Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Tour & Review: Love on the Winter Steppes by Paris Wynters (Giveaway)


Today I am excited to share Paris Wynters' newest offering Love on the Winter Steppes. It's a sweet contemporary romance that's perfect to snuggle up with on a chilly winter afternoon.

Synopsis: "Can a magical day at the Ice Festival melt this career-focused woman’s heart?
Marketing consultant Qara Whitaker loves her job, happily putting in endless hours and working through holidays. But when her grandmother asks that she accompany her on a birthday trip to Mongolia to visit their family, Qara can’t say no. Packing up her laptop, Qara boards the plane—never imagining that a shared cab ride with a stranger will change her life forever.

Hoping to push through writer’s block, author Benjamin Lacoy hops on a plane to Mongolia looking for inspiration. A chance meeting with a beautiful and intelligent woman whose smile ignites his heart leads to them playing tourists. Sparks fly and Ben is feeling far more than inspiration, yet each time he and Qara get close, she’s distracted by work.

Ben is torn; he likes Qara, but he always promised himself he’d never let work come before family and friends like his parents did. Opposites clearly attract, but can they learn to balance work with love in order to build a future together?"

My Review: I don't normally read holiday themed romances after the season has passed but I was so intrigued by the synopsis of this one that I couldn't resist.  I absolutely LOVED the setting of this book, Mongolia.  We get so much from the vivid descriptions Wynters adds to the stories you can't help but want to visit sometime as well; and the food so much delicious sounding food! Do not read this book if you are hungry, or if you do make sure you can find some Mongolian cuisine near you! I have to admit, I felt a little bad for Qara throughout this book, the way everyone kept attacking her about her work ethic, yeah maybe she took her dedication to her job a little far but to constantly put her down for it felt a bit cruel.  I, of course, adored Ben, what book lover wouldn't as he runs away to try to find inspiration for his book in a far away land.  I really enjoyed the way Ben and Qara's relationship built, it was very believable with very real conflicts and conversations as they try to overcome very different ways of living. You can't help but root for them to find their balance.

My Rating: Even though this book is set between Christmas and New Years it can definitely be read and enjoyed any time of the year, which I really appreciated.  The roadblock in the relationship was very real and I really appreciated the way it was handled. And as I said above I really loved the setting, so I give this book a rating of Four Paws! Now if you will excuse me I must go track down some Mongolian recipes meanwhile you can enjoy a little excerpt of the book below!

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

Love on the Winter Steppes has been released so you can obtain your own copy in print or digital formats from these retailers, or you can request it at your local library or bookstore.

Amazon | iBooks B&N | Kobo Google Play

Enjoy an Excerpt

Ben hung up just as the doors opened. He stepped out and when he turned the corner into the lobby he was met with a chorus of voices as groups of people waited for the buses that would bring them to various outings. He scanned the crowd for a few minutes and finally spotted Qara, who was waving their tickets in the air trying to catch his attention.

He waved back and headed her way. “Hope you’re dressed nice and warm. I’d hate to have to tell your grandmother I let her granddaughter turn into a human Popsicle.”

            She tugged her beanie down. “Don’t worry, I wore layers.”

            “Trust me, I wasn’t worried. In fact, I’d be surprised if you didn’t bring extra layers, just in case.” Ben chuckled when Qara’s gaze dropped to her carryall, where a neatly folded blue sweatshirt peeped out of the top.

“Keep laughing. We’ll see who’s laughing when you fall off your reindeer and are begging me for something that isn’t soaking wet.”

Ben cocked a brow. “Do you really think your sweatshirt would fit me?”

“Um…” Her gaze darted to his chest and then quickly away. She ducked her head, but he could still see the pink flush to her cheeks. Okay. It was official. She was too adorable for words. Although, he’d never tell her that.

“How’s your grandmother doing?”

            Qara made an indignant sound in her throat. “For someone who said she wasn’t feeling that great, she certainly seemed to have a spring to her step as she headed back to the room.”

            In the short time he’d spent with Khulan, he’d come to realize she had a playful side. “She does seem a little mischievous.”

            “You have no idea. She and Rose are like two peas in a pod.” While her tone sounded resigned, Ben could see the love for her family in the softening around her eyes and mouth.

            He shrugged to hoist the strap of his bag higher on his shoulder. “Where’d Rose head off to?”

            Qara exhaled, the forced breath pushing a strand of hair from her eyes. “She claims she’s heading back to the puzzle museum. But, honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up finding a tavern that had karaoke tucked away deep in the city. You know, maybe Jakob has to beat his reindeer friend in a magical karaoke competition.”

            His heart warmed that Qara had remembered his story. With the way her eyes had closed when he’d been talking about it yesterday, he’d sort of thought she’d dozed off. “Reindeer can’t actually talk. That wouldn’t be believable.”

            Her laugh was magical in and of itself. Bubbly and musical. “So magic portals and telepathic reindeer are totally possible, but singing reindeer aren’t?”

            She bit her lip, trying to maintain a straight face. “Good to know. I promise not to make that mistake again.”

            He nodded. “See that you don’t.” Then he ruined his serious expression with a grin. “Since we have everything all cleared up, shall we?” He nodded at where a bunch of people had started to form a line.

            “Oops, definitely. Sorry, I forgot what we were doing there for a second.” A furrow formed over her nose, like she wasn’t used to forgetting things and wasn’t very pleased that she had.

