Blog Tour: Maverick by Serena Akeroyd

Game on, Maverick. Game on.

Maverick, an all-new angst-filled MC romance from Serena Akeroyd, is available now!

Maverick’s in love with a dead man buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where his heart might as well be buried too. My husband’s stuck in the past, lost in his fractured mind, and the last ten years are a blur to him, meaning I’m a blur to him.

But I’m not a ghost. I’m a woman. I’m alive. I breathe. I hurt.

Should I let go or hold on?

My instinct is to let go, but I have family now. People who matter to me. A posse I’ll kill for.

I’m no longer nothing, I’m something.

I’m a Sinner.

And I’ve found my ride and die… now I just have to get him to remember me.

Impossible?

I’ve beaten worse odds and survived.

Game on, Maverick. Game on.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon | Amazon Worldwide

Excerpt:

“Where’s Nic?”

He kept on asking that, kept on demanding for this Nic who I didn’t know, had never even heard of, but his desperate tone hit my heart hard. If his desperation for a stranger didn’t take me aback, then my disabled husband, a man who lived in a wheelchair, stunned me further by getting to his feet, standing on them, just as Link and Steel, two of his MC brothers, as well as a nurse, made an appearance in the room.

They tried to restrain him after they got him back into bed, yet the more they tried to keep him there, the more anguished he was. The more desolate.

I had never heard him mention Nic before, but he was desperate to get to him—whoever he was. His brothers didn’t appear to know who this Nic was either.

“We’ll find out who Nic is,” Link vowed, his face sweaty with exertion as both he and Steel worked hard to keep him contained on the bed.

His words were the passcode that triggered a cessation of Maverick’s struggling. As if they’d flicked a light switch, he stopped. Turned still.

“Until then,” Steel told him, “Ghost is here.”

Mav stared up at him. “Who’s Ghost?”

I saw Link pass me a guilty look, but I didn’t stick around to find out how else he could break my heart.

I loved him.

What a time to realize it.

About Serena

I’m a romance bookaholic and I won’t touch a book unless I know there’s a happy ending. This addiction is what made me craft stories that suit my voracious need for raunchy romance.  I love twists and unexpected turns, and my novels all contain sexy guys, dark humor, and hot AF love scenes.

I write MF, Menage, and Reverse Harem (also known as Why Choose romance,) in both contemporary and paranormal. Some of my stories are darker than others, but I can promise you one thing, you will always get the happy ending your heart needs!

Connect with Serena

Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Website
Join her reader group here.
Stay up to date with Serena by joining her mailing list.

His Build (Jewel Lakes #2) by Claire Wilder (with bonus review)

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 06 November 2020
Published by:  Amazon Digital Services
Type: standalone, HEA
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance Comedy
AuthorClaire Wilder
Read: 25 November 2020
Shelved: 26 November 2020
Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Get it here:
Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads

Start the Jewel Lake Series today!

Synopsis

What’s the harm in a quick fling?

Graydon Mitchell doesn’t do love. Love means opening yourself up to pain, and Graydon’s had enough of that for one lifetime. All he wants to do is build beautiful homes in Jewel Lakes County and retreat to his lakefront cabin at the end of the day.

Lucy Fulham doesn’t do love either. As a New York City designer-turned-life coach, she’s busy executing her perfect life plan, which explicitly excludes relationships. Lucy knows what she wants, and it’s not getting her dreams stifled by building her life around a man the way her mom did.

But when one of Lucy’s favorite clients begs her to fill in on the interior design of his new lakehouse up in Jewel Lakes County, New York, she’s suddenly put in extremely close proximity with Graydon, the house’s skilled and way-too-sexy builder.

They’ve only got six weeks together, but there’s no denying the attraction. Graydon and Lucy are so hot for each other they’re liable to burn a hole through the framing.

A fling should get things out of their system, right? Or will these two relationship-phobes build themselves into a corner they can’t run away from?


Review

Graydon Mitchell owns Grayscale Residential Contracting, a construction company specializing in building and renovating cabin houses in the area of Jewel Lakes. His specialty to detail and professional work ethics edge his company from his competition and ensure a steady business stream.  

Lucy Fulham had a significant career change and is expanding this new endeavor – but with this career, change comes costs to do right by her clients. She has bills to pay. She was getting desperate in her “goal” that she was open to going back to her past work as a special request from a dear friend/mentor and a lucrative offer that she could not refuse. 

Note: Alfred Jones, mentioned in Book 1 of the series, is back! I love Alfred to bits, even if he was so stubborn in Book 1. He left in a bind with his Lake Shore house in renovations. His previous designer bailed out on him and enlisted (begged) for Lucy’s help. **Read Her Property to learn more about Alfred Jones and another new couple after this book to get the full story on that.

The attraction was a “banging” one. The revelation was an expected one that made me laugh when the truth came out on Lucy’s end – when she caught a glimpse of Graydon! 

It’s not as “shocking” as what happened in Book 1 but funnier. Lucy and Graydon’s first meeting had Graydon try to come to Lucy’s rescue, which he did not need to but was “massively” appreciated by Lucy to see him closely. 

Both characters know they are broken and miserable, even after discovering that there could be “more.” They would rather have something temporary than go through the hurt. 

Let her take the lead, and maybe this won’t go too far.

– Graydon, His Build

Lucy’s past is a semi-traumatic one, especially in dealing with the men in her life. She has come a long way in trying to be the opposite of how she saw women treated in her work industry. Although she has gotten more confident each day, she still has lingering issues based on her these experiences. She learned to curb her insecurities but at the cost of shunning men on any personal level. She looks at relationships in a more casual approach than finding anything more profound in the relationship department.

Graydon’s had enough hurt in the past to last him a lifetime, so he also, like Lucy, has giving dating a no-go and would rather have a “friends-with-benefits” outlook instead. He knows that anything he cared about will eventually leave, so he would instead not place his heart in that type of pain ever again.

How Lucy and Graydon can even propose a “casual agreement” with such a powerful attraction boggles my mind! It is taking a toll on both characters’ (and my) sanity! Yes, readers – this is NOT an insta-love type of romance. I believe it’s a slow-build but beautiful unraveling type of affair. The attraction is only one part of the “chemistry” shared by Graydon and Lucy. There is a maturity and growth for both characters as the story progressed that I enjoyed seeing bloom.

