SOMETHING REAL by Allegra Johnson – Happy Release Day Review

Something Real cover photo

SOMETHING REAL

by

Allegra Johnson

SYNOPSIS

Something Real book cover

Never say never.

For Taylyn, life has been a series of disappointments and heartache. Every relationship she’s had has ended in tears … and the occasional restraining order. Swearing to never get into another relationship, Taylyn is prepared to live the single life. So why is she drawn to the hometown hero who already hurt her once?

Wishful thinking.

Declan was destined for the NFL until a dirty hit took him out of the game for good. Before leaving for college, Declan shared one amazing kiss with the girl he always wanted but could never have. Now he’s back in Silverton rebuilding his life without football, and she’s single. This time he’s going to get the girl. He just needs to convince her he’s not like all the others.

Can Taylyn allow herself to believe in love again? Can Declan prove he’s the one made to love her? Will they find a love that is Something Real?

** Something Real, Silverton Series 1, contains subject matter that may be uncomfortable for some readers. Those subjects include mental illness, suicide, alcoholism through self-medication, sexual assault, and emotional abuse. **

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XYDP1YN/

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ABOUT ALLEGRA

Allegra

After a lifetime of sharing headspace with an ever-growing cast of characters, Allegra threw caution to the wind and wrote a story. Since that day she’s been living her crazy author life writing love stories and happy endings. Originally from Massachusetts Allegra now resides in Southern California. When Allegra is not busy at work in her writing cave she enjoys spending time with her family, connection with her readers, procrastinating, and napping. You can usually find Allegra fluttering around Romancelandia trying to stay out of trouble while figuring out this author thing, one book at a time.

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Email: authorallegrajohnson@gmail.com

Something Real meme

REVIEW

With her first full-length novel, Allegra Johnson tells an emotional story of a woman’s journey to self-acceptance and allowing love into her life. It’s a story of found family and true friendship.

While Something Real is categorized as a romance, it’s main focus is Taylyn, the female lead character. On one hand, her rash actions and defeatist thoughts make it difficult to like her; on another hand, the very same things make it easy to sympathize with her, especially after her horrific past is revealed. My heart ached for her the entire time I was reading the book and that’s a testament of how well Allegra wrote her character. Damaged and suffering from crippling mental health issues, Taylyn comes across as a real person, one who needs love, support, and understanding. I love that in this book there are people who provide exactly what she needs — her found family consisting of MacKenzie, Ella, and Autumn.

I also love that Declan was all-in right from the start and he never wavered in his determination to be part of Taylyn’s life. I only wish he has a bigger role in Taylyn’s path to sobriety although I recognize how that would be tough considering his ownership of a bar. Ultimately, it’s Taylyn’s resolve that has to manifest for such a transformation to happen.

Because of the dark themes, this book might not be for everyone. That’s a pity because Something Real is a darn good read.

4 out of 5 stars

COMFORT SONGS by Kimberly Fish – Book Blog Tour Reviewapalooza: Review and Giveaway

Comfort Songs Tour Cover

COMFORT SONGS

a companion novel to Comfort Plans
by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC
Date of Publication: September 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 348

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Synopsis

Comfort Songs book cover

Award-winning author of Comfort Plans, Kimberly Fish, delivers a novel about family, forgiveness, and the seeds of second chances.

Eight years ago, Autumn Joy Worthington, still reeling from the bitter divorce of her Grammy-Award-winning parents, endured the betrayal of a man who’d promised her a wedding. Running from pain seemed the logical response. Reinventing herself in Comfort, Texas, as a lavender grower, she creates a wildly successful gardening haven that draws in tourists and establishes an identity far removed from her parents’ fame. Her mother’s retirement from stardom inspires AJ to offer her refuge and nurse the dream that they could move past old hurts and the tarnish of the music industry … to find friendship. A grandmother in the early stages of dementia and the return of AJ’s father complicate the recovery, but nothing sets the fragile reality spinning like the arrival of Nashville music executive, Luke English.

As Alzheimer’s slowly knocks away the filters of their family, AJ comes to appreciate the true meanings of love and forgiveness — and that the power of redemption can generate from the most unlikely sources. When AJ uncovers the grit to make hard choices, she also discovers that the flowers that bloom the brightest can have the most tangled roots.

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With its familiar setting of Texas Hill Country and its compelling storyline that deals with the burgeoning of romance amidst the complications of family drama, Comfort Songs grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until I reached the incredibly satisfying end. Four hours later, I find myself sighing happily, having been thoroughly entertained by Ms. Fish’s fantastic prose. Not a bad way to spend four hours of a cold, wet autumn evening.

