AFTER PERFECT by Maan Gabriel – Featured New Release

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AFTER PERFECT

Maan Gabriel

 

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9781647422035_fcThirty-six-year-old Gabriella Stevens is living quietly and contently as a devoted housewife to Simon—just as her traditional Filipino mother has always told her to do—when, after sixteen years of marriage and twenty years together, he tells he wants a divorce.

With New York City as her backdrop, Gabby—single for the first time since she was a teenager—goes back to school, gets her first real job, and faces unfamiliar reality with determination. But when she unexpectedly falls in love with her mysterious but utterly beautiful creative writing professor, Colt, she learns he is battling demons of his own: a tragic past that may have made him incapable of love. Is Gabby destined for another heartbreak—or will her connection with Colt be what unbreaks her?

 

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          One More Page

 

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Advance Praise:

  • “A heartfelt debut, After Perfect depicts a woman’s healing after divorce with grace and empathy. Maan Gabriel is an author to watch in contemporary women’s fiction.” ―Tif Marcelo, USA Today best-selling author of In a Book Club Far Away and The Key to Happily Ever After
  • “At once relatable and unexpected, AFTER PERFECT is the story of one woman’s quest to learn to live—and love—on her own terms after heartbreak. Maan Gabriel is a refreshing new voice in women’s fiction.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around
  • “Maan Gabriel’s After Perfectis the story of a marriage and a divorce and the complexities of both. Gabriel explores how cultural expectations may not only inform decision-making but determine it. In clear prose and through vivid scenes, Maan Gabriel shows us this irony―often through relationships, we come to know ourselves.” ―Corie Adjmi, author of Life and Other Shortcomings

ABOUT MAAN

MaanMaan Gabriel is a mom, wife, dreamer, writer, and advocate for women’s stories in literature. She earned her BA in communications from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila and MPS in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University. She has lived in Manila, Brussels, Dakar, and Mexico City. During the day, she works in strategic communications. Gabriel, along with her husband and son, currently calls suburban Washington DC home. After Perfect is her first novel.

 

Learn more at www.maangabriel.com


REVIEW

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From its pain-filled opening scene to the sigh-worthy hopeful ending, After Perfect is one highly evocative read. Maan Gabriel’s wonderfully polished debut involves the reader in newly-divorced Gabby Stevens’ journey to self-discovery amidst heartbreak and uncertainties.

After being cosseted most of her life, Gabby resolves to start over, go back to school, get a job, move into a small place, open herself up to new experiences, and stand on her own. Along the way, she maintains the support of her parents and best friend while creating meaningful relationships with new people. 

I like how Ms. Gabriel made Gabby so real and relatable by giving her balance in both long-held insecurities and newfound strengths. I love how she made Gabby’s Filipino heritage integral to her identity. I admire the way she drew her characters with dimensions, with light and shade. Thomas is, of course, a favorite as well as Gabby’s parents and her best friend Felicity. They provide the humor necessary to counter the angst in the storyline. As for Simon and Colt, I can see the attraction and approve of the final choice. They’re both important but this book is all about Gabby.

Other things I love: 

  • The inclusiveness and diversity of the characters reflect the society we live in today.
  • The great sense of place in both New York City and Washington DC locations
  • Everything that has to do with books (Thomas’s bookshop!!!), the writing and reading of them 
  • All the food

Some of my favorite quotes:

The thing about writing … It defines who you are as a person. It evolves and revolves around you, around how you feel, or around how you perceive life.”

If I become light, then darkness cannot overpower me. You can’t extinguish the light from the sun.”

When you have a book, you have been everywhere.”

Love is nobody’s fault. Love is someone’s magic. And no one should feel guilty for loving.”

Content notes: adultery, on-page miscarriage, deaths (narrated), body image issues

4 Four-half-stars

 

A MATCH MADE IN SPAIN by Rochelle Merrill – Featured New Release

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A MATCH MADE IN SPAIN

by 

R.L. Merrill


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A small-town ASL teacher is reluctantly captivated by the Catalonian vintner determined to woo her across the Spanish countryside. Can a match made on a tour of Spain be a fairytale second chance for this grumpy/sunshine pair?

The ink on Cecilia’s divorce papers might be dry, but she’s in no hurry to connect with another traveling businessman, especially the spatially challenged one seated beside her on a crack-of-dawn flight from San Francisco to Madrid.

Felip should be on top of the world running his family’s cava empire, however life has left him feeling unfulfilled as of late. Good conversation and a hard-won smile from his seatmate—a grumpy but lovely American hearing-impaired teacher—have him wondering if maybe fairytales are possible—or if he’s lost his mind, especially when a series of mishaps lands him in the role of the substitute tour guide for her group.

Over the course of twelve days, Felip’s irresistible charm and lust for life break down Cecilia’s carefully constructed walls as he competes with needy teenagers and pulls off a daring rescue to show her they are a good match. Will Cecilia see that their worlds are closer together than she thinks, and that faith and compromise can give them a real happily ever after?

Perfect for fans of Shipped by Angie Hockman and People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry. And those who miss the excitement of exploring a new place with a special someone by your side will appreciate the journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes and Noble          iBooks          Kobo           

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EXCERPT

“You were going to tell me about playing guitar,” she reminded him.

