Read for a Better World: October Edition

Lover’s Quarrel’s mission is to make the world a better place by promoting self-published books and books from independent bookstores, which is why half of all Lover’s Quarrel affiliate links go to charity. 

Help Lover’s Quarrel reach its goal of donating $100 to charity in 2017 by purchasing a book through one of these affiliate links.  The romance novels featured on this list give higher affiliate earnings than usual so you can maximize your impact with your purchase. 50 percent of the affiliate earnings from these books will go to the Malala Fund. 

Continue reading “Read for a Better World: October Edition”

5 Romance Novels When You’re in a Bad Mood

Today I’ve been in a really bad mood. Why? No clue. Nothing really bad happened. In fact, a lot of good things happened. But I still feel like punching someone in the face.

Instead, I’ve compiled a short list of romance novels to read when you’re in a bad mood. After all, romance novels are great mood purifiers and unlike punching someone in the face, they won’t get you arrested for assault. These books include revenge, anger, and sweet justice and that will leave you satisfied and in a better mood.

84309631) Love, Incby Yvonne Collins, Sandy Rideout

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Page Count: 405 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.81 out of 5 stars

Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents’ marriages hadn’t fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counseling, they discover they have something else in common: they’ve each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy.

Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. Rico had been her rock and sole confidant. How could she have missed the signs?

Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they’d felt so promising.

Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history… Or so she’d thought.

Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways. Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? Dying to know if your crush is into you? Need match-making expertise? Look no further than Love, Inc.

Buy Love, Inc. at your local bookstore and donate to the Arbor Day Foundation.

2940032889793_p0_v3_s192x3002) Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 15,700

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.45 out of 5

Warning: contains pet rats, hot YouTube celebrity roommates, and one spurned girlfriend about to get even…

Working in a wedding cake shop sucks when you’ve just been dumped.

Bailey Frost has a recipe for disaster: one cheating ex, one big glass of liquor, and three well-meaning male friends who think her lack of a sex life is funny. Before she knows it, she’s confessed that she’s never had an orgasm with a man.

Now Bailey has to navigate sappy couples at work, while her friends are hell-bent on helping her get revenge on evil Craig…by dressing up as werewolves, on YouTube.

And one of those friends– the tall, shy-but-gorgeous Linc–might just want to help Bailey with that other little problem…

Get Beautiful Mess on Smashwords for free. 

bymagicenchanted-683x10243) By Magic Enchanted by Maggie Shayne

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 98,540

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.02 stars out of 5

Bridin is in hiding, in exile, awaiting the man foretold to find her, to help her reclaim her destiny.

The last man she expects is very man who took it all from her and drove her from her home.

Tristan has to find a way to win Bridin’s trust because only together can they free their enslaved people with the passionate magic of love.

Buy By Magic Enchanted on Smashwords and donate to the Malala Fund

btphcoveroff4) Bad Things Play Here by Chani Lynn Feener

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 91,910

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

You can’t escape destiny…

Piper Anesidora hates her last name, and the Reaper and demon infested life that comes with it. For centuries, her family has been tasked with protecting Pandora’s Box, and ensuring it’s never reopened. That’s why five years ago she ran away, hoping to build a normal life, one of her own choosing. And it worked. For a little while. But now her brother has been taken by Orpheus, a malicious soul who’s escaped from the Underworld, and if that isn’t bad enough, he’s also stolen the box. The sooner she finds her brother and stops Orpheus from unleashing hell on earth, the better. Piper wants nothing more than to return to the mundane existence she’s created for herself. That is until she’s partnered with the one guy capable of making her crave more. She’s always been told giving into sin is wrong, but her ancestors clearly never met Lust.

You can’t resist temptation…

Reece Luben takes intimate knowledge to a whole new level. As the Greek god of lust, he has a long standing reputation to uphold as a playboy, despite the fact he’s grown bored with the game. It’s been centuries since he’s cared about someone other than his maenads, so he passes the time getting people to shed their inhibitions. As one of the few beings who can sense Pandora’s Box, Reece has no choice but to help Piper find and stop Orpheus, even though he’s avoided her family since the start of his second life. But the feisty Anesidora woman makes him feel things he’s long forgotten, and what starts out as one night giving into desire turns into another…and another. What happens when the god of lust decides he’s changing the game and playing for keeps?

Buy Bad Things Play Here on Smashwords and Donate to the Malala Fund.

2940046326536_p0_v2_s192x3005) Eternity by Maggie Shayne

Read my review of Eternity.

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 114,060

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars

300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.

Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.

