Wait for Me by Tia Louise ~ Sarah A’s Review

WAIT_FOR_ME- smallDear Taron,
I should have told you this before…

Dear Taron,
Is there a time-limit on forgiveness?
If there is, I haven’t reached it… 

Dear Taron,
I still love you… 


Taron Rhodes was my brother’s best friend.

He was sexy as sin.
But he was more than that…
He was ponytail-pulling, ice down your shirt teasing, throw you in the lake screaming…
Strong, tanned arms and bright green eyes over a heart-stopping, naughty grin…
Did I mention his tight end? 

I gave him my first real kiss, my heart, my everything.
I said I’d wait for him…

I’m still waiting, because Taron Rhodes is still the man of my dreams,
And I have a secret that has his bright green eyes.

Noel LaGrange stole my heart when she was only eighteen—pushing me off a flatbed and calling me a city slicker.
Her brother Sawyer would kick my ass if he knew how many times we made out that summer, how close we got.

Everything changed when Sawyer and I joined the military.
We were honorably discharged, but I didn’t go to her.
Instead, I went back to the city… where no amount of money, no amount of pills can heal this wound.
Only her whiskey eyes and dark hair, her slim arms and her sweet scent, give me hope.
I broke her heart just as surely as I broke mine, but I’m going back to make it right.
If she’s still waiting…

(WAIT FOR ME is a STAND-ALONE small-town, second-chance romance with a guaranteed HEA. No cheating. No cliffhangers.)

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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As a whole, I liked Wait for Me well enough. What I take a look back at the pieces the book ebbed and flowed for me. There were parts I couldn’t read fast enough and others that I felt like I was trudging through. I’m can’t quite put my finger on exactly why the pacing was off for me, but it didn’t seem quite to have the magic I expect from Tia Louise’s writing. All in all, I did love this story; it just didn’t quite live up to the expectations I’d built up for it.

I freaking loved Taron from the first time I met him. He seemed to have just the perfect mix of vulnerability, humor, and chivalry to call to me. And though there were moments I found him exceedingly frustrating, he continued to cement a place for himself in my heart.

It took me longer to connect with Noel, and that may be part of the reason I felt I had a hard time staying in the story. She was a lovely person, but it seemed like she was unreachable in a lot of ways. Slowly, I started seeing more and more of what was behind her shiny exterior, and I began to love her more. I learned to love her more as time went on and was happy that she and Taron found each other.

My reticence about Wait for Me is definitely a me, not the book, thing. I was anticipating the book starting much differently than it did, and my preconceived notions hindered my ability to love the story for what it was. I know, had a started reading with a clearer mind, I would have absolutely loved it, and it saddens me that I won’t ever get to experience and appreciate the story like it should have been.

3 Feathers

WAIT_INMYARMS_KU

Tia Louise is the USA Today best-selling, award-winning author of When We Touch, the “Bright Lights,” “One to Hold,” and “Dirty Players” series, and co-author of the #4 Amazon bestseller The Last Guy.

After being a teacher, a book editor, a journalist, and finally a magazine editor, she started writing love stories and never stopped.

Louise lives in the Midwest with her trophy husband, two teenage geniuses, and one grumpy cat.

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Blog Tour and Review-Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Regretting You, an all-new beautiful and touching novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, is available now!

Hoover-Regretting You-28904-PB-FT

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt

“What’s your favorite movie?”

“Of all time?” he asks.

“Pick one from the past ten years.”

“I can’t,” he says. “There are so many great ones, and I love them all for different reasons. I love the technical aspect of Birdman. I love the performances in Call Me by Your Name. Fantastic Mr. Fox is my favorite cartoon because Wes Anderson is a goddamn genius.” He glances at me. “What about you?”

“I don’t think Fantastic Mr. Fox counts. It seems older than ten years.” I lean my head back and stare up at the ceiling. It’s a tough question. “I’m like you. I don’t know that I have a favorite movie. I tend to judge more on the talent than the story line. I think Emma Stone is probably my favorite actress. And Adam Driver is the best actor of our time, but I don’t think he’s landed the role of his lifetime yet. He was great in BlacKkKlansman, but I’m not crazy about some of the other movies he’s been in.”

“But did you see the Kylo Ren skit?”

