Book Review, Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Romance, romantic suspense

🌼🌼NOW LIVE!!! Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score 🌼🌼

REVIEW 🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼Things We Never Got Over is AMAZING! I’ve read almost every single one of Lucy’s books and this is one of her very best. If you are a fan of Rip from Yellowstone, you will LOVE Knox Morgan! I related to Naomi (aka NotTina) in a lot of ways, and the supporting cast of characters rivals the folks from Blue Moon, the series that made me fall in love with Lucy’s writing. This is a story that calls to you while you’re busy adulting, so good luck ignoring that siren song. Better make time in your schedule over the next couple days, because it’s very hard to resist! 🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

If you’re a fan of the audiobook, Sebastian York is the male narrator for TWNGO. I wish I’d known that when I read it, because I would have heard his voice in my head the whole time!!!

Buy on Amazon (or read in KU!) https://www.amazon.com/Things-We-Never-Got-Over-ebook/dp/B09PNM8FFN/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Lucy+score&qid=1642096891&s=digital-text&sr=1-3

Book Review, Books, Kindle Unlimited, Romance, series, smartypants romance

🌲🌲 BOOK REVIEW 🌲🌲 SMARTYPANTS ROMANCE RELEASE 🌲🌲 FORREST FOR THE TREES, Green Valley Heroes book 1, by Kilby Blades 🌲🌲

Forrest for the Trees, an all new slow burn small town romance from Kilby Blades, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited!

Forrest Winters isn’t just a federal fire marshal; he’s a thorn in Ranger Sierra Betts’s side. The way he swings his big axe, fixes her with his chameleon gray eyes, and talks about his jurisdiction has a way of breaking her concentration. He has a way of showing up everywhere he doesn’t belong, including Greenbrier Ranger Station. And he really needs to quit stealing her bacon bites.

When a series of suspicious fires, an underhanded co-worker, and a cagey Parks Police Chief threaten her job and the park itself, Sierra grudgingly agrees to partner with Forrest. Their side investigation may be her best shot at preventing the framing of an innocent man. But can his firefighting expertise and her detective skills lead them to the real arsonist before Forrest breaks her with his charm?

‘Forrest for the Trees’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone and is book #1 in the Green Valley Heroes series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe

⭐️⭐️REVIEW ⭐️⭐️ I love reading about the Smoky Mountains National Park! I fell in love with Tennessee and the Park while reading Penny Reid’s Winston brothers books, and the subsequent Smartypants Romance books that Daisy Prescott wrote about Rangers in the Smokies. I was really excited to read this addition to SPR.

I liked the characters well enough, but the book was a little slow for me. I did like having characters from previous books pop up (two in particular, from one of my favorite books in SPR, which I will not spoil here).

I do hope there are more Ranger books in the SPR future, because I can’t get enough of reading about the goings on in the park. I even made a trip out last spring to see it in person, and it’s to fun to read about places I’ve been.

Thanks to Penny Reid and Smartypants Romance for the opportunity to read and review this book.⭐️⭐️

Grab your copy TODAY!

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Excerpt

“Do you walk around with bacon in your pocket or something?” Sierra asked.

Forrest gave Everest a final rub and rose to his feet. “I reckon it’s just good, old-fashioned Southern charm.”

Reaching toward his face, he pushed up the temple of his sunglasses until they sat on top of his head. Forrest looked down at her, smirk on his face, as usual, having his fun. Only, for Sierra, there was nothing fun about the heat that rose to her ears every time his gaze set on her, clouding her thinking with his smoky eyes.

Forrest’s eyes weren’t just gray, and they weren’t “just eyes.” His gaze was penetrating and clear, with dark lashes that matched his dark hair. His irises were never the same, though whatever their hue at any given moment, a dark charcoal ring that looked like drawn pencil outlined the lighter color, adding intensity. Today they shone brightly—the color of wet shale—a stark difference from the last time she’d seen him. They’d turned dark, like slate, when he’d talked about the fires. There was something wondrous, and magical, and devastating about watching the way they changed.

“What are you doing in my neck of the woods?”

Forrest chuckled and crossed his arms. “Your woods again, huh?”

Sierra mirrored his posture. “‘Neck of the woods’ is a Southernism. I know how y’all like your sayings.”

He laughed again, his voice rich and deep—another thing about him she had the bad habit of replaying in her mind.

“Better than a pig likes slop.” Forrest’s eyes twinkled.

It made Sierra grateful for her own sunglasses—windows to her soul, and all. She didn’t want to think what Forrest might notice if he really saw her then. He would never stop gloating if he knew of her susceptibility to his allure.

