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#Review of The Forbidden Brother (The McNeill Magnates #7) by Joanne Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @givemebooksblog @JoanneRock6

 

 

Title: The Forbidden Brother
Series: The McNeill Magnates #7
Author: Joanne Rock
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2018

 

Blurb
A night of passion and mistaken identity means unmistakable consequences…
Jillian Ross craves adventure. And she gets it when her new career as a movie location scout leads her to the ranch owned by the wealthy Wyoming McNeills. A close encounter with the playboy McNeill causes havoc—since it’s actually his reclusive twin, Cody, she’s fallen for! Now she’s pregnant—and still can’t get enough of her reluctant rancher. Is this adventure just beginning?
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GOOGLE PLAY

 

Excerpt
“You’ve improved my Saturday night a whole lot, too.” He liked the feel of her, his hand warming the cool skin through the thin blouse she wore. “It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about anything outside of work.”
Her eyebrows lifted. “Leading me to wonder what you could be thinking about right now.” Her lips curved. “Admiring the Wrangler’s decor? Or maybe remembering how much you like a good George Jones tune?” 
He laughed appreciatively. “I do respect a bar that still plays a classic. But the vinyl upholstery in the booths isn’t doing much for me in the decor department.” His gaze skated over her features; he was looking forward to making her blush again. “And I was thinking about you more than anything else.”
His directness might have caught her off guard. She nibbled her lower lip briefly before meeting his eyes. “I haven’t been the center of anyone’s attention in…a long time.”
There was a story there. He heard it in her voice. Saw it in her eyes.
“You aren’t involved with someone else?” He needed to be sure before he let this go on any longer. But his pulse was already thrumming.

“I don’t see a ring, but I have to ask.”
“I am very much unattached.” She shook her head, red curls catching the overhead light as she moved. “What about you? No one waiting at home?”
“The only ones who might be missing my presence right now are a couple of rowdy shepherds back at my ranch who would have preferred the night off.” He swayed with her. Her knee brushed his now and again in a way that fired right through him. “But no girlfriend. No wife.”
He respected that she asked, even though she was clearly feeling the same spark as him. And now that those formalities had been cleared away, he could simply enjoy the moment. The completely unexpected pleasure of having a beautiful stranger in his arms. He didn’t want to let go of her now. He wanted to take her outside into the fresh, rain-cleaned night and kiss her. See if she tasted as good as he imagined.
“The stars are aligning for us so far, aren’t they?” She peered up at him with something like wonder in her eyes. He couldn’t remember a woman ever looking at him quite like
that. As if he was the answer to a question. An answer that pleased her. 
“It feels that way.” He didn’t want to scare her off with empty pickup lines, or come across as some lowlife playing games with a woman in a bar. But as the music shifted again—this time to an even slower, modern country love song—Cody wondered if he could convince her to let the spark between them run wild. To follow the heat wherever it led.
“And since the stars aligning would be a first for me, I wonder if can ask you just one thing.” 
He halted them in the middle of the floor, now that the two-step was done. Bringing her fractionally closer, he swayed to the slower tempo in a barely moving lovers’ dance.
She followed him seamlessly, her gaze never straying from his. She was fully focused on him. Framed by dusky brown lashes, those green-gold eyes reminded him of new grass and spring.
“Sure. Ask away.” Her voice had a sweet-sultry quality that made him want to listen to her speak more. 
“Don’t you ever wish you could forget about the expectations of the world around you and just…choose your own adventure?” He remembered books like that when he’d been a kid, where you could test out different endings to a story. For someone who’d always taken the safe route in real life, he had liked the option of seeing how another choice played out. At least in a book. Cody couldn’t do that with ranching. Or his family. But he could take a chance here. Tonight.
Her lashes swept down for a long moment, hiding her expression. But when she tilted a glance up at him again, there was a new curiosity there.
“Are you asking to share an adventure with me?” She sounded disbelieving. But maybe a little intrigued.
“I suppose I am.” He would never have made such an outrageous suggestion to a local—a woman who knew him or his family. But she had “tourist” and “temporary” written all over her. Surely there couldn’t be any harm in drawing out the flirtation? “What would you say to throwing away the rule book for a little longer?”
He let go of her hand for a moment to tip her chin higher, to see her face in the dim overhead light of the dance floor. Feminine interest flickered in her eyes. He inhaled as she released a pent-up breath. He could almost taste her in the space of silence between them. Then he leaned closer to press his cause. “Choose me tonight.”

