Friday, 28 February 2014

Author Interview - Tess Oliver

Today I have the lovely Tess Oliver back on Erin’s Choice talking all about her novel Paradise and her upcoming novel Dray which is the 3rd in the Custom Culture series.

Q1 – Hi Tess, welcome back to the blog! Tell us about your novel Paradise. Is that a new release in ebook format?

Actually it's not a new release. For some strange reason Amazon puts on a new publication date if the cover or anything else has been changed. Paradise is a light, sexy romance about a girl named Jayden who is busy building a career and life for herself. After one disastrous, failed office romance, she resolves to never get involved with a workmate again. But her newest boss, Nick, makes it hard a resolution to keep.

Q2 – The story is set in Tahiti. Have you been there? What inspired this location for the story?

I've been to Hawaii but never Tahiti. I thought a warm, tropical island would make a sexy backdrop for the story.

Q3 – Nick’s character is a bit of a hero in his past life, and his heroics have translated into helping people less fortunate than himself. What inspired this in his character?

I have a thing for heroes that can be categorized as super-alphas with heart. Both sides need to be there, in my opinion. So I always try and soften the hard edges to make them more swoon worthy.

Q4 – I thought this was a re-release but instead you’ve recently given the ebook format of the book a facelift. What made you change the cover design?

The paperback and ebook came out together but this is the third cover. Mostly it was changed because it has been hard to get the book noticed and sometimes a fresh cover does the trick. I'd originally published it under a different penname because it was far more sexy than my first books and I thought I should keep the genres separate. But I've recently changed the name on Paradise and Bittersweet Obsession to Tess Oliver.

Q5 – You have a new novel coming out in March, Dray, which is the 3rd in the Custom Culture series. Tell us a bit about that.

Dray is the character with all the demons and the grim past. He was a lot of fun to write about because the poor guy had so much baggage. And there is, of course, romance. He lost Cassie at the end of the Clutch book and that is how Dray's story starts. He's alone and going through some bad times. But love always wins out in my books.

Q6 – What can new readers of the Custom Culture series expect?

I hope they find a world that centres around the twenty something culture of Southern California, my home. The main characters are three (four if you count Barrett, and who cannot count him?) guys, each very different in personality, who are striving to make their mark in the world. As different as they are from each other, their friendship is tight and they will do anything for each other and the women they love.

Q7 – I really love that the books in this series are dual POV, what made you decide to write from both characters perspectives, and how you do you find writing from the male perspective?

I started writing in the dual perspective all the way back with A Little Less Girl. That book was well-received because readers loved knowing what the hero was thinking. It is a fun way to write but occasionally I have to remind myself to think and talk like a guy. Fortunately, I'm surrounded by male 20 somethings because I have a 21 year-old son. I listen to how they talk and interact. It is much different than the way girls interact.

Q8 – How have you found the self-publishing route?

Exciting and amazing. Thank you Amazon for opening the flood gates to those of us who want to write and be read.

Q9 – What advice would you have for new authors thinking about self-publishing?
Stick with it and write what you love. It's worth the time and effort.

Thanks to Tess for joining me again, and now I can’t help but wonder if there will be a 4th in the Custom Culture series…will there be a Barrett book?!

A book boyfriend a day...

Today is the day for the last book boyfriend post, I hope you've enjoyed them!

Today's book boyfriend is Rome from Jay Crownover's book Rome, Marked Men #3. Enjoy!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Character Interview with Max from The Dead Wife's Handbook - Part 2

Welcome back to the 2nd half of my interview with Max from Hannah Beckerman’s gorgeous debut novel The Dead Wife’s Handbook!

Q7. Hi Max, welcome back. Why don’t we start with you telling us a little about Eve.

Eve’s wonderful. She’s kind and sensitive and incredibly patient, which I think probably goes with the job description when you’re dating a widower. And she’s great with Ellie, much better than I ever dared hope anyone would be.

Q8. How did you know Eve was the one you could let into your and Ellie's lives?

Weirdly, I think the fact that she was prepared to wait made me certain that I didn’t want to. I knew pretty early on that Eve was one-of-a-kind and I think I had a sense that she was going to be great with Ellie from the outset. It wasn’t until she told me her secret, though, that I understood where that might have come from.

Q9. What do you think Rachel would think of Eve? Did you wonder how she would feel about your relationship?

I think that’s a really tough one to answer. I hope she’d be happy that there’s someone else to love and care for Ellie, though I’ve no doubt those feelings might be complicated. And although Rachel could sometimes be a jealous person - she’d joke about how she never wanted to talk about my previous girlfriends as she didn’t want to think about them! -  I think, at the end of the day, she’s generous enough to want to see me happy. Strangely, I think if Eve and Rachel had ever met, they’d have probably been pretty good friends.

Q10. After being encouraged to try to get back to some semblance of normality, you faced some adversity, particularly from Rachel's side of the family. Was that hard, to try and strike the right balance?

If I’m being honest, I don’t think I was as sensitive to Celia - that’s Rachel’s mother - in the early stages of my relationship with Eve as I could have been. It took me a while to realise why Celia was finding the idea of me moving on so hard. So I definitely didn’t always get things right!

Q11. Eve is really quite dissimilar to Rachel. Was that a conscious decision, or coincidence?