“You never said what you were doing here,” she pointed out.

“Following up on some potential fire hazards. Just being vigilant. You know how it is …”

Sierra nodded. “I do.”

“I was just down at the ranger station …” he began haltingly. “I wanted to thank you for what you left me—you know, my fire marshal snacks.”

Sierra bit her lip against her own smile. “You liked that, huh?”

“Not just me. The guys thought it was pretty funny.”

“You told me you could read, so I figured …” She trailed off innocently, and shrugged.

After their last conversation and his repeated, willful ignorance of her Tupperware marked specifically as being “Ranger Snacks,” she’d brought in a smaller Tupperware labeled “Fire Marshal Snacks.”

“Sad thing is, a different fire marshal must’ve beat me to it,” he continued. “Imagine my disappointment when I opened the container and it was empty.”

“Oh, no!” She feigned shock. “What did you do?”

“Picked up the phone and called Ed Ellis. Asked him to put out an APB to track down whoever had my bites.”

“Then you helped yourself to the ranger bites, I’m guessing.”

He made a production out of looking distraught. “They’re not as good as fire marshal bites, but I had no choice.”

He didn’t take his gaze off of her. When heat rose again in her ears, she knew she had to go. Plus, if she didn’t get moving, she really would be late.

“Nice to see you, Marshal Winters.”

His smirk melted into a half-smile. “Always a pleasure, Ranger Betts.”

About Kilby Blades

Kilby Blades is a USA Today Bestselling author of Romance and Women’s Fiction. Her debut novel, Snapdragon, was a HOLT Medallion finalist, a Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize Semi-Finalist, and an IPPY Award medalist. Kilby was honored with an RSJ Emma Award for Best Debut Author in 2018, and has been lauded by critics for “easing feminism and equality into her novels” (IndieReader) and “writing characters who complement each other like a fine wine does a good meal” (Publisher’s Weekly).

During her career as a digital marketing executive, she moonlighted as a journalist, freelanced as a food, wine and travel writer and lived it up as an entertainment columnist. She has lived in five countries, visited more than twenty-five, and spends part of her year in her happy place in the Andes Mountains. Kilby is a feminist, an oenophile, a cinephile, a social-justice fighter, and above all else, a glutton for a good story. Follow her everywhere @kilbyblades.

Find Kilby Blades online

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kilbybladesauthor 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kilbyblades

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kilby-Blades/e/B01N4770M0 

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/kilbyblades 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kilby-blades

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Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, series, smartypants romance

💚💚 BOOK REVIEW 💚 NEW SMARTYPANTS ROMANCE RELEASE 💚 Love in a Pickle 💚💚 by L.B. Dunbar💚💚

Love in a Pickle, an all-new standalone contemporary romance from L.B. Dunbar, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited! 

💚💚💚I’ve read all three of the Winter’s Sisters books, and Love in a Pickle is the best by far. If you’ve read any other Penny Reid books that take place in Green Valley, then you’ve heard of Scotia Simmons and you probably don’t like her! In this book, we find out why she seems so unlikable, and it’s a fascinating story! I liked Chester Chesterfield/Big Poppy/Chet. He was gruff and sexy, and complex. I liked their relationship, and the way they told each other “I like you like this.” There’s an interesting subplot that seems a little predictable but it adds a nice layer to the storyline.

The best thing about an LB Dunbar book is that the characters are both “of a certain age.” I am her target audience and I’m getting to the point where I can’t relate to characters in books if they’re in their 20s, because I have kids that age. 30s is a little better for me, but LB Dunbar’s characters are usually 40+ and I LOVE IT. If you haven’t read any of her other non-Smartypants Romance books, and you’re a fan of a Silver Fox, I’d highly recommend it.💚💚💚

When a mysterious silver fox becomes intrigued with this small town’s most disliked society woman, he finds she’s more than a little trouble and possibly a whole lot of heart.

Scotia Simmons. The name says it all—ornery, judgmental, mean—but underneath a woman like that is typically a shattered heart. Locked within her secrets, this fried pickle princess has used her unkindness as a shield of protection against the loneliness. However, menopause and a one-night stand can change a woman’s perspective on things. Who knew it would take a man the likes of him to push her strong will to its limits?

Chester Chesterfield. The name has more than one meaning—generous, quiet, private—but within one man is a multitude of personas. The gruff oil mogul has a wounded heart (and a big secret) that holds him hostage from the man he’s meant to be. His past defined him, or so he thought. He never imagined it’d take a woman like her to push him over his carefully constructed edges and show him love has no boundaries.

