The Week Ahead Feb. 26-Mar. 3

Here’s a look at what’s happening this week at Book Reviews & More by Kathy:

This week’s book reviews:

February 26: The Secrets We Bury by Stacie Ramey (Recent Relase)
February 26: The 11th Hour by Kristine Scarrow (New Release)
February 27: The Policeman’s Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce (New Release)
February 27: The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh (New Release)
March 1: The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent (Upcoming Release 3/6)
March 1: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeny (Upcoming Release 3/13)

Blog Tours:

February 26: Don Allmon
February 27: L.J. Hayward
March 1: Reading Challenge
March 1: Heather Graham

Winning Wednesday (Feb. 28) eBooks up for grabs:

One and Only by Jenny Holiday
Second Chance Cowboy by A. J. Pine
Orange by B.G. Thomas

Click here for more info on entering the eBook contests.

This week’s Friday Feature: Jenny Holiday.

This week’s Saturday Series Spotlight is Vicki Tharp’s Lazy S Ranch and contest for one of the books in the series (winner’s choice).

Have a great week!!

***All the eBooks in this week’s Winning Wednesday & Saturday Series Spotlight giveaways have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Saturday Series Spotlight & Giveaway: Christine d’Abo’s Ringside Romance

Title: Working It by Christine d’Abo
Ringside Romance Series Book One
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance
Length: 251 pages/Word Count: 64,700

Summary:

Nolan Carmichael is getting a fresh start—new career, new company, new life. The only problem is, he liked his old life just fine . . . until an accident robbed him of his health, his job, his self-confidence, and his ability to go out in public without having anxiety attacks.

Zack Anderson has scared away his last four executive assistants. So when he hires Nolan on a whim, he’s not too worried, since Nolan will be gone within the week anyway. Two weeks later, Nolan has made himself indispensable, completely reforming Zack’s schedule, life . . . and libido.

But in a company already torn by internal politics, one wrong step could ruin both their careers. And not only are they working to reopen Ringside Gym, Zack’s retreat when he was a troubled teen, but they also can’t help themselves falling for each other. If only the rest of their lives could go as smoothly as things do when they’re alone together.


Title: Faking it by Christine d’Abo
Ringside Romance Series Book Two
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 238 pages/Word Count: 63,000

Summary:

Max Tremblay should be happy. His nightclub, Frantic, is one of the most popular gay clubs in Toronto, and his childhood refuge, Ringside Gym, is well on the way to reopening. But when he finds yet another drunk in the alley beside the bar, Max isn’t sure this is the life he truly wants.

Grady Barnes has it all. He’s rich, famous, and wants for nothing. Well, nothing but a good relationship with his father. When he discovers that his father is going to force him into an arranged marriage, Grady has had enough. He tracks down Max, the man who got him to safety after a night of overindulgence, and makes him a proposal: pretend to be his fiancé for two weeks and he’ll invest in Ringside Gym.

When the pair travel to Vancouver to attend a family wedding, the flames of their mutual attraction ignite, and they discover that the only difference between pretend and reality is how well they can fake it.


Title: Making It by Christine d’Abo
Ringside Romance Series Book Three
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance
Length: 226 pages/Word Count: 60,000

Summary:

Devan knows exactly what he wants from life: a good career, a husband who loves him, and a child to call his own. He’s working at the perfect job, and has found the man of his dreams in Eli. That only leaves one box left to tick. When his friend offers to be a surrogate mother for Devan and Eli, he’s convinced all his dreams have come true.

Eli has been fighting his entire life. Fighting to keep his sick mother safe, fighting his frustration, and fighting daily as an up-and-coming MMA star. The one thing he can’t fight is the feeling that he’s made a terrible mistake agreeing to be a father with Devan. On the worst night of their lives, Eli knows Devan is better off without him, and leaves.

When Eli returns three years later he comes face-to-face with Devan and a son who might be his. Devan has moved on with his life, but seeing Eli once again reignites forgotten passion. Yet if Eli wants to make it work with Devan, he must decide if he’s ready for the biggest fight of his life.


Title: Losing It by Christine d’Abo
Ringside Romance Series Book Four
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Erotic, Romance
Length: 229 pages/Word Count: 60,400

Summary:

Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fund-raiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.