If it was a decision, it was definitely an unconscious one. But however it came about; I’m pleased they’re different in so many ways.

Q12. Finally Max, if you could say one thing to Rachel, anything at all, what would it be?

I’d repeat what I said to her on our wedding night. And that was definitely for her ears only!

Thank you to Max for joining me and also to lovely author Hannah! You can read my review of The Dead Wife's Handbook here and check it out on Amazon.

Today's Book Boyfriend - Character Interview with Max from The Dead Wife's Handbook

As you will have noticed February has been all about the book boyfriends. Today I don’t have a book boyfriend but more of a book husband and not just a picture of who would play him but an INTERVIEW!

Please welcome, in part 1 of my first character interview, Max Myerson from The Dead Wife’s Handbook!

Q1. Hi Max, welcome to the blog! First, tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m forty and I’m deputy head teacher at a school in west London. I used to teach History and my late wife - Rachel - always said I was a bit of a history nerd (in the nicest possible way!) I love cycling and running. But most of all I love being a dad to my seven-year-old daughter, Ellie.

Q2. Your wife Rachel, what was she like?

Rachel was remarkable. She was funny and kind and caring. She was incredibly clever - much cleverer than me - and she worked as Marketing Director for Visit Britain. She was my best friend and my soul mate.

Q3. Ellie seems to have picked up quite a few of Rachel's personality traits. She seems to have coped with Rachel's death admirably considering her age. Tell us about her.

Ellie’s amazing. I know everyone says that about their own child but she really is. She’s wise beyond her years, which I suspect is something that often happens with children who’ve had to cope with the kind of personal tragedy that she’s had to deal with. But I think it’s also symptomatic of Rachel’s influence on her: Rachel had an instinctive sense of other people’s feelings and I think Ellie’s inherited that.

Q4. What do you think Rachel would think of Ellie if she could see her now, more grown up and mature?

I think she’d be incredibly proud. In fact, I know she would. Who wouldn’t be proud of Ellie?

Q5. What was the hardest part of becoming a single parent for you?

I think probably accepting that I couldn’t be everything for Ellie, however much I wanted to and however hard I tried. Ellie’s always going to miss Rachel and I need to let her miss her mum while knowing that she’s got loads of other people around her who still love her and will always look out for her.

Q6. If you could give a piece of advice to newly single parents, who happen to find themselves in a similar situation to you, what would it be?

Accept help from other people! I found it quite hard, when Rachel first died, to accept that I couldn’t do everything by myself. I saw other people offering to help as a sign that they didn’t think I could cope properly. It took a while but eventually I realised that wasn’t what people were thinking at all. And that actually, help - whether with Ellie or just with general life admin - was pretty useful.

Join me again later today for the second part of my interview with the lovely Max.

!!Release Day!! The Lemon Grove - Helen Walsh

The bit on the back…

One hot summer. One week in a villa on the outskirts of Deia, a village nestling in the rugged, mountainous west coast of the island of Mallorca. One family for whom the carefully laid jigsaw of life is about to be broken.

Jenn and her husband Greg holiday each year in Deia, enjoying languorous afternoons by the pool. But this year the equilibrium is upset by the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, and her boyfriend Nathan. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by the notion of Nathan's youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur.

Release Day: TODAY (27th February 2014)

Publisher: Tinder Press

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

February NetGalley Part 2

Here are some of the books I've downloaded from NetGalley this month!

Accidental Cowgirl - Maggie McGinnis (Loveswept, 8th October 2013)

After being betrayed by her con man ex-fiancĂ©, Kyla Bennett nurses a broken heart. But Kyla’s friends have other ideas and when they whisk her off to Whisper Creek, a dude ranch staffed by cowboys so hot they dim the Montana sunset, all Kyla wants to do is hide under a quilt. Then in rides Decker Driscoll. He’s hauling about as much emotional baggage as Kyla, but when he stands close by, both of them want to stay close—and begin to succumb to an undeniable attraction.

After experiencing personal tragedy, Decker never thought he’d see Big Sky country again. But now that his family's Whisper Creek property is in deep with a Vegas gambler, Decker’s back for the summer—and spending all his time running from “cowgirls” who come to the dude ranch to score some dudes. Then he meets Kyla, a kindred spirit who brings on a stampede of protective feelings... and a powerful hankering to sear her with a new brand of love.

The Lost Sisterhoood - Anne Fortier (Ballantine Books, 11th March 2014)

Oxford lecturer Diana Morgan is an expert on Greek mythology. Her obsession with the Amazons started in childhood when her eccentric grandmother claimed to be one herself—before vanishing without a trace. Diana’s colleagues shake their heads at her Amazon fixation. But then a mysterious, well-financed foundation makes Diana an offer she cannot refuse.

Traveling to North Africa, Diana teams up with Nick Barran, an enigmatic Middle Eastern guide, and begins deciphering an unusual inscription on the wall of a recently unearthed temple. There she discovers the name of the first Amazon queen, Myrina, who crossed the Mediterranean in a heroic attempt to liberate her kidnapped sisters from Greek pirates, only to become embroiled in the most famous conflict of the ancient world—the Trojan War. Taking their cue from the inscription, Diana and Nick set out to find the fabled treasure that Myrina and her Amazon sisters salvaged from the embattled city of Troy so long ago. Diana doesn’t know the nature of the treasure, but she does know that someone is shadowing her, and that Nick has a sinister agenda of his own. With danger lurking at every turn, and unsure of whom to trust, Diana finds herself on a daring and dangerous quest for truth that will forever change her world.

