Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A DASH OF CHRISTMAS by Samantha Chase

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A DASH OF CHRISTMAS (Montgomery Brothers) by Samantha Chase

Publication Date: September 24, 2019 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

0FCF4B7D-33E7-4874-A23C-E6643D942FF8With a dash of Christmas magic…

Two people who have spent most of their lives being rivals…

Learn a little something about following their hearts…

Carter Montgomery broke the family mold when he went to culinary school. Now a successful restauranteur, he’s at a crossroads: should he continue on his successful path or look for a new challenge? What he needs is time alone to think things through. But his matchmaking family has other ideas

Emery Monaghan’s no-good fiancé has embroiled her in scandal and she needs a way out. When mentor Eliza Montgomery offers her a refuge, she’s relieved—until she realizes that the deal means rubbing elbows with Eliza’s son Carter—Emery’s childhood nemesis.

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Excerpt

“Don’t go.”

His voice was raw and it wasn’t hard to tell there was a battle waging within him. Normally, Emery enjoyed watching Carter squirm and struggle, but for some reason seeing him this emotional after a call with his mother affected her in a way she didn’t expect.

She felt compassion for him—a need to comfort him and tell him it was going to be all right.

She made her way toward him. “I think it would be best for everyone if I did. You didn’t deserve to be blindsided like this, and I’m sorry it happened this way. I truly believed you were aware of what was going on and you were coming here specifically to work on the book. I had no idea your trip here had nothing to do with it or that you were so against giving it more attention.”

Carter’s shoulders sagged a little. “At any other time…”

“I know,” she said softly, moving a little closer. “I get it. Hey, there isn’t anything I can do about whatever else you’re dealing with, but on this particular subject, I can. I’ll work with the files you sent your mother and I’ll make it into something closer to what she’s looking for, okay? And in the meantime, I’ll stay out of your way so you can have at least one night’s peace.”

They stood in silence for a long time, and as much as Emery wanted to pack and get out of his way, she couldn’t seem to make herself move. In all the years they had known one another, they had bickered and poked fun at each other and essentially gone out of their own way to make the other miserable. It was what they did. It was comfortable. But right now, she couldn’t think of a single snarky or antagonistic comment.

And that freaked her out.

Swallowing hard, she took a step back. And then another. Next thing she knew, she had spun and was walking back to her bedroom, mildly trembling. She went straight to her closet and pulled out her weekender bag. Knowing she wasn’t going to be going out or doing anything other than vegging in her hotel room, she walked over to her dresser and pulled out a couple of pairs of yoga pants, a few T-shirts, a pair of pajamas, and a pair of shorts and tossed them in the bag. Next, she opened her lingerie drawer and was pulling out a handful of panties when a large male hand closed over hers. Gasping with surprise, she turned and found herself face-to-face with Carter.

While they both held her panties.

Awesome.

Emery wanted to be outraged—or at the very least annoyed that he had invaded her space when she was clearly trying to be the bigger person here, but for some reason she couldn’t seem to make herself speak or react.

What was happening to her?

“This is crazy,” he said, his voice deep and low and borderline hypnotic.

So he felt it, too? This sudden, crazy pull toward one another? The change in the air around them?

“I already said I didn’t want you to go, Em,” he went on and that’s when she realized what he was talking about.

Forcing her gaze away, she carefully pulled her hand and underwear from his. “I think it’s for the best.” Then she moved away, tossing her garments in the weekender bag along with the rest of her clothes. For a few minutes, she busied herself collecting odds and ends—her laptop, her e-reader, her iPod—before going into the bathroom and grabbing her toothbrush, makeup, and brushes. Anything else she needed she’d get from housekeeping. When she walked back out into the bedroom, she found Carter sitting quietly on her bed.

And her weekender bag emptied.

Okay, now she was outraged.

“Seriously, Carter?” she cried. “Why can’t you just let me do this?”

He shrugged. “I already told you. It’s not necessary.”

“To me it is! There’s no reason for me to stay here. And, might I remind you, I’ve been a thorn in your side since we were kids!”

It pleased her that he paled a little at having his words thrown back at him.

“I would think you’d be thankful that I was leaving,” she said, hating the tremor in her voice. “One less thing for you to worry about.”

The curse that flew out of his mouth followed by a huff of annoyance didn’t really surprise her. This was them. This was the relationship they had. And honestly, she preferred this to the strained silence and whatever it was that she was feeling just minutes ago.

Carter stood and walked over until they were toe to toe. “What I said to my mother,” he began and then stopped. “What I mean is, that was said in the heat of the moment and really, it couldn’t have been news to you. I’ve been telling you that to your face since we were twelve.”

“Eleven, but…whatever,” she corrected and smirked when he growled with frustration.

“That! That right there is why I said it! Can’t you just let some things go?”

Me?” she cried. “How about you? I was being the bigger person here! I was putting your feelings first, and where did that get me, huh? I should be in a cab on my way to a hotel with room service, but instead I’m here arguing with you again! Why couldn’t you just let me leave?”

They both instantly fell silent and Emery felt herself holding her breath while she waited for his answer.

“What’s the matter?” she finally asked. “Is it possible the arrogant Carter Montgomery has nothing to say for himself for the first time in his life?”

Yeah, she was taunting him, but…she needed to. Needed things to be like they always were. If she didn’t get them back on solid ground—back on the familiar turf of a lifelong rivalry—she wouldn’t know what to do. For years she’d been aware of Carter as a person. She couldn’t deal with suddenly being aware of him as a man.

When his only response was a slight tick in his jaw, she figured she’d poke the bear a little more. “Did you burn the sauce? Is that why we’re not eating yet? Or maybe you realized all that pretentious crap you bought was no better than grabbing a couple of slices from the pizzeria on the corner.” She noted he seemed to be almost inflating before her eyes—his posture straightened, his shoulders seemed to grow broader…

Go big or go home, right?

