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Book Review + Giveaway – TELL ME S’MORE (The Campfire Series) by Beth Merlin

 

Welcome to the blog tour for TELL ME S'MORE, the fourth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Campfire, by Beth Merlin.

Welcome to the blog tour for TELL ME S’MORE, the fourth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Campfire, by Beth Merlin. See below for information on the book, buy links, my five-star review, and details on her giveaway.

TELL ME S’MORE, the fourth book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Campfire, by Beth Merlin

TELL ME S’MORE (Campfire Series #4) by Beth Merlin

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
“A beautifully written contemporary romance, with plenty of enjoyable comedy, it challenges us to evaluate our lives and make big decisions on who we want to be and not necessarily what everyone expects us to be.” – Adventures in Lit about The Campfire Series

Camp Chinooka was supposed to be a place of inspiration, the place where Perry Gilman would finally compose his symphonic masterpiece. But four years later, Perry Gillman isn’t any closer to his dream of becoming a world renowned musician. Instead, he fell love in with Gigi Goldstein and he thought that love would be enough. Now, struggling to find the right subject for a new musical while hustling as a piano player at a local jazz bar, he can’t help but measure his own shortcomings to his famous father’s monstrous success. So, when he stumbles onto the idea to write a musical about the life and times of Elizabeth I, everything finally changes. The musical is an international sensation and suddenly, Perry is on the fast track to super stardom.

However, fame and success come at a price. When his relationship with Gigi is thrown into a tailspin, he must decide whether to follow his dream for which he fought for so long or sacrifice it all for true love.

Told from Perry’s perspective, Tell Me S’more shows that there are two sides to every story and a cost to every choice.

 

 

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My Review
While billed as book four in the series, I’d recommend reading it after book two and before book three. It fills in nearly all of the gaps between books one and two, but I’d read it after the second one so it doesn’t spoil any of the best surprises. After Camp Chinooka, Perry and Gigi are making a go of it in New York. Perry plays piano in a nearby jazz club at night while Gigi and Jamie work on getting G. Malone off the ground. But Perry is hitting one creative roadblock after another, and after he suffers a particularly rough setback, he takes stock of the project he’s been working on for the past four years, Frostbite, a retelling of Shakespeare’s, The Winter’s Tale.

When tragedy strikes at home, Perry rethinks everything in his life, and begins to formulate an idea for a musical based on Elizabeth I. In the vein of Hamilton, the work unfolds with the level of detail Merlin is famous for, and I’d go see this right now if it was a real musical. However, as Perry’s successes pile up, his relationship with Gigi begins to crumble, and he will be forced to choose between his two greatest loves.

Plot
I ultimately knew what was going to happen going into it, because it’s essentially the same thing from Perry’s point of view, but since most of it happens between the end of book one and the beginning of book two, it does fill in some gaps. It ends at the conclusion of book two, and nicely sets up the third book. It’s well-told, as all Merlin’s books are, but doesn’t move quite as fast as book two. Still, it’s an engaging read and Perry’s character is so fully developed, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The descriptions of his process for creating Elizabeth was riveting, and his heartache is palpable, endearing him to me forever. I know I was on the fence about Perry vs. Gideon after book two, but now I’m solidly in Perry’s court.

Characters
It’s the same cast I’ve already grown to know and love, but from a different perspective, plus a few new characters thrown in the mix. They’re all very well crafted and believably unique.

What I Loved About TELL ME S’MORE
1. Elizabeth I.
I loved seeing the process for this musical coming to life. I’d buy tickets to go see it tomorrow if it was a real thing!

2. Perry. He has redeemed himself and I’m now rooting for him.

3. Music. I’ve always been in awe of the way musicians write music, and feel like I have a better understanding of the process now.

4. Annabelle. I liked her in book two and love her even more in this one. She and Gideon both got raw deals, but I’m pulling for them both to get their own HEAs.

5. Ending. Gut-wrenching and fitting for this story. Loved it, even though it made me cry.

Bottom Line
Can be read as a standalone, but packs SO much more emotional punch if read after book two.

