Hate to Love You by Tijan ~ Blog Tour w/ Review

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Hate to Love You, an all-new standalone from New York Times Bestseller Tijan is available NOW!

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Hate to Love You by Tijan
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: August 28th

Blurb

Rule #1: No hot guys.

It might sound ridiculous. I get it. It kind of is, but college was supposed to be my sanctuary. It was my place to start over. The rumors, the whispers, and the jealousy I endured through high school would all be gone.

No one would know me at college.

Rule #2: No drama.

I’d major in pre-law. I’d make a few loyal friends. Everything would be easy breezy. No one was going to use me or hurt me. I wouldn’t let them.

Rule #3: New year. New place. New me.

Right?

Wrong.

And all because of Shay Coleman.

Football captain and quarterback, he was the big guy on campus. The cocky guy in my political science class with a smirk. I hated him on sight . . .

. . . and he was about to break all my rules.

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Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ggN4aZ

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2wB2Wvp

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Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2wKztQc

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2rwVniM

Review

Panty Scorching-2
Storyline-3.5
Angst-2
Tissues-1
Overall Rating-3.5
Reviewed by Stephanie

Kennedy Clarke is ready to embark on her freshman year at Dulane University and her plan is simple. Put the past behind her and start over in a place where no one knows her, well almost no one. She has three rules she is bound and determined to live by. No hot guys. No Drama. And New Year, New Place, New Kennedy. But the moment she walks into her first class her first rule is totally shot to hell.

“He was model material, and it was so cliché, but of course, he was the school’s quarterback. Shay Fucking Coleman.”

Shay Coleman is the epitome of everything Kennedy hated. The hot quarterback that’s worshipped by everyone and who comes off as a cocky asshole before a word even leaves his mouth. But of course, it’s just Kennedy’s luck that she gets teamed up with his group for a class assignment. As much as Kennedy tries to deny it there is some pretty intense chemistry right off the bat between these two, and the more time they spend together the harder it gets to fight it. And so begins their love/hate relationship with a side of some pretty hot and heavy sex when they could pretend to halfway like each other.

“I had started college with the plan of befriending one, maybe two people, and I was going to study. There would be no boys, no gossiping, no cattiness. I wasn’t going to get involved in any drama, and fast-forward a few weeks, and I’m sleeping with the star quarterback.”

Soon though things started to change for these two and Kennedy sees that maybe she jumped ahead and misjudged Shay. Because let’s be honest, he is pretty freaking awesome. Hot, sweet and just an all-around good guy who genuinely cared about her. I loved his character so much. Kennedy having been burnt in the past kept her guard up and tried to resist her feelings. But in true Tijan fashion some crazy stuff starts happening and drama is coming their way at every turn. Something major happens and truly puts their feelings to the test. Where I really loved Shay I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of Kennedy but I was still rooting for them to make it through the shit storm that came their way. I am a huge Tijan fan and so look forward to her books coming out. There was the drama I always crave from her and some good characters, but I just wasn’t a fan of Kennedy and struggled with her character. I liked this book, I just didn’t love it.

“You can let me in..You’re in. You’re so far in that I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”

stephanie

Excerpt

I was almost grinning from delight as I shoved open the back door. If I hit him, hey, all was fair in the war we were fighting of who could piss each other off the best.

It didn’t.

He was leaning against the wall, the back of his head resting on the brick, and he looked over to smirk at me. “I want to see your room.”

I thrust my hand out. “I’ll take those notes.”

That smirk just widened. He patted his bag and pushed off from the wall. “They’re in my email. I need to get on a computer.” He patted my arm and moved past me, heading inside. “I can use yours.”

“Hey!” I followed him in.

He was looking up the stairs. “Sabrina said you were on the fourth floor. You saw my place. I want to see yours. It’s only fair.”

He wasn’t waiting for my go-ahead. He was already up and rounding second floor to third. He’d be at my floor before I could get there. “Stop! I am not okay with this.”

He was at the third-floor door. He glanced down with that same goddamn smirk. “Better tell me which room or I’m going to hang out in the hallway.”

“Why are you always smirking? Is it permanently attached to your face?”

“What room, Clarke?” He was at my hallway door.

Fucking hell. I gritted my teeth. “Wait. Just wait. My door automatically locks.”

