Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 15, 2017

 

Title: Tangled in Texas

Series: Texas Rodeo, #2

Author: Kari Lynn Dell

Pub Date: February 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781492631972

Synopsis

It took 32 seconds to end his career.

But it only took 1 to change his life.

Thirty-two seconds. That’s how long it took for Delon Sanchez’s life to end. One minute he was the best bronc rider in the Panhandle and the next he was nothing. Knee shattered, future in question, all he can do is pull together the pieces…and wonder what cruel trick of fate has thrown him into the path of his ex, the oh-so-perfect Tori Patterson.

Tori’s come home after her husband’s death, intent on escaping the public eye. It’s just her luck that Delon limps into her physical therapy office, desperate for help. All hard-packed muscle and dark-eyed temptation, he’s never been anything but a bad idea. And yet, seeing him again, Tori can’t remember what made her choose foolish pride over love…or why, with this second, final chance to right old wrongs, the smartest choice would be to run from this gorgeous rodeo boy as fast as her boots can take her.

Amazon * Books-A-Million * Barnes & Noble * Chapters * iBooks * Indiebound

 

Sortin’ the Herd—How a Real Cowgirl Cuts Off the Strays

Nowadays pretty much anyone can pop online and order up a full set of cowboy duds to wear to their nearest rodeo. Which I think is awesome, by the way. The companies that sell those hats, boots and peart snap shirts are also the sponsors that keep my favorite sport in business. I’d be thrilled to pull into the next rodeo and see a Stetson or Resistol on every head, and Justin or Ariat boots on every pair of feet. But it also makes it harder for a girl to tell…which are the real cowboys, and which are just playing the part?

Luckily, it doesn’t take long to sort off the bleacher buckaroos. I’ve put together a few never-fail tips to help you identify the wanna-be’s, like this one:

While at the bar, you witness an obnoxious drunk being escorted out the door by the bouncers. You turn to your would-be suitor and drawl, “I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.” All you get in return is a blank look. Anyone who doesn’t recognize one of the most famous lines from Lonesome Dove is certainly not going to be capable of a decent debate about how The Cowboys is the only movie where John Wayne dies before the end (Oops. Spoiler.). Or know that littlest of those cowboys went on to become a seven-time world champion roper. He probably doesn’t even own a Chris LeDoux CD. So honestly, what’s left to talk about?

Take note of the word in bold face above. When you’ve finished reading about Tangled in Texas and enjoying the excerpt below, come on over to my blog, Montana for Real, to find the rest of my helpful hints. Collect all the of key words and you’ll get a free download of the unofficial soundtrack to Tangled in Texas.

 

Excerpt

They sat in the dark, staring at the television and taking comfort from the presence of another human being. A fellow refugee from reality, if only for a few hours. Crazy, to get even this close when she seemed dead set on leaving again, but as long as he knew, as long he didn’t let himself dream, he was safe, wasn’t he?

He woke to someone jostling his pillow. He forced his eyes open and found Tori leaning over him, trying to tug her coat from the arm of the couch, under his head.

“What time is it?” he mumbled, twisting around to look out the window. Pitch dark.

“After midnight. We both slept a while.”

She gave the jacket another tug, but it was pinned under his shoulder. He was warm and relaxed, still half asleep. Before his mind could fully engage, he reached up and caught her wrist. She froze, her eyes wide and wary in the dim light.

“What if I said I don’t want to just be friends?” he asked, his voice raspy with sleep.

She stared down at him, emotions flickering across her face so fast he couldn’t identify any of them. “I would say that’s probably not the smartest thing we could do, given the situation.”

“And if I said I’m willing to take my chances?”

She took her sweet time thinking it over. “I need some time to…adjust my expectations.”

He stroked the tender underside of her wrist with his thumb, watching as her lips parted on a swift intake of air. He might not know her mind, but he knew her body, and he remembered exactly how she liked to be touched. “How long?”

“I don’t know. This thing with my parents…”

“Will you let me know when you’re ready?”

