Friday, December 9, 2022

Lone Star Book Blitz: STOLEN OBSESSION by Marlene M. Bell ***Review & Giveaway***

STOLEN OBSESSION
Annalisse Series, Book 1
Updated for 2022!
by
MARLENE M. BELL

Genre: Romantic Mystery
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Date of Publication: March 20, 2018, Revised 2022
Number of Pages: 284

***Scroll down for the giveaway!***


PEOPLE DIE, BUT LEGENDS LIVE ON.
Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.
But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?

Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.

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Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell follows antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury as she struggles with the murder of her best friend and an ancient curse that she is determined to prove exists. But, after she is assaulted by her employer, she agrees to go on a trip to Crete with Gen Zavos (her best and richest client) and her handsome son Alec. However, things go from bad to worse on her trip with someone being murdered and the kidnapping of Gen. So, not only does Annalisse have to deal with figuring out who is after the cursed necklace, but working with Alec to find his mom as well.  Throughout the story you're wondering who Annalisse can actually trust.  They mystery/suspense was great!

I always feel that the best romances are told in both points of views.  And thankfully, we get to see the story from both Annalisse and Alec.  It's mostly in Annalisse's POV, but you get to see the story unfold through Alec's eyes in some chapters as well.  The romance was realistic and not too quick.  Annalisse guards her heart from playboy Alec.  She is smart and independent and isn't looking for a quick fling. Bell did a great job with the inner conflict of Annalisse fighting her attraction to Alec.  It took a while before she decided to be with him physically.  

Stolen Obsession was an exciting read from start to finish.  I don't think I could have turned the pages fast enough! The mystery, suspense, danger and romance made this one hard to put down. I would have liked to see more chapters in Alec's point of view. I think that would of helped get to know Alec a little better.  I would have also loved to know more about her best friend Samantha and the events leading up to her murder.  Overall, definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!

4 Stars!
⭐⭐⭐⭐



WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER FOR STOLEN OBSESSION:



Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep in beautiful East Texas with her husband, Gregg, three cats and a flock of horned Dorset sheep.

The Annalisse series -- mysteries with a touch of romance --  has received numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity) and FAPA (Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award) for two other installments, Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy. She also penned the first of her children's picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

 ║ Website║ Facebook Twitter   
║ LinkedIn BookBub ║ Instagram 
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ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
Tapestry overnighter bag, sterling necklace (handmade in Greece), autographed copy of updated 2022 Stolen Obsession, $50 Amazon Gift Card 
ONE RUNNER-UP:
Autographed copy of updated 2022 Stolen Obsession
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 12/16/22.)

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lone Star Blog Tour: SUNRISE by Susan May Warren ***Review & Giveaway***

Sunrise, Sunburst, & Sundown
The Sky King Ranch Series
by
SUSAN MAY WARREN


Christian Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Revell

****SCROLL DOWN FOR GIVEAWAY!****


THE SKY KING RANCH SERIES

Meet the boys of Sky King Ranch! The Kingston brothers are back in town, and you can read their stories in the Sky King Ranch series books Sunrise, Sunburst, and Sundown by USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.

      

Sunrise: Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him.

Sunburst: When former Navy Seal and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt, who has been kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he knows and could never forget.

Sundown: Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston may not know the truth, but he sure doesn’t trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled–and smart–woman.


PRAISE FOR THE SERIES:

"Warren proves yet again why she is a master in the genre."--Booklist, starred review on Sunrise

"International intrigue and adventure paired with a simmering romance equals one fast-moving story you won't be able to put down!"--Lisa Harris, bestselling author of the Nikki Boyd Files series, on Sunburst



Sunrise by Susan May Warren is the first book in her Sky King Ranch series.  It follows Dodge Kingston and Echo Yazzie 10 years after a heartbreaking fallout that left them both hurt.  Dodge has to return to the ranch after his father is in a plane accident and can no longer help the community with supply runs and rescues.  As much as he doesn’t want to, Dodge knows that if he doesn’t take over then they will lose the ranch and all the consequences that follow are too much for his family. Echo is surprised to find out Dodge is back in Alaska and when she sees him again those old feelings start to creep back up.  


