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Friday, June 5, 2020

Review: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date:November 2019

The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


The Bromance Book Club had a really cute premise.  A group of successful men meet and read romances in order to help their relationships.  Gavin's marriage is on the rocks and the guys are going to help him fix it.  

I wish I could say I loved this book.  I'll admit to not being in love with this story for the first half of the book.  I felt like Gavin kind of got a raw deal.  Thea was so unfair to him.  I wish they would have communicated with each other.  Instead Thea blamed all of her issues on Gavin.  If you don't speak up, then he can't fix it.  Her sister was also the worst.  The second half of the book was much better.  I did enjoy watching Gavin woo Thea back.  I was also happy when they finally started talking.

What kept me going was the other characters.  The guys in the book club were hilarious.  I loved how they used the romance novels like relationship guides.  It was really cute.  Along with the main romance, we get excerpts from the historical romance that the guys are reading.  I did like how the author blended what was happening in the book club book with Gavin's situation.  If you can stick with it, the ending makes the book worth finishing.  I will be reviewing the next book, Undercover Bromance, very soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Blog Tour: Review of Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson


Author: Abigail Wilson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Publication Date: May 26, 2020

In this new Regency romance, Elizabeth knows she must protect her heart from the charm of her new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life.

When the widowed Lord Torrington agreed to spy for the crown, he never planned to impersonate a highwayman, let alone rob the wrong carriage. Stranded on the road with an unconscious young woman, he is forced to propose marriage to protect his identity and her reputation, as well as his dangerous mission.

Trapped not only by her duty to her country but also by her limited options as an unwed mother, Miss Elizabeth Cantrell and her infant son are whisked away to Middlecrest Abbey by none other than the elder brother of her son’s absent father. There she is met by Torrington’s beautiful grown daughters, a vicious murderer, and an urgent hunt for the missing intelligence that could turn the war with France. Meanwhile she must convince everyone that her marriage is a genuine love match if her new husband has any hope of uncovering the enemy.

Determined to keep her son’s true identity a secret, Elizabeth will need to remain one step ahead of her fragile heart, her uncertain future, and the relentless fiend bent on her new family’s ruin.

My thoughts:

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey was a pleasant surprise.  The book opens up with carriage accident, a handsome highwayman and mother who wants a better life for her son.  I really enjoyed this clean historical romance.   Marriage of convenience books are always fun to read.  I enjoyed watching Elizabeth and Adrian slowly fall for each other.  Adrian was very very much a good match for Elizabeth.  There is also a murder mystery and espionage mixed into the story.  I had fu trying to figure out what was going on. While working together on solving the mystery, the couple was able to really get to know each other.  The other characters in the book made the story that much better.  I loved Adrian's daughters, especially Penelope.  This is the first book I have read by this author.  I definitely want to read more from her backlist.  I highly recommend this one.


Purchase Links

About Abigail Wilson

Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A registered nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the national parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.

Connect with Abigail

Abigail Wilson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, May 26th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, May 26th: Run Wright
Friday, May 29th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm and @pnwbookworm
Monday, June 1st: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Wednesday, June 3rd: @meetmeinthestacks
Thursday, June 4th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 8th: Into the Hall of Books
Tuesday, June 9th: @angelareadsbooks
Wednesday, June 10th: Read Eat Repeat
Thursday, June 11th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, June 12th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, June 15th: Blooming with Books
Tuesday, June 16th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Wednesday, June 17th: Books Cooks Looks
Monday, June 22nd: @megsbookclub


Spotlight: Midnight Princess of Cam Johns



Midnight Princess by Cam Johns is a contemporary, suspenseful retelling of the classic Cinderella fairytale. Fans of twists at midnight and love on every page devour this new adult romance. The final installment of the Modern Princess Collection is now LIVE!

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!


♛ Pre-order on Amazon ➳ https://amzn.to/2JRYRb3
♛ Add on Goodreads ➳ https://bit.ly/3bocCdo
After the untimely death of her grandparents, Cynthia was propelled into becoming a guardian to her younger half-sisters, Penelope and Charmaine. As they all lived under the tyrannical rule of their drunken mother, she constantly felt that this wasn’t the life that she was meant to lead. She dreamed of one day her mother becoming sober enough for her to remember that she once loved her children. Unfortunately, that day would never come, and her heart would harden with each cruel comment from her mother.
It wasn’t until her freshman year in college that she would find someone who did love her, as she deserved. Who would liquefy her hardened heart, to find the giving soul that has been hiding from her mother’s tirades. It was then that Cynthia would investigate her mother’s past, to  find answers to who her mother has become. The answers that would come in the dead of night. Midnight Princess.
About Cam Johns
Cam Johns began her career as a published author in 2016 with the release of her first book - Arousing Consequences - to the three-part series, The Arousing Series. However, actually publishing wasn't part of her plan. After her husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she found that writing became a great way to relieve the tension and mounted pressures that come with watching someone she loves suffer from such a harsh diagnosis. It was her husband that pushed her to share her voice, regardless of how erotic that voice would become.
Live. Love. Laugh. A well-known mantra that has become her way of living. Live, by accepting the things you cannot change. Love, the ones closest to you as if there's no . tomorrow. Laugh, each day because sadness will get you nowhere!

