Saturday, August 31, 2019

Book Spotlight on Handle with Care by Marie Harte (GIVEAWAY)

A former Marine’s unforgettable introduction to a woman desperate to protect her little brother, while protecting her bruised heart, leads to a sizzling romance that neither expected.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Handle with Care by Marie Harte, then add this contemporary romance to your bookshelf.  In honor of this third installment in the Veteran Movers series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 3 copies of the previous book in this series too!

Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day...
And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.
Evan Griffith has had many careers in his life. But who knew working for his family’s moving company would hold just as much action as his stint in the Marine Corps? On an unforgettable job, Evan finds himself taken by a teenage conman and confronted by a woman wielding a knife—and promptly falls head over heels for her.
Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail—all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking... Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

EXCERPT:

Funnyhe’d said. Evan had been set upAgain. Daniel Sykes needed some discipline, something the Corps, or a foot up his butt, might just provide. Then again, should Evan be upset at another opportunity to see Kenzie up close?
Damn, but even angry she turned him on. Yeah, that was it. He wanted her. Physical desire. That he understood. And if he ignored the quickening of his heart and the need to sigh just looking at her, he’d believe his own bullshit. Because falling for a woman he didn’t even know made no sense. And Evan was nothing if not rational.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, biting out each word.
“I’m supposed to meet your brother to discuss financial matters. He had a legitimate question about tax penalties, and since I was already in the area, I told him I’d meet him.”
Kenzie clenched her jaw.
“So he was lying?”
“No. I am having some issues with my books, but I’m not sure why Rachel’s moving guy is qualified to help us.”
Evan smiled. “I’m an accountant. I was, I mean. Well, I still am. I’m just working for myself now.”
“Why?”
“So much suspicion.” He grinned, not telling her how adorable she looked in her pique. Women didn’t like hearing that they were cute when trying to appear serious. “I wasn’t fired for any wrongdoing. I left the firm because I couldn’t handle the hours. But I’m still consulting for them, and I have a few clients staying with me who left Peterman & Campbell Accounting when I did.”
She blinked. “I know that firm. One of my clients uses them. They’re big money.”
“Yep.” Evan wanted to stroke her cheek, to see if she felt as soft as she looked. So he tucked his hands in his pockets.
“What was with lying to Rob about your clients using me? Or me being overbooked?”
He shrugged. “I know Rob. He’s competitive. The thought of him not getting to use your services because you don’t have time for him would annoy the crap out of him. Plus it never hurts to make people think you’re more than you are. Perception is everything, and before you know it, you will be overbooked.”
“Oh.” She gave him a tentative smile. “Thanks.”
“Mind if I grab a coffee and wait with you for your brother? It’s getting crowded in here.”
She nodded, her gaze thoughtful.
Evan picked up a coffee and a few pastries and returned to Kenzie. “How about some sweets as a peace offering? I had no idea I was interrupting a meeting.”
She accepted an apricot Danish. “Thanks. It’s not your fault I couldn’t snare Rob Talon on my own.”
He didn’t know about that. Rob had seemed pretty smitten when Evan had seen the pair sitting together.
“How do you know him anyway?” Kenzie asked.
“I knew his sister from a long time ago. She and I dated briefly in college. Rob is a good guy, and he and I became friends after Kayla and I broke up.”
“Really? Kayla is amazing.”
“She is. But I was the problem.” I was too boring for Kayla. And I really hate that word. “She wanted to see the world, and I had responsibilities.” He sipped his coffee, remembering the past and wondering where the time had gone. “Well, actually she wanted to go to India for some technology conference, and I wanted to go to Miami for a wild spring break. We parted ways after I joined the Marine Corps and she moved to Bangalore.”
“You were a Marine?”
Am a Marine.” He smiled with pride. “You’re never an ex. You become a ‘prior’ or ‘former’ Marine. It’s always with you.” Even though he hadn’t enjoyed many of the aspects of the military, he missed the camaraderie, which explained why he loved working with the gang at Vets on the Go! It felt like a mini-Corps of likeminded individuals.
“So if you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving furniture for a living? Because you burned out doing accounting?” She sounded disbelieving.
He couldn’t blame her. “Actually, I’m a partner in our moving business. My cousins and I own Vets on the Go!, and one of our guys is out due to a broken arm. So I’m helping out until he’s back. But to be honest, it’s been enjoyable using my muscles more than my brains for a while. I got tired working eighty-hour weeks for Peterman & Campbell.”
Her eyes softened. “That makes sense. I love my job, but I get tired too. I worked all weekend in between cleaning my house and running errands.” She sighed. “And today was a bust.”
“Sorry to hear that. I’ll make sure Rob calls you back since I interrupted you.”
“No, please don’t. I can handle my business myself.”
He sensed a little bit of tension there, but he understood the need for independence. “No problem. At least finish the Danish.”
She shoved half the pastry in her mouth and grinned at him. “Happy now?” she asked, her mouth full, and he laughed.
“You know, I can see where your brother gets that attitude.”
She managed to swallow the ball of dough and groaned. “Now I should be apologizing to you. I can’t believe he tricked you into coming here.”
“So you’re not having a problem with your taxes?”
“Yes, but—” The buzz of her phone interrupted her. She read a text and blinked. “Daniel just told me he’s on his way here to meet with you and not to be freaked out if I see you because you’re not stalking me, you’re doing him a favor.”
“Wow. He texted all that?”
“Mostly in abbreviations and emojis, but I understand teen-speak.”
Evan laughed. “Better you than me. I couldn’t even figure out how to change my name back.”
“What did he change your name to?”
“Well, my ringtone became ‘Dancing Queen.’ And my name became Sexy Moving Man with a Fine Ass.”
She couldn’t stifle her mirth, and he saw it.


BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iBOOKS  |  INDIEBOUND  |  BaM  |  KOBO

AUTHOR INFO:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marie Harte is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether biking around town, hiking, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit HERE and fall in love. She resides in Oregon.

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Book Blast for Finally Home by L. Simpson (GIVEAWAY)


An exhilarating woman new to the community finds herself drawn to the town’s good guy in this charming contemporary romance.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Finally Home by L. Simpson, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this third installment in the Alpine Valleys series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 Boroughs Bucks GC too!

HEART AND SOUL
Ben McTavish is besotted when he sees a vixen in striped leggings own a cringe-worthy moment and turn it into a hilarious bit. He can’t stop thinking about her even though he puts his foot in his mouth every time he tries to get to know her. Ben would love to spend some time with this woman who has captivated him, but he needs to get his farm established before the bank takes back the land.
Kate Bloomington is all about whipping her life into shape, including getting to know her grandmother who she is now caring for. When she meets Ben, also known as Saint McT since he helps all comers, she pushes him away. Somehow, he shows up at every inopportune moment, mortifying her and enticing her at the same time. She learns that he needs help as much as she does, and together they create a love that is unbreakable.

EXCERPT:

“What’s on your mind?” he asked after I’d been standing at the kettle long after it had boiled.
“Ah…” I muttered, caught off guard and not able to come up with a ready answer. Sensing my indecision, he turned me around then lifted me onto the kitchen bench, coming to stand between my legs. In this position, I was at his height, and I appreciated how handsome he was at this angle. His hair was even more mussed than usual, and I remembered I’d had my hands in it, holding him close as he’d made me come. His eyes looked into mine, and they were open and appreciative with a hint of a smile. He wasn’t laughing at me, but I sensed he knew the direction of my thoughts.
“Tell me what you want, Kate,” he said quietly as his gaze dropped to my lips.
“You. I want you. And I want you to stay, but I don’t know what to do about it.” The words fell out of my mouth as I looked at his lips that were now giving me a sexy smile.
“Why don’t you know what to do? Ask me.”
“You might think I’m easy.”
“Never.”
“You might think I’m going to put out, and I want to but I… maybe… don’t know what I’m doing. And I think you do,” I said. I didn’t see the point in lying. He could be trusted with the truth.
“Well, what happens if I say yes? Do you think I’m easy and will put out?” he murmured as he rubbed my thighs.
“Of course not,” I answered.
“And how do you know I know what I’m doing?”
“Because I’m on fire when you look at me, and when you touch me, I’m only seconds away from coming apart.”
As I said this, he sucked in a breath, like what I said hit a target he didn’t know he had.
“Will you stay with me?” I whispered right before I kissed him. It started slow and sweet, until his tongue slipped into my mouth, and tangled with mine. Then he increased the intensity. Before long I was clinging to him, needing more, desperate for contact.

