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Under the Covers Book Blog by Under The Covers Book Blog - 6h ago

Most Anticipated this Week!

Beneath the Scars
by Cherise Sinclair


Released: May 22 2018
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #13

  

Josie doesn’t need any help raising her son.

Pregnant at sixteen, Josie learned the hard way about men and their empty promises. She picked herself up and is raising her eleven-year-old son. By herself. And that’s the way she intends it to stay. Unfortunately, her impressionable boy becomes fascinated by the scruffy, intimidating biker who lives next door.

The scars on Holt’s face are only the most visible of his wounds.

Out of the hospital after being attacked in his own damn house, Holt is coming to terms with the fact that his scars frighten people. Like his now-ex-girlfriend who ran after one look at him. Like his redheaded neighbor who hauled her boy away as if Holt was a serial killer. Fine. He’ll give the pretty bartender all the space she wants.

The Shadowlands will bring them together…

When Josie starts bartending in the exclusive, private club, she discovers her neighbor is a member. And a Master–a skilled powerful Dom who can make her fantasies come true. Slowly, the firefighter breaks down the walls around her heart, teaching her how to trust. How to love…

But when her son’s choices lead to disaster, can their relationship survive?

** Other new releases this past week are below, separated by genre. 

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Click on the covers to buy the books!

EROTIC ROMANCE

Click on the covers to buy the books!

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Click on the covers to buy the books!

PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Click on the covers to buy the books!

NEW ADULT

Click on the covers to buy the books!

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Click on the covers to buy the books!

FANTASY

Click on the covers to buy the books!

CHICK LIT

Click on the covers to buy the books!

THRILLER

Click on the covers to buy the books!

HORROR

Click on the covers to buy the books!

YOUNG ADULT

Click on the covers to buy the books!

LGBT

Click on the covers to buy the books!

Did you pre-order these yet?

Click on the covers to pre-order the books!

MAY 29, 2018 MAY 29, 2018 MAY 29, 2018
MAY 29, 2018
JUNE 5, 2018 JUNE 5, 2018 JUNE 5, 2018
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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Beneath the Scars
by Cherise Sinclair


Released: May 22 2018
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #13
Published by Self Published
Format: eARC
 

Recommended Read!

“Cherise Sinclair is the only BDSM author that I can count on to deliver an engrossing story.”
~ Under the Covers

I was really excited about reading this book. If you’re a fan of the Masters of the Shadowlands, then you know that she has built a great group of characters in this series. That being said, I would highly suggest reading the series in order. ALL the characters in the series so far are in this book and they do have considerable page time. I fear that if you aren’t familiar with them that you’ll really feel lost or not feel the connection enough, so I strongly urge you to read in order if you’re not caught up on this series.

Now that that is out of the way, I just want to say that I really enjoyed this book. From the very first page, I felt a deep connection with both the hero and heroine. Sinclair always creates great characters and I love how she really takes her time with developing them in each book. That is why when they make walk-on appearances throughout the series, it’s always thrilling for the reader.

The connection between Josie and Holt is very strong. The romance builds slowly, creating that trust that is so crucial to every relationship. That is explored greatly in this book and it was lovely to see it unfold in a believable manner.

Also, there are some neat updates with the past characters in the series that I was very happy to see so yes, it is definitely worth it to get into the series. Cherise Sinclair is the only BDSM author that I can count on to deliver an engrossing story.

What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

READING ORDER & BUY LINKS
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About Cherise Sinclair

Having to wear glasses in elementary school can scar a person for life. Dubbed a nerd at an early age, Cherise Sinclair has been trying to live up to the stereotype ever since. And what better way than being an author?

Known for writing deeply emotional stories, the USA Today Bestselling Author has penned sixteen erotic romance novels, most with a BDSM theme. (Please do not mention the phrase mommy porn in her presence.) Her awards range from a National Leather Award to a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nomination to a GoodReads BDSM group award for best author of the year. Called an “ascendant erotica queen” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Cherise spends her days writing, supervised by a sadistic calico cat.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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The post ARC Review: Beneath the Scars by Cherise Sinclair appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Rebel Heart
by Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland


Released: May 22nd 2018
Series: The Rush #2
Format: eARC
 

“Rush is another heart-melting hero.”
~ Under the Covers

The conclusion of Rush and Gia’s story.  Well, I’ll tell you if you read the first installment in this duet I know you won’t want to miss reading this.  Not only because the first ended in a cliffhanger, but because I’m happy with how the authors resolved big problem that comes between our main couple.

