VISIONS OF LADY MARY by Rachel Ann Smith – Release Day Review

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VISIONS OF LADY MARY

by

Rachel Ann Smith

 

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01_volm_cover_11202019_halfsize_ebookIt’s hard to connect with the living when you’re able to communicate with the dead. 

Lady Mary Masterson had no objection to being betrothed to Gilbert Talbot until he ridiculed her. Now, years later, it appears her chance for an adventure on the Continent will be thwarted by the very man when he turns up, vowing to keep her safe. Insufferable!

If only it weren’t so difficult to ignore her fluttering heart—and the voices constantly touting the advantages of marrying the man who long ago called her a witch.

Battlefield promises are easy to make and hard to keep.

They were at war when Gilbert Talbot, the Earl of Waterford, promised to care for the strange but fascinating sister of his dying best friend. But his is a perilous life, and to ensure her safety, Gilbert has avoided Lady Mary, a woman whose mere presence makes every cell in his body come alive.

Now fate has brought them together in more danger than Gilbert ever imagined. He could well lose the woman he loves to the enemy—or to the arms of another man.

Buy it here:

Books2Read   –   Amazon   –   Barnes & Noble   –   Apple   –   Kobo

 

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Intrigue-filled and adventuresome with a touch of paranormal, this road-trip historical romance is an engaging read.

Mary and Gilbert have separate reasons for avoiding the other despite the fact that people in their lives–both dead and living–keep saying they’re meant for each other. Mary resented having been called a witch when she was but a teenager by someone she fancied herself in love with. Gilbert has far too many responsibilities to be distracted by the odd woman he promised to protect. When they were thrown together through the machinations of her aunt and his superiors, they finally fulfill their intertwined fate.

But first, they have to endure danger, suspicion, the temporary loss of Mary’s ghostly support system,  rivalries, and their lack of trust for one another. All Mary wants is for Gilbert to believe her, believe that she can contribute to his work for the Home Office. Gilbert, while desiring Mary with all his being, wants to feel that he has control over his destiny and not get roped into an arranged marriage like his parents’ unhappy one.

Exciting and action-packed, Visions of Lady Mary is a fast-paced romp of a romantic novel. Sometimes too fast and too much action that I barely felt a sense of place. France is one of my favorite places to have had the opportunity to visit and I want to revisit again and again it even if only in books.

You may be able to read this fourth book in the series as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the previous three to get better acquainted with the characters, many of whom are mentioned here.

4 out of 5 stars

 

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Rachel Smith

Rachel Ann Smith writes steamy historical romances with a twist. Her debut series, Agents of the Home Office, features female protagonists that defy convention.

When Rachel isn’t writing, she loves to read and spend time with her family. She is frequently found with her Kindle by the pool during the summer, the soccer field in the spring and fall, or curled up on the couch during the winter months.

She currently lives in Colorado with her extremely understanding husband and their two very supportive children.

Follow Rachel Ann here: 

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A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR by Laura Trentham – Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

A Highlander cover photo

A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR

by

Laura Trentham

 

SYNOPSIS

Copy of A Highlander Walks Into a Bar Cover Image

The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?

Buy-book link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250315021

 

ABOUT LAURA

Trentham Author PhotoLaura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Then He Kissed Me and The Military Wife. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

 

Follow Laura here:

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REVIEW

A Highlander Walks Into A Bar is a fun, light double romance I thoroughly enjoyed for its themes of family, friendship, and community.

The main characters Isabel and Alasdair are well-suited to each other with similar caring for their respective parents and uncertainties about their careers despite their different backgrounds. I like the slow build-up of their romance through proximity and their quick acknowledgment of their mutual attraction. There was no push-and-pull that usually ticks me off.

I also appreciate that the deceptions (Gareth’s hiding of his title for self-protection and Alasdair’s mistake on getting his loathsome co-worker and boss interested in the Buchanan’s property) didn’t play out too long and after a proper grovel, especially on Alasdair’s part, Izzy and her mother Rose forgave their men.

I adore the idea of a small town where people work together to embrace and celebrate their cultural heritage. As an immigrant, I relate to this incredibly well. Highland, Georgia sounds like a fun place to visit during the games as described in this book.

