Mar 02

Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid Release Blitz

MARRIAGE AND MURDER, an-all new quirky and witty cozy mystery and the second book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries from New York Times Bestselling Author, Penny Reid, is available now!

 

Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) poste haste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.

On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and meyham detrail their happily-ever-after?

And most importantly, who done it?

‘Marriage and Murder’ is the second book in the cozy mystery series Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries. It is best read after Winston Brothers #3, ‘Beard Science’ (which can be read as a standalone) and Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #1, ‘Engagement and Espionage.’

 

——————————————————————————————————————–

 

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About Penny Reid: 

PennyReid.jpeg

Penny Reid is the New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

 

Connect with Penny:

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Sign up for her mailing list to stay up-to-date with Penny! 

Mar 02

Dotted Lines by Devney Perry Release Blitz with Excerpt

DOTTED LINES, the fifth and final book in the Runaway series from USA Today Bestselling Author, Devney Perry, is available now! Scroll down for an excerpt!

…it’s time to find out if the feelings she’s cherished for the boy from her past are just fanciful memories—or if there’s a chance they are real.

 

Clara Saint-James is completing a journey started by an old friend. She’ll return a Cadillac to California, a place she’s avoided for more than a decade. But it’s time for closure and to put old ghosts to rest. And it’s time to find out if the feelings she’s cherished for the boy from her past are just fanciful memories–or if there’s a chance they are real.

Timing was never on her side, especially when it came to Karson Avery. The two of them lived in a junkyard as runaway teens, and though she wanted more than his friendship, he always belonged to another–until that one night when he was hers.

When Clara finds Karson living in a small, coastal town, she’s not surprised the beautiful boy from her past grew into a stunning man. His smile is as captivating as ever. His eyes have the same roguish glint. But timing is still working against her.

Clara must decide how far she’s willing to go to battle for Karson’s heart. Or if it’s time to let him go and surrender to the dotted lines that have always kept them apart.

 

 

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“Brilliant, every word, every moment, every character, scene and story, all of it was absolutely brilliant.” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

EXCERPT:

I climbed out of the car, walking on unsteady legs to his side to help him out. Then with my son’s hand in mine, I stood in the driveway and let the sun warm my face. The sound of the ocean was a gentle whisper on the air. The scent of salt and sea hit my nose.

Aria had lived on the Oregon coast for years, and though the smell was similar, there was something sweeter in the Elyria air.

Karson had always said he wanted to be close to the ocean. He’d wanted to learn how to surf. I was glad he’d gotten that wish.

The sound of a door opening caught my attention and I turned, just in time to watch a tall man with dark hair step outside. A short-trimmed beard shaded his sculpted jaw. He was wearing a pair of khaki cargo shorts slung low on his narrow hips. His green T-shirt stretched over his broad chest and clung to the strength in his biceps. His feet were bare.

Karson.

My heart skipped.

He’d grown up. Gone were the lanky arms and legs. Gone was the shaggy hair in need of a cut. Gone was the youth from his face.

This was Karson Avery, a man who stole my breath. But he’d done that at nineteen too.

Those beautiful hazel eyes studied me, then darted to the car as he came toward us. A crease formed between his eyebrows as he took it in. Then they moved to me and that crease deepened.

My stomach did a cartwheel. Please recognize me.

If he didn’t . . . I clung to August’s hand, drawing strength from his fingers. It would break my heart if Karson had forgotten me. Because in all these years, he’d never been far from my mind.

Karson’s feet stopped abruptly and his entire body froze. Then he blinked and shook his head. “Clara?”

Oh, thank God. I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Hi, Karson.”

“I can’t believe it.” He shook his head again, then his gaze shifted to August. “Hi there.”

August clutched me tighter and murmured, “Hi.”

“Is it really you?”

“It’s me.”

“It’s really you.” A slow smile spread across his face, wider and wider.

It hadn’t changed. There, on the face of a man, was the smile from the boy I’d loved.

The boy I’d loved before his life had gone one direction and mine had gone the other.

And between us streaked those dotted lines.

 

 

 


About Devney Perry:

Devney is a USA Today bestselling author. Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her husband and two sons. Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

 

Connect with Devney: 

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Sign up for Devney’s newsletter!

 

Mar 02

Dotted Lines by Devney Perry Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

Clara Saint-James is completing a journey started by an old friend. She’ll return a Cadillac to California, a place she’s avoided for more than a decade. But it’s time for closure and to put old ghosts to rest. And it’s time to find out if the feelings she’s cherished for the boy from her past are just fanciful memories–or if there’s a chance they are real.