            “Sí, claro. I was a young boy, I do not remember how old, but my father played. I wanted to have special time with him, and since I was too small to be of much use to him in other ways, I thought if we could play together, we’d always have that. He agreed, and he began to teach me. It is quite a stereotypical Spanish thing to do, play guitar and sing.”

            “You sing, too?”

            He shrugged. “Sometimes.”

            “Sometimes,” she repeated. “I’d like to hear you,” she said, feeling brave. They were nearing the hotel, and she could see the kids entering the building ahead of her.

            “I’m happy to sing for you, cariño.” He pulled her closer and kissed the top of her hair. She couldn’t help how much she loved being this close to him, could she? Was it so wrong that she felt a bit like a princess, even though she didn’t believe in fairy tales?

            Cecilia felt her phone buzzing in the pocket of her dress. She stopped walking to pull it out. Greg. Awesome.

            “Do you need to answer that?”

            “No.”

            “No?”

            She exhaled and hit the accept button. “You know I’m in Spain, Greg.”

            “Uh, Cecilia? Is that you?”

            “Who else would be answering my phone?”

            Felip’s dramatic eyebrows raised and his eyes widened. She gave him the sign for ex-husband, but he probably didn’t know what that meant.  

            “I’m sorry. Is this a good time?”

            Cecilia smiled and wished she could say, “Yeah, I’m walking down a dark street in Madrid, one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a gorgeous man who just serenaded me in front of a whole roomful of people. No, it’s not a good time,” but years of practice attempting to be a good communicator kept her from shoving that in his face.

            “What do you want?”

            Felip gestured that he could walk away from her if she needed privacy, and she shook her head. She grabbed the front of his shirt so he would completely understand that she wanted him near. He looked down at her hand and chuckled, removing it from his shirt and pressing a kiss to her palm.

            “Well, we got an offer on the house.”

            The news startled Cecilia. She moved out of the middle of the sidewalk, dragging Felip with her. “That was fast,” she answered him finally.

            “It’s ten thousand over our asking price. I think it’s a good one.”

            They’d been unsure how quickly their house would sell. She’d done so much to fix it up over the years that the realtor had been pleasantly surprised by its condition and felt they could sell it as-is. But Grass Valley wasn’t exactly a booming real estate market, part of the reason Greg had left in the first place.

            “What does Nicki say?” Their realtor was an old friend of theirs from high school. It had been a bit awkward working with her since they were now a divorced couple, and everyone had assumed she and Greg would stay together forever.

            “She thinks it’s good. She said we might could get more, but seeing as we’re in a hurry—”

            “You mean you’re in a hurry. You and Carol.”

            Felip leaned closer, and she assumed he could hear both sides of the conversation since she wasn’t using the Bluetooth function on her hearing aide. She didn’t much care if he heard.

            “Well, yeah, honey. We talked about this. Carol and I need to find a place as soon as possible.”

            “And, honey, that isn’t really my problem. You could always move back in with your parents. That’s what I did.”

            Felip covered his mouth to smother a laugh. Cecilia winked at him. It was so nice to be free of Greg after two years of feeling like everything was her fault. She truly didn’t wish him any ill will, but his pushiness about this house business had bugged the shit out of her, especially because she knew it had more to do with Carol than with him.

            She heard Greg exhale on the other end. “Cecilia, I’ve waited a long time to make this move permanent. I’m ready to get on with my life.”

            His words chipped away at her buoyant mood but couldn’t demolish it. Having Felip beside her reminded her that she deserved better, and her brief stint with a therapist when they’d first agreed to get divorced had convinced her that she had every right to do what was best for her. She had gone just to make sure she wasn’t crazy for not feeling guilty or sad. It had been very much like dinner with a close girlfriend, and since her therapist happened to also know ASL, she’d been able to express herself in a way that had made those brief sessions a huge affirmation.

            “Greg, you did move on with your life, and that’s fine. We’ve been over this. I’m not trying to hold you back. I had no choice about taking this trip, you know that. The paperwork will need to wait until I get back so I can look at everything.”

            “I know,” Greg said, sounding defeated. “I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t mean to interfere with you having a good time. You deserve to have a good trip. Has it been good?”

            Cecilia’s cheeks hurt, she smiled so wide. She gazed up into Felip’s handsome face and wished they were alone somewhere so they could kiss each other silly again. Feeling brave, she slid her hand around his back and pressed up against him, his smile matching hers in intensity.

            “I’m having a wonderful time.” She ran the fingers of her other hand through the sliver of chest hair visible where his shirt was unbuttoned. “Spain is quite beautiful.” She smiled up at Felip, loving his lusty expression. His eyelids fluttered and he bent down to brush his lips against her forehead.

            He suddenly turned his head toward the hotel, and she looked to see Gabrielle gesturing for them to come inside.

            “I’ll see what she wants,” he said. “You take your time. I’ll be right back.”

            He kissed her hair before trotting up the street. Cecilia watched him run with appreciation. He moved like a soccer player, as though running was effortless. She’d never understood that ability. She felt like a total clod when she tried to run.

            “Are you still there? Who was that?”

