Blog Tour: Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh (Review, Teaser, Tour Wide Giveaway)


For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy . . .
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one monthto inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time.

About the Book

Counting on a Countess
by Eva Leigh
Series
The London Underground #2
Genre
Adult
Historical Romance
Publisher
Avon Books
Publication Date
March 27, 2018
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks


My Review

The main plotline is supposed to be on the marriage of convenience between Tamsyn, a lady smuggler from Cornwall, and her rakehell but law-abiding war veteran husband Kit. Probably an equal amount of time and effort is dedicated to their relationship as it relates to his status as a very experienced rake and hers as a virgin. As a reader of Regency romances, most books of this genre I read involve a virgin leading lady and so I never both with the "virgin heroine" tag in my reviews. Her virgin status was made such a big deal out of in this book that I almost feel like I need to tag it as a "virgin heroine" romance because of it. It's definitely a large focus for at least a third of the book, I assume partially to introduce the reader to the Orchid Club, which one presumes will feature heavily in the third book in this series. I also appreciated the heavy focus on consent in this book, which is something you don't see much in historical romance (but does seem to be becoming more prevalent in the genre).

I do love a romance where the leads are married for the sake of convenience, and fall madly in love despite fighting it tooth and nail. Kit and Tamsyn both have ulterior motives for entering into their whirlwind marriage, so when they begin to develop genuine affection for each other those ulterior motives (which they were both so forthright about having even though they didn't really reveal precisely what said motives really were) of course come back to haunt them. And bit them in their rear ends. HA! Tamsyn is bold and fiery, and I love her country spirit, and that Kit doesn't try to change that about her. Kit is a bit of an enigma to me, being a war veteran who cares very much about the law, which would make you think he'd be a straight-laced stick in the mud but you would be wrong, because he's the veriest rakehell trying to drown out his demons by chasing pleasure. Both leading characters have their flaws and foibles, which just makes them that much more genuine and lovable (both to each other and to the reader). I really loved their witty banter, and look forward to hopefully seeing more of them in the next book in this series.

This is the second book in The London Underground series, but it can (as in most Regency romance series) be read as a stand alone. There is interaction with the couple from the first book, From Duke Till Dawn but no real spoilers for the first book. The author does sort of assume a familiarity with these side characters, who are Kit's friends, so I felt like I should know more about them than I did and was a bit lost as to some of their conversation. That being said, while this can be read as a stand alone, if you want the full experience it may be better to read From Duke Till Dawn first.

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of COUNTING ON A COUNTESS, we’re giving away three paperback copies of FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 4/6/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Eva Leigh

EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Author Links

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Book Review: Kenka Bancho Otome: Love's Battle Royale Vol 1 by Chie Shimada

Kenka Bancho Otome: Love's Battle Royale

Author: Chie Shimada
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Expected publication: April 3rd 2018


Rating: 5 Stars
★★★★★

Summary: Beautiful boy rebels using their fists to fall in love!

Hinako thought she didn't have any family, but on the day she starts high school, her twin brother Hikaru suddenly appears and tricks her into taking his place. But the new school Hinako attends in his stead is beyond unusual. Now she must fight her way to the top of Shishiku Academy, an all-boys school full of delinquents!


Review: AHHHH you guys! I love this. She switches places with her twin brother and he attends her all girls school while she attends his all boys school for delinquents. If you've followed my reviews at all you know I love me a good woman disguised as a man story, and this one is great! You've got your childhood friend/sweetheart who knows her true identity, your best friend who doesn't know she's actually a girl but is weirdly attracted to her anyway, your last minute swaps with her twin to prove she's AHHHH you guys! I love this. She switches places with her twin brother and he attends her all girls school while she attends his all boys school for delinquents. If you've followed my reviews at all you know I love me a good woman disguised as a man story, and this one is great! You've got your childhood friend/sweetheart who knows her true identity, your best friend who doesn't know she's actually a girl but is weirdly attracted to her anyway, your last minute swaps with her twin to prove she's actually a boy to the people who start to suspect she's a girl... This manga has it all! I love how strong Hinako is, and how loyal and determined to protect those weaker than her she is. I want to be her bestest best friend. :) I also really love the art style in this manga. Now gimme then next one RIGHT NOW!!



