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Friday, June 24, 2022

Review: The Last Mile by Kat Martin

Author: Kat Martin
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: May 2022

When Abigail Holland awakes to the sound of a nighttime intruder in her rambling Denver Victorian, she knows exactly what the black shrouded figure is after—the map she recently inherited from her grandfather. Whoever he is, the man who grapples with her, then escapes, is willing to kill for the location of a treasure King Farrell hunted for more than ten years. The Devil’s Gold has claimed hundreds of lives, and it was her grandfather’s obsession.

With a killer pursuing her and her own family not to be trusted, Abby decides to take up the search herself. But she’ll need help to do it, and there’s no one better than renowned explorer and treasure hunter Gage Logan. Despite the instant chemistry between them, Gage is reluctant. Innocent people have been hurt on his watch before. But when Abby shows him a genuine gold ingot she found with the map, his curiosity is piqued. Before long they’re heading into the flash floods and brutal winds of the Superstition Mountains, straight into a passionate entanglement—and the dark heart of danger.

The Last Mile is the second book in the "The Logans" series.  The series follows the three Logan brothers.  This one is Gage's story.  It works perfectly as a stand alone book. Some characters from the first book show up in this one, but, you don't really need to know any back story.

That being said, I enjoyed this one a bit more than the first one.   It has a lot of action that starts fairly early on in the story.  I loved the treasure hunt and adventure portion of the story.  It was a lot of fun; full of danger and intrigue.  I did figure one thing out early, but the rest was a surprise.  As for the couple, I like both Abigail and Gage together and as separate characters.  Gage held a lot of guilt and I was happy that Abby was able to make him see reason.  Abby had a great head on her shoulders and she was a great match for Gage.  It was just a fun romance all around.  I highly recommend this one.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Review: Go Hunt Me by Kelly Devos

Author: Kelly Devos
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: June 2022

Alex Rush is ready for the trip of a lifetime.

She and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic short film that reimagines the story of Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania.

But when they get there, it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time.

Only soon they no longer have to use their imaginations to understand the location’s terrifying history—just as they get the film’s first shot rolling, one of Alex’s friends disappears, and she’s nearly certain she saw a cloaked stranger lurking in the shadows. As more members of the group begin to meet an untimely demise, Alex is desperate to stop the bloodshed, even if it means facing a monster she never thought would be let loose.

I was looking forward to Go Hunt Me,  It looked like it would be a fun YA horror set in a creepy mansion in Romania.  That is what I wanted, but that isn't what I got. I was fairly disappointed with this one.  I mean, I was entertained enough to finish it, but it had a lot more going against it.  In the pros column, I did like the creepy atmosphere.  

The characters were annoying.  And that is saying a lot because we only get one point of view from Alex.  I'm not sure that worked for me.  I had no sympathy for anyone in the friend group and never found myself rooting for anyone to survive.  You really have to suspend a lot of disbelief in this one. The 2 twists were predictable and I called them very early on.  This reminded me of a cheesy film produced by a college film student, only in book form.  It's not awful, but it's not great.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Review: Unforgiven by Rebecca Zanetti

Author: Rebecca 
Zanetti
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: June 2022

Run:
Gemma Falls never expected to use her game theory expertise to outrun a killer. But for years, that skill is all that kept her one step ahead of a deadly stalker. When Gemma gets the chance to teach at D.C. University, she hopes she and her young daughter have found a safe harbor. The only flaw is the arrogant philosophy professor who’s always underfoot giving unwanted advice—in his sexy British accent . . .

Hide:
Jethro Hanson has blood on his hands. He’s working within ivy-covered university halls now, but he knows that his work with the Deep Ops team and the deadly acts he once committed for the sake of Queen and country place him beyond forgiveness—until he meets Gemma . . .

Seek:
Soon, the passion between them stuns them both. But when Jethro discovers a threat is fast overtaking her, he must choose between the redemption he seeks—and releasing the ever-present killer inside . . .

