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ENGAGED TO THE EMT (Blue Collar Brothers Book 3) by Piper Rayne Review Tour with Excerpt

 

A Sexy FAKE RELATIONSHIP rom com standalone written by a duo of two USA Bestselling Authors

Luca Bianco is a jerk. There I said it.

He thinks he’s so suave and sexy, walking around in his paramedic uniform stretched out by all his hard muscles and saving lives every day. I swear he thinks every woman in the world would kill for a chance to be with him.

Men like Luca are good for one thing only—a one-night stand—not commitment. I don’t care if my friend did pay good money at a charity bachelor auction for me to go on a date with him, I refuse to do it.

That is until Luca offers me a deal I can’t refuse, and I agree to be his pretend fiancé.

The heat that’s simmered between us for a decade ignites and I’m not sure even Luca will be able to kickstart my heart after I call code blue.

What’s that saying? Love is blind?

Not true. I can see this head-on collision coming a mile away.




Christie’s Review

5 ++++ STARS

All-Time Favorite Read/Series

Top Read in Romantic Comedy/Enemies to Lovers of 2018

 

“We met at the corner of love and hate. Luckily our paths crossed there again, but the second time we took the right path…love.”

Engaged to the EMT is probably one of the best enemies to lovers romance I have ever read, so needless to say, it’s a top pick for romantic comedy for 2018! In fact, the entire series is a top favorite of the year as well.

We have gotten the other Bianco brothers’ stories, so now we finally get Luca’s. I knew it would be special, and it far exceeded my expectations. Luca and Lauren don’t like each other, that isn’t a secret. When Luca asks Lauren to be his fake fiancee, no one is more surprised that she is when she actually agrees to do it.  She admits he is a jerk, but it’s an offer she really can’t refuse. All of us who have gotten to know these two in the earlier books knows this is the worst thing that could happen or it could turn out to be the thing that forces them to really take a good hard look at why they feel the way they do about one another. They might just be surprised at what they discover.

As with the earlier books, I fell hook, line, and sinker for this couple. It’s all in the way Piper Rayne wrote the book. It’s from each one of their POV’s, and it’s written as if they are talking to the readers as if we are their confidantes.

As I have written earlier, it’s no secret these two barely tolerate each other. It’s been that way since high school. As they are thrown together in this charade, they actually get to know one another as adults, and they are surprised by what they discover about one another. Luca is definitely good-looking; Lauren can admit that. She begins seeing how big his heart is underneath that sexy, arrogant facade he shows the world. He is learning to respect Lauren for her strength and independence. They also admire that competitive spirit each of them has. Boy, are they competitive! It’s Lauren’s competitive spirit that makes Lauren a female lead who really stands out!

I have read each book in the series, and I have loved each one. Piper Rayne does a phenomenal job of making each story different. They do the same with each character. I have loved each one for very different reasons. Even if they are brothers, each one is very different and their own man. The same goes for the women who fall in love with them. What is the same is the humor, sexual chemistry, and romance that will melt your heart! It’s those very things that bring me back to this dynamic duo again and again!

I was very sorry to say goodbye to the Bianco clan. I loved catching up with them in each and every book. The writers do such a great job of including earlier characters in the later books. For me, that builds my bond with the story and characters. I’m so glad we will get to see more of them when we get a series about the Bianco’s cousins, The Mancini’s. I will definitely be looking forward to that one!!!!




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EXCERPT

The light from the street reflects the humor shining in his eyes. “I’m just sick of the fighting.”

“Fighting is what we do best. It’s basically how we communicate.” Then all the puzzle pieces join together in my head. I’m so stupid. “You want something.”

We pull up in front of my house just as I realize what a fucking moron I am.

“Nope.” He takes the keys, grabs the bag of food and gets out of the car.

He’s totally playing me. I might not be a psychologist who can quickly spot a liar, but Luca, I know too well. Not well, but when it comes to our interactions—I know him. And this nice Luca, taking me to a Hawks game, buying me dinner, wanting to eat with me…this isn’t the Luca Bianco I know.

I climb out of his car, the slam of the door echoing down the dark residential street. “Tell me what it is you want.”

His lips remain straight, not even a hint of a smile or smirk.

Another clear sign that this isn’t the Luca I know.

“Come on. Let’s eat.” He nods in the direction of my house.

“By prolonging whatever it is, you’re just pissing me off, which means if you need something, I’m more than likely going to say no. Or we could play a little game…”

“How about we eat?” He waits patiently as I insert the key into my door, disengage the alarm that Cristian, Luca’s brother insisted we get installed.

Police officers. Jeez.

We step inside and he’s the one to shut the door and flick the lock.

“Planning to have your way with me?” I’m not serious as I walk into the kitchen to grab us some drinks, utensils, and napkins.

The sound of the television blaring drifts into the kitchen seconds later.

With my hands full, I head back into the living room. “Feel free to make yourself at home,” I deadpan, handing Luca a Vitamin Water and a napkin.

“Thanks.” He lifts the napkin and drink. “And thanks.”

We sit on the couch because although our house is nice and newly redecorated thanks to Maddie’s mad skills, the family room area is small and the best place to see the television is the couch. No worries though, there’s still a cushion between us.

I open up my box of food, a little bit of steam hitting my face. “I can’t just sit here and watch soccer with you and not know what you want.”

I hate that I’ve had to resort to being sincere in my request.

He opens up his own box and I’m a tad jealous I didn’t get the burger. It smells and looks delicious.

Luca doesn’t respond, just stands and heads into the kitchen.

He knows our house way too well thanks to his brothers always suggesting we meet here when we go out.

I pop a cauliflower floret into my mouth, tasting the Korean flavor makes my mouth water. Opening up my Vitamin Water to cool my tongue, I ignore Luca’s return, instead, fixating on the television as he rounds the coffee table in front of me. The couch dips with the weight of his body which is now closer than before.

I’ve never been alone with Luca, much less this close. I feel a shift in our volatile relationship like the stillness before a storm. It’s too quiet. It’s too calm. Too…enjoyable.

“Here.” My gaze shifts from the television, although I couldn’t tell you the score of the game and I see he’s holding half his burger out to me.

“What’s this?” I ask, loading my mouth with another califloret.

Man, it’s hot.

“I think you had a little bit of drool dripping from your mouth when I opened the container. How about we share?”

He smiles. A smile I’ve only ever seen on his face with his friends, or his brothers, and especially his mom. He doesn’t even wear this smile when he’s with girls. At least not that I’ve ever seen. That fact runs around my stomach stirring up the butterflies to max flight.

I don’t like this.

It’s too damn calm.

Where are the eighty mile per hour winds?

“Luca, if you don’t tell me what you want, I’m going to kick you out of my house.” I take half the burger and slide my cauliflower and fries closer to him as an offering.

“You can’t just wait?” he asks, seeming disappointed.

“HA!” I point to him with a greasy finger. “You do want something from me. Tell me what it is.”

“You’re ridiculous you know that, right? A normal person would wait.”

I shake my head. “No, they wouldn’t.”

See, this feels good. This feels right.

“LUCA!” I scream.

He blows out a breath. “Fine. I need a favor from you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.

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5-Star Review · A Top Read in Romantic Suspense · A Top Read of 2018 · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Excerpt · Must Read · New Review · Romance · Romantic Suspense

Buried by Brenda Rothert Blog Tour with Review & Excerpt

Today we are celebrating the release of Buried by Brenda Rothert. This is a contemporary romance, standalone that is available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited. Read an excerpt from the book below and join Brenda’s reader group for exclusive details!

