New Release, Excerpt, Giveaway, & Review: Something Borrowed (Lone Star Match # 2) – Megan Ryder

Three Bridesmaids. Three lost loves. One matchmaking bride.
SOMETHING BORROWED
Lone Star Match #2
Megan Ryder
Released June 22, 2017
Tule Publishing Group

Three Bridesmaids. Three lost loves. One matchmaking bride. With just a week before the wedding, can a bride-to-be reunite her bridesmaids with the ones who got away?

Brigid Anderson is a second year lawyer on a fast track to making partner. With the weight of her siblings’ success on her shoulders, Brigid feels like she needs to prove something–to herself and to her parents. Her life is running smoothly and all according to plan…until she meets Grady. 
 
Grady Coughlin understands focus and ambition, having taken over his father’s contracting business and building it into a successful historic preservation business on his own. After a blind date with Brigid that ends in explosive passion, they embark on a friends with benefits relationship. But as Grady establishes himself in the business world, he decides he wants more and wants it with Brigid. 
 
On the eve of her best friend’s wedding, with her promotion to partner dangling within reach, Brigid believes Grady isn’t the best partner to suit her career ambition. But Grady and her heart don’t agree and she must decide if she should stick to the safety of the plan or find the courage to pursue what she really wants.

ANGIE’S REVIEW: Off the bat I have to say that I prefer sweet romances over sexy ones. This was way out of my comfort zone, but I am a sucker for wedding stories and just had to read this. The chemistry between Brigid and Grady is out of this world insane.

Also? Ms. Ryder is a huge fan of Jude Deveraux and I absolutely LOVE her.

I haven’t read the first book in this series (yet), but from glancing through other reviews, it seems that Brigid isn’t well liked by some readers due to how cold she appears to be. Having goals is a great thing, but when you sacrifice your happiness and close yourself off to someone whom you love, and who loves you and comes from a damaged background that you know about?

In a nutshell? I wanted to slap her. I wanted to drag her by her hair and show her what she was doing to Grady.

It was like being on an emotional roller coaster at times, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I can empathize with the both of them, just more with Grady.

Overall, this was a good read with some steamy scenes that you may want to be sure you’re sitting next to the air conditioner or fan to keep cool.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****
DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy so that I could participate in the review tour through Tasty Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types.
Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.

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She headed for the stairs, knowing that she should be working but was honestly too tired to do any more that night. As she headed up the stairs, Grady invaded her thoughts. Suddenly, memory flooded back and she flung open the bedroom door and hurried in. Her foot kicked something soft.
“Hey, watch where you’re going.” Grady’s voice came from somewhere south of her, on the floor. The unknown pile of stuff on the floor wasn’t her luggage but was a makeshift pallet where Grady had already settled for the night.
Brigid flicked on the light. “How was I supposed to know you would be camping out right in front of the door?”
“There isn’t much room anywhere else.” He sat up, the sheet falling away, exposing his firm sculpted chest that felt as amazing as it looked. Brigid would know. She had always been obsessed with his chest, tracing the muscles with her eyes and hands when they were in bed together.
She closed the door behind her. “I thought you were going to talk to Caroline about this.”
He yawned and stretched his arms, arching his back. “I tried. She refused, saying there wasn’t another bed. I can’t stay at the cottage or the surprise will be shot. So, here I lay, stretched out on this poor, hard floor like a forgotten dog.”
“Oh cripes, Grady. I’d expect such melodrama from Anna, not from you.” But she laughed anyway and he grinned in response, the look taking her breath away momentarily.
She studied the floor. “That’s hard wood, not carpet. You’re going to be stiff and sore tomorrow, not able to finish the cottage. We’re both adults and the bed is big enough. Besides you don’t have anything I haven’t seen or touched before.”
He stood, wearing only his boxers, his erection tenting the material in front of him. Her mouth went dry and she curled her fingers in her palms in an effort not to reach out and touch. He shook his head.
“I think it’s a bad idea, Brigid. We’re not together and I don’t think we should muddy the waters again.”
She frowned, her only thought focused on touching him, feeling him hard and hot around her, in her. She shivered as the cool air conditioned air touched her heated skin.
She bit her lower lip. “Would it really be so bad? I mean, we’re not attached to anyone, so what can it hurt?”

New Release, Excerpt, Giveaway, Interview, & Review: A Most Unlikely Duke (Diamonds In the Rough #1) – Sophie Barnes

He never thought he’d become a duke, 
or that the secrets of his past will cost him his greatest love…

A MOST UNLIKELY DUKE
Diamonds in the Rough #1
Sophie Barnes
Releasing June 27, 2017
Avon Books

Raphe Matthews hasn’t stepped foot in polite circles since a tragedy left his once-noble family impoverished and in debt. The bare-knuckle boxer has spent the last fifteen years eking out an existence for himself and his two sisters.
But when a stunning reversal of fortunes lands Raphe the title of Duke of Huntley, he’s determined to make a go of becoming a proper lord, but he’ll need a little help and his captivating neighbor might be just the woman for the job…

After her sister’s scandalous match, Lady Gabriella knows the ton’s eyes are on her. Agreeing to tutor the brutish new duke can only lead to ruin. Although she tries to control her irresistible attraction to Raphe, every day she spends with him only deepens her realization that this may be the one man she cannot do without. And as scandal threatens to envelope them both, she must decide if she can risk everything for love with a most unlikely duke.

ANGIE’S REVIEW:I have been a fan of Sophie’s books for quite awhile now. I love how complex and well developed her characters are. Her writing flows smoothly and I rarely ever find myself distracted while reading one of her brilliant historicals.

Contrary to what her parents wanted from her, Gabriella helps Raphe’s sisters so that they are more acceptable in society’s eyes, and that was just to keep them from being made fun of and used as a verbal punching bag.

Raphe’s fierce honor and loyalty nearly made me swoon. Now many men, past or present, would be willing to take on their little sisters after their parents die? He could have walked away and led his own life without anything tethered to him, but he didn’t.

The chemistry between Gabriella and Raphe was fantastic. I can’t wait to read the next in what is going to be a fabulous new series!

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy so that I could participate in the review tour through Tasty Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes  spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian. But, most impressive of all, she’s been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.  

When she’s not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.

What is your favorite place to visit? Denmark. It’s where I’m from. My parents have a summerhouse by the beach in the southern part and a house near Copenhagen. I love it there plus I get to see the rest of my family.

What are 5 things you must have with you when you write? My laptop, a notebook, my Jane Austen Map of London, various pens in different colors and a hot cup of coffee.

Do you have any post-publishing regrets? Yes! In my first book, How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back, Tchaikovsky is mentioned as a current figure. I meant to change him to a different composer since he wasn’t even born at the time when the plot takes place, but I forgot. Really wish I’d seen that during edits. I haven’t used ‘fillers’ since.

Can you tell us a little about your book? It’s a fresh spin on Pygmalion featuring a bare-knuckler boxer from the slums of St. Giles who suddenly becomes the Duke of Huntley. Navigating high society can be troublesome – especially with two younger sisters in tow – but thanks to his next door neighbor, the alluring Gabriella Radcliffe, he comes up to scratch while losing his heart in the process.

What are some books that you enjoyed recently? I LOVED Julia Quinn’s The Girl With The Make-believe Husband. Right now I’m reading Sarah MacLean’s The Day Of The Duchess. Both authors are auto reads for me.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write? Definitely dialogue. When the characters are interesting and there’s a bit of tension, the dialogue pushes the story forward in a fun and interesting way. Describing what people are doing sometimes gets me while Love scenes are the hardest.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? The sequel to A Most Unlikely Duke is called The Duke Of Her Desire. It releases December 27th and features Raphe’s sister, Amelia, as she struggles to renovate a house on the edge of St. Giles and turn it into a school. Contending with her brother’s friend, the Duke of Coventry who’s been charged with protecting her, leads to a lot of quarreling, tension and high passion.

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Excerpt:
London, 1818
Thick clouds darkened to shades of gray as they rolled across the London sky. Beneath them, standing in the middle of the Black Swan courtyard, Raphe Matthews drew back his fist, his muscles bunching tightly together—just long enough for him to assess the angle and speed with which to release all that power. Instinct made it a brief calculation. Less than a second, and then he sent his fist flying. The punch snapped his opponent’s face sideways, producing a spray of spit and blood that painted the air with specks of crimson. A cheer erupted from those who’d come to witness the fight—a motley selection of hardened individuals. This place was not for the weak or the wealthy. It reeked of filth and the daily struggle to survive. This was St. Giles, but it might as well have been the bowels of hell for all the difference it made.
“Come on!” someone shouted.
Raphe’s other fist met a hard chest with a crunch. His knuckles ached, the force of the punch vibrating through him.
“Matthews, Matthews, Matthews . . .” The chant shook the air while Raphe shifted his footing, regaining his balance just in time to accept the blows that followed. He didn’t mind, for it only revealed his opponent’s sudden desperation.
Raising his fists to block the attack, Raphe bobbed to the side, turning away, just out of reach. And yet, he was close—so close he could smell the sweat on the other man’s skin, see the fear that shone in his eyes, the beads of moisture clinging to his hair that dripped onto his brow.
More shouts flooded the air, drowning him in a cacophony of unintelligible noise. The wave of encouragement shifted, alerting him that support had changed—no longer in his favor.
Forcing it into the background, Raphe focused on the man he was meant to beat. Today his name was Calvin Butler. Raphe launched himself forward, surrendering to the rage, and let the punches fly, beating back pain and anger until Calvin Butler lay stretched out on the ground, hands covering his face in surrender. A fleeting second of silence passed, just long enough to be sure of the outcome, and then the spectators sent up a roar in response to Raphe’s victory.
Exhausted, he stumbled back, a light drizzle dampening his skin. A coat was draped over his shoulders while Butler was helped to his feet—a sorry sight, with his blackened eye and swollen lip distorting an otherwise handsome face.
Turning away, Raphe pushed his way in the direction of the taproom. All he wanted right now was a drink. Fast.
“Butler ain’t lookin’ too good,” Raphe’s friend, Benjamin Thompson, said as he came up beside him. A couple of inches shorter than Raphe, his green eyes were a handsome complement to his ginger hair and freckles. He was without a doubt the kindest and most dependable person Raphe knew, besides his own sisters. Together, they made their way to the bar, where Ben promptly called for a server. “Give us a couple o’ pints.”Resting his elbows on the counter, Raphe grunted his response to Ben’s question. “He knew what ‘e was in fer.”
Ben nodded. The beer arrived, and both men took a healthy swig. “Ye could ‘ave been gentler, though. The man was done. No need to keep beatin’ at him like that.” Stilling, Raphe slid his gaze toward his friend. “I couldn’t ‘elp it.” The rage had burned its way through him, driving him forward and filling his mind with one singular purpose: The need to win. “I don’t know ‘ow to fight any other way.”
“I know,” Ben said softly. No, you don’t. You have no bloody idea.
In this, he’d never been completely honest, not even with Ben. “In any case, the blunt’s pretty good—lets me keep a roof over me sisters’ heads.”
“Aye, an’ a decent one at that.”
Raphe couldn’t argue. He’d visited Ben’s home once—an overcrowded single room that he shared with his parents and five siblings. By comparison, Raphe and his sisters lived like royalty. “Have ye ever thought of gettin’ out of this place? Out of St. Giles?”
Ben shrugged his shoulders. “An’ go where?”
“Somewhere better. Christ, Ben, anywhere’s betterthan this. Ye’re a likeable man. Ye could probably snatch up a job at one of ’em fancy ‘ouses in Mayfair.”
His friend snorted. “An’ ‘ave some nob lookin’ down on me, demandin’ I polish ‘is boots—or worse, empty ‘is chamber pot? I’d rather stay by the docks, thank ye very much. At least there I can take some pride in me work.”
“Understood. But the pay there’s never goin’ to afford ye with yer own home. Don’t ye wish to marry one day?”
“Sure. But there’s a limit to what I’m willing to do for a bit of blunt, Raphe.” He took another sip of his beer. “I’ll not lose me dignity by workin’ for a class o’ people I can’t abide, nor by lowerin’ meself to doin’ demeanin’ work.”
The words speared Raphe to his soul, filling him with shame. “I know,” he muttered with admiration. If only he could be more like him, not wanting anything beyond what life had tossed his way. Perhaps, if he didn’t have his sisters to consider, he wouldn’t care so much.

