Monthly Archive: December 2017

Review: SLEIGHED IT (A Billionaire Bad Boys Holiday Novella) by Max Monroe

Seighed It (A Billionaire Bad Boys Holiday Novella)

by Max Monroe

Published by Max Monroe
136 pages
Genre: romance; romantic comedy
5 / 5

My Review:

Fans of Max Monroe’s Billionaire Bad Boys series will eat this up as if it were a bowl of Christmas pudding. It is fun, sexy, and emotionally satisfying.

My favorite part? The focus is not on Thatch. Of cousre he makes an appearance, but Max Monroe do a commendable job of controlling him. It isn’t that I don’t adore Thatcher Kelly – he’s a lovable lug, and I am a huge fan of Cassie’s – but he tends to suck up all the oxygen when he’s in a book.

Rather, the authors place Kline and Georgia at the forefront. The parents of two young daughters, they have not lost their emotional or physical connections. When you read Kline’s adorable tributes to his wife, you will feel swoony. And when you read about how Kline likes to Take Care Of (wink wink) his wife, your lady parts will quiver.

But Georgia is nothing if not, as Kline puts it, a mess. She has decided that she wants the perfect Christmas, and after scheduling every Hallmark cheesy Christmas movie move, she is convinced she’s going to get it. You would think she is oblivious as to her own story, and only she is surprised when things go horribly awry.

Your favorite characters all take part in the hijinks and hilarity (although there is not enough Wes – there is never enough Wes), and this fast-paced novella has all of the earmarks of a Max Monroe romantic comedy.

I read this on New Year’s Eve, and it made me wistful to think that Christmas, for this year, is past. Thanks to Georgia, though, I have some ideas for next year.

Blurb:

From the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of TAPPING THE BILLIONAIRE comes a Billionaire Bad Boys Holiday Novella.

Question: What would you do if every holiday you ever spent with your family ended in disaster?

I’ll tell you: you’d cry.

I know, because each and every celebration with my family ends in chaos—and I’ve had more than my share of mental breakdowns because of it.

But I’m done with the tears, the insanity—I refuse to take it anymore.

This Christmas is going to be perfect.

I’ll put Thatch in a fluffing Santa Claus suit and have him tap dance to Jingle Bells, if I have to. I deserve Christmas smiles and that feel-good Christmas high I’ve been missing.

My name is Georgia Brooks, and by Christmas night, my husband, my kids, and my closest friends will be thinking only one fluffing thing…

She Sleighed It.

About the Authors:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you a sexy, laugh-out-loud new series…& more. 😉

New writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half.

Stay tuned for the future—this is where the fun begins.

Max Monroe is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of Jane Rotrosen Agency.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

Review: THE WAY BACK TO US (Love Unplugged #3) by Jamie Howard

The Way Back to Us (Love Unplugged #3)

by Jamie Howard

Published by Swerve
230 pages
Genre: new adult; romance
3 / 5

My Review:

You’ve got to feel for poor Gavin. He may be an award-winning rock star, but his heart remains broken years after Dani abanoned their love, leaving only a two-word note. He thinks he will never love again, but come on. This is a romance novel! Of COURSE he will love again.

Aaannnd … of course he will love Dani again.

Their “chance” encounter gives them the opportunity to rediscover each other. She has some ‘splaining to do, and he has to listen and let her in. The problem is that the reasons why Dani left in the first place are still there. Jamie Howard makes the most of this mystery, letting you wonder if it’s a witness protection sort of thing or a on-the-run-from-the-law sort of thing, or something even more nefarious. The payoff, though, is a bit far-fetched. For a girl who understands the importance of observation, Dani has been woefully unobservant on this particular matter.

The romance is equal parts sweet and angsty, with a healthy amount of sexy times. I liked Gavin quite a bit. I liked his friendships (I have not read the other Love Unplugged books and didn’t feel as if I was missing important information, so this one is a stand alone), and I liked his devotion to his career. I even liked his devotion to Dani, although I felt he could do better. She’s underwritten, as compared to him, and too often she comes across as weak rather than strong.

Howard’s story doesn’t break any new ground, but it keeps you turning the pages. Gavin is a good guy, and he deserves the chance to make you a fan.

Blurb:

In The Way Back to Us, the third book in the Love Unplugged series by Jamie Howard, a second chance at love is a risk worth fighting for when the past catches up with you.

Gavin MacCormack found the one. He fell in love. Hard. Until one night he ran out for some ice cream and came back to an empty dorm room, closets bare and nothing but a quick hand-written note saying, I’m sorry. Those two words taught Gavin the meaning of heartbreak. A feeling he never wants to encounter again. And as the lead singer of a Grammy award-winning band he’s had plenty of opportunities for casual, no-strings fun, which is just the way he likes it.

Dani Winters has had more names than birthdays. On the run with her father for nearly as long as she can remember, she’s lived her life by three rules—always plan for the worst, maintain a low profile at all costs, and never let anyone get too close. Except she broke that last rule once and her heart has never forgiven her.

One chance encounter changes everything. Seeing Dani resurrects feelings in Gavin he thought were long buried, and this time he’s not letting her disappear without getting some answers. But Dani’s life is the definition of complicated and she’s playing with fire by letting Gavin back in. When the time comes to run again, Dani needs to decide if a life without love is worth living, or if it’s time to stop running and fight.

