Friday Favourites (4): London Steampunk by Bec McMaster

images_(6)[1]

Friday Favourites is a weekly meme hosted by Natalie @ Book Lovers Life where you can showcase a book or series that’s on your Favorites shelf. It could be a book you’ve read recently or a few years back.

This week, I’m featuring the awesome Steampunk novels of Bec McMaster. I stumbled on this new genre last year and I didn’t know in the beginning if I would like it. But I discovered that the Steampunk world is a dangerously exciting world thanks to authors like Bec McMaster.

In her London Steampunk series, Bec McMaster draws us into an alternate version of Victorian London in which the Aristocracy are referred to as ‘blue bloods’ and the common folks are required by law to pay blood taxes for the blood-drinking ruling elite. In addition, there are verwulfen and mechs, humanist movements and political chess, intrigue, mystery, action, romance, and lots of Steampunk. All of which are ingredients artfully woven together by Bec McMaster through her wonderful prose and story-telling.

Book #1: Kiss of Steel

13507512From Goodreads:

When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.

 

 

Book 1.5: Tarnished Knight (Novella)

17181953From Goodreads:

In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John “Rip” Doolan thinks he’s finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he’s ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realized precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined.

For six months, Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she is devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.

But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship…or risk losing each other forever.

 

 

Book #2: Heart of Iron

15927484From Goodreads:

In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…

 

 

Book #3: My Lady Quicksilver

17310126From Goodreads:

Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother’s disappearance. And get out.

In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn’t count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.

He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.

*Read my review of My Lady Quicksilver here.

Bec McMaster has the next two installments in this series in the works, entitled Forged by Desire (Book #4) and Of Silk and Steam (Book #5).

I. Want. Now. Seriously. Now. Please?

About the author:

bec mcmasterMy name is Bec McMaster and I live in a small country town in Victoria, Australia, with my boyfriend and a beautiful dog named Kobe. I grew up either with my nose in a book or writing, and never understood why other people didn’t get to watch ‘all the movies in their heads’. Following a lifelong love affair with fantasy, I discovered romance at the age of sixteen and haven’t looked back.

When I’m not writing I like to read, go hiking with my boyfriend, pore over travel brochures, and go to the gym. I’m addicted to travel and love to set my books in foreign places. It’s the next best thing to travelling there. One day I vow to see the entire world, whether it’s by plane, paper or imagination.

These days I can be found sitting at my computer with a hot mug of tea, creating the dark and dangerous world of the London Steampunk series, where vampires and werewolves stalk the eerie London rookeries and even the darkest hero can find love. I’m a member of RWA (USA and Australia) and am represented by Jessica Faust of BookEnds; LLC.

 

Learn more about Bec McMaster on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads accounts.

Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition (6)

throwbackthursday

 

Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition is a meme hosted by Tin @ Love Saves the World and Mary @ Buried Under Romance where you get to feature historical romance novels published before October 3, 2008.

Visit Ki Pha @ Doing Some Reading and check out her pick for the week as well.

 

This week, I’m featuring Elizabeth Hoyt.

28863

The Raven Prince, published in 2006

 

From Goodreads:

There comes a time in a lady’s life…

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

When she must do the unthinkable…

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

And find employment.

When Anna becomes the earl’s secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his “manly” needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her “womanly” desires…with the earl as her unknowing lover.

 

Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite authors of all time. She has constantly given her readers fresh, provocative, and well-written stories. I’ve loved her writing ever since her Princes Trilogy. And this one’s my favorite among the three.

 

There was just something special about reading every single scene between Anna and Edward. They’re not conventional, cookie-cutter characters and I’m touched with how Elizabeth Hoyt has portrayed these two.

 

And as with her other books, I enjoyed the bits about ‘The Raven Prince’ tale that serves as introductory quotes in her chapters. I love these parts in all her books.

 

Find out more about Elizabeth Hoyt via her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads accounts.

 

Check out fellow TBT: HR edition participants for their picks for the week.