Unforgiven is the 5th book in the Deep Ops series.  I was excited to get my hands on this one because I have been loving this series so far.  This one was a wonderful addition tht ehs eries.  Jethro has shonw up throughout, so was happy yo get his story finally.  

I really enjoyed the msytery.  There are a couple of dangers in this one.  One is much more disturbing than the other.  Gemma is on the run and Jethro is on the hunt for a serial killer.  One to whom he has a personal connection.  I was definitely holding my breath toward the end.  I loved Gemma as a character.  Her drive to keep her and her daughter safe was admirable.  That one scene in the lawyer's office was intense.  I was so cheering her on! 

What I love most about this series is how each couple ends up realizing they have become a part of a bigger family in the team.  I loved checking in with the team.  I think Wolf will always be my favorite.  I hope this series continues and really soon.  I highly recommend this one as well as the series!


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Release Blitz: Excerpt from Flickering Heart by Tricia T. LaRochelle

 


Timid college girl, Sara, isn’t looking for any complications, but that doesn’t stop her from falling for playboy, Scott. When a stalker shatters their happiness, Sara must fight to save herself and the man she loves. Readers who love Jamie McGuire and Colleen Hoover will enjoy Flickering Heart by Tricia T. LaRochelle, a steamy, opposites attract romance.
 
 
Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
 Add to Goodreads Here!
 
Eighteen-year-old Sara Browne is about to step off a cliff. She is taking a giant leap into the world of college—a normal transition for most—but not for Sara. A car accident that scarred her body and soul—and left her orphaned—has dictated six years of isolation, but that was all in her past. She is ready to leave those dark days behind. Her new goals: make a friend, behave irresponsibly (if she’ll allow herself), and go on an actual date.

The last thing Sara is looking for is a complication, but that is exactly what she finds in the hot, six-foot-three blond named Scott Williams, who she meets at the beginning of the school year. Sara is drawn to Scott in a way that she cannot explain, and he seems just as into her. She wants to trust her heart, but Scott’s promiscuous past keeps creeping into their lives. Jealous ex-girlfriends are one thing, but the stranger who defaces her car, sabotages her laptop, and who sends Sara threatening letters is far worse. Someone is determined to destroy her relationship with Scott and the life Sara is trying so hard to rebuild.

By the time Sara finds out who is behind all the trouble, her life is in shambles and she must fight with every ounce of strength and courage to save herself and the man she loves.
   
Excerpt
Copyright 2022 Tricia T. LaRochelle
 
It had taken eighteen years for my first kiss, but it was worth the wait. When he pulled
away, I almost thanked him. I swallowed the urge instead. It was no wonder women sought him
out. What else can you do?
Onto my lips, Scott whispered, “This is definitely the best part of my day, maybe my
year.”
“I bet you say that to all the girls.” I made it sound light, but it wasn’t. Not to me. He had
cast a spell on me, and I didn’t want to share.
Something vibrated against my hip, interrupting our private moment. Scott stepped back
before pulling out his phone and gazing at it. For a few seconds, he studied the screen while I
studied him. When he put the phone back in his pocket, he confronted me with his eyes.
“I’m going to be honest with you, Sara. If you knew me better, then you’d understand how
unusual this is for me to say. I like you.” He took a breath. “I know this is sudden, but I’d like to
go out with you more. A lot more.”
“Aren’t you seeing other girls?” I knew it was a loaded question, but I had to ask.
Scott scratched at his eyebrow, his face bordering sheepish. “Sounds like you’ve been told
a few things about my reputation.”
Not really. I’ve seen it for myself, Scott.
“And I won’t deny that any of it is true.” He came closer. “But I have no interest in dating
anyone else. You can trust me.” His strong hands found my upper arms.
My cautious side took over, pulling my emotional reins back. “I like you, too, but can we
take this slow and see where it goes?” This was all happening so fast. I had a hard time believing it was real.
Scott backed up, his eyes going distant, then he offered a faint nod.
I was sure a guy like him wasn’t used to hearing words like “Can we take this slow?” from
women. Maybe that was a deal-breaker for him.
He straightened himself up as if he was rebooting. “We can definitely take things slow. I
wouldn’t want it any other way.” His dimple appeared right before the flash of his winning
smile. “I know your name is Sara. Is there a last name to go with it?”
Finally, an easy topic.
“Browne. And you?”
“Williams.”
I rolled this surreal moment around in my mind. Was it really happening? I was standing
on a mountain with a guy who was kind, considerate, and hotter than anyone I had ever seen.
Best of all, he was into me, and I was into him. Did I dare to hope that my dark days were behind me? Everything felt so right.
 
