Review: THE DATING PLAN by Sara Desai

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THE DATING PLAN by Sara Desai

Publication Date: March 16, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

0F47DBB0-A87C-435F-85CE-246CF597E94EEven with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiancés might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancé.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

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I enjoyed this romantic comedy about second chances and a fake engagement. I thought Daisy was a fun, nerdy, intelligent woman. Yes, I got tired of hearing about how hurt she was over something that happened ten years before. Move on, girl. I also liked Liam right away and knew he would give Daisy a run for her money. There were holes in his backstory, but not enough for me to worry with it. I liked their banter once the “old hurt” stuff went away. I’m glad she moved on, so the sexy romance could blossom.

My complaints on this book would be: Too many characters actively involved in the story. Too long on the “you hurt me ten years ago, so I hate you now”. Some important moments were skipped or lightly passed over, leaving me feeling a bit cheated.

The first chapter had me cracking up and anticipating the rest of the story. It didn’t sustain the level of mishap, but the snarky humor and fake engagement kept it lighthearted. All said, it was a cheesy and sometimes corny romance that made me smile. I liked it.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

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Synopsis

3A93B918-C939-4A2D-840B-847401D09E58Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos.

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Review: STRONG, SILENT COWBOY by Lora Leigh & Veronica Chadwick

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STRONG, SILENT COWBOY: A Moving Violations Novel by Lora Leigh & Veronica Chadwick

Publication Date: March 9, 2021

Genre: Western/ Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

641CCDDA-B3E3-4721-B392-EE0156F31E88From #1 New York Times bestseller Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick comes a second chance at love and bodyguard romance Strong, Silent Cowboy, a Moving Violations novel.

“Leigh’s books can scorch the ink off the page.”—RT Book Review

He Will Do Anything…

Sallie Hamblen had three incredibly hot, sexy nights with Jacob Donovan, an undercover CIA agent, before he disappeared, leaving her broken hearted and forever yearning for the man she lost. Years later, Jacob doesn’t know that the beauty he’s about to seduce in a small town bar is the woman he held in his arms all those years ago… and that she’s on the run from her past.

To Keep Her Safe…

Former CIA agent turned cowboy, Jacob Donovan wants nothing more than a simple life. Just the ranch and occasionally someone warm and sweet in his bed. Until Sallie comes back into his life and all of a sudden he wants to be in her bed every night…all night. When he discovers that her life is in danger, he swears he’ll protect her. Even when secrets are revealed that threaten everything between them, he will lay everything on the line to keep her in his arms.

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Donna 4 stars

This romantic suspense novel was filled with a lot of hot sexy time. A lot. I don’t mind a good romp between the sheets if it fits the storyline. In this case, it hovered at the sex-looking-for-a-story border. I also think they could have spent more time building an emotional bond to make the “I love you” more believable.

I liked Jacob and his hot alpha ways that easily gave way to lovely banter with family and friends. Sallie was a harder nut to crack. I liked her, just didn’t warm up to her as much because she was holding herself back from getting too close to others. The two of them made a smoking hot couple though and exciting to read throughout their drama.

I struggled with the rating for this book. It drew me in and held me with the intrigue and mystery….but in some ways, didn’t deliver on the answers. I still have questions, especially about her ex-husband. The story just ended. I thought for sure there was a chapter or epilogue missing. That being said – it is a quick, sexy, and exciting story that I enjoyed.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback 

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Lora Leigh dreams in bright, vivid images of the characters’ intent on taking over her writing life, and fights a constant battle to put them on the hard drive of her computer before they can disappear as fast as they appeared.

Lora’s family and her writing life coexist, if not in harmony, in relative peace with each other. Surrounded by a menagerie of pets, friends, and a son who keeps her quick wit engaged, Lora finds her life filled with joys, aided by her fans whose hearts remind her daily why she writes.

