Thursday, July 9, 2015

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne - Review and Author Interiew!

Happy Wednesday!

I am participating at Redemption Bay blog tour and I am happy to feature Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne on the blog. The blog tour is organized by Little Bird Publicity, by Harlequin Books and by the author. This post includes the review and a Q&A with RaeAnne Thayne and also information about the book.

Let's start with the review!


Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Title: Redemption Bay
Series: Haven Point Series
Publishing date: 30th of June
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Genre: Adult: Romance
Pages: 384 pages
Source: From Little Bird Publicity and the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Summary:

A young mayor will do anything to save her town, even if it means welcoming back the man she blames for almost destroying it in REDEMPTION BAY (HQN Books, July 2015, $7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.), the second book in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s enthralling Haven Point series.

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it’s never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick.

Ben was her childhood hero until he closed his family’s boat factory, leaving the town’s economy in shambles.
But now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. Her natural instinct, fueled by all these years of resentment, is to fight him at every turn. For Haven Point’s sake, however, McKenzie must grit her teeth and be as welcoming as she can manage—a task further complicated by her fierce attraction to Ben and her discovery that he is renting the lake house next door to hers.
For Ben, being back in Haven Point evokes all the dark and ugly memories of his childhood. What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer him? Yet seeing Haven Point through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it’s least expected.

REDEMPTION BAY is available wherever books are sold and through Harlequin.com.

RaeAnne Thayne
REDEMPTION BAY
$7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-78506-3

“[Thayne] engages the reader’s heart and emotions, inspiring hope and the belief that miracles are possible.” #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber



“Thayne’s beautiful, honest storytelling goes straight to the heart.” —RT Book Reviews


My review:

I love stories and books about small places in beautiful surroundings and when you add a good love story where characters get over some issues from their past and they are capable of solving and creating a new future for them, then it's definitely for me! Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne offered me exactly that. The book was well-written with lovable characters and with a great low-burn romance in it.

Plot:

Meet McKenzie and Ben who meet under dire circumstances. McKenzie is the mayor of a town which Ben destroyed, at least this is what McKenzie is thinking. She blames Ben for closing down a boat factory which left hundreds of people without jobs. Now, when Ben is back in town and he is responsible of deciding the future of the place McKenzie loves - Haven Point - McKenzie understands that she needs to do whatever it takes to push Ben into loving Haven Point, so he would make the right decision and bring some new business to the town. Both Ben and McKenzie need to face the demons from the past and deal with the, whether they like it or not and decide what to do with the building attraction between them.

First of all, I loved the descriptions of Haven Point and its people. The lake, the surroundings and the descriptions of these in the book made me really love the place! It's heart-warming to read how loyal and decent the characters are and it's simply beautiful. Being from a small place myself, I could easily relate to the small-town-life issues like secrets and gossip, but also loyalty, friendships and generally, the dynamics of the close-knit society. I loved it! It made feel like being back at home.

I also liked the writing style and the pace. I enjoyed, that the romance was not like many insta-loves between the main characters in many books. I enjoyed how it slowly developed, starting from attraction and admiration and growing into something stronger than just physical relationship. It was fun to read about two grown people who have endured a lot in their lives and that the author didn't paint flawless peachy world around them. It felt real when reading and I think it's a great gift given by the author to her readers. The story also gave hope and faith and positive feelings about that everything is possible. It went straight to my heart.

Characters:

I loved McKenzie inside out. She was a beautiful person with beautiful personality: strong, goodhearted, kind, stood up for her beliefs - simply adorable. She is woman that everyone would love to have as a friend. I also adored Ben. I felt his pain, all that he had suffered and the pain he went through when finding out the truth about his family. There were also lots of interesting supporting characters which were well-written and with their own background stories which gave added value to the story. They were believable and easy to relate to.

Generally:

I highly recommend Redemption Bay. it's beautifully written and it touches your heart. Loved it!


5 stars.


About the author:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at raeannethayne.com.




And now, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the author of Redemption Bay, RaeAnne Thayne!

