Saturday, September 30, 2023

September DNFs

The Chateau:  Instead of the mystery I was hoping to get, I got a bunch of middle aged whiny women.  Every single one of them had an issue.  I've had my fill of stories like this.  They just make me roll my eyes.  I didn't care what happened to any of them.

Ghost Radio:  This one was so confusing.  I had no idea what was going on.  I listened to the beginning a couple of times, but couldn't figure it out.  So, I gave up.

Murder on a School Night
:  I'm not sure what kind of teenagers this author of this book has been around lately, but the do not talk like the girls in this book.  I read the first chapter...if I never read the word "vulva" ever again it will be too soon.  Why were these girls so over the top?  I really didn't care to find out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Spotlight: Murder in the Blitz by F. L. Everett

Author: F.L. Everett
Publication Date: September 2023

England, 1940. Newspaper secretary Edie York wants nothing more than to be a real wartime reporter. But when she stumbles upon the death of a Home Guard soldier she must turn her investigative skills to sleuthing…

Rookie reporter Edie York dreams of being out in the field, instead of being stuck writing up the wartime headlines, transcribing Churchill’s rousing speeches on her cranky typewriter. So when her first real assignment one misty morning ends with the crack of a pistol shot and the sudden death of a Home Guard soldier, she’s determined to take her chance and investigate.

With the local police force, under the utterly irritating but outrageously handsome DCI Louis Brennan, stretched to the limit as bombs rain down, Edie strikes out alone. And she quickly discovers more than she’d ever hoped – or feared. From undercover spies to priceless stolen artwork, Edie is plunged headlong into a mystery that stretches from Manchester to Berlin.

But when she finds another body in the blackout, Edie realises she’s bitten off more than she can chew. With an exasperated Louis finally lending a hand, can Edie unveil the murderer and make headline news, her name in print at last? Or will she be next…?

A brilliantly addictive and totally twist-packed cozy historical mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman and Agatha Christie. This is the first book in the Edie York Mystery series.

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About the author

Flic Everett is a Mancunian writer who now lives in a cottage in the beautiful West Highlands with her patient husband and two deranged cocker spaniels. She still misses Manchester, and returns like a homing pigeon every month to see family and friends. She spends a lot of time writing on trains.
Flic has owned an award-winning vintage shop, guest-presented Woman’s Hour and was once a part-time tarot reader. She has a grown up son who makes her laugh more than anyone on earth, and she likes reading, painting, cooking, clothes, animals, Art Deco and rummaging in charity shops for bargains. Her greatest fear is being stranded without a book. She has spent many years as a freelance journalist and editor for national newspapers and magazines and can’t believe she’s finally allowed to make up stories from the comfort of her own home.
Author social media
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Instagram URL @fliceverett
Twitter URL @fliceverett

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Release Blitz: Blackhearted by Julie Ann Walker

Black Hearted
by Julie Ann Walker is out now! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy of the gorgeous romantic suspense today!

Title: Black Hearted
Author: Julie Ann Walker
Genre: Romantic Suspense
He’s everything she ever wanted. She’s everything he never knew he needed. Can she convince him she’s the one?
The Black Knights are back and better than ever!
Samuel Harwood has spent his entire career working in the black and gray areas of international intrigue. Living in the shadows for so long has made him forget who he was and where he came from. Then a blast from the past, in the form of his ex-girlfriend’s kid sister, arrives on the front steps of Black Knights Inc, reminding him of everything he left behind. Except, she’s no longer a kid. And she’s in serious trouble.
Hannah Blue has been in love with Sam Harwood since she was in braces. When someone sabotages her entire life, he’s the first person she turns to. She has critical information about a potential cyber-attack on the U.S. power grid that could end in catastrophic financial damage and loss of life. But the FBI thinks she’s a traitor. And now she’s on the run to save herself and the fate of the entire nation.
Who does Samuel trust? The smart, sexy woman he’s known since he was a teenager? Or the government authorities who give him his orders and cut his paychecks? He’ll make one desperate play to find out. A play that could cost him everything…including his heart.
"A first-rate thrill ride."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review for Thrill Ride
"This razor-sharp, sensual, and intriguing tale will get hearts pounding"—Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review for Wild Ride
"Deft characterization, skillful pacing, touches of humor, and red-hot love scenes rev up this highly recommended roller-coaster." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review for In Rides Trouble

