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Book Review: Roommaid: A Novel, by Sariah Wilson

Roommaid: A Novel,

by Sariah Wilson

Publication: Montlake; October 1, 2020

RoomaidAbout the book:

Madison Huntington is determined to live her dreams. That means getting out from under her family’s wealth and influence by saying no to the family business, her allowance, and her home. But on a teacher’s salary, the real world comes as a rude awakening—especially when she wakes up every morning on a colleague’s couch. To get a place of her own (without cockroaches, mold, or crime scene tape), Madison accepts a position as a roommaid. In exchange for free room and board, all she needs to do is keep her busy roommate’s penthouse clean and his dog company. So what if she’s never washed a dish in her life. She can figure this out, right?

Madison is pretty confident she can fake it well enough that Tyler Roth will never know the difference. The finance whiz is rich and privileged and navigates the same social circles as her parents—but to him she’s just a teacher in need of an apartment. He’s everything Madison has run from, but his kindhearted nature, stomach-fluttering smile, and unexpected insecurities only make her want to get closer. And Tyler is warming to the move.

Rewarding job. Perfect guy. Great future. With everything so right, what could go wrong? Madison is about to find out.

*My Review*

As I was browsing through my September options with the Amazon First Reads program, I came across Roommaid by Sariah Wilson and thought this looked like a fun, light-hearted romantic comedy. It was all that and more. This is about a young woman Madison who has been cut-off from her super wealthy family because she chose to become a teacher instead of following in her family’s footsteps. Madison wants her own life, wants to choose her own job, and most importantly – wants to choose her own husband. But when reality comes crashing down regarding the cost of apartments in Houston, Madison jumps at the opportunity to move in with Tyler and share his luxurious apartment. The only catch? In exchange for free rent, she has to do the cleaning and help take care of his dog – neither of which she has any clue about. 

I’ll admit that I worried about how I would feel about Madison in the beginning. I was envisioning this whole “poor little rich girl theme,” but it was not like that at all. Yes, Madison makes some ridiculous mistakes and does even more ridiculous things to correct them, but I found her to be hilarious, grounded, and surprisingly humble giving her upbringing. Tyler was absolute perfection from beginning to end. There was absolutely nothing unlovable about his character. Good-looking, charming, smart, funny, incredibly caring – yes ladies, he will make you swoon. 

My favorite part of this novel was Madison’s will for independence and living her own life. Anyone that has ever broken free from unhealthy family ties will certainly appreciate this novel. Years ago, I was in a similar situation regarding Madison and her mother. Did I initially miss the extreme shopping trips and extravagant lifestyle? Sure I did. Has my life  been better since the day I walked away? So much better there are no words! Besides being romantic, sexy, and hilarious, the most special theme of this novel is that you can go after the life you choose. Everyone’s lives contain challenges, but that’s all part of the fun and makes the successes so much sweeter!

I highly recommend Roommaid and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

*Thank you to Amazon First Reads for allowing me this early preview. 

Uncategorized

Release Blitz: Miss the Shot (Road Trip Romance Book 7), by A.K. Evans




Title: Miss the Shot
Series: Road Trip Romance #7
Author: A.K. Evans
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: September 1, 2020



Blurb

Adele Copeland is a busy woman. Her dedication to teaching and volunteer work have left her single without much time to mingle. Thanks to her best friend, Adele is now an unwitting participant in a stranger photoshoot.

Riggs Donovan likes a challenge. So, when his brothers signed him up for a romantic photo session with a stranger, he didn’t flinch. But Riggs never expected to walk off his family’s Pennsylvania farm and into a dream.

From the very first click, sparks fly and responsibilities fade away. But when the shoot is finished, they return to their busy lives.

Then the photos are published. Seeing them, Adele still feels the burn of that staged kiss on her lips. And Riggs realizes it might have started as a silly dare, but he’d be a fool to miss the shot with a woman like Adele.







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Author Bio


A.K. Evans is a married mother of two boys residing in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Lafayette College in 2004 with two degrees (one in English and one in Economics & Business). Following a brief stint in the insurance and financial services industry, Evans realized the career was not for her and went on to manage her husband’s performance automotive business. She even drove the shop’s race cars! Looking for more personal fulfillment after eleven years in the automotive industry, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.

While Andrea continues to help administratively with her husband’s businesses, she spends most of her time writing and homeschooling her two boys. When she finds scraps of spare time, Evans enjoys reading, doing yoga, watching NY Rangers hockey, dancing, and vacationing with her family. Andrea, her husband, and her children are currently working on taking road trips to visit all 50 states (though, Alaska and Hawaii might require flights).


Author Links




Book Reviews, Release Blitz

Release Blitz and Review: My Salvation (Elite Securities Book 2), by Jennifer Hanks

Title: My Salvation
Series: Elite Securities #2
Author: Jennifer Hanks
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 27, 2020
Blurb
Nick Collins doesn’t believe he deserves salvation.
He’s spent years in the FBI chasing a man under the pretense of doing what’s right when all along, revenge has been his one true motive.   After his life takes an unexpected turn, he vows to finish his mission and finally find the happiness he’s been denying himself for years.
That happiness lives less than a minute away.
And her name is Madeline Hughes.
Maddie has the ability to bring him back from the edge of the cliff he’s been balancing
on.  As his only weakness over the years, she became the one person with the power to keep the good inside of him from succumbing to the darkness. 
And together they share a secret.
A secret that drives him with an intensity unlike anything he’s ever experienced and
promises a future he never thought he could have, but first he has to prove
he’s worthy.
It’s the biggest mission of his life.
But one he refuses to lose.
The town of New Hope should brace.
Because Nick Collins is finally coming home.

