Books, New Release, Romance, smartypants romance, Uncategorized

New Release: Weight Expectations, Cipher Office book 1 from Penny Reid’s Smartypants Romance

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Hilarious, engaging and relatable, I
started laughing out loud from the first page” — Kristin Vayden, bestselling author

Weight Expectations, the first in
the romantic comedy Cipher Office series of standalones, from M.E. Carter is available
now!

Rian Thompson thought she
joined the gym to get healthy. Little did she know she was about to add hundred and ninety
pounds of swoonworthy abdominal muscles and arrogance to her life.

Every day in Rians’s life follows a
predictable pattern, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s got a nice job, a nice place to
live, and a nice family—even if they are a little wedding-zilla-ish at the moment.

She doesn’t need anything
spectacular to be happy. She just needs to get healthy—mentally, physically. . . and maybe
spiritually if that happens. But she’ll settle for two out of three until her sister finally gets
hitched.

Carlos Davies thought his life
was perfect. Little did he know it was about to be turned upside down by a woman who is not his
type.

In Carlos’s mind, his life is damn
near perfect. He’s got a great job, a great place to live, and a great stash of pick up lines that
always work. It has occurred to him that maybe no one actually takes him all that seriously. But
with these bulging biceps and thick, dark hair, does that even matter since he’s never sleeping
alone?

Welcome to Weight Expectations,
where great—and unexpected—things happen.

‘Weight Expectations’ is a full-
length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the
Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy today or
read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon:
https://amzn.to/2nQ4Rtx

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/WeightExpectations

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2lZkGwJ

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2k6uftk

About M.E. Carter

My name is ME Carter and I have
no idea how I ended writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better)
and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper. I love reading (read
almost 200 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes
me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most
people never see. I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was
just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for
his therapy someday for being left out.

Connect with M.E. Carter

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ly7Fu3

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzBqdQ

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2k4SZCf

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2k1O4Sx

Website: https://www.authormecarter.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kvDnb4

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzyduO

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGdIMQ

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kwKsYK

Website: https://smartypantsromance.com/

 

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Books, New Release, Romance, smartypants romance, Uncategorized

New Release: Code of Conduct, Cipher Security book 1 from Penny Reid’s Smartypants Romance!

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Sharp writing, layered characters, and
wonderful tension flow through this book, along with a super-swoon-worthy hero and a kick ass
heroine I just love.” — Elizabeth Hunter, USA Today bestselling author

Code of Conduct, the first in the
romantic suspense Cipher Security series of standalones, from April White is available
now!

There are three things you need to know about Shane
P.I.

1) P.I. is not her last name, it’s her
job title,

2) Her specialty is catching
cheaters, and

3) She’s a superhuman – kind
of.

Gabriel is a security expert for
Cipher Security, and a former UN Peacekeeper with a fierce protective streak that finds its focus
on the beautiful P.I.

Their attraction is like an elephant
in a room full of breakable things, and figuring out how to trust each other with their hearts, and
maybe their lives, is the most fragile thing of all.

‘Code of Conduct’ is a full-
length romantic suspense novel, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Cipher
Security series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Universe.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2k5hoYk

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2m20xpX

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/CodeofConduct

Nook: http://bit.ly/2jXkVHY

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jXkQUG

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2m0Tjm3

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2lyxxWG

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2lZklKt

About April White

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.

Connect with April

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2lyxY3g

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ly75wn

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2k4SdVR

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2k6tCzY

Website: https://aprilwhitebooks.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kvDnb4

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzyduO

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGdIMQ

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kwKsYK

Website: https://smartypantsromance.com/

 

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Kindle Unlimited, New Release

New Release! The Price of Scandal by Lucy Score

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Lucy Score is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors; in fact, she was one of my FIRST favorite romance authors. Her Blue Moon series remains one of the most delightful series I’ve ever read. She is also the author of several standalone books, my favorite of which is Mr. Fixer Upper. She is also the co-author of the Bootleg Springs series, along with Claire Kingsley.

Her new standalone is called The Price of Scandal: A Bluewater Billionaire’s Romantic Comedy. I’m not a big fan of the billionaire trope, but it’ s Lucy, so….

Here’s a little preview, from Lucy’s Facebook group called Binge Readers Anonymous (aka the BRAs. Join us, you won’t regret it!):

“Emily is a badass science nerd who built a thriving skin care empire. Derek is the naughty crisis management expert who is going to fix everything when it all goes to hell. He’s also naked in her bathtub… And there’s a swearing parrot… And a three-legged aligator… And four romance novelists who may sound a tiny bit familiar…”

The description via Amazon is as follows:

“I’m the fixer your board hired to clean up your mess.”

