Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blog Tour Promo for TAKE ME ALL THE WAY, a Coral Cove novel by Toni Blake with #excerpt

A Coral Cove Novel
by Toni Blake

available now from Avon Romance

You can’t go too far when you’re fighting for love…

USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author Toni Blake continues her new, heartwarming series set in the beachside town of Coral Cove. This time the town troublemaker, Jeremy Sheridan, gets his chance at love!

Tamra Day swore off men a long time ago. Her art, her friends, and her garden have always been enough…until now. Suddenly Tamra is aching for a connection. Unfortunately, Coral Cove’s most eligible bachelor is the troublemaker who’s building the mini-golf course she’s designing. Brusque and sarcastic, he’s made it a habit of annoying Tamra. But more infuriating is the fact that Tamra can’t help noticing how sexy he is.

They call him a war hero, but Jeremy Sheridan knows better. Still haunted by painful memories from Afghanistan, he’s just hoping for a fresh start. So far, the only problem is his new boss, Tamra, a control freak who’s easy on the eyes—and way too fun to tease.

Despite their differences, Tamra and Jeremy aren’t as alone as they think they are. And together, with a little Coral Cove magic, they’ll discover how good it feels to embrace a bright new future.


He was only vaguely aware of nearing a tall privacy fence, painted a weathered sort of white, before passing through the open gate. He caught sight of Tamra’s legs and tennis shoes, too, and said, “Am I about to walk into anything?”
“No, you’re good,” she said.
“Where am I going with this thing? I want to put it down once.”
“Well, I haven’t had a chance to plan for this, so it might have to be twice—unless you want to stand there holding it while I think.”
“Nope,” he said, and let it drop right in front of him on the stone.
And then he took in everything around him. It was as if he’d entered a whole new world. One of lush greenery and bright blooms. Her entire backyard was a beautiful garden. “Shit, you weren’t lying,” he said without thinking.
“About what?” she asked.
“You could be a landscaper if you wanted.” 
“Thanks.” She sounded shockingly bashful. It threw him, drew his gaze to her face.
She was actually blushing a little. He wondered why, but didn’t spend much time trying to figure it out as his attention was drawn back to the garden.
From the trees hung delicate windchimes and other pieces, all made of colored glass. He caught sight of a blue glass bird that seemed to be flying past, and numerous butterflies in yellow, purple, pink. From the ground sprung the occasional birdbath, and more pieces of glass mounted on wrought iron sticks—a green glass dragonfly, a row of glass daisies. In between it all ran the stone path—it seemed to make a circle around the yard, and near the house, where they stood, it widened to encircle a large fire pit. Wooden chairs rimmed the pit, and farther back in the garden he caught sight of a hammock that looked like the perfect resting spot.
“This is . . . freaking amazing,” he told her.
“Yeah?” she asked. Again, she sounded so much more delicate than usual.
“Yeah.” He nodded, still taking it in.
The truth was, he kind of never wanted to leave. It was. . .the perfect place to be alone, the perfect place to hide.
And then. . .he understood. The same way he liked to hide—so did she.
When his gaze returned to her, he saw her differently. He understood her better now—not completely, not by a long shot, but better. He’d sensed a certain beauty in her before—he’d witnessed hints of it wanting to creep out from around her more rigid persona—but now he really saw it. Looking down at her, here, she was…prettier. Her eyes more innocent. Her lips fuller, softer. Maybe he was crazy, or maybe the late day shadows were playing tricks on him, but she was truly beautiful here in a way he’d never seen her look before.

About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel - nineteen notebook pages long. Since then, Toni has become a RITA-nominated author of more than twenty contemporary romance novels including her recent 2014 RITA nomination for Half Moon Hill the last installment in her popular Destiny series. Her books have received the National Readers Choice Award and the Bookseller’s Best Award, and her work has been excerpted in Cosmo. Toni lives in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, crafts, and spending time outdoors. Learn more about Toni and her books at

Taking a journey to Coral Cove is always exciting and satisfying, and [TAKE ME ALL THE WAY] is a fan­tastic addition to the series. The romance between the characters is poignant and real, giving readers a story to get com­pletely caught up in. Blake has written another winner! — RT Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Promo Stop on the Tasty Virtual Book Tour for Chanukah anthology, BURNING BRIGHT with Q & A +#giveaway

Four Chanukah Love Stories
by Megan Hart, KK Hendin,
Stacey Agdern and Jennifer Gracen

Releasing December 1, 2015 from Avon Impulse

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away-then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together, they just might discover a Home for Hannukah.

