#SongsAboutMusic #FaveLyrics

I remember Sundays at the Harbour Bar
Drinking cider wishing on a cheap guitar
Playing songs from the sixties and the seventies
Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and the Bee Gees
And we would dazzle and dance under the moonlight
Love up the bar and drink until the moonlight
You were all rebels, you were all stars
You put the music in everybody’s hearts

It was such a long time ago
But I never want to let that go
When I close my eyes
I still remember
I still remember those times.

Send a message all over the world
I really want you to know
That people are falling in love
To the music on the radio
And I wouldn’t be all that I am
So understand
I want the world to know that you put music in my soul.

I remember Sundays in the freezing barn
Huddled round heater trying to keep everybody
We were just rebels we were just stars
Trying to put the music in everybody’s hearts

It was such a long time ago
But I never want to let that go
When I close my eyes
I still remember
I still remember those times.

Send a message all over the world
I really want you to know
That people are falling in love
To the music on the radio
And I wouldn’t be all that I am
So understand
I want the world to know that you put music in my soul

Sandi Thom – Music In My Soul

Some Kind of Wonderful (Puffin Island #2) by @sarahmorgan_

Some Kind of Wonderful (Puffin Island #2)Rating: 4.25*

Trope: Reconciliation romance

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: An archaeologist returns home to Puffin Island and can’t avoid her former husband and ex-bad boy

Review: After a series of 5* reads Sarah Morgan has definitely secured her place in my list of favourite authors. I’ve been looking forward to Zach/Brittany’s story since we first got hints of their story in the previous book in the series.

Zach/Brittany’s sexual chemistry and sizzling tension certainly did Sarah Morgan - Zachnot disappoint and I loved seeing it all play out in what has to be the most picturesque setting for any contemporary romance series.  I fell in love with Zach’s broodiness and Brittany’s radiance and Morgan succeeded in making me really excited for Alec/Skylar’s book.

Why then does it not quite get five stars? Whilst Zach/Brittany gave me all the FEELS, I just felt that parts of the book were a bit repetitive – the back and forth about needing to talk about the past and the constant reminiscing of what happened a decade ago.

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by @_LaurenLayne

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 5*

Cover: Yay

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: A sexy freelancer and a tomboy go head-to-head for an editorial position at a magazine

Review: Reading a Lauren Layne book is like eating a tube of Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop! You gorge yourself on the feast for heart and mind and then when it’s all over you end up in withdrawal because you have to wait another 6+ months for the next book in the series.

Well, I have been looking forward to Cole’s story since the moment we first met him in the Sex, Love & Stiletto series and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.

Cole smiled. “Penelope. Are you physically shaking it off right now?”
“Don’t judge, it helps,” she said.
He lifted his arms and mimicked her motions so they were both flapping like birds. “You’re right. It does.”
“What are you shaking off?” she asked.
Cole shrugged. “Nothing. I’m flawless.”
There was throat clearing from the doorway and she turned to see Lincoln Mathis watching them with raised eyebrows.
“Oh, hi, Lincoln!” She let her arms drop to her sides.
“Oh, hi, Lincoln!” Cole mimicked in a breathy voice.
She ignored him, mostly because he had a point. She probably had been a little breathless, but it was one hundred percent justified ………
…… Penelope felt a blast of misty water hit her cheek and turned around to see Cole holding a blue squirt bottle. “What are you doing? That’s for misting my plants!”
“You looked hot,” he said with a shrug, setting the bottle aside.

Penelope is a sport fanatic who is up against Cole for the position of senior sports editor at the highly successful Oxford magazine. Great at reciting sports stats but not so good at dressing to fit in in the “Sex and the City” world, she is a bit of a “Plain Jane” character. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the Stiletto girls but it was nice to have a ‘normal’, girl-next-door, not so strong, glamorous and self-assured Heroine. I felt like I could relate more to Penelope (apart from, you know, getting a sexy, hot co-worker to fall in love with me … *sigh*) and she seemed genuinely nice.

Cole is your typical sexy, good-looking, affable player but I loved the Lauren Layne - Colecute small gestures he made to Penelope and he proved himself that there is a heart of gold beneath his good looks. His relationship with his brother gave his character depth.

I loved the way Cole and Penelope’s relationship developed from good-natured rivals to friends to friends-with-benefits to something more. Also of interest is getting to learn more about Lincoln whose book I absolutely can’t wait for (especially since it sounds like it may be a reconciliation trope?) and getting to see the ladies from Stilettos again.

“… You’re freaking adorable.”
“You are,” Julie agreed. “I can think of about a dozen guys who would eat you up.”
“In the nondirty way,” Grace rushed to clarify.
“But the dirty way is the best kind,” Riley said sounding confused.

Now if only the next book in the series could magically appear on my e-reader right now …..

