Spotlight – The Surprise Bollywood Baby

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Bollywood is in for a shock when these ex-lovers are bound together by their baby in this emotional pregnancy romance by Tara Pammi.

*****

The Surprise Bollywood Baby

Born in Bollywood series

by Tara Pammi

Price: $5.25

On sale date: February 23, 2021 (eBook on sale March 1, 2021)

ISBN: 9781335403902

Blurb: 

Falling for a Bollywood superstar…

…leads to the shock of a lifetime!

For actress Zara Khan, a pretend romance with an old flame, director Virat Raawal, is the ideal story to feed the press—and halt her family’s attempts to marry her off. But after sparks reignite one scorching night, she has a very real pregnancy to go with their fake relationship…

Virat is determined to do the right thing and claim Zara as his wife. He offers her everything in the world…save for the heart that he’s locked firmly away. The trouble is, Zara will only wed for love!

“Equal parts sweet and sexy, this is sure to please.”—Publishers Weekly

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations
where passion knows no bounds.

Read all the Born into Bollywood books:

Book 1: Claiming His Bollywood Cinderella

Book 2: The Surprise Bollywood Baby

Get cozy this winter with romances to move you. That Harlequin Feeling.

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335403902_the-surprise-bollywood-baby.html 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335403902 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Surprise-Bollywood-Baby-Born-into/dp/1335403906/ 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surprise-bollywood-baby-tara-pammi/1137311154 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Surprise-Bollywood-Baby-9781335403902/433838595 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-surprise-bollywood-baby/id1522685462 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tara_Pammi_The_Surprise_Bollywood_Baby?id=yQbwDwAAQBAJ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-surprise-bollywood-baby

*****

Excerpt:

She was up to something.

Zara Khan, actress extraordinaire and astute businesswoman, should be firmly embedded in his distant past but kept shimmering like an enticing beacon in his present. No, strike that. She was more like a niggling thorn lodged in his skin.

And damn it all to hell, but Virat Raawal felt every inch of him practically vibrating with an anticipation and excitement he hadn’t tasted in a long time. He ran a hand through his hair, cursing his tunnel focus on his current project for the last eighteen months.

From the moment he had stepped into the banquet hall and found her watching him with undisguised attention, Virat had known something was afoot. Tracking his every move from that wideeyed gaze. Making his skin prickle with awareness.

She couldn’t have been more obvious if she’d thrown herself at him—all grace and curves and selfconfidence oozing out of every inch of flawless skin she revealed.

No wonder his longdenied libido was now wagging its tail like an excited puppy at the sight of a muchcoveted fancy treat.

Because that was what Zara was to him. A delicious treat that made him act like a man barely out of his teens, riding the roller coaster of horniness and emotional turbulence all over again.

Even after all these years. Even after he’d reminded himself countless times that she’d made her choice a long time ago. That she’d left no doubt as to whom she preferred, between the famous Vikram Raawal—the uncrowned king of Bollywood who’d slogged night and day for years, to save his family and the prestigious Raawal House of Cinema from dire straits—or him, Virat Raawal, the man whose questionable paternity was always a fanfavorite topic of conversation on the weekly chaiandchat shows.

In the decade since she’d used him to climb up the ladder of success, Virat had built up a reputation both within the industry and with the critics—a reputation that his grandfather and cinema visionary Vijay Raawal had garnered more than half a century ago. A reputation and a body of work that had every artist in the industry salivating to work with him.

Even though they’d regularly butted heads on the direction of the family’s production house, Virat had always had Vikram’s support. The brothers’ bond had been borne out of their parents’ incapability to provide them with a modicum of emotional and mental stability in their lives. So Virat had actively worked on not letting the bitterness of Zara’s choice or her longstanding relationship with his brother rot the bond between himself and Vikram. And he’d succeeded for the most part.

While he’d never understood their relationship, he’d left it alone. And now, with his brother about to marry the lovely Naina and the resulting nasty rumors about Vikram breaking Zara’s heart, Virat had been thinking a lot more about their purported, decadelong relationship.

Tucking his hands into his trouser pockets, he absently nodded at some comment on his left when the subtle hint of Zara’s scent hit his nostrils. Virat stiffened, as if bracing himself against an oncoming attack. He didn’t have to turn and look at her to know that she had sidled up to him, closer than a woman he hardly ever talked to in ten years should have done.

Her bare arm rubbed up against his, the warmth of her curvaceous body a teasing caress. Virat scowled and was about to ask her what the hell she was up to when the roaming strobe light focused on them both and a cheer went up around the hall.

An announcement flashed on the huge screen propped at the top corner next to the stage just as a short, bespectacled woman announced his and Zara’s names together as the primary investors in the web mag, calling out giveaways including and not limited to scholarships for female junior college students, a featured monthly charity drive for innovative small businesses from around the country’s rural villages, and an opportunity for the chosen SuperWoman of the month to meet Zara and Virat. As their schedules allowed, of course.

“Shall we, darling?” Zara said then, loosely linking her arm through his, in that husky voice of hers that he could recognize in his sleep.

He turned his head to look at her then, beyond stunned. And Virat knew that everyone in the hall was watching them, with the same wideeyed fascination that Zara was faking as she looked at him.

As if he was the answer to all her dreams and wishes.

Their gazes met and the world around them seemed to stand still. With her silky hair in a soft cut framing her sharpangled face, Zara was the consummate actress. Her eyes shone with some inner resolve he couldn’t read and the smile she offered him was wide and not in the least bit awkward. The lush lower lip painted a soft pink taunted him.

With her palm pressed to his chest, she winked at him and pouted. His blood pressure went up another notch, shock and desire twining into an inseparable rope. “I know you don’t like PDAs, sweetie, but you promised to do this with me, remember?” Her thigh bumped against his when she leaned closer and it was a miracle that he didn’t jump away like a scalded cat. Or more like an outraged heroine fending off the caricature villain in one of his brother’s latest boxoffice hits.

He noted the flare of awareness in her eyes before she pulled back. Reaching for her waist, Virat twirled her out of earshot of the rest of the group, keeping his own expression mildly amused. She came as easily as if she were floating on air, her face barely betraying her shock. He pushed her against the far wall, and the circle of light followed them.

“Now what the hell are you playing at, shahzadi?” he whispered, while she clasped her hands at the nape of his neck. The slide of her soft fingers there sent tension and desire rolling through him in fast waves.

Her breath was a silky caress against his jaw as she whispered, “It’s all for a good cause, Virat. Play along, won’t you?”