She shook her head and his heart sank, but then she blew out a reluctant sigh. “Check back with me in a couple of weeks.”

“The middle of February?” he asked, unable to leave it alone.

She gave a halfhearted shrug, her gaze tracking to the door, though she still didn’t pull away from his touch. “Sure. Why not?”

He could think of a dozen reasons—things he’d done, and she’d done, and all the ways they could hurt each other all over again—but he stroked her wrist one more time before sitting up to free her jacket. She pulled it on, tugged the zipper clear to her chin, and stuffed her hands in the pockets.

“You realize I’m a lousy emotional bet.”

“Unlike me.”

She gave a low, short laugh. “Think of the magic we could make together.”

He didn’t have to imagine. He had a perfectly good memory. As if reading his mind, she said, “I’m not that girl, Delon.”

“You’re a lot tougher.”

She smiled slightly at her own words. “I’m also a lot more…difficult.”

No kidding. But he needed to borrow some of that toughness, from someone who’d gone through the worst and was emerging from the other side, singed around the edges but not destroyed. Tori understood the snarl of anger and guilt in his gut because it wasn’t so different than what she felt about how Willy died.

“I’d like to get to know this you,” he said softly.

“I might not be ready to decide who I am yet.”

“Decide?” He laughed, incredulous. “You just get to make it up for yourself?”

“Why not? Didn’t you decide who you wanted to be?”

His fists clenched in the plush throw. “We don’t all have the luxury of reinventing our lives.”

She gave him a long, level stare. His eyes dropped first. Her voice was low and surprisingly gentle. “Try it, Delon. You might be less likely to feel like punching strangers in bars.”

She brushed a fingertip as light as a kiss across his cheek, and left him to sleep on it.

About the Author

Kari Lynn Dell is a ranch-raised Montana cowgirl who attended her first rodeo at two weeks old and has existed in a state of horse-induced poverty ever since. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in her parents’ bunkhouse along with her husband, her son, and Max the Cowdog, with a tipi on her lawn, Glacier National Park on her doorstep and Canada within spitting distance. Her debut novel, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2015. She also writes a ranch and rodeo humor column for several regional newspapers and a national agricultural publication.

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Giveaway

5 print copies of Reckless in Texas

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Posted in 5 paws, paranormal, Review, romance on February 11, 2017

Synopsis

Veronica’s first date with Sebastian not only stirs up a powerful attraction, but also a series of supernatural events that will tear them apart.

After countless hours of dead end online dating, Veronica meets up with Sebastian at a reportedly haunted restaurant, since he knows she has a fascination with the paranormal. While enjoying their meals and each other’s company, they share a shocking supernatural experience. Their romantic connection is overshadowed by the ghosts of their own pasts that threaten to destroy their budding relationship. Veronica decides she must return to the restaurant to face her past and dig up more answers. Unfortunately, she realizes she must go back, this time with a reluctant Sebastian. In the end, they join forces against the evil that stands between them, but will they make it out alive?

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Frith Books

Review

This is a very short book at only 38 pages, but the author packs a lot into those pages with many twists and turns that I never saw coming!

I think this book is something of a mystery and perhaps slightly paranormal (there are ghosts after all!) and maybe some suspense too. The book starts off with someone in trouble and then goes back and fills in the gaps. It is a little funny on how Veronica meets Sebastian – through online dating – when she thinks she has removed herself from all these sites. But she decides to give it a whirl and meets Sebastian – who could be her soulmate.

Now the blurb tells you that they have their own supernatural experience while dining at the haunted restaurant…however, neither expected what they saw to to touch them so personally!

The ending…WOW! Obviously I am not going to tell you what happens but I had to go back and reread the last page or two because I wasn’t sure I was reading and understanding it right. Let’s just say it was a bit of a shocker to me! And it leaves me wanting to know even more – what happens to them after the story ends? My imagination went many different directions.

This book may be short but it was very enjoyable and kept me wondering what would happen next.  We give it 5 paws up.

