Review: Strings of Subversion by K. Victoria Chase

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Title: Strings of Subversion

Author: K. Victoria Chase

Genre: Historical Fiction, IR/Multicultural Historical Fiction

Release Date: 30 April 2017

 

SYNOPSIS

Based on true events.

Berlin 1935

On the eve of the Olympics, musician Willie Cooper is banned from performing her beloved jazz. With her half-German niece and nephew in need of food and shelter, she turns to the music underground to earn money. Each illegal gig brings the feared SD closer to her people, who are needed for an experiment only spoken of in feared whispers on the streets.

British Intelligence Agent Klaus Hummer’s mission is to observe and report as a journalist for Das Schwarze Korps, the Nazi’s premiere newspaper. The immersion into Nazi propaganda and culture reveals an alarming agenda that will put him on a path to sacrifice the life of a beautiful jazz singer for an assignment that cannot fail.

REVIEW

I love historical romance, so when a friend recommended K. Victoria Chase’s Strings of Subversion, I was intrigued.

You could say that Strings of Subversion is a forbidden love story: it’s set in Nazi Germany in 1936, just prior to World War II, with Germany preparing for the Berlin Olympics. Willie, an African-American jazz singer and violinist is living in Berlin with Margot, the German common-law wife of her uncle John, and their two children, Johannes and Dorotea. Though the Nazis are making life ever more difficult for all who are not “aryan” enough, Willie doesn’t want to leave Margo and her children on their own–especially with John out of the country performing and funds being low. So Willie and her musician friends do what they can to make ends meet, performing jazz (which has recently been forbidden by the Nazis) in underground clubs as well as German classical music in clubs that will still allow black and Jewish musicians to perform. Into the fold walks Klaus Reithoffer–handsome, charming…and possibly a Nazi. Or is he…? One thing is certain: sparks fly between Willie and Klaus, even when both have good reason for keeping their distance.

What I enjoyed about Strings of Subversion was how Chase weaves so many layers of intrigue into the story. Chase does a very good job of sketching her characters so that you can picture them and understand most of the motivation for their actions. I thought she did an especially good job of clueing us into Klaus, who proves that looks can be deceiving. I also loved the slow burn between Willie and Klaus and how not everything was as it appeared to be. I could easily see this story as a movie.

So why am I giving this story a 4-star review and not a 5-star review? Two things ate at me a bit while I was reading: Willie’s refusal to leave Berlin even when she understood how dangerous and inhospitable it was becoming, and the way the story ended. I know we need to have a strong-willed heroine, but I sometimes had a hard time believing that a sensible woman like Willie would remain in a country that was falling under the thrall of Hitler and the SS’s propaganda. Also, as the story came to a close, I’d expected that book #1 would tie up any loose ends and we’d get the rest of the story in the upcoming instalment. However, the ending came rather abruptly and was a cliffhanger. I’m not against cliffhangers, but this one took me by surprise.

Still, even with these two quibbles of mine, I really enjoyed reading Strings of Subversion and look forward to reading Book 2 in the series once it’s released.

Highly recommended!

My rating?

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Review: A Love for Romance Anthology by SBR Media Authors

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Book Title: A Love For Romance Anthology

Authors: SBR Media Authors

Release Date: April 24, 2017

Cover Designer: Freya Barker

 

Do you have a love for romance stories? Included in this anthology are stories that will have you intrigued; make you swoon; all the while warming your heart.

Fifteen SBR Media authors present to you: A Love for Romance.

 

A preview of Trading Yesterday by USA Today Bestselling Author Kahlen Aymes
The Break (Breaking Free, Part 1) by USA Today Bestselling Author Debra Presley
Always Too Late by Micalea Smeltzer
Until the Stars Forget to Shine by Amber Garza
The Only Chance by Magan Vernon
Awakened: A Leila Marx World Novella by Amber Garr
Do You Mind? by Freya Barker
Cock-Blocked by W. Ferraro
What Happens on Spring Break by R.C. Stephens
Always There by Elizabeth Hayes
Falling for Lindy by Ashlee Taylor
Burning the Midnight Oil by Eilson Grace
Babysitting for the Biker by Sammi Starlight
Chasing Love by Misha Elliott
Spellbound by Ashlee Sinn

Review

Looking for something to feed your Kindle? A Love for Romance should do the trick! It gives you a taste of some great love stories. So far, I’ve read Do You Mind by Freya Barker and Always Too Late by Micalea Smeltzer and enjoyed both stories. I’m looking forward to delving into more stories during my May Day long weekend.

