Spotlight on Julianne Lee and…

TENEBRAE SERIES

Knight Tenebrae/Chapter One

KT JL ebookBOOK BLURB: It begins when an American fighter jet is discovered submerged in Scotland’s Firth of Clyde. Clearly it has been there for centuries. Clearly, that is impossible.

British reporter Lindsay Pawlowski is sent to cover the story. But Alex MacNeil, the arrogant American pilot she interviews, dismisses it—and her—out of hand.

Then MacNeil’s jet, with Lindsay aboard, crashes into the water after passing through a fiery vortex that appears out of nowhere. Lindsay and Alex bail and parachute to the ground as the plane goes under—and they encounter a group of mounted men, wearing armor, bearing swords.

To stay alive, Alex and Lindsay must tread carefully; the Scotland of Robert the Bruce is a dangerous place, particularly for a woman alone. So Lindsay plays squire to Alex’s knight as they slowly adjust to their fate.

But they come to realize that they have far more to worry about than their daily survival in a brutal past. They have a powerful enemy, an inhuman enemy. He caused the vortex, he hates them—and all of mankind—and he plans to use their growing love for one another to destroy them…

EXCERPT: here.

KT JLMINI REVIEW: I actually won these on LibraryThing.com and the only reason I wanted to read them was because of how much I loved the movie TIMELINE with Gerard Butler.

Now, that movie got only 2 1/2 Stars and that’s really bad because I really, really liked it. It’s not a masterpiece and it’s not meant to be. It’s a cute little story, well acted and filled with action. It did what aimed to do, and that’s entertain a certain audience.

This novel did exactly the same. I enjoyed the mix of contemporary, historical and fantasy aspect of it. I also thought the relationship between Alex and Lindsay was interesting, fun and well written. Alex was one of those heroes you’ll really like a lot, and Lindsay in the end turned out to be strong and courageous woman who helped Alex to adept to their new surroundings and a life neither really ever expected to share.

And let’s not forget the plot’s twists and turns as well as great action.

If you like time travel romance and you loved BRAVEHEART, Scotland and its history, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this book.

Knight’s Blood/Chapter Two

KB JL ebookBOOK BLURB: U.S. Navy Pilot Lieutenant Alex MacNeil and his wife Lindsay have returned from their adventure in fourteenth century Scotland—and Lindsay has given birth to a son. But the magic realm is not through with them yet…

The MacNeils’ child has been kidnapped—presumably by Nemed, the elfin king and the couple’s sworn enemy—and brought back into the past. Feeling responsible, Lindsay ventures to medieval Scotland on her own, in pursuit of Nemed. Once again in the guise of Sir Lindsay Pawlowski, she joins a company of rogue knights, led by a man who calls himself “An Reubair.”

It isn’t long before her true identity is discovered, but Lindsay proves her worth among the bandits. As time passes, she finds herself drawn to their lifestyle—and to Reubair—and is torn between reuniting with her family and embracing her warrior’s life.

And soon she will confront Alex, who has also returned to Scotland and resumed his place as laird. And her son, now a fully grown man and resentful of his parents’ abandonment…

EXCERPT: here.

KB JLMINI REVIEW: Julianne Lee continues the adventure of Alex and Lindsey in the second book, Knight’s Blood and gives it a twist that I honestly haven’t seen coming.

This book might even have more action than the first, if that’s possible and I frankly liked it a lot.

She also adds a bit more fantasy in this one, and it made the story a bit more sinister, which is a good thing.

What made me sad was the relationship between all the main characters as they tried to come to terms with their past, especially Lindsey.

Alex, this time around, looked like he handled the situations a bit better than before.

Like the earlier book, this will appeal to all time travel and medieval romance fans.

Knight’s Lady/The Final Chapter

KL JL ebookBOOK BLURB: U.S. Navy pilot Alex MacNeil and his wife, Lindsay, are stranded in fourteenth-century Scotland, brought there by magic and held by bonds of loyalty to Robert the Bruce. But their own bond of love is about to be tested as never before…

The MacNeils are making the best of their new life in the Highlands when a surprise attack throws them into chaos once more. Alex is badly wounded in the fighting, and Lindsay is taken to the Knight An Reubair’s hidden stronghold in the faerie lands of Ireland – for the rogue warrior has long desired to make Lindsay his wife… Lindsay knows she can use her love of Alex as a shield against the seductive powers of An Reubair. But his magical enticements slowly melt her will, forcing Lindsay to fight her own battle for the man she loves and the future that is slipping away from them both…

EXCERPT: here.

KL JLMINI REVIEW: In this last chapter [REALLY?! I don’t want this to be the final chapter! I’d like to now more! This didn’t end on a final note, so I really REALLY hope there will be more!], Alex comes into his own and the love he bares to his wife is stronger than ever; Lindsay, on the other hand continues to baffle, but in the end I cut her some slack because she really is a complex character.

