Blog Tour | Meet Me in Madrid by Verity Lowell | Review

In this sexy, sophisticated romantic comedy, two women juggle romance and career across continents.

Charlotte Hilaire has a love-hate relationship with her work as a museum courier. On the one hand, it takes her around the world. On the other, her plan to become a professor is veering dangerously off track.

Yet once in a while, maybe every third trip or so, the job goes delightfully sideways…

When a blizzard strands Charlotte in Spain for a few extra days and she’s left with glorious free time on her hands, the only question is: Dare she invite her grad school crush for an after-dinner drink on a snowy night?

Accomplished, take-no-prisoners art historian Adrianna Coates has built an enviable career since Charlotte saw her last. She’s brilliant. Sophisticated. Impressive as hell and strikingly beautiful.

Hospitable, too, as she absolutely insists Charlotte spend the night on her pullout sofa as the storm rages on.

One night becomes three and three nights become a hot and adventurous long-distance relationship when Charlotte returns to the States. But when Adrianna plots her next career move just as Charlotte finally opens a door in academia, distance may not be the only thing that keeps them apart.

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really wanted to love this book as the premise really intrigued me, but it didn’t quite get there for me. It was definitely enjoyable and a super cute romance with a lot of steam, but the pacing in some places was very slow.

I did really enjoy the characters in relation to their occupations and reasons for being in Spain, this felt very well researched (or just being knowledgeable in the subject) and gave a new dimension to the characters outside of the romance. Their romance was a tad instalove, but in this instance that was understandable since they had known each other before this book takes place.

All in all it was an enjoyable read, but there were spots where I struggled a little bit to get through it. It was a cute story and the romance was fun in the end.

Verity Lowell is a professor and occasional curator who writes queer of color romance. She likes imagining and describing a world where art, ambition, and history provide the background for diverse and steamy love stories, mostly about women falling hard for women. She and her partner and their cats live in New England and sometimes elsewhere.

Find Verity Lowell Online | Website | Goodreads

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Secrets of a One Night Stand by Naima Simone | Review

She said yes to one night with a stranger… Now she’s pregnant and that stranger is her boss! Only in this Billionaires of Boston romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Naima Simone.

She told herself it was one night. Nothing more.

But her heart knew the truth…

Finding out her previous one-night fling is her new boss is the shock of Mycah Hill’s lifetime. She can’t say no to being VP for software CEO Achilles Farrell—she’s finally made her career dream come true. But knowing he’s so close… It’s only a matter of time before she’s back in his arms. It can’t end well. Achilles’s tortured family history means he’s not up for sticking around long-term. But Mycah’s surprise pregnancy is about to change everything…

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m fairly new to Naima Simone’s writing, having only read one other book by her so far, but I’m thoroughly enjoying her writing. The way she crafts and describes her characters no only gives you a full image of them in your mind, but it makes you feel emotionally for them as well. As a pair I really enjoyed Mycah and Achilles – both of them have their own struggles independently but also some struggles that they have to work through together. There are a fair number of tropes in this one but not to the point that I minded them. I don’t always like those that use surprise baby situations, but I felt this one was both realistic and understandable. Overall I really enjoyed their story and liked the experience of their relationship.

USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Published since 2009, she spends her days writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. 

She is wife to Superman–or his non-Kryptonian equivalent–and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern US.

Connect with the Author | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour | Redemption on Rivers Ranch by Kathy Douglass

The return of his childhood friend

leads to the fresh start he never expected

Horse rancher Carson Rivers has his own emotional demons. There’s no place in his life for a divorced single mom pulling at his heartstrings. But when Gabriella Tucker and her adorable children move next door—the place of her favorite childhood memories—Carson’s tempted to help the heart-guarded beauty make more adult memories. Maybe Gabriella and her kids are the healing balm he’s been yearning for…

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Buy Links | Harlequin.com | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this sweet friends to lovers romance. Sometimes it can be hard when a romance includes kids, but I felt the inclusion of Gabriella’s kids and how Carson interacted with them was really well done. The writing style was easy to read and made this a quick and fun read. Though the steam level is relatively low it was still a great story. The characters and their emotional baggage was really well written and their actions were believable as they moved from friends to lovers.

Kathy Douglass came by her love of reading naturally – both of her parents were readers. She would finish one book and pick up another. Then she attended law school and traded romances for legal opinions.

After the birth of her two children, her love of reading turned into a love of writing. Kathy now spends her days writing the small town contemporary novels she enjoys reading.

Kathy loves to hear from her readers and can be found on Facebook.

Connect with the Author | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub | Goodreads

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Review | Running Out of Time by Cindi Myers

When a terrorist is on the loose, the Tactical Crime Division is on the case.

