“Nowhere But Here” by Renee Carlino – My Review



Title: “Nowhere But Here”

Author: Renee Carlino

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Atria Books

Release Date: 5th May, 2014.


A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.

Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.

With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.

USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino explored love and heartbreak in her beautifully written debut Sweet Thing, and her newest novel does not disappoint. For fans of Colleen Hoover, K.A. Tucker, and Katja Millay, Nowhere But Here is a stirring and satisfying romance that you won’t want to put down.




My Review

Butterflies in my stomach. A goofy smile on my face. And a deep-seated feeling of satisfaction in my entire body. This, dear reader, is me trying to convey my feelings after having read this book! Once again, I find myself almost lost for words after having read a romance novel that took my breath away, but I will do my utmost to write a worthy review and express all my thoughts and feelings without, of course, giving you any spoilers.

When we meet Kate, she is in a rather unfulfilled, empty relationship with Stephen, a guy from her apartment building, and she is feeling lost and alone. Her mother died when she was only 8 years old, and she has suffered a great loss again: her aunt Rose, the woman who raised her since her mother passed away, has now also left her. Kate knows nothing about her father, and besides having a few friends at the paper she works at – the Chicago Crier – it is fair to say that she is lonely. Oh, and a bit of a pessimist, too:

“There is no one to take care of me, no matter how many people surround me. I’m all I’ve got.” (Kate)

Now, having been in a sort of limbo since Rose died, Kate is given a major chance of finding her “spark” again when her editor, Jerry, sends her off to California to do an exclusive interview of philanthropist R. J. Lawson. A child prodigy turned computer-genius; this man suddenly fell off the face of the earth for several years only to turn up again a few years ago – this time as a vintner in Napa Valley.

Kate knows that she needs to get her act together if she wants to truly succeed as a journalist, so even though she is rather apprehensive, and feeling a bit insecure on top of everything, she chooses to see this assignment as her chance to really find herself again.

Then…everything goes horribly wrong – but, somehow, some way, everything seems to fall into place at the same time. And, in short, things seem that way because of a young man, Jamie, who she meets in a somewhat unconventional manner.

Right. I promised you no spoilers, so I will not add much to the actual story line in the rest of my review.

There comes a time for everyone when we may find ourselves at a loss, or at a crossroads of sorts, and it does not have anything to do with how old we are. We are only human, after all, but we can be so hard on ourselves. Kate’s past losses and her depressing, yet understandable, mantra – “I’m all I’ve got” – really hit home. I found myself able to connect with her from page one because even though she truly is a strong character, you can also sense her despondency and loneliness right away. And the fact that she chooses to stay with a man who cannot really give her a truly loving and committed relationship says a lot about how much this woman longs to be loved. She is simply afraid to allow herself to let go, and even though I found her reasoning to be incredibly sad, I could really understand her at the same time.

As I kept reading Kate’s story, though, I came to see several different sides to her as well. She has an inquisitive mind, a bit of a temper, and the fact that she does not allow anyone to trample all over her had me doing a fist pump more than once. She evolves from a lonely, sad woman to a feisty one, one who is willing to take risks, and one who is ready to take on the world, and I admire how Miss Carlino is able to show us this transition through her words.

Let me talk a bit about Jamie now. He has a bit of the “bad boy vibe” that we, as readers, have come to appreciate in our book heroes; but first impressions can be very deceiving, and I am not afraid to admit that I was completely fooled by him! As I got to know him through Kate’s eyes, I saw a very sweet, sensitive, funny young man who yearns for the same as Kate does: love.

“Just being your friend is going to be hard, but I’ll try. It’s just that…I like you. You’re witty and sweet, and you happen to be the most infinitely beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.” (Jamie)

 The way Jamie sees the world is very simple, but he is, by no means, naive. The mystery of Jamie had me so intrigued that I found my stomach turning into knots, and my heart completely broke for Kate when she leaves Napa Valley after their romance is over. (Or is it? *wink*) Jamie had me frowning in frustration, shaking my head in wonder, and laughing like a loon over the way he behaves sometimes. Yes, everyone, I have found my new book boyfriend, and I am not so sure I want to share him with you. (Joking! Well, maybe…)

“His eyes glanced down to my lips. ‘There have been no women before you and there will be no women after you,’ he said, seriously.” (Jamie)

One of the reasons I have fallen head over heels in love with Kate and Jamie’s love story is, of course, due to the author. Miss Carlino’s way with words is mesmerising, beautiful, and engaging. She has created a full cast of characters who you, as the reader, can believe in because they all seem so real. I love how she kept the twists and turns coming until the very end, because I love being surprised when I read a book. Last, but not least, I simply love a sweet, funny, feel-good romance, and, again, Miss Carlino delivers 100%.

