Saturday, 16 February 2019

Why are my book review ratings so high? Part 1 - The Shuffle

Those of you who have been following me for a while (thank you very much) may have noticed that when I review books, I tend to rate them a 4 or a 5. Every once in a while I'll give a book a 3, but that's rare. There's a reason for all of these high rated books. My explanation may not be all that logical to you, but it works for me.

I'm picky. Not just with books but with everything. I'm the type of person who will walk around in a shop, see something I like, pass by it looking for something else that's better, and then end up returning to that initial pick. For this reason I like shopping alone. I can take my time with my indecision.

I'm the same way with books. It's rare for me to buy a book the first time I see it (unless its by a favorite author, or the cover and blurb are smoking hot). I take a lot of time to choose the books that I read. Back in the day when all I read were paperbacks, I would choose the top ones that I wanted to read. I'd:
1. stare at the cover to see if it was calling to me
2. analyze the blurb
3. read the short excerpt 

In the end I'd put all the books on my bed, close my eyes, shuffle them around and then pick one at random. Not scientific, but it was fun.

With my transition to e-books, the process changed a little. The analysis of the books occur with the same criteria, but there is no physical shuffling of them. Because of the hunting I do to get the book in the first place I tend to choose books which I know I'll like. I don't have time to waste on those that I won't.  Hence the high ratings.



Friday, 15 February 2019

Spotlight and Give Away: A Lesson On Love by Sharon C. Cooper



The Blurb
Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

Jerry Jenkins is a player. He loves women. Curvy women. Soft women. He's unapologetically drawn to full-figured women. With all the beauties in the world, he has no intention of settling down with just one. Not until Rayne Ellison moves in next door. But the curvaceous beauty doesn’t fall for his charm. Still, she's the only woman who has him willing to shred his bachelor’s card. 

If there’s one lesson single mom Rayne learned over the years, it’s to avoid players. Been there, done that. Barely survived. No way will she fall prey to another ladies’ man. She has one focus—raising her daughter, but there’s something so magnetic about Jerry. Rayne agrees to be friends, but nothing more. At least that’s what she tells herself. 

When tragedy strikes, Rayne is ready to give up, but it’s Jerry who keeps her afloat. He breaks down her defenses and, in the process, gives her a lesson on love.

AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | SMASHWORDS | KOBO

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ABOUT SHARON C. COOPER

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Spotlight: Love Grind by Shelly Ellis


She’s used to baring it all . . . but baring her heart is a whole different story
Down on her luck and broke, Jennifer Dudley long ago traded dancing in the chorus line for swinging from a stripper pole to make ends meet. She’s hoping an offer to come back home and teach dance at her old performance academy will be the opportunity she needs to fix her life. When she moves in with and falls for a software developer with brains, a boyish smile, and muscles, she decides she might be well on her way to a second chance at success—and love. But her X-rated past may come back to haunt her, compromising her newfound happiness and hurting the ones she loves the most.

AVAILABLE ON:

AMAZON


ABOUT SHELLY ELLIS

Shelly Ellis is a NAACP Image Award-nominated women's fiction/romance author and creator of the Gibbons Gold Digger and Chesterton Scandal series. Her fiction writing career began when she became one of four finalists in a First-Time Writers Contest when she was 19 years old. The prize was a publishing contract and having her first short-story romance appear in an anthology. She has since published ten novels and was a finalist for 2015 NAACP Image Award in the Literary Fiction Category, a three-time finalist for the African American Literary Award in the romance category (2012, 2016, and 2017), and a finalist for the 2015 RT Reviewers' Choice Award in Multicultural Romance category.

She is married and lives in Prince George's County, Maryland with her husband and their daughter. Visit her at her web site www.shellyellisbooks.com.

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Monday, 11 February 2019

Hot new release: By My Valentine - A Love Africa Press Collection (Volume One)


Today is Be My Valentine release day! Yahoo!
Copies are available everywhere so get yours and propel yourself into a romantic Valentine's Day mood.

Life is beautiful especially when you're in love.
Dive into these five hand-picked contemporary romance novellas and fall in love this Valentine's Day.

