Contract by Emma Alisyn #review #romance #bbw

Contract by Emma Alisyn

Synopsis
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Any publicity is good publicity, right? But when curvy Aiva, owner of Blooms In Yellow, starts a media ruckus outside her flower shop to increase business, the attention brings all the rats out of hiding.

Namely Daniel, her cousin and the loan shark who funded her startup. A loan shark tied to organized crime, who is a bit miffed when Aiva starts attracting attention. Like any good rat, he prefers to stay in the dark. The attention also attracts Leon Sudano, billionaire mogul and reformed crime lord. Of course the Sudanos, under his rule, are completely legitimate. And his interest in Aiviana is perfectly innocent…

…only it isn’t. He’s been watching Aiva for years, waiting patiently to make his first, and last, move. Because when Sudano plays, he plays for keeps. Aiva must balance her pride in being an independent woman business owner with her growing attraction for the sexy, powerful Leon, who showers her with gifts and attention… and steals her heart.

Opinion
This book had promised but then I thought about it too much and realize there were gaping holes in the plot.

Aiva borrowed money from her cousin with “old country” terms, meaning she would be an indentured servant if she defaulted. If Aiva’s family was so concerned with her, why would they allowing her to be low key sexual harassed by her cousin?

Image result for why meme

Aiva took the “I’m an independent woman” routine to a ridiculous level. For 90% of the book, it seemed like she would rather drown instead of admitting she needed a life jacket.

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Leon offers Aiva a chance to pay her debt but his interest in her contract is not altruistic. He wants her to be his wife. He knows he needs to handle her outstanding debt or else it’s makes him look bad.

Leon was my favorite character and a real OG with how he handled things, but then my inner feminist balked at his “I choose you to have my babies” attitude. I know he was old school, but I wanted him to help her pay her bills for love and not just so he could get her pregnant.

However to his credit, he did let her come to him after she rebuffed his initial efforts.

Random side note: I don’t feel the book cover matches the story. I thought the book was going to be hotter than it was.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?

BORROW if you don’t have KU. At the time I bought,  it was 99 cents. At that price point, it was not going to break the bank. Now the price is $2.99. I will let you decide what you want to do.

Book details

Series: N/A

Heat Level: 🔥  🔥

Print Length: 93 pages

 

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#review Cade (MacKenzie Security) #bookaddict #amreading

Cade (MacKenzie Security Book 1) 

Synopsis
Cade MacKenzie is prepared to give his life to destroy the cartel that killed his lover, but the only way to draw them out is to present them with the perfect bait.

Bayleigh Scott has no idea who her new neighbor is, only that her body is drawn to him in ways she can’t explain, and the danger that surrounds him isn’t the deterrent she knows it should be.

More than fireworks explode between Cade and Bayleigh when she discovers the real reason he relentlessly pursued her, but by then it’s too late, because she’s already been drawn into a deadly game of desire, deception and revenge.

Opinion
I was excited about reading this book because I thought I would be able to identify. My hubby could be described as surly and I am bubbly. I wanted to read OUR story. We have a happy marriage, so I knew I happy ending is possible.

This was not that kind of story.

The start of the story was promising. When a job went wrong, Cade’s cover was blown and his girlfriend at the time was killed by a drug lord. I was still on board. He has angst, guilt, and grief as to why he cannot love another.
Enter Bayleigh. Her brother warns her to stay far away from Cade, but she ignores that to pursue a relationship with her surly neighbor.
She wants the forbidden fruit. OKAY. Still on board.

But then everything fizzled out. It was probably one the most predictable book ever with their insta-lust. If they were in the same room, they had no self-control to get it on.

There were (what I thought) gaping plot holes in the suspense/mystery. It seemed that Cade left himself vulnerable a lot of times. Plus, why did he start a relationship with Bayleigh when he knew the drug lord was capable of doing?

Most notable plot hole was at the end when there should have been a showdown between Cade and drug lord, the drug lord disappears. It was like a Bond movie where the villain is so confident the person is going to die, so he leaves. Am I to believe that? It is like the author did not know who to finish the scene and thought the readers could use their imagination and create their own ending.