            “Hmm? Oh that? That was Felip.”

            “Felip? Cecilia…?”

            “He’s our tour guide, sort of.”

            “Sort of? You sound funny. Are you alright?”

            “I’m great, actually. Sorry. Just distracted. We were at a flamenco show. It was amazing! The dancers, the singers… The club was really cool, too, and—”

            “A club? Didn’t the noise bother you?”

            “It did, a little, until they started performing. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. They were so passionate, so full of emotion when they danced.”

            Greg laughed, and she asked what was so funny.

            “Nothing, you just sound so, I don’t know… Different. Happy. I haven’t heard you sound like this in a long time.”

            “I haven’t felt like this in a long time.” She watched Gabrielle and Felip having a conversation outside the doors of the hotel and wasn’t even perturbed at the number of hair flicks Gabrielle made. They had no effect on Felip, and he likely didn’t notice them because he kept looking in her direction.

            “Cecilia…I’m—”

            “Greg, if you think the offer is a good one, I’m okay with it. I don’t want to hold you back.”

            He exhaled into the phone, sounding quite relieved. “Thank you, Cecilia. That means a lot. I’m sorry—”

            “It’s fine. You and Carol go start your life.” Maybe I’m about to do the same.

            “Thank you. I’ll have Nicki contact you by email for the official signature stuff if she needs it before you get back.”

            “Sure. When I get back. I’m not signing anything until I return.” Felip returned and gave her a look to see if she was okay. She signed to him that she was fine, and he shook his head. He tried to mime something to her, and it looked so ridiculous she held up a finger to him.

            “I gotta go, Greg. Take care.”

            He said something else but she was done with her past. Cecilia clicked the end button and slid the phone back into the pocket of her dress. She held out her hand and Felip took it, allowing her to pull him close.

            “You’re going to have to teach me sign language,” he said, slipping his arms around her waist.

            “Mmmm, you do fine without words.”

            She pushed up onto her toes, determined to take the lead this time, and the moment her lips touched his, he moaned softly and opened for her. His hands gripped her tightly, pulling her body flush with his, and the contact shut out the rest of the world. He whispered something against her lips she couldn’t quite make out, but then he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her so tight she forgot to breathe. All that mattered was this man standing before her, his kiss a promise of more passion and fun to come, if she simply took his hand.

He was right, she was silly to think they wouldn’t see each other. This wasn’t the dark ages. There were planes and FaceTime and Skype…

Oh, Lord she was in trouble. She’d scold herself, but then she knew it was too late. She was already involved.


ABOUT ROCHELLE 

roIf R.L. Merrill is your local hard rock/metal radio station, Rochelle is her Adult Contemporary alter ego. Spinning feel-good stories to make you laugh and swoon, Ro writes romance for grown-ups who use their words (mostly) and take care of business. She’s a mom and wife who’s on hiatus from a career in education while she explores the new terrain of mid-life adventures. You can catch her walking and gardening in her neighborhood by the Bay, spoiling her rescue pets, and dreaming of attending concerts and theaters again someday. Stay Tuned for more hits coming your way

Connect with Ro at rlmerrillauthor.comtwitter.com/rlmerrillauthor, instagram.com/rlmerrillauthor, or facebook.com/rowritesrocknromance. 

A RETURN OF THE WICKED EARL by Sadie Bosque – Featured New Release

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A RETURN OF THE WICKED EARL

Sadie Bosque


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A mistake she will regret for a lifetime…
Lady Annalise was a wide-eyed debutante when she fell in love and married Blake, the Earl of Payne. But their time together was ill-fated and brief. After being treated poorly by her new husband, soon Annalise’s love for Blake is shattered. When he disappears entirely, their marriage seems to have ended as soon as it began.

A terrible betrayal…
Blake, the Earl of Payne, had it all: a hefty inheritance, a respectable title, and a beautiful wife. But it all crumbles when he is abducted, tortured and almost killed three months after his wedding. Now that he’s back he is determined to win back his wife and take revenge on whoever is responsible for his abduction. Neither task is going as planned, especially since his wife has moved on and his abductors have a plan of their own.

A love that is stronger than hate…
As suspicions flare, dark secrets emerge, and old passions are rekindled, Blake and Annalise must decide if they can trust each other again… or let go of one another forever.

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Kobo          Apple


ABOUT SADIE

sadie-bosque-5Sadie Bosque is a steamy historical romance author. Surrounded by the enchantment of the historical setting, her love stories communicate to the modern reader through the experiences of her characters. The heroes and heroines of Sadie’s stories are flawed, imperfect creatures with big hearts. Sadie believes that a happily ever after has to be hard-earned. The trials and tribulations her characters go through make them stronger and make the HEA so much sweeter.
Social Media Links:
Website          Facebook          Instagram

A DELICIOUS DILEMMA by Sera Taíno – Featured New Release

A Delicious Dilemma

A DELICIOUS DILEMMA

Sera Taíno

 

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ADD Book CoverDifferent worlds collide in Sera Taino’s debut novel.