“Play along as what? Your latest boy toy?”

She laughed and shrugged. “Something like that, yes.”

*****

Author Info:

Tara Pammi can’t remember a moment when she wasn’t lost in a book, especially a romance which, as a teenager, was much more exciting than mathematics textbook. Years later Tara’s wild imagination and love for the written word revealed what she really wanted to do: write! She lives in Colorado with the most co-operative man on the planet and two daughters. Tara loves to hear from readers and can be reached at tara.pammi@gmail.com or her website www.tarapammi.com.

Website: https://www.tarapammi.com/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468588.Michelle_Major 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraPammi 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaraPammi 

Instagram: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6603453.Tara_Pammi

*****

Spotlight – Steal My Magnolia

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Steal My Magnolia is more than a love story. It’s a beautifully crafted journey of life full of obstacles but a journey worth the travel with the right person.” –Author Andrea Johnston

*****

Steal My Magnolia

A Love At First Sight Novel

by Karla Sorensen

Blurb:

Life lesson from Grady Buchanan: If you’re going to fall in love with the untouchable girl in town, don’t hire her as your only employee.

Even after he bungled the interview with Magnolia MacIntyre, he knew better than to hire her. The list of why it’s a bad idea is a long one.

Her father could ruin his fledgling business.

She is completely overqualified.

And he’s attracted to her.

What does Grady do? He offers her the job.

Magnolia knew better than to take it. Normally, she’d make the safe choice, and working for Grady is anything but.

He’s new in town–and entirely too charming.

Her dad will be furious.

She hates the outdoors and working for an outdoor adventure company is not exactly the right fit.

What does she do? She says yes on the spot.

Grady and Magnolia will have to prove to everyone in their life that they’re not crazy. And prove to each other that the list of why it’s a bad idea should be tossed out the window.

For these two opposites, sometimes doing the wrong thing is exactly right.

‘Steal My Magnolia’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Love At First Sight series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Download your copy TODAY!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3jvE6l3

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3kzJYec

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3oouvjH

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3owyhrl

Audiobook: http://bit.ly/3ctYseC

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/34sBlMZ

~

Start the Love at First Sight series of standalones!

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Baking Me Crazy

http://bit.ly/39GQBZn

Batter of Wits

http://bit.ly/3j8n3qG

*****

Excerpt:

“This is Grady.”

There was silence on the other end. I pulled the phone away from my face to make sure I’d answered.

“Hello?” I said.

I heard a deep breath before she spoke. “Hi, I’m here, sorry.”

My head tilted to the side when I heard her voice. It was soft and low with the curling accent that I’d gotten used to in the past month and a half. But it … I shook my head … something about it made the hairs lift slightly on my arms.

“Did you mean to call my number?” I asked carefully.

Inexplicably, I found myself holding my breath waiting for her to answer.

“I heard you’re looking for help. Administrative help,” she clarified.

My head went back. “Did you?”

She was quiet for a second. “Small town,” she explained. “People talk.”

I laughed under my breath. “So I’m learning.”

It made me shake my head. The darknet had nothing on the Green Valley information pipeline. “So,” I continued, “tell me a little bit about yourself.”

“Of course.” For the second time since I picked up, she let out an audible breath. “I have my BS in Business Administration, an MBA from Vanderbilt, and other than college, I’ve lived in Green Valley my whole life.”

Scratching the side of my face, I glanced around at the horrific state of the office and tried to imagine someone with an MBA wanting anything to do with it. My face was bent in a grimace

“I’ve spent the past five years as an office administrator for my …” She paused. “For a local business, and I’m looking to change things up. Fresh start.”

I sat up slowly. “I can understand wanting a fresh start. That’s why I’m here.”

“I know. I, umm, I heard that. In town.” She stumbled slightly over her words, and I smiled. “I’m not very outdoorsy, and I know that’s what you’ll be doing, but I’m the most organized person you’ll ever meet. My label maker is my favorite accessory, and I have lists for my to-do lists. And I know every single business owner from here to Maryville.”

I laughed. “You sound like you’re already in your interview.”

She laughed too, and I grimaced when my chest tightened. It caused a strong enough physical sensation that I glanced down at my body, like it was separate from me somehow.

“I can come in and fill out an application, if you’d like,” she said.

I laughed under my breath. “If I had applications, I’d say yes.” I glanced around the mess surrounding me. “But … I’m not quite that prepared yet.”

“That’s also why you need someone who knows how to get an office up and running.”

“That’s true,” I agreed. “Can you come in tomorrow so we can talk a little bit more? Since I don’t have an application.”

“That would be great,” she said firmly. The stumbling was gone. I found myself wondering how old she was. What she looked like.

If I had a calendar, I would’ve glanced at it. But that was also buried in a stack of papers.

“How does nine sound? Do you need the address?”

“Sounds perfect,” she answered. “And uh, no, thank you. I know where to find you.”

I shook my head.

“Small town,” we said in unison. She laughed, and my smile took up my whole damn face.

“Then I’ll see you at nine tomorrow …” My voice trailed off. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name. I’m still working on my Southern manners.”

She laughed. My chest did that thing again. It wasn’t the heavy press of panic. It was a lightening. A lifting of whatever pressure I’d been feeling before she called.

She spoke slowly, like she was thinking carefully about her answer. “You can call me Lia.”

*****

Author Info:

Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.

Find Karla Sorensen online

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2lU6xAS

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2khRSPL

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2k0Yp0T

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2lBNuez

Website: http://www.karlasorensen.com/

*****

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Spotlight – Fandom Hearts

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Today we have the blog tour of Cathy Yardley’s Level Up & One True Pairing! Check out this gorgeous romance and be sure to get your copy today!  

*****

Level Up  

by Cathy Yardley

Blurb:

Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can’t do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?

Get Your Copy! 

Amazon  •  Barnes & Noble  • iTunes   Kobo  • Goodreads

One True Pairing

by Cathy Yardley

Blurb:

They couldn’t be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley’s One True Pairing.

Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family’s bookstore. It’s a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?

Get Your Copy! 

Amazon  •  Barnes & Noble  • iTunes   Kobo  • Goodreads

*****

Excerpt (One True Pairing):

“Trust me, if I saw a guy that hot, I wouldn’t be behind this counter,” Hailey said, and her voice all but dripped with authenticity, just the right amount of longing and curiosity. She could tell the exact moment when they believed her. “What would a guy like Jake Reese be doing here, though?”