BUY AT AMAZON here.

AUTHOR INFO:

As a girl growing up in Australia, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her life. There had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair. Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a full time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes
Returning from the States, her career took a different turn as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other ways to win hearts and minds.
While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling has only got stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valleys of North East Victoria, Australia with her husband, daughter, son, two dogs and seven chooks. When she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency, renovating her farmhouse, or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she is writing.

WEBSITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  INSTAGRAM  |  LINKEDIN

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Book Tour for The Art of the Scandal by Suzanne Tierney (GIVEAWAY)


Two people hoping to regain their place in society form an unlikely bond, and start a fake relationship, in order to get revenge on those who look down on them in this sensual read that will pull readers into the world of art.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Art of the Scandal by Suzanne Tierney, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this standalone historical romance make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC too!

The Art is fake. The Love is real. The Risk is ruin.
May, 1850, London, England
"Beware, darling. Disaster rolls in on a whisper.”
Jilted by her fiancĂ©, abandoned by her father, and scorned by her friends, Lady Lydia Pierpont and her pregnant, 15 year-old sister will be homeless by midnight unless she can charm the deed of her family’s home out of the mysterious South African who won the estate in a poker game.
Grieving over the death of his Jewish father and English mother, Simon Cohen has no time for gallantry. He’s out to reclaim his mother’s name from the aristocracy who humiliated her. With an art collection worth millions and the National Gallery begging for a donation, revenge is within reach.
But when Lydia points out that Simon’s treasure trove includes at least one forgery, they strike a deal. She’ll ferret out the fakes and if the debut of his collection goes smoothly, she’ll win back her home. If she fails, she will take the blame and go to jail.
Together, Lydia and Simon will feign an engagement, delve into the world of art forgery, and navigate the narrow-minded prejudices of London society to discover that love is forged, never faked.

EXCERPT:

The rain soaking through her dress bit at her spine. Hunger made her reckless. The stupid painting mocked her. She came to her feet, raised an angry finger at the assembly of philosophers who squandered their time on metaphysical questions. The simple answer was food, a safe bed, and friendship. All of which she’d lost in the span of twelve hours.
“I may not be a breaker of rules.” She inched toward Mr. Cohen. “I may not see into the dark heart of man.” Another step. “But I am not blind.” She held her chin up, knocked her hat back. No point in hiding her wounds. “I know how to spot a fake. And your Knowledge is Everything, sir, is a fake.”


FIND AT GOODREADS here.


BUY AT AMAZON here.

AUTHOR INFO:

SUZANNE TIERNEY - WHETHER it's restlessness, wanderlust, or train fever, I love stories about journeys. So that's what I write--books steeped in the lush details of history that tell of heroines thoroughly devoted to their sense of place, even when it's the wrong place, and the heroes who catapult, challenge and cherish those heroines, even when they have no intention of setting down roots.
FROM your arm chair, your train carriage, your vivid imagination, come and join me on the ultimate adventure.


