Release Blitz: Fighting the Fire by Laura Kaye

Today we have the release day blitz for Laura Kaye’s new contemporary romance, FIGHTING THE FIRE! Check it out and order yours now!

Title: Fighting the Fire
Author: Laura Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Here’s what you’ll get in Fighting the Fire:
🔥Smart-ass firefighter hero who’s also a closet nerd
🔥Kick-ass ER nurse heroine
🔥Frenemies to lovers when she nurses him back to health
🔥Superhero movie marathon fun
🔥Snarky banter for days!

A Note from Laura:

Dear Readers,

I’m so excited to share my new standalone romance, Fighting the Fire! This is the fourth book in my Warrior Fight Club contemporary romance series, which mixes military and sports romance elements to tell the story of an MMA training club which creates a found family for veterans transitioning to civilian life and dealing with their war-borne demons. In Fighting the Fire, Sean and Daniela are two of my favorite characters I’ve ever written–they’re both strong, loyal, snarky, and hiding some pretty deep hurts that in the end make them so perfect for each other. And all that frenemies tension makes the chemistry between them hot AF! I hope you love them as much as I do!

xx Laura Kaye


Get it here:
Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay
Series on Goodreads
Goodreads Giveaway

Synopsis

One night is never enough…

For firefighter Sean Riddick, Warrior Fight Club keeps the demons of his past at bay, even though it means seeing Daniela England. Her ball-busting sarcasm drives him nuts, and he knows he’s damaged goods anyway, but he can’t help but remember how good they were together that one time. Now he wants to take her to the mats no matter how much they go toe to toe.

ER nurse Daniela England has lost so much that she’s vowed never to need anyone again. Fight club helps her beat back her survivor’s guilt, but it means dealing with Riddick. The hot-but-infuriating firefighter is everything she wants to avoid, which is why their one-night stand was a mistake. Now she needs to keep her distance so it doesn’t happen again.

But when Dani witnesses Sean’s motorcycle accident, she steps up to help him recover. One on one, they get beneath all the snark and find a connection neither expected. As Sean heals, the sparks between them burst into red-hot passion—and ignite old wounds. Now there are fires all around—and they have to decide which they’ll fight and which they’ll let consume them.


Excerpt

The next thing Dani knew, she was over Sean’s shoulder and being carried into the house. Up the stairs.

“Sean, put me down. You’re gonna hurt yourself, you big idiot!” She tried to twist out of his hold, but his arm was tight around the backs of her legs.

“I’m fuckin’ fine,” he said in a sexy growl. “And we both know you like getting held down, so don’t pretend that this isn’t making you wet.”

“Damn you,” she said, dizzy more from the force of her arousal than hanging upside down.

He let out a sexy chuckle as he started up the stairs to his second floor. Her thinking brain wanted her to tell him he was going to hurt himself again, but she surrendered to the baser part of herself. The part that knew Sean was right.

She was already wet.

He dropped her unceremoniously on his big bed. The gray-and-white-striped sheets were messy, and the hunter green comforter was folded back, all as if Sean had just rolled out of bed. It made it feel more intimate, somehow, like she was seeing into a part of his life that she wasn’t meant to see. She rolled to find Sean tearing the button-down off, exposing those muscled shoulders and ridged abdomen. His bruising wasn’t quite as dark now, and in places was turning yellow-green as it healed.

Dani’s gaze dropped down to the considerable bulge that filled out the front of his jeans. God, she wanted him to absolutely overwhelm her. And she knew he was one hundred percent capable of it, too.


About the Author

Laura Kaye is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 books in contemporary, erotic, and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, and has sold nearly two million books in the U.S. alone. Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. A former college history professor, Laura also writes bestselling historical women’s fiction as Laura Kamoie. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Connect with the Laura:

Website | Facebook | Reader Group | Twitter | Instagram | Get Free Books

Enter Laura’s Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3e5c967557/

Blog Tour: The Sound of Temptation by Dylan Allen

The Sound of Temptation, an all new epic and passionate standalone romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Dylan Allen is available now!

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide| Goodreads

Synopsis

Unbelievably gorgeous, wildly talented, and on the cusp of stardom, Carter Bosch was the kind of man I’d never dared to dream of.
But the summer he showed up in my small town –  city slick and full of promises –
He put stars in my eyes and hope in my heart.
He called me his muse and said we were meant to be.
And until the day he broke my heart, I believed him.

Ten years later, his reputation tarnished by scandal and personal tragedy, Carter’s back.
He begins a relentless pursuit to win me back, but those stars in my eyes have been replaced by flames. And for a chance to claim my ticket to freedom, I made a deal with the devil that I dare not break. But, a rock god fallen from grace is still a god,
And a woman with her walls up, is still a woman.
Soon, my foolish heart is torn between duty and desire.

When it finally falls, he stands ready to claim it.
Just when we think we can see forever, a dark secret is revealed that rips us apart.
Loving him is forbidden, but my heart can’t let him go.
Because Carter and I are meant to be.
And what’s meant to be will find a way.


Excerpt

“I promise I won’t say a word. You can just pretend I’m  not here.”

