The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas
Sharla Lovelace, and Scarlett Dunn
The Lone Star State doesn’t have to be lonely during Christmas time!
PRAISE FOR THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS:
“FATHER GOOSE is a warm, entertaining story, with Trapper and Emery starting with nothing, yet finding love and hoping for a future.” — Rose from Roses Are Blue
Jodi Thomas is a New York Times bestselling author and fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her award-winning stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A multi-RITA Award winner and member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, she’s written over 50 novels with millions of copies in print. Her most recent releases are The Little Tea Shop on Main and the first book in her new Honey Creek series, Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, which is out now.
TRUST FUND FIANCÉ
An intriguing proposal mixes romance and finance…
His friend needs a fiancé to claim a fortune.
But they both know it’s about more than money…
Ezekiel Holloway’s proposition could save his friend Reagan Sinclair’s inheritance and give her the freedom she craves. But when family scandals force Ezekiel to end their fake engagement, the heiress comes up with a counterproposal—and they elope to Vegas after all! Is there something more than mere convenience at stake here?
Ezekiel stared at Regan, struck speechless. Dozens of questions bombarded him, and he mentally waded through them, finally settling on the most important one. “What?”
“Marry me,” she repeated, closing the short distance between them, not stopping until her hands fisted the lapels of his suit jacket, her thighs braced against his and that honeysuckle scent embraced him like a long-lost lover.
He swallowed a groan at her nearness, at the feel of her body pressed to his. Lust, hot and hungry, punched him in the gut, then streamed through him in a swollen flood. Desperate to place distance between them so he could f*cking think, he gripped her hips to set her away from him. But touching her backfired. Instead of pushing her back, he held her close, his body rebelling and taking control. Two weeks. It’d been two long weeks.
“Reagan,” he rumbled.
“No, Zeke. Don’t give me all the reasons why we shouldn’t. I don’t care. Do you know where I just came from?” she asked, switching topics with a lightning speed that left him floundering. Between that and his *ick finding cushion against her stomach, he couldn’t keep up. “I just left a restaurant where my father arranged for me to have lunch with Justin McCoy.”
“The hell?” His grip on her tightened. Douglas had set her up with that a**hole?
“Yes.” Reagan nodded as if reading his mind. “Apparently my father considered him a more suitable match than you. A man who uses and throws away women for his own gain rather than you, a man who has been nothing but honorable and unfailingly kind and respectful. I had enough. I walked away from him and his machinations. I’m through allowing him to run my life, to make choices for me out of guilt and loyalty.”
Guilt? What the hell did that mean?
Shoving the questions aside for the moment, he refocused on her. “I understand your anger, believe me, I do, but take a moment and think this through before you make a mistake you can’t take back. This decision will cost you your inheritance. It could damage your relationship with your parents. Is this rebellion worth that? Because you’re not in…” He couldn’t finish that sentence. Couldn’t fathom it.
“No, Zeke, I’m not in love with you,” she assured him, and he exhaled a heavy breath. Even as an unidentifiable emotion twisted in his chest. “And maybe this is a little bit of rebellion on my part, but it’s so much more. I’m taking control—of my choices, my mind, my life. I respect you, Zeke. But this isn’t about you. It’s about me. About finally becoming the woman I’ve been too afraid to own. So, from now on, I’m making my own decisions,” she continued. “And that includes you. I choose you, Zeke. And I want you to marry me.”
Jesus, did she know what a delicious temptation she was? How he’d fought following after her that evening he’d let her walk out of his house? That had required strength he hadn’t realized he possessed. Doing it a second time…
No, she might feel certain here in this office, but she was still upset. Could feel very differently in the morning, hell, hours from now. Maybe after they talked this out, she would see—
She rose on her toes and crushed her mouth to his.
His control snapped.
Like a flash fire, the press of her lips to his poured gasoline over the lust that had been steadily simmering. He took possession of that sweet siren’s mouth, claiming it with a thrust of his tongue. Possessing it with a long, wet lick. Corrupting it with an erotic tangle and suck that left little to the imagination about what he wanted from her.
And he wanted it all. In this moment where the lines between platonic friendship and desire incinerated beneath his greedy mouth and her needy whimpers, he wanted everything she had to give him.