He’d opened the door but let it shut. Waiting as I covered the last set of stairs, I refused to let him see me panting. I stood there, purposely holding my breath until he narrowed his eyes and cocked his head to the side. “Breathe, Clarke. You’re going to pass out.”

I almost burped out the small pocket of air I’d been holding. “I hate you so much.”

“Yeah, yeah.” He waved that off. “We get it. Eternal damnation in hell, the whole shebang. Whatever.” He nodded to the door. “Stop stalling. I want to see your room.”

I was picturing pitchforks and fire. Maybe that was the burning smell he mentioned. It was hell, and all the fire in there. I yanked the door, glaring as I did. “Was this Sabrina’s idea?”

“Nope. All mine.” He was right behind me. I could feel his breathing. “She refused to tell me your room number, said I had to call.”

My eyes widened at the thought of him coming up by himself, strolling down the hallway, and then knocking on my door. Good Lordy gracious. Too many would’ve seen him at my door. I would’ve been the talk of the dorm.

I shuddered, unlocked, and entered my room.

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About Tijan

Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

To find what to read next of hers, go to www.tijansbooks.com

WALL STREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

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Connect with Tijan

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TijansBooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tijansbooks/

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TijansFanPage/

Stay up to date with Tijan by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/9GxnKU

http://www.tijansbooks.com

When It’s Real by Erin Watt ~ Release Blitz w/Review

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Book Cover When Its Real

Synopsis

Wealth, fame and a real-life romance she never expected—seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett lands it all when she agrees to become a pop star’s fake girlfriend in this smart, utterly addictive novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt. 

Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.

There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.

Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.

Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there’s no telling what your heart will do…

When Its Real teaser  Purchase Links

Review

Panty Scorching-1
Storyline-3.5
Angst-2
Tissues-0
Overall Rating-3.5
Kindle ebook provided by Netgalley
Reviewed by Stephanie

When I heard the fantastic writing duo Erin Watt was coming out with another book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I absolutely loved The Royals and needed more of their combined writing genius. With When It’s Real we get a quick and easy read. The angst and drama were definitely on the lower side of the scale in this book but the characters and writing were both just as easy to love.

Oakley Ford is a teen pop icon with a bad boy image that’s definitely not doing him any good lately. Needing an image change pronto his PR team comes up with an idea for him to have a fake girlfriend. But even with basically his pick of any girl he wants, the idea is for him to date a normal girl. One untouched by the spotlight and with no hidden agenda. Oakley is not a fan of the idea but his desperation to salvage his career has him on board.

“ This proposition is insane. I mean, who pays such an obscene amount of money to some random girl to pretend to be a pop star’s girlfriend for a year?”  

Enter so called normal girl Vaughn Bennett. Vaughn had a family tragedy a few years back and now her and her sister are helping raise her twin brothers and money is tight. So when the opportunity to pretend to be a pop-stars girlfriend for a boatload of money basically falls into her lap what’s a girl to do?  And so begins the year long “job”.

 “This is as real and as awful and as wonderful as it gets.”

 Oakley and Vaughn most definitely didn’t hit it off right away. I love how Vaughn wasn’t all star-stuck around Oak and was just staying true to herself and I have to say I really liked her character. Oak was thrown for a loop when Vaughn treated him, well like he was normal. His character took a little while to grow on me but I ended up really liking him. He was just not used to people not wanting something from him so relationships were hard. But as things progressed and feelings started to change it was sweet to watch them slowly fall for each other. If you are in the mood for a quick and sweet read this is the one for you.

“ There aren’t any cameras here, this isn’t for show.”     

stephanie

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About The Author

Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun—and sometimes crazy—ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up. You can contact them at their shared inbox: authorerinwatt@gmail.com

Author Links
Facebook
Website
Amazon Author Page

One Wrong Choice by A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine ~Blog Tour w/ Review

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One Wrong Choice by A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine
Release Date: March 1st
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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You are cordially invited to witness the union of Jenna and Kenneth…

Isn’t it every woman’s dream to marry the perfect guy?

Mr. Tall, Dark, Rich, and Handsome, the one who waits for me at the altar, is that man.

It’s what my family wants.