300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.

Get Eternity for free on Smashwords.

Boyfriends for Sale: Read for a Better World Edition

When I started Lover’s Quarrel, I wanted to make the world a better place. Now, for the first time, Lover’s Quarrel has raised a significant amount of money for charity and I know, with your help, we can raise $100 for charity in 2017.

Now, for the first time, Lover’s Quarrel has raised a significant amount of money for charity and I know, with your help, we can raise $100 for charity in 2017.

We are 57 percent of the way to our goal and I know we can make it. To help, I’ve compiled a list of romance novels that have high affiliate rates. Half of those affiliate earnings will go to the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that helps women and girls around the world get 12 years of safe, quality education. I’m giving you the opportunity to help them.

However, you need to act fast to make the maximum impact with your purchases. At the end of August, these affiliate rates can fall back to the standard 11%, so buying after August 31 could mean only 5.5% of your purchase goes to the Malala Fund. 

Here are 10 romance novels you can buy to make the world a better place.

Continue reading “Boyfriends for Sale: Read for a Better World Edition”

Husband and Wife Write Letters to the Bitter End

Book Review: To the One I Love by Dawn Gena

to_the_one_i_love_cover_for_kindle00001Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 3,880

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Through letters, Jonathan and Emily profess their love for each other. You can see snapshots of their lives as they meet and marry, and part ways. Time is fluid in this, with only the Chinese zodiac signs to give you an idea about how much time has passed.

This story was way too short and everything happened way too fast. It was like watching a television show for the first time and skipping entire seasons between episodes.

For instance, the mothers of the two main characters got into a fist fight at the engagement party and at least one of them was arrested for it. Why did the fight start? Do the mothers have a history of being violent? Maybe they have bad history.

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The ending was abrupt. It implied a violent ending that had no foreshadowing in the previous letters.  The story is a series of romantic snapshots into these people’s’ lives, but I would have preferred a little more reality with some context to what was happening.

The writing drove me crazy at times, too. Mostly it was witty, passionate and made me smile.

What other lovers? Whoever came before you fell out of existence at your first caress. You are my only…for now through eternity.

But sometimes it was pretentious and absurdly wordy.

“Fleeting and cold is my opinion of email, text and phone calls. I make no apologies for my old fashioned views on modern technology. It may not be instant, and might take a bit more effort (of which you are more than worthy!), but I prefer to sit and put pen to paper.”

It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great, either. Bascomville and Grind are both better literary romances.

You can find it for free on Smashwords.

Want some free romance novels I’ve rated 4 stars or higher? Subscribe to my newsletter to get Lover’s Quarrel Ultimate Reading List. 

 

 

3 Must Read Fantasy Romance Authors

I cannot get enough of fantasy romance novels lately. I don’t know what it is about mythological wars and magical powers that make me fall in love with the characters, but lately fantasy romance has been hitting the spot. Here are three must-read fantasy romance authors.

92000000341379241) Maggie Shayne

Author of the By Magic series, Maggie Shayne knows how to let you escape into fantasy. The love stories in both By Magic Enchanted and By Magic Beguiled were wonderfully addictive and deliciously sweet. By Magic Enchanted took me by surprise and became even better than I thought it would be.

Both stories feature two sisters, descendants of royal fairy blood. One grows up homeless on city streets The other imprisoned by an enemy prince. Their magic and their wits keep them alive as they try to reclaim their destiny and their place in their kingdom.

Read my review for By Magic Beguiled.

2940152405729_p0_v1_s1200x6302) Elise Marion

Elise Marion is an exceptional world builder and an amazing storyteller. She has the ability to sweep you into the world in Chained, where two very different regions are on the brink of war. Little do they know the war is orchestrated by a third party, one that is very dangerous.

I’ve read three books in the Chained series, and I loved all three. The characters are really well developed and the cultures well crafted. Marion is an amazing writer and I highly recommend them.

Read my interview with Elise Marion. 

btphcoveroff3) Chani Lynn Feener

Author of Bad Things Play Here, which tells the tale of Piper, a descendant of Pandora. Her family has been guarding Pandora’s box for millennia, but Piper wants to just have a normal life and more importantly a connection with someone, something she was denied her entire childhood. But when Pandora’s box is stolen by a malicious spirit, she needs to team up with Reece, the god of Lust, to stop more Sins from escaping. Reece wants nothing to do with Piper’s family, but Piper makes him feel things he had long forgotten. What starts out as one night of pleasant distractions from Pandora’s Box becomes something more. But as much as Reece wants to, could he really be with Piper, a mortal?

