Review Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter + Giveaway

Take Me, Cowboy by Jane PorterFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Western romance; Contemporary romacne
Series: Copper Mountain Rodeo #4
Length: 128 pages
Publisher: Tule Publishing Group
Date Released: October 27, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo

When Jenny Wright’s fiancé leaves her standing at the altar in a Vera Wang bridal gown she can’t afford, she’s humiliated and heartbroken. To have Marietta hero bull riding champ Colton Thorpe witness her shame – makes the rejection even more devastating.

Jenny and Colton grew up in the same rough neighborhood and they both left home right after school to pursue big dreams. Now they’re both back, with Colton as the celebrity chair for the 75th Copper Mountain Rodeo, and Jenny in disgrace.

Sexy, rugged Colton didn’t get to be a national champion by chance. He’s a man that takes risks and goes after what he wants. During the rodeo weekend, Colton makes it clear he wants Jenny. Flustered but flattered, Jenny finds it difficult to resist his charm. But what happens when the rodeo ends and Colton leaves town? Will she dare to dream again?

My Review:

Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael MillerEven though we’ve read it before (most recently for me in Linda Lael Miller’s Big Sky Mountain) the scene is so vivid that I could picture it crystal clear; the bride in the fantastic dress, the groom being an ass at the last minute, and the busted small town wedding.

The difference is what happens next. Jenny Wright walks out into her hometown of Marietta, Montana in her expensive dress with her head held high, and keeps on walking until she has the chance to regroup, letting the town gossips just choke on their own bile for a bit. She’s already heard enough and knows it’s only going to get worse.

Her high-heeled walking tour of her old stomping grounds is interrupted by the one man she’s never forgotten, Colton Thorpe. He wasn’t just the older brother of her one of her high school best friends, Colton was the bad boy secret crush she never truly got over. While she’d rather that anyone else in town have driven by to witness her lonely walk, in some ways, Colton is the perfect witness; she has nothing left but pride to hold her up, and she won’t let herself break down in front of him.

But maybe she should. Jenny has spent all of her life abiding by a set of self-imposed rules and regulations so that she could leave Marietta behind her. She’s done her level-best to become someone other than just “one of the Wright girls”, because everyone in town saw the Wright girls as poor white trash. All those rules have gotten her has been a nose to the grindstone life lived for other people’s goals and other people’s dreams while ruthlessly suppressing any hopes of her own. It’s been a fake life that lead to a dead-end job and a fake fiancee who left her at the altar because he decided she was good enough to be his assistant and his playmate but not his wife.

She finally realized that she didn’t love him. She worked hard to make him successful, but that wasn’t love.

Jenny had forcefully buried her heart when she buried herself. Being left at the altar was the second best thing that ever happened to her. Being picked up by Colton Thorp turned out to be the best.

Escape Rating B+: If Marietta and Parable are examples of life in small-town Montana, I definitely want to visit. The series set in these two towns (which must be in neighboring counties!) have marvelous people with tremendous heart, and seem to be terrific places for romance.

Tempt Me Cowboy by Megan CraneTake Me, Cowboy makes a terrific conclusion (or pause) to the Copper Mountain Rodeo series (after Tempt Me, Cowboy, Marry Me, Cowboy and Promise Me, Cowboy all YUM!) so far. Jenny Wright is an easy woman to empathize with. She’s worked so hard to escape her upbringing, because there were a lot of rough patches, especially in a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business. But she lost a lot of her essential self along the way. Coming home, along with reconnecting with her BFFs, gives her some much needed perspective.

The story of getting to have a second chance (or maybe that’s first chance?) with her high school crush, is a classic for a reason. It was lovely to see her get to make her dream finally come true, AND get the bad boy she dreamed about to sort of settle down, or at least fall in love.

Anyone who loves Linda Lael Miller’s Parable, Montana series really should give the Copper Mountain Rodeo a ride!


The author is kindly giving away one ebook copy of Take Me, Cowboy to a lucky winner! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below:

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***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Guest Post by Author Christina Esdon on Where in the World is Westwood? + Giveaway

Today I’d like to welcome Christina Esdon, who recently published the very lovely Work in Progress (reviewed here).

Where in the World is Westwood?
by Christina Esdon

The setting of Work in Progress, Westwood, is a fictional town. It doesn’t exist. But I sure wish it did.