“So you show up here, break into my house, and take a bath?”

Emily Stanton’s perfect life just became a disaster. She has a trust fund brother looking for a handout, a father who is more board member than dad, and a mother who thinks she should give up on this whole billionaire CEO thing and meet a man with a pre-nup and a yacht.

Oh, and then there’s that “misunderstanding” with law enforcement witnessed by Miami’s paparazzi. Now her billion-dollar deal is on the line, and there’s a naked man in her bathtub who claims he’s going to make all her problems disappear.

Charming—and happy to bend the rules when necessary—Derek Price has made a living polishing the tarnished images of the rich and famous. He’s never lost, and he never takes clients to bed. Until the dazzling Emily. Derek promised her a win and offered up a lifetime supply of orgasms as part of the deal. But if he can’t stop her enemies, he’ll end up losing much more than he bargained for.

Author Notes: An enemies-to-allies-to-lovers workplace romcom with a meet-nude, four lady billionaire BFFs, a hero whose many talents include styling hair and picking pockets, the best dang drag queen brunch in Miami, and a shameless romance novelist cameo.romance novelist cameo.

I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet, but it’s on the top of my TBR pile. All of Lucy’s books are available through Kindle Unlimited, so if you subscribe to that service, you are in luck!

Find The Price of Scandal here

Uncategorized

Book Review: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

5 out of 5 Stars

Okay I did it. I gave this one all the love. It takes A LOT for me to give a 5. It has to have a significant impact on thoughts and create a connection. This is everything I could want in a book.

This story takes you on quite a journey. Vivian is a well-to-do young girl in the 40s trying to sort out who she is and where she belongs. She is writing a letter to Angela who has asked Vivian how she came to know her father. (I’m purposefully not telling you who Angela is). This sets the scene for the retelling of her rollercoaster adult life. After dropping out of college, Vivian is sent to live with her zany Aunt Peg (I also have an Aunt Peg).  Viv takes her seamstress talent to work at her aunt’s off beat theater. She quickly finds herself swept up in the fast and tawdry lifestyle of the years before WWII. Men, cocktails, late nights (early mornings), fancy clubs, you get the idea. In what may be the apex of the story and the turning point, her need to “be a part of” and her naivety leads her to make a decision that turns her life upside down.  Along the way we all have the privilege of meeting many interesting characters, with interesting stories that are unique for the time period. She goes on to tell the story of her adult life, of which she does find fulfillment. Angela gets to learn (perhaps more than she wanted) about how Vivian knew her father. I won’t spoil it because you will be wondering, “who is Angela’s father” for the majority of the book. And it is SO GOOD! I didn’t see it coming. This book throws you curveballs when you aren’t expecting them. And at times, the writing was funny, making you smile.

There is also a serious tone to this book. Dark and serious. We also get to feel the impact, and societal shift, that happens when the U.S. joined World War II. NYC would never be the same. Women went to work in professions that perhaps they had not in the past. Men (and some women) went to war. Some rushed to marry. Some never came home. And after the war ended, NYC was a different world.

At one point during the first half, I was like, okay, I get it move on. I was becoming “done” with hearing that arrogant accent of fancy Golden Age “The-a-tah” actors have been portrayed to possess. But yet it was vivid, dense, and delicious. Goodness the second half of this book I could NOT put down. I was highlighting so many introspectful quotes (29 total). I would read some lines and sit there pondering them. City of Girls is full of surprises and full of depth. I can see this book becoming a movie, and I truly hope it does.

 

Quotes that I loved:

-“A person only gets to move to New York City for the first time in her life once, Angela, and it’s a pretty big deal.”

-“But this is a city that gets born anew in the fresh eyes of every young person who arrives here for the first time. So that city, that place—newly created for my eyes only—will never exist again. It is preserved forever in my memory like an orchid trapped in a paperweight. That city will always be my perfect New York.”

-“This is what flirtation is in its purest form—a conversation held without words. Flirtation is a series of silent questions that one person asks another person with their eyes. And the answer to those questions is always the same word: Maybe.”

-“You must learn in life to take things more lightly, my dear. The world is always changing. Learn how to allow for it. Someone makes a promise, and then they break it. A play gets good notices, and then it folds. A marriage looks strong, and then they divorce. For a while there’s no war, and then there’s another war. If you get too upset about it all, you become a stupid, unhappy person—and where’s the good in that?”

