Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Book Charmer (Dove Pond #1) by Karen Hawkins: Spotlight

Blurb:

Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books have always been more than just objects: they live, they breathe, and sometimes they even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler.

If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents—Sarah chief among them. It takes a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, but Grace ultimately embraces the challenge to rescue her charmed new community. In her quest, she discovers the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the power of finding just the right book.


Click to Buy on Amazon:

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About the Author:

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Hawkins writes novels that have been praised as touching, witty, charming, and heartwarming. A native Southerner who grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee where storytelling is a way of life, Karen recently moved to frosty New England with her beloved husband and multiple foster dogs. The Dove Pond series is a nod to the thousands of books that opened doors for her to more adventures, places, and discoveries than she ever imagined possible. To find out more about Karen, check in with her at Facebook.com/KarenHawkinsWriter, @KarenHawkinsAuthor on Instagram, and at her website, KarenHawkins.com.

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All It Takes (Romancing Manhattan #2) by Kristen Proby: ARC Review

Blurb:

Quinn Cavanaugh doesn’t do anything halfway. He drives fast, works hard, and plays even harder. And the word “commitment” doesn’t exist in his dictionary. He has no plans of settling down with one woman for he needs to be free to move on to the next big thing—whatever or whoever that may be. Each party knows the score going into it, and it’s all been working out fine. That is, until a sexy new colleague enters the scene.

Sienna Hendricks doesn’t give much thought to Quinn and the revolving door leading to his bedroom. She’s way too picky about who she shares her time or her body with and screwing around with a colleague isn’t part of her plan either. Quinn doesn’t intimidate her. And unlike most other members of her sex, she doesn’t melt into a puddle at his feet whenever he’s near. Most importantly, she has no issues telling him no.

But for a man who has the world at his feet, Quinn isn’t accustomed to being rejected. And he’s not about to let that change—no matter how persistent Sienna is. To his surprise, Sienna is everything he thought he’d never find. Pursuing her, and convincing her he's changed, is going to be the biggest challenge of his life. One he’s completely up for….

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Click to Buy the Romancing Manhattan Series on Amazon:

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About Kristen Proby:

Kristen is the author of the Amazon and USA Today bestselling With Me In Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

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Yvette's Review:

There’s nothing I enjoy more than diving in to a new book from one of my favorite authors so I was excited to get my hands on All It Takes by Kristen Proby. The second standalone novel in the author’s Romancing Manhattan Series is part workplace romance and part rivals-to-lovers romance, following the love story of two attorneys with chemistry so palpable, it’s not long before they line between business and pleasure is blurred.

It’s not typical for opposing counsel to work together on the same case. But that’s what the judge orders when Sienna Hendricks is tasked with proving her grandfather is the legal owner of the park he willed to the city of New York. Despite representing the man who claims to be the rightful owner, Quinn Cavanaugh is more than willing to work alongside Sienna, although his instant attraction to the consummately professional lawyer *may* have something to do with his eagerness.

Quinn’s playboy reputation precedes him, however, and Sienna doesn’t immediately fall for his charms. Quinn loves the challenge Sienna presents, and soon, the long nights and intimate quarters lead to a scorching hot, whirlwind romance. Together, Sienna and Quinn are magnetic, bringing a playfulness and sensuality to each page of the narrative that had me grinning from ear to ear and swooning nonstop.

With characters that are multifaceted and effortlessly likable, a narrative that’s fast-paced and lighthearted, and a romance that’s fan-your-face steamy, All It Takes is a riveting new installment in Kristen Proby’s Romancing Manhattan Series. I devoured it in a matter of hours and was sad to see it come to an end, but I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Resist (Wicked Ways #1) by K. Bromberg: Spotlight w/ Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Blurb:

Who says you have to play by the rules to get what you want?

Agreeing to meet Ryker Lockhart is my first mistake. Rich, handsome, and more than intriguing, he thinks blackmail will bend me to his will.

But he’s wrong.

I may have done a few things that weren’t exactly legal, but I have my own reasons for that. The last thing I’m going to do is let some high-powered divorce attorney come into my life, have my body, and rule my heart. Not to mention ruin everything that I have carefully built in just a short amount of time.