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

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About the Book
Title: TELL ME S’MORE
Series: The Campfire Series #4
Authors: Beth Merlin
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Release Date: April 27, 2027
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

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Author Beth Merlin

Author Beth Merlin

About the Author
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Where to find Beth Merlin
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – FOR YOUR BITE ONLY (Muse Chronicles) by Zoe Forward

 

Welcome to the blog tour for FOR YOUR BITE ONLY, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Muse Chronicles, by Zoe Forward

Welcome to the blog tour for FOR YOUR BITE ONLY, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Muse Chronicles, by Zoe Forward. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

FOR YOUR BITE ONLY, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Muse Chronicles, by Zoe Forward

FOR YOUR BITE ONLY (Muse Chronicles #1) by Zoe Forward

About the Book
Title: FOR YOUR BITE ONLY
Series: The Muse Chronicles #1
Author: Zoe Forward
Release Date: July 5, 2021
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
The best word for Jasmine Renard’s past year is a four-letter word. After years of concerts and increasing recognition, a rogue group of vampire hunters forced her into hiding. When the offer of a lifetime to perform again comes from the arrogant vampire she’s dreamed of shoving off a cliff, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including, Luca Martens.

Luca has waited long enough to be onstage with Jasmine again. Their electrifying musical chemistry damn near blew his mind the last time they performed. To the point he mishandled what happened backstage after their last concert. He’d do anything to feel the spark again while playing, the one only she can ignite. But she hates him.

*Enemies to lovers vampire romance*

 

 

 

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Teaser from FOR YOUR BITE ONLY, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Muse Chronicles, by Zoe Forward

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Excerpt #1
On her knees, she raked sheet music back into the binder.

“Jasmine? That you down there? You okay?” He knelt and collected a few stray pages.

Her gut tightened as air caught in her lungs.

Distressed jeans, black T-shirt, large silver ring, tattooed forearms, bleached locks, and blazing confidence. And his Romani accent, a carryover from his family’s Eastern European lineage. Yep, the headliner, himself.

Luca.

Her mind slide-showed recent photos of Luca shirtless with low hanging jeans, which had been featured in a popular music magazine. She might’ve purchased it just to read his interview, not that she’d admit that to him even if tortured. The photos showed off his hard work ethic. Vampire or no, even they had to work out to get abs like that. She’d wondered if the muscles were photoshopped, but his T-shirt tonight didn’t hide much. Those abs were real.

She took the music from him and muttered, “Thanks. Should’ve been looking where I was going.”

He towered over her by almost a foot when they both stood. The potent smell of him powered straight up her nose. Oh my. He smelled of something clean and fresh, and his blood. Oh, God, his blood. An almost dizzy compulsion to taste him flashed in her brain. This wasn’t new when near him. Her infatuation with his blood meant nothing—or so she told herself. It was biology. Her body recognized it’d taste good. But she wouldn’t question why she was driven to a taste Luca and not his brother, who she’d almost been forced to mate.

Eyes off his neck. Not desperate. Not doing blood hunger insanity, especially not with him. He hated her, a feeling that kicked off after the last time they performed, the one and only time three years ago. Back when he’d been on the cusp of stardom.

As much as the intensity between them on stage during their one concert had been inspiring, the kiss afterward in his dressing room never should’ve happened. Some say a girl’s first real kiss should be something special and romantic. Hers had been seduced out of her by Luca’s extraordinary talent. Even though she hadn’t been an innocent kid back then, vampires would argue thirty-five qualified her as a juvenile. Afterward, he’d pushed away from her with a disgusted curse and hadn’t spoken much to her again, not even eighteen months later throughout the fiasco of her parent-arranged forced engagement to his brother, Marcel, and their socially unacceptable breakup. The kiss had happened long before and had nothing to do with her and Marcel not going through with vows.

She needed to perform tonight with Luca, to be seen on stage with him, in order to redeem her family’s honor in vampire society. To show he, a member of the revered Martens bloodline, accepted her.

The left side of his lips twitched into a smirk. His eyelids drooped as he glanced down at her dark gown. Judgy. Do not fuss with the dress. It was professional, long, black, and perfect for a piano performance.

She swallowed the “What?” she wanted to snarl. She could handle this. She wouldn’t be a bitch even though everything about him put her on edge.

Rolling back her shoulders, which she hadn’t realized were so tight, she glared at him. “The two of us playing together is an awful idea.” Even if it might help my career.

He frowned. “Were the pieces too difficult to learn on short notice? Tell me now, and I’ll make sure the conductor knows you’re not going on.”

She recoiled as if he’d slapped her in face. Too difficult? “Of course, I learned them. They’re easy. I’m talking about you and me. Together. On a stage.” She waited, but he didn’t reply. “Remember what happened last time?”

“I thought we ended pretty well.” He turned to head toward the room marked with his name.

He. Did. Not.

Pretty well? What the ever-loving hell? He couldn’t be implying the kiss. Not by the way he’d rejected her afterward. The asshole wasn’t getting the last word on this.

She called out, “Luca.”

