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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review: Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Author: Kate Clayborn
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Crop.
Publication Date: December 2019

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late.


I'll let the synopsis above give you an idea of what this book is about.  I loved the concept of  Love Lettering.  In fact, I loved the letter game that Meg and Reid came up with through texts.  It was really fun and sweet at times.  I did end up liking the ending as well.  I was overall satisfied with how everything played out.  

Despite all of that, this book ended up being just kind of "meh" over all.  The main reason was the main characters.  They were so boring.  It's hard to love a romance when you have two of the most dull and boring people involved.  I never felt really excited about the prospect of these two together.  I was never really convinced they wanted to be together.   I also thought the "fight" between Meg and her roommate was pretty lame when the truth came out.   I guess I'm in the minority here.  I see that this got really good reviews.  I guess you'll have to give it a try and see for yourself.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Series Launch Spotlight: Tactical Crime Division (TCD) Series from Harlequin


Perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and Blacklist...

Uncover the lives and loves of the FBI elite as they take on the toughest assignments. This is a new four-book miniseries featuring an ensemble cast of characters spread across 4 books, featuring 4 urgent cases, with one stellar team of crime solving experts. 

The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI. Because of the growing concerns and need for ever increasing response time to criminal events, the FBI created a specialized tech and tactical team combing specialists from several active divisions that include: weapons, crime scene investigation, protection, negotiation and IT. 

Each title can be read as a standalone novel, featuring a unique hard to solve crime case.




Book #1: 48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy (on-sale March 17, 2020)

The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI.They handle the toughest cases in the most remote locations. When TCD learns of a school invasion turned lockdown, every agent is ready to engage. With children in jeopardy, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But it becomes personal for hostage negotiator agent Evan Duran when he learns Annalise Taylor is one of the captives holed up with the students in a school for the gifted. He’ll need every resource available at TCD and every ounce of his expertise to turn this disastrous situation into a rescue mission—and if he succeeds, maybe reunite with the woman he never stopped loving.

About Carla Cassidy: Carla Cassidy is a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than 125 novels for Harlequin Books. She is listed on the Romance Writer's of America Honor Roll and has won numerous awards. Carla believes the only thing better than curling up with a good book to read is sitting down at the computer with a good story to write.

Purchase links:


Book #2: Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter (on-sale April 21, 2020)

In the wake of a tragedy, the Tactical Crime Division is the first call. When ironclad body armor inexplicably fails and soldiers perish, the Tactical Crime Division jumps into action. Agent and former ranger Davis Rogers asks to go undercover to find the traitor responsible for the death of one of his friends, and Petrov Armor CEO Leila Petrov is happy to provide access to her company…especially once she discovers she’s being framed. But will their joint efforts be enough to uncover the truth?

About Elizabeth Heiter: Publishers Weekly bestselling
and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong  heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists and a little romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages.
Visit her at www.elizabethheiter.com

Purchase links:


Book #3: Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn (on-sale May 19, 2020)

For the Tactical Crime Division, no case is left cold. When Benning Reeves’s twins are kidnapped, the frantic father knows who can help: the Tactical Crime Division and Ana Ramirez. Even though Ana once shattered Benning’s heart, the special agent is the only one he can trust. But Ana is still tormented by the unresolved case that brought them together years before—a case somehow entangled with Benning’s children. It’s up to the TCD and Ana to discover why…before it’s too late.

About Nichole Severn: Nichole Severn writes romantic suspense with strong heroines, heroes who dare challenge them, and a hell of a lot of guns. When she’s not writing, she’s injuring herself running and practicing yoga.

Purchase links:

Book #4: Running Out of Time by Cindi Myers (on-sale June 16, 2020)

When a terrorist is on the loose, the Tactical Crime Division is on the case. To find out who poisoned medications, two of TCD’s agents are tapped to go undercover posing as a married couple and infiltrate the company. But as soon as Jace Cantrell and Laura Smith arrive at Stroud Pharmaceuticals, someone ups the ante by planting explosives in their midst. Turns out that the small-town family business is hiding a million secrets. Could they unknowingly be protecting a vengeful killer?

