New Release! NECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Julie Brannagh

Necessary Roughness
by Julie Brannagh
Series: standalone
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 10, 2017

About the Book:

Tanner Cole’s football career was over in less than thirty seconds one Sunday afternoon. After a lifetime playing the sport he loves he’s been forced into an early retirement. Between figuring out his plan for the rest of his life and dealing with the pain of his injuries, this grouchy hottie isn’t in the mood for the perky physical therapist who makes him in ache in more than one place.

Jordan Mueller doesn’t have time for a sulky ex-NFL player, even one who looks like Tanner. She’s done with falling for the bad boy without a heart. When she’s forced out of her apartment and offered an opportunity too good to pass up, she agrees to move in with Tanner. She’s only there to speed up his recovery. No funny business, even if her body is telling her otherwise.

As Tanner and Jordan spend more and more time together, they begin to see each other in a new light that threatens to change everything. But when the ghosts of girlfriends past reappear, Tanner must decide if he’s willing to put everything on the line for a shot at a future with Jordan.

 

 

Buy from HC

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Barnes   Noble

Buy from Google

Buy from Walmart

Buy from iBooks

Excerpt:

Tanner Cole grabbed the remote off the couch cushions and clicked through the two hundred or so channels on his satellite TV. Daytime TV sucked. Even worse: it sucked yesterday, the day before, and the day before that too. But it wasn’t like he had a lot of choices for entertainment right now. His knee was slowly healing, but mostly, he wanted to be left alone while he tried to figure out how he was going to deal with the rest of his life.

He was a professional football player. Well, he used to be. He’d torn both his ACL and MCL and broken his tibia after planting his cleats on some shitty turf in Washington, DC, during the last two minutes of a fucking blowout he shouldn’t have been playing in in the first place. His coach had practically begged him to sit on the bench that afternoon and spend a few minutes powering down some Gatorade while his backup took the risk of injury instead. In the coach’s defense, “practically begging” meant he glanced over at Tanner and said, “why don’t you have a seat, and we’ll finish this one for you?” But Tanner had insisted that cold afternoon in Washington. He’d played anyway. And his career was ended because of a freak hit by a rookie who thought he was making his mark by permanently sidelining one of the best left tackles in the league.

Winners didn’t sit on the bench. Winners went out there and dominated, in football and in life. He remembered every buzzword and cliché-laden locker-room speech he’d heard in his career, typically when he was lying away at three AM and wishing he had that thirty seconds or so before his injury back again. He’d wanted to make the decision when it was time to hang it up. That was taken away from him. He wasn’t happy about it.

People (specifically his ex-girlfriend) were not as willing to put up with his various personality flaws when he wasn’t headline news anymore. He could tick off those shortcomings on his fingers, and he’d done so more than once while alone in the predawn hours. According to his ex, Star, he was too overbearing, too competitive, too impatient, and too insensitive. She didn’t seem to care about his faults when he was ordering $150 bottles of champagne at the club or buying her a little somethin’ somethin’ at the jeweler’s or the latest designer shoes and bags. He’d wanted to believe their breakup was all her fault, but being alone for a few months brought some clarity. He was as much to blame for the end of their relationship. He’d have to man up at some point and make an apology.

Before he met with the surgeon who was putting his knee back together, Tanner had been told by the team’s doctor that he wasn’t going to play football again.

“With your age and these types of injuries, you’re not going to be able to pass any team’s physical, even after rehab. I know this isn’t how you wanted things to end,” the doctor said.

“No, it isn’t,” Tanner said.

“Look at it this way: it’s a great chance to get on with the rest of your life.”

Tanner knew the guy was just doing his job, but he was already sick of people telling him to look on the bright side. He’d be damned lucky if he walked with a limp. Right now, he’d be happy if he could get off the couch and walk to the mailbox without a walker.

About Julie Brannagh:

USA Today bestselling author Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.

Author Links:

website facebook twitter goodreads Amazon icon

 

 

 

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
PTPR New Logo - Email 2

New Release Review! JUST ONE OF THE BOYS by Leah and Kate Roper


Just One of the Boys

by Leah Rooper

Synopsis:

Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons. But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality…even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates…

Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning…

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning–a few locker room scenes are included…

 

Review:

Such an adorable story!

