Saturday, February 15, 2020

Date Night with a Book: Faker by Sarah Smith

Date Night with a book is the new After Dark series of posts on my blog, books posted for Date Nights contain Adult  Romance themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for Date Night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Read for: TBR & Romance Week

Synopsis: "Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she's tough as nails--the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn't have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie's friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can't stop staring at his Thor-like biceps...

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get...heated. Emmie's beginning to see that beneath Tate's chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real."

My Review: I had received this book in a Baecrate box last year and wasn't sure if it was one I would enjoy but thought I would give it a shot anyway. I ended up thoroughly enjoying this one. I didn't realize how much I would love workplace romances! Not to mention a bit of enemies to lovers. Tate, of course, completely stole my heart, a bit standoffish but so sweet deep down. Emmie is a girl you can get behind, she puts on such a confident front and a total kicking ass and taking names kind of person, which I love in books. I was completely drawn in with all the banter back and forth between the characters and the obvious, to the reader at least, chemistry between them. I am so looking forward to seeing what else Sarah Smith sends our way in the future.

My Rating: I never really got into the boss lady/ workplace romances until now.  This book completely proved me wrong and gave me everything I was looking for in a romance at the time.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Bedtime Story: This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins and Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummings

I interrupt this Romance Week for something a little different but still on the same theme! Enjoy your Valentine's Day and know that you matter to someone!

Read for: Children's Books

Synopsis: "This book is not a valentine. It doesn't have lacey edges or sugary hearts. But it is full of lucky rocks, secret hiding spots, and gumball machine treasures. This is a book about waiting in line and wishing for cinnamon buns. About recognizing that if you care so much about someone not thinking you care, maybe you really do. But wait—isn't that exactly what love is about? Maybe this book is sort of a valentine after all. A testament to handmade, wacky, bashful, honest love—sure to win over the hearts of all readers—this offering from debut picture book author Carter Higgins and children's book veteran Lucy Ruth Cummins is the perfect gift to celebrate every relationship, from parent to child, sibling to sibling, partner to partner, crush to crush."

My Review: This is such a cute book. I like how it is about sweet gifts for ones the characters cared about without being the traditional valentine. Gifts don't need to only be given at valentines day and they don't need to be the usual flowers, pretty cards with hearts or chocolate. The more important gifts are ones that come from the heart and ones that have been pick specifically for that person because of who they are and who they are to you. So cute and innocent and sweet.

My Rating: Valentines don't have to be for someone you love, they can be for someone you care about in other ways; they don't have to be candy or flowers or expensive, they can be something random that makes you think of that person.  Most important it just needs to come from the heart.  I give this book a rating of Four Paws!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Date Night with a Book: Everything by D.C. Stone (Havenport RI)

Date Night with a book is the new After Dark series of posts on my blog, books posted for Date Nights contain Adult  Romance themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for Date Night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Since it is the week of Valentine's Day, I have decided to make it a week of romance here on Eastern Sunset Reads.  So sit back and enjoy a new Date Night title each night, I hope you find a title to cozy up to for an evening in.

Read for: Requested Review

Synopsis: "Gage and Dani have been through it all: the struggles of life, exciting military service, rocky relationships, and heart breaking deaths. In twenty-plus years of being best friends, they've never faced as big of a challenge as they do now. Can their friendship and hearts survive the ultimate test of time?"

My Review: I love discovering books with familiar settings and even though this one is set in a fictional town in Rhode Island, the salt air and shoreline feel is still familiar. If you are looking for a friends to lovers romance, this is a great option. It is a short read but you still get a feel for the solid friendship Gabe and Dani have had for years. There is definitely some great push and pull and toeing the lines that create a lot of tension in this one that I really enjoyed reading. I did find some of the elements a little unbelievable (particularly with regards to military duty assignments and the idea that they can be ignored for relationships, or the idea that you can get leave at a moments notice), but all in all it was a great romance with some interesting twists and elements. I definitely wouldn't mind reading more of Gabe and Dani.

