Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Maybe This Love by Jennifer Snow ❤️ Review, Release Day Blitz & Print Book Giveaway ❤️ (Sports Romance)



THE GAME OF HIS LIFE

Hockey player Ben Westmore has some serious skills---on and off the ice---and he's not above indulging in the many perks of NHL stardom. When a night in Vegas ends in disaster, he realizes two things: 1) it's time to lie low for a while, and 2) he needs a lawyer---fast. But the smoking-hot woman who walks into his office immediately tests all his good intentions.

Olivia Davis doesn't need anyone derailing her career---or her dreams of starting a family---least of all a skirt-chasing player like Ben. But soon he's unleashing a full-court press to convince her that he's the real deal. She's slowly falling for his sweet, rugged charm, but with so much on the line, Olivia has to decide whether Ben can truly change---or if he's just playing the game.



I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!

Jennifer hit this one out of the park! Into the net? Insert-awesome-sports-metaphor-here.

Olivia and Ben met almost as soon as the book began, and I love when that happens. Their, shall we say, unique platonic relationship was certainly put to the test under the strains of their attraction, and Jennifer wrote this just beautifully. I was eagerly turning the pages to see how these two would finally get together!

What I love the most about Jennifer's books, this one absolutely included, is she really writes smart characters. I could actually envision Olivia doing the things she did and Ben saying things he did. Olivia's own unique personal "quest" was one that I've never read in a romance novel before, and again, I was GLUED to the pages to see where that went as well.

If you like a smart, emotional, pulls-you-in-and-won't-let-go-until-the-last-page contemporary romance, THIS IS YOUR BOOK!!! It's another reminder of why Jennifer is, hands-down, one of my all-time favorite authors!

(I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)




“Relax,” he said smoothly, his gaze locked on hers, his expression soft, unfazed—the look of a man not dancing with the lawyer who could ruin his life or at least playoff season. She had to learn this guy’s secret, because there was no way he was this unaffected. Yet, his hands weren’t sweating the ways hers threatened to, and the only heartbeat she could hear thundering was her own.
She forced a slow and what she hoped was unobvious breath. “I am relaxed. I’m not the one who should be worried.”
The palm of his hand spread across the exposed flesh of her back and she prayed the tingling sensation in her spine didn’t result in goose bumps. “So you’re saying I should be?” he asked, turning them in rotation to the steady beat. Despite her resistance to this dance, her hips betrayed her by swaying in sync with his, and her feet kept time with his every step. He led with a silent authority that she was forced to follow. And for the first time in her life, she wasn’t hating giving up control.
“I think so, yes. My client is…”
He brought their joined hands between them and placed a finger to her lips.
Her heart all but stopped.
“Why don’t we save the shop talk for the courtroom? Let’s just enjoy this dance.”
She swallowed hard, but nodded. Dancing in silence, she could do that.
Unfortunately, Ben seemed eager to chat. “How long have you been practicing law?”
He expected her to remember stats as his hand on her back dipped slightly lower, his hold drawing her even closer? It had been far too long since she’d been enveloped in the arms of a man who felt and smelled so strong, so confident…How long would it be again if she went ahead with her plans for a baby? She pushed the thought aside when he stared at her, still waiting for an answer. “Twelve years,” she said, cutting out her time as a junior lawyer and intern, so as not to age herself. She knew from his online Wikipedia page that he was thirty-four, two years younger than she.
“Do you love what you do?” he asked.
“If I say no will I get the inspirational ‘do what you love and it will never feel like work’ speech?”
“Is that a no?”
She shook her head. “Actually, I really do enjoy my job.” She couldn’t say watching families get ripped apart by bitter divorces was something she loved without sounding like a sociopath, but she enjoyed her career.
“Can I ask why only professional athlete divorces?”
“I was dumped by a jock,” she said.
Ben laughed. “So one guy ruined it for us all, huh?”
She nodded then shook her head. “No. Everyday cases—with normal, everyday husbands and wives—just seemed a little too…real,” she said.
His blue eyes burned into her and his grip tightened on her hand. “So, guys like me aren’t real?”
She swallowed hard. He felt real…He felt more than real—he felt amazing. His arm wrapped around her felt deceivingly safe and his hand holding hers felt warm and secure. God, she could see herself giving in to these painfully real feelings…“You’re probably one of the more real ones,” she said, hoping he didn’t detect the slight quiver in her voice.
He nodded slowly as though unsure whether her words were a compliment. “Have you ever been married?” he asked, rotating them in time to the music.
“That’s crossing a line into personal.”
“Kids?”
“That’s less personal?” She raised an eyebrow.
He smiled. “Guarded much?”
The effect of his smile from a safe distance was knee-weakening. This close, it was downright dangerous. She quickly averted her gaze to the other couples on the floor. “How long is this song anyway?” She felt trapped the way she had in tenth grade when Robbie Gropes-a-Lot Harris had tricked her into dancing with him at the winter formal to “November Rain”—the full eleven-minute extended version. Except Ben’s breath smelled minty fresh and not like tacos, and his arm draped across her lower back made every fiber in her being spring to life, making her want to flee for a completely different reason than the one Robbie had evoked.
“Do I make you uncomfortable?”
Damn right. And it should be her making him uncomfortable. There needed to be a power shift between them and fast. “Of course not.”
He pulled her closer. “You make me uncomfortable,” he murmured, his expression suddenly serious. Every inch of her body was pressed to his and she could barely catch a breath. Dancing was a really bad idea—a torturously bad idea. Being in his arms reminded her of all of the things she’d sacrificed for her career, of all the things she’d told herself she didn’t need…
“G-good,” she said, her voice cracking. “As I said, my client…”
“I don’t mean the divorce case. I mean you.” He touched her cheek and her skin burned. Thank God he was holding her so tightly because she couldn’t trust her legs.
Their stare locked and held for what could have been a lifetime, as everything seemed still and quiet around them.
Still and quiet.
The song had ended.
She yanked her hand free of his and stumbled away from him, inhaling a gulp of air into her deprived lungs. “Well, dance is over. I’ll…uh…see you.”
He nodded, the charming polite smile back on his face and for a second she wondered if she’d imagined the intensity in his gaze seconds before. “Goodnight, Olivia.”
Olivia.
Her own name sounded foreign coming from him. She longed to hear the sound again, and she was an idiot for wanting something so dangerous. The NHL’s biggest playboy had just worked his charm on her, and she’d lost all common sense.
She turned and headed straight for the table, leaving him on the dance floor.
She had to pull it together, but she also had to admit the unfortunate truth. Never before had she been tempted to kiss the enemy.

