Review: Renegade by Chantal Fernando + Giveaway

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Title: Renegade
Author: Chantal Fernando
Series: Knights of Fury #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2.5 stars

New York Times bestselling author of the Knights of Fury MC series Chantal Fernando is back with trouble in the form of a renegade.

Good girl Isabella wouldn’t miss the birth of her sister’s baby for the world. So when her car breaks down and one of the bikers next door offers her a ride to Vegas, it’s too tempting to pass up. Besides, she can think of worse travel conditions than wrapping her arms around Renny, otherwise known as Renegade.

Tall, dark and handsome, the man is pure sex on a Harley.

Between wild parties and rumbling motorcycles, living next to the Knights of Fury MC has always left Isabella curious, but after a night in Vegas, she gets a firsthand taste. Drinks in the club surrounded by burly bikers soon turns into a series of daring decisions, which don’t seem so bad until she wakes up the next morning. Married. To Renny.

Could she be more of a cliché?

Nothing complicates an annulment like lingering temptation, especially when Isabella and Renny give in to their need, putting their marriage where their mouths are. But as Isabella learns what outlaw life is really like, she’ll have to decide if she’s in love with a biker—or in over her head.

Review:

This was my first time reading an MC romance. They’ve stood out to me for a while as something that I wanted to read and would probably enjoy, but I never picked one up until now. Unfortunately what I was expecting and what I got were two pretty different things.

My main issue was the characters. Isabella and Renny didn’t pique my interest at all. I was more invested in the side characters and their stories as well as Skylar and her story (which would have been a part of the first novel in the series). I was more looking forward to what was going on with Ariel and her disgusting baby daddy as well as Trade. Like give me all the details of Ariel’s life because I would read that book in a heartbeat. I mean their dad was also a massive ass, but I bet his story would have been a page-turner too.

With the plot, I found that things happened and resolved themselves in about 5 pages every single time. That made it much more difficult to care about Isabella and Renny because I knew everything would be fine in a couple minutes. Reading an MC romance, I was expecting things to be crazy and intense and to have my heart racing with the promise of action. Unfortunately with quick resolutions, I never seemed to get that.

Overall, I would say this was a clean MC romance. The guys were way nicer than I was expecting (although very possessive) and there wasn’t a large amount of edge-of-your-seat action. So if you’ve always wanted to read an MC romance, but were looking for something that’s low-intensity to dip your toes in, then read this one.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prize: an e-book copy of Saint (book #1 of the series) and Renegade
  • Ends December 12, 2019

About Chantal Fernando:

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New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Chantal Fernando is twenty-six years old and lives in Western Australia.

Her published novels include four books in the Resisting Love series – Chase, Kade, Ryder and James; the New York Times Bestselling novel Maybe This Time and its follow up, This Time Around. Her latest releases include Toxic Girl, Saxon, and a USA bestselling biker romance novel Dragon’s Lair.

When not reading, writing or daydreaming she can be found enjoying life with her three sons and family.

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Review: Gifted by Ainsley St Claire

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Title: Gifted
Author: Ainsley St Claire
Series: Clear Security Holiday #1
Publisher: Loisir Publishing
Publication Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 3 stars

How do things fall apart so easily?

Kate:

As a former teacher, my mission is to keep the disadvantaged youth of our city engaged with school. My non-profit has been wildly successful with the kids, but now I’m forty mentors short for the Christmas season. It didn’t look like we would be able to find enough help, until Jim Adelson got involved. He may have solved my mentor problem, but he’s created another: I can’t concentrate with this panty melting God around.

Jim:

The community has been good to me. I’d built my successful security business with hard work and determination, and when I got approached to help Kate Monroe’s non-profit, it seemed a fitting way to give back. I’d offer to spend time with some kids, but it’s Kate that I find myself wanting to spend time with. With beauty obvious to everyone, and a compassionate heart she wears on her sleeve, she has me reevaluating my priorities.

When the children’s Christmas gifts go missing, Jim and Kate are forced together in the hunt.

Can true love fight through the drama to find a happy ending?

Review:

Gifted was cute for what it was. A short, holiday romance with a good message. It demonstrates the importance of giving back to our community and all that can be done to aide those in need and how our good actions can truly have a positive impact on those around us.

I know this book was incredibly short and a holiday romance, so I walked right into this, but I wasn’t expecting the insta-love to be that quick or sweet. I blinked and suddenly Jim and Kate were head-over-heels, I’d-take-a-bullet-for-you in love with each other.

With the story itself, everything was a little to perfect. The friends were all over the top kind and everything worked itself out without much of an issue. Even the ending was abrupt.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick holiday romance read (under 175 pages) to get you in the Christmas spirit, you could pick this one up and easily read it in a day.

