Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Review: Kissing Frogs by Kim Deister

Kissing Frogs
by Kim Deister

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs...

To say that Cassidy's love life has been a hot mess would be an understatement. Bad boys have been just that... bad. Love and fairy tale romance? She's over it. But her family won't give it up, so Operation Marry Cassidy is born, throwing one guy after another at her. So Cassidy has kissed a lot of frogs and not one of them turned into a prince.

But when Cassidy agrees to take care of her niece's beloved pet frog, little does she know just how much her life is about to change...

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

To say I was in a dry spell would be an understatement of epic proportions. It was a lot like calling the Sahara “a little bit sandy.”

Life in a convent was once again looking pretty good. Besides, at this point, I was an expert at the celibacy part.

Black boxers with the Jolly Roger all over them. Oh, my God! Is this like the pirate version of Underoos?

 My own grandmother smacked my boyfriend’s ass and had a healthy squeeze, too. Are you really going to deny me this? I should be allowed to drown my sorrows in raspberry turnovers.

The snort that emanated from her was less than ladylike, even worse than my cow-farting noise. She obviously didn't buy my claims of virginity and purity. I felt like I should be offended by her reaction, but it was best to just be amused. One never knew what else would come out of her mouth if challenged.

I didn’t know how it was possible for an intelligent chick to be so stupid, but I did it. When I got nervous, I got dumb and way too outspoken. Neither of these were terribly good survival skills.

My Review:

I absolutely adored 75% of this creative and entertaining storyline that was packed with clever humor, meddlesome family members, a cursed sexy pirate, a murderously enraged fairy, and a once jilted frog-kissing jeweler with abysmal luck with men.  The first half of the book kicked off an inventive and unique tale loaded with amusing and snarky inner musings, humorous descriptions and introductions of the quirky and eccentric characters, clever plot lines, and a sweet and steamy love story.  But the tale took a rather sobering and angsty turn into the complicated rules of fairy lore and magic with a period of tension and turmoil that I was eager to put behind me before it picked back up into a more pleasurable and interesting cat and mouse stage that lead into the final showdown with the scorned magical creature.  I greatly enjoyed Ms. Deister’s clever and inventive plotting as well as her engaging humor and enticing characters.  I look forward to reading many more of her innovative stories. 

 Empress DJ

About the Author

I was born and raised in a tiny town in the wilds of northern New York, a pretty, little college town called Potsdam. I grew up in a family of lawyers and teachers and bucked all the traditions. Before becoming a writer, I spent a lot of years wearing combat boots in the US Army. I spent most of my time in boots working as a Signals Intelligence Analyst (no jokes!) and a linguist. I also worked as a tech writer, an entirely different kind of writing, for Corning Glass Works. Now, I’m an Army wife and a mom to four sons.  Over the years, our Army life has taken us all over the place and I have been lucky enough to work and live in some pretty amazing places.  Now we live in Hawaii, just minutes from the beach!

I am a writer thoroughly in love with words. Reading them, writing them… I love that words can take you outside of your world and let the unimaginable become imaginable. When I’m not writing or lounging on the beach, I’m probably somewhere with my nose in a book

Follow Kim Deister: 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book Review: Never Again by Lilliana Anderson

Never Again
by Lilliana Anderson 

“This is highly inappropriate.”
“Why?” he rumbled in my ear.
“Because you’re so young, and because I’m now your boss.”
“That just makes it more exciting.”

Not even a year after marrying the guy she'd thought was the love of her life, Cora Knowles is already requesting a divorce. To her recollection, philandering was not a part of her wedding vows, and she wasn't about to stand by while 'Sally from accounts' rolled about on her Egyptian cotton sheets.

While trying to soothe her broken heart with copious amounts of cake and liqueur chocolates, her best friend, Olivia suggests that the best way to get over someone, is to get under someone else. Problems arise when the one Cora 'gets under' turns out to be the son of the Director of Prosecution—her boss. Worse still, he's young. Younger than Cora originally thought, and younger than she's comfortable with.

But, when the attraction is undeniable, Cora needs to decide whether she'll turn her back on the enigmatic Brandon Sharp, or take a risk and follow her heart, even though she promised herself she'd never do that again...

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

For me, social media was about sharing the best of my life and spying on other people’s. That’s why, when I found out my scumbag of a husband was cheating on me, I didn’t share a single tidbit of information with the world. I quietly changed my relationship status from ‘married’ to ‘it’s complicated’, then proceeded to cut the crotch out of every single pair of pants he owned.

There might be plenty of fish, but last night, I caught a shark. How am I supposed to go back to fish after I had shark?