Do You Mind by Freya Barker starts off with a meet-cute at the airport in Atlanta. Bernice, also known as Bernie, is a romance writer on her way home to Toronto after a conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. When her flight is delayed, she’s given the chance to either take a flight the same day or wait until the next day. She’s more than a little surprised when wildlife and nature photographer Jack asks if they can share a table–despite there being enough places for him to sit alone. What could have resulted in uncomfortable silence leads to something more. After having lunch together, Bernie finally admits to herself she is attracted to this rugged hottie and, when he convinces her to stay until the next day, she goes against her better judgment and agrees. What follows is a sweet yet sexy story of two strangers whose attraction could lead to something more. This was a short, sexy, fun read. I give it 4 stars!

Micalea Smeltzer‘s Always Too Late is a prequel–the beginning of Remy and Mathias’s love story–before he became the most wanted lead singer of Willow Creek. When two young outcasts–though he is considered already then a very sexy bad boy–are thrown together, it should lead to love, but there’s tragedy waiting in the wings. When he asks her out, she thinks it’s a joke, but she eventually agrees. They commiserate over pizza and realize they are kindred spirits. This is a story of first love and when fate plays tricks on them–we know that this will not end well, but it’s only the beginning so there’s more to their story. It’s a sweet coming of age story and I give it 4 stars. My only quibble is a small monkey wrench that’s tossed in that felt like it came out of nowhere, but I can suspend my disbelief and read the continuation of the story in Micalea’s Never Too Late.

Going to delve into even more stories in the anthology at the weekend and looking forward to it, but I think you’ll enjoy these short love stories.

Overall rating: 4 stars.

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Review: Distracting the Duke by Elizabeth Keysian

Distracting the Duke

by Elizabeth Keysian
Publication Date: February 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Historical Romance

REVIEW

Elizabeth Keysian’s Distracting the Duke is an entertaining page-turner of a regency romance that had me hooked from page one.

Early on, we have one of those embarrassing moments that eventually set up Distracting the Duke’s meet-cute: Clara overhears Marcus and a friend discussion what sort of woman he should marry and Marcus is initially dismissive on Clara and her charms. She is far too opinionated and intelligent for him, and he is in the market for a “brainless, biddable” wife who will not argue with him and will bear him lots of children. Clara, on the other hand, is a widow who is not the least bit interested in being any man’s wife–after a disastrous marriage to an odious, abusive man, what she wants is independence, since (at the moment) she is having to live under her brother’s roof and by his rules. Marcus is all set to woo Ellie, Clara and her brother’s ward, but somehow Clara keeps distracting him.

Though Clara and Marcus start off as enemies of sorts, it’s obvious these two are meant to be. The chemistry between them is electric and they both ignite the other’s curiosity and passion. I really liked how Ms. Keysian added doses of reality–touching on the domestic abuse and betrayal Clara was subjected to in her first marriage and the emotional and physical abuse Marcus dealt with during his formative years as well as how watching his parents marriage crumble affected how he himself views the institution.

This is a well-written story with engaging characters. My only quibble is that sometimes the pacing felt a bit too fast and I wanted the author to slow down a bit. I also longed for a little more historical bits (more about the politics of the time, etc) but the characters kept me hooked and I was charmed by their love story.

A recommended read!

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BUY:

SYNOPSIS: 

Devonshire, England, 1820

Determined to avoid the strife-filled marriage of his parents, Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe, wants an amenable, biddable wife, and has set his cap for a certain pretty miss. Unfortunately, her vastly opinionated, frustrating, and lamentably beautiful guardian, Lady Clara Tinniswood, keeps distracting him, tempting him to consider a far more tempestuous—and passionate—union.

Recently widowed Lady Clara Tinniswood wants only to organize a quiet new life for herself, beyond the control of any man. But one shockingly unguarded moment while confronted by Marcus’s gloriously naked body catapults her headlong into a forbidden passion and threatens to undermine all her well-laid plans.

Even if Marcus abandons his sweet ideal and surrenders to his growing desire for Clara, there’s one unalterable issue which could destroy their hopes forever… 

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ABOUT ELIZABETH KEYSIAN

Elizabeth Keysian felt destined to write historical romance due to her Cornish descent, and an ancestral connection to the Norse god Odin. Being an only child gave her plenty of time to read, create imaginary worlds, produce her own comics, and write sketches and a deplorably bad musical for an amateur dramatics group.

Three decades spent working in museums and archaeology fired Elizabeth’s urge to write, as did living on a Knights Templar estate, with a garage full of skeletons, a resident ghost and a moat teeming with newts.

Elizabeth lives near Bath in England with her partner and cats.

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Review: Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-07-23-22I love holiday romances and I love reading stories about royalty and commoners falling in love, so Robin Bielman‘s Once Upon a Royal Christmas was a good fit for me. Set in the small town of Marietta, Once Upon a Royal Christmas tells the story of how Rowan and Prince Theo meet and fall in love.

It’s got the makings a of perfect holiday romance–the hunk of a hero who just happens to be a royal, the feisty heroine who is a little clumsy but still a charmer. It’s a smartly written romance with great banter that reminded me of the romantic comedies of the past starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy or even Jimmy Steward and Donna Reed. I like how Bielman gives the characters a chance to get to know one another as their attraction grows. It makes for a very nice build up to their passion.

My only quibble is that, since this was my first time reading a Robin Bielman novel, I felt like I needed to know a little more about what exactly Rowan did that disgraced her at the local newspaper. I didn’t really understand it since we didn’t get enough info to make it feel plausible. However, I loved how she described the town of Marietta, so I think I’ll be reading a few more Marietta stories before the year is out.

A fun holiday read!

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Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review or influenced in terms of my review.

Book Tour: Watching the Sky Cry by J.B. Hartnett

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New from J.B. Hartnett!

Watching the Sky Cry is a beautifully written,

emotional story and is NOW AVAILABLE

& Free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cXnRNh

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2d3EQfk

 

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Blurb

Ten years is a long time when you’re thirty-two. We’d seen our share of ups and downs, but I could honestly say, they were mostly up. That’s the thing about happiness though. It lulls you into a false sense of security.

Neither one of us ever thought we’d ever be touched by crippling loss or immeasurable grief. But not all stories have a happy ending, and I knew, better than anyone, that sometimes, one of you won’t make it till the end. One of you has to go first. And one of you will be left behind to pick up the pieces.

That one is me.

But starting over isn’t what I thought it would be. I need escape from the memories that plague me, remind me. So I went back to where it all began. To the town where I was born. To the place whose beauty could pierce my pain. Where I experienced my first kiss, where I fell in love, where a man was my earth. And I…

I was his sky.

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Excerpt

You never had a girlfriend.” I whispered.

“No, Rylie. I didn’t.”

I pushed away from him, my mouth coating itself in preparation for what was to come, and ran toward the field behind his parents’ house. I threw up everything in my stomach, but I kept heaving with wracking sobs, unable to keep my shit together. If I’d listened….if I’d answered his letters…if I hadn’t met Nick…

His hands were in my hair, pulling it back, but it was no use. I was a mess in every way possible.

“This isn’t…” I hiccupped, “how I imagined this going.”

“Yeah?” he said softly. “How’d you imagine it?”

“We would have it out, and then we’d have angry sex, and then we’d fall in love and have babies and live happily ever after.”

See? Honesty.

“Oh Rylie,” he said with humor in his voice, not at all bothered when he wiped the edges of my disgusting mouth with his hand. “I’ll be pissing you off again…probably on purpose just so we can have that angry sex you just mentioned.”

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REVIEW

If you like you’re like me and a sucker for a second chance at love story, then J.B. Hartnett’s Watching the Sky Cry just the story for you. Get your tissues ready because Riley’s story of how she found love with Nick only to find it all falling apart and grieving, and then reconnecting with Quentin and finding love a second time is so emotionally charged and beautifully written.

The characters are complex and their journey to love is not smooth–which makes you want so much for them to find happiness. Really enjoyed this story, and I think you will too! A recommended read!

My rating? 4 stars!

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About the Author:

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Julie is a southern California native, a fan of a really good story (preferably a romance with a happily ever after), really good pie (preferably pumpkin)and copious amounts of coffee (preferably Folgers).

She has always enjoyed writing and at one time thought she might be a singer/songwriter. The ‘writer’ part is that one that stuck.

Julie is obsessed with Pi…the equation and the food. She’s allergic to cats, cantaloupe and hates mushrooms. So if you ever want to give her a gift, those are out for sure.

She currently lives with her romance hero husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.

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Review: Something Old by Lena Hart

Something Old (Brides of Cedar Bend Book 1)Something Old by Lena Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a sucker for small-town romances and that’s exactly what you get in Something Old, the first book of Lena Hart’s Brides of Cedar Bend series. Mya and Guy are about to reunite, but it doesn’t go the way Mya had hoped. Which shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise when she left him on their wedding night–even if her reasons for leaving made sense–she was grieving the untimely death of her father and she felt cornered, even if she loved Guy more than she loved life itself. Now two years have passed and she’s back–but can she convince Guy to pick up where they left off?

Something Old is a second chance at love story that revolves around two very stubborn people. Both Mya and Guy want things their way–she wants him to forgive and forget (and I think she expects it a little too easily considering what happened) and Guy wishes she’d leave again so he could get on with his life without her (even though we all know that isn’t what he really wants at all). It’s fun and frustrating watching the two of them, especially when it’s obvious that they both love one another. I really enjoyed this story–my only complaints are that Guy gave in a little too easily for me–he should have made Mya work harder to win his trust and forgiveness again–and Mya’s reasons for staying away as long as she did didn’t really feel convincing. Still, they were fated to be together and their love story was charming.

Highly recommended!

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Review Tour: To One Hundred by Melissa Blue

Title: To One Hundred
Series: #DirtySexyGeeks #1
Author: Melissa Blue
Genre: Adult Romance
Published: January 7, 2016
When they met online they were equals…Then she walks into his classroom.

For four months Eva March shared almost every secret with a handsome stranger. It was easy when she didn’t have to meet his gaze in real life. The online flirtation was fun. She could be a strong, put-together woman without a sordid past. Most importantly, he’d never know the truth.

Grady Addison takes his job as a professor seriously. He doesn’t sleep with co-eds, much less his students. Eva doesn’t even fit his leggy, peppy blonde requirements, but he can’t walk away now. He’s spent too much time fantasizing about her, her smile and the way her eyes darken when she thinks of her past.

And her past is a problem. The secrets she hasn’t yet told him could end his career and for Eva, her life could just come crashing down…again.

 

“ If you are not into Geeks, after reading ‘To One Hundred’ you will be a Geek lover for sure. You will discover Geeks make great lovers. Waiting for the next one in this series!!!”-Goodreads Reviewer

“This was an interesting story! I am not a “geek” and I don’t know anything about the “geek”world, so this was sort of an inside look into the “geek world”-The Smutbrarians 

“This book was fun and super hot!! I can’t wait to see what else comes from this series, since it seems to focus on the 4 main men in the book! I’ll definitely be buying the next in the series!!” -Alpha Book Club

MBlue Review
What would you do if you found out that the man you’ve been chatting with online and established an online relationship with while bonding over your favourite sci-fi show, Firefly…is going to be your history professor? And it turns out your sister is interested in him as well? That’s the dilemma Eva finds herself in. Grady Addison turns out to be super-gorgeous, super sexy–a dangerous temptation for Eva, especially since something from her past could end up causing way too many problems.

As always, Melissa Blue totally delivers! To One Hundred is a sexy love story that hooks you from page one. And as someone who loves a sexy geek (and happens to be married to one) I could totally believe in Eva and Grady’s sizzling, off the chart chemistry.

Highly recommended!

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One night, they could have one night where the complications didn’t matter. Right? Didn’t mean there would be more. For months she’d wanted to know Grady, in the flesh. Would they still spark, laugh and have an easy comfort between them? The consequences seemed so far away when she couched their circumstances in that light.
Maybe the inner debate was all lies to appease her conscience, but Eva grabbed her purse and followed him out of the coffee shop.
He revved his bike’s engine when she stepped out onto the sidewalk. She shook her head and walked over to him. “Let’s just announce to the world I’m leaving with you.”
Grady’s eyes were still guarded but he smirked. “Didn’t think you’d see me.”
He’d parked right outside the shop. She couldn’t have missed him. “Where are we going?”
His hands tightened against the bar handles. “To meet my brother Wade.”
Her heart shot into her throat. “What?”
His smirk somehow deepened. “You want the truth about him. I’ll let him tell you.”
She stuffed her hands into the back pockets of her shorts, trying to appear relaxed even though a storm of butterflies fluttered in her stomach. “What exactly will that do?”
The smirk dropped away from his lopsided smile. “It’ll get you on my bike, your arms and legs wrapped around me. Outside of that, we’ll play it by ear.”
All he needed was a James Dean leather jacket to perfect the bad boy statement. Then again, maybe not. He was lethal enough without one. “So you’re done being the kind, understanding nice guy?”
His smile transformed into a grin that promised a multitude of wicked things. Yeah. No jacket necessary. “You have to admit, it was wearing thin.”
Grady offered her the helmet. Taking it spelled trouble in all languages. Jumping on a motorcycle with a guy who wore a smile that had no good intentions behind it…Yeah. But the facts were different with him. He wasn’t just her professor. He didn’t prey on her vulnerabilities. And most importantly, he hadn’t made her feel broken once.
Eva took the helmet, fastened it and then climbed onto the back of the bike. She wrapped her arms around his chest. One could say she copped a feel as she ran her hands over his stomach. The soft cotton shirt hid taut muscles, but now she could feel every ridge. His stomach jerked beneath her hands.
“Eva?” he asked, his voice low and tight.
She leaned forward until her mouth was at his neck. “Yeah?”
He revved the engine again. “You might want to hold on really tight.”
She locked her fingers together. “I know.”

Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. Eventually she upgraded to a computer. She’s still typing away on the same computer, making imaginary people fall in love.
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Book Review: Unmasked Heart by Vanessa Riley

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.03.38It’s not often that you get a chance to read a Regency romance with people of color in focus. Vanessa Riley challenges the usual norms of Regency romance with her latest novel, Unmasked Heart, an inspirational romance with a biracial heroine as its heart and soul. All of her life, young Gaia has felt that she is not as loved or cherished as her siblings. She thinks it’s because she resembles her mother, who was rumoured to have Spanish blood. Gaia is gentle, good-natured and patient–exactly the sort of daughter her father should love, but still he is distant with her and treats her like she is a step above the servants. What Gaia wants most in life is to marry the neighbour’s son, a botanist with a fickle heart. Enter to the scene the Duke of Cheshire. He is in need of help from someone like Gaia–someone who will be kind and patient with his mute daughter. He’s not looking for love. He thinks himself incapable of love. But when he and Gaia meet, and they have two meet-cutes, it’s obvious that Fate has already got something planned for them.

I really enjoyed reading Unmasked Heart. I am not someone who usually reads inspirational romances as I generally find them too preachy. However, Vanessa Riley does a great job of

Author Vanessa Riley

Author Vanessa Riley

NOT being preachy and focusing on what is at stake–the relationship, the growing respect

Gaia and the duke have for one another and–when Gaia uncovers the secret of her past–the soul-searching necessary for her to come to terms with who she really is. I thought the question of race was handled quite well–it makes sense that there would be gossip, and that her father would assume that his actions could shield Gaia from disappointment without realising that he is doing his daughter a disservice.

A positive and interesting take on the Regency tale with a sweet heroine you want to cheer for.

My rating?

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Blog Tour: Love Undercover by Nana Prah

LoveUndercover_BannerLove Undercover by Nana Prah
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction (Sweet, Multicultural)
Publisher: Black Opal Books

NanaPrah_LoveUndercover_800Blurb

The last thing she expects is to fall in love with a prison guard…

Hotshot Secret Service Agent, Sarita Cerez is thrown into a medium security prison—for work. Her job is to protect the daughter of the president of South Korea. She never envisioned making friends with illegal immigrants or falling head over heels for one of the guards. Now the clandestine activity, which is integral to protecting her charge, may destroy her only chance at love.

He’s never fraternized with the inmates—until he met her…

Matthew Carter always plays by the rules, which includes maintaining a strictly professional relationship with the inmates in his charge. But when Sarita saunters onto the unit, all bets are off. Her status as a deportee with a permanent ticket to Columbia means they can never be together, but try as he might, this doesn’t stop him from risking his career for her.

He’s a man who values honesty above all else, and she lies for a living. Can two people from such different worlds find any common ground?

BookExcerpt

As inappropriate as the situation had turned out to be, Sarita was his. At least until she returned to Columbia in what? A few days? A week? No matter when, she would go. “No wife or girlfriend to hang out with.”

Her chest deflated with her released breath. He wished he could have taken her air into himself. I’m screwed. “What about you? Are you married or have a boyfriend waiting to break you out of here at the first opportunity?”

Her eyes blazed into his. “Single as single can be.”

The admission sparked something deep within him. He had to touch her. Nothing else mattered except having his fingers glide over her flawless mocha skin. The all-encompassing urge pushed him to stand.

With a controlled effort he strode to the area across from the television and leaned against the wall.

On every unit, one spot existed where neither the cameras nor inmates could see. Management knew about it, but the cost of adding a third camera would be too expensive for the facility to contemplate so they left it. At least that’s the story Matt had been told.

He’d never used the spot, but as he waited for her to join him, he couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

He motioned her to him with a crook of his index finger. “Come here.”

Playlist

Love Undercover Playlist

I’m not one of those authors who listens to music while writing. I do enjoy putting a song or two into my novels. With Love Undercover I added a good one, at least in my opinion. The song was connected to the movie the inmates were watching during one of their recreational times out of the cell, “A Bronx Tale.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. The song I used was “I Only Have Eyes for You.” The romance in the movie was restricted, just like it was for Sarita and Matt.

Sarita wanted me to set in slow motion in her imagination as the music played on the television around the corner in the rec room. Here is the scene and music from the movie. I hope you enjoy it.

TopTen

Top 10 real life experiences in Love Undercover

One thing that many people don’t know is that Love Undercover is a romance based on an experience I had. Not the romance part, but the jail aspect. Without further delay I’d like to present 10 things that happen in Love Undercover that actually happened to me.

  1. My first cellmate was awesome. We would laugh all the freaking time. We had similar personalities and loved to have fun. She was a bisexual, but didn’t fancy me. I’m a heterosexual, but I was like why not? Still laughing about that.
  2. I butchered my eyebrows by attempting to shape them with thread. It was hilarious– even to me
  3. I was strip searched after having a visit. (It was not fun in the least.)
  4. There were some hot guards in that prison. But unfortunately I had no romantic liaisons with any of them (damn).
  5. Many of the detainees stories in the book are true. I’ve dramatized them just a tad.
  6. Most of what happened to one of the characters in the novel is what I went through, only I’ve never had a boob job (darn it).
  7. Sarita and I had the same second cellmate, only there was no fight in real life. The devil part is true, though–very scary.
  8. The library was awesome. No covert operations for me, even though it does happen in the system.
  9. We baked a cake. To this day I still find it weird, but it’s true.
  10. To the best of my knowledge there was no blind spot at the prison I was detained at. That came from my imagination so I could get some intimate scenes in there for Sarita and Matt.

So there you have it. If you have any questions on what else is true in Love Undercover once you read it, just contact me and I’ll let you know.

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AuthorBioAbout the author

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

Contact details
Blog: http://nanaprah.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NanaPrah
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My Review

Nana Prah’s Love Undercover is a love story with a twist. She’s a Secret Service agent undercover in a women’s detention center for immigration deportees; he’s the prison guard there to keep things under control. Neither of them expects to be attracted to one another–especially with a love this forbidden.

It’s an interesting scenario–it’s not often that you get a chance to read a love story set in a prison and what makes Love Undercover so unique is how Prah weaves into her story the stories of Sarita’s cellmates. I’m usually not the sort of reader who is interested in prison stories, but Love Undercover handles the subject in a distinct way, without glorifying or oversentimentalizing the reasons why Sarita’s fellow prisoners are incarcerated. Kudos to Nana Prah for taking on such a loaded topic and venue.

I really liked how Prah developed Sarita and Matthew’s romance and how she handled the subplots–the reason Sarita was there (her undercover assignment), the relationship she forges with the other detainees… Though this is marketed as a sweet romance, there are a few sensual moments which add to Matt and Sarita’s love story and show their feelings for one another deepening.

An unexpected venue, forbidden love, a hot topic with illegal immigration and politics: another winner from Nana Prah! 🙂

Book Review: Love Me for Me by Jenny Hale

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 11.48.55Jenny Hale has done it again–written a great story about second chances at love with characters you really care about.

At first glance, you think Libby in Love Me for Me is going to be one of those difficult to like city slickers who pop up in novels, TV shows and movies–you know the ones I mean–like Eva Gabor’s character in Green Acres who is too glamorous for this little town–but we soon learn that first impressions aren’t always correct. We learn that Libby grew up in White Stone (a town that reminds me a lot of the little town where I spent many childhood summers in Virginia) and that she is returning to her hometown rather reluctantly after losing her NYC job and fiancé.

While Libby tries to get her life in order, she reencounters Pete, the hometown boy who broke her heart, and rediscovers what she loves about the town and the people there. She gets the chance to be herself–not the girl she has had to become in New York–and to right a few wrongs along the way.

A lighthearted story that you’ll zip through and wish were just a wee bit longer so you could stay in White Stone for an even longer visit. Two thumbs up, Jenny!