*My Review*

Welcome to my stop on the release blitz for the latest in Jennifer Hanks’ Elite Securities series, My Salvation. Nick is an FBI agent that is trying to wrap up one of the most difficult undercover operations of his career, all while thinking of the woman he left behind. Maddie is a coffee shop owner and single mom that has given up on Nick ever coming home, but still holds him close to her heart. When they come face to face again, Nick quickly realizes that it will take a miracle to win her back, but now that his career with the FBI is over, earning her forgiveness is the only thing that matters to him.

I am so in love with this series already! Jennifer Hanks easily crept her way into my heart and soul with her DiMarco series, so when I found out about it’s spin-off, Elite Securities, I knew that I would love it, and I was right. If you have read any of her previous books then you are already familiar with Nick and Maddie, although I felt like I knew much more about Nick than Maddie. Prepare to adore these characters! Their chemistry is off the charts, Maddie is just a cool chick – plain and simple – dealing with life with a smile on her face, and Nick is full of charisma despite his demons that he has been battling for years. 

Without giving spoilers, I will say I struggled with Nick’s reasoning for several decisions he made in regards to Maddie, but it didn’t impact how much I loved this book. There’s romance, sexy scenes, suspense, action, and everything in between. Jennifer Hanks is without a doubt one of my favorite writers and she continues to blow my mind with her fast-moving plots and her amazing ability to create the most relatable characters on earth. Every time that I read one of her novels, I realize that I want to live in their town and know all of of these people! If only they were real… I highly recommend My Salvation. Even if you haven’t read the DiMarco series, you can still enjoy this one. But if you do go back and start with the DiMarcos, you certainly will not regret it!

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Author Bio
Jennifer Hanks is the author of The Dimarco Series as well as The Elite Securities Series. Her stories are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, all with the underlying message of the power and strength in love. She’s also a sucker for a Happily-Ever-After.
Her love of reading and books in general started at a very young age and has
steadily grown into a love of writing as well. She admits to being addicted to
all things romance and has no plans of quitting her habit. Jennifer lives in
Pennsylvania with her two children. When she’s not reading or writing, she can
be found with her kids at their various activities. Her house is frequently
filled with any combination of her children’s friends, nieces, nephews and a
variety of pets.
Author Links

Uncategorized

Release Blitz & Review: Troublemaker, by Kayley Loring

 

Title: Troublemaker
Author: Kayley Loring
Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 13, 2020

 

Blurb
TO: Alex Vega
FROM: Emilia Stiles
SUBJECT: Hello
Dear Mr. Vega,
I felt it necessary to follow up on today’s meeting since we weren’t
able to speak candidly in front of your son.
I was shocked to discover that you are Ryder’s dad. Given that
your ex-wife will be out of the country for a while and you are currently his
primary caregiver, I’m sure you understand why we need to establish boundaries
and etiquette. I think it would be best if we just pretend that we met in
person for the first time today.
Your son is a very bright (flirtatious and talkative) student and since
his education is a top priority for both of us, I hope I can count on you to
respectfully refrain from grinning at me, using that sexy tone of voice, and
undressing me with your annoyingly beautiful brown eyes if we should happen to
interact with each other again in the future.
Thanks so much,
Miss Stiles
TO: Emilia Stiles
FROM: Alex Vega
SUBJECT: Re: Well, hello again…
Dear Miss Stiles,
Great to hear from you. My son’s education is indeed a top priority. As
such, I respectfully agree to refrain from doing all of the aforementioned
things.
However, I can’t promise to stop thinking about that kiss at the bar
this summer. I’ve been thinking about it for the past month. It’s interesting
how humorless and uptight you are about my son’s totally awesome personality,
given that I have personally witnessed just how flirtatious and talkative you
yourself can be when mildly intoxicated.
You’re so welcome,
Alex
P.S. I volunteered to be a chaperone for your next field trip. See you
then.

*My Review*

Welcome to my stop on the release blitz tour for Kayley Loring’s Troublemaker. After a break-up with an on-again/off-again boyfriend, Emilia Stiles takes the leap and moves to Los Angeles to live with her best friend and luckily gets a position teaching in a very desirable school. Alex Vega is a famous director and co-parents his son Ryder with his ex-wife. While she is out of town on a dance tour, Alex is thrilled to have Ryder with him fulltime. Even more so when he gets called in to meet with Ryder’s teacher and realizes who she is. 

Troublemaker is one of the funniest books I have read in awhile. This should be an award winner for hilarious and quirky banter between characters (especially between Alex and Ryder). Emilia and Alex’s text messages were one of the highlights of the novel, although, be prepared to be embarrassed for her a time or two!

All of the characters are amazing and I was floored by Loring’s character development, but Alex stills this show, hands-down! Where do I find an Alex? He’s hot, sexy, intelligent, has a weird sense of humor, and a complete romantic. Swoon….. He and Emila together are probably one of the easiest couples that I have read. From their instant chemistry to building a friendship – they just fit from the first moment. 

There is a little conflict in the book (the fact that she is Ryder’s teacher), but otherwise, this is a drama-free, happy love story that will just make your heart swell. There is nothing that I did not love about this book and it comes with my highest recommendation. This was my first time reading Kayley Loring and I plan on devouring her other novels as soon as possible. 

