‘Sweet Talk Me’ by Kieran Kramer

kk stmSTORY: He’s sure got a way with words…

The last person True Maybank expected to run into while picking up her wedding gown was country music superstar Harrison Gamble. Years ago, when they were small-town teens in Biscuit Creek, South Carolina, they shared a forbidden night of passion. Now that she’s about to settle down, True’s love affair with the handsome crooner is a thing of the past. Or is it? From the moment he says hello, she has to fight swooning like an adoring fan.

Can she resist his charms?

Today he’s rich, famous, and on every woman’s hot list. But back in the day, Harrison wasn’t good enough for debutante True. Since then she’s had her fair share of marital prospects, including the perfect Southern gentleman she’s about to settle down with. Is Harrison the only one to realize the mistake True’s about to make? Can the society girl and the sexy singer make music together—this time around?

REVIEW: I’m a huge Kieran Kramer fan. Her regency stories are well written, populated with a bunch of fun, interesting and well-rounded characters with plots that are believable and plausible. I enjoyed every book she wrote and that’s why I dreaded reading this book.

You see, this is Ms. Kramer’s first foray in telling a contemporary story and I thought what if it sucks? I hate it with a vengeance when I have to review a book that sucks from an author that I love. Don’t laugh! It happens more than you know!

Well, color me happy, let the balloons fly and give me a drink! She did it! I loved, LOVED this story so much!

She created a very vivid world of this small Southern town, with people just like you and me, than she gave them interesting background, some baggage and a dialogue that made me laugh, cry [no joke!] and sigh, all at the same time!

The story is about a second chance at love and the read is light, but still poignant, sweet and fun. If I had one word to describe this story, it would be ‘hope’. I dare you to read it and walk away without hope of finding that ‘someone’ of your own!

Can you tell I’m breathing a bit better now that I know ‘my favorite’ author can write contemporary as well as regency?! Oh, and that I can now tell her that the book doesn’t suck and it’s actually awesome!

Needless to say, I recommended it to all Kieran Kramer fans, as well as to all of you that are looking for love.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

Featuring Illustrator of Romance Novels…

Jon Paul

JPF

It is no secret that I adore every cover ever illustrated by this talented man. I dare you to watch this video and not come up with at least one of these books.

I don’t have all of them, but I bet that most of my Keeper Shelf books are Jon Paul covers. These are not your ordinary pictures…these works of art never fail to amaze me. They make me gasp and leave me breathless, as much as the stories depicted by these covers.

My thanks go to Mr. Mario Sorcinelli for putting this vid together. It’s amazing!

ENJOY!

Jon Paul FerraraARTIST BIO: Jon Paul is one of the most talented artist/photographers in the Romance Novel Cover Art industry. The covers of Jon Paul appear regularly in books issued by the leading romance novel publishing houses. In the mid-80’s, Jon Paul was one of sixteen art students chosen worldwide to participate in a nine-month program at the prestigious New York Academy of Fine Arts. He also attended the National Academy of Design under Nelson Shank, the official portrait painter of the late Princess Diana. Jon Paul has received more than thirty awards for excellence from the Romance Writers of America, often placing in two or more of the top ten positions. His work has appeared on the cover of Zink (September 2004), one of the leading fashion industry magazines.

Jon Paul also painted an advertisement for Chopard , a world famous jewelers who designs jewelry for celebrities. In 2005 Jon’s work was showcased on a True Romance gaming machine which was distributed in casinos worldwide. In 2006 he completed an advertising campaign for Oral-B which included portraits of celebrities like Fabio. His portrait of Fabio appeared on Valentine’s Day 2006 on the NASDAQ Billboard in Time Square NYC. Jon Paul was commissioned to design the artwork for the tombstone of Anna Nicole Smith and was unveiled on what would have been her 41st birthday. Ever vigilant to expand his horizons, Jon Paul pursues his fine art along with his commercial ventures, both are enjoyed by millions of fans that visit his site every year.

Social Media: Website /  Facebook /

‘Loving Lady Marcia’ by Kieran Kramer

STORY: Marcia gets schooled…
Of the three Brady sisters, Lady Marcia has always seemed the girl most likely to lead a perfectly charmed life. But after a handsome cad breaks her heart, she swears off love and devotes her life to teaching girls at a private school. In spite of her family’s wish for a London debut, Marcia is happy where she is—until terrible news sends her back to the Brady clan…and into the arms of an unexpected suitor.

On the subject of love.
A dark and dashing earl who knows Marcia’s past, Duncan Lattimore is surprised by what a fascinating and independent woman she’s become. Marcia, too, is surprised—by the fiery attraction she feels for Duncan. But why—why—must he be the brother of the scoundrel who broke her heart? Why must Marcia’s rival at school forbid her from seeing him? How can this lady possibly resist this fellow—when they know that it’s much more than a hunch…?

REVIEW: Kieran Kramer has decided to resurrect the Brady Brood [and if you haven’t ever seen this show from the 70’s that went into the 80’s, you need to watch it] in her new regency series, House of Brady.