About the Modern Princess Collection



Once upon a kiss, a modern romance becomes a fairytale.
The prestigious Camelot University comes fully equipped with elitist guys, a castle, and a Glass Ball, but these self-proclaimed princesses don’t need crowns to prove their worth. They’ve taken love and life into their own hands and written their own fairytale.

Follow seven of your favorite fairytale heroines as they find their happily ever after, in these standalone, contemporary romance novels. The ladies of Cam U are a dangerous combination of cute and badass, full of attitude and imperfections, and an innocence only fairytales can convey.

Want to keep up with all the Modern Princess Collection news? LIKE the Rewritten Fairytales Facebook page! 




This promotional event is brought to you by Forever Write PR https://www.foreverwritepr.com/

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Blog Tour: Q&A with Jamie Beck, author of If You Must Know

Author: Jamie Beck
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Publisher: Montlake

Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.

The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.

Q&A with Bestselling Author Jamie Beck

How do you describe your newest novel If You Must Know?

This book is a “beach book” in the best sense. It’s not angsty, yet it has a page-turning plot and a bunch of interesting, relatable characters. I think it’s entertaining and heartfelt at the same time, which is exactly what many enjoy reading while on vacation.

What inspired the novel?

The external plot came to me as a result of the influence of two people in my life. My dear friend’s husband is a forensic accountant, so some of his stories about how people hide money and flee their families provided one point of inspiration. The second is my mother’s best friend who, in her seventies, sold her house and bought a boat, which she and her husband live on full-time. The impetus for the oil-and-water sisters was to provide myself an opportunity to explore the sibling-rivalry dynamic.

Tell us about the two main characters in the story—sisters Amanda and Erin.

Amanda is the middle child. She’s diligent, earnest, hard-working, and generous. She wants the people she loves to be happy and feel her love. Her weakness is a deep-seated insecurity—a sense that she is not interesting enough to be lovable. This leads her to overlook when she is being taken for granted because her need to be pleasing is omnipresent.

Erin is the baby of the family and her late-father’s pet. She is outgoing, fun-loving, and views her average intelligence as a blessing (rather than lamenting that her siblings are smarter). She is willful and has her own way of moving through the world. The big weakness she has is her impulsiveness, whether with jobs or relationships. As she approaches her 30th birthday, she’s looking to mature and create a more stable life for herself.

What kind of relationship do the sisters have?

I think they share a typical relationship insofar as their differences cause many misunderstandings and instill in each a sense of being judged by the other, and yet they do care about and love each other, too. They simply do not know how to be true friends and trust the other—at least not at the outset of this tale.

This book focused on the main female characters growing and learning about themselves. What prompted this ‘women’s fiction’ approach to the story?

Partly market forces and partly my own need to stretch. At 53, it was becoming more difficult to write a 20-something woman facing the challenges of dating. The shift to women’s fiction allows me to write late-30 and early 40-something characters, which comes more naturally to me. I also enjoy exploring family and friendship dynamics, and absolutely love having endless options for story arcs (as opposed to having to follow a traditional romance arc).

What does your new Potomac Point series have in common with your previous books?

All my books to date have focused on critical relationships and some type of redemption theme. I find damaged people to be very interesting and believe that there is good in most everyone, so I prefer to populate my stories with flawed people who must confront their inner demons in order to be happy. My new books will also focus on relationships and redemption, but the non-romantic relationships (or even the relationship with one’s self) will be more central.



About the author:

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than two million copies. She is a two-time Booksellers’ Best Award finalist and a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah and dancing around the kitchen while cooking. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. Fans can get exclusive excerpts, inside scoops, and be eligible for birthday gift drawings by subscribing to her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b7k7G5. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.

Social Media


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Spotlight: Ousted Princess by Tasha Lewis



Ousted Princess by Tasha Lewis is a contemporary story inspired by the History of Pocahontas. Fans of second chance romance and friends to lovers will enjoy this new adult romance. The next installment of the Modern Princess Collection is now LIVE!

