Book Review – Victor

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That cover needs to come with a warning label!

*****

Victor

Chicago Blaze #3

by Brenda Rothert

Blurb:

He’s a hockey star with a headboard full of notches. She’s a shy NHL concession worker at who’s never been kissed.

Lindy

They don’t call me Belinda Boring for nothing. It’s my name, after all. And for a 23-year-old with plain brown hair who still lives at home and gets tongue tied over nothing, it’s a fitting one. I’m not even one of those quiet girls with a hidden talent, unless making a mean order of nachos at the NHL arena I work at counts. My life consists of working, reading and harboring a secret crush on a hockey player who doesn’t know I exist. At least, until we accidentally meet and become unlikely friends.

Victor

I’m living the dream. A poor kid who worked his way into the NHL, I’ll never forget where I came from, though I try to. My past follows me, a nagging reminder that I’ll never be what everyone thinks I am. As the threat of my secret being exposed looms closer, my game slips, leaving me in danger of being cut from my team–the only family I have. I’m losing my hold on everything when a new friend helps me find hope. She’s nothing like the women I’m used to, but by the time I figure out that’s exactly why she’s right for me, I’ve lost my chance with her. Somehow, I have to convince a woman who thinks she’s invisible that she’s the only one I see.

Grab your copy now:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K3IB9i
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2KHJDr5
BN: https://bit.ly/2WmXODT
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2I6J4W1

~

Get ANTON:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2zQRnAP
Nook: http://bit.ly/2zGlYRg
Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2zHRQoz
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2APPYtD

Get LUCA:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DYBxGq
Nook: https://bit.ly/2MUKCmP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2BIcnu9 
Apple: https://apple.co/2GtYLWS 

*****

Review:

Lindy is just your ordinary, average, every day girl who by chance meets her famous crush and it turns into an unlikely friendship.  And later into something more.  Victor had a terrible childhood but thanks to hard work he’s made it to the top of his field.  While he’s managed to make a family of sorts out of his teammates, he doesn’t have anyone that he can really call his.  Then he meets sweet, awkward, real Lindy.

This was a very fast read for me and I really enjoyed it.  The characters are appealing and it’s fun watching them meet, fall in love, and handle some of life’s less happy moments.  But once I had time to digest I realized that Rothert put a lot into her book that I felt really could have been delved into more – like Victor’s relationship with his mom, his childhood cancer, Victor changing his mind on Lindy, how they handled the outing of their relationship with the press.  These things are hit on lightly but had potential for so much.  That doesn’t even get into the past that is giving Victor so much trouble.  Rothert opens the door to make him a hero for so many and … she lets it go.  I appreciate that she does have him come to terms with it for himself and maybe she can come back around to it in a future story but she put the possibility out there and left it.  I just wish there’d been a chance to add a little more depth to the story.

Overall, though, Victor is a quick and satisfying Cinderella story that’s a perfect poolside read – just don’t tell Lindy I called her that! I’m looking forward to seeing more in the series and from this author.

(This is the first in this series that I’ve read but I felt like it could stand on its own.)

*****

Author Info:

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

Website: http://brendarothert.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbrendarothert/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrendaRothert
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brendarothert/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/BrendaRothert
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TyGXds

*****

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Spotlight – Just Love

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There’s a TON of 5 star reviews on this one … get your copy to find out why!

*****

Just Love

by Prescott Lane

Blurb:

There’s two sides to every love story.  The how you fell in love, and the how you fell apart.

This is ours.

The cardinal rule of friendship is you don’t mess with your friend’s sister.

That goes double when she’s his little sister.

It was just supposed to be fun.

She wasn’t supposed to end up being the love of my life.

And I definitely wasn’t supposed to break her heart.

Ainsley is a wedding dress designer.  That should’ve been a warning that she’s a hopeless romantic.  That should’ve clued me in that she believes love conquers all.

But there are some things that love can’t fix.  I’m one of them.

She thinks love is the answer.

But love is the reason I let her go.

A stand-alone, contemporary romance.

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Qw5z99

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/JustLovePL

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2Qwf8VT

Nook: http://bit.ly/2I9T2Vr

Kobo: http://bit.ly/JLPLK

*****

Excerpt:

I knew the kind of guy Rhett was.  I knew serious wasn’t his thing.  I knew using the word love usually sent him running for the hills.  I knew it, and I did it anyway.

But he wasn’t that guy with me.  He and I were different.  I know he loved me.

I’ve loved that man since I was fifteen years old.  How could I not?  Forget the abs, the tan skin, those pale, sexy blue eyes.  Forget the fact that his voice sends shivers down my spine.  The first time we kissed, I felt my whole world shatter and fall into place at the same time.

I tried to pretend to be “that” girl.  The kind that can kiss a guy just for fun, screw a man and not imagine a life with him.  I tried.  I failed.  The hopeless romantic in me wasn’t having it.

My heart should’ve known better — but my heart was no match for Rhett Bennett.

When Rhett and I fell apart, I broke up with social media.  I have to say, that breakup was a lot easier.  No hashtags, no emojis, no memes to post.  Some people use social media as their therapist.  I’ve seen people post play-by-plays of their divorce, or explain every detail of their latest illness or drama.  I probably could’ve attracted a lot more followers if I chronicled the demise of our relationship.  It’s the stuff of soap operas.

