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

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…

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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.

Spoiler alert: they’ll get there. Eventually 🙂

Couples from other series books make appearances (the main couple do not get to their own “wedding march” during the course of the book, but both of them are present at plenty of weddings throughout the story), and though you’ll probably be curious about their stories, if you haven’t read them you should do just fine here.

My only real complaint? What English teacher doesn’t ever have to spend time grading, planning, or reading over student work…? 😉

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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 12th: Launch
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 CollectionMel’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

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New Release Review! FAKE ENGAGEMENT REAL TEMPTATION by Joya Ryan

Title: Fake Engagement, Real Temptation
Author: Joya Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Brazen

Synopsis:

Oh. My. God. Carrie Morgan can’t escape her cheating ex fiancé. She goes on her Hawaiian honeymoon fantasy vacation to prove she’s over him—but he’s there with his mistress in tow. Good thing Carrie’s annoyingly over-protective friend Blake came with her. How’s she going to prove to her ex she’s over him? Easy. One… Two… Three… She grabs Blake and kisses him.

Blake Harris isn’t about to let anyone take advantage of his heartbroken friend Carrie. And that includes himself, even if she’s sexy as sin in that bikini. Then she kisses him—and he’s on fire. Damage done, but he can back off. Except he sees that broken look in Carrie’s eyes. No. Hell no. New plan. He intends to show her ex just what he’s thrown away.

The kisses? For show. The heat? Part of the performance. The private practice sessions? Uh-oh. Those are starting to feel a bit too real…

Purchase your copy today!

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Excerpt:

Blake Harris had no idea what he was doing staring down the door of his best friend’s baby sister. Okay, he did have an idea, he just wasn’t loving it.

Carrie Morgan was on the other side of that door, and yes, Blake cared about her. He’d known her brother since they were kids. But this was her wedding. Or it was supposed to be. And now she was on the other side of the door, in tears, because her scumbag fiancé had abandoned her for another woman.

Shit. He’d never been close to her. He’d been sixteen and she’d been nine when his mom had died and he’d spent so many afternoons with her older brother Lane. But hell. Lane was his best friend. He couldn’t just let his sister suffer like this.

Blake would go back to his outdoor guiding business in the mountains soon, bury himself in work, but not before he made sure Carrie was okay.

He hadn’t even had a chance to see her yet since she’d not left the bridal suite in forty-eight hours. Even since she’d gotten word that the groom wasn’t going to show. Could have been worse. She could have been literally stood up at the altar. At least the piece of shit fiancé had told her two days before the wedding.

Now, he was staring down her hotel room door and asking god to open the door.

He knocked twice.

“Carrie?” he called. He heard low music and rustling. “It’s Blake. Come on, little girl, open up.”

Lane was the closest thing to a brother he had, and neither distance or time had changed that. Then there was Carrie. The sweet girl Jake and Lane had spent their teenage years playing Uno with and looking after. Until Blake had graduated college and moved to the city.

Shit. He was an ass for not being around more. Poor girl was likely behind the door crying, and that made him want to punch the douche bag that had hurt her. Maybe later he’d help Lane hunt the prick down.

Blake took the keycard that Lane had given him out of his pocket. “I’m coming in,” he announced. “Just want to check on you…”

Blake peeked in. “Carrie?”

He stepped into the room. It was a massive suite with a sitting area and kitchen. The plush furniture was lined with roses, and unlit candles were scattered around everywhere. Ah shit, so this was her honeymoon suite.

He stepped further in and heard the low sound of music got louder. It was coming from the open bedroom door. He looked in and found—

“What the hell?” he asked, taking in the scene, or rather the woman before him.

The strawberry blond five feet in front of him was moving and shaking in the middle of the room. What was more distracting was the fact that she was doing that in nothing but a pair of panties and matching white tank top. Her eyes were locked on the wide screen hanging on the wall. He glanced at the television. She was doing…jazzercise?

“Carrie?” His voice decided to break a little around the one word he’d said several times but now held a lot more heat. Sure, his blood felt hot, but his skin was cold.

So this is what shock feels like.

She froze and faced him. “Blake?”

He smiled, and her body remained still while her chest heaved with deep breaths. While those inhales made the thin cotton stretch over her breasts in a way that made his mouth instantly water, it was better than her dancing. Because any more bouncing on her part and he might forget she was his best friend’s little sister and lose his damn mind wondering how many more deep breaths it would take to make that tank top non-existent.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, not bothering to cover up. Something he wasn’t completely upset about since the woman was smoking hot. She wasn’t a little girl, he knew that. But he’d barely seen her since she was a teenager. And seeing her now, all woman—worse, his type of woman—that fact hit harder than the last.

He glanced down, attempting to take a break from marveling at her, but all he accomplished was getting flashes of those tone thigh and adorable pink-tipped toes.

Nope. She definitely wasn’t the kid he grew up with anymore. She was twenty-three with a tight body, perfect ass, and breasts he’d just learned had no problem doing a Baywatch slow-motion run in place.

She’d invited him to the wedding, but he realized that she’d likely meant: What the hell are you doing in my hotel room?

“I’m here to see you,” he said.

She nodded as if his answer was good enough and walked to the bedside table. She seemed…carefree? Not at all the crying woman he’d expected to find. Then she grabbed a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels off the table and took a few swigs.

Well that explains things.

“Glad to see you’re staying hydrated,” Blake said. She wasn’t carefree, she was drunk. And exercising. An odd combination, but he could see the logic. Drink away the sorrows and get the endorphins going. He’d try it out himself next time he felt so lonely he forgot why a relationship was off the table for him.