Leaning in, she said, “I bet you really don’t know how to make homemade pizza. At least not good homemade pizza.” She let out a devious little laugh. “Probably thought I would be too naive to know the difference. You probably could have served up one of my frozen pizzas and I wouldn’t know the difference.”

He was breaking molars now, no doubt.

“Not that it matters. I’ve got some microwave popcorn I can have for dinner, along with the last brownie. That’s the kind of stuff I can count on—and will probably be a lot more enjoyable.”

This time when Emery tried to move away, Carter’s large hand on her arm stopped her.

She had to hide her smile of satisfaction. “Problem?” she asked innocently.

“You’ve got a real smart mouth, Emery, but you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

“Oh, really? Care to explain?”

But he shook his head. “As a matter of fact, no. I don’t.”

She shrugged. “Fine, whatever. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my dinner awaits.”

“If you so much as think of making popcorn for dinner, I’ll strangle you,” he said, tugging her closer.

When she leaned in until they were nose to nose, she said, “I dare you.”

“Such a smart mouth,” he said right before he claimed it.

Excerpted from A Dash of Christmas by Samantha Chase. © 2019 by Samantha Chase. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

 

2 Bundles of The Montgomery Brothers Books 1-4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

With twenty-three titles currently to her name, she has no plans to slow down. The success of the Montgomery Brothers series has her working on six new titles in that collection as well as two new exciting series set to start popping up on bookshelves in 2015. You won’t find her books with the erotica or paranormal titles, all of her works are pure contemporary romances.

When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, blogging, playing way too many games of Scrabble on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: CLAIMING SARAH by Susan Stoker

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CLAIMING SARAH (Ace Security Series, Book 5) by Susan Stoker

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author Guest Post

Opposites Attract: When Cole Claims Sarah

In Claiming Sarah, Cole Johnson is co-owner of one of his town’s most popular gyms. He’s extremely busy since his partner, Felicity, is out of town. He makes an appointment to meet with Sarah Butler, to arrange for some self defense training for her, but he almost loses his chance when she overhears him telling his secretary he’s too busy and to give her an excuse as to why he can’t meet her. The couple (obviously) works out that awkward first meeting and Sarah begins learning how to defend herself from a creepy man who keeps giving her inappropriate presents. Of course the more time Cole spends with Sarah, the more he likes her and they end up dating. When she disappears it’s up to Cole, and Ace Security, to put together the clues to find her before it’s too late.

Cole Johnson is a man who’s used to plowing through his day and when he needs or wants something, he simply gets it. Sarah Butler is more reserved. As a kid who didn’t feel wanted until she was finally adopted she was used to being in the background. Cole and Sarah compliment each other perfectly. Cole is able to ferret out what Sarah wants and needs and he delivers. And in return Sarah keeps Cole grounded. She smooths out his jagged edges.

I think that’s how good relationships work, at least in my books. The Hero is there to protect and shield his woman from anyone or anything that might want to hurt her, and she’s there to keep him grounded and to support him. It seems to just work.

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Synopsis

45FDF5E8-370B-4770-A58E-8B11BCE56280Sarah Butler isn’t flattered. She’s angry and unnerved. She’s been getting intimate gifts from a man she barely knows. Nothing threatening yet, but there’s just a weird vibe she can’t ignore. Her recourse is Ace Security. Their solution: self-defense lessons at Rock Hard Gym with a personal, hands-on instructor. One look at the bearded, tattooed, green-eyed alpha is enough to take Sarah’s breath away.

Cole Johnson is definitely the man for the job. He’s eager to train her. Eager to get closer. And when it comes to Sarah’s instincts, Cole knows she’s not imagining things. He’s also not imagining the intense attraction between them—and his desire to protect her is growing. But so are Sarah’s fears, the worst of which come true when she disappears.

Enlisting the help of Ace Security, Cole will stop at nothing to find the love of his life . . . before she vanishes forever.

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Donna 4 stars

 

I enjoyed this installment in the Ace Security series, though not as much as the others. Sarah was a little too self-depreciating for me…needing assurances all the time. It didn’t really match her upbringing for me. That being said…she was sweet, caring, and a perfect match for Cole. The antagonist in this story had a nice twist as well. A bit different than the usual fare, so adding a nice dimension to show Sarah’s caring nature. They had a nice spicy romance that developed rather quickly into love. It was a quick read that I could not put down and made me anxious for the next installment.

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

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Excerpt

“Do you ask out every woman you train at your gym? It just seems . . . fast.”

Cole stared at her for a long moment, and when he frowned, Sarah felt as if she’d somehow disappointed him.

“No, I don’t ask out every woman I train. Not even close. It’s been a long time since I’ve asked anyone out. And believe me, Sarah, I’m looking at you—and I like what I see. A lot. You’ve got an air of innocence about you that I find fascinating. You’ve had a tough life, but haven’t let it harden you. I respect you, and I . . . I’d like to get to know you better.”

She bit her lip and took a deep breath, but didn’t immediately protest, so he went on. “I have a feeling simply being around you will make me a better person.”

Sarah shook her head. “Don’t do that. Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m not some paragon walking around sprinkling glitter throughout the world.”

Cole laughed. Threw his head back and laughed as if she’d said the funniest thing he’d ever heard.

Sarah tugged on her hand again, somewhat offended, but he still refused to let go.

When he got himself under control, he said, “I know you’re not perfect. You’re too trusting. You see the good in everyone, even when there isn’t any there. You probably neglect your own health in order to do something good for someone else.”

