Thursday, September 30, 2021

Spotlight: A Lot Like Christmas by Jennifer Snow


A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS by Jennifer Snow is out now! Check out this gorgeous holiday romance and grab your copy today!
Title: A Lot Like Christmas
Author: Jennifer Snow
Genre: Holiday Romance
For Jessica Connolly, there is no better place than her coastal hometown of Blue Moon Bay. She has a wonderful family, supportive best friends, and a successful bakery on Main Street. Unfortunately, every time she designs one of her ex-boyfriends' wedding cakes, she's reminded just how unlucky she is with love...and that she's a good luck charm for men to find their happily ever after. With someone else. The minute they break up. So she's decided to be done with love.
Dr. Mitch Jameson is more comfortable traveling the world with Doctors Without Borders than staying in one place. He just needs to survive the holidays in his small hometown before he can leave again. The beautiful, intriguing bakery owner with an aversion to dating might be just who he needs to occupy his restless heart.
From sipping hot chocolates at the local festival of lights to early morning dessert deliveries, Jessica and Mitch rediscover the spirit of the holidays. But when the 25 days of Christmas are over, will their romance be over, too?
Get Your Copy Today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound
About Jennifer Snow:
 Jennifer Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author writing contemporary romance fiction for Grand Central Publishing, Entangled and Harlequin. Her stories range in heat level from sweet to sexy and are set everywhere from big cities to small towns. Her books are light and humorous, but also full of heart, featuring families and communities readers love to visit over and over again.
Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, she now resides in Spain with her husband, son and three mischievous cats.
She currently publishes psychological thrillers under her pen name J.M. Winchester and writes screenplays and TV shows in her 'spare' time. Her holiday rom-com, Mistletoe and Molly airs Christmas 2021!Connect with Jennifer:

Cover Reveal: More Than Enough by Moni Boyce


We are so excited to share the cover reveal for More Than Enough by Moni Boyce, the final book in the Blue Collar Romance Series. Keep reading for more details about this sexy, fling to love romance.
Title: More Than Enough
Author: Moni Boyce
Release Date: 10/29/2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Fling to Love Romance, Blue Collar Romance, Small-Town Romance, Diverse Romance

From Moni Boyce comes a fling to forever romance packed with redemption, heat and happily ever after.
Her whole life, Lexie Campbell has played by the rules and lived up to everyone else’s expectations, never once stepping out of her comfort zone or putting her needs or wants first.
Divorced and ready for a little excitement in her life, she makes a playful bet to kiss the next guy who walks into the bar where she’s out on the town with her girlfriends. She wasn’t expecting that guy to be bad boy Erza Benedict himself.
Ezra has a reputation. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, he’s never been able to outrun his troublesome past no matter how hard he works to redeem himself.
As far as relationships go? Lexie is so far out of his league, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting more than one kiss or a one-night stand.
When Lexie comes back into his life by grand design and hires him to landscape the homes she has listed on the market, Ezra knows this is his shot. Unlike their one night together before, Ezra won’t settle for hiding their relationship for long.
Together they’ll have to learn to forget everyone else's expectations and live (and love) for themselves.
Welcome to Oak Bend, where these blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder, especially when it comes to landing their happily ever after.

Pre-Order on Amazon
Add to Goodreads Here!
About Moni Boyce

Moni Boyce is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance, a filmmaker and a poet. After working in the film industry for fifteen years, helping others bring their visions to life, she now creates characters and worlds of her own. She considers herself a bookworm, film buff, foodie, music lover and an avid world traveler having visited 34 countries and counting. She currently lives in Virginia but considers Los Angeles her hometown.
Follow:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon | Website | Newsletter | TikTok |

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Spotlight: Excerpt of Secrets of a One Night Stand by Naima Simone


Author: Naima Simone
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publication Date: August 2021

She said yes to one night with a stranger… Now she’s pregnant and that stranger is her boss! Only in this Billionaires of Boston romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Naima Simone.
She told herself it was one night. Nothing more.