By the end, I was soured on Cade and Bayleigh. Yea I get it. They like to have a lot of sex. But that is about all they do.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
PASS but BORROW if you like insta-lust stories. To me, the book had so much potential but did not deliver.

Book details
Series MacKenzie Security
Book length: 221 pages
Heat level: 🔥 🔥 🔥


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Foodie Friday: Nahm Thai Cuisine #thairestaurant #alpharettaga #foodie #goodeats

 

Welcome to the latest edition of FOODIE FRIDAY!

It has been ages that I have posted about a restaurant. The main reason is that I have been so busy and it has been hard for me to find the time to upload all my pictures. Recently, I decided that I would post using my cell phone and I think that is going to help considerably.

The other day, I was in Alpharetta, GA for work and my colleagues suggested we go to Nahm Thai Cuisine. Since they have been highly rated on many food sites, I was eager to try them out.

For an appetizer, I ordered the sampler trio which had shrimp tempura, corn fritter, and pork dumplings.

TOW Opinion: I liked all three. They were paired with sauces that were a delicate mix of sweet, spicy, and salty. My favorite would have to be the shrimp. I should have ordered a plate of just that! Perfect tempura can be difficult to find, but Nahm knows how to get the flavors right every time.
***Allergy warning for the dumplings: They were garnished with peanuts. Since it was just sprinkled on top, I removed that layer and ate the bottom ones.

     

For my main course, I ordered Massaman chicken curry. If you have never had Massaman, the paste is first fried with coconut cream, and only then are meat, potatoes, onions, fish sauce or salt, tamarind paste, sugar, coconut milk and peanuts added. And topped with avocado.

Massaman is usually eaten with rice, in a meal together with other dishes.

They added cashews instead of peanuts. I asked for them to leave off the nuts, but they did not.

 

TOW Opinion: I ordered medium heat and it was just right. I did think it was too sweet and I did not have enough rice to balance out the sweetness. The potatoes were not fully done all the way through.  I still enjoyed the food. I took home my leftovers and ate later after cooking some more rice. Even better then next day!

 

Guest Hope Clark talks about #journaling #guestpost

This guest post is by C. Hope Clark from www.chopeclark.com

Q&A a Day: Five Years of Finding Yourself

                     When I hear that someone has journaled for years, I instantly admire them. For no other reason than they held themselves to a regimen, I find them incredibly in tune with themselves. They are living life, noting its lessons, and probably improving themselves in the process.

Presidents do it. Many authors do it, which makes me feel guilty since I’m an eight-book published mystery author, with a couple of nonfiction books thrown in for good measure. I’ve been writing for years, yet I could not find the discipline to write at the end of the day when I’m spent, probably having already written a couple thousand words for some story or feature.

Yet I’ve beat into my sons’ heads that journaling is a mental vitamin. I like to think I set an example, though abbreviated ones. I kept a journal for each of them, noting the year before they graduated high school, recording their highs and lows, and my accompanying highs and lows, my opinions and observations. Then I wrapped it and gave it to them when they went to college. One son continues to journal to this day, probably has for over 15 years, putting me to shame.

Then one Christmas, scrounging for a gift for my sons and nephew that reflected on my beliefs about writing and reading, I stumbled across Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal in a Barnes & Noble.

Each day the journaler answers a question, almost in Twitter-style. With only four lines to post on, and the book being 4.25 x 6 inches in size, brevity is key. In other words, no excuse not to keep up with it. And you get to keep up with it for five years, each year answering the same question on the same day.

However, don’t dismiss short as lacking depth. For instance, January 1 (no year)’s question is “What is Your Mission?” In 2015, I spoke of enjoying life peacefully via writing stories and nature. No controversy.

Five years is a long time, and regardless our stage in life, we shift, bend, regroup and grow. That’s the magic of this journal, in my opinion. Taking the same question and watching how I advance through the years.

In 2016, I showed an eagerness to write prolifically, go to my favorite beach more often and research my new mystery series that’s set there.