We also came to know real Trefor and he grew on me [although I wished he’d grow on his mother too].

All in all, this was a fun, entertaining, well written and interesting series filled with complex characters, fast pace and action. You should give it a try with sample chapters, and get it if you like the genre.

Let me also add that I preferred the original book covers [those are the ones by my reviews]. They look more like the characters in the books.

To purchase these books, click on their new ebook covers.

Julianne LeeAUTHOR BIO: At twelve I began to write for fun, which I think is the only real reason to write fiction. Daydreaming with a purpose, and gradually I realized I could gain approval for the very thing teachers used to criticize me for in class.

At thirty I looked for something to do besides acting and changing diapers.
Throughout this time I’d kept writing, though sporadically, and about then I began a second novel.

On January 27, 1987 I bought my first copy of Writers Digest. Another turning point in my life. For the next several years I wrote manuscripts, sent the work out, joined writers groups, and workshopped my novels with the Green River Writers in Louisville, KY. After seven years I sold my first short story, Culture Control, to the now defunct Cosmic Unicorn.

Twelve years, twelve completed novel manuscripts, and eight proposals for uncompleted novels after buying that Writer’s Digest, I sold a novel. Sold from an outline, “Son of the Sword” was my thirteenth completed manuscript. Lucky thirteen.

[Courtesy of Amzaon]

And just for fun [and to get you in a mood for this series], here’s the TIMELINE trailer….

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Spotlight on Susan Hatler and…

LOVE AT FIRST DATE

LAFD SHBOOK BLURB: Ellen may not believe in storybook love, but it’s about to rewrite her life . . .

Ellen’s figured out that finding the right guy is all about compatibility. That’s why she signs up for Detailed Dating—the local online dating scene in Sacramento. They ask men the hard questions, compare their answers with hers, then she filters through the profiles of each provided “match.” After numerous email exchanges, she narrows it down to two promising candidates she’s excited to meet in person.

When Ellen’s best friend asks her for a favor, dog-sitting leads to disaster and Ellen ends up at the local vet where she meets a man she can’t get out of her mind. Henry isn’t a logical choice, but she finds herself paying for dog obedience class to spend more time with him.

Ellen knows that in order to have a lasting relationship, she should take the safe route and go for one of the pre-screened guys. But, how can she think with her head when her heart keeps begging her to give Henry a chance?

EXCERPT:

When it comes to men, I’m a practical girl. Well, woman. I just celebrated my thirtieth birthday last month. Anyway, stars and fireworks where guys are concerned? Total fantasy. I blame the movies for all that hype.

After two failed marriages, my mom learned with Hubby Number Three that lasting relationships are all about compatibility, which is why I recently signed up at Detailed Dating—a popular Sacramento online dating site. I’m going to save precious time (not to mention frustration and heartache) learning the 411 about a potential mate up front to see if we’ll make it for the long haul. Museums and musicals? Yes. Computer games and fantasy football? No, thanks.

After six weeks of email exchanges, I’ve narrowed it down to two prospects: lookn4luv and jusUnME. Both guys appear to have interests and goals compatible with mine, and our email exchanges have gone well, so I’m stoked about taking the next step in the Detailed Dating process by scheduling “face-to-face” coffee dates (separately, of course).

***

Holding Rachel’s bright yellow dishtowel under Chester’s saliva-dripping mouth, I panicked at the morphed sounds he was making. “Hang in there, dude.”

I shifted him in my arms then slammed on the metal bell some more. “Does anyone work here?”

“Can I help?” A male voice came from behind me.

“Yes, this dog got into my purse and—” I paused mid-sentence as my gaze met dark gray eyes that sent a bolt of adrenaline through me. My heart flipped in my chest. Not an appropriate reaction when Rach’s dog could be dying. “I-I think he ate something toxic. Maybe my lip-gloss? Are you the vet? Can you give him that charcoal stuff to make him barf it up?”

He studied Chester’s half-open mouth. “Try setting him down. I’ll take a look.”

“Thanks.” I knelt, still holding the towel under his mouth—because, ew, slobber all over the place.

The vet dropped to his knees next to Chester and pried his little jaw open.

Hech! Hech!

As he examined the dog’s throat, I couldn’t help checking him out. There was something going on behind those dark eyes that had me dying to learn everything about him. Where he was from, what made him tick, what he looked for in a girl . . .

My pulse slammed into overdrive.

Weird that the vet was wearing sweats, though. Maybe he’d finished with his last patient and was going for a run? Definitely looked like a guy who worked out regularly. Yeah, that’s what I should be thinking about while my friend’s dog was gagging for his life. What was wrong with me? Focus, Ellen. “Can you save him?”

