Release Day Review and Giveaway! MEANT FOR YOU by Michelle Major

Will a ploy to impress old high school classmates turn into a second chance at love for Jenny and Owen? Find out in MEANT FOR YOU by Michelle Major.

Synopsis:

Single mom Jenny Castelli has a temper to match her red hair. When the former mean girls of her high school insult her son, Jenny fires off a big lie—that she’s engaged to a rich, handsome guy and is bringing him to their ten-year reunion. Now she needs to find the perfect fake fiancé for one night. And only one man fits the bill.

Geek turned tech entrepreneur Owen Dalton already had his heart broken by Jenny Castelli. Still, he finds himself agreeing to her proposition—even as he struggles to remember that the chemistry sparking between them isn’t real. But when Jenny’s ex makes a play for custody and Owen is forced to deal with the family who always treated him as “second best,” their arrangement suddenly becomes very personal. And that lie they’ve been telling everyone? It isn’t nearly as big as the one they’ve been telling themselves.

Review:

A second chance romance and fake relationship story? With a nerdy hero? Sign me up!

Both Jenny and Owen come into this book with baggage galore. Besides their brief past romance that ended badly, they each have more than their share of family and past relationship drama. Jenny never knew her dad and was dumped in high school by her son’s father, and now her mother is suffering from dementia. Owen, who’s never felt like he fit in to his own family, lost a fiancee to his younger brother–a fiancee who’s about to marry that younger brother in a few short weeks. Add in the fact that Jenny’s the one who torpedoed their first attempt at an HEA, and yeah, this one’s gonna be drama-filled with a capital D, with angst to spare.

Jenny drove me a little nuts with her insistence that she and Owen couldn’t possibly have a future together. I mean, I get her hangups about being left–first her dad, then Cooper’s–but her original freak out that ended relationship number 1 with Owen? I had a hard time feeling the panic behind her actions. Maybe that’s because we only heard about it afterwards–it happened before the events of this story–but we get it from both her and Owen’s POVs, and either way it left me feeling kind of…meh. This means I spent 90% of the book feeling vaguely annoyed with her, which was a bit of a bummer, but Owen and Cooper did their slightly geeky, manly best to keep me distracted from that fact.

Though I really did like Owen, Jenny’s son Cooper stole the show in this one. He’s polite and respectful towards adults, but with a mercenary streak a mile wide when it comes to looking out for his mom. Plus, you’ve got to love the kid who’s so invested in his mother’s fake relationship that he’s the one who comes up with their “how we got engaged” story (it involved enchiladas…and fried ice cream…and a fireworks display–though Owen nixed the latter element as too much, party pooper that he is) 😉

Though it’s not listed as part of a series, Meant for You has characters from at least three other Michelle Major books: Kissing Mr. Right , Recipe for Kisses , and Tell Me Again –the heroines of each are part of Jenny’s group of friends, and Ty (aka “Mr. Right”) is both Jenny’s original BFF and friends with Owen. I’ve only read Ty and Kendall’s book prior to this one, though; so reading Meant for You as a standalone should work out just fine.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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About Michelle Major:

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. More than twenty years ago, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Today her home includes her husband, their two children, several furry pets, and a couple of well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion for writing stories with happy endings

Connect with Michelle: Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 

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New Release and Giveaway! THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS by Lindsey Frydman

The Heartbeat Hypothesis
by Lindsey Frydman
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

Audra Madison simply wanted to walk in the shoes of Emily Cavanaugh, a free-spirited teenager who died too young. After all, Audra wasn’t supposed to be here.

Thanks to Emily, Audra has a second chance at life. She’s doing all the things that seemed impossible just two years ago: Go to college. Date. Stargaze in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe get a tattoo. You know, live.

Jake Cavanaugh, a photographer with mysterious, brooding gray eyes, agrees to help chronicle her newfound experiences. She makes him laugh, one of the only people who can these days. As they delve into each other’s pasts – and secrets – the closer they become.

But she’s guarded and feels like she can’t trust anyone, including herself.

And he’s struggling with the fact that his beloved sister’s heart beats inside her.

Excerpt:

I pulled out my phone and set it on the table. Sixty daunting seconds later, I’d found Emily’s page and twisted the display so he could see.

Jake tapped on the phone, scrolling for only a moment before removing his finger and looking at me. “Why would you think these are mine?”

“Most of them share the same hashtag: my favorite photographer Jake. That’s you. Right?”

He returned his attention to the phone, this time picking it up, interest lighting his face. “Oh. Yeah, I took these. There’s so many damn hashtags, I didn’t even see my name.”

“Well, her whole page, it’s a done-it list.”

His gaze lifted, along with the corners of his lips. “A what?”

“According to her, she never understood why people made lists of the things they were going to do, so she made a page dedicated to all the things she did do.”