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

After a humiliating end to her freshman year, Veronica Solis wants nothing more than to just focus on her studies and avoid her former friend and love her of life, Sean Courtright.

Veronica was doing just fine on all accounts until her favorite professor asked her for a favor: tutor the boy who broke her heart, shattering it to a million pieces.

If the request had come from anyone else, Veronica would have turned it down, but she couldn’t say no to her favorite person.

But she should have… Being cramped in the same room each day and their relationship slipping back into familiar patterns, Veronica begins to wonder if her heart and her head will ever get on the same page. Sean still makes her heart pound and her blood sizzle with want.

When Sean raises the stakes and offers Veronica a bet she’s sure to lose, she must decide if


this game of cat and mouse with the boy who broke her heart will destroy what’s left of it or give them a second chance at love.

About Tasha Lewis

Tasha Lewis is a romance author who grew up with her head in the clouds. Her passion for life has always kept her dreaming and moving forward. She believes in fate and is a true romantic at heart. Tasha is certain that anything can be solved with a good cup of coffee and a dog or two at your side. ​

When she isn't reading, which isn't often, she is usually working on a craft or three - she can never just stick with one. Join her on her journey of publication, crocheting, and any other craft she is working on.



About the Modern Princess Collection

Once upon a kiss, a modern romance becomes a fairytale.

The prestigious Camelot University comes fully equipped with elitist guys, a castle, and a Glass Ball, but these self-proclaimed princesses don’t need crowns to prove their worth. They’ve taken love and life into their own hands and written their own fairytale.

Follow seven of your favorite fairytale heroines as they find their happily ever after, in these standalone, contemporary romance novels. The ladies of Cam U are a dangerous combination of cute and badass, full of attitude and imperfections, and an innocence only fairytales can convey.

Want to keep up with all the Modern Princess Collection news? LIKE the Rewritten Fairytales Facebook page! 


This promotional event is brought to you by Forever Write PR https://www.foreverwritepr.com/

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Out Now by Saundra Mitchell



By Saundra Mitchell
On Sale: May 26, 2020 
Inkyard Press
YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Diversity & Multicultural | YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Romance/LGBT
9781335018267; 1335018263
$18.99 USD
 416 pages

A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom…aliens run from the government…a president’s daughter comes into her own…a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer…a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops…skateboards and VW vans…Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page!

This essential and beautifully written modern-day collection features an intersectional and inclusive slate of authors and stories.

Buy Links:



Enjoy this sneak peek!


KICK. PUSH. COAST. By Candice Montgomery 
Excerpted from OUT NOW: Queer We Go Again! Edited by Saundra Mitchell, used with permission by Inkyard Press, © 2020 by Inkyard Press.

Every day, same time, same place, she appears and doesn’t say a word.

Well, she doesn’t just appear. She takes a bus. You know she takes a bus because you see her get off the bus right in front of 56th Street, just in front of the park where you skate.

You know she takes a bus and gets off right in front of the park at 56th Street because you are always at the park, wait-ing to catch a glance of her.

She—her appearance—is a constant. Unlike your sexuality, all bendy like the way your bones got after yesterday’s failed backside carve.

Bisexualpansexualdemisexualpanromanticenby all bleeding bleeding-bleeding…into one another.

That drum of an organ inside your chest tells you to just be patient. But now, here you are and there she is and you can’t help yourself.

She’s beautiful.

And so far out of your league.

You’re not even sure what she does here every day, but you probably shouldn’t continue to watch her while trying to nail a Caballerial for the first time. Losing focus there is the kind of thing that lends itself to unforgiving injuries, like that time you broke your leg in six places on the half-pipe or the time you bit clean through your bottom lip trying to take down a 360 Pop Shove It.

You’re still tasting blood to this very day. So’s your skate-board. That one got split clean in half.

She looks up at you from underneath light brown lashes that seem too long to be real. She reminds you of a Heelflip. You don’t know her well but you imagine that, at first, she’s a pretty complicated girl, before you get good enough to really know her. You assume this just given the way her hair hangs down her back in a thick, beachy plait, the way yours never could.

Not since you chopped it all off.

That’s not a look for a lady, your mom says repeatedly. But you’ve never been very femme and a few extra inches of hair plus that pink dress Mom bought you won’t change that.

You hate that dress. That dress makes you look like fondant. Someone nails a Laserflip right near where you’re standing and almost wipes out.

Stop staring. You could just go introduce yourself to her.

But what would you say?

Hi, I’m Dustyn and I really want to kiss you but I’m so confused about who I am and how am I supposed to introduce myself to you if I can’t even get my label right, oh, and also, you make me forget my own name.

