Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – SIREN SONG (The Chameleon Effect) by Alex Hayes


Welcome to the blog Tour for SIREN SONG, the third book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Chameleon Effect, by Alex Hayes. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SIREN SONG (The Chameleon Effect #3) by Alex Hayes

SIREN SONG (The Chameleon Effect #3) by Alex Hayes

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: The Chameleon Effect #3
Author: Alex Hayes
Release Date: October 15, 2019
 Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Connell Kurēn doesn’t love being a paparazzo…

He’s a member of the most scorned profession in Hollywood, but he’s good at it, and a hard-ass to boot.

He might also be called an ambulance chaser, though not for the disreputable reason he chases celebrities. Connell has the ability to heal, and at the sound of a siren, he is drawn to those in need.

Life is just fine until his pushy paparazzi nature almost gets someone killed.

Rowan Bren suffers post-traumatic stress and a permanent headache following a near-death experience at the hands of her mortal enemy. After months, she still isn’t right, but she won’t be held back from seeking her bond mate, Con, any longer.

She travels to Los Angeles motivated to help her friend, Idris, with his brilliant plan to locate their missing people. But Rowan’s top priority in the City of Angels is to find Con. She doesn’t know where he lives, but she’s not worried, because her crystal will lead her straight to him.

When she trips into his world, she finds a man so different from the person she expects, she fears he might not be Con at all. That he might be possessed by an evil force like the one that almost killed her.

Siren Song is the third novel of the Chameleon Effect series.


Excerpt #3
The sirens get closer. I’ve a few minutes at most before the emergency vehicles arrive.

I dart, light and birdlike, up the whitewashed stairs to peer through the back door window of a second-story apartment.

An elderly woman in pants and a blue sweatshirt lies on the kitchen floor, a Life Alert bracelet visible below her right cuff. If it weren’t for that wristband, an ambulance wouldn’t be on its way and I wouldn’t be here.

I lift a hand to the doorknob—unlocked. Breathing a sigh, I slip inside silently, the morning light streaming through me.

One touch to her head and I sense the problem. Lesions in the brain, most likely from a stroke. I check her heart. Beating. Rapid but strong.

Dropping to my knees, I push my voluminous wings out of the way and cup her head of fluffy white curls in my palms. The scent of Nivea and cocoa butter hits me.

I shift my attention to the work at hand. Healing flesh isn’t difficult. Surprisingly, internal injuries are easier to mend than epidermal ones. Bone and tendon damage are the toughest to fix.

A couple of minutes is all it takes to repair the burst blood vessels and damaged cells, and restore blood flow to the compromised areas of the brain. Her breaths deepen and she stirs.

Time to get out of here. Just need to unlock the front door so the paramedics can get in without breaking anything.

I slip through the peach-colored apartment. The place has seen better days, but it’s neat and clean. I reach the door as the sirens cut. An ambulance is right outside, two stories below. I release the chain, unlatch the deadbolt and turn the doorknob lock.

Good to go, I hurry back through the apartment. My wing catches the edge of a table, rattling knickknacks. I save a porcelain statue of Mary holding Baby Jesus, set it straight and rush into the kitchen.

The old lady’s sitting up, rubbing her head. I left the swollen bump on her cranium resulting from the fall, a surface wound that will heal quickly on its own. If I healed every injury, the paramedics might get suspicious.

While her back is turned, I pull open the rear door, but its soft squeak makes her look around.

My breath falters. I’m invisible, but being stared at disturbs me. Hopefully, she’ll put the open door down to the wind.

She squints in my direction as I tease the door wider. Sunlight floods the kitchen, turning the discolored linoleum tiles at my feet bright white.

A gentle smile lifts her lips. “Thank you, dear.”

I freeze.

A sharp knock at the front door.

“Hello? Anyone in there?” comes a muffled shout. “Emergency Services. We’re responding to a Life Alert alarm.”

The lady glances in the direction of that voice, then returns her gaze my way. She can’t possibly see me.

Her smile widens. “Now, off you go, angel. I’m sure you’ve got plenty more people to save today.”

Without further hesitation, I slip through the door, race down the fire escape and take off from the alley.

Flight is the only antidote to an experience like that.

Did she spot me?

I shake the thought away. If she had, she wouldn’t have called me an angel. If I were visible, she’d have called me an ugly crow.

It was the open doorway, the bright shaft of sunlight. Who wouldn’t imagine a celestial being had just paid a visit? I might have myself, and I don’t believe in angels.


Get Caught Up on the Series

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

 Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


Author Alex Hayes

Author Alex Hayes

About the Author
Alex Hayes wrote her first fiction story when she was twelve. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, she began work on her first novel, Ice Cracks, at eighteen.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.

Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats..


Where to Find Alex Hayes
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Blog Tour – Excerpt – AMBER SKY by Cassia Leo


Welcome to the blog tour for AMBER SKY, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance/thriller by New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

AMBER SKY by Cassia Leo

AMBER SKY by Cassia Leo

About the Book
Author: Cassia Leo
Publisher: Gloss Publishing, LLC
Release Date: October 18, 2019
 Adult Contemporary Romance/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo | GooglePlay

From New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo comes a new stand-alone novel Amber Sky, the haunting, atmospheric love story of Walker Ainsley and Cassidy O’Connor.

A devastating car crash leaves Cassidy O’Connor stranded in rural Pennsylvania. Her only company is Walker Ainsley, the ruggedly handsome man who saved her from the wreckage and took her into his home. But when her ride back to town arrives after the crash, Cassidy can’t bring herself to leave Walker behind. She is determined to convince him to go back to town with her, until she begins to wonder if she actually survived the crash that brought them together.








Excerpt #2
The door to Walker’s bedroom is wide open. As I approach, I try to think of what I’ll say when I wake him. But when I arrive at the threshold, I find him awake, sitting on the windowsill, gazing out at the night sky. He’s wearing nothing but a pair of jeans, and his dark hair is wild, as if he’d been tossing and turning before he got up.

I enter without announcing my presence, but a creaky floorboard does it for me. Walker turns his head slowly to watch me approach. He doesn’t seem surprised to see me in his bedroom.

I stand next to him and look out the window to see what he’s gazing at. The sky is pitch black and studded with twinkling stars of various sizes and colors. It’s not a city night sky, muted by light pollution. It’s a brilliant, shimmering cloak wrapped around the world, beckoning us to embrace the night.

When I turn away from the window, Walker is staring at me, a new quiet confidence in his eyes. The moonlight paints silvery streaks over his cheekbones, collarbone, and pectoral muscles. He looks beautiful enough to paint.

Taking a cue from the look in his eyes, I turn toward him to let him see all of me. His gaze skims over every inch of my body, stopping for a while on my breasts. Taking a step forward, I take his hand in mine and hold it for a moment. When his eyes look up to meet mine, I lay his hand on my chest, so he can feel my heartbeat.

The corners of his mouth turn up at the sensation of my pulse pounding against his fingertips. “You are real.”




Author Cassia Leo

Author Cassia Leo

About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.





Where to find Cassia Leo
Goodreads Website | NewsletterFacebook | Club CassiaTwitter | Instagram | Amazon


Blog Tour – Excerpt – SAMBA (Sultry Nights) by Melanie Munton

SAMBA Book Blitz

Welcome to the blog tour for SAMBA, the fourth book in the adult contemporary romantic suspense series, Sultry Nights, by Melanie Munton. See below for information on the book, buy inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SAMBA (Sultry Nights #4) by Melanie Munton

SAMBA (Sultry Nights #4) by Melanie Munton

About the Book
Title: SAMBA
Series: Sultry Nights #4
Author: Melanie Munton
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Samba (n): danced to a quick, fast-paced beat, with rapid steps and a rocking, sexy swaying motion; typically has a dramatic climax.

Whether Sophie Fuentes wants to admit it or not, her life has irrevocably changed ever since undercover DEA agent Max Romano blew into it. And now that she knows the truth about who he really is, everything has changed all over again. Nothing is as she thought it was. There is no one left she can trust. All she knows for sure is that she wants nothing at all to do with Max and his lies.

Max knows he screwed up majorly with Sophie. But he’s not about to let her shut him out, not when her very life is in danger. She can yell at him, she can hate him, but she can’t deny the way her body responds to him. It might be wrong, but he’s going to use the passion that burns so brightly between them to his advantage. He’ll push her to the brink of her desire until she has no choice but to forgive him.

Their fire burns hotter than ever.
The stakes have never been higher.
The danger has never been deadlier.
But what scares Max the most is that he has no idea what’s coming for them next.

**This is a SHORT story series. Each volume is a short story serial and is an average of 30,000 words. This is NOT a full-length novel series.**


Excerpt #3

I put my bag of groceries on the kitchen counter and start grabbing all the pots and pans I’ll need. Twenty minutes later, I’m alternating chicken, sausage, prosciutto, and shrimp to sauté in a pan while cutting up tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic cloves. The scents of dinner fill the house, reminding me of childhood nights listening to my parents cook together in the kitchen while dancing along to their favorite Old World tunes. 

“What are you doing?”

I turn around to find Sophie standing in the middle of the kitchen in a white tank top and striped lounge pants with wet hair. I love seeing her fresh-faced and comfortable like this, when she’s not trying to grab another man’s attention by dressing like a vixen in heels. Ironically, I’m finding it harder to look away from her now than ever before. I’d like to think I’m the only man who has ever seen her like this and who also knows the pleasures of her body.

“Cooking dinner,” I answer, turning back to the stove.


I cringe. My mother would be so disappointed to hear that the woman I’m in love with is shocked I’m cooking dinner for her and her family. 

“Because I want to and because you all need to eat.”

“I-I was going to do it,” she blusters, sounding almost offended. “I can take care of us.”

Ah, there it is. The woman is so bull-headed and prideful and independent. She doesn’t like the implication that she isn’t capable of taking care of her family. God, I love her. 

I look over my shoulder, softening my voice. “No one is saying you can’t. I know you enjoy cooking, but I wanted to give you a break. And maybe I wanted to show off my cooking skills a little.”

She bites her lip, her gaze darting to the stovetop. “What are you cooking?”

“Paella. My mother will roll over in her grave if I don’t impress people with her recipe.”

I focus on bringing the onion and bell peppers to a simmer while she processes. 

After several silent moments, she asks, “Is there anything I can help with?”

It’s a damn good thing my back is to her because my smile is both smug and victorious. “You can open the bottle of wine on the counter.”

I hear drawers open, followed by a pop as she uses the corkscrew. Then a glass full of white wine is held out in front of me. Our eye contact is intense as I take it from her. “Thank you.”

She nods and takes a sip from her glass. “I tried to make paella once.”


She winces. “It basically turned into gumbo.”

I chuckle. “It takes some time to perfect. You want me to show you?”

She’s clearly hesitant but gives in. “Okay.”

Over the next forty-five minutes, I explain in detail each step to creating an authentic Spanish paella dish. She’s attentive and eager to copy what I do or try by herself. I’m working so hard to keep my dick under control, but she’s not making it easy at all. Especially when she sidles up next to me, grazing her breasts against my arm. Or when she insists on taking over and steps in front of me at the stove, placing her ass right up against my crotch. Or when a bit of olive oil pops in the pan and she jolts back to avoid getting burned. 

The fight against an erection is lost after that.

She freezes when she feels the full impact of my hardness. My muscles lock up—I don’t even breathe—as I wait to see what she’s going to do. I was hoping we’d made some progress, even microscopic, after our angry fucking in a filthy alley last night. I feel her begin to melt against me, her ass cushioning my bulge the more she relaxes.

“Smells good in here,” her mother announces from behind us.

Sophie shoots forward, but not before—did she just wiggle her ass against me? I spot the coy smile she tries to hide from me and feel my chest swell about fifty sizes. 

It’s working.

She’s coming back to me. Slowly and—I adjust myself as discreetly as I can, preparing for the blue balls—painfully coming back, but at least it’s happening.


Author Melanie Munton

Author Melanie Munton

About the Author
Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.

Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines.

Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!


Where to find Melanie Munton
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram


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Blog Tour – Excerpt – BEYOND THE PALE by Jennifer Millikin


Welcome to the blog tour for BEYOND THE PALE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Jennifer Millikin. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

BEYOND THE PALE by Jennifer Millikin

BEYOND THE PALE by Jennifer Millikin

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Author: Jennifer Millikin
Release Date: October 15, 2019
 Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

My whole life I’ve known Finn Jeffries and Brady Sterling would be my undoing.

