Island House by Bru Baker

island house Island House was an okay read for me. It was nothing exceptional and the concept was not new either. I did not find the story all that engrossing either. It did not really bother me if I missed something or forgot some prior scene. I just wanted to get it over with.

Niall is living on an island, in a house he chose with his long time late partner, working as a real estate agent. Though this isn’t the life he wanted, it’s the only way he can feel close to Nolan. In the 5 years since Nolan’s death, Niall has forgotten how to live. He is just going through the motions. The only time he feels something other than loneliness is when he meets Ethan, his latest client.

Ethan is a multi-millionaire, looking for a vacation home on the island. Even he feels the attraction toward Niall at first glance. It was pretty much a case of insta-love. Usually I don’t really like insta-love stories, but here it didn’t grate me so much. Their relationship did evolve over a period of time.

Stuck in a hurricane together on Niall’s boat, the heat between Niall and Ethan comes to head. I really enjoyed the scenes where Niall and Ethan were together. Their chemistry was really good and that made all the difference in the book for me.

Though most of the book they spent apart, when they came together it was amazing.

Niall did spend a lot of time reminiscing about the past. He was really broken by Nolan’s death. But I liked how he opened up to Ethan without much provocation. There were times when misunderstandings tore them apart before they even got together. But they got over it and gave each other a chance at life and happiness.

I also loved Nolan’s sister, Stephanie and Niall’s friend, Claire. They were fun and amazing and they encouraged Niall to move on with life and find happiness again.

Though I started off not liking it very much, I did end up almost loving it due to Ethan and Niall’s relationship. All the time they were together made the book worth the read.

3/5 stars

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Two In The Afternoon by Cora Cade

TwoInTheAfternoon72lgTwo in the Afternoon

A Day of Pleasure

Book 2

Cora Cade

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 Publisher: Samhain

Date of Publication:  July 29, 2014

 ISBN: 978-1-61922-298-4


 Word Count: 26,000

 Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor

 Book Description:

 When it comes to hand-to-heart combat, no hold is barred.

Molly Ryan survived one attack, and she’s not about to be a sitting duck for another. With her attacker harassing her from his jail cell, she packs up her life in Chicago, follows her Delta Force brother to North Carolina and gets work in a pub.

Men in uniform are definitely off her menu, but her boss’s friend, Army Ranger Callum Eversman, is one hot hunk she’d like to sample.

Home on a two-week furlough, Cal has agreed to watch over Molly as a favor to fellow Ranger Noah Harper. Accomplishing his mission without her noticing? That’s going to be tough, as any idiot can see their sparks of attraction from a mile away.

Despite her hands-off-military-men policy, Molly is tempted to indulge, just this once, in a no-strings-attached fling. No dating, no kissy face, no hearts involved. But when her past threatens her future, there’s only one man to turn to. The one who’ll risk everything—body, heart, and soul—to protect her.

 Available at the Samhain Store


Propping her bare feet on the edge of the ancient desk, Molly Ryan took a well-deserved pull of her beer. Before dropping her head back to ease the tension in her shoulders she closed her aching eyes and sighed heavily. It was nearly two in the afternoon, which meant she’d been locked in the pub’s office for roughly six hours, getting caught up on the weekly invoicing, payroll and upcoming supply orders.

The office had no window to enjoy the lake view, but she knew it was a glorious, sunny summer day. It was well worth the sacrifice of her Sunday off to know that she’d put a major dent in her work week, though. With Noah and Tennyson off on their honeymoon for the next two weeks, they’d left Molly in charge of more than just her normal duties.

Managing a busy pub like the Drunken Duck was enough work, but taking on Noah’s responsibilities as owner added a little more tension to her shoulders. To be fair, it was a challenge she was more than up for. Noah had left his brother, Chris, as her second in command for the duration, giving plenty of help.

She heard the service door open down the hall. Undoubtedly it was Chris to check in with her. He had a normal work week as an architect and helped out in the evenings and weekends as needed. He was likely stopping after seeing her sporty red coupe in the empty parking lot.

“Hey, Mr. Sexy Pants, I’m in the office. Bring me another beer on your way!” She couldn’t help teasing him. He’d spent the previous night fighting off advances from Lexie, his latest crazy chick, as Tenn would call her. At one point Lexie had cornered Chris next to the bar, put a slim hand down the front of his tuxedo pants, and called him Mr. Sexy Pants loud enough for half the bar to hear. Watching Chris turn ten shades of red while attempting to pull the tenacious girl’s hand from his pants had caused Molly to fall off her bar stool in hysterical laughter. Even after landing squarely on her ass and spilling her scotch down the front of her bridesmaid dress, effectively ruining it, she still couldn’t stop laughing.

