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

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🌲🌲 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

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NEW SMARTYPANTS ROMANCE RELEASE 💖 HOPELESSLY DEVOTED 💖 by PIPER SHELDON 💖

Hopelessly Devoted, an all new forced proximity MM novella from Piper Sheldon, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited!  

Skip has one goal: retrieve his romantically reckless best friend from Green Valley, Tennessee and get back to their normal life. Then Skip meets Jack. The handsome and caring stranger is just another distraction from his careful plans. 

Jack has dealt with more than his fair share of troubled men and is done with letting his guard down. When he meets walking red flag, Skip, he knows he should run the opposite direction and ignore their chaotic attraction.  

Only, fate seems to have other plans when they are stuck on a camping trip together. Jack and Skip are convinced they can put their attraction aside and focus on helping their friends. 

One quick trip, one shared tent, what could possibly go wrong? 

‘Hopelessly Devoted’ is a contemporary romance novella and can be read as a standalone. Book #3.5 in the Scorned Women’s Society series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe. 

Grab your copy TODAY!

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Start the Scorned Women’s Society Series of Standalones Today!

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Excerpt

“Stop looking at me like that.” His intimidating grumble was lost on his fuzzy bedhead.

“Like what?”

“Like you think I’m adorable.”

I shrugged innocently.

He was adorable. I didn’t want to think about how nice it felt to have him drowsing on my shoulder. I wouldn’t let myself think about that. Nope.

“I didn’t sleep well,” he said.

Another bump caused his phone to fall to the floor. As he bent to pick it up, some cards in his back pocket slid out. I grabbed them and quickly examined the notes.

“What are these?” I asked as I read.

Some were just bullet points that said things like “Build a fire” or “simple trap.” Another had the list of all the guys on the bus. He had prepped for this trip.

“Nothing.” He reached to snag the cards from me but I pulled them away from him, blocking him with one arm as I read.

“You did research,” I said and then titled my head to read, “Why is this one about dabbing crossed out?”

He shook his head, his cheeks were bright red.

“You looked up all the kids coming?” I looked at him now that he stopped struggling.

He looked around and whispered, “Ford gave me the roster. I thought I should at least know their names.”

Despite my very logical mathematician brain, my heart pitter-pattered dangerously in my chest.

“You’re doing it again,” he grumbled.

“What?”

“Looking at me like I’m a fluffy bunny you want to take home and feed carrots to.”

My cough of laughter surprised us both. He smiled at his clenched hands.

“This is very thoughtful,” I said earnestly.

He scratched the back of his neck and shrugged. Every time he did that, I considered it an invitation to check out his body.

“It’s important to me that I don’t mess this up,” he whispered.

 “You won’t. Just the fact that you made any effort at all means something.”

About Piper Sheldon

Piper Sheldon writes Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance. Her books are a little funny, a lotta romantic, and with just a little twist of something more. She lives with her husband, toddler, and two needy dogs at home in the desert Southwest. She finds writing bios in the third person an extreme sport of awkwardness.

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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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🔥🔥NEW RELEASE 🔥HOTSHOT AND HOSPITALITY by Nora Everly BLOG TOUR🔥🔥

Hotshot and Hospitality, an all new charming friends to lovers small town romance from Nora Everly, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited! 

⭐️⭐️BOOK REVIEW 3.5 Stars This is a fun series and I really enjoyed the other books. Sadly, this one was a disappointment. I usually love Best Friends to Lovers stories. But there was zero chemistry between Garrett and Molly. Plus, she was so afraid of discussing her feelings, she would run away the moment anyone tried to talk about emotions. It got old quick. I’m hoping the next book is about Sadie and Barrett, and that it’s better than this one.⭐️⭐️

Molly Cooper is through with men. She means it this time.

Being stood up and humiliated was the last straw.

But after her all grown up and smokin’ hot childhood bestie kissed her to help her save face, she’s left wondering if it was the tequila or his lips that gave her all the feels.

Garrett Monroe had no intention of falling for his childhood best friend.

Unfortunately, one unplanned kiss in a bar was all it took for him to stumble. 

Now he’s stuck with a crush that won’t quit on the most stubborn woman he’s ever known.

Soon enough they’re overwhelmed by out-of-control feelings, one match making momma, and two tight knit families who think they’re dating when they’re not.

Or are they?