But he found it sweet she’d been so caught up in teasing him she’d neglected her surroundings. And as they hurried to get in line, Ben couldn’t keep the smile off his face. He had a good feeling about this trip. 

About the Author

Paris Wynters is an adult romance author repped by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. She lives on Long Island in New York with her family, which includes two psychotic working dogs. Paris is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Paris and her son are nationally certified Search and Rescue personnel (she is a canine handler). She is a huge supporter of the military/veteran community. When not writing, Paris enjoys playing XBOX (she is a huge HALO fanatic and also enjoys FORTNITE), watching hockey (Go Islanders), and trying new things like flying planes and taking trapeze classes.

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Monday, February 1, 2021

January 2021 Wrap Up & February TBR

 I can't believe January is already over! I read a lot of great books but didn't quite get to all the ones I wanted to read.  I do think it was a pretty darn good kick off to the year! So how about we update the challenges.

We will start with my main challenge this year . . .

TBR Books Read:
I managed to read 3 books off my current physical TBR, I figured I needed to read an average of 5 books, so a little under my goal but nothing to panic about yet.

2021 Books added to TBR & Read:
I am once again trying to purchase less books this year and to read them as quickly after they come in as I can, so here are the books that I purchased and managed to immediately read.


Other January Additions:
I have been trying to purchase less books each month and I have limited myself to only 4 pre-order books each month. I did pretty good this month with a couple of purchases from last year rolled in so it upped my numbers a bit. So here are the books that I added to my shelves but haven't gotten around to reading yet. 

As much as there are more books on that list than I was planning on having unread, but I am planning on reading several of these very shortly.  

In other reading I am tracking this year, I read . . .

2. Fire

Borrowed Books:
6. The Crow Rider - DNF

Books Over 500 Pages:

Requested Reviews: 
1. Cleo Can Tie a Bow (Pump Up Your Book)
2. Ever After Always (Netgalley)

January Reading Stats:
I read a total of 19 books this month
2,526 pages read and 3 days, 12 hours and 23 minute of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Read that TBR: I didn't manage to read quite as many books as I had hoped off the TBR but I am still happy with 3. - CHECK
2. Re-Read More: I am pretty excited to re-read some old favorite books this year and with a new book being added to an old favorite series I decided a full re-read was necessary and managed 3 books this month!  - CHECK
3. Purchase Less & Read More: I only added 7 books this month which was a little morn than last year in January and more than I wanted but honestly 2 of them were purchases from last year that got caught in the mail system and 1 was my BOTM pick.  I also only manage to read 2 of those, while it wasn't quite up to my hope, I still think I did okay - CHECK
4. Keep Trying New Genres/Authors: I tried a few more books that were outside my Fantasy and Romance comfort zones, I also tried some new authors. While not all of them were big hits for me, I am still glad I tried them.  - CHECK


February TBR
So I had all kinds of plans for February, with the wrap up of Medieval-a-thon, the start of FaRoFeb and I usually like to do at least a romance week. But plans changed a bit when I went a bit overboard on the Netgalley requests. I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

For TBR books: 
Traitor's Blade * Currently Reading

The Broken Spine * Currently Reading

That is an awful lot of books, I am really going to have to make it a point to read this month, maybe *cough, cough* I am feeling sick a day or two this month.

What are you reading this month?

Monday Reading List

        It is Monday and it is 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

The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

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

The Crow Rider - DNF 30%
Across the Green Grass Fields
In Love & Pajamas
See You Later, Alligator

Currently Reading:
The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James - ebook - on page 63 of 320
The Traitor's Blade by Sebastian de Castell - Audio book - 25%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
84:23 Hours Listened This Year(20:36 listened this week)
2,526 Pages Read This Year (293 Read this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Lives of Saints (Good Choice Reading - 2020 Purchase) - READ
Across the Green Grass Fields (Jan. Pre-Order) - READ
Winterkeep (Jan. Pre-Order)
A Vow So Bold & Deadly (Jan. Pre-Order)
Death Bee Comes Her (Jan. Pre-Order)


Another crazy week, Munchkin had no school again on Monday for a teacher day, and the rest of the week kind of followed suit. I was behind all week long and it led to a chaotic weekend full of catch up on chores and prepping for a big snow storm hitting today.  For the third Monday in a row Munchkin has had to come to work with me, which always makes for a stressful day.  I think when we go home this afternoon I am going to decompress by putting on a movie for him and curling up with an audio book and finish knitting a blanket I am working on.  

Can you believe January is already over?!  I only have 10 more days to finish my Medieval-a-thon and I am definitely not going to get all 15 books done, but I hope to at least master one career, I only need 3 more books for that.  In the mean time it is also time to start the Fantasy Romance February, if you like Fantasy and Romance you should definitely check it out. I have a bit of a stack of books I would like to read and I am hoping to discover more new to me authors or series because it is really my favorite genre to read!

I have some changes coming up here on the blog.  My weekly updates will be moving to Friday to make way for Mystery Mondays! I will also be adding a post about what Munchkin has been reading for some great recommendations for those younger readers.  I hope you enjoy some of the new changes, but I would love to hear your feedback, if you want to see something or are not enjoying something please feel free to let me know.

I hope you all are safe and warm and healthy.