[Blog Tour + Giveaway] NATURAL PASSION by Anna Durand

About the Book

Title: NATURAL PASSION
Author: Anna Durand
Pub. Date: January 9, 2020
Publisher: Jacobsville Books
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 208
Get it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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Blurb

Natural Passion is the first book in a brand-new trilogy of romantic comedies from Anna Durand, the bestselling author of the Hot Scots series.

I entertain naked people for a living. No, not THAT kind of entertainment. I own a nudist resort. I’m not a nudist, but Val Silva is. And he’s a human supernova sleeping in the room next door.

The man is tall, gorgeous, tattooed, and a shameless exhibitionist. As the Brazilian bad boy of the international football world, he’s as famous for his sex tape as for his talent on the field. Oh, did I mention he walks around naked ALL the time? A girl only has so much willpower. Maybe we can have a little fun… as long as his tabloid past doesn’t mess with my quiet life.

Eve Holt is the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen, in those short-shorts and tank tops that make me wonder what she’s hiding underneath. Most women love my wild side, but Eve thinks I’m trouble with a capital T. Okay, she might have a point there. But I always get what I want, and I want her. I didn’t lead my team to Olympic gold by giving up. That’s one fact about me Eve is about to learn.

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Excerpt

Panting, I rushed up to meet my guest. “Hi, welcome to Au Naturel Naturist Resort. I’m—”

My voice ceased working the instant the man jumped out of the car and turned toward me.

A god had stepped out of the luxury pickup. My gaze insisted on taking in the full picture of my newest guest, wandering over his entire body. Tall and muscular in an athletic way, he boasted skin lightly bronzed by the sun. His dark hair curled around his ears to kiss the lower edge of the lobes. His cocoa slacks clung to his thighs, accentuating the powerful muscles underneath. The top two buttons of his white dress shirt hung open.

My attention stalled on his chest and the elaborate tattoos that covered the swath of skin I could see.

He ran a hand through his artfully mussed locks, and his full lips curved into a relaxed smile.

All my guests arrived wearing clothes since airports frowned on nude travel, but this guy’s clothes struck me as designer quality. Most people showed up wearing shorts and T-shirts.

The god offered me his hand. “Valentim Silva. But you can call me Val.”

He spoke with a light accent I couldn’t quite place. In fact, it was so light I wouldn’t have picked up on it if not for the lilting way he said his full name.

I settled my palm in his, my gaze drawn to his warm brown eyes. “Eve Holt. I own the resort.”

“Yes, I know.” He held on to my hand for a second or two longer than necessary for politeness. “I have seen your website. Your photographs are wonderful, very artistic.”

“Thank you.”

None of my previous guests had ever looked like him. I’d hosted attractive men before, but they were dim stars in the far reaches of the hotness galaxy. This guy was a supernova standing two feet away from me.

He peered over his shoulder at the guest house. “Is my room ready? I’m a little early.”

I fanned myself with one hand, suddenly hot despite the temperate weather.

“Ms. Holt?” he said. “Are you all right?”

What was wrong with me? I cleared my throat and stuffed my hands in the pockets of my shorts. “I’m fine.”

He raised his brows. “My room?”

My mouth opened, a response on my tongue, but I froze before uttering a syllable. His room. The one that had been flooded. This man, this human supernova in designer slacks, was going to be sleeping in my spare room. Oh no, this wasn’t a disaster at all.

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About the Author

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

Anna Durand loves romance, men in kilts, and cheesecake. Not always in that order. She slaves away every day writing about sexy people doing sexy things together, with heart and humor and sometimes with suspense. With paranormal stories, she explores the darker side of romance. With contemporary romance, she delves into the emotional side of love and sensuality.

Readers and reviewers have blessed Anna’s books with wonderful reviews, giving her a nice glowy feeling that she’s doing something right. Her books have become bestsellers on every major retail site, hitting #1 multiple times. The Hot Scots series remains Anna’s personal favorite and a favorite among her fans. Who can resist a hunky Scotsman?