For a long time, it was what I thought I wanted, too.

Then I met Brandon, a ruggedly handsome guy with inked up sleeves, who turns my dreams into flames of heat.

What kind of person am I—an engaged woman constantly fantasizing and lusting over her best friend?

When Kenneth is away, Brandon fills all my dangerous desires, even though we haven’t so much as kissed.

I’m torn between doing the right thing, and following my heart.

If I make one wrong choice, I risk losing it all.

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Read Today!

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

iBooks: http://smarturl.it/ownibooks

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/owckobo

Nook: http://smarturl.it/owcnook

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/Zy1FNy

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Review

Panty Scorching-2
Storyline-3.5
Angst-3
Tissues-0
Overall Rating-3/3.5
Kindle eARC
Reviewed by Stephanie

One Wrong Choice is the final installment in the Cruel and Beautiful series by Authors A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine but can be read as a standalone. It is my first read by these Authors and though I liked this book I didn’t love it. It was a good storyline and has some interesting twists and turns that kept me interested , but I think what I had the hardest time with was the pace was too slow at times and I was just left wanting more. Also I had a hard time with Jenna for some reason the connection between her and Brandon didn’t work for me, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t feel that spark between them. Now Brandon on the other hand, I loved his character. He saved this book for me. From the get go he was so likable and that just progressed as the story went on.

Jenna is stuck in a relationship with a man she doesn’t love. Ever the people pleaser she finds herself bound to become a society wife all to appease her Mother and Kenneth. Though what she fiercely wants more than anything is independence and a chance to live the life that she chooses.

“ In his eyes, I see the fate that I’d been dealt. Even though I’m not in love with him, the love I do have will have to be enough.”

On the way to work one day Jenna’s car starts acting up so she stops at local garage to have someone take a look. Enter Brandon. The two of them very quickly form a friendship after Brandon finds himself uncharacteristically offering to fix Jenna’s car for her free of charge and Jenna decides to invite him to dinner as a sort of payback. The attraction is there from the start and both are dancing around it until Jenna drops the bomb that she has a boyfriend.

“ We come from different worlds. There’s never been a shot in the dark that she and I could have more then a friendship.”

The two continue their friendship for years unbeknownst to Jenna’s now fiance but things basically soon become strained because both have feelings for one another and though Brandon isn’t afraid to admit his Jenna is too afraid to admit hers. It becomes a push and pull with these two mixed with a whole lot of drama. But when something happens and Jenna is finally given the chance to choose her own path will she make the right choice?

“ We were never a wrong choice. We were the only one.”

stephanie

Meet A.M. Hargrove:

One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast-forward. If she didn’t do something soon, it would be too late to write that novel she had dreamt of her whole life. She slammed on the brakes, made a crazy decision, and quit her job. Then she reinvented herself as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author.

She fancies herself all of the following: Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker, Grey Goose Aficionado, and #WalterThePuppy Lover. If you’re around her for more than five minutes, you’ll soon notice she has a tendency to talk you ear off.

Meet Terri E. Laine:

Terri E. Laine, USA Today bestselling author, left a lucrative career as a CPA to pursue her love for writing. Outside of her roles as a wife and mother of three, she’s always been a dreamer and as such became an avid reader at a young age.

In her early years, she and her best friend would tell each other stories over the phone when they were bored. They called them their “soap operas” and generally revolved around whatever boy they liked at the time.

Many years later, she got a crazy idea to write a novel and set out to try to publish it. With over a dozen titles published under various pen names, the rest is history. Her journey has been a blessing, and a dream realized. She looks forward to many more memories to come.

Connect with A.M. Hargrove:

Website: http://www.amhargrove.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amhargrove1

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/amhargroveauthor

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A.M.-Hargrove/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5338829.A_M_Hargrove

Connect with Terri:

Website: www.terrielaine.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TerriELaineBooks

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TerriELaineAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TerriLaineBooks

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/TerriELaineAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14299771.Terri_E_Laine

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Terri-E.-Laine/

A THOUSAND LETTERS by Staci Hart ~Blog Tour w/ 5 Star Review

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“Lyrical, heartbreaking, and emotionally intense, A THOUSAND LETTERS is a beautiful portrait of an undying love that deserves a second chance.”