But her heart knew the truth…

Finding out her previous one-night fling is her new boss is the shock of Mycah Hill’s lifetime. She can’t say no to being VP for software CEO Achilles Farrell—she’s finally made her career dream come true. But knowing he’s so close… It’s only a matter of time before she’s back in his arms. It can’t end well. Achilles’s tortured family history means he’s not up for sticking around long-term. But Mycah’s surprise pregnancy is about to change everything…

Add Secrets of a One Night Stand to your Goodreads!
Buy Secrets of a One Night Stand by Naima Simone

Enjoy this excerpt:
He propped his elbows on the bar top and ground his thumb and forefinger into his eyes. What he wouldn’t give to be back in Tacoma, Washington, in his cabin less than a mile from the Cascade Range. So far away from affluent Beacon Hill, Massachusetts. And not just in location.
But as he’d stood in that mansion’s ridiculously huge library with its hardwood floor, leather furniture, fireplaces large enough for even him to stand in, spiral staircase and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, it hadn’t been just his black thermal shirt, faded jeans and battered brown boots that had differentiated him from the other men in the room.
Cain Farrell—his older brother, the heir, the son Barron Farrell had kept and acknowledged. Kenan Rhodes—the youngest son, biracial and the other bastard besides Achilles. But both men hailed from the same world. Boston’s elite. It was in the razor-sharp yet elegant cut of their suits. The cultured speech. The arrogant demeanor.
Achilles had encountered people like them. And had ended up despising every one of them.
Now he had to call them brother.
Life should really offer him a cigarette when it decided to fuck him.
“You starting a tab or paying for these now?” The bartender set a mug filled with dark, cold brew topped with a creamy head that spilled a little over the rim. Next to it sat a short, smooth glass of amber whiskey.
“A tab.” Because yeah, he was just getting started. The whole purpose of this trip entailed not thinking. And several rounds should accomplish his mission.
“I’ll be back, then.”
She cocked her head, running a dark blue gaze down his frame. He’d hit six foot his sophomore year of high school and had kept growing. He’d become used to that glint in a woman’s eyes. And he didn’t shy from it. The only thing better than losing himself in alcohol was hot, dirty, nameless sex.
His height, his build and his eyes—those were the only things his worthless sperm donor had passed down to him, and women seemed to eat that shit up. He picked up the shot of Jameson and knocked it back, never breaking visual contact with the pretty brunette. The corner of her lips lifted, desire flickering in her gaze as it dipped to his mouth.
“Let me know if you need to order food. Y’know, to balance all that alcohol. Can’t have you too wasted just in case you have later…plans.” She smirked before sauntering off to the other end of the bar.
“Hmm. That was subtle.”
Achilles stiffened.
That voice.
Like a fire beating back the coldest winter winds.
Like fingernails on a chalkboard.
As silken and sexy as skin sliding over bare, heated skin.
As jarring as crashing cymbals directly in the ear.
He longed to curl up against it, roll around in it.
He wanted to snarl at it, hurl himself away from it.
His heart smashed against his rib cage like a caged beast. His pulse, in sharp contrast, a sonorous warning at the base of his throat. Something primitive inside him warned that he should go find that bartender with the invitation in her eyes, pay for his drinks and get the hell out.
But the impulsive, destructive streak that had brought him to Massachusetts must have still been alive and kicking because he didn’t heed that warning. Instead, he slowly turned around on his barstool.

About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen...ish. Published since 2009, she spends her days writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. 
She is wife to Superman--or his non-Kryptonian equivalent--and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern US.
Connect with the Author 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of The Lady is Trouble by Tracy Sumner


: Tracy Sumner
Narrator: Kimberly M. Wetherell
Length: 11 hours 5 minutes
Publisher: Tracy Sumner2020
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: League of Lords, Book 1
Release date: May 6, 2020 

