Books, New Release, Romance, series, Uncategorized

New Release! Replay by Amy Daws!

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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, he thinks a replay is a great game plan.
Download now or read in Kindle Unlimited

book info

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

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full blurb

Replay Cover-wrap-LESS GREEN-front--

Anyone can fall for their brother’s best friend…Tilly Logan fell for her brother’s enemy.

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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★★★★★ Replay was absolutely BRILLIANT and definitely one of the BEST and my FAVORITE romances from Amy Daws! Tilly and Santino were EVERYTHING, and their story was perfect in every way and went above and beyond my expectations.

The storyline and characters were utter perfection, and I loved them with all of my heart. The plot—especially some unexpected twists along the way—was mind-blowing and took me on an incredibly special and memorable journey. The characters were out of this world fantastic. Tilly, Santino, and the rest of the gang were a truly phenomenal group of characters that I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for. They provided endless laughs, smiles, and entertainment, and I couldn’t have loved it—and them—more.

Sexy, hilarious, angsty, emotional, and swoon-worthy, Replay was an absolute MUST READ spin-off standalone sports romance in the Harris Brothers world, and Tilly and Santino’s story is NOT to be missed! Super excited for what Amy Daws has in store next! -The Romance Bibliophile

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“Sei bellissima stasera,” I growl, sliding my hands into her loose, straight locks as I press my lips to hers for a quick kiss. I drag the backs of my fingers down her pale cheek and add, “Beautiful.”
She grips my arms, her eyes wide and challenging. “How did I never know you spoke Italian?”

“I’m a man of mystery.” I dip my nose to the area below her ear, inhaling her intoxicating scent of honey and citrus. After spending the night making out with her a few days ago, I haven’t been able to stop craving her scent. She arches into my touch, and the motion causes my cock to stir inside my jeans. Pulling back, I stare at her lips. “And no one said I spoke good Italian. I might have just told you that you look like a beetroot.”

Her hands slide up the short sleeves of my shirt, her fingers biting into my biceps. “I love beetroots.”

“Nobody loves beetroots.” I laugh and tilt my head with a smug look. “Hai delle labbra così deliziose…Vorrei tanto baciarti.”

Her jaw drops. “What did you just say?”

Smiling, I lean in and whisper against her lips, “I said your lips are so delicious…I would really like to kiss you.”

Without pause, I fuse our mouths together and tease my tongue along her lush lips. She tastes minty, and that, coupled with her honey scent, has me deepening the kiss even further. Her hands move from my arms to my waist as she fists my T-shirt. When I thrust my tongue deep into her mouth, she inhales sharply, and her faint moan vibrates against my lips. Moving my hands down to her arse, I pull her into me so she can feel the effect she’s having on me.
“Okay, Sonny Corleone, no need to get cheeky.” She breaks our kiss, her face adorably flushed as she glances around nervously and finger combs her mussed locks. “We’re in public, after all.”

I shove my hands into my pockets. “It’s been a long time.”

“It’s been a few days.”

“Give or take five years.” I wink playfully, causing her to roll her eyes.

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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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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 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susannahnix/ 

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/160037207970579/ 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/susannah-nix 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susannahnixauthor/ 

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16880740.Susannah_Nix 

Twitter: @Susannah_Nix 

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

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

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!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/36ZjKwl

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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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Books, cover reveal, Future book announcement, Kindle Unlimited, Romance

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

Replay-Cover Reveal Header-GOOD

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Replay Cover-wrap-LESS GREEN--

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

book info

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

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full blurb

Replay Cover-wrap-LESS GREEN-front--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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buy links

Preorder Hereadd-to-goodreads-button1

Falling in love. Beautiful young couple embracing and smiling wh

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bingeable

Football stadium in lights

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

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

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

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giveaway

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

Replay-Giveaway-coming

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about the author

Amy Daws Head Shot-sizedown

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

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Books, New Release, Romance, series

New Release! Call Me Crazy, Bellamy Creek #3, by Melanie Harlow

It was the perfect plan.
I needed a wife–temporarily–in order to inherit the family business.
And she needed a favor–the kind that takes nine months to deliver.