Excerpt

None of this is his fault, but here we sit in the police station. The cold, white walls are scuffed and dirty. Scrolling mug shots of wanted criminals flash by on a mounted monitor. My hand is clutching Sebastian’s, although I’m not sure he’s even aware of it after all we’ve been through.

His eyes are glazed over, his sandy-colored hair both matted and cowlick-y. He wears the circumstantial evidence: a scratched face and a split lower lip. Not to mention, his gray shirt is caked with blood and soaked in sweat.

It’s all rather fuzzy, but there’s dried blood under my fingernails. I’m pretty sure I’m to blame for everything.

My eyes are already swollen, but all I want to do is cry even more. I rest my head on Sebastian’s shoulder and pray he can forgive me. I’m here now. That should count for something.

I guess you could say he’s my boyfriend. Early on he told me he didn’t want to see anyone else. I didn’t either. Even though it’s been only about a month, I have to admit I’ve never felt this way. We’re in love. I’d like to think it’s even stronger now.

The problem is, I never knew that finding the one would be such a double-edged sword.

About the Author

Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre. Her short stories are published in Under the Bed Magazine, in Hindered Souls, in the spring 2017 issue of The Horror Zine, and by Frith Books.

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Posted in Book Release, Novella, romance on February 8, 2017

Synopsis

Eve Harris has always had a point to prove: where you come from doesn’t matter, it’s what you aim for that counts. She has it all planned; find the perfect teaching job, live with her best friend, Cherry, and never get dragged back into the destructive world of her youth.

The last thing she expects is to bump into millionaire heir Cameron Wallis on her last day on campus. Nor is she expecting to discover that when she gives him a chance to win her over he’s nothing like the playboy the newspapers paint him to be.

Will Eve be able to let go of her judgements and embrace a spontaneous affair with Cam that isn’t part of her plan? Or will the constraints from both their families prevent Cam and Eve from discovering The Truth About Love?

The Truth About Love Vol.I is the first novella in a serial About finding love even when you’re least expecting it.

**The book is FREE this week!**

 

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on February 3, 2017

Title: Highland Vixen

Series: Highland Weddings, #2

Author: Mary Wine

Pub Date: February 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781492602590

Synopsis

Fierce Highland war chief seeks comely lass for fun, frolic, and marriage

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this battle of the heart…

Amazon * Books-A-Million * Barnes & Noble * Chapters * Indiebound

An Intro from the Author

Hummm….the truth is, I am nerd enough to think history is fun. All the little facts and laws from centuries ago have always fascinated me. My parents were always listening to me expound on some little bit of wonderment…aka…historical fact.

Working these little facts into my work is something I try to do because I believe it’s important to write a book, set in the time it is dated. It was a different time and I think that adds spice to the unfolding romance. Life wasn’t fair then and it isn’t now. There is nothing I love more than to set out to see a couple overcome the odds and live happily ever after.

At least I love it when it’s finished! When I’m in that bottom of the ninth inner point, it’s hair pulling time as I try and work things out. Yes, I know I’m the author and should know these things but honestly, these characters have minds of their own!

I hope you all enjoy Highland Vixen. 2017 hold three titles from my Highland Brides and yes, I make you wait for that moment when it all comes together but they are all brides after all.

Cheers!

Mary Wine

Excerpt

MacPherson Castle was huge. It needed to be, because there were over three hundred retainers alone. When supper was laid out on the tables, their conversation echoed through the stone corridors. But that didn’t stop a woman’s scream from penetrating the chatter. Men came off their benches, their kilts flipping aside as they started toward the back stairwell where the sound had come from.

What stopped them was their War Chief, Marcus MacPherson, coming through the wide arched passageway. He had a woman with him who wasn’t pleased to be his captive.

“What are ye doing?” Shamus MacPherson demanded from his seat at the high table.

“Uncovering a deception,” Marcus replied to his father and laird. He set the woman in front of the MacPherson laird. “Helen and Brenda are no longer in this keep. Ailis has kept to her chamber to deceive us all into thinking Helen and Brenda were there with her. While this one”—he pointed at the girl—“has made sure no one saw her face to notice the game.”