How Graydon and Lucy navigate through their “true feelings” is a cute (and sometimes frustrating) process. They may both excel in their professional life but fumble clumsily in the personal life department, especially between each other. It was as if they have never really seen each other beyond “colleagues” until now. I was snickering as both went “analytical mode” whenever one wanted to ask the other one out, even if it’s to shop for furniture.

I appreciate the author’s take on second chances and a different setting for a city girl like Lucy. It brings back how laid back things can be and how we should look at relationships. We should see “finding someone” should be – that things shouldn’t be difficult. It should organically happen; else, it is NOT the right person for you. In the end, both main characters needed to forgive themselves for being able to move to something better for each other. It was a very humbling thing to see them set aside the preconceived thoughts that harm and hurt them even before anything happened.

The specific pieces she had picked out with Graydon. It was as if by deciding she was going to sever the personal relationship they had, some part of her wanted desperately t leave a piece of them in Barkely Falls.

— Lucy, His Build

Overall, His Build is a highly recommended read for those who love slow-burning love and sweet characters! It reminds me of what we all look for in LOVE. The simpler meaning of being safe, protected and contented. The slow-building up of emotions and “meeting-of-the-minds” between Lucy and Graydon was powerful and made an impression that they were looking for a deeper relationship than just the physical, even if they were trying their best to deny this. They came together, effortlessly, and held on to each other to heal and find redemption. They are each other’s “home” without knowing it. Finding someone who you would be able to come home to as someone who will have your back and keep you safe is what this book is all about. The characters are more developed, and you see a better progression in the story’s thought and flow.  


**BONUS REVIEW**

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 25 October 2020
Type: standalone novella, HEA
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance Comedy
AuthorClaire Wilder
Read and Shelved: 24 November 2020
Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Get it here:
Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Can you be in love with a woman you’ve never met?

Logan Malachy is a man of simple pleasures. He loves a mug of piping hot coffee on his porch. The curl of wood under his plane as he slides it along a fresh piece of lumber.


A woman he’s never actually met. And can never have.

Ophelia Bradley’s favorite client is the gruff, sexy carpenter she speaks with on the phone every day. Talking to Logan is easy—they’re basically best friends. But that’s all they can ever be.

The chemistry between them is easy to resist…so long as they stay on the phone.

Can you be in love with a woman you’ve never met?

Logan is a literal dream! Sweaty, sounded woodworker who makes dreamy bookshelves and is full of longingAngela, Goodreads reviewer

Logan came across as a lovely guy – not to mention HOT – with a good heart and a real sense of what was right. – Bella Settarra, author of The Men of Moone Mountain series

A little bit of angst and a little bit of steam wrapped up in a short, sweet, swoony romance. Perfect for a pick-me-up or afternoon read. – Coffee and the Bibliophile

Author’s Note

Touching Wood is a standalone steamy short read prequel to the Jewel Lakes Series.

One-click if you love slow burn friends to lovers romance stories with Pam & Jim (The Office) vibes, but hot.


Review

Ophelia Bradley works as an independent dispatch service for the building trades around Jewel Lakes County. She is smart, friendly, and patient. The latter because of her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Rick – who she keeps “waiting” to grow-up.

Logan Malachy is the sole owner of a popular carpentry business. His business has grown in demand throughout the years and had to get someone to help him, even as simple as scheduling meetings and answering calls, which is why he hired Ophelia. Who knew that he would not even meet her in-person until years later when both of them are in a better place.

Touching Wood is told from the first-person POV – Logan, and Ophelia. Both, Ophelia and Loga, have kept their “orbits separate” due to their professional capacity to each other but an important job that hits closer to home brings Ophelia and Logan’s orbits colliding until it could no longer be separate. What happens, in the end, is something that should maybe have happened earlier but the slow-burn approach, forlorn-love makes the book organic and real. It is a funny, light read that readers will get a taste of Wilder’s writing style. It has a good plot with a blind-date/phone-pal approach. This is the second book I have read for Wilder – the first is Her Property.  Touching Wood is the prologue/novella to the Jewel Lake Series and is beginning to get good traction as one of the catchy rom-com series coming from this upcoming author.


About the Author

Hey! I’m Claire.

And there are two things you should know about me right off the bat:
❤ LAKES
and
❤ LOVE!
(Would it be weird to get that on a t-shirt?)

Okay, I love a lot of other stuff (my husband, my kids, my creaky old house, mancandy, chocolate, wine….I could go on).

But those two are HUGE–they’re the reason I write the books I write!

First, Lakes.

I am a wee bit obsessed with lakes. I grew up on a lake in Ontario, Canada, and practically lived in or on the water all year round.
Swimming and dock-diving in the summer.
Ice skating ’til it hurt in the winter (literally. Chill blains are the WORST!).
I moved away from the lake when was ten and spent the rest of my childhood growing up in a major city.
But the lake is in my blood. There’s just something about being by the quiet stillness of a contained body of water that’s just…magic.
Just like the characters in my books, I’m a city girl now, yearning for a life closer to nature. For now, I’ll keep saving lake pictures and writing about them like I’m still there.

More Importantly, Love.

The other thing about me is I love…LOVE. All parts of it: the thrill, the warm-hearted comfort of it, the closeness, the connection. I believe in love wholeheartedly!
BUT. When it comes to romantic love, I’m a little picky. The kind of love I love (is this getting confusing yet?) is sweet AND sexy, cozy AND hot.
But above all, I believe true love must be formed on a basis of mutual respect. That’s why I write books about REAL women and the sexy AF men who love them. Jewel Lakes men are never manipulative. They never make you feel bad about yourself. They’re always sexy and they ALWAYS treat you right. 

What Else?

I love movies in extremes: I love it when they scare the pants off me (The Woman in Black); make me cry my face off (Steel Magnolias); OR make me laugh ’til my sides hurt (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates). 
My favorite-ever food that I can’t cook is eggplant parmesan (though many dishes are close seconds–and I share lots of amazing recipes from foodies in my books in my newsletter). I also love a big ‘ol Costco hot dog (lol). 
I’m married to an amazing guy (Mr. Wilder) who is a movie lover (seriously ask him anything) and have three kids who drive me nuts but I wouldn’t trade them for all the sun and stars. 
When I’m not writing steamy lakeside romance novels (and the occasional sweet & sexy short story), I’m either reading, riding my e-bike (don’t knock it ’til you try it!) taking long walks by the ocean (which I consider a giant lake) or in the trees.
Thanks again for stopping by–be sure to check out my books page for all the latest info on my existing and upcoming work.