Oh, I love this series.  Now we are dealing with the Wyoming side of things and I will admit, I miss my other boys.  But I digress.   This side is going to be a doozy for sure.  Between Scarlett, the youngest and my absolute favorite so far, their mom and her secret, the dad being so obstinate and the other twin brother, this one is going to be awesome.

Jillian is one of my favorite female characters that Ms. Rock has written to date.  A survivor but doesn’t play the victim, she is going after her own life on her terms.  Being a location scout affords her the luxury of traveling and having her adventures.  Plus, she just has that spunk that I just love.  She went after a McNeill, okay the “wrong” one but it turned out fine, right?  Pregnant by one of them?  That should have made her happy but considering what her health issue is/was, Ms. Rock handles it very, very well.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Cody in a sense reminds me of Gabe.  I know, I shouldn’t compare but being the “quiet” one, he doesn’t trust people like his siblings.  And don’t even mention the other branch of the family tree.  That’s like treason for his siblings to embrace their grandfather.  I was happy to see him and Rosa back for a bit.  He really is trying.  Cody’s being just brought a smile to face throughout the whole book.  He’s loyal, the quiet observer but fiercely protective of the people that he loves…including Jillian.

I loved how Cody and Jillian’s relationship had all an equal amount of push and pull.  Ms. Rock treats them as equals and it shows.  Cody isn’t over the top when it comes to Jillian and knows when to back off.  Jillian, on the other hand, lets him know how she feels and what she wants to do with her life and the pregnancy.  They talked and acted like adults.  🙂

Overall, this is another winner in the McNeill’s saga.  Oh and Scarlett…I just can’t.  I have no words.  She is a hoot and I have the strangest feeling that she is going to get herself into a situation that even SHE can’t talk her way out of.  😉

 

Author Bio
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career.
She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
 
Author Links
Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, New Release, Reviews

#Review of The Mistress of Pennington’s & Interview of Rachel Brimble w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @RachelBrimble #HistoricalRomance

The Mistress of Pennington’s

by Rachel Brimble

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Saga/Romance

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BLURB:

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

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Excerpt Two:

He moved to walk away, and she reached for his arm before she could think just how dangerous such contact could be. He halted, and even when he looked at her fingers clutched on his forearm, she did not remove them. It suddenly felt important she touch him; that he understood she had care for what he said or asked her.

Even though the physical contact set her heart racing, she held her grasp. ‘Why do you ask me about your family?’

He closed his eyes and dropped his chin to his chest.

Disquiet whispered through her. What had caused such uncharacteristic hesitation in him?

‘Joseph…’ She slid her hand from his arm, ignoring the pang of loss that the break of contact brought. ‘If there’s something bothering you, please, share it with me.’

He slowly raised his head, his blue eyes full of irritation once more. ‘I will, but not here. Not on the street. I’d prefer to come to your office tomorrow.’

How was she supposed to wait until tomorrow? Her curiosity was rife. It was clear something had changed between them. Something, it seemed, of which she was the cause.

She nodded. ‘I’ll send a message to you first thing in the morning.’

‘Thank you. Until then, I bid you good day.’

He walked away, leaving Elizabeth with questions and words flailing on her tongue. She stared after him, fearful of the pull deep in her chest that Joseph’s concerns had somehow become hers. No good could come of such caring. Her only goal should be proving her worth and capability in Pennington’s and beyond. She could not allow one man, any man, to have such an effect on her.

She inhaled a long breath and walked towards Pennington’s doors.

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Welcome Rachel! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

I’ve been married to the fabulous ‘Mr B’ for twenty years and we have two beautiful teenage daughters as well as my baby, a chocolate Labrador called Tyler. I have been published since 2007 and have since had twenty-one novels published by small presses as well as Harlequin and eKensington.

 

Just recently I signed a 4-book contract with Aria Fiction in the UK and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with such a wonderful, enthusiastic team. When I’m not writing, I like to read, knit, walk the English countryside and watch far too much TV.


Is The Mistress of Pennington’s a single title, or part of a series?

 

It’s book 1 in a brand-new Edwardian series, but I promise all the books will read well as stand-alone, too.