Devoted in Death (In Death, #41) by J.D. Robb

Devoted in Death (In Death, #41)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Cover: Yay

Review: Hmm, I never know what to shelve the “In Death …” books under: crime or romantic suspense? I figure since they’re heavily procedural crime-based then it has to be crime, especially since Roarke/Eve starting doing it in Book #1 (granted, they’re still doing it 41 books later – that must be love!) but then they keep appearing under ‘romance’ when it comes to Goodreads Choice Awards. Hmm, a conundrum.

A bit like this gem of a conundrum that confuses Eve in this book (and one that I find myself asking of every unfortunate American which crosses my path):

“Up from southeast Texas, hit Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas. Why is S-A-S pronounces S-A-W? It should be Ar-KANSAS. Did Kansas object?”
Oddly enough, he found the question perfectly just. “I can’t tell you.”

Anyway, here we are 41 books down the line and still going strong. Whilst I have read a few of the earlier books, I can’t claim to have read even close to half of them and I usually loathe to read a series out of order but when I got an ARC of Robb’s latest masterpiece, I had to dig straight in.

And good news, not much prior knowledge required! There are mentions of an event, which I can only assume happened in the previous book, but this book hardly dwells on it which is convenient for the casual reader.

For those who need the basic 411 then here goes: Eve Dallas is a crime-fighting cop in NYC. In the future. She works mostly with her sidekick called Peabody. Eve also has a gazillionnaire, incredibly good-looking hubbie in the form of Roarke. There are a multitude of secondary characters who drift in and out of the books and who you will grow to like. Especially Gallahad the cat.

The crime in this book is something which I am 99% sure I’ve seen in an episode of Criminal Minds or some other crime drama I’ve been known to gorge on: a madly-in-love couple takes a roadtrip across America, killing people because the excitement enhances their lovemaking. Nothing too original. What makes this story original is the fact that it is Eve and her lovable crimefighting team that are intent on taking them down: the cops make this book interesting, not the crime itself.

No doubt hardcore fans will enjoy this book but if you’re a first-timer looking to get into the series, then this book is as good a place to start as any.

“Take Banner,” she told Roarke, then walked over to poke Peabody’s shoulder.
“Not now,” Peabody rolled over. “We can do it in the morning.”
“Ick,” was Eve’s opinion, and gave her partner a firmer poke.
“Uh-uh, in the morning.” But her eyes blinked open, stared blindly at Eve. Then cleared. “What? You? Where?”
“Get McNab up, go to bed, and I don’t want to hear about the morning.”

Q & A with … @AmyAndrewsbooks

Today I am delighted to be hosting a Q&A with Amy Andrews in honour of her new release ‘The Colonel’s Daughter’, brought to you by Entangled Publishing.

Q.  Apart from Simon/CJ (who are my favourite TWW couple!), what else gave you the idea for ‘The Colonel’s Daughter’?

A. Oh Simon/CJ. Sigh… loved them so hard! And sob! Just sob…. L Hard to choose a fav couple from TWW though. So many great characters. I always wished there was more of Sam and Leo’s daughter. And I do love CJ and Danny. And of course Josh and Donna. But anyway…I digress. I’ve been wanting to write a bodyguard book for a long time because I just adore that trope –  the ultimate off-limits romance! But I never really had an idea for one until Entangled asked me if I wanted to write Scorpio and I instantly knew he had to be a bodyguard and I had a very clear picture of Dean/Seth. The story came to me quite quickly after that.

Q. In ‘The Colonel’s Daughter’, why does Seth wear contacts to change his eye colour?

A. Seth has gone in undercover to watch Ivy for her father. He has a false name and he needs to become that person, become Dean –  not be Seth. His changed eye colour is a constant reminder that he’s Dean. He’s also very aware that a bronzed skin guy of Portuguese descent with startling blue eyes is something that is unusual, something that people remember and one of the most important things about being undercover is to never stand out. Be unmemorable. Unremarkable. Of course, it’s hard to not stand out when you’re such a damn hottie.

Q.  How important is the setting of Australia to your books?

A. Very. I’m Australian. I like to write about the places and the people I know and am familiar with. I like to tell stories that are Australian. I’m also less likely to screw up on those kind of details. I think the most important things about a romance is the authenticity of the love story so I don’t really think it matters where its set as long as the feelings are real and the reader is invested in the couple.

Q. My two favourite books of yours so far are ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ and ‘Ask Me Nicely’ from the ‘Naughty Or Nice’ series – any plans to write more books in this series?

A. Thank you.  🙂 Mack and Josie were a gift – like the planets had aligned.  🙂 And how could I not go on to write Sal’s book? But no plans to write any more in the series. At the moment….never say never, right?