But instead, I broke it off with Facebook, banned Instagram, and boycotted Twitter.

Today, Facebook and I are having one last romp.  Relationship status update:  Single.

That’s it.  That one little change.  I have to start somewhere.  Skye’s right about that.

The one part of being single I have embraced is the diet.  The single woman diet consists of basically any breakfast food for dinner, coffee, and alcohol.  I’ve gotten so good at it, I no longer need a grocery cart when I shop.  Quick tip, don’t get a cart at the grocery store, only buy what you can hold.  It’s good for the budget and the waistline.  Unfortunately, that rule doesn’t work so well at clothing stores.

*****

Author Info:

Prescott Lane is the Amazon best-selling author of Stripped Raw. She’s got seven other books under her belt including: First Position, Perfectly Broken, Quiet Angel, Wrapped in Lace, Layers of Her, The Reason for Me, and The Sex Bucket List.  She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a degree in sociology and a MSW from Tulane University. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

Connect with Prescott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrescottLane1
Twitter: www.twitter.com/prescottlane1
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lfhlrh
Instagram: instagram.com/prescottlane1
http://www.authorprescottlane.com

*****

Book Review – Gimme Some Sugar

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Gimme Some Sugar

Sex and Sweet Tea #5

by Juliette Poe

Larkin Mancinkus prides herself on making the town of Whynot, North Carolina just a little sweeter. As owner of Sweet Cakes Bakery, Larkin gets all the town gossip – the sugar, the spice, and the everything not so nice. So when she finds herself on the tip of everyone’s tongue thanks to an encounter with a mysterious and handsome stranger, she learns the true meaning of ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’

Deacon Locke has spent his life traveling the world with no particular destination in mind. But when he rolls into Whynot on his Harley, he just knows there is something different about this town. What he doesn’t know is that out of all the places he’s traveled and all the people he’s met, the gorgeous bakery owner might just entice him to put down some solid roots.

Come on down to see what’s cookin’ between Larkin and Deacon.

I felt so bad for Deacon.  He seems to be OK with things but really his childhood is amazingly heartbreaking.  Sure some have had it worse but every child deserves better than what he got.  It’s helped him grow into a strong, self-contained man but it also has left him with a little trouble committing.  Falling for Larkin is definitely NOT in his plans but she’s sweet, a little sassy, a lot unsure of herself, and prone to a few I Love Lucy moments of hilarity.  Neither he (nor I) stood a chance once she stepped into his life.

Some days you just need a low drama, slow build romance and Poe definitely delivers here.  We get to know her characters and fall a little bit for them with every page.  And those pages are filled with enough humor, charm, and sexiness to have me coming back again and again.

(This is my first in this series but it can easily stand on its own.)

Book Review – The Summer of Sunshine and Margot

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We saw a sneak peek of this one earlier this summer and I finally got my grubby little hands on it!

*****

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot

by Susan Mallery

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: HQN; Original edition (June 11, 2019)

Blurb:

The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…

As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?

Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.

Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

*****

Review:

These sisters are very different and I love how we feel that in their stories.  Sunshine’s is bigger, louder, and messier but she is oh-so-appealing for it.  Your heart just goes out to her as she struggles to be the person she wants to be and not who she used to be.  Declan and Connor are a perfect match for her – if only they’d met under different circumstances.  Unfortunately they didn’t so there’s going to be some struggles and a lot of bumps along the way.

Margot is more formal & reserved and her story matches, except for Bianca.  Matching these two brings out some wonderful comedic moments and I only wish we’d had even more of Bianca’s oddly compelling presence.  Unfortunately some of her more risque choices over the years haven’t gone over as well, especially with Alec.  It helps explain a lot of why he’s the way he is, and why Margot is a good match for him.

If you are looking for a fun read to throw in your bag for a trip to the beach or the pool, this is definitely it.  The Summer of Sunshine and Margot follows the sisters as they fall in love and we effortlessly flow between the two & the people in their lives.  It never felt disjointed (as multi-characters books can) as we get to know everyone and watch as their connections deepen.

*****

Author Info:

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

*****

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Spotlight – Only Ever You

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There’s so much to love about this one I don’t even know where to start … so I’ll let the author give you a little look into Only Every You 🙂

*****

Please introduce your newest release. 

Only Ever You is about a girl who planned for everything but never got what she hoped for, and a dweeb who hoped he’d to marry the girl, but never planned for it.

Rachel and Sebastian have an interesting history. They were friends as kids, but have lost touch as adults… 

They’re really strangers when they reunite at 30, but they’re burdened by what they think they know about each other. Sebastian was supposed to be an artist and Rachel was supposed to be a screenwriter. They have to shake all that stuff loose before they can see each other. When they do, they’re strangers.

I think attraction between strangers is real. Sexual heat is real. But “hearts and flowers” are earned. (I know that sounds like I’m your dad telling you to mow lawns, but that’s where the magic is. Not the lawns.) In the time just before you’re struck by lightning there’s a real electricity. It’s pure potential and anything can go wrong. It’s the best thing ever.