In 2017, I set quite the goal of writing two novels and two nonfiction books in a year. Oh, and land a cable television deal.

Then in 2018, I wrote about how 2017 drained me with my parents’ diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and shredded my 2017 goals. Time to “define a new normal,” I said, “involving family and those I love.”

I look forward to seeing how I answer 2019. And no doubt that I’ll buy another book and start another five years. Q&A is the perfect journal for the non-journaler.

And there are derivations of the Q&A journal, as well.

All of these books are by Clarkson Potter, or Potter Gift. They are durable, which is nice considering you’ll handle these books daily for multiple years. There are copycat titles out there but look for the Potter Gift name.

Whether you’re a non-writer just eager to record the passing of time, or the writer who’s to spent to write epic journal entries, the Q&A a Day journal is a jewel for yourself and makes for a remarkable gift. I’ve given three in addition to purchasing my own, and all of us are still journaling away!

C Hope Clark

BIO: Mystery author C. Hope Clark’s newest release is Newberry Sin, set in an idyllic small Southern town where blackmail and sex are hush-hush until they become murder. The fourth in the Carolina Slade Mysteries. Hope speaks to conferences, libraries, and book clubs across the country, is a regular podcaster for Writer’s Digest, and adores connecting with others. She is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, an award-winning site and newsletter service for writers.  She lives on the banks of Lake Murray in central South Carolina with her federal agent husband where they spin mysteries just for fun. www.chopeclark.com

BLURB from Newberry Sin:

When a local landowner’s body, with pants down, is found near Tarleton’s Tea Table Rock—a notorious rendezvous spot, federal investigator Carolina Slade senses a chance to get back into the field again. Just as she discovers what might be a nasty pattern of fraud and blackmail, her petty boss reassigns her fledgling case to her close friend and least qualified person in their office.

Forced to coach an investigation from the sidelines, Slade struggles with the twin demons of professional jealousy and unplanned pregnancy. Something is rotten in Newberry. Her personal life is spiraling out of control. She can’t protect her co-worker. And Wayne Largo complicates everything when the feds step in after it becomes clear that Slade is right.

One wrong move and Slade may lose everything. Yet it’s practically out of her hands . . . unless she finds a way to take this case back without getting killed.

All links embedded in blog are TOW Amazon affiliate  links 

To buy on other platforms:

Kobo link https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/newberry-sin

B&N link https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/newberry-sin-c-hope-clark/1128369562

Google link https://play.google.com/store/books/details/C_Hope_Clark_Newberry_Sin

Apple link https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/newberry-sin/

Try It Tuesday – #Segwaytours #sandiego

I was trying to decide what to choose for TRY IT TUESDAY and thought SEGWAY TOURS!

Segway Tours – San Diego
601 Pacific Hwy San Diego CA
619-889-4326

http://www.nationtours.com/

I had to go to San Diego for a conference. On the last day, sessions finished earlier enough that I could go a short tour of the downtown San Diego via a segway. I wondered if this was going to be a mistake considering I am not the most graceful person. Honestly, I cannot believe I have made it to almost 4 decades and not broken any bones. At this point, I am trying to broken bone free!

I chose the Little Italy and Waterfront tour. It took about 90 minutes. It cost $59 but if you have a large group, you can probably get a discount. I added the insurance in case I totalled my segway. At the time, I hoped I would not but, again, I was being realistic with myself. I will clip a corner in a minute.

After a brief introduction about segway safety, we were off.

The participants, with helmets firmly affixed, all headed single file down the sidewalk along the San Diego Embarcadero. We saw the entrance to the Gas Lamp district, went through a few parks, saw the PetCo baseball stadium, and finished our tour riding up along coast.

Surprisingly, my feet got tired from way I had lean up and down to maneuver the segway. I did not expect that. Also surprising to me was that I was quite agile on my segway. I even posed as if I was Rose on the Titantic at one point. Afterwards, I called my husband and told him we have to do a segway tour on our next vacation.

TOW Final Word: This was a fantastic way to see the downtown area and I am now hooked on segway tours! I cannot wait to do another in a different town.