Well-balanced story telling, likable secondary characters (especially Anna and Holt) who were interesting enough without overpowering the leads, smooth pacing, and  an intriguing tease for the next book are the reasons I’m giving this book four stars.

4 out of 5 stars

 

GIVEAWAY

One US reader will receive a paperback copy of A Highlander Walks Into A Bar from St. Martin’s Press. To enter, like the post and leave a comment below. I will draw a winner on Tuesday, August 6, at 12 noon Central time.

 

 

 

 

GOOD GUY by Kate Meader – Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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GOOD GUY

by

Kate Meader

 

SYNOPSIS

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He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow . . .

Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.

Also known as the woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.

Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart . . .

In this standalone romance set in the Chicago Rebels world, a new generation of players take to the ice and learn that all’s fair in love and hockey.

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Purchase:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RF6XC4P
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-guy-kate-meader/1131474287
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/good-guy-a-rookie-rebels-novel
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/good-guy/id1462534782
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=NcefDwAAQBAJ

 

ABOUT KATE

Kate-Meader-e1434416954712

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

Author links:
https://www.katemeader.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authorkatemeader
https://www.instagram.com/katemeader/
https://twitter.com/kittymeader
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551743.Kate_Meader
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-meader
https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Meader/e/B00AQLO4EG

 

REVIEW

I adore Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series so much I cried when it ended with Hooked On You. I thought I’d never see those beloved characters again and so when Kate announced this spin-off with the Rookie Rebels, I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of Good Guy.

It did not disappoint. This was zing-y, quip-py, and full of heart and social relevance like the original series. Everyone’s back. Remy and Harper, Vadim and Isobel, Dante and Cade, Bren and Violet, plus cameos by Kinsey and Luke from another fantastic KM series – Hot in Chicago. More importantly, I already love the “rookies” who are introduced here and I’m looking forward to their books, especially Theo’s and, dare I hope, Elle’s.

Good Guy is Levi Hunt’s story and what a great story it is. Grumpy, close-mouthed, big-hearted, incredibly humble, super sexy (of course), and slightly insecure. He kept mentioning impostor syndrome and, oh boy, I could relate. His pining for Jordan, his care for Elle and Theo, and concern for Joe, his integrity, his drive to improve his skills made me love him. If this review is all about Levi, Good Guy will receive five stars.

But, it also includes Jordan Cooke – ambitious sports reporter, irresponsible journalist, undeserving object of Levi’s affection, and cause of lower rating. Kate may have tried to do too much with her as a symbol of gender inequality and sexual harassment in the (sports and media) workplace and it created an imbalance in her personality versus Levi’s more heroic characterization. I didn’t take too well to her and placing her beside Harper didn’t do Jordan any justice. As a military spouse who had to make adjustments in terms of career choices, I can relate somehow. But, the way she accomplished her goals could have been done differently, in my opinion.

Kate’s writing is superb and I trust her to tell great stories. Even though there were aspects of Good Guy that didn’t satisfy, I’m still very excited about this new series. Can’t wait for the next book!

Three-half-stars

 

GIVEAWAY

Kate is giving away $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Open internationally. Ends on August 8.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233175/

 

DESIRES OF LADY ELISE by Rachel Ann Smith – Release Day/Review

Desires of Lady Elise image

DESIRES OF LADY ELISE 

by

Rachel Ann Smith

 

SYNOPSIS

Desires of Lady Elise book cover

One scandal. Two broken hearts. A decade apart.

Lady Elise knows all too well the risks of falling in love. Her heart was broken by a rake. Instead of hunting for a husband, she helps other ladies escape the nefarious plans of unscrupulous gentlemen.

After a scandal costs Lord Thornston Elise’s hand and heart, he has lived on the fringes of the beau monde. But when his best friend, the Duke of Fairmont, requests his assistance, Thornston is torn. Helping Fairmont means facing the woman who holds his heart and soul.

Succumbing to temptation, Thornston re-enters Society to find Elise still unwed. But as he seeks to reignite her desire for him and earn back her trust, he becomes entwined in one of her investigations. When events take a dangerous turn, he might lose the woman he loves before he can win her back.

Buy it here: Amazon

 

ABOUT RACHEL ANN

Rachel Smith

Rachel Ann Smith writes steamy historical romances with a twist. Her debut series, Agents of the Home Office, features female protagonists that defy convention.

