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!
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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
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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!

Buy on Amazon

Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Romance, series, smartypants romance

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.  

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Audiobook: Coming later this year! 

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.

Find Susannah Nix online

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B072KHZS5W 

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Twitter: @Susannah_Nix 

Website: https://www.susannahnix.com/ 

Connect with Smartypants Romance

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

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.

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Start the Fighting For Love series of standalones!

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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.

Find Jiffy Kate online

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

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.

audiobook, Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, series

New Release! Roommate, True North series, by Sarina Bowen

Brand new M/M release from Sarina Bowen!

Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.  

I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed. 

Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: a room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread. 

I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me. 

A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another fresh-baked pretzel. But if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.

Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart… 

My Review: I love Sarina Bowen’s books, especially the True North series, which was my introduction to this author. I’ve read all but one of the books in this series, and this is one of my favorites. Perhaps you might not pick this book up because you haven’t read a M/M story and you’re not sure you would like it. My advice is to go for it, give it a chance, ESPECIALLY if you listen to the audiobook instead of reading the ebook.

I love audiobooks, but I’m pretty particular about my female narrators. No need to worry about that here! This audiobook is read by two terrific narrators: Teddy Hamilton, who is in my top three narrators of all time, and Stephen Dexter, who I first heard as Dan the Security Man in Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series (so I kind of miss his Boston accent in this.) If you’re unsure about M/M, listen to the book. I think if the story doesn’t hook you right away, these guys will. One hot guy reading an audiobook is great, but two hot guys? It doesn’t get any better.

There is so much depth to this story. It hooked me right from the first chapter, because I love a couple with a complicated history. We’ve met Kieran Shipley in the other True North books, and learning his story made me want to go back and re-read the other books, which is always a sign of a good addition to a series. Roderick is a new character, and he is just delightful. They each have family issues, and job issues, and relationship issues. In essence, super relatable. It goes without saying that this book deals with LGBQT issues, but they are handled with great care and love.

I love love loved this couple, and this book, and I really wish they were going to get a sequel, because I would love to see Kieran and Roderick growing old together and living happily ever after.

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

Release week excerpt:

Back at home, I do all the chores and then some. 

First I put the cows in the north pasture. Moving cows is easy enough in good weather. It only requires me to move the portable fence and wave them through the opening. “Go on, enjoy,” I say as they file past me eagerly. Our herd is grass fed, and they don’t need to be asked twice. The long, seedy grass and corn stalks I’m offering are like a recently freshened, all-you-can-eat buffet.

Let’s face it—the cows are easier to handle than any of my family members. They go where they’re needed, no questions asked. But my dog—Rexie—gives the cows a nice loud woof just to pretend he’s working hard. 

After the cow parade, I close up the fence and turn the electricity on. After that, I spend forty-five minutes raking cow shit out of the lower farmyard in the dark. 

It’s boring drudge work, and my mind starts to wander. And, fuck, it wanders right to Roderick Waites—the guy who climbed out of a blue Volkswagen and right back into my brain.

I wish I could say I haven’t thought about him since high school, but that would be a lie. And if I were a more spiritual person, I’d probably interpret Roderick’s reappearance in town as a sign. A wakeup call.

Nobody knows all the tangled things in my brain, but for a split second when I was a teenager, Roderick came close to learning one of my biggest secrets. 

The first time I saw him on his knees in front of another guy, it was an accident. 

It was autumn then, too. I’d been at a high school football game. It was chilly that night and, last second before leaving for the game, I’d grabbed my dad’s jacket from the hook by the door. After shoving my hands into the pockets while standing on the windy sidelines, I’d found a flask of whiskey. My father must have last worn the jacket when he was sitting out in the deer blind with his pals. Bonus

But, of course, I’d had to sneak around to find a place to take a taste. 

Leaving the crowd and the game, I ducked inside the door to the school’s gym. Under the cover of the bleachers, I drew out my dad’s flask, and unscrewed the top. Just as I raised it to my lips, I froze at the sound of whispered voices. Whoever was speaking had entered the gym at the other end of the bleachers. 

Their shadowy figures weren’t easily visible. But I guessed it was a couple looking for a little privacy for a make-out session. And since a couple sneaking off together wasn’t a threat to me, I stood my ground. 

