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
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.
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.
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.
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.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L.E. Rico will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, home of the Knitty Kitty, The Little Slice of Heaven Pie Shop, and O’Halloran’s Pub—owned by the four young women known as The Whiskey Sisters.
In the wake of her divorce, Jameson O’Halloran has gone man-vegan. And this is one diet she’s determined to stick with. Even when her long-lost ex-brother-in-law shows up looking like two scoops of double dutch dipped in chocolate… She’s not giving in. Been there and still wearing the messy T-shirt.
It’s been a decade since Scott Clarke left his family and his hometown, never to return. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself dragged back to the land of gossip, judgment, and the one woman he absolutely, positively, without a doubt can never have. His brother’s ex is off-limits. He just needs to keep repeating that to himself until it sinks in.
Read an Excerpt:
The shelf is a little too high for my short self, and I’m only able to brush the dishes with my fingertips.
“Oh, here, let me help you with that…”
Before I can object, he’s standing behind me, reaching over me to get the dishes. For a brief second, his front is pressed against my back. His broad, muscled, perfectly sculpted front. I feel a wave of unwelcome warmth beginning under my collar and creeping up my neck.
“Thanks…” I murmur awkwardly, keeping my back to him for a moment longer in an attempt to quash my blush.
“Okay. I’m just going to grab a shower before my brother gets here, if you don’t mind.”
“Nope. Not at all,” I say quickly. “You go right ahead.”
Once he disappears around the corner, I silently smack my palm to my forehead.
What was that, Jameson? Why the blush? He’s just your ex-husband’s brother, that’s all. This is insane. I’ve got to stop this childish behavior. No. More. Men. Remember? No thinking about men. No looking at men. No fantasizing about men.
Especially not that man!
I’m still shaking my head and silently berating myself when I hear him behind me.
“Hey, Jameson, do you happen to know if my dad keeps an extra toothbrush around? I dropped mine in the toilet and…”
I don’t hear the end of his sentence because, when I turn to face him, I suddenly can’t hear anything. I’m too entranced by the sight of him wearing nothing but a towel around his waist.
Oh, crap, oh crap, oh crap… I am in so much trouble here. No men. No men. No men… I repeat the mantra over and over again in my head, but clearly the rest of my body isn’t getting the memo.
Where do I start? I mean really. It’s like I waited FOREVER for this book in the series. If you want a recap of my review of Henny’s story here you go: Hennessey’s Review. So I won’t go into the sisters again in my review but let’s just say that they all play a very big part of this book and it is wonderful how Ms. Rico is able to use them in nonintrusive ways. Bailey and Jameson’s side plot is brilliantly played out, even if my heart broke a bit. Very realistically written and heartfelt. Remember that Jameson is the oldest and Bailey the youngest.
Anyways, I’m here to tell you how much I just ADORED this book. In some ways, it supersedes the first one and I’ll tell you why:
Jameson is the oldest sibling and feels like a failure. In her marriage, in helping her sisters and at times her son, Jackson. Jackson is hilarious in this book. Unca Scott and beddy-bye are just two of his sayings. Jameson carries some guilt when it comes to her mother’s death and still misses her. But what was great about that is she was finally able to “see” her mother when it came to the butterfly exhibit at the fair. Trust me, I had a tear. She fights for what she wants and doesn’t let her douche bag of an ex-husband take it from her. Also, she cares deeply for her father in law and the feeling is mutual.
Scott. I swooned. Yes, swooned and pictured Josh Lucas as my Scott. Just think Sweet Home Alabama and you’ll understand. Anyway, I loved him from the start and when we finally understand why he left and then the fallout later in the book, my heart literally broke. How could someone be that cruel to another human being? I know, there are plenty of people out there but in the end, they don’t get their way. Just the last scene in the bar spoke volumes to me in the sense that a certain douchebag will never get his way.
The Pie Lady is back and spookier than ever. She scares me. Seriously. Ms. Rico has written a secondary character that is funny, fun but reminds me somewhat of a fairy godmother. In a spooky way.
The celebrity cat scenes. Laugh out loud funny.
The mystery in regards to Win and Scott. I really liked that plot point. It showed me that the Clarkes were made of a certain character and didn’t back down. Too bad Win didn’t get the same message. Ungrateful little snot.
With this story, we didn’t have an outsider trying to take over something. I love Brynn but this one was more about two childhood friends that made a pact that they both forgot about. It’s about finding that true love when you think that you will never get it. For finding that someone that makes you feel alive when you don’t think you deserve it. For finding the peace in the reasons why you leave and but then find reasons for never leaving again.
Ms. Rico has written that rare second book in a series that really makes you think. I’m not sure if I could have coped with what Scott went through all those years ago. Jameson had to finally get her backbone when it came to Win and his ways. Douchebag. Yes, I will continue to say it. It’s still a story about sisters but in the end, it’s about being true to yourself and fighting for what you truly want in life.
About the Author:
L.E. Rico didn’t set out to be an author. In fact she’s made a name for herself as a classical music radio host—doing her best to make the music and the composers relevant by putting them into a modern context. It was just a few years ago that she discovered a passion for writing that blossomed into an entire novel. And then another. And another. And, while she still spends plenty of time on the radio, telling the stories of the great composers, she spends even more time composing her own great stories.
Name Mayhem, Minnesota’s newest resident!
Welcome to Mayhem, MN where the cats wear sweaters, the priest gives love advice, and you can find your fortune under a slice of pie.
