Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Tour for Ulterior Motives by Chandra Ryan (Review & GIVEAWAY)


To start the week off I'm bringing you a sexy sci-fi/futuristic read, Ulterior Motives by Chandra Ryan.  Keep reading to learn more about this book through my review and my interview with Ms. Ryan. To learn even more, visit the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for your chance to win a $20 Amazon GC too!

TSP:  Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
CR:  I would’ve written more. I was so nervous when I was first starting out that I’d write something, submit it, wait for the contract and edits, and then wait to see what people thought about the story via reviews before I would write anything new. If I had it to do all over again, I would’ve always been writing.
TSP:  What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
CR:  My writing space is my front room. I love being in the middle of things. And I love still being surrounded by my family while I work. I guess that would make them my inspiration. Their support really helps me keep going when writing gets rough.
TSP:  The majority of your books are sci-fi/fantasy in nature, what draws you to these themes?
CR:  It’s the boundless nature of the possibilities held in fantasy and sci-fi that draws me to them. I tell my kids that they can be or do anything they set their hearts to when they grow up. But they’ll never be a dragon or a shapeshifter. And, yes, they could be a rancher but not on a settler planet. When I write, I don’t want to be held to the laws of this world and this time. I like having the universe wide open to me.
TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about Ulterior Motives?
CR:  Ulterior Motives is a sexy story about a lonely rancher who sets out to find a business partner but finds so much more. And, along the way, she discovers that she’s got the strength and courage to handle anything life might throw at her.
TSP:  Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
CR:  I’d love to see Ink in the Blood turned into a movie. I think the magic and the suspense combined with the dark, edginess of the story would translate really well to film. And the chemistry between Izzy and Jacob would be amazing to watch. If I got to pick the cast I’d love to see Matt Bomer play the part of Jacob and Emma Stone play Izzy.
TSP:  Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
CR:  Definitely Jasper from Ulterior Motives. He’s so very heroic because he doesn’t start out as a hero. Don’t get me wrong, he starts out as a good guy. But he’s focused on working within the system. He wants to do things by the book. When things get dangerous and Kat’s life is threatened, though, he throws out the book in a resounding manner. For him to go against his nature for Kat’s safety makes him a hero in my heart.
TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself?  Do you have an eReader yourself?
CR:  The digital revolution gave me my career. I’ve only written with digital first publishing houses in mind. I’ve only submitted to houses who focus on digital books. I don’t know if I actually market myself. I’m on Facebook and Twitter but I’m pretty much a what you see is what you get kind of gal. I post about new releases, covers, and reviews but I also talk about my family and my life. It’s all part of what makes me tick. And yes, I do have a color Nook. Most of the time I read using a Kindle app on my laptop or cell phone though. So I almost always have a book at my fingertips.
TSP:  My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
CR:  My family. Cheesy answer, I know. But also true. Chocolate in just about any form. Books. Hot tea with just the right amount of milk and sugar. Greek yogurt and granola. And, of course, pizza. 

Universal Defiance, Book One.....
On a rural settler planet, Kat must resort to putting out an ad to find a husband. She doesn’t expect to find love—that’s a dream in these parts—just a partner to help work her ranch. Then the devastatingly handsome Jasper answers her ad and turns her on in ways she never dreamed possible. Too bad he’s not who he says he is.
Jasper doesn’t know what he’s getting into when he ventures undercover to investigate a legal claim against Kat’s ranch. But after a toe-curling night under her roof and in her bed, he’s willing to do anything to stay there. He can’t say no to the tough-as-nails businesswoman who makes his body come alive.
When people start getting hurt, though, both Kat and Jasper have to decide how valuable one piece of land is. And the ranch that brought them together might be the very thing standing between them.

EXCERPT:

“Excuse me, sir.” Her calm words broke through the chaos of the port station and gained his undivided attention. This close to him, staring into his rich, brown eyes, her stomach began to churn with nerves. She quickly pushed through the sensation, though. She didn’t have the time for silliness. And it was the height of absurdity for her to be uncomfortable around her soon-to-be husband. “I’m Katarina Maxim. My friends call me Kat.”
She held her hand out to him in casual greeting as she tried not to fidget. She’d debated how to greet him as she’d driven to the station. A kiss seemed rather forward. But she did want him to feel welcomed. A handshake seemed like the best idea at the time. Now, as she waited for him to take her hand, she started second-guessing herself.
“Katarina, that’s a lovely name.”
She noted that he’d called her Katarina but tried not to let that color her first impression of him. She didn’t hate the name nor did she hate being called by it. It just didn’t fit her. Not anymore. Katarina sounded soft, delicate—refined, even. Like she’d been before her family had moved here. She could only hope that he didn’t see her as any of those things. If he did, he would be sorely disappointment when he got to know her better. “Kat. Only my mother called me by my full name,” she pressed.
“Kat it is.” His smile seemed genuine but his palm was as soft as new leather when he finally took hers. If he stayed, that would change. This planet demanded calluses and blisters. Her hands were proof of that.

BUY AT ELLORA'S CAVE here.   

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a fan of sci-fi/futuristic reads I was excited to read this story, and on a whole found much to like, but found those elements that first drew me to be a bit lacking.  Except for a few comments about the differing technology this story could've been set in any time as it felt like any other western.  As this is the first book in a series I hope Ms. Ryan will expand upon those defining elements to make for a more memorable and colorful setting in future installments. 

While the world-building may have been lacking the characters more than made up for that as they were fun and immensely likable with an entertaining dynamic.  Kat has grown attached to her ranch after being torn away from the life she knew as a child and would now do anything to keep ahold of it, including marrying a stranger.  She's a strong-willed woman unaccustomed to having someone to lean on.  She doesn't want to look weak in front of others but in private moments enjoys the laughter and comfort Jasper brings to her life.  She's a smart heroine who deserved her HEA.  

Jasper was a caring man with strong convictions to help the underdog using the law to achieve his goals.  He may have come to Kat under the guise of a lie but his intentions were true and he would do anything to keep her safe and her ranch in her hands.  He might be a city boy but wasn't shy to get his hands dirty and really wanted to make Kat proud of him and wanting to rely on him.  He wanted to be her hero and was willing to literally walk through fire to keep her safe.

Though their relationship evolved quickly I still believed in their feelings.  They were both supportive of the other to go for their dreams and were both strong-willed enough to achieve their desires.  When it came to desire there was plenty of it between the two of them.  The sexual interludes were both hot and playful and nicely paced throughout the story to also allow the mystery surrounding Kat's ranch to play out in a mostly satisfying way.  Ultimately this story is about Kat and Jasper's romance with the mystery being relegated to the background and it's villain coming out of the blue.  Overall Ms. Ryan created an entertaining and sexy story and I look forward to seeing where she takes us next.  Fans of sci-fi may feel a bit shortchanged but lovers of romance will enjoy the give and take of the main characters and their satisfying HEA.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Being from a rather nomadic family, Chandra Ryan loves to travel and meet people. But she’s found that sometimes, like when you’re stuck inside because of a good old-fashioned Southwestern heat wave, you have to make do. Fortunately for her and her loving family, who don’t like seeing her suffer from cabin fever, she’s found creating new people and places equally as fascinating. Also, you’re a lot less likely to spill your ice tea.

Web site:  http://www.ChandraRyan.com
Twitter:  @ChandraRyan
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/chandra.ryan

**********GIVEAWAY**********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

    beppe_dm(at)teletu(dot)it

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  2. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today and for reading Ulterior Motives :)

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    1. Thank YOU for being here! Do you know when you'll be revisiting this world?

      The Scarf Princess

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    2. The second book in the series, Shared Objectives, was just released but it focuses on a different aspect of the universe. It's more of what's going on in the military side of things. Jasper does make an appearance in it, though. The entire series is going to follow his career and how he shapes the universe.

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  3. I enjoyed the interview and review, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thank you so much for coming by today :)

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  4. The plot of this book looks great. I enjoyed the interview!
    ritterba@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. It was a fun interview to take part in :)

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  5. Really great interview. The excerpt was really interesting.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you found it interesting. And thank you for coming by and reading it :)

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  6. Jody...When I read futuristic sci-fi, I look at the distinct world-building, too. That's one of the best things about great sci-fi.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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    1. World-building is very important in sci-fi and sets a mood. It also adds to the overall tone of the story and it's high on my check list.

      The Scarf Princess

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    2. Thank you so much for coming by and checking out the interview and the review :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing the great interview and the giveaway. Sounds like my kind of book. evamillien at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for coming by :)

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  8. Did you know I've never tried hot tea? Iced sweet tea, yes (southern gal) but not hot!
    This was a great interview!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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    1. It's a very relaxing drink for me. I don't remember the last day I made it through that I didn't have at least one cup of hot tea :) Thanks so much for coming by :)

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  9. Thanks for the interview! :)

    butterflypetals7(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. Thank you for your impressions.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thank you for coming by and checking out the interview and review :)

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  11. Nice interview. To be able to work in your front room, you must be able to multi-task well while writing and interacting with family etc.

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