Anna also has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, so naturally, she made Calli in Wicked in a Kilt a librarian too. For twelve years and counting, Anna has run a cataloging services company that creates cataloging-in-publication data for other authors and publishers. And when she’s not doing that or writing, you’ll find her binging on audiobooks, playing with puppies, or crafting handmade jewelry.

Visit AnnaDurand.com to subscribe to her newsletter for updates on her writing and other fun stuff. You’ll receive a free gift as thanks for signing up!

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Giveaway

Five winners will receive audiobook copies of Fired Up, an erotic romance that has a lot of humor in it, Audible gift copies (US only) or Authors Direct copies (US, Canada, Australia). Click here to enter!

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Tour Schedule (Week 2)

1/13/2020Books & Other PursuitsReview
1/13/2020The Phantom ParagrapherReview
1/14/2020BookHoundsInterview
1/14/2020ParajunkeeSpotlight
1/15/2020Two Chicks on BooksInterview
1/15/2020Cindy’s Love of BooksReview
1/16/2020Books_andPoetriiExcerpt
1/16/2020Shelf-RatedReview
1/17/2020Lifestyle Of MeReview

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[Blog Tour + Review] COFFEE TRAVELLER by Fahad Ben. G, 3⚝

About the Book

Title: Coffee Traveller
Author: Fahad Ben G.
Release Date: 29th October 2019
Genre: Poetry
Page Count: 140
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Get it on: Goodreads | Amazon

A collection of musings about travel, life, love, family, relationships, the future and growing up in Saudi Arabia, by the author and poet Fahad Ben G.

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Sample Poem

Invisible lines tie me to you whether I like it or not.

No matter how much I travel away from you, no matter how far we are, and no matter how different our roads are;

No matter how distinct our stations are, and no matter how your routes and mine are different;

The invisible lines continue to tie me to you.

Constant they are… they exceed the multitude of people between you and me.

Tense they are… indifferent to the laws of the universe or the gravity of Earth.

Unaffected by the amount of rocks and dismal valleys,

That separate my icy mountain from your flaming mountain…

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Review

Fahad Ben. G compiles all his poems about love and life as he travels and drinks coffee. This compilation became the poetry book we get to know today as Coffee Traveller. Thanks to Faye at Authoright and Clink Street Publishing for sending me a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, I love how the poems are simple and easy to digest. The emotions in every line will hit you right in the feels. The reason why I gave it a 3 and not a 4 is because of the typo errors that distracted me from my reading. I understand that English is not the author’s mother tongue but the book should at least be properly edited, especially for minor grammatical mistakes. And while I don’t really mind recurring themes, I hope that the author did not use the exact same words when writing the next poem. Overall, the pieces written here are relatable, short, and sweet.

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About the Author

Fahad Ben. G was born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has a Bachelors Degree in English Language Translation from the College of Languages and Translation at King Said University, and a Masters in English Linguistics from Imam Mohammed Bin Said University. Having lived in France and Japan, he finally settled in London in 2017 where he now works in the diplomatic sector.

Follow Fahad on Twitter!

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Tour Schedule

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[Blog Tour] A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF HEAVEN by Mathangi Subramanian

About the Book

Title: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF HEAVEN
Author: Mathangi Subramanian
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Genre: Literary Fiction, Multi-cultural Interest

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Blurb

A pre-teen graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl born to an orphan stricken by pregnancy loss. A queer daughter of a hijabi union leader. These girls and women make up a small part of Heaven – eking out a modest existence from the scraps of the surrounding city, fiercely driven to protect themselves and each other from outside threats: those who cannot accept these women for being their true selves – queer, or transgender, or poor, or visually impaired. Subramanian peels back the layers of these interconnected stories with a tenderness that feels poignantly at odds with their daily reality: the silent, patient dedication with which the girls construct a barrier around their classroom, so they can focus on their learning, unmolested by rats. A group of children who collect bags of fragrant frangipani flowers for a poor young girl’s offering, so the gods will grant her the privilege of going to school. The daring and determination of a line of women and children facing down an approaching bulldozer, unwilling to step aside to allow for the destruction of their homes, their lives. 

