Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: Lake + Manning by Jessica Hawkins

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Title: Lake + Manning
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Series: Something In The Way #4
Version Reviewed: ARC, eBook
Website: www.jessicahawkins.com
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

GoodReads Synopsis:
The final book in the Something in the Way series, a love saga.
Manning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . .
A home he built us on the unshakeable foundation we fought for.
A life of laughter carved out of heartache and betrayal.
A love story to stand the test of time.
But between a trust that can’t be broken, joy that can’t be bridled, and passion that would scorch the sun, the empty spaces are becoming more and more difficult to ignore . . .
Fears that keep Manning up at night as he slips from our bed.
Our complicated relationship with a man he respects and one I don't know how to forgive.
And a sprawling, beautiful home with one small room I'm afraid I'll never be able to fill.
Manning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . .
But I'll beg the heavens for just one thing more.
Review:
Man, oh man. Or should I say man, oh Manning? Hah, see what I did there? ;) Okay, okay but I couldn't resist.

I honestly don't think I have read a series that has hit me this hard in years.  From the very beginning of book one I was addicted, hung on every word, eager to find out what was going to happen next and how things would unfold for Lake and Manning. I was rooting for them from the first moment she saw him sitting on that brick wall. Throughout each book, I followed along the rollercoaster of a relationship that these two have and every single way that they have impacted the lives around them. It's been an emotional, insanely beautiful ride and I can't believe that it has just come to an end.

I wasn't sure how Jessica was going to end the great saga of Birdy and her Bear but I knew that there was no way I would be disappointed in how their story was going to turn out. This ride was too beautiful and too hard fought for it to turn out any way other than perfect.

Lake + Manning was was full of emotional twists and turns that unfortunately come about in real life and, though their relationship is insanely beautiful and meant to be, it's also been full of heartache and pain and this book was no different. Though I can't really relate to Lake in any other way, I found myself relating to her on a deeply personal level in this book as she ended up dealing with some of the same issues that I had in the early parts of my marriage. It was refreshing to have a main character that dealt with some of the same issues that I have dealt with in the past and one that felt so real and like a real woman with real world problems.

The way this book went was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the way that the author broke the story up and made it into different parts. It allowed the reader to truly discover the events of Lake and Manning's life and how they and their relationship changed over the course of many years.

I honestly don't know what else to say about this book other than it was simply beautiful. If you're a fan of starcrossed romance, or just romance in general, I highly suggest you read this series. I don't think you'll regret it.

Lake + Manning was a perfect end to a truly epic love story.

Rating: 5 Stars


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Behind The Screen: A Book Blogger Tag!


Image and book tag courtesy of the lovely Amber @ Du Livre!

Hi, I'm Darcus!
I run Rainy Days and Pajamas!
Here's a little bit about me.
:)

When did you start blogging and what was your first review?
I first began blogging in June of 2011 but not on this blog. I started with a blog called Starcrossed Reviews (inspired by Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini!) but a few years later I decided I wanted to completely rebrand and I opened up Rainy Days and Pajamas! My first review (posted on Starcrossed Reviews) was Marked by PC & Kristin Cast.
Marked (House of Night, #1)
Who/what inspired you to start blogging?
I remember looking up information for a book one day and I randomly stumbled upon a book blog. I had been reading a Enjoying The Small Things for a while and I figured, hey, I read a ton of books so why not start a blog of my own!?  I was also in a pretty bad place, emotionally and mentally, at the time. I had just suffered an ectopic pregnancy after trying for years for a baby, my husband and I were living in a friend's basement, and I was dealing with crippling anxiety/depression. Book blogging became a sort of escape for me.

What is a blog-related goal that you have?
I honestly don't have many goals when it comes to book blogging. I enjoy reading, I enjoy helping out authors and sharing news and information about great books. And honestly, I really just enjoy doing my own thing. I guess if I had to pick something that I would like to work towards, it would be respect. I've been pretty lax about blogging since I started, not keeping a good schedule, not posting for weeks at a time, missing tours, not keeping deadlines, etc. But, in the last two years, I've managed to completely turn myself and my blog around in that area and I would eventually like to garner the respect of bigger authors and publishing companies.

What was your biggest blog-related accomplishment?
Other than getting myself back on track in every area that I mentioned above, there hasn't really been any great accomplishments. I've kind of unintentionally flown under the radar since I started out.

What types of posts do you enjoy writing?
I love love LOVE doing giveaways.