Purchase Links: Amazon / Kindle / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / All Romance / iTunes

Susan HatlerAuthor Bio: Susan Hatler is an international bestselling author who writes humorous and emotional contemporary romance and young adult novels.

A natural optimist, she believes life is amazing, people are fascinating, and imagination is endless. She loves spending time with her characters and hopes you do, too. You can visit her website at www.susanhatler.com.

Places to find Susan: Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

‘Pleasures of a Tempted Lady’ by Jennifer Haymore

POATL JHSTORY: Captain William Langley knows the ocean well, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers adrift on the cold Irish Sea. The tiny boat carries two passengers: a child—and Meg Donovan, Will’s long-lost love. Meg’s disappearance at sea eight years ago was a devastating blow. Now she’s back, as beautiful as ever, and with secrets as deep as Will’s own.

After years held captive by a cold-blooded pirate, Meg has finally escaped with little Jake, the boy she’s come to love as if he were her own. But the pirate wants his revenge—and Meg must do whatever it takes to shield Jake from the madman. Determined not to lose Meg again, Will vows to protect them both, yet Meg can’t risk putting the only man she’s ever loved in danger. With the threat to her safety growing, and her passion for Will burning brighter every day, surrendering herself to Will might be a pleasure too tempting to resist

REVIEW: This is the third story in Donovan Sisters series and we finally get Meg’s story.

Meg is the twin sister to Serena who eight years ago was presumed drowned while they were sailing home to Antigua after a scandal in England.

In this book we find out where Meg spent those long years and the story’s not pretty.

So far this series isn’t blowing me away, and the only reason I read this story is its hero, Captain William Langley who was left high and dry by ‘Meg’ [actually Serena pretending to be her] who fell for Jonathan Dane, Earl of Stratford who was the main culprit of the scandal to begin with. If you haven’t read the first book, don’t fret too much, this book will fill in the blanks and you’ll be well-informed of the background of all past characters.

My heart ached for Will and I was looking forward to his happy ending, which was really long in coming.

Captain William Langley has spent the last eight years carrying the torch for his lost love and would have given anything to see her again.

In his wildest dreams he never expected that wish to come true.

While he’s after some smugglers, they come upon a boat with a woman and a boy in it, and low and behold, his Meg is restored to him.

This is another book of Ms. Haymore that I just could not connect with. I’m not sure if it’s the characterization or the plot, or possibly both. The book is well written, fast paced, but even that didn’t make me like Meg or her actions. I even found Will a bit unnerving and not as I remembered him in the first book.

The only thing that made this read bearable were the secondary characters of Jessica and David. Talk about different personalities! While Meg was aloof and off-putting, Jess was trusting and loyal.

I do recommend you read it if you’re vested in this series already, but otherwise you might want to skip it.

*Book provided by publisher from NetGalley.

‘True Highland Spirit’ by Amanda Forester

THS AFSTORY: A heated rivalry…

Morrigan McNab is a Highland lady, robbed of her birthright and with no choice but to fight alongside her brothers to protect their impoverished clan. When she encounters Sir Jacques Dragonet, she discovers her fiercest opponent…

Is getting even hotter…

Sir Jacques Dragonet will give his life to defend Scotland from the English. He can’t stop himself from admiring the beautiful Highland lass who wields her weapons as skillfully as he does, and endangers his heart even more than his life…

REVIEW: I finally got to read the third book in this series and I’m glad of it. Amanda Forester continues to mix Historical facts with her own brand of fiction that will make you want to travel back in time and meet all of her wonderful characters.

This read doesn’t start of fast but it sure picks up the pace and then doesn’t let go until the end.

Morrigan and Dragonet were one of those couples that reminded me of a train wreck; you just couldn’t take your eyes off of them because you just might miss something! Dragonet was a hero you’ll not soon forget because not many heroes are as ‘innocent’ as he.

If you’re into Highlander tales, Alpha heroes and Warrior heroines, I have no doubt you’ll like this intriguing, at times funny and adventure filled sweet and tender romance.

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘Father by Choice’ by Amanda Berry

Father by Choice blogSTORY: From corporate raider to daddy-in-training

A family was the last thing workaholic Brady Ward had ever planned on. So after eight years abroad, he was shocked when a blast from his passionate past walked into his office—and informed him that he was a daddy. Now he was faced with a choice: to keep climbing the ladder of success, or build a life with the daughter he left behind.

Maggie Brown wanted their little girl to know her father, but bringing a man as ambitious as Brady into their lives was a huge risk, one she wasn’t sure she should take for Amber or herself. Because even after eight years, he still got her heart racing like no one else. Yet would he really give up the corporate lifestyle in the big city for life in a sleepy small town? Maybe if he realized that family was a gift that only came along once in a lifetime…

REVIEW: Okay, the only reason I read this book is because it had a kid in it. I’m a sucker for kids and animals in books. For some reason I think they, and animals too, bring out the best [or the worst, sometimes] in all the grown-ups around them. In this case, little Amber did the former. You’ll fall in love with this precocious kid.