Shamus dropped his knife and looked at the girl. Her eyes widened. “I did as I was told by me mistress.” She lowered herself awkwardly.

He snorted at her in reprimand. “Allowing her to act foolishly and leave the protection of this stronghold is no’ to be commended, girl. Ye lack the sense to be a personal servant to me daughter-by-marriage.”

The girl paled, shaking like a dried-out leaf in a wind storm.

Shamus grunted and waved her away before turning to his other son. “Best ye go discover what yer wife has been about this last week.”

Bhaic MacPherson was already pushing his chair back. There was a grim set to his jaw as he moved behind the other chairs and down the steps to where his half brother was glowering at him.

“With child or no, that wife of yers needs a reckoning,” Marcus growled.

Bhaic stopped in the passageway, just out of sight of the rest of the clan. “She is with child, so ye’ll manage yer temper or no’ be seeing her.”

Marcus crossed his arms over his chest and grinned at his brother. Bhaic grunted, recognizing the promise in the expression. No one liked a fight better than Marcus, except perhaps Bhaic.

“I mean to have words with her, Brother,” Marcus warned Bhaic. “And they will nae be kind.”

“If ye truly want to frighten Ailis, speak nicely to her.”

Marcus grunted and took to the stairs. Bhaic reached up and pulled him back by the shoulder.

“Helen may well be in the hands of the Gordons, thanks to this deception. Ye killed Lye Rob, and they would take great delight in paying us back in blood.” Marcus shot back at his brother. “Brenda and Helen could no’ have more than half a dozen men with them.”

Bhaic’s face tightened. “I know ye’re right to be angry, Brother.” He passed Marcus and took to the stairs. He offered his wife a single rap on the door of their chamber before he pushed it in and Marcus followed him.

Ailis Robertson was waiting for them. She stood in the center of the receiving room, ready to face them. Damn, but Marcus loved her spirit, even when it was at odds with what he thought she should be doing with all that strength of character.

“Ailis…” Bhaic began.

“I’ve deceived ye,” she stated. “I’ve been pretending to be more ill than I am, so the women could stay with me and no’ be seen.”

“Ye know very well how the Gordons treat their captives.” Marcus pointed at her. “Did ye no’ think of what might happen to Helen and Brenda if they tried to ride across the Highlands with naught but a handful of men?”

She paled. Bhaic reached forward and gripped her forearm, but she sucked in a breath and steadied herself.

Marcus snorted at her. “How long have they been gone?”

“Four days.”

Marcus was gripping his sleeves so tightly his knuckles popped. “Where did they go?”

“To court, to seek shelter from Brenda’s kin.”

“Court.” Marcus spat the word out like a curse. “Right into the hands of the Earl of Morton. Ye might recall how that man treats women he thinks can be of use.”

Ailis stiffened. “I do.”

Marcus grunted at her before he purposefully turned on his heel and left the chamber, the longer pleats of his kilt flaring out behind him.

About the Author

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

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Posted in Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on January 31, 2017

Synopsis

Depression is just a word. It means less to me than it does to you and I’m the one who’s living it.
I live. I love. I laugh.
And you’ll believe all my lies.
Because she does too.

The world is a stranger.
But everyone thinks they know me.
My body has all the answers.
But my mind can’t understand them.
I’m drowning everyday.
But I never go near water.
The air in my lungs is toxic.
But I’m breathing all the time.

You’ll think you understand.
But how can you?
Even with her, I’m alone.

About the Author

D Breeze is a British contemporary romance author who lives for the angst and lives of her characters. A filthy-minded dreamer. A fantasist, with a penchant for writing stories to push your boundaries.  She loves losing herself in books, reveling in sarcasm, and making people blush.

If she’s not at the bar, handing out shots to unsuspecting victims, you can usually find D hunched over her laptop at four in the morning, still trying to piece together the lines of fantasy vs reality.