“Yes!” I say, sitting up. “On SNL? Oh my God, it was so funny.” I’m smiling, but I hate that I’m smiling. It feels weird to smile when I’m so full of sadness, but this is how Miller makes me feel every time I’m around him. He’s the only thing that seems to be able to take my mind off everything, yet he’s the one person I can’t really hang out with.

Thanks for that, Shelby.

It sucks. I don’t like thinking about it, even though we’re together right now. But tomorrow at school, things will go back to how they always are. Miller will keep his distance. He’ll respect his relationship with Shelby, which will only serve to make me respect him even more.

And I’ll just continue to be in a depressing funk.

“I should go,” I say.

Miller hesitates before moving. “Yeah, I think my break was over ten minutes ago.” We both stand up, but I can’t get out of the aisle because he’s blocking my way, facing me, not making an effort to walk away. He’s just staring down at me as if he wants to say something else. Or do something else.

“I’m really sorry about what happened,” he says. At first, I’m not sure what he’s talking about, but then it hits me. I press my lips together and nod, but I don’t say anything because it’s the last thing I want to talk or think about.

“I should have said that the other day. At the funeral.”

“It’s fine,” I say. “I’m fine. Or at least I’ll be fine. Eventually.” I sigh. “Hopefully.”

He’s staring at me like he wants to pull me in for a hug, and I really wish he would. But instead, he turns and walks out of the aisle, toward the exit. I stop at the restroom on our way out. He grabs a trash can and starts to pull it toward the theater we just came out of.

“See you tomorrow, Clara.”

I don’t tell him goodbye. I walk into the restroom and don’t even bother pretending things will be the same at school tomorrow as they were tonight. He’ll avoid me while being all faithful and shit, and whatever. That’s okay. I need to stop interacting with him anyway, because as good as it feels when I’m around him, it’s starting to hurt when I’m not. And I don’t need another painful thing added to my already existing pile of excruciating feelings.

 

I absolutely love everything that Colleen Hoover writes. Regretting You is story about a mother and daughter who go through some rough times but they learn to navigate through them together. This book is told in alternating POVs from a mother and her 17 year old daughter.

Morgan had her daughter at a very young age and she is determined to make sure Clara doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. Her overbearing ways make Clara rebel towards her and causes Clara to have a closer relationship with her dad and aunt Jenny. When tragedy strikes the family Clara doesn’t know how to deal with things and becomes even more distant from her mother. Morgan doesn’t handle it well and is struggling to find a new normal but knows she needs to pull it together for Clara. Will these two be able to rebuild their relationship and learn to lean on each other or will their life tragedy continue to push them apart?

I was so intrigued with the secondary stories that took place in the book and loved the outcome. The secondary characters added lots of depth to the storyline. I loved the twisty, turny emotional rollercoaster this book took me on. I was also a young mother so I understood Morgan’s feelings and actions in some of the situations in the book. Colleen’s books are all so amazing and I can’t wait to see what she is working on next!!

**5 Stars**

ColleenHoover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of thirteen novels and multiple novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Connect with Colleen

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https://www.colleenhoover.com

Release Blitz-Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

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“This is Hoover at her very best.” Publishers Weekly

Regretting You, an all-new poignant and moving novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, is available now!

Hoover-Regretting You-28904-PB-FT

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

RY - AN

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LYaNtN

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/RegrettingYou

Amazon Audible: https://amzn.to/324A4by

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2MogTTo

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/31WHWeU

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ColleenHoover

About Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of thirteen novels and multiple novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Connect with Colleen

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2FZ7GAI

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2L1LuoI

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2PlDNfG

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2PlDTE4

Twitter: http://bit.ly/38cMjGt

SnapChat: http://bit.ly/36amqoK

Join her reader group: http://bit.ly/2OZM7mo

https://www.colleenhoover.com

Miles Ahead by Willow Aster ~ Sarah A’s Review

Miles Ahead FRONT-3Nice guys finish last.

At least that’s how I feel when I watch my ex-girlfriend marry someone else. 

But when I’m showing a prime piece of real estate and in walks the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen, I don’t really think about nice or my ex or anything but how to get to know her better.