Call Me Crazy, an all-new steamy and heartfelt small-town romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available now!

We had it all worked out, from the no-touching policy on our wedding night (her rule) to the no-falling-in-love decree (mine). She’d marry me, I’d give her the means to have the baby she’d always wanted, and one year later we’d amicably part ways with no hassle, no demands, and certainly no regrets.

After all, Bianca DeRossi and I are experts at infuriating one another–we’ve been doing it since we were kids. Trouble is, she grew up gorgeous and feisty, and she still knows exactly how to get under my skin.

And that wedding night? Well, it doesn’t exactly go down hands-free.

Then she moves in with me, and I really start to lose my mind. From her sexy little pout to her wicked sense of humor to those meatball sandwiches she makes just because she knows they’re my favorite . . . I find myself wanting to break every rule we put in place.

Our story was never supposed to end with happily ever after.
But call me crazy, I just might be in love with my wife.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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Read Chapter One: http://bit.ly/3seA4lF

About Melanie

USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like Schitt’s Creek, Homeland, and Fleabag. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the CLOVERLEIGH FARMS series, the ONE & ONLY series, AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie

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Website: http://www.melanieharlow.com

Books, New Release, Romance, series

New Release! Lies & Lullabies, Hush Note series #1, by Sarina Bowen

Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details. 

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.

All Purchase Links

SERIES PAGE https://www.subscribepage.com/hushnote

All links in one spot → https://shor.by/hush-note

🎵Audible →  https://geni.us/Audible-LandL 

🎵Paperback →  https://geni.us/Paperback-LandL

🎵Amazon →  https://geni.us/Amazon-LandL 

🎵Apple →  https://geni.us/apple-LandL 

🎵Kobo →  https://geni.us/kobo-LandL 

🎵Nook →  https://geni.us/Nook-LandL

🎵Google →  https://geni.us/Google-LandL   

Excerpt

I watched Kira ride off, wondering what the hell had just happened. Sure, she probably guessed that I wrote that song about her. But she’d only heard the first few bars before sprinting away like I was the devil himself.

Spinning around, I located the lodge’s bike shed. I rolled a bike out and hopped on. The seat was too low for me, so I had to stand up on the pedals. 

But no matter. I rode off after Kira, my first time on a real bike in years. 

The road curved around to the left, and Kira’s house soon came into view. She was sitting on the front steps. She didn’t look all that surprised to see me biking toward her, but the look of pain on her face was so vivid that I could feel it in my gut. Something was wrong, and I still didn’t know what.

“Feel any better?”

She shook her head, and I thought I saw fear in her eyes.

“Kira,” I said softly. “I know you want me to leave you alone right now, but I can’t—our conversation isn’t over. In twenty-four hours I’ll be back on that bus. Honestly, you’re scaring me. When I last saw you, things seemed like they were on the upswing for you. When I said I think about you all the time, I didn’t mean to be a creeper. I meant that I was picturing a happy ever after for you.”

“Mama!” a little voice called from beyond the screen door.

At the sound of it, Kira’s whole body went rigid. And then tears spilled down her cheeks.

I heard little footsteps pounding onto the screened porch. And then a small set of hands became visible against the door just behind Kira. Quick as a flash, Kira leapt to her feet and spun around, darting through the door. It closed with a bang behind her.

“Whoa,” a man’s voice said. “Deep breaths, Kiki. What did he say?”

The hair stood up on my neck. I dropped the bicycle and covered the distance to the stoop in three paces. Leaping up, I opened the screen door. A little girl stood there, with fair, curly hair and blue-green eyes. I was no good with kids’ ages. She wasn’t an infant, but she wasn’t school-aged either. There was a babyish fullness to her face. She was three? Four? Five? I looked up at Kira.

“I’m so sorry,” she squeaked.

That’s when I finally understood. And I almost couldn’t draw breath to speak again. “I… She… What the fuck, Kira?” 