Timing was never on her side, especially when it came to Karson Avery. The two of them lived in a junkyard as runaway teens, and though she wanted more than his friendship, he always belonged to another–until that one night when he was hers.

When Clara finds Karson living in a small, coastal town, she’s not surprised the beautiful boy from her past grew into a stunning man. His smile is as captivating as ever. His eyes have the same roguish glint. But timing is still working against her.

Clara must decide how far she’s willing to go to battle for Karson’s heart. Or if it’s time to let him go and surrender to the dotted lines that have always kept them apart.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

I’ve just finished Dotted Lines, the fifth and final book in Devney Perry’s fantastic Runaway series, and my heart is full, happy and sated. This series had me swooning all the swoons, feeling all the feels and loving each new book even more than I loved the last. This series was inspired by my favorite childhood books, and so I was excited and intrigued when Perry announced it. I went into this series with high expectations, curious to see what she would do with this idea. But her execution and reimagination of my beloved Boxcar Children series took me by surprise, far exceeding anything that I had been expecting, hoping for or anticipating. Devney may have been initially inspired by Gertrude Chandler-Warner’s work, but she completely breathed new life into this concept, creating a premise that was all her own and so incredibly original. Perry’s writing is always on point, but it has been next level here, with prose that was fresh and creative. For me personally, the benchmark of a truly unique and memorable story is my personal internal struggle between wanting to race through the story while simultaneously wanting to slow down enjoy the ride. Reading each of these books, I found myself trying to floor it while I was also riding the brakes. This was that rare and special series full of the kinds of stories that I couldn’t read fast enough yet didn’t want to end.

Dotted Lines is the final installment in the series, and it’s finally Clara Saint-James’ turn behind the wheel of that old Caddy. She and her adorable little boy, August, set off from their home in Welcome, Arizona, where they live next door to her twin sister, Aria, who is married to Clara’s boss, Brody Carmichael. Their destination is California and Karson Avery, the boy who kept the five girls safe in that junkyard. The boy who stole 17-year-old Clara’s heart and never gave it back. The boy who is now a man and who is unaware that he’s about to become the owner of the now fully restored Caddy that was his home in that junkyard all those years ago.

Taking readers through their past and into their present, Perry penned a poignant and emotional story of the right person at the wrong time. Clara and Karson’s young love was derailed by the differing directions that their lives were heading. More than a decade later, Clara shows up unannounced on Karson’s doorstep to deliver a piece of their shared history, but will time be on their side? As heartbreaking as it was heartwarming, I felt the pull, the longing, the lust and the love between Karson and Clara. It was all right there, surging back to the surface from the depths at which they buried it. But theirs was the kind of love that couldn’t be contained, and neither time, nor distance, nor outside influences can stop these two hearts from calling out to each other.

I love second chance romances, and Dotted Lines was a fabulous one. Karson and Clara’s soul-deep connection rooted in their combined past is finally given the chance to be reborn, and Perry didn’t waste the opportunity. She penned an unputdownable story that was the perfect conclusion to this wonderfully unforgettable series. Sweet, sexy, and bursting with genuine emotion, Clara and Karson’s love story commanded all of my attention, and I positively devoured it. This is a special and memorable series, one not-to-be-missed by contemporary romance fans, and a top favorite of mine from this author. Brilliant, every word, every moment, every character, scene and story, all of it was absolutely brilliant. Five smooches from me for Dotted Lines by Devney Perry!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

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Mar 01

Used by Kate Dunbar Exclusive Excerpt

USED, a thrilling new standalone romantic suspense novel from debut author, Kate Dunbar, releases on March 8th, and I have an exclusive excerpt! Pre-order your copy today!

Heartbreakingly beautiful and completely engrossing, a young woman’s life takes a disturbing and utterly fascinating turn as the past she’s put behind comes back to haunt her.  USED is packed full of twists, turns, and a gripping romance sure to leave readers emotionally spent and asking for more.

 

At the age of seventeen, after a decade of lies, hurt, and severe abuse by her brother Lucas, Sabra Valentine is able to breathe.

Lucas is behind bars thanks in large part to Sabra’s quick thinking and self-preservation-even if that’s one more secret she has to keep.

Now, seven years later, life is moving forward, and Sabra is starting to heal, live, and love again with her friends and Trevor Collins by her side. He’s tall, dark, and sexy, and he doesn’t fall for Sabra’s games. The future is finally looking bright-until one phone call shatters everything.