First Love - James Patterson (Cornerstone Digital, 30th January 2014)

When Axi Moore decides to take a road trip across the US, the only person she wants to go with her is her best friend Robinson - who she also happens to be secretly in love with. She's planned it all out, and all he has to do is say yes.

Axi has had a tough life: her little sister died young, her mother walked out and her father turned to the bottle for comfort. Her parents escaped their grief in their own ways; this trip will be hers.

But life doesn't always work out as you plan it, and there are some things you just can't run away from.

Before We Met - Lucie Whitehouse (Bloomsbury Publishing, 6th January 2014)

A whirlwind romance. A perfect marriage.

Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness.

Until the day her husband fails to come home . . .

The more questions Hannah asks, the fewer answers she finds. But are the secrets that Mark has been keeping designed to protect him or protect her?
And can you ever really know what happened before you met?

The Time of Our Lives - Jane Costello (Simon and Schuster UK, 27th March 2014)

Three best friends. One five-star hotel. Will it be the holiday of a lifetime . . .?

Imogen and her friends Meredith and Nicola have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.

So when Meredith wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in unapologetic luxury.

But when the worst crisis of her working life erupts back home, Imogen has to juggle her BlackBerry with a Manhattan, while soothing a hysterical boss and hunting down an AWOL assistant.

Between a robbery, a run-in with hotel security staff and an encounter on a nudist beach that they'd all rather forget, the friends stumble from one disaster to the next. At least Imogen has a distraction in the form of the gorgeous guy who's always in the right place at the very worst time. Until, that is, his motives start to arouse a few suspicions . . .

The Vintage Girl - Hester Browne (Quercus, 13th December 2012)

When Evie Nicholson is asked to visit Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland to archive the family heirlooms, she jumps at the chance. Evie’s passion for antiques means that, for her, the castle is a treasure trove of mysteries just waiting to be uncovered.

But in each heirloom lies a story, and in the course of her investigations Evie stumbles upon some long-buried family secrets. Add handsome, gloomy heir Robert McAndrew and a traditional candlelit gala to the mix and Evie’s heart is sent reeling with an enthusiasm that may just extend beyond the Kettlesheer silver...

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend is the lovely Leo from Paige Toon's novel The Longest Holiday

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Review of Seeking Her - Cora Carmack

The bit on the back…

Jackson Hunt hasn't been out of the military for a long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his own demons at bay.
Bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn't exactly what he'd been looking for, but it's a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey's father doesn't want Kelsey to know she's being followed.

She's vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar - and she's falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago. Jackson vows to help her, which is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her...

Seeking Her is a short novella in Cora Carmack’s Losing It series and it’s all about Jackson Hunt, the male character from Cora’s book Finding It. If you’ve read Finding It you will already know the story, if you’ve not read it then I would recommend that you do, preferably before reading this. It’s not strictly necessary though as this is basically a retelling of the start of Kelsey and Jackson’s story from his POV.

Jackson has been hired by Kelsey’s father to keep tabs on her while she travels around Europe. He is expecting a high maintenance prom queen who will be visiting mainly tourist attractions but what he gets is a slightly different story.

I pre-ordered this after reading Losing It, Faking It and Finding It in quick succession. Losing It introduces you to all of the main characters in the full length novels and this novella along with Keeping Her supplement the full length novels. Faking it was written with a dual POV but the first and third in the series were written from only one POV, their corresponding novellas are from the opposite POV.

I already knew I liked Jackson but I probably like him even more now. His POV was completely unseen before so it’s good to get inside his head. He’s a war veteran and is still fighting the after effects of the war in his head which makes his character quite dark and although Kelsey acts as a light in his life his darkness reflects a secret darkness in hers.

He’s quick to make an assumption about her but also quick to admit that he’s wrong.

I would have liked more of Jackson’s version of events as this novella only tells a very small part of their story together, but it’s only intended as a quick, fun read and it ticks those boxes.

Erin x

Amazon Daily Deal

Do not miss your chance to buy The Guestbook by lovely author Holly Martin for 99p today on amazon!

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend was another suggested by the lovely Isabell at

He is William from Aven Ellis's Connectivity.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Review of The Lemon Grove - Helen Walsh

The bit on the back…

One hot summer. One week in a villa on the outskirts of Deia, a village nestling in the rugged, mountainous west coast of the island of Mallorca. One family for whom the carefully laid jigsaw of life is about to be broken.

Jenn and her husband Greg holiday each year in Deia, enjoying languorous afternoons by the pool. But this year the equilibrium is upset by the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, and her boyfriend Nathan. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by the notion of Nathan's youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur.

Thank you to Georgina Moore, the book post fairy, aka publicist at Headline, for sending me this wonderful proof! I saw some advance praise for the book and after having a nosey at it I knew that I was going to really enjoy it. It’s hot, hot, hot!

This story is set in Deia in Spain and is all about main character Jenn and her family on their annual holiday to the village. Jenn and her husband Greg have the first week of their holiday to themselves but the second week is to be shared with their daughter Emma and her boyfriend Nathan.

