Who knew a dating app would match me up with my long-time crush–my big brother’s best friend?
After my best friend bailed on me for my birthday trip to Mardi Gras, I was stuck with two options–go alone or find someone to accompany me using the Holidates app. Lo and behold, I find myself on vacation with the man who’s been the star of more than one of my naughty fantasies–Easton Hawthorne.
That sinful smile, those soulful brown eyes, that delicious dark scruff. For as long as I can remember, Easton has been completely off-limits.
But not anymore. Not after we’ve shared more than just the most epic kiss and an unforgettable night in the same bed.
But when life brings us both back to reality–with our pasts hellbent on keeping us apart–will Easton and I be strong enough to be more than just a holiday fling?
Who knew Juliana Delarosa, my best friend’s little sister, was the one I’ve been searching for?
She’s been under my nose this whole time. Hell, she even sold me Girl Scout cookies when we were kids!
Gone is the chubby-cheeked little girl with pigtails and braces. In her place is a curvy, classy, and compassionate woman who knows exactly what she’s looking for. Don’t even get me started on what those dimples do to me!
We made a deal–take a fun trip as nothing but friends. No kissing, no touching, and definitely no sharing a bed.
But when we broke that promise, all hell would break loose, too.
Aurora Paige is a healthcare professional by day and a Filipina-American writer of steamy contemporary romance with sassy heroines and sexy heroes at night. Each Aurora Paige story delivers a variety of Curvy Heroines, Multicultural relationships, Alpha Heroes, Steamy Heat, and a Guaranteed Happily Ever After.
A pickle-loving industrial designer sets out to prove that the only man worthy of her younger sister is their cute-AF childhood best friend. Forced proximity/one-bed/friends-to-lovers awesomeness ensues in this romantic comedy novella.
Winnie’s sister Nancy is engaged to The Wrong Person. Anyone who isn’t Steven Yi is The Wrong Person. He’s a cute, silly doctor with a crisp, yummy voice, and the two of them were born in the same hospital on the same day. How much clearer could the Universe be?
A recovering divorcee, Winnie knows all too well what it means to marry badly. She’ll do anything to prove that Steven is The Only Person for Nancy, even if she has to throw them together over and over again herself. But her plotting pulls her closer to Steven, close enough where she begins to suspect that The Only Wrong Person is her. She could be happy, so much happier than she is now … but is it worth risking a life-long friendship and utter heartbreak?
A PhD in Physics, Jen left the tech world to write funny, heartfelt contemporary romances with diverse Asian American characters. Her debut novel, Crushing on You, was a finalist in two categories of the 2020 NJRW Golden Leaf contest.
She lives in a pile of blankets near a pretty nice Wawa, with her husband and multiple tropical plants.
An utterly delightful novella by a new-to-me author, Double Happiness lives up to its title by delivering a funny and low-conflict friends-to-lovers story that’s filled with witty banter between lovable characters. A true rom-com.
As an older sister, I related so much to Winnie and her “I know best” attitude. She wasn’t overbearing at all. Everything she did came from a place of caring. I love her and Nancy’s relationship. It reminds me of the same closeness between my younger sister and me.
I was charmed by Steven. He was adorable. Jen wrote him so well. Despite not knowing his POV, the reader can tell his feelings through the dialogue.
Jen incorporated Chinese wedding traditions so seamlessly into the story. The groom’s challenges in the wedding door games were highly creative and really hilarious.
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read and will now catch up on Jen Trinh’s book catalog.
Western Romance /Sweet Romance/ American Historical Romance
Pages: 190 pages
Publication Date: August 15, 2022
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
A stolen baby
An orphan child
A bargain struck
Told her baby died in childbirth, Fancy Dalton grieves for her son. But in the midst of a raging storm, a shadowy figure appears and tells her that he’s alive and well! He was stolen! Now she has an address and a name. From despair comes hope.
One thought drives her—finding and getting him back. Selling everything she owns, Fancy buys a one-way train ticket to Denver. Nothing and no one will stop her. In a mad dash to board the train, she collides with Jack Coltrain. As fate would have it, the rugged cowboy, on a mission of his own, sits next to her. Experience has taught her to be wary of men. But when her bag is stolen, he gets it back and earns a small piece of her trust.
