Friday, July 31, 2020

Book Release Blitz for Cowboy by Hayley Faiman (REVIEW)

Second chances, the high price of fame, and unexpected twists and turns fuels this series-ender that will captivate readers.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Cowboy by Hayley Faiman, along with my impressions of it, then add this fifth installment in the Unfit Hero series to your bookshelf too!

Recluse. Brooding. Man Whore. Rough.
Labels can set us up for success for failure. I hate them, always have.
There is a reason for mine.
I dream of that reason morning, noon, and night.
Egocentric. Greedy. Cruel. Self-Loathing.
Labels shape the lonely woman that I am.
I hate the person that I’ve allowed myself to become.
I’ve hurt the only person that I have ever loved.
I dream of him every single night when I close my eyes.
Labels are worn like a badge, either in honor or horror. They do not define me.
I am judged by them anyway.



From the very start the Unfit Hero series has been full of unforgettable characters amidst a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  Moments of steam have been balanced with the pulling of heartstrings, along with a few chuckles along the way, courtesy of a colorful and close-knit group of friends who have become more like family.  The ride ends with this latest release though, brings everyone full circle in a romance of second chances and the high price of fame, and it held me captive from the very first page to the last.

Ford Matthews has loved Stephanie since they were children, planned his life around a future with her by his side.  On the day of their wedding though she ran, turning her back on the dreams he had to find something more for herself.  It was an emotional blow to him, made him feel as though he and his love weren't enough for her.  For 17 years he's felt that festering wound and now longs for closure.  Seeing her again unfortunately presents anything but closure as long-held affections rise up to put them back in each other's arms.  Issues from the past, hurt feelings, and danger from her ex all conspire to make their reunion a rocky one full of angst and uncertainties that had me frantically turning the pages.  Ford's a likable hero with a heart of gold.  He's strong and sexy and, despite his anger, always has Stephanie's back.  He's a true gentleman, supportive of Stephanie but never controlling, and she's a lucky woman to be loved by him.  Their reunion turned steamy very quickly, showed him to be all man in interludes that were bdsm lite, but also allowed for heartfelt talks about their past that helped guide them to their future.

Stephanie (aka Sterling LaRue...America's Moviestar Sweetheart) became the Runaway Bride 17 years ago, leaving behind her small town and childhood love.  It was a heartbreaking decision but one that had to be made so that no resentment would weigh on their love.  It's been lonely all these years though, never knowing who to trust as money and fame rule all.  The luster of fame is starting to dim for her as this story starts, a feeling of being unsatisfied, and it's this feeling that follows her home.  Finding out that Ford is still available changes everything, has her rethinking her life and what she wants out of it.  Her return has them dealing head-on with past hurts, has them being brutally honest about their desires in a journey full of twists and turns.  Stephanie's an appealing heroine full of self-loathing for her long-ago decision and guilt-ridden for all that's befallen Ford throughout the years.  She was young though and needed to spread her wings, needed to learn what was truly important before settling down so I never faulted her for that. Her concern over her duplicitous ex Sebastian though...that is her fault and her actions frustrated me as he wreaked havoc in her life through his over the top machinations.  Despite a frustration or two I enjoyed her and Ford together.  They balanced each other out nicely and scorched up the pages whenever they were together.

On a whole this was a satisfying end to Ms. Faiman's series of imperfect characters finding their perfect HEAs.  The main couple was strong-willed as individuals, but more formidable when together in a scorching and sentimental tale with a bit of suspense late in the book.  The issues between them were realistic and addressed in a believable manner that had me fully invested in their journey to HEA.  Surrounding this compelling couple was an equally entertaining cast of secondary characters, ones readers have seen in past books and it made for an enjoyable update that tied a bow around this series-ender.  Two secondary characters in particular captured my attention...Stephanie's assistant Daimon and Russian Mafia King Kirill...due to their larger than life personalities.  I'd love to see a story dedicated to Daimon as he's a fun and flirty friend while I look forward to adding Kirill's already written book to my shelf as he's a definite temptation.  Readers who enjoy steamy, second chance romances full of heart and soul will want to add this book to their to be read mountains as it's one that kept me glued to the pages...and it will do the same to you!

My rating for this is an B+

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


I was born and raised in California. My husband and I met when I was just 16. We were married a few years later, we lived in Oregon while he was in the US Coast Guard.
Texas is now where we call home, where our boots rest, and where we're raising our two little boys and a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Book Blitz for Hasty by Julia Kent (GIVEAWAY)....