-“When we are young, Angela, we may fall victim to the misconception that time will heal all wounds and that eventually everything will shake itself out. But as we get older, we learn this sad truth: some things can never be fixed. Some mistakes can never be put right—not by the passage of time, and not by our most fervent wishes, either. In my experience, this is the hardest lesson of them all.”

-“After a certain age, we are all walking around this world in bodies made of secrets and shame and sorrow and old, unhealed injuries. Our hearts grow sore and misshapen around all this pain—yet somehow, still, we carry on.”

-“When something ends, let it end.”

-“This is what I’ve found about life, as I’ve gotten older: you start to lose people, Angela. It’s not that there is ever a shortage of people—oh, heavens no. It is merely that—as the years pass—there comes to be a terrible shortage of your people. The ones you loved. The ones who knew the people that you both loved. The ones who know your whole history.”

[I lost it reading this last one. The flow of the text into this conversation and the raw truth of it.]

 

Book Review, Books, netgalley, New Release, Romance

Review of Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

Four out of five delightful stars

I really liked this book, from its nerdy references (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) to the discussion of the more historical literary works (Jane Eyre, Little Women) as well as the peek behind the scenes of an author’s life, it was fun to read and very well written. There was also a bit of a mystery to solve, which I will not spoil, but it definitely kept me guessing and kept me reading!

That being said, this book should be considered less of a romance and more of a fantasy. Maddie, the heroine, had four men vying for her attention. Four! I can barely get one to show any interest, so I just had to chalk that up as a fantastical plot device. However, this was my first book by this author, and I requested it from Netgalley because I liked the summary, so I knew what I was getting into! I just had to suspend my disbelief a little bit.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Maddie has a bit of an online flirtation going on with a reviewer she knows as Silver Fox, and I loved this aspect of the story! I think the “flirty exchanges with an online stranger” storylines are super sexy and fun. If only real life online dating went as well as what I read in books!

I also love books that make me say, out loud, “oh wow…” and this one did. I’m looking forward to reading this author’s other books and I’d encourage you to give this one a try! Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Buy Dating by the Book on Amazon here

Book Review, Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Uncategorized

Our Ten Most Anticipated Summer Reads

Summer 2019

What We Are Reading

Well, July starts in a couple of days, so it’s past time for us to talk about the books that have us most excited this summer. Bekka and I generally have similar taste in books, but I think it will be fun to see how different our lists are! In no particular order, here are five of the books that I am looking forward to reading this summer!

Beth’s Summer Must Reads

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Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand

“Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changedin New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel”

There are certain authors that I can count on to release a book in the summer, and I don’t even have to know what it’s about in order to put it on my TBR list. Elin Hilderbrand is one of those authors. Her books primarily take place on Nantucket, which is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t made it yet, despite the fact that my dad grew up in New England. Her books are wonderful written, moving and funny, and characters from her other books pop up from time to time. I love when authors do that! If you haven’t read her books, my favorites are The Blue Bistro, The Rumor, and Barefoot. Her Winter series is also very good. I’m especially excited to read this one, since it takes place during the summer of the year I was born.  Summer of 69 was released on June 18, 2019.

 

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Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.”

Kristin Higgins is another of the authors that I always read during the summer. She started off as a romance author, but has recently moved into women’s fiction. I enjoyed her romance books, but her past few books have been deeply moving and wonderful. She’s one of those authors that can make you laugh one minute and cry the next. I’ve read so many of her books, that I can’t even list my favorites! Life and Other Inconveniences will be released on August 6, 2019.

 

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Gin Fling (Bootleg Springs #5) by Lucy Score and Claire Kingsley

“A slow grin spread across his face and I had to turn away from the wattage. It was like staring at the sun. The handsome sun that was making my core temperature rise and causing a hormone dump in my brain. — Shelby Thompson “

In order to get the most out of this book, you would need to read the first four books in the Bootleg Springs series, but I’d definitely recommend that! This series centers around the Bodine siblings and the disappearance of a young woman, Callie Kendall, that took place years ago in their hometown of Bootleg Springs, West Virginia. Lucy Score and her writing partner, Claire Kingsley, have split up the six books in this series, each taking three of the stories. Gin Fling is Lucy’s third Bootleg Springs book, and I can’t wait to get closer to finding out what happened to Callie Kendall. This book also reveals the relationship that develops between Jonah Bodine and Shelby Thompson. Gin Fling was released on June 25, 2019 and is available on Kindle Unlimited.

