* Review * DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Kendall Ryan

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Kendall RyanDirty Little Secret by Kendall Ryan
Series: Forbidden Desires #1
on September 14, 2017
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four-half-stars

She’s much too innocent for me, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting the sweet, young librarian. I’m dominating and possessive, and my control streak runs a mile wide.

The way she looks at me—like I’m one of the heroes in the books she loves, like I’m broken, and she wants to be the one to piece me back together—it only complicates things further. I’m nobody’s hero.

But there’s no denying my tragic past reads like one of her favorite literary classics. It’s raw. Visceral. Captivating. And together, we’re a perfect mess.

How can I resist when the sexual sparks zapping between us set me on fire? The need to control, and claim her force my walls to come tumbling down, but when she learns about my dirty little secret, will my world come crashing down with it?

The story continues in Dirty Little Promise, releasing October 9th.

 

Emotionally raw and tantalizing! I was hooked on the Kingsley brothers immediately! Yes, they are bad boys running a questionable business, but man are they hot! The character connection is explosive and leaves us gulping as we turn to the next page. Warning … there is a cliffhanger! The good news is, the 2nd part of the series is out only a couple of weeks after the first, so it’s a short time to wait for the conclusion. Great characters with an okay plot … it’s not super deep, but that’s not really what you’re looking for with this style of book. Looking forward to “Dirty Little Promise”!

Naive librarian Emma Bell’s last relationship and break-up was brutal, so she’s been lying low being single for awhile … well, except for Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome that she’s been sort of stalking at the coffee shop every morning for months now!

Gavin Kingsley runs a majorly successful business with his brothers. He’s serious and demanding and used to getting what he wants in life. She doesn’t think he’s noticed her … but he has … and finally he leaves a little calling card to see if she takes the next step. Will she run for the hills when she learns all of his dirty little secrets?

four-half-stars

* Blog Tour / Book Review * THE REAL THING by Melissa Foster

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Blog Tour / Book Review * THE REAL THING by Melissa FosterThe Real Thing by Melissa Foster
Series: Sugar Lake #1
Published by Montlake Romance on September 5, 2017
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as a player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough for her to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move…provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement and the real thing—including them.

 

A sweet and sassy romantic fake fling … or is it?? Melissa Foster has yet again spun a magical connection of friendship, love and hot steamy lust into a story that steals your heart! In the first book of the new Sugar Lake series, we get Willow and Zane’s story. The characters are fun, flirty and attention stealing! I love the bond that the characters have and how her family was a major part of their story. Can’t wait for more in the series!

Bakery owner Willow Dalton thinks she’s walking into a dream job when low and behold her best friend Zane Walker has pulled a fast one on her! The A-list actor needs her help to revitalize his player reputation and will stop at nothing to finagle her into it. Even pulling out the old “you owe me” routine … so she talked him into taking her virginity before she left for college years ago … big deal!

Telling the world, including her close-knit family, that they are engaged might seem like a crazy plan, but surprisingly no one doubts it. It seems the crush they have each had on each other for years wasn’t so secret to everyone around them! When even they have a hard time deciphering whether this romance is real or fake, they better take a look at what the future really might hold for them!

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Thing
Sugar Lake #1

By: Melissa Foster

Releasing Sept 5, 2017
Montlake

 

 

BLURB:

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

**THE REAL THING is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE, order the paperback.

Buy Links:     AMAZON | PAPERBACK

 

 

 

Link to Tour Schedule: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6f3WX8EH5jmeFlTMzlWZXZ6OGM/view?usp=sharing

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34092384-the-real-thing

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/203560-sugar-lake

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

“You’re sleeping on the couch,” Willow said for the fifth time in as many minutes as she and Zane left their suite. He was busy texting, and she wasn’t sure he was even listening anymore. He used to be such a great listener. When they were younger, he’d never acted like he was above her, despite the fact that he was the star quarterback, lead pitcher, and eventually the prom king, and she was two years behind and as awkward as a foal on new legs.

