Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on November 16, 2016

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Title: It’s Been You

Author: Rina Gray

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Release Date: November 7, 2016

Series: Crush On You

Genre: Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 9781507202180

Synopsis

Marketing manager Tiana Holliday just landed her dream job at an award-winning agency in New York City. There’s just one problem: cocky playboy Nathaniel Lawson, her old grad school nemesis, is her new officemate.

As the firm’s rising star, Nathan never had to compete for prime clients until all-work and no-play Tiana strutted into his workspace. When an opportunity arises to manage a lucrative sports car account and nab a big promotion, he challenges her to a wager: Loser does the winner’s bidding for one month. But their friendly little competition suddenly threatens to erupt into an all-out battle of desire.

As they straddle the line between love and war, they just might discover that challenging each other outside the boardroom is even more satisfying than advertised.

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Excerpt

The crowd screamed and clapped. A few rows behind Tiana, someone started a chant for the Beast. Clapping, she chanted with the crowd. The announcer waved a hand in the air and gripped the mic with his other one. “Unanimously voted to win all four rounds and still undefeated, I give you,” he walked to the corner and raised Nathan’s arm in the air, “the Beaaaaaassst!”

Tiana jumped and clapped as he stepped away and waved his arms in victory to the crowd. This isn’t so bad.

“Tiana wants to have a dozen babies with you, Beast!” Mel screamed at the top of her lungs.

Before Tiana could renounce her Martin Luther King philosophy of nonviolence and sock her former friend in her arm, Nathan turned to face them.

A flicker of heat, and a big dose of danger burned in his gaze. A jolt of energy zapped and electrified her. Every particle and cell in her body awakened, liquefied, and then sizzled. His lips tipped at the corners into a lazy smile.

“I’ll have your babies, too!” someone yelled from the crowd. His gaze stayed fixed on her face. His dark eyes broadcasted, “I’ve seen you naked and I like it,” to anyone who cared to see. Clenching her legs together, she quivered. Nathan gave her a cocky-ass smile as if he knew he was the cause of the mini-explosions firing within her.

A ring girl stepped into the octagon, sashayed up to Nathan, and leaned in for a kiss. Tiana jerked away from their intimate moment and held her breath for a second before looking back. Much like his fight, he ducked the woman’s advances, hopped on the stool in his boxing corner, and jumped over the ropes surrounding the ring. Landing with the ease of a panther, he stalked toward Tiana.

Mel nudged her and whispered, “Brace yourself.” Taking her friend’s wise advice, she breathed deep. Her eyes filled with him. A tall, dark, sexy, and sweaty vision. This man—this sexy beast—wanted her. Only her.

“Peaches,” he growled as he snatched off his gloves and tossed them carelessly on the floor. Closing the distance between them, he wrapped one hand around her waist and cupped her face with the other. His hard, unrelenting eyes continued to broadcast a message. No going back. His tongue swiped her mouth, as if testing the waters, followed by firm, warm lips. He commanded surrender, obedience, and absolutely no negotiations. She clung to him knowing his kiss had changed everything.

Her heart slammed and knocked against her chest, and her knees buckled. She was … Damn it, am I swooning? Like a well-practiced, swashbuckling pirate, his arms snaked around her waist as he drew her body into his. Wetness pooled and flooded her lacy Vicky Secrets. Nathan had just KO’ed her va-jay-jay.

About the Author

Rina_Gray_Patio_16Rina Gray is one of the newest African American romance writers on the rise. She is also a digital marketing professional who discovered her love of writing in 2012. Writing has always been Rina’s passion, though initially, she tried to deny it. In college she served as the copy editor for the entertainment magazine and newspaper. During her tenure, she had the opportunity to interview various talented entertainers including Chris Rock and the cast from Reno-911.

Rina has always been an avid reader, sneaking to read her mother’s books she had no business reading i.e. Stephen King’s The Stand, It, and Anne Rice’s various vampire series. As a pre-teen, she received a load of romance novels from a family friend and from that point on, she devoured any book related to romance or horror. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her head stuck in a book, kickboxing, or dominating game night with friends and family. Rina resides in Atlanta with her husband.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on November 15, 2016

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Synopsis

“You confound me. You’re all these maddening contradictions that don’t make any sense… And I can’t get enough of your special brand of beautiful crazy.”