“He was doing a VIP thing, over at the Flat Iron Grill,” a teenage girl said, pushing her glasses up the bridges of her nose, looking pained. “And before he was swarmed and groped…”

“Oh, don’t be so stuffy, Amelia,” the redhead said, rolling her eyes.  “Guys love that sort of thing, believe me.”

“He made a break for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was running for the cops,” Amelia shot back, scowling.

“Well, he is smokin’ hot,” Hailey commiserated, causing the redhead to grin triumphantly at the girl, Amelia. “And he’s around here? Seriously? You’re not kidding?”

The redhead nodded. “Not even kidding. Can you imagine?”

“Well, crap. I’m stuck here until the end of my shift. I thought I saw a guy running past here. Thought he was a thief, actually.” 

Don’t over-sell it, she chastised herself. She was out of practice.

“Which way did he go?” Pocket-grabber said, gripping the edge of the counter.

“That way,” Hailey said, pointing to the far end of the strip mall. “But he could probably…”

Before she could finish, sweater-woman was already moving. Redhead let out a hoot, like a baying hunting dog, and sprinted after the crowd. Only Amelia remained behind.

“Um, miss?”

Hailey bit her lip, hoping that the kid would move so she could hustle Jake out of here without incident. “Yes? Did you want some coffee?”

Amelia looked at her searchingly. “If you do happen to see Mr. Reese,” she said, her tone serious, “please apologize to him. From me.”

Hailey smiled. Amelia was no fool. “I’ll do that,” she said, nodding. Amelia nodded back, then strolled out.

Hailey waited a beat, then let out a breath, turning to the prone actor. “Well, that was a close one. You okay?”

“I am now,” he said, smiling at her. He was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans, a black T-shirt, and a brown leather jacket. His eyes were shockingly blue — like, Paul Newman blue. He was sex in a pair of Levi’s. “Damn. You’re not a bad actress, you know that?”

“I’m a terrible actress,” she corrected. “But I’m a hell of a liar.”

*****

Author Info:

Cathy Yardley is an award-winning author of romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy, who has sold over 1.2 million copies of books for publishers like St. Martin’s, Avon, and Harlequin. She writes fun, geeky, and diverse characters who believe that underdogs can make good and sometimes being a little wrong is just right. She likes writing about quirky, crazy adventures, because she’s had plenty of her own: she had her own army in the Society of Creative Anachronism; she’s spent a New Year’s on a 3-day solitary vision quest in the Mojave Desert; she had VIP access to the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Now, she spends her time writing in the wilds of East Seattle, trying to prevent her son from learning the truth of any of said adventures, and riding herd on her two dogs (and one husband.)

Connect with Cathy:  

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Newsletter

*****

Spotlight – His Secret Starlight Baby

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Becoming a father wasn’t part of his game plan in USA TODAY bestselling author Michelle Major’s latest book in her Welcome to Starlight miniseries!

*****

His Secret Starlight Baby

A Welcome to Starlight book

by Michelle Major

Price: $5.99

On sale date: February 23, 2021

ISBN: 9781335232700

Blurb: 

Coparenting this baby is going to take teamwork

Former professional football player Jordan Schaeffer’s game plan was simple: retire from football and set up a quiet life in Starlight. But when Cory Hall arrives with their infant son, Jordan not only gets a surprise but has to devise a new life strategy. And Cory finds herself agreeing to be his fake fiancée until they work out a coparenting plan. Jordan may have rewritten the dating playbook…but will it be enough to bring this team together?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

Welcome to Starlight

Book 1: The Best Intentions

Book 2: The Last Man She Expected

Book 3: His Last-Chance Christmas Family

Book 4: His Secret Starlight Baby

Get cozy this winter with romances to move you. That Harlequin Feeling.

Get your copy today!

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335404701_his-secret-starlight-baby.html 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335404701 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/His-Secret-Starlight-Baby-Welcome/dp/1335404708 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-secret-starlight-baby-michelle-major/1137551663 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/His-Secret-Starlight-Baby-9781335404701/283455345 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/his-secret-starlight-baby/id1529436858 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Michelle_Major_His_Secret_Starlight_Baby?id=D7L5DwAAQBAJ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/his-secret-starlight-baby

*****

Excerpt:

Cory needed a fresh start like she needed her next breath.

Jordan went back to locking the door, and if it weren’t for that initial rigidity and the tension currently radiating from him, Cory might have thought he hadn’t heard her greeting.

When he turned, she realized what a fool she’d been—nothing new there. Jordan’s pale green eyes blazed with an emotion she couldn’t name, although it definitely wasn’t friendly. Not that she expected a warm welcome back into his life, although she had to admit, in the two and a half days it had taken to drive halfway across the country, her mind had wandered down the path of silly fantasy more than once.

She fisted her hands, the sharp pain of nails stabbing into the flesh of her palm a much-needed reminder to stay grounded in reality. Cory was in Starlight to take care of business, not to indulge in ridiculous daydreams. Single moms didn’t have time for that sort of nonsense.

“How are you?” she asked, clearing her throat when the words came out on a croak. She tried for a smile. “It’s been a minute.”

“What are you doing here?” He pocketed the set of keys and rocked back on his heels. His eyes raked over her in a way that left her wishing she hadn’t forgotten her flat iron back in Michigan. Or had she deserted that particular styling tool when she’d taken off from Atlanta? She hadn’t given much thought to making herself look pretty in what felt like ages.

“I was…um…in the area, and I thought I’d stop in and say hi.” She gave a limp wave. “Hi.”

Jordan stared at her like she’d lost her mind.

“I didn’t know if you’d remember me.” She pushed away a stray lock of hair that blew into her face. “I’m sure you want to—”

“I remember, Cory.” His voice was a deep, angry rumble. “I remember everything.”

She swallowed. “Oh. Okay, well, that’s good. I think.” She gestured to the bar he’d exited minutes earlier. “You own this place, right? It looks nice.” She inwardly cringed at her inability to stem the tide of inane babble pouring from her mouth. She wasn’t here for pleasantries but couldn’t quite bring herself to get to the point.

“It’s after midnight.” He ran a hand through his thick hair. She still couldn’t see its true color, but it was longer than he’d worn it when he’d played football in Georgia. Untamed and a bit wild, much like the man himself.

“Right.” She took a slow, steadying breath. “I need to talk to you, Jordan.”

“I got that.”

“It’s about what happened when you left.”

“From what I saw on ESPN, Kade got one hell of a contract offer. Forty million for four years. He got it all. You both got exactly what you wanted.”