When you’re in a pickle, it’s time to relish what—or rather who—stands before you and accept that even over forty, a second chance at love can be a big dill (every pun intended).

‘Love in a Pickle’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #9 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Grab your copy TODAY!

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Read the Green Valley Library Series of Standalones for F-R-E-E in Kindle Unlimited!

https://bit.ly/3r75tq0

Excerpt

I give Chester a five-second head start before I follow him. My heart bleeds for him after hearing the story he’s told me. This big, beautiful man—his heartbreak is so huge.

We move away from the crackle and snap of the fire and into silent darkness. The loud crunch of my wellies on gravel echoes in the night. My sister’s farm has been restored now that she owns it outright and shares the land with Jedd. He’s built a horse barn on the property, and Chester stalks in the direction of the structure.

I want him to talk to me, but he continues to walk faster without looking back. With his long legs, he’s put quite a distance between us. He detours into the barn as I’d suspected. Once I enter, he seems to have disappeared inside the dark building. Despite a dim light illuminating the passageway, I’ve lost him.

“I know you’re in here,” I call out as if we’re children playing a game of hide-and-seek. Perhaps we are, as it seems we share bits and pieces of ourselves with one another, hiding truths, and then seeking full disclosure. We’re . . . curious . . . about each other, or at least, I am about him. I want to know more about him. And I’m not letting him walk away after the bomb he just dropped.

I pause before a horse stall. The heavy breath of Lucky One steams into the cold passageway. Jedd breeds and trains horses for the rodeo. It’s a process I don’t pretend to understand, not being much of an animal lover myself, but it makes him happy. Jedd’s happiness makes Beverly ecstatic, which is something she rightfully deserves after all she’s been through.

I think about Chester. His best friend, Davis, and his wife, Harper, lost their lives in a house fire, leaving behind three beautiful boys. Chester is now their guardian and an excellent provider for them. For a moment, I wonder why he doesn’t live with them. Why does he live in a bus just over the border instead of the valley? I suppose the locale might have something to do with his ownership of The Fugitive, but then again, his Chesterfield Oil offices are said to be in Knoxville. There’s a hefty distance between the locations with Green Valley in the middle.

I’d reach up to pet the horse, but I’m afraid he’ll bite me. Jedd likes to call him a mean sonofabitch, yet surprisingly, the animal has a soft spot for Beverly. While Beverly loves animals, Naomi loves the woods, which reminds me of her Samhain ritual later tonight. I’m doing my part to keep up the sisterhood rejuvenation plan, and after what I’ve learned about Chester’s friends, I take a moment to recognize I’m blessed that my sisters are still with me. I’ve missed them. We’re very different people as adults, and in many ways, it should make us more incompatible than ever, but there’s something about blood I can’t deny. My sisters are the truest people I have in my life next to my daughter, who I haven’t spoken to in a week.

After a few minutes, I decide I’m not going to find Chester in the dimly lit barn and give up on the hope of him speaking further to me. I turn toward the entrance and pause when I see him blocking my exit.

“Why did you follow me?” His low, gruff tone startles me, and we stare at one another for a minute.

“Because I don’t want you hurting. That was a lot you shared, and I just want to be sure you’re—”

I’m cut off from more words as he closes the distance between us in three broad steps and crushes his mouth to mine. His hands firmly cup my face. He kisses me as though he can’t get close enough. Our mouths nip and suck, devouring one another, reminding me how I’ve never been thoroughly kissed. Never like this. 

About L.B. Dunbar

L.B. Dunbar has an overactive imagination. To her benefit, such creativity has led to over thirty romance novels, including those offering a second chance at love over 40. Her signature works include the #sexysilverfoxes collection of mature males and feisty vixens ready for romance in their prime years. She’s also written stories of small-town romance (Heart Collection), rockstar mayhem (The Legendary Rock Stars Series), and a twist on intrigue and redemption (Redemption Island Duet). She’s had several alter egos including elda lore, a writer of romantic magical realism through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). In another life, she wanted to be an anthropologist and journalist. Instead, she was a middle school language arts teacher. The greatest story in her life is with the one and only, and their four grown children. Learn more about L.B. Dunbar by joining her reader group on Facebook (Loving L.B.) or subscribing to her newsletter (Love Notes).