When Rachel isn’t writing, she loves to read and spend time with her family. She is frequently found with her Kindle by the pool during the summer, the soccer field in the spring and fall, or curled up on the couch during the winter months.

She currently lives in Colorado with her extremely understanding husband and their two very supportive children.

Follow Rachel Ann here: 

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REVIEW

Fast-paced and action-packed, Desires of Lady Elise is a delightful introduction to a new voice in Regency Romance. Rachel Ann’s debut novella is a quick, fun read that tells a complete second-chance story between Lady Elise and Harold, Lord Thornston. At the same time, it also has me intrigued by the upcoming series. If Lady Elise is the example of the brave, smart, and bold heroines of the Agents of the Home Office series, count on me to one-click every book. Especially if the heroes are as devoted and as besotted as Lord Thornston.

Rachel Ann’s writing is clean and fluid. Desires of Lady Elise shows a lot of potential in the kind of books she will be producing. For future books, I’d like to see more diversity in the main characters. Perhaps less protagonists from the nobility and more from the working class. Some international characters would also be welcome in order to differentiate her books from those by most authors in the historical romance sub-genre.

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

ARRANGE ME by Katy Regnery – Release Day Review

arrange me cover

My name is Courtney Jane Salinger…
and I’m sick of games.

Sick of the Friday night bar-scene-cum-meat-market.
Sick of the boy-girl, man-woman, Mars-Venus, flirtation-without-expectation, game-playing nonsense.
Sick of awful dates and one-night stands, booty calls and guys who don’t call back, mixed messages or NO messages and—and—and…I’m sick of all of it.

I’m done.
I just can’t do it anymore.
It’s too hard, and worse: little by little, it’s making me hard.
It’s breaking my heart.

What do I want?
That’s easy.

I want a house in suburbia with a white picket fence.
I want babies to buckle into a minivan.
But most of all, I want to be married.
I want a husband.

So I’ve made an important decision: I’m making my escape from the dating world and the single life.
I’ve filled out my application on ArrangeMe.com and I’m putting my fate into the hands of experts.

Is it a little scary?
Sure.
I mean, I have no idea who I’ll end up with.
After all, I’m planning to marry a complete stranger.

But between you and me?
I can’t wait.

Being arranged can’t possibly be worse than being single.
Can it?

Available here:

🌸Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P7D9W4K
🌸Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07P7D9W4K
🌸Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07P7D9W4K
🌸Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07P7D9W4K

 

arrange me now live

REVIEW

I’ve been reading Katy Regnery’s books for several years now and I know I can count on her to provide a fresh take on any romance story. In Arrange Me, she once again proved why she’s one of the top indie authors in the world with its unconventional premise and relatable characters.

I’m now in my forties and have been happily married for over a decade, but I still remember being late-twenties and being incredibly frustrated with the singles scene. I get exactly where Courtney is coming from and so will plenty of people who have unfulfilled desires no matter the success they’ve accomplished in other areas of their lives. Her solution of participating in an arranged marriage might have been extreme, but she was taking control of her life and I like that in my heroines.

There’s much to like in this novel. The smooth storytelling, the inclusion of diverse characters, the flipping of roles in terms of age and financial status between the heroine and hero, the realism of living paycheck-to-paycheck in New York City, and all the theater talk. I’m a musical theater junkie and I appreciate all the discussions and mentions of my favorite shows, especially that of Miss Saigon.

If I have a minor complaint, it’s that the arranged husband seems to be giving more to the relationship than Courtney has. So far. I hope that’s addressed in Arrange Us. I’d hate for the imbalance to continue.

Overall, I enjoyed Arrange Me and I’m looking forward to the continuation of Courtney and her husband’s story. It’ll be interesting to see how Katy writes the fall-out of the rash decisions the main characters made and how they will resolve the serious issues they’re facing now that the honeymoon is over.

 

A RUMORED FORTUNE by Joanna Davidson Politano – Book Blog Tour Review/Giveaway

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A RUMORED FORTUNE

BY

JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO

Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 31, 2018
Number of Pages: 416

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Synopsis
MyDDDxMQWelcome to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England. Tressa Harlowe’s father kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it.

Now Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune—before someone else finds it first.