“Sounds like Emily.”

Now that is a smile. “Well, it’s inspired me to start my own done-it list, but I want to start by re-creating her list.”

Jake set the phone down and slid it across the table. “Re-create it?”

“Yes. Like this one…” I scrolled until I found the photograph. “She threw glow sticks in a pool and went swimming.” I assumed he remembered, since he’d been behind the camera. “I’m going to do that, then put it on my own done-it Tumblr list. Emily only had sixteen done-its, so I plan on redoing all of them.”

After taking a slow sip of coffee, he leaned forward like he was going to share a secret. “Can I make a suggestion?”

I winced, instilled with a burning desire to flee from the coffee shop. There I was, alive and well—with a perfectly functioning heart—and Emily lay six feet under, dead and gone. Jake probably thought—

“You should name it something else,” he said. “Done-its sounds like Cheez-Its, and that’s a little weird, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, kudos to my sister for the idea, but uh, she could’ve been more original with the name.” His smile grew, crooked and adorable.

Relief washed over me, and I smiled, too. “I agree done-it is unoriginal, but I can’t think of anything better that isn’t also weirder. Can you?”

With a considering expression, Jake leaned back in the booth, and while he thought, I took a sip of my coffee and cream mixture.

“See. Not as easy as it sounds.” I laughed, warming my fingers around the mug.

Jake chuckled, shaking his head. “Guess I’ll have to get back to you on that one. But where do I come into this?”

I let go of the ceramic and splayed my hands across the tabletop. “I want you to photograph my…poorly named list.”

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ABOUT LINDSEY FRYDMAN:

Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

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Release Day and Giveaway! KISS MARRY KILL by Sidney Halston (Iron Clad Security #1)

 

He’s been chasing a memory . . .

 

KISS, MARRY, KILL
Iron Clad Security #1
Sidney Halston
Releasing March 28th, 2017
Swerve

 

He’s been chasing a memory . . .
 
It was just supposed to be a regular Thursday afternoon…and then he saw her. Sitting in seat L214, one seat over from his at the baseball game, right next to her douche of a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. An impromptu kiss for the kiss cam, and Jax knew his life would never be the same. Five years and a tour in Afghanistan later, Jax is back stateside running his own private security firm, Iron-Clad, with his best friend. He isn’t the man he used to be… but Megan isn’t the sexy and sweet, though sheltered, twenty-two-year-old he left behind, either. And she’s in trouble.
…but now they’re on the run.

Megan Cruz has made something of herself. She’s turned her dreams of pop stardom into a reality. But when a deadly stalker breaks into her home claiming to be her number-one fan, the only person she can turn to is the boy who got away. But Jax isn’t the same carefree charmer who stole her heart, then broke it when he joined the military. This man is seductive, hard, guarded. And he’ll do anything to protect what’s his.


He stuffed the last bite of food into his mouth.

“You know what this means, right?”

“What?”

“We have to do five fun things for you while we do five boring things for me.”

“I don’t remember agreeing to that.”

“So you don’t want to do five fun things?”

Megan pushed her plate back, no longer hungry. She felt emboldened, and this time she leaned over and reached for the lock of hair by his eye and pushed hit back, needing to see those sexy green eyes. “With you? Yes, I think I do,” she said, her voice a little thicker, a little lower, and her eyes never leaving his.

It was time sweet sheltered Megan had some fun.


USA Today
 bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “Just Do It”–Nike. And that’s exactly what she did.

After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with
her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second. When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any
other way. 

 

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! CRAZY FOR YOU by Rachel Lacey (Risking It All #2)

 

She’s taking a walk on HIS wild side!

CRAZY FOR YOU
A Risking It All Novel
Rachel Lacey
Releasing March 28, 2017
Forever

 

“Rachel Lacey is a sure-fire star.” — Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author
 
SHE’S TAKING A WALK ON HIS WILD SIDE…
 
Emma Rush can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a thing for Ryan Blake. Haven’s resident bad boy is just so freakin’ hot-with tattoos, a motorcycle, and enough rough-around-the-edges sexiness to melt all her self-control. Now that Emma’s over being a “good girl,” she needs a little help being naughty . . . and she knows just where to start.
Before Emma’s brother enlisted in the military, he made Ryan promise that he would protect her from everything–including himself. When her brother doesn’t come home, Ryan needs to turn his screwed-up life around to honor his pledge. But he knows he’s still not the right kind of guy for someone as sweet as Emma. Only he can’t stop wanting to be with her. Wanting her. Falling in love with a good girl may be the craziest risk this bad boy can take . . . 

 

Whoa. Emma closed her eyes and let out a shriek as Ryan guided the motorcycle onto Main Street and picked up speed. The cold wind whipped her face, taking her breath away. Beneath her, the engine rumbled and roared like a wild thing. Holy sh*t. She was on the back of Ryan Blake’s bike, and it was amazing.