Used is a romantic suspense with domestic thriller elements. Please be aware that there are
topics that may be triggers for some readers, and this work is meant for mature readers.

 

 

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USED is being narrated by Stella Hunter

 

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EXCERPT:

“Sabra, I think we need to talk.” Trevor tugs at my arm and unwinds my hands. He laces his fingers through mine and kisses my knuckles, dragging me toward the couch.

“Are you sure you want to do this right now, Trevor?” Panic rises in my chest, bubbling from my center. I like Trevor. A lot. I’m having fun with him. I don’t want this to end because he wants to get serious and take it to the next level. We’ve been friends for four years. I don’t want a life without him in it. And that should scare the shit out of me, but it doesn’t.

“Yes, now.” He sits on the sofa and wraps me in his arms. I squirm out of his lap and pull my knees to my chest already on the defensive. “Listen, I know you don’t want anything too serious.”

Wait. What?

“You what?” I can’t keep the look of shock off my face. He nods his head at me, running his fingers through his hair. “Okay, good. Although I feel a but coming on.”

Trevor smiles at me. “I know you don’t want anything serious right now.” He grabs my hand and shifts a little closer to me. “I’m fine with that. But I want to establish a few rules with you.”

I have no words. I don’t think anyone has ever spoken to me like this before. Or about this. And I have no idea where he is going with it.

“I’m not a rules girl, Trevor.” I stroke his cheek with the tips of my fingers and grin. “I’d think you’d know that about me by now.”

“Will you listen? And maybe keeping your hands to yourself would be good.” He places my hand back on my lap and scoots to the other end of the couch, putting a foot between us. “You look delicious in those jeans and, no doubt, even better out of them. Which I’m planning on in just a minute. But first—the rules.”

I suck in a breath and hold it, not letting it go until I feel the burn in my lungs. I don’t know what to think about this. Trevor has always been sexy, but I’ve never seen this take charge side of him until last night. I’m not sure how to respond because my breathing has become a little shallow. My gut is clenching. Butterflies have taken residence, battling it out in more than just my stomach. I feel desire moving through my body. Pooling between my legs. And I’m finding it hard to think of sentences as I watch his lips form words, so I nod and stare at his mouth. The same lips that blazed paths of fire over my body last night. Licked me in all the right places. Turned my insides out.

“So, that’s rule one. What do you think?”

I shake my head and snap out of my reverie. “What?” I inch my way toward him and place my hand on his thigh. “I’m sorry. I got distracted. Tell me again.” Trevor’s jaw tightens. His eyes shift toward my hand.

“You got distracted? I’m telling you the rules to our relationship, and you got distracted? How is that even possible?”

“I started thinking about last night and your lips on me. And that made me start thinking about your lips on me again. And that made me think about your hands on me. And that made me think about everything else on me.” Trevor stares at me with his mouth hanging open.

“I swear, you never cease to surprise me, Sabra.” He grabs my hand and pulls me toward his chest. After a few moments, he uses his finger to gently lift my chin and brush his lips over mine. “Screw the rules. We’ll just wing it.”

 

WANT MORE?  Download the first three chapters for free HERE!

 

 

 


About Kate Dunbar:

Kate Dunbar is a wife, mom of three, and obsessive tea drinker who loves a great story. She’s passionate about people and learning what makes them tick. You can find her eavesdropping, people watching, and living her best life wherever the winds take her.

 

Connect with Kate:

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Mar 01

The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn Release Blitz with Excerpt

THE WEDDING GAME, the charming story of a crafting queen battling a jaded divorce lawyer on a wedding reality show from USA Today Bestselling Author, Meghan Quinn, is available now! Scroll down for an exclusive excerpt.

Luna is torn between family loyalty and her own feelings.

Alec wonders if he might have been wrong about love and marriage all along…

 

Luna Wu is a veritable crafting genius—she can bedazzle and bead so hard her Etsy site is one of the hottest in the world. So it’s only natural that Luna would convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete on The Wedding Game, a “do-it-yourself” TV show, for the title of Top DIY Wedding Expert.

As a jaded divorce lawyer, Alec Baxter scoffs at weddings and romance. But when his recently engaged brother begs him to participate in The Wedding Game, Alec grudgingly picks up a glue gun and prepares for some family bonding.

