Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Kindle Fire HDX giveaway hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

If you are looking to win yourself a fantastic eReader, here is your chance. I am not a sponsor, simply sharing this giveaway with you (I do gain entry into a giveaway for sharing this with you, fingers crossed for us).

Holiday Kindle Fire Giveaway   Just in time for the HOLIDAYS - Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
      Holiday Kindle Fire Giveaway #1 Sponsors:
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Allergic to Life by Kathryn Chastain Treat
  4. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  5. Living, Learning, and Loving Life
  6. Confessions of a Librarian in Training...
  7. Bea's Book Nook
  8. Author Kary Rader
  9. Author Jennie Sherwin
  10. A Book Lover's Retreat
  11. These are but Shadows
  12. Tressa's Wishful Endings
  13. Author Lia Fairchild
  14. Author Helen Smith
  15. Buku-Buku Didi
  16. Truth Seekers Dare to Enter
  17. The Reporter and the Girl
  18. Author Terah Edun
  19. Young Adult Book Deals
  20. Diva Booknerd
  21. Jessica Loves Books
  22. Homebound Unlimited
  23. Author L.A. Matthies
  24. Author Janeal Falor
  25. Like a Broken Vessel
  26. Author Bonnie Blythe
  27. Author Bella Street
  28. Candlelight Reads
  29. Author Louise Caiola
  30. Kelly's Lucky You
  31. Author Elizabeth Isaacs
  32. Word to Dreams
  33. Kimber Leigh Writes
  34. Author Wendi Sotis
  35. ~Owl Always Be Reading~
  36. Fairie Chick's Fantasy Book Reader
  37. Author Talia Jager
  38. MichaelSciFan
  39. Author Charlene A. Wilson
  40. Every Free Chance Book Reviews
  41. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
  42. Darkmotive's Books and More
  43. Ketch's Book Nook
  44. Blogging the Beloved
  45. Book Lover's Life
  46. Kelly P's Blog
  47. Fae Books
  48. Lori's Reading Corner
  49. Author Kay Kenyon
  50. A Bookish Escape
  51. Christine's Blog
  Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:

 Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 12/18/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

My Own Mr. Darcy
by Karey White
length: 289 pages
file size: 821 KB
Pub date: Nov 15, 2013
by Orange Door Press
Current ebook price: $0.99
Source: Amazon (purchased)

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place

My Thoughts

As I stated in my previous review found here, I love pretty much all things Austen, so this book has been on my mental Want to Read list for a while. The concept of a girl holding out for her own Mr Darcy is a fun one and I enjoyed the conflict it created for Lizzy. To be honest I was really enjoying this book all the way to almost the end. The ending result is exactly what I would want to happen but it felt very abrupt. There was a great deal of build up and then it just ends. There was also a very awkward scene transition that made me feel as if a small chunk of the book was missing.

The characters in this book are fun. Our Lizzy is a bit more like Jane in the classic story than the original Lizzy, so it makes sense that her ideal Mr Darcy might not be ideal in the end. Mr  Darcy, aka Matt Dawson, plays a pretty good Darcy character, but in the end he is more shallow than the original. There is even a Caroline Bingley character to add some interesting conflict.

So all in all this is an enjoyable book, especially at the bargain price of $.99, but the ending makes it fall  little short of great.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Content: Clean

Monday, November 18, 2013

Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway

Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs
By Mary Jane Hathaway
length: 254 pages
file size: 447 KB
Pub date: May 24, 2013
by Gumbo Books
Current eBook price: $0.99
Source: Amazon, I grabbed it while it was free

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at the Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club meetings and garden parties is her longtime friend, Brooks Elliott. A professor of journalism, Brooks is the voice of sanity and reason in the land of pink lemonade and triple layer coconut cakes. But when she meets a fascinating, charismatic young man on the cusp of a brand new industry, she ignores Brooks’ misgivings and throws herself into the project.