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Buried by Brenda Rothert


Book Blurb:

Do you believe in fate?

I didn’t. I’d worked since childhood to become an NFL starting quarterback. All the blood, sweat, and tears were about to pay off with my name in the record books. Setting an NFL record was going to be the crowning achievement of my career. Hell, of my life.

But then fate, the cagey bitch, threw me a curveball I never saw coming. I ended up trapped in a doomsday bunker with four strangers, my chances at that record slipping away as days turned into months.

I never would’ve given Erin a second look. She was gorgeous, sure, but not my type. I liked women who were strong. Fearless. Resilient. Not to mention that she hated me.

But I was so wrong about her. And in that bunker, I fell in crazy, stupid love.

I thought a record would be my greatest triumph. But now, all I want is a shot with Erin. I’ve faced down massive linebackers intent on ending me. For her, I’ll go toe-to-toe with fate.




Christie’s Review

5 STARS

A Must Read of 2018

Wow!!! This is a must read of 2018!!!! It’s really unlike anything you will read this year!!!! It’s got romance, heat, yet it’s a bit of a mystery and thriller/adventure too!!!!

Erin was just making a grocery delivery when the very unexpected happened, and life as she knew it completely changed!!!! She would confront some of her darkest fears and maybe possibly find love with a person she never expected.

Derek is an NFL quarterback who has worked for many years to become the success he has, and he still has a lot to prove to himself. Destiny, fate whatever you want to call it, threw a wrench in those plans. A day that was supposed to be normal turned into anything but, when he finds himself trapped in his doomsday bunker with his assistant and three strangers. As the days turn to weeks, he finds himself growing closer to the beautiful Erin.

As I wrote earlier, this is a book unlike you have ever read before. The characters that Rothert created were out of this world. Derek and Erin are so different, yet they are so alike. If these two passed each other on the street, I don’t think they would have ever given each other a second glance much less fall for each other. But, they do, and it was a thing beautiful to watch. In addition, Rothert created a great cast of secondary characters that made the story flow flawlessly.

The only other thing I can say to you is GO DOWNLOAD this book TODAY!!!!




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Excerpt:

I sigh softly, willing my heart to stop jackhammering in my chest, and walk over to the large, opened steel door in the ground.

Kenna white knuckles the black steel ladder that leads straight down, scrambling to get her heels situated. I wonder again why she’s wearing a business suit and heels out here.

“Do you work here?” I ask her.

She gives me a sharp look. “I’m Derek’s personal assistant.”

“Oh, got it. And he must be the football player who owns the place?”

Kenna gawks at me in disbelief. “You don’t know who Derek Heaton is?”

I shrug. “Isn’t he a football player?”

“He’s the best quarterback in the league. Also the highest paid.”

“Huh. Well, good for him,” I say dismissively.

Kenna shrieks as one of her feet slips on the metal ladder.

“You okay?” I ask her.

“I’m fine.”

I peer down into the dark hole, trying to think about anything other than going down there. Even after years of therapy, the panic is so strong I want to run away.

Just make it about the groceries, I tell myself. Think about getting the delivery where it needs to go as quickly as possible. You can do this.

I take a deep breath and then follow Kenna down the ladder. I start sweating immediately as my self-preservation instincts kick in. But I ignore it, descending the ladder to a small landing and then taking a staircase the rest of the way down.

For a moment, my fear is forgotten. The bunker is nothing like I was expecting. It’s open and expansive, the kitchen done with stainless appliances and warm wood cabinets. The floors are also wood, and there’s a large leather sectional in a living area.

“This way,” Kenna says, motioning impatiently from in front of a doorway.

I tear myself away from looking at the rich, slightly rustic décor and join her in a large white room. Fluorescent lights glow overhead, illuminating walls lined with shelves. About half the shelves are filled with supplies ranging from toilet paper to giant containers of tapioca pudding.

“Right here,” Kenna says, grabbing a clipboard and glancing down at it.

She stands in front of an empty section of shelves. I wait a couple seconds as she reads something on her list, but then I can’t take it anymore. I refuse to be down here for one minute longer than I have to.

“I’ll go get my first load,” I say, turning.

“I need it shelved in groups,” she says as I depart the room. “Keep all the peanut butter together, all the trail mix together, and so on. And make sure you fill the entire shelf all the way to the back.”

“Okay,” I call over my shoulder.

I hear male voices from somewhere in the bunker, but I ignore them, practically sprinting to the stairs out of this death trap hole in the ground.

When I get to the truck, I stuff my backpack with as much of the supplies it back hold, then grab another box to carry in my arms. Surveying the flatbed load, I realize it’s going to take at least twenty trips to get all this into the supply room.

Just great. I have to make myself go down that ladder over and over again.

As I reach the end of the stairs, I see three men in the living room area of the bunker. One is kneeling by the floor, looking at something. The other two are talking.

One of the two looks pretty young, maybe college-aged. His skin is deeply tanned and his hair is hidden beneath a baseball hat. The other one looks like a young Russell Crowe, very tall and all muscles and chiseled jaw line. He’s wearing shorts and a plain gray t-shirt.

He has to be the football player. He’s got arrogant pro athlete written all over him, from his biceps straining the sleeves of his shirt to his perfect smile.

——————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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5 +++++ Star Review · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Must Read · New Review · Romance

Tragic (Lark Cove Series #3) by Devney Perry Review Blitz

 

 

 

Kaine Reynolds wants nothing more than solitude. After an unthinkable tragedy destroys his family, he’s cut off all ties to his former life so he can battle his grief the only way he knows how.W

Alone.

So when Piper Campbell knocks on his door, rambling on about being his new neighbor, he slams the door in her face.

But Kaine’s gruff demeanor doesn’t scare her. She’s set on living in Montana and starting over after a terrible divorce. And she wouldn’t mind having a fling to chase away the pain of her husband’s betrayal. Her handsome, albeit rude, neighbor is the perfect candidate.

Yet what neither of them suspect is that their no-strings affair will result in the surprise of Piper’s lifetime—and Kaine’s worst fear.




Christie’s Review

5 +++++ STARS

A Top Read of 2018

An All-Time Favorite Read

Tragic is another winner from Devney Perry, and she proves tragedy can lead to magic!

This is Kaine and Piper’s story. It involves pain and suffering so be prepared to shed some tears. As usual, Perry will make it up to you!!!! Kaine has spent the past years in solitude dealing with a tragic loss that many people would never recover from. He chooses to deal with his pain by himself that is, until a beautiful stranger moves next door completely taking away his solitude.

Piper moves to the town of Lark Cove, leaving behind a bitter divorce. She is hoping to find some peace and maybe a chance for a no-strings affair to alleviate the pain after her ex-husband’s betrayal. She loves her new home…her new neighbor, Kaine, not so much! Granted, he is easy on the eyes, but his attitude stinks. Yet, she doesn’t let his anger towards her affect her. There is no mistake, there is a mutual annoyance and frustration between the two of them, but there is also a massive undercurrent of lust. One fateful day, these two cross the line into lust, and things are never the same again!

The ingredients of a great story for me need to consist of three things: a good story, great characters, and a great setting. Perry always excels at this! For instance, she had my heart in knots from the prologue. From there, the story fell into place, and I was hooked.

She also manages to create characters that I always feel a connection with, and this book was no different. My heart was Kaine’s from the very beginning. I knew he was going to be a complicated and complex character. I might not always be happy with him, and he might make me mad…yet he had a piece of my heart. With Piper’s patience and love, he became the person he was always meant to be.

