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Love Sincerely Yours by Sara Ney & Meghan Quinn Review Tour

11 Oct

 

 

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.

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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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Faux Pas by Natasha Madison Review Tour with Excerpt

3 Oct

 

 

 

Meghan
Five days in Paris sounded like a great idea for three friends. Especially when amazing wine was in play.

It didn’t matter that our rented “apartment” only had one bed, and barely enough space to breathe, we were in Paris and our motto was c’est la vie.

Nothing would faze us, not even the rude waiter at the first restaurant we went to, or the insanely hot manger who was insulted when a bottle of wine was returned.

Nothing could bring me down or knock me off my path to the best vacation of my life.

Alex

I had six days in Paris and then I’d go back to my wine vineyard. It was smooth sailing, until three “americans” came into the restaurant and returned my newest full bodied, savory creation.

I ignored her until she stormed out of the restaurant looking for a taxi at one in the morning. I couldn’t leave her wandering around the streets of Paris, could I?

I’d give her a ride, make sure she was safe, and my duty would be done. Except, was it?

Something about her pulled me.

This could be a vacation fling. After all, there is no real reason for her to know my interesting secret.

I’m France’s most eligible bachelor.

This faux pair is almost a faux pas…



Christie’s Review

4 STARS

Looking for a romance to make you swoon? Then look no further than Faux Pas by Natasha Madison.

Meghan and her friends book a dream trip to Paris. It was supposed to be fun, enjoying the wonderful food and taking in the beautiful sites. Love definitely wasn’t on the itinerary, but one faux pas at a restaurant, and Meghan’s life is about to change forever.

Alex is in Paris checking in on his family’s restaurants and trying to keep a low profile. The beautiful redhead who complains about a bottle of wine gets under in skin, in more ways than one. He can’t get her out of his mind even though he knows it isn’t a good idea. This, my fellow readers, is the beginning of a whirlwind, fairytale romance.

The connection between the two of them is instant, and they do fall in love pretty quickly. But, isn’t this why we love books like this…they’re magical and take you away from real life for just a bit. Paris is the city of love. And….there isn’t too much angst either!

The romance was both sweet and very steamy. While I loved that, I really felt like Natasha Madison was my tour guide through the beautiful streets of Paris. She painted such a clear, detailed picture from some of the most famous sites to the cafes, and oh my goodness, the food she described. I felt like I was a part of this great group of friends enjoying the city with them.

I’ve been a fan of Madison’s, so I’m very happy when she has a new release. This book was no exception. It’s a love story for all of us romantics at heart while celebrating family and friends.

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EXCERPT

He makes his way through the tables, straight to ours. “quel est le problème?” What is the problem, his voice comes out gruff, the smell of his musk hitting my nose.

“Le vin n’est pas bon,” The wine isn’t good, I start saying, and I look at his eyes that look almost black. I’m not sure if it’s his natural color, or if the restaurant is dimmer now than before, or maybe it’s just his form blocking the lights. “il a un goût de vinaigre.” It tastes like vinegar, and I’m not sure it was the right thing to say or not. He stares at me, not saying a word. “Taste it.” I give up on my French and switch to English. “You’ll see.”

I’m waiting for him to say something back, but he doesn’t. Instead, he turns around and walks away from the table, going into the back. “What the fuck just happened?” Diana says in a whisper. We all turn to see where he went, checking to see if he is going to storm back in.

“She insulted his wine,” Kate says, leaning in and speaking softly.

I throw my hands in the air. “It was shit,” I say louder than I wanted to. “You guys said it yourself.” Looking around, I see that a couple of the tables are looking at us, but the majority of the tables are deep in their own conversations and not paying attention.

We don’t say anything else when we see the waiter come back with a new bottle in one hand and a new wine glass in the other. He uncorks the wine, then pours a touch in and waits for me to taste it. I don’t say anything to him; I just nod my head, and he puts the bottle in the middle of the table. “I guess I will pour the wine,” Kate says, picking up the bottle and pouring it in everyone’s glass. I pick up the glass of wine and bring it to my lips. The cold glass is resting on my lips when I feel someone staring at me. I look down and take a sip, then look around, and I guess it’s just me because no one is looking in my direction.

By the time we finish dinner, we’ve drunk two more bottles. and everyone is laughing and having a great time. The food was amazing. “We need a taxi,” I say. Getting up, I grab my jacket, shrugging it on.