His eyes narrow. When with no warning, he wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me into his body.

I’m average height for a woman, but he’s above average height for a man, and my eyes are level with his collarbone. I have to drag my eyes up the smooth, tan column of his throat, past his square, lightly bearded chin, over the twin mounds of perfection that are his lips, up the tiny bump in the ridge of his strong nose to his eyes.

And the look in them sends my pulse into a sprint. The unabashed adoration threatens to catapult me back in time. He’s always looked at me like this…like he could see the same magic I imagined.

But the naked need in them is new, and it keeps me firmly tethered to the present.

He runs a finger along my temple, tracing my hairline before he cups the back of my head with his hand. Gooseflesh ripples across my neck and runs up my scalp. My heart is beating out of my chest.

“I thought my memories of you were inflated, but they weren’t even close.” His voice is soft and deep and vibrates between us.

“In—” I have to clear my throat. “In what way?”

“Your skin is so soft. I’ve missed touching it. Seeing it.” His fingers sink into my hair, and his grip around my waist tightens.

“I see.” My body is one big pulse point, and I know he can feel it beating in time with his.

He’s looking at me like he’s seen all my sketches and knows he can have me anyway he wants.

And this is why I put on the worst underwear imaginable.

I knew this was going to happen, and Lord help me, ninety percent of me wants to let it.

I disentangle myself from the sweet cradle of his arms and step away. “You ready?” I plaster a smile on my face.

His eyes blaze with frustration, and he blows out a harsh breath. He drops his gaze to the floor and is quiet for so long that I’m afraid he’s going to say no. But then he looks up and claps his hands together with a resigned but good-natured smile lifting the corners of his lips. “Absolutely. You draw, I’ll play,” he recites it like a mantra and then retreats to the piano.

I stare longingly at his broad muscular back for a beat before I sit down.

As he circles the piano, he runs the flat of his hand over the top in a stroke that’s reverent. He smiles to himself and skims his fingers along the keys.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything,” He sits on the bench and  starts to play a bright, little melody one-handed while he talks. “Plato said that.”

“Well, tell me what Carter Bosch has to say.”

He bites his lip and then laughs as he starts to use both of his hands. I don’t recognize the song he’s playing, but for now it’s just background music for our conversation.“I would say music is the miracle that saved me.”

His eyes slide to me, and the look in them steals my breath. It’s the wide open vulnerability that comes with being in love…

“It saved you?” And now, I’m jealous of a piano.

He nods. His fingers dance lightly over the keys, playing scales, slowly, deftly. “Let me play for you.” His voice is deep, sensual, and a tremor of excited anticipation runs through me.

I nod.

Without taking his eyes off me, he starts.

“Oh,” I gasp in surprise when I realize it’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. – the same he played the first time he came here.

Just like that night, I’m defenseless against the light that his music bears. It seeps through the fractures in the thick armor I’ve put around the places and spaces that are most vulnerable.

I feel the thaw immediately. Just like that, a long, dark winter ends. Color and light spring to life illuminating all the things I haven’t been able to see for so long. Hungry to capture it, I open my eyes and reach for my sketch pad.

Carter is lost to the song too. His head is tilted back like he’s gazing at the ceiling, but his eyes are closed. He and the piano work in effortless unison to create what to my heart, mind, soul, and body, is the very sound of temptation, hope, and courage, and love.

When I hear it, I can do anything.

I’m not stupid. I know nothing lasts forever, but while I have this light, I’m going to revel in it.


About the Author

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Dylan Allen is a Texas girl with a serious case of wanderlust.

A self-proclaimed happily ever junkie, she loves creating stories where her characters chase their own happy endings.

When she isn’t writing or reading, eating or cooking, she and her family are planning their next adventure.

Connect with Dylan
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Book + Main
Stay up to date with Dylan by joining her mailing list here.

The Substitute (Wedding Pact #1) by Denise Grover Swank

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Published on: 21 January 2015
Type: HEA, series, standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Read: 23 March 2021
Shelved: 24 March 2021
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Audio | Audioble | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Megan Vandemeer meant to tell her parents about her broken engagement, but a month and a half later she finds herself boarding a plane home to her wedding. Having stretched avoidance to its limits, it’s to come clean–a terrifying prospect since her mother is sure to blame her rather than her cheating, emotionally frigid ex. A couple of drinks and two Dramamine later, Megan finds herself spilling her sob story to the tall, dark, and handsome stranger in the seat next to her.

With only one week left to save his business, Josh McMillan boards a plane to Kansas City in a last-ditch effort, leaving the details to chance. An unexpected answer is delivered in the form of the beautiful brunette beside him. Though she’s completely loopy, her honesty, openness, and humor charm him. So when she passes out before landing, he helps her off the plane–a good deed that leads to a colossal misunderstanding. Her parents assume he’s her fiancé. In a twist of fate, the mix-up might help Josh save his business, so he plays along, figuring he can help Megan too. All he has to do is stage a public break up convincing enough to appease her mother.

Josh is only supposed to be a substitute groom, but the more time he and Megan spend together, the more their pretend engagement starts to feel real…and the less they want to break it off. Can a relationship that began as a farce turn into happily ever after?