 
Review_preview

I don’t normally read Christian Romance, finding some of them too forceful in preaching, but I made an exception for A Rumored Fortune and I did not regret it. Joanna Davidson Politano’s faith and the faith of her main characters Tressa Harlowe and Donegan Vance shone throughout the book and is essential to the growth of the hero and heroine and the development of the story.

Almost allegorical in its story-telling, A Rumored Fortune is a fascinating novel. The descriptions of the settings and characters, the dialogues, the conflicts, and the narration take the reader in a journey of intricate family relationships, class warfare, historical societal norms, viticulture, mystery, and romance.

I appreciate the deft way Ms. Politano drew her characters. They’re real and relatable. Tressa is kind, intelligent, and artistic but she has prejudices too. Donegan is forthright, but is also deceptive. Even the secondary characters are rounded out: Lucy, Tressa’s mother, Andrew, Margaret, Dr. Caine, Neville and Ellen, Mr. Prescott. They’re not caricatures and have reasons for their behaviors.

With its unpredictable twists and turns and affecting lessons in the practice of trust and acts of charity and sacrifice to demonstrate faith and love, A Rumored Fortune is a highly engaging read.  I give it four stars. ✩✩✩✩

 

PRAISE FOR A RUMORED FORTUNE:

7ZN2R6-w“Everyone loves a treasure hunt—pair it with a heroine you can’t help but love, a hero you can’t help but swoon over, and a family mystery that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, and you end up with A Rumored Fortune. This book is a treasure in itself and one you won’t be able to put down!”—Roseanna M. White, bestselling author of the Ladies of the Manor series and Shadows Over England series

“Politano combines romance and mystery with great skill to create plot twists that will keep readers captivated until the very end.”—Publishers Weekly

“The author has done a great job, offering up a plot filled with wit, charm, action, and a lot of female strength.”—Suspense Magazine

 

book trailer

CLICK TO PURCHASE:

Baker BookHouse     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Christianbook.com

Kobo     IndieBound     Books-A-Million

add to goodreads

AboutTheAuthor

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Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears. She freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK     TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE     GOODREADS

 

—————————————

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

GRAND PRIZE: Copy of A Rumored Fortune + Novel Teas (box of 25 tea bags) + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Copy of A Rumored Fortune+ $10 Starbucks Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: Copy of A Rumored Fortune+ $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
(US ONLY)
September 11-20, 2018

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

9/11/18		Notable Quotable	Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
9/12/18		Review			Momma on the Rocks
9/13/18		Author Interview	The Clueless Gent
9/14/18		Excerpt			That's What She's Reading
9/15/18		Review			StoreyBook Reviews
9/16/18		Notable Quotable	All the Ups and Downs
9/17/18		Character Interview	Missus Gonzo
9/18/18		Review			Tangled in Text
9/19/18		Author Top Five		Kelly Well Read
9/20/18		Review			Carpe Diem Chronicles

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A BORROWED DREAM by Amanda Cabot – Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway

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A BORROWED DREAM

The Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 2

by

Amanda Cabot

Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: March 20, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Synopsis

Catherine Whitfield is sureCover hi res A Borrowed Dream_preview that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as
Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

Click for book trailer on Animoto!

Review_preview

Amanda Cabot’s A Borrowed Dream is a departure from what I typically read and I like that. This inspirational small town historical fiction with romantic elements hits all the right spots when you want to take a break from the regency or contemporary books that dominate the marketplace today. It’s the second book in the series but the first I’ve ever read by this author, yet I did not feel lost in not having read A Stolen Heart first.

This book introduced a lot of characters (the children – Hanna and Seth – are my favorites), but Ms. Cabot was able to center her story around Catherine and Austin. I really liked that they’re fully formed characters with strengths and weaknesses, so well-developed that you can picture them in your head. By the time you get through reading the book, you’ll feel like these people actually lived in 1881, in the Hill Country of Texas.

There’s a lot to this book–romance, friendship, some suspense and mystery, medical history, small-town intrigues–but amidst it all there’s always the messages of forgiveness and faith. Although it’s an easy read, some themes Ms. Cabot touched on were quite heavy. Child abuse, rape, adoption, and murder were treated with sensitivity. Cruelty to children is something I cannot abide that’s why I really felt for Seth.

A Borrowed Dream is a well-written book by a talented author. I especially liked the Author’s Letter at the end with its surprising information about plastic surgery. I do love books that educate and inform as well as they entertain. I’ll now have to go back and pick up A Stolen Heart while waiting for A Tender Hope.