She’s a rocker with attitude and ink…

He’s a sexy suit who gets what he wants

Kevan Landry is trying to keep her life on track and her brother in rehab. If her fledgling marketing firm can sign the hot new band, Manix Curse, it will make a world of difference. Mason Dillon heads the most successful music PR firm in Portland. He’s desperate to breathe new life into the company by signing Manix Curse.

The last thing either one needs is a one-night stand with a smoldering stranger…

The stakes are high when a battle for the band—in the bedroom and the boardroom—becomes a battle of the heart. But if these two can set aside their differences, they may find they’re the right mix of sexy savvy to conquer both their worlds.

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Excerpt

The squeak of the motor home door got his attention, and the real source of his discombobulation walked onto the RV and into the kitchenette.

“Ready to go?” she asked with an upbeat lilt to her voice. Was that courtesy of Jax? One more asshole’s teeth to kick in.

“Go?”

“Leave for Medford. Ben says any time.”

“Could you go up front and let him know we’re ready?”

When she returned, Kevan filled a glass with water before sitting across from him.

“I’m sorry,” they both started at the same time. Then she laughed, her voice as shaky as the hand gripping her glass.

He smiled. “Ladies first.”

“Look, I got a little carried away.” She ran her purple-tipped finger around the top of the glass, watching like it was the most fascinating thing in the world. “The music gets me amped up, and I forget how to behave sometimes. It won’t happen again.”

He should be relieved, really. Getting involved with her while they were on the road made everything much more complicated. He didn’t like complicated. Remember? He liked simple, honest, professional. Or, boring, as Kevan would call it.

“Promise?” he teased.

“Of course,” she snapped. “I’m sure I can manage to keep my hands off you.”

“Whatever you say,” he said, looking back at his computer screen, closing out GEM’s email server. He didn’t need Kevan learning his bosses had sent his protégé to undermine his progress. No telling how she’d take the news.

“What the hell does that mean?” Her glare made him want to smooth the lines on her forehead.

With his mouth.

“It means we made a deal, and I’ll keep to it. Unless…”

“Unless what?” She scrunched up her nose and tilted her head.

“Unless, maybe you’d like to break that part of the deal.” He held her gaze, his tone even, not wanting to give away his plan.

“What part? I’m not giving up on my band.” Her face flushed with the telltale sign of a woman ready to do battle. Yeah. He wasn’t going there, today. The RV was too small, and maybe her aim had gotten better.

“I just meant…oh, never mind.”

“What? Say it.” Her voice was husky.

“I thought maybe…” He started praying the warmth he felt creeping up his neck didn’t show as a blush. Because he didn’t blush. Not ever.

“What?” She got up and rinsed her glass in the sink. As she leaned her fine ass against the counter, the bus stopped short, sending her into Mason’s arms with a grunt.

“I got you, darlin’.”

She looked up into his eyes, her face so serious, and said, “This time you do, don’t you?”

He nodded and cleared his throat. “I’m starting to get used to you landing on me.”

Kevan’s lush body perched on his lap like it was custom-made to fit him. On impulse, he almost asked her to dinner on their first day off. Maybe it was best not to.

“I bet you are,” she said. God, the feel of her in his arms felt so f***ing right as images of their bodies entwined flashed through his mind. He almost moaned when she looked away and struggled back to her feet, her ass wriggling right over his suddenly attentive cock. F**ing hell.

When she sighed and yawned, Mason reluctantly allowed her out of his hold.

“I need to get to ready for bed.”

Minutes later, she emerged from the small bathroom wearing a faded, holey Reverend Horton Heat T-shirt and sweats cut off at the knees. She’d wrapped her hair up in a knotted handkerchief and removed all her makeup. With the protective layer of paint gone, her skin glowed. Her freckled face looked young and sweet.

He couldn’t win. She had stunned him in her tight pinup dresses, but standing there without makeup, she devastated him in her sweats and grubby T-shirt. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to strip her of her cute pajamas and fill her with his cock, brand her with his come, show her what she was doing to him.

Instead, Kevan moved toward the side bunk and said quietly, “Good night, Mason.” Then she pulled aside the bunk’s curtain and ducked inside.

He shut down his laptop, walked over to her bed, and bent over her bunk to brush a chaste kiss across her cheek. “Good night, darlin’.”

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About the Author

Award-winning debut author KASEY LANE writes sexy romances featuring music, hot guys with ink, kick-ass women, and always a happily ever after. A California transplant, she lives with her high school crush turned husband, two smart but devilish kids, two Papillons, three cats, and several chickens in the lush Oregon forest.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on November 10, 2016

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Synopsis

Meet the Donnigans

With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…

Can this Bossy Badass Marine…

The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life…until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.