Piper was like a ray of sunshine in Kaine’s dark storm. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t without her flaws either. She had a hard time trusting men, and I couldn’t blame her. Kaine wasn’t the best person to trust your heart to, but Piper was patient with him. Like Kaine, she wasn’t the same person she was in the beginning either…she was much better.

Perry created such a unique, charming town in Lark Cove. The setting is beautiful, and she writes with such detail that I feel like I’m there myself. Each time I return, she shows me something else beautiful and special about it.

As I wrote earlier, Devney Perry manages to write a novel that pulls at my heartstring. To me, she is much more than a just a writer, but she is an immensely talented storyteller. That is always what makes me come back for anything she writes!!!!




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READ THE PROLOGUE FOR TRAGIC HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

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I Bet You by Ilsa Madden-Mills Blog Tour with Excerpt & Review

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She’s the one bet I can’t resist…

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills returns with an all-new swoon-fest of a novel about what happens when you look beyond labels and take a chance on love.

I Bet You, an all-new sexy college romance standalone is available NOW!

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Sexy Athlete: I bet you…

Penelope Graham: Burn in hell, quarterback.

The late night text is random but Penelope knows exactly who “Sexy Athlete” is. And why she shouldn’t take his wager.

Ryker Voss.

Football star.

Walks on water and God’s gift to women.

Just ask him.

His bet? He promises Penelope he’ll win her the heart of the nerdy guy she’s been crushing on. His plan—good old-fashioned jealousy. Once her crush sees her kissing Ryker, he’ll realize what he’s missing. Sounds legit, right? The only question is…why is Ryker being so nice to her?

Penelope Graham.

Virgin.

Lover of sparkly vampires and calculus.

His mortal enemy.

Penelope knows she shouldn’t trust a jock, but what’s a girl to do when she needs a date to Homecoming? And Ryker’s keeping a secret, another bet, one that could destroy Penelope’s heart forever.

Will the quarterback score the good girl or will his secret mean everyone loses at this game of love?




Christie’s Review

5 Stars

All-Time Favorite Read

A Top Read of 2018

A Top Read in Romantic Comedy

 

Ilsa Madden-Mills has created another well-written romance that made me weak in the knees and my heart go pitter-patter!!!

 

There is no love loss between Penelope and Ryker. She hates everything he stands for, especially that he is a star quarterback. That might have to do with some past family issues in her past. Ryker was the subject of a journalistic piece Penelope did the year before, so he really shouldn’t be her biggest fan. Yet, these two feel some sort of pull toward one another. However, one midnight text and a promise to help her land the man of her dreams will put these to on a road they never expected…one that will help them look past their preconceptions of each other and possibly a forever kind of love.

 

Oh my gosh…I just loved these two characters! Penelope is the girl I would want as my best friend. Her nerdiness just makes her adorable. She “part goofy but clever.” She exudes a sexiness yet with equal parts innocence. It’s all those qualities that attract Ryker. She is also quite tough, and despite her issues with her father, she doesn’t let hard times keep her down.

 

At first glance, Ryker appears cocky and arrogant. However, as the story progresses, we see a whole other side to him. Plus, the guy is really funny. It’s those qualities that pull at Penelope’s heart, and it’s getting harder for her to resist his charm. Plus, the guy is drop dead gorgeous. All those things make him lethal!

 

Madden-Mills has created a fascinating, sexy, and sweet enemies to lover’s story. Despite the instant chemistry, she took her time crafting their romance. She made them somewhat friends first, with a great deal of flirting involved. In addition, this woman knows how to write romance. No matter what she writes, she ALWAYS gives me butterflies. She is an expert at sexual chemistry and anticipation, yet it is always filled with emotion.

 

Ilsa Madden-Mills is one of those writers that just has that something special. She has the ability to draw me into whatever story she is writing, making me fall in love with the characters, while pulling at my heartstrings, leaving me with a smile on my face!!!!




IBY-AN

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Excerpt:

Penelope

I stand in front of the mirror in the restroom and gasp. Holy moly, I’m a total disaster. Red is on my shirt, my neck, my cheek, and there’s even a dab in my hair. I let out a heavy sigh as I wipe at it with a wet paper towel. At least my hair is auburn and the red will just blend right in. I scrub at the stain on my shirt, but all I end up doing is making a giant wet spot.

“Forget it,” I mutter to myself a few minutes later as I straighten my lopsided messy bun and adjust my glasses. My makeup is faded, and I reach into my apron for a tube of cherry red lipstick then quickly swipe it over my mouth. Like that’s going to improve the situation. I need a makeover and new clothes stat.

I walk out of the restroom and take in Sugar’s Bar and Grill, a restaurant in Magnolia, Mississippi. The dinner rush is over, but a few stragglers will come in, mostly college students. Only a block from campus, Sugar’s has a modern farmhouse feel with galvanized steel light fixtures, pale pine floors, and straight-back metal chairs, but the food…well, that’s what keeps the place hopping. It’s the only restaurant near campus to get anything you want served up with a side of fresh fried green tomatoes. Their menu also features Southern classics, such as chicken and dumplings or macaroni and cheese with bacon sprinkled on top. Just thinking about it makes my stomach rumble. I was so wrapped up in writing during my break that I forgot to eat.

I sigh and head to the football table, where they promptly hand over the money. “Nice doing business with you, boys,” I say before flouncing off, feeling Ryker’s eyes on me the entire time.

What’s his deal with me?

I mean, you’d think he’d want to avoid me because of the article, but it’s as if his mission is to be around me as much as he can. In fact, I’m not even sure he knew who I was before I wrote it since we don’t run in the same circles. I suspect he’s torturing me.

I push him out of my head and walk over to a table that needs bussing, picking up half-empty soda glasses and putting them on my tray. The door chimes, signaling that someone has come in, and I raise my head to see—

Whoa.

I freeze.

Bring out the angels and cue the hallelujah chorus.

Now that’s the kind of man I should be writing sexy scenes about.

Standing at the door is Connor Dimpleshitz—yes, his surname is unfortunate, but his IQ makes up for it. I’ve been crushing on him since our sociology class last semester.

Framed by a golden halo of sunlight as it glints through the windows, I decide he’s what would happen if Albert Einstein and Henry Cavill had a baby. “A hot genius. The perfect unicorn,” I murmur to myself.

I chew on my lip, debating on whether to mosey up to him and say hi or hide.

Hide wins. I know, I’m a little ridiculous, especially since we have calculus together this semester and he’ll obviously see me at some point in class.

But then I’ll have good hair and ketchup-free clothes.

I quickly survey the possibilities for my escape as the hostess seats him in another server’s section. My eyes land on the right side of the restaurant, where I could make a mad dash for the kitchen, but he’s bound to see me darting since I’d have to walk past him. Plus, I want to hang around and watch him without him knowing.

I come to a decision. Wrangling the tray of half-empty sodas I cleared, I quickstep it over to the back left corner, the farthest away from the double doors of the entrance. I maneuver my body into an awkward hunkering position behind a huge potted plant with wide fan-shaped leaves. At least five feet tall with a gnarly brown trunk, the green monster is perfect camouflage.

I peek around a big leaf that’s in dire need of a good dusting,judging by the motes floating around. Feeling paranoid that someone is a witness to my absurdity, I throw a quick glance over my shoulder to make sure no one’s around.

Ryker. Shit.

He’s staring at me from the football table, and there’s a glint in his gaze, as if he’s wondering what I’m doing.

I scowl and stick my tongue out at him. He makes me feel so rebellious and flustered and…excited.

I can’t even stop myself. Ugh.

His expression deepens in amusement, and I grimace, realizing my butt is sticking out. His annoying eyebrow jacks up and says, What the hell are you doing?

