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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Bountiful (True North #4) by Sarina Bowen



Mark your calendars - October 20th...It's apple picking season. It's also time for a brand new True North story. Bountiful is Zara's story. Remember Zara? She is Griff's ex, and the bartender at The Mountain Goat. She has a cute little baby daughter, and hasn't told a soul who the father is. More about Bountiful...

Blurb:

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Hockey star Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Pre-order at Amazon US | iBooks | Kobo | Nook  


Excerpt:

“Last call,” she said to me as she wiped down the bar. “Can I get you anything else?”
“Not unless you’ll let me buy you a drink. Seems like you might need to unwind after that last bit of bullshit.”
She gave me a wry smile. “You’re sweet to ask. But I can’t accept. Company policy.”
“Uh-huh.” I took out my wallet and put a fifty on the bar. “First of all, I’m not sweet.”
Her eyes widened a little when I said that. Now I had her attention.
“And secondly, company policy my ass. It’s you who calls the shots in this place. Nobody else but you. I can see why you need a handy excuse, though. If you couldn’t pull the ‘company policy’ out of your pocket sometimes, the men would be buying the sexy bartender drinks left and right all night long, I bet. You’d never get a moment’s peace.”
A smile stole across her features. “Yeah, sure. I have to keep a stick back here behind the bar just to beat back all the men.”
“You don’t need that stick, gorgeous, because you give ’em the evil eye and they run off, knowing they’re not man enough for you. But every guy who drinks in this bar has the secret, fervent wish that fortune would smile down on him just long enough for him to earn an hour of your undivided attention.”
Zara rolled her dark eyes, but a telltale blush splashed her cheekbones. “You know how to lay it on thick.”
“No need.” I shook my head. “Just telling you how it is. Now I think you should do a shot with me, and we’ll toast your unapproachability.”
She laughed, and her eyes lit up for the first time tonight. “You are smooth, mister. I’m almost tempted.”
“Almost? Damn.”
She smiled. “There aren’t any taxis out here in the woods, and I’ve been pouring your beers all night. If you do a shot with me, it won’t be safe to drive away from here. And it’s quitting time.”
“Well. Now that you mention it…” I reached across the bar and laid a hand very gently over her smooth one. Our gazes collided as I stroked my thumb across the back of her hand. “Driving after doing shots with you wouldn’t be such a great plan. I’d have to stick around for a couple hours until it wears off.”
Zara waited a beat before retrieving her hand from beneath mine. “I see.”
“Do you?” I put both elbows on the bar and leaned forward. She was trying to play it cool, but my not-so-subtle message was getting through. I saw the blush beginning to creep across those fine cheekbones. She and I had chemistry, damn it. We’d been eye-fucking each other all night. “Look. I think you had a stressful evening. And I’m really good at stress relief. Like, pro level.”
She braced both hands on the bar and smiled at me. “Are you always this forward?”
“Nope.” I shook my head. “Some women can’t handle the truth. But I’ve watched you run this place. You’re in charge of everything that happens inside these walls, and I’ll bet that gets old. I’m thinking you might like to hand over the reins once in a while. Let someone else take charge. Tonight that someone is gonna be me...”



Friday, 6 October 2017

PUCK LOVE by Carmen Jenner


Blurb:

Stella Hart is the hottest thing in country music. For ten years, she’s been Nashville’s darling. She’s pure, sweet, and a positive role model in an industry rife with scandals, sex, and sequins. Men want to own her, women want to be her—everyone wants a piece of her, and Stella? Well, she wants out.

As the center for the Calgary Crushers, Van Ross isn’t afraid of the spotlight, but he doesn’t much like it either. Despite his reputation as a player, the NHL’s bad boy lives for only two things: the game, and his younger brother. That’s why when he comes across a country music superstar seeking refuge at his home in the Canadian Rockies, he’s not too happy with the media sh*tstorm this surprise houseguest brings.