Q. What’s your favourite trope to write?  

A. Okay, that’s a hard one. I love them all! I love a good off-limits trope and reunion romances. Also anything with a cowboy in it! One trope I haven’t written and would love to, is an amnesia story. But like the bodyguard I haven’t quite figured out yet how to pull that one off.

Q. If you had to choose just one, who is your favourite couple out of all the romances you’ve written so far and why?

A. Noooooooo! There’s over 50 of the suckers! 🙂 I love all of my couples for different reasons but I guess my current favs are Mack and Josie from ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’. Who can go past a heroine with a ten point sex list and a hero who’s man enough to tick it off?

Q. And finally, who are your favourite romance authors?

A. Oh, I’m so pleased you said authors, plural! 😀 Australian authors I love – and I’m talking contemporary here because that’s my fav genre – are Kelly Hunter & Sarah Mayberry (the queens of Aussie category rom IMHO), Ainslie Paton (love how Ainslie’s style is so different to anything else I’ve read), Madeline Ash (amazing new voice), Avril Tremayne (fabulously funny), Kylie Scott (love both her Zombie stuff and her rock stars) Ros Baxter (love, love, love). The first ever Jennifer Crusie I read changed my life and I’ve been a devoted fan ever since. Also love SEP, Rachel Gibson, Janet Evanovich, Wendy Marcus, Victoria Dahl, Laura Kaye, Ruthie Knox….recently read and love one of Tracy Brogan’s books too. And I could go on. And on. And on…. 🙂

Frisk Me by @_LaurenLayne

Frisk Me (New York's Finest, #1)“All right,” he said, clearing his throat. “Let’s start with the basics. How long are we going to pretend that we don’t want to be in bed right now? Or against the wall? Or on a kitchen counter?”
She gave a strangled laugh. “Clearly you don’t understand the art of interviewing. It’s all about finesse.”
Unable to stop himself, Luc traced an index finger along the sharp line of her jaw, dragging the pad of his finger down to her stubborn chin. “Guess you shouldn’t have flirted with a cop then, lady. No such thing as an interview in my line of work.”
“Nope.” He moved in closer, shifting so that his upper body leaned into hers. “We start with interrogations.”
“And then?” Her voice was flirty and light, but her eyes were pure heat.
His gaze dropped to his hand, which had found its way to her knee somehow. “Depends. If the cop’s skilled at interrogation, things generally progress to handcuffs…and other things. If the cop’s unsuccessful…”
Luc broke off and shrugged.
Ava looked at him over the top of her wineglass. “Which one are you? The skilled interrogator or the other?”
He leaned in and pressed his lips to her ear. “Whether or not you like handcuffs.”

Rating: 5*

Cover: No, no, no! Definitely a case of do-not-judge-a-book-by-its-cover. The guy on the cover looks nothing like the way Luc is described in the book, not to mention the fact that Luc is not a plain clothes detective

Trope: Cop/Journalist

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: A reluctant cop becomes the focus of media attention and butts heads with a journalist sent to investigate “America’s Hero”

Review: There is nothing I don’t love about this book! Luc, Ava, The Moretti family (especially Nonna), Lopez, Beth the best friend, Honky Tonky the unfriendly cat …. and the UST between Luc/Ava! Gah! Their chemistry made me want to spontaneously combust and when they actually got round to acting on their attraction …. wow.

Lauren Layne - Luc

I loved Luc as a character. When you first meet him you think he’s a happy-go-lucky sort of guy who is a bit annoyed with the media attention but then you get to know him better and you see that he is dealing with some really hardcore stuff. I love how we got to see him deal with the fallout of the shooting two years prior and finally get closure. And he has so much heart! I loved the fact that he went Barbie shopping!

And Ava, wonderful Ava! She also does a lot of growing in the book and I like how by the end, with some help form Luc, she learns she has to live her life, not the life her parents want for her.

I really felt like I got to know and fall in love with the whole of the Moretti family and whilst I didn’t like the fact that they kept Luc in the dark about the ~thing~, I can appreciate the fact that it was done out of love.

Overall, I never wanted this book to end and was ridiculously invested in Luc/Ava.

And finally, I CANNOT WAIT FOR VINCENT/JILL’s book! I wish there were more romance books out there where the couple are law enforcement partners.

Vincent merely glared at Jill and walked away.
Luc shook his head as he took a sip of his rapidly warming iced tea. “I don’t know how you two survive each other.”
“Right?” she said, her voice unperturbed. “I’m thinking we should totally have a TV show based on us. The dark, dickwad cop and his perfect, darling partner.”
Luc smiled. “The latter who is of course, unaware of her charm.”
“You have seen most male/female partner cop shows, right? You know how those generally end up.” Luc glanced down and wiggled his eyebrows.
Jill rolled her eyes. “Yeah, trust me. That’s not happening with your dearest brother.”