Review

Megan Vandemeer is on a plane to fly back to her hometown for her weekend wedding. The catch is that she broke her engagement a few months ago. She was afraid to tell her parents, who have planned an elaborate wedding awhile now. Megan is not devastated about the break; instead, she worries about breaking her parents’ hearts and expectations. In comes her answer – Joshua not only saved her from airport security due to her drunken-state but also got entangled to be her stand-in fiance! 

What I like…

1.) the comedic antics happening of supporting cast members of Grams, Libby, and Blaire;
2.) the sizzling attraction between Megan and Josh
3.) Nicole (aka “Knickers”) – Megan’s jaded, entitled mother-of-the-bride, termed as “Knickers,” running the wedding of their dreams versus the brides’ (to the point of changing the bride’s chosen wedding gown to the mother’s choice without her consent)

What I didn’t care for…

1.) the cliff-hanging moments from spilling the secret then gets retracted or diverted to something else; and 
2.) the “feels” when confessions did come and I had to have a box of tissues beside me 


Told from Megan and Josh’s POV, the Substitute’s writing is witty, concise, and humorous. The jokes were uber funny and well-placed in the scenes. There are many internal conflicts between main characters that would test out their moral ethics and judgment calls. The plot gets complex as the story went so do not gauge this story from only the synopsis because many heavy moments outweighed the funny.

I felt so bad for Megan and Joshua. The dilemma that each faced is has no upside since either decision will hurt the people they both love and care for. For Josh, it is either Megan or the business. For Megan, it is her family or Josh. 

I do have my opinions:- for Megan’s case, I would “bite the bullet,” confess everything and be ready for the consequences. Megan’s reasons for breaking her engagement would have been acceptable, but carrying things too far and fooling everyone would be the more significant issue. Still, it would have been the easier way for Megan compared to putting the charade.

For Josh’s case, I am at a loss. I do not know how and what I would decide because it would affect others versus Josh himself. I believe he would survive the aftermath of either decision, but breaking people who trust him not to “burn” them is something else. Thing things and concerns that ran through Josh’s head were heavy. He was so torn on telling Megan or let someone else spill it for him. The truth was eating him up slowly throughout the story until the ultimate betrayal came that broke him.

I love Gram’s antics so much. I kept looking forward to her scenes for witty banter and wacky side comments that crack me up each time. She is an endearing character that I will remember for a while. Two words I will remember her for – “nudist colonies.” That is a sneak peek of what this woman has in her bag of jests.

In summary, the Substitute is all about the angsts that brought about events beyond Megan and Josh’s control. Both knew someone was to get hurt at the end. I would describe the book as a suspenseful one, especially when the author puts readers “on edge” each scene that might give the “truth” away. I was holding my breath throughout as Josh and Megan still did not know what to do. But as Fate decided how they meet, Fate decides the answer for them in the end. 

This book is a must-read for readers who love “the unexpected,” the “serendipitous,” and love amidst “the impossible.” I cannot wait to see what will be next in the series.


About the author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten ho uses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

Connect with Denise
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Stay up to date with Denise, join her newsletter: https://bit.ly/3gLPtnu

Book Blitz: I Put A Spell On You by Sarah Vance-Tompkins

“Being a modern-day fairy godmother isn’t all ‘bibbidi bobbidi boo,’” the legendary Lilliana Willowbrook says. “It’s hard work, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We don’t handle cash, jewelry, real estate or revenge.”


I Put a Spell On You by Sarah Vance-Tompkins
Publication date: March 23rd 2021
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Adult Contemporary Fairy Tale Redux

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo| Barnes & Noble | Apple | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Being a modern-day fairy godmother isn’t all ‘bibbidi bobbidi boo. It’s hard work, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We don’t handle cash, jewelry, real estate or revenge, and we can’t get you, or your mother, a date with Harry Styles.”

AVIANA WILLOWBROOK has no idea that her mother is a living legend until the day the tattered old copy of “The Fairy Godmother’s Rulebook” arrives in the mail on her twenty-first birthday. Estranged from her mom, and living in Beverly Hills with her father, her stepmother and two super-achieving stepsisters, Aviana is unhappy and directionless.

Hotel heir NASH NOLAN doesn’t know Aviana exists until the day she transforms into a fairy godmother. The chick with the phobia about being pecked to death by a pack of winged creatures suddenly has a pair of unruly wings of her own to deal with. As if that isn’t enough, Aviana’s first assignment is to spark a romance between her wicked stepsister and the tall and handsome tech billionaire who’s been her crush forever.  

Will Aviana use her powers to help her wicked stepsister find happiness, or will she use her pixie dust to make sure Nash is destined to be hers?  


Excerpt

The next time I stirred the house was still and dark. The Fairy Godmother’s Rulebook was open next to me on the sofa. Mesmerized by the pattern of lights dancing across the ceiling from the pool in the backyard. I came to the dawning realization I wasn’t alone. Someone was in the house with me. 

Maybe I was dreaming, but every time I came to full consciousness I had the terrifying feeling of being watched. I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t. It was as if I’d lost the use of my limbs. I drifted in and out of sleep. Then a shadow moved over me and soft hands brushed against my face. I couldn’t move and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make a sound. 