“You make me sound like an idiot,” Sarah grumbled, despite being secretly kind of flattered.

“You’re not an idiot. You’re refreshing. And I’m not. I’ve got more than my share of flaws that I’m sure you’ll discover sooner rather than later. But as I said, if you let me get to know you, go out on a few dates with me, I’m hoping you’ll find that you like me back . . . just a little.”

Sarah frowned. “I already like you, Cole, but I don’t understand you. You don’t know anything about me. I could totally be lying to you right now, and you just bought my lies hook, line, and sinker.”

He smiled again. “You’re not lying.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I’m an expert at reading body language. I’ve been around some bad people in my life, angel. You are who you say you are. What you see is what you get.”

Sarah licked her lips nervously, and his gaze immediately followed the movement.

Cole persisted. “Say you’ll go out with me, Sarah.”

“I thought I was here to figure out how to defend myself.”

“You are. And we’ll get to that. Agreeing to go out with me in no way affects whether or not I’ll teach you some basic moves that will allow you to get away from someone and get to safety.”

“But if I say no, things could get weird.”

“Then say yes,” Cole cajoled. “I swear you’ve got nothing to fear from me. I’ll even get references if that will make you feel safer.”

“It’s not that. I think I feel safer with you than anyone I’ve ever been around . . .” She
hesitated.

“But?”

“I’m afraid once you get to know me, you’ll decide I’m annoying. Too much work or something. I work odd hours, weird shifts. And I looked you up online. I know about your friend and what happened to her. And about the Andersons. The last thing I want is my stalker getting upset when he sees us together—because he will—and taking out any anger on you and your friends.”

“Breathe, angel. Take a breath. Nothing is going to happen to them.”

“You can’t control people, Cole,” Sarah pressed. “They’re unpredictable.”

“Fine. Then we’ll meet with Logan, Blake, Nathan, and Ryder, and make sure they know everything about this Owen guy. We’ll let them investigate and figure out what will make him back off. In the meantime, we’ll hang out at my place. Or here. Or your house. We won’t shove our relationship down Owen’s throat. We’ll be discreet. How’s that sound?”

Sarah could only gape at him. “How’d we go from me wanting some tips on protecting myself to having Ace Security investigating Owen and you and me hanging out at each other’s houses?”

He smiled at her again, but didn’t answer her question.

She took a deep breath and gave him the only answer she could. “Okay.”

He beamed. “Okay,” he said quietly. Then he finally let go of her hand and stood, before immediately reaching the same hand down to her again. “Time for your first lesson.”

Automatically, she reached up and let him help her off the floor. She wasn’t sure what she was expecting. A kiss to seal the deal. A hug. A discussion about when and where their first date would be. But so far, Cole hadn’t done anything the way she expected him to.

“First lesson for today will be how to get a guy to let go of your hand if he’s been holding on too long and you’re uncomfortable.”

Sarah knew he was referring to her feeble attempts to pull her hand out of his, and blushed. But he was right, this was something she should know. It would come in handy at the hospital too, just in case one of the patients or family members got a little too familiar, as they’d done in the past.

Concentrating on his instruction, she did her best to put her nerves about dating Cole behind her.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

If you have Kindle Unlimited you can borrow this series for Free!

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Susan Stoker’s CLAIMING SARAH

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author

A6A4A7AC-5A93-469E-AFD3-1946AC00DD2BSusan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love.

Review & Giveaway: DARK ILLUSION (A Carpathian Novel) by Christine Feehan

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DARK ILLUSION (A Carpathian Novel, Book 33) by Christine Feehan

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

41020C94-2B43-4142-B5D6-C0B7297AEC0AA mage and a warrior must see beyond their facades and embrace the bond that links their souls in this powerful Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

At any other time, Julija Brennan would find solace in the quiet of the Sierra Mountains, but now the mage is in the race of her life. Having broken free from her controlling family, Julija’s attempt to warn the Carpathians of the coming threat has failed and put a target on her back—and those who are hunting her are close behind.…

After centuries locked away in a monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, Isai Florea can’t believe he’s finally found his lifemate—the missing half of his soul. The second he sees Julija, his world blazes with color. But despite their explosive connection, Julija rebels against what she sees as Isai’s intent to control her and rejects the bond that would prevent him from becoming a monster.

As their unfulfilled bond continues to call to them both, Julija and Isai aim to complete the task that brought them together. They are used to facing danger alone, but now the mage and the ancient warrior must learn how to rely on each other in order to stop a plot that threatens all Carpathians.…

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this installment – for the most part. Do I dare say that they are becoming repetitive? Nothing new except the characters themselves? 33 stories have pushed this romance series to its limit? I rated it a 4 because I like her writing style, and I get sucked into the Carpathian saga. Granted, I was rather worried at the beginning that I would not like Isai at all. His behavior when they first met pissed me off. Thankfully that changed and I understood him more. Julija’s motives and actions were also believable with her background, so nothing jumped out at me and I’m glad they got together and found their love. I sadly found myself almost speed-reading through the many spells and over-abundance of pages to describe one action. If you love the Carpathians, you will enjoy this book and how it leads into the next one…leaving some unresolved issues. It’s not a cliff-hanger, just readying the readers for what comes next.

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

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Kindle | Hardback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

HARDBACK COPY

ENTER FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (9/9) by 6PM EST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by Berkley Romance. 

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image 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: THE BLACKSMITH QUEEN (The Scarred Earth Saga) by G.A. Aiken

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THE BLACKSMITH QUEEN (The Scarred Earth Saga Book 1) by G.A. Aiken

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Synopsis

59A03F5C-034D-45B2-B215-3C9320FFC9E9When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.