Featured stories:
Unexpected Love by Amaka Azie
Bitter Sweet Symphony by Fiona Khan
Golden Valentine by Nana Prah
Boot Camp Seduction by Sable Rose
Mr Hot Mocha Perfection by Empi Baryeh

ADD TO GOODREADS


AVAILABLE ON:

LOVE AFRICA PRESS | OKADABOOKS | SMASHWORDS | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON AU | AMAZON FR




UNEXPECTED LOVE BY AMAKA AZIE

After a very public and humiliating break-up, Yemi Okeke quits her job and accepts the position of Chief Surgeon at St. Andrews Hospital in Lagos. It’s an amazing opportunity to start afresh and get away from all the embarrassment … except, her gorgeous new employer, Vincent Mba, knows all about the incident she ran away from.
Vincent is intrigued by Yemi. She is smart, beautiful, and just the kind of woman he wants to get to know better. But they started off on the wrong foot, and recently heartbroken, she is wary about trusting him.
Society says she is past her prime, and that is just one obstacle thrown along their path. He must find a way to overcome all of that, but perhaps the most difficult task of all? He has to win Yemi’s trust and convince her to give their love a chance this Valentine season.

ABOUT AMAKA AZIE

Amaka Azie writes romance fiction set in tropical West Africa. She explores the beauty and intricacies of the continent in her sweet and sensual love stories.
Born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa, she developed a passion for reading at the age of twelve. Her interest in writing began in secondary school when she joined the press club, and her active imagination has captured the interests of many. 
Apart from getting lost in creating fascinating fictional characters, Amaka enjoys reading, painting and travelling with her family.
She lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and daughters and where she also practices as a part-time family doctor.
Amaka was named one of the Most Influential Authors Under Forty by the Nigerian Writers Awards (NWA) for the years 2017 and 2018.       

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BITTER SWEET SYMPHONY BY FIONA KHAN

When Dr Aliya O’Henry meets Professor Jack Larrimore, there is an inextricable bond. Baby Star’s arrival brings them together in facing their inhibitions which have been an obstacle in moving forward and finding love. Aliya’s loss and Professor Larrimore’s abandonment, are issues they must resolve before they succumb to the inevitable attraction. 
Bitter Sweet Symphony is a sweet romance filled with angst and compassion, the endearment of parenthood and it resonates on the lyrical innocence of love found within the four-part harmony of music. Dr Aliya and Professor Larrimore learn the lesson of never overlapping the past with the future, when the future is a beautiful gift.

ABOUT FIONA KHAN

Fiona Khan has been lauded with many awards and accolades as an author, poet, environmentalist and in spreading Language, Literacy and Literature. Her short stories, poems and articles have been published in many literary magazines around the world. She has 20 titles to her name and has won many awards over the past 27 years for her leadership and penship. Fiona has written the first HIV/Aids book with emotional intelligence for children, a book that is fully illustrated. 
Fiona is the founder of the Global Forum 4 Literacy specialising in free digital and mobile downloads of literature and literacy in many languages, globally. The Global Forum 4 Literacy has now become a brand to be reckoned with as the forum was presented at the UNESCO conference for 2018 as part of the Creative Cities Network and has now collaborated with StoryWeaver in translating books into different languages on a digital platform.

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GOLDEN VALENTINE BY NANA PRAH


Sena Ewuram’s upcoming travels will take her far away from the man her father saved from his abusive uncle.  The same one who sees her as surrogate sister category rather than a love interest. The opportunity to leave Ghana to further her education should help cure her of those unrequited feelings.
Jewellery designer, Yiko Ayoma, would never betray the man who helped him survive. Falling in love with his mentor’s daughter is something he can’t help but is doing his best to resist acting on. When tragedy strikes on Valentine’s Day, both are tested and must each decide which is more important, their friendship or taking the risk to be more.

ABOUT NANA PRAH

Nana Prah first discovered romance in a book from her eight-grade summer reading list and has been obsessed with it ever since. Her fascination with love inspired her to write in her favourite genre where happily-ever-after is the rule.