REBEL HEART is packed full of angst, but that is exactly what I knew was coming.  If anything, I think it’s less than I was expecting to get.  The big conflict could’ve been done in a tacky and awful way and I think it’s handled in the best way possible.  So I was happy with that.

Overall, I still don’t think this story (both combined) is a favorite of mine by these authors.  But I enjoyed the second book just as much as the first.  While I was consumed with it and invested, I still couldn’t put it down.

There’s always a character that stands out more than the other and that is Rush for me in this series.  While I find Gia oftentimes immature, I can’t find fault with Rush.  His life hasn’t been easy and even in love it couldn’t be.  And he handled it like a hero you’ll want to fall in love with.  I’m not sure how these ladies do it time and time again, but Rush is another heart-melting hero.

What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

READING ORDER & BUY LINKS
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About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

About Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

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The post ARC Review: Rebel Heart by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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Welcome to Under the Covers!  Since this is your first time here with us, can you tell us five things about yourself that we wouldn’t normally know?

  1. I used to have a pet chinchilla
  2. I sell/host nail bars as an Independent Stylist for Color Street nails
  3. I design teaser graphics for other authors
  4. My husband brews (really great) beer that I love to drink
  5. I don’t hate Mondays

RUMOR HAS IT is the fourth book in the Real Love series.  How would you describe this series in 140 characters or less?

NFL’s Bad Boy Barrett Fox and Type-A journalist Catarina Everhart smoke up e-readers with their enemies-to-lovers attraction for each other. Think How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days with a Lemmon twist.

What was your favorite thing about writing about a football player hero?

I love that he was cocky and egomaniacal. I loved more learning that it was an act. Uncovering his kind, endearing spirit was the best part.

Did you have to do any research for Catarina’s character? If so, what interesting things did you find?

I did a bit of research on the Columbus Dispatch and then used my good ole fashioned imagination to create the online sector “the Chat” and then I made her “queen.”

What’s the most important element for you in writing good chemistry?

I almost said banter—which is HUGELY important to rom-coms, but aside of that a couple needs quiet moments where the reader can really see that they connect. Not only sexually, but on a deeper level. I want to show that these two can stand the test of time.

Is there a particular scene or quote (non-spoilery) that you love the most in this book?

Absolutely! When he takes her to the empty office at the newspaper and closes the door, and she divulges why she’s been sulking around the office for the week. I love how he offers to fix it. LOL! Gets me every time.

What 5 things you won’t leave home without?

  1. Phone
  2. Lip balm
  3. Color Street nail samples
  4. Bookmarks
  5. Mints

What were your top 3 book boyfriends of 2017 (not from your books)?

I’m usually behind the times when I read! I’ll give you my top three from the books I read in 2017:

  1. Remy “Jinx” DuPre from Irresistible you by Kate Meader
  2. Christian Watson from Hot Pursuit by Julie Ann Walker
  3. Gabe Walsh from Best Man Under the Mistletoe by Jules Bennett

Do you ever get writers block?  And how do you overcome it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block, because I feel like that term is disempowering. When I need to write but I’m not feeling it, I put my fingers on the keys and force myself to write a scene—even if it’s awful. Or I stop and reread what’s there and figure out what the plot needs.

What are you working on next?

A 3-book series entitled The Bachelor Pact for Harlequin Desire. Three wealthy bachelors make a vow never to wed but one by one they’re each finding that it’s a hard promise to keep…

Thanks so much for sharing with us today!

Thank you for having me! And great questions—they were fun to answer.

Available Now!

Rumor Has It
by jessica lemmon

Released: May 15, 2018
Series: Real Love #4
Published by Loveswept
 

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Barrett: As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .

Catarina: Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.


READING ORDER & BUY LINKS
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About jessica lemmon

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Under the Covers is graciously giving away
ebook of choice from the Real Love series
International

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The post Interview and Giveaway with Jessica Lemmon appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Softhearted
by Kim Law


Released: April 10 2018
Series: Deep in the Heart #2
Published by Montlake Romance
Format: eARC
 

Recommended Read!

“Kim Law pulled the rug under me and made me fall for the irresistible Rose.  ~ Under the Covers

It seems like forever since I’ve read a Kim Law novel, and I was just thinking why she hadn’t come out with a book yet. When I looked, low and behold, this book was coming out. It’s actually only been 6 months since her last book. LOL. I guess I was missing her work.