One of the things I love about Comfort Songs is its highly-developed sense of place. I’m certain that even those who are unfamiliar with the area described in the book would feel as if they’ve been transported to its location. The sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Comfort, Texas came alive through Ms. Fish’s vivid descriptions. It’s no hardship to imagine myself in the midst of AJ’s warm and fragrant lavender fields right now.

Speaking of AJ, I admire her character in the book. Responsible, nurturing, and mature, she bears the heavy burdens of managing her business, taking care of her slowly-deteriorating grandmother, and putting up with her warring parents remarkably well. All of these at the same time she is starting to trust again and allowing Luke into her heart.

There are so many scenes in this novel that moved me to laughter and tears, particularly when AJ finally received the love and attention she deserves from her parents. There are also many quotes that resonated with me, like this one:

“One had to remove the rocks and the weeds before they could till the soil …”

I appreciate those snippets from “Lessons from Lavender Hill” very much. I only wish they’re more consistent in that every chapter should have an epigraph of them. Other than that, I can’t find much to complain about in this book.

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Kimberly Fish

Kimberly Fish is a professional writer with almost thirty years of media experience. She’s been telling stories far longer. She published her first novel, a WWII historical fiction novel, because of a true story in her adopted hometown that was too good to ignore. She quickly followed that success with a sequel. Since then, she’s continued writing fiction and added a contemporary second-chance romance series set in Comfort, Texas, to her list of fun, fast-paced novels. Kimberly lives with her family in East Texas.

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FAKER by Sarah Smith – Happy Release Day!

Faker_FBCover_4

FAKER

by

Sarah Smith

 

SYNOPSIS

faker cover

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps …

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get … heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.

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ABOUT SARAH

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She’s been hooked ever since. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem. Faker is her debut novel.

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A GLITTER OF GOLD by Liz Johnson – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Gold Tour Cover

A GLITTER OF GOLD

Georgia Coast Romance #2

by

LIZ JOHNSON

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance / Mystery
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: August 6, 2019
Number of Pages: 368

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Synopsis

Gold Cover

Discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world

Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but things do not go as planned.

Carter is fascinated with the wreck, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man.

 

"Both an exciting treasure hunt and penetrating exploration of overcoming mistakes Johnson's excellent novel will captivate readers." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW

 

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Gold BookstagramPacked with deep emotions and filled with important life lessons, A Glitter of Gold tells a compelling story about finding treasures of grace, forgiveness, and love after being battered by storms, both natural and man-made.

Anne’s fortuitous discovery of a precious artifact caused a chain of events that changed her life forever. Not only did it lead her to Carter, but it also gave her a reason to stay in Savannah, the place she has chosen to hide from the shame of her bad decisions in California.

With the help of a 250-year old diary, Carter’s Aunt Tessie, and an influential grand lady, Anne and Carter worked together to search for a sunken ship, the treasures of which they hoped will secure their individual goals. Despite many difficulties thrown their way, including betrayal of trust, Anne and Carter found what they were looking for and so much more. She received true freedom from her past and he had his family returned to him when he surrendered his pride to right a wrong.

I enjoyed Liz Johnson’s previous novel A Sparkle of Silver that’s why I snatched up the opportunity to review this second book in the series. A Glitter of Gold certainly exceeded my expectations. The clever device of narrating a story within a story lent the Georgia Coast Romance series a unique quality that makes it stand out against other books in the genre. Rebecca and Captain Thackery’s suspenseful tale is a real treasure with its action-packed high-seas adventure sequences. There was plenty of drama, bits of humor, historical factoids, so much wisdom, and loads of love. Five glittering gold stars.

5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Liz Johnson

 

Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Sparkle of Silver, A Glitter of Gold, The Red Door Inn, Where Two Hearts Meet, and On Love’s Gentle Shore, as well as a New York Times bestselling novella and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona.

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8/8/19 	Review 			Missus Gonzo 
8/9/19 	Excerpt 		Story Schmoozing Book Reviews 
8/10/19 Excerpt 		All the Ups and Downs 
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8/13/19 Author Interview 	Forgotten Winds 
8/14/19 Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
8/15/19 Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles

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WILDFLOWER WEDDING by Becki Willis – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

The Sisters Texas

WILDFLOWER WEDDING

With a Killer Reception
The Sisters, Texas Book 8

by

BECKI WILLIS

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: June 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 284

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Synopsis

Wildflower Wedding

It’s the most anticipated wedding of the year in The Sisters, when Madison Reynolds and Brash deCordova finally tie the knot!