Please share your setting for The Mistress of Pennington’s. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

 

The book is set in the city of Bath, England which is just a short thirty-minute drive from where I live. I adore Bath! It’s steeped in Georgian and Regency history and the architecture is astounding. If your visitors have never been to this historical city, I strongly them to do so. For me, the must-sees are the Bath Museum, Royal Crescent (including No1 which is open to the public), the Roman Baths and the Theatre Royal.

 

As for the department store where the majority of the action in The Mistress of Pennington’s takes place, that’s inspired by Le Bon Marche in Paris.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

Ooh, great question! It would have to be Nora Roberts, Philippa Gregory, Margaret Mitchell, Jodi Picoult and Alex Grecian.

 

I am a huge fan of these authors and would love for them to share all their tips and plotting skills, so I can finally understand this writing thing!


Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

 

My second obsession to writing is knitting – I absolutely love it! Nothing is more relaxing to me than sitting in front of the TV with my knitting. I literally can’t watch TV without a pair of needles in my hands – it feels so strange and, no matter how good the show, boring, lol! Every now and then, I consider if I could start a business selling my creations but, deep down, I know I’m nowhere good enough!


What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

I’ve shared this advice a LOT over the course of my career, but it was truly the best advice I was ever given – ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft’.

If you can get rid of your internal editor and that little voice in your head saying, ‘you can’t do this’ ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘every word is rubbish’, your output will quadruple, and you’ll get to the all-important END. A filled page can be polished, a blank page can’t. Simple!

What can I say?  I’ve been reading Ms. Brimble since she started and this is her best book to date.  She just nails with the first book in the series.  I will admit though, that this time period is a mystery to me.  I’ve read enough all of the “other” historical time periods, including hers to know what I’m reading.  But this?  Fascinating.  I don’t watch Downtown Abbey, so I’m clueless to the time.  It’s the woman’s movement and men are still stuck in the Regency period.  Heck, they have evolved into the Victorian Age yet.

To me, Ms. Brimble brings her vast knowledge of the area, the time period but most importantly her characters.  Ms. Brimble’s characters never cease to amaze me.  Elizabeth and Joseph have got to be some of my favorites that she has written.  It’s a clean, sweet romance between them and honestly, I’m grateful for that.  Elizabeth has been belittled, badgered and put down by her father for the longest time and she has decided that she doesn’t need a man.  Her father is just awful.  I’ve never read such a vile, cruel character in all my years.  It is no wonder that his wife…oops.  Almost gave away a plot point.  But when she meets Joseph and realizes that he has the same goals as her, what’s a gal to do?

Joseph is the enlightened character in the book.  He actually understands Elizabeth and what she wants to accomplish.  Plus, come on gloves?  No one wears them anymore but I do remember my grandmother’s and my mom wearing them.  Or at least having them.  Again, Ms. Brimble takes us into a world that is elegant, interesting and above all…not boring.  Reminder:  Harlie hates when an author gives too much detail in a historical romance and not enough about the characters.  Ms. Brimble never does that.  Her books are more character driven but she surprised me with the depth of detail in the relationship between the characters and the department store itself.  I actually pictured the scene in Wonder Woman where she is trying on clothes and went from there.

I wish I could write a novel about this book but I would bore you to tears.  Again, this is Ms. Brimble’s best book to date and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book at Pennington’s.

 

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

 

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s, will release in July 2018.

 

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

 

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:

 

http://rachelbrimble.com/

http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble

https://www.facebook.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RachelsReaders/?fref=ts

 

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release, Reviews, Teaser Excerpts

#Review of Virtue & Vengeance #2 (an Empire Sevens novel) by Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea @givemebooksblog @tabathavargo @melissa_andreaa

I KNOW.  I’M VERY LATE WITH THIS POST.  PLEASE FORGIVE ME.  I’M ONLY HUMAN.
Title: Virtue and Vengeance
Series: Empire Sevens Series #2
Authors: Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Blurb
A recovering sex addict should never be faced with such temptation. But there she was, working in my casino and teasing me to the edge of insanity. Thanks to her, I did the one thing I swore I wouldn’t do.
I relapsed.
Falling off the wagon and so deeply into her I thought I might never find my way back to sanity. Everything is different with Eden, and I’ll do anything to keep her. Even if it means risking everything I’ve worked my entire life for.