Cort Sellers has baggage of her own—secrets she’s not ready to reveal, and a career that puts her whole life on display—but the more I get to know her, the more I’m willing to do anything it takes to win her heart.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
Amazon

ALP GoodreadsOwl

ALP SarahAReview Owl

I’m going to be straight up with you. I read 5,331 Miles when it first came out and loved it, but I’ve read SO many books between that one and this, I didn’t remember Miles at all. Thankfully Miles Ahead is written in such a way that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything but not rereading 5,331 Miles first. It may be a spinoff novella, but it is easily read as a standalone.

As someone who has experienced the ‘when you know, you know’ phenomenon, I loved Miles and Cort’s love story. They had an immediate connection and despite both of their best efforts to ignore it, protect themselves from heartache, and wait for better timing; each of them couldn’t resist the pull of the other. That kind of connection always feels special to me, and it was no different in Miles Ahead. I also deeply appreciate the social relevance it held. Miles Ahead touched on an issue that is forefront in today’s society and incredibly important to talk about.

I am disappointed that Miles Ahead is only a novella. I feel like there was so much more story to tell, and I was left wanting, not in a good way, for more Miles and Cort. The entire timeline was highly accelerated, and it seemed like there were some parts of the book weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been. There were also a few minor continuity and editing errors that, while they didn’t detract from the story, just bugged me.

3 Feathers

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ALPOwl Series

5,331 Miles Final FRONT-2We spent a lifetime chasing firefly dreams

Jaxson and I devised a life list when we were kids in Holmes Chapel. Just a few things on that list:

*Climb the Eiffel Tower.
*Visit every zoo in the world.
*Eat peanut butter every day.

But all the promises he made dissolved into dust, so when he comes around years later wanting to go live out our list, I want no part of it…or him. The universe seems to agree with me because everything we try is a disaster.

The heart though—it’s a tricky beast; I’m just not sure mine is strong enough to survive Jaxson one more time.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
Amazon

Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

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Willow is giving away 3 signed paperbacks and a $100 Amazon GC.
All open international.

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Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward ~ Sarah A’s Review

 

DLFRONT COVERI’d never forgotten him—a man I’d yet to meet.

Griffin Quinn was my childhood pen pal, the British boy who couldn’t have been more different from me. Over the years, through hundreds of letters, we became best friends, sharing our deepest, darkest secrets and forming a connection I never thought could break.

Until one day it did.

Then, out of the blue, a new letter arrived. A scathing one—one with eight years of pent-up anger. I had no choice but to finally come clean as to why I stopped writing.

Griffin forgave me, and somehow we were able to rekindle our childhood connection. Only now we were adults, and that connection had grown to a spark. Our letters quickly went from fun to flirty to downright dirty, revealing our wildest fantasies. So it only made sense that we would take our relationship to the next level and see each other in person.

Only Griff didn’t want to meet. He asked that I trust him and said it was for the best. But I wanted more—more Griff, in the flesh—so I took a big chance and went looking for him. People have done crazier things for love.

But what I found could change everything.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
Amazon


This book made me cry my own tears. I’m not a fan of crying, especially over a book, but there was a tiny moment at the end of Dirty Letters that was so touching, so emotionally wrought that I couldn’t help but tear up. Dirty Letters, like all of Ms. Keeland and Ms. Ward’s works, was quite a bit heavier than the title or blurb indicated. It’s one of the things I love most about their work, and I look forward to seeing how they turn such seemingly light storylines into these heavy-hitting love stories.

I was immediately drawn to Luca, she was sad and vulnerable, and all of the things she’d endured in her life made her an incredibly sympathetic character. Watching her slowly, steadily, painstakingly face the hardest parts of her life was incredibly rewarding. Seeing her find someone willing and able to stand by her side to help her fight against her fears was beautiful. Griffin hadn’t lived a storybook life himself, but he had used the scars of his past mold him into a strong, level-headed, supportive partner. Luca couldn’t have found someone more suited for her had she written him herself.

The childhood pen pal concept was utterly novel to me. I wasn’t sure how it would play out, but I was taken aback by just how deep and emotional the book was before the main characters had ever met in real life. There was a certain anonymity and cushion of safety in those handwritten, snail-mail letters that allowed Luca and Griffin to open up to one another in a way they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Watching their relationship play out in such an unusual way was fascinating, and I think this may be a new favorite trope for me.