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Veronica Chadwick started storytelling when she was a little girl. She was first published in 2004. She lives in Tennessee with three cats, a very spoiled Shih Tzu and two grand dogs. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with friends, reading or badly playing video games.

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Review: NO HOLDING BACK by Lori Foster

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NO HOLDING BACK (The McKenzies of Ridge Trail Book 1) by Lori Foster

Publication Date: January 26, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

C16242C7-81F9-4D79-AF35-6BFAC07C9799Not needing him won’t stop her from wanting him…

Trucker Sterling (Star) Parson is no stranger to the challenges a woman faces, both in her industry and in life. But she can take care of herself. She’s never needed—or wanted—a man around…until she meets Cade McKenzie. The take-charge bar owner sets off all kinds of alarm bells for Sterling, but he also sets her heart racing.

Cade’s lived in Ridge Trail long enough to know trouble when he sees it, and the moment Sterling—Star—walks into his bar, he knows trouble’s come to call. Secrets run deep in the small town and Cade can tell Star’s got as many as he does, leaving him itching to uncover every last one. But finding common ground will mean trusting one another, further feeding an intense attraction that’s growing impossible to resist.

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I enjoyed the first book in this new series. I was hesitant due to the human trafficking angle but found that it wasn’t too graphic for me to handle. The storyline was exciting and filled with tension – keeping me guessing on a few particulars until the end. Some parts seemed to drag a bit, but I chalked that up to being the first in a new series and learning about the McKenzies’ mission in life.

As for the main characters, Sterling is strong, assertive, and confident while still being likeable. Cade was reluctant to be forced into a way of life, but darn good at what he does. He is protective with alpha tendencies, yet still able to appreciate Sterling’s abilities and intelligence. They made a believable and good couple. The romance built to a nice sexy love story.

Cade’s family dynamics built through the book and culminated into the camaraderie that I love in a series. I’m anxious for the next book, hoping it’s about Cade’s brother. That should be fun.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Synopsis

Lori Foster bio pic

Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 100 titles. She’s known for her fun, very sexy contemporary romance novels revolving around alpha males and meet (and fall in love with) strong, independent women. Lori’s been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book ReviewsCareer Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. Even more fun, Lori’s been a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle, a clue in the USA Today Quick-cross puzzle, and the sensual and sexy Too Much Temptation was Amazon’s 2002 top-selling title in Romance.

Lori has a super-active Facebook page where she regularly gives away reader goodies like books (of course), T-shirts, ARCs (advance reviewers’ copies), tote bags and lots of fun swag. LIKE her Facebook page so you never miss out!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Review: SPECIAL OPS SEDUCTION by Megan Crane

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SPECIAL OPS SEDUCTION (An Alaska Force Novel Book 5) by Megan Crane

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

ADD46281-42E6-4D39-A8FD-DA746BA7AC0EShe’s the last woman he ever wanted to see again…

After an official operation turned deadly, Jonas Crow began a new life in Grizzly Harbor with Alaska Force. But when fellow soldier Bethan Wilcox joins the group, she forces him to remember things he actively prefers to forget. That’s unforgivable enough. But now the two of them are forced together on a mission to uncover deadly secrets tied to their complicated past, and with the heat between them at a boil, forgiveness is the least of his worries…

And the only woman he needs.

Bethan Wilcox, one of the first women to make it through Army Ranger school, didn’t join Alaska Force to deal with Jonas’s foul temper. Or her own errant attraction to him. Thrown together in a race against the clock, they have to pretend to be a couple and play nice to throw the enemy off their scent. She knows better than to let their pretend love feel real…especially while time is running out.

Jonas has always been good at saving the world. But it’s Bethan he needs to save this time around—if she doesn’t save him first.

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Donna 4 stars

Another exciting edition to the Alaska Force series. I wondered how the author would handle the surly Jonas, sure that Bethan would be up to the task…and she was. I like her. She’s strong and capable, an over-achiever in a “man’s world”, yet human and likeable. Too many times a woman is made out to be a bit witchy to show strength, Bethan held that line quite well. Although they made a great couple, I couldn’t understand her feelings for him until almost midway into the story. He was such an ass to her, and his reasons never made sense to me. Thankfully, his inner self showed through and made him worthy.