I wasn’t sure what to think of Waylon. It seemed like he was all kinds of bad. I admit that the mysterious bad boy persona he portrayed was appealing and sexy, but I wasn’t sure I liked him for Heather. She has been hurt many times before and has the knack for picking the wrong guys. I actually assumed he will be one of those guys, but he proved to be a good guy who deserved an HEA with Heather. Waylon is sexy in more ways than one and a sweet guy at that.

Heather is lucky to have landed a guy like Waylon. While not perfect herself, she is sweet and kind-hearted. At times, a little naive. She had a hero complex and was easy to fall. However, she has matured and did things right this time around. She prioritized and loved herself first and foremost.

Softhearted had the right amount of sweet I needed. Like I mentioned, I didn’t think I would like Waylon and Heather in the beginning. Waylon had characteristics I avoided when I was dating, and I saw a naive me in Heather that I didn’t like so much. Somewhere along the way, they managed to win my heart. I love the growth Heather showed, and Waylon was just too sweet and too sexy to resist. The courtship was too dang cute, not to mention Heather is getting the man everybody wants was just satisfying to see. I love that they didn’t have to try to hard to make things work. They had obstacles, but the romance was not forced. Plus, Kim Law pulled the rug under me and made me fall for the irresistible Rose.

I also love getting an update about Cal and Jill, Trenton and Aunt Blu. I’m thinking Trenton will get her book next, but then, there was a romance blooming in Aunt Blu’s life, so maybe she’ll get a short story herself. In any case, I’m excited to read more from this series

What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

READING ORDER & BUY LINKS
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About Kim Law

Award-winning author Kim Law wrote her first story, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in elementary school. Although it was never published, it was enough to whet her appetite for a career in writing. First, however, she would try her hand at a few other passions: baton twirling, softball, and music, to name a few. Voted “Bookworm” and “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school, she went on to earn a college degree in mathematics.
Law spent years working as a computer programmer and raising her son, and she now devotes her time and energy to writing romance novels (none of which feature talking raisins).
She is a Romance Writers of America’s RITA® finalist, a past winner of the RWA’s Golden Heart® Award, and currently serves as president for her local RWA chapter. Her books can best be described as a light-hearted mix taking her readers on a sexy, fun, and emotional ride. A native of Kentucky, she now lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in her Middle Tennessee home.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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The post ARC Review: Softhearted by Kim Law appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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Under the Covers Book Blog by Under The Covers Book Blog - 1d ago
Mystery Pack Winners

Shelly Lammond
Artemis Giote
Kat Valentine
Vicki Wong
Kim
Dawn Roberto

UTC Mug Winners

Trix
Christy
Elizabeth H
Kim P
Alyssa

Instagram Giveaway

@reads_romance

Winners were chosen through Rafflecopter and Random.org. Emails have been sent.
You will have 72 hours to claim your prize (by just responding to the email you get from us).

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The post And The Winners Are… appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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Can you believe that Under the Covers Book Blog has now reached it’s seventh birthday? At this point seven years ago, Francesca, Annie and I were novices hashing out the types of posts we were going to do and nervously posting our first reviews. Now, seven years later… we added Angela to the team and are still hashing out our posts and hoping you like our reviews! And, in that seven years we have read a lot of books, some we’ve loved, some we’ve hated. But we wanted to celebrate that special book that has stuck with us over the years. So, this week we are each going to highlight the book we would want if we were on a deserted island.

Lastly, Francesca!

Blogiversary! Francesca's Deserted Island Book Choice - YouTube

During the Blogiversary celebration week we will post a MYSTERY bundle of books each day.
This works the same as our usual blogiversary giveaways except you won’t know what you are entering for because we thought it would be fun to make it a surprise for you when you open your book mail.   Kinda like a birthday present. What we CAN tell you is that each bundle has 4 books.  One of those books is SIGNED.  And the signed copies featured in these bundles are by:
Kristen Ashley, Elle Kennedy, Christina Lauren, Tessa Bailey, Rachel Blaufeld, Lara Adrian
You just don’t know which one you are getting!  Neither do we, the envelopes have been randomly sealed already!

To enter for the mystery pack of the day, use the Rafflecopter below.
Enter EACH Rafflecopter every day!!  One winner will be selected from each.