Both fierce competitors, Luna and Alec clash on national TV as harsh words and glitter fly with abandon. But as they bicker over color swatches and mood boards, they find themselves fighting something else: their growing mutual attraction. While Luna is torn between family loyalty and her own feelings, Alec wonders if he might have been wrong about love and marriage all along…

 

 

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EXCERPT:

“Are you ready?” Farrah says, coming from behind me and massaging my shoulders. I move my head side to side while we both hop up and down. “Did you do those finger exercises I told you about?”

I flex my fingers and nod. “Yup, all warmed up.”

“Do you have your game face on?” Farrah spins me around and grips my shoulders as I mean mug it at her. “Ooo, you’ve been practicing in the mirror. I can tell.”

“When I brush my teeth. I really feel like I’ve mastered the scowl.”

“Honey, you mastered the scowl years ago. Now you’re just coming into your own with it.” She holds up her hands, and I start boxing into them as we leap around the apartment. “Quick on your feet, quick on your feet.” Farrah swings her hand at me, and I duck. “Focus, hone your attention.”

“Focused.”

“Tell me, who’s going to kill it today?”

“I am.” I bob back and forth and then give Farrah a one-two punch to her hands.

“Who’s going to do anything necessary, even sit on someone’s face if you need to, in order to win today’s challenge?”

“I am. Show no mercy. My ass is coming for your face.”

Farrah pauses, winces. “I’m not sure I like that.”

“Just go with it.”

“Okay, Luna’s ass is coming for your face.” She shrugs. “Next week let’s work on your trash talk.”

“Might be necessary.”

Circling again, I box at Farrah’s hands, feeling light on my feet and ready for anything that comes my way. “You’re going to ignore all conversations from Mr. Snobby Shoes.”

“I don’t even know he exists.”

“Your eyes are on the prize. And what is that prize?”

“Giving Cohen and Declan the best wedding possible.”

“Exactly.” She lowers her palms. “Quick, flash me your hands.”

I lift my hands, and she inspects them carefully.

“You lotioned—good. Nails are clipped to a perfect length, and those fingers are stretched and strong. Rotate your wrists for me.” She lowers her ear to my wrists as I circle them around. “Perfect, no cracking, no tension.” She points to the ground. “Fast feet.”

My feet start bouncing up and down, like in those football movies, and I hold my hands at my hips, ready for the call . . .

“Draw!” Farrah shouts.

I pull my glue gun from my hip and point it at her. “You’ve been glued.”

Farrah claps her hands. “Reaction time was spot on. You’re ready.”

“Yeah?”

She nods. “You got this, girl. This competition is yours for the taking. And remember what we talked about: don’t focus on what you think will win . . .”

“Focus on what will bring Cohen and Declan joy.”

 

 

 


About Meghan Quinn:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

 

Connect with Meghan:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Goodreads

Sign up for her mailing list to stay up-to-date with Meghan!

 

 

Feb 27

Miss Trust by Aubrey Bondurant Release Blitz with Excerpt

MISS TRUST, a sexy new enemies-to-lovers workplace romance from Aubrey Bondurant, is available now! Scroll down for an exclusive excerpt!

Title:  MISS TRUST
Series:  MISS #4
Author:  AUBREY BONDURANT
Genre:  CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Release Date:  FEBRUARY 26, 2021

 

Chance Maxwell is the most arrogant man I’ve ever known – and he’s my boss.

Worse, he’s incredibly sexy. At least until he opens his condescending mouth. I hate being indebted to him for this job, but I have more important priorities to worry about.

My attraction to him is growing despite my better judgment.
But I sure as hell won’t ever reveal it to him.

Tory Larson is the most stubborn woman I’ve ever met – and I’ve hired her as my new assistant.

She’s different from my usual women, and my plan to leave her alone is failing miserably.
Maybe the best way to rid her from my system is to address this inexplicable spark between us.
Only, I’m in over my head.

I’m a man who always gets what I want.
She may be the exception.

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY OR READ FOR FREE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!

Amazon US  |  Amazon AU  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

“This poignant and passionate love story grabbed my attention from the first page, and I devoured this absolutely addictive love story in a single sitting.” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

EXCERPT:

“Why are you out here?”

“I’m restless and couldn’t sleep.”

Her voice was husky, laced with a touch of need. But even I wasn’t asshole enough to take advantage of it. “I’ll leave you be.”

She moved closer, putting her hand on my chest. My body shuddered. Shuddered like a prepubescent teenage boy who’d never felt a woman’s touch.

