4/27/2015

Blog Tour ~ Sugar on Top by Marina Adair, Top 5 + ARC Review


Welcome to My Book Snack's tour stop for Sugar on Top by Marina Adair!
Today we have a Top 5 guest post, ARC Review, and tour-wide GIVEAWAY.

Marina Adair's
Top 5 things she adores about Cal and Glory

1.  Cal’s butt. I have to say it is quite possibly the eighth wonder of the world.

2.  The way Glory cares for the people in her life, especially her grandmother.

3.  For a guy who is constantly surrounded by women, Cal is adorably clueless when it comes to understanding them.

4.  That Cal drinks Hazelnut Vanilla lattes even though his crew has taken to calling him Princess.

5.  The overzealous appreciation they both have for Glory’s red boots.


Title: Sugar on Top
Author: Marina Adair
Series: Sugar, Georgia #2
Publisher: Forever Romance
Release Date: April 28, 2015

She's sassy and sweet
The last thing Glory Mann wants is to become chairman of the Miss Peach Pageant in Sugar, Georgia. Spending months hearing nothing but the clinking of pearls and judgment? No thank you! But when Glory is forced to take the rap for a scandal she didn't commit, the judge sentences her to head the committee. Even worse, her co-chairman is rugged, ripped . . . and barely knows she's alive.

He's ready and willing
Single dad Cal McGraw can't take any more drama in his life. After a difficult divorce, his little girl became a boy-crazy teenager and his hands are full. The last thing he needs is to spend his down time with the town bad girl. Glory is pure trouble-tempting and tantalizing trouble. But he can't deny the strong chemistry between them-or how her touch turns him inside out. Now as squabbles threaten to blow up the contest and the town of Sugar itself, Cal must risk everything on the sexy wild card to get a second chance at love . . .

Source: Publisher
This is my honest review
Rating: 5 Stars - Excellent

Marina Adair continues to warm my heart with her lovely stories. Sugar on Top tickled me pink with a story that surrounds two people who absolutely deserve happiness in their lives.

We are back in Sugar, Georgia for book 2 in the series. This time eldest McGraw brother, Cal, gets a second chance at finding love. Cal is a single father who has sacrificed so many things in his life for his family. His daughter has and always been his top priority. He really has no time for love, especially since he already has so much on his plate with work and a teenager to take care of and understand. Cal gets paired with Glory Mann to co-chair the Miss Peach Pageant, and he soon finds out that working with Glory might just push him over the edge into the very place where he had stopped letting his heart go.

I ended up loving Sugar on Top more than the first book, which I quite enjoyed as well. I think I found the main characters in this one more relatable. Both Cal’s and Glory’s background story tugged at my heart. So many of the townspeople have judged Glory for many years. Just once she wants something to go her way. Cal’s divorce was so painful for him that he doesn’t want to take any more chances. Ms. Adair made me fall for her characters again! How does she keep doing that? The way Cal and Glory flirt made me giggle and swoon. One of the things I thought was special in this story is the father-daughter relationship. Cal’s sanity is pretty much tested when his little girl wants to grow up too quickly. Boy, does he have his hands full in that department. Also, the town of Sugar is so quirky, unique, and competitive when it comes to annual events. I love how Adair writes all her small town stories that way.

If you like fun small town romances, give this one a try. Yes, Sugar on Top can be read as a standalone. Jace’s story is next in A Taste of Sugar. The youngest McGraw brother seems like such a bad boy, so I can’t wait to find out what he’s all about in the next book.

Book Links
Goodreads
 Amazon

My review of book 1

About the author:
Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series and the upcoming Shelter Cove series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter. As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.

Social Media Links:

~ Tour-Wide Giveaway ~

4/24/2015

Blocked by Jennifer Lane Review, Top 5 and Giveaway #SportsRomance

I'm so happy to have author Jennifer Lane on My Book Snack! I've read and reviewed her Conduct romantic suspense series in the past, and I've come to enjoy her writing very much. For those that don't know, Jennifer also loves to write about sports. She's also an awesome person to chat with, and she's giving away an e-copy of her book, Blocked!

Please welcome Jennifer Lane!