With eye telepathy I tell him to mind his own freaking business.

I pointedly turn my back on him and focus on The Unicorn.

A few seconds later, a familiar deep voice resonates from behind me, making me start. “You look a little flustered, Penelope. Spying on someone for your next story, perhaps?”

I freeze. Blink. His voice is husky and lower than before when he was calling me garçon, the tone reminding me of languid summer nights under a starry Southern sky while he gives me deep, passionate kisses—

Good Lord.Stop your daydreaming.Must. Stop. Reading. Romances.

I heave out a sigh and turn around to face Ryker.

What the hell does he want now?

***

“I don’t submit to the Wildcat Weekly anymore,” I say.

I worked for them most of last year, covering the home games and a few random articles. With a dad who was in the NFL, I know a lot about football, but when Sugar’s offered me more hours, I took it.

“No more football stories, huh?”

I shrug, my gaze taking in his chiseled cheekbones, the curve of his full lips, the hint of scruff on his jaw. Dammit, why is he so gorgeous? “What can I say? I covered the most fascinating story last semester—you. Guess I went out on a high note.”

He nods, taking that dig. “I always noticed you at the games.”

I scoff. “I didn’t think girls like me were on your radar.”

“You sat near the third row at the fifty-yard line taking notes at every home game.” His eyes drift over me. “And I didn’t say you were on my radar.”

“Really? Sounds like you did.”

“Trust me, I have more discriminating tastes.” He shrugs.

“Why, how sweet of you.” My Southern accent has thickened, the way it does when I’m sassy. It’s one thing to know he doesn’t like me, but for him to say I’m not up to his standards…well. “Did you pop over here just to be nice?”

He exhales and rakes a hand through his hair, calling attention to the lighter strands that have been bleached by the sun. “Honestly, I’m not sure why I came over here.” A conflicted expression crosses his face as he tugs at his collar. My eyes stare at the myriad of curly blond chest hairs that are poking out from the V-neck of the light blue Oxford he’s wearing with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay from the ketchup getting all over you, but everything I’m saying is coming out wrong.”

Oh. This is different. And not what I expected.

“I’m fine, Baby Llama. No need to worry. You can go. Your girlfriends are waiting for you.” I tilt my head back toward the football table.

He doesn’t budge. “Baby Llama?” An amused grin flashes over his face.

I shrug. It’s been my private nickname for him since sophomore year when I stumbled upon him coming out of an upstairs bathroom at the Tau house after a shower with only a white towel wrapped around his trim waist. Some jersey chaser was with him. His hairy chest had both shocked my virgin sensibilities and excited me at the same time. The unruly curls just made him seem more naked, as if I’d seen his cock. Much to my dismay, I’d later dream about rolling around on that bed of golden curls. Seriously, who takes a shower with a chick in the middle of a kegger? Ryker Voss, that’s who. Because he can. And girls do whatever he wants.

But not this one.

I respect the game—even love it—but I don’t fall for football players, especially high and mighty quarterbacks who think they walk on water. My dad was the star player at Waylon twenty years ago, and trust me, I know how they operate. They get what they want and then they walk out, leaving broken hearts everywhere.

“Have you ever seen a real llama?” he asks, continuing our conversation. It’s as if he’s actually trying to be nice. “I saw one at a safari park once. Little bugger tried to eat my hand off when I fed him, but he was cute. Maybe you need a poster of one in your room so when you see it, you’ll think about me. I’ll even sign it for you.”

And there’s the cocky again.

“Buy me one. I’ll throw darts at it.”

“Damn, you never stop.” He huffs out a laugh, his eyes lingering on my neck. “Oh, there’s a bit of ketchup here too,” he says, reaching out to glide his finger across the top of my collar, his knuckles barely brushing against my neck.

The feather-light touch is brief and not sexual, yet my body hums, tendrils of sparks racing over my skin. I suck in a breath and catch his scent, warm and spicy with hints of leather and sandalwood.

He blinks and clears his throat. “Um, I actually have this cleaner stuff that I spray on my practice clothes. It’s a miracle worker. You’re welcome to borrow it. Of course, you’d have to come by the football dorm to pick it up. We could even do laundry together if you wanted?”

He says the words softly, as if they’re nothing,and I’m staring at him full on.

Do our laundry together?

I suspect Ryker Voss is flirting with me, though not well. The pimply-faced checkout boy at Big Star has better lines than this.

Yet…

Something warm grows inside my stomach and then flutters around, the sputtering of newborn butterflies. He is the hottest guy on campus. Still, I remind myself he’s a player, gather my resolve, and shoot those butterflies down.

“You’re being weird, Ryker.”

“Because I’m being nice? Yeah. New year, new start. I want to forget all the bad stuff from last semester.” He pauses. “And the article you wrote.”

“Is that right? Even the part where I said you dishonored the sport and were a disgrace to college players everywhere?”

He stares down at his hands. “I had my reasons for what happened.”

So I heard. He got involved in the fighting to help his friend and fellow teammate Maverick save his disabled sister.

“Ah, well, I did write a follow-up article, but it wasn’t nearly as popular as the first one.”

He shrugs, and somehow, he’s closer now. I stare into his thickly lashed cerulean eyes and blink at the force of them. His irises…God, someone should name a crayon after them.

“So…do you want to do laundry together sometime?”

This again? My mouth parts. “What? Like a date?”

“Yeah.”

I blink rapidly, my brain trying to wrap about this new Ryker. “No. I’m sure you already have jersey chasers lined up outside your dorm vying to do your laundry. I’ve heard they actually beg to rub your shoulders and do your homework. I imagine they even fight to be the one to suck your sweet little toes.” I come to an abrupt halt. Suck his toes? SUCK HIS TOES? OMG. Where did that random comment come from? I don’t have a foot fetish. I blame it on his presence and carry on. “And don’t worry about me—I don’t need your laundry advice. A little ketchup never hurt anyone.”

Determination crosses his face and with a flurry of movement, he drops a small piece of paper onto the tray I’m holding.

I stare down at it. Sexy as Hell Athlete is written in masculine handwriting with a phone number after it. I look back up at him, my eyes tracing the enigmatic half-smile on his face.

“I wrote it down for you earlier and wanted to give it to you after the ketchup thing, but I chickened out.”

Several seconds go by.

“Will you give me yours?” he asks after a few moments of us just standing here.

“My what?”

“Number.” He grins.

I indicate the tray and my obvious impediment. “I don’t have any paper on me.”

“Just tell me. I’ll remember.”

I’m flustered, and that’s the only reason I rattle off my phone number. He grins and repeats it back to me.

He lowers his voice in a conspiratorial way. “So…you’re watching someone, I take it. Anyone I know?”

Feeling bemused by his attention, I shake my head, quickly losing control of this situation.

“For a writer, you seem to be at a loss for words. Do I make you speechless, Penelope?”

I scoff. “No.”

“I’m curious as to what has your attention back here.” He slides in next to me behind the plant, his shoulder brushing against mine. He’s a giant next to my slender frame, and all at once, I feel protected and safe, which is entirely wrong. It’s probably his male pheromones, lulling me into softness before the kill—and damn if it isn’t working. He murmurs something about us hiding together and spying on people, but I’m distracted because my face is up close and personal with the chest hair that pokes out of his shirt. I want to trail my fingers through it and see if it’s as soft as it looks. He smells like alpha male and sex. Hard, passionate sex that makes you orgasm fast and furious.

Not that I have any firsthand knowledge of that, of course, but I have my fantasies.

Gird your loins, Penelope.

Resist the quarterback.

But I’m getting sucked in.

