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Find The Place Where Nightmare And Fantasy Dance In "Alice"

23398606Title:  Alice
Author:  Christina Henry
Format:  ERC
Length:  304 pages
Publisher:  Ace
Rating: 4 Stars 

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll...

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.-Goodreads
My Thoughts
There is so much to be said about the very dark and very adult Alice.
This trip down the rabbit hole sports an insane asylum, gangs, The Caterpillar, The Rabbit, and Cheshire as crime bosses, sex trafficking, and so much more.

The Alice that has been so lovingly crafted by authoress, Christina Henry, puts readers in that mind-bending place where fear and fantasy dare to dance to a melody of their own creation. The place where a broken woman with the mind of a girl, sets out on a quest of vengeance, while chasing the broken memories of her tarnished prince, Hatcher.

Surprisingly, there is little to romance to be had here. There is far to much going on in the 'trying to stay alive/trying to save the world department, for these two to waist time getting all mushy!

While the author is very careful in keeping the story familiar enough to jive with reader's recollection of the classic version; the combination of magical elements such as mermaids, giant rats, and weaponized roses, with rape, murder, and mayhem is definitely not your consummate classic.

The pacing of this novel is break-neck for the most part, with the intensity never letting up for a whopping 85% of the read.
The only negative to this read comes at its lack-luster ending.

Reviewer's Note: This literary work depicts incidences of rape and gratuitous violence. It may serve as a trigger for those who have experienced these acts in any capacity.

I received this book as part of Penguin's First To Read program.
The review found here is my honest opinion, and is in no way influenced by any outside entity. 

About Christina
Christina Henry Christina Henry is the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING, Ace/Roc) and the forthcoming ALICE and RED QUEEN (Ace Trade). She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son

 Find Christina: 


BookSparks PR Pesents: Beautiful Girl


 25535886
 Title:  Beautiful Girl
Author:  Fleur Philips
Format:  Print
Length:  179 pages
Publisher:  SparkpointStudio


Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is beautiful. Her entire life revolves around this beauty because her overly controlling mother has been dragging her to casting calls and auditions since she was four years old. According to Joanne Kennicut, Melanie was born to follow in her footsteps.

But Melanie never wanted this life. When a freak car accident leaves her with facial lacerations that will require plastic surgery, she can't help but wonder if this is the answer to her prayers. For the first time in her life, she has a chance to live like a normal teenager--at least for a little while--away from the photo shoots and movie sets that have dominated her entire existence.

But after Melanie allows her best friend to come to the house to see her, Joanne decides to hide her daughter in Montana for the remainder of the summer. There, Melanie won't be seen by anyone they know, and her face will heal in time for the scheduled surgery in late August. Joanne’s plan backfires, however, when Melanie meets Sam, a Native American boy hired by the home's owner to tend to the property. Sam is nothing like the Hollywood boys Melanie knows--he¹s poor, his father's a drunk who possesses a bizarre gift inherited from a Kootenai Shaman, and his only brother disappeared into the mountains after the death of their mother eight years before.

What transpires over a mere 36 hours after Sam and Melanie meet changes both of their lives in ways they never thought possible.






About Fleur
Fleur Philips 
Fleur Philips is an award-winning author who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Montana. Her first novel, I Am Lucky Bird, was selected as a General Fiction Finalist for the 2011 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. Her current novel, Crumble, was named Young Adult Winner from the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival and was selected as a Young Adult Fiction Finalist by the 2013 International Book Awards. Additionally, Crumble is a Silver Medalist in the 2013 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards in the category of Young Adult, Mature Issues. Most recently, it was named a YA Fiction Finalist in the USA Best Book Awards from USA Book News. Fleur lives in Whitefish, Montana with her son. Connect with Fleur at fleurphilips.com. 