Westwood is a small city alongside a river. Its “rival town” Riverside, a large, prosperous city, sits with its highrise skyline sparkling across the river. Both cities are joined by a large bridge.

I grew up in a small sized city on Lake Huron near the US/Canada border. I loved that I had my quaint little city, but that just a short car ride away (over a big bridge) I could be in a completely different country. Westwood and Riverside are in the same country, but their worlds are very different.

 This was my inspiration for the river and bridge that connects Westwood and Riverside. (Bluewater Bridge, Ontario, Canada) (Photo Credit: Christina Esdon)
This was my inspiration for the river and bridge that connects Westwood and Riverside. (Bluewater Bridge, Ontario, Canada) (Photo Credit: Christina Esdon)

As an adult I moved away from my hometown to “the big city”. It had everything: universities, some of the best hospitals around, great theatre and concerts…people my own age instead a sea of grey-haired people falling asleep at the symphony…it was fantastic. Except one thing. It wasn’t near the water. I couldn’t hear the waves of Lake Huron lap at the shore while reading in bed or soaking in the bathtub. After a tough day I couldn’t just kick off my shoes and go for a walk on the shore, my toes digging for cool sand.

I loved living in the Big City, but hated the location.

I missed the water.

Creating Westwood and Riverside was like having my cake and eating it too. The quaint smaller town of Westwood nestled along a rolling river, just a bridge (or boat) ride away from the hustle and bustle of the sparkly city of Riverside.

In real life it was not possible to have these two things at once, but I could make it up and put it in a book.

So I did.

Now I just have to find a way to move to Westwood. But for now I’ll stay in my small city, one foot on the shore, the other foot pointed in the direction of the Big City.

christina esdon author photoAbout Christina Esdon

Christina Esdon is a hopeless romantic and dreamer extraordinaire. She loves to see the world through rose-colored glasses (literally) and has the uncanny ability to find humor and joy in the small things in life. When not writing, she can be found frolicking along the shores of Lake Huron, taking notoriously long bubble baths or contemplating the next renovation to her home in Ontario, Canada. Work in Progress is Christina’s debut novel. You can visit her at her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Christina is kindly giving away one ebook copy of Work in Progress to one lucky winner. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

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Review: Promise Me, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael + Giveaway

Promise Me, Cowboy by CJ CarmichaelFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Western romance; contemporary romance
Series: Copper Mountain Rodeo
Length: 120 pages
Publisher: Tule Publishing Group
Date Released: October 11, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Sage Carrigan never meant to be the other woman. Unfortunately, bronco rider Dawson O’Dell neglected to mention he was married the night he invited her to his bed after they’d both placed first in their rodeo events. When his wife walked in on them – Sage was deeply hurt and humiliated. After an accident in the ring the next day, Sage decides she’s quitting the rodeo–and cowboys—to become a chocolatier in her hometown ranching community, Marietta, Montana. She’s doing just fine, but then Dawson shows up —five years later, with a little girl in tow. He’s here for the Copper Mountain Rodeo hoping to win big. But he’s also got plans of settling down with his daughter and buying a house—the very same one that Sage has been dreaming about. He says he’s here for her and he’s making lots of promises. But can he keep them?

My Review:

Chocolate is always a good starting point for a romance, but running a chocolate shop is hard work.

Sage Carrigan has been running her own chocolate shop in Marietta, Montana for five long and pretty exhausting years. But they have also been rewarding years, because being a chocolatier is what she really wants to do.

The barrel-riding accident that tore her ACL may have ended her rodeo career, but it gave her the out she needed to start the career she really wanted, instead of staying with the rodeo because it was the one thing she did that seemed to earn some praise from her taciturn father.

She hasn’t gotten anything from him before or since except questions about when she’s going to give up her store and come back to the ranch, or why she let one little injury turn her into a coward.

Sage is all too aware that four girls were not what her father wanted. It’s too bad that he let them all know just how much of a disappointment they all were.

And into the middle of Sage’s life walks the other man who disappointed her, Dawson O’Dell. Dawson is a rodeo cowboy, and he’s in town for the Copper Mountain Rodeo. But that’s not all he’s there for. He’s finally come back for Sage.

Because the last time he saw her, his wife was standing over both of them with a shotgun. Dawson forgot to tell Sage he was married. And that’s the one lie that she simply can’t get over.

Not even if Dawson has come to Marietta to stay. Not even if Sage is forced to admit to herself that she still wants him. Because the stupid cowboy still isn’t divorced. Not yet.