Now, if all you fans of Brady Bunch are expecting this to be a retelling of the show, you’ll be disappointed. Ms. Kramer does have only couple of light touches that bring back the memories of the much-loved series, but the story is as fresh and original as all of her earlier books.

The story opens in 1814 with Lady Marcia at an impressionable age of 15 and even at that tender age, she believed in and knew that she wanted to find that perfect love. That belief becomes her reality as she meets the love of her life in Mr. Finn Lattimore, the younger brother of Lord Duncan, Earl of Chadwick, who is along with the Earl, accompanying her on her trip to Ireland. All three will undergo profound changes and Lady Marcia especially.

It’s 1819 and Duncan, Earl of Chadwick is a man who has gone through a profound change in the past four years. His life finds a purpose with the birth of his illegitimate son and things seem to be more settled with his household. Where in the past he was too somber and serious, now he’s much mellowed and relaxed, especially with his brother Finn far away in America. He doesn’t expect that the chance meeting with his ‘girl-on-the-prow’ would turn his orderly life into one journey that he never really thought would be possible for him.

To follow these two while they try to grapple with the past and try to come to terms with their own feelings for each other in the present, while still looking to fulfill their own dreams for the future was a thrill not to be missed.

‘Loving Lady Marcia’ is yet another delightful tale from an author that I’ve become so found of. I loved almost everything about this story. What I could have done without, is the use of the word ‘okay’ in the dialogue but that is my personal pet-peeve. It, however, never took away from my enjoying the story. The chemistry between the characters, and not just the hero and heroine, but also between the parents and the siblings; servants and friends alike, was wonderful. As for the dialogue, Ms. Kramer knows her craft and she gives us not just witty, but smart and sharp.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the steamy and sensual scenes which were accompanied with her prose that made me sigh and smile all through the book.

“Almost in a panic, he kissed her, if only to ignite that ember in her that should never dim. He held her tight and parted her lips with his own, a teasing, soft, lingering kiss. And like a blossom in the rain, she opened up to him.”

And then I read this…..I dare you not to sigh…

“For a few intense moments, he refused to let her gaze stray from his. Her eyes were large and soft and stormy, all at once. Framed by the green leaves, she was as pretty and beguiling as the naked Eve must have been in that long-ago garden.”

As I look forward to the next story in this series, I can’t help but wonder if there will be Prequel because there MUST be a Prequel! All of us want to know the story of the Marquess of Brady, the widower that ends up with the love of his life and adds daughters to his brood.

If you’re looking for a sweet, sensual and utterly charming tale, this is it. Find it, buy it and enjoy it!

ARC provided by NetGalley.

My first RT Convention [my first convention ever]

RT Booklovers Convention is on Baby! It’s happening right now (from April 11 – April 15), and it’s in my town, Chicago and there was no way I could have stayed away from it, not when most of my awesome and talented romance authors and bloggers, would be attending.

It’s Wednesday night and I’m counting days and hours to this weekend. I have only a weekend pass for RT Convention and I’m excited to a point where anxiety is taking over! I think I need some Yoga to calm me down…

Anyways, with my health issues slowly, and I mean about a turtle speed, getting better, I’m just about ready for this event to lift my ‘steroid induced roller-coaster’ of emotions, up.

Yesterday I’ve downloaded the RT’s Agenda and highlighted some things that will be a must attend and some authors that are a must meet.

A NOBLE AFFAIR is on a Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. and it’s a champagne breakfast hosted by NOBLE PUBLISHING, which means I need to rise early…very early [note to self: need to arrange to meet Grace Burrowes there, and oh God I hope I do not swoon when meeting Madam Authoress].

At 11:15 a.m. I’m planning to go to a discussion on THE TROUBLE WITH LAYERS and listen to Loretta Chase, Kieran Kramer, Sarah MacLean, Jade Lee and Sabrina Jeffries [note to self: with so much talent in one room, do not, I repeat-do not embarrass yourself by aping a salivating dog].

In the evening there are a couple of things I’d love to check out and the chance to meet Katharine Ashe, Lorraine Heath, Tessa Dare and Sophie Jordan at AVON’S INDIGO LOUNGE, as well as visit with Heather Graham with NIGHT OF THE STARS GANGSTER CAFE TALENT QUEST, would be an awesome way to end my first day at the convention [note to self: time to get of the med's for this weekend].

As I’m packing some of my favorite books from Mary Balogh, Victoria Alexander, Monica Burns, Shana Galen, Sylvia Day, Emma Wildes, Delilah Marvelle, Heather Snow, Jade Lee, Mia Marlowe and many more, I’m so happy I can’t stand it. Is it Friday yet?!

To all of you bookworms, I promise we’ll have plenty of stuff to giveaway, so get ready for it!

b2b will be ONE year old!

Guess what?! We’re about to celebrate our first year in the blogosphere! I ‘brain-stormed’ some ideas that were swirling in this head of mine, but none of them were ‘right’. I started to think about why and how I got to reading and loving romance novels and it hit me!

I was a ‘late bloomer’ and Romance Novels came to me when I was in my late twenties. My best friend gave me a copy of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ ‘A ROSE IN WINTER’ and I was hooked. I went out and stocked up on all of her books. Then my friend gave me Johanna Lindsey’s ‘GENTLE ROGUE’ and I had to read everything she wrote.