Connect with Claire
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

The Christmas Mistake by Josephine Templeton

TOUR SCHEDULE: Please find the complete tour schedule here and visit the other bloggers to show some love. There’s also a giveaway so scroll below for more details!
Thank you for all your support!

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Publication date: 01 December 2020
Published by: GenZ Publishing
GenresAdultContemporaryRomance
Type: standalone, HEA
AuthorJosephine Templeton
Read: 30 October / 2020
Shelved: 31 October / 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

Dressed in nothing but Christmas lingerie, Carina has a bellhop deliver her in a gift box to her fiance’s hotel room, but the last thing she expects when she is unwrapped is to see a sexy stranger in holiday boxers who looks like he just stepped off a magazine cover – definitely NOT her fiancé! How in the silver bells was she delivered to the wrong room?

As the owner of a small flower shop, Carina’s surrounded by romance on a daily basis. Her workaholic fiancé has been distant for the past several months, so she decides to drive from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to surprise him on Christmas Eve. However, that distance between them has brought loneliness, and the mere thought of the sexy stranger plucks at her mistletoe. When she discovers the reason for her fiance’s lack of attention, will she put him on Santa’s naughty list and take the stranger for a sleigh ride? 

Order your copy now!
Get it hereAmazonKobo | Goodreads
Add this to your TBR on Goodreads


Review

At the beginning of the story, Carina wants to impress her boyfriend/fiance, Bert, and make an effort in their relationship. Four years is a long time, so she tried to spice things up with Bert. Her idea would have been great if only she were not in the most compromising position inside a Christmas box in a stranger’s hotel room with only her underwear. This scene is a definite book-stopper! When She did find the correct room number, she got another surprise that tipped everything.

Conrad “Rad” LeBlanc has recently escaped his ex-girlfriend who cheated on him with her best friend. It was an experience that he would rather forget asap, so he and his friend set-off for a guys-only weekend in New Orleans. He was not there to hook up like his buddies were but wanted to have some alone time…or so he thought. It wasn’t until Carina jumped out of her make-shift refrigerator box that Rad had second thoughts of being alone on this particular trip.

The Christmas Mistake is not your typical insta-love story, though you might think based on the beginning of the first chapter or two. This story is your unexpected reunion in an embarrassing situation. The coincidence of finding yourself in front of a stranger’s front door of someone with practically little to the imagination is a horrifying and yet enticing one. Good thing that someone did not mind and seemed to have met you already, then finding out that you truly did not know your fiance as what you thought.

The story is a novella in a unique diary-style delivery. It would tell the story from the POV of Rad and Carina at the same time – one after the other in the following chapter. I found it refreshing because it gave me a peek into what the other is thinking in their head at that moment in time. Each smirk, glance, and action was explained and accounted for with purpose. Things were not what they seem in the end. This story is different from the usual rom-com books wherein moments would have passed, and the main characters self-reflect after-the-fact.

Carina was engaged to a man who did not respect her. Bert selfishly used Carina for so long, and when he got caught, he dared to deflect the situation towards her! I was happy to see that she did not flinch and was brave in telling him off!  

Two good things came out of her Christmas box mistake, she: 
(1) finally found out the truth about her and Bert’s relationship status, and
(2) she got reunited with an old lost friend, Rad, who did not recognize since he changed so much.

Carina and Rad’s childhood attractions resurfaced, but both were worried to be “rebound partners,” so none of them acted outside of being a good friend and support system. They dated other people in the middle, but there was always something wrong or not working between their respective partners. Carina and Rad would always end up being each other go-to soundboards, strengthening their friendship and attraction. If only they were truthful with each other, it would have caused less hurt for them. Honesty could have healed their lonely hearts earlier.

In the end, I like the story and how the author gave Carina and Rad their HEA. It was not all rainbows and flowers but more of a lot of “trial and error.” There was no cheating, but more like Carina’s and Rad’s timing was the issue for them. It takes a realistic look of love – that even after all those years apart, one cannot deny what the heart wanted from the start.

When the kiss ended, she stared into his eyes. “I see you now.” 

— Carina, The Christmas Mistake 

About Josephine Templeton

Josephine Templeton has six published novels that range from historical romance to urban fantasy. She has been to numerous conferences, including Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans, as well as a former member of Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Josephine
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

** Giveaway Contest ALERT **

Tour-wide giveaway (open internationally!)

Up for grabs is a $25 Amazon gift card, a paperback copy AND an eBook copy of The Christmas Mistake. Contest ends on December 10, 2020.
Click on the link to join (I know you want to!) at Rafflecopter RIGHT NOW!

Oh My Garland (All My Jingle Ladies Book 3) by Melissa Williams

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 26 November 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: standalone, HEA
AuthorMelissa Williams
Read: 08 November 2020
Shelved: 09 November 2020
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Get it here: 

Amazon | Goodreads

Synopsis

I’m a retired football player. So I know how to make a season count.
I may not be a player anymore, but when I set my sights on single-mom Gretchen, I know I’m going to have to up my game. Our first meeting leaves her bristling, and I’ll have to pull out all the stops to get on her nice list. She may be busy decking other people’s halls with boughs of holly, but by Christmas we’ll be wrapped up in each other.

Fall in fa-la-love this holiday season with bell ensemble group All My Jingle Ladies. Three feisty bell-ringing friends must face the music when the magic of Christmas brings them their happily ever afters.

Book 1 – Jingle Lady
Book 2 – Jolly Hour
Book 3 – Oh My Garland


Review

Gretchen is the beautiful business-owner of Gretchen’s Greenery and manages a Youtube channel called Getting Green with Gretchen. She is a single parent to Violet, a five-year-old ball of energy. Burnt in the past, Gretchen decided to focus her efforts on being the best mother for Violet.

Gretchen is the third member of the holiday handbell ensemble group – “All My Jingle Ladies” with Libby (Book 1) and Nadia (Book 2). An unexpected hitch in her order enabled Noah to bump into her, which started everything for the story. 

Noah Bassouni is a famous football player but had to retire early due to a bad injury as the book started. His football career being uncertain, he had been in a funk. His refusal to face the imminent result of leaving his career had his mother take charge kept him busy for the holidays. She had him run an errand to help bring in the holiday season to his gloomy home. Who knew that a simple garland would spark the miracle of the season.