Where do you usually blog? What does your setup look like?
I would normally say in our office/library. I used to have it set up so beautifully and then we moved and I still haven't gotten my desk cleaned up and organized. But for my birthday this past year my husband built me a little desk that is the perfect size for my laptop and it scoots right up under the couch and is the perfect height for me.

What was your last 5-star read?
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols.

What was your last 1-star read?
I very rarely give these ratings out. I seriously had to go all the way back to early 2015 to find my last 1-star rating. And it was Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I was a huge fan of the movie growing up but when I read the book to my daughter, I vowed to never read it to her again (she can read it on her own when she's older, I don't believe in banning books, ya'll) unless she is mature enough to understand that Harriet was not of great character and didn't treat others well. She literally learned nothing  by the end of the book and was just a spoiled brat.

What are three words that make you pick up a book?
Forbidden
Beard
M/M
Yeah, that last one isn't technically a word, but I'm going to count it.
:P

What is your Hogwarts house?

What is your favorite reading environment?
On a cozy couch or chair, light throw blanket, light rainy day with a window open.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?
Don't take everything too seriously. Read to have fun and try not to let blogging ruin your love of it. As much as you enjoy it, it can get tiring. 
Also, don't get so excited when you start getting free books that you request or accept way more than you can handle. You'll spend the rest of you book blogging experience regretting it, trust me.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy it!



Happy Valentine's Day & A Giveaway!

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One winner will receive a $10 gift card to the Rainy Days and Pajamas used book shop.
Check out the current books and swag available for purchase here

GOOD LUCK!
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Dark Wish by Yumoyori Wilson


Dark Wish
Yumoyori Wilson
Publication date: September 8th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
What do you get when you add free and dumb?
FREEDOM

My name is Makoto Heart and I’ve always wished for a chance at freedom. Every day, I prayed before the Starlight gods, asking for their divine assistance in accomplishing such a difficult task.
Being an experiment for as long as I can remember, my hopes of obtaining freedom have diminished, drastically. The disappointment haunted me, as myself and my spirits struggled to survive. I had no hope left, believing my final plea fell upon deaf ears, yet again.
But what happens when my prayers are finally answered? I’m thrust into fulfilling a destiny, with the help of six star knights. Suddenly, I am no longer experiment 555, but the stolen princess of Heila.
Freedom, how you have teased my troubled soul. May the Starlight gods guide me and my knights, on this path towards the unknown.
~In Stars We Trust~
Dark Wish is an extraordinary new paranormal reverse harem series.
Recommended for 18+ audience, containing mature sexual content and strong language.




EXCERPT
Why is it so cold or is his tingle inducing voice doing that?

“If you were wearing clothes, maybe you would feel, you know, less chilly?” Rose suggested, sounding uninterested in my current dilemma.

I panicked, glancing down to see myself wearing only a pink laced bra and matching panties. Karen had given me a spare set of clothes to change into that were more feminine, reassuring me I’d have more selection and school uniform by tomorrow.

I swear to starlight, I put something on before I slept...

“If you're referring to the sheet that you grabbed off the side of the bed, wrapping yourself up like a caterpillar cocooning itself for hibernation, and face planting into the bed, then yes. You essentially put something on.” Lexi mused, enjoyment oozing off her usual mellow voice.

I groaned, putting my head into my hands. If I could die from embarrassment, this would be the moment. First night sleeping in a house filled with boys and I’d miraculously broke into one of the rooms, snuck myself into an occupied bed, and now was on full display like an underwear model.

Talk about first impressions.



Author Bio:
Yumoyori Wilson is from Toronto, Ontario. She loves to sleep and write her days away. She works at night as a registered nurse. She has a little addiction to bubble tea and coffee but loves to workout. She has big plans for the writing world and can't wait to share them with everyone.



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Excerpt & Giveaway: What The Valley Knows by Heather Christie


What The Valley Knows
Heather Christie
Publication date: January 25th 2018
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.
When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.
The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.