Warren brings the Alaskan frontier and the harshness of its dangerous habitat to life in Sunrise. I’ve never been, but she has such a beautiful writing style that you feel immersed in the story as if you are living through it with Dodge, Echo and everyone else.  I love the dual POV.  You get to see both perspectives and Warren does a great job putting the reader in the head of the main characters which makes them more three-dimensional.  You feel their frustration, pain, heartbreak, and every other emotion as if you are feeling it too.  Dodge and Echo have not only the issues between each other, but also with their families. I like how their relationship developed slowly and it wasn’t rushed, which made the romance seem more realistic.  The drama along with the danger really keeps you wondering what happens next! Warren does a wonderful job building the backstory of both of these characters that makes you really root for their well deserved happy ending.

 

This book has it all, a beautiful but dangerous setting, action, suspense and a heartwarming romance.  Overall, Sunrise is a Christian romantic suspense novel with the underlying themes of forgiveness and hope for the future.  This is the kind of book you savor one chapter at a time. There is lots to love in this book, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!  


5 Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly 90 novels with more than 1.5 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series, as well as Sunrise and Sunburst. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. 




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ONE WINNER:

A Set of the Sky King Ranch Books &
Northern Nights of Alaska Necklace.

(US only; ends midnight, 12/09/22.)

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11/29/22

All the Ups and Downs

Series Spotlight

11/29/22

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BONUS Promo

11/30/22

It's Not All Gravy

Review Book 3

11/30/22

Stories Under Starlight

BONUS Review Bk 1

11/30/22

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BONUS Promo

12/01/22

Shelf Life Blog

Review Book 2

12/02/22

Bibliotica

Review Book 1

12/03/22

Carpe Diem Chronicles

Excerpt, Book 1

12/04/22

StoreyBook Reviews

Excerpt, Book 2

12/05/22

Sybrina's Book Blog

Excerpt, Book 3

12/06/22

The Book's Delight

Review Book 1

12/07/22

Reading by Moonlight

Review Book 2

12/08/22

The Plain-Spoken Pen

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Saturday, November 19, 2022

YA Review: TOKYO DREAMING by Emiko Jean

Tokyo Dreaming

by Emiko Jean
336 pages
Published May 31st 2022 by Flatiron Books


Plot: When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.

Only...

Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.

But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart? (2022, Goodreads.com)

Review: Tokyo Dreaming picks up where Tokyo Ever After left off.  In this book, Izumi and her boyfriend, Akio, are broken up for most of the story.  To not have the press or any other person at the palace start playing matchmaker, she asks a new friend to be her fake boyfriend.  He is perfect for the position because he comes from a very wealthy family and is someone who would be accepted amongst the royals.  However, things start to get complicated when Akio suddenly wants Izumi back, but her "fake boyfriend" wants to be her real boyfriend.  Izumi is also worried that the Emperor and council will never approve of her mother marrying her father, so she does her best to be the "perfect" princess to show she can play her part in all this.  

If you liked Tokyo Ever After, you will enjoy the sequel.  Also, if you like the fake dating troupe then you will also enjoy this book.  It feels like more is on the line for Izumi in this book because she wants to get into college as well as have her parent's marriage approved.  She feels her choices play a big part in whether that happens or not.  She cares for both love interests in this story and I wasn't really sure who she'd choose in the end!  The story itself paced well, although there were some parts I felt were a bit slow.  Overall, a satisfying conclusion to the duology.

4 Hearts! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Lone Star Blog Tour WORD OF HONOR by Hallee Bridgeman ***Review & Giveaway***


THE LOVE AND HONOR SERIES
by
HALLEE BRIDGEMAN

****Scroll down for a giveaway!****



  
HONOR BOUND
September 2022, 384 pages

You can't override the heart

It may seem odd to seek peace by moving to a war-torn African country, but for medical missionary Dr. Cynthia Myers, it provided a way to escape a shallow life of unearned wealth, a philandering fiancΓ©, and a father now square in the public eye as vice president of the United States. At least here she knows her work and life have meaning. But all that is thrown into chaos when she fails to save the life of a local warlord's mortally wounded son.

