Feature | A Sheriff’s Star by Mackenna Lee

It was only supposed to be a temporary home… He interrupts her plans…

When police chief Anson Curry returns a lost little girl to her frantic mother, his only goal is to ease the single mom’s anxiety. But it doesn’t take long for Tess Harper’s amazing child to have Anson wrapped around her little finger—and for Tess to have him thinking about a possible relationship. As for Tess, she’s tempted—even though she had planned to be in Oak Hollow, Texas, only temporarily. But after losing her father and brother in the line of duty, Tess thinks Anson’s job poses too much of a risk to her heart. And Anson has no plans to get involved with someone who’s planning on leaving.

Buy Links | Harlequin | B&N | Booksamillion | Amazon | Indie bound | Walmart

Makenna Lee is an award-winning romance author living in the Texas Hill Country with her real-life hero and their two children. Her oldest son has Down syndrome and taught her to appreciate the little things, and he inspired one of her novels. As a child, she played in the woods, looked for fairies under toadstools, and daydreamed. Her writing journey began when she mentioned all her story ideas, and her husband asked why she wasn’t writing them down. The next day she bought a laptop, started her first book, and knew she’d found her passion. Now, Makenna is often drinking coffee while writing, reading, or plotting a new story. Her wish is to write books that touch your heart, making you feel, think, and dream. She enjoys renaissance festivals, nature photography, studying herbal medicine, and usually listens to Celtic music while writing. She writes for Harlequin and Entangled Publishing and believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Author Links |Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest

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Blitz | We Don’t Talk Anymore by Julie Johnson

We Don’t Talk Anymore
Julie Johnson
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

For as long as I can remember, Archer Reyes has been by my side. My closest confidant. My truest ally. My best friend.

That is, until the summer we turned seventeen, when I started picturing him as something else entirely.

The love of my life.

I knew confessing my feelings wasn’t going to be easy; I had no idea he’d reject me so cruelly… or that he was only breaking my heart to save my life.

It’s been 365 days since I told my best friend I loved him.
365 days since he didn’t say it back.
365 days since he lied straight to my face.
WE DON’T TALK ANYMORE is a standalone new adult romance about first love, second chances, and the lengths we go to hold onto each other when everything falls apart…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

It’s been 365 days since I told Archer Reyes I loved him.
365 days since he didn’t say it back.
Then again, it’s not like he’s said anything at all to me since that fateful day, or even looked me in the eyes during our handful of unfortunate, unavoidable encounters in a town that suddenly feels far too small for the both of us.
There was a time when we didn’t go more than a few hours without speaking. Now, a full year of silence yawns in the space between us. An entire turn around the sun, packed with experiences we haven’t whispered to one another in the rafters of the old boathouse, jammed full of memories made in each other’s absence.
He’s built a whole new life I know nothing about, surrounded by people who aren’t me. And, hey, maybe that’s partly my fault. It’s not like I’ve reached out, either. Frankly, I don’t think there’s much of anything left to say. Not after last summer.
I put my heart in his hands that hot July night — a fragile mess of hope and fear, skipping beats in the silence as I waited for his answer. And, with a single squeeze and a condescending smirk…he crushed it.
It’s been 365 days since I told my best friend I loved him.
365 days since he said he didn’t love me back.
365 days since he lied straight to my face.

Author Bio:

JULIE JOHNSON (born July 3, 1991) is a twenty-something Boston native and USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. When she’s not writing, Julie can most often be found adding stamps to her passport, drinking too much coffee, striving to conquer her Netflix queue, and Instagramming pictures of her dog. (Follow her: @author_julie)

She published her debut novel LIKE GRAVITY in August 2013, just before her senior year of college, and she’s never looked back. Since, she has published more than a dozen other novels, including the bestselling BOSTON LOVE STORY series and THE GIRL DUET. Her books have appeared on Kindle and iTunes Bestseller lists around the world, as well as in AdWeek, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today.

Be on the lookout for her new series, THE FORBIDDEN ROYALS TRILOGY, now available at all e-retailers!

