark, thick hair piled on her head, the familiar, utterly feminine profile left no doubt. He drank in that first sight of her, weak with relief.
But then she turned to a young man seated next to her. The man wrapped his arm around her waist and drew her close to him, tucking her against his body as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
Adam’s reaction was visceral. He wanted to kill the bastard with his bare hands. His emotions clattered and raged between anger and sharp despair. He stepped forward. The man whispered in Julia’s ear, and she smiled.
Adam nearly stumbled. It wasn’t the same broad smile he remembered from before, but it contained a faint glimmer of that brightness. He turned to the first person he could find, grabbing the older man’s elbow.
“Who is he? The one in the gold waistcoat?” Adam gestured to the hazard table, to the expensively dressed gentleman who was holding Julia, who had made her smile. Adam was too distraught, and his accent came out thick.
The nob Adam grabbed brushed his hand off, taking in the sad, ragged state of his coat with a sneer. The man spoke condescendingly to Adam, who was, after all, just a poor half-Irish boy.
“That’s Lord Stanley. A baron.”
He moved away as he spoke, but his words—the way he’d said them, as though Adam could barely even hope to polish a baron’s shoes—reverberated harshly in Adam’s skull.
The worst part was, the man wasn’t wrong.
Adam stared as Julia tilted her head down. And let Lord Stanley kiss her.
It was a gentle, lingering kiss. A kiss one might give a new lover—a little tentative, but affectionate. Seeing it was like watching one’s childhood home go up in flames, burning and burning until everything inside was hollowed out. Adam’s heart felt like cold, heavy lead in his chest.
How could he ask Julia to go home with him now? How could he ask her to leave a baron—a wealthy lord who could give her so many things—and come with Adam, who had nothing to offer her.
Nothing except his love.
But love wouldn’t feed them. Love wouldn’t clothe them. Love wouldn’t keep her safe.
Still, he wanted to steal her away like a thief in the night. He wanted to be poor and desperate and with her. His hands itched to touch her, to pull her out the door and far, far away from this place. From that man.
Would she go with him? Or would she choose Lord Stanley? He suspected the answer, and he felt too fragile to find out for sure, to have that certain knowledge forever in his mind. Did he even have a right to ask her to make that choice?
He watched numbly as Lord Stanley stood.
This was the moment. He could confront her. He could fight for her. Or he could let her go and hope she found what she felt she needed so badly she’d run away from everything she’d known to get it.
It wasn’t a conscious decision. He moved back, into the corner, into shadow. In the end, he didn’t want Julia to see him. Didn’t want her to know he’d witnessed that kiss.
Didn’t want her pity.
He was going to lose her. No, he’d already lost her. And God, it hurt. The pain made him dizzy, and he had to press his hands against the wall behind him to remain steady. As Julia walked past, his breath choked in a sob. He wanted to curl into himself and weep, because the girl he loved was almost close enough to touch, but farther from him than she’d ever been.
Chapter One
FIFTEEN YEARS LATER
As Julia Forsythe heard the door downstairs open and shut, she lifted a glass in one trembling hand. She took a deep, calming breath, and inadvertently breathed in the pungent scent of the purgative.
She stiffened her spine.
She could do this. She would do this.
Her biggest fear wasn’t actually taking the noxious concoction—her friend had assured her it was perfectly safe, though it might smell awful. Her biggest fear was that it wouldn’t work, and she would have to submit to her lover’s callous touch again before she was ready. And that if she did submit, she would do something extremely foolish in her desperation—like strike him as hard as she could.
Him.
Henry Eldridge, the Marquess of Riverton.
Her biggest mistake.
The third stair creaked as it always did.
Her hand shook as she raised the glass higher. “You are stronger than this,” she muttered angrily to herself. She
forced her fingers to tighten, forced the rim of the glass to her lips, and consumed the liquid in one wretched gulp.
“Julia?” Riverton’s familiar voice called.
She stumbled out from the dressing room and into the bedchamber, her hands pressed to her abdomen. She didn’t have to fake this. Her stomach positively churned and her head spun.
“I think I’m ill,” she said weakly.
She sat on the corner of the bed, and Riverton looked down at her, as immaculate as he always was, from his blond hair to his gleaming black shoes. He was beautiful in the way a Roman sculpture or glittering snow on a sunny winter’s day was beautiful—coldly and ruthlessly perfect. “It’s convincing, I’ll give you that.”
“Convincing!” she croaked. It felt as if her stomach was trying to escape her body.
“I’ll light a few more candles,” he said, sounding vaguely amused. “Mayhap by the time I’m done, you’ll have recovered.”
Highly unlikely, she thought.
She watched him wander around the room with a spill, lighting so many beeswax candles the entire bedchamber pulsed and glowed. To Julia, it seemed wasteful. But then, Riverton had never known what it was like to view candles as a precious commodity that had to be conserved. Julia and her father had always used rushlights to illuminate the dark of their cramped rented rooms. The lights smelled, but they were much cheaper than candles.
Riverton finished and set the spill on the marble mantelpiece. He moved toward her. “There. Do you feel any better?”
If anything, the room had started spinning more rapidly. She shook her head, her lips pressed tight.
“Julia,” he said, drawing out her name. “You are acting childish. It’s not as though we haven’t shared a bed before.”
“I’m ill,” she repeated.
He folded his arms across his chest and looked down at her implacably. “What of the contract? Should I tear it up because you won’t fulfill your side of it? I thought you wanted the best for our child.”
Fury swept through her. Riverton only saw her pregnancy in terms of how it could benefit him. He didn’t give a fig about the child.
“I do want the best for my child.” She glared at him. She wanted to do more than glare. She wanted to rail at him, yell at him, scream at him for doing this to her until her throat was raw. All she wanted was the best for her child. She’d been terrified by her unexpected pregnancy, terrified to think there was a tiny life harbored inside of her, and that she alone in the all world was responsible for it.
In truth, terror at that knowledge still twisted her heart in knots every day. But she wouldn’t allow herself to succumb to it. That tiny, precious life was dependent on her. And she’d lived through fear before.
She had to be good for her child. She had to be better than she was.
“Then have you forgotten our terms?” Riverton asked.
Oh, she remembered the terms of the contract too well. Everything his wealth and position could provide, but only if she stayed…available to him.
Riverton, the miserable cad, had no qualms about using their unborn child to control her. And he would keep using it until he’d bled her dry. He wanted to lock her in a gilded cage and make use of her body until he said he was done with her. And perhaps he would never be done with her. Perhaps he would keep her caged forever, just to prove he could.
Her wishes didn’t matter at all. Not to him. They never had.
“I haven’t forgotten our terms,” she said. As she spoke, the purgative truly kicked in. She wrapped her arms around herself and hunched forward.
Riverton stepped closer.
Then her stomach heaved mightily, and she cast up her accounts all over the lush carpet, barely missing his perfect shoes.