Dirty Letters was a surprisingly emotional experience for me. At every turn, there was another blow coming at the characters, whether through a relived experience or a situation they didn’t see coming. Luca and Griffin navigated some very tricky paths, with the help of perhaps the most endearing psychiatrist I’ve ever read, with nothing more than the love they shared to guide them. It was beautiful to see how they each sacrificed and reached far beyond their comfort zones to ensure there was room in their lives for one another.
PS – I just heard that McDonald’s is bringing back their Furby Happy Meal toy for a limited time, in case you find yourself wanting one after this book. LOL!

4 Feathers

 

DL TEASER

Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over 1.5 million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

 Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook Fan Page

 Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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NEW RELEASE!! FIX by Molly McAdams ~ Sarah A’s Review

 

FixCoverI’m a lot of things.
The youngest Dixon. Town handyman. Best you’ll ever have . . . you’re welcome.
One thing I’m not? The guy who falls in love.

When Rae Jacobs enters my town with her ever-present laptop and caffeine addiction, she offers me a fleeting glance and a simple demand:
Don’t fall in love with her.
Bold.
Assuming.
Laughable, considering she isn’t exactly my type.

Wasn’t.
But she inadvertently shook up my life with her alluring, carefree spirit until I wanted more.
Until I made her mine.
She’s a habit I can’t quit. A fix I can’t get enough of.

Each day brings me closer to saying the three words I’ve always mocked.
But with one call, the piled-high secrets she’s kept start unraveling around her, and I have a feeling the demand that first day wasn’t so simple.

 Amazon | Signed Paperback

If there were ever an author guaranteed to pull me out of my self-imposed reviewing retirement, it’s Molly McAdams. I’m pretty sure there is very little I wouldn’t do to read more of her words as soon as humanly possible. Even in Fix, which I would classify as one of her more light-hearted reads (but trust me, there is nothing light about the book, it’s just not quite as heart-wrenching as most of her work), my heart felt like it was being battered and bruised by the emotionally wrought journey Ms. McAdams was taking me on. There is no experience quite like reading a Molly McAdams book, and for that, I will be eternally thankful she keeps delivering these powerful pieces of art to her readers.

When I started Fix, I was well and truly on the fence about Rae, she wasn’t immediately likable, and that’s okay. As I continued reading, I slowly began to appreciate her and eventually got to the point of feeling absurdly protective of her. She had been so severely damaged the people and words that should have meant the most to her; it was no wonder she acted the way she didn’t and was so afraid to put her faith and trust in another human being. Sawyer wasn’t immediately endearing either, but he won me over much more quickly. The pain he wore was far less disguised and bled out of him in the way he lived to help everyone around him. Watching them each slowly, painfully reveal the sources of their scars was beautifully agonizing. Seeing how they finally learned to heal and put their harrowing pasts behind them gave me a sense of peace and hope. Rae and Sawyer weren’t always easy to love, but they were incredibly easy to fall for.

One of my favorite aspects of Fix was how much of a character the location was. It wouldn’t have been – couldn’t have been – the same story anywhere but in the quaint little town of Amber. Molly McAdams did an excellent job of taking me out of my front room and into the world she built in Fix. Between the cast of supporting characters, the way she made me love everything about how Amber operated, and how much the town was woven into the fabric of who Sawyer was, I felt very much connected to the picture-perfect setting of Fix.

Fix was a smart romance, it had just the right amount of snarky humor and agonizing emotions to keep me fully enthralled in Rae and Sawyer’s story. Ms. McAdams delivered a great beginning to her new series, Brewed. She gave me just enough of a glimpse into the characters who will be featured throughout the rest of the series to ensure I will be coming back, time and again, to the town of Amber to endure all the pain and love she surely has in store for me.

Cropped view of youngcouple embracing and relaxing on bed at home. Vintage casual look. Torn blue jeans. Winter time

MollyMcAdamsMolly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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BLOG TOUR AND REVIEW – Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen

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“Friends to lovers at its best– a sweet indulgence I couldn’t put down!” – R.S. Grey, USA Today Bestselling Author

Baking Me Crazy, the first in the romantic comedy Donner Bakery Series of standalones, from Karla Sorensen is available now!

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I’m Levi Buchanan, and until five years ago, I thought the legend of my family’s curse was a load of crazy, Southern nonsense.

No curse can make you fall in love at first sight. No curse can force a true, deep, passionate, all-consuming love that will haunt you all the days of your life.