Escape Rating B: So far (I still have one to go) every single one of the stories in the Copper Mountain Rodeo series has been one sweet ride after another. They use the town and the annual rodeo setting just perfectly to capture the essence of being parts of one event, without repeating each other. Very well done.

Promise Me, Cowboy is a “still waters run deep” kind of story. There’s not just the second-chance at romance story between Sage and Dawson, but the backstory about how the first chance was screwed up so badly and how much effort Dawson has put into redeeming himself.

Also a lot about the secrets that children keep to protect their parents, and parents keep to protect their children. I’ll admit I thought the big secret was worse than it was.

This story packs a delayed wallop. Sage takes a while to come around, and so she should! But there are lots of layers about parents and children, Sage and her father, Dawson and his mother, and how those relationships influence them in both good and bad directions.

And little Savannah steals every scene she’s in!


The author is giving away one ebook copy of Promise Me, Cowboy! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

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***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Guest Post by Author Karen Greco on the Inspiration for Hell’s Belle + Giveaway

Today I’d like to welcome Karen Greco, who recently published Hell’s Belle (reviewed here). She’s here to talk about…

Hell’s Belle inspiration: Babe’s On the Sunnyside
by Karen Greco

Hells Belle Banner 450 X 169

Babe’s on the Sunnyside, the bar that Nina and her aunt Babe run, was a real bar located in Providence’s Fox Point neighborhood.

Located on the ground floor of a tenement building, it was the quintessential dive bar. The kind of place where old men from the neighborhood would knock back a few beers. College kids who were cool with the dive bar vibe could be found in the tiny place as well. The conversation veered from motorcycles, to politics, to history, to sports. It was just a fun place to be.

And any place with a huge jar of pickled eggs behind the bar is the perfect bar to enjoy a pint or two.

Anthony "Babe" Silva (via Pinterest).
Anthony “Babe” Silva (via Pinterest).

Babe was owner. He was this very old diminutive man, kind of like the bar itself. The walls were covered in old boxing photos. From what I was told, Babe was a former trainer and a bunch of the pictures on the wall were the boxers that he had trained. The beers were cheap, the ambiance was chill.

The bar was sold, and cleaned up considerably. I entertained buying the place when it went up for sale again a few years ago. But cleaned up and without Babe, it lost the charm–gritty as it was– of the original.

Babe’s now lives on in my imagination, and, I am happy to say, in the pages of Hell’s Belle.

Karen GrecoAbout Karen Greco

An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry.A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HELL’S BELLE is her first novel.

To learn more about Karen, visit her blog or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads.


hells belle by karen grecoKaren is giving away 10 ebook copies of Hell’s Belle — either mobi or ePub, winner’s choice. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

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Bewitching Book Tours

Guest Post by Victoria Vane on Reinventing a Classic Bodice-Ripper + Giveaway

I’d like to welcome Victoria Vane, who recently published The Sheik Retold (reviewed here), a retelling of the classic The Sheik by E.M. Hull. Today she’ll talk about…

Reinventing a Classic Bodice-Ripper
by Victoria Vane

Why did you do it? Why would you take on something so politically incorrect as a sheik romance? Why mess with another author’s work? Haven’t you any original ideas of your own?

These are just a few of the questions I anticipated in taking on my erotic re-write of E.M. Hull’s The Sheik. My answer is—of course I have my own book ideas, several dozen of them just waiting to be developed, but The Sheik called to me in no uncertain terms.

The Sheik by E.M. HullThe Sheik by E.M. Hull (first published in 1921 and now public domain in North America) was one of the most controversial books of its time. It was also a huge bestseller that made Rudolph Valentino an international sex symbol in the silent film adaptation.

Almost a century later, there are myriad “imitators” featuring a haughty heroine who is “mastered” by an uncompromising and uber-alpha desert lord. Goodreads currently lists over 500 of these. Following the original, many of these books employ a “forced seduction” as the primary trope. While there is no explicit sex in The Sheik, repeated rape is strongly implied. Shocking? You bet!

As a reader, I have always found the rape-to-love (Stockholm Syndrome) trope appalling and have never had such mixed feeling about a book as I did The Sheik. It had so much to offer with its strong characters and beautiful descriptive prose, but it fell sadly short for me in so many other ways. I found the narrative too repetitive and plodding. There was too much navel-gazing on the heroine’s part, and far too little actual interaction between Diana and Ahmed. In particular, their “romantic relationship” was extremely under-developed.