Nothing stays secret in Green Valley, Tennessee.

Can Molly and Garrett navigate the nosy waters and fall for each other in private?

Or will secrets sink their friendship instead? 

‘Hotshot and Hospitality’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #8 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Grab your copy TODAY!

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Excerpt

“Hey, Garrett,” I returned with haphazard enthusiasm after he made it to the circle booth and nudged me over with his hip. Garrett and I used to be close. We were the same age and had been the best of friends until hormones, other friends, and teenage angst—mostly mine—caused us to drift apart somewhere around age fifteen. We’d remained cordial to each other during our high school years, often running with the same crowd and sometimes even hanging out, but we’d no longer been best friends. I hadn’t spent a lot of time alone with Garrett over the last decade and a half; he’d blown out of Green Valley after graduation to go to college, then enlisted in the Marines right after. He’d been back for about four years and the laws of small-town living dictated that I saw him all the time. Small talk was our thing now—chitchat, a gathering of mutual friends here at Genie’s, the occasional family barbeque, that kind of stuff. “I got stood up, there are too many assholes named Chris in Green Valley, and now I’m totally freaking drunk and alone.” I felt like I could admit it to him. Garrett had always kept my secrets, and he’d know everything soon enough anyway.

His gaze warmed on me as his easy smile slid to the side. “Well, whoever he is, he’s a fool. And, weirdly, I’ve only met one Chris who was worth a damn. The rest? All pricks. So, it seems like you’re better off.” He was decisive as he stole my water and took a sip with his eyes twinkling at me over the rim of the glass. I watched him set the glass down and my own eyes narrowed as his grin broadened and his dimples deepened within the dark whiskers that covered his square jaw. He was close to having a full beard. He was also pretty dang close to being the finest man in the whole stinking bar too. He leaned in, right into my space. “You should have stayed married to me,” he murmured into my ear, then his eyes met and held mine as he pulled away.

My eyebrows hit my hairline and I barely managed to prevent my jaw from dropping before I shot back a response that I hoped conveyed the proper amount of flippant wit and not the fact that he had completely flabbergasted me. He hadn’t flirted with me like this when I saw him at the Piggly Wiggly last Saturday. No, he surely did not. “We were six years old, Garrett. I don’t think it was legally binding, since your dog performed the ceremony. Plus, you never even gave me a ring. Ring Pops don’t count.” I mean, two could play at whatever strange game this was clearly becoming.

Instead of answering me right away, he winked and studied my face with a grin. That wink hit me right between my eyes like a Nerf dart from our days of yore—I didn’t just see it, I felt it. Bam! Tingles shot from my head to my toes. My brain scrambled inside my head and my mouth opened to say something smart, but nothing came out. Freaking tequila! I shook my metaphorical fist at the liquor that had stunted my normal standard of witty banter.

“But we pinky swore it, Coop.” His comically exaggerated pout was adorable. I felt my cheeks heat as I found myself staring avidly at his mouth in lusty contemplation, rather than just merely reading his lips. Why had I never noticed how full and bitable his lower lip was? I bet it was tasty too. “Remember how we spit into our palms to seal the deal?” he asked. I shook my head while my eyes roamed all over every inch of him I could see above the table.

“How soon they forget.” His chest rose and fell as he let out a huge sigh, and to my shame, my eyes bugged out at the sight. All my thoughts fluttered around in my brain like drunk, demented butterflies. Why was winky-flirt Garrett messing me up? I decided to place the blame on the tequila instead of the fact that he was looking ten different kinds of hot tonight. I finally managed to haul my gaze from his broad chest, which was currently testing the strength of his black T-shirt, and back up to his whiskey brown eyes that were still freaking twinkling at me.

Ugh! There was nowhere to look on him that wasn’t sexy, damn it.

And was he flirting with me?

Me?

We’d known each other since babyhood, for crap’s sake. We used to take baths together—me, him, and Mr. Bubble. We’d never flirted before. Ever.

Had we? 

About Nora Everly

Nora Everly is a lifelong bookworm. She started reading the good stuff once she grew tall enough to sneak the romance novels off the top of her mother’s bookshelf and it has been non-stop ever since.

Once upon a time she was a substitute teacher and an educational assistant. Now she’s a writer and stay at home mom to two small humans and one fat cat.

Nora lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her overactive imagination.