 

PRAISE FOR A BORROWED DREAM:

“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” –Booklist

“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” –RT Book Reviews

PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY:

“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”—Publishers Weekly

“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”—RT Book Reviews

“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”—Booklist

CLICK TO ORDER ON:

Baker Book HouseAmazonBarnes & NobleChristianbook.comBooks-A-MillionKobo

 

AboutTheAuthor

Cabot_Amanda_previewAmanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, the first book of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.

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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Click on picture for the Rafflecopter link:

Giveaway A Borrowed Dream_preview

THREE WINNERS

1ST: Copy of A Borrowed Dream, Novel Teas (25 count), Paddywax Library Collection Ralph Waldo Emerson Scented Soy Wax Candle, Cedar & Wild Fern (6.5oz)

2ND: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

3RD: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

APRIL 12-21, 2018 (US ONLY)

 

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/12/18          Excerpt 1                    Hall Ways Blog

4/12/18          Excerpt 2                    Book Fidelity

4/13/18          Review                        The Page Unbound

4/13/18          Author Interview      Chapter Break Book Blog

4/14/18          Excerpt 3                     Books in the Garden

4/14/18          Excerpt 4                     Books and Broomsticks

4/15/18          Review                         Missus Gonzo

4/16/18          Notable Quotable       Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

4/16/18          Notable Quotable        StoreyBook Reviews

4/17/18          Review                          That’s What She’s Reading

4/18/18          Guest Post                    Momma on the Rocks

4/19/18          Review                          The Love of a Bibliophile

4/20/18          Scrapbook Page           The Librarian Talks

4/21/18          Review                           Reading by Moonlight

4/21/18           Review                           Carpe Diem Chronicles

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MORNINGS ON MAIN By Jodi Thomas Book Review

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MORNINGS ON MAIN:

A Small-Town Texas Novel

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Mainstream Romance

Publisher: HQN

Number of Pages: 320 pages

AVAILABLE APRIL 10, 2018!

 

Review_preview

MORNINGS ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas is a lovely read. It’s the perfect way to spend a cold spring day: curled up on your favorite reading nook with a cup of tea in one hand and a delightful book in another. Incredibly well-written, this book took me to a small town, introduced me to the people living there, and made me like them and care about them. There are plenty of characters, but the book always centered on Jillian, Connor, and Sunnie — the three whose points-of-view we rely on to tell the story. These are normal, real people with every day problems that everyone can relate to — growing up, growing old, leaving, staying, and taking risks to fall in love or continue drifting.

I appreciate Jillian and Connor’s sweet slow-burn fall into love. You can see how it developed throughout the length of the book. I also enjoyed Gram and Joe, the quilts, and the town’s coming-to-life side stories. MNotable Quotable 1 Mornings on Mainy favorite part of the book, though, is Sunnie. Her growth as a character from the sullen, resentful child in the beginning to the warm, lovable, funny teenager at the end brought a smile to my face.

I’m rating Mornings on Main four stars. Jillian’s storyline with her parents remained unresolved. I’d have liked for her to find a more definitive closure than what she got. Other than that, I found this book heartwarming and I’d recommend it to everyone who likes small town reads with a sweet romance.

 

Synopsis

Cover high res Mornings on Main

Jillian James has never had a place to call home. Desperate to make some quick cash before moving on again, she agrees to help an elderly woman close her beloved quilt shop. Connor Larady’s grandmother has owned the shop all her life, but lately she has struggled with Alzheimer’s. Connor’s seventeen-year-old daughter has spent her whole life in Laurel Springs, Texas, and she feels restless. When Jillian moves to town, she represents travel, adventure and excitement. Weaving together the story of three generations of women looking for a place to belong, Mornings on Main asks us to consider how we make our memories—what we remember, what we forget, what becomes part of our story—and remind us that it’s not where we live, but how we live that counts.

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AboutTheAuthor

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas Author Pic Thomasis both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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Happy Book Birthday – MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY by Elizabeth Essex

Congratulations to award-winning author Elizabeth Essex on the release of her latest book MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY, the fourth highly anticipated novel in the Highland Brides series.

MadBadandDangeroustoMarry_ecover_final.jpgHow would you know your one true love, if you didn’t even know your own self?