About the Author:

Jamie Howard is a legal and compliance specialist by day, author by night, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard or capturing the world through her trusty Canon, you can find her binge-watching TV shows, devouring books, and perfecting her gaming skills. She lives with her husband and three children in New Jersey, and is almost always awake early enough to see the sun rise, even on the weekends.

Jamie is the author of Until We BreakUntil It’s RightAll The Ways You Saved MeThe Feeling of Forever, and The Way Back to Us. She is represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

Review: IN THE FALL THEY COME BACK by Robert Bausch

In the Fall They Come Back

by Robert Bausch

Published by Bloomsbury
406 pages
Genre: fiction
3.5 / 5

My Review:

Most teachers, regardless of how old you are when you come to the profession, feels like Ben does: you want to Change Lives. You want to Make and Impact. You want to be the sort of teacher who Affects your students in capital letters.

It takes Ben about two years to realize that his goal is Sisyphean on the best days.

He tells his story twenty years after it happened, when he is an attorney, having left teaching after those first wto years. He doesn’t quit the job because of the events he tells us about – he always intended to taech for a couple of years before going to law school – and you can feel the ensuing two decades of perspective he gained.

Ben makes many mistakes, and Robert Bausch does a pretty solid job of showing his not exactly naïveté, but more his blind optimism. Ben doesn’t so much pick three particular students to impact as he finds himself drawn to them in ways he isn’t his other kids. Unfortunately, that blind optimism causes him to make some mistakes, particularly with one of the students. He puts himself in a precarious position to the point that those intentions he has to affect positive change might not happen because he may not be around.

One of my favorite lines from this book comes at the end, as Ben reflects on his time at Glenn Acres. He considers the profession he left and observes that “maybe that is what a really good teachre is, finally: a man or woman with only the best intentions, bearing gifts.” As Basuch shows, Ben struggles with trying to force some of his gifts into something they aren’t. He envisions himself a savior (his girlfriend Annie accuses him of having a Christ complex), and he manipulates circumstances and people to make that vision come true. At the same time, though, his intentions are true. Teaching may have been a temporary gig, but nonetheless it’s one he took seriously.

There are occasional lapses in pacing, and some of the story is a bit too easily predicted. I didn’t always like Ben, but I’m okay with that. I felt like Bausch didn’t want me to always like Ben. Heck, Ben didn’t always like himself. That twenty-year perspective shows in his occasional wry observations about himself. That message – that we are our own best students – may be obvious, but it’s a lesson that must be learned.

Blurb:

A brilliantly observed prep school novel about fraught teacher-student relationships–and about coming into adulthood.

Ben Jameson begins his teaching career in a small private school in Northern Virginia. He is idealistic, happy to have his first job after graduate school, and hoping some day to figure out what he really wants out of life. And in his two years teaching English at Glenn Acres Preparatory School, he comes to believe this really is his life’s work, his calling. He wants to change lives.

But his desire to “save” his students leads him into complicated territory, as he becomes more and more deeply involved with three students in particular: an abused boy, a mute and damaged girl, and a dangerous eighteen-year-old who has come back to school for one more chance to graduate.

In the Fall They Come Back is a book about human relationships, as played out in that most fraught of settings, a school. But it is not only a book about teaching. It is about the limits and complexities of even our most benevolent urges–what we can give to others and how we lose ourselves.

About the Author:

Robert Bausch was born in Georgia, at the end of World War II, and was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked as a salesman–of automobiles, appliances, and hardware–a taxi driver, waiter, production planner, and library assistant. He was educated at George Mason University, earning a BA, an MA and an MFA, and he says he has been a writer all his life. He spent time in the military teaching survival, and worked his way through college.

Bausch published his first novel, On the Way Home, in 1982. Newsweek called the novel “compelling” and it was favorably reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. His second novel, The Lives of Riley Chance, was published in 1984 and was praised by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. It was later translated into Swedish. Almighty Me, his third novel, was published in 1991. Again the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers praised it highly. The rights to the book were sold to Hollywood Films, a division of Disney Studios. Almighty Me was also published in German. This book was later released in film version, uncredited, as Bruce Almighty.

In 1995, Bausch published a collection of short stories called The White Rooster and Other Stories. The Dictionary of Literary Biography awarded the book its literary prize for the most distinguished fiction for 1995.

A Hole in the Earth, (Harcourt, 2001; Harvest Books, 2002) his fourth novel, was inspired by his father, Robert Carl Bausch, a successful Washington businessman, who died unexpectedly in 1995 at the age of 79. “I tried to put everything my father believed in that book,” Bausch has said. “Out of respect for him, and because, as my narrator comes to see, he was right about most things.” Bausch comes from a “functional” family; one that was happy and that included an identical twin brother (the novelist Richard Bausch) and four other brothers and sisters. Their parents, Helen and Robert Bausch, were happily married, staunchly Democratic and Catholic, and they stayed married for fifty-five years. A Hole in the Earth was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year in 2001.

The Gypsy Man, his fifth novel, was published by Harcourt in October, 2002 and again, in paperback by Harvest Books.

Bausch’s sixth novel Out of Season was published in the fall of 2005. It was a Washington Post Favorite Book of the year as well.

His seventh novel, Far as the Eye Can See, was published in 2014 by Bloomsbury Press. The New York Times made it an Editor’s Choice. The book was also an Indie Next selection for December. The paperback will be published in 2015.