Find Nora Everly online

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BLOG TOUR!! New Smartypants Romance release! Max About Ewe, Common Threads #1, by Susannah Nix

Mad About Ewe, an all-new heartwarming second-chance romance from Susannah Nix, is now available in Kindle Unlimited! 

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

This book had great potential. I don’t read blurbs and I have never read this author. But I love SPR, so I was all in! Unfortunately this book seemed like a YA romance to me.

The good:

The couple was in their late 40s/early 50s. MY AGE! It’s so rare to find that. There are only a couple authors I know that write this age well.

Second chance romance. It’s one of my very favorite tropes, especially if the couple has a complicated history! These two knew each other in high school. She had a crush on him, he hardly knew she existed. We’ve all been there, right?

The connection to the Knitting in the City world. I am such a big fan of Penny Reid, and I’ve read most of the SPR books. Some do a better job with connecting to the world they’re written in than others. For some, a mere mention of a beloved character seems to be all they think is needed. Others are COMPLETELY entrenched in that world. (Guess which one I prefer?!?)

Post-divorce, grown kids, figuring out life on your own, yes. I’m here for it.

The bad:

I hate being negative in my words and in my reviews. I hate being negative in my life! I am like Dawn in this way. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or hurt anyone’s feelings. I’d rather not say anything at all. This is not a good way to be, and I’m working on it.

Dawn and Mike both have this issue! So much of their inner monologue was them not wanting to use their words because they were projecting their own feelings on the other. I found this annoying while at the same time completely empathizing with it. I feel this way in life, I don’t want my characters to feel that way! Just a personal preference.

There was the old standby “I found this out by accident” scenario. I hate this in books. However, I will say that they didn’t just sweep it under the rug, they did deal with it. But I prefer more depth in my Big Conflict.

The sexy times were not sexy to me. “I wanted him to plow me like an open field.” No.

It read like YA fiction. It was a good story, but I’d hoped for more. Also the promo materials pictured a couple that was so obviously not in the proper age group. It’s a small thing, but important to me. If the book is about a 51 year old woman, please don’t have the one pictured not even be 30.

I was super happy it didn’t end with an engagement, though. I’m so tired of that in romance books.

This will not stop me from reading this author’s work. I was just disappointed in what could have really been an excellent story for those of us more “seasoned” readers.

Dawn Botstein is doing just fine after her divorce, thank you very much.

She’s got her yarn store to run, her house to herself for the first time in her life, and no use for men anymore. That is until the hottie silver fox who walks into her store turns out to be her old high school crush—the guy who rejected her 30 years ago.

No way is she going to lose her head over him this time, no matter how well he wears that salt-and-pepper lumberjack beard. Okay, so he’s the opposite of her ex in every way, and his attention gives her a thrill she thought she’d never feel again. She’s not risking her heart again.

Mike Pilota is having a mid-life crisis.

Only instead of buying a red sports car he can’t afford and dressing like a 25-year-old who’s time-traveled from the 1990s, he quit his job after his second divorce to move closer to his recently widowed mother.

He didn’t expect to run into Dawn again, but as soon as he lays eyes on her he’s utterly smitten. So he sets out to make up for past mistakes and prove he can be the kind of man she deserves.

But is it too late for second chances? Or will these two lonely hearts find a way back to each other?

‘Mad About Ewe’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #1 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.  

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Excerpt

Mike Pilota sent you a friend request.

I’d received the notification a week ago but still hadn’t responded. I’d just left it hanging there, unanswered. Ignored.

Out of spite? Perhaps a little. After he’d rejected me yet again, I had to admit I enjoyed the thought of Mike getting a taste of that same rejection for once. I liked to picture him sitting at home, futilely checking his notifications day after day, waiting for a reply that would never come.

I wanted him to know that I wasn’t desperate for his attention and would not be begging for treats like a pet Labrador. I couldn’t care less whether I ever spoke to Mike again.

Of course, it was just as likely he’d forgotten he even sent the request by now. There was no reason to assume he was in any way invested in my response.

I couldn’t imagine why he’d sent it in the first place. Why now? Why would you send a friend request to someone you’d brushed off?

I hadn’t even realized Mike was active on Facebook, which was probably just as well. It had saved me from years of pathetic cyberstalking. And it would be pathetic to be hung up on a man you’d had a childish crush on thirty years ago.