My Thoughts
As one of the the most sought after courtesans to grace the upper echelons of the London peerage, Julia Forsythe's body has been the playground for some of England's most wealthy nobles.

Her heart however,  still remains in the keeping of her first love,  Adam Radcliffe.

When Julia finds herself pregnant, and  on the losing end of a contract with the sadistic Henry Eldridge, Marquess of Riverton.  She is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure the financial future of her unborn child with Eldrige's money.  While managing to keep herself a safe distance from both him...and his bed.

When a feigned illness gets her sent to rest in the idyllic setting of the Marquess' country estate.  Julia is over the moon.  Little does she know that the hands of the one man that her heart holds so dear, are the same hands which lovingly cultivate the gardens of her captor.

Julia makes no excuses and expects no pity for the course of her life.
A child of the slums of London; she has done what was necessary to keep the wolves of poverty and destitution from her door.  She is a very strong and straight shooting heroine.  Who is very easy to both sympathize with and champion.

Likewise, her patron and the father of her unborn babe, one Lord Eldridge, makes no bones about his role as a first-class ass.

It is the green hands and tender heart of Julia's childhood sweetheart, turned gardener, Adam Radcliffe, that serves as the emotional glue that pulls and hold this story together.

Determined never to let his love go.  It is Adam who goes that extra mile time and again to win and keep his lady.

This book is a welcomed departure from the older experienced man versus the young ingenue.  Julia is an unrepressed fully sexual being, fully capable of holding her own in the bedroom.
Please understand however,  that this is not a story peppered with sensual exploits.
This is a love story in its truest form.
The scenes featuring Adam and Julia are designed to ensure readers to believe in unconditional, climb any mountain, swim any sea...love.



About Lily
Lily Maxton grew up in the Midwest, reading, writing, and daydreaming amidst cornfields. After graduating with a degree in English, she decided to put her natural inclinations to good use and embark on a career as a writer.
When she’s not working on a new story, she likes to tour old houses, add to her tea stash, and think of reasons to avoid housework.