But as much as I try to resist him, and against my better judgment, there is something about him that has me agreeing to his proposal.

I’m putting everything on the line for him. I just hope I won’t lose everything when this is all over.


Click to Buy the Wicked Ways Duet on Amazon:

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Guest Post:

A Pretty Woman With Power by K. Bromberg

Ryker Lockhart: Powerful. Unrelenting. Stubborn.

Vaughn Sanders: Defiant. Strong. Unyielding.

With those two sets of characteristics, Ryker and Vaughn are definitely oil and water one moment and then an ember met with gasoline the next. That dynamic is what made writing them and their story so much fun in my latest book, Resist. Their tale was a delicate dance though because the push and pull of the chase better be worth the reward for readers.

I often enjoy taking characters and painting them with broad strokes (i.e. Vaughn’s profession) so that readers initially question them. Then over the next 100,000 words, I love to smash their preconceived notions so that they root for the heroine. So that they are right beside her cheering her on and falling in love with the hero just like she is.

It’s not often an easy task to write a heroine, because women are often harsher on female characters than they are males. Heroes can be over the top alphas who are dominant and say all the wrong things, but once they show vulnerability, we somehow forgive them. Heroines on the other hand, are judged more fiercely. She’s too weak. She’s too strong. She’s too wishy- washy. She’s being a b*tch for pushing him away. Making a reader like a strong-willed female character isn’t always an easy task. So when you put two characters together who embody all of these things, it’s a delicate balance to have enough push and pull. Enough sexual tension. Enough redeemable qualities so you can love them despite their faults.

This challenge is one of the reasons I loved writing Resist (and its sequel Reveal). I don’t quite remember where the storyline came from, but I recall the furious scribbling on paper as Ryker and Vaughn’s story came to life in my imagination. Take a strong-willed woman with a risqué job and give her a real reason to need that job. Take a domineering divorce attorney who deals with love gone wrong day-in and day-out, and force him to see that there can be more than just sex between a man and a woman. That love is, in fact, possible.

Challenge accepted.

Is Resist a subtle nod to the Pretty Woman trope? I never really thought of it that way, but I can see the similarities being drawn. Vaughn (my character) and Vivian (movie character) have names that both start with the letter V. They both wear a red dress in a scene. The both work in fields that deal with selling sex for profit . . . but that’s where the comparisons stop.

Vaughn Sanders is a force to be reckoned with. Sure, she’s a madam, but once you get beneath the moniker, readers find a strong-willed woman taking measures into her own hands for the benefit of someone else. Readers will find a woman with a strong backbone and a take no prisoners attitude. A woman they can’t wait to see succeed. Sure, we throw in our hero--Ryker, a senator you know is dirty somehow, an adorable niece, and whole cast of other characters and situations and we’re left trying to figure out how it’s all going to play out . . . but the one thing we know for sure, is that we want Ryker and Vaughn to end up together.

Because hopefully when you finish Resist, like Ryker and Vaughn, you start to believe true love does in fact exist.

About the Author:

K. Bromberg is that reserved woman sitting in the corner that has you all fooled about the wild child inside of her--the one she lets out every time her fingertips touch the computer keyboard. She’s a wife, mom, child rustler, toy pick-er-upper, chauffer, resident web-slinger, LaLaloopsy watching, American    Girl doll dressing multi-tasker of all things domestic and otherwise. She likes her diet cokes with rum, her music loud, and her pantry stocked with a cache of chocolate.

K. lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. When she needs a break from the daily chaos of her life, you can most likely find her on the treadmill or with Kindle in hand, devouring the pages of a good, saucy book.


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Excerpt:

The lobby is elegant, with its large chandeliers, but they’re kept dim so as to allow each of its patrons some privacy. Almost as if they know I’m trying to hide some from the rest of the room for a bit. Soft classical music flows from the overhead speakers as people mill about in evening wear. There are hugs given among people, and laughs echo off the walls and marble floors.