*I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss+ and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Discussion: What do you look for in a book review?


Just a quick discussion post today, friends. I'm struggling to keep up with all the ARCs I requested and going through a bit of a reading slump where I don't want to read any of the books I "have to." Oh well! I am a book hoarder and apparently that extends to digital copies of books, because I just keep requesting more ARCs, so the pile just keeps getting deeper and heavier and burying more firmly under…

ANYWAY, back to the actual purpose of this post. I want to know what you look for in a book review. Personally, I look for some hints as to the quality of the writing. When it comes to historical romance (especially Regency romance) I want to know if there are any glaring anachronisms - that's my pet peeve and will make me DNF a book so bad if a Regency romance has, say, a gentleman and a lady alone in a room with a closed door and NOBODY EVEN CARES. That just would not happen. DNF. Done. Also if the book seems like it just goes on and on and never actually goes anywhere.

I also like to see some thoughts on the world building, especially in fantasy and sci-fi novels, as well as an assessment of the characters. Are they flat cardboard cut-outs, or are they fully developed, multi-faceted characters? What are they like? Would I want to be friends with them? (I'm much more likely to want to read a book about characters I'd like to be friends with… or about characters I love to hate!) Are there interesting side characters? Is the dialogue fast-paced and witty? Is the tone dark and gritty? Is it definitely going to make me cry, or have a stupid silly grin on my face that makes my husband ask me what on earth I'm reading? (Yes, as you can tell, that happens a lot…)

Another really useful fact is if a book is part of a series, and if I need to read other books prior to reading this one in order to really appreciate it. Many romance series, for example, are really individual stories than can be read as stand-alone novels that are interconnected (at varying levels of complexity) to the other books in the series. You can totally read Lenora Bell's Disgraceful Dukes books in any order without missing out on a lot. I would not advise reading Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses series out of order as there is an ongoing plot/chess game with three of the side characters that would really confuse you as it weaves in and out of the books leading up to the ones that actually deal with said characters (and you'd have missed out on a LOT of important back story once you finally do read their books).

So that's me! Not too demanding in what I'm looking for, eh? Heh. OH! And I HATE spoilers! If it's a plot point I can't learn from reading the blurb on the back of the cover, in the first few pages, is obvious, or doesn't actually spoil anything - then I don't want to see it!! *covers eyes*

What about you? What do you look for when reading a book review? What do you hate to see? What do you wish reviewers would include more of?
 
 

Book Review: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday

One and Only

Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Published: February 27th 2018
Paperback, 368 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
★★★★☆
Goodreads  Amazon
Summary: In this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday proves that when opposites attract, sparks fly.

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless
With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?


Review: OK, for starters, who doesn't love main characters who are into Xena: Warrior Princess? Especially a leading lady who is a YA fantasy author who cosplays Xena for ComicCon? Sold! I'm in.

This was a fun book that also made me tear up several times at the emotional stuff in there. Jane confused me a little bit, because she's fun and flirty and totally bad ass, but also a stick in the mud? I couldn't quite reconcile her character in my mind - which is good, because she's not some cookie cutter stereotype, but instead is a real, diverse human character. Cam is also amazing, and swoon at his white knight thing he's got going on. (I love me a bad boy with a heart of gold. So sue me.) I appreciate that they're both messed up in some ways, and totally great in so many other ways. Also, the sex scenes in this thing. To quote Jane, "OH, MY GOD."

I listened to this on audiobook, and I *mostly* enjoyed the narrator. Her voices for Cam and Jay sounded exactly the same, so in some of the spots where they both had dialogue it got confusing. Other than that, though, she's great. I especially love how many ways she was able to express Jane's tag line, which is "Oh my god!" in such varied ways. (Read it and you will see...) If you're listening to the audiobook on your headphone while at work doing data entry, prepare to blush. A lot.

Manga Review: Anonymous Noise Vol 7 and Vol 8 by Ryōko Fukuyama

Anonymous Noise

Author: Ryōko Fukuyama
Publisher: VIZ Media: Shojo Beat
Volume 7 Published March 6th 2018
Volume 8 Expected publication May 1st 2018
Rating: 5 Stars
★★★★★

Volume 7
Goodreads  Amazon
Volume 8
Goodreads  Amazon

Summary: Music and longing collide in this ballad of unrequited love!

Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino befriends Yuzu, a music composer, she experiences another sad parting! Luckily, Nino reunites with Momo and Yuzu in high school, but things haven’t played out the way anyone expected…

Yuzu and Nino have been tasked with writing the debut song for a popular fashion model duo. They manage to complete their first collaboration…but to what end? Meanwhile, Tsukika goes in search of Momo, but will she be able to find him when all she has is a questionable lead? 



Review: OK, first off I have to start off by saying, if you having started reading this series yet, DO IT NOW. If you're into music, visual kei, singing... read this series.
Volume 7: Another great installment to an amazing series. The first chapter or two seemed to mostly be Nino screaming and everyone going "Wow, woooow!" in awe, but after that it got really crazy good. I'm not sure if I'm rooting for Yuzu or Momo. Major case of second lead syndrome on this one!!
Volume 8: Another great installment to an excellent series. There are so many crazy amazing developments in this volume. More progress on the Momo/Nino/Yuzu/Miou/Haruyoshi love triangle (love pentagon?) I just want EVERYONE to have a happy ending, and I have a major case of second lead syndrome, regardless of who the actual male lead is - which I am STILL not sure about. AH! Will Nino end up with Yuzu or Momo? I'm team Yuzu, all the way!

Mini Reviews: (Children's) Sugar & Snails, The Backup Bunny, Argyle Fox

Sugar & Snails

Author: Sarah Tsiang
Illustrator: Sonja Wimmer
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 13, 2018 by Annick Press
Age Range: 4 - 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
Rating: 5 Stars
★★★★
Goodreads  Amazon

Review: I LOVE THIS BOOK. It takes the rhyme/saying about boys being made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails and girls being made of sugar and spice and everything nice and dumps it on its head. The gorgeous illustrations suggest various other combinations that both boys and girls are made of, like girls being made of monkeys and dirt and lemon dessert and boys being made of flowers and swings and bumblebee wings. I love that it takes gender stereotypes and dumps them on their heads, letting both boys and girls be made of all sorts of things, from balloons to whales to rubber rain boots to fresh chicken butts.

I need copies of this on both my boys' bookshelves, and I need copies for all my friends with kids. My 3 and 1 year old would both love the illustrations and the fun ideas of what little boys and girls are made of.


The Backup Bunny

Author: Abigail Rayner
Illustrator: Greg Stones
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by NorthSouth Books
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3
Rating: 4 Stars
★★★★☆
Goodreads  Amazon
Review: Adorable book about a backup bunny, who is kept for when his child loses his favorite stuffed animal. Too bad the kid knows the difference... But he learns to love the replacement/backup bunny too, and keeps playing with him even when his "real" Bunny is found! Cute story, cute illustrations, and I love that it's told from the POV of the stuffed animal (especially the parts where he's talking to the cat!)

Argyle Fox

Author: Marie Latourneau
Illustrator: Marie Latourneau
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Tanglewood
Age Range: 3 - 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 2
Rating: 5 Stars
★★★★★
Goodreads  Amazon
Review: Cute story about a fox who wants to play outside but the wind keeps spoiling all his games. Will he find something to do that works WITH the wind, so the wind won't spoil his fun?! Really cute illustrations, and an engaging story for preschoolers and their parents both!



*I received copies of each of these books from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Tour: Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands (Review, Teaser, Tour Wide Giveaway)


Thrilling, witty, and oh-so-sexy, Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau novel brings together a beautiful Immortal and the man who is her destiny…
For someone who’s been around for over a hundred and forty years, immortal Elspeth Argeneau hasn’t done a whole lot of living. Now that she’s moved away from her controlling mother, she’s tracking down rogue vampires and enjoying some overdue freedom. A fling would be fun. A life mate can wait. Yet to Elspeth’s surprise, her landlady’s hot grandson checks both boxes.
Wyatt fell instantly in love with Elspeth four years ago. He’s stunned to run into her again, especially as she has no memory of him. Then again, there are a lot of things about Elspeth that don’t make sense, like the miraculous speed with which her wounds heal. And the chemistry that transforms every touch into an explosion of desire. But with mysterious “accidents” besieging Elspeth, the ex-Special Forces soldier appoints himself her bodyguard. But time is running out to uncover the truth about her enemies—and rediscover the man determined to love her for eternity.
Each book in this series can be read as a standalone story.