*Thanks to Give Me Books for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

Purchase Links
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& MACKENZIE CARTWRIGHT
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Author Bio
Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring
got a BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year
career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly
wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and
then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific
Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write
about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing
dirtier words. It’s an adjustment she’s happily getting used to.
Author Links

 

 

Book Reviews

Book Review: An Unfinished Story, by Boo Walker

An Unfinished Story: A Novel,

by Boo Walker

Publication: Lake Union Publishing; August 4, 2020

unfinishedAbout:

A grieving widow and a disenchanted writer form an unexpected bond in a novel about second chances and finding the courage to let go of the past.

It’s been three years since Claire Kite lost her husband, David, an aspiring novelist, in a tragic car accident. Claire finally finds the courage to move on; then she discovers among the remnants of her shattered world her husband’s last manuscript. It’s intimate, stirring—and unfinished. An idea comes to her…What if she can find someone to give David’s novel the ending it deserves?

Whitaker Grant is famous for his one and only bestselling novel—a masterpiece that became a hit film. But after being crippled by the pressure of success and his failed marriage, Whitaker retreated from the public eye in his native St. Petersburg, Florida. Years later, he’s struggling through a deep midlife crisis. Until he receives an intriguing request from a lonely widow. To honor David’s story, Whitaker must understand, heart and soul, the man who wrote it and the woman he left behind.

There’s more to the novel than anyone dreamed. Something personal. Something true. Maybe, in bringing a chapter of David’s life to a close, Claire and Whitaker can find hope for a new beginning.

*My Review*

At 8:00 am this morning I set down with a cop of copy in one hand and “An Unfinished Story” opening on my iPad. Four hours later and I am completely in awe of this novel and this (new-to-me) author. Claire is a widow who lost her husband three years earlier and Whitaker is a once-famous author that is now divorced and hasn’t written anything since his one bestseller. Claire is finally cleaning out her late husband’s desk when she comes across a novel he was working on when he died. After much back and forth, Claire convinces Whitaker to read it, and then to finish David’s novel. As they work together on David’s story, everything in their lives begins to change for the better and they make countless discoveries about themselves and David along the way. 

I will admit that it took me a little bit to warm up to both Claire and Whitaker, however, they ended up being two of the most incredible characters I have read about. Of course, Claire was dealing with a million issues stemming from the loss of her husband and how to move forward. But what really stole the show was Whitaker’s transformation between the beginning and the ending. Whether it was his physical appearance, the state of his home, or relationships with others – this character completely blossomed and it was a beautiful thing to see. 

I won’t lie and say that the ending wasn’t a bit predictable, but I did not care in the least. This entire novel is a love letter to second chances, eye-opening experiences, and finding peace and happiness from unexpected sources. Walker focuses on divorce, death, grief, the foster system, depression, loneliness, hope, love, and so much more that I can’t properly sum up the themes of this novel here. I am so incredibly happy to have discovered this novel and this author. This is without a doubt in my top 3 reads of the year and I believe I’ve read over 250 books this year. An Unfinished Story is a novel that I will read again and will think about for some time. 

*Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Purchase An Unfinished Story on Amazon.

Giveaway, Release Blitz

Release Blitz and Giveaway: First Sight and First Touch, by M. Marie Clark

 

Title: First Sight

Series: Firsts #1

Author: M. Marie Clark
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2020

 

Blurb
Slater Torrey

Out of the blue, I inherit a dog from an aunt I never met. When I walk into the
local shelter to find Duchess a new home, I find my forever, instead. One look
at the beauty and she owns my heart and soul.Elyse Sheridan

Slater walks in and turns my world upside down. I convince him to keep his
inheritance, and he persuades me to give him a chance. It turns into the best
decision I ever make.

Slater may have to fight a few battles to keep Elyse, but he’s more than ready.
There isn’t anyone who can take her away from him now that he’s found his
perfect love at First Sight.

NO one.

*Please note this book was previously published as under
the pen name Loni Ree.*
Purchase Links
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Title: First Touch
Series: Firsts #2
Author: M. Marie Clark
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2020
Blurb
Zander Burton

Never trust a woman and make sure you’re never stupid enough to give your heart
to one. I’ve always lived by these words, then Rachel Marsh crashed into my
life. It only took one night, one touch for the gorgeous blonde to make me
ignore the rule I’d followed my whole life. The next morning, I found the
strength to ignore my heart and walk away even though a little voice told me I
was making the biggest mistake of my life.Rachel Marsh

I escape one violent jerk only to find “the one.” At least, I give my heart to
him only to have him stomp it the next day when he turns into the next jerk in
my life. Zander’s hot and cold act grows old really fast, and I’m going to get
my life together with the help of my new family and leave both the jerks in my
past behind me.

When Zander finally wakes up and figures out he’s been living by a crazy rule,
he’s way too late. Now, he’s got his work cut out for him if he has any chance
of winning Rachel’s heart again. He’s going to take matters into his own hands
and crash her vacation. He doesn’t plan on leaving until she listens to what he
has to say. His whole future depends on it.