Be her Mr. Right?

Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men—not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.

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Excerpt

He chuckled and invaded her space, pleased when she tensed. Then he gently tucked away that strand of flyaway hair behind her ear. And man, was it soft, smelling like flowers.

“Okay, Dr. Ava.”

“Actually, it’s Dr. Rosenthal.” She lifted her pert nose.

He stroked her cheek, pleased when she trembled, yet she never backed down. “Well, Doc, I’m a Marine, or I was before a bullet took me out of commission. So you see, I live to serve and protect. Now I work for a logistics company protecting my boss’s ass from inept employees.”

“That’s…” She blew out a breath. “That’s not very flattering to your employees.”

“Not mine. I just work there.” He paused for effect. “Nah. Kidding. The guys and gals I work with are great. The ones who aren’t I already fired.”

“You have a controlling nature, don’t you?” She narrowed her eyes. “Were you an officer or enlisted in the Army?”

No doubt she said that to needle him. Army? “Marine Corps, honey.”

She glared.

“Oh, sorry. Doctor Honey. So, was I an officer or enlisted? What do you think?”

“Officer. You’re exceedingly bossy.”

“You noticed.” He sighed. “You do care.”

She shook her head at him, but she was grinning again. “You really are obnoxious. And you’re not even trying, are you?”

“Not yet. You should see me when I’m on a roll.”

The wind blew again, and her teeth chattered.

“Okay, Doc. Enough flirting. Get in your car before you freeze your fine ass off.”

She scowled, then opened and closed her mouth, as if not sure whether to be annoyed or flattered. He had mentioned her fine ass, after all. She gave a sniff, stalked around to the driver’s side, and let herself in the vehicle.

She drove away in her sensible, compact little Prius, but he’d bet money she’d looked in her rearview at him before turning the corner.

Landon blew out a breath and wondered what the hell he was doing. He had no time for woman problems. Especially not the kind with an advanced degree and trouble written all over her. But he hadn’t been able to get the gorgeous woman out of his head since seeing her at the gym. Then running into her at his favorite bar? What were the odds? It was like fate planting her in his sights. Because that dud of a date drooling all over her couldn’t keep up.

Charles I’m Boring Myself Silly had no game. Not like Landon. Marines came, saw, and conquered. And he’d just decided he had a need to see what kinds of games Dr. Honey liked to play…between the sheets.

About the Author

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Spotlight on November 9, 2016

cvr-how-to-impress-a-marquessTitle: How to Impress a Marquess

Author: Susanna Ives

Series: Wicked Little Secrets, #3

ISBN: 9781402283635

Pubdate: November 1, 2016

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

Take one Marquess: responsible, worldly, deadly dull but concealing an artist’s soul.

Add one rebellious, brilliantly creative but lonely young lady who craves love, home and family.

Combine with ill-assorted guests at an ill-fated house party hosted by a dowager with a poison tongue and a penchant for scandal.

You’ll be shaken, you’ll be stirred, you’ll laugh and you’ll swoon—most of all you’ll be tossed into an intriguing Victorian love story that you’ll never want to leave.

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Excerpt

“George, why are you staring at me?”

He didn’t realize he had fallen down a rabbit hole of thought. A mental leather strap slapped his wrist, and he hastened to cover his slip. “I’m thinking about what kind of husband would suit you.”

“You mean what kind of husband would suit you for me? Does England have a bachelor diplomat in Siberia or Bangkok?”

“You may laugh, but now is your chance. What kind of man do you desire? What respectable man’s society would represent the pinnacle of your existence so that I may find a genteel version of him for you? Or you can leave me to my own devices. Tell me, how do you feel about musty cigars or reading religious tracts?” He casually chuckled to hide his curiosity. If she had ever fancied a man, she had never told him about it. He wondered what she found desirable.

“You’re a bachelor and a marquess. It’s more important for you to marry than me, so you can get busy creating a little marquess, and spare marquesses and daughters to barter for powerful clanlike alliances. Tell me what kind of wife you desire.”

“No more games, Lilith. It’s your future we are deciding.”

“It’s not a game. You tell me about you, and I’ll tell you about me. A fair trade.”

“Very well.” He stopped walking. Behind him, ducks skimmed along the water’s surface.

