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The weather forecasters said the snowstorm would miss the eastern seaboard. They were wrong. When Ally Henderson’s flight from Southern California to finally marry her fiancé in New York City on Christmas gets diverted to the tiny Midwestern town of Bethlehem, she’s desperate to get back in the air and to the Big Apple. But with all the airports closed, she’s forced to rely on Midwestern hospitality to wait out the storm.
Living with a welcoming stranger is one way to spend a snowed-in Christmas, but when she meets the local diner owner, the kindhearted and surprisingly sexy Jake, sparks fly. Only, Ally’s a big-city girl with big-city dreams, and Jake will always be a Bethlehem boy.
“Let me get this straight,” Ally said. “You sneak over here every December 22nd and build a snowman in the yard?”
“Pretty much,” Jake said. “Each year I have to wait a little longer because Maddie’s bedtime keeps getting later.”
“But what if there’s no snow?”
“Yeah, we did have that problem a couple of years ago. Luckily, I have a buddy who works at Echo Mountain Ski Resort. I drove two hours one-way to load up my pickup with manmade snow. Had more than I needed, so I spread the rest in the yard.”
Ally smiled. How sweet that he would go to all that trouble.
“Does Maddie know you’re the culprit?” Ally asked.
“She pretends she doesn’t,” Jake said. “Though I did catch her peeking out the window one night several years back. To be honest, I think she enjoys the fantasy more than the reality.”
“Don’t we all?” Ally said. “So,” she added, “let’s get started.”
Jake swung open the gate. “I like your attitude.”
He retrieved a canvas bag of supplies that he kept hidden beneath the porch steps, explaining that he stowed the bag at his sister’s so that he’d have the materials on hand year in and year out when he stole over in the night to do this snowman-building deed. As she worked side-by-side with Jake constructing the surprise snowman, Ally noticed that he seemed a bit chattier than usual. She liked it. He was getting more comfortable with her.
“So anyway,” Jake said, “when this all started, Maddie was into Bob the Builder. That’s why she named him Snowman Bob. One year, I put one of Mom’s wigs on him just to test that, and she still called him Snowman Bob.” Ally laughed as she packed some icy snow onto Bob’s mid- section. “Been doing it every year since she was four. And, tomorrow morning, she’ll wake up, remember what day it is, run outside and…here he’ll be.” Ally stepped back and took in their joint venture. They’d been at it for about a half hour, and she thought they’d done a pretty fair job.
“I bet this one’s the best yet,” she said. “Yeah,” Jake said. “And it’s all because of you.” “Oh really?” Ally asked. “Are you patronizing me?”
“Maybe a little,” Jake said.
“Well, that won’t do.” Ally picked up a clump of snow and flung it at him. “That’s what you get.”
“Oh, it’s on now!” Jake said. He went to retaliate, quickly packing some frozen snow into a ball, while Ally worked furiously to beat him to the punch. Ally’s shrieking laughter echoed down the street, bouncing off the houses.
“You’re going to wake the whole neighborhood,” Jake teased.
“It’s your fault,” she said. She picked up another handful of snow and plopped it on his head, then let out another cackle of laughter that reverberated down the block.
“Nice,” Jake said. “Real nice. How would you like it down your back?” Jake grabbed a chunk of ice.
“Don’t you dare!” Ally said. She made a halfhearted attempt to avoid capture, but Jake grabbed her around the waist as Ally laughed so hard she could barely catch her breath. “Jake, you’d better not! Ahhh! That’s cold!” Jake managed to slip a chunk of ice down her collar, and Ally felt the freezing cold against her bare skin. As she squirmed trying to dislodge it, Ally realized that, for the moment, at least, her troubles were miles away. She felt girlish and euphoric. So, this is what fun feels like, she thought.
The snow battle lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but Ally felt like she’d had a real workout. If there had been ringside judges, she felt she would have held her own, gotten a split decision at the very least. Jake had just as much snow on him as she did.
The bout ended like some clichéd romantic comedy with the participants tumbling into the snow, Jake ending up on top of her, looking down into her face, which Ally could feel was pink with flush. Her head rested on the firm snow, and she could feel the cold on her exposed neck. They were both laughing and breathing hard, and then Ally realized they were all alone and face-to-face. She felt calm and happy as she looked up into his sea-blue eyes. He’s got specks of brown in his pupils, she thought. She also picked out a few light freckles high on his cheeks that she hadn’t seen before.
His eyes were locked on hers, searching. She could sense him wanting to kiss her, and she felt a sudden warmth rush through her. Ally recognized it instantly. Desire. She wanted that kiss, wanted his lips on hers. She wanted to reach up and grab him by the lapel and pull him down to her, but, instead, she waited. It was his move.
Robert Tate Miller was raised in the North Carolina mountain town of Hendersonville and began writing at an early age. He began his writing career with homespun essays of small town life that were published in such publications as Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor and the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and wrote hugely successful family-oriented telefilms for NBC, ABC Family and the Hallmark Channel. Robert lives in Northridge, CA..
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Author: Shiloh Walker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 19, 2018
He’s the cockiest bastard I’ve ever met and I mean that with all the affection and adoration in the world. I’ve been in love with him for years, and not just because of those intense blue eyes or that slow smug smile that promises to make all your dreams come true. I’ve seen what lies under that smile and his cocksure attitude. It’s enough to make me melt.
Not that I’d ever let him know. Not only is Luke Cochran one of Hollywood’s up-and-coming movie stars…he’s also my boss. I’m his personal assistant and have seen all the women who come and go in his life.
I don’t even hold a candle. But a girl can dream…right?
Sabrina is one of the sharpest, funniest, kindest people I’ve ever met. Sometimes, I think I’m taking advantage of her, but I seriously cannot cope with my hectic lifestyle without her to keep me on track.
Of course, my life just got totally knocked off track. One of my sisters called.
They need me back home. My mother is sick and the last thing I can think about is the promotional tour I’ve got coming up.