I stand in the corner, surveying the crowd as nerves I don’t want to admit to run a riotous act within, and my mind tries to grapple for the nth time with what I’m about to do.

You’re keeping your reputation intact.


That’s how I have to look at this. That’s how I have to justify this.

Just like that, my breath catches when Ryker Lockhart waltzes into the lobby. I’m rarely affected by a man—sure, I can say one is handsome or sexy or gorgeous, but rarely does a man really catch my eye.

But there he is . . . standing in the middle of the lobby, surveying everyone around him, making my pulse race.

This is a bad idea.

He’s tall, his shoulders are broad, and there’s an air about him that screams authority while a magnetism about him makes people look his way.

And he hasn’t even spoken a word to anyone yet.

Such a bad idea.

He’s in a well-tailored tuxedo, everything black save for the crisp white dress shirt beneath it. His hair is styled, and an expensive watch glints at his wrist when he holds it up to look at the time.

Of course, that’s my cue that I’m not there exactly on time, but I give him a few more seconds to make him wait.

It’s all about power, even when I’m in a different pair of shoes.

With a deep breath, I walk toward him, shoulders square, head high, and remind myself that I’m not Vee right now. I can’t act like we’re on an equal playing field.

He has hired me. I am his.

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Nothing But This (Broken Pieces #2) by Natasha Anders: Spotlight w/ Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

It’s always been complicated between Libby Lawson and Greyson Chapman—and married life isn’t any simpler. But when Libby gets pregnant, she at last sees a bright future ahead. There’s just one problem: Greyson says he’s sterile.

Furious, Greyson abandons the young family. Equally furious and deeply hurt, Libby cuts all ties with him. After all these years, it seems their relationship has finally expired. But love is resilient and endures even when you don’t want it to. Greyson still longs for Libby, and though Libby’s heartbroken by Greyson’s lack of trust, she holds out hope for a complete, happy family.

And so they embark on the journey back to each other, wary of all the obstacles between them. It’s been a long road already—one strewed with fear, doubt, and misunderstandings. Will they keep looking to the past, or will they look to each other and walk hand in hand toward a broad new horizon?

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Guest Post:

A Marriage Destroyed with Natasha Anders

Hi there, my name is Natasha Anders and I’m excited to talk to you about the second book in my Broken Pieces series, Nothing But This.

My long-time readers will know that I’m a fan of second chance romances and absolutely love a good marriage in trouble trope. The story of Greyson and Libby falls firmly within the latter category.

It’s not easy to write a marriage in crisis novel. By the time we’re introduced to the characters, they already have a relationship history behind them that readers have yet to discover. We enter this particular story at the lowest point of their relationship. The birth of a child should be a happy occasion but something is clearly wrong here; Libby’s husband isn’t there and she believes he hates her and her baby. And when Greyson eventually makes his way onto the page, her belief is confirmed.

No marriage can survive the things Greyson says at the beginning of this book and finding a way back from that low point is nearly impossible. I know that my readers are going to loathe him at the start. My heroine despises him and his own family is angry with him. I have to find a way to redeem him that will make everybody happy. And, harder still, I have to find a way to make the readers forgive him and, ideally, start to root for him.

It’s a challenge that I absolutely adore. I love hearing from readers who have that “wait a second, when did I stop hating him?” moment. I want his redemption arc to be so seamless that readers can’t pinpoint exactly when they started forgiving him. This is easier said than done and Greyson needs to do a lot of groveling and apologizing to even get a foot in the door. I like to look at what he’s doing and saying and put myself in the heroine’s and the reader’s position. Is this enough? Have I forgiven him yet? Even if the answer is yes, I try to push it just a little further because “enough” is never good enough and there will always be someone out there who wants him to suffer just that tiny bit more. It sounds sadistic, but I do like to put my characters (male and female) through the wringer. They need to earn that happy ending.

But the story needs to be balanced and while my hero is terribly flawed and at times insecure and vulnerable, his heroine needs to show a similar amount of character growth and self-recognition. She needs to find an inner strength and confidence that she lacks at the start of the novel. Striking the exact right balance and making their journey toward redemption and a satisfactory and well-earned happily ever after is what makes writing a second chance romance so hard.