She winced at the accusation in his voice, even though she deserved every bit of judgment and condemnation Jordan Schaeffer could dish out. “Kade and I aren’t together,” she said, as if that explained everything when it was only the tip of the iceberg.

“Not my concern, Cory. In fact, right now my only concern is getting home and into bed for a decent night’s sleep. I wish you well in whatever you choose for life after Kade Barrington, if you’re telling the truth about that.”

“I never lied,” she said, trying and mostly failing to keep the pain out of her voice. Trying and completely failing to stop an image of Jordan asleep in bed from filling her mind.

“You went back to him.”

Cory sucked in a shaky gulp of air, because she could have sworn she heard an answering pain in Jordan’s tone. That couldn’t be possible, because…

“After you took off.” She bit down on the inside of her cheek until she tasted blood. “You left without even saying goodbye.”

He laughed, a harsh scrape across her fraught nerves. “Sweetheart, we barely said hello.”

Oh no. He wasn’t going to do that. Not now. Not after everything Cory had dealt with in the past year. She might have had only one night with Jordan, but it had meant…something. To her, it had turned out to mean everything.

Her gaze darted to the gas guzzler her grandmother had given her before she died last month, and Cory was tempted to walk away. She could climb back in the car, spend one night in the local inn where she’d rented a room and be on the highway by first light.

Then she looked at him again, at those unique eyes she saw staring back at her every day, and realized she had to see this through. If not for herself, then for her baby.

“We said plenty,” she told him, straightening her shoulders. “We did plenty. Enough that I have a six-month-old son in that car.” She hitched a finger at the Buick. “You have a son, Jordan.”

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author Michelle Major loves stories of new beginnings, second chances and always a happily ever after. An avid hiker and avoider of housework, she lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with her husband, two teenagers and a menagerie of spoiled furbabies. Connect with her at http://www.michellemajor.com.

Website: https://michellemajor.com/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468588.Michelle_Major 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleMajorBooks 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michelle_major1 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellemajorauthor/

*****

Book Review – Best Laid Plans

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Who wants a book that is just full of all the feels?

*****

Best Laid Plans

Garnet Run, #2

by Roan Parrish

Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Romantic Leads: Male/Male

On-Sale: February 23, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Price: $14.99 US

ISBN: 9781335924803

Blurb:

A man who’s been moving his whole life finally finds a reason to stay put.

Charlie Matheson has spent his life taking care of things. When his parents died two days before his eighteenth birthday, he took care of his younger brother, even though that meant putting his own dreams on hold. He took care of his father’s hardware store, building it into something known several towns over. He took care of the cat he found in the woods…so now he has a cat.

When a stranger with epic tattoos and a glare to match starts coming into Matheson’s Hardware, buying things seemingly at random and lugging them off in a car so beat-up Charlie feels bad for it, his instinct is to help. When the man comes in for the fifth time in a week, Charlie can’t resist intervening.

Rye Janssen has spent his life breaking things. Promises. His parents’ hearts. Leases. He isn’t used to people wanting to put things back together—not the crumbling house he just inherited, not his future and certainly not him. But the longer he stays in Garnet Run, the more he can see himself belonging there. And the more time he spends with Charlie, the more he can see himself falling asleep in Charlie’s arms…and waking up in them.

Is this what it feels like to have a home—and someone to share it with?

Get Your Copy Today

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335924803_best-laid-plans.html 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335924803 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Laid-Plans-Garnet-Run/dp/1335924809 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/best-laid-plans-roan-parrish/1138272513 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/best-laid-plans/id1529725794 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Roan_Parrish_Best_Laid_Plans?id=ogL6DwAAQBAJ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/best-laid-plans-80

*****

Excerpt:

Through the glass front door, Charlie saw an ominously smoking car grind to a halt in the parking lot. It looked like it had originally been a late-eighties two-door Chevy Beretta but had since been Frankensteined of multiple vehicles’ pieces, many of them different colors and some of them clinging desperately together, helped only by electrical tape and grime.

Charlie winced, fingers itching to put the car together properly—or, perhaps more practically, drive it to the junkyard and put it out of its misery.

Marie was bagging Bill Duff’s purchases when the door burst open. In stepped a man Charlie’d never seen before.

He certainly would have remembered.

Long, dark hair fell messily over his shoulders. He was slim and angular, with a slinky walk that made him look like he was made of hips and shoulders. The cuffs and collar of his long-sleeved T-shirt were worn rough and the knees of his jeans blown out. He looked like ten miles of dirt road.

Charlie raised a hand at the newcomer.

“Welcome to Matheson’s. I’m Charlie. Can I help you find anything?”

The man’s light, kohl-lined eyes darted around, as if Charlie might be talking to someone else, then, looking confused, said, “Uh. No.”

He hurried off down aisle one and Charlie let him alone. Some people didn’t want help or attention while they shopped, and Charlie was just glad of a new customer—and a young one at that. Business was okay, but with each passing year overnight shipping and Amazon ate further into his profit margin, particularly with customers under forty.

The stranger walked up and down the aisles, muttering inaudibly, swearing audibly, and consulting his phone every minute or so, as if the answers he wouldn’t accept from Charlie lay there.

After the better part of half an hour, he approached the register, arms full, though there were baskets and small carts available.

“Find everything okay?” Charlie asked as the man dumped his purchases on the counter.

“Uh, sure.”

He sounded distracted and was glaring at the items he’d chosen.

“You need any help with…” Charlie gestured at the hardware equivalent to marshmallows, cheese, and spaghetti before him.

The man raised a dramatic dark eyebrow but didn’t say anything. His eyes, Charlie could see now, were gray, and his skin was pale, as if he were a black-and-white image in a color world.

That pale glare lanced him, and he looked away, ringing and bagging things up.

The man swiped his credit card like he was ripping something in half and had to do it again when the machine didn’t get a read. He glared at it.

When Charlie handed him his bags he couldn’t help needling the man a little.

“Need any help getting things out to your car?” he asked, as he’d ask anyone.

The man glared down at the bags he was holding, then up at Charlie.

“No,” he said, like the word was his favorite one and, in his mouth, capable of expressing every feeling and thought he had.

“Okay, then,” Charlie said, purposefully cheery. “Have a good one.”

The man narrowed his eyes like there was a barb hidden in the words he simply hadn’t found yet.

“Uh-huh,” he said, and wrinkled his nose suspiciously, backing out the door.