Gretchen and Noah are as cute together as they are in front of everything. The attraction is steamy but in a GP status. The relationship has a level of maturity that was different from the previous books in the series. The story’s flow is simple and easy for readers to relate to the couple. Of all three books in the series, Oh My Garland has the strongest and most stable emotional connections due to Gretchen’s maturity. She approached the relationship with a clear head but also with consideration of her heart and child. 

Being a single parent and an entrepreneur has been hard for Gretchen. Violet can be a handful at times, and she only had herself to solve things until Noah came into the picture. His outlook with Gretchen is a package deal for him. He did not run after finding out about Violet. He and his family immediately accepted Gretchen as the whole package – a business owner, a mother, and a forever partner. Together, they exude the same protective attitude towards their family, whether to decorate a home or ward off pesky paparazzi. 

In summary, Gretchen and Noah’s story rounds out the series nicely. It is an easy read that will make you believe in the magic of Christmas and “meant-to-be” fates. I love the series!

**This book also brings back the characters of Books 1 and 2 and finishes it all in a wonderful surprise! Love the epilogue!!!


Meet Melissa

Melissa Williams lives and works in Toronto, Ontario and loves to surround herself in the random and ridiculous. When not writing steamy romances, she enjoys watching bad reality T.V., drinking wine and basking in the sun. But more often than not she can be found reading in her favorite comfy chair with a coffee by her side.
 
Connect with Melissa
Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Say Hello, Kiss Goodbye by Jacquelyn Middleton

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published: 26 November 2020
Published by: Kirkwall Books
Type: standalone, HEA
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama
Author: Jacquelyn Middleton
Read: 27 October 2020
Shelved: 29 October 2020
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Get it here: Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Bookbub
Add it to your Goodreads TBR list.

Synopsis

Will her fling become his forever?

Leia Scott has sworn off love. Fresh from a messy, public divorce from her hockey player ex, the twenty-six-year-old fashion designer temporarily trades New York for London to heal and embrace her freedom. Her vow? To protect her heart, steer clear of relationships, and say yes to flings without strings. She throws herself into designing upcycled dresses and exploring London with her sister. But Leia’s carefully curated plan encounters a flirty complication with an irresistible British accent. 

Wealthy, charming, and devastatingly attractive, Tarquin Balfour is tired of meaningless hookups and dates that go nowhere. For years, he has played the bon viveur with reckless abandon, throwing decadent parties, sleeping with a parade of women, and diving into extreme sports around the globe. But now the young property developer wants more. He craves love and commitment, to prove his kind heart matters more than the abundance of zeroes attached to his bank balance. Struggling with undiagnosed depression, Tarquin worries he’ll never find The One…until he meets his princess, a fashion designer named Leia. 

Afraid of falling in love and fearful of being alone, Leia and Tarquin enter into an entanglement that threatens to hurt them both.


Review

Leia Scott is a young divorcee working for the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC) as a collections management assistant, who is spending her holiday vacation in London with family in the story. She is a talented designer and hopes to one day run an upcycling design label of her own.

Tarquin Balfour comes from a family of different backgrounds – from showbusiness to sporting goods chain. He decided to forge success on his own with his unique take on land and property acquisition and development. He finds dying properties and gives them a “face-lift” to another purpose or bring back its former glory. Tarquin would rather reinvent an old space than demolish it to put up a popular food chain. He is also a doting uncle to Ava, whom he spoils, which is how he got to meet Leia at a shopping expedition for Ava.

I have been excited since I got the book. Many happy things were going on from the lovely cover book, the location (London!!) and the interesting characters. The best part, though, is the British slang provided. It’s as if I was in the UK!

The “happy parts” will surely make readers swoon! It is all about meeting each other, and everything was charming, cute, and blissful. They looked like teenagers trying to enjoy themselves as they have a great time! 

When Leia and Tarquin hung out more, they eased into each other’s lives well – a perfect fit! They have so many things in common – the love of preservation, the empathy and understanding of each other’s backgrounds, and the steamy chemistry top it all. Still, due to geographical issues, they decided to keep things casual to keep things simple. Leia’s career and life in New York were calling her while Tarquin has is work cut-out in London – how would they be able to work out in the end? Is that the end of their story?

I enjoyed the complexity of Leia’s and Tarquin’s stories. There were multiple layers as Leia and Tarquin have their “issues” to sort out before they can truly work out. Things are not what they seem – there were many secrets held by Leia and Tarquin from the rest of the world. The story’s timeline came in days, weeks, and months, making Leia and Tarquin’s personal growth as relatable as they realize the consequences of their decisions. 

On learning Leia’s backstory, I empathize with her past. After a disastrous marriage, she wanted nothing to do with relationships or connections, except for her family and work. Leia became a realist and a relationship-cynic. Her ex-husband blind-sighted so severely that the only solace she after was to dive into her side-business and her job. To think, Leia gave her husband so many chances but he “fumbled” traumatized her grandiosely.

It was sad to see that even with the amount of work (good demand for her work), and a few dates out, she is still “hollow” as she still pinned for the type of relationship she had with Tarquin. What’s worst is that she started comparing every guy she went out with Tarquin, which seemed unfair since she was the one who put-up “the rules” in the first place.

The self-realization that Leia and Tarquin are “meant-to-be” did not come at the same time for each other. Leia was the stubborn one. A comment of Leia’s sister, Sarah, brought to mind how wrong Leia’s perspective is – wherein after all the fame and fortune, who do you come home to share the success of one’s career. The intimacy and respect shared by someone who loves you as an equal is the ultimate love. This conversation they shared at no less Fortnum & Mason clinched it for me. 

After that, I was totally on Team Tarquin. It did not matter how he acted in the past. He took the risk for Leia and was ready for what she would dish out to him. Too bad it did not work out as planned. Leia was too proud to show her vulnerability, thus fought back, which shattering her in the end. 

Tarquin has his self-worth issues that I believe he had to resolve before he expects to find his HEA. He has to learn how to “weed out” the negativity surrounding his head, mostly due to his crazy family background and the pressures instilled in him at a young age. He became braver after talking to Leia and wanting to be a better person for himself and later for her.