“I think we can walk to the corner that way,” Diana says, pointing at the sky, “and flag one down.”

“If we go that way,” Kate says, pointing at the sky, “we need to call NASA.” We all laugh out loud while the waiter comes to take the bill from us.

“Merci.” We smile at him as he walks away, still not saying a word.

“Yes, thank you for my glass of ice cubes that you only brought me one of even though I asked for seven,” Kate says, laughing while trying to whisper. “And thank you for pouring our wine.”

“Okay, let’s go,” I say, walking to the front door.

“I’m going to ask him for a taxi,” Kate says, going to the waiter who stands at the hostess counter and asking him for a cab.

I watch from the front door as Diana stands behind her while I look in my bag and pull out my lip gloss.

“Pardon.” I hear Kate say loudly, and I look up.

“Vous pensez qu’après tout ce que vous avez fait ce soir vous méritez que je vous appelle un taxi ?” I stand here with my mouth open in shock when he answered her. Do you think after everything you did to me tonight that you deserve that I call you a taxi?

Kate starts. “What did I do? Expect you to do your job?” she says, and Diana grabs her arm, pulling her to the front door.

“Did he just say …?” I ask her when we are standing outside in front of the restaurant, the wind blowing my hair in front of my face. I turn my head, making it fly back the other way.

“So it’s safe to say,” Diana starts with a laugh, “we aren’t coming back to this restaurant.”

“Take a picture of it, and tomorrow we can go on Yelp and leave a bad review,” Kate says, grabbing her phone from her pocket.

“Let’s just go,” I say, and the three of us look around at the desolate street.

“What time is it?” I ask and take out my phone. “Shit, it’s one a.m.”

“Yeah,” Diana says. We look right down the dark street and see some traffic coming from up ahead. “We should walk to that street and flag down a taxi.”

We all nod and start walking with Kate in the middle. “He was such an ass,” Kate says, “and the boss or manager was an even bigger ass.”
“Seriously,” I say, turning to them. “It’s like it was my fault his wine was shit,” I say, and then we all stop when a white four-door Audi stops next to us, surprising us.

“Get in.” The voice sounds familiar, but the street is so dark it doesn’t help. I lean in a bit to see his face, and I’m shocked when I see it’s the manager from the restaurant.

 

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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Timid (Lark Cove Series) by Devney Perry Review Tour

7 Sep

 

Willa Doon has always been shy. Her quiet demeanor was something she’s always embraced. That is, until Jackson Page moves to town. The one man she desperately wants to take notice struggles to remember her name.

Year after year, Willa stands by, watching as the bartender slash playboy drowns his demons in beer and sex. Then one night, he shows up at her door, suddenly aware that the girl he’s seen around Lark Cove is now a beautiful woman.

Except what he doesn’t remember is that this visit isn’t his first. They spent a night together once before. A night he’s forgotten, thanks to a bottle of tequila.

A night that crushed a timid girl’s heart, and set a broken man on the path to heal them both.



Christie’s Review

5 STARS

A Top Read of 2018

Timid is one of those books that just wraps you up and doesn’t let you go until the end, and then it doesn’t really let you go then. But, seriously…all of Devney Perry’s books do that to me!!!!

This is Willa and Jackson’s story, and what a story it is! The romance begins with Willa many years before it does for Jackson! She fell for him the instant she saw him as a teenager when he first arrived in town. Since then, she has tried to get him to notice her to no avail. Willa, being who she is, doesn’t do anything drastic in that department. She is very reserved and shy…hence the title of the book. By the end, she has grown into a more confident and self-assured woman, not a girl anymore.

Jackson has never really known a home until he came to Lark Cove. Hazel, Thea, and Charlie are his family. He is somewhat reserved himself but in a completely different way than Willa. He definitely gets attention with his good looks and his charm, but he doesn’t really allow others besides his inner circle get too close. He is completely clueless about Willa. The guy doesn’t even call her by the correct name. One night, all that changes, and he really “sees” Willa, and it’s over for him. He knows she is special, and he won’t give up until he has her. She will definitely make him work hard which I loved by the way.

As with all of Perry’s novels, it’s much more than a romance. There are twists and some angst, but they play into the plot of the book and really make the characters grow into the people I think they were created to be. She always draws me into her books and her characters. They aren’t just fictional characters; she brings them to life.. She knows how to pull at my heartstrings and can make me shed a tear of two, but it’s that emotional connection that brings me back to her time and time again!!!!