Then I met Jocelyn Abernathy and I realized how completely wrong I was.

The problem is, Jocelyn guards her feelings like well-armed soldier. She’s the most beautiful, stubborn, infuriating woman I’ve ever met. Every time she talks, I want to kiss the living daylights out of her. But I can’t.

Because when we met, she didn’t need true love. She needed a best friend. And that’s what I’ve been to her… for five years.

But when Jocelyn meets a handsome stranger her first day working at Donner Bakery and she lets him buy her a dill pickle cupcake, I realize with ominous regret that I may have missed my window with my best friend.

If I can’t get her to see past our friendship, my new curse may be to watch the love of my life move on with someone else.

‘Baking Me Crazy’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy today!

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Excerpt:

“Besides, this is my best friend perk. Shouldn’t I get perks in baked goods?”

She cut me a look. “You’ve been getting those perks for two years, Buchanan. Don’t even pretend you didn’t put on a solid ten pounds that first year I started baking.” Quite pointedly, she looked at my stomach, which we both knew was covered in muscle.

“That’s rude,” I mumbled under my breath. I flexed my bicep. Nero licked my elbow since it was right in front of him. “Yeah, ten pounds in my left arm maybe.”

The noise she made roughly translated to you are ridiculous. She made that sound at me a lot. Of course, the sad truth of the matter was that I was ridiculous.

Not once in the past five years had my feelings lessened for her. I had just learned to live with them. In my junior year of undergrad, I was taking a class on brain pathology in injuries, and a man came to talk to us about how he learned to live without his right arm after it was amputated.

He told us about how, even years after he lost his arm, his brain still triggered sensations to the limb that was no longer there. The adult brain, in particular, struggled to reorganize after the loss of a limb, and given that four out of five amputees suffer from phantom pain symptoms, some of which were incredibly debilitating, it was a lesson that stuck with me.

I wasn’t fool enough to think that me loving Jocelyn was on par with a man who’d lost his arm, but something about the way he talked plucked at a chord inside me. Sometimes my brain struggled to remember that we were just friends.

She’d never dated, never even hinted that she wanted to. She’d never given me a longing glance. Never stared at my mouth like she wondered what it tasted like.

But my hands never, not once, stopped wanting to reach for hers. My fingers always, always itched to dig into her crazy hair and see what the curve of her scalp felt like.

My brain knew what this relationship was, but sometimes, the signals it sent to the rest of my body didn’t always match up with the truth of our situation. We worked out together a lot, Joss and I, and when she got frustrated with the limitations of her body, I always wanted to wrap my arms around her.

I wanted to pull her into the curve of my body, absorb her dissatisfaction into my skin, and carry it for her. That was the irony when she made noises like that.

She had absolutely no clue how ridiculous I really was.

Whitney’s 3 Star Review:

I went into Baking Me Crazy knowing two things:  1. The Smartypants books were going to have their own voice and not try and mimic Penny Reid’s writing style.  2. I had zero expectations since I haven’t read Karla before.

Confused as to why I mention Penny Reid?  If you’re unsure about the premise of this book, it’s part of the Smartypants World which means it is set within the fictional worlds created by author Penny Reid.  In the case of Baking Me Crazy, we are in Green Valley, TN (aka Winston Brothers series world).  Karla’s books feature characters never seen in Penny’s books with a few cameos from the Winston clan.

The book started off promising as I immediately liked Levi and Joss. Levi is your typical dreamboat hero but he’s also super sweet and has a sensitive side.  Joss, his BFF, has a lot of spunk and her physical disability (she is wheelchair bound but can walk at times) brings an eye opening view into what it’s like to be ‘different’.  This is a pretty typical friends to lovers romance. No surprises and nothing particularly outstanding about it.  And that why I only gave this 3 stars. It’s fine but it’s not great, just ok.  Part of the book felt boring and while I didn’t skim through anything, I was tempted.

Baking Me Crazy seems to be getting a lot of positive feedback so maybe I’m in the minority by not loving it??  I will say that Levi has an older brother who interests me and I’d be happy to read his story should Karla write it.  Overall, if you’re a die hard Penny fan, this will likely interest you.  Since I haven’t read Karla before, I can’t speak to how it compares with her norm.

About Karla Sorensen:

Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.

