Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SBPR-THEDOOVER-CR.jpg Title: The Do-Over Author: Julie A. Richman Publication Date: January 26th, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance Photographer: Wander Aguiar Cover Model: Forrest Harrison Cover Designer: Jena Brignola

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Synopsis:

~ Sometimes, one degree is all that separates you from the one you were meant to be with ~
Wes Bergman was sex on a stick.
We’d been circling one another our entire lives, mingling at the same clubs... attending the same events…sharing mutual acquaintances…yet we’d never actually met.
Until . . . we both boarded a Windjammer Cruise in the Caribbean. And it was like meeting my long, lost best friend for the first time. I hadn’t ever connected with a guy that way before. But Wes had a girlfriend. So, when the week was over, he walked off the ship, unknowingly taking a piece of my heart with him.
Now, over a decade later, newly divorced, I’m the proverbial fish out of water. Dating has totally changed. Apps. Swipe left. Swipe right. Catfishing. Men my age want two things: twenty-five-year-olds—like my ex’s new child bride of a wife—or just a quick hook-up.
After a string of bad dates, I finally did something I never thought I’d do. I had a hot one-night stand with a really handsome guy I met online who didn’t even know my real name.
Turned out Mr. Fling is a big shot for my company’s newest client. And just my luck, that client’s CEO is none other than . . . Wes Bergman. Now I’m separated by one degree again from the man who stole my heart. And Mr. Fling could destroy my chance of what I want most –
A Do-Over with Wes.

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Pre-Order Links:

iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/zc8ou65

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Julie A. Richman is a native New Yorker living deep in the heart of Texas. A creative writing major in college, reading and writing fiction has always been a passion. Julie began her corporate career in publishing in NYC and writing played a major role throughout her career as she created and wrote marketing, advertising, direct mail and fundraising materials for Fortune 500 corporations, advertising agencies and non-profit organizations. She is an award winning nature photographer plagued with insatiable wanderlust. Julie and her husband have one son and a white German Shepherd named Juneau.

Connect with Julie:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieARichman Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/ore7g3u Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JulieARichman Website: http://juliearichman.com/ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/znsvx5u Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/RYac1
 
 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Teaser from Meghan Quinn's upcoming release!


We are so excited for this release! Check out the amazing teaser for DEAR LIFE by Meghan Quinn! 



DEAR LIFE
NA Contemporary Romance
Designed by: Meghan Quinn
Photographer: Lauren Perry
Goodreads


Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life's greatest challenges.

The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons...and prove their existence.

With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey. 

Dear Life, 

Please be kind. 

Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.




About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


Find me on Goodreads:

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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Pucked Off by Helena Hunting Publication Date: February 21st, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Social Butterfly PR is thrilled to present the cover for PUCKED OFF, a sexy, new standalone coming soon from Helena Hunting!

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Synopsis:

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series*** I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance." I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want. Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way. I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve. At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark. I shouldn’t want her. But I do. I should leave her alone. But I won’t.

Add to Goodreads

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About the Author:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Connect with Helena:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/helenahunting Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenaHunting Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5 Facebook Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/385795934890523/ Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/ Never miss an update! Subscribe to Helena's mailing list: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f4p1t7

Monday, December 19, 2016

From Sand to Ash by Amy Harmon



My Thoughts:

     Angelo Bianco lost his mother at the tender age of eleven and then his father shipped him off to Italy to live with his grandparents.  He would stay with them were they worked as custodians for a wealthy glass maker and he would go to seminary and become a priest in the Catholic Church. 
     Batsheva (Eva) Rosselli lives with her father, Camillo, in their home in Florence and has a wonderful life.  She is a talented violinist even at her young age of nine and she is surrounded by loving family.  She is very excited for the Bianco’s’ grandson to come live with them so that she can have someone close to her age to play with.  Later, as they grow into their teens Eva falls in love with Angelo but he is promised to God.  How will she live with this unrequited love?
     As Angelo and Eva grow and become best friends the world around them is changing.  Hitler and his Gestapo are slowly taking over Italy and life begins to change.  Eva and her father are Italian Jews and soon they must sign over their home to the Bianco’s’ so as not to lose it and other sacrifices must be made in order to survive.  When the war strengthens, Angelo must find a place to hide Eva within the Catholic Church but she is not one to hide out and do nothing. 
     This is a beautiful story of fighting, survival, family and love! This isn’t just a romance but of standing up and fighting against wrongs and helping others.  You will cry and smile many times while reading this but it is worth it.  Ms. Harmon tells a great story with beautiful characters not just surviving but making a difference during one of history’s most horrific times. Angelo and Eva put aside their personal conflicts and feelings to help hundreds if not thousands of refugees go into hiding.  They are true heroes with an amazing story.

