Monday, August 17, 2015

END OF SUMMER • blog tour { author guest post + reviews! }

If you're a fall person, HAPPY END OF SUMMER!

ahh... tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes... 

( sidejob is a Starbucks barista and PSL...? Oy vey...)

Me? I love summer -- the heat, the sun... so I'm a little sad. But with the end of summer, we get a fun little summertime book tour!

With that said, I have reviews for you for RIDING DIRTY by Jill Sorenson, BACK TO YOU by Lauren Dane, FINDING GLORY by Sara Arden, CAN'T FIGHT THIS FEELING by Christie Ridgway, TAKING THE HEAT by Victoria Dahl, and SECOND CHANCE WITH THE BILLIONAIRE by Janice Maynard.

Also! We have a super fun guest post by Jill Sorenson.

Reviews will be throughout this post in the order listed above, or you can click each individual cover right below here to go straight to that particular review. There's also a giveaway at the bottom of the post!


{ end of summer bucket list with jill } .

Hello, Mignon and friends! I’m so happy to be here on release day for Riding Dirty (Dirty Eleven #1). This is my sexiest book to date, so I thought I’d spice up my bucket list with some naughty ideas. Because what’s summer without a little steam? The days are long, the weather’s hot and it’s a great time to get wild. So let’s do this!
  1. Motorcycle Ride
Riding on the back of a motorcycle is a very sensual experience—from what I’ve heard. I haven’t been on one since I was a teenager and I don’t remember feeling any tingles. I’d like to try again now that I’m a mature woman in my prime. Maybe when my husband and I retire, we’ll join a crew of wild weekend bikers. You never know.
Mia from Riding Dirty doesn’t have much experience with motorcycles, either. Thankfully Cole has given rides to many ladies and he knows exactly what to do. Mia’s getting over the loss of her husband and she wants to feel alive again. Cole is the perfect partner for taking sexy risks.
A motorcycle ride is an excellent summer activity for your bucket list. You can hug a well-muscled bad boy and enjoy the vibrations. Vroom!
  1. Nude Beach/Resort
One of my favorite things to do in the summertime is get wet. I live in San Diego and I love going to the beach. Swimming in the ocean on a hot day is an absolute must. I’m a California girl for sure. I’ve always wanted to go to a nude beach or clothing-optional resort. It seems so free and natural and deliciously daring! I visited a topless beach in Mexico on my honeymoon but I was too shy to take off my top. I did go skinny-dipping once in a neighbor’s pool with my boyfriend on a hot summer night. That was fun! I recommend that you put it on your bucket list.
In addition to nude beaches, there are nude hot springs and nude resorts in Southern California. I haven’t been to any of them, sadly. Near the end of Riding Dirty, Mia and Cole go on the run and hide out at an adults-only, clothing-optional resort. They don’t engage in public sex, but they do get pretty frisky in an outdoor pool. I had a blast writing about this passionate, sexually adventurous couple. Even if I never get around to visiting a nude resort in real life, I’m delighted to have explored the option in fiction.
Photo by Simon, Wiki Commons
  1. Threesomes
Summer is a great time for entertaining. The more the merrier! If you’ve never indulged in a red-hot ménage à trois, you’re not alone. Luckily you can find plenty of polyamorous pairings in erotic romance. The most common combination is two men with one woman. Riding Dirty has the opposite type of ménage, and it’s probably the most daring scene I’ve ever written. Cole is too possessive to share Mia with any man, and he even gets a bit jealous of her sultry hookup with another woman. But it’s her idea, her fantasy, and he’s very eager to please.
*fans self*
So what’s on your sexy summer bucket list? Do you have an exhibitionist streak or a thirst for adventure? Have you ever skinny-dipped, gone nude or gotten frisky outdoors?
Photo by Ordinary Guy, Wiki Commons

Carina Press | August 17, 2015 | Romantic Suspense
Dirty Eleven, book 1

He's her weapon of choice...
Psychologist Mia Richards wants revenge. Her new client, tattooed Cole "Shank" Shepherd, provides the perfect means. She just has to manipulate the felon-turned-informant into eliminating her husband's killers—members of Cole's rival motorcycle club. The first step, seducing Cole, is simple. As for walking away before she falls hard—it's already too late…

Dirty Eleven practically raised Cole, and he plans to double-cross the cops rather than sell them out. But smart, sexy Mia is an irresistible distraction. While she's evaluating his mind, all he can think about is her body…until he discovers her true intentions. Walking a fine line between desire and betrayal, they'll have to outrun her past, his enemies and the law for a love that's dangerously real.
{ add to goodreads } .