It’s hard to remain enemies when you’ve broken bread together

Val Navarro’s first mistake: going out dancing after a bad breakup when the chef should be focused on her family business. Her second mistake? Thinking the handsome, sensitive stranger she meets could be more than a rebound – until she discovers he’s Philip Wagner of Wagner Developments. His father’s company could shut down her Puerto Rican restaurant and unravel her tight-knit neighborhood. When Philip takes over negotiations, Val wants to believe he has good intentions. But is following her heart a recipe for disaster?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

 

Purchase at your favorite retailer here: https://serataino.com/a-delicious-dilemma/

 


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Sera Taino

Debut romance author Sera Taíno was selected for Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship, an initiative launched in 2019 to reach out to diverse communities of writers and bring more own voices stories to romance readers. For more information on this initiative, click here.

She is also the author of several short contemporary romances, including her latest, “Oil and Vinegar,” part of A More Perfect Union: A Voting-Themed Romance Benefit Anthology. All proceeds benefit Fair Fight, a national voting rights organization based in Georgia.

Her debut, #ownvoices novel, A Delicious Dilemma, is out now with Harlequin Romance Special Edition.

When she is not writing, she can usually be found teaching, traveling, or wrangling her family.

Sign up for Sera’s newsletter here, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, or BookBub to stay up to date.


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A Delicious Dilemma is a triumphant debut for Sera Taíno. It’s a sumptuous celebration of food, culture, family, friendship, and love. I devoured this tasty offering in one sitting, its themes so familiar and dear to me.

I find myself relating closely with Val. The eldest of three, close to her dad, loves dancing and cooking, and takes the responsibility for her family’s well-being upon her shoulders. She’s a truly admirable heroine.

Sera’s writing of Philip was impressive as well. I loved the way he handled his inadvertent deception. I cheered his coming into his own against his father. His gentle wooing of Val put a smile on my face. 

I loved that the romance was sweet and slow-burn. The tension in the story was just enough that Val and Philip still had to work for their happy ending. Their conflict was authentic but not too heavy drama and was resolved in a satisfactory manner.

Overall, a start that’s more than promising. It already shows Sera Taíno’s immense talent. I want more stories from her. Soon, please. 

 

4 Four-half-stars

 


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A couple of my favorite recipes from the Sabor de Casa cookbook are Roasted Pork and flan as I featured here. Check them out for yourself. 

SUMMER PLEASURES, A Historical Romance Collection by The New Romance Café – Featured New Release

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SUMMER PLEASURES

A Historical Romance Collection

The New Romance Café


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Hold on to your fans and get ready for the duchesses to clutch their pearls – the social season may have ended but the summer season is just getting started and it will be a scorcher!

Summer Pleasures, the latest Historical Romance anthology for charity from the authors at The New Romance Café, is heating up your Kindle from August, with a limited time romance collection.

All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0977SM61X
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0977SM61X

Available in KU

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A Summer Quest (Regency) – Caro Kinkead

 Sophia Marcus knows who she wants to marry. Problem is, he’s not the man her father has in mind. Her father believes the sizeable estate his daughter will inherit warrants a title, and he’s invited a candidate to Wyldfell Priory for the Summer Market Fair.

Philip Harrington wants to marry Sophia. Problem is, six months ago his brother scandalized Little Chipping and the family has been under a cloud ever since. They’re on the verge of being accepted by society once more, but it is clear Sophia’s father has his sights set elsewhere.

Counting on Philip’s ability to produce the finest hog at the Summer Market, Philip and Sophia hatch a plan to rid her of an unwanted suitor and raise his standing in her father’s eyes. But the suitor is not without his own allies, and another scandal could be looming on the horizon.

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Four House Parties and a Mystery (Regency) – Alexa Santi

When her aunt drags her to four summer house parties in quick succession, Grace Rawson doesn’t expect to be drawn into a dangerous game with a perilously attractive thief. After her aunt’s safety is threatened, Grace must determine which of the players is hiding a darker purpose.

When Lillian and Graham cross paths, they discover the spark between them is as hot as ever. The fair is in full swing, a rival photographer is making mischief, and high-flying adventure awaits. But none of it can quash the passion between them, or prevent their yearning for a second chance at love.

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Forget Me Not (Regency) – Sadie Bosque

Christopher was determined to move up in rank and escape the suffocating shackles of a commoner’s life. Linda was just looking for an adventure. However, their brief meeting uproots their life in a way neither of them expected. As their dreams shatter, there is only one thing that can help them come back to the carefree people they were once – love.

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A Midsummer Night’s Kiss (Regency) – Lara Temple

Three midsummer kisses in exchange for her sister’s freedom…

War-widow Lily knew gaining her sister’s release from her betrothal to the Earl of Carrington would come at a price. She hadn’t expected it to be a price she’d be more than willing to pay…

 ‘So, Lily Walsh. What will you offer in exchange for your sister’s freedom?’

‘What do you want, Lord Carrington?’

‘A balm for my bruised pride. You could try kissing it better.’

Her jaw slackened.