Giveaway

I am giving away one eBook from the Ringside Romance series-WINNER’S CHOICE. Here’s how to enter the Saturday Series Spotlight contest:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Monday afternoon.

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail one lucky winner the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winner will be posted HERE on Tuesday.

***The eBooks in this giveaway have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Friday Feature & Giveaway: Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith

A too-young queen must learn to control her powers in order to save her empire, but can she trust the man who’s taught her to use her gift?

Grab your copy of Web of Frost and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at WEB OF FROST!


Title: Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith
Saints of Russalka Series Book One
Publisher: Eventide Press
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy
Length: 402 pages

Summary:

A too-young queen. An empire on the brink. And the alluring, dark prophet who could save her… or destroy everything.

Russalka is a proud empire, frozen and vast, protected for centuries by a royal family who works miracles from the saints. But rebellion stirs in the streets, and its war-hungry neighbors threaten to invade. The young princess Katza has been tormented by visions of her bloodied hands destroying Russalka—a clear message from the saints that she must never rule. So when tragedy places her next in line to the throne, Katza fears their warnings are on the verge of coming true.

Then she meets Ravin, a mysterious young prophet with visions of his own: visions of Katza as a regal empress with unimaginable power. All she has to do is seize upon the holy magic of her bloodline. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza begins to wonder whether he has her best interests at heart. With revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be Katza herself.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

Web of Frost Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Lindsay Smith

Ravin stood silent in the doorway, his clasped hands a speck of pale flesh against the black velvet of his coat and trousers. Her thoughts soared at the sight of him. She needed his counsel to make sense of her latest vision. She needed his guidance. She needed—him.

She tangled her fingers in the bedsheets and twisted them, uncomfortable with the sudden yearning that pricked at her skin.

“Prophet.” Katza’s voice cracked. She turned toward the physicker. “Please, allow us to speak privately.”

The physicker exchanged looks with Nadika, who hovered in the corner of the bedchamber. Nadika nodded, and the physicker gathered his bag and left.

Ravin moved inside, quiet as snow, and closed the door. Nadika posted herself in the doorway as he sat in the physicker’s chair at Katza’s side. Dark crescents lurked under his eyes, and his skin looked more pallid than usual. Katza felt a sudden urge to brush those crescents with her thumbs, as if they were smudges she could wipe away.

“Are you all right?” Ravin asked softly. “I’ve been worried for you. I prayed for you all evening.”

Embers flared on Katza’s cheeks as she imagined him kneeling in the chapel . . . imagined her name on his lips. “I—I’m fine now. But I had a vision.” She pitched her voice low. “A new one. There was gunfire, or cannons perhaps, in the distance. And I was bleeding.” She gripped her stomach instinctively. “I think in the vision I’d been shot.

Ravin pressed his palms together and tapped the tips of his fingers to his mouth. “It was similar to other visions of yours, was it not?”

Katza’s jaw clenched. For a moment, she was afraid to speak, so she nodded instead. She still wasn’t prepared to tell him about her recurring vision—the one she’d first feared this might be, too. He’d hinted before that he knew of it already, but how was that possible? Had the saints warned him as well? Better to keep it to herself until she could be sure.

“Yes. I sense this is a common theme for you.” He glanced down. “I believe that Boj is warning you—warning that great strife is coming to Russalka. That if you are not prepared to confront it, you will not survive.”

A horrifying possibility, to be sure. Yet it was better than the vision she’d been plagued with before. If she couldn’t find a way to stop the strife, though, would Russalka still perish? Whether it was at her hands or not, it had to be stopped.

“And if I am prepared?” Katza asked.

“Then it can be avoided.” The angles of his face softened by a fraction. Katza’s gaze traced the delicate swoop from his cheek toward his mouth and lips, the hollows beneath his cheekbones. “You have been chosen by Boj to do great things. Greater even than most Silovs are capable of.” He looked right at her, something gleaming in his eyes. Something like awe. “But your training has been stunted.”

Katza squeezed her eyes shut to guard against a rush of despair. “It’s my fault. My visions—I thought they were warning me not to step above my place.”

“You thought they warned you not to act?” he asked. “And yet they continued? Tsarechka . . . I think perhaps they were warning you of the cost of inaction.”