Connect with Karla

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Website: http://www.karlasorensen.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

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BLOG TOUR, GIVEAWAY, AND REVIEW – Beard With Me by Penny Reid

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“This is Penny Reid at her finest.” — L.B. Dunbar, author

Beard With Me, an epic and breathtaking story from New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

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No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

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Download your copy today!

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Enter the giveaway for a signed paperback set of The Winston Brothers Series!

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Excerpt:

*Scarlet*

“Do you want me to leave?”

Yes. That would be best, a wise voice said between my ears.

So of course I inhaled deeply and said as calmly as I could manage, “I thought we were going to go get firewood.”

“Okay. Good.”

“But then,” I blurted, flustered and irritated with myself for not speaking wisdom, “You should go. You can’t tell me carting firewood back and forth between your house and here is how you want to spend the last of your Thanksgiving weekend.”

“I didn’t say it was.” He began making his way up the incline.

“But you just said—”

“How about we make a deal.” Billy dropped the kindling next to my little woodpile, dusting his hands off on his pants. “I’ll cart the firewood, and you sing.”

“You want me to serenade you while we carry firewood?”

He smiled, slow and easy as he walked to me and reached out his hand. On autopilot, I accepted it and allowed him to help me up.

As soon as I was standing, his gaze moved from my hairline down to my nose, lips, and then chin, saying quietly, “I’ll take a serenade from you anytime.”

Thunk ka-thunk. That was my heart. It had been doing the thunk ka-thunk quite a lot around him. I ignored it, because what else could I do?

“And you’re not carrying the wood.” He tugged on my hand, pulling me out of my daze and past my tent.

“I will too carry wood.” Struggling to find my bearings, I stumbled after him. “I can carry logs just fine.”

“You’ll carry a log.” Billy fit his fingers between mine, pressing our palms together and grinning at me like he was waiting for me to argue and he couldn’t wait.

Snapping my mouth shut, I glared at him.

“Nothing to say?”

Maintaining my glare, I walked next to him. I wasn’t being led anywhere I didn’t wish to go. Not anymore. He wasn’t talking me into anything else.

“That’s an awfully mean look, Scarlet.” His grin grew, his brutally attractive eyes glowing happily as he peered down at me.

“Well, you deserve it. Always trying to tell me what I can and can’t do. I’m not arguing with you about this. I’m carrying as much wood as I want and you can take your stupid, chauvinistic opinions and shove them up your pretty-boy ass.”

Goodness. Where had that come from?

Billy’s steps faltered and his mouth fell open, his eyebrows rising high on his forehead. He stared at me, looking shocked as hell. And then in the next moment, he threw his head back and laughed. But he did not let go of me, instead bringing my knuckles to his chest as his deep, rumbly laughter filled the empty spaces between the trees, surrounding us.

Crushing me.

Yes. I was well and truly crushed as I could only watch Billy Winston laugh, desperately basking in the image of him so delighted and relaxed. I had the odd sense that his laughter also filled the empty spaces inside of me, the neglected, vacant rooms, and even a few places that felt brand-new, like he’d created them.

All that noble honesty he carried around like a boulder abruptly lifted, revealing him. Just him. Carefree and young and happy. Someone he might’ve been if his burdens hadn’t been so heavy, his responsibilities so broad.

It lasted only a minute, maybe two, maybe less, but I had the sense of being caught afterward. Billy’s laughter had receded, but he’d spun a web while I’d been staring at him, holding his hand.

His grin became smaller and he bit his bottom lip, his gaze dropped to my mouth. “You think I’m pretty?”

“You know you’re pretty,” I said, bizarrely out of breath, rattled, needing to anchor my focus to a tree beyond him and waging war against the heat climbing up my neck to my cheeks. Oddly, my eyes stung. I blinked.

His attention was still on me. I felt it, but I didn’t dare look at him. I couldn’t handle one of Billy Winston’s intense stares right now. He’d probably use my scattered wits to his advantage, talk me into something I shouldn’t want to do, and then I’d be kicking myself later.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice deep with concern, all trace of his earlier humor gone.

I huffed, trying half-heartedly to steal my hand back from him. He didn’t let it go, instead taking my tugging as a signal to step closer, filling my vision.

“Scarlet—”

“Are you ever going to teach me how to play the guitar?” I closed my eyes.

He didn’t answer right away, and I felt him hesitate, his mind work before he muttered, “It’s only been a week.”