“I prefer…” He paused. On the tip of his tongue was Colette. But he wouldn’t admit he desired a fictional character. That bit of lunacy he kept to himself. “I prefer…a gentle lady possessing pleasing manners and a clear mind,” he said. “She must be charming but never vulgar. She must never embarrass me but assert herself in quiet ways.”

This was harder than he thought. He couldn’t explain that what he wanted was a woman to hold him safe to her body, soothe the restlessness inside him, say the words he couldn’t express, tell him that she loved him only and fully. Instead, he said, “She should be tasteful and understated in her appearance.”

The edge of Lilith’s mouth hiked up in a way that said Are you jesting? “I’m shocked that you are not already married. There are many eligible ladies, as well as sofas, chairs, and ornamental rugs that fit that description.”

“I answered your question,” he said hotly. “And you mocked me.”

She flinched as if he had stung her. When would he ever learn to stop playing her games? He was so busy mentally berating himself that he almost didn’t hear her speak. She was using that unsettling quiet voice again. “I prefer a man who is kind.”

“Merely kind? Not wildly romantic? Handsome in a severe Gothic manner? Brooding? Poetic—a modern Keats? A misunderstood artist?”

“You don’t know me at all.” The wind blew a strand of hair across her mouth. Again he felt the sensation that he was staring at one of those insane Impressionists’ paintings. All the beauty and light assaulted his senses.

“Kindness,” she continued, “loyalty, and a home.”

“Only kindness, loyalty, and a home?”

She thought for a few seconds more. He could see the machinations of her mysterious mind working behind her eyes. “Yes.”

“What about love?”

“I didn’t realize it was in the offering.”

“It could be. I could introduce you to a brooding poet of excellent breeding, competent accounting skills, and deep funds, and you could fall madly in love with him. And then you would have me to thank.”

She walked on. “I think your definition of love and mine are very different.”

“What is your definition?”

“You wouldn’t understand, and you would mock me if I tried to explain.”

He clasped her elbow, halting her progress. “I promise to be deadly serious.”

She clutched her book tighter. On the river, a male duck raised high in the water and beat his wings to challenge another duck. George studied her as she watched the ensuing water fight and heated pursuit across the river.

“I’ll just take kindness and loyalty in a husband,” she said, still looking out at the river. “He must pro- vide me a home, a true home, and he can’t leave me.”

“You should have told me this earlier. There are many more-than-suitable gentlemen who meet the bare requisites.”

“Are there?” she whispered, no hint of the usual derision in her voice. When she turned her head, her large eyes earnest, the tears were starting to collect in the corners. He felt her pain in his own heart again. He longed to hold her, comfort her. Good God, this woman lit up his emotions. One minute he was furious at her and the next filled with sadness.

About the Author

Susanna Ives started writing when she left her job as a multimedia training developer to stay home with her family. Now she keeps busy driving her children to various classes, writing books, and maintaining websites. She often follows her husband on business trips around Europe and blogs about the misadventures of touring with children. She lives in Atlanta.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Texas on November 4, 2016

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Title: Left at the Altar

Series: A Match Made in Texas, #1

Author: Margaret Brownley

Pub Date: November 1, 2016

ISBN: 9781492608134

Synopsis

Welcome to Two-Time Texas:

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single marriage can unite a feuding town

…or tear it apart for good

In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancé, Meg’s dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.

No wedding bells? No one-time town.

Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.

Who knew being Left at the Altar could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?

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Excerpt

Tommy grimaced. “Meg, I’m sorry, but I can’t do this. I can’t marry you.”

Meg stared at him, dumbfounded. This can’t be happening. “What are you saying?”

“I’m sayin’ I can’t be the husband you want. I can’t spend the rest of my life workin’ on watches in my father’s shop. All those hairsprings and gears and stems and— ”

“This is how you give me the news?” She gave him an angry shove. “Tommy Farrell, I’ve known you nearly all my life, and you’ve caused me plenty of grief along the way, but this takes the cake!”

“I’m sorry.” He slapped his hand to his forehead. “I’m goin’ about this all wrong. It’s not that I don’t want to marry you. I just can’t.”

“And you waited for our wedding day to tell me this?”

“I feel bad, I do.”

“You feel bad? How do you suppose our guests feel after being kept waiting all this time? And what about the town? Our fathers promised to end their feud— ”

“I know, I know.” He grimaced. “Right now, I’m only thinkin’ of you.”