“Who was that?” Marie asked. Charlie turned to see her lurking in the doorway from the back room.

“I don’t know,” Charlie said.

But he was damn sure gonna find out.

*****

Review:

Based on the blurb, you’d probably expect quite a bit of angst here but Parrish has a surprising light hand with it. There are a few growing pains as Charlie and Rye get to know each other and fall in love, but it handled with minimal drama and a fair amount of sweetness & compassion.

For having a life big on struggle and light on close connections, Rye has an amazing understanding of people. He may be blunt and a little prickly but he’s got a big heart and a surprising perception of the complexity of relationships. Living with a lot of different people, with a lot of different quirks, has given him amazing insight into what makes people tick.

Charlie has spent so many years making sure that the rest of the world is happy and getting exactly what they want that he’s forgotten about himself. With a little help from Rye, he starts to explore who HE is and what he wants. And what he wants most is more time with Rye.

Best Laid Plans is a delightful and emotional read about two people finding each other, learning about themselves, feeling seen (and supported) for the first time, and inevitably falling in love.

*****

Author Info:

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Website: https://www.roanparrish.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoanParrish 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roanparrish/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/parrishorperish/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14070842.Roan_Parrish

Garnet Run series available now 

Book 1: Better Than People

Book 2: Best Laid Plans

*****

Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

A new Carina Adores title is available each month in trade paperback, ebook and audiobook formats.

  • The Hideaway Inn by Philip William Stover (available now!)
  • The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron (available now!)
  • Just Like That by Cole McCade (available now!)
  • Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available now!)
  • The Love Study by Kris Ripper (available now!)
  • The Secret Ingredient by KD Fisher (available now!)
  • Just Like This by Cole McCade (available now!)
  • Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love by Kim Fielding (available now!)
  • Knit, Purl, A Baby and a Girl by Hettie Bell (coming March 30)
  • The Hate Project by Kris Ripper (coming April 27)
  • Hard Sell by Hudson Lin (coming May 25)

Spotlight – Like You Love Me

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Like You Love Me, an all-new sweet small-town standalone romance in the Honey Creek series from USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke, is available now!

*****

Like You Love Me

Honey Creek series

by Adriana Locke

Blurb:

Two childhood friends are playing house—and maybe playing for keeps—in USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke’s funny, sexy, and unpredictable marriage-of-convenience romance.

To save her Tennessee bed-and-breakfast, Sophie Bates needs a fast-cash miracle. Holden McKenzie, her childhood best friend, needs to prove to a prospective employer that he’s a committed man. Their fortunes on the line, Holden proposes…a solution.

He’ll take care of Sophie’s bills if she agrees to a temporary marriage of convenience. And why not? They’re comfortable together, they have fun, and they trust each other. It’s as simple as saying “I do.” But the off-the-cuff wedding has all of Honey Creek talking—and Sophie and Holden realizing that their perfect arrangement is working too well. If they’re not careful, this marriage could turn into a love story.

Download your copy or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3oWWqXM

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LikeYouLoveMe

*****

Excerpt:

“This Chad guy sounds like a real champ,” he says.

“I’m the moron that married him.”

I pick at the edge of the table to keep from meeting his eyes.

Chad was not my best work. Not my best choice, or the greatest guy I’ve ever dated, nor am I proud that I went through with the whole thing. But I did it and I can’t change it. I need to figure out how to accept all that.

“I’m sure you had great intentions,” Holden says.

“I did. Want to know how deep his intentions ran?” I strum my fingers against the tabletop as I look up at him. “He left me by sticking a note to the kitchen table with a dollop of strawberry jelly.”

I blow out a breath and regret word-vomiting all that. It was too deep. Too raw and real. Opening up to Holden is too easy, and I probably just ruined the mood.

He watches me for a few seconds before grinning. “He didn’t even use grape? Rude.”

I smile, relieved that he didn’t dig deeper. “Right? He didn’t even use grape on his sandwiches.”

“Big red flag right there,” he says, pointing a finger my way.

“You know, Gramma always said not to marry a man that cuts the crusts off his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

“And why is that?”

“Because that’s an indication that someone doesn’t like boundaries. Guess I should’ve listened to her. He even cut the crusts off his grilled cheese.”

He gasps, his jaw falling to the table in mock horror. “That’s serial-killer shit right there.”

“Hey, I don’t know what he’s been doing the last couple of years of his life.” I take a napkin from the dispenser. “You might be right.”

“So why did you marry him? You didn’t get serial-killer vibes from the start?”

It’s a question I’ve asked myself a million times, because down deep, I knew it wasn’t right for me. I just ignored my gut and did it anyway.

*****

Author Info:

USA Today, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, four sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Nf4JjE

Instagram: https://bit.ly/36Xb76f

Facebook: http://bit.ly/3d4UXeP

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3jCwPBo

BookBub: http://bit.ly/3d4Vai7

Website: https://adrianalocke.com

Stay up to date by subscribing to Adriana’s Newsletter:

http://bit.ly/NewsletterAddy

~

 

Spotlight – Love in Moments

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Love in Moments, an all-new beautiful and stirring love story and second book in the Love Distilled series from bestselling author Scarlett Cole is available now!

*****

Love in Moments

Love Distilled series

by Scarlett Cole

Blurb:

Swedish hockey player, Anders “Iceberg” Berg, is counting the days until he’s an unrestricted free agent and can land the contract he’s worth. Yet, instead of recovering and resting at home so he can play to impress his dream organization, he’s in Denver for his brother’s wedding at a gin distillery, watching the pretty brunette who organized the whole thing. 

Olivia Dyer can’t wait to put the year behind her. Her father died, and the event hall she ran at her family’s distillery was destroyed. The cost to the business and her mental health more than she could ever afford to repay. Rebuilding both takes all her effort leaving little time for anything else. Except for a single night of fun with the hot hockey player who’s been watching her every move. 

When a kitchen catastrophe throws Anders and Liv together, it ends with an evening neither of them can forget. It was only meant to be one night. But when Anders is unexpectedly traded to see out the rest of his contract with the Denver Rush, and his plans to leave as quickly as possible are disrupted by the sultry brunette who defines courage, their only option is to give to the attraction they feel for one another.

Yet with Liv stuck in the past and Anders firmly focused on the future, can they put aside their differences and allow themselves to find love in the present?

“Count on Scarlett Cole to give you everything you want in romance!”
–Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author.