You can find Julie on Facebook or contact her on her website http://www.juliejohnsonbooks.com. Sometimes, when she can figure out how Twitter works, she tweets from @AuthorJulie. For major book news and updates, subscribe to Julie’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bnWtHH

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Blog Tour | After Hours Redemption by Kianna Alexander

Their red-hot reunion is off the charts!

They made passionate music together. Has this heartbreaker changed his tune?

Songwriter Eden Voss had the perfect man—sexy, charming, talented and hers. Until record executive Blaine Woodson broke her heart to save his fledging label. Now music’s bad boy is back, begging for her songwriting skills in his studio…and her lovemaking skills after hours. Eden vows to keep things strictly business this time. But there is nothing professional about the heat still between them…

BUY LINKS | B&N | Amazon | Google | Indie Bound | Harlequin | Goodreads

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Second chance romances can be a bit hit or miss for me but when I saw that this one was set within the music industry I knew I wanted to give it a go. I really enjoyed it and found it to be a really quick read. I loved Eden and how strong she is and really felt her voice was great throughout the story. The pacing of Alexander’s writing was fantastic and easily made this a book read in one or two sittings.

I did really like how this second chance romance progressed, though I would have liked Blaine to come around to realizing things about the past and his actions. Saying that, his being oblivious could be reasonable too – sometimes people have blind spots that they don’t see. All in all it was a great story and an enjoyable romance.

Like any good Southern belle, Kianna Alexander wears many hats: loving wife, doting mama, advice-dispensing sister, and gabbing girlfriend. She’s a voracious reader, an amateur seamstress and occasional painter in oils. Chocolate, American history, sweet tea, and Idris Elba are a few of her favorite things. A native of the TarHeel state, Kianna still lives there with her husband, two kids, and a collection of well-loved vintage 80’s Barbie dolls.

Author links | Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Blog Tour | A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe | Excerpt

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

Buy Link | Macmillan

Today I’m thrilled to be able to share an excerpt from the book!

My mother was screaming at the Comte. Again.

I slammed the front doors behind me and walked down the carriageway, under the dappled shade of the pop- lars that lined it. A hundred paces away, I still heard her, though at least I could no longer hear the Comte’s frantic endearments and low, rapid pleading. He should know by now that wasn’t the way. Perhaps I should tell him. Adrien was the first of my mother’s patrons I had ever liked, and I did not want to leave Normandy just as spring was break- ing. Just as we were beginning to make progress.

Though perhaps we were not. Mother would not be screaming at the Comte if the work were going well. She would not take the time. Alchemy was a demanding sci- ence, even if some scoffed and called it charlatanry or magic. It required total concentration. If the work were going well, the Comte would scarcely exist to her, nor

would I, now that she would not let me be of use. The com- position must have broken again. This was about when it had, last round. I could not be certain, since she had taken away my key to the laboratory. She could hardly have de- vised a worse insult than that if she had tried, and lately she did seem to be trying. The laboratory was mine as much as it was hers. If she did succeed in producing the White Elixir—which turned all metals into silver—then it was only because of my help. She had found Jābir’s text languishing in a Spanish monastery, but it had been I who translated it when her Arabic wasn’t nearly up to the job. I had labored for months over the calcinary furnace to make the philosophic mercury the text took as its starting point. I had the scars on my hands and arms to prove it. And now that success might be close, she wished to shut me out and deny my part, and claim it for herself alone.

But if she was acting ill and cross, it meant she had failed. A low, smug hum of satisfaction warmed me. I didn’t want the work to fail, but I didn’t want her to suc- ceed without me, either.

A distant smashing sound rang out from the chateau. My mother shattering something against the wall, no doubt.

I sighed and shifted my letter box to the crook of my other arm.

I knew what this meant. Another move. Another man. The Comte had lasted longer than the rest. Over two years, long enough that I had begun to hope I would not have to do it all again. I hated the uncertainty of those first weeks, before I knew what was expected of me, whether Mother’s new patron had a temper and what might set it off, whether he liked children to speak or be silent. Though I was no

longer a child, and that might bring its own problems. A chill passed over me, despite the warm afternoon sunshine. God only knew what the next one would be like. My mother had already run through so many of them. And with the recent changes in France, there were fewer rich men than ever looking to give patronage to an expensive alchemist, even one as beautiful and famous as Marguerite Hope.