Signed, print copy of Trust Fund Fiance
$25 Amazon gift card
Published since 2009, USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.” She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
CONNECT WITH NAIMA
An angsty, seriously steamy read that’s in keeping with what I expect from Naima Simone’s books.
Marriage-of-convenience and friends-to-lovers are two of my favorite tropes in romance and Reagan and Zeke’s story brings them to life in an emotional and sexy way.
At first, it’s easy to dismiss the premise of their coming together as rich people problems. Reagan wants access to the millions in the trust fund her grandmother left her. Zeke needs to help out a friend to feel useful amidst his family’s rapidly escalating financial scandal. Reading further along, one could see that the causes of their internal turmoil are real and relatable. Reagan chafes from living under the control of her parents as a decade-long penance for a teenage mistake. Zeke has closed off his heart after the death of a beloved. Their union, however temporary, changes their lives for the better.
I especially liked Reagan’s growth arc in this book. She takes control of her life even if it means losing the people she loves. Zeke’s turnabout could have been less sudden. Same with Reagan’s father’s change of heart.
While Trust Fund Fiancé can be read as a stand alone, I’d recommend starting the series from the first book in order to fully appreciate the dramatic saga of the Wingate family.
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emily March comes the second book in the Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas trilogy, TUCKER (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, February 25, 2020, $7.99). Two business owners come head-to-head in a feud with tulle and grit in this passionate story. This tale shows that even when life changes from the stress of a military career to working next to a wedding planner, love always finds a way to begin, even if it was never thought possible.
Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue, but an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a brokenhearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs …
Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime . . . until death do them part.
Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.
Two of the things I admire most about Emily March’s writing are her great sense of place and her authentic “voice” for her male characters. Texan readers can immediately recognize references to state favorites like Buc-ee’s and Dr. Pepper and take sides in the rivalries between college football teams. The characterization of Tucker, Jackson, Boone, even Jeremy is believable. Their language sounds real.
I found myself charmed by both Tucker and Gillian from the start. I enjoyed their meet-cute and was invested immediately in their happy ending. Of course, the path to happily-ever-after is never smooth and we have to contend with an ongoing relationship that had to be resolved first before our pair is matched with each other.
I loved the strength of friendships and family relationships that run in these Eternity Springs books. I prefer it when the protagonists in the stories I read have a reliable support system. In this story, Gillian has her mother and her best friends while Tucker counts on his cousins.
Another aspect of the book I enjoyed so much is the competence porn – Tucker’s survival skills workshop was quite informative and incredibly useful in real life. I really appreciate a book that educates at the same time that it entertains.
As with the previous book, the scenes away from Redemption are not my favorites., although the Vegas portion was quite fun and the visits to Eternity Springs in Colorado were necessary for the plot to move along. The number of named characters are more manageable here than in Jackson. There’s still a lot, but not as many as in the previous book.
Overall, I really enjoyed Tucker. It is light and entertaining with enough conflict to make things interesting. I’m excited to see how Emily writes Boone’s intriguing story.
Macmillan is giving away a paperback copy of Tucker to one of my readers. All you have to do to enter is visit my column at Lone Star Literary Life called Texas Reads Roundup: Romance where I featured this book and tell me in the comments below if you’ve done so. I’ll draw the winner on Tuesday, March 3 at 12 noon Central Time.
CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY
Ransom Canyon, #8
Genre: Contemporary / Western / Holiday Romance
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 288 pages
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Ransom Canyon welcomes you back for a Christmas that has everything you’re looking for: romance, family, and a whole lot of Texas.
Cooper Holloway would take nature over people any day—especially visiting relatives. That’s why he’s headed for a rustic cabin in remote Winter Valley, where he’ll care for a herd of wild mustangs. But Cooper’s plans are quickly thwarted by the arrival of two unexpected guests: one, a stranger in desperate need of his help, and the other, a very attractive young veterinarian.
Elliott is busy trying to keep Maverick Ranch running smoothly with Cooper gone, which is no easy task with family visiting. And when a long-lost love suddenly reappears in his life, Elliott knows he’ll have more than just books to balance this season.
With a big, chaotic family Christmas around the corner and love blooming in surprising ways, the Holloway men will have to make big choices about the future—just in time for the holidays.