New Release, Excerpt, Giveaway, & Review: Primrose Lane (Harmony Harbor #3) – Debbie Mason

Love is the best medicine.
PRIMROSE LANE
Harmony Harbor #3
Debbie Mason
Releasing June 27, 2017
Forever

Love is the best medicine.

Olivia Davenport has finally gotten her life back together. She’s left her painful past behind, started over in a new town, and become Harmony Harbor’s most sought-after event planner. But her past catches up to her when Olivia learns that she’s now guardian of her ex’s young daughter. With her world spinning, Olivia must reconcile her old life with her new one. And she doesn’t have time for her new next door neighbor, no matter how handsome he is.

Olivia may act like she’s got everything under control, but Dr. Finn Gallagher knows a person in over her head when he sees one. He’d really like to be the shoulder she leans on, but Olivia makes it clear she doesn’t want his help. Since he’s returned to town, his waiting room has been full of single women feigning illness. Yet the one woman he’s interested in is avoiding him. But with a little help from some matchmaking widows and a precocious little girl, Finn might just win Olivia over.


ANGIE’S REVIEW: Straight up, I haven’t read a Debbie Mason book that I haven’t fallen in love with. She is an auto-buy from Amazon and I find myself wanting another book before I’ve even turned ten pages in her current.

Harmony Harbor is one of my top five favorite series. Between the goings on at the Manor, so many secrets all over town and in the family, and just…one minute you’re laughing, the next you’re pretending you have something in your eye.

…I don’t recommend wearing makeup when you read this unless you like looking like a raccoon after laughing or crying so much. Well, unless you’ve got some amazing setting spray or waterproof cosmetics.

Olivia is the kind of woman that you have very strong feelings for. You want her to own up to her addiction. You want her to bleed out all of her pain instead of walking around as if there’s a cloud of doom hanging over her. You want to hug her one second, shake her the next. After all, she is responsible for her deceased husband’s young daughter.

Finn…ah, he is just so…he can be such a jerk one moment, completely lovely the next. He made Olivia own up to her lies and face her addiction. They’re so good for each other.

While Ms. Mason’s books run a tad predictable, I enjoy that comfort in all of her books. But just when you are feeling comfortable with what you think is happening, she throws you for a loop.

It’s better to read this series in order so that you’re up to date with all that has happened and taking place.

ANGIE’S RATING:****
DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy so that I could participate in the review tour through Tasty Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

Debbie Mason is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and the Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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Olivia smiled and nodded while saying, “You know, George really took a shine to you. So I was thinking, you should move into the manor.” She’d read somewhere that if you nodded during a conversation or negotiation the person would automatically agree with you. In Finn’s case, it didn’t have the desired effect.
He emphatically shook his head. “No. No way.”
“You don’t have to be so cross.”
He ducked to look her in the eyes. “Seriously? How old are you? You sound like you’re sixty-five when you say that.”
She gasped, offended. “I can’t believe you just said that to me.”
“I can’t believe I’m the only one who ever has. Some friends you’ve got.”
“I have very good friends, thank you very much. And maybe they don’t say anything because, first, it’s unbelievably rude, and second, you are probably the only person I’ve said it to because you are the only person whoever gets cross. . . ticked at me.”
“Really? That surprises me. Because, Sweet Cheeks, you can be annoying.” He grinned, and then headed for Stanley’s Audi.
Her cheeks heated, but as she watched him walk away, she got a little panicked about dealing with George without him by her side. “Finn, if I promise not to annoy you, would you please stay at the manor?”
“Nuh-uh. No way.”
“What if I pay you?”
He turned and walked backward. “How about that? You just proved my earlier point. Rich girls really do think they can buy everything. Sorry to disappoint you, Sweet Cheeks, but I’m not for sale.”

New Release, Excerpt, & Giveaway: King of Clubs (Aces & Eights #2) – Sandra Owens

Passions—and tempers—flare as one star-crossed couple gets a second chance at love.

KING OF CLUBS

Aces & Eights #2

Sandra Owens

Releasing June 27, 2017

Montlake Romance


In the second novel in acclaimed author Sandra Owens’s Aces & Eights series, passions—and tempers—flare as one star-crossed couple gets a second chance at love.

Covert FBI agent Court Gentry loves his brothers, his job, and his Harley-Davidson. Once he loved a girl, too, but when she broke his heart, he put his emotions on lockdown…until she crosses his path again.

On vacation six years ago, free-spirited Lauren Montgomery fell hard for Court Gentry. She returned home happier than ever, only to descend into a spiral of abuse by her ex-husband, Stephan. When Stephan threatened to kill any man who touched her, Lauren cut Court from her life—but not from her heart.

When Lauren and Court reunite after her friend marries his brother, Court guards himself against the person who made him feel such intense passion and pain. Except the undeniable spark between them is impossible to contain and heating up fast. Six years ago, it was love. Now, it’s just lust. Keeping it merely physical is a foolproof plan…right?
When Stephan is released from prison, Lauren can’t outrun her past anymore, and Court vows to protect her. But with Lauren in imminent danger, Court must question his heart and risk his life to save the woman he never stopped loving.

A best-selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.


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Excerpt:
Court had wanted to let her know he was here, but Madison said if he did, Lauren would just kick him out. According to Madison, Lauren intended to go straight to bed. He tilted his head, listening to the sounds coming from her bedroom. She was moving around, opening and closing drawers. She definitely hadn’t gone straight to bed. What was she up to?
Suspicious, he waited. An hour later, the floorboards in the hallway creaked. A dark-clothed person walked into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, took out two bottles of water, and stuffed them into the backpack she carried, and then headed for the door.
Lauren. Lauren. Lauren. “Going somewhere my little midnight ghost?”
She yelped, the backpack falling to the floor with a heavy thud.
“Easy, G.G.” He pushed off the sofa.
“Court?” She pressed her forehead against the door. “Why are you here?”
“Guarding you. Going to be kind of hard to do if you’re not here, don’t you think?” He picked up the backpack. “Where you headed?”
“None of your business.” She slipped around him, backed up to the kitchen light switch, and turned it on. “You can leave now.”
“Don’t think so.” He frowned at the sight of a gun barrel in the partially unzipped bag. He pulled it out and held up the Glock 26, also known as a Baby Glock, preferred by women because of its smaller size. “You planning on shooting someone?”
“Again, none of your business.”
He shouldn’t like that fire in those golden brown eyes so much. “I’m making it my business. Do you even know how to shoot this?” When her gaze shifted away, he had his answer. Christ, she was clueless. About everything. How to use the weapon she’d been careless enough to let him find, how to disappear, and she probably didn’t know how to fight off an attack.
What to do about that? As he saw it, he had two choices. Either let her go and hope she somehow managed to safely disappear or make her his project. He wasn’t stupid enough to tell her that last part since he doubted there was a woman in the world who’d appreciate being any man’s project.
“Are you that afraid of him?” he asked even though he was sure of the answer.
“Feeling like a broken record here because again, none of your business. I’d like you to leave now.”
She crossed her arms over her chest, probably to show him she meant business. It wasn’t working since she’d managed to push up her breasts so that the material of her T-shirt stretched against them, leaving her nipples outlined.

He’d had those beautiful breasts in his mouth, had explored every inch of her body, had known all her sighs of pleasure. He’d once thought she loved him. Until she’d told him in a phone call it was over, not even having the courtesy to tell him to his face.
Nor had she given him a reason. Just, “Don’t call me again or try to see me.” That had happened only days after she’d told him she loved him. He’d learned the hard way women couldn’t be trusted, the first lesson on that coming from his mother. The one time he’d forgotten that lesson had been with Lauren. But never again.
“What are you looking at?” She lifted one arm, snapping her fingers. “My eyes are up here.”
Irritated with himself and her, he kept his gaze on her breasts to prove… What? That he was an ass? “So they are,” he said, lifting his eyes to hers. “Here’s the deal.”
“There is no deal, Court. You have no say so over my life. I’ll ask you one more time to leave.”
“Or you’ll what? Call the cops?”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ll do.”
He chuckled, amused that she had no clue she was threatening to call the police on an FBI agent. “Let’s sit, and I’ll tell you the deal.” Ignoring the little growl deep in her throat, he settled on the sofa. “Come on, G.G. Just hear me out.”
“Stop calling me that.”
“Why? You used to like it.” She’d been his Gorgeous Girl for six days. It must have been the sun and beer and salty air that had tricked him into mistaking lust for love. He had to admit the woman had a lot to do with that, too. All six years had done to her was turn her from a cute college girl with a love of life into a beautiful woman afraid of her own shadow. He could appreciate the physical change in her, but he didn’t like the fear her ex-husband had put in her eyes.
And when did she have that husband? Before he met her or after? Or even during? No, he couldn’t believe that she would have given herself to him so freely, showing no sign of guilt during their time together if she’d had a husband waiting in the wings. He wanted answers and he planned to get them.
“Lauren, please. Sit and hear me out.” Her cat jumped onto the sofa, climbed onto his lap, and peered up at him with curious blue eyes. “See, even… Hemingway, is it?” At her nod, he said, “Even Hemingway wants to hear what I have to say.”
Like a wary crab, she inched sideways to the nearest chair. “You have five minutes.”
Little did she know. He had as long as he wanted because she wasn’t going anywhere. She might not like it, but it was for her own good. As an officer of the law, he couldn’t stand by and watch her get herself hurt. From all the signs she’d unknowingly given him, she fully expected bad trouble was headed her way.
“I have an offer for you.”

Release Day, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Beware the Ranger (In the Long Arms of the Law #1) – Debra Holt

Will they be able to lay the past to rest and rekindle their love from the ashes?

BEWARE THE RANGER
In the Long Arms of the Lawman #1
Debra Holt
Releasing June 28, 2017
Tule Publishing

Twelve years ago, Kaitlyn Russell had a dream: living happily ever after with Clay Morgan. Except her grandmother had bigger plans for her beloved granddaughter and they didn’t include life in the small town of McKenna Springs as the wife of a young, poor deputy. Kaitlyn’s heart was broken when Clay and her grandmother convinced her to pursue her second love, Broadway stardom.
Texas Ranger Clay Morgan is a widower with a young son to raise. A dozen years before, he had to make the most difficult decision of his life when he agreed to let go of the only woman he’d ever loved so that she could pursue her dreams.
Now, fate and an old woman’s guilty conscience conspire to bring Clay and Kaitlyn back together once more. Will they be able to lay the past to rest and rekindle their love from the ashes?

Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra Holt grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre.
Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs… to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

Debra invites you to visit her website. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via her email.