 If you enjoy WWII historical fiction this will be one of your favorites!  4/5 stars




Favorite quotes:

“Sand and ash. The ingredients of glass.  Such beauty created from nothing.”

“But I am convinced God is not just my God or Angelo’s God. He is God. He wouldn’t be God if he was only God to some of his children…would he? …Does it matter what we call him?”



Author’s site:  http://www.authoramyharmon.com/from-sand-and-ash.html

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles



Summary from Amazon:


He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

 My Thoughts:

     Count Alexander Rostov has been sentenced to live out the rest of his life in the upscale Metropol hotel in Moscow.  Luckily for him, he has already been living there for four years so he knows the staff well and since it is/was a rather fancy place all amenities can be found within its walls.  Can you imagine being forced to live in one building for the rest of your life, never to be allowed outside again?
     What follows is a story not only of one man’s life confined to a small place, but also the lives of those around him and little bits of history as well.  Many great characters come and go through the hotel and the Count’s life that affect him in all sorts of ways; big and small.  Friends are made, lives are changed and the Count becomes the central character of so many wonderful events.  Could Alexander’s sentence really have been a blessing? Would he have befriended and loved these people otherwise?
     I really enjoyed this book! The characters are funny and sweet and there was just enough history within the story to keep things interesting but never boring.  The Count is such a wonderful character with an interesting background and an ever evolving personality.  The only thing that I can really complain about is that the ending, while a good one, wasn’t quite as tidily wrapped up as I would have liked.  I can’t say anymore for fear of spoiling the story but one aspect of the ending left me dangling a bit and that drives me crazy but I still highly recommend this historical fiction novel.


4/5 stars

Author's website: http://www.amortowles.com/

Monday, December 12, 2016

Cover reveal for the latest from Meghan Quinn!

We are so excited for this release! Check out the amazing cover for DEAR LIFE by Meghan Quinn! 




DEAR LIFE
NA Contemporary Romance
Designed by: Meghan Quinn
Photographer: Lauren Perry
Goodreads


Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life's greatest challenges.

The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons...and prove their existence.

With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey. 

Dear Life, 

Please be kind. 

Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.




About the Author:


Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


Find me on Goodreads:

Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Room Service by Poppy Dunne


Summary from Good Reads:
     I've spent seven nights cooped up in this five star hotel, sleeping on 1000 thread count sheets and working sixteen hours a day. At least room service is covered under my expense account. But all work and no play leaves a girl dateless for her brother's wedding.

     Prospects aren't totally bleak, though. Four meals a day, I get to drool over this sexy room service guy: he's got a perfect body, easy smile, and a sense of humor that has me snorting over my personal pizza. He's all that and a bag of chips. Specifically, the jumbo bag of ranch barbecue chips that I ordered for breakfast out of desperation on Day Four. 

     I finally found the courage to 'accidentally' let my bathrobe slip, and ask him to be my plus one at my brother's wedding. So maybe I had to offer him a little money. So what? There's no way I can face my family, make my ex rue the day he left me, or screw off this work stress without his helping hand.

     But what happens when I find myself falling for my fake, paid-for boyfriend? Judging by the comped mozzarella sticks he brought me for breakfast, maybe there's a chance he's falling for me too?

My Thoughts:
     You are stuck in a hotel room in New York City on a work/personal trip. Your baby brother is getting married and all your mother can talk about is how you should have tried harder to keep your last boyfriend because you’re pushing 30 with no prospects…and oh by the way, your ex? He’ll be at the wedding!?!?! How do you get out of the nagging and embarrassment? Why you ask the cute room service waiter to be your pretend boyfriend! Duh!
     That moment of panic sends Alex on a crazy (but fun!) ride with a great guy who not only makes her laugh but also understands her idiosyncrasies and loves that she loves food and is a bit of a klutz.  Ben is not like all the stuffy, rich, self-absorbed men she has forced upon her by her mother and for that Alex likes him even more. He’s honest and down to earth which helps Alex from freaking out when surrounded by family and her ex all weekend.
     Room Service is a quick read but it was a great one with some very hilarious moments! The only problems I had is that the ending felt a little rushed (it didn’t bother me that much) and for some reason I feel that I never really got a complete picture of Alex in my head.  Maybe it was because there wasn’t much in the way of description of her physically or a lack of more background story for her.  Either way it is a little pet peeve of mine but it did not stop me from enjoying the story at all!
   If you enjoy a quick, fun romantic romp-this is a good one for you!  
4/5 stars









Tuesday, December 6, 2016

After We Fall by Melanie Harlow-Promo Tour and Excerpt!!!