“Look at her ears,” a man said in a hissing whisper. 

“She’s almost reached full maturity,” a woman whispered in response.

A pair of hands gently pushed my hair back over my shoulders. A hand lightly touched the skin on my back, gently moving over the raw, bumpy skin protruding out of the middle of my back. 

“She’s fledgling. It won’t be long now,” a woman’s voice whispered. “No more than forty-eight hours.”

I struggled to become fully awake, but couldn’t move. It was as if I was drugged. I laid on the sofa paralyzed with terror and fear until I slipped back to sleep.


About the Author

Sarah Vance-Tompkins received an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and went on to work in feature film development in Hollywood. Prior to film school, she wrote and produced radio and television commercials.

She grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan, and now lives in Southern California with her husband and a glaring of unruly cats.

Connect with Sarah: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | 
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Author Interview: Love and Other Moods by Crystal Z. Lee

Love and Other Moods by Crystal Z Lee is a standalone coming-of-age “own voices” story set in contemporary Shanghai, about falling in love, learning to adult and discovering one’s place in the world.

This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 10 till 23 March. See the tour schedule here.

And don’t miss the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a Love and Other Moods gift basket at the bottom of this post!

Published on: 10 December 2020
Published by: Balestier Press
Type: HEA, standalone
Genre: Asian American Literature, Contemporary Romance, Drama, Chinese Literature, Coming of Age
AuthorCrystal Z Lee
Get it here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookbub | Goodreads
Paperbacks: Indiebound | Book Depository | Blackwell’s | Waterstones

You can check out my review and a short excerpt of Love and Other Moods here.

Topic: The Writing Life

At what age did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to write for as long as I could remember–when I was 13 and moved from Taiwan to the US, and felt like a fish out of water. When I was 19 and my white college roommate said I came from “rice paddies.” When I was 23 and assaulted in New York City. When I was 26 and was told by my boss in Shanghai that I wasn’t good enough. And over the years, during the myriad of moments when I’d been disappointed by love and my heart had been shattered. And when I had met the one who put the pieces back together. I finally forced myself to put the stories stored in the recesses of my soul to paper. Thus, Love and Other Moods was born.

What inspired the idea for Love and Other Moods?

I’ve always wanted to write a love story based in a city in East Asia. I spent nearly a decade in Shanghai, and I believe it’s one of the most romantic metropolises. Sure, Rome or Paris are iconic cities of love, but I think Tokyo or Taipei or Shanghai can be just as romantic.

What do you do to relieve writer’s block?

Pre-covid era my response to writer’s block was to travel. That usually did the trick and I’d be flowing with ideas after my trips. Now, I travel through book and films.

What was the most difficult part of your writing process?

I wrote this novel while taking care of my young firstborn and pregnant with my second. Trying to find the time to write and balancing motherhood was challenging.

You mentioned being bilingual. Is there one language that you prefer more than the other?

I am a bilingual reader in both English and Chinese. I read in both languages voraciously. In terms of writing, I type faster in English than in Chinese. I can hand-write Chinese traditional characters fluently, however am slower when it comes to typing. I’m grateful for being able to read and write in Chinese. There is something so beautiful about these characters and pictograms which have been around for thousands of years.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

For me, visualization is an essential element to my writing. I try to visualize what my characters look like, where they live, how they grew up etc. Once I have that picture established, the rest of the writing flows a bit more easily.

Were the romantic relationships in the book based on people you had known in Shanghai?

Somewhat. Almost every character or situation was inspired by something that had happened in real-life. For example, I had known people in China whose family were opposed to them dating a Japanese person because of what had happened during World War Two. I also knew some Joss and Tay types, where the second generation was loosely connected to the government in some capacity yet decided to date outside of their circle. I also knew many Logans in China—western men who had moved to Shanghai and treated the city as their personal playground. Although many foreigners have left China recently ahead of the pandemic, there is still a sizable expatriate contingent in Shanghai. Many of my friends are still there, and have married or are dating somebody from China.

Favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?

Favorite process is the writing journey itself.Least favorite process is pitching the manuscript.

An author who has influenced your writing?

Chinese author Eileen Chang. Eileen Chang would’ve turned 100 years old in 2020. She is one of the most influential Chinese writers of the last century. Although her tales transport you to the 30s and 40s era of Shanghai and Hong Kong, her stories are still immensely relevant for every type of reader today. Maybe because aspects of her life are relatable for many: she was from a broken family, she came-of-age in a politically turbulent time, she suffered debilitating illnesses and was quarantined for awhile, and later, she was a refugee and immigrant. It’s fitting that one character in her Chinese name is “Love,” because she was a keen observer of romance. Under her pen, Shanghai and Hong Kong became an amorous playground, and at times a battlefield, for those searching for love, which is all of us. In Love and Other Moods, I included one of my favorite Eileen Chang quotes:

“You meet the one…amongst thousands and tens of thousands of people, amidst thousands and tens of thousands of years, in the boundless wilderness of time, not a step sooner, not a step later.”