The wind bit through her thin, knit gloves, hitting her fingers with an icy blast. Actually, every part of her was freezing, but she didn’t care. She wrapped her arms more firmly around Ryan’s waist, anchoring herself to him so she didn’t tumble off the back of the bike, and somehow her hands slipped beneath his jacket. Ahh. That was better. Toasty warm, and also…her hands were on his T-shirt. Even through her gloves, she felt the hard contour of his abs, and nope, she wasn’t cold now.

And this was absolutely freaking amazing.

She hung on tight as he guided them over Haven’s twisting mountain roads, deserted at this hour. Overhead the moon shone like a beacon, illuminating the night in its soft, silvery glow. The roar of the engine and the slap of the wind against her face shocked her senses. It was thrilling, invigorating, so completely different from riding inside a car.

She’d never have done this if Mandy hadn’t dared her, and now she felt like her eyes were open for the first time in years. This was what she needed. Somewhere along the way, as she sat at the bar talking to Ryan, she’d realized she was having fun, really having fun. And she wanted more. She wanted it all, every last wild and crazy fantasy.

All too soon, her building came into view. Ryan cut the engine and guided them quietly into the driveway, coming to a stop behind her silver Toyota RAV4. He turned his head to look at her, so sexy in his helmet and riding glasses. “So how was it?”

“Even better than I thought it would be.” She gulped for air. His lips were way too close to hers, and she was still a little bit drunk on beer and a whole lot drunk on her first motorcycle ride. Mandy’s words echoed in her ears. Bonus points if you kiss him. Just stand up a bit, lean over his shoulder, and…

Emma leaned forward, her chest sliding up his back as she tipped her face to his. Holy hell, she had completely lost her mind, but she was going for it. Every nerve in her body went haywire.

Clunk. Her helmet smacked into his, drawing her up an inch short of his lips.

Crazy for You is a fun, sweet read–Emma and Ryan are easy characters to root for, and the best friend’s little sister troupe is one of my weaknesses. (Really, Mom and Dad, what were you thinking, not giving me an older brother? Very short sighted of you.) The secondary characters are great here too–Ethan and Gabby from book 1 ( Run to You ), Carly from the prequel novella ( Rock with You ), even poor Mark and Jess, who don’t get their chance at a second chance until the next book ( Can’t Forget You –but that’s at least better than Mandy, who doesn’t even have that…yet), plus Ryan’s long lost baby brother, Trent–interesting characters, all. If it’s your first trip to Haven, though, no worries–it’d work just fine as a standalone too.

There really aren’t a lot of surprises in this story, which is fine–Ryan hasn’t really been a “bad boy” since he moved back to town, and it’s clear from the start that he’s going to have no problem seeing Emma as a grown up instead of the little sister hanger-on that she used to be, once he gives himself permission to look. The promise-to-her-big-brother part was going to be trickier, but then again it always is. The solution to Emma’s future was honestly so easy to see from the beginning, I was surprised that it took so long for that part of it to be resolved, but it wasn’t any less satisfying for being obvious.

What makes the story stand out, though, is the writing. Ms Lacey manages to make rock climbing sound sexy when she writes scenes like this one:

“Watching you climb that rock is the biggest f-ing turn-on.”

Really? She must have looked ridiculous, failing around as she scrambled for the top. “It would be really bad if you took me right here.” She emphasized the word as fantasies of them having wild sex up here on top of the world exploded through her brain.

He groaned. “Bad in all the wrong ways. Bad in the ‘bruises and scrapes where the sun don’t shine’ and potentially fall to your death in the throes of passion kind of way.”

Well, when he put it that way…

Yeah. So maybe not…

Still. Fun to imagine in the abstract, while we wait for Mark’s book 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Rachel 
Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.

 

Don’t miss any of the Risking It All Romances!


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Release Day and Giveaway! HOT FOR THE FIREMAN by Gina L. Maxwell (Boston Heat #1)

It’s time to see how much heat this fireman can take…

HOT FOR THE FIREMAN
Boston Heat #1
Gina L. Maxwell
Releasing March 27th, 2017
Entangled Select

Ex-Army Ranger Erik Grady lives for the job. So when his chief at the Boston Fire Department offers him two choices—mandated therapy for supposed PTSD or a permanent desk job at the station, he reluctantly agrees to see a shrink. Only this doctor is unlike anything he expected. Female and curved in all the right places? Check. Hotter than a four-alarm fire? Check. The kind of woman that can heat his blood in and out of bed? Check, check. And oh, yeah, he just happens to have firsthand experience…
 
Of all the men to walk into psychologist Olivia Jones’ office, why did it have to be him? Her one-night stand isn’t playing by the rules of just. One. Night. She’s had her heart broken in the past, and no way is she going there again. And now he’s blackmailing her into three dates? Well, if that’s what it takes to make him see a different therapist, fine. She can handle it. So what if the chemistry between them is combustible? She’s a professional, damn it. She’ll date Mr. I’m Too Sexy For My Bunker Pants. But it won’t end in the fun he expects.