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Excerpt:
“Miss Russell,” he said as he handed back her license. “Can you step out of the car, please?”
“What is the problem, Deputy…Trooper, I mean?” Angie asked as she leaned across the center console to look up at the man who turned his officious smile in her direction.
“There’s someone on his way that will let you know what it’s all about. Miss Russell, if you would please…?” His hand went to the door handle.
Popping the door’s release, Kaitlyn opened it and stood. Her patience was beginning to grow thin.
Not one to leave her friend without support, Angie exited her own side and watched the scene from there, lending her friend her support.
“How long is this going to take? I really would like to know what this is about.” Kaitlyn fought to keep her voice controlled. She never liked guessing games.
“Well, ma’am, I think you’re about to get some answers.” As he spoke the words, he nodded over her shoulder.
They all turned to look. What the—? She was surprised to see a sleek, dark blue helicopter moving swiftly toward them. Kaitlyn raised her hand above her eyes to block the glare of the sun. She tried to make out the markings on the craft, but to no avail. What on earth was going on?
“This day is finally getting interesting again,” Angie spoke up. “Do you think they could give us a lift to New Mexico?”
“I’m glad you’re finding this amusing because I’m not.”
“That’s because you always like to be the one in control,” Angie responded with a slight toss of her head and a knowing grin.
“Yes, I do. I admit it. This person better have a quick explanation so we can be back on our way.”
The helicopter made a pass overhead then descended and swung back in a wide arc. In a few brief minutes, the pilot had easily set it down a few hundred yards distant on the side of roadway.
As the blades began to slow, the passenger side door opened. Another trooper stepped down from the craft. She moved toward them, the other trooper acknowledging her arrival with a slight nod of the head.
She nodded to both Kaitlyn and Angie before moving to stand beside her male counterpart. Obviously, this was not the person with the answers for them.
“Well, well…hellooo, handsome!”
Angie’s comment, spoken in a low voice, made Kaitlyn swing her attention back to see what Angie was talking about or, more precisely, who had elicited such a breathless compliment from her friend.
In that moment, the world imploded. Everything she had trusted to not change was shattered. Time came to a screeching halt. She literally froze in place. It would be sometime later when she tried to remember if she even managed a breath of air. Everything waited…waited on the tall male figure who had stepped out of the pilot’s side door and was advancing slowly toward her.

Intrigued by an Ancient Pedigree (Thieves of the Ton Book 4) – Sandra Sookoo

Synopsis: In the hunt for relics of infinite value, perhaps the greatest treasure of all is family.

Three months after the birth of his son, Miles Lawrence Hawkins, the fifth Earl of Archewyne, is attempting to acclimate to fatherhood, but he longs for adventure. Someone is masquerading as the heir to a powerful and ancient ducal title with the anonymous backing of other members of the ton, and Miles is asked to investigate. It would mean leaving his wife and child, yet he refuses to return to London without them.

Emmaline Hawkins, the new Countess of Archewyne, is torn between wanting to be a good mother and wishing to recapture the excitement digging up relics and hunting treasures brings. Just as she thinks her adventuring days are over, she meets a young pawn broker questing after the legendary Lancelot Stone. Determined to retain the thrill of the chase, she stumbles upon solid proof the relic is in Paris, and convinces her husband they should investigate.

As Miles and Emmaline chase shadows and investigate macabre sites, their steps are dogged by unsavory characters. The closer they move toward unmasking the duke’s imposter heir as well as finding the fabled relic, the bolder a killer grows in attempts on their lives. As an unbelievable plot unfolds, their only recourse is to fight, side by side, and hope that leaving staid domesticity behind was the right choice.

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | iTUNES

AUTHOR BIO: Sandra Sookoo is a bestselling author who firmly believes every person deserves acceptance and a happy ending. Most days you can find her creating scandal and mischief in the Regency-era, serendipity and happenstance in Victorian America or snarky humor in the contemporary world. Reading romance is a lot like eating fine chocolates—you can’t just have one. Good thing books don’t have calories!

When she’s not wearing out computer keyboards, Sandra spends time with her real life Prince Charming in central Indiana where she’s been known to goof off and make moments count because the key to life is laughter. A Disney fan since the age of ten, when her soul gets bogged down and her imagination flags, a trip to Walt Disney World is in order. Nothing fuels her dreams more than the land of eternal happy endings, hope and love stories.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | AMAZON | GOODREADS | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Release Day, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Rock Star (A Bad Boy Homecoming Romance) – Stacey Kennedy

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty 
and a whole lot more complicated!

ROCK STAR
A Bad Boy Homecoming Novel
Stacey Kennedy
Releasing June 27, 2017

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy.

Veterinarian, Rae Evans expects to attend a dreadful ten-year high school reunion. Instead, she’s confronted by a past she’s never gotten over. The love of her life, Travis Walker, has returned to Catfish Creek, and the now-famous rock star wants only three things: Her. Naked. And screaming his name.

Fresh off his last world tour, Travis has returned to town to get a dose of reality. With fame casting a superficial cloud over Travis’s life, he’s scrambling to stay afloat. He needs an anchor, and Rae is that for him. But as he finds himself, he’s determined to remind Rae of the heat that once burned between them.
Before they know it, their one hot night is three, and soon, just like ten years ago, Travis holds the strings to Rae’s heart. But Rae’s not that young girl who watched her high school sweetheart race off to become famous. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and realizes when a man needs her. She just has to decide if she should put the past on repeat, or walk away from it forever.

STACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author of the Dirty Little Secrets and Club Sin series. She writes deeply emotional romances about powerful men and the wild women who tame them. When she’s not writing sensual stories, she spends her time in southwestern Ontario with her real life hero, her husband, their two young children, and her other babies: a mini labradoodle named Jax and a chocolate labrador named Murphy. Stacey is a proud chocolate, television show, Urban Barn, and wine addict. She likes her heroes in her books like she likes her coffee . . . strong and hot!

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PLEASE NOTE: The excerpt below contains coarse language and sensual themes.

Chapter One:
Travis Walker made women’s panties disappear.
On most nights, anyway.
Tonight, sitting on a wooden stool set upon the stage at Catfish Creek High School’s conference center, only one woman was on his mind. His fingers strummed over the strings of the guitar, mouth rested near the microphone, and after he sang the final two lines of the chorus—I wanna kiss you under the moonlight. And love you ‘til the sun comes up—the applause from the crowd reopened his eyes.
Sparkling string lights and masquerade masks hung from the ceiling above him, reminding him that he wasn’t surrounded by thousands of his typical screaming and wild fans. In his Texas hometown, he stared out at teachers, old friends, and classmates, all dressed in formal wear and masquerade masks.
From his seat in the spotlight, he recalled playing for smaller crowds on this very stage back in high school. Those had been some of the happiest days of his life. Now, fresh off his last world tour, he realized he loved that scene, too. The energy of a smaller crowd, who knew him personally, and a larger crowd, who thought they were in love with him, was so different he couldn’t compare the two, but admittedly, he missed the intimacy that came from a smaller venue.
Done with his song, and with the crowd quieting, he slid the guitar strap over his head and handed the instrument back to a member of the band that’d been hired to play at Catfish Creek High School’s ten-year reunion. When he jumped off the stage, he sighed in relief, finding that all the cell phones pointed in his direction were now put away, and the flashing lights were gone.
That’s when he set his focus on what mattered tonight: finding her. Rae Evans—the muse behind the song he sang tonight, Moonlight.
He scanned the crowd overtop the decorated tables with their gold chairs, but the beauty had escaped him somehow. He recognized Annie Flowers, the librarian, who gave him a little wave, and Christopher Christianson, the principal, who was grabbing a drink from the bar. Travis could have sworn he spotted Rae entering the masquerade ball when he began his song. Desperation now clawed at his chest.
Determined to find her, he moved farther into the crowd, just as his cell vibrated in his pocket. Knowing exactly who it’d be, and that he couldn’t ignore the call, he reached for his phone and then frowned at the text from his manager, Scott Price.
Awesome job. The video is already up on YouTube. Fans are loving it. The mask was a nice touch. Don’t miss your flight in the a.m.
Travis shifted the black masquerade mask around his eyes, and the muscles along his shoulders tightened with the reminder of the weight they carried; of the need for him to always be on point, and the fact that nothing, not even his high school reunion, was sacred anymore.
Life had changed dramatically since the last time Travis stepped foot in the conference center. But he didn’t want to think about the shit weighing on him, so he fired off a response—I’ll be on it—then tucked his cell phone back into his pocket.
He had tonight to fix everything that was wrong with his life, and he wouldn’t waste it.
In the eyes of his manager, Travis had come to the reunion to put on a show and to look real to his fans. But Travis hadn’t come for the publicity; he had come for one very good reason: to find his anchor—the woman who stopped his world from spinning wildly out of control.
Lately, in a sea of chaos, he’d finally stopped drowning and saw a way back to the happiness he once had. That happiness had started with Rae, and surely, she was his way to find himself again.
One touch. One taste. He wanted to remember what that happiness felt like.
Again, he searched the crowd, ignoring the way some men glowered at him, and some women batted their lashes. Rae. That’s whom he’d come here to see tonight. Only her.
The band behind him started playing another ballad, and that’s when he found her, staring right at him from across the room. She wore a sleek, black, strapless gown around her slender figure with matching long, black gloves.
His muscles surged with adrenaline, and he went to move toward her when a hard voice came from behind him.
“Karly wants you to play another song.”
Travis slowly glanced over his shoulder to find the biggest asshole in Catfish Creek High School history, Jason, a blond-haired, slender, one-time big shot. Rae was best friends with Kate, and Kate had loved—and later married and divorced—the dipshit behind him.
Times had changed.
Travis didn’t owe Jason anything now, and he certainly didn’t owe the reunion’s event planner, Karly, shit. “You can tell Karly that I told her I’d play one song, and that’s exactly what I did. Bother me again, and we’ll have a problem.”
Jason didn’t make a move or say a word in rebuttal. Once a coward, always a coward.
Refocused on the only person who mattered tonight, and pulled by the energy only Rae conjured, Travis stretched out his fingers, shedding his frustrations as he moved with purpose through the crowd. Her pretty, hazel eyes surrounded by dark makeup followed his every move, and she yanked him forward with a simple look.
She’d always been a pretty girl, but she’d grown into a blindingly beautiful and stunning woman. Her gown fit her like a glove. A gold filigree mask somehow made the creaminess of her skin appear richer. She wore her shoulder-length, brown hair in big waves framing her round face.
Tonight, she didn’t look so fresh-faced and innocent. She looked sexy as hell, and just the sight of her again caused Travis’s cock to swell eagerly.
While he’d talked to her through email, text, and the occasional late-night, drunk phone call every birthday and Christmas over the last ten years, he hadn’t seen her. Not since that day on his parents’ porch. Sure, he’d kept an eye on her through the Catfish Creek Chronicle when they featured her for her charity work, and also on the website for the vet clinic she owned. But after he’d walked the path that led away from her, he’d never found his way back. Life got busy. New friends were found. Fame overtook him.
Now, he was…home.
When he finally reached her, the air between them felt charged. “Rae,” he said.
Her eyes warmed. Dark, red-painted lips curved. “Travis.”
Christ, he remembered how those lips tasted. How she tasted—every goddamn inch of her.
Beneath her mask, those pretty eyes now turned a little suspicious. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to the reunion?”
Perhaps he should have called, but… “I wanted to surprise you.” Because there were important reasons he returned to his hometown, ones that he didn’t want her to know about. Yet.
It all began with an article in the Catfish Creek Chronicle.
Dr. Rae Evans feels she’s done what was needed to help the animals in Catfish Creek, and she’s ready to begin a new journey. She’s looking to open another clinic in one of the neighboring towns.
At twenty-eight years old, she’d achieved what she hoped to do by thirty, and that article reminded him of the guy he used to be when she’d first made those plans. He wasn’t the same man who left Catfish Creek all those years ago, and he didn’t know when exactly he lost himself. While Rae had likely found all the happiness she wanted in her success, he simply wanted to find his way back to the carefree guy he once was.
To do that, he had to come back to the place where he was the happiest. He had to come back to her. “But to tell you why I wanted to surprise you, I need to tell you a story.” He offered his hand. “How about we dance, and I’ll share it.”
For a second, he thought she might refuse him. She simply stared at his hand.
When her eyes met his again, and she slowly slid her palm into his, the tightening in his chest eased. He closed his fingers around hers and sensed her soften, making him smile.
Reliving that infectious energy she carried, he led her into the middle of the dance floor, then he spun her around and pulled her to him, nice and close, sliding his hand across her lower back.
She laughed softly, eyes twinkling behind her mask. “You’ve still got the moves, I see.”
“My moves will never fail me.” He grinned.
The band played the perfect song. Something a little sexy and slow, keeping her hips swaying perfectly with his. He did nothing to shield his erection, but one look into her eyes told him that was all right. With her breasts pressed against his chest, her cheeks a little pink now, he noticed the heat in the depths of her gaze. He’d recognize it anywhere. That fire felt like it belonged to him—always had, always would. Yet in the past, she’d shy away from that desire. Now, he noted how she firmly held his gaze, telling him she wasn’t the young lover he once had.
“How long are you staying in town?” she asked, in an obvious attempt to divert their attention away from his cock.
“Just tonight.” He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand, keeping her as close as he could, inhaling her flowery scent that had faded from his memory. “I fly out bright and early in the morning.”
“Only tonight?” She shot him a questioning glance. “You came all the way here from New York just for the reunion?”
“You seem surprised.”
She shrugged, seemingly unaffected when another couple bumped into her, her interest obviously centered on him. “Seems like a long way to come for only a few hours.”
A very good point, indeed. “Well, you see, that brings us to my story.” He sent her out, twirling her around before bringing her in close again and returning the smile she gave him. “But I think we need to go back even further for you to truly understand.”
“Go on,” she said, watching him closely.
He paused, collecting his thoughts, then he began. “You’ll never hear me complain about my life. I have far more than I probably deserve.”
“That’s a good thing,” she said firmly, even as a playful grin teased her lips. “You have a pretty amazing life, and you’d better not complain to me about all the fabulous trips you get to take around the world, or you might lose a tooth.”
He chuckled but leaned in, calling her out. “And how do you know so much about my life? Reading up on me?”
“A little,” she admitted.
That’s what he liked most about Rae. She was honest, through and through. The fact that she followed his life could bite him in the ass later, but at this point, there was no going back, so he pushed the conversation along. “So, then you know that I have a very good life. I travel. I stay in fancy hotels. I eat at amazing restaurants. I never have to lift a finger. I have everything that anyone should want.”
Her eyes searched his. “But it’s not the life you want?”
Of course, she caught on. He didn’t expect otherwise. That’s why he’d come to the reunion—to be with someone who truly knew him. “It’s not that I don’t want the life I live,” he explained gently. “It’s that something is missing. Something very important.”
“Which is?”
“The guy I used to be.”
She began nibbling her lip like she used to do in high school when she became confused. “What do you mean?”
“I can have anything I want, Rae. There is nothing that’s not available to me.” He slid his hand along her spine, pulling her in closer, leaving no room between them. “But the guy I was when we were together…I don’t know him anymore.”
Her eyes softened, and her voice grew quiet. “That’s really kinda sad, Travis.”
“It is what it is.” He shrugged, not wanting to get stuck on the things he couldn’t change. “My manager told me that I’d been invited to the reunion and saw it as a business opportunity. But I saw it as a personal one.”
The song shifted to something faster, and the crowd began to fill the dance floor, bumping into his back. He refused to let her go, holding her tightly against him. “Do you want to know the real reason I came to the reunion tonight?”
“Yes,” she said, a little breathlessly.
“I came to relive the past, Rae.” He released her hand, wrapping his other arm around her and bringing his mouth close to hers. “That’s the only reason I’m here. I want to remember what it’s like to be with a woman who knows the real me.” He was encouraged by her shiver. An involuntary movement that spoke of her willingness to give him all that he wanted and more.
Hot and hard, he dropped his head into her neck, inhaled the subtle hints of her flowery perfume, and said into her ear, “We have a chance that many people don’t get. To go back and feel what we felt before.” He dragged his nose across her neck in the way he knew she liked, feeling her quiver under his hands. “Tomorrow, our lives will return to normal. Nothing will have changed. You’ll live here, entirely focused on your clinic and your life, and I’ll live mine in New York. Tonight’s our one free pass to dip into the past, and I want to take it. Because tonight, Rae”—he brushed his lips across her neck, and a soft moan escaped her mouth as he murmured—“I want one more taste of you.”
She gasped and stepped back, blinking rapidly. “I…sorry, excuse me. I need to get some air.” Then those pretty pink cheeks and wide, excited eyes were gone, her dress trailing behind her as she ran for the door.
Travis shoved his hands into the pockets of his suit and grinned. He didn’t mind hunting her, it sweetened his reward.