In the first in Tracy Sumner’s sizzling League of Lords historical series, mysticism and paranormal abilities in Victorian England set the stage for a captivating love affair...
He’s a viscount with a dark past who yearns for the one woman he can’t have. She’s a psychic firebrand. Rebellious, spurned by society and determined to change his mind.
What’s a defiant woman to do when the man she’s meant for doesn’t believe in love?
After three years of waiting for Julian Alexander to realize they are destined to be together, Lady Piper Scott takes matters into her own hands. Because her gift as a healer has never done anything but distance her from the most principled man in England. A meaningless diversion as a medium, all done to gain a certain wandering viscount’s attention, backfires. As most endeavors have for a woman known in the ton as Scandalous Scott.
What’s a reluctant viscount to do when the woman he can’t have becomes the woman he can’t live without?
Julian Alexander, Lord Beauchamp, battled his way from the lowliest slum to assume his title. He carries not only a turbulent past, but a mystical psychic gift that separates him from society. Honorable to his core, he is committed to protecting a community of outcasts with abilities like his own. He has no time, no place, for love. Or repeatedly rescuing the most outrageous, beguiling woman he’s ever known. Even if she needs his protection most—and he desires her above all others.
Seduction, intrigue and desire lead to an explosive passion…
Julian vowed to shield Piper from the deadly foes seeking to possess her powerful gift. Although he needs her help in controlling his own, the mix could be deadly. Soon what was once a simple agreement to work together becomes enchantingly complex as they surrender to a timeless love…

Buy Links 
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My thoughts:

The Lady  is Trouble is the first book in the League of Lords series.   It's a a historical romance with a paranormal twist.  This one is Julian and Piper's story.   Julian is working to provide a sanctuary for people like him and Piper.  People with paranormal abilities.  There is a dark force that is hunting Piper and Julian will do everything he can to protect her.   I liked Julian and Piper together.  Julian does spend most of the book trying to deny that Piper is his perfect match and that she actually helps him and his ability.  He could be a bit frustrating at times.

I did end up enjoying the book in the end.  However, it did take me a while to get into the book.  I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a TV series and had to catch up with no background.  References were made to things that happened pre-book, but they were not very fleshed out.  I will admit to being confused at times.  By mid-book, I pretty much had things figured out and just went with it.   I did like the narrator.  I am looking forward to listening to the next book. It's Finn's story, I believe.

About the Author: Tracy Sumner

Award-winning author Tracy Sumner’s storytelling career began when she picked up a historical romance on a college beach trip, and she fondly blames LaVyrle Spencer for her obsession with the genre. She’s a recipient of the National Reader’s Choice, and her novels have been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish. She lived in New York, Paris and Taipei before finding her way back to the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
When not writing sizzling love stories about feisty heroines and their temperamental-but-entirely-lovable heroes, Tracy enjoys reading, snowboarding, college football (Go Tigers!), yoga, and travel. She loves to hear from romance readers!

About the Narrator: Kimberly M. Wetherell

I’m Kimberly, an award-nominated SAG-AFTRA voiceover artist and director in Brooklyn, NY, specializing in audiobooks. When they let me, I do a little commercial VO and animation on the side.
My voice is best described as a bright, warm mezzo, and my range effortlessly spans from plucky tween to snarky Millennial to my own belovedly blasé GenX.
I’ve narrated for “Big Five” publishers Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, and I also direct audiobook productions for Macmillan and Penguin Random House. Additionally, I’ve narrated for Dreamscape Media, Tantor Audio, Deyan Audio, and OrangeSky Audio (among others), along with several independent authors through ACX and Findaway Voices.
My 30-year career in the Arts has made me a certifiable polymath. I’m a classically-trained actor, an award-winning filmmaker, an accomplished international opera director and producer, a professional pastry chef, an NYC reading series host, and not for nothin’, I’m a pretty decent shuffleboard player. Above all, however, I’m a life-long book nerd and I can’t believe I’ve finally figured out how to read books for a living!

Spotlight: Excerpt of Just for a Moment by Kate Carley


Returning home stirs up all of the old memories and heartache Grace Holland would rather forget, but now that she’s back, she finally has a chance to put her demons to rest. Sparks fly when Aarron Beckett agrees to work on her granddad's old plane.  Fall for this hard-working hottie in Just For A Moment by Kate Carley, a Return to Hometown Romance, the next book in the Blue Collar Romance Series.
Read Now!