The Legend of Jesse Smoke, his eighth novel was published by Bloomsbury in the fall of 2016, and in the fall of 2017 his ninth novel, In the Fall They Come Back, is forthcoming from the same publisher.

Since 1975, Bausch has been a college professor, teaching creative writing, American literature, world literature, humanities, philosophy, and expository writing. He has taught at the University of Virginia, American University, George Mason University, and Johns Hopkins University. For the balance of his career he has been teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. He has also been a director on the board of the Pen-Faulkner Foundation. In 2009 he was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature.
—James Gilford

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

Review: ROOMIES by Christina Lauren

Roomies

by Christina Lauren

Published by Gallery Books
368 pages
Genre: romance; women’s fiction
4 / 5

My Review:

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve been quietly fascinated (obsessed) with a stranger you frequently see. Maybe you go out of your way to chance a sighting. Maybe you think about this person you do not know and imagine what would happen if you spoke to him or introduced yourself.

Holland certainly knows these feelings. So when she gets her chance to actually (gasp!) talk to the guitarist who busks by a NY subway station, she becomes even more fascinated by his Irish accent. Another layer has been added to her interest. Imagine how all of her emotions become even more amplified when the object of her adoration rescues her from an attempted robbery.

Christina Lauren set up this story by putting you squarely into Holland’s perspective. You understand how she feels and that tremor of excitement that hits her when Calvin (the guitarist) speaks to her for the first time. You understand her desperation to stay connected to him.

What makes Holland relatable is how she views herself. As her uncles keep pointing out, she does not see her own value, to the point that taking a risk petrifies her. What she does with Calvin certainly represents a break from the patterns she established, until you realize that she really hasn’t broken away from her inability to put herself first.

You may not anticipate the tears you will shed, but Christina Lauren make you do so. Your sympathies with Holland are so entrenched that you will fear for her heart. You also can see things that she can’t: for instance, you know how Calvin feels about her, even as she is blind to that.

There are many layers at play here, and there is even a sexy time or two. What you come to realize is that the true “roomie” Holland needs to get to know and learn to live with is herself. How Christina Lauren get you to that is a fun, poignant read.

Blurb:

From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient. 

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

About the Authors:

Yes, there are two of us! Lauren (on the left) and Christina (on the right).

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The #1 international bestselling coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 30 languages, have received starred reviews from Kirkus ReviewsLibrary Journal and Publishers Weekly, won both the Seal of Excellence and Book of the Year from RT Magazine, named Amazon and Audible Romance of the Year, and been nominated for several Goodreads Choice Awards. They have been featured in publications such as ForbesThe Washington PostTimeEntertainment Weekly, People, O Magazine and more. Their third YA novel, Autoboyography was released in September, and will be followed by a contemporary romance, Roomies in December, and their first Women’s Fiction, Love and Other Words in April.

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.

Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. She grew up in Utah and is absolutely not old enough to be the mom of a 16 year old (right??), thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter. She also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.

You can follow their shenanigans at:

@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!

For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie/TV news and more, follow @christinalauren.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

Release Blitz, Excerpt, Giveaway, & Review: BAD DAD by Sloane Howell

 

My Review:

As someone who neither watches nor has much interest in MMA, I can’t say I’ve read a lot of books focused on the sport. Bad Dad doesn’t just feature fighting, it uses it as a metaphor. And I love a good metaphor.

Landon has had to fight his whole life. I won’t divulge much about his backstory except to say that it is fascinating. He’s still fighting, although lately those fights have been more about maintaining a low profile and anonymity. An elementary school teacher, Cora, too, has had to fight. Hers, however, have been against her parents – particularly her mother, who seeks to control her in every sense.

When Landon and Cora meet, they fight against their attraction to each other, but even the strongest and most well-trained fighters sometimes face a foe against which they are utterly powerless. Landon and Cora’s attraction to each other is so feral that there is no combatting it. Teensy problem: Landon’s son is one of Cora’s students, and, well, let’s just say that parent-teacher relationships are frowned upon. Again, a fight is necessary, this time against parochial notions about love.

Of course, there are literal MMA fights, and Sloane Howell slowly builds to the centerpiece. There are a lot of things riding on this fight, and Howell invests you emotionally in every one. He makes you care about Landon and Cora, and he makes you want their happily-ever-after.

Howell writes an emotionally gripping story that has some pretty fabulous hot headboard rocking. Let’s just say that Landon has SKILLS. Strap on your vibrators, girls, because Sloane Howell will leave you in need of release. In a good way.