Brooks struggles to reconcile his parents’ very bitter marriage with his father’s devastating grief at the recent loss of his wife. Caroline is the only bright spot in the emotional wreckage of his family life. She’s a friend and he’s perfectly happy to keep her safely in that category. Marriage isn’t for men like Brooks and they both know it… until a handsome newcomer wins her heart. Brooks discovers Caroline is much more than a friend, and always has been, but is it too late to win her back?

My Thoughts

I have to admit upfront, I love anything Austen. I like to see how a modern author tries to spin these classic tales, even if they take liberties in doing so. This really testifies to the long lasting appeal of these classic romances; authors today trying to capture and personalize the characters Austen created two centuries ago. I do not expect complete fidelity to the original characters and actually enjoy when authors deviate and let the characters take on a life of their own.

This retelling, set in the South, does a great job of capturing the essence of Emma. I think the setting has to be my favorite part of the book. It is the perfect place to remake Austen's England. The characters are similar to their Austen counterparts, but have enough of their own appeal that they do not feel simply like a carbon copy. I don't believe that you actually have to have read the original to enjoy this book. The story is darling and an enjoyable weekend read. At its current low price of $0.99, you can't really go wrong. I also suggest reading the first book in the series, called Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits . Each book can be read as a stand alone, but characters from the first book make their way into the second.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Content: Clean

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Princess Sisters (Princess Sisters #1) by Stacy Lynn Carroll

The Princess Sisters (The Princess Sisters Series)
by Stacy Lynn Carroll
length: 296 pages
file size: 1001 KB
ASIN: B005D5J3I2
Pub date (2nd edition): July 14, 2013
by Pink Frog Press
Current Ebook Price: $2.99
Source: Amazon (I grabbed it during a free promo)

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The only thing she stands to lose are her shoes. Cinderella is an ordinary teenage girl, with an extraordinary name. But because of that name, she and her cousins, Belle, Aurora, Ariel, and Snow White suffer years of torment from their peers. Then as the girls enter high school and the enticing world of dating, a life-altering decision must be made. Is it finally time to stop fighting, and surrender to the fairy tale clichés that have been holding them back? By embracing their names, the girls discover an inner-strength they never knew existed. And by putting everything they have on the line, maybe, just maybe they will discover there really is such a thing as ‘happily ever after’.

My Thoughts

The concept for this Young Adult book intrigued me. Cousins all named after classic princesses and the challenges that their names present as they grow into young women. While parts of the book worked well, other parts didn't work for me. The story slowed a bit in the middle. I felt like it lost focus for a little while. Then it picked up pace at the end just to stop a bit abruptly. I am sure that my teenage daughter will enjoy the book when she reads it (although I was not happy about a couple of the words used in an other wise clean book), and as this book was written with her age as the intended audience, it has done its job.

My Rating: 3 stars

Content: Clean aside from a few expletives that I felt were out of place.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Accidental Cowgirl by Maggie McGinnis

Accidental Cowgirl
by Maggie McGinnis
Length: 303 pages
File size: 1738 KB
Pub Date: October 8, 2013
by Loveswept/Random House
Current ebook price: $2.99
Source: NetGalley

Synopsis (from NetGalley)

In her Loveswept debut, Maggie McGinnis tells the tale of a city girl who’s running on fumes—and the cowboy who shows her all the good things she’s been missing.

After being betrayed by her con man ex-fiancé, Kyla Bennett nurses a broken heart. But Kyla’s friends have other ideas and when they whisk her off to Whisper Creek, a dude ranch staffed by cowboys so hot they dim the Montana sunset, all Kyla wants to do is hide under a quilt. Then in rides Decker Driscoll. He’s hauling about as much emotional baggage as Kyla, but when he stands close by, both of them want to stay close—and begin to succumb to an undeniable attraction.

After experiencing personal tragedy, Decker never thought he’d see Big Sky country again. But now that his family's Whisper Creek property is in deep with a Vegas gambler, Decker’s back for the summer—and spending all his time running from “cowgirls” who come to the dude ranch to score some dudes. Then he meets Kyla, a kindred spirit who brings on a stampede of protective feelings . . . and a powerful hankering to sear her with a new brand of love.