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow Publication Date: November 28th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.
Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.
Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.
But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.
His huge, hard muscles.
Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.
And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.
But he’s wrong.
I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.
“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown
 

Excerpt:

“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”
Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”
“Up a tree?”
She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”
I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”
“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”
“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”
“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.
I played dumb. “Saw me what?”
“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”
I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”
Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”
She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.
Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.
Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.
She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”
“I never hired you.”
“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”
“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.
“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.
“Like what?”
“Moody and uncooperative?”
“Probably.”
“Why? Do you hate me that much?”
“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.
“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.
I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”
“Yes!”
“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”
“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.
“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”
She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”
“So get them dirty.”
I almost fell off the dock. “What?”
“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”
Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”
She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”
“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”

CityGirl.jpg

Add to Goodreads

AFTER WE FALL B CHERRY .jpg

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fCkHxU Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2gN23sa iBooks: http://apple.co/2g8oepo Nook: http://bit.ly/2gvsWRW

About the Author:

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie:

 Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1TkpDqF

Monday, December 5, 2016

After We Fall by Melanie Harlow


 
 
 

Summary from Amazon:


Jack Valentini isn’t my type.

Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.

Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.

But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.

And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.

But he’s wrong.

I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.

 


My Thoughts:

     Jack Valentini is a former soldier who joined the Army after 9/11 and has seen and done things he will never forget.  After coming home, he is looking for quiet and time with his family on their farm instead he only finds more heartache.  Soon after coming home Jack loses not only his father but also the love of his life. The only way he knows how to cope is to hide in the woods in his cabin and to work the family farm and to suffer in silence to pay what he feels is his penance.

     Margot Lewiston is old money, proper manners and a city girl through and through but the one things she isn’t is happy.  She is tired of only doing what generations of women in her family have done; she wants to make a difference in the world!  Helping the Valentini Family Farm seems like a good start and a great learning experience for her but Jack, who runs the farm, is not happy to have her there and isn’t cooperative.

     Melanie Harlow has such a great talent for writing characters that I love! Even though I usually have nothing in common with her characters I always seem to connect with them and can care for them within the first chapter of her books.  This, to me, is what makes an author amazing!

     Jack and Margot are flawed, funny, and strong characters that you are rooting for from the very beginning.  Jack and his struggles brought me to tears a few times and frustrated me.  Margot was strong and fought for what she wanted until she had to stop to save herself-great message. 

     I also love the Ms. Harlow always gives me the full resolution that I am looking for and while it’s not always a fairy tale ending there is happiness and a future for the characters that is believable.

     I always look forward to Melanie’s books and the only complaint I can find is that I don’t think this is the beginning to a new series and I want more from this family! J

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 2016 Reads

source


     I simply cannot believe that November is over...I haven't even come to grips with October yet!  I did get a bit more reading done this month compared to previous months but I still feel as if I don't get enough reading time.  I have a feeling December will not hold the cure for this problem either...oh well! On to 2017! EEP!


Victoria by Daisy Goodwin: Very enjoyable historical fiction-see my full review here.











Beautiful by Christina Lauren: The final book in a great series that I have read no less than 3 times! So sad to see it end.










Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle: a very long cozy mystery that just had TOO MUCH detail for me. See the full review here.













Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: The is the second reading for me and I have to say that it was even more enjoyable this time around!










Fractures in Ink by Helena Hunting: Angst and romance from one of my favorite new authors! Full review is here.










Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier: Gothic romance book that has been around for 70+ years? Must be great, right? I didn't get it...I tried, I really did! Ugh, I just couldn't make myself care...