But wait… there’s more!
Comment on any of our posts this week and we will select 5 random commenters to win a UTC mug.  

 ♡ Don’t want to miss any of our posts? ♡ 

The post 7th Blogiversary: Francesca appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Baby Daddy
by Meghan Quinn


Released: May 17, 2018
Series: Dating by Numbers #3
Published by Self Published
Format: eARC
 

“Of all three heroes in this series he’s definitely the easiest to fall in love with.”
~ Under the Covers

It’s finally time to find out about Hayden’s love.  I cared for him since we got to meet him in TWO WEDDING CRASHERS and I couldn’t wait to see what the backstory was with the love he left behind.  The woman who broke his heart.

After a bad loss and fight that ended his team’s season, Hayden goes to spend time with his friend Racer and is immediately captivated by Adalyn.  I loved how he pursued her from the very beginning.  He was totally smitten.  Of all three heroes in this series he’s definitely the easiest to fall in love with.

The first part of the book I was totally into them together. But there are definitely some things that I enjoyed more than others.  The chemistry?  On point.  The sweetness?  Totally there!  The pacing?  I thought it was a little bumpy.  At times I was really into the story and then it would lose me a bit and got boring.  Probably the thing that impacted my rating the most was the conflict because I didn’t necessarily buy into it and yes maybe got a little annoyed.

Overall, this was an adorable read with a good guy hero who truly cares about the heroine and shows it every step of the way.

What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

READING ORDER & BUY LINKS
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About Meghan Quinn

When I was in high school I occasionally read books but was consumed by other teenage things so I didn’t take the time to appreciate a good book on a cloudy day, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, besides “The Notebook” I made time to read the heartbreaking novel.
It wasn’t until I received a Kindle for Christmas one year that my world completely flipped upside down. When looking for books, I came across the Contemporary Romance genre and was sold and I haven’t turned back since.
You can either find my head buried in my Kindle, listening to inspiring heart ripping music or typing away on the computer twisting and turning the lives of my characters while driving my readers crazy with anticipation.
I am currently residing in beautiful Colorado Springs where the sun is always shining and there is a trail waiting to be hiked on every corner. I share a lovely and warm home with the love of my life and my five, four-legged children.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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The post ARC Review: One Baby Daddy by Meghan Quinn appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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GDPR FOR BLOGGERS

Before I start, I bet you’re thinking…who the hell am I to tell you what to do? Well, honestly, I don’t have any special expertise, my day job is in information management but I am but a lowly cog. What I can offer is my own interpretation after having read in depth on the subject. I have looked at the advice given by the ICO, the legislation itself as well as lots of articles. 

If you run a blog, then you have probably heard some ominous whispers about something called the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations, which are set to take the place of the current Data Protection Act. It sounds scary with people lobbing phrases like data controller, data processor, sensitive personal data, personal data and privacy notices at you. Especially when followed on by a vague threat of a 20 Million euro fine if you don’t comply with this mysterious and indecipherable GDPR.

However, GDPR isn’t the monster under your bed or the bogeyman in your closet. It’s an about-time update on current data protection legislation which will help protect your personal information in a digital age. What that means as a consumer is that you don’t get bombarded by spam and that any breaches in regard to your personal data are taken far more seriously and have more serious consequences. Which is great! I know I am sick of having harassing phone calls from cold callers, or loads of email on things I have zero interest in.

So, I am going to break this down to what I have found to be relevant to Under the Covers and how this is going to affect our processes going forward. As I said, I am not a legal expert, I am just someone with a brain who has read a lot on the legislation, including some of the legislation itself, and applied it as seems to fit Under the Covers’ needs.

The chances are that it will affect you. Although the GDPR is legislation for the EU it applies to all companies if they have any customers within the EU. So if you have readers from outside the US and in the EU then you need to take notice.

**Please note, I reference the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) a lot. The ICO is the governing body in the UK responsible for the GDPR. As a Brit, it is the organisation I am familiar with and whose website I used to gather the information in this post**

As a blogger the GDPR means that there are some steps you need to take to ensure that you are treating people’s personal information correctly. First of all, you will need to establish if you even hold any personal data, to do that lets define what exactly personal data is:

“…meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.”
ICO Website

So, personal data is anything that can be used to identify someone, this includes: name, address, email address, IP address, phone number etc.