One of the things I hope readers take away from this book is that a situation isn’t always as cut and dried as it seems on the surface. Greyson comes across as one hundred percent villain at the start of this book. But he’s insecure and incredibly lonely. This story is about a man breaking out of his self-imposed isolation and finding a place, not only in his wife’s heart and life, but also within a welcoming and accepting society. It is also the story of a woman learning to embrace and accept the flaws within herself and others.

I loved writing this book. I started with only one scene constantly playing out in my head; the hospital scene where Greyson unequivocally rejects his wife and his child. That’s all I had at the beginning and building this story around that one moment, was often frustrating but at the same time so incredibly satisfying. I loved discovering Libby and Greyson’s strengths and weaknesses and often found that some of those weaknesses echoed my own. It was a vulnerable space within which to find myself but it was also a rewarding step on my personal journey toward self-realization and recognition.

Thank you so much for taking the time to step into my not always sane mind. I do hope you enjoy reading Nothing But This as much as I loved writing it.



About the Author:

Natasha Anders was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She spent the last nine years working as an assistant English teacher in Niigata, Japan, where she became a legendary karaoke diva. Natasha is currently living in Cape Town with her temperamental and opinionated budgie, Sir Oliver Spencer, who has kindly deigned to share his apartment with her. Please feel free to contact her (or Oliver) on Twitter @satyne1.


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Excerpt:

“We need to talk.”

“I have absolutely nothing to say to you.”

“Libby, please.”

“Why are you here? How are you here? Who told you how to find me?”

There was a long pause as he continued to grimace in her general direction, his eyes slits to protect himself from the light.

“I have money and resources. I’ve known where you are for months . . .” He hesitated before continuing, “For four months, to be exact.”

“Well, then why are you here?”

“Can we discuss this inside?”

“I don’t want you in my house.”

He compressed his lips in that way he had when he was trying to refrain from speaking his mind. An expression with which she was much too familiar. It used to bother her back when she cared about what he was thinking. He opened his mouth as if to say something, then changed his mind and swallowed back the words.

Oh, wasn’t he just the model of restraint tonight? Well, Libby had no such reservations and felt a sense of complete liberation when she unleashed the torrent of resentment and fury that had been roiling away just beneath the surface for much longer than the four months since she’d left him. A lot of her anger had been tamped down during her pregnancy, when he hadn’t offered a single word or gesture of support. The excuses she had made on his behalf . . . she was disgusted with herself for not speaking up sooner. But now he was here, in the flesh, and she could finally let him have it. With both barrels.

“You’re a vile, disgusting excuse for a man, Greyson. I want nothing more to do with you. I don’t want my baby within a hundred miles of you. And even that seems too close. I don’t want you here, contaminating our lives with your toxic presence. You don’t get to come here and . . . and . . . whatever the hell this is. I don’t know what you want, I don’t want to know what you want. I want you gone.”

Libby, I understand why you feel that way. But I thought . . .”

Clara’s crying was escalating, and Libby’s rocking increased agitatedly.

“Yes, I know. Thought you were infertile, right? And I’m supposed to—what? Feel sorry for you? Understand your cruelty? Forgive your cruelty? Am I to take it that you’ve had that paternity test done? You know she’s yours, am I right? Is that why you’re here? Because let me tell you, mister, you have no moral right to my child—I will not allow you access to her just because you now believe you’re her father.”

“I haven’t had any paternity tests done.”

That made her pause, but not for long.

“I don’t care,” she decided. “I don’t care. Go away. Back to your diamond-encrusted ivory tower. Leave us alone. We don’t need you.”

“I know you don’t. But . . . maybe I need you?”

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Friday, July 26, 2019

The King (A Wicked Trilogy #3.6) by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Blog Tour Review


Blurb:

From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next installment in her Wicked series.

As Caden and Brighton's attraction grows despite the odds stacked against a happily ever after, they must work together to stop an Ancient fae from releasing the Queen, who wants nothing more than to see Caden become the evil Prince once feared by fae and mortals alike.