Download your copy today!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/3nhmGKZ
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LoveinMoments
Apple Books: http://apple.co/2Lcz29Q
Nook: http://bit.ly/2KNueYJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/3rQ92BZ
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2KW6y4f

Add Love in Moments to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3omwxAx

*****

Excerpt:

She hadn’t felt this turned on in…hell, she’d never been this turned on. And, as a woman with an ex who had repeatedly told her that she was ‘hard to get off’, the news that she could get so close so quickly was new. 

But as the thoughts hit her, she lost the feeling, lost the edge she was riding. 

“What?” Anders said, suddenly. 

“It’s nothing.” She tried to find where she was, trying to find her way back to the woman in the mirror about to ride out an orgasm thanks to the man behind her. 

Anders slid his fingers from her underwear and outrageously slipped them into his mouth. “This,” he said. “It’s honesty. Your body can’t lie about being turned on.” He turned her to face him. “Answer me honestly, Älskling, where did you go?” 

Her cheeks burned red with a heat she could feel, but for some reason, she felt the urge to be completely honest with Anders. If it all went south, she wouldn’t need to see him again anytime soon. 

Embarrassment raged within her, but she had nothing to lose. She looked down at her shoes, but his erection obstructed her view, making her wish the ground would open up and swallow her whole. “I was right there with you, and then a voice from the past reminded me that I’m not the…I’m not the kind of…that I don’t…” 

“Don’t what?” 

“I don’t come easily. And I was so close, but…” 

Anders stepped back and for a moment, she thought he was going to tell her to forget the night and send her home, but then he reached for her chin and tipped her face to look straight at him. 

“Keep your eyes on me.” He let go of her chin and removed his jacket. He threw it over the chair near the door and then began to open the buttons on his shirt. “You know what defines a professional athlete? An Olympian?” 

Olivia shook her head. “Being the best at the sport?” she offered weakly. 

Anders shrugged. “Yes. But it is so much more than that. It requires massive reserves of physical stamina.” He pulled the shirt from his trousers and slipped his arms from the sleeves.  

Holy-freaking-Christ-on-a-cracker. His body was Michelangelo-level perfection. Chiseled, muscular, a smattering of chest hair, and dear lord… his pants hung low on his waist. How could he even think they were on the same playing field? The orgasm she’d been close to disappeared completely. 

She bit her lip as he reached for his belt and removed it in one swift move. “And on top of physical stamina, there is a mental toughness, a don’t-quit-no-matter-what-the-costs mentality. With those two, you can do anything.” 

Anders unbuttoned his trousers, lowered the zipper, and then, after kicking off his shoes and socks, he let them and his underwear slide to the ground.  

“Oh my gosh. Your leg.” She reached for him. The bruise spread across his hip and thigh. 

Anders gripped her hand, holding it away from him. “It’s fine, Olivia. It doesn’t hurt. You know what does though?” His erection was hard and heavy, thick and long. “This.” He grasped it, and she felt the feelings of arousal begin to bubble to the surface again. 

For a moment, he didn’t say another word. He just stood in front of her, lazily palming his cock. A slow back and forth motion. Then he approached her like a wolf about to eat its prey. “Tonight, sweet Olivia, I’m going to use every ounce of physical stamina and mental toughness to do whatever it takes to make you come and come often. I’m going to drive out of your mind the reckless words of a man who didn’t realize you were worth every effort, and that every orgasm you found at his hands was even more precious than if it had been given easily. You are a challenge that I am going to spend the rest of this night conquering.”

*****

Author Info:

Scarlett Cole is a contemporary romance author that calls both Toronto, Canada and Manchester, England home. A born city dweller, she periodically quashes the urge to live in the country by hiking up a mountain to remind herself that living away from people would terrify the pants off her. 

She believes everybody deserves their love story to be told and loves her heroes on the rough and rugged side…and usually tall (because she married one of those 6ft 6” men you read about in romance!). She’s an A-type personality and Scorpio star sign, so good luck getting her to do anything she doesn’t want to.  

When she isn’t writing, she’s happy to talk hot men and expensive shoes while drinking a cold gin and tonic. Don’t bring up olives. As far as Scarlett is concerned, they are the devil’s food. As long as you don’t bring up olives, she’s happy to hear from any time.

Contact Scarlett

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2JECgm1
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3naEw1S
Instagram: https://bit.ly/2KW4Yzl
Twitter: https://bit.ly/3n4RJtj
BookBub: http://bit.ly/353WPQ2
Website: http://www.scarlettcole.com

Sign up for newsletter: http://bit.ly/2KW5k99

*****

Spotlight – Back in the Texan’s Bed

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He’s going to claim his child and the woman who got away…from USA TODAY bestselling author Naima Simone.

*****

Back in the Texan’s Bed

Texas Cattleman’s Club

by Naima Simone

Price: $5.25

ON-sale date: 09/02/2021

ISBN: 9781335232700

Blurb:

Will they ever learn that giving in to desire is playing with fire?

After discovering he has a secret son, oil heir Ross Edmond isn’t letting Charlotte Jarrett walk away again. He proposes they move in together—to share their son…and a bed. But Charlotte has secrets, and Ross doesn’t know the real reason his family’s former chef left town three years ago—and they still have a powerful enemy who could bring them both down…

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335232700_back-in-the-texans-bed.html 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/back-in-the-texans-bed-naima-simone/1137354162?ean=9781335232700&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Booksamillion: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335232700?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=08f43aec1abb11eb807201680a24060e 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Back-Texans-Texas-Cattlemans-Club-ebook/dp/B08D6QGZM6/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Back+in+the+Texan%27s+Bed+%28Texas+Cattleman%27s+Club%3A+Heir+Apparent%2C+1%29&linkCode=gs3&qid=1604067617&sr=8-1&tag=haperpublican-20 

Indie bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335232700

*****

Excerpt:

Love.

Russell “Ross” Edmond Jr. sipped his scotch, relishing the smoky flavor with hints of caramel, fruit and a bite of salt, while staring out the window of the Texas Cattleman’s Club meeting room at the beautiful couple currently wrapped around each other in a passionate embrace.

Ezekiel Holloway and Reagan Sinclair—Reagan Holloway now—had caused quite a scandal in Royal, Texas, some months ago when they’d eloped to Vegas against her family’s wishes. Especially since Zeke’s own family had been embroiled in a dirty criminal investigation that involved embezzlement and drug smuggling. But that had all been cleared up, their reputation restored, and now the newlyweds were living out their happily-ever-after. 

