Welcome to the release blitz for SEARCHING FOR LOVE, the sixth book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Bradens and Montgomerys (Pleasant Hill – Oak Falls), by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Melissa Foster. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SEARCHING FOR LOVE (The Bradens and Montgomerys #6) by Melissa Foster
Synopsis Discover the magic of New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster’s writing and see why millions of readers have fallen in love with the fiercely loyal and sassily sexy characters in the Love in Bloom big-family romance collection. Love in Bloom novels are written to stand alone or may be enjoyed as part of the larger series, so dive right into this fun, sexy romance.
In SEARCHING FOR LOVE…
Zev Braden and Carly Dylan were childhood best friends, co-explorers, and first loves. Their close-knit families were sure they were destined to marry—until a devastating tragedy struck, breaking the two lovers apart. Over the next decade Zev, a nomadic treasure hunter, rarely returned to his hometown, and Carly became a chocolatier and built a whole new life across the country. When a chance encounter brings them back into each other’s lives, can they find the true love that once existed, or will shattered dreams and broken hearts prevail? Find out in Searching for Love, a deliciously sexy, funny, and emotional second-chance romance.
Love in Bloom novels feature alpha male heroes and smart, empowered women. They’re flawed, funny, passionate, and relatable to readers who enjoy contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
Excerpt ZEV BRADEN DIDN’T know which was worse, seeing the woman who had captured his heart in second grade with another man or knowing his family had betrayed him by leaving him in the dark about her attending his oldest brother’s wedding. Beau had gone all out to give his new bride, Charlotte, a fairy-tale wedding at Sterling House, the Colorado Mountain inn she’d inherited. He’d built a wedding tent that brought the enchanted forest indoors, with miles of white silk draped over an artfully built frame of tangled branches and decorated with tiny white lights and strings of faux pearls. A crystal chandelier hung from an ornate iron tree in the center of the tent, and flowers spilled out of lush centerpieces. It was an intimate setting for their large family and close-knit friends. But at that moment Zev didn’t feel quite as close to his beloved family as he normally did. He and his five siblings enjoyed giving each other a hard time, but they had always had each other’s backs.
He took another swig of tequila, chewing on that thought.
He should be celebrating the discovery of a lifetime this weekend. He had spent the last several years, and tens of thousands of dollars, searching for the wreckage of pirate Garrick “One-Leg” Clegg’s ship, the Pride, which sank off the coast of Silver Island in 1716. Two days ago Zev had discovered three concretions—hard masses that develop when metals start to disintegrate and combine with salts present in ocean water, forming a conglomerate that cements rock, sand, clay, and any nearby artifacts—at the site where he believed the ship had gone down. An X-ray of the masses had shown what appeared to be iron and silver artifacts and coins. Zev had given the largest concretion, which weighed nearly one hundred pounds, and the supporting X-rays and documentations to his attorney to begin the legal process of having the vessel arrested, which would hopefully grant him exclusive salvage rights to the sunken ship and all artifacts he hoped to find. But instead of celebrating his history-making discovery, he was downing tequila to dull the ache of seeing Carly Dylan again.
The Pride was supposed to be their discovery. They’d become obsessed with the sunken ship when they’d seen a documentary about it in third grade, and their interest had only grown over the years. They’d even made plans to spend the summer after their freshman year in college searching for the wreckage. When they were kids, Carly had been his fellow adventurer, troublemaking cohort, and best friend, and as they’d matured, she’d also become his lover and, he’d thought, his future.
But that was before…
Zev spotted Beau and their brothers Nick and Graham heading his way. Traitors. He stared them down as they approached. He and his brothers were all tall, broad shouldered, and athletic, but Zev and Beau had something else in common—the torturous past that had changed both of their lives.
Goddamn Beau. If they weren’t at his wedding reception, Zev would be tempted to knock the big-ass grins off each of their faces.
“I know you’re celebrating your discovery, but if you keep sucking down that tequila, it’ll be the only thing leaving you flat on your back tonight,” Graham said with a smirk. He was the youngest of Zev’s siblings. Graham and their brother Jax could be Beau’s doppelgängers, with short brown hair, meticulously manicured scruff, and serious eyes, while Zev and his older brother Nick wore their hair longer, and Zev let his scruff go long stretches without a thought, much less a trim.
Zev offered the bottle of tequila to Graham, chewing over the fact that he’d had to learn about Carly’s living there, her close friendship with Beau and Charlotte, and the fact that she’d catered desserts for the wedding secondhand when he’d overheard a conversation during the reception.
“No thanks, man. The only thing I want knocking me on my back is my beautiful Sunshine.” Graham glanced across the lawn, where their twin siblings Jax and Jillian were chatting with Graham’s wife, Morgyn, aka Sunshine.
Zev’s attention was quickly drawn past Morgyn and the others to the woman who had haunted his thoughts and starred in his every fantasy for as long as he could remember. When he’d first seen Carly before the ceremony, stunning in a sexy peach dress that showed off her long legs and slim waist, their eyes had connected with the heat of summer lightning, and Carls had slipped from his lips like a secret just as Zevy had fallen from hers. Hearing her sweet, breathless voice after nearly a decade had left him momentarily numb. She’d been carrying a tray of chocolate desserts, following Cutter Long, a real-life fucking cowboy who Zev knew was one of Charlotte’s closest friends. Cutter had barely left Carly’s side since the ceremony, and now Carly was holding his arm, laughing at something he’d said. Zev had once been the guy by her side. They’d even attended the same college. But that was a long time ago.
He couldn’t look away from her. She was even more beautiful than he had remembered. Her hair was a lighter blond now, but even after all this time he could still feel the silky strands trailing through his fingers. He could still see her big blue eyes sparking with heat and playfulness as they rolled around in the grass or treaded water in the ocean.
He gritted his teeth, struggling to push away the happier memories he’d held on to like lifelines since the day he’d broken up with her and left their hometown of Pleasant Hill, Maryland, two days after her best friend, and Beau’s then-girlfriend, Tory Raznick, had been killed in a car accident. Tory had been visiting a girlfriend and she’d flown home early without telling anyone. She’d wanted to surprise Beau, but Zev had taken him out to a party. When she’d texted from the airport, they’d been drinking, and Beau hadn’t heard the phone. She’d called several other people looking for a ride home, but in the end, she’d taken a cab. It was a stormy night, and the driver lost control of the car less than three miles from the airport. Zev knew it wasn’t his fault Tory had been killed, but guilt from taking Beau out that night, and the realization that someone they loved could be torn from their lives at any second, had tipped an iceberg that had crushed him.
Nick nudged Zev’s arm, jerking him from his thoughts, and said, “Dude, Carly’s looking hotter than ever. If I’d known she was into cowboys—”
“Shut the fuck up.” Zev took another swig of tequila.
Nick chuckled and tipped his hat. He was a horse trainer with a body built for a fight and an attitude that always seemed to be begging for one.
Zev had seen Nick knock a man out with a single punch, but that wouldn’t stop Zev from going after him if he continued pushing his buttons. He might be leaner than his massive brother, but his nomadic treasure-hunting lifestyle had also made him quicker. Fearless and fast was a dangerous combination when frustrations burned through Zev’s veins, as they were now. But he didn’t give Nick a chance to get any deeper under his skin. Instead, he set an angry stare on Beau and said, “Why didn’t you tell me she was coming?” He eyed his other brothers. “You all knew she lived here, and nobody clued me in. What the hell is up with that?”
Beau rolled his shoulders back and said, “The last time I brought up Carly, you said you’d slaughter me if I ever mentioned her name again.”
“You did, bro,” Graham agreed. “Remember? We were at Mom and Dad’s last Fourth of July, when Beau and Char got engaged.”
How could he ever forget the day he’d never seen coming?
After Tory died, the pain and guilt had been so overwhelming that Zev and Beau had both needed to get the hell away from Pleasant Hill. Beau hadn’t been able to even be in the same room with his childhood best friend, Tory’s older brother, Duncan, without wanting to tear something apart. Although Zev had rarely returned home, he’d kept up with his family and had known about the ever-growing rift between Beau and Duncan. Which was why when Duncan had walked into their parents’ house the night Beau had gotten engaged, Zev had been ready to take him down—until he’d learned that Beau had found a way to move past Tory’s death and had made amends with Duncan.
That was the day that had made Zev wonder if he could find a way to move past all that had happened, too. But the only person he wanted to move forward with was Carly, and before the wedding, he’d seen her only once since they’d broken up, and she’d made it clear she was over him.