The three of us were inseparable, but growing up with two boys as your best friends comes with it’s own certain type of growing pains.  As a child, Finn was wild and free, and grew up to be a devilishly handsome man with a smirk that frustrated me as much as it did other things to me. Brady was brave and loyal, and the kind of man he grew into didn’t surprise me a bit: devoted and gallant, with a handsome, trustworthy face that made my heart beat faster.

We went our separate ways for college, but now it’s eight years later and a pact we made back then has brought us back to our hometown. Back to the complicated situation we ran from. Back to the love triangle we never really escaped.

I love them both, and it’s time for me to make a choice.  I’ve always known one of them would be my forever, I just never knew which one.

And I still don’t.





I’ve been staring at my phone for three minutes, the pretty green succulents staring back at me. If this was a hey how are you doing call, I wouldn’t be nervous. But this is a point of no return call. I think my nerves are justified. 

It’s been eight years since we’ve all been together. In the beginning, we didn’t aim to be apart for so long. It happened naturally, the way a river freezes over drop by drop. College was more demanding than we anticipated it would be, and with none of us going home to Agua Mesa, it was harder to plan a visit. Then Brady went to law school, Finn and I got jobs, and somehow days and months floated by until they became years.  

Though we haven’t been together physically, we’ve kept in touch. We text, we call, we see each other’s social media posts. 

Just thinking about talking to them brings a smile to my face. Finn’s voice is wry, like he’s always on the edge of laughing or flirting. It makes it seem like no matter what it is he’s talking about, it’s not that bad. 

Not Brady. Brady’s voice is strong and commanding, but kind. If loyalty and conviction had a voice, it would be Brady’s. 

I call him first, simply because his name comes first in my contacts. 

“Lennon?” He sounds worried, which he should be. We haven’t talked on the phone in a while. If his name was the one flashing across my screen, I’d be beside myself. 

“Brady, hi. How are you?”  

“Worried about you.”  

“Were you worried about me before I called?”  

He chuckles. “Not really.”  

“I’m fine,” I assure him.   

“Are you sure about that? We haven’t talked in a long time…”    

The reason why hangs in the air between us, somehow traveling across the miles between Dallas and Chicago. 

I clear my throat. “Um, yeah. It has been a while. But I promise, I’m fine. I’m calling to tell you that my mom died yesterday and I’m going back to Agua Mesa.”  

Brady blows out an audible breath, some of it sneaking into the phone and making a whooshing noise. 

“When are you leaving?” he asks, and I hear new background noise. Something slamming. Maybe a cabinet? 

“As soon as I can get a bag together. I’m driving out.” No need to mention that it’s cheaper to drive. 

“Then I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.”  


“I’ll be there, Lennon.”  

My lips purse, and my heart surges. I’d told Laine he would remember our pact, that it still applied, but even as I said it, I felt a twinge of uncertainty. We’re adults now. That pact was made with teenage hearts. Back then we didn’t understand commitments to anyone but each other. Now there are jobs and lives and… significant others? 

“Thank you, Brady.” There’s relief in my voice. 

“Did you think I wouldn’t come?” His voice is low. The rumble of it warms my heart.  

“No, no. Of course not. I knew you’d come if you could.”  

“I’d be there even if I couldn’t.”   

I smile. He’s still so sweet, so loyal. Never one to shy away from a declaration. But the best part about Brady? He means it. 

“I better get going,” I tell him. “I need to pack.”  

“And call Finn?”  

“Yep,” I answer, guilt blossoming in my belly. There’s nothing wrong with me calling Finn and then packing, but not telling Brady my exact reason for getting off the phone makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong. 

“So you called me first.” Satisfaction colors his tone. 

I groan playfully. “Your name comes first in my contacts.”  

“Uh huh.”  

I laugh and tell him goodbye, then scroll to Finn’s number. My thumb hovers over his name as his face floats in my mind. His perpetual smirk is the first thing I see. It’s like he knows something juicy, and if you’re lucky enough, he just might share it with you. 

I press his name, and the phone rings. Once, twice, three times. He answers on the fifth ring. 

“Well, well, well.” He pauses, exhaling a heavy breath. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”  

“What are you doing right now?” I’m asking because his breathing is still heavy, and oh my god what if he’s… you know… with a woman right now? He wouldn’t answer in the middle of that, would he? Except this is Finn I’m talking about, and anything is possible with him. 


“I didn’t know computers could give you such a workout.”  

“Very funny, Miss L.” He pauses again, and I imagine him gulping water from a bottle. “What’s up?”  

“My mom died, and I was wondering if you feel like coming to Arizona?”   

Finn’s quiet for a moment before he speaks. “You’re in luck, Lennon. I’m already in Arizona.”  

Surprise jerks my head back an inch. “You went home… without us?”  

“I’m in Arizona, but not in Agua Mesa.”  


This makes me feel better. On a realistic level, I know he can go wherever he damn well pleases. All three of us can. But that agreement we made is something I hold onto, a symbol of how much we all still matter to one another. 

“Why exactly are you in the great state of AZ?” I make my voice casual, trying to fight the feeling of longing that has sprung up in my belly. I feel the girlish urge to twist a phone cord around my fingers and bat my eyelashes. Of course, there is no phone cord to twist because this isn’t the nineties. 

“You might know if you visited me every once in a while.”  

Hurt trickles into the lightly admonishing tone he’s using. Finn doesn’t let anything slide. He’s not afraid to call me out. Or anyone else, for that matter. He once challenged my mother, adding another log to the fire of dislike she felt for him. 


“Do you think of me, Lennon?” His voice lowers, his tone husky. 

My belly swirls again. “Of course. Every day.”  

“You sure about that?”  

A lick of anger flickers in my core. It’s a common reaction around Finn. He has always possessed the ability to bring the emotion to the surface. Funny how I can’t remember a time when Brady has brought that out. Brady keeps me steady. With Brady, I know right where I am.  

If they were colors, Brady would be a calm, cool blue. Finn would be a fiery orange-red. 

“Don’t be dumb.” I say it cheekily, and Finn laughs, a deep, singular sound. 

Sass is my defense mechanism. It’s how I handle discomfort. And guilt. And just about anything unpleasant. 

Finn clears his throat. “I guess I’m supposed to say I’m sorry for your loss.”  

“You could.”  

“Do you want me to?”  

“That depends on whether you want to.”  

“I don’t want to.”  

“Then don’t.”  

Despite the macabre topic of conversation, our banter has my lips curving upward. 

A sound comes through the phone, something like the crunching of gravel. 

“Where are you?” I ask. 

“I’ll tell you tomorrow.”  


“Um hmm. Tomorrow. When I see you in Agua Mesa.” His voice slips over me, sliding into my heart, reassuring me. 

“Really?” Hope swells in my chest. 

“Did you think I wouldn’t come?”  

I blink at his words. They are the same words Brady used with me only minutes ago. For all their differences, their hearts are loyal as hell. It’s why I chose them, all those years ago. Or maybe they chose me. I’m not sure anymore. 

I shrug, even though he can’t see me. “It’s been a long time. Eight years.”  

“Eight years,” he echoes. “Are you ready to go home?”  

“Are you?” 

“Not even close.”  

Of the three of us, Finn will have the hardest time going back. He’s the one with the impressive juvenile rap sheet. I’ll be subject to the dubious glances from the congregation of Joyful Noise Bible, but I can handle it. My mom just died, so their sympathy will be automatic, if also a bit begrudging. And then there’s Brady. Nothing awaits him except for a bevy of middle-aged women hoping to set him up with their daughters. Who wouldn’t want their precious daughter with someone who’s not only a lawyer but the son of an esteemed federal judge? 

I blow out a hard breath. “Well, get ready. Because we’re going right into the belly of the beast.”  

“So dramatic.”  

I smile. “I’ve been called that once or twice.”  

“By me.”  

“True,” I agree, eyeing the gigantic suitcase Laine let me borrow. “I better go. I need to get packed and on the road.”  

“Drive safe, Miss L.”  

“Will do. Bye,” I say, then blurt, “Finn, wait!”  


“Tell me something I’ll never believe.”  

The game started when we were young, and it stuck. Finn recites a fact, something so outlandish it sounds fake, and I decide whether or not I believe it. Usually I had to look on the internet to investigate its validity. My research always ended up pointless; Finn never told me anything that wasn’t true.  

After a moment, Finn says, “Female elephants form a tight circle around another female when she’s giving birth. They do this because the birthing female is vulnerable to attack, so their circle is meant for protection.”  

Tears spring to my eyes. I believe him. And if it’s not true, I don’t want to know. It’s too beautiful. 

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Finn.”  

He pauses for so long I wonder if he has hung up, then softly he tells me goodbye. 

I hang up and stare at the suitcase. Those two phone calls, plus the fact that I’m headed to Agua Mesa as soon as I can gather my things, has left me emotionally exhausted. Too bad I don’t have time for exhaustion. Placing my palms on either side of me, I hoist myself off the bed and into action. Before long, I’m packed, and then I’m holding back tears as I hug Laine goodbye. It’s her fault. She’s the one who started crying, and I can‘t look at her tears without producing some of my own.  

It’s just for a week, I tell her. Two, tops. I can’t imagine it will take me any longer than that to make arrangements and go through my mother’s house. 

At least, I hope it doesn’t.


Author Jennifer Millikin

Author Jennifer Millikin

About the Author
Jennifer Millikin is a contemporary fiction author of five full-length novels and a contributor for Scottsdale Moms Blog. When she isn’t writing she can be found cooking, hiking, or in downward dog.







Where to find Jennifer Millikin
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Instagram | AmazonBookBub


Book Review – TRUCE? HATING ELIJAH MONROE by Amelia Kingston




3.5 out of 5 stars

Harper Delaney is a newly certified elementary school teacher with the mountain of student loan debt to prove it. Moving back to her claustrophobically small hometown is about as tempting as two week old sushi, but the allure of free rent and a guaranteed summer teaching job are undeniable.

On the hunt for her dream job in San Francisco, Harper just needs to survive the summer without murdering Elijah Monroe. He may have grown into a scorchingly hot fireman, but he’s still her nemesis. Harper gave Elijah her heart when she was sixteen, and never forgave the jerk for not wanting it. Probably for the best, since he’s also her stepbrother. 

Elijah still makes Harper’s blood boil and heart race. And he knows it. She’ll wipe that smug smirk off his gorgeous face before leaving town. The only question is if she wants to do it with a kiss or a slap.








My Review
I love a good enemies to lovers story, and this was that on steroids. The emotions are intense from the moment Harper meets Eli, the teenage son of her father’s soon to be wife. Sixteen-year-old Harper is uprooted from her beloved San Francisco to a small town in the northern part of the state, where the trees are taller, but the people are more infuriating than what she’s used to. When Harper first lays eyes on Eli, she’s head over heels in love. Before he utters a single word, she determines that he is “the one” for her. Her everything. Until he opens his mouth. The hate/love/hate relationship begins with sparks that fly through the entire story. Eli’s father died before Eli was born and Harper’s mom abandoned her and her father, leaving both teens with massive scars. Harper suffers from serious insecurities to the point that all Eli has to do is smile at her and she’s suddenly in love with him all over again. Eli is brooding and moody, running hot and cold. The relationship is so fraught, that Harper flees back to San Francisco as soon as she graduates. After college, she returns to the small town, and temporarily moves back in with her dad, stepmom and step-brother, albeit reluctantly, to take a short-term teaching job while she waits to hear about her dream job at a private school in San Francisco. Because, let’s face it, you cannot afford to wait out a job in San Fran without a well-paying job. Not even with a roommate. When Harper returns, old wounds are still festering, and sparks fly even higher when a now grown Elijah is hotter than ever.

The plot is primarily the relationship between Harper and Eli, told both in current times as well as flashbacks to when the two first meet. These two timelines are interspersed, allowing the reader to learn the history of their animosity as the anger and resentment continue to unfold in current day. Underlying the main plot is Harper’s future and whether she’ll stay in nowheresville Weaverton or return to her beloved city by the bay. The romance aspect is very back and forth and became like watching a tennis match after awhile. The conflict is not only driven by intense emotions by both characters, but also the “forbidden” nature of their stepbrother/stepsister relationship.