Renee @ Addicted to Romance

Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews

 

Review: Melting Ms Frost by Kat Black

18741852Title: Melting Ms. Frost

Author: Kat Black

Publisher: HarperCollins UK, Avon

Date of Publication: 28 November 2013

Source: ARC from HarperCollins via NetGalley

In the beginning, I was tempted not to finish this book. I had issues with both the characters. I liked them well enough in the first chapter. I was really interested in getting to know them and how the story will unfold. But then by the second and third chapters, it felt like I was walking on shaky ground. My biggest issue was Aidan and his overly crude, forward, and bordering-on-sexual-harassment treatment of Annabelle. I was literally cringing whenever I’m reading whatever it was he was whispering or telling Annabelle. I didn’t like that I was reading him as an offensive jerk. I was expecting a straight-forward contemporary romance but it was shaping up to be something else. Then I went and read a review that mentioned that the book has a BDSM undertone to it and everything just made a bit more sense. Having shifted my expectations, I started enjoying the book.

But then to my utter and complete surprise, the book never really did get that close to the level of BDSM that I was then kind of expecting, given how Aidan was acting in the first few chapters. In fact, it became, for me, exactly my cup of tea when it comes to contemporary romance. And that made me a very happy reader.

The author was able to convince me that Aidan was using his crudeness and directness in order to get through Annabelle’s mile-thick defense she’s built around herself. I still think it was a bit creepy in the beginning and it can be a bit of a turn-off for some but I’m really glad I continued reading the book.

First impressions can be a bit deceiving and I was glad that Aidan turned out to be not what I initially suspected and was actually a pretty decent guy. I appreciate that he’s driven and has a strong sense of purpose and of himself, given what he went through in his life. And I love that he cares very deeply and very genuinely about Annabelle. He understands her better than anybody else and I think that beyond the caring, the attention, and the great sex that he’s able to provide her, his complete understanding of her as a person is the one thing that Annabelle needed the most.

Annabelle was a very interesting character to watch unfold throughout the book. In the beginning, she’s this seemingly cold and strict beyond measures kind of person, who pretty much likes to be in control of everything in her life. But she has issues, deeply ingrained because of her past that makes it hard for her to trust people other than herself. But Kat Black was able to flesh her out for the readers and show us what motivates such a self-shutting way of life for Annabelle. And I appreciate that Kat Black was also able to portray her with all her fears and anxieties without compromising her depiction of Annabelle as a strong and intelligent woman.

And if you like a slow-burn romance, you will enjoy this book. Forget about the BDSM undertones because I completely did and it wasn’t really severe as I had expected. In fact, the love scenes were organic to the story. It was part of the development of both characters and their relationship with each other. To be honest, majority of the book was in the build-up of all that sexual tension and that connection they have have with each other, which can be a bit of a frustrating wait but at the same time it was so much fun watching them gauge each other, their own feelings, and their idea of what their relationship can mean for their lives.

 

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

 

About the author:

Kat BlackKAT BLACK is the author of prize-winning, pulse-pounding, contemporary fiction published by HarperCollins, Ellora’s Cave, Totally Bound and Xcite Books.

Born and raised in Australia, Kat spent a great deal of her formative years either lost in the pages of a book or getting carried away by the stories in her head. At the age of eighteen, she donned her backpack and set out to see the world. She got as far as London (her very first port of call) before running into a six-foot-one, solid British obstacle that stopped her in her tracks. Years later she’s still in England, missing the sun, sea and sand, and penning temperature-raising tales to help counteract the effects of the infamous weather. It may be taking a little longer than planned, but she is getting to see the world – bit-by-bit with her husband and children.

Check out her website here.

 

 

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Just One Night by Lauren Layne

New WoW

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

 

 

18359904

This week’s spotlight is on Just One Night by Lauren Layne.

Release Date: March 11, 2014

 

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

In Lauren Layne’s sizzling Sex, Love & Stiletto series, New York’s hottest “sexpert” has been living a lie—and it’s up to one man to keep her honest…all night long.

Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

 

Why am I waiting?

 

I read the ARC of the second installment of this series, due out on December 9 (watch out for my review) and it was amazing. It was much, much better than the first book so I’m wondering if Lauren Layne is the kind of author who gets better and better with every book she writes. Plus, that blurb. Does that not sound intriguing or what?

 

What are you “waiting on” this Wednesday? I would love to hear all about them.

 

 

 

 

Release Day: Sarah MacLean, Laura Florand, Katie McGarry, Laura Kaye

It’s one of those days (well technically it was yesterday in my part of the world) when a lot of awesome books have come available for our consumption. At last. After weeks and days of waiting. Here are some of the books that I can’t wait to get and read.