‘Three kisses…’ He ignored her shocked expression, his voice sinking lower and lower. ‘Three hot, midsummer madness kisses culminating on midsummer’s day when spirits abound, wreaking havoc on mortals. Anything might happen…’

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Midnight Intrigues (Regency) – Courtney A.K. Shinn

Charlotte, Dowager Duchess of Suffolk has always been trapped by duty and expectations. Her son demanding they attend a house party thrown by her late husband’s former mistress to find answers for her husband’s mysterious death is no different. However, as things take an increasingly dark turn, with rumors of a secret society hell-bent on revenge, Charlotte begins to open her heart to Elizabeth, the companion who supported her in the months since her husband’s death. But the feelings she feels are not merely platonic. Will she break free of the shackles of society and embrace true love? And who will be the next victim?

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My Heiress, ’Tis of Thee (Gilded Age) – Catherine Stein

Three months have passed since magazine owner Graham Ward received a letter from the love of his life, telling him everything was over. Desperate to take his mind off his heartbreak, he travels to St. Louis for the 1904 World’s Fair, only to discover he’s not the only one intent on getting away.

Knickerbocker heiress Lillian Belmont can’t understand why Graham never responded to her coded message asking him to elope. To ease her aching heart, she’s thrown herself into her photography, hoping to sell her World’s Fair images and make a name for herself.

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The Honourable Mr Gresham Asks a Question (1940s) – Shanti James

Discharged from the Royal Navy, Max Gresham now works in India as a maharaja’s Private Secretary. For months, he’s denied his feelings for his colleague, Diana. She’s wary of men and he won’t jeopardise their friendship by overstepping her strict boundaries.

Diana Kingsley, Private Secretary to the maharani, paid a bitter price for trusting her heart. Max makes her believe kind, honourable men still exist, but she’s an Anglo-Indian engineer’s daughter and he’s an earl’s son. Though she’s deeply in love with him, friends are all they can ever be.

When Max risks asking for more, Diana retreats, convinced he only wants one thing. From now on, it’s strictly business. But then their royal employers play matchmaker, forcing Max and Diana to spend time together.

On a steaming Calcutta day, a ludicrous list and an old scandal may be just what this dithering couple needs to prove they’re made for each other.


THE AUTHORS

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Lara Temple

Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.

When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance. This love remained one-sided as she progressed through various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech until she finally went back to her first love.

Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and hike and read as many books as possible (which just about sums up her dream vacation).

She recently went back to look for that grubby crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

https://www.laratemple.com

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Catherine Stein

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her books are full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious kids. She loves steampunk and Oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in Renaissance Festival clothing, drinking copious amounts of tea.

You can find Catherine on social media @catsteinbooks or visit her website at www.catsteinbooks.com to learn about all her books and sign up for her VIP newsletter.

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Sadie Bosque

Sadie Bosque is a shy and sheltered young woman from the outskirts of the World. Being a loner, she was immersed in the fictional worlds of books since she knew how to read. In her thirties, with the Pandemic changing the rules of the World she picked up a pen, or rather a laptop, and started crafting stories in the Historical Romance World.

Check out more of her work, or sign-up to her newsletter here: www.sadiebosque.com.

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Caro Kinkead

As a child, Caro Kinkead was told Dr. Seuss’ job was “writing books,” and decided that was her goal, along with being a ballerina and archeologist. A fear of snakes signaled the end of her ambition to find the next Tutankhamun’s tomb, the dancing didn’t pan out, but the love of writing remained, allowing her to enjoy those careers and more in her imagination.

Caro grew up in a family of readers, developing a love of science fiction and fantasy, along with old movies and costuming. These days, she and her husband share a home in the Los Angeles area with their cats, a sizable book collection, and more yarn than she’s willing to admit. You can find her on Instagram as @CaroKinkead, and join her newsletter at http://CaroKinkead.com , where subscribers receive a free short story, which tells the tale of the scandal the Harringtons are trying to live down, as well as an exclusive on-going serial.

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Alexa Santi

Alexa Santi has been fascinated by the Regency Era since the pre-internet days when she had to check paper books out from the library. She lives in Los Angeles with her sexy librarian husband and their cats. She occasionally blogs at her website, https://www.alexasanti.com.

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Courtney AK Shinn

Courtney A.K. Shinn has loved reading since her grandmother read to her from a young age. She lives in Honolulu, HI with her family, including three rambunctious French Bulldogs.

Review Blog: Courtney Reads Romance

Twitter: @ZelenaSwift

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Shanti James

Shanti James grew up in Kolkata immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes, and bejewelled princesses. The child of an Indian father and an English mother, she embraced the best of both sides of her rich heritage.

She now lives in England, where she translates her passion for art, history, mythology, and travel, into writing romances with all the ‘feels’. She loves honourable heroes with undiscovered depths, and smart, dauntless heroines who can save themselves. This is her first foray into historical romance and she is currently penning the story of Viraj, Maharaja of Kuch, and his arranged marriage to Tara, the unconventional princess who upends his life.

 When not clicking away on her laptop, Shanti runs mum’s taxi service and the bank of mum. In other words, she has kids. Coffee, gin, and good friends keep her sane.

BABY, IT’S HOT OUTSIDE, A Contemporary Romance Collection from The New Romance Café – Happy Book Birthday!

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BABY, IT’S HOT OUTSIDE

A Contemporary Romance Collection from The New Romance Café


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BIHONames@0.5xhighrez

It’s getting HOT in here …

This multicultural charity anthology has something for everyone: enemies to lovers, swoon-worthy athletes, vacation romance, insta love, fake relationships – take your pick or read them all!