And in a perfect world, she would make eyes at you. She’d make those eyes at you and melt your entire fucking world in the way only girls ever can.

Hi, Dustyn, I’m in love with you. Eyelashes. All batting eye-lashes.

No. No, the conversation probably wouldn’t go that way. Be nice if it did though. Be nice if anything at all could go your way when it comes to romance.

You push into a 360 ollie while riding fakie and biff it so bad, you wish you possessed whatever brain cells are the ones that tell you when to quit.

If that conversation did go your way, on a realistic scale, she’d watch you right back. You would nail that Caballerial.

Take a break. Breathe. Breathe breathe breathe. Try some-thing else for a sec.

Varial Heelflip. Wipe out.

Inward Heelflip. Gnarly spill.

Backside 180 Heelflip. Game, set, match—you’re finished. That third fail happens right in front of her and you play it off cool. Get up. Don’t even give a second thought to your battle wounds. You’re at the skate park on 56th Street because there’s more to get into. Which means, you’re not the only idiot limping with a little drug called determination giving
you momentum.

Falling is the point. Failing is the point. Getting better and changing your game as a skater is the point. Change.

But what if things were on your side? What if you’d stuck with that first label? What if Bisexual felt like a good fit and never changed?

Well, then you’d probably be landing all these 180s.

If bisexual just fit, you’d probably have been able to hold on to your spot in that Walk-In Closet. But it doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit which kind of sucks because at Thanksgiving din-ner two years ago, your cousin Damita just had to open her big mouth and tell the family you “mess with girls.” Just had to tell the family, a forkful of homemade mac and cheese headed into said mouth, that you are “half a gay.”

That went over well. Grams wouldn’t let you sit on her plastic-lined couches for the rest of the night. Your great-uncle Damian told her gay is contagious. She took it to heart.

No offense, baby. Can’t have all that on my good couches. You glance up and across the park, memories knocking

things through your head like a good stiff wind, and you find her taking a seat.

Oh.

Oh, she never does this. She never gets comfortable. She’s changing things up. You’re not the only one.

Maybe she plans to stay a while.

You love that she’s changing things up. You think it feels like a sign. It’s like she’s riding Goofy-Foot today. Riding with her right foot as dominant.

The first time you changed things up that way, you ended up behind the bleachers, teeth checking with a trans boy named Aaron. It felt so right that you needed to give it a name.

Google called it pansexual. That one stuck. You didn’t bother to explain that one to the family, though. They were just starting to learn bisexual didn’t mean you were gay for only half the year.

You pop your board and give the Caballerial another go.

It does not want you. You don’t stick this one either.

If pansexual had stuck, you’d introduce yourself to the beautiful girl with a smaller apology on your tongue. Hi, I’m Dustyn, I’ve only changed my label the one time, just slightly, but I’m still me and I’d really love to take you out.

And the beautiful girl would glance at your scraped elbows and the bruised-up skin showing through the knee holes in your ripped black skinny jeans. She’d see you and say, Hi, small, slight changes are my favorite. And then she’d lace her bubble-gum-nail-polished hand with yours.

But you changed your label after that, too. It was fine for a while. Your best friend, Hollis, talked you through the symp-toms of demisexuality.

No wonder holding the beautiful girl’s hand seems so much more heart-palpitating than anything else. A handhold. So simple. Just like an ollie.

You take a fast running start, throwing your board down, and end up on a vert skate, all empty bowl-shaped pools that are so smooth, your wheels only make a small whisper against them.

A whisper is what you got that first time you realized sex was not for you. Not with just anyone. This was…mmm, probably your biggest revelation.

It was like you’d been feeding your body Big Macs three times a day and suddenly—a vegetable!

Tic-tacking is when you use your entire body to turn the board from one side to the other. It’s a game of lower body strength, but also a game of knowing your weight and know-ing your board. You are not a tic-tac kind of girl.

You are not a girl at all. You are just…you.

That.

That one’s sticking forever. You know it all the way through to your gut.

You make one more attempt, which probably isn’t super wise because you are so close to the spot where she’s sitting that not only will she see you bite the dust, but she’ll hear that nasty grunt you make when you meet the ground.

You coast by.

The friction vibrates up through your bearings and you know you’re going too fast because you start to feel a little bit of a speed-wobble, that lovely, untimely, oscillatory behavior that means bro, you are about to lose control.

And you hate that word. Control. You hate that word be-cause it is so very rare that you have any. Over your life, your sexuality, your gender, your pronouns, your heartbeat when you’re around your beautiful girl.