Q: REDEMPTION BAY is the 2nd book in your new Haven Point series. What would you tell someone who is coming to Haven Point for the first time? Is there anything you want first time readers to know before they jump into REDEMPTION BAY?

A: Haven Point is a series of books that explores healing in its various forms -- healing hearts, healing bodies, healing families and healing a town. Haven Point – on the shores of beautiful Lake Haven, a few hours from Boise, ID – has seen some tough times and suffered some losses, but despite all the challenges, it's a place where people care about each other.

Q: When a natural disaster hits, the whole town works together to avoid catastrophe. Do you live in a place where people help each other out like this? It’s inspiring to read about!

A: I definitely live in a community like this and feel incredibly lucky. Huge, dramatic events like house fires or floods seem to bring out that compassion and caring in everyone and it's wonderful to witness people come together to help in whatever way they can. I've witnessed many situations similar to the events of Haven Point, when an entire community rallies to help out neighbors. Just as touching to me, though, are the constant small and simple acts of kindness I see around me every day.

Q: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?

A: Oh, absolutely. I've never created a character whole cloth from an actual person but I'll take bits and pieces of people I've met or read about and incorporate that into my characters. I loved that part of being a journalist – the chance to be out in the community meeting new people and interviewing them. I learned early that everybody has a story and everyone faces both struggles and triumphs.

Q: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve ever gotten from a reader?

A: I once had a teenage girl tell me she used to hate reading until she and a girlfriend read one of my earlier books together and now she loves to read and is always finding new authors. I could quit writing today and be perfectly happy, knowing that I've helped someone discover the joy that can be found inside a book.


Q: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

A: My voice has changed quite dramatically over the years. I sold my first book to Bantam Loveswept twenty years ago, when I wasn't quite thirty, and I've since written fifty more. At the time of that first sale, my husband and I had one daughter and my life experience was very narrow. The week I sold my fifth book to Loveswept a few years later, I gave birth to our second child who was born with multiple severe disabilities. I became his caregiver and advocate and by necessity, my worldview shifted instantly.

I am a much different person than I was in my early days as an author. I have learned that life is hard. It's filled with pain and disappointment and sorrow but also laughter and spring flowers and dear friends. I think I write from a place of hard-won experience, knowledge that I couldn't have imagined in my twenties when I first dreamed about writing novels. 

I write characters now who have been through sometimes unbearably difficult things but eventually they discover that the world is still a place of joy and wonder.

It took me about twenty books before I began to recognize the core message in each of my books, no matter how disparate the characters, plot or conflict – that we are each here to learn how to take care of each other. In REDEMPTION BAY, I think McKenzie has already learned this but Ben discovers through the course of the book that he can't truly be happy when he keeps the world at a safe distance, not letting anyone close.

--------------------------------------
Thanks goes to RaeAnne Thayne for the Q&A and to the Little Bird Publicity making it happen.

Happy reading!


 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: Deep by Kylie Scott

Hi all!

The fourth book in a highly recommended romance series!




Author: Kylie Scott
Title: Deep
Release date: 31st of March 2015
Series: Stage Dive #4
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary
URL: http://kylie-scott.com/
Pages: 271 in e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible... but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

Review:

Unpopular opinion alert!

This series is without a doubt one of the top of the tops in rocker romance. The endearing characters, the five-star humor, the noteworthy sharp and entertaining dialogue, the swoony moments... everything is excellent and all together they create an irresistible combination.