I wanted her, and yet my seldom-present conscience wouldn’t allow me to act on my attraction to her. Not while she was this vulnerable. Guess there was a first time for everything. “This isn’t a good idea.”

She didn’t pretend to misunderstand me. “No, it isn’t.”

I should have walked away. A better man would have. I leaned in, my lips inches from her ear. I could practically feel the buzz coming off of her. “I should leave, before we do something you’ll hate me for tomorrow.”

“What if I hate you now? Would another reason matter?”

My chuckle filled the air. “You wish you still hated me.”

“True. It was easier before you were thoughtful.”

I searched her face. “If I kiss you, will you kiss me back or bite off my tongue?”

She smirked. “Only one way to find out.”

I crashed my lips to hers, groaning like a man who’d been starved too long and was getting his first taste of the finest meal.

Tory didn’t disappoint, meeting my needy kiss with one of her own.

Fuck. When was the last time I’d actually taken the time to kiss a woman? Slide my tongue inside of her mouth and taste her? The answer was as empty as my aptitude for giving a shit about most people.

I moved my hands down to her ass and lifted her up, practically weeping with pleasure at the way her legs wrapped so perfectly around my waist. My strides were long and purposeful, eating up the distance until we arrived at my pool house.

Letting her down easy, I then pinned her against the door while I fumbled with the code to let us in.

 

 

 

 


About Aubrey Bondurant:

Aubrey Bondurant is a working mom who loves to write, read and travel.

She describes her writing style as: “Adult Contemporary Erotic Romantic Comedy,” which is just another way of saying she likes her characters funny, her bedroom scenes hot, and her romances with a happy ending.

When Aubrey isn’t working her day job, or spending time with her family, she’s on her laptop typing away on her next story. She only wishes there were more hours of the day!

She’s a former member of the US Marine Corps and passionate about veteran charities and giving back to the community. She loves a big drooly dog, a fantastic margarita, and football.

 

Connect with Aubrey:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon Author Page  |  Website

Subscribe to Aubrey’s newsletter

Feb 27

Miss Trust by Aubrey Bondurant Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

Chance Maxwell is the most arrogant man I’ve ever known – and he’s my boss.

Worse, he’s incredibly sexy. At least until he opens his condescending mouth. I hate being indebted to him for this job, but I have more important priorities to worry about.

My attraction to him is growing despite my better judgment.
But I sure as hell won’t ever reveal it to him.

Tory Larson is the most stubborn woman I’ve ever met – and I’ve hired her as my new assistant.

She’s different from my usual women, and my plan to leave her alone is failing miserably.
Maybe the best way to rid her from my system is to address this inexplicable spark between us.
Only, I’m in over my head.

I’m a man who always gets what I want.
She may be the exception.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

I’m such a big fan of Aubrey Bondurant’s, and I’ve read everything she has written. I swear, each of her books is better than the last, which is truly saying something since they have all been fantastic. The author describes her writing style as adult contemporary erotic romantic comedy—think smutty chick-lit—but make no mistake, however she coins it, her readers will get an engaging, smart, passionate and witty story. She writes the kind of romances that draw the reader right in with well written prose, a seriously sexy love story and endearing characters. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, if Aubrey Bondurant’s name isn’t already on your TBR, it needs to be. She is a not-to-be-missed indie author that every contemporary romance fan needs to experience.

Miss Trust is fourth book in the Miss series, and while it reads as a standalone, I highly encourage other readers to read the rest of the series simply because it’s just that good. Technically a workplace romance—my favorite trope from Bondurant because they are her jam and she does them well—this was an emotional, hard fought love story between two big personalities. Chance Maxwell was a man in command of his empire, his surroundings and himself. He was demanding, used to getting his way and a bit too direct at times, all necessary traits for a man who owns a string of very successful, very posh nightclubs all over the world. He’s all business all the time, and his demeanor seems to be set to brusque and serious bordering on cold. Victoria Larson, or Tory, is a single mom to her adorable four-year-old warrior, Penelope, and she is facing down every mother’s worst nightmare. She has not had an easy life, and her past has marked her. She wields her sarcasm like a sword and has built up the kind of steel reinforced, solid concrete, barbed wire topped protective walls an average man couldn’t even begin to scale. It’s a good thing there is nothing average about Chance Maxwell.