Find L.B. Dunbar online

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Book Review, Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Romance, romantic suspense, series, smartypants romance

New Smartypants Romance Release ⭐️ CODE OF ETHICS ⭐️ by April White ⭐️ BLOG TOUR

“April White writes the kind of books I love to read: romantic but suspenseful, smart yet so consuming. And you’ll love this cast.” – Amy Harmon, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times bestselling author

Code of Ethics, an all new enemies to lovers romantic suspense standalone in the Cipher Security series from April White, is available now! 

Smartypants Romance is the right place for April White’s Cipher Security series, because these books really make you think! It took me a while to finish this one, not because the story and characters aren’t compelling, but because the storyline is complex.

It’s not my favorite or the series, but I do love that we get so many characters from the Knitting in the City series, especially Alex!

Thanks to Penny Reid and April White for the opportunity to read and review this book.

There are three things you need to know about Oliver Curran: 

1) He’s a privileged playboy who happens to be a code-writing genius 

2) For once in his life he’s trying to do the right thing

3) Someone wants him dead.

Dallas is a close protection specialist at Cipher Security whose bodyguard skills have already saved Oliver’s life once. But when the assassin gets too close to her uncooperative client, Dallas takes the party boy away from the city where he’s the social king, to the Yukon wilderness where she’s a master of survival.

If Dallas has to put her life on the line for a self-absorbed guy she doesn’t respect, then Oliver has to take orders from the too-serious woman he can’t charm. But living wild brings out their true natures, and suddenly funny is hot, capable is dangerous, and trust is the strongest survival skill of all.

‘Code of Ethics’ is a full-length enemies-to-lovers romantic suspense and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Cipher Security series, Seduction in the City world, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Read Code of Ethics TODAY!

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Start the Cipher Security Series of standalones TODAY!

https://smartypantsromance.com/worlds/seduction-in-the-city/cipher-security/

Excerpt

“Is there something else I can help you with, Mr. Curran?”

“Oliver,” I said automatically, my eyes still looking in the direction Quinn had gone.

“Excuse me?”

“My name is Oliver,” I said, my eyes finally meeting hers, and I dug for my nicest-guy-in-the-room default. “Yours is Dallas, right?”

“Correct.”

She started walking toward the elevators again, and I couldn’t think of a reason not to follow. I assumed it wouldn’t get me anywhere to go after Quinn, and Dallas seemed to be the only one who cared that I was still in the building.

“Proprietary tech is the only game in the marketplace right now. If my code leaks, my program turns into the equivalent of generic drugs—worth pennies instead of millions.”

We’d reached the elevators, and she turned to face me. I was surprised that she wasn’t taller, because her vibe was all ferocity and overbearing disapproval. “You didn’t ask for my opinion, but I’m going to give it to you anyway,” she said.

Of course she would. Women like her couldn’t help themselves. They had to be right—all the time—out loud. I sighed, too exhausted to bother to dig up more charm for her.

“Millions are just zeroes and ones in an account,” she continued. “This is your life, and I think the Russian will do a lot worse than try to knife you if he manages to catch you alone.”

I’d just hit the button, but I whipped around to face her. “The Russian? What are you, partners?”

The woman almost rolled her eyes at me, and I was glad to get a rise out of her. It was way more fun than panicking, which was my other option.

“I heard him swear in Russian,” she said in a voice that was back to ice queen inflection.

“You speak Russian,” I scoffed.

“Enough,” she said. The elevator doors opened behind me, and Dallas reached a hand past me to hold them.

“What did he say, then?” I asked. She took a step forward, crowding me back into the elevator.

Ty moy, suchka.”

“Which means?” I asked, taking a step forward when I realized that she’d managed to make me move with just her body language.

She let go of the elevator doors. “You’re my bitch,” she said, and I had to jump back as the doors closed between us.

About April White

** Vivian Award Nominee, 2021 **

APRIL WHITE has been a film producer, private investigator, bouncer, teacher and screenwriter. She has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a shipwreck, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. She and her husband share their home in Southern California with two extraordinary boys and a lifetime collection of books.

Her first novel, Marking Time is the 2016 winner of the Library Journal Indie E-Book Award for YA Literature, and all five books in the Immortal Descendants series are on the Amazon Top 100 lists in Time Travel Romance and Historical Fantasy. Code of Conduct was an RWA Vivian Award finalist for romantic suspense, a Next Generation Award finalist for romance, and RONE Award finalist for suspense. And Death’s Door is a Grand Prize winner of the Next Generation Award, and a Foreword Reviews Award finalist. More information and her blog can be found at www.aprilwhitebooks.com.