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I scooched my chair in toward the table, trying to put a little more space between Jackson and me, but he wasn’t having it.

He put both hands on the back of my chair, then leaned in close. “Hi, Willa.”

“Uh . . . hi.” I shivered at the heat from his chest on my bare shoulders.

Why was he standing so close? My parents were right there. Our table was one of four tall, square ones in the center of the room and there was plenty of space between tables.

Plenty. P-L-E-N-T-Y.

But was Jackson using any of that plentiful space?

No sirree. He stayed pressed against the back of my chair, like there were only three inches of usable space behind him, not three feet.

My skin prickled he was so close. I tried to nudge my chair forward again but it barely moved. Sweat beaded on my temples and I pulled in a shaking breath.

Jackson’s woodsy, rich scent was everywhere. It overpowered the stale beer, pizza and peanuts, and I inhaled a deep breath, unable to resist.

Sexy Hot Forest. That’s what they’d call his cologne.

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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Flirting With Forever by Kendall Ryan Review Tour

4 Sep

 

 

I’ve waited years for the perfect girl, yet she was right in front of me all along.

My best friend, Natalie, has been by my side through everything. Leaning on my shoulder, borrowing my sweatshirts…and making my pants too tight when she flashes me that sassy smile that drives me crazy.

But she has no idea about that last part. She doesn’t have a clue I’ve felt this way about her for years.

Until one night after too many cocktails, we fall into bed together.

I’m flirting with my forever…she just doesn’t know it yet.

This book is a sexy, slow-burning best-friends-to-lovers romance with a guaranteed HEA and no cheating. Dive in, and get ready to melt for Cam!

 



Christie’s Review

5 STARS

Top Read in Friends to Lovers Romance

All-Time Favorite Read

 

How did I miss this entire chapter of my life, waiting so patiently for me to turn the page?

 

I’m a sucker for a good friends to lovers romance, and this one was FANTASTIC!!! It was sexy, sweet, and just made my heart pitter patter.

Jack, Natalie, and Cam have been friends forever, but lately Cam is seeing Natalie in a much different light. From the moment he first saw her, she intrigued him. However, he and Jack agreed to just be friends with her. That worked for a long time, but Cam can think of nothing else but her. He knows he can’t act on it. He would never do anything to destroy his friendship with either one of them, but his heart is making it difficult.

Natalie is noticing Cam acting differently, and she doesn’t understand what is going on with him. He has always been her rock, and he has never expected her to change. He has always accepted her for who she is. Yet, she is questioning if she has done something to cause the difference.

There was a lot of laughter in this book. I loved the relationship between the three friends, especially the flashbacks of their younger days. They really are like a family. Cam would make any woman fall for him, and Natalie is a strong, independent woman, never letting the way she grew up determine the adult she would become.

The chemistry between Natalie and Cam was evident, even if it was a slow burn, but oh it was so good! Ryan knows how to give her readers just enough to keep us wanting more. Yet, she makes the relationship realistic by exploring their feelings of confusion and their fear of losing their friendship not with just each other but with Jack as well.

If you are in the mood for a feel good romance with the perfect combination of sexiness and sweetness, grab this one and fall in love with Natalie and Cam!



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A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino Review Tour with Excerpt

15 Aug

 

 

 

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.

Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and the bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on This Life, and Wish You Were Here. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband and two sons. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.



 

Christie’s Review

5 STARS

Blind Kiss is a very different friends to lovers/second chance romance, and I loved every moment of it. It was almost told backwards with flashbacks of very important moments shared between Penny and Gavin that would determine their future. It is one of those rare books that just wrapped me up into it, and I hated telling the characters good-bye!

While the book is full of angst and emotion, at its core, it is one of the most beautiful friends to lovers/second chance romances I’ve had the pleasure to read. To say Penny and Gavin had a complicated relationship over the past 14 years would be an understatement. One chance encounter, literally a blind kiss, brought these two together. It seemed like they were soulmates from the beginning, and love should have been easy. But, it was anything but that. Misunderstandings, hidden feelings would keep them apart romantically for years, but their underlying friendship kept them in each others’ lives, although at times, they hurt each other and those close to them.

I loved the way Carlino told the story, in the present and months and even years in the past. It showed the way in which their relationship/friendship developed and deepened over the years. I really liked both Penny and Gavin. They were far from perfect which made me relate to them even more. I could see how much in love they were with one another, and I wanted to slap them at times when they hurt one another or made the wrong decisions! Carlino was excellent at using secondary characters to show the emotion and feelings Penny and Gavin shared with each other, even showing how much pain their relationship caused their significant others.