Chance and Tory were fire from the first word. Their sizzling chemistry literally leapt off the page and smacked me upside the head. The banter between these two was magnificent, and I gobbled it up like Pez from a Kindle shaped dispenser. When these two finally gave into the heat blazing between them, it was an inferno. But watching these two incredibly stubborn, commitment-averse, relationship first-timers work through their issues and fall in love, with the backdrop of a child battling for her life, was incredible. Oh, how I loved this story. Everything about this story spoke to romance reader in me. The hero and heroine, the wonderful side characters, especially sweet little Penny. The storyline, or storylines I should say, and the bumbling, backtalking, beautiful build-up of their relationship. Every single thing.

Miss Trust was everything I love about contemporary romance. It was full of genuine emotion that made me feel, hurt, laugh and love for and with these characters. Their circumstances may have made my heart ache, but their romance made me positively giddy. While Chance wasn’t always easy to root for, I was doing precisely that in the end. This poignant and passionate love story grabbed my attention from the first page, and I devoured this absolutely addictive love story in a single sitting. I want more of these characters, more of this world, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book in the series. A new favorite from this author and a favorite read of 2021, Miss Trust by Aubrey Bondurant gets five smooches from me!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

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Feb 26

The Crush by Penelope Ward Blog Tour with Excerpt

THE CRUSH, a new forbidden, second chance romance from New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Ward, is available now! Scroll down for an exclusive excerpt!

This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance…

 

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone, second-chance story of forbidden love…

It’s natural to want the one you can’t have. And for as long as I could remember, I’d secretly wanted my brother’s best friend, Jace.

He was six years older and always treated me like the sister he never had.

Fast forward a decade.

We were all in our twenties now. Jace had moved in with my brother, Nathan, and me to help us make ends meet after our parents died.

It was just the three of us—an odd family dynamic.

Living under our roof, Jace was as bossy and protective as ever.

But he certainly didn’t look at me like a sister anymore. That was what made things so complicated.

I was pretty much hot and bothered twenty-four-seven.

And he was torn.

The signs were subtle, at first. Like on movie night, I’d casually rest my leg against his, and he wouldn’t exactly shift away.

Still, I assumed he would never…go there.

Nathan would kill us.

The knowledge of that wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable, though.

Eventually our slow burn exploded.

But more than the physical attraction, we’d developed a strong connection.

We just couldn’t get caught, right?

That sounded simple.

Until it wasn’t.

This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance.

 

 

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“…a soul searing, heart-crushing, steamy and passionate friends-to-lovers, forbidden romance…” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 4 SMOOCHES review!

 

EXCERPT:

“I’m gonna grab a beer,” he said. “You want something?”

“I’ll take a beer, too.”

He chuckled. “Is it bad that I had to think for a second whether you’re legal to drink? It feels wrong giving you alcohol, for some reason.”

“You’ve dropped me off at the damn bar! How could you think that?”

“I know. It’s fucked-up.” He laughed as he walked backwards into the house. “Be right back.”

A minute later, Jace returned with two chilled bottles of Miller Lite. He popped one open and handed it to me.

“Thanks.” I took a long sip that felt great going down.

We polished off the rest of the food, and by the time I finished the beer, I felt pretty tipsy. Between the soft breeze blowing

Jace’s scent my way and the buzz, I was on cloud nine.

Jace took it upon himself to clear our wrappers and napkins, stuffing everything into the paper bag. As he went back into the kitchen, he asked, “Want another beer?”

“I’d love one.”

When he returned, he set the bottle in front of me and sat back down. He put his feet up on an empty chair and leaned his head back, closing his eyes.

He sighed. “This is exactly what I needed…to chill at home.”

That made me happy. “Give your head a break tonight. You can always worry about work tomorrow.”

“Yeah. I think I’m gonna take your advice on that.”

While his eyes were closed, I was able to enjoy staring at his profile—his strong, angular jaw and slightly cleft chin, his perfect nose and kissable lips, the way the sun brought out a reddish tone in his otherwise black hair. Jace was even more beautiful with the sun shining on him.

I eventually closed my eyes as well, enjoying the breeze that offset a little of the heat. My eyes opened suddenly when I heard his chair skid against the cement.

“Fuck it.” He got up. “I’ll be right back.”

My heart raced a little. What is he doing?

A few minutes later, Jace returned in his swim trunks. They were blue with tiny anchors, a nautical pattern. Not that I was looking closely at his lower half or anything. I’d just started to make my way up to his chest when he dove into the pool, his gorgeous, hard body disappearing under the sky blue water.

He emerged and shook his head to clear the water from his hair. “You comin’ in or what?”

I got goose bumps. I hadn’t planned to, but I couldn’t resist the invitation.