But then you do.

You gain control. And you nail that Caballerial.

And the three guys who’ve been watching you make an ass of yourself all afternoon pop their boards up, hold them over their heads and let out wolf shouts.

And you’re smiling so hard. You get like that when you nail a particularly difficult one. You’re smiling so hard you don’t notice the someone standing behind you.

Beautiful girl. You don’t even want to control your smile here.

“You did it,” she says.

About the author:

Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture deliverer and a layout waxer. She's dodged trains, endured basic training and hitchhiked from Montana to California. She teaches herself languages, raises children and makes paper for fun. She is the author of Shadowed Summer and The Vespertine series, the upcoming novelization of The Prom musical, and the editor of Defy the Dark. She always picks truth; dare is too easy. Visit her online at www.saundramitchell.com.

Social Links:
Author website: wwww.saundramitchell.com  
Twitter: @saundramitchell
Instagram: @smitchellbooks



Monday, June 1, 2020

Spotlight: Excerpt & Giveaway of The Outlaw's Daughter by Margaret Brownley

Author: Margaret Brownley
Publisher: Sourcebooks  Casablanca
Publication Date: 5/26/2020

He may be a Texas Ranger but he only has eyes for the outlaw’s beautiful daughter…

Texas Ranger Matt Taggert is on the trail of a wanted man. He has good reason to believe that Ellie-May’s late husband was involved in a stagecoach robbery, and he’s here to see justice done. But when he arrives in town, he discovers the thief has become a local hero…and his beautiful young widow isn’t too happy to see some lawman out to tarnish her family’s newly spotless reputation.

Ellie-May’s shaken by her encounter with the Ranger. Having grown up an outlaw’s daughter, she’ll do anything to keep her children safe—and if that means hardening her heart against the handsome lawman’s smiles, then so be it. Because she knows Matt isn’t about to give up his search. He’s out to redeem himself and find proof that Ellie-May’s husband wasn’t the saint everyone claims…even if it means losing the love neither expected to discover along the way.

Buy Links:
Amazon  B&N  Apple  Kobo  BAM  Bookshop 

Enjoy this excerpt:

Haywire, Texas
1887
“Hold it right there, mister!”
Matt Taggert froze in place. The woman’s voice sounded serious, as did the metallic click announcing she was armed.
Not wanting to alarm her, he held his hands out where they could be seen and turned to face her, taking it nice and easylike.
The owner of the voice stood at the entrance of the barn, the sun behind her back. The woman was small in stature but nonetheless looked like she meant business. Least her shotgun sure enough did.
Loosely braided hair the color of silken corn fell from beneath a floppy felt hat. Keen blue eyes looked him up and down, stopping momentarily to study the Colt hanging from his side and the badge on his leather vest. Apparently, nothing she saw relieved her mind as her weapon remained pointed at his chest.
“You can put your shotgun down, ma’am,” he said. “I mean you no harm.”
Matt’s assurances won him no favor, and the shotgun didn’t budge. “What are you doing, snooping ’round my property?” she demanded.
“Name’s Taggert. Matt Taggert, Texas Ranger,” he said. When even his name and profession didn’t convince her to lower her weapon, he added, “I’m looking for Neal Blackwell. I knocked on the door of the house, but there was no answer. Thought maybe I’d find him here in the barn.”
“Well, you thought wrong, mister.”
He studied the woman with narrowed eyes. “If you don’t mind my asking, ma’am, who am I speaking to?”
“I’m Mrs. Blackwell.”
“Mrs.—” That was a surprise. If her husband did indeed rob a stage, he sure in blazes hadn’t spent any of the stolen loot on his wife. Her sinewy body looked like it had been shaped by hard work and even harder times. If that wasn’t bad enough, her dress had enough patches to shingle a roof. The scuffed leather boots showing beneath the frayed hem of her skirt fared no better.
Nor did the animals in the barn, which included one skinny milk cow and a swaybacked mare.
Nevertheless, the woman earned his begrudging respect. Despite her shabby attire, she held herself with a quiet dignity that seemed at odds with her circumstances. He sensed that her squared shoulders stemmed from hard-earned inner strength.
“I need to talk to your husband,” he said.
Some emotion he couldn’t decipher flickered across her face. “Well, you won’t find him here.”
“If you’ll kindly tell me where I can find him, I’ll be on my way.”
Suspicion clouded her eyes, and he could almost see the cogwheels turning in her head. “What business does a Texas Ranger have with Neal?”
Before he could answer, a boy no older than five or six appeared by her side and tugged on her apron. “Mama?”
Dressed in knee pants and a checkered red shirt, the child peered at Matt from beneath a black slouch hat. A handsome lad, he had his mother’s blond hair and big blue eyes. He also matched his mother’s determined demeanor.
Matt grimaced. He hadn’t counted on Blackwell being a family man. Nothing worse than having to arrest a man in front of his children. It was bad enough cuffing one in the presence of his wife. But if Blackwell couldn’t answer Matt’s questions, arresting him was a real possibility.
The woman’s stance didn’t waver, but her voice softened as she addressed her son. “Go back to the house, Lionel. Mama’s busy right now.”
Before leaving, the boy looked Matt up and down, curiosity written on his little round face. “Is he a bad man, Mama?”
“Let’s hope for his sake he’s not,” his mama replied. “Now, go.”
Lionel’s face grew more solemn as his probing eyes met Matt’s. Matt winked in hopes of relieving the boy’s mind, but the stoic look remained. Never had Matt seen a child so young look so serious.
“Go,” his mother repeated, and this time Lionel left without further ado.
Mrs. Blackwell gave her shotgun a shake as if to remind Matt she meant business. “You still haven’t told me what you want with Neal.”
Matt couldn’t think of a tactful way to explain his business, so he came right out with it. “I need to talk to him about a stage robbery that took place last year.”
Her gaze sharpened. “Why?”
Partly because of the shotgun and partly because something about the woman brought out his protective instincts, Matt chose his next words with care. “I have reason to believe your husband has…certain information that would be helpful in my investigation.”
She discounted his explanation with a toss of her head. “Why would you think such a thing?”
“I’m not at liberty to say, ma’am. Least not till I talk to your husband.”
Her blue eyes narrowed. “If you think Neal had anything to do with that robbery, then you’re barking up the wrong tree.”
“That may be true,” he said slowly. “But I still need to talk to him. It’s the only way I can wrap up my business and—”
“You’ll wrap up your business a whole lot quicker if you just leave now.”
Matt drew in his breath. If she were a man, things would be easier. For one thing, a man would have been disarmed by now. He would have seen to that. After letting his outlaw brother escape, Matt couldn’t afford another blunder. Not if he wanted to keep his job. Still, he wasn’t about to use physical force on a woman. Not unless he had to.
“I’m sorry, ma’am.” He ever so slowly lowered his hands to his side. “I can’t leave. Not till I talk to your husband.”
“That’s gonna be a little hard to do,” she said with a wag of her shotgun.
He arched an eyebrow. “Why is that?”
“Well, mister, it’s like this. My husband, Neal, is dead.”
***
Excerpted from The Outlaw’s Daughter by Margaret Brownley. © 2020 by Margaret Brownley. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.






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About the author:


New York Times bestselling author Margaret Brownley has penned more than forty-five novels and novellas. She's a two-time Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap. She is also a recipient of the Romantic Times Pioneer Award. She makes her home in Southern California. Visit her online at margaret-brownley.com.

Author Website: margaret-brownley.com

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Review: Broken by Rebecca Zanetti

Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: May 2020

Dangerous: Former Navy SEAL Clarence Wolfe's unit was taken out with a land mine. Injured and devastated, he hasn't been quite right since. Worse, the tragedy was no accident. All Wolfe wants now is to take down the man responsible. In the meantime, he's good with being the muscle for the Deep Ops team--and leading a steamy no-strings-attached personal life. Until one intriguing woman changes everything . . .

Determined: Reporter Dana Mulberry is on a mission to avenge the death of a fellow journalist. She's finally hot on a trail--right to a sex club--where she runs into . . . Wolfe? It seems both their leads have led to the same spot. To keep from blowing their covers, they'll have to at least pretend to have a little fun. Trouble is, they genuinely like each other. And that's way too risky for Wolfe, especially when, to his surprise, Dana agrees . . .

Complicated: Drawn to each other in ways they can't understand, Wolfe and Dana keep it professional--until they're shot at one night. And when their adventures land them both at the heart of corruption in D.C.--and at odds in their missions--they'll have to dig deeper than ever to succeed in their quests--and with each other . . .

Broken is the third book in the Deep Ops series.  This one is Wolf and Dana's story.  I love this series.  So far, every story has had the right amount of intrigue, action, romance and comedy.  Wolf has been my favorite since the first book.  I was so excited to read his story.  It was everything I wanted.

I loved Wolf and Dana.  They needed each other.  I loved their banter with each other.  The mystery of who was after Dana and Wolf was intriguing and full of suspense.  The ending was a little predictable, but I still loved it.  One of my favorite parts of the book was the wedding.  It was so funny and had a lot of laugh out loud moments.  Dana's family was so much fun.  I would love a series with just them in it.  The rest of the team played a big part in the story as well.  I love how these characters are coming together as a family of sorts.  I look forward to the next book!