As I’ve said Jenn is the main character, and the story is wholly narrated by her. It’s her view of her marriage, her family life, and the trials and tribulations that come with raising another woman’s daughter. Jenn is almost resentful of having her well-earned holiday invaded by her stepdaughter. Her relationship with Emma is tenuous at best and she constantly seems to be walking on eggshells around her. You get a real sense of that from the dialogue and interactions between them and Jenn isn’t really in a position to stand her ground so you really start to feel sorry for her and I think because of that you can really invest yourself in Jenn’s story.

Most of the story focuses on Jenn’s interaction with 17 year old Nathan. At first he seems like a surly teenager, who thinks he could put the world to rights, because that’s how Jenn sees him. On the contrary though this attitude he possesses and also this air of maturity and arrogance that he has, actually draws Jenn, and you the reader, to him. He’s the antithesis of husband Greg and I think it’s the culmination of both of these things that make the attraction between the characters so strong it’s almost tangible.

It’s set over two weeks which seems quite short and maybe a bit unrealistic in terms of timing but because of the explosive attraction between them and how instant it feels it makes it realistic.

The story is set in the Spanish village, in a hot climate which adds to the overall heat between the characters and the heat that infuses their illicit affair. It’s almost as if the heat has addled their brains, making them behave as they are. The in depth description of the setting plays to all of your senses and really allows you to connect with the story.

The prose is succinct, straight down the line and fast paced. The staccato rhythm of the sentences in some parts of the book make you feel like your panting for breath in much the same way the characters are. The sexual tension just buzzes right off the page. The sex scenes are blunt, to the point and strong language is used but not to the detriment of the story as I felt that the language was to be expected.

A testament to any author is a reader being able to lose themselves in their book. With this you do. I always felt like I was standing in a shady corner of the villa or the lemon grove watching it all unfold instead of reading.

Definitely one to watch for summer 2014.

Caution: Read by a pool so you can take a dip to cool off from reading this absolute scorcher!

The Lemon Grove is out on the 27th of February, published by Tinder Press. Check it out here.

Erin x 

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend comes from the fabulous Holly Martin's The Sentinel. He is of course the gorgeous Seth!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Review of Paradise - Tess Oliver

The bit on the back…

A deceitful trick by a coworker slash lover leaves Jayden Clark looking for a new job and vowing to never again engage in a relationship with a workmate. Of course her promise never mentioned a boss.

When Jayden accepts the position of girl Friday for Regent Realty, she knows she is overqualified, but a month in Tahiti, and Nick Regent, the six-foot-four, incredibly appealing owner of the company, make the job too tempting to pass up.

She flies to the island, knowing full well that she is at risk of losing her heart, but never could she have predicted the danger she would face in paradise.

I first came across Tess Oliver last year when I was recommended Freefall (Custom Culture, 1) on Amazon. When I saw this book had been re-published on the kindle, coupled with the gorgeous hunk on the cover, I knew I was going to love it! So much so that I broke my book buying ban to buy it!

Paradise is all about Jayden and her new job in the paradise that is Tahiti, although her new job seems not to be all that she signed up for but much, much more.

I’ve not read one of Tess’ books that I’ve not enjoyed and this was no different. The story is completely told by main character Jayden, so you really get to know her well throughout. The story is fast paced and is really only focused on Jayden’s life and her relationships so it’s great that you get to know her so well. She’s independent and strong at the same time as she is not completely impervious to the charms of her new boss. I thought she was quite a good role model for going after what you want in life, and for making lemonade when life hands you lemons.

I liked Jayden’s new boss Nick Regent. He’s everything that you look for in a book boyfriend, and thankfully he’s quite the opposite of Jayden’s ex. The guy on the front cover makes it really easy to picture Nick as this super fit, muscular guy that he is. A real man, but a man with a real heart.

Their relationship is fast and filled with heat, swiftly turning to more than a light flirtation. Their chemistry sparks more and more with each page you turn and it’s really easy to get lost in their romance.

There is a bit of a secret side to the story, an undercurrent of something that isn’t quite right, going on with Nick and his friends. You don’t get to know the full extent of what’s going on until Nick and Jayden get closer and then there is an unexpected turn which has you guessing as to what might happen to the all of the characters, not just the main two. The last third of the book is tense and exciting and will have you turning the pages to find out what the ending will be for all of the characters.

I really liked this from Tess and can’t wait to read her next novel which is due for release on the 1st March 2014 – Dray (Custom Culture, 3)

Erin x

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend is Jet from Jay Crownover's Jet, Marked Men #2. Enjoy!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

February NetGalley Part 1

Here are some of the books I've downloaded from NetGalley this month!

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place - Portia McIntosh (Carina, 20th February)

Behind the music…

Being best friends with a mega-star has its perks and Nicole Wilde, music journalist, laps them up. But when said friend, Dylan King, gorgeous lead singer of The Burnouts, has zero sense of self-preservation – once a drop of alcohol hits his blood stream and an inability to keep ‘little Dylan’ in his pants, it also comes with responsibilities.