As the iron wheels roll, taking her closer to her two-year-old son, Fancy and Jack discover an orphan girl who needs their help and open their arms to her. Ten hours from their goal, Fancy and Jack strike a deal—her help for his. Desperate times for both call for creative solutions…but marriage, even in name only? However, nothing is off the table. She’ll do whatever she must to save the orphan and get her child back. Still, giving Jack her heart…that’s not part of the bargain.
“I have loved every Linda Broday book I have read, but I must say this one touched my heart.” Cricket (Goodreads)
“Linda Broday waved her magic wand when her turn came and gave us one of her most profound heroines she’s ever written. Fancy wrapped her tragic story around my heart and transported me into the late 1800s.” Tonya (Goodreads)
“Linda Broday has always been able to weave her characters together like a mix-match patch quilt, but the end results are amazing.” Rose Ann (Goodreads)
“…Her ability to convey the goodness of their souls will leave the reader wanting more.” Sally (Goodreads)
From its heart-wrenching start to its sigh-worthy ending, Linda Broday’s Fancy takes the reader on a highly evocative ride.
The devastating prologue had me in tears, ensuring my emotional connection with Fancy Dalton right away. Her will to make a fresh start after her mother’s death and her determination to find her stolen son even with her meager resources also earned my admiration. With Fancy, Ms. Broday created a title character who is easy to root for and wish for only good things to happen to her.
One of those good things is Jack Coltrain. The epitome of a Broday hero, Jack is bold, valiant, and kindhearted yet prepared to act with violence if necessary to defend those he promised to protect and care for. The speed of their getting together through a marriage of convenience is totally understandable, even necessary, considering the fraught circumstances they found themselves in. Their happy-ever-after is inevitable and well-deserved.
Fancy, life is a journey. Not one trip, but hundreds. We have to keep going and proceed with courage each and every day as long as we have breath.”
One of the signatures of Ms. Broday’s stories is found family and that theme is central in this story through Fancy and Jack’s care for Piper, an orphan girl whose sad plight stroke a familiar chord within Fancy’s heart. This little girl is another character who made me cry with her exceptional pluck and maturity beyond her years.
Fast-paced and eventful, Fancy is a fantastic read for those who are looking for something quick but with depth, has sympathetic characters, is well-written, and sweetly romantic.
Thanks to Lone Star Lit for including me in this blog tour and to Ms. Broday for the early digital copy of the book to review.
I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and early cowboys once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’s rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys still remain caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces. I combine those men with the love of family in all my stories and hope to continue to give readers books that entertain and fulfill.
Roxanne hadn’t anticipated the instant attraction she felt for Dean when she dropped off some flyers at his sister’s store. Now she’s dying to get into his pants but they get interrupted every time things get heated.
Dean has given up on dating but when he meets Roxanne, his interest is definitely piqued. She’s so enchanting and upfront about wanting him, he can’t help but go with it, willingly…
What’s a girl to do to get her man? Are all the interruptions a sign from the universe that Roxanne should give up on the straight-laced man she can’t get out of her head, or will a Valentine Day’s wedding be the key to their happily ever after?
“I was starting to think you were never gonna show.”
Roxanne’s voice refocused his attention on his surroundings. They were the only two people in the room and Roxanne was standing in front of him, a smile on her kissable lips.
“I… um… I’m, uh, sorry,” Dean floundered, banishing the out-of-his-ordinary porn reel from his thoughts.
“Don’t worry about it. You’re here now.”
Guinevere Jordan is a New Zealand author of French origins who writes (and reads) steamy contemporary romance. She lives in a small coastal town with her wife, their children and three cats.
When she’s not putting her characters through their paces (or maybe it’s the other way round!) she enjoys reading, watching rugby, decorating birthday cakes for her loved ones, and making pretty things with glass beads.
Her stories feature men and women, usually over 30, with normal jobs but grand romantic aspirations.
If this Grinch in a cowboy hat thinks he can steal Joy’s Christmas spirit, he’s got another thing coming.
No one believes in the magic of Christmas more than Joy Williams. She owns a Christmas-themed store in Wildwood Falls, Montana, and loves nothing more than sharing the happiness of the holidays with her customers. But then a sexy cowboy saunters into town, with his fancy boots, shiny belt buckle, and lazy smile—and an eviction notice. Turns out, he’s her new landlord, and his plans for the building don’t include her shop.
