Friday, July 31, 2015

Blog Tour Review: NEVER LOVED (Dark Obsession #1) by Charlotte Stein

Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, the first novel in the Dark Obsession series tells the story of a beautiful wallflower who falls for a chiseled street fighter—and learns just how dangerous love can be.

Beatrix Becker spent most of her life under the thumb of her controlling, abusive father. And now that she’s free and attending her dream college, she has no idea how to act like the normal crowd: partying, going on dates, even having a conversation. Then she meets Serge Sorensen. Big and surly with a whole host of riotous tattoos, Serge is supposed to scare the hell out of her. But beneath his harsh exterior, Beatrix discovers a kindred spirit who knows what it’s like to be a misfit. Most exhilarating—and terrifying—is what he does for a living: illegal street fighting.

There’s nothing like the rush Serge gets from the intense athleticism and brutal glory of combat—though his chemistry with Beatrix comes close. Slowly at first, he introduces her to his world, where he lives by instinct, passion, and desire. He even helps her out with her equally traumatized brother. But when Serge gets in too deep with the wrong people, he ends up paying in blood. And suddenly, just as Beatrix has been drawn into Serge’s perfectly sculpted arms, she’s thrown once and for all into the fight of his life.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt | HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The dead of winter.

An isolated island off the coast of Maine.

A man.

A woman.

A sinister house looming over the sea ...

He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.

It's going to be a long, hot winter.

Cover Reveal: I NEED A HERO (Men In Uniform) by Codi Gary

Sergeant Oliver Martinez joined the military to serve his country—not plan parties. But after a run-in with his commanding officer, Oliver is suddenly responsible for the Alpha Dogs Training Program’s upcoming charity event. Worse, he’s got to work with the bossiest, sexiest woman he's ever met—who just happens to be the general’s daughter.

When it comes to military men, Evelyn Reynolds is not interested. And with the opportunity to launch her new PR firm at the charity event, she doesn't have time for some sexy, arrogant jerk with a hero complex. Evelyn is determined to keep things professional—if only she can ignore how Oliver’s muscles fill out a t-shirt and the infuriating way he makes her heart pound.

But when tempers flare and a scorching kiss turns into so much more, Oliver and Evelyn will have to decide if this attraction is forever…or just for now.

And here's a look at the gorgeous cover...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review & Giveaway | The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands

A bold, seductive laird meets his passionate match in a scintillating Highland romance from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands.

Sword fighting, swearing, and riding astride come naturally to Saidh Buchanan. Simpering and holding her tongue-definitely not. Raised alongside seven boisterous brothers, Saidh has little interest in saddling herself with a husband…until she glimpses the new Laird MacDonnell bathing naked in the loch. Though she’s far from a proper lady, the brawny Highlander makes Saidh feel every inch a woman.

She has an angel’s looks, a warrior’s temper, and seeks out his kisses with wanton eagerness. Little wonder that Greer is intrigued by his comely guest. When reckless desire overtakes them, he’s more than willing to make an honest woman of her. But Saidh is the target of a hidden enemy, and Greer faces the battle of his life…to safeguard the woman he wants above all others.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why We, As Readers, Love Imperfect Heroes

At Sunday dinner with my family this past weekend the conversation somehow veered into a discussion on the Romance Industry. This isn't a typical topic for us, and though my family knows I read and review romance novels, they've never actually asked me any questions about the genre before. We got to discussing sub-genres and niches when I mentioned a question that I recently posed to a bestselling historical romance author which had really upset me at the time. I asked the author if she ever had or would consider writing a plus-size heroine, as the average dress size of the American Woman is a 14. Her response was something along the lines of “I'd love to but I don't think publishers would go for it”. My brother pondered that for a minute and responded that to a certain extent it made sense because people often look to romance novels for characters who represent ideals. But in my experience, the opposite is true.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Bronzer Collection

It's summertime, when everyone wants to look a bit bronzed and glowy. Since I usually try to avoid being out in the sun, I like to slap on some bronzer to give a touch of warmth to my pale skin and try to create that sun-kissed look. I've received quite a few from subscription boxes and friends, apart from the ones I've actually purchased for myself, so I've somehow amassed quite a variety. Here are all the bronzers I have in my arsenal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review & Giveaway | The Maddening Lord Montwood (Rakes of Fallow Hall) by Vivienne Lorret

Frances Thorne learned at an early age to rely on herself. Yet, losing her job and her home and watching her father carted off to debtor’s prison all in one day, is too much for her to bear alone. When a generous offer of assistance falls into her lap, she ignores her better instincts and decides to take a chance. The last thing she needs is for the infuriating Lord Lucan Montwood to stand in her way.