Click to Buy the Wicked Series on Amazon:

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About Jennifer Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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Yvette's Review:

Not knowing The Prince had a cliffhanger at the end just about killed me so I feel like I have to note that The King doesn’t wrap up Caden and Brighton’s story. Considering the next novella is already available to pre-order, I don’t think that’s a spoiler (or at least I hope it isn’t). It definitely helped to know that there would be a third installment to follow The King, especially after that jaw-dropping ending. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

When we last left Caden and Brighton, Caden had just ascended the throne to become King of the Summer Court. Being a human and a member of the Order tasked with hunting fae makes Brighton's attraction to Caden forbidden. Yet, in spite of Caden's best efforts to distance himself from Brighton, the two are irresistibly, irrevocably drawn to each other. Brighton's anger and resentment is no match for the electric chemistry and potent sexual tension between them. While Caden presents a detached, enigmatic front, Brighton evokes his fiery, passionate side, pushing and challenging him with every move. Their quick-witted, quick-tempered rapport is a battle of wills, that's frustrating (on Brighton's part), amusing (on Caden's part), and entertaining (on my part).

While I was most interested in the progression of Brighton and Caden's romance when diving in to The King, I was equally captivating by the subplot involving disappearing fae that began in The Prince. The forbidden romance aspect of the novella provides plenty of drama and heartache but there's also the added elements of danger and suspense that kept me guessing and had me dying to know what happened next.

After waiting a year to get my hands on The King, I must say I was not disappointed. Gut-wrenchingly emotional, overwhelming intense, and undeniably riveting, The King is a jaw-dropping second installment in the Wicked spin-off series from Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I can't wait for the continuation of this story.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Lies by Kylie Scott: Blog Tour Excerpt & Review


Blurb:

Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancĂ©e dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

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Yvette's Review:

While I can’t say I read a lot of romantic suspense, I do love Kylie Scott, so I was excited to read her latest release, Lies. The blurb piqued my interest, sounding like a cross between The Spy Who Dumped Me and Knight and Day, which turned out to be fairly accurate as far as comparisons go. Packed with danger and suspense, and riddled with twists and turns, Lies is a sexy, entertaining thrill-ride that’ll have you on the proverbial edge on your seat from start to finish.

Fed up with her lackluster, dispassionate relationship, Betty Dawsey has decided to break up with her steady and predictable fiancĂ©, Thom Lange. There’s just a few *slight* problems that derail her plan. Not only is their condo unexpectedly blown up, but Betty is kidnapped by unknown assailants, AND she discovers that Thom is a secret operative. In just a few short days, Betty’s world is turned upside down and her relationship with Thom, which previously lacked ardor and a deep emotional connection, is suddenly bursting with undisguised attraction and sexual chemistry. Thom and Betty set about relearning each other and rebuilding trust minus any secrets and emotional barriers, all while being on the lam.

With a spunky, relatable, humorous plus-sized heroine, a hero that’s sexy and mysterious (if a bit emotionally clueless at times), and a narrative that’ll keep you guessing, Lies is impossible to put down once you get started. If you’re in the mood for a fast-paced, action-packed, scorching hot romance, Lies is a must-read romantic suspense novel from Kylie Scott.

*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review

Rating: 4 Stars

 

About the Author:

Kylie is a long time fan of love stories, rock n roll and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.




Social Media Links:


Excerpt:

“You’re going to break his heart.”
“No, I’m not,” I say. “That’s sort of the whole point. If I really thought leaving him would break his heart, then I probably wouldn’t be leaving him in the first place.”
My best friend, Jen, does not look convinced.
Boxes fill a good half of the room. What a mess. Who knew you could accumulate so much junk in only twelve months? At least we weren’t together so long that I can’t remember who owns what. One year is about the sweet spot for this issue in relationships, apparently.
“The fact of the matter is, we’re not in love. We have no business being engaged, let alone getting married.” I sigh. “Have you seen the packing tape?”
“No. He’s just such a nice guy.”
“I’m not debating that.” I climb to my feet, then head up the stairs to the second bedroom. Thom’s unofficial workout room/home office. Not a room I normally go into. But it only takes a bit of rummaging to find what I’m looking for. Whatever else might be said about them, insurance assessors are organized. The bottom drawer of Thom’s desk has a neat stash of stationery. I grab a couple rolls of thick tape.
“And leaving him this way…” Jen continues as I head back down.
“How many times have I told him we need to talk? He’s always putting it off, saying it’s not a good time. And now he’s away again. I’ve been messaging him for the last week and he barely replies.”
“You know he has to drop everything once a job comes up. I realize he’s not the most exciting guy, Betty, but—”
“I know.” I smack down a line of tape with extra zest, sealing the lid of the last box. In this Operation Abandon Ship Posthaste, I know I’m definitely slightly the bad guy. But not totally. Say sixty/forty. Or maybe seventy/thirty. It’s hard to tell to what degree. “I do know all of that. But he’s always busy with work or away on some business trip. What am I supposed to do?”
A sigh from Jen.
“When you realize you’ve made such a monumental mistake, it’s hard to sit and wait to fix things. Nor is it fair on either of us to keep up the pretense.”
“Guess so.”
“And the fact that he’s yet again made no effort to prioritize our relationship and make a little time for me in his busy schedule is just further proof that I’ve made the right choice in ending this now before it gets any more complicated. End of rant.”
Nothing from her.
“Anyway, you’re supposed to be on my side. Stop questioning me.”
“You wanted to get married and have children so badly.”
“Yeah.” I sit back on my heels. “I blame it all on playing with Ken and Barbie’s dreamhouse when I was little. But it turns out that being in a relationship with the wrong person can be even lonelier than being alone.”
Jen and I have been friends since sharing a room in college. We’ve witnessed the bulk of each other’s dating ups and downs. For some reason, I’m the type of girl who guys will go out with, but don’t tend to stick with. Apparently, I’m fuckable—just not girlfriend material. Maybe it’s my smart mouth. Maybe it’s the whole not fitting current societal expectations of beauty i.e. I’m fat. Maybe I was born under an unlucky star. I don’t know; it’s their loss. Like anyone, I have my faults, but all in all, I’m awesome. And I have a lot to give. Too often in the past few months, I’ve had to keep reminding myself of this fact.
“There are just so many jerks out there,” Jen says. “I was happy that you’d found a good one.”
“I think I’d prefer a jerk who was genuinely into me than a nice guy phoning it in.
Honestly, I’d rather go adopt a dozen cats and settle into old age and isolation than be with someone who treats me as if I’m an afterthought.”
She looks at me for a long moment, then nods slowly. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”
“Me too.”
“Time to start filling up the cars. Boy, do you owe me.”
I smile. “That I do.”
Jen stands and stretches before picking up one of the boxes labeled kitchen. “I just didn’t want you to do something you’d regret, you know?”
“I know. Thank you.”
Alone in the two-bedroom condo, everything is silent. My parting letter sits waiting on the coffee table with his name written on the front. A slight bulge in the envelope betrays the shape of my engagement ring. It’s a sweet, simple ring. One small diamond perched on a band of yellow gold. My hand feels wrong without it. Naked. They say there are different love languages and you have to take the time to learn your partner’s needs. It’s like he and I never quite got there. Or maybe I’m just crappy at relationships.
The bridal magazines I’d collected are in the trash. Perhaps I should have taken them into the florist shop where I work so someone could get some use out of them. But this feels more symbolic, more definite. My family are a couple of states away, and I have only a few of what I’d classify as good friends. Being an introvert makes it hard to meet people. A boyfriend, a husband, would mean I’m no longer alone. Someone cares about me and puts me first. At least part of the time. Only Thom doesn’t any of the time, so here we are.
I tighten my ponytail of long dark hair. Then, in a rare display of dexterity that my yoga instructor would be proud of, I stack three boxes in my arms and head outside into the hot afternoon sun. Jen’s Honda Civic is parked at the curb, the trunk standing open as she moves things about inside. My old Subaru sits in the driveway waiting to be filled. Birds are singing and insects chirping. It’s your typical mild autumn day in California.