My Thoughts

The book starts off fun with Kyla having car trouble and the first person who stops by is an old cop who thinks he is still on duty. He puts her through a battery of crazy sobriety tests until she is finally saved by a cowboy.

Kyla is a fun character with a hard past. She carries a great deal of pain and regret on her shoulders. Decker has is own issues and neither character is in a good place for starting a relationship, but when love hits you, you better get yourself ready. They both seem to put on the breaks many times in the progress of the book.

I found this to be an enjoyable romance book. The characters were fun to get to know, and a few supporting characters had some depth. I do wish that some of the other supporting characters (ie Kyla's friends and  couple of the other ranchers, guests etc) had been a little more developed. They felt a little more like scenery. I really prefer a book where the town and supporting characters feel more rounded, in this book they fell a little flat for me.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Content: This is another adults only read. There is one bedroom scene and language sprinkled throughout.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Staying Warm or Keeping Cold Giveaway Hop

To kick off my new blog, I have decided to participate in the Staying Warm or Keeping Cold Giveaway Hop hosted by Reading in Twilight and I Am A Reader Not a Writer. As part of the hop I get to share a book I either want to read by the fireplace on a cold day or in my air conditioned house if it is still hot out (we had snow last week, so you probably can guess which option I am going with), and I can't think of a better book to read by the fire than The Visions of Ransom Lake by Marcia Lynn McClure!

(description from Goodreads)
Youthful beauty, naive innocence, a romantic imagination thirsting for adventure-an apt description of Vaden Valmont, who would soon find the adventure and mystery she had always longed to experience-in the form of a man.

A somber recluse, Ransom Lake descended from his solitary concealment in the mountains, wholly disinterested in people and their trivial affairs. And somehow, young Vaden managed to be ever in his way-either by accident or because of her own unique ability to stumble into a quandary.Yet the enigmatic Ransom Lake would involuntarily become Vaden's unwitting tutor.

Through him, she would experience joy and passion the like even Vaden had never imagined. Yes, Vaden Valmont stepped innocently, yet irrevocably, into love with the secretive, seemingly callous man-Ransom Lake.But there were other life's lessons Ransom Lake would inadvertently convey to her as well. The darker side of life-despair, guilt, heartache. Would Ransom Lake be the means of Vaden's dreams come true? Or the cause of her complete desolation?

 This is one of my favorite books by Marcia Lynn McClure. One of my favorite scenes takes place in the middle of a blizzard. Vaden and Ransom end up having to stop for the night in an old abandoned house and what ensues is a night of kissing and deep conversation. It is the perfect Fall/Winter read. So cozy up by the fireplace with your eReader and a cup of cocoa and enjoy The Visions of Ransom Lake. At just $2.99 for the ebook copy it is a bargain!

One lucky reader will win their own Kindle Copy of The Visions of Ransom Lake and The Haunting of Autumn Lake (yep, Autumn is Vaden and Ransom's daughter.) Just fill out the form below to enter! a Rafflecopter giveaway When you are done here, hop along to the rest of the blogs participating in the hop! Keep Warm or Stay Cold (whichever you need today!)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Christmas in Snowflake Canyon by RaeAnne Thayne

Christmas in Snowflake Canyon
by RaeAnne Thayne
Length:  363 pages
File Size: 516 KB
ISBN: 0373778155
Pub Date: October 29, 2013
Current ebook price:  $6.15
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

No one has ever felt sorry for Genevieve Beaumont. After all, she has everything money can buy. That is, until she discovers her fiancé has been two-timing her and she's left with two choices: marry the philanderer to please her controlling father or be disinherited and find a means to support herself.

Genevieve's salvation appears in the most unlikely of prospects: Dylan Caine, a sexy, wounded war vet whose life is as messy as hers. Dylan's struggling to adjust after his time in Afghanistan, and the last thing he needs is a spoiled socialite learning about the real world for the first time. True, she may have unexpected depths and beauty to match. But he knows he could never be the man she needs…and she knows he could never be the man she thinks she wants. So why are they each hoping that a Christmas miracle willl prove them both wrong?