What are some tried-and-true writing techniques for transporting the reader?

I’m a firm believer in personally visiting any location or backdrop you’re writing about, or at least conducting very thorough research. When I travel to a new place, my routine is to take a massive amount of photographs and videos, buy local artisan crafts and memorabilia, and if possible, I try to visit the region’s bookstore to find unique reads sold only locally. When it comes to writing the scene, I gravitate towards setting the atmosphere with descriptions of the location’s five senses–sights, sounds, scents, touch and tastes. Sometimes I create a mood board which helps me to visualize a setting. And when in doubt, have someone that lives there or has been to that location read your work.

What does your writing space look like?

I have two young children who tend to sneak into my writing nook and misplace my papers and books. Needless to say, my writing space can get messy! I don’t always write in the same exact spot. Whenever an idea pops into my head I jot it down anywhere. I always have pens and paper in my purse!

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I think writing can be both exhilarating and exhausting. When I’m on deadline then I get stressed out. But personally I can’t imagine NOT writing. It’s integral to my everyday now.

Anything that has surprised you since the publication of Love and Other Moods?

The Contemporary Romance fiction category is a hard one to crack, because it’s one of the most saturated and crowded book genres. Some of my favorite romance authors are in this category, such as Nicholas Sparks, Jojo Moyes, Sophie Kinsella. Imagine my complete surprise when I found out that Love and Other Moods recently ranked in the top five of Amazon Singapore’s Contemporary Romance New Releases list! It’s not every day an Asian or minority writer can top the Romance category, a book genre that is statistically predominantly Caucasian. One thing I learned since the publication of my novel: readers are hungry for more diverse characters, narratives, and stories.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?

Never give up. Keep on writing even if you only have one person reading your work.
Also, be kind to yourself.


** GIVEAWAY ALERT **

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Love and Other Moods. One winner will win a “Love and Other Moods” gift basket filled with items related to Love and Other Moods that is valued at $70! Open to US residents only.
Head-on to Rafflecopter here.

Good luck!


About the Author

Crystal Z. Lee is a Taiwanese American bilingual writer and a member of the Asian Authors Alliance. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
She was formerly a public relations executive who had worked with brands in the fashion, beauty, technology, and automotive industries. Love and Other Moods is her first New Adult novel. Her debut children’s book is forthcoming in 2021.

Connect with Crystal
Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Get Lucky (Lucky in Love Book 1) by Lila Monroe

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 31 August 2016
Type: HEA
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Women’s Romance
Author: Lila Monroe
Read: 19 March 2021
Shelved: 20 March 2021
Rating: 3 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Fall in love with this hot and hilarious romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jasmine Guillory, and Christina Lauren!

What happens when you wake up in a hotel suite next to a gorgeous naked man with absolutely no memory of the past twelve hours?

I guess it’s true what they say: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Or at least I hope it stays here. The Romantic Style Book convention was meant to be a weekend of raucous fun with friends, sun, and enough poolside margaritas to forget about my ex. But now, instead of meeting my fans and signing books, I’m stuck with cocky divorce lawyer Nate Wexler. He’s arrogant, infuriating, and I can’t keep my hands off of him. Judging by the state of our hotel room, last night was wild. I just wish I could remember it.

A pair of matching tattoos. A half empty box of glow-in-the-dark Trojans. And a… wedding veil?

What the hell just happened?

Discover the hot and hilarious world of the LUCKY IN LOVE series from Lila Monroe!
1. Get Lucky
2. Bet Me
3. Lovestruck
4. Mr Right-Now
5. Perfect Match
6. Christmas with the Billionaire


Review

Julia Stevens is a romance writer and new divorcee attending a romance convention in Las Vegas. She promised herself to step back from relationships, focus on her writing, and avoid seeking anything crazy after going through a messy divorce.  

Nate Wexler is a divorce lawyer whose view on marriage is a cynical one. He’s in Las Vegas to help celebrate his best friend’s bachelor party and wedding. He is a cynic on marriage because he “sees too much” in his line of work. BUT since he is the best man and the best friend of the groom, he is willing to be open-minded and let the happy couple enjoy the long weekend celebration – even if it comes with an adventure that he will never forget!

Expect Get Lucky to remind you of the film, The Hangover. There were many cliche incidents and scenarios from the popularized movie. I have to be honest – I was alarmed as I got halfway through that this book was a rehash of the film. (The Hangover came out in 2009, while Get Lucky in 2016.) 

Bottom line: there are very close similarities, but the main character’s POVs bring in more profound character development with talks of their pasts.  

I enjoyed the timescape flashbacks and Iand instead of friends of a would-be married couple helping Julia and Nate have the full-on Las Vegas experience. 

Julia is a laugh trip from start to finish with her snazzy comebacks and quick-witted retorts to anyone that messed with her. She has a load full of dirty (and clean) things in her writing arsenal that readers will enjoy, whether spoken out or in her head. I love her character a lot in the end because of her bravery and “groundedness.” She is willing to overcome her past and venture into “something” with Nate – what an adventure it was!

The scenes between Nate and Julia are some of the hottest ones I’ve read. When Nate and Julia are together, their impulsiveness is infectious and brings in the sexual tension in the scenes. Together – they are electric! 

