Feature Blog: AVON KissCon at the CCPL

avon-kisscon-logo KissCon Diamond Jubilee 11/10/16

I had a blast at the AVON publisher KissCon event at the South Euclid/Lyndhurst CCPL! It was a Diamond Jubilee Celebration and I got to meet two of my all time favorite authors and made new friends with some others. Thanks to AVON for bringing this event to Cleveland and special thanks to our wonderful and award winning Cuyahoga County Public Library system for hosting!

The first hour was a pay for event with food trays, beverages, wines and a meet and greet one-on-one with the authors. We all received an AVON Diamond Jubilee tote full of goodies, a free anthology and a coupon for a free book of our choice.

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img_0266 Susan Elizabeth Phillips!

img_0264 Linda Howard!

img_0274 Jill Shalvis!

img_0272 Shelley Shepard Gray!

All of the authors were great, but I have been reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Linda Howard for years, so of coarse I was fan-girling!

The second hour was free for everyone who registered and it was all the authors seated in a panel format. We had a fun Q&A game, the authors talked about their current books and the audience got to ask questions.

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The full panel of authors included: Shelley Shepard Gray, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Shalvis, Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones, Jennifer Ryan, Katherine Ashe and Toni Blake.

I now have another list of books to add to my TBR and new authors to try. It was a great night! Thanks to AVON and the authors for coming to Cleveland.

 

 

Book Review: Dangerous In A Kilt by Anna Durand

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I FALL FOR A HOT SCOT IN A KILT EVERY TIME!!!

Dangerous In A Kilt by Anna Durand delivered! This is my favorite style of romance writing. A hot, but wounded hero, a heroine who is strong on her own, but also needs the hero and sex that will scorch the sheets without any kinks or fetishes.

Erica Teague was an accountant for a prestigious firm who always played it safe until the day she was arrested for embezzling from her firm’s elderly clients’ accounts. She has been set up by her ex-lover and boss, who also happens to be the son of one of the owners. She refuses to make any deals, so before she ends up in prison she sets up an internet date for one wild night of sex and fun.

Lachlan MacTaggart is taking an American vacation in the home of his friend who lives right next door to Erica. He shows up at the local hookup club and walks up to Erica, who believes he is her blind date and can’t believe her luck. A hot Highlander in a kilt. He won’t take advantage of a misunderstanding, but he does propose a one month fling with no attachments to this beautiful American.

Erica wants to experience everything Lachlan can give her before she is imprisoned without explanations and Lachlan wants no attachments and no questions. For two wounded people who discover they care more than they should, emotions just can’t be ignored.

This is a well written, classic but contemporary romance story. My emotions were up and down right along with Erica’s and Lachlan’s. I knew there would be a HEA, but it was the journey, characters and smoking hot sex scenes that kept me turning the pages. The characters were all realistic and I loved Erica’s dog, Casey. Lachlan has two brothers and three sisters, so I hope to be enjoying this family in many more stories to come.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: When It Holds You by Nicki Elson

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Nicki Elson has become my MUST read new contemporary romance author!

WHEN IT HOLDS YOU, just like her previous book When It Hooks You, has characters that are fully fleshed out and true to life in both dialogue and plot. I can relate to these characters on an emotional level that has me up and down and turning the pages as fast as I can waiting to see how Ms. Elson works out the HEA.

Cliff Walsh is back as the main rather than the secondary character in this story. After the emotional roller coaster in the previous book you would think he would be wiser in this story. He is, but not right away. He has a lot of emotional discovery to go through. As he is healing his broken heart, he becomes more involved in online gaming as his social outlet. In the game, he meets a female character that makes him want to try a relationship again and the surprise is that she has been right in front of him for years.

Joanne “Jojo” has always been the wild party girl since college. Cliff had used her and forgotten her, but she never forgot him. Jojo is an amazingly true to life character that you have to get under her outer shell to find the true vulnerability inside. I believe so many readers will be able to empathize with her.

The romance in this book comes together at a realistic pace and has a little surprise twist. I thought the author was going to choose a different heroine, but she took the more difficult path and it worked beautifully. I love that Cliff found what is truly important and Jojo was willing to take a chance. The sex is hot, but the emphasis is on emotions in this book. They really are made for each other.

This book can be read as a standalone, but the characters are carried over from the first book and their back stories do help you understand more of their emotional growth. Fall in love with the characters and the author’s writing and read them both!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com

Book Review: When It Hooks You by Nicki Elson

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Nicki Elson’s When It Hooks You is one of the best contemporary romances I have read in a long time!

This book gives you believable characters, a plot that flows over a well-paced time period and dialogue that is very realistic. It is so nice to read a contemporary romance that is so true to life AND gives me my HEA.

Trish Cerise is a receptionist at a prestigious law firm in Chicago. She thought her long term boyfriend was about to propose again, she turned him down last year, but she is ready now to accept. Instead of a proposal, she gets dumped. This brings about Trish’s new rules for dating: she will only go out with a guy for three dates because after three dates is when complications and heartache starts and no sex.

Adam Helms is a businessman, who has interests all over the world. When he overhears an embarrassing conversation between Trish and her friend in the law firm lobby, they strike up a conversation and mild flirtation. He is interested in Trish’s rules of dating and has a few of his own as they get to know each other on their dates. Trish and Adam both have trouble keeping to their own rules as their feelings grow. When Trish is ready to make an exception to her rules, huge plot twist surprise involving Adam’s past.

This story is so well written. I was especially happy that the author had Trish move forward with her life and career after the plot twist and not just continually mope around until Adam’s return. She also didn’t just jump back into his arms and give up everything she has changed and worked towards to be back with him.

 Trish and Adam are wonderful characters that I cheered for throughout the romance. Sexual heat is high, but it is not overly explicit. There are fun and strongly written secondary characters that will make for excellent follow-up stories. I highly recommend this book and author!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Crushing On Love by Melissa Foster

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

When it comes to contemporary romances with realistic characters, an emotional love story and smokin’ hot sex, author Melissa Foster always delivers!

CRUSHING ON LOVE is the fourth book in The Bradens of Peaceful Harbor series.  All can be read as standalone books, but you won’t want to stop at one.

Book four focuses on Shannon Braden who is always optimistic, sweet and fun. She has returned to Colorado to see if the sparks between her and Steve Johnson, who she met on her first fox research trip and at her cousin’s wedding can lead to more. She wants time away from her family, even though she loves them all dearly, to decide on her future career and life without her family hovering.

Steve Johnson loves his solitude living up in the Colorado mountains and working as a ranger and wildlife consultant. That solitude has been invaded once again by the beautiful and people loving Shannon. As much as he wants her, he doesn’t do casual relationships and she plans to return home in a few weeks.

Steve wants to conserve a large ranch next to the national park, but he doesn’t have the money. Shannon has the online crowd sourcing knowledge, but he feels it is begging. They need to work together to make Steve’s dream a reality and it just might lead to what Shannon desires both personally and professionally.

At first, I really wondered how these two were going to be able to come together, but leave it to Ms. Foster to make it all work out in the end. Mountain man Steve “Grizz” and Shannon “Butterfly” have very appropriate nicknames for each other and they both ended up convincing me they are perfect for each other and deserve their HEA. Other characters make guest appearances from Ms. Foster’s other series and it is easy to follow the connections. The sex in this book is extremely hot and well incorporated into the story. It does include oral and anal sex.

Take the time to read Steve and Shannon’s story and I know you will love it as much as I did!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.