“By humiliating me in front of the entire world?” She stared at him as if seeing him for the first time. For years, she’d made excuses for his lackadaisical ways and had even defended him to his own father. She’d forgiven him for forgetting her birthday— not once but twice! But this…this was by far the worst thing he’d ever done.

“I’d make you miserable,” he continued, his Texas twang even more pronounced than usual. “I’m not ready to settle down. I want to see the world. To travel to Europe and Asia and…and the Pacific Islands. I read somewhere that they’re real nice.”

“You’ve said some mighty dumb things in your life, but this has got to be the dumbest.”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.”

“No, I don’t understand,” she cried. “I don’t understand how you could wait till today to throw me over for a bunch of islands!” She backed away from him, fists at her side. “I should have listened to Pa.”

“Meg, don’t look at me like that. It really is for the best. Maybe in a year, or two or three, I’ll be ready to marry and settle down. Maybe then we can— ”

“Don’t you dare say it, Tommy Farrell. Don’t you even think it! I’d sooner die a spinster than marry the likes of you.”

“You don’t mean that…”

“I mean every word. I don’t ever want to see you again. Not ever!”

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About the Author

MARGARET BROWNLEY penned her first novel at age eleven and has been writing ever since. She’s now a New York Times and CBA bestselling author and has written thirty-five novels and one nonfiction book. Margaret and her husband have three grown children and make their home in Southern California.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on November 3, 2016

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Title: Picture Perfect Wedding

Series: Magnolia Brides, #3

Author: Lynnette Austin

Pub Date: November 1, 2016

ISBN: 9781492618034

Synopsis

Third in the heartfelt and charming Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette Austin

One mistake can change everything…forever

Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable—until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.

Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter—especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…

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Excerpt

“So what are you thinkin’ so hard about that you can’t sleep?” Beck asked.

Tansy hesitated. It was late and her guard was down, but she found herself wanting to share with him. Like old times. She missed that.

“I’m afraid.”

“Of what?” His eyes darted around the room. “Of being here alone?”

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “I’m afraid I’ll never know who Tansy Calhoun Forbes is. I’ve never been on my own. Never had to stand on my own two feet before.”

“You’re doin’ a hell of a job of it right now.”

“Am I?”

“How can you even ask that?”

“Could I have made this work without my mom? Without Jenni Beth. Without you, Cricket, Cole, Sam, Kitty…”

“Sugar, you’re a strong woman. You’re capable of doin’ whatever you set your mind to.”

“But who am I?”

“Shoot, Tansy, does anybody really know who they are? Deep down at the core? I don’t know. I think we’re constantly changin’. Evolvin’. A lot like that onion you use in your breakfast quiche.” He nodded toward one on her counter. “Layer on top of layer. We change because of situations that pop up. Because of people who come into—or come back into—our lives.”

His eyes darkened. “I’ve missed you, Tanz. You were my lover, yes. The woman I loved and wanted to marry. But you were also my best friend. I miss my friend. How ’bout we start there? By being friends again.”

Her fingers crumbled the cookie on her plate as a bubble burst in her chest. “Oh, Beck, I can’t count the times over the last few years when I’ve thought, ‘Wait till I tell Beck.’”

He reached for her hand and she took his, felt the strength there. “Friends?”

“Friends,” she answered.

“You know, I never did get my dance at the wedding.” He drew her up and led her toward the door. “The stars are out tonight.”

As if in a trance, she followed him across the kitchen floor.

He knelt beside a pair of pink, rhinestone-covered flip-flops. Lifting her foot, he slid the sandal onto it, then repeated it with the other.

Tansy could barely breathe.

“Gracie—”

“Is asleep. The window’s open. You’ll hear her if she needs you.”

She nodded. Her fingers laced through his, they slipped outside into the soft night air. Fireflies twinkled.

“You know,” he said, “when I was little, the rule was that when the fireflies came out to play, I went inside. To bed. Despite that, they’re magical.”

The radio still played inside, the music drifting out to them.

Grass, damp with dew, tickled her toes.

And then Beck drew her in, and she forgot everything but his touch. His lips dropped tiny kisses along her neck, and her knees turned to mush. Those same lips moved to her ear, and she nearly moaned.

The kitchen light shone onto the yard and created shadows.

As they danced, she realized they could have been the only two people in the universe. At that moment, her world began and ended right there in Beck’s arms, his work-callused hands strong and steady.

One song ended and another began.

