Books, New Release, Romance, series, smartypants romance

BLOG TOUR⭐️⭐️NEW SMARTYPANTS ROMANCE RELEASE⭐️⭐️BEFORE AND AFTER YOU by HOPE ELLIS⭐️⭐️

Before and After You, an all-new heartfelt small town romance from Hope Ellis, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited! 

Leigh D’Alessandro is a fighter. She fought to escape her dysfunctional family, to end a soul-killing marriage, and to build a new life in a small Tennessee town.  When the fate of the community hospital she works for is threatened, she’s primed and ready for battle. What she can’t fight any longer is her unshakable attraction to her best friend’s brother, who has a notorious reputation and triggers all her worst fears about trust and betrayal.

Walker Leffersbee is a lover. At least that’s the reputation he’s built in his hometown. Scion of a prosperous Tennessee banking family, he’s a known ladies’ man and a confirmed bachelor. His hands are full as he juggles competing demands from his family’s bank and his growing property renovation business. The last thing he needs is to give in to his long-standing craving for his sister’s headstrong and hot-tempered best friend. Especially because she’s the only one who knows the secret that threatens to upend his life.

When a home renovation project brings them too close for comfort, they both struggle to withstand the growing heat. As they grow closer helping each other navigate family minefields, Walker learns that love is not a four-letter word, and Leigh realizes that some battles are meant to be lost. 

But Walker’s secret is the one thing that could keep them apart, unless they both decide to fight for the love they never looked for but now can’t live without.

‘Before and After You’ is a contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Leffersbee series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Excerpt

I stopped in my tracks, my breath catching in my throat.

Walker Leffersbee.

Damn it.

Indecision glued my feet to the floor, halting my progress as I stared at his frozen profile. I briefly considered turning the opposite way and retracing the same route I’d used coming down.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see him.

That wasn’t the case.

Well, not exactly.

But there were several reasons why his sudden appearance was damned inconvenient.

First, Walker was the older brother of my best friend in the world, Zora Leffersbee. But I didn’t consider Walker to be my brother, not by any stretch of the imagination. Through all the years we’d known each other, our relationship had continually evolved. He was as supportive of me as he was of Zora. But we both knew he didn’t think of me as a sister.

 Which led to the second problem.

Walker Leffersbee was sexy. Sexy as hell. The kind of sexy that always took my brain captive with the grimy bass line of a 90s R&B song and thickened my blood for the heat of inevitable battle. We were always locked in some kind of mental combat, our traded barbs and jabs never quite masking the powerful current of attraction between us. He would have been easy to ignore if my attraction to him were based solely on his physicality. I’d bounced on more than one pretty man in my day and managed to keep my brain cells unscrambled. But he was hot as hell with all those intriguing layers. Damn it. I didn’t have brain space to deal with Walker right now.

“Leigh?”

I stiffened, surfacing from my thoughts. Walker straightened and ambled closer. He moved with the lumbering grace exclusive to big men, a very slight bowleggedness lending his walk a kind of deliberate, sexy swagger. Advancing, he squinted slightly as if trying to make me out in the muted lighting of the hospital’s basement floor. He stopped only three feet away from me.

I disciplined my eyes, sternly instructed them away from the just-right fit of Walker’s huge shoulders in his white broadcloth shirt. I did not allow my eyes to notice how the tip of his conservative navy tie arrowed the path to his tapered waist and the slightest imprint of powerful thighs just visible in his dark slacks. I refused to dwell on how beautifully his perfectly sculpted dark goatee contrasted with the deep mahogany of his skin.

My fingers clenched against the empty wish for a cigarette.

He wasn’t nearly as circumspect, making no effort to disguise the frank assessment in the gaze that slowly crawled upwards from my clogs in slow degrees. I didn’t miss the banked heat in his eyes when his stare finally met mine.

“Golden Boy,” I said, feeling a perverse pleasure at having launched the opening salvo and earning the answering curl at the corner of his lip. He hated that name, I knew. Hated it whenever I reminded of him of who he was. Son of the richest man in the county, heir apparent to a growing banking empire in Tennessee. Why this bothered him, I’d never know. It was hardly a secret, not with him and his father on billboards advertising his family’s bank around Knoxville and Nashville. But that didn’t make it any less fun to pick at him.

“Umbridge.”

I feigned surprise. “What, have you exhausted all the Disney villains? We’re into the Harry Potter lexicon now?”

His answering smile was sharp and wicked. “You know, there are just so many names for the devil. I don’t think I’ll ever come up empty-handed when it comes to you.”

“Good to know. What are you doing here?” I flicked a pointed glance at the doorway to Radiology he’d evidently just come through, and I noticed the orange paper had somehow disappeared into his pocket by the time he greeted me.

And … cue the third complication.

Walker Leffersbee and I shared a secret, and seeing him here had just made it much more, well, complicated.

About Hope Ellis

USA Today bestselling author Hope Ellis is a health outcomes researcher by day and writes romances featuring sexy nerds by night.  She hopes to one day conquer her habit of compulsively binge-watching The Office.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About L.B. Dunbar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3) Someone wants him dead.

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

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

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

Read Code of Ethics TODAY!

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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.

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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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NEW RELEASE 🌲FORREST FOR THE TREES🌲 by Kilby Blades BLOG TOUR 🌲

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

Grab your copy TODAY!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3mjGDE7

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3xRkjUh

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Audiobook: https://bit.ly/2YyfPG7

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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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

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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. 

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3b7rRui

Audiobook: Coming later this year!

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. 

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Audiobook: Coming Soon!

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.

Find Allie Winters online

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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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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.
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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

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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!

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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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