“Sure.” I got up from my seat and unwrapped the towel.

Jace watched as I entered the pool. But what was he thinking?

I dove in and swam toward him, feeling more comfortable in my bathing suit now that I was submerged in the water.

He flashed a mischievous grin. “Wanna race?”

I splashed him. “Why? You think you can beat me just cuz your legs are longer?”

He cocked a brow. “There’s only one way to find out, right?”

Over the next several minutes, Jace and I swam in tandem from one end of the pool to the other. Sometimes he’d beat me to the other side, and a few times, I beat him.

Eventually, we got into a water fight. The next thing I knew, he was chasing me, then lifting me up and tossing me in the water. He did that several times. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time. I hadn’t a care in the world.

Then he lifted me up again, and I was certain he was going to toss me into the water, just like all of the other times. Instead, though, he just held me. Our eyes locked as my legs wrapped around his waist. He was going to have to drop me, because I sure as hell wasn’t climbing off him willingly. As he continued to hold me, the world seemed to stop. I could see the reflection of the palm trees in his gorgeous eyes, made luminescent by the sun. Those eyes then dropped to my lips. I could see his chest rising and falling. He swallowed hard. Holy shit. Something was happening. My heart was going a mile a minute.
And then…

“What are you doing?”

Jace dropped me like a hot potato at the sound of Nathan’s voice. My body hit the water with a loud splash.

What the hell is he doing here? My voice was shaky as I wiped the water from my eyes. “Wha…why are you home? I thought you were driving to meet that girl.”

“She canceled on me, so I came back after the job interview.” Nathan’s eyes traveled between Jace and me. He seemed suspicious.

“Oh.” I exhaled, moving a strand of hair out of my mouth. “How…how did the interview go?”

“It was okay. Too hard to tell if they’re gonna call me back, though.” He looked straight at Jace. “You guys seemed to be having fun. Didn’t realize I was missing out on a…pool party.”

Jace was silent.

I felt the need to chime in. “Jace decided to take his debut dip in the pool. We were just playing around.”

Nathan looked between us again. “I see.”

Jace finally spoke. “Well, it’s hot as all hell today. So…”

“You guys down if I make some dinner?” Nathan finally asked.

“We actually already ate,” I told him. “Jace went to Checkers.”

Nathan turned to his friend. “Since when do you eat dinner this early?”

Jace cleared his throat. “I was starving.”

“We didn’t think you were going to be home,” I said. “Otherwise, we would’ve waited.”

“I guess I’ll give you that.”

Jace got out of the water and dried himself off. He then laid out on one of the loungers, displaying his gorgeous, tanned body in all of its glistening glory. His feet dangled off the end of the chair.

Nathan snapped his fingers in front of my face. “I asked if I got anything in the mail. Earth to Farrah.”

Jesus. I hadn’t even heard him the first time.

 

 

 


About Penelope Ward:

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

 

Find Penelope here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Facebook Fan Group  | Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon
Stay up-to-date with Penelope by signing up for her mailing list!

Feb 26

The Crush by Penelope Ward Review

4 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone, second-chance story of forbidden love…

It’s natural to want the one you can’t have. And for as long as I could remember, I’d secretly wanted my brother’s best friend, Jace.

He was six years older and always treated me like the sister he never had.

Fast forward a decade.

We were all in our twenties now. Jace had moved in with my brother, Nathan, and me to help us make ends meet after our parents died.

It was just the three of us—an odd family dynamic.

Living under our roof, Jace was as bossy and protective as ever.

But he certainly didn’t look at me like a sister anymore. That was what made things so complicated.

I was pretty much hot and bothered twenty-four-seven.

And he was torn.

The signs were subtle, at first. Like on movie night, I’d casually rest my leg against his, and he wouldn’t exactly shift away.

Still, I assumed he would never…go there.

Nathan would kill us.

The knowledge of that wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable, though.

Eventually our slow burn exploded.

But more than the physical attraction, we’d developed a strong connection.

We just couldn’t get caught, right?

That sounded simple.

Until it wasn’t.

This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

I’m a huge fan of Penelope Ward’s, especially her co-written novels with Vi Keeland. So it’s a given that if she writes it, I’m going to read it. Her solo novels tend to be a bit more angsty and her characters are often on the younger side. The Crush was the realization years later of a young girl’s unrequited infatuation with her older brother’s best friend, and boy did this story do a number on my heart! Ward succinctly captured all those irrationally hopeless feelings of longing of a young girl’s first crush, and she gave them new life later on down the line as an adult with possibilities.