She winced on her final swig and wiped the back of her hand over her mouth.

“Yep. Hydrating is important,” she said. “I’ve got to stick with my video exercise. Been doing this for six months to get ‘bikini ready’ and if I stop now then…”

She trailed off and folded her lips together as if to fight off tears.

Ah, hell. Put him between a woman and a man who meant her harm, he knew what to do. Swing until the other guy went down. But a crying woman? One who’d already been abandoned by the guy? Yet another sign Blake had failed by not saying something. Or at least getting here early. Maybe then he could have caught the scumbag before he disappeared to who knew where.

But nope. Blake’s life and job were a hundred percent on his time and agenda. Freedom was a heady thing, and he would always be free. Never tied to a woman, never love, because the loss that came with love was too much.

But this woman was different. The protective instinct he had came roaring to the surface at the first sign of water lining her eyes. She was hurting. Her shoulders slinking. And there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. But he so badly wanted to.

She shook her head. “I guess I don’t have to do the videos anymore now that I’m not going to Hawaii.” She took another swig. “Guess it didn’t matter how hard I worked out, Kevin left anyway. The whole time he was cheating! Can you believe that? With his trainer. Which, by the way, I want a refund on all those ‘classes’ he signed up for to get his own ass ‘bikini ready,’ because I doubt nailing your trainer burns more calories than a treadmill.”

Review:

Cute and sweet, with some truly funny moments sprinkled throughout–if you like best friend’s little sister or fake relationship troupes, this could be for you. The timeframe, though, feels much too short–sure, they’ve known each other for years, but have never been close (Blake’s own words on page one) and in recent years hadn’t seen each other at all. Overall it made for an enjoyable few hours–Blake and Carrie are likable characters and work well together, and hey, Hawaii–but it definitely could have benefited from more story and character development throughout to make it more.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About The Author:

National and international bestselling author Joya Ryan is the author of more than a dozen adult and new-adult romance novels. Passionate about both cooking and dancing (despite not being too skilled at the latter), she loves traveling and seeking out new adventures. Visit her online at www.joyaryan.com.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN by Amanda Ashby (Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #1)

 He’s the best man and her secret fling—who said being a wedding planner was easy?
FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN
Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #1
Amanda Ashby
Releasing Jan 9th, 2017
Entangled Bliss
 
What’s worse than running into your ex-hookup at the airport? When said ‘hookup” is the best man for the most important wedding of your career, and he’s on the hunt for a fake girlfriend. Between a hysterical bride and a wedding party gone wild, wedding planner Emmy Watson can’t afford any more disasters if she wants to save her beloved Wishing Bridge Farm. Which is why she puts the best man on lockdown. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the one guy who can make her forget everything except the way his kisses make her feel.
 
All Christopher Henderson needs is a fake girlfriend to convince his bosses that his bad boy reputation is a thing of the past so he can land his dream job. What better place to find said companion than at a wholesome vintage wedding. The only thing he didn’t count on was seeing Emmy, the woman who dumped him. The one he hasn’t been able to get off his mind.
There’s no denying the spark between them, but he’s a globetrotter and she’s a homebody, and falling in love is something neither of them has in their plans.
 

“Emmy,” he countered, trying not to be distracted by the delectable sight of her chest rising and falling. “One dance. That’s all I’m asking. For old time’s sake.”

Emmy’s lips twitched, and Christopher could almost see the two sides of her battling before the carefree smile he recognized from their time together in New York appeared. It changed the shape of her face and brought everything about their first meeting slamming into his mind. She stood up, so close that his skin prickled with desire.

“Fine. One dance.”

“Great.” He led her to the small wooden dance floor to the left of where the jazz band was playing. Lewis and Miranda were in the middle, and fanned out all around them were the rest of the bridal party, but all Christopher could see was Emmy.

The music pulsated around them, and even the pale yellow moon above swayed to the beat. He sucked in a breath and pulled her toward him. It was a mistake, and his lungs were filled with the smell of her freshly washed hair and the evening clematis climbing up the crumbling brickwork of the courtyard walls. His arms tightened around her waist, and her bunched, tense muscles seemed to relax as she melted into him. The rest of the world disappeared, and all he was conscious of was her pounding heart as it pressed against his.

This was the woman he’d met two years ago.

And it seems I’m just as helpless around her as I ever was. Which is either a good thing, or a very, very bad one. The verdict’s still out.

As if reading his mind, she turned her face up to him, a soft, suggestive smile tugging at her full mouth. Desire flared through him, and if they were anywhere else he would’ve kissed her without a second’s hesitation. He forced himself to return her smile and simply enjoy the way her body molded his.

It wasn’t until the lead singer announced the name of the next song Christopher even realized the music had stopped. Emmy was the first to recover, and she stepped away, her face flushed and her eyes not quite meeting his.

“Um.” She licked her lips. “I’m not sure that was such a good idea.”

“I hate to disagree with you, but I think it was an excellent idea. And one that should definitely be repeated. You can’t deny that there’s still something between us.” Christopher tried to pull her closer as the next song started, but she folded her arms firmly in front of her. Ironically, it highlighted the soft curves of her body.

At this rate I’m going to need a fire engine to cool me down.

“I’m serious,” she insisted before letting out a soft sigh. “You’re right. There is still something between us, but there’s nowhere it can go. I want to save the farm, and you want to go visit every strange nook and cranny in the universe. Don’t you see? Nothing’s changed.”