Find Fleur:  Web / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Discover The Truth of Undeniable Chemistry In "Perfect Betrayal"

23014639 Title:  Perfect Betrayal
Author:  Season Vining
Format:  ERC
Length:  320 pages
Publisher:  St Martin's Griffin
Rating:  4 Stars

To the outside world, Taylor Hudson has it all: beauty, money and social status. But Taylor’s privileged life is far lonelier than it appears.

Levi is the inside man on a job to steal fifteen million dollars from one of the town’s wealthiest families, putting him on a crash course with Taylor. Neither of them believe in love, but lust. . . that’s undeniable.

Now they’re locked in a wicked game of seduction and it’s unclear who is playing who. But neither of them expected the affair to lead to the deepest connection they’ve ever experienced. Because beneath Taylor’s perfect exterior lies a need for love that mirrors Levi’s own. 

As the heist approaches, how can Levi protect Taylor from the truth?  

Is he willing to give up everything to save the one girl who’s made him want to be a better man?  -Goodreads



 My Thoughts
Perfect Betrayal is far from the standard New Adult practice in pointless, overly dramatic vapidity.  Both Levi, and leading lady Taylor, exhibit a hard won maturity which belies their tender years.
Though Taylor's pain is at first easier to dismiss, due to her pampered and privileged life style.  The more that readers come to know of her, the more corporeal her suffering, and her desperation for the connection that interaction with Levi becomes.

Because readers are aware of the nefarious plans of he and his team from the start; it is not until his involvement with Taylor begins that one is allowed a true look at the man behind the criminal.  Once that man comes into focus however, he is the only thing that both Taylor and readers can possibly have eyes for. Whether it be his artist's heart, poetic soul, or the mind-blowing force of his passion.  It is clear from the start that Levi is a man of many...ahem...talents!

The chemistry between these two is off the charts from the beginning, making their hate vs. desire relationship read as extremely authentic.  With so much at stake for Levi,
and the carefully laid plans of both he and his  team, both the emotional and suspenseful elements within the story skyrocket with each forbidden kiss, touch, or lingering glance that he and Taylor share.

As was mentioned previously.  Both of our leads have had very unfortunate young lives, and while Levi's is brought to light in often bittersweet flashbacks. The blatant neglect and complete disregard of Taylor's absentee mother and father is front, center, and glaringly apparent. 

With all of the drama both seen, and unseen that swirls around these two, the raw urgency of their soul-deep need for each other takes center stage from about mid-book on.  When the criminal element is finally allowed to rear its ugly head, things between these two come together while coming apart.
The ending of this book has no shortage of twisty, turny, stop your heart happily...Romeo and Juliette style, of course!
Minus the dying!





About Season
Season ViningSEASON VINING is an author, a designer, a philanthropist, a bookworm, a cook, inked, and a night owl. She loves John Hughes films, tattooed boys, and celebrating anniversaries of her 29th birthday. She lives in Louisiana, where she likes to spend time with her corgi, Chap.

Season is a graphic designer by trade and adores all form of art. She's a fan of live music, vintage cars, and people who know the difference between their, there, and they're.

Find Season:  Web / Twitter / GoodreadsFacebook


 

Fight A True Battle Of The Heart With "Below The Belt"

Below the Belt (Worth the Fight, #3)
Title:  Below The Belt
(Worth The Fight #3)
Author:  Sidney Halston
Format:  ERC
Length:  296 page

Publisher:  Loveswept
Rating:  5 Stars

In Sidney Halston’s latest sizzling MMA romance, a former title contender turns the tables on his knockout trainer with a lesson in seduction.

Once one of the most sought-after names on the mixed martial arts circuit, Antonio “Scarface” Marino watched his career go down for the count as he chased skirts and made tabloid headlines. Now he’s finally making a comeback, and it’s all thanks to Francesca Silva, a Brazilian bombshell as tough as any of her fighters. But who’s the real Francesca: the trash-talking trainer who rides him hard, or the vulnerable woman who blushes at his touch?