As the office door opened behind her, she pushed off from the desk. The movement sent the chair whirling around, making the tiny room spin in a quick half turn.

“Hey… Oh.” Well, that wasn’t Chris standing in her doorway. Where Chris was leanly muscled, this guy looked like a hulking linebacker, with heavily muscled arms and a chest broad enough to block the sun. He had a black duffel bag slung over one shoulder, exposing the underside of a thick biceps and a heavy tribal tattoo ending at the elbow.

Intensity pulsed off of him. Light mocha skin, a smoothly shaved head, and steely gray eyes, he exuded a quiet watchfulness that was at odds with his stern demeanor. He had an obvious perpetual scowl set on his face. A face, upon closer inspection, that had a full mouth and broad features and a light scar running across his left cheek, just under the eye.

He watched her watching him, and no one spoke for a moment. Molly belatedly realized she was sitting in front of a ridiculously hot stranger in her pajamas. Not even her cute pajamas. When she’d rolled out of bed after a night of just a little too much scotch and not enough sleep, she hadn’t even considered running into anyone. Her apartment was three blocks away, the pub was closed every Sunday, and most of the town was also recovering from Noah and Tenn’s wedding reception.

Who was this guy, and where had he come from? And could she keep him?

If the vixen in black pajama bottoms with pink skulls was Noah’s new bride, then Cal was in a lot of trouble. It went against his code to covet a fellow soldier’s woman. But he was hard-pressed to take his eyes off the petite beauty with a shock of unruly auburn hair and a full, pouty mouth. She darted her tongue across a lush bottom lip, causing his libido to stand at attention.

It was well past time to stop cataloging every attribute of the woman before him, especially if she was Noah’s. “I’m looking for Noah Harper. Is he around?”

“Noah?” She shook her head, as if clearing it, before going on. “He’s not in, but I’m the manager of the Drunken Duck. Can I help you?”

It was relief, first and foremost, that washed over him. Cal was grateful he’d had a chance to speak with Noah earlier in the week. Molly wasn’t Noah’s wife, but the woman he was here to look after.

Author Photo_Cora  About the Author:

 Nestled away in a small town in Ohio, I spend my days adding delicious books to my library, snuggling with my four rotten dogs, and debating the finer points of life with the dear husband.

When I’m not tucked away with a book you can be find me tapping away at my laptop.   With coffee.  And my iPod.





 Tour wide giveaway 

 5 ebook copies Two in the Afternoon
 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards 
 1 Swag Bag of Surprise Goodies- open to US Shipping

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Blog Tour, Giveaway and Character Interview: Never Been Kissed by Molly O’Keefe


 Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway of Molly O’Keefe’s latest installment in the Boys of Bishop series, Never Been Kissed.  Read on to read more about the book and for an interview with the very hot and sexy Brody. Click on the banner for the tour schedule.

NEVER BEEN KISSED_cover_hiresJuly 2014

Boys of Bishop, book #2


Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s second novel in her exciting new series—The Boys of Bishop—features an irresistible romance and unforgettable characters in a page-turning story that delivers equal parts emotion and humor . . . with a little edge to boot.

As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.

Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms.



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  wild child

WILD CHILD, the first installment in the Boys of Bishop series, is available now.



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character interview

Alright ladies, I bring you the very hot and dashing Brody Baxter from Molly O’Keefe’s Never Been Kissed. Let’s find out all about him, shall we!

Hi Brody, I’m really excited to have you here at The La La Land of Books.
Me:  Why don’t you start by telling me a bit about yourself.

Brody: I’m a carpenter in Bishop, Arkansas. Before that I was a bodyguard and before that a Marine. You, know you should really ask Ashley some of this stuff. She’s the talker.

Me:  What makes you tick as a person?

Brody: These days, it’s taking care of my family. My Dad, my brother. Ashley. I’ve got some employees now…I just want to do right by the people in my life.

Me:  What are your best and worst qualities?

Brody: How in the world would I know?

Me:  Fine, what would Ashley say were your best and worst qualities.

Brody: Well, I suppose I can be stubborn.

Me:  Is that the best or the worst quality?

Brody: Can’t it be both? Without stubborn the hard stuff doesn’t get done.

Me:  You’ve been through a lot in your life. What gave you the strength to overcome all the difficulties and come out strong?