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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Book Release Blitz for About Face by D.E. Haggerty (Review & GIVEAWAY)


A woman who once seemed to have all that she wanted finds herself adrift after a life-altering accident has her recuperating at her grandparent’s house and learning what she truly wants in the process.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of About Face by D.E. Haggerty, along with my impressions of it which will have you wanting to add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this first installment in the Love in the Suburbs series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 Amazon GC too!

My grandma is trying to hook me up.
To be painfully specific, my seventy-five-year-old grandmother thinks a little hanky-panky would cheer me up. Direct quote. Since I’m currently living with her, I can’t escape the endless line of grandchildren of friends who keep ‘dropping by’ for dinner. Literally, I can’t escape. I can barely manage the trek to the dining room at this point.
While Grandma’s determined to find me a husband, I’m determined to learn how to walk again so I can walk away from her matchmaking skills. Spoiler alert: She has no matchmaking skills.
But then I get a brilliant idea. I can fake date my physical therapist. Only he wants a real date. Gulp. A real date with me? Is he for real? I’m no longer the stylish girl with the glamorous job. Now, I’m a woman with a shattered leg and a scarred face.
If I’m going to learn to live with my new reality and give love a chance, my attitude needs to do an about face. Easier said than done.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  iBOOKS  |  BN  |  KOBO


MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a disabled person myself I applaud any author willing to bring a character with a disability to life as it’s oftentimes difficult to depict them realistically while keeping readers entertained.  This series starter introduces readers to Frankie, a woman trying to recover from a life-altering accident that has left her with a mangled leg and a facial scar, as she undergoes both a physical and personal transformation.  Her injuries are painful, both inside and out, and it made her a character that sometimes frustrated me while I cheered her on the next in a story that’s ultimately empowering.

Before her accident Frankie was working non-stop, at the top of her game when it came to event planning.  There was plenty of time later to have a personal life...at least she thought there was until a serious accident changes her view of the future irrevocably.  She’s now unable to work and worries that others will displace her unless she can be like she was.  Those fears feed into her already bruised self-esteem and made her a heroine that whined a lot at the start.  I also felt she was naive about how the working world views the disabled and I kept hoping she would stick up for herself sooner.  It’s clear that at the start she has a lot of growing to do, embrace life more fully instead of living superficially, and it’s that journey that kept me glued to the pages.  It was an emotional journey at times as she discovered hard truths about those she once called friends, discovered hidden inner strength that strengthened her self-esteem later on.  Along with the rocky spots were moments of humor, many of them surrounding her grandmother’s attempts to find her a date, and it was a nice balance that endeared these characters to me.  On a whole I found Frankie a likable heroine, despite my being frustrated with her early on.  From the first page to the last I cheered her on in her journey of personal growth, a journey that showed her what really matters in life...the love of a good man, supportive family and friends, and a career that satisfies you.

Aiding Frankie in her journey is an appealing cast of secondary characters that practically jumped off the pages.  Brodie, the physical therapist with a strong will and a heart of gold, is just what Frankie needs to truly recover.  He pushes her at every turn, pushes her past her limits to get her to truly start living.  He’s the complete opposite to the kind of guy she’s normally drawn to but he’s just what she needs.  He’s a delicious hero with a swoon-worthy disposition that fueled their fake relationship to being oh so much more.  He’s protective of her from the moment they meet and I wish more time had been spent with them early on as they became quite a formidable pair.  Shelby, Frankie’s outspoken new friend with a disability of her own, was utterly delightful too and was a good support through Frankie’s journey as she pushed her beyond her usual limits with humor and bravado.  I would love to see more of her in the future as she left an indelible mark on me.  Frankie’s grandmother also left her mark with her humorous and misguided attempts to find Frankie a man, attempts that brought out numerous losers and criminals.  Grandma was brash, loud, but it’s clear that she loves Frankie very much which she comes to rely on as Frankie’s parents were too often absent.  For the most part this was an entertaining read with a romance that was a satisfying slow-burn as a fake relationship became all too real.  Issues of disability, and self-esteem, were dealt with in a realistic way that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.  The heroine is a memorable one too, sometimes frustrating but always trying to do right, in a tale that pulled at my heartstrings while making me laugh.  This is my first time reading this author but it won’t be the last and I encourage other readers to give this rom-com a chance too!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


AUTHOR INFO:

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.


