Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Prah, Constantine, and Baryeh Review: Wedding at Mistletoe Chalet by Dani Collins



Happy Holidays! Welcome to the last review of 2019. We read a Christmas story to help get us in the mood for the festive season. This month, it's only Constantine and I reviewing (Baryeh will join us again next year) so make sure stop by Constantine's blog to see what she thought of the book.




The Blurb
Eager for a home-style Christmas while she considers a career shift, Kristen Benz leaps on the temporary job at Mistletoe Chalet. Soon she’s wrapping presents, trimming the tree, and helping her new boss’s tween daughter plan a Christmas Eve vow renewal for her parents. The holiday is imbued with a magical glow—especially when Kristen’s high school sweetheart appears on the doorstep.

After years of medical school, Finn Garrett has promised his parents he’ll be home for the holidays. His detour to see his first love is supposed to provide closure, not rekindle their long-ago romance.

Can a matchmaking tween and the magic of Mistletoe Chalet spark the happily ever after that eluded them in the past?


My Review
The story did a fantastic job of nudging me towards the Christmas spirit with descriptions of the charming chalet, gorgeous scenery, decorations, and festive activities.

I found that the book was more about Kristen's experiences with the other characters, learning how to run a small inn, and preparing for the wedding. The romance between Kristen and Finn didn't feature  enough to make me a happy romance reader, although what did happen between them was very sweet. They tended to remember more of their past relationship than building their current one.

I give this book three out of five Christmas tree shaped chocolate bars.

I purchased my copy from AmazonUK

Monday, 9 December 2019

Spotlight: Closer To You by Sheryl Lister


Located an hour away from San Diego, the small town of Blackmont, California is known for its peaceful surroundings and majestic lakes. However, secrets and danger lurk just below the surface. And some secrets could prove to be deadly.
Love may be a distraction neither of them will live to enjoy…

When Zahra Chandler unexpectedly inherits her grandfather’s small-town home and bookstore, she jumps at the chance to leave LA. There’s just one problem: she also, unknowingly, inherits a long-buried secret that someone would go to any lengths to protect, including murder. The only thing standing between her and a killer is the town’s arrogant, but irresistibly sexy sheriff—a man who ignites in her a passion she’s never felt.

Kendall McKnight takes his job as sheriff seriously and is always prepared for anything…except his instant attraction to newcomer Zahra. As they’re drawn together in their search for clues, protecting her becomes less about civic duty and much more about carnal desire and he’s in danger of losing the one thing he vowed never to risk again—his heart. But the threat is closer than they realize and the truth, when revealed, could tear them apart forever.

AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON

EXCERPT

            Zahra Chandler parked in front of her grandfather’s bookstore and sucked in a deep breath. She still couldn’t believe he was gone or that he’d left the house and bookstore to her, as well as a large monetary inheritance. Though only seven o’clock on Saturday evening, all of the town’s stores seemed to be shut down for the night. She stepped out of the car, looked around and stretched to relieve some of the kinks from the three-and-a-half-hour drive. Located about an hour away from San Diego, nestled in an area with beautiful mountains and lakes, Blackmont, California had a population of less than a thousand and everybody knew each other. So, who could have wanted her grandfather dead? Reaching back into the car, she grabbed the key ring her grandfather’s attorney, Mr. Bostwick, had provided, shut the door and pressed the remote lock.
            She walked up to the store’s front and searched for the key. “Oh, great,” she muttered. None of the keys were labeled. There had to be at least twenty keys and half of them looked to be a possible fit. She stuck the first one in, the second one, the third one…then the fourth one. She turned the key slightly and it broke off in the lock. Zahra let out an impatient sigh and cursed under her breath. She walked back to the car and searched the glove compartment for something to try to remove the broken piece. She grabbed a mini screwdriver out of one of those eyeglass repair kits she’d gotten from some promotional campaign, a regular sized screwdriver, and went back to the door. Using the flashlight on her key ring, she decided to try to dig out the small piece first. If that failed, then she’d use the larger one to pry off the lock.
            “Freeze!” a deep voice commanded from behind her.
            She gasped sharply, clutched her chest and spun around, instinctively bringing the screwdriver up in a protective position. Zahra slowly lowered it and visibly relaxed upon seeing the officer. “Goodness. You scared me. I thought you were a robber or something.”
            “I figured you’d be back.”
            Her eyebrows shot up. “I beg your pardon. Back from where?” 
            “Step away from the door, Miss,” he commanded, gun drawn.
            “Why? What are you talking about?”
            “Put your hands where I can see them.”
            She took a step. “I can explain.”
            “I’m not going to tell you again.”
 Raising her hands, she sighed. “I’m not breaking in.”
He holstered his gun, stalked over to where she stood and latched on to her arm.
            Zahra pulled away, dropping her keys and screwdrivers. “Wait. What are you doing? I’m not trying to break into the store.”
            “Look, lady. Don’t make me add resisting arrest to breaking and entering.”
            “You’re arresting me?” she asked incredulously. “This is my store. I haven’t done anything wrong. If you would just listen—”
            “You can explain it at the station.” He gestured her toward the police sedan.
            “You’re making a big mistake.”
            The corner of his mouth kicked up and he let out a snort. “Right. I’m making a mistake. I’m not the one who was caught jimmying a lock with a screwdriver. We can straighten out your identity at the station. Get in.” He retrieved the keys and screwdrivers from where she had dropped them then escorted her over to the car. “What’s your name?”
Zahra folded her arms and rolled her eyes. Before she could say anything, another police car drove up and two men got out. 
A young blond-haired officer called out, “Hey, Ken. Who you got there?”
            “Finally caught the person trying to break into Chandler’s Bookstore.” He held up the screwdrivers.
            Zahra placed a hand on her hip and pointed a finger in his face. “I wasn’t breaking into anything! Did you not see the keys in my hand?” She heard muffled laughter from the men, but didn’t care. She’d had enough of this craziness. 
            He opened the door and gestured her inside. “Have a seat.”
            She dropped down into the backseat and crossed her arms. “Arrogant jerk,” she muttered. After what seemed like hours, he came and leaned into the window. She drilled him with an angry stare.
            “Now, let’s try this again. What’s your name?” 
“Zahra Chandler.”
His brow lifted. “Chandler?
            “Yes. Chandler.” She smiled smugly and leaned forward. “I tried to tell you who I was before, but you wouldn’t listen,” she said through clenched teeth. “If you had just opened your ears for two seconds, I would have told you the key broke in the lock of my store and I was trying to get it out. I would have shown you my driver’s license, but it’s locked in my car, parked right over there, in front of my store.”
            “Looks like you really stepped in it this time, Kendall,” the older officer said, pushing off the hood of the car. Zahra guessed him to be about fifty. He had graying hair around the temples and a few lines bracketing his mouth and eyes on his walnut colored face. Although he had some added girth around his middle, he still looked to be in good shape. The man came over, smiled warmly and extended his hand through the window. “Carl Franklin. It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Chandler. You must be Josiah’s granddaughter. I recognize you from the picture he kept in the store. He talked about you all the time. My condolences.”
            She shook his hand. “Thank you. Nice meeting you, too.” 
The other officer introduced himself.
She fixed her gaze on the man still standing there with a scowl on his face. “I’m thinking I’d like that apology now.”
            He had the decency to look embarrassed. “My apologies, Ms. Chandler. Someone has been trying to break into the store for the last couple of nights and I thought you might be that person.” He opened the door to let her out.
            “Thank you, but I’d still like to speak to a supervisor or your boss.”
            Officer Franklin laughed. “That might be a little tough since he is the boss. Ms. Chandler, meet Sheriff Kendall McKnight.”
            Zahra’s mouth fell open. A slow grin made its way over the sheriff’s face. Her breath caught. That smile was… She shook herself mentally. Now she had really lost her mind. Yes, he looked good…okay, better than good. Along with his towering height, he was drop-dead gorgeous. He had smooth nut-brown skin, a neatly groomed beard and goatee that hugged his jaw like a shadow, close-cropped black hair, chiseled features and piercing, dark chocolate eyes that seemed to see clear through to her soul. But this man had just tried to arrest her, so she had no business thinking about his smile or anything else about him. 