A woman is forced to rely on her enemy when her world falls apart in this rom-com of second chances and matters of the heart.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Hasty by Julia Kent, then add this fun and flirty series-ender to your bookshelf.  In honor of this fourth installment in the Do-Over series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon/iTunes GC too!

I never thought my perp walk would lead to true love.
Then again, I never thought I’d be arrested on RICO charges and hauled away in zip ties on camera for the world to see, minutes after closing the most amazing deal of my career.
And all of it in front of my biggest viral, billionaire wunderkind Ian McRory.
I am broke.
I am disgraced.
I am alone.
I am a sucker.
But the worst part? I have to go back to my hometown and live in my bedroom filled with relics from my childhood.
Lisa Frank never made me so mad before.
Just when I needed a rescue, I got one — in the form of help from my biggest rival.
He can’t bring back my money.
He certainly can’t bring back my reputation or my pride.
But there’s one thing he can bring back to me.
A sense of hope.
Maybe even love.
Ian sees something in me no one else does, and he’s relentless about making me see it, too. As we grow closer, I’m starting to see that while my entire life used to be a lie, the truth is staring me in the present — and it’s a truth I like very, very much, hot eyes and gorgeous smile and all.
But I have to be careful.
I can’t be too ~
That’s right.
The final book in the USA Today bestselling Do-Over Series (Fluffy, Perky, Feisty), as Mallory’s sister, Hastings “Hasty” Monahan gets her turn at a happily ever after that starts off with an arrest.


Ian keeps chasing me, though. Why? And why does the fact that he won't let up thrill me?
That's the part I hate. The thrill. The zing of arousal that shoots through me every time that jerkface–who isn't a jerk-does this. He's pursuing me and I don't understand it, but I do like it.
More than I want to admit.
The fight inside me feels like layers of muscles in my abs are in a tug-of-war. Ian McCrory represents everything I fought to achieve in my old life. Self-made billionaire. Liked by everyone. Admired by even more.
Respected for his hardcore negotiating skills.
And droolingly handsome.
He was my nemesis. My enemy. The guy who sniped deals, and who I sniped from.
We were adversaries, but he flipped the script, didn't he? Coming to my rescue. Aiding me in a time of need.
I don't want to need him.
And I especially don't need to want him.
I stare at the phone. Just as my finger goes to the Power button to turn it off again, three dots appear.
One dinner. Indulge me?
I go into my contacts, and I block him.
He just proved me right.
Taking help from people means you're obligated.
And no matter how sweet the currency he's dangling, I don't like owing him. I don't like owing anyone.
Burke turned my entire life into one big debt.
But my body isn't available as collateral.
And neither is my heart.






New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 19 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French and German, with more titles releasing in 2020 and beyond.
From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).
She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Teaser Reveal for Leo by Jay McLean...

Two neighbors start out as friends with each new year bringing them closer together in a romance full of angst and heartwarming moments on a rocky road to HEA.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Leo by Jay McLean, then start counting down the days until this third installment in The Preston Brothers series hits shelves on August 11th!

One single summer changed them forever, and one moment of devastating silence destroyed it all.
Growing up with six siblings, Leo Preston has always struggled to find his voice.
While his brothers are loud, greedy, and somewhat obnoxious, Leo is forever the quiet one.
The thinker.
The listener.
He watches his life pass by as an outsider in his own world, absent and alone.
Until he finds her.
For Leo, Mia Kovács is like a prize, a gift wrapped in passion and devotion.
And she’s his—his very own secret he doesn’t have to share.
Together, they can overcome anything...
heartache and destruction, guilt and regret.
Mia gives Leo everything he didn’t know he needed,
including her fragile heart.
The only thing she doesn’t give him...
are secrets of her own.



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Book Blast for The Baby Contract by Nan Reinhardt (GIVEAWAY)

It's a heartwarming and unexpected romance between two friends desperately wanting a family that may start out based on a fake marriage but soon becomes oh so much more.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Baby Contract by Nan Reinhardt, then discover more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this fourth installment in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance for 5 US readers to win a set of 6 handcrafted wineglass charms along with a $10 Starbucks GC too!