She is a published author of contemporary, multicultural romances. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s, over-indulging in chocolate, enjoying life with friends and family, and tormenting nursing students into being the best nurses the world has ever seen. 

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BOOT CAMP SEDUCTION BY SABLE ROSE


She’s a big-bodied beauty with weight issues. He’s a dreamy hunk with an unsavoury agenda. 
For the first twelve years of her life, Amaka Dilibe lived in an orphanage, abandoned by her mother. Now she has finally achieved success with her home d├ęcor business. 
Life should be great. Only, it isn’t. 
Full-figured Amaka has been the butt of jokes for a long time. Dumped and humiliated by her ex-boyfriend because of her weight, she’s eager for a change. 
She enrols in a weight-loss boot-camp owned by Tiago Omole, a coffee-skinned, bearded hottie with a penchant for wearing t-shirts with funny slogans. 
Amaka is blown away the first time she sees Tiago. Dreamy. Yummy. Yes, please. 
Facing the loss of the business he’s worked hard for, Tiago is desperate too. And when someone presents him with a way out: seduce Amaka and get her to give you money, he is sorely tempted. 
Should he do it? After all, it’s just sex, isn’t it?
What could go wrong?

ABOUT SABLE ROSE

Hi, my name is Sable Rose and I revel in being different. I'm a romance writer and the author of erotic M/F contemporary and paranormal romances and action adventures. 
My books feature outspoken, independent and intelligent women who know what they want (and what they don't want), and who are not afraid to make the first move to get their man, if they have to. Their men are always swoon-worthy hunks, each a blend of naughty and nice that women find so irresistible.
My passion is writing and I write only what my characters tell me to write. I write morning, afternoon, night. Who needs sleep? Yes, I'm a writing addict. 
In between writing-phew-I also read-a lot. And watches lots of TV and movies. I love dancing, listening to great music and I dream of one day being able to find time to learn both pole-dancing and belly dancing. 
I wish...
I adore traveling, and have visited over 15 countries and have formed friendships with people of varying cultures. I use these experiences to craft my stories. 
I live in Lagos, Nigeria. No dogs yet. Definitely, no cats...

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MR HOT MOCHA PERFECTION BY EMPI BARYEH


Ama Sarfoa believes in love, though she hasn’t been lucky at it. She returns to college for a master’s degree after being on the work force for five years. Three chance encounters in one day with a handsome stranger has her entertaining thoughts of him being Mr. Right.
Until he turns out to be one of her professors.
Adinkra Kusi-Andoh has been burned by love before, but his student, Ama, stirs desires in him he’d long given up on feeling again. However, she’s his student and their relationship skirts the fringes of professional ethics. Yet as Valentine’s Day approaches, he can’t help but as her out on a date. 
When their budding relationship threatens his career, Adinkra has to choose between saving his career and the woman he loves. Will he give up on love or risk it all for the woman his heart desires? 

ABOUT EMPI BARYEH

Empi Baryeh is the award-winning author of Most Eligible Bachelor (Book of the year, 2017 Ufere Awards). She writes sweet and sensual African, multicultural and interracial romance, which happens to be her favourite genres of romance to read. Her interest in writing started around the age of thirteen after she stumbled upon a YA story her sister had started and abandoned. The story fascinated her so much that, when she discovered it was unfinished, she knew she had to complete it. Somehow the rest of the story began to take shape in her mind and she's been writing ever since. She lives in Accra, Ghana, with her husband and their two lovely kids.

CONNECT WITH EMPI

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Monday, 4 February 2019

Spotlight and Giveaway: Healing His Medic by Yours Truly

Title: Healing His Medic
Series: The Protectors #1
Author: Nana Prah
Genre: Adult, Military Suspense Romance
Published: September 19, 2018
Page Count: 200 Pages
Published by: Love Africa Press
Doctor Comfort Djan is looking for salvation after a tragic accident, which takes her to deprived regions where her skills heal the helpless. Until Fate thrusts her as a medic on board a West African military coastal protection ship. Proving herself to the male-only crew is nothing compared to being near one intense naval officer who has her feeling something other than her survivor's guilt.