To find out who poisoned medications, two of TCD’s agents are tapped to go undercover posing as a married couple and infiltrate the company. But as soon as Jace Cantrell and Laura Smith arrive at Stroud Pharmaceuticals, someone ups the ante by planting explosives in their midst. Turns out that the small-town family business is hiding a million secrets. Could they unknowingly be protecting a vengeful killer?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve really enjoyed every installment in this series, including this one. As with the others, the romance is less important than the suspense, but I found this one to have a good balance between the two. It was fun to watch two characters who are in some ways opposites work together and grown a relationship. I felt this one was especially realistic in it’s portrayal of events and relationships between people. All in all I really felt it was fitting end to the series and though it could be read by itself, I would recommend reading all four books.

Happy reading!

Review | The Beautiful Things Shoppe by Philip William Stover

Their collections may clash but their hearts are a perfect match.

Moving to eclectic New Hope, Pennsylvania, and running The Beautiful Things Shoppe is a dream come true for elegant and reserved fine arts dealer Prescott J. Henderson. He never agreed to share the space with Danny Roman, an easygoing extrovert who collects retro toys and colorful knickknacks.

And yet here they are, trapped together in the quaint shop as they scramble to open in time for New Hope’s charming Winter Festival.

Danny has spent years leading with his heart instead of his head. The Beautiful Things Shoppe is his chance to ground himself and build something permanent and joyful. The last thing he needs is an uptight snob who doesn’t appreciate his whimsy occupying half his shop.

It’s only when two of New Hope’s historic landmarks—each as different as Danny and Prescott—are threatened that a tentative alliance forms. And with it, the first blush of romance. Suddenly, running The Beautiful Things Shoppe together doesn’t seem so bad…until Danny’s secret threatens to ruin it all.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

After reading The Hideaway Inn (the first book in the series) I definitely wanted to pick this one up as well, and I’m not disappointed that I did. This is definitely hate to love and what a fun time it was, while also being really genuine and exploring those moments where someone may not be ready to share their full selves with someone, and overcoming that. I felt it was a really enjoyable story with some wonderfully crafted characters. I would definitely read more in the series if any more were to come out.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley | Review

Kara Sullivan is definitely not avoiding her deadline. After all, it’s the week of her best friend’s wedding and she’s the maid of honor, so she’s got lots of responsibilities. As a bestselling romance novelist with seven novels under her belt, she’s a pro and looming deadlines and writer’s block (which she definitely doesn’t have) don’t scare her. She’s just eager to support Cristina as she ties the knot with Jason.

But who should show up at Cristina and Jason’s rehearsal dinner but Kara’s college ex-boyfriend, (the gorgeous and infuriating) Ryan? Apparently, he’s one of Jason’s childhood friends, and he’s in the wedding party, too. Considering neither Kara nor Ryan were prepared to see each other again, it’s decidedly a meet-NOT-cute. There is nothing cute about this situation, and a bit of notice to mentally prepare would’ve been nice, Cristina! However, when Kara sits down to write again the next day, her writers’ block is suddenly gone. She has to wonder what’s changed. Are muses real…? And is Kara’s muse…Ryan?

Buy Links | BookShop.org | Harlequin  | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Books-A-Million | Powell’s

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this fun rom com and the second chance romance that it featured. I wanted to read this book as soon as I read the blurb for it and it gave me exactly what I was looking for. It did start off a little slow, but then really got going and ended up being quite a page turner for me. The writing is witty and the banter between the main characters was one of the best parts of the book. There were certainly some situations that seemed a little unrealistic in some ways, but it’s meant to be a fun romance and it definitely meets that criteria. If you’re looking for a fun romance that is definitely a bookish book, then this one is one for you.

KATE BROMLEY lives in New York City with her husband, son, and her somewhat excessive collection of romance novels (It’s not hoarding if it’s books, right?). She was a preschool teacher for seven years and is now focusing full-time on combining her two great passions – writing swoon-worthy love stories and making people laugh. Talk Bookish to Me is her first novel.

Social Links | Author Website | Twitter: @kbromleywrites | Instagram: @katebromleywrites | Facebook: @katebromleywrites | Goodreads

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Review | A California Christmas by Brenda Novak

Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace—and anonymity—in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man anytime soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.

Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.

Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last—possibly forever. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was excited to pick this one up as I do enjoy books set at Christmas time, or centered around holidays. While this one does have Christmas in the title, it isn’t necessarily a Christmas story and could be read any time of the year. I really enjoyed how the characters had to grow and face their own difficulties before figuring out if they could take the chance to be together. The chemistry between Emery and Dallas was incredibly crafted and really great to read. Their individual journeys and working through their own roadblocks really added to the story.

I would definitely want to pick up other books in the series to see how they connect, but I would say that you don’t have to have read the series to read this book. I’m not sure if having read the previous books would add anything, but this does work as a stand alone.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | The Trouble with Picket Fences by Teri Wilson | Review

She could teach him to turn lemons into lemonade.