Find April White online

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Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, series

BLOG TOUR 🐧🐧 NEW RELEASE 🐧🐧 FLIPPING LOVE YOU, BOYS OF THE BAYOU GONE WILD #3, BY ERIN NICHOLAS 🐧🐧

If only she’d known who he really was.
And that he was the fall-hard-and-fast type.
And the protective type.
And that one night would turn into more like nine-months of being …sigh…very personal.

BOOK REVIEW 🐧🐧 I am a HUGE fan of Erin Nicholas! I have read at least one book in most of her series (and every single one of her Sapphire Falls books!)

The Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild is a really fun series, with each book better than the last! I do not read blurbs for books by my favorite authors, so I didn’t know what I was getting into with Jillian and Zeke except for the bit of background we received in book #2, Heavy Petting. This couple was just delightful! I love the way they take care of each other. Their relationship moved very fast, and while I’m not normally a fan of Insta-Love, I flipping loved it! 😁

The giant, fun-loving Autre family was very involved in their storyline, of course! It does take a while to keep all the names straight, but I’ve decided that just means I need to read more of the previous Bayou books!

Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Flipping Love You, an all-new fun and flirty standalone romance that cranks up the heat in the Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild series by New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas, is available now!

He’s the tattooed bad boy her mama warned her about.
She’s his hot mess–but mostly hot–next door neighbor.
Until a two-night-stand gives them the surprise of a lifetime…

Jillian Morris is a workaholic who forgets to watch the time. And to eat. And to change her shoes. And to keep even a house-plant alive. And to have any kind of a personal life.

Now an eccentric millionaire has left her eight million dollars. And eight penguins. Yes, real live penguins. She’s a wildlife vet who specializes in penguins, so that makes sense. Kind of. She can, and does, keep penguins alive and well. She now just has to move them cross-country to her friend’s new animal park.

So if anyone deserves a one-night (or two) stand with a hot, younger, tattooed bad boy on a motorcycle, it’s her. Or so Jill tells herself when Zeke Landry flips his bike in front of her motel.

If only she’d known who he really was.
And that he was the fall-hard-and-fast type.
And the protective type.
And that one night would turn into more like nine-months of being …sigh…very personal.

Fall in love today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/34weUFK
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About Erin Nicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.
Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin
Website: http://bit.ly/2NkB2uF
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Book Review, Books, netgalley, New Release, Romance, series

⭐️⭐️NEW RELEASE⭐️⭐️ My Kind of Perfect, A Trillium Bay Novel book 3, by Tracy Brogan

This is the third book in the Trillium Bay series, which takes place on a fictional island community very closely resembling Mackinac Island in the Great Lakes of Michigan. I spent a summer working on Mackinac, so it was fun reading about places I’ve been (though the names were changed). It really made the reading experience even more rich and enjoyable. You don’t need to have visited Mackinac to enjoy this book, but you should definitely go if you get the opportunity!

If you’ve read the first two books, which I would recommend, the fun and familiar characters are back. I liked seeing their stories pick up where the second book left off. This book introduces a new cast of characters, who are on island to film a movie. I don’t normally enjoy famous people stories, but this one worked for me because it was still mainly about the island and its inhabitants.

Tracy Brogan knows how to make you laugh and also pull at your heart strings. I’d love to see a fourth book about Emily’s daughter Chloe all grown up.

Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Buy My Kind of Perfect on Amazon

Book Review, Books, netgalley, New Release, Romance, Uncategorized

New Release from Christina Lauren: The Soulmate Equation

The New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners returns with a witty and effervescent novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate? Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and One Plus One.

Single mom Jessica Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely. 

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. 

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: one of GeneticAlly’s founders, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond Match” that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.”

REVIEW! I love Christina Lauren books! Christina Lauren writes the books that all my other books strive to live up to. I have seven paperback books on my Favorite Books shelf, and two of them (Love and Other Words, and Roomies) are by CL.

That being said, I didn’t love this one. Good story, but it was a little too science-y for me. This is not the fault of the authors, just a personal preference. It reminded me of the Smartypants Romance books by Penny Reid, where I always learn something, but they can go a little over my head!

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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BLOG TOUR! Eye Candy, Fighting for Love #3, by Jiffy Kate, from Smartypants Romance! Now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Eye Candy, an all-new opposites attract small-town romance from Jiffy Kate, is available now in Kindle Unlimited!

❤️❤️ Now available in Kindle Unlimited ❤️❤️

BOOK REVIEW: This was a nice continuation of what you could call the Viking Invasion series, with the story of another Erickson brother coming to Green Valley. It was cute, well-written, hardly any drama or angst, and thankfully no ridiculous Big Conflict. Just two people falling in love and trying to figure out a way to be together against the odds.