Now, Nicole has to track down Dylan in time to play a charity gig tomorrow. Half a dozen groupies, a haunted hotel, a tattoo parlour, a reality show runner-up and a crazy bed-hopping, sleepless night later – will she find him before the tour bus leaves town? And when she does, is it time to head home? Or to jump on the tour bus and go along for the ride!

From Scotland With Love - Katie Fforde (Cornerstone Digital, 13th December 2013)

When Daisy travels to Scotland to confront notorious author Rory McAllan, little does she know that within hours she'll be snowed in with him. But surely she's not going to have to spend her precious New Year's Eve with him too?

Wake - Anna Hope (Transworld Digital, 16th January 2014)

Five Days in November, 1920

As the body of the Unknown Soldier makes its way home from the fields of Northern France, three women are dealing with loss in their own way: Hettie, who dances for sixpence a waltz at the Hammersmith Palais; Evelyn, who toils at a job in the pensions office, and Ada, a housewife who is beset by visions of her dead son. One day a young man comes to her door. He carries with him a wartime mystery that will bind these women together and will both mend and tear their hearts.

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (Transworld Digital, 4th September 2008)

Nine-year-old Liesel lives with her foster family on Himmel Street during the dark days of the Third Reich. Her Communist parents have been transported to a concentration camp, and during the funeral for her brother, she manages to steal a macabre book: it is, in fact, a gravediggers’ instruction manual. This is the first of many books which will pass through her hands as the carnage of the Second World War begins to hungrily claim lives. Both Liesel and her fellow inhabitants of Himmel Street will find themselves changed by both words on the printed page and the horrendous events happening around them.

Take Mum Out - Fiona Gibson (Avon, 13th March 2014)

Three blind dates

Two teenage boys messing up her plans

And one man who'll melt Alice's heart.

'You need to get back in the saddle…' Alice despises that phrase. She's fine being single – with two slothful teenage boys and a meringue business to run, she has enough on her plate without negotiating the troublesome world of modern dating.

However, Alice's three best friends have other ideas. Each one will present her with an utterly delicious, eligible man – all Alice has to do is pick her favourite.

Bad Brides - Rebecca Chance (Simon & Schuster UK, 27th March 2014)

Two brides. One prize. Who will come out on top?

Milly Gamble is an up-and-coming actress, and the perfect English flower child. At 23, she's always been cast as the innocent heroine. But looks can deceive. Calculating and fiercely ambitious, Milly is determined to be the most famous star in England. And how better to achieve her goal than by dating Tarquin Ormond, lead singer of the biggest folk band of the moment? Tarquin is madly in love with Milly; Milly is only in love with herself.

Brianna Jade is an all-American pageant girl. The daughter of Tamra Maloney, a stunning billionairess, Brianna is a sweet, pretty girl who is more than happy to go along with her mother's ambitious plans for her. Now Tamra's brought her to the UK and hooked her up with an Earl. He has a crumbling stately home and needs a rich wife to help restore it to its former glory. Tamra is as ambitious and determined as Brianna is sweet and innocent - is this more a case of mother-in-law-zilla than bridezilla?

Both Milly and Brianna's upcoming weddings will be huge, lavish events that garner national press. But with the cover of the biggest magazine in the country to be won, things are about to get very dirty…

Boss Girl - Nic Tatano (HarperImpulse, 20th February 2014)

Sydney Hack is the single, thirtysomething VP of news for a failing network… and she also has a taste for younger men.

She soon realizes a whole lot of over-thirty female viewers do as well, so she sets out to give these women what they want; a chiseled, trophy buck in his twenties sitting on the anchor desk next to a woman…


With nothing to lose she does the unthinkable; along with three female managers who happen to be her best friends she brings out the casting couch and turns it into a sleeper sofa. Doesn't matter that the men have no television experience. As long as they look good. And there’s a hint of romance in every newscast.

Ratings skyrocket as a result, but Sydney and her female cohorts discover something else along the way…

True love is not always age appropriate.

Book News - Dray (Custom Culture, 3) - Tess Oliver

Tess Oliver is back with the 3rd book in her Custom Culture series.

The bit on the back…

When Cassie, the woman he loves, leaves him for a job in New York, Dray Warner finds his life falling apart. With nothing else to lose he takes up his friend, Barrett Mason’s, offer to head down to South America for some surfing and good times. But Dray’s conscience, hot temper and extreme fighting skills hurl him into a world of danger . . . a danger that could cost him his life.

Cassie Carlton was sure she was making the right decision accepting her dream job in New York. She and Dray had parted ways and while she remains heartbroken by the break up, she needs to move on with her life. But when Cassie learns that Dray is in trouble, she realizes she will sacrifice anything to save him.

Release Day: 1st March 2014

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend is the starring man in Colleen Hoover's Hopeless series - Dean Holder.

Friday, 21 February 2014

My Chocolatey Chocolate Cake!

So the other day I was off work, and having the usual morning scroll through Facebook and came across a a cake that inspired me to get up, get to the shops and have a mini-bake off instead of lounging about all day, and at the request of lovely fashion and lifestyle blogger Emma ( here is a post all about it!

The cake is basically a chocaholic's idea of heaven. Inside it has two plain sponges sandwiched together with a thin layer of Nutella, covered in a thin (but thick enough to stick the goodies on) layer of chocolate buttercream icing and then topped with all manners of chocolate loveliness!