The suspenseful story was intriguing and provided some fun action. I completely enjoyed how their romance blossomed during their joint mission to her family home. That was my favorite part of the book and had me wondering quite a bit about the antagonist. I must admit that I never did figure out the bad guy’s motivation regarding Bethan and Jonas…but I enjoyed the read none-the-less.

One of my favorite aspects of this series, is the group dynamics of the Alaska Force Team. The camaraderie seems effortless and pulls me into them, caring about them, and wishing I were part of it all. It was a fun read, leaving me anxious for the next installment.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

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Amazon Series Link

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About the author

USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than eighty-five books, and counting. She’s won fans with her romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Dare, and contemporary cowboy books she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from cowboys to military heroes and beyond – including her take on futuristic Vikings, outlaw bikers, and fairy tale princes. She has a Masters and Ph.D. in English Literature, has taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, and is always available to give workshops (or her opinion). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her comic artist husband, though, at any given time, she is likely to either be huddled in a coffee shop somewhere or off traveling the world. Preferably both.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: WOLF UNTAMED by Paige Tyler

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WOLF UNTAMED (SWAT Book 11) by Paige Tyler

Publication Date: November 24, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

AB71C818-0440-4844-8066-1DA0BA921A58The guys in the Special Wolf Alpha Team (SWAT) are hotter than ever.

SWAT werewolf Diego Martinez was on a mission to save lives when he walked into the hostage situation—he didn’t expect to find a newly turned teenage werewolf and the kid’s fiercely protective mother. For Bree Harlow and her son, Brandon, Diego is a godsend, and not just because he saved the day.

Bree has spent the years since her divorce trying to do her best by Brandon. But lately the boy who used to tell her everything has been keeping secrets. In the face of all the bizarre things happening at home, there’s something about Diego that Bree can’t resist—especially when he’s able to explain Brandon’s new abilities.

But the hostage incident was just the start in a wave of violence that no one can explain, and when Bree and Brandon are caught in the middle, Diego will do everything in his power to protect the family he wants as his own.

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This is an exciting installment in the SWAT Series and kept me reading to find out the mystery. As with the other stories, the background is full of danger, intrigue, and mystery. One of my favorite parts of the SWAT Unit is the camaraderie and banter.  Even if you read this as a standalone, you can pick up on their closeness and history.

Bree and Diego may have been destined for one another, but their relationship still moved at a believable pace. Thankfully without either of them delving into the “I don’t want a relationship” mode. Neither did it feel like a done deal because of “the one” tract. It was nice and fun to read. I liked them both and they were just a good fit, her son included. Watching Diego learn to be not just a partner, but a father figure and alpha, was heartwarming.

The story was fun and romantic, even though a part of it seemed a bit far-fetched. (Which I know, is an odd thing to say about a paranormal romance.) That strangeness didn’t detract from my enjoyment though, it just has me curious about book 12. I can’t wait.

*Review copy provided NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

Bree had no idea if seconds—or hours—passed, but then she heard something so out of place with her surroundings that it immediately snapped her back to reality. 

Growling. 

Low, soft, pained…growling. 

And it was coming from Brandon. 

She looked down to find him gazing up at her with vivid-gold eyes, half-inch-long fangs visible over his bottom lip. 

Bree had always considered herself to be a strong person. She’d gone through a lot in her life and dealt with it. But she couldn’t ignore the obvious. The accumulated stress of this situation had been too much for her. She was having a mental breakdown. Because there was no way she was seeing what she thought she saw. 

