New Audiobook Review! HIDE YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez (Far North #1)

Hide Your Heart
by Tracey Alvarez

Synopsis:

Love will bring them together. Distrust will tear them apart…

Alexandra Lauren Knight has reinvented herself in the safety of her rural New Zealand hometown to become Lauren Taylor. She’s cut all ties with her past as a former model whose ex-husband turned out to be ruthless in both the boardroom and the bedroom. While Alexandra allowed other’s expectations to propel her into the spotlight, Lauren prefers the safety of anonymity; restoring classic cars with her brother, and snuggling with her four-year-old son.

Nate Fraser, a burned-out photojournalist, plans to fix up the property next door to Lauren and sell it as a celebrity retreat. Always on the move, Nate is only comfortable with short-term assignments and even shorter-term relationships. But it’s not just his buyer’s tight deadline or that the restoration is far beyond his expertise which turns a short-term project into an ordeal. Nate’s plan of travelling the globe is in jeopardy—created by the intensity of his growing feelings for Lauren and her little boy.

As the sparks of passion ignite between them it reawakens Nate’s long forgotten dream of having a home and family. Lauren must find a way to trust Nate not only with her secrets, but with her heart—before her safe haven is exposed and she can no longer hide in the shadows.

 

Review:

Such a sweet read! I loved the characters–Lauren and Nate, naturally, but also Lauren’s brother Todd and sister-in-law Kathy and Drew, of course–he is absolutely adorable, with his monkey-roni and the Superman picture–too cute! 🙂

Lauren’s fighting some pretty big demons–she and her son escaped an abusive relationship and a life she’d never asked for in New York City, seeking refuge in rural New Zealand. Once a world-famous model, she’s dyed her hair, changed her look, and keeps herself apart from everyone but her immediate family. She’s afraid of being recognized, afraid of the paparazzi, and afraid to let anyone outside her family in. She originally befriends Nate somewhat reluctantly in order to get him to change his plans for the property next door, but the more she gets to know him, the more she wants him, even though she knows their relationship can’t last…

Having recently lost his mentor, Nate’s taking a break from his photojournalism to rehab a house he’s bought sight unseen. (Okay–he saw pictures, but they were misleadingly old and hugely inaccurate.) He’s in way over his head, so he enlists the help of a neighbor–a neighbor who’s less than thrilled to notice his new boss’s interest in his sister. Nate’s drawn to Lauren and charmed by his son, but has always believed that his would be a solitary existence–leaving a family to chase work around the globe just wouldn’t be right, after all. That’s what his mentor always told him…didn’t he?

I loved watching Lauren and Nate grow closer, and seeing Drew work his magic on the confirmed bachelor. Tracey’s new series is starting out beautifully–this book doesn’t quite have the same lighthearted feel to it that her Due South series does, but it’s written with her same trademark humor. I loved every minute I spent reading this one, and look forward to book two–which will star Nate’s equally famous (and in at least one aspect, equally infamous) cousin.

The audiobook version added the extra dimension of an awesome New Zealand accent–so fun! The narrator did a nice job of bringing Tracey’s story to life–here’s hoping that the duo will get together in the future to bring more of her books to audio!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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

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New Release Review! SAYING I DO by Tracey Alvarez (Stewart Island #8)


Saying I Do

by Tracey Alvarez

Synopsis:

Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…

Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.

MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?

SAYING I DO is the eighth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Stewart Island books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with a touch of humor, you’ll love sharing the journey with these authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.

 

Review:

Another great addition to the Stewart Island series–and an enemies-to-lovers, to boot! Can’t go wrong 🙂

I really liked MacKenna and Joe’s story–enemies-to-lovers can be so much fun, especially when we get to see the whole push-pull of not really liking the person you’re totally attracted to dynamic from both characters’ POV. Hearing their internal dialogue as they try to resist, and seeing them give into it anyway is always such delicious fun–and Mac and Joe were definitely a great example of the troupe!

I have to admit, Ms. Alvarez had me a teensy bit worried at about the 80-something% mark–though I was excited about the turn the story was taking, what the two of them were doing didn’t feel quite right…and then it all went very, very wrong–but I should have known better. Everything worked out exactly as it should have in the end, and everybody stayed in character on their way to their HEA. Win-win!

And…can I just say? That cover? As swoon-worthy as the story!