The Old King Is Dead

With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

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Donna 5 Stars

What fun! Ms. Aiken has managed to create another world for us to dive into. She is a master at describing where and what, so that you are quickly immersed and feel a part of it all. Centaurs? Sure…Demon Wolves? Of course…they’re all real – right? I loved it all. Keeley and her family are a rowdy bunch that poor Caid and his fellow Centaurs can only gird their loins for what might happen next. I did wonder if it was a fantasy with romantic elements, but Keeley and Caid’s romance grew steadily, culminating in a steamy love-scene. So yes, this book had it all. Magical creatures, horrible antagonists, crazy family and friends, humor, romance and of course – a happily ever after. The kind of story that keeps you in its grasp long after the book is closed. I cannot wait for the second installment.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the author

Originally from Long Island, New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken has resigned herself to West Coast living, which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should be. Writing as Shelly Laurenston, she is also the creator of the wickedly funny Pride series for Brava. For more info about G.A. Aiken’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons, go to http://www.gaaiken.com.

 Website | GoodReads | Shelly Laureson’s Website

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Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: THE RELUCTANT BOYFRIEND by Erika Kelly

 

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THE RELUCTANT BOYFRIEND (The Bad Boyfriend Series, Book 4) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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A0545EFA-9804-40E8-89F0-A6E0867B5687Princess Gone Wild!

When Princess Rosalina discovers her fiancé cheating on her, she’s done being dutiful. Jumping on a plane, she lands five thousand miles away in a world of hot cowboys, jean skirts, and tequila. Grabbing her chance to fly under the radar, she plans on acting out every single fantasy she’s denied herself while trying to meet the expectations of her family and country.

Brodie Bowie doesn’t know what happened. One minute he’s wreaking havoc and tearing up the slopes with his brothers, and the next he’s an outsider. All of them are in serious relationships. He just can’t figure out why they’d put a ring on it when there’s so much fun to be had as a single man.

Brodie’s not the settling down type, but then he’s never met anyone like the woman who jumps in front of his bulldozer, refusing to let him dig up his meadow. The feisty chemist and perfumer is everything he never knew he wanted.

Except she only wants a summer fling before she goes back to her real life . . . as a princess.

He doesn’t fit in her world, and there’s no way she can live in his.

But a love like theirs doesn’t play by the rules.

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Excerpt

“I thought you needed clothes so you could work? Like jeans and shirts.”

“I do.” She gestured to a stack of clothes folded on the chair. “But I love these summer dresses. They’re so pretty. I’m worried this one’s too bright, though.”

“Nope. It’s perfect. Now you just need a reason to wear it.”

“I have one.” She watched him carefully in the mirror. “I’m going on a date.”

A date? With whom?”

“The guy I met at the bar the other night.”

Part of her checklist. Get freaky with a cowboy. “And he’s already asked you out?” Of course he did. She was beautiful and fun. Smart and sexy. What guy wouldn’t want to be with her?

She nodded. “What’s that expression for?”

He wouldn’t pretend with her, so he leaned in—real close. “He better be special, princess. That’s all I’m saying.”

“Sometimes, all it takes is a moment.” She faked a dreamy expression. “Sometimes, you look into someone’s eyes and you just know. He’s your one and only. Your soulmate.”

Okay, she was fucking with him. He straightened. “So, is Mr. Wonderful moving to St. Christophe to wear the crown or are you moving out here to work his ranch?”

“Details. We’re just going to wing it, let true love run its course.” She laughed. “It’s just a date. It’s not a big deal.”

“Yeah, but he might expect things.”

She covered her mouth with a hand, her eyes comically wide. “You don’t mean…s-e-x, do you?”

“All right, smart ass. Get dressed. Let’s pay for all this crap and get out of here.”

“Wait. There’s one more thing I want you to look at.” She made a circling motion with her finger.

“Fine.”

“And close your eyes for real this time. No looking at your phone.”

“Why? You gonna get nekkid?”

“Actually, yes, and I don’t want you to go crazy and start pawing at me.”

“I think I can control myself.”

“I don’t know. All I did was ask one for one little kiss, and you were all over me.”

He smiled. “Sure as fuck was. So don’t be asking me for any more kisses, unless you want what I’ve got to give.”

“Oh, okay, bad boy. You’ve got me running scared now. Just keep your eyes closed. I’ll be ready in a minute.”

Brodie wanted to watch her strip out of that dress more than he could ever remember wanting anything. He wanted to see her tits pop out as she leaned forward to let the straps fall from around her neck, her ass sway as she lowered it over her hips, and her smooth skin bared in the soft light of the dressing room.

He wanted to see that shy smile and feel those bold fingers, wanted to feel her hips rock up and grind against his hard cock. How many minutes would it have taken before she’d gotten herself off last night? If he hadn’t walked out on her, she’d have come. He’d have gotten to watch her features go slack, her body seize in ecstasy.

Fuck, yeah. He wanted to see that.

Wanted to be the one to make her come.

He heard her moving around in the dressing room, the smack of elastic, and then it went quiet. “You ready?” he asked.

“Um…”

He turned around to find her in a black bikini. Two scraps of spandex covered her plump tits, and the bottom was a strip of fabric connecting two patches of fabric.

“Brodie.”

“What?”

“Eyes up here.”

“How can I give you my opinion if I’m looking in your eyes?”

“Can you at least wipe the drool off your chin? It’s very unbecoming.”

“You going to wear that for the hot cowboy?”

“Yes. I thought I’d answer the door in it and pretend I just got back from the lake, tell him I’m running late. Good strategy?”

“Are you such a smart ass in St. Christophe?”

She got a panicked look. “Shh.”

“No one can hear us.” He flicked his fingers at the bikini. “You sure you need that thing?”