Suddenly, the SWAT cop was at her side, pulling Brandon up and talking to him in a slow, calm voice, telling him to relax and breathe, that everything was over and he was going to be okay at the same time he used his big body like a shield, keeping other people in the diner from seeing her son’s face. His voice was the most soothing and calming sound she’d ever heard in her life, and even though he wasn’t talking to her, she found herself breathing in time with his instructions—in through the nose, hold it for five seconds, and out through the mouth. 

Bree watched in stunned fascination as the yellow glow slowly receded from her son’s eyes and the fangs disappeared. All at once, his panicked breathing and frantic features relaxed, and she realized it was the first time in months he didn’t seem tense. 

There was a commotion behind her, and she glanced over her shoulder to see the other officers—dressed like Diego but with weapons and heavy-looking tactical gear strapped across their chests—quickly moving the rest of the hostages outside, herding them in such a way that they didn’t have time to look at the body on the floor…or Brandon. 

It was like they were all working together to keep anyone from seeing what was happening with her son. Like they all somehow knew something unexplainable was going on with him. 

“There you go, kid.” The SWAT cop’s deep voice made her turn back around, and she saw him standing there with his hands on Brandon’s shoulders. “Just a few more deep breaths and you’ll be good to go.” 

Diego was right. A few seconds later, Brandon was fine, and Bree found herself wondering if everything she’dseen was a figment of her confused mind. 

It could have been, right? 

She felt a gentle hand on her arm and looked up into the warmest brown eyes she’d ever seen, a little overwhelmed by the concern she saw there. Diego didn’t even know her, and yet he seemed genuinely worried. 

“I think we should get out of here,” he said, nodding toward Brandon. “This place is about to be crawling with cops, crime-scene techs, and general-purpose gawkers. I’d rather be somewhere else before they show up. We have a lot to talk about.” 

She was about to ask what he meant by that, but then it hit her. Everything she’d seen had been real. Diego had seen it, too. And now he wanted to talk about it. Because that’s what cops did. They dug into stuff until they knew everything. 

Bree’s heart began to thump hard all over again as she realized the danger her son might be in now. What if Diego revealed what he’d seen? Brandon would be treated like a monster. From the look on Brandon’s face, he realized the same thing and was on the verge of freaking out. 

“Relax,” the cop said softly, looking first at Brandon, then her. “I’m not a threat to your son. I promise.” 

Gaze locked with hers, Diego’s eyes flared vivid yellow-gold. The color was only there for a second before it disappeared, but it was impossible to miss. Or mistake it for anything other than what she’d seen in her son’s eyes. The cop looked at Brandon, earning a wide-eyed gasp. Bree had no idea what any of this meant, but it had to be a good sign…right? 

“Like I said,” Diego murmured. “We have a lot to talk about.” 

Excerpted from Wolf Untamed by Paige Tyler. © 2020 by Paige Tyler. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

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Giveaway

3 sets of Wolf Rising, Wolf Instinct, and Wolf Rebel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author image

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review & Excerpt: LEOPARD’S RAGE by Christine Feehan

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LEOPARD’S RAGE (A Leopard Novel, Book 13) by Christine Feehan

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

AE607595-8308-4732-9213-6D06DBAED040It will take more than desire to tame the animal within in this Leopard novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

Leopard shifter Sevastyan Amurov has an anger inside of him that burns so hot it’s almost impossible to control. His barely leashed rage threatens to break free, until he meets a woman who soothes his restless soul.

Sevastyan wants Flambe Carver with every breath. He’s determined that the fiery-haired woman will want to be his completely. But his would-be mate comes with strings attached—a relentless stalker who intends to claim her for his own.

They barely know each other, but with a very real threat looming just out of reach, Sevastyan takes Flambe under his protection. And as their connection grows, the embers of desire sparking between them soon burst into an inferno that will consume them both.