I took a swallow of my father’s hooch. My first sip wasn’t life-changing—it burned going down and made my eyes water—it’s what happened next that changed everything. 

After screwing the lid on the flask and pocketing it, I ducked out of the gym and into the hallway. Feeling nosy, I walked toward the gym’s other entrance, noiseless in my Nikes. When I reached the door, I eased into a position that allowed me to spy on the couple I’d heard whispering to each other. They were silent now, and I wanted to know why. 

When I saw who it was, I swear my heart almost stopped. A varsity soccer player—Jared Harvey—stood beneath the bleachers, bracing his hands on a tread overhead. Roderick Waites knelt in front of him, unzipping Jared’s jeans. 

You can bet I didn’t even blink for the next five minutes…

Find all the links to purchase here: https://shor.by/roommate

#roommate #sarinabowen #truenorthseries #gayromance #kieranandroderick #vermont #coffeeshop #fivestars #audiobook #audible #teddyhamilton #stephendexter

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

BLOG TOUR – New Release – Gimme S’more, Hot Cakes #6, by Erin Nicholas

Is there a sweeter spot in his life for the woman who’s always had his back–and possibly even his heart?

Gimme S’more, an all-new sweet and sexy opposites-attract standalone romantic comedy in the Hot Cakes Series by New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas is available now!

REVIEW: We’ve been waiting for Ollie and Piper’s story, and this was worth waiting for. I missed a couple of books in the series, so I’m going to have to go back and read those. When you get to the later books in a series, there are always a ton of characters to keep track of. That makes it a little difficult if you haven’t read the other books, even though these can technically be read as a standalone. It was a fun book, but occasionally a little silly, and the sexy times were not quite the steamy level I’m used to with Erin Nicholas.

A friends-to-lovers romance that will make you melt.

Oliver’s a dreamer who is always ready for the next big adventure.
Piper’s the steady one who keeps his feet on the ground.

He’s wildly successful, thanks to her always being there to catch him when he leaps before he looks. But she wants more. While he’s as clueless as ever.

So she just gave her two weeks notice.

Ollie doesn’t know how he’ll survive without Piper. So for the next two weeks, he’ll be sticking to her like the marshmallows on the s’mores she loves so much.

But does he want her as his assistant… or is there a sweeter spot in his life for the woman who’s always had his back–and possibly even his heart?

Download your copy today!
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Excerpt

The guys were going to kill him.
Ollie scrubbed a hand over his face.
They wouldn’t be surprised, of course. But they were going to be pissed.
They’d all known that Piper quitting was a risk and that one day she’d probably wise-up and lose her patience and that would be it.
They’d also all known that when it happened there was a 90 percent chance it would be because of Ollie.
The other 10 percent chance was that it would be because of Ollie and Dax together.
And now it had finally happened.
If it came down to choosing between him and Piper, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know how that debate would end up. Or how short the discussion would be before they decided they wanted and needed her more.
That was only one of the reasons he hadn’t told them yet.
The other was because he was still processing the part where she’d said she loved him.
What was he supposed to do with that?
She wasn’t just supposed to say that out loud right to him, was she? He had not been expecting that. The guys and their girlfriends had insinuated for a while now that Piper might have a crush on him but no, he hadn’t expected her to ever say anything herself.
It was a might have. A crush. Okay, they were adults and maybe adults didn’t have crushes exactly, but everything anyone had said suggested that it was just that Piper thought he was interesting at times and that she didn’t hate spending time with him.
But a crush wasn’t love. For fuck’s sake.
And it had to be Piper?
Piper Barry was amazing. She was gorgeous. She was smart. She was capable. She could do anything. She was funny and sweet and sassy and tough.
She was intimidating as hell.
What was he supposed to do with her now?
What was he supposed to do without her now?
Well, the solution seemed pretty obvious. She’d basically given him the answer herself—I can’t be in love with you and work for you. And the only one of those two things I can change is the working for you part.
So he needed to get her to not be in love with him anymore. Then she’d come back to work and all would be fine.
Now he just had to get her to realize she could do a hell of a lot better than him.
Of course, he’d been a pain in her ass for five years now. If that didn’t do it, he wasn’t sure what would.