I veered off the carriageway, into the soft spring grass, dotted here and there with the first of the lavender anemo- nes. I sat by the stream, under the plum tree.

There was no screaming here, no pleading, no signs that my life was about to change for the worse. I inhaled the soft, sweet scent of plum blossoms and opened my letter box. If this was to be my last spring in Normandy, I wanted to re- member it like this. Springtime in Normandy was soft and sweet, sun shining brightly and so many things blossoming that the very air was perfumed with promise. Everything was coming extravagantly to life, bursting out of the dead ground and bare trees with so much energy other impos- sible things seemed likely, too. I had always been hopeful in Normandy when it was spring. Especially last spring, when Will was still here. When we sat under this very tree, drank both bottles of champagne he had stolen from the cellars, and spun tales of everything we could achieve.

I took out his last letter, dated two months ago.

Dear Bee,

This is my address now—as you see I’ve left Prussia. It turns out that everything they say about the Prussians is quite true. I’ve never met a more unbending man than my patron

there. One day past the appointed date and he tried to throw me in prison for breach of contract! He thinks alchemy can be held to the same strict schedule as his serfs.

Laws against false alchemists were very harsh in Ger- many, as Will knew full well when he sought patronage there. I had begged him to go somewhere else, though he had few enough choices. He was my mother’s apprentice, with no achievements of his own to make his reputation. His training had been cut abruptly short when Mother found us together under this plum tree, watching the sun- rise with clasped hands and two empty bottles of cham- pagne. She’d seen to it that Will was gone by noon. It was no use telling her that all we’d done was talk through the night, or that the one kiss we’d shared had been our first, and had gone no further. He had behaved with perfect re- spect for me, but she wouldn’t believe it. My mother had imagined a whole path laid before my feet in that moment, and scorched it from the earth with Greek fire.

I turned to the next page.

I blame myself, of course, Bee, for not heeding your advice. I can picture your face now, wondering what I expected. It would almost be worth all the trouble I’ve caused myself if I could come to you and see your expression. You must be the only woman in the world who is never lovelier than when you’ve been proven right.

The keen thrill of pleasure those words had brought me when I first read them had faded now, and left me feeling uncertain. Should I write back knowingly, teasing him for his recklessness? I had tried this, and was sure I sounded like a scold no matter what he said about my loveliness when proven right. I took out my latest draft, which struck a more sincere tone. I read the lines over, saying how I worried for him, how I missed him. I crumpled it in my hand halfway through. Too much emotion. It didn’t do to show such dependence on a man. My mother had shown me that. I didn’t wish to emulate her in everything, but I would be a fool to deny her skill at winning masculine devotion. I tried again.

Dear Will,

I am sitting under the plum tree where we had our last picnic. I know how you feel about nostalgia, but I hope you will forgive me this one instance. I fear this will be our last spring in Normandy—perhaps even in France. Many of my mother’s friends have left already, and though you may well condemn

them as reactionaries, the fact remains that there are very few good Republicans with the ready cash to pay for our pursuits.

I sighed again and crumpled the page. Somehow I could never seem to write to him about the Revolution without a touch of irony creeping in. I didn’t want that. Will had put his hopes for a better world in the new order, and even though I was less hopeful than he, I loved him for it. At least he wanted a better world. Most alchemists simply wanted better metals.

I tried to imagine he was here. It wouldn’t be difficult then. He was so good at setting me at ease. His admira- tion was as intoxicating as wine, but unlike wine it sharp- ened my wits instead of dulling them. I was never cleverer than when Will was there to laugh with me.

My chest constricted at the memory of Will’s laugh. I didn’t know anyone who laughed like him. The Parisian aristocrats I had known all had so much consciousness of the sound they made when they did it. The Comte wasn’t like them, but he was a serious man and laughed rarely. My mother didn’t laugh at all.