“Are you listening to me?” she asked as they walked down the hall.

“Yes. I just got confirmation. You’re catering breakfasts for the set. Cool?”

“Yes, perfect. But did you hear what I said?”

She had almost backed out of their deal twice since she’d accepted. First when she’d seen the king-size bed, which really drove home their situation, and again when Zane had whipped off his shirt to change and her sex-starved body had buzzed to life. She was still a little nervous about the whole thing, mostly due to that second issue, but she felt a certain obligation to help him. Regardless of how arrogant he was, she’d never forget how tender he’d been with her when she’d given her almost-eighteen-year-old self over to him, and he was a true friend, even if they had a weird friendship. The truth was, even if he hadn’t done her that favor before college, she would have agreed to his plan. She liked him despite his insatiable appetite for women. He was everything she loved in a person and more. He was confident and funny, direct and thoughtful, and honest when it counted. Painfully honest. The exposure for Sweetie Pie Bakery was just the icing on the fake-fiancée cake. What a difference national exposure could make.

Zane shoved his phone in his pocket. “Yes. Sleeping on the couch. Got it. But you can’t blame a guy for trying.”

She laid her best damn-right-I-can stare on him and pushed the button for the elevator.

“Fine. I’ll behave. Jesus, Wills, you’re never this uptight when I visit.”

“You mean that five minutes twice a year?” Willow remembered how happy he’d been when he’d finally left town to pursue his dream of being an actor. He’d been bursting at the seams for a bigger life. But her “five minutes” comment wasn’t really fair. He never missed Ben’s birthday, and he almost always made it back for a few days over the holidays, even though his parents had moved to Florida right after he’d graduated from high school and left town. He’d been back a few other times when he was filming nearby. Even though she rarely saw him, their texts—and the fact that he was her first real love, even if he didn’t know it—had kept him in the forefront of her mind. Unfortunately, it also kept her heartbreak pretty close to the surface, no matter how deep she tried to bury it.

 

 

 

AUTHOR INFO:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

 

Author Links:   WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

 

 

 

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four-half-stars

* Release Blast / Book Review * THE FINAL SCORE by Jaci Burton

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Release Blast / Book Review * THE FINAL SCORE by Jaci BurtonThe Final Score by Jaci Burton
Series: Play-by-Play #13
Published by Berkley on September 12, 2017
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia discover that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

 

A fast paced adventure of friendship, hot sex and football … what more could a girl ask for? This was my first book in the series, but I had a lot of fun with the characters and I look forward to going back and catching up on the series! Both Nathan and Mia have previous family members that were in the series as they both come from a sports family. The characters were well-defined and even though I didn’t read the priors, I had no problem keeping track of who everyone was and their history.

Nathan Riley is stressing his upcoming season when he will be taking over the position his father filled before him as the Quarterback of the San Francisco Sabers. He wants nothing more than to make his teammates and his father proud, but the pressure is really piling on the closer it gets to the season opener.

Mia Cassidy is happy to be living in the same town as her best friend Nathan again. It’s been years since they got to hang out on a regular basis like they did back in college! Starting up her new sports management company is going to keep her on her toes, and she’s going to need Nathan’s jolly attitude to keep her from losing her mind.

Neither of them expects the other to be willing to become more than just friends! They shared one hot night in college, but agreed never to speak of it again and their friendship has flourished over the years regardless, but when the attraction is boiling hot between them, will they decide to rock the boat and get some real stress relief … between the sheets??