“My hair’s longer,” Christopher said, but it was obvious by the way Emmy had pushed her lips into two compact lines, she wasn’t in the joking mood. “I know you like to be organized, and I get that, but aren’t you over thinking this? I mean, shouldn’t we be having the fun first and then move on to the serious conversations about why it would never work?”

“I’m sorry.” The muscles around her jaw tightened. “I think we should just be friends.”

“Friends that do friendly things together? Like dancing?” he asked in a hopeful voice.

“How about friends that help other friends ensure the groom’s brother doesn’t do anything he might regret?” she countered.

Christopher winced. Ouch. He’d been friend-zoned. Logically, she had a point. She hadn’t changed her mind, and he wouldn’t change his, which meant it was for the best.

If only someone could inform my body of the situation.

Cute story! I especially enjoyed Emmy’s inner snark; Ms. Ashby’s “voice” is a lot of fun. I liked Emmy and Christopher together and was rooting for them from the first chapter, and though I was a bit annoyed with Emmy’s sisters’ ‘tudes initially, I’m looking forward to seeing where the author will go with their stories, Bec’s especially.

But…the one aspect of the book I wasn’t crazy about was the romantic conflict. Both his and her “issues” felt a bit like overreaction, and therefore didn’t take a whole lot more than some personal reflection for them to get over. On the one hand, yay, they get together for a cute ending. On the other, frustrating–couldn’t they have taken a chill pill six chapters earlier and saved everyone the angst? Still, this was a cute read from an author I’ll definitely be looking for more of in the future.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

 I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed in the New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age.

Because she’s mysterious, she also writes middle grade books under the name Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES by Stacey Trombley (Off Limits #1)

Pushing the Boundaries (Off Limits #1)
by Stacey Trombley
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen Crush

 

Myra goes to Haiti with one goal: take the photograph that will win a scholarship and prove to her uber-traditional family that she has what it takes to be a photographer instead of a doctor. Her camera has always been her shield against getting too close to anyone, but she didn’t expect the hot teen translator who has an ability to see past her walls.

Elias needs his job as a translator to provide for his siblings. He can’t afford to break the rule forbidding him from socializing with a client. Except this girl Myra insists on going outside the city to capture the perfect picture, and he steps in as her guide in order to keep her safe.

The deeper they travel into the country, the harder they fall for each other. Now they’re both taking risks that could cost each other their dreams.

If they get too close—it could ruin both their lives.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter Two

Elias

The roar of the planes overhead is just another reminder of how insignificant we are in this tiny forgotten country. Stuck. My little brother watches through the chain-link fence, eyes wide, mouth open as they soar over us, so close the air sends ripples through our clothing.

“Kouman rich ou panse yo ye?” he asks without taking his eyes from the huge white plane. How rich do you think they are? I mentally translate to English. I need all the practice I can get. My palms sweat just thinking about it, and my first test is just minutes away.

“Who?” I ask.

He turns to me and blinks his big eyes, his eyebrows high in question. Oh, right.

“Ki moun?” I repeat in Creole so he’ll understand me.

My stomach sinks. I can’t even get this right with my little brother. The whole double language thing is harder than I expected. I need it to be easy if I’m going to be any good at my job.

“Moun nan avyon yo.” The people in the planes!

I shake my head, but he doesn’t see. I explain that there are hundreds of people in those planes. Some are probably rich, and some are probably poor.

“Yo ap toujou pi rich pase nou, dwa?” he asks.

I sigh. If they can afford a plane ticket… “Chans.” Yes, they are likely wealthier than us.

Our world is tiny, a country that is only half an island. To people who can afford a plane, the world is limitless.

My pocket buzzes, making me jump. I fumble with the little plastic device and flip it open. “Hello!” I say, pressing the phone against my face.

“Elias! Pull the van around. They just landed.”

“Yes, Mr. Rowland.”

“Remember that line we talked about? Don’t step over it.”

My head swims. There’s so much for me to remember, but the most important? Don’t get too close to the Americans. Mr. Rowland made it very clear that I’m not one of them and I shouldn’t expect anything from them. If I make any of them uncomfortable I’ll be out of a job faster than one of their huge planes can take off.

“Yes, sir.”

There’s a click and then silence. I put the foreign technology back in my pocket and hope he doesn’t call again.

Luke grabs at my pocket, seeking out the phone, his eyes alight with envy. “Ki jan ou fè jwenn yon telefòn?”

I swat his hand away. The phone is not mine. It’s Mr. Rowland’s. “E si ou kraze li?” What if you break it?

Luke rolls his eyes but then shuffles his feet.

He may only be eight, but he knows what this job means for us. I’m only eighteen, with a chance for the kind of job that will keep his belly full, permanently. Not to mention our mother and sister.

I point across the parking lot and tell him to get to the van. It’s time to work.

Luke’s eyes get big again, and I smile. He runs to the parking lot, fast as a bullet, jumping up and down once he reaches the van. I unlock the door, and he climbs in, looking tiny in the massive vehicle.

We pull up to the front of the airport to wait for the Americans, and I try not to let myself get too worked up. The more nervous I am, the harder this will be.

“Ou jwenn yon telefon, yon ti bis, e al rankontre tou Ameriken yo. Pi bon travay pou lavi!” You get a phone, a van, and get to meet all the Americans. Best job ever.

I roll my eyes and tell him to keep working on his English and maybe he can have a job like this someday, too.

I take in a deep breath. To him, this is an adventure.

To me, it’s dangerous.