Failing that, she’ll be curled up in a corner, rocking back and forth and cursing over the characters arguing in her mind!

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Giveaway

Head on over to D’s facebook page  to be in with a chance of winning a $10 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook of Just Listen.  All you have to do is like her page and comment on the pinned post.  Good luck!

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Posted in 5 paws, mystery, Review, romance on January 25, 2017

Synopsis

A TAIL AS OLD AS TIME…

Addison Turner has scripted a perfect future for herself, complete with a fairytale ending. She will become the name in doggie fashion design and live happily ever after with the husband of her dreams—and her dachshund, Princess, by her side. Just when her plan is on track and she’s gaining recognition at the local dog show, Addison is hit with some Oscar-worthy drama. A group of prize-winning show dogs are stolen from under her nose, and she’s stuck asking for help from Felix Vaughn, an infuriatingly hot bartender who is the exact opposite of Prince Charming.

When more dogs go missing—and Felix becomes a suspect—the two team up to clear their names. Although Felix and Addison fight like cats and dogs, there’s an undeniable spark between them. And as the trail to the missing dogs heats up, so does their red-hot chemistry. Can Addison be persuaded to throw away her script to find an ending that just might be better than she ever expected?

Praise

Bestselling author Diane Kelly raves that Griffin’s previous title, Must Love Wieners is “paws down, one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time… a relatable heroine, a sexy leading man, and adorable dachshunds.”

Review

This book has it all for me – romance, a little mystery and dogs (especially a doxie!).

This is part of a series and I haven’t read the first book yet but might just have to go back and read them (when I can find time!). You do not have to read the first book to enjoy this book, but there are a few mentions to some things in the past that happened in book 1. But nothing big or hindering enjoying the book.

I really liked the mystery aspect – who was stealing the show dogs? I was very shocked when the mystery portion came to a head and who was involved. It is crazy the lengths some people will go to in a competition.

I like the romance portion too – Addison thinks she wants one thing but who/what she really needs is quite the opposite. I love the story line between Addison and Felix and a little surprise he reveals closer to the end of the book. This surprise fills a lot of buckets for Addison once she realizes it.

All in all a great book and if you love dogs, romance and mystery you will want to check out this book.

We give this book 5 paws up

About the Author

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on January 22, 2017

Synopsis

MATT REED IS HIDING

…from his fans

…from his past

…from a failure too painful to contemplate

Most of all, Matt is hiding from himself.

VIVIENNE FORRESTER IS A WOMAN WHO GIVES HER ALL

…to her friends and family

…to her online food blog

…to the man she loves

Vivienne will try anything and everything to coax Matt out of his self-imposed exile. But for this to work, Matt is going to have to meet her halfway…

Amazon * B&N * iBooks

Excerpt

Carefully, she put the cap back on the bottle and stood. “Okay, maybe I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but I can see how it’s affecting you. And I know I don’t know you that well, but it doesn’t mean I can’t see what’s right in front of me.”

“Really?” he asked incredulously.

“Yes, really.”

He made a snorting sound and walked away. Vivienne eyed the back door and seriously considered just calling it a night. Clearly she wasn’t helping him in any way, shape or form and was only serving to instigate on an already sensitive subject. Besides, she wasn’t good with confrontations. It was one of the reasons she enjoyed working from home – no drama.

So without a word, she simply made her way across the room toward the door. Her hand had barely touched the doorknob when she felt Matt’s hands on her shoulders as he spun her around to face him. She gasped in surprise. “Matt? What…?”

“What do you see right now, Vivienne?” he asked, his voice low, a near growl.

“I don’t…what do you mean?” There was a tremor in her voice and it was breathy and very unlike her.

He stepped in closer and her back came in contact with the wall. “You said you can see what’s right in front of you. So tell me, what do you see?”

It was a loaded question, she thought. And if she wasn’t careful, she’d blurt out how she saw a sexy-as-hell man who turned her on simply by being in the same room! But there was no way she could admit to that and she knew it certainly wouldn’t help the situation at all.