“I’m not responsible enough to have a baby. I’m selfish and conceited and I don’t love anything other than my own reflection.” “That’s not true at all. You love money too.”

Addicted? You’re blaming this on a disease, Jack? As far as I know there is no legitimate disease that causes accidental dick insertion.

My Review:

Doing a bit of damage to her philandering husband’s head with her laptop after catching him bumping uglies with a coworker caused Cora a heap of trouble on the job, it appears that prosecutors aren’t supposed to be violent.  Her wily cheat of a husband turned out to be full of shocking surprises for the oblivious Cora.  But lucky for Cora, she was too distracted by her new intern to be as torn up over the death of her marriage as she could have been as despite her transitional age of twenty-nine, she had quickly turned into a sex-obsessed teenaged boy after one sampling of the dimpled and freshly minted twenty-year-old sex god.  They scorched the sheets and many other flat surfaces.  Oh my, this one was a sizzler.  Packed with expletives, erotic and salacious sensual scenes, scintillating and naughty banter, this one would definitely straddle the line of adult contemporary and erotic romance, but there was a rather sweet romance occurring between all the smoking hot sex.   Written from a first person POV, the storyline was entertaining and relevant while the writing was engaging, cleverly amusing, and while heavily sensual it was also emotive.  The story featured a large and memorable cast of quirkily endearing, intriguing, deeply flawed and wounded characters. 

Empress DJ

About the Author  

Bestselling Author of the Beautiful Series, Drawn and 47 Things, Lilliana has always loved to read and write, considering it the best form of escapism that the world has to offer.

Australian born and bred, she writes New Adult Romance revolving around her authentically Aussie characters with all the quirks you’d expect from those born Down Under.

Lilliana feels that the world should see Australia for more than just it's outback and tries to show characters in a city and suburban setting.

When she isn't writing, she wears the hat of 'wife and mother' to her husband and four children.

Before Lilliana turned to writing, she worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities and communications before transferring to commerce/law at university.

Originally from Sydney's Western suburbs, she currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review: THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW by Faith Hogan

 by Faith Hogan

A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn't be more different.

Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accouterments of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband, and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Maureen Cuffe was a mouse of a woman, forever playing small to augment her husband’s supremacy…  her mother talked of his impending retirement with a sense of doom worthy of an undertaker. ‘Not long now,’ she would say when he left the house.

She actually nodded towards the dumpy little woman, with absurd copper rouge hair piled too high on her head. She stood transfixed, once she realised it was her own reflection. She studied the woman staring back at her with her expensive clothes and too much make-up. Amanda King was under there, somewhere. Her breath caught in her throat, she had been lovely, once. Where was that girl she used to know?

Nicola thought all teenagers should be sent away to boarding school. Nicola’s kids were packed off as soon as there was the danger of a negligent hormone ripening to make her perfect life appear untidy.

‘I’ve started exercising, just gently until I’m fully mobile,’ she whispered. Somehow, it didn’t seem right to add that she had only started to want to live longer so she could spite her neighbours.

Well, I’ll tell you this for nothing, if he so much as winked at me, I’d have my best linen on the bed and I’d be inviting him in for a stiff one before we got down to business…

My Review:

I found The Girl I Used To Know to be a captivating and resonant story – I adored it, but I might not have fully grasped the brilliance and depth of the insightful narrative when I was in my roaring 20s, but I’m older, and thankfully, much wiser now.  Ms. Hogan turned out wryly humorous, craftily paced, well-written, and engaging tale that frequently had me smirking yet also squeezed my heart and stung my eyes.  Although I have never been to Ireland and would love to, it didn’t matter where this story had been based as these women’s transformative tales were universal; betrayal, regret, loneliness, missed opportunities, heartbreak, infidelity, losing oneself – these unfortunate events happen everywhere and in every culture.  I adored the clever juxtapositions and parallels drawn between the upstairs occupant and basement tenant who had always been at odds and had at first glance appeared so different. Ms. Hogan is an observant and cunning scribe; I greedily want all her clever words. 

Empress DJ

Bio Faith Hogan

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organizer and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

Faith Hogan Contact:

Twitter (her favorite)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review: Close Contact - Body Armor #3 by Lori Foster

Close Contact
 Body Armor Series #3
by Lori Foster

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: HQN 

There’s no resisting a desire like this…

MMA fighter Miles Dartman’s casual arrangement with personal shopper Maxi Nevar would be many men’s fantasy. She seeks him out, they have mindblowing sex, she leaves. Rinse, repeat. Yet lately, Miles wants more. And when Maxi requests his services via the Body Armor security agency, he’s ready to finally break through her defenses—and protect her day and night.