My Thoughts

 RaeAnne Thayne has created such a fantastic cast of small town characters in her Hope's Crossing series. Christmas in Snowflake Canyon is the sixth book in this series (I do recommend starting with the first book- Blackberry Summer, only because they are all so good, but you can read this book as a stand alone and not feel lost. Enough background is given on back stories for a smooth read.), and if you haven't discovered them yet, I hope that you will start reading them now.

Our heroine in Christmas in Snowflake Canyon is not well liked in her hometown of Hope's Crossing, and she is struggling to overcome her own poor choices. In this story Thayne reminds us that  we are all redeemable. Our past may be filled with bad choices, but we can change and do our best to make amends.

The love story is an unlikely one, but that is what makes it so great! Spoiled little rich girl and depressed, injured soldier couldn't be a more unlikely match, but when they get together the sparks fly. They constantly struggle with overcoming the idea that they are not good enough for the other, and they almost miss their chance.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Content: Mostly clean (not necessarily the case with all of the books in this series, some seem to have more than others as far as adult content). Mild language and innuendo plus pretty heavy kissing. I would still recommend for an adult audience.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Love on Main Street: A Snow Creek Christmas

Love on Main Street: A Snow Creek Christmas
by Juliette Blackwell, Rachael Herron, Lisa Hughey, Ruby Laska, Cecilia Gray, Adrienne Belle and L.G.C. Smith
Length: 410 pages
File Size: 2350 KB
ISBN: 9781940785028
Pub Date: Oct 16, 2013
Current ebook price: $0.99 

Synopsis (from NetGalley)
  Where love begins on Main Street and ends happily ever after....

Christmas, the most magical season, is almost upon the small mountain town of Snow Creek. For seven couples, holiday wishes mean more than just gifts or parties. Can Snow Creek pull off its annual holiday miracle of bringing love to town?

Seven original romances from sweet to sinfully sexy by New York Times and bestselling authors as well as promising new talent.

Serafina Rogers is not an impulsive person, but lately something’s gotten into her. She walked away from warm San Diego, her scumbag ex-fiance, and her teaching job in order to come to Snow Creek and take over her deceased aunt’s witchy supply store. Unfortunately, her hunky cowboy landlord, Joe, has other plans for the space, which hasn’t turned a profit in years. Neither Joe nor Serafina believe in magic, much less romance. But when a Yule log is tossed on the fire, Serafina begins seeing things in her aunt’s deck of cards, and Joe’s niece goes missing…they might just have to change their minds.

Christy Monroe hates Christmas. The excess, the inevitable disappointments--bah. Dan Rose loves Christmas. The fun, the way his bakery smells—it’s all a little magical, especially in Snow Creek. When their first-grade daughters decide they want to be sisters, Christy and Dan had better watch out. The girls maneuver their parents into organizing the elementary school holiday show together. It doesn’t take long for Dan to make it his goal to change Christy’s mind about Christmas—and taking a chance again on love.

After losing her parents, Jessica can't bear to lose her childhood home and family bookstore, too. When they're taken from her, she has nowhere to go…except the arms of Daniel, Snow Creek's resident hero paramedic. It's not be the Christmas miracle Jessica wanted, but it might the one she needs….

There’s no doubt in Eileen Ledger’s mind that the last time she saw hockey superstar Paul McAlester she made the biggest mistake of her life. Only, she’s never been sure if the mistake was in kissing him, or in running away. But ten years later, Paul is back in town for Christmas, and Eileen has a second chance to make things right…as long as she can keep herself from falling in love again.

Knitting has always served as a distraction, something that Clara can hide behind. After a significant weight loss, though, she's still not sure if she wants to be noticed. When sexy Lincoln ends up on the front porch of her yarn store, he seems to seeeverything clear as day. Will Clara finally be seen for her true self?

Caroline Bonny has always known about her family curse: no Bonny daughter will ever marry until her great-great-great-grandfather's buried treasure is found. Caroline has made her peace with her life as a spinster-turned-cosmetologist, until easy-on-the-eyes schoolteacher Lance Carter comes to town determined to drown his recent breakup in holiday festivities.