 From author Kate Carley comes a blue collar, return to hometown romance with heat, heart and a happily ever after.
For Grace Holland, coming home to Oak Bend isn’t easy. The journey stirs up old memories, including the heartbreaking reason her family left town. But now that she’s inherited both her granddad’s old Victorian home and a World War II aircraft that he’d been working desperately to restore, Grace is ready to face down the demons of her past—if the people in Oak Bend will let her.
Aaron Beckett’s life is a balancing act. His aircraft mechanic business is booming and being a single parent of a young daughter keeps him on his toes. But when Gracie Jane Holland, granddaughter of his late friend, steps into his aircraft hangar, Aaron’s well-managed life soars out of control, and every free thought begins and ends with that beautiful blonde.
Even with plenty of excuses to avoid each other, sparks fly while they work together to restore an old fighter plane. And just for a moment, it feels as if they’ve found a deeper, more sustainable connection—until well-meaning half-truths threaten to tear them apart.
When her past and present collide, nothing can prepare Grace for the storm of hatred that pours down on her. Ruthless words leave her questioning whether staying in Oak Bend and putting her heart on the line is worth the pain. Can this small town ever be home again?
Escape to Oak Bend, where blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder, especially when it comes to landing their happily ever after.
Add to Goodreads!
Copyright 2021 Kate Carley
“Beck, I’ve heard so many great things about you. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
“People been talking?” Beck chuckled again, but he was studying her face, assessing her with those stunning eyes.
“My grandfather, Win Ross. I’m Grace Holland, and he left instructions that I should reach out to you. That you would have something for me.”
Beck tilted his head a bit to the left, a tender expression passing over his face. “Gracie Jane. I figured you’d be stopping by here at some point. I was sorry to hear about Win’s passing. Everyone in town loved him. And I felt blessed to call him my friend. God, I miss him every day.”
“Thanks for saying that, Beck. I miss him, too. And it’s just Grace now. I think my granddad was the only one still calling me Gracie Jane.”
“He did.” Beck nodded. “He talked about his granddaughter all the time. He was so proud of you and how you started that company of your own.”
As he spoke about her granddad, Beck’s eyes softened and his voice warmed. Talking about the most important man in her life with someone she’d just met felt bittersweet. But according to her granddad, Beck was one of his dearest friends.
“I remember how proud he was when I told him about my new business venture.”
“A website design business. What’s it called again?”
“Holland Designs.”
“Right.” He bobbed his head. “Win said you had more work than you could do in a lifetime.”
“That sounds about right.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the memorial. I searched for information but never found anything.”
Grace bit her lower lip and then shook her head. The memorial had been a point of contention between her and her mother. “There wasn’t one.”
“Yeah, he always said he didn’t want anything like that, but I wondered if his family would have one anyway.”
“No. My mom and I…We just wanted to do exactly what he wanted.” Grace’s mother had an entirely different interpretation of what Edwin Ross had wanted. “And his wish was to not have people standing around, staring at him.”
Beck chuckled softly. “I remember Win saying that.”
Several unpleasant tasks still remained to be accomplished today, and they dampened the joy Grace generally experienced reminiscing about her granddad. “My granddad left something here for me. Do you have that?”
“Right.” Beck pointed toward the corner of the enormous hangar. “It’s in my office.”
With quickened steps, Grace kept pace beside Beck. “This place wasn’t here before. I mean, when I used to live here, there was the airstrip, but there weren’t many hangars. Maybe two or three.”
“It’s become a thing. Owning a plane. Faster than the ferry if you’re crossing Lake Michigan. Lots of people around the county can afford it. And none of the other towns in the area have an airstrip.”
Stopping at the door to his office, Grace watched while Aaron walked to his desk and lifted a heavy-looking silver paperweight shaped like an airplane. He plucked a key from underneath and went to a tall wooden cabinet in the corner. With a twist of his wrist, he unlocked the door. From her position outside his office, she could see the small black safe. He entered a code, and the door swung opened. Shifting the contents around, he produced a manilla envelope. Then, Beck reversed his steps until he was standing in front of her again, presenting her with the envelope.
The strained expression on his face was exactly how Grace’s heart felt in the moment. A deep ache—one of loneliness and sorrow—created by the loss of a precious soul. Slowly, she reached for the envelope.
“Thank you, Beck. Thank you for keeping my granddad’s wishes safe for him. For me.”
“Yeah, no problem.” Beck pinched his lips together and glanced around before meeting her eyes again. “So, are you ready for your tour?”
“Tour? Now? No.” Grace shook her head, fighting a choking feeling at the back of her throat. A tour—wasting time, wandering around—wasn’t part of her plans for today. Not even for a few minutes. “No. I don’t need a tour. But thanks for this.” She lifted the envelope to indicated she had all she needed at the moment.
Again, he tilted his head the slightest bit to the left and then gave a gruff grunt.
“Suit yourself,” he said. Like a switch had been flipped, his tone turned dark and sarcastic, and Grace had no idea why. “See ya around, Gracie Jane.”
About Kate Carley
Kate Carley broke onto the indie publishing scene in 2016 with her debut novel, Challenged, a 2017 RONE award winner. Since then, she has released ten additional titles that explore small town, family sagas in both the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genres.
Kate took a meandering path to get to the point of published author, including a short stint as a computer systems designer and an extraordinary journey as a home-schooling mom. After more than a dozen years of teaching her kids, Kate opened the front door, pointed the youngest in the direction of the local high school, and focused her attention on writing romance novels.
Now that her four children are off writing their own adventures, Kate is free to drift along in her fictional world, plotting the rise and fall of her characters. She has a passion for black coffee, dark chocolate, and red wine. Not necessarily in that order. Kate lives in the Midwest with her family. 
Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon | Website |