Melanie Harlow, USA Today Bestselling Author

A Thousand Letters, an all-new emotional standalone by Staci Hart is LIVE!!!

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Sometimes your life is split by a single decision.

I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them.

But now he’s back.

I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance.

One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey bought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.

*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

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Read Today:

FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2lC92GT
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/x7nolo

Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/SORJXP

Review

Panty Scorching-1
Storyline-5
Angst-5
Tissues-4
Overall Rating-5
Kindle eARC
Reviewed by Stephanie

The blurb for this book is what drew me in and then there’s the beautiful cover and the fact that the story is inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. So yeah I had high hopes for this book and Staci Hart did not disappoint. Her lyrical writing style in this story paired with unforgettable characters grabs hold and takes us on a journey filled with loss, regret and at last forgiveness.

Elliot and Wade met and fell in love very young. Elliot was only seventeen years old when Wade was set to leave for the army. Plans had been made and both of them were set on following them so their time apart would not be too long. But Wade not wanting to be away from her any longer than necessary suddenly changed those plans and Elliot made a heartbreaking decision, one she has regretted every day for seven years.

“ The boy who I walked away from lived on in the wreckage of my heart, and I never stopped wishing things had been different.”

Now after seven years Wade is back because his father who is more like a father to Elliot then her own is dying. They both know they will see each other but neither is even remotely prepared for the onslaught of emotions that surface when they do. So many questions left unanswered, so many letters left unread.

“ It didn’t matter that I wished I hadn’t gone silent. Because by the time I realized my mistake, it was too big, the distance too far, the wrongs I’d done too deep and wide to breech.”

Seven years can change a person in so many ways. Elliot could still see the boy she had loved hidden behind the eyes of a broken man and he was angry and bitter towards her. Wade had never stopped loving her but he was closed off and was so afraid to take a chance to tell her how he felt. There is so much history there with these two characters and with that so much heartache of all the time they lost. The road back to each other is not an easy one and honestly it’s painful to read in parts because my heart hurt for these two characters I had grown to love so much. Wade with his quite protectiveness and Elliot with her fierce love and devotion for all those she held dear to her. If you are looking for a beautifully written second chance love story then I would highly recommend A Thousand Letters.

“ Hold onto the things that breathe life into you. Listen to your soul and honor what it tells you. Live. Fight for what you love.”

stephanie

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About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Connect with the Author:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hv5OA5

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/imaquirkybird

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/imaquirkybird/

Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Newsletter: http://stacihartnovels.com/get-the-newsletter/

Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills ~Blog Tour w/ Review & Excerpt

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fake_fiancee_livePretending never felt so good….

Fake Fiancée by Ilsa Madden-Mills is NOW LIVE!
ONLY $0.99 & Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2kqhVPp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2lfrSjw
Amazon Paperback:  http://amzn.to/2ldp4TS

51wzx3s49l-_sy346_A new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills…

They say nothing compares to your first kiss,
But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.
Our second kiss…that one was REAL.
He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.
He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.
Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,
He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,
And he’d never get another piece.
A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist…
And I was lost.
I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.
I forgot we weren’t REAL.
Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist…
Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

Get ready for breathtaking kisses and dreamy football players…

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Excerpt

Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.

“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.

“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.

“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.

He was. But why?

I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.

Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.

He took my left hand in his right one.

“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.

He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”

The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.

My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.

Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was afreaking raving lunatic.

He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.

No, no, no!

The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.

With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.

I stared down at it. Then back at him.

I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.

Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.

We were the focal point of the entire world.

Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.

But I hadn’t said yes!

I wouldn’t say yes.

Not to a fake engagement.

The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.

He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.

I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.

“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”

“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”

“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”

My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.

God.

What a lie.

The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.

I didn’t care who won.

I hated football right now.

Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.

Review

Panty Scorching-1
Storyline-3
Angst-2
Tissues-0
Overall Rating-3.5
Kindle eARC
Reviewed by Stephanie

I am a huge Ilsa Madden-Mills fan and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. The blurb grabbed my attention right away, and hello hot cover! All that hair…ah my fingers were itching to throw it up in a man bun. Fake Fiancee was a quick, light read with an extra side of steamy thrown in.