Brody: Wow. You’re not pulling any punches with these questions. There isn’t much of a choice, is there? When life goes sour, you’ve got to keep marching. Eventually, something will change. In my case, it was Ashley.

Me:  What do you look for in a girl? Actually, scratch that. What should I do to snatch you right from under Ashley’s nose?

Brody: Sorry, but that’s an impossibility. Ashley is everything. But one of the things that I really like about her is she’s funny. Sometimes she doesn’t know it. She makes me laugh all the time.

Me:  What was it like, fighting pirates, saving Ashley, being her white knight?

Brody: All in a day’s work?

Me: Is that…are you joking with me?

Brody: I really don’t understand why people don’t think I’m funny. I’m very funny. In all honesty, the pirate stuff was easy. I just got her out of there. It was the way afterward, she pushed and shoved and manipulated me into being brave enough to go after her – that stuff was way harder.

Me:  What makes you and Ashley tick as a couple?

Brody: She’s got the big ideas and I help her get them done.  She’s the most loving and genuine person I’ve ever met and every day I am grateful that she cracked me wide open.

Me:  You tried really hard to push Ashley away. And yet she never left you. Why do you think that is?

Brody: Because that smile hides a back bone of steel inches thick.

Me:  What do you think are Ashley’s best and worst qualities?

Brody: She can give of herself until there’s nothing left. Learning how to say no, is kind of a problem. She’s stubborn.

Me:  Tell me a secret not even Ashley knows. I swear I’ll be mum.

Brody: Oh, man, you’ve got to PROMISE… once when I was a kid, I dared Sean, my brother to sneak into the porn section of the video store. But Sean is a terrible sneak so he went in and then quickly got caught. The guy that runs the video section was about to call our Mom, who would have KILLED US. So, I started stealing movies, shoving them up under my shirt, being real conspicuous. The guy put down the phone, Sean made a run for it, I dropped the movies and ran after him. The guy chased for a little bit, but then stopped.  He never called my mom, and we never went into the video store again.

That’s pretty tame as far as secrets go…

That’s all your getting.
Alright ladies and gents, that was Brody Baxter for you. I had a real fun time with him. I hope you did too. Make sure you read Never Been Kissed to find out more about him.

molly o'keefe

  About the Author:

Molly O’Keefe is the RITA Award winning author of over 25 books and novellas. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, two kids and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.


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Blog Tour: Her Secret, His Surprise

Her Secret, His Surprise

9781633750241Her Secret, His Surprise

by Paula Altenburg

 Book Synopsis: Conflict of interest is an understatement…

Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up…until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.

Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded…and then he meets Cass’s daughter.

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Twitter: @RomanceIsBliss Steals and Deals

paula altenberg

Author Bio:

Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys the freedom of working from home and writing fulltime. Paula currently writes fantasy, fantasy romance and category romance.

Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @PaulaAltenburg.

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Blog Tour: Down Among the Dead Men by Claire Baxter

perf5.000x8.000.inddBook Title: Down Among The Dead Men

Author: Claire Baxter

Release Date: July 14th, 2014

Genre: Romantic suspense

Tagline: How far will she go to save the people she loves?

Book Synopsis:

WhenCaitlyn ventures into the rough, tough world of the South Australian opal fields on a mission to find her estranged father she instead discovers a half-sister she knew nothing about and learns that her father is missing and suspected of a crime.

Dale is a former city lawyer-turned-lapidary hiding out in Minagoona after death threats endanger him and his daughter. When Caitlyn approaches him for help finding her father, he’s reluctant, but attracted by her determination to right the wrongs dealt to her family. His sense of justice is very much like hers, but when his daughter’s life was threatened by men who wanted him to break the law for them, he fled to protect the child he loves.

Still the more Dale gets to know Caitlyn, the more he realizes he can’t let her go up against organized crime on her own—which is exactly what she proposes when she sets out to clear her father’s name. No matter what, he’ll do his damnedest to keep her safe—even if it means exposing himself and his daughter to the men who want to kill them…

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Down Among the Dead Men was an interesting and intriguing read. Though it was a romantic suspense, the romance angle was very less in the book.

Caitlyn has to find her estranged father or her mother will lose her family home. This search leads her to the rough and tough world of opal mining. There she doesn’t find her father, but encounters her half-sister, Max. Wally Bracken has been as much of a deadbeat father to Max as he has been to Caitlyn. To help both her mother and her sister, Caitlyn decides to stay in town and find her father.