 

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Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers # 6) by Sarina Bowen

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series is about the lives of the players on a fictional hockey team. It occasionally crosses over with True North, another of Ms. Bowen’s series, but each book can be read as a standalone. I actually have a couple of books in this series that I haven’t read yet (Hard Hitter, Pipe Dreams, Overnight Sensation) so it looks like it will be a hockey summer for me! Sarina Bowen is one of my favorite authors, (her Man Hands series with Tanya Eby and her standalone titled Top Secret are amazing!)  I can’t wait to get caught up on the lives of Bruisers Patrick, Mike and Jason so I can see what trouble Silas is getting into! Superfan was released on June 25, 2019.

 

 

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Preservation (Walsh Series #7) by Kate Canterbary

Two lonely hearts. An arrangement of mutual benefit. One wild weekend. Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.

I read the first book in this 8-book series about the Walsh siblings a couple of years ago, and was excited to read the rest of them (I even bought book 2, The Space Between, right after reading the first book, Underneath it All), but other books always got in the way. When a 99 cent deal came along for Kindle Unlimited last month, I jumped on it and decided to read the rest of the Walsh family books while I had the chance. I’m so glad I did. Last week, I devoured books 3 and 5 (Necessary Restorations, and Restored, which were both about Tiel and Sam) and am currently reading (and listening to!) book 4 (The Cornerstone, which is Shannon and Will’s story). I am eagerly anticipating getting to Preservation, which is about the youngest Walsh sibling, Riley, but I’m not going to rush through the rest of the series because it’s way too good for that! The Walsh series is available on Kindle Unlimited.

 

Bekka’s Summer Must Reads

Every Spring I spend quite a bit of time combing through summer reading lists and “season’s best beach reads” to develop the perfect list. I talk to friends, I scour Amazon editor picks, Good Reads “summer” shelves, and popular magazine most-anticipated lists. Here’s what I’m reading this summer!!!

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

The New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and The Good Luck Charm delivers a Hollywood happily-ever-after where a famous heartthrob falls for his ultimate fangirl.
 
“As charming as its title, but it’s also so much more… Fans of Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date and Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient will love Meet Cute.” —The Washington Independent Review of Books
Read my review here.

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han. – Amazon

I just finished this one and it is summer-rific! Transporting you back to what it was like to be a teenager dealing with changes, hopes, possibilities. Set at a beach house, you’ll get right into the feel of summer with this one. Stay tuned for a full review.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.  – Amazon

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

I added this one because all good summer book lists have a Beatriz Williams novel on it (sorry Beth, LOL).

Beatriz Williams, the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives, is back with another hot summer read; a dazzling epic of World War II in which a beautiful young “society reporter” is sent to the Bahamas, a haven of spies, traitors, and the infamous Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  – Amazon

 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Named a “Must-Read” by TODAY, Us Weekly, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Goodreads, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, Southern Living, Book Riot, Woman’s Day, The Toronto Star, and more!

 From one of Beth and my favorite author duos comes what I anticipate to be a hilarious and satisfying summer read. Read Beth’s full review here.

 

 

 

 

Because I just can’t help myself here are others that I am planning to read or have already:

The Mister by E.L. James

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah

I Think You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Ready to Fall by Daisy Prescott (Recommended by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Hunter)

Fifth Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen

Book Review, Romance

Book Review: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

3.5/5 Stars

Don’t let this cutsie soda shop cover fool you! I was expecting a fluffy, predictable romance read. From the beginning, I quickly learned that this assumption was very wrong. I’m not sure why the publisher or marketing team went with this cover because it evokes a feeling that is very different from the content of the story. Any how! This story of law school rivals had me glued for 2 days. I read it while drying my hair, cooking dinner, and in place of tuning in to the Bachelorette! Ha.

Daxton is, IMO, fashioned after Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell. He was a childhood star who Kailyn had as her teenage crush. We’re talking posters in her room and t-shirts. When she stumbles over him, literally, in law school, the rivalry began. After we meet this young characters we are transported to 5 years later where they once again meet. A horrible, sudden tragedy brings them together. Hunting brings us along for a journey of interesting interpersonal dynamics and weaves their story beautifully.

This book made it to my summer anticipated list. I enjoyed the story and makes for a nice read. It doesn’t evoke “summer” to me necessarily, but was entertaining and worth one-clicking. 🙂

Quotes I loved:

“Heartache is the worst affliction. It robs a person of rationality, of logic, of forethought and patience. It makes everything good painfully bright and magnifies the bad with an intensity that’s difficult to tolerate.”

“Appearance is half the battle in this world. Appear poised and successful, and people will believe you are. Visualize success.”

“I like cups with handles.” (because, me too)