Mayhem is filled with all kinds of quirky characters and I’m looking for one more!
In honor of the release of Mischief and Mayhem, book two of the Whiskey Sisters series, I’m in the market for a brand new character—a nanny who will fit in with the wacky bunch who live there.
Can you help?
Fill out this form and tell me about the nanny YOU think should become Mayhem’s latest resident! Name, physical features, and, most importantly, what makes them so quirky? Bonus points for snippets in the character’s voice and dialogue with existing characters from book one, Blame it on the Bet.
If your character is selected, he/she will be featured in an upcoming Whiskey Sisters storyline and you’ll get a shout-out in the acknowledgements!
All entries will be evaluated by myself in consultation with Entangled Publishing, LLC.
In the event that there are an insufficient number of viable entries, as determined by me, then I’ll create an assortment of characters—one to be chosen by popular vote with all voters entered in a random drawing. In this event, the winner will help select the character’s name & physical description and will receive a mention in the acknowledgments.
Haven’t read Blame it on the Bet yet? What are you waiting for? Start getting acquainted with the Mayhem of Mayhem, Minnesota!
Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.
WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR
Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, but without a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.
Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn’t given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.
Molly laughed while she told her what had happened last night, though at the moment, she wasn’t sure it was a joke. She sighed and left the computer to go make scrambled eggs. Nell followed her to the kitchen.
“So, should I call you ‘Number One’ now?”
She could never keep a straight face with Nell. Molly speared a peach slice with a fork and nibbled the end of it. Sweetness filled her mouth. “‘Make it so.’ No, nerd. He seems pretty cool. I mean, if I check it out, this may turn out to be a positive change. At the least, he’ll get me in shape for Paris. His bio says he’s from Giverny, and he’s a retired civil-rights attorney. His website says that when he retired, he decided to change his objective to improving people’s lives, which is why he’s a life coach. Pretty impressive.”
“So, you’re going through with it?”
“Going through with what?” They both looked into the living room, where a bemused Evan stood half naked and barefoot in a pair of black pajama bottoms. Molly licked nectar off the peach on the end of her fork to save it from dropping to the floor. Evan’s jaw tightened, and his eyes gleamed as he zeroed in on her. He cleared his throat and lifted an empty half gallon of milk. “Sorry, you left the door cracked open. I came to borrow milk.”
“Jesus, Evan! Knock next time, or at least text. I’m in my panties.” Nell smacked him on the arm and tugged down her nightshirt as she ran past him into her bedroom.
“Sorry,” he said, but he seemed distracted as he strode toward Molly, eyes glued to her lips. She sucked the rest of her peach slice into her mouth and wiped at a little of the nectar at the corner of her lips. Her cheeks blazed at the hungry longing in his eyes. She turned away to open the fridge to get the milk. It wasn’t uncommon for them to borrow food from one another, and he always watched out for them. He had a comforting, protective nature she’d gotten used to.
She grew painfully aware of her night shorts, which had a tendency to ride up her butt and cut off at mid-thigh, and her thin white tank top. Could he see her nipples? And jeez, Louise, why did they have to harden every time he came near her?
She pushed hair out of her face and poured the milk into his empty half gallon. “Help yourself to the fruit in the bowl there. Nell had leftovers. How much milk do you want?”
“Enough for a bowl of cereal, please. I’ll get some at the store later.” His voice only dropped that low and husky during sex. She stopped after she poured enough milk, then gave him extra.
Evan reached over her to open a nearby drawer. He took out a fork, inserted it into the flesh of a peach slice, and brought it to his lips.
“Forbidden fruit, hmm?”
He teased the fruit around his lips with a wicked smirk. He winked at her and sank his teeth into half the peach as he watched her, licking it. Her mouth went dry. Oh, he knew what he was doing.
Every read a debut author and thought, the second book won’t be as good? *raises hand* All the time. I know, I have no shame. So I read Ms. Howard’s first book, Sonnet Coupled and was completely blown away by it. So I signed up to read her second book, Flip the Beat and this is no sophomore slump. Granted this book is way hotter than her first, this one had a depth to it that I wasn’t expecting. Plus, it is much shorter, so I really didn’t know what to think.
Let me assure you, that while shorter, Ms. Howard reveals the plot very slowly. Yes, slowly. Sure Molly and Evan are hot and heavy in the book but when you peel an onion, you get a whole lot of layers. And this story has more layers than an onion. Slowly, bits and pieces of Evan are revealed and he is NOT what he seems. Molly’s character is much more straightforward but I will have to say, I was disappointed in not having some closure on her stepmother. I know, I’m weird but this being a fairytale, I wanted it. Even if it was just a slap in the face or a sentence or two in the epilogue.
This story is based on Cinderella but with a great twist. In fact, since Ms. Howard told the story with some many layers, I didn’t figure anything out at all. I was totally surprised with how everything unfolded. Ms. Howard is one of those rare authors that doesn’t show her hand in her writing until its necessary. I love that about her. Her secondary characters are top notch, too. Nell and Jorge were hilarious, as was her life coach. *wink*
I absolutely adored Molly and Evan. It is a very well balanced book with plenty of hot smexy times, great character growth and a very plausible plot that is also realistic. Trust me, the blurb doesn’t even tell you 1/4 of the story. Again, layers people. Layers…
Follow Roxanne’s book releases over the next six months. Be sure to add the books to your TBR pile!
About the Author:
Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.