My son is my life. Nothing on earth matters but him.
Soon, I’ll have to send him out into society. The cruel machine that gnashes innocence and spits out the hollowed remains of a child’s imagination. It’s a place I know all too well, considering my past. I’ve worked hard to separate myself from it, but it looms in the back of my mind—waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
My son, Logan, wants to have birthday parties, make friends, play at the park—all the normal things that seven-year olds want to do. All the things I want to do with him.
I’ve put up walls around our life to shield us from danger. Giant barriers to ward off possible threats.
Cora Chapman crashes through them like a wrecking ball. She’s intelligent and hilarious with soft curves and a spark that ignites a flame deep inside of me.
There’s only one problem—she’s Logan’s teacher.
When my past wraps its tentacles around my throat and threatens to strangle the breath from my lungs, I’m given an option—fight for my family’s freedom, or die as they’re stripped away from me.
I can’t lose. I won’t lose.
My name is Landon Lane and I am a warrior.
The door at the entrance to the school, down at the end of the hallway, slammed shut like a shotgun had fired. I jolted and tried to catch my breath. Logan grinned a little wider, which still wasn’t much.
“This place is so loud.” I inhaled a deep breath and brushed off my own embarrassment. Anything was worth it to set him at ease a little.
Footsteps pounded in my ears as whoever came through the door approached in a hurry.
Logan’s head tilted up and he leaped from his seat. I barely leaned out of his way in time. He took off in a dead sprint. My head craned around to the man’s shoes first—ordinary Nike cross trainers. Nothing special.
But the way they traversed the ground—Montague soles pounded the Capulet tiles.
My gaze roamed to the jeans—Levi’s, boot-cut, regular denim, frayed at the seams—worked in and worn.
Damn.
My stare tilted up and drank the scenery. A charcoal-gray hood dipped down and cast a shadow over his eyes.
A breath cut too short and some sound I’d never made in my life escaped my lungs and dissolved into the tension saturating the room.
Logan’s father (I assumed) dropped to a knee, and Logan sprinted straight into his massive arms. His hoodie remained pulled up over his head. It’d probably been to shield him from the rain outside. I’d never seen Logan move so fast. He disappeared into the giant thunderhead biceps that engulfed him in a hug.
“I didn’t do anything wrong.” Logan sobbed into the man’s shoulder.
A giant hand wrapped around the back of his head and pulled him in tight. The hood dipped down and nuzzled up next to his cheek then turned and whispered in his ear.
I stood up about twenty feet away and noticed myself leaning toward them, trying to get a better view or hear what was said. I’d only met an older woman named Janet who usually brought Logan to and from school. She rarely spoke to anyone, but she was always polite.
“How long are they going to make us wait in here? Jesus Christ!” Charles Hastings’ voice roared once again from the office. Principal Williams was still nowhere to be found.
The hood-covered head popped up and turned in the direction of the words, but I still couldn’t make out his eyes.
God, what I would have given for a peek at his face.
The dark shadow under the hood turned to me. My heart threatened to explode out of my chest and my lungs stopped functioning. I still couldn’t see his eyes, couldn’t see his stare. Somehow, he managed to make my palms sweat. My palms never sweat.
Why’s he staring at me?
“Fucking ridiculous!”
My head whipped to the door.
Hastings.
I inhaled a deep breath and stomped toward the office. I’d learned long ago that if I didn’t set a certain tone with unruly parents they’d walk all over me.
Throwing the door open, I glared at the short balding man of maybe fifty. “It will be a few more minutes. Watch your language, please. This is a school. Not your living room.”
I slammed the door shut before he could get out another word.
Where the hell is Principal Williams?
I wasn’t one to shirk duties or get out of responsibility, but I really could use some back up. Parents had fought over pettier things than the words Hastings was slinging left and right, in front of his son no less. Maybe if I’d been at this school longer I’d have a better idea of how they handled these situations.
I froze in front of the door for a quick second and schooled my features. Could I go back out and face the enigma comforting his son in the hall? I had to. It was my job.
I walked back out to make sure Logan was okay, each step with a pair of concrete bricks attached to my feet.
“My son didn’t hit that little shit out there! We shouldn’t even be here!”
I paused and gritted my teeth. The moment now took a firm seat at the top of the podium as the number one awkward situation of my career, and I’d taught at a low-income New York City elementary school.
Jesus.
Other teachers had warned me about Hastings. The general consensus was that the guy was a raging jerk with little-man syndrome. I had no choice but to concur.
The man in the hood squeezed Logan once more into a bear hug, seemed to whisper something else, and then released him.
Hastings railed off even more expletives and threats from the office.
Logan’s father didn’t take off his hood, just advanced straight toward me. Logan stood in the hallway behind him.
He was not a small man by any means. The closer he came, the tighter my stomach twisted into a knot. The walls closed in on me and the thunder seemed to rumble with each of his footsteps. I gulped when he was about five feet away.
His shoes squeaked against the tile when he stopped and crossed his arms over his chest. It stretched the fabric across his shoulders and I realized just how large he was. It was one hundred percent muscle. I tried to keep my thighs from squeezing together and nearly failed.
Compose yourself.
My father named me Courage—even though I went by Cora—when I was born, but I was not living up to it at that moment.
I stretched out a hand toward him. “Hi, I’m sorry we’re meeting under these circumstances. I’m Cora—”