All Tamar Jacobs expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi Levinson, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed. 

About the Authors:

Megan Hart is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been published in almost every genre, including contemporary women’s fiction, historical romance, paranormal and erotica. Learn more at

Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.

Stacey Agdern is an award winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She also a romance writer. You can find her on twitter at @nystacey. She’s a proud member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.

KK Hendin writes books where people flirt awkwardly, make out, dish out a whole lot of sass and ridiculousness, and live happily ever after. She’s the author of many books, including the TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR series and the upcoming UNDERCOVER series. She also writes books as K. Hendin, where people aren’t as nice and Happily Ever After isn’t a guarantee. KK is currently writing way too many books, and is still waiting for the subway to run on a regular schedule. When she’s not playing book Tetris in an attempt to fit everything onto the bookshelves in her tiny NYC apartment, she’s probably wandering her neighborhood with her camera or drinking yet another cup of coffee.

Chanukah Fun with KK Hendin—

Favorite Chanukah Memory or tradition:
My favorite memory is from the first year I lived in Israel. I was in school there, and we had the afternoons off that week. A bunch of us wanted to do something fun before lighting the menorah in the evening, but we were all too poor to do anything that really cost money. So we split up into two groups and wrote a ridiculous list of things to do. The goal was to see which group could do more things on the list, with picture evidence to make sure nobody lied. By the end of the afternoon, we had done things like decorate a public bathroom, confuse the heck out of a bunch of soldiers, ask random strangers both silly questions and very serious questions, and hired ourselves to work at people's restaurants. And all for the price of a bus ticket. 

My favorite tradition...hmm…lighting the Chanukah candles every night is really nice, because we do it as a family. Everyone gets together in the living room, and we all light our menorahs together, and sing. And laugh when my dad reminds us not to go near the candles, because when it comes to menorahs, he seems to forget we're all perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves near fire.

Favorite Chanukah Dish/Dessert:
It's traditional to eat both dairy products and fried food on Chanukah, which is the greatest possible combination of foods to eat. One Chanukah night every year, we ignore the concept of a balanced meal for dinner and have latkes, homemade french fries, and a bunch of different kinds of cheese. It is a ridiculous overindulgence, and the next day everyone just eats salad as a recovery food. (I eat my latkes with cottage cheese, not applesauce. I don't understand the appeal of latkes and applesauce. I'm sorry.)

(When I called my mother to make sure I got the latke recipe correct, I mentioned eating latkes and cottage cheese. Her response was something along the lines of, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? WHO EATS LATKES AND COTTAGE CHEESE??". When I reminded her that I have ALWAYS eaten latkes and cottage cheese together, she told me she probably blocked the memory.)

The recipe we use for potato latkes is our potato kugel recipe tweaked.

Potato Latkes (Or Potato Kugel)
5 pounds potatoes
1 large white onion
(You can substitute a zucchini for a few of the potatoes if you want for the potato kugel.)
6 eggs
(1/2 cup oil-for kugel)
1 tablespoon Salt

LATKES: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, salt and pepper. Use a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, then add to the mixing bowl. Form into patties, and fry them in oil. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or–to quote my family—if you're irrevocably broken somehow like KK, cottage cheese. Makes a lot of latkes. 

POTATO KUGEL: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, salt and pepper. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan in oil and place it an oven set at 450. Use a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, then add to the mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients together, and the take the mixing bowl directly to the oven, and pour the mixture into the pan without taking the pan out of the oven. Cook for an hour and a half, or until the potato kugel is at the consistency and texture you'd like. Serve hot with anything at all, because potato kugel, and if you have extras somehow, potato kugel is delicious cold with a bit of mustard on top or dipped in humus. Makes one delicious pan of potato-y goodness. 