*Please note this book was previously published as under
the pen name Loni Ree, it contains some new content and has been re-edited.*
Purchase Links
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Excerpt
I fight
waking up as long as I can. My foggy mind fights to piece the puzzle pieces
together as I take inventory of myself. It’s been a long time since I woke up
naked with a tingling soreness down south, and this soreness is pretty bad.
After I pull together the courage to glance at the male arm wrapped around my
middle, relief floods me when I don’t find Dooley’s spider and dragon tattoos
running up and down the huge, muscular arm.
Slowly, my
mind fills with the memories of Zander returning with his sweats while I
checked out the massive marble and glass bathroom attached to his guest
bedroom. One minute, I was reaching for the clothes in his hands; the next, I
was lying across the bed naked while Zander shed all his clothes. What followed
was a frantic mating of teeth, tongues, and all other body parts we could use
on each other. The huge cock digging into my ass tells me he didn’t bother to
redress after our marathon lovemaking. Last night was another bad decision to
add to my growing list of horrible choices. It’s time I listen to the lectures
I’ve been giving myself for months. This man’s touch goes straight to my heart
like no other’s, but I still need to take time and change my life before
getting into another relationship.
I can tell
when Zander jerks awake behind me because his entire body stiffens. I want to
kick myself for lying here, reminiscing about last night instead of taking the
chance to flee for a few minutes to gather myself. At this point, I realize
there’s a phone ringing somewhere. Zander jumps from the bed, and I can’t stop
myself from watching his broad, naked body disappear down the hall.
I’m
debating my poor decisions a few minutes later when Zander stomps back into the
room wearing a robe. He throws another pair of sweats at me. “Get a shower and
your ass dressed. I’ll meet you downstairs in a few. We have to get down to
TBD.”
Author Bio
M. Marie Clark is the Contemporary Romance and Paranormal pen name of Instalove, Rom-Com author Loni Ree. M. Marie is a very busy mom of six who loves to read, and she finds that it helps her escape the chaos of everyday life. She writes steamy romance stories about hot heroes finding their beautiful soulmates and fighting for their happy endings!
Author Links

$25 Amazon gift card + signed paperbacks of First Sight & First Touch

 

Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Paris Never Leaves You, by Ellen Feldman

Paris Never Leaves You_Blog Tour Banner On Sale (1)

Feldman - Cover Art

“Masterful. Magnificent. A passionate story of survival and a real page-turner. This story will stay with me for a long time.” —Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey

Living through World War II working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.

 

Feldman - Author Photo_credit Laura MozesAuthor Bio

ELLEN FELDMAN, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Terrible VirtueThe UnwittingNext to LoveScottsboro (shortlisted for the Orange Prize), The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank (translated into nine languages), and Lucy. Her novel Terrible Virtue was optioned by Black Bicycle for a feature film.

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

One

New York, 1954

Charlotte spotted the letter as soon as she stepped into her office. There was no reason it should have caught her eye. The desk was littered with papers and envelopes. Stacks of manuscripts and books filled the shelves of the small cubicle and spilled over onto the two chairs. Certainly, the airmail envelope didn’t make it stand out. Most of the books she published were American editions of European works, and a good deal of her mail arrived in those tissue-thin blue envelopes. The only explanation for its attracting her attention was that she’d already gone through her morning mail and the afternoon delivery hadn’t yet arrived. Perhaps the letter had gone to another editor by mistake, and he or she had left it on Charlotte’s desk while she was upstairs in the art department. Or perhaps the mailroom had overlooked it in the morning sorting.

Gibbon & Field was a prestigious publishing house, but a certain loucheness lurked behind the scenes. That was the fault of Horace Field, the publisher. He was too forgiving, or perhaps only cannily manipulative. She’d had her earliest inkling of the trait the first Christmas after she’d come to work at the house. Leaving the office one evening at the same time, she and Horace had entered the elevator together to find a young man from the production department struggling to balance two or three oversize art books and several of a more conventional trim size. When he saw Horace, he colored an unhappy Christmas red.

“I see you’ve taken our ads to heart, Seth,” Horace said. “‘There’s a book for everyone on your Christmas list.’”

The young man turned a deeper red and shot out of the elevator as soon as the doors opened. That was un- unusual. The staff usually deferred to Horace getting on and off elevators, and everywhere else.

“Are you going to take the books out of his salary?” she’d asked as they’d followed him across the lobby.

“Not on your life.”

“It would teach him a lesson.”

“The only lesson I want to teach him, Charlie, is to work his tail off for the greater glory of G&F.”

“And you think encouraging him to walk out the door with an armful of purloined books will do that?”

“I think the next time he asks for a raise and doesn’t get it, he’ll remember all the books he’s filched and feel guilty, or at least compensated. Same with the expense accounts the editors and travelers turn in. They think they’re stealing me blind, but a guilty conscience breeds contrition. Maybe even loyalty. They feel they owe the house something in return. That’s why I worry about you. Those expense accounts you file are a travesty. If the other editors get wind of them, they’ll never forgive you for spoiling the game.”

Horace’s philosophy permeated the entire publishing house from the grand larceny of the production department, run by a man rumored to have ties to the Mafia, to the petty pilfering and general slacking off of the mailroom. That must be why the letter had been delivered late. And the timing was the only reason she noticed it. It had nothing to do with a sixth sense, in which she definitely did not believe.

She sat behind the desk and picked up the envelope. Her name and the G&F address were written, not typed. The handwriting wasn’t familiar. There was no return address on the upper left-hand corner. She turned it over. As soon as she saw the name, she realized why she hadn’t recognized the handwriting. When had they put anything in writing? No, that wasn’t true. He’d written her once,  a year or so after the end of the war. The letter had taken months to wind its way through the Drancy records and the various agencies to reach her in New York. She’d taken solace in that. He didn’t know where she was, and he was still in Germany. She’d never answered that letter. The return address on this one was Bogotá, Colombia. So he’d got out after all. She was glad. She was also relieved. South America was still a long distance away.