I blame it on the dimple that appears when he smiles. My stomach does that fluttering thing again, and this time, I can’t shoo the butterflies away. I’m weak. I move my eyes up the strong column of his tanned throat to meet his gaze. At least ten seconds go by as we take each other in.

What. Is. Happening?

“You’re pretty,” he murmurs. “Have I ever told you that?”

“We don’t usually talk except for when I take your order.”

His hand reaches up and briefly touches a piece of my hair that’s fallen out of my topknot. He rubs it between his fingers. “Your hair…it’s—”

“Auburn,” I manage, clearing my throat.

“It reminds me of a new penny, the way the amber color catches the light…” His voice trails off, and he bites his bottom lip. “God, that has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever said.”

“You have worse lines. Tell me, is doing laundry code for sex?” I say, staring up at him. I’m itching to straighten my glasses, a nervous reflex, but my hands are holding the tray.

“I only use lines on jersey chasers. You’re the kind of girl I have to work for.”

“What about your discriminating tastes?”

“Pure bluff. I think we have a real connection, Penelope.” His face is closer now, and I swallow, wondering how we must look to everyone else in the restaurant. I realize that in the process of talking, we’ve backed up to the wall behind the plant, and I figure the only table we’re visible to is the football one, but I don’t tear my eyes away from Ryker to check.

“You smell like rainbows,” he says.

My chest rises. I’m enjoying his full-court press. It’s…intoxicating. “What does a rainbow smell like?”

“Sweet and delicious.”

“It’s the suckers.” His eyes land on my lips, and it almost feels as if he’s touched them. Heat rushes over my skin. “The red ones are my favorite. I think they’re cherry or strawberry or raspberry…definitely not cranberry…that’s disgusting,” I say, rambling, feeling disoriented.

“It’s crazy, but I really want to kiss you right now,” he murmurs.

My eyes drift over his shoulder to where Connor’s table is. I can’t see his face, but I know he’s there, and even though I’m drugged by Ryker’s proximity, I remind myself he’s the one I should kiss.

Not Ryker.

Ryker is a player—just like my dad was.

He watches the direction of my gaze and follows it. “You’ve been watching Dimples hitz, haven’t you?” he says, a frown line appearing on his forehead. “Are you into him?”

My stomach dips. “Why would you say that?”

“Because you hightailed it over here when he walked in and you’ve been hiding ever since. So, I figure he either did you wrong or you’re infatuated, and since I haven’t heard any gossip about you and him, I’m guessing you must have a thing for him.”

Abort! Abort!He knows too much!

Sanity slowly returns to my brain in small increments, and I take a deep breath, orienting myself as questions race through my head. What if he uses my crush against me? Maybe he wants revenge for the article. I don’t know!

Flustered and unsure, my eyes dart around the restaurant, looking for an exit so I don’t have to answer his question.

My gaze lands on the football table he came from, and I notice Archer watching us with focused interest, a calculating look on his face as he whips his eyes from me to Ryker. He leans over and whispers to Blaze, who turns to peer in our direction. I pause, my brain analyzing and decoding. Why is Archer suddenly interested in what Ryker is doing over here with me—especially when there’s a pretty co-ed sitting right next to him, tracing little circles on his bicep?

Yet Archer’s eagle eyes are onus. Watchful.

I notice all three players at the table have suddenly given us their attention, anticipation evident on their faces.

Alarms go off in my head and things start to click into place.

How nice he was to me. How we ‘have a connection’. Yeah, right.

Mortification washes over me.

How could I not have seen it sooner?

God, I am an idiot.I was so distracted…

I’m a bet. A stupid freaking bet.

I feel like someone just punched me in the gut.

My survival instinct tells me to get away from Ryker, and obviously,I could just walk away and hold my head high, but I want to make a point and show those football players they can’t toy with me. I release the tray I’ve been balancing for what seems like days in his direction. The contents of the glasses spill out and crash to the floor, watered-down soda and ice drenching us before dripping down to the floor. The plastic glasses make a horrible clattering noise on the wooden floors, and I imagine most everyone in the restaurant heard it. I don’t look to see their faces. I only glare at Ryker.

He jumps back and stares down at the mess on his khaki pants then looks back at me. “Remind me to never bring up Dimpleshitz again.”

“Stop your games, Ryker.”

His face stills. “What games?”

My teeth snap together. Enough.

 

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About the Author
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap. She’s best known for her angsty, heartfelt new adult college romances.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice; Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

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5 +++++ Star Review · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Contemporary Romance · Must Read · New Review · Romance

Pieces of You by Kate Benson Blog Tour with Review

Title: Pieces of You
Author: Kate Benson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Editor: Chasing Sophie Publications
Cover Designer: Sean Benson at NativeSon Designs
Publication Date: October 29th, 2018

Blurb:

***This book contains material intended for mature readers***
Ava
When I left behind my simple life and the small town that held it after graduation, I had perfect guy and the future I’d always dreamed of. I never imagined he’d become my worst nightmare.
I got away from him, but since I’ve come home, all that remains is the broken girl who ran away all those years ago. Suddenly, this town seems so much smaller than it ever did before.
With my dad gone and a decade full of regret behind me, I’ve never felt more alone in the world.
It isn’t until I meet my dad’s neighbor and her son, Nate, that I begin to feel anything.
They say you can’t go home again.
I never believed that until I tried.
Nate
I’ve lived in this town my whole life and have loved it since the day I was born. Lately, though, I can’t help feeling like it’s walls are closing in on me.
Maybe heartbreak does that to everyone.
Or maybe that’s just what I’ve been telling myself.
I’ve tried keeping my focus on my job and taking care of my mom, but I can’t shake the feeling that something is missing.
Until Ava.
I’ve heard it said you can’t go home again.
One look at her and I can’t help but wonder if you can.
Pieces of You is a multi-POV standalone novel. 



Christie’s Review

5 +++++ STARS

A Top Read of 2018

An All-Time Favorite Read

 

“There’s something to be said for broken people. These shards may cut deep, but when light comes along and crashes into them, they shift into something beautiful.”

 

Pieces of You by Kate Benson is not only a 5-Star read, but it’s a top read of 2018 and an all-time favorite read! It’s a second chance romance, but not in a typical way. Ava and Nate weren’t involved with each other before. Their second chance is really a chance to find the love they both deserve. It’s a tale about two broken people, in very different ways, who somehow find each other. Can they each give “little pieces” of one another to possibly heal their brokenness and find love?

 

Be prepared that Benson will break you heart, but she will also sew it back together in the most beautiful ways possible!

 

Ava was broken, and I wasn’t quite sure her shattered heart would ever be whole again. Yet, Nate was able to give her some of the pieces of her heart back in his own brokenness, just like Ava was able to do for him. Benson gave these characters such strength when they were at their weakest. This was such a realistic romance. It wasn’t a love story that made everything perfect in their lives. It was a perfect love story that happened in their imperfect lives. Isn’t that what real love is anyway…relying on our love for one another to make those bad days bearable and bringing even more joy into the good days?

 

I can’t leave one very important character out…Rocky. Rocky, along with Nate’s mother, was such a big part in this story! Thank you, Kate Benson, for showing your readers how important a dog’s love is. You showed the unconditional love and special bond they play in our lives. They truly help us through the hard times and teach us a lot about life and love!

 

Benson also touches on several issues, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, alcoholism, and domestic abuse. Not many authors could take all three issues and weave them seamlessly into the story without losing something, but she didn’t. It added even more depth to the story.