“Okay, I’m getting from all these questions that you like the way it looks. I don’t usually wear such…flimsy swimsuits. I just wanted to know if it looks all right.”

“You wear that, you’re going to wind up pregnant, and then what will your parents think?”She leaned close and whispered, “Then I’ll get the heir without the husband. Pure win.”

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved Bowie and Rosie’s story! This was the last Bowie brother’s book and it did not disappoint. THE RELUCTANT BOYFRIEND is the fourth book in Erika Kelly’s Bad Boyfriend Series. Each book in the series features a Bowie brother and can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading them in order to fully enjoy the series. THE RELUCTANT BOYFRIEND gave me all the feels and had everything I look for in a great love story. Erika Kelly always delivers a great story and creates relatable and likable characters. I always get drawn into her stories  and they never disappoint. I highly recommend this series for romance lovers. Erika Kelly is on my must read list.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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✿The Bad Boyfriend Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 4 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE RELUCTANT BOYFRIEND ➢ Kindle

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✿✿✿ ADDITIONAL SERIES ✿✿✿

✿Wild Love Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. Mine For Now ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle
✦2. Mine for the Week ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle

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✿Rock Star Romance Series by Erika Kelly✿

✦1. You Really Got Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. I Want You To Want Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦3. Take Me Home Tonight ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. More Than a Feeling ➢ Review 5 StarsKindle

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604CAF16-513E-40B9-A008-94B19D5E8AF7Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life—she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: HANDLE WITH CARE by Marie Harte

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HANDLE WITH CARE (Veteran Movers Series, Book 3) by Marie Harte

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

E223B426-BE6D-4213-B7F8-08387D585BE4Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day…

And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.

Evan Griffith has had many careers in his life. But who knew working for his family’s moving company would hold just as much action as his stint in the Marine Corps? On an unforgettable job, Evan finds himself taken by a teenage conman and confronted by a woman wielding a knife—and promptly falls head over heels for her.

Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail—all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking… Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

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Donna 5 Stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Veteran Movers series. Evan’s story lived up to my expectations and then some. Kenzie and her crew were as funny and crazy as Evan’s, fitting both of their lives together like a puzzle. That opening scene was a hoot! Granted Evan could sometimes come across as too good to be true – and Kenzie edged close to my “she’s fighting the relationship too much” line, but neither circumstances made me groan. Another thing I liked about this story, is Kenzie’s younger brother was a part of the budding romance. I loved how Evan not only fell in love with Kenzie but grew to love her brother too. It was natural and never seemed forced. This is a sexy hot romance full of laughter and warm-fuzzies.

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

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Excerpt

Funny, he’d said. Evan had been set up. Again. Daniel Sykes needed some discipline, something the Corps, or a foot up his butt, might just provide. Then again, should Evan be upset at another opportunity to see Kenzie up close?

Damn, but even angry she turned him on. Yeah, that was it. He wanted her. Physical desire. That he understood. And if he ignored the quickening of his heart and the need to sigh just looking at her, he’d believe his own bullshit. Because falling for a woman he didn’t even know made no sense. And Evan was nothing if not rational.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, biting out each word.

“I’m supposed to meet your brother to discuss financial matters. He had a legitimate question about tax penalties, and since I was already in the area, I told him I’d meet him.”

Kenzie clenched her jaw.

“So he was lying?”

“No. I am having some issues with my books, but I’m not sure why Rachel’s moving guy is qualified to help us.”

Evan smiled. “I’m an accountant. I was, I mean. Well, I still am. I’m just working for myself now.”

“Why?”

“So much suspicion.” He grinned, not telling her how adorable she looked in her pique. Women didn’t like hearing that they were cute when trying to appear serious. “I wasn’t fired for any wrongdoing. I left the firm because I couldn’t handle the hours. But I’m still consulting for them, and I have a few clients staying with me who left Peterman & Campbell Accounting when I did.”

She blinked. “I know that firm. One of my clients uses them. They’re big money.”

“Yep.” Evan wanted to stroke her cheek, to see if she felt as soft as she looked. So he tucked his hands in his pockets.

“What was with lying to Rob about your clients using me? Or me being overbooked?”

He shrugged. “I know Rob. He’s competitive. The thought of him not getting to use your services because you don’t have time for him would annoy the crap out of him. Plus it never hurts to make people think you’re more than you are. Perception is everything, and before you know it, you will be overbooked.”

“Oh.” She gave him a tentative smile. “Thanks.”

“Mind if I grab a coffee and wait with you for your brother? It’s getting crowded in here.”

She nodded, her gaze thoughtful.

Evan picked up a coffee and a few pastries and returned to Kenzie. “How about some sweets as a peace offering? I had no idea I was interrupting a meeting.”

She accepted an apricot Danish. “Thanks. It’s not your fault I couldn’t snare Rob Talon on my own.”

He didn’t know about that. Rob had seemed pretty smitten when Evan had seen the pair sitting together.

“How do you know him anyway?” Kenzie asked.

“I knew his sister from a long time ago. She and I dated briefly in college. Rob is a good guy, and he and I became friends after Kayla and I broke up.”

“Really? Kayla is amazing.”

“She is. But I was the problem.” I was too boring for Kayla. And I really hate that word. “She wanted to see the world, and I had responsibilities.” He sipped his coffee, remembering the past and wondering where the time had gone. “Well, actually she wanted to go to India for some technology conference, and I wanted to go to Miami for a wild spring break. We parted ways after I joined the Marine Corps and she moved to Bangalore.”

“You were a Marine?”

Am a Marine.” He smiled with pride. “You’re never an ex. You become a ‘prior’ or ‘former’ Marine. It’s always with you.” Even though he hadn’t enjoyed many of the aspects of the military, he missed the camaraderie, which explained why he loved working with the gang at Vets on the Go! It felt like a mini-Corps of likeminded individuals.