Just One of the Boys was a super-cute, super-quick read that if you liked She’s the Man, you’ll absolutely love. (It’s not quite as obviously a retelling of  Twelfth Night as the movie is, but it’s the same general idea. With hockey. So really, a win-win.) Like StM’s Viola, Alice is told she can’t play the sport she loves because of her gender; also like Viola, she takes her twin’s place on the team, though for different reasons. All kinds of girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy hijinks ensue, and she develops a crush on the team’s (formerly? maybe…) star player–but also becomes his best friend, which complicates things all over the place.

Meanwhile, her twin is hiding a secret, her mom is making extra demands on her time, and did I mention she’s got a crush on her new BFF? Not quite everything that isn’t right get fully resolved by the end (what is her coach’s response to her news???) but the book still leaves you with a happy glow anyway.

Here’s hoping the Ms. Ropers have plenty more books in them!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

New Release Review! CHECK MY HEART by Christi Barth


Check My Heart

by Christi Barth

Synopsis:

The death of his little brother turned Kurt Lundquist’s world upside down. He channeled his grief into skating his heart out–and ultimately leading his hockey team to win the championship. Now, all he wants to do is throw a party with the Cup in his brother’s honor. He’s got no clue where to start…until he runs into the gorgeous hospice nurse who took such great care of Jasper. She’s waaay off limits, but he’s desperate, and hires her to help him.

Lisette Broussard’s heart broke a little more every time a patient died. Losing the brave brother of a hockey star was the last straw. Learning a new specialty was supposed to change her life for the better, but it used up her savings. Then the slam dunk job with the New Orleans championship hockey team mysteriously disappears. So she jumps at Kurt’s offer of a job, no matter how temporary. No matter how…dangerous, given how much she’s always crushed on him. No matter how risky it is to fall for Kurt, since he’ll always associate her with the grief of losing his brother.

But the more time they spend together, the deeper they both fall. Kurt’s heart begins to thaw…and then heat. Lisette can’t resist him, and throws caution to the wind. She’ll take whatever time he gives her. Can they move beyond the pain of the past and focus on a future together?

Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon
  │  B&N  │  Google  │  iTunes  │  Kobo

Excerpt:

God. Why would Lisette want to keep touching such a wallowing, messed-up son of a bitch? The words, the truth that kept him immobilized on this decision ripped from his throat like gravel spraying from his Harley tires. “Tell me how I can turn my back on my team and my friends and still be able to look myself in the mirror.”

She pressed up against his back, arms circling his waist like a life preserver. “How do you do it now? How do you look past your grief to see what’s truly in your reflection?”

“I don’t.”

Her fingers curved into his stomach. “You don’t look in mirrors?”

“Not for a while now.” Trying to make light of it, Kurt rasped a hand across his two-day-old stubble. “I’ve got an electric razor. Makes it so easy I can do it with my eyes shut. I was tired of seeing nothing but a scowl.”

“Oh, I get it, believe me. But feeling good, being happy? It takes practice every bit as much as skating.” Going up on her tiptoes, Lisette murmured into his ear, “I declare that smile practice is now in session.”

Then her fingers splayed, arrowing down to just below the waist of his shorts. Just enough to make him wish they’d damn well keep going. She scraped her teeth along the cords of his neck, then licked a path down to where Kurt knew she could feel his pulse jackrabbiting through the skin. Lisette sucked. Sucked and swirled her tongue. That was all it took to bring his dick into a full-out lunge, trying to meet her fingertips.

Kurt reached back and around to pull her closer. He got two handfuls of the sweetest ass he’d ever touched and squeezed. Kneaded. His hands almost completely covered those taut globes. He couldn’t wait to see how they’d look doing exactly that on her naked skin.

He didn’t care if she gave him a hickey. Didn’t care that the guys would give him a mountain of shit if he walked into the locker room with a love bite like a teenager. The only thing Kurt cared about was the way her tongue lapped at him, sending shivers of sensation straight down to his dick.

