Publisher: Swoon Reads

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Posted April 27, 2016 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 2 Comments

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by Swoon Reads on April 19, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon Barnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

Welcome to my spot along the blog tour for Love, Lies, and Spies hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Cindy Antsey is a 2016 debut author (yay Debut Author Challenge books!), and I have an excerpt that is sure to get you excited to grab a copy soon. Make sure you enter to win a print copy of the book as well!

“Oh my, this is embarrassing,” Miss Juliana Telford said aloud. There was no reason to keep her thoughts to herself, as she was alone, completely alone. In fact, that was half of the problem. The other half was, of course, that she was hanging off the side of a cliff with the inability to climb either up or down and in dire need of rescue.

“Another scrape. This will definitely give Aunt apoplexy.”

Juliana hugged the cliff ever closer and tipped her head slightly so that she could glance over her shoulder. Her high-waisted ivory dress was deeply soiled across her right hip, where she had slid across the earth as she dropped over the edge.

Juliana shifted slowly and glanced over her other shoulder. Fortunately, the left side showed no signs of distress, and her lilac sarcenet spencer could be brushed off easily. She would do it now were it not for the fact that her hands were engaged, holding tightly to the tangle of roots that kept her from falling off the tiny ledge.

Juliana continued to scrutinize the damage to her wardrobe with regret, not for herself so much as for her aunt, who seemed to deem such matters of great importance. Unfortunately, her eyes wandered down to her shoes. Just beyond them yawned an abyss. It was all too apparent how far above the crashing waves of the English Channel she was—and how very small the ledge.

Despite squishing her toes into the rock face as tightly as possible, Juliana’s heels were only just barely accommodated by the jutting amalgamate. The occasional skitter and plop of eroding rocks diving into the depths of the brackish water did nothing to calm her racing heart.

Juliana swallowed convulsively. “Most embarrassing.” She shivered despite a warm April breeze. “I shall be considered completely beyond the pale if I am dashed upon the rocks. Aunt will be so uncomfortable. Most inconsiderate of me.”

A small shower of sandy pebbles rained down on Juliana’s flowery bonnet. She shook the dust from her eyes and listened. She thought she had heard a voice.

Please, she prayed, let it be a farmer or a tradesman, some-one not of the gentry. No one who would feel obligated to report back to Grays Hill Park. No gentlemen, please.

“Hello?” she called out. Juliana craned her neck upward, trying to see beyond the roots and accumulated thatch at the cliff’s edge.

A head appeared. A rather handsome head. He had dark, almost black, hair and clear blue eyes and, if one were to notice such things at a time like this, a friendly, lopsided smile.

“Need some assistance?” the head asked with a hint of sarcasm and the tone of a . . .

“Are you a gentleman?” Juliana inquired politely.

The head looked startled, frowned slightly, and then raised an eyebrow before answering. “Yes, indeed, I am—”

“Please, I do not wish to be rescued by a gentleman. Could you find a farmer or a shopkeep— anyone not of the gentry—and then do me the great favor of forgetting you saw me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I do not want to be rude, but this is a most embarrassing predicament—”

“I would probably use the word dangerous instead.”

“Yes, well, you would, being a man. But I, on the other hand, being a young woman doing her best not to call attention to herself and bring shame upon her family, would call it otherwise.”


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A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall | Mini Book Review

Posted January 9, 2015 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 8 Comments

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall | Mini Book ReviewA Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Published by Swoon Reads on August 26, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
2 Stars
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

Much like the title of the book says, A Little Something Different is definitely a unique read. I was very interested in the idea of 12 different viewpoints, but at the same time I was worried that with 12 people telling the story things would get a bit redundant and I’d never connect with anyone in the story. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened. Transitions between points of view were a bit choppy, and at times cheesy, considering two of the viewpoints are a squirrel and a bench (who talks a lot about butts…). These viewpoints did allow the two main characters to be alone, which would not have happened unless other characters hid in a bush or kept their ear to a door. So I can see why the author did this, I just did not love it.

I think the main reason this book and I did not click is that I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to see things rather than be told things. I would have much rather seen Gabe and Lea fall for each other rather than be told about it by people who did not even know them, like the bus driver and the teacher. I didn’t swoon because I wanted to be the one witnessing their interactions, not hearing about them from various flies on the wall. I also got bored spending an entire book reading about these two. Usually there’s secondary and tertiary plots in contemporary romance novels, but the romance was really the only story in this book.

A Little Something Different was a short, quick, unique story that, unfortunately, I just did not fall in love with. The ending was unsatisfying, and I was bored. I really loved the idea, and the synopsis sounded like a lot of fun… but in the end I realized it just wasn’t for me.

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