 

Review:

Pushing the Boundaries has a fairly unique premise–a Pakistani American girl goes (against her will) with her doctor mother on a service trip to Haiti to work in a medical clinic and becomes involved with their teenaged Haitian interpreter/driver, and problems ensue. Myra and Elias are from different worlds–literally–and it seems as if their relationship can’t realistically be more than a bittersweet memory of a first love experience…or can it?

I enjoyed a look into a different world–like Myra, I wanted to see what Haiti looked like beyond the clinic and rented home she was shuttled between, thought the way she chooses to get out nearly causes more problems than positive experiences. Her self-centeredness and tendency to think of herself first and of others (maybe) second made her difficult to like at times, though she does grow up more toward the end, garnering more sympathy for her character. Elias is much easier to like overall, though his chapters tended to be too short to really get to know him and his life as much as I’d like to.

There’s a touch of insta-love here (though it is their “first love” experience, so that’s not exactly out of character) and I’m still processing how I feel about the way things are left at the end–a too quick and easy solution? The rich Americans coming in and making everything all better?–the jury’s still out on that part. This is being billed as the first in a series, and if the other book(s) are going to continue Myra and Elias’s story, I am interested in seeing where it is going to go.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
Amazon.com.au
Amazon.com.uk
Amazon.ca

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About the Author:

Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list.

Her debut novel Naked released from Entangled Teen in 2015. Find her online at www.StaceyTrombley.com and on twitter @trombolii.

 

Website – http://www.staceytrombley.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Trombolii
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/StaceyTrombleyAuthor
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/trombolii/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/tromboli/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8475704.Stacey_Trombley

Giveaway Information: 

Pushing the Boundaries Prize Pack including:

* Signed copy of Naked by Stacey Trombley

* Signed copy of Pushing the Boundaries by Stacey Trombley

* Haitian Art as shown in the photo

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New Release Review! LEARNING TO RIDE by Erin Knightley (Sunnybell #1)

Learning to Ride
by Erin Knightley

Synopsis:

She never wanted to love a cowboy. . . .

Rodeo king Tanner Callen doesn’t want to be tied down. When he sees Madeline Harper at a local honky-tonk and everything about her screams New York, he brings out every trick in his playbook to take her home. But soon he learns that he doesn’t just want her for a night and, instead, hopes for forever. . . .

Review:

Learning to Ride is short and sweet, though the ending is a bit too rushed to be entirely believable. 129 pages doesn’t quite give enough room (12 pages of the book are essentially advertisements for other BookShots books–both Flames and the regular line) to really flesh out a romance between two people as different as Madeline and Tanner are, though Ms. Knightley does an admirable job of trying. Her characters are likable and the romance is sweet, and Sunnybell, Texas has that charming, small-town feel so popular in fiction today (though Madeline did see a bit of the not-so-charming aspect of it too, when so many of her coworkers knew her business without her even realizing that the entire town had essentially been talking about her. Ah, life in a small-town!) I was looking for a quick read, though, and was curious about the BookShots books that James Patterson wasn’t even pretending to have written himself (yeah, don’t get me started on that topic) so this one fit the bill.

This book serves as a good intro to both the author and the series, even if it isn’t ultimately the most satisfying of romance reads on its own. Book two in the series (The Return) is a second chance romance, a troupe which does tend to do better as a novella, since the characters generally have known each other more than a few weeks before making life-altering decisions based on their relationship, so I’ll definitely give that one a try when it makes its way into our library.

 

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-


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New Release Review and Giveaway! DYLAN by Melissa Foster (Bad Boys After Dark #2, Billionaires After Dark #6)

One night and too much tequila might change their lives forever. 
 
BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: DYLAN
Bad Billionaires After Dark #2
Melissa Foster
Releasing Dec 21st, 2016
World Literary Press
Sinfully sexy bar owner Dylan Bad has a thing for needy women. He’s a savior, a knight in shining armor, and his mighty talented sword has no trouble bringing damsels in distress to their knees.
Enter Tiffany Winters, a gorgeous cutthroat sports agent who looks like sex on legs, fucks like she’s passion personified, and wouldn’t let a man help her if she was hanging onto a ledge and he was her only hope. One night and too much tequila might change their lives forever. The question is, will either one survive?

With her phone pressed to her ear, Tiffany Winters ducked out of the rain and into the Kiss, an eclectic Manhattan bar, to return calls and take care of a mountain of text messages that had piled up during her dinner meeting. She listened to her client’s wife explain why she didn’t want her husband traveling too often to endorse a hotel chain Tiffany was planning on pitching to him next week. Her client had already nixed any mention of his family in the advertisements, and reducing his travel would make it an even harder sell.

“I hear your concern, Allison,” she said as she sat on a barstool. “If you and Matt decide this isn’t the right thing for your family, we’ll turn our efforts in another direction.” As a sports agent, dealing with significant others was part of the job, a part Tiffany enjoyed and other agents rued. Sure, some wives assumed their husband’s success granted them the power to be overly demanding. Ass kissing was part of the game. Sometimes she wished she could give the meeker wives lessons in how to be tough. Teach them to have balls as big as their husbands’ and come right out and say what they meant instead of beating around the bush with bullshit hypotheticals. She reminded herself often that not every woman grew up in a testosterone-laden house with two competitive older brothers and a father who won the Heisman in college and went on to play pro sports—a house where mincing words didn’t cut the mustard.

“You missed the wedding.”