The book dives into mental health as both characters have their “off-moments.” Each one has their coping mechanism, but some worked out better versus the other. I appreciate the author’s discussion on this topic, and it is essential to breaking the stigma of this disease. It plagues so many people, and yet no one talks about it. If left undiagnosed or ignored, this condition causes a lot of harm to the patient and their loved ones. During client-patient sessions, the discussion and perspectives shared were uplifting for anything who may or may not go through an episode. 
**The author provided resources on anxiety and depression, which is a huge plus. These organizations help spread evidence-based information and educate others on the disease and what options are available.

Everything in the book took a turn that gutted me! I was left speechless and quickly read through those parts. Thankful that the author made it clean and swift. If only both characters were truthful with each other from the start, it would not have been too much. There were so many missed opportunities, unanswered emails, unmade calls. It might have softened the blow since Tarquin and Leia suffered for their decisions. The story comes full-circle at the end that makes everything a lot more meaningful as both characters reflect on their maturity and relationship.

In summary, I cannot praise Say Hello, Kiss Goodbye enough! The book is all about adorable chance meetings, new adventures, second chances, repurposed buildings and fashion, and true love that endures! The imagery and descriptions are fantastic, and the places are unique for the characters. Who could say “no” to lovely London and British slang! 

The happy moments brought an incredible high of love while gut-wrenching, frustrating outbursts/confessions shattered my heart. The author makes no apologies in this but instead unconsciously pieces my heart back together and places me into a better place! The emotional rollercoasters of emotions, expectations, and the “Power of Suppose” kept my interest piqued until the very end. 

Meet Jacquelyn

Jacquelyn Middleton is an award-winning author of love stories for hopeful romantics–‘hopeful’ because her novels are always full of optimism and a ‘happy ever after’ is important now more than ever before. But life is messy, relationships are messy, and her books aren’t afraid to go there, too. If you enjoy character and relationship-driven stories about people dealing with the triumphs and disasters we all face, Jacquelyn’s books are for you.

In 2019, she was named BEST CANADIAN AUTHOR at the RWA’s Toronto Romance Writers ‘Northern Hearts’ Awards for UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES. She is also the author of LONDON BELONGS TO ME, LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT? and the upcoming SAY HELLO, KISS GOODBYE.

An own voices author, Jacquelyn has dealt with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression all her life, and is dedicated to depicting mental health challenges realistically and empathetically in her novels.

Jacquelyn’s books have been featured by The Hollywood Reporter, NBC News, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, USA Today, Cosmo, Redbook, and The Huffington Post.

She lives in Toronto with her British husband and Japanese Spitz dog.

Connect with Jacquelyn
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Join her newsletter for updates and new releases here.
Join her Facebook Group for book discussions and promos.

Blog Tour: A Bridge Between Us by K.K. Allen

“A breathtaking romantic experience that will have you on the edge of your seat. Allen delivers a poignant new adult must-read.”

 – Kandi Steiner, Bestselling Author

A Bridge Between Us, an all-new standalone small-town romance from USA Today bestselling author K.K. Allen is available now!

I had always known he wasn’t mine to keep, but that didn’t change the way I loved him—quietly, gently, and from afar.

As the seasons changed, the corn stalks grew strong, and the grapevines flourished with hope. But none of it mattered, not when the soil at our feet bound us in a century-old rivalry. We’d never even had a chance.

They said life flashed before your eyes on the way to death, but on that night, after my final scream burst from my throat and my world started to fade to black, I only thought of him. Of his sweet chocolate eyes, his desperately cautious stare, and his silence that carried more weight than gold.

I should have died that night. Instead, I crossed the moonlit bridge and never returned.

I let rivalry win. If only that had been enough to keep us all safe. If only we didn’t have a bridge between us.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

She starts to move past me toward the record player when something strong and instinctual—something that feels like fate—gives me a hard punch in the chest. I grab her hand and pull her back to me. Surprised, she stumbles a little, and her palms break her fall on my chest. When she recovers, she meets my gaze, and I don’t try to interpret it. Instead, I move her arms around my neck, wrap mine around her waist, and start to move.

Her eyes narrow, but they have a glimmer in them. “Oh, so now you want to dance.”

I cringe a little. “I don’t think you can call this dancing. And to be fair, I don’t think you can call what you were doing dancing either.”

Not even her harsh glare can hide the amusement she finds at my joke. She purses her lips to hold back her laugh then swats at my chest before moving her hand back around my neck. “At least I was having fun.”

“Oh, I was having fun watching you. Besides, you didn’t seem to have a problem with my moves at prom.”

Her cheeks redden, and when my gaze slips down to her neck, I find that part of her skin is changing color too. She’s flushed all over, and I can’t help but get excited that I’m doing that to her.

“Yeah, well, you also bribed me with a dozen pink roses, a tent, and a pretty necklace, so we probably shouldn’t compare experiences.”

At the mention of her necklace, my gaze locks on her throat, even though I already know it isn’t there. When she picked me up from the jail, she wasn’t wearing it then either. The disappointment weighed heavily, and as much as I want to ask her where it is, I choose not to go there. I had no right to question it back then, and I still don’t. “Just give me a few minutes, and I can rectify all that.”

She smiles gently back at me, and the mood shifts from playful to serious. “You would, wouldn’t you?”

My heart pounds so hard that I can feel it between my ears. I cup her neck while slowly moving a finger across her cheek, and I glance at her lips before locking on her eyes. “I would do anything for you, Camila. That hasn’t changed, and it never will.”

She blinks, as if she can’t believe me. I drop my forehead to hers, and when her eyelids flutter closed as a shaky breath rushes past her lips, I know she feels the same.

“How does this feel so normal?” Her words are just a whisper. “I close my eyes, and it’s like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.” She shakes her head. “I don’t understand.”

“What’s to understand? Our roots are deep, just like your vines, which adapt to every season. No matter the harsh weather, there’s always new growth.”

“Are you comparing our relationship to the life of a grape?”

The teasing in her voice makes me chuckle. “No. I’m comparing us to a whole damn vineyard. We’re the root.” I lean in, brush her lips with mine, and whisper, “You and me, Wild One.”

A shiver racks her entire body, and I tighten my hold around her, as if it could help. The way she’s engulfed in my arms brings me the most comfort I’ve felt in years. Camila’s right. This feels so normal and natural, like we were always meant to fit.