{ review } .

I love MC-Romances but this one? This one gives you a bit of a twist and I LOVED it! I love when author deviate from the 'norm' and put forth a pretty awesome book. Now... Real quick: when it comes to Jill Sorenson, sometimes I feel like there's inconsistency in her writing. Or maybe it's simply inconsistency in my ability to stay connected. I loved AFTERSHOCK, was so-so with FREEFALL, was waiting for BADLANDS since the moment Penny and Owen met and yet again, I fell in love with Ms. Sorenson's writing. So what was my point with that little tidbit of info?

I came into RIDING DIRTY hoping for the best, but was semi-prepared for, well... not the worst, that sounds terrible, but I was prepared to feel so-so about the story.

I enjoyed Mia and Cole's interactions from the beginning -- Mia was one tough lady (she had to be, with her recent past) and she was prepared to take what WITSEC gave her and find a way to make her troubled past right, even if that meant using Cole. She wasn't prepared to fall for him, though.

And then there was Cole. Bad ass doesn't really begin to describe the man, but reformed might come close. He had been dealt a fairly shady hand himself, and now that he's out of prison, he wants to stay clean -- and as much as he tries to fight his attraction to Mia, he's sucked into her world.

We get to see Cole angry, upset, betrayed... loved, happy, protective. I love the complexity of his character. I would have liked to see more of the relationship growth between him and Mia, and have it more about emotion and forever, than about sex -- but this was a book where it was easy to forget "MC" and "outlaw" and "1%," and only see "erotic" and "semi-romance" and "suspense".

Altogether, a good read. Like many reviewers have stated, the suspense aspect and the griping-ness of this story is definitely right at the beginning. But sometimes you just have to roll with it.


HQN Books | May 26, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Hurley Brothers, book 3


Former model Kelly Hurley has finally put the ashes of the past behind her. After a passionate but turbulent marriage to rock star Vaughan Hurley that ended in heartbreak and divorce, Kelly rebuilt her life in Portland, where she settled so their two young daughters could be close to their father. Just not so close Kelly couldn’t truly make her own way without interference from the man who shattered her heart. Now Kelly’s finally ready to move on, and she’s planning to marry another man.

But not if Vaughan has anything to say about it.

Vaughan knows he was a fool all those years ago. A young, selfish—and prideful—fool. Even as he buried himself in the fast, decadent rock star lifestyle, he could never drown out the memory of Kelly’s beauty and love. Or the sweet, searing heat whenever they touched. For years, he’s had to deal with the pain of seeing her only because of their daughters, but it was never enough. Now Vaughan must prove that he’s the only man Kelly needs, before he loses her for good. And there’s only one way to do it….
{ add to goodreads } .

{ review } .

I hadn't read a Hurley boy book before this one, but I have to say... I do plan to. I love these siblings and honestly? I love their mother, too -- even if she was part of the driving factor to separate Vaughan and Kelly years ago (because let's be honest, mama's opinion always matters).

Right away, we get to see that Kelly would do anything for her girls -- anything to give them a stable home environment. Granted, sacrifice to the extent of a marriage you don't want isn't necessarily healthy, but you have to give her props for wanting to better her girls' lives. The biggest problem though, even though she's uttered the words, "Yes"? -- she still maybe has a little bit, just teeny bit, of feelings for her ex-husband.

Vaughan and Kelly were your typical Hollywood couple -- model and rock star. But, again, like many Hollywood couples, when one's star starts to rise and the other chooses to be at home with the family, tension happens and the break is inevitable. Kelly waited for Vaughan to change his mind, but he didn't. She waited and waited and waited, and finally she had enough.

Vaughan, though, still loved Kelly -- something that was evident in his reaction to the news she was getting married again. He fights to earn Kelly's love this time around, but beyond that, he showcases what a good father he could be. He wasn't always around before, but he tries to be there now.

I loved the way Vaughan loved his daughters, and I loved the way he fought to earn Kelly's trust and love. He proves that he has grown up, and he does it in more ways than just a song -- which was a pretty good song, by the way (lyrics, anyway).