 

 

 

The Final Score

Book 13 in the Play-by-Play Series

A star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

 

 

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four-stars

* Blog Tour / Book Review * BREAKUP IN A SMALL TOWN by Kristina Knight

* Blog Tour / Book Review * BREAKUP IN A SMALL TOWN by Kristina KnightBreakup in a Small Town by Kristina Knight
Series: A Slippery Rock Novel
Published by Harlequin Superromance on September 1, 2017
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

This isn't the man she married…

Jenny Buchanan never considered what "for better or for worse" meant when she married Adam Buchanan at nineteen. Six years and two little boys later, "for worse" arrives in the form of a tornado that ravages Slippery Rock and injures Adam. Now he's a stranger to his family…and love won't be enough to bring him back.

Only when Jenny asks him to move out does Adam become the husband she needs…but Adam isn't the only one who's changed. As their attraction sparks back to life, Jenny and Adam must learn what it is to grow up—and grow together—before this small-town breakup lasts forever.

 

Turmoil and heartache snare our attention with this latest dip into Kristina Knight’s Slippery Rock series. If you’ve read the previous books, you will recognize Adam and Jenny and already be familiar with what happened to him. I was hooked on the story just from enjoying the series, but watching them fight for their relationship kept me even more enthralled. She was hard to like, but I enjoyed their story.

Jenny Buchanan thought she had a happy life until her husband was almost killed in the tornado that struck Slippery Rock. Now she’s living with a cold and bitter man who is nothing like the man she married, and it’s making her take a big look back at their life together in a way she never did. She’s seeing ways that she never spoke up for herself, and ways she settled instead of reaching for what she wanted.

Adam Buchanan is shocked out of his new life of anger and self-pity when his wife asks him to move out. She’s tired of living half a life with him and the man he has become since his injury. He knows in his heart that she deserves better than the life he’s left her with, but he can’t bring himself to leave and give up on what they have shared. Can changing his attitude and trying to find a way to cope with his illness make his wife fall back in love with him again?

 

 

 

 

 


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Breakup in a Small Town
Slippery Rock #3)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
September 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

This isn’t the man she married… 

Jenny Buchanan never considered what “for better or for worse” meant when she married Adam Buchanan at nineteen. Six years and two little boys later, “for worse” arrives in the form of a tornado that ravages Slippery Rock and injures Adam. Now he’s a stranger to his family…and love won’t be enough to bring him back.

Only when Jenny asks him to move out does Adam become the husband she needs…but Adam isn’t the only one who’s changed. As their attraction sparks back to life, Jenny and Adam must learn what it is to grow up—and grow together—before this small-town breakup lasts forever.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequiniBooksSELRES_8deaf1ba-eadb-4af4-bbb1-8b974bbdb2b4SELRES_033faa07-54b6-4f82-b845-64a9928ca657SELRES_4d541858-e590-48b0-b1a4-f8c25240523fSELRES_8e6cbcdd-7054-4ba3-be07-76ca98ca4d57SELRES_8e6cbcdd-7054-4ba3-be07-76ca98ca4d57SELRES_4d541858-e590-48b0-b1a4-f8c25240523fSELRES_033faa07-54b6-4f82-b845-64a9928ca657SELRES_8deaf1ba-eadb-4af4-bbb1-8b974bbdb2b4Kobo

Other Books in the Series

Famous in a Small Town
Slippery Rock #1)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
May 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

Lifestyles of the small-town famous

Forced to leave Nashville after a scandal, Savannah Walters has come home to Slippery Rock, Missouri, with a bruised ego and her singing career in jeopardy. As if that isn’t humiliating enough, on her way into town she’s rescued by her swoon-worthy childhood crush, Collin Tyler.

His hands are full running the family orchard and dealing with his delinquent teen sister, so Collin doesn’t need to get involved with someone as fiery and unpredictable as Savannah. But the intense attraction between them can’t be denied. And when disaster strikes, they’ll both be surprised by who’s still standing when the dust settles.