Francesca went to the mat to sign Tony because she believes he still has the potential to bring big success to her gym—if she can keep his head in the cage and out of her personal life. After a short-lived marriage soured her on love, a one-night stand is all she can handle. Now Tony’s kisses are stirring up complicated feelings—especially when he agrees to face her ex in the ring. Francesca’s used to freezing guys out. But Tony’s tempting her to give in to the heat.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
This is a book that you can't help flying through.  The combination of strength, sex appeal, loyalty, and intelligence that is personified by all members of the Worth The Fight cast is enough to make a reader want to stand up and cheer.
When one gets to bask in the spotlight that Below The Belt shines on the dynamic duo that is Francesca Silva and Antonio Marino however; one is truly allowed to witness the spinning of contemporary romantic gold.

Tony's body may grace this book's cover, but it is the story of "pretty as a picture, but tough as nails" boss lady, Francesca Silva that gives this story its fire.

Two things are very clear from the start, when it comes to sizing up things between Marino and Silva.
1.  They are very evenly matched.
2.  Nothing about the two of them together is going to be easy.

Author, Sidney Halston, does a wonderful job at allowing readers to meet the players in the game, before you meet the trouble in their shadows.
So, you meet Tony, the fighter with the "sound bite ready rep" and the "loverboy Latino charm",
long before you find out about his abusive father, his huge heart, or his love for his mother and family.
In the case of leading lady, Francesca, readers become well acquainted with her "large and in charge" business persona, long before the vulnerable lady in need of TLC for a heart never allowed to heal, is allowed to take the foreground.

Because both starring players are of Latin descent, you can rest assured that passions run high both in and out of the sheets.
Be warned however, that the blaze that burns so brightly between these two is often tempered by all the non-coital drama going on within this read.

This is a story for those unafraid to confront the imperfect perfection that can only be found in "real world relationships".  Those where the happily is hard won, and the hearts and lives that are battled for, have proven to be Worth The Fight.

 *Reviewer's Note*
This book is the third in a companion series that made be read in any order, as whole, or in part.

I received a copy of the referenced literary work in exchange for the honest review provided.






About Sidney
Sidney Halston
USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “Just Do It” Nike, and that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red, among four other novels currently in the works, including the sequel to Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal and she fell in love with writing.

Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading… She’s a reader first and a writer second.

When she’s not writing or reading her life is complete and utter chaos trying to balance family life with work, and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Find Sidney:  WebGoodreadsTwitter 




Taste The Sweetness Of An Unforgetable Odyssey In "The Bees"

18652002 Title:  The Bees
Author:  Laline Paul
Format:  Ebook
Length:  338 pages
Publisher:  Ecco
Rating:  5 Stars
The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut.

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. Yet Flora has talents that are not typical of her kin. And while mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is reassigned to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. Then she finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous. Enemies roam everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. But Flora cannot help but break the most sacred law of all, and her instinct to serve is overshadowed by a desire, as overwhelming as it is forbidden...

Laline Paull's chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a luminous world both alien and uncannily familiar. Thrilling and imaginative, The Bees is the story of a heroine who changes her destiny and her world.  -Goodreads
My Thoughts
I started reading this book in an effort to locate the sleep that as of 2:30 A.M. had done its best to elude me.
Bad idea!
I was utterly entranced by the plucky Flora 717, and the stories that made up the astounding details of her life in the hive.
The attention to detail that went into the intricate world built here is phenomenal. Every level of bee society is put under a high powered microscope for the reader.

Because Flora is part of the Sanitation caste of her hive, she is the lowest of the low. She is meant to be invisible. The fact that she has by her very birth order, been deemed innocuous, makes both her adventures and her gifts all the more extraordinary.

She is the perfect under-bee. Never expected to succeed in any of the many upper echelon settings, tasks, or situations in which she finds herself. She manages to not only achieve more than anyone expects of her; she also manages to prove herself an invaluable asset to the hive as a whole.

