Title: Vows on Ice
Series: Boys of Winter #6
Author: S.R. Grey
Release date: September 24, 2018
Genre: Sports Romance/Romantic Comedy
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber
I’m so excited for my wedding that I can’t stop humming “Here Comes the Bride.” Hey, you’d be happy too if you were marrying hockey’s most eligible bachelor, Brent Oliver. Only problem is the universe seems to be conspiring against us, trying to thwart our big day. How else would you explain a missing bridal gown, an unexpected injury, and a slew of other mishaps?
Will this wedding ever even happen?
You bet your ass this wedding is going to happen! Nothing will keep me from marrying the woman of my dreams, Aubrey Shelburne. Not even strippers, my unruly nephews, or a broken ankle can stop me. I’m taking my girl to the altar, damn it. And afterward, I plan to show her a whole new meaning to that song she keeps humming.
Let’s just say the bride will definitely be coming!
Vows on Ice is a hilarious standalone short novel in the bestselling Boys of Winter hockey romance series, featuring all of the couples and an Area 51 appearance!
99 cents for a limited time!!!! Or read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
“Hilarious and perfectly ‘played’ sports romance that I devoured in one sitting! I can’t wait to read more.” – #1 NYT Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken
“The usual Grey crisp writing, lovable heroes that you kinda want to slap, and a heroine that doesn’t back down,” Resistance on Ice is another fun standalone novel in the bestselling Boys of Winter hockey romance series.” – Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills
S.R. Grey is an Amazon Top 30 Bestselling Author and a #1 Barnes & Noble Bestselling Author. Check out her newest bestselling Boys of Winter hockey rom-com series. Each is a complete standalone novel, but the characters are interconnected and may pop up anywhere.
Ms. Grey’s novels have appeared on multiple Amazon Bestseller Lists, including the Top 100 several times. She is also a Top 100 Bestselling Author on iTunes.
Residing in Pennsylvania, when not writing Ms. Grey can be found reading, traveling, running, and cheering for her hometown sports teams. Sometimes all at the same time!
“I was here a couple of years ago, but only for a day or two,” Anne told Zac, looking away. She had booked a room out of Oak Creek both times she’d dared come back. The thought of staying at The Mayor’s Inn had been too painful. She couldn’t even look at that hotel without feeling sick to her stomach.
And she’d avoided everyone—particularly Zac—as much as possible. Just in case his words about not coming back were still true. She tried to swallow the panic that threatened to overwhelm her. Maybe he still felt that way now, even though he hadn’t said anything at the hospital.
“There.” He pointed at her. “That look that just came into your eyes. I saw it at the hospital. It’s like you’re afraid of me, Annie.” He took a step closer and she instinctively one back. One of his eyebrows shot up, letting her know she’d proved his point. “Do you think I’m going to hurt you?
“No.” Not physically. She’d never worried that he’d hurt her that way, despite having five inches and probably fifty pounds—all muscle—on her.
But he was right. She couldn’t continue living in Oak Creek with them ignoring everything that had happened that night. What had been said. What had been done. Maybe she would’ve tried to, and to avoid Zac forever, if he hadn’t ended up in her ER.
But the truth was, there weren’t enough bushes in this town for her to jump into. She was going to run into Zac. A lot.
Sometimes all you could do was face the past.
She pulled a breath in. “I’m not scared of you. I mean, I know you would never hurt me physically. For crying out loud, you wrecked your motorcycle rather than hit a dog.” She’d meant for her laugh to seem breezy, but it just sounded stilted. “But yeah, I mean, we can’t pretend like that night never happened. The stuff we did. Stuff you…we said.”
His eyes narrowed. “That night we spent together after Becky died.”
“Yeah. That night.” As if they’d had another. “The bottom line is, I can’t leave here, Zac. No matter what you said then, or even if you feel the same way now.”
He shook his head, brows furrowing. “I don’t expect you to leave. You’re obviously a respected doctor, more than competent. Why would you think I wanted you to leave?”
Some of the tension she’d been carrying since his arrival in the ER began to ease. He was right. Something said in grief and anger six years ago didn’t necessarily hold true all this time later. She was silly for thinking it did. “Okay, well, it’s good to know you don’t feel the same as you did back then.”
He took a single predatory step closer, and she tensed again. “I said something that night to make you think you needed to leave?”