Excerpted from MAYBE THIS LOVE by Jennifer Snow. Copyright © 2017 by Jennifer Snow. Reprinted with permission of Forever. All rights reserved.


     

Bella Italia by Camille Taylor ❤️ Book Blitz & Gift Card Giveaway ❤️ (Ro



Small-town wallflower, Adelaide Montgomery has lived an uneventful life—until she witnesses the murder of her best friend…

Adelaide clings to the simple security of a home and a wish for family—desires that sent her former fiancé into another woman’s arms.

Happy to remain in Heavenly, Australia for the rest of her life, she reluctantly gives in to her best friend, Rachel’s pleading to join her on a trip to Italy. A decision which will alter her life forever.

Gorgeous men can be deadly killers in disguise…

When her best friend returns to their hotel suite with two male companions the night doesn’t go as planned and Rachel is murdered in cold blood.

Able to identify the killer, Adelaide finds herself a target, barely escaping with her life.

In order to protect his witness, Rome Inspector Antonio Cardellini hides Adelaide at his family’s winery. Though Antonio is a professional and Adelaide is under his charge, his feelings quickly surpass the limits of his job. Knowing one day she will return home, he struggles to distance himself, but the trial and his family continue to throw him and Adelaide back together.

Will Antonio put his badge above his heart? Or will he risk it all—his career, Adelaide’s life, and the possibility of a future together—all for a chance at love?