That’s when the condo blows up behind me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Million Dollar Marriage (Million Dollar #2) by Katy Evans: Release Blitz w/ Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

If someone had bet Nell a million dollars that she would be saying “I do” to a complete stranger on national television, she’d have called them crazy, but with her crushing student loan payments sending her deep into the red, she’s out of options. This should be nothing more than a business transaction—until she sets eyes on her groom, and everything changes.

The game is on the instant Luke spots Penelope “Nell” Carpenter. He’s out for the money, yes, but getting a little dirty with Nell doesn’t sound too bad either. Everyone knows he’s not the marrying kind, so it’s a good thing it’s just for show. God knows he’s the worst guy his pretty wife should pick for real.

They have nothing in common, but if they want the grand prize, they’ll have to beat out eight other couples. Proving that total opposites attract should be easy enough…as long as they don’t fall in love in the process.

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Click to Buy the Million Dollar Series on Amazon:

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Guest Post:

Million Dollar Romances with Katy Evans

Meet the Million Dollar series books. Books that are all about passion, romance, and all about what people will do for money—actually, a LOT of money. In book one, Million Dollar Devil, we have a sexy, raw, bad-mannered daredevil willing to pose as a sophisticated rich guy – while skillfully seducing the heroine in the process.

In book two, Million Dollar Marriage, Nell and Luke both agree to become contestants in a reality show that requires—gasp, marriage. Marriage to a complete stranger, which is appalling. But, it’s a fake marriage, right? It doesn’t matter that they are complete opposites. Nell will be the brains, and Luke will be the brawn. For a moment there, they both think they’ve got it covered. But the challenges end up being far more than they anticipated, especially the unexpected challenge of resisting falling in love with each other.

I’d always wanted to write a reality show book. I mean, reality shows are so addictive to watch, but though I’ve loved indulging in binge-watching Survivor or The Amazing Race, I’ve always wanted a little more romance to go with all that adrenaline and excitement. What happens when you’re put under all that pressure, and aside from that, have just met a person who gives your heart wings? Let’s face it. Falling in love is a little scary when you do it privately, so how does the public nature of a relationship hinder or help the romance between two strangers?

Well, in Nell and Luke’s case, being exposed to the cameras all day, every day, was more of a hindrance. And yet without those cameras, would they have given each other the time of day to begin with? :)

I would totally write another reality TV show romance. It’s been one of the funnest, most uniques writes I’ve ever written to date.

Katy Evans
New York Times Bestselling author


About the Author:

Katy Evans loves family, books, life, and love. She’s married with two children and a dog, and she spends her time baking healthy snacks, taking long walks, and taking care of her family. To learn more about her books in progress, check out www.katyevans.net and sign up for her newsletter. You can also find her on Twitter @authorkatyevans and on Facebook at AuthorKatyEvans.




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Excerpt:

Will Wang says, “Teams, you have the choice to participate in the next challenge. If you decide to, you’ll receive a minimum of seventy thousand dollars! All you have to do is say YES!”

I shrug and call out, “YES!”

Will laughs. “Hold on, buckaroo. There’s a catch you might want to know about. And that brings us to the main premise of the show. John Phillips, are you out there? Please, join me on the podium.”

A man in a suit stands up, and the crowd parts to let him through. He jogs up to the podium, shakes Will’s hand, and stands beside him.

“John is here for a very special reason. A very special ceremony, if you will.”

The cameras are focused on our faces, and I know something is up.

“Yes, in fact, John happens to be a justice of the peace.”

The crowd gasps. Next to me, Penny’s body stiffens.

“Yes. In order to participate in the next challenge and any challenges going forward, you and your partner must be man and wife!”

Louder gasp. The screens overhead focus in on the shock of the contestants. Penny’s trembling. Ivy looks pissed. Ace is hurling out f-bombs into the air. The Indian girl has sunk to the ground and is covering her face in her palms. It’s chaos.

Me? I’m calm as can be.

It’s called Million Dollar Marriage. Did they think marriage wouldn’t factor in?