There is also another category of personal data called sensitive personal data or special categories of personal data. As a book blogger this isn’t something I will generally have to worry about. However, it’s important to know what it is and what it includes as sensitive personal data requires more measures to be put in place (for obvious reasons). Sensitive personal data includes: genetic data, bio-metric data, personal data relating to criminal convictions, information on sexuality, political believes etc. Also, again for obvious reasons, personal data on children requires extra measure.

My thoughts…don’t collect sensitive/special category personal data or information on children.

I’m now going to share with you a checklist/the order in which I considered GDPR when applying it to Under the Covers. This will include the questions I asked myself, the different aspects I considered and I will add some of the solutions that I came up with.

Do you hold any personal data?

When looking at Under the Covers, we established, yes we hold personal data. We found the personal data we held was mainly names, email addresses, IP addresses and some postal addresses. This means that GDPR applies to us and we need to ensure we are compliant.

The chances are, that any blogger will have at least people’s name, IP and email addresses. Ask yourself:

  • Does your comments section require an email address and name?
  • Do you have a newsletter?
  • Do you hold giveaways?
  • Do you use Google forms or any kind of form?
  • Do you use Google Analytics?

If you do any of these things then you WILL have people’s personal data and you WILL need to take notice of the GDPR.

Check whether or not you need to register with the ICO. Anyone who gathers and/or processes personal data needs to do this. So if you answered “Yes” to the above then you need to do this.

The below ICO self-assessment tool will give you a definitive answer:

ICO Self Assessment 

When I did this for Under the Covers we did NOT need to register.

By now, you should know whether you hold any personal data and if you need to register with the ICO. What would be a really useful exercise now is to familiarise yourself with the basic principles of that underpin the GDPR. These principles all need to be complied with and all the complicated and seemingly indecipherable legislation has these responsibilities at its core:

**Italics is a direct quote from Article 5 of the GDPR, underneath is my interpretation and how I am applying this to Under the Covers.**

“All personal data must be:

a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;

When it says “processed” it basically means used. So when you USE the personal information, aka send your newsletter, do a giveaways, analyse your user data etc, you must do it in a fair and transparent manner. Don’t do anything underhanded with the data and don’t do anything you haven’t explicitly said you were going to do. Also, you must process it lawfully. Lawful processing is relevant to a section this purpose later in this post under “What is your lawful basis?”.

b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;

Okay, so  lets break this down:

“…collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes…”

The purpose is a way of saying the reason you have asked for the data. So when you ask for personal data you must have a specific and explicit reason why and it must be essential for carrying out the purpose. For example, requesting a home address so you can send a giveaway prize to someone. In that example sending the giveaway prize is the “legitimate purpose” and I am asking for very specific and explicit personal information – an address to send the giveaway prize.

“…not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.

Once you have collected it you can only use it for the purpose you specifically and explicitly stated. So continuing the theme of sending a giveaway prize. Once I have obtained the postal address of my winner, I can’t then use that postal address for anything else other than sending the giveaway prize.

However, there is some scope in this, for example, Under the Covers have collected email addresses specifically for the purposes of sending a daily newsletter. When we collected this data we were very transparent and our users knew that by entering their email address in our subscribe box, they would receive a daily newsletter. We cannot use the email addresses for any other purpose than sending a newsletter.

However, we have recently changed our newsletter from daily to weekly so although the frequency has changed the purpose has not so this would be “compatible” under the purpose. BUT, if we were changing from weekly to daily I would regain consent as suddenly receiving 7 emails a week compared to 1 seems questionable in relation to transparency and general decency!

c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;

When collecting personal data, collect only what you need for the purpose i.e. so it is adequate, relevant and limited. Don’t collect any extra data “just in case”. You should collect the minimal necessary amount for the “purpose”. For example, a giveaway, you should only collect a name and an email address as that is the minimal amount needed to enter into the draw. You shouldn’t also collect all the entrants’ postal address as well “just in case they win”. Instead you would collect the postal address (obviously only relevant if you are sending a physical prize!) from the winner after the giveaway has ended.

d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;

All personal data must be kept accurate and up to date as much as possible. If possible give people the option to amend their own email address and when notified of any changes ensure you update this as quickly as possible. This is also ties into principle (e) below.