In summary, Get Lucky is a hilarious trip of an enemies-turned-lovers book. Do not let the storyline derail you from the book’s characters’ growth. Although I found Get Lucky an entertaining read with its comedic scenes and banters, it did not make an impression BUT I believe a few other readers may like it better than I have. The writing is well suited for the storyline and develops the characters to a level above the movie that it’s reminiscent of. Nate and Julia discover through their adventures how imperfectly perfect they are for each other in the end.

Would I continue with the series? Most likely! The rest of the books’ storylines are varied and exciting enough to read through. I believe it gets better as the series progressed when I reviewed a few of the series’ blurbs.


About the Author

Combining her love of writing, sex and well-fitted suits, Lila Monroe wrote The Billionaire Bargain. Lila enjoys writing, as it gives her a flexible schedule to spend time with her kids and a wonderful excuse to avoid them. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who strips out of his well-fitted suits nightly.

Connect with Lila
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Blog Tour: The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe

The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe
Publication date: March 16th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Get it here:
Amazon US | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | BooksAMillion | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.”

Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut—told from the viewpoint of her main character—is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. Ona’s journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.

At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, where her grandfather awaits her, Ona learns she is an Eri, one bestowed with unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.

On her eighteenth birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her ‘exchange’ for love and happiness—her greatest desires. Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.


Excerpt

“How did I—I mean when did I become an Eri?” I asked wide-eyed.

“It started several millennia ago when Luenah was restricted to its original inhabitants—a handful of people living in utmost serenity and joy, never growing old or dying from diseases. Everything changed when a wily princess, Ani, found her way in through a portal in an ant hole. When she arrived in Luenah, panting from exertion, our ruler had taken pity and accepted her into our fold. With time, she proved to be loyal and imaginative, wildly so, that she found immense favor in his eyes, but she wanted more.”

“What did she want?” I urged. 

“For her people on earth to inhabit Luenah. At the time, the earth was plagued with famine and diseases, and she felt Luenah would provide the respite they needed. As noble as the idea was, it wasn’t feasible.” 

“Why not? There’s enough space here for everyone,” I claimed, looking around at the beauty and riches in Luenah.

“There’s enough space,” he agreed. “But there is no room in Luenah for conflict and turmoil. Look at Ide and Ntebe. See what has become of them.”

I nodded once, and he continued.

“A few years passed, and Ani presented her plea again. She threatened to expose the ant hole so her people could enter if our ruler failed to grant even a few ‘chosen ones’ access to live here.”

“Did they fall for it?” I asked, my heart beating in anticipation. 

“The negotiation was tough, but they later struck a deal. Ani was permitted to select a handful of good earthly humans to visit Luenah. These humans, called Eris, were bestowed gifts to be passed on to chosen ones in their future generations, and they were assigned missions to help the earth regain its balance.”

“So, Eris are born?”


About the Author

Oby Aligwekwe is the author of Nfudu, Hazel House. , and Her Young Adult debut, The Place Beyond Her Dreams, takes readers on a magical journey to discover what matters most.  Oby’s writings incorporate her favorite things: fashion; travel; business; humor; mystery, and strong female protagonists. 

She is also an accomplished Chartered Accountant, Auditor, and Risk Manager with a track record in the management, execution, and delivery of services to clients spanning a variety of industries and sectors across domestic and international markets.

Oby holds a bachelors degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, and a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Saskatchewan. She has a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation and has worked for some of the world’s top professional services firms including the big 4’s.

She supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings, which is a Canadian charity that serves children and families struggling with poverty. Its main mandate is the provision of educational assistance to children and small business assistance to women in rural communities. Eclat has been operating since 2008. It is continually seeking to expand its reach.

Connect with Oby: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

** GIVEAWAY ALERT **

In celebration of the release of The Place Beyond Her Dreams , a giveaway is being run! Up for grabs is a $25 winner’s choice gift card!

This Blitz-wide giveaway is open internationally. The giveaway ends ________ .

Join now with the link below!
Head-on to Rafflecopter here.

Good luck!

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 02 February 2021
Type: HEA, standalone
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Author: Samantha Young
Read: 18 March 2021
Shelved: 19 March 2021
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Books | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

The cozy comforts of an English village bookstore open up a world of new possibilities for Evie Starling in this charming new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young.

At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.

Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love. 


Review

Much Ado About You is a story about Evangeline “Evie” Starling, an assistant editor, who has been “disappointed” by her life in Chicago and wants to “reset” and maybe “reinvent” her life after a few “big news” from work and a good friend. Some readers may think (and even perhaps Evie) that she is “running away” from the reality of life – being disappointed – but I saw it as empowering and brave move on Evie’s part. 

This book is my first encounter/read with the author’s work. The story and writing style “wowed” me, even with the plot’s simplicity and each characters’ dilemma and complexities. The book, written from Evie’s POV – first-person, provides readers with a good depiction of her thoughts and impressions of Alnster and the people in the quaint town. With this writing style, there were many good internal thoughts from Evie that may initially sound like a child (i.e., giddy in just a bookstore). However, she still exuded maturity on outlook and honesty to the people around her. 