Even adult Harper suffers from the same insecurities as teen Harper, although she has a better handle on her emotions. Eli is far less brooding, but he’s still got issues and he knows how to get under Harper’s skin, and it soon becomes clear he has insecurities of his own. The characters are the best part of the book, though. They are well-conceived and well-executed, with depth and complexity. My only real complaint is some mild slut-shaming of a young character in the early part of the book. Harper’s internal comments on Athena made it a lot harder for me to warm up to Harper, although I did get there. Part of her judgment, I’m sure, came from her insecurities and seeing this girl as a romantic rival.

1. The Flashbacks.
 The history of Eli and Harper’s relationship was key to me understanding who they are now, and why they say and do the things they do. Without those scenes, I wouldn’t have been able to get into either of these characters.

2. Enemies to Lovers. One of my favorite tropes.

3. The Parents. Eli’s mom and Harper’s dad are the sanest people in this story and they are needed to ground their kids and reign in their over-the-top emotions.

4. The Setting. I’m like Harper in that I’m a city girl, but escaping to the small town of Weaverton was a breath of fresh air. The author provides stunning details that makes this fictional town someplace I’d love to visit.

5. Romantic Gestures. I won’t give it away, but there is a scene at the very end that was just so wonderfully romantic it melted my heart. Yay Eli.

Bottom Line
An intense hate-to-love romance with strong emotions and in-depth characters.

I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.


About the Book
Amelia Kingston
Release Date:
October 1, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Pages: 141
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleKobo


Author Amelia Kingston

Author Amelia Kingston

About the Author
Amelia Kingston is many things, the most interesting of which are probably California girl, writer, traveler, and dog mom. She survives on chocolate, coffee, wine, and sarcasm. Not necessarily in that order.  

She’s been blessed with a patient husband who’s embraced her nomad ways and traveled with her to over 30 countries across 5 continents (I’m coming for you next, Antarctica!). She’s also been cursed with an impatient (although admittedly adorable) terrier who pouts when her dinner is 5 minutes late. 

She writes about strong, stubborn, flawed women and the men who can’t help but love them. Her irreverent books aim to be silly and fun with the occasional storm cloud to remind us to appreciate the sunny days. As a hopeless romantic, her favorite stories are the ones that remind us all that while love is rarely perfect, it’s always worth chasing. 

Where to Find Amelia Kingston
Goodreads │Website | NewsletterFacebook │Twitter


Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE KILWADE TRAGEDY by Terry Keys


Welcome to the blog tour for THE KILWADE TRAGEDY, a stand-alone young adult contemporary, by USA Today bestselling author, Terry Keys. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.



About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Author: Terry Keys
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Terry Keys, USA Today bestselling author of Lie No More and The Missing pens his most captivating book to date. This is the heart-breaking story about a small-town boy who’d taken everything from everyone until he could take no more.

Seventeen-year-old Blaze Planter is a Jr. at Kilwade, High School.

His parents have recently divorced. His grades are slipping.His anger is growing with each day. Relationships with his closest friends are failing. Secrets about his life are being uncovered.

No one understands what he is going through. And everyone who has betrayed him needs to be taught a lesson.

So now he stands with the one friend that has never betrayed him. The one friend that does what he asks every time he squeezes the trigger. The only friend that he can depend on.

Tragedies don’t just happen. The signs are simply overlooked every day until it’s too late.

After the read be sure to review the author’s note where resources for additional help are listed. There are also discussion questions to generate conversation & get adults and student’s talking.


“Honestly man, I can’t see two hours ahead right now, bro. This really hurts.”

“You listen to me. You’re going to be the best man in my wedding you hear me? And I’m going to be the best man in yours. And next year were going to Hawaii just like we talked about. The next year we’ll do our U.S road trip – none of this stupid high school shit changes any of that. You hear me?”

Blaze held his head down. He shook as he cried. Mark put his arms around him and fought back tears himself.

“You promise me that you’re not leaving me with these jerks, Blaze. I been watching Dr. Phil I know how this works.”

He smiled a little at the Dr. Phil joke but still said nothing. He just cried harder.

“I said, promise me.”

Blaze nodded in agreement.

“One hour at a time, one day at a time. All this is temporary. The only thing permanent is me and you, bro,” Mark said.

His heart was beating even faster now. “There’s one more thing – I need to tell someone.”


Author Terry Keys

Author Terry Keys

About the Author
Terry Keys is an award-winning novelist, songwriter, and poet. He writes for Examiner.com and works as a project manager in the oil and gas industry. A native of Rosharon, Texas, Keys spends his free time hunting, fishing, and working out. He lives in Dickinson, Texas, with his wife and two children.

2017 NIEA award winner for Chained Guilt.





Where to find Terry Keys
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter


Enter Terry’s Goodreads Giveaway


Blog Tour – Playlist + Giveaway – CROSS CREASE (On the Edge) by Elizabeth Hartey


Welcome to the blog tour for CROSS CREASE, the third book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, On the Edge, by Elizabeth Hartey. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive look at the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.

CROSS CREASE (On the Edge #3) by Elizabeth Hartey

CROSS CREASE (On the Edge #3) by Elizabeth Hartey

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: On the Edge #3
Elizabeth Hartey
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


I was fourteen the first time I laid eyes on the smoking hot, silver-eyed, goalie. Damon Wolfe was the most gorgeous boy I’d ever seen. All it took was one glance, one sentence and my heart was his. But I was too young and he was too broken.

Seven years later, he’s the biggest off the ice player in the NHL and I’m his virginal best friend.

Of course, I have the perfect solution to that particular problem, but Damon keeps on refusing to be the one to vanquish my chastity. He claims he doesn’t want to ruin our friendship, that he’s not good enough for me. Yet, somehow his eyes say something different whenever he looks at me.

Just one night, that’s all I’m asking. What’s the worst that can happen?

I was mesmerized by Heaven Andersen the first time I looked into her sparkling turquoise eyes. She was a teenage kid with a mouth full of braces and bruised knees, but she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen—like a fairy-tale princess. With one look, she sent all my inner demons running. But she was just a kid and I was too damaged.

Seven years later, she’s my best friend. My best friend with a single-minded mission—to get laid. She wants me to take her virginity and teach her about sex. But she’s an off-limits, flawless diamond girl, and so far out of the realm of anything my blackened heart is looking for or deserves it’s laughable.

So, how come I’m not laughing? How come my best friend is the first thing I think about in the morning and last thing I think about at night? More importantly, what am I going to do to protect her—from me?


The Cross Crease playlist. Most of the songs in the playlist are mentioned in scenes in the book. But a few are just songs that I heard when I was writing Wolfe and Heaven’s story and thought it described something they were going through in their relationship.

  • Pink by Julia Michaels
  • Don’t Be a Fool by Shawn Mendes
  • One Night by Christina Perri
  • Your Side of the Bed by Loote
  • Dancing With a Stranger by Sam Smith
  • Here You Come Again by Dolly Parton
  • He’s So Fine by The Chiffons
  • I Say A Little Prayer For You sung by Steve Tyrell, Patti Austin
  • New Rules by Dua Lipa
  • Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars
  • The Wolf by The Spencer Lee Band
  • Love the One You’re With by Stephen Stills
  • Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur
  • Tracey by The Cufflinks
  • Say Something by Christina Aquillera
  • Fell Like Makin’ Love by Roberta Flack
  • I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
  • Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow sung by Laura Branigan


Get Caught Up on the Series

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


Author Elizabeth Hartey

Author Elizabeth Hartey

About the Author
As a lover of the northeast US, my husband and I moved to the Poconos several years ago to open a Chiropractic Clinic. Four children and a menagerie of animals later, I have finally found time to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing novels. A dreamer at heart, romance is—of course—the genre I spend most of my time writing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. However, if it’s a good book, any genre can keep me immersed in the story for hours.

When I’m not juggling work responsibilities and writing, I enjoy baking, knitting, traveling, hiking the beautiful hills and woods around my home and spending time with my family..



Where to find Elizabeth Hartey
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Review + Giveaway – JUST IN CASE by Laura McHale Holland


JUST IN CASE by Laura McHale Holland

JUST IN CASE by Laura McHale Holland

5 out of 5 stars

Imagine a world where shadows of enchantment instantly render ordinary experiences eerie, terrifying or sublime, and where the unexpected becomes the norm. The twenty-one micro stories in Laura McHale Holland’s Just in Case comprise such a place: a universe where a wife betrayed relishes her revenge; a couple chugging toward retirement takes a surprising U-turn; a much maligned character finally has his say; a cozy family scene chills the blood; a curious relative cannot leave a half-human baby alone. These, and more, are what you’ll find in this book.

The dark, often revealing themes in this collection marry exquisitely with the precise flash fiction form, offering a full reading experience in few words. If you enjoy engaging, short reads with deliciously poetic prose, plenty of imagery, and context left to the imagination, you’re likely to love the concise gems found herein.








My Review
JUST IN CASE was a delightful, fast read, which I finished in just half a day. The stories are short, vivid, and left me wanting more. The author weaves tales using carefully chosen imaginative words that not only set a scene, but get us deep into character point of view. The shortest is just a half a page and the longest was probably less than ten, but the amount of real estate had nothing to do with the reading experience. I devoured each one, then reread it to savor it, to marvel at the author’s ability to use words as if she was wielding magic, making us see and feel with intensity. My favorite was the tale of a mailman and his favorite customer, a man with wolf-dog hybrids, but I don’t have a least favorite. They were all so very good. I will be reading more by Laura McHale Holland!

What I Loved About JUST IN CASE
1. The Writing.
 The author has the ability to draw me deeply into a story that takes no more than five minutes to read.

2. The Length. As someone with ADD, I loved that I could read a story while I was waiting for water to boil or my computer to boot up. I could set it down and not have to remember where I was because that story was over.

3. Reader Interpretation. Due to the nature of the storytelling, so much is left for the reader to interpret, and each one had me thinking about it long after I was done reading.

4. Quirky Characters. Many of the tales had richly drawn characters that were fun and a little different, making them a delight to read.

5. Darker Subject Matter. I loved the darker tones of many of the stories without ever becoming macabre. Perfect for reading during an autumn evening by a warm fire.

Bottom Line
Wonderful short tales of fascinating characters wrapped up in spectacular storytelling.

I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.


About the Book
Author: Laura McHale Holland
Release Date: August 17, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Short Stories/Flash Fiction
Pages: 57
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Author Laura McHale Holland

Author Laura McHale Holland

About the Author
In all of her work, Laura McHale Holland strives to stir people’s emotions and find hope hidden in unlikely places. Her novel, The Kiminee Dream, set for release in 2020, introduces a cast of quirky characters in a fictional Illinois river town where unseen forces both help and hinder, and people learn to rise in the face of adversity, accept what can never be and embrace big dreams anew. Laura’s published books include two memoirs, two collections of flash fiction, and an anthology on sisterhood. In addition, three of her plays have been produced in San Francisco’s North Bay region.





Where to find Laura McHale Holland
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – CHASING BEVERLY by Ashlynn Cubbison


Welcome to the blog tour for CHASING BEVERLY, a stand-alone young adult/new adult contemporary sports romance, by Ashlynn Cubbison. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

CHASING BEVERLY by Ashlynn Cubbison

CHASING BEVERLY by Ashlynn Cubbison

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Author: Ashlynn Cubbison
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: September 29, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Two people. One chance to let it all go.

Seeking redemption, Beverly Morgan has spent the last four years building an empire that was someone else’s dream. Devoted to her work, a handful of friends, and an array of charities, she’s been able to lock away her heart and convince herself it’s dead. After an unthinkable tragedy, Beverly should know by now that a single day can change everything.

She can’t run from love forever.

Gavin has it all, a thriving business, phenomenal family, supportive friends, but an hour with Beverly Morgan makes him question his entire life and his own happiness.

She could be exactly what he needs, if she’s brave enough to open up again.





I’m four days shy of my eighteenth birthday, sandwiched between two Olympic gold medalists, and preparing to race for a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics for the 400-meter event.

How did I even make it to the finals?

Hot bile floods my throat. As sweat drips from my brow, I hear a crazy woman shouting over the crowd.

“Breathe, baby! Breathe!”

Peeking over at the gate to the right of me, our eyes connect. I realize she’s my crazy woman. With her huge smile and eyes blazing with pride, my mom always brings me comfort. My gaze slides from her encouraging face and lands on that of my boyfriend. Patrick’s crooked smile has been the same since we were kids.