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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Book Tour for Black Sheep by Meghan March (REVIEW)


A man bound by blood, trapped in a world he doesn’t want to be in, finds himself drawn to a woman who will change his life irrevocably Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Black Sheep by Meghan March, along with my impressions of this second installment in the Dirty Mafia Duet, then add this sexy and suspenseful romance to your bookshelf!

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a story of untold truths and one man’s redemption in the Dirty Mafia Duet.
Every family has a black sheep.
In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman.
Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born.
I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood.
I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes…until I met her.
Drew Carson turned my world upside down when she walked into my club looking for a job.
Now, my honor and my life are on the line.
Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand.
She’s worth the fallout.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  iBOOKS  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  GOOGLE PLAY


MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

The Queen of Cliffhangers is back with this sensual and suspenseful book that’s the first half of an exhilarating duet that kept me glued to the pages.  From the first page to the last readers will find themselves quickly captivated by this tale set in the mafia world and featuring an illegitimate son and his attraction to the strong-willed woman bent on revenge.  When his father, the dangerous Dominic Casso, expresses an interest in her too things take an even darker turn in this tale that takes unexpected turns.

Cannon Freeman is a man of mystery, fawned over by women while being constantly challenged by other men looking for power.  As the illegitimate son of a mafia kingpin his life has never been his own, ordered by his father to lie and flex his muscles, as he’s always been made to feel second best.  He’s growing tired of his father’s treatment though, tired of being a pawn, so when his father tries to claim the new waitress at his cigar bar he makes his stand and claims her as his own.  His connection to Drew is sizzling from the moment they meet in a romance full of power and danger.  He’s protective and focused throughout the story with moments of loneliness that had me feeling sympathetic towards him.  On a whole Cannon’s a sexy hero who’s full of grays as his attraction to the mysterious Drew takes him on a journey full of unexpected twists and turns....especially when the truth regarding Drew’s past is revealed.

Drew Carson’s not who she appears to be as her sad past has transformed her into a determined woman bent on revenge after the death of her father.  She’s buried the woman she once was to embed herself into the Casso family world to find out the truth in order to bring them to justice. Learning about her mission I was constantly on edge waiting for the truth about her to come out while rooting for her to make the murderers pay.  Throughout her mission Drew was a strong-willed heroine, one who didn’t take guff, and one who didn’t allow distractions...at least until she met Cannon.  He was a decadent distraction and I enjoyed the balance of sizzle and suspense surrounding their times together. Just as their romance heated up so too did the danger in a tale that had my heart picking up the pace.

This was a quick read that was over before I knew it, leaving me with one heckuva cliffhanger.  The story may have started off slowly but the pace quickly picked up before racing to a conclusion that has me desperately counting down the days until the other half of this duet hits bookshelves.  Cannon and Drew are an exciting main couple, both of whom do questionable things at times to reach their goals, and despite their dogged determination I still found them immensely likable.  They have a crackling connection teeming with sexual tension that lead to erotically-charged interactions that had me blushing.  Their banter outside the bedroom was witty and sensual too and had a foreplay feeling early on that had me waiting with bated breath for them to act on their feelings.  Along with this larger-than-life main couple was an equally intriguing cast of secondary characters whose motives I could only guess at as villains and heroes weren’t always obvious.  On a whole these eclectic characters added to the mystery and kept me on the edge of my seat rooting for Cannon and Drew to survive...and get their HEA.  Ms. March has crafted another winner as readers will be on tenterhooks waiting for the finale after the captivating story started here!

My rating for this is an A.