It’s time to see how much heat this fireman can take…


Shit, how much time had passed? A cursory glance at his watch told him it was now fifteen minutes past. Gritting his teeth, Erik gave the area a wide sweep of his gaze, searching for a stunning blonde with the face of an angel and a body made for sin…and came up empty.

Goddamn it, he swore that if she wasn’t here in the next—

“Looks like you’ve been waiting a while. Did she stand you up?”

The feminine voice came from behind and a little to the left and held a distinct amused lilt. Relief flooded his system faster than a dose of adrenaline shot straight into the bloodstream. Erik cracked a smile then did his best to school his features with the help of dragging a hand over his afternoon stubble. Without turning around or looking back at her he said, “Yeah, it’s starting to look that way. Probably just as well, though.”

“Oh?” He felt her take a step toward him, stopping behind his left shoulder. “Why do you say that?”

“I think she was only using me for my body.” She gasped dramatically, and he barely contained his laughter. “I know,” he continued, “it shocked me, too. I thought she liked me for the important things.”

He’d never seen her playful side—didn’t even know she had one—and that she showed it to him now felt like a huge fucking win. Unable to resist any longer, he turned to face her and take her in.

“And what are the important things?”

Erik stepped into her until she had to lift her face to maintain eye contact with him. Then he used a sex-roughened voice to say, “You know, like my collection of pre-Civil War coins and freakishly extensive knowledge of Sumatran orangutans.”

Amusement danced in her eyes, and in order to prevent breaking character, she bit the center of her full lower lip. An act he very much wanted to do for her. “What a coincidence,” she said, her tone a mix of seduction and innocence that had him harder than a Halligan. “Those are two of my favorite subjects. It’s been such a long time since anyone’s showered me with”—she peered up at him through thick lashes — “Sumatran orangutan facts.”

Christ, even her playful side liked to kill him. “Sweetheart, I’ll shower you with whatever facts you want,” he said with a wink, “as long as I get to use my hands while doing it.” Erik watched as her pupils dilated in response, filling him with satisfaction. “You’re late.”


Gina L. 
Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been living her newfound dream ever since.

When she’s not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing
at Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about her move to sunny Florida once they do.
 

Release Day! LEI’D WITH CUPCAKES by Bethany Lopez (The Cupcake series #3)

Today we are celebrating the release of LEI’D WITH CUPCAKES by Bethany Lopez. This book is a romantic comedy/suspense title that is part of the Cupcakes series. Check out the buy links below for the book and previous books in the series.

Leid_live

Lei’d with Cupcakes
by Bethany Lopez
(The Cupcakes Series, book 3)

Genre: Romantic Comedy/Suspense
NOW LIVE!

Synopsis:

Everybody dreams of a Hawaiian Vacation…

They sell you on the drinks with little umbrella’s, dolphin watching, and long walks on the beach. Which probably happens, if you’re that lucky schmuck living out your dream with your destination wedding, but if you’re a fish out of water PI like me, there’s no time for relaxing because trouble is never far behind.

Instead of cocktails, I ended up dealing with the seedy underbelly of The Big Island.

And, I didn’t see one damn dolphin while undercover on a boat which was spilling over with drug dealers, Kingpins, and Pedophiles.

Elin and Elena think Cade’s family are the coolest people outside of Snapchat, but it’s hard to meet the parents when your boyfriend is in his late thirties and has never had a serious relationship.

I’d never missed my girls so much in my life, but Amy May, Bea, and Carmen are all dealing with issues of their own, and can’t come to my rescue.

The only thing that may help me with this “vacation” is if I could get Lei’d with Cupcakes.

WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE, SEX, SOME VIOLENCE, AND SHENANIGANS. IF NONE OF THAT BOTHERS YOU, GRAB A CUPCAKE AND READ ON!

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Special Release Week Price is $2.99!


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Special Release Week Price is $2.99

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Purchase Always Room for Cupcakes:
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Purchase Cupcake Overload:
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AUTHOR INFORMATION:
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Sign up for my Newsletter for more information about my writing: http://eepurl.com/Rcmrn

Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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A Conversation with Wendy Sparrow, Author of the TAMING THE PACK Box Set (with a giveaway!)

Don’t miss my review of Wendy’s boxed set here!