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Another super-sexy addition to the Leopard’s Series. I don’t normally warm up to uber-alpha males, but Sevastyan got to me. His desire for love and a mate shone through right away. I also liked how hard he worked on the relationship. Flambe’ however, just didn’t hit it for me. We don’t learn enough about her motivation until late in the book, so I didn’t trust her and couldn’t warm up to her. It seemed he had to do all the work tiptoeing through emotional landmines. It finally worked out and I ended up caring about her. There is a lot of explicit sex involving Shibari. I enjoyed how the author described the rope play so that I could almost picture it and understand the artistic aspect of it.

The background story to the romance carries on from previous books, adding in how Flambe’ got there with her own troubles. The two stories blended well together and brought it to a suspenseful ending. I enjoyed the story and am glad that Sevastyan found his love.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

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Nonexclusive Excerpt #1 (Chapter 1, page 6-8)

Sevastyan was unprepared for Shturm’s furious reaction. The leopard leapt at him, raking and clawing for freedom as if he would go hunting right then and find Flambé’s stalker. Sevastyan remained absolutely expressionless but he couldn’t stop himself from stepping in to her and circling her the way his leopard would, inhaling as he did so. The moment he did, his leopard went crazy. He felt a little insane himself. Her stalker was leopard. He wasn’t Amurov. He wasn’t from Russia, or from one of the lairs Sevastyan was familiar with, but none of that mattered, he was leopard and he was stalking Flambé for a reason.

“He struck you. Hit you. Did he do anything else to you?” Sevastyan forced himself to take a step back when he wanted—no—needed—to yank her closer, spin her around and see for himself.

Flambé frowned and touched the swelling on the side of her head, her hand trembling. She looked confused. “The moment he tried to throw me against the car, I fought him. He punched me and I went down to the pavement and hit my head very hard.”

Sevastyan wanted to pull her close to him, even on the pretense of just steadying her, but the attack had shaken her. Shturm was acting crazy, one minute rolling over and the next struggling to get out. He had to be careful with her.

“He straddled me, grabbing me by my hair, and I kneed him hard, managed to get to my feet and ran for your property. I’d been here a few times with my father so I knew approximately where the trees were the thickest. He’d planted them when I was really young.”

Sevastyan swore to himself. “Is this man someone you know? Someone you were promised to by your father?”

She tilted her head and studied his face for long moment before answering him. “No. He didn’t know my father. Clearly, you’re aware of what we are or you wouldn’t have been so set on hiring our company.”

“Before we go any further, if I ask you inside, will you be uncomfortable alone with me? There is no one else here. I didn’t know how much you knew about shifters and I wanted a chance to tell you what I needed from you when it came to landscaping without anyone around, but I don’t want you to be in the least uncomfortable. We can discuss this and then business on the outside patio if that is easier for you, but you need to sit down.”

Flambé hesitated, faint color stealing up her neck into her face, surprising him. Sevastyan studied her averted face as she once again peered over her shoulder before looking back at him. He had the feeling this time her hesitation wasn’t because she feared whoever it was that had struck her. She was avoiding looking at him.

“I’m not afraid of you. Your family has a certain reputation and there is honor and integrity involved.”

There was the smallest hint of untruth in her voice. She wasn’t afraid exactly, more like intimidated and he was okay with that. Sevastyan had been intimidating people nearly his entire life.

“And criminal activity,” he prompted.

For the first time a faint smile lit her face, doing extraordinary things to her eyes. “That too.”

He stepped back and held open the door. “Come in then. I’ve had a lot of work done to the interior, but it’s by no means finished.” He stayed where he was, forcing her to move past him. He took up a lot of space and that meant her smaller body would have to slide next to his, touching his briefly. He wanted to see what reaction his leopard would have. He already knew what reaction he had to her.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2020.

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Amazon Series Link

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image#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan has over 40 novels published, including four series. Each of her four series has hit #1 on the NY Times. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature for 1999. Since then she has been published by Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards.