The deep male voice drew Tiffany’s attention from her phone call to the fine specimen of a man standing behind the bar. He looked like he’d just stepped off a Hot Guys in Suits Pinterest page. His tie hung loosely around the collar of his white dress shirt, which was open three buttons deep, revealing a smattering of dark chest hair, a rarity nowadays, when so many men manscaped every inch of their bodies. Tiffany preferred a man to look like a man, which included hair in all the right places. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, exposing heavily corded forearms, and his jacket hung casually from two fingers over his left shoulder. Her fingers itched to send the last few buttons—and that jacket—flying to the floor. The guy’s chiseled jaw and dark eyes were movie-star classic, and his dark hair was thick enough to hang on to. She’d had a long, hard day, and he looked like he could provide a long, hard, pleasure-filled night.

Perfect.

Holding his gaze, she spoke into the phone as he laid his jacket across the bar, giving her the impression he wasn’t the bartender, but rather a guest who’d happened to wander back there. “Allison, I’ll see what else I can come up with and get back to you. Right. Okay, hon. Thank you.” After ending the call, she responded to the stud behind the bar. “Wedding? Who gets married at a bar?”

“My brother, for one.” He nodded across the room to a group of men and women who were holding their glasses up in a toast.

She zeroed in on one she recognized as her tall, dark colleague. “Mick Bad is married?” The high-powered attorney was a workaholic like her, and he’d been unattached two months earlier, when they’d worked together on a deal for one of her clients. She’d never understand couples who claimed to fall in love practically overnight. Love was a crutch for weak people who needed someone else to lean on. Except Mick Bad had never needed anyone to lean on. She wondered if his new bride was pregnant.

“The one and only.” Hot guy’s eyes took a long, luxurious stroll down her body, lingered on her breasts, then roamed north, hovering around her mouth, before finally meeting her gaze. He flashed a wolfish grin full of sinful promises.

“Dylan Bad at your service.”

Pushing thoughts of her newly married colleague’s expedient nuptials aside, she focused on his very available brother. A definite player, which was fine with her. She had no time—or interest—in anything but a quick hookup, and the six-two or -three stud had already shot to the top of tonight’s fantasy list.

“What’s your pleasure?” he asked with more than a hint of innuendo.

You. Naked, with your head buried between my legs, to start.

“Surprise me.” She watched him turn to prepare her drink and checked out the way his dark slacks hugged his perfect ass. It had been a long time since she’d found a man this attractive. But Mick Bad’s brother? That spelled trouble.

Dylan, as part of the After Dark series, is much steamier than a lot of Ms. Foster’s other books–be warned! Cupcake batter may be used for nefarious reasons 😉

Bar owner Dylan Bad is ready to settle down, and on the night of his older brother’s wedding he believes he might have finally met the one. The only problem? Tiffany Winters is already married–to her job as a very successful sports agent. She’s been burned by love before, and anyway, she’s much too busy for anything more time consuming than a one night stand.

Okay, maybe two nights. She’s only human–and he’s Dylan.

It was entertaining watching Dylan do all he could to win Tiffany over–and she made him work for it, not being a flowers and chocolates kind of girl. He never gave up, though, and that was a huge check mark in his favor.

Tiffany had a lot of issues to work through, not only with her fear of relationships but also her need to have total control over every aspect of her business. When she meets Dylan, she’s available to her clients 24/7, and even her vacationing assistant is texting her about business from the beach, with neither of them thinking anything of it. Tiffany spends much of the first few weeks of their relationship waiting for Dylan to be tired of her giving so much of herself to her career and ending things…which (spoiler alert) isn’t going to happen, because romance.

Honestly, though, the whole is-Dylan-going-to-get-tired-of-her-job question is the biggest conflict in the story, and it really doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Tiffany’s really the only person who thinks it’s going to be a problem–the reader isn’t concerned about it, even for a second, because we see things from his POV and we know better. As a result, this is a sweet and steamy story with likable characters, but without a whole lot of dramatic umph.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Don’t miss the BAD who started it all! 

Melissa Foster is a New YorkTimes & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.

 

 

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New Release Review! A SURE THING by Marie Harte (The Donnigans, #1)

A Sure Thing
by Marie Harte

Synopsis:

Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…

Can this Bossy Badass Marine…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life…until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.

Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.

 

Review:

First in a new series (related to another–the Donnigans are cousins to the MacAuley brothers), A Sure Thing is Landon Donnigan and Ava Rosenthal’s story. Landon and Ava are a prime example of opposites attracting–or are they? One thing we find out as the story progresses is that these two have more in common than they think at first.

I really liked Landon. He’s brash, he’s ballsy, and OMG just so gosh-darn charming. When he crashes into Ava’s super-boring date before he even really knows her? An imposition, sure, and you can see how it might be annoying, but dang it, he’s right, and so–well, Landon-like–that it’s hard to really get annoyed. Ava tries her best, but even she can’t admit he’s really wrong in what he’s saying.

And that’s how a lot of the book goes–Landon throws something Ava’s way that should be a major “You did what?” moment, but it ends up being a positive in the end. Yeah, if he were my not-yet or brand-new boyfriend I’d be pretty annoyed with him, but it’s hard to deny that each event ends up well in the end. He’s just so…Landon. And the sex, when they have it? Watch. Out.

Ava can be a bit prickly at times–perfectly justified when Landon’s being a pain, but when she’s sticking to her “list” or running from her true feelings it’s easier to get aggravated with her. I really liked watching her interact with both her cousins (Sadie and Elliot) and Landon’s family, though–it was fun and genuine, especially when she jumped right in with his brothers and sister against their annoying eldest bro. I found myself smiling a lot in those parts.

