Posted in 5 paws, Review, romance on February 20, 2018

Synopsis

Greta loves her job as an assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single.

Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local café where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts than in his face-to-face conversation.

When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a “battle of the bands” book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows.

Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?

Check Me Out is a contemporary romance–with just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac–that reminds us that it is what’s on the inside that matters most.

Review

This was such an enjoyable book.  The crux of the story (to me) was the fate of our public libraries.  Larger cities are blessed to have wonderful libraries but smaller towns might have problems keeping them open if they do not have a large town base.  In this story, the Franklin Library is on the verge of being shut down because it cannot be made ADA compliant. The library is housed in a historic home with lots of charm and character, but if you know anything about those older homes, they weren’t built with wheelchairs in mind.  So Greta takes this as a personal challenge to make sure the taxpayers vote for the bond to build a new library.  Some of her methods are a bit crazy, but she is passionate and will do whatever it takes to keep her job and the library open.

The story also has a local history aspect.  It seems that whenever someone dies all of their papers end up at the library.  So Greta, with the help of Will, is tasked with sorting through the boxes and digitizing the photos and documents.  In the midst of all the documents, she comes across a Dr Silver who was something of a radical for his time and helped end segregation in their town in Ohio.  However, she can’t find any information about him after that time period and it sets her on a quest to figure out what happened to him.  She even admits to having a historical crush on him.  This story has a nice ending but I’m not going to say how she finds Dr Silver.

The romance was delightful, perhaps a bit predictable, but it unfolded nicely.  Greta apparently asks for something on her birthday each year and Will gives her whatever it is despite how hard it might be to come up with her wish.  Apparently this year she wished for the perfect man, handsome with the soul of a poet.  Will being Will, he introduces her to his cousin who is very handsome and seems to be saying all the right things.  But everyone else knows the truth about Mac and his words, how long will it take Greta to figure it out?  I’m sure you can guess where this is going but I’m not going to spoil it for you.

We loved this book and suggest reading it especially if you are about saving the libraries…just don’t go to some of the lengths that Greta did in this story!

We give this 5 paws up.

 

 

 

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 20, 2018

 

The Nobleman’s Daughter by Jen Geigle Johnson

England, 1819

While British high society primps and plays, the impoverished citizens of London languish. But there are those fighting for the freedom of common citizens—including two members of the aristocracy who secretly champion revolution. In the drawing rooms of the upper class, Lady Amanda and Lord Nathaniel flirt and tease with the best of them as she pretends to win every heart in London for sport, and he, to conquer them. But in truth, their flirtation is merely a façade designed to keep their clandestine actions hidden from the ton— and from each other. When Nathaniel presents himself as a potential suitor, the attraction between the two is undeniable—but the faces they portray to the world are not enough to win each other’s hearts.

When their crusade for London’s poor unites them more deeply than they could imagine, Amanda and Nathaniel struggle to trust one another with their true ideals and identities. But when the call to action leads Amanda into the path of danger, she can only hope that Nathaniel will see through her frivolous pretense. Because now, only the aid of the suitor she loves most—but trusts least—can save her.

 

 

“This book touched me in a personal way.” “intrigue and mystery from the first sentence of the story.” “Excellent Debut novel by Jen Geigle Johnson. Love the depth of the characters that grab ahold of you and won’t let go. Not your typical romance tale.”

 

 

While British high society primps and plays, the impoverished citizens of London languish. But there are those fighting for the freedom of common citizens—including two members of the aristocracy who secretly champion revolution. In the drawing rooms of the upper class, Lady Amanda and Lord Nathaniel flirt and tease with the best of them as she pretends to win every heart in London for sport, and he, to conquer them. But in truth, their flirtation is merely a façade designed to keep their clandestine actions hidden from the ton—and from each other. When Nathaniel presents himself as a potential suitor, the attraction between the two is undeniable—but the faces they portray to the world are not enough to win each other’s hearts.

While their crusade for London’s poor unites them more deeply than they could imagine, Amanda and Nathaniel struggle to trust one another with their true ideals and identities. But when the call to action leads Amanda into the path of danger, she can only hope that Nathaniel will see through her frivolous pretense. Because now, only the aid of the suitor she loves most—but trusts least—can save her.

 

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

 

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/10/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 17, 2018

A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne

A Jane Austen-inspired Pirate Romance

Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!

When Sophie’s sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect. Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.Danielle Thorne’s book A Pirate at Pembroke is up for nomination in the Kindle Scout Contest.

Please vote for her book!

If Kindle Scout selects A Pirate at Pembroke for publication you’ll get a copy of the book for free!

 

Excerpt

The sad sonata continued its siren’s call. It echoed a passionate and haunting melody, just like the dark halls of Pembroke with its soiled paintings of aristocrats from long ago. Sophie examined the chamber doors through the gloom and decided the door to the second room on the left was slightly ajar with a dim light shimmering around it. She moved in silence to the small gap and caught her breath.