She stared at him, her mouth flopping open like some sort of fish. “You don’t remember what you said?”
Those words would be engrained in her memory forever.
Get out and don’t come back.
He rubbed his forehead. “That whole night is fuzzy for me.”
I can’t even bear to look at you. You just betrayed the only person in this town who ever wanted you here.
Tossing her naked into the hallway before flinging her clothes at her.
“What do you remember?” She forced the words past a throat that seemed to have dried up.
His hand moved to the back of his neck. “Honestly, not much at all. It’s sort of a blur.”
She retreated a step from him again. That night had been the most important night of her life. The best. The worst. It had changed the very fabric of her being.
Janie recently relocated with her husband and their four teenagers to Germany (due to her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head—and even when she is—she enjoys engaging in all sorts of crazy adventures (200-mile relay races; Ironman Triathlons, treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp)
traveling, and movies of all kinds.
It’s Naomi Clemons’s big day. Her dream wedding. And she’s outta here.
One moment. A chance meeting of gazes through the church window pane with someone familiar who radiates intrigue. Independence. It’s the final push Naomi needs to realize…she’s boring. A blonde, cookie cutter, well mannered trophy wife-to-be. How can she expect to lead a fulfilling married life when she’s never lived?
Special Forces diver Jason Bristow needs a beauty pageant coach. Not for himself—although the tattooed bruiser could definitely use some charm. For his little sister who he has returned to St. Augustine, Florida to raise. When a beautiful southern debutante lands on his doorstep, she awakens a hunger that won’t be ignored. If only she wasn’t planning on winning back the ex-fiancé she left at the altar…
Despite the potential for ruin, heat continues to build between Naomi and Jason beneath the sultry Florida sunshine, consuming them both. But they’re on borrowed time…and it’s about to run out.
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of ten years and six-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.
Recently widowed and with two headstrong kids, Lauren Bishop wants three things—a break from her never-ending to-do list, a cup of coffee and a moment to appreciate the gorgeous cowboy who just walked past her. Unfortunately, he catches her in the act…and he isn’t a stranger.
Calder Reid is more than intrigued when the sexy woman checking him out in the local coffee shop turns out to be the object of his boyhood fantasies. When he was a gawky kid, Lauren was a beautiful swan. But now he’s more than man enough to satisfy her every need. The chemistry between them is undeniable, but can this hard riding cowboy convince commitment-shy Lauren to take a second chance on forever?
I liked this one overall–I mean, it’s a Maisey Yates cowboy romance!–though there were some sticky bits. I was (mostly) okay with the fact that Lauren used to babysit Calder; a five-year age difference for adults isn’t horrible, and it’s years later. But the fact that she was his babysitter at all was a little weird–he was twelve, and his family situation doesn’t come off as one in which the parent is going to be hands-on enough to get a babysitter for an almost-teen. It also seems as if she was only his babysitter, not his brothers’ as well (and if they’re old enough not to need a sitter too, why aren’t they watching him…?) So, yeah, that was all a little strange.
The romance was very sweet, and I just loved how Calder immediately threw himself into helping Lauren out with the house she was hoping to buy. He is incredibly competent and self-possessed–plus he’s got all those cowboy muscles and everything. He was great with Lauren’s kids, and like in Jackson’s book (Mail Order Cowboy) I loved seeing him with his brothers and step sister.
It was (really) short and the “I love you”s came a bit quick, considering. Still, though, I enjoyed the read and am looking forward to the last single brother’s (Tanner) story.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Book Blitz for Fate and Fortune: Part One By Robin Daniels
We’re celebrating the release of Fate and Fortune: Part One, the first part in a Young Adult contemporary romance duology. Read the author’s message from day one HERE, read an excerpt from day two HERE, and read a second excerpt below. Don’t forget to enter the book/Amazon gift card giveaway as well…
Fate & Fortune: Part One By Robin Daniels
YA Contemporary Romance, Duology
ebook, 279 Pages
September 20th 2018
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.
THE PLAYERS: Bryce-The Lovesick Hero, Janelle (AKA Mom)-Bryce’s Mother, Cody-Bryce’s Twin Brother, Kennedy-Bryce’s Little Sister.
Paige and I used to be closer. I think she might have liked me back in middle school. But like Cody said, I was a chicken, so I never acted on it. By the time I’d become confident enough to say something, Jason Marcos had stolen her from me.
I parked Mr. Martin’s car in front of the house and walked into the kitchen. The first thing I did was reach for the plate of cookies. “I hope you plan on washing those hands before you eat,” my mother warned, even though her back was to me. People joke about parents having eyes in the back of their head, but my mom does—for real.
“Yes, I plan on washing them. I was just testing you,” I lied, heading for the sink. She scooted over to give me some room.
“Did you make it to the door this time?” she asked.
“Mom,” I hissed quietly. “You can’t ask me stuff like that when Kennedy’s home. She has ultrasonic hearing when it comes to gossip.”
“Relax; Kennedy isn’t here. She left with Cody.”
“I thought Cody was going to work?”
“Huh. She told me she was going to the café. Maybe he was dropping her off before he headed over.”
“Probably,” I replied, then paused before answering her question. “I didn’t even bother getting out of the car.” I sighed as I dried my hands and took a seat at the counter. “It’s hopeless.”
“That’s not the confident, optimistic son I gave birth to.” She frowned.
“No, that guy’s name is Cody. I got all the maturity, and he got all the confidence.”
Mom leaned on the counter and grabbed a cookie off the plate. “Why don’t you two make a trade? Some of his confidence for a little of your drive and determination.”
I chuckled. “It’s not only a confidence thing. It’s more about timing. Paige clearly isn’t over Jason yet. No matter how much I like her, nothing is going to happen until she is. I need some sort of sign.”
There was a gleam in her eye as she drummed her fingers on the counter. “You know, your dad and I went to see the psychic at the carnival last night. You could go tonight and have Madam Vorski read your fortune. Maybe she can tell you when Paige will be ready for you to make a move.”
I paused, sandwich inches from my mouth, then blanched before saying, “First of all, don’t say ever say the phrase make a move again. It sounds weird and gross coming from you. Second, you’re kidding, right? You want me to spend my hard-earned money on some scam artist? Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?”
Mom laughed. “No, I want you to spend my money.” She reached into her pocket, pulled out a twenty, and placed it on the counter in front of me. “It was kind of fun.”
“You’re seriously giving me twenty bucks to use on a psychic? You, the lady who makes me pay for my own gas, insurance, and cell phone.”
“Are you calling me cheap?” She frowned.
I gave her a dry look. “Are you denying it?”
About the Author:
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.
Three former Navy SEALs
Injured in the line of duty
Desperate for a new beginning…
Searching for a place to call their own.
Single mom and Revival Ranch’s on-site therapist Monica Finley has dedicated her life to helping brave servicemen and women, but former Navy SEAL Gabe Cortez is the one man whose shell she just can’t crack. Yet with the holidays fast approaching, she may finally have a plan. In a bid to get Gabe to open up, she’ll ask for as much help as possible―cutting down the Christmas tree, stringing lights, the whole nine yards.
Who could possibly be a Grinch with so much holiday cheer in the air?
Gabe has always hated Christmas―the holiday never fails to remind him just how alone he truly is. But the more time he spends with Monica and her young son, the more he finds himself drawn to their cozy little family…and the more he begins to realize his long-suppressed Christmas dreams may finally be coming true.
Ms. Helm clearly saved the best for last–I loved Monica and Gabe’s story! The previous two books (this could be read as a standalone, but do yourself a favor and read all three) teased a Monica-and-Gabe pairing, but even so I didn’t suspect the awesomeness that was in store for us 🙂
Gabe’s been hiding all kinds of issues behind his smiles and easygoing charm, and though those closest to him suspect that there’s something there, it’s Monica, the ranch therapist who he’s the most determined to keep away from. He. Doesn’t. Need. A. Shrink.
Though he does rather like her kid…and darn it, he’s more than a little attracted to her as well. Kicking and screaming doesn’t even begin to cover how it is that Gabe gets drawn into this slow burn romance–there’s also relentlessly cheerful Christmas bedding, a Montana blizzard, and a llama–and that’s just scratching the surface of it.