Order Your Copy!
Amazon | AppleBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Catching Up with the Series:
Back In Black:
Amazon | AppleBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!
Man in Black:
Amazon | AppleBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the Author:
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Julie grew up in a house full of women – she has three older sisters. As you can imagine, there was no lack of drama… or romance. Her mother enrolled her in a book club as soon as she began to read and it was the small spark that ignited her voracious appetite for the written word.
Because of Julie’s early immersion in literature, she found writing came quite naturally. In high school, she won multiple writing contests and was the proud senior editor of The Tiger’s Tale – her school newspaper.
During her college years, however, she longed for a challenge. “Reading and writing felt like second nature to me, so I looked for a way to flex my mental muscles,” she recalls. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, Julie began teaching advanced high school mathematics.
“I loved working with the students and facing the challenges of the classroom, but I longed for the occasional snow day when I could race to the local book store, buy two or three new novels, and curl up in front of the fire to read.”
It wasn’t until a fortuitous move to Chicago that Julie once more returned to her first passion.
Now Julie loves to travel the world looking for views to compete with her deadlines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, cycling, cooking, petting every dog that walks by her, and… reading, of course!
Connect with the Author:
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Monday, September 25, 2023

Review: Hooked By Emily McIntire

Author: Emily McIntire
Publisher: Bloom Books
Publication Date: September 2021

 He wants revenge, but he wants her more…

James has always had one agenda: destroy his enemy, Peter Michaels. When Peter’s twenty-year-old daughter Wendy shows up in James’s bar, he sees his way in. Seduce the girl and use her for his revenge. It’s the perfect plan, until things in James’s organization begin to crumble. Suddenly, he has to find the traitor in his midst, and his plan for revenge gets murkier as James starts to see Wendy as more than just a pawn in his game.

Wendy has been cloistered away most of her life by her wealthy cold father, but a spontaneous night out with friends turns into an intense and addictive love affair with the dark and brooding James. As much as she knows James is dangerous, Wendy can’t seem to shake her desire for him. But as their relationship grows more heated and she learns more about the world he moves in, she finds herself unsure if she’s falling for the man known as James or the monster known as Hook.

Hooked is the first book in the Never After series.  The books in this series are loosely associated with the fairy tales that they are tied to and are contemporary dark romances.  This one is James (Hook) and Wendy's story.  I wasn't sure what to expect with this one.    It is supposed to be a dark romance and it is darker than I generally enjoy reading. 

James (Hook) is a morally grey character.  But I ended up kind of rooting for him in the end. There was one really sad scene and I felt bad for him.  I did like Wendy's character and thought she had a lot of growth.  She is very naive in the beginning.  The chemistry between the two was really strong and sizzling.  One of the annoying things about the book was the obvious culprit. I called it from the beginning.  So, I ended up liking it, but not loving it.  It's definitely an acquired taste.  I probably will read the next one.  

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Review: You Can Die by Rebecca Zanetti

Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Publication Date:

It's an especially deadly winter in the Pacific Northwest, as rising star FBI profiler Laurel Snow hunts down a serial killer with a chillingly bitter M.O., in New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti's edgy thriller . . .

Men are dying in the Pacific Northwest, their bodies found near churches, charities, and counseling centers--each with valentine candy hearts shoved down their throats. They're good men with families and community ties--or so they seem until Laurel Snow and her team begin to investigate. Then the case takes a shockingly personal turn when the father she's never met, a former pastor, turns up among the dead.

Now, besides solving her father's murder, Laurel is on the hunt to discover the truth of his past. Complicating things is Laurel's troubled half-sister, Abigail, a brilliant sociopath determined to prove that they've both inherited their father's malignant narcissism.

Assisting Laurel is Washington Fish and Wildlife Captain Huck Rivers, a dangerous loner whose reliance on gut instinct puts him at odds with Laurel's coolly analytic approach. But the choice may be moot when the killer hones in on Huck's own dark secrets--putting him and Laurel squarely in the crosshairs.

You Can Die is the third book in the Laurel Snow series. Being the third book in the series, I would not advise reading this one first.  It spoils a LOT of events from the first two books. In this one, men are being murdered and each has a candy heart shoved in their throats.  Its up to Laurel to find the killer before it's too late.