A quality to his voice made me think he wasn’t answering the question I’d asked, but rather he was reminding himself that it had only been a week since we’d struck the deal.

Was that only last week? Why does it feel like so much has changed?

Then he said, “Don’t be angry.”

“I’m not angry.” I was muddled, my head and heart hurt, I was incredibly confused, but I wasn’t angry.

The air shifted and I felt him move closer. A second later, the fingers of his free hand were at my ear, tucking my hair behind it, his fingertips lingering at my neck, sending wave after wave of goose bumps every which way. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t think. Every nerve in my body strained toward him and I didn’t understand it. What is happening?

“Have you ever been kissed, Scarlet?”

 

Whitney’s Five Star Review:

Beard with Me has been a controversial topic amongst Penny Reid fans for a while now. As the backstory for Billy and Claire/Scarlett’s romance, we KNOW things are gonna get ugly. This is NOT a romance novel. Sure, it has the wit and charm we associate with Penny but this book is not her typical romcom fare.

Personally, I don’t think this is a book to read unless you’ve been involved with the Winston series and are invested in the characters. Previous stories have hinted or downright told us some of the terrible things both Billy and Claire went through growing up. Beard with Me gives us all the details. Honestly, it’s really not surprising and some of the sadder things that happen (mostly violence of some kind) are not detailed. Yes, there are triggers but nothing that IMO is going turn a true fan away.

What I will recommend is this: 1. Read this book right before Bread Necessities so you can go straight into your HEA 2. Read this book and then do a Winston re-read so you remember that all the siblings turned out just fine and all they overcame

I adored the book. The glimpses of Cletus, the twins, Ashley and Roscoe were so dang cute. This wasn’t a good time for Jethro but we do get a little insight into what was going through his head while he was a Wraith prospect. We also get to know Ben. Ah, Ben. Another controversy amongst my book friends. I like Ben although many people don’t. He’s just a lot different from the Winstons and a bit selfish. Basically, he’s the total opposite of Billy in many ways. Not a bad thing, just different.

Just a reminder… this is not a love story. Billy and Scarlett are barely friends for part of the book and quickly grow to care for each other. The timespan for this book is really only a few weeks. And yes, the end is heartbreaking but there are so many beautiful moments that it’s totally work the book hangover. Billy is the most honorable, least selfish person and Scarlett has a truly amazing and positive outlook despite her awful childhood.

Whether you read this now or after Beard Necessities, please read it!

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

NEW RELEASE!! Eighty-One Nights by Georgia Cates ~ Sarah A’s Review

 

Beautiful, penniless American girl meets handsome, wealthy Scotsman.

Sounds like the beginning of a fairy-tale romance?

It’s not.

This story begins with a contract.

And an exchange of money.

A lot of money.

An angel perches nervously on one shoulder.

A devil lounges smugly on my other.

And even that dark little bastard is leery of what I’m doing.

Maxwell Hutcheson wants the girlfriend experience.

All of it.

And I’m going to give it to him.

I’m not supposed to enjoy being his whore.

I’m also not supposed to fall in love with him.

But I do. Both.

When our contract expires, I will walk away.

Because I have to.

But he’ll always have a piece of me.

I’ll mask my sorrow with a smile.

I’ll hide my love with indifference

… all while it’s killing me softly.

A fairy-tale romance.

It isn’t mine to have.

And this man I’ve come to love so dearly isn’t my happily ever after.

About Eighty-One Nights:
While the characters from Eighty-One Nights are entirely new, their storyline is a combination of fresh material and carefully selected themes, scenes, and settings from The Beauty Series, The Sin Trilogy, Dear Agony, and Indulge. This is intentional. I chose some of my favorite elements from previous releases and interjected them into Hutch and Lou’s story. Let’s call it a “story fusion” between our old favorites and new material. This work was briefly released under a pen name and was titled The Girlfriend Experience.

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When I first read the blurb for Eighty-One Nights, I was both intrigued and scared of the union of some of my favorite stories into one cohesive storyline.  I wasn’t sure how Georgia Cates could marry all of those complex and intense plotlines into a coherent story.  I was blown away by the ease with which Ms. Cates delivered a story that was sexy and heartbreaking. Original, yet fascinating familiar, Eighty-One Nights is a captivating and beautiful story of unexpected love.