He spun her out, and she laughed. When he pulled her close again, she sighed.

“I’m not sure friends is gonna cut it for very long,” he whispered into her hair.

“Oh, Beck, if it were only me… I want you. So badly. But Gracie’s already lost her father. I can’t make another mistake.”

“Believe it or not, I understand, sugar.”

“Do you?”

“Yes. I’d be a liar if I said I won’t keep trying, though.”

He stepped away, and she shivered. The night air had cooled, or maybe she simply hadn’t noticed it before.

“Time we both found our beds, friend. Morning’s gonna come, ready or not, and we both have work.” He dropped a feather-light kiss on her cheek. “Go inside. I’ll wait till you’re in. Lock up.”

She couldn’t find her voice, so she simply nodded.

Once inside, she turned the lock and knew she’d dream of Beck tonight.

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About the Author

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on November 3, 2016

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Rachel by Caroline Clemmons

Synopsis

A shameful past…
Rachel Ross’ secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. She accepts a job as his bookkeeper. Her past has made her cautious and she vows never to let down her guard. The attraction is there, and she allows him to court her.
Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and in the war and build a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. He’d never believed in love at first sight until he meets Rachel. Now he’s determined to discover and remove the reason her beautiful brown eyes look haunted.
One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?

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Praise

“I have read all of the five Bride Brigade books and can’t pick a favorite. Each story is complete, detailed, and enjoyable. Rachel’s story did not disappoint. I love how Ms. Clemmons intertwines all the bride’s stories, yet each can be read alone. I look forward to the next book in the series.” Marianne Spitzer

“. ..I enjoyed this book so very much I hated to see it end.” Dorothy Henderson

”Intriguing story of a woman framed for someone else’s crime. Trust doesn’t come easy when even her own family turns against her.” Beverly G.

“Oh boy, did I ever enjoy this book. Good work!!” Marcia Montoya

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Excerpt

Mama glanced from Hannah to Rachel. “I’ve fixed you a place in my sewing room. Your clothes and things are already there.”
Not even allowed to return to her former room? Scooping up her valise, she turned and fled to the sewing room. “Fine. At least I’ll have privacy.”
Patrick followed and caught up with her before she closed the door. “Dahlia and I’ve been scouring our brains since I learned of our parents’ plan. I may have a solution.” He handed her a folded newspaper page with one advertisement circled. “What do you think?”
Rachel read the item:
“Young women of good character desiring to go west for the purpose of marriage may apply for an interview between ten and four o’clock in the afternoon from April 5th to 10th at the Grand Hotel, Richmond, care of Mrs. Lydia Harrison.”
“Good character? This Mrs. Lydia Harrison might not agree I qualify.” She reread the item as she mulled over the implications. “Regardless, I’ll go see Mrs. Harrison at ten tomorrow.” She hugged Patrick. “I knew I could count on you, dear brother.”
“You’ll have to thank Dahlia for that advertisement. It wasn’t in the parts of the paper I read.”
All her plans for the future had changed. Instead of welcome from her family, she was ostracized by all but her brother. In her head, she saw the wisdom of her father’s edict. In her heart, she was far too crushed for reason. She wouldn’t stay a second longer than necessary to find a solution.
Patrick leaned a shoulder against the door jamb. “I’ll take off work again to go with you and be certain this woman isn’t a con artist soliciting young women for objectionable purposes.”
Rachel was able to force a smile though her heart had frozen solid. “No, Patrick, thank you for coming for me and for being the same fine man I remember, but I should do this alone. The ad says ‘for the purpose of marriage’ and I’ll be sure of the details before I commit—if she even chooses me.”
“At least let me give you a few dollars to pay cab fare there and back and enough to buy lunch if you’re out then.” He opened his wallet and removed several bills, which he pressed into her hand.
She gazed at the amount. “Ten dollars? Patrick, this is too much.”
He backed away as he held his hands palm facing her. “You don’t know what expenses you’ll have. I’ll worry enough without thinking you have no resources.”
She dropped the cash into her purse. “Thank you. You’re the dearest brother who ever lived.”
His cheeky grin cheered her. “Honesty compels me to modestly agree with you.”

 

carolineAbout the Author

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

 

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Posted in 4 paws, Christian, Giveaway, Review, romance on November 1, 2016

WHERE TWO HEARTS MEET

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND DREAMS SERIES, BOOK 2

by

Liz Johnson

 Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: October 18, 2016

Number of Pages: 384

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synopsis

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen—and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He’s also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he’s falling in love with the island’s red shores and Caden’s sweets.