I barely made out two eyes in the shadow of his hood. He sized me up and down, and gestured like he might actually reach out for my hand. Hastings belted out more empty threats from inside the office. The hood turned in that direction and left my hand abandoned mid-air.
I’d never had trouble speaking in front of a parent before, but something about Logan’s dad was just—I didn’t know what it was, to be honest—scary, exciting, mysterious.
I lowered my hand to my side. My mouth was drier than the Sahara. “I, umm, there was an incident, on the playground.”
I tried to keep my voice down. If Hastings knew Logan’s father had shown up there was no telling what might happen. Looking at the man in front of me, it wouldn’t be much of a fight, and I was definitely in no position to stop him if things escalated beyond a discussion.
My eyes strayed to the Levi’s again for a split-second before I caught myself. I had certainly missed Montana men and their jeans. Some might’ve called it a weakness of mine.
He turned back to me, slowly. I watched every move. He took in every piece of information the scene had to offer and actually listened before speaking. People didn’t do that anymore, and I silently appreciated it.
“What happened?” His baritone voice vibrated through me like the encroaching thunder outside.
I stood there, blood pounding through my veins, heart racing down a quarter mile track with no parachute or brakes. His voice demanded an answer, but it didn’t seem coercive. There was a hint of concern laced in it.
“Logan didn’t do anything wrong. Like I said before, there was an incident. We just called both—”
The sound of a chair shuffling and footsteps from the office cut me off. I froze. Hastings must’ve heard me talking.
A tingling sensation radiated through my limbs and goosebumps pebbled down my arms. I had to force a slight smile from my face and mashed my lips into a thin line.
Logan’s father took a few commanding steps toward the door and made sure he’d be the first thing Hastings would see. He put himself right between us and his shoulders were so broad I couldn’t see around him. My thighs tried to squeeze together again. I cursed them silently and stepped out to the side so I could at least see Hastings’ face.
“I’m not waiting for this bullshit any—” The door to Williams’ office burst open. Hastings froze right along with his sentence when he saw Logan’s dad.
His voice went down an octave, barely noticeable. His chest deflated a little too and he tried to recover. “You the dad of the little shit making up stories about my kid?” His words were shaky, and he nodded up the hall toward Logan.
Uh oh.
The hood turned to Logan and looked right through me. “Wait in the car.”
I glanced back. Logan didn’t dare question him. Hell, I don’t think anyone would’ve. I nearly took a step toward the parking lot and caught myself. Logan turned on a dime and took off.
I wasn’t about to stand by and let a dick measuring contest happen on my watch. Both of my hands found my hips and I side-stepped farther so that Hastings could see more than just my face. “Mr. Hastings, get back in the office. Now!”
He ignored me, as expected. I wasn’t a threat to him. The ballsy bastard took a couple of steps toward Logan’s dad until he was a few feet away from him.
Where is Williams? Probably peeking around a corner somewhere, watching.
“Mister Hastings, that is enough.” I started toward him.
Hastings sneered at Logan as he walked toward the door, then he turned to me and his chest puffed out a little more. “You fucking people have—”
Where the hell are you, Williams? Help!
A single finger.
I stopped in my tracks.
He held it up. The man in the hood.
One powerful index finger in the air.
It was just a finger.
That index finger stole the words from Hastings’ mouth and the breath from my lungs.
One gorgeous, forceful finger commanded everything in the room and even the storm outside seemed to shut the hell up.
His left hand balled into a fist at his side.
And we’ve now reached the ‘Oh shit’ portion of the night’s show.
Complete silence fell on the school.
I swear I couldn’t have made it up if I tried. The door closed behind Logan and he walked to the car. Lightning cracked overhead, and the immediate thunder seemed to pick up the building and shake it at the same time the man in the hood dropped his finger.
I shuddered. Freaking thunderstorms.
Logan’s father closed the small gap between him and Hastings. Hastings’ eyes widened like saucers, then his brows narrowed into a V.
Then he did possibly the dumbest thing I’d ever seen a man do. He poked Goliath in the chest. “Listen here—”
The hood tilted down to the finger, and then back up to Hastings’ face. Hastings tried to look tough, but his face was pale as a ghost, and sweat beads formed along his hairline.
The hood glared lasers at Hastings. “Don’t touch me.”
Hastings’ hand dropped like it might fall through the floor.
“D-dad?” Cory Hastings eased open the office door.
The hood shot to Cory for a quick second. He glanced at Hastings and then back to me and then back to Cory. His voice softened a hint while he looked at the boy. “Sorry.”
He turned and headed toward the exit, but stopped at my side. He looked straight ahead. Straight where his son sat in the car, waiting. “Logan won’t be back.” He paced down the hallway.
I turned and watched him leave. I stood there, mouth wide open, catatonic, brain short circuiting all over the place. Logan’s father disappeared through the double doors, and I blew out a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding.
Oh my God.
Maybe Desire, Montana wouldn’t be so bad after all.
“Okay, we ready?” Principal Williams strolled up from the other end of the hallway.
You’ve got to be shitting me.
Enter HERE
 Sloane Howell lives in the Midwest United States and writes dirty stories. When not reading or writing he enjoys hanging out with his family, watching sports, playing with the dogs, traveling, and engaging his readers on social media. You can almost always catch him on Twitter posting something goofy.
Visit his web page www.sloanehowell.com to sign up for his mailing list to get updates on new releases, promos, and giveaways. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Blog Tour & Review: TEAM PLAYER anthology