About the Book

Twice Bitten
by Lynsay Sands
Series
Argeneau #27
Genre
Adult
Paranormal Romance
Publisher
Avon Books
Publication Date
March 27, 2018
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks



My Review

Rating: 4 Stars
I'm not usually into vampire romance, though I used to read my fair share of paranormal romance. I really enjoyed some of Lynsay Sands' historical romances though, so I thought I'd give this one a spin. Pro tip: They're not vampires, they're Atlanteans with some highly advanced technological stuff that basically give them characteristics of what we'd call a vampire. I love that Sands gives a scientific, technical reason for why the "immortals" are the way they are, and I DO happen to have a weird thing for Atlantis and Atlanteans, so it turned out this book was actually right up my alley after all (surprise!)

This is such an exciting book and I'm not quite sure how to classify it. There's definitely an element of romance, but also some murder mystery intrigue, some detective/cop type storyline, paranormal themes… A little bit of something for everyone, really. The writing is phenomenal, and I only put this down once (and very grudgingly) when I needed to do some adulting, so thankfully I started this on a Sunday morning and was able to power through and read it in mostly one big gulp. The murder mystery plotline totally kept me guessing, which I appreciate because sometimes you can see "who done it" coming a mile away. Not so much for this one!

I really liked Elspeth, who is a very strong female character dealing with a SERIOUSLY controlling mother. Wyatt was also really great, and I love his background as basically the Canadian version of the Navy SEAL turned bodyguard, which really comes in handy when it turns out someone is seriously intent on killing Elspeth. I like a little more romance in my romances, where this one seems to focus more on the murder mystery type plot and on Elspeth's issues with her family. And why do lifemates pass out after sex? Is there a logical explanation for this? Because it just doesn't make sense unless as a plot device to make things happen while they're K.O., which bugs me a lot especially after the careful explanation of why immortals are the way they are.

A lot of time is spend on going into the backstories of various side characters, which I guess makes sense with 26 previous books in the series, but it got to the point that I felt it kind of took away from the main storyline(s). That being said, there had better be a book about G.G., because I need to read more about him right now!

This is the 27th book in the Argeneau series, but each book is written to stand on its own. There are a LOT of side character, including at least half a dozen couples that I assume are the main characters in earlier books. There are a few references to past escapades of some of these couples which may or may not actually be described in prior books. That being said I don't think there are any serious spoilers for earlier books, and despite there being about a billion character to keep track of, you're fine reading this one without reading any of the earlier books. The only downside is that I enjoyed this book so much that now I need to go back and read the previous 26 books. Good lord, that's a lot of books…!!

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of TWICE BITTEN, we’re giving away five paperback copies of A QUICK BITE, the first installment in the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Five winners will each receive a paperback copy of A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 4/6/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!


About Lynsay Sands

LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at http://www.lynsaysands.net.

Author Links

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Book Review: The Little Library by Kim Fielding

The Little Library

Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: ?TBD?
Expected publication: approx. March 26th 2018
Kindle Edition, 290 pages 
Rating: 4 stars
★★★★☆
Goodreads  Amazon
Summary: Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future.

Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.

In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.
 
Review: I appreciated how realistic this story seemed. So many romances are about two super-hot main characters, but this one is about a somewhat gangly (but still lean and hot, don't get me wrong) runner-slash-book hoarder and a short, muscular ex-cop with a knee injury and some extra pudge around his middle. Elliot and Simon are both flawed, which makes them much more real and accessible. Elliot has his horrible past relationship and his book hoarding tendencies, while Simon has his bum knee and hasn't come out to his family yet, and they both are trying to figure out what to do with their futures now that their past plans have been smashed to smithereens. Their first dates are awkward and their sex is sometimes bumbling and messy (and not in the sexy-messy way, but in a much more normal every day sort of way). It's like instead of reading some glossy highly-idealized romance with a shirtless Fabio on the cover, you're reading the story of your neighbor down the street. It's fantastic and a really refreshing point of view.