 
About Tricia T. LaRochelle

Since she was a little girl, Tricia T. LaRochelle has been obsessed with tragic love stories. No
beach reads for her. Bring on the grit with a double side of turmoil. She likes to feel the
character’s anguish as they fight to overcome obstacles to be together. Growing up in central
Vermont, she has seen her share of tragedy but remains a hopeful romantic. She now lives in
central Virginia where she continues to foster the possibilities of how love can conquer all.
Flickering Heart is the first book in the Sara Browne Series. Stay tuned for updates and announcements on Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for her email list at TriciaLaRochelle.com.
 
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Release Tour: Excerpt from The Wine Down by Louise Lennox

 


In THE WINE DOWN by Louise Lennox, Brandi Armstrong leads a life with no room for error—or romance, but when she has to fight for something close to her heart, she turns to her best friend, Riddick Kruger. Can Riddick help to save Brandi’s family farm, and convince her that his love for her is worth fighting for? Fans of Kennedy Ryan's Kingmaker Series, cultured yet humorous reads, will devour this must-read friends to lovers romance from the Meet Cute Book Club Series.

 Read Now!
Add to Goodreads! 

Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club, where meet-cutes don't happen only between the pages of romance novels, and one by one, all the members find their own happily ever afters.
Meet Brandi Armstrong and Riddick Kruger in book one: The Wine Down...
Brandi…
Fearless
Southern
Broken
I'm the heroine saving farms from financial ruin and racism.
Who will save me from my loneliness?
I’m Too Busy.
I’m Too Hurt.

But it’s homecoming weekend and I really want to WINE Down.
Except now, my family’s farm is on the chopping block.
My best friend Riddick vows to fix it.
Because...
I’m the object of his affection.
And money is no object.
He wants me. But I don't want anyone.
I’m too fractured to put the pieces back together again.
But it's fun to feel Riddick try…
 
Riddick…
Dominating
South African
Billionaire
I'm the wealthy Restaurateur all the ladies love…
But I'm in love with my best friend.
Brandi doesn’t want my love, but she does need my help.
She will get more than she asks for.
I'll destroy the past that’s haunting her.
I’ll own the present by pleasuring her.
I'll design our future; healing her.
She will be mine, and her heart will no longer hide…
 
Will Brandi Wine Down long enough to let love rule?
Can Riddick save Brandi's farm without killing their friendship?
Find out in this hot friends-to-lovers romance from Louise Lennox!
 
The Wine Down is a standalone, Friend to Lovers romance that is part of the multi-author series, Meet Cute Book Club series. Escape with this swoon-worthy collection of romances where meet-cutes don't only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever after.
 