Good thing I wasn’t.

I’d meant what I’d said about being done with Mike Pilota. Finito. Over and out. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

So it was annoying in the extreme when I walked into The Old House Pub and saw him sitting next to Angie. My steps, which had been confident and quick as I entered the bar, faltered as I recognized him.

How? Why? What the blazing hell was Mike doing here?

My eyes narrowed as they homed in on my best friend, the obvious answer to all my questions. She must have recruited Mike for her reunion committee. And I could guess why.

It was clearly some misguided attempt to force another reunion between me and Mike in the hopes that, against all odds, this time sparks would finally fly, and he’d realize his secret attraction to me which he’d been repressing all these years.

Did I mention Angie was a bit of a fantasist?

Obviously, there was no way any of that would happen. The far more likely scenario was that Mike and I would try our level best to ignore each other’s existence while pretending there was no lingering awkwardness between us.

That was my game plan anyway. Mike could do what he liked.

Gathering a deep breath, I forced my feet to carry me to the table where Mike and Angie were seated. There were six chairs, and I set my sights on the one farthest from Mike.

Angie spotted my approach immediately and called out a greeting. Mike looked up, and our eyes caught and held for a charged second before I forcibly tore my gaze away to pin my best friend with an accusatory glare. Angie grinned back at me and shrugged, as if she knew exactly what she’d done wrong and didn’t care one bit.

Before I could claim the chair diagonally across from Mike, he leapt to his feet. “Here, you probably want to sit next to Angie,” he said, and held his own chair out for me.

I had no choice but to accept his offer at that point without looking like an ill-mannered ingrate. Mumbling my thanks, I draped my purse over the back of the chair and sat down.

To my consternation, Mike took the seat right next to me at the head of the table. He was so close our knees brushed as he scooted his chair forward, and I jerked my legs away from him as if I’d been zapped with electricity.

“It’s good to see you again,” he said in that warm, gravelly voice that used to make my limbs quiver like a gelatin mold on a mechanical bull. Fortunately, I was completely over my childish infatuation with him, and therefore impervious to his sexy man voice.

I looked up to find him smiling at me, his lips curved invitingly and framed by his neatly trimmed beard, and my heart gave a little involuntary jump in my chest.

Well, crud.

Perhaps I wasn’t quite as over Mike as I’d hoped. 

About Susannah Nix

Susannah Nix is an award-winning author of contemporary romances featuring smart women and swoony men, including the Chemistry Lessons series of romcoms about women who work in STEM fields and the Starstruck series of movie star romances. 

Susannah resides in Texas with her husband, two ornery cats, and a flatulent pit bull. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, watching stupid amounts of television, and getting distracted by Tumblr. She is also a powerlifter who can deadlift as much as Captain America weighs.

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BLOG TOUR!! New Smartypants Romance release! Give Love a Chai, Common Threads book #2, by Nanxi Wen

Give Love a Chai, an all-new charming second-chance romance from Nanxi Wen, is now available in Kindle Unlimited! 

Tia Wang’s Wedding Planning To-Do List:

1. Find the perfect dress

2. Win her future mother-in-law’s approval

3. Divorce her not-so-ex husband, Andrew Parker

When she fell in love and married her childhood best friend on a whim in Vegas, Tia innocently thought love conquered all. Turns out, that was a crushing lie. Her world shattered as she and Andrew were torn apart by secrets and mistakes.

Ten years later, Tia has left the pain behind and carved out a new life with Mr. Perfect. The only thing standing between her and happily ever after? A divorce from Andrew.

It should have been easy for Andrew to sign his name on the dotted line. Independent, prickly, and always in control, Andrew has done everything to escape his past. But seeing Tia on his doorstep after all these years? He can’t help wondering what might have been. Andrew has never forgotten Tia and vows to fight for their relationship this time around. If he has to hold those divorce papers hostage to get his second chance, he will.

Feelings resurface, stronger and more complex than ever. But Tia and Andrew have more than Mr. Perfect between them. Can they overcome past mistakes to forge a future together, or will new threats ruin their second chance at forever?

‘Give Love a Chai’ is a full-length contemporary romance, and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe. 

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Excerpt

I didn’t care what Andrew Parker thought.

Not anymore.

Still, I put on some lip balm before I could think too much about why and opened the door. Andrew sat by the little island in his kitchen, hands gripping a beer.