I brush my lips against hers again, almost expecting her to pull away and tell me it’s too soon or too late. Either one of those responses would be understandable. But when her fingernails dig into my back, I don’t ignore the message. I mold my mouth to hers and kiss her hard.

Her firm lips respond to mine immediately, and she steals every bit of my air as she breathes me in. I explore the taste and feel of her like it’s the very first time. In a way, that’s exactly what this is. It’s been ten years since our lips last touched, and though I’ve dreamed about it, nothing could have prepared me for the real feeling of our mouths moving as one, our breaths tangling with heat and desire, or our hands wandering as our mouths keep a slow and steady pace. The kiss is so consuming and powerful that I feel an awakening within me. And when she parts my mouth with hers and sweeps her tongue over mine, a growl rumbles through me.


Meet K.K. Allen

K.K. Allen is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author and interdisciplinary arts and sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt contemporary romance stories that are as real as they are inspiring. K.K. is a Hawaiian girl who was raised in Seattle, and currently resides in central Florida. She works full time as a digital producer for a leading online educational institution and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.

K.K.’s publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.’s love for inspirational and coming-of-age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.

Connect with K.K. Allen
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Blog Tour: Make Me Yours by Melanie Harlow

He’s my brother’s best friend.
The hot single dad next door.
And one accidental sext later, my massive crush on him is no longer a secret.

Make Me Yours, an all-new rom com that is all too sexy from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available now!

It’s my own damn fault. I’m thirty years old, for heaven’s sake. I’m a kindergarten teacher and a (reasonably) responsible adult. I should know better than to get tipsy and draft a fake text listing all the dirty things I wish Officer Cole Mitchell would do to me.

I wasn’t supposed to hit send. 

He wasn’t supposed to see it.

And he definitely wasn’t supposed to text back telling me to go on . . .

Because after that, things escalate quickly.

Cole is everything I’ve ever wanted. He’s sexy and protective. A devoted father to his little girl. A dedicated cop the whole town adores. The kind of guy you can trust to keep his hands to himself, even when you’re desperately hoping he won’t.

I’m not the girl he thought he’d end up with, but after all this time, I might finally get the chance to say the words I’ve always dreamed of . . . make me yours.

Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt

Darlene spoke up. “My mother passed them down to me, and I want to make sure they’re in good condition so I can leave them to Cheyenne when she gets married.” Then she crossed herself and closed her eyes, her lips moving in a quick, silent prayer.

 Cheyenne ignored her mother and addressed Mariah again. “My brother and I always had to wash and dry the wedding china on holidays before we went to bed. It took forever.”

“I’d stay and help you, sis, but I have to get Blair home. Sorry.” Griffin gave her a grin that said he wasn’t the least bit sorry, and Cheyenne stuck her tongue out at him.

“Cole, why don’t you stay and give Cheyenne a hand?” My mother suggested, wrapping her scarf around her neck.

“That’s a great idea,” Darlene said brightly. Then she sort of bent over and rubbed one hip, her expression agonized. “I’d help her myself but I’ve been on my feet a lot today and the doctor said that isn’t good for my joints.”

“You should just get to bed, Darlene,”my mother said, shepherding Mariah toward the front door. “Cole will be more than happy to stay and help Cheyenne.”

“Oh, that’s okay.” Cheyenne smiled at me and shook her head. “I can handle them.”

But Darlene beamed at me, reaching over and snatching my coat out of my hands. “That’s so nice of you, Cole. I’ll just hang this in the front closet.” Before she left the room, she and my mother exchanged a look that had me wondering if the whole helping-with-the-dishes thing had been a set-up.

Either way, ten minutes later Cheyenne and I were pushing up our sleeves in the kitchen, the house dark and silent except for the running faucet and the hum of the dishwasher.

“I’ll wash, you dry?” she asked, adding dish soap to the side of the sink she’d plugged and lined with a towel.

“Sure.”

She took a plate from the stack to her left and placed it in the warm soapy water. “Oh! I almost forgot.” Slipping her rings and bracelets off, she set them on the windowsill above the sink. “So I don’t scratch anything,” she explained.

“Oh.” I glanced down at my wedding ring. “It’s okay,” she said quickly. “You don’t have to take it off.”

“It’s fine,” I said, working it off my finger and placing it on the sill next to her jewelry. For some reason, I felt compelled to explain why I still wore it all the time. “Mariah once told me she likes when I wear it, so  .  .  .”

“I think it’s nice, ”she said. “I like a guy who wears his ring. It says something about him, you know?”

I nodded, my attraction to her growing even stronger. “Still, we’d better be careful with these dishes.”

“Damn right, we’d better,” she deadpanned. “This is my fucking wedding china, Cole. If we even look at it wrong, I might end up a spinster.” She laughed as she gently scrubbed the plate with a cloth. “My God. Is she not totally ridiculous?”

“She’s pretty bad,” I agreed, taking the plate from her and carefully drying it with the soft clean towel she’d given me. “But mine wasn’t much better tonight. Did you have the feeling something was up between them as we were saying goodnight?”

Yes,” she said. “And it’s probably my fault because I made the mistake of telling my mom you bought me dinner last night. In her mind, I believe we are now betrothed.”

I laughed. “That’s all it takes, huh?”

“Apparently. Tomorrow I’ll be pregnant because we washed dishes together after dark.”

“Wow. Guess I should have worn the rubber gloves.”



About the Author

Melanie Harlow is a USA Today bestselling author. She likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like Schitt’s Creek, Homeland, and Fleabag. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak. She is the author of the CLOVERLEIGH FARMS series, the ONE & ONLY series, AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a pet rabbit.

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DUSK (Dangerous Web #1) by Aleatha Romig

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 24 November 2020
Published by: Romig Works
Type: standalone, HEA but continuation
Genre: Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Author: Aleatha Romig
Read: 15 November 2020
Shelved: 18 November 2020
Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Get it here:
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Synopsis

“When your whole world is shaken from all the risks we have taken, dance with me. Dance with me into the colors of dusk.” ~ Ben Harper.

I’ve served my country, a man, and a cause. I’ve given my whole being while at the same time finding its true meaning. There was no way for me to know the day I met the men who were to become my best friends that they would introduce me to the love of my life.

Fiery red hair and hypnotizing emerald eyes caught my attention.
Creamy, soft skin, a stark contrast to mine, seduced my body.
Strength, devotion, and determination stole my heart.