Wedding preparations are underway, but the aisle to the altar gets rockier by the minute.

Their support is humbling, but the community’s enthusiasm soon threatens to hijack the wedding. Squeeze in a suspicious death during a Texas Independence Day celebration, the needy new widow Madison befriends, and an unscrupulous politician trying to unseat Brash as chief of police, and the path seems littered with obstacles.

Madison will move mountains, however, to marry the man of her dreams. All they really need is each other, their children by their side, and a preacher to make it official. In an effort to please everyone, the couple opts for a private ceremony followed by a public celebration. It’s the perfect Wildflower Wedding, but who knew it would end in a killer reception?

Cantankerous Nigel Barrett hired In a Pinch Professional Services to find his estranged family, but it takes more than a home DNA test to locate his next of kin. Madison suspects he was searching for an heir, but when the wealthy rancher is killed at their reception, she’ll settle for finding someone to attend his funeral.

From the author of Forgotten Boxes, Plain Roots, and the Spirits of Texas Cozy Mysteries, enjoy book eight of the award-winning reader favorite The Sisters, Texas Series.

For maximum enjoyment, follow the series from the beginning. Readers say, “It’s like visiting with old friends!”

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Wildflower Wedding (2)

I can’t believe I’m only reading this series now. A rollicking fun of a whodunit, Wildflower Wedding, Book 8 of The Sisters Texas, is a wonderfully entertaining read.  I enjoyed it so much I immediately downloaded the seven books before this even though Wedding can be read as a standalone. I want to see Brash and Madison’s journey into love from the beginning. I can tell from their kids’ speeches during the rehearsal dinner and the vows they wrote themselves that the road has been adventure-filled and the tales quite possibly as hilarious as this one, if not more so.

The Sisters meme

Ms. Willis is a fantastic storyteller. She obviously knows Texas incredibly well and had me agog with all the trivia (“It’s against the law in Texas to curse in front of a corpse.”) and factoids on Texians, mineral rights, DNA testing, and royalty rights, among others. I learned so many new things about my residence state, I can recommend this as a reference book.

Wildflower Wedding 3D

The characters in Wildflower Wedding are many and varied and all of them managed to capture my interest. Aside from the leads, the secondary characters are well-developed with involving, if not engaging personalities. Even though I suspected the identity of the murderer early, I still had a good time reading about their motivations and the actions they undertook to achieve their goal.

Like the characters, the subplots are many: Bobby Ray’s death and his widow’s neediness, a challenger for Brash’s position as Chief of Police, Maddy’s search for Nigel Barrett’s next of kin, and solving the mystery of his sudden death during their wedding reception. But none of them distracted from the main story – the wedding of Brash and Maddison. The vows were beautifully written and prove why this book is categorized as a romance.

For all the things I mentioned above, I give Wildflower Wedding four-and-a-half stars. I highly recommend checking out the other books in the series, reading the reviews by my colleagues at LSBBT, and joining the giveaway. Happy reading and good luck!

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Becki Willis

Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality.

Since that time, she has published numerous books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction, Best Women’s Detective Fiction, and Best Audio Book, won the 2018 RONE Award for Paranormal Fiction, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world.

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, Writer’s League of Texas, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.

Connect with Becki below. She loves to hear from readers and encourages feedback!

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HEALING HANNAH’S HEART by Preslaysa Williams – Cover Reveal

HEALING HANNAH’S HEART

BY

PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

Publisher: Immortal Works Press
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Heat Level: Sweet

Healing Hannah's Heart

Time will heal her scars, but what will heal her heart?

Hannah Hart may have been burned by the breakup of her rocky marriage, but the ambitious Afro-Filipina model has big plans for her future. Her stunning looks and flawless skin provide the opening she craves to become a celebrity in the fashion world. Then an arsonist’s match brings Hannah’s world crashing down around her.

Recovering from the burns that destroyed her skin, Hannah is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants, her estranged husband, Jake Hart. Jake isn’t ready to give up on their marriage. The return of Jake’s teenage son from a one-night stand had been the catalyst for their breakup. How can he help both the son who resents his abandonment and the woman he still loves? He can do nothing about the scars on her skin, but can he heal Hannah’s heart?