My Rating: While it isn't my favorite romance sub-genre, I do love a good friends to lovers trope from time to time.  Everything was everything I could want from a quick friends to lovers and forced proximity romance. It moves quickly but still builds great tension throughout the story.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Caffeinated PR, the above is my honest opinion.

You can find out more about Everything and DC Stone's other books on her Goodreads Page or Website.  You can also find more books set in the fictional town of Havenport Rhode Island on Goodreads.

Everything was just released on Tuesday, February 11th so you can now pick up your own copy in digital format from Amazon or check your library's digital catalog.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Can't Wait for . . . Last Couple Standing by Matthew Norman (Waiting on Wednesday)

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hoste at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

I haven't done one of these Waiting on Wednesday (now Can't Wait Wednesday) posts in ages but there are so many books I am excited about this year that I thought it was time to bring these posts back.  

So many romances I find are so often at the beginning of a relationship, when things are still new and shiny.  But, I am definitely not in that stage in my relationship, 18 years in, 1 kid and 10 years into homeownership, the new sparkle has definitely worn off.  So I am rather excited to find a book coming out that is closer to my stage in relationships.

Last Couple Standing by Matthew Norman
Release Date: March 17, 2020

Synopsis: "A couple determined not to end up like their divorced friends try a radical experiment—and get in way over their heads—in this hilarious, heartfelt novel from the author of We’re All Damaged.

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good."

What age/stage/setting/etc. do you find relatable that you would like to see more books include?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Havenport Release Day Blitz

Welcome to Havenport, RI a fictional town not far from Newport where you'll find romance, suspense, time travel and secrets shared by five authors in genres you love. Today they are releasing five new standalone books, come check them out and stay for a spell.

You all know how I love books set in familiar places and while Havenport is a fictional town, as a Rhode Islander, the setting is still familiar and one to which I can totally relate.  Today I have a quick overview of the books releasing today in this companion books (I can attest that you do not need to read these in any particular order or even all of them, they are each a standalone), and in the coming days I will have a couple of reviews of the ones I have read.

 A quick note from Havenport newspaper gossip, Candy Apples.... 
Okay, here’s the skinny. Havenport’s a great town. Perfect for a gossip like me. ;-) I’ve been writing this column for years and never struggle for a story. Easiest job I’ve ever had! We may have started as a small fishing town (stop by our maritime museum to learn more) but we’ve expanded into a thriving hub for business of all sorts. Lots of restaurants, a charming bookstore, souvenir shops, whale watching, ghost tours, even a metaphysical shop (the manager’s a member of our local coven)…there’s never a shortage of things to do here. We’ve got Manor Road, with titans of business known for bringing the money to town—and the drama. I don’t need a shovel to dig up the dirt (or the skeletons) over there. I’m no less busy when I take a stroll down Main Street and eavesdrop—um, I mean, talk to the shopkeepers. They’re a nosy bunch, but they’ve got your best interest at heart. I’ve seen some great couples get together over a drink at Royce’s Tavern or after dropping off a pup for daycare at Wags & Walks. With our close proximity to major cities like Newport, Providence, Boston, and New York City, we attract just about everybody. And, in the spirit of our founding fathers, Havenport welcomes them all with open arms. And when I say everyone, I mean it. Are you looking for a hometown hero to sweep you off your feet? A debonair best-selling author? Is a time traveler from the Roaring Twenties more your style? If you’re looking for adventure or to reunite with a lost love, you’ll find it here. And I’ll report all the juicy details. ~ Candy Apples