Five Favorite Things About Writing Sport Romance

Hi, I’m Jennifer Lane and I write sports romance with a psychological twist. I was a two-sport athlete in college: swimming and volleyball. Not surprisingly, I’ve highlighted those sports in several New Adult sports romances: swimming military romance Streamline, swimming novella Swim Recruit, and volleyball romance Blocked.

What do I love about writing sports romance?
Here are my top five!

1) Suspense. Do you love the excitement and drama of close competitions? Sport provides a wonderful venue for building suspense. *chews fingernails* Will Leo overcome addiction and abuse to swim fast at the state finals? Will Reese get kicked off the team for badmouthing the university to a recruit? Or will Lucia’s volleyball team beat their biggest rival? Read and find out!

2) Strong Bodies. Typical heroes are muscular; typical heroines are lean. But what can their bodies DO for them? In sport, it’s great to celebrate how bodies function instead of focusing only on how they look. The heroine doesn’t have to be a thin weakling. The hero needn’t be so muscle-bound he can barely move. Athletes train their bodies endlessly, and we root for them to channel that hard work into amazing athletic feats with their strong, flexible bodies.

3) Sexy Times. Sports offer unique romance opportunities. Swimmers might share a breathless underwater kiss, or dive into illicit skinny-dipping. If athletes are feeling especially naughty, they may lick the sweat off each other’s skin. One of my favorite scenes to write in Blocked was when Dane and Lucia sneak into the gym to play volleyball together. Lucia marvels at his exquisite sets, and Dane admires her powerful spikes. Afterwards, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

4) Friendship. They say nothing bonds us like working toward a common goal, and teammates can develop deep friendships. I was lucky to have sixty teammates friends on my college swim team. It’s also true that we grow closer by uniting against a common enemy, whether that’s the opponent or the coach! One fun aspect of athlete friendship is trash talking. If a teammate gives you shit, you know he likes you.

“Friendship’s the best kind of ship.”
Quote from Streamline

5) Knowledge. Don’t know much about swimming or volleyball? How about fencing or lacrosse? Reading a sports romance opens up a new world, full of passionate people pursuing their dreams. Each sport is a unique culture with its own language. Would you know what to do if a swim coach said: “5 X 200, odds free build on 3:00, evens IM negative split each 50 on 3:30”? Probably not! But if you swim, you’d know. And depending how out of shape you are (like me), you might consider your coach to be your enemy. ;-)

What do YOU love about sports romance?

Jennifer sure did hit a lot of the points of why I love reading sport romances. I love seeing how the athletes work hard to fulfill their goals. I love the sportsmanship and friendships forged in the story. Thank you, Jennifer, for stopping by! ~G

Jennifer's sports-related Pinterest boards for her books:
Swim Recruit
Streamline
Blocked

Title: Blocked
Author: Jennifer Lane
Series: Blocked #1
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2014

Synopsis:
College freshman Lucia Ramirez has a secret crush on Dane Monroe. He’s a tall drink of water — blond, brash, and one hell of a volleyball player. ¡Híjole! Lucia hopes her volleyball scholarship to his school will make him notice her.

Too bad what’s noticeable is Dane’s obvious hatred for Lucia. Her family’s politics contradict everything he stands for. And politics are front and center in both their families. Dane’s mother is about to face Lucia’s father in the race for US President.

When Secret Service throws them together, Dane can’t deny his frustrating attraction to Lucia’s athletic curves and sweet faith in the world. Amid the intense pressure of college athletics and presidential politics, can opposites not just attract, but overcome overwhelming odds to be together? Or do their differences block their match from the start?


Source: Purchased
This is my honest review.
Rating: 3.75 Stars - Liked/Loved

Dane and Lucia won me over!

I’m going to be straight up and say that I liked Blocked. I do have a mixed bag of feelings, but overall Dane and Lucia won me over. I’m a huge fan of college sports, and this is the first time I’ve read a college sports romance featuring volleyball. In that regard, I found this read absolutely refreshing!

Blocked begins with volleyball player Lucia Ramirez ready to begin her freshman year at Highbanks University. Everything would be fine and dandy if not for volleyball star athlete Dane Monroe being there, too. Why would that even matter? Well, Lucia and Dane each have a parent running for the office of US President. Things can and do get pretty sticky right away. This strange situation they’re in, which includes the Secret Service? Well, all that makes for one very unique story.