Jace and Farrah’s story is a difficult one. First there is the fact that he’s her brother’s best friend and several years older. It doesn’t help matters that he has only really seen her as a younger sister. But there is also some devastating, gut-wrenching traumatic history. Ward takes readers back in time, to their childhood and to the time around the event that changed all their lives. Those visits to the past were essential in helping the reader understand who these characters were now, and I loved that Penelope took her readers there. Those heart-breaking glimpses at the past were critical to the development of these characters and made for a story that I was wholly invested in.

A very slow burn romance, Jace and Farrah’s relationship begins as a friendship that painstakingly morphs over time. As if the tragedy of their past weren’t enough to overcome, they still had to navigate Nathan, Farrah’s older brother and Jace’s best friend, and his reactions. But their connection deepens and their attraction grows into something neither can deny or disregard.  

The Crush was an emotional, angsty, slow-burning journey to happily ever after. Ward delivered a soul searing, heart-crushing, steamy and passionate friends-to-lovers, forbidden romance in this story. My heart broke over and over for these characters as I devoured their completely addictive love story. The Crush by Penelope Ward gets four smooches from me!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 


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Feb 26

My One Week Husband by Lauren Blakely Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

A week-long trip. A fake marriage. And seven delicious nights with only one bed in the hotel room.

He’s my business partner, my good friend, and the man I’ve craved for years.

But I’ve resisted the sexy Brit, and I plan to keep up my walls because I’ve been there, done that, and I know how much it hurts when you let someone into your heart.

Then an opportunity comes along for us to snag the business deal of a lifetime.

The catch?

We need to pretend we’re married to pull off this high-stakes deal.

So the clever, charming man with secrets a mile deep becomes my temporary husband, as we travel around Europe. Soon, we fall into bed, tangled together like newlyweds who can’t keep their hands off each other.

One week to explore our fantasies, then we return to who we were.

But when I learn the dark secrets he’s been keeping, I doubt we can go back.

Because they change everything.

My One-Week Husband is a standalone romance!

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

Going into My One Week Husband, I was ready for a magical, seductive trip to France through Lauren Blakely’s eyes. I’ve never actually been there, but this was my third fictional trip—all of them thanks to Blakely—and she has definitely stoked an interest. Through her notoriously vibrant descriptions, I easily visualized the scenery, creating the perfect backdrop to this most decadent story in my mind. Blakely proceeded to take me along on this couple’s heart-racing romp through France with front row seats to a painful, poignant and passionate romance three years in the making.

If you’ve read Lauren Blakely’s work, chances are you’ve met this hero as he makes quite an impression in One Exquisite Touch, and the heroine pops up in that story, too. Business partners for the last year and colleagues who’ve worked together for three years, Daniel and Scarlett have become rather adept at fighting off the attraction they feel toward each other. Oh they may dance and flirt right up to that line, but they’ve never actually crossed it. A business opportunity brings them together, traveling through France, posing as newlyweds to scope out their target. This role playing, complete with costumes and disguises, added an almost clandestine feel to the story that was exciting, fresh and fun. But playing these parts gave them permission to act on their fantasies. The thing about fantasies, though, is that they often mirror true desire, and when Daniel and Scarlett brought to life what had previously lived in only their imaginations, suddenly fantasy morphed into a very authentic reality.

Daniel had a heart-wrenching history, and as Blakely peeled back his layers, I positively ached for this man. Everything about his life, up to this point, was tragic and harrowing and belied the happy-go-lucky, hedonistic pleasure-seeking businessman he projected. Scarlett had her own heart-tugging past, and in an effort to move beyond it, she clung to what was tangible and real in her life—deals and numbers and her beloved spreadsheets. Those were real, and they did not lie. The romance of this trip, the passion between them, the perceived protection of the roles they were playing did nothing to mask the simple truth that they were falling in love, though, and I was here for every second of it.

Drawn in from the start, Daniel and Scarlett’s attraction captured my attention, but it was the blending of their personal back stories and their joint present story that held me raptly engrossed. This story was as much about the healing of past heartaches as it was about the promise of new love. At times raw and emotional, Lauren managed to tell this heartbreaking yet hopeful and passionate love story without relying on an angst-filled or drama heavy tale. My One Week Husband was  such a lushly told love story, and I just couldn’t put it down. A new favorite of mine from Blakely and a top favorite for the year! Five smooches from me for My One Week Husband by Lauren Blakely!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 


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