Tamie Reviews: Corporate Affair by Linda Cunningham

Today I’m taking part in Linda Cunningham’s blog tour for her newest book which is called Corporate Affair.

The synopsis:

A smart, sexy entrepreneur. A wealthy, arrogant ladies’ man set on purchasing her company. And a hotbed of chemistry neither one of them anticipated.

Aiden Stewart is just going through the motions of running the family business, a mega communications company snapping up all the competition. His trip to a tiny New England town to negotiate the purchase of ChatDotCom is nothing more than an interruption in his plans for his next female conquest. The last thing he expects is for Chat’s CEO M. Jordan Fitzgerald to be a woman who takes his breath away.

Jordan is focused on business, not romance. She’s got too much at stake, working to protect Chat’s employees, as well as making sure her family is taken care of. Falling in love is not part of the business plan, but resisting the man she really should not want is proving impossible.

When a rival wants to take over Chat too, Jordan struggles to keep her personal life from affecting the business deal. With secrets that could ruin everything, she has to decide if she can balance business with pleasure.

Linda Cunningham introduces hot new characters in her second Small Town novel, a steamy office romance set in idyllic Clark’s Corner, Vermont.

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Stacking The Shelves: March 3

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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A Valentine from Caleb to Lauren

A letter to Lauren Smith Cochran from Caleb Cochran

To my wife on our first anniversary,

You probably know that I don’t write many letters and you’re probably wondering why I’m writing one now.  It’s pretty simple.  It’s our one year anniversary and after this morning, I feel the need to do this.  I want to put into words how I feel.  It’s hard to know where to start.  You know I love you and I know you love me, but it’s deeper than that.  Love doesn’t seem to be a big enough word to describe how I feel about you, so that’s why I have to write a whole letter.  I want you to hold my words while you read them and to be able to keep them and read them again and again.  I want you to read them to me on our fiftieth anniversary.

That first day, when I saw you standing in your kitchen, I felt like I got stabbed in the heart.  You see, before that second, my life was pretty stable.  I was getting along from day to day.  I had survived my demons and laid them to rest.  I had family.  I had friends.  I had responsibilities that kept me busy and kept me from focusing on myself.  A business to run.  Customers and employees who depended on me.  The fire department.  I spent my days going from the shop to the job sites to the meetings to fires and fairs.  At night I just went to bed.  The next morning it would start over.  It was a routine and it filled my days.

Then, when I met you, with your beautiful hair and your pretty eyes, I realized there was more to fill than just days.  There was me.  I loved you from the first minute I saw you, Lauren.  From that day on, it was like I had waked up from some kind of drugged daze.  I saw in that minute how much I needed somebody and how that somebody had to be you.  My first reaction was not to take the risk.  Just bury the feeling so deep that I’d never be aware of it again, but then you touched me.  Physically touched me.  Remember?  In the cellar, when I burned my arm?  I wanted to kiss you right then and there.  I could have done more than that!  All that time it took for us to get together, I was scared.  I was scared when you went back to the city.  I was scared of falling back into that black hole of a daze where I had been for years.  When it seemed I had lost you for good I thought, at least I had true love once and I know how it feels.  I would just live on that memory.  I felt fortunate, even after I thought I would never see you again.  With you, I had experienced what most people never get a chance to.

I know I’m rambling right now.  I tend to do that when I can’t find the words.  And that’s it.  I can’t find the words to tell you how much I love you.  I’ve been thinking about you all morning.  When I passed MacTavish’s, I thought about our dinner there, and the time I saw you with Joan’s nephew.  When I passed my old house, I thought about that night your car gave out and you knocked on my door.  And when I drove past the firehouse, I thought about how close I came to really losing you.  Finally I had to just sit down and write this letter.  I did buy you a present.  I thought it was pretty special when I got it, but it’s nothing now, compared to the news you gave me this morning when I came down for coffee.  When you said you were pregnant, I thought my heart was going to burst because I didn’t know how it was going to hold all the love I have for you and for our baby.  A new person!  A new person is coming because of our love for eachother.  It’s unbelievable.  I never thought this would happen to me, but until we got together, I didn’t know what real love was.  I love you, Lauren.  I always will.  Happy anniversary to you, my wife.  You are my greatest strength and comfort, every day.