Release Day Giveaway: Excerpt, Giveaway, Interview, & Review: Love with a Scottish Outlaw (Highland Weddings #3) – Gayle Callen

LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW
Highland Weddings #3
Gayle Callen
Releasing June 27, 2017
Avon Books

Catriona Duff can’t remember who she is. Discovered in the midst of a raging thunderstorm, she has no recollection of how she came to be there or how the guards around her ended up dead. She certainly doesn’t remember that the handsome Highlander who saves her is her family’s sworn enemy. All she does know? She’s starting to fall in love with him.

Duncan Carlyle couldn’t believe his luck when he found Catriona, the daughter of the man who made him an outlaw and forced him from his ancestral home, stranded on the road with nothing to her name–including her memory. Speaking out against Aberfoyle’s evil practices of stealing poor and orphaned children to sell to the highest bidder has cost him everything, but now he has the opportunity to make the man understand the true price of a missing child. But as Duncan begins to know Cat, guilt over his actions wars with his irrepressible desire for her.

When Cat discovers the truth of her identity, she decides she can teach the outlawed clan chief a lesson, but in love, there’s more than one way to win.

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog Uma and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane. Discover more at her website.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

If you had to title your own life what would it be and why? “Lucky in Love.” I met my husband a year before we started dating, but once we dated, we married within six months. And I knew that first month that I was in love with him. So any time someone uses love at first sight in a romance novel, I think it could be true, because it happened to me. And we’ve been married 35 years, so it can work!

What is your favorite place to visit? It may sound cliché for a historical romance author, but I love England. I’ve visited three times now, and every time I see a different part of the country, I fall in love all over again. Last time, I visited my daughter who was studying for her semester abroad in London. The two of us rented a car and drove north—on the left side of the road!—all the way to Yorkshire. The countryside changes so much, from thatched roofs and abundant gardens, to bleak moors that roll to the horizon. Incredible!

Favorite writing place? Even though I’ve written most of my books from a small office on the lower level of my house, my favorite place to write is on my patio. I spent all last summer working outside 4-6 hours every day. My yard is mostly trees, but I have an umbrella to sit beneath when the sun is overhead. I planted begonias and impatiens, which do well in the shade. I put up my feet up, my laptop on a lap desk, and I write, listening to the sound of the bees, the birds, and distant lawn mowers. My neighbor has several bird feeders that spill seeds onto the ground, so sometimes birds, squirrels, bunnies, and chipmunks are all cavorting in the grass together, like my own private show. It’s so peaceful!

What are 5 things you must have with you when you write? Ooh, interesting question. I don’t think I’m superstitious about anything in particular, but there are some constants when I’m writing a book. A laptop is number one—a desktop computer can’t easily be moved, so I’ve used a laptop for years so I can set it aside to research, spread out my index cards, etc. And I want to be able to take it with me, too! Next, I always have ice water in a big insulated mug. I have index cards, because that’s how I keep track of all my scenes. I use a purple pen to write on them. And lastly, markers, because I highlight a corner of each index card to keep track of all my plotlines when I lay the cards out: purple for the heroine’s emotional growth, blue for the hero, pink for the romance plot, then green/orange/red for the various plotlines in the book. Yes, I love to organize and plot things out.

Can you tell us a little about your book? I was so excited to write LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW, mainly because I finally found a story to fit a plot I’d always wanted to write: amnesia. I opened the book with the heroine, Catriona, waking up in the Scottish Highlands, her head bleeding, not knowing who she is. It was such fun to write! The hero Duncan is the chief of an outlawed clan—and he knows exactly who she is, the daughter of his enemy. While Catriona thinks he is being kind enough to house her while she discovers who she is, Duncan is really holding her captive. And of course, the sparks fly!

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Excerpt, Giveaway, & Review: Her Surprise Engagement – Ashlee Mallory

SYNOPSIS: Single mom Daisy Sorensen doesn’t believe in fairytale endings—at least not for her. All she wants is to enjoy a much-needed, stress-free family vacation at a friend’s Lake Tahoe home. So of course everything that can go wrong does. Including a gorgeous man and his daughter showing up in the middle of the night.

Soon-to-be Governor Jack Harrison has had a crazy week, but he’s sure nothing can top arriving to find a bathrobe-clad, beautiful stranger in the home he’s staying in for the week. He’s wrong. When things spiral out of control the next morning, Jack makes Daisy an offer she can’t refuse. She’ll pretend to be his fiancée and he’ll help her open the bakery she’s been dreaming about.

But in between late-night campfires and days on the lake, Jack finds himself falling for the strong, stubborn woman for real.

ANGIE’S REVIEW: I love books that have people meet in odd ways, especially if they’re thrown together and have to try to come up with a plan so that everyone can make the situation work. I love fake marriages or couples or fake engagements. The building up to the eventual relationship always leads to a happy ending and who doesn’t like happy endings?

I’m a big fan of sweet books that are heavy on dialogue, attraction, and learning the complexity//depths of the characters and not read about their bedroom activities. While it’s implied that they were intimate, there isn’t any detail. There’s also mild language, but nothing coarse.

Daisy is such a wonderful mother to her children, even if her ex is a jackass. Her children come first in her life and she tries to give them the best she can with what she has to work with.

Jack is trying to navigate life without his wife and raising his daughter by himself. Added to the mix is the fact that he’s about to take office as the Governor. Jack is a good dad and I loved watching him interact with anyone.

Even though this is the fourth book in the series, you can read it as a stand-alone. I plan on purchasing the whole series to date to learn more about the Sorensen family.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

DISCLAIMER: I requested a digital copy from Entangled Bliss via Netgalley for review purposes. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

 

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Check out the other books in the Sorensen Family series:

Ashlee Mallory is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and thrillers. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and two kids. She aspires to one day include running, hiking and traveling to exotic destinations in her list of things she enjoys, but currently settles for enjoying a good book and a glass of wine from the comfort of her couch.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Excerpt:

Daisy didn’t know how long she’d been working when she was struck by how quiet and still the house was and, realizing the rain finally had stopped, she’d decided to take a break and stepped outside onto the deck to appreciate the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the open sky above her.

She might not have planned this vacation, but she was coming around to thinking this trip might be what she’d needed—no, they all had needed—after all.

It was in this relaxed state of mind that Daisy finally stepped back inside the house, ready to turn in.

At least until her gaze rested on the tall, strange man who bore an uncanny resemblance to the state’s lieutenant governor standing in the kitchen. If that hadn’t sent her heart racing, the sound of shattering glass a second later nearly had her heart bolting from her chest.

Every instinct called for her to scream at the top of her lungs and retreat back into the shadows of the deck. Only, upstairs the kids and her aunt were resting and safe—for now. And she meant to keep them that way.

Which meant she needed to get this guy out of the house.

But first, she needed something to protect herself with. She scanned her surroundings before resting on the bottle opener sitting on the kitchen counter. If only she could reach it before he—

“Wait. Just hear me out,” the guy said in a smooth, even voice, softened probably to offer her comfort—at least before he tried to stab her to death. He raised his empty hands in front of him as if to show her he was unarmed. “I’m Jack. Jack Harrison. I’m a friend of the Vaughns.”

Jack Harrison. It really was the lieutenant governor? The man who’d spoken at last month’s seminar at the women’s business center about starting up a small business? A seminar where she’d spent a good five minutes—okay, maybe ten—fantasizing about what it would be like to run her fingers across that strong jaw or through those waves of sandy brown hair.

What was he doing here?

“You know the Vaughns?” she asked more cautiously.