When Caden discovers Adam isn’t who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he’s writing could do more than ruin the inn’s chances for survival—it might also break her heart.

Readers will discover hope for the hurting, joy for the broken, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn.

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Review

“Grace isn’t about being good enough or strong enough. It’s just about acknowledging your need for it and accepting it.”

This line in the book stood out to me because it is very true. Where Two Hearts Meet is a solid book that encompasses all facets of life – friendship, faith, love, deception, jealousy and desire.

Caden is something of an introvert which makes it harder for her to stand up for herself. Adam is a well traveled journalist that has a very heavy heart. Between the two, they learn a lot about themselves and how they can better themselves, all while finding love. The story is enjoyable and I found myself rooting for Caden and Adam hoping they wouldn’t miss out on a fresh chance on life. It wasn’t smooth sailing for them, but it gave them a chance to really get to know one another and each other’s faults.

This line gave me a chuckle and I liked the alliteration – “But he (Adam) hadn’t picked up the old vice. He’d picked up a new one. Coffee and cinnamon rolls. And Caden.”

I also liked the descriptions of Prince Edward Island. I have never been to the island but it sounds gorgeous and I think I need to plan a trip there in the near future.

We give this 4 paws up.

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about the author

liz-johnsonLiz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she’s not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as a full-time marketing managerfor a Nashville-based publisher. She has been a freelance writer and editor for several publications, including CBA Retailers+Resources, Christian Fiction Online magazine, and Storytellers’ Journal. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is the author of several books, including The Red Door Inn, a New York Times bestselling novella, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (an ACFW Carol Award finalist) and A Star in the Night, which was part of the New York Times and ECPA bestselling A Log Cabin Christmas Collection. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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 Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, publishes books that help bring the Christian faith to everyday life. Whether through fiction, Christian living, self-help, marriage, family, or youth books, each Revell publication reflects relevance, integrity, and excellence.

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1 Copy of Where Two Hearts Meet

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1 Copy of Where Two Hearts Meet

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1 Copy of Where Two Hearts Meet

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November 1 – November 10, 2016

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11/1 Review StoreyBook Reviews
11/2 Author Interview Hall Ways Blog
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11/4 Review Kara The Redhead
11/5 Promo Books and Broomsticks
11/6 Author Interview Reading By Moonlight
11/7 Review Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
11/8 Guest Post A Novel Reality
11/9 Author Interview Margie’s Must Reads
11/10 Review The Page Unbound

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on November 1, 2016

cvr-untouchable-earlTitle: The Untouchable Earl

Author: Amy Sandas

Series: Fallen Ladies, #2

ISBN: 9781492618751

Pubdate: November 1, 2016

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

“Are you afraid?”

“Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”

Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing by society’s rules. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who makes her breathless with terror and impossible yearning…

Though the reclusive Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret—one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arms’ length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to seek to heal his troubled heart.

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Excerpt

As his hungry gaze soaked up every detail of the woman who had been haunting his thoughts, he noticed something odd in her manner.

Her lovely gray eyes were lowered, and with her hair shielding much of her face, she presented a perfect example of shy modesty. The posture struck Avenell as wrong. Despite Miss Chadwick’s innocence and quiet manner, she was not one to avert her gaze. He had observed her enough in the preceding weeks to know she had an unnerving tendency to view her surround­ings with direct, consuming attention.

The girls on either side of her were clearly meant to highlight Miss Chadwick’s virginal appearance by contrasting it against their more obvious sexual lures. But Avenell noted they served another purpose as well. Keeping their arms linked with the young woman, they were able to subtly keep her in place as she swayed on her feet.

An icy chill swept through his blood.

Miss Chadwick had been drugged. Laudanum per­haps. Enough to relax her muscles and dull her brain. The girl was not there of her own free will. She was a virgin sacrifice being offered to the debauchery of the men before her.

A sickening dread rushed through him with such force that he thought he might be physically ill. His hands froze into fists, and his head throbbed.

Avenell looked away from the gross display at the front of the room and set his snifter of brandy on the table beside him as he rose abruptly from his chair.

His cool gaze swept over the other men in the room who had already started to shout their bids for the privilege of claiming Miss Chadwick for their own. It was difficult to tell if anyone else had recog­nized her, but it was obvious that no one intended to step forward and stop the proceedings.