 
Excerpt
 
Copyright 2022 @Louise Lennox
 
“Riddick!” A shrill voice I hate all too well calls out. “Long Time, no see! Did you come to watch me perform? You know I’ve still got all my moves.”
Mandy fucking Foster
I’m going to be sick. And Riddick looks like he may be as well. That’s his fault. No one told him to use Mandy as his go-to fuck toy all throughout college. She’s always thought she had claim to him, even though he never made the slightest gesture to claim her. Now, she’s all over him like a cat with claws.
He clears his throat and seeks me out with his eyes. “Umm… no, I’m actually here to support Brandi.” He nods his head towards me, forcing Mandy to turn around. I give her a saccharine smile and wave. She rolls her eyes but quickly recovers.
“Oh yeah, I forgot she’s like a little sister to you. Of course, you’d want to see her perform. But isn’t it a bonus that you also get me out of the deal? Someone who knows how to use her body very well.”
Bitch. Two can play this game.
I walk over to Kruger and step beside him. Placing my hand in his, I squeeze and throw him a quick wink before bringing his ring hand to my lips and brushing my lips over the back of his knuckles. Sweet baby Jesus, his skin is incredible. I feel his calluses on the inside of my hand, but the skin brushing my lips is soft as silk. 
My poor neglected pussy is dripping from his sexy scent alone. Lord, I want to huff him like fiend addicted to glue. I close my eyes and take a deep breath before I hear him clear his throat, soft enough for my ears. That’s right, I had a reason to come over here, and getting high off the smell of his skin was not it. I glance at him and peep the right side of his mouth turned up in the beginning of a smile. I look away and glare at Mandy.
“We are not siblings. Far from it, Mandy, what we are goes deeper than that. Wouldn’t you agree, Riddick?”
My eyes never leave her scowl. Her eyes never leave my hand wrapped in his. She looks like she might combust, she’s so angry.
Riddick faces me and his jaw flinches. His eyes are predatory, and I get the distinct feeling that I finally opened a door he was seeking entrance into. “I definitely agree,” he rumbles. “We’re the best part of each other.”
His words almost knock me to my ass. What the hell is that supposed to mean? He returns my earlier gesture by flipping our clasped hands over and dropping kisses on the inside of my wrist. My knees buckle at the gesture and my breath catches. He chuckles and pulls me away from Mandy, winking as we turn to leave. “We’ll see you around, Mandy. Break a leg.”
When we get out of her view, I drop Riddick’s hand and laugh. The sound is nervous and unnatural, but I follow through with it, anyway. Anything to break this awkward tension between us. But when I look up at Riddick’s face, he doesn’t look uncomfortable at all. He looks determined. I place my hand on my neck and swallow. 
“Mandy is still hot for you. She never could keep her hands off you.”
Riddick nods. “Yeah, she never could.’ He steps closer to me, and I step back. Still, he stalks me until my back is against a wall and I realize we’re practically alone on the side of the stage. He trails the back of his knuckles across my cheek and smirks. 
“But you know, Kitten, I’m curious about your touch, not hers. Do you want me to touch you again?”
“Wh..wh..at.” I stammer.
He nods. “Umm hmm. Unfortunately, Mandy has had the undeserved privilege of touching my body all over. I wasn’t very discerning in the past. She’s had her legs wrapped around my thighs, lips around my cock, her hands grabbing my ass as I thrust into her. But none of those touches set my entire body and soul on fire, like the brush of your lips against my hand a few moments ago.” 
Oh, God… his mouth. It’s so dirty. Every word is going straight to my core.
Riddick steps into me, and I gulp at his closeness. Part of me is terrified of being pushed against a wall by such a powerful man. If he wanted to, he could trap me there with his weight. It reminds me of the first time Byron took my innocence. The pressure of his body made me feel trapped in a situation I could not control. With Riddick, I just feel deliciously covered.
 
About Louise Lennox

 
Contemporary romance Author Louise Lennox is a hopeful romantic writing steamy romances full of heart and healing.

A Spelman College and Georgetown University graduate, Louise provides women with diverse and meaningful representation in romance novel pages. Not seeing enough women like herself headlining positive love stories, she launched #HappyBlackRomance; a community of readers and writers committed to the creation and sharing of positive romance stories featuring Black heroines.