Captain Murdock stood in front of a languid fire burning beneath a marble mantel. One bare foot was balanced on a low, milking stool nestled up against a heavy, velvet-covered chair. The other kept time on the floor. With his cane leaning against the fireplace, Murdock stood balanced on his own. In his hands, a violin tucked underneath his chin swayed. It moved in time with his body as he performed a strange dance to the music. His profile in the firelight was sharp and clear. He stood slender and tall. In these private bedchambers, half-dressed in loose buckskin breeches and an untucked shirt open at the neck, he did not seem as rigid and menacing as before. From his dreamy stare, his thoughts were somewhere inside the flickering blue and orange flames. The reflection of the firelight made his pale eyes glow.

Sophie noticed his hair was undone. It hung far past his neck, with slight waves resting on his broad upper back on either side of his shoulders. She put a hand to her mouth realizing it had fallen open, and at the same time, that it was scandalous to spy on her host. She swallowed and stepped away. The music stopped in mid-cry. Her heart jumped in her chest, and for a brief pause, the only sound to be heard was her own loud breathing. She stepped back and pivoted on her heel.

Horrified he might have felt her examination, she strode down the rug-lined hallway as quietly as she could, but each footfall sounded like muffled thunder as she hurried back to the stairs. She reached the banister and slipped down the first step, but her shift snagged on something, and she spun about to free it.

Captain Murdock stood behind her, silent. He held a handful of her shift in his fist. She had not snagged it after all. Rather, he had snagged her. She jerked in surprise, but his hold kept her from falling backward and tumbling down the stairs. His other hand trembled as it balanced precariously on a carved dragon head at the top of his cane.

“What do you think you are doing?”

“I… I heard music and followed it.”

His eyes blazed with accusation, and it unnerved her.

“I’m so sorry,” she said in a choking voice. Her nose tingled again. She touched it with her fingers to make it stop.

“It’s not possible you heard music from all the way down in your room.”

Sophie took a nervous breath. He stood there, one step above her like a giant, her bedclothes gripped in his hand so tight it shook. She hadn’t heard him shuffle down the hall after her. He moved as silent as a ghost when he wanted — even with a cane. She found the courage to meet his penetrating gaze. “I did hear something from my room. Then I was in the hall.”

Captain Murdock waited for a long pause, while the dust they had stirred up in the rugs pirouetted in the air and into Sophie’s eyes and nose. “You should not be out of bed,” he said.

Sophie swallowed down her frightened apprehension. She tried to beg his pardon, but her lungs failed her, and she coughed in reflex. She covered her mouth with her fingers. “I’m so sorry,” she repeated between them, her cheeks hot with humiliation. She stared at the fistful of her garments he’d snatched, aware his eyes examined her from her straight, waist-length hair down to her naked ankles. With a jerk, he dropped her shift like it burned his hand.

“Go to bed,” he said in a quiet voice.

Sophie’s nose had not quit tingling and itching. “Yes, sir,” she said at once, but not soon enough to keep a sneeze from erupting. It came so fast and without warning, she had no chance to catch it before it doused him with all her rejection.

Horrified, she stumbled down the next step, thankful the old handrail held fast. When she glanced back, he was wiping off his shirt with a look of disgust.

 

 

Author Danielle Thorne

Danielle Thorne is the author of classic romance and adventure in several genres. She loves Jane Austen, pirates, beaches, cookies, antiques, cats, dogs, and long naps. She does not like phone calls or sushi. A graduate of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho, Danielle saw early work published by Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, and… you get the idea. Besides writing, she’s edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her growing blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on writing, life, and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, Danielle freelances as a non-fiction author while waiting to hear from readers like you through her website. During free time, which means when Netflix is down, she combs through feedback and offers virtual hugs for reviews. A Pirate at Pembroke is her newest release. Her non-fiction book, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming fall 2018.

Website * Blog * Twitter * Instagram

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 PayPal Cash

Ends 3/15/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 16, 2018

 

Gladly Beyond by Nichole Van

An ancient curse, fractured at the birth of three brothers.
Two strangers helplessly drawn to each other.
A love story two hundred years in the making.

Claire Raythorn arrives in Florence, Italy, shattered, alone, and anxious to rebuild her life—preferably one without men. But she soon finds herself hunted and haunted— literally—when a mysterious stalker dressed like Mr. Darcy from BBC central casting appears in her photos. And only her photos. Who is this man? And what does his ghostly presence mean?

Dante D’Angelo simply wants to safeguard his brothers, despite the family curse that hounds his vision. But then Claire Raythorn walks into his life, untouched somehow by his curse. Soon, everything Dante thought he knew about himself starts to unravel, dragging Claire down with him.

Set against the lush backdrop of Florence, Italy—both past and present—Claire and Dante fight for a future together. But, first, they must uncover their shared past . . .