As much as I wanted these two together, I also knew they needed to work on themselves before that could happen even though they were with other people during that time. I liked that Carlino told the story in both POVs. It gave me a great deal more insight into who Gavin and Penny were and what each one of them struggled with. It is always amazing to me when characters grow from the beginning of the book until I get to the end. Both of them were very different people by the end.

This is my very first read by Renee Carlino, and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her writing, and she far exceeded everything I read about her. I can’t believe I waited so long to read one of her books. I have already downloaded her other books, and I can’t wait to read them!!!



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EXCERPT

 

WE SAT AT the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels.

“That’s different for you.”

I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?”

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?”

I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me.

The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream.

I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

“Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled.

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back.

The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?”

“Briel? What kind of question is that?”

“Just answer me.”

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?”

“You always have a choice.”

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.”

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.”

“Like hell it was.”

“When do you leave?”

“In two days.”

“WHAT?!”

He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. “Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach.

“First Milo, now you?”

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.”

“Fuck you, Gavin!”

“Fuck you, Penny!”

He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from.

Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death.

I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. “We’re not done talking, you coward!”

He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled.

He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me.

So smug. What a dick.

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!”

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would.

“Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

“You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.”

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.”

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. “Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?”

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.”

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.”

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.”

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what

you want for me?”

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.”

He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron.

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.”

You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.”

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.”

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low.

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.”

“Everyone speaks English there.”

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.”

Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people?

I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend

I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.” “Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—”

“What?”

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” I started to cry.

He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit.

He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.”

He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.”

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.”

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.”

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“This is it, P.”

I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his.

He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave.

“We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?”

“Okay,” I told him.

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.”

That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.

 

 

 

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

 

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Mixed Up Love by Natasha Madison Review Tour

8 Aug

 

 

 

Hunter

When my business partner asked me to do him a favor, I had no idea he was sending me on a blind date his mother arranged for him. I walked in the bar, saw the woman drinking her third martini, and knew I was in for an eventful night.

After the unexpected second date, she didn’t know my real name or who I really was. By that time, the lie was too far gone, and I wanted her too much to admit the truth.

Laney

It’s not every day you find out your ex-boyfriend is engaged.

I shouldn’t have agreed to the blind date. My mother insisted, and I wasn’t in any position to turn down a night out.

I will admit, I definitely shouldn’t have ordered that fourth martini before said blind date even arrived.

The man turned out to be swoon worthy, handsome, condescending—a perfect distraction. Then I found out he was a liar.

I’ve never been in over my head to this degree.

Then again, I’ve never been in love.

 


Christie’s Review

5 STARS

What a quick, cute and enjoyable romance from Natasha Madison!!!

I have read Madison’s other books which are much heavier and emotional, but she did a great job with this much lighter read. She really proved what a versatile writer she really is. Hunter is asked by his business partner, Anthony, to take his place on a blind date which is completely out of character for him. Laney is his date, a date made by her own mother. She isn’t on board at first, but that all changes when she finds out her ex is now engaged! She thinks this might be a good distraction.

Hunter is intrigued when he walks into to find his date on her third martini. So, begins this couples challenging and oftentimes, very humorous road to love.

Laney is also intrigued with Hunter, but she thinks he is someone else. Hunter finds himself falling as time passes and is afraid to admit the truth. You can imagine the fireworks when she discovers the truth. There is one thing Laney can’t abide by…lies. Her life as she knew it was destroyed by one, and she won’t be a part of deception again.

I also like when a book is told in alternating POVs as it gives me an in-depth look into the characters, and boy did I love these two. The banter was great, and each had a way of keeping the other one on their toes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two fall in love, and the epilogue is EPIC!

I loved the additional characters. They each helped round out the story quite nicely. I’m hoping each of the guys and especially Rachel will get their own books in the future. Natasha Madison just came on my radar this year, and she has quickly become a favorite author of mine. So, naturally I’m early anticipating her next novel.


 

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I pull up to the front door, and the valet meets me at my door once I stop. “Good evening, sir,” he says once I open my door.

“Yeah, I won’t be here long,” I tell him as I get out, not bothering to take off my sunglasses when I hand him the keys.