 

16240497 16101234 1723380018680106

 

 

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

The Chocolate Heart by Laura Florand

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

 

For those of you who already got copies of these, I’m so envious. I’ll be dropping by the bookstores after work to see if they have these titles available already. I can’t wait.

 

 

 

Review: Faking It by Cora Carmack

16172634

From Goodreads:

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

 

Well, it’s the first time I read a sequel novel that did not push me to read the first book right after finishing it. My main issue on this: what was the heroine in the first book thinking letting go of such a special man, i.e., the hero of the second book.

When I first started reading this book, I thought this would be a fun book to read. When I was almost halfway through, I thought I liked this book. A lot. But when I was already nearing the end and seeing that the pages of the book are running out, I thought I loved this book.

I was surprised by the emotions that the author inspired from her readers, with the use of her words, her characters, her story. When I read romance novels, especially contemporary ones, I basically want just a few things, well-fleshed out characters, an interesting plot, witty banter, sexy moments can’t hurt, and a happy ending that makes sense. (Okay, that’s a lot of things but now you get what I mean.) And I was glad that Cora Carmack’s follow up novel did give all those to me and topped it all off with that one thing that makes a novel truly special in my books: heart. This book was surprisingly filled with a lot of heart.

It has the familiar trope of good boy-bad girl (Golden Boy and Angry Girl). At the outset, they’re just fundamentally different that seeing them together will make no sense whatsoever. But then Cora Carmack develops their story and the battles that they have to face to be themselves, to be together, and then BAM. They do make sense. Incredibly but understandably.

I also appreciated the parallelisms that Cora Carmack uses; like Cade’s theatre background and how he translates acting or being an actor in his real life, or Max’s music background and how music makes her cope and sets her free at the same time.

And I love the songs that Cade and Max wrote individually and that were presented in different times in the novel. They were wonderful not just in and of themselves but in relation to the characters and to their character arcs as well. I LOVE IT.

I love how more than their being together as a couple, the story is also about finding themselves in the process. And it’s always a great story angle for me to find in novels.

What I also appreciated is that the author resolves the issues not completely but realistically; meaning, everything is not roses and peaches and perfect.

Also, I love Cora Carmack’s prose.

Max:
“It was the kind of fear that made people jump off cliffs and climb mountains—the kind of fear that told you something miraculous was waiting at the end of it, if you could only get there.”

Getting there was the problem though. I wasn’t the climbing mountains kind of girl. As appealing as the summit seemed now, I knew myself well enough to know I’d give up halfway there, and then I’d be left with only the pain of the journey, and none of the reward.”

Cade:
“Maybe it was because we were both actors. Maybe it was just because of who we were. But I could see in her eyes that she knew, too. This was the end of a chapter.”

 

And I love the epilogue. So much. It was beautifully written, poignant, and SPOT. ON.

 

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros (3)

fistchap

 

 

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted at Bibliophile by the Sea, where you get to share the first paragraph (or so) of a book you’re currently reading or thinking of reading soon.

 

18001399

 

Friends without Benefits by Penny Reid

This week I’m featuring the second installment in Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series. I’ve only read the first few chapters but I’m already invested in the dynamics of the relationship between our two protagonists. This is a second-chance at love type of story and I really, really love this particular type of plot.

 

Here are the first few lines of Chapter 1:

 

I recognized him instantly even though the last time I had seen him in person he was seventeen, naked, and asleep. I was sixteen, haphazardly dressed, and sneaking out his window.

Niccolò (aka Nico) Manganiello.

Nico.

Freaking Nico Manganiello.

Rooted in place—one hand holding the informed consent forms and patient brochures, the other hand clutching my chest—I could only gape in abject horror. Paired with the horror was also wonder and, much to my infinite frustration, feminine appreciation.

I was entirely unprepared.

 

I just love reading scenes like this when the characters meet again for the first time after such a long time apart. If you’re interested, here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

 

 

What do you guys think? Will you keep on reading?

 

 

 

It’s Monday: What are you reading? (3)

13

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. It’s a great opportunity for bloggers to post what books they plan to read for the week. Here are some of the books that made it to my TBR list for this week.

 

17238969 18001399 6582637

 

Twice the Temptation by Beverley Kendall

I received a free iBook from Beverley Kendall herself (Yay! Thank you so much Beverley.) I can’t wait to dig into this story.