Probably more so than most of the others in the series, Saying I Do would work well as a standalone–though Mac’s Holly’s (Playing For Fun) cousin and several of the Due South/Stewart Island crew make brief appearances, Joe and Mac and some new characters that they bring along with them (Joe has brothers! And Mac’s got single co-workers…hint, hint) are really more of the focus here, so you’re not really at a loss if you haven’t read the other series books already. But seriously, do yourself a favor, and try them all 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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New Release Review! TEACH YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez (Far North #3)

Synopsis:

Some lessons are harder to learn than others…

Doctor O-for-Awesome Owen Bennett is all about fixing broken things. Then the arrival of his orphaned nieces and nephew for twelve weeks causes his workaholic life to plummet into chaos. Hiring the beautiful but unpredictable Gracie Cooper as a live-in nanny might just get him out of a tight spot…or it could seduce him into a reckless affair.

After four years flitting around Europe, waitress/dog-walker/au-pair Gracie Cooper has returned home to New Zealand. Her plans to hang out with her big brother change when Owen offers a perfect solution to her crippling university debt. In spite of her sexy-stick-in-the-mud boss, she’ll spend fun days playing in Bounty Bay’s sand and surf with three cute kids. At summer’s end she’ll follow the sun overseas again.

Gracie and Owen’s opposites-attract connection is so unexpected and powerful that their foundations are rocked. But some things aren’t easy to fix. Some past hurts can’t be run from forever. And the lessons they teach each other risk breaking their hearts.

 

Review:

I am loving the characters of the Far North series just as much as the Due South ones!

Gracie Cooper, little sister of Glen from Know Your Heart , is at loose ends in her life. Unable to stomach staying with their overbearing and demanding father for even a weekend, she heads off to visit her big bro and his fiancee until her next job calls her…only she doesn’t actually make it there, not really. She’s waylaid along the way by two babysitter escapees, one who looks suspiciously like a human minion and the other who clearly needs a trip to the emergency room.

The emergency room where their uncle and temporary guardian, Dr. Owen “O is for Awesome” Bennett works. Coincidence? Of course not! How else can we throw these two obviously-opposites-but-still-clearly-meant-for-each-other people together? 😉

His babysitter has just quit, she needs a temporary job, the kids will go back to his mother’s in two months…what could go wrong?

LOL…like you have to ask!

I adored Gracie and Owen (and all the different “O is for…” names that she and her friends will come up with throughout the book), and Morgan, Will (or William, never Willie, for a reason I agree with but that still makes me LOL), and Charlie (NOT Charlotte!) were such a fun group of kids–not at all plot-moppety. Watching Owen learn to loosen up once again and Gracie finally find some roots was such a good time. And Owen’s ever-evolving “house rules” made me laugh out loud–and wince–because yeah, Legos hurt. I’m with you there, Dr. McDreamy.

Though the couples from the first two books do play roles here, this one would work fine as a standalone if you haven’t had a chance to read them yet. (But read them later! Trust me, you won’t be sorry.) And fortunately, there’s still a few suspiciously single characters floating around town who clearly need their own HEAs, so there’s good hope that we’ll see more of Gracie, Owen, Morgan, Will, and Charlie in the future too 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

 

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New Release Review! KISSING THE BRIDE by Tracey Alvarez (Due South #7.5)

Kissing The Bride
by Tracey Alvarez

Synopsis:

The countdown is on to the Wedding of the Year, New Zealand!

It’s seven days until Shaye Harland and Del Westlake finally tie the knot—and it’ll be the most awesomesauce wedding Stewart Island has ever seen if Shaye has anything to do with it. Her All Things Nuptial journal has the big day planned to perfection, but not everything runs like clockwork. While marrying the man of her dreams beats chocolate as an Easter treat, a few mini-catastrophes like Boris the obstinate sea lion threaten to ruin their special day.

Download your copy of KISSING THE BRIDE and dive into the Due South world!
Intended for mature 18+ aged readers.

 

Review:

Such a sweet–and entertaining–story! I loved revisiting Shaye and Del and seeing them tie the knot. The countdown format was a lot of fun (7 days before the Big Day and counting…) and I enjoyed watching them encounter (and defeat, of course!) all the obstacles Ms. Alvarez threw in their way as the big day came closer. Seeing everyone come together to help them prepare and celebrate was like attending a family reunion (but the fun kind, with the side of the family you get along with-not the side with the creepy uncle and annoying cousins). I love seeing favorite characters once again in a slice of life format like that!

Kissing the Bride could probably be read on its own, but it’s going to have a lot more meaning for you if you’ve at least read the first part to Shaye and Del’s story,  Ready to Burn. If you’ve read the entire Due South series, even better!

And now I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment… (subtle hint) 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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

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Release Day Review! DRAWING ME IN by Tracey Alvarez (Due South #7)

Drawing Me In
by Tracey Alvarez

Synopsis:

She’s drawn by his wild spirit…
Bree Findlow’s ordered world slides into chaos when the man who broke her heart arrives back in their small New Zealand home-town. But with years of avoidance tactics under her belt, she figures ignoring the sexy-as-sin artist whose touch colors her red hot, is a practical solution. Until her mother arrives with an announcement jeopardizing Bree’s livelihood, and her sister also shows up…along with the nine-year-old secret Bree has kept hidden from everyone. Especially the father of that secret.