“I know what I said.” Zev leveled Beau with a serious stare and said, “But come on, man. You couldn’t have warned me? You and Char are close to her. You knew she’d be here with Cutter. What the hell?”
“Hey, I have no idea what’s up with her and Cutter.” Beau glanced at Charlotte, heading their way with Morgyn and her toughest sister, Sable, just one of the many Montgomery siblings who had made it to the wedding, and said, “But please tell me you’re not going to back out of watching the animals for us while we’re on our honeymoon.” He had surprised Charlotte with a weeklong honeymoon to the small village in France where her maternal grandparents had lived.
Zev had agreed to stay at the inn and watch their chickens and thief of a dog, Bandit, prior to his epic discovery because none of his siblings had been able to commit. Last night he’d arranged for the remaining, smaller concretions he’d found to be sent to his cousin Noah’s marine biology laboratory on the outskirts of town, where he could work on extracting the treasures while he was watching the inn. He’d spent every minute since wondering which sibling he could wrangle into taking his place.
But now that he knew Carly lived there, he didn’t know what the hell he wanted.
“The horses are at Hal’s ranch, so you won’t have to muck the stalls,” Beau said, as if it were a selling point. “I know you’ve got a lot going on right now, but nobody else can do it.”“Yeah, dude, I definitely can’t stick around to take care of their animals,” Nick said. “I’m heading to Virginia to buy a couple of horses at the end of the week.”
“Morgyn and I are leaving tomorrow for two weeks in Seattle, and everyone else is taking off first thing tomorrow, too,” Graham added. “Jilly and Jax have a big-city fashion show and will be gone for two weeks, and Mom and Dad have a meeting about the winery expansion.” Their mother’s family owned a chain of wineries called Hilltop Vineyards, and their father, an engineer, was helping with the designs. “Sorry, Zev, but it’s all on you.”
Charlotte came to Beau’s side, looking gorgeous in her fairy-tale-style wedding gown, which Jillian and Jax, both fashion designers, had made for her. Beau put his arm around her and leaned in for a kiss. Seeing his brother happy and so in love again brought warm memories of how it felt to be with the person he loved. Zev stole another glance at the only woman who had ever made him feel damn near anything. He may not know what he wanted, but one thing was certain: Leaving was no longer his highest priority.
“Don’t worry,” Zev said. “I’d never leave you hanging.”
“Bet you say that to all the girls, Foreplay,” Sable said with a raise of her brows, earning chuckles from his brothers.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Zev countered. Morgyn had come up with the nickname Foreplay, which she claimed meant he was the guy women sought for a good time but never for anything long term. As far as Zev was concerned, that was pretty damn accurate.
“You’ve been staring at Cutter and Carly for so long, I’m starting to wonder which one you’re into,” Morgyn teased.
“You know I don’t swing that way, Sunshine. But if I did, it wouldn’t be with that cowboy.” Zev took another swig of tequila, his gaze shifting to Carly again. Jillian and Jax had joined her and Cutter, and it looked like they were all having a great damn time.
“Funny, I was thinking a cowboy was exactly what I needed.” Sable flipped her thick mane over her shoulder and turned her attention to Nick. “What do you say, burly boy? Can all those muscles move on the dance floor, or are they only good for toiling away on your ranch?”
“Baby, there’s nothing this body can’t do.” Nick put a hand on Sable’s lower back, leading her toward the makeshift dance floor.
“I want to dance!” Morgyn exclaimed. She grabbed Graham’s hand, and they followed Nick and Sable.
Charlotte took Beau’s hand and said, “They’re playing our song, hubby. We should dance, too.” She stepped closer to Zev and lowered her voice to say, “Carly doesn’t bite, you know.”
“Well, that’s a damn shame, cutes,” Zev said with a grin. “I always loved the way she used that sexy mouth of hers.”
Charlotte gave a happy little squeal and said, “I bet she’d bite if you asked her to!”
“Come on, beautiful. I’m sure Zev doesn’t need any help in that department.” Beau led her away, leaving Zev alone with his dirty thoughts of Carly and her talented mouth.
No one knew Zev had run into Carly in Mexico when she was on spring break the year after Tory’s death. He’d just finished a diving expedition, and he was having a drink in a bar when he’d heard her infectious laugh. He’d thought he’d imagined it, but then he’d seen her across the room, stunningly beautiful and enticingly familiar. The second their eyes had connected, an inferno had blazed between them, and the all-consuming emotions he’d been trying to forget had nearly swallowed him whole. Their connection had always been so strong they’d never needed many words to convey their thoughts, and that night had been no different. They hadn’t talked about losing Tory, or his leaving Pleasant Hill. In fact, they hadn’t talked much at all, except for Zev to say he was in no position to make any promises, to which Carly had said, I don’t want promises. I only want tonight. They’d spent one incredible night in each other’s arms. Zev had known then that he’d made a mistake leaving the way he had, and he’d thought—hoped—they might be able to find their way back into each other’s lives. But when he’d woken up the next morning, Carly was gone without a trace, leaving him confused, hurt, angry, and fiercely determined never to feel that way again.
As he looked at her now, flashing her radiant smile at that fucking cowboy, he accepted the truth he’d spent years trying to deny. Carly Dylan hadn’t just captured his heart when they were kids. She’d claimed his entire being—mind, body, and soul—and she’d own them until long after the day he took his last breath.
About the Author Melissa writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa’s fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big-family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, Wild Boys and Bad Boys After Dark, and the Montgomerys. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented– perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex and relatable issues.
Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.
Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.
Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.
Author Cassie Cross is revealing the cover to THE LAYOVER, the fifth book in her adult contemporary romance series, Love Is…, releasing August 13, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis Macy Monroe has spent two years living and working in Rome, dreaming about moving back home to Port City. That dream finally comes true when her assignment ends and she finds a new job and new apartment back in the States. As a last hurrah in Europe, she books a layover in Paris for a long weekend full of sightseeing and all the baguettes and cheese she can eat. But her plan hits a snag when a hotel snafu leaves her stranded by the Seine with nowhere to stay.
Fate steps in when she runs into Beckett McLane, her ex-boyfriend from college. He’s in town working on his next novel and offers her a place to stay. Beckett’s the kind of handsome that you never really forget, and Macy’s heart is still a little broken from the breakup. Without any other options, she reluctantly takes him up on the offer.
Macy encourages work-obsessed Beckett to take a much-needed break from his laptop, and as he shows her around town, they get caught up in the romantic City of Light. When they’re together, it’s easy to forget that Macy’s only on a layover and their time together is running out…
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About the Author Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.
Author Dakota Star is revealing the cover to A HAUNTED LOVE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing August 14, 2020. See below for information the book, preorder links, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Ash detests Halloween. Three years ago, her husband’s death during the same week left her scarred. Now, all she desires is a simple, ordered life in the small town of Humble, Connecticut and time with the cutest boy ever – her nephew. That becomes impossible when her sister brings a handsome soldier, Cole, to her door.
From the moment they meet, Ash has a hard time ignoring his good looks and those intense gray eyes that have seen enough war and heartbreak to fill a lifetime. What starts as a mutual attraction and a romp in bed leads Ash to face her demons. War has left Cole with more than just physical scars as well.
But does serendipity, a ghost, or something sinister have other plans for them? When someone starts stalking Ash, Halloween turns to horror. Does Cole have what it takes to incinerate Ash’s doubts and keep her safe?
Author Dakota Star
About the Author Dakota Star likes worn-in cowboy boots, a well-trained horse, a cold beverage, and trails to ride in the woods.
She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Both her daughters have finished college and moved away so her dogs, cats, and retired horse now keep her busy. When not outside hiking or horseback riding, she loves to read and travel.
She has worked as an editor, a freelance writer for local newspapers, and an educator at local environmental non-profits like aquariums and The National Audubon Society.
Fyreside Publishing and author Frazier Alexander are revealing the cover to THE LOST KING, a stand-alone adult fantasy, releasing November 10, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
THE LOST KING by Frazier Alexander
About the Book Title: THE LOST KING Author:Frazier Alexander Publisher: Fyreside Publishing Release Date:November 10, 2020
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Synopsis In an ancient place, in an ancient time…
King Athan vanishes at sea. His children, prince Thalos and princess Thara, drift apart with age, their kingdom falling into ruin. Thalos stubbornly clings to the past; Thara, resentful of her father, looks to the future. In the wake of this decline, a beautiful enchantress usurps the throne from the estranged siblings. She exiles Thalos to the edge of the world and slowly enslaves Thara’s mind.