What troubled her was not where he was but that now he knew where she was. She’d thought she’d been so careful. Neither her address nor her telephone number was listed in the book. The people who had tried to help her settle into her new life—social workers and do-gooders from various refugee organizations; her colleagues here and at other publishing houses; Horace Field’s wife, Hannah—had found the omission foolish and antisocial. “How do you expect to make a life for yourself in a new country,” Hannah had asked, “if no one can find you?” Charlotte hadn’t argued with her. She’d merely gone on paying the small fee to be unlisted. Gradually Hannah and everyone else had stopped asking and chalked it up to what she’d been through. No one, including Hannah, knew what that was, but that didn’t stop them from speculating.

She wasn’t much easier to find in the office, though apparently, he’d managed. Her name didn’t appear in the list of editors that ran down the left-hand side of the company stationery. Most publishing houses didn’t list editors on the stationery but that was another of Horace Field’s peculiar indulgences. A year after she’d come to work at G&F, he’d asked if she wanted to be included.

“Think of it as a sop,” he’d said.

“A sop?” She spoke four languages, could read two others and had taken her degree at the Sorbonne in English literature, but in those days she was still having trouble with some American slang.

“Compensation for the slave wages we pay you.”

“At least you didn’t suggest I make up the difference by stealing books,” she’d said, and added that she didn’t want her name on the stationery but thanked him all the same. Nonetheless, despite her absence in the phone book and on the company stationery, her name did occasionally turn up in acknowledgments in the books she worked on. And my gratitude to Charlotte Foret for steering my vessel safely through the turbulent waters of American publish- ing. My thanks to Charlotte Foret, who first saw that a book about the Dutch Golden Age written by a Dutchman would appeal to American audiences. The question was how he’d managed to get his hands on a US edition in Europe, or now South America. The various consulates had libraries to spread the American gospel among the local populations but the books she published rarely spread the American gospel. Nonetheless, he must have found one. Or else he’d tracked her down through a refugee agency. Once in America, she’d distanced herself from the émigré or immigrant or refugee—choose your term—groups, but she’d had to file the usual papers and obtain the necessary documents to get here. She was traceable.

From Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman. Copyright © 2020 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Paris-Never-Leaves-You-Novel/dp/1250622778

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paris-never-leaves-you-ellen-feldman/1132911684

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250622778

BAM: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250622778

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/paris-never-leaves-you/id1484360326

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/paris-never-leaves-you

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Ellen_Feldman_Paris_Never_Leaves_You?id=y8m3DwAAQBAJ

 

Book Reviews, Giveaway, Release Blitz

Release Blitz, Review, & Giveaway: Skinny Love (Heart Series, #5), by Michelle B.

 

Title: Skinny Love

Series: Heart #5

Author: Michelle B.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 3, 2020

 

Blurb

 

Enemies to lovers…? No.
Forbidden Love…? Definitely not us.
Second Chance…? That one’s confusing…just like our relationship.
Soul Mates…? I’m not sure I believe in that stuff. 
Fake Relationship…? Nope. We’re blood, guts, and reality. 
Friends to lovers…? At times… yes.
We’re two different people on two different paths, looking for the same thing. The reality of it all is that one of us needs to fix the broken pieces to mend a
hopeless mind and the other needs to view the alternate life that calls in
order to finally be able to accept what it really is that they want.
Who is Nikki as a woman?
She is determined, focused, business-oriented, and motivated.
Who is Christopher as a man?
Well, he’s a broken one, but he’s determined to fix the pieces.

**My Review**

This is so sad to admit, but up until about a month ago, I was unaware of the incredibly talented author Michelle B. and her Heart series. I have so been missing out! Releasing today is the 5th book in the Heart series, Skinny Love. Finally, we get Nikki and Chris’s story which is emotional, sexy, stressful at times but has one of the happiest endings I think I have ever read. 

Throughout the previous books in the series, it has been obvious that there’s more to meet the eye regarding Chris and Nikki – but they are stubborn. They’ve been best friends since they were little, but it has seemed there were underlying things happening between them. Kind of like the blurb, it’s difficult to categorize them. Friends, lovers, enemies? But the true meat of this novel is Chris’s journey to better himself. Nikki meets a ton of conflict, some of it a little too far-fetched at times, but Chris truly has to face the music and make some difficult choices in order to change his life. 

I can’t really say much else about the plot without spoiling it, but this is one of the most fantastic books I’ve read in a long time. Michelle B. creates beautifully flawed, raw, and honest characters and is the master of bringing them to life. Each time I read one of her books it feels more like watching a movie than reading. I can picture everyone in my mind, hear their voices, and feel as if I am right there with them. Skinny Love made me cry quite a bit more than the previous books in the series, but luckily, a lot of that was happy tears. 

I highly recommend Skinny Love to contemporary romance fans, especially those that like a little bit of crime and suspense mixed in. However, you have to start at the beginning of the series for everything to make sense. But I promise you will not be disappointed! This is easily one of the top 3 book series that I’ve ever read, and Skinny Love is one of my favorite books of the year. 

