Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ellen March - Love on the Menu - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Jago Tanner is a loner. He works up a good hunger at his outdoors pursuits centre in Wales and looks upon each female conquest as just another meal. When he’s sated, he doesn’t go back for dessert. Until Riley shows up. A Londoner hired through an agency to assist him with activities, she isn’t at all what he asked for. For starters, with the name Riley, he expected a man. But Riley is all woman—the sexiest woman Jago has ever laid eyes on. Unfortunately she dresses like a trollop and curses like a sailor. Though ignorant about most outdoors pursuits, she’s a skilled horsewoman, able to calm even his nerviest stallion. And her lively and generous nature enchants his housekeeper Emily and his ancient friend, Tom.

In short, Jago’s new employee is a bundle of contradictions. Which is why, when Jago falls for her, he doesn’t trust his feelings. Riley seems unusually accident prone, and when her brother’s shady friends menace her, she plays the innocent. But how can anyone so self-sufficient and mouthy also be so trusting and na├»ve? And can a man with Jago’s volatile nature endure the jealousy a woman like Riley provokes just by strolling down the street?


My Review

Romance novels are meant to be fun, silly even. They're an escape from reality. It's a world where the volume on life is turned all the way up. Personalities are huge. Every action has major consequences. Love is the motivating force behind every behavior. Well, love and sex.

Case in point, Riley's a gal who has no shame talking about wet dreams and hormonal imbalances in front of a man. While Jago's the guy who is wound so tight he can't react to anything without throwing a punch or biting someone's head off. She's the lit flame to his fuse. They go at each other like cats and dogs. He's rude and she's crude, yet somehow they can't stop fantasizing about each other.

Of course, Jago's a millionaire who inherited his heartless uncle's estate in the middle of the Welsh countryside. To increase his financial worth, he's also a crack investor, who makes a killing on the stock market. He doesn't have to work, but he operates the property as an outdoor recreation center for businessmen, scout groups and girl time weekends because he loves being out in nature. He's the rough and tumble guy who's just aching to be fulfilled even though he doesn't know it yet.

Riley, on the other hand, is the penniless scrapper, just hoping to get by. Yet, she's not a hustler or a swindler. She's a virgin with a heart of gold. Her brother conducts nefarious drug deals and she even worked in a gentlemen's club, but she never took her clothes off. She's innocent but she's obsessed with sex, even though she never had it. The second she meets Jago, she knows she wants to give her virginity to him because the guy is such a stud.

It's the type of behavior most readers would roll their eyes at if confronted with in real life, but in fiction it's readily forgiven. At heart it encapsulates all of the fantasies we want to believe are possible. The dastardly rogue who beds as many women as he can, just because he's lonely and misunderstood. Until bam the right woman comes along and sets him on the right course. Then from there on out he's all about monogamy, marriage and babies.

What sets this fairy tale apart is that the author, Ellen March, really sells the melodrama. It's soap opera-esque, but she pens a thrillingly passionate ride. There's sex on a mountain. There's a bedroom door broken down. There's a playtime in the shower. And that's just the hot and heavy stuff. Don't forget about the near drowning, almost snake bite and two attempted rapes on Riley's honor by two different men (and no, one of them isn't Jago).

This book's got it all and then some. If you want a read that'll take you out of the day-to-day norm, then this is it.

***

Love on the Menu can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble 
Smashwords

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $13.95 paperback
Pages: 244
Genre: Steamy Cowboy Romance
Release: February 14, 2015
Publisher: Fanny Press
ISBN: 9781603815680
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Ellen March and her husband live on top of a mountain in Wales, which is ideal in the summer but not so much in the winter months or when it rains. She has three grown children, one suicidal cat--it really does have nine lives--and three Alaskan Malamutes. One of her hobbies is showing and working them. Ellen's first love, however, is reading and writing. Since childhood, she has devoured every romance and fantasy she can get her hands on and enjoys acting out her own fantasies in print. Her body of work includes erotic romance, psychological thrillers, and supernatural fantasies. Fanny Press has published three of her erotic romances--Promises, His Girl Friday, and A Ghost of an Affair--and will be publishing more in 2015 and beyond.

Links to connect with Ellen:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sharon St. George - Due for Discard - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Aimee Machado is thrilled to be starting her first job as a forensic librarian at the medical center in the town of Timbergate, north of Sacramento, California. Her ebullient mood is somewhat dampened by her recent breakup with her former live-in boyfriend, Nick Alexander. And then there's a little matter of murder: on Aimee's first day on the job, a body is found in a nearby Dumpster and soon identified as her supervisor's wife, Bonnie Beardsley.