Louise Lennox plots highlight the joys of Black relationships across the diaspora; pushing readers from all cultural backgrounds to admire them for their strength and downright sexiness. In her novels sparks always fly; the sex amazes; and the characters always leave the world better than they found it through their love.

When she’s not writing, Louise is enjoying her work as a school leader, wife, and mother of the two cutest dragons to ever walk the earth!

To learn more about #HappyBlackRomance and to score a free book or two, check out her website www.lovelouiselennox.com.
 
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Monday, June 20, 2022

Spotlight: Excerpt from Here for the Drama by Kate Bromley

 


Author: Kate Bromley 
ISBN: 9781525811449
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Graydon House Books
This summer, it's much ado about everything.
 
Becoming a famous playwright is all Winnie ever dreamed about. For now, though, she'll have to settle for assisting the celebrated, sharp-witted feminist playwright Juliette Brassard. When an experimental theater company in London, England decides to stage Juliette's most renowned play, The Lights of Trafalgar, Winnie and Juliette pack their bags and hop across the pond.
 
But the trip goes sideways faster than you can say "tea and crumpets". Juliette stubbornly vetoes the director's every choice, and Winnie's left stage-managing their relationship. Winnie's own work seems to have stalled, and though Juliette keeps promising to read it, she always has some vague reason why she can't. Then, Juliette's nephew Liam enters stage left. He's handsome, he's smart, he is devastatingly British, and he and Winnie have sizzling chemistry. But as her boss's nephew, Liam is definitely off-limits, so Winnie has to keep their burgeoning relationship on the down-low from Juliette. What could go wrong?
 
Balancing a production seemingly headed for disaster, a secret romance, and the sweetest, most rambunctious rescue dog, will Winnie save the play, make her own dreams come true, and find true love along the way--or will the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune get the best of her?

 
Buy Links: 
 
Enjoy this excerpt:

One



“I’m here and I have coffee!”

After five years as a personal assistant, I have found that entering a chaotic scene with caffeine is the quickest way to ease panic. It’s a distraction, it boosts morale, and if you’re working in the ever-intense theater world, it’s often as necessary as breathing.

Roshni, our second assistant, is quick to approach as the penthouse door swings closed behind me. She’s wearing a knee-length floral romper, and her flawless ebony hair is parted just off to the side. If I wore a romper, it’d look like a man’s bathing costume circa 1916, but on Roshni, it’s the ultimate embodiment of summer fun. I’m still not positive if I want to be her or marry her, but we’ve happily settled on being ride or die work friends in the meantime.

“Thank you so much,” she says, scooping her iced hazelnut coffee out of the to-go tray I’m carrying and casting a nervous glance over her shoulder. “Okay, so, two things. One, I accidentally knocked a pile of papers off Juliette’s desk, which then led to her calling me an anarchist and threatening to have me arrested. And two, she thinks you’re going to London.”

“What makes you say that?”

“She straight-up told me you were going to London.”

“I am not going to London,” I announce, making my voice loud enough to carry through the spacious four-bedroom apartment. With almost a decade of drama study under my belt, my vocal projection is legit.

“Why are you always so resistant to anything remotely ex-citing? To stand still is to go backwards, Winnie.”

I hear her before I see her. Juliette Brassard. My boss of five years, my pseudo-mother, my often-combative sibling, and the perpetual bane of my existence. Working for her is tiring, demanding, slightly monotonous and bizarre, but I love every second of it.

She looks the same as she does most days. Wide-legged pants and a layered top. Always layered. Today it’s a beige cotton shirt and a charcoal vintage vest. Her straight gray-brown hair just reaches her shoulders and thick-rimmed glasses cover her ceaselessly curious chestnut eyes. Her style is a fair reflection of her life—eclectic and casual but secretly expensive.

“It was never the plan for me to go to London,” I tell her. “Roshni is going with you, and you were perfectly happy with the arrangements yesterday.”

“Yes, well, happiness is fleeting, and I realized today that I need my whole team with me if this trip is going to be a success.”