But Will. He laughed like it came from the loud, bursting core of him. Like he couldn’t have kept it in if he wanted to, and why would he want to? And when he was done laughing, he would look at me like no one else ever had. Like he saw only me, not as an accessory to my mother, but as myself. And not as an odd girl whose sharp edges would need to be softened. Will liked the edges. The sharper they cut, the more they delighted him.

“Thea!”

I threw my letters into the letter box and snapped it shut. I looked around for somewhere to hide the box, and noticed too late that one of my crumpled drafts had blown toward the stream. My mother appeared on the hill above me, the late afternoon sun lighting up her golden hair like an unearned halo. She walked down the hill with measured steps and stopped a few yards above me, I assumed because she wished to enjoy the experi- ence of being taller than me again for a few moments. Her eye moved to the crumpled paper. I ran to it and stuffed it into my pocket before she could take it, though

my haste in hiding the failed letter told her all I didn’t wish her to know.

“Oh dear,” said my mother. “I do hope you haven’t been wasting your afternoon trying to find the right words to say to that boy.”

My mother was tolerant of my letter writing these days, perhaps because she was confident I would never see Will again. She had smiled when she heard of Will’s contract in Prussia. He won’t find it so easy to charm his way past the Prussian alchemy laws. In Germany, one must deliver results, not pretty smiles, or end in prison.

“I wouldn’t have an afternoon to waste if you would let me into the laboratory,” I said.

“Don’t be pitiful, Thea,” said my mother. “Surely you can think of something worthwhile to do when I don’t happen to need your assistance.”

I clenched my teeth so tight that my jaw ached. Shut- ting me out of the laboratory, our laboratory, was the great- est injustice she had ever committed against me. Worse than all the moving about, worse than sending Will away, worse than any insult she could think to level at me. Before she had done that, I believed we were together in alchemy at least, even if nothing else. That she had raised and trained me not simply to be of use to her, but to be her partner. Her equal, one day. Throwing me out of the lab- oratory just when we might achieve what we had worked for told me that Will was right. She would never let me claim credit for my part of the work. She would never ac- cept me as an alchemist in my own right.

And yet she described it as though she had simply let me off my chores. As if I were no more necessary than a

servant. There was no point in arguing with her, but even so I could not let it stand.

“I am not your assistant,” I said.

“Oh?” she asked. “Do you have news, then? Have you found a patron on your own merits? Do you intend to strike out on your own?”

“Perhaps I will,” I said, my face growing hot. “Perhaps I will stay here when you are finally finished tormenting the poor Comte.”

My mother had a perfect, deceptively sweet beauty: golden blond and blue-eyed with a round, doll-like face. It made the venom that sometimes twisted her expression hard to quite believe in. Many men simply didn’t. They preferred to ignore the evidence of their minds for the evidence of their senses. I, of course, knew her better than they did. I tensed, preparing.

But instead of lashing out, my mother turned aside, a hand to her chest. A tremor passed over her; she bowed her head against it.

Mother had been strangely unwell for weeks. At first I responded to her illness as she had taught me to, with distaste and disapproval, as though falling sick were an ill-considered pastime of those with insufficient moral for- titude. But if she noticed how unpleasant it was to receive so little sympathy when unwell, she did not show it. She had locked herself away in the laboratory every day until late at night, ignoring my silence as much as she ignored the Comte’s pleas that she rest. I had not thought much of it until this moment. Any pain great enough to turn her from chastising me for thinking I could do alchemy with- out her must be serious indeed.

“Mother?” I asked.

“You will go where I tell you.” Her voice was low and breathless, almost a gasp. “For now, that is to dinner. Wear the green taffeta.”

“The robe à la française?” I asked, perplexed. I hadn’t worn that dress since before the Estates General met. Its style was the hallmark of the ancien régime: wide pan- niered hips, structured bodice, and elaborate flounces. “But it’s out of fashion.”

“So is our guest,” said my mother.

She went up the hill again, then turned back to me at the top.