In sum, I loved and loathed it in equal measure.

Nevertheless, it captured my imagination. Even though I had other books to work on, for weeks after reading The Sheik I was held hostage by the story. It absolutely refused to let me go. Once I began fantasizing about alternate scenarios, dialogue, and plot twists, I knew it was calling to me to re-write. I had no choice but to tell this story the way I envisioned it.

While I have taken a number of liberties in my re-telling, the main plot, characters, and descriptive prose are largely unchanged. I kept everything I loved about the original and threw out the rest. Although my version is not completely devoid of violence (to omit all of it would only have watered down Ahmed’s powerful alpha character), I have taken out the rape and animal abuse which I abhorred.

Another big difference between the two versions is my employment of first person narrative. Since so much of the story was told from Diana’s POV anyway, I felt the story would adapt very well to first person. Most importantly, however, I have held true to Diana’s strong and self-willed nature, which I felt E.M. Hull did not do. In the original story, Diana almost instantly submits to her abductor, whereas my Diana holds her own much longer. Even when she eventually submits, the decision is largely her own. Even though she falls in love with her captor, she stays true to herself right to the end.

Here is an excerpt from The Sheik Retold:

The Sheik Retold by Victoria VaneI had dreamt for years of this experience, of a month spent in the desert and now here I was. I had longed for adventure. It is what I had sought, so why could I not turn this tragedy to my advantage? I had food and shelter that was far superior to any I could have provided for myself. And I was surrounded by hundreds of armed men. Whether I viewed them as my captors or my protectors was only a matter of perception—a matter of choice.I knew I was safe. I had seen the depths of deference, the authority of the Sheik’s command. Any man outside of himself who dared to touch me would suffer death. Of that I had no doubt. The only thing stopping me from enjoying my adventure in this vast oasis and my freedom in the Sheik’s camp, was my own desperate desire to cling to a state of chastity I truly cared nothing about. It was only my pride that stood in the way of my pleasure, and my refusal to allow him to take it from me.

I chewed my lip as I gazed up upon the stars glimmering in the heaven like countless brilliant diamonds shimmering against a backdrop of black velvet. I wondered if in the great scheme of things, my pride was a bit over-rated.

This entire evening I had bucked with resentment against the pretense that I was a willing guest here, but had I met this same Sheik in Biskrah, in more conventional circumstances, if I had only been properly introduced, would I not have willing, even gratefully accepted an invitation to his camp? Only a week ago I would have jumped at the chance. What now prevented me from embracing that role? From enjoying that status— for as long as I had planned? I smiled to myself. Yes, it was all just a matter of perception—except for the bartering of my body— the Sheik’s expectation in return for his hospitality.

My smiled dimmed.

I could enjoy my month of holiday as planned, as long as I would willingly serve his needs—and all that implied— in his bed.

While I believe The Sheik Retold will compare very favorably to E.M. Hull’s The Sheik, I will let readers be the ultimate judge.

Victoria VaneAbout Victoria Vane

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist, cowboy addict and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming in summer 2014.To learn more about Victoria, visit her website and blog or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Victoria is giving away an ebook copy of her book Treacherous Temptations to one lucky winner. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

Treacherous Temptations by Victoria Vane

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Guest Post by Author Nico Rosso on Rock and Roll + Giveaway

Today I’d like to welcome Nico Rosso, who recently published Heavy Metal Heart (reviewed here). He’s also the co-author, or co-conspirator, The Ether Chronicles, which is of one of my favorite steampunk romance series, along with his wife Zoe Archer. So I’m especially pleased to have him as my guest at Reading Reality!

Thanks so much for having me, Marlene! Now let’s tune the guitars and crank up the amps.

Heavy Metal Heart by Nico RossoRock and roll moves us. It’s caused revolutions, riots, and revelations. We can dance to it, or bang our heads, or sing along at the top of our lungs at top speed on the freeway. I’m definitely guilty of this, as my wife, Zoë Archer can attest to.

I listen to a lot of music when I’m writing, and this was especially true when I was working on my paranormal romance Heavy Metal Heart (book 1 of my new series, Demon Rock). The hero, Trevor Sand, is a nearly immortal demon rock star, so I needed plenty of musical energy to pump through it. Misty Grant, the heroine, is definitely into his music, but has no idea about the supernatural side of things. Until one night, when she breaks out of her routine and goes to see Trevor do a rare show at a small venue. That one night not only brings her into his wild world, but also shows how she has a very special place there.