There aren’t a lot of surprises in this one–overall, it’s pretty predictable–but it is an entertaining read and a great intro to the rest of the series. We see enough of Gavin, Hope, and Theo to really make me, at least, want to see where Ms. Harte is going to take these three en route to their own HEAs.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book

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New Release Review and Giveaway! MORE THAN FRIENDS by Jody Holford (Kendrick Place #1)

What happens when the best friend you’re in love with  asks you to love him back, but only for pretend? 
 
MORE THAN FRIENDS
Kendrick Place #1
Jody Holford
Releasing Dec 5th, 2016
Entangled BLISS

Owen Burnett planned on a quiet, easygoing Christmas, hanging out with his best friend and neighbor, Gabby Michaelson. So when his mom pressures him to come home for the holidays, he tells a little white lie…that he’s spending the holidays with his new girlfriend. But when his family shows up unexpectedly, Owen pulls the best friend card and asks Gabby to play his fake girlfriend.

Gabby’s been hopelessly in love with her best friend Owen for what feels like forever, but playing his “fake” girlfriend when the entire boisterous Burnett clan visits is easier said than done. The more she tries to deny the attraction between them, the more obvious their chemistry becomes. But even though she’s not the only one feeling it, putting their friendship on the line is a risk she can’t take.

Owen thought he’d find Gabby curled up on the oversized chair in his bedroom, sketchbook in hand. He had looked forward to seeing her there like that, he realized. Instead, she was sitting in the middle of his bed, in a pair of pajama shorts and a tank top, laughing at whatever album she seemed to be flipping through.

“Hey,” he said, ignoring the warmth crowding his chest. He shut the door behind him and arched an eyebrow when she slapped the album shut and put it behind her back. No. Mom wouldn’t have…

“Hi.” She scooted back on the bed, pushing the dark blue album, which he now recognized, under the pillow.

“Gabby. What are you doing? You were supposed to be sketching,” he said, advancing.

If it was possible to look down her nose at him while she looked up at him, she managed. “Is that what I was supposed to be doing? I didn’t know I had to confirm my activities with you.”

His legs hit the bed and Gabby’s body tensed, like she was ready to spring from the mattress. With the album, most likely.

His heart dove into his stomach. “Did my mother give you that?”

Her smile started slow then took over her entire face. Her eyes shone with it. She nodded.

Oh, Mom so did. He thrust out his hand. “Give it.”

“Oh, no. It’s too good. There are actual bath shots, O. And the time you dressed up as your sister. And there’s one shot of you learning how to pee standing up,” she said. Her words came out slightly muffled as her hand shot to her mouth to cover the fit of laughter.

He launched himself at the album, but she tugged it away just in time and he landed on top of her. The album went flying to the floor and Gabby laughed, twisting in his arms, trying to get away.

“You think that’s funny?”

She nodded. “I really do. I think I’d like to do a new series. Owen: the younger years. From print to paint.” Gabby’s body convulsed in laughter. She struggled with him as he tickled her and tried to get her to promise never to do such a thing. It didn’t take long for her to cave.

“Okay. I promise. Stop. I promise.”

“Say ‘I swear on my favorite set of brushes to erase all memories of what I saw in Owen’s baby book,’” he said, pinning her hands above her head.

She bit her lip, considering. “Owen, I will never, in my life, forget what I saw in those pictures. In fact, in times of trouble or sadness, I may purposely recall them,” she said. He tickled again, his fingers grazing her breast accidentally on the way up her arm. She squealed. “Okay. Okay.” He paused. “I swear on my favorite set of brushes to never use the images I will forever hold dear as the subject of any of my artwork. Ever.”

Owen stopped fighting his grin. He groaned as he collapsed to the side of her, letting her hands go. “Good enough. I can’t believe she gave you that.”

 

A sweet, friends-to-lovers (holiday) romance!

Owen and Gabby have been best friends for two years, since a few months after they both moved into Kendrick Place, when Owen got the apartment that Gabby, an amateur artist, coveted for its views, windows, and wood floors. When Owen comes up with the suggestion that she pretend to be his fake girlfriend while his family is in town for the holidays (he’d previously told his mother that he’d found “the one” in the hopes of getting her off his back about finding a girlfriend/wife/giving her grandchildren) and offers an apartment switch as incentive, Gabby swallows her misgivings and agrees.

Of course you know before you even get past the first chapter how that is going to go, so really you’re reading the book for the journey as much as the destination. And in this instance, the journey is enjoyable–as long as you can look past a few questionable bits. For example, I get why Owen’s mother, father, elderly aunt, and sister decide to bring Christmas to Owen since he wasn’t going to come home for the holiday. But why do they decide to stay with him in his two bedroom apartment (and only one of those bedrooms actually has a bed) instead of getting rooms in a nearby hotel? It seems throwing our hero and heroine into closer, more awkward quarters is the only real reason. Their friends-to-lovers romance is a delicious troupe–add in the fact that Gabby’s been secretly in love with him for most of their friendship and he’s totally oblivious (squee!)–so much potential. All good things. BUT almost the second she agrees to his whole plot, Owen suddenly realizes that Gabby’s a woman. And desirable. And okay, the whole having-your-eyes-opened-to-the-truth bit is a staple to the troupe, but there really isn’t any catalyst for it here beyond him asking her to be his fake girlfriend. He does, and wham! he notices that she’s a gorgeous woman and he’s actually attracted to her. Um, okay…

Then there’s all the background noise. On the one hand, Owen’s other friend Brady and the mysterious Wyatt (whom Gabby befriends) engender enough interest to make me hope they’re getting their own stories, since they all live in the series’ titular Kendrick Place. On the other hand, the side plots with slimy apartment manager Jake, the broken into storage spaces, the missing box, and the almost-broken-into mailboxes feel neither fully developed nor completely resolved in the end. Will they be further addressed in later series books? Maybe. It’s hard to say, and those bits make the story feel a somewhat unfinished.