“Thea,” she said, all the sharpness gone from her voice. “I know you do not believe it any longer, but everything I do is for you.”

It was the sort of thing she always said. Before this year, I had always believed it, more or less. At least, everything she did was for the both of us. She had considered me an extension of herself, so that doing things for me was no different than doing them for herself. Why else take so much care to train me, to see to it that I had the tutors I needed to learn every language necessary—more even than she knew? To take me with her in all her travels to seek out manuscripts? She was an impatient teacher at times, but a good one. A thorough one. And in turn I was a good student. The best.

Until we were close to our goal. Then, suddenly, I was a rival. And my mother did not tolerate rivals.

“You are right, Mother,” I said. “I don’t believe that any longer.”

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

Social Links | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour | Sisters of the Moon by Alexandrea Weis | Review

Sisters of the Moon
Alexandrea Weis
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 22nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

** A Novella ***

A monstrous fate will turn a girl into a legend.

On an island in Lake Obersee, where The Sisters of St. Gertrude abide, a destitute Moor named Durra arrives. Sold for taxes, she and her two companions tend to the nuns and their collection of cats. At night, she combs the library for details on the order, the remote island, and the beasts howling outside her window.

But when a prank reveals the sisters’ gruesome secret, Durra is forced to accept a new fate. Bestowed an unearthly power, she must choose between life as a nun or living among the monsters beyond the convent walls.

Her path is about to change the tide in the ultimate war. The war between good and evil.

Goodreads / Amazon


I wasn’t expecting this book to be horror, I knew it had paranormal elements, but I’m so glad that it was horror and that I wasn’t fully aware of that going in – it made the reading experience so much better. As soon as I started reading this story I couldn’t put it down and found it to be a quick and well paced read.

This was perfectly suited to the spooky mood I’ve been in and seeing these girls who have been sold to pay tax debts be able to empower themselves and grow was an added bonus. I really enjoyed it’s gothic feel and the way it used history to display how women were treated. In a way this story dismantles that in some way, giving them power. In that way I really enjoyed the kind of dual layers of this story, while also fully enjoying the horror aspects as well.

Author Bio:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.

Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. http://www.AlexandreaWeis.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter


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Blog Tour | The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor | Review

In this contemporary romcom retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma by USA TODAY bestselling author Jillian Cantor, there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

BUY LINKS | Harlequin  | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Books-A-Million | Walmart | Google | iBooks | Kobo

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Full disclaimer – of all of Jane Austen’s books, Emma is my least favorite. I don’t dislike it, but I have a weakness for being drawn to retellings of it to see if I like a reworking of the story itself. I really enjoyed this take on it and in some ways can completely empathize with Emma’s opinion that math can be easier to understand and communicate with than people. The idea of Emma having to kind of figure out herself after the one person she felt comfortable with, her sister, decided to move away for college was a great starting point. Not only does she not know anything about love, but she doesn’t know how to be by herself and be ok in her own skin by herself. It was a touch predictable who would be end game, but that didn’t effect the reading experience. The romance was slow burn as they moved through the story and the pace of writing made for a quick read. This was definitely a re-working of Emma that I really enjoyed and suited the modern setting.

Jillian Cantor is the author of award-winning and bestselling novels for adults and teens, including In Another Time, The Hours Count, Margot, and The Lost Letter, which was a USA Today bestseller. She has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Cantor lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

SOCIAL LINKS | Author Website: https://www.jilliancantor.com/ | TWITTER: @JillianCantor | Facebook: @AuthorJillianCantor |
Insta: @JillianCantor |
Goodreads: ttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1651861.Jillian_Cantor

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Blitz | The Magic Ingredient by Lindy Miller

The Magic Ingredient
Lindy Miller
(A Bar Harbor Holiday Novel)
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 13th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The end of summer is approaching, but even at the height of Bar Harbor’s tourist season, Eve Silver is having a hard time keeping enough money in the bank to sustain the family business. Her only hope of paying past due bills is to win the catering bid for the town’s upcoming Harvest Happening Festival. Otherwise, it’ll be lights out for Mount Desserts & Tea by Christmas.