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Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Wendy! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I’m a hopeless romantic. I don’t read sad books because reality has too much reality to it, and I believe that everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.
  2. I’m more flawed than most of my characters. I have severe clinical obsessive-compulsive disorder (Pure-O to be exact,) PTSD, agoraphobia, and a degenerative form of hypermobility. I know what it’s like to feel unlovable, desperate, and to experience pain so deep you’re numb.
  3. I believe every living creature deserves to be respected and acknowledged as powerful, and I have a soft spot for the vulnerable, marginalized, and misunderstood…and puppies. *looks at puppy beside me* *sighs*
  4. I love a stormy day with a good book, a snuggly blanket, and a cozy window seat.
  5. I’m a minor geek in a family of major geeks.

I’m with you on #s 1 and 5…reality needs to stay out of my leisure time, absolutely! Oh, plus puppies… 🙂

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The first book, Past My Defenses, came from a Twitter chat with fellow writers where we were one-upping each other in ridiculous premises for paranormal stories. I suggested a wolf shifter allergic to other animals…and “the allergic shifter romance” was born. I wrote it and the second book during November of 2012…which, prior to this last February, was the worst month of my life. I tend to write humorous stuff when I’m in total crisis. These two books were NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books.

I LOVE the “allergic shifter romance” premise—too funny, and it works so well in the book! I love that books 1 and 2 were NaNo books too—that’s great! I’m sorry to hear that Jordan’s book was written during such a stressful time, though…you can’t tell at all from the story.

 

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

I’ve been writing since I was young, but my brother said in 2009, “I bet you could write a novel.” I’ve never been able to resist a challenge from my brother. Two weeks later, I’d written a book. I haven’t stopped writing for any significant amount of time since then.

Hmmm…maybe I should try that—a challenge from my brother. I like it!

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m finishing up everything on a young adult book due out in June from Entangled Teen under my pseudonym, Wendy Laine, called Secrets of Skin and Stone. It’s a paranormal romance set in a small town with an OCD cutter and a gargoyle shifter, both with many secrets.

A gargoyle shifter? I’m going to have to check that one out, for sure!

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m reading a romance anthology, and I’m enjoying short and sweet novellas. I love anthologies when I’m in the middle of projects because I can set them down between novellas. I have a real problem doing that with novels.

I hear you, I do too! Great idea 🙂

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Characters with depth flirt with danger (and turning furry) as alphas meet their matches. A ranger, a sheriff, and a big bad wolf—oh my.

Perfect!

 

Thank you for having me and I hope you spend some time with the Glacier Peak wolves.

Some of my favorite wolves? You bet I will! Thanks, Wendy!

 

About Wendy Sparrow:

After a childhood spent wandering as a military brat, Wendy Sparrow finally found her home in Washington State. She spends her days trying to convince her two kids she actually knows how to properly parent and her nights showing her husband all the cool things romance authors know. She’s active in the OCD and autism communities and writes on her blog to support awareness in both. With her whole heart, Wendy believes in happily-ever-afters and that everyone deserves one. If she’s not writing or wrangling kids, she’s on Twitter, @WendySparrow, where she’ll chat with anyone about anything.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

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About the Taming the Pack Boxed Set:

Sometimes a wolf is all you need.

What do you get when you mix Alphas and sheriffs and park rangers? Three sexy tales of wolf shifter romance from the talented Wendy Sparrow sure to keep you up past your bedtime! With one click, immerse yourself in a rich world of danger, intrigue, a little humor, and more than a little heat.

Past My Defenses

After a feline danderbomb takes Vanessa down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who has no idea what he’d trapped. Dane Hansen had hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

This Weakness for You

Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha wolf, and after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But when his rival’s little sister—a human—comes to his door, what should be a tasty snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine. Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.

Crazy Over You

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan. Once LeAnn Wilcox finds her brother, she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, nonfurry life. But LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once Travis’s control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.

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New Box Set Review! TAMING THE PACK (Books 1-3) by Wendy Sparrow

Don’t miss my conversation with author Wendy Sparrow (and a tour giveaway!) here!


Taming the Pack Boxed Set

by Wendy Sparrow

About the box set:

Sometimes a wolf is all you need.

What do you get when you mix Alphas and sheriffs and park rangers? Three sexy tales of wolf shifter romance from the talented Wendy Sparrow sure to keep you up past your bedtime! With one click, immerse yourself in a rich world of danger, intrigue, a little humor, and more than a little heat.

Past My Defenses

After a feline danderbomb takes Vanessa down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who has no idea what he’d trapped. Dane Hansen had hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

This Weakness for You

Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha wolf, and after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But when his rival’s little sister—a human—comes to his door, what should be a tasty snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine. Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.

Crazy Over You

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan. Once LeAnn Wilcox finds her brother, she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, nonfurry life. But LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once Travis’s control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.