To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin: That cover! Oy, that is what first caught my attention-so beautiful! And the story within? Just as great.  My full review is here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow Publication Date: November 28th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

MHAfterWeFallBookCover5x8_BW_300.jpg

Synopsis:

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.
Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.
Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.
But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.
His huge, hard muscles.
Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.
And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.
But he’s wrong.
I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.
“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown

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Add to Goodreads

AFTER WE FALL AVAILABLE NOW FALL.jpg

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin






Summary from GoodReads:


Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France--a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.
 

My Thoughts:

 

     “Were beautiful things more beautiful when you couldn’t keep them?”
 
     Caitriona Wallace is a widow in the 1800s which means that she has very little she can do to support herself short of marrying again.  After a rather unpleasant first marriage, she is not eager to try the institution again so she takes on the job of chaperone to Jamie Arrol and his sister, Alice.  Their uncle, an engineer and bridge builder sends them all to Paris to help Jamie settle into a career and hopefully, get Alice a rich husband.  This should be a simple and well-paying job for Cait…

     Émile Nouguier has distanced himself from the family glassblowing business in order to achieve his dream of engineering and creating.  He is early forties and unmarried much to his mother’s chagrin.  He also is having an affair with a beautiful, mysterious and married woman.  Émile’s work is truly his passion, helping to build Eiffel’s grand tower in time for the World’s Fair. Can he achieve his dreams and still find time to straighten out his personal life?

     Ms. Colin has painted a wonderful picture of Paris in the late 1800’s amidst changes and growth.  Like the beautiful but simple cover photo she pulls you right into the story; so well that you can smell, taste, and feel it right along with the characters. 

     The characters are believable as are their stories of love, pain, loss and betrayals.  Cait is a smart, strong woman who is sick of the conventions of the times but yet doesn’t know how to live without them. Her charges, Jamie & Alice, are both rather immature but throughout the story you are still rooting for them to grow up and find happiness. Émile is also a wonderful character that you at times love and other times want to shake some sense into. 

     The city of Paris, the history and the building of the tower are all very much a part of the story as well.  They did not detract or bore me but were actually rather interesting. Ms. Colin did a very fine job of giving you just enough detail to walk the line between learning something interesting and going overboard. 

     My only real complaint might be that the “name dropping” of artistic historical figures was sometimes a bit much and unnecessary…but it didn’t really bother me that much! 

   This was for me a very wonderful romantic story full of interesting historical details and a wonderful, heartfelt story.

4.5/5 stars

Release Date: November 29, 2016    

 
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fractures in Ink by Helena Hunting

 

Summary from Goodreads:


Sometimes the things we shouldn't want become exactly what we need...

Waitressing at a seedy strip club isn't ideal, but it pays Sarah Adamson's tuition. Her goal is to finish her master's program and get a job that doesn't involve tight skirts and groping hands. She doesn't need distractions, especially not the one that comes in the form of a hot-as-sin tattoo artist who works across the street from her apartment.

Kicked out at sixteen, and a high school dropout, Chris Zelter is familiar with wanting things he can't have. His fractured life has never been easy. As the product of someone else's bad decisions, he knows exactly what happens when the wrong person controls your marionette strings. Now an accomplished tattoo artist in a renowned studio in Chicago, Chris has it together…mostly, apart from his infatuation with Sarah. She's way out of his league, and Chris knows it.  But he's willing to be her bad decision...at least for now.

 


 
  

My Thoughts:


     Chris has had a pretty rough upbringing and after being kicked out of his home at sixteen by his abusive stepfather, he didn’t help himself by getting involved with the wrong crowd of people.  Now in his mid-twenties he has finally, with help from Hayden and friends, starting to make a good life for himself.  Chris met Sarah and even though he doesn’t feel good enough for her, he can’t stay away either. 

     This is the third novel in the Clipped Wings series by Helena Hunting but it is a stand-alone so you do not need to read the first two in order to enjoy this one.  This is a very different type of story from Ms. Hunting’s Pucked series in that this is a romance but with a lot deeper emotions and turmoil.  The characters are from troubled backgrounds and are struggling to fight back against what they grew up with to become better, more stable adults. 

     I really enjoyed this story because of the depth of the characters.  Everyone has struggles but Chris and Sarah’s are worse than most and it was great to see them grow and fall for each other.  The story, for the most part, centered on Chris and his past/current issues so I do wish that we had gotten a little more of Sarah’s background.  We got the basics of her upbringing and her mother’s issues but that was small compared to Chris’ story. 

     Helena Hunting’s writing is always great and if you are looking for a really good romance with a side of angst this is a great series to look into!

4/5 stars