“I see a man who is struggling with his identity,” she said, swallowing hard.

His eyes narrowed. “Seriously? That’s what you see? That’s all you see?”

There was something in his tone that warned her this was going in a completely different direction than she thought and all she could do was nod.

“Then you honestly can’t see what’s right in front of you.” Now his voice was gruff and so deep and so close that Vivienne almost purred from the sound of it. “Because I’m not struggling – I’m a bastard. I’m selfish. And you know what? I don’t even care.”

She shook her head.

“Trust me. I know what I want, and it’s right in front of me.”

Her eyes went wide as she softly gasped.

And then he pressed against her fully and kissed her.

About the Author

Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Giveaway

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Posted in 3 paws, Review, romance on January 19, 2017

Synopsis

From the Power of the Matchmaker series:

Mary Buchanan has bigger worries than the radical journalist moving in next door who’s spoiling her father’s digestion: unrequited love for a footman, a fractious aunt, patiently awaiting her destiny…

Already she’s nearly eighteen. No sign of destiny yet, but Mary’s certain he’ll be handsome.

Then she meets the reformer, this Mr. Samuel Brown. Destiny is closer at hand than Mary has supposed—if she can just get Mr. Brown to realize it.

Review

This is a continuation of the Matchmaker series. The books don’t tie to each other except for one character, Pearl, who matches people together.

In this book, Pearl plays a very minor role and in fact I wasn’t even 100% sure she was in the book since she was referred to as Mrs. Chin.

That aside, the story was set in England with Mary Buchanan wanting more from her life than just being a wife. She takes an interest in politics and the new neighbor who is a journalist. Granted she meets him by accident but takes an interest in what he has to say about what is happening in the world of politics.

Mary may be 18 but she is very naive about the world around her. Probably because her father and aunt seem to keep her sheltered. This was probably very common for that time period, but it hindered her in the beginning because she wasn’t really tuned into the world. However, I liked that it made her step out of her comfort zone and meet other people and take an interest in the country she lived in and how they were ruled (a good thing for everyone to do no matte where they live).

Mary thinks she is in love with Samuel Brown, but it is his friend (and brother in law) Mr. Murray that is who she is meant to be with according to Mrs. Chin. I liked that he took a trip to Bath to check on her when she disappeared and how he got to know her during that time. He may not have known or thought she was for him, but it was apparent that they were better suited.

It was a good read, probably my least favorite in this series, but still enjoyable.  We give it 3 paws up!

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance on January 4, 2017

Synopsis

From bestselling romantic comedy author Stacey Wiedower comes a story about bucket lists, reality TV, and love despite all modern obstacles…

Four years after completing her first 30 First Dates challenge, blogger and TV producer Erin Crawford is once again racing the clock, this time checking off 35 goals she wants to achieve by her 35th birthday. In the meantime, the network behind YOLO, a reality show based on Erin’s bucket list, shifts her from behind the scenes as producer to center stage as a participant. Amidst growing pressure at work and home, including a cross-country travel schedule that never seems to align with her new husband’s, Erin has the added stress of a camera following her every move as she checks off her list for a national TV audience. From a wedding fiasco to a fateful dance lesson to a nemesis who’s determined to make trouble in her brand new marriage, everything that can go wrong definitely does. So wrong, in fact, that Erin starts to wonder if YOLO is recording her life … or ruining it.

The Unlucky in Love novels:
#1 30 First Dates
#2 Now a Major Motion Picture
#3 How to Look Happy

Review

This is a follow up to 30 dates in 30 days (that I didn’t read) and while this book can be read by itself, I can see where it might be handy to read the other book first, just to get an intro to the characters and how Erin and Ben came to be together.

Erin and Ben have a good relationship but they need to work on their communication and discover this at various points in the book. Perhaps they wouldn’t have found themselves in some of the situations had they talked more earlier on. But that provided the tension that the book needed in various places. not a lot, just enough.

