Manhattan Dinner Club Series by Jean C. Joachim

Hi Readers,

Last weekend I was craving a read that is what I like to call romantic fluff. You know, the romance stories that are just fun to read and don’t have the heart stopping moments or my favorite the ugly cry moments, just a nice fluffy romance, like Disney. Well, I found a series that had that nice romantic fluff with pugs and I hit a home run. The Manhattan Dinner Club series by Jean C. Joachim is about a group of women that own pugs trying to find love in the Big Apple. The characters are fresh, fun and I enjoyed all the banter among characters.  AND bonus, as many of you know, I am a pug owner and the Ms. Joachim nailed the pug characteristics perfectly. There are currently two books out in the series with more to come. I look forward to reading them.

A sihouette of a man on a bike with a woman standing above him.Offical Blurb: While walking her pug in Central Park, Rory Sampson is run down by a bike. She presses charges against arrogant biker, Dr. Hack Roberts, veterinarian. Horrified at the surprising sentence from the judge, Hack plans revenge, only to find himself attracted to the sharp-tongued, soft-hearted writer, who rescues pugs. Will he ignore a previous commitment and go with his true feelings or will he guard his heart?

The judge turned the tables on Rory, thrusting the unwanted, smug Dr. Roberts into her life. Wary after a breakup, she protects her wounded heart from the handsome doctor with a barrage sarcastic come-backs, designed to keep him at arm’s length. Does she remain aloof or will loneliness force her to give in to her desires?

Meet the members of the Manhattan Dinner Club, four women, all pug owners, who meet for dinner once a week. This is the first book in the series.

Gorgeous, marriage-phobic, Whitfield Bass dates several women. When he runs into his neighbor, Bess, the sexy baker across the hall tempts him. She turns her nose up at the handsome womanizer. Involved with an undercover cop, Bess is not interested in a player like Whit.
Traumatized by a brutal childhood, Whit swore off marriage. Successfully single at thirty-five, he dates any supermodel he wants. Bess Cooper, cable TV baker extraordinaire, has a boyfriend. The last thing she needs is an affair with a heartbreaker.
Tantalizing aromas from her apartment lure Whit. Sharing a love of good food and pugs, they become friends. After a break-up, Bess’s resistance to Whit crumbles. He’s pulled to her, still fighting commitment with all he’s got. A series of tragic events turns her life.

A sihouette of a man on a bike with a woman standing above him.Offical Blurb: Gorgeous, marriage-phobic, Whitfield Bass dates several women. When he runs into his neighbor, Bess, the sexy baker across the hall tempts him. She turns her nose up at the handsome womanizer. Involved with an undercover cop, Bess is not interested in a player like Whit.
Traumatized by a brutal childhood, Whit swore off marriage. Successfully single at thirty-five, he dates any supermodel he wants. Bess Cooper, cable TV baker extraordinaire, has a boyfriend. The last thing she needs is an affair with a heartbreaker.
Tantalizing aromas from her apartment lure Whit. Sharing a love of good food and pugs, they become friends. After a break-up, Bess’s resistance to Whit crumbles. He’s pulled to her, still fighting commitment with all he’s got. A series of tragic events turns her life.


You can purchase these books on AMAZON.

-Romance Reader Girl


Review: On the Fly by Catherine Gayle

Official Blurb: Injury after injury has put Brenden Campbell’s NHL career on hold for years. Now he’s playing for the Portland Storm and determined to make it stick. Few things in life drive him more than being told he can’t have something he wants, and what he wants most is to prove he belongs. Brenden also wants Rachel Shaw, the cute, little redhead who just got hired as the general manager’s new assistant. But then she went and made herself off-limits, telling him: “I don’t date.” Those three words pretty much guarantee that he’ll do everything he can to change her mind.