The sponge is lovely and light so it's not hard to eat a normal sized slice and because I've went for just a plain sponge it's not totally sickening!

To make the sponge I've used a simple sponge recipe that I've been using since I started baking and one which my mum has used for years before that, I think it's one of Mary Berry's but now I just bake from memory. You will need an 8 inch round caketin which is about 1.5 inches deep. I only have one tin like this so didn't bake both cakes at once. The mixture is easy though and as the cake only takes between 25-30 minutes to cook it's not too annoying having to repeat the steps.

Ingredients for the sponge cakes:

6oz (150g) Soft Margarine
6oz (150g) Self-Raising Flour
6oz (150g) Caster Sugar
3 large eggs (room temp)
1tsp of baking powder

Set your oven to 180/190 degrees c and allow to heat up. Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl (I used my mum's big electric mixer) and beat until all of the ingredients have been incorporated and the mixture is light and smooth. Prepare your cake tin either using grease proof paper or by rubbing with some of the left over margarine around the inside of it and then covering entirely with a light coating of flour. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth to an even height all round with a spatula. 

Allow to bake in the centre of your oven for 25 minutes before testing with a cooking needle or by lightly pressing the top of the sponge with your fingers. If the needle comes out with no mixture on it then the cake is ready, if not give it another 5 minutes before testing again. Similarly if the sponge springs back after touching then it is ready, if not another 5 minutes before trying again.

When the cake is ready turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

I decided to use a Hummingbird Bakery recipe for the chocolate buttercream because I'm much more used to making original buttercream icing.

Ingredients for the chocolate buttercream icing:

12oz (300g) icing sugar (sifted)
4oz (100g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1.6oz (40g) cocoa powder (sifted)
3tbsp Whole Milk (can use semi-skimmed if that is all you have!)

Beat the dry ingredients and butter together with an electric mixer using the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer at a medium slow speed until it comes together and is well mixed.

Turn the mixer down to slow and add the milk a little at a time until it has been incorporated then turn the mixer to a high speed and beat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Once you've made both the cakes and the icing, and after the cakes have completely cooled you are ready to assemble. I picked chocolates that I liked - smarties, chocolate buttons, minstrels and mini-eggs but you could literally pick anything that can be split into sections with chocolate finger biscuits and will look colourful.

Also the Nutella filling is optional. The recipe for the chocolate buttercream will give you more than enough to spread around the cake and also to spread a layer inside if you prefer - then all you have to do is enjoy eating it!

Review of Spare Brides - Adele Parks

The bit on the back…

New Year's Eve, 1920. The Great War is over and it's a new decade of glamorous promise. But a generation of men and women who survived the extreme trauma and tragedy will never be the same.
With countless men lost, it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few who returned, but lonely Beatrice has neither attribute. Ava has both, although she sees marriage as a restrictive cage after the freedom war allowed. Sarah paid the war's ultimate price: her husband's life. Lydia should be grateful that her own husband's desk job kept him safe, but she sees only his cowardice.

A chance encounter for one of these women with a striking yet haunted officer changes everything. In a world altered beyond recognition, where not all scars are visible, this damaged and beautiful group must grasp any happiness they can find - whatever the cost.

Firstly, thank you to beautiful book fairy Georgina from Headline for sending me an ARC of this to review. I absolutely love the cover!

This is the first of Adele’s books that I’ve ever read. I’m not sure why that is though and after reading this I’m really looking forward to reading her other novels, starting with her most recent “The State We’re In”. I’ve been reading a few reviews about this book and there’s a few that say that this book is very unlike anything that Adele has written before. But isn’t that to be expected? Her other novels are contemporary stories, so wouldn’t this story, set in a completely different decade differ naturally? Perhaps that is naivety on my part, as my experience with reading stories set as far back as this is also limited.

The story is set in this very austere and hierarchal society where everyone has a place dependent on their status. There was no doubt that the description enabled you to immerse yourself in the decade and give yourself over completely to the story. The class divide issue was handled in a way which made it interesting but not overbearing meaning that the story, the love affair of the two young characters was not overshadowed by the issues facing the country at that time. Although the class divide is an important issue, it’s equally important to remember that that’s not what the story is about, so it doesn’t have a place to be more detailed than the love story.

The four women are all very different, but each one is affected in some way by angry, beautiful, damaged Sergeant Major Edgar Trent.

Ava, the most advanced character in terms of her forward thinking attitude is the leader of the pack. Her outlook on life and suggestions as to the behaviour of herself and her friends enforced this attitude, but Lydia’s feelings for Edgar makes her question her thinking that she always knows what’s best. In a time where societal demands of women were to marry and bear children to inherit titles and to carry on family names, Beatrice stands out. Her non-conformance to this is not deliberate but unfortunate, and due to the hand she was dealt in life in terms of her looks. Edgar allows a spark to be ignited in Bea, for a change of heart within herself and allows her to explore possibilities beyond other people’s expectations of her. Sarah, a war widow, acts in a way where she always endeavours to do the right thing. She has children to raise and is extremely fond of them and her job to do so, but there is a gaping hole in her life which she thinks she has learned to live with but Edgar makes her see that her circumstances have not left her dead inside.