This book made me think about my own bucket list…well the fact that i do not have one. But since I am turning 50 this year I thought I would do a modified one and choose 5 things to accomplish this year. That ties into what I really took away from this book – that we need to live life and not get stuck in ruts and push the boundaries of what we can do or experience in life before we die.

All in all I really enjoyed the book and it leaves you hanging for another one and whether Erin has accomplished #35 on her bucket list!

We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Stacey Wiedower started her career as a newspaper reporter before following her passion to interior design school. After spending three years at a firm with bizarre similarities to “Designing Women,” she began funneling all her experience into her work as a full-time writer. Now she pens novels, short stories, magazine articles, website copy and more, and the wacky characters she’s met poke their heads into her stories from time to time. Stacey lives in Tennessee with her husband, also a writer, and a son who’s inherited their overactive imaginations.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on January 2, 2017

Title: Solo

Author: Jill Mansell

Pub Date: January 3, 2017

ISBN: 9781492632429

Synopsis

It all starts at a party, as these things often do…

  • A one-night stand with far-reaching consequences
  • Momentarily enamored guests going home with all the wrong people
  • An unfaithful wife struck by jealousy and getting a dose of her own medicine
  • A shocking family secret revealed at the worst possible moment

One fling follows another, and now the whole community is embroiled in a great big web of deceit, the untangling of which will charm you, amuse you, make you laugh and make you cry.

Whatever’s going on in your life, Solo by Jill Mansell is the perfect distraction right about now…

Amazon * Books-A-Million * Barnes & Noble * Indiebound

Question to Jill

What draws you to write romance?

I love it! It means spending your days with fictional people you’d really enjoy knowing and spending time with in real life. I particularly love writing sparky, witty exchanges between two characters who find each other attractive. What could possibly be more fun than that?

Excerpt

Parties full of strangers bored the knickers off Tessa.

“Well, you’re damn well coming to this one,” declared Holly impatiently. “You haven’t been out for weeks and it’s going to be brilliant. Everyone’s going. And just think, play your cards right, show a bit of leg, a bit of cleavage, and you, too, could find a husband like mine!”

Tessa wiped her hands on her already paint-streaked sweatshirt and picked up the bottle of ridiculously expensive Chardonnay that Holly always insisted on buying because she liked the label, and which neither of them properly appreciated. Pouring herself half a mugful and wincing at its icy dryness she said, “I don’t have a cleavage.”

“What God didn’t give you, scotch tape will,” pronounced Holly. “They showed us how on Blue Peter.”

“And I haven’t been out for weeks”—Tessa mimicked Holly’s despairing tones—“because I have been working. Working pays the rent. It even occasionally allows me to eat. I simply can’t afford to mix in your kind of social circles.”

“You can’t afford not to,” countered Holly. “These are the people who commission poverty-stricken artists to paint absurdly flattering portraits of their revolting children.”

“Besides,” Tessa went on, surveying the almost-finished canvas before her and beginning to realize that Holly wasn’t going to let her wriggle out of this one, “you aren’t married.”

Holly grinned, refilling her own mug with a flourish. “Ah! I didn’t say I had a husband, I said I’d found him. All that remains now is to exert a little gentle pressure.”

“And I suppose he’ll be there tonight.”

“There is that small chance,” conceded Holly smugly. “After all, it is his party.”

***

From the living room window of Tessa’s tiny cottage, perched on the side of one of the rolling, north-facing hills overlooking the spectacular elegance of the city of Bath, she could see in the far distance the equally spectacular and elegant Charrington Grange Hotel.

Even if Holly hadn’t been working there for the past two months and regaling her with endless details about it, Tessa would have heard of it. Everyone knew of the Charrington Grange Hotel, owned and run by the Monahan brothers and built up from nothing—well, scarcely anything—over the last fifteen years into one of the foremost country hotels in England. Originally a gracious Georgian residence commanding breathtaking views across the city from its position at the very top of the south-facing hills above Bath, it had fallen into hideous disrepair during its forty-year occupation by an elderly and eccentric Monahan maiden aunt. By the time of her eventual death the roof was barely intact, the walls of the gracefully proportioned rooms were streaked with damp and the entire place was overrun by the dotty old woman’s grand passion—several hundred decidedly un-housetrained cats.