Katza choked back a sour laugh. When she opened her eyes again, Ravin was watching her, his face warm despite that leeching cold in his eyes. She wanted to believe him. Desperately. She couldn’t put into words, though, the vision’s warning—the certainty she’d felt of its message. That she was doomed to be Russalka’s death.

But maybe she was wrong. She yearned to be wrong. Maybe, with Ravin’s aid, she could avoid its grim outcome.

“You are unprepared now, but you will learn. With the right training, you can save Russalka.

Her gaze drifted down his face and along the long, stern line of his arms. His hands, so like a sculptor’s, dexterous and slim. This close to him, she smelled incense on his clothes, spiced like cinnamon and cloves. She wanted to wrap herself in that scent. Throat tight, she reached out for his hand. At first he tensed, but then his shoulders softened, and a smile teased his mouth. Their fingers knitted together, and she let the weight of her hand sink into his.

Other Books by Lindsay Smith

Sekret https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596438924/

Dream Strider https://www.amazon.com/Dreamstrider-Lindsay-Smith-ebook/dp/B00V36OF6A/


Author Bio

Lindsay is the author of the young adult novels SekretDreamstrider, and A Darkly Beating Heart, and is the showrunner and lead writer for Serial Box’s The Witch Who Came In From the Cold. Her work has appeared on Tor.com and in the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Toil & Trouble, and she has written for Green Ronin Publishing’s RPG properties. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and dog.

Author Links: Website * Amazon Author Page * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Stop, Guest Post & Giveaway: Losing It by Christine d’Abo

Hello my name is Christine d’Abo and I’m a romance author of both het and LGBTQ stories. Thank you so much for having me here today, and giving me an opportunity to talk about my upcoming M/M romance novel, Losing It.

Finn is a strong, handsome man who struggles to speak and engage socially with people. His social anxiety is more than simply being an introvert. Social anxiety is defined as:

…nervousness in social situations.[1] Some disorders associated with the social anxiety spectrum include anxiety disordersmood disordersautismeating disorders, and substance use disorders.

Finn’s overwhelming social anxiety is a reality for a great many people. This distress is real and can present in a number of different situations.

  • Being introduced to other people
  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Being watched while doing something
  • Meeting people in authority (“important people”)
  • Most social encounters, particularly with strangers
  • Making “small talk” at parties
  • Going around the room in a circle and having to say something

Justin helps Finn find his way, using a number of techniques to help take away the pressure. There are things you can do as well.

  • Find a support group. It’s helpful to know that you’re not alone in this.
  • Participate in cognitive therapy with a certified therapist
  • Practice your techniques for how to engage in the situations that cause you stress
  • Exercise

If you think you suffer from social anxiety, it’s important to discuss your challenges with a professional. While it can be difficult, you can overcome your anxiety.


Title: Losing It by Christine d’Abo
Ringside Romance Series Book Four
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Erotic, Romance
Length: 229 pages/Word Count: 60,400

Summary:

Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fund-raiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


About the Ringside Romance Universe

Deep in the heart of Toronto lies Ringside Gym. Once a safe haven for troubled teens, Ringside has gone derelict, a forgotten memory of past days. Until a group of friends set out to do what they can to bring life back to the ring and create a new home for LGBT youths.

But when their lives threaten to pull down their dreams, each man must turn to others to help make it a reality. Winners take all—but there are no losers in love.

Check out Ringside Romance. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/ringside-romance


Author Bio

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

Author Links: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Goodreads


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Losing It, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Review: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

Title: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

I Know What You Did Last Summer meets the French countryside in this exhilarating psychological suspense debut about a woman trapped by the bonds of friendship–perfect for fans of The Widow and The Woman in Cabin 10.

We all have our secrets…

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway…until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive. And there are some people you can’t forget…like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free…

Review:

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott is a riveting mystery about the recent discovery of the skeletonized remains of a young woman who has been missing for ten years.

Kate Channing is trying to get her headhunting business up and running when her old friend Tom calls to tell her the shocking news that the remains of a young woman they met ten years earlier have been recovered. Nineteen year old Severine Dupas lived in the house next door where Kate, Tom, her best friend Lara, her now ex-boyfriend Seb, Caro and Theo vacationed in the French countryside. The French police reopen their investigation and it soon becomes apparent Kate and her friends are their prime suspects. Kate is haunted by the enigmatic and beautiful Severine as revisits her memories of the week she and her friends spent in France.