Just the sight of them, here by my side, reassures me. I gulp in a deep, cleansing breath and bow my head. This silences the deafening noise, and it helps me to forget my shortcomings.

“On your marks!” a stern voice—the voice I’ve been listening for—bellows over the loudspeaker.

I step in front of my tightly spaced starting blocks, jumping one last time into the air to activate my muscles. Then I crawl backwards into the blocks, my left foot positioned in the back. As I slide my feet in, a smirk creeps across my lips. I picture Coach Schwarz in the stands, scolding me like he does before every race.

“Morgan, switch your damn feet, and space out your blocks more!”

My left knee digs into the rubbery Tartan Track. I focus on the connection of my damp skin against the hot track below. I say a silent prayer, thanking it for supporting my feet and body race after race.

Then, one last breath. I position my fingers behind the white line and await my next command.

“Set!” booms the Starter’s robotic voice over the loudspeaker.

My hips shoot straight up. Fire replaces my blood, surging through my veins.


The starting gun reverberates through me.

I push out of the blocks, careful not to go out too hard in the first 200 meters. Keeping my eyes glued straight ahead, I don’t allow my opponents to bait me. Instead, I wait for my time. I stick close to the pack until I see my sweet spot ahead.

“Kick. Kick. Kick.” The words play like a mantra in my head as I round the second curve of the track. My body is weightless. My brain needs no prompting as it propels my legs forward. My feet become lighter, and my spikes barely touch the track before shooting forward for my next stride.

My arms pump harder as I enter my part of the race. The part in which I shine, the part I relish. The finish line is just ahead. Movement on my right enters my peripheral vision. I feel Sammy closing in. She’s right on my tail.


Author Ashlynn Cubbison

Author Ashlynn Cubbison

About the Author
Ashlynn Cubbison is a goal-oriented, driven woman, who owns and operates four companies with her husband. They have two beautiful sons together, and although her life is chaotic, fun, full of love and never the same each day, somehow she finds room for writing as well.

Growing up Ashlynn struggled with reading. Then, in her sophomore year of high school, a small seed was planted. After acing a literary test, her teacher looked her square in the eye and said “you’ve been selling yourself short all year. I wonder what you could achieve with some effort.” After delving deeper into books, she discovered Pride and Prejudice, and has been an obsessive reader ever since.

Eventually her love of books translated into writing. She hopes to inspire others, especially children, to find their passion as she did.

Where to find Ashlynn Cubbison

Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram



Welcome to the Fall 2019 YA Scavenger Hunt + Giveaways!


Team Purple

Welcome to FALL 2019 YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! In addition, both Jen and I and the authors we’re hosting are having giveaways in conjunction with the hunt. Read all the way to the bottom for details.

My name is T.H. Hernandez, and my co-author, Jennifer DiGiovanni are your hosts for this leg of the hunt. How does the hunt work? I’m glad you asked! Follow the authors from blog to blog, gaining access to exclusive content from each author, and collecting the clues. Add up the clues, an

d enter for our prize — one lucky winner will receive one book from each author (or co-authors) on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!

If you landed here first, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to get all the details about the hunt. There are FOUR contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one of them or all of them! We are part of the PURPLE TEAM — but there are also teams for RED, GOLD, and BLUE, each with a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Looking for our exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching. Somewhere on a PURPLE TEAM blog are two bonus scenes from PROM-WRECKED, one from Owen’s point of view and another from Jordon’s. Keep searching for a sneak peak inside the brains of the girls’ love interests.


Scavenger Hunt Puzzle 

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PURPLE TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator).


Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.


Scavenger Hunt Rules

Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, but you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Saturday, October 6th!

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.

This season we’re hosting…

Jessica Therrien and Joe Gazzam

Author Jessica Therrien

Author Jessica Therrien

About Jessica
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world. Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is also the author of Carry Me Home, a contemporary YA novel, and a kid’s picture book called The Loneliest Whale. Her newest YA release, The Mercenary’s Daughter, will be out on March 31, 2020. .




Find out more about Jessica or follow her at any of the following links:
GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Author Joe Gazzam

Author Joe Gazzam

About Joe Gazzam
Screenwriter/Novelist Joe Gazzam has been a working screenwriter for 8 years working on such films as:

Shadow Run
21 Jump Street
Step Up: Revolution
Disney’s Hawaiian Adventure
It Takes a Thief
Anubis Tapestry
(and many more)

His debut novel, UNCAGED, out now!.

Find out more about Joe or follow him at any of the following links:
GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien

CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien

About the Book
Author: Jessica Therrien
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.

* * *

Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world. 

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.


THE MERCENARY'S DAUGHTER by Jessica Therrien and Joe Gazzam

THE MERCENARY’S DAUGHTER by Jessica Therrien and Joe Gazzam

About the Book
Authors: Jessica Therrien and Joe Gazzam
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Genre: New Adult/Young Adult Suspense/Thriller
Links: Goodreads

When Special Ops recruit, Tara Kafee is dishonorably discharged, there’s only one place to go—Home.

But there’s more waiting for her there than she’s ready for.

It’s been four years since she’s been back and ten since her mother walked out on the family never to be heard of again.

She’s determined to rekindle things with her father and keep him close. That is, until he goes missing.

Soon after stumbling upon a safe room full of weapons, fake passports, and a mission’s dossier marking a target in Cuba, she reluctantly accepts the help of her angsty teenage brother. He’s the only one she can trust, so together, the two set out for Havana.

Tara is determined to get her father back, whatever it takes, but things are never easy when you’re the mercenary’s daughter.




Bonus Giveaway from Jessica Therrien and Joe Gazzam

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books, including a copy of PROM-WRECKED by me and Jennifer DiGiovanni, CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien, and more! To enter, you need to know that my secret number is 2. Add up all the numbers of the authors on the PURPLE TEAM and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


Continue the Hunt 

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Pintip Dunn!


Bonus Giveaway from T.H. Hernandez and Jennifer DiGiovanni
a Rafflecopter giveaway
YASH Giveaway

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls) by Patricia Reynolds


Welcome to the blog tour for A SCATTERING OF LEAVES, the second book in the young adult historical fantasy series, Keeper of Souls, by Patricia Reynolds. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls #2) by Patricia Reynolds

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls #2) by Patricia Reynolds

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Keeper of Souls #2
Author: Patricia Reynolds
Publisher: Old Crow Publishing
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Following his Vision Quest in A Scattering of Crows, Hidden Spirit continues the journey after an unsettling vision of his sister, Chasing Rabbit, in danger. He races against the clock to find the boarding school where Preacher Jim continues to indoctrinate the Sioux children. He fears he will be too late and wonders about the fate of his beloved, Morning Star.

Surviving insurmountable odds, Hidden Spirit rises to the harrowing challenge. Quelling his anger, his inner warrior and magical powers begin to surface and develop in ways he never thought possible. Along the way, he meets some unsuspecting friends and allies that help forge this epic journey.









Excerpt #3
“I wish I had seen your Hidden Spirit,” Ellie says, enviously. “He sounds wonderful.”

“Well, he is and it was… like… magic. Hidden Spirit can do mysterious things you know. He’s our hero,” she says, proudly. Little Moon is so excited that she stands up, hops on one foot, grabs a wet dress, and twirls in circles. “He must be near, Ellie. He must be. I have prayed to the Great Spirit every night to guide him to us so that he will take us home.”

“Home?” Ellie repeated, grabbing the girl’s wrists. “That’s marvelous news, Little Moon… to leave this god-awful place.”

“You know,” she says, beaming, “The elders knew he was going to be special, the day he was born. They said he is destined for real big things and that Hidden Spirit’s, grandfather, was going to teach him big secrets from another place… so he could be a really good medicine man. His grandfather is dead, but still has the power. The crows became his friends when he was little, and, when he shot one of them, they taught him a big lesson. Now they protect and guide him. Hidden Spirit is brave,” Little Moon says with her newfound confidence. “He’s a warrior, too. Our people have lots of powers, you know. They wouldn’t scalp you or anything like that, like the white people say.”




Get Caught Up on the Series

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


Author Patricia Reynolds

Author Patricia Reynolds

About the Author
Patricia Reynolds lives in Washington State with her partner of many years, along with their adopted family of dogs and cats. She has a passion for nature and the environment, and a soft spot for animals of all kinds. Patricia’s primary goal in writing this book was to lend a voice to the forgotten. Her young adult fantasy series: Keeper of the Souls, is based on actual events.








Where to Find Patricia Reynolds
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram



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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS (Wild River) by Jennifer Snow


Welcome to the blog tour for AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Wild River, by Jennifer Snow. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s trailer, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS (Wild River #1) by Jennifer Snow

AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS (Wild River #1) by Jennifer Snow

About the Book
Series: Wild River #1
Author: Jennifer Snow
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Holiday Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…

If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds. 

Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…

Advance Praise for An Alaskan Christmas: 

“An Alaskan Christmas is heartwarming, romantic, and utterly enjoyable.”—New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster

“Prepare to have your heartstrings tugged! Pure Christmas delight.”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde

“Readers will enjoy the mix of sexy love scenes, tense missions, and amiable banter. This entertaining introduction to Wild River will encourage fans of small-town contemporaries to follow the series.”—Publishers Weekly

“An exciting contemporary series debut with a wildly unique Alaskan setting.”—Kirkus




Excerpt #3
Erika took one look at the stairs and shook her head. “That’s not going to work.” She lifted one boot-clad foot so he could see the high heel and he caught her as she toppled off balance.

He gritted his teeth. Of course—her nonsensical, yet sexy as all fuck heels. Heels on boots that hugged her shapely calves nicely and forced a distracting sway in her hips when she finally did go to the restroom at the bar, but not exactly grate-friendly.

He sighed as he scooped her up.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting you upstairs,” he said, jogging up the stairs with her in his arms. She wasn’t heavy and he held his breath, the scent of her soft perfume overshadowing the smell of tequila on her breath.

He was glad they were calling it a night before the bar got really busy. She was far too distracting, especially once she’d let her guard down. Her unexpected smile had mesmerized him and her easy-sounding laugh had surprised him. Her body was smoking hot, but it was her dark eyes and full, pouty lips that had him fighting an odd attraction to his sister’s best friend all evening.

When she stopped spouting bullshit, she was even kind of funny in a dry humor, self-deprecating way. Too bad she couldn’t have a sense of humor like this when she was sober.

“Shit. I forgot my gloves,” Cassie said behind them. “Here’s my keys, I’ll be right back.” She tossed the keys at him and turned to head back toward the bar.

He caught the keys. “What? No…what am I supposed to do with her?”

“Just set her down on the couch. I’ll get blankets and a pillow when I get back,” Cassie called as she disappeared down the street.

“Great,” he muttered.

“Oh come on. Don’t act like you’re not enjoying this macho act of heroism.” Erika struggled with the pronunciation. “You were always the protector type.” She touched his chest and her eyes raked him in. She was looking at him the same way she’d gazed longingly at the chocolate Santa moments before.

He wasn’t sure which unsettled him most, the look in her eyes, the fact that she remembered something personal about him or the hardening in his pants at her touch.

He unlocked the door and nudged it open with her body. Then he promptly discarded her on the couch as instructed.

Done. She was there safely. Just leave.


Author Jennifer Snow

Author Jennifer Snow

About the Author
Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and four year old son. She is a member of the RWA, the Alberta Writers Guild, Canadian Authors Association and SheWrites.org. Her first Brookhollow book was a finalist in the Heart of Denver Aspen Gold contest and the Golden Quill Award. .



Where to Find Jennifer Snow
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram



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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – SILENT MUSIC by Aisling Magic


Welcome to the blog tour for SILENT MUSIC, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Aisling Magic. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SILENT MUSIC by Aisling Magic

SILENT MUSIC by Aisling Magic

About the Book
Author: Aisling Magic
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 30, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Brought together by passion;
Separated by destiny.

She’s his muse.
His love.
His inspiration.
And he refuses to let her go.

For nearly two years, Kai Eastwood has watched Phoenix Banks lost in a state of coma.
Singing the songs they wrote.
Remembering the moments they spent together.
Missing the kisses they shared.
Holding hope.

But how long can hope be held when, with each new day, Phoenix slips farther away?

Maybe this time
When the music fades,
And the silence invades,
Their song will begin.




Excerpt #2
I got out of the car after I grabbed my phone and earbuds. I just needed some peace and good music to relax. My gaze landed on a bench, and I started to walk toward it when I saw a girl sitting on the grass, the breeze caressing her hair. She brushed away a strand colored like a summer sunset. 

And my world halted.

Happiness fleeted in my heart, and the idiot forgot how to beat steadily. Without realizing what I was doing, my feet moved toward her. She was so lost in her own world that she didn’t see me approaching. With her back to me, I noticed that she was bent over her notepad and trying to complete a sentence—a poem? She let out a frustrated groan and threw the paper away. I picked the discarded paper up and read the words she wrote.

I’m music.

I’m the music.

I’m a song.

You’re my music.

Well, maybe not!

Then who are you? An idiot maybe!

She was writing a song. Was she a singer? I chuckled at what she wrote, and her head swung toward me.


Her small nose crunched and her green eyes behind those glasses trailed lazily over my body. Damn, she was cute. After her perusal, she licked her lips. I believed in lust a first sight, not love, but right now, looking at her, I just knew that—maybe—it was that blasted you-and-I-are-meant-to-be-with-each-other-at-first-sight thing. There was a little voice inside that whispered, “It’s her.” 

Somehow my anger regarding Amberson evaporated. Filling the spot next to her, I slid the pen from her fingers and waited to see if she’d protest. Her gaze remained on me, but I saw no signs of protest in her eyes. Instead, thousands of questions danced there, along with curiosity. I guess it’s all the permission I’ll get.

So I completed her line.

You’re my lyrics.

Her eyes swept over what I wrote again and again until she finally landed those greens on me. Confusion, hesitance, and a glimpse of admiration lurked there, but she didn’t say anything, and I refused to tarnish this moment by speaking. I placed the paper—and my heart—into the hands of a green-eyed girl whom I didn’t know and left. 

The silence between us was the sweetest music this universe has ever heard.




About the Author
Aisling Magic is a twenty-something author who can either be found writing about people falling in love or has her nose buried in a book well past her bedtime. She enjoys chocolate, cello music, rainy nights, long drives, traveling the world, and Chris Hemsworth.

About her books: She writes romance stories with a hint of humor. Her heroines may not always be sexy, but are strong, her heroes may not always be the alpha but are dedicated and the families in her stories may not always be related by blood but are all bonded by heart. Aisling likes to pretend she’s the most badass character in her novels but in the real world, she doesn’t even go to the toilet at night without lighting up the house..

Where to find Aisling Magic
Goodreads Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter | Instagram | PinterestAmazon | BookBub


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New Look – CUPCAKE SERIES by Bethany Lopez


USA Today bestselling author, Bethany Lopez, is revealing a brand new look for her adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Cupcakes. See below for information on the book and series and buy links. The entire series is now available on Kindle Unlimited.

ALWAYS ROOM FOR CUPCAKES (Cupcake #1) by Bethany Lopez

ALWAYS ROOM FOR CUPCAKES (Cupcake #1) by Bethany Lopez

About Book 1 – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Cupcakes #1
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

One day I was be-bopping along jamming to the music in my head while wondering if my thighs could handle grabbing a cupcake on the way home. The next thing I knew, my entire world crashed and burned.

I used to wake up at night in a sweat, crying because I’d dreamt that my husband was cheating on me, or that he hated me, and resented my kids. He’d always hold me close and tell me it was all just a dream, that he loved me and our family and that he’d never let me go.

He was a f*cking liar.

Now I spend my days taking photos of scum just like him, trying to be a champion for other’s being taken advantage of by the losers in our town, and my nights being a single mom to my beautiful twins.

I’ve got great friends who have my back, and a sexy, mysterious motorcycle man who keeps showing up when I need him. Maybe things are starting to look up, and one thing’s for sure… There’s always room for cupcakes.


Cupcake Series – Should be read in order


CUPCAKE OVERLOAD (Cupcake #2) by Bethany Lopez

CUPCAKE OVERLOAD (Cupcake #2) by Bethany Lopez

About Book 2 – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Cupcakes #2
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release Date: October 22, 2016
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

One night I was out with my girls enjoying a much needed ladies night while wondering if one more dirty martini would push me over the edge. The next thing I knew, I was in the club’s bathroom listening to a woman screaming, “No,” and a man’s voice growling, “I know you want it.”

That asshole picked the wrong restroom, in the wrong club, at the wrong time.

Little did I know the asshole was Cade’s VP, and although we saved that woman from his clutches that night, she’d be found floating in a motel pool a month later.

Running a PI firm is a lot harder than taking pictures for one, especially when your professional life spills over into your personal one. I’m going through cupcakes like our new puppy goes through piddle pads, and if I’m not careful there’s bound to be a Cupcake Overload.



LEI'D WITH CUPCAKES (Cupcake #3) by Bethany Lopez

LEI’D WITH CUPCAKES (Cupcake #3) by Bethany Lopez

About Book 3 – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Cupcakes #3
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Everybody dreams of a Hawaiian Vacation…

They sell you on the drinks with little umbrella’s, dolphin watching, and long walks on the beach. Which probably happens, if you’re that lucky schmuck living out your dream with your destination wedding, but if you’re a fish out of water PI like me, there’s no time for relaxing because trouble is never far behind.

Instead of cocktails, I ended up dealing with the seedy underbelly of The Big Island.

And, I didn’t see one damn dolphin while undercover on a boat which was spilling over with drug dealers, Kingpins, and Pedophiles.

Elin and Elena think Cade’s family are the coolest people outside of Snapchat, but it’s hard to meet the parents when your boyfriend is in his late thirties and has never had a serious relationship.

I’d never missed my girls so much in my life, but Amy May, Bea, and Carmen are all dealing with issues of their own, and can’t come to my rescue.

The only thing that may help me with this “vacation” is if I could get Lei’d with Cupcakes.



When it was our turn to disembark, Cade pulled out suitcases down from the overhead compartment, and we started off the plane. First Cade, with his well-worn leather backpack slung over one shoulder and a ratty Army green duffel in his hand. Then Elin and Elena, with their Harry Potter and Star Wars rolling bags, and finally, me, trailing behind with my new hard case roller, wondering why I’d been in such a hurry to land when all I wanted to do in that moment was run back to the plane.

With every step closer to the arrival area, my stomach grew tight and my buzz started to fade. By the time we stepped out of the corridor into the open space, filled with happy sounds and tons of people, I was ready to upchuck the six tiny bottles of vodka that had seemed like such a good idea in flight.

I looked up in time to see a tall woman hugging Cade tightly, while a handsome, older version of Cade was placing lei’s around the twins’ necks. I plastered a smile on my face and as I joined the group, all eyes turned to me.

Cade’s mother’s face lit up, as she looked to him and said, “Nice job, Hiapo, she’s got great hips.”


CUPCAKE EXPLOSION (Cupcake #4) by Bethany Lopez

CUPCAKE EXPLOSION (Cupcake #4) by Bethany Lopez

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Cupcakes #4
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release Date: May 14, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA 

For the first time in a long time, life is good. I’ve got a smokin’ hot motorcycle man as my fiancé, the best friends a woman could have, a couple of great kids, and things have been relatively quiet on the PI front.

You know what that means… the other shoe was bound to drop sooner or later…

Just when I was ready to settle down and plan the coolest wedding Greenswood has ever seen, the shit hit the fan, and hit it hard.

My friends are fighting, Cade’s been out of town doing God knows what for the club, and my sweet little twins are turning into hair-pulling pre-teens with more drama than my old daytime soaps.

I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions, and I’ve been going so crazy that Elin’s swear jar is near to overflowing. I’ve been eating cupcakes like a woman possessed, and if I’m not careful, there’s going to be a Cupcake Explosion… in my pants.



I shut the door and prayed there was no evidence of my investigation as I followed her into my living room.

“Carmen’s here?” she asked, looking at the two wine glasses, cheese board, and our discarded electronics.

Carmen was still in the kitchen. I could hear the strain of her voice, but luckily couldn’t make out the words.

Hopefully, Bea didn’t have supersonic hearing.

“Yeah, we were just hanging out. And, don’t beat yourself up, I was busy most of the day with the Wilkes.”

“Oh, right, the future in-laws are here. I can’t wait to meet them,” Bea said with a grin.

My friends had all loved hearing about our escapades with Cade’s parents in Hawaii. How his mom always seemed to know when we were about to have sex, the time we accidentally skinny dipped together, and when Elin found Cade’s mom’s vibrator.

Good times.

“I’m sure you’ll all love each other,” I said wryly, then asked, “Want a glass?” Pointing at the wine.

“Sure,” she said, as Carmen came back into the room talking.

“He’s on his way and happy to help,” Carmen said, then stopped in her tracks when she saw Bea.

“Who’s on the way?” Bea asked curiously.

“Bran,” I replied, then tried to keep the conversation going by sing-saying, “Her boyfriend.”

“Oh, stop, he’s not my boyfriend,” Carmen argued, playing along.

“Oh, I didn’t know you’d given him a second chance, that’s great, Carmen. I’m happy it worked out this time,” Bea said.

I hurried to grab her a glass and came back as Carmen said, “It’s still pretty new. I don’t want to jinx anything.”

“I can’t wait to finally see you guys together, you know, since you made it official. Did you say he’s coming over now?” I asked.

Carmen nodded.

“Can you ask him to pick up some McDonalds? I’m suddenly jonesin’ for a quarter pounder with cheese, no onions.”

“Oh, yeah sure, I’m hungry, too. You want anything, Bea?”

“I’m good,” she said, then looked pointedly at the cheese board.

“What? I stress eat, you know that.”



Author Bethany Lopez

Author Bethany Lopez

About the Author
Bethany Lopez is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.

Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!.





Where to Find Bethany Lopez
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon



Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – FASCINATION (Venture Capitalist) by Ainsley St. Claire


Welcome to the blog tour for FASCINATION, the ninth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Venture Capitalist, by Ainsley St Claire. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

FASCINATION (Venture Capitalist #9) by Ainsley St. Claire

FASCINATION (Venture Capitalist #9) by Ainsley St. Claire

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Venture Capitalist #9
Author: Ainsley St Claire
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 23, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

It started when my boyfriend was caught in public with a girls lips on his you know what.

People think my life is easy – they couldn’t be more wrong. A girl can never be too thin, too rich, or too famous. From experience I know that’s crap. Well, maybe not the thin part.

Men don’t see me – they see my name and my bank balance. Dating is near impossible with the paparazzi following my everywhere. Any sane man would run from that.

When a competitor steals my company’s entire fall line, down to names and packaging, I daydream of tropical islands far away from the mess of my life. He brings me back. There was one man who saw the real me. A man who wasn’t swayed by the money and was strong enough to deal with the craziness that surrounded me. But we’d been friends too long to move beyond that.

But can I control myself? I have feelings for him but our timing has always been off.

**Fascination is is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s the ninth and final book in the Billionaire Venture Capitalist series. You can read it on its own, everything you need to know is explained, but once you get a taste you’ll want to binge the rest ;}**




Excerpt #1
I arrive at the Top of the Mark restaurant early. It has a stunning three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of the city as it sits atop the 104th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel in the financial district downtown. It’s a bit touristy, but it’s one of the few places that’s quiet, and I’ll be able to talk to CeCe rather than yell across the table to be heard.

I’ve preordered the chocolate soufflé and brought along a dozen white roses. She thinks she’s meeting a group of our friends, not just me. Emerson planted the idea in my head a few weeks ago, and I realized she was right. I owe CeCe this and so much more. I also plan on making my move. I’d rather she tell me to pound sand than to always wonder what could have been. I may not be an actual prince, but I’m ready to make my case.

I see her crossing the restaurant. She looks amazing in her emerald green pantsuit. “Are we first?” She looks around the restaurant, scanning for our friends. “That never happens to me.” 

“It’s only us tonight.”

She looks at me, startled. 

“I wanted to thank you for hosting me for the last month in your home. I’m finally feeling good enough to go to work beyond lunch.”

I hand her the roses.

“Oh my goodness, they’re beautiful!” She draws in a big breath through her nose. “They smell amazing. You didn’t have to do any of this.” She smiles, and I see what all the tabloids seem to capture—a brilliant white smile full of honesty and caring. She rocks my world.

“I wanted to.”

The waiter arrives to take our drink orders. Talk about lousy timing. 

“I’ll have a Jonny Walker Blue straight up,” CeCe declares.

“That sounds good. I’ll have the same.”