I love that Elliot builds his little neighborhood library to help with his book hoarding tendencies, and that the start to find ways to deal with his pain and his problems besides buying more books. As something of a book hoarder myself, and someone who finds comfort in buying more books even though my physical TBR bookshelf is taking over my house (to say nothing of the books I've actually read, and let's not even think about the virtual mountains of ebooks…) I really connected to Elliot. And as a passionate reader, I felt so touched and proud right along with him when people showed such an active interest in his little library and his books. As part of the bookish community, I also know this connection with other people who love books as much as I do, and how such an introverted hobby can be turned into something so wonderful to connect with other like-minded people. I also felt heartbroken with Elliot when someone vandalizes his library, and had a stupid smile on my face at the resolution of this story. I became so emotionally invested in the lives of these people who could totally be my neighbors (if, y'know, they didn't live in California and I lived half the country away in Minnesota, not to mention that they're fictional… but that's just semantics).

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Blog Tour: Full Fusion by NJ Damschroder (Guest Post)

http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/
 


About The Book:
Title: FULL FUSION (The Fusion Series Volume 1)
Author: NJ Damschroder
Pub. Date: June 4, 2014
Publisher: Dragonsoul YA 
Pages: 322
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads
 
Eighteen-year-old Roxie Sebastian lives a charmed life, and she knows it. Too bad she can't feel it. 
All her life, she's felt disconnected from the world around her. Everything changes just before graduation, when she's drawn to an eerie, brilliant light-which narrowly misses her as it blows up her friend Lincoln's car. Clearly someone's after Roxie, and finally Lincoln tells her the truth: He and Roxie are angels, beings from another dimension, and that light is her soul, separated from her human body in a traumatic birth. 
Once a skeptical Roxie rules out the other possibilities-like Lincoln created this delusion to escape his abusive father-she accepts her gut-deep knowledge of the truth. But someone has been screwing with her light, using it to commit crimes, and their actions are about to cause irreparable damage to two worlds: the one she lives in, and the one she can't remember. 
Aided by her best friend Jordan, her boyfriend Tucker, and Lincoln, Roxie tracks down the criminal and uncovers many more secrets not only of her past, but of the history of their race on Earth. And then Roxie faces a horrible dilemma-the only way she can stop them from ripping apart both worlds is to fuse with her light...which could be tainted by the evil with which it was used. 
 

Guest Post: How do you defeat your TBR list?

I don’t know, can you defeat something that you deliberately add to whenever you start to make
progress? LOL I actually get stressed when the number of books on my shelves drops too far. What if the power goes out and we get trapped in the house for like a week and the only thing I can do is read? I need to have a whole week’s worth of books on hand!
Okay, one way I make progress on my TBR is that I don’t read books more than once anymore. I used to, a long time ago, but there’s so much great stuff out there that I’m always about starting the next book-that-could- be-fantastic.
I also read ALL the time. While brushing my teeth. While cooking (when it won’t lead to disaster). When I’m watching TV with my husband and he has to go get a snack or take a phone call, my book is right at hand. During football season, I get a lot of reading done between plays and during commercials.
There’s a lot of great TV to watch, movies to see, social media to skim, etc., so every so often I’ll sit for a full afternoon and just read, usually with a cat on my lap. It’s my happy place!


 

 Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a Box Set of the FULL FUSION Series, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

About NJ:

Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance, with an emphasis on romantic adventure. She has had 24 novels, 7 novellas, and 16 short stories published by several publishers, most recently with Soul Mate Publishing, Entangled Publishing, and Carina Press. She recently debuted her Fusion Series, a young adult paranormal adventure series, with Full Fusion, as NJ Damschroder. Learn more about those books here.

Natalie grew up in Massachusetts, and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she’s not writing, she does freelance editing and proofreading. She and her husband have two grown daughters, one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.)

Tour Schedule:

 

Week One:
3/19/2018- Caffeine And CompositionInterview
3/19/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview
3/20/2018- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
3/20/2018- The UndergroundReview

 
3/21/2018- Elley the Book OtterGuest Post
3/21/2018- Wonder StruckReview
3/22/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading- Review
3/22/2018- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
3/23/2018- BookHounds YAInterview
3/23/2018- two points of interestReview

 
Week Two:
3/26/2018- Always MeExcerpt
3/26/2018- RhythmicBooktrovertReview

 
3/27/2018-Smada's Book Smack-Review
3/27/2018- Wonder StruckExcerpt

 
3/28/2018- books are loveExcerpt
3/29/2018- Reading for the Stars and Moon- Review
3/29/2018- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
3/30/2018- Paulette's PapersExcerpt
3/30/2018- Diary of an Avid ReaderReview

Discussion: Favorite Tropes in Romance Novels


Today, I'd like to talk a bit about tropes in romance novels. There's a super handy list put together by Mindy Klasky that lists most of the common tropes used in romance novels. Many romances combined one or more of these tropes as plot devices to bring together (or cause conflict for!) the main characters. Click the link to check out the list, and let me know in the comments what your favorite (and least favorite!) tropes are.