Review:

Past My Defenses

Wendy Sparrow has definitely written a werewolf (they go by lycan in this universe) story with a twist here. Our heroine does have super speed and fantastic hearing, but she also suffers from near-dibilitating alergies and has a relationship with her four(!) air purifiers that borders on unnatural.

Seriously. She’s taken down by a housecat in the first scene. (I was going to say “common housecat”, but I’m not entirely convinced he is.) She’s allergic to marshmallows. (According to the author’s note, so is Ms. Sparrow. My condolences…) Though I do love the fact that Dane puts her list of allergens on the fridge. And memorizes it. And they put the list to good use…more than once.

“What are you doing?” he asked, smiling against her skin.

“Listing out my allergies so I can keep my hormones from taking over.”

He shouldn’t keep going. They were meant to be paying attention to their environment. Plus, now “ragweed” had joined the list of words that couldn’t be said in mixed company. They should stop. He pulled back enough to drag his shirt off.

“You stopped on sesame seeds,” he said.

“Carrots, celery, cumin.” Cumin was said on a long moan. She made spices she couldn’t have sound even more forbidden.

“You forgot coriander.” He groaned as she bit his collarbone.

“I didn’t forget coriander. I just hadn’t gotten there yet.” It earned him another bite.

Oh, hell, they should really stop. “You were listing the Cs in alphabetical order.”

“I was just listing them.” She pressed herself closer to him. “Fennel, kiwi.” She tipped her head back and those nails scraped down his back again. “Coriander.”

Coriander was on the list of inappropriate words now.

Ms. Sparrow’s sense of humor really shines in this novel. Even though I will readily admit that a simple conversation or two could have resolved most if not all of Vanessa and Dane’s relationship woes in–oh, the second chapter maybe–I so thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of the novel I didn’t even care. Plus, the “whodunnit” at the end isn’t completely obvious, which made it fun (though that individual was on my short list of suspects, I wasn’t at all sure until the big reveal).

Rating: 4 ½ stars / A-


This Weakness for You

Jordan’s story! I loved him in Vanessa and Dane’s book (Past My Defenses), and the nonstop sparring (mixed with a healthy dose of mutual respect) between Jordan and Dane continues here, since Jordan scent matches with Dane’s younger sister Christa. Absolutely perfect! 😉

Ms. Sparrow’s writing made me laugh out loud over and over again. Her sense of humor is fantastic, and really shines through both her writing and characters. Poor Christa–it took her most of the book to get used to the fact that she was surrounded by Lycans with amazing hearing, and her lapses made for some really funny scenes. (Awkward for her, but super funny for the rest of us)

Lucifer the cat is back too, and seeing him instantly obey Jordan even over the phone is hysterical. (Clearly, I need to get involved with an alpha Lycan–can I connect with one on eHarmony, do you think? My cats have a little too much power here.)

I was already half in love with Jordan’s big bad alpha wolf self after book one, so it was pretty much a given I was going to enjoy his book. Christa ends up being his perfect counterpart–she sees herself as weak for much of the book, in part because she has MS (yay to Ms. Sparrow for writing a heroine with MS!), but in reality she’s so much stronger than her condition. She’s a kickbutt marksman (markswoman?)–the scene where Jordan decides to teach her some basic gun safety is hilarious–and she has zero filter as far as her brain-to-mouth connection goes. (Remember the Lycan sense of hearing? So. Many. Laughs.)

Even her dad is awesome. If ever a family were created that should be involved with supernaturals, the Hansens are it. His retelling of his phone conversation with his daughter re: their new in-laws? I think I snorted some Pepsi Max out of my nose at that part.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you like paranormals, appreciate humor in your reading, and enjoy sweet sexiness (there’s not really much actual steaminess, though, but I for one didn’t miss it at all), then do yourself a favor and give this series a try.

Quite a bit in this book hinges on what was going on in book one, but much of it is explained along the way (some of it for Christa’s benefit, since she was new to the situation), so it’s not necessary to have read the first book to “get” this one–but this series and these characters are so much fun you’re going to want to read them both—and since they’re now in a box set together, it’s easier than ever!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A


Crazy Over You

It’s a good thing that digital highlighters don’t ever dry up, because I gave my Kindle’s highlighter function a real workout with this one. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, and so many truly clever lines. I enjoyed the heck out of reading this one.

Right from the very first page, Travis and LeAnn are on opposite sides–he’s a small-town sheriff, she’s a (rather successful) petty criminal; she’s looking for her brother, he might just have had a hand in the man’s very recent death; he wakes from a dead sleep to find her naked on top of him, with one of his own knives to his throat–and just in case that’s not enough, Travis realizes almost immediately that they’ve scent matched, which means they’re destined to be mates.

Oh, the conflict! The pages are oozing with it, in the best possible way.