PRAISE FOR CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY:
“This book has everything you would want. Laughter, drama. And tears both happy and sad. I highly recommend this book.” — Patty Champion (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)
“I could not put this book down once I started it and longed for more once I was done.” — Melanie (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)
“I got lost in the world that she [Jodi Thomas] has created and enjoyed seeing her characters with their overlapping and interconnected stories find a happiness that none of them expected to ever find.” — B. (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)
CLICK TO BUY:
Fitting the season of love perfectly, Christmas in Winter Valley tells the story of four romantic pairings finding their happily-ever-afters in snowy Ransom Canyon. There’s the seasoned romance between Tye and Dani, the opposites attract scenario of Creed and Dallas’s story, the second-chance love between Elliot and Jess, and the instalove between Coop and Hayley. If those are not enough, there’s also the happy ending for the orphaned Tatum. Truly, there’s something for everyone to appreciate.
Happening two weeks before Christmas day, the events in this book take place at a fast clip. A good number of characters are named, which would have confused many readers if not for the deft hands of Ms. Thomas. Each person mentioned has a distinct personality, even those who are only on the other side of the phone.
As is Ms. Thomas’s signature, Christmas in Winter Valley has plenty of humor, a touch of drama, and a whole lot of Texas. Long-time fans will love this series-ender, while new readers will want to read as many of the earlier books as possible. This book can be read as a stand-alone but for those just coming into this series late, I highly recommend reading Griffin and Sunlan’s story at the very least.
I enjoyed reading this book although I wish it’s longer so that the relationships are developed better. While I appreciate the inclusion of the older pair and the varying body types, I wish there’s more diversity in the characters. I would have loved to see some persons of color. For a contemporary novel not to have them present is unrealistic in this day and age.
With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.
In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.
Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.
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October 3-13, 2019
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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Date of Publication: June 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 295
Scroll down for giveaway!
Max Logan longs for the joys of home and family he missed growing up in foster care. He fills that emotional void by becoming a kick-ass Marine, and for eighteen years, led his band of brothers from one hellhole to another…until the one that nearly destroyed him. Sixteen months of therapy and rehab put his body back together, but some wounds can’t be seen. Some can’t be healed.
Skylar Ward dreams of a life that includes someone beside her. Someone to share her life with, to be a father to her young daughter. But if she learned anything from her failed marriage it was that you don’t rush into a relationship. Options in her small town are limited, and those who approach her lack appeal. Only Max Logan sparks her interest. But the handsome, brooding war hero remains aloof.
Intelligent and intuitive, seven-year-old Maddie overhears a neighbor tell her mother she needs a male companion, so she Google’s it to see what it means. Convinced her mom needs a boyfriend and Max needs a girlfriend, Maddie sets out to make it happen. He needs a family. They need him. If she can make them see that.
Can one precocious child be the catalyst that heals a wounded warrior’s soul and brings joy back into her mom’s heart?
Or will ashes of the past bury hope once and for all?
PRAISE FOR CHASING HOPE:
“The pace was fast, the love was simple yet energetic, and the dialogues were lively enough to make me want to know more about the characters. To say that I loved this novel is not enough! Absolutely beautiful. It deserves these 5 stars.” – Readers’ Favorite
“I could not put Chasing Hope down! From the first few sentences, I was hooked and read over half of it the first night finishing it the following night. The main characters, Sky and Max, intrigued me right off the bat but feisty little Maddie wormed her way into my heart immediately! What a breath of fresh air.” – Mary McCormack, ARC reader
eBOOK DEAL! $1.99 JULY 9-20, 2019
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As a reader who has a close connection with the US Armed Forces (Air Force husband, Marine Corps father-in-law), I can be quite critical of military romantic fiction. Errors in terminologies and ranks and exaggeration of the protagonists’ abilities peeve me. With Dana Wayne’s Chasing Hope, I found nothing to annoy me and everything to love. The story of how wounded Marine veteran Max, struggling single mother Skylar, and adorably precocious Maddie became a family is truly heartwarming. It’s an affecting and satisfying read. I smiled, teared-up, and loved along with these sympathetic characters as they slowly drew close to one another with the help, and sometimes hindrance, of the members of their small community.