She wants a baby...he wants a family.
Firefighter and paramedic Tierney Ashton has always been a bold adventurer, but at thirty-four she longs to embark on a new adventure—motherhood. But who will be the father? Although financially challenging, a sperm bank appears to be her best option. That is, until she shares her dream with her long-time pal, Brendan Flaherty.
Government analyst and world traveler Brendan Flaherty returns home to River’s Edge to help out at his family’s thriving winery and his brother’s new community theater. He also plans to finally achieve his lifelong goal of writing a novel. But when Tierney shares her wish, Bren offers to be her baby daddy—with one condition. Marriage.
It seems like a perfect contract, but will love get in the way?


This could work.
She wasn’t involved with anyone and neither was he. Fact was, his job kept him so busy with late nights and travel and meetings all over the world, it had been hard to maintain much of a romantic relationship with anyone in DC. Since he’d been home, he’d dated a little, but that spark he’d waited for all his life had yet to materialize.
However, he truly meant what he’d said to Tierney. “Why?” he repeated with a bit more force. “Why is it any crazier than picking a father for your baby off a website?"
Tierney’s eyes narrowed. “You would do that? Go to Nell’s with me, collect a...a sample, and let her inseminate me? Just like that?"
Brendan nearly had to pick his jaw up off the table. That’s what she thinks I'm suggesting? How could she have known him for her whole life and believe for one moment that he’d simply give her his... his...Oh, good Lord. And then what? Walk away? He ran one hand over his face “Of course not!"
She sat up straighter. “Then what, Bren? Because, honestly, right now, that’s all I’m looking for."
“Well, we... I... I-I can’t do that.” He was floundering, which frustrated him because he rarely floundered. He made presentations regularly to large groups of highly placed government officials all over the world. He could explain the intricacies of diplomacy, answer questions, and meet-and-greet in seven different languages. Now, he was stuttering in front of a woman he’d known since they were both kids. Who knew the most awkward moment of his life would be with Tee? Go figure.



Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copy editor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.
Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! Her latest series, the Four Irish Brothers Winery series is available from Tule Publishing and all book retailers. Books 1 through 3 are currently available; Book 4 releases July 16, 2020 and is available for preorder.
Visit Nan’s website where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully...mostly. Nan also blogs every third Tuesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors, is a frequent contributor to the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast for The Ultimate Betrayal by Kat Martin (GIVEAWAY)

A woman trying to prove her deceased father's innocence finds herself relying on her brother's best friend as his guarding her body soon turns romantic in this sensual and suspenseful tale.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Ultimate Betrayal by Kat Martin, then discover even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this third installment in the Maximum Security series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

To prove her father’s innocent of treason, she’ll have to face a killer--and risk everything...
When journalist Jessie Kegan’s father is accused of espionage and treason, Jessie has no doubt the man she looked up to her entire life is innocent. Worse yet, before Colonel Kegan can stand trial, he’s found dead of a heart attack...but Jessie knows it was murder. Forcing down her grief, she’s determined to use her investigative skills and resources to clear her father’s name. But going after the truth means Jessie soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who wants that truth to stay buried with her father.
Protecting Jessie Kegan is a job bodyguard Brandon Garrett can’t refuse. Jessie isn’t just a client at Maximum Security—she’s the sister of his best friend, Danny, killed in Afghanistan. With dangerous forces gunning for Jessie from every angle, keeping her safe will mean keeping her close and Bran finds their mutual attraction growing, though being Danny’s sister puts Jessie out of bounds.
With their backs against the wall, Jessie and Bran will have to risk everything to expose her father’s killer—before his legacy dies with his daughter.


Bran leaned back in his chair, his gaze fixed on her face. “ husband. No serious boyfriend, either?"
“No. Listen, if you’re finished with the third degree, I’m going to bed. It’s been a rough day."
His gaze sharpened. “Sorry,” he said, not looking sorry at all and even more curious than before--unfortunately. “I’ll see you in the morning."
“What time?” she managed to ask calmly.
“We leave at six."
“I’ll be ready. Good night, Bran. And thanks again. I really appreciate your help."
Bran casually nodded, but his beautiful blue eyes never strayed as she turned and walked away. She shouldn’t have let his questions get to her. It was a dead giveaway to a guy as smart as Brandon that there was more to the story than she was willing to tell.
Far more.
She thought of the man whose brutality had changed her life. Jordan Duran, Jordy, the man who was currently serving a ten-year prison sentence. She didn’t like to think about him. She refused to let him control any more of her life than he already had. As she had learned to do, she pushed his image from her mind and just thanked God she was still alive.
Yawning, she packed up the computer so she would be ready to travel in the morning and headed to bed. After the drama of the day--being followed from the airport, shot at, meeting Brandon Garrett and his friends, and escaping a possible tail, she should have been exhausted, and she was. Still, she couldn’t seem to fall asleep.
Every time she started to drift away, she saw Bran’s perceptive blue eyes and wondered what he thought of her. Wondered if he found her attractive. It had been months since she had been interested in a man. After Jordy, none of her attempts at a normal relationship had worked out and eventually she had just given up.
But Bran intrigued her. Both his physical beauty and his mind. She also knew that getting involved with Bran on a personal level was a terrible idea. He was exactly the heartbreaker Danny had warned her about. He was also ex-military, an adrenaline junkie who loved to be in the middle of the action. Guys like that never changed. Just as before, her judgment sucked.