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Praise for A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF HEAVEN

“The language [takes] on a musicality that is in sharp contrast to the bleak setting…refreshing…a strong debut.” —New York Times Book Review

“A vibrant novel…a beautiful story of love, loyalty, and female friendship.”
—HelloGiggles

“This novel features a wide cast of characters and each girl has a unique perspective to offer. This book highlights many themes such as poverty, feminism, transgender issues, and living with disabilities. This beautifully written novel follows these girls as they navigate life’s obstacles with the love and support of their friends and family… I also fell in love with each character very quickly. Each girl in the story is very compelling in their own way, and I kept turning the pages to learn more about them…Perfect for readers who want to learn more about Indian and South Asian culture, or for readers who love stories featuring strong female friendships.” —Reading Women

“Spending time with this fearsome five is…just plain fun. Slum life is never romanticized. The narrator, an unnamed member of the girls’ inner circle, delivers enough cynical wisdom and pithy commentary to show just how wise these girls are to their plight without dismissing how insidious cultural messages are. What crystalizes is the sure knowledge that none of them are powerless…A People’s History of Heaven forefronts human dignity and the intelligence it takes to survive at the intersection of so much society uses to set people apart, while also making it clear that, ‘in Heaven, anger is not about any one person. It’s about the whole world.’” –Foreword Reviews

“Tackling some of the most trenchant issues facing Indian women in particular—casteism, arranged marriage, forced sterilization—as well as women all over the world…It has the heart-on-its-sleeve melodrama of some of the most successful teen novels and films, though it will likely also appeal to adults wanting to tuck in to a novel which is like the brainy big sister of a Lifetime movie. A girl power-fueled story that examines some dark social issues with a light…touch.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Strong debut…Subramanian’s evocative novel waves together a diverse, dynamic group of girls to create a vibrant tapestry of a community on the brink.”
–Publishers Weekly

“Everything about A People’s History of Heaven is wonderful: the lyrical, light touch of the narrator, the story, the humor, and most of all, the girls. This novel—as shiny and crinkly and heartbreaking as “cellophane the color of false promises”—overflows with girls I want to meet, befriend, celebrate, and shelter from the ills of their world. But they don’t need me to do that! Faced with bigotry and bulldozers, these girls know exactly what to do: stick together and help each other learn, love, see, fight. These are girls who ache, girls who build, girls who claim or escape girl-ness. Read about Banu, Deepa, Joy, Rukshana, Padma, and Leela: These are girls who save the world.” –Minal Hajratwala, author of Leaving India

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About the Author

Mathangi Subramanian is an award-winning Indian American writer, author, and educator. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Teachers College of Columbia University, and the recipient of a Fulbright as well as other fellowships. Her writing has previously appeared in the Washington PostQuartz, Al Jazeera America, and elsewhere. This is her first work of literary fiction.

[Review] NO WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS by Sophie Ranald, 2⚝ (Did Not Finish)

This is my first DNF of the year. But from what I have read until ~45% of the book, I’d rate it a 2 out of 5. This review may contain some spoilers.

First of all, the book is promoted as a romantic comedy, but there is nothing funny going on, at least in the first half.

Secondly, most of the characters are problematic. Sloane’s husband, Myles, is obviously cheating on her with his colleague, Bianca. But instead of talking to Myles about it, her first plan of action is to “win the competition”, which means having lots of hot sex and then snooping around Myles’ phone for evidence. Myles is caught in the act but instead of apologizing, he gets angry with Sloane for not respecting his privacy. While that is really something to be mad about, that’s not the point. He is one cheating bastard and he won’t admit it. And then there’s Bianca. How can you even call yourself as Sloane’s friend when you’re fucking her husband behind her back? And instead of telling Sloane the truth, she gives her vague hints to somehow clear her conscience.

