• Review

    The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard

    The Billionaire Needs a BodyguardSummary

    From the back of The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard:

    Desire is the deadliest weapon…
    Alexandra “Lex” Granger surrounds herself with wealthy, powerful businessmen. But she’s no gold-digger… She’s a highly trained private security consultant. And she gives the term ‘undercover’ new meaning when she poses as a high-priced escort to protect her new client, Michael Thornton.

    There’s just one problem with her plan… 

    Michael doesn’t know the truth. Despite the death threats he’s received, the last thing this handsome billionaire wants is a bodyguard. He’s convinced Lex is really a grifter, a femme fatale who scams rich men for everything that she can get. But before the assignment even begins in earnest, sparks fly and their mutual attraction threatens to distract Liz from doing her job. And she can’t have that, can she?

    Even as they flirt with danger in the romantic city of Copenhagen, Lex and Mike embark on a turbulent affair. And Mike realizes that his seductive guardian has awakened a passion in him unlike anything he’s ever felt before. Lex has always lived by one rule – never fall in love with the client. But trapped between temptation and danger, she’s about to put that rule to the ultimate test…

  • Personal

    Reflections on 2020 and goals for 2021

    2020 is finally coming to an end. It’s been a horrible year what with the pandemic and everything. But among the bad, there were also a lot of good things. I want to focus on the good.

    Accomplishments

    In 2020, my novel The Calm I Seek finally came out! I’ve been working on that novel for four years and it’s such a great feeling that it’s out in the world now. It’s been getting fantastic reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.com, but weirdly, it hasn’t been selling that well in the UK. Maybe because it’s an inspirational romance, which many agents warned me doesn’t sell that well in the UK. I’m not particular about what country it sells well in, I’m just happy that it’s been given a good start in life.

  • Review

    Salt + Stilettos by Janet Walden-West

    Summary

    From the back of Salt + Stilettos:

    Trading her red-dirt roots for the title of Miami’s go-to image consultant, Brett Fontaine refuses to let anything jeopardize her new life.

    …Not an influential client-turned-stalker who’s up for parole…

    …Not post-kidnapping panic attacks…

    …And certainly not the stubborn, attention-phobic chef with the tempting tataus she’s been challenged to transform into a celeb in ninety days.

    Will Te’o can almost taste the dream he sacrificed American Samoa, culture, and cherished family ties for—opening a four-star restaurant in the most cut-throat culinary location in North America.

    Unfortunately, that requires navigating its equally ruthless social scene.

    When his first public performance ends in a social media spectacle, his only option is turning to the stiletto-wearing nemesis who has invaded his kitchen.

    Neither expected to share anything but barbs, yet somewhere between accidentally bonding over comfort food and office-wrecking sex, they’re named South Beach’s hottest pairing!

    Until Brett’s stalker engineers an image-shattering reveal and the fallout trashes her reputation. She may be going down, but she’s not taking Will’s dreams with her.

    Now Will is pulling out all his new skills and cooking up a last-ditch event. Will it prove to Brett that relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe? Or will he be left heartbroken in the spotlight?

    My thoughts

    Salt + Stilettos started really well. I liked both Brett and Will. Brett has a great backstory, which makes you really feel for her. It is clear from the beginning why she can’t trust men and her prickliness towards Will is totally understandable. She does flip a bit randomly between being kind and gentle with Will and being a cold bitch, which is a bit jarring.

    Will is refreshing as a romantic hero. He’s big – in the beginning of the novel when Brett first meets him, he’s practically described as a giant – and he has self image issues. I love that Brett coaxes him out of her shell, even if her methods aren’t ones I would be comfortable with.

    The chemistry between the two of them is believable as well, although it’s quite strong right from the bat. If this was an erotic novel, I could understand the very erotic undertones in the beginning of the novel, but since it’s not, I would have liked to see a bit more build up of the sexual tension between them.

