New Release Review and Giveaway! SECOND CHANCE GIRL by Susan Mallery (Happily, Inc. #2)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances Susan Mallery, comes the second standalone title in the Happily, Inc. Series—SECOND CHANCE GIRL! You’re invited to visit Happily, Inc., a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale. Where people live… wait for it… happily ever after.
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SECOND CHANCE GIRL Synopsis:

From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Susan Mallery, read the second irresistible installment in the Happily Inc series!

Mathias Mitchell’s easy smile hides a world of hurt. After the worst kind of family betrayal, he moves to Happily Inc., California—the wedding destination town supplies a steady stream of bridesmaids, perfect for his “no promises, no pain” lifestyle. Yet he can’t stop watching for his beautiful, elusive neighbor on the animal preserve behind their homes.

Gamekeeper Carol Lund knows she’s not special enough to attract an alpha male like Mathias, so his offer to help her adopt a herd for her lonely giraffe is surprising—and his determined seduction, even more so. But just as she finally welcomes him into her bed, his careless actions crush her heart. Will she give him a second chance to prove she’ll always come first in his heart?

Don’t miss You Say It First, the first book in the Happily Inc series.

Get your copy of SECOND CHANCE GIRL here!
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Excerpt:

Getting kicked in the stomach by a gazelle was never pleasant, but at one-thirty in the morning, it was especially hard to take. Carol Lund glared at Bronwen and the gazelle glared right back.

“You don’t get to have attitude, young lady,” Carol told her. “I’m not the one who insisted on going out by the rocks. I’m not the one who got scraped up, yet here I am, in the middle of the night, checking on your leg to make sure you don’t have an infection.”

Bronwen was notably unimpressed by Carol’s presence and dedication. She stomped her front hooves and turned away.

“You say that now,” Carol grumbled. “But just wait until feeding time. Suddenly I’m your best friend. You’re incredibly fickle.”

Carol packed up her supplies. Bronwen’s leg seemed to be healing nicely. With luck she wouldn’t require a second night’s visit tomorrow and Carol could catch up on the sleep she was missing.

She left the gazelle barn and started for her Jeep. The night was clear and cool and there were a million stars in the sky. While Carol would have preferred that Bronwen hadn’t been injured and that they’d both been able to sleep through the night, she had to admit that staring at the perfect sky was a very cool compensation. If she didn’t look at the horizon, or try to pick out individual constellations, she could be anywhere in the world—literally. Because the night sky was a constant.

Oh, sure, there were differences between the hemispheres and at certain times of the year, but still…stars!

She climbed in her Jeep and drove toward her small bungalow, then pulled onto the shoulder before she got there and cut the engine and lights. She got out of the Jeep, sank down onto the ground and gave herself over to the nighttime view.

It was October in the desert which meant warm days and pleasant nights. Rain was an unlikely possibility—that was more a spring-summer thing. The closest town was Happily Inc and it wasn’t all that huge, so it wasn’t hard to get away from the streetlights and into true darkness. Here, on the road, she was flanked by the mountains and the golf course, with the rolling hills of the Happily Inc Animal Preserve just behind her. And the stars.

She draped her jacket on the ground so she could lie down and get the best view of the wonder overhead. She had no idea how long she’d been lying there when a pair of headlights cut through the darkness and briefly illuminated her.

Carol sat up as a swoopy midnight-blue Mercedes sedan pulled in behind her Jeep.

Of all the gin joints in all the world, she thought. She watched a tall, dark-haired man step out of his car and walk toward her. It had to be after two in the morning, yet Mathias Mitchell looked more alert than sleepy. No doubt the lingering effects of the hunt, takedown and getting laid.

 

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Review:

Second Chance Girl, second in the Happily, Inc. series, actually has two love stories in it (see the theme they have going on there?) Carol and Mathias are the main one, but Carol’s sister Violet (the fashion/button girl, if you’ve read book one) has her own as well–a fact which I both loved and was bummed about, loved because OMG an enemies-to-lovers with a British duke and was bummed because darn it, why didn’t they get their own book? Oh well…

For fans of the Fool’s Gold series, this book has even more of a crossover going on than book one did, which is sure to thrill. (There’s a wedding! Plus, some famous personages from that place may make appearances.) We learn more of the drama that is the Mitchell family here (none of which is designed to make you like its patriarch at all…though his wife has a dog who likes to keep things interesting) and get a close up view of life with Carol’s wildlife preserve and the infamous (giraffe) Millie. Carol and Mathias are a cute couple, though her internal monologue of “I’m not special” was a bit annoying after a while. Luckily her sister’s romance was all that is adorable and more than enough to keep me turning the pages happily.

(Oops…pun not exactly intended there…but I’m not going to delete it either ;))

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Did you read book one in the series, YOU SAY IT FIRST?

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About Susan Mallery:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. She’s best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her online at SusanMallery.com.

 

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Susan Mallery’s SECOND CHANCE GIRL – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

September 18th

A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt

Fire and Ice Book Reviews – Review

Little Bookworm Reviews – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt

September 19th

Collector of book boyfriends – Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Mama She’s Crazy About Books – Review

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

September 20th

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

It’s all About the Romance – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

Stephanie’s Book Reports – Review & Excerpt

September 21st

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

Reading Reality – Review

Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance – Excerpt

September 22nd

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review

Romancing the Readers – Review

September 23rd

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

OMGReads – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

September 24th

E-Romance News – Excerpt

K.T. Castle – Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Nicole’s Book Musings – Review & Excerpt

September 25th

For the love of romance – Review & Excerpt

Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – Review & Excerpt

Smokin Hot Reads Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 26th

Always a happy ever after – Review & Excerpt

Bookishly Yours – Excerpt

Cesya MaRae Cuono, Author – Excerpt

Lattes & Paperbacks – Review & Excerpt

September 27th

Loves Great Reads Blog – Excerpt

Pervy Ladies Books – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review

Thoughts of a Blonde – Excerpt

September 28th

I’m A Book Shark – Review & Excerpt

Romantic Reads and Such – Excerpt

Tales From A Bookworm – Review & Excerpt

September 29th

Gataleitora – Review

Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt

Remarkablylisa – Review & Excerpt

TBR Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 30th

A geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

Sofia Loves Books – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review

October 1st

Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

Shannon’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review

October 2nd

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

From the TBR PIle – Review & Excerpt

Living In Our Own Story – Review & Excerpt

Booknerd1107 – Review & Excerpt

October 3rd

Katy and Zetti’s Book Ramblings – Excerpt

I love My Bookgasms blog – Review & Excerpt

Readaholic – Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 4th

Booked All Night – Review & Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review & Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More – Review

Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Review & Excerpt

October 5th

Book Reviews By Lexi – Review

Mean Girls Luv Books – Review & Excerpt

The bookworm chronicles – Excerpt

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 6th

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review & Excerpt

Shelf_Life – Review & Excerpt

 

New Release and Giveaway! CHRISTMAS AT THE LAKE by Charlotte Blake (Great Escapes #2)

Christmas at the Lake
Charlotte Blake
(Great Escapes, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes love gets forgotten …

Hugely successful Lexi Stuart is used to guys pursuing her, but for all the wrong reasons. Sure, she’s beautiful and rich, but the men in her life never seem to want anything more serious than just sex. It’s a stark reality she’s become used to.

As a code writer in Silicon Vally, Adam Hunt doesn’t have to worry about money. And as a heartthrob in general, he doesn’t need to worry about attracting women, either. But when he meets Lexi during a Christmas holiday in Lake Tahoe, he’s floored that she won’t give him the time of day after one wild night together.

Now, this sports bum is about to take Lexi on the ride of her life. All she needs to do is hang on!

NOTE: This STAND-ALONE romance contains very steamy love scenes. All of the books in the Great Escapes series can be read in any order.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She knew she should have waited to drive over the pass to Lake Tahoe, but she just didn’t have that sort of patience. The snow was practically a blizzard now, and she pulled off to the side of the road where men waited to put on chains for motorists. She rolled down the window of her Tesla SUV, the crack just wide enough to slip the man a couple of bills.

“Chains are in the back.”

She rolled the window up again, wiping the snowflakes off her leather seats.

She was so ready for a break that she’d ignored the weather warnings and driven up on her own, purposely leaving her laptop at home. Now, if she didn’t get over the pass soon, she’d be sleeping in the car.

The hatch opened, and two men took out the boxes of chains she had stashed there. It was illegal to travel up this road without them; her brother, Jack, had reminded her of this, and she’d sent her assistant out to purchase a pair for the trip.

A frigid breeze blew through the car as the men closed the hatch, making her shiver a little. She pulled out a scarf from her bag and, wrapping it around herself, cranked up the heat.

The men finished quickly with the chains, but the rest of the drive was not quick at all. She had been listening to Christmas music, trying to get into the mood of the holiday. But as the storm increased in intensity, she switched over to the channel broadcasting road conditions.

“Highway 50 is open for the time being, but is expected to close within the hour. Blizzard conditions are expected to worsen for the next twenty-four hours. Motorists are advised to exit off the pass as soon as safely possible to allow snow clearing crews to plow the roads.”

Her wheels had more traction with the chains, but the going was slow, and the whole car vibrated from the rough mountain road.

She tapped her fingernails against the steering wheel, a nervous habit she had when she was stressed. Now she could only see a few feet in front of her. She knew that just off to her right was a deadly drop-off. She squinted at the windshield, trying desperately to keep her eyes on the tire tracks and red lights of the cars ahead.

She drove like this for over an hour. Shoulders hunched. Neck tight. The radio silent now.

Finally, the road started to descend from the mountain, and, just visible below, the lights of South Lake Tahoe came into view.

She drove through the town, signs for ski and snowmobile rentals winking down at her. Finally, the sign she’d been looking for popped out.

Black Bear Lodge

She held her breath as she turned down the uncleared lane, hoping that the SUV would be able to make it to the other side of the narrow drive.

The chains were what saved her. The car plowed through the snow, which accumulated along the front bumper and blew across the windshield. But the chains held traction all the way to the lodge. She pulled the car into the small parking lot, where just four others were parked, each made nearly unrecognizable by the snow piled on the roofs.

She parked, but left the car, and the heat, running. She pulled off her knee-high boots and replaced them with the snow boots she had bought at the last minute. Then came a puffy, silver jacket, which she zipped all the way to the top.

She looked around. No bellhop.

Sighing, she shut off the car and opened the door. The snow was so deep that it went above her protective boots. She trudged along to the back and retrieved her two large suitcases. Trying to roll the bags through the snow was nearly impossible, so she resorted to simply dragging them along. She was lucky; they were both light, one with clothing, one with gifts for her family. Gift cards and candles could only weigh so much.

As she passed through the lot, she saw that none of the cars were those of her family. They must have not made it over the mountain yet. They wouldn’t have unless they’d been right behind her on the drive. The news had told her that the pass was closed now.

She struggled with the suitcases up the steps to the main entrance of the building, spitting out the snowflakes that landed on her lips. By the time she got up the small flight of stairs, she was covered head to foot in heavy white flakes.

Even though she hurried to get inside, it was impossible not to notice that the lodge was spectacular. Long wood beams jutted upward, supporting the great vaulted ceiling. It was a large home, really, run by an older couple as a bed and breakfast. There were only a few rooms, and it was this privacy her dad had wanted when he’d had her book the vacation for everyone. In a day or two, when the storm ebbed, she would be joined by him, her two brothers, their wives, and one niece.

Secretly, she was happy to have a little time on her own before family descended upon her. They always had more questions than she felt like answering.

When was she going to settle down?

Has she been dating?

Work wasn’t everything, you know …

She sighed, her breath blowing out of her mouth like smoke from a cigarette.

Every light in the place was lit, casting a warm glow over the snowy landscape. She didn’t knock, and instead walked right in. Immediately, a gust of warm air washed over her.

“Hello?” she called.

She hadn’t seen them, but two men sat in front of a huge fireplace at the far end of the room. They turned at her voice.

“Hi,” one of them said, getting up and walking toward her.

“Hi,” she said. “Am I in the right place? Black Bear, right?”

“This is it.” He opened his arms.

The front room was huge, even bigger than it looked from outside. A staircase descended from the second floor, curving down toward a ten-foot-tall Christmas tree, its star soaring high above. It was decorated with what looked like family heirloom ornaments. Her own mother had built a collection over the years, and it looked like the owners here had done the same. The tree was a sparkling wonder that seemed to never end. Its scent filled the room, and she took a deep breath in.

“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” the man said.

“Mmm. How do I check in?” she asked, stomping the snow off her boots onto the mat.

“That’ll be Mary and Edward. They’re the ones who run this place. But I think they might’ve gone to bed already. It’s pretty late.”

She hadn’t noticed the time. It was already past ten.

“Mary left a note for you on the table. Can I help you with your bags?”

“Sure,” she said, leaving them where they stood.

She walked over to the entry table and picked up the note.

Ms. Stewart-
Sorry we haven’t been able to stay up to meet you. Your family’s rooms are in the east wing of the house. Please feel free to choose from the four of them. If you’d like wine or hot cocoa, there is a table close to the fire. Breakfast starts at seven and runs until ten. If you’re an early riser, you’ll also find coffee available at six.
Your father called to let us know that they have been unable to make it over the pass into Lake Tahoe. The roads have been closed, and it may be a couple of days before they reopen.
We look forward to meeting you in the morning.
Mary and Edward Holden

She sighed. “Can you help me upstairs, too?”

“Sure.” He outstretched one hand. “My name’s Adam. Over there is my brother Jake.”

Jake sent a wave in her direction.

She took Adam’s hand. “Lexi. Thanks for your help.”

“Anytime.”

For the first time, she got a good look at him. He was tall and broad, his brown hair cut short. Green eyes, too; her favorite. To her, he looked like he might be good for a fun night. Or maybe a few fun nights.

Yum.

Author Bio:

I am happy to call the San Francisco Bay Area home, where I lives with my husband, two kids, one dog and three cats. I started writing at an early age, but have only been writing novels for the past five years. I love the idea of love conquering all, and that is what drove me to begin the Great Escapes series, where the reader follows couples meeting up in exotic locations around the world. In this series, each book is a stand-alone, and each can be read in any order.

But readers, be forewarned, there is a healthy amount of steam in these books!

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Great Escapes!

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New Release Review! DIRTIEST LITTLE SECRET by Skye Jordan

DLS
Dirtiest Little Secret
by Skye Jordan

Synopsis:

She is his fantasy…

Ava Jennings has spent her life dedicated to her family’s steel business. So when she catches her fiancé engaging in extracurricular activities under his desk with a coworker, Ava fires him on the spot. With her self-esteem at an all-time low, Ava throws caution to the wind and heads to a well-known, wild biker bar. She’s determined to prove she’s capable of the spontaneous, wicked-hot sex her fiancé was searching for outside their relationship. And she finds all that and more in a rugged, edgy motorcycle mechanic, the one man in the bar who eclipses all the others.

He’s her dirtiest little secret…

Isaac Banks doesn’t talk to members of the Steel Warriors motorcycle club about his painful past. All they know is he’s the best bike mechanic in the state, which is exactly how he likes it. Ava doesn’t recognize him as the awkward kid who used to spend Sunday nights at her dinner table with their families, but she’s sure interested in the man she thinks he is now. She’s from the world he left behind, and he knows he should walk away—but it’s impossible to say no to the woman who starred in all his adolescent fantasies. All he wants is one night to get her out of his system. Because there was no way she could live up to his dreams.

But he’s wrong. One night will never be enough.

 

Review:

Phew!

Dirtiest Little Secret is at turns amusing, sweetly romantic, and hot as heck–a pretty big accomplishment for such a short book. Ava and Isaac are good together–really good together–and that fact makes up for the somewhat simplistic and pretty darn fast HEA they arrive at by the book’s end. A masterpiece of literature this definitely isn’t, but if you’re looking for a quick read with interesting characters and off-the-charts chemistry with a handful of turn-up-the-A/C smexy scenes, then give this one a try!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


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Release Day! THE QUEEN by Skye Warren (Masterpiece Duet)

The Queen
by Skye Warren
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE MASTERPIECE DUET!

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood’s dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I’ve always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city’s throne.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

Excerpt:

I flinch, glad he can’t see me across two thousand miles. Even working in the kitchens most nights only covers my food, my textbooks. Not the tuition bill. “You’re the one who wanted him to work for you. You’re the one who made him the stake in our last game.”

“And you’re the one who lost,” he says lightly.

“Do you know where he is?”

“Of course. Like you said, he works for me. I would be a careless employer if I let my men go wandering off, gambling and racking up debt and questioning their loyalty to me.”

A shiver runs through me. “Then where is he?”

“He’s a grown-up, Penny. Like you are now. He’s responsible for himself. You only need to worry about your studies. I’m sure Algebraic Topology is taking up plenty of your focus.”

It’s one of my courses this semester. How does he know that?

“Stop playing with me.”

“Why should I?” he says with a soft laugh. “It’s so much fun.”

Frustration stings my eyes, hot and damp. I look up at the wide-open sky, willing myself not to cry. There are a million stars visible here, most of the land owned by Smith College or one of the other campuses. So much land, so much pride. There aren’t buildings climbing on top of other buildings, as if they might sink into the concrete ground if they don’t. There aren’t glass towers reaching to an endless black sky.

“I’m never coming back,” I say abruptly.

His laugh falls silent. “I know.”

“I hate it there. I hate Tanglewood and being powerless. And most of all I hate you.”

The last part is a lie, because I don’t hate him. I’m drawn to him; I’m repelled by him. It’s far too complex a relationship, an equation I’ve never been able to write. It makes me wonder if I’m lying about the other parts—if maybe some twisted part of me misses home.

If some twisted part of me misses being powerless, too.

“Ah, Penny,” he says, sounding infinitely weary. “I hate you too.”

The words shock me, but the hurt inside shocks me more. He shouldn’t be able to wound me. Three years away from home, growing up, growing strong. It should have been enough armor to protect against anything he could say to me. But the arrow sinks deep, proving that I’ll never be able to escape him.

“What did I do to you?” I ask, quiet, in a voice like I’m six years old again. Like I’m speaking to the wild boy I found by the lake, one I lured into my trailer like a wolf.

He answers the same way, a surly teenage boy, fierce and vulnerable at once. “You made me care. You made me want, when I needed to leave. You made me feel, when I would have preferred to die. You brought me back to life.”

And I condemned him to torture. That’s what happened when he sacrificed himself so that I could stay safe. Two children with so few choices. “I’m sorry,” I whisper.

“Don’t worry. I got my revenge, after all.”

My blood runs cold, almost subzero at the words. There’s only one person left in my sad little family. One person he could hurt. “Did you hurt him?”

“By giving him a job when he couldn’t hold one down? By paying him enough that his daughter could escape the city, could go to a fancy college instead of becoming a corner-store whore? Yes, I’ve been horrible to him. A monster.”

“Then why isn’t he answering his phone?”

In the pause I can picture him in a three-piece suit, reclining in one of his ridiculously expensive leather chairs. Some amber liquid in a crystal-cut glass. “Don’t come back,” he says, his voice grim. “You made it out of here. Let that be enough.”

A soft click ends the connection, leaving me bereft.

And more worried than before.

Something is happening in Tanglewood, something bad enough for my father not to call, something horrible enough that even Damon Scott has warned me away. I look up at the infinite stars, but they’re dimmer than before. The whole world muted. It wasn’t a new life that I found so far from home. It was a long dream, and now I’m painfully awake.

 

About Skye Warren:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

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New Release Review! THE CINDERELLA FANTASY by Sara Jane Stone


The Cinderella Fantasy
by Sara Jane Stone

Synopsis:

A princess who has lost her faith in love . . .

Lucy Linden’s prince charming (a.k.a. her fiancé) disappeared three months before the Big Day. Determined to pick up the pieces, she dives into the world of online dating. But the only men interested in a woman whose day job involves playing Cinderella leave Lucy looking for an exit strategy before the main course. And the man rushing to her rescue isn’t the solution to her problems. Jared is a walking, talking fantasy—if Lucy’s daydreams began and ended in the bedroom. No one would ever mistake South Florida’s bored billionaire bachelor for a long-term prince.

A man willing to risk everything to prove he’s her prince . . .

Jared Mitchell pushes the limits, in the boardroom and in bed. When his best friend and business partner’s little sister sends up red distress flares, he’s thrust into the role of pseudo-big brother. He’s never had a thing for Cinderella. But now he’s fighting his desire to make the princess his—even if he has to risk his empire to deliver her happy-ever-after ending.

 

Review:

The Cinderella Fantasy is a cute and sweet (if somewhat silly at times) contemporary romance. The idea of three friends and roommates who have their own business which lets them dress up as princesses (birthday parties, hospital visits, etc.) is a unique one, and I am interested to see what is in the works for the other two “princesses” (though is one of the books going to have “Mulan” in the title? Somehow I suspect not, which is a bummer 🙁 ).

Lucy’s dating disasters were fun to read (thigh gap???!!!), and the temptation of her older brother’s best friend/business partner makes for an entertaining troupe. I got a little aggravated with Lucy’s back-and-forth over her relationship with Jared (my job is important to me but you can’t work too much or else?) and still am not sure how I feel about her brother’s involvement in the start of their relationship. The ending also comes about really quickly, given all of the angsty back and forth will-she-won’t-she drama that came before…

Still, though, The Cinderella Fantasy was an entertaining way to pass the time. It’s not going to be my favorite book from this author, but I am interested enough to see where this series will go with the other two girls.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

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


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Release Day Review! CATCH MY FALL by Jessica Scott (Falling #4)

Catch My Fall
by Jessica Scott

Synopsis:

Former Army Sergeant Deacon Hunter is trapped. Trapped in the friend zone. The woman who captured his heart when they were deployed in Iraq has never looked back at the time they stole.

Former Army Sergeant Kelsey Ryder has scars, the kind of scars that no one ever sees, no one ever knows about unless she tells them. Working around the guys at the Pint, she’s reminded of everything she lost when she left the Army behind.

But some scars refuse to stay hidden.

One fateful night changes everything and neither of them know if their relationship will ever be the same.

All Deacon knows is that he’ll be there to catch her when she finally falls.

 

Excerpt:

“Are you okay?”

“Mostly.” I should present to be a rational adult and have a reasonable conversation. Anything is better than the status quo, right? “I guess…sometimes things get to me that shouldn’t.”

“Yeah. I get that.” I look up at her words, the frustration in her voice echoing the tension clawing at my heart, locking the words I need in my chest. “It’s hard, though. To say when something hurts.”

I say nothing for a long moment. Letting her words sink in. Letting their possibility wrap around me.

Then I move. Silent and slow, I back her up against the wall. “You don’t have to be strong all the time,” I tell her softly. Her mouth is there, just there. She is soft against me, soft in all the ways I remember.

Soft in a thousand ways that will torture me for the rest of a lifetime.

“Neither do you.” She’s goading me tonight. Crossing boundaries I know she’s set in place. I can’t figure out what’s changed. If it’s the fatigue I see in her eyes or the mixture of that with too much to drink. I don’t know.

And part of me doesn’t care. Part of me only cares that she’s here. That her body is pressed to mine. That I’ve penetrated the space around her and she has not pushed me away.

God, this woman is fierce and amazing. She doesn’t back down, doesn’t break against the threat anyone else would read in my body.

“I will never forget what happened between us in Iraq. Or when we came home.” I reach for her then, cupping her face. Sliding my thumb along her full bottom lip. Wanting so badly to taste her. To end this unnecessary distance between us. “But we don’t have to keep suffering alone. Apart. It doesn’t need to be like this.”

And goddamn her, she presses her lips to my thumb. A gentle kiss. A thousand sensual memories slash through me, ripping away any shred of my composure.

It takes everything I have not to lift her, to urge her legs around my hips and grind against her. I’m hard as a fucking stone. I know she can feel me, solid and hard against her.

She’s my addiction. The one woman I dream about when I’m with someone else.

And she knows it. She has to know it.

Her barriers hurt us both.

“We spent four weeks together when we got home and I don’t remember any of them. Except the nightmares.” She cups my face, brushing her lips against mine. “I can’t do that again. I can’t get lost in the alcohol and the sex. Because it doesn’t help me forget. It only makes it worse.”

I lower my forehead to hers, her quiet admission gutting me, ripping through me. That’s why she’s kept us apart. That’s why she’s walked away and pretended there was nothing between us.

Her words hurt; they slice at me, reminding me of how fucking self-centered I was when I first got home, wanting to do nothing more than drink and fuck, then drink some more.

I had no idea how much she was hurting. Because I didn’t bother to look.

“I didn’t know.” It’s a pitiful confession. So insufficient. I step back then, releasing her from the wall.

Letting her go when it’s the last thing I want. She disappears up the stairs, quiet as a ghost.

I lower my forehead to the wooden shelf holding parts of Eli’s extensive and very expensive whiskey collection. We’re a long fucking way from that bloodstained container where Kelsey used to live.

But we might as well never have left.

A piece of my soul stayed back there, mixed in with the sand and the bullets and the blood.

Forever entwined with hers.

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Review:

Catch My Fall is the first book in the Falling series I’ve read, but not my first book by Ms. Scott–so though I didn’t know any of the series characters–yet–I knew what type of story to expect: a gritty, realistic glimpse into the fictional-but-could-be-real lives of men and women who have served (as in this case) or are serving in our armed forces.

Oh yeah–and there’d be a romance in there too, and some steamy scenes as well, just to keep it interesting. 😉

Catch My Fall definitely did not disappoint.

Though it took a while to get to know the two main characters–both Kelsey and Deacon have pasts that they are keeping close to their vests, and neither is being terribly forthcoming with each other or anyone else about what is going on with them or what they’re dealing with–I was fully invested in their story long before Kelsey’s ill-fated visit to the VA medical center. (And OMG, that scene was hard to read. I can’t even imagine living it…which obviously, people are doing every day in this country…which is beyond shameful.) I finished the book still not fully understanding everything that either of the main characters lived through in their pasts–which, since they’re trying their best to move on from, did make sense–but with a definite sense of hope for their future.

(And then I read the teaser for the next series book, Until We Fall, which cannot come out soon enough, IMHO. Can’t wait!)

Rating; 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

View all my reviews

New Release and Giveaway! WRONG by Jana Aston

Wrong
Jana Aston
Publication date: October 7th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma’s boy? Check, check and check.

Now I can’t stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It’s not like I’m going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he’s the doctor. Shoot. Me.

But what if, for once, the man I’ve had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?

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FREE on September 19th only!

EXCERPT:

“Sophie, he’s going to be back for more. Trust me.”

I load a tray of cupcakes and slide them into the bakery case. “I don’t know, Everly. He’s really sophisticated and clearly lives a lifestyle a long ways from Cowbell Lane,” I say, referencing my grandparents’ home in Willow Grove.

“Bitch, please. The guy is pushing forty and you’re a hot co-ed with a brand-new tight, shiny pussy. He’ll be back.”

My eyes widen. “Everly, Jesus!”

“Just saying.” She holds her hands up in mock defense before breaking into a huge grin.

“You don’t really think he’s forty, do you?”

“He just turned thirty-six in August.”

“How do you know that?”

“Google.”

“You Googled him?”

“You didn’t?” Everly looks aghast.

“Uh, no.” Truthfully I thought about it, but I didn’t want to get any more invested in him than I already am.

“Well, look what the pussy dragged in.” Everly is smirking.

“Everly, that’s not the saying. It’s ‘cat.’ ‘Look what the cat dragged in.’”

“Oh, I think I’ve got the saying right. He’s here.”

My stomach explodes in nerves as I glance towards the door. Luke is here. I wondered if he’d stick to his normal Tuesday routine and stop here for coffee. I’ve figured out this Grind Me location is between his Rittenhouse Square condo and the student clinic, but it’s hardly the only route he could take or stop he could make.

My heart is beating so fast as I take him in. Is he going to speak to me or go back to just ordering coffee and leaving like he has the last several weeks?

He’s in a navy suit today, crisp white shirt and a silvery blue tie. And then my heart stops beating so fast. There’s a hand on his arm. I follow that hand to the redhead from Saturday night.

Author Bio:

Jana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana’s novels have appeared on the NYT, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists, some multiple times. She likes multiples.

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New Release Review! DELIRIOUS by M.S. Force (Quantum #6)

DELIRIOUS, part of the Quantum series, by M.S. Force is now LIVE!

 

Synopsis:

As one of Hollywood’s hottest producers, Kristian Bowen is on top of the world. With the Quantum team is fresh off a clean sweep of awards season and looking ahead to the premiere of their new film, Insidious, Kristian’s life is exactly how he likes it, complete with a stable of willing subs to tend to his every desire. Until he attends the wedding of his friend and business partner Flynn Godfrey and meets AileenGifford, the close friend of Flynn’s new wife, Natalie. Since meeting Aileen five months ago, Kristian’s carefully cultivated life has changed in ways he never could’ve expected. Now Aileen and her children are moving to Los Angeles, and he’s not sure whether to be excited or terrified about his powerful feelings for the single mom…

Aileen is coming off the worst year of her life, spent battling breast cancer while taking care of two young children. When Natalie, Flynn and their other friends encourage Aileen to move to LA and work for Quantum, she jumps at the chance to give her family a fresh start. And with her off-the-charts attraction to Flynn’s business partner in the mix, the idea of living in LA becomes that much sweeter. Until everyone shows up to welcome her and the kids to their new home in LA—except Kristian.

He can’t avoid her forever, and when these two finally see each other again, sparks fly between the single mom and the producer with a past he’s kept hidden from everyone who matters to him. When that past rears its ugly head, will he run away from the woman he loves or turn to her for comfort in the storm? And will she prevail in convincing him that he can be himself, in every possible way, with her?

Kristian and Aileen’s long-awaited story is full of heat, heart and humor, as well as appearances from all the Quantum characters readers love!

Delirious1400

Purchase Delirious now!

Kindle US  |  iBooks  |  Nook |  Kobo  |  Google |  Kindle CA |  Kindle UK |  Kindle AU

 

Order a signed copy from Marie’s store, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

Review:

Delirious is a sweet, romantic, erotic, and super-steamy read (I know, that sounds somewhat contradictory, but I swear it is all of those things!) between two characters who clearly deserve their HEAs and then some. The story did feel a bit rushed at times–there’s a degree of insta-love going on, and Kristian had some pretty major-league issues and hangups that don’t seem as if they really could have been fixed quite as easily as they seem to have been here–but at the same time, you really want Aileen and Kristian to find happiness, so it’s hard to get *too* worked up about it.

If you enjoy fairy-tale style stories with a single mom/cancer survivor/Cinderella and a healthy helping of erotic scenes enough that a departure from 100% total realism isn’t going to be a problem, then this is the book for you 🙂

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the author:Marie Force

M.S. Force is the erotic alter-ego of New York Times bestselling author Marie Force. All three books in her initial Quantum Trilogy were New York Times bestsellers in 2015, and the Quantum Trilogy became the Quantum Series with Rapturous and Ravenous, with more to come!

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold nearly 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Twitter @marieforce and on Facebook. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com. Subscribe to her new blog to hear the latest and greatest news, including giveaways and other great prizes. Go to the blog and enter your email address on the upper right-hand side.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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New Release! MISADVENTURES OF A CITY GIRL by Meredith Wild and Chelle Bliss

Synopsis:

Fresh off a divorce from a Hollywood hotshot, Madison Atwood needs an escape. With the paparazzi fresh on her heels and her love life splashed on every tabloid, she runs away to a swanky retreat in Northern California. Avalon Springs is the mountainside haven she needs to find herself again.

Luke Dawson lives off the grid, preferring solitude to society. When he finds a beautiful woman soaking in the hot springs on his property, he can’t stop himself from watching her. She captures his attention, but she’s just a city girl—a beautiful distraction disturbing the peace he’s settled here to find.

When Madison discovers Luke’s secluded cabin, he can’t turn her away again. They make no promises. Madison needs to feel wanted again, and Luke misses the touch of a woman. But when mother nature has other plans, they’re forced to spend more than a night of passion together. Can Luke say goodbye to the only woman who’s made him feeling anything in years, and can Madison leave behind the man who brought her back to life?

 

★★NOW AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE★★
“A smoking hot romance…” — RT Book Reviews
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New Release and Giveaway! ADDICTION by Vivian Wood (Addicted to You #1)

Addiction
Vivian Wood
(Addicted to You, #1)
Publication date: September 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

It started innocently enough. Beautiful Harper gave Sean those eyes… those eyes that meant, yes, take me. But Harper didn’t know Sean’s secrets… She didn’t know that he liked it rough.

More than rough. He liked to dominate. To punish. To degrade. It was the only way that the black hole in his soul wouldn’t swallow him up.

He would push her a little too far, and she would run. They all ran, eventually.

But that’s not what happened… when he put his hands around her throat and squeezed, Harper moaned. When he told her to stay away, she didn’t listen, misbehaving until she got spanked. When he took out the handcuffs, there was excitement in her eyes, mixed with a little fear.

The doe-eyed redhead liked it. More than that, she wanted it. She said so, time and again.

That’s the thing about sexy strangers, though… you never know what they’re hiding. And Harper is carrying a burden so heavy that even Sean’s secrets pale in comparison.

This book is Book 1 out of 2 in the Addicted To You duet. At approximately 50,000 words, it ends in a cliffhanger. As a dark romance, it touches several sensitive topics, but contains no cheating. Book 2 will end in a happily ever after.

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EXCERPT:

Sean paused. “Are you certain you want to go in?” he asked.

He turned to look at her to see her swallow. Harper nodded. He couldn’t get a read on her.

“Speak up,” he said. “Was that a ‘yes, sir’?”

Harper fluttered her lashes and looked down. “Y—yes. Yes, sir,” she said obediently. Quietly.

Fuck, the things she could do. “You make me so fucking hard,” he said. Her eyes shot open.

Sean took her hand and led her through the heavy wooden door. It closed behind them with a loud click. He removed his bowtie and watched her survey the room. “Get undressed.”

Without a pause, she started to kick off her shoes.

“Leave them on,” he instructed. Sean sat back in a black leather seat. Harper peeled off the dress and let it fall to the floor.

As she stepped out of the fallen latex, in just a lace thong and matching bra, he couldn’t believe her dimensions. She had a tiny waist, a wasp’s waist, as if she’d been in waist-training for years. Her hip bones jutted out like fins before angling down to slender thighs and shapely calves.

“Right now, right here in this room, you exist solely for my pleasure,” he said. “You’re here to please me in whatever way I see fit.” He stopped himself, aware of his quickened breath. Sean raised a brow. “Get on with it.”

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Get a FREE Vivian Wood secret office romance by copying and pasting this into your browser window: http://vivian-wood.com/get-news.

Vivian likes to write about troubled, deeply flawed alpha males and the fiery, kick-ass women who bring them to their knees.

Vivian’s lasting motto in romance is a quote from a favorite song: “Soulmates never die.”

Be sure to follow Vivian through her Vivian’s Vixens mailing list or Facebook group to keep up with all the awesome giveaways, author videos, ARC opportunities, and more!

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