“I need to talk to you.” He took her arm and pulled her gently alongside of him until they were around the corner of the house and hidden from view. It wasn’t necessary to speak in private but he wanted this time with her. Just the two of them where he could indulge his fantasies.
The scent of lavender was strongest here, the tall stalks only a few feet away. A buzz grew louder as a swarm of bees pollinated the plants nearby. He focused on the woman before him that had begun to mean more to him than anyone in the past. It was more than just physical attraction, although he admitted that was a big part of it but it was also the woman beneath the surface. She constantly surprised him.
Letting out a deep breath, she leaned against the house and she looked up at him. “Let me guess, the trial?”
He nodded. Now that he knew what the cost was to her to wait, it annoyed him that the lawyers continued to push back the date. She’d given up so much in her pursuit of justice—more than anyone should have to. She would be going home to nothing. He had no idea what that was like—to start over. He’d always had his family to fall back on but Adelaide had no one. Was she scared? Terrified of the uncertainty? If so she hid it well. He couldn’t imagine what her life had been like bouncing around so many different homes but never belonging to one. Having no one to hold you in the dead of night and say that everything will be all right even if it wasn’t. It made him realise he took his family for granted and admire the woman before him even more.
She might’ve thought herself boring, predictable and weak but it took a certain type of person to continue on and push past the barriers that life threw at you. She’d not only adapted, she had embraced the change. Adelaide Montgomery was stronger than he’d originally thought.
She rested her hands over her stomach. “How much longer now?”
“They’re still deliberating. Lawyers you know fighting over what admissible and all that shit.”
“Well that’s good news then.” Her upbeat tone surprised him especially after everything he’d just learned.
He stepped forward. “It is?”
“Yes. I still have several portraits in my calendar to honour plus your father hasn’t decided on the final few pictures for the website.”
Antonio smiled and before he knew it his forehead was resting against hers. “You’re a special kind of girl, you know that.”
Her breath hitched and her gaze dropped to his lips and as if realising what she was doing jerked back up. She blushed. What was going through her mind? Could she see he was attracted to her? Was she just as attracted? A man could go out of his mind without answers. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t act on his desire no matter how much he wanted her. Or she him. She was his witness—a woman he’d promised he’d keep safe. Which included from himself. Not that he’d hurt her—at least not intentionally.
Nothing good could come of succumbing. They lived in different countries—on different continents. Hell, even different hemispheres.
“It’s nice to know.” Her voice wasn’t quite right. Was it his imagination or was it slightly husky?
Her pulse raced, visible to the eye. She wet her lips. His fingers tightened, the supple feel of her hips beneath his palms a surprise.
When did they get there? He had no memory of moving them. Adelaide’s eyes changed in reply, darkening. She trembled and sucked in a breath. His temperature spiked as once again her gaze flicked to his lips. Heat rose. Desire washed over him in waves, clouding his mind—his better judgement. He slid a hand over her rounded cheek, the denim a tease, hiding her from his touch. Adelaide’s lips parted. He tugged her against him, ready to devour her and she came willingly, or rather eagerly. He lowered his head, anticipation licking at his skin as he imagined her taste, of taking possession of those delectable lips and transporting them to another place.
A flirty giggle followed by heavy footsteps approaching broke the spell he’d been caught under. Antonio swallowed back a curse. He stepped back, his hands dropping to his hang by his side. His heart thumped in his chest as he realised what he’d been about to do and took another step away from her.
He tried to ignore Adelaide, so close, so—he didn’t know. She just seemed to be always on his mind. He had to focus. Had to regain his equilibrium because when she was around, he felt so protective of her.
Keep telling yourself that. You weren’t feeling so protective of her a moment ago. In fact, you were pretty much the predator in the situation. Antonio rubbed a hand over his face and turned towards the blessed distraction.



   



Monday, May 29, 2017

Eight Days In the Sun by M.K. Schiller ❤️ Review, Book Tour & Giveaway ❤️ (Contemporary Romance)



Love needs only one chance to shine . . .

He followed in his family’s footsteps and just graduated Marine boot camp. Now Mason Cutler’s personal mission is to get plenty of sun, surf, and no-strings romance in his favorite laid-back Florida beach town before shipping out. But a chance encounter with reserved Kiran Shenoy becomes a golden day of conversation, connection—and an intense attraction Mason can't walk away from. They make an agreement—eight sensuous days together without regrets or promises. Yet soon Mason is longing to convince the spirited woman behind Kiran's sad beautiful eyes to take a chance on even more . . .