All proceeds go to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This summer read is available for a limited time only, don’t miss it!

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096THQTVW
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B096THQTVW

Available in KU

INDIVIDUAL STORY BLURBS

Ignite – Kenna Shaw Reed

She. Hit. Me.

My first day in town and my ute is wrecked. I’m here to play football, not play fireman. Rylee’s sexy, sassy and knows her way around cars. But I’m not looking for the perfect woman— even if she crashed into me.

He’s not my type.

I’m done with footballers. I’m done with sexy AF men who can have any woman they want. I’m done. Except, Ethan is more than a footballer. He’s more than his billion-watt smile. But if he’s not ready to be part of our town, then we have nothing to ignite.

***

Say You’re Mine – Charlotte O’Shay

Skylar: I’m not the type of woman who kisses strangers in bars. But if you met this guy—the one with a shiner on his sculpted cheekbone and a New York City sized chip on his massive shoulders, if you looked into his turbulent eyes—you’d understand. He figures I’ll tumble into his bed—because I kissed him without knowing his name. But one stolen kiss is all I’ll take because this bad boy will never be satisfied with a woman like me.

Finn: Actions speak louder than words and I’ve learned to let my fists do my talking. Schoolyard bullies who ridiculed my stutter only made that mistake once. These days women want my tatted-up fighter’s body more than romantic words I can never give them. But when a sleek uptown woman comes on to me in a bar, everything changes. Now I have to find the words to make her mine.

When serendipity brings them together, will they have the courage to say yes to forever?

***

Segments From A Secret Summer – A. Perveen

Meet-cute with a namesake stranger was the last thing on Tamanna Shaikh’s mind when she’d reluctantly boarded the plane to get to her ex-husband’s cousin’s destination wedding. Her mother was cross with her, the last two books hadn’t sold well, and inspiration was playing hard-to-get. Could spending time with her intriguing co-passenger raise the temperature enough to help unfreeze that cold, colossal bitch? Ah, well, no harm in trying…

As a successful, exclusive event planner, Armaan Jatoi loved weddings. Good thing his clients didn’t know he hated marriage. Having witnessed the train wrecks on steroids that counts as marital bliss for most people, a lasting relationship was the farthest thing he wished for. But casual flirtation with a gorgeous namesake wedding guest? Count him in. Only, the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to turn away…

She spins dreams from truths. He dresses up lies for a living. Can love be born in a place that was dismantled before they met? No place like a desi summer wedding to find out.

***

Summer Vacation Blitz – Jackie Paxson

Ellie Franklin is a devoted elementary school teacher. Her whole life revolves around her school year and her garden. On the last day of school, her best friend offers her a free two-week trip to Fiji.  At first, she’s reluctant but when she glimpses what her future could be she jumps on the opportunity. What could possibly happen on a two week vacation?

Lucas Stallworth is a star football player and a hopeless romantic.  In one swoop, his heart and dreams of his own happily ever after are shattered. To break Lucas out of his stupor, his best friend arranges a vacation/training excursion to Fiji. A reluctant Lucas drags himself to the sunny beaches.

When Ellie and Lucas have an unconventional meeting, the sparks fly along with some choice words. Can two people really fall in love in two weeks or will reality crush their romance before it’s really begun?

***

The Way You Drive Me Crazy – Olivia Hardin

Can a simple drive lead to something as crazy as love?

Lacey isn’t adventurous.  She’s not a wild child and crazy isn’t what she does. She’s certainly not the kind of girl who gets into a car with a total stranger to go off on a wild goose chase. But losing her dad changed things and she’s been on a mission. So, if hitching a ride with a cute mechanic from Simoneaux Bayou is needed to track down the last mysterious piece of her genealogy… well, a girl’s gotta do at least one crazy thing in her life, right?

Luke is just a grease-under-the-nails diesel mechanic.  A mechanic who just happens to be the favorite nephew of one Betty Ruth… as in Betty Ruth’s Country Store.  In his aunt’s eyes, he can fix just about anything, so it’s not that unusual for him to get a call about “pretty little girl” who’s car is broken down out at Simoneaux Bayou. But this girl is all woman and its hard to keep his eyes off of her long enough to get a good look at her busted transmission.  And when Aunt Betty tells him he has to drive the girl to Lafayette… well, he’s not gonna argue over getting to spend a few hours alone with the best looking girl a mechanic like him has ever seen, is he?

***

Challenging Helen – Susanne Ash

Sparks fly when an disorganized wedding planner has to rely on the help of a new competitor with a hidden agenda.

Event planner Helen Williams’s day goes from bad to worse when the venue for the biggest wedding of the year falls through. Ethan Shaw is the new competition, but to her surprise, he comes to her rescue. But there’s a catch: they have to work together. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if she didn’t feel so attracted to him.

Ethan Shaw lost a big promotion to nepotism and he’s out for revenge. He needs Helen’s help to get close to one of her clients. A client who can help him get a foot in the door back home and show his old boss that he’s made a big mistake. The problem? He likes Helen and using her for his own gains is becoming harder by the day.