The thing I like about Van’s writing is that she builds up the love between hero and heroine in plausible increments. I think that’s why I always end up reading her novels in one sitting until the early morning hours; I know that in the NEXT scene the characters are going to finally realize their love. But then you get to the next scene and you simply want more and more. And I mean that in the best possible way.

 

 

I’ve always thought Italian cities are like guys I knew in college:

Rome—the hot frat boy I was dying to go out with (and I did, and it was awesome). But, turns out, everyone dated Rome.

Naples—Rome’s frat house roommate. The guy on no sleep and his tenth can of Red Bull. No one messed with him cause he knew people who knew people . . . catch my drift . . .

Venice—the dreamily gorgeous philosophy major. Brilliantly eccentric but exotic enough that no one quite knew what to make of him.

Milan—the second-year MBA student who was big on power-ties and power-lunches. Basically, the organized guy who held everyone else together.

And then there was Florence.

Firenze, to those who knew him.

Quiet and unassuming. When we first met, I wondered what all the fuss was about.

But Firenze . . . he was a subtle seducer. If I asked, he could talk for hours about art and history. But, generally, Firenze simply listened. Peaceful. Steady. Ready to shoulder my sorrows.

Firenze is the guy I never got out of my system.

I hit the ground floor and took two steps toward the large wooden front door.

How would the next few weeks play out? Like being a contestant on Survivor? The Great Race?

A male voice stopped me. “Just the person I was waiting for.”

I closed my eyes.

Nope. Things were shaping up to be The Bachelorette.

Honestly.

Pasting on my polite grin, which truthfully was more of a grimace by this point, I turned around.

“Mr. D’Angelo.”

“Dante, please.” He stepped out of the shadows at the base of the stairs. A window in the stairwell illuminated half of him. Even that half was huge.

Whereas I looked down on Pierce and was eye-level with the Colonel, I had to look up, up at Dante. At five ten myself, it takes a lot to make me feel short. But he somehow managed it. He had to be at least six four and linebacker-wide. Did he play football in high school?

His dark, wavy hair had been smoothly slicked back when he arrived earlier. But I had watched it creep forward as the morning went along until a section of it came loose, swinging down to kiss his jaw. My fingers itched to brush it back.

Dante was the type of man I had always had a sweet tooth for. Until I learned, oh-so-painfully, how bad for my health they could be.

 

Love’s Shadow by Nichole Van

Branwell D’Angelo . . .
Six years ago, I fell in love with Lucy—my brother’s girlfriend. Stupid of me, I know, but sometimes the heart doesn’t listen to reason.
Six years, I’ve lived on the sidelines. Seeing him love her, be with her, bask in her sunshine . . .
I watched her break his heart and then cleaned up the shattered pieces of him she left behind.
She’s the one woman I can’t have but still the only one my soul wants.
Now she’s back in our lives and needs the unique help only us D’Angelos can give.
He’s not emotionally strong enough to face her. So he’s sending me instead . . .

When tragedy strikes Lucy Snow on a visit to Italy, she can’t bring herself to call any of the D’Angelo brothers for help. There are consequences for falling in love with your ex-boyfriend’s brother. But Lucy desperately needs Branwell’s paranormal skills and his gift of Sight. And if seeing him will negate at least three years of therapy? Well, it’s a price she is willing to pay.

Thrown together in a desperate bid to save an innocent life, Branwell and Lucy struggle against their shared past, only to realize that something even more dangerous is reaching through the weight of time to stalk their every move . . .

 

Oh. My. Gosh! The feels! The feels are real my fellow bookworms! My emotions were all over the place while reading this book! I laughed, I yelled, I got teary eyed, I growled in frustration, I let out little dreamy sighs and fell in love right along with Branwell and Lucy. I can’t even begin to describe the amazingness of this book! One of my favorite parts of this book are the sour “punny” bears! *giggles* Oh! I can’t forget about that epilogue! Love… love… LOVE! And talk about swoony! *dreamy sigh* I had the hardest time putting this book down! I have discovered a love/hate relationship with real life. Haha.

 

 

“Wait, wait. Don’t move,” a woman’s voice said.

I froze, fork hovered over a particularly decadent piece of strawberry laden gooey-ness.

I lifted my head and encountered the most amazing eyes. Blue-green and wide-set. The smell of lemon-verbena and sunshine drifted over me. That fiery red hair tumbled around the gentle curve of her jaw. Window-light sculpted the arch of her rosebud lips.

Freckles. Freckles everywhere. Stars dotting her skin.

She was . . . stunning. Magnificent. Breathtaking in an unconventional way.

Maybe it was the jet lag, or the sugar and caffeine hitting my system in a knockout one-two punch.

But . . . it jolted me hard. That bolt of lightning.

This girl . . . woman . . .

Something about her tugged at me. A siren call of wedding bells and growing old hand-in-hand.

Then I noticed her t-shirt—The Empurr Strikes Back scrawled underneath Star Wars-themed, anime kittens.