Desperate to get out of her home town of Snowden and away from her father, Sunny “borrows” her Fathers car and heads down the highway with no intention of looking back. But when one wrong turn sends her plunging into the icy cold water and thinks this is for sure the end for her, when she is suddenly pulled to safety by a sexy stranger.

“ God had been using his A game when he’d created my hero.”

Fast forward three years and Sunny is attending Leland University and her neighbor just so happens to be none other than Max Kent the football teams super sexy quarterback. After Sunny finds herself at his door one morning when one of his groupies smashes her car he offers her a ride to class. The chemistry between these two is instantaneous and off the charts. But Sunny does date jocks and Max’s main focus is football.

“ And so it begins. The football player and I were finally going to meet. I was going to murder him.”

Trying to push their insane sexual chemistry aside Sunny and Max quickly become great friends. Max comes up with this crazy idea. Sunny works her ass off to make ends meet and he is hoping for a Heisman nod so he needs to keep the crazy groupies away and his image squeaky clean. So what better solution then to pay her to pretend to be in a relationship with him. Three months and then back to being just friends. Sounds simple enough, right? Well between rides to school, coffee dates and tutoring sessions things start to shift and then what happens when what’s supposed to be a fake agreement now seems all so real?

“ You make me into the person I’ve always wanted to be.”

stephanie

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About The Author

ilsa-madden-bioWall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at ilsamaddenmills@gmail.com.

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Flightless by L. Duarte ~Blog Tour w/ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Title: Flightless
By: L. Duarte
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Publisher: LD Publishing LLC
Genre: Romance
Cover Designer: Okay Creations
#flightlesstour

Everyone has a story.

Mine went like this: Once upon a time, I met a boy. He was the most handsome fella in the land. I fell in love. Together, we had cosmic chemistry. I believed I would live a life of unending bliss. Until he broke my heart. Shattered it to pieces. And I lived unhappily ever after instead. The end.

Or so I thought.

Life found a way to reunite us. But to change that unhappy ending, I had to learn how to forgive. And my heart seemed unable to do so.

This is a love story. But it is also, much more. It’s the story of how I coped with my shortcomings, my fears and rewrote my destiny. Everyone has a story. This is mine.

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Review

Panty Scorching-1
Storyline-5
Angst-4
Tissues-3.5
Overall Rating-4
Kindle eARC
Reviewed by Stephanie

This book was a slow start for me, I’m not sure what it was but for some reason I had trouble connecting in the beginning. But a little voice inside my head told me to give it a chance and read on. I have to say I am so glad I did because I loved this book and these characters so much. Once the story started to progress it captivated my attention and held on tight until the end.
It has been ten long years since superstar Gray Davis has been home but one call from her Mother and she drops everything and returns to the place she has tried so hard to avoid. A place that had felt so safe until a boy she loved with her whole heart broke her into a million pieces.

“ Once upon a time, I had found everything Galel to be of utmost fascination. Until he destroyed me.”

The cemetery is a place that has always called to Gray, for reasons we learn during the story. It seems only fitting that when she returns home she finds herself seeking refuge in the place it all begin and even more fitting that the Galel is there waiting for her. The love these two have for each other is so overwhelmingly evident but you also feel the pain and heartache pouring off the pages.

“ A surge of unbidden memories rushed through my mind. Memories better to be left untouched churned inside me like a triptide.”

This story is told in past and present and we get a better look at who Gray and Galel really are and what they mean to each other. The love they shared and the one mistake that left them both broken. Gray not ready to forgive but Galel realizing that now that she is home he is not ready to give her up without a fight. There are many twists and turns in this story that I did not see coming. I loved both of these two characters so much. But after ten years can their hearts find a way back to each other?

“My heart had not a chance. It fell madly in love with you.”

stephanie

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Chapter One

I stepped back. Not literally, just figuratively. I did that with every concert. I allowed my mind’s eyes to hover over me and my fans while I analyzed and dissected the unique relationship between us.

As I watched the multitude of people—a beautiful kaleidoscope of different races and social statuses—my heart, in utter bliss, roared.

The audience held their hands upwards as if in an offering or a request. I never knew which. In perfect synchrony, their arms rolled in waves like the swaying of a stormy sea. Their voices cried out my name, and the smell of their sweat and the heat of their mingled bodies emanated from them, unfurling to me like the sweet perfume of incense.