Sabrina’s coming with me. She’s the only person who can keep me focused and centered in a time like this. Besides, my family adores her. And it’s just a quick visit. My mother is tough. She’ll be alright.
But then something happens that knocks me for a loop and when my mother tells me that all she really wants in life is to see her kids happy and settled down, I do the stupidest damn thing ever and announce that Sabrina and I are in love.
Now I’ve just got to convince my best friend to play along with me and act like she’s my fiancée and we’re stupid in love.
No big deal…right?
warning: contains sensitive subject material
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My mouth had a mind of its own and before I even realized what I planned to say, the words were already out there. “I’m wondering if you’ll taste as good as you feel, Sabrina. As good as you smell.”
She swung a wide, shocked gaze my way.
She was still gaping at me when the doors opened—a soft, bell-like tone announcing our arrival—to an elegantly discreet entryway. Across the hall there was a double set of mahogany doors, flanked on either side by fresh vases of flowers that probably stood close to five feet from their bases to the very tips of the tallest blooms.
Nudging Sabrina’s shoulder, I said, “The doors are open.”
She snapped her jaw shut and turned stiffly. She exited the elevator just before the doors would have glided shut. I followed her, blowing out a slow, deep breath.
She unlocked the doors and pushed them open, standing aside for me.
I gave her a hard look. “After you.”
Sabrina cocked a perfectly shaped brow at me.
We’d had this argument a hundred times, probably more.
“My mom would kick my ass if she knew I was letting a lady open doors for me,” I told her.
“Equal rights.” Sabrina gave me a toothy smile. Then she jingled the key in my face. “And I already opened the door.”
She had a point. Grumbling under my breath, I moved into the sprawling apartment and put the two suitcases down. Neither of them were heavy. Both of us knew how to pack light and over the past few years, Sabrina had worked on training me to be as efficient as her.
I wasn’t even close.
But she had tried.
She came in right after me, closing and locking the doors, then catching her carry-on and sailing past me.
I let her, sauntering after her.
She took the bedroom I’d known she’d take—the closest one—smaller, with a western-facing view that offered a look at downtown and the Ohio River as it rolled off toward New Albany and beyond. As she put her luggage on the bed, I leaned a shoulder against the doorframe and studied her.
The poppy-red dress she wore framed her upper body like a dream, cupping her breasts and offering them up in a fashion I couldn’t help but appreciate. The bodice ran close along her torso before flaring out at her hips. I wanted to ease her onto the bed and push that skirt up, up, up, baring her so I could see the flesh I’d only felt, so I could taste her, then watch as I filled her.
Her cheeks were flushed.
She fumbled with her business bag.
She knew I was watching her.
I waited to see what she’d do.
Finally, she stopped pretending she didn’t know I was there and turned to face me, hands clenched into fists at her sides.
“Do you need something, Luke?” she asked, her voice businesslike and brisk.
“That’s a loaded question, Ina,” I said, taking a step into her room. “You sure you want me to answer it?”
Her mouth parted and she licked her lips. I don’t think she even realized she’d done it.
I decided I was right a split second later when she clenched her jaw and fixed her mouth back in that polite, businesslike smile. “I’ve already got quite a bit to get done tonight, so unless this is important…”
I closed the distance between us, sliding an arm around her waist.
She sucked in her breath, going silent.
“I do want something,” I said, pressing my mouth to her ear. “I want you naked. I want you under me. Over me. In front of me. On top of me. I want you kneeling on my face so I can eat your pussy or bending over in front of me so I can fuck you. Any way you want to give yourself to me, that’s what I want.”
She was shaking now.
I caught the lobe of her earlobe between my teeth and bit down gently.
“But the final decision is up to you. I’m going to my room. You come find me if you want me.”
Walking out of that room was the hardest damn thing I’d ever done.
To be honest, I saw the author and title of this one–paired with the series name–and read just the beginning of the blurb, and said, “Eh, sure, I’ll read it…” just because I figured anything inspired by the recent court case would at the very least be entertaining.
I really wasn’t expecting the places that this one took us to, though. It ended up having so much more to it than just a reaction to all of that ridiculousness, and a impressive number of troupes (friends-to-lovers, workplace/boss-employee romance, fake relationship) and situations (parental drug use and suicide, parental illness and surgery, childhood sexual abuse, the challenge of being a celebrity and trying to have a personal life in the age of social media…) that could have resulted in a huge mess but instead came together into one heck of a story.
I really liked Sabrina and Luke, and though she spends much of the first few pages lamenting on how “cocky” her boss is, we find out through the course of the book (though really, shouldn’t Sabrina have known this already? Looking back that first bit felt like it was more for effect, which is partly why the emotional impact of the rest of it took me by surprise) that most of it is just a facade, covering up a past hurt that he still hasn’t dealt with. It’s easy to almost forget how everything started–except when others bring up the PR nightmare that they had been dealing with at the time–because the reader is soon swept up into the drama of the rest of the story.
I have to admit that the “black moment” here was rather painful, and though Luke does a decent job of trying to make up for it I was disappointed that there wasn’t an epilogue to the story, just to give us a hint of where the two of them were going to go after their reconciliation. Instead, it just kind of…ended. Hopefully we’ll get more of a sense of where they end up in future series books, since this is billed as the “Cochrans of Cocker County #1” and all… 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really! She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer. She published her first book in 2003. Her latest suspense, The Doubted, released in May 2018.
She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.
There is a giveaway for either a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice)
A sexy bartender stirs up a daily lesson plan for an adventurous teacher…
When she discovers her ex-husband is about to be a father, Quinn Adams is on a mission. Determined to get pregnant without the commitment of a man, Quinn sets out for her own adventure. But everyone seems to think she need to focus on herself first. With a list of challenges compiled but her sister and their friend, Quinn embarks on some life-altering fun.
Her first challenge is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance. Ryan is the go-to person for everyone in his large family, so it’s natural for him to want to help Quinn. However, as they get to know each other better, friendship with Quinn isn’t enough for him. Now, it’s time for him to show her how serious the Irish can be. Will the bartender quench Quinn’s thirst by mixing up more than she ever imagined?
Quinn stood outside her loft, wishing that she’d been smart enough to meet this guy at the restaurant, if that’s what you could call it. It had barely been a step up from fast food. Now he stood in front of her, still talking about himself, when all she wanted to do was curl up on the couch with a good book. This is what she got for picking a guy based on his online profile. Next time she’d make sure she had at least a phone conversation before making a date.
Jeff suddenly stopped his rambling and asked, “So, I think we really hit it off tonight, right?”
She stared blankly at him. Lying had never come easy to her. “I had a pretty good time.”
He stroked her arm, and she locked her knees to stop herself from pulling away. He wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t give her the creeps. Jeff was even kind of good-looking: tall with dark hair and brown eyes, a little on the skinny side. But something turned her completely off.
When his hand stopped stroking her arm and his fingers interlocked with hers, the sweatiness of his palm was apparent. Eww. How was she supposed to disengage without seeming like a bitch?
“I’d like to see you again.”
“Maybe. Why don’t you send me an e-mail and we can set something up?”
“Can I have your number?”
She shifted slightly to the left, nearer to the door. “I don’t like to give out my number to too many people. This was just our first date and all.”
“But definitely not our last.” He leaned in to kiss her.
She saw it coming, thought she’d get a little peck on the cheek, but his mouth crashed into hers. When she didn’t immediately open her lips, his tongue poked and prodded. It was slimy and gross. When she tried to step back, he pulled her closer. The quick move startled her and in her shock, she inadvertently opened her mouth.
That was one hell of a mistake. He jabbed his tongue so far into her mouth, it was like he wanted to inspect her molars. And he was a sloppy kisser too. Saliva everywhere.
Her stomach started to churn just as he pulled away. “How about we take this upstairs?”
Not in this lifetime. “I don’t sleep with guys on the first date.”
“There’s a lot of territory between a kiss at the door and sleeping together.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.
Like she wanted to dry-hump that? “No, thanks. I should be getting in. It’s late and I have work tomorrow.”
“Oh, okay.” He really sounded disappointed. “Maybe we can get together this weekend.”
She slid toward the door, hoping he’d get the hint and not try to swoop in for another kiss. “I’ll be pretty busy this weekend. End of the school year stuff. But send me an e-mail. Good night.”
She didn’t wait for him to respond. She practically ran for the door. After scrubbing her mouth twice and then throwing her toothbrush in the trash, she called Indy. She plopped on the couch and put her feet up on the table. While Indy’s phone rang, she stared at the green nail polish on her toes. What a waste of a perfectly good pedicure.
More Than This is a cute, relatable friends-to-lovers story. I really liked both Quinn and Ryan, and found their sexual tension to be delicious and believable. The secondary relationships were a lot of fun too–Quinn’s with her sister and their BFF and Ryan’s with his big family (most of whom are subjects of other books in the series, yay!) Plus, friends-to-lovers is one of my catnip reads, so… 🙂
I especially appreciated that Ryan and Quinn’s “black moment” wasn’t over-the-top dark, and that neither one of them behaved in either a TSTL- or overly d*ckish way to get them there. At times it did feel like they were getting close to reconciling their differences just to pull back for reasons that they should have just resolved–at one point I had to go back and re-read, to see if I missed something (I hadn’t, not really–one of them really did say “we should have a relationship” and the other got excited just for it to all fall apart a millisecond later because…IDK why, exactly…plus, how many times did their friends and family have to tell one of them that the other one liked them “that way” before they paid attention?), and the misunderstanding card does come into play at times–but in the end it was a very satisfying read, and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series as soon as I get a chance. (Where we’ll finally see the side plot of what’s happening in the neighborhood resolved, I hope?)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series and the For Your Love series, contemporary romances centered around large Irish-American families in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about nerdy friends finding love. Look for her new series – The Dating Challenge in 2019. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #2)
Publication date: November 16th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
When I found myself facing down the scariest black-magic felon in the city, practically daring him to abduct me, I had to wonder exactly how I ended up here.
It all started when I accidentally landed a job as a bartender—but not at a bar. At aguild, populated by mages, sorcerers, alchemists, witches, and psychics. Good thing this lame-o human is adaptable, right?
Then my favorite guild members—three sexy, powerful, and intermittently charming mages—asked for my help. Did they want access to my encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails? Oh no. They wanted to wrap me up in a pretty ribbon and plunk me in the crosshairs of a murderous rogue to lure him out of hiding.
So that’s what we did. And that’s why I’m here. About to be kidnapped. Oh, and our grand plan for safely capturing said murderous rogue? Yeah, that completely fell apart about two minutes ago.
Why did I agree to this again?
Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.
Tori has no problem getting herself into trouble in every book in the Guild Codex series, but each one is a complete adventure—no cliffhanger endings.
THE GUILD CODEX: SPELLBOUND
Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
“This is really nice,” I gushed, unconcerned by the apartment’s lackluster finishes. Beggars couldn’t be choosers, and having spent the last ten months sleeping on my brother’s sofa, I was ready to overlook anything less than holes in the walls.
Which, unfortunately, had been included in all the apartments we’d viewed so far, along with complimentary mold, cockroaches, and suspicious odors. That wasn’t including the batshit crazy landlords. Did normal people not dabble in real estate investment, or did all the well-adjusted landlords have tenants already?
“It’s clean,” Sin observed. “Running water. Heat. Wait, does it have heat? It’s cold in here.”
“Well, it is a basement.” I flapped my printout. “It says all utilities are included in the rent. How sweet is that?”
Sin wrinkled her nose suspiciously. “It’s too cheap. There’s got to be something wrong with it.”
“Maybe there’s a hobo living in the crawlspace.” I pointed at a half-height door tucked in a corner of the living room. “That’s a crawlspace, right?”
We crossed the room and I crouched at the door, Sin leaning over my shoulder. I pulled it open. Inside was nothing but impenetrable darkness.
“Use your phone’s flashlight,” Sin suggested. “There must be a light switch or—”
Chill air whispered over my skin and all the hair on my body stood on end—then arctic wind blasted me in the face.
I recoiled, crashing into Sin’s legs. She landed on her ass as the wind howled out of the crawlspace, whipping dust through the room. My printouts went flying and we scrambled backward on our butts with the papers spiraling toward the ceiling.
The darkness in the crawlspace leaked out from the doorway and pooled on the floor like ink. Shadows writhed and something pale materialized in the threshold—a skeletal woman on her hands and knees, toothless mouth gaping, empty eye sockets dribbling black blood.
I took one look at the moaning specter and screamed like the sissy girl that I am.
Sin let out her own terrified shriek as the ghostly woman dragged herself out of the crawlspace, her long hair trailing on the floor. She stretched a hand toward us, blackened fingers curled like claws, and icy gusts lashed at our faces. Still screaming, Sin grabbed my arm, her fingernails digging into my skin. Sharp pain cut through my panic.
I jammed my hand into my pocket and whipped out my trump card—yes, a literal card.
My trusty Queen of Spades was more than it appeared: a sorcerer’s artifact embedded with a spell that reflected magic. Was there any magic here to rebound? I had no idea. Would it work on a ghost? Also no idea. I wasn’t a sorcerer. I was a crime-of-convenience thief and I had only the vaguest notion how to use the card.
But it was the lone magical defense I had, so I thrust it at the phantom and shouted, “Ori repercutio!”
The air rippled and the gale-force wind reversed direction. It slammed into the woman, flinging her back into the crawlspace. Her head hit the door frame with a whack.
“Ow!” she squeaked.
Sin’s scream cut off. In unison, we launched to our feet. We weren’t screaming anymore, but I for one was even more freaked out. The woman was too solid to be a ghost, but holy freaking shit, that body did not belong to a living being—papery skin clinging to bones, empty sockets for eyes, stringy hair down to her knees.
The ghost woman sprang up, raising her hands like claws. “Begone from this place,” she moaned. “Begooooone … or else!”
I tilted my head toward Sin, not daring to take my eyes off the not-a-ghost. “Hey, Sin. Is that … a vampire?”
“No.” She pulled a handful of vials with colorful liquid contents out of her purse. “Not even close.”
Selecting a bottle, she dropped the others back into her bag and unscrewed the top. A hideous smell like burnt iron singed my nose.
“No!” the woman shrieked—except she didn’t sound like a woman anymore. Her voice was two octaves higher and painfully nasal. “Don’t!”
Sin held out the bottle threateningly. “Show us your real form or I’ll drench you!”
“Noooo! Go away!” The woman stomped her foot. “Stupid humans! This is my house!”
Raising her hand higher, Sin started to tip the bottle.
“Uuuuugh. Fine.” The woman threw her hands up—and her body melted. It lost solidity and shrank, then reformed into something new.
The creature was dark green with skin the waxy texture of pine needles. Even with twigs sprouting off its large head in place of hair, it barely reached my waist, and a mixture of spruce branches and pine cones hid its torso. Thin arms and legs stuck out of the twiggy mess, its hands and feet comically oversized.
Its eyes, narrowed angrily, dominated its face, the crystalline green irises unnaturally bright and entirely lacking pupils—just giant green orbs.
The creature pointed an accusing finger at us. “This is my house! Leave or I’ll turn you into bean sprouts!”
I cleared my throat. “Okay, not a vampire,” I said to Sin. “What is it?” “This,” Sin replied grimly, “is a faery.”
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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THE FALSE SERIES: False Memory (Book 1), False Hope (Book 2) & False Start (Book 3)
Author: Meli Raine
Release date: November 13, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense
She’s faking her amnesia to fool a very real killer.
FALSE MEMORY (Book 1)
It all started with the bereavement flowers with my name on them.
Not the best way to wake up, right? I work in a flower shop. I know a funeral arrangement when I see one.
I know a killer when I see one, too. And one is standing in my hospital room right now, straight behind the man who saved my life.
I can’t tell anyone the truth, because that’s the fastest way to really die. So I do the next best thing. I “lose” my memory.
I fake my amnesia.
Pretending not to remember a brutal attempted murder has its perks. The killer is backing down, spending less time around me, loosening the noose.
The less I claim to recall, the more my rescuer, Duff, works to help me “remember.” I hate lying to him.
But he doesn’t understand that my memory is dangerous. To me. And to him.
Fooling everyone isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Except it’s starting to look like I’ve been fooling myself.
In more ways than one.
Release Date: 11/13/18
FALSE HOPE (Book 2)
Release Date: 12.11.18
FALSE START (Book 3)
Release Date: 01/15/19
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.
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On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Book Tour Grand Finale for
By Cari Lynn Webb
We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch – Note from the Author
Welcome to my blog tour with Prism!
I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my new book, Ava’s Prize, in my City by the Bay Stories with Harlequin Heartwarming. Ava’s Prize is a sweet contemporary romance that brings together, paramedic, Ava Andrews and inventor, Kyle Quinn…
I Am A Reader – Guest Post
Family Game Night
In my new release, Ava’s Prize-a Harlequin Heartwarming sweet romance-my heroine, Ava Andrews plays a game called: You Know What We Need with her family and friends…
Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt
Kyle opened the door to the suite and welcomed his guests inside. He would’ve explained his plans to work that afternoon if Ben hadn’t disrupted the silence with a drawn-out whoa.
Kyle shut the door and turned around to find the young boy bouncing from one foot to the other, his gaze darting around the suite. Ben never moved from his father’s side, as if he waited for a referee to blow a start whistle to let the games begin.
Remembrancy – Review
“Cari Lynn Webb quickly threw off my misgivings and invested me in her story (in large part due to said friends). . . . Webb gives readers a taste of the lonely high life with Kyle’s home, workspace, endless invitations, and press scrutiny. That’s juxtaposed against Ava’s simple life in which she’s working more than forty hours a week to make ends meet but she’s surrounded by friends and family she loves and who love her in return. The addition of the contest and the inventions are just icing on this story cake.”
Wishful Endings – Guest Post
Work Spaces and Offices that Inspire
In my new release, Ava’s Prize, a sweet contemporary romance from Harlequin Heartwarming, my hero, Kyle Quinn has a second-floor suite that doubles as both his living and work space in San Francisco…
Heidi Reads… – Excerpt
But Ava was here. Dressed in a bold bottle-green dress and looking like the model she never claimed to be. Kyle wanted to be near her again. That should’ve made him run in the other direction. Instead, he moved through the crowd, offered a chin dip acknowledgment to different guests, yet never lost sight of Ava.
Finally, he stood within touching distance. And hesitated like he’d stepped back into middle school and watched the party invites flash across cell phones in the hallway. He’d always held his breath, waiting for his phone to vibrate with a new text alert. The invites had never arrived. He’d long since stopped hoping.
Reading Is My SuperPower – Review
“Ava’s Prize is a solid story with electric romantic chemistry and several sweet moments. Both Kyle and Ava experience steady character growth over the course of the novel, and readers will experience a wide range of emotions as they follow the plot. The fact that several characters have specific medical needs not usually seen in contemporary romance adds another dimension to this already layered story and keeps readers invested in the characters.”
Colorimetry – Guest Post
San Francisco and First Kisses
Ava’s Prize, my new sweet contemporary romance from Harlequin Heartwarming, is set in San Francisco. One of the most iconic images from San Francisco is the cable car. Fortunately, a cable car ride led to the first kiss between my hero, Kyle Quinn and my heroine, Ava Andrews.
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review
“This is a fabulous romance. I like the way two people who are determined to live their lives alone find something so different in their futures. . . . I highly recommend this book to others who like a good romance and fun friendships.”
Among the Reads – Interview
Other than the ability to create your own happily-ever-after endings, what is your favorite thing about being an author?
[Cari] Other than getting to work out of my house and spending most days in my comfy clothes (aka pajamas) and pony tails, I like the writing friends I have made that have become best friends and my writing tribe. There is a very strong writing community in romance and I can’t say enough about the support I’ve found among other authors. I also really like meeting readers – it is so much fun to meet people who share the same passion about books as I do.
Book by Book – Review
“…the story unfolds in a way that challenges them to grow and change, and it is oh so enjoyable.
So, if you’re a reader of contemporary romance, check out Ava’s Prize. It’s a heartwarming, delightful read that does not disappoint.”
E-Romance News – Excerpt
Ava changed directions midstep and veered toward the buffet. She strolled along the table, stopping as if considering her options. One glance over her shoulder confirmed her bathroom reporter still watched her. Ava grabbed a plate and piled food on it, in no particular order. Stacking the crackers on top of the cheese, she balanced fruit on top of the crackers. Adding a strawberry for color, she studied the plate. If she added another layer, would it collapse like she worried her own world might? Perhaps being a risk-taker wasn’t her thing after all.
Reading On The Edge – Guest Post
You bought what?
Kyle Quinn, my hero in my new release, Ava’s Prize-a sweet contemporary romance from Harlequin Heartwarming-is an inventor. Kyle invented a medical earbud that sold for a rather large profit and became a popular commercial product on the market.
Harlie’s Books – Review
“The romance in the book is fabulous. Talk about two people that didn’t want to fall in love but did. And then fought it every step of the way. It’s plausible, relatable and sweet.”
My Devotional Thoughts – Guest Post
Senior Pets Need Love Too
In my new release, Ava’s Prize-a sweet contemporary romance from Harlequin Heartwarming-my heroine, Ava Andrews fosters senior cats and dogs thanks to her good friend, Sophie Callahan. Sophie owns The Pampered Pooch, a pet store in the city and takes in rescues quite often. (The Charm Offensive, Book 1, City by the Bay Stories). Ava fosters the senior pets as often as she can, preferring to spread her love around to the older animals until Sophie finds the dogs and cats their forever homes.
underneath the covers – Excerpt
Outside the conference room door, Kyle stopped Ava with a hand on her arm. “By the way, I’m flattered.”
One side of his mouth tipped up, drawing Ava’s gaze. “Flattered?”
“That you’re trying to win me, too.” His voice was quiet and tempting.
Ava jerked her gaze away from his mouth. “I’m not…”
Kyle touched her chin with his knuckles, closing her mouth and stopping her protest. “But there can’t be anything more between us than this.”
Andi’s Book Reviews – Review
“I enjoyed reading this storyline, as it was different than most other romances out there. I also enjoy characters who are deeper with more complexities that they have to work through. It allows for measurable growth, which you want to find in a good book. And I like those romances where an unlikely friendship and romance can blossom from what seems to be an improbable place.”
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader – Review
“I enjoyed the witty commentary of this book. Ava and Kyle are great. . . . This book has it’s highs and lows that can be hard to connect with but the highs definitely out weigh the lows.”
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…
He needs a great idea
She can provide it—but at what cost?
The battle lines are drawn when army medic turned EMT Ava Andrews enters a contest devised by San Francisco entrepreneur Kyle Quinn. The first responder isn’t just competing for a tempting grand prize. She’s fighting her attraction to the self-made millionaire…and losing the war. But private and professional boundaries blur when a breach of trust threatens Ava’s future with Kyle.
Other Books in the Series:
About the Author:
Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She’s been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent’s 70 year marriage and her parent’s marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn’t always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.