Monica is a widow and a recovering (okay, she’s not doing a very good job of recovering. But she tries. Kind of) helicopter parent where her ten-year-old son is concerned. She’s attracted to Gabe and more than ready to move on after her loss, but has convinced herself that getting involved with one of the ex-military men at the ranch would destroy her credibility as the staff therapist. (Now that I think about it, I’m not 100% sure this issue was resolved…? It didn’t seem like that big a problem anyway, so that’s probably okay…) I loved watching her try to forge a relationship with Gabe, even though at times it was as painful to read as it was wonderful at others.
Let’s just say the man does a darn good grovel, and it’s fortunate for everyone that he does–even if he did have help. (He needed it. Good grief, the man practically tried to incinerate all the bridges in Montana when he pushed her away…)
Okay, now that all three of the Navy SEAL Cowboys have their HEAs, surely there’s some other neighbors of the Lanes, Shaws, and/or Revival Ranch that need their turn? Please? 😀
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Summer of Scandal
by Syrie James Series: Dare to Defy *Each novel is a standalone story. Genre: Adult Historical Romance Publisher: Avon Impulse Publication Date: September 11, 2018
Madeleine Atherton is no typical American heiress, sent to England to marry an English lord. A brilliant college graduate who secretly dreams of becoming a published author, she wants to marry for love. After receiving a proposal from a future duke, Madeleine flees the London Season for Cornwall to seek her sister’s advice, never expecting her decision to be complicated by a charming, handsome earl she’s certain she dislikes—even though his every touch sets her blood on fire.
Charles Grayson, the Earl of Saunders, has secrets and ambitions of his own. Although under pressure from his mother and gravely ill father to marry his cousin, Charles cannot find the words to propose. But this fascinating American visitor does not figure into his plans, either.
Thrown together unexpectedly at Trevelyan Manor, Madeleine and Charles struggle to rise above their intense attraction. But as things heat up between them over a summer that becomes increasingly scandalous, Madeleine and Charles will both be forced to make a difficult choice. Can two dreamers dare to defy convention and find their own happily ever after?
Charles’s heart began drumming to a different cadence as he made his way across the golden expanse of sand. The ocean setting in all its fresh, morning glory was a fitting backdrop for the woman who, in a peach-colored dress that clung to her perfect figure like a second skin, resembled a goddess newly risen from the sea.
Charles wasn’t certain if his voice had carried over the crash of the waves and the raucous calls of the gulls. He tried again.
This time, she turned in surprise. Good lord, she was beautiful. The wind brought out the roses in her cheeks and whipped through her skirts and the loose tendrils of her upswept hair.
He ventured closer and tipped his hat. “Good morning.”
“Good morning.” Her eyes and voice held a note of reluctance, as if undecided as to whether or not she was pleased to see him.
“I am.” She held up a small cloth bag. “And stones. For Julia and Lillie. They are fond of them.”
“What a nice gesture.” Standing this close, looking down at her lovely face, he realized he had been wrong about the color of her eyes. Under the bright morning sun, they were more cobalt than indigo.
Stop waxing poetic about her eyes.
He drew a line in the sand with the toe of his boot. “I understand you are leaving us today?” Despite himself, he couldn’t disguise the remorse he felt at the prospect.
She hesitated, as if surprised by his tone and what it implied; yet her guard was still visibly in place. “A carriage is coming for me in a little over an hour.”
“I am glad, then, that I caught you before you left. I wanted to make sure I had an opportunity to say farewell.”
“That was thoughtful of you.”
He gestured for them to walk on together. As they strode across the hard-packed sand, he groped for words. “I hope you did not suffer a chill from our little adventure in the rain the other day?”
He darted a glance at her. Their eyes briefly met and held. He saw her cheeks grow rosy. Was she thinking about the horseback ride? The near-kiss? Or both? She looked away without further comment.
“I know you felt uneasy about riding astride,” he commented. “I hope you have not berated yourself for that.”
“I haven’t. It was the sensible thing to do at the time.”
“I hope, as well, that you will forgive me for joining you on Tesla’s back. It was not, perhaps, the most gentlemanly thing I have ever done . . .” He broke off.
“It’s all right. It was pouring cats and dogs. We had to get back to the house as quickly as possible.”
“And so we did.”
“And so we did,” she repeated.
Her eyes met his again, now visibly and unexpectedly on the edge of mirth. They both let out a laugh, relieving the tension between them. A seagull squawked overhead, then swooped down to collect some unseen tidbit from the wet sand nearby.