Maggie is 24 years old and has been sheltered growing up, and so it almost felt like a high school or college romance even more than the college hockey romance I read right before this book!

The story and characters are entrenched in Green Valley, which I love, because not all the Green Valley books in the Smartypants Romance collection give me that same feeling.

There are two more Viking brothers, and I look forward to their stories. Thanks to the authors and SPR for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Vali Erickson is the classic middle child—misunderstood, underestimated, and overlooked. He’s fine with it. Really. The overlooked part is actually serving him well during this phase of life.

He’s in Green Valley in an effort to fly under the radar and regroup after a life-altering blow to his heart and ego. The last thing he’s looking for is a woman to warm his bed until one throws him to the mat and rocks his world.

Margaret O’Neal is an only child who has led a sheltered life. She’s used to being a wallflower. Her ability to blend into the background is what allows her to maintain her anonymity as a gossip columnist for the Green Valley Ledger.

Since the Ericksons moved to town, she’s never felt more inspired, especially with the newest addition. Vali Erickson is the definition of eye candy—devastatingly handsome with muscles for days—giving her plenty to report about.

The more Maggie observes, the more she finds herself wanting things she’s only read about in romance novels.

Admiring Vali from afar is good enough for her until their paths cross and she finds herself trying to stay afloat in uncharted territory—no labels, no promises, and WAY out of her comfort zone.

Will this arrangement be what finally breaks her out of her shell, or will her heart be a casualty of the Viking Invasion?

‘Eye Candy’ is a full-length contemporary romance, and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Fighting For Love series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Excerpt

Standing outside the Green Valley Community Center, I’m getting a little antsy waiting for Maggie. I really hate not picking her up at her house for a date, but she insists it’s better this way. I’ve told her I didn’t care if she lived on the outskirts of town or Timbuktu, I still wanted to pick her up but she just laughed and redirected our conversation.

I have a feeling she doesn’t want to formally introduce me to her parents as the man she’s dating, especially after my one and only visit to their feed store. I guess I understand. I didn’t really make the best first impression but that’s on me. How can I redeem myself if she refuses to introduce me to them?

Maybe I need a do-over visit to the store.

Before I can formulate a solid plan, my attention is pulled to the parking lot where I see Maggie walking toward me, looking sexy as fuck. I lean back against a column and enjoy watching her come to me. She’s so striking with how she carries herself and I don’t think she even knows it. Her height and voluptuous curves paired with her long, dark hair and wide smile command the attention of everyone around her.

And she’s mine.

For now, anyway.

When she’s close enough for me to touch, I slide my arm around her waist and pull her to me. Capturing her mouth with mine, I claim it, not able to hold back any longer. Even though we made out in the parking lot of Genie’s on Friday, it’s been too long since I’ve been able to see her… touch her… taste her.

I want her so fucking much. I want to learn her body and watch her fall apart over and over. I want her to explore my body and have her way with me, any way she wants. I want so much but realize now is not the time or place for my dick to be running the show, so I slowly and reluctantly pull away.

Maggie’s lips are swollen and her eyes are dazed as she looks at me and whispers, “Wow”.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, beautiful.” I kiss her forehead, allowing my lips to linger so I can have one last taste before we walk inside.

“Same to you.” She bites down on her bottom lip, fighting back a smile as she shakes her head. I’d give anything to know what she’s thinking and to replace her teeth with my own. Those luscious lips have made an appearance in every dream I’ve had for the past week.

And as much as I want to make her come again, it’s not going to happen in the parking lot of the community center. My instincts tell me Maggie’s a virgin. Even though I don’t have a lot of experience in that arena, I know one thing for sure, I want every orgasm I give Maggie to be better than the one before.

I want all her firsts to be worth the wait because she definitely is.

“So, tell me about the jam sessions. I hear they’re pretty famous,” I say as I grab her hand and lead her to the building’s entrance, needing to distract myself so I’m not sporting a semi as we walk into the community center.

“They’ve been happening for a few years now and they’re pretty fun. Typically, they’re held on Friday nights and people from all over come to enjoy good music and even better food. You like bar-b-que, right?”

I look at her like she’s lost her mind. “Woman, I am from Texas. Of course, I like bar-b-que.”

She laughs and squeezes my arm as we step inside, where we’re instantly greeted by a friendly welcoming committee. After we get the rundown on where to find the festivities, we make our way to where the food is and Maggie continues our conversation.

“I know you’re from Texas, which is why I asked. Texas bar-b-que is very different from Tennessee bar-b-que. Some even say your version isn’t bar-b-que at all.”

