El Corazón Sabe: The Heart Knows by R.L. Merrill

El Corazón Sabe: The Heart Knows by R.L. Merrill

3 out of 5 Stars

*I was provided a copy of El Corazón Sabe by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*

English teacher Leah Roberts grew up in the barrio, so she’s no stranger to gangs and violence. But when she’s caught in the middle of gunfire and seriously wounded, she becomes a shell of the woman she once was. Starting her life over in Iowa with her best friend is the perfect solution. Leah accepts a teaching position at a new school where she doesn’t exactly fit in, and on her first day a goofy science teacher literally bumps his way into her life. She doesn’t think Donovan could be her type, and they both have demons to overcome, but perhaps Leah has finally found her place in this world so far away from everything she’s ever known.

El Corazón Sabe: The Heart Knows is book one in a planned trilogy, but it can be read as a standalone book. This book focuses on the background of both main characters and their budding romance while they each overcome their issues. Although there was instant attraction, the pace of the romance felt natural with both characters taking their time to get to know the other before entering a serious relationship. I appreciated the contrast between cultures and races and also how Leah had to adapt to life in small town Iowa.

Unfortunately, much of the story fell flat for me. The characters were one-dimensional. Leah went from a successful, outgoing teacher to the bottom of a bottle and a dark closet, and then pretty quickly picked herself back up and went back to where she started. Although she had some lingering issues, that part of the plot didn’t feel very well fleshed out. Donovan was either happy and goofy or sad and guilty about his wife who passed away with nothing else to round out his characterization.

The writing style left some things to be desired as well. The story moved a little too slowly for my taste, and many scenes felt like bits of dialogue with a lot of telling instead of action. There were some inconsistencies, and the plot could have used a little more focus outside the blossoming relationship.

The story has a good base, but just didn’t hold my attention as much as I would have liked.

Book Links:

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Happy reading!

Rach

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My Lady, My Spy (Secrets and Seductions Book 4) by Sheridan Jeane – Promo & Excerpt

My Lady, My Spy

by Sheridan Jeane
Secrets and Seductions #4
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance

My Lady My Spy Cover

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon Paperback | B&N Paperback | Kobo | iBooks

He’s a spy—Certain truths aren’t his to share…

London, 1854 ~ Frederick Woolsy is Queen Victoria’s finest spy. His mission at the Russian Embassy’s annual ball is one of the most critical ones of his life, but his careful plans end in disaster. The book he was assigned to secure has been stolen and now England and Russia are on the brink of war. Even worse, the love of his life has caught him in another lie (he’s a spy, certain lies are expected). However, in this case, it might mean he’ll lose her forever.

She’s a lady who demands honesty—above all else

The nights Lady Josephine Harrington spent with Frederick in her bed were glorious… enough to tempt her to consider abandoning her independence as a wealthy widow to spend her life with him. Tonight, he canceled their plans to attend the Russian Embassy’s ball, saying he would be otherwise engaged. Now he’s shown up at the event with his brother. She’s not sure what he’s up to, but she’s going to find out…if she doesn’t eviscerate him first.

Secrets and lies

He lives in a world of shadows. She values truth and integrity. If they want to find a future together, something has to change. Fast.
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Excerpt:

In the dark room, the only light came from the open windows leading to the well-lighted patio. Fortunately, no other guests were outside at the moment. Even if they had been, it was unlikely they’d be able to see into the darkened morning room.

Frederick glanced down at Josephine in the dim light. She was being so biddable. So out of character.

As she stared at him expectantly, he suddenly realized how out of character he was behaving as well. He hadn’t even spoken a word to her.

Why had he brought her to this room? He wasn’t even certain what had driven him to do so, but when he’d found her, he’d known he needed to be alone with her.

He moved closer. She shifted her weight, flattening her skirts against the heavy desk at her back. She stopped, trapped between him and the leather-topped desk.

Frederick reached out his left hand and touched her waist in exactly the same spot where Lord Temple had touched her. He slowly glided his hand along the warmth of her ribcage.

Her breath caught and she let out a small gasp of surprise at his touch. But she didn’t pull away as she had with Lord Temple. Instead, she stared up at him, her mouth slightly open, her lower lip full and soft and… trembling?

The sight of that quavering movement pierced him as nothing else could. He leaned down, unable to resist the temptation of her lips. As their mouths touched, he nearly moaned with the pleasure of it. The warmth of her lips wrapped around him like a dream. His hand tightened at her waist, then he pulled her closer, crushing her body against his. Wanting, nay, craving what she’d freely given him only a week ago.

How had he stayed away from her for so long? How had he convinced himself he could live anything resembling a life without her?

Her hand slid up his chest. She pulled at the lapel of his jacket, then slipped her hand beneath it, flattening it to the spot where his heart thundered. The heat of her palm seared into his skin. Her hand clenched, grabbing hold of his shirt. But only for a moment— an instant later, she flattened it against his chest again.