“If it helps, I promise to never breathe a word of it to anyone,” he told her.
“Well. Just so you know: I saw a curtain fluttering when you rode off. I’m pretty sure Woodson saw us.”
“How do you know? Did he say something?”
“Just that he understood why we had both missed tea. And he gave me . . . a look.”
“Ah. A look from Woodson can speak volumes.”
“He didn’t seem to be passing judgment, though.”
“As well he shouldn’t. We were the bedraggled survivors of a downpour, returning to home and hearth.”
“Indeed we were.” Miss Atherton laughed again. “He also mentioned that he is married. To Martin! I had no idea.”
“They are the heart and soul of our household, and have been these many years. I cannot imagine what we should do without them.” The morning sun was growing hotter. Charles lifted his hat, running his fingers through his hair to cool his head, wishing this moment could last forever.
“They are certainly devoted to your family,” Miss Atherton agreed. “I have been meaning to ask. Is there any news about your father? He has been indisposed almost the entire time I have been here. I worry about him.”
“I worry, too. Dr. Hancock has apparently been here every day. All we can do, I am told, is to pray for my father.”
“I have been, and will continue to do so. I wish with all my heart that he will soon be well.”
“You and me both, Miss Atherton. We should probably make a wish on that at the wishing pool.”
“The wishing pool? What is that?”
“It’s a pool of freshwater which, according to legend, is magical. If you drink the water and make a wish, it will come true.” He pointed to the nearby cliffs with a smile. “We have our own local wishing pool just around that bend.”
“Is that so? I would love to see it.”
“Would you?” He paused. “It is in a cave.”
“I love caves almost as much as I love legends.”
“Well, then. Come with me.” Charles led the way down the beach to the mouth of the cave, which was so hidden by the enclave of craggy black rocks surrounding it as to be imperceptible to anyone casually strolling by.
“What a charming spot,” Miss Atherton commented. “I would never have found it on my own.”
“All part of its magic.” Charles hesitated, uncertain of her intention. “If you prefer to go in on your own, I would understand. I can try to tell you how to reach the magic pool. But it is a bit tricky.”
“I see. I suppose it would be most improper for us to venture in at the same time, without a chaperone.” As she said it, her lips curved up mischievously.
He found himself staring at those lips. Imagining what it would be like to taste them.
It was no wonder she was talking about chaperones. Charles gave himself a mental shake.
“I was just teasing.” She laughed lightly, and in a more determined tone went on, “Please, lead the way.”
He wasn’t sure if it was the best idea in the world to go into such a secluded place with her alone. But any further protest would only make clear his own secret longings. So he did as bidden, determined to be a gentleman. Inside the cool interior, the cave opened up into a space the size of a small bedroom, its dark granite walls carved by water and time.
“Follow me,” Charles told her. The profusion of small stones which infused the sandy floor crunched beneath their feet as they advanced, the light growing dimmer with each step. “Can you see?”
“Not very well,” she admitted.
“If you will allow me to take your hand,” he offered, “I can better guide you from here.”
She paused only the briefest of seconds, then complied. Neither of them were wearing gloves. He felt a spark ignite as his hand clasped hers and sensed, from her small intake of breath, that she felt it as well. His heart began to patter in his chest.
“It gets darker as we go,” he said, “but our eyes will adjust. At the pool itself, there is a fissure that lets in a bit of natural light.”
She nodded and they moved forward, hand in hand. It was such a casual contact, this hand-holding, yet his pulse was pounding as strongly as if he were brushing his fingers over her naked form.
There you go again. Envisioning her naked.
Stop it stop it stop it.
The sound of dripping echoed in the distance, increasing in volume as they moved deeper into the cave. He guided her through a series of channels in the rock, past columns, stalagmites, and stalactites. After one final turn through a narrow passage, they entered an open chamber at the end of the cave and stopped.
“Oh!” Miss Atherton said in wonder.
They stood in a roundish chamber, enclosed by rock walls that stretched to a high ceiling. The air felt cool and damp. A narrow fracture above connected somehow to the outer cliff, because it let in a shaft of sunlight that illuminated the interior and sparkled on the surface of the small blue-green pool before them.
“Is it really freshwater?” Miss Atherton asked, her voice echoing slightly inside the chamber. As if suddenly aware that she no longer needed guidance, she let go of his hand.
He regretted the loss of her touch. “Yes, it filters down from the bluffs above.” In confirmation, a drop of water could be seen and heard as it plinked into the pool. “There are many caves with freshwater pools all along the Cornwall coast. I am told they all come with legends, some hundreds of years old.”
She gazed about in fascination. “It is a rather magical place.”
Charles turned to gaze at her. She made such a lovely picture standing there, just a foot or two away. The damp air had caused a few of her curls to frizz becomingly into ringlets around her face. Her peach gown fit so snugly that it showed off her every curve. Her rhythmic breathing was doing its own kind of magic, drawing his attention to her bosom, which was rising and falling and making it impossible to look away.
“How does the magic work, again?” she asked.
He blinked twice, yanking his gaze back up where it belonged, on her face. “You drink the water and at the same time, make a wish.”
“I see. Shall we?”
He nodded. “You first.”
“All right.” She set her bag of shells on the damp rocky outcropping fronting the pool and bent down. After pausing in thought, she scooped up a handful of water. “I wish that Lord Trevelyan will get well soon.” She sipped from her palm.
The simple act looked so wanton to his errant brain, he struggled to regain his wits.
“Can I make another wish?” she asked, looking up at him.
“There is no limit on the number of wishes, as far as I know.”
“All right.” She dipped her hand again, this time closing her eyes and, apparently, making a silent wish before drinking. With a smile, she stood. “The water tastes delicious.”
Staring at her, Charles could think of a few other things that would also taste delicious. He cleared his throat. “What was your second wish?”
“I cannot tell you,” she answered in a tone of mock-mystery, “or it might not come true.”
“Is that an American superstition?”
“I believe it’s a commonly held superstition, where wishes are concerned.”
“It is the first I have heard of it in Cornwall.”
“Well, even an earl can learn new things.” She gestured toward the pool with a smile. “Your turn.”
Charles removed his hat and rested it on a ledge. He bent down, dipped a cupped hand into the pool, and drank, dashing off the following: “May my father live to a ripe old age.”
He stood. Silence stretched between them, slow and catlike. There was no sound other than the intermittent drip of the water and the pounding of Charles’s heart, which was so loud in his ears now, he worried that she could hear it.
“I wonder,” she said softly, “how many people have come here over the centuries, and what they wished for.”
“I suppose some were fishermen and their wives from the village,” he suggested. “Wishing for a good catch.”
“Some might have been women wishing for their husbands’ safe return from sea.”
“Or farmers wishing for a good harvest.”
“Or men and women wishing for a loved one to return to health.”
“Or lovers making a wish for their future.” His breath caught. He had not planned to say that. The words seemed to hang in the air like a live thing between them. Lovers.
Their eyes met, and for a long moment neither of them moved. Tension coiled within his body and vibrated in the air between them. He was so aware of her nearness, he couldn’t speak. From the expression on her face, she was equally aware of him.
In the small, intimate chamber, Charles could hear her every intake of breath, which was coming as fast and unsteady as his own. He felt as if he were suspended in time. They were alone in this quiet spot. In an hour or so, she would be gone. This opportunity would never come again.
Desire came over him, hot and heavy. Charles knew it was wrong. Reckless. Irresponsible. But if he did not kiss her, he would spend the rest of his life replaying this moment in his mind, wishing that he had.
His arms were out before he could stop himself. Sweeping around her waist. Drawing her to him. One hand cradling the back of her neck, angling her head so that her lips were just inches from his.
Through the layers of their clothing, he could feel the thud of her heart against his chest, a rapid pounding that matched his own. He drank in the vivid blueness of her gaze that seemed to say, Yes. Yes. Yes.
And then he kissed her.
A sweet romance–really more sweet than scandalous, because though they don’t behave with perfect propriety at all times, they’re really the only ones that know 😉 I suppose the fact that both the hero and heroine have passions (hobbies) that their parents and society don’t approve of can add to the scandal, but they really only cause an issue within their families, so…not super scandalous.