 

Friends without Benefits by Penny Reid

I enjoyed reading the first book in this series and the premise is interesting enough that I think I would enjoy reading it as well.

 

Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

I confess to having skipped this book plus the third book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series (I know, I should be jailed for the crime) but now I have build enough interest again on Raphael and Elena that I plan to read it very soon.

 

 

There you go, guys. My reading plans for this week. I’d love to hear what you have in yours.

 

 

 

Super Six Sunday: Books I’m Thankful I Took A Chance On

SuperSixSundayII

 

Super Six Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by the gals at Bewitched Bookworms. This week’s theme: Super Six Books I’m thankful I took a chance on.

Most of these books were way out of my comfort zone, as far as my reading selection is concerned, but I got around to trying them out either based on the good reviews I’ve read about them or they came highly recommended by one of my favorite book bloggers or just the summary really drew me and I was eager to know what happens in the story.

 

15507958

#6: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Okay, this book did broke my heart into a million little pieces and made me cry buckets but it’s in this list because it touched my heart so. It presented a very compelling and much-debated choices and arguments when it comes to mortality and morality but there are still those emotions that just grab at you.

 

 

6990472#5: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Another book that was a tearjerker as well but again, it had the heart and a message that got right through me. When I read the book blurb, I was wondering how somebody can survive a tragedy like that and the title of the book made me also ask the question of if somebody would even like to survive a tragedy like that. I just had to find out.

 

 

17400970

#4: Before Now by Cheryl McIntyre

This book. Gosh, this book. It’s the first I’ve read from this author and one of the first NA books I’ve read. I was just blown away by the intensity not only of the main character but by the writing as well. I had such an amazing time reading this book and I remember I kept thinking that I’m glad I found this one.

 

 

15745753#3: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is one of my greatest author finds this year. And this book, it was just sheer perfection. From the tone, the characterizations, the dialogue, the completely new way hand-holding will be viewed from now on (I know but this just seems like one of those really important things that should have its own category), the over-all story. I didn’t know what to expect from this book but really, what Rainbow Rowell gave readers around the world was a gift. A gift.

 

 

448873

#2: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

I can’t even think about what my life would be as a reader if I weren’t able to read this book. I actually lament that not everybody in this world has read this genius of a work from Megan Whalen Turner. I may sound completely over the top and exaggerated but that is because this book deserves to be loved, appreciated, and obsessed over. And if I haven’t read this, I would not have read the rest of the books in this ah-mhay-zing series. And that would have been a tragedy.

 

 

slave to sensation

#1: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

I had actually started my Nalini Singh journey with her Guild Hunter series. I remember checking her website and finding out that she had started a series before the Guild Hunter series called the Psy-Changeling series. I also remembered browsing through the books blurbs of those books but never really shoring up any interest in reading it. But then a couple of weeks later, I finally gave the first book a try, Slave to Sensation was its title. And by the first few chapters, I was hooked, line and sinker. As I blazed through the succeeding books, I kept thinking to myself that I almost did not get to read these amazing books. To say that I’m glad I did would be an understatement.

 

 

Honorable Mentions: (because I just had to…)

13585501

The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand because it introduced me to Laura Florand’s Amour et Chocolat world.

13507512

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster because it cemented the steampunk romance lover in me and because it’s the first book of her wonderful London Steampunk series.

 

 

That’s it for my Super Six Sunday (plus, plus) 🙂 What’s in your list this week?

 

 

 

Friday Favourites (3): Amour et Chocolat series by Laura Florand

images_(6)[1]

 

 

Friday Favourites is a weekly meme hosted by Natalie @ Book Lovers Life where you can showcase a book or series that’s on your Favorites shelf. It could be a book you’ve read recently or a few years back.

 

This week, I’m featuring Laura Florand‘s amazing and mouthwatering Amour et Chocolat series. This series are all set in the City of Light, Paris! Each book is a feast for your senses and the series title pretty much sums it all: Love and Chocolate! What can be better than the combination of these two?

 

What I found out about Laura Florand as I read through this series is that her writing gets better with each book. And I love seeing that development in her as a writer. And her stories are addicting. Like chocolate. Once you start, you can’t help but continue until you’ve finished it all. And then you just crave for more. 