Huh.

I had never seen him drink alcohol before. Unlike pretty much everyone that I knew, he had been very intentional about not engaging in underage drinking. It made me sad to think about all of the changes that I missed, moments that I had expected to be part of if he hadn’t pushed me away.

Now, I was getting angry. I held on to that anger. Anger was easy. Anger had carried me through the first few months after he had betrayed me, especially when I was railing against the world in those awful days in the hospital.

Oblivious to my anger, he looked up. “You still smell like those fruity Lip Smackers you used to love, Ting.” His gray eyes roamed over me. A single dimple flashed at me, as his lips tugged to one side.

I couldn’t believe he still remembered my fondness for Lip Smackers. I had been using them since I first immigrated to the United States from China and discovered them in the aisle of some supermarket. I was the only person over the age of ten that still used them, but I was loyal to what I liked. Unlike Mr. Cool in front of me. “I don’t go by Ting anymore. It’s Tia now.”

“When did you decide that?” Andrew asked, unfurling himself to standing. His six feet two inches of muscles towered over me. The large kitchen suddenly felt small. Andrew the man had a presence that overwhelmed me in a way that Andrew the boy had never.

“Almost ten years ago when I needed a fresh start. I wanted a name that helped me to fit in,” I said, daring him to say anything.

His only response was the tightening of his shoulders. I couldn’t tell if he was reacting to my dig about a fresh start, or to me changing my name after years of him encouraging me to keep my given name. When we first met twenty years ago, we had bonded over not fitting in. As much as he told me “screw them” when our classmates made fun of my foreign-sounding name, my faint accent, or squinted their eyes while saying “konnichiwa” despite my protests that I was from China, I had cared too much. My name was the part of me that was the easiest to change.

“Okay, Tia,” he started, letting my name roll over his tongue, as if testing how it felt. “Why are you here?”

I looked into his face, so achingly familiar that I could have drawn his features from memory. I let myself feel the full weight of sadness, bitterness, and regret wash over me. Andrew Parker was my past, an anchor that I hadn’t even realized was holding me back. I needed to move forward now.

In a voice that sounded stronger than I felt, I said, “I want a divorce.”

About Nanxi Wen

Nanxi Wen thought she was going to write the greatest historical novel. Turns out, her characters decided that they want to be in the 21st century with modern plumbing, online shopping, and reality TV shows. Her first book comes out in February 2021 – Give Love a Chai.

She lives in New England with her husband and two clingy monkeys (aka toddlers). When she is not despairing over word count, she enjoys reading, snacking, drinking coffee, sitting by the fireplace, hanging out with friends (far apart and with masks) and daydreaming.

Find Nanxi Wen online

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Smartypants Romance BLOG TOUR! Under Pressure by Allie Winters

Under Pressure, an all-new opposites-attract new adult romance from Allie Winters, is now available in Kindle Unlimited! 

Mia knows stress. She’s dealt with it her whole life. So when she gets an opportunity to run a psychology study to help her get into grad school, it should be no problem dealing with the prickly guy she suddenly finds herself paired with.

The one she had a secret crush on last year. The one who refuses to let anyone close. The one she’s discovering by the day may have a softer side than he lets anyone else see…

Tyler knows stress. He’s grappled with it for as long as he can remember. And just because he has to share credit with this girl on his new psychology study doesn’t mean he has to be friends with her. Except she somehow keeps worming her way into his life. In school. In the boxing gym.

In his bed.

But everyone knows it’s safer to keep to yourself. You can’t hurt anyone that way. Even if it means giving up the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

As things heat up in the Stress Lab, will this match be able to work together without disruption, or will this growing attraction between them eventually… combust?

‘Under Pressure ‘ is a full-length new adult contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #1 in the Lessons Learned series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe. 

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Excerpt

“Close your eyes,” he says in that beautifully deep voice, “and take a deep breath. Focus on relaxing each muscle of your body and slowing your breaths. Inhale and exhale with me.” He counts to three steadily, bringing air in, then releases it on the same count of three.

I do all I can to concentrate on his words, the rhythm of it more than anything else, just trying to get out of my own mind. If I can just breathe with him, everything will be okay. This crushing weight will release.

I clutch at his arms like he’s a lifeline and he lets me, wrinkling the sleeves of his soft cotton shirt, taking in shaky breaths next to his strong ones.