EXCERPT
Molly smiled, blushing, tongue-tied. She felt stupid because she could see that they were the cool kids, and she wanted them to like her.
“What’s your name?” Legs casually hooked his hands together and straightened his elbows so that his triceps contracted.
“I’m Molly.” Her cheeks flushed again as she tucked her book into her pack and stood.
“Pretty name—” Legs nodded towards her book. “And smart. AP English? My sister has to read the same book.”
“We’re having a party Friday night at the quarry,” Tank said. “There might not be much to drink,” Shady said.
Legs smiled—the kind of smile that was used to getting whatever it wanted—and said, “I’d be happy to take you. Introduce you to everybody. Everybody who’s anybody, that is.”
She hesitated, her fingers tightening around the railing. They watched her.
“What’s your number?” Legs reached for the phone that was tucked into his white compression pants. “I’ll text you about the party.”
“Um . . . I have to ask my mom.” Oh my god! What a stupid thing to say!
“She has to ask her mom,” Legs said, perplexed. They all looked dumfounded for a moment. But Legs said, “Sure. Okay. So can I have your number?”
“Sure,” said Molly, and then she told him.
Shady dropped his sunglasses over his eyes. “We’re meeting in the stadium parking lot around eight to ride up together.”
Tank pointed across the street. “Behind the school, that’s where the stadium is.”
“No shit, Sherlock.” Legs winked at her. “Don’t mind these dummies!” He laughed and ran his hand through his spiky hair. “Move it.” He whacked Shady on the back.
“Hope you can come.” Tank smiled.
“I’ll try.”
“Keep the booze part on the down low,” Shady said. “I mean, don’t tell your mom.”
“No. No, I won’t.” Molly couldn’t help but grin.
They picked up their gear and walked away, their voices fading. Halfway across the fairgrounds, Legs turned around and waved with a big smile. Molly waved in return. The guys passed through the shade of the trees and back into the sunlight. They stopped on the curb, their silhouettes distinct against the school.
She was invited to a party.
Maybe she should go. Stop being the shy girl.
Maybe she’d make some friends, then she wouldn’t have to lie to her mom anymore.
Molly picked up her bag and stepped into the sun. She raised her hand over her brow and squinted into the brightness. The school’s plywood windows looked as if they had double-winked at her. The eyes seemed frozen mid-wink, uncertain whether to open all the way or shut completely.
People reinvented themselves all the time, right?
Maybe she could be somebody different here.
Maybe she could even forgive herself about what happened to her dad.
Maybe.


Author Bio:
Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she's back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters


Drakon’s Past
N.J. Walters
(Blood of the Drakon #4)
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: January 29th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters.
Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.
The Blood of the Drakon series is best enjoyed in order
Reading Order:
Book #1: Drakon’s Promise
Book #2: Drakon’s Prey
Book #3: Drakon’s Plunder
Book #4: Drakon’s Past
EXCERPT:
Constance blinked. She heard Abigail scream and some of the men yell. Nic had to be about fifteen feet long, and that wasn’t including his long, powerful tail, which was tucked around him.
He rose on his back legs and released his wings. The spread had to be at least double the size of his body.
Nic was a dragon.
She shook her head. Impossible.
Nic. Was. A. Dragon.
She’d had sex with a dragon. She was in love with a bloody dragon. How was this even possible? Then she remembered what Nic had told her about Dent and how the group he belonged to wanted to capture him and drink his blood. She couldn’t let that happen.
But it was too late. Dent fired at her again, and Nic pounced, coming down over her. She feared he might crush her with his gigantic body, but instead, he crouched above her like some big watchdog, shielding her from any further bullets.
The moment he was inside the circle, something changed. He roared as though he was in pain. She scrambled out from beneath him. “Nic? Nic, what’s wrong?” Stupid question all things considered, but this was something different, something he hadn’t been expecting.
These statues were dangerous to him.
He turned his big head toward her and opened his mouth. God, those were big teeth. All the better to eat her with. Yeah, not a pleasant thought. In this form, she’d barely be a snack.
“Run.” The word was guttural, as though it had been pulled from him.
He’d known. He’d known she’d planned to betray him, and still he was trying to save her. If she hadn’t already loved him, she would have fallen in that moment. Man or beast, it didn’t matter. He’d known. He’d known she’d planned to betray him, and still he was trying to save her. If she hadn’t already loved him, she would have fallen in that moment. Man or beast, it didn’t matter.