– 1 winner will receive a$50 Amazon e-Gift Card & e-copy of The Rancher’s Rescue (open internationally)
– 1 winner will receive a San Francisco Cable Car Ornament, Signed Copy of The Rancher’s Rescue & $50 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
– Ends November 21, 2018
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Book Tour Grand Finale for
Fate & Fortune and Kismet & Karma
By Robin Daniels
We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch – Note from the Author
…If you enjoyed The Perfect Series, you’ll like this one. The books have a very similar feel: funny characters, witty banter, hot guys, young love and lots of shenanigans. I poured a lot of time and effort into these books, as the storyline is much more complicated than I’ve attempted before. It was a continuity nightmare, but I’m so pleased with the outcome. Fate & Fortune and Kismet & Karma are fun, lighthearted stories. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Heidi Reads… – Review
“What a fun ride! I loved this group of friends and their distinct personalities. The dynamics of their sibling relationships, friendships, and romances unfolded throughout the book and I loved getting to know them. . . . I loved this creative YA duo of books and can’t wait for more from the author!”
Mythical Books – Review
“…this story totally rocks! . . . It was quite a while since I gave 5 stars to a story. . . . Mixing love interests with funny situations and witty dialogues (and most important natural), Mrs. Daniels crafted stories which will captivate the readers and make them dream of or remember the sweet thrill of the first love.”
Becky on Books – Excerpt
Fate & Fortune – PAIGE
Her eyes twinkled with mischief as she blurted out, “Word on the street is you’re the one who spray painted Jason Marcos has a small wiener on the water tower last night.”
I gasped. “I would never! Wait, did that actually happen?”
Kennedy’s grin widened, and she nodded emphatically. “Sure did. There was a comical drawing as well, but the mayor already got a maintenance guy up there to paint over it. Doesn’t matter, though. Half the town posted pictures, so everyone’s seen it.”
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review
“I love this story. A little mystery, romance and so much fun. I can’t wait to read the follow up story. . . . I highly recommend this book to others.” – Fate & Fortune
“As with book 1, I love this story. How fun to read the story from different characters perspectives. The same things happen but getting to see them from other characters changes the whole story so much.” – Kismet & Karma
Christen Krumm, Writer – Excerpt
Fate & Fortune – BRYCE
Cody crossed his arms, waiting for me to honor the agreement, so I gave the lamp a quick polish. He and Eric grew quiet. I faked disinterest, but secretly I was hoping something would happen. After five long seconds without any magic, I put the lamp back in my locker. “Sorry, boys, no genie.”
“Too bad,” Eric grumbled. “I could use a billion dollars.” He whipped off his shirt and started to change.
Among the Reads – Excerpt
Fate & Fortune – PAIGE
Eric sat up and squinted. He stared for a second before shaking his head. “Those aren’t mine.”
“Are you sure?” I asked skeptically. He snatched the paper from my hand, and I watched his lips move while he read the note to himself. Then he quirked an eyebrow.
He scoffed and nodded toward the bottle. “Um, yeah. Why would I leave you a bottle with a note in it?” Then he waved the scrap of paper at me. “Not to mention that this is a poem. You honestly think I would write you a poem?”
Dani Reviews Things – Spotlight
Harlie’s Books – Review
“…I have found a new author to stalk when it comes to YA. Her writing is crisp, updated, funny, snarky, real, at times swoon-worthy but above all, relatable. I instantly fell in love with Bryce and Paige. If this series isn’t the typical friends to lovers for YA, I don’t know what is. And to top it off, it is set in a small town. Ms. Daniels nails the setting, the school, and the emotions that most teenagers deal with now. . . . Do yourself a favor and pick these two books up. Ms. Daniels has a written a very humorous, swoon-worthy, relatable YA romance that will leave you wanting more.”
Colorimetry – Excerpt
Fate & Fortune – PAIGE
“Jason keeps looking over at us, and Reese gives him a nasty face every time he does it. Am I a bad person if that makes me want to antagonize her even more?”
“Yes. But I’m a bad person, too, so I think that’s a fabulous idea,” I replied.
“In that case, get over here.” Bryce reached out and pulled me sideways onto his lap. Then he whispered against my jaw, close enough to graze it with his lips. I had to suppress a shiver. “Look at Reese and pretend I’m saying something romantic.”
Singing Librarian Books – Spotlight
Getting Your Read On – Review
“How cute are these books?! SO cute. And what a clever idea by the author! I loved everything about this two part book series. The characters were so well defined and individual. Their personalities were strong and I felt like I knew each one of them. The whole story played out just like a movie in my head. I LOVE when that happens.”
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review
“What a creative tale! I love a story that can take me back in time, deliver a solid plot, and have strong, lifelike characters. . . . The characters rocked the book. The camaraderie, friendly banter, loyalty, and slight mystery gave this story a firm foundation for the flirting and drama and I adored the way everything played out.” – Fate & Fortune
“I absolutely loved this book, because honestly, I wasn’t quite ready to let this group go, and enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes events. The reader is treated to some complicated relationships, hilarious moments, scheming, and more. I wondered at first could possibly make Fate & Fortune better, but knowing the whole picture really did it for me.
This is one creative, highly entertaining, and FUN set and I would definitely recommend it to lovers of YA sweet romance.” – Kismet & Karma
Wishful Endings – Excerpt
Kismet & Karma – ERIC
“Who’s Amy?” Genie asked. “You said Cody was your brother, right?”
“Amy is Paige’s bestie. Cody and Bryce are twins.”
“That’s not true,” I said. “There’s definitely a family resemblance. Especially when Ken’s standing between them. If Cody and Bryce had a baby, it’d look like Kennedy.” That was sure to get me smacked, but I couldn’t help it. Getting Ken worked up was a hobby for all of us.
Seasons of Humility – Review
“…if you’re looking for a high-school story filled with an endearing group of characters, their antics, and some romance, you’ll find a lot to enjoy! The author has a very readable and engaging writing style, and I love the early setting of a small-town fair, as well as the odd but fun ways the romance plays out for the main characters. Fate & Fortune is a cute and entertaining YA read!” – Fate & Fortune
“I enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the plot of Fate & Fortune, as well as the complete conclusion you don’t quite get in book one alone. There’s a particular scene near the end (not quite the last) that’s especially delightful in terms of setting, romance, and friendship. As part two of a clever duology, Kismet & Karmais a charmer!” – Kismet & Karma
Paulette’s Papers – Excerpt
Kismet & Karma – GENIE
He waited a second longer before he ruined everything by giving me a wicked smile. If a smile could speak, this one would be saying, “Finally, I will honor you with my kiss.”
Ha! Fat chance now, buddy. He wasted a perfectly good opportunity just so he could toy with me. I waited until his head tilted forward, then ducked down and slipped under his arm. The motion threw him off balance, and he stepped back far enough for me to open the truck. I pulled on the handle, jumped inside, and slammed the door in one swift move.
Andi’s Young Adult Books – Review
“Oh, the magic and romance that goes on in this book! . . . The story is told from each of their points-of-view, giving you great insight into their innermost thoughts. I really like both of the characters. They just felt real to me, which doesn’t always happen. I loved all of their friends, actually, and wish I could go back in time to be their age again and hang out with that crew. They’re so close-knit and so good to each other, no matter what happens. I just loved it.” – Fate & Fortune
“Again, I just love all of these kids and totally would have loved hanging out with them back in high school. . . . This series is so much fun to read and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do so. And I hope we hear more from them in the future.” – Kismet & Karma
Andi’s Book Reviews – Excerpt
Kismet & Karma – AMY
I grabbed the phone and ran into my bathroom. “Okay,” I answered, shoving my toothbrush into my mouth. I continued speaking while I scrubbed. “You should probably come up with an alternate location, just in case.” My words were muffled by toothpaste foam.
“Are you brushing your teeth?” Eric sounded amused.
“I’m in a hurry,” I replied, then spit and rinsed.
Mel’s Shelves – Review
“I love a good teen drama, and this one delivers! . . . There are some funny moments, as well as some touching ones. When I finished reading it, I couldn’t wait to get started on the second book!” – Fate & Fortune
“This story is told from several different perspectives, which made it interesting to see what the characters were really up to in the first book. Even though the group is close knit, there are still some secrets that need to come out. It’s a fun series that I enjoyed reading!” – Kismet & Karma
Teatime and Books – Spotlight
Ghoulish Life & Reviews – Spotlight
Kathryn Cooper Writes – Review
“This was a fun read full of families, best friends, and teen romance. Everyone in the group of friends had some possible romance happening, but this story just focuses on Paige and Bryce.” – Fate & Fortune
A Backwards Story – Spotlight
Remembrancy – Review
“I couldn’t help but like this group of friends and family as they joke around, protect each other, and push each other to become better people. But like Bryce and Paige, I was sure there was something else going on.” – Fate & Fortune
“Robin Daniels weaves this story so well with the other, you will not want to read one without the other (but definitely start with Fate & Fortune).” – Kismet & Karma
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…
Bryce has liked Paige since they were little but has never had the guts to act on his feelings. Paige is devastated over being dumped by her long-time boyfriend and can’t seem to move on. They’re stuck in a rut, until fate decides to pull them out.
Both Paige and Bryce are talked into seeing a fortune teller at the annual Summer’s End Carnival. Neither of them buys into the mysticism, until the psychic’s predictions start coming true. Now, the most bizarre things are happening and there isn’t a clear explanation. Each of them must figure out if they’re the subject of an elaborate hoax or a bigger plan forged by destiny.
*This book is part one of two. Books should be read sequentially.
Bryce and Paige belong together, but they’ll never make it happen alone. When inspiration strikes in multiple ways, a friend decides it can’t be a coincidence; it’s a call to action. With a little luck, the help of fate, and the matchmaking plan of the century, Bryce and Paige just might get their happy ending.
You heard Paige and Bryce’s version of the story in Fate & Fortune. Now join Eric, Amy, Cody, Kennedy and Genie to see how things really went down.
***This book completes the series. Book one can be read as a standalone, but book two cannot. Fate & Fortune should be read first.***
The most important thing to know about me is that I’m basically a sixteen-year-old trapped in an adult’s body. It’s why I feel such a great connection to all of my characters and why I love to write romantic comedy. The kid in me just wants to be goofy. Besides being a writer; I’m a wife, mother of five, volleyball enthusiast and home decorating guru. My list of favorites includes: reading, Christmas, pedicures, dessert, steak, Arizona winters and most importantly, Diet Coke.
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card
Ends November 21, 2018
Read it for FREE in KindleUnlimited!
Love is weakness.
Which is why Annabelle Mills vowed a long time ago to never let it destruct her. A former pageant queen with a bite equally as lethal as her bark, she’s interning at her dream job on the set of the highest-rated home design show on television. Everything in Annabelle’s life, though it may be cold and isolated, is going exactly as she always planned.
Until her ex-high school sweetheart moves to town. The same boy that she cheated on, once upon a time, essentially breaking both of their hearts. But no one knows the full story, and being vulnerable enough to open up about it is not on Annabelle’s checklist.
Hate is fuel.
The kind that courses through Boone Graham’s veins and allows him to shut out everyone around him. As the hottest rookie on Austin’s professional baseball team, he should be spending his days hitting homeruns and signing jerseys. Except he’s seen dreams ripped right out from under those closest to him, leaving them with nothing.
Without a college degree, he’ll never take the risk of pursuing his real dream. But when he runs into the girl who took a mallet to his heart and stopped it beating, attending the same university might just be the biggest challenge he’s faced yet.
As the semester unfolds, the line between love and hate is blurred. And with the amount of baggage stacked between them, together is the last thing they want to be.
That’s the thing about hearts, though. They develop plans all on their own.
Read it for FREE in KindleUnlimited!