A MAN STRIPPED OF HIS PAST
Ewan Cameron, 5th Duke of Crieff has his future carefully laid out. Heir to a great estate, he’s been betrothed to Lady Greer Douglas since childhood. After years of correspondence, the date is set—they will meet, marry and be happy. But on the way to his wedding, a vicious attack steals everything he holds dear—his home, his future, his bride, and his very self.

A WOMAN ROBBED OF HER FUTURE
Lady Greer Douglas has been faithfully writing to her betrothed, the Duke of Crieff for ten years. Finally, the day she has waited for is at hand—but fate has unkind plans. When her wedding day turns into a funeral, Greer must leave the past behind, and embark on a future without her bridegroom.
While mourning her lost love, Greer is drawn to an injured stranger she encounters on the moor. Compassion leads to friendship, and friendship leads to love that reopens the doors to his shuttered memories. Convinced this man is the lost duke, she helps him embark on a journey to regain everything he has lost. But his would-be murderers lurk nearby, and every step into the past puts their lives in peril. Can they regain their future, without losing their reawakened love—or their lives?

A HEART-RENDING TALE OF LOVE, LOSS, AND REDISCOVERY.

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Available from the following retailers:

• Amz: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmamz
• BN: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmnk
• iB: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmib
• Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmkobo

Happy Book Birthday – So Over You by Kate Meader

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SO OVER YOU
Chicago Rebels series, Book 2
Kate Meader
Pocket Star EBooks
December 4, 2017
$5.99
ISBN 9781501168567

“Meader serves up a delicious mix of sports, sexy romance, and complicated, captivating characters with her second Chicago Rebels hockey contemporary (after Irresistible You)…Meader’s erotic scenes could melt ice, and her complex protagonists will keep readers eagerly turning pages.”
—Publishers Weekly (So Over You)

“Things heat up on the ice in Meaer’s latest installment of the Chicago Revels series (Irresistible You, 2017)…Isobel and Vadim’s chemistry is off the charts, and Meader’s engaging details of hockey and Chicago pull you further into their world. Even nonhockey fans will be rooting for the Rebels by the last page.”
—Booklist (So Over You)

“Hockey is a sport that moves a mile a minute, and it’s even more thrilling when the action off the ice has even more speed. In the second Chicago Rebels book, external conflicts make the path to a happy ending difficult for the couple, but that makes it even more satisfying in the end. Meader’s thought-provoking tale has well-rounded characters who touch each other’s lives — sometimes not too gently.”
—RT Book Reviews (So Over You)

“Meader’s strength is creating characters who live, breathe, and jump off the page; Remy and Harper shine, and the supporting cast of characters, including Harper’s half-sisters, is very strong. The mix of sexual tension and emotional decisions will lead Meader’s series launch to many a keeper shelf.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW (Irresistible You, Book 1)

“Meader takes her readers on a breathtaking, non-stop, glorious ride. The sex scenes are lyrically written with fresh, descriptive prose. Enough is included about hockey to add its fast rhythm to the book. Remy’s family is multi-faceted and fills the pages with joy. Readers will love the relationship between Remy and Harper, and will be excited for the next story — Isobel’s.”
—RT Book Reviews Four and a Half Star TOP PICK (Irresistible You, Book 1)

About the book:
Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s SO OVER YOU, Book 2 in the new sizzling Chicago Rebels series. Middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels…

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then…let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…

About the author:
KateMeaderKate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, Kate lives on the web at katemeader.com.
Giveaway:
Kate Meader will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card during release week. To enter, please go here!