Fate and the power of Trevor’s music might’ve been bringing them together for their whole lives, but the action really gets started at that small show. There’s nothing like an intimate venue to concentrate all the beautiful chaos of rock and roll.

I’ve been to some big arena shows, where the band is no closer than some glittering constellations. I guess that’s why the call them rock stars. I think the last of these shows for me was U2’s Pop Mart tour (the one with the giant lemon). It was good to hear the music live, but it lacked the vitality of a small stage. I don’t carry a very strong memory of the show because it seemed too distant to impact me.

SAMSUNG CSCWhen you’re close to the amps and the band, you can literally feel the music thumping through your chest. As if it’s another heartbeat, the same one everyone else is feeling. Not only are you connected to the music, but also the rest of the crowd. Recently I went to an Adam Ant show with Zoë in a relatively small space. I was expecting the old tunes, same as you’ve heard on the radio. Instead, I was blown away by the band and their furious energy. Simple and raw rock and roll. Close enough to feel in your veins. That elation continued after the show, as people left the venue, still bonded by the unique experience.

Do you have any special concert memories in large or small venues? Leave a comment and I’ll pick one person at random to win a PDF copy of Heavy Metal Heart!

Thanks so much for coming by today. I’m looking forward to reading your responses.
And if you want to continue the conversation, I can be found on my website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

And Heavy Metal Heart can be found here:


For a chance to win a PDF copy of Heavy Metal Heart by Nico Rosso, use the Rafflecopter below.

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The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-29-13

Sunday Post

Tomorrow the sun will set on the Sunset on Summer Sun Blog Hop. If you’re interested in the $10 gift card to either Amazon or B&N that I’m giving away, or the grand prize of a Kindle Fire or Nook HD that the organizers are giving away, or just perusing all the other great prizes, you have 24 hours to enter everything. Give or take.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.

Seattle is absolutely sopping wet this weekend, and on track to make this September the wettest September EVER. Drip, drip, splish, splash. Waiting for the bus tomorrow is going to be such a joy! NOT.

Rainy season is here with a vengeance!

Sunset on Summer Fun Blog HopCurrent Giveaways:

Sunset on Summer Sun Blog Hop: my prize is a $10 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble; the blog hop’s grand prize is a Kindle Fire or Nook HD.
Declan’s Cross by Carla Neggers: Hardcover (US/CAN only)
Tourwide Giveaway: 5 signed paperback copies of Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion, 5 ebook copies, Pandora sterling silver charm bracelet
Marry Me, Cowboy by Lillian Darcy and Tempt Me, Cowboy by Megan Crane; both ebook only, but INT giveaway

Gilded by Karina CooperBlog Recap:

B Review: Declan’s Cross by Carla Neggers
Q&A from Author Carla Neggars + Giveaway
B+ Review: The Rare Event by P.D. Singer
B+ Review: Gilded by Karina Cooper
B- Review: Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion + Giveaway
B Review: Marry Me, Cowboy by Lillian Darcy + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (60)

Something Wicked Returns BlueComing Next Week:

Heavy Metal Heart by Nico Rosso (review + guest post + giveaway)
The Sheik Retold by Victoria Vane (review + guest post + giveaway)
Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman (review)
Treecat Wars by David Weber and Jane Lindskold (review)
Something Wicked Returns Blog Hop

Review: Marry Me, Cowboy by Lilian Darcy + Giveaway

Marry Me Cowboy by Lilian DarcyFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western romance
Series: Copper Mountain Rodeo, #2
Length: 129 pages
Publisher: Tule Publishing Group
Date Released: September 21, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Champion barrel-racer Tegan Ash has nothing left to go home to in her native Australia and every reason to stay in the USA. But her visa is about to expire, and her prospective groom has called off their green-card wedding.

Jamie MacCreadie doesn’t actually want to marry a woman he can’t stand, but his best friend and fellow rodeo rider Chet has just let her down and, somehow, he finds himself offering to do the deed instead.

There’s no chance it could turn into the real thing, because they have nothing in common… do they?

My Review:

A western romance combining frenemies-to-lovers with just a hint of arranged marriage. It’s an arrangement that works pretty darn well!