When they were kids they made up a ‘contract’ to get married at 30—which is pretty much panned when they do meet up and have the most awkward first kiss EVER. How do they overcome such an incredibly uncomfortable situation?

They overcome it by running away!

Sebastian is thinking “now or never” because he thinks Rachel’s never going to think he’s any cooler than when she sees him in the office of his own company. And she isn’t ready because her whole idea of herself is tied up in what a failure she is. Neither one of them is feeling good enough about themselves to have a really hot first kiss, which is the same reason they’re not ready to get married.

*****

Only Ever You

A Love Story

by CD Reiss

Release Date: July 9, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Blurb:

Rachel knew exactly what turning thirty would be like. She had a plan, after all. First college, then a climb up the professional ladder. Love, marriage, children. All of it was on the schedule.

The cheap Hollywood apartment wasn’t on the list. Neither was the string of heartbreaks. Or the effect her mother’s cancer had on her career.

It’s hard to stay practical and on point when everything takes a left turn.

Enter Sebastian, the nerd across the street. The boy she defended when he couldn’t defend himself. The best friend she promised she’d marry if life didn’t go according to plan.

Not only is he successful, confident, and gorgeous, but he also still has their handwritten marriage contract.

No one goes through with childhood wedding pacts.

That’s crazy.

But their families might just be crazy enough to rent a hall and set a date. All Rachel and Sebastian have to do is fall in love.

*****

Excerpt:

After I left her and CJ with Lucinda, I spent the weekly staff meeting wondering if Rachel was the same warrior I’d loved or if she was more the woman who’d held her laptop to her chest as if she needed protection.

I was obsessed.

I had to know.

Her text came in as I was leaving the meeting.

I need to check that we’re kidding

Before I could finish typing a response, I caught her coming out of the bathroom with her laptop under her arm.

Alone. Me and her. Nothing between us but the question of who we were and how we fit.

“Seb, I—”

She didn’t have a chance to finish. I crowded her back into the bathroom and locked the door behind us.

“Kidding about what?” I said.

“About getting married.”

“Why would that even be a question?”

“Our parents have been in negotiations about it.”

My mother couldn’t keep herself from talking if she tried, and I was her favorite subject.

“It might be a little soon for marriage, but—”

“Soon? I don’t like you seeing what I do for a living while you’re in a glass-walled office overlooking the ocean. I mean, I’m not marriage material, and the odds are that’s never going to change.”

“I don’t see why a date’s off the table.”

“Do you know what’s going to happen if we date?”

The list of possibilities was as long as my arm. I could have counted them off, from “We decide we hate each other” to “We end up in bed.” But I didn’t, because I was still trying to figure her out.

What did she want to hear?

With her wide eyes and parted lips, what did she want? Did she have a fondest wish where I was concerned? Was she leaning forward? Was her expression soft and yielding?

My mind spent too long deciding what to say, so my body spoke for me.

I kissed her hard and was met with teeth and stiff resistance. It was a kiss I’d wanted since I’d had hairless armpits and a voice somewhere in the low soprano range. I’d dreamed about it. Fantasized about it. Thought about it so hard in the middle of the night I could practically feel it.

But never, ever in my fantasies did she push me away so hard I fell back against a towel dispenser, watching her face twist into surprised rage as the machine spit out a ragged rectangle of brown paper.

“That was—”

“Messed up. I know.”

“Then why? What is wrong with you?”

She was livid, just like she would have been. Just like she should have been.

The tiger within Rachel was in there, and my attempt to tease her out had probably alienated her. She’d be right to never speak to me again.

“I’m sorry,” I said with my hand on the door lock. “I misread you. It won’t happen again.”

I started to open the door, but she held it closed.

“If we date, my mother’s going to get her hopes up that I’m going to settle down. And I’m sorry, Seb, but if we break up while she’s in chemo, it’s going to crush her.”

“You don’t even know if she’s sick again.”

“You’re right.” She pointed a rigid finger at me as if I were her mother. “I’m going to make her tell me.”

“You’re really beautiful when you’re telling it like it is.”

She slid her hand off the door. Having been called out, the warrior was sent into hiding.

No. I wouldn’t accept that. I wouldn’t allow it.

“Let’s just go out and catch up,” I said. “Saturday.”

“Can’t. Saturday’s the soonest I can talk to Mom.”

I unlocked the door. “I’m sorry about . . . the thing.”

“Kissing me?”

“No, wasting paper towels. Of course kissing you.”

“Next time, give a girl a little warning.”

Next time? Her eyes darted to the door. Was she calculating the distance to her getaway? Or making sure it was closed?

“How about now?” I asked.

“Now what?”

“Fair warning. Now.”

I stepped a little closer and put my hands on her arms. Not right away. I let them hover an inch away before touching her to give her the chance to move away. A chance I was sure she’d take.

“Seb, really?”

But she didn’t move away.

Not this time. When I laid my hands on her biceps, she leaned in to me just a little. I smelled the floral lotion on her skin and a hint of cool water on her breath.

“Really.” I slid the laptop from her arms and placed it on the counter. “This is your warning.”

You’re doing this. I cannot believe you’re doing this.

“It doesn’t feel like a warning,” she said, and again—I noted—she didn’t move away.