As mentioned, I do have mixed feelings about Blocked, so I’ll begin with what didn’t work for me. This story is heavy on political issues. The election drives a majority of the tension in the plot. I usually don’t mind politics in my romances, but in this case a lot of hot-button issues were touched in some way or another. With Dane and Lucia so passionate in their beliefs, I also know that can’t be avoided.

“But no matter how bad the rest of my life became, the gym was my home. Volleyball was my clarity.”

What I did love was how Jennifer Lane developed the two main characters to win my heart! Right from the start Dane and Lucia were under so much pressure to be perfect. It’s not easy having Secret Service follow you around and also be under so much media scrutiny. Ms. Lane made both of them imperfect with each having to deal with some major issues in their lives and making some bad choices. Despite their differences, she also showed them to be understanding of one another. Through this unusual situation, they somehow connected, and that made me cheer for them even more! I also wanted to mention that Ms. Lane writes amazing volleyball scenes. I felt the competitiveness and camaraderie of the players. I felt the love of the sport being written from the heart. I take note and appreciate that when reading a sports romance.

Blocked has a very sweet and slow-building romance. There is no hot and heavy, which was fine with me in this particular case. The ending made me want a little more to at least tide me over until the next book. Yes, there is a cliffhanger. I’ve heard there will be three books in this series, and I’ll be along for the ride for book 2. Dane and Lucia are a sweet pairing, and I hope we’ll see more of them in the next books. Thanks, Jennifer Lane!

Book Links
Goodreads
Amazon

My reviews of Jennifer Lane's Conduct series
(link to Amazon)
With Good Behavior
Bad Behavior
On Best Behavior

Jennifer Lane's website:
http://www.jenniferlanebooks.com/

Jennifer has graciously donated a BLOCKED e-book to one winner!
(International OK)

4/21/2015

Deep by Kylie Scott Audiobook Review + Narrator Andi Arndt Guest Post

The past few weeks I did a binge listen of Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series. When I started book 1, Lick, I was so smitten with Ms. Arndt’s narration of the audiobook that she was a big reason for me to continue listening to the series. By the time I finished the last book, Deep, I had a few questions for her swimming in my head.

Q&A

Please welcome audiobook narrator, Andi Arndt, to My Book Snack.
G: Hello, Ms. Arndt. How are you doing today?

A: Doing pretty well - finishing a book today, starting a book tomorrow, reading next week’s book in the evenings, so it’s a busy time.

G: Can you share with us a little about how you got into narrating and what you love most about this profession?

A: I had a background in both theatre (taught acting and speech at the university level) and broadcasting (public radio).  I did quite a bit of non-audiobook voice over at first, but always had an eye on the audiobook world and wanted to find out how to be a part of that world.  So much of “VO” (commercials, etc) is about selling, even when it’s embedded in storytelling, but audiobooks seemed to be just the pure art, and that’s really appealing to an actor.  It’s you, the listener, and me, the storyteller, in this very direct relationship.  I’m not trying to get you to buy something, except perhaps another audiobook.  It took years to learn the art and business of audiobooks, and I’m still learning every day, but I’m so grateful to have the opportunities I have right now.  I love my job.

G: I’m not sure what the process is of how a narrator gets matched with a book. How did it come about of you becoming the narrator for the Stage Dive series audiobooks?

A: I work from a home studio for a) audio publishers, b) independent producers who coordinate production for those publishers and c) directly for authors as an independent producer.  In the case of the Stage Dive series, it was option b.   In early 2014, one of the producers I narrate for contacted me with a new assignment for Macmillan Audio.  Kylie Scott’s publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, is a division of Macmillan, so the audiobooks are released through Macmillan Audio.  The casting director for Macmillan thought I would be a good match for Lick, so I got an email from the producer asking whether I had room in my schedule and interest in the title.  I accepted the assignment, and they liked what I did enough to assign me the rest of the titles in the series.   It’s been a wild ride watching Kylie Scott’s series take off like a rocket!  I’m so happy for her, and so proud of the audiobooks.