I held the mic near my motionless lips and stared at them. At that moment, I became one with thousands. At that moment, I took back from the crowd all the energy I had fed them. And their vibe made me high and drunk. It was my personal Nirvana. The kind of rapture that can only be attained through uttermost intimacy. A oneness I had only felt with one other person. A person who had severed that connection and shattered my heart into a million shards of pain.

I worshiped them as they adored me. The exchange of atomic energy contained nuclear power. I was drained from giving. They were wasted from receiving. But we were both impossibly happy and satisfied.

My motionless lips finally moved, uttering the final words for the night. The parting words. “Good night, Sydney!” I waved a hand back at them. “You looked beautiful tonight. All forty thousand of you.”

I bowed. They deserved my reverence. People had spent their time camped outside the venue waiting for a closer glance at me. They had spent their precious earned money to see my performance. They were worthy of my respect and gratitude.

Another wave of a hand. A kiss. Another bow. And I was out. Another show was done. Eight more to go.

I jogged backstage and gave the mic to Jeremy, my makeup artist, in exchange for a bottled water. He opened a portable case containing all the potions that would quickly improve my appearance for the meet and greet. 

Before I took a swig from the bottle, Clara, my assistant, brusquely interrupted my post-concert ritual. She snatched the bottle from my hand and returned it to a confused Jeremy. “Gray. With me,” she demanded, grabbing my elbow and urging me toward my changing room.

I glanced back at the stunned face of Jeremy. It was time for meet and greet with the VIP’s. I needed to freshen up. My makeup had all but melted under the stage lights.

Once inside the privacy of the room, I demanded, “What’s going on?”

She raised a finger and said, “Wait.”

I opened my mouth to protest. Instead, I swallowed the words. Clara was usually a chatterbox; her clipped words quickly clued me in that something was seriously wrong.

As I waited, Clara dialed a number on her phone. Her silence became as unnerving as the red glare of an alarm light.

“Betty, I have Gray,” Clara said. Wordlessly, she shoved the device in my hand. The door closed with a thud after she exited in a flurry of silent drama. 

“Mama?” I asked holding the phone to my ear.

“Hey, Puppy,” Mama said in a soft, almost regretful tone.

“What’s going on?” I asked. Silence filled the other end of the line, only increasing my concern. Mama knew I had just left the stage. She followed my tour from home. Minute by minute. It was unusual for her to call me so soon following a show.

“How was, um, the, um, concert?” she asked.

“Mama, did you call me to ask how the show went?” I furrowed my brows and every hair on my body stood at attention. Mama knew my routine during a tour. After a performance, I had a brief meet with fans and then I would go on hours of silence to rest my vocal cords. Although she knew she could call me at any time, she never called until at least ten hours following a show.

“Mama?” I prodded after a long silence.

“I have cancer,” she said bluntly.

The phone connection was perfect. No static. But Mama’s words hummed in my ear with a tunnel-like quality. Distorted, altered, garbled. My mind, however, had remained sharp and alert. Without much thought and after a brief pause, I uttered the words, “I’m coming home.” I hadn’t said those words in over a decade. Somehow, they didn’t taste as foreign as I had imagined they would.

  ***

 

“Gray,” I said. The word hovered on my tongue, saturating my taste buds with an acrid taste. “Gray,” I repeated, letting it roll off my tongue. I did that a lot. It was my name.

Often, I mused about my name. It hadn’t been given to me because it was fashionable. Nevertheless, it had a history. My history.

When I was little, I liked to fancy its origin. The sky, I would think, was painted gray the day I was born. I loved the theory. The unattainability of the infinite mass of gray made it a great namesake. Whenever gray clouds hovered in the sky, I would lay on my back and stare at them, dreaming that when I grew up, I would build an enormous ladder, climb it, and touch the gray painted dome. It was all, of course, a foolish child’s dream, born out of vain imagination. I wasn’t born during the day, nor was the sky gray. And it was most definitely not the inspiration behind the choosing of my name.

I was born in a graveyard. Serene Hills Cemetery, it was called, though its surface was flat. It was a fall night, October 20th, approximately 11 pm.