All her life, Melanie Carlisle knew how to succeed in the face of failure. So when she finds herself pregnant—and her ex-boyfriend bows out, claiming he’s not the “picket fence type”—Melanie is on her own. Now she has a house—with a picket fence she wants gone. Cap McBride is dealing with his own problems, what with a potentially career-ending hearing loss and his surly teenager. So the last thing he wants to do is get involved with a single pregnant woman. As for fences? The only thing he knows how to do is put them up!

Lovestruck, Vermont

Will this fence make good neighbors into something more in the latest installment of award-winning author Teri Wilson’s Lovestruck, Vermont series?

Buy Links | Harlequin | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Walmart | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is the first book I’ve read from this series, and while I do feel it can be read as a stand alone, it may be better if they are read in order as there are probably things in this book that spoil things in the first couple books. That being said I really enjoyed this very sweet love story. The love aspect did happen very quickly, but that doesn’t mean the story was over at that point. Our main characters legitimately have obstacles they have to overcome in their relationship and lives and I felt like the positivity that was reflected throughout the story played off of this well. I really enjoyed the writing style and pacing, which made this a quick and enjoyable read.

USA Today Bestselling Author Teri Wilson writes heartwarming romance with a touch of whimsy. Three of Teri’s books have been adapted into Hallmark Channel Original Movies, including UNLEASHING MR. DARCY (plus its sequel MARRYING MR. DARCY), THE ART OF US and NORTHERN LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS, based on her book SLEIGH BELL SWEETHEARTS. She is also a recipient of the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction for her novel THE BACHELOR’S BABY SURPRISE.

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

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Review | The Summer Set by Aimee Agresti

The real drama happens backstage in this juicy novel about an idyllic summer theater where hot stars, has-beens and hopefuls chase roles—and each other.

Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood’s hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she’s pushing forty, exiled from the film world and back at the summer Shakespeare theater that launched her career—and where her old flame, Nick, is the artistic director.

It’s not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself getting her groove back, bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships and even reigniting her spark with Nick, who still seems to bring out the best in her despite their complicated history.

Until Charlie’s old rival, Hollywood’s current it girl, is brought in to attract theater donors, threatening to undo everything she’s built. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on the show of a lifetime to fight for the second chance she deserves in career and in love.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

While second chance romances are not always my thing, the theater setting and mentions of Shakespeare were what drew me in to read this book. I did enjoy the overall story and many of the side characters, as well as the journey our main characters went on to rediscover themselves and each other, but there were some things that took me out of the story. Our main female character does seem to have a younger voice than one would think for her age, but this may have been the intention when looking at her life as explained in the story. There were some instance where I felt that some of the side characters were almost more compelling. I did really love all of the theater talk and settings, so that was a wonderful aspect of this book. Overall it was a fun story and romance, and was an enjoyable read.

Happy reading!

Review | Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Saranna DeWylde

First in a magical new series full of edgy and hilarious antics, this is the read you need to finally give your year the fairy-tale ending it deserves! An enchanting story of love, dreams, and second chances—a delightful read for cold winter nights that fans of Christina Lauren, Tessa Bailey, and Kerry Winfrey can’t miss…

If love is the source of all the magic in the universe, and the town of Ever After, Missouri, is the epicenter of enchantment, then the locals are in dire need of a reboot. At least according to resident fairy godmothers Petunia, Jonquil, and Bluebonnet. Their solution? Blow a bit of fairy dust in the direction of those in need of romance…what could possibly go wrong?

SOME KIND OF AWFUL…
Lucky Fujiki’s first name is a cosmic joke. Her luck is so bad, even the number seven steers clear of her. But when her adorable godmothers ask for a favor, Lucky can’t say no–even if she can already feel the bad juju waiting to strike. And her mission is even worse than she imagined: to promote Ever After as a wedding destination by faking a marriage to her first love and long-time ex, Ransom Payne–he of the Embarrassing Incident that neither of them will ever live down…

OR ALL KINDS OF WONDERFUL?
Ransom Payne has spent years building an impressive new reputation for himself, and now his godmothers want him to pretend to wed the one girl he’d like most to forget? Sure, weddings in Ever After could be a huge boon for his chocolate business, but risking more up-close-and-personal time with Lucky? Considering the stakes, it’s a curse he’ll have to bear, at the risk of being humiliated–or perhaps, bewitched… 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m so glad I got the chance to pick this one up as it was exactly what I needed. It’s a fun rom com with a dash of magic and fantasy thrown in. We do get both the fake relationship trope and the second chance trope in this one, which aren’t always my favorites, but they perfectly worked in this one.

I was really pleasantly surprised at the characters themselves. Both Ransom and Lucky have their own obstacles and journeys they have to go on before they can really work on their relationship – and seeing the work being done on both of their parts was nice to see. The humor kept a lot of it light and there were moments that were very serious, so I felt there was a good balance.

I definitely feel like this is a great start to a new series and look forward to further books in the series as well as further work from Saranna DeWylde.

Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book! Happy reading!