In his exile, Thalos finds another castaway—an old comrade of his father. Together they begin a voyage in search of the lost king. Thara, meanwhile, resists the new queen’s coercive spells and finds a resistance of creatures still loyal to her father.
With a vast world of enchanted islands and beings between them, Thalos and Thara struggle to restore their family and rekindle the hope of the true king’s return.
Author Frazier Alexander
About the Author Along with creating his own mythological backdrop for his stories, Frazier is an amateur calligrapher, map-maker, and artist. He is currently working on his master’s in Medieval Literature at the University of North Texas.
Author Giulia Lagomarsino is revealing the cover to GOODKNIGHT, the 26th book in her adult contemporary romance/romantic suspense series, Reed Security, releasing August 10, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
GOODKNIGHT (Reed Security Series #26) by Giulia Lagomarsino
Synopsis I f*@ked up when I killed that senator. I thought I was uncovering some dirty secrets. But the things I uncovered could kill millions. Lives are at stake, but none of that matters to me.
Not when they’ve taken my wife. They held a gun to her head. Now they’ll all die.
I won’t stop until I take them all out. Until she’s back in my arms. Then I have to walk away. My family isn’t safe as long as I’m in their lives.
Sometimes to protect the ones you love, you have to walk away.
Author Giulia Lagomarsino
About the Author I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.
Author Melanie Munton is revealing the cover to THE SIX MONTH LEASE, the second book in her adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Southern Hearts Club, releasing August 18, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SIX MONTH LEASE (Southern Hearts Club Series #2) by Melanie Munton
Synopsis Never have I ever…moved in with a guy after dating him for only three weeks.
Just kidding. That’s exactly what I did.
And like most of you are probably thinking, it inevitably blew up in my face when we broke up two days after signing our lease.
Now, I’m stuck living with my ex. The same man who turned my life completely upside down in record time.
For. Six. Whole. Months.
It doesn’t matter how many times he flashes those abs at me after a shower, or how close his bedroom is to mine. I will resist him because he’s simply not the right guy for me.
But if I thought he’d done a number on me before, that’s nothing compared to what happens after I finally learn the secret he’s been keeping from me this entire time.
Excerpt #2 By the time I’ve cleaned up the table and washed all the dishes, the lipstick has cooled and hardened into a solid mass inside the slim container. I twist the end to examine the color, pleased to see that it turned out pretty well. A bright red that should match the exact color of the red dress I bought for the Foundation Gala.
I’m reaching for a knife to slice the tip into an angle that will conform to my lips when the tube is snatched out of my hands.
“Hey! Give that back.”
How did I not hear him leave his bedroom?
West runs his eyes over the rich red color before lifting it to his nose and inhaling.
He groans. “Jesus. You realize this smells like fucking Fruit Loops?”
“And honey,” I say softly, my mouth operating on auto-pilot. He’s just standing so close that my voice pitched lower without thought. “I added freesia oil to it.”
His gaze heats considerably as it lowers to my parted lips. “I want to see it on you.”
His deep, masculine rasp of a voice consumes me, like it does every time things get sexual between us. Shoot, he could recite the maintenance manual to his helicopter cover-to-cover, and his voice would still pull me under like a drug.
“What makes you think I’d give you anything you want?”
“Because you want to see what I’ll do once it is on you.”
I must have glue on the bottom of my feet because I can’t move. Not a single inch.
“That’s not a good idea,” I whisper. “I thought we agreed to keep our distance.”
“We sleep twenty feet from each other. I’d say that’s about as much distance as we’re going to get in this house.”
A knot takes shape in my esophagus as he moves closer and directs the tube of lipstick at my neck. His hand stills just before the red tip kisses my flesh.
“Are there any chemicals in this?”
My head twitches in a barely perceptible shake. “No. I only use all-natural products.”
The next thing I feel is the smooth slide of the lipstick trailing down the length of my neck. I stand stock-still and watch his fascinated expression darken, features slackening, as he drags the tube over my skin.
“You know how I said I like adventure stories about lost treasure?” he breathes, head lowered over my skin.
That voice. It’s going to lull me into a sex-crazed coma.
“Well, you see.” He moves the lipstick down toward my collarbone, adding curves and twists to the pattern. “Most of those stories usually involve a map. The explorer has to follow the map in order to find the treasure.”
He draws more red lines, more red shapes, heading back toward my jawline. Against my better judgment, I crane my neck to give him wider access. He makes a low sound of approval.
“But you’ve got the sweetest treasure right here. Don’t you, princess? Rubies and emeralds and gold can’t touch your riches, can they? This is the kind of wealth men kill each other over.”
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!
Welcome to the book blitz for MAN DOWN, the third book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Rookie Rebels, by USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Three years ago, he lived through the car crash that took his wife and twins away from him—though “lived” barely describes his current state. Giving up professional hockey, going off grid, and drinking himself into oblivion are his coping mechanisms. Another is texting his dead wife about his days without her. Therapeutic? Doubtful. Crazy?
Definitely. But those messages into the ether are virtually the only thing stopping him from spiraling to even darker places.
Until someone texts back . . .
Sadie Yates is losing it.
Suddenly guardian to a little sister she doesn’t know and a misbehaving hound she’d rather not know at all, she’s had to upend her (sort of) glamorous life in LA and move back to Chicago. The nanny has quit, the money’s running out, and her job is on the line. The last thing she needs is her sister’s hockey camp counselor, a judgmental Viking type, telling her she sucks at this parenting lark. Thank the goddess for her sweet, sensitive, and—fingers crossed—sexy text buddy who always knows the right thing to say. In the same city at last, they can finally see if their online chemistry is mirrored in real life. She just needs to set up a meeting …
A ruined man who claims to have used up all his love is surely a bad bet, but Sadie’s never been afraid of a challenge … even one that might shatter her heart into a million pieces.
Excerpt #4 Gunnar must be losing his mind. This woman infuriated him, yet he couldn’t stop thinking about her. About her lush curves and bright eyes, that mobile mouth and stubborn chin. A part of the attraction was how much he obviously pissed her off—which was somewhat his fault and somewhat hers. After years of numbness, the novelty of feeling something, anything, was so electrifying that all considerations about the fact he was kissing the wrong person were easily set aside.
The wrong person? Why had he thought that?
Possibly because she wasn’t kissing him back.
She wasn’t kissing him back.
He stopped. “I shouldn’t have done that.”
“No?” A question rather than outright agreement.
“This isn’t what you want. I—” He scraped a hand through his hair.
She peered up at him, her eyes big and round as silver moons. No censure, only … confusion.
“You surprised me. Big time.” Her lips curved into that slayer smile and his heart kicked hard against his rib cage. “I thought you didn’t like me.”
“I don’t.” It was out so fast that it could only be true. “But then like doesn’t have much to do with this, does it?”
He waved between them, indicating the this he meant.
“You’re … attracted to me?” Her eyes grew impossibly rounder.
“That is usually why someone kisses someone.”
“But you don’t like me?”
“I don’t know you. To be honest, we seem to rub each other the wrong way.”
“We know why that is. You accused me of being a neglectful guardian and frankly, your apology was not good enough.”
Here we go again. “I apologized, but some people prefer to hold grudges because they enjoy being mad at anyone other than themselves.”
“That’s what you think this is? I’m misplacing my anger and directing it at some poor guy who doesn’t deserve it?”
“Why else would you hold on to it?”
“Clearly because I’m annoyed at wanting you!” Her hand flew to her mouth. “That’s not what I meant to say.”
A pleasant shiver of surprise rolled through him. He had been right. There was something worth pursuing here. “What did you mean to say?”
“That I don’t buy your psychobabble. I can be mad at you for several reasons. I am woman. I contain multitudes.”
He rubbed his mouth, hiding his smile. Sadie Yates was going to be a lot of fun. Only that’s what he’d thought about Angel, who had ignored the couple of texts he’d sent her.
Sadie reared up on tip-toes, all fire and indignation, and pushed at his chest. “Don’t you dare laugh at me.”
“Why not? You’re being funny right now.”
“I’m not. I don’t even like you and …” Her brow furrowed. “I want to.”
“You want to? Why?” A weird statement and a weirder question, but he needed to know.
“It’s like when everyone reads the latest New York Times bestseller and loves it, but you’re all ‘who cares? Why are people loving this junk?’”
Comparisons with junk. Definitely on brand. “So you’re wondering why your opinion of me is so out of step with the masses. Maybe because you like to go against the grain to be contrary.”