Rachel is changing things up on the fly for her family, moving them somewhere she can be the kind of mom her kids deserve. Allowing anyone else to be in their lives is out of the question, at least until her instincts get back on track. How else can she be sure who to steer the kids clear of? Right now she trusts no one, including herself, and especially not a man like Brenden Campbell. He’s way too handsome and a little bit cocky. Falling for a guy like him is a mistake she can’t afford to make twice.

20525249My Thoughts: What I loved about this book and series is Ms. Gayle does not shy away from real word problems and emotions. She confronts them head on with her characters and you are right there in the trenches with them. Don’t get me wrong On the Fly is a love story but it’s more than just a man and woman coming together to find love. It’s about a family and personal healing.

We first met Brenden Campbell in Breakaway (see my review for Breakaway here) as the protective older brother of Dana. He is struggling with his hockey career and needs to keep his head in the game. Though, fate has a strange way of putting people in places at that right or wrong time. Rachel Shaw a single mom of two trying to get her life back on track in Portland, OR. Rachel’s main mission is supporting her two young children and giving them the life they deserve. She has no time for dating or men like Brendan Campbell. But sometimes fate has other things planned and most of the time it’s better not to fight it.

I have enjoyed everything about this series. Catherine Gayle writes with passion and heart and you can feel that when reading this series. You are right there with the characters and all the characters are important. They all add depth to the story and it’s a wonderful family that you are apart. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I do recommend reading the first book, Breakaway first before reading On the Fly. You’ll be happy you did.

Purchase On the Fly on AMAZON and B&N.

-Romance Reader Girl

Blog Tour & Review: ALWAYS by Kindle Alexander


Official Blurb: Born to a prestigious political family, Avery Adams plays as hard as he works. The gorgeous, charismatic attorney is used to getting what he wants, even the frequent one-night stands that earn him his well-deserved playboy reputation. When some of the most prominent men in politics suggest he run for senate, Avery decides the time has come to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. With a strategy in place and the campaign wheels rolling, Avery is ready to jump on the legislative fast track, full steam ahead. But no amount of planning prepares him for the handsome, uptight restaurateur who might derail his political future.

Easy isn’t even in the top thousand words to describe Kane Dalton’s life after his father, a devout southern Baptist minister, kicks him out of the family home for questioning his sexual orientation. Despite all the rotten tomatoes life throws his way, Kane makes something of himself. Between owning a thriving upscale Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Minneapolis and managing his long-term boyfriend, his plate is full. He struggles to get past the teachings of his childhood to fully accept his sexuality and rid himself of the doubts brought on by his religious upbringing. The last thing he needs is the yummy, sophisticated, blond-haired distraction sitting at table thirty-four.

20640467My Thoughts: ALWAYS is truly a romantic story that will stand the test of time. There is often a moment in a book where you realize, “Oh, hell, this is going to be a great book”. This happened to me during Chapter 1. That’s right, readers, Chapter 1!

Avery Adams is an attorney destined to be great in the arena of politics. He comes from a line of statesmen and is eager to make his mark. Avery is a confident, arrogant, loyal and passionate man. He fights with everything and will not stop until a wrong has been corrected.

Kane Dalton is a southern gentleman; quiet, strong, resistant, brave and steadfast. Kane is the man stands quiet and assesses the situation, before taking action. He is the owner of the upscale restaurant Bella La Luna. He has a strong foundation in his religion and strongly believes his sexual preference is wrong and struggles with this realization. Yes, my heart is breaking for Kane.

What is absolutely unique about his story is the story starts the couple as young men and finishes at the end of their life. We get to read about their whole life. It was absolutely wonderful.

Avery and Kane together are a powerhouse. They make you want to fall in love and pray on your lucky stars that you have a small fraction of the love they have, because if you’re lucky you’ll be the happiest couple you know. You will see the triumphs and hardships the endure as a couple and in the time period the book is taking place. We feel Kane’s struggle with being homosexual and living the life he does. When things get tough Avery is there to take care of everything. There a lot of firsts in this book with the time period in the United States.