I love Evie’s character and relates to her well. Typically, those “breaks” give a person a better perspective on how far or close they are to what they were trying to achieve or their goals. She was able to find her small joy/happiness within a small bookshop and the village people than she had ever had in Chicago.

The connection between Roane and Evie was magnetic and tensed! They seem to be acting like two teenagers trying their best to act “cool and calm” while their actions and words say otherwise. It was a cute scene after another. They have protected their feelings since this trip was a temporary one for Evie. 

I thought I would get hung-up with Evie’s character having a “rough past” but was taken more with Roane’s past and how he turned out the way he did. It wasn’t a bad thing on his end and made him nobler than I expected. I liked how Evie conceded in believing Alnster is a temporary stop in her life and connected with some of the significant people to Roane. She later helped these people (i.e., Roane’s cousin) be brave and insight change in their lives for their betterment. FY – the ending was really because of Roane and took me by surprise on what it was. Readers – be prepared for “unexpected truths” coming out. As I think about it the next day – I wished Roane would have insisted and had been more honest.

Some readers may pull the thought with Much Ado a bit of “retelling” of the Shakespearian play, but other things in the book differentiate it from the latter. I can see the similarities like herd mentality, emotional abuse, lies, and manipulation. But unlike Shakespear’s story, this book has edited a few things like a slew of people providing support and empowerment to the female characters, not only to Evie. Plus, the truths and lies expressed were reversed – affected brave Evie the most, even readers know what she did was very wrong and too impulsive. I felt Evie was a trainwreck with her action, close-mindedness, and dismissive behavior. But really, what do we expect for a character who found the courage to get up and leave for a foreign land to “find herself” – a strong-willed one, that’s what!

The comedic banter is also there aside from the “soul-searching” theme in the book. I chuckled, snickered, and laughed out loud with the banter between townfolks Violet and Elliot, supporting characters that provided the story a more rounded feel and gave readers well-deserved relief to Evie’s “issues” back home.

In summary, Much Ado About You may seem simple based on the synopsis, but it is otherwise. It brings back the beauty of “slow-burning” and “slow-building” love from strangers to friends and then to more. It brings in the theme of courage, self-worth, and love. Although there will be times when I felt like hating the main character’s actions/decisions in the book, I understood where the author was leading readers – love, second (more than a few for Evie) chances, redemption, and forgiveness. An all-around good read for me! 


About the Author

Samantha Young is a New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for several Goodreads Choice Awards. She writes adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction. Currently published in 30 countries, Samantha is a #1 international bestselling author.

Connect with Samantha
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Cover Reveal: Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide by AJ Elmore

Today we have the cover reveal for AJ Elmore’s upcoming romantic suspense, Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide. Check it out and be sure to catch up on the series today!

Title: Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide
Author: AJ Elmore
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 15 April 2021

Get it here: Amazon

Synopsis

It has been a year since the fire in the Ninth Ward that solidified Maria’s place in the ranks of her grandmother’s operation. Though tensions are high among her remaining crew, things seem to be going well…until Abuela starts moving pieces and changing the ranks. Suspicions ride even higher when Isaiah shows up well after he left the life behind, and without an explanation. Will Maria be able to hold it together, or will she lose Joshua and Frederick, as well? What part does Isaiah play?


Excerpt

Her obvious shock is like a PTSD trigger, and it blindsides me so that for a moment, I can’t move either. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that look on her, and somehow I expect that if I turn around, I’ll see her brother risen from the dead.

        Josh moves closer to her, so that he’s almost touching her, and he glares past me. The voices behind me die, and so does the movement. Abruptly, I’m right in the middle of a silent firefight that I don’t comprehend.

        I step to the side as I turn around, so that I’m at her other shoulder. Abuela’s directives be damned, I will always be her right hand. I fight the urge to draw arms within these walls as my vision lands on the offending party.

        For a moment that lasts longer than I would ever admit, he looks like just another guy – an uppity thirty-something in a snob’s clothes, not packing any heat on his hip or shoulder. But the moment passes, and those angular cheeks and broad jaw are too familiar. He’s barely been gone long enough for me to forget that I took his seat only because he left.

        He’s a bit thinner, a lot browner, and all kinds of dressed up. I can’t say I was torn up when he left us, but he did leave us. He turned his back on what was supposed to be his crew. Never mind that I was willing to do the same thing, on one tiny difference of condition. I wouldn’t leave without her, but he did. It made sense, but that didn’t make it OK.

        Then the details begin to click into place like a well-oiled machine. The man beside him is Jorge, our most recent heroin hero, on the scene with a deal to end all deals. The guy worthy of a family dinner in his honor.

        Jorge is skinny, greasy, and appalling in a general sense. He wears his long hair in a slick, low ponytail, and sports a long, equally greasy goatee. At the moment, he’s standing half a step behind Isaiah, openly assessing the threat that hangs vaguely between the other four people in the hallway.

        Isaiah, here, in one of the most guarded and secret locations under Abuela’s extensive network. With Jorge, who just made a really impressive connection and got a pat on the back. What the fuck has Izzy been into this past year?