How will Helen react when she discovers Ethan’s secret agenda? Is the deception something they can overcome to find their happily ever after?

***

Queen of Hearts – L.D. Wosar

Radio talk show lonely hearts advisor, Darinda Levian, tells her callers to open themselves to love.  However, her track record with men is anything but romantic; it’s an epic fail.

Jeffery Halohan, confirmed bachelor, thinks Darinda’s lonely heart spot on the radio is fluff.  They have a friendly competition on the radio station. His failing financial advice show versus her matters of the heart. They make a deal to engage in a fake relationship for one month to help boost his ratings.

Is this agreement business as usual or will love blossom at the end of the month?


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PARTICIPATING AUTHORS

Kenna Shaw Reed

Kenna lives in the land down under with most of her books set in Sydney or the south coast of Australia. She writes from experience of past loves and lovers. Of broken hearts and redemption. Of women who get the man (or men) they deserve. Kenna lives with her darling hubby, two children and two dogs who love her, and a cat that refuses to acknowledge she exists.

Facebook | Instagram | Website

***

Charlotte O’Shay

The only thing award winning author Charlotte O’Shay loves more than reading steamy romance where happily ever after always wins is writing them. Charlotte lives with her IRL hero, Mac, in the West Soho section of Manhattan where walks along the Hudson Riverfront serve up fresh story ideas every day. Charlotte loves to talk all things romance at:

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  | Bookbub

***

A. Perveen

A. Perveen is a South Asian introvert who daydreams about love-myths, monsters, and magic during her day job and binge-watches period dramas at night. When she’s not writing romance, she’s either having imaginary conversations with fictional characters over chai or chatting up the stray cats in her backyard. She spends most of her life reading steamy books, humming off-key old Bollywood songs, and sighing over gardening blogs because she loves plants and has a knack for killing them.

You can follow her at:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/A-Perveen/e/B08R44J192
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/20234394.A_Perveen
FB: www.facebook.com/A.PerveenAuthor
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/saraab.e.sukhan/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aperveen1
Blog: www.sarabesukhan.com

***

Jackie Paxson

Jackie lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids and two crazy fur babies.  When she isn’t writing, she’s busy irritating her colleagues at her day job.  Most of her one-liners they have heard during work hours.  She’s an avid reader who had a blog for more than seven years.  Her love of reading and writing goes all the way back to her days reading Sweet Valley High while pretending to clean her room.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jackiepaxsonauthor
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jackiepaxsonauthor
Newsletter:  www.jackiepaxsonauthor.com

***

Olivia Hardin

Olivia Hardin always realized how strange she was to have complete movie-like character dreams as a child. Eventually she began putting those vivid dreams to paper and was rarely without her spiral notebooks full of those mental ramblings.  She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about one out of five projects, a jogger who hates to run, and is sometimes accused of being artistic, though she’s generally too much of a perfectionist to appreciate her own work. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny, and their two rescue pups, Bonnie Sue and Heidi Ho.

Facebook  | Bookbub | Goodreads

***

Susanne Ash

Susanne Ash writes sweet contemporary romance. When she’s not busy putting pen to paper, she loves to cook, knit, and head out exploring with her husband and daughter. She lives close to the beach in beautiful South Carolina. You’ll find that her novels’ settings are often a fictionalized version of her surroundings and the places she’s visiting with her family.

For more Palmar Island stories, check out her other books on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Ash/e/B07TFTMD5D

Sign up for her newsletter and get a free sweet romance novella at https://www.susanneash.com/news

***

L.D. Wosar

LD Wosar writes Western Fantasy. She’s from Olympia, Washington but currently living in Las Vegas and works in the Gaming Industry. She’s written the Western trilogy, Kit Weston Chronicles, A Capot Adventure Series, a time-travel adventure, Relic, as well as her newest Jaded Vamp series. Writing is her obsession, which she spends all of her free time writing stories with a Paranormal flare.

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/L.D.-Wosar/e/B081DD1WHP
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ldwosarbooks
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LdWosar
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ld-wosar
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19390914.L_D_Wosar
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ldlegendarylitcrew

VALENTINUS INTERRUPTUS by Guinevere Jordan – Happy Book Birthday!

Guinevere Jordan

VALENTINUS INTERRUPTUS

Guinevere Jordan

 


SYNOPSIS

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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?
 
 
 
Buy Links:
 
 
 
 
 
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EXCERPT

 
“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.”
  
 
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ABOUT GUINEVERE

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 2.36.39 PMGuinevere 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.
 
 
Social Media Links:
 
 
 

HOTEL KING by Claire Marti – Happy Book Birthday!

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HOTEL KING 

by

Claire Marti

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Entrepreneur Ryan Michaels never loses. Well, except that time, a few years ago when he lost a promotion to spoiled rich girl, Charlotte “Charlie” Ray. Now he’s forced to hire his nemesis to secure funding to develop a string of luxury boutique hotels. Not only does she not fit his corporate vision, but she’s too damn attractive for her own good. And his.

Working as VP of Sales and Marketing for a luxury hotel is Charlie’s dream job. Too bad her boss is Ryan Michaels, the same pompous stick-in-the-mud that she remembers. If he tells her that this project is his legacy one more time, she might scream. Or maybe kissing him will get him to shut up?

