+Giveaway: 1 ebook
TBR Reviewer: Shyla
I really felt like I knew the heroine Maddie, and not just because she was a writer ;). Sort of shy, soft spoken and a wee bit awkward, Maddie, often wishes she lived the life she’s made up for her pen name, Kathryn West. When her ten year high school reunion approaches, Maddie vows to make a splash and be more like Kathryn She’s convinced the way to do that is to come in on the arm of a bad boy. Hilarity ensues as she hits the bars in New York in search of Mr. Bad ass for hire. She’s in her third bar nursing her first beer when she meets Scott Brady. I have one word for this hero, YUM.
Scott Brady is a leather jacket wearing, bike rider with a heart of gold. His lithe tattooed frame and dress make it easy to misjudge him. Scott is amused not only by the offer, but by the woman herself. When she has three too many beers he sees her home personally on his Harley and agrees to go along with her plan in exchange for some acting of his own. He needs to convince his close friends he’s paired up so they’ll stop setting him up on blind dates. They seem to have an agreement until one kiss sets them both on fire, and changes everything.
Rules of the Game was a delightful romance full of humor, secrets, and good old fashioned sexual tension. I have to say Ms. James, far acceded my expectations. The blurb did not do this book justice. I had no clueI was going to be taken on such an interesting journey. The twist and turns of this story kept me wondering as I devoured one page after another. I did have some issues with the way she choose to handle an issue that happened in her past, so this ended up being rated a four instead of a five. Sometimes I think honesty is the best policy, and the decision to keep certain details under wraps, didn't sit right with me. I would go into more detail but that would ruin the surprise, so instead I say, read ahead and find out.
It’s been a while since I enjoyed a contemporary so much. Ms. James not only earned a wonderful rating, she earned a fan.
After striking out in five other bars, I wound up at Trixie’s. At least that would be the name of the place if all of the fuchsia neon lights had been working.
The first bar I’d chosen had great potential. Plenty of buff guys. Oodles of black leather. So much testosterone it left a haze in the air like some masculine version of cigarette smoke.
The third guy I targeted finally had mercy on me and told me everyone in the place was gay. Shit, my gaydar had to be way off.
At bar two, the moment I walked in the average age of the customers dropped a good twenty years. Gray hair and black leather really weren’t a sexy combination, and I had to fight hard to prevent images of Grandma and Grandpa dressed like Hell’s Angels from forming.
I blocked memories of the other three bars in hopes of avoiding post-traumatic stress disorder.
Trixie’s in Jersey City looked as good a place as any to end this humiliating night.
The bar area was crowded, smoky and smelled of stale beer. Surely in this group of men I would be able to find a guy who fit the bill. All he had to be was gorgeous in a roughneck sort of way, a good actor and poor enough to need the money Ioffered.
My tired yet still desperate eyes swept the long wooden bar. This was a saloon and pool hall, for pity’s sake. There had to be plenty of guys to choose from, any of which would knock my old high school classmates on their asses. Figuratively speaking.
Okay, maybe literally speaking.
The music thrumming through the place seemed the ultimate in the irony that constantly surrounded my life. I needed something like “It’s Raining Men,” but what I got was “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” That sure didn’t bode well.
At least there were plenty of guys to choose from. Almost every barstool was occupied. One by one, I judged them like pieces of steak at the supermarket.
Too much fat.
Past the expiration date.
Just don’t like the looks of it.
Damn it. The guy I needed was nowhere to be seen. Maybe Trixie’s wasn’t my lucky spot after all. Strike six, and you’re--
“You want a drink?” a husky Lauren Bacall voice called.
I want several. Do you make a good mimosa? I looked over to see a woman with gray hair and the brightest red lipstick I’d ever seen. A half-smoked cigarette sat pinched between her lips, and a bar towel lay slapped over her shoulder.
“Um…I guess,” I replied.
“What’s your poison,sweetheart?” she asked as the three guys sitting close to her turned to stare at me. They appeared to have come straight to the bar from some local meeting of Over eaters Anonymous.
Three sets of bloodshot eyes raked me from head to toe. I might have been desperate, but I was definitely not desperate enough to choose Larry, Curly or Moe.
Where’s Russell Crowe when I need him?
I almost ordered a wine cooler until I realized Trixie’s probably only carried the rough stuff and beer. “Whatever domestic you’ve got on tap.”
She filled a mug from the tap and handed it to me before turning back to flirt with the Three Stooges.
As I sipped my beer, the clink of balls on a pool table drew me toward the attached pool hall. The smoke grew thick. As my eyes adjusted, my mood improved.
This was what I had been searching for all night.
Bikers in black leather encircled all eight pool tables. Some younger than I needed. Some a little older. As I looked at each man, I started to feel like Goldilocks, fearing none would fit the bill.
Then I saw Mr. Just Right.