They found me covered in vernix. I used the term ‘they’ loosely. A dog found me. A female German Shepherd mix that went by the name of Sunshine. Her fur was golden. Shiny like sun rays. I had a newspaper cut-out of her. It’s black and white, but it described her that way. In the shot, she looked straight at the camera, two vivid round eyes dotting a long and alert face. She had the knowing stare of someone who was aware she had done a good deed.

Obviously, I don’t recall the details surrounding my birth. I was an infant. But I had Mama tell me the story so many times, which after a while, the images ingrained in my brain like the roots of a tree embedded in the fertile soil. They became so real in my imagination that it felt as if they were my recollections.

I was a born a preemie. Weak, small, and blotchy-faced. I was skin and bones with a mop of black spiky hair, and a bad case of a cold.   

A miracle, they called me. But I knew I was no wonder. I happened to have the perfect concoction of healthy lungs and a loud cry. These, and the sharp canine sense of hearing and smelling had saved me. I didn’t believe in miracles. Not anymore.

When they found me, decay from the trees covered the ground on a fascinating palette of colors—an array of red, yellow, purple, brown, orange, golden, bronze.

I used to question why the leaves change colors and fall off the branches. According to a scientific explanation, leaves are a weak and feeble part of a plant. So, before the weather gets severely cold, the trees should toughen up to protect themselves. Or simply dispose of the leaves, the weak part.

Personally, I believe they turn colors before falling as revenge. A personal vendetta. And for that I applaud them. They turn their death into a poetic and alluring sight. That line of thought made me believe death was beautiful. It fascinated me. It’s more interesting than birth, although similar.

I had been abandoned under a pile of dead foliage. According to the police investigation, it appeared my birth mother had buried me under the leaves. Hid me. Like a criminal attempting to cover its tracks. Supposedly, I spent the night under a cocoon of leaves. The tree’s decay was soaked with blood and amniotic fluid.

According to Sunshine’s owner, they were walking on the sidewalk by the cemetery when she heard a whizzing sound. Sunshine’s owner discarded the noise as being the cry of squirrels.

Sunshine didn’t. At odds with her sweet nature, she became agitated and broke loose. She squeezed through a small gap in the fence and disappeared between the gravestones, leaving her owner in a frenzy.

Less than a minute later, Sunshine returned. Her mouth muzzled around my small waist, my umbilical cord dragging, rattling the decayed leaves.

I found my story fascinating, unique. Or so I told myself whenever I got teased at school.

The hospital staff called me the Graveyard Miracle. Soon after, Gray for short. It stuck.

I spent three months in the hospital. That’s where Mama worked. The graveyard shift. She fed me. She bathed me. She caressed my skin. “My heart had not a chance. It fell madly in love with you,” she said, whenever she told me my story. Her pale hand, dotted with freckles, caressing my black, straight hair.

 When I became her child officially, she quit the night job. “I had brought home my very own Graveyard Miracle.”

She found a day job at a pediatric clinic, occasionally helping at the hospital for extra income. She continued working at the clinic throughout my childhood, adolescence, and after I left home. She remained there until cancer said, “No more.” Until cancer said, “I want your time. From now on, you are going to dedicate every waking hour to me. I’m egocentric. I want it all. I want your flesh and the total sum of your soul.”

That’s why I was there, sitting in the back of a limousine Clara had rented to pick me up from JFK airport and take me home.

“When should I schedule your flight to LA?” she had asked. “Only a one-way ticket for now,” I responded.

32 Lorelai Lane, my childhood home. It was a small Victorian-style house, built in 1929. The colorful foliage of a maple tree and an oak tree framed the dwelling as if it was extracted from the pages of a fairy tale book. When I was little, I used to fancy my house was lovely. The most enchanting place in all realms. Staring at the house, I discovered that I still thought that. It was the most magical place in the world because it was the place that humans refer to it as ‘home’. And home is a thing of fairy tales. Rare and pure.

The car door was wide open, awaiting me. I climbed out. The driver stood straight as a pole. His hands perfectly folded in front of him, his face impassive. I wondered how long he had stood there, waiting for me, questioning my sanity. The luggage was lined up at the front porch. His face remained expressionless when I pulled a generous tip from my purse and handed it to him. “Thank you,” I murmured.