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

BLOG TOUR: Smartypants Romance release, Stranger Ranger, Park Ranger series #2, by Daisy Prescott – now available in KU

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Stranger Ranger, an all-new standalone contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author Daisy Prescott, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!

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This is the final release in the Smartypants Romance Spring 2020 launch, and I’ve read every one. Only a few of them have gotten five stars from me, and Stranger Ranger is one of them. I also loved the first book in this series, Happy Trail, which is the story of Olive and Jay, a ranger at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stranger Ranger is about Odin and Daphne, who is a co-worker of Jay’s.

There is so much to love about this story. Daphne and Odin are two self-professed weirdos, and I can totally relate. I saw a lot of myself in Daphne (she’s even a Hufflepuff, like me!) She can be awkward, she is a rule-follower, she’s trying to overcome a lifetime of expectations and become who she wants to be, she loves to learn and travel and have new experiences. Also, “loopy” Daphne is just adorable. I feel like we just scratched the surface of who she is, and where she came from, and I would have loved to know even more about her. That is the sign of a great character.

I liked Odin a lot, and would have liked to know more of his backstory, as well. It was touched on, but I definitely would have read a few more chapters about how he became who he is, and questionable choices in his past that he is trying to overcome. We meet his family briefly, and find out a bit about why he’s returned to his home in the mountains after being away for several years. I love a good origin story, and I wanted more of Odin’s!

There wasn’t a lot of steam to this story, which is absolutely fine. It was sweet, with a bit of a slow burn that I wouldn’t have minded being even slower. 🙂 They got to know each other as we all do, in little bits and pieces, as they spent more time together. There wasn’t a big conflict or a huge reveal of secrets, or a giant misunderstanding that they had to struggle to overcome. I’ve read a few books lately where there was a conflict that seemed manufactured just for the angst factor, and it was wonderful to not have that here.

I didn’t want this book to end. I could have stayed up late to finish it, but I wanted to save the last few chapters for the next day so I could extend my time with it just a little bit. I hope there are many more Park Ranger books to come!

New park ranger Daphne Baum is a reformed good girl. Breaking free from her overbearing family as soon as she turned eighteen, she’s been on her own ever since. The life of a park ranger, moving from park to park, suits her just fine. Though still a rule follower, she’s okay with a little sin in her life.

Every generation of Hill men has its black sheep. The general consensus among the family is that Odin Hill is the lucky bastard this go around. At seventeen, he blew out of town like an angry tornado only to return fifteen years later withdrawn and secretive. Living like a recluse in the hollows in the Smoky Mountains, he’s happy to keep to himself and is content to let locals believe he’s the town weirdo. Odin prefers the company of his pet pig to the nosy citizens of Green Valley.

When Daphne discovers Odin might be committing nefarious deeds on park land, she vows to find out the truth behind the handsome, yet chaotic, loner. Will the stranger help the ranger discover the difference between being good and doing the right thing? Or will they find themselves on opposite sides of love?

‘Stranger Ranger’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #2 in the Park Ranger series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy of Stranger Ranger TODAY!

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Check out Happy Trail, book 1 in the Park Ranger series of standalones, FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt

By early afternoon, the crowd at the farmers’ market fades, leaving only stragglers, bargainers, and tourists sampling the charms of small town life.

I’ve had enough people for the week I’m looking forward to the quiet of my own company. All the talking and friendly chatter exhaust me. You’d think vegetables would sell themselves given they’re pretty self-explanatory. Yet folks wanna hear a story about a carrot being grown from the guy who pulled it out of the dirt himself. So I play my part of the happy farmer at the stand. It’s my bad luck I’ve always been charming. Part of my DNA.

My family has lived in the mountains surrounding Green Valley longer than anyone around here can remember. Before there was a National Park or even a Cades Cove, the Hills had established a homestead in the Smokies straddling Tennessee and North Carolina.

Because our last name is Hill, some people like to joke we put the hill in hillbilly. Jethro Winston for example. He’s hysterical. Some people think they have a sense of humor when they’re just being mean-spirited. As my Nannie Ida always says, glass houses provide good views, but then again, so do mirrors.