This has quickly become a favorite series of mine.  I really love the characters.  Laurel is such a breath of fresh air with the way she looks at the world.  I have enjoyed watching her grow and make friends.  I also love her growing relationship with Huck.  It's really adorable and full of surprises.  The msytery here was a good one. I didn't call the ending. As with the other books, there were a lot of twists and turns.  I definitely recommend this one as well as the series.  I can't wait for the next one. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Blog Tour: Review of Man Scape by Vanessa Vale


In Hunter Valley, it's open season on men.
Man Scape by Vanessa Vale is now live! 
Don't date your son's ex.
Especially when she's supposedly the town's good girl. But the sweet, shy librarian isn't a good girl at all.
She can't be, because she wants me—the local lumberjack, and my...wood.
I'm her ex's dad but she says she doesn't want guys her age. Or a relationship.
She wants a fling. And since I'm leaving Hunter Valley in a few days, I'll definitely indulge her.
We'll have fun while it lasts and then she'll go back to fooling the town and I'll just go.
In Hunter Valley, it's always open season on men. Will the biggest one in town be the easiest to catch?
Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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My thoughts:

Man Scape is the fifth book in the "On a Man Hunt" series.  This one is Daniel and Melly's story.  This worked very well as a stand alone book.  I didn't feel lost.  Ultimately, I did enjoy Daniel and Melly together.  I just wish they had spent more time outside of the bedroom.  Those scenes were a bit over the top for my taste, but that is a me thing.  I loved the interactions between Daniel and his brothers.  Their banter was really funny.  This is an age gap romance which I didn't mind. My other issue is that it only happens over a few days and had a HFN ending.  I wish the timeframe was a little longer.  I do recommend this one and am interested in reading others in the series.

About the author:

A USA Today bestseller, Vanessa Vale writes tempting romance with unapologetic bad boys who don’t just fall in love, they fall hard. Her books have sold over one million copies. She lives in the American West where she's always finding inspiration for her next story. While she’s not as skilled at social media as her kids, she loves to interact with readers.
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Cover Reveal: Life is Better With You by Shannon Paige


Join us for the Cover Reveal of Life is Better with You by Shannon Paige. Fans who love Fake Relationships, Forced Proximity, and Co-Workers/Office Romance will swoon for this light and humorous romance. Keep scrolling for more details about this sweet cover.
Author: Shannon Paige
Release Date: 10/17/2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Trope: fake relationship, opposites attract, friends to lovers, one bed, forced proximity, found family, co-workers/office romance, and cinnamon roll MMC
Fake dating is supposed to be platonic. Someone maybe should’ve told them that sooner…
Luke Simmons is my best friend at the office. A cinnamon roll in human form. Sexy in a nerdy way. A forever kind of guy.
Not my type at all.
My abandonment issues would never let me pick a guy like Luke. So, when he needs a fake girlfriend to bring home for a holiday wedding, I agree. It’s not like I’m going to fall in love with him.
 Or so I kept telling myself…
I’ve been pining for Aspen Shaw for years. Her beauty, that adorable birthmark, her intelligence…she’s perfect.
Too bad the feeling is totally unrequited.
So, I’m not about to let a little forced proximity—or the one bed we’ll be forced to share while we’re staying with my family—make me do something stupid. Like profess my undying love.
Especially since she has no idea I’m moving away after New Years…

Pre-Order Now At Your Favorite Retailers!
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Add to Goodreads Here!

About Shannon Paige

Shannon Paige is an author of swoon-worthy romances featuring perfectly imperfect characters whose stories include a dash of heart, heat and humor as they work towards their happily ever afters.
Shannon married to the-boy-next-door (they met in kindergarten) almost 30 years ago.
She has three grown children and resides in the Rocky Mountains of Utah.
When Shannon isn’t writing romance novels, you’ll find her in one of two places; either traveling the globe on various adventures, taking copious amounts of photos, and taste testing all the local cuisine, or relaxing on her porch swing, not leaving the house for days.
You can find Shannon at @ShannonPaige_author on Instagram or visit her website,
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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Blog Tour: Review of An Unsuitable Heiress by Jane Dunn


Title: An Unsuitable Heiress
Author: Jane Dunn
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Publisher: ‎ Boldwood Books (May 22, 2023)
Length: (350) pages
Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 
ISBN: ‎978-1804835364
Tour Dates: September 4 – October 2, 2023
Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father's identity has been a tantalizing mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr. Beech.
Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Travelling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades, handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England. And when she meets Alick's turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers may survive.