My top 5(ish) favorite tropes are Disguise & Mistaken identities (these are similar enough that I'm lumping them together!), Fairytale, Cyrano, and Enemies to Lovers.

Disguise & Mistaken Identities
• Disguise – one or both lovers pretends to be something s/he isn’t – an expert in the workplace, a member of a family, etc. – but s/he falls in love while in disguise and is forced to continue the ruse.
• Mistaken identity – one of our lovers is assumed to be someone s/he is not, and s/he perpetuates the misunderstanding for reasons best known to him/herself.

One subcategory of these two tropes, which is my absolute favorite romance trope, is the woman disguised as a man. It probably started with my childhood love of the Song of Lioness books by Tamora Pierce, where Alanna disguises herself as "Alan" and trains to become a knight. This trope can be found in all forms of media,  inlcuding movies (She's the Man, ), anime and manga (Ouran High School Host Club, Hana Kimi, ) and Korean dramas (You're Beautiful, To the Beautiful You, Coffee Prince, Nail Shop Paris… The list goes on!)

Some of my favorite books about women disguised as men are Surprising Lord Jack by Sally MacKenzie, The Switch by Lynsay Sands, Duchess by Night by Eloisa James and How to Tame Your Duke by Juliana Gray.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15704746-surprising-lord-jack  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/593821.The_Switch  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2283547.Duchess_By_Night  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16000233-how-to-tame-your-duke

Some other favorite disguise and mistaken identity books are How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell and Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33783896-chasing-christmas-eve  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33783896-chasing-christmas-eve
 
Fairytale
• Fairytale – a traditional fairytale is retold in an alternate cultural or historical setting.

OK, who doesn't love a good fairy tale retelling? Cinderella retellings also often fall under my other favorite trope, Disguise/Mistaken identities - so, y'know, bonus! Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast seem to be the fairy tales you find the most romances for, but there are some for other (and often less well known) fairy tales as well

Some of my favorite fairytale romances are Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey (and basically her entire Elemental Masters series, to be honest, as well as her 500 Kingdoms series), A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James (and her whole Fairy Tale series), Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (the book is SO MUCH BETTER than the movie!!), An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn… The list goes on, so I'll stop there, haha.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22544764-uprooted  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13987.Phoenix_and_Ashes  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6957682-a-kiss-at-midnight
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30653924-spindle-fire  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24337.Ella_Enchanted  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9408584-an-offer-from-a-gentleman?from_search=true


Cyrano
• Cyrano – a lover woos another for a friend, only gradually realizing that s/he is falling in love her/himself.

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand is hands down my favorite play of all time. I was so pumped to see this trope on Mindy's list, because there are not enough books with this trope. Thing of movies like The Truth About Cats and Dogs and the quite literal modernization Roxanne for examples of this trope.

Hands down the best Cyrano romance novel is Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7491418-love-in-the-afternoon


Enemies to lovers
• Enemies to lovers – our lovers are enemies (business rivals, part of a family feud, law enforcement and criminal, etc.) until they realize the depth of their romance.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, The Winter King by C.L. Wilson, The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke, and When A Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivienne Lorret.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25883848-the-hating-game?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10485751-the-winter-king?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30653952-the-truth-about-love-and-dukes  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28510811-when-a-marquess-loves-a-woman

 
Some other tropes I love are friends to lovers, neighbors to lovers, best friend's sibling, opposites attract, small town romances, women in STEM, and anything about spinsters, wallflowers or bluestockings…

So what about you? What are your favorite tropes? And do you have a great book recommendation that fits one of my favorite categories? I'd love to hear about it if you do!!

Book Blitz: Crazy Scottish Love by Jessie Donovan (excerpt, giveaway)

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