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 7.10.17 PMFinally, my view on life has changed by reading this book. My view on love has changed by reading this book. I know the man I married is the best thing to ever happen to me and I need show him like Avery and Kane showed one another in ALWAYS. Thank you Kindle for writing a book that has touched my heart so profoundly.

Purchase ALWAYS on AmazonB&N and Kobo.

**Prizes & Giveaways!!!**


**Each day during the tour 1 blog per day will post a picture somehow related to Always by Kindle Alexander somewhere in their blog tour.  Your job is to visit each blog everyday and collect those pictures.  There will be 2 prizes that will be given away to the winners that successfully tell me each day the blog and picture that they found.  1 will win an Gift Basket filled with everything Italian Goodies.  The other prize is a (shhhhhhhh) Naughty Gift Basket.  There is a BONUS question and the prize is a custom made Kindle Alexander Rubicks Cube.

Question:  What is the reason behind picking the Rubick’s Cube as a graphic and bonus prize in the Scavenger Hunt?

Enter Scavenger Hunt here to win.

Follow the tour by clicking on the picture!


-Romance Reader Girl

Blog Tour: Dark Affair by Maire Claremont *Giveaway*

Created by Romance Wrangler for Maire Claremont. January 2014.

*Giveaway* Author is giving away a signed copy of DARK AFFAIR make sure to post in the comments and leave your email. Contest open to US/CA residents.

Official Blurb: The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor……

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.
Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….

unnamedExcerpt: He stared blankly before arching that one damning brow. “Do you think me a freshly born babe?”
Her lips twitched at the very idea. Powers had no doubt been born domineering and dripping sarcasm the moment he had popped into the world. “Hardly, milord.”
“You want something,” he stated flatly.
She nodded. Unsurprisingly, it appeared the best course had to be straight for him to follow her lead. He would sense it if she laced too much sweetness into her proposition. “I do at that.”
“Out with it.”
She cleared her throat, the words oddly discomforting. “‘Tisn’t just for myself, you understand, what I’m about to suggest.”
“How noble.”
She bit the inside of her cheek, knowing this was much like ripping off a bandage that had stuck to a wound. She simply needed to do it quickly and with authority. “I should like you to marry me.”
The silence which followed was punctuated by a mad cackle somewhere down the hall.
Powers contemplated her, his face an odd mask of dispassion. “And they say I’m mad.”
She couldn’t help but say, “They do indeed.”
He blew out an agitated breath. “My good woman–”
“Hear me out,” she said loudly, determined to cut him off and finish off her bargain.
He attempted to inch away from her, a rather hilarious spectacle, given the narrowness of the bed and the tightness of his leather straps. “I’d rather bash my brains out against the wall.”
Well, this was going splendidly. “Do you revile me then? Find me repugnant? repulsive?”
That seemed to stop him and he eyed her with a careful curiosity. “That is a great many Rs. Is your vanity wounded by my reluctance to tie myself to such as yourself?”
Such as herself? It was extremely tempting to pursue that line of thought, but she was not leaping to that bait. “That you’d rather be judged mad than marry me? Yes, I suppose my vanity is a wee bit trampled.”
He scowled. “You are an exceptionally beautiful woman, for which I am sure you are already cognizant.”
Her cheeks burned. She was aware of how men watched her, their trousers bulging, eyes lighting with lust and superiority simply because they were men. Even as they admired her, they doubtlessly imagined her in a place of far less power than the place she’d managed to carve out for herself in this hard, male ruled world. She’d done her best to avoid their unwelcome advances and kept herself to herself. It was imperative that she’d carefully cultivated a trustworthy, responsible reputation for healing in a world that generally expected women who ventured outside the home to be nothing better than whores..
“Ah.” A slow sort of dawning amusement sprung in his eyes.
“You are aware then. So. . . Why do you wish to marry a mad man?” he intoned with exaggerated drama. “Tired of working your pretty little fingers to the bone?”
The sneering note to his voice grated against every principle she’d managed to form over the last years, principles she was gleefully tossing to the wind for the sake of her future. No, not her future. The future of her brother and so many others that she would finally be able to truly help.
She supposed, she could have turned down the marquess’ offer and thrown herself on the generosity of other lords than she had helped, hoping to avoid a marital entanglement. But she she needed aid immediately. The marquess had promised it and there was no guarantee that any other lord, no matter the debt they owed her, would be willing to assist her brother in such a state.
It took a great deal of fortitude not to slap the ragingly arrogant superiority off his face. God, how she hated his immediate assumption that she would marry him for so little. Still, she refrained.
For heaven’s sake the man was strapped to a bed because he couldn’t care for his own safety, and he was attempting to make her feel inferior! So, she jabbed a little knife into that illusion of his that he was so much higher than she, clipping, “In truth, it was your father who has asked me to wed you. With much reluctance, I agreed.”
Yes, the stabbing little phrase seemed to leech the disdain out of him for a brief moment before he said flatly, “I don’t believe you.”
“He’s asked me to lend credence to your sanity so that you will be able to inherit and be forever free of the doctors.”
“My jailor, not my wife.”
“Aren’t they one and the same in any case,” she teased, hoping, despite the growing animosity, for a moment of lightness between them.
He grew quiet and seemed to disappear to some far off place. His face, so hard and strained, relaxed for a moment. A strange glossiness turned his icy gaze mirror-like, before he blinked and replied, “No. They are most definitely not.”
The way he now looked at her, as if she’d just spewed filth on him made her feel as if she’d suddenly revealed some secret part of herself that no one nor no ray of light had ever seen. Suddenly, she did feel ugly. She felt exceptionally low, lower than he could feel at this moment, despite his temporary committal to a madhouse. For at least, he still had some hope in the state of marriage and faith in love.
How remarkable. Because she most certainly did not. She hadn’t for almost her entire life.