He’s drawn by her quiet strength…
Harley Komeke is back in Oban to rest, regroup and hopefully re-find his missing muse. He also isn’t against rediscovering every inch of the icy-cool treat, Bree Findlow—after falling under her spell in what felt like a lifetime ago at Art College. His pursuit takes an unexpected turn when, hello, insta-fatherhood. Reeling from shock, Harley knows he should despise the woman who allowed her sister to informally adopt their son, but he can’t. Because Bree, more than anyone, understands that with his past, he never, ever wanted to risk having a wife and family.

They’re drawn to each other over and over…
Like the formidable tides that surge around Stewart Island, Bree and Harley can’t resist the heat generated between them. Push and pull, kiss and retreat, touch after breathless touch—until a moment’s recklessness has consequences neither can brush aside.

Passion won’t hold them together when past fears threaten to tear them apart.

 

Review:

Another Due South book–yay!

This time our hero is Harley Komeke, Ford’s (Playing For Fun) can’t-hold-me-down artist twin–back from NYC for their birth mother’s funeral; hanging around for a while in the hopes his muse will show up long enough for him to create the pieces he needs for his next big city show. Only she’s playing hard to get…and so is Bree Findlow, the woman he all but ran from back at art school.

Or is she?

Bree’s been keeping a major, ten-year-old secret from Harley, and it’s one that’s going to change things forever. And speaking of life changes, there just might be yet another one in store for these two…

I have to admit, it was hard to read Harley and Bree’s story at times. They’ve both made some pretty significant mistakes, and they’ve both done things that have hurt the other. Harley’s insistence that he can’t do commitment, can’t be someone’s father got to be frustrating–even while the reasons behind the belief are heartbreaking. Bree’s leaving him at about 3/4 of the way in? Devastating. Ms. Alvarez sure knows how to put her characters through the wringer, and us right along with them!

Fortunately, she pulls us all through to the other side with skill and a feel-good HEA. I loved everything that Harley does to show Bree that he’s changed in all the ways that matter, and I put the book down with a happy sigh and a big smile on my face. It was also fun to see the rest of the series characters continuing to be H in their EAs (especially Piper and West! Big things are happening for them :))

Drawing Me In would work okay as a standalone, though as some aspects of it deal quite a bit with Harley and Ford’s past, it’s probably a good idea (but not an absolute necessity) to read Ford’s book first.

Favorite line:

Mundane tasks like work and earning a living were so much more fun after multiple orgasms.

True that, Bree! 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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

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New Release Review: PLAYING FOR FUN by Tracey Alvarez (Due South #6)

playing for fun

Playing For Fun
by Tracey Alvarez

Synopsis:

Wanted: A woman for Ford.
Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.

Offered: Dream job with a catch.
What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.

Warning: One kiss is never enough.
As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.

Review:

Another entertaining read in the Due South universe!

Playing for Fun is a friends-to-lovers romance, and it’s an entertaining example of the genre. Holly and Ford have known each other forever–way back when, though, Holly thought she had a thing for Ford’s twin, Harley. Before perpetual bachelor Harley took off to pursue his dream of being an artist, however, he let her down gently but firmly.

Fast forward several years…

Holly now admits that what she felt for Harley was nothing more than a schoolgirl crush. What she feels for Ford, on the other hand, is an…awareness. One she’s sure will fade away when 1) he finds a nice girl who’s not stuck in the friendzone with super glue, like Holly is and 2) Holly moves to the mainland, back to the salon where she did her apprenticeship and where she would be able to finally do the salon work she loves full-time.

So, yeah, that’s the plan. Find Ford a woman, and move to Invercargill. What can go wrong?

Ford’s adventures with online dating are amusing–he changes the photo Holly set his profile up with with a dodgy one, and a few of the comments he gets as a result are entertaining. Slightly disturbing, but entertaining. When women start coming to the island for dates, though, the sight of Ford with someone else nearly makes Holly sick. Fortunately, they’re not quite working for Ford either. But then the two of them share a kiss, and in one of the most awkward conversations ever, Ford finds himself suggesting they try out a relationship. Holly manages to overlook his clumsiness, though, and before you know it they’re “playing for fun” at a relationship.

But it’s only temporary, because Holly’s leaving soon.

Or is she?

These two have a lot thrown at them here–Holly’s career decisions, Ford’s current family drama and his painful and messy past, Holly’s downstairs neighbor who needs more help than Holly can give, but who refuses to move to the Sonny”hell” (as she calls it) rest home… How can they resolve all their issues and be together? Would it be worth it to even try?

Of course it is:)

And now that Holly and Ford manage to work their way to their HEA, dare we hope that Harley will make his way home so that he can find his? 😉

Rating: 4 stars / B+

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

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Release Day! CHRISTMAS DOWN UNDER Anthology–Six authors, six complete stories–99 cents!

100% pure Christmas.

It’s hot sun and hotter men, warm sand and crystal-clear water, prawns on the barbecue and cricket on the beach. It’s sweet, slow kisses and long, lazy days. It’s Christmas Down Under.

Warm your heart, and maybe a little bit more, too, with six sweet, sexy stories of Down Under lovin’ from six bestselling authors who know how to do it right, from a little bit steamy all the way up to OMG. Whether it’s the beaches of Australia or New Zealand’s subtropical Far North, it’s nothing but feel-good love for Christmas this year. So if you’re feeling a little chilly? Pour a cold glass of wine or a hot mug of cocoa, curl up on the couch, and enjoy!

· Six standalone books (no cliffhangers!) spanning 1,000+ pages
· Over 95% off retail for the individual books sold separately
· Only available through December–get your copy today!

Six perfect indulgences to get you in the Christmas spirit:

ROSALIND JAMES – Just for Now (Escape to New Zealand)
SERENITY WOODS – A Festive Treat (Treats to Tempt You)
ANNIE SEATON – Christmas With the Boss
KRIS PEARSON – Christmas Holiday Hearts (Heartlands)
JOANNE HILL – Promising Penny
TRACEY ALVAREZ – Hide Your Heart (Far North)

INDIVIDUAL BOOKS INCLUDE 5 Full-Length Novels & 1 Long Novella. No cliffhangers! Over 1,000 pgs!

Review:

Ugh, grad school. I’ll be working on getting through this for a while, thanks to all the extra work I’ve voluntarily (!) taken on this fall. I’ll add reviews as I finish the stories–hopefully I’ll finish by Christmas! 🙂

HIDE YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez

Such a sweet read! I loved the characters–Lauren and Nate, naturally, but also Lauren’s brother Todd and sister-in-law Kathy and Drew, of course–he is absolutely adorable, with his monkey-roni and the Superman picture–too cute! 🙂

Lauren’s fighting some pretty big demons–she and her son escaped an abusive relationship and a life she’d never asked for in New York City, seeking refuge in rural New Zealand. Once a world-famous model, she’s dyed her hair, changed her look, and keeps herself apart from everyone but her immediate family. She’s afraid of being recognized, afraid of the paparazzi, and afraid to let anyone outside her family in. She originally befriends Nate somewhat reluctantly in order to get him to change his plans for the property next door, but the more she gets to know him, the more she wants him, even though she knows their relationship can’t last…

Having recently lost his mentor, Nate’s taking a break from his photojournalism to rehab a house he’s bought sight unseen. (Okay–he saw pictures, but they were misleadingly old and hugely inaccurate.) He’s in way over his head, so he enlists the help of a neighbor–a neighbor who’s less than thrilled to notice his new boss’s interest in his sister. Nate’s drawn to Lauren and charmed by his son, but has always believed that his would be a solitary existence–leaving a family to chase work around the globe just wouldn’t be right, after all. That’s what his mentor always told him…didn’t he?

I loved watching Lauren and Nate grow closer, and seeing Drew work his magic on the confirmed bachelor. Tracey’s new series is starting out beautifully–this book doesn’t quite have the same lighthearted feel to it that her Due South series does, but it’s written with her same trademark humor. I loved every minute I spent reading this one, and look forward to book two–which will star Nate’s equally famous (and in at least one aspect, equally infamous) cousin.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review–and then I went out and bought a copy anyway, because–99 cents! 🙂

Release Day Review and Giveaway! KNOW YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez (Far North #2)

Book two in the Far North series is out now!

He is the one she couldn’t remember. She is the one he couldn’t forget…

After being unexpectedly kicked off a movie set, her part given to a younger actress, Savannah Payne flees to her holiday house in Bounty Bay. There, in her little hideaway managed for her by her older cousin, she’ll be able to lick her wounds privately, and prepare for an audition of a lifetime in L.A. Only her cousin has rented the place out to an old friend for the next month. A friend whose knowledge of the law means she has no easy way to evict her stop-the-heart sexy tenant. He tempts her, challenges her, and sees to the heart of who she is with knowing ice-blue eyes.

Glen Cooper has woken up and smelled the decaying roses. Working in his father’s law firm is murder on his creative heart. A month in New Zealand’s sub-tropical Far North without the distraction of family and work is what he needs to finally complete writing the book he’s worked on for years. He hadn’t anticipated the woman who’d haunted his university days arriving on his doorstep, demanding her house back. But the distraction of her close by must stop. With a literary agent’s deadline approaching, he has to ignore his growing attraction to Savannah or his dream may never become a reality.

Something about Glen stirs Savannah’s blood and the slippery memories of a quiet young man she glimpsed in the background of her tumultuous teenage years begin to return. But how can they make the sacrifice love requires when she has one foot out the door—ready to walk away from him a second time?

 

Review:

Another winner!

Know Your Heart is both a enemies-to-lovers story and a lovers with a past story–although for a good chunk of the book, one of the characters doesn’t quite remember the brief past they had together. Still, it happened, and eventually it comes back to her, so it totally counts. 😉

Savannah, the heroine of Know Your Heart, is Nate’s ( Hide Your Heart ) cousin. She’s bought the property that Nate spent his book renovating to use as a retreat between projects, and at the book’s beginning is supposed to be far away from New Zealand, on her latest movie set. But when she’s bumped from the project for an actress twenty-five pounds lighter and five years younger, she decides that her new home is exactly the right place to be.

On teensy, tiny problem: Nate’s rented her home out to an old friend of his who’s trying to finish writing his book. And he’s not willing to leave–not even for the Savannah Payne.

Especially not for the Savannah Payne, when he realizes that she has absolutely no memory of the first time they met–no memory that she’s acknowledging, anyway.

So, yeah. Glen’s got a rental contract and he’s sticking to it. Savannah Payne can just find somewhere else to stay until it’s over.

Except that her “somewhere else” turns out to be in an eyesore of a mobile home, parked the requisite ten feet away from the house, right in plain view of her office window giving Glen an unobstructed view all day long. So begins the “enemies” portion of the book, where Sav does all she can to try to drive him away in her “campaign of passive-aggressive tackiness” (LOL!), as Glen describes it at one point.

Lawn gnomes, pink flamingos, and really loud country music at god-awful early hours of the morning are involved.Through it all, though, they both find themselves fighting an attraction they’re finding harder and harder to deny.

“You know, I liked you a hell of a lot more twenty minutes ago than I do now.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.” She met his gaze. “Because then you weren’t treating me like a porcelain doll who might shatter if you looked at it the wrong way. You’ve gone head-to-head with me, assuming I’m tough enough to take anything you dish out. So go back to the guy who kissed me without worrying I’d flinch or run away.”

Something flared hot and hungry in his gaze. “You like that guy, huh?”

“A little. But don’t get smug about it. You’re insufferable enough as it is.”

Sav and Glen go from enemies to friends to lovers, but through it all they both know that there’s an expiration date on their relationship. Savvy’s just marking time until her next LA project, and Glen’s got to get back to his “real life” where he works in his dad’s law firm.

In other words, there’s no future there.

Or is there…?

I loved Savannah and Glen, both when they were getting along and when they weren’t. Their chemistry was undeniable, and especially during Savvy’s “campaign of terror” there were a whole lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Nate, Lauren, Drew, and Java, the stars of book one, wander in and out of their story as well; though this one could work as a standalone, there’s enough references to book one events to seriously whet your appetite. (Plus, if you have read Hide Your Heart you know just howawwwwww-inducing it is to hear Drew calling Nate “Daddy”. Seriously. So. Sweet.)

Now I’m left anxiously awaiting book three… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

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

 

Release Week special

Hide Your Heart 99-cents buy links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
iBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Know Your Heart:

Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

 

Know Your Heart Prize Pack

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New Release Spotlight! LOVE DOWN UNDER: EIGHT NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIAN FEEL-GOOD BEACH ROMANCES

Who’s ready for a beach read? 🙂

ldu #2

Love Down Under: Eight New Zealand & Australian Feel-Good Beach Romances
by Rosalind James, Tracey Alvarez, Diana Fraser, H.Y. Hanna, Joanne Hill, Kris Pearson, Annie Seaton, and Serenity Woods

 

Eight New Zealand & Australian Beach Romances

100% pure escape.

Escape to the Land Down Under, where the sky is bluer, the living is slower, and the loving is sweeter. This summer, dive into eight heartwarming feel-good beach romances by bestselling Australian and New Zealand authors. And because size matters, they’re all novel or long novella length! We’ve got cheeky, sexy, funny, steamy, sweet—and all with heaps of heart. Enjoy with a tall pitcher of iced tea or a bottle of chilled white wine—we’ll never tell!

  • Eight standalone novels (no cliffhangers!) spanning 1,500+ pages
  • Over 95% off retail for the individual books sold separately
  • Only available through July–get your copy today!

INDIVIDUAL BOOKS INCLUDE 6 Full-Length Novels & 2 Long Novellas. No Cliffhangers! Over 1,500 pgs!

ROSALIND JAMES, – Just for You (Escape to New Zealand)

All Black rugby star Hemi Ranapia meets a beautiful—and very unimpressed—blast from his past, and finds his fishing holiday taking a most unexpected turn. Sometimes, especially in New Zealand’s Maori Northland, it really does take a village. And sometimes it just takes a little faith. (Heat level: Steamy)

 

TRACEY ALVAREZ – Melting Into You (Due South)

Ben Harland doesn’t do emotional stuff, but he does want to do Stewart Island’s pretty schoolteacher, Kezia Murphy. He needs a plan B to convince Kezia into his bed when his surprise eight-year-old daughter unexpectedly arrives on his doorstep. (Heat level: Steamy)

 

DIANA FRASER – The Playboy’s Redemption  (The McKenzies)

James Mackenzie is tired of his shallow lifestyle and wants a family. But first, he wants to secure the future of the woman he wronged ten years before. But how can Susie Henderson trust someone who betrayed her, someone who doesn’t even believe in himself? (Heat level: Steamy)

 

H.Y. HANNA – Playing to Win (Summer Beach Vets)

Ellie Monroe doesn’t make mistakes, and her dream job in a gorgeous Australian seaside town isn’t the place to start. But a mischievous chocolate Lab and a handsome Aussie vet just might make her change her mind. Sometimes, a mistake can be the best thing that could happen to you… (Heat level: Sweet)

 

JOANNE HILL – Falling for Jack

Jack Fletcher has survived his rough upbringing to become a mega success. Now, with his personal life already in turmoil, he discovers he has a son. Robyn Taylor, the brainy girl destined for great things, waits tables for a living to support her twins. Looking after Jack’s son is a change for the better—or is it?  (Heat Level: Sweet)

 

KRIS PEARSON – The Boat Builder’s Bed (Wicked in Wellington)

Sophie Calhoun fears her dream contract comes with strings that tie her to the superyacht-builder’s bed. She knows Rafe Severino won’t want a preoccupied single mother, so she’s concealing her daughter’s existence – and trying desperately not to fall in love.   (Heat level: Steamy)

 

ANNIE SEATON – Beach House (Bondi Beach Love)

Rosie Pemberton has her life mapped out, and her tarot cards agree. The cards take a turn, though, when her aunt leaves the old house on the hill above Australia’s Bondi Beach to champion surfer Taj Brown. Three months sharing a house with a pinup would test any woman’s self-control… (Heat level: Steamy)

 

SERENITY WOODS – A Secret Between Friends (Treats  to Tempt You)

Genie Sharpe has come home to New Zealand’s Bay of Islands from Afghanistan with a bad knee, an aching heart, and her best friend Ciara’s bucket list. Ciara’s gorgeous big brother might be just the cure she needs, but secrets between friends  have a way of spiraling out of control. (Heat level: Steamy)

 

Excerpts:

Annie Seaton: BEACH HOUSE

By the time he showered and limped back down the stairs, the house was quiet. He tapped on the door of the room Rosie had directed him to, and waited for her to open the door. He didn’t want to seem too eager.

“Come in.” Her voice was brisk as she stepped back to let him enter the dimly lit room. A strong smell of massage oil wafted over to him as she pointed to the privacy screen at the back of the small room.

“Slip down to your jocks, and lie face down on the table. Give me a call when you’re all settled.”

She stepped outside as he walked over to the screen and stripped down, hanging his jeans and shirt on the hook provided. He was looking forward to this. He always enjoyed a remedial massage and Rosie’s hands on him would make it even more enjoyable.

“I’m done,” he called out as he settled face down on the table and put his face into the soft vinyl ring, and looked down at the floor. A click was followed by soft music; the same sort of music they’d played in that alternative soul place in the Maldives. He closed his eyes as two warm hands gripped his calves and straightened his legs.

“Hmm.” Her voice was soft but with a tinge of concern.

“What’s wrong?” Taj tried to lift his head and look around but his position face down on the massage table made it too difficult. Rosie stretched his leg back and then the other.

“Which knee is the bad one?”

“The right one.”

“Hmm.”

“Hmm…what?”

“Your left leg is a fraction longer than your right. Do you have back problems?”

“No. Just the bloody knee. I’m as fit as a Mallee bull apart from the knee.”

“Hmm.”

Taj closed his eyes and let Rosie work her magic. He tried to focus on the remedial aspect of the massage but her firm hands sliding up and down the backs of his calves and thighs, and the smooth sensation of the massage oil on his skin sent tingles up to his groin. He swallowed and focused on the patterned carpet on the floor beneath the table. He counted the roses, then counted the leaves on the winding stems. The tightness that had been building in his groin began to lessen, until her warm hands reached his lower back.

God, he didn’t want to have a hard on when she rolled him over. But then all thoughts of pleasure flew out the window as her firm fingers hit a nerve at the base of his back and she pressed. Hard. Bloody hard.