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Eleven authors. Eleven Novellas. This is one thick . . . book.

Christmas just became a whole lot merrier…


TEAM PLAYER, A Christmas Anthology featuring titles by LJ Shen, Kennedy Ryan, Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Emma Scott, Charleigh Rose, Ella Fox, Sara Ney, Meghan Quinn, Kate Stewart and Rochelle Paige is available NOW!

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Publication Date: December 14th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary/Sports Romance

Hot jocks. We love them all.

Sexy baseball players. Intense footballers. Sweaty MMA fighters, and sizzling hockey hotties. Score!

The good news? Eleven bestselling authors have gathered to give you a set of stories focused on the men we love most—sports heroes. We bet you’ll love this thick…book.

The bad news? The men in these novellas don’t actually exist.

*This anthology does not contain calories, just eleven original, never-before-seen stories by the following authors: Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Charleigh Rose, Kennedy Ryan, LJ Shen, Meghan Quinn, Rochelle Paige, Ella Fox, Kate Stewart, Emma Scott, and Sara Ney. We aren’t responsible for melted devices.

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Read Today!

(FREE in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2j7MCK1

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TeamPlayerAnthology

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2iVSpFW

My Review:

Sports fans – and fans of these Hot Romance authors – meet your nirvana: eleven short stories, each centered around an athlete who falls in love, ane each of whom engages in some scorching hot headboard rocking.

The sports range from hockey to basketball to skiing to football to soccer to baseball to cheerleading (which IS a sport, haters). Each story features a Hot Hero and a heorine you will cheer for. And did I mention the hot headboard rocking? Because there is lots of that.

Some of my favorite moments include the scene on the bench in Mandi Beck’s Sin Bin, the hilarious bet in Charleigh Rose’s Yard Sale, the kiss on the hood in Sweeping the Series by Kate Stewart, the heartbreaking answering machine scene in Kennedy Ryan’s poignant (AND HOT) Full Court Press, the big reveal in Slapped Into Love by Rochelle Paige, the epilogue to Ella Fox’s Out of Formation, the moment Meghan Quinn brings her characters together in Back in the Game, the dance in Emma Scott’s One Good Man, the “wait, I’m getting what I dreamed for” realization in Switch Hitter by Sara Ney, and the “this is just ‘pretend'” interlude in The End Zone by LJ Shen.

You get ELEVEN stories, dear readers. That’s almost a dozen. That’s eleven Hot Heroes and at least eleven times you’ll need to strap on your vibrators.

This the first time I’ve read stories from some of the authors in this collection, so Kate Stewart and Sara Ney, you’ve given me some shopping (and ‘shipping) to do.

 

Meet the authors:

LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets people’s birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorljshen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lj_shen

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorljshen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorljshen/

Stay up to date with LJ Shen by signing up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/2umcYPg

http://www.authorljshen.com/

Kennedy Ryan:

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.

Connect with Kennedy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KennedyRyanAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kennedyrwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kennedyryan1/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KennedyRyanAuthor

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2gsAGkp

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x0qCtC

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kennedy-ryan

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681604768593989/

http://kennedyryanwrites.com

Adriana Locke:

A contemporary romance author running on coffee and sticky kisses from my rowdy four little boys.

From Indiana, I’m a true Mid-Westerner. Life, for me, is about family, faith, and food. When I’m not running my kiddos around or having a lunch date of fajitas with my husband (and high school sweetheart), you can find me outside. I love a good sunny day almost as much as I love candy, random quotes, and steamy bad boys in fantastic books.

I’m on nearly every social media platform. Please find me on the ones you frequent – I love chatting with readers.

Connect with Adriana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoradrianalocke

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoralocke

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoradrianalocke/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/adriana-locke

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8379774.Adriana_Locke

Amazon Alerts: http://adrianalocke.com/release-day-notifications/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authoradrianalo/

http://adrianalocke.com

Mandi Beck:

Mandi Beck has been an avid reader all of her life. A deep love for books always had her jotting down little stories on napkins, notebooks, and her hand. As an adult she was further submerged into the book world through book clubs and the epicness of social media. It was then that she graduated to writing her stories on her phone and then finally on a proper computer.

A nursing student, mother to two rambunctious and somewhat rotten boys, and stepmom to two great girls away at college, she shares her time with her husband in Chicago where she was born and raised. Mandi is a diehard hockey fan and blames the Blackhawks when her deadlines are not met.

Connect with Mandi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormandibeck

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authormandibeck

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authormandi/

Newsletter: https://www.authormandibeck.com/newsletter

https://www.authormandibeck.com

Emma Scott:

I write romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. I love to write book lovers; those who have found refuge, companionship, and escape in books, much as we do in real life. I like realism, honesty, authenticity in storytelling. I love to write about enduring love, soul-deep love, in as real a setting as I can make, but with big smooshy HEAs. I believe in diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusion. I like sweetness mixed with steam, love conquering all, and above all, hope. Love always wins.

Connect with Emma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwrites/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10405165.Emma_Scott

Blog: http://emmascottblog.blogspot.com

Charleigh Rose:

We are a duo of an international best-selling author and a blogger who teamed up to write the taboo, thought-provoking stories we want our audience to have–without filters.

Both Charleigh and Rose are committed to giving you witty, sexy, intelligent novels that will leave you wanting more.

Connect with Charleigh

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charleighroseprose/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15569269.Charleigh_Rose?from_search=true

Ella Fox:

When she’s not writing, Ella indulges the gypsy in her blood and travels the country. Ella loves reading, movies, music, buying make-up, reading Tmz, Twitter and pedicures… not necessarily in that order. She has a wild sense of humor and loves to laugh. Her favorite thing in the world is hanging out with her family and watching comedy movies.

Connect with Ella

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllaFoxAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorellafox

http://www.authorellafox.com

Sara Ney:

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

Connect with Sara

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saraneyauthor/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2Ay8lT2

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saraneyauthor/

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2g32hJO

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/saraneyauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaraNey

http://authorsaraney.com

Meghan Quinn:

A BLONDE AT HEART

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!