There are also a surprising number of secrets and conspiracies afoot, both within the hive, and without. The greatest secret being the one carried by Flora herself.

This is a book that sneaks into the mind and heart of the reader. Addressing issues such as loyalty, honor, family, perseverance, self motivation, and honesty. This book is a true unsung hero of the literary world. 



About Laline

I am an author, playwright and screenwriter. I live just outside Hastings on the south coast of England, with my husband (the photographer Adrian Peacock) my daughter, my two step-sons and one ancient cat.
As a child, books and animals were my best friends. My parents were first-generation Indian immigrants. I went to a comprehensive school, then a grammar school for sixth form, then won a scholarship to Oxford where I read English. I have been immersed in the full spectrum of the British class system – and I firmly believe in the power of nurture, at least as much as nature.
My writing shed is also something of a hide in the garden, and I spend a lot of time gazing out at the local wildlife. I procrastinate with binoculars – watching insects, squirrel battles, and I’m struck by the power of quietly paying attention: how readily the world reveals itself. I saw a dove arch its wings back and hiss at a rat, to drive it away.
I’ve worked in the film business in many capacities: receptionist, gofer, trainee film-financier, sales agent, development and acquisition, reader, craft-services*, and finally, screenwriter. I’ve lived and worked in Los Angeles, New York and London. Film is a transcendent and truly awesome medium.
When I had my daughter I stopped writing for television and started writing for the theatre, because time had become more precious, and story-telling by committee didn’t suit me. Working with actors is great. They are the word made flesh. Being in rehearsal exposes you, and makes you a better writer.
*My fall-back skill is cooking. I’ve learned in some great kitchens, starting with my mother’s, and good food makes everything better. Flora 717 has a big appetite – and now I think about it, that part of her character must be mine too, because one thing that amazed me when I lived in L.A., was the frequency with which female friends would suggest ‘splitting a salad’. Or when the hostess gave women tiny portions, assuming they had to be dieting.
After THE BEES, the work I’m most proud of is a play I wrote for the National Theatre, called BOAT MEMORY. There are more details in the Theatre section, but it’s based on the true story of why unknown young Charles Darwin sailed on The Beagle – to return three kidnapped teens back to their homeland of Patagonia, because instead of becoming good little missionaries, they became celebrities and wreaked social havoc. It’s a great true story that I happened upon, and like THE BEES, I seized it and wrote it as fast as I could.
Writing The Bees has brought many brilliant people into my life and opened many doors. It is a great thing, to find your wings in middle age.
Writing well is hard and anxious work. This makes me trust the process.
I always felt that to connect with a book was to ride in the author’s mind. And that if I loved their book, it must somehow mean they were a friend to me, and still alive, regardless of their corporeal state. Now that I’m meeting real live writers and have become one myself, I know that you can give most intimately on the page, but perhaps become even more private, in person.
It takes twelve bees their entire lives to gather enough nectar to make one teaspoon of honey. It should be priced like gold.
This is a map of a Minoan palace interior, from the British Museum. The Cretan Minoan civilization dates from 1700BC, and was very sophisticated and sexually egalitarian, if not biased towards women. It was an inspiration for translating a real beehive into a fictional landscape.





Find Her:Web / Tweet/ Goodreads 


A Diamond In The Rough Finds Her Shine In The Emotionally Compelling "Becoming Ellen"

23398652Title:  Becoming Ellen
Author:  Shari Shattuck
Format:  ERC
Date Of Publication:  August 11, 2015
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons
Rating:  4 Stars

Returning in the bestselling tradition of Jennifer Weiner, Shattuck brilliantly illustrates the deep friendship between two absolutely unforgettable women in this touching yet funny novel.

Ellen Homes is done being invisible. Well, sort of.