Yep. That sealed the deal.

I was going to fall in love with her. So hard. So fast.

“So what’s your brand of crazy?” she asked.

After a pause, I went with, “I won’t eat anything green unless it’s a vegetable.”

She cocked her head, processing.

A beat.

“Green M&M’s? Skittles? Gummy bears?” she asked.

“Nope. Leave ‘em all in the bag.”

“Green frosting? Sprinkles? Mold?”

“Nope. Nada. And please, no.”

“So why no green?” she asked, genuine, sincere.

I pondered options and then went with, “Non-vegetal green things are the charlatans of the food world.”

“That’s about the best sentence I’ve heard all week.” She gave that giggly, wispy laugh of hers. “What about avocados? I mean, they act like a vegetable, but they’re really a fruit.”

“Masquerading vegetables get a pass. So do herbs.”

“What about kiwi?”

“The jury is still out on kiwi. They’re something of a Franken-fruit, to be honest . . . all that fuzzy hair and the tiny, crunchy seeds.”

She laughed again. “Please tell me you have no Irish heritage. You would destroy any St. Patty’s Day celebration.”

“None.” I smiled, shaking my head. “Though, I did have an Irish roommate once. He thought I was, and I quote, ‘A wee bit mad.’”

 

Lightning Struck by Nichole Van

Chiara doesn’t like Jack. Jack doesn’t like Chiara.
The story should end there.
Except . . . maybe Chiara finds herself daydreaming far too often about Jack. And maybe Jack finds Chiara aggravating in an adorable sorta way.
Maybe Jack and Chiara find themselves falling in love.
The problem, of course, remains.
Jack is a ghost.
And Chiara is not.

Jack Knight-Snow has had a bad year for losing things. So far he has lost a ship full of ancient treasure, his family, his friends, his title, his lands and money, his fiancé, the century into which he was born . . . oh, and his physical body. Worse, feisty Chiara D’Angelo might just finish the job and make him lose his mind.

For her part, Chiara simply wants to help Jack get his body back and move on with his life. She doesn’t want to like his snarky humor or his gorgeous eyes or the way he accepts her exactly as she is. She’s a hot mess when it comes to romantic relationships. Case in point . . . she’s developing feelings for a ghost.

But tackling the problem of Jack’s ghostliness is not straightforward. Soon, Jack and Chiara find themselves embroiled in a mystery which creates more questions about the D’Angelo brothers’ gifts of Second Sight. Set against the backdrop of Tuscany, Italy, Jack and Chiara race to uncover answers about the past before becoming history themselves.

 

Nichole Van has hit paydirt yet again with this latest Brothers Maledetti book! Chiara’s story has swoonworthy romance that is 100% clean, as well as laugh out loud humor and superb storytelling to make up this amazing, unputdownable book! Although you don’t have to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one, I’d highly recommend reading them to get further backstory on the D’Angelo family and their talents. Nichole Van is one of the few authors on my “instant-buy” list and this latest installment is another reminder why. Five stars just don’t seem enough.

“Jack, we’re all concerned about you,” I said the words carefully, keeping my tone flat and not screechy like I felt. “We’ve been concentrating on trying to find answers for your ghost-like state, but I think the constant focus is hurting more than it’s helping. It’s like picking at a scab over and over, never allowing it to heal. Maybe it’s time to take a step back from our research.”

Jack paused, giving me his best Regency-era, Lord Knight stare.

I had a love/hate relationship with that stare—I hated that I kinda loved it. It was snooty with an edge of dry sardonic humor, and it challenged every womanly impulse in my body to kiss it off his face.

Not that I would do that, of course, even if it were possible. But the urge was there.

“Would you prefer me to continue my exploration of modern names?” he asked.

I bit my lip, unsure how to reply. It was a decent threat.

Jack had gone through this whole phase where he mocked contemporary celebrity names.

Example: Brittany Spears.

It had been days of, ‘Pardon Siri, but who are the Spears of Brittany?’ and ‘Are Brittany Spears similar to Celtic weaponry from northern France?’

“I have yet to understand why Ryan cares so much about goslings,” Jack continued. “Does he have a fetish for young poultry?”

See?!

Honestly.

 

 

Nichole Van is a writer, photographer, designer and generally disorganized crazy person. Though originally from Utah, she currently lives on the coast of Scotland with three similarly crazy children and one sane, very patient husband who puts up with all of them. In her free time, she enjoys long walks along the Scottish lochs and braes. She does not, however, enjoy haggis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/9/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 15, 2018

 

 

Bayside Wishes by Stacy Claflin

She’s guarding a family secret. He’s investigating a murder. Will a second homecoming lead to true love?

Freya Hunter is living the fabulous life. The west-coast girl rakes it in as a fashion model in New York City, but everything changes after she returns home for a quick visit.