Tegan Ash starts out the story planning on a green-card marriage with her rodeo buddy Chet Wyndham. This isn’t a love match. Tegan and Chet aren’t even friends-with-benefits. Tegan has been a barrel rider on the rodeo circuit for almost two years, and her visa is up. Her dad and step-mum have sold the family farm in Australia, and she feels like she has no home to go back to. But her rodeo career in the U.S. hasn’t been quite splashy enough for the owner of the rodeo to be willing to sponsor her for an extension of her work visa.

That’s where Chet was supposed to come into the picture. Tegan, Chet and Jamie have been the Three Musketeers for almost two years. Solving Tegan’s problem with a green-card marriage should have been a piece of cake. Except for two things.

Tegan and Jamie scrap like a pair of five year olds every time they’re within talking distance. Or even glaring distance.

And Chet backs out of the ceremony at the last minute. The very, very last minute. Leaving Tegan with less than six weeks to sell her horse, her half of her trailer and everything else she has in the States, and go back to a family she’s lost complete touch with.

Chet finally admits that he won’t marry Tegan, even a half-baked, half-faked marriage, because he’s gay. (About time he made that admission, it’s screamingly obvious what his secret is by that point.)

But Chet leaves behind two friends who suddenly no longer have a wedding between them to hide the other elephant in the barn. All that scrapping has been a dust storm to hide the real heat they feel for each other.

The only problem is that now Tegan and Jamie only have six weeks to undo all the learned fighting behaviors that they’ve always engaged in with each other to see what else they might have besides boiling hot sexual chemistry.

Can they manage to talk to each other? Enough and in time to see where this might lead before Tegan has to go back to Australia for good?

Escape Rating B: The story is all about Tegan and Jamie adjusting their thinking towards each other. Actually, it’s mostly about Tegan adjusting her thinking, Jamie’s is pretty well adjusted. In fact, it’s his supportive reaction to Chet’s reveal of his big secret that turns the tide in his favor.

Tegan doesn’t want to go home because she had originally planned to stay in the U.S. for two years and then go back to her family’s farm. She just hadn’t been ready to settle down when the rodeo offer came along and she thought her father understood that. However, he sold the farm while she was gone, and her stepmother made it seem like it was because her half-brother needed the money for law school. Her relationship with her family is strained.

Jamie’s relationship with his own family is equally strained. His folks weren’t happy he chose a rodeo career either. They wanted him to stay on their ranch and help out, and seemed to be equally of the belief that by the time he was done with his rodeo career, he’d be too banged up to help them out. But when the rodeo comes to Copper Mountain, he and his family manage to come to an understanding.

He thinks that maybe Tegan can find some middle ground with her folks, but only if she goes there in person. He knows that telephone call don’t really connect people who aren’t good at talking much about their feelings. Like him. And probably like her dad.

Sex turns out to be pretty easy once Tegan’s fake engagement to Chet is out of the way. But a relationship is difficult to work out. Tegan doesn’t want to reveal where her broken places are; she’s afraid of being vulnerable. And she thinks there’s no time for them to be more than sex buddies.

She turns out to be wonderfully wrong.

Tempt Me Cowboy by Megan Crane~~~~~~GIVEAWAY~~~~~~

The author is giving away an ebook copy of Marry Me, Cowboy and an ebook copy of Tempt Me, Cowboy by Megan Crane (reviewed last week) to a lucky winner! To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Guest Post by Author Traci L Slatton on Why I Write Science Fiction + Giveaway

Today I’d like to welcome Traci L. Slatton, who recently published the sweetly surprising and terrific SF romance The Love of My (Other) Life (review here). She’s here to talk about…

Why I Write Science Fiction
By Traci L. Slatton

When I was 6 years old, I fell in love with reading. It happened fast, like most experiences of true love. It was a thunderbolt, in fact. I went from reading “See Spot Run” to reading ‘big books,’ that is, chapter books for older kids, in a few weeks.

The dazzling thing about reading was that it allowed my imagination to play. I started with the usual kid’s books but picked up a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, and I was hooked. I read everything Burroughs wrote, all his Mars and Venus and Pellucidar books. I loved them. I devoured them. I consumed them utterly.

From Burroughs, I branched out into other science fiction. Every new novel was a whole new set of imaginal possibilities. New worlds, new wonders, came to life within me—possibilities I had never before conceived of took root and grew in my soul.