 

I have long been a fan of Benson’s books, and she has proven herself in several different genres. This one has to be my favorite. She has given her readers so much of her heart in this book. That is evident in her acknowledgements. I have come to love these as much as her storylines. She also gives us a glimpse into her heart and mind. She brought tears to my eyes with this one, and not many writers are able to do that. Benson continues to fascinate me. She takes what is in that big heart of hers and uses that amazing mind she is blessed with to weave stories that are magical!




 

Kate Benson was raised in Texas and currently resides in central Florida with her husband and their growing army of fur minions.She learned to read at the age of four and has been hooked ever since. She credits her passion for literature to her mother, her love of story-telling to her father and her unwavering faith in happily-ever-after’s to her husband, Sean.Some of her favorite things include rainy days, loud music, superhero movies, hot tea and of course, lazy afternoons with a great book.To find out more about Kate, her work or to just say hello, she loves hearing from her readers and can be found on social media.

Author Links:
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5 +++++ Star Review · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Duet · Must Read · New Review · Romance

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts Duet #2) by Emma Scott Blog Tour with Review!!!!

 

 

Never again would I allow my heart to become the plaything of someone else.
Never again would I let a man (or men) come between me and my goals.
Never again would I love without feeling the fullness of that love in return.
Not until I knew it was real. And if that took me a lifetime to find, so be it.

Those were my vows, and after all that had happened with Connor and Weston, I was determined to keep them. To protect my heart.
And then he came home, and my vows became his promises.

He held my heart in his hands with reverence and care.
He helped me find my soul’s greatest purpose in life.
He loved me with a love so pure and vibrant, I knew I’d never feel anything like it in a hundred lifetimes.
It was real.

Until it wasn’t.
Until it all came crashing down when I discovered the deep love I thought I’d found was nestled in a web of lies—so soft and silken I hadn’t noticed it was there.
Until it was too late.

**********
Long Live the Beautiful Hearts is the emotional, heart-wrenching conclusion to the Beautiful Hearts Duet by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL LOVE TRIANGLE 
THIS BOOK IS NOT A STANDALONE. It should not be read without first reading Bring Down the Stars



Christie’s Review

5 +++++ STARS

A Top 10 Read of 2018

An All-Time Favorite Read

I fell in love with Emma Scott, along with the story, and the characters she created in Book 1 of this duet, Bring Down the Stars. I was heartbroken and unsure of what Book 2 would hold for me after finishing the previous book. Emma Scott completely blew my expectations out of the water.

Hands down, this is my favorite book of 2018 and a top 10 in my all-time favorite reads. This is one of those reviews that I hope I can convey my thoughts so that other readers can see what a phenomenal book this truly is. What makes it even harder is that I can’t write too much about it because I can’t spoil anything. The characters and the story captured not only my mind but my heart and soul. It can be incredibly difficult to read at times, really hard, my heart broke at times. However, in all the pain is hope, love, and joy! A character in the book relays that in  the story he tell of the “Once Born and the Twice Born.” He says about the Twice Born:

The man who walks into the dark forest of his life and suffers. Sometimes unimaginably. The way back is forever closed to him, but the Twice Born man walk forward. The path becomes more twisted, the hardships seemingly impossible to overcome. But he keeps going until one day, the shadows lift. The branches cease to scratch at his skin and they part for him. He’ll regard the scars with pride as he emerges from the forest reborn. Stronger for what he has endured. Wiser. Transformed. And grateful for the lessons he learned.

For me, that passage illustrates exactly what this book is about!!! Each character I met from the first book will be transformed by the end of the second book, and it’s difficult, sad, yet somehow, beautiful.

Emma Scott is one of those very rare writers whose words can transform her readers. Her words are magical and find a way into your heart. That kind of talent is hard to find. This duet, the characters, and Emma Scott’s words will stay with me for a lifetime!!!!!

 



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I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks directly to mine. He writes as if he can feel my heart, hear its cadence and compose the exact right lyrics to accompany every beat and flow.

I’m in love with Connor…so why do I feel an inexplicable pull to his best friend, Weston? Grouchy, sullen, brooding Weston Turner, who could cut you down with a look. Fiercely intelligent with a razor sharp wit and acid tongue, he’s the exact opposite of Connor in every way, and yet there’s electricity in the air between us. The thorny barbs Weston wraps around himself can’t keep me away.

But the more time I spend with these men, the more tangled and confused my emotions become. When they both sign up for the Army Reserves during a time of increasing strife in the Middle East, I fear I’ll never unravel my own heart that sometimes feels as if it will tear straight down the middle…for both of them.

**********
Bring Down the Stars is an emotional, angst-filled novel of unrequited love by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) It is Book I in the Beautiful Hearts Duet, coming this summer. Book II, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, to be released a few weeks later. #lovetriangle #confusedhearts #notamenage

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy thoughtful, realistic stories with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy my novels.

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5 +++++ Star Review · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Must Read · New Review · Review Tour · Romance · Romantic Comedy

Love Sincerely Yours by Sara Ney & Meghan Quinn Review Tour

 

 

Dear Mister…**strike out** no, too formal.

Hey there sweet cheeks *strike out* no, too forward.

 

To whom it may concern,

Full disclosure; before we move forward with this email, I would like it to be known that I have consumed an adequate amount of alcoholic beverages to intoxicate myself tonight. Three margaritas, two shots, and one beer—because it was free.

I think it’s important to be open and honest with your co-workers, don’t you?

So here I am, being honest. Drunk but honest. Or just drunk with lust? You decide.

I like you so much it’s clouding my judgment and making me do things I never would sober. Like write this letter.

I have a hopeless, foolish, schoolgirl crush on you when you are the last person on earth I should be falling for. Did you know people around the office call you a sadist? An egomaniac. An insensitive, arrogant prick. Your bark is worse then your bite, and you don’t scare me. The fact is, I’d love that bite of yours to nip at my bare skin while we’re both wearing nothing but sheets.

For once I want you to look at me as more than one of your employees.

And as long as we’re being honest, that navy blue suit you wear? With the crisp white shirt? It really makes me want to loosen your tie and show you who’s boss.

Love,

Sincerely,

Yours.



Christie’s Review

5 +++++ STARS

A Top Read of 2018

A Top Read in Romantic Comedy

Meghan Quinn and Sara Ney are two of my favorite authors, so I was incredibly excited that they were writing a book together. They surpassed all of my expectations!!!

Not only did this writing duo excite me, but I really liked the premise of the story when I read the synopsis! It was something a bit different, and I loved the secret admirer angle.

Peyton has always had a crush on her boss Rome even if he is a jerk!!! Once you begin reading, you will understand what a jerk he really was. However, Peyton has always seen underneath his tough exterior, and believe me, that is a huge accomplishment. One drunken night, she drunk emails him telling him exactly how she feels. Thankfully, she has a genius BFF who works in IT who can keep her identity secret. Of course, Rome being who he is, is infuriated…someone breaking the rules, how dare they?  Underneath that defense mechanism, he is somewhat intrigued, and a flirty friendship develops between them online. While at work, Rome becomes more curious about Peyton. She is talented, and she doesn’t back down from him around the office.

The banter between these two were hilarious, sexy, and very witty. The chemistry was sizzling, and the writers know how to build the tension between them while doing a great job of making the readers want more!!!! I knew from the beginning I would love Peyton, who couldn’t? Rome was a different story. I, like her friends, at the beginning had no clue what she saw in him. As I got to know Rome, I came to admire him. He is tenacious and has determination. He worked hard to build his company, and I came to respect that. As more of his less serious side was revealed, I then came to love him as well. Rome needed someone in his life like Peyton. She challenged him in ways he couldn’t imagine!