Monday, September 27, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of The Gathering Table by Kathryn Springer

Author: Kathryn Springer
Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: September 28, 2021

Winsome Lake, Wisconsin, is postcard-pretty, but for chef Jessica Keaton it’s also a last resort. Fired from her dream job, Jess is starting over as a live-in cook and housekeeper. When she arrives, she finds her new employer is in rehab after having a stroke, and Jess expects she’ll be all alone in Elaine Haviland’s quaint house. A chef with no one to cook for.
But instead, she encounters a constant stream of colorful visitors who draw her back into the world. As Jess contends with local teenagers, a group of scrappy women and a charming football coach, Elaine faces some battles of her own that extend past her physical challenges. For both of them, all the ingredients for a fulfilling life are within reach, if they’re willing to take a leap. And maybe Jess will start to see that it’s not just what’s on the table that matters—it’s the people gathered round it.
A must-read novel from Love Inspired: Stories to Uplift and Inspire


My thoughts:

I can honestly say that The Gathering Table will be making my top 10 of 2021.  This has to be one of the sweetest feel good books I have read this year.  I  loved it from start to finish and read it in one sitting.  The characters were wonderful and just made me smile.   I loved how Jess was embraced by the Scrappy Ladies.  They were really fun and added a lightness to the story.  We are also treated to two very sweet romances.  One of my favorite parts of the book was the food.  Jess is a chef and is constantly making what would probably be very delicious food in real life.  I'll admit to snacking while reading.  It was making me hungry.

I highly recommend this one.  If you are looking for an uplifting, feel good story, then pick this one up.  Just be prepared to be really hungry after reading it.  

Enjoy this sneak peek:

It was tiny. Lilliputian. The butcher-block island smaller than the cutting board she’d used in Gwyneth’s kitchen. The walls were the color of lemon meringue, the cabinets white with ceramic knobs and light blue trim.
And the stove…
Jess steeled herself and looked at the burners.
Of course it was.
Jess’s cell phone began to vibrate inside her purse and she sifted through the contents to find it.
She’d ignored an incoming call from an unknown number on the drive to Winsome Lake, assuming it was a scammer hoping to siphon her credit card information. But based on the new information she’d just been given, Jess took a risk and answered it this time.
“Hello.” She flavored the greeting with just the right amount of “don’t mess with me” spice. The same tone she used when she was buying fresh whitefish from the Corbin brothers.
“Is this Jessie Keaton?”
“Jessica,” Jess corrected automatically.
“My name is Vanessa Richards and I’m a social worker at Sunrise Rehabilitation Center. I’m calling on behalf of Elaine Haviland…she said you planned to arrive sometime today.”
Jess’s fingers tightened around the phone. “I’m already here.”
“Wonderful. This latest setback hasn’t been easy on Elaine, but she’ll be relieved I was able to get in touch with you.”
“I’m sorry, Ms. Richards.” Jess used the laminate—laminate—counter as a brace. “I don’t know anything about a setback. Or a…a stroke. All I know is that Elaine Havi­land offered me a job, this is the start date I was given and no one is here.”
In spite of Jess’s best efforts, the last word frayed a little at the edges.
“Well, I think we should take a few steps back, then.”
Jess had no idea what the social worker looked like, but she’d chosen the right profession. Every word the woman spoke exuded warmth and comfort. The vocal equivalent of chocolate lava cake.

About Kathryn Springer

Kathryn Springer grew up in a small town where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child, she spent hours sitting at her mother’s typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of reading – which turned into a desire to tell stories of her own.
Kathryn has written over thirty books and lives and writes on a lake in northern Wisconsin. She enjoys long walks in the woods and the change of seasons (although sometimes she wishes the “change” between winter and spring didn’t last quite so long!) When Kathryn isn’t at the computer, she’s spending time with family and friends, paging through cooking magazines or sitting in the sun. A really, really good day includes all three!

Connect with Kathryn
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Tour stops:
Monday, September 20th: @everlasting.charm - review
Monday, September 20th: - review
Tuesday, September 21st: Books, Cooks, Looks - excerpt
Tuesday, September 21st: @literannie - review
Wednesday, September 22nd: @jenniaahava - review
Wednesday, September 22nd: A Baker's Perspective - review
Thursday, September 23rd: - review
Thursday, September 23rd: @readitandquip - review
Friday, September 24th: The Bookish Dilettante - excerpt
Friday, September 24th: @nurse_bookie - review
Friday, September 24th: @stumblingintobooks - review
Saturday, September 25th: Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama - excerpt
Saturday, September 25th: Christian Chick's Thoughts and @cctblog - review
Sunday, September 26th: @bookscoffeephotography - review
Sunday, September 26th: @vivibookshelf - review
Monday, September 27th: Living My Best Book Life - excerpt @livingmybestbooklife - review
Monday, September 27th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy - review and excerpt
Monday, September 27th: From the TBR Pile - review and excerpt
Tuesday, September 28th: Books and Benches - excerpt
Tuesday, September 28th: Susan Loves Books - review and excerpt
Wednesday, September 29th: @travelerswife4life - review
Wednesday, September 29th: @webreakforbooks - review
Wednesday, September 29th: What is That Book About - excerpt
Thursday, September 30th: @plains_reading - review
Thursday, September 30th: @what.ems.reading - review
Thursday, September 30th: @books_faith_love - review
Friday, October 1st: What is That Book About - review
Friday, October 1st: Well Read Traveler and @wellreadtraveler - review and excerpt
Friday, October 1st: @kristens.reading.nook - review
Friday, October 8th: The Bookish Dilettante - review

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of This is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore


Author: Gabriella Lepore
Publisher: Inkyard Press
On Sale Date: September 21, 2021
$18.99 USD
Ages 13 And Up
320 pages

Riverdale meets One of Us Is Lying in This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore, a standalone thriller following two teens who discover a body off the coast of their seaside town. As they search for the killer, they will learn the students of both the local prep school and the nearby reform school will do anything to protect their secrets.
Everyone in Gardiners Bay has a secret.
When Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole find Colleen O’Dell’s body floating off the shore of their coastal town, the community of Gardiners Bay is shaken. But even more shocking is the fact that her drowning was no accident.
Once Jenna’s best friend becomes a key suspect, Jenna starts to look for answers on her own. As she uncovers scandals inside Preston Prep School leading back to Rookwood reform school, she knows she needs Adam on her side.
As a student at Rookwood, Adam is used to getting judgmental looks, but now his friends are being investigated by the police. Adam will do whatever he can to keep them safe, even if that means trusting Jenna.
As lies unravel, the truth starts to blur. Only one thing is certain: somebody must take the fall.