I am Reid Murray, and I’ll kill without regret to once again dance in the dusk with my wife. This war has only begun. I won’t rest until it’s done.

From New York Times bestselling author comes a brand-new dark romance, DUSK, set in the dangerous world of Sparrow Webs. You do not need to read Web of Sin, Tangled Web, or Web of Desire to get caught up in this new and intriguing saga, Dangerous Web.

DUSK is book one of the DANGEROUS WEB trilogy that continues in DARK and concludes in DAWN.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

**Scroll down below for news on the prequel for Dusk that is currently offered on Amazon free for a limited time!

Pre-Order Dark & Dawn Now:

DARK release date: January 5, 2021
Amazon US | UK | AU | CA
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DAWN release date: February 16
Amazon US | UK | AU | CA
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Review

Lorna Pierce, now Reid’s wife, is kidnapped with Sterling’s wife, Araneae. She is the one that keeps both of them sane and positive with regards to waiting for help. She is brave and logical in the face of danger.

Reid Murray is part of the Sparrow clan with a specialty in computers and surveillance. He worked for Sterling Sparrow to secure his “seat” at Sparrow Enterprises after Sterling’s father’s reign. The book mentions Reid and Lorna’s first meeting a few times in the book. Readers can read their first meeting at Danger’s First Kiss – which I highly encouraged, and it is a great read!

Firstly, I have been a big fan of Romig since I read her Web of Sin Trilogy, which hooked me to the Sparrows Web Series. In Dusk, Sterling took charge of the Sparrows clan but in the process exposes his life and anyone around him to more danger. Unfortunately, I should have also finished the other characters’ stories BEFORE diving into Dusk since I was a bit lost with learning about the rest of “his team” and their respective partners. There were a lot of new names and events to be matched. Good thing Romig did a few “flashbacks” in between the present, which enables me to focus on Reid and Lorna and the critical parts in the book.

Thus, I recommend reading the Sparrow Webs series to fully appreciate and ensure that the characters and their backstories do not slow you down. I stopped a bit to reflect and connect what happened to whom.  

The story is told from Reid’s and Lorna’s POV with necessary flashbacks to hone in critical objectives to the plot. The story flow is the right balance of uncertainty from Lorna’s side and race to find a rescue plan from Reid’s side.

As I read along, I got into it…really got into it. I remember how much I love Romig’s style of catching readers without them knowing it. Before long, I was half-way through, coiled up in suspense and worry for everyone – Reid planning the rescue and Lorna trying her best to survive with the situation. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but one that ended with a curious ending.

I loved how this book showed the side of Lorna as a brave woman. She is a Sparrow now. She protects and defends them through all the trials and tortures was thrown her way in captivity. She looked fear in the eye and defended her friends and family to the evil that wanted nothing more than to harm them.

There is a more significant, unforeseen threat to the Sparrows from the past. It is from another team member’s history but with the rest of the team’s loved ones at their mercy. There were many twists and heart-shattering moments that I had such an emotional spiral with what happened further with Araneae and Lorna as they try to survive. 

I am always on-edge with cliffhangers. Coming into this trilogy, I know this book will get me worked up. I understand that this makes the book a worthy read because Romig gave each character and situation their unique importance. I love and appreciate this even more since I could not connect to Books 4-6 of the series. I recall what Lorna shared with Araneae when she was on the verge of giving up. Lorna’s story gave relief to an all-intense moment for readers. The length provided a fantastic backdrop for the series, and I was more settled to continue with the trilogy.

In summary, I like the book – a lot! I could not put the book down and kept telling myself to finish one more chapter and then another. Before I knew it – it was all over! The story was left me having to wait for the next installment. 

Romig’s visuals and characters are as colorful and adventurous as how I remembered them to be. She is a skillful storyteller of suspense and mystery with a hint of danger that kept me on-the-edge-of-my-seat on each page. 


About the Author

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand-alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved headfirst into the world of dark romantic suspense saga with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five-novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy PLUS ONE, followed by ONE NIGHT, and ANOTHER ONE. Her range of genres includes erotic romance novellas in her INDULGENCE series.

Aleatha returned to her dark roots in 2018 with WEB OF SIN, a dark romantic trilogy with an all new anti-hero. The Sparrow Webs continued with TANGLED WEB, WEB OF DESIRE, and soon DANGEROUS WEB.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America, NINC, and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Her marketing is represented by Wildfire Marketing.

Connect with Aleatha
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**Prequel Alert**

“A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.” ~ Mack David, et all for Cinderella

From New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes an intriguing and fun prologue to her newest romantic-suspense trilogy, Dangerous Web. DANGER’S FIRST KISS – A modern Cinderella story.

This novella is set in the dangerous world of the Sparrow Webs. You do not need to read Web of Sin, Tangled Web, or Web of Desire to get caught up in this new dark-romance saga, Dangerous Web.

DANGER’S FIRST KISS is the prequel to book one of the DANGEROUS WEB trilogy –> Reid and Lorna’s story

On the surface, the world glitters with all things only money can buy. My thoughts should be on the danger lurking beneath the surface. The money and power come from places and dealings the world pretends don’t exist. I’m here at this debutante ball as a representative of the new Sparrow underworld. The clock is ticking as alliances are formed and enemies eliminated.

There isn’t time to be distracted, and yet I catch a glimpse of the stunning woman across the room.

Surely, she’s untouchable to someone like me. Maybe she’s royalty or the daughter of a dignitary. Yet I’m drawn to her in a way I can’t describe. Her beautiful, seductive smile, bright emerald eyes, and luscious red hair beckon me until I find myself by her side.

Her voice sings to me while her laugh shines sunlight into my dark and dangerous world.
And then the clock strikes midnight and she’s gone.
I want more than that first kiss.

Blog Tour: In Trouble With Him by Stacy Travis

In Trouble with Him, a not-to-be-missed, forbidden standalone romance from Stacy Travis is available now!

Falling in love was asking for trouble.

Meeting a hot professor at my best friend’s wedding has hookup written all over it.

Dammit it if he isn’t unexpectedly charming, making me want to abandon one-night stand plans for something more.

But dammit again if he doesn’t run off mid-kiss like a fugitive from Cinderella’s pumpkin coach.

That’s because he’s got a curfew as part of his house arrest for insider trading. Oh well, I’ll never see him again anyway.

Except that he shows up at my office—at my new job where I’ve just been made a law partner.