And finally main character Lydia. Lydia has is all, beauty, wealth, a husband and most importantly a husband who survived the war. Who is she to be so discontent with her lot? I can see why some readers might think that Lydia is impossibly selfish considering the characters that surround her but instead I chose to see that she was lost. Her face, her status, they all fit in with her class. But her heart belongs in a different class, a class where there is Edgar Trent. She was born into high society but doesn’t belong there. She longs to feel vital, important, wanted and Edgar can provide that.

I really enjoyed their relationship. Edgar is the polar opposite of her, and everything that Lydia seeks in life, everything that she thinks will affirm her reason for being. Their love seems enduring, particularly in a time where communication was a long and sometimes laborious task. I loved that when faced with scandal and the destruction of her reputation Lydia didn’t care, not in the face of true love. There are sex scenes between the characters, and although some readers may be put off by the language I think it drew the contrast between Edgar and Lydia nicely.

I really enjoyed this step back in time and can’t wait to read more from Adele.

Erin x

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend comes from Karli Perrin's books April Showers and April Fools.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

!!Blog Tour!! Breakaway Hearts (Kelly Brothers #2) - Crista McHugh

The bit on the back…

Hockey star Ben Kelly has retreated to his mountain cabin in the ski town of Cascade, BC, to recuperate from a season-ending knee injury and contemplate his future in the NHL. He never expects to run into the one woman who got away. Nine years may have passed, but nothing has dulled the explosive chemistry between them. Now he wants more than just one night.

Hailey Eriksson had Olympic-sized dreams until an accidental pregnancy from a one-night stand halted her ambitions. Her life was shattered when her son died. Nothing will keep her from fulfilling her promise to him to make the Olympic team, especially not the charming Ben Kelly. Unfortunately, he's out of sweep her off her feet this time, and she finds him harder and harder to resist with each passionate kiss. But when he learns about the child he never knew, will their rekindled romance be on thin ice?

Firstly thank you to Lisa at Tasty Book Tours and Crista for allowing me to be part of the tour for this book!
Breakaway Hearts is the second story in Crista’s Kelly Brothers series. This book is all about Ben Kelly.
Ben is a national hockey star, but he’s out injured and has moved to Cascade to recuperate in peace and quiet. What he doesn’t expect is to bump into the girl who stole a piece of his heart 9 years ago. Hailey is desperately trying to make it to the Olympics, something she promised her son before he died. Her last chance, but then Ben walks back into her life and all her old feelings come back to the surface.

When I signed up to the tour for this book I downloaded the first book in the series The Sweetest Seduction which is about oldest brother Adam. It’s not strictly a must to read it first but I enjoyed Adam’s story and it also gives you a little background to the Kelly family. You still get a sense of the family background in Breakaway Hearts but it doesn’t feel like just a repeat of the first book which was nice.

I liked Ben from the start; he’s famous and gorgeous but seems quite unassuming. He has carried around the note that Hailey left him with after their one night together, which I thought was sweet of him and it shows a kindness in his personality which shines throughout the book.

Hailey has been through hell and back since the last time she saw Ben. An accidental pregnancy, a beautiful son and having to nurse her son through sickness and ultimately her son’s death. Her dreams were put on hold to have her son but she wants to honour a promise to him about making it to the Winter Olympics. She still has a strong connection with her son and has a determined streak in her personality to see her promise to him out. She seems resilient and has a strength of character which seems to come from the promise she made.

The story, like with The Sweetest Seduction, is dual POV, which I am really enjoying in books just now. It alternates between characters which allows you to get a grasp for both of them and their situations and personalities. It felt like quite a short read so having a dual POV lets you really get surrounded by the story quickly.

A slightly predictable ending but in no way a predictable journey to that ending. Four stars to the second in the series.

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About Crista

Crista McHugh is a multiple award-winning author of fantasy romance and paranormal romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Author Links

Erin x

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend is Ben Kelly from Crista McHugh's Breakaway Hearts - review up today too!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Author Interview - Clodagh Murphy

Today I am delighted to welcome wonderful author Clodagh Murphy to the blog. Clodagh is the author of Some Girls Do, and you can find my review here.

Q1 - Tell us about Some Girls Do

Some Girls Do is about Claire who writes her blog "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" anonymously under the pseudonym NiceGirl. It's purportedly about her own sex life, and it's quite raunchy, but in reality she's very inexperienced and leads a quiet life. So when Mark, a London publisher, becomes interested in the blog and wants to meet her – and they subsequently become interested in each other – she has to try to live up to her online persona. She knows Mark will expect her to be much more experienced and sophisticated than she really is. So she pays Luca, an artist of her acquaintance, to give her some 'hands-on' experience.

Q2 - What inspired the story?

I’m not sure where the inspiration for the basic premise came from. It just popped into my head and I thought it would be fun – it had a lot of potential for comedy and sexytimes, and I liked the idea of someone living almost a double life through their blog, assuming a different identity.

Q3 – As you’ve said, Claire is the blogger behind sex blog "Scenes of a Sexual Nature". Do you think it's more acceptable now for people to admit they enjoy reading this kind of blog? And do you think our view of reading about sex has changed since Fifty Shades hit the shelves?

Yes, I think it’s more acceptable now for people to read frank sex blogs – and to write them. I definitely think Fifty Shades has changed things as far as reading about sex is concerned. This kind of writing was always out there, but the Fifty Shades phenomenon brought it into the mainstream and made it widely acceptable – and very popular.