Nick and Ally Carpenter split up months ago after years of infertility treatments crushed their marriage and their dreams of children. When the couple reunites for the holidays to make a dying woman happy, can an unexpected miracle show them the way back to love or is it too late?

My thoughts

This was a pretty fun anthology. The stories blended together quite well, even though they were written by different authors. There was a bit of confusion for me with the bakery (all of the other authors called it Rosie's, but in the one story it is run by the main male lead) but other than that, the story lines were well co-ordinated to go together. The small town of Snow Creek is cute and cozied up in the Sierra Nevada mountains (an area that I am quite familiar with, having grown up at the base of these mountains).

While I read romances, I really prefer my romance novels to leave the bedroom activity behind closed doors, and all but the last story did so. I had hoped that it would be this way all the way through the anthology, and was a bit disappointed that it didn't continue. I enjoyed the storyline of One Silent Night, but wish the author had left out the descriptive scene. It would have fit better with the rest of the tone of the anthology (it really felt like a sweet romance book until then).

Aside from my above preference, I really enjoyed the feel of this anthology. Having multiple authors write novellas that encompass one town with characters that cross over from one story to the next really showcased the abilities of the authors selected. Each did well and it was fun to encounter the town from a slightly different perspective each time.

My Rating: 4 stars

Content: For Adults. Very mild language. Sexual content, fairly descriptive in the last of the stories.

I was able to read this ebook for free from NetGalley. This does not have an effect on my opinion.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2) by Kristan Higgins

The Perfect Match (The Blue Heron Series)
by Kristan Higgins
Published by Harlequin
Length:442 pages
File Size: 640 KB
ISBN: 0373778198
Pub Date: October 29, 2013
Current Amazon ebook price: $3.99 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise? Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love…

My Thoughts

I discovered Kristan Higgins about six months ago from a status update of a book blogger that I follow fairly regularly. She was excited about the release of the first in the Blue Heron Series ( The Best Man ) and posted about the book. Intrigued, and always looking for something new to read, I hopped on to the library website and placed a hold on the book. I was hooked, and since then have read each of Higgins' titles. So, when the second of the Blue Heron books was set to release this month, I was counting down the days until October 29th (the release date).

I read the book in about one day and loved it just as much as the rest. Higgins has such fantastic, fun characters. Her style is a bit snarky, but the stories really are sweet, and heartwarming. Her, yeah they are fantastic. And in The Perfect Match you will love our Tom from across the pond. Really, who can resist the accent?

But this and other books by Higgins are more than just the two central characters. It really has a wonderful supporting cast of characters. The whole Holland family will have you laughing at their antics. The supporting characters really help to drive the story along and keep you interested in more than just what happens to Honor and Tom. Your heart will ache for Charlie and you want to smack Dana a few times for how she treats Honor.

My rating: 5 stars!

Content: This book is definitely for adults. It has a bit of language here and there and has bedroom scenes and other suggestive topics of discussion in the book.

Image and synopsis from Goodreads. I purchased my own copy of this ebook.
Welcome to My Portable Library, where I will share ebook reviews. I will always include a starred rating and content detail (clean, steamy, etc).

My star rating system is as follows (and I reserve the right to add halves, quarters, etc. After all, this is my blog :) )

1 star- I probably didn't even finish this book (which really takes a lot for me)
2 star- I read it all the way through but really didn't care for it
3 star- I read it, liked it alright, but wouldn't likely read it again
4 star- This is a really good book, I enjoyed it, would read it again, and recommend it to my friends.
5 star- I WILL read this book again, probably multiple times. I honestly LOVE it.

So there you go. If I happen to get a freebie copy of an ebook, I will let you know at the bottom of my review. If you decide that you want to purchase a copy of an ebook that I review, I would love it if you would buy it through my link to Amazon. This will help to fund my ebook obsession, and thereby provide you with more reviews, it's a win-win situation here :)