All Kiran dared hope for was a chance to heal after a tragic accident and a devastating loss. Mason's freewheeling energy and head-on courage warms her scarred body and soul—and ignites her heart. But with their lives going in different directions, the only commitment they can make is a pact to meet again. Can what they feel survive Mason’s military duty, and Kiran’s second chance to restart her life? And can a desire sparked one summer night be enough for forever?



READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

No one, and I mean NO ONE can write love like M.K. Her brand of "love" isn't the shallow, superficial kind. Nope. M.K. writes true-blue, heart-squeezing, soul-deep love that will bring tears to your eyes. (At least it did to mine. No joke, I cried, like, four times during this book)

I liked that the book starts where most other romances end, with the guy and the girl in blissful euphoria because they have each other and that's all they need. I knew the "other shoe" was going to drop at some point, and knowing M.K.'s work like I do, I just knew it was going to be worth reading.

And it SO was.

I never expected Kiran and Mason to reunite in the way they did. It was definitely a challenge for them to find their way back to each other, and the book confronts some heavy issues along the way.

But the LOVE. My gosh. Words can't describe how absolutely wonderful this whole book was, from Kiran's quirky inner monologues to the depths of Mason's devotion. This is one of those books that I will always remember reading and reinforces why I will read ANYTHING written by M.K.!

(I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)


As an author, I occasionally get to step outside of my writing cave. In fact, I recently attended the Romantic Times Convention in beautiful Atlanta, Georgia. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the RT Convention is a place where thousands of readers, authors, bloggers and industry specialists journey yearly. Why? Because we all love books, specifically the kind with romance.
My father, although not a romance reader, was the person I credit for my love of books. There could be a party going on and he’d have his head in the new Tom Clancy novel. I remember he used to always say that reading makes you a better person. After all, books bring you closer to the human experience of someone else than any other art form. We may not get to walk in the character’s shoes, but we do get to hang around in their heads for several hundred pages (if we’re lucky). Never did I understand this more than at RT. Where else can you walk up to a random stranger and ask for a book rec? Where else can you stand in line for coffee and help a fellow author, you just met, figure out the log line for her next book? Where else can people talk about characters as if they were close friends?
There is also a sense of generosity and spirit among the attendees. Even the hotel staff commented on it. This is the kind of environment where New York Times bestsellers ask a new author what her book is about. I found mentors and readers and made many connections. Most of all, my father’s words never rang truer. Writers are readers first. A writer’s first emotion has to be empathy or else the writing will feel dispassionate and stiff. The words will not leap out of the page. Believe me, reading might be a sedentary activity, but any romance author will agree we want readers to pant and pulses to rise and hearts to skip a beat or two. Not to the point of a medical condition, but you get the picture
This year at RT, I was able to host a Romance – Bollywood party with several of my fellow Desi authors. We were able to show Bollywood tropes are similar to romance tropes in a fun way by miming them and showing video clips. It didn’t hurt that we had a handsome model to help us! Our books represent diversity in romance, but really they are not so different. I think that’s what my father meant. Reading brings out the best in people because it brings us together. We fall in love with the callous billionaire in Fifty Shades. Our heart ached for the little boy in the Kite flyer. We cheer for Hazel in The Fault in our Stars. We appreciate the differences, but even more importantly we discover the similarities.
If you happen to be at an RT Convention, come find me. I’ll be the girl looking for a good book rec.



Swinging my suitcase, I speed walk toward the elevator bank.

One of the cars is out of service. The other one is incredibly slow. By the time the doors finally open, I’ve silently sung the whole soundtrack of Rent, all five hundred twenty-five minutes and six hundred seconds of it.

“Hold it, please,” says the guy behind me as the doors begin to close.

I press the open button, but the doors keep closing. I jab it. The metal doors don’t stop.

“Sorry,” I say. “Can’t get it to open.” I throw my hand in the gap between the doors. Nope. Still moving shut. Guess it doesn’t have a safety. I pull my hand back before the doors slam.

He rushes toward me, a duffle bag slung across his shoulder. It’s too late, dude. They close. Well almost close. I gasp as a very large sneaker wedges between the doors.

“Ouch,” he says as the doors part.

“Are you all right?”

He smiles. “I’ll live.”

He presses the button for the tenth floor. The air in the elevator suddenly becomes heavier. It’s the same guy who held the front door for me, the one with the smoky southern flare in his voice.

“I swear I was trying to hold it open.”