(Alternative, if you're feeling fancy: instead of baking the kugel in a 9 x 13, you can bake it in cupcake tins for fanciness and extra crispy bits. Adjust temperature and cooking time accordingly.)

Do you have any real life experience with finding love during Chanukah?
I think I really and truly fell in love with Israel on Chanukah- I finally was settled in, I knew how to get places without taking the bus, and there were an abundance of cheerful soldiers. It was finally sweater weather, and every person, regardless of religious observance, was excited about Chanukah, and about sufganiyot. 
Also, as a New Yorker, getting to go to the beach in December without freezing your face off is pretty cool. 

What was your favorite scene to write for ALL I GOT?
Besides the ending? Probably the rain. I've done my share of dance parties in the rain in Israel, and it was so much fun to write one for Avi. 

One line that describes your holiday romance.
Sometimes you can meet the love of your life at a bus stop. 


Friday, November 20, 2015

Unwrapping a Review of THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF by Alexandra Brown

I know Unwrapping Romance is all about romance especially that HEA promised us in romance novels but every so often, I read a book that just deserves a little shout out of excitement. With the holidays bearing down on us, I can’t think of a better time to give off some joy for a wonderful, delightful, and cockle-warming British chick-lit that comes as close to romance as you can get without a Happily-Ever-After. THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF by Alexandra Brown is everything wonderful! Pure Holiday Joy. 

***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review—thank you.


Sybil has always taken comfort in her knitting, creating beautiful garments stitch by stitch. But her world suddenly unravels when her fiancé ditches her for her identical twin sister and things go from bad to worse when an incident jeopardizes her job.

Hoping to escape her woes and forget that she'll be alone for Christmas, she visits her friend in Tindledale—a winter wonderland of quaint shops and snowy rooftops. Embraced by welcoming—if eccentric—locals wearing handmade knits reminds Sybil of her own creations and her unrealized ambitions of selling them. So when the vintage boutique asks her to create a knitting display for their front window, she's thrilled. The hot town doctor has even taken an interest in Sybil, hoping to heal her broken heart.

But just when Sybil thinks she's going to have her fairy-tale Christmas after all, an unexpected turn of events threaten to unspool her happily ever after.

~*~       ~*~        ~*~       ~*~       ~*~

Life couldn’t get much lower for Sybil. Her fiancĂ© leaves her at the altar amidst a Star Wars themed wedding and runs off with her twin sister, and now there’s a chance, a great chance she will be on the hook for a huge money error at work. Really not wanting to face anything anymore, she packs up her little dog, Basil, and heads to Tindledale, a truly quaint little English village that when she steps off the train, she thinks she’s on a set for FROZEN. She’s eager to see her best friend, Cher, who will certainly help her see to making sure her life doesn’t get any more discombobulated but Cher is out of town, and the accommodations at the Duck & Puddle Pub, which Cher and her chef husband are now running, were highly lacking. With no other choice, she ventures to the Bed and Breakfast on the other side of the village. There she meets the incorrigible, Lawrence Rosenberg, host extraordinaire, and leader of the Tindledale Players. Lawrence sets her on the right path to discovering more about herself, her life, her desires, than she ever knew, and even encourages her to take a chance at love. Taking the road not traveled was the last thing she ever expected when she began her journey to Tindledale.

With a cast of the most delightful, unexpected, funny, endearing, and simply lovely characters, I would love to live in a place like Tindledale. I fell in love with this book so fast it surprised me. Although, we are greeted with not one, but two states of despair…first with Hettie, and the prospect of her losing her precious House of Haberdashery in Tindledale, but then Sybil whose life is a complete disaster…Alexandra Brown manages to makes us smile and even laugh.

I was sick as a dog with the cold from hell while reading this but I couldn’t have asked for a better escape into a warm, loving, and cozy read to make me feel better and smile. Okay, it’s sweet, most definitely, but its also romantic comedy at its holiday best. I can see this story being made into one of those wonderful feel good holiday movies that you want to take out once a year and watch it yet again. I can see reading this every holiday season for that feel good heartwarming experience too. I’m not a knitter, and it doesn’t matter but I would taking up knitting just to be invited to one of Syb’s and Hettie’s delightful natters…that seems to be what a gossip session is called in England. Tindledale is the most welcoming place on the planet, I think. Like I said, I’d love to live there.