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


AUTHOR INFO:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Book Release Blitz for That Forever Girl by Meghan Quinn (REVIEW)

A second chance at romance comes to life for a woman returning home and the man who’s been waiting for her for years in this small town romance.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of That Forever Girl by Meghan Quinn, along with my impressions of it, then add this second installment in the Getting Lucky series to your bookshelf!

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn’s second book in the Getting Lucky series brings heart, humor, and heat back to Port Snow.
There are two little words every small-town man dreads:
She’s back.
Harper Sanders, the girl who was supposed to be my forever, has returned to Port Snow, Maine, for good—and she’s bringing back memories of our shared past.
We once had a bright future together, but when tragedy struck, I threw it all away and pushed her out of my life. People in our small town think I’m cursed, but I know better. I did it all to myself.
And now she’s creating a life of her own in the place where we first fell in love. I can’t fight my feelings for her—or the strong attraction that keeps pulling us together. But after all this time, can she forgive the past and fall in love with me all over again?
Everyone hopes to find that forever girl…I just hope I haven’t lost mine for good.

EXCERPT:

There is no way in hell she’s here.
My family isn’t that cruel. Right?
From my car, I try to gauge the number of bodies in my parents’ house through the windows. Ugh, I can’t see shit.
She can’t possibly be at family dinner. My family loves Harper, but they wouldn’t invite her, not after I called my mom the other day, telling her to put her matchmaking skills to rest. She just chuckled but reassured me she knew what she was doing. Whatever the hell that means.
I was very adamant about leaving Harper alone. The Knightly scan be too much at times, and I’m sure we’re the last thing she needs right when she’s trying to settle back into town.
Resigning myself to the inevitable, I retrieve my keys from the ignition and make my way to the front door. Hand on the doorknob, I take a deep breath and walk into the house I grew up in. The warm walls and carefully hung family pictures greet me first, followed by my family’s raucous laughter emanating from the back of the house.
I remove my shoes and hang my suit jacket on the coat hanger by the front door before cautiously making my way down the long hallway to the connected kitchen and large dining room. Ren, Griffin’s girlfriend, is the first to spot me. She gives me a small smile and a little wave. The rest of the family is scattered around the kitchen as usual, getting in my parents’ way as they try to finish up the dinner prep.
Griffin sees me next. “Ah, you finally decided to join us.” He checks his watch. “I think that was eight minutes in the car. Who had eight minutes?”
Reid raises his hand and hops off the counter, grabbing a bowl from the center of the table and pocketing the wad of cash inside. “I know him too well.” Reid pats me on the back and slips me a one-dollar bill. “Here, this is for you. Thanks for taking eight minutes to prepare yourself to come in the house. Daddy is going to buy a new pair of jeans.” He pats his pockets.
Ignoring everyone and their stupid bet, I pop the fridge door open and grab a water. Reid joins me, sticking his head in the fridge so I’m forced to look at him. “Aren’t you going to ask?”
“Ask what?” I grit out.
“If she’s here. I know that’s why you were hanging out in your car, debating if you should come in or not.”
My skin prickles, and I brace myself for the answer as I shut the fridge door. “Is she here?” I hiss.
Slowly, Reid smiles and nods. “Yup, she’s in the bathroom.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I angrily squeeze my water bottle, nearly popping the top off. “Why? Why is she here?”
Reid shrugs. “I don’t know, maybe because she wants to be here.”
“Who invited her? Was it Mom?” I don’t wait for an answer. Instead, I walk over to the culprit, who’s hovering over the stove, stirring a huge pot of chili.
“Oh, hey, sweetie. Cornbread is in the oven, honey is in the crock, and I also got tortilla chips because I know how much you like crumbling them in your chili.”
“Mom, why did you invite her? I told you to leave her alone, to leave us alone.”
“What are you talking about?” My mom looks me up and down and then goes back to the chili.
“Harper. I asked you not to invite Harper.”
The bathroom door opens, and Jen pops out, rubbing her hands together. “Did he come in yet?” Her eyes light up as she spots me. “What time was it?”
“Eight minutes. Reid won.”
Disappointed, she snaps her fingers. “Damn, I for sure thought I was going to win.”
Confused, I turn back to my mom. “Harper isn’t here?”
“No, of course not. I wouldn’t invite her so early. She needs time to settle. What made you think she was here?”
I whip around to find Reid leaning against the kitchen wall, arms crossed and with a giant grin on his face. I point at him. “You better run, because I’m going to fucking kill you.”
Like a bolt of lightning, he takes off, and I chase after him, nothing but pure murder on my mind.