Disclaimer: the links in this post are affiliate links which means I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Half of my commission from these links is donated to the Malala Fund to help women and girls get education. 

Want more romance? Sign up for my newsletter and get the Ultimate Lover’s Quarrel Reading List which features free, full-length romance novels that I’ve rated 4 stars or higher.

Woman Surprised When Neighbor Waits For Her When Coming Home Late

Book Review of “Ride of Her Life” by Kimberly Dean

2940045096492_p0_v1_s192x300
Get it free on Smashwords

Genre: Contemporary, Erotica

Word Count: 3,830

Average Smashwords rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Warning: quotes below are certainly rated R.

When Andrea’s car breaks down and she gets a ride home with a coworker, the last thing she expects is her sexy yet scary-looking neighbor, Bo, waiting for her and livid. Worried out of his mind, Bo is done flirting with Andrea without action. Tonight, he’ll show her exactly what he wants with her.

Ride of Her Life is a hot little escape, but it’s like daydreaming about the stock photo of a tattooed macho man. True, it has some great sexy time.

He was fucking her hard and fast, but it was too much. Too raw. Too intimate. She felt too vulnerable, and she tried to lower her legs.

“No.” Keeping her legs close together, he leaned forward. “I like it this way. It makes you tighter. Makes you pay attention to me.”

The increase in pressure startled her. “Bo!”

He bucked at the sound of his name, and Andrea could hardly stand the pleasure. It felt naughty, exhibitionistic, and so damn good.

“That’s right, sweet thing. Give it to me. I’m the guy who’s meant to be your lover, not your handyman.”

But Bo has no character whatsoever. For that matter, Andrea isn’t much better with her inconsistent weirdness.

Bo is a jerk. He was mad that his neighbor didn’t call him when she was going to be home late or ask him to drive all the way to the college just to give him a ride. He was even more irritated that the coworker who dropped her off was male. Bo is her next door neighbor! Sure, they’re closer than most neighbors, but that doesn’t mean she needs to call him when she is a little bit late.

mickey_friends_mickey_youre_not_the_boss_of_me_mouse_pad-rf6da94e0ddce49119b17b29d23917b79_x74vk_8byvr_512

There’s an inch of depth that flickers beneath Bo’s otherwise boring flatness. His anger stems from worry and he’s insecure around Andrea. He doesn’t think he’s smart enough for her and in a moment of vulnerability asks her what he means to her.

It’s clear the two of them have history together. They have been neighbors for a while and Bo is always there to help with lawn mowing, giving her takeout, and doing repairs around the house. Andrea fantasizes about him at night but is scared to acknowledge her attraction to him. Bo seems to know it anyway and basically takes her on a picnic table with Andrea barely getting a consent out.

The lack of real consent is a huge turn-off for me. Just because he mows her lawn doesn’t mean he gets to, well, mow her lawn. There’s a difference between dominating and borderline-raping, and I wish that was much clearer here.

Andrea’s character is all over the place. She goes from caring to femme fatale in less than four thousand words.

At first, she’s slightly scared of Bo. She’s nervous and innocent for most of the story.

The tingle was back. Her entire body vibrated with anticipation and nerves. She’d never done anything like this. A thrill of uneasiness and excitement rushed through her

By the end, he’s just a fuck for her.

“Can we go inside now?” she asked, her lips brushing against his ear.

“On one condition. Tell me what I am to you.”

She smiled softly. “Oh honey, you’re the man I call when I need a ride.”

Where is this new found confidence of hers and when did she start calling him honey? Did her orgasm compel a man-eating ghost to possess her for the sake of reliving glory days?

We’ll never find out, because that’s where the story ends. There’s no real conclusion and just the flippant line to half-heartedly tie the ending and beginning together. It left me wholly unsatisfied. You can read the story for free on Smashwords.

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Man Seduces High School Crush in a Way that Will Leave You Breathless

Conference CupidGenre: Contemporary

Word Count: 19,780

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Get Conference Cupid free on Smashwords.

I’m still trying to catch my breath from reading Conference Cupid by Eden Elgabri. The sex and the romance is a huge whirlwind that left me wanting even more. But I’m still not sure why I liked it so much.

Devin Barnett can’t believe it when he sees his old high school crush walk into his hotel for the romance writers conference. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers, but he doubts she will recognize him. After all, he was just a skinny nerd in high school. He certainly never would have entered her radar. But maybe he can finally have her.

Continue reading “Man Seduces High School Crush in a Way that Will Leave You Breathless”