This is the type of romance novel that will make you cry – both sad and happy tears. It is the kind of romance novel where you will find yourself completely immersed in the lives of the main characters and you so badly want them to have their happy-ever-after. It is a romance novel that will, I believe, leave you like it left me: with butterflies in my stomach, a goofy smile on my face and with a true sense of satisfaction in my entire being. Yes, I do realise that I am repeating myself here, but I just want to emphasise how in love with this book I am! And even though I am a bit sad now that the final page has been turned – because I just know that I could keep reading about this couple’s life and never get bored – I also feel that their story has come to a perfect end; I would, however, like to see them again at some point. (Just a small hint, Miss Carlino…)

“Love cannot be taken out of you because it changes you. I woke up when I met Jamie. The world became louder, crazier, more exciting, and more achingly beautiful.” (Kate)

So to conclude my review, I will leave you with this: yes, I suffer deeply from Book Hangover Syndrome, but I would definitely not have it any other way. Miss Carlino: I am in awe of you and your writing. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving us Kate & Jamie’s love story.




Amazon US

Barnes & Noble


Atria Books



Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.






Goodreads Author Profile

Cover Reveal: “Strike” (Spark Series #3) by Jennifer Ryder – Synopsis & Giveaway

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]

Title: “Strike” (Spark, #3)

Author: Jennifer Ryder

Genre: Steamy Erotic Romance

Expected Publication Date: September 2014




Fast. That’s how I like life, especially my two great joys: bikes and women. I’m committed to exclusively riding one, but not the other.

Until April.

A sexy-arse freelance photographer who’s travelled the world, and doesn’t do long walks on the beach or romantic candlelit dinners. She enjoys running with the bulls and food spicy enough to make your hair fall out. If that weren’t enough to get me hard, she rides a mean mother of a motorcycle.

I’ve gotta have a taste of this wildcat.

~Spencer (Jones)

I don’t do fast. Not anymore. I’ve got my career, my independence, and since I fled Spain to come back home I promised myself that I wouldn’t be put second—or third, for that matter—again.

Then I meet pretty boy Spencer.

He’s smooth, oozing the most potent pheromones probably known to modern science, and he’s making a move on me. One kiss was almost enough for my promise to dissolve.

My head says no—my treacherous body screams yes. I’m gonna make Spencer work for it. Make him fight for the chance to have me, because I know that deep down I’m worth it.

~April MacIntyre


*The book can be read as a stand-alone, but it is best to read after the first two in the series, as the main characters in Spark and Spike continue to appear in each book in the series.*


Interested in reading the first two instalments in the Spark Series?

Spark series

“Spark” (Spark #1)
“Spike” (Spark #2)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads





New Adult and erotic romance writer, and author of the Spark series.

A sexy imagination, a life-long love of books and a sucker for romance, Jennifer Ryder couldn’t stifle her creativity any longer.

Writing steamy adult romance has become her new focus. Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country.

Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don’t see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting.

Jennifer placed third in the International Stringybark Erotic Short Fiction Award 2013.


Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Email



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]

“Restoring Hope” by C. P. Smith – My Review


Title: “Restoring Hope”

Author: C. P. Smith

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 22nd July, 2014.



Life throws you curve balls, but no parent should ever bury a child. Determined not to make the same mistakes with his son as he made with his daughter, Nic Beuve is single-minded until Hope walks into his life.
Hope Delaney, a woman with a past that almost broke her, tries to keep people at bay for their own protection. Fortunately for her, no one listens when she says she wants to be alone.
Burning desire, a deep need to protect, and a woman who looks like an angel breaks down Nic’s defenses until he can’t ignore them. He wants Hope and what Nic wants…
Hope thinks she can walk away at any time she just wasn’t counting on a man like Nic to get in the way, or a nosy but loving Cajun Boss. All’s fair in love and war and what Maman Rose wants is Nic and Hope together.