“No worries, sir. It will be here when you are ready,” he says, handing me the ticket for later. I put it in the inside pocket of my suit jacket. I walk inside to the hostess table, where a woman who looks like she is eighteen stands smiling.

“How may I help you?” she asks sweetly. I stop and look around to see if I might recognize the woman I’m here to meet, even though I’ve never met her. I spot a couple of women at the bar, but I instinctively know they aren’t her. I also check for exits. It’s not my fault; it’s just instilled in me.

Looking to the left, I don’t see anyone sitting alone, but then I look to the right, and I see her. I don’t know why I know it’s her, but I just do. With curly long blond hair, she downs a martini, then picks up another one and brings it to her mouth. I spot a waiter walking with two more martinis on his tray, and I’m not surprised when I see him approaching her table. “Great,” I say under my breath. “I found her,” I tell the hostess and start walking toward the table. She spots me and watches my every move. Luckily, the glasses I’m wearing stop her from seeing my eyes.

The closer I get to her, the more my pulse speeds up. What the fuck? This is weird. I look around maybe to see if something else is piquing my interest or maybe I spotted something to elevate my pulse, but no, it’s her. The fact that a gorgeous woman is sitting by herself and drinking like a fish is enough to get any man’s adrenaline pumping. Isn’t it?

“Are you Laney?” I ask, taking off my glasses, and my gray eyes finally meet her blue ones. She opens her mouth, expecting, I think, something to come out, but nothing does. I continue looking around to see if anyone is watching her, and it’s no surprise that I spot two guys at the bar sizing her up.

“Here are two more.” The waiter smiles at her, putting two more glasses down on the table and taking the two now empty ones away. She laughs nervously, and I want to reach out and trip him when he walks away.

“It isn’t what it looks like.” Her soft voice breaks me out of my plan, and I turn back to her as she smiles at me, causing my heartbeat to skyrocket. The collar of my shirt suddenly feels tight, but it’s not even buttoned.

“Really? I find it hard to believe,” I finally say. Looking around again, I spot the same two guys in suits sitting at the bar watching her. This time, one of them spots me and looks back down at his drink. “It looks like you’re sitting here waiting for something bad to happen.” I pull out the chair and sit in front of her.

“Um.” She still doesn’t say anything.

 

 

 

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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Broken Love Story (Love Series #3) by Natasha Madison Review Tour with Excerpt

11 Jul

 

 

 

 

Samantha:

I had the perfect life; a husband who loved me, and two kids who were my world.

Until someone else answered his phone and my perfect life shattered.

When he died, I was left with answers he couldn’t give me and a box full of lies.

He left me broken.

 

Blake:

I fell in love when I was fifteen, knowing she was the one.

For five years, she was my everything—my every breath, every heartbeat, every thought.

She made me promise to move on, promise to find love again, but I broke those promises because I can’t move on.

 

Two broken souls brought together by tragedy and heartbreak.

Can a broken love story be fixed?

 

Christie’s Review

5 +++++ Stars

A Top Read of 2018

This series by Natasha Madison has been one of my favorite of the year, and Broken Love was the book I was REALLY looking forward to. It exceeded all of my expectations. It’s a story about love, pain, betrayal, loss, forgiveness, and second chances.

If you have read the series, you know a relationship between Samantha and Blake would seem impossible, yet in Madison’s magical and talented hands, she not only makes it possible but also makes it one of the most emotional and beautiful love stories I have ever read.

As with the other books in the series, it begins around the one tragic event that changed and shaped so many lives. In this book, it is told through Blake and Samantha’s eyes. Seeing the same event through different people’s point of view is what makes this series so incredibly unique!

Despite the uphill battles that this couple will face, and believe me they will face obstacles many couples could never imagine, it’s their pasts that bring them together. Both have been broken and hurt, so they understand the pain each of them live with. Samantha does face HUGE trust issues, but if ever a man could fix that, it’s Blake.

If you haven’t read this emotional series, I highly recommend it. Madison will make you feel anger, pain, and finally she will piece your heart back together just like she has done with every couple in the each book. Broken Love is the perfect way to end the series!!!!

**********************************************************

 

Purchase Links

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Exclusive Excerpt:

 

Samantha

Standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room, I smooth down my black skirt. My blond hair is tied up in a ponytail, my cheeks are sunken in more than normal, and the blackness around my eyes indicates I haven’t slept well since this whole thing happened. Since I found out that not only did my husband die, but that he also married someone else.