“So if you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving furniture for a living? Because you burned out doing accounting?” She sounded disbelieving.

He couldn’t blame her. “Actually, I’m a partner in our moving business. My cousins and I own Vets on the Go!, and one of our guys is out due to a broken arm. So I’m helping out until he’s back. But to be honest, it’s been enjoyable using my muscles more than my brains for a while. I got tired working eighty-hour weeks for Peterman & Campbell.”

Her eyes softened. “That makes sense. I love my job, but I get tired too. I worked all weekend in between cleaning my house and running errands.” She sighed. “And today was a bust.”

“Sorry to hear that. I’ll make sure Rob calls you back since I interrupted you.”

“No, please don’t. I can handle my business myself.”

He sensed a little bit of tension there, but he understood the need for independence. “No problem. At least finish the Danish.”

She shoved half the pastry in her mouth and grinned at him. “Happy now?” she asked, her mouth full, and he laughed.

“You know, I can see where your brother gets that attitude.”

She managed to swallow the ball of dough and groaned. “Now I should be apologizing to you. I can’t believe he tricked you into coming here.”

“So you’re not having a problem with your taxes?”

“Yes, but—” The buzz of her phone interrupted her. She read a text and blinked. “Daniel just told me he’s on his way here to meet with you and not to be freaked out if I see you because you’re not stalking me, you’re doing him a favor.”

“Wow. He texted all that?”

“Mostly in abbreviations and emojis, but I understand teen-speak.”

Evan laughed. “Better you than me. I couldn’t even figure out how to change my name back.”

“What did he change your name to?”

“Well, my ringtone became ‘Dancing Queen.’ And my name became Sexy Moving Man with a Fine Ass.”

She couldn’t stifle her mirth, and he saw it.

Excerpted from Handle With Care by Marie Harte. © 2019 by Marie Harte. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

3 Copies of Smooth Moves

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character.

She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense.

Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.

Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There’s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour & Review: QUIET MAN: A Dream Man Novella by Kristen Ashley

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QUIET MAN: A Dream Man Novella by Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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6A52F103-D0D4-48E1-96E2-72C9D9667338From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Dream Man series…

Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.

The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.

Enter Mo Morrison.

Enormous. Scary.

Quiet.

Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.

But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.

However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.

But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.

All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.

And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Trailer

➣ Watch the book trailer: http://bit.ly/2YZZ70T

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Cori 5 StarsThis book gave me all the feels! I loved QUIET MAN! This novella is part of the Dream Man series, but Lottie is really part of the Rock Chick group and Mo is one of Hawk’s Commandos. JHawk’s book is the first book in the Dream Man series so it’s kind of of a blend of both series. I loved every minute of Lottie and Mo’s story. It had all that Kristen Ashley story magic! Emotion, excitement, fun and smoking hot romance. I highly recommend this series for romance lovers. Kristen Ashley is one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait for the new spin-off series, the Dream Series, releasing next year featuring more hot commandos!

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

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Buy Links

KindlePaperback

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PRE-ORDER SPIN-OFF:
✦DREAM MAKER (The Dream Series Book 1) by Kristen Ashley (Releasing 05/26/20) ➢ Kindle $6.99 https://amzn.to/2RCzVYp
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✦DREAM MAN SERIES BY KRISTEN ASHLEY✦
✦Mystery Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1fy7t2y
✦Wild Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/15tikVs
✦Law Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/18fhoWh
✦Motorcycle Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1G5yibS
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✦ROCK CHICK SERIES BY KRISTEN ASHLEY✦
► Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/1SPur4w
✦ 1 ~ Rock Chick ➢ KINDLE http://amzn.to/1aiEqxy
✦ 2 ~ Rock Chick Rescue ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/13KMqjM
✦ 3 ~ Rock Chick Redemption ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1cYoguq
✦ 4 ~ Rock Chick Renegade ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/17WYlfn
✦ 5 ~ Rock Chick Revenge ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/12hasoI
✦ 6 ~ Rock Chick Reckoning ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/16Awq9M
✦ 7 ~ Rock Chick Regret ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1aiF5PB
✦ 8 ~ Rock Chick Revolution ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/13xkYuU
✦ Prequel Novella ~ Rock Chick Reawakening ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/28LIgnL
✦ 9 ~ Rock Chick Reborn ➢ KINDLE: https://amzn.to/2TTThcE

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 Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: BETWEEN YOU & ME by Kimberly Kincaid

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BETTER THAN ME (Remington Medical Series Book 3) by Kimberly Kincaid

Publication Date: August 13, 2019 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

BD940BDD-601B-4E73-AA91-4971DFFE085AHe hates the corporate world.
She’s all business.

Now they have to work together
on the one job that could
make or break them both…

Connor became a flight medic
for one reason, and
one reason only.
To help people.
If he can keep his head down
and his past in the past while he’s at it?
Even better.

Until Harlow appears to upend his world
with an offer he can’t refuse.

She’s calculating. Composed.
Scalpel-sharp.

And she’ll stop at nothing to make
her father’s business successful.

Even if that means teaming up with Connor
to turn around a failing clinic.

He shouldn’t like her.
He definitely shouldn’t want her.
But the more they work together
the less he’s able to resist.

But Connor’s secrets run deep.
Will Harlow’s ambition ruin him,
or will she be his salvation?

From USA Today best-seller Kimberly Kincaid comes an enemies-to-lovers story full of emotion and heat. This full-length romance features a muscle-bound veteran flight medic and a smart, tart female CEO finding happily ever after…the hard way.

Previous books in the series (books one and two stand alone, but book 3 contains some series spoilers, so all are best read in order!)