G: Are you a Stage Dive fan? I have to mention that my favorite Stage Dive band member is Mal Ericson (followed closely by Ben Nicholson). I love how you do Mal’s voice. Do you have a favorite band member?

A: Of course I’m a Stage Dive fan!  I’ve looked forward to each title and to Kylie Scott’s wicked sense of humor, and the way her characters find their way through very real emotional terrain as they try to figure out what to do.  Even though the literal situations they’re in might be untypical for the average woman, the conflicts that arise are certainly familiar, and always presented with compassion and humor.  I do think the rock star behind the scenes theme is so appealing - you’ve got that division between the public persona and the private man, just at a much more dramatic and obvious level.  All relationships have that to some extent though, don’t they?  People want to feel loved and understood for who they are “offstage,” I think.  I’ve known some fairly famous musicians, and when they get to a certain level of fame, people don’t quite treat them as human beings anymore.  It can be lonely, and they can’t always trust people.  It’s like that Joe Walsh lyric:  everybody’s so different / I haven’t changed.

Thanks for the Mal compliment - I loved Play for sure, and the way Mal totally upended Anne’s world.  For Mal, I thought back to some of my guy friends in high school who had big personalities like his, and the way they went at life, the way they carried us all along with them and life was more fun when they were around, but knowing that the big show was not the whole story.  But he had such fantastic energy!  Not sure I have a favorite band member though--audiobook narration means I love the book I’m working on, and I’ve enjoyed each one.  I’ve been curious to see the response to each book, and how different people connect to the different books.

G: Will you be narrating any more of Kylie Scott’s books, particularly, her upcoming Dive Bar series?

A: I would love to continue narrating for Kylie Scott and can’t wait to meet her in person when that opportunity arises.  Casting decisions are made much later though, so it’s not something I would know before the first Dive Bar book is ready to be recorded.  I think there’s a good chance, but nothing is set in stone at this point.

G: Can you share the name of the book you are currently narrating?

A: Today I’m finishing Lori Roy’s Southern Gothic mystery Let Me Die In His Footsteps, set in rural Kentucky in the mid 20th century, and then tomorrow I’ll start Patti Callahan Henry’s The Idea of Love, set in South Carolina.  Never a dull moment!

G: Thank you so much for stopping by My Book Snack to chat, Andi!

A: You’re so welcome. It’s my pleasure.

Andi Arndt:


Title: Deep
Author: Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive #4
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: March 31, 2015

Synopsis:
Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible... but will it lead to a connection of the heart?



Audiobook
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Purchased
This is my honest review
Rating: 4.5 Stars - Loved

Stage Dive rocks hard and loves the women in their lives harder!

It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to read a rock star series. For some reason, I was drawn to reading the Stage Dive books. The yummy covers certainly caught my attention, and I think the cover for Deep is my favorite! When I saw the cover, I couldn’t resist the pull any longer, so I binge read the first three books on audio, and it was absolutely worth it just to get to Deep!

Lizzy Rollins is Anne’s younger sister. For Anne and drummer Mal’s story, you’ll have to read book 2 (Play). It’s in that book where Lizzy meets Ben Nicholson. Lizzy has a good head on her shoulders. She goes to school, works, and doesn’t easily fall in love; however, the day she met Stage Dive’s incredibly hot bass player, she was immediately smitten! Even though Ben was told to resist, he couldn’t help but find Lizzie irresistible, and next thing you know there’s a bun in the oven…Whoopsie! Yes, Deep has an unexpected pregnancy, as indicated in the summary. Lucky for me I don’t mind reading a story with this type of plot. I have to hand it to Kylie Scott for keeping Ben a little mysterious throughout the series, because it was his story that I wanted the most! This tall and bearded rocker clearly is set in his own ways living the rocker lifestyle. Lizzie is the perfect person to shake his world. Although slightly predictable, I still found every bit of their story quite delectable while they try to figure things out they best way they could. All the tension created was both addictive and frustrating!

Speaking of frustrating, there were times throughout the entire series when I wanted to throttle each band member at one point or another. It was fun watching them fumble, realize their mistakes, and then fall deeply in love. All the Stage Dive members and the women in their lives are a close-knit bunch. I love the way Ms. Scott writes them to be understanding and loyal to each other. In Deep, seeing the banter between all the cast of characters made for a very satisfying conclusion to an entertaining series!

The audiobooks are narrated by the lovely and talented Andi Arndt. This series marks my first time listening to any of her narrations, and I found her performance smooth and flowing. Her voice for Mal is my favorite! She gives him a unique voice that I know immediately when he’s speaking and making his presence known. She did a phenomenal job breathing life into each and every Stage Dive book.


Book Links

Stage Dive Series Reading Order
Lick
Play
Lead
Deep

Kylie Scott's Website

4/19/2015

My Book Snack's Sunday Post (#7)


The Sunday Post meme is created by Kim the Caffeinated Book ReviewerIt's a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

The Sunday Post

We've been pretty lucky to have beautiful weather the past few weeks. I've been spending a lot of time doing fun things with my family. Over Spring Break one of my favorite things that we did was go whale watching. That particular day was sunny and clear, and we were blessed to see a pod of dolphins and about 9 humpback whales. I love whales, so being able to see these magnificent sea creatures always feels amazing to me! Have you ever gone whale watching? What was it like for you?

My daughter and I teamed up to run a 5K. While I've done a few races in the past, this was her first 5K, and she was pretty excited. It was fun crossing the finish line together holding hands.

I went to see The Longest Ride movie, and I LOVED it!


I will recap the past few weeks.

If You Believe by Mya O'Malley Review

Beyond Limits by Laura Griffen Review

2015 Audiobook Challenge 1st Quarter Update

Cookie Cutter by Jo Richardson Review & Guest Post

The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter Excerpt

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks Audiobook Review

Homefront by Jessica Scott Review and Q&A

Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye Review

Hauls

Purchased

(links to Amazon)

Library Audiobooks
I was on waitlists for these books for a while, and was so happy when they became available to me!




Happy Sunday!
*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy the book using the link, I will make a small affiliate commission

4/09/2015

Hard to be Good (#HardInk 3.5) by Laura Kaye ARC Review + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop of the Hard to Be Good Tour!

Title: Hard to Be Good
Author: Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #3.5
Genre: M/M Romance, erotic novella
Publisher: Avon Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2015

About HARD TO BE GOOD:
Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.
Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.
With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good...
Source: review copy from publisher
This is my honest review
Rating: 5 Stars - Excellent

Tattooist + Computer Geek = Hard Ink Hotness!

Oh my! Oh my!!! If you’ve been following along with the Hard Ink series, then you know that Laura Kaye has been teasing us with pairing Jeremy Rixey (brother of Nick and Kat Rixey) and Charlie Merritt (brother of Becca Merritt). Hard to Be Good is an M/M romance, and Laura Kaye does not hold back!

Jeremy owns Hard Ink Tattoo and a whole slew of funny t-shirts. He’s really become one my favorite characters in this series. Back in book 1, Hard as it Gets, Jeremy quickly gets pulled into what’s going on in his brother’s life. At the time, they were all trying to rescue Charlie, who had been kidnapped by some very bad people. It has now been roughly two weeks within the series timeline. Nick and his team are so close to finding all the answers they’re seeking, and Charlie is helping them with his brilliant mind and computer skills. I love Charlie! He’s quiet and shy, and in this story you get to see how he really feels on the inside, including all his fears and conflicts.

Keep in mind that Hard to Be Good is a novella. It’s short and doesn’t add much to the overall series plotline. Although Nick does something very sweet, this story really just focuses on Jeremy and Charlie, which was fine with me. I read this in one sitting, and abso-freaking-lutely enjoyed every moment! Jer and Charlie are a perfect fit. They pretty much display their heart and soul to one another, and it was beautiful to read.

“Charlie tasted like sweet, innocent temptation, and Jeremy wanted to consume every last bite.”

Wowza, Hard to Be Good is full of dirty talking and hotness! Ms. Kaye pretty much satisfied my wild imagination of how it was going to go down between these two. Everything that happens with Jeremy and Charlie is explicit, highly erotic and drips with desire!!! Thank you, Laura Kaye!

Book Links


And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:

Praise for the Hard Ink Series:
"TOP PICK! If you're looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you." ~RT Book Reviews Magazine

About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.