I sit on the made bed and look down at my wedding band. My thumb of my right hand touches it, and the lone tear that falls out of my eye lands straight on it. “Mommy.” I look back at Lizzie, who is standing in the doorway wearing a black one-piece dress similar to mine with ballerina flats.

My mother-in-law went shopping yesterday and bought us all new outfits for today. “We need to put our best foot forward,” she said as I watched her walk in with the six bags. “We can’t let people talk.”

I turned around and walked out of the room, going upstairs. Shutting myself in my bathroom with my back against the door, I cried quietly, trying to hide my sobs. “We can’t let people talk,” I whispered to myself. The hatred I had begun feeling when I remembered my husband.

Lizzie walks to the side of my bed and sits next to me. “I hate this dress,” she says when I put my hand around her shoulder and bring her to me, kissing her head.

“I know, baby,” I whisper, “but after today, it’s going to be all over.”

“That’s what Grandpa A said.” She mentions the name she calls my father-in-law. Grandpa A because you can’t get better than an A.

“Is everyone ready?” I hear Ethan yell from downstairs. “The limo is picking us up in twenty.”

“Let’s go, baby,” I tell her, getting up and holding her hand while we walk downstairs. My in-laws are both sitting in the kitchen. My mother-in-law in a black skirt and top while my father-in-law has on a black suit. “Where is Daisy?” I ask them.

“Elliot is upstairs changing her. She spilled milk on her dress,” Judy tells me, looking at Lizzie. “You look like such a big girl.” She blinks her tears away.

Elliot comes down the stairs with Daisy on his hip, smiling at me when he walks in. “Okay, you girls go sit in the living room while us grown-ups talk,” my father-in-law says, and the girls both know to leave the room. When he knows they are both out of earshot, he starts. “Today is going to be tough, tough for us all, but we have to stand together. We have to be the family that we are.” I lean against the counter while he talks. “The situation with the other one has been taken care of, and she has been served papers.” I look at him and then at Elliot and Ethan, both of them looking down when our eyes meet. It’s almost as if they feel guilty for meeting this woman. My father-in-law continues, “After all this is done today, we are meeting with the lawyers in person, so we can go over the will, start the paperwork for the insurance, and make sure she doesn’t touch a thing that belongs to him.” I stop listening at this point, turning to look out the window at the backyard.

The swing set that he built in one day to make sure the kids could use it when he left the next day. The patio set he had delivered to us, so I could have somewhere to sit while I watched the girls while he was living with another woman. I shake my head, walking out of the room. I sit on the couch, and the girls come to sit next to me, one on each side. “Today is going to be really hard,” I whisper to them, “but we have to be strong for Daddy.” They both look at me, their eyes exactly like their father’s. “But, if at any time, you need to leave or you need me… I don’t care who is talking to me or who is around; you come and get me.”

“Grandpa A said we had to sit and wait,” Daisy whispers just as Elliot comes into the room and kneels in front of us.

“What is this meeting about?” he asks, smiling at us. The circles around his eyes are just as black as ours. He hasn’t left our house since this happened.

“Mommy said if we need her that we can go to her,” Daisy says, looking at him and then me, “even if Grandpa A said no.”

He leans in, whispering, “You can come to me too, and I’ll make sure that you get Mommy.”

“Okay,” Lizzie and Daisy both whisper at the same time, and then the doorbell rings.

We get up, put our jackets on, and one by one file into the black limo that has come to take us to the funeral home. We arrive before everyone else. “We get an hour with him, and then they will open the door,” Adrian says as Judy grabs her tissue and dabs her eyes.

I look around the funeral home. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, not sure where he is. I haven’t seen him since he kissed me goodbye four days earlier. His last words to me were, “Call you when I can.” That phone call never came.

I follow my in-laws to the big brown door that is closed. “I want to go in before the girls.” Everyone turns to look at me.

“We can keep them in the lobby,” says the lady who greeted us at the door. She told me her name, but I just didn’t listen.

I nod at her as she turns to ask the girls if they want hot chocolate. Daisy’s eyes get big as Lizzie turns to look at me. I nod my head, giving her permission, so she can go with the woman.