I highly recommend reading THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF by Alexandra Brown if you’re a fan of feel good, cozy holiday stories, funny clumsy kind of comedy, and I’ll clue you in…Sybil has everything come together for her and even has a hottie town doctor a little head over heels for her. Go ahead…take a trip to Tindledale and when it’s over, you can imagine your own HEA for Sybil.

Happy Reading Everyone!

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF by Alexandra Brown, William Morrow, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sale using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review Stop on the Tasty Virtual Book Tour for THE WINTER LAIRD, a debut novel by Nancy Scanlon with #excerpt + #giveaway

Mists of Fate #1
by Nancy Scanlon

Available now from Diversion

Successful matchmaker Brianagh O’Rourke believes in happily-ever-afters...just not her own. She’s convinced passion only exists in her dreams. When she reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal, Bri decides she needs a vacation―but she didn't expect it to be in 13th century Ireland.

Laird Nioclas MacWilliam just wants peace for his clan. The time for him to marry has come, and after waiting years for his ally to present their daughter, he’s agreed to marry another. But on the eve of his nuptials, a daring rescue brings his missing betrothed right into his arms.

And she does not want to be there.

Brianagh has to return to the future. Nioclas has to marry. He offers a solution for the both of them: She marries him and stays for three months, and they work together to convince his clan they are a love match. In return, he vows to safely return her home. But as the days turn to weeks, they both begin to see what a happily-ever-after could be. And when the time comes, does Brianagh return to the life she’s built, or does she remain in the past for a chance at true love?

My Review:

Life was moving along well for Brianagh O’Rourke. Her matchmaking business was soaring, and her boyfriend just proposed to her. So why was she feeling trapped? A getaway was in order, but Brianagh had no idea just how far away her getaway would take her.

Laird Nioclas MacWilliams had waited as long as possible for the woman promised him over twenty years earlier to return to Ireland and be his wife. If he didn’t take another for a bride soon, there could be trouble within the clans. When the O’Rourke daughter suddenly appears, speaking strangely, and telling him tales of a faraway world much different from his own in 13th Century Ireland, he only begins to understand the meaning of trouble.

It takes Brianagh a while to believe where her cousin, Reilly, has taken her but it only takes a moment to recognize the man who has lived, and loved her, in her dreams for nearly a lifetime. Together, can they protect the future by saving the past? When it’s time to leave Nick to return to the future, will she be able to, or will love urge her stay?

With a delightful sense of OUTLANDER time travel, THE WINTER LAIRD is quite different actually. Unlike Claire, Brianagh discovers she is actually from the past rather than the future even though she has a hard time believing it. Her destiny lies with Nioclas MacWilliams in the past yet she is spoiled by the delights of living in the future. So which will she choose, the love of her Irish Warrior or hot running water and the spoils of the 21st Century? You’ll have to read this amazing debut novel by Nancy Scanlon to find out.

Mind you, I usually read books with steamy sex scenes in them but rarely mention them except in passing unless the book is a truly page melting, but you’ll not find any of that in THE WINTER LAIRD. I have to admit, it hinted at some steam between Nick and Brianagh but that existed only in their dreams. The heat level of this one is very low but if you’re looking for a good story, a well thought out time travel plan, and wonderful characters, THE WINTER LAIRD by Nancy Scanlon is a must read. I am eager to see what comes next. Nancy left us with some mysteries that have me intrigued and I do hope she follows up on them in the rest of the series. Aiden couldn’t have just disappeared…or could he?

I highly recommend THE WINTER LAIRD, book one in the Mists of Fate series by Nancy Scanlon to anyone who loves something different, something thought provoking, action-filled, humorous, charming, and starring some characters that you just want to revisit again and again. Comhghairdeas (Congratulations) Nancy!

Happy Reading Everyone!

***eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review

Excerpt from THE WINTER LAIRD:

“The women are spying on us from under the benches,” Aidan said as he bounced on the balls of his feet, waiting for Nioclas to finish his drink. Admiring his sword, he added, “Been there for about ten minutes or so. I give them another twenty before they get cold and head back into the castle.”
Nioclas sighed. “I’m unsurprised. Does Erin still think no one knows about her forays into the lists?”
Aidan shrugged and quickly crossed swords with his brother. “Of course. I’m certainly not going to tell her. She’ll skewer me on the end of her sewing needle whilst I sleep.”
“Are you that afraid of a wee lass?” Nioclas mocked, jumping back and just avoiding the tip of Aidan’s blade. “I don’t think Donovan has much trouble with her.”
“Oh, I’m sure Donovan has complete control over his wife,” Aidan replied, and they both grinned as they hacked away at each other. “I don’t think he’s ever been privy to the full extent of Erin’s talents, though.”
Nioclas ducked and rolled out of Aidan’s path, springing back up and crossing blades once more. “I—oof—doubt he would’ve agreed to marry her, had he known.”
“Marriage. I don’t envy you, brother. Shackled for life. I hope she is worth it.” Aidan ducked, narrowly avoiding the at of Nioclas’s blade, then spun to avoid it again. “Saints, Nick, I was only—oof— is there something you care to talk about?” he asked sardonically as Nioclas’s attack intensified.
“No,” Nioclas replied curtly, swinging his arm relentlessly.
“Hmm. I believe there’s a tale there.” Aidan plunged his sword toward his brother, who leapt backward.
“None I care to tell you,” Nioclas replied, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
“Well, you’re putting on quite a show for her.” They circled each other. “Mayhap this will be a love match yet—” Aidan’s sword went flying. He watched, open-mouthed, as it soared through the air. Someone called out, and men scattered as the blade went hilt-over-tip, landing about twenty feet from where they stood.
He looked at his brother in alarm. Nioclas had never bested him by forcing his sword from his hand. That was something they’d agreed long ago was unnecessary between them. War was never far, and neither wanted the other without his sword if it broke.
“Love is for fools,” Nioclas growled before stalking off.
It was a rare thing for Nioclas to lose his temper, especially in the lists. Bemused, Aidan watched him go, then threw a wink over to the source of his brother’s obvious discomfort.
Smirking at the feminine gasps, Aidan collected his sword and sauntered off.

About the Author:

Born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, Nancy Scanlon wrote her first romance novel at age 16, when she realized that fictional boyfriends were much easier to figure out than real ones. In the time since, she managed to earn a degree in English, obtain a graduate certificate in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and marry the man of her dreams (but she still holds tight to her fictional boyfriends).

Currently, she resides in Puerto Rico with her husband, two children, and two dogs. When not writing, Nancy spends her time reading, reviewing, and blogging about romance novels, watching too much HGTV, and taking care of her family.

Tour Wide Giveaway

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TAKING THE HIGH ROAD – THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN by Sarah MacLean Blog Blitz + #giveaway

Welcome to the TAKING THE HIGH ROAD – THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN by Sarah Maclean Blog Blitz. Sarah MacLean is going to take us on a journey with Lady Sophie Talbot when she stows away atop a carriage belonging to the Marquess of Eversley. What fun. I’ve got an excerpt from the book for you at Stop #7 and then a giveaway so have a good time. Oh, by the way, if you pre-order a signed print copy from WORD Bookstores, you will also get a beautiful printed copy of the this amazing map showing the journey created by artist, Amy Solomon. Click HERE for more information on how to pre-order your signed copy. Happy Travels Everyone!

THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN by Sarah Maclean, releasing December 29, 2015 from Avon Romance.


Lady Sophie’s Society Splash
When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!
Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?
He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

Great North Road Map Reveal: Destinations 
and author annotations:

Stop #1:  "Sophie Stows Away" (English Country Estate near London)

Author Commentary:
There are moments in life when you know that you just can't go on without a change. Lady Sophie Talbot, the youngest of the infamous Talbot Sisters (darlings of the gossip rags and nicknamed the Dangerous Daughters) knows this is the case when she lands her odious, philandering brother in law backside-first in a fishpond at a major event of the London Season. And so, Sophie does what's necessary. “I simply need conveyance home,” she requests of Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, notorious rake, and her only chance of escape. Sophie's desperate, and in possession of the Marquess's boot, so she thinks she has a leg up, so to speak. King has other ideas.