The waiter leaves, and we’re alone again.

“How are things going with the investigation into the Chinese company?” I ask.

“They’re at least working on it. I don’t think the FBI would’ve done anything if Walker Clifton hadn’t lit a fire under them.”

“I hate to think that’s true. Those two agents were just imbeciles.”

“Well, that’s one way of putting it.”

Our drinks arrive, and we toast to my health.

I lift my glass of amber liquid, suddenly anxious. “A toast. To you. You are beautiful, gracious, and generous. Thank you for allowing me to stay with you while I recuperated.”

We clink our glasses and take a sip. “Thank you, though it wasn’t any problem.”

“You’ve watched my dog for the last three months. She isn’t going to want to go home with me. Did you know Angela cooks her dinner each night?”

“I didn’t know, but it doesn’t surprise me.”

“Well, I don’t think Misty has any plans on moving home with me.” I chuckle.

“She can stay as long as she’d like. And frankly, I don’t think you should move home yet. I know you’re anxious to sleep in your own bed, and we can easily move it over if it’s important, but I still think until the doctor tells you otherwise, you should remain at my house.”

The first course arrives: butter lettuce with pears, blue cheese crumbles, candied pecans, and a blue cheese dressing.

She looks at me, confused and happy. “What did you order?”

“They’ve made all your favorites, and we have a surprise dessert, so make sure to leave some room.”

“Mason, this is too much.”

“It’s only the start.”

We enjoy our salads, butternut squash soup, and the rack of lamb with scalloped potatoes while we fall into an easy conversation comparing our espionage examples. 

When the soufflé arrives along with a glass of twenty-five-year tawny port, she wraps her arms around my neck and kisses me. I know it was supposed to be a friendly kiss, but I wrap my arms around her and don’t let go, kissing her back with great passion. She’s hesitant at first, but she eventually gives in and allows my tongue entry, and that’s it. I’m a goner. Her kisses fill me with desire, and my cock stands on end.

When we break, she sits back. I can see her working through all the possible outcomes, and based on her expression, none of them are good.

Before she can get too far, I’m determined to lay it all out. “Look, I’m not sorry for having kissed you. I’ve wanted you since we met years ago.”

Her eyes widen. “Mason, why didn’t you ever say anything?”

“I was going to. We were supposed to play golf together, and I had it all planned, and then you sent your brother in your place.”

“What?” Her hand goes to her mouth. “Are you kidding? I sent Trey to play golf with you because he needed to get out of his funk after Sara discovered her birth parents were still together and were married with four kids. Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I figured you didn’t want to spend time with me.”

“Mason, I’ve wanted you since I met you, too. I don’t know what it is, but you do something to me, and I compare every man I’ve dated to you. And we’ve never even dated! But why did you move in with Annabelle if you had any feelings for me?”

“As I saw it, you’d cast me away, and she was really into me. It really helped to mend my broken heart. But I also moved her in with me to keep an eye on her. I still think she may be involved with the mole issue, particularly now that she’s disappeared.”

She drinks her port, and I see conflict in her eyes, but I’m not going to allow her to push me away. I lean in and kiss her softly this time, and she immediately returns the kiss. “Nothing has ever felt so right, please don’t over think this,” I beg.

I hand the waiter my Black American Express card and quickly pay. I want to show her just how thankful I am.

We enter the elevators, and the doors close behind us. The enclosed space has electricity sparking between us, visible to the naked eye. I push her against the wall and show her how I really feel about her. My hands are in her hair, and her body is pressed against mine, her lips all over my mouth and neck. I’m sure she can feel how hard I am as I grind against her. 

She gasps for breath and pushes me back. “What if this is a mistake?”

The doors open again, CeCe stepping away as a couple walks in. We never pushed a button, so the elevator never moved. They look at us curiously but don’t say anything as they push the button for the ground floor. CeCe is flushed; I can tell she’s as turned on as I am. There is nothing innocent about the way we look, and we’re fooling no one. 

The elevator stops and the door opens. Now is her chance if she wants to put a stop to this. She grasps my hand and squeezes it. My heart beats triple time and tells me she feels the same way I do.

When we get in our waiting car, I turn to her. “CeCe, we’ve had terrible timing, but the stars have finally aligned. I’ve had deep feelings for you for many years. Please, let’s not overanalyze this. I don’t think this is a mistake, but if you think it might be, let’s talk about it. I’ll do everything in my power to convince you otherwise.” I lean in and slowly kiss her. It’s like fireworks are going off inside me. My hand wanders to her breast, and I can feel her nipple through the fabric. She moans in my ear, and I’m a goner.

When we arrive at her home, we immediately walk in. Angela was in on my secret, and she left a bottle of white wine in a bucket of ice and two glasses. Pouring us both a glass, I gulp down a mouthful for courage, even though it’s very cold. I refill my glass and put on some music. It’s a cliché when Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” comes over the speakers, and it makes her laugh and relax a little. 

I extend my hand. “Will you dance with me?”

She nods, and we dance slowly in her living room as I sing in her ear. My dick is hard, and I know she knows it, but I’ve pushed as hard as I can tonight. If she doesn’t want me, then I need to move on. If she does, she can tell me.

We dance to two more songs. “I love being in your arms, I feel safe and secure.” She stands on her tiptoes and kisses me softly.

I see this as a green light, but to be sure, I ask, “Are you okay with this?”

“I’ve never been so sure of anything. I promise, I’m not overthinking this.”

My heart soars, and I know if I don’t think of something else, I’ll explode in my pants and ruin our night. I’ve wanted this for so long, I almost want to pinch myself to make sure this is a reality. 

Our dancing slows, and I smell the Chanel No. 5 on her neck. I nuzzle and begin to slowly kiss up the side. Her breathing quickens and she moans softly encouraging me. Quickly we’re making out like teenagers. I love the way her kisses begin tentatively and grow more urgent. Two more songs play and we’re continuing to kiss. Nothing but our arms enclosing us and our bodies pressed against each other. I don’t want to push her too fast. I’ve waited for this for years and if she needs to take her time, I will figure out how to do this. Her hands begin to explore and I’m ready to follow her wherever she takes me. 

Taking me by the hand, she leads me up to her bedroom. 

“I hope you don’t think ill of me for moving fast,” she says with a grin, “but we’ve danced around this for so long, I can’t wait any longer.”

“We’re moving at the pace you need to feel comfortable.” She moans as I kiss slowly down her neck, and it encourages me. She loosens my tie and unbuttons my shirt, running her hands over my bare chest. Her hands are warm, her breathing more ragged than before. She looks at me for permission to continue, and I grin.

“Then I think I’m ready to speed us up,” she moans as she rubs her hand over my cock beneath my pants.




Venture Capitalist Series

Get Caught Up on the Series

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Book 3: DESIRE
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Author Ainsley St. Claire

Author Ainsley St. Claire

About the Author
Ainsley St Claire is a Romantic Suspense Author and Adventurer on a lifelong mission to craft sultry storylines and steamy love scenes that captivate her readers. To date, she is best known for her series Venture Capitalists.

An avid reader since the age of four, Ainsley’s love of books knew no genre. After reading, came her love of writing, fully immersing herself in the colorful, impassioned world of contemporary romance.

Ainsley’s passion immediately shifted to a vocation when during a night of terrible insomnia, her first book came to her. Ultimately, this is what inspired her to take that next big step. The moment she wrote her first story, the rest was history.

Currently, Ainsley is in the midst of writing a nine-book series called “Venture Capitalist.”

When she isn’t being a bookworm or typing away her next story on her computer, Ainsley enjoys spending quality family time with her loved ones. She is happily married to her amazing soulmate and is a proud mother of two rambunctious boys. She is also a scotch aficionada and lover of good food (especially melt-in-your-mouth, velvety chocolate). Outside of books, family, and food, Ainsley is a professional sports spectator and an equally as terrible golfer and tennis player..

Where to find Ainsley St. Claire
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram | PinterestAmazon


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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – HELIX (ISAN) by Mary Ting

HELIX Blog Tour

HELIX (ISAN #2) by Mary Ting

HELIX (ISAN #2) by Mary Ting

5 out of 5 stars

Alliances are forming. The resistance is growing. Everything is about to change.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels—if she isn’t killed first.









My Review
HELIX picks up where ISAN left off, but this time we get both Ava’s and Rhett’s points of view. Rhett is reeling from having to let Ava go, again, and Ava is still frustrated and confused from her three days with Rhett and his friends. Back at ISAN, she’s once again a reluctant assassin, doing what she’s been trained to do while seeking the truth, her memories, her father, and a twin she didn’t even know she had. With ISAN pursuing Rhett and the other rebels, life outside ISAN is no safer than it is inside for Ava. Although he let her go, Rhett is determined to get Ava back, and this time for good. With a perfected Helix serum, ISAN is now made up of both males and females, creating a more complex dynamic as Ava begins to untangle an intricate conspiracy. When her memories begin to return, emotions flood her, threatening to drown her and keep her from achieving her objectives.

War is coming. That much we know. But figuring out who is on which side and who can be trusted is just one of the many areas author Mary Ting excels at. The plot is expertly woven with backstory, major and minor subplots, and more than a few twists. Just as with ISAN, the story moves at a fast pace and kept me turning pages long into the night. I finished this book in just three days.

All the characters I fell in love with in book 1 are back with more depth and development as their stories continue. Getting Rhett’s point of view this time was an extra treat that I savored. New characters, including Zen, Chloe, and Payton all add so much to the complex relationship structure, driving conflict as well as contributing to some really great moments. One in particular between Chloe and Rhett early in the story was the perfect scene to show us everything we need to know about Rhett’s honor.

What I Loved About HELIX
1. Ava.
 I love her even more than I did in ISAN. She’s both tougher this time around and softer around the edges in a way she wan’t before.

2. Rhett. Sigh…. His love for and loyalty toward Ava are swoony, but he’s more than just a romantic lead. He’s got his own goals and arc beyond his feelings for Ava.

3. Tech. Kendrick’s Q-worthy tech would make James Bond weak in the knees.

4. Twists. Just as in ISAN, there are plenty of twists that take the story in another direction at the most unexpected moments.

5. Plot. Another page-turning story from Mary Ting that was impossible to put down.

Bottom Line
A pulse-pounding sequel in one of the best dystopian series out there.

I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


About the Book
Title: HELIX
Series: ISAN #2
Author: Mary Ting
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Release Date: May 12, 2019
Pages: 376
Genre: Young Adult SciFi/Dystopian
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound | BAM!


Author Mary Ting

Author Mary Ting

About the Author
International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry..



Where to find Mary Ting
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – DRIVING ME WILD by Mia Carter


Welcome to the blog tour for DRIVING ME WILD, a stand-alone new adult contemporary romance, by Mia Carter. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.



About the Book
Author: Mia Carter
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 16, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing

I never in a million years thought that finding a lost pair of keys would lead to adventure.

All my life, I’ve been perfectly average. Compared to the rest of my high-achieving, type-A family, it feels impossible to stand out. While I’d love to make my big artistic dreams happen, I’m kind of stuck, thanks to a bunch of lame things like “affordable rent” and “keeping the internet on.” Dreaming doesn’t pay the bills. Freelance design work and part-time rideshare driving does. And it’s nice, for the most part. Finding a passenger’s thumb drive usually means reporting, returning, yay-hurrah-good-job-me. Except this time.

This time, I put the thumb drive in my computer. Hey, I’m just trying to be helpful! Suddenly a chat window pops up and the owner of the drive is bribing me to fly halfway across the world. Today. Turns out he’s the super hot fare I haven’t been able to stop thinking about…who just so happens to be Logan Weiss—the crazy-hot 29-year-old billionaire known as “the most eligible bachelor in tech”. What the hell am I even doing?


Excerpt #1
Getting ready for dinner is a torture all unto itself. The closest thing to a nice dress that I’ve brought with me is a very cheap, very old black wrap dress. I think I might have bought it while I was a freshman in college, and

it’s been my stalwart, one-size-fits-me-for-now companion since graduation. I tug it on, straightening out the sleeves, then scrunching them to just below my elbows, frowning at my reflection in the mirror. My hair is brushed, I’m less sunburned than I’d feared, and…

And the red lipstick makes me look like an idiot.

With a few squares of toilet paper, I wipe it off. 