“I checked with the airline this morning,” Roshni says, taking a tentative step forward. “And apparently there’s one seat left in first class.” I shoot her a loving glare as Juliette raises a victorious arm in her direction.

“You see? It’s a sign from the universe.”

“It’s not a sign from the universe,” I counter. “It’s a ridiculous amount of money to pay, and you’re probably the only non-tech billionaire who’s willing to spend that much for a fully reclining seat.”

“A noble sentiment. You should preach that sermon to the bare foot that caressed our cheeks the last time we sat in coach.”

“Okay, we had one uncomfortable flight from LA, and you know full well that the guy was wearing socks.”

“I don’t know that, Winnie. I’ve repressed the memory so deep into my subconscious that I’ll be shuffling around this apartment and whispering about phantom feet until I’m ninety.” She spins away with her typical dramatic flair, opting to walk over to the windows and gazing out at the traffic below. She also covertly checks to see if I’m still watching her.

I choose to ignore her attention-seeking behavior and in-stead place our drinks down on an antique side table. With my hands now free, I pick up a stack of opened event invitations that I left there the day before, giving them one final look over before handing them to Roshni, who’s still standing nearby.

“I’ll reorganize the papers on her desk,” I tell her. “Just RSVP to these, and then we can go over tomorrow’s itinerary. Blue Post-its are a yes. Yellows are a no.”

“Blue, yes. Yellow, no. Got it.” She exits the room with her coffee and the invites, seemingly happy to get out of the fray. If only I was so lucky.

Juliette’s been dropping hints about me going on this trip with them for the past week, but I’ve always managed to side-step the issue. And now, she’s brought the battle to my door-step. Or I guess it’s really her doorstep, since she lives here. And what a doorstep it is.

Twenty floors up on a cobbled Tribeca street, you’d either have to be born into money or wildly successful to own one of these grandly scaled units. Juliette is both. Already a border-line heiress thanks to her Manhattan real-estate mogul father, she then went on to become one of the city’s most celebrated playwrights. She was given everything but still hustled like crazy for her career and threw all of her time and energy into mastering her craft. Luckily for her, it proved to be a lethal combination.

As a native New Yorker and a fiercely proud West-Sider, Juliette’s lived in this apartment for as long as I’ve worked for her. The furniture is mismatched and romantic, and white walls are splashed with green from her dozens of potted plants. Every available surface is covered with old scripts, books, or mugs with half-drunk cups of tea. It’s scholarly chic. If Jane Austen ever traveled forward through time, I like to imagine that this is what her apartment would look like. Alas, dear Jane is nowhere to be found as Juliette steps away from the windows, moving through the space to sit on the arm of her tufted couch.

“Give me one good reason why you can’t go on this trip.” I roll my shoulders, trying to relieve a sudden stress knot before taking a much-needed sip of my latte. “Because you’re leaving tonight. I’m not mentally or physically prepared, and this is supposed to be my yearly vacation time. I have projects that I need to work on, too.”

“Yes, your grand opus of a play that you’re forever editing. Maybe the change of scenery will inspire you. In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.”

“Don’t try to mind-trick me with John Osborne quotes.” Juliette groans and pushes up off the sofa. “I’m only trying to help you.”

“It would help me if you read my play and told me what you think.”

She just looks at me then and says nothing, no doubt trying to come up with another lackluster excuse. I’ve asked her to read my play dozens of times over the years, but she always finds a reason not to. She’s too busy, her mind is clouded, she’s not in the right mood.

“I’ll read it when it’s finished. Whatever I say now would alter your creative course.”

Ah, so she doesn’t want to sway my process. Not likely. Juliette’s perpetually happy to give her two cents on everything, especially on another playwright’s work.