Max and Sky are easy to root for because they are regular people with real-life problems, who deserve their happily ever after. Maddie is a star. She’s the little cupid who brought her mother and their next-door neighbor together. I love the parts she played in making sure Max and Sky address their feelings honestly and clear up their misunderstandings right away. I also love the other secondary characters like Big John and Ruby, Logan and Anna. I even appreciate Cade for providing the conflict that tests Max and Sky’s developing relationship.
If I have a favorite quote, it’s this: “Blood doesn’t make a family. Love does.”
Excellent writing, fantastic story, snappy dialogue, involving characters. I enjoyed Chasing Hope so much, I’m giving it five hope-filled stars. I won’t hesitate to say, “Buy this book!” Buy it now.
Dana Wayne is an award-winning author and 6th generation Texan. She resides in East Texas with her husband (and biggest fan) along with a Calico cat named Katie, three children, and four grandchildren. She routinely speaks to books clubs, services organizations, writers’ groups, and other organizations on writing and publishing, and is a frequent guest on numerous writing blogs.
“I grew up listening to my father read passages from the stack of paperback westerns beside his chair. I was fascinated at how someone could paint a picture with words so vivid, I saw it in my mind. That’s when I knew that one day I would be a writer. It wasn’t until I retired in late 2013 that I was able to devote the necessary time to achieving my goal. I published my first book in 2016 and never looked back. My stories are heartwarming, a little spicy, and all about the romance because I believe romance is more about emotion than sex, and the journey is more important than the destination.”
A staunch supporter of new authors, she is a member of Romance Writers of America, Texas Association of Authors, and Writers League of Texas as well as several local writers’ groups.
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Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life … until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.
to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true … and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?
Jackson by Emily March
Emily March is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming Eternity Springs series. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.
Whenever I come across a romance novel set in Texas, especially in the areas I’m familiar with, I jump at the chance to review it. Emily March’s Redemption seems to me inspired by Fredericksburg from the description of the German establishments, the distance to Austin, and the beautiful land around it. For me, the setting played a big part in making me enjoy this book as much as the development of the relationship between Jackson and Caroline.
I very much liked the flow of this story. From their first meeting, which was somehow orchestrated by Celeste, to a year later when their second chance at love started to bloom. There wasn’t much back story to trudge through as the reader is a witness to the events as they unfold.
I also appreciate the characterization of Jackson and Caroline. There’s a realism to their thoughts, actions, and words that makes one relate to them somehow. Jackson’s despondency at the prolonged separation with his daughter and Caroline’s grief over her husband’s illness and subsequent death rang true for me, as well as their friendship turning into love as they got to know each other better. It took them a while, but when they fell, they only had the utmost support of one another.
I absolutely love that both of them build something from scratch in their new hometown. Caroline’s bookstore The Next Chapter is the realization of my dream, I completely felt her emotions when she opened it.
There’s a lot of named characters. It got unwieldy at times, particularly when the horde from Eternity Springs came for the opening of the B&B Jackson and his cousins own. I also resented the scenes in the book that happened outside of Redemption. Apart from those things, I really enjoyed Jackson and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in the series.
I’m excited to announce my first book release for 2019. 19TH HOLE FIESTA, my sweet multicultural second-chance story set in a San Antonio golf tournament in April is one of the 17 shorts in San Antonio Romance Authors’ Love Fiesta Style anthology. Here’s the blurb:
A stray golf ball reunites childhood best friends Grace Diaz and Nick Andrews. They lost touch because of a youthful misunderstanding. Now, their attraction to each other is stronger than ever. Will their reunion be for keeps, or will they say goodbye again after the 19th Hole Fiesta ends?
You’re invited to the biggest party in Texas – San Antonio’s Fiesta!
Explore the most romantic city in the Lone Star State through 17 incredible stories created exclusively for this anthology.
Love Fiesta Style features a mermaid at a majestic coronation, college sweethearts reuniting at a war widows’ ball, a cowboy spying his dream woman at an art show, friends igniting into lovers over a night-time parade, a spirit playing matchmaker for a chef and his customer, plus much more.
Whether you like your romances mild, medium, or hot, the San Antonio Romance Authors have you covered.
Buy your copy today and fall in Love Fiesta Style!