“Flashing red lights.” My lips brushed her cheek, heading for her mouth. She felt better than I ever imagined. “A buzzer, maybe.”

“Just a kiss?” she asked, her lips moving against mine.

Before I could consummate what she was agreeing to, I was smacked by a swinging door.

“Oh!” CJ said. “I’m sorry! I was looking for you.”

Rachel snatched up her laptop and walked out. CJ raised an eyebrow with good reason, since I was in the ladies’ room. I left, and we all gathered in the hall.

Awkward.

“Well,” Rachel said. “Thanks for showing us your tedious financial-sector company.”

“Thank you for coming,” I said and let them walk away. I could have done or said much more, but not without getting her into trouble. She glanced back at me when they turned the corner, as if she wanted to make sure I was still there.

*****

Author Info:

CD Reiss is a New York Times bestselling author. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God, but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well hauling buckets. Born in New York City, Reiss moved to Hollywood, California, to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere—but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.

Reiss is frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut, which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood. If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine. Text cdreiss to 77948 to get a notification whenever she has a new release.

Website: https://cdreiss.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CDReiss.writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDReisswriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6896405.C_D_Reiss

*****

Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of CD Reiss’ ONLY EVER YOU

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/07c2363f233/

*****

Book Review – I’ve Got You

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I loved Let Me Show You so much, I couldn’t wait to get a chance to read Davis & Scott’s story!

*****

I’ve Got You

by Becca Seymour

Rainbow Tree Publishing

Release Date: Tuesday, July 2 2019

Format: Paperback, eBook

Price: 3.99

Word Count: 69k

Cover Artist: Booksmith Design

Blurb:

When a single dad and a newly outed veterinarian meet by chance, it takes red-cheeked conversations, a tentative friendship, and the willingness to put their hearts on the line to show these men they’re made for each other.

Single dad Davis Jackson is busy balancing his coffee shop and being the best dad he can be. That doesn’t mean he’s not lonely. After a fumbling encounter with a man who looks as gorgeous as he does unhappy, Davis is left wondering who the mystery man is.

All Davis knows is that he has never felt such an instant attraction to anyone before, but when he discovers the brown-eyed man’s identity, it’s clear the recently out-of-the-closet veterinarian is lost and quite possibly broken.

A swoon-worthy low-angst stand-alone contemporary M/M romance featuring characters from LET ME SHOW YOU.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RCWJJ7Y/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RCWJJ7Y/

Amazon CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RCWJJ7Y/

Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RCWJJ7Y/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ive-got-you-becca-seymour/1131452885

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/i-ve-got-you-8

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/au/book/ive-got-you/id1462301277

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45436685-i-ve-got-you

QueeRomance Ink Link: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/ive-got-you/

*****

Excerpt:

I was thirty-three years old and still had no clue who I was.

Just two steps and I’d be able to breathe again.

One.

I clutched the handle and yanked the door open. Fresh air greeted me. I stepped into the darkness and pulled the door quietly closed behind me, then looked around the fenced backyard, only seeing the side panels and nothing beyond the darkness. My gaze settled on a couple of chairs. While it wasn’t complete escape, it gave me time to catch my breath and get my head straight.

Easing into the wooden chair, I leaned back, stretching out my neck and glancing up at the star-filled sky. With no lights on in the yard and just the faint glow filtering out from the busy kitchen, I was able to focus on the tiny specks overhead. I released a heavy exhale, pulling the calmness of the outside into me. I shouldn’t have come. Damn, I should have been at least two thousand miles away by now, away from this tiny town that threatened to split apart my whole world.

Claws on the wooden deck, a not-so-soft grunt and sigh, and I glanced to my right to see Carter and Tanner’s monster dog, Rex, ambling over to me. The first couple of times I’d met Rex at the veterinary clinic, it was no surprise to Carter or me that the Ridgeback had taken an instant dislike to me. Hell, I didn’t even like myself most of the time. But as he walked toward me, I no longer tensed in fear. This was the third visit I’d made to Carter’s, and it seemed Rex had had a change of heart.

He huffed as he sat next to me, his large head immediately landing on my thighs. My first real smile of the night spread across my lips, and I reached out both hands and rubbed behind Rex’s ears. “Hey there, mutt.” I rubbed a bit harder, and he moaned happily. I snorted. “You like that, huh?” Rex tilted his head and leaned his right ear into my palm. “You know, bud, I think you’ve got the right idea.” He blew heavily out of his snout, and I laughed, the sound filling the quiet space. “Life’s a hell of a lot easier if you’ve got no balls at all to lead you around and confuse the heck out of you.”

A snort-laugh from out of the darkness had me tensing. I squinted, looking toward the end of the yard. After a moment, my eyes adjusted and I saw a man looming, his figure moving closer until he stepped into the faint light.

Damn. So much for alone.

Rex’s head flipped to the side to look at the guy coming toward me. He grunted again and then thumped his head back down onto my thighs before nudging my hand for me to continue.

I started to rub, not as invested, nor as relaxed. With my jaw locked, I risked a glance at the guy. Light spilled onto the stranger’s face, highlighting his strong jawline. While I couldn’t see the color of his eyes, I did see the creases surrounding them. It immediately made him seem approachable and friendly. As he moved closer, a small smile lifted his mouth. My gaze landed on the slight curve of his lips before traveling back to his eyes. They were brown, but in the dull light, I couldn’t tell the exact shade or depth.