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Rebel in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #2)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
July 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

He’s not giving up his family without a fight

James Calhoun has never been able to resist Mara Tyler, or her knack for mischief. Her reputation as a reckless teenager drove Mara from their hometown. So Slippery Rock is the last place James ever expected to see her, and Mara’s timing couldn’t be worse. With the upcoming election for sheriff, she threatens the squeaky-clean image James needs to win. Because Mara has brought with her the result of their steamy affair: his two-year-old son, Zeke. After the initial shock, James is determined to have both his family and career. He just needs to convince Mara that her home is where it’s always been. With him.

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And coming November 2017…

Christmas in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #4)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
November 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

Running out on her wedding was the best decision ever!

A cheating fiancé sends Camden Harris fleeing to her grandparents’ home in Missouri. When her ex follows, determined to win her back, Camden makes a deal with neighbor Levi Walters: they’ll pretend to be in love and she’ll support his plan to buy her grandparents’ land.

The boy from her childhood has grown up into an impressive man. His charm, good looks and sweet gestures make it difficult for Camden to remember this is fake. And Levi’s kisses only confuse her more.

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About the Author

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.

Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestBookBubGoogle+Amazon

Tour Schedule

September 11:
Launch
Celluloid Diaries
It’s All About the Romance
underneath the covers
Thought of a Blonde
September 12th:
Book Lover in Florida
Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Always Reading
September 13th:
Hearts & Scribbles
Nicole’s Book Musings
Becky on Books
September 14th:
The Bookworm Chronicles
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Harlie’s Books
September 15th:
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Teatime and Books
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
September 16th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive a signed copy of Famous in a Small Town and some fun swag
– US residents only
– Ends September 20th

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four-stars

* Review * SWEET DREAMS by Leigh Duncan

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * SWEET DREAMS by Leigh DuncanSweet Dreams by Leigh Duncan
Series: The Orange Blossom Series #2
Published by Gardenia Street Publishing on September 8, 2017
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Sarah Bowen is trapped in Orange Blossom...and she’s desperate to escape.

The day Sarah dropped her college-bound best friends off at the airport, she vowed to follow in their footsteps...soon. While she worked in her family’s pie shop and socked away every spare dime toward her expenses at a world-renowned culinary school, she dreamed of the day she’d become a famous chef and open her own restaurant. But Sarah’s plans have simmered on the back burner when one disaster after another delayed her plans. Her friends have established careers and started families while she remained trapped in a small town filled with nosy matrons who frown as they look over her shoulder. It’s no wonder that resentment has added a bitter undercurrent to Sarah’s otherwise bubbly personality, the same way finely chopped liver creates depth in her bolognaise sauce.

On the hunt for the next big hit in his family’s ever-expanding line of snack foods, Craig Star doesn’t expect much when a feisty brunette hands him a slice of orange meringue pie and insists it will change his life. One bite convinces the confirmed bachelor he’s found more than the winning entry in this year’s Patty-Cake cook-off. But with his future on the line, Craig can’t help peppering Sarah with kisses during early morning runs through the town’s picturesque streets, any more than she can stop herself from falling in love with the handsome newcomer during the long nights they spend tinkering with recipes in the bakery’s kitchen.

But problems rise like cakes in an oven when Craig chooses a place in the boardroom over his love for Sarah, and she discovers that success comes at a cost that may put her family’s pie shop out of business. With the fate of her family and her town hanging in the balance, Sarah turns to her girlfriends for comfort and advice. Whatever she does next, this time, she knows she’ll have no one but herself to blame for the outcome.

 

A sweet return to Leigh Duncan’s The Orange Blossom Series! Can strong attraction make it worth their while to risk their business relationship if something more doesn’t work out between them? They are willing to take that chance! You’ll recognize several of the characters from the first book in the series. I didn’t get as connected in this story as I did the first, but still a pleasant follow up. Looking forward to the next one.

Sarah Bowen has been waiting her whole life to get out of small town Orange Blossom, Florida and see the world. Her dreams of becoming a chef haven’t exactly worked out. First one thing, and then another have kept her working hard at her family’s pie shop. She hasn’t given up on her dreams yet, but she’s starting to get to that point.