I have to love and admire both of these incredibly talented writers. They create fantastic stories and unforgettable characters as individual authors. But, the two of them together are simple magical!!!!!



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Excerpt

I open the company messenger app on my phone and scroll through the executive names, knowing full well I’m about to break a policy. It’s the company’s phone, and the company’s app, and I’m about to use it for personal use. To flirt.

With my boss.

I close my eyes, find his name—next to it is a little, green dot, which means. . .

He’s on the app.

I’ve never talked to him live before so this is a huge step, but then again, it might be more fun to get his initial reactions to my comments.

Debating it for all but two seconds, I type out a message to him, making sure I’m signed on under my LSY persona.

HandsRomingMyBody: Hey you.

My text turns into a new message on the app and I wait on bated breath to see if he will respond. Nerves prickle up my spine, my fingers feeling numb, my mind playing mutiny with my heart just as little dots appear letting me know he’s typing.

Oh God, I don’t think I’ve been more excited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Website

 

 

 

 

 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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5 +++++ Star Review · A Top Read in Women's Fiction · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · New Review · Romance · Women's Fiction

Bear With Me by Jessica Redland Blog Tour with Review

Bear With Me

Bear With Me

by Jessica Redland

Synopsis

Jemma has the job of her dreams as curator for the children’s section of a museum in London. She spends each day surrounded by the one thing she’s absolutely passionate about: teddy bears. When boyfriend, Scott, shows a genuine interest in her passion instead of laughing at her for “playing with teddies all day”, she knows he’s a keeper.

Returning home to the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay to celebrate her birthday, Jemma thinks she’s heading for her happy-ever-after when Scott unexpectedly proposes. So, a few days later, why isn’t he retuning her calls or responding to her texts?

Julie has always been a wonderful single mother to Jemma and her little brother, Sean. As owner of specialist teddy bear shop, Bear With Me, and the creative genius behind the successful range of Ju-Sea Bears, she inspires Jemma with her ability to balance a demanding career with home life. So why is the shop now in disarray and why is Sean so upset?

Sam thought he had his future all worked out. With a promising neurology career, a home, and a devoted fiancée, life was looking good. But now he’s all alone in a strange city, far from everyone and everything he cares about, struggling to rebuild the tatters of his life. Did he do the right thing by running away? What does the future hold and is he strong enough to face it?

Sometimes love finds us when we least expect it. But sometimes love leaves us, just as unexpectedly. When you’ve loved and lost, can you bear to let love in again?

Bear With Me, as all will be revealed …



 

Christie’s Review

5+++++ STARS

An All-Time Favorite Read

A Top Read of 2018 & Women’s Fiction

Oh my goodness, Jessica Redland has captured my heart and soul with this emotional and beautiful novel!!!

Bear With Me is one of those very rare novels that I have to really think about long and hard before writing a review. Honestly, I have written several versions before settling on this one. I want to get everything right so that other readers will see how very special this book really is!!!!

The book is told from two POVs…Jemma and Sam. It seems as if it is fate has brought these two together after each has suffered devastating pain, although for very different reasons. However, this shared pain has brought them together as friends and maybe, just maybe something more.

I thought the way Redland developed this story from the beginning until the very end was brilliant, even the title was brilliant. Readers will understand that once they begin reading it. Both of their stories are told parallel to one another.

Jemma and Sam are characters that will stay in my mind and my heart for a long time. I can’t imagine the depth of pain each of them endured. However, I could also see the strength in each of them as well. I’m so glad that Redland developed their stories both independently to show readers how the two came into each other’s lives. It was a slow romance which was completely realistic, with some steps forward and some steps back. She also threw a twist in near the end that packed quite the emotional punch.

The author created a story that was emotional and was one that held me captive until I finished the very last word, and I’m still thinking about the storyline and the characters. It was also a book that hit very close to home for me. My beloved grandmother suffered from the same disease as Jemma’s mother. Thank you, Jessica Redland, for shedding more light on Parkinson’s, not only from the perspective of those suffering from it but also from those who are the caretakers.

I highly, highly recommend this read. I have been a fan of Redland’s for a while, but in my opinion, this is her best book by far. It is about loss and second chances…family, friends, and love! Bear With Me will make you cry, make you laugh, and finally bring a smile to your face, and a warm feeling in your heart!!!!



 

Purchase Link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bear-Me-youve-loved-again-ebook/dp/B07116632Y

 

Bear With Me Cover

 

Author Bio 

Jessica - Author Photo

Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella!

She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast – the inspiration for the settings in her books – with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!

Jessica tries to balance her time – usually unsuccessfully – between being an HR tutor and writing.

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @JessicaRedland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Website and blog: www.jessicaredland.com

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5 +++++ Star Review · A Top Read in Romantic Suspense · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Romance · Top Read in Second Chance Romance

New Review: More of You (Confessions of the Heart Series) by A.L. Jackson with Giveaway (Fight for Me Bundle + the EXCLUSIVE products from my MORE OF YOU release boxes! )

A second-chance, small town, stand-alone romance in A.L. Jackson’s Confessions of the Heart Series.

“I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Jace and Faith’s story. Seriously, the BEST story! 5++++ Stars!”

~Lys, I Love Story Time
Are you ready for my newest romance?
TITLE: MORE OF YOU
SERIES: A Confessions of the Heart Stand-Alone Novel 
RELEASE DATE: September 10th, 2018
My daddy warned me never to fall for a boy like Jace Jacobs . . .
The second I saw him walk through the door, I knew he was trouble.
A gorgeous rebel with a bad attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder.
My heart warned me. I didn’t listen. I saw something protective and good beneath the fierce, tough exterior.
I fell hard and fast.
He promised we’d be together forever, and then left me with a broken heart.
Now, ten years later, Jace Jacobs is standing at my door.
Sexier than he’s ever been.
Provocative and commanding.
Successful and powerful.
The man I always knew he would become.
But I promised myself I’d never lose my heart to him again.
Even time couldn’t dim our chemistry. One glance of his intense eyes, and I become weak. One
brush of his hand, and he brings me to my knees.
Little do I know, Jace holds the key to everything I’ve lost and everything that threatens my future.
Now he will either save me, or he will break me all over again . . .
More of You – a Confessions of the Heart second-chance, stand-alone romance


Christie’s Review

5 +++++

Love’s not about right or wrong, just like grief isn’t about counting days. Love is about being given a gift. Sometimes when we least expect it. Usually when we need it most.

Let me begin by saying, it’s really hard to not love A.L. Jackson. She knows how to write one heck of a story filled with emotions. This book is no exception. She engaged ALL of my emotions! I was angry, sad, and happy! This is another all-time favorite and top favorite in second chance romance for me.

Faith and Jace thought they had it all. They felt like there was no obstacle they couldn’t overcome even if they came from two different worlds, but that was not to be for them at the time. Life and outside forces tore them apart. Now, Jace is back and determined to protect the woman he loves and her child. Buckle up….this is one heck of a ride!!!!

As you can well imagine, Faith isn’t too happy to have Jace back in town. However, she can’t just forget all that the two of them shared. I loved the way Jackson took me back in time when Faith fell in love with Jace, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

But that troubled boy was my shining star. He’d taught me to have faith that people were so much more than their exteriors and their reputations. Made me have faith that destinies weren’t based on our circumstances but rather what we made of them.

Faith was a woman I couldn’t help but admire, love, and respect. She had her heart ripped out by Jace, then she suffered the loss of her husband, Joseph. Now, she was a single mother with a dream she wasn’t sure she could realize, and she was afraid for herself and Bailey Button. She was juggling grief, worry, and fear, all while “standing on her two own feet.” However, she never gave in. There was a love still burning for Jace, but her heart and soul belonged completely to her daughter. She would do anything to make sure she was safe. How could I not love her?