*Thanks to Give Me Books for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

 

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Excerpt
I look at myself in the mirror and smile. I look hot as fuck. This dress,
well it’s not a dress but a scrap of strategically placed material. I’ve never
seen Sofia wear this dress before and I’m going to go out on a limb here and
say C would never allow her out of the house with it on. I’m guessing it was
worn, but only for a few minutes before it was lying on the floor at my
sister’s feet. 
I open the bathroom door to three sets of eyeballs bulging from the
sockets when I step into Sofia’s palatial master bedroom.
“Someone get me an industrial fan.” Sage waves his hand in front of his
face.
“You are so getting laid.” Sofia’s animated elation over her choice of a
dress cracks me up.
“Holy fuck, can I borrow that next? Luke would salivate over that
dress.” 
“Blondie, he salivates over you anyway. Peaches, you are a vision of
unadulterated sex. That dress is a shot of Viagra to any limp dick you pass.”
“Is it too much though?” I turn and look in Sofia’s hand carved mirror.
“No.” Sage shakes his head.
“Nope.” Jessica pops the P with exaggeration.
“Hell. No!” Sofia’s voice rises with each word.
“Peaches, too much will never be the case with that dress.”
I sit on the edge of my sister’s bed and slip Jessica’s heels over the
soles of my two-day old pedicure. I buckle the strap, wiggle my toes, and
stand, presenting myself to the three musketeers waiting to see the full
onslaught of this scarlet red, very revealing outfit. 
“Fuck, you’re gorgeous, peaches.”
“Stunning.” Jessica smiles. “I totally have to borrow that dress.”
“If you do, you better get it dry cleaned before bringing it back. I
don’t need Luke’s cum stains coming back with it,” Sofia dictates. “And you my
sister, are… Sexy. As. Fuck!”
“She’s got that right!” Sage’s eyes bulge with a jerk of his head and pursed
lips. “One more thing.” He hurries across the room, knowing exactly what he’s
looking for and exactly where it is. “She needs boob shimmer,” he says over his
shoulder, then walks back to me welding a big fluffy brush and a jar of pale
gold body shimmer. The brush finds my cleavage and collar bones before he lands
a big kiss on my cheek. “You are perfect, peaches.”
The four of us fumble down the stairs, me being the last in line. When I
hit the tile to the kitchen, the room falls silent. The only sound is a fierce
agonized noise thundering through the kitchen and then Colt wails with a hungry
cry breaking the tension when he sees his momma.
My gaze goes directly to where the noise came from. Chris is standing
there with his arms hanging at his sides. His face is a sheet of stone. I
swallow the tension rising in my throat, the knot forming a ball I can’t seem
to speak past. 
“Damnnnnn, sil.” 
I smile with a tension-filled twist of my lips.
“Who’s this guy she’s going out with?” Luke questions, looking at Caelan.
“I’m gonna have to vet his ass.”
“Already done,” the rumbled words thunder in a low, deep riptide of angry
breath from Chris.
Everyone’s head twists in his direction. “You?” Caelan searches his
brother’s face. 
Chris doesn’t answer. His focus is one hundred percent on me. A beat
passes, then the Chris everyone knows appears. I watch the lie of the man form
in his changing eyes and personality. The flicker of shutters slamming closed
before the storm claims him. He’s the shell of a man sealing the cracks he
almost let break open and crumble, but he quickly covers it up with his jokes.
The levity alleviating the heaviness in the room, but not in my mind or my
heart. And then… my heart shatters with his crude words. I know Chris. Chris
knows I know Chris, inside and out. Whatever comes out of his mouth next is to
cover for what he’s feeling. 
“Hey, make sure you practice sandboxing tonight, yea.” Everyone chuckles.
“You don’t need that pretty pussy of yours catching something before you let me
fuck you again.” 
The laughter extinguishes immediately.
My mouth falls open, to the point I think it becomes unhinged. 
“And from what I know, he’s a pretty decent guy,” he continues without
breaking his stride. “I just don’t know his dick size, but I guess we’ll know
by tomorrow, won’t we?” He finishes his crude sentence and opens the
refrigerator and grabs another beer.
Caelan starts to say something but I shake my head. “Let it go,” I mouth,
stepping forward and grabbing the clutch from Sofia’s fisted hand. I throw my
phone and gloss in it along with some tissues and take a few steps to the
bathroom that’s just off the kitchen. I take a deep breath and let his words
go. I give myself a once over and open the door just as angry voices are being
hushed.
“You’re a fucking asshole,” Caelan fumes.
The alarm goes off for the security system. All eyes turn to the CCTV in
the corner of the kitchen. A limo sits at the gate. Caelan hits the intercom
and tells him to come through after hitting the gate release button.
“I think it’s best if I meet him outside.” I smiled at everyone, not
feeling one bit of the joy stretched across my face. My stride across my
sister’s massive kitchen is quick. Murmurs of goodbyes are said. I wave over my
shoulder, not wanting to look back.
“Shit.” I hear the clash of glass breaking inside what sounded like the
recyclable trash can. “Nikki, wait up.” 
I keep walking, my eyes are focused on the security camera, watching how
far the limo has gotten down the driveway. The interior door to the mud room is
within reach. I grab the handle and push it open. Just before closing it, it’s
pushed open with force and closed with even more strength, but it doesn’t latch
and swings back open.
“I’m fucking sorry.” He twists my figure, jerking me back to look at him.
“It sounds like it. Have a good night, Chris.” I turn and take a step
away from him.
A puff of frustrated, released air hits my back. “I’m sorry, sunflower.”
Those are the words that stop me in my tracks. “Why?” I ask, turning back
to him, feeling the hurt of his words. 
“I don’t know.” A frustrated hand slides through his hair.
“Yes, you do. You wanted this. I didn’t. You did this. I just made it
easier for you, but you changed the path.”
“I’m not good enough for you.” He steps into me.
“You are. The sad and worst part is you don’t believe that you are.” I
solemnly gaze up into his regretful eyes.
He closes the door with a careless thud, then pushes me up against the
wall, caging me in with his long, lean body. He bends down and ghosts his lips
over mine. 
“Don’t go,” he pleads, breathing heavily. The slight edge of panic in his
voice.
“Tell me why?” I push.
“Because I don’t want you to.”
“That’s not good enough. Tell me why.”
I already know why.
“It has to be,” he growls with frustration.
“But it’s not.” I push at his chest. “Good night, Chris.” I duck under
his arm and make my way out the door to a waiting Jaxson who is being occupied
by Caelan. He must have known a train wreck was about to happen and cut Jaxson
off by going out the front door.
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Author Bio
Michelle B is a wife of twenty-seven years and a mom of two
adult children. Always a movie girl, she never read any kind of books until the
summer 2015 when a family member gave her a trilogy to read. Once she was
finished with the series, she was hooked. After a year of reading voraciously
and pushing away the urge to start writing her own story, she finally decided
to take the leap and start putting finger tips to her keyboard. After five
months she finished her first novel, Breath With Me. She then gave it to a few
handfuls of women to see what their thoughts and feelings were. With
overwhelming encouragement and demands, she finished her second novel of the
Heart Series, Breathing Together. Michelle B is currently writing the fifth
book in the Heart Series called Skinny Love, but that is not it for the Heart
Series. There’s a lot more to come for the Elite Eight.