I found Caitriona (Lou) fascinating from the off, but she didn’t hold a candle to the intrigue Maxwell (Hutch) brought to the story.  They both had less-than-stellar pasts but were still able to make a strong, fulfilling connection that seemed to be healing the broken parts of themselves.  I have a fascination (obsession, maybe) with these kinds of arranged relationships and found Lou and Hutch’s particularly interesting since their chemistry seemed so intense from the off.  Their journey from a paid ‘girlfriend experience’ contractual agreement to the intensity and authenticity of emotions they shared at the end was beautiful, and I loved every second of it.

I was a little surprised at the things going on outside of their relationship.  The people who were waiting in the wings trying to take pieces of Lou and Hutch for themselves, and the lengths they’d go through to ensure Lou and Hutch do not find the happiness they each deserved.  I can’t wait to see what Ms. Cates has in store for us concerning those people, and how they impact the beautiful future Lou and Hutch deserve.

I’m hard-pressed to pick a favorite Georgia Cates book, so getting to have this fun trip down memory lane by virtue of Eighty-One Nights was quite a treat.  I’ve especially noticed parallels between this book, The Beauty series, and Dear Agony, but memories are tickling at the back of my mind from the Sin series, too.  I can’t wait to see how the familiar themes from the stories I already love are woven together in a fresh, exciting way to complete this duet.

“No one gets to call you a whore.”

“You can.”

He stops eating and looks at me. “I’d never degrade you by calling you a whore.”

“Not a whore. Your whore. There’s a difference.”

I can almost see the wheels turning in Hutch’s head. “You’re my whore?”

“Yes. Only yours.”

“My whore.” He grins. “I don’t think that I’m supposed to like that, but I do.”

“And I don’t think I’m supposed to like being your whore, but I do. Very much.”

He reaches out for my hand and brings it to his mouth, kissing it. “You never cease to amaze me.”

“Dirty talk. Never underestimate the power of it.”


Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

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Hollywood Prince by Natasha Madison ~ Sarah A’s Review

Behind the “lights, camera, action” of Hollywood lies a world of deception, love, and seduction. 

Are you ready for Hollywood Royalty?

Carter
A blonde, a brunette, a redhead…he can have his pick of them all on any given night and he knows it. They wait, hoping he looks up and gives them his signature smirk, choosing them over the others because that’s his game.

Except now he’s signed the contract of a lifetime, one with a pesky little clause that says his zipper must stay up and his playboy image has got to tamp down. It’ll be fine—a piece of cake, even—he can do this and he’s almost convinced himself of that … and then she walks in the room.

The new PR girl whom they’ve hired to change his image, she’s the star of all his dreams, but there’s one tiny little problem … she can’t stand him and all of his player ways.

He knows he only has thirty days to show her why they call him Hollywood’s Prince. He’s up for the challenge, so game on.

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This is a hard review for me to write, not because I didn’t like the story, quite the opposite. I loved Erin and Carter’s journey.  It’s the writing I have an issue with.  It’s taken me several books to come to the conclusion that Natasha Madison’s writing style doesn’t work for me; which is highly unfortunate because I love the stories once I wade through the extraneous stuff.

Erin and Carter’s relationship was adorable.  I really loved their meet-cute and all the incorrect assumptions they made about one another.  I also was obsessed with how easily they fell into a place of familiarity and comfort with each other.  There is something to be said for your soul recognizing its home and permitting you to open up all the most vulnerable places of you to that person.  That’s exactly what felt like was happening with Erin and Carter.  Their hearts recognized each other and after that, everything was out of their hands.

The connection between Erin and Carter seemed to develop very naturally.  They went from a tense professional relationship to a deep and steadfast friendship, that grew into a very intense and meaningful committed relationship.  The trust and camaraderie they’d established in the early days of their relationship gave them an incredibly solid foundation to build, and rebuild, their relationship on.  And, when they put that trust and respect through the wringer, it was that foundation that gave them a place to regroup and rise from the ashes.

My only wish for this book is in the writing, and I know it’s a me thing.  I found the descriptions tedious and overwrought.  There are several passages – mostly toward the beginning of the book – that feel clunky and in need of polishing.  Finally, I think there is too much emphasis on name branding throughout this entire series, and I found it distasteful.

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four-inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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