About Cindi Myers: Cindy Myers became one of the most popular people in eighth grade when she and her best friend wrote a torrid historical romance and passed the manuscript around among friends. Fame was short-lived, alas; the English teacher confiscated the manuscript. Since then, Cindy has written more than 50 published novels. Her historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction have garnered praise from reviewers and readers alike.

Purchase links:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Spotlight: Audio Excerpt of Donn's Shadow by Caryn Larrinaga



Audiobook Series Blog Tour: The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 2

Released: March 2020

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery


Mackenzie Clair finally has this whole ghost-hunting psychic thing figured out. The Soul Searchers are a hit, she’s got pet-parenting down, and she even has a plan to banish the poltergeist running amok at a lakeside cabin. Best of all, Donn’s Hill feels like home. But not everyone loves the town as much as Mac. A world-famous paranormal debunker thinks the psychics in Donn’s Hill are lying about their abilities. His determination to destroy the Soul Searchers threatens Mac’s livelihood, and when a killer strikes, the sheriff’s suspicions threaten her freedom. Mac needs all the help she can get to find the real murderer and clear her name… even if that help comes from beyond the grave.
Buy on Audible
Caryn Larrinaga is a self-described horror evangelist and paranormal junkie. Her debut supernatural mystery novel, DONN’S HILL, won the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill Award in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Her short fiction has won multiple honors and been featured in local and international anthologies. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. Visit www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.
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Narrator Bio Between peddling video games and teaching yoga in her home state of Arizona, Jessica McEvoy attempts to conduct a career as a professional voice actress. This, however, is moderately undermined by the fact that she records in a dimly lit closet with her microphone balanced on a stack of old board games (Junior Scrabble and Powerpuff Girls Monopoly form a strong foundation), but she hopes that no one holds that against her. Though her main work consists of narrating audiobooks, her first dive into the voice world was through the NoSleep podcast after answering a post from the LibriVox forums. Having been raised on horror movies and scary stories, she was beyond excited to be able to work on the show. Many stories, tortured screams, deranged villains, and creepy little girl giggles later, Jessica hopes to work on the podcast for seasons and seasons to come.
View the full 14-day tour schedule here!
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Sign up as a tour host here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Hers to Tame by Rhenna Morgan



Author: Rhenna Morgan
Series: NOLA Knights, #2
Length: approx. 85,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press
eBook On-Sale: March 16, 2020
eBook ISBN & Price: 9781488054167, $3.99 USD
MMP On-Sale: March 31, 2020
MMP ISBN & Price: 9781335962645, $8.99 USD
Book two of NOLA Knights, the heart-stoppingly sexy spin-off series by Men of Haven author Rhenna Morgan

As an avtoritet for the most powerful crime syndicate in New Orleans, Kir Vasilek doesn’t act without purpose, doesn’t speak without thought and never, ever loses his cool. The lives of his brothers, his family, depend on it. But then Cassie McClintock strolls back into his life, and staying cool is next to impossible. Cassie was the one who got away—and Kir is willing to break all his own rules to keep it from happening ever again.

It’s one thing to report on the Russian mafia; it’s quite another to sleep with one of them, especially one as dangerous, and as sinfully sexy, as Kir Vasilek. Even though the information he once provided helped make her career—and the memory of his touch still keeps her up at night—Cassie knows too much about his world to go down that path.

But when Kir reaches out for help after a rival family comes for one of his own, Cassie doesn’t want to say no, either to investigating a gruesome murder or to the heat that pulls her right back into his arms…and his heart. Taming Kir—and helping to save the family she’s come to call her own—is not the story she thought she’d write, but it’s the one she’s determined will get a happy ending.

Hers to Tame is the highly anticipated follow-up to His to Defend. And don’t miss Roman’s story in Mine to Keep, coming soon from Rhenna Morgan and Carina Press.


Buy Links


My thoughts:

Hers to Tame is the follow up to His to Defend. I have read both and this works fairly well as a stand alone. I believe this is also an off-shoot of another series by this author because several side characters are mentioned in it, but I never felt lost. If you are a fan of mafia romances, then I think you will like this series. They are in the Russian mafia, but more of a "mafia light".

I liked Kir and Cassie together. It's always fun to watch an alpha male fall really hard for a strong female. Cassie was his perfect match. Their chemistry was off the charts. Another favorite thing in romance is when two people who have not grown up with love or family closeness, find it in each other. The mystery in this one was one that kept me reading. I didn't figure it out. I highly recommend this one as well as the first book. I look forward to reading the next book when it comes out.