They weren’t really kissing. They were fully clothed, in a fucking warehouse. They weren’t even face-to-face. But her assault on his neck was so damn hot, Kurt was ready to shove up her skirt and take her on the floor, with the goddamned goldfish watching.

Whispering, breath feathering against his ear, Lisette ordered, “Look at your reflection in the bowl, Kurt. What do you see?”

He turned his head to catch a smug, satisfied grin curling up the edges of his mouth. Huh. Kurt twisted to see her wet lips and flushed cheeks. Guess she’d enjoyed giving as well as getting. Which turned him on even more. “You think I’m good in a practice session? You should catch me in the real deal.”

 

Review:

Start with an absolutely heartwrenching beginning (have tissues handy!) and an intriguing premise (older brother of cancer patient falls for hospice nurse)–throw in a hockey hero (aforementioned older brother) and you should have a hat trick, right? That was my hope when I started reading Check My Heart, a hope which was only partially fulfilled.

I liked both Kurt and Lisette, the hero and heroine (AKA brother and nurse). Buying into their relationship push-pull was a bit trickier, though–maybe if we’d seen them in the beginning, instead of finding out about it later on? (Especially since their individual accounts of that time don’t quite seem to jive–both claim to be drawn to the other, but neither seems to think that the other is even remotely interested (I get it; the younger brother is dying, etc., but still…)) They also seem to go pretty quickly from Jasper will always come between us to getting over that obstacle (I don’t actually think there was a moment of them getting over it–though maybe I just missed it, somehow? Or promptly forgot all about it?) My biggest issue, though, was with

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
 Even when it was admitted to and moved on from, it still rubbed me wrong.

Altogether this wasn’t a bad way to spend a few hours, though. I mean, there is a hot hockey hero who has the bonus of being a great older brother and a very sympathetic nurse who knows how to plan kick-butt parties, plus the resolution is sweet and fairly believable. It’s not my favorite from Ms Barth, but I’m not sorry I read it, either.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author 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 either 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.

For information on books, new releases and more, visit her Website

 

Author Links:   Website | Twitter | Facebook   | Goodreads

First Look Celebration and Giveaway! SHINING THROUGH by Elizabeth Harmon (Red Hot Russians #5)

Here is your FIRST LOOK at SHINING THROUGH by Elizabeth Harmon. Dirty Dancing meets Olympic figure skating in this sweet and sexy final book in the Red Hot Russians series

Title:  Shining Through
Author: Elizabeth Harmon
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Publisher: Pronoun/Macmillan
Series: Red Hot Russians #5
Genres: Romance
Word Count: 80k
Format: Digital & Print

 

Synopsis:

The Biggest Season of her Career…

America’s sweetheart Tabitha Turner is on track to win figure-skating gold in the Winter Games. Her family has sacrificed everything for her career, but the pressure is taking its toll. Burned out and living a lie, can Tabitha let off a little steam without melting the ice?

The Last Chance of His…

Russia’s bad boy of skating Daniil Andreev is determined to prove the toughest thing about him is his competitive fight. When Tabitha tempts him to help her take a secret walk on the wild side, he gives her a taste of the freedom she craves, never expecting that one unforgettable night could turn into something more.

Two Hearts on Thin Ice…

Chicago, Vancouver, Paris… the international figure skating season unfolds. Tabitha and Daniil compete and fall in love, but as the pressure mounts in a make-or-break season, can they set aside their painful pasts and spiral into a shining future together… or will their dreams shatter like thin ice?

 

Add to SHINING THROUGH to your Goodreads Shelf!

Pre-order Now: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google

 

About Elizabeth Harmon:

Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.  Her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

Follow Elizabeth:  Website |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  | Goodreads | BookBub |  BookLikes  | Google+

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Backlist Title!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Review and Giveaway! IRRESISTIBLE YOU by Kate Meader (The Chicago Rebels #1)

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise 

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, 

and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

 

IRRESISTIBLE YOU

Chicago Rebels #1

Kate Meader

Releasing Aug 14, 2017

PocketStar

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times).