Amanda Berry did such a great job in telling a love story of two totally different people who slowly try to come to terms with their past and figure out if they might build the future together.

All the characters are well fleshed out and the supporting cast is well-developed too so I’ll not be surprised if we visit this community a few more times. What I liked the best about this story is how real the author portrayed the relationships, the characters and their personalities. They may as well be my neighbors!

The story is well written, fast paced and heartwarming from the first page to the last. Loved it and highly recommend it for a quick summer read.

*Book provided by the author.

‘Desired’ by Ginger Garrett

D GGSTORY: Meet the legendary Samson as you’ve never known him before … through the eyes of the three women who loved him.

Before Samson was an Old Testament legend, he was a prodigal son, an inexperienced suitor, a vengeful husband, and a lost soul driven by his own weakness. This is his story as told by three strong women who loved him—the nagging, manipulative mother who pushed him toward greatness, the hapless Philistine bride whose betrayal propelled him into notoriety, and the emotionally damaged seductress—the famous Delilah—who engineered his downfall and propelled him to his destiny. Desired celebrates the God of Israel’s to work powerfully in the midst of hopes, fears, desires, and sorrows.

REVIEW: Being a fan of Bible stories in general and of Samson’s story in particular, I really was looking forward to reading this book as it tells his story from a totally different point of view, that of the three very important women in his life.

From the start of this book, I knew it would be different and I thought I was prepared for it, but I was still surprised by its content. Ginger Garrett took this story into the direction I never imagined before.

I didn’t really expect an accounting about Samson from the Bible nor the movie I saw long time ago with Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr, but I also didn’t expect this sweaty, smelly beast of a man who goes after what he wants without caring who he hurts. A man in this book is vicious, vengeful and way too dark. He was unappealing and I couldn’t picture him at all as a hero.

Delilah on the other hand was the only character that made this story worth the read. Her characters evolution was well written and I enjoyed watching her become the seductress we all read about in the Bible.

If you’re looking for a different viewpoint of this story, and one that offers at times a sensual, dark and emotional view, you might like it. Personally, I found it too depressing.

*Book provided by publisher through NetGalley.

‘The Secrets of Mia Danvers’ by Robyn DeHart

SOMD RDHSTORY: A Lone witness finds her protector…

Since losing her sight in a childhood accident, Mia Danvers has resided in a small cottage on the vast Carrington estate. Thought to be dead, Mia lives a life of virtual seclusion—until one night, while walking home, she happens upon a horrendous crime.

Alex Foster, Eighth Duke of Carrington, lives according to society’s expectations for him. He’s never met the woman who lives in the cottage at the edge of his property. But when she arrives at his door in the pouring rain terrified and claiming she has witnessed a murder, she seizes his attention.

Mia is determined to help the authorities track down the culprit, even though the only person willing to accept her aid is the handsome, arrogant duke. Working closely together proves difficult as Mia’s beauty and independence tempts Alex to ignore convention and follow his desire. But what neither of them know is that this murderer has struck before in Whitechapel, taunting the British press only to vanish—a ruthless killer who knows that Mia is the only living witness to his crime…

REVIEW: This novel reminded me of how good Robyn DeHart is at plotting her stories, and how well she writes her characters. As usual, she creates her heroines as strong, independent women and her heroes are just as strong and determined men.

The story opens up with Mia literally being abandoned by her family, and at sixteen years of age this young woman was such a wonderful and courageous soul that the scenes made me cry and wish to pummel her mother.

After nine years of living in a small cottage, off of Eighth Duke of Carrington’s property, with her faithful governess-turned-companion who never abandoned her, she was finally forced by circumstances to face the Duke and let him know that she was the witness to a crime that occurred on his property.

And that’s where this story becomes a mystery worth reading. I’m not a fan of Jack the Ripper only because I don’t like to read gore scenes, but Ms. DeHart knows her audience and keeps those scenes only at a periphery of my mind and leaves it to my imagination rather than writing it all out.

The story was enhanced by the heroine’s blindness as we had to be put in the dark as she was and ‘feel’ rather than ‘see’ the world in which she lived in. It also created an interesting dynamic between Alex, a man who always did what was expected of him; a man who needed someone like Mia to pop into his life and ‘open’ his eyes to the world beyond the one he grew up in.

And when it comes to villains, this one is sick, vile and slippery son-of-a gun. I’ll be so glad to watch him get his in the next book.

If you’re looking for a fast paced romance with a mystery in it, oh and let’s not forget sensual, don’t look further. I highly recommend you pick this one and I promise you’ll read it in one sitting. It is not to be put down before the last page is read!

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.