Craig Star is looking for his pot of gold that will get him the position in his family’s snack food business that he really wants. All that he needs is a delicious option to win this year’s cook-off competition. When he passes through Orange Blossom and is handed a slice of Miss June’s orange meringue pie, he’s convinced it could be just what he’s been looking for!

four-stars

* Review * THE SUMMER THAT MADE US by Robyn Carr

* Review * THE SUMMER THAT MADE US by Robyn CarrThe Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr
Published by MIRA on September 5, 2017
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, summers were idyllic. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accident turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. None of the Hempstead women speak of what happened, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

 

A beautifully woven story about love, life and forgiveness! Seeking emotional healing is the main underscore of this story. It brings together a family that through circumstances and life were torn apart many years ago. In one healing summer, they come together to support one special member of the family, but in the end it’s a blessing for them all. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into each of their lives and having the opportunity to see what really made each of them tick in their own way. The culmination of the summer gutted me, but there was too much happiness and love flowing to let that one heart-wrenching piece take away the fulfillment of the story.

For so many years, summers at the family lake house in Minnesota were idyllic for the Hempstead family … until tragedy strikes and leaves the place sullied with ugliness and grief. The house was closed up and they never ventured there again. The family members each found their own way of dealing with their loss, and lives swirled out of control.

Now years later, one member needs the closure of going back to their childhood oasis to find the peace she so desperately needs to complete her life. She hopes to bring her family back together in this place that they shared so much love and laughter and open their hearts to forgiving each other for wrongs they perceive and most of all, to forgiving themselves for the mistakes they each made.

four-half-stars

* Blog Tour / Excerpt Reveal * CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE by Jill Shalvis

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series… Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below, and preorder your copy today!

 

 

About CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE:

Meet cute…

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself… just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spencer immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime

 

 

 

Pre-Order CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE in ebook or paperback, releasing 9/26/17

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo| Barnes & Noble

 

 

Add to your Goodreads

 

 

EXCERPT:

#Motherforker

The elevator doors opened onto the fifth floor, Spence’s private floor. He guided Colbie off the elevator into a lobby with four doors. One led to the stairwell—which Elle came out of with Daisy Duke in tow, perfectly behaved now, of course.

Two more doors led to Spence’s private penthouse apartment and office. The last one opened directly into his gym. They went through that door, and while Elle flicked on lights and hit the alarm pad to enter his code, Spence heard Colbie gasp. He turned back quickly to find her staring in awe out the windows at the sun setting over the bay.

“Wow,” she breathed, still shaking but taking the time to eye the 180-degree vista of the city as she hugged herself in his jacket. He knew that from where she stood, she could see the rest of Cow Hollow, and past that, Fort Mason Park, the Marina Green, and the bay.

And he thought it was pretty wow too. He loved this view. It was one of the many reasons he’d bought the building in the first place.

I wouldn’t be able to work out to this view,” she said.

“Never gets old for me either.” Spence pulled out his phone to crank up the heat from his app before remembering he hadn’t dried the phone out yet. He had to actually use the control panel on the wall before going to her at the window. When he was stuck in his own head and unable to get anywhere with his work, he liked to stare out at the city that was more home to him than anywhere else had ever been.

“I love it,” she breathed. “I feel like from right here I can see all the way to the ends of the Earth.”

He knew what she meant. Out beyond the bay stretched the Pacific Ocean in all its deep-blue majesticness, clear to the gently curved horizon.

“I could so write to this view,” she went on in a hushed, amazed voice and turned to Elle, who was working out her thumbs—on her phone. “This is such a great building. I saw the pub downstairs. And the coffee shop and that cute reclaimed-wood furniture place. What else is there?”

“More shops and businesses,” Elle said, her thumbs still going, Daisy Duke at her side falling asleep standing up. “An eclectic mix on the first and second floors. Residential apartments on three and four.”