Widower Jeff Parish is moving with his twelve-year-old daughter, Candy, from Manhattan to Maine with one goal: starting over. When sparks fly between Jeff and Eve as the town readies for the annual harvest festival, Candy wishes she had a love potion to help her dad fall in love again.

Will Eve be able to save Mount Desserts & Tea—and open her heart to Jeff—by the most bewitching night of the year? It’ll take a lot of love, a little bit of luck … and just a pinch of magic.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Part of eating a cupcake was the experience, and in Eve’s opinion, a little extra frosting on your face made it all the more gratifying. Her mouth filled with the taste of vanilla, chocolate, and marshmallow, all of the flavors intermingling just as she’d planned. Still, something seemed off. It wasn’t enough to toss the batch out, but in Eve’s opinion, the recipe hadn’t quite reached perfection.

Eve swallowed, wiping away the frosting from her nose. “It’s not perfect.”

“It’s incredible,” Jeff countered before he shoved the rest of the cupcake into his mouth.

He had a dollop of frosting on his nose, which made Eve smile despite her frustration at the recipe. “I don’t know if I believe your verdict, but at least you didn’t call it glitzy.”

Jeff mumbled something that sounded like idtellinguidperfek around the mouthful of pastry.

“Something is missing. Something small, a flavor that isn’t quite there. It’s not major, but enough that I notice.” Eve wiped her hands on a dishcloth and leaned against the counter, crossing her arms over her chest in frustration. “I don’t know why I can’t get it right. Maybe I’m not as great a baker as I think I am. It shouldn’t take so many tries to get a recipe correct. Not if you know what you’re doing.”

Jeff wiped his face and leveled his gaze at Eve as he stepped closer. “I don’t think that’s true at all. You’re a fantastic baker. You’re a fantastic lot of things.”

He was so close now Eve could smell his scent—musky and warm, with notes of pine and sandalwood. An inviting smell. Eve wondered how she’d never noticed it before. Then again, the more she felt drawn to Jeff the more she’d tried to keep her distance, kind of like reaching her goal—one step forward, two back.

“Really?” she asked, hoping she sounded interested and not incredulous. She didn’t want to offend someone offering her a compliment, even if she didn’t believe it. “I try so hard and I feel like I come up short.”

“Doing everything on your own isn’t easy, and I can see how you might think that you’re failing, but you’re looking at the situation the wrong way.”

Eve shook her head and kept her eyes downcast, even when Jeff’s hand found her shoulder, sliding down to cup her upper arm. His touch sent a tingle down her flesh and she resisted the urge to look up.

“Is there another way?”

“Instead of focusing on what you’re not doing well, think of all the things you are amazing at. Try to see yourself as …”

He paused.

Eve wondered if he’d changed his mind about whatever it was he was going to say.

Jeff cleared his throat and started over. “Try to see yourself the way I see you. Like Candy does, and Doris and Annie. And Bapo, for what it’s worth.”

Eve snickered, despite herself. “You’re never going to get tired of ribbing him, are you?”

“Never.” Jeff’s hand slid further down her arm to rest on her elbow. “My point remains.”

The place where Jeff’s hand rested on her arm pulsed. “How do you all see me?”

“We see someone who works hard every single day, around the clock, never taking any time for herself. Who gives her all to everything she does, even when it seems impossible, and who makes everyone feel needed and wanted when she’s around simply by being there.” Jeff stepped in closer. His heat brushed up against her chest. “It isn’t about finding the perfect recipe for a new confection or keeping the family business around for another generation, Eve. It’s about you. You make Mount Desserts worth saving. And I believe in you. We all do, even if you don’t believe in yourself.”

When Eve finally looked up, she found herself staring into Jeff’s eyes. They were warmer and sweeter than any chocolate ganache she’d ever made.

His free hand found its way to her other elbow and she allowed herself to be drawn from the counter. Jeff pulled her into his embrace, his hands releasing her elbows to slide around the small of her back, holding her close.

There was no denying the butterflies now.