Will their relationship survive an ex-wife with an agenda or will her past come between them… or kill them?



My Review

Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

You should all know by now that even if I did not fall for a certain book by an author in the past, it does not deter me from picking up a book by the same author again. I am, first and foremost, the kind of reader and reviewer who decides what to read based solely on the synopsis of a book – true, I have my favorite authors, as you know, BUT that is not really the point I want to make here. The point is that even if an author’s work has disappointed you in the past, it does not mean that you should overlook it in the future. For me, reading is an adventure, a chance to explore and challenge myself…Thus, taking chances. And I am thrilled to say that C. P. Smith has left me with quite a book hangover with her latest novel, “Restoring Hope”.

Now, as the synopsis gives you an idea of what the book is about, I will not expand on it that much, and, as always, I will attempt to write a review that is completely spoiler free.

The story is about two lost and tormented people who, by chance, meet and form a very strong connection. Hope Delaney is on the run. Little by little, we learn why and what makes her fear for her life, and the fact that Hope does not allow herself to form attachments – getting close to people, forming friendships, and the like – because of said fear makes for a lonely existence. Hope finds herself in New Orleans, and because of her limited funds, she needs to find a temporary job – she has no intentions of staying long, naturally, but she does not count on the determination and stubbornness from her new boss, Maman Rose.

Nic Beauve is not exactly fighting his own demons, more like drowning in them. He is tormented, guilt-ridden with the loss of his daughter, Chelsea, but he is trying to remain strong because of his other child, his son, Nicky, Nic is introduced to Hope by the meddling, but loveable, Maman Rose, but even though he is taken in by her looks and demeanor, he keeps telling himself to stay away.

Hope is equally intrigued by Nic – not to mention, attracted to him physically – but she is more than ever determined to stay keep her distance.

“Nic Beauve, plain and simple, is the sexiest man she’d ever encountered, and she needed to be in his presence like she needed at hole in the head.” (Hope)

The question remains, though: can these two lost souls really stay apart when they are so obviously in sync with each other? Well, dear reader: buy the book and find out! *wink*

I have to say that what makes this a great book to me is because of how Hope evolves throughout the story. She comes such a long way, emotionally, and I like how she truly becomes her own woman – but it does not happen with a simple snap of her fingers. It takes time, work and determination from not only Nic but her new friends as well. This, to me, makes Hope a truly realistic character. I also have to mention that I admire her strength – her sassy attitude has not been completely snuffed out despite her past, and as she gains more confidence and learns to trust Nic, that sass and spirit really shine through.

As for Nic…I might as well be honest right now and say that I completely fell in love with him! He is so broken in the beginning, but Hope helps him become stronger, little by little, by simply being who she is. I also have to admit that I love his alpha ways – yes, he can be rather dominating, but he does it in such a caring, funny way that you cannot help but swoon.

“Learn quickly, sugar…I will love you, fight with you, die for you, but I will also put your sweet ass over my knee if you run from me.” (Nic)

You see what I mean? Rather annoying, but very hot at the same time. And I love that in my book boyfriends! Furthermore, in my opinion, Nic needs saving as well, and Hope is just the woman for the job.

Together, Hope and Nic learn to let go of their pasts, but they do not forget them: both of them learn from their experiences, realizing that they must open their hearts in order to trust and love again so that they can move forward in their lives. These are lessons hard-learned, of course, thus making the rewards that much sweeter, and their connection is truly beautiful. I feel that I also have to add that their banter is hilarious, the sex scenes are very steamy, and you cannot help but smile, or even laugh sometimes, because of some of the situations they find themselves in.

“He forced her to stay, made her believe that she could have a life, something beautiful, to dream again. And for that, she would do her best to help him heal, give him the love he needed to move forward while she watched over their shoulders.” (Hope)

On every page, it is apparent that Miss Smith cares deeply for both Hope and Nic. You can just feel it. Even more so, the author has also managed to create some incredibly multi-faceted and colorful secondary characters. I have already mentioned Maman Rose, but the cook, Big Daddy, absolutely also deserves a small note here: he provides Hope with some sweet, old-fashioned advice when she needs it. I have highlighted so many scenes on my Kindle because the writing is so heartfelt, yet with a no-nonsense air about it as well – so yes, that is also a major plus in my world, and part of the reason why this book gets such a high rating.