She is pleased to have made numerous bestseller lists including the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Bookscan, B. Daltons, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Waldenbooks, Ingrams, Borders, Rhapsody Book Club, Washington Post, and Walmart. She has received numerous honors throughout her career including being a nominee for the RWA’s RITA. She has received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and the Borders 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has been published in multiple languages and in many formats, including large print, palm pilot, e-book, and hardcover. In October of 2007 her first manga comic, Dark Hunger was released in stores. This was the first ever manga comic released by Berkley Publishing and it made #11 on Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller’s List. Her ground-breaking book trailer commercials have been shown on TV and in the movie theaters. She has been featured on local TV, appeared on the The Montel Williams Show, and her book Dark Legend was featured on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine.

Christine Feehan has also appeared at numerous writers’ conventions and book signings including: Romantic Times Convention, Get Caught Reading at Sea Cruise, Celebrate Romance Conference, Emerald City Conference, and numerous Romance Writers of America Conferences.

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Review: WILDFLOWER ROAD by Janine Rosche

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WILDFLOWER ROAD (Madison River Romance Book 2) by Janine Rosche

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

63F72EDC-3438-44C0-B032-9840FAA4DB46A young widow is tempted to love again after her heartbreaking loss in this new Madison River Romance. 

After her husband’s tragic death, Ryann Marie Ashcroft’s only remaining dream is to save her family’s struggling mountain resort. And the last person she wants to rely on is a brooding stranger with secrets of his own.

Nicknamed America’s rock-and-roll pastor, Shane Olson arrives in Montana after a viral video destroys his marriage, his ministry, and his reputation. Working side by side on the banks of the Madison River, he and Ryann get a second chance at love. But not everyone wants to see their happily ever after.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a lovely story of not only second chances but finding your way when the world seems stacked up against you. Shane was hiding from his past in shame. He never lost his Christian faith, yet he struggled with feeling unworthy. Ryann was also dealing with a past trauma, and an ongoing threat that would not let her move on. Somehow, they found each other and provided the strength and comfort each needed to find a way forward.

Ms. Rosche has an easy writing style that pulls a reader through the ups and downs of the character’s lives. I’m glad she has written a great community of friends and family to build the close-knit world of Madison River. That kind of setting grabs a hold of me and builds the hope of a happily ever after. The story is a combination romantic suspense and Christian faith novel that keeps a reader turning the pages.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

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About the author

Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her rustic romance novels in the Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ONCE IN A BLUE MOON by Sharon Sala

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON (Blessings, Georgia Series, Book 10) by Sharon Sala

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

A94803D3-FB36-4D3F-8BDB-D3AF7B8FDA43New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala brings you back to Blessings, Georgia

How often do you find a love like this?

Cathy Terry is tired of running. Full of fear and hope, she backpacked across the country to Blessings, Georgia, not knowing if or when her abusive ex-husband would catch up to her. In Blessings she glimpses a safe haven and the closest feeling to home she’s had in a long time—even more so when she meets Duke Talbot. The sweet, strong, and handsome rancher provides a shoulder to lean on. The stakes get higher as the community embraces her and her relationship with Duke deepens—but can Cathy claim a new home and family before her past claims her?

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This is a lovely little romance not only between Cathy and Duke, but the town of Blessings as well. The banter of the residents make you feel like it’s a real place with real people that have known each other for years.  I liked Cathy and Duke right away, enjoying how they just knew there was something between them and no need to fight the attraction. The physical part of their relationship was behind doors, relying on the romance and friendship, so it will appeal to a wide range of readers. At times it seemed a little too sweet, but the suspense kept it from going into syrupy territory. This story can be read as a stand-alone.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

Duke loved this time of year. The leaves on the trees were as varied and colorful as the old patchwork quilts they’dslept under as children. And the sky today was a clear, cloudless blue—the same color as Cathy’s eyes.

The cows saw him driving across the pasture and looked up, hoping to see he was slowing down, which meant they would get fed. But when he kept driving, some moved beneath a small stand of shade trees, while others moved to the feeders with the big, round bales.

Duke had put up the cameras within a couple of hundred yards’ radius and facing the direction where the rustlers had come in before.