This is a story about trust, forgiveness, and second-chance love, and I felt that Lauren Dane did an excellent job with it. I have only read her INK & CHROME series, but I think that this regular contemporary series is one that I can get behind, 100%. I look forward to reading the previous stories of Paddy and Ezra.

(OH! And I really love this cover.....)


HQN Books | May 26, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Home to Glory, book 3


Once upon a time, he was just a hopeless cause from the wrong side of Glory, Kansas. And he'll be damned if he'll let anyone drag him back down after finally clawing his way out.

Everyone knows that Gina Townsend is a saint, always taking care of everyone around her. And now she's trying to be a mother to her six-year-old niece, Amanda Jane. But the girl's biological father isn't helping matters. The scruffy, gangly boy Gina remembers has returned to Glory a sexy, successful man, but Reed Hollingsworth is the only thing standing between her and losing Amanda Jane to foster care.

Betrayed that neither Townsend sister bothered to tell him he was a father until he had money, Reed's still not about to shirk his responsibilities. So when he demands Gina move in with him as part of Amanda Jane's custody agreement, he tries not to notice pretty much everything about her—especially the way his solemn-faced daughter laughs when they play together.

Raising a child together, Reed and Gina learn that some dreams come and go, but some are a spark that burns eternal….
{ add to goodreads } .

{ review } .

I love meddling grandparents, and I feel that most of the time, it's the grandfather's getting into everyone's business, but here in Glory, Kansas, it's a group of grandmother's marrying off their young...

The grandchild in question this time is Gina -- and why does her grandmother want her married? Gina let go of the Army and has sacrificed med school to raise her sister's daughter -- her sister who passed away due to drugs, her sister who had a baby with the boy Gina was half in love with growing up.

Reed wasn't the best apple growing up but he's clean now and has changed sides of the track. When he comes back to town to fight for custody of his daughter, a daughter he hadn't known about for some time, a proposition comes up -- marry Gina and provide a household for Amanda Jane, his daughter.

This was a super sweet contemporary set in one of those cute, small towns with super well-meaning people. There are friends who push you in one direction and force you to look at things, and you have a love that grows with the help of a bright six-year old. I enjoyed the falling in love of Gina and Reed, and I appreciated the road blocks and trials they stumbled through  -- things such as not hiding behind things and people and just being honest with the other person.

From the little hints those grandmothers were placing in the epilogue, I think I'll enjoy the next book, too!


HQN Books | June 30, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Cabin Fever, book 3


Blue-collar landscaper Brett Walker has no interest in the Hollywood vacationers flocking to his hometown in the California mountains. But the scarred ex-soldier does have a duty to protect Blue Arrow Lake—and the family ski resort—from a serial burglar. So when he suspects a break-in, he takes action…and ends up catching sinfully tempting down-on-her-luck heiress Angelica Rodriguez. She reminds him of trouble, but he can't deny her a safe place to stay—in one of his cabins.

Angelica has plenty of reasons to distrust—losing her money to her father's legal woes being one of them. Getting up close and naughty with rough, tough and sexy Brett tempts her out of her comfort zone and into the arms of a man who's not from her wealthy world. She's after safety and he's chasing justice, but the fire between them might reveal that all they want is each other.
{ add to goodreads } .

{ review } .

Right when this book opens, you're given enough backstory to not need to the previous books -- you know that the Walker brothers own a resort. You know that there are town (mis)conceptions of people who aren't from this mountain town. You know that you may just get pulled over by a cop just to talk about an out of towner.

The scene is set well enough for you to fall in love with the picturesque Blue Arrow Lake, but it's also set up enough for the reader to learn that if anyone has ever had walls, they do not compare to the ones Brett Walker has erected. The man has his rude moments, his asshole moments, and you just want to slap the man. What Brett finds in Angelica is a chance at love, trust, and redemption, but the man is scarred and, quite honestly, scared, and he has growing to do in the book.

I enjoyed Angelica's character -- her is a woman who had everything and found herself with nothing, having it all stolen from her from her father. The one thing she wants is love and acceptance, and she hopes to find it in this little mountain town -- but she chooses a town that is a bit... selective, if you will. I loved watching her find her place in Blue Arrow Lake, and I loved watching her thaw the hard heart of Brett Walker.

I've been waiting to find a Christie Ridgway book for me to sink my claws in, and for a first one, this one did pretty well! She is certainly a go-to author when searching for a classic contemporary style romance, in the league of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery.