“I don’t suppose you have any apartments available for a short-term rental?” Colbie asked hopefully. “I’m only going to be here until Christmas Eve but would happily pay for the whole month to stay here.”

“Sorry,” Elle said. “But no.”

Spence met Elle’s gaze. She was the mother figure he didn’t need, the bossy-as-hell sister he’d never asked for, and his favorite and most important employee, but she was also a colossal pain in his ass. “What Elle means,” he said, “is that she doesn’t know of anything offhand but I’m sure she could check it out for you.”

“Hmm,” Elle said and nudged a trembling Colbie toward the shower area. “The restroom’s through that door. Fresh towels under the sink. Go get warmed up.”

Colbie, apparently too cold to further argue, nodded. She shut the door behind herself and they heard the lock click into place.

Cute, sexy, and smart.

“Are you kidding me?” Elle asked him, keeping her voice low.

“What?”

“Don’t ‘what’ me. You know what. You’re in the middle of saving the world right now for Clarissa, remember? So please tell me what the hell you think you’re doing.”

They heard the shower come on from inside the bathroom. “Look,” he said, trying to not picture Colbie stripping out of her clothes. “I got her into this mess. This is the least I can do.”

“No,” she said. “The least you could do is give her a hundred bucks for her trouble and send her on her way.”

“Cold, Elle, even for you.”

“Did you even get a last name on her? Or what she does for a living? Did you vet her in any way?”

“For what?” he asked. “I’m the one who ruined her day, not the other way around.”

“And how about the way she reacted to you even thinking about touching her phone? Did you notice that little red flag?”

“Of course. And I wouldn’t have let a stranger touch my phone either,” he said. “Hell, I barely let you touch it.”

“You know what I’m getting at,” she said. “Maybe she has something to hide, Spence.”

Or maybe she was in trouble. She’d denied that but he couldn’t help but think of her sweet eyes and the haunted depths he’d seen in them. “She needs a place to stay. Give her the empty furnished apartment I’m holding on the third floor.”

“We don’t do short-term rentals here. By your own decree.”

“We do today.”

There was a beat of silence. Since Elle was never silent, it had to be shock.

“You hold that open for a reason,” she finally said.

“Yeah, and so far Eddie’s refused to come in off the streets, hasn’t he?” Yet another problem he hadn’t been able to solve, which tightened the ever-present knot in his chest. “Make the rent cheap because she’s a struggling writer—she probably doesn’t have much money.”

Elle’s mouth fell open. “She’s a writer? Are you kidding me?”

“Not a reporter,” he said. “A fiction writer.”

Elle just continued to stare at him. “Are you even listening to yourself?”

“Look, I got her knocked into the fountain and it’s butt-ass cold out there, and she rolled with it.” He remembered Colbie’s throaty laugh and it made him smile even now. “She’d been a really good sport about it.”

“Maybe she had a good reason,” Elle said. “Maybe she was trying to get close to you. Hell, maybe she is a reporter and the whole thing’s a setup.”

“Come on,” he said. “She couldn’t have known Daisy Duke would send her sprawling into the fountain. This happened on my property—I’m making it right, end of story.”

“Fine.” Elle pulled out her phone, which had gone off four thousand times in the past four minutes. “But I’d like to remind your stubborn ass that you’ve not been yourself since this whole media thing. You need to be more cautious about connecting with a stranger who appeared basically out of nowhere.”

“She’s not running a con on me.”

“I’m not saying she is, but we both know you’ve been screwed over, twice if we’re counting, and you haven’t come to terms with the betrayal yet. So just be careful, okay? That’s all I’m saying.” She pointed at him. “And remember, you’re the smartest person in this building and probably the smartest person I’ll ever meet. Use your powers for good.”

He had to laugh. “Ditto.”

She blew out a sigh, gave him a quick hug, and then she and Daisy Duke were gone.