“If you let me up, we can keep talking about this.” And by “talking” he meant he’d have her on her back, moaning out his name rather rapidly. His very long stretch of abstinence was about to end.

She licked her lips and wrinkled up her nose. “First, tell me where my brother is.”

Well, that would ruin any “talking”.

Even though at first they seem like oil and water, the reader can clearly see that fate got it right this time–LeAnn and Travis are each exactly what the other needs. Travis, the organizing, control-freak alpha, definitely needed a less-than-gentle shove out of the rut his life had gotten into. LeAnn had spent a lifetime looking for a place to belong and a family that wouldn’t leave or make her want to leave, and she finds it with Jordan and the pack. Plus, she gets to use her “special skills” for the greater good for a change.

She could hot-wire cars. That was good to know. Also very sexy. In a non-law-abiding way that he couldn’t ever outwardly support.

The suspense was nicely done–though I was pretty sure I knew some of what was going on, I didn’t have it all figured out until the characters did, which was excellent. Book three continues the series’ overarching plot where the packs are concerned, finally resolving their main problem–which is good, because resolution! but sad, because the series comes to an end… 🙁

The romance, of course, is fantastic–Travis and LeAnn have great chemistry and even better banter. Even in the middle of a shootout, they were making me laugh.

Both he and LeAnn bounced up at the same time, firing. More swearing from Troy.

“Yes!” LeAnn said as they dropped back down to the floor.

“I got him,” they said at the same time before scowling at each other.

“Oh, that was me,” LeAnn said.

“No, I’m sorry, but that was me.” He wasn’t going to give up his hits because she was a woman he wanted in a filthy way–one he wanted even more now that he’d seen her fire a gun. “Troy, was that last hit from a rifle or handgun?” he yelled.

His answer was more swearing.

“It was from a rifle,” he translated for her.

“Oh, sweetie, if you really need this to boost your self-confidence, I’ll give you this one,” she said, giving him a long look.

“Honey, that wasn’t a gun in my pocket a few minutes back. Trust me, I have a lot to be confident about.” He gestured toward the other side of the table with his head. “Including that last shot.”

She pulled her shirt off. “And they’re real, babydoll.”

He stared.

“And that last shot was all me too.”

See what I mean? There’s a lot more where that comes from, believe me. 😉

This book was a thank-goodness-I-don’t-have-to-work-today-because-I’m-not-sure-I-could-stop-reading-it kind of story. Make sure you’ve cleared out a few hours before you sit down to start it; you’ll be glad you did.

I have loved this series from start to finish, and can’t wait to see what Ms. Sparrow has in store for us next. In the meantime, at least we have her backlist… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

Tour Grand Finale and Giveaway! THE WEDDING MARCH by Tara Randel (The Business of Weddings #4)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Wedding March
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out…

Launch – Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy Cassie and Luke’s journey in The Wedding March. And if you’ve read my previous books set in Cypress Pointe, you’ll catch up with familiar characters who pop up in this book. Thanks for stopping by!

— Tara

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

“I’d love to talk to you about your song-writing days. You’ve been—”

He held his hand up “Let me stop you right here.”

She blinked. His sudden displeasure indicated she’d gone too far.

“I’m not going to talk about music careers, song writing or whatever you have your mind set on.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You didn’t. I just need you to know I’m not available for whatever it is you want.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“The Wedding March needs to be on your TBR list. Clean romance, fun characters, and a sweet story. It’s a look at how to deal with the tough-to-love people in our lives, as well as encouragement to hold out hope to the people struggling to find their place. This book will put a smile on your face and in your heart!”

Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt

What had she been thinking? How had she expected to pull off a full-blown concert in two weeks’ time? Therein lies the problem. She hadn’t been. Her only thoughts were to impress Luke.

How’s that going?

Cassie paced the stage, clasping her sweaty palms together as the tech team buzzed with activity around her. A late afternoon coastal breeze picked up, swirling the ankle-length sheer skirt around her high-heeled boots, carrying with it the scent of salt water sweetened by the newly blooming orange blossoms. Her entire outfit, a black mesh with gold embellishments around the waist and hem, fit over a black tank minidress. She’d even dyed the pink streak in her hair black to match.

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

“Are you always so antsy before a performance?”

She shyly glanced at him. “It’s not every day I play with Luke Hastings.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is.”

He didn’t want to be flattered, but he couldn’t deny the pleasure her words brought. After his ex had pretty much flattened his ego, Cassie was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t try to railroad him. Didn’t go on and on about her place in the music business. She liked his friends. Had come up with this idea to raise money for the Klub using her own resources.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review

“I really loved the fact that there is a kids at risk program in this book. There need to be more “real world” centers like this. I really loved the teens in this book. They make great secondary characters and their stories are so real. Cassie and Luke are great too, and I love how they get together through songwriting.