Ross barely contained a derisive snort. Sure, the two appeared enamored and, yes, happy. The married couple kissed as if Ezekiel was heading off to sea for a months-long absence. Ross would say they were in love. Or, at least, they believed they were.

Unfortunately—or fortunately, in his opinion—he wasn’t a devout disciple at the altar of the emotion that seemed like a convenient excuse for people to lose control, validate idiotic behavior or justify satisfying any impulsive desire.

What did he believe in?

Raising his glass to his mouth again, he turned from the view of the couple and surveyed the elegantly appointed room. Due to recent renovations at the Club, the design was less dark wood and stone, and now boasted brighter colors, larger windows and higher ceilings. Yes, the hunting trophies and historical artifacts still adorned the walls, and the stables remained, as did the pool and tennis courts. Yet, now the Club had a day care and sported painted murals, as well. The whole effect exuded a warmth that had been missing before.

But it all still conveyed wealth. Influence. Exclusivity.

And those ideals he trusted.

Money and power. They could be counted, measured, handled, manipulated, if need be, and were unfailingly consistent.

They’d never let him down.

Unlike people. Unlike love.

Hell, he couldn’t even keep the sneer out of his inner voice.

“Ross, get over here,” Russell Edmond Sr. boomed as if Ross stood farther out in the club’s entryway instead of just several feet away from him. “Do that brooding shit on your own time. We have business to attend to.”

Rusty. Oil mogul. Texas Cattleman’s Club member. Tycoon. All things people called Russell Edmond Sr. Whereas Ross considered him brilliant, ruthless, domineering. And, on occasion, manipulative bastard.

They all fit.

With his tall, wide-shouldered and athletic build that had only gone a little soft around the middle, dark hair dusted with silver at the temples and intelligent, scalpel-sharp gray eyes, Rusty still possessed a powerful physique and commanded respect. Ross strode over to the long, cedar conference table, his gaze fixed not on his father but on the thin stack of documents in the middle of the table. His heart thumped against his sternum in anticipation. To others, those ordinary sheets of paper might seem innocuous. But to him?

Independence. Autonomy.

Identity.

Yes, this deal included the financial and marketing backing of The Edmond Organization, but this project—the luxury food, art and wine festival called Soiree on the Bay, which was to be held on a small, private island—was his baby. Well, more aptly, it was a baby that belonged to him, his siblings, Gina and Asher, and his best friend, Billy Holmes. But for the first time, he wasn’t a figurehead wearing the Edmond name and the ineffectual title of executive. Wasn’t a puppet tasked with carrying out Rusty-given orders. Wasn’t just the useless playboy son riding the coattails of his daddy’s success and reputation. 

With this project, this event, he would finally step out from under his father’s shadow and show everyone he hadn’t just inherited the Edmond name—he’d earned it. Ross would play an integral role in raising the bar, in solidifying and expanding their legacy as he elevated The Edmond Organization from the national stage to the international one. Something even Rusty hadn’t managed to do in the company’s history.

But Ross would.

And in the process, maybe earn that thing that had eluded him the entire twenty-eight years he’d been Rusty’s son—approval.

Again, not love. Men like his father believed in that emotion even less than Ross did. Just ask Rusty’s four ex-wives.

Just ask his children.

“So this is it? The final contract?” Ross set his tumbler down on the table, trying not to stare down at the documents as if they were the Holy Grail and he a Texas version of Indiana Jones.

“This is it,” Billy Holmes, his college friend and future business partner, said, grinning. “The last step before Soiree on the Bay moves from dreams to reality.”

“Dreams,” Rusty scoffed. “Dreams are for men who don’t have the balls to get out there and pursue what they want.”

*****

Author Info:

USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Published since 2009, she spends her days writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. She is wife to Superman–or his non-Kryptonian equivalent–and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern US.

Website: http://naimasimone.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naimasimoneauthor/?ref=bookmarks

*****

Spotlight – The Vineyard at Painted Moon

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There is just something warm and comforting about a book by Susan Mallery. I get a little bit happier just holding one in my hands.

*****

The Vineyard at Painted Moon

by Susan Mallery

Blurb:

Step into the vineyard with Susan Mallery’s most irresistible novel yet, as one woman searches for the perfect blend of love, family and wine.

Mackenzie Dienes seems to have it all—a beautiful home, close friends and a successful career as an elite winemaker with the family winery. There’s just one problem—it’s not her family, it’s her husband’s. In fact, everything in her life is tied to him—his mother is the closest thing to a mom that she’s ever had, their home is on the family compound, his sister is her best friend. So when she and her husband admit their marriage is over, her pain goes beyond heartbreak. She’s on the brink of losing everything. Her job, her home, her friends and, worst of all, her family.

Staying is an option. She can continue to work at the winery, be friends with her mother-in-law, hug her nieces and nephews—but as an employee, nothing more. Or she can surrender every piece of her heart in order to build a legacy of her own. If she can dare to let go of the life she thought she wanted, she might discover something even more beautiful waiting for her beneath a painted moon.

GoodreadsAmazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

*****

Excerpt:

Chapter Six 

According to Stephanie’s research, the Marington family had been making cheese in eastern Washington for about a hundred years. The milk used to make the cheese came from local cows and nearly half of it was certified organic. They had a good reputation for quality and taste, and from what she could tell, they were looking to expand their brand beyond the local markets and specialty stores. The fourth-generation Maringtons, fraternal twins Jack and Jill—Stephanie had confirmed the unfortunate names—were using social media to make that happen, and they were looking for someone to help with that. 

To that end Stephanie had spent the past week studying the company and researching the market. She had three solid campaign ideas and a lot of numbers on cheese consumption, market entry and partnerships. Her plan was to dazzle and get the job offer of her dreams. The fact that the thought of telling her mother she was leaving Bel Après made her slightly sick to her stomach was something she was going to have to ignore. She needed more than she had, and the only way to make that happen was to be proactive. She was hopeful and nervous, but mostly hopeful. 

After parking in front of the low, one-story building, she gave herself a twenty-second pep talk, grabbed her handbag and briefcase, and walked inside.

 There was no receptionist. Just an open space with a couple of chairs and a hallway leading to several offices. She couldn’t see or hear anyone, which made her wonder if she’d gotten the date or time wrong. She called out, “Hello?”

 “Hey, Stephanie?” A tall, slim man walked out of one of the offices. He smiled when he saw her. “Right on time. I’m Jack.” 

They shook hands. 

Jack had blond hair and blue eyes. His features weren’t unattractive, but there was something very bland about his appearance. 