Spence let his smile slip as he walked across the room to check the thermostat again. He’d heard what Elle had to say, and he got it. He was still stinging, and he wasn’t himself. Added to that was the project for Clarissa. The unfinished project. It was critical work, more important than anything he’d ever done, and it was kicking his ass. He was on a deadline and could feel it breathing down his neck every single day that passed. He could afford no break in his concentration and efforts.

A problem now that 99 percent of his brain had short-circuited over the thought of Colbie naked in his shower…

He heard the water go off and he pictured her wrapping herself in his towel. Dripping wet… Shoving his hands in his pickets, he moved to the window and looked out at the view that had so impressed her. Once upon a time he couldn’t have imagined living in a place like this, much less owning it. But he’d conquered the shitty hand that life had dealt him.

And he’d do it again if he had to.

The bathroom door opened, and even better than h is fantasy, Colbie emerged from a cloud of steam, her willowy body wrapped in one of his towels, her exposed skin gleaming and dewy damp. Her hair had been piled on top of her head, but wavy strands had escaped, clinging to her neck and shoulders.

He couldn’t tear his gaze off of her. There was just something so uncalculated about her, so…natural and easy. She was like a beacon to him, which was both crazy and more than a little terrifying.

Clearly not seeing him against the wall, she moved with an effortless grace to the suitcase she’d left at the door. Bending low enough to give him a near heart attack, she rifled through her things, mumbling to herself that she should’ve researched more about how to be a normal person instead of how to kill someone with an everyday object.

“Do you kill a lot of people, then?” Spence asked.

“Motherforker!” she said with a startled squeak of surprise, whirling to face him, almost losing her grip on the towel.

Five days a week, Spence worked out hard in this gym. Mostly to outrun his demons, but the upside was he could run miles without losing his breath. But he lost his breath now.

And that wasn’t his body’s only reaction.

 

 

 

 

 

And don’t miss the previous books in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, ONE SNOWY NIGHT and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, now available! Grab your copies HERE!

 

 

About Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

 

 

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* Review * THE WOMAN WHO COULDN’T SCREAM by Christina Dodd

* Review * THE WOMAN WHO COULDN’T SCREAM by Christina DoddThe Woman Who Couldn't Scream by Christina Dodd
Series: The Virtue Falls Series #4
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 5, 2017
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four-stars

Between vicious meth-cooking fugitives, hostile family members, rampaging egos in the Virtue Falls city council and -- shocker! -- not one but two compelling men competing for her affection, Kateri Kwinault, the newly-elected first female sheriff, has her hands full.

Because someone is stalking innocent women and slashing them...to death. With no one to turn to, no one she dares trust, Kateri has to wonder--who is the killer's ultimate target? No one is safe, and if Kateri doesn't find the killer before the night is done, she just might become the town's first dead female sheriff...

 

A suspenseful visit back to Virtue Falls, Washington! Old friends are reuniting, while new bonds are being formed in this town that’s being suddenly ravaged by crime. A meth-cooking lunatic is on the loose and every time they think they have him cornered, he slips through their hands. As if that isn’t enough, women are all of a sudden turning up dead in a horrifying way! The characters are fairly well developed, but there is a lot of them to keep track of, and several back stories being thrown our way as well to try to shift through as we take on this new mystery.

Newly elected Sheriff Kateri Kwinault is finding herself overwhelmed within days of taking office. A manhunt is on, a killer is on the loose, and her own recent injuries and those of a dear friend are holding her mind and body down more than she would like. She has great employees surrounding her, a man or two interested in her and a whole town riding her to solve these crimes.

New arrivals into town up the ante as more mystery starts to swirl and suspicions fly. Will the killer be caught before more bodies start to pile up?

four-stars

* Review * SECRET SHORES by Ella Carey

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * SECRET SHORES by Ella CareySecret Shores by Ella Carey
Published by Lake Union Publishing on September 5, 2017
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four-stars

In 1946, artist Rebecca Swift’s dreams of love and a life free from convention are crashing like the waves of the Australian coast below her. And it’s into those roiling waters that she disappears.