Jace was a character I fell for as well. Like, Faith, I couldn’t help but admire and respect him as well. He was loyal, protective, and forgiving. He always put his family first, often to the detriment of himself. He wanted them to be different than how they were raised. He could have harbored resentment towards Bailey, yet he fell heart and soul for that precious little girl, and in not time, she had him wrapped her little finger!

Jackson also created a great set of secondary characters, such as Ian, Mack, Courtney, and our sweet little “Button.” Every time Bailey was on the scene, my heart melted for the precious child.

As much as this was a romance, Jackson expertly combined it with mystery and thrills. She continued adding more little hints here and there of who was terrorizing Faith and why. As always, her book was well-written, and each setting was described in a way that I was right there in the story myself.

I highly recommend reading this little gem of a book by A.L. Jackson. Just be warned….you won’t do anything else until the very last page is finished. But then, those are the very best books to read, aren’t they?



 
Don’t miss the adorable giveaway for the More of You release! It’s a Fight for Me Bundle + the EXCLUSIVE products from my MORE OF YOU release boxes! 

 

I hope you love Jace and Faith as much as I do. I’m so proud of this story, and am so thrilled to release it out into the world!

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, and FIGHT FOR ME novels. Grab A.L. Jackson’s latest novel, MORE OF YOU, the first stand-alone novel in her brand-new CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART series.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

 

5 ++++ Star Review · A Top Read of 2018 · All-time Favorites · Christie's Reviews · Excerpt · New Review · Romance · Romantic Comedy · Top Read in Romantic Comedy

Flirting with Fire ((Blue Collar Brothers #1) Review Tour! This is a MUST READ!


 

 

 

 

 

Everyone knows that if you play with fire you’ll end up getting burned…

What happens when you attend a first responder’s bachelor auction with your best friends? Well, if your name is Madison Kelly like me, your friends end up bidding on a date for you with your high school crush.

That’s right. Even back when I was ‘Fatty Maddie’ to all my classmates, I had eyes for the quarterback of our football team. Not like I was the only one.

Mauro Bianco may fight fires for a living, but he still sets my heart ablaze. One look at the rugged, muscular man he’s turned into and I want to slide down his pole.

One date. That’s all I’m committed to. A few hours and I can tuck him back into that tattered old shoebox in my closet.

As always, the universe has other plans. I never would’ve predicted that in a matter of days he’d turn from my dream guy into my enemy.

ADD TO GOODREADS



 

Christie’s Review

5 ++++ STARS

Flirting with Fire by Piper Rayne was a book that grabbed me from the beginning with the special note from our favorite fireman, Mauro. I knew then he would own my heart. It didn’t take long for Madison to own my heart too! These two definitely belonged together even if it took them years to accomplish it, and I loved watching these two fall hard for one another.

This is one of my top ten reads of 2018 for romcoms and an all-time favorite! Madison was so incredibly easy to relate to. I have read so many books about the smart girl in high school who was in love with the jock, only for him not to notice her. She grows up and becomes a success and wants vengeance on her crush. However, that isn’t how this book goes at all as you will soon discover.

The chemistry between these two is evident, but their first date doesn’t go as planned. This is the point where Madison gained my respect and admiration. She is nothing like Mauro expected, but he won’t discover that until a bit later. It won’t be long until she has him under her spell.

As I wrote earlier, Madison is a woman many of us girls can relate to. She wasn’t popular in school, and she carries some of those self-confidence issues into adulthood with her despite the incredible woman she has grown into. Luckily, Mauro does everything he can to assure her of her beauty both inside and out.

Speaking of Mauro, he is pretty much perfect. He is an adonis, but it’s his heart that is his greatest asset. Madison describes perfectly who he is:

No one would blame me if I passed out right now because he really is the perfect specimen of a man, right down to his heart of gold.

As much as I loved the characters, I loved the storyline as well. The pacing was perfect, never rushed. The development of their romance was slow, with little sexual innuendos thrown in building the tension until that final moment when they couldn’t resist each other anymore. It really was the perfect combination of sexy and sweet.

Underneath the romance was the theme of never judging someone too harshly before learning what is underneath the surface. Mauro never got to know who Madison was in high school and was sorry for that. Mauro is often underestimated. Because of his looks, people, especially women, consider him not too intelligent. Madison idolized him in high school, with much of that based on his looks. Now, she is getting to really know him and is falling for him because of the man he is, not who she thought he was. Most of the time we see that label attached to beautiful women, so it was an interesting twist seeing that label attached to a gorgeous man.

The icing on the cake was the addition of the secondary characters: Madison’s friends, Lauren and Vanessa, and Mauro’s brothers, Cristian and Luca. Each couple will get there own book, and it all centers around the bachelor’s auction just like it did with Madison and Mauro! The authors give us just enough about each of them to whet our appetite for more. I, for one, will anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!



iBooks | B & N | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

 

Excerpt

My brothers widen their stances, share a look of amusement and cock their eyebrows at me.

“Hate to break it to you, but Maddie didn’t bid on you. Lauren did.” Luca laughs while Cristian chuckles.

“I’m going out with a Madison and she didn’t go to our high school. Which reminds me.” I pull out my phone.

“Maddie is Madison, you idiot,” Luca says. “Her and Lauren were my year.”

“I went to high school with Madison?” I try to let her face come back to me, and though I can picture her bright blue eyes and long chestnut hair, nothing about her is familiar from high school.

“Yes, but she definitely wasn’t hanging out at the bonfires and football pep rallies.” Luca grabs his helmet off his bike. The only responsible thing I’ve seen him do in the last few years.

“Well, shit and she doesn’t even want to go out with me? Her friend bid on me?”

Luca straddles his bike with a grin. I look over to Cristian, but he’s putting his shirt back on and starts fiddling with his earbuds. They obviously think this conversation is over.

“Yeah, but we’re all in the same boat.” Cristian’s thumb moves over his phone screen. “Maddie’s awesome and I think you’ll have a good time with her.”

“She seemed pretty quiet and way too accommodating,” I say.

Luca kicks his stand up, letting the bike rock a little under him.

Cristian’s hands freeze on the screen of his phone. “And that’s bad?” he asks.

“I want a woman who knows what she wants. Has her own damn opinions. Doesn’t just agree with everything I say.”

Cristian peeks over his shoulder, a look of amusement that matches Luca’s. “You want a girl to come up and grab your nuts?”

“I want a girl who knows what her favorite food is, has an opinion about where she wants to go for dinner, likes whatever sports team she likes and doesn’t default to my favorites.” I stuff my hands into my pockets, digging out my keys for my truck.

“Well then, Maddie might not be the one. Like I said, she’s nice.” Cristian slaps me on the shoulder. “Treat her good though, okay?” He inserts one earbud.

“What do you think I’m going to do, leave her in Garfield Park?”

He puts his other earbud in. “That’s not even funny man. I have a friend in that district and the shit that goes down there…” He shakes his head.

Cristian loses the entire point of my statement—the fact I’m not a jackass. I’m not Luca.

“It’s one date,” I say. “And who knows, maybe she’s nice but still has a wild streak.”

Christian again glances over to Luca who’s smiling like he’s fucking Mickey Mouse.

“Well, good luck on your date,” he says.

Cristian jogs away and Luca’s bike starts up.

I head to my truck.

The conversation is over, but I’m curious now.

Where’s my damn yearbook?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.

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