Stop #2:  “The Carriage”

Author Commentary:
Lady Sophie Talbot, youngest and least interesting of the scandalous Talbot sisters (think 19th Century Kardashians) isn't so uninteresting once she's decided to stow away atop a carriage belonging to the Marquess of Eversley -- notorious rogue and her recent nemesis. Indeed, she cannot wait for the horrible man to discover that she's disguised herself as an outrider and stolen conveyance home to central London. There's just one problem...

Stop #3: “The Fox and the Falcon Posting Inn”

Author Commentary:
By the time Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself outside the Fox & Falcon Posting Inn, miles from her home in London, she's realized she's made a huge mistake. She only ever intended to hitch a ride home to Mayfair--and simultaneously stick it to the arrogant, handsome, horrible Marquess of Eversley, who happens to be minus a boot, thanks to Sophie. Suffice to say, things got out of hand. And now, dressed as a male servant in the drive of a roadside inn, things are about to get much, much worse.

Stop #4: “Beware Highwaymen!”

Author Commentary:
Suffice to say, being on the road with an arrogant aristocrat is no fun at all, so Lady Sophie Talbot does what any self-respecting woman would do, she "borrows" his money, and gets herself on the next mail coach north. All seems fine -- until Highwaymen arrive, and that arrogant aristocrat arrives just in time to see her entire plan go pear-shaped.

Stop #5: “The Warbling Wren”

Author Commentary:
Being shot on the Great North Road isn't exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.

Stop #6: “Mossband”

Author Commentary:
Lady Sophie Talbot, youngest and least interesting of the infamous Talbot sisters, has decided that her best bet to escape London and the aristocratic life for which she'd never been intended is to take herself home -- to the small village on the Scottish border where she spent the first ten years of her life. And perhaps, after a disastrous journey north, something would go right, and her childhood friend Robbie, now the village baker, would make good on their silly youthful promises and marry her. Of course, Sophie isn't alone. She's saddled with the horrible, handsome Marquess of Eversley. Who has done everything to ruin her plans. Until now.

Stop #7: “Lyne Castle”

Author Commentary:
The Country seat of the Dukes of Lyne, Lyne Castle is the childhood home of Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, who left home at eighteen after a terrible tragedy and never returned. Summoned home by his ailing father, King finally returns--with the unexpected addition of Lady Sophie Talbot, irritating and somehow irresistible. The estate boasts one of the most complicated labyrinths in Britain...where King and Sophie find solace, and heartbreak, and each other.


Sophie would want love. She’d want it pure and unfettered, given freely, along with all its trappings. She’d want the marriage and children and happiness and promise that came with it.
King could see it, the life she wanted. The line of little girls, blue-eyed and brown-haired, in love with books and strawberry tarts. For a moment, he imagined them smiling at him the way their mother did, filled with happiness and hope.
For a moment, he let himself believe he might be able to give it to her.
But she would want love, and he would never be able to give it.
He didn’t have it to give anymore. And those children, they would never be his.
He set her down on the edge of the fountain, coming to his knees, as though she was Ariadne and he the Minotaur, worshipping at her feet, adoring her even as he knew she could not survive in the labyrinth, and he could not survive beyond it.
“Tell me about last night,” he said softly, looking up at her, his hands at the hem of her skirts.
“What—” She caught her breath as his fingers explored the skin of her ankles. “What about it?”
“I hated it,” he said. “I hated stopping.”
She pressed her lips into a thin, straight line. “I hated that you stopped.”
His hands were beneath her skirts, pushing them back, farther and farther, up and over her knees. He pressed his lips to the inside of her knee, swirling his tongue there, loving the little gasp of surprised pleasure that came at the touch.
“I hate that I will have to stop today, as well."

For more information about THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN by Sarah MacLean, please feel free to visit her website.

News Flash:  Announcing a sublime – and scandalously wonderful – new series from New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author Sarah MacLean!
The author aroused immediate interest when she announced this high-concept affair: “I'm thrilled to announce my next project -- the Scandal & Scoundrel series, which I pitched to my editor as ‘Old School TMZ,’" says MacLean.  “It’s modern celebrity gossip with a pre-Victorian twist. Basically, this is my way of convincing my husband that all those glossy magazines in our house are ‘work necessities.’