The reunion with friends and family in Enchantment Bay is sweet, especially when she hits it off with Nico Valentin, a ruggedly handsome police sergeant. As Nico investigates the death, Freya learns a family secret big enough to turn her world upside down.

Freya is torn between her new life and her hometown — the life she loves vs. the brother who needs her and the sergeant who wants her. When her decision doesn’t go nearly as well as she planned, she wonders if she can help her brother and keep her growing feelings for Nico at bay before they consume her.

Nico put the tickets in his wallet for safekeeping. “Sounds good to me.”
She took his hand and pulled him toward the stores. His pulse raced, but she didn’t seem to think anything of holding his hand.
A few people glanced at them, seeming surprised. Being on the force, he was well-known and he hadn’t been on a single date since moving to Enchantment Bay. And he’d definitely never been out with someone as attractive as Freya.
She stopped in front of a candle place. “You ever been in there?”
Nico held in a snort. “No. The only candle I own is for when the power goes out.”
Freya stared at him for a moment. “Seriously?”
“Just for emergencies.”
“You don’t know what you’re missing. Come on.” She yanked on his arm—she was stronger than she looked—and dragged him inside. An array of aromas hit him all at once. He couldn’t tell one from the other, but he liked the way they blended together.
Almost like the unexpected pairing of him and Freya.

 

 

Bayside Destines by Stacy Claflin

What do a fifteen-year-old pact, a fake engagement, and a stalker have in common? Audrey Hughes.

Audrey’s ex-boyfriend won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. A master manipulator and a violently selfish man, he’s decided Audrey is his property. And he’s determined to get her back. Forcibly, if necessary.

She flees to the one place she ever found ‘family’—to Enchantment Bay. More precisely, to Logan Hunter.

Logan is a successful attorney and consummate bachelor. His work is his wife, and that’s the only long-term relationship he sees for himself. Until a childhood sweetheart shows up and reminds him of the pact they made years earlier—to get married.

It surprises him that she remembered, stuns him that he’s intrigued, and shocks him to discover her reason for returning. He uses all his influence and connections to protect her, only to be the one who causes her unbearable pain and drives her away.

Can Logan find a way to keep Audrey safe, make things right, and mend both their broken hearts?

Shale glanced around and spoke in a low voice. “You sure your engagement is fake?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Logan frowned.
“I saw the way you two kept looking at each other during dinner.”
Logan stood taller. “We have to be convincing.”
“You kissed her twice when I was the only one in here. Twice, and I know it’s fake. Or at least that it’s supposed to be.”
Logan glared at him. “It is.”
“I was looking for signs that it is, but I didn’t see any. I just saw two people acting like they think the other was the best thing ever.”
“We are friends—we genuinely like each other. You’re reading too much into it.”
“Whatever you have to tell yourself.”

 

 

“Awesome storyline! Each book in the series gets better and better!” -Amazon Reviewer

“The combination of mild suspense, sweet romantic moments, and dramatic situations really engages the reader, as the flow of the story is steady and captivating. The characters are portrayed in ways that make them seem real–like true friends, with real strengths and weaknesses. I’m already looking forward to the rest of the series!” -Amazon Reviewer

 

 

USA Today bestselling author Stacy Claflin writes about complex women overcoming incredible odds. Whether it’s her Gone trilogy of psychological thrillers, her ongoing Transformed paranormal saga, or her Seaside Hunters sweet romance series, Stacy’s three-dimensional heroines shine through.

Decades after she wrote her first stories on construction paper and years after typing on an inherited green screen computer that weighed half a ton, Stacy realized her dream of becoming a full-time author.

When she’s not busy writing or educating her kids from home, Stacy enjoys watching TV shows like Supernatural, Haven, and Once Upon a Time.

 

 

 

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/8/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 14, 2018

Title: Love Game

Author: Maggie Wells

Series: Love Games, #1

ISBN: 9781492651499

Pub Date: February 6, 2018

Synopsis

These successful professionals may know something about sex…but discover they’re clueless about love.

She’s earned her position

Kate Snyder is at the top of her game. She scored her first national championship at Wolcott University in her undergrad days, and now she’s the coaching legend of the #1 college women’s basketball team. No one knows the meaning of the phrase “work your way up” better than Kate. So when the university hires a football coach trying to escape scandal—paying him a lot more than she earns—Kate is more than annoyed.

He just sailed into his

Danny McMillan had hoped for a smooth transition at Wolcott, but fiery Coach Snyder made that impossible. Every time he and Kate are in a room together, snark and sparks fly. Danny gets her frustration, but her pay grade isn’t his problem, right? When Kate and Danny finally see eye to eye, their sparks turn into something even hotter…and they need to figure out if this is more than just a game.

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Excerpt

He dared to stand there, in the athletic center built on the success of her program, and smirk at her. Like he’d accomplished something more than requiring a bunch of beefy boys to spend more time in the gym, when the only thing he ever did successfully was blow his entire career sky-high.

It was too galling.