Connect with Meghan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormeghanquinn/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2_j4HJ91yQLxZ0EC4p2PEA

YouTube: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn

Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com

Kate Stewart:

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Connect with Kate

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatestewart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorklstewart

http://www.katestewartwrites.com

Rochelle Paige:

Rochelle Paige is the Amazon bestselling author of nineteen books. She absolutely adores reading and her friends growing up used to tease her when she trailed after them, trying to read and walk at the same time. She loves stories with alpha males, sassy heroines, hot sex and happily ever afters. She is a bit of a genre hopper in both her reading and her writing. So far she’s written books in several romance sub-genres including new adult, contemporary, paranormal and romantic suspense.

She is the mother of two wonderful sons who inspired her to chase her dream of being an author. She wants them to learn from her that you can live your dream as long as you are willing to work for it.

Connect with Rochelle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rochellepaigeauthor/

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436132763270558/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2n6RkMX

http://www.rochellepaige.com/homem

Sale Alert: DEAR LIFE by Meghan Quinn

For a limited time only DEAR LIFE by Meghan Quinn is on sale for #99cents!!!

PURCHASE HERE–>

Dear Life,

It’s New Years Eve and time for a resolution. Time for decision and self-discovery.

After all, isn’t that what starting over, in a new year, is all about? Forgiveness. Clean slates?

Finding beauty in heartbreak and pain, and finding yourself along the way?

We hope so.

Because we’ve immersed in the anonymously published Dear Life program, designed to help us step outside of our comfort zones and start anew. Forced to face obstacles and relinquish our demons we’ll come together–or fall apart– to prove our existence:

Hollyn: The perpetually hurt

Daisy: The sheltered and naïve

Jace: The athlete with a heart of gold

Carter: The bitter and pained dreamer

Win big or lose it all, we’re at a crossroads in our lives; four strangers meeting in the middle.

Do we have what it takes to use this one chance and start over? Or will we fall apart?

 
About the Author:

Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Will dance for laughs, won’t eat anything spicy because you asked, but will squeeze boobs in replace of a hug. Grew up in Southern California (Temecula, anyone? Anyone?) lived in New York (the armpit of NY, not the city) and now resides in Colorado with my wife, son, two dogs, three cats, and my multiple book boyfriends. Loves love, anything romantic, and will die if I ever meet Tom Hanks. Yay, books!

 

Find me on Goodreads:
Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review: WHORE by Willow Aster

Whore by Willow Aster is now LIVE!!!

PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF WHORE TODAY!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2B0fsEe

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2yY5D83

B&N: http://bit.ly/2iQYB1U

iTunes: http://apple.co/2yZTvHV

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xx0EL8

My Review:

How is this my first Willow Aster book? This is not a rhetorical question. How is this so?

Whore is everything I like a Hot Romance Novel to be: emotional, occasionally heartbreaking, romantic, scorching hot, and interesting in a way that makes me think about things differently.

Lilith descends from several generations of whores. Her mother (who almost makes mine look loving) is the current madame of the family enterprise, which means her job is to prostitute her own daughter. Aster has some devastating scenes, particularly those depicting Lilith’s entry into the business.

A terrifying event sends Lilith into the safe haven of Soti, a man who has endured his share of tragedy and heartache. Soti, like Lilith, is a survivor. Like Lilith, he finds a way to emerge from ashes stronger and more fortified. Phoenixes of a sort. But of course happiness for Lilith is short-lived, as Aster places her heroine in danger.

The point of the terror isn’t to keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering how the suspense will be rectified, but rather to continue to develop Lilith’s autonomy. She is a woman who has spent her life as a whore, surrounded by other whores. All she knows is putting herself at the whims and usage of men. She must learn her worth as an individual, not as a prostitute.

Soti, too, has to learn his worth. He runs a community center, so unlike Lilith, he does not sell himself. He gives. He’s so busy giving that he forgets how to be occasionally selfish.

With a title like Whore, you expect some hot sexy times, and Willow Aster delivers those with perfection. Just the right amount of detail. Just the right amount of pacing. Even better, these scenes serve a purpose other than making you squeeze your thighs together as Lilith discovers that sex can be transcendent, not merely transactional.

Let me know your thoughts on this book. I enjoyed it so much, and I’d love to know what you think.

“I need a reason to exist.”

Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans sees herself.

A stain on society. A scourge. A waste. Outsider. Prisoner…

Any idyllic dream of the normal life she may have once imagined, Lilith buried long ago. Her only plan now is survival.

But mob boss Nico Santelli and community center owner Soti Christos have not given up on Lilith. Each has his own very specific, very opposing, plans for her, and neither will rest until it becomes a reality.

WHORE is a singularly bracing take on an ancient tale of tireless love, betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.

I take a sudden deep breath and my breasts brush against his chest. The contact surprises us both. I do it again, intentionally this time, trying to gain control in the only way I know how. His neck flushes and he takes a step back. I enjoy the rush it gives me, knowing that I affect him too.

“Hey, would you like to come around the corner with me to—”

I swallow my surprise and shake my head, holding my hand up before he says anything else.

“Please,” he says louder.

“What’s your name?”

“I am Sotirios … Soti.”

“Soti, what makes you think you know anything about me?”

He tries to make eye contact, but I focus on a spot just past his left ear.

“I just want to help you…” His words trail off.

The wind blows my hair forward, a sheet of black coming between us until I smooth the long strands down on either side. I gaze down the street and see a blurry little girl with black hair down to her waist in middle school, standing shy and hopeful in front of a group of girls.