Friendly, he most definitely was, if his smile and the “Hey” he offered me were anything to go by. But he also looked tired as hell.

I cleared my throat, suddenly aware I’d stayed quiet for a few seconds too long. “Hey.” My voice was gravelly and sounded unnaturally deep.

The guy paused in front of me, his hands dipping into his jeans pockets. He was quiet for a beat, seeming to contemplate what to say.

“You know Rex then?”

I nodded and then took a glance at the large head resting on my lap. With a small nod, I smiled. “Yeah. He finally likes me, so I’m taking it as a win that we’re friends.”

The brown-eyed man’s head tilted slightly, his gaze scanning my face a moment before his eyes returned to mine. “So you’re a friend of Carter’s?”

A humorless snort burst free, not enough to startle Rex, but enough for the guy to raise his brows. I cleared my throat again, not especially liking the fact that it seemed to be closing up and becoming uncomfortably dry in front of this guy. “Well, sort of. We used to work together.”

“Not anymore?”

I bit back the bitter retort dancing on my tongue, tempted to ask if that wasn’t what “used to” explicitly meant. There was no need for me to be so defensive or any bigger of an asshole than I already had a reputation for being.

“Nope. Just trying to figure out my next move.” I clamped my mouth shut, wondering why I’d shared so much. He sat on the lounger beside me, stopping my analysis. “Please, take a seat.” Damn, I really needed to learn to keep my mouth shut and stop being a dickhead. “Sorry.” I threw him a small grimace, noticing both of his perfectly arched brows were lifted, his attention solely on me. There was also a small smile on his lips. I was positive I saw it twitch.

“Hey, I can leave.”

Though, he stayed put, making no indication he planned on moving. He didn’t even shrug or twitch as he spoke.

While solitude had been what I’d craved, I was smart enough to recognize that just maybe not being alone was a good thing. Being alone, I was discovering, was not helpful at all. All it did was give me too much time with my thoughts. And that had a habit of screwing with my head. While I’d sought the quiet, especially since my blowout with Carter a while back, I recognized how dangerous isolation could be. Loneliness was a slippery slope.

*****

Review:

This is a follow up to Seymour’s Let Me Show You and while it can stand on its own you really have a better understanding of the characters if you’ve read the first story.  This one is more of a redemption story for Scott … and a reward for everyone who wanted Davis to find his own HEA.

I think my favorite part is that Scott’s behavior from the first story isn’t swept under the rug.  Even though Carter has decided to forgive and forget, Scott (and those that know what he did) still has to come to terms with what he did and what it means for his future.  It’s not easy for Scott, but with help he manages to make himself into someone he can face in the mirror again.

Davis is very supportive and understanding.  I love his truth first attitude and how he sometimes is a little too blunt, especially for poor confused & repressed Scott.  But he’s willing to be there for him, give him the time he needs to figure things out, and take slow steps together to make a solid friendship (and later something more).

For a new author, Seymour is certainly good at her craft.  Her books go from lighthearted and humorous to overflowing with emotion and back again with ease.  And her characters are just so darn appealing (even when they are recovering a**holes)!   She says there are no plans for any more stories in this series, but with skills like her’s I’m sure that whatever direction she goes will be fabulous.  She’s definitely going on my must read list 🙂

*****

Author Info:

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

Author Website: https://beccaseymour.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/authorbeccaseymour

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/beccaseymourauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/beccaseymour_

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorbeccaseymour/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18745264.Becca_Seymour

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/21905/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Becca-Seymour/e/B07NYXX6JP

*****

Giveaway:

Becca is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4771/

*****

Spotlight – Jackson

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After reading this sneak peek I’m heading out to get my hands on this one right away!

*****

Jackson

Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas

by Emily March

Blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Emily March comes Jackson, the newest novel in the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series.

Sometimes it takes a new beginning

Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after

Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250314918

*****

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Nashville, Tennessee

Bang. The judge’s gavel fell and officially crushed Jackson McBride’s heart. He closed his eyes. Bleak despair washed over him. Up until this very moment, he hadn’t believed she’d take it this far.

He’d thought she’d come to her senses. He’d thought she would recognize that this proposal was not only nonsense, but truly insane. He’d believed that somewhere deep inside of her, she still had a spark of humanity. That she wouldn’t do this to him. To them. He’d been wrong.

Damn her. Damn her and the yes-men she surrounded herself with. Damn them all to hell and back.

The enormity of what had just happened washed over him. Oh, God, how will

I survive this?

On the heels of his anguish came the rage. It erupted hot as lava, and it fired his blood and blurred his vision with a red haze of fury. He’d never hit a woman in his life. Never come close, despite plenty of provocation from her direction. In that moment had she been within reach, he might have lived up her accusations.

It scared the crap out of him. That’s what she’s brought me to.

Abruptly, he shoved back his chair so hard that it teetered, almost falling over. He strode toward the courtroom exit. “Jackson? Jackson, wait!” his attorney called, hurrying after him.