He paused with a hand on the doorknob and did a half-turn to face her, wariness in his eyes.

She stalked up to him and leaned in close. She reached between them to pull the zipper up on his open fly.

His cheeks flushed.

It took everything in her not to burst into laughter. Not so Mr. Last-word now, are you?

His mouth opened and closed. His cheeks had turned a darker shade of red before he mumbled a barely audible, “Thanks.”

He turned and disappeared into his room.

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Teaser from FOR YOUR BITE ONLY, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Muse Chronicles, by Zoe Forward

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Romance Author Zoe Forward

Author Zoe Forward

About the Author
Zoe Forward might admit to you she’s almost prepared for the zombie apocalypse before the fact she writes contemporary and paranormal romances. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Prism, Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award. She’s best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud Keepers of the Veil series, which has won numerous awards. She’s a board-certified veterinarian. You can find her residing in the South with the love of her life, a menagerie of four-legged beasts and two wild kids.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Zoe Forward
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Review – S’MORE TO LOSE (The Campfire Series) by Beth Merlin

 

S’MORE TO LOSE (The Campfire Series #2) by Beth Merlin

S’MORE TO LOSE (The Campfire Series #2) by Beth Merlin

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Four years after her life-changing summer at Camp Chinooka, Gigi Goldstein has a second chance at her dream career. As her design house takes the fashion world by storm, it attracts the notice of Victoria Ellicott, the fashionable British socialite who just happens to be engaged to the future king of England. When Gigi is chosen to design the royal wedding dress, she’s forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End of London.

When Gigi learns Perry’s been dating Victoria’s sister—who rivals her in looks, style and sophistication—Gigi can’t help but feel inadequate. Her world crumbles as she develops a creative block so debilitating she fears a wedding dress of royal proportions is never going to happen. Not even her budding relationship with the handsome and wealthy Viscount of Satterley can make her forget Perry. While the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and the failures of her past.

Can Gigi overcome her creative paralysis and design the dress of Victoria’s dreams? Or will everything slip through her fingers now that she has even s’more to lose?

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
This was a case where the second book in the series was better than the first. The title, S’MORE TO LOSE, is the perfect way to describe how the stakes are higher this time around for Gigi and Perry. Set four years after ONE S’MORE SUMMER, book two finds Gigi and Perry established in their respective careers, but apart. It takes at least half the book for the reader to fully understand what happened between them that set their relationship into a death spiral even as Perry’s musical about Elizabeth I takes the world by storm at the same time that Gigi and Jamie’s new label, G. Malone, is getting the kind of recognition they both dreamed of.

With G. Malone in the running to design the wedding gown for the bride of the next king of England, the spotlight couldn’t be brighter. But when she runs into Perry in London, old feelings and insecurities coming racing back, leaving her no choice but to return to Camp Chinooka to get her groove back. Gigi grows as an individual and as designer in the one place that never ceases to inspire her creativity. But nothing is ever that easy, and Perry’s new love interest could ruin everything for Gigi and Jamie, just as Gigi is finally moving on with Gideon, the charming Viscount of Slatterley.

Plot
I felt like this story moved faster due to the backstory being told in book 1. There were a lot of unexpected twists and turns that made this one much more fun for me to read. I was heartbroken at first to find that Gigi and Perry had broken up, but Gideon grew on me from nearly the beginning. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding a royal wedding, and I felt much more drawn into the world of fashion this time around. I could almost see the pieces in my head, the author’s descriptions were so vivid.

Characters
I loved seeing Gigi’s growth in this book and not repeating the mistakes of her past. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t make new mistakes, because she does, and they come back to bite her in the arse big time. New characters, like the bride-to-be, Victoria, and her sister, Annabelle, and Gideon are welcome additions to the cast.

What I Loved About S’MORE TO LOSE
1. Fashion Design.
While I love looking at beautiful clothes, the whole couture thing has never been something I was interested in. Until now. I loved all the description of the gowns, the clothes, the fabrics, the details.

2. Character Development. Seeing how Gigi has grown since the first book was one of my favorite parts about the sequel. Something many books in a series fall flat on.

3. London. I’ve only been to London once, but I felt as if I was back there again through the author’s descriptions.

4. Camp Chinooka. A nice way to circle back to the s’more theme of the series.

5. Ending. Another perfect happy-for-now ending with the promise of more to come in book three.

Bottom Line
A fun, flirty, heartwarming romance with all the elements of a page-turner.