Western Romance - novel
TBR reviewer: Shyla
What happens when happily ever after meets reality? Susan and James Williams are drifting apart. After a devastating loss, their lives are thrown into further turmoil when a mysterious stone at a museum hurtles them back to the Old West. Their supernatural experience only intensifies the chasm between them, and when James realizes where they are, in a moment of anger, he pronounces that they were never married.
They go their separate ways, unsure of what this new world holds in store. James settles into a job as bartender. Befriended by local rancher Daniel Miller, Susan soon develops feelings for him. She’s torn between starting a new life in a new time and healing her marriage and returning to the twenty-first century.
Will the miraculous journey back in time help Susan and James reconcile, or has destiny set new roads for them to travel that lead them away from each other?
I want to start off by saying this is a fantastic read! I enjoyed the story and realness Ms. James brought to the tale. But I spent a lot of time being pissed at the lead characters. The husband and heroine James was a weak willed whiner who couldn’t deal with the fact that his wife was strong and independent. Instead of opening his mouth to talk to her about what was going on in his head, he antagonized her, pushing her further away with juvenile antics. If he didn’t want to be treated like a child I suggest he not act like one.
Now I’m a fair kind of gal, so I’ll admit Susan was no saint. She threw tantrums that made her seem more like a student, than the teacher she actually was. I really wanted to shake her and make her see reason. If you want to survive you must adapt, not stubbornly stick to a past that’s no longer relevant
James and his wife, Susan, have been married for the past twenty years, and are in a rough spot in their marriage. With empty nest looming in front of them and a painful miscarriage behind them the duo is barely able to tolerate one another’s presence. A school field trip to the museum with James acting as a chaperon sends the couple back to the 1800’s. It’s here that their marriage completely disintegrates, and James leaves Susan to fend for herself. Yea, you heard me right. After twenty years of marriage, and two children he walks away and leaves her alone in a place neither of them knows a damn thing about.
Can you tell I’m steaming? Above all else I’d think loyalty would be foremost after twenty-years of marriage. I thought James’s behavior once they were deposited in the past were unforgivable. Maybe it’s the vindictive bitch in me, but if my husband did that to me I’d be done for good, after I gave him a swift kick to the genitals and a punch to the face once he hit his knees.
Despite the kinks mentioned about the story was engaging, well written, and full of unexpected twists and turns. She has a way of making you care about the characters, and what happens to them. I just think she went overboard with the animosity between the hero/heroine. It made it pretty impossible to recover from. (At least to someone who can hold a grudge like me).
I really recommend this story to someone looking for romance with substance, and realness you can truly relate to. Job well done Ms. James.
That god-awful dry sense of humor.
Opening her mouth, she formed a sarcastic retort before realizing the kids might have been listening. Thank the Lord, they were enraptured by the guide’s story and not paying any
attention to the old folks squabbling in the background.
Harry favored Susan with a toothy grin she now realized held wisdom behind it. “C’mon up here, Miz Williams, Mister Williams.” His hand beckoned, calling them to where he stood.
“You come touch the stone. You come find your destiny.”
Susan figured she owed him a little bit of cooperation. Not that she believed a word of that legend nonsense. Reaching for James’s hand, she dragged him with her toward the stone. “James, please.”
He threw her a heavy sigh before he complied.
“That’s it,” Harry said. “Come on up here, folks. Come touch the stone.”
James withdrew his hand from Susan’s and circled to the opposite side of the boulder. He leveled a hard stare at her, one that piqued her already bad humor. Before she could say a word, a noise startled her.
A hum. It started out as an annoying hum, like radio static or a swarm of cicadas. The sound quickly scattered her thoughts, sending them tumbling like autumn leaves on a windy day.
Steadily increasing in volume, the noise whirled and twirled in her head. Then suddenly, there were voices.
Your destiny, they whispered as a chorus in her mind. Find your destiny.
Shit. I’ve gone schizophrenic, right here in the middle of the stupid history museum. A history
teacher’s version of a nervous breakdown.
The whispers became louder. Come with us. Come to us.
Squeezing her eyes shut, her hands flew to her ears as the sounds drowned out everything around her.
Now! Come to us now!
Susan didn’t want to listen to the frightening voices. Where was James? She needed James.
She opened her eyes, searching desperately for her husband. The museum had vanished. There was nothing but her and James and the damned boulder, all bathed in a nearly
blinding white light. Wind started to whip around them, ruffling her hair and clothes and knocking her purse from her shoulder. She let the heavy thing drop to the floor without a fight. Wind, hell it was a hurricane. In the middle of the museum? Her eyes wouldn’t focus well, but she could see the hazy shape of James reaching out for her. “Make it stop, James. Please.”
“Susan!” His voice barely rose above the eerie voices and the sound of the wind. His hand was there, just out of her reach. She stretched out her arm, trying to grasp him, needing to
grasp him. “Take my hand, babe!”
Suddenly Harry was there, standing between them. “It’s time.” He grabbed both of their hands, smiled, and then slapped their palms to the rock.
Ms. James is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends November 27th.