    The story of Salt + Stilettos is great. I really rooted for both Brett and Will and their ending was definitely emotionally satisfying. The way Brett eventually let Will in was swoon-worthy. Also, the fact that these were two main characters from ethnicities which aren’t often represented in romance was a big plus.

    Where the book lost me a little was in the writing itself. I found the writing woolly and full of unnecessary similes. It could also have done with a bit of a tighter edit, but I guess that’s me reading books as a writer again. I find it hard not to notice these things when I’m writing and it always saddens me when I get pulled out of the story like that. A tighter edit and less woolly language would have made the reading more effortless and more enjoyable. But if you’re not bothered by that, then Salt + Stilettos is highly enjoyable.

  • Personal

    Writing regularly during NaNoWriMo

    I won NaNoWriMo!

    Despite my personal challenges this year, I decided to join NaNoWriMo again this year. I’ve done it for nine years in a row and really didn’t want to miss this year. I figured, even if I didn’t win, I would have written a good chunk of my new novel.

    Thanks to the unwavering support of my wonderful Nano buddies on Twitter, and the novel writing support group of the ACFW, I was able to win NaNoWriMo again this year! I built up a bit of a buffer in the beginning, as I had surgery in the third week, which really helped. After my surgery, I had more non-writing days than I had hoped, but I still managed to finish a day early.

  • Personal

    Publication day for The Calm I Seek

    Today is publication day for The Calm I Seek. I’ve never been so excited in my life! Publishing a book has been a life-long dream of me and now, finally, after nearly 9 years of writing novels, it’s finally become a reality. Please bear with me as I squee a little.

    The journey to publication has not been an easy one. Getting published is a privilege, in that you need connection, money, time and luck to be able to get your book out there. Merely writing a book isn’t good enough. Agents and publishers receive so many queries, that only the very best, and the most polished ones will stand a chance. Your book also has to fit into very narrowly defined commercial categories or it will be deemed unsellable and will be passed over by publishers.

  • Personal

    The Calm I Seek

    I have very exciting news! After years of writing and editing, I’m thrilled to announce that my novel, The Calm I Seek is going to be published on 26 November 2020. It’s been a long time coming, but all my hard work has paid off.

    The Calm I Seek is an inspirational novel set in the UK.

  • Author interview

    Interview with Kiley Dunbar

    Today I’m welcoming romance author Kiley Dunbar to my blog. I’m so excited to have been able to interview Kiley. To be honest, I interviewed her a while back, but then life took over and I didn’t have a chance to post this until now. Sorry, Kiley!

    Kiley Dunbar is a Scottish author living in Northern England with her family. She writes romantic novels set in beautiful places for Hera Books. She’s a Christmas addict and loves to travel and is always on the lookout for her next dream destination.

  • Review

    A Puppy and a Christmas Proposal by Louisa George

    Cover of A Puppy and a Christmas ProposalSummary

    From the back of A Puppy and a Christmas Proposal:

    Her ex-fiancé…
    …is giving her paws for thought!

    Alex Norton devastated Beth Masters when he told her he could no longer marry her. The last thing she wants this Christmas is to come face-to-face with him, clutching an adorable puppy! Warm-hearted vet Beth can’t say no to a four-legged patient in need but she’ll need to guard her damaged heart from delicious doc Alex. Which becomes impossible when he finally reveals the reason why he left…

  • Review

    Bear Best Friend by Liam Livings

    Bear Best Friend coverSummary

    From the back of Bear Best Friend: Dan proves too camp for his boyfriend Tom and is single once more. Burly bear Brian is relieved Dan’s finally rid of Tom-the-bully. Snowed into a cottage over Christmas, emotions reach boiling point. With the help of no-nonsense best friends, time apart, lots of gin and sadness, and two huge leaps of faith, they begin a bumpy journey from friends to lovers. Bear Best Friend is a sweet opposites-attract, friends to lovers stand-alone gay romance novella about learning to love yourself and finding the special someone who appreciates you for being you. A Sweet Christmas Gay Romance.