Avenell stood locked in place, knowing that if he made a scene by dashing forward to interrupt, he would only provide more cause for scandal and her ruination should she be recognized. His body tensed to granite as he considered the best way to intervene.

Madam Pendragon laughed at the enthusiasm of some while teasing others to go higher in their bids. Avenell scowled in her direction and noticed that she sent him a sly glance in return.

As if waiting for—no, imploring—him to join in on the bidding war.

He looked away from the madam, for the first time not trusting the woman’s direction. He sent his gaze out over the other patrons.

The gentlemen were practically salivating as they competed for the opportunity to purchase the hapless Miss Chadwick. On any other night, these men may have faced the same girl in their own drawing rooms and would have been compelled to treat her with the highest degree of respect. But here, she deserved noth­ing but their lust.

Another wave of disgust rolled through him.

He turned a hard glare toward Madam Pendragon as he heard the bid spike into an astronomical range. Anger clawed at him, along with an unexpected sense of betrayal. She should have known he would not be able to stand for this type of diversion, that he would be compelled to find a way to act and save the young girl from a ruinous fate.

Of course, she would be pleased by the income she would garner from the spectacle, but as he watched her, he noticed signs of tension in the supremely self-possessed woman. At that moment, the madam glanced his way again. Her brows lifted a minute frac­tion of an inch as she subtly tipped her head toward the prize.

Avenell clenched his jaw tight but finally looked back to Miss Chadwick. There was the expected twist in his gut, the stumbling in his chest, the thudding in his ears he had been experiencing the last couple of weeks whenever he looked upon this particular woman.

The laudanum appeared to be wearing off. She had managed to lift her chin, and she stared out at the room with confusion and wariness in her eyes. She tried ineffectually to pull her arms away from the girls on either side of her, but they held fast, making a play of rubbing their bodies against her to disguise their forceful detainment.

Their ploy was effective, and the other men in the room reacted to the show.

But Avenell was not fooled. He saw the fear in Miss Chadwick’s unfocused eyes and the bright spark of rebellion.

In the next moment, Miss Chadwick’s wavering gray gaze found him in the far reaches of the room. And when her eyes locked with his, she refused to let go. He could no more look away from her than he could unleash the moon from its orbit.

There was only one thing he could do.

Speaking in a loud, clear tone, he entered the fray with a firmly stated offer that nearly tripled the last bid.

His competition turned to glare at him for how suddenly he had brought an end to the entertainment. No one was willing to top such an exorbitant price.

Avenell ignored them all.

He was far too busy battling an intense internal war between disgust at what she had been subjected to and an alarming thread of triumph.

Because no matter how they had both ended up here, no matter how wrong this all was…the woman who had been tormenting him for weeks now belonged to him.

About the Author

Amy Sandas’ love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother’s Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children in Wisconsin.

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, romance, women on October 16, 2016

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Synopsis

‘Tis the season for chaos.

Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Lowcountry. All Sam Sweeney wants is to marry her man on Christmas Eve surrounded by family and friends. But emerging complications, some humorous and some not so humorous, threaten to converge and derail the best-laid plans during the busy stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amidst the chaos—dealing with real estate, planning a wedding, running a seafood market, honoring traditions, and contending with teenagers—even the weather rears its head when the weatherman forecasts a white Christmas. Never has family support been more needed, but will it be enough to restore order and save the day?

Escape to the Lowcountry this Christmas where romance, intrigue, and holiday merrymaking await you.

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Review

When I first started reading this I didn’t realize it was a novella…and in a way was very sad that the story ended so soon! But it just left me wanting more and the final installment which will be coming up soon.

Sam has finally gotten over her fear of commitment and is ready to spend her life with Eli. I like how they are both recovering alcoholics and can help each other when temptation is too much. And there are times that it is very tempting.

Jamie brings home a friend for the holidays – a self absorbed girl that needs a HUGE wake up call, and I think she gets it but not the way she wants.

And I won’t tell you the twist at the end – which I did guess in the beginning, so this will make for some interesting reading in book 4 of this series.

You will probably want to read the first two books first since this continues the story of the sisters. You could read it as a stand alone, but then if you go back and read the others it might spoil some things.

We give this 5 paws up!

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About the Author

Ashley FarleyAshley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

HER SISTER’S SHOES—June 2015—is a women’s novel that proves the healing power of family. Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle. BREAKING THE STORY released on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense filled with passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.

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