This is a very emotional romance novel: I found myself giggling, swooning, and even crying on more than one occasion, and an author who can bring me to tears? It takes a lot, but when that happens? Well, that author gets an extra star from me. I found myself thinking, “Just one more chapter, then I’ll spend time with my family…” so you can gather that it was very difficult for me to let the book go.

Hope & Nic’s journey, separately and together, moved me to no end, which is why I have no other choice but to give you my highest recommendation – 5 stars – and I hope that you will enjoy their love story as much as I did.




Amazon US

Amazon UK



C.P. Smith is a mother of 5 and stay-at-home mom. The need for more stories featuring older couples is the driving force behind her writing. Love isn’t just for the young; it’s for everyone. A first kiss at 18 or 50 is still a first kiss–full of wonder and expectation.

Ms.Smith resides in Oklahoma with her kids, husband and 4 dogs.





Goodreads Author Profile

Release Week Blitz: “Betrayed” by Rebecca York – Excerpt & Giveaway



Hello, lovelies!

I do enjoy a great romantic suspense novel, and “Betrayed” by Rebecca York sounds amazing.

Today, you can find an excerpt from the book, and there is also a great giveaway for you all to enter.

Enjoy! ❤


Title: “Betrayed”
Author: Rebecca York
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
There is a spy in S&D systems who is leaking top-secret information that could lead to extreme disaster. It’s up to Shane Gallagher to uncover the mole and set things right.
Systems analyst Elena Reyes had no intention of stealing company secrets until her brother’s life was threatened by the cruelest of mobsters. When Elena finally confesses her deeds to Shane, he’s ready to do everything he can to keep her out of danger. But will Shane’s help be enough to protect them, or will his good intentions leave them all for dead?

Enjoy the excerpt, everyone!

Elena had never thought about seducIng a man. She wasn’t even sure of her moves. But she knew that Shane wanted her, even if he wasn’t prepared to admit it. She also knew he felt protective of her, which was probably part of the conflict he must be feeling.
Before he could come up with another objection, she cupped the back of his head with her hands and brought his face down as she raised her own head toward him.
She hadn’t been sure what would happen. Or perhaps she’d been afraid that he’d wrench himself away from her. But the danger must have affected his emotions as well as her own. When their lips met, it was as though someone had tossed a match into a pile of gasoline- soaked kindling. Invisible flames rose as heat flared between them.
She heard him growl her name and felt him gather her closer as he kissed her with purpose, running his hands up and down her back.
The heat coming off him made her dizzy. She should be afraid, but she kept kissing him, letting him feel all the passion that she’d held inside herself for so long.
Opening her lips, she invited him to explore her mouth, then did the same with him, absorbing his taste and the way the mouth-to-mouth contact sent shock waves to every part of her body.
“You know that you’re playing with fire?” he asked.
“I know what I want.”
“Then take off your clothes.”
Again, a dose of reality. Was she ready to get undressed in front of him? Or was she going to back away—the way he hoped she would.
She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of scaring her off. Not because she was trying to score any points, but because what she wanted hadn’t changed, even if he was trying to make her take a step back.
She did step back, but only a few feet. She kept her gaze on him as she reached for the hem of the T-shirt and pulled it over her head, then let it drop on the floor so that she stood before him naked to the waist…
Rebecca York
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca York’s writing has been compared to that of Dick Francis, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Maggie Shayne. Her award-winning books have been translated into twenty-two languages and optioned for film. A recipient of the RWA Centennial Award, she lives in Maryland near Washington, DC, which is often the setting of her romantic suspense novels.

Remember to enter the giveaway before you leave!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Release Week Blitz: “Then Came You” by Jill Shalvis – Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello, everyone!
I am so excited to be participate in the release week blitz of “Then Came You” by Jill Shalvis! This book seems to be for all romance lovers,
and I am most definitely looking forward to reading it.
Today, you will find an excerpt from the book – and it is a good one! – plus there is a fabulous giveaway as well.
Enjoy! ❤
Title: “Then Came You”
Author: Jill Shalvis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school scholarship.
Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference, introduces himself as her new boss. And Emily is just as drawn to his seductive looks and quiet strength as she was on that very steamy night. She soon learns that Wyatt isn’t just a laid-back doctor, but a delicious alpha male tempting her away from her carefully laid-out plans…

Enjoy the excerpt, everyone!