And pushed.

Frederick stumbled back. Dazed.

She turned her back to him. The pale arch of her neck glowed reproachfully in the soft light. Vulnerable.

As she glanced over her shoulder at him, he saw the pain in her eyes. The confusion. “Frederick, what are you doing? What do you want from me? Is this all I am to you? A plaything?” Her fists clenched in the satin skirt of her gown, crushing the delicate fabric. “Am I nothing more to you than a toy you pull out on a whim and then toss aside again when you’re bored?”

DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SECRETS AND SEDUCTION SERIES…

It Takes a Spy...Book #1

Buy (Available on Kindle Unlimited): Amazon

It Takes a Spy…
by Sheridan Jeane
Secrets and Seduction, #1
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance

Synopsis: In 1851, Cecilia Paring has serious reservations about marrying her fiancé, Devin Montlake. Gone is the boy who could capture her heart with a word or a glance and in his place is a man who has made it clear that to be a proper barrister’s wife, the exciting and impulsive Cecilia must change as well.

Although Devin Montlake loves his orderly life as a barrister, he’s determined to follow his roadmap to achieve his goal of becoming a judge. His biggest obstacle seems to be convincing his headstrong fiancée to fulfill her social obligations with a modicum of propriety. But when the jewelry collection belonging to Cecilia’s family is stolen the night before it is to be auctioned off and Devin is framed for the crime, he discovers that following his much-loved rules won’t solve this particular problem. He’ll need the inventiveness of his irrepressible fiancée to catch the thief.

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Lady Catherine's Secret Book #2

Buy (Available on Kindle Unlimited): Amazon

Lady Catherine’s Secret
by Sheridan Jeane
Secrets and Seduction #2
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance

Synopsis: London, 1853

Despite Lady Catherine’s love of fencing, she needs to stop pretending to be a boy and fraternizing with men…but not until after the fencing tournament! Her mother plans to marry her off by the end of the season, so this will be her last chance to enjoy her freedom. When she impulsively puts her reputation at risk to save the life of a dashing competitor, all seems lost when he sees through her disguise, but he vows never to reveal her secret. Thank goodness for gentlemanly honor!

Daniel, Marquess of Huntley, wants to overcome the rumors of his father’s madness so that he can be embraced by London society. His plan is to marry the most proper woman who will have him, and then raise stable, respectable children. He certainly isn’t interested in some hoyden with a penchant for masquerading as a boy and flaunting society’s rules. In fact, he’d prefer to keep his distance.

When an obsessed suitor discovers Catherine’s secret and threatens blackmail, the only path out of social ruin is marriage. But what kind of protection does matrimony provide when a vengeful suitor is plotting the ultimate revenge?

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Buy: (Available on Kindle Unlimited) Amazon

Once Upon a Spy
by Sheridan Jeane
Secrets and Seduction #3
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis: London, 1854 ~ Robert, Earl of Wentworth, isn’t a spy, and he never wants to be one, but when his brother is injured and needs his help stealing an important book from the Russian embassy, he can’t refuse.

Antonia has lost everything. If she wants her life back, she needs that book. The problem is, Lord Wentworth just stole it from the Russian Ambassador.

The reluctant spy and the daring thief find themselves at cross-purposes. Who will win in this dangerous game of nations— especially when their hearts are at stake as well?

Note: Although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone novel. For those who have read the first two books, you’ll rediscover characters from both of them.

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ABOUT SHERIDAN JEANE

Sheridan Jeane

Sheridan Jeane writes exciting and emotion-packed historical romances set in the Victorian Era that confront issues of trust and conformity.

With the advent of the industrial age, life was changing. Many people tried to hold on to the old ways of life while others embraced the new opportunities open to them.

Join Sheridan as she explores the clash between the old and the new.

Sheridan has always loved books, history, and stories about amazing people who blaze new trails.

Despite naming their daughter Sheridan because they thought it might someday look great on the cover of a book, Sheridan’s parents urged her in a more practical direction for college. Sheridan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in English.

The Ones That Got Away (A Collection of Lost Fish Tales) by Suanne Laqueur

The Ones That Got Away (A Collection of Lost Fish Tales) by Suanne Laqueur

The Ones That Got Away Cover

5 out of 5 Stars

*I was provided a copy of The Ones That Got Away by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*

Ever wonder what the process of writing is like for an author? How a book flows from the beginning stage to the final product? What goes through an author’s mind as they write? The Ones That Got Away gives you a perfect look into the changes a book, individual characters, and even entire plots go through before reaching its readers’ hands.

This book is not a straightforward novel in itself. In fact, this is the only book in The Fish Tales series that can’t be read on its own. In this fourth installment, Ms. Laqueur takes us on a journey from the beginning stages of the first book, through the evolution of the characters and plot, and even provides scenes from other characters’ points of view. It’s an eye-opening and amazing bonus for readers like myself who can’t get enough of these characters or the words Ms. Laqueur writes.