As she struggles to rebuild her life from the ashes of her shattered dreams, does Hannah have the courage to give Jake a second chance? And is the world ready for a differently-abled model who will redefine what it means to be beautiful?

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ABOUT PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

preslaysa-williams-HR-10

Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author who writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. Proud of her heritage, she loves sharing her culture with her readers. She is currently earning her second graduate degree, a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, at Seton Hill University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish Language & Literature from Columbia University.

Preslaysa is also a professional actress, a planner nerd, an avid bookworm, and a homeschool mom who often wears mismatched socks. To follow along with her busy life, visit her at http://www.preslaysa.com where you can sign up for her newsletter community.

 

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THE PERFECT DATE by Evelyn Lozada – Book Blog Tour Review

PerfectDate-BLOG-BANNER-900x337-onsale (2)

THE PERFECT DATE

by

EVELYN LOZADA

with Holly Lörincz

 

SYNOPSIS

The Perfect Date cover

When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.
Angel Gomez has never lived by the book. A Bronx-based unwed mother by the time she was sixteen, Angel’s personal mission has always been to show the world that a Puerto Rican girl is not to be messed with—especially by a man. The only thing that matters to Angel, now, is providing for her son and earning enough tips at the club to complete her nursing degree along the way. Love is nowhere on her agenda.
Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is a star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts whose romantic escapades make delicious fodder for gossip columns. But lately he’s been trying to keep a lower profile—so much so that when he meets Angel, first while she’s in her nurse uniform and the next time behind the bar, she has no idea who Duke is, fails to fall for his obvious charm, and ends up throwing a drink in his face! She is the perfect woman for Duke … to fool the tabloids into thinking he’s finally settling down. But what begins as a charade soon has Duke and Angel hurtling into a full-blown romance that rocks each of their worlds and begs the question: Is this the real deal—or are some love stories just too good to be true?

Buy Link:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250204882

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Copy of Evelyn Lozada

EVELYN LOZADA is a high-profile Latina-American reality television personality, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her role on VH1’s hit series Basketball Wives (2010-present), OWN’s hit series Livin’ Lozada (2015), author of the first installment of the book series: The Wives Association: Inner Circle (2012), and creator of Healthy Boricua (A Puerto Rican Lifestyle Guide to Healthy Living). Evelyn has become a national trendsetter, a “go to” fitness export, jewelry designer, fashion and beauty maven, social media royalty, and a stimulating voice and proactive supporter of causes that effect women and girls through the Evelyn Lozada Foundation. Evelyn is a Bronx native, mother of two (Shaniece Hairston and Carl Leo Crawford), who currently resides in Los Angeles.

Copy of Holly Lorincz

 

Holly Lörincz is a successful collaborative writer and owner of Lorincz Literary Services. She is an award-winning novelist (Smart Mouth, The Everything Girl) and co-author (best-selling Crown Heights, and How to Survive a Day in Prison) living in Oregon.

 

 

 

REVIEW 

When St. Martin’s Press’ publicist offered me an advance copy of The Perfect Date to review, I readily accepted after seeing the cover and the name of a PoC author. I was like, “Yay for representation and inclusion.”

I had high hopes for this book as I love some of its elements: multicultural main characters, placing a priority on education, desire to rise up from poverty. I thought I would be able to relate to the heroine since I also have a little boy. I thought there would be strong family support and solid female friendships.

I thought wrong. The Perfect Date did not live up to expectations. The writing is unpolished, the pacing is uneven, and the editing is unsatisfactory with plenty of grammatical errors and head hopping points of view. The main characters are unlikable and the many sub-plots are too heavy and angsty without let-up.

I cannot even consider it a proper romance since the main focus of the book was not Angel and Duke getting together to form a loving relationship. Each went about their own way – Angel to deal with the creep of a doctor she works for while studying for her exams, and taking care of her sickly son; Duke to return to playing baseball while hiding his injury and warring with his blackmailer of an ex-girlfriend. Their association was forced, their meetings combative. They never had a perfect date, so the title doesn’t fit.

Only Angel’s friend Gabrielle and her son Jose are positive representations of people of color. The rest, including Duke, are abusive, drug addicts, amoral cheaters and blackmailers, and in the case of Angel, whiny and hot-tempered.

Contrary to the blurb, The Perfect Date is not fun. It’s a soap-opera drama better suited to a reality show on TV. If you’re a fan of that, this book might be for you. Sadly, it is not for me.

 

Two-half-stars