 HQN Books | June 30, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Jackson: Girls' Night Out, book 3


Passion this hot can't be faked…

All revved up for bright lights and steamy nights, writer Veronica Chandler chased her dreams to New York City. When she hit a dead end, reality sent her back home to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Saving her pride and her new gig—writing a relationship advice column!—requires some faking. No one can know the truth about her big-city flop or her nonexistent sex life. But the town's irresistibly rugged librarian is determined to figure her out…and give her hands-on lessons in every wicked thing she wants to know.

Gabe MacKenzie's heart might be in Wyoming, but secretly his future's tied up in his family's Manhattan legacy. Getting down and dirty with Veronica is supposed to give him a few memorable nights—not complicate his plans. But the thing about heat this scorching is there's just no going back…and it might be too hot for either of them to take.
{ add to goodreads } .

{ review } .

Yay, another small town (err... a continuation of a small town you may know if you've read Victoria Dahl's JACKSON HOLE series)! This town is another that you're going to want to be a part of. I have been a long-time fan of Victoria Dahl's; it's just been a few years since I've picked up a book (the Donovan Brothers, Jackson Hole, and Tumble Creek were books I bought the moment they hit the shelves).

What was slightly different, at least for me, was that our hero of the story was a (sexy, bearded) librarian. Say what? Librarian? Oh yes, you heard correctly. I don't know that I've ever seen a sexy, bearded librarian before, but Gabe MacKenzie, I'd like to meet you. I do prefer my super alpha men, but Gabe was definitely the right type of guy for Veronica.

And while the whole insecure female route isn't exactly new, Victoria wrote Veronica to not be the annoying insecure female. She was fun to read and watch grow out of her comfort zone, I think I liked her so much because I could relate to her -- super insecure, but put me behind words and I will let them go. It's always fun to read characters that you can easily connect with -- makes you realize there's hope for you yet ;)


Mills & Boon Desire | May 26, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Kavanaghs of Silver Glen, book 5


Former ski champion Conor Kavanagh enjoys a challenge. And he’s encountered no challenge more arousing than Ellie Porter. Once, she broke his heart. Now that she’s back in town? He can’t seem to stay away…

But Ellie has changed. Widowed, with a baby, she has responsibilities — and secrets — weighing her down. Still, his desire for her is undeniable. Surely, he can have her without giving up his heart — or his daredevil ways? He’s willing to risk it all to find out…
{ add to goodreads } .

{ review } .

Ah, friends-to-lovers... One of my (sweet) favorites. This one truly was no different.

Conor cared deeply for his friend (and best friend's twin sister, nonetheless) when they were teens, but just before senior year of high school, the Porters moved to South America for a Doctors-Without-Borders type of deal. Before they left, though, Ellie sat by Conor's bedside, begging him to give up his risky ways.

Conor's always been a risk taker; it was what fueled him to move. So with only a kiss with his friend, Ellie left and a relationship never ensued. Now she and Kirby are back in town, helping their ailing grandfather.

I have to say it was a bit... coincidental... that Ellie popped up at the same bar Conor was at, right when he was thinking about her and how he heard she was back in town, yet hadn't seen her yet. Their first conversation bordered on TMI for a first convo in a dozen plus years, and it was a bit more friendly than I would think a conversation after so many years would be, but that's just me (and I'm introverted and not much of a conversationalist, so what do I know).

My favorite scenes probably were the ones with little Emory in them, and Conor's interactions with him. Gotta love a man and baby. For someone who was slightly terrified of children, he did a pretty OK job with Emory. I felt jilted (yes, me, as if I were the one talking to Ellie) that she refused to talk about her past and her husband, up until the end of the book. Once you know the story, you understand a bit why she keeps mum, but I didn't care for the flippant way she'd blow off the questions.

All together, this was a cute, quick read. A one-sitting type read for even the casual romance reader. The romance was quick, too -- marriage proposal minutes after first 'I love yous' quick -- but that aside... I enjoyed Janice Maynard's writing style; the dialogue, for the most part, read like true conversations; and those Kavanaghs... Hm. I enjoyed those boys and I wouldn't mind catching up with them again.

{ giveaway } .


  1. I've never even thought about a sexy summer bucket list... I just took my first vacation in 6 years & that was with my mom, sister & 11 year old niece. Need to go away more often...

  2. My favorite part of the end of summer is that the days are still long. Plenty of time for fun activities.