“Maybe because I have taste. As far as I can see, you’re a judgmental dick who happens to be tall and bearded. That’s all you have going for you. Unreasonable height and killer facial hair!”
“Poor me.” He felt another smile coming on. “Sadie?”
He stepped in closer. “You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to think what everyone else does. Half the time, I can’t tell if people are being nice to me because they like me or because I’m a famous hockey player or because I have a sad backstory that invites pity.”
About the Author Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.
Welcome to the book blitz for INHERENT FATE, the first book in the adult psychological suspense series, Blood Secrets, by Alicia Anthony. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
INHERENT FATE (Blood Secrets Series #3) by Alicia Anthony
Synopsis A discarded asset stripped of her identity…
An emotionally scarred ex-agent…
An innocent life hanging in the balance…
Who would you trust if the world was out to get you?
Losing Liv Sullivan in a Bureau operation gone bad turned ex-agent Ridge McCaffrey into a broken man. So when fate reunites him with the woman he thought was dead, he’ll risk anything to make her part of his life again.
Liv Sullivan returned to the States with two goals: end the FBI’s corrupt GenLink psychic intelligence program and reclaim the life it stole from her. But when the case against GenLink exposes a threat against Ridge’s son, the cost becomes too great. Refusing to destroy more lives, she leaves Ridge, and the chance to reclaim her identity, behind.
But as a new generation of GenLink closes in, once-trusted allies become enemies, and long-buried secrets threaten.
Can Liv and Ridge end GenLink before echoes of the past destroy their future?
Inherent Fate is the compelling third installment in the Blood Secrets psychological suspense series. For fast-paced, emotionally intense story lines that keep you up past your bedtime, and intricate plots laced with romance, this award-winning series is for you.
Book 3 of 3. Series is best enjoyed in sequence.
“What if my grandmother’s right?”
Ridge’s eyes skimmed mine, all wary hesitation.
The heaviness in my chest weighed on me, making normal breath difficult. I sucked in a lungful of the sweet farm air, my heart pounding. My grandmother’s loopy scrawls at the bottom of the typewritten page burned into my memory. I repeated the scrawl. “Offspring viability uncertain. If she’s right, what does that mean for us? Our future?”
Ridge and I had only ever talked about having a family in passing. We’d never been stable enough to give it serious thought. But coming back to Cascade Hills, starting over, made space for the conversation.
Ridge turned me to face him. “We don’t know what that means. No matter what, it doesn’t change how I feel about you.”
“What if it changes how I feel about me?”
The vibrant blue of Ridge’s eyes set against the reddish-purple bruise across the bridge of his nose was more than I could take. That injury was only one of many he’d endured during our time together, and no matter what excuse he gave, I knew this one was a direct result of not telling him about my last minute flight change.
“I’m twenty-nine years old.”
Ridge smiled. “Not for four months.”
“If I can’t have kids,” I whispered, “can you live with that?”
A hard vacuum of silence sucked at the space between us. I forced my eyes up slowly, dragging over his body until I reached his face.
“What kind of question is that?” Hurt stretched across Ridge’s features.
“You used to talk about it. I don’t want to be the reason–”
“The reason I get to spend the rest of my life with the woman I love? The reason I can fall asleep at night and for the first time in seven months, really sleep? I love you, Liv. Not some idealized version of a maybe future. But you. Here. Today.”
“Say that again.” Water lapped at the lakeshore in the distance.
He stepped forward slowly. Gravel crunched under the soles of his shoes as he reached for me. “I love you, Liv. Only you.”
About the Author Alicia Anthony’s first novels were illegible scribbles on the back of her truck driver father’s logbook trip tickets. Having graduated from scribbles to laptop, she now pens novels of psychological suspense in the quiet of the wee morning hours. A full-time elementary school Literacy Specialist, Alicia hopes to pass on her passion for books and writing to the students she teaches.
A two time Golden Heart® finalist and Silver Quill Award winner, Alicia finds her inspiration in exploring the dark, dusty corners of the human experience. Alicia is a graduate of Spalding University’s School of Creative & Professional Writing (MFA), Ashland University (M.Ed.) and THE Ohio State University (BA). Go Bucks! She lives in rural south-central Ohio with her amazingly patient and supportive husband, incredibly understanding teenage daughter, two dogs, three horses, a plethora of both visiting and resident barn cats, and some feral raccoons who have worn out their welcome.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Alicia loves to travel and experience new places. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @AliciaAnthonyBooks. She’d love to hear from you!
WELCOME TO HICKVILLE HIGH (Hickville High Series #1) by Mary Karlik
Synopsis The Universe has completely dumped on High School senior Kelsey Quinn’s life. Credit card at Nordstrom’s? Deactivated. Honda Accord? Sold. Life in the burbs of Chicago? Gone. And it’s all her sister’s fault. Yep. Drugs, alcohol, and getting caught with the boss’s son was all it took. Dad loses job, family loses money, and the next thing she knows she’s crammed in a cell on wheels for the next two days as they make their way to a dilapidated farmhouse in Texas. But Kelsey doesn’t just leave the good life in Chicago. She leaves the boy who-has-it-all, Drew Montgomery.
Hillside senior, quarterback, Austin McCoy works for Kelsey’s dad at the feed store and helps with the farm chores in the morning. He sees through Kelsey’s surly attitude to the girl whose eyes light up when she’s with the animals. He is determined to help Kelsey see that not only does she love the Farmville life, but that the guy she really wants is him.
Will Austin convince Kelsey he’s the guy she wants? Will Kelsey embrace the simple life and find forgiveness for her sister?
My Review Kelsey Quinn is the epitome of a spoiled, rich teen from the upper midwest moving to smalltown Texas. She hates everything from the weather to the twang in their voices. Her initial observations on her new home, she nicknames Hickville, are judgmental and snobby. About the only thing she thinks might make running the family farm even mildly tolerable is Austin McCoy, local hottie and her new high school’s starting quarterback. But even Austin’s chiseled abs and sculpted biceps will only go so far when she has to get up at the crack of dawn to feed chickens, even before she’s allowed to enjoy a cup of coffee. All Kelsey wants is to survive her senior year in Hillside and return to Chicago and her perfect boyfriend, Drew. Her ideal life is gone, she knows that. No more designer clothes, her own car, or lavish lifestyle. Instead she shares the family pickup truck, wears second-hand store duds, and spends her time doing farm work. But she has her sights set on a big event in Chicago, an annual affair with ballgowns and a semblance of normalcy. Except that costs money her family no longer has. If she wants to go, she’ll need to earn the money herself between schoolwork, farm work, and time in the family’s feed store. Her only option is the diner, the same one where Austin’s mom works that she mocked when she first arrived in town.
The more time Kelsey spends with Austin, the more she begins to question whether she even wants her old life back. Being around him ignites feelings she never experienced with Drew. But Drew is her boyfriend and she doubles down on their long-distance relationship, until she doesn’t. As she’s torn between two worlds and two boys, she learns a lot about herself and does some much needed growing up.
Plot The plot is relatively predictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. The personalities of the characters and playful banter shake things up. And even though I may have had a pretty good idea how the story would end, I didn’t know how we’d get there. While there weren’t any real plot twists or shocking revelations, the story moves at a good pace and the world building is well done, bringing me into the heart of rural Texas.
The Characters The characters were all really well developed and fully fleshed out. I’m used to first person POV for young adult, but even though this is third-person, I still felt really connected to both Austin and Kelsey. The rest of the characters also felt real and unique. Kelsey’s sisters are very different from Kelsey and from each other, so I’m not surprised to find they each have their own books, and I’m looking forward to reading all of them. Kelsey’s parents came across as some of the most authentic in the genre. They’re more than props or impediments to Kelsey getting what she wants and I loved that they even have their own issues to deal with as well as a minor relationship arc.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About WELCOME TO HICKVILLE HIGH 1. Forced Change. The complete upheaval of Kelsey’s life provides for so much conflict, the story was fun to read.
2. Humor. The author weaves a lot of humor through some pretty serious topics, bringing lighthearted moments in what might otherwise be a darker tale.
3. Homecoming. Hillside’s take on the homecoming tradition is something to behold.
4. Personal Growth. Kelsey has a lot of growing up to do and she does it with humility.
5. Austin. He’s one of the really good guys out there. Even though Kelsey is a handful, he realizes there’s more to her than just a spoiled rich girl lashing out after being dumped into the Middle of Nowhere, Texas.
Bottom Line A sweet contemporary romance with great characters.