With a nationwide manhunt, paparazzi dogging their every move, producers of a reality TV show baying for blood, and a record label desperate to see their “good girl” returned safely home, Van and Stella’s lives are snowballing out of control.
While Van would like nothing more than to show the purest of them all how well he handles his er ... stick, Stella is no puck bunny. Nor is she as innocent as she’d have the world believe.

With chemistry like theirs, tension runs high on and off the ice, but the end game is the same for both players: line up the puck, take the shot, and score. If only their hearts understood the play.

Puck fame and fortune.
Puck right and wrong.
Puck love.

Find it on Goodreads


Purchase Links:



Kristine's Review:
Review: October 2017.

When news of Puck Love hit the interwebs I was instantly intrigued, I mean talk of a book from Carmen Jenner without death and destruction... without rape or torture... a book that's fun and light and won't make me shriek or cry.... GET OUT OF TOWN....I knew I *needed* this book like I needed my next breath. It's not secret I've been on a happy book binge of late, give me happy and laugh out loud funny and I'll be all over it like ...well myself at a Tieks sale.

Stella Hart is the undisputed GOOD GIRL of the Country music scene, she's loved by little girls, teenage boys and parents alike, the World is her stage and she *seems* like she's got everything figured out. Unfortunately for Stella, she's just barely holding on. Suffering from crippling anxiety, each SOLD OUT show on her Tour seems harder to get ready for, each night the voices and fears getting louder and louder and harder to hide away. 

When Stella finally has had enough and makes a break for it, hilarity ensues, and for maybe the first time in a long time she can breathe without feeling like drowning. I remember listening people talking about anxiety years ago and not really getting it. I mean sure panic attacks seemed legitimate enough, but it was still in the abstract, I mean surely anxiety couldn't possibly be *that* bad. Funny isn't it, that earlier this year I found myself huddled in the corner of my bedroom mid panic attack trying to remind myself how to breathe with tears running down my face, so anxious over an upcoming signing that the thought of not packing the right clothes left me a bleary eyed mess. As I read the opening chapters of Puck Love I FINALLY *got* it, I understood Stella in my bones, I understood inherently why running was the ONLY option she could live with, I felt a soul deep connection to Jenner's words, it was the most holy of UH HAAAA moments, in the most unlikely of places.

"You wanna try on your own?"
"No, don't let go."
"You looking for an excuse to hold my hand, country?"
"No, I'm afraid of falling."
"But that's the best part." He grins, squeezes my hand tighter, and I have a feeling he's right. 

While I may have had a earth shattering connection to Puck Love in the opening chapters what followed was a fun filled adventure as Van the BADBOY of Ice Hockey crosses paths with Stella the enteral GOODGIRL of country music, and boy did Stella give him a run for his money. Van The Man, strong and stoic, the man who wants nothing more than to flatten anyone who gets in his way on the ice, and keep his life off the ice private. From the outside Van looks like the typical sports star, but beneath the bravado and icy glare - he's a man who's ready for something real away from the ice. And Stella, well Stella has wanted real for as long as she can remember and for the first time in a long time, she might have found someone who will give that to her.

Jenner keeps us enthralled with her trademark blend of snarky banter and tantalising sexual chemistry, but where she truly flexes her muscles is delivering a story that doesn't rely on emotion and angst to deliver something thrilling, from a quirky beginning that had me genuinely invested to a story about two people who as poster children for the lifestyle's of the rich and famous shouldn't be entirely relatable but inherently made Puck Love a book that was not only easy to devour but to love, leaving this reader smiling long after she turned the last page. 








About Carmen Jenner:


Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA Today and international bestselling author.

Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU, 2015.

A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.

A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?








Sunday, 1 October 2017

Logan (Preston Punks #2) by Jay McLean



Blurb:

As a kid, Logan Preston was a brat.
Through his teens, he became the bad boy.
Now, at nineteen, no one knows what the hell to expect.