Living with her closest friends, Temerity and Justice, has helped her step out of the shell of invisibility she once hid away in. She still seeks refuge in solitary time and observing from afar, but she has pushed herself to open up to others in ways that bring her unexpected happiness.

But when a terrible bus crash upends her normal routine, Ellen finds herself on a whirlwind crusade for the unseen and downtrodden. Only this time, helping others—including two young children with no one else to turn to—will mean facing a pain from her past that she’s long tucked away.

Picking up where Invisible Ellen left off, Becoming Ellen returns us to the touching, poignant, and compassionate world of Ellen Homes as she learns how to navigate the world she has decided to become a part of.
   -Goodreads


My Thoughts 
Reviewer's Note: Because book 1 of this duology provides readers with a detailed and very relevant backstory which is imperative to the understanding of both the characters and character motivations, which are the basis for book 2. It is strongly suggested that book 1, entitled Invisible Ellen, be read first.

Ellen Homes has come a long way from the reclusive shadow that readers were introduced to in Invisible Ellen. Now living with her best friends, Temerity and Justice; Ellen is slowly coming to realize that she is ready to shed the self-imposed cloak of invisibility that has been both her shield and her prison for the majority of her life.
When the plights of two young children spur Ellen into action. She is forced to confront the demons of neglect and abuse in her own tragic past. Putting her sleuthing petal to the metal at work, also puts Ellen front and center with very illegal, and even more dangerous goings on with some of her more shady co-workers amid the Costco night shift.

Becoming Ellen is not a book that is meant to be breezed through. It is both emotionally complex and at times, almost painfully slow. Readers must understand that Ellen is a woman who has made it through life without many of the social skills or the context for said skills, that most of us take for granted. As a result, each attempt to participate in, or change things in her world is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.

Surprisingly, there is love to be had amid all the chaos, self discovery, and Temerity inspired Nancy Drewing. For Temerity, romance comes at the piano playing hands of her new downstairs neighbor. Justice finds his happily with a sweet lady doctor, and Ellen makes three, with the equally shy and incredibly patient musician Rupert.

This is a very compelling read, that draws one in and doesn't let go until its ending pages. Please be advised that even though the sensitive issues of child abuse and neglect are handled with great respect and care; these issues can serve as a trigger for some readers.

*I was provided with a copy of this work as part of Penguin's First To Read program in exchange for the honest review provided.*



 About Shari
Shari ShattuckShari is an author, actress, mom and everyday philosopher, (meaning that she says, “Oh well,’ quite a bit.) She lives in the forests above Los Angeles with her film director husband, Joseph P. Stachura, and their two magnificent daughters. She has published seven novels, her eighth “Becoming Ellen” is available August 11th, 2015. She has appeared in over 200 stage, film and TV productions. Her favorite roles include Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret,’ Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing’ and Lyles in “On Deadly Ground.” 

Find Shari:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


 

BookSparksPR Presents Surface

22548150

 Title:  Surface
Author:  Stacy Robinson
Format:  Print
Length:  352 pages
Publisher:  Kensington

In this powerfully written and insightful novel, author Stacy Robinson explores the consequences of flawed choices, the complex nature of betrayal and 
forgiveness--and the intriguing possibility of second acts. 

. . . Claire Montgomery has a lifetime of sensible decisions behind her. Yet all it takes is one impulsive indiscretion to bring everything crashing down--her marriage to a wealthy entrepreneur, her status as half of one of Denver society's power couples, and the future she dreamed of for their seventeen-year-old son, Nick. 

Claire's husband, Michael, angrily blames her for the recklessness that has left Nick's life in the balance, though not nearly as much as Claire blames herself. But as Nick struggles to move forward, Claire too begins inching toward a reimagined future. Along with a fresh perspective come new questions. Are there other reasons for her fractured relationship and Michael's increasingly erratic behavior? Has he, too, been harboring painful secrets? And does Claire dare to find the real truth, when her seamlessly decorated world of privilege and security is at stake?


About Stacy
Stacy Robinson
Stacy graduated with a BA degree in International Relations from Stanford University, and after satisfying her wanderlust with a three-year consulting and teaching stint in Japan, she returned to her hometown of Los Angeles to continue her career in international marketing. A happy twist of fate brought her to Denver, where she had kids and drifted back into the work she loves most – writing. Stacy is a lover of live music, clever lyrics, and the occasional cycling trip - and enjoys the Mile High city and nearby mountains with her husband, three children and chocolate Labrador non-Retriever, Jagger. 

Find Stacy
FB / GoodreadsWeb / Tweet



 

The Heart And Mind Each Meets Its Romantic Match In "Forever Your Earl"

Forever Your Earl (The Wicked Quills of London, #1)Title:  Forever Your Earl
(Wicked Quills Of London #1)
Author:  Eva Leigh
Format:  ERC
Length:  384 pages
Expected Date Of Publication: September 29th, 2015
Publisher:  Avon Books
Rating:  4.5 Stars

Eva Leigh makes her Avon debut with the first book in her smart and sexy Wicked Quills of London series!

Eleanor Hawke loves a good scandal. And readers of her successful gossip rag live for the exploits of her favorite subject: Daniel Balfour, the notorious Earl of Ashford. So when the earl himself marches into her office one day and invites her to experience his illicit pursuits firsthand, Eleanor is stunned. Gambling hells, phaeton races, masquerades…What more could a scandal writer want than a secret look into the life of this devilishly handsome rake?

Daniel has secrets and if The Hawk’s Eye gets wind of them, a man’s life could be at stake. And what better way to distract a gossip than by feeding her the scandal she desperately craves? But Daniel never expected the sharp mind and biting wit of the beautiful writer, and their desire for each other threatens even his best laid plans.

But when Eleanor learns the truth of his deception, Daniel will do anything to prove a romance between a commoner and an earl could really last forever.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts

Here's one for all the working girls!  The women who proudly bring home their own bacon, and still manage to win the hearts of their leading men.  
E. Hawke can't help the fact that she has a nose for news.  Or that said nose, coupled with an intricate network of informants, has made her newspaper, The Hawke 's Eye, the go-to source for scandalous happenings in and around London's upper-crust.

The Problem?

It seems that The Hawke's Eye has been watching the going's on of one Daniel Balfour, Earl of Ashford, just a tad more closely than he and his rakish ways will warrant.
Determined to see the face of the person who dares to give account of his escapades to the masses;
he is woefully unprepared to find the beauty, wit, and undeniable intelligence, that is Eleanor Hawke as the source of his bedevilment.

In an effort to ensure "truth in reporting" Daniel proposes that Miss Hawke follow him on his nightly excursions, that she may come to better understand the nature of the "rake" that she has made her business.

This first book of the Quills Of London series presents readers with a very well expressed tale of ambition, hard won respect, love, and secrets.
The start of this story may throw readers for a loop pace-wise; due to the fact that the initial meeting, agreement, and first excursion undertaken by Daniel and Eleanor spans some 7 chapters.  Though this does give readers and the characters themselves time to get to know one another.  It slows the momentum of the story quite a bit.
Thankfully, the pace of this novel increases steadily from chapter 8 onward.  


As far as main characters go, Eleanor and Daniel are a hand-in-glove match.  She with her "take no prisoners" outlook on life.  He with his need to know and understand, rather than to judge.
We find that as time goes on, the focus of the the plot shifts from her need to know him, to his to know her.
The more that they come to know of each other, the more they come to realize that they are for the other, one and the same.
Aiding in this realization is the deep respect that they each garner for the other through the course of their various interactions.  This respect and the intimacy that it cultivates between our leading man and his lady, serve as a gateway to page burning passion.

Surely, you do not believe that all of the dramatic goodness stops here.
Oh no, dear reader!
There is so much more!
It seems that in following Daniel, Eleanor stumbles upon a secret that if revealed could mean the destruction of an already broken man, the desolation of a dynasty, and the loss of the only man that she will ever love.

Will she choose her love of the story, or her love for the man?

The answer to this question and many others can only be found in Forever Your Earl...book 1 of the toe-curlingly romantic Quills Of London series!   




Gaze Upon A Bright New Erotic Star In "The Future Of Sex"

The Future of Sex (The Future of Sex, #1)Title:  The Future Of Sex
(The Future of Sex #1)
Author:  Lexi Maxwell
Format:  ERC
Length:  68 pages
Publisher:  Sterling and Stone
Rating:  4.5 Stars

In the hyperconnected and artificial-intelligence-enhanced future, sex is like a cyberpunk video game: a realm where no desire is left unexplored, and even the unimaginable is possible.
In the year 2063, the civilized world exists only within the North American Union, walled off by a defensive shell called the Lattice, protected from the barbarian East and rising sea levels while life goes on in a hyper-stimulated dystopia.

Life inside the NAU is overseen by the Crossbrace network, soon to be supplanted by the next-gen AI of an arriving entity called "The Beam." And sex -- which hosts a bevy of technological wonders within its toolset (nanobots, bodily enhancements, computer-simulated immersive porn) has been turned into a commodity, diverted away from humanity and toward profit.
The monolithic O corporation has mainstreamed sexuality through social engineering and political manipulation -- not in order to legitimize it, but to advance its own market share. O is in search of the elite to please the NAU's wealthiest and most demanding men and women -- true to its mission to strive toward "the future of sex."

Among those recruits is Chloe Shaw: new, green, and downright inexperienced. But as it turns out, Chloe has a gift that even far-seeing O doesn't suspect. She's a strong female lead and a prodigy for sure … but will her abilities prove to be more than even O can control?
The Future of Sex takes place within the world of The Beam, a groundbreaking sci-fi serial by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. This cyberpunk trip down the rabbit hole straddles the line as a hybrid science fiction / erotica series, and as such contains explicit sex scenes.  Goodreads

My Thoughts
The Future of Sex manages to pack quite an erotic powerhouse into its scant 68 pages.
Main character Chloie, proves as addictive to the reader's mind, as her psychically charged sex-capades do to her surprised and happy clients.
Everything about the ultra-modern, isolationist, uber-capitalized society in which Chloe finds herself,  screams disconnectedness.  This is a place where everything...including sex, can be and will be manipulated, packaged, and sold to the highest bidder.

Forging new pathways to the libedos and pocketbooks of the upper-classes,
is the O corporation.  Run by six people who can't seem to agree about something as simple as what day it is.  This company has distinguished itself as the cream of the crop in every area of sexual entertainment. 

When a fresh faced and barely tried Chloe manages to blow the collective socks off of the "powers that be" in her bid for a coveted 'spa girl' position with O.  Readers get to watch them watch her intuit everything from the darkest of her trial partner's most hidden desires, to the operating mechanics of a state of the art sex machine.

This is an extremely well crafted tale.  Brimming with just the right mix of tech, social  commentary, humor, sexuality, and intelligence; this is a story that one can't help wanting more of.
For her part, Chloe manages to be both fantasy and surprisingly real at the same time.
Which is a great help when the behind the scenes plotting ratchets up to nauseating proportions.
Each sex scene is a work of art.  Chloe revels in her power,  and proves herself a force to be reckoned with. The vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, feelings, and even thoughts,  plug the reader directly into the action on an almost tangible level.
The only downside to this read can be found in the afore mentioned "big six" of O corporation.  Their incessant quibbling over EVERYTHING...coupled with their inability to make a decision about Chloe is, in a word, maddening. 

This is an excellent beginning to what promises to be a very eye-opening erotic adventure.
Follow Chloe's further exploits in the world of O, in part 2 of this scintillating,  cyber-serial,  The Girlfriend Experience. 