About Ainsley St Claire:

Ainsley St Claire is a Romantic Suspense Author and Adventurer on a lifelong mission to craft sultry storylines and steamy love scenes that captivate her readers. To date, she is best known for her series Venture Capitalists.

An avid reader since the age of four, Ainsley’s love of books knew no genre. After reading, came her love of writing, fully immersing herself in the colorful, impassioned world of contemporary romance.

Ainsley’s passion immediately shifted to a vocation when during a night of terrible insomnia, her first book came to her. Ultimately, this is what inspired her to take that next big stop. The moment she wrote her first story, the rest was history.

Currently, Ainsley is in the midst of writing a nine-book series called “Venture Capitalist.”

When she isn’t being a bookworm or typing away her next story on her computer, Ainsley enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones. She is happily married to her amazing soulmate and is a proud mother of two rambunctious boys. She is also a scotch aficionada and lover of good food (especially melt-in-your-mouth, velvety chocolate). Outside of books, family, and food, Ainsley is a professional sports spectator and an equally as terrible golfer and tennis player.

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His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey – Release Day Blitz

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Title: His Royal Highness
Author
: R.S. Grey
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Release Date: November 14, 2019

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I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.

Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.

And he wants me.

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About R.S. Grey:

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R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

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The Princess Problem by Christi Barth – Excerpt + Giveaway

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Title: The Princess Problem
Author
: Christi Barth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2019

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What girl doesn’t want to wear a tiara? Me. The one who lives in yoga pants and knows she’s not special enough to be a princess.

One minute I’m starting my dream life in NYC, and the next, a man too hot for his own good is banging on my door, telling me that I’m a long lost princess of a country on the other side of the Atlantic.

Not exactly your typical Friday night in the Big Apple.

Suddenly, all of my plans for the future are yanked away. I’m trapped in a life filled with social obligations—and stilettos!—and an uptight royal family I didn’t know existed. They, and the whole rest of the freaking country, have lofty expectations I’m not sure I can meet.

At least the aforementioned sexalicious man, Elias, is my constant shadow, protecting me with his life. The whole situation is overwhelming. So I’ve secretly put him in charge of my happiness, too…and he’s taking my orders very, very seriously.

So seriously, I’m falling for him even harder than the new country I’m coming to…maybe…love.

And that’s a major problem, because he’s crazy about me, too. I may not know all the zillion rules about being royal, but I know one for sure: No way can a princess date her bodyguard…

Excerpt:

“My life—the brand new life I just started—is gone. Nobody seems to care about me,” Kelsey thumped her chest as her voice cracked, “the actual person in here behind the princess title. Except for you.”

Her aching vulnerability tore into Elias like a sword straight through his gut. It tore through the rules and protocol and every layer of common sense.

All that was left was a man watching a lost, lonely woman. It was blindingly obvious what she needed. So he wrapped his arms around Kelsey and hugged her.

She didn’t cry, or even tremble. But she did heave in a deep sigh, and when she let it out, her whole body relaxed into his. Except for her arms, which slid into a tight embrace around his waist.

They sat like that for long moments. Long enough for Elias to notice the determined buzz of a bee overhead. Long enough for a peacock to strut past them, its vibrant green and blue tailfeathers dragging on the ground like a train. Long enough for Elias to also notice how his arms wrapped so far around her small frame that the tips of his fingers grazed the sides of her breasts.

He knew he should move. Readjust.

He didn’t care about should. Elias only cared about making Kelsey feel better. Feel like herself.

Feel that he did, indeed, care for her.

Finally, Kelsey lifted her head from where it rested on his collarbone. “Thank you.”

“You’re—” but before he could finish the phrase, Kelsey kissed him.

It was just a soft, faint brush of lips over lips. Probably meant to be nothing more than a continuation of her thanks. Except that something sparked between them. The one, faint touch instantly morphed into more. Elias honestly couldn’t say which one of them consciously deepened the kiss. It felt organic.

It felt necessary.

It felt right.

They clung to each other, and that soft brush grew into a real kiss. The kind he gave after a date where everything clicked, where he and the woman connected deeply. The kind he hadn’t given anyone in many, many months.

Kelsey’s beauty had struck Elias from the moment that flimsy, splotched apartment door opened. But then, as she stood her ground with such determination, as she sassed him on the plane, as she approached every step of this journey with such bravery, his feelings had changed. The involuntary, primal acknowledgement of wanting her body had flipped over into wanting her.

The pressure between their lips, between their bodies intensified. Elias moved his lips harder against hers. Kelsey pushed right back. They kissed and kissed and suddenly their tongues were tangled, tasting and teasing.

Elias groaned. God, she was delicious. Sweet. Tantalizing. And so soft every single damn place they were touching.

