Thursday, April 14, 2016

Excerpt Blog Tour: Spy Girl by Jillian Dodd


Signed Paperback:  


EXCERPT: I know the drill. Open my orders, commit them to memory, destroy them.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Protect the heir to the throne of Montrovia, uncover the person or persons behind the plot to assassinate him in order to take control of this geographically important sovereign nation, and eliminate the threat. Get close to the hottest Prince on the planet and work for Black X, the double-black covert group so secret even the President of the United States is on a need-to-know basis? I accept. I think about what he said about me looking good in a bikini. Do they want me to hookup with this Prince in order to protect him? Are you kidding me? I’m valedictorian. I have the school’s highest scores in everything from parkour to the number of ways I can kill a man. I frown as I’m burning my orders in the fireplace. “Sir, may I speak freely about my assignment?” “I’m afraid I’m not privy to your orders. My job was to help choose the student best fitted for the task based on the parameters given to me.” “And one of those parameters was that I look good in a bathing suit?” He chuckles. “In this situation, my dear, they need an operative who is not only the best and brightest but one who can also demand male attention. Your handler is waiting for you outside. You leave immediately.” “But I need to go pack. Tell people goodbye.” “I’m afraid there’s no time.” He stands up and, in an uncustomary show of emotion, hugs me briefly. “Godspeed, X.”



 "Spy Girl is an intrigue filled, exciting ride through a world you'll wish you were part of and want to know more about!"- J. Sterling, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author. 

 "Spy girl was fun and fabulous! Jillian Dodd had me turning the pages as I was taken on an action-packed ride filled with mystery and secrets, not to mention a super sexy cast I fell head over heels for. I loved every second!" - A.L. Jackson, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author 

 "X" to me was a younger version of a kick ass Angelina Jolie that had all the moves to back up her reputation as being the best. With gadgets and gizmo's aplenty this book will appeal to the spy in all of us and brings together a fun, flirty, thrilling read. - The Romance Cover 

 "My favorite read of 2016! Spy girl is 007 meets Gossip Girl level decadence, charm, and badass! 5+ stars!" - KA Linde, USA Today Bestselling Author 

  ABOUT JILLIAN DODD: Jillian is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thirteen contemporary romance novels, from the The Keatyn Chronicles and That Boy series to Vegas Love. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She currently lives in Florida. Checkout Jillian's website for added content and sneak peaks at: and be sure to sign up for her newsletter there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us. 

5 out of 5 stars

Do you ever fall totally in love with a book?  I mean, head over heels, crazy for the characters and everything about it?  Well, I just did with this one from Amy Harmon.  Unfortunately though, the problem when that happens is that it is so hard to write a review, to convey just exactly how much love you have for this amazing book find.  Nevertheless here is our attempt at gushing over the awesomeness that is Making Faces.

We are am ashamed to admit how long it has taken us to sit down and read this book.  However, over the last couple of years we have been reading so many things for blog tours and on deadlines we got burned out and almost lost the desire to read what we wanted.  This year, we are back to doing things in our time and reading only what we WANT to read and what a difference it makes!  It is so liberating to go to the Kindle and just choose whatever book catches our attention.  

Last week, I was in a reader group that questioned Ms. Harmon on how she can incorporate religion in her books so bold, yet respectfully.  Her answer was so profound it made me instantly go to my Kindle and search her name.  This one popped up and I am happy to report that it left a huge imprint on my heart.  

Making Faces is told from the third person.  Honestly, this is really hard to pull off.  Most books told from a narrator POV are confusing and I have a hard time keeping things organized in my mind.  That being said, Ms. Harmon executed this flawlessly.  

Amy Harmon weaves multiple storylines and emotions into this beautiful story.  She allows us to not only get to know multiple characters intimately but to also enjoy each of those characters journeys. Fern Taylor, the awkward girl that believes she is ugly.  Fern also loves romance novels and wants to be a writer.  Ambrose Young, Hercules, to his small town that feels the pressure of being a perfect wrestler.  Bailey Sheen, Fern's cousin and best friend.  Bailey has Muscular Dystrophy and despite the fact that he is disabled, still lives life to the fullest.  Rita, the beautiful blonde that has to live with her choices.  Plus many other secondary characters that impact each other.  