“That’s a very bad word,” the little girl said, accusation in her voice.

“Sorry,” I said automatically. I raised my eyes to Kira’s. “You… She…” 

I couldn’t think. There was pressure in my ears, and my pulse was ragged. Dizzy, I thought, absently, putting one hand on the door jamb for support.

“Breathe, man,” the guy behind Kira said. He wore a bright pink polo shirt and an expression of concern. “Sit down. Seriously, before you crash.”

I bent over and grabbed my knees. “Oh my God.” The only thing I could hear was my own ragged breathing and Kira’s choked sobs.

“Mama!” a little voice said, full of alarm. “Don’t cry!”

The scary moment stretched on, until I heard yet another bicycle approaching outside. A moment later, another male voice called out, “Knock-knock!”

The pink-polo-shirt guy answered him, his voice full of false cheer. “Hi, Luke!” Under his breath he added, “Wow. It’s raining men.” Then he scooped the little girl up in his arms, stepped around me, and walked out the screen door. It closed behind him with a bang.

I just stood there, staring at my shoes, trying to catch my breath. Kira’s shoes moved into my visual field, but I wasn’t ready to talk to her yet. Not until my head could clear. Which would probably be sometime next week. 

We stood here, awkward and quiet for a couple of long minutes. There was some low-key chatter outside, and then I heard the sound of the bicycle departing. 

The guy in the polo shirt came back inside, alone. 

“You’re her brother.” I coughed, trying to reconstruct the world into a rational place.

“Yup,” the guy said. “Uncle Adam.”

“Where is Vivi?” Kira asked, her voice raw.

“Luke is taking her for a little bike ride. There may be ice cream involved.”

“Really, Adam?” Kira moved quickly to peer through the screen. “But that’s awkward.”

“Oh, honey. We have first class tickets on the HMS Awkward today. And the ship has sailed. Luke even had a pink helmet for her, Kiki. Just go with it, okay? I told him you were having a moment.”

I straightened up. “She’s having a moment,” I spat out. “Is that what this is?” My pulse was still pounding in my ears, but now from anger instead of shock.

Kira was as pale as a sheet. “I was going to tell you today.” She pulled a photo out of her pocket. “Here. I was trying to find a way.”

I snatched the picture from her hand. “She’s, what, four?” The photo shook as I tried to look at it. The little girl smiled up at the camera, a stuffed animal in her hands. It was purple. Somehow this detail made it all the more real. The little girl in the photo was clutching the purple cat I’d won at the fair all those years ago.

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

Book Review: New release “Damn Wright,” book 2 in The Wrights series by Skye Jordan

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The first ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) team I was ever a part of was Skye Jordan’s, back when she was writing her Rough Riders hockey novels (which I LOVED). I’m happy to still be reading and reviewing her books, although it’s been a while for me. Somehow I missed the first book in this series, So Wright, and I can’t wait to read it!

Skye Jordan is really good at creating story lines that you haven’t read before. In this book, Emma and Dylan have a very complicated history, and those are my favorite kind of stories! When you start reading, you think there is no way that they will be able to overcome their history, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that you would be wrong about that. 🙂

There was a moment in this story where one character finds out something about the other character before he/she has a chance to tell them, and I really hate that because I feel like it’s overused. I know that lack of communication is a real thing in relationships, but it frustrates me when characters in books get into trouble because they won’t simply TALK TO EACH OTHER! It turns out okay, of course, but I like when the issue causing conflict for the couple is more natural, and not such a cliche. The ending was a little predictable, but it was still a good read.

Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book. I’m thinking that the next book is about Dylan’s sister, Gypsy, which will be fun, because I know there must be a good story there!

Purchase Damn Wright on Amazon here, or read for free through Kindle Unlimited!

Books, New Release, Romance, Uncategorized

New Release: Hold on Tight (RETURNING HOME, BOOK ONE) by Serena Bell

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HOLD ON TIGHT (RETURNING HOME, BOOK ONE)

A wounded soldier. A secret baby. A second chance.