My thoughts:

This is Why We Lie is a YA mystery that opens with the discovery of a dead body. It's told through the Jenna and Adam's points of view and waffle between the events leading up to the discovery on the beach and the aftermath.  It was a little slow in the beginning, but about a third of the way through, it picked up.  

I really enjoyed this one. It's full of secrets and twists and I did not guess the ending.  I genuinely enjoyed the main characters Jenna and Adam.  I felt invested and hoped for a positive outcome for both of them. There are a lot of secondary characters and I spent a lot of the book not knowing who to trust.  I don't want to talk plot too much because it would spoil things.  I'll just say I definitely recommend this one.  

Enjoy this excerpt:

Gardiners Bay at dawn is my secret. There’s a moment, right before the day starts, when the ocean is bathed in amber light. That first golden breath of morning. Everything is still, apart from the pelicans gathering near the water, their plump bodies shuffling along the shoreline. Sometimes I sit on the promenade for hours with my legs suspended over the pebble beach below, just watching the night turn to day. Watching the darkness turn to light.
                It’s often like this, just me and the birds. The only other people I tend to cross paths with at this hour are fishermen wearing heavy-duty gear and hugging their thermoses. They sit on the benches and swig their hot drinks while skimming the daily newspaper. Then they leave. A little while later, their boats drift out onto the water.
                Today, though, I’m the only one here.
                I raise my camera and adjust the focus, capturing the new light as it spills over the ocean. In the muted daylight, the silver tide is a murky, dull gray and frothing as it slaps against the shore.
                “Help! I need help!”
                My eyes dart across the shoreline. There’s a boy on the stretch of beach at the foot of Rookwood Cliff. He’s kneedeep in the water, fully dressed.
                He shouts again.
                I spring to my feet and run along the promenade. Ducking beneath the boardwalk railings, I jump down to the pebbled cove.
                The soles of my feet sting at the impact of the stones beneath my Converse. I scramble toward him, my footing slipping on the damp pebbles.
                It’s then that I recognize him.
                His jeans are soaked to the thigh. He’s wading through the shallows, his legs tangled in fishing net and seaweed. And a body lies limp in his arms. A girl. She’s swollen, her skin has turned purple, and one arm is swinging downward with the momentum of Adam’s labored movements.
                I press my hand to my mouth.
                “Call an ambulance,” he shouts.
                But all I can do is stand there, paralyzed by the sight. He lowers the girl onto the sand and begins CPR, breathing into her mouth.
                It’s too late, I want to tell him.
                She’s already dead.
Excerpted from This is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore, Copyright © 2021 by Gabriella Lepore. Published by Inkyard Press.

Gabriella Lepore is a YA author from South Wales in the United Kingdom. She lives in the countryside with her husband James and daughter Sophia. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found exploring the coastline. She enjoys cups of tea, bookstore coffee shops, stormy beaches, and autumn days.
Twitter: @GabriellaBooks 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Review: The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: September 2021

 Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.
The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions - including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she's not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture - by any means necessary.

The Hawthorne Legacy is the second book in the Inheritance Games series.  This one pick up farily shortly after the first book.  Coming off of solving certain secrets in the first book, Avery should be out of danger.  However, someone is actively trying to kill her. Who can she trust?
I thought this was a solid follow up to the first book.  The pacing was  little slower for me, but it wasn't too distracting.  There were some fun puzzles that needed to be solved.  I was happy to see that was carried over from the first book.  I also felt like we got to know Avery and the Hawthorne brothers a little more.  One thing I was not a fan of was the kind of love triangle.  I was happy that she seemed to make a decision in the end and I hope that carries over into the final book.  There are a number of twists and revelations and I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the series.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Make Me by Evelyn Sola


Author: Evelyn Sola
Read Now!