“I spoke to Emily Vaughn a couple of days ago, and she assured me the place would be unoccupied this week. I promise, I’m not here to hurt you. In fact, my own daughter is upstairs right now.”

She sighed in relief as the adrenaline and fear that had poured through her a moment before seeped away. He wasn’t here to kill her. Of that she was almost certain.

He glanced down to the loan forms she’d left sitting out on the counter that outlined her miniscule savings, nonexistent assets, and lack of references or contacts that would make the loan ever happen. “Are you Daisy? Daisy Sorensen?”

“Yes. But, if you don’t mind”—she snatched up the documents—“these are personal.”

“Daisy Sorensen,” he said as if testing the words. “I know Payton married a Sorensen last year—I’m guessing you’re related?” He returned those bright blue eyes to her again, and his sensuous lips slipped into an easy smile.

A smile that sent a ripple of sexual awareness through her. Something she thought she was incapable of feeling, at least for a very long time.

Wait.

She glanced down. Oh, holy Mary, Mother of…

What am I wearing?

Was she really standing in front of the lieutenant governor in her old threadbare bathrobe? And socks. Fuzzy socks.

Where was that lightning when she needed it to strike her down?

Pre-Order, Excerpt, Giveaway, & Review: Love with a Scottish Outlaw (Highland Weddings #3) – Gayle Callen

All she does know? She’s starting to fall in love with him.  

LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW
Highland Weddings #3
Gayle Callen
Releasing June 27, 2017
Avon Books

Catriona Duff can’t remember who she is. Discovered in the midst of a raging thunderstorm, she has no recollection of how she came to be there or how the guards around her ended up dead. She certainly doesn’t remember that the handsome Highlander who saves her is her family’s sworn enemy. All she does know? She’s starting to fall in love with him.

Duncan Carlyle couldn’t believe his luck when he found Catriona, the daughter of the man who made him an outlaw and forced him from his ancestral home, stranded on the road with nothing to her name–including her memory. Speaking out against Aberfoyle’s evil practices of stealing poor and orphaned children to sell to the highest bidder has cost him everything, but now he has the opportunity to make the man understand the true price of a missing child. But as Duncan begins to know Cat, guilt over his actions wars with his irrepressible desire for her.

When Cat discovers the truth of her identity, she decides she can teach the outlawed clan chief a lesson, but in love, there’s more than one way to win.

ANGIE’S REVIEW: Jude Deveraux got me hooked on highland books, which means my kindle and bookcase are stock full of them! So when I found out that I could review this book, well, I jumped at the opportunity.

I love the camaraderie with clan members and how much they look up to their Laird and work together to keep peace in their home, whether it be a keep or a cave.

While reading this book, I felt as if I was transported in time to the crisp Highlands, gossiping with clan members as we did the laundry, prepared food, fed everyone, etc. Watching Cat and Duncan get to know each other, and eventually fall in love.

If only there wasn’t that huge elephant between them as Duncan surely knows who the girl with amnesia is and plans on keeping her for ransom from her disgusting father. There were so many lies that I considered keeping a notebook next to me so that *I* could keep them straight.

Duncan is a powerful man, with his no-nonsense personality and determination to make Cat’s father pay for what he did to him.

Cat is such a sweet, pleasant woman who had me wishing that we were friends. I love a good amnesia story and Cat’s didn’t disappoint.

Callen is a true artist when it comes to creating characters with much depth and complexity. I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read the others in the series.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

DISCLAIMER: I requested a digital copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog Uma and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane. Discover more at her website.

If you had to title your own life what would it be and why? “Lucky in Love.” I met my husband a year before we started dating, but once we dated, we married within six months. And I knew that first month that I was in love with him. So any time someone uses love at first sight in a romance novel, I think it could be true, because it happened to me. And we’ve been married 35 years, so it can work!

What is your favorite place to visit? It may sound cliché for a historical romance author, but I love England. I’ve visited three times now, and every time I see a different part of the country, I fall in love all over again. Last time, I visited my daughter who was studying for her semester abroad in London. The two of us rented a car and drove north—on the left side of the road!—all the way to Yorkshire. The countryside changes so much, from thatched roofs and abundant gardens, to bleak moors that roll to the horizon. Incredible!

Favorite writing place? Even though I’ve written most of my books from a small office on the lower level of my house, my favorite place to write is on my patio. I spent all last summer working outside 4-6 hours every day. My yard is mostly trees, but I have an umbrella to sit beneath when the sun is overhead. I planted begonias and impatiens, which do well in the shade. I put up my feet up, my laptop on a lap desk, and I write, listening to the sound of the bees, the birds, and distant lawn mowers. My neighbor has several bird feeders that spill seeds onto the ground, so sometimes birds, squirrels, bunnies, and chipmunks are all cavorting in the grass together, like my own private show. It’s so peaceful!

What are 5 things you must have with you when you write? Ooh, interesting question. I don’t think I’m superstitious about anything in particular, but there are some constants when I’m writing a book. A laptop is number one—a desktop computer can’t easily be moved, so I’ve used a laptop for years so I can set it aside to research, spread out my index cards, etc. And I want to be able to take it with me, too! Next, I always have ice water in a big insulated mug. I have index cards, because that’s how I keep track of all my scenes. I use a purple pen to write on them. And lastly, markers, because I highlight a corner of each index card to keep track of all my plotlines when I lay the cards out: purple for the heroine’s emotional growth, blue for the hero, pink for the romance plot, then green/orange/red for the various plotlines in the book. Yes, I love to organize and plot things out.

Can you tell us a little about your book? I was so excited to write LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW, mainly because I finally found a story to fit a plot I’d always wanted to write: amnesia. I opened the book with the heroine, Catriona, waking up in the Scottish Highlands, her head bleeding, not knowing who she is. It was such fun to write! The hero Duncan is the chief of an outlawed clan—and he knows exactly who she is, the daughter of his enemy. While Catriona thinks he is being kind enough to house her while she discovers who she is, Duncan is really holding her captive. And of course, the sparks fly!

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Excerpt:
Duncan lifted the woman’s upper body into his left arm, cradling her head so that he blocked the rain. He probed near her wound gingerly with his right hand, and she frowned and weakly tried to turn away.
His wariness deepened. There was something about her, a familiarity that echoed inside his head but refused to take shape.
“Where am I?” she whispered, her accent English. “What happened?”
An English lady in the Highlands? He chose to answer the second question rather than the first. “Ye’ve a nasty wound to your head, mistress. Did ye fall?”
She blinked as if she might lose consciousness. “Where am I? What happened?”
Now it was his turn to blink, but he remembered that wounds of the head could cause confusion. He knew he had to stop the blood loss.
“Mistress, can ye stand?”
She opened those eyes again, large and golden, in a delicate face. Her dark hair streamed back from her forehead, her hairline coming to a peak.
He recognized her, a flash of memory from Stirling several years ago, when he’d glared his hatred at the Earl of Aberfoyle, a haughty old man on horseback, forcing aside a poor lass heavy with child to make way for him. The earl’s family was seldom in Scotland, so their arrival in the Highlands had caused a stir. Duncan had seen this woman riding just behind, wearing the fine gown and jaunty hat that marked her a noble lady. At least she’d looked distressed at her father’s actions.
Catriona Duff was the daughter of Aberfoyle, the chief of the Clan Duff and Duncan’s bitter enemy. Aberfoyle was one of the main reasons that Duncan was an outlaw who had to protect and feed his people while on the run.
He lifted his head and looked about, as if the earl and his entire retinue were somewhere nearby, waiting to attack him. “Where are your men?” he demanded.
“What happened?” she asked weakly.
“Ye’ve hit your head. Where are your men?”
“My—men?”
Her hand fluttered toward her forehead, but he didn’t allow her to touch the wound.
A spasm of pain narrowed her eyes. “I found them . . . dead,” she whispered. “What happened to me?”
“I don’t know.” Six weeks after almost being captured, he was still wary of anything unusual in his part of the Highlands. Dead men would prove her story true, but he couldn’t deal with them now.
“I—I can’t remember—I can’t remember anything!” Though her cry was feeble, it was full of helplessness and fear.
“Ye don’t remember the accident?”
“Not . . . the accident, not even . . . my name.”
He frowned down at her, wondering at what intrigue she was playing—or what her father had set in motion. He wouldn’t put it past the bastard.
She clutched his plaid. “What happened to me?” she cried in despair.
“I do not ken. I must clean that wound. Can ye stand? I can pull ye up on my horse.”
He rose, lifting her up with him until she could clutch the saddle for support. After mounting, he reached down for her. He would have preferred she ride astride behind him, but she seemed so weak that he ended up cradling her across his thighs. She leaned into him, her head lolling onto his chest, her blood staining his black, red, and yellow plaid.
It didn’t take long to reach the rocky overhang he’d used for shelter several other times. Once out of the rain, he searched his saddle pack but found nothing that would do for a clean bandage. He ended up cutting several strips from the end of his shirt with his dirk. The wound seemed clean enough after all the rain, so he wrapped the improvised bandages around her head and hoped they stopped the bleeding.
She looked at him helplessly the whole time, and he felt like she was memorizing his features. He studied her, too. Her high cheekbones emphasized the hollows beneath, and her full lips hinted at an expressive mouth. Her pale face was as remote and beautiful as a statue, making her appeal to him on a primitive level that he would never acknowledge.
Why was she in the remote Highlands? According to gossip he’d heard long ago, she rarely visited her father’s castles. Was she the advance of a larger party headed right for Duncan’s unsuspecting people? She was so close to his hidden encampment. If he let her go, she could bring men to hunt the area, risking his people—risking the good he was trying to do. He couldn’t release her until he knew all the facts.

Excerpts, Giveaway, & Review: Read, Write, Love at Seaside (Sweet With Heat: Seaside #1) & Dreaming At Seaside (Sweet With Heat: Seaside #2) – Addison Cole

Start reading FREE with Read, Write, Love at Seaside

READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #1
Addison Cole
Releasing June 14th, 2017

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features
a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends! Start reading FREE with  Read, Write, Love at Seaside

In READ, WRITE, LOVE at SEASIDE…
Bestselling author Kurt Remington lives to write. He spends twelve hours a day in front of his computer, rarely leaving the seclusion of his beach-front property, where he’s come to finish his latest thriller — that is, until free-spirited Leanna Bray nearly drowns in the ocean trying to save her dog.
Kurt’s best-laid plans are shot to hell when he comes to their rescue. Kurt’s as irritated as he is intrigued by the sexy, hot mess of a woman who lives life on a whim, forgets everything, and doesn’t even know the definition of the word organized.

Leanna’s come to the Cape hoping to find a fulfilling career in the jam-making business, and until she figures out her own life, a man is not on the menu. But Leanna can’t get the six-two, deliciously muscled and tragically neat Kurt out of her mind. She tells herself she’s just stopping by to say thank you, but the heart-warming afternoon sparks an emotional and unexpectedly sweet ride as Kurt and Leanna test the powers of Chemistry 101: Opposites Attract.


*Read, Write, Love at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Read, Write, Love. The stories and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

START READING FOR FREE!

 *~*

Excerpt: Leanna Bray was wet, cold, and floundering. Literally. She’d been floundering for twenty-eight years, so this was nothing new, but being pummeled by rain, wind, and waves, chasing a dog that never listened? That was new.
“Pepp—” A wave knocked her off her feet and she went under the water, taking a mouthful of saltwater along with her. She tumbled head down beneath the surface.
Now Pepper and I will both drown. Freaking perfect.
Something grabbed her arm, and she reflexively fought against it, sucking in another mouthful of salty water as she broke through the surface, arms flailing, choking, and pushing against the powerful hand that yanked her to her feet.
“You okay?” A deep, annoyed voice carried over the din of the crashing waves.
Cough. Cough. “Yeah. I—” Cough. Cough. “My dog.” She blinked and blinked, trying to clear the saltwater and rain from her eyes. The man’s mop of wet, dark hair came into focus. He held tightly to her arm while scanning the water in the direction of where she’d last seen Pepper. His clothes stuck to his body like a second skin, riding the ripples of his impressive chest and arms as he held her above the surface with one arm around her ribs.
“Come on.” She coughed as he plowed through the pounding surf with her clutched against his side. She slid down his body, and he lifted her easily into his arms, carrying her like he might carry a child, pressing her to his chest as he fought against the waves.
She pushed against his chest, feeling ridiculous and helpless…and maybe a little thankful, but she was ignoring that emotion in order to save Pepper.
“My dog! I need to get my dog!” she hollered.
Mr. Big, Tall, and Stoic didn’t say a word. He set her on the wet sand and tossed her a rain-soaked towel. “It was dry.” He pointed behind her to a wooden staircase. “Go up to the deck.”
She dropped the towel and plowed past him toward the water. “I gotta get my dog.”
He snagged her by the arm and glared at her with the brightest blue eyes she’d ever seen—and a stare so dark she swallowed her voice.
“Go.” He pointed to the stairs again. “I’ll get your dog.” He took a step toward the water, and she pushed past him again.
“You don’t have t—”
He scooped her into his arms again and carried her to the stairs.

ANGIE’S REVIEW: I was looking forward to reading this book as I enjoy sweet books.

While there is no graphic sex (it’s alluded to, but we don’t actually read about it), and there wasn’t any coarse language, this is not exactly a clean read. Meaning, if you are a person of faith (or just a regular reader) who prefers not reading about a woman in her panties, you will want to skip over this series.

Leeanna is so endearing! Though she her life is chaotic and she’s completely disorganized, there is something inherently likable about her. She is real, not fake, perfect, or any of those perfect sounding women in romance novels; she’s lucky if she remembers to eat or discipline her dog!

Kurt is so rigid, such a stick in the mud, that he absolutely NEEDED a woman like Leeanna in his life. She breaks down his walls and shows him that always adhering to a schedule and not taking the time to enjoy the sunshine is a life unlived.

And there is nothing like a cute dog to make a book that much sweeter to read.

Foster/Cole is an amazing storyteller. This series is absolute genius, not because its listed as a sweet read, but adding in some heat (just a tad bit over PG 13+) takes it to a whole new level without compromising the entire story.

ANGIE’S RATIING: ****
DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy in order to partake in the blog review tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

DREAMING AT SEASIDE
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #2
Addison Cole
Releasing June 14th, 2017

In DREAMING at SEASIDE…

Bella Abbascia has returned to Seaside Cottages in Wellfleet,
Massachusetts, as she does every summer. Only this year, Bella has more on her mind than sunbathing and skinny-dipping with her girlfriends. She’s quit her job, put her house on the market, and sworn off relationships while she builds a new life in her favorite place on earth. That is, until good-time Bella’s prank takes a bad turn and a handsome police officer appears on the scene.




Single father and police officer Caden Grant left Boston with
his fourteen-year-old son, Evan, after his partner was killed in the line of duty. He hopes to find a safer life in the small resort town of Wellfleet, and when he meets Bella during a night patrol shift, he realizes he’s found the one thing he’d never allowed himself to hope for–or even realized he was missing.




After fourteen years of focusing solely on his son, Caden
cannot resist the intense attraction he feels toward beautiful Bella, and Bella’s powerless to fight the heat of their budding romance. But starting over proves more difficult than either of them imagined, and when Evan gets mixed up with the wrong kids, Caden’s loyalty is put to the test. Will he give up everything to protect his son–even Bella?

Dreaming at Seaside is the sweet
edition of
 New York Times bestselling
author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel
 Seaside Dreams.
 The stories
and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect
between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

Addison
Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling
and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay. 
   

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EXCERPT: Caden stepped from the car. “What’s going on here?” He walked around the dark-haired woman, who was rolling from side to side on the ground while laughing hysterically, and the fluffy white dog, who was barking as though his life depended on it, and he quickly realized that the blond woman’s hair was caught in the window. Behind him another blonde crouched on the ground, laughing so hard she kept snorting. Why the devil aren’t any of you wearing pants?
“Leanna! I’m stuck!” the blonde by the window yelled.
“Officer, we’re sorry.” The blonde behind him rose to her feet, tugging her shirt down to cover her underwear; then she covered her mouth with her hand as more laughter escaped. The dog barked and clawed at Caden’s shoes.
“Someone want to tell me what’s going on here?” Caden didn’t even want to try to guess.
“We’re…” The brunette laughed again as she rose to her knees and tried to straighten her camisole, which barely contained her enormous breasts. She ran her eyes down Caden’s body. “Well, hello there, handsome.” She fell backward, laughing again.
Just what he needed, three drunk women.
The brunette inside the cottage lifted the window, freeing the blonde’s hair, which sent her stumbling backward and crashing into his chest. There was no ignoring the feel of her seductive curves beneath the thin layer of fabric. Her hair was a thick, tangled mess. She looked up at him with eyes the color of rich cocoa and lips sweet enough to taste. The air around them pulsed with heat.
“Whoa. You okay?” he asked. He told his arms to let her go, but there was a disconnect, and his hands remained stuck to her waist.
“It’s…It’s not what it looks like.” She dropped her eyes to her hands, clutching his forearms, and she released him fast, as if she’d been burned. She took a step back and helped the brunette to her feet. “We were…”
“They were trying to close our window, Officer.” A tall, dark-haired man came around the side of the cottage, wearing a pair of jeans and no shirt. “Kurt Remington.” He held a hand out in greeting and shook his head at the women, now holding on to each other, giggling and whispering.
“Officer Caden Grant.” He shook Kurt’s hand. “We’ve had some trouble with break-ins lately. Do you know these women?” His eyes swept over the tall blonde. He followed the curve of her thighs to where they disappeared beneath her nightshirt, then drifted up to her full breasts, finally coming to rest on her beautiful dark eyes. It had been a long time since he’d been this attracted to a woman.
“Of course he knows us.” The hot blonde stepped forward, arms crossed, eyes no longer wide and warm, but narrow and angry.
He hated men who leered at women, but he was powerless to refrain from drinking her in for one last second. The other two women were lovely in their own right, but they didn’t compare to the tall blonde with fire in her eyes and a body made for loving.
Kurt nodded. “Yes, Officer. We know them.”
“Geez, you guys. What the heck?” the dark-haired woman asked through the open window.
“You were waking the dead,” the tall blonde answered.
“Oh, gosh. I’m sorry, Officer,” the brunette said through the window. Her cheeks flushed, and she slipped back inside and closed the window.
“I assure you, everything is okay here.” Kurt glared at the hot blonde.
“Okay, well, if you see any suspicious activity, we’re only a phone call away.” He took a step toward his car.
The tall blonde hurried into his path. “Did someone from Seaside call the police?”
“No. I was just patrolling the area.”
She held his gaze. “Just patrolling the area? No one patrols Seaside.”
“Bella,” the other blonde hissed.
Bella.
“Seriously. No one patrols our community. They never have.” She lifted her chin in a way that he assumed was meant as a challenge, but it had the opposite effect. She looked cuter than a button.
Caden stepped closer and tried to keep a straight face. “Your name is Bella?”
“Maybe.”
Feisty, too. He liked that. “Well, Maybe Bella, you’re right. We haven’t patrolled your community in the past, but things have changed. We’ll be patrolling more often to keep you safe until we catch the people who have been burglarizing the area.” He leaned in close and whispered, “But you might consider wearing pants for your window-closing evening strolls. Never know who’s traipsing around out here.”

New Release, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Mr. Rook, (Rook’s Island #1) – Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

He’s Enigmatic, Dangerously Handsome,  
and COMPLETELY OFF-LIMITS…
MR. ROOK
Mr. Rook’s Island #1
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Releasing June 13th, 2017

From NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Comes Part One of Mr. Rook’s Island, a Sexy, Dark, Romantic Suspense.
He’s Enigmatic, Dangerously Handsome, and COMPLETELY OFF-LIMITS…
The women who vacation on Mr. Rook’s exclusive island are looking for one thing and one thing only: to have their wildest romantic fantasies come to life. Pirates, cowboys, billionaires—there’s nothing Rook’s staff can’t deliver.
But when Stephanie Fitzgerald’s sister doesn’t return after her week in paradise, Stephanie will have to pose as a guest in order to dig for answers.
Unfortunately, this means she’ll need to get close to the one thing on the island that’s not on the menu: the devastatingly handsome and intimidating Mr. Rook. And he’s not about to give the island’s secrets away.

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.

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Excerpt
PROLOGUE
My name is Stephanie Fitzgerald. I am twenty-six years old, London born, New York raised, and I know exactly three things about my current situation.
One: I am an imposter riding on this private jet carrying myself and eleven other women to an island “paradise.”
Two: I have no clue what I will find when I disembark, because this exclusive resort doesn’t exactly advertise.
Three: I will be fired if I don’t return home with concrete information regarding Mr. Rook, the mysterious owner of the island. And when I say I’ll be fired, I really mean that my body will be thrown down a deep dark well by a bad, bad man.
Those three things, however, don’t really matter. Only finding my sister does. Because the last place Cici was seen alive is here, “Fantasy Island.” Yep, that’s what some people actually call it. Some even say the show in the ’80s was based on this place.
Sure. If your fantasy is to disappear, leaving your family an emotional train wreck, then okay, I concede the point.
Regardless, this is where Cici went after winning a mystery dream vacation in the back of some travel magazine, and it’s touted as the real deal. You pay fifty K. They make your wildest fantasies come true. One week in Heaven.
Heaven, my ass.
As the tires hit the wet landing strip and the plane slows to a crawl, I glance out the tiny oval window to my left, and my breath hitches. Standing among the lush vegetation lining the runway is a tall man with square shoulders. He’s looking right at me, and those eyes—so predatory, so cold—are the only thing I can really see of him.
I blink, and he vanishes like a wisp of steam.
What was that? A hard shiver slams through me as I realize I have no clue what I’ve just gotten myself into. Because I am one of the next happy guests at Mr. Rook’s private island, where “Every woman’s fantasy is our business.” And not everyone comes home from vacation.

Excerpts, Giveaway, & Reviews: Somebody Like You & Nearest Thing to Heaven (Maverick Junction 1 & 2) – Lynette Austin

The question begs to be asked. Is there anything sexier than a cowboy?

SOMEBODY LIKE YOU
Maverick Junction #1
Lynnette Austin
Forever Yours

WHEN A COWBOY MEETS AN HEIRESS…

Cash Hardeman thinks he’ll have all the time in the world to find the right woman…until he discovers he might lose the family ranch if he’s not married by his 30th birthday. So when Boston beauty Annelise blows into town on her Harley, Cash can’t help wondering if she’s the sexy, leather-clad answer to all his problems.

Giving her bodyguards and the paparazzi the slip, heiress Annelise Montjoy comes to Maverick Junction on a mission to help her ailing grandfather. But keeping her identity hidden in the small Texas town is harder than she expected—especially around a tempting cowboy like Cash. He’s the kind of man who makes her want to spill all her secrets. Soon Annelise starts to wonder if she’s finally found the man who can love her for herself rather than her money.
But will the secrets they both keep ruin their plans to ride off into the sunset together?

Excerpt From Somebody Like You (Maverick Junction #1)
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Annelise Montjoy motored her Harley along what appeared to be the town’s main street. This was Maverick Junction?
A blue Cadillac, surely old enough to be in a museum, was parked nose-in to the curb. An incredibly ugly dog sat in the front seat.
Thank God, this, the final destination of her cross-country trip from Boston, was temporary. It looked like the kind of place you ran away from, not toward. If luck was on her side, she’d be out of here in a couple weeks at the most.
And then a store door opened and her breath caught. Go, Texas! Look at that cowboy. So different from any of the men in her life. So…intriguing. She slowed to nearly a standstill and watched as he swiped an arm across his forehead, then dumped a grocery bag in the backseat of the old Caddy.
Cracking open a bottle of water, he turned his head in her direction. Her breath hitched as his gaze ran lazily over her, her bike. Then he snagged a Styrofoam cup from inside his car and filled it before setting it on the blistering pavement for the dog waiting patiently beside him.
Leaning against the faded fender, he thumbed back his battered Stetson and chugged the rest of the water. Twisting the cap back on, he tossed the bottle into the recycling bin beside the grocer’s door.
Annelise pulled her bike into a parking space across the street, deliberately turning her back on the stranger. While his clothes might have been stereotypical cowboy—worn jeans, a faded T-shirt, cowboy boots, and hat—he took everything from simmer to boiling point. The jeans hugged long legs, while the shirt stretched taut across his muscled chest. There was something very alluring about him and that surprised her. He wasn’t the kind of man she was usually drawn to.
He shouldn’t appeal to her.
He did.
Not so much as a breeze stirred. The flag on the post office hung limp, and the cheerful red, white, and blue balloons someone had hung outside a beauty salon drooped listlessly.
Unable to stop herself, she peeked in the bike’s rearview mirror. Cowboy was bent over, talking to the dog. Quite a view, but she wasn’t here to admire a fine jean-clad butt. She needed something cold to drink and something light to eat. Then she’d go in search of Dottie Willis and the apartment she’d rented over the Internet. Maverick Junction, Texas. Annelise wished she was driving through, wished she could view it as simply a spot on the map where she’d stopped for lunch one summer day.
Well, she’d just have to work fast.

 *~*
NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN
Maverick Junction #2
Lynnette Austin
Forever Yours


THE COWBOY AND THE CITY GIRL

Sophie London hates Texas. The longhorns freak her out and the wide-open spaces are more unnerving than a Chicago alleyway at night. But Sophie wouldn’t miss her cousin’s wedding for the world—even if it means returning to Maverick Junction . . . and to the dangerously irresistible Ty Rawlins.

A single father of rambunctious triplet boys, Ty knows trouble when he sees it—and Sophie’s got it written all over her. Yet he’s never been able to stop thinking about her, after their one brief meeting. Maybe fate is giving him a second chance. But if Ty wants Sophie to swap her stilettos for cowgirl boots, they’ll each have to face the past—together.

Lynnette Austin, a recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks, she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.

Excerpt from Nearest Thing to Heaven (Maverick Junction #2)
“Ty Rawlins has posted a no trespassing sign. My guess is he’s still in love with his dead wife.”
“There is that possibility.”
“Yes, there is.” Sophie swung open the door and marched out, straight into Ty.
He put his hands on her arms to steady her.
“Sorry,” she mumbled.
“Don’t be. My fault. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“Ask the girl to dance, Ty.” Annelise stood behind them in the narrow hallway.
“I—” He raised his hands.
“That’s okay.” Sophie moved to skirt around him.
“No.” He reached out, caught her hand. The jolt was instantaneous, and she knew he felt it, too, when he momentarily broke contact.
“It’s all right. I don’t need to be entertained.” She heard the snap of temper in her voice but couldn’t control it.
“Understood.” Ty nodded toward the jukebox. “But here’s the thing. Cash fed the machine enough coins to fill a good-size swimming pool. All those quarters. All that music. Why waste it?”
He held out a hand; heat flooded her face.
No way to avoid it. If she refused, she’d come off as a prickly snob. He had to think the worst of her anyway. Whatever social graces her mother’d drummed into her seemed to have flown out the window.
She had no idea why he’d want to dance with an idiot, but who was she to deny him that dubious honor?
“In that case, I’d love to.” She smiled, took his hand, and they walked together to the small center square reserved for dancing. She refused to so much as look at her cousin. Refused, for that matter, to meet any of the eyes in the restaurant watching them speculatively.
A slow number came on and Ty turned her to him, put his other arm around her waist, and drew her in.
“‘The Keeper of the Stars,’” he said quietly. “Quite a song.”
Her heart hammered as Ty very skillfully swept her along to the music. It was different from any dance she’d ever experienced. Night and day from the one she’d shared with Brawley. He’d been fun. Ty? Intense was the only word she could come up with to define the aura surrounding him.
Totally unfamiliar with country songs, she listened to the words over the beating of her heart. “It was no accident me finding you…” Her temperature spiked ten degrees. He was right. The words were captivating. Intense, just like him. And, oh, so romantic.
His hand holding hers was callused and strong, the one at her waist firm. Hot.
Ty did not, in any way, make her think brotherly thoughts. Instead, heat pooled low. Yearnings stirred. Thoughts and desires she’d doubted she’d ever feel.
The man was dangerous. She’d do well to remember that. But for now, she’d simply enjoy the moment. The dance drifted into a second, then a third. Sophie vaguely registered others on the dance floor with them, smiled when Annelise and Cash brushed past.
Ty stood over a foot taller than her five-three, and her head rested on the strapping cowboy’s chest. She heard the steady beating of his heart and surprised herself by wishing the song could go on forever.
She was deathly afraid she wouldn’t say no if this man wanted to park his cowboy boots beneath her bed. For one night, of course.
“Sophie?” Ty’s voice whispered against her ear.
“Hmmm?”
“The music’s stopped.”


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ANGIE’S REVIEW OF SOMEBODY LIKE YOU:From the get go I really liked Annelise. What’s not to love about a woman riding a Harley and is quite the firecracker? She may be an heiress that has been kept under lock and key most of her life, but that didn’t keep her from getting her hands dirty (and breaking every nail on those pretty hands, either)

Cash was easy to like as he cared a lot for people, even if he was being stubborn for the longest time about marriage to save his beloved family ranch and toss out his 20 something year old “grandmother”.

My one problem with this book is that it seemed to drag on in places. While I do love it, I think it could have been shortened word and page-wise and they should find out who she is a lot sooner than they did. Though, it’s not fair to say that only “Annie” was hiding something, so was Cash.

Having said that, Ms Austin’s writing is top-notch and kept me reading far into the night.

*Sigh* Can’t wait to read the sequel!

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

DISCLAIMER: I requested a copy of this book in order to take part in the blog tour by Tasty Reads. All opinions are my own.

ANGIE’S REVIEW OF NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN: What’s not to love about a single father who is taking care of his three boys almost single handedly if it wasn’t for the kindness of family. I just love when men are the single fathers taking care of their kids.

The romance? Searing. Even though there were no naughty scenes, you could tell that each had one thing on their mind.

Again, I love Ms August and her writing. Even though she can get quite wordy, I absolutely enjoyed this book and the first book. I plan on buying the third book so I can all three together.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

DISCLAIMER: I requested a copy of this book in order to take part in the blog tour by Tasty Reads. All opinions are my own.

New Release, Excerpt, & Giveaway: I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4) – Lauren Layne

A feisty beauty must choose between
winning back Mr. Right 
or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017
Loveswept

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.



AVAILABLE NOW!

Lauren Layne is the New York Times  bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.


She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 

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Excerpt
Bradley froze when he saw her, and she was pretty sure she saw the urge to turn and run flicker across his face.
Again she felt a stab of disappointment. In him. And in herself for apparently having misread him. She’d thought he was better than this.
Bradley’s eyes moved between her and Nick, and though he didn’t look all that surprised at seeing them bickering, his gaze grew hard as he saw Nick’s hand on Taylor’s face.
Nick, naturally, took his sweet time removing it, and she resisted the urge to kick his shin.
“Morning, Bradley,” Taylor said, pleased that her voice sounded calm and friendly. As well it should. She’d had plenty of practice over the better part of a year pretending that she and Bradley were nothing more than colleagues.
Other than a few close friends who knew they were dating, they’d done a mostly decent job of hiding their romantic relationship from coworkers. Better than she and Nick had done hiding their antagonistic one.
“Hey, Taylor. Nick,” Bradley said.
He entered the room and reached for a coffee mug, turning his attention toward the other man. “Didn’t realize you’d taken on another assignment. What for?”
“Not sure,” Nick said, checking his watch. “Have a meeting with Cassidy in a few to find out.”
“Here’s hoping it’s an offsite gig that takes you far, far away. Maybe he needs someone to cover Siberian winters,” Taylor said to Nick, even as she watched Bradley out of the corner of her eye.
“Don’t need to travel to find severe winter. It doesn’t get any chillier than right here,” Nick retorted, waving his hand over her head in a storm cloud gesture.
She shoved his hand aside, her attention still on Bradley, who was determinedly avoiding her gaze.
Coward.
It was going to be darn hard to get him to see reason when he wouldn’t even make eye contact.
Nick, ever too perceptive for his own good, noticed the tension and gave a quick look between her and Bradley, his gaze turning speculative.
She shot him a warning look that clearly said, Don’t.
He shot an answering smile that clearly said, Watch me.
“Bradley, don’t suppose you’re in the market for a roommate?” Nick asked, his voice deceptively casual.
Bradley’s head snapped up, and finally, finally his blue gaze collided with Taylor’s. Dammit. Why did he have to be so beautiful? He was like a mischievous angel, all twinkling blue eyes, dimples, a sexy cleft in his chin, dark blond wavy hair . . .
“What?” he asked Nick distractedly, still looking at Taylor.
“Taylor here wants to share her original crown molding with someone.”
Bradley winced, and Taylor felt a little surge of gratitude toward Nick. He couldn’t have known it, but it was the perfect jab. She and Bradley were both into prewar architecture—had eaten up the broker’s description of all the building’s original elements.
Taylor should be sharing that crown molding with Bradley. And he damn well knew it.
His eyes met hers in silent misery—an apology that she wasn’t quite ready to accept. Heck, she wasn’t even ready to acknowledge it, because she had no intention of being dumped. Not by him, not by any man.
Taylor ignored the guilt written all over Bradley’s face as she held his gaze. “Yes, it seems I unexpectedly have a free bedroom and more rent than I can afford. If either of you knows anyone looking for a roommate . . .”
Bradley’s handsome face twisted regretfully, and he set his coffee aside, taking a step toward her, apparently forgetting—or not caring—that Nick was still in the room.
“Taylor. Damn it. I told you—”
“Actually, I do,” Nick said, interrupting.
Taylor forced her gaze away from Bradley’s pleading face toward Nick’s smug one. “You know someone who needs a roommate?”
“Yup.” He crossed his arms and watched her.
She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Who? It can’t be one of your ex-girlfriends—I don’t want to inadvertently hear any gross details about you. And not one of your frat-boy guy friends—my living room isn’t cut out for Call of Duty.”
“Yeah, because that’s all I do all day.”
She rolled her eyes. “Okay, for real, who is it?”
His grin was slow, sly, and the very definition of trouble. “Me.”

New Release, Excerpt, Giveaway, & Q&A: The Whole Way Home – Sarah Creech

A ferocious talent on the brink of making it big in Nashville 
must confront her small town past and an old love she’s never forgotten

THE WHOLE WAY HOME
Sarah Creech
Releasing June 6th, 2017
William Morrow

A ferocious talent on the brink of making it big in Nashville must confront her small town past and an old love she’s never forgotten in this engaging novel—a soulful ballad filled with romance, heartbreak, secrets, and scandal from the author of Season of the Dragonflies.

Playing to packed houses while her hit song rushes up the charts, country singer and fiddler Jo Lover is poised to become a big Nashville star like her idols, Loretta, Reba, and Sheryl. To ensure her success, Jo has carefully crafted her image: a pretty, sassy, down-to-earth girl from small-town Virginia who pours her heart into her songs.

But the stage persona she’s built is threatened when her independent label merges with big-time Capitol Records, bringing Nashville heartthrob JD McCoy—her first love—back into her life. Long ago Jo played with JD’s band.
Then something went wrong, they parted ways and took their own crooked roads to stardom. Now, Jo’s excited—and terrified—to see him again.