Luke Hudson is a down-on-his-luck ex-rodeo star. After a devastating injury caused him to miss out on the rodeo circuit for a full season, he needs an infusion of cash—fast. When he unexpectedly inherits an historic building, the solution is clear. Evict the tenants and sell the building. But after meeting the charming owner of the Christmas shop, that’s easier said than done.
It’ll take more than Christmas magic to save Joy’s store and teach Luke the importance of community. They’ll both have to lay their hearts on the line.
Heather Scarlett lives on the East Coast, though her heart is in Montana where she lived for six wonderful years. She loves big sky, wide open spaces, and cowboys. Heather writes smart and sexy romance that is equal parts sweet and emotionally satisfying. Her heroines are strong and sassy and her heroes are rugged and capable. Heather’s stories are family focused and relationship driven.
When cocky financial genius Rafael Cruz is forced to partner with his snarky office rival Phoebe Hollingsworth to land a prestigious new client, nothing goes as planned. At work, they ignore each other, but at the Jingle Ball their unexpected chemistry changes the game. Will their secret holiday hook-up ruin the deal or is it the start of a deeper connection?
** A shorter version of this steamy enemies-to-lovers romance originally appeared in the Jingle Balls anthology. It has been revised and expanded into a novella. **
He flashed a grin. “Look at us, agreeing and everything. This truce isn’t too tough.”
Her lips curved upward in the first genuine smile she’d ever bestowed on him. “We’re regular besties now. And who knows, maybe we can even extend it to work on Monday.”
He held up his hands and laughed. “Don’t get all wild and crazy on me now. One evening at a time.”
She rolled her eyes, but grinned back. “Anyways, should we head downstairs?”
Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.
KAREN WITEMEYER, REGINA JENNINGS, AMANDA DYKES, and NICOLE DEESE
Genre: Christian / Romance / Anthology Publisher: Bethany House Date of Publication: October 13, 2020 Number of Pages: 400
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In this Texas-sized romance novella collection, courting couples, decades apart, leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak’s bark.
Regina Jennings: “Broken Limbs, Mended Hearts” When a young man from her past returns and upends their small town with a new invention, schoolteacher Bella Eden is reminded of the heartbreak she suffered years ago under the old oak tree. When her job is on the line, can she trust the man who disrupted her life to help her fight for a brighter future?
Karen Witemeyer: “Inn for a Surprise” Determined to keep love alive for others, Phoebe Woodward builds an inn that caters to couples. When her father sends a property manager to help make it a success, she finds her whimsical vision thwarted by his stodgy practicality. Finding the right blend of romance and reality is a challenge, and her spinster heart may be in for a surprise.
Amanda Dykes: “From Roots to Sky” WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters . . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they’ve shared be enough to give their future flight?
Nicole Deese: “Heartwood” Abby Brookshire’s world is turned upside down when the historic tree she’s strived to preserve as the head groundskeeper at the Kissing Tree Inn is put in danger of removal. Making matters worse, the only way to protect its legacy is to partner with the man she’s been ignoring since he left town years ago. Will she have the courage to move on from the past and start a new beginning?
With its four delightful, heartwarming, and romantic novellas, The Kissing Tree is one of my favorite books of 2020. Easily in the Top 20 of the 160 titles I’ve read so far.
Four excellent stories of love spanning generations. Three historical, one contemporary. One special tree at the center of them all. Related storylines, seamless integration of elements from one story to the next, cohesive execution. Each time I finished a story, I’d say it was my favorite. In the end, I couldn’t pick one. I choose all four.
Broken Limbs, Mended Heart by Regina Jennings tells the story of how the stately live oak in Oak Springs, Texas became The Kissing Tree through Bella Eden and Adam Fisher. The pairing of schoolteacher and modern farmer is something I don’t read often and I’m long past the point of being able to relate to characters in their early 20s, but this sweet story appealed to me because Ms. Jennings created a lovely tale of young dreams being fulfilled and of a community coming together to welcome an innovation after initial skepticism.
Inn For a Surprise by Karen Witemeyer had me laughing with the rivalry between romantic innkeeper-wannabe Phoebe Woodward and practical self-made businessman Barnabas Ackerly. I love their conversations and the way their contest showed them how well they complement each other’s styles. Opposites do attract and with parental matchmaking at work, these two have their happily-ever-after. Barnabas’ nicknames for the inn are some of the highlights of this story. I also like the cameo of Bella and Adam from the first story to establish continuity.