And, argh–where are Owen’s glasses on that cover? Sigh…

Still, Owen and Gabby are sweet together, and their developing romance makes for some akwardly cute moments. Though this story wasn’t without its flaws, it has accomplished its job of making me anticipate future books in the series.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile. 
 

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! SEASIDE WHISPERS by Melissa Foster

Will their whispers of love be enough for one of them  to change their life forever?
SEASIDE WHISPERS
Seaside Summers #8
Melissa Foster
Releasing Nov 30th, 2016

Having a mad crush on her boss’s son, Matt Lacroux—an intriguing mix of proper gentleman and flirtatious bad boy—is probably not the smartest idea for single mother Mira Savage. Especially when the company, and her job, is already on shaky ground. But as a Princeton professor, Matt’s life is hours away from Mira’s home on Cape Cod, keeping him safely in the fantasy-only zone. And as a single mother to six-year-old Hagen, with a floundering company to save, fantasies are all she has time for.

With hopes of becoming dean off the table, and too many months of longing for a woman who lived too far away to pursue, Matt’s publishing contract couldn’t have come at a better time. He heads home to Cape Cod on a brief sabbatical, intent on starting his book, and finally getting his arms around sweet, seductive Mira.

A surprise encounter leads to white-hot passions and midnight confessions. The more time Matt and Mira spend together, the deeper their relationship grows, and the love and attention Matt showers on Hagen is more than she has ever dreamed of. But Matt’s sabbatical is only temporary, and Mira’s not saving his father’s company so she can leave it behind. Will their whispers of love be enough for one of them to change their life forever?

tastytoursexcerpt

Chapter One

MATT LACROUX NEEDED a shower, a vacation, and to figure out what the hell he was doing with his life—in that order. And sex. Sex would be good. It had been a long time since he’d had a warm, willing woman in his bed instead of a research project to work on, papers to grade, or notes to coordinate on the book he was writing. In fact, now that he was thinking about it, he might move sex up to the top of his list—if he didn’t have someone else’s blood on his hands.

He tugged off his torn shirt, tossed it in the hamper, and turned on the shower. He’d been back on Cape Cod for less than three hours and had already broken up a fight between drunken college kids over by the Bookstore Restaurant, where he’d eaten dinner and thought he would write for a while. Maybe he should have done what so many other professors did when they took a sabbatical and gone to a nice resort somewhere, or holed up in a mountain cabin. He could have stayed at his cottage on Nantucket, but he missed his family, and his father wasn’t getting any younger. Plus, his siblings’ joint wedding was only two months away. It was taking place on their mother’s birthday, to honor her memory. It was time to reconnect.

His mind drifted to the other person he’d like to reconnect with, Mira Savage, his father’s employee and the woman who had been occupying Matt’s thoughts since he met her last summer at his younger brother Grayson’s engagement party. They’d spent the entire day together with her adorable son, Hagen. He’d seen her half a dozen times since, during brief visits home. They’d taken Hagen to the park together and a few other places, although they’d never gone on an official date. They’d exchanged occasional texts over the weeks in between, but that was as far as it had gone. It being Matt’s attraction to a woman who lived too many hours away to get involved with. Mira wasn’t the type of woman whose life he could complicate with intermittent encounters. She was a selfless woman who put her son and others first. The type of woman who blushed when he got too close. The type of woman a man took the time to get to know—almost a year, that’s pretty damn long—to show her she could trust him, a woman who should be taken care of and protected but not smothered. And she was the only woman he’d like to undress slowly, loving every inch of her incredible body until she was trembling with need and slick as a baby seal. Keeping himself in check had been like dancing on hot coals, but he’d never stopped thinking about the sexy single mother and her inquisitive son.

He stripped off his slacks and stepped into the shower, turning the faucet to cold now that he was hot and bothered over Mira. He closed his eyes and exhaled a long breath. One thing at a time.

The water shifted from his head to his back, and Matt looked up at the faucet, which promptly fell, clipping his cheekbone.

“Ouch! What the—” He grabbed his cheek and pulled away from the water spraying in all directions from the broken spigot. Perfect. Just perfect. He washed the fresh blood from his fingers and quickly rinsed off.

He stepped from the shower and dried off, eyeing the offending fixture. The damn thing had a crack around the housing and rust on the inside. He’d rented his friends’ cottage in the Seaside community for the summer. The place was in great shape, but things like showerheads were easy to miss when renovating. It was after nine o’clock, and Amy and Tony had a little girl. Matt wasn’t about to bother them about a freaking bathroom fixture. He pulled on clean clothes and called his father, who owned Lacroux Hardware Store.

“Hey, Pop. Is the electronic code to your shop still Mom’s birthday?” His father had been talking about retiring lately. The hardware store was meant to be the family legacy, passed down to one of his five children, only none of them wanted to take it over. But right this very moment, Matt had never been so glad that his father was in the hardware business. The Cape wasn’t big on chain stores. The closest Home Depot or Target was a good forty minutes away.

“Yes. What’s wrong?”