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to
lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

**Special release week price of just $1.99 **

He looked uncomfortable standing there, balancing on his skates, ready to spring for the door. But she knew he wouldn’t sit while she stood because his mother had raised him to respect women. Something fluttered in her chest at that notion. DuPre might be a lot of things—ladies’ man, good ol’ boy, thorn in her side—but she suspected he would never hurt someone weaker than himself.

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

“Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice. She could have sworn her panties slipped an inch.

“I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”

He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”

This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”

For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.

“You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”

More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.

Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.

“The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”

“The all-star game.”

Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.

At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.

“Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”

“You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”

His voice dropped to an intimate tone, her panties another inch with it. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”

The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.

She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.

“You have a game to finish.”

He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.

“We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”

She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.

“Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”

He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.

“You feel that, Harper?”

She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”

His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”

He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.

OMG, this book!

I loved Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series and really liked her prequel novella for this one ( In Skates Trouble ) and was looking forward to seeing what Remy and Harper’s story would bring, but the story itself? Blew my expectations right out of the water!

I absolutely loved both Harper and Remy. Ms. Meader did a great job of showing their POVs and giving very realistic reasons why they shouldn’t be together, all while proving that staying apart shouldn’t even be an option. When it looks like they really won’t be able to have a life together, when Harper takes Remy’s words and says they’re not enough? I swear I stopped breathing, it was so hard to read. Even knowing there HAD to be an HEA in the end didn’t make it any less devastating to get through…how would she ever manage to make things okay again?

Of course she did, and did so brilliantly, I’m happy to report. And now we have middle sister Isobel’s book to look forward to next…can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. 

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

Book Blitz and Giveaway! POWER PLAY by Sophia Henry (Pilots Hockey #2)

I love this series! I reviewed POWER PLAY here.


Power Play
Sophia Henry
(Pilots Hockey #2)
Publication date: February 16th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

In Sophia Henry’s blistering follow-up to Delayed Penalty, hailed as “sexy, fun, and full of angst” by L. P. Dover, a good girl and a hockey hunk face off against expectations—and this match is guaranteed to see plenty of action.

Beneath her innocent facade, Gabriella Bertucci has her reasons to be standoffish with guys. Especially guys like Landon Taylor, a star defenseman on the minor-league Detroit Pilots and the object of a serious crush since he first walked into her family’s market. But when Landon comes through for her in a moment of crisis, Gaby starts to wonder if there might be more to Landon than hard muscles and fast skates.

Landon isn’t afraid of telling Gaby that he’s got it for her bad. The problem is, she seems unwilling to believe it. And though Landon enjoys his reputation as a cool-headed athlete, he hates losing—both on the rink and off. It’s his competitiveness that makes him so damn good at what he does . . . but it also makes him just a little bit complicated.

One minute Gaby’s tempted to give in; the next, she’s getting cold feet. How can she trust a guy who’s destined for bigger and better things to stick around? Then again, when Landon pulls her close with those powerful arms, the only thing that matters is right now.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Rule One: There’s no such thing as love at first sight.

Lust at first sight, sure, but not love. Don’t get me wrong. I love love. I love love so much, I’ve dressed up as Cupid for Halloween. But real love takes time.

Just some unsolicited advice from Gabriella Bertucci, Queen of Having It All Figured Out, except my own life, of course. It’s easy to give advice and boast lofty ideals when no one pays attention to you.

“Hey!”

I knew the voice, but I had to do a double take after looking up from the “Lions and Tigers and Red Wings, oh MI” T-shirt I’d been folding. “You got your haircut.”

Landon Taylor ran a hand over his dark blond faux-hawk and grinned. “Yeah. It was time to lose the mop top.”

“Looks nice.” I grabbed another shirt out of the cardboard box filled with our most recent shipment of T-shirts from Totally Detroit, a local screen printer. If I held the shirt up and folded it in front of my face, Landon might not notice my annoying habit of hyperventilating whenever I talked to him.

Though Landon and his family had been clients at my family’s produce stores for years, my palms still broke out in a sweat whenever he walked through the door.

“Do you guys have any more of the Tigers Legos?” Landon asked as he dug through a tiny box of toys next to the register. “My brothers are obsessed with them.”

“Yeah, I know. Your mom was in here last week and bought us out.”

“Damn.” His dark blond eyebrows knit in defeat and he turned his attention to a rack of kids’ T-shirts.

“You could buy him an actual tiger,” I suggest.

“Animal or baseball player?” Landon glanced up to shoot me a wink, then resumed pushing the hangers quickly aside, obviously not impressed with our selection.

I grabbed a stuffed tiger with the state of Michigan embroidered in pink across its chest from a nearby table and threw it at Landon. “RAWWR!” It bounced off his freshly shorn head and landed on the floor.

“Geez, Gaby! You’ve gotta tell a guy when you throw a damn tiger at him.”

“Now I see why you play hockey,” I joked before rushing behind the register to help another customer. He couldn’t retaliate while I rang up someone’s purchase, but I’d have to remember to take cover after.

The Taylor family had shopped at Eastern Market, Detroit’s historic, outdoor public market, religiously every Saturday morning for as long as I can recall. They always bought a bushel of apples from our stand and ate them as they wove through the aisles under the covered sheds. Once they would finish browsing, they would come back and load their old red wagon with enough produce to last the week.

That was back when Bertucci Produce was just a small, but thriving, stand in Shed One at Eastern Market. Years before my mom and dad decided they wanted to open 313 Artisans, the small store I currently run, which began as a way to feature local artists as well as my mom’s own artistic creations.

This was back when Landon was just a kid strolling through the streets in one of Detroit’s oldest communities, not Landon Taylor superstar defenseman for the Detroit Pilots. Detroit’s next NHL-bound player.

Rule Two: Real love is between two people. If it’s one-sided, it’s just infatuation; a crush.

Which is why I couldn’t call my feelings for Landon Taylor love. Sure, my forehead broke out in a cold sweat and my heart pumped and thumped like a rock ’n’ roll drumbeat every time I watched him walk through the door. But since I didn’t seem to have the same effect on him, it couldn’t be love.

In defense of my hormonally charged reaction, every time I saw him now he looked like a fitness model who’d just left a photo shoot. Today, for instance, a blue Detroit Pilots Under Armor shirt skimmed the curves of his chiseled chest, and black basketball shorts swished against his muscular thighs. I even knew he had on little white ankle socks inside his gray and blue Brooks running shoes.

Because I’m that obsessed observant.

 

Author Bio:

Award-Winning Author Sophia Henry is a proud Detroit native who fell in love with reading, writing and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.

She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts.

Sophia’s writes heartfelt and flirty fiction for readers who love the Mature Young Adult and New Adult genres. Check out her emotional and engaging Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Audiobook Review and Giveaway! GOLD RUSH by Jennifer Comeaux

Gold Rush
by Jennifer Comeaux
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 9th 2017

Summary:

Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.

Until she meets Braden Patrick.

He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

Audible
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords

 

Excerpt:

“Hey, Liza.”

I looked up directly into the smiling face of Braden. He was holding the raffle bucket, and a Sox player stood beside him. I was so unprepared to see him that I couldn’t even get a “hello” to come out of my mouth.

“Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?” he asked.

I felt weird having him talk down to me while I sat, so I sprang to my feet. “Hi. Umm… yeah, I’ll take a couple.”

“Cool. How many?”

I bent to get my wallet and pulled out a five dollar bill. “As many as this will get me?”

The player tore a strip of tickets from the big roll and gave them to Braden before moving on to solicit Em and Dad, who were watching Braden and me with rapt attention. Braden set the bucket down and slowly separated my part of the tickets. Now that there wasn’t a counter between us, I could see his full physique better. The top of my head only reached his chin, so he had to be more than half a foot taller than me. He had a slender build, but he wasn’t scrawny. The short sleeves of his polo showed nicely-defined biceps.

“I remember you,” Quinn said.

Braden laughed. “I remember you, too.”

Quinn might also remember Holly and me discussing Braden’s date potential. I quickly stepped between them so Quinn couldn’t see him.

“I thought you worked concessions,” I said.

“I’m an intern, so I go wherever they tell me. I like doing the raffle better because I get to see more people.”