Even though this book breaks all traditions with its style of providing varying plots and different points of view, there wasn’t a single moment while reading it where I didn’t want it to just go on forever. We meet Erik when he was a football player and Daisy before she became Daisy, and this is interspersed with Ms. Laqueur’s personal comments about how the characters turned into who they were in the final version. We go from two shooters in the theater with no real purpose to James with his gun and his anger, yet we delve even deeper into James’ psyche with scenes between Will and James that were only alluded to in the first two books. We even find out more about Will’s guilt over the whole situation and the role he played in setting off the chain of events that ruined so many lives.

Speaking of Will … In all my reading, I’ve never met a secondary character I wanted so much more of until Will, and Ms. Laqueur delivers Will (and Lucky) in spades here. It takes great talent for an author to make her readers fall so in love with a character, provide that character’s entire story in a secondary plot line, yet still have readers clambering for more.

As usual, this book also brings great emotion. Even in alternate scenes—the “could have beens”—I was still left close to tears or in tears on many occasions, and not always in a sad way. Ms. Laqueur’s words just garner that kind of reaction, even when they aren’t part of a linear plot.

Bottom line, if you’re a fan of The Fish Tales, you won’t want to miss this book. And if you’re not? What are you waiting for? Start with The Man I Love. You won’t be sorry.

All of my reviews of Ms. Laqueur’s books can be found by selecting her name from the Author Spotlight tab at the top of the page.

Book Links:

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Happy reading!

Rach

The Ones That Got Away (A Collection of Lost Fish Tales) by Suanne Laqueur – Release Day

The Ones That Got Away (A Collection of Lost Fish Tales) by Suanne Laqueur

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Plenty of fish in the sea. But none like the ones that got away.

Author Suanne Laqueur gives her readers an intimate, guided tour of the award-winning novel, The Man I Love. From the embryonic chapters written over twenty years ago to scenes cut from the final draft, you’ll witness the crafting of an emotional journey and the evolution of the beloved characters within The Fish Tales.

Includes never-before-seen material and an excerpt from Laqueur’s next novel, An Exaltation of Larks.

Buy it now!

Amazon │ iTunes │ Kobo │ Smashwords │ B&N

About the Author:

Suanne Laqueur

Suanne Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010. Her debut novel, The Man I Love, won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and a gold medal for Best Debut Author from Feathered Quill Book Awards.

With her Fish Tales series, Laqueur has gone from choreographing dancers to choreographing words. Her goal is to create a new kind of emotionally-intelligent romance that appeals to the emotions of all readers, crossing gender, age and genre.

Suanne lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.
Visit her at suannelaqueurwrites.com
Her Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1TVNBrp
Follow her on Twitter @suannelqr

The Butterfly Room by Saurav Dutt – Promo

The Butterfly Room by Saurav Dutt

Hi res cover The Butterfly Room

 

Inspired by the recent efforts of the Joyful Heart Foundation’s NO MORE campaign and an existing relationship with InterAct to help raise awareness around domestic violence and LGBTI rights, proceeds from this book will be donated to Refuge the UK’s largest provider of specialist domestic violence services as well as Southall Black Sisters, Stonewall, Women’s Aid and the charities highlighted above.

For years Vikram and his two sisters have lived in the shadow of their powerful father Rohan. His wife Lakshmi has watched the family slowly disintegrate, living uncertainly within a web of fractured love, deceit and broken promises. Determined to change her own life and those of her children she is now faced with the most dangerous choice of all. A course of events will now place everything she loves, cherishes and holds sacred under direct threat, plunging the family inexorably towards a journey of pain, self-realisation and ultimately heart breaking tragedy.

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Saurav Dutt’s Website

About the Author:

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British Author and Screenwriter Saurav Dutt is a creative polymath. He wrote for The Guardian, The Independent; he is a journalist, film producer, photographer, graphic design illustrator and above all, an accomplished author and writer. His books have covered film star biographies, contemporary fiction and horror, Manga and graphic novels. His books have been short-listed and featured at the London and Frankfurt book fairs, MCM Comic Book Convention and BookExpo America amongst others. As co-writer and associate producer of the independent film ‘Live Life Dearest’ he is also a Gothenberg Independent Film Festival winner.

His books have featured at the LA Times Festival of Books, International Kolkata Book Fair, Paris Book Fair, GBO New Delhi’s annual event GLOBALOCAL, New Delhi World Book Fair and BookExpo America. In 2016 he has been shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Arts & Culture Awareness at the 2014 British Indian Awards.

As well as Amazon.com, his books are available in Waterstones and Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardback and Kindle formats across iTunes, Kobo, Nook and other multiple formats and have been featured on the BBC, IB Times, ABC News, MSNBC News, Russia Today and numerous global publications.

Dutt currently resides in the United Kingdom and can be contacted at saurav@sauravdutt.com and his official website is www.sauravdutt.com

Press and interviews on the book: