New Release Review and Giveaway: THE PERFECT GIFT by Dani-Lyn Alexander

 I’m nowhere near ready for Christmas, but I am so ready for Christmas novellas!

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The Perfect Gift Synopsis:

It’s the season of second chances in this heartwarming, contemporary holiday romance where two single parents find each other—and another chance at love—in the most unexpected of places.

’Tis the night before Christmas…and businessman and single father Jason is scrambling to find the dollhouse of the season for his seven-year-old daughter Emily. But when he finally strikes gold at an obscure toy store, he’s met with resistance—literally, as from the aisle across from him a beautiful woman named Leah is grabbing onto the dollhouse box with similar intent, determined to get the same Christmas present for her own daughter.

 Desperate not to let the other win, Jason and Leah forge a pact: stay together until they find the same dollhouse at a different toy store. It sounds simple, but ten stores and many hours later, they still come up empty. They might not be finding another dollhouse, but they sure are finding a lot to talk about and, as their mutual attraction grows, the unlikely pair finds the greatest holiday gift of all—love.

 

Review:

 The Perfect Gift is a sweet little holiday novella about two people who start out in competition for the same present for their seven-year-olds (possibly the last Little Family Dollhouse left in the entire city) and end up falling a little bit in love.

Thankfully, it’s about as far away from Jingle All the Way as a story can get. (shudder)

Jason and Leah do try to buy the last dollhouse at the store where they meet, and they decide to (reluctantly–especially Leah, since she technically had her hands on the toy first) pair up to scour the city looking for a second one. But there the similarity ends.

Yes, Christmas is almost upon them and yes, their task of finding a second dollhouse often seems futile, but Jason and Leah manage to hang on to their sanity and their humanity throughout. They discuss their daughters. They eat a few meals together. They get to know each other–and decide that they like what they discover.

I liked that there isn’t a magical fix at the end. A solution is reached; it’s not exactly what they all originally desired, but that made the story feel more realistic. The novella ends with a very optimistic happy-for-now and hopeful for the future note that gave me the warm fuzzies.

It was just the thing I needed while stuck inside my freezing cold house in the middle of a November storm. (Thank you, “Winter Storm Knife”!)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Dani-Lyn Alexander Bio:Dani-Lyn_Alexander (1)

Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

 

 

Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Author Goodreads

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New Release Blitz with Giveaways! THE EXPATRIATES by Corinne O’Flynn (Song of the Sending, Book One)

 Two chances to win the first book in this new series!
 ExpatriatesBlitzBanner
The Expatriates #1
by Corinne O’Flynn
(Song of the Sending)
Publication date: October 15th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.

Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar—someone who can manipulate energy using magic—and he has no idea.

When a message arrives from Jim’s father—who supposedly died twelve years ago—Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.

But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.

 

Excerpt:

 “Shh!” Charlie stepped toward the midway, her head cocked to listen. “What in the world?”

I followed her gaze across the fairgrounds where the big top towered over the smaller event tents. Festive red, white, and blue flags atop each of them blew in the morning breeze.

“Do you guys hear that?” she asked.

“Hear what?” Hollis said, wiping sweat from his face. He held the swaddled bird against his chest.

The peaked canopy of the big top stood tall over the row of concession stands. The old marquee twinkled faintly in the sunlight, its red and yellow light bulbs spelling out Sweetwater’s Traveling Show. Everything was quiet.

“Charlie?” I knew better than to question her ears.

“What is it?” Sam asked.

“Shhh.” She closed her eyes and cupped her hands around her ears.

“I don’t hear anything,” I said. “Actually I don’t hear anything at all.”

Usually, on the day we arrived in a town, the fairgrounds were so noisy you could barely have a conversation without shouting. The roustabouts and canvasmen made a terrible racket erecting the tents and hammering the steel spikes into the ground. Then there was the constant hum of generators and cranes and trucks permeating everything as we all got things ready for the weeklong stay. Not to mention the animals screeching and squawking and the regular people noise. But from where we stood, it was eerily quiet. The whole place felt like a ghost town.

A mushroom of black smoke billowed above the big top in the distance. A rolling boom reached us a moment later.

“Whoa,” Sam whispered.

“Sweet Sisters. They’re here,” Hollis said

 

What readers are saying:

“Told in a beautiful, flowing style full of colorful images and adrenaline-pumping action.”

“Pop some popcorn, sit back … and enjoy the thrill ride, right up to the end, which leaves you begging for more.”

“Captures your attention from the start and then guides you through a roller coaster of adventure, drama, mystery, magic and young love.”

 
Purchase:

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AUTHOR BIO:headshop500x_lowres

Corinne O’Flynn is a native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado and wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. She loves writing flash and experimenting with short fiction. Her novel, THE EXPATRIATES (Oct. 2014) is a YA fantasy adventure with magic and creatures and lots of creepy stuff. She is a scone aficionado, has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea, and is always on the lookout for the elusive Peanut Chews candy.

When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at her website, Facebook, or Twitter @CorinneOFlynn.

Website:  http://www.corinneoflynn.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/oflynnbooks
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CorinneOFlynn
Newsletter:  eepurl.com/YNic5
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22917879-the-expatriates

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Cover Reveal! SLEEPING TOM by E.V. Fairfall

This one sounds intriguing!
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Sleeping Tom
 by E.V. Fairfall
Publication date: February 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Hitchhiking is a bad idea, but Caden is desperate.

When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He’s her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.

That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes into Gabriel’s room, already anticipating his bad temper. Instead, he’s kind, sweet, and suspiciously harmless—nothing like the man who gave her a ride. He seems like a different person altogether, and claims he is. By night he is Tom, and by day he is Gabriel. Caden finds herself drawn to the mysteries hidden in his eyes.

For Gabriel, Caden is an annoying mistake. One night turns into many, and despite all his anger towards her, she stays. She even seems to accept him and his flaws, but he still doesn’t trust her—is she staying for him, or has she already discovered more than he’s willing to share?

Pre-order:
AUTHOR BIO:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.

Transformed is my first novel, but it isn’t my first publication; I’ve had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.

Author links:

 

Saturday Morning Videos: “Let it Snow” #SNOWVEMBER Storm (and why you should always have enough books)

Technically, it wasn’t a “blizzard”–not enough wind, and some other science-y technicalities. But OH MY GOSH, did we just live through a doozy of a storm up here (and we had no heat at our house for 3 days of it–that and literally hours of shoveling kind of take the bloom off the no-school-and-no-work rose, believe me) but here’s a less gloomy look at it than the news will give you…

First, a Frozen parody. It should be noted that where the singer is (downtown Buffalo) they only got a dusting of snow. But the rest of the shots give you an idea of what it was like in the harder hit areas…

Next, a video our local radio station found to help everyone see things more positively:

FIVE FEET OF SNOW. I wish I’d thought of the door/fridge idea (and that I had something to put in it–shopping day was going to be Thursday night, so our food choices have been pretty slim–travel ban wasn’t lifted until Friday afternoon, when it switched to an advisory). Milk and gas are still pretty scarce, though…

If I never have to use a shovel again it’ll be too soon. But it’s western New York, so…

Now it seems oddly prophetic that I found this and shared it on FB last weekend:

Thank god for e-books! I was ready ;)

And now I’m off to work–for the first time since Monday. Whoo hoooo! :)

NO WEDDINGS Series Authors Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion Share Their Favorite Wedding Movies (and a Giveaway!)

I’m thrilled to host Kat and Stone Bastion today, talking about their favorite wedding movies! Are yours on the list? Do you see any they missed?

No Wedding Series Banner

No Weddings Series ~ Favorite Wedding Movies

Thank you to Becky Moe from Becky on Books…and Quilts for hosting us today on the No Weddings Series Tour.

With Cade and Hannah having an aversion to weddings, with very good reasons, we thought it would be fun to list our favorite movies that feature weddings of all kinds, the good, the bad, and the wild and crazy…

~~~

The Hangover

Stone: Yes. It’s actually a wedding movie. Remember the end?

Kat: {laughs} And a cautionary tale…

 

Bridesmaids

Stone: Fucking funny.

Kat: {dies laughing}

 

Made of Honor

Stone: Coffee collars rock! (Ummm…see the movie.)

Kat: And also, they go to Scotland! #BonusPoints

 

The Wedding Date

Kat: I love that movie. And it’s in England. Close to Scotland. And Dermot Mulroney…

Stone: Romaaaaantic

Kat: LMFAOOO!!!

Stone: Actually, a very good movie. And Debra Messing…

 

Hitch

Stone: I am Hitch.

Kat: {bursts out laughing so hard I’m pretty sure you all heard me}

Stone: What? You told me one time I could so be Hitch.

Kat: You so could.

 

Wedding Crashers

Stone: Open bar!

Kat: That’s what first comes to mind?

Stone: Okay. When she’s psycho in the bathroom scene, her eyes wild as sprays his open wounds with Bactine.

Kat: So many funny scenes. At the dining table…

 

Monster-in-Law

Stone: Two words. Kitchen face-plant.

Kat: Classic.

 

Meet the Parents

Stone: Spinning tires meet septic tank overflow.

Kat: Where they’re about to be married. Holy shit.

 

What Happens in Vegas

Kat: The missing bathroom door…

Stone: He was just making them closer.

Kat: But…the toilet seat…and the plucking of stuff from the in bed… {shivers}

 

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Kat: “I could be Jello.” … “No! Crème brûlée can never be Jello.”

Stone: I like Jello.

Kat: {bursts out laughing…again}

 

Father of the Bride

Stone: Great car.

Kat: What kind of car was it?

Stone: An Austin Healey. Fantastic condition.

Kat: We just looked it up on Google so he could show me. Gorgeous car.

 

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Stone: Windex. Seriously, that shit is amazing.

Kat: I kid you not. He quotes the Windex thing all the time.

~~~

Thank you for joining us during the No Weddings Series Tour.

We hope you enjoyed our movie choices enough to give our series a try. So many moments in Cade and Hannah’s story are laugh-out-loud funny just like in these movies.

 

Kat Bastion with Stone Bastion Bio:Shoe and Boot Photo

Award-winning and bestselling romance author Kat Bastion has teamed up with her husband Stone Bastion to create the new contemporary romance series No Weddings.

A few factoids about the writing team…

Kat enjoys her chocolate rich and dark, her music edgy and soul-filling, and her vacations exotic with toes dug into the sand. And she’s wildly, madly, deeply in love with Stone.

Stone likes pounding the trails on a mountain bike, vibrating the sound system with rock music, and down time spent on a stand up paddleboard. And he loves Kat wildly, madly, deeply…and then some.

Together, they’re having a blast bringing fun-filled romantic stories to life and hope you’ll join them in the exciting adventure.

Kat’s first published work, Utterly Loved, was a twentieth anniversary gift of love poems to Stone that they decided to share with the world to benefit charity. Net proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of net proceeds from all their books, go toward charities involved in the fight against human trafficking.

Kat and Stone live amid the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Visit their blog at www.talktotheshoe.com, website at www.katbastion.com, and their Twitter accounts at https://twitter.com/KatBastion andhttps://twitter.com/StoneBastion for more information.

Keep informed about new releases by joining their Email Subscription list.

 

Links:

Blog | Twitter | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads

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Three Christmases:

As the holiday season approaches in this fourth book in the No Weddings Series, Cade Michaelson strives to be better at balancing work and love, and Hannah Martin’s growing ability to trust is put to the test.

Lust and friendship brought us together, but with the increasing demands of my two businesses, Hannah’s thriving bakery, and our successful event-planning company, stability becomes my focus.

Then a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity takes me to the West Coast, and everything goes into a tailspin.

Laughter, love, and excitement fill our lives, but Cade refuses to settle into the wonderful bliss we’ve found—he wants spectacular fireworks and an unshakable foundation. Driven like no one I’ve ever met, Cade insists a dream job across the country will be better for our future together, but I worry about whether we can survive the present apart.

When intimate time diminishes…and lives get more hectic…

Will a little bit of faith be all that it takes? Or will the sacrifice to get there be too great?

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

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No Weddings:

Award-winning author Kat Bastion teams with her husband, Stone Bastion, in this first book in the No Weddings Series about Cade Michaelson, a successful man with his sights set on a new venture in business, and Hannah Martin, the woman who makes it personal.

I think I have my act together as a successful bar owner, my master’s degree within reach, and a list of no-strings-attached women warming my bed. Turns out, I don’t.

Hannah believes she has safeguarded her wounded heart by shunning men and focusing on her new baking business. The thing is, she hasn’t.

When my three sisters and I form an event-planning business with Hannah as our baker, I have no idea how my life is about to change. As Hannah and I work closely together, the attraction between us becomes irresistible. And complicated. I’ve promised my sisters I wouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But I’ve never been one to follow the rules.

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKobo | iBooks | Goodreads

 

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One Funeral:

Chosen by FreshFiction.com as their Fresh Pick for October 7, 2014

The stakes climb higher in this second book in the No Weddings Series for Hannah Martin, a woman restrained by her past, and Cade Michaelson, the man who could help set her free.

I’m drawn to Cade as he charms his way into more of my life and offers me something I truly haven’t ever had: a friend. Yet his humor, patience, and drop-dead sexiness take my breath away, and I know my heart is at risk. I want to move forward but am terrified I can’t.

Cade seems to have it together from his own devastating heartache. His subtle actions, however, suggest a different story. And even though he says he wants more, I wonder if he’s able to trust in our developing relationship.

As we navigate through our tangled feelings, we vow to take it slow. Yet no matter how careful we try to be, things between us intensify—and there’s nothing we can do, or want to do, to stop it.

But the biggest question remains: Is chemistry enough to move beyond the past and toward a future together?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

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Two Bar Mitzvahs:

Summer heats up in this third book in the No Weddings Series, where Cade Michaelson strives to balance his and Hannah Martin’s new relationship with the growing demands of his financial success.

Waiting for Hannah has been the best and worst kind of torture. Now I can claim her as mine. We believe we’re done with the past and can move forward together.

Hannah grows stronger than ever as she trusts in me—trusts in us. And when obstacles appear, she shows a surprising fierceness that rivals my own.

However, all is not perfect in paradise. Things get chaotic while I try to juggle multiple businesses, an ex from hell, and a girlfriend I’d do anything to keep. And in the middle of the whirlwind, I recklessly think I can handleeverything.

But when all the madness is over, will I have everything I want—will I still have Hannah?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

 

For Valentine’s: Coming January 5th

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

 

 
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Spotlight Review: MAN LAW by Adrienne Giordano (Private Protectors #2)

If you haven’t read this romantic suspense series yet, now is the perfect time to start–MAN LAW’s on sale for just 99 cents!

Man Law

Title: Man Law
Series: Private Protectors, #2
Authors: Adrienne Giordano
Release Date: July 4, 2011
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Sale Price &Dates: $0.99 from November 20, 2014 – November 26, 2014

 

 

Book Summary:

Security Consultant Vic Andrews lives by his Man Laws:

Never mess with your best friend’s sister
Never get caught
Never get attached

But he can’t deny his irresistible attraction to Gina Delgado, a young widow with three kids and plenty of strings attached. Even so, having a physical relationship doesn’t mean they’re “in a relationship.”

Gina lost her husband to tragedy; she is not getting emotionally involved with another man in a dangerous profession. Sleeping with Vic is just stress relief.

Until one of Vic’s assignments goes wrong and the target selects Gina and her kids for revenge. There’s nothing Vic won’t do to protect Gina and the children–the family he realizes, too late, he wants. He’ll accomplish his mission but will he have lost his only chance at true love?

Review:

Vic Andrews is my new book boyfriend.

Even when I wanted to throttle the guy, I absolutely loved him. His “man laws” at the beginning of each chapter were laugh-out-loud funny, especially since they gave you a clue as to what was going to happen that chapter (i.e., he’d end up breaking it–usually in a pretty spectacular fashion). Sadly, poor Vic had no such warning of what was to come. ;)

Vic’s childhood was less than ideal, and it–or to be more specific, his perceptions of it–still affected how he was living his life as an adult. He saw himself as a loner, only truly trusting two people–his best friend and boss Micheal and his cousin Tiny. He stays as far away from relationships as he can get, and as soon as a woman even begins to think about those three little words in reference to him, he is out of there.

But he can’t seem to get Gina Delgado, his best friend’s little sister, out of his head–a clear violation of on of the biggest Man Laws out there–the sister rule. Their first encounter was obviously a moment of weakness–there was a blown washing machine hose, a nearly transparent white top and a lacy bra–clearly, it couldn’t have been avoided. The second time? Blame it on the moonlight and an empty beach. But the time after that…?

I really liked Gina’s character too–she didn’t take any crap from anyone, and had no trouble speaking her mind. A widow of four years, she always put her kids first but also wanted to do what was best for her. She liked Vic–really cared about him a lot, but if he wasn’t going to be the stand up guy she and her kids deserved in their lives, then she was ready to move on. She needed to move on.

Watching Vic all but obliterate his Man Laws was so much fun (Never get suckered into watching a chick flick? Two words:Dirty Dancing–LOL!), and seeing him get close to not just Gina but her kids was fantastic. He’s so far in before he even realizes it’s happening, and there goes his Never get attached law…

I listened to the bulk of this audiobook while attempting to shovel out of WNY’s latest winter nightmare (FIVE FEET of snow at my house and counting, thankyouverymuch), and I have to say it definitely helped to keep my mind off of my aching muscles and the second round of snow that was due to hit that night. The dialogue was snappy, the characters fun, and the action entertaining. I’ll definitely be reading more from this series, and soon!

My only issue–and this is totally a “me” thing here–is that Gina never gets over her I-can’t-get-involved-with-another-guy-with-a-dangerous-job-because-he-could-die-on-me mindset. Until the end, it’s Vic who has to change for her. Don’t get me wrong, I think Vic was ready to make a change and he makes the right decision in the end. I completely understand her feelings here, but I was really hoping she’d manage to come to the realization that even if she’d ended up (God forbid!) with the accountant in the end, she could still lose him at any time and with no warning. Sure, she wouldn’t spend her time while he was at his “nine to fiver” job worrying if he’d make it home okay, but the truth is that you never know any given day what’s going to happen. So–I’d just have liked Gina to have made that connection.

But, hey–any day I get a new book boyfriend is a good day, and if he can (mostly!) keep me distracted from the havoc Mother Nature is wreaking on my hometown? Even better!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

Excerpt:

Man Law: Never mess with your best friend’s sister.

 

“Ah, shit.” Vic Andrews, butthead supreme, listened to the churn of the ocean’s waves. Or was it his life skittering off its axis?

Gina laughed that belly laugh of hers and he couldn’t help smiling. He extracted himself from her lush little body and rolled off. The St. Barth sand stuck to his back. Yep, they’d worked up a sweat. Salty sea air invaded his nostrils and he inhaled, letting the moisture flood his system.

Jesus Hotel Christ.

What had he been thinking? He’d been heading back to his room after closing down the resort’s bar and there she was, the girl—er, woman—of his dreams, crying on the beach. No condition for her to be in after witnessing her brother’s marriage to the love of his life.

Vic didn’t mention the fact it was 3:00 a.m. and she was alone on a secluded beach where any drunken asshole, like him, could have at her. Although technically he wasn’t drunk. Buzzed maybe. Big difference. Besides, they’d been at a wedding. Buzzed was allowed.

Gina moved and he finally turned toward her. “I’m—”

“No, absolutely not,” she said. She swiped at her curly mane of dark hair. Her face gave away nothing, but that meant squat. Gina knew how to hide bad moods.

The whoosh of the ocean lapping against the shore distracted him and he stared into the blackness.

“What did I say?” he asked.

“You were going to apologize. I don’t want to hear it.”

Apologize? Him? “I’m not sorry.” He touched her arm. “Are you?”

Please don’t say you’re sorry. Please.

That would be all he needed. He’d just freakin’ obliterated the sister rule Mike had invoked nearly a million—maybe two million—times. The sister rule was Man Law, and Man Laws were about the only rules Vic followed.

He only wanted to check on her, and before he knew it, voila, the clothes were off, the condom was on and they were humping like bunnies right there on the beach. At least no one saw them. All the well-meaning people were asleep.

Gina brushed sand from her legs and stood to straighten the sliplike dress he’d shoved up over her hips. The silky fabric glided over her curves, and the activity in Vic’s lower region made him groan. A thirty-five year-old mother of three, and she was killing him. He should be ashamed.

Screw that.

She was right there. Right there. And, because he’d probably never get the opportunity again, he should grab her and—

“I’m not sorry,” Gina said. “Not about the sex. I’m sorry about other things, but this, I loved.”

Vic retrieved his pants and stood. Gina and her honesty. Good or bad, she just put it out there and didn’t worry about the repercussions. He guessed it came from losing her husband at the age of thirty-one. She had nothing to lose.

“I need to go,” she said, watching him with her big brown eyes as the moonlight drenched her face. He put his shirt on. Did she have to look at him that way? Particularly when he wanted a replay.

“Aren’t the kids bunking with your folks?”

“They are, but you know how Matthew is. He might search for me.”

Fifteen-year-old Matt, her eldest son, took his job as man of the family seriously.

“Right. Okay.” Vic motioned toward the resort. “I’ll walk you.”

Gina held up a hand. “I’ll be fine.”

Nuh-uh. No way. “I am going to walk you. It’s late and you shouldn’t go by yourself.”

Hell, she shouldn’t have been out here alone in the first place, but he knew she’d tear him a few new ones if he said it.

She stood there, peering up at him and—God—she was fantastic. She had a classic oval face with high cheekbones and a nose he knew she hated. For over two years now he’d imagined running his finger over the little bump in it, but never dared. Every inch of her seemed perfectly imperfect.

Blown sister rule.

Gina shoved her fingers through her curls. “We screwed up. I can’t believe it. We’ve been so good.”

“We didn’t screw up. We had a simultaneous brain fart. Again.”

She laughed and shook her head.

“Anyway, walk me to the edge of the beach. You can see my room from there and can watch me go up.”

“Gina, what’s the big deal? Nobody will know we just—” he waved his hand, “—you know.”

“It’ll be better if you don’t walk me. With his mental radar, Michael is probably waiting by the door. On his damned wedding night. I swear he’s a freak. He should stay out of it.”

Oh, boy. She was getting fired up. Maintenance mode. His friend needed protection. They were both ex-special ops, but they didn’t stand a chance against all five foot three of Gina.

“Mike loves you. He’s trying to protect you.”

“From you? You’re his best friend.”

Vic ran his hands over her shoulders. “Yeah, but I’m not right for you.”

“The circumstances aren’t right. That’s true, but he doesn’t have to keep reminding me.”

“He does it to me too.”

They strolled to the edge of the beach, and he squeezed her hand. Don’t go. Just stay for a while. All he wanted was more time with her. Not a lot to ask.

On tiptoes, she brushed a kiss over his lips. A little hum escaped his throat. What the hell was that?

“I had a great time,” she said. “You were just what I needed.”

“I think a ‘but’ is coming.”

“We can’t do this again.”

Yep. Not good. “I know.”

She pulled her hand from his and hauled ass toward her room. Away from him.

He waited while she went up the stairs and she stopped in front of the window of the room next to hers. A minute later the door opened and Matt came out. He turned and, apparently using his Spidey sense, looked straight at Vic.

And we’re busted.

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Carina Press

 

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

 

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

 


 

New Release Review: Christmas With You by Tracey Alvarez (Due South #4)

 

It’s beginning to look a little too much like Christmas at my house (Anyone want some snow? We’re looking to unload a few metric tons up here) so I was only too happy to escape reality with a nice, warm holiday read!

 

Christmas With You
by Tracey Alvarez

About the book:

She’s a Holiday Grinch…

Carly Gatlin doesn’t want to spend another Christmas alone. With her beloved father gone, she’s desperate to be part of a family—so she’s spending the holidays with her step-brothers on Stewart Island. But even with sand, sun, and not a snowflake in sight, everything reminds her of what she’s lost. So no tree trimming, cookie baking, or kisses under the mistletoe for her, thanks. Especially not from Due South’s sexy bartender, Kip.

He’s a too-hot-for-his-Santa-suit killjoy…

Kip Sullivan’s moved hundreds of miles away from his family who’d like to see him married off before his next birthday—on Christmas Eve. Then ten days before the big event, his meddling relatives arrive en masse, and dear God, they’re planning to stay. With match-makers breathing down his neck, it’s becoming harder to ignore the temptation to unwrap Carly like a present under the tree.

The Kiwi barbecue isn’t the only thing sizzling this summer…

Kip agrees to help make Carly’s first New Zealand Christmas special. He’s got five holiday missions to complete—one involving a frisky fake reindeer—before he hopes to claim a mistletoe kiss…and maybe even Carly’s heart.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without this spicy yet sweet Due South novella.

 

Review:

Another really fun read from the Due South world–this time in fun holiday packaging…with a hot bartender Santa and mistletoe!

For Carly Gatlin, Christmas has always been special–mostly because her dad, a single parent for a good chunk of her childhood, went out of his way to make them that way. They had a series of Christmas “missions” they needed to accomplish each year–one of which was planting magic Christmas beans (aka jelly beans) on Christmas Eve and then harvesting the candy canes that grew there the next morning. So adorable! This Christmas, though, isn’t shaping up to be much like the ones of her childhood–her father has recently passed away, and Carly’s made the decision to leave her so-called life in California to follow her stepmother and stepbrother Del to Stewart Island.

Christmas means family–but Carly’s family just isn’t shaping up to be what she’d hoped. Her stepmother’s occupied with her first husband, who is very ill, and Del’s preparing to donate a kidney to try to save him. Her other stepbrother, West–also her boss–pretty much refuses to refer to her as his sister at all…and and both he and Del are planning to go away for the holidays anyway. So yeah, Carly’s Christmas this year is looking to be pretty sucktastic.

Kip Sullivan’s not too hot on the whole Christmas deal either–an early “Christmas Miracle” himself, issues with his family’s expectations for him precipitated his move to the other side of the country to escape the pressure. But–surprise, surprise!–the lot of them (okay, two sisters short, but still–it’s a whole lot of people) have come for a holiday visit! Ho…ho…humbug?

When Carly (literally!) knocks Kip off his feet during a mistletoe-hanging-gone-wrong incident, the attraction between the two gets a whole lot harder to deny. Kip’s not looking for anything long-term, though, and Carly’s not sure she can do a holiday fling, especially with a coworker, so…

When Kip’s mother notices Carly’s holiday spirit is somewhat lacking, she enlists Kip’s help to make her Christmas bright again. Once he finds out about her dad’s “missions”, he knows just how to do he’s going to do it. Can he get his family–and Carly’s landlady–to butt their noses out of his business, though? Or will they provide a needed assist?

Once again Tracey’s sense of humor shines through in her writing–the scenes where Kip and Carly are corralled into being Santa and his elf for the Christmas party are especially amusing. Throw in an ornery “reindeer” named Dudley (a rather rude pony sporting felt antlers) and I couldn’t stop giggling. Kip’s twin nephews also provided quite a bit of comedy relief–who knew it was possible to tie your brother to a chair with tinsel? I am supremely disappointed that I never thought of it myself–talk about wasted opportunities…

My only complaint is that I would have liked it to be longer, but really just because I wanted more Kip and Carly time, not because it needed to be. The only part that felt at all rushed was the Carly / West angle, but since he was more than a bit of a butthead for not warming up to her sooner, its abruptness didn’t really bother me all that much.

Plus, you know–it’s Christmas. Time for miracles, whether they be of the brother-not-being-a-butthead-anymore variety or the bartender-realizing-he’s-boyfriend-material-after-all type.

A favorite line:

“He was probably checking to see if you had any hidden food.”

“In my hoo-ha?”

(after Dudley the reindeer got a little too fresh with his elf–thankfully without any small-people witnesses. I almost spit out my Pepsi Max on that one–thanks, Tracey! ;) )

And another, this one courtesy of Kip’s mum:

“Trust me, Kip, no woman looks at a man the way she looks at you and secretly thinks, ‘I can’t wait to snag this guy so I have my future in-laws around me 24/7.'”

Preach it, sister.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Release Day Blitz! A DIVA IN MANHATTAN by Aubrie Dionne (A Date with the Diva)

This looks like a fun read–can’t wait to get to it!

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A Diva in Manhattan
Aubrie Dionne
A Date with the Diva

Fresh off a successful Italian tour, soprano soloist Alaina Amaldi returns to America on cloud nine. The Metropolitan Opera has invited her to guest star in their performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute, and she’s singing at the top of her game. But, to act the part of the sweet, young Pamina in love, she has to be likeable; something that has never come easily to her. On a quest to soften her diva-like image, she volunteers at an arts school for underprivileged children. Too bad the kids call her the opera witch…

Brett Robinson has moved to Manhattan to start afresh. Used to living on his own as a logger, he finds a job with a construction company repairing the sidewalk in front of the Metropolitan Opera House. What he didn’t count on was for one of those hoity-toity divas to strut straight past him and into his heart!

However, Brett knows that a guy like him doesn’t have a chance with a woman like Alaina. That is until an older woman asks him to attend a fundraiser, posing as her Wall Street stockbroker son. Before he knows it, Brett’s drinking cocktails with the gorgeous diva! Trouble is, she thinks he’s quite a few billion dollars richer. Is she as shallow as everyone claims, or will she still love what she sees when the tux comes off?

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Bio:

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the Aubrie Dionnehighest ratings from Romance Times Magazine and BTS Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Readers’ Favorite Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her books are published by HarperImpulse, Entangled Publishing, Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Inkspell Publishing, and Lyrical Press. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

Twitter: @authoraubrie

Blog: http://authoraubrie.blogspot.com

Website: www.authoraubrie.net

Amazon Page Amazon.com: Aubrie Dionne: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

 

Release Day Launch and Giveaway! THE HAZARDS OF MISTLETOE by Alyssa Rose Ivy (a Hazards series novella)

We are feeling the holiday spirit with the release day launch of Alyssa Rose Ivy’s THE HAZARDS OF MISTLETOE! THE HAZARDS OF MISTLETOE is a contemporary romance novella and is a part of Alyssa Rose Ivy’s Hazards Series. It’s available everywhere now!

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About THE HAZARDS OF MISTLETOE :

One snowy Christmas Eve, one mistletoe kiss, one friendship changed forever.

Don’t underestimate the power of mistletoe. It looks innocent enough, but a single branch has the potential to change your life. One mistletoe kiss led to the most embarrassing night of my life, but thankfully by the next Christmas I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be.

Excerpt:

“Ice skating and hot cocoa? What are you buttering me up for?” I sat down on the bench and unlaced my skates. The snow was falling a little bit heavier, but the flakes were still light and more pleasant than a nuisance.