“Holy shit.” He almost jumped off the table. “What the fuck’s that?”

“Breathe it out.”

“Breathe it out! I can’t bloody breathe. What the hell are you doing?”

“You want your knee fixed?”

“That’s not my knee.”

© Annie Seaton 2015

 

Serenity Woods, A SECRET BETWEEN FRIENDS

 

Genie took a swallow from her cup and shrugged. “I can understand why you’re mad—that was pretty embarrassing.”

“It’s nothing to do with Tamsin.”

She frowned. “What do you mean?” He didn’t reply, and after a few moments her eyes widened. “You’re not talking about Danny, surely?”

He looked out across the bay and drank his coffee.

She huffed out an irritated sigh. “Niall, seriously? You know we were winding you up, right? Anyway, me and Danny?” She laughed. “That’s as funny as saying me and Jonah. All the guys are like brothers to me.”

“Including me?”

Humor lit her eyes. “No, Niall. Excluding you.”

“Why?”

Her smile faded. “I don’t know.”

“You don’t think of me like a brother?”

“I trust you like one. I respect you. You drive me nuts the same as the others.”

He couldn’t bring himself to smile. “Why were you and Danny winding me up?”

“I thought that was what we all did to each other.”

Not now, he thought. Maybe a long time ago, he’d thought of her like a sister. But no longer.

A frown flickered across her brow again. “Why are you so angry with me?”

“I’m not angry with you.”

“Then…”

“I don’t want you to see anyone else,” he said.

He waited for the outburst. For her cry of indignation. For her to yell, Who the hell do you think you are?

It didn’t come. Instead, her lips curved a very tiny bit, and her eyes shone in the moonlight.

“Okay,” she whispered.

He held her gaze for a while. Then they both turned back to the view and sipped their coffee.

He couldn’t think what to say. He felt confused, hopeful, and frustrated, all at the same time.

After a few minutes of silence, she put down her glass and limped off to the laundry room.

He waited a moment, then put down his glass and followed her.

When he reached the doorway, he leaned on the jamb and watched her, hands in his pockets. She was folding up some washing she’d done earlier, placing tops on hangers and laying jeans over the clothes stand.

She glanced up at him, then back at the washing. What was she thinking? She’d expressed no resentment at his demand, and he couldn’t understand why. Hadn’t it irritated her? She’d always been fiercely independent, disliking any guy who tried to make demands on her. But the only word to leave her mouth had been Okay. Why had she said that?

His gaze slid down her, noting the curve of her waist and hips, the swell of her breasts as she leaned over the machine to reach the basket. The pale skin of her neck and behind her ear. How pink her lips were, and her beautiful Cupid’s bow.

She didn’t look up again, but twin spots of red touched her cheekbones. He tilted his head to look at them, and the color intensified.

A smile touched his lips.

He pushed off the doorjamb and walked into the room. Took the washing from her hands and threw it into the basket.

Her lips parted, but she didn’t object, her breathing coming quickly as he turned her to face him.

Bending a little, he caught the bottom of her dress in his hands and lifted it. Wordlessly, she raised her arms so he could pull the dress up over her breasts and head, and he dropped it to the floor.

© Serenity Woods 2015

 

Review:

Still working my way through this one! Reviews to come as I finish…

Melting into You by Tracey Alvarez:

Life hasn’t been easy for Kezia Murphy. Four years ago, her precocious daughter Zoe fought and won an epic battle with leukemia. In the midst of that struggle, Zoe’s dad was lost to them forever in a senseless accident. Once Zoe recovered, Kezia packed up their belongings for a fresh start on Stewart Island, determined to never again depend on people who would ultimately let her down. Ever since, it’s been her and Zoe–with a tiny bit of help from a small group of select friends, Piper and Shaye Harland among them–against the world.

Enter Ben Harland. He’s the oldest of the Harland siblings, and he is so absolutely out of the question as far as Kezia’s concerned. Sure, he’s hot. But can you say commitment phobe? Ben’s got two rules: one, never mess around with local women; two, ditto friends of his sisters. Kezia’s a check mark in both columns, thankyouverymuch. Soooo not going to happen.

Except they have a crazy attraction going on…which they maybe could have kept on ignoring. Until a major surprise shows up on Ben’s doorstep one Saturday morning…

His eight-year-old daughter Jade. Whose existence Ben knew nothing about until that very moment–and suddenly, he’s got a pint-sized house guest for two weeks. And not a clue what to do with her.

But, hey–Kezia teaches eight-year-olds. Heck, she has an eight-year-old–and Zoe’s already decided that Jade’s going to be her new BFF.