Aimee's heartbreaker of a brother and best friend, Harry, just happens to be one of the last people to see Bonnie alive, but he is hardly the only suspect. Bonnie was notorious for her wild partying and man-stealing ways, and she has left a trail of broken hearts and bitterness. Aimee is determined to get her brother off the suspect list.

Aimee's snooping quickly makes her a target. Isolated on her grandparents' llama farm where she fled post-breakup, she realizes exactly how vulnerable she is. Three men have pledged to protect her: her brother Harry, her ex, Nick, and the dashing hospital administrator with a reputation for womanizing, Jared Quinn. But they can't be on the alert every minute, not when Aimee is so bent on cracking the case with or without their help.

Book 1 in a new mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Aimee Machado.


My Review

There are a lot of things going on in this mystery.

Some definitively aid the plot while others turn out to be quite head-scratching. The plus side is that Sharon St. George offers up several quirky elements that really set her mystery novel apart.

For starters, her heroine, Aimee Machado, lives next to a field full of llamas. So even though she takes on the dangerous work of investigating a murder in her spare time, she has no need for an alarm system. Why? Because llamas let out a ferocious bleat whenever they sense a predator nearby.

Another factor is the zany pack of suspects that fall under Aimee's radar. The biggest shocker is the cross dresser who's later revealed to be the wife of a prominent community figure. St. George even has Aimee go on a date with her, thinking she's a man, before learning her true gender. Yikes!

Things get even more peculiar when Aimee's focus shifts to the dodgy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Underhill, who happen to be running a cryogenics non-profit organization called Everlasting Pets. This shady endeavor operates under the guise of one day being able to clone the family dog, cat, llama, whatever. These two turn out to be even more bizarre when they elude to the numerous three-way sex romps they used to have with the murder victim, even soliciting Aimee to take her place and become their new partner.

But the novel isn't all about shock value.

There's plenty of substance to the plot, particularly concerning the class structure of working in a hospital environment. There is a definite food chain mentality in the pecking order, especially when Dr. Beardsley, a noted plastic surgeon becomes the prime suspect in the killing of his trophy wife, Bonnie. She was beautiful and manipulative with a voracious sexual appetite that he just couldn't satisfy, but Quinn, the hospital administrator doesn't want to hear any of that. Oh no, his loyalty is to the hospital, and solidifying its reputation, and ultimately its profit margin. While the security attendant, Orrie Mercer, the person with the grave responsibility of guarding the outside entrance, is harshly reprimanded by Quinn for failing to use the designated restroom.

As the new hospital librarian, Aimee must weave her way through this complicated maze of conflicting interests. She's a college-educated professional, but she's only allotted two elderly women as volunteers and a space deemed of little value in order to set up shop. Her situation gets even more dicey when Quinn asks her to spy on Dr. Beardsley for him. Aimee quickly becomes disgruntled working under these conditions, feeling like this isn't what she signed up for.

Her frustration over her job begins to filter into her day-to-day life when her brother, Harry, comes under scrutiny for committing the murder. He was one of the last people to see Bonnie alive, and due to some bad blood he has with one of the cops on the small town police force, the circumstantial evidence against him begins to mount. Aimee refuses to let her brother go to jail for a crime he didn't commit, but Quinn makes it clear to her that he won't get involved in the way the investigation is heading, whether Aimee's brother is innocent or not. What's good for Dr. Beardsley is good for him and therefore good for the hospital.

Aimee, at her wit's end, starts taking a lot of unnecessary risks in order to get the spotlight off her brother, and the consequences are dire. Her tires are slashed. Her apartment is vandalized. Her body is physically assaulted. Yet Aimee's a tough cookie with a heart of gold, and she won't give up no matter who tries to stop her. She's loyal, passionate and unwavering in her support of her brother, and as she starts to piece all of the clues together, she finds out more about the people she's working with than she ever bargained for.

***

Due for Discard can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Pages: 340
Genre: Detective Murder Mystery
Release: March 1, 2015
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812238
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Sharon St. George had the good fortune to spend an idyllic childhood in a small northern California town, riding horseback and camping with her family in the nearby mountains. One of her favorite pastimes was reading fiction, and a trip to the library was always an occasion of great joy. She’s traded horses for llamas, but she still treks to the high mountain lakes near her home—always with a mystery novel in her backpack. Sharon’s writing credits include three plays, several years writing advertising copy, a book on NASA’s space food project, and feature stories too numerous to count. She holds dual degrees in English and Theatre Arts, and occasionally acts in, or directs, one of her local community theater productions. Sharon is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and she serves as program director for Writers Forum, a nonprofit organization for writers in northern California.

Links to connect with Sharon:
Web Site
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

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