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! SO GOOD by Darcy Burke (Love on the Vine #1)

So Good
by Darcy Burke

Synopsis:

Cameron Westcott has spent eight years recovering from heartbreak by keeping romantic entanglements casual and simple. He’s never minded being called a manwhore, but after two years immersing himself in his new winery, he might be ready for the next chapter. Especially when he meets a sexy wine distributor—only she says she isn’t interested.

Following a bitter divorce, Brooke Ellis relocated to Ribbon Ridge to rebuild her life. Things will never be the same for her, and she’s coming to terms with that reality when she meets charming, persistent Cam. She can’t imagine a happy ever after given his reputation, but he makes her feel so good.

As the sparks between them intensify, they’re both hesitant to commit for very different reasons. Or are they really just sabotaging their own futures? If they can trust each other—and themselves—they may realize that what they share is too good to let slip away.

 

Review:

A highly satisfying contemporary romance!

Newly divorced, Brooke isn’t interested in a relationship, and especially not one with Cameron, who has a reputation for being a player. Cameron, however, has been trying to rebuild his life lately–and make his business venture with his brothers and best friend a success–and has no interest in his old, manwhorish ways. He does, however, have an intense interest in Brooke…now he just needs to convince her of it!

Fun characters, a nice romance, and the tidbits about wine and wineries made this an entertaining read. It’s the first in a new series, but connected to her Ribbon Ridge books (which I’ve only read a few of, but will remedy soon)–it’s a good place to start with this author’s contemporary series if you haven’t read any yet.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

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New Release Review! AGORAPHOBIC: INSIDE OUT A Short Story by Sara Secora

Agoraphobic: Inside Out by Sara Secora
A short story – 11 pages
Release Date: January 30th 2017

Summary:

28-year-old Kade hasn’t been able to make it past his sidewalk in eight years. In this chilling short story, you will be given a glimpse into the inner workings of his mind as he goes through the process of trying to face his irrational, but very real fears.

Experience firsthand what goes on in an Agoraphobic’s mind and begin to understand the silent disorder that millions of people across the world struggle with.

Review:

Agoraphobic: Inside Out is a very short short story that gives a fairly intense look into the mind of a man who hasn’t gone more than 15 steps from his front door in years. I really connected with the main character Kade–Ms. Secora did a great job of making us see and feel things as he saw and felt them. Actually, at one point I was a tad bit concerned about just how much I started to identify with him…I had to take a quick walk outside, just to prove I could!

This is a very short story, but based on its impact I would definitely pick up a longer work from the author!

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

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About the Author:

Sara Secora has a passion for all things gamer and nerdy, as evidenced on her YouTube channel, AviGaming. She is also a well-branded voice over artist.

Secora has always been in love with writing, and nearly a decade ago, she finally turned her talents to the arduous endeavor of authoring an exciting fantasy trilogy. Her whimsical stories are full of enchantment, mystique, and insight—destined to intrigue readers of any age.

Secora lives in Detroit, Michigan, where she continues to explore old and new avenues for her talent and hard work.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! MASTERING HER SENSES by Laura Kaye (Blasphemy #2)

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Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

 12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

About MASTERING HER SENSES (Blasphemy #2, 2/21/17):

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…
When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

Review:

This one seems to be getting mixed reviews, but I liked it quite a bit. Cassia had some fairly heavy duty phobias that had pretty much caused her to put her life on hold for two years, and watching Quinton throw himself into figuring out how to help her overcome them (in an erotic/D/s kind of way) was sweet. And…not sweet at the same time 😉

It did feel a bit rushed at times–Cass and Quinton did have a history, but we didn’t really get to see it, and they moved a bit quickly to declarations at the end (though the intensity of their…ahem, other scenes might contribute to that somewhat)–but it wasn’t outside the realm of believability. And whoa, was Quinton ever creative… 😀

Though several of Blasphemy’s other owners made appearances (along with a few characters from other series), this one worked just fine as a standalone. Ten more Doms to go!