ABOUT SHERYL LISTER

Sheryl Lister is a multi-award winning author and has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She is a former pediatric occupational therapist with over twenty years of experience and resides in California. Sheryl is a wife, mother of three daughters and a son-in-love, and grandmother to two special little boys. When she’s not writing, Sheryl can be found on a date with her husband or in the kitchen creating appetizers. For more information, visit her website at www.sheryllister.com.

CONNECT WITH SHERYL LISTER

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Thursday, 5 December 2019

Audiobook spotlight: Teach Me by Alexandria House


An intoxicating new romance by Alexandria House - available in audio first!
Stable, safe, predictable - all words that aptly describe Professor Nadia Day’s life. An existence she’s carefully crafted for herself despite her unconventional upbringing and what, to her, is an unseemly past. More than anything, she wants to forget her unstable history, and the last thing she would ever do is rock the boat when it comes to her life and livelihood.
When retired football player and single dad, Nathan Moore, walks into her psychology classroom, all fine and dreadlocked, he does more than rock her boat - he rocks her world and causes her to question her buttoned-up existence.
Will the professor give in to her desires and become a student of love?

AVAILABLE ON

AUDIBLE | AMAZON

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Teach Me audiobook from Alexandria House

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ABOUT ALEXANDRIA HOUSE

A true southern girl, Alexandria House has an affinity for a good banana pudding, Neo Soul music, and tall black men in suits. When this fashionista is not shopping, she's writing steamy stories about real black love.

CONNECT WITH ALEXANDRIA HOUSE

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOKTWITTER | INSTAGRAMNEWSLETTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Cover reveal: Love and Hiplife by Nana Prah (That's Me!)


I'm exited to share my latest cover.

Title: Love and Hiplife
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 13, 2020

BLURB:
Lamisi Imoro will do anything to complete her PhD before the extension is up. It doesn’t matter who dies, leaves her high and dry, or hates her guts, she’s on fire. But, her supervisor wants to prove just how much he’d love to see her fail by throwing obstacles to thwart her from reaching her goal. Desperate for help and nowhere else to turn, she’s forced to ask for the assistance of the hiplife artist who once saved her from a nasty fall. She finds that their scorching attraction is a problem and is determined to tamp her rising emotions because nothing will stop her from getting what she set out to accomplish.

Blaise Ayoma is on the verge of taking African Francophone countries by storm with his new style of music. Learning how to sing in French without butchering the beautiful language is harder than he thought. Multi-linguist, Lamisi is the key to his success. When his presence in her life puts her in danger, will he end the budding relationship in order to keep her safe?

ADD TO GOODREADS:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49082560-love-and-hiplife


Have a virtual celebration cupcake.


Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Spotlight and $15 GC giveaway: Audition by Skye Warren



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Skye Warren will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Blood and sweat. Bethany Lewis danced her way out of poverty. She’s a world class athlete… with a debt to pay.

Joshua North always gets what he wants. And the mercenary wants Bethany in his bed. He wants her beautiful little body bent to his will.

She doesn’t surrender to his kiss.
He doesn’t back down from a challenge.
It’s going to be a sensual fight… to the death.

Read an Excerpt:

Blinding lights. Aching lungs. Thunderous applause. The final show concludes the same way we rehearsed for months, the same way we performed for weeks. My muscles know the movements better than they understand rest. The prospect of after, of what comes next, makes my breath catch. Even as the primas take their bows, relief echoes around the stage. Vacations are planned. Relief for strained muscles. Everyone needs a break, even professional athletes. I’m the only one onstage dreading it.

We bow and curtesy with practiced grace. The curtain descends to the floor. Almost to the second we break formation—a flock of crows startled from the woods. The more exuberant among us, the young ones, the new ones, the ones using steroids, prance and jete toward the dressing rooms. Most of us limp our way out. One hundred percent of NFL players are injured every season. Professional dancing is the same. We hurl our bodies through the air, forcing massive impact through tired joints night after night. I catch my friend Marlena in my arms. Her face is white with pain.

“Ice,” she says. “Or better yet—tequila.”

I push my shoulder under hers as we exit the stage. “Don’t sell yourself short. You can have both.”

A delicate snort. “Not likely. We have to smile and flirt with the old men with big, fat wallets. And for what? I won’t be here next season. You won’t be, either.”