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

 

Sue me.  I’m only human.  I read this book and totally forgot to post it.  *hangs head in shame*  Ms. Vargo and Ms. Andrea, my apologies.  On with the review.
I read the first book in the series and it was NOT what I expected.  It was better.  Recap of my thoughts on the first book.  Zander is such a great hero.  Yes, hero.  Did I like the ending?  No.  He ended up being a somewhat d-bag but I completely understood the why.  Eden could have been a very weak character and at times, she was.  But she was NO wallflower when it came to Zander.  The push and pull between them is realistic if not a bit over the top.  But then again, Zander is a bit over the top.  😉
Honestly, this book could stand alone.  Much is explained without re-telling of the first book.  But really?  You should read it.  Just because its a great read.  This book starts off immediately where the first one left off.  Eden has kicked Zander out and is licking her wounds.  Not understand how he can be such a bag, and now, not having a job, she grieves.  At this point, I really missed her aunt not being around.  But I understood later in the book, why she doesn’t need to be around that much.
Much of the book is showing us the great character growth that both Eden and Zander go through.  Separately and then as a couple.  The suspense element in the book is phenomenal.  Its just one of things in the book that took me by surprise and I loved how it ended.  There is a lot going on in the book but Ms. Vargo and Ms. Andrea’s pacing is perfect.  Together, they write a very fluid story that just grabs you and doesn’t let go.  Plus, we finally get some closure on Zander’s past that has really affected his future with Eden.  Wonderfully written and heartfelt.
If I had one complaint is the ending.  I wanted more but I’m greedy.  While their story arc is done, we still have more to go with the casino.  I can’t wait either.  Plus, I miss Zander and Eden.
Also Available
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Tabatha Vargo
Tabatha Vargo is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for her sexy adult romance Little Black Book.
Tabatha writes in all genres, including adult and new adult, and isn’t afraid to venture into the dark side on occasion, as she proved with her dark, prison romance, Slammer.
She’s an avid reader of all things smutty and the writer of sexy stories featuring redeemable alpha bad boys and sweet, strong women.
Her other loves include her children, her loving, supportive husband, anything historical, and wind chimes. When she isn’t writing, she’s texting book ideas to herself.
Tabatha is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

 

Melissa Andrea
I find it hard to sum up my life in a paragraph, but I’ll try.
Reading has always been a passion for me and writing is as instinctive as breathing. Every inhale is an idea; every exhale a creation. Flutter, The Discover Series, was
my debut release and since then I have written a contemporary romance duet- The Edge of Darkness and The Grace in Darkness. I also co-wrote Little Black Book
and The Wrath Of Sin with Tabatha Vargo.
The only thing I do better than writing? Making beautiful, sassy, and independent girls. My daughters will always be my greatest accomplishment, my biggest fans, and my
every inspiration. I live, breath, and would die for them! I’ve been married to one of the greatest men in my life for eight years and I love him more than chocolate (you know shit just got real :), Justin Timberlake and Friday’s. Without him, my website would be a mess and I would probably be paying more taxes than I should be. He’s a jack of many trades, and this is just my opinion, but I like to think besides my daughters, I’m his second-biggest accomplishment. (Does anyone else hear a horn tooting?)
I was born in Denver, Colorado, but I will always think of sunny Arizona as my home. I don’t have a big family, but I’m close with my sister, brother & mom. My mom is my hero, my reality check, and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing person to be raised by. She has supported me throughout this crazy adventure and I’m lucky to have her on my side!
6 things you should know about me:
1. I’m a tornado with lipstick! Translation: I’m very girly, but I can get down and dirty with the best of them.
2. I adore the color pink!
3. I love things that sparkle (including vampires!)
4. I like even numbers (hence 6 things about me, not 5)
5. I’m loyal to a fault, but I like to see the good in everybody. Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness though because my bark is not always bigger than my bite :))
6. I don’t like calling readers ‘fans’. When it comes down to it, I am all YOUR biggest fan! MWAH!
I will never be able to thank every reader, every blogger, or every author who has helped me in one or a million ways since I published, but I will try every chance I get. Y’all are the reason I’m here and every comment, every message, and every review makes me feel like I have a reason to be. So to the moon and back, THANK YOU! Mwah!
Okay, so this was a little longer than a paragraph.