Commander Akin Solarin wants nothing more than to do his job, especially when his medic's temporary replacement turns out to be a disconcerting woman who pushes all his buttons. He runs a tight ship, and doesn't need captivating and efficient yet aloof Comfort around to keep his heart-rate in semi-permanent overdrive.

Neither can deny the attraction between them, but navigating uncharted personal waters may be the least of their problems when confronted with bold pirate attacks and other vicious unknown dangers onboard the frigate. And when Comfort's life gets on the line, Akin knows he will do anything to save his medic and heal her battered heart in the process.


Healing His Medic © Nana Prah 2018

Loosening his hold, he pulled himself back to hook a finger under her chin so she could look him in the eyes. She needed to see the truth of his words.
“No, Comfort. You’re strong. You always have been and I don’t doubt you always will be. Your ex was the weak one for expecting you to heal from the heartbreak of a lifetime without changing. For not being able to remember that everything passes. Everything. And not sticking by you until it did.”
Warm air fanned his cheek when she expelled a shuddering breath. “He had every right. Hell, I’m surprised he stayed as long as he did. We hadn’t been getting along for the year prior. We were both overworked and...”
“What?” He prodded with a small shake of her shoulder.
“I had been putting off having a baby for a while.” She lowered her gaze. “I wasn’t ready to lose the foothold I’d gotten on my career. If we’d had a child he would’ve proceeded while I’d been held back. I wasn’t ready to make the sacrifice.” She focused on him again. “I guess that makes me selfish.”
Akin smiled. “Only as selfish as anyone else, male or female, who wants to make a career for themselves. It’s just that women are expected to fall back when they have a child while men continue forward.”
Her brows bunched together. “If I didn’t know better I’d think you were a feminist.”
Free from witnesses, he released the laughter. How did she have the uncanny ability to set him free? “What makes you think I’m not?”
She raised a finger into the air, “You’re mean to women.”
“I’m mean to everyone.”
“True.” A second digit flung up. ”You don’t want female sailors on your ship.”
He grabbed her hand and laced their fingers together. How could such a small thing fit so perfectly into his?
“It’s not my rule. We’re on a pirate-seeking ship where the risk of being attacked is high. Pirates have no honor. I’d hate to think what would happen to a woman if she were ever captured during a siege.”
An icy chill stole down his spine at the thought of it ever happening with Comfort on board.
Nana Prah first discovered romance in a book from her eight grade summer reading list and has been obsessed with it ever since. Her fascination with love inspired her to write in her favorite genre where happily-ever-after is the rule.

She is a published author of contemporary, multicultural romances. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s, over-indulging in chocolate, enjoying life with friends and family, and tormenting nursing students into being the best nurses the world has ever seen. Nana loves to connect with her readers on Twitter @Nana Prah and Facebook at Nana Prah, author.
Hosted By: 
 

Friday, 1 February 2019

Review: My Joy (California Love Book 1) by Suzette D. Harrison


The Blurb
Joy Matthews isn’t afraid of risks. She’s quit her Fortune 500 job and enrolled in culinary school, chasing her dream. Joy wants her own couture cake boutique. Pursuing her dream by day, Joy pays the bills working nights at The Hourglass—an exclusive gentlemen’s club catering to patrons who enjoy "a little extra fine on a woman’s frame." Joy’s catching up to her dream when a chance encounter reconnects her with Quinton Daley, a childhood friend. Mutual attraction throws the proverbial wrench in Joy’s relationship-phobic, happily agnostic life. A goal-oriented woman who "doesn’t do men with Bible breath," Joy sees in Quinton a whole lot of what she likes but doesn’t need. Tall, chocolate-skinned, and born-again, Quinton’s Christianity poses a risk even the tenacious Joy isn’t willing to take. Quinton Daley isn’t fazed. He’s a man of faith who will willingly wait on Joy to come to God…and him. When love and lust heat up, Joy and Quinton face a predicament. Will they indulge? Or abstain? Join this wild mix of custom cakes, a saved, sanctified and sexy man, and an obsessed patron from The Hourglass who’s determined to make Joy’s life a sticky mess. It’s a recipe for a read that’s wickedly witty and delicious. 