From gambling in gentleman’s clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna’s country naivety soon falls away. But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

❤️ A must read for Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, and historical romance fans.
❤️ A spunky, adventurous heroine on a quest in London to find her estranged father.
❤️ An adorable dog and an endearing horse!
❤️ Three dashing blades who will make you laugh, and swoon.
❤️ A bestselling & highly rated new release.
My Thoughts:

An Unsuitable Heiress is a really adorable and sweet romance.  It involves Corina who sets out to find her father in an attempt to avoid being married off to someone she has no interest in.  In order to travel under the radar, she dresses up as a boy.  She quickly finds out that  being a boy doesn't mean she is safe. Thankfully, Alick and his friends come to the rescue.

As I said, I thought this was an adorable story.  I really enjoyed all of the friendships in this one.  Especially between the guys and Corina.  Once they realized she was a girl, I was happy to see that the friendships didn't diminish.  The love story between Alick and Corina was subtle, but it really worked for me.  I loved the ending.  The story line with Corina and her father was bittersweet. I really loved this book and I highly recommend it!  I hope to read  other guys get their own stories. 


Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters, and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which, The Marriage Season, is to be published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Release Blitz: Loving You by Samantha Chase


Loving You by Samantha Chase is now live! 
He was never planning on staying in Sweetbriar Ridge.
Then the perfect woman fell into his arms.
Not everyone in Sweetbriar Ridge is as sweet as the town name would suggest. But single mom Jade Mackenzie is up to the challenge of winning over the town if that's what it takes to make her new shop a success. After all, this is just the latest in a long string of battles she's had to face. Since she's given up on men-all of them except for her son-she can throw all her energy into the new business. Or so she thought until the most charming and too-good-looking-for-his-own-good man walked into her shop. And she literally falls into his arms.
Levi Donovan knows how to charm his way through life; winning people over is just what he does. But no amount of charm can save him when he's at the center of a scandal that costs him his position at a prestigious ad agency. With no other choice, he's forced to return home to Sweetbriar Ridge, the small town he left behind the first chance he got. When he meets the owner of the new coffeehouse, he starts to think that small towns aren't so bad. And when he finds out Jade needs a little help promoting her new business, Levi makes it his mission to help her make the shop a success. That's just what a good friend does.
No matter how hard she tries to resist, Jade can't help but be swept away by Levi's good looks and the sweet way he interacts with her son. But Levi isn't staying, and getting attached would be a mistake. Levi always swore he would never settle in Sweetbriar Ridge, but could loving Jade be reason enough to stay?

*Each book in the Donovans series can be read as a standalone*

  Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo!
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Narrated by: Carly Robins
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Meet Samantha

Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance that's hotter than sweet, sweeter than hot. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than seventy titles under her belt - including THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE which was a Hallmark Christmas movie in 2017! She's a Disney enthusiast who still happily listens to 80's rock. When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene...oh, and spending time with her husband of 30 years and their two sons in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
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Release Blitz: Tempting the Player by Samantha Chase


Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Tempting the Player by Rebecca Jenshak is now live! 
He’s the last guy I should fall for.
Valley U was supposed to be my fresh start after I escaped the glitz and glam of Hollywood.
I didn’t want to be the former child star who graced TV screens across the world.
I wanted to feel normal.
When the same hot guy runs past my off-campus house every day, I assume he’s another college student.
When he protects me from boys who still think of me as the character from their teenage dreams, I think he is being kind.
When my past comes back to haunt me, he makes me feel safe.
I’m falling hard and fast for a guy I barely know.
Until I realize my mysterious new crush has a secret.
He was hired to be my undercover bodyguard.

 Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide
Narrated by: Jacob Morgan & Ava Erickson
Add to Goodreads

Meet Rebecca
Rebecca Jenshak is a USA Today bestselling author of new adult and sports romance. She writes sexy, feel-good stories with lots of swoon-worthy moments.
Rebecca lives in Arizona. When she isn’t writing, you can find her cheering on local sports teams, hanging out with friends and family, or curled up with a good book.
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Sunday, September 17, 2023

Spotlight: Excerpt from The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan


Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 9781335005120
Publication Date: September 19, 2023
Publisher: Canary Street Press
17.99 US | 21.99 CAN

This Christmas, USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with another heartfelt exploration of change, the power of books to heal, and the enduring strength of female friendship. Perfect for fans of Emily Henry and Jennifer Weiner.
With its historic charm and picture-perfect library, the Maple Sugar Inn is considered the winter destination. As the holidays approach, the inn is fully booked with guests looking for their dream vacation. But widowed far too young, and exhausted from juggling the hotel with being a dedicated single mom, Hattie Coleman dreams only of making it through the festive season.
But when Erica, Claudia and Anna—lifelong friends who seem to have it all—check in for a girlfriends’ book club holiday, it changes everything. Their close friendship and shared love of books have carried them through life's ups and downs. But Hattie can see they're also packing some major emotional baggage, and nothing prepares her for how deeply her own story is about to become entwined in theirs. In the span of a week over the most enchanting time of the year, can these four women come together to improve each other’s lives and make this the start of a whole new chapter?

Buy Links:
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Books A Million


Maple Sugar Inn, how may I help you?” Hattie answered the phone with a smile on her face because she’d discovered that it was impossible to sound defeated, moody or close to tears when you were smiling, and currently she was all those things.

“I’ve been planning a trip to Vermont in winter for years and then I spotted pictures of your inn on social media,” a woman gushed, “and it looks so cozy and welcoming. The type of place you can’t help but relax.”

It’s an illusion, Hattie thought. There was no relaxation to be had here; not for her, at any rate. Her head throbbed and her eyes pricked following another night without sleep. The head house­keeper was threatening to walk out and the executive chef had been late two nights running and she was worried tonight might be the third, which would be a disaster because they were fully booked. Chef Tucker had earned their restaurant that coveted star, and his confit of duck had been known to induce moans of ecstasy from diners, but there were days when Hattie would have traded that star for a chef with a more even temperament. His temper was so hot she sometimes wondered why he bothered switching on the grill. He could have yelled at the duck and it would have been thoroughly singed in the flames of his anger. He was being disrespectful and taking advantage of her. Hat­tie knew that, and she also knew she should probably fire him but Brent had chosen him, and firing him would have severed another thread from the past. Also, conflict drained her energy and right now she didn’t have enough of that to go around. It was simpler to placate him.

“I’m glad you’re impressed,” she said to the woman on the phone. “Can I make a reservation for you?”

“I hope so, but I’m very particular about the room. Can I tell you what I need?”

“Of course.” Bracing herself for a long and unachievable wish list, Hattie resisted the temptation to smack her forehead onto the desk. Instead, she reached for a pad of paper and pen that was always handy. “Go ahead.”

How bad could it be? A woman the week before had wanted to know if she could bring her pet rat with her on vacation—answer: no!—and a man the week before that had demanded that she turn down the sound of the river that ran outside his bedroom window because it was keeping him awake.

She went above and beyond in her attempts to satisfy the whims of guests but there were limits.

“I’d like the room to have a mountain view,” the woman said. “And a real fire would be a nice extra.”

“All our rooms have real fires,” Hattie said, “and the rooms at the back have wonderful views of the mountains. The ones at the front face the river.”

She relaxed slightly. So far, so straightforward.

“Mountains for me. Also, I’m particular about bedding. After all, we spend a third of our lives asleep so it’s important, don’t you agree?”

Hattie felt a twinge of envy. She definitely didn’t spend a third of her life asleep. With having a young child, owning an inn and grieving the loss of her husband, she barely slept at all. She dreamed of sleep but sadly, usually when she was awake.

“Bedding is important.” She said what was expected of her, which was what she’d been doing since the police had knocked on her door two years earlier to tell her that her beloved Brent had been killed instantly in a freak accident. A brick had fallen from a building as he’d been walking past on his way to the bank and struck him on the head.

It was mortifying to remember that her initial reaction had been to laugh—she’d been convinced it was a joke, be­cause normal people didn’t get killed by random bricks fall­ing from buildings, did they?—but then she’d realized they weren’t laughing and it probably wasn’t because they didn’t have a sense of humor.