        Isaiah isn’t armed, so there’s no threat, but Josh and I are formed up on Maria as though a SWAT team is about to storm the windows and doors. Whatever internal hang-ups we have be damned, nobody from the outside will ever get a glimpse of that. We stand together.

        Except this isn’t even my division anymore.

        Izzy’s eyes scan over the three of us, slow and methodical as one might expect, and brave. He looks each of us directly in the eyes. He doesn’t shove his hands in his pockets. He doesn’t walk away. There’s no cigarette in his hand. He just stands his ground. He’s different in his stature, more comfortable, less cautious.

Catch up on the series with Cadillac Payback, with a gorgeous new cover, today!

About Cadillac Payback:

An old Cadillac and a gun are all she has left of her brother. Three men stand ready to follow her into the darkest pits of hell to avenge him. The Cadillac leads them down a swamp road lined with ghosts, consequence and the tangled web of business and pleasure, into the underbelly of New Orleans crime as she fights for vengeance for her brother.

Joshua was just a rookie, a kid caught up in a drug ring. It’s fun and dangerous, all easy, until it kills his best friend and drags what’s left of his companions into a war. All he knows is he would walk into hell with her, and she might ask before it’s over…

Isaiah thought he’d seen everything—but watching Charlie die tore the world apart. The regime is changing, and with the new leader come more questions than answers. He was Charlie’s right hand, but what will he be to her?

Frederick came up on the streets, learned fast and hard and dirty. His past has always been a sticking point for the group, but one person has never questioned him, and he’ll do anything for her…

Maria never wanted to take over Charlie’s operation. But with her brother dead, and vengeance the only thing she has left, she makes her first decision: drag Charlie’s killers down.

It might just be her last.


About the Author

AJ is a beach migrant and part-time muse. She enjoys the exploration of genres vast and the search for untold worlds. A writer-for-fun since childhood, she has also been known to be a superhero, a gunslinger, and, occasionally, a waitress. She lives on an island, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and some tattoos. She is most easily found at the water’s edge.

Connect with AJ
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Release and Excerpt Blitz: Room for Us by L.M. Halloran

L.M. Halloran’s Room For Us is now LIVE.
Check it out and be sure to order your copy today!

Title: Room For Us
Author: L.M. Halloran
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Get it here: Amazon | Goodreads

Synopsis

Ethan Hart thinks I’m his maid. Too bad I need his money more than my pride.

The intense, arrogant author has booked my entire Inn to write his next fictional masterpiece.

I have no choice but to put up with his demands.

Breakfast is a daily endurance test.

Making his bed and doing his wash? A different kind of torture.

And that’s not even the worst part.

With his haunted eyes, frozen heart, and heated touch,

Ethan makes me burn in ways I swore I never would again.

There’s no place in my life for him, nor in his for me.

But six weeks together might create…

Just enough room for us.


Excerpt

That’s odd. I study the screen of my newly replaced cell phone. The number I called only rang three times before disconnecting. No voicemail. What kind of inn doesn’t have a voicemail?

Not to be deterred, I call back. This time there’s two rings, then nothing. I press Send again.

One ring—nothing.

Now I’m annoyed. I call again. And again. Six times total before the line abruptly opens and a woman snaps, “What do you want?”

I’m so stunned I can’t speak.

“Hello?” she repeats, voice dripping acid. “Chris, if that’s you, I told you I never want to talk to you again! I’ve moved on. I don’t need you, your stupid alimony, or your half-assed justifications. Grow up!”

I almost hang up. I want nothing to do with anything that just came out of this woman’s mouth. And yet… there’s something in her voice, something I can’t quite put my finger on. Lurking beneath the rage, hidden by slicing consonants and cool vowels. Then I realize what it is.

Pain.

And like a weight has been lifted from my chest, I can suddenly speak.

“Is this the right number for Rose House Inn in Sun River?”

In the following silence, I imagine her horror and mortification. I must be a bit of a sadist, because it makes me smile.

“I’m so sorry.” A gutted whisper. “Please don’t hang up. I-I thought you were someone else.”

“Obviously.”

I pause, weighing the wisdom of what I’m about to do. Every other goddamn hotel, motel, and rental in the area is booked because of some upcoming film festival. When I stumbled on the website for Rose House late last night, the online booking was wide-open. A red flag all on its own, but desperation trumped logic. Unfortunately, there was no option to book the entire house online. Hence this absurd phone call.

If this is the standard of customer service offered at the Rose House, at least I now have some idea why it isn’t bursting with bookings. And what I can expect to endure.

“Sir? Are you still there? Again, I’m so sorry. Can we start over? My name is Zoey Kemper and I’m the new owner of Rose House. I’d love to discuss your needs.”

“I’m here. Give me a second to decide whether or not to hang up.”


About the Author

When not writing or reading, the author enjoys walking barefoot, subjecting her husband to questionable recipes, and chasing her spirited daughter. She’s a rabid fan of coffee, moon-gazing, and small dogs that resemble Ewoks. Home is Portland, Oregon.

Connect with L.M. Halloran:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon