Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Book Review: Dirty Damsels, by Peggy Jaeger

Dirty Damsels (Dotcom Girls series, Book 1) by Peggy Jaeger
Published July 2019 by Limitless Publishing

About the Book:

When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a smart and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels was booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore...

We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of us will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.
My Take:

When I saw Peggy Jaeger had a new book, I hit the "buy" button without a second thought. Really. I didn't even read the blurb, or realize this was a remake of a classic fairy tale (which is a weakness of mine!) I saw the author's name and purchased. Great writing, great characters, and a great retelling of everyone's favorite bedtime story.

I love the way this author gets inside her characters heads and I simply love the way she tells a story. Dirty Damsels is another example of superb storytelling, as Jaeger gives us a classic Cinderella tale with a modern twist, as well as a dash of her trademark quirky humor in her heroine's voice.

Written in first person POV, this modern day Cinderella didn't wait for a prince to rescue her when her father died and stepmother abandoned her. Instead, she started her own company, put herself through college, got an MBA, and is now a highly successful small business owner. Who is now about to fend off corporate raiders. When she meets Buddy, she's instantly drawn to him and the one-night stand almost seems inevitable. And steamy! (This is definitely a few shades steamier than Jaeger's previous books, but the author's trademark sensuality and longing are all still right there in her descriptions.)

The chemistry between Ella and Duncan "Buddy" Prince crackles off the page. The modern twist to the evil stepmother and nasty stepsisters was also so much fun to read. Jaeger did a remarkable job breathing new life into this timeless fairy tale and I absolutely loved every minute of this story. The secondary characters are well-developed and add to the story -- and make me hopeful that there are more stories in this series to look forward to!

Five stars for a steamy, satisfying read that leaves you smiling and still wanting more.

Grab a copy on AMAZON




Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Feature: EXCERPT from Their No Strings Affair, by Charlotte O'Shay

About the Book:
Honey packs everything she owns and heads to NYC to jumpstart her art career. Her cheating boyfriend is history, and she finally acknowledges the truth of her mother's mantra: Careers are forever and happily ever after isn't in their DNA.

All she needs is a job and a place to live. What she doesn't need is a taciturn, sexy, ballbuster but she's woman enough to know the difference between need and want. Isn't she?

Jake's childhood was marred by tragedy and his future hijacked to a promise born of guilt. His failure drove him to a career as a SEAL and a security expert.
But it's not enough. Now he'll give up his freedom in reparation for the life he lost. Honey may be the last sweet stop on the road to a joyless future. If it's what they both want, where's the harm in a no-strings affair?


EXCERPT:

Honey’s curiosity spiked when the car left Manhattan and entered the Bronx. There hadn’t been time yet to see much of Manhattan, and the only other part of the city she knew a little about was the part of Brooklyn where the ceramic co-op was.

Then she saw the lights and the sign: Bronx Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. The driver pulled up to the curb. “We’re here,” Jake said, and then, “Surprised?”

“Yes, and intrigued.” Eyes wide, Honey scrambled from the car.

His smile was just as wide and almost boyish. “Good. Let’s go in.” He took her hand as they followed the sign toward the Enid Haupt Conservatory.

“Are we joining a tour?” Honey scanned the swathes of people milling about the entrance to the gardens.

“Nah, I have our tickets, and I know my way around. When I was talking to you about what you do around the holidays, it came to me that the only thing I did with any consistency was come up here with my dad to see the trains.”

Her heart—it stopped, then jumpstarted in a painful rhythm. Jake was sharing a personal memory with her, a tradition.

“We came here most of the years I was in prep school. Dad was fascinated by the work of the artist, a guy named Paul Busse who builds these. The track is about a half mile long. The whole train and all the surrounding New York City landmarks are made up of stuff you might find in a garden—twigs, leaves, acorns.”

“Wow. This is so cool. Look! A mini Statue of Liberty. This is really stunning, and then when you add the lights everywhere...” She spun in a circle, sighed. “I love it.”

“I know. I can’t believe the detail. I thought you’d appreciate what went into creating something like this.”

“This miniature version of iconic New York landmarks. It’s amazing.”

“And then there’s the train. I loved it here, so I wanted you to see. Whenever I would come up here with my dad, it was just the two of us. I could forget...everything else.”

Honey pictured the younger Jake, lanky like her brothers, wide-eyed, caught up in the coolness of what the artist built, but in the end happy to be with his dad doing something just with the two of them. Thankfully it was clear the elder Mr. Ricco, er, Riccobono, had had a positive relationship with his remaining son.

“They have a fire pit and a place to buy drinks. There’s also a shop. Do you want to check out the ornaments?”

Couldn’t he tell? Her heart was in her eyes. Oh, Jake.

“Sure, all of the above,” she said.

He wrapped his arm around her side as they meandered around the grounds of the gardens, under the holiday lights, weaving between families and carolers.

They wandered around for an hour before Jake called a halt.

“Part two of the evening is dinner on Arthur Avenue, which is the Bronx’s Little Italy. But they don’t take reservations at most of the restaurants, so...”

“Say no more. I’m ready. You had me at Little Italy.”



Grab your copy on AMAZON

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Writing Wednesday: Charlotte O'Shay and her City of Dreams series

Today my guest is Charlotte O'Shay, chatting about her new book Their No Strings Affair. It's the third in her City of Dreams series for The Wild Rose Press (which I reviewed HERE), and even though it's set during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, it was just released last month... but I have to admit, I'm one of those people who can read a Christmas story any time of year!  