Jackson waved her off and didn’t stop. There was nothing left to be said. Nothing left to be done. No place left to go.

No little girl waiting at home to hug and cuddle and kiss good night.

The tap on the toes of Jackson’s boots clacked against the tile floor of the courthouse as his long-legged strides ate up the hallway. He shunned the elevator for the stairs and descended three flights at a rapid pace, then headed for the building’s exit. In a foolish bit of positive thinking, he’d driven his SUV to the courthouse this morning. Now the sight of the safety booster seat in the back seat made him want to kick a rock into next week.

He didn’t want to go home to a quiet, empty house. He shouldn’t go to a bar. Alcohol on top of his current mood could be a dangerous combination. Somebody probably would get hurt.

He got into the car and started the engine. For a long moment he sat unmoving, staring blindly through the windshield, his hands squeezing the steering wheel so hard that it should have cracked. When his phone rang, he ignored it.

A couple of minutes later, it rang a second time. Again, he ignored it. When it happened a third time, he finally glanced at the display to see who was calling. His cousin. Okay, maybe he would answer it.

“Hello, Boone.”

“How did the hearing go?”

Jackson couldn’t speak past the lump in his throat, so he said nothing.

Following a moment’s silence, Boone got the message. He muttered a curse, and then said, “I’m sorry, man. So damn sorry.”

“Well, it is what it is.”

“You can take another run at it.”

“Yeah.” In three years. Three years. Might as well be three decades. He cleared his throat and changed the subject. “So, how are things in Eternity Springs?”

“Good. They’re good. My friend Celeste Blessing visited my office a few minutes ago and spoke of her granite-headed cousin. Naturally, I thought of you.”

“Naturally,” Jackson dryly replied. But he felt a little less alone.

“Do you have plans this weekend? I could use your help with something.”

Pretty convenient timing. Knowing Boone, he had a spy in the courtroom. But Jackson wasn’t in the position to ignore the bone he’d been thrown. “I’m free. Whatcha got?”

“I’d like you to meet me at home.”

Jackson straightened in surprise. “You’re going back to the ranch?”

“No. Not there. I’m never going back there. However, I am talking about Texas. The Hill Country in particular. A little town west of Austin called Redemption.”

“Redemption, Texas?” Jackson repeated. For some weird reason, his heart gave a little skip. “Why there?”

“It’s a long story. Too long for a phone call. I’ll give you the entire skinny when I see you. When can you get there?”

After today’s debacle, Jackson had absolutely no reason to remain in Nashville. “When do you want me there?”

“I’ll be in later today. I’m in Austin now. I’ve been helping a friend with a project. I have a flight back to Colorado Sunday evening. The earlier you can get here the better, but I’ll make anything work.”

Jackson figured the distance and the drive time. “I’ll meet you tomorrow afternoon. Where?”

“Great. I’ll text you the info when we hang up. Bring camping gear.”

When a sound behind him had Jackson glancing up into the rearview mirror and the booster seat caught his notice, he made an instant decision. “Can’t. I’ll be on my bike.”

“You’re gonna ride your motorcycle all the way from Nashville?”

“Yes, I think I am.”

“Okay. I’ll bring stuff for both of us.” Boone hesitated a moment and added, “Hang in there,

Jackson. It’ll get better.”

No, I don’t think it will. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Jackson ended the call and finally put his SUV in gear and backed out of the parking place. With the distraction of the call behind him, fury returned, and by the time he reached home, he felt like a volcano about to explode.

He threw a handful of things into his tail bag, filled his wallet with cash from his stash, and ten minutes after his arrival, he fired up his bike and took his broken heart and headed out of Nashville. He left behind his home, his work, and his one reason for living, his six-year-old daughter, Haley.

From Jackson. Copyright © 2019 by Emily March and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

*****

Author Info:

Emily March is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming Eternity Springs series. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

*****

 

Spotlight – Forever Wild

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Readers are loving the Forever Friends series – now’s your chance to find out why!

*****

Forever Wild

Forever Friends Book 3

by Allyson Charles

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Dax Cannon never says no to a challenge. But when he discovers a sexy stowaway in the back of his truck, he realizes Annelise Ansel might be more than he bargained for.

An artist, Lissa claims she’s leaving New Orleans for a fresh start in Michigan–which just happens to be where he’s headed with the pack of rescue dogs he’s delivering to the sanctuary he works for. But when three thugs threaten to take lovely Lissa off his hands, he realizes she’s in need of a sanctuary, too.

Once Lissa is riding shotgun with her long, lean protector, she’s wondering if fate might have something better in store for her than a life in hiding. But when her hijinks threaten to take down the best man she’s ever had the pleasure to run away with, Lissa realizes it’s time to face her demons. Now it’s up to the two of them to fight through the danger to discover the life—and love—waiting on the other side.

Add to Goodreads

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~

Forever Home

Forever Friends #1

Blurb:

Love Unleashed

Isabelle Lopez has never been a dog person. Raising her daughter alone and building a real estate career leaves no time for four-legged furballs. When she finds an abandoned mutt and litter of pups in a foreclosed apartment, Izzy intends to drop them off at a shelter and walk briskly away. Instead, her “heroic” deed makes her a local celebrity. Her boss is thrilled. Commissions are up. And thanks to gorgeous shelter owner Bradley Cohen, Izzy’s disciplined life is suddenly much, much more complicated.