Immortal by Traci L. SlattonMy first published novel was a historical novel, but even Immortal had elements of sci fi in it. (I won’t give those away….) After Immortal, I turned to a dystopian series, the After series, a dark and romantic story set after a global apocalypse.

The After series is tense and dark, and I wanted to write something lighter, with serious elements, that still allowed my imagination to play—and that invited readers to play with me. Ultimately, as an author, that’s my goal: to engage readers playfully and heartfully; to give readers a sense of wonder and discovery; to open up minds to new options and hitherto unconsidered possibilities.

The Love of My (Other) Life by Traci L. SlattonI had this flash of an idea: what if a man showed up in my life, and he stalked me and claimed that we were married in an alternate universe, and I thought he was a crazy homeless dude, but he turned out to be the love of my life, but I couldn’t be with him because he belongs to another world? Excuse the run-on sentence, but the initial reverie the love that was the genesis for The Love of My (Other) Life was just like that, a big cram-up of ideas about love and loss and laughter and choice.

So the main character Tessa Barnum encounters this man, Brian Tennyson, who stalks her and tells her that they’re married in a parallel universe. And through him, she discovers the person she might have been, except for choices she made here that altered her path. The heart being what it is, an eternal force in all universes, it leads her back to Brian….

Traci L. SlattonAbout Traci L. Slatton

Traci L. Slatton was born into a Navy family. She grew up in Great Lakes, IL; Norfolk, VA; Olathe, KS; Millington, TN; and Groton, CT. Traci now lives in Manhattan with her husband sculptor Sabin Howard, three daughters, stepdaughter, and two labs, all of whom are wonderfully opinionated creatures.Traci has published dozens of poems, short stories, and articles in magazines and literary journals. She greatly enjoyed researching Edgar Cayce, quantum physics, and Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic fields for Piercing Time & Space. For the historical novel Immortal, she inquired deeply into the art and life of the Italian Renaissance, a period when thinkers like Pico della Mirandola, Leonardo da Vinci, and Marsilio Ficino were engaged in questioning the nature and relationship of science, art, and the soul. Immortal was a bestseller in Italy, Russia, and Brazil and was also translated into French, Greek, Spanish, and Polish.To learn more about Traci, visit her website and blog or follow her on Twitter and Goodreads.


Traci is giving away ebook copies of The Love of My (Other) Life to two lucky winners! To enter, use the Rafflecopter:

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Guest Post from Author Mary Ann Rivers on Why I Love Libraries and Librarians + Giveaway

Today I’d like to extend a very warm welcome Mary Ann Rivers, who recently published her terrific first book, The Story Guy (reviewed here). Her guest post topic is particularly near and dear to my heart, so let’s get right to it, shall we?


Why I Love Libraries and Librarians by Mary Ann Rivers

Libraries are the very best effort of society. The very best. Humans are very good at falling in love and at making libraries and precious little else. Everything else we do, is basically the business of filling libraries—with stories, with information about the human project. The very tiniest towns have some kind of library, and big cities have libraries that are glorious expressions of architecture and media.

I had a difficult childhood, and libraries saved me. I could be just exactly who I was in a library, or I could be someone else entirely. Physically, libraries are beautiful and safe; inside the mind they’re dangerous and illicit. As a child, the combination of that, of being safe with a free mind, was completely irresistible. Is still irresistible. I go every week, sometimes every day—even though I borrow most of my library books as digital media on my ereader (I love digital borrowing—it means the library is open 24 hours a day).

Librarians dedicate their work to the service of the very best of what it is we do as humans. It’s difficult schooling, and so librarians are obviously gorgeously smart; but also librarians have to negotiate the whole world and their community at the same time. Digital engagement is huge, but what if you serve poor rural or urban patrons? How do ereaders get in your community’s hands? If you’re serving in a world class library, you have the challenge of trying to represent your patrons, AND all other librarians.

Librarians help us ask questions, not just find the answer. They look at their community and try to fill the holes in it. They read to our kids, sometimes when no one else does. They figure out how and why we read so that the most perfect book is right in front of us when we explore the stacks. Carrie asks Brian if he has a librarian fetish. His answer is the same as mine, “who doesn’t?”

Mary Ann RiversAbout Mary Ann RiversMary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

To learn more about Mary Ann, visit her website or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Mary Ann is giving away a NetGalley review copy of The Story Guy to ten lucky winners! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below:

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