 

Author Links
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$100 Amazon gift card + a signed paperback of Skinny Love

Enter here and good luck!

 

Book Reviews, Giveaway, Release Blitz

Release, review, & giveaway: Searching for Love (The Bradens & Montgomerys: Pleasant Hill – Oak Falls #6), by Melissa Foster

NEW RELEASE…

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 have known each other their whole lives. 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.

**My Review**

Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Melissa Foster’s latest, Searching for Love. This is about childhood sweethearts Zev and Carly who after a horrible accident involving their friend, go their separate ways. Years later, Zev is living his and Carly’s dream traveling the world as a treasure hunter, and Carly is has become a chocolatier and taken over her aunt’s chocolate shop. When Zev comes to town for a wedding, he has no idea that Carly even leaves there and certainly doesn’t expect to see her. But sparks fly between them all over again as soon as they see one another. 

I have loved the Pleasant Hills – Oak Falls series, and Searching for Love did not disappoint. It took me all of a few pages to completely fall in love with Zev, which seems to be a habit of mine when I’m reading Melissa Foster’s books. And goodness, check out the cover! He’s sexy, handsome, incredibly sweet and caring, and most of all – he’s a lot of fun. It took me a little bit to warm up to Carly, but then watching her completely lose her mind just over thoughts of Zev had me laughing out loud so many times. Carly’s friend Birdie was absolutely hysterical and was an amazing addition to this book, making me hope that one day she will get her own story.

Second-chance romances always tug at my heartstrings and this one was amazing. I loved that even though they had broken up long ago, he followed through with their dreams and kept pieces of their history together with him wherever he went. This book just oozes romance, so be prepared to have all the feels with this one complete with a fairytale ending. My only criticism at all is that the last few chapters felt a little packed to me. So many people kept appearing and there was one surprise after another almost making things chaotic. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful book with a wonderful ending that made my heart happy!

 

Available to buy from…
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“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” – NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely​

“You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” – New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” – New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner

More Bradens & Montgomerys: Pleasant Hill – Oak Falls

EMBRACING HER HEART
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]Leaving New York City and returning to her hometown to teach a screenplay writing class seems like just the break Grace Montgomery needs. Until her sisters wake her at four thirty in the morning to watch the hottest guys in town train wild horses and she realizes that escaping her sisters’ drama-filled lives was a lot easier from hundreds of miles away. To make matters worse, she spots the one man she never wanted to see again—ruggedly handsome Reed Cross.

Reed was one of Michigan’s leading historical preservation experts, but on the heels of catching his girlfriend in bed with his business partner, his uncle suffers a heart attack. Reed cuts all ties and returns home to Oak Falls to run his uncle’s business. A chance encounter with Grace, his first love, brings back memories he’s spent years trying to escape.

Grace is bound and determined not to fall under Reed’s spell again—and Reed wants more than another taste of the woman he’s never forgotten. When a midnight party brings them together, passion ignites and old wounds are opened. Grace sets down the ground rules for the next three weeks. No touching, no kissing, and if she has it her way, no breathing, because every breath he takes steals her ability to think. But Reed has other ideas…

Available to buy from …
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ANYTHING FOR LOVE
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]After Charlotte Sterling loses her last family member, she moves to Sterling House, her family’s Colorado mountain inn, to live a solitary life. As an erotic romance writer, her days and nights are filled with passion and intrigue-even if only fictional. She loves her busy, quiet lifestyle, and she learned early on that real men can’t live up to the fictional heroes she creates-until ruggedly handsome Beau Braden arrives to do some work at the inn and, for the first time in forever, she’s intrigued by a real man.

Beau lost his first love years ago, and he’s never let go of his guilt over her death. As he nears the anniversary of his loss, he is on the cusp of becoming the star of a home-renovation reality show. Escaping the painful memories of his past to work at the defunct old inn is just the promise of solitude he needs to clear his head before diving in to the all-too-public career. But he didn’t count on being attracted to the whimsical, adorably sexy innkeeper.