Pulling every conceivable string between them, the notorious Monahan brothers, Ross and Max, had somehow managed to raise the vast amount of capital necessary to transform the crumbling old house into an opulent hotel catering to the very wealthiest clientele.

The press had had a field day at the time. The very idea that Max Monahan, moody and unpredictable, and Ross, with his mile-long reputation for carousing, heart-breaking and generally misbehaving, could pull off such a stunt was so ridiculous it was laughable. Max, the elder brother by two years, having been sent down from Oxford following a particularly outrageous prank involving a prostitute dressed as a nun and a visiting trade union leader, had rapidly established himself as a star broker on the Stock Exchange. Six months later, the day after his twenty-first birthday, he had abandoned this glittering new career, disappearing to the Caribbean and returning eighteen months later with the completed manuscripts of not one but two fat novels. These thrillers, with their winning combination of sex, violence, tension and wit were wildly successful, yet at the time Max had doubted whether he would want to do it again. It had been fun finding out that he could, but it was scarcely what he termed a proper job.

In the end, however, the vast sums of money offered, the luxury of being virtually his own boss, the flexible hours and the ease with which he conjured up fresh plots, won the day. To Max Monahan, writing was a doddle and the rewards were too great to pass up. He rapidly became established as one of those few lucky writers whose books were read by everyone. Over the years he had grown more level headed and now, with his astute business brain and almost ruthless determination to pile success upon success, he was recognized as the more down to earth of the two brothers. The Charrington Grange Hotel was owned jointly between them and although Max didn’t work there full-time he was involved in all the major decision-making and both he and Ross still lived there. Blockbuster novels remained his major—and considerable—source of income, but the hotel acted as an antidote to the solitude which writing entailed, and because he didn’t need to sweat over a word processor for eight hours a day like some writers he’d heard of, there was still plenty of time left over in which to enjoy himself.

Ross Monahan, on the other hand, devoted his entire life to enjoyment. Tessa had never made a particular point of reading the gossip columns but even she was aware of his wicked reputation. Expelled from more schools than anyone cared to remember, his notorious passion for fun was equaled only by his stunning good looks and lethal charm. Incapable of remaining in one place for more than a few weeks, in his early twenties he was the archetypal playboy, his outrageous exploits hitting the papers almost weekly. Men despised and envied him; women—apart from those whose hearts he had broken—adored him.

If everyone had been amazed when he had appointed himself manager of The Charrington Grange, they had been well and truly astounded when they finally realized what an out-and-out success he was actually making of the job.

And fifteen years on, Ross Monahan was still doing it, running the hotel with such panache and enjoyment that he had made it seem scarcely like work at all. Having always moved in the most glittering and outrageous circles, he had turned The Grange into a kind of open house for those who played as hard as he did. It was quite simply the place to stay if you wanted to have a really good time—and could afford to pay for it.

And according to Holly, Ross Monahan was absolutely lethal with women.

“Gorgeous, gorgeous!” she had informed Tessa, shortly after going to work for him. “But definitely dangerous to know. When I first met him I made a solemn vow with myself not to get involved.”

“But you have,” guessed Tessa, observing the sheepish look in her friend’s eyes. Holly had shrugged and smiled. “Given half a chance I would have done,” she’d admitted. “But the bastard isn’t interested. For God’s sake, Tess, he treats me like a friend!”

***

And now Holly was planning on treating him like a brother-in-law. She was passionately in love with Max, only Max didn’t know it yet. Tessa, who adored Holly but sometimes despaired of her, suspected that it would all end in tears and that most of them would land on her own inadequately small shoulders.

Meanwhile, Holly was returning in less than two hours to pick her up and take her along to this horrible party. And she really didn’t have a single suitable thing to wear.

About the Author

With over 10 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny, poignant and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

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