Discover Your Next Read 

Heart of the Matter Digging into the past can be murder. Addison Moore, a well-known psychiatrist, is having difficulty coming to terms with the death of her grandmother, Cookie. The woman was everything to her after her parents died in a plane crash over Lockerbie, Scotland. Little did Addy know, an old picture tucked away in the family bible of Cookie with a handsome stranger would lead her to a discovery for which she is little prepared. Ethan Taylor is an art historian. He’s lived with his Great Uncle Ben for a long time and would do anything for him. He never anticipated Ben’s dying wish would introduce him to his biggest sacrifice. Neither Addy nor Ethan are prepared for the lengths at which their families went through to keep Cookie and Ben apart. As they put the pieces together, they uncover a decade’s old unsolved murder implicating Cookie and Ben. Will Addy and Ethan’s blossoming love be able to stand the strain of finding the truth? Will they be able to get to the heart of the matter?
Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to Goodreads
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.
Everything Gage and Dani have been through it all: the struggles of life, exciting military service, rocky relationships, and heart breaking deaths. In twenty-plus years of being best friends, they've never faced as big of a challenge as they do now. Can their friendship and hearts survive the ultimate test of time?

Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads
D.C. “Desi” Stone is a best-selling romance author and full-time investigator. She lives in the northeast with her incredibly supporting husband, two kids, and the ever-growing family of pets. After serving eight years of service with the United States Air Force, she went on to transition into the world of financial and organized crimes and became a lead investigator for many years. Reading has always been a passion of hers, and getting lost in a good, steamy romance is one of her favorite past times. Her writing concentrates on romantic with specifics in paranormal, suspense, and erotica. When she isn’t trying to solve a new puzzle in the world of fraud, she is engulfed with coffee, her laptop, and all those crazy characters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hudson Valley Romance Writers, New Jersey Romance Writers, RomVets, RWA Kiss of Death, and the Liberty State Fiction Writers. She served as the 2014 NJRW Vice President and Conference Chair.
Always Brianna Baxter thinks she has the world figured out. She lives a life of privilege and does whatever she wants. After living in New York City, London, New Jersey, and Florida she settles down in Havenport, Rhode Island. As the Christmas holiday approaches, a secret is revealed and she is challenged with the most important decision of her life. Workaholic Simon May gets an unexpected vacation over the holidays and visits family in London. At his childhood home, he finds an envelope that holds the answer to his future. Or does it? He throws caution to the wind and jumps on the next available flight across the pond in search of what he lost. He takes the biggest risk of his life, unsure of what he will encounter once the plane touches down. Will the uncertainty of Brianna’s future steer her in the right direction? Will Simon receive the answer he seeks?
Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads
Lita Harris spends her time between New Jersey and the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. She even lived in Alaska for a short time just for fun. Her two rescue dogs are always close by and travel everywhere with her. An avid crafter, unused supplies clutter her basement and attempts at making pottery, jewelry, and stained glass are scattered throughout her house. She also makes candles and homemade soap. With enough books to stock a small library she may need to construct a building to store her literary obsession. She writes multiple genres, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, paranormal, and cozy mysteries.
Rescuing the Ranger Gabe Preston’s been sent on a mission: clean out his beloved grandmother’s house in Havenport and help move her into senior living—or so he thinks. Havenport had always been a special place to visit while growing up, but during this ride into town he finds more than he bargained for. Surviving multiple deployments as an Army Ranger hadn’t ever proved this type of challenging. All Gabe desires is to ride his motorcycle, enjoy his time out of the Army, and figure out his next stop in life. The best laid plans don’t necessarily work out when you’ve got a meddling, matchmaking grandmother. Francesca Montefiore loves Havenport, and her recently acquired florist shop. She’s finally made a fresh start in her life, one stem at a time. When she’s “adopted” by the local Garden Club members she treasures the ladies as family, something she’d been sorely lacking. When her past comes back to threaten her contentment, she’ll need the help of one hunky, visiting Army Ranger, the Garden Club President’s grandson to come to her rescue. But will she be the one doing the rescuing instead?
Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads
Nicole S. Patrick is a Human Resources professional by day and romance novelist the rest of the time. She’s a founding partner in Timeless Scribes, Publishing, LLC and crafts contemporary romance stories about military heroes. Former President of New Jersey Romance Writers, she met her business and writing partners at a meeting and the rest is history. Together they created the fictional town of Havenport, RI, where magic is in the air, and love happens with every story. Nicole currently lives in central New Jersey with her husband and two sons who keep her house in a state of constant chaos…but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Time After Time When Sophia Segarra, the owner of Time After Time Antiques in Havenport, finds a packet of love letters from the 1920s in her shop, she can’t help but fantasize about what it would be like to find a love like the one described in those letters. But even though she’s told the pearl necklace from her Halloween costume will bring the wearer to true love, she never imagined they’d transport her back in time to the Roaring Twenties. In 1928, Liam O’Connell is writing an article on the Main Street Bandits for the Havenport Herald while investigating the disappearance of his brother. He’s not having much luck with either and a trip to Tilly’s speakeasy on Halloween is about to make life more interesting. Liam’s reporter instincts tell him Sophia’s hiding something, and he’s determined to find out what. Will her secret keep them apart, or will they come to realize that time after time, love overcomes all obstacles?
Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads
EMMA KAYE is married to her high school sweetheart and has two beautiful kids that she spends an insane amount of time driving around central New Jersey. Before Scouts and drama club entered her life, she decided to try writing one of those romances she loved to read and discovered a new passion. She has been writing ever since. Add in a playful puppy, two patient cats, and a snake, and she’s living her own happily ever after while making her characters work hard to reach theirs.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos
A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne
The Last Bit Bear by Sandra Chisholm deYonge (Bedtime Story)
Finding Her Dragons by April Canavan (Date Night/After Dark)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Jackson: Eternity Springs
A Raven's Tale
Rescuing the Ranger