About the Author Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”
She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE ART OF SERENDIPITY, a standalone adult contemporary romance, by Karen Anne. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Lorelei Parker has her dream job teaching AP English at an elite prep school on the upper east side. Between her love of literature & moderating the school drama club, Lorelei is more than content. But when her star student is caught with drugs and expelled, Lorelei discovers life is about to become as complicated as one of her books.
When a call from his ex-wife alerts him that his son has just been kicked out of the prestigious Astley Academy, Jack Flynn’s quiet life on his ranch in North Carolina is uprooted. Not knowing how to fix Brodie’s shattered senior year, he takes his son under his wing, hoping life on the ranch and some hard work will be a way to reach the son he feels he’s lost.
The last thing Lorelei expected was an email from Jack Flynn asking her advice on how to help his son, Brodie. So begins an email exchange between the two that unlocks a secret, a way to get Brodie back on track, and a budding romance that can only be described as serendipity.
On the home screen, I clicked on a tab called History of Flynn farms. An old black and white photograph of Brodie’s great-grandfather and his brother appeared. I scrolled down some more, and by the 1970s, there was another picture of two men. One I assumed was Brodie’s grandfather.
I continued to scroll until a I found a new picture. This one was taken probably a decade ago, but my heart gave a little jolt at the caption. Jack and Chris Flynn, current owners of Flynn Ranchers are the third generation to run the ranch. I clicked on the image to open it in another window. I swallowed as it appeared, and I was able to really see Jack for the first time.
He was very handsome with honey-colored hair and bright green eyes. Even from the picture I could tell that he had a strong, broad build. The brothers were standing in between two horses, their hands on the reins. I was unable to tear my eyes away from Jack’s. I never expected him to look like this. I had hoped—but I didn’t know why. It’s not like anything could ever happen. Too many states lay between us.
“Oh! Who’s that?” Megan walked past and got a glimpse of my screen. “Oh! Are you looking for strippers for my bachelorette party, because originally I was going to say hell no, but if you can secure that, I’m down for a cowboy theme.” She handed me a cup of coffee.
“Sorry, no stripper.” She sat beside me and took a sip from her own mug.
“So, who is he?”
“That’s Jack Flynn.”
“Jack Flynn…” Her eyes grew wide as she made the connection. “Jack? The dad you have a weird pen-pal relationship with Jack?”
“Yeah. That’s him.” My words came out rather breathless. I still couldn’t believe this was the man on the other side of those emails.
“Did you know he looked like that?”
“Uh… no.. I mean, Brodie, his son, is a handsome kid, but this is not at all what I expected. This is—”
Megan plopped down on the floor next to my chair. “What fantasies are made of.”
“Well, what are you going to say in your next email? You should totally suggest meeting. Say you always wanted to ride a horse or something like that.”
“They have horseback lessons in New York. I think it would be a bit obvious if I showed up at his ranch for a casual lesson.”
It was clear Megan wasn’t listening to my reason. She was too busy fanning herself. “Promise me if you ever get together, you do it in the barn, like bang it out in the hay.”
“I don’t think he has a barn.”
“What’s that in the background, then?” She pointed to the picture.
“I think it’s a stable.”
Megan rolled her eyes. “Same thing.”
“Not really. A barn is more like a storage unit.”
Megan swung me around in my swivel chair by my knees so I’d be face to face with her. “Stop being a walking dictionary for once and listen to me. I’m off the market, but you’re not. You need to live for every girl out there who has ever had a cowboy fantasy.”
Author Karen Anne
About the Author aren Anne was writing before she could read. As a toddler, she sat with a book in her hands and made up the stories, eager for the day when she’d find out if it all truly ended in happily ever after. Karen still determines the destiny of other people’s lives, but this time, the characters are her own.
She is a Contemporary Romance author who lives in New York.
Coffee drinker by day, wine enthusiast by night, she loves cats and deeply misses 90’s grunge.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE DECEPTION INCIDENT, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Incident, by Marla Holt. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE DECEPTION INCIDENT (The Incident Series #2) by Marla Holt
Synopsis Her life is stabilizing and his is spiraling while they both keep secrets.
Minnie Halvarson moved to Kansas to start over. She wanted to be anonymous, live a simple life, and heal from her past. When Bryant Wilder walks into her bookstore, she thinks she’s hit the boyfriend jackpot. What more could she want than a tall, bookish man who worships her?
Until Minnie finds out he’s dating mega pop star, Van Birch and cuts all ties with him.
Bryant Wilder is a humble Kansas contractor by day and Van Birch’s fake boyfriend whenever she needs him to bel. At first Bryant is happy to do it, but after five years, he is tired of dodging paparazzi and keeping his hookups on the down low.
Bryant wants more.
Who he wants is Minnie. But she won’t even look at him.
Now Van is back in Wellville, and has adopted Minnie into their friend group, Bryant is just as smitten with her as ever. Maybe if she hadn’t just had a baby, he’d actually have a chance.
The Deception Incident is the second book in the Incident Series. Dig into this steamy, instalove, secret baby romance with a guaranteed happily ever after by Marla Holt.
Excerpt #3 Clay and Bryant had shown up to the opening, just as Bryant had promised. When they arrived near the end of the day, they looked dusty and cold, like they came straight from the jobsite. Rocco was already talking to them by the time Minnie spotted them, but it took her another few minutes to make her way over. When she did arrive, Rocco slung his arm around Minnie’s shoulder, tugging his arm tight like he was about to pull her into a headlock.
“The place looks fantastic,” Clay said. “Congratulations, Minnie.”
Minnie had attempted to thank him, but Rocco had spoken over her, “My girl has put in a lot of work, but we can’t thank you two enough for the bookshelves.”
Clay broke into a genuine smile. “I’ve been meaning to ask. Do you mind if I come in sometime and take photographs for our business portfolio?”
“Whenever you like,” Minnie said. “It would be an honor.”
Clay flashed her a sideways grin, and Bryant elbowed him in the ribs, and Minnie thought it was a cute exchange. Bryant had told her about Clay’s sideways grin and how he used it to slay women. She appreciated being a part of their teasing.
It made her feel included. Like maybe someday she could be one of them.
An alert went off on Clay’s phone. He puffed out his cheeks and let out a long-suffering sigh as he flipped it off. “We have to get going, or we’re going to miss our plane,” he said by way of apology.
Bryant only grinned at her, still not saying anything, and Minnie was beginning to understand that he didn’t do well in groups. She understood. She’d been much worse when she was younger, and she still hid sometimes when she needed a moment to herself. But she wanted him to be as effusive as he was with her in private. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and kiss her and tell her how amazing her party was, because she’d worked so hard on it.
But he didn’t, and Minnie didn’t understand why. There were no paparazzi around. And the reporters who had been there had left hours before.
Clay shook her hand, and when Bryant stepped forward to do the same thing, he bent as if he meant to kiss her cheek, but Rocco pulled her into his chest and out of Bryant’s reach.
“Have fun in California,” Rocco said.
Bryant frowned before his face turned to stone.
“Yes, good luck,” Minnie said. “Stop by when you get back.”
When they were gone, Minnie wrenched herself out of her cousin’s arms and whispered, “What the fuck was that about?” low enough that none of the customers heard her.
Rocco still watched the door where Bryant and Clay had just exited. “How much do you know about that guy?” he asked.
Rocco gave her a look that told her not to play stupid. “We’re getting to know each other.”
“And how much do you know about Van Birch?”
Minnie shrugged. “She’s from here. She and Bryant went to high school together. She’s Clay’s sister, and I know a few of her songs.”
“You’ve never watched the show?” Rocco asked.
“No, have you?”
Rocco shrugged, and though his face remained somber, color rose to his dusky cheeks. “Everyone around here watches the show, Mins.”
“Okay. What are you trying to say?”
“I’m saying that those two look like home-grown Kansas, and maybe they really have construction business in California, but they’re probably also going to film the next episode of Pop Star.”
“Sure,” Minnie said, not sure what she was missing.
“I don’t trust the Hollywood types,” Rocky said. “And I don’t think you should either.”
“Bryant’s not going to hurt me,” Minnie said.
Rocco’s eyebrows disappeared beneath his hairline. “How well have you gotten to know him?” he asked. Then his eyes narrowed as his expression tightened into a scowl. “Have you slept with him?”
Minnie felt herself go scarlet. She and Rocco had never really talked about their sex lives. She’d introduced him to one or two of her boyfriends over the years, and she’d met some of the women he’d dated, but that was about as far as it had ever gone.
Rocco sighed and pulled her into a hug, finishing with a kiss on her cheek. “Watch the show, Mins.”