High school dropout, Logan Preston is a
good-for-nothing stoner.
A black sheep.
A disappointment.
The worst Preston Punk of the lot.
At least that’s how everyone in his small town
makes him feel.
But Logan Preston has secrets.
Secrets so dark and so deep below the surface that the only way he can fight them is to stay high, high, high.
He wears cockiness as a mask.
Arrogance as his armor.
Until one girl, one night, asks one life-changing question:
What's beneath the bravado, Logan Preston?



Purchase Links:




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: September 2017.

Over a week has passed and I’m no closer to adequately describing the raw and unrelenting beauty this book possesses. From an auspicious beginning to an absolutely breathtaking ending, Logan captured every emotion leaving me desperate for more while delivering the story I craved. Everything about this story had me utterly invested, from the first moments Logan was an enigma, a boy that went off the rails somewhere along the lines and seemed content to remain there. His weekends of  debauchery seem to be early adulthood rebellion at it's finest, until it isn't anymore. The more McLean hinted to demons darkening his door the more his methods of letting go had a sinister twist. 

Keeping secrets isn't exclusive to Logan, Audrey has a past of her own, and much like Logan uses quick wit and sarcasm with a healthy dose of bravado to cover the things she best keep hidden. Two people trying to just be without divulging their past hurts to the world, two people using everything at their disposal to guard their hearts from further devastation. Two people who absolutely and utterly stole my heart.

I wanted this review to scream from the rooftops my absolute adoration for this author, I wanted to tell you how this story shattered me in all the ways a great book can, I wanted to shout my love for these beautifully broken characters and the way they made me feel and the journey they took me on. I wanted to revel in the emotion they wretched from me and tell you at great length how bereft I felt as I turned the last page. More than any of this, I need you to read this story, I need you to allow yourself to be swept away by two young people who asked each other the only important question there is... what if we try?





About Jay McLean:





Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

Connect with Jay on Facebook





Sunday, 20 August 2017

Commitment by KM Golland - Exclusive Excerpt & Review

 

Release Date: 21 August 2018.

Blurb:

Natasha Jones loves her life, her husband and their two young sons. She works hard both at home and as an Events Supervisor at City Towers. But when a relationship with her work colleague unexpectedly progresses, Tash begins to question whether or not her marriage has passed its ‘Use by’ date.

Dean Jones is a numbers man but has no idea that his number could be up where his marriage is concerned. Never one to really speak his mind, he has always opted to just go with the flow in order to keep his wife happy.

Passion, intimacy, and communication have taken a backseat to demanding careers, a mortgage and family life, and it’s not until Tash and Dean stand to lose everything they have built together that the spark between them begins to flicker again.

And boy does it flicker ...
and ignite ...
and nearly burn the entire neighbourhood down!

Can Tash and Dean keep this newly lit flame alive and save their marriage? Or will temptation make the commitment seem too much to bear?

GPI Exclusive Excerpt:

I didn’t want to be disappointed with how our anniversary had panned out, but I was. It had just been another normal day, except that we had sex. Not sexytimes. Just sex. Plain old boring sex that nearly put me to sleep.
After dinner when he’d suggested we watch “Captain America” instead of “Love Actually”, my desire for anything intimate had long passed, and all I’d wanted was to just go to bed and read because, nowadays, the pages in my books gave me more sexual gratification than the man who slept beside me.
It was sad but true.
When he’d mentioned ‘looking for my cat’, ‘my cat’ had figuratively hissed in warning. I hadn’t wanted to play hush-the-kids-are-asleep robotic, shitty sex, even though I’d given in out of guilt in the end and played it. It was disheartening, really, having sex with my husband because I felt guilty for not having it with him. Sex shouldn’t be like that when you love someone. It should be exciting, rewarding … enjoyable. It shouldn’t be an obligation or a score settler. But that was exactly what it had become where I was concerned. And I hated that.
Sighing, the mere thought of feeling that way pained me. I loved Dean wholeheartedly and I always would. He just didn’t push the buttons on my body that I wanted him to press. And I wasn’t sure at what point in our marriage that had changed or why, nor was I sure if it were his fault or mine. Because, although small, my porthole sized libido still existed. I wanted sex. I just wanted something different. Something new. Something surprising.
I wanted something a little less predictable.
Unfortunately, Dean was as predictable as a clock. Rhythmic. Formulaic. He liked routine. Did that make him boring? Yeah, kinda. Yet I couldn’t deny that his consistency was comforting, because he was also dependable and reliable — a double-edged sword with a bittersweet slice.
Lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, I wondered if ‘comfortable’ was what a marriage should be above all else, if ease and the absence of irregularity really were the key to sustaining longevity within a partnership.
“God, I hope not,” I said quietly to myself. That notion didn’t sit well with me at all, but maybe that notion was the answer and my expectations of spontaneity were unreasonable. Maybe I was just greedy.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2uV3trV
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2uVjrm5
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2x2PEFc
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2x2UZwa