Excerpt: 
“This little job is the difference between you playing and not. Dancing with the Stars, Vaddy baby. It’s where all the washed-up pros end up.”
Annoyed at his reaction to her, he skated away, throwing out over his shoulder, “I will be playing, Isobel. You will have no say in that. I spoke with Moretti—it is clear why you have this job.”
Her brow crimped. Naturally, it was adorable. “Please. Enlighten me.”
“He is new and no doubt under pressure to bow to the owners. You can write your own ticket.”
“If that’s the case, I’d just appoint myself as head coach and be done with it.”
“You are also conscious of what the fans and media think, so you are starting small. Really, you could have called or texted, Isobel. Buying my contract seems like a lot of work to bring me back into your world.”
“You weren’t my first choice. But luckily your poor play this season meant Quebec was happy to offload you.”
He ignored the brief stab. The last six months had been difficult. Isobel understood this, yet they could not resist these little cuts.
“I think you wanted to be closer to me. Just like before, right, Bella?”
A blush crept up her cheeks on hearing his endearment for her.
He would test her. Make her angry and emotional. Make her cry. Because angry, emotional criers were not the stuff of coaches. If she was serious about a career in the NHL, she would hear worse.
She would get him game fit. He would get her battle ready.
He continued to needle. “Yes, I think that must be it. It seems that the female owners of the Rebels would like to abuse their position and use the players for their personal pleasure. Your sister and Remy DuPre—that is interesting.”
“Is it?”
“Harper may have duped a Rebel player into her bed, but please don’t imagine you and I will be renewing our acquaintance in a similar manner.”
That got her attention, at last. Her creamy skin blazed, her crimson mouth twitched, and even from a distance he could see those melted-shamrock eyes darken. She looked like she wanted scream at him. Burst into tears. Slap his face.
Yes, Bella. Let us see if you can handle the barbs of every player, coach, and fan who will dismiss you. Let us see if you can handle me.
Fury powering her stride, she skated over, skidding to a halt mere inches from his face. As before, she was magnificent.
“You’ve found me out, Petrov.”
“I have?”
“It’s all an elaborate ruse. We bought your contract even though you really haven’t been performing well this season. Let’s face it, you’ve sucked donkey balls, Vadikins. But I convinced my sisters that I alone could bring you back to top condition. Make you a valuable asset to the team. I also made sure I’d be the only one working with you . . .” She leaned up on the tips of her blades, a balancing act that required great skill and remarkable ankle strength. Close enough that he could have slipped his tongue between his lips and tasted hers.
Her breath was a hot puff of temptation. “So we would have all this alone time.”
With that fiery gaze, she held his own.
Unerring.
Unflinching.
Until her mouth creased, and she broke into a laugh. He remembered that laugh. Just as before, it hit him right in the balls.
She used the edge of the iPad to poke him in the chest. “You thought I’d go to all this trouble to try to get into your hockey shorts, Petrov? I’m a team owner—I can have any of these Rebel boys with the click of my fingers!” She chuckled, clearly enjoying herself. “Despite what that supersized ego of yours thinks, the only performance I want from you is on the ice. Maybe if you spent less time carousing—”
“Carousing?”
“Yes, it’s nicer than calling you a club-hopping, vodka-sodden manwhore. Less of that and more effort on your day job, please. And don’t worry yourself that I’m interested in ‘renewing our acquaintance.’ I’ve had better lays with the Ukrainian delegation at the last Games.”
He had to say he enjoyed this sharp-tongued, quick-witted version of Isobel. But not enough to admit it to her.
“There is nothing you can teach me.”
“So sure, Russian.”
“I am positive.”
“We’ll see.” She skated back to the edge of the rink. “Again.”

 

My Review:

4.5 stars rounded off high. pro_reader_120

Kate Meader’s books are so addictive. I thought Remy from Irresistible You was my love, but now it’s Vadim Petrov. I’m almost one-hundred percent sure I’ll be falling for Dante next, then Bren after him. That’s because Kate has a very strong male “voice”. Her men are lovable because they’re not altogether flawless. She lets us get to know her characters so well that we understand where they’re coming from when they act in a certain way. So, yeah, Vadim started out super arrogant and cold and Russian, but by the end, he became this sympathetic, vulnerable guy. When he made a unilateral decision to “protect” Isobel, I got mad along with her, but I forgave him even before she did. That’s talent. Kate Meader has loads of it.

Not to say that her heroines are weak or secondary to the heroes. They’re fabulous! Isobel, like Harper before her, is awesome. She knows her own mind but has doubts, too. She’s confident, yet has fears. All very real and relatable.

Isobel and Vadim are great together. They’re sexy, funny, and they’re just meant to be with each other. I enjoyed their interactions and their journey to love.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters. The team, the sisters, Vadim’s small family, especially his relationship with his little sister Mia. The sisters. I love them. I love that they’re working together to create a uniquely functional family.

There’s so much love and laughter in So Over You. Shed a few tears, too. Yep, this is a worthy read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for giving me an advanced copy to review.