“Good to meet you,” he said. “Come on back and let’s talk.” 

She followed him into a cluttered office. Papers were stacked everywhere, including on the only visitor’s chair. She waited while he cleared that, trying not to flinch as she inhaled the smell of what could only be called bad cheese. 

“There you go.” He took the seat on the other side of the desk, glanced at his computer screen, frowned, then turned his attention to her. 

“You work at Bel Après,” he said. “That’s wine. I’m not much of a wine drinker myself, but I know enough to put together a pairing. We send out suggestions of what wines to drink with our cheeses. Our customers like that sort of thing.” He stared at her intently, his pale blue eyes watering slightly. “Wine is easy, just so you know. Cheese is hard. I hope you understand that.”

 She had no idea what to say to that comment, so she settled on a faint smile and nod.

 “We’re looking to grow the company,” he said. “Find different markets, have a bigger online presence. Our cousin Bing has been doing our website. He’s a great kid. Computers are his thing, but he doesn’t always take care of everything, you know.” 

“Kid?” Stephanie asked faintly. “As in, he’s young?” 

“Fourteen. He took over the website when he was eleven. He prefers robotics, but family is family, right?” 

Stephanie was saved from having to respond to that by the sound of footsteps in the hall. Seconds later a woman walked into the office. A woman who looked exactly like Jack. Same features, same coloring, same size, same blue shirt and khaki pants. They were identical—except for the whole man-woman thing. 

“I’m Jill,” the woman said, moving papers off the credenza and sitting there. “You’re here about the marketing job, aren’t you?” 

“Yes.” 

Jill looked at her brother, her expression peevish. “I’ve told you, I can handle it.”

 Jack shook his head. “We’ve been over this. We need someone with training.”

 “Oh, please. So she has a college degree. Big whoop. I can do the job in my sleep.” 

“And yet you don’t.”

 “I’m going to tell Dad what you’re up to.” 

Jack offered Stephanie a tight smile. “You’ve worked in a family company, so you understand the push-pull dynamics, I’m sure.” 

Jill turned to Stephanie. “Are you married?”

 “I…what?” 

“Married. A lot of women try to work here because they want to marry Jack. That’s not going to happen. He’s not going to be interested in you. He doesn’t need you in his life. He has me.” 

Okay, so now the creep factor was a bigger deterrent than the cheese smell. Whatever hope she’d had crashed to the ground and crawled away. If the interview was going this badly, there was no chance the job was going to work out.

 “Jill, come on. She’s not here to marry me. She wants a job.” He looked at Stephanie. “Why do you want to leave Bel Après?”

 “I wanted to challenge myself with something new. Your expansion plans are exciting, and I was thinking I could help with that.” 

At least she had been thinking that. Now she was much less sure.

 Jill stood up. “You’re not right for the job. I don’t care what Jack says. You can’t have it.” 

Jack glared at her. “This is my interview, not yours. You don’t get to say.”

 “I get as much say as you get. We’re equal partners. Besides, you know what Mom and Dad are going to think. They don’t like outsiders. I don’t know why you even brought her in for the job.” Jill looked at Stephanie. “You’re not going to get it.” 

“Okay, then.” Stephanie rose and smiled at both of them. “Thank you so much for your time. Good luck with the expansion.” 

With that, she walked out the way she’d come. Once in her car, she breathed in non-cheese-smelling air and told herself at least there was a bright side. She’d wasted—she glanced at her watch—only eight minutes of her life, not counting the research she’d done and, hey, the drive over. But better to know now rather than quit and take the job only to discover she couldn’t make it work. 

Which all sounded great but didn’t shake her sense of disappointment. She hadn’t even had a practice interview. Walla Walla wasn’t a big town, so there weren’t a lot of marketing jobs available, especially with her excluding the wine industry. So she was back to where she’d started—working for her mother and wishing for something more. 

*****

Author Info:

No.1 New York Times 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Check out the rest of the tour
https://tlcbooktours.com/2020/11/susan-mallery-author-of-the-vineyard-at-painted-moon-on-tour-january-february-2021/

Spotlight – The Cowgirl’s Surprise Match

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Crespo’s newest, about a fake relationship starting to feel a bit too real, is definitely going to the top of my TBR pile!

*****

The Cowgirl’s Surprise Match

by Nina Crespo 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

A sweet charade takes an unexpected turn!

Dearly beloved, we are (not) gathered together…Maid of honor Zurie Tillbridge has been working secretly with best man Mace Calderone to plan her cousin Tristan’s wedding to a well-known actress. To keep their wedding plans from leaking to the press, Zurie and Mace must pretend they are the ones getting married. Cake tasting and flower arranging seem like harmless fun…until wary workaholic Zurie realizes she’s feeling something real for her fake fiancé…

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

 Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo | Google

Free preview

*****

Excerpt:

As he approached the far end of the parking lot, his headlights illuminated Zurie’s Mercedes in her reserved space. She was just getting out of her car.

Mace backed in beside her, turned off the engine and got out of the truck.

Lights from the porch of the guesthouse helped lessen the shadows.

Surprise and something he couldn’t place was on Zurie’s face. “Mace, what are you doing here?”

“You forgot something.”

“What?”

“An explanation for why you kissed me.”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

Not in the mood to guess or try to figure her out, he got straight to the point. “No. It isn’t. You either liked kissing me or you didn’t. Which is it?”

“Does it matter? You said it was no big deal.” She gave a shrug of indifference, but the slight hitch in her voice indicated the opposite.

“I know I said that, but I was wrong.” Mace stepped closer to Zurie. “You kissing me, it matters.”

“That kiss. It can’t happen again.”

“If that’s what you want.”

“She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Why did you have to follow me?”

Chances. He’d taken more than his share in his life. But answering her question was one of the biggest ones yet. “I liked kissing you. And I wanted you to know that.”

Her long lashes raised from her cheeks, and what they revealed took his breath away. Before he could recover, she gripped his arms and sealed her mouth to his. As she parted her lips, he glided in, tasting the desire he’d witnessed a minute ago in her eyes. 

His heart went haywire.

Mace curved his hands to her waist, bringing her closer, and need hummed through his veins as he explored the curves and hollows of her mouth.

If only he had more time.

*****

Author Info:

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.

Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.

Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

Stay connected with Nina on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or through her newsletter.

Instagram | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bookbub

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Giveaway:

$15 Amazon Giftcard
Signed copy of THE COWGIRL’S SURPRISE MATCH & COWBOY’S CLAIM Coffee Mug

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb918/

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