With the current fourth book in the series, I had some trouble. Unexpected pregnancy stories always are a hit or miss with me, either done as "right" as possible, walking on the narrow edge of irritating, or falling to the pit of ridiculous angsty unreasonable sticky mud. This book had one foot in the pit and the other on solid ground. What annoyed me, and I'm not trying to make excuses for anyone's behavior, I'm imagining myself in the position and I can't judge someone if I can understand their reasoning. I respect Lizzy for how fast she settled with the idea of having a baby, was ready to make sacrifices and was prepared to raise it on her own. I didn't appreciate the fact that she couldn't grasp that, while she could pull herself together quickly, not everyone is as up to the challenge as fast as she. Having a baby together does not mean that you become a traditional family in a second, all the existing problems don't disappear, especially if the baby is a result of a one-night-stand and there wasn't a stable relationship beforehand to begin with. Relationships need trust, time and commitment and a baby is not a band aid to hold the wounds together while everything is hurting or nonexistent on the inside. They were nowhere near even 10% of a secure and understanding relationship. Not everyone is a natural hen mother and can adapt as fast, some need time to get use to the idea and sulking and expecting true everlasting love, because he's the baby-daddy is so naive, simplistic and unrealistic that I got annoyed. Having a baby is not synonyms with a healthy functioning relationship. It's not as he left her without support and cut her loose or denied anything her or the baby, Ben just needed time to digest and I can emphasize with that, not eveyone is an instinctual parent right off the bat, especially if you value freedom and fear commitment as he did. Then again he was insensitive, evasive and a douche for leading her on and not providing her with concrete answers on if there was hope or what was the actual nature or their relationship. They were all over the place. They could have just sat together and put down both of their expectations, because the baby won't wait and they were both equally responsible for the situation. 

Generally, Lizzy was likable, but she should have wallowed less and just flat out left Ben if she was so unhappy with him not jumping in front of the altar with her. Seriously, leave the guy, that usually brings them to their senses faster and they come running back if you show some hard as metal backbone. She was also slightly dull, because her life seemed to revolved around school, her sister and dreaming about Ben. He remained somewhat distant to me in the book, it may be to due to his private, observing and introvert character or I simply couldn't connect with him overall. I have to admit, though, that they made an adorable couple when they weren't being whiney, talking past each other, misunderstanding and wallowing in angst. The text messages were cute, the general feel of their relationship was pleasant and they were to some degree a charming couple with a lot of promise. The sister drama, I felt was unnecessary, it was just there for a final conflict. I would have enoyed if Ben and Lizzy had figured everything out on their own account without some involuntary push from the scandal sister.

It was awesome to catch up with the other couples of the series and I loved observing how and where their relationships had developed towards. Mal and his scary yet kind of cute obsession with his sister-in-law was hilarious and comically over-the-top.

Overall:

Despite me not enjoying this fourth installment as much as I was hoping for various reasons, that might be completely nonexistent to most all others, I still consider it better than a lot of the other sexy romance books flooding the swoony book market in the last years. I don't know if it's the end of the series, but if it is, then I will sorely miss it!

3 stars!

LIIS

Monday, July 6, 2015

Classic Review: Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer - 5 Star Review!

Hi all!

Some classical romance this time!




Author: Georgette Heyer
Title: Devil's Cub
Release date: 2011
Series: Alastair-Audley #2
Published by: Ajakirjade Kirjastus AS
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Historical
Pages: 320 in paperbook format
Source: Bought from a local book store

Summary:

Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal is a bad lot a rake and seducer, reckless, heedless, and possessed of a murderous temper. He is known by friend and foe alike as the "Devil's Cub." Yet as the handsome and wealthy heir to a Dukedom, he is considered a good prospect on the marriage market. Vidal currently has his eye on the young, lovely, and unintelligent Sophia Challoner, and Sophia's greedy mother is more than happy to encourage his dubious attentions.

When lovely, saucy Mary Challoner had practiced her hold deception upon the hot-blooded, fiery-tempered young Marquis of Vidal--substituting herself for her young sister he had thought to carry off to France--she had little notion he would grimly hold her to her part of the bargain. Now he had left her, and she was alone, a stranger in a strange land, prey to the intrigues of glittering, heartless, 18th century Paris.

Only one person could rescue her--the Marquis himself. But how could she ever trust this man? How could she even hope to overcome the contempt in which he held her? And how could even the sudden flowering of her love ever bridge the terrible gap between them?

Review:

I’ve never read any books by this famous romance author, furthermore, I hadn’t even hear of her, even though she is supposedly a widely known, loved and productive writer. I only noticed her books because they had such gorgeous historic covers that I got curious, and I’m very grateful I did. Reminiscent of Jane Austin, but taking things several steps further in the entertaining aspect, my first meeting with her stories was incredibly successful. I kept asking myself oh where had she been before in my life and how could this author fly under my radar for so long. And I call myself a quite knowledgeable reader, I’m ashamed.