The end of the bachelors’ wager is near, and Lucan Montwood can taste victory. Yet, on the precipice of finally gaining freedom from his debts, he’s incensed to learn that the beautiful Frances Thorne has fallen into an insidious trap in the guise of a new position. Lucan can’t deny the way her lips call to him and knows he must risk his own future to ensure her safety.

Convincing her to trust him is the hard part and resisting her is next to impossible. But falling in love with her? That’s far too simple.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monthly Beauty Favorites | June 2015

Per usual I'm late to the game with sharing my monthly favorites. I tried a lot of new products in June and found some new favorites already dwelling among my stash. Here's what worked well for me in the month of June.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beyond the Hype: The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Hype can be a very scary thing when it comes to shopping for beauty products. Beauty gurus will often rave about something until it reaches 'Holy Grail' status, inspiring you to run out and get it thinking your life is about to be changed. Now, I am definitely the kind of person who likes to wait a bit to buy something so that I can see whether or not it's getting positive reviews but I'm also hesitant to try something when it's the 'It' product of the moment. I like to wait a bit for the hype-gasm to wear off and see if it's something people are still dedicated to. Although there doesn't seem to be as much hype surrounding the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser in the U.S. as in the U.K., it's a cleanser that gets its fair share of love. It's been around for decades and has surpassed that sort of  'general hysteria' hype and moved right into 'Cult Classic' status. I decided to pick this baby up after repeatedly hearing a couple of my favorite (and most trusted) British bloggers swear by it and it's been a total game-changer for me. Here's why.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Release Day Review | MANWHORE +1 by Katy Evans

Billionaire playboy? Check.

Ruthless businessman? Check.

Absolutely sinful? Check.

Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé.

I intended to reveal him, his secrets, his lifestyle—not let him reveal me. But my head was overtaken by my heart and suddenly nothing could stop me from falling. I fell for him, and I fell hard.

Malcolm Saint is absolute Sin, and I’ve become a hopeless Sinner.

Now that the assignment is over, Saint wants something from me—something unexpected—and I want this wicked playboy’s heart. But how can I prove to the man who trusts no one that I’m worthy of becoming his plus one?

Excerpt & Giveaway | Toxic by Kim Karr

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling romance that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.

Meet Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, brooding entrepreneur who goes after what he wants, and Phoebe St. Claire, a socialite-turned-CEO who’s been drifting through life searching for something she thought she'd never find again—the right man to share her future.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Resolution Redux: Cris Conquers Summer

Much like everyone who makes New Year's resolutions, half way through the year I'm starting to look back and wonder what happened with all those plans I had to make this the "Year of Cris". Recently I've started to take a closer look at my life, thanks in part to Brittany Gibbon's FAT GIRL WALKING and a bit of general angst, and I'm not very happy with what I'm seeing. I started this blog as a way to put myself out there and try new things that I might not normally do but I haven't really been doing that. In short, Cris hasn't been doing a whole lot of conquering. The other day I just became so angry at myself for always sitting on the sidelines and letting new experiences pass me by because of niggling insecurities and fears, that I decided that I'm going to make this summer count by taking steps into the unknown. This summer I'm going to take on new challenges, meet new people, resurrect some of my old resolutions and be the Cris I've always wanted to be. Here's the plan:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day MOTD

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Hope you're all having a fun and safe Independence Day. Since I don't often do 'Makeup of the Day' posts I thought I'd put one together for the look I'm wearing today to celebrate the good ol' U.S. of A. It's a little bit different from what I usually go for (aka I'm terrified of wearing red lipstick) but here's what I used.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Blog Tour Review | Dirty Thoughts by Megan Erickson

Some things are sexier the second time around.

Cal Payton has gruff and grumbly down to an art...all the better for keeping people away. And it usually works. Until Jenna Macmillan—his biggest mistake—walks into Payton and Sons mechanic shop all grown up, looking like sunshine, and inspiring more than a few dirty thoughts.

Jenna was sure she was long over the boy she'd once loved with reckless abandon, but one look at the steel-eyed Cal Payton has her falling apart all over again. Ten years may have passed, but the pull is stronger than ever...and this Cal is all man.

Cal may have no intention of letting Jenna in, but she's always been his light, and it's getting harder to stay all alone in the dark. When a surprise from the past changes everything, Cal and Jenna must decide if their connection should be left alone, or if it's exactly what they need for the future of their dreams.

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