As part of the Army Special Forces A-Team on a mission to capture and subdue the warlord, Captain Rick Norton is compelled to use deadly force to save Cynthia's life. Enraged at the violence she witnessed and riddled with guilt that men died because of her, Cynthia doesn't want to like anything about Rick and his team--but an unexpected attraction is taking hold.

With two members of his team badly injured and rebels in hot pursuit, Rick will have to draw upon all his strength and cunning to get her out alive . . . because he's beginning to think that, despite their differences, they just may be able to make a life together.



WORD OF HONOR
October 2022, 384 pages

You can't outrun the past

FBI Special Agent Lynda Culter is investigating an ecoterrorist organization in the Alaskan wilderness when she and her partner are taken captive and he's murdered before her very eyes. The only person who can identify the key players, Lynda gets assigned to take part in a joint operation in Istanbul to take the organization down.

As a woman in a Muslim country, she'll find it much easier to move around undetected with a fake husband. Unfortunately for her, the one assigned to play the role is none other than Army weapons specialist Bill Sanders--the man who crushed her heart in college.

With a cargo bay's worth of hurt and baggage between them, these two consummate professionals must play their parts perfectly if they hope to stop those responsible for bombing oil pipelines, which has killed innocent civilians and threatened to destabilize the oil markets. Protecting Lynda becomes Bill's primary focus--but love long buried has a way of resurfacing at the most inopportune times.


HONOR'S REFUGE
November 2022, 352 pages

You can't give up on love


When she was just five years old, Melissa Braxton watched her father take her mother's life and suffered the pain of separation from her sister, Lola. Melissa grew up with a strong desire to help those stuck in abusive relationships. It's why she became a therapist and opened a domestic abuse shelter.

After losing a leg to a gunshot wound in the line of duty, Phil Osbourne has felt like a man without a purpose--until he hears Melissa's story and decides to use his Special Forces contacts to track down her missing sister, the wife of a Colombian cartel teniente. He knows what he discovers will break Melissa's heart. What he doesn't realize is that helping the women reunite will bring the cartel down on them like the category 5 hurricane striking Miami..

Bruised yet not quite broken, Melissa and Phil battle the storm and the cartel, calling on strength they didn't know they had to escape death, save the innocent, and--just maybe--find healing in each other's arms.

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Word of Honor Review

In Word of Honor by Hallee Bridgeman, Lynda Culter is an FBI agent working internationally to bring down a terrorist organization.  While on assignment in Istanbul, she is forced to work closely with the man that broke her heart back in college. Bill Sanders had a very good reason for breaking off his relationship with Lynda all those years ago, or at least that what he tells himself.  Either way, seeing her again is bringing back those old emotions.  While Lynda and Bill navigate their resurfaced feelings, they must put everything on hold while they work together to bring down a very dangerous criminal organization. 

I knew after the first chapter Word of Honor was going to be a real page turner.  It's great when you have story that not only has lovable main characters, but interesting side characters too!  I really enjoyed getting to know Lynda and Bill, as well as their teammates.  You could see how much both had changed over the years, but never really stopped loving each other. Both were strong characters in their own way, and I loved how their romance slowly came back together. Lynda was both strong and vulnerable.  She was more of an investigator and wasn't too comfortable with doing undercover work.  However, Bill was able to help her get through it.  He was tough, but had a soft side to him when it came to Lynda.  He always encouraged her and let her know she was an amazing person. The romance didn't happen right away and took some work, but it came together nicely throughout the story.  I really enjoyed how Bridgeman intertwined the military and other federal agencies in this book.  It definitely brings a certain feel to the story and it was a lot of fun to read.  

I love it when a story surprises me, and I certainly did not expect that plot twist!  The romance, action and suspense will definitely keep you wondering what will happen next.  Word of Honor is book two in the Love & Honor series, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more Hallee Bridgeman books! Full of action, romance, and suspense and I can't recommend it enough!

5 Stars! 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐










Hallee Bridgeman is the USA Today bestselling author of several action-packed romantic suspense books and series. An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee and her husband finally settled in central Kentucky, where they have raised their three children. When she's not writing, Hallee pursues her passion for cooking, coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. An accomplished speaker and active member of several writing organizations, Hallee can be found online at:

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All three books in the Love and Honor series
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