One of the important things I took away from this book is that everyone has circumstances dealt to them that they would like to avoid.  Some people think they are not pretty enough, some that they don't have enough money.  We all are guilty of looking at ourselves and wanting to change something about us either physically, emotionally, monetarily.  Things are never quite good enough in our eyes.  Making Faces is an important reminder that rather than change those things about ourselves we should embrace them and use them to be a blessing to another person.

I know that there is an event in the novel we can all relate to and remember.  Reliving September 11 in the eyes of the teenager characters is so real.  Especially since most of us can remember exactly what we were doing on that day.  If we all traced our own choices back, it would be interesting to see what causes us to make those decisions and travel down those paths in our life.  Seeing the choices play out in the book is a reminder to me of exactly how God is truly in control of everything.  

I am a christian and it is refreshing to read a book with real issues be addressed in a way that honors faith but does not cram it down others throats.  To put it in perspective, here is one of my favorite quotes from the book.  "I don't think we get answers to every question. We don't get all the whys. But I think when we look back to the end of our lives, if we do the best we can, and we will see that the things we begged God to take from us, the things we cursed him for, the things that made us turn our backs on him, are the things that were the biggest blessings, the biggest opportunities for growth." 

In our humble eyes, Making Faces is an absolute must read book.  This is the kind of one-click you don't need to overthink.  You will get your money's worth from this story and honestly so much more.  It's heart-breakingly beautiful and incredibly uplifting.  This book is in a league of it's own and I don't doubt it will impact you in ways you never see coming.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Spy Girl by Jillian Dodd

What happens when you get pulled out of spy academy before graduation because you look good in a bikini?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
Protect the heir to the throne of Montrovia, while uncovering the person or persons behind the plot to assassinate him in order to take over control of this geographically important sovereign nation, and eliminate the threat.

Get close to the hottest prince on the planet and work for Black X, the double-black covert group so secret even the President of the United States is on a need-to-know basis?  I accept.

4 of 5 Stars

We were pretty excited to read this new book from Jillian Dodd.  We absolutely love the way she perfectly mixes drama and fun into each one of her story lines.  From the get go Spy Girl sounded like something a little different from her normal genre, so needless to say we were interested to see if it lived up to our expectations.

Agent X is pulled from her elite spy academy suddenly to go on a Top Secret and important mission to protect the Prince of Montrovia and find out who is out to kill him.  Taking the cover of Huntley Von Allister, an orphaned heiress, the journey begins.  From her introduction I was intrigued by this character, and even now, with the last page turned I still have many unanswered questions about her true identity, what really happened to her parents and the story behind Blackwood, her spy academy.  Agent X is no doubt a fun character, who sort of reminds me of Keatyn in her personality.  The Prince of Montrovia is her first "real" mission.  This is a chance to actually prove herself, which is necessary if she wants to achieve her ultimate goal, and in order for this mission to be successful she will have to keep her emotions at bay, a task which is proving more and more difficult the further into the mission she gets.

In order to  meet the prince, Huntley and her "brother," another under cover agent, Ari have to make friends with influential people.  Cue the introduction of several notable hotties.  So now not only do we have a dreamy real life Prince interested in Huntley but then there is also Daniel, the VP of the United States son, and let's just say when Huntley and Daniel share a page their chemistry is off the charts!

We throughly enjoyed the first book in this new series from Jillian Dodd!  The second half of the story seemed to keep my attention more than the first part, since I think I had more of a connection to the characters once the story's groundwork was laid.  The first half of the book primarily felt like a launch pad, which I now understand was needed in order to catapult this book into a full blown series.  The only other thing we did not love was the POV.  It seemed to alternate throughout the mission from Huntley to a narrator perspective.  We would have preferred to just have the entire book from Huntley's perspective.  