About the Author Marla Holt believes in second chances, romance, and the radical notion that everyone deserves a happily every after. She’s living her own fairy tale, writing contemporary romance novels in her Kansas farmhouse with her husband, three boys, three cats, and flock of imaginary sheep.
City Owl Press and author Ashley R. King are revealing the cover to PAINTING THE LINES, the first book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Ace of Hearts, releasing August 25, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
PAINTING THE LINES (Ace of Hearts Series #1) by Ashley R. King
Synopsis Amalie Warner wants another shot to prove that she can be a successful writer. After hitting the bestseller’s list nine years ago, she’s lost her spark. Feeling pressure from her father to leave her writing behind and to work for her family’s lucrative hotel business, she’s desperate to find inspiration for her next big idea, something that challenges and excites her, something real.
Enter Julian Smoke, a failed tennis player making a dream run for the US Open. After a chance meeting at a bar, Amalie hates him instantly. He’s cocky and arrogant, but Amalie knows his story could be her big break. Could he be more?
Everyone knows that in tennis, love means zero, but these two are about to change that.
Perfect for fans of The Hating Game and Wimbledon.
Excerpt Careful to wipe away his shocked expression, he rested his elbows on his knees. “All right, rich girl. I’ll play, but first tell me what you need me for.”
Amalie’s eyes sparkled with a hint of excitement. “I write fiction, and I want you to be the main character in my next book.”
“You want to write about me?” He almost felt flattered. Almost. But something told him Amalie Warner wasn’t the flattering type.
“Well, you but not really you. It’s fiction, so it’s kind of going to be based around you, about a loser who’s down and out—”
“I mean, a guy who’s…well, a guy who’s going to try for the unthinkable.”
“Wow, your belief in me is overwhelming. Really. It’s enough to bring me to my knees.” Julian clutched his chest like he was actually overwhelmed by her words. What the girl didn’t know was that he’d pretty much do anything short of becoming a gigolo to have another shot at his dream. Despite that, he couldn’t help the impending word vomit that trailed out of his mouth. “Why don’t you just get one of your father’s tennis buddies to help you? I don’t see why you need me specifically?”
Amalie brought a slim, pale finger to her necklace, an absent look in her eyes. “My
father’s tennis buddies don’t have the underdog vibe I need. You do. Besides, I feel like your success will equal my success.”
“You had a gazillion fans and most of them still love you and still talk about how they wish you hadn’t quit the game. They’d love to see your comeback. I can totally see it now.” Her hands stretched above her in an imaginary line, “Based on the comeback journey of Julian Smoke. It would sell because you already have that built-in fan base.”
“Will your writing make it sell?”
“Since I’m writing about a real person, yes, it will. That’s where I do my best work.” Her voice was smug, her head held proudly.
Julian rubbed his chin. “So, you’re thinking you’ll get the bestseller you need? And you can guarantee that you’ll be able to fund my run for the US Open?”
Amalie responded with a sharp nod.
He shouldn’t trust her. He knew that. Her kind of people—people with more money than God—repulsed him. For them, money could buy anything. Even other people. And there he was, on the brink of being bought.
Julian stared at Amalie. Her eyes were crystals, impossible to look away from as two glaciers. Damn. He was probably going to regret this, but he extended his hand anyway. “I’m in,” he said. “But I still don’t like you.”
Amalie gave a wry smile that convinced him she was used to getting her way, then she wrapped her tiny fingers around his larger ones in a surprisingly firm shake. “The feeling’s mutual.”
Author Ashley R. King
About The Author Ashley King is a middle school English teacher whose love of the written word began when her mom took her to the public library, letting her check out stacks of books taller than she was. She’s the least athletic person you’ll ever meet, but that doesn’t decrease her love for tennis. She loves swoony romances and is addicted to sweet tea. When she’s not teaching or writing happily ever afters, she can be found snuggled up with a book, travelling, or quoting obscure lines from her favorite movies and tv shows. She lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, a former college tennis player with crazy amazing calves (yeah most of her male heroes have those calves), and their sweet and chatty spoiled cat, Cleo.
Author R.H. Tucker is revealing the cover to TALK DERBY TO ME, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
TALK DERBY TO ME by R.H. Tucker
About the Book – Read for Free by Kindle Unlimited Title: TALK DERBY TO ME Author: R.H. Tucker Release Date: August 2020 Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads
Synopsis As the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, Evan Maldonado is right on track for college next year and pursuing his dream of being a journalist. To put the finishing touch on his college applications, he’s taking an intern position with a well-known newspaper where he’ll receive a letter of recommendation from the editor. There’s just one little problem. The business intern spot he was expecting to get is taken. The only other position they have available is covering the local roller derby league.
Mari Valdez isn’t worried about getting into college. All she’s concerned with is getting through the repulsive world of high school. Sure, she has her best friend, but she still has to put up with teasing because of her multi-colored hair or bruises. The bruises are from roller derby, by the way, the only thing that Mari looks forward to. It’s been her safe haven since her world imploded.
In order to get more information on the derby league, Evan follows Mari to her practices and games. To call their friendship rocky would be an understatement, but the more Evan and Mari are together, the more they seem to connect. When Mari’s personal life boils over, she finds herself confiding in Evan. And just when everything seems to be coming together for the two, a horrible mistake may separate them for good.
Talk Derby to Me is a stand-alone, YA romance novel.
Author R.H. Tucker
About The Author RH Tucker lives in Southern California and writes character-driven stories with people who have real heart. At least, he tries to. He also consumes too much caffeine, eats too much pizza, and firmly believes Rocky Road is the best flavor of ice cream.
Welcome to the book blitz for DUKE, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Enders, by Kiru Taye. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Duke’s life is about honour, loyalty and respect for the business. Nothing else.
One look at Carla across a crowded nightclub, and he breaks his own rules. One night with the seductive woman who calls to him like no other, and he wants to keep her.
His troubled angel is a mafia princess who lives dangerously on the edge. She plays a desperate prank and sparks a cartel war.
Duke is in a high-stakes battle to keep everything he loves. And he intends to win, come Hell or high water.
Excerpt “Do you come to Club Arufin often?” she asked, attempting to make conversation. The silence unnerved her.
“No,” he replied with a grunt.
Jide didn’t say a word or flick his gaze at her in the rear-view mirror.
Interesting. Her chauffeur wouldn’t be quiet. When she wasn’t on the phone, they would chat or listen to music on the stereo. She could pull her ear pods from her purse and listen. But she would rather talk to this sexy man.
“My friend and I go there almost every weekend,” she tried again, hoping he enjoyed listening to her voice as much as she wanted to hear his. “We’re local, so it’s our joint. But some other people travel a long way to visit Arufin. Even tourists from different countries, all to have the experience. What about you? Do you live in Lori Osa?”
Triple-D said nothing, his neutral expression unchanged.
Seriously, did this guy never lose his cool?
Carla couldn’t be this unruffled to save her life. But if the man wouldn’t budge, then she had to shut up and find another way to get comfortable. She shifted until their bodies touched and tugged her legs onto the leather seat.
As if he knew what she needed, he settled his arm around her shoulder.
She relaxed, warmth spreading through her body. There was something deeply satisfying and comforting about having his arms around her body, making her feel safe as if she could trust him. As if she could give more than her body to him.
The quiet reassurance seemed more potent than a thousand platitudes.
She drew in a deep breath and filled her nostrils with his warm, masculine scent. He hadn’t been in the club long enough for his fresh smell to be polluted, which reminded her that she’d bagged the best man available.
She snuggled deeper, wanting to burrow under his skin, to mark him, so her scent lingered on him and acted as a deterrent to others.
What was wrong with her? She’d met the man less than two hours ago, and she never got attached to hook-ups?
Because this was a hook-up, right? It couldn’t be anything more.
So why was she clinging onto his body and nuzzling him as if she was a cat, hoping he would take her home for keeps and make her purr with pleasure?
Seriously, what was this about?
Yet with all the berating, she couldn’t bring herself to untangle from him, couldn’t bring herself to pull away.
He was too damned secure and comfortable.
“You finally stopped talking,” Mr Triple-D’s seductively low voice drew her from her thoughts.
Tilting her head, she met his gaze. Breath caught in her throat, her stomach tightening.
Mr Dark Dangerous and Decadent was smiling—the kind that made his dark eyes sparkle and indented his cheeks with dimples that would charm old ladies.
Then there were those sensuous lips. Lips designed to claim and caress, to cajole and conquer, to whisper words of arousal or comfort.