Because that’s the other thing. The sizzling attraction between Ryan and Charlie is impossible to ignore. But everyone knows not to mix business and pleasure. Don’t they?

 

 

Buy Links: 

Books2Read          Kindle          Nook          Kobo          Apple          Google Play          Indiebound

 

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Did his player little brother want to date her? Could he blame Austin?

He surged to his feet and stalked around the room. Charlie was gorgeous, brilliant, and full of creative, progressive ideas. Hell, he couldn’t lie to himself that she intrigued him. Which was funny because at their old job, he truly hadn’t noticed her. He’d never had this strange and annoying inability to stop watching her. What had seemed obnoxious and strident before now appeared more friendly and vivacious.

And since when could he not control his behavior? He didn’t want to be attracted to her, damn it. His complicated new fascination with his former nemesis needed to stop. Simple dislike had been a lot easier.

On a personal level, it was a terrible idea––they were opposites after all. On a professional level, it was suicide. He couldn’t blur the lines.

 


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Headshotfullbody518smallClaire 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.

 

Social Media Links:

Website:  clairemarti.com
Facebook:  ClaireMartiAuthor
Twitter:  @clairepmarti
Instagramclairepmarti
Goodreads: Claire_Marti
Bookbubclaire-marti
Amazon:  Claire-Marti

 

IT TAKES HEART by Tif Marcelo – Featured New Release

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IT TAKES HEART

by

Tif Marcelo

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it takes heart paperback

From romance author Tif Marcelo comes a heartwarming story about taking a second chance on love at a family-owned couples resort.

Heart Resort, a private resort in the Outer Banks, is a romantic getaway for couples but a hotbed of family drama for its proprietors, the Puso family. Brandon Puso, the youngest of the four siblings, prefers life on his own as a licensed contractor in DC after a falling-out with his eldest brother.

After a hurricane plows through the Outer Banks, Brandon has a change of heart. He returns to the resort to help with the grand reopening but encounters his big sister’s best friend, designer Geneva Harris, who’s there to do the same thing. But Geneva and Brandon have a secret. Years ago, they had a secret romance that ended in heartbreak.

With the resort’s future at stake, Brandon and Geneva decide to put the past aside and to keep peace with the family. But as their mutual attraction heats up, they have to decide if history will repeat itself—or if this time, love gets a second chance.

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Buy links: 

Tif’s Website
Amazon


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Tif Marcelo is a veteran US Army nurse and holds a BS in Nursing and a Master’s in public administration. She believes and writes about the strength of families, the endurance of friendship, heartfelt romances, and is inspired daily by her own military hero husband and four children. She hosts The Stories to Love Podcast, and is the USA Today bestselling author of In a Book Club Far AwayOnce Upon a SunsetThe Key to Happily Ever After, and the Journey to the Heart series.

Follow her here:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

2021 books


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To follow.


Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

LEARNING TO LOVE by Trinity Wood – Featured New Release and Giveaway

Title: Learning to Love
Series: New Zealand Sailing #1
Author: Trinity Wood
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: August 5, 2021

BLURB
Learning to Love Ebook CoverNew Zealand Romance with Spice
Sam Northcroft needs to win.
Every single time.
On the water, on the Olympic sailing stage, or on land.
He’s got something to prove.
Ellie Tennyson can’t lose.
Not this time.
Between teaching four year-olds and playing grown-up, her dating life is flatter than a can of soda left out overnight.
She’s got something to prove.
Sparks fly between broody introvert Sam and bubbly Ellie when they meet at a house party on Auckland’s North Shore, but will his past and relentless pursuit of winning threaten their future?
***
LEARNING TO LOVE is the first book in the New Zealand Sailing series, and can be read as a stand-alone. This steamy book features a K-drama-loving artless preschool teacher, a cinnamon roll athlete hero with a lot to learn, and the most meddling group of friends ever. In the City of Lovers, HEA is guaranteed.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

COMING SOON
HIDDEN DEEP
Releasing September 15
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

AUTHOR BIO
Trinity writes contemporary romance set in New Zealand. Because she can’t get enough of book boyfriends, she created some of her own. Get ready to meet Sam, Corey, Jay, Tai, Luke, Mike Travis, and many more, but please form an orderly line. Behind Trinity.
A self-professed good-time nerd, Trinity’s never far away from one of her trusty Pokemon coffee mugs. Trinity also swears that Margaritas can cure colds.
Keep in touch on Facebook in The New Romance Cafe, or at trinitywoodauthor@gmail.com.

GIVEAWAY
Click for a chance to win $50 Amazon gift card

REVIEW
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I always love books that transport me to another place and Learning to Love does exactly that with Ms. Wood’s vivid descriptions of the setting, the cadence of the characters’ language, and the specificity of aspects of New Zealand culture mentioned in the book.

While I got slightly breathless by the fast pacing of Ellie and Sam’s romance, I also appreciate the decisiveness of their actions. There wasn’t much push-and-pull that could get annoying if overdone. I like the effort made to be inclusive and diverse and I love the involvement of friends and families.

Overall, a promising debut by Trinity Wood. I enjoyed my return visit to New Zealand through this book.