You must also go a step further, if someone wants their personal information deleted you must do so as quickly as possible. This is also ties into principle (e) below. Unsubscribing would also come under this, there must be a visible and simple way to unsubscribe.

e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and

Basically, keep your shit organised. You need to know where you have your personal data stored and you have to be able to identify whose data is whose. This covers electronic and paper records. You can’t just have a jumbled mess. This ties into the principle (d), how can you know you have deleted or amended someone’s personal data if you don’t know where it is? You must also not keep people’s personal data for no longer than necessary for the purpose.

For example, this exemplary giveaway, you are sending a physical prize and therefore you have to collect a postal address. Once you have sent that prize and the winner has received it, the address has fulfilled its purpose and should now be deleted.

At Under the Covers we are implementing a set process for this:

  1. We contact the winner informing them of the happy news of their win and ask for their postal address so we can send the goodies.
  2. Once the winner gets back to us with their address we send the prize.
  3. We will let the winner know and inform the winner that we will keep their address for the next 3 months or until they confirm they have received their prize, whichever is first.
  4. If after 3 months we haven’t heard anything then we will delete their address information. If the winner gets back to us after the 3 months then we will not resend the prize. If we are told within the 3 months we will – which unique items such as signed books, this isn’t always possible be we will send something. The winner will be informed of this in the initial email informing them we have sent the prize. This makes the process transparent for all parties.

Why 3 months you ask? Well sometimes things get lost in the post and we have to send the prize out again and therefore the “purpose” hasn’t been fulfilled. Upon discussion we thought 3 months was enough time for everyone, including international winners, to realise that this hasn’t been received and get back to us. It may be harsh but we feel it is a reasonable amount of time and we have to have a cut off somewhere. As per the GDPR we cannot hang on to personal data indefinitely.

f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.”

If (e) was “keep you shit organised” then (f) is keep your shit safe. It seems really obvious. Make sure that you use strong passwords on your data. Make sure that only those who need access have access. Make sure you have antivirus and protection software on your computer. If you need to send personal data then make sure you find a secure way of doing it, password protect the file, use a shared drive; don’t just email it. If you have physical files, make sure they are secured in a locked cupboard and the key is in a safe place.

Before I go into the the lawful bases, I need to stress, you should only collect personal data if it is NECESSARY for the purpose. If it isn’t necessary and there is another way of fulfilling the purpose, even if it is a process you don’t want to do, then it doesn’t matter what lawful basis you quote. You would have broken principle (a) of the GDPR: that information is processed lawfully.

When reviewing your personal data, you need to establish the lawful basis in which you are collecting and processing it. It sounds complicated, but under GDPR there are a choice of six. Of that six, only two are relevant and those are the ones that I am going to talk about. You need to have a lawful basis and you should make yourself familiar with the one you are using. Once you have decided which lawful basis is best for collecting and using personal data, you need to stick with it. To swap your lawful basis later on you must have a very good reason.

However, you can use more than one lawful basis, you just need to know which ones you are using for what and document it clearly. It will become a lot clearer as you read on!

Once you have established what your lawful basis is, you must document this and add ensure this is on your Privacy Notice (I will go into Privacy Notices later on in this post).

If you are using sensitive personal data (or “special category data” as it is referred to in the GDPR) then there is extra conditions. I am not going into this, however, you should be aware if you are using this data that there is additional requirements.

The two lawful bases for processing that are most relevant are:

  • Consent
  • Legitimate interests
Consent

From my research, consent is going to be the most popular and best-fit for blogs similar to Under the Covers. It is certainly the basis which we will be utilising. However, although the concept of consent is fairly straightforward that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done.

Consent standards must be high, the days of pre-ticked and opt-out boxes are over. The consent must be explicit and transparent. When someone signs up or gives you there personal data, you must tell them exactly what they are signing up for. No vague and ambiguous language. You also can’t make consent to something a prerequisite to service – this means you can’t do a giveaway and have sign up to your newsletter as a required condition of entering. If third parties are also going to access and process this data you must state this and name the third parties.

Consent should be freely given and people should know EXACTLY what they are consenting to. If they don’t then it isn’t consent and you have no legal basis.

Once consent is obtained you must also have a good evidence of, who, when and how it was obtained. If you don’t have evidence of people’s consent, it’s the equivalent of not having their consent to begin with.

This means that if any personal data you collected where  a pre-ticked box was used, or you don’t have a record of how you obtained consent, then you need to go back out to the individuals and get consent again. If you do not get this consent you must delete the personal data.