He drove off, the sound of the engine trailing off into the quiet street. It was late at night. The crisp air smelled of burnt wood and autumn, reminiscent of bonfires and fireplaces.

I crossed the stone path leading to the front steps.

The hinges of the front door squeaked, and Mama slowly appeared as light spilled out from inside the house. She leaned against the doorframe, cocked her head, her eyes fixed on me. She knew me so well. She knew I needed the time.

I peered up, carefully examining Mama’s face. It had been only two months since I had last seen her, but she appeared decades older. Even under the porch’s pale yellowed light, I could detect the lines circling her mouth. Small bags sagged under her eyes, and her plump skin appeared loose, dripping like melting wax. Her hair showed inches of gray and her usual square and proud shoulders were smaller, fragile. But what got my attention the most were her eyes. Their vivid green had turned opaque.

The grief and sorrow in her stare set my feet in motion, and I climbed the steps.

When mama stepped forward, the old wooden floor groaned and creaked under her feet. She came to a halt at the top of the stairs. Her lips curved into a small smile, and her arms spread open in an inviting hug.

As I stepped forward, my legs felt wobbly with the weight of so many years of absence.

I have found that there is only one thing better than reading, and that is writing. I am always torn between the two. I am also frequently torn between chocolate and coffee. However, I emphatically do not like the month of February, lies, and flies. For me, bravery is defined by the courage to do what we fear the most. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two children. Drop a few lines. I would love to hear from you.

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Branna by L.A. Casey ~New Release w/ Review

branna-rb-banner

Title: Branna
Series: Slater Brothers (#4.5)
Author: L.A. Casey
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, Romantic Comedy

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]

Synopsis

Branna Murphy is a survivor, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a soon-to-be-mother. She doesn’t have time to linger on anything, especially on a silly argument about how many children she will bear.

Ryder Slater is a hardass, a husband, a friend, a brother, and a soon-to-be-father. Unlike his wife, he has nothing but time to argue his case about how many children they will have… until that time is threatened to be taken away from him.

A surprise honeymoon deep in a beautiful forest for a secluded getaway was supposed to be fun, romantic and peaceful – until the storm of the century hits and both Branna and Ryder face a new enemy that has means to harm their family.

Mother nature.

Branna is consumed by her love for Ryder, and will fight to the end to keep her family safe. Branna treasures Ryder, and what Branna treasures, Branna defends.

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review2

Panty Scorching-3
Storyline-4
Angst-3
Tissues-0
Overall Rating-4
Kindle eARC
Reviewed by Stephanie

I was so excited for this installment of the Slater Brothers, yes it’s release got pushed back a few times so I was waiting or rather stalking the Authors page somewhat impatiently but life happens and was it worth the wait? Hell yes it was! L. A. Casey never disappoints when it comes to her amazing stories and characters. This novella was about Branna and the ever scrumptious Ryder. Told from Branna’s point of view we get a more in depth view of life since all the craziness of the last book.

Take a pregnant temperamental Branna and a stubborn Ryder and thrown them in a cabin alone and what do you get? Well the drama ensues, as well as the hot sex and a crazy storm. These two were the hardest couple for me to connect with in this series but this book really changed that and it was sweet to see how much they love each other and how great they truly are together.

“I love your body, but I married you because your soul matches mine and because I love you more than life itself .”

Per usual the author also caught us up on what is going on with all the other Slater Brothers and that is one of my favorite things about her books because I love me some Slater brothers! And I always love getting a glimpse of Dominic and Bronagh my favorite couple. Great short read filled with all the elements I’ve come to love about the Slater Brothers. Oh and lots of little Slater babies in this one…can’t wait to read more!
stephanie

branna-2

 

Slater Brother Series

Slater Bros Books

Dominic

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Bronagh

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Alec

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Keela

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Kane

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Aideen

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Ryder

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About The Author

LA Casey

L.A. Casey is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who juggles her time with her mini-me and writing. She was born, raised and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland. She enjoys chatting with her readers, who love her humor and Irish accent as much as her books.

Casey’s first book Dominic, was independently published in 2014 and became an instant success on Amazon. She is both traditionally and independently published and is represented by Mark Gottlieb from Trident Media Group.

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