Author Bio:

Lindy Miller is an author of feel-good love stories that are full of sweet moments and happy endings. She believes the best time to fall in love is during the holidays, preferably over a cup of warm tea or a delicious vegan pastry – two things she can’t get enough of.

A free spirit, Lindy loves to travel and has a soft spot for Bar Harbor, Maine though she grew up at home in the South. She is married to her childhood sweetheart and bakes as often as she can for her husband, son, and pets – especially her golden retriever, Finn, who has a tendency to show up in her stories (and her Instagram!)

Lindy is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

Member Romantic Novelist Association (RNA).

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Blog Tour | The Love Study by Kris Ripper | Review

What happens when the search for the perfect date goes perfectly wrong? Don’t miss this charming romantic comedy from critically acclaimed author Kris Ripper.

Declan has commitment issues. He’s been an office temp for literally years now, and his friends delight in telling people that he left his last boyfriend at the altar.

And that’s all true. But he’s starting to think it’s time to start working on his issues. Maybe.

When Declan meets Sidney—a popular nonbinary YouTuber with an advice show—an opportunity presents itself: as part of The Love Study, Declan will go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back on how the date went in the next episode.

The dates are…sort of blah. It’s not Sidney’s fault; the folks participating are (mostly) great people, but there’s no chemistry there. Maybe Declan’s just broken.

Or maybe the problem is that the only person he’s feeling chemistry with is Sidney.

Buy Links | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Google | Kobo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this story and found it cute and entertaining, while also wonderfully inclusive. While it was very obviously a sweet rom-com there were also a lot of moments that were deeper and more introspective, especially for Declan. Seeing him and Sidney explore relationships and their perceptions of what dating and relationships are was both hilarious and heart warming. I did kindof want Declan to show more growth over the entire story, but not everyone can do that.

The cast was both racially and sexually diverse, and I loved how that cast of characters fit together and interacted. Overall it was a story I really enjoyed, and feel multiple age groups could enjoy this book as the steamier portions were fade to black, so it’s something YA readers could enjoy as well if they don’t like explicit scenes.

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and zir pronouns are ze/zir. Kris shares a converted garage with a kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Author Links | www.krisripper.com | Twitter.com/Kris_Ripper | www.Facebook.com/groups/rippersirregulars | www.Instagram.com/krisripper | www.goodreads.com/author/show/8053438.Kris_Ripper

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | The Ice In Our Hearts by B.C. Powell | Review

The Ice in Our Hearts
BC Powell
Publication date: August 20th 2020
Genres: Romance, Sports, Young Adult

Bryce is a snowboarding sensation, a cocky teenager from California with a giant chip on his shoulder called Type 1 diabetes. He competes because he has something to prove.

Daria is a rising star in figure skating, a withdrawn teen from Russia with a tragic past. She competes to provide her family with a better life.

Primed to overthrow archrivals who dominate their sports, they’re both headed to the Winter Olympics. But soon after arriving at the Games, a flurry of ill-timed setbacks threatens to shatter their dreams.

When two teens from halfway around the world meet, they discover an unlikely but undeniable connection. As they gear up for their final shots at medals, they help each other realize the greatest barrier to the top of the podium might be hiding inside their minds.

Take a breathtaking ride with Bryce and Daria as they find true understanding, try to overcome the bitterness of their pasts, and share a romance more meaningful than winning gold.

Written by the parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes.

Goodreads / Amazon


I really enjoyed this story about two teens from different sides of the world coming together and falling in love, but I also really enjoyed that the story wasn’t as simple as that. Both of them had their own struggles and worries that they were living with and working through and because of that, while they had similar goals they had different motivations. It was great to see the differences in their personalities work together.

Also, it’s really obvious that this book is incredibly well researched and thoughtfully put together. There were points that perhaps people not versed in certain topics may struggle with, but overall it was really well done.

Author Bio:

BC Powell is a fantasy author from Los Angeles, CA. Described as “a stunning fantasy adventure,” “incredibly original,” and “a wild ride,” his debut science fiction fantasy novel “Krymzyn” was published in October, 2014. “The Infinite Expanse”, the highly anticipated second book in “The Journals of Krymzyn” series, was released in March, 2015.