She’d asked them if they were sure he was dead, and then had to apologize for questioning them because of course they were sure. How often did the police follow we’re sorry to have to tell you…with oops, we made a mistake.

After they’d repeated the bad news, she’d thanked them po­litely. Then she’d made them a cup of tea because she was a) half British and b) very much in shock.

When they’d drunk their tea and eaten two of her home­made cinnamon cookies, she’d shown them out as if they were treasured guests who had honored her with their presence, and not people who had just shattered her world in one short con­versation.

She’d stared at the closed door for a full five minutes after they’d left while she’d tried to process it. In a matter of min­utes her life had utterly changed, the future she’d planned with Brent stolen, her hopes crushed.

Even though two years had passed, there were still days when it felt unreal. Days when she still expected Brent to walk through the door with that bouncing stride of his, full of excite­ment because he’d had one of his brilliant ideas that he couldn’t wait to share with her.

I think we should get married…

I think we should start a family…

I think we should buy that historic inn we saw on our trip to Ver­mont…

They’d met in England during their final year of college and from the first moment she’d been swept away on the tide of Brent’s enthusiasm. After graduating, they’d both taken jobs in London but then two things had happened. Brent’s grand­mother had died, leaving him a generous sum of money, and they’d taken a trip to Vermont. They’d fallen in love with the place, and now here she was, a widow at the age of twenty-eight, raising their five-year-old child and managing the historic inn. Alone. Since she’d lost Brent she’d tried to keep every­thing going the way he’d wanted it, but that wasn’t proving easy. She worried that she wasn’t able to do this on her own. She worried that she was going to lose the inn. Most of all she worried that she wasn’t going to be enough for their daughter. Now Brent was gone she had to be two people—how could she be two people when most days she didn’t even feel whole?

She realized that while she’d been indulging in a moment of maudlin self-pity, the woman on the phone was still talking. “I’m sorry, could you say that again?”

“I’d like the bedsheets to be linen because I do struggle with overheating.”

“We have linen bedding, so that won’t be a problem.”

“And pink.”

“Excuse me?”

“I’d like the linen to be pink. I find I sleep better. White is too glaring and drab colors depress me.”


“I’ll make a note.” She grabbed a notepad and scribbled Help followed by four exclamation marks. She might have writ­ten something ruder, but her daughter was a remarkably good reader and was given to demonstrating that skill wherever and whenever she could, so Hattie had learned to be mindful of what she wrote and left lying around. “Did you have a partic­ular date in mind?”

“Christmas. It’s the best time, isn’t it?”

Not for me, Hattie thought, as she checked the room occu­pancy. The first Christmas after Brent had died had been hid­eous, and last year hadn’t been much better. She’d wanted to burrow under the covers until it was all over, but instead, she’d been expected to inject festive joy into other people’s lives. And now it was the end of November again and Christmas was just weeks away.

Still, providing she didn’t lose any more staff, she’d no doubt find a way to muddle through. She’d survived it twice, and she’d survive it a third time.

“You’re in luck. We do still have a few rooms available, in­cluding one double facing the mountains. Would you like me to reserve that for you?”

“Is it a corner room? I do like more than one window.”

“It’s not a corner room, and there is only one window in this particular room, but it has wonderful views and a covered balcony.”

“There’s no way of getting a second window?”

“Sadly not.” What was she supposed to do? Knock a hole through the wall? “But I can send you a video of the room be­fore you make your choice if that would help.”

By the time she’d taken the woman’s email address, put a hold on the room for twenty-four hours and answered the rest of her questions, half an hour had passed.

When the woman finally ended the call, Hattie sighed. Christmas promised to be a nightmare. She made a note under the reservation. Pink sheets. Linen.

How would Brent handle it? It was a question she asked her­self a million times a day and she allowed herself to glance at one of the two photographs she kept on the desk. This one was of Brent swinging their daughter high in the air. Both were laughing. Sometimes, she’d discovered, remembering the best of times sustained you through the worst.


Excerpted from The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan. Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Morgan. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Author Bio: 
Photo Credit:
Ev Sekkides

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.
Romantic Times has described her as 'a magician with words' and nominated her books for their Reviewer's Choice Awards and their 'Top Pick' slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. 
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