His eyes held steady on mine in the I’m-only-looking-at-you way they’d done at the concession stand. How was I supposed to come up with witty conversation when my heart was pitter-pattering so loudly I couldn’t even think?

“Were you going to visit me at the concession stand? I’m still waiting for my autograph.” He cocked his head with a sly grin.

“Oh… yeah. I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure if you were really serious.”

“I definitely was. I’ve never met anyone as talented as you. I watched a video of you at the world championships, and you were incredible.”

“You Googled me?”

“What kind of twenty-first century guy would I be if I didn’t?”

I had to break away from his gaze because I felt redness taking over my face. If only I could be incredible and confident right now.

Review:

Such a fun and sweet story!

Even though I can barely stop on skates without an assist from the wall around the rink (this is normal, yes?), for as long as I can remember (every 4 years during the Olympics, at a minimum ;)) I’ ve dreamed of being an ice skater. (Also normal, yes? Everyone plans out skating routines while listening to instrumental music, right? Right??)

So the chance to read a book from the POV of a slightly socially-awkward ice skating Olympic (hopefully) superstar? Sign me up!

I loved both Liza and Braden. Whether it was the beginning, when she practically ran from his flirtiness at the baseball game, when they were going on their first dates, or when they were trying to be just friends (because of her parents and her need to give everything to her skating during the Olympic season), they were just great together. Plus, how many guys will back off immediately when the girl they like tells them they have to devote themselves to their sport instead of dating and be willing to hang out indefinitely in the friend zone in the hopes of someday? (I’m hoping that there are actual guys who will fit that description out there, and not just (darn–is he really just) fictional Braden…)

It was fun seeing the behind-the-scenes life of a top level figure skater–their day-to-day life, training, and competitions–and the fact that Liza reads and writes romantic fiction in her spare time just made me love her even more 🙂

I know I’ll definitely have this book and its characters on my mind the next Winter Olympics…and not just those of The Cutting Edge as per usual… 😉

The audiobook version was nicely done–the narrator has a pleasant voice, and does a great job narrating the story. I’d definitely listen to something else performed by her in the future, even if no figure skating is involved.

Though, hopefully, figure skating will be involved…

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is travelling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer loves to hear from readers! Visit jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com for contact information and to learn more about her books.

 

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookPinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pre-Release Review and Giveaway! MISTER HOCKEY by Lia Riley (Hellion’s Angels #1)

Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .

MISTER HOCKEY
Hellion’s Angels #1
Lia Riley
Releasing July 11, 2017
Avon Impulse
Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. . .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?
 
Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.
So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes.  Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.

A librarian meets–and dates–her hockey crush? Yes, please! 🙂

This book was so much fun to read. I absolutely loved the beginning, when Breezy first meets Jed and can barely string two words together…and then, OMG, her costume malfunction. Absolutely too funny! Their relationship progresses along nicely, if a bit quickly, though the specter of her stalker-like “Jed closet” is always hovering in the background (and yikes, it’s more than a little scary how closely I resemble Breezy’s fan persona…funny, but scary. And when she’s talking about where she is in her Goodreads challenge for the year? I’m pretty sure we were separated at birth). Still, they’re really adorable together. Not to mention H-O-T…

Certain parts of the story (Breezy’s mom’s turnaround, for one) seem a little bit too easy, but overall I enjoyed this story too much to really mind. I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with Breezy’s sister Neve and Coach Tor in the next book, especially if Jed and Breezy are going to be hanging around… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands
in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

 

New Release and Giveaway! STEALING FIRST by Weston Parker

Stealing First
Weston Parker
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’s saving herself for marriage.

Not if I have anything to do with it!

I steal bases for a living. Now watch me steal her v-card.

I’ll take it all, over and over, and she’ll beg me not to stop. You don’t get in the batting cage with me and expect to leave unscathed.

The minute Terra Harmon walks back into my life, I’m hard for her.

She’s always had that effect on me. She’s sweet, she’s innocent, and she’s my best friend’s little sister. She thinks she’s going to take over our pro-league baseball team. But she’s going to be so busy trying to keep her virginity intact, she won’t have time to deal with anything else.

One mistake, and I’ll slide into first.