Saturday, May 30, 2020

May Mini Musings


Escape Room:  This one comes out in July, 2020.   I found it an OK YA horror. It had great potential, but fell flat on the execution.  It was fairly predictable and I guessed the ending.  The characters were kind of one dimensional and I didn't feel like I got to know them that well.  It was originally published in Dutch, so I'm there was something lost in translation or not.  It's a quick read that could be read in an afternoon.

The God Game:  I wish I could have loved this book, but it ended up just being OK.  I was expecting a cool computer virtual reality game that becomes all consuming and dangerous to its players.  And while I got that, I also ended up with a lesson in morality and some vague religious and mythical references that went over my head. Oh and Trump bashing. Just what any YA reader wants, right?  With forgettable characters and an overall boring plot,  I'm not sure I would recommend this one

Best Behavior: I wish I liked this one more than I did.   I could sympathize with Meredith for her situation. Empty nest syndrome is closer for me than I want to admit. Despite that  I found her a little depressing. In fact, I think the only character I really liked was Joel.  I found the book a bit repetitive and found my self skimming in places.  I think it just wasn't for me..

Dark Ride:  This was an enjoyable horror story.  I thought it had the the right amount of gore and suspense.  The characters were fun  and I liked that no one was safe.  The only thing I didn't love was the epilogue.  I thought it was a bit cheesy.  Definitely check this one out.

Accidental Girlfriend: I thought this was a really cute and funny rom-com.  I found myself laughing out loud so many times.  I loved Mason and Lauren together.  They had really fun banter.  I think they would be a fun couple to hang out with.  I highly recommend this one.

The Earl Next Door:  This was another fun and cute romance.  I thought the interaction between the girls at the school and the Earl were hilarious.  Adeline and her friends were hilarious.  I loved the school that they put together for the poor young girls to be able to earn a living in the future.  Adeline and Lyon were so good together.  I can't wait to read the next book.

Blog Tour: Giveaway & Excerpt of Night of the Billionaire Wolf by Terry Spear

Author: Terry Spear
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 5/26/2020

It’s not easy being a billionaire, a wolf shifter, and a woman…

Lexi Summerfield built her business from the ground up. But with great wealth comes great responsibility, and some drawbacks Lexi could not have anticipated. Lexi never knows who she can trust… Even on vacation, Lexi has a hard time trying to relax. And for good reason—the paparazzi are dogging her, and so is someone else with evil intent.

Then Lexi meets bodyguard and gray wolf shifter Ryder Gallagher, who’s also vacationing at Redwood National Park. When the two run into each other on the hiking trails, and then serendipitously rescue two bear cubs, Lexi feels safe for the first time in she can’t remember when. But secrets have a way of surfacing… With the danger around Lexi escalating, Ryder will do whatever it takes to stay by her side…

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Enjoy this excerpt:

Friendship is fine. Mating for life is a whole other story.” Lexi had never checked into their backgrounds, something she would definitely have done if one of the wolves had really moved her.
“I agree with you there.”
The rain-saturated breeze switched, and Lexi smelled the scent of a male wolf and a black bear that had passed through there recently.
“The wolf has to be a lupus garou like us,” Kate said, “since no one has reported any sightings of wolves in the area. Maybe the wolf was the one who left the message?”
“I don’t believe so.” Lexi didn’t think her father would ask another wolf to get involved in this. The fewer people who knew about it, the better. “And there’s a female black bear, by the smell of her, roaming the area. Keep your eyes peeled and continue to make noise. We need to head on back before the rain starts anyway. We can check the other location later. It will take us about an hour to reach the cabin.”
Kate laughed. “How often does the weatherman get it right?”
Lexi saw a fairy ring of mushrooms and took another picture. “Yeah, I know. But you know me. I always try to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Light rain began to fall, and then the drops grew bigger. Lexi hurried to put away her camera, and both laughing, they pulled out their ponchos. They were already soaked by the time they got the ponchos on. Still, they’d be protected somewhat from the continuing rainfall.
A couple of young bear cubs cried out somewhere in the distance, and Lexi’s adrenaline surged. “Do you hear that?”
“Yeah, they’re close by. It sounds like danger to me.”
“They’re crying for their mother. They have to be in trouble. I’ll see if the park rangers can rescue them.” Lexi hurried to get her phone out and called the ranger service. “Hi, my friend and I were hiking, and we heard the distress calls of a couple of bear cubs.”
“We’ve got our hands full with a family of hikers who have lost their way, including one who’s badly injured. And a search party is looking for another missing hiker. We can look into the cubs’ situation after we’ve taken care of the hikers in distress.”
“Thanks.” Lexi ended the call.
“You didn’t tell them where the bear cubs are.”
“The park rangers are too busy with human distress calls. You’re my bodyguard. You can protect me.” Lexi left the designated trail, which she wouldn’t normally do as a human because she didn’t want to trample the vegetation. The bear cubs’ cries guiding her, she raced through the forest as best she could, trying not to stumble over tree branches and fall into the ferns filling the understory.
Kate trailed close behind her. “This is a dangerous idea. Where there are cubs, there’s a mother bear nearby. The female bear we smelled, I betcha.”
“Unless something has happened to her. And then we need to rescue them.”
“What do you propose we do? Take them home with you?”
Lexi was sure Kate wasn’t being serious. Wolves raising bear cubs at her oceanside home? No way.
“Once we rescue them, I’ll call the park rangers to pick up the cubs and take care of them if the mother doesn’t come for them. The rangers can find a home for them. As young as the cubs’ cries sounded, they wouldn’t be able to make it on their own.”
Lexi and Kate continued to move quickly through the underbrush in the direction of the cliffs. Lexi’s skin prickled with unease, her stomach twisting in knots. From the sound of the cubs’ cries, they were way down below the cliffs, and the only way to reach them quickly would be climbing down there. That terrified her. Worse, her fearful scent would clue Kate in.
No way had Lexi wanted anyone to know what had happened to make her fear cliffs. She prided herself on keeping her secret. But even now, she suffered a flashback: gasping as a wolf as the soil and rocks at the edge of the cliff gave way, free-falling toward the rocky ground, praying some of the tree branches would help to break her fall. They did, scraping and bruising her, but she still landed badly on the rocks below and broke her left hind leg. Just from the memory, she felt a shock of phantom pain shoot up her left leg. That would be the last time she’d fight with a boyfriend and take off on her own without telling anyone where she’d be.
It had been a stupid thing to do, something she had seen others do in videos on I Shouldn’t Be Alive—in other words, going alone, not telling anyone where she’d be, not having a satellite phone in remote areas, and not having water with her—though as a wolf, that was understandable. She’d sworn she’d never do anything that dumb herself. Worse, she’d been in her wolf form and couldn’t climb to safety with a broken leg, so she’d had to shift into her human naked form before help arrived.
She and Kate finally reached a steep cliff and Lexi hesitated, not wanting to get near the edge that, according to forest ranger reports on the area, were known to crumble. Chills raced down her bare arms and legs. She had to force herself to move toward the cliff’s edge. Slowly, so she wouldn’t end up falling and breaking a leg like she’d done before.
“Are you okay?” Kate asked.
“Yeah, sure. The cliff face is unstable. I’m just being careful.” But it was a lot more than that.
“Okay, yeah, you’re smart to do that. I guess I can’t talk you out of taking this dangerous route and looking for a safer way to get down there instead.”
“I don’t want to risk delaying the rescue.” Lexi finally reached the edge. She observed the rocky cliff, looking for the best way to climb down, terrified she would fall. The mewling cries were coming from the base of the cliff near a couple of trees.
“This is not what I had in mind when I signed up to… Holy shit,” Kate said, peering over the edge of the cliff.
Lexi looked down at the swollen creek rushing along the banks of the cliff. “The creek’s risen because of all the rain. The cubs are crying in a den down below. They could drown. We have to save them.” Lexi started down the cliff, grabbing whatever she could—rocks, tree roots, vines—to keep from falling to her death or breaking a leg or more. She grabbed what looked like a stable rock, but as soon as she tried to hold it and move her right foot to another rock, the one in her left hand pulled free. She fell and cried out, grabbing for anything that could stop her fall. She grasped a tree root and hung on for dear life, her breath coming out in harried puffs.
“Oh God, hang on, Lexi. I really didn’t sign up for this.” Kate waited to descend so she didn’t cause an avalanche of rocks and dirt to collapse on Lexi.
“You don’t have to do it.”
“Are you kidding? Then you’d be able to take all the glory!”
Lexi smiled, then frowned. If the mother bear attacked them, there wouldn’t be much glory in that.
***
Excerpted from Night of the Billionaire Wolf by Terry Spear. © 2020 by Terry Spear. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.





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About the author:


USA Today bestselling author TERRY SPEAR has written over forty paranormal romances. Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing was a Romantic Times Top Pick. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears. She lives in Spring, Texas.