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: 2017

There's a point in every wedding ceremony, when saying one's vows that we utter promises to one another, we promise to love each other, in sickness and in health, richer or poorer, we promise to forsake all others, we essentially promise to choose each other, every day, every month, every year of our forever's.

When standing there in front of a priest/officiant, in front of our families and friends it seems so very simple, because for most of us, we chose this person that moment of our first date, first kiss, first intimate moment, we chose them when they got down on one knee or in my case passed me a ring box while overlooking Saddleback Mountain, we chose to spend our remaining days building a life with our partner. As sure as I am that we are so very sure of our vows on that day, I also know that more often than not we find ourselves questioning our choices, our commitment at some point in our marriages. Be it five years, ten years or twenty years, most of us will feel stifled by that tricky bitch complacency, that honeymoon phase we fondly remember seems so long ago, jobs, children, pets, household chores have taken precedent, we forget about who we once were before the dreaded C word, and often we find our once bright and vibrant relationship...stagnant. Getting dressed up for date night is a thing of a past, sexy lingerie sits long forgotten in the back of the draw, the I love you's  still fall quickly from our lips but now out of routine.

Commitment tells the story of Tash and Dean, their story is heady and romantic, over a decade together, a lifetime, two beautiful sons, surrounded by good family and friends, their marriage seems solid,  they say I love you freely, easily, they share a connection that only comes from many years together, even after all the years that have passed Dean still see's the beautiful sexy woman he married, Tash still see's the handsome man who once stole her breath, but she also see's the man who can't for the life of him hang his keys on the hook near the door, and he see's the woman who falls asleep far too quickly and leaves him to jerk off in the dark.

I'll be honest, in true KM Golland style I was expecting a funny, sexy romp with Commitment, a story purely about bringing the sexy back, what I found instead was a poignant tale of two people who truly love each other but aren't quite sure what they are missing that their friends seem to have. That old saying that you can't see the wood for the tree's resonated so deeply for me here, I've had those moments, I've felt unsure in my marriage, I've felt like everyone else must be in on some secret I wasn't privy to, I've felt under appreciated, invisible, like a flatmate instead of a lover or a spouse, I've lost that spark and wondered if marriage is truly supposed to last forever, in truth I still do at times, I had moments reading Tash's thoughts sure that Golland had somehow hijacked my brain and scooped out my most secret thoughts.
It was confronting, and so very real that I found myself sitting in my bathroom quietly crying, because finally I could give voice to these thoughts swirling in my mind, but more than that for once I felt a little less alone.


There's so much beauty in Golland's words, there's a honesty in this story, there's a rawness that is so very confronting, it makes you think, but more importantly, it makes you feel. Mixed in between sassy banter, uproariously funny exchanges, swoon worthy romance and scintillatingly sexy hijinks is a story that needs to be told. I've often regarded author's like Taylor Jenkins Reid as the creator of life lessons instead of a writer, after finishing Commitment, KM Golland has cemented her place as the teacher of truths, the creator of life lessons, a writer of real life.