In conclusion, if you love drama, mystery, fun, and a strong, self sufficient bad ass female lead in a book, this one is for you!  We are certainly hooked and are excited to see where book 2 will lead Huntley on her next mission.  Hopefully, we will get the answers we are seeking on her real identity as well!  Either way, one things for sure...we predict each book to be more and more addicting the further we dive into Agent X's story.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Review: Roots and Wings by M. Mabie

Welcome to Wynne, population 3,401. 

No billionaires. No professional athletes. No celebrities. 

In this small town, current events are pondered in mirrors at the local salon or around crowded tables at the diner, and there’s a new couple to gossip about. A rough and tumble woman who works in her dad’s garage, not yet ready to spread her wings, shows the new guy in town what it’s like to finally have roots. 

It’s your run-of-the-mill, sexy, Astro van driving dentist meets smart-ass, bass fishing tomboy in a story of real-life romance. 

Low on drama. High on love. 

Pull up a chair and stay a while.

4.25 of 5 Stars

When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it.  Mo write a book without a bunch of drama?  Was it possible I was about to embark on a journey without wanting to punch someone, throw a temper tantrum or scream?  I had to find out!  The verdict?  YES! And I loved every minute of it.  Well done, Mabie!

Mutt O'Fallon is a small town girl with sass.  She doesn't fit the mold of other girls in Wynne and is proud of it.  I love the fact that she works at her dad's garage, drives a loud truck and can out fish all the men around her.  Is there anything better than a true tomboy?  Speaking of fish, I think that it is a theme with this author.  She apparently loves fishing and using all the lingo in her books to Bait us into reading!  (See what I did there?  If you want drama, go one click that baby and you will be sure to get it!)

When the dentist in Wynne decides to retire, a new, young dentist moves to town.  Vaughn is from Cleveland and has a set of baggage with him.  But, he also is thrilled to experience small town living. He has no idea what it is like to have everyone know your business and think they know all the facts about your life.  The first person in town he meets is Mutt and from the first interaction, I knew it was going to be an amazing relationship.  

Mutt and Vaughn are some of the most likable characters I have read lately.  They both have their faults, but overall, they are really like normal, everyday people.  It was refreshing to read a genuine love story with very dialed down drama, something you could actually believe would happen to one of your friends.  Roots and Wings had a very realistic tone and was overall a simply beautiful story about finding the person who brings out the very best version of yourself.  I for one found myself smiling throughout the entire book.  What are you waiting for?  Travel to Wynne today!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blog Tour and Review: The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc. 1), by Rachel Van Dyken

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

4.5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit after finishing The Matchmaker's Playbook I can confidently admit I'm a big fan of this new  Rachel Van Dyken series.  It was a everything I have come to expect and love when I one-click one of her books.  The story was fun, full of clever witty dialogue and I'm just going to go ahead and say it...this time around she takes the "steam" to a whole new level and she did it perfectly!

Ian and his best friend Lex run Wingmen Inc. It's a referral run business which specializes in helping women not only get the guy of their dreams, but help them become confident in their own bodies.  The concept may seem a bit outrageous but Ian's motives for even creating this business come from a good, self-less place and from the moment he's introduced you won't be able to help but falling for this book boyfriend. Needless to say Blake a new client who also happens to be his best friend's new roommate will shake Ian to his core, but the real question is whether or not Ian is willing or even capable of risking everything for a chance at love.

When it comes to love all bets are off and rule breaking is essential!  The chemistry between Ian and Blake is off the charts.  These two have so many sweet moments but their banter will have you literally laughing out loud!  Perfectly paced with just the right amount of "drama" mixed into the story I predict you will enjoy this story as much as I did.  A perfect start to what's sure to be an outrageously funny new series. Go ahead and give The Matchmaker's Playbook a one-click, it's so much fun, you definitely don't want to miss out on this one!

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About Author Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook  or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is .