Love always,

Caleb

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Coming Up This Week…

It’s Valentines Week and to celebrate it I’ve got something very special for you. I asked some of my fave authors if they could help me out by securing some love letters/notes from my favorite guys to share with you, and all I can say is WoW! did they ever come thru. I hope you’ll join us for a week of swooning…sighing…and erm a bit of tingling as well 😉

Monday February 13th- A beautiful Valentine letter from Blake to Livia that will pull at your heartstrings.

***Thanks to Debra Anastasia***

Tuesday February 14th- A romantic and sensual love note from Gabriel to Julia that will have you swooning into unconsciousness first then running for a cold shower.

***Thanks to Sylvain Reynard***

Wednesday February 15th- You may not survive the letter that Dominic wrote to Kerrigan. If Dominic is involved you know it’s going to be hawt, and this is a scorcher!

***Thanks to C.L. Parker***

Thursday February 16th- A timeless love letter from Gabe to Jessie will have you reaching for something to dry ur eyes. Don’t worry tho…I’ve stocked up on kleenex for us.

***Thanks to Tyra Lynn***

Friday February 17th- Caleb may be a straight forward guy, but his letter to Lauren will melt your heart. O…and there’s a bit of news that he shares as well…

***Thanks to Linda Cunningham***

Saturday February 18th- It’s a surprise…u like surprises right!?! Yeah me too.

Also- No MBB this week but don’t worry it’ll be back next week.

Thursday- Gina reviews: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

FanFic Friday with Debb and Annie- I never know what these 2 have in store 4 u, but I know you won’t want 2 miss it.

How about a few love lines to get the week started?!? Yeah that…

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Observations…

**Adult Material**

I’m one of those people whose mind is always whirling away, thinking of stuff to write here, thinking of conversations on twitter, work, etc.  I keep a small notebook with me to write the brilliant stuff down, cuz I tend to forget if I don’t. O, and I keep a notebook next to my PC for the same reason.  I’d share my notebook with you, but I use a shorthand that would probably be hard to decipher. Sometimes I have trouble with that myself, and I’m the one who’s  writing  it 🙂

Anyways, I was looking through it the other day, and I thought I’d pass along a few of my observations that have to do with literary stuff… and  fantasy boyfriend type stuff.

I don’t know about you, but I really do find arrogant men in fiction to be quite sexy. A few good examples of this in my opinion are Jericho Barrons, Gabriel Emerson, and Christian Grey. I think they all come off as arrogant in one way or another, yet I find them all to be quite…erm…arousing. Yes?  Now in real life I rarely find arrogance sexy, altho there was one guy…HUH?!? O. Wait. Never mind.  I’ve actually given this some thought…imagine that… and maybe at least part of the reason I find it so irresistible is because I feel like these guys actually have a reason to be a bit pompous. They’re all men of means, smart, and sophisticated. They all have good taste in clothes, cars, wine. And well geez,  the sexual skills they all possess is …um…outstanding, impressive, desireable…

Hey, I gotta admit to something here…I sure am  curious as to why the authors make them that way. Authors, feel free to let me know the answer to that.

Have you ever noticed how much it adds to a fantasy boyfriends value if he’s able to speak a foreign language? OMG! *HARD THUD* When they start speaking in Italian, French, or Spanish?!? Well, let’s just say that I do some pretty heavy duty panting swooning. Seriously, they could be talking about the national debt, or a business deal and it would sound erotic as long as it’s in another language. I’m thinking it almost demands to be a fantasy boyfriend prerequisite. Hmmm.

I think it’s pretty well known that I have a particular fondness for certain physical characteristics, and recently when I was reviewing my fantasy boyfriends I realized how many of them share those certain traits. Not that I’m unwilling to take on a different type now and then.  Let’s see…1st of all, I like ’em tall. Admittedly, this might  stem from the fact that I am quite short…just a wee bit over 5’3″ if you must know. I’m sure a psychologist would tell me I have some sort of height issues…which I don’t. Believe me when I tell you that my big personality more than makes up for any lack in that area 😉  Maybe it’s the thought that a tall man would be able to protect me should the need arise? Naw, I just like ’em tall.

I like my guys broad shouldered and slim hipped… um yeah the well known reverse triangle…that’s just hawt! Moving on…since these guys are nearly perfect male specimens they gotta have some muscles. Nope, I’m not talking Mr. Universe type bulging muscles either.  I’d much rather my guys bulge somewhere else…capisce?

I prefer dark hair and either blue or green eyes. Maybe the eye color thing is because I have brown eyes…kinda one of those opposites attract things?

I don’t really have to have washboard abs…but I do insist on being able to gawk at the glory of the deep vee. Mmmhmm…the deep vee…

Almost all of my pretend doods are financially well off, but I want you to know that this is not a necessity for me. It’s an added perk of course if he has the ability to  whisk me away at a moments notice to somewhere far away…Paris or Florence come to mind, but I’m good with just being able to cuddle and…and…and…for long hours at a time. You do know that stamina is a requirement right? This is never an issue with fantasy boyfriends. Some of my guys are ready and willing to go 24/7 which might interfere with actually having a life outside of the bedroom…or wherever, but hey I think I could make do. Of course that tends to be a whole lot easier if they have gobs of money, so maybe I need to rethink that earlier thought.

Ok moving onto a different topic for a bit…

I love descriptive writing. Some peeps are quite happy with minimalism in this category, but not me. Huh-uh…I like it when an author uses vivid words that spark my imagination while I’m reading. So what do I consider good descriptive writing? Does descriptive necessarily mean wordy? Nope. Let’s take a look at a few passages that will give you a better idea of what I love. I’m pulling these from my Kindle. I do in fact have many such passages highlighted. (and you thought I only highlighted the sex stuff…pfftt) I will tell you that I rarely highlight my 1st time through a book. Why? Because it takes too long. My 1st time is all about being focused on the story, so I bookmark a lot and then during subsequent readings I highlight and/or make notes.  Someday I might be persuaded to tell you how many bookmarks and highlights/notes some of them contain. Honestly, it’s just an embarrassment of riches.

Through an opening in the trees they entered a small clearing that was carpeted in thick grass. Wildflowers and weeds and old rotting stumps littered the expanse of green. The air was quiet and vibrated with peace. And at the edge of the open area stood several aged apple trees, weary-looking and worn. (Gabriel’s Inferno, Kindle location 1270)

Angelfucker, thought Gabriel. The expletive sprang into his mind, unbidden and uncensored, and he tensed, rumbling low in his chest. (Gabriel’s Inferno, Kindle location 1378)

For basier in French could mean either the innocence of a kiss or the animalistic quality of a fuck. One could say le baiser and refer to a kiss, but if one said, Baise-moi, one was begging to be fucked. Both innocence and begging were wrapped up in the embrace of these two lovers whose lips never touched: frozen together, yet separated for all eternity. (Gabriel’s Inferno, Kindle location 1738)

The breeze swirled in, rustling her hair almost affectionately and bringing with it the scents of fresh-turned earth, green leaves, and the first flowers of summer. (Small Town Girl, Kindle location 181 )

I feel him before I see him. It’s as if my whole body is highly attuned to his presence. It relaxes and ignites at the same time- a weird, internal duality- and i sense that strange pulsing electricity. (Fifty Shades Darker, Kindle location 1094)

What is your thing, Anastasia? he asks, his voice soft and his secret smile  is back. I gaze at him unable to express myself. I’m on shifting tectonic plates. Try and be cool, Ana, my tortured subconscious begs on bended knee. Books, I whisper, but inside, my subconcious is screaming: You! You are my thing! I slap it down instantly, mortified that my psyche is having ideas above its station. ( Fifty Shades of Grey, Kindle location 526)

Pink little girl, pink dress with pink ribbons, pale pink skin, clean and scrubbed, like sugared almonds, like coconut ice, powdery soft, pink and white. (Emotional Geology, Kindle location 1643)

Holy Crap! Le satisfied sigh…I could go on and on…see why authors are some of my most favorite people in the world?

I have a definite preference for books of a series rather than “stand alone books”. This one is pretty easy to figure out. When I flove a book I don’t want the author to let the characters go because I don’t want to let the characters go. Does that mean I think every book should have a sequel or more? Nope, just the ones I fall helplessly in love with.

I think you’ve all figured out by now that I have a certain… erm… shall we say proclivity,  for the romance/erotica/paranormal genres, and if a story contains all 3? Well then I’m counting my lucky stars. In any event, it might surprise you to learn that I used to be all about the mystery/thriller genre. Yep, for years that’s about the only thing I read. Now I’m a bit more balanced in what types of books I choose. I say a bit more balanced because I don’t see my current ratio changing any time soon.

As much as I love my Kindle and the whole e-book phenom I still adore a physical book. I love the weight of it in my hands. I like the smell of a new book the 1st time you crack it open. I enjoy turning actual pages. I like to feel the coverwork art with my fingers. It’s an experience for me that I never tire of. One of my favorite places to spend time in is a bookstore. I can quite happily spend a couple of hours just feasting my eyes on book after book. All the various colors and textures are both soothing and exciting to me. I never fail to feel uplifted as I leave a bookstore. That is one reason why I still buy them. For that little rush of euphoria I get. I also like to support my authors by purchasing any and all versions of their work that I can. That’s important to me.  I have been asked if I ever go back and purchase the books I receive free as an  ARC from a publisher or an author. Simply put…HELL YES…  I’m buying that book if I love it. It’s a present to myself that I won’t be denied, and more importantly, I want those who give the gift of their words to be compensated.

I think that’s a good place to stop for now. Don’t worry I have lots of other observations I’ll share with you in the future.

Tamie Xo

P.S. Just one more thing before I go…Is it just me or is it especially hawt when our favorite guys use a certain word? Not just in a sexual context but in just about any context? Yep, I’m referring to the word FUCK in particular. There’s just something about a guy saying that in the fictional world that makes me squirm in a good way. Why is that? Anybody?

My Top 10 Books of 2011

Deciding on my top 10 adult books was not an easy task for me because I read so many great books this year. Some were stand alone books, some were part of a complete series, and some have sequels or trilogies coming out in 2012.

Once I decided on my top 10 list, I then had to put them in order and this was even harder. In fact,  I would go so far as to say it was a little bit traumatic. Obviously, I loved them all. I recommended them all. So…  that got me to thinking about what set any of them apart. What made one any more special than the others?  What I finally decided on was the number of times I read each of the books. Although I normally read very fast,  when I choose to spend my free time rereading a book instead of picking something new then clearly that book must speak to me in some profound way. I probably don’t need to point this out to you, BUT,  the number and absolute hawtness of the Fantasy Boyfriends in these books  is enough to give a gurl a heart attack. That being said I give you my top ten books of 2011 in order. If you haven’t read any of them already I highly encourage you to do so.

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Review: Small Town Girl by Linda Cunningham

When Lauren Smith begrudgingly returns to the small Vermont town where she grew up to arrange for the sale of her late grandmother’s old farmhouse, she has everything she’s always worked for. Lauren drives a Mercedes. She’s engaged to one of the most powerful businessmen in the country and wears a three carat diamond ring to prove it. She lives in a penthouse on Central Park West. Yes, Lauren has everything she considers important. She is smugly prepared for any eventuality in dealing with these country people so Lauren isn’t surprised when the hot water isn’t working at the old house. No problem. She simply looks in the phone book and calls the local plumber.

The moment Caleb Cochran steps through the old screen door to fix the hot water, the glittery facade that masquerades as Lauren’s life begins to crumble around her. Though she tries hard to deny their mutual, magnetic attraction, Lauren is finally forced to reevaluate her focus and come face to face with her true self. “Small Town Girl” is a story of emotional maturation and the recognition and triumph of true love even in the face of repeated denial and awkward timing.

**See giveaway info after review**

This is a great book. I really urge you to read it. It’s the kind of book that you want to share with others. Here’s why:

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