Christmas in July? No problem! Especially in New York City - where the holiday season is so bright and full of lights and hope! Welcome, Charlotte!


Thanks Katie. I’m so happy to visit you today to chat about my latest steamy romance, Their No-Strings Affair, (Book 3 in the City of Dreams series).

So, there’s a wedding.

Okay… weddings are pretty standard fare in romance novels but in the City of Dreams series each book overlaps with the SAME wedding. It’s Sabrina and Vlad’s wedding from Book 1, the very steamy The Marriage Ultimatum. (Yes, all three of these stories are standalone reads.)

I’ve always been fascinated by the varied people who come together at weddings, from the happy couple to friends and family, who can be true blue or the toxic variety. And of course, the behind the scenes hired folks who make sure the whole thing goes down smoothly.

Jake and Honey are in the last category, the hired help. He’s a by the rules, ex-military guy with a ton of baggage and head of security at the high-profile wedding. Honey is a smart, wide-eyed, new to the city artist who fills in for a friend as a server at the wedding for some quick cash. And yes, in this enemies to lovers story, the sparks do fly immediately between this pair!

The other common theme of this series?—all three stories are set in NYC, which I call the City of Dreams.

In Their No-Strings Affair the reader gets to experience life in NYC as seen through the eyes of a New Yorker, our alpha hero Jake as well as Honey, a sassy newcomer with stars in her eyes. We go along for the ride as Jake and Honey discover the city while they also explore their seriously fiery chemistry.

Just to make my hometown even more enticing, I set the latter part of the story in the Christmas season. Honey is a ceramic artist and some of her first and favorite creations are ceramic Christmas ornaments. She cajoles Jake into helping her put up a Christmas tree—something he’s never done before and Jake takes Honey on a surprise date to one of his favorite NYC holiday venues: The Holiday Light & Train Show at the Bronx Zoo.
* * *

I love the way Charlotte writes, and how she brings her hometown to life for her readers. Come back on Friday to read an excerpt from the story - or go grab a copy now and start reading! Here's the full blurb and buy links:

Honey packs everything she owns and heads to NYC to jumpstart her art career. Her cheating boyfriend is history, and she finally acknowledges the truth of her mother's mantra: Careers are forever and happily ever after isn't in their DNA.

All she needs is a job and a place to live. What she doesn't need is a taciturn, sexy, ballbuster but she's woman enough to know the difference between need and want. Isn't she?

Jake's childhood was marred by tragedy and his future hijacked to a promise born of guilt. His failure drove him to a career as a SEAL and a security expert.
But it's not enough. Now he'll give up his freedom in reparation for the life he lost. Honey may be the last sweet stop on the road to a joyless future. If it's what they both want, where's the harm in a no-strings affair?
About the Author:

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law.

But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Monday Book Review: RASCAL by Katie McCoy

RASCAL (Rascals, Book One) by Katie McCoy
Published April 2018 by Katie McCoy Books

About the Book:
Emerson Hayes is sexy, arrogant, and has abs that would put a Hemsworth to shame. He's also opening a bar with his buddies right below my apartment. Goodbye, peace and quiet, hello sleepless nights fantasizing about my hot new landlord...

But when my stuffy workplace makes it clear I need a plus-one for our events, I have the perfect way to even the score. Emerson is A+ arm-candy... as long as I can resist taking a bite. Our arrangement is supposed to be just for show, but Emerson is like that fifth shot of tequila: tempting, intoxicating, and liable to leave me flat on my back with my panties around my ankles, begging for more.

Maybe I should stay for just one more round...


The Rascals Series:
Five guys. One bar. And a whole heap of sexy trouble...

#1 Rascal
#2 Wingman
#3 Heartbreaker
#4 Soulmate
#5 Troublemaker

My Take:
I picked up the first book in this series because it's perma-free and sounded like fun. And it is. It's a whole lot of fun - - and of course I got sucked in and bought the other four books in quick succession. All the stories are good ones, but the quality of the editing goes downhill as you go through the series (missing words, mis-spellings, wrong word choices, pronoun and character name mix-ups), so if that sort of thing bothers you you should stop after this first book.

But this first book is a great beach read...

The characters are well-developed, and the meet-cute is adorable - the pair get stuck in an ATM together. Emerson Hayes then turns out to be Alex's landlord, as well as building a bar on the first floor of her building with four of his best friends. During the course of this book, the reader gets to meet those four other hot hunks, as well as Emerson's sister and Alex's best friend. A nice collection of twenty-somethings with varying degrees of issues and problems. And a new bar to open, which brings it's own host of issues and problems.

Each story line is just different enough to keep you reading, and though all of the sex scenes are steamy and very New Adult, they start to sound similar by the last two books like maybe the author did some cut and paste action to get the last few books finished and out the door. But reading the first three stories it all seems fresh and new and well-written.

All written in first person, the chapters switch between the main guy and girl for each story, and let you know whose POV to expect with a tag at the beginning of each chapter. I appreciated that each book kept to just the two POVs, which the author did a good job of differentiating. Every personality was unique. And while you could technically read any one of these as a standalone, the overarching story moves forward with each book as the timeline progresses, so it makes for a more satisfying experience to read them in order if you're going to read them all.

Or you can stop after this first one. Or two. Honestly, they were like potato chips for me and I read them all in a week, not able to stop myself.

If you enjoy first person New Adult romance with a little angst and a whole lotta steam, you should try this book (and series) on for size. Grab a copy on AMAZON