I’m probably lucky that Fifty Shades happened before this book was finished because I’m not sure how well some of the more explicit writing would have been received in a chick lit book before that. This book had a very long gestation period – I'd actually sent the synopsis for it to my agent and editor at the same time as the one for my previous book, Frisky Business, and it was a coin toss which one I’d write first. So it’s probably a good thing I put this one on the back burner, because some of the blog posts are quite explicit, and I think people are more receptive to that kind of writing since Fifty Shades.

Q4 - Books and films tell us that no strings attached relationships like Claire and Luca's never really turn out to be "no strings", did you ever think that they wouldn't get on as well as they did?

No, I have to admit I always knew they’d get on really well once they got to know each other. They’re not an obvious fit and they wouldn't normally gravitate towards each other. So it takes a certain situation to bring them together so they can get to know each other. But I knew once they did, they'd be perfect together.

In reality I think it's difficult to really have a 'no strings' sexual relationship. I don't doubt that it happens, but when you're intimate with someone in that way, you're naturally going to become closer and chances are you'll get attached. I think it's hard not to experience any sexual jealousy over someone you're sleeping with.

Q5 - Claire isn't really that close with her brothers, and I think that's in part due to her sisters in law, what inspired Michelle's character in particular?

Michelle isn’t inspired by any one person, but she’s a definite type, and I've met a lot of women like her – very smug and self-absorbed to the point where she's oblivious to the feelings of others. She's very wrapped up in her status as a wife and mother, and dismissive of women who are single or haven't had children – like Claire.

Q6 - I really loved the cover of the book, it's what actually drew me to finding more out about it and then finally reading it, did you have much input into it?

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love it too, but I’m afraid I can’t take any credit for it really –apart from not nixing it. It was the first one my publishers showed to me – I know they’d spent a long time working on different ideas until they were happy with it. If I don't like a cover, they will go back and try again, but this was the first one I saw and I loved it straight away. It's obviously doing its job if it drew you in!

Q7 - If you had to cast Luca in the film of Some Girls Do, who would he be?

That’s easy. I’d cast Aidan Turner – he’s who I was thinking of as I wrote Luca, so the part is his if he wants it. I think it would make a nice change for him to play a human after a succession of vampires, werewolves and dwarves.

Now for some more fun questions...

Q8 - What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?

I love travelling when I get the chance, and I enjoy reading, watching TV and just hanging out with friends and family.

Q9 - Is writing something you always thought you'd end up doing?

Yes, it was – probably naively. Fortunately, I didn't know enough when I was starting out to realise how unlikely it was.

Q10 - What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy a wide variety of books and will read most things, but I don't like fantasy or horror.

Q11 - Do you have a favourite book/author?

There are far too many that I love to pick just one, but a couple of my favourite authors are Jane Austen and Jilly Cooper.

Q12 – Finally, what can we expect from you in the future?

Lots more books, hopefully – more fun, romantic stories with sexy heroes.

A book boyfriend a day...

Today's book boyfriend is Rory Defoe from Louise Harwod's Kiss Like You Mean It

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Book News - The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

I’ve never read any of Helen Walsh’s books until this one, the advanced praise drew me to it and after being sent a copy to read I can certifiably tell you that this is one smoulderingly hot book to look out for this year…

One hot summer. One week in a villa on the outskirts of Deia, a village nestling in the rugged, mountainous west coast of the island of Mallorca. One family for whom the carefully laid jigsaw of life is about to be broken.

Jenn and her husband Greg holiday each year in Deia, enjoying languorous afternoons by the pool. But this year the equilibrium is upset by the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, and her boyfriend Nathan. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by the notion of Nathan's youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur.

Release Day: 27th February 2014

Publisher: Tinder Press

A book boyfriend a day...

Today I have one of my first ever book boyfriends up. Will Trust from Paige Toon's Chasing Daisy.

Monday, 17 February 2014

!!Release Day!! - Better - Carey Heywod

Happy release day to Carey Heywood! Her new novel Better is available now!

The bit on the back…

Aubrey is embarking on a bucket list trip around the world, the last wish of her Aunt Ally. It was supposed to be the trip Ally would take when she got better. Now it's just a chance for Aubrey to say goodbye.

Adam escapes in his solo trips overseas, working just enough to fund the next one. When the opportunity to circle the globe falls in his lap he can't refuse. The only catch, he won't be traveling alone this time.

Unable to hide from each other Adam's overprotective nature thwarts Aubrey's desire to find her own way. Can they move past initial assumptions to find something better?

Release Day: TODAY! (17th February 2014)

Click here to follow the rest of the tour!

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Author Info

Carey Heywood was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Ever the mild mannered citizen Carey spends her days working in the world of finance, retreating into the lives of her fictional characters at night.

Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes adorable children, and 9lb attack Yorkie. Inspired by people everywhere her characters sometimes spend chapters learning life lessons while dealing with all the pitfalls that come with falling in love. A self published New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with four books out and many more to come.

In her free time Carey enjoys curling up with a good book. If her family insists she leave the house she has also been known to ski, kayak, and attract Mosquitos. She can make a mean Belgian waffle and has an unhealthy obsession with Swedish fish.

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