Since Caitlyn’s father had been in the business of ratting, or stealing opals, there is more than one bad guy after her and Max. She finds a friend and confidant in single dad Dale. With the help of Dale Caitlyn learns more about opal mining and get closer to finding her dad. Though not classically handsome, Dale is still attractive with his beautiful eyes and a killer smile. Not to mention the hot body.

The suspense angle of this book was very well done, especially Wally’s disappearance. The real identities of certain characters were well hidden and a surprising revelation.

There was not much romance in the book. In the epilogue we do find out why Dale never actively pursued Caitlyn, but still the romance seemed a little bland. However, I did enjoy Max and Caitlyn’s relationship. Caitlyn quite easily accepted Max as her sister. Even Max who acted indifferent seemed happy to have an elder sister. Caitlyn’s best friend Sally and her husband Josh were also fun characters. Sally with her chirpy nature, and Josh with his gentle giant nature were quite loveable.

Overall an enjoyable read. Well-written with some really good characters. I look forward to more books by Ms. Baxter.

claire baxter

Author Bio:

Claire Baxter writes contemporary romantic fiction. Her short stories have been published in commercial women’s magazines around the world, while her novels have been translated into 20 languages, and nominated for the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award, the Booksellers’ Best Awards, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and the Cataromance Reviewers’ Choice Awards (winner, Best Harlequin Romance). Claire grew up in England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide’s beautiful beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.

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Book Blast: Entangled Select

Whether you’re looking for a romance that makes you laugh, makes you ‘walk the plank’, keeps you guessing, or stars your favorite paranormal, look no further. Select books have the single-title stories you crave, and the longer length you need to really get ‘lost’ in a great book. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Ready to Wed:

Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen

 Dakota Halifax loves to be in love. In fact, as one of Las Vegas’s premier wedding planners, she’s built a whole career around romance. Which is why her own wedding has to be nothing short of perfect. And then her fiancé jilts her. While she’s waiting in her wedding dress. On a cruise ship already out at sea.Once back on dry land, Dakota tries to pour her heart into her business and weekly wedding advice column, Get Ready to Wed. But how can the heartbroken celebrate others’ true love? When she reconnects with her childhood best friend, surprisingly sexy and all-grown-up casino bouncer Brendan West, Dakota wonders if maybe she can fall back in love with being in love.But then her ex reappears, begging for another chance and suddenly Dakota questions if she’ll ever understand love. Can someone once-burned and twice-shy ever find her way down the aisle again?

Ready to Wed was a fun and sweet read with its fair share of mini-drama and heartbreak.Dakota Halifax is a romantic at heart. She loves everything about love. And that is precisely why she runs a wedding planning business. But her own wedding is less than perfect and leaves her a cynic. When her fiance ditches her at the altar. In a foreign country. After she wrote in the newspaper about her upcoming nuptials, Dakota is bitter and cynical. She no longer believes in the power of love or that love can conquer all.How is Dakota supposed to advice her readers about love when she has herself lost her belief? How is she supposed to pour her heart and soul into her clients wedding when her heart is broken and her soul hurting? Enter Brendan West. Reconnecting with her childhood best friend Brendan helps her navigate through all the heartbreak and hurt she is dealing with.Brendan was a sweet, hot, laid-back, fun guy. His chemistry with Dakota was amazing and he understood her very well. Sometimes even more than she understood herself. With the help of Brendan, Dakota starts having fun again and starts finding the girl she was before. The nine year old girl who believed in love, who accepted when Brendan proposed with a lollipop in hand.The best part about this book was that despite their attraction to each other, Brendan and Dakota did not jump into a relationship. They re-ignited as friends and slowly moved on to be something more. I honestly did not have much love for Grant, Dakota’s ex. I understood his reasons for getting cold-feet, but that doesn’t mean I approve of his methods. He should have talked it out with Dakota and then moved on from there. But despite it all Dakota came out stronger in the end.Overall it was well written and enjoyable. I really enjoyed Dakota’s independent nature and Brendan’s laid-back, fun nature. Dakota’s best friend was also amazing, sarcastic and cynical, but yet amazing. A good book recommended to all fans of sweet, contemporary romance.

3/5 stars

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Cover Reveal: Fated


Sometimes love has other plans.

Cover: Najla Qamber Designs

The Fated 5 have come together to bring you a collection of five steamy new adult urban fantasies about sacrifice, second chances, destiny and love against all odds.

Beginning August 21st, for a limited time, paranormal fans can purchase five full lengthbestselling novels all in one:

Amaranth by Rachael Wade

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown

Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand


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