I’m in.

“You will need to spend the rest of the time living with your partner as a unit. You’ll do everything together for the duration of the contest. There will be challenges that test your endurance, your strength, and your ability to work together as a couple. If you win, you’ll each get two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and the opportunity to have the marriage annulled, should you choose. BUT, if you decide to stay together as lawfully married, you’ll together receive the grand prize of ONE MILLION DOLLARS and an all-expenses-paid honeymoon package!”

I look around. All the couples are yin and yang. It’s like they ran our personality tests through a machine and picked out the person we’d be least compatible with.

“Now, we understand this is a big commitment on your part, so we’ll give you and your partner five minutes to talk things out and decide what you’d like to do. Please note that once your decision is made, it is final, and you will be married here, on the spot, before you board a flight to where the real competition will begin.” He winks at the losers’ wall. “If you drop out now, you’ll go home with fifty thousand dollars, but if you decide to continue on, you’ll earn seventy thousand and the chance to compete for even more! Time starts . . . now!”

I turn to Penny. She’s hugging herself and won’t look at me. “Hey. I’m in.”

She doesn’t say anything.

I wave a hand in front of her face.

“Are you crazy?” she finally says, staring at me. “I’d never marry you.”

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The King (A Wicked Trilogy #3.6) by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Release Blitz & Excerpt


Blurb:

From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next installment in her Wicked series.

As Caden and Brighton's attraction grows despite the odds stacked against a happily ever after, they must work together to stop an Ancient fae from releasing the Queen, who wants nothing more than to see Caden become the evil Prince once feared by fae and mortals alike.


Click to Buy the Wicked Series on Amazon:

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About Jennifer Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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Excerpt:

“I don’t think this is wise,” Tink said for what had to be the hundredth time since he realized I was getting ready for a night out. “Like I think this is very poorly thought-out, if you ask me, Lite Bright.”

“I didn’t ask you, Tink.”

My uninvited roommate of sorts hovered outside my bathroom. Tink wasn’t human, but right now, he looked like any normal twenty-something guy. Well, if normal, twenty-something guys had natural, shockingly white hair and were beautiful in a way that almost seemed fragile.

This was his full-grown Tink size, something I was still—even after all this time—getting used to. I was more accustomed to pint-sized Tink with the translucent wings. After all, he was a brownie.

After the attack that had taken my mother’s life and should’ve ended mine, he’d basically moved in with me. He’d been here for the last two years, something Ivy’s husband pretended to be grateful for, but in reality, I knew he secretly missed the dude.

“You should ask me,” he replied. When I glanced over at him, I got a little distracted by the dazzle…emanating from the sequin tank top he wore. It was so shimmery that I wondered if he was using some of his magic.

Tink may be a goofball, but he was also one of the most powerful creatures in our realm.

Thank God there was only one of him.

“I am a wealth of amazing advice,” he continued. Dixon, the cat he’d named after a Walking Dead character that Tink called “the hottest redneck eva” slinked around Tink’s ankles. The cat was all gray except for his tail, which looked like it had been dipped in white paint.

I snorted. “When have you ever given me good advice?”

“When I told you two weeks ago not to eat the whole carton of beignets because you’d get sick and you did,” he shot back.

I winced, picking up my mascara. I had gotten sick, but I deserved that carton of sugary, fried goodness. That day…

I didn’t want to think about that day.

“And what about when you ordered that supreme pizza and ate almost all of it?” he said. “I told you that it would probably make you feel bad later.”

Nose wrinkling, I tried to remember what night he was talking about. There were a lot of Friday nights—pizza night in my household—that I ate an entire pie and felt terrible afterward.

“Or how about that time I told you that the seared ahi tuna looked a little gray for my liking? But, oh no, Brighton knows better.” He reached down, scratching Dixon between the ears. “You ate it all, and then I spent the night cleaning up your puke.”

Ew.

Friday, July 12, 2019

99 Cents Sale from Entangled: Cowboy Romance Edition



If you're a fan of cowboy romances, Entangled has nearly a dozen romances on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!

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