She was a goner. Heart-racing, panty-melted goner.
Author Kiru Taye
About the Author Kiru wanted to read stories about Africans falling in love. When she couldn’t find those books, she decided to write the stories she wanted to read. Her stories are sensual, her characters are flawed and sometimes she adds a dash of exciting suspense.
She is the founder of Love Africa Press and co-founder of Romance Writers of West Africa.
When she’s not being a writer/publisher/boss-lady, she is also a wife/mother/sister/daughter/aunt/niece/friend somewhere in the south of England.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE PROPOSAL, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Cupcakes & Cocktails, by Maya Hughes. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE PROPOSAL (Cupcakes & Cocktails Series #1) by Maya Hughes
Synopsis When I envisioned Zara Logan dropping to her knees in front of me, this wasn’t what I had in mind…
I was expecting a lot less glaring and a lot more moaning.
Instead, she’s proposing an enticing deal that I can’t bear to walk away from.
To land one of the city’s biggest clients, she wants us to put our differences aside and play fake fiancés for the next thirty days.
So, I slip the diamond ring onto her finger and agree to play the perfect fiancé. How hard can this be?
A hell of a lot harder than I thought…
She’s infuriatingly stubborn and she thinks I’m a cocky jerk with an enormous ego. (She’s right, but I can definitely back it up…)
As our long days stretch into even later nights, it’s getting harder to remember we’re only playing pretend, which means one thing.
She won’t be faking it for long…
Excerpt #4 “You were flirting.”
“She was flirting with me. There’s a difference.” Wait a damned minute. Why was I feeling guilty? “And so what if I’m flirting? Even if we were engaged, engaged men can flirt.”
“You’re right. You can do whatever the hell you want.” Her next ax hit the target faster than before. “You can flirt with, kiss, bang whoever you want. This”—she gestured to the rock on her finger—“doesn’t actually mean anything outside of these events.” She waved her arms around at the catered set up.
And then it hit me like a 400lb offensive lineman. “You were jealous.”
Her throw went wild and she picked up another ax. “That’s insane. No, I wasn’t.”
“You were ear steamingly, can’t stop yourself, jealous of the woman I was flirting with at the coffee shop.”
She released a blisteringly hot glare, but it only heated up the fall weather even more, setting my skin ablaze.
“I thought she was flirting with you, not the other way around.” She cut her gaze to mine before gritting her teeth and flinging the ax.
I closed the space between us with a playfully predatory smile. The trap had been laid and neither one of us had been paying attention. We’d set it for ourselves and I was ready to spring it even if she wasn’t secure enough to dive in. I stepped in behind her again, this time no longer feeling like I had to hold back. I let the words skim along the curve of her neck. “Wow, Gingersnap, all you had to do was admit it.”
Author Maya Hughes
About the Author Maya Hughes, that’s me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe, traveling with my family and Jeff Goldblum.
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Synopsis In ShannonKlare’s fun and sexy YA novel LastChanceSummer, a teen is shipped off to work as a counselor at a summer camp―only to butt heads with her co-counselor.
Alex is a sheriff’s daughter with a less than pristine reputation. When she’s caught drinking at a party by her dad’s deputy, she’s in deep trouble. With an already incriminating incident in her past, Alex’s parents ship her off to her aunt’s summer camp to work as a counselor.
What’s worse than spending your summer deep in the mosquito-infested woods of Texas?
Being paired with an obnoxious co-counselor who wants nothing to do with you.
Alex is determined to make the best of her summer, even if it means putting up with Grant, who has secrets of his own that he’s determined to protect. Can Alex and Grant put their egos to the side and find the bright side of a summer that neither of them signed up for?
My Review Eighteen-year-old Alex has an attitude bigger than the sun and entitlement issues to give even the most spoiled child a run for their money. The daughter of the town sheriff, she seems to have spent her life breaking the rules for no other reason than she didn’t like them. The only child of two loving parents, she doesn’t really have much to rebel against, except she discovered being a rebel in her small Louisiana town made her more popular, so rebel she did. Until the fateful night in the autumn of her senior year when she, daughter of a law enforcement officer, got into a car with her best friend, who was drunk, and allowed said girl to drive. She’s forced to live with the tragedy of that night, still suffering PSTD as well as the loss of her BFF, though she doesn’t acknowledge her role in it to the extent I believe she should. After spending most of her senior year in rehab after the accident took a toll on both her body and spirit, she’ll be repeating her final year of high school. But first, she’s shipped off to be camp counselor at a summer camp for troubled youth. This should be the wakeup call she needs to see how good her life was until that night, but she wears a giant chip on her shoulder like a badge of honor.
She gets a crash course in what it’s like to deal with her when she comes face-to-face with five fourteen-year-old girls who give her a run for her money when it comes to attitude. But unlike Alex, their lives and attitudes are shaped by vastly different circumstances. These little rebels have a valid cause for their rebellion. As Alex learns how to wrangle them, she’s kept off her toes by her hot counterpart, Grant. He won’t take any of her crap, but he’s really good at dishing it out. A former camper himself, he has his own secrets and dark past. While the attraction between them is evident from the beginning, Grant isn’t like most guys Alex deals with; he doesn’t find her smart mouth or antics endearing. The more they spar, the more they learn about each other, and Alex finally comes to realize that everyone has issues and hers aren’t any more important than anyone else’s.
Plot The primary plot is Alex dealing with her issues and growing up, becoming less self-absorbed, but the romance between her and Grant is a strong subplot. The story moves at a steady pace, but where it really shines is the witty dialogue. From the playful banter between Alex and Grant and the snarky dialogue between Alex and her surly campers, the conversations make this otherwise run-of-the-mill summer romance really sparkle.
The Characters The characters are fascinating, if not all incredibly relatable or even likable. In fact, it took me a good 75% of the book to warm up to Alex. But no one is untouched by trauma of some sort that has shaped their complex natures. From the sassy campers to Grant and Alex, no one is unscathed by their pasts and they all harbor scars that manifest in different ways. But each one is resilient in their own way, and uncovering the secrets that shaped them is what makes this book work.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About LAST CHANCE SUMMER 1. Consequences. I may not like Alex for most of the book, but she’s never given a pass. The consequences for her behavior are harsh, deservedly so. The author doesn’t baby her, which is refreshing.
2. Grant. I love that he won’t take any of Alex’s bull. Sometimes I wonder why he’s attracted to her, but at no point does he allow her to get away with anything simply because he’s attracted to her. He has his own self-preservation motives for much of what he does.
3. Pranks. Summer camp pranks provided some much-needed lighter moments.
4. Redemption Arcs. I do love a good redemption arc and Alex has a great one.
5. Brie. She’s the most difficult of the campers, but her spirit and spunk were inspiring.
Bottom Line A fun young adult contemporary with stellar dialogue and fascinating characters.
About the Author ShannonKlare is a writer, teacher, reality TV fanatic, and movie connoisseur. When she isn’t writing or daydreaming new plots, Shannon can be found frequenting Starbucks or hanging out with her family. SURVIVING ADAM MEADE is her debut novel.
Welcome to the blog tour for DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH, a stand-alone adult contemporary dark romance, by New York Times bestselling author, Skye Warren. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis I’m on my way to meet my birth parents when it happens. A white van. A dark hood. Every woman’s worst nightmare. Now I’m trapped in an abandoned building. The man who took me says I won’t be hurt. The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie. I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls. I’ll need every single one of them to survive.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a new dark romance from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren. Finding yourself has never been so dangerous…
Guest Post Thank you so much for having me on Adventures in Writing!
I’m Skye Warren, the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. I’m excited to be here to talk about my new release…
My new book, DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH, is a dark and sexy and very dangerous romance.
I’ve always loved books that had a happy ending, but I didn’t know there was an entire genre devoted to them. I used to shop in the regular “Fiction & Literature” section and peek to the back of the book to make sure it wouldn’t end in tragic deaths before checking out. Once I found out the romance genre existed, happy ending guaranteed, I found home.
I love that romance novels are mostly written by women, for women. My background is in Computer Science, which is an extremely male dominated field. In fact I rarely had female colleagues. So it’s great to work in a community of women who support each other.
Of course, DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH isn’t a traditional romance novel. It’s a dangerous romance. That means it explores the darker side of fantasy in fiction.