The reminder clangs inside me like a copper bell. I won’t be coming to the New York City Ballet after the break. We fall into our creaky chairs in the dressing room. “Are you going to miss it?”

“Miss it? Of course I’ll miss it.” Marlena turned twenty-eight last month. It’s comfortably retirement age for a dancer. “When the little children do their terrible pirouettes, when they sneeze and throw up and cry all over my leotard, I’ll think fondly of the beautiful art I left behind. Then I’ll be able to walk home. That won’t happen if I try to dance another season.”

“You’ll make a wonderful teacher. You know you were mine.” She didn’t teach me to dance. It was my first love, before I learned to flip and contort myself. Before I ever leapt from a trapeze bar.

Marlena taught me the ropes of the ballet company when I joined two years ago. Most of them thought I wouldn’t last a week. Some of them didn’t want me to. It’s a rigid world, the hierarchy stacked with graduates of Juilliard or the John Cranko school.

I don’t have a pedigree.

All I have is a body that does what it must, no matter how much it hurts.

Which means changing out of my sweaty leotard into a fresh one. We’re contractually obligated to attend the ball. Like Marlena said, we should smile and flirt with the high society people who attend. Both the male and female dancers have to do it. It’s what convinces the sponsors to write checks that will fund the next season. By the time they’re rehearsing The Nutcracker I’ll be in New Orleans, the place I swore I’d never return.

About the Author: Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat. Website: http://www.skyewarren.com/books/audition/

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Audition-Skye-Warren-ebook/dp/B07VZTRXJ3
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/audition/id1475290521
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/audition-skye-warren/1132969928

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 25 November 2019

Spotlight: Everything's Better With Lisa by Lucy Eden


Lisa Betancourt has been my neighbor for months, but I didn’t know she existed until the night she threatened me with a baseball bat. To be fair, I kinda had it coming. That was also the night my entire life changed—my biological mother passed away suddenly and mysteriously, leaving behind a surprise baby. The moment I laid eyes on CJ’s chubby face, I knew I would do anything for him. What I didn’t know was how to take care of him. Fortunately, Lisa turned out to be my salvation in more ways than one. She stepped in and changed everything. The more time I spend with her, the more I hope the change can be permanent. Unfortunately, the pressure at work and unraveling the mystery of my mother’s past makes me wonder how that could be possible… 

Cole Simmons lives in the brownstone next to mine and was an insensitive jerk, or at least I thought he was until he got custody of his baby brother, who’s just as adorable as he is.  As the oldest child in a big family, I couldn’t resist stepping in to help when I realized my handsome neighbor was in over his head when it came to babies, though I’ve learned the hard way that handsome men can’t always be trusted. I moved to New York to start a new life, adjust to my new normal and heal from a bad divorce. Unfortunately, my heart didn’t get the memo, and the more time I spent with Cole and the impossibly sweet CJ, the more I start to wonder if my neighbor isn’t the only one in over his head…

This full-length novel can be read as a standalone but is the third book in the Everything’s Better series. You’ll see friends from Everything’s Better with You, Everything’s Better with Kimberly & Cherishing the Goddess. Cole & Lisa’s love story is chock full of Enemies to Lovers, Single Parent, Secret Baby (or two), Nanny (no power imbalance) & Fake Engagement goodness and is safe with NO cheating.

AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | APPLE | KOBO


ADD ON GOODREADS

 