This is why I prefer the company of Patsy over most folks. She’s smart, a good listener, tidy, and doesn’t give a damn about my family and reputation. She has more class than a lot of the gossips and Sunday church-goers around here.

After I consolidate the remaining produce into crates and load up the van, I fold the tables and collapse my tent. While I work, the face of the brunette ranger floats through my mind.

She looked familiar but I didn’t recognize her name. It isn’t likely our paths have crossed. I don’t get out much and I’m not hanging around the bars or the visitor center in Cades Cove. Normally, one of my cousins covers the stand at the weekly farmers’ market and I can avoid the crowds. This is what happens when I let my guard down and am forced to engage with the public. I get iceberg and Bible quotes. I’ve never been a fan of either.

Bothered I’m still thinking about her, I close and lock up the van.

“Come on Patsy, let’s go for a walk.”

She gives a happy snort and steps closer to where her leash hangs on the top rail of her pen.

When the two of us stroll through town, folks stare. It’s worse when they insist on sharing a comment, tell the same old joke, and, in general, make a fuss. Honestly, I assume at this point people seeing the two of us together would be old news around here.

Guess some folks don’t have enough going on in their lives that they need to make commentary about people minding their own damn business.

I don’t understand what the big deal is about a man walking his pig.

Patsy’s excellent on a leash. Doesn’t pull. Has never instigated fights with dogs. Hasn’t bit anyone. Doesn’t do her business in the middle of the sidewalk. In my mind, she’s much better mannered than any old hound dog.

She’s pretty darn perfect in every conceivable way.

Except the one time she trampled Mrs. MacClure’s flower bed.

Even that was my fault for not paying closer attention to where we were walking.

If I had to find fault with her, Patsy thinks she’s in charge. And she’s a little more than spoiled. I only have myself to blame.

“Clarice, please tell me you see that man walking his pig.” A woman shouts to her friend and points from about three feet away.

“I’m not invisible,” I tell her with a flat smile.

“Oh dear.” Her companion rolls her eyes. “You’re a tall drink of cool water, aren’t you?”

The question is rhetorical. Being compared to a refreshing beverage doesn’t require a response, so I remain quiet. Patsy tugs on her leash and releases a frustrated snort that we’ve stopped walking.

“You two have a nice day, m‘kay.” I step off the sidewalk to pass them.

I’d like to say their behavior is atypical. If I hear “You’re like the Jolly Green Giant. Only less green” one more time …

For the record, I am not jolly.

There must be something in the well water around here. We grow ‘em tall in Green Valley.

Does a pig need to be walked on leash for health and exercise? No.

I’m the only weirdo in all of Green Valley who likes to take my daily constitutional accompanied by a sow. Not even Cletus Winston is as much of an oddball as I am. And that’s saying something.

He’s only interested in pigs and boar in terms of sausage. In my opinion, he’s missing out. If we were friends, or even friendly acquaintances, I might suggest we partner up. Truffle salami can be incredible. Or so I remember. I don’t eat pork anymore. Not since I’ve had Patsy. I’d be offended if she ate human body parts around me.

Hogs will eat pretty much anything you give them. A few years ago a pig farmer went missing. Wife said he ran off with his mistress. Everyone believed her until his gold tooth turned up in the muck and mud of their hog pens. Macabre, but true.

I don’t eat pork and Patsy doesn’t eat me. It’s an unspoken pact between us.

Not that she’s some sort of demon pig crazed with bloodlust. Not at all. She’s the best pig in eastern Tennessee. Don’t need a blue ribbon from the state fair to make it true.

This leisurely stroll around town is all part of my ruse.

If someone sees us ambling someplace we don’t belong, they’ll leave us alone, which is the entire point.

There’s freedom in being a weirdo. Folks keep their distance. Sure, there are the asinine comments, but for the most part they assume I’m dim-witted or crazy. Fine by me. With or without my porcine sidekick, I’ve always been different. I learned early on that people like to form and hold onto their own opinions. Pointless to try to change someone’s mind. What they think of me is their problem, not mine.

About Daisy Prescott

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, Mulder, and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

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