“We know what you are,” they said. They hurled spit and names on her and she stood there, taking it, until the teacher came and helped her.

Help only got me so far.

“You listen to me, okay?” I say so softly he leans in to hear me. “I was born for this.”

When my eyes finally land on his again, I know his face will haunt me forever. He looks as bleak as I feel.

I clear my throat. “Now, if you’ll excuse us.”

With that, I loop my hand through the arm of my next income source, calculating how I can get the most money out of him for the least amount of time. It takes every ounce of willpower I own to not look Soti’s way one more time. Once we round the corner and I know he’s out of sight, all the adrenaline leaves my body, and I’m actually glad to have someone to hold onto.

I avoid my reflection as we walk back to the house. I don’t want to know what the rest of the world sees when they look at me.


Whore by Willow Aster from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.

Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Release Day Launch, Excerpt, & Giveaway: WHORE by Willow Aster

Whore by Willow Aster is now LIVE!!!

PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF WHORE TODAY!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2B0fsEe

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2yY5D83

B&N: http://bit.ly/2iQYB1U

iTunes: http://apple.co/2yZTvHV

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xx0EL8

“I need a reason to exist.”

Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans sees herself.

A stain on society. A scourge. A waste. Outsider. Prisoner…

Any idyllic dream of the normal life she may have once imagined, Lilith buried long ago. Her only plan now is survival.

But mob boss Nico Santelli and community center owner Soti Christos have not given up on Lilith. Each has his own very specific, very opposing, plans for her, and neither will rest until it becomes a reality.

WHORE is a singularly bracing take on an ancient tale of tireless love, betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.

I take a sudden deep breath and my breasts brush against his chest. The contact surprises us both. I do it again, intentionally this time, trying to gain control in the only way I know how. His neck flushes and he takes a step back. I enjoy the rush it gives me, knowing that I affect him too.

“Hey, would you like to come around the corner with me to—”

I swallow my surprise and shake my head, holding my hand up before he says anything else.

“Please,” he says louder.

“What’s your name?”

“I am Sotirios … Soti.”

“Soti, what makes you think you know anything about me?”

He tries to make eye contact, but I focus on a spot just past his left ear.

“I just want to help you…” His words trail off.

The wind blows my hair forward, a sheet of black coming between us until I smooth the long strands down on either side. I gaze down the street and see a blurry little girl with black hair down to her waist in middle school, standing shy and hopeful in front of a group of girls.

“We know what you are,” they said. They hurled spit and names on her and she stood there, taking it, until the teacher came and helped her.

Help only got me so far.

“You listen to me, okay?” I say so softly he leans in to hear me. “I was born for this.”

When my eyes finally land on his again, I know his face will haunt me forever. He looks as bleak as I feel.

I clear my throat. “Now, if you’ll excuse us.”

With that, I loop my hand through the arm of my next income source, calculating how I can get the most money out of him for the least amount of time. It takes every ounce of willpower I own to not look Soti’s way one more time. Once we round the corner and I know he’s out of sight, all the adrenaline leaves my body, and I’m actually glad to have someone to hold onto.

I avoid my reflection as we walk back to the house. I don’t want to know what the rest of the world sees when they look at me.


Whore by Willow Aster from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.

Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Review: NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT by Kristan Higgins

Now that You Mention It

by Kristan Higgins

Published by HQN Books
416 pages
Genre: romance; women’s fiction
4.5 / 5

My Review:

Reading a Kristan Higgins book is like settling onto a snuggly couch with a friend and a glass of wine. You know you’re going to enjoy laughter, love, and a little bit of tears. Sometimes a lot of bit of tears.

When she is hit by a pest control van and overhears her boyfriend flirt with another doctor, Nora realizes that the life she crafted for herself in Boston – she’s a doctor, too, and lives with one – is neither as fulfilling nor as stable as she thought. So she packs up and heads home to Scupper Island, a coastal Maine isle where her mother, a woman as sturdy and remote as Scupper itself, still lives.

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Higgins’ books is their comedic elements. Now that You Mention It has those moments, but it is a little more serious, a little more heartbreaking. This is largely due to the circumstances behind Nora’s flight from Boston. She has survived something terrible, yet she doesn’t quite see herself as a survivor. Rather, she still thinks of herself as a victim.

I liked how Higgans established this sense of Nora’s not solely from the horrific event that occurred to her, but far earlier, when she was a kid growing up on Scupper. Nora has always seen herself as secondary, as an accessory of sorts. She saw others thrive while she retreated. Yet Higgans also shows you those moments when Nora sort of channels her mother’s steady survivor attitude. You know, long before Nora does, that she will be just fine. Better, even.

Like most of Higgans’ heroines, Nora is someone you wish you knew in real life. And like most of Higgans’ heroes, Nora’s love interest is someone who makes you swoon. He, too, has survived something awful, but unlike Nora, he hasn’t let that experience defeat him in the least. He’s quite dreamy.

I love Kristan Higgins’ books, and this one is no exception.

 

Blurb:

“The kind of book I enjoy the most—sparkling characters, fast-moving plot and laugh-out-loud dialogue. A winner!” —New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips on If You Only Knew

New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins welcomes you home in this witty, emotionally charged novel about the complications of life, love and family

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

About the Author:

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites.

 

Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two children with advanced vocabularies and long eyelashes, two frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

website | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest | goodreads
 

Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.