New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 27, 2020

Book Cover Reveal for Forever You by Lyssa Cole....

Readers will be put through the emotional wringer in this angst-fueled story of second chances and a love that's meant to be.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Forever You by Lyssa Cole, become captivated by this dreamy book cover, then add this third installment in the You & Me series to your bookshelf when it releases on August 27th!

Some love is messy, some love is hard, But in the end, it’s worth every scar.
Levi broke me. He took my heart and smashed it into pieces.
Dean picked them up and slowly started to glue them back together. Until one day, one glance, one tragedy...
Changed everything I thought I wanted.
A heart so cold. A body so wounded.
A man so destroyed.
I may have walked away but I never really left.
With broken hearts and words of forgiveness, will we find our happily ever after? Or are we changed forever?





Lyssa Cole has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Escaping into a story is her favorite pastime. Wanting to be a writer for a couple years, she is now crafting her own stories. She loves to write angsty & sexy romance with lots of heat and some suspense to keep you guessing and wanting to turn that page! She lives in Southeastern Mass with her two children and two dogs. Lover of coffee, all things chocolate, & always the avid reader, you can keep up with Lyssa Cole by subscribing to her newsletter HERE.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Book Spotlight on Fearless by Katie Golding (GIVEAWAY)

Readers find themselves in the exhilarating world of racing in this tale of second chances and decisions based on the heart and mind as past loves end up face to face once again.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Fearless by Katie Golding, then add it to your bookshelf when it releases on July 28th.  In honor of this first installment in the Moto Grand Prix series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 5 copies of this book too!

He’s got one last chance.
To make things right.
Billy King may be smiling under his black Stetson, but the plain truth is this cowboy-turned-racer is hurting: for his horse back in Memphis, for his girl with one boot out the door, and for his faltering career thanks to an injury that’s not getting any better. The moment he’s free from the press circuit, Billy bolts home—resolved to heal, and ready to win Taryn’s heart a second time.
Hopefully, before the love of his life is gone for good.
Taryn Ledell never wanted to fall for sweet blue eyes and a deep southern drawl. As a World Superbike racer, she had plans, and none of them involved playing second fiddle to any man. But now he’s back, and she’s forced to make some hard choices. With her sponsors eager for a decision, Taryn finds herself tangled in all the lines they’ve drawn in the sand. But broken bones and broken hearts don’t heal overnight, and the cost of forgiveness can be sky high: unless Billy can prove that his heart never left the ranch...or her.