Rating: 4 stars /B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

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Books in Series:
Hard to Serve #.5
Bound to Submit #1
Mastering Her Senses #2 – 2/21/17
Eyes on You #3 – 7/11/17

 

Laura Kaye - headshotAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

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February 27th

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ANY BOY BUT YOU by Julie Hammerle (North Pole, MN #1)

Any Boy but You
North Pole, Minnesota #1
by Julie Hammerle
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled: Crush

 

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.

Review:

A super-cute modern YA version of You’ve Got Mail (or technically, of the original–The Shop Around the Corner) with a bit of Romeo and Juliet feuding families-style drama added in, I really liked Any Boy But You. Both Oliver and Elena had their less-than-sympathetic moments–he was pretty judgmental at first on nothing more than his dad’s say-so, and she was over-the-top nasty at times, but that just made everything all the more sweet when they realized the errors of their ways, got a clue, and went above and beyond to make things better.

The ending was a bit rushed–we don’t get a whole lot of satisfactory Oliver and Elena time before the final page–but it’s pegged as the first in a new series, so fingers crossed that we’ll see plenty of them together and being cute in the books that are to come.

(Is it wrong to say I was about ready to cheer for the Chinese restaurant that insisted on calling itself “The Chinese Restaurant” instead of “Away in a Lo Mein-ger”, though? Because those Christmas-themed business names got to be a bit much at times…)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Amazon | Indies | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Follow the tour here!

About the Author:

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which was published by Entangled Teen in 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! GUARDIAN OF SECRETS by Brenda Drake (Library Jumpers #2)

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2)
by Brenda Drake
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

 

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

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Indies
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
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Review:

Books acting as portals to libraries around the world, transporting magical knights through them in order to save the world?

Yes, please!

Guardian of Secrets is the second book in the Library Jumpers series, and definitely not the one to start with. There’s too much going on, too many characters and plot threads already happening at that point–and book 2 takes everything to an all new level. A major character’s going to be under a spell, other characters aren’t going to make it into book 3, and Gia’s going to be involved in a significant love triangle–so. Much. Going. On. I feel like I need another week to process it all…and I should probably re-read before book 3 comes out…

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Also in the series:

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17669243-thief-of-lies

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

 

About the Author:

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Website – http://www.brenda-drake.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/brendadrake
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenda-Drake/171424269657164
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Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012713.Brenda_Drake

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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…

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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! WORTH THE WAIT by AJ Pine (Kingston Ale House #4)


WORTH THE WAIT
by AJ Pine
Kingston Ale House #4
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Contemporary Romance

 

Synopsis:

I like to think of myself as a man of pleasure…I enjoy a good pint of ale, being in the arms of a beautiful woman, and living by my own rules. The only thing I try to avoid? Commitment. And I’ve got a three-year success rate to prove it.

I wasn’t planning on Grace—the beautiful, funny, totally off-limits massage therapist who keeps popping up in my life. She’s on a six-month mission to rid her life of toxins. No alcohol. No red meat. And, yeah, no men. I’m talking full-on man cleanse.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t…and the only way to keep her in my life is to live by her rules. I’ll need to prove to a woman who’s lost all trust in men that I’m worthy of her love. And do it all without so much as a single kiss.

The only problem? If I win, I’ll lose the one thing I swore I’d never give up. My heart.

Excerpt:

“Grace, honey, I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”

Grace opened her mouth to respond, but the woman cut her off, turning to Jeremy.

“And who’s your tall drink of ginger ale? I thought you were off the man sauce for now. Or is that episode over? Because if it’s not, please tell me you’re keeping him around for when it is. And— Oh! Did you try the Pink Bullet we talked about last time, or are you still relying on the showerhead?”

Jeremy coughed while Grace maintained complete and utter composure despite the woman who must be her Realtor discussing, on the sidewalk, whether or not Grace masturbated.

“What?” the woman added. “Life is too short for mental filters. Say what you want or keep your mouth shut. You keep things bottled up inside, and you’re liable to explode.” She winked. “Yet another reason for the Pink Bullet.”

He raised a brow, intrigued by what his new friend might say in response.

Grace simply let out a long breath. “Lisa,” she said, nodding toward him. “This is my friend, Jeremy. Jeremy, Lisa’s the Realtor who, thankfully, has not leased this place out to anyone else, yet. We’ve known each other as long as I’ve been eyeing it, so she’s kind of privy to the whole cleanse situation.”

Lisa crossed her arms and gave Jeremy the once-over. “God, you two would make fantastic-looking children.” She shook her head. “What a waste. And no, for all the condos I sell, I cannot unload this property. It’s like it’s waiting for our Gracie here.”

He grinned at the sound of the nickname. He bet other people got to call her that, people who knew the real her—all of her. People with whom she spoke freely about her sex life—or lack thereof—and whether or not she pleasured herself.

His dick twitched inside his jeans. Traitor. But how could he blame it? He was conjuring images of Grace touching herself in places that were off-limits to the entirety of the male species, and it was enough to drive him mad.

Friends, he reminded himself, then tried to drum up an antidote.

Nana bringing him cookies when he had the chicken pox as a child.

Nope. That just made him realize he was hungry for something other than kale and that he was still horny.

His ninth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Field. Shit. No. Wrong choice. She was actually kind of hot.

Nurse Elsa, the one who always gave him the flu shot at his old pediatrician’s office. She had that mole above her lip with that one lone hair growing out of it…Yes!

He glanced down at his pants, feeling himself soften.

At ease, soldier.

Review:

Worth the Wait was a sweet story about two people who have been badly burned in relationships finding love again.

Jeremy and Grace have no interest in relationships when they first meet, or when they meet again, or once again. Wait, is the universe trying to tell them something, perhaps? 😉

I really liked the two of them together–so cute!–and loved that Grace’s “cleanse” meant that for 90% of the book their relationship had nothing more physical than the occasional kiss on a forehead or hand. (And some phone calls…but they don’t technically count as getting “physical”, right? ;)) It made for some very sweet moments and meant that the two of them really got to know each other without all of the physical stuff muddying the waters.

Or…did it? There was a bit more confusion/questioning of feelings toward the end than I’d expected–though some of that was each of them doubting themselves, rather than doubting the other one–and I’m still not 100% why Jeremy and Grace didn’t take care of what needed to be taken care of before the hospital visit took place (since we learn about the ER visit and non-kiss in the prologue, I’m not really spoiling anything here–it’ll drive you crazy for most of the book anyway) though I do admit that the circumstances came together to make a pretty memorable resolution overall. It was–wait for it–Worth the Wait. 😉

The Kingston Ale House books all work pretty well as standalones–ironically, the only one in the series that I have yet to read is Jeremy’s sister’s book ( Three Simple Words), but you’d better believe I’ll remedy that as soon as I can. Since this is the last in the series, all of the other couples make appearances here; if you haven’t read their books yet, no worries, but I can’t guarantee you won’t want to read them before you get to the last page.

But that’s what TBR lists are for, right? 😉

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE KINGSTON ALE HOUSE SERIES!
three-simple-words-cover
Synopsis:
She’s holding out for a happy ever after.
Annie
I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.
Wes
The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league.
Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.

 

Six Month Rule New Cover

Synopsis:

She created the game, but the rules are about to change.

The second I met Will Evans in his three-piece suit with that hot as hell British accent, I wanted him.

That is…until he insulted my shoes and stole my corner office.

Now I have to work side-by-side with the surly British arsehole who just set my career back six months.

It’s fine. That accent won’t get to me, no matter how sexy it sounds when he asks permission to do things professionals shouldn’t do. On the couch. In the corner office I still wish was mine.

Maybe we can’t keep our hands off each other, but I’m sure as hell not falling for a guy who lives an ocean away. Because in six months, he’s leaving for good.

I don’t do broken hearts, but you know what they say…

There’s a first time for everything.

Each book in the Kingston Ale House series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

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the-one-that-got-away-1-cover

 

Synopsis:

How far will one man go for the woman he’s loved since high school?

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler’s best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they’ve had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.

But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he’s been by her side all along.

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ABOUT AJ PINE:

aj-pine

AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires and superheroes. And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE TATTERED GLOVES by J.L. Berg

ttg-amazonAbout THE TATTERED GLOVES:

Head down.
Don’t look up. 
Never make eye contact.

Those were the words I lived by growing up, the words that protected me in an unsafe home. But words are only letters and eventually even they couldn’t keep his hands off me.

Hoping to leave behind the shattered life of my past, I find myself in a boring, small town, with an aunt I’ve never met and at a school I loathe.

But soon I learn, not everything in this world is as black and white as I’ve determined. Sometimes those we are so quick to judge often need a second, third or even fourth time to make a first impression.

And often, there are friendships and even love waiting just around the corner, if we are brave enough to take the first step.

Am I brave? Or will I hide behind these tattered gloves of mine forever?

Add THE TATTERED GLOVES to your to be read shelf on Goodreads!

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Review:

The Tattered Gloves is a sweet story about bravery, overcoming your past, and finding a family. It deals with some very heavy and adult subjects–especially the reasons behind Willow’s wearing the titular accessories–but doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail about them for the most part.

Overall I was okay with this–if you’re looking for a grittier, more “real” story, though, this isn’t it–the only glossing over that really gave me pause was how quickly everything was wrapped up in the end. It seemed almost too painless and easy, not that I wanted things to be harder for Willow, her aunt, and her friends, but it lost a bit of its realism at that point, I thought.

On the whole, though, I did enjoy this book. Willow, Sam, Addy, and Allison are great characters, and people I could definitely see myself getting along with in real life. I mean, Willow’s named after a Buffy character, and Sam’s trying to save his family’s bookstore–what’s not to love there? It was easy to root for them to have a happy ending in the end.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About J.L. Berg

J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series, The Walls Duet, and the Lost & Found Duet. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! GIVING IT ALL by Christi Barth (Naked Men #3)

Giving It All
by Christi Barth
Series: Naked Men, #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 17, 2017

Logan Marsh never stays in one place for long. Through his family’s foundation, Logan spends his days traveling to the world’s most dangerous places to deliver disaster relief, which really puts a damper on his sex life—until he reconnects with his high-school crush. Stranded together in the Caribbean, they enjoy a steamy fling that awakens feelings Logan has ignored for too long. But family drama calls him away from her sweet embrace . . . or so he thinks.

Brooke Gallagher loved being a home economics teacher and cheerleading coach. Then an unexpected tragedy forced her to take some time off. Now she’s back in D.C. and despite the intensity of her tropical encounter with Logan, she’s shocked to bump into him again. Logan’s dealing with his own issues (including a newly discovered half-sister) and he’s itching to get back on the road. More than anything, Brooke wants to be there for him. But first, he has to decide if love is enough to keep him in one place.

 

 

Logan’s book!

Ms. Barth has been driving me crazy with the idea of Logan–we’ve only seen him so far in the books either in flashbacks to their Italy adventure (which, as he was the one who didn’t make the bus that day, he was barely in either, until the one in this book), conversations about him, or in a small handful of sat phone calls in book two ( Wanting It All ). I’ve been more than ready to finally get to see him in person!

In a lot of ways, Logan’s book does not disappoint. It was awesome seeing all of the ACSs together again at last–finally!–and about time Logan joined in on both their soccer games and the radio podcast. Logan and Brooke together are a great couple–(high school) friends-to-lovers–and it was clear to everyone but them for about 85% of the book (okay, maybe 75% for Brooke, 95% for Logan–that average works out, yes?) that they should be together. But…there’s issues. Of course.

I think it’s pretty clear from the beginning that Logan’s been carrying some heavy-duty baggage from the accident/rescue in the Alps days, and it’s still driving him in the present. Early in the book he pooh-poohs the idea that he’s suffering from PTSD or similar, but I think he really is–and worry that the “realizations” he comes to toward the end of the book are too quick and not built on a solid enough foundation. Yes, he gets to where readers and his fellow characters want him to be, but it doesn’t quite seem like he’s done enough to really get there on his own.

But, hey–it’s fiction. It could work. And really, I do like both Logan and Brooke and enjoyed their story on the whole, easy resolution aside. It’s always fun to see one of my favorite cities from the viewpoint of a group of locals, and imagining those ACS soccer games makes for some nice mental eye candy moments.

Two more “Naked Men” to go!

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

 

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.