Purchase in Paperback
It takes a while for Boone to join us at the player’s exit, but when I see him, all dark and quiet confidence, my stomach dips and my heart beats twice as fast. This man affects me physically, he rearranges the way my body is supposed to function. The way I feel about him is molecular.
“Hey, you.” He bends down to lay a gentle kiss on my lips, right there in front of everyone.
It takes me right back to that little girl, swooning over the tall, handsome senior.
“Who wants pizza?” Harper rubs her stomach.
Cain slings his arm around her shoulder. “Her love of food, it’s why I love her.”
Twenty minutes later, we pack into a corner booth at Salvatore’s, the local pizza joint. It’s a madhouse, with students and families everywhere, and we’re lucky that we’re with Boone and Cain, because a couple of people applaud loudly as we walk in and we’re ushered to a semi-quiet area like we’re VIPs or something.
Hell, I must be chopped liver because no one ever applauds when I walk into a restaurant, and I’m on television more than either of these two. I’d like to just say, men, and then mentally roll my eyes.
The waiter comes to take our order, and Cain asks for a round of beers.
“That’s okay, I don’t drink, water is fine with me.” Boone waves the waiter off.
“You don’t?” My eyebrows furrow in confusion.
“No, I haven’t had a drink since I was seventeen. Which seems ironic, if you think about it. I quit alcohol before I could even legally have it.” He chuckles.
Harper and Cain take this moment to talk to friends of Cain’s over the back of the booth.
I lean into Boone. “But what about that night in your car? You were drunk.” I am so confused.
“No I wasn’t. You were really drunk. I was just horny.” Boone’s teeth catch his bottom lip and I am momentarily distracted.
Which means that he’d slept with me of his own accord. Not that it hadn’t been consensual on my part, but I don’t think I would have had the courage to have sex with Boone if there weren’t shots of tequila involved.
“Wait, so why did you stop drinking?” And now alarm bells are going off in my head.
I immensely respect those who have recovered from an addiction. But … to bring that into a new relationship was difficult. I wouldn’t know how to act if I wanted a glass of wine, I didn’t know his triggers or whether or not it was still a struggle for him to be around any type of partying.
Boone touches my cheek, and it is like we are the only two people in this entire restaurant. “Relax, Anna. It wasn’t because I couldn’t handle myself. I just …” He sighs now, and I know he is weighing whether or not to tell me the real answer. “My dad is basically a drunk, and watching him, I didn’t want to end up that way. So, I just stopped.”
A lump forms in my throat. “I … I had no idea.”
Because I really hadn’t. Up until this moment, I’d been so consumed with my own baggage and ugly parental situation that I hadn’t realized that the man I’ve been getting close to was sitting in the exact same boat as me. I look at Boone with fresh eyes; maybe this was why we’d come back together after all these years. Maybe deep down, each of us had identified with the pain in the other. Maybe, we share the same insecurities and can heal that in each other.
My pessimistic heart could hope.
“And now you do.” He kisses my cheek and picks up a menu, which signals that he doesn’t want to discuss it further. At least not here.
“All right, one pepperoni, one sausage, one meat lover’s supreme and one buffalo chicken?” Harper slams her menu down on the table.
“You’d think she was a Texas girl and not a transplant with all the meat she eats.” I grin at my stepsister.
“You’re just annoyed because I won’t let you order a veggie pizza. Veggies on pizza defeats the entire point,” Harper whines.
I snuggle into Boone, happy to have a night off with him, and warmed at the thought that he just shared something with me that he definitely withheld from most.
“As if you’re going to stop me from doing anything I want to do.” I smirk.
Boone laughs at this, setting his water down after taking a sip. “Big mistake, Harper. Never tell this one what she can and can’t do. She’ll do the opposite and then convince you you’re the one who made the decision in the first place.”
Well, he wasn’t wrong about that.
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant dress code, much better.
When she isn’t writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and dog.
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For Alexa, the answer to everything comes down to numbers. Three sons. One divorce. One great life…except her boys are getting older and they really need a man in their lives. Enter the number twenty, as in after twenty minutes with someone she knows whether or not she wants them in her life. So, she hatches a plan to meet any man who even remotely strikes her interest—for a twenty-minute date at her favorite coffee shop. It’s the perfect plan to find her perfect match in the most efficient way possible.
Too bad coffee shop owner Marshall isn’t keen on the idea. He doesn’t want his shop to be her speed dating zone—especially since she’s made it clear he’s too young to be a contender. But Alexa finds herself drawn to Marshall in ways she can’t quantify. There’s no easy answer, and once the kids become involved, her well-ordered world threatens to fall apart—twenty minutes at a time.
The title is a bit misleading, though–Alexa spends only about a hot minute–or maybe twenty hot minutes–actually trying her online dating plan. (Okay, it’s longer than that. But Ms. Particka doesn’t spend too much time dwelling on the details of that disaster, and rightly so, before focusing on the growing relationship-like thing between Alexa and Marshall.) It is the catalyst that gets Alexa and Marshall together, though, so there is that–but if you’re looking for a blow-by-blow description of failed internet dates, that’s not here.
And you won’t miss it. The few dates we get details of are enough…I’m still cringing.
(Apparently, online dating is not for the faint of heart. Which explains why I’ve never gone through with it.)
Ms. Particka did a great job of showing why Alexa didn’t think she and Marshall would work–not just the age difference, but her other reasons seemed fairly valid too–and even though I really, really wanted them to be together (and not just because we saw Marshall’s POV, but that had a lot to do with it) it did almost feel as if everything was resolved pretty quickly and easily at the end. Again, not really complaining–I wanted them together, but kinda also wanted Alexa to suffer/sacrifice a bit more than it seemed like she did. I know, I’m cruel. But I can’t help but think Marshall deserved it…
But that epilogue? Gave me all the feels. OMG, absolutely loved. I hope Ms. Particka writes more for this line!
Rating: 4 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
f=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42382370-adventures-in-online-dating”>View all my reviews