My Review
This story is incredibly entertaining. I howled with laughter throughout the book. Joy, my sweetie pie book boyfriend Quinton, and most of the secondary characters were hilarious. The use of Ebonics intermixed with proper language was a wonderful realism of the characters that brought me in to their world.

There was quite a bit of suspense in the story that had me wishing someone would end up injured. That part of the story had me upset – on more than just one level – on behalf of Joy. What I liked was that she took responsibility for her contribution to the drama that entered her life. A super strong woman who knew what she wanted in life, at least she thought she did until Quinton showed up.

The romance between Joy and Quinton had me sighing – a lot. I loved the way they each, especially Joy, grew during the time they got to know each other. An amazing romance that I really wanted to see a happy ending too, but at times wasn’t sure would happen.

Don’t get me started on the delicious deserts Joy created. I wanted to crawl into the book and grab a taste.

This book, as Joy would say, was everything. It had so much in it that I had to take my time and savor it. A wonderful romance that left me longing for Book 2 in the series. I don’t know who will star in it, but I do know that I’ll be reading it.

Be warned that issues got really heavy in this book. Highly sensitive situations brought out quite a bit of seriousness. Just letting you know that you may end up sad and angry at times while reading. Even so, it’s so worth it!

I give this five out of five oven shaped chocolate bars.

I purchased my copy from AmazonUK

Monday, 21 January 2019

Review: The Spelled Stone (The Cursed Seas Collection) by Natalie G. Owens and Zee Monodee


The Blurb
To secure a future for her ocean world, one of her clan must be sacrificed.

Olinda “Ollie” Quorin is the heir to a dying Siren dynasty. However, when word comes that a Legacy Stone can save their deteriorating ocean, the clan elders choose her—the klutzy, expendable one—to make the quest, despite her royal heritage. After begrudgingly traveling to the surface, Ollie botches a spell and binds herself to a reluctant human male.

Kavan Daniels has learned to survive on the treacherous lands and coasts. He's prepared for everything ... except the Siren he can’t escape. Ollie needs a Mage to find the location of the Legacy Stone. Kavan needs the same Mage to break free from Ollie.

As they struggle against time to find the stone, they face conflict, danger, the monsters of their nightmares, and the complications of their unlikely pairing. Death is on their heels at every turn, and saving Ollie’s clan, as well as the surface world, may mean losing her own life.

Fans of The 100, Divergent, Tidelands, and twisted versions of Beauty and the Beast will love The Spelled Stone, a standalone novel in The Cursed Seas Collection. 

My Review
I’ve been wanting an interracial paranormal romance for a while. When I saw that this book was available I jumped on. From the first page to the last I was hooked.

First of all Olinda is so much stronger than she seems in the beginning. What she goes through while she lived in the sea as a Siren broke my heart. She was such a good and kind woman that I didn’t understand why she’d been treated in such a manner. When she reaches the surface, things change for the better and she becomes who she was meant to.

Kavan is tough and crass and he makes no apologies for it. Living on his own on the surface hasn’t been easy for him. Yet we get to see the most tender side of him when he encounters Ollie. It actually made me sigh to see his little gestures of caring towards her.

They are from two separate worlds, but they fit together perfectly.

There is one section of the story when I questioned why Ollie would even attempt to accomplish the impossible mission she was sent on. Her people had not been kind to the people of the land throughout history. When I read this part it reminded me of a highly controversial issue that happened in real life (you’ll have to read the book because I don’t give spoilers). Something unjust to the extreme that the Sirens did that made me angry and had me half hoping that Ollie would leave the stone right where it was instead of saving the ocean dwellers. But she has a more forgiving nature than me and did the right thing.

Something I loved about this book was that it left me on edge. I had no idea how it would end and that kept me reading long past my bedtime. A fantastic read.

I give this book five out of five harpoon shaped chocolate bars.

I purchased this book from AmazonUK