He’s got a sexy smile, a wicked sense of humor, and a big, noble heart. Even as Izzy tries to get her libido to heel, boy, Bradley sets out to convince her there’s more to life than padding her bank account. But Izzy knows a trade secret that puts Brad’s beloved shelter at risk, and she can’t warn him.

Their relationship was barely getting started; suddenly it’s in the dog house. Now Izzy and Brad need to figure out what matters most, and whether this could be much more than animal attraction…

Add to Goodreads

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~

Forever Found

Forever Friends #2

Blurb:

Head vet at the Forever Friends animal rescue shelter, Gabriel Moretti is known as the Dog Whisperer because of his gift for soothing rambunctious patients. But it’s the two-legged species that has him, and his libido, working overtime. Marla Popov single-handedly saved the shelter from financial ruin. But the bossy trust funder is even more irritating than her snooty Standard Poodle. You’d think keeping his attraction on a short leash would be a no-brainer for Gabe. Unfortunately, Marla is also smart, beautiful, and intriguing . . .

Most of her life, people have been eager to tell Marla just what she wants to hear. So now that she’s nearing forty, she doesn’t expect to be refused—especially by a sexy younger man like Gabe. She also doesn’t expect it to sting so much. But when she discovers a scheme involving illegal dog fights, she gets a chance to show what she’s truly made of. And as she and Gabe team up to fight it, they discover a surprising respect for each other—and passion that might just grow into love. . .

Add to Goodreads

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*****

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Dax Cannon never thought trouble would appear in such an unassuming package. But with his vast experience in stirring it up or sniffing it out, he really should have known better.

She wore a paisley kerchief tank top, the triangle hem fluttering around her waist. Dax didn’t see her face as she hurried past, but the cascade of curls tumbling down her back was enough to capture his attention. They looked so soft, Dax’s palms itched to reach out and touch them. Her hair was a rich mahogany near the roots, growing lighter until the blond tips disappeared into the sunlight. Her bare, tawny arms were long and slender, and the tips of the fingers on her right hand were stained blue. She had a black backpack tossed over one shoulder, and it bounced off her pert behind with each step she took as she jaywalked across the street.

Reaching the other side, the woman stopped by two young boys tapdancing on the sidewalk, dug into her pocket, and tossed some bills into an upturned hat. One of the kids gave her a thumbs-up as he spun at

lightning speed.

Unbidden, Dax’s feet turned to follow. He stepped onto Decatur Street, and a mule brayed a foot from his left ear. Heart thumping, he leaped back onto the sidewalk.

He shook his head and patted the animal’s rump as it trotted past. “What a dumb ass,” he muttered, and he wasn’t talking about the mule. When the tourist carriage passed, the woman with the long curls was gone.

He sighed. Well, no matter. He wasn’t in New Orleans for a vacation. He’d left Crook County only two days ago. Two days, one thousand miles, four tanks of gas, and more fast-food restaurants than he could count. And now to make the return trip at the same exhausting pace. But the eight at-risk dogs he’d picked up from the local pound were heading to Forever Friends, the no-kill shelter he volunteered for in Michigan. They were safe, and that made the trip worth every headache.

A gust of wind rippled the green awning of Café du Monde. An elderly woman in front of the café grabbed for her scarf, but it blew off her shoulders. Caught in the breeze, it drifted up and up and wrapped itself around a light post.

Dax jogged over to her. “I’ll get that for you, ma’am. If you’ll just hold my bags …” He waited until she cupped the two bags of baked goods with wrinkled fingers.

She drew her eyebrows together. “It’s fifteen feet up, young man. You’ll never reach it.”

“I love when someone says I can’t do something.” He shook out his arms and shot her a grin. “It makes it that much more satisfying when I succeed.” He winked and turned toward his target. The light post had a boxy base that rose two feet from the ground. The lip was an inch wider than the pole, plenty of space for a toehold. He ran for the light, jumped onto the base, and pushed off. He stretched his lanky six-foot-three frame and grabbed the pole close to the horizontal arm the scarf was wrapped around.

Hand over hand, he pulled himself up the last couple of feet and tugged the silk square free. He slid down the pole, hopped off, and presented the scarf to the woman with a flourish. “Madam.”

Several patrons from the café’s patio clapped, and Dax swept a low bow.

The woman handed him his bags and knotted the scarf around her neck. “Thank you for the dramatic rescue,” she said wryly.

Dax opened his mouth to respond, but a group of three beefy men knocked into him as they hurried down the sidewalk.

Dax staggered into the woman and threw out a hand to steady her. “Hey, watch it,” he shouted after the jerks. The men ignored him and quickened their pace.

The older woman sniffed. “People today. What are you going to do?”

He shrugged and waved goodbye. His irritation melted away before he’d crossed the street. It was hard to stay annoyed in the Big Easy. With its decadent food, sultry music, and beguiling women—Dax looked up and down Decatur but didn’t see any long curls—New Orleans didn’t allow a person to stay in a bad mood for long. Maybe he should take a real vacation down here sometime.