Cinderella transformation sequence, this isn’t. It’s just me. I fiddle with the neckline of the dress and consider, for a moment, what kind of women someone like Logan Weiss would date. Who would be in his league? Tall, I think. Elegant. Confident. Someone so womanly and refined they’re basically some other type of creature. Like Arwen, condescending to walk among mere mortal men. The kind of person who is soft and gentle, not brash and exuberant and messy like me.

Logan, I decide, would date a woman who wears lipstick. Perfect lipstick, blood-red and elegant. She’d never get it on her teeth.

He’d surely be drawn to the kind of woman who owned more of those shoes with the red soles than she could keep track of. Oh, these old things? I think to myself, simpering in the mirror. Louboutins are just murder on the feet, but oh, the price of fashion is high! Of course I only take my third-favorite pair in my luggage.

Looking down at my own sensible flats, which have no red soles, probably cost me no more than ten bucks at a Payless BOGO event, and do not raise me above my God-given five-foot-six, I sigh.

I can’t even walk in heels like that, let alone afford them. If I had a pair, I’d probably either sell them for rent or just plant some fucking succulents in them and put them by the window.

Inside my purse, I find my plain lip balm. I slick it on over my now red-free lips.

There. That’s my best, for what it’s worth. Just me.

It may not be worth much, but it’s all I have to offer. And this is just his way of saying thank you. Nothing more.


About the Author
Mia Carter lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and spends her days enjoying nature, dreaming of the next travel adventure, knitting up unraveled plot threads, and playing way too many video games. 

Where to Find Mia Carter
Goodreads | Entangled


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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – PRIMAL INSTINCT (Prowlers) by Ally Parker


Welcome to the blog tour for PRIMAL INSTINCT, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Prowlers, by Ally Parker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

PRIMAL INSTINCT (Prowlers #1) by Ally Parker

PRIMAL INSTINCT (Prowlers #1) by Ally Parker

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Series: Prowlers #1
Author: Ally Parker
Release Date: September 16, 2019
 Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Freedom has been a pleasure denied to Mackenzie for the last five years. Forced to do the bidding of a crazed man to keep both her sister and her self alive, she is sent on a mission to infiltrate a group of people. Payment; their release. The only problem, no one mentioned they weren’t human. Or, that she would be drawn to a certain sexy, addictive male.

Which will she decide, her heart? Or her freedom?

In a world filled with despair, Jaxx’s only chance to save his humanity is tethered to a woman he hasn’t met. Finding her in an underground facility with his kidnapped protégé, was the last place he thought to find his savior. In a web of corruption, he will have to find the truth and convince his mate, she is his.

Before it’s too late.




Excerpt #1
Jaxx coiled a hand around Kenzie’s arm, and escorted her toward the cells, his gut clenching tighter with ever step. Once they had returned to the compound Flynn had graciously delivered some jeans, and secured the vehicle out of sight. Seb struggled leading Kali though the tunnels. Seeing Kali was akin to seeing a ghost. He’d been haunted about abandoning the she-wolf every damn day since he’d escaped the Outlaw pack. Sure he’d tried finding her over the decades, but by the time he’d heard whispers of the Outlaw’s damage, they were long gone. 

His chest rattled, a growl lodged deep inside. Like he had every other minute, his gaze sought out his mate. How could his mate betray him, betray Shadow Moon? Damn his chest tightened, and he reached up and palmed it. The only thing keeping him together was feeling Kenzie’s skin under his hand. His beast ripped its claws on his insides trying to finish the mating with his female. Betrayal or not — the wolf didn’t care. No matter how pissed he was finding she had fled, putting herself in direct danger, risking not only her life, but his—he still needed her. 

“Are we good?” Seb’s eyed him under pinched brows.

It took Jaxx a second to realize he was growling. He fought for control, and clamped down on his wolf, and grunted. Maybe he should lock himself up? Stupid animal couldn’t understand why he wasn’t luring his female to complete the mating. Kenzie’s skin was soft beneath his hand and she smelled like hope. He yanked her closer, needing more of her against him. She sucked in a breath, but didn’t look at him. Why wouldn’t she meet his gaze? Why hadn’t she begged for forgiveness? A dark accent cut across his glyph. The new marking a stark reminder he was on borrowed time. 

They approached the cells. Quinn was absent—probably questioning Ryker’s male. Seb opened the cell Kenzie slept in the night before, and maneuvered Kali into the room. Seb grabbed the silver collar, the heavy retractable chain rattled against the wall. 

Freezing in place, Kali paled, her gaze shooting around the room and landing on him. “Please, Jaxx. Don’t do this. The Outlaws, they’re after me. I didn’t have a choice.” 

Jaxx ground his teeth. Damn it. He swallowed down the empathy tugging at his insides. Kali was working for Delmac. Delmac were not only inhumane, but a risk to their kind. Kenzie’s fear stung his nostrils. She backed into him. “Jaxx. Wha… what are you doing?”

“Securing a threat.” His jaw pulsed. Even if he wanted to, there was nothing he could do for Kali. Faster than Jaxx had seen him move before, Seb lunged forward and locked the metal collar around Kali’s throat. 

“Save it for someone who cares,” Seb spat, and tugged on the chain, testing the metals strength. 

Kali laughed. The sound broken. 

Damn, he felt just as evil as his father. Did Kali have anyone who cared? Things had been tough when he’d been with the Outlaws. His father was a ruthless, sadistic, bastard that abused his position of alpha, and took special pleasure in playing with the she-wolf. He hesitated. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Vanilla teased his senses and he glanced down to Kenzie, her eyes wide, filled with terror. He would do anything to help his mate. 

Even this.

“Crazy bitch,” Seb muttered.

Kenzie tensed in his grasp. “Why are you doing this?” 

He pushed her against the wall. She didn’t need to worry about Kali. Kenzie had her own trouble to deal with. Fire scorched his skin, and another mark fan across his shoulder. The guilt eased in his chest. Justice would be served. 

“We do what has to be done.” It was as simple as that. 


Author Ally Parker

Author Ally Parker

About the Author
Paranormal romance author, Ally Parker brings you dark, dangerous, and deadly tortured heroes and the women strong enough to save them. Her action packed writing will keep you turning the page until the very end.

When not writing her heart pumping paranormal romance, Ally is a nurse by day and a mother twenty four seven. If she’s not working on her next book, you’ll find her practicing archery (in case of a zombie apocalypse), chasing her kids or storms to capture amazing lightning shots. In her down time, she normally is reading a vampire or shifter book, hanging out with her family or feeding her social media addiction.

Smoldering hot shifters – Gotcha covered.
Tortured heroes – Gotcha covered.
More attraction you can poke a stick at – Gotcha covered.
Happily ever after – Guaranteed!

Where to Find Ally Parker
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Book Review + Giveaway – THE FIXER UPPER (Echo Springs) by Maggie Mae Gallagher


THE FIXER UPPER (Echo Springs #1) by Maggie Mae Gallagher

THE FIXER UPPER (Echo Springs #1) by Maggie Mae Gallagher

3 out of 5 stars

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed.

The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?


My Review
Abby Callier uproots her academic life under academic parents and defies them to write her dissertation on English Literature, instead of something more appropriate, in the small Colorado town outside Denver where her great aunt lived. Tiny Echo Springs is the opposite of everything Abby is used to. She plans on finishing her paper, get her doctorate, and sell her aunt’s house. That’s the plan anyway. But things seldom go according to plan. For one, her aunt’s victorian home is filled with an army of tiny porcelain dolls that leave Abby uneasy. So uneasy, she leaves them in the living room while she sets up camp upstairs, far away from the creepy things. For another, her aunt’s neighbor is beyond hot and also the town’s sheriff. The more time she spends with the man she calls Sheriff Stud Muffin, the more she questions her current objectives and the less sure she is of what her next step will be. She takes a job at the local community college and meets a colorful cast of characters. It’s easy to see where the next books in the Echo Springs series will take us.

This is a straight-up romance that follows the typical format of meet-cute followed by all the ups and downs you expect in a contemporary romance. There’s a minor subplot involving a series of break-ins in the small town, but the subplot that really shines is Old Man Turner’s journal that tells a romantic tale that started before World War II between Old Man Turner and Abby’s great aunt. It serves as both a parallel tale as well as backstory.

This was the one part of the story I’m iffy on. Abby’s ovaries “sigh” at the sight of the studly-muffinesque sheriff. And not just once, there is much ovary sighing throughout. And Nate’s declaration that Abby “isn’t like other women” was too cliche. However, the supporting cast saved the story for me. Nate’s bevy of messed-up buddies and punk community college teacher Tessa and her gorgeous, but militant sister, Cybil, drew me in. In fact, if any of these characters are involved in the second book in the series, I’m there!

What I Enjoyed About THE FIXER UPPER
1. Rufus.
 Nate’s big, lovable, slobbering Great Dane provided some great comedic moments.

2. Tessa. She’s tough, acerbic, and funny. I can’t wait to read her story.

3. Cybil. She’s snark and sour wrapped in a pretty package, and her story is going to be epic.

4. Aunt Evie. The story of her romance with Old Man Turner is heartbreaking and bittersweet.

5. Old Homes. I adore old homes and the descriptions of the two Victorian homes made me want to do a few more renovations around here, much to my husband’s dismay.

Bottom Line
A decent romance with a stellar supporting cast.

I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


About the Book
Series: Echo Springs #1
Author: Maggie Mae Gallagher
Publisher: Blushing Books Publications
Release Date: September 6, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 296
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Blushing Books


Maggie Mae Gallagher

Maggie Mae Gallagher

About the Author
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.



Where to find Maggie Mae Gallagher
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter



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Blog Tour – Excerpt – DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded) by Marie Force


Welcome to the blog tour for DECEIVED BY DESIRE, the second book in the adult historical romance series, Gilded, by New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

About the Book
Series: Gilded #2
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Wealthy American industrialist Aubrey Nelson has invited the Duke and Duchess of Westbrook to visit his family’s Newport seaside “cottage” for the summer. With his parents’ departure from New York delayed, Aubrey’s mother sends him ahead to oversee preparations for their guests. But when he arrives, he’s surprised to find the house and staff in disarray . . .

With much to do and little time, Aubrey comes to rely on the housekeeper, a lovely young Irish woman named Maeve Brown. And when he also finds himself confiding in Maeve about more personal matters, he tells himself it’s merely their close proximity that draws him to the compassionate, hard-working beauty. Yet when he suspects Maeve is in danger, Aubrey realizes his feelings for her have grown much deeper than they should have. For what will his mother, who dreams of a society match for her son, have to say when she arrives to discover he’s lost his heart to a girl of the working class?

Praise for Duchess by Deception (book 1)

Force has crafted a masterpiece with the perfect amount of romance.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW


June 1903
Newport, Rhode Island

Chapter 1

He first noticed the alluring curve of her neck. The delicate stretch of pale skin suggested elegance, a sweetness that begged to be explored and an aura of strength that intrigued him. Aubrey stood in the doorway to the drawing room for the longest time, riveted by a woman’s neck for the first time in his life, before clearing his throat to let her know he was there.

Startled, she whirled around, letting out a gasp of surprise as the oversized feather duster she’d been using fell to the dirty marble floor with a loud clatter. She would need a hundred feather dusters, perhaps a thousand of them, to wipe the layers of grime from every room in the house. How had it gotten so filthy over the winter?

That was one of many mysteries confronting him since his arrival thirty minutes prior at Paradis Trouvé, his family’s summer home on Newport’s Bellevue Avenue. The name meant “paradise found” in French. It had been bestowed upon the home by a previous owner, and unfortunately, his parents had embraced the pretentious name when they acquired the property.

Aubrey cursed himself for scaring the young woman as he entered yet another room in complete disarray. What the hell had happened to their “cottage” since the family left last September? “Pardon me.”

The woman took a step back, immediately on guard. Her reddish-brown hair had been gathered into a neat bun, and her drab olive-colored shirtwaist dress—muslin if he wasn’t mistaken—was serviceable at best but showcased interesting curves. However, her face was the showstopper. Her alabaster complexion reminded him of the cameo his grandmother had worn—ivory perfection with a dusting of freckles across her nose and brown eyes that were at once shrewd and suspicious.

“Wh-who are you?” The lilt of an Irish brogue danced through the dusty air like music.

Captivated, Aubrey had to remind himself that she expected a reply. “I apologize for frightening you.”

“Are you the new butler? It’s about time you showed up.” All business now that the fright had passed, she bustled across the room toward him, removing work gloves as she went.