So, no problem. Ben can get a little help from Kezia for the next two weeks, squeeze in a one-night-only fling with her somewhere far away from prying Oban eyes, and send his daughter back to her mother at the end of the holiday, none the worse for wear. And then he’ll have his life back, no sweat.

Riiiight. You know how well that’s going to work out, don’t you? 😉

Though it is the second in the series, Melting into You can be read as a stand-alone. Piper and West, the hero and heroine of  In Too Deep, make just enough of an appearance to whet your appetite for their story, though–don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

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

love down under

 

LOVE DOWN UNDER Author Bios:

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, Tracey Alvarez writes steamy but heart-warming contemporary romances set in New Zealand.

Website: http://www.traceyalvarez.com

 

Diana Fraser is an award-winning author of sexy, emotional romances set wherever there are beautiful locations and wealthy and powerful men!

Website: http://www.dianafraser.net

 

H.Y. Hanna is an award-winning author of sweet romances, romantic suspense and mysteries set in beautiful, exotic locations.
Website: http://www.hyhanna.com

 

Kiwi author Joanne Hill writes short romance – light, funny, and contemporary, set in beautiful New Zealand.

Website: http://www.joannehill.com

 

Rosalind James is a bestselling wannabe-Kiwi author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense set in both New Zealand and the U.S.

Website: http://www.rosalindjames.com

 

Kris Pearson writes sizzling contemporary romance, pure and simple. Well, maybe not that pure! She’s the author of a dozen steamy novels.

Website: http://www.krispearson.com

 

Annie Seaton is a bestselling Aussie author of beach romances set all over the world in exotic locations.

Website: http://www.annieseatonromance.com

 

A prolific and award-winning fantasy and romance author of over 40 books, Serenity Woods writes hot and sultry romances with a happy ever after.

Website: http://www.serenitywoodsromance.com

 

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Release Day Review and Giveaway! HIDE YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez (Far North #1)

A new series from Tracey Alvarez! Yay! 🙂

Synopsis:

Love will bring them together. Distrust will tear them apart…

Alexandra Lauren Knight has reinvented herself in the safety of her rural New Zealand hometown to become Lauren Taylor. She’s cut all ties with her past as a former model whose ex-husband turned out to be ruthless in both the boardroom and the bedroom. While Alexandra allowed other’s expectations to propel her into the spotlight, Lauren prefers the safety of anonymity; restoring classic cars with her brother, and snuggling with her four-year-old son.

Nate Fraser, a burned-out photojournalist, plans to fix up the property next door to Lauren and sell it as a celebrity retreat. Always on the move, Nate is only comfortable with short-term assignments and even shorter-term relationships. But it’s not just his buyer’s tight deadline or that the restoration is far beyond his expertise which turns a short-term project into an ordeal. Nate’s plan of travelling the globe is in jeopardy—created by the intensity of his growing feelings for Lauren and her little boy.

As the sparks of passion ignite between them it reawakens Nate’s long forgotten dream of having a home and family. Lauren must find a way to trust Nate not only with her secrets, but with her heart—before her safe haven is exposed and she can no longer hide in the shadows.

 

Review:

Such a sweet read! I loved the characters–Lauren and Nate, naturally, but also Lauren’s brother Todd and sister-in-law Kathy and Drew, of course–he is absolutely adorable, with his monkey-roni and the Superman picture–too cute! 🙂

Lauren’s fighting some pretty big demons–she and her son escaped an abusive relationship and a life she’d never asked for in New York City, seeking refuge in rural New Zealand. Once a world-famous model, she’s dyed her hair, changed her look, and keeps herself apart from everyone but her immediate family. She’s afraid of being recognized, afraid of the paparazzi, and afraid to let anyone outside her family in. She originally befriends Nate somewhat reluctantly in order to get him to change his plans for the property next door, but the more she gets to know him, the more she wants him, even though she knows their relationship can’t last…

Having recently lost his mentor, Nate’s taking a break from his photojournalism to rehab a house he’s bought sight unseen. (Okay–he saw pictures, but they were misleadingly old and hugely inaccurate.) He’s in way over his head, so he enlists the help of a neighbor–a neighbor who’s less than thrilled to notice his new boss’s interest in his sister. Nate’s drawn to Lauren and charmed by his son, but has always believed that his would be a solitary existence–leaving a family to chase work around the globe just wouldn’t be right, after all. That’s what his mentor always told him…didn’t he?

I loved watching Lauren and Nate grow closer, and seeing Drew work his magic on the confirmed bachelor. Tracey’s new series is starting out beautifully–this book doesn’t quite have the same lighthearted feel to it that her Due South series does, but it’s written with her same trademark humor. I loved every minute I spent reading this one, and look forward to book two–which will star Nate’s equally famous (and in at least one aspect, equally infamous) cousin.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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

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