Review: The Gem by Beth Williamson

gemReviewed by Jen

There are some historical romance series where each book works wonderfully as a standalone, but in this case, it was readily apparent that I was jumping into a story already in progress. This was the first of a number of problems I encountered while reading. It wasn’t a bad book, but there was very little subtlety and an awful lot of telling instead of showing.

Charlie is an oddity among women in the Wyoming territory. She rejects all things feminine and makes her living hunting and selling meat. She never wants to marry and intentionally isolates herself from those around her. Her behavior stems from a Very Bad Thing that happened to her 10 years ago, while traveling West with her sister. This was where it would have done some good to have read whichever book where those events took place. They are referenced, but for much of the book, no one came out and said exactly what happened. Even when Charlie broke down and told all to the hero, I felt like I didn’t have the whole story. [Read more…]

Review: Nicholas by Emma Lang

nicholasReviewed by Janell

This is the fifth in a Western series about siblings on a ranch in Texas. I haven’t read any of the previous books, but I jumped in at the promise of a brooding cowboy. This book picked up right after the events of the previous book. I wasn’t exactly lost, because the author inserted summaries of past actions, but I definitely felt like I would have understood the main characters and their relationship better had I read the last book. [Read more…]

Review: Matthew

Reviewed by Jen

It’s only been a few weeks since someone killed Matthew Graham’s parents and kidnapped his youngest brother. But now he is the head of the family, doing his best to run the family ranch and raise his brood of brothers and sisters. One of the tasks that has fallen to him is a trip to Houston to claim some extra acreage his father was planning to use to expand their property. But when he arrives, Matthew is stunned to find that he must be married to get the land for his family. In a moment of weakness, he lies –claiming to be married to a woman named Hannah. Only, the officials give him 30 days to produce that wife or the deal is done.

It’s pure luck that allows Matthew to run into Hannah Foley at the market. He feels an attraction to her, but he honestly lays out his situation to her and asks her to wed. Fearing it’s her only chance for a husband, Hannah accepts his offer and they are married within the week.

It’s really kind of nice watching Hannah come into the fold of the Graham family. She helps fill some of the hole left by their parents’ death and they give her the family she always dreamed of as an orphan. Of course, Matt and Hannah’s marriage of convenience becomes more over time. The sexual connection happens right away, but real feelings begin to surface as they get to know one another better.

There were times I got frustrated with both characters. Hannah takes a lot of crap before she stands up for herself. And Matt… if I had to read his internal monologue about establishing dominance one more time, I may have found a way to jump into the book and kick his shins. But the sex was good and both characters managed to do alot of growing over the course of the book.

There was a good mystery surrounding who killed the Graham parents and some shady dealings with the land entitlement. I liked villain reveal and the circumstances in which our couple eventually prevailed. I was surprised that the author opted to leave a few threads open… not everything was wrapped up into a neat little package. But this leaves her some elements to incorporate should she follow up with a story on Matt’s sister and the mysterious inspector. Almost 4 stars.

P.S.  That cover is smokin’ hot!

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
by Emma Lang (Beth Williamson)
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Brava

AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Beth Williamson

Another AAD author is joining us today!  Beth Williamson is a lady who loves her cowboys and her romances range from sensual to scorching hot.  Her newest book, Matthew, is out today under her other name Emma Lang.  Please help me welcome Beth to the blog! 
Jen: You write under two names: Beth Williamson and Emma Lang. Why? And is there anything markedly different between the books under one name or the other?


Beth: It’s not multiple personalities, I swear! LOL. The truth is rather boring – I write under two different names due to a publisher request. My writing style is the same, regardless of the pen name, and the books are generally in the same genre – historical western. I try to make it as seamless as possible – with one website etc.


Jen: Clearly you’re a woman who loves her cowboys. What is it that really pulled you toward the cowboy romance genre?
Beth: Oh yes ma’am, I do love my cowboys. Fer realz! I grew up watching westerns, the classics, y’know? Like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. These were tough men with hard lives, but had a code of honor that spoke to me. I also have a weakness for the way a man looks riding a horse or wearing chaps. The broad shoulders, the narrow hips, the swagger. Oh yeah, baby, bring it!


Jen: How do you approach writing those really hot love scenes?
Beth: They have to fit within the story, first of all, I don’t just throw love scenes in for the same of having one. If I try to force one, you can tell right away. I let the characters lead the story and the sex. Then, of course, I have to feel what they feel – I react to the heat just as a reader does. 😉

Jen: I’ve always wanted to ask a romance author this. The right language can make or break a love scene. There are some authors who are all flowery with “white lightning” and “velvet sheaths”… while other authors use words dirty enough to make an HBO executive blush. How do decide on your, er, anatomical terminology? It’s got to be a conscious decision, right?

Beth: Yes, it’s a conscious decision. Sometimes it’s driven by the genre I am writing to – if I know it’s going to be scorching hot, well then the words are going to be more explicit of course. If I’m writing for a broader appeal, I will tone it down and use only slightly explicit terms. Hee.

Jen: I just finished reading Matthew. How many books do you have planned for the Circle of 8 series? Will Olivia & Armstrong be next?

Beth: I have 8 books planned – one for each Graham sibling. Olivia and Brody Armstrong are book 2! It releases July, 2012 from Brava just in time for AAD. That book, wow, that one was intense.

Jen: Do you enjoy writing full length novels more, or novellas?

Beth: Oh, tough question! When I’m writing a novel, there is more opportunity for growth and a character arc. A novella takes more careful planning because of the short length. I definitely have written more novels than novellas!

Jen: Do you have a favorite among your published works?

Beth: I knew you’d ask me that. LOL. I think I have three favorites – The Treasure because Ray and Lilly are based on me and hubby. Ruthless Heart because I simply adore Grady and Eliza. And I also love The Stranger’s Secrets – my heroine is disabled and tough as hell – every time (and I mean EVERY TIME), I read that book I weep. Powerful books – all of them.

Jen: What are you working on now?

Beth: I am working on a prequel to the Malloy series, THE FORTUNE, it’s the story of John & Francesca, parents to the Malloy brood. I also have another stand-alone book, FIND ME, I’m going to bang out after this one. Oh and I need to write Caleb’s story for The Circle Eight. Wait and then there’s the other new series my agent is pitching that I’ve written book 1 for… Um, yeah, I’m super busy. LOL. I’d like more hours in the day please and thank you.

Jen: When people see your name on a book, what should they be expecting?

Beth: My books are very character driven – they tell the story not me. I don’t include big flowery descriptions or sweeping vistas. It’s a journey that involves real people with real problems and real love. There’s intense emotions, humor, hot sex and generally, a cowboy.

Jen: What are you looking forward to most at AAD in New Orleans?

Beth: Having fun! I love weekends for authors/readers where you can relax and have fun. No pressure but to get to know each other and break out the good times. I’ve never been to New Orleans either so I expect the city will just add to the fabulous adventure!

Thanks so much to Beth for visiting today. To learn more about Beth Williamson, you can find her on her website. And in the meantime, you can enter to win a copy of Matthew! Just enter the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is International.

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