Book 1: BACK TO YOU ➢ https://amzn.to/2Gkw0N8
Book 2: BETTER THAN ME ➢ https://amzn.to/2D6zFdV

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Donna 5 Stars

I was wondering when Conner would get his book, I had so many questions about him and wanted to know his story. I was not disappointed! He made my heart pang one minute, then swoon the next. I could not imagine how prickly Harlow would ever be good enough for him and was prepared to dislike her from page one. Sometimes a “enemies to lovers” premise frustrates me on the attraction aspect. Thank heavens that didn’t happen. Ms. Kincaid gave Harlow enough depth to illustrate how and why Conner would fall for her beyond just lust. They fulfilled each other in such a way that I am still smiling. Their romance built beautifully to a steamy climax, never hindering the flow of the story. Then you add in all the other characters at Remington Medical, and you have a feel-good romance that I couldn’t put down.

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

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Excerpt

Christ, her need was pouring off her in waves, each one of them slamming into his chest. Without breaking the connection of their mouths, Harlow reached down, yanking his shirt up just far enough to close her fingers around the waistband of his scrubs.

It took everything he had—and he really meant everything—to capture her fingers with his own and bring them to stillness. “Wait,” he said against her lips.

“No.” She grasped the hem of her sweater, yanking the heavy material up and over her head. The move made her hair wild around her face, but not enough to cover the emotion there.

“Yes.”

Harlow froze, her eyes glinting in the low light. “Connor, I want—”

“I know what you want, sweetheart. But I want something, too.”

Her brows gathered in question, and he cupped her face to answer.

“Let me in, Harlow.” He tipped her chin back, kissing the juncture where her jaw came together by her ear. “If all you want to do tonight is feel, then let me make you feel perfect. Slow down and let me make you feel everything.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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REMINGTON MEDICAL SERIES BY KIMBERLY KINCAID
Book 1: BACK TO YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
Book 2: BETTER THAN ME ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
Book 3: BETWEEN ME & YOU ➢ Kindle

 

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About the Author

159C05B3-1F2F-4229-AF40-6FF3D6E9F51FKimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Pinterest ✯ Instagram

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare

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THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: Girl Meets Duke Series Book 3 by Tessa Dare

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

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89E87107-6DB1-491D-8938-A02923A1F82AThey call him the Duke of Ruin. To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

She circled back, standing before him. “There now. Better?”

He gave a reluctant nod.

“Can you move your arm in all directions?”

He rolled his shoulder to prove it. “Yes.”

“What about your grip?

“My grip is strong.”

“Perhaps I should wrap the arm in a sling.”

“I do not need a sling.”

“Wait here. I’ll dash upstairs to fetch some linen and—”

“For the love of God, woman. My shoulder is fine.” He took her by the waist and lifted her straight off the floor, until they were eye to eye. “There. Believe me now?”

She nodded, wide-eyed.

“Good.”

In his hands, she was delicate, breakable. Her hair was a golden treasure he should never, ever touch. And oh, how he hungered for those soft, pink lips.

The familiar voice echoed in his ears.

Don’t touch, boy. She’s not for the likes of you.

Put. Her. Down.

But before Gabe could lower those beribboned pink slippers to the floor, she captured his sooty, sweaty face in her hands—

And kissed him on the lips.

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Cori 4 Stars

This book was so much fun! I loved all the rescue animals Penny had. Penny and Gabriel’s story had all the hot romance, the emotion and the fun the animals brought to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. THE WALLFLOWER WAGER is the third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke Series and each book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend this series for romance lovers looking for a historical romance series with some laughs, great characters and feel good love stories.

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

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Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: Girl Meets Duke by Tessa Dare

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (8/26) by 6PM EST. Paperback provided by Avon.

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5EF0B3E0-E85F-4191-A769-504BD0D64088Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BRAZEN AND THE BEAST by Sarah MacLean

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BRAZEN AND THE BEAST: The Bareknuckle Bastards Series Book 2 by Sarah MacLean

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

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68BA980F-A739-41E2-8659-930CA10CFA44New York Times Bestselling Author Sarah MacLean returns with the next book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series about three brothers bound by a secret that they cannot escape—and the women who bring them to their knees.