I ‘got’ what my friend tried to do. She wanted me to get ‘hooked’ on her favorite authors, so she’d pick one of their books and give them away as a gift. It worked in my case. I not only got hooked on the authors, but the genre as well. I took up the banner of the ‘pay it forward’ and started to give my friends ‘books that will hook you’ gifts.

What a better way then to celebrate our first year ‘on’ by celebrating AUTHORS as well as READERS with what connects us all – BOOKS!

Through the month of November, b2b will be honored to host Authors such as Katharine Ash, Grace Burrowes, Anna Campbell, Vicky Dreiling, Eileen Dreyer, Maureen Driscoll, Cara Elliott, Shana Galen, Kieran Kramer and last but not least Rose Lerner.

This amazing group of very talented ‘tale tellers’ have agreed to gift you, the reader, with a book that they hope will ‘hook’ you to either their own work, or the author they chose to share with you.

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Hook-a-Book’ did/would you likely give your friends…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

On November 1st I will let you know my ‘Hook-a-Book’ and celebrate with you this author that had me at ‘Sin’!

DEBUT “When Harry Met Molly” by Kieran Kramer

"When Harry Met Molly" by Kieran Kramer

STORY:  Dashing Lord Harry Traemore is perfectly content to live out his days in the pursuit of pleasure. But when he’s named by the Prince Regent as one of society’s “Impossible Bachelors,” Harry is drafted into a ribald romantic wager. The rules of engagement are scandalously simple: The bachelor whose mistress wins the title of “Most Delectable Companion” gets to remain unmarried. Harry is utterly unconcerned about his status…until his latest lightskirt abandons him.

Enter Lady Molly Fairbanks. Harry’s childhood friend—actually, “foe” is more like it—is the most unlikely companion of all. She’s attractive but hot-headed, and in no mood for games. Besides, what could the self-indulgent Harry possibly know about what makes a woman delectable? It’s time for Molly to teach him a lesson once and for all…but will it led to “happily ever after?”

REVIEW:  Ms. Kramer had me at: A LOVE RECTANGLE OF TRAGIC PROPORTIONS! From that moment in the book I was very well on my way to enjoying one of this year’s great début books.

We meet Molly at thirteen years of age, and she is head over heels in love with Roderick, who is engaged to marry her older sister Penelope. Harry is Roderick’s younger brother, and Molly spies him kissing her sister. Oh, how we all can relate to this predicament of such a young and tender love!  She assumes that her sister doesn’t deserve Rodericks love and sets out to write a poem, which is to be read at the annual Christmas ball. Changing names of all involved was supposed to have worked, right?   Wrong!  Everything Molly planned goes awry.  Duke’s Christmas ball comes to a crashing halt as Roderick and Harry come to blows, Molly is banished to school for girls, and poor Harry is forced into the army. For the next eight years these two develop deep animosity toward each other and never fail to be at each other’s hair at family gatherings, as Roderick has forgiven Penelope and they’ve been happily married all these years.

Eight years later we meet Molly as she’s trying to elope with Cedric Alliston. They’ve stopped at an inn while on their way to Gretna Green. Here is where all the fun begins, and it doesn’t stop until the end of the book. We’re made to connect to a girl who never had her season, spent long periods of time away from her family, and at twenty-one, feels that life is passing her by. That is until she finally gets to know a man who for the longest time, she thought, she hated and despised.

Our Hero eight years later is with his friends, all bachelors, all deep in their cups, mourning one of their own that is getting leg shackled. The Prince Regent shows up at their club and decides to hold a contest where each of their mistresses will enter a contest to win the Most Delectable Companion. The Companion who wins, enables the bachelor another year of bachelorhood. The loser however has to propose marriage to someone who the others choose. None of them are happy about this game that their King decrees, but they have no choice in the matter, so let the games begin! I was a bit disappointed in him in regards to holding a grudge towards Molly for such a long time. He was a bit older than she so I did expect him to be more mature. However it didn’t detract or distract me from enjoying him and his life story.

I’m not going to tell you the rest because I want you to read the book and find out on your own. This is a fun, exciting and sweet story with plenty of love scenes and a first for me to read of a certain “position” where Harry instructs Molly….WHOA! I had so much fun reading this book, and I can only imagine the fun that Ms. Kramer had in writing it. I giggled and LOL’d reading of tests that the mistresses were put through. The characters were all three-dimensional, the story and plot unique. I was grinning, giggling and laughing through all of their adventures and misadventures! I’ve read some reviews where the readers are questioning the realism of the plot. Really? Seriously? THIS IS A ROMANCE NOVEL!!! Enjoy it as such! I have and I applaud the author for taking me with her on this romantic romp.

I hope you get to read this book and if you do please let me know what you think. It has been my great fortune to have discovered  a bunch of new women out there that are blowing my mind with their début novels! I say more power to them! Keep an eye on Ms. Kramer, she’s got two more coming out. They’re already on my MUST HAVE list!