He walked a few yards into the trees to pick up the first cam and took it down. Out of curiosity, he stopped and rewound it to watch some of the footage and grinned at the view he’d caught of the backside of a boar raccoon waddling through the woods. He fast-forwarded through the minutes with nothing, then watched the footage of two black squirrels foraging on the ground.

There was more to be seen, but he could watch it at home if he wanted, so he packed it up, then started walking through the trees to the next location, where he retrieved the cam and put it in his backpack before moving on to the last.

As Duke approached the tree where he’d mounted it, he noticed a lot of paw prints in the area. They were from either dogs or coyotes, and if there was a pack of dogs running in the area, he wanted to play the tape back to see.

He was all the way on yesterday’s footage before he saw the coyote, and then it turned to face the camera. Duke gasped, watching as the coyote started staggering toward the camera, its head down, swinging slightly from side to side and foaming at the mouth. At that point he groaned, then stopped the camera.

The hair stood up on the back of his neck as he looked around at where he was standing. He’d only seen an animal with rabies maybe twice in his life, but the coyote he caught on the trail cam exhibited all of the symptoms.

They had to find it and put it down before it spread the disease to other animals. Something like that could easily become an epidemic. He needed to get home and call the county wildlife department and then notify the neighbors.

Duke drove home as fast as he could, then ran into the house carrying the cameras. He dumped them on the kitchen table and headed for the office. He had a friend who used to work for the county wildlife department and would know what to do and who to call.

He sat down without bothering to take off his jacket, found the number on an old business card, and made the call, then waited for someone to answer. This was the last number he’d had for Will, and he hoped it was still good.

And then the call was answered.

“Wildlife Animal Control, this is Carol.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’m trying to locate a ranger by the name of Will Polson. Does he still work there?”

“Yes, who’s calling please?”

“Tell him it’s Duke Talbot.”

Duke was put on hold, giving him time to put his cell phone on speaker. And then he heard a familiar voice and smiled.

“Well, hello, Duke Talbot! How the heck are you? Are you still out on the family farm?”

“Hi, Will. We’re doing good here, and yes, I’m still here. Listen, we have a problem out here. We had some trouble with cattle rustlers on the farm, so I put up some trail cams in the area, hoping if they came back I’d catch them. But they recently got themselves arrested. Today I went to take down the cameras and had quite a shock when I saw what was on the last one. It was a very obviously rabid coyote, and the last thing we need to have happen is to let this disease spread. There are a lot of farms around here, and people with kids and pets who roam the hills and creeks, not to mention the other wildlife that could get infected.”

“Oh man, this isn’t good. We haven’t had to deal with a rabies case in months,” Will said. “What were the date and time when you caught it on film?”

“Yesterday about this time of day,” Duke said.

“There’s no telling where it is by now, but I’ll get a crew together and head your way. You might notify as many neighbors as you can about the problem. Tell them to keep their dogs up until we find it. You said you’re still on the family farm?”

“Yes. Do you need an address?”

“Nope. I still remember how to get there. Can we drive up to the area?” he asked.

“Yes. To a point, and then the trees will be too dense. It will all be on foot from there.”

Excerpted from Once in a Blue Moon by Sharon Sala. © 2020 by Sharon Sala. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

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Giveaway

5 copies of You and Only You

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 100 plus books in print under her name and her pen name, Dinah McCall. She is published in five different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s an eight-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, winner of the Heart of Excellence Award, as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.

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Review: DELTA FORCE DEFENDER by Megan Crane

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DELTA FORCE DEFENDER (An Alaska Force Novel Book 4) by Megan Crane

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

F2FF7378-0343-4C79-BA50-3352DAC6D6F6Dangerous secrets force Caradine Scott on the run from Grizzly Harbor—with Alaska Force leader Isaac Gentry in hot pursuit—in the irresistible new romantic suspense from USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane.