Forty-one years later, Tess Miller’s dreams are crashing, too. The once-successful New York editor has lost her most prestigious author to the handsome new golden boy of publishing. Meanwhile, she’s stuck with Edward Russell, a washed-up Australian poet writing a novel about some obscure artist named Rebecca Swift. But Tess may have underestimated Russell. His book is not only true—it’s a searing, tragic romance and a tantalizing mystery set in a circle of postwar modernists. When Tess uncovers a long-hidden secret, she’s drawn even deeper into Rebecca’s enigmatic life and death.

As Rebecca’s past intertwines with the present, Tess finds herself falling for the last man she thought she’d ever be drawn to. On the way, she discovers the power of living an authentic life—and that transcendent love never really dies.

 

A sweet love story that ranges years of ups and downs, surprises and heartaches to finally come around to being told and revered! The characters are well developed and the plot is an interesting spiel. I am not a fan of getting into the past, then back to the present every other chapter the way this book did. I always appreciate the writing more when the past is told, then it’s brought forward to the future … it just makes it flow and work better for me. Overall, an endearing story!

New York editor Tess Miller feels like her world is crumbling down around her. She already has a strained family life, and now the job that she lives for is falling apart. The prestigious author she spent years molding into a hit is being handed over to the new golden boy of the company, and she’s being handed what appears to be a washed up poet trying to reclaim his youth!

The more she reads Edward Russell’s story and the deeper she researches his past love Rebecca Swift, the more intriguing she finds them. A poignant love story is taking root, and she can’t help but be enthralled by it. When she uncovers a secret from Rebecca’s life, she’s left with how to reveal it without anyone getting hurt, and with letting the light of true love everlasting still be the spotlight.

four-stars

* Review * ON THE CHASE by Katie Ruggle

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * ON THE CHASE by Katie RuggleOn the Chase by Katie Ruggle
Series: Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on September 5, 2017
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four-stars

Injured in the line of duty,
His orders are simple:
Stay alive.
But when a frightened woman bursts into his life, Hugh and his K9 companion have no choice but to risk everything to keep her safe.

The sole witness to a horrific crime, Kaylee Ramay flees to the Colorado Rockies to start a new life. There she becomes Grace, a dog kennel employee desperately trying to avoid attention—especially from dangerously attractive K9 Officer Hugh Murdoch.

Because Hugh is tall, dark…and nothing but trouble.

Hugh is anxious to get back in the field after an act of heroism left him warming the bench.
Until then, he and his K9 partner Lexi spend their hours teasing the town’s mysterious newcomer. But when their simmering attraction is nearly cut short by a sniper’s bullet, Hugh’s mystery woman must come clean about the secrets she keeps…

Or both of them will pay the price.

 

Intrigue in the first few pages draws us into this story and keeps us invested in seeing the outcome. I had trouble connecting with Grace & Hugh at first because they almost seemed to be having a childish “I know you are, but what am I” back and forth bickering between them, but after they truly started having feelings for each other, the chemistry between them became believable and drew me in. Looking forward to more in the series!

Kaylee Ramay can’t believe what her life has become! Because of witnessing something she wasn’t supposed to see, she’s now on the run for her life in hopes that the bad guys won’t track her down and silence her for good. Now Grace Robinson, she is trying to keep a low profile as a kennel employee, but one particular guy isn’t giving up on getting to know who she really is!

K-9 Officer Hugh Murdoch might be on mandatory leave after an act of heroism got him injured, but that doesn’t stop him from zeroing in on the suspicious stranger in town … and it doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous! When incidents start happening, Grace is left with no option but the spill her secrets to Hugh in hopes that he can keep everyone safe … but when more is going on than meets the eye, they could all be in for the run of their life!

four-stars