“As far as London,” she goes on, “you just need to think about it more. Mull it over, let the idea sink in, and if you could agree to come with us in the next ten to fifteen minutes, that would be great.” She goes to leave the room after that but stops short when her cell phone starts ringing. She looks around but doesn’t find it. I do the same until she digs into the couch cushions and eventually plucks it out. She checks the caller ID and smiles as she answers.

“Liam! To what do I owe the pleasure?”

A little out of breath from her impromptu sofa wrestling match, she twists around and away from me, walking over to the windowsill and picking up a small watering can. She sprinkles her first row of plant babies as she listens to his response. Liam is her nephew and lives in London, which is also where her sister, Isabelle, has lived since she moved there in her twenties. I’ve never met her or him, but I have sent Liam gifts on Juliette’s behalf every Christmas and on his birthday. 

“That’s right,” she says, moving on to the next row of plants. “I’m getting in tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Will I be seeing you?” She tries to water the oversized ficus in the corner, but the can is empty. “Sounds great! Here, I’m passing you over to Winnie for a second. Do me a favor and convince her to come on the trip with me. She’s being obstinate.”

“What? No.” My protest is in vain as Juliette’s phone is already in flight. I barely catch it as she disappears into the kitchen, shaking the empty watering can over her shoulder in response.

I clear my throat and put the phone to my ear. “Hello, Liam.”

“Hello, is Winnie there, please?” he asks with mock seriousness.

I fail to suppress my involuntary smile at his polite request and inviting British accent. “This is she,” I answer back.

“Excellent, just the person I was hoping to speak to.”

“My sentiments exactly. To be honest, I’ve secretly been dying to talk to you for years.”

“Have you really?” he asks, surprised.

“No, not really. I don’t even know you.” He says nothing, and I think I might have scared him a bit. “Sorry,” I lightly amend, “I thought we were pretending that we actually meant to have this conversation.”

“Yes, well, that was my initial intention, but it turns out you’re much more convincing than I am. I can only assume that you’ve had formal training?”

“That assumption would be correct.”

“I should have figured.” His voice is surprisingly calm, sounding more like one of my old improv buddies and less like a stranger who’s thousands of miles away. “So,” he goes on, “I’ve been instructed by my aunt to convince you to come to London.”

“She does seem to have that idea stuck in her head.”

“There’s much to recommend it, of course. Red buses. A phenomenal bridge. How do you feel about museums?”

“I hate them,” I tease.

“Absolutely. Nothing to be learned from there. And what about parks?”

“Not into them at all.”

“Couldn’t agree more. I’m violently allergic to pollen, and why should I be forced to carry an EpiPen just so everyone else can enjoy natural beauty? Pure selfishness on their end.”

I smile to myself and pivot around so I’m no longer standing still. “I knew you couldn’t be as normal as you originally sounded. It’s to be expected, though, since you do share a bloodline with Juliette.”

“Yes, we had hoped lunacy would skip a generation, but apparently not.” He pauses then, and I somehow know that he’s smiling, too. “So, how am I faring on my quest so far? Are you packing your bags at this very moment?”

“Unfortunately not. I somehow forgot to bring all my lug-gage and clothes with me to work today, but still, this has been a very pleasant verbal exchange thus far.”

“For me as well. Can I ask what’s holding you back from taking the trip?”

“You may, but I may also choose not to answer.”

“Ah, a lady of secrets, are we?”

“Oh yes,” I answer dramatically. “A lady of many secrets and a play that I need to finish in seventeen days if I’m going to make a contest deadline.”

“Really? I take it that you’re a playwright as well, then?” 

“Afraid so.”

“In that case, as you have a very good reason to stay at home rather than crossing the Atlantic, I won’t try to sway you any further…but know that I do so very reluctantly.”

“I appreciate that.”

Juliette sashays back into the room then, the watering can forgotten as she plops down onto the couch with one of her many notebooks. I’ll have to see to the rest of the plants later. She props her feet up on the coffee table and begins to write as I make my way towards her.