Receiving a large inheritance has brought chaos and uncertainty into Maxi’s life. Her ex has resurfaced, along with lots of former “friends,” and someone is making mysterious threats. Then there’s Miles, who doesn’t ask for anything…except her trust. Pleasure is easy. Now Maxi has to give her heart as well as her body…or risk losing a man who could be everything she needs.

My Rating:

Favorite Quote:

It’s like an assortment of delicious man candy, isn’t it? One at a time is shocking, but all together, they steal a girl’s breath away.

My Review:

Goodreads has 252 distinct listings for Lori Foster while I have just finished my first one, of many, where have I been?  Close Contact was an entertaining and steamy tale of romantic suspense, although it was initially a bit maddening as the main character was slow to share information and was rather sparse on the details concerning her intriguing situation.  I wanted to give her a pinch or two and tell her to spill it, but the story was worth the wait and in addition to suspense and dangerous devilment from an unknown menace, a sexy second chance romance was steaming up the windows and singeing the sheets.  I had developed and cast aside several theories yet had not suspected the actual culprit, I love when that happens.  The writing was interesting, intriguing, and easy to follow; I will be greedily haunting Ms. Foster’s listings from now on.

Empress DJ 


About Lori Foster

Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. 

Connect with Lori:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Review: Hard line - Bad Boys Online Series by Erin McCarthy

Hard Line

Bad Boys Online Series

by Erin McCarthy


Office meetings were never so hot and sexy...

To Jared Kinkaid, the only way to keep his mind — and his hands — off his luscious co-worker Candy Appleton is to insult or ignore her at every turn. But his efforts at lust control have his boss convinced that the partners need a little help via online couples counseling.

But when they’re mistakenly signed up for sensual couples counseling instead, Jared and Candy’s shock turns to pleasure as they each deliver some hands-on therapy of their own…

Previously published in 2003 as PRESS ANY KEY in the sexy collection Bad Boys Online, this novella has been fully updated and reissued.

Want to read more Bad Boys playing dirty at the office?
Hard Drive
Hard Bargain

Hard Boss (brand NEW novella, coming late December!)

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

… he was doomed to middle management and a lifetime of dodging trouble. Trouble followed Jared. Everywhere he went. Trouble usually had long legs and breasts.

Who the hell named their kid Candy Appleton? Had her mother envisioned her newborn baby as a future porn star?

He avoided looking at her and focused on the bright yellow spot Harold had dyed on the front of his rapidly diminishing hair. It looked like a flashing caution light. Caution: Middle-aged man approaching baldness.

I was starting to think there was something wrong with me because every man I’ve dated since the divorce made me feel about as sexy as a fish carcass.

My Review:

I giggle snorted my way through this incredibly clever and amusing tale laced with innuendo and snarky levity.  I am fairly new to the witty humor of Erin McCarthy but she has never failed to provide an entertaining and engaging read.  This delightful little ditty was a quick, entertaining, and skillfully paced distraction featuring two endearing yet unlucky and somewhat misunderstood characters who were hopelessly attracted to each other while afraid to ring that bell since they were co-workers.  I adored every sumptuously scintillating word. 

Empress DJ

About the Author 

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in 2002 and has since written over seventy novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Erin is a RITA finalist and an ALA Reluctant Young Reader award recipient and is both traditionally and indie published.

Website Mailing List Goodreads Amazon Facebook Twitter Instagram

Book Review, Giveaway: Spicy Sweets by A.M. Willard

Cover Design: MadHat Books
Release Date: December 7, 2017


I said ‘I do’ to the first guy to sweep me off my feet after my heart shattered all those years ago. I didn’t just vow to love him; nope, I signed on that line for both him and his daughter. 

This lifestyle is new and one that I never thought I'd want. Why? Because over the years, my job and friends were the most important thing to me. Don’t get me wrong, the girls are still my family. It’s just this tattooed mechanic changed my outlook on love. Let's not forget that the cute blonde-haired princess has me wrapped around her fingers, and I'd do anything to protect her.  

Love isn’t always natural… Nope, and we already have a few problems to work through. I’m not his daughter’s mother, and the guy who broke my heart all those years ago works in the office next to me. 

You guessed it, things are about to get a little spicy when love goes sideways.


My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

On the ride to work, I remember that time where I grabbed Simon, Morgan's ex, by the balls and squeezed so hard that I prayed he'd never have babies.

Marcus is like a fungus that you can't kill, no matter how much you spray it.