Enjoy this excerpt:

“Please take this in the spirit it’s intended, but you work for a man who’s suspected of leading a growing crime family. I don’t think me telling you where I live is a good idea.”
“1023 South Franklin Avenue.”
Cassie stopped so hard she wobbled slightly in her heels. “How did you… I mean, I only just moved in there.”
His smile softened and his words were offered with gentle deliberateness. “I’m a very thorough man, Cassie. You can’t possibly think I wouldn’t learn everything I could about a person before I shared important information with them.”
Very thorough.
Frighteningly so.
She shook the foreboding off and resumed her trek to the station, albeit on slightly less stable legs. “All the more reason for us to meet someplace public.”
“All right. Then I’ll pick you up and take you somewhere.”
“Not necessary.” She checked both ways on the street and hurried across. “Just tell me where you want to talk, and I’ll meet you there.”
“I’m afraid my retrieving you and escorting you is nonnegotiable.”
She frowned at him, but kept going. “You’ve got a lot of points you won’t negotiate. Tell me why this one’s one of them.”
“Because while I’m very much interested in hearing what you have to share, I’m not interested in anyone else hearing. The best way to ensure our privacy is to make sure no one else knows where we’re going—including you.”
She stopped just six feet from the station’s front door. “You don’t trust me?”
“Should I?”
Hmm. He did kind of have a point. And given how she’d stiffed him after their second date, he still might be wondering if she’d simply used him. “Fine. Pick me up at my place tomorrow at eight. But don’t pick any place fancy. A coffee shop, or someplace simple. And not Starbucks either. It’s criminal what they charge for coffee.”
His mouth twitched as if it were all he could do to keep a wisecrack trapped behind his lips. “You seem determined to expose me to establishments with limited standards.” He nodded, the picture of gentility and confidence. “I’ll endeavor to pick a location that suits your expectations.” He held out his hand, palm up. “Until tomorrow, then.”
He had great hands. Not too smooth like someone trapped in an office, but a man’s hands. Slightly calloused, with long fingers and blunt fingertips. Of all the things she’d replayed from their time together, his touch had been the most frequent. Which was exactly why she’d be smart to avoid any and all physical contact with him going forward.
Glutton for punishment and well-mannered Texas girl that she was, she slipped her palm against his.
Oh, yeah.
Still amazing.
Electric and warm. Supercharged and bristling with promise.
And that was just her hand.
“Thank you again for the dinner. It wasn’t necessary, but I appreciate it all the same.” Hating the breathiness in her voice, she tried to release her hand.
Kir held it tight, the pad of his thumb subtly moving over the tender spot between her thumb and her forefinger. As if he were remembering other, more intimate places he’d touched her. “I assure you. The pleasure was all mine.”
He gently released her, turned without the least amount of hesitation, and strolled toward the parking lot like he didn’t have a care in the world.
Watching him was something to relish. An indulgence she didn’t even realize she’d taken until he 
stepped off the sidewalk and turned to open the door to his car.
Great. And now he’s busted you ogling him.
She swung one of the double glass doors open and strode into the arctic reception area.
“Girl, that dude was hot,” Bonnie said before Cassie’s eyes could adjust from the blinding sunshine outside. “He your boyfriend?”
“Oh, no.” She set the paper bag on the counter and shook her head. “Just a contact that helped me out on a few stories a while back.”
And ruined me for other men, but why quibble over details?
Bonnie took the bag and opened it, but the look on her face and her answering chuckle said she didn’t buy a word Cassie’d said. “Uh-huh. Looked to me like he was plotting how to peel you out of your professional getup.”
Yeah, it’d felt like that, too. But she wasn’t going to think about that now. Or ever, if she could help it. “Nope. Just talking business.” She waved toward the bag and headed back toward the newsroom.
“Good business, or bad business?”
Cassie swung the door to the hallway open and cast Bonnie one last look. “I haven’t decided yet. Could have been the lottery, or the biggest wrong turn of my life.”