She wouldn’t let him get to her. She couldn’t say anything. Not here, in front of his players and coaches.

Squaring her shoulders as if preparing to shoot a free throw, she raised her chin a notch. “Well, I hope it works out for you,” she said coolly. Turning to one of the players, she let her smile warm a few degrees. “I’m counting on you guys to make us Warriors proud.” Focusing her attention back on Danny, she let the smile drop. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m here for a quick workout.”

Brushing past him, she set her sights on the cardio units lined up at the far end of the training center. She nodded greetings to a couple of players huffing and puffing as they punished the elliptical machines, waved to one of the staffers seated on a recumbent bike, then tossed her towel over the rail of the last empty treadmill.

Jabbing at buttons until the belt whirred to a walking pace, Kate forced herself to draw deep, even breaths as she unraveled her earbuds and crammed them into her ears. Her player clipped to the hem of her tank, she tossed the wires down her back and upped the pace. By the time she hit a comfortable stride, the young man next to her slowed to a walk. Her machine rocked when he jumped off the belt and landed heavily on the side rails. She caught the apology he mouthed, then returned her gaze to the television mounted on the wall.

Someone claimed the machine beside her, but she was too absorbed in trying to lip-read what Greg Chambers and his cadre of NSN talking heads were gabbing about to pay much attention to her neighbor.

It wasn’t until the song’s driving beat faded into silence that she noticed the heavy footfalls and slightly uneven gait of the runner beside her. She pressed the pause button on her music and listened intently. With no more than a glimpse of his hand out of the corner of her eye, she knew who her new neighbor was.

Suddenly, the silence surrounding them grew more oppressive. She didn’t need to look to know they had an audience. A glance in McMillan’s direction confirmed her suspicions. A flood of unchecked fury rushed through her.

“I just wanted a run,” she muttered as she upped the ante and lengthened her stride. She’d gone three steps when she realized, too late, that he wasn’t wearing earbuds.

“Same goes,” he grumbled.

“I was here first,” she said through gritted teeth. “In every possible way.”

He shot her a scowl, then increased his speed to match hers. “I’ll go, but not before I’m done.” Blowing hard, he swiped an arm across his brow. “I try to get at least three miles a day. Don’t worry. I’ll be out of your way before they go to Sports Roundup.”

Kate glanced at the clock. The daily sports recap started at the bottom of the hour. If what he said held true, that meant old Danny could still run an eight-minute mile. Well, so could she, damn it. Increasing her speed again, she ignored the screeching pain in her bad knee and stretched her stride even further.

“Seriously?”

She didn’t look at him. Didn’t acknowledge his incredulous tone or the edge of accusation undercutting the simple question. “Seriously,” she replied.

About the Author

By day, MAGGIE WELLS is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. She has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order. She lives in Arkansas.

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Posted in Giveaway, romance on February 14, 2018

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We hope you are enjoying this month-long celebration of clean romance!

Today marks the halfway point of this event! There are currently over $300 in giveaways you can enter!

We still have 2 more weeks of great giveaways and amazing authors coming your way, but we wanted to throw in this bonus easy-to-enter $25 giveaway to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Taylor Dean

Rachelle Christensen

Jennifer Moore

Cindy Roland Anderson

Jennifer Griffith

Julie Coulter Bellon

Liz Isaacson

Taylor Hart

Stacy Claflin

Nichole Van

Jen Johnson

Becky Monson

Donna Weaver

Kimberley Montpetit

Giveaway Details

$25 in Paypal Cash or a $25 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 2/28/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via PayPal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 13, 2018

The Dream Groom by Taylor Hart

Scar Walker, professional football player and ex Navy Seal, only wanted to focus on getting his gym built for military vets while he was in San Diego. He didn’t want to take crap from his brother, he didn’t want to deal with a lippy waitress, and he really didn’t want random people calling him on the phone.

Shayla Castle came to San Diego to finally live out her childhood dream. When she accidentally calls the mysterious phone number left on her table while waitressing, she never anticipated it would be the handsome jerkface soldier who chewed her out that morning. It confuses her even more when the same jerkface shows up the next night and saves her from an attacker.

She never would have imagined she and soldier boy would start talking every night and she really never imagined he would convince her to let him do her bucket list together. After a hike at Torrey Pines, a helicopter ride, and surfing at Oceanside…she finds she just might be falling for this soldier boy.

When things get heated, she’s left with a choice—let go of the past or lose a new dream she was just starting to discover.

A sweet, fast, love story and an Adonis hero. Yumm!

My favorite of the Titan romances so far! Who can resist the nicknames, the code words, the bucket list, or the pillow talk?

Scar is simply a hero through and through. He may be my favorite hero of all time.

Scar and Shayla were fabulous together! I loved the fireworks that sparked when they met. Scar was tough on the outside with a heart of gold. Don’t miss this fast-paced, romantic story!