“I’m just enjoying an evening with a beautiful woman. I do have a romantic side you know.”

“Romantic?” What was Glen playing at? I’d had a crush on him for years, but things had stayed completely platonic. We were good friends who saw each other once a year, and teased each other through text messages and late night phone calls. That was it.

He didn’t hear me. He was already in line to return our skates. I waited for him to return with my boots, and not for the first time I was glad I’d worn wool socks. It was cold during the day, but the nights were absolutely freezing.

“Here you go, my lady.” He bent down and proceeded to put my foot into my boot.

I pulled away from him. “Knock it off. What’s gotten into you tonight?” As charming as Glen was being something seemed off with him. I wondered if maybe I wasn’t the only one who was upset.

He proceeded to move on to my next boot. “It’s Christmas Eve. Aren’t you Miss Holiday Spirit?”

“Usually.”

“Exactly.” He put on his shoes and tugged on my hand to pull me to standing. “Let’s get those hot chocolates.”

The line at the café on the other side of the rink was nearly out the door, but I was enjoying Glen’s company so much I didn’t mind.

He insisted on buying my hot cocoa for me, and considering he’d already paid for my skate rental, I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Glen had all the money he could ever need, but I wasn’t used to guys buying me anything. My dating experience wasn’t extensive, and it involved boys who were all about going dutch. “I really don’t mind paying.”

“Yeah, but I want to pay. Stop arguing and enjoy yourself.” He lightly bumped his shoulder into mine.

“Well, thanks.”

We walked around the village sipping our hot chocolate and not saying much. After a while we took a seat on a bench. It was underneath a tree, and the pine needles blocked some of the falling snow. I closed my eyes and listened to the chatter of people walking by mixed with the low hum of holiday music.

“You guys need to kiss.”

I opened my eyes and saw a girl staring at us. “You’re sitting under mistletoe. That’s the rules. You’re under mistletoe, you kiss.”

I looked up. Sure enough there was mistletoe hanging over us from the tree. It wasn’t real, it was just the decorative stuff they used, but it had the same unmistakable appearance.

Glen put an arm around me. “I think she’s right, Savy.”

I turned to glare at him. “Don’t even start.”

“Why not? Scared to kiss me?” he teased.

Yes. I was scared. Terrified. This was Glen. Kissing him wasn’t something I was prepared to do casually while sitting on a bench in the snow with a bunch of onlookers. Of course I couldn’t tell him that though. “Why would I be scared?”

“I don’t know. Just checking.” He got a twinkle in his eye. That twinkle should have given me all the warning I needed, but it didn’t. I was wholly unprepared when his lips made contact with mine. They were warm and soft, and they moved perfectly against mine. I kissed him back, desperately wanting to know what his mouth tasted like, and if his tongue felt half as good as his lips.

 

 

The Hazards of Mistletoe

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Alyssa Rose Ivy- Author PhotoAlyssa Rose Ivy Bio:

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

 

 

 

 

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Release Day and Giveaway! SKIP TO THE GOOD PART (20 steamy scenes from 20 authors)

Only have a few minutes to read? Looking for your next read? We’ve got the book for you! :)

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Skip to the Good Part Synopsis:

Find your next red-hot read in this sizzling collection of sexy scenes

99¢ only through release week—regularly $2.99

Skip to the Good Part: 20 Authors Reveal Their Steamiest Scenes offers face-fanning romance and tie-me-up sizzle (and everything in between) from top authors including New York Times and USA Today bestsellers.

The collection features a British alpha who wants to turn a good girl bad, a woman realizing her impetuous marriage to a stripper isn’t all bad, a bad boy boxer who could use a large dose of sexual healing, a carnie who has found new and inventive uses for fun house mirrors, and a rocker who wants to woo the girl who got away: his high school sweetheart.

Read 20 of the best steamy scenes in contemporary romance and erotic romance today. This 250-page collection will get your blood pumping, your heart racing, and your skin tingling—you’re sure to discover a new favorite.

Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers.

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New York Times best-selling authors:

Raine Miller

Kendall Ryan

K. Bromberg

Carly Phillips

Denise Grover Swank

S.L. Scott

 

USA Today best-selling authors:

Christine Bell

Rebecca Shea

Andrea Smith

 

Featuring:

Magan Vernon

Kristie Cook

Nevaeh Lee & Michelle Lynn

Alessandra Thomas

Selena Laurence

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Elizabeth Briggs

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Elise Covert

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Buy Links:

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