After an explosion that should have killed her, Caradine barely escaped her criminal family by leaving her old identity behind. These days she runs the Water’s Edge Cafe in a rugged little town on the edge of nowhere, vowing never to let anyone close to her again.

After his career in the military, Isaac is back home playing the part of an unassuming local in Grizzly Harbor, while also overseeing Alaska Force’s special ops work as the founder and commanding officer he once was in the Marines and beyond. He has better things to do than obsess over a woman who claims she hates him, but every glimpse he gets of the vulnerability beneath her prickly exterior is a distraction . . . and a challenge he can’t ignore.

When Caradine’s demons catch up with her, her cafe isn’t the only thing that blows up. Her past pushes them together, and closer to a future that’s been waiting for them all this time. They just have to survive long enough to enjoy it.

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Alaska Force series, though it did not blow me away. Isaac was the hero I wanted to get lost in, yet in some ways the story fell short. I scored it a 4 because yes, it took me on a fun ride, but I just didn’t believe Isaac’s feelings for Caradine. She was far too caustic, secretive, and pushed him away too much to believe his growing love. The reason for her hiding did not make sense. I don’t want to give away the mystery, so will not voice the parts that made me say “what?” on more than one occasion. Now that I said that, I did have fun with the Alaska Force team. Their group camaraderie is easy and believable, and the Alaskan community is a place that I would love to live. Combine those things with a thrilling suspenseful drama, and you have an enjoyable book.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the author

USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than eighty-five books, and counting. She’s won fans with her romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Dare, and contemporary cowboy books she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from cowboys to military heroes and beyond – including her take on futuristic Vikings, outlaw bikers, and fairy tale princes. She has a Masters and Ph.D. in English Literature, has taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, and is always available to give workshops (or her opinion). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her comic artist husband, though, at any given time, she is likely to either be huddled in a coffee shop somewhere or off traveling the world. Preferably both.

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Review: RUNNING OUT OF TIME (Tactical Crime Division Book 4) by Cindi Myers

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RUNNING OUT OF TIME (Tactical Crime Division Book 4) by Cindi Myers

Publication Date: July 1, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

BC814FCF-A5CB-4F27-AF30-48C5743395FCRide along on the riveting cases of the Tactical Crime Division — TCD. An elite team of FBI agents specializing in high-risk threats.

When a terrorist is on the loose, the Tactical Crime Division is on the case.

To find out who poisoned medications, two of TCD’s agents are tapped to go undercover posing as a married couple and infiltrate the company. But as soon as Jace Cantrell and Laura Smith arrive at Stroud Pharmaceuticals, someone ups the ante by planting explosives in their midst. Turns out that the small-town family business is hiding a million secrets. Could they unknowingly be protecting a vengeful killer?

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek Thrills. Solve Crimes. Justice Served.

Discover the lives and loves of the remaining team members in the Tactical Crime Division series:
Book 1: 48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy
Book 2: Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter
Book 3: Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn
Book 4: Running out of Time by Cindi Myers

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Donna 4 stars

I love a quick action-packed story, and this Harlequin Intrigue delivered. I was a little worried about Laura’s uptight behavior in the beginning, but she quickly warmed up with the help of Jace. They weren’t exactly opposites, but their individual strengths worked well together and made the sexy romance believable. This story is a fun ongoing mystery that kept me guessing. I love when there are so many suspects, incidents, and underlying intrigues. A perfect summer read.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

Cindi Myers became one of the most popular people in eighth grade when she and her best friend wrote a torrid historical romance and circulated it among their peers. Fame was short-lived, however; the English teacher confiscated the manuscript and advised her to concentrate on learning to properly diagram a sentence. From this humbling beginning, she has gone on to write more than 80 novels that have been translated into more than a dozen languages and distributed all over the world. Her books have been praised for their emotion, humor and realistic characters. She writes stories about relationships that matter, whether the subject is friendship, families, or the love between a man and a woman.

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