I look up at Diesel as he reaches the things to buy section. He grabs my pen and writes in ‘anything Natasha wants’…

 Here’s to friends, family, love and the future. May we always have those that we love near us. May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

My Review:

I adored the easy-breezy tone of Natasha’s narrative as much as I adored the character of Diesel he was such a sweetie and gave great banter, and what an excellent name for a mechanic.  Natasha was struggling with herself, as she was prone to pull to the negative and was waiting for the next bad thing while generally causing it to happen.  She wasn’t transitioning well from the single workaholic mode to the new and shiny life of a newlywed with a young child.  Natasha was OCD and had to make everything difficult and nearly ruin the good before pulling her cranium from her lower orifice.  After she got off her angsty self-involved emotional roller coaster the storyline was more engaging and great fun.  I vastly enjoyed the update of all the characters featured in the previous books and the perfectly pitched HEA of five years later. 

Empress DJ



Purchase Links



Signed paperback set for A Taste of Love Series

Available Now 

Frosted Sweets #1 -  FREE
Barnes & Noble:

Sugary Sweets #2
Barnes & Noble:

Heated Sweets #3
Barnes & Noble:

About the Author

International Bestselling Author, A.M. Willard resides in Savannah, Georgia. She joined the Peach State many years ago after leaving the crystal blue waters and sugary white sand behind from the Panhandle of Florida. She's also known for being a wife, mother, and caretaker for her farm animals. A.M. loves anything sassy, glittery, and is a sucker for the Hallmark Channel. That last one might be the reason she believes in soulmates or it could be because she married her high school sweetheart almost twenty years ago. After releasing her first novella series back in 2014, A.M. set out on a new goal to bring her readers a broad range of romantic stories from her desk. This includes Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, and from time to time some Sexy Romance. A.M. is an active member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and has also had an article published in the Writer's Monthly Review Magazine. 


Connect with A.M.

Newsletter Sign Up:
Facebook Author Page:
Facebook Reader Group:
Goodreads Author Page:
Amazon Author Page:
BookBub Author Page:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Book Review: Curves in the Road - The Southern Devotion Book 2 by Amy K. McClung

Curves in the Road

The Southern Devotion Book 2

by Amy K. McClung





 **This book is part of a New Adult Series. Each book will have an ending though, no Cliffhangers! They will all be New Adult and have similar themes with crossover characters***

Living in Nashville with his daughter, Katelyn, single dad Derrick Collins’s main goal is to provide a good life for his daughter. With no social life to speak of, he knows it’s time for a change. He just needs to find the perfect woman who will complete his happy family. The problem is he’s already met her and let her go.

Mary Jane Evans’s life took a path she could only dream of. Though leaving her home in Nashville meant saying goodbye to childhood friends, family, and the first man she ever loved. Now she has to choose if she will return or continue her new journey.
With a decision to make, is it possible for two lost loves to find their way back to each other or are there too many curves in the road?

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Damn, why did this woman make me so nervous? In high school, I’d been such a smooth talker. It was how I ended up being a teenage dad.

Derrick made the sky bluer, chocolate taste sweeter, and the sun shine brighter, at least it seemed that way with him in my life.

Damn, girl, I don’t usually run unless I’m being chased by a serial killer, so you should feel honored, because seriously, that never happens.

Cameron made a “pshh” sound. “No bumping? Derrick, baby, that is not a CamWow secret… you have to be able to wow the Cam with your secrets, and I’m not feeling the wow. I feel very disappointed… But yes, I’ll deliver your package.” He snickered for a moment and said, “Although I’m sure she’d rather you give a different package in person.”

Hormones messed with a woman during and after pregnancy. Come to think of it, hormones messed a woman up at any time, but I was too smart a guy to say it out loud.

My Review:

I am vastly enjoying this refreshingly sweet and pleasant series packed with a diverse, quirky, highly amusing, and endearing cast of characters.  The books overlapped pleasantly yet each could stand-alone but are so appealing I want to read them all.  I admired and adored this sweet and deserving couple; they were gentle and patient with each other while also supporting everyone else.  Written from a dual POV, the storyline was engaging, well-paced, and easy to follow.  Ms. McClung’s writing was well-balanced with emotive and heart-squeezing drama, amusing smirks, and steamy delights.  

Empress DJ

About the Author

Amy K. McClung was born in Nashville, TN. She is the second oldest of four girls and occasionally suffers from middle child syndrome. She met the love of her life online in August of 2004, on his birthday of all days, and married him in September 2005.

Currently, they have no human children only the room full of colorful robots that transform into vehicles and the large-headed Pop Funko’s who represent their favorite characters. Collecting movies, shot glasses, Pop Funkos, and dust bunnies are some of her favorite pastimes.

She began writing in September of 2011 and independently published her first YA novel called Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris Series the following May. Her first book was a means of therapy for her as it enabled her to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in her life.

Follow her on Amazon Goodreads,  and Facebook