His hands slid up through the silk of her hair to tilt Kelsey’s head back, to deepen his angle. But then he immediately slid one palm down her back to keep her pressed close. To keep those firm breasts rubbing against his chest as she swayed her upper body.

It didn’t make up for the fact they were seated side by side, that their hips and legs and bellies weren’t rubbing together. But it was damned sexy, especially sexy, paired with the breathy little moans she kept exhaling.

“Elias,” she murmured, as his lips moved down the tantalizing column of her neck. God, he just wanted to keep going. Push that prim and proper sweater out of the way and keep lapping at the pale skin that he couldn’t get enough of.

“Princess,” he replied.

And then froze.

His subconscious had just saved him. Tossing out that automatic title had been the necessary reminder that he wasn’t only kissing Kelsey. Elias was making out with a Princess of the Realm.

Also? He was making out with his best friend’s little sister.

Giveaway:

  • Ends November 28, 2019
  • Prize: Princess Basket (includes princess-themed items: journal, pen, mug, tea, candle)
  • Enter HERE

About Christi Barth:

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USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

 

 

 

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I Fade Away by Elle Keating – Cover Reveal + Excerpt

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Title: I Fade Away
Author
: Elle Keating
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2019

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After four months, Tia Peterson has been found. The woman who was kidnapped and trafficked has escaped hell only to realize that her nightmare isn’t over. Her story has hit the media and every reporter and news outlet wants to know the gory details; things she doesn’t want to speak of ever again.

But then she meets Trent Reddick.

The former Navy SEAL doesn’t ask too many questions, never pressures her to talk about what happened while she was held captive in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. He just wants to help her get her life back.But the more time they spend together, the stronger Trent’s feelings for Tia become…and that scares him. If he doesn’t find a way to rein in his emotions, be the friend she needs instead of the man he wants to be for her, he may lose her for good.

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Excerpt:

The Feds are gone for now. Because they have what they need. The name of my captor, where they can find the bodies…if there is anything left of them. According to the news, the fire spread quickly, consuming everything in its path. Part of me hopes that they find something, though. Some bones, a couple teeth, anything to prove that they are truly dead. But most likely they will only uncover ash, which leaves me disappointed.

I figure I bought myself a few hours until the agents return to probe me for more information, to ask me the same questions a thousand different ways.

How did you escape?

I ran.

Why did you run?

The house was on fire and I just witnessed three murders. Freedom was through the front door and I took it.

Who shot Edward Gaskill?

His nephew, Matthew.

Where is he now?

I have no idea.

And that is the truth. I don’t know where Matthew fled to. I just hope that wherever he is, he stays there, free to live out his life. I’ll always be grateful for what he did for me, that in the end he had become the man he had always wanted to be.

Was there anyone else in the house?

Yes, Edward Gaskill’s housekeeper and his slave, Aubrey. They’re both dead.

“Okay, Tia. I need to check your vitals again.” I don’t turn to look at the nurse who just entered my hospital room. She has already tried to strike up conversation once by telling me that she likes my name because it rhymes with Mia, her daughter’s middle name. “Tia, we have trained advocates who you can talk to… to be a support…”

I tap out and peer at the world through my hospital window. I can’t listen to another nurse or medical professional talk about the supports and services I should take advantage of because I’m an assault victim. Or stomach the way they look at me, pitying me.

“I already met with psych. I’m fine.” I don’t mean to be a bitch, but I have reached my limit and that is saying something.

“Oh, that’s great!”

I spoke to the psychiatrist, not to purge and express my feelings and relive four months of hell, but to convince the doctor that I’m stable enough to be discharged. Because that is my only goal right now. To leave this hospital, this fucking state.

“You’re almost finished with your last sodium bag. You should be nice and hydrated. How does your neck feel? Still irritated? Do you need something for the pain? On a scale from one to ten, what is your pain level?”

My hand goes to my neck and I touch the raw, sensitive flesh. “I’m fine.”

A hospital is the last place I wanted to end up because I knew this would happen. The questions, the sympathetic stares, tests to determine if I contracted something while I was…away. For a second I wish I had caught something lethal, because then it would be over; the memories, the nightmares. I would never see their faces again when I slept. I could just fade away.

About Elle Keating:

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Elle Keating is the author of romance novels with sexy heroes and fierce females. Her first book, Thrill of the Chase (Dangerous Love, #1), was published by Forever Romance’s digital imprint, Forever Yours, in 2015. She has since expanded the series and released the Dream Duet and the taboo romance, Keeping His Commandments. Elle is currently working on several projects including the sequel to Into Temptation and a steamy forbidden romance that may raise some eyebrows.

When Elle isn’t torturing her heroes and heroines (don’t worry, there’s always a happily ever after), she is a public school administrator and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children in New Jersey. For more on Elle and her books, visit ellekeating.com.

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