Copyright © 2020 by Rhenna Morgan

Author Bio

A native Oklahoman, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack romantic escape full of new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they want. For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at http://RhennaMorgan.com. You'll also find all of her social links there, along with her smoking hot inspiration boards.

Social Media Links

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Love Under Protection by Aubree Valentine



Title: Love Under Protection
Author: Aubree Valentine
Release Date: 3/23/20
Series: 425 Madison Ave, #16
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Harley
My best friend asked me to be his best man at his destination wedding.

With a demanding and stressful job with NYPD life for me was all work and no play, but a week-long trip to Hawaii to celebrate Jameson's nuptials sounds like the perfect excuse to get away.

Leaving work behind wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, though.

That was until she walked up to me at the bar.

After a night of unbridled passion, I discover...she’s the maid of honor in Jameson’s wedding.

Raylynn
My best friend asked me to be her maid of honor at her destination wedding.

After finding my now ex-fiance in a compromising position, escaping to Hawaii is the perfect excuse to find myself again.

With nothing to lose, I approach the hottest guy in that bar and take a chance on getting my own groove back.

There's just one hiccup...he's actually the best man in Liv's wedding.

It was only supposed to be a fling, but when returning home leads to chaos and one relocation to New York, can these two love birds go from fling to forever? Time will tell.

Afterall...425 Madison is the perfect place to fall in love.

My thoughts:
Love Under Protection is the 15th book in the 425 Madison Avenue series. This is also the follow-up to Love Under Construction (book 6).  While not my favorite of the series, I did enjoy this one.  I liked it a lot more than the other Love Under Construction, mainly because I liked the characters more.  I thought Raylynn and Harley were a good couple. I enjoyed the second half of the story more than the first half when they were in Hawaii.  It showed them more in a realistic setting and allowed them to become friends before lovers again.  The main thing the story suffered from was length.  I would have liked it to be longer because there were some parts that would have benefited from being more fleshed out.  Despite that, I would recommend this one. 



Excerpt 
Copyright @ Aubree Valentine 2020


Raylynn gives me a once over then bursts into laughter. 
I look down to see what’s so funny and nearly lose it. 
Son of a bitch. 
There’s a huge white spot on the crotch of my shorts. It doesn’t help that I’m hard as a rock too, because of what she’s wearing. 
“I didn’t mean to interrupt. You could have said you were busy.”
“Funny. Get the hell in here so I can get these off,” I grunt. 
She steps inside my apartment and looks around. “Nice place.”
“Thanks. I’ll be right back.” I dart toward the bedroom. “It’s paint by the way,” I call over my shoulder before shutting the door. 
Last goddamn time I go paintballing with Jameson and Liam too. 
“That’s what they all say,” she yells back.
When I come out, I’m dressed in a nice pair of jeans and a polo shirt. Raylynn gives me a whistle and motions for me to spin around. 
“Forget it. You’re not objectifying me.” I grin. “And that paint. Ask Jameson what happened.” 
She holds up her hands and snickers. “I’ll pass, but thanks.”
“You good to walk in those?” I point to her shoes. “We’ll need to take the subway.”
“These old things?” Raylynn lifts a foot. “I could run laps in these.”
“We’re not running laps, but I’ll take your word for it.” 
She reaches for my shoulders and starts massaging the muscles. “Aww, you’re tense. Are you in a mood?” 
I’m tense because she’s standing in my apartment looking like a whole damn snack, and I know nothing is going to happen besides a few drinks.
“Sweetheart, the only mood I’m in is the mood to get out of this apartment for a while,” I lie. 
“Well then , let’s get the fuck out of here!” she cheers. “Ooo. Wait a minute. Harley Wagner , are you wearing a gun or are you happy to see me?”
“Christ, I’m tense, and you’re in a really good mood.”
“Seriously, are you wearing your gun?” I sigh and slip my keys into my front pocket. “Yes, Raylynn. I’m packing heat.”
“Well, that I knew.”


Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited 

Amazon ➝ https://amzn.to/33ucjes


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About Aubree

Aubree Valentine is a wife, mom and avid reader. Her love of books goes far behind weaving her own stories to tell. She realized her dream of becoming a published author by the time she was in high school and knew she'd stop at nothing to make that happen.


When she's not writing, she can be found chasing after her twins or her dogs, curled up with a good book or still working with some of her favorite authors.