“You were?” He looks straight into my eyes.

For some reason, I don’t shift my head down like I normally do. I’m not sure if this makes it worse or better. He’s a nice looking boy…man. Who the hell am I kidding? He’s hot, like you-might-mistake-me-for-anunderwear- model hot. He’s tall with defined, but not over-the-top, muscles.

His jeans are ripped in all the right places and his faded gray T-shirt reads free shrugs in all caps. He’s got a strong square jaw that’s a day or two past a shave. His eyes are an intense light blue, my favorite color. The T-shirt might as well say my superpower is being beautiful.

The doors close, trapping us in a space that seems to get exponentially smaller now that he’s sharing it with me. He runs his fingers through brownish hair. Umm…not exactly brown. I’d call the color milk chocolate spiced with threads of cinnamon and honey.

Get a grip. So what if he’s good-looking? This is freaking Beach Town, Florida. Next to seashells and citrus, cute boys are the largest produced crop. Wait. He asked me something, didn’t he? Oh yeah, it was about the stupid elevator. “I pushed the open door button.”

“It just closed anyway, huh?” He quirks an eyebrow, an amused expression on his face.

“It did. I swear. It isn’t working,” I say, pointing to the button with the picture of the triangles next to it.

“That’s the button you pushed?”

“Yeah.”

“You realize it’s the close door button, right?”

I stare at it and the one next to it. The placement seems wrong, but the pictures don’t lie. “I do now.”

The elevator jolts before the car stops completely. I stumble back.

“You all right?” he asks.

“What happened?”

“Looks like we’re stuck.”

I press the button for my floor. Nothing happens. So I start pressing the other buttons. Still nothing. No… This can’t be real. Getting stuck in an elevator with a super hot guy? This is the stuff of corny rom-coms.

“There’s no need to panic.”

“Not panicking,” I say as I hit a few more buttons.

“Are you claustrophobic?”

“No.” I sigh and lean back against the railing. I can still feel his gaze on me. “A little.”

“Heard it helps to think about something else.”

“Like what?” I curl my fingers around the steel railing at the back of the elevator.

He tilts his head, studying me. “Have we met?” he asks.

I replay the question in my head wondering if I heard correctly. When I laugh, the sound bounces off the walls and echoes inside the small elevator car. “Seriously?”

He does a face palm. “Crap, that sounds like a pick-up line. I swear it’s not.”

As if I’d think he was trying to pick me up. “I’m sure you’d remember if you knew me.”

“That’s true. How could I forget?”

For a second, I thought he might be making fun of me on some level. But there isn’t anything malicious in his voice. Taking a deep breath, I force myself to relax.

“Kiran Shenoy, right?”

I lift my head, wondering if I did know him. I think back to all the boys I went to high school with, but his face doesn’t register at all. It’s the kind of face that would register in triplicate. “How do we know each other?”

“No idea. I overheard the lady behind the front desk say your name.”

He holds out his hand…his very large hand. “Mason Cutler.”

I’ve been curling my fingers around the railing so tightly that I have to shake out my hand before taking his. His handshake is firm. I’m about to let go when he flips my wrist over. He presses his thumb against the ruby red mark there. Very few people notice it against my brown skin. His thumb slides back and forth in a short caress. The stain disappears against the pressure. It comes back slowly, deepening in color for a moment. My pulse spikes ten notches…maybe twenty. After an eternity, he finally lets go. It’s really only been two seconds, but it feels much longer, or maybe not long enough.

“It’s not a tattoo?”

“It’s a birthmark. They call it a port wine stain.”

“A fire stain.”

“Right.”

“I thought this was inked on since it’s shaped like a heart.”

The car starts up with a jolt. He gestures to the screen that signals we are moving. “See? No reason to panic.”

The doors open, ending the weirdest elevator ride in the history of the world.

“This is me,” I say, my fingers clutching the handle of my suitcase.

He holds one of the doors by leaning against it while I get out. I catch a hint of spicy, manly cologne and delicious boy. “Thank you.”

“We made it unscathed.”

“So we did.” I nod, accepting what happened. He was just being nice and trying to distract me with an introduction.

“Maybe I’ll see you around, Shenoy,” he says.

“Maybe.”

I turn just in time to see the doors close.