Turns out, he’s my newest client and he may be guilty of all kinds of things. Would it be a crime if he steals my heart?

Download your copy today!

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Excerpt

“Wow, time flies, huh?” he said.

“Are you having fun?”

            He studied me for a moment. Then he was silent again. Of course, he wasn’t having fun. He was facing potential jail time and major fines from the SEC, not to mention he’d been put on leave from the job he loved, and his tenured position was probably in jeopardy. What a stupid thing to ask. “Sorry. I know this can’t be fun for you.”

            After looking through the conference room glass for a moment, he nodded. “Actually, it is. But only because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since we met, and now that I have the pleasure of your company, it makes me happy,” he said.

            “Wait, what?” I felt just as giddy as I had at age fourteen when a boy I’d been crushing on for months asked me if I’d mind paying for his slice of pizza after a high school football game. This was pre-cheerleading, to be clear. After I made the squad, the fourteen-year-olds paid for me. Mostly.

            “Was that not clear? I can’t stop thinking about you. I’ve barely thought of anything but you since we met. And given that I’m charged with insider trading and facing jail time, I find that significant.”

            “Oh.”

            “Oh?”

            “I mean, that’s… ordinarily, it’s exactly what a woman wants to hear. But now…”

            “Now that you know I’m charged with insider trading?”

            “No, now that you’re my client. You insisted on being my client. I gave you an out, and you insisted. So now you get lawyer me, not Saturday night me. That was your choice,” I said. It was my turn to look through the glass because I couldn’t keep gazing at him without repercussions.

            “I wasn’t aware you were two different people. For the record, I like both,” he said with a smile.

            “You don’t get both. That’s not how this works.” I turned toward my notes, hoping he understood that recess was over.

“I’m the client. Don’t I get to dictate how things work?” he asked.

            “No, you get to be the client. You answer my questions, and you behave yourself so I don’t get fired or disbarred. I feel like you weren’t listening when I just explained all that.”

            “I was listening. I just chose to ignore it.”

            He was frustrating. The fact that he was hot in a nerdy chiseled-jaw professor way was also frustrating. I needed to get control of the situation. Looking at the stacks of books on the conference room shelves, I saw nothing to give me direction as to how to handle the situation.

They should make law books for this. Or self-help books. Any guidance would be welcome.


Meet Stacy

It’s a rough world out there, and we all sometimes need a good, romantic beach read, even if we can’t make it to the beach. I’ve spent many lazy days walking the streets of Paris and other gorgeous European cities, and if I’m doing it right, I’m bringing you a dash of romance and a vacay fantasy.

I can’t sit still, so when I’m not hiking, biking or running, I’m playing a very average game of tennis. Background music for writing undoubtedly features some U2, Lizzo, Billy Joel, Pink, Taylor Swift, and Led Zeppelin. Not necessarily in that order. And if I could only eat one food group, it would be cheese. Or wine. Or bread. Are those food groups? Whatever.

Connect with Stacy

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A Cinderella Story (The Best Draft #1) by E.K. Woodcock

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 3 April 2020
Type: standalone, series, HEA
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Author: Ebru Kartal
Pages: Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Read: 18 November 2020
Shelved: 19 November 2020
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get it here:

Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

With the magical feeling of Christmas around her, will Skylar find her Prince Charming?

When her mother gifts her a psychic reading on her twenty-sixth birthday, Skylar O’Conner’s jaded outlook has her bored before she even steps inside. However, the psychic touches on things even Skylar hasn’t admitted to herself, and the whole experience sticks with her—especially when she finds an abandoned purple rainboot at the mall later that day.

Since his wife died two years ago, Carter Montgomery’s entire world has centered around his daughter Everly. At this point in his life, he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to move on. And then a blonde with curly hair and emerald eyes waltzes into his life and awakens desires he thought no longer existed.

Neither Skylar nor Carter are prepared for what fate has in store for them, yet the pull toward one another is undeniable. But when a simple gift causes a horrible misunderstanding, Carter pulls back out of fear the scars on his heart still cut too deep. 

Will pain from the past deny them the chance of a beautiful future? 


Review

Skylar O’Conner is a special events coordinator of a non-profit company. She has been unhappy with her current position status, even if she does not have any work problems. After a peculiar visit to her mother’s psychic, Aubrey told Skylar that she was at a “crossroads” and had to decide what she wants to do to take control of it. Her “reading” gave a lot of vague details on how to do this. But Skylar leaped and decided that it was “time.” Good thing, too, because that is how she ended up meeting Carter in the process.

Carter Montgomery is a widower and a single parent to a lovely three-year-old daughter, Everly. He works in the construction business and tries his best to balance being an owner and a parent. His mother helps him out with Everly as he also copes with the loss of his wife.

Skylar and Carter narrate the book from each of their perspectives. The story’s pace is smooth and easy. Their chance meeting was a cute one and was a reverse Cinderella story that tugged my heart. It all turned into a comedy when they bumped into each other the second time around while in preparation for a “would-be’ third meeting had me laughing my head off. I did not see that “list” coming.

I love how easy and relatable the characters are. They have their issues, but both characters are realistic, especially with a child.

It talks all about finding love, second chances, and keeping positive all rolled into a feel-good Christmas book. Of course, there is the expected conflict, all based on misunderstanding and “not-getting-the-whole picture,” which surprised me. Because I thought Carter was a mature man, but with so many unresolved issues in the past, he still has a bit of a way to go.

I appreciated seeing how Skylar left to believe in herself with her mom and Aubrey’s guidance. Even though things hurt at first, Skylar still was patient enough to thread through the pain of loss and come out a better person. She did trust herself, and that is what I wanted to point out to readers – she believed and “claimed it,” then things started to look up for her!

A Cinderella Story is one of the easiest and “go-with-the-flow” reads as of date. I enjoyed the balance between the funny, snickering moments to the hurtful, misunderstanding parts offered in the book. It is a great read to put everyone in the season of giving, love, and healing.


Meet E.K. Woodcock

Ebru Kartal is a book blogger turned into an author. She currently has a couple of books out in the wild and is working on many others.
When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, blogging, or running after her gang of hooligans at home. Ebru lives in Cochrane, Alberta with her two lovely children and husband.
She was born in a land called “Turkey” and became Canadian in May 2015. She loves to travel and hopes to travel the world one day.

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