Powell has a diverse background, having held several creative positions in the entertainment industry, including an executive role at ABC-TV, but writing fiction has been his lifelong passion. “The Journals of Krymzyn” represents, in his words, “finally finding the amazing story I want to tell with characters who are able to bring the story to life.”

He dual majored in journalism and philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. When he’s not writing, he can often be found hiking the hills of Southern California, daydreaming on the beach, or ocean kayaking. He credits his three sons, two currently in college and one in high school, as his inspiration for writing in the new adult genre.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Blitz | Romancing the Holidays Anthology

Romancing the Holidays: A First Coast Romance Writers Holiday Anthology
Publication date: September 22nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A dozen ways to fall in love at the holidays…

Come celebrate the holidays with these dozen unique romances, ranging from sweet to steamy and all ending with a happily-ever-after. This anthology of short stories, written by multi-award-winning authors, including New York Times best-selling author, Alyssa Day, will transport you from Labor Day and Halloween antics to Christmas and Valentine romantics. Its stories will whisk you away into contemporary, historical, and paranormal worlds where love prevails. So, savor the authors featured in this enchanting book and bet your heart on some romantic cheer while you enjoy these twelve ways to fall in love.

Proceeds from this novel benefit First Coast Romance Writers, a non-profit chapter of Romance Writers of America that helps writers hone their craft and expand their knowledge of the publishing industry. A portion of the proceeds are also donated to FeedAmerica.org.

Goodreads / Amazon

SNEAK PEEKS:

“Faking it for the Holidays” by Lia Davis:

Julius probably shouldn’t be as happy as he was about his parents going on a cruise the week of Christmas. But he was. For the first time since he met his best friend and future wife—although she didn’t know that yet—he would be able to spend a normal, quiet, holiday season with Tara.

Just the two of them.

Was it wrong that he wanted to spend Christmas with his best friend, alone?

They didn’t have to listen to his parents, especially his mom, go on and on about how they should get married and give her beautiful grandbabies. It was embarrassing and made things awkward between them for the whole trip to Oregon to spend Christmas with his parents.

Tara had always been fantastic about his crazy family, which made her even more perfect for him. She never complained. She fit right in with them and humored his mom when she started in about the future of their lives and how they weren’t getting any younger.

The whole thing made him hesitate to ask Tara to marry him. He didn’t want her to think he was pressured into proposing, which he wasn’t. He loved her from the moment they met as kids.

He wanted to show her how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, without the pressure of his family lurking and watching them. Yessir, this year was going to be different.

He had Tara to himself.

His cell rang and he snatched it up from the kitchen counter where he was prepping movie-night snacks for him and Tara. It was their usual Saturday night “date” to make fun of bad movies. Not looking at the screen and thinking it was Tara, he said, “You better not be backing out on tonight.”

There was a long few moments of silence. Jules’ heart dropped to his feet. She wasn’t coming over. He’d spent all week gathering the courage to finally tell her how he felt. That he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and not as just her best friend. He wanted more. “Tara?”

“Oh, no silly. It’s your mother. Don’t you check the caller ID?”

Damn. “Mom. How are you? Are you on the ship?”

She let out a disappointing sigh. “Sadly, no. The cruise was canceled last minute. That means we’re staying home for Christmas. You’re coming, right?”

“An Elf’s Challenge” by Vickey Wollan

“Why are you being so nice to me?” She stared straight at him and lifted her chin. Angelina was determined not to be the first one to blink. Then, she noticed he hadn’t blinked either.

“I can do this all day. Remember, sawdust in my eyes regularly – no biggie.” Zack raised his lids and brought his nose inches from hers. “You had me at operational efficiency. I’m hoping you’ll return the favor, let me into the Paint Drying Zone.” He winked.

Angelina’s mouth went dry. No amount of soda could fix it. “Of course!” Oh, dear. What did I just do? What will my father think of me bringing a dust-covered woodworker into the paint shop?


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