The context, story and the high society portrayed in the book was on the outside so proper, discreet and well-mannered, but it was a thin facade and couldn't for long hide the fun and shameless scandals, dastedly deeds, wittiness and quirkiness of the characters. The dialogue was also sharp, sassy and a joy to follow. The story read like your typical historical romance, but with heaps more refinement and minus the lovely dovely rated scenes. In a sexual sense, the book was quite tame, but other wicked non-polite actions and thoughts weren't uncommon, especially for our bad boy hero Dominic. Killing, not being a bit bothered by it, leaving the body to lie there, ruining or trying to ruin young pretty girls, not giving any thought on what others would think of his actions, careless gambling and so on. The first scenes of the first chapter, where you get a without restraint honest and flat-out cold and slightly cruel picture pained of him, is a very effective introduction to this "evil" hero. He had a devil may care, a freezing show-not-remorse, no care or consideration for mostly anyone except himself and his desires attitude. Despite these not so appealing characteristics, he was very intriguing and I thought he was awesome in a non-awesome way, you know you shouldn’t like him, but can’t help but. I did adore his relationship with his mother, he was such a charmer with her and she chose to turn a blind eye to his faults.

I thought the humor in the book was noteworthy, it had top notch banter covered with a veil of sophistication, dripping with sarcasm, full of japes, had spot on comic timing and simply made the story colorful and enabled the characters to be interesting. Prim and proper people in historical romance bore me greatly (well, in every other genre as well). The character immersed with and representing the word "funny" was the uncle of Dominic, though unintentionally most of the time I presume, but he was such a random, jolly old wacky fool, that I couldn't even get annoyed with him blabbing about the most ridiculous things in tense situations or at the most inappropriate moments. For example, him wanting, trying to buy and get the load of wine home was hilarious. I also enjoyed the combo with him and Dominic's mother. I also have to mention the Duke, the hero's father, who had quite a distinct and carefully hidden sense of humor, but most of all, he had such a powerful all silencing and scary/chilly presence that you actually felt it through the book, a mammoth of a character.

I really appreciate opposites attract couples and good girl/bad boy romance, but it has to be brought across as believable and natural. The story itself is nothing overly original and I would have hoped to see more time spent on the couple getting to know each other, creating romantic tension (it feels kind of wrong saying sexual tension in this context for some reason) and growing on each other. Nevertheless, I thought they were adorable together and I loved Dominic being head-over-heels smitten with her. It requires a though cookie of a girl to put up with his attitude, lifestyle and nastiness and she proved to be just the girl to get him to put someone else's needs and wants before his own for once. Mary was humble yet brave, sweet yet she didn't hesitate to pull a gun on Dominic when he was "begging" for it. The final tying of loose ends was to a degree too convenient and there were some silly easily avoidable obstacles and misunderstandings, but I can turn a blind eye to that since I genuinely enjoyed this story.

Overall:

I discovered a great classic historical romance writer and have bought four of her other books already. A must read for all lovers of the genre!

5 stars!

LIIS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Freedom to Read Giveaway!

Hello everybody!

It's been a while. Summer is usually a time for me when I read a lot and write slightly less. but, for this occasion, I am usually always posting, because it's an important cause for me. Time to celebrate Freedom to Read!!!

http://www.bookhounds.net/



When I grew up, I did not have freedom to read whatever I wanted to. There were long lists of authors which were right out forbidden and which were not only considered as not suitable reading for the existing political system, but you could get into serious trouble if you read "wrong books" or "wrong authors" or spoke the "wrong words". Luckily, that has changed and since the beginning of early 90s when the independence of Estonia was restored, you can read anything your heart desires and then some. You learn to value your freedom when you have experienced not having it.

Therefore, let's celebrate the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop! This hop is organized by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I am truly glad to be part of it.



So, what can you win? There will be 1 winner you will receive an amazon gift card of 10$.

To participate, you need to fill in the following Rafflecopter form.

Happy hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find the other participating blogs through the link below.
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