Emily sat on a fallen log and leaned back. When she was little, she’d loved to try to star watch. In LA, this was tricky because of all the city lights, not to mention smog. Doing it here, in the land of the big sky, was a whole new ball game. “I’m not lonely,” she said to the horse, who snorted again and swished his tail.
“Good. Cuz you’re not alone.”
Two long legs came into her peripheral. Wyatt crouched at her side and looked into her face.  “How are you?”
“Fine,” she said.
Nodding, he sat on the log at her side and leaned back, presumably to look at whatever she was looking at. “Pretty night.”
His hands were behind him, his shoulder and a part of his chest brushing her arm and shoulder. Actually it was more like he was encircling her within his arm span, which was considerable. It was a guy move, an alpha guy move, and it made her feel … protected.
She was getting far too used to that, she thought with a sigh. “Where is everyone?”
“Gone,” he said, and there was an odd quality to his voice that had her taking a second look at him. He didn’t take his gaze off the sky so she got him in profile, the tousled hair, the fine lines crinkling the corners of his eyes from long days out in the sun, the square, scruffy jaw. A broad shoulder built to take on the weight of the world.
He’d been working his ass off, here at Belle Haven, helping Dell take up the slack for the out-of-town Jade, and then going home and helping his sisters with the monstrous house they were fixing up. He did so much for everyone, and she found herself wanting to do something for him. Make him smile. Make him relax. Make him forget, even for a few minutes…  She nudged him with her shoulder.
He nudged her back and turned to look at her then, his eyes dark and unfathomable behind his glasses.
Chickening out, she turned her head this time, and stared up at the sky as he had been only a few seconds before.
When she didn’t tear her gaze off the stars, he leaned in and nipped her ear.
Sucking in a breath, she looked at him again. His was still dark, but there were things swirling in those dark depths now. Need. Heat.
He stole her breath.
“Let the record state,” she said, reaching out to snatch off his glasses, “that I don’t always make the first move.”
He blinked in momentary confusion, and probably also because he could no longer see. He opened his mouth to say something, but she sank her fingers into his hair and kissed him, hard and long and deep.
“Emily,” he said when they broke for air, his voice rough and husky.
She climbed into his lap and then pushed him backwards off the log so that he fell to his back in the wild grass with her straddling him.
Laughing, he slid his hands beneath her top and up her back, drawing out a delicious shiver from her.  Then his hands slid slowly down her spine, and into the backs of her jeans.  “Let the record also state,” he said in a delicious growl. “Who made the rest of the moves.”
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Remember to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Release Day Blitz: “Satisfaction” (Temptation Series #2) by K. M. Golland

We are excited to celebrate with you all the re-release of Book #2 of the Temptation Series –
“Satisfaction” by K.M. Golland
TITLE: “Satisfaction”
AUTHOR: KM Golland
SERIES: Book #2 of Temptation Series
Genre- Romance/ Adult Fiction
RE-RELEASE DATE: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
‘I have this one week to prove to her that we belong together, and I’m not going to waste another second of it.
Now that I have her, I am never letting her go.’
Alexis Summers is no stranger to facing challenges. She has had her fair share of them since falling for handsome billionaire Bryce Clark. Just to make it even more complicated, Bryce is her boss.
He is also a man who gets what he wants and what he wants is Alexis.
The problem is, Alexis is married. But her husband Rick has confessed to a secret from his past that has set Alexis free, at least temporarily.
Alexis has finally allowed herself to give in to the temptation that is Bryce Edward Clark, but as they realise the connection they share goes far deeper than anything either of them have ever experienced, will a single week together be enough?
Can Alexis find Satisfaction in the compelling sequel to the bestseller Temptation?


Apple AU/NZ I Amazon AU/NZ  I Kobo AU/NZ I Amazon US
  “I’m an author. I am married. I am a
mother of two adorable little people. I’m a bookworm, craftworm, movieworm, and
sportsworm. I’m also a self confessed shop-aholic, tea-aholic, car-aholic, and
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, K.M. Golland studied law
and worked as a conveyancer before putting her career on hold to raise her
children. She then traded her legal work for her love of writing and found her
dream career.