Phoebe’s line really resonated with me: “I refuse to settle for anything other than soul-stirring, fully reciprocated love.”
From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes is both light and deep. I always have a soft spot for military romance and this story of pilot Luke Hampstead and Hannah Garland, the woman he’s been corresponding with, induced me to both laughter and tears. Hannah’s vibrant personality matched Luke’s quiet steadfastness perfectly. As in the previous story, I love it when the couple works together to achieve a common goal. This time, on building the cottage inspired by Danny’s letters and Luke’s drawings from Europe.
Heartwood by Nicole Deese gutted me. The only contemporary story of the collection, this second-chance romance between Abby Brookshire and Griffin Malone is the most relatable to me. Like Abby, I too lost my father to illness and that letter she wrote him had me bawling. While tears-inducing, this story managed to also have light moments and it ends the series on the right note. That of hope and strength in community and love.
This is one of my favorite quotes- “When things feel completely out of my control, my options become very simple: I can either tighten my grip and hang on no matter how much that hold might hurt myself or others, or I can open my fist and trust in a process much bigger than myself … and let go.”
The stories have an awesome sense of place. I actually looked up “Oak Springs, Texas” and “The Kissing Tree, Texas” on the internet with the intention of visiting them when it’s safe to travel once more. Alas, they’re only in the imagination of four talented authors.
Thanks to Lone Star Lit and Bethany House for giving me an early copy to review this wonderful book.
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, with a degree in English and a minor in history. She’s the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, a two-time Golden Quill finalist, and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year Award. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and at First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She lives outside of Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.
Voted #1 Reader’s Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.
Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She’s a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.
Nicole Deese’s eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award-winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and INSPY Awards. Both of these books are from her bestselling Love in Lenox series. When she’s not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.
Who isn’t baking these days? I certainly am. One of my creations is soda bread. I mentioned it in New York Engagement on Chapter Nine where Krista had a family meal with the Ryans at their pub in Hell’s Kitchen. In the book, they served brown soda bread to go with Guinness caldereta,longganisa coddle, and chicken lechon. As the only flour I have at home was all-purpose white and I wanted it for breakfast and tea, I followed this Irish-American version with whiskey-soaked cranberries from seriouseats.com. The Ryans are Irish-Americans after all.
1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or currants)
1/2 cup Irish whiskey (or hot water)
4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (~190 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the cranberries and whiskey (or hot water). Cover and set aside to rehydrate for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into slices, then work it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it is fully incorporated. Add the honey, buttermilk, and the cranberries and soaking liquid mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Flour your work surface lightly and turn out the dough. Gently bring it together without kneading so as not to overwork it. Form the dough into a 6-8 inch disk about 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 inches high and place it on your prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, make four cuts all the way through to create eight triangles.
4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the bread is nicely browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. If you like a softer crust, cover the bread with a clean kitchen towel as it cools.
5. Serve plain or, as I do, with cream cheese and your favorite beverage. Mine is coffee with Baileys.
New York Engagement is available in eBook and paperback from major online retailers. Signed paperback can be purchased from this website.
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.
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.
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.
Life is not a fairy tale … After five years as a widow, MacKenzie is ready to move on, maybe. Still unsure of herself, she agrees to attend a bachelor auction in which a date is up for bid. Could this be the step she needs to make that move?
There’s just something about her… Sebastian spent the year following his divorce throwing himself into work and avoiding anything that had to do with love. When a favor for a friend leads to a chance meeting with the lady of his dreams, he begins to believe in the happily ever after.
With an ocean separating them, it won’t be easy, but together they’re sure to discover a love that is something different.
Allegra is an indie author who enjoys writing steamy love stories with a twist. The twist would be her imagination. Originally from Massachusetts, she now resides in Southern California.
Some of Allegra’s favorite things include all things purple, glitter, fairies, and unicorns. Her hobbies are reading, procrastinating, listening to music, watching sports, and napping. If she likes you, she’ll bake you cookies or cupcakes. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll write you into a story and, well, bad things will happen. Never make an author angry. It won’t end well, trust me on this one.
You can find Allegra fluttering around Romancelandia, figuring this author thing out, one book at a time. You can follow her adventures in writing on most social media platforms.
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