The doors open, and I don’t even know what to expect. I’ve never been to a funeral. Never known anyone well enough to pay my last respects. Judy and Adrian walk in first, followed by Ethan, and Elliot waits with me. I step foot into the room, and it’s so cold that I shiver. The smell of flowers hits me right away, making me turn my head. The number of flowers and wreaths shocks me; the whole room is almost full. Some wreaths blocking others. Rows and rows of brown chairs line the room, all facing toward the front of the room. My eyes land on the brown wooden casket at the front of the room. The open half showing you the white satin inside. I walk down the aisle toward him, and then my eyes land on him. Eric. I can’t take another step forward because my knees give out, and I fall. Elliot isn’t fast enough to hold me up, and my knee lands with a thud. But the pain doesn’t matter because nothing could take the place of the pain in my heart. The sound of wailing fills the room as I look up at my dead husband.

I feel arms around me; I feel myself lifted; I feel myself almost floating. He isn’t the Eric who kissed me goodbye; he isn’t the Eric who I made promises to; he isn’t the Eric who made all my dreams come true. This isn’t him.

The man with makeup caked on his face isn’t my Eric. My sobs overtake my body as I look at him, expecting him to open his eyes. Expecting something, anything but this. “I want the casket closed,” I say, my voice soft. “I want it closed.”

“Samantha,” my father-in-law starts, “it’s—”

I shake my head. “I don’t want the kids to see him like that,” I say softly. I know that for me they wouldn’t even consider it, but for the girls, they would move heaven and earth. “They need to remember him alive and smiling, not like that,” I say, pointing at the casket.

“Dad,” Ethan says after me, “I agree.”

“Me too,” Elliot says from beside me. “Close it.”

He just nods at us, then walks to the man standing in the corner. The man looks at him as they have a hushed conversation and then just nods his head. “Do you need some water?” Ethan says to me, and I nod. I don’t bother listening to what else he says; instead, I get up and go to the casket. Standing before the brown box, I look at him, really look at him. You see some bruising under the makeup, and his nose is a little swollen. His hands are folded over his stomach, resting on his black suit. The suit he wore when we got married. Why? I ask him in my own head. Why did you do it? I ask him, hoping I can hear him whisper something to me, whisper anything back. To answer my questions, to give me something; anything to make me understand why he did what he did. Why he left me with so many fucking questions and not one answer.

The man comes over to close the casket. Eric’s face disappears slowly, the shadow filling his face till the casket finally shuts. “I’m sorry for your loss,” the man says, nodding at me. “If at any time you want it open, we can open it back up.” I turn around now, looking at the chairs that will fill up as soon as the people start coming in. Ethan consoles my mother-in-law, and Elliot stands where we were just sitting, his hands in his pockets.

“I’m getting the girls,” I tell them and then walk out with my head held high but my shoulders slumped. Defeated is a word that you use so many times not really understanding what can actually defeat you. I know now, my husband dying, him cheating on me, my kids without a father, my dreams of growing old with him gone. Beaten straight down to my core, straight down to my bones.

I walk over to them as they look up. “Let’s go, girls,” I tell them as they both get up and walk to me. Lizzie takes one hand, Daisy takes the other, and we walk back into the room that holds a piece of our hearts. The room where their father lies, with no answers and no tomorrow.

We stand in that room for four hours while people come up to me and give me their condolences. I nod my head and play the part of the grieving wife. I am the grieving wife, but I’m also the wife whose husband didn’t love her enough to just be with her. The wife who knew her husband was slipping away but couldn’t catch it in time. The wife he said he would love and protect. The wife who stands here between his girls wishing that for one second he suffered horribly. The wife who has to pick up the fucking pieces and lie to her girls about what a great guy he was. The wife who, at the end of the day, just wasn’t good enough.

We listen as people tell us how amazing he was, how much he loved his family, and how much he loved his girls. The whole time, I’m yelling on the inside, ready to stand in the middle of the room, throw my head back, and yell at the top of my lungs. But I don’t do what I want. I don’t tell them what a fraud my husband was. I don’t tell them that it was almost all lies. I don’t tell them that the day he died, they called his other wife and not me. I don’t tell them that I wasn’t the one with him when he died.

I stand here thinking about this other person—his other wife—and wonder how she would handle this. How she would be with my in-laws. Would she just let them control her and do everything for her? Would she want it to be open and weep for him beside the casket instead of standing next to it?

I look around the room at all the people who came to pay their respects, and my eyes find someone I’ve never met before. Someone I’ve never seen before, and our eyes connect. His green eyes stare into mine as I watch him nod to me and turn to walk out. As he walks out of the crowded room, I strain my neck to watch his back. I don’t have long to think because Elliot comes up and whispers, “It’s time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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