 

 

“What are you doing?” His words were stilted, and his discomfort made her relax more.
“I’m arguing the merits or justification that Juliet had for killing herself when she thought Romeo was dead.”
For a beat, he didn’t answer, like he was weighing his response on his tongue. “She was stupid. Plain and simple. Life is precious. Killing herself was a huge waste.”
Shayla disagreed. “She was in love. She was heartbroken.”
He barked out a laugh. “Life is worth more than love. She was reckless. She was too young to be messing around with a thug like Romeo. He shouldn’t have married her in the middle of the night. He would have gotten his throat cut if her father had known. That’s why he did it in the cloak of darkness.”
That was a valid argument, actually. She smiled. “Cloak of darkness, really? Should I put that in my paper?”
“Hey, I won’t complain if you feel the need to quote me.” His voice had gone husky.
Intrigued, she pushed aside her laptop and leaned against the back of her bed, thinking how this was getting interesting. “Why can’t you tell me about the scar now?”
He sighed. “You have no filter, do you, Kansas?”
The way he said “Kansas” sounded so good. Feeling a bit bad, she shook her head. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine. Seriously, another night. Let’s talk about your paper.”
“Sure.” She went back to the topic, even though she really wanted to know now. “Juliet had pledged her dying love to Romeo. Juliet trusted Romeo.”
“Still stupid and childish.”
“Was it? Because by Romeo’s actions we see that Romeo loved and trusted Juliet. He didn’t let it stand. She didn’t die by herself. He died too.”
He grunted. “So sacrifice for love is always worth it?”
“Always,” she said softly, feeling more convinced as she said it. “That’s why it was pretty awesome you jumped in to help me even though I don’t deserve it and you didn’t know me.”
“But I didn’t love you,” Scar pointed out. He said it so bluntly, she was thrown off balance. “I jumped in because I believe in humanity, goodness, honor, and duty.”
She found herself liking this man. A lot. “Love of country before love of self.”
“You do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “I had SEAL guys who proved that to me. Over and over.”
Her respect for him went up a notch. “You’re a SEAL?”
He cleared his throat. “Was. Got shot. Discharged with honors. I had the option of being regular military but turned it down.”
“What do you do currently?”
“Play football for the Texas Titans.”
This was unreal. She wasn’t really into football, but Jason had loved the Titans. “You play professional football?”
He scoffed. “I pretty much just get throttled most of the time. I’m on the practice team.”
She considered what SEALs did, then tried to imagine what it was like on the practice team. “So you’re obviously masochistic.”
He laughed.
“What are you doing in San Diego?”
He cleared his throat. “I’m actually in San Diego for three to four weeks working on a project to design a facility for military vets. It’s a program that focuses on helping vets through sparring. There will also be counselors to help them and a coffee shop where they can hang out. No one would show up just to be psychoanalyzed, but if we can get them in for sparring and socializing, we can really help the ones who need it.”
She cleared her throat. “I have to admit I’m a bit intimidated by you.”
“No,” he said, sounding shocked. “Don’t be.”
“How old are you?” she blurted, regretting the words as soon as they tumbled out. “Sorry, the no filter thing.” She cringed, knowing she sounded like an idiot and was grateful for the distance of the telephone while talking to him.
“Ah, you’re breaking my heart already, Shayla.”
Her heart rate kicked up a notch. Was he going to answer the question?
“I’m twenty-eight,” he said. “How old are you?”
“Twenty-one.”
He sighed. “Is that okay with you?”
Feeling uncertain, she said, “Yeah, that’s fine. I mean, whatever. It’s not like we’re dating or anything.”
He chuckled, a wonderful sound. “That dispels any intentions I had.”
Butterflies rushed through her and she knew she’d be blushing. Checking the time, she saw it was almost eleven-thirty. “I gotta go. Paper is due by midnight, and I still have to finish it.”
“Okay,” he said. “Can we talk tomorrow?”
Happiness surged through her. She pushed it away, not wanting to think it meant anything. He was way too old for her. “Sure.”
“Well, then, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

 

 

Taylor Hart has always been drawn to a good love triangle, hot chocolate and long conversations with new friends. Writing has always been a passion that has consumed her dreams and forced her to sit in a trance for long hours, completely obsessed with people that don’t really exist. Taylor would have been a country star if she could have carried a tune—maybe in the next life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/7/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Giveaway, romance on February 12, 2018

 

Giveaway

I am giving away a signed copy of Susan Mallery’s Second Chance Girl and some swag from her Girlfriend Getaway last September.  The swag will remain a mystery until the winner opens their package.

If you click on the cover you will be taken to my review of the book on Goodreads.  I gave it 5 stars

Open to US residents only due to shipping costs.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 12, 2018

 

 

Before the Leap by Liz Isaacson

The ranch foreman, a fiery new designer, and an old flame that could burn them both…

Jace Lovell only has one thing left after his fiancé abandons him at the altar: his job at Horseshoe Home Ranch. He throws himself into becoming the best foreman the ranch has ever had—and that includes hiring an interior designer to make the ranch owner’s wife happy.