One little slip up, and I’m going deep. Balls deep.

She wants to save herself for marriage?

She’s in the wrong game.

#Alpha #BadBoy #StealingFirst #H-O-T #SportRomance #KU #99cents

Goodreads / Amazon

Join Weston’s Insiders!
Like Bad Boys with strong language and a naughty imagination they’re not afraid to act out anytime, anywhere, all the time? You’ve found your peeps.
http://eepurl.com/cpGam5

Facebook Party:
What are you doing on the June 27th?
Well hopefully planning on coming and hanging out with Weston and Ali and all there AWESOME as hell guest!

Check out the Lineup here!

EXCERPT:

DANNY:

Turning carefully as the sunlight filtered through my bedroom window, I propped up on my elbow and reached out to brush a wayward blond hair behind her ear. My heart ached deep in my chest that she’d grow up without her momma. My sister’s little girl was now mine, and she’d be raised as my own as best I could. Being a single father for the last few years had forced me to grow the fuck up in certain areas, at least all areas other than women. It’s not like I could imagine a woman coming into my life and helping me raise Lyndsay.

“That tickles!” Her little voice surprised me. Big blue eyes looked up at me with an innocence in them that I knew I’d do anything to protect.

“What tickles?” I lifted an eyebrow and reached over to tickle the side of her neck. “This?” Her giggles filled up the air as I reached for her.

“No, Daddy! No!” She swatted at me and rolled off the bed, hitting the floor.

“Hey. You okay?” I moved quickly, ready to scoop her up.

She smiled up at me from the floor. “Yes!” Bounding up, she tickled my neck and ran off toward the living room, her blond curls flying behind her.

“You tricker!” I yelled playfully from the bedroom and got up. I ran my fingers through my hair and walked down the hallway to the kitchen. It was hard to believe Jannie had been gone for five years. Seemed like yesterday she was giving me shit about finding a good woman in my life. Too bad she never found a good man.

“What are you thinking about?” Lyndsay tilted her head to the side as she sat up at the breakfast bar, her little chin propped up in her hands. “You look worried.”

“Nope. Just trying to wake up. I went to sleep with a princess next to me and woke up to a frog.” I pinched the tip of her nose softly. “What happened?”

“A frog! Not me, Daddy.” She pulled back, shaking her head.

“No. You’re right. You’re much too pretty for that.” I walked to the fridge. “What does my girl want for breakfast this morning?”

“Pancakes, and eggs and maybe some bacon. Oh! And some sausage. And that ham we like so much, daddy. The really salty one.”

I laughed and glanced over at her. “Cinnamon rolls it is.”

She huffed and rolled her eyes. “Fine. I’m going to watch cartoons. Are we going to Mimi’s again today?”

“Yeah, baby. You know it’s baseball season right now. I have to be there when they tell me to.”

“I hate baseball season.” She walked toward the living room with her shoulders rolled in. I needed to find a damn day off to spend with her. The cute little thing had no clue that I was her uncle instead of her father. She didn’t need to know. That was the decision mom, dad and I made the day we buried my sister. It was better this way, and I was old enough and wealthy enough to take Lyndsay.

“Not that I could do it without you,” I mumbled to the empty air around me. My mom and dad had been more than helpful, and between the three of us, Lyndsay was growing up to be a bright, happy, healthy little girl.

“Dad!” she yelled from the living room.

“Yeah?” I pressed the button on the stove and walked to the edge of the kitchen.

“When are you going to bring home someone that can do my hair right?”

I put my hand on my hip and gave her a funny look. “Are you saying I’m not a good beauty shop lady or something?”

She giggle-snorted, the sound of it warming my soul. “Dad. We need a girl around here.”

“Well, we have one.” I pointed to her. “You!”

 

Author Bio:

I’m a former firefighter/EMS guy who’s picked up the proverbial pen and started writing bad boy romance stories. I co-write with my sister, Ali Parker, as we travel the United States for the next two years.

You’re going to find Billionaires, Bad Boys, Mafia and loads of sexiness. Something for everyone, hopefully. I’d love to connect with you. Check out the links below and come find me.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1