EXCERPT

“Lisa,” he whispered.
“Yes, Cole?” I blinked up at him and took a step closer, his hand still resting on mine.
“I wanna kiss you. Can I kiss you?” he asked.
I giggled causing him to pull away.
I’d never been asked for a kiss before. It was adorable, silly but also somehow incredibly sexy.
“What?” he asked. I could see the look of apprehension on his face.
“Are you as good at seducing as you are at apologizing?” I reached up and stroked his cheek. I was suddenly wide awake. I swore I meant to say kissing but the word seducing came out instead. I would have been happy with a kiss but seduction sounded so much better. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d been seduced.
“I’m very good at seducing.” He scooped me under my thighs and lifted me onto the kitchen island like I was a doll, making his lips more accessible. “I’m a little out of practice.” He swept my hair over my shoulder, exposing my neck, and gently pressing his lips to the soft skin below my ear. I moaned, though I wasn’t sure I meant to and Cole’s body, at least one part of his body, responded. 
“Good,” I sighed. “I’m a little out practice, too.” I wrapped my legs around his waist and pressed my body into his. He was rock hard and I found myself was grinding my hips into his erection. The fact that we were both wearing thin pajamas made me feel every contour of his dick and I was flashing back to my thoughts upon seeing him earlier today pushing the stroller. Why were men with babies so fucking sexy?
 He kissed his way down my neck and gently lowered me onto the countertop until I was fully reclining with my hair hanging over the other side. He lifted the hem of my shirt and pressed his lips into my soft belly and swirled his tongue into and her around my navel. 
His head traveled below my belly button and I gasped.
“Cole, what are you doing?” I asked as his lips traveled to places no one’s lips had been before.
“I told you I wanted to kiss you.” He shot me a mischievous smile and slowly stroked the skin under the elastic of my pajama pants, soothing the indentation marks of the waistband. “I didn’t say where I wanted to kiss you.”
“Oh,” I whispered. “I thought you meant…” I trailed off and tucked my bottom lip between my teeth. He smiled, leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine. Then he planted a kiss on my nose, then my cheek before tenderly sucking my earlobe between his teeth and nibbling. I moaned again. 
“Well, now that you know what I meant, do you want me to stop?” he whispered in my ear. My body was pulsating heat in a current that traveled up and down my arms before settled in place where Cole was eager to visit.
“No,” I half sighed, half moaned while shaking my head, causing his lips to brush the shell of my ear. “Don’t stop.”
“Good.” He let out a soft chuckle and began to make his way down my body, again hooking his fingers into the waistband of my pajamas and my panties, slowly pulling them over my thighs, ghosting a kiss or a lick on every inch of newly revealed flesh. “Because I’m just getting started.”

ENTER TO WIN A SWAG BOX FROM LUCY EDEN!

SWAG BOX CONTAINING:
STERLING BEACHFRONT PARADISE MUG
SIGNED PAPERBACK
BUTTER COOKIES
BATH BOMB
POSTCARDS
STICKERS
(International winner will receive $25 Amazon gift card and digital book instead of swag box.)

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ABOUT LUCY EDEN

Lucy Eden is the nom de plume of an romance obsessed author who writes the kind of romance she loves to read. She’s a sucker for alphas with a soft gooey center, over the top romantic gestures, strong & smart MCs, humor, love at first sight (or pretty damn close), happily ever afters & of course, dirty & steamy love scenes.
When Lucy isn’t writing, she’s busy reading—or listening to—every book she can get her hands on— romance or otherwise.
She lives & loves in New York with her husband, two children, a turtle & a Yorkshire Terrier.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Available in Audio: Finding Kennedy by Jacinta Howard



When Kennedy James unexpectedly shows up at her grandma’s house in Tyler, Texas, no one knows what to make of her arrival—including her. The only thing Kennedy does know is that something in her life has to change, and it needs to happen right now. She’s been numb for much too long.
Then she meets Travis Broussard, the perceptively cool guitarist of the indie soul band, The Prototype. The timing couldn’t be worse, but their attraction is instant, magnetic, and at times overwhelming, causing Kennedy to question if it’s possible to feel too much.
As Kennedy attempts to embark on a new path, she finds herself at a crossroads. But if she chooses to follow her heart, is she prepared to deal with what she might find?

AVAILABLE ON

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the audiobook of Finding Kennedy from Jacinta Howard

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ABOUT JACINTA HOWARD

A longtime culture and music journalist and lifelong music lover, Jacinta Howard lives in the Atlanta area. For years, she worked as a writer and editor, covering entertainment, art and culture. She is the author of new adult, women's fiction, and contemporary romance, and her work often explores the sometimes uncomfortable intricacies of relationships, human folly, healing, and the bumps we experience along the road to true intimacy. A USA TODAY HEA Blog Must-Read Author and a two-time RONE Award nominee, her happy place is hanging with her family and listening to jamming music, preferably while reading on a beach somewhere. Visit her at jacintahoward.com.

CONNECT WITH JACINTA HOWARD

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