I jerk away from her in shock. “Them’s fightin’ words, Miss O’Neal,” I say, laying my Texas twang on thick. “Now, take me to this high-and-mighty food so I can judge for myself.”

Thirty minutes later, I’m slumped in my chair, fighting the urge to unbuckle my belt and jeans.

“So, what’s the verdict?”

Maggie’s expression is smug and I want to kiss it right off her face but I’m too full to move right now. So instead, I give her a shrug, trying to play it off. “It’s alright, I guess. If you like that kind of thing.”

Her laughter fills the room and I’m mesmerized. It’s quickly becoming my favorite sound, second only to the sounds of her orgasm. Shit, I cannot be thinking like that right now, when I’m too stuffed to try and hide a boner.

“One of these days, I’ll fix you some Texas bar-b-que,” I vow.

She scrunches up her nose, and while the look on her face is absolutely adorable, it’s not quite what I was hoping for. “You’ve had my cooking before. Do you doubt my skills?”

“It’s not that,” she starts. “It’s just that Texas bar-b-que is mainly smoked meat, not cooked over an open flame, and you put your sauce on the side!” Her hand covers her heart to illustrate the horror of her words.

“Listen, good meat is good meat, I don’t care where it’s from. But, it’s only fair that you try my meat since I just tried yours.”

The words are out of my mouth before I realize how they sound, and when I look at Maggie’s face to get her reaction, I’m pleased to see the same dazed look from earlier. She’s also blushing something fierce, which tells me she’s just as dirty minded as I am. Well, maybe not quite as much, but close.

“Hey,” I say to get her attention.

With flushed cheeks, she meets my eyes. “Yeah?”

“You gonna take me to one of the music rooms so I can finally dance with you?”

Her shoulders relax and she gives me one of her mega-watt smiles. “Are you sure you’re up to it?”

“Absolutely. Besides, I need to burn off some of this food.”

Maggie giggles and grabs my hand, pulling me out of my chair and leading me to the first music room we find. There are five or six musicians playing some good ol’ honky-tonk music, which is exactly what I need right now.

I twirl Maggie around before pulling her flush against my body. “Let’s dance.”

And, dance, we do. We two-step, we waltz, and we even jitterbug a couple of times before we’re worn out and need to take a break.

We leave the room and enter another with a band playing bluegrass music. I’m a little surprised to see both of my brothers, along with their significant others, on the dance floor. Bluegrass is not a genre of music we listened to much back home but it’s a slow song and I completely understand the draw of slow dancing with a woman. So much so, I grab Maggie’s hand and lead her onto the floor close to my siblings, so we can join in the fun, as well.

What a sight this must be, watching three big-ass dudes from Texas slow dancing to bluegrass music in a refurbished classroom.

“Oh, good, Cletus is playing. He’s so good on the banjo,” Maggie tells me.

“Who’s that?”

“You know Jenn from the bakery, right? Well, that’s her husband.” She uses her head to point in the direction of a man with wild hair, playing a banjo as if it’s the easiest thing to do. Not gonna lie, I’m kind of envious of his long beard. I’ve never been able to grow my beard out like that.

It doesn’t take long for me to get lost in the feel of Maggie in my arms again. She fits perfectly, her soft parts molding to my hard ones, and if it feels this good while we still have our clothes on, I can’t fucking wait to be this close to her while naked.

Maggie’s head is on my shoulder as we sway to the music, so she doesn’t see when Tempest waves at me. I look up at Tempest and watch as she mouths, “Have you asked about New Orleans.” Drawing my eyebrows together, I give a small shake of my head in reply. She’s obviously not happy with my answer because her eyes are now narrowed and her hands are on her hips.

Not wanting to get into it right now, I roll my eyes and sway our bodies so that my back is now facing Tempest. I’m sure I’ll pay for this tomorrow but I don’t care.

It’s not that I don’t want Maggie to go to New Orleans with us, with me, because I do. But I can’t help but wonder if it’s too soon for us. Of course, I wouldn’t have any expectations regarding the physical side of our relationship but it’d be our first weekend getaway as a couple, and to me, that’s a big deal. Road trips can either make or break a couple and the fact we’d also be with my family, as in my entire family… well, it kind of scares the shit out of me. I don’t want to pressure her or freak her out but, on the flip side, making that trip without her would fucking suck.

I will ask her, but not tonight.

Tonight, I just want to hold her in my arms for as long as she’ll let me.

About Jiffy Kate

Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.

Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

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New Smartypants Romance release! Steal My Magnolia, a Love at First Sight novel by Karla Sorensen from Smartypants Romance! Now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Steal My Magnolia is more than a love story. It’s a beautifully crafted journey of life full of obstacles but a journey worth the travel with the right person.” –Author Andrea Johnston

❤️❤️ Now available in Kindle Unlimited❤️❤️

BOOK REVIEW: I really love Karla Sorensen’s books. This is the third in the Love at First Sight series. It’s hard to pick a favorite because they’re all so different, and so good! The underlying storyline – of a family “love curse” – is unique, and fun to read.

Each member of the Buchanan family deals with this situation, finding themselves completely in love with someone the minute they lay eyes on them and knowing that this person is their forever, differently. The storylines are so creative and interesting, particularly these last two since they deal with Grace and Grady, a sister and brother whose “forever” people have a deep history with each other, which causes its own particular set of issues.

One thing I really appreciated about this story was there was no misunderstanding or created discord or forced conflict between the characters. I hate those, especially when they seem manufactured, just to cause drama in the story. The issue between Grady and Magnolia, when it comes, is completely organic because it deals with the love curse, which is the basis for the entire Love at First Sight series.

I love how entrenched this series is in the Green Valley World that Penny Reid created. I’ve read some books in the Smartypants romance collection that only have a mere mention of a character we know from the Winston family, for example, as if that would be enough to make it a part of this world and enough to invested us in it. By contrast, in this book, Magnolia’s aunt is Daisy Peyton! Magnolia shops at the Piggly Wiggly where Jennifer Sylvester gets her bananas and where Cletus came to her rescue in the parking lot that time. (This is not mentioned but it came to mind while I was reading.) It feels authentic and genuine, and I love that because I can’t get enough of Green Valley, especially because I’ve visited Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains recently and I feel more connected to these books now.

I have been desperate for their cousin Hunter’s story since the first book in the series and it looks like it’s next. I can’t wait!

Thanks to the author and Smartypants Romance for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Life lesson from Grady Buchanan: If you’re going to fall in love with the untouchable girl in town, don’t hire her as your only employee.

Even after he bungled the interview with Magnolia MacIntyre, he knew better than to hire her. The list of why it’s a bad idea is a long one.

Her father could ruin his fledgling business.

She is completely overqualified.

And he’s attracted to her.

What does Grady do? He offers her the job.

Magnolia knew better than to take it. Normally, she’d make the safe choice, and working for Grady is anything but.

He’s new in town–and entirely too charming.

Her dad will be furious.

She hates the outdoors and working for an outdoor adventure company is not exactly the right fit.

What does she do? She says yes on the spot.

Grady and Magnolia will have to prove to everyone in their life that they’re not crazy. And prove to each other that the list of why it’s a bad idea should be tossed out the window.

For these two opposites, sometimes doing the wrong thing is exactly right.

‘Steal My Magnolia’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Love At First Sight series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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About Karla Sorensen

Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.

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Book Review, Books, Christmas, netgalley, New Release, Romance, Uncategorized

Book Review: In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

5 out of 5 spectacularly seasonal stars

I never read blubs, especially from authors that I love, because I trust them to tell me a good story. In the case of Christina Lauren, I trust them to give me an excellent story, and this is exactly what I got with In a Holidaze.

Here’s the official description: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favourite place in the world – the snowy cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born. Mentally melting down as she drives away for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, everything goes black . . . When Mae gasps awake, she’s back on an airplane, beginning the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop – and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark hilarious hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

Since I don’t read blurbs, I had no idea what I was getting into with In a Holidaze, but it ended up being precisely my cup of tea. It starts off with a normal holiday gathering, and all of a sudden, there’s time travel involved! This is also the story of two people who have known each other as friends their entire lives, and I love a couple with a complicated history! There is a big, wonderful cast of characters in addition to Maelyn and Andrew. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to keep track of who’s who in books like this, but these characters were so delightful. It was so fun getting to know them, and they were very easy to distinguish from one another.

Since the main character, Maelyn, bounces back in time and repeats the Christmas holidays over and over again, there is an element of suspense throughout the last half of the book, as you wait to find out if she’s going to lose everything she’s gained in the current go-round by ending back on the plane. I kept thinking “Don’t go back! Don’t go back!” and I will definitely not spoil it for you. But if you’ve read a Christina Lauren book before, you know that they can put you through a lot of heartache and drama and angst, but they don’t leave you there! I loved this book so much that I’m going to buy it on audio. I don’t always have time to reread a book, but there’s always time to listen to one!

Thanks to the Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.