Neither Charlotte nor Beau is looking for an attachment or a fling. But the more they learn about each other, the closer they become. Romantic evenings lead to intimate conversations, and neither can deny their deep connection or the passion it sparks. They’ve never fully healed on their own, but together maybe anything is possible.

Available to buy from…
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TRAILS OF LOVE
When Graham Braden travels to Oak Falls, Virginia to attend the wedding of his buddy Reed Cross to Grace Montgomery, he sticks around to help with renovations to Reed’s new theater. The last thing he expects is to be asked to assess and possibly invest in Grace’s sister Morgyn’s business endeavor. Graham is a careful, keen businessman, and Morgyn is impulsive, disorganized, and more interested in the energy flow in her eclectic retail shop than in the accuracy of her records. While Graham isn’t ready to open his pockets to the sassy, sexy business owner, he may be ready to open his heart.

Available to buy from…
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WILD, CRAZY HEARTS
Brindle Montgomery and Trace Jericho have been close friends forever and on-again off-again lovers for years. As rebellious as they are stubborn, they’re both perfectly happy with their no-strings-attached hookups. But when Brindle returns from a trip to Paris with a baby bump, it sends Trace’s wild, crazy heart into a frenzy–and Brindle is left wondering if she’s made the biggest mistake of her life.

Available to buy from…
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MAKING YOU MINE
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]Knox Bentley never liked the pomp and circumstance that came with being wealthy. He’d distanced himself from his pretentious family and their fortune as a young adult and found his own path to success. But even with the world at his fingertips, he realizes something is missing, and after a long stay overseas, he finally knows exactly what it is. His no-strings-attached hookups with Aubrey Stewart, an exquisite and stubbornly independent blonde, are no longer enough for him. They connect on every level, but Aubrey is a fierce businesswoman with a new movie channel on the horizon and no time for much else. She is the deal he can’t close, the precious jewel even his billions can’t buy. Now that he’s back in the States, he’s determined to show her that what they have goes beyond the bedroom and finally make her his.

Love in Bloom novels feature alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They’re flawed, funny, passionate, and relatable to readers who enjoy contemporary romance and women’s fiction. For avid readers of the Love in Bloom series, you may have met sexy and hilarious Knox Bentley, Graham Braden’s business partner, in Trails of Love, and Aubrey Stewart, one of the badass billionaire founders of the Ladies Who Write (LWW), in Anything for Love.

Available to buy from…
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HOT FOR LOVE – Releasing February 17th 2021
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]Trixie Jericho is on a mission to start her own miniature horse business. She’s sick of being told her idea is cute and wants nothing more than to be taken seriously. When rancher and sought-after freestyle horse trainer Nick Braden offers an opportunity she can’t refuse, Trixie jumps on it. The problem is, she also wants to jump on him, but the bullheaded, big-muscled, motorcycle-riding cowboy doesn’t mix business with pleasure. Little does he know, Trixie has never backed down from a challenge, especially one she wants more than her next breath. Saddle up, big boy, because this boot-stompin’, risk-taking, Daisy Duke-wearing cowgirl isn’t afraid to play dirty.

Available to pre-order from…
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About the author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and new adult romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

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Book Reviews

Book review: Playing Nice, by J.P. Delaney

Playing Nice, by J.P. Delaney

Publication: Ballantine Books; July 28, 2020

playing niceAbout: Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son—he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents—or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.

They are done playing nice.

*My Review*

You know how some novels are really slow to start and you feel like it’s never going to get to any action? That is definitely not the case in Playing Nice. Very quickly into the book, it comes to light that a few years earlier, two children that were in the NICU were switched. Pete and Maddie have been raising Theo, while Miles and Lucy have been raising David. Each set of parents is obviously shocked and upset that they have been raising someone else’s child, however, they all appear to be very polite and amicable while trying to learn what to do next as far as a lawsuit against the hospital and how to best be a part of each others lives.

So, I loved Pete in this novel, but every polite and accommodating thing that he did drove me out of my mind. He was too nice and truthfully, somewhat of a pushover the entire time. Then there’s Maddie. She is one of the least likable characters that I have read in quite some time. She didn’t appear to want to be a mother, she seemed disengaged from her family life, and also seemed completely indifferent to Pete. I guess there was somewhat of an explanation when she realized that Theo was not her son, but I still felt her character to be very cold and flat. Nevertheless, what really drove the plot of this novel was the decisions that Pete and Maddie made from the very beginning. 

It’s obvious in the beginning that things aren’t going to stay so organized and nice between these two families. Well, it’s obvious to the reader. But Pete and Maddie made so many bad decisions, let Miles run all over them, and at times, made me question if they were capable of raising either of the boys. As a parent, I know that I found myself reflecting on my parenting style, including successes and mistakes while reading this. Granted my children are adults now, but I was still reminded of times that I completely rocked as a mother and those times that I wish I had a do-over. Pete certainly appeared to be the better parent in this novel, but things were so fast-paced and changed so quickly that as soon as I wrapped my brain about what was happening, there was something entirely different going on. 

Playing Nice is engaging psychological fiction that grabbed my interest from the beginning. There were times throughout the novel when either Pete or Maddie were flashing back to earlier moments between them that I felt things begin to drag along, but otherwise, I was very invested in the resolution of this novel. I have to say that there were a few key issues that weren’t resolved in the ending (which I found odd), but otherwise, the ending was surprising and satisfying at once. 

This was a 4 star read for me. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.