He ought to set her straight but decided in a prescient flash to let her think he was the butler. At least until he had a chance to find out more about her. His dusty, wrinkled travel clothing and hair damp with sweat from the unusually warm weather wouldn’t give him away as a member of the family that owned the forty-room seaside monstrosity. His father had bought it six years ago from a member of the Astor family. Under normal circumstances, the Italian Renaissance–style palazzo was all gold and glitter and ostentatious excess, but Aubrey had been shocked by the filth and disrepair. He’d been sent by his mother to oversee the preparations for his illustrious guests, the Duke and Duchess of Westwood, who would arrive in three weeks, along with the other friends Aubrey had invited.

“I’m Maeve Brown, the housekeeper. I have no earthly idea what’s become of the rest of the staff, but Mrs. Nelson will be arriving in two short weeks, and as you can see, the house is in complete disarray. Did the agency inform you that the Duke and Duchess of Westwood will be visiting this summer? Apparently, they’re friends of the Nelsons’ son, Mr. Aubrey. Mrs. Nelson is the daughter of a British earl, so needless to say, she has exacting expectations, especially when entertaining a duke and duchess.” Maeve bit her deliciously full bottom lip as she seemed to debate whether she should say more.

Aubrey wanted to beg her to continue, just so he could listen to her melodic voice that spoke of culture and breeding far above a housekeeper’s station.

“From what I was told, the previous staff quit in protest of Mrs. Nelson’s treatment of them. In this day and age, there are plenty of other homes that treat their employees with respect and dignity. I was told a new staff had been hired, but no one has come.”

“If Mrs. Nelson is such an ogre, why are you here?”

Maeve’s cheeks flushed with a rosy glow that enchanted him. “By the time I arrived in New York, this was the only housekeeper position remaining for the Season. However, Mrs. Nelson’s reputation is well known, which is probably why the rest of the staff never arrived. Unless we both want to find ourselves out of work and without references, we’ll need every minute until she arrives to prepare for her guests.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work. Are you?”

“Certainly not.”

He’d known her for two minutes and already wished he could sit and talk to her for hours, until he knew everything there was to know about Miss Maeve Brown, formerly of Ireland. His mother would have an apoplexy over the thoughts he was having about the housekeeper, which was all the more reason to have them. After both of his older brothers had sworn off marriage, it had fallen to Aubrey to continue the Nelson name, a predicament his mother took far more seriously now that the family had become ridiculously wealthy. Prior to that, she hadn’t given a fig about the family name. Defying his mother had been one of his favorite activities as a child and younger man. With her pressuring him relentlessly to make an “appropriate marriage,” admiring the curve of the Irish housekeeper’s neck would be the last thing she’d want him doing.

But it was a splendid neck, perhaps the most delightful neck he’d ever beheld, and he’d seen some truly excellent female necks in his day, most recently last year in London where he’d endured a second Season to placate his mother. She’d positively salivated at the thought of him marrying into the British aristocracy. Alas, it was not to be, and he was through with that charade. The only thing that had kept it from being completely unbearable had been his friendship with Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, as well as Derek’s cousin Simon and their mutual friend Justin Enderly, who was the second son of an earl. With Derek and Simon now married, and Justin avoiding the social scene, Aubrey had flat-out refused to return to London this spring. His mother had been furious, but he’d stood his ground.

Now with a summer in residence with his mother about to transpire, Aubrey fully expected another charade to unfold that would have to be endured rather than enjoyed. However, the Newport house was his favorite place in the world, and there was nowhere he’d rather be, even with his mother and her many charades to endure.


Aubrey realized Miss Brown was talking to him.

“I asked if you’d like me to show you to your quarters before you get to work.”

“Yes, please.” Aubrey knew he ought to end this misunderstanding immediately, but something stopped him. He couldn’t say what, but rather than confess to not being the new butler, he followed her through familiar hallways thick with dust and spiderwebs to one of the back corridors and the stairs that led to the servants’ quarters on the third floor. As they went up the stairs, Aubrey tried not to notice the gentle sway of her backside. He failed utterly as her backside was almost as intriguing as the curve of her neck.

“I cleaned this room yesterday after we received word of your impending arrival. There’re fresh towels in the wardrobe and a bathroom down the hall. Mr. Nelson had plumbing put in the house two years ago, and it’s quite delightful.”

Aubrey agreed. Indoor plumbing was delightful, and so was she. “How did the house get so filthy?”

“I was told by one of the other housekeepers in town that after Mrs. Nelson left at the end of last summer, the remaining staff opened the windows and left them that way. When I arrived a week ago, the house was filled with rodents and seagulls. I almost didn’t stay.”

Horrified, Aubrey didn’t know what to say. She’d had to contend with that alone? He was also ashamed that he’d stopped paying attention to his mother’s high-handed behavior years ago. That she mistreated her staff to the point they’d leave the windows open for the harsh New England winter came as a shock to him and was something that would have to be addressed as soon as she arrived. At least he had a couple of weeks to dread that conversation.

“Didn’t the pipes freeze?”

“Apparently they were spared because the water had been shut off. For that we can be thankful.”

“Indeed. Why did you stay?”

She hooked her fingers together and looked down. “I need the position.”

Her quiet dignity touched him deeply. He wanted to know her story, where she came from, what had brought her to America. “We’ll see about getting you some more help.”

“It’s going to take a miracle to have this house ready for the arrival of the duke and duchess.”

“You needn’t worry about them. They don’t stand on formality.”

Her brows knitted adorably. “And you know this how?”

Damn. Aubrey realized he’d spoken as their friend and not as the new butler. “People speak of them in New York. The duke is well regarded in social circles in London, and his duchess is said to be very down to earth.”

“Who were your employers in New York?”

He had to think quickly to come up with a name she’d recognize. “The Smiths.” Thankfully, he’d gone to Choate with Adam Smith and knew the family.

Her eyes widened with amazement. “They’re one of the wealthiest families in America.”

“Yes, they are.”

“So why are you now employed by the Nelsons?”

“I wanted to come to Newport, and the Smiths don’t summer here. Mrs. Smith has an aversion to the sea. Her father drowned while rescuing her from a rogue wave when she was a child.”

“How awful!”

“She’s never forgotten it.”

“How could anyone forget such a thing?”

“It’s very tragic indeed.”

She gave him a look that had him wishing his hair was clean and his face shaved. “You’re very . . .”

Aubrey held his breath, waiting to hear what she would say.

“. . . young for a butler.”

He was young for a butler—by decades, in fact. “While I was with the Smiths, their butler and under-butler succumbed to typhoid, and I was the head footman. The family promoted me to butler.” Where was this nonsense coming from? He told himself to stop it, to tell her the truth, to end this ridiculous farce.

“I see. Would you like something to eat before you begin work?”

“Yes, please. I’d appreciate that after the long journey.” He left his bag in the room she’d assigned him and followed her down the backstairs, where his sisters’ children hid from their governesses.

They went down three flights to the kitchen and the servants’ dining room in the basement.

“This is the new cook, Mrs. Allston. Mrs. Allston, this is the new butler . . .” Maeve turned to him, her face flushing with a pleasing shade of pink. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“It’s Jack. Jack Bancroft.” The name of the duke’s estate manager popped into Aubrey’s head.

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Bancroft.” A stout, sturdy woman with ruddy cheeks and neat gray hair, Mrs. Allston stood watch over a pot of something that smelled delicious.

Aubrey’s stomach growled loudly.

Maeve laughed, and the delicate sound traveled through him the way a bolt of lightning might. He wanted to hear that laugh again and again. He wanted to hear it in his dreams and in his every waking hour. As a man who’d relished his freedom and independence, the feelings she evoked in him were frightening and unprecedented, to say the least.

Aubrey glanced at her. “I beg your pardon. I’m apparently hungrier than I thought.” He’d taken the overnight steamship from New York and had been served an elaborate breakfast several hours before the boat docked at Newport’s Long Wharf.

Mrs. Allston ladled soup into two bowls and set them on the rough-hewn wooden table along with a basket of freshly baked bread. “There you are then.”

He waited for Maeve to be seated before he slid onto the bench across from her. The huge table would easily accommodate thirty people. When the house was fully staffed, there would easily be that many in service, if not more.

They ate the delicious split-pea soup and bread in silence, but he was aware of her every move, her every breath. In all his thirty-two years, through hundreds of hours spent in London ballrooms and New York social clubs, in music halls, opera houses and at countless society dinners, picnics and house parties, he had never once responded to a woman the way he had to her.

His reaction to her defied explanation.

It defied belief.

It would infuriate his mother.

Aubrey smiled to himself, imagining her reaction to hearing that he’d finally found the woman he wanted, and she was the new Irish housekeeper at their Newport estate.

Once the epicenter of the cotton, rum and slave trades, Newport had become the place to see and be seen in the months of July and August when most of New York society relocated to their cottages by the coast. The social climbers came to make their annual impression on the hostesses who determined whether one was in or out—and if you were out, there was little chance of ever getting in.

His mother, the ultimate social climber, had made a blood sport out of climbing the rungs in Newport. Imagining her reaction to learning he’d developed a sweet spot for the Irish housekeeper had Aubrey picturing her exploding into a rage the likes of which would be talked about for years to come. He’d seen her rages before, most of them directed at others, including his siblings, but had never been the reason for one.

Compared to his far more rebellious siblings, Aubrey had been her good boy, her golden child as his siblings liked to say chidingly. Perhaps it was time for him to take his turn in stirring her ire. He had a feeling that Miss Maeve Brown, formerly of Ireland, would be worth the hell his mother would rain down upon him.

As he surreptitiously watched Maeve eat her soup, he noted the way her lips closed around the spoon and how her throat moved when she swallowed.

How was it possible that the pedestrian act of eating soup could be so impossibly erotic? A surge of heat to his groin had him holding back a groan.

“Are you quite all right, Mr. Bancroft?”

That voice. Dear God, the sound of her words was the sweetest music he’d ever heard. He could listen to her speak all day without ever tiring of the sound. It wouldn’t even matter so much what she said, as long as she never stopped talking to him. Aubrey summoned his composure, which had deserted him the second he first laid eyes on the appealing curve of her neck. He nodded in response to her question. “I’m quite well, thank you.”

“And the soup is to your liking?”

“It’s delicious.”

“I agree. Mrs. Allston is a wonderful cook. We’re lucky to have her, especially in light of the reputation this house has with those in service.”

Aubrey wiped his mouth on the cloth napkin, made of much coarser cotton than the linen he was accustomed to upstairs. “So there’re exactly three of us then?”

“I’m afraid so, at least until the others turn up. If they turn up.”

“And the task before us is . . .”

“Monumental. Wait until you see the wreckage that is Mrs. Nelson’s room.” She shuddered. “It’s a travesty.”

“If we were to take it a room at a time, focusing on the public spaces and the bedrooms required by the Nelson family and their guests, we might be able to get it done in time.”

“We have two weeks until Mrs. Nelson, her daughters and grandchildren are due to arrive and three until the duke and duchess are expected.”

“I’ll see what I can do about getting some more help. Surely there have to be more people seeking positions for the summer.”

“I certainly hope so, because without more help, I can’t envision how we’ll ever be ready for the duke and duchess. I quite fear Mrs. Nelson’s infamous rages.”

“Don’t you worry about her. We’ll have everything in place for her and her guests.”

“Thank goodness you’re here.” She took a sip of the hot tea she had steeped for them both. “I have felt quite like I was climbing a mountain all by myself with no possible way to reach the summit in time.”

“We will get there together.” As he said the words, he considered the double meaning of the two of them reaching the summit together. A shiver rippled through him, making him shudder from the desire that gripped him. He thanked goodness for the table that hid his obvious reaction from her.

“Are you sure you’re well? You seem rather . . . flummoxed.”

That was a good word for how he’d felt since first laying eyes on her. Flummoxed indeed.

He was about to respond to her when another man came into the kitchen, looking as road weary and dusty as Aubrey imagined he did, too. This man was older, with silver strands mixed in to his dark hair, his face craggy with age and wisdom, his eyes red with fatigue but friendly.

“May I help you?” Maeve asked.

“I’m Joseph Plumber, the new butler. The agency indicated I should report today.”

Maeve’s shocked gaze shifted to Aubrey. “If Mr. Plumber is the new butler, then who, pray tell, are you?”


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Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

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

Where to find Marie Force
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