Jake Taylor has made a few terrible decisions, but none worse than the one in Afghanistan that cost him his best friend and his leg.

Or so he thinks, until he comes home from war to discover a seven-year-old son he never knew existed.

Jake can’t regret the blissful nights he spent with Mira in his arms, or the boy with his eyes, but he can leave them alone so they don’t become yet another one of his mistakes.

He’ll rehab his body, figure out how to find purpose again—and keep things simple with the woman he once craved desperately.

Except the sizzling attraction that drew him to Mira is still fierce, and staying away from her is a lot harder than he ever expected…

Mira Shipley has promised herself that if she ever sees Jake Taylor again, she’ll tell him he has a son.

She isn’t expecting to run into him at the physical therapist’s office, where he’s learning to live with an above-the-knee amputation.

She can’t blame him for being a grumpy jerk under the circumstances, but it would be a lot easier to ignore him if she didn’t desperately need child care for her son.

And if Jake didn’t make her feel brand new and dazzlingly alive.

She knows she needs to protect her son’s feelings—but no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the long, sweet nights she and Jake spent learning each other’s bodies and each other’s secrets…

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING

“Sweet, sexy and real . . . In Hold on Tight, Serena Bell has written a beautiful story about a wounded soldier and the woman strong enough to love him.”—Jessica Scott, USA Today bestselling author of Because of You

“The authenticity of their story is resounding. This isn’t a story of instant love, but of an uphill battle and determination, of making decisions, and of living in the here and now.”Heroes and Heartbreakers

“This contemporary second-chance romance is Bell’s best written book yet. It deals with the horror of war beautifully and with great care, weaving it into a great love story, and many, many swoons.”—The Book Hammock

“Just a beautiful, and yet not overly emotionally weighted, story of two people fighting their way out of a life they were dealt, toward a life they choose wholeheartedly. This book left me feeling warmed, encouraged, bolstered and full. Phenomenal writing by Serena Bell.”—Ripe for Reader

“I was completely swept away with the characters, story and the writing.”—Twin Spin

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EXCERPT

On the other side of the room, the cocky guy with the prosthetic leg shifted in his seat, drawing her gaze. Brown hair, on the longer side of short, uncombed. A couple of days’ unshaven scruff. Not her type; she liked professional men, clean-shaven. Her mind was about to dismiss him—a guy I ran into in the physical therapist’s office and wasn’t attracted to, but not because he was an amputee, just because he wasn’t my fantasy. But something made her look again.

Holy shit. She knew that face. The strong jaw, the well-formed upper lip, the deep groove that ran vertically between his brows—

She’d memorized his features in the few weeks they’d been together, the quick three-quarters way he smiled, like he couldn’t quite fully commit to happiness, the all-in truth of his smile when he gave himself over. The creases that formed when he frowned, the way his jaw set when something bothered him. That night at the lake—the last night—the look on his face when she’d taken off her clothes. Gratitude and longing and Who, me? For real?

The night came back to her in sharp contrasts, pairs of impressions. The coolness of his wet skin and the heat of his body. The softness of his mouth moving over hers, over her breasts, and the hard tug of his suckling, the yank of desire she’d felt. The rich summer smells, green and overripe, and the clean soap scent of him. How open she’d felt, how boundary-less, melting, flowing, willing—and how her body had betrayed and frustrated her.

How good he’d made her feel, better than she’d ever felt in her life, and the way he’d hurt her. The way they’d dressed, packed up, and driven home in silence. How hard she’d cried, and for how long.

Jake.

His eyes caught hers, caught and held and held and held. Sam’s gray-blue eyes, Sam’s full lower lip, Sam’s absurdly long eyelashes. Jake’s face.

Would Sam someday have a jaw like that, square and strong? Would his nose, which was still a little boy’s pudgy upturned nose, be as bladelike as his father’s?

How many times had she promised herself that if this moment ever came, she wouldn’t hold the truth back from Jake?
Buy Hold on Tight on Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo credit Susan Young

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.

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