When the label reunites them for a show, the old sparks fly, the duet they sing goes viral, and fans begin clamoring for more—igniting the media’s interest in the compelling singer. Why is a small-town girl like Jo so quiet about her past? When did she and JD first meet? What split them apart? All too soon, the painful secret she’s been hiding is uncovered; a shocking revelation that threatens to destroy her reputation and her dreams. To salvage her life and her career, Jo must finally face the past—and her feelings for JD—to become the true Nashville diva she was meant to be.




Q & A WITH SARAH!
1. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The research process! I explored the history of country music through the wonderful scholarly texts of Bill C. Malone and I drew so much inspiration from tales of Opry romances and curses, friendships and heartbreaks. Country music is the most neglected of all music styles in scholarly work due to its complicated regional history, but it’s far and away the best narrative music genre. I’m grateful for Malone, who dedicated his scholarly career to studying the roots of country music and beyond. Through Malone and other important writers, I discovered the romantic relationships between Martina McBride and her producer husband and George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Those romantic/working relationships have long fascinated me since I’m in a marriage with another artist.
I also researched the on stage duet relationships between superstars like Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner and all the complications that arise when a romantic link is missing. I had the pleasure of being granted access to the Frist Library in the Country Hal of Fame in Nashville, TN, where I listened to the earliest recordings of the Grand Ole Opry, found the first draft of Waylon Jennings’s autobiography, which I promptly read it from start to finish, and explored all the microfiche a writer could want about the country music industry. I’m fascinated by independent labels like Big Machine (Taylor Swift’s label) headed by Scott Borchetta and 3rd Man Records headed by Jack White and how they operate in a town where multi-national corporations hold most of the power. I read through many newspaper clippings and explored the trajectory of the country music industry from the 60s to current day and all the disruptions along the way like rock music, the Vietnam War, and the rise of pirating technology.
On one of my last days at the Frist Library, Jack White and his entourage walked into the room where I was the only person granted access on that day. He’s much taller in person and extremely charismatic. His energy animated the inanimate objects in the room. He told me I was pretty. And I thought, the nerve of that guy! He said that to me because he’s Jack White, because he could. Still, for a full hour I was deeply distracted. A few weeks later I found out he was there to pick up one of the earliest known recordings of Elvis. A friend of Elvis’s from before he was famous found the record in his closet, and Jack White had it digitally re-mastered at the Frist Library. And I happened to be there when it was all finished. Meeting Jack White and researching in Nashville became a turning point for the novel. The night before I was set to head home from this research trip, I had a dream that I’d forgotten my current manuscript on an elevator that would never come back down to me. I knew my dream was telling me to start over, to make it bigger, to try and capture all the light, charm, and magnitude of Jack White’s presence and Nashville at large.
Beyond book research, I found myself drinking lots of whiskey with great musicians who generously gave me just enough access to their lives to inspire the characters in this book. Chance McCoy of Old Crow Medicine Show and J.P. Harris of J.P. Harris and the Tough Choices were so open and helpful that I’ll never be able to thank them fully.
2. If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
Dolly Parton
3. A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
About the rising Queen of Country and the Top 40 superstar she used to love.
4. Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
A few years ago I was sitting at a local honkytonk joint called the Thirsty Beaver here in Charlotte, NC, where I live. This is an iconic bar in Charlotte, and proudly sells the most Jim Beam in the entire state. The bar is run by two fabulous brothers who created the idea for this place before the Plaza Midwood neighborhood was as cool and in demand as it is now. They had no idea if anyone would come to a bar playing Hank Williams, not Blake Shelton. There’s a velvet Kenny Rogers poster on the storage room door and a Charlie Pride hologram on the wall. (I tried to capture the charm of this place in my novel. The Thirsty Baboon is an homage to this place.)

So I was sitting on a barstool at the Thirsty Beaver, drinking a whiskey neat, and waiting for J.P. Harris and The Tough Choices to start playing. I’d seen J.P. play once before in Galax, Virginia, on a snowy evening where couples came out for a two step. He promised me his show at the Thirsty Beaver would be a lot more raucous. And he was right, of course. I remember sitting on that bar stool, watching him perform with his sleeves of tattoos on display and his big black beard grown out before all the hipsters were doing it and I remember his passion for the roots of country music, for playing covers by the greats like Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. This rebellious musician and all his respect and passion for the tradition really struck me. I thought, What if I guy like this could become really famous in Nashville? And that question sparked the beginning of The Whole Way Home. The book doesn’t follow the exact trajectory of that question, but I’m glad to report that J.P. Harris is well on his way to turning that what if into reality. Now he’s so busy touring that the guys at the Thirsty Beaver can’t book him anymore! We’re all proud of him.

5. How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I wrote and illustrated my first book of poems in the 4th grade and my first novel in the sixth grade, and I’ve been writing ever since. My mother was a voracious reader. I have many memories of walking into her bedroom in the evenings and on the weekends to find her reading paperbacks in bed with many more scattered on the floor. She was a single, hard-working mom of four girls with no help from my father. I knew how stressed and difficult her life was and I remember drawing the conclusion that books gave her comfort, peace, just like reading Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, and Amelia Bedelia did for me. Books were magical, and I wanted to participate as a creator.
6. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Treat the first ten years like an apprenticeship. Be impatient for success and patient with your failures. Don’t quit.
7. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you so much for reading on all formats, for building community through books, and for keeping word of mouth promotion alive and well. Without you, writers work in a silo.




Born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sarah Creech now teaches English and Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her two children and her husband, the poet Morrie Creech.


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Excerpt
JD Gunn stood up from his wooden pew in the Ryman and joined the entire audience as they clapped and whistled for Jo to return to the stage for an encore. It felt good being on this side of the stage for once, just another audience member looking up with awe at a stellar performer. Nashville’s finest musicians, critics, and business folks gathered in these pews to witness her performance, alongside some of the most devoted fans he’d ever seen. JD’s ears were ringing from all the screams unleashed for her.
He and the band cut their Northeast tour short a day to come to the Ryman for Jo’s induction into the Grand Old Opry family. He and his band had been members for five years and he tried to make it to every new induction. Now he was second-guessing that decision. He figured enough time had passed between them that his presence here wouldn’t bother her, that maybe she would’ve expected to see him and be happy about it. But there was something about the way she looked at him, like there was a glitch in her system. And Jo Lover, who was master of her instruments, one of the finest musicians he’d ever known, messed up that easy Loretta number.
JD put his fingers in his mouth and let out a cattle whistle. His bass player Rob stood next to him and shouted Jo’s name over and over. Rob wore the same black and white Willie and Waylon outlaw t-shirt he’d owned since middle school. JD was an only child and Rob was the closest to a brother that JD had. JD and Rob snuck out the house and hitched a ride away from Gate City to attend that Willie and Waylon show together. Rob waited in line for almost an hour to have his shirt signed. When it was finally his turn and he had the chance to talk to Willie, he almost didn’t speak, just stood there adjusting his thick glasses. JD shoved him and Rob finally said, “You guys are so cool” and Willie said, “So are you, kid.” Rob talked about it for months. Still brought it up when they got drunk. All they wanted back then was to be those guys. Swore they’d grow up to be outlaws and not ruin their bodies at the quarry like their fathers had. They swore they’d find something better to do with their hands.

Pre-Order, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Primrose Lane (Harmony Harbor #3) – Debbie Mason

Title: PRIMROSE LANE
Author: Debbie Mason
Series: Harmony Harbor, #3
On Sale: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $5.99 USD

Synopsis: Olivia Davenport has finally gotten her life back together. She’s left her painful past behind, started over in a new town, and become Harmony Harbor’s most sought-after event planner. But her past catches up to her when Olivia learns that she’s now guardian of her ex’s young daughter. With her world spinning, Olivia must reconcile her old life with her new one. And she doesn’t have time for her new next door neighbor, no matter how handsome he is.

Olivia may act like she’s got everything under control, but Dr. Finn Gallagher knows a person in over her head when he sees one. He’d really like to be the shoulder she leans on, but Olivia makes it clear she doesn’t want his help. Since he’s returned to town, his waiting room has been full of single women feigning illness. Yet the one woman he’s interested in is avoiding him. But with a little help from some matchmaking widows and a precocious little girl, Finn might just win Olivia over.

BONUS: Includes a complete novel from BookShots Flames, THE MCCULLAGH INN IN MAINE by Jen McLaughlin!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play| iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo | Target

MISTLETOE COTTAGE, #1 | CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL, #1.5 | STARLIGHT BRIDGE, #2 | PRIMROSE LANE, #3 | SUGARPLUM WAY, #4 | DRIFTWOOD COVE, #5

Dr. Finn Gallagher found himself at the clinic on Primrose Lane, wondering what the hell he’d gotten himself into.

In the seven and half hours he’d been there, he’d seen forty-five patients. Only five of whom actually had something physically wrong with them. All five were female and under the age of sixteen. As far as he could tell, not one of them was interested in marrying him.

The other forty had nothing wrong with them. And, as far as he could tell, were very interested in marrying him. If they weren’t, their grandmothers and mothers were. Interested in him marrying their daughters and granddaughters, that is.

At the beginning of the day, it was kind of amusing, even a little flattering. But by 10:45 it had gotten old and annoying. It didn’t help that he kept thinking of the patients he saw while working with Doctors Without Borders. Those people needed him, desperately. They weren’t fake coughing or complaining about phantom chest pains. They were sick and hungry, wounded and scared. They weren’t spoiled and whiny and ungrateful.

He winced at his unflattering characterizations and intolerance. While there was some truth to his observations, the throbbing ache in his leg injury was making him grumpy. Knowing his father had been right and Finn wasn’t ready to go back to the Congo wasn’t doing much to improve his mood.

Sherry, Doc Bishop’s nurse and a woman Finn had dated in high school, opened the door to the closet-sized office. “Pain hasn’t let up, has it?” she asked with a compassionate smile.

“I’m good. Just had to return a couple of phone calls.” He set down the cold cup of coffee he hadn’t had a chance to drink, removed the ice pack from his knee, and surreptitiously hid it behind the welcome-to-the-clinic plant from the staff, which Finn now mentally referred to as the matchmaking clinic from hell. He pushed to his feet with a closed-mouth smile that hopefully hid his clenched his teeth from Sherry’s observant gaze.

“Really? I rescheduled Molly, Sally, and Karen’s physicals to tomorrow, but if you’re okay to see—”
“No, tomorrow’s good. On second thought, why don’t you schedule them with Doc Bishop? They’ve been going to him for twenty years. I’m sure they’d be more comfortable—”

“They would be or you would?” she said with a laugh, and then proceeded to share way too much information about all three women before adding, “Dr. Bishop won’t be in tomorrow. Mrs. Fitzgerald invited him to make up a foursome, remember?”

Finn rubbed his jaw. “I’m not sure that’s something you should share—”

She made a ha-snort sound and then cuffed him on the shoulder. “Not that kind of foursome, silly. They’re playing golf.” She ha-snorted again. “It’s no wonder that’s where your mind went after the offers you’ve had today. Kerry will get a good laugh over that one.”

If Sherry had her master’s in gossip, Kerry, the receptionist, had her PhD. Finn figured he’d provided them with enough to talk about for a month at least. He lifted his chin in the direction of the examination rooms. There were five. “Who’s next?”

“I cleared out the waiting room of all but legit complaints, so you only have four. Patient number one won’t take long. She just needs her script renewed.” She handed him a file.

He looked at the name and handed it back. “Might be better if Doc Bishop sees Ms. Templeton.”
“He left early. Mrs. DiRossi invited him for dinner, and I think he wanted to get spiffed up.” Sherry frowned and looked from Finn to examination room number one. “Is there a reason you don’t want to see Dana?”

Author Information: Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue, and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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