You also need to make withdrawing consent easy and tell people how they can do this. Whether this is by contacting you directly, or by unsubscribing or having a user setting functionality where people can opt out. And more importantly, this has to work. As soon as someone withdraws consent you cannot keep and process someone’s personal data.

Applied to real life…

So, I am going to explain how Under the Covers have approached this so you get an idea of the idea of “consent” in a real life context.

Newsletter/Mailing List

We were lucky, we have never used a pre-ticked box to get people on the mailing list. If your set up for your mailing list is similar to ours (see screenshot below) then you are covered in regard to explicit consent. When someone adds their email address into that box, it is really clear what they are signing up for.

We also have a verification system in place, so once someone submits their email address they will receive a verification email. Once they have clicked to verify they do want to receive our newsletter they will be added to the mailing list. This means that you can’t sign someone else up by just putting in their email address.

If your sign up isn’t similar in its transparency then you will need to regain consent from everyone on your mailing list. If you don’t regain consent they will need to be deleted from your list.

But, that is only a third the work. We also need to know when someone signed up and the details they used. This is where it becomes tricky. Even if your method of gaining consent is transparent if you don’t’ have evidence of when, who and how then you will need to regain consent so you can record this information.

Luckily for us, the mailing services we have used have recorded this information, so for our mailing list we have a comprehensive set of data. Check the service you use and you may find that you also have this data.

Next up, you need to make is really clear how users can “withdraw their consent”, which translates to: make it easy to unsubscribe. Common convention has it that there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of a newsletter. Make sure it’s there and make sure it isn’t so ridiculously small and lost in a mass of text that people can’t see it.

Legitimate interests

Under the Covers won’t be using legitimate interests as a legal basis. After researching it, although it is flexible and should applicable to us, it seemed simpler for us to stick with consent. However, it may be something you wish to pursue further. So here are the basics:

Article 6(1)(f) says:

“processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.”

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Feral Sins
by Suzanne Wright


Released: February 19th 2013
Series: The Phoenix Pack #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
Pages: 428
Format: Audiobook
 

“FERAL SINS is one sizzling hot shifter romance.”
~ Under the Covers

FERAL SINS is my first introduction to Suzanne Wright and let me tell you I’ve had this book on my TBR for sooo many years it’s not even funny.  I’m a big shifter lover and I honestly don’t understand why it’s taken me so long to get into reading this series because it’s right up my alley.  In part, I’m kind of sad I didn’t read it sooner because I do think I would’ve felt differently about this book had I read it a few years ago.

This starts out as a mating of convenience for both Trey and Taryn.  Taryn is a latent wolf and her father is about to force her to mate another Alpha wolf.  Trey wants Taryn’s father as a political ally so he thinks pretending to be true mates would be the perfect scenario to make that happen for his own gain.  They quickly realize that who they thought were true mates before was actually not true and they are in fact each others true mates.

The thing that I really loved about this book is that Trey is exactly the kind of alpha hero I want to see in a shifter romance.  He’s all manly, dirty talking, protective, take charge, possessive.  I couldn’t have been happier with his character. Taryn on the other hand I didn’t really care much for one way or another.  The sassy part of her character, which I’m sure a lot of people like, actually got on my nerves at times.  She was that missing link for me to actually see the sparks and chemistry.  And when I mean chemistry I’m not talking about sexual chemistry because these two had that in spades.  FERAL SINS is one sizzling hot shifter romance.

While there is enough world building in this novel, it’s mostly character driven.  For such a long book I was expecting to know more about what makes this world run and to me what we got was pretty superficial.  I’m hoping that it’ll be more developed in the next book.  However, there are plenty of shifter romances that have this level of world building and I’m ok with that because that’s what I’m expecting from them.  So I think it was more about expectations and now I know what’s to come.  I can’t wait to read more from this series and hopefully have some new shifters to fall in love with.  I see a lot of potential.

What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

READING ORDER & BUY LINKS
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About Suzanne Wright

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something, whether it was stories, poems, or even songs – though I can’t carry a tune. I only have one rule when I’m writing a book which is that it has to have a happy ending. Other than that, pretty much anything goes. I write stories that I would enjoy reading and then I just hope that others will enjoy them too.

I was born and raised in England where I live with my husband (a person who doesn’t judge me for hearing voices in my head – how often do you come across people like that?), and my two demanding children.

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The post Review: Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright appeared first on Under the Covers Book Blog.

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