Author Bio:
Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years.
One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first romance novel and life would never be the same.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next- door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker


Finders Keepers
N.R. Walker
Publication date: February 2nd 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance
Needing a change of scene, Griffin Burke moves from Brisbane to Coolum Beach to start a new job. The beautiful white sand, aqua-coloured ocean, blue skies, and summer breezes are everything he longs for. What he finds is a mud-covered dog, lost and hungry, with a nametag and a phone number.
Dane Hughes is stuck in Surfers Paradise at a week-long work conference when he gets a phone call from his distraught mother. His dog, his fur baby, Wicket, has run away. Unable to leave and feeling helpless and miserable, he gets a text from a guy. “I think I found your dog…”
Griffin and Dane start talking, and Griffin agrees to look after Wicket until Dane can collect him. With a few days left before his new job starts, Griffin takes Wicket on some coastal adventures and sends Dane photos of their fun, and so the start of something new and kind of wonderful begins.
Griffin might have moved to Coolum in search of a new life, but what he finds is so much more. What he gets to keep just might take some four-legged help.
EXCERPT:
I got all moved into my new place and had everything unpacked on day one. I’d met my downstairs landlady for the first time as the two bulky removalists were lugging my bed up the stairs. I was at the bottom of the stairs watching them, not entirely ogling, when a tiny, five-foot-tall woman stood beside me.
She didn’t say anything for a while, just stared at the men straining to get the wooden bedhead up the flight of stairs. Still without looking at me, she hummed. “Nice arse.”
I almost choked on my sip of water. “Uh…”
“Don’t tell me you weren’t looking. I might be a little hard of hearing, but I ain’t blind.”
Right then.
I held out my hand. “Name’s Griffin Burke.”
She shook my hand, and her hard, firm grip surprised me. She looked kind of frail at first, but then I noticed her tattoos. Her entire right arm was now a mottled, wrinkled mass of blue and coloured ink on sun-leathered skin. Given she looked to be in her seventies, she must have had a full sleeve done forty or fifty years ago.
Jesus.
“Bernice Warren.”
She was wearing a sleeveless tank top and a flowing skirt. Upon closer inspection, she looked like a hippy that peace, love, and time forgot. Her face had seen too much sun as well, wrinkled and leathered, though I imagined she would have once been stunningly beautiful. Her blue eyes still had spark, her long once-blonde hair now ash grey.
“Come with me,” she said, turning on her heel and walking toward the roller door. When she turned, I noticed her left arm. Old, mottled blue tattoos went to her elbow, as well as two scars that looked like lightning strikes. They looked surgical and my first thought was shoulder reconstruction, but then I noticed one scar ran underneath her shirt and up her neck. She turned the latch on the roller door, and using her right arm only, lifted the door to review a storage space. Inside was a lawnmower, wheelbarrow, and some gardening tools.
Ah, right. I was the resident mower of lawns.
“I’d do it myself,” she said. “But the old arm doesn’t work like it used to.” She lifted her left arm rigidly. It didn’t hang useless but there was definitely restricted movement.
“It’s fine,” I said. “I don’t mind mowing lawns at all. My weekends will be Monday and Tuesday though, not Saturday and Sunday. If that’s okay?”
“It’s fine. Don’t much care what day you do ’em.” She nodded to herself. “Last tenant was a nice girl. Started out with good intentions, and she was gonna do all sorts of things to help me out, but that didn’t last long.” Bernice looked up at me and stared for a good long minute. “You’re not the churchgoing type, are you?”
“Uh…”
“I don’t mind if you are, I just don’t wanna offer you one of my special brownies and for you to totally hash out on me and start mumbling biblical shit at me every time you see me.”
I fought a smile and lost, and I tried not to laugh but couldn’t help that either. “Not biblical. Not in that sense, anyway. Unless you consider my earlier staring at that guy’s arse a religion. As for the special brownies, I haven’t had any for a while. Not since college, anyway.”
Bernice grinned and nodded slowly. “So you know what I mean when I say special brownie. Not like the last poor girl who thought it was my grandma’s special recipe or some shit.” She shook her head slowly. “Dunno what she was thinking. Do I look like Betty Fucking Crocker to you?”


Author Bio:
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.
She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things... but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since...

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cover Reveal: Thigh Highs by Katia Rose


Thigh Highs
Katia Rose
Publication date: October 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Modelling lingerie for her arch-nemesis was not on Christina’s to-do list.
Then again, neither was he.
Aaron Penn might be the talk of the advertising school they both attend, but to Christina he’s just an egomaniac with a cocky smirk to match. Fast forward to the end of term, when a class project gone wrong has her stripping down to a negligee and letting Aaron photograph her to advertise a line of women’s underwear.
She expects suggestive comments and smarmy-eyed stares, but when Aaron gets behind the camera he treats her body like a work of art. Even though all she’s got on is a scrap of satin, the room suddenly feels way too hot.
As the tension between them builds to expensive-panty-melting-levels, Christina finds herself caught between falling for the complicated artist who knows just what poses to put her in, and wondering why he acts like such an irritating hotshot around everyone else.


Author Bio:
Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

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