"Escaping Reality" Lives In A World Of Its Own


Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1)Title:  Escaping Reality
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Format:  Print ARC
Length:  309 pages
Expected Date of Publication:  May 2015
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Rating:  2 Stars

Infinite possibilities….
Infinite passion…..
Infinite danger….

 His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

 At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run. 


 On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
Oh no!  Here we go again!
It seems as though I have heard, read, seen, this story somewhere...uh...everywhere before.
Sexy damsel in distress, running from a tragic past that  she just can't seem to shake...
Billionaire white knight here only to save, toy with, and let's not forget expose her to new and dark places on the F*cking fronteer to which only he is somehow privy!
Hmmmm.

Is there anyone out there...besides me, I mean, who is at least somewhat cognoscente of the fact that restraining a young lady with your tie during sex, doesn't add up to a mind-blowing bondage experience?  Yes, this does still apply if you use said neck-wear to secure said ingenue to a doorknob.

Back to the book.

This first book in the Secret Life of Amy Benson series is well written, but seems to lack the laser-sharp attention to detail that authoress Lisa Renee Jones is famous for.
Amy is a person without a clear present or past.  Because of this, it is very hard to bond with, and or follow her anywhere.  Not that readers would have a clue where the hell it is that she is going...even with a map, GPS, and guide dogs for the blind.

The one thing that we do know however, is that she is heart-stoppingly gorgeous, has a f%$k-me sign on her forehead that only billionaires can see, and most importantly, IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN HIDING!
Rule number one in the "How Not To Have My Death Reenacted On I.D. Handbook" 
*  DO NOT invite sexy, yet domineering men that you don't know to the apartment that you just got from your secret contact.  EVER! I mean...come on!  You don't even know your own address yet!

Stranger danger lunacy aside, the sex between these two is the only thing saving this read.
As the read goes on, we see that this is going to be another "I own you because we're sleeping together" read.

Yada...yada...yada...
There are also many allusions to both Amy and Liam's respective pasts, but we are left sadly bereft of details on both counts.
The ending does provide a bit of a "surprise", but said plot twist is only a calculated segue into book 2.
Here's hoping that the second book offers the originality that this one sorely lacks.



About Lisa
Lisa Renee Jones New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.


Watch the video on casting for the INSIDE TV Show:

http://youtu.be/pj4NZLpeWQs


Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and facebook daily

"How To Punish Your Playboy" Makes Being Bad Read Soooo Good

How to Punish Your Playboy (DommeNation, #3)Title:  How To Punish Your Playboy
(Domme Nation #3)
Author:  Mina Vaughn
Format:  ERC
Length:  218 pages
Expected Date of Publication:  April 6th, 2015
Publisher:  Pocket Star
Rating:  4 Stars

In this saucy and funny domination romance, pin-up model Veronika Kane meets sexy, arrogant Aston Delano and decides to teach this playboy a lesson he’ll never forget.

When Veronika Kane hears that she’s up for Miss Pin Up Las Vegas, she auctions off her classic hot-rod and decides to head out west. But when the man who bought her car, hot restaurateur Aston Delano, asks her to “show him the ropes,” his not-so-innocent question takes them down a surprising, sexy road. And as they travel cross-country as Domme/sub, their chemistry sizzles—as do the luscious meals Aston creates.

 Torn between the rediscovered pleasure of food and worry about staying in competition shape, Mistress Veronika unexpectedly finds herself as much a pupil as a teacher. Throw in long-distance trouble from her ex and from Aston’s family, and it’s a potential recipe for disaster. A road trip can be hard on any relationship—will this drive them apart, or will they buckle in for the long haul?  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Veronika Kane may be pin-up pretty, but as the proud owner of her own restoration business, it is quite clear that she is a woman who knows her way around the down and dirty.
How To Punish Your Playboy is the third offering from authoress Mina Vaughn's Domme Nation series.  Holding true to her 'kink with a wink' promise, the characters, situations, and interactions manage to provide readers with a blissfully blistering BDSM experience, without sacrificing the story or its message in the process.

 Miss Kane may be a novice one the game of dommes, but with a sub like playboy Aston Delano, and a natural affinity for taking charge; one must admit that this is one student who has nothing to fear from her learning curve.

Yes, that's right.  She's learning.  If you are looking for perfect and polished in any respect, our dear Miss Kane is not where you will find it.
Just like the vintage cars that she so lovingly restores, Veronika is in need of a little TLC, and a certain petulant playboy just may be the one to give it to her.

Aston Delano is used to getting EVERYTHING he wants.  Little does he know however, that when he asks a certain saucy redhead to 'show him the ropes' in handling the fully restored 1964 Shelby Cobra, that she sold at auction.  What he will get...is a whole lot more than he ever bargained for.