 

What I also enjoy are her characters. She has made unique and compelling characters. And I love what she’s done with her characterizations. My favorite among these books is The Chocolate Touch, which, if I’m to describe it, gave me one of the most unique heroes I’ve read in a very long time.

 

Book #1: The Chocolate Thief 

13585501From Goodreads:

Paris

Breathtakingly beautiful, the City of Light seduces the senses, its cobbled streets thrumming with possibility. For American Cade Corey, it’s a dream come true, if only she can get one infuriating French chocolatier to sign on the dotted line. . .

Chocolate

Melting, yielding yet firm, exotic, its secrets are intimately known to Sylvain Marquis. But turn them over to a brash American waving a fistful of dollars? Jamais. Not unless there’s something much more delectable on the table. . .

Stolen Pleasure

Whether confections taken from a locked shop or kisses in the dark, is there anything sweeter?

 

Book #2: The Chocolate Kiss

15806994From Goodreads:

The Heart of Paris

Welcome to La Maison des Sorcieres. Where the window display is an enchanted forest of sweets, a collection of conical hats delights the eye and the habitues nibble chocolate witches from fanciful mismatched china. While in their tiny blue kitchen, Magalie Chaudron and her two aunts stir wishes into bubbling pots of heavenly chocolat chaud.

But no amount of wishing will rid them of interloper Philippe Lyonnais, who has the gall to open one of his world famous pastry shops right down the street. Philippe’s creations seem to hold a magic of their own, drawing crowds of beautiful women to their little isle amidst the Seine, and tempting even Magalie to venture out of her ivory tower and take a chance, a taste…a kiss.

Parisian princesses, chocolate witches, patissier princes and sweet wishes—an enchanting tale of amour et chocolat.

 

Book #3: The Chocolate Rose

17787183 From Goodreads:

Her father’s worst enemy…

Top chef Gabriel Delange never forgave his old nemesis Pierre Manon for all the other chef had cost him.

One stolen rose…

And he most certainly couldn’t stand the sight of his own most famous dessert, the legendary Rose, claimed as Pierre’s own on the cover of his new cookbook.

A substitute victim…

But even Gabriel could hardly go through with a lawsuit when he learned the older chef had just had a stroke. Especially not when Pierre had one very cute daughter willing to be Gabriel’s victim instead.

Jolie Manon…

As a child, Jo had seen her family torn apart by her top chef father’s obsession with his work. She had given years of her own adult life to trying to pull him out of depression, after he lost a star. Now a food writer, she might be fascinated with a chef’s work, but she knew how to guard her heart. She would never allow another chef into her life.

Unless he blackmailed her into it…

Welcome to the heat and sun of Provence, where jasmine and roses climb up old colored walls, where fountains play in ancient stone villages, and where even a beast can prove he is a prince at heart…

 

Book #4: The Chocolate Touch

16033669From Goodreads:

 La Vie en Chocolat
Dominique Richard’s reputation says it all–wild past, wilder flavors, black leather and smoldering heat. Jaime Corey is hardly the first woman to be drawn to all that dark, delicious danger. Sitting in Dom’s opulent chocolaterie in Paris day after day, she lets his decadent creations restore her weary body and spirit, understanding that the man himself is entirely beyond her grasp.

Until he touches her. . .
Chocolate, Dominique understands–from the biting tang of lime-caramel to the most complex infusions of jasmine, lemon-thyme, and cayenne. But this shy, freckled American who sits alone in his salon, quietly sampling his exquisite confections as if she can’t get enough of them–enough of him–is something else. She has secrets too, he can tell. Of course if she really knew him, she would run.

Yet once you have spotted your heart’s true craving, simply looking is no longer enough. . .

 

About the author: 

laura florandLaura Florand is the international bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, etc). Her books have been translated into seven languages, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Four of her past five books have been recommended reads by Dear Author and two have been Sizzling Book Club Picks by Smart B*, Trashy Books.

Laura was born in a small town in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking in New Zealand and Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman. You can find out quite a bit more about those crazy adventures in her memoir, Blame It on Paris. She is now a lecturer in Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, that means she studies and teaches French language and culture, rather than romance. Fortunately, French culture includes French chocolate, research to which she is very dedicated. You can catch some glimpses of that research in the books, on her blog, and on her Facebook site, where you are welcome to join her and other readers!