My whole heart was thumping strong in my chest while everything in me begged to kiss him. But I couldn’t bring myself to make the first move—I wanted Billy to go for it. To step up and take the risk and feel all the elation of me rewarding it with full-on acceptance because for once, what a guy wanted was exactly what I wanted, too.
He let out a deep sigh that was almost more of a groan, sinking my hopes. “You’re not making this easy on me at all, are you?"
“Making what easy?"
He looked away, unable to hide his smile. “Nothing."
It was too much fun; I couldn’t resist. The way he was, the way he made me feel. “You want to kiss me, Billy?"
He grinned at the ground. Probably, I was pushing too hard, too fast, but I didn’t really know any other way to go. Not when I wanted him to kiss me that damn bad.
When he lifted his head, there was no fear in his blue eyes. Just a pure kind of acceptance that he wasn’t going to be happy until he got what he wanted. “Yes, ma’am. I do."
My heartbeat took off as Billy stepped closer, his hat hiding both of us from the February moon. The rich scent of him was too tempting: I pulled it deep into my lungs, drowning in the masculinity rippling off him. But he still wasn’t touching me, no matter how much I wanted him to.
“Would that be all right?” he whispered.
I don’t remember nodding or breathing, just beaming at him and praying my self-restraint could hold on a little bit longer. “I’ll answer that in a minute."
Billy smiled, and then I finally got everything I’d been craving. He brushed his fingertips over my cheek with a touch softer than the wishing petals of a dandelion, hooking a knuckle under my chin and tilting my lips up to his. My eyelashes fluttered closed, my pulse thundering through my veins as I waited and waited, desperate for the first crash of his mouth against mine.
All I felt was space between us, growing longer and wider until it just wasn’t anymore—the first brush of his lips so soft, I wasn’t even sure that I’d felt him. But Billy was there, his kiss as slow as his drawl, careful and gentle, and little more than a sip of an ocean I was eager to disappear into.
I took his jaw between my palms, prickly with stubble but sculptured and strong. Drawing him down to me, I quickly melted into the shocking plumpness of what I’d considered to be thin lips but now felt rich and deep, and a whole new shade of delicious. Then he moaned, his hands squeezing my waist and pressing me up into him. It was like embracing iron, rippled and smooth, the bite of his buckle scraping my belly, and my hips pressing hungrily toward the long, thick swell growing behind his zipper.
He took a needy gasp for air, and I hugged him closer, slipping my tongue into his mouth. A growl churned from low in his throat as the kiss turned dirtier, the strike of his tongue and bite of his lips getting wonderfully sharp. But not sharp enough for what I wanted when my body was catching fire everywhere he touched me: his wide palm secure on my lower back, his other hand buried in my hair and massaging my scalp.
He felt so good, too good. And he hadn’t grabbed my ass once.
“You know”—I leaned back, my hand on his chest and Billy breathing hard, blinking at me with his hands suspended in place—“you don’t kiss like a bull rider."
His brow furrowed, the slightest spark of suspicion in his eyes. “How many bull riders you kissing?"
“Hopefully none."
He half rolled his eyes, but he was smiling again as he settled his hands on my waist, his thumbs petting the space leading to my hips. All trace of jealousy totally and completely gone, thank God. “All right, what do you got against bull riders?"
I did my best to calm my libido—which wasn’t helped by tapping his rock-solid chest with a single finger. But I wanted to set the record straight before we stumbled into a problem. I was never going back to that life, not when I had waited nine hours for Travis to wake up and not when I had been more terrified than I knew a person could be when Jace was airlifted. “You put your bull above everything else. And I’m telling you right now, Billy King, no eight-second bull ride is ever going to come before me."
Billy didn’t groan, didn’t flinch, didn’t blink. He just nodded. “Okay."
“I’m serious."
Serious as Bonnie Landry’s black funeral dress and the poem she brokenly read over Beau’s glistening coffin.
“Yeah?” Billy drawled, but his smile was clearly teasing as his hands slid from my waist to lock somewhere over my lower back. He pulled me closer until I was nearly gasping from the tease of his erection against my hip, straining his zipper and parching my mouth. His eyebrow arched in the picture of confidence, then he leaned down close enough to kiss me again, whispering against my lips, “Good thing I’m not a bull rider no more..."
Good thing indeed.



Katie Golding writes high-octane romance about complicated people always searching for the next thrill ride. She lives in Austin, Texas with her beloved husband and son.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Book Spotlight on Come Home to Deep River by Jackie Ashenden (GIVEAWAY)

Readers will want to mark their calendars for this tale of unexpected second chances set in a small town as two former friends start to realize that they've always wanted more between them.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Come Home to Deep River by Jackie Ashenden, then start counting down the days until this book hits shelves on July 28th.  In honor of this first installment in the Alaska Homecoming series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 5 copies of this book too!

Coming home was the easy part. Facing her will take everything he’s got...
Silas Quinn hasn’t been back to Deep River, Alaska, in years, not since he joined the army. He left behind the best friend he’d ever had. But he knew Hope Dawson was meant for bigger things than Deep River—and he—had to offer. What he didn’t know was that when he left, he took Hope’s dreams right along with him...
Then tragedy strikes and sends Silas home, and the entire town is thrown into chaos when they learn what brought him back—he’s inherited ownership of the town and the newly discovered oil reserves under it!
Hope gave up on ever getting out of Deep River. Her mom needed her, then her grandfather died and left her the local hangout to run. Now Si is back in town, stirring up old feelings—including her anger at being left behind. His return brings Hope an offer that can change her life. Love, or adventure, are almost within reach—but she can’t have both...