What we have in the story of  Veronika and Aston, is the story of two people who appear to have everything under control.  While secretly craving true control that they find on their sub/domme roles.
This is a great fantasy that rings true as 'real world' doable.

The sex is hotter and wilder, with each additional scene, and the drama is first rate.
There is however a little bit of a rough start at the beginning of things story-wise, which is the only thing standing between this story and 5 stars.


How Punish Your Playboy has it all.  Some cheeky KINK, loads of CLASS, an awesome STORY, and sexy ASS...PLAY?   (Ahem!)
Wanna read it now?
I do...AGAIN!!

InkSlinger PR Presents: The Queen Of Bright and Shiny Things



The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things Title:  The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author:  Anne Aguirre
Format:  ERC
Length:  328 pages
Expected Publication Date:  April 7th, 2015
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Rating:  5 Stars
Buy The Book:  
 * iTunes ** Kobo ** Books-a-Million ** Powell's ** IndieBound 


Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.
But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again… 




I have forty seconds to spare when I burst through the doors of the Curly-Q. Mildred gives me the side-eye, but since I'm not technically late, she just says, “Get your smock on, girl. There's cleaning to be done.”
            Though it's not strictly legal or sanitary, I'm pretty sure they save the hair for hours. The stylists just sweep it away from the chairs and pile it out of the way. So by the time I arrive, there's a small Sasquatch on the floor. It takes me an hour to get the shop pristine. Customers come and go, mostly walk-in haircuts. Around six, it slows down, and Grace beckons me to the chair. 
            “When are you gonna let me give you some highlights?” She asks this often.
            This time, however, I say, “Tonight, if you have time.”
            Grace gets excited. “Mildred, get the camera. I'll do it free if you let me take a picture for the Before and After wall.”
            I eye the wall, not sure I want to be immortalized up there, along with all the 80s hair and prom refugees, but eventually I shrug. “Why not?” 
            My hair is a dark blond, mousy and forgettable. I mean, it's decent hair, neither straight, nor curly. Left to its own devices, it falls in messy waves. That's why I wear a lot of ponytails and braids. Aunt Gabby has similar problems, only she gets it lightened and highlighted so it looks bright and flirty, and she spends forty-five minutes a day straightening hers, so it's sleek and smooth by the time she goes to the shop. UPS Joe seems to like the results anyway.
      &nbs /p;     Grace fastens me into the plastic smock, then snaps a Polaroid. I still don't care that much how I look; I mean, it's so superficial, but a small part of me would like to be prettier, at least maximize what I'm working with. I tell myself this is more of a social experiment, and I can evaluate how people react to the new me. But that's not it.
            I'm totally doing this to see if Shane notices. Sometimes I hate being a girl.



My Thoughts
The story told in Anne Aguirre's The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, is one of two people daring to hope, daring to rebuild, and daring to love.
Life has not been kind to Sage Czinski, but she makes it her business to be as kind as she can everyday.  Little do the recipients of the post-it notes, filled with kind and uplifting words know, that the messages so lovingly penned for them, help to stave off the tendrils of an all encompassing darkness that stands in constant vigil over their writer.

Shane Cavandish doesn't have much to say, isn't the best dressed, and doesn't seem to care whether or not anyone really sees him.

Until he sees her.
She sees him.
And...
They learn to really see each other.

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is proof that hope really does spring eternal.  It sometimes however, needs both action to set it in motion, and love to give it direction.
Both Sage and Shane are doing all they can to overcome the darkness, pain, and loss of their respective pasts.
What they are not doing however, is living.  They use the distance created by causes and obsequiousness; in Sage's case.  Or a general ability to fade into the woodwork, as it were; in the case of Shane.
With both waiting in white knuckled fear and anticipation of someone...anyone reaching out to truly know and accept them for all that they are.

Authoress Anne Aquirre manages to delve deep into the heart of very specific pain, and address the deepest fear of every teen.  The fear of never finding people and places to whom one can truly belong.  Though Sage and Shane do feature as the most prominent players in the expression of this message.  Closer perusal of the story allows one to quickly realize that it is a focus in the lives of each of the supporting characters as well.

Sage and Shane and the love that they find for each other, is one that will make reader's hearts soar, and their eyes tear.
While not the most flamboyant, their romance has an honesty and realism that makes one believe that they will be living their happily ever after long after their book has ended.




About Ann Aguirre:
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.
Links:
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