BookSparks PR Presents: Summer By Summer

22494161Title:  Summer By Summer
Author:  Heather Burch
Format:  Print
Length:  288 pages
Publisher:  Blink
Rating: 4 Stars
 
When Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize, she imagined it would be a fresh start before starting college in the fall. And while she adores her charge, Josh, she can’t say the same for her employers’ oldest son, Bray. He’s cocky, inconsiderate, and makes her feel she’s a chore he has to put up with. In short, he’s everything she dislikes in a guy.

Bray had a plan for the summer: party, hang out with friends, and forget all the responsibilities waiting for him back home. But every time he’s forced to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. Not to mention she has a habit of picking up on what he already knows is wrong with him.

Then the two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, stranded on a remote island. As they focus on survival, their differences melt away, and they find being together may be what both needed all along.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
Summer By Summer is...
The story of a girl, trying to draw herself a new life map.  After the one that she thought would lead her to forever to torn into a million irretrievable pieces, by one inconceivable loss. 

Summer and Bray
The relationship here is quite obviously meant to be contentious, but not in an overt manner.  There is never a pronounced "stay away from me" vibe given off by either camp.  There is however, a very real "this is new...now what do I do about it" signal being sent from both parties.
  
What readers come to understand about Summer as things within the story progress, is that, she is only protecting her very fragile heart from someone (Bray) who, because of her attraction to him, could very well hurt her.

Bray, on the other hand, not knowing all there is to know about Summer.  May be open to dicovery, but is somewhat put off by her harsh judgements and rebuffing.

The Island
Thankfully, the transition from the imagined slights and snubs between these two pre-stranding, turns into a very real fight for survival after they land on the island.

Now, as a reader...this is also where things tend to get a bit sticky plot-wise.
As the plot does a great deal of twisting within a very short amount of time; with a very mixed bag of results.
On one hand, the action and emotionality  that result from Bray and Summer's having to work together to stay alive and find what they need is wonderful.  It is also sweet to see the walls of mistrust that these two have been so determined to hide behind come down.
What throws one for a loop is the overwhelming insta-love that develops between these two within a matter of days.
Whoa...what?
While the revelations about each of their respective pasts, and the understandings that they come to regarding themselves and each other make for very compelling reading.  The lightening speed with which their attraction barrels over the "friend-zone" and crashes head-long into "I can't live without you land" is astounding.  Especially, when one takes into consideration that this is a refreshingly clean read with religious undertones.
That bleep on the perfection radar aside.  The time spent on the island is full of adventure, mystery, and a few other well-placed surprises that will keep readers coming back for more.

After The Island
Sadly, life has a way of intruding after the two are rescued.  Or should I say, life and wannabe girlfriends.
The way that things end here really pulls at the heart, and makes one root for the "happily..."
Even though, again, the sweetness of the story, and the honesty of the connection between Bray and Summer is overshadowed a bit by the drama of an unneeded "you can't leave me moment" at book's end.





About Heather
I write full time and love being involved with groups that promote books! Writing young adult and romantic fiction has been the most exciting writing journey of my life! Before novels, I wrote teen curriculum published in both the U.S. and Asia Pacific. 

I've had a blast the last several months traveling the country and meeting fans! From Missouri to Miami, I've gotten to meet awesome enthusiasts at book stores throughout the U.S. 

I'm repped by the AMAZING Karen Solem at Spencerhill Associates.

I've taught in the U.S. and Mexico at women's and teen conferences. Teen conferences ... sooo fun!

I've always been drawn to epic stories about love and loss. Though I have a wide range of tales, from sagas of love lost then rekindled to high adventure young adult novels. In all, you will find a common thread. I call it the soul-mate factor. Enjoy the journey as we dive into characters who--whether saving the world or just their own lives--find their inner strength and risk it all for that elusive thing called love.   

Find Heather:  Web / GR / Tweet