Don’t only take my word for it…
“Diamond in the Rough is masterfully written, sinfully sexy, and utterly addictive! Skye Warren proves why she is the queen of dark and delicious romance.” – Giana Darling, USA Today bestselling author
“A novel full of intrigue, secrets, lies, and a love that won’t be denied, Diamond in the Rough is easily a top read of 2020.” – Celia Aaron, author of The Bad Guy
“Five glowing stars! Diamond in the Rough is the dark and dangerous world that I love from Skye Warren. You will be completely caught up in Elijah and Holly’s story from the first page to the last.” – New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig
This is the first book I’ve written where the heroine is also an author, so I was able to draw on some personal experiences since I’ve been writing full time for about 9 years now.
It may seem like computer programming and being a novelist are very different professions. In some ways they are. At their cores, though, in both of them I’m writing, creating something from nothing, and using my creativity to solve problems.
Now I’ve sold over 1.5 million books, and I’m so grateful to my readers.
Thank you for letting me drop by to talk about my path as an author, and my new release. Pick up DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH for a sexy thrill ride that will leave you breathless.
Author Skye Warren
About the Author Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her new book ESCORT is out now!
“ESCORT is perfection only Skye Warren can deliver—a poetically erotic tale of exquisitely damaged characters, devastating secrets, revenge and redemption.” – Samanthe Beck, USA Today bestselling author
“Hypnotically romantic…this book reads like a sensual dream and I didn’t want to wake up.” – Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author
Welcome to the book blitz for THE AFTERMATH OF DRIFTING AWAY, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Fate, by Audrey Beaudoin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE AFTERMATH OF DRIFTING AWAY (Fate Series #1) by Audrey Beaudoin
We survived days on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Right when all hope to get rescued crumbled, we shared a kiss that left me heartbroken―my first and last kiss.
Or so I thought. Because we didn’t die.
My plan is to never see Chris Ross again. To keep hanging out with his sister without crossing his path. Getting my life back together and working on my goals are the only things that matter. I have plans, and they don’t include love.
But then he shows up at my workplace, asking for my friendship. When I learn something that changes everything, I’m determined to stay away and not let myself fall for him.
Too bad he’s persistent. Too bad I can’t stop thinking about the damn kiss. Too bad it’s nice having him around and being his friend.
If things were to change, they could get really complicated…
The Aftermath of Drifting Away is a sweet contemporary forbidden romance. It is the first book in the Fate series that can be read as a stand-alone.
Excerpt #2 “Okay,” he says, pulling me back into the conversation. “But don’t forget that life’s short.”
I blink twice. “Why would you say that?”
Chris steps forward and leans toward my ear. I keep my eyes on the framed pictures on the wall. “I’m just saying. I’m done pretending and trying my goddamn best to keep a reasonable distance between us because we’re friends. I want to be both your friend and the person who gets to hold you and kiss you and grab your hand in public because I’m a hundred percent certain it’d feel right.”
I am going to have a heart attack.
“Just…don’t wait,” he concludes, leaning away with a sorrow expression that catches me off guard. “We almost died once, thinking we had our entire life ahead of us.”
I nod, a lump forming in my throat. He heads to the door and opens it. Before leaving, his eyes graze over my t-shirt with a glimpse of amusement. “I like it.”
I’m wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.
At least that makes the tension evaporates. I rub my eyes and shake my head. “You need to leave now. Goodnight.”
He laughs softly. “Goodnight.”
As soon as the door closes behind him, I fall on my couch and grip my head with both hands. What the hell just happened?
Author Audrey Beaudoin
About the Author Audrey Beaudoin is a YA and NA contemporary romance author. Being a French native speaker didn’t stop her from writing her first English story in 2017. She loves writing sweet romance novels, sometimes with a touch of suspense and action.
She’ll read anything from young adult to new adult. Contemporary romance, romantic suspense, sci-fi, and thriller books are her favorites!
THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER by Samantha Hastings
Synopsis Identical twin sisters take turns swapping places over the course of a summer in order to pursue their secret ambitions in Samantha Hastings’ Victorian YA romance.
1851. Bounced from one begrudging relative to another their whole lives, orphaned identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter have always relied on each other for love and support, even though the sisters couldn’t be more different.
Brash Sophie wants to be an inventor, and demure Mariah wants to be an artist. Both long to visit London for the summer—Sophie to see the Queen’s Great Exhibition and Mariah to study the world’s finest collection of paintings. But when their cantankerous aunt answers their letter pleading for a place to stay, she insists she only has time and room to spare for one of them.
So, Mariah and Sophie hatch a clever scheme: They will travel to London together and take turns playing the part of “Sophie”.
At first the plan runs like clockwork. But as the girls avoid getting caught by increasingly narrow margins and two handsome gentlemen—both of whom think they’re falling in love with the real Sophie Carter—enter the equation, the sisters find they don’t have the situation quite as under control as they thought.
With all sorts of delightful Parent Trap-style identical twin hijinks, The Invention of Sophie Carter is the perfect light-and-sweet palate cleanser.
My Review Set against the backdrop of the London Exhibition in 1851, THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER is the story of two identical twins sharing a single identity in London society. Sophie seeks an apprenticeship, something unheard of for women at the time, and her twin, Mariah, seeks a husband. With only one of them interested in romance, what could possibly go wrong? Enter Ethan, the wealthy son of factory owners who captures Sophie’s heart. But since things aren’t going to go smoothly, Mariah’s heart belongs to her aunt’s ward, Charles, though her aunt has warned her to not engage his interests. As the two pursue their individual goals, entanglements get messy until things come to an inevitable head. This lighthearted historical romance is full of humor, heart, and cutting edge technology, Victorian style.
Plot The plot is forked with each sister having her own goal and her own arc. We get dual third-person point of view getting deep into both Mariah’s and Sophie’s heads. As each sister chases her own goal, the are also deeply affected by the events that impact the other. Though they are unique individuals, they are tied together by more than just blood and identical DNA, since they are pretending to be the same person. This is my second novel by Samantha Hastings and she is excellent at plotting and brings her historical world to life both accurately and in a way that makes even nearly 200 years ago feel fresh and familiar.
The Characters All of the characters are amazing. From the selfish, vile adults who treated the girls so poorly as children, to the rich cast in London, from the super wealthy to the average citizens, fro, eccentric artists to snooty aunts. The story is inhabited by amazing, three-dimensional personalities that made this an easy, engaging read.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER 1. Mariah. She’s the softer of the two sisters and loves art. She’s a talented self-trained artist with dreams of her own beyond just finding a husband.
2. Sophie. She’s tenacious, driven, and stubborn to the core. She is me if I would have been born in Victorian times.
3. Charles. He’s hot and cold, but there is so much more underlying his aloof facade.
4. Ethan. It’s evident from the beginning that he is the perfect match for Sophie. I love that he never gives up.
5. Victorian London. The setting is as much a character in this story as its human counterparts.
Bottom Line A wonderful historic romance with breathtaking characters against a colorful backdrop.
About the Author Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. She is the author of THE LAST WORD, THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER, and A ROYAL CHRISTMAS QUANDARY.
Author Robin Huber is revealing the cover to INTO THE BLUE, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense, releasing August 18, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
When Makayla Evans discovers that her employer — a pharmaceutical trailblazer — is dabbling in Dark Pharma, she barely has time to process the information before her conventional life is ripped away. In one breath she’s standing in her New York office; in the next, she’s waking up in the middle of a Central American desert. With no way to escape or call for help, she realizes a terrifying truth. She has vanished… without a trace.
For former Marine Kellan James, working private security on Costa Rica’s La Isla Azul — The Blue Island — is a dream job. But his peace is disrupted when an old friend calls with a nearly impossible task: track down a woman kidnapped by a dangerous drug cartel. When Kellan finally finds Makayla, she’s in bad shape, but she’s alive. Now he just has to keep her that way…
Finding refuge on a remote island with a kind, handsome Marine is not how Makayla expected her nightmare to end. As the days turn to months, Makayla and Kellan develop an unbreakable bond, falling in love with the island, and with each other. But they can’t hide forever. Because even in paradise, danger lurks…
Author Robin Huber
About the Author Robin has been dreaming up book boyfriends since before she ever had one. A career, a husband and three kids later, she’s still hopelessly addicted to love stories that make her swoon. Robin is an extroverted introvert with an unhealthy dependency on her horoscope and a knack for plotting emotionally charged romance novels on her way to work, where she spends her days as a hospital director. She loves the ocean, thunderstorms, coffee, wine and Tim Riggins. She hates turtlenecks, chunky jewelry, kitchen gadgets and high heels, though she begrudgingly wears them often. She also has an aversion to extreme cold, which is why after a four year stint in the Northeast, she returned home to Florida where she’s living happily ever after.