Clean romance lovers will really enjoy The Wedding March.”

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt

Luke grinned as he viewed the scene before him. Denny and Kyle high-fived, laughing, while a group of kids clapped over their success. Erin stood on the periphery, biting a fingernail. Cassie stood beside him, dripping wet, but smiling. Despite the fact that Luke had just learned someone had stolen money from the Klub, his heart expanded. He’d figure out what was going on and fix this mess, just as Cassie suggested. Maybe even with her at his side.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This is a cute and sweet story. The characters have both had a lot of heartache and suffer trust issues. The story is one of forgiveness and learning get to love again.”

Rainy Day Reviews – Review

“I loved the sweetness of the story and even though I am not a fan of mushy lovey stuff, it wasn’t heavy in this story. I really appreciated that this romance was clean as well as sweet and fun. All in all, this was a great read and I look forward to not only reading the first three in this series but the rest that will follow. This was definitely a fell good story with all the feels.”

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt

“We aren’t talking about me.”

“Maybe we should.”

Her steady gaze held his. His heart pounded. This close, he could see the distinctive shade of green mocking his words. She knew, maybe even better than he did.

“Talent like yours doesn’t go away,” she echoed.

“Maybe it should.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn’t a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words.”

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down! Cassie and Luke were both easy characters to like and the romance was natural. There were other great characters and side stories to keep things interesting. It’s a fantastic, clean contemporary romance!”

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a wonderful tale presented by two different people’s concepts. It is a story of a few individuals raised in a dysfunctional and/or abusive life style. It offers a great concept for “at risk” children. Adventure, mystery and romance atre also a part of this book, written for Adults, but YA will love it, too!” – Lu Ann

“This a fun story. I like the theme of the story. It was quick to capture my attention and then interesting enough to hold it throughout the story. . . . I would highly recommend this book to other readers. It was a great read.” – Vickie

Wishful Endings – Review

“THE WEDDING MARCH is a steady-paced story that involves family drama, a teen outreach program, musical fame, and sweet romance. It embodied this Harlequin line of books with a story that is sure to touch readers’ hearts. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of depth from complex relationships and situations, then definitely give this one a try!”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“I enjoyed the natural progression of Cassie and Luke’s relationship. They were both so wary in the beginning but slowly became friends and confidants. It didn’t feel rushed or over the top. It was just a gentle and sweet story. I really enjoyed it!'”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

“Maybe it’s time.”

“To start again?”

He nodded.

“How about with me?” she asked, her voice small.

He froze. He’d thought about working with her. But the memory of their kisses stopped him. He’d been romantically involved with his last partner. He wasn’t sure he wanted to travel that same path with Cassie. He wanted something different with her.

Hardcover Feedback – Review

“Seeing the story progress, watching Cassie and Luke interact with one another as well Cassie’s involvement with the kids, was very enjoyable.

I feel this story can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I do want to read the first story now because of the scenes with Nealy and Dane. I think anyone who enjoys Harlequin’s Heartwarming line will have a good time reading The Wedding March. I definitely recommend it.”

Harlie’s Books – Review

“By the end of the book, I was sad. I didn’t want it to end but alas, it had too. I will miss the colored streak in Cassie’s hair, Luke’s kisses (Oh my), Denny and Erin and the goings on in Cypress Pointe. Great character growth and depth from Cassie and Luke. And yes, Ms. Randal gets it too. She writes a beautiful love story that everyone can read and have a happy heart in the end.”

Becky on Books – Review

“A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA.”

Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she’s not a twoalbum wonder. But her case of writer’s block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids’ lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they’re not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Other Books in the Series

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

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Tour Giveaway!

– US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
– $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
Ends March 28th

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Tour Schedule:
March 13th: Falling Leaves
March 14th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Book Lover in Florida
March 15th: Hearts & Scribbles
March 16th: Christy’s Cozy Corners & Rainy Day Reviews
March 17th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium & Bookworm Lisa
March 19th: Heidi Reads…
March 20th: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, Mel’s Shelves & Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 21st: Wishful Endings & Getting Your Read On
March 22nd: underneath the covers & Hardcover Feedback
March 23rd: Harlie’s Books & Becky on Books
March 24th: Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!

Saturday Morning Video, Take 2: The West Wing was ahead of its time…

This NPR story (first discovered by my co-worker, because I was in a meeting–thanks, Awesome One! I owe you–and ha! I knew I’d draw you over to the dark side–aka National Public Radio–eventually) immediately reminded me of one of my all-time favorite scenes from The West Wing

…and that was before I realized that they both talk about THE SAME MAP PROJECTION. How. Cool. Is. That?

(And BTW, where was this clip when I was trying to explain map projections and distortion to sixth graders for years and years? Not online yet, gosh darn it.)