“I need a showerhead for Tony’s place.”

“Want me to run one up to you?”

Neil Lacroux would do anything for his children—even though they were all grown up. Matt knew he’d been lonely since their mother passed away unexpectedly from an aneurysm a few years ago, which was another reason he’d chosen to come back home during his sabbatical. He made a mental note to stop by the store and visit with him.

“I’ve got it, Pop. Sorry to bother you.”

The drive to Orleans took only a few minutes. Even though Matt had grown up on the Cape, it always took him a day or two to adjust to being out of the city. Slacks and button-downs were replaced with shorts and tank tops, people moved at a more relaxed pace, and no matter how far from the beach he was, sand was ever-present. Sand in the grass, sand on the floors, sand on the seat of his car—and he hadn’t even been to the beach yet.

He punched in the code to the security keypad, and the minute he was inside the dark store, he heard it. Tap, tap, tap. He froze, every neuron on high alert, and listened. Tap, tap, tap, tap, pause, tap, tap, tap. It was coming from his father’s office. His arms instinctively flexed, preparing for a fight. He moved swiftly and silently to the office door and listened to the incessant tapping. Dad’s calculator?

He pushed the door open, and his body flooded with awareness at the sight of Mira sitting at the desk, her fingers flying over the calculator. Maybe this was his lucky night after all.

Her hand flew to her chest. “Matt…?” His name came out all breathy. “You scared me. I had no idea you were in town.”

Because I made a point of wanting to surprise you, although not exactly like this.

“Sorry about that, sunshine. I just got in a little while ago. I came to get a showerhead.” He walked into the small office, taking in the ledger on the desk, illuminated by his father’s ancient single-bulb lamp, and the family photos thumbtacked to the wall. He noticed a new photograph front and center, a picture of Hagen holding a fishing rod with a little sunfish dangling from the line. He knew how much Mira and Hagen meant to his father, but seeing Hagen’s photo among their family’s brought the full impact home. He shifted his gaze to Mira, and as the shock of his arrival wore off, a beautiful smile spread across her face. There it was, the brightness that had hooked him all those months ago. The sweet look of innocence and rebellious I-can-take-on-the-world confidence in her gorgeous eyes. She had no idea what she did to him.

“Sunshine,” she whispered, and shook her head.

“You can’t deny the way you light up everything around you.” He’d given her the nickname last summer because she had such a positive outlook on life.

“You should see me before I have coffee in the mornings.”

I’d like that more than you know.

“A showerhead? Let me show you where they are.” She pushed to her feet, nearly bumping into his chest in the close quarters. Her chestnut hair tumbled sexily over her shoulders as she stood before him, one hand perched over his chest, the other reaching up to touch his cheek. “What happened?”

Their attraction had been immediate and intense last summer and had only grown stronger with each subsequent visit—at least he knew it had for him. For months he’d buried any hope of exploring their connection beneath classes and research papers. Now, as she gazed into his eyes, all those heated memories came rushing back.

“I was assaulted by the old one.”

“Ouch.” She grimaced, and the spray of freckles on the bridge of her nose rose with the effort.

He hadn’t been able to get that cute mannerism out of his head when he’d gone back to Princeton, and damn, did he like seeing it again.

“You might need a stitch.” Her fingers lingered on his skin, warm and soft.

He covered her hand with his, pressing it to his cheek. “It’s nothing, really.”

She nibbled nervously on the corner of her mouth. “I’ll just…” She pointed out of the office, and her hand slid from beneath his. Her breasts brushed against his arm as she walked away, stirring more of that same dark attraction.

There was no shortage of women vying for Matt’s attention. From coeds to faculty, he could have his pick back in Princeton, and the choices were just as plentiful here at the Cape. But the only woman he saw when he closed his eyes at night was heading down aisle seven of his father’s hardware store.

tastytoursreview
Another sweet, sexy read from Ms. Foster!

It’s easy to fall for Mira, Matt, and Hagen (Mira’s precocious six-year-old son). They are just so adorable together, and grow more adorable as the story continues. (A six-year-old who wants to spend his vacation visiting libraries and the boyfriend who’s going to take him. Seriously, this has to be fiction, right? ;))

For fans of the series, I’m pretty sure every other Seaside Summers couple makes an appearance in this one, as usual. If you haven’t read all or any of them, no worries, because Whispers works just fine as a standalone. It’ll be next to impossible to keep straight who’s married to whom and which kid(s) belong to them, but really, that’s the only issue. It’s kind of like briefly spending time at someone else’s family party–you don’t really know that many people, but they’re all so friendly and having such a good time you pretty much just go with the flow.

Speaking of going with the flow…that’s really my only criticism of this one. There’s a whole lot of smooth sailing going on throughout, without really much in the way of tension or drama. It’s pretty clear from page one that Matt and Mira have it bad for each other and that Hagen’s not going to have a problem with his mom’s new guy. Sure, there’s the question of Matt’s and Mira’s jobs, but those are resolved without much fuss or worry and neither the reader nor the characters are in much suspense about it. A few times someone tries to muster up some concern about it (mostly Mira) but it’s kind of hard to really take it seriously, because, really. Matt’s been complaining about doing research and grading papers since page one. It’s pretty obvious where he’s going with that decision.

So, if you want a book with a strong conflict that tests its characters and puts readers through the wringer, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a sweet and gentle story with the added spice of some pretty sexy scenes, give it a try. And if you’re a fan of the series anyway? It’s pretty much a no-brainer.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book

 

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.  

 

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