Belle Edmunds is back in Gold Valley after she lost her job at a prestigious design firm in California. She’s working for a conglomerate, but she’s desperate to build a portfolio that she can use to start her own firm in Montana. She applies for the job at Horseshoe Home, and though Jace and Belle grew up together, they’ve never seen eye to eye on much more than the sky is blue.

The spark between them now that they’re adults can’t be denied, and as Jace and Belle attempt to work together, they also fight their growing attraction to each other. But Jace isn’t anywhere near forgiving his fiancé, and he’s not sure he’s ready for a new relationship with someone as fiery and beautiful as Belle. Can she employ her patience while he figures out how to forgive so they can find their own brand of happily-ever-after?

 

Praise for Second Chance Ranch, Book 1 in the Amazon #1 bestselling Three Rivers Ranch Romance series: “Isaacson artfully combines disparate threads in her contemporary Western Christian romance.” ~BookLife, Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved that both Jace and Belle are strong people dealing with vulnerabilities. Liz’s characters are real people! I appreciate how she described Jace’s emotional struggle resulting from being jilted as well as Belle’s desire for everything to look okay on the outside.Having read all of the Three Rivers Ranch series, I enjoyed the move to Montana, following Tom Lovell’s extended family.” ~Nerkalj, Amazon Reviewer

“A captivating story of love. A wonderfully clean romance that held my attention all the way through. The characters in this story are in real everyday situations where you hurt, and you lash out, and you hurt more because you did. True to life stories are the kind I like best. They help me deal with my own failings and feelings. With all that, these stories show that with God all things are possible, that He helps us heal. I highly recommend this book!” ~Barbara W., Amazon Reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three more interviews, and still Jace didn’t see something in the folders—or the applicants—he thought might fit at Horseshoe Home Ranch. Finally, only one folder remained on his desk. He didn’t bother to open it. All the designers had brought a copy of their designs for the different spaces on the ranch.

Landon opened the door and said, “Miss Belle.”

Jace snapped his head up, ice sinking through his chest, coating his lungs and internal organs in stiff blocks he’d never escape. Why hadn’t—?

“Well, look at you.” Belle strode forward, her luxurious auburn hair flowing behind her like a curtain. She’d pinned back only the very front, leaving the rest to frame her high cheekbones, her bright green eyes, and her very glossed lips.

Jace yanked his attention away from those lips, which had always intrigued him. “Look at me?” he asked, making a conscious effort not to reach up and smooth down his beard like he did when he wanted to look his best. “Look at you. What happened? Did Sacramento run out of red lipstick? You had to come all the way to Gold Valley to get stocked up?”

“Ha ha.” She swept him from head to toe. “I see you’re still wearing that ridiculous hat.”

“Everyone wears these hats,” he shot back. “We’re cowboys.”

“Yes, well, most decent men buy a replacement every few years.” She sniffed as she perched on the edge of the chair across from his desk and pulled a folder from her purse. No briefcase bag. No pretentious heels—Belle didn’t need them. She stood almost as tall as her brother, Landon.

The snake, Jace thought as he rounded the desk and took his seat. Landon should’ve told him his sister had applied. Growing up, Jace had never seen eye-to-eye with the redhead, though he did enjoy trading jabs with her when she visited from her hoity-toity job at a design firm in Sacramento.

Instead of focusing on her tight black jeans and flowing top of cobalt blue—which he thought made her hair look positively decadent—he flipped open the folder to check her address. “You moved back?”

She shrugged one shoulder, the silky blouse she wore slipping a little. “My parents are on a six-month service mission in Africa. I’m taking care of the house.”

He returned his gaze to the folder, which was safer than drinking in Belle’s curves. “Mm hm.” He’d heard that before. Pretty princess left home, and instead of admitting that the world had chewed her up, she came home “to take care of the house.”

“You must be tired.” Her tone, which someone less experienced than Jace could’ve misinterpreted to be sympathetic, caused him to abandon the folder.

“Why do you say that?” Jace knew Belle’s body didn’t actually house sympathetic bones, even though she dressed it up nice and sprayed intoxicating, lilac-scented perfume across her collarbone. His gaze dropped to that spot, and her golden skin made his blood run a little faster.

“You didn’t even make a joke about me taking care of the house.”

Jace opened his mouth to say something, but closed it when nothing came to mind. “It’s been a long day. Let’s get this over with.” With effort, he closed her folder and shoved his traitorous thoughts about Belle’s attractiveness to the back of his mind. “Did you bring your portfolio?”

 

 

Liz Isaacson is the pen name for USA Today bestselling author Elana Johnson as she writes inspirational romances. Her Three Rivers Ranch Romance series has multiple #1 bestsellers in half a dozen categories. She loves all things cowboys, and will write romance in Texas, Montana, and anywhere else she can find horses and mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/6/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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