We continue that way for long minutes until it’s safe for me to open my eyes, my chest finally rising and falling in an even tempo. My lashes and cheeks are still wet as I look up at him and he slowly brings a hand up to wipe the moisture away, his thumb featherlight on my skin.

He moves to tuck an errant curl behind my ear, brushing my neck as his hand wanders down, leaving shivers in its wake, then cups the back of my head, cradling it tenderly. The warmth of his fingers relaxes the muscles there, even more so when he gently massages the area, loosening the still lingering tension.

He’s silent, his eyes flicking back and forth between my eyes and mouth, and it takes me a moment to realize what he’s signaling. I’m unable to move, to think, to focus on anything but his face gradually coming closer.

I shut my eyes at the first gentle press of his lips. I didn’t know he was capable of such softness, such tenderness. My stomach dips in anticipatory delight as his other hand slides into my hair, holding me more securely to him as he moves his head a fraction, changing the angle of the kiss so it’s deeper now, but still just as slow and exquisitely soft.

I sway toward him, relaxing my hold on his shirt, kissing him back with enthusiasm. I had no idea he felt this way, that he likes me—

A sharp burst of laughter from the hallway outside the lab has us breaking apart, like we were caught doing something wrong… 

About Allie Winters

Allie is the author of the Suncoast University series, the Bishop Brothers series, and the Lessons Learned series. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband, daughter, and two cats. A librarian by day, she spends her nights writing happily ever afters. She enjoys reading, playing video games, and all things Disney.

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Happy Cover Reveal Day to Amy Daws!! Replay, coming April 8, 2021

Replay-Cover Reveal Header-GOOD

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Replay Cover-wrap-LESS GREEN--

Football club lawyer, Santino Rossi is known in the locker room as the two-month chump. For years he’s been on a mission to find someone he can share his basil plant with and cure him of his former playboy ways. So when he ends up stuck in an elevator with the one that got away, the thinks a replay is a great game plan.
Preorder Now

book info

Title: REPLAY
Author: Amy Daws
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: April 8, 2021
Cover Designer: Amy Daws

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full blurb

Replay Cover-wrap-LESS GREEN-front--

Not all players deserve a second chance… no matter how hot their first chance was.

Football club lawyer, Santino Rossi is known in the locker room as the two-month chump. For years he’s been on a mission to find someone he can share his basil plant with and cure him of his former playboy ways.

Tilly Logan is a fiery, Scottish lass who didn’t bat an eye five years ago when a smoldering Italian pulled her into a nightclub bathroom. He was dark, dangerous, and exactly the good time Tilly was looking for—even if he worked for her over-protective brother’s team.

But a lot has changed and when Tilly returns to London five years later only to find herself trapped in an elevator with the smoldering Italian, it isn’t a happy reunion. Especially because her brother blames Santino for her high tailing it back to Scotland in the first place.

Tilly doesn’t want a replay of past mistakes and reconnecting with Santino is playing with fire.

But if they keep their relationship a secret, it could be worth the burn.

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buy links

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Falling in love. Beautiful young couple embracing and smiling wh

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bingeable

Football stadium in lights

Replay reads GREAT as a standalone, but if you’re looking for something to binge while you wait, check out Payback and Blindsided, a couple other spin off characters that are featured in Replay! You’ll be fully prepared for April 8 if you read these two hot footballers! Available in Kindle Unlimited

Payback
Allie Harris thinks a one-night-stand with a hot South African soccer player would be the perfect revenge against her cheating ex. But when her night of passion turns into an ill-conceived payback plan, things take an unexpected twist. Especially when that South African wants more than one night. Read Now

Blindsided
What happens when an almost thirty-year-old virgin agrees to let her Scottish best friend take her virginity? A whole lot more than either of them bargained for… Read Now

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giveaway

Check out Amy’s Facebook page for an awesome giveaway!

Replay-Giveaway-coming

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about the author

Amy Daws Head Shot-sizedown

Amy Daws is an Amazon Top 13 bestselling author of sexy, contemporary romance novels. She enjoys writing love stories that take place in America, as well as across the pond in England. When Amy is not writing in a tire shop waiting room, she’s watching Gilmore Girls, or singing karaoke in the living room with her daughter while Daddy smiles awkwardly from a distance. For more of Amy’s work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com

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stalker links

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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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