About KM Golland:


“I'm an author. I am married. I am a mother of two adorable little people. I'm a bookworm, craftworm, movieworm, and sportsworm. I'm also a self-confessed shop-aholic, tea-aholic, car-aholic, and choc-aholic.” Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, K.M. Golland studied law and worked as a conveyancer before putting her career on hold to raise her children. She then traded her legal work for her love of writing and found her dream career.

Connect with KM Golland on Facebook





Thursday, 13 July 2017

Timeless: Andy's Mindsong by Barbara S. Stewart


Blurb:

Andy Stevens is back.
He’s returned to his island to come to terms with a lifetime of memories

Rock God Andy Stevens, lead singer for the band Traveler, has come to a crossroads in his life. He’s living his Golden Years and finds himself torn between the present and the past. One phone call leads him on a determined course to find the answers, and come to terms with his unsettled soul.

His heart leads him to a place where his restless soul is at home – his island - Eleuthera. He digs his toes in the sand, deep in his memories, and relives, remembers, and reconciles a life that brings him the answers to the ‘whys’ i that led to the choices he’s made over the years. Love, lost love, love renewed, family, illness, life, and death... his hope is to find peace. Soul searching, he sifts through all the good, sad, and bad in search of what he longs for.

Take a walk back in time with Andy – for the last time.

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2vfURI8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2sTIild
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2tPZsl0

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: July 2017.

Some books stay with you long after you turn the last page, the characters become imprinted on your heart, their journey stays with you, allowing you to reminisce on their joys and sorrows as if they were a beloved friend. Rock and Roll Never Forgets is one such title, an epic love story spanning years between Andy and Bethy, through joy and heartache and everything in between, Stewart weaved a story that absolutely steals your heart.

Stewarts latest offering is Andy's swansong, deeply reflective, incredibly poignant and intensely personal, Timeless captures the sorrow of heartbreak and regret, and the joy of first loves, last loves, forever loves. Timeless reads as a memoir, a heartfelt reflection of every beautiful memory interlaced with the moments of regret over wasted time and bad decisions.

I was unprepared for the emotional response Stewart's words would elicit, unprepared for the feelings revisiting with Andy would produce, the overwhelming sense of finality that reading Timeless would bring, the absolutely beauty of this story, was the sense of closure it brought with it, the sated smile Stewart's words left on my face, often in life we tell ourselves it's the journey not the destination that's important, I humbly thank this author for so brilliantly reminding me of that once again.

"Each word, each laugh, each revelation made me fall deeper in love with her."




About Barbara S. Stewart:


I'm Barbara, I read. I write. I come from the northeast, born in Havre de Grace, MD, and grew up in Pennsylvania. In my teens we moved to the Space Coast area of Florida. Now I live in Middleburg, Florida (Jacksonville area) with my husband, Gene.

I've worked in the electronics industry, and most recently in healthcare. I give back by volunteering whenever I can, and in 2009, I received The American Cancer Society's HOPE Award for volunteerism.

The stories I write come from my heart. I'm never sure where they are going until I get there. Most often, a song begins to paint a picture that becomes a love story. Sprinkled through my stories are humor and sadness based on real life experiences shared with family and friends. I write with emotion, pulling from memories and events that made me who I am. My readers tell me they feel like they know the characters I share with them. I like to call my writing 'the sound-track of my life.'

A reviewer on Amazon recently said, "This isn't a romance, it's a love story." (readingmaven)

As a writer, I hope you continue this journey, travel with me, see what song inspires me next, and I hope that you see more growth with each page you turn.

I love to read; it's a gift that was shared with me by my mom - Alis. She introduced me to her favorites like Little Women, Christy, and the Nancy Drew books. Books are an escape, a journey into new and different places and I've been many places I never dreamed of. My favorite genre is romance. I to explore and support other authors who paint a picture through words that allow me to feel the story. Some of my favorites are Adriana Trigiani, Maggi Myers, and Nora Roberts.

Connect with Barbara on Facebook