Flying into Deep River, Alaska, took a special kind of grit. The airstrip was a narrow bit of gravel to the side of soaring mountains, with a river running along one edge, and there was always some kind of crosswind happening that would challenge even the most experienced pilot.
It wasn’t a forgiving landing, and there was no room for error.
Luckily, Silas Quinn hadn’t made an error in all the time he’d spent flying around the wilds of the Alaskan backcountry, and he wasn’t about to make one now.
Particularly not when he was flying into the hometown he’d left thirteen years earlier and hadn’t been back to since. Especially not when he was coming back to what would probably turn out to be the most hostile reception since Mike Flint had once said at a town meeting that he thought the idea of a luxury motel on the side of the Deep River would be good and why didn’t they build one.
Considering the reason Si was here was fifty million times worse than the idea of a luxury motel, the response he was likely to get once he’d broken the news would probably be more than the one month of cold-shouldering that Mike had gotten.
Si would be lucky if the town didn’t kill him.
That was if this damn airstrip didn’t kill him first.
The clouds were lowering, and the rain was coming down hard, and the wind was a problem, but with his friend Caleb’s death still fresh, Si was in no mood to let the elements have their way with him.
He’d survived three tours in Afghanistan.
He’d survive this, even if it killed him.
He kept his nerve and brought the tiny plane down, the wheels bouncing on the gravel as he rolled up just shy of the lone hangar that housed Deep River’s entire aviation industry.
As the spin of the Cessna’s propellers began to wind down, Si sat in the cockpit trying to handle the rush of emotions that he had known would grip him the second he touched down. The usual mixture of grief, anger, and longing that Deep River always instilled whenever he thought of his hometown.
There was a special poignancy to it today though. Because Caleb was only a few weeks dead and the shock of the will was still ringing through Si’s entire being like a hammer strike.
Deep River was an anomaly. The entire town was privately owned and had been since the gold rush days, when town founder Jacob West had bought up all the land around the Deep River and declared it a haven for the misfits and rogues who didn’t fit in anywhere in normal society. He’d leased out the land to anyone who wanted to join him, getting them to pay him whatever they could afford in terms of a nominal rent, and in return, they could have a plot of land to call their own and do whatever they wanted with it.
The People’s Republic of Deep River, some called it.
Most just called it home.
Even over a hundred years later, the town was still owned by the Wests.
And that was the difficulty. Caleb was the oldest West and had inherited the town after his father, Jared West, had died five years earlier. And he’d ran the place since then—or at least he had until his unexpected death in a plane crash while running supplies up to a remote settlement in the north.
But that hadn’t been the end to the shocks that Si and his two other friends, Damon and Zeke, had had to endure in the past few weeks.
First, there had been finding out that Caleb had left the entire town to them in his will. And second, oil had been discovered within Deep River’s city limits—oil that the town had no idea was underneath their land.
Oil that, once they knew about it, was going to turn the entire place upside down.
Heavy stuff for three ex-military guys who had nothing to their names but a small company doing adventure tours for tourists, transport runs for hunters, and supply runs for everyone else in the Alaskan bush.
Si stared out at the rain beyond the windshield of the plane.
It hid everything from view, which was probably just as well. He hadn’t wanted to come back here, not considering what he’d been trying to leave behind, but it hadn’t made any sense for either Damon or Zeke to be the advance party.
This was his hometown. He was the one who knew Deep River and the people in it. And he was the one who’d been closest to Caleb.
Therefore, it made sense for him to be the one to break the happy news that firstly, the fact that he, Damon, and Zeke were the new owners. And secondly, there was oil in them thar hills.
Some men might have kept the oil a secret and kept all the riches for themselves too, but Si wasn’t that kind of man, and neither were his friends.
He’d been brought up in Deep River, an extreme environment where everyone learned to rely on each other since that could be all that stood between you and a very uncomfortable death. There was no time for petty grievances—though to be fair, there were a lot of those as well. But when push came to shove, the town pulled together. Because fundamentally, they were all the same. They’d all come here because they didn’t fit anywhere else, because they were escaping something, because they liked the quiet and the isolation and the return to nature.
Because they just plain old liked it.
Si let out a breath.
And now he was going to give them news that was going to blow it all apart.



Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. She used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.  Visit Ms Ashenden, and discover more about her books, HERE.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 24, 2020

Book Release Blitz for The What If Guy by Lauren Blakely (REVIEW)

After one missed opportunity a combustible couple finds themselves engaged in a relationship full of witty banter, scorching encounters, and a bit of secrecy as he's the new boss of her company.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The What If Guy by Lauren Blakely, along with my impressions of it, then add this second installment in The Guys Who Got Away series to your bookshelf!

It should be an easy rule to follow - don't bang your boss...
But I didn't know who he was when I met him.
And the first time I saw him, our connection sounded like the stuff of romantic legends -- that whole "their eyes locked across a crowded room" moment that turned into more.
I didn't believe it...until it happened to me.
Fine, the charming, clever, sexy-as-sin guy in the tailored suit was only trying to buy the same Snoopy lunchbox (as a gift!), but still, our eyes totally locked, and my lady parts definitely tingled as we vied for the prize.
Naturally, I did what any badass business woman would do. Negotiated for the lunchbox, then found my what-if guy online and made plans to see him the next night. One night only -- that was the deal we made.
But one fantastic night had us both changing our minds in the morning. And making plans for another.
Until I walked into the office to learn he just bought my company.
And here's the biggest rule of romantic legends -- no matter what, don't bang your boss. Especially if you're already falling for him.




From the very start this story grabbed my attention!  From a crackling first meeting between the main couple, to fun and flirty banter, to a storyline with very little angst and a delightful cast of secondary characters I found much to entertain me.  From the first page to the last I wore a perpetual smile while blushing a time or two along the way as this couple worked their way to HEA.

Logan Clarke's a man still dealing with his divorce, a man who's older and wiser, but still dealing with the hurt while figuring out where everything went wrong so it doesn't happen again.  He's got a twin sister, and a supportive group of friends, who often mock him but at the end of the day they're the ones helping him find happiness.  He also has a daughter who he dotes on, a daughter who's his everything, and whose interactions endeared him to me.  Add in a pair of clever and eccentric cats and readers will find an unforgettable cast of characters who made this an even more delightful read.  Logan's a delicious hero, sexy with moments of uncertainty when it comes to his relationship with Bryn.  As the story progressed though he definitely became more self-assured, letting loose an Alpha vibe when in Bryn's presence that turned up the heat.  There's a lot of give and take between these two, a beautiful balance that made them perfect for each other and had me rooting for them...especially once their new relationship hit a snag over Logan becoming her boss.

Bryn Hawthorne's a wonderful heroine, a strong-willed and confident woman when it comes to work.  She's energetic and outspoken, knows what she wants and isn't afraid to let others know what's on her mind...both in the bedroom and at work.  This outspoken nature added an extra layer of eroticism to scenes that featured a bit of lite bdsm and I enjoyed these moments of power play.  When it comes to her heart though she's a bit more guarded.  As a divorcée with an ex who cheated on her she's a bit leery of the insta-attraction she feels towards Logan. With the support of her friends/coworkers (her best friend being a definite highlight throughout the story and one I’d love to see more of) she jumps in with her eyes wide open in an increasingly combustible connection.  Finding out he's her boss may cause a small hiccup, but their HEA is meant to be in a romance full of steam along with some heartfelt moments.

There was much that was familiar in this story, it's a storyline that's been done before, but Ms. Blakey does it oh so well.  The main couple is immensely likable with interactions that practically jumped off the page. There were moments of sizzle balanced out by fun and flirty banter that felt more like foreplay and I couldn't contain my smile as their growing connection brought me joy.  I don't normally care for kids in my romances but Logan's daughter was a delight and I liked seeing his fatherly side come out.  It made him the quintessential book boyfriend, a good and sexy man with a heart of gold.  The secondary characters were equally appealing with each more than ready to take center stage. Logan's sister had her story told previously so it was nice to get an update and it gave her an extra reason to want to see him happy.  The character that has me most excited though is the sexy and snarky Fitz whose story is next and which has me counting down the days in breathless anticipation.  Once again Ms. Blakey has crafted a winning romance, one that brought me smiles and blushes, and it is the perfect read for a scorching summer with events you want to escape's better than Calgon for its escapism that's for sure!

My rating for this is an A-

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


A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's sweet, sexy and witty. She also writes red-hot, ultra-steamy romance for her Lauren Blakely After Dark line. She'd love to give you a free book from HERE today!