Kate is a surprisingly reliable narrator as she tries to make sense of the events of that fateful week in France. With her memories now filtered through new information and unexpected admissions, she soon realizes she might have missed or misconstrued certain things that occurred back then. She is still close friends with Lara and other than Tom, she has not seen the rest of the group over the last ten years. Her relationship with Seb ended on the last night they were in France and she does not have fond memories of their ill fated romance. Kate is still close to Tom and she is absolutely delighted to learn he just moved back to London after living in the United States. She is also somewhat surprised by the announcement that  Seb and his wife Aline are also back in the UK. Kate is somewhat uncomfortable to discover that she will be working regularly with Caro, the one person in their group she never really clicked with.

French Detective Alain Modan has plenty of questions about the group’s vacation and their interactions with Severine. The last night of their holiday was marred by a huge argument between the friends. The next morning, Kate and the rest of the gang returned to Britain without seeing Severine. Of course they were all questioned after the Frenchwoman’s disappearance but the investigation turned up very little viable information. Now the group is reunited, Kate is literally haunted by the ghostly presence of Severine and stunned by new revelations.  Despite this newfound information, she and the rest of the group are at a loss as to who could have killed Severine but there is no escaping the fact that one of them must be responsible for her death.  But which one of them had the motive, means and opportunity to take Severine’s life?

The French Girl is a slow burning yet intriguing mystery. The cast of characters is well-developed but not everyone is likable. The past and present are a tangled web of friendship, jealousy, obsession, secrets and ambition. While savvy readers might figure out who killed Severine and why, Lexie Elliott brings the novel to an exciting and somewhat dramatic conclusion. An brilliant debut that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Lexie Elliott, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The French Girl

eBook Contest 2/21

Here are the eBooks for this week’s Winning Wednesday contest:

Title: Honky Tonk Hellion by Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: InterMix
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 279 pages

Summary:

An all-new series from the author of My Cowboy Promises hits sultry notes as a woman shakes the dust off her small-town life.

An impulsive decision as a teenager forced Andi Chandler to put her dream of being a Nashville star on hold. Motherhood and a marriage of convenience have tied her down to the small town of Bitterroot, Texas. But now that her son is older and her husband is living life out of the closet, Andi’s ready to spread her wings and take another shot at the country music scene. Men, however, are a different story…

Malcolm never intended to catch Andi’s eye all those years ago at the rodeo. There were a million reasons it wouldn’t work—the age difference for one. He knew he should have stopped Andi from making a rash decision, but he didn’t and has lived with the shame ever since. Now that she’s a grown woman they can finally explore all those unanswered what-ifs—and just maybe, have a shot at a second chance at happiness.


Title: Driftwood Cove by Debbie Mason
Harmony Harbor Series Book Five
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 448 pages

Summary:

USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason welcomes readers to Harmony Harbor, a charming New England town that’s full of heart!

True love deserves a second chance….
FBI agent Michael Gallagher never dreamed that his job would bring him back to his hometown of Harmony Harbor. Or that one of his best leads would be the woman he once loved. Hell, the woman he still loves. He regrets the way they ended, and he’d do anything to make things right with her now. But first he needs to regain her trust…

Shay Angel wants to leave the past behind her. And that includes Michael Gallagher, the only man she ever let close enough to break her heart. But she needs his help to find her uncle and clear his name. She won’t hesitate to risk everything to save her family, but will she dare to risk her heart all over again?

Bonus story “A Fairytale Bride” by Hope Ramsay!
When a handsome stranger wanders into her bookstore one day, Melissa Portman begins to wonder if she’s finally found her own happily-ever-after.


Title: Teaching Ben by Shae O’Connor
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance
Length: 209 pages/Word Count: 55,308

Summary:

Learning to love means a study in patience.

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….


Wednesday is contest day on Book Reviews and More by Kathy. Three lucky winners will win the eBook of their choice! Here’s how to enter:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday afternoon:

CONTEST OVER

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winners will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail the winners the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winners will be posted HERE on Saturday.

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