*****

Author Info:

Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it. To find out what she’s up to next, visit her website at allysoncharles.com.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

*****

Giveaway:

$20 Amazon

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*****

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Book Review – Single

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Single dads are some of my favorite romance heroes … but new single dads might just be the best of them all.

*****

Single

Single Dads #1

by RJ Scott

Length: 54,000 words approx.

Cover Design: RJ Scott

Blurb:

Reeling from the painful rejection of a man he thought he loved, Asher is left holding the baby.

Ash wants a family, and is determined to continue with a surrogacy he’d begun with his ex. Bringing baby Mia home, he vows that he will be the best father he can be. Nothing in this world matters more to him than caring for his daughter, not even accidentally falling in lust with the doctor next door. Challenged by his growing attraction to Sean, and confronted by painful memories of his family, Ash has to learn that love is all that matters.

When ER doctor Sean moves in with his friends next door to sexy single father Ash, he falls so quickly it takes his breath away. The sex they have is hot, but Ash is adamant his heart is too full with love for his daughter to let anyone else in. Why is Sean the only one who sees how scared Ash is, and how can he prove to his new lover that he desperately wants the three of them to become a family?

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

*****

Review:

Poor, sleep-deprived, anxious Asher.  He’s so absolutely adorable in his love for Mia and how terrified he is that he’s going to fail her.  It’s totally two steps forward and one back for him as he starts learning to be a dad.  Finding himself attracted to the hottie (and compassionate) doctor next door just makes things even more complicated, which is the last thing he thinks he needs.

Sean is amazingly patient with Ash and does everything he can to woo his neighbor slowly.  He’s there to support when needed and give a little push when that’s needed too.  He’s the same with his friends and I think that is just as appealing as his boyfriend potential.  (Those three guys are fun, in a juvenile way, and fit together well as their own made up family unit.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of the others in future stories.)

While I loved these characters, I felt like we were missing a little bit in the story line.  Part of it was that we got the lead up to, but not the actual, falling in love portion.  I missed seeing the relationship build into that HEA.  And there were so many other things that I think needed to be addressed a little more – Asher’s reluctance to get involved again, his worry over being a good dad, his history with his mom, Sean’s lack of previous commitment.

While we got plenty of feels, awesome primary AND secondary characters, and a tease about what’s coming next that has me soooo ready for book 2, I feel like we needed just a bit more to make this one truly awesome instead of very good.

I’ll happily take very good though and anxiously wait to see where we got next.

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest

*****

Giveaway:

$10 Amazon Gift Card

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*****

Book Review – Hold On Tight

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Hold on Tight

Bridgeport Social Club Series

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Jackson Koch had already lost his wife to cancer when the town’s coal mines shut down and his job was gone too. So, with a three-year-old daughter to care for and a broken heart to mend, he moved across the country to find a new life in Bridgeport, Ohio. Now he tends bar by night and tries to navigate life as a single dad by day. Luckily, his neighbor is happy to babysit while he works late nights. She’s great with little Kate, beautiful, kind … and lately he’s found himself smiling whenever he thinks about her.

Dani Brown also knows what it’s like to lose a spouse and raise a child on her own. Cleaning houses during the day, and taking online classes at night, she dreams of running her own preschool someday. And, since her fourteen-year-old son Jeremy’s baseball team requires a lot of money, she’s thrilled to earn some extra cash by watching her handsome neighbor’s adorable little girl. But even with two jobs, she’s having trouble making ends meet.

When Jackson sees Dani running herself ragged for her son’s baseball ambitions he decides it’s time to get the Bridgeport Social Club involved. Together they cook up a plan. They will run a charity poker tournament to support Jeremy’s dream and help out a hardworking single mom. But will Dani be able to accept help from the handsome neighbor she’s starting to feel more-than-friendly feelings for? And how far is she ready to let those feelings go?

Get ready to fall in love with Shelley Shepard Gray’s Bridgeport Social Club again, where a poker night is so much more than a game of cards and an extraordinary community of ordinary men and women come together to offer love, light, and hope to everyone they encounter.

I loved the first two books in this series and this one shows that Gray knows how to keep delivering.  Both Dani and Jackson have experienced hardships in their lives and are just doing the best they can for their kids.  The easy way these two manage to create a kind of friendship and then something more is very appealing.  And realistic.  There are so many ways that this could have gone sideways but Gray manages to keep things real and relatively drama free.

Dani has spent so many years having only herself to rely on that it is hard for her to accept someone else’s offer of help.  She can’t get past the feeling of owing someone and while Jackson is ready to be there for her it takes a bit for her to get to the point of being able to accept it.

Jackson has been struggling with losing both his wife and his job in a short amount of time.  He had a little problem with depression (understandably) for a while and getting him & his daughter out of their small town was the best for both of them.  It’s just super hard to accept a life where he is now a bartender – a good job just not what he imagined for himself.  But he has good friends and with a little self-examination he’s starting to feel a better about his situation.

You aren’t going to find a lot of drama moments with this series.  It’s just realistic characters, living their lives and trying to figure things out – pretty much like you and me 🙂  Instead, go into it with a relaxed mind and an attitude of just enjoying the ride.  You’ll find plenty to appreciate about the well-crafted characters and the normality of their lives.