Still, though–it’s a sweet story with some steamy bits. Charles and Maddie need to decide if they are going to follow their hearts or bend to the will of their parents, both with their romantic futures and with their vocational calling. There’s a bit of a side story with the friendship that Maddie develops with Charles’ cousin/presumed fiancee that is alternately quite nice and very uncomfortable–that whole both-in-love-with-the-same-guy-though-only-one-of-them-knows-it bit–and the relationship between Maddie and her sister (whose book–Runaway Heiress–I have on my TBR now) was lovely.
One more sister left! I quite liked Ms. James’ writing style, so I am looking forward to reading it 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the Author:
SYRIE JAMES is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women’s National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America.
To celebrate the release of SUMMER OF SCANDAL by Syrie James, we’re giving away one paperback copy of Runaway Heiress!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Runaway Heiress by Syrie James. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 9/24/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
Bollywood Invasion by Ricardo Alexanders Series: standalone Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy Publisher: Independent Publication Date: September 18, 2018
A fantasy novel of a modern-day American boy’s journey back in time as the reincarnation of John Lennon.
Sixteen-year-old John Palmieri is living an average life in Brooklyn until one day he wakes up as a prince in India, thirty-five years before he was born. Suddenly, he finds himself with riches and power beyond his wildest fantasies.
Brooklyn is readily forgotten. Life becomes a constant stream of debauchery, coming to a stand-still only when he meets “the one.” However, love doesn’t come easy. He must become a better man and sing his way into her heart, a pursuit ignited by his memories of the vintage Beatles music on his iPod.
Will these legendary songs change John’s life? Can he escape Lennon’s tragic fate? Will he ever find his way back to Brooklyn at his own time?
“Help me!” John flailed his arms around like a newborn.
I must be dead, he thought, perhaps on my way to Hell.
“Raj Babu! O’pun eyes!”
His eyes still closed, he felt the touch of a cold liquid all over his face.
“Argh! What is happening? Please stop!” John covered his face with his hands to shield himself from whatever was being sprinkled onto his face. If he was in Hell, which to him seemed like the only reasonable explanation, it could potentially be a fluid meant to burn his face. Yes indeed, it had to be Hell. Why else was the ground beneath him burning? And why was his skin on fire?
“Please…” he wailed as the splashes grew harder. “Please don’t!”
His hands were snatched away from his face and his right cheek slapped hard. John opened his eyes to the sight of a dark face surrounded by a halo so bright that it made his eyes squint. Behind the figure stood another dark figure wearing what looked like a cloak, bearing a scythe on his back. John shut his eyes, horrified, body shivering.
RICARDO ALEXANDERS is a descendant of the Great Yyu, a.k.a. the first king of China. He lives in Massachusetts and enjoys experiencing all kinds of cultures around the world. After obtaining his doctorate in science, he became fascinated with time-travel. As an aspiring writer, he loves to write time-travel fictions that blend fantasy, science, and real history together.
In 2017, he published his debut time-travel novel Dragon Tomb, the first book of his TLR (The Last Resistance) pentalogy. This history science fiction series starts from World War II, during which a young archaeologist discovers the true origin of Chinese civilization and saves the world from Armageddon.
To celebrate the release of BOLLYWOOD INVASION by Ricardo Alexanders, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! Once your initial entry is confirmed, additional entry options are unlocked!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. Two winners will be chosen, one to receive a $25 Amazon gift card and one to receive a $50 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Ricardo Alexanders. Giveaway ends 10/1/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
Hair in All the Wrong Places (Hair in all the Wrong Places #3) by Andrew Buckley
presented by Month9Books!
Celebrate this reveal by entering the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Hair in all the Wrong Places #3
by Andrew Buckley
Release Date: October 30, 2018
A menacing shadow looms over Elkwood, as a dark and sinister evil creeps into town. Only Colin Strauss can feel it happening. He is a werewolf, after all.
A routine Night Watch mission ends with Colin rescuing a mysterious girl from monster hunters, causing shock waves threatening to rock the town of Elkwood to its very foundations. Just when Colin thinks things can’t get any worse, he starts having girl problems.
If anyone is up to the task, it’s Colin. In the past year, he’s faced an evil biology teacher, defeated a power-hungry wizard, and united a group of unlikely creatures and freaks to defend their home.
Can Colin defeat the growing evil, evade ancient monster hunters, and not mess things up with his sort-of girlfriend?
Having hair in all the wrong places is fast becoming the least of Colin’s problems . . .
Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.
Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.
Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.