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

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About the Book
Title: S’MORE TO LOSE
Series: The Campfire Series #2
Authors: Beth Merlin
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

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Author Beth Merlin

Author Beth Merlin

About the Author
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Where to find Beth Merlin
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter

Book Review – ONE S’MORE SUMMER (The Campfire Series) by Beth Merlin

 

ONE S'MORE SUMMER (The Campfire Series #1) by Beth Merlin

ONE S’MORE SUMMER (The Campfire Series #1) by Beth Merlin

4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
If you love Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin, you’ll love this heartwarming debut from a fresh voice in contemporary chick-lit that offers a lighthearted and fun take on friendship, love, and how to recover from past mistakes.

For twenty long years, Gigi Goldstein has been pining away for her best friend’s guy. She knows it’s wrong and it has to stop, but she hasn’t been able to let go ever since they all met on the bus to summer camp back when they were 7 years old. The same week that her best friends finally announce their wedding date, Gigi loses her high-profile design job. With all of her dreams unravelling, she runs to the last place she remembers being happy.

Taking the Head Counselor position at Camp Chinooka, Gigi hopes to reclaim the joy she felt as a camper, but the job isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every scrap of the campground is laced with memories.

When Gigi finally realizes she can’t escape the present by returning to her past, she’s forced to reexamine her life and find the true meaning of love. But will she be able to mend fences and forgive herself before she loses her one real shot at happiness?

 

 

 

 

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My Review
This was such a blast to read. So much of it was reminiscent of camping as a child, but with adult problems thrown in the mix. Georgica Goldstein (aka Gigi) is a twenty-something fashion designer who was runner up in a reality TV show that launched her career. Now in the midst of a savage creative design block, she is fired from her job and has lost the only man she’s ever loved. Escaping to her childhood sleep-away camp, Camp Chinooka, as senior counselor, she hopes to find some inspiration while mending her broken heart. What she doesn’t count on is meeting fellow counselor, Perry, with his good looks, swoony British accent, and his own secrets and reasons to escape. They begin summer as adversaries, but anything is possible when sultry nights and s’mores by the campfire are involved.

Plot
The plot moves well, taking us from the present back to what drove Gigi to escape to Camp Chinooka in the first place. Much of the relationship stuff with Perry early on is the typical inaccurate assumptions that are common in the trope, but I love that the story breaks from the expected in the middle and forged its own path to the ending. Though this is the first book in a series, it ends with an HFN and a lot of reader satisfaction.

Characters
I loved the characters. Gigi is seriously flawed, but not in a way that makes her unlikeable. Just the opposite. I found her completely relatable as someone who has made my own share of poor relationship choices in the past . Perry is also less than perfect, but also completely redeemable. The young campers, the other counselors, and even the camp’s owner, Gordy, all add charm and conflict to the story.

What I Loved About ONE S’MORE SUMMER
1. Sleep-Away Camp.
Visiting summer camp again through the eyes of an adult who had been there as a child was a real treat, and brought so many memories flooding back.

2. Gigi. She is so easy to relate to as the once chubby girl, now fashion designer, who suffers from a deep bout of imposter syndrome.

3. Perry Gillman. What’s not to love about the swoon-worthy Brit who plays the violin like a god?

4. Campers. The drama surrounding teen girls at summer camp was all too familiar and absolutely fun to read.

5. Ending. A perfect happy-for-now ending.

Bottom Line
A light-hearted summer romance that has “beach read” stamped all over it.

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

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About the Book
Title: ONE S’MORE SUMMER
Series: The Campfire Series #1
Authors: Beth Merlin
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Author Beth Merlin

Author Beth Merlin

About the Author
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Where to find Beth Merlin
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter

Cover Reveal – ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

 

Author J.A. Howard is revealing the cover to ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 19, 2021

Author J.A. Howard is revealing the cover to ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 19, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

About the Book
Title:
ROB STARR
Author:
J.A. Howard
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Sign Up for Release Updates

Synopsis
How far would you go to get the guy everyone wants?

Rob Starr (sigh) was out of Mia Morgan’s league. Of course, she had a crush on him. Everyone did. But in her case, it would just be way too weird to admit that. For starters, their moms were best friends and Mia had known Rob since she was five. But while Mia was now a demi-geek with relentlessly frizzy hair, Rob had become a demi-god and Ellsworth High’s basketball superstar. Besides, he’d been going out with the totally perfect Chloe Olsen since, like, forever.

But one October afternoon, a terrible accident changes everything. Suddenly, Mia and Rob are living in the same house and spending a lot of time alone together.

Soon, Mia’s world was different in ways she never thought possible: new clothes, new friends, and an incredibly hot boyfriend. But was any of it real? Would any of it last? And did getting everything she thought she ever wanted mean giving up who she really was?