Currently Reading:

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger - Print/Audio - on page 86 of 435
The Language of Fire by Stephanie Hemphill - Print  - on page 259 of 512

Pages Read/ Time Listened
97:46 Hours Listened (19:50 listened this week)
4,047 Pages Read (1,034 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Drum that Beats Within Us - READ
A Heart so Fierce and Broken - READ
Nameless Queen - READ
The Raven's Tale (gift) - READ
Steel Crow Saga
The Language of Fire
A Blight of Blackwings - READ


Another fantastic reading week under my belt! I guess the beginning of the year is when I get my best reading done, I don't know if it is the fact that I have new goals to meet or if it is because I have rotated my shelves to fresh books or just the fact that the holidays are behind us and there is less pressure to get some much done.  No matter what causes this early year rush of reading, I hope it continues.  Friday kicked off the Tome Topple readathon, one of my favorites, and I have a stack of big books I want to read this time around.  I am thinking I might even take a day off to enjoy it a bit with no one else around.

How about you, have you been bitten by the reading bug recently?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Tome Topple Sign Up

Just when I was thinking I needed another reading challenge or readathon to keep momentum going, along comes Tome Topple, one of my favorites!  This time Tome Topple runs from February 7th (already begun) through February 21st, which coincides with Winter Break around here and a lull in Munchkin's sports, so talk about perfect timing for me!

 I discovered the Tome Topple Challenge through Sam at Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube and the Readathon is hosted as a Goodreads Group. The goal for this challenge is to tackle the Tomes on your shelf, books over 500 pages.

There are a few challenges to help you along, but are not a requirement.  Those updated challenges are A) read an Adult tome, B) read the tome that has been on your TBR the longest, C) read a tome in a genre you don't usually read, D) read a tome that is part of a series, and E) read more than one tome.  (There is also a photo challenge this time around on Instagram, check it out @ThoughtsonTomes)

I will try to post updated at the bottom of this post every few days but I will also be posting on Instagram @EasternSunset9

So here is my Tomes to be Toppled:

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger - 528

The Language of Fire by Stephanie Hemhill - 512

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson - 594
I may not be able to finish this one but I will at least get a good start on it.
Ruin by John Gwynne - 768

Are you participating in the Tome Topple? If yes what are you reading?  What is your nemesis Tome?