As I read along, the issues got heavier for me so I just decided to stop. None of the characters piqued my interest anymore and the story was not getting better. Still, thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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[Review] HAPPILY EVER HIS by Delancey Stewart, 4⚝

QOTD: Are you the type who revels in the spotlight or would you rather be a helping hand in the background?⁣

Ryan McDonnell’s acting career is falling apart. He’s not a bad actor, just a victim of badly-written films. Juliet Manchester is dubbed as America’s sweetheart, the hottest actress in Hollywood today. But she’s having a rough time after divorcing her husband who is also blackmailing her. Ryan and Juliet’s agents find a solution and they agree to be in a win-win fake relationship. With this game of pretend, Ryan can have another shot at fame with Juliet by his side, and the press won’t bombard Juliet with too many questions regarding her divorce. They cause a hot scene at LAX before flying to Maryland, Juliet’s hometown, to celebrate her grandma’s 90th birthday. Ryan is true to his promise not only to save his career but also to be able to send his dad in a suitable nursing home. But when Ryan lays his eyes on Juliet’s sister, Tess, he swears it was love at first sight.

⁣Delancey Stewart’s Happily Ever His is cheesy, hot, angsty, and funny. This book is a good choice if you’re looking for a quick rom-com read. The story unfolds with Ryan and Tess’ alternating points of view. It’s pretty amazing that the readers get to know both sides of every scene. I like Gran’s audacity, Juliet’s passion, Ryan’s sincerity, and Tess’ relatability. Tess is the perfect fangirl but I’m just sad that she’s always talking herself down. The romance is adorable; it happened pretty fast but it did not feel forced. The ending is appropriate and wonderful. Trigger warnings include profanity and sex.⁣

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This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. For more honest reviews and other bookish stuff, check my sidebar and follow me on the rest of my social media accounts: InstagramGoodreads, and Twitter.

[Review] The Love Solution by Ashley Croft, 3⚝

Sarah and Molly Havers have been orphaned since their teenage years. Sarah, being the eldest, sets her dreams aside for a while in order to support younger Molly. Fast forward a bit, Sarah is now living happily with her boyfriend Niall and has even started her own jewelry business. Little did she know about what’s coming and how these events will shake her world. Dr. Molly Havers, on the other hand, is a behavioral ecologist working on a hormone that can alter people’s feelings and make them in love. She is doing this under the guidance of her boss, Dr. Ewan Baxter, whom she also has the hots for. Is this ‘Love Bug’ really the solution they’ve been looking for? Can love really be controlled?

I love that this book is feminist in nature. I also love that it has a good balance of romance and humor. However, I found the premise problematic. There have already been a lot of stories about creating a love potion and this one did not really stand out. I hated Sarah’s character but I adored Molly and Ewan’s relationship. My favorite character would have to be Liam because he is the gentleman we all need. I would recommend this to friends looking for a light but not-so-impressive read. Trigger warnings include a car accident, death, cheating, sex, pregnancy, profanity, and mental health problems.

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[Review] SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid, 4⚝

Happy last day of 2019 and happy Pub Day to this book! Thanks to NetGalley & G.P. Putnam’s Sons for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Emira Tucker is a twenty-five-year-old African American who is struggling to find a “normal” employment. She’s turning twenty-six soon and that means she has to find a job that will cover her own health insurance because she can’t depend on her parents anymore. She applies as a part-time babysitter for Alix and Peter Chamberlain’s eldest daughter, Briar. One night, the Chamberlains get one of their windows busted due to a racist comment made by Peter on national television. Filled with panic, Alix calls Emira, who’s in the middle of a friend’s party, to distract Briar for a while as they deal with the police. What Emira doesn’t know is that this night will have a huge impact on her life. This particular night, at Market Depot, Emira will encounter a racist guard, come to know her future boyfriend Kelley Copeland, and soon learn about the connection of Kelley and Alix.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is masterfully written. It is both feminist and diverse. Initially, the story was kind of slow for me but in the middle up ’til the end, everything got more exciting. I love how the friendships in this book were so relatable. I also love how adorable Emira is with Briar.

The conflict was so intriguing that I couldn’t wait until everything was explained and resolved. This book has got me scrutinizing Kelley and Alix page after page, looking for clues as to who is really telling the truth. I was also questioning and constantly checking-in with myself because this book made me realize that sometimes, privilege seems too mundane in our daily lives that we forget that there are people who don’t get to enjoy these things as much as we do.

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