The first novel in the series, THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN (Avon Books; ISBN 9780062379412; eISBN 9780062379399; on-sale 12/29/15) is a riff on a certain elevator incident made famous at a Met gala several years ago. But in MacLean’s imagination, the scurrilous turns absolutely sensational, as a ballroom imbroglio sets off a very heated carriage journey along the Great North Road. It’s a long way from London to Scotland…you would be quite amazed at how much drama can ensue between a seemingly ill-matched duo on such a wild ride! 

Smart Bitches Pull Quote: “The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean is my favorite book of hers to date. If you’ve read her, or know me, then you know that I just said a thing.”

I want this!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Unwrapping a Review of THANKFUL FOR LOVE, a Holiday for Romance novel by Peggy Bird

I think I’ve expressed my joy over the Holiday for Romance series by Peggy Bird, from Crimson Romance enough times that you should know I want you all to read them. THANKFUL FOR LOVE is one that although a bit different, keeps the romance alive and you cheering for it, and just in time for Thanksgiving.

***eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review


Eastern Oregon rancher Jack Richardson needs someone to wrangle his two sons, and Quanna Morales is the available candidate. She needs a steady job badly, so she jumps on the opportunity, even though she’s focused on her education and busy helping her mother take care of her disabled brother.

Jack and Quanna can’t fight their attraction, but Quanna worries his family and friends will exhibit the anti-Indian prejudice she’s only too used to encountering. And if things go badly between them, Quanna will not be able to help support her family and the boys will have lost yet another mother figure. When her worst fears come true and a feud erupts at the Thanksgiving table, will Jack be able to convince her that their love is strong enough to overcome any obstacle?

~*~           ~*~             ~*~              ~*~             ~*~

Quanna Morales needs a better job that will pay a steadier income that will allow her to continue living on her own, help her family, and go to college. When the opportunity to be a ‘kid wrangler’ for a handsome and very sexy cowboy pops up, she knows she wants it even if she’s worried she’s not really qualified. Once she arrives at the interview, meets the kids, and sees the ranch, she knows she definitely wants the job. The fact that her new boss is irresistible is a complication she’ll just have to deal with…at least until he starts to express interest in her. Jack Richardson is a sexy cowboy. A dozen or so years older than Quanna and very much out of practice since he married the only woman he ever dated or loved, he is adorably clumsy in his charming attempts at coming on to Quanna. I didn’t connect the name right away, but as soon as Sam Richardson showed up in the story, I realized this was an older brother to the gorgeous and sexy police detective who married Amanda St. Claire after clearing her of murder in LOVING AGAIN, book two in the Second Chances series by Peggy Bird. Whoot! I was so happy.

Whereas, all Jack worries is how folks might see his being so much older than the beautiful Quanna, she is more worried about the fallout that might follow Jack and his wonderful boys if he were to become involved with her. Prejudice is an ugly thing but strength comes in facing the fear of it, rather than giving into the prospect.

I think what I loved the most about this story, THANKFUL FOR LOVE, was the vulnerability of the characters from Quanna’s worry over prejudice about her half-Indian blood to Anne Salazar’s feeling as if her family was abandoning her and her deceased daughter - Jack’s wife. Sometimes unfounded fears can be stronger and more debilitating to the psyche than phobic fears. Even the boys, Daniel and Lucas – adorable kids, by the way – carried their own fears of losing the memories and feel of their mother’s love. This story is about love overcoming the fears each carried and Peggy did it brilliantly.

I highly recommend the amazing, sensitive, and character driven THANKFUL FOR LOVE, a Holiday for Romance novel by Peggy Bird, not just because it’s a wonderful Thanksgiving treat but because it makes us all think about how what we do, what we say, or how we act can have more impact on someone else’s life than we ever realize. It reminds us to be kind, be respectful, and when in doubt about what someone means when they say something, don’t be afraid to confront your fear because it might just be the other person is just as afraid of something.

Happy Reading Everyone!

THANK FOR LOVE, a Holiday for Romance novel by Peggy Bird, Crimson Romance, releasing November 16, 2015, available in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
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