unnamedBuy Links:
unnamed-2About Maire Claremont: 
2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.
-Romance Reader Girl

Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton, #3) by Shana Galen

Today is the release day for Shana Galen’s Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend from the Jewels of the Ton series.

Offical Blurb: Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm by the Prince Regent himself, plays the role of the courtesan flawlessly while her real purpose is spying in the service of the Crown. Her mission now is to seduce a duke to test his true loyalties. She’ll do it, even though the man she really wants is Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington—the duke’s son.

Andrew is furious when he finds himself rivaling his father for Lily’s attention. When he uncovers Lily’s mission, Andrew is faced with impossible choices. It seems he is destined to betray either his family, his country, or the longings of his own heart…

17563237My Thoughts: This story is truly about perceptions and reading between the lines, do not always believe what you hear or see. Not everything is as it seems. This book has it all; action, suspense, romance, steamy scenes, sexual tension, humor, sadness and mystery.

I really enjoyed Lily’s brave nature. She is a woman that doesn’t let action pass her by, she gets right into the middle of it. She is fierce and takes control. Lily’s backstory is heart-breaking but I admire her determination and strength to do better and help anyway she can. She is my kind of heroine.

Andrew, Lord Darlington (love that name) is a great hero. I love when he truly sees Lily for who she really is and not what the world thinks she is. It’s the best a-ha moment I’ve read in a while and he is in awe of her. Andrew has many secrets that you learn throughout the story and they are interesting. He may be “the Darling of the Ton” but he truly is a serious trustworthy man.

This was a great story to end the series. I enjoyed the mystery that was unfolding during the book. Ms. Galen provides another great historical romance! I recommend this book and series for anyone who enjoys a great suspenseful historical romance.

*Received an advance copy from Netgalley for an honest review. 

Purchase this book on AMAZON and B&N.

-Romance Reader Girl