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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Some of my favorite romances involve second chances, involve friends becoming lovers, and my joy is even higher when the romance is set in a small town.  Ms. Quinn’s latest tale manages to combine all that and more though in a romance that warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.  On a whole readers will quickly find themselves drawn to this story’s bruised hero, who appears to have it all, and the battered heroine returning home to find all that she’s been missing in a romance that captivates.

Rogan Knightly and Harper were always meant to be....at least that’s how it appeared all those years ago as they became friends as children before becoming each other’s everything on their way to college.  That’s where everything changed though, changed him on an individual level as well as breaking them apart as a couple.  Years have passed and when readers first meet Rogan we see a man of means, someone commanding and in control, and a bit closed-off.  It’s quite a change from the younger version who was charming, sweet, and full of hope for a future with Harper.  This older version is more jaded and a bit cruel at times and his demeanor put HEA in grave doubt.  The Rogan of today was a bit hard to love but thankfully the power of love soon worked its magic on him and us to reach their hard-fought HEA.  I enjoyed seeing Rogan evolve over the years, see how fate affected him, and on a whole I enjoyed the realism of his evolution despite how frustrated I was in him at times.  Though his reunion with Harper went badly at first, because of his own self-loathing over his past actions, I was still rooting for them and him and was ultimately rewarded in a journey that kept me on edge until the very end.  Rogan had A LOT to atone for after what he did in the past, after all his hurtful words now, and thankfully that charming young boy returns to win Harper back...with a bit of help from his family along the way.

Harper Sanders and Rogan were two peas in a pod as children before learning all about love and sex on the way to college in a journey that put a smile on my face.  They seemed destined to be together forever until Rogan suddenly left without a word.  Harper’s return home though gives her the chance to figure out what happened all those years ago and quite possibly help her find her own HEA.  When readers meet Harper we see an appealing heroine who’s contently going through life.  She’s not wealthy like Rogan but she’s satisfied with where she is.  Coming into contact with Rogan again after years apart makes for an awkward first contact, but at least it will finally provide closure.  What occurs though is anything but closure as they once again find the spark that they had in their younger years in a romance that slow-burned back to life.  Harper’s clearly been hurt by Rogan so I felt very protective of her from the start but I was happy to see slow changes in them both the more they interacted.  Page turn by page turn Harper stood up for herself more while Rogan finally explained his actions of long ago which made their second chance richly rewarding and well worth the wait.

On a whole I found this to be a charming and endearing romance of second chances between two former first loves set in a small town full of colorful characters who played the part of matchmaker.  With sweet and joyful glimpses of this couple’s early interactions we fell in love right alongside them and it was a heartwarming sight to behold.  When Rogan left Harper, my heart was broken too.  I was angered by Rogan’s actions early on, and though I was satisfied by his explanation and his groveling, I never forgave him completely though I appreciate the effort.  The romance between these two started off with much promise but got very rocky as the story progressed.  Things didn’t truly get more romantic until much later in this story which I was waiting for with bated breath.  Helping this couple reach their HEA were the delightful denizens of their small town who utterly charmed me courtesy of the humorous interactions between the townspeople and this couple that made me smile.  Rogan’s texting with his brothers was especially entertaining with brotherly banter that made me love the Knightly family all the more and has me excited to get the next brother’s story told.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.