“Alright, well, your aunt is now back, so I’ll get going.” “It was very nice meeting you, Winnie.”

“We didn’t actually meet,” I say, correcting him.

“But it sort of feels like we did.”

I find myself grinning once more and shift away so Juliette won’t notice. “I guess it does,” I admit. “Bye, Liam.”

“Goodbye, Winnie.” I pivot back around and hand the phone over. Juliette looks at me with a mischievous sort of smirk as I shake my head and step away to hang my bag in the entryway closet.



Excerpted from Here For the Drama by Kate Bromley, Copyright © 2022 by Kate Bromley

Published by Graydon House Books.




Author Bio: 

 
Photo Credit:
Samantha Rayward
KATE BROMLEY lives in New York City with her husband, son, and her somewhat excessive collection of romance novels (It’s not hoarding if it’s books, right?). She was a preschool teacher for seven years and is now focusing full-time on combining her two great passions – writing swoon-worthy love stories and making people laugh. She is also the author of Talk Bookish to Me.
 
Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @kbromleywrites
Instagram: @katebromleywrites
Facebook: @katebromleywrites
Goodreads
 
 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Review: Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning

Author
: M.E. Browning
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: October 2021

The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle.Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent--right until the moment she vanished.

Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn't runaway and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance. For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past. But as she mines Lena's fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.

As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it's just a matter of time before the truth is revealed--or the killer makes another deadly move.
 

Mercy Creek is the second book featuring detective Jo Wyatt.  This takes place months after the first book.  I think it could be read as a stand alone novel. This time around Jo and her partner Squint are looking for a missing girl.  Jo has a personal tie to the parents of missing Lena. 

I enjoyed this one as much as the first book.  I still love Jo as a character.  She goes through lot of growth in this book.  I was totally on board with her career decision in the end. She goes through a lot in this book. This was definitely a more disturbing mystery.  I kept wavering on what I thought really happened.  But I don't want to spoil anything, so that's all I'll say.  I definitely recommend this one and I can't wait to see what Jo is up to next.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Review: Cold Silence by Toni Anderson

Author
: Toni Anderson
Publication Date: June 2022

FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Shane Livingstone is frustrated when an injury sidelines him during an operation to catch a sadistic killer. A killer who auctions off vicious ways to torture his victims and screens the events for money on the dark web. When a teammate dies during the op, a devastated Shane vows to track down the monster responsible—but to do so he’ll need access to specialized skills he doesn’t possess.

A bloody game of cat and mouse…

As a white-hat hacker at Alex Parker’s security firm, Yael Brooks knows how to track predators through the darkest recesses of cyberspace. She can’t say no to Shane’s request…even though she fears her own secrets may put her at risk.

With a serial killer who makes it personal…

Shane and Yael must work together as a team if they hope to stop this psychopath. As they begin to grow closer, Shane demands Yael’s complete trust, but trust is the one thing Yael is reluctant to give. As the chase intensifies and more people die, it becomes obvious that the killer knows exactly who Yael is and plans to make both her and Shane pay the ultimate price for getting in his way.

Cold Silence is the latest book by Toni Anderson.  It's the first book in the Cold Justice: Most Wanted series.  It can be read as a stand alone.  Even though it is an off shoot of her earlier Cold Justice series.  There are characters from the earlier books that do show up here, but you aren't missing any important information.  It was nice to see how previous couples are doing though. I love starting a new book by this author because I know I'm in for a great adventure.

I thought this one was really fun.  It was action packed and had me holding my breath in a few scenes.  Especially the ending scenes...talk about intense!  The msytery had me engaged from the beginning.  I liked that it was very technical and computer based. The story definitely brutal in some scenes.  As for the couple, I liked Shane more in the beginning that I did Yael. But in the end, I could understand her reluctance for not wanting to get close to anyone because of her past.  I highly recommend this one as well as any book by this author. I listened to the audio version of the book and highly recommend that format. I can't wait to read the next book.




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