Laci Hogan isn’t looking for love when she moves back to Oak Bend. Coming home is all about Laci gaining her independence she once lost. Besides, getting over a rocky past and losing her husband is more than enough for her to juggle while raising her two-year-old daughter but old acquaintance - Cooper Stevens can be persistent when it comes to getting what he wants.

No stranger to hard work, he’s willing to do all it takes to prove to his new neighbor Laci that she doesn’t have to do life alone and that with the right person, a relationship makes life better - oh so much better.

Will Cooper make her see that this could be all the happiness she never knew she was looking for?

My Thoughts:
Make Me is an emotional, slow burn, kind of second chance romance.  Laci has come to live in the town of Oak Bend to manage her aunt's flower shop.  It's a fresh start for her and her 2 year old daughter.  Her neighbor and landlord happens to be her high school cruch, Cooper. 

I thought this was a really sweet romance.  I loved how Cooper worked hard to tear down Laci's walls and help her realize he is her soft place to fall.  They had amazing chemistry.  I also loved how Cooper embrace little Ivy.  He was too cute with her.  I definitely recommend this one.

Copyright 2021 Evelyn Sola
Just as I approach the corner, I’m hit on the shoulder by another body. I’m pushed to the wall, and the mountain of books in my hands crashes to the floor. The red folder holding my English term paper lands on top of the heap.
“Watch where you’re going!” the person who bumped says.
She doesn’t have the decency to stop, but by the sound of her giggles, I know who it is. And there’s no way the school’s most popular senior would give me the time of day. I sigh and drop to the floor to pick up my things. My heart starts to beat erratically because if there’s one thing I know—wherever Candace is, he’s never too far behind.
I’m proven right. A pair of black boots enters my line of vision. Cooper Stevens. Those are his boots. He was wearing them the very first time I saw him, and I remember wanting to be swallowed up by the ground. The only thing that saved me from total embarrassment was the fact that I know someone like him would never notice someone like me.
I hold my breath while he approaches and quickly turn to my books. Please leave. Please leave. Please leave. I busy myself arranging my books. I won’t stand up until he walks past me. Only he doesn’t. He drops down to my level and grabs my red folder. Instead of handing it to me, he opens it and starts to look through the pages.
I finally find the courage to look at him, and our eyes lock. For the first time ever, I notice the hazel flecks around his brown eyes. I look away and drop my head, and because this is the day from hell, my glasses slide off my face and land on the floor.
We reach for them at the same time, and his large hand ends up covering mine. I let out a small sound, and I say a silent prayer that he didn’t hear it. I note the contrast of our skin tones, his white hand covering my brown one before I pull mine away. He lifts my glasses and brings them to my face. I’m as still as a statue while I look down at the linoleum floor. He moves closer and slides the glasses back onto my face. I take a deep breath and bask in the smell of his leather jacket mixed with his fruity shampoo.
When he gets the glasses on my face, he moves his hands behind my ears to make sure they are secure.
“You okay?” he asks. He lifts my chin and forces me to look at him.
Like a deer in headlights, all I can do is stare.
“Be careful next time, Laces,” he whispers.
I lick my dry lips. “Um, my name is—” The words get locked in my throat. I grab my books and finally stand up. He stands right along with me. When we’re both upright, he takes a step closer.
“Your name is what?” he asks. He hands me my folder, and when I take it from him, his fingers touch mine.
“Um, my name is—” I clear my throat and try again. The entire time he stares at me with an expression I can’t interpret. “My name isn’t, um—” I never get a chance to finish my sentence.
“Cooper!” Candace yells in the hallway. She runs over to us and grabs the sleeve of his leather jacket. “Come on! What are you still doing here with her?” She points at me without bothering to look in my direction. “Let’s go. You did your good deed of the day. Maybe you should tell her to run a flat iron through that hair.” The entire time he was being dragged away, his head was turned in my direction, until they turned the corner and he disappeared.
About Evelyn Sola

A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find Evelyn with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come. 
Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion and humor.
She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.
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