 

 

 

 

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ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard is Coming August 19

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Author J.A. Howard

Author J.A. Howard

About the Author
J. A. Howard is an author, business executive, and podcaster in New York. As the mother of two daughters, Howard is focused on the healthy development and empowerment of women in all of her work. The Third Coin, her first novel, aims to encourage sisterhood, compassion, and leadership among middle-grade girls.

Howard is also a podcaster. Her podcast, Sisters Cracking Up, (sisterscrackingup.com) which she does with her real-life sister, psychotherapist Abby Rodman, is focused on women in midlife; what’s “cracking them” and what’s cracking them up. On it, they talk openly and honestly about social and psychological topics that really matter like relationships, careers, aging beauty, stress, sex, health, and mental health.

As well as being a writer and podcaster, Howard is a beauty executive and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working in Marketing, Innovation, and Strategy for some of the world’s most loved and respected brands including Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bath and Body Works, MAC and more.

Where to find J.A. Howard
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HATE NOTES (Lakeview Prep Series) by Gracie Graham

 

Welcome to the book blitz for HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

Welcome to the book blitz for HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham. See below for information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

HATE NOTES (Lakeview Prep Series #1) by Gracie Graham

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: HATE NOTES
Series: Lakeview Prep Series #1
Author: Gracie Graham
Release Date: June 30, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Topher Elliot is high school royalty.

The king of Lakeview prep.

You know the type. Disgustingly rich. Blond-haired. Eyes the color of a clear, blue sky. And muscles for days.

He also happens to be enemy #1, the bane of my existence.

Only, now my scholarship is in jeopardy and, like the peasant I am, I must tutor the king himself if I want to graduate.

Still, if I have to be around him, I might as well make it worth my while. So I send him a scathing text, telling him exactly what I think about him. But he mistakes me for someone else. That’s when I hatch a plan: get dirt on the king, and watch his reign crumble.

It’s about time someone made the king come tumbling down.

 

 

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Teaser from HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

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Excerpt #2
I glanced toward the door and broke out into a cold sweat. None other than Topher Elliot, complete with his posse in tow, tumbled into the classroom.

I nearly choked on their superiority. Or maybe it was the overwhelming stench of their overpriced cologne burning my sinuses. Who knew?

They drifted to the back of the room with their lazy smiles, easy laughter, and cocky swagger—typical Royal demeanor.

I bit the inside of my cheek and shifted my focus from them, back to the front of the classroom, wondering why the water polo team was nothing more than a bunch of egotistical meatheads and how Topher got to be King. I mean, sure, he was beautiful. If you liked pretty boys with skin the color of golden toffee and hair bleached from long days spent in the sun. Forget the eyes so blue they were nearly violet because when it came to what was inside that grudgingly-gorgeous head, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was dumb as a box of rocks. He probably copied all his homework or forced some nerd to do it for him and cheated on all of his tests. After all, he and his crew only seemed to care about a few things: girls, sports, and proving to the rest of us peasants how amazing they were.

I listened to the ruckus while they settled in behind me as Ms. Stone walked in. She was in her twenties with curly dark hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and a pleasant smile. Plump lips painted a deep red sat below high cheekbones. Her pencil skirt skimmed the bottom of her knees and her kitten heels clacked when she walked.

By all standards, she had an amazing body hidden beneath her conservative clothing. She reminded me of Julia Roberts circa My Best Friend’s Wedding. She was the token “hot teacher” and decades younger than half the teachers at Lakeview. So when his majesty made a snarky remark about needing special tutoring this semester, among the catcalls of his friends, my blood boiled at the misogyny.

Ah, yes, just what every beautiful, educated twenty-something woman wants—an entitled pubescent boy still living with Mommy and Daddy hitting on her.

The girl sitting next to me choked out a laugh and offered me a fist bump, which I returned, slightly confused, arm limp as a noodle.

“Roasted.” The girl snickered.

My brows knitted together as I glanced around me to find several amused expressions and dawning sank in my chest like a rock.

I said that out loud.

Kill me now.

The mutinous glare from JT—one of Topher’s friends—burned a hole in the side of my head, confirming this theory. Nothing like putting a target on my back on the first day.

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Teaser from HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

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Author Gracie Graham

Author Gracie Graham

About the Author
Gracie Graham writes contemporary young adult novels and is the pen name for adult author Tia Souders.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Gracie Graham
Goodreads | Newsletter | FacebookInstagram | Amazon

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Giveaway
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