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

September 1837
Mayfair

In twenty-eight years and three hundred sixty-four days, Lady Henrietta Sedley liked to think that she’d learned a few things.
She’d learned, for example, that if a lady could not get away with wearing trousers (an unfortunate reality for the daughter of an earl, even one who had begun life without title or fortune), then she should absolutely ensure that her skirts included pockets. A woman never knew when she might require a bit of rope, or a knife to cut it, after all.
She’d also learned that any decent escape from her Mayfair home required the cover of darkness and a carriage driven by an ally. Coachmen tended to talk a fine game when it came to keeping secrets, but were ultimately beholden to those who paid their salaries. An important addendum to that particular lesson was this: The best of allies was often the best of friends.
And perhaps first on the list of things she had learned in her lifetime was how to tie a Bosun knot. She’d been able to do that for as long as she could remember.
With such an obscure and uncommon collection of knowledge, one might imagine that Henrietta Sedley would have known precisely what to do in the likelihood she discovered a human male bound and unconscious in her carriage.
One would be incorrect.
In point of fact, Henrietta Sedley would never have described such a scenario as a likelihood. After all, she might have been more comfortable on London’s docks than in its ballrooms, but Hattie’s impressive collection of life experience lacked anything close to a criminal element.
And yet, here she was, pockets full, dearest friend at her side, standing in the pitch dark on the night before her twenty-ninth birthday, about to steal away from Mayfair for a night of best-laid plans, and…
Lady Eleanora Madewell whistled, low and unladylike at Hattie’s ear. Daughter of a duke and the Irish actress he loved so much he’d made her a duchess, Nora had the kind of brashness that was allowed in those with impervious titles and scads of money. “There’s a bloke in the gig, Hattie.”
Hattie did not look away from the bloke in question. “Yes, I see that.”
“There wasn’t a bloke in the gig when we hitched the horses.”
“No, there wasn’t.” They’d left the hitched—and most definitely empty—carriage in the dark rear drive of Sedley House not three-quarters of an hour earlier, before hiking upstairs to exchange carriage-hitching dresses for attire more appropriate for their evening plans.
At some point between corset and kohl, someone had left her an extraordinarily unwelcome package.
“Seems we would’ve noticed a bloke in the gig,”
“I should think we would have,” came Hattie’s distracted reply. “This is really just awful timing.”
Nora cut her a look. “Is there a good time for a man to be bound in one’s carriage?”
Hattie imagined there wasn’t, but, “He could have selected a different evening. What a terrible birthday gift.” She squinted into the dark interior of the carriage. “Do you think he’s dead?”
Please, don’t let him be dead.
Silence. Then, a thoughtful, “Does one store dead men in carriages?” Nora reached forward, her coachman’s coat pulling tight over her shoulders, and poked the dead man in question. He did not move. “He’s not moving,” she added. “Could be dead.”
Hattie sighed, removing a glove and leaning into the carriage to place two fingers to the man’s neck. “I’m sure he’s not dead.”
“What are you doing?” Nora whispered, urgently. “If he’s not dead, you’ll wake him!”
“That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Hattie pointed out. “Then we could ask him to kindly exit our conveyance and we could be on our way.”
“Oh, yes. This brute seems like precisely the kind of man who would immediately do just that and not immediately take his revenge. He’d no doubt doff his cap and wish us a fine good evening.”
“He’s not wearing a cap,” Hattie pointed out, unable to refute any of the rest of the assessment of the mysterious, possibly dead man. He was very broad, and very solid, and even in the darkness she could tell that this wasn’t a man with whom one took a turn about a ballroom.
This was the kind of man who ransacked a ballroom.
“What do you feel?” Nora pressed.
“No pulse.” Though she wasn’t precisely certain of the location one would find a pulse. “But he’s—”
Warm.
Dead men were not warm, and this man was very warm. Like a fire in winter. The kind of warm that made someone realize how cold she might be.
Ignoring the silly thought, Hattie moved her fingers down the column of his neck, to the place where it disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt, where the curve of his shoulder and the slope of…the rest of him… met in a fascinating indentation.
“Anything now?”
“Quiet.” Hattie held her breath. Nothing. She shook her head.
“Christ.” It wasn’t a prayer.
Hattie couldn’t have agreed more. But then…
There. A small flutter. She pressed a touch more firmly. The flutter became firm. Slow. Even. “I feel it. She said. “He’s alive.” She repeated herself. “He’s alive.” She exhaled, long and relieved. “He’s not dead.”
“Excellent. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s unconscious in the carriage, and you have somewhere to be.” She paused. “We should leave him and take the curricle.”
Hattie had been planning for this particular excursion on this particular night for a full three months. This was the night that would begin her twenty-ninth year. The year her life would become her own. The year she would become her own. And she had a very specific plan for a very specific location at a very specific hour, for which she had donned a very specific frock. And yet, as she stared at the man in her carriage, specifics seemed not at all important.
What seemed important was seeing his face.
Clinging to the handle at the edge of the door, Hattie collected the lantern from the upper rear corner of the carriage before swinging back out to face Nora, whose gaze flickered immediately to the unlit container.
Nora tilted her head. “Hattie. Leave him. Let’s take the curricle.”
“Just a peek,” Hattie replied.
The tilt became a shake. “If you peek, you’ll regret it.”
“I have to peek,” Hattie insisted, casting about for a decent reason—ignoring the odd fact that she was unable to tell her friend the truth. “I have to untie him.”
“Not necessarily,” Nora pointed out. “Someone thought he was best left tied up, and who are we to disagree?” Hattie was already reaching into the pocket of the carriage door for a flint. “What of your plans?”
There was plenty of time for her plans. “Just a peek,” she repeated, the oil in the lantern catching fire. She closed the door and turned to face the carriage, lifting the light high, casting a lovely golden glow over—
“Oh, my,” she said.
Nora choked back a laugh. “Not such a bad gift after all, perhaps.”
The man had the most beautiful face Hattie had ever seen. The most beautiful face anyone had ever seen, she imagined. She leaned closer, taking in his warm, bronze skin, the high cheekbones, the long, straight nose, the dark slashes of his brows and the impossibly long lashes that lay like feathers against his cheeks.
“What kind of man…” she trailed off. Shook her head.
What kind of man looked like this?
What kind of man looked like this and somehow landed in the carriage of Hattie

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Cori 5 Stars

I loved this book! I thoroughly enjoyed BRAZEN AND THE BEAST from the first page to the last. It is the second book in Sarah Maclean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series and each book in the series is a stand-alone. I went back and read the first book after reading this one though because I loved it so much. Hattie and Whit’s story was full of passion, emotion, danger and fun. Hattie is a strong and intelligent heroine with goals and Whit does everything to give her her dreams. This author is now on my must read list and this book will be on my favorites list this year. I highly recommend this series for historical romance lovers and I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

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

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of BRAZEN AND THE BEAST by Sarah MacLean

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BB2DD64A-F99B-441A-9DC7-AF31332ACFF7A life-long romance reader, Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare, and never looked back. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances and a columnist for The Washington Post, where she writes about the romance genre. She lives in New York City. Visit her at www.sarahmaclean.net.

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