Devil in Winter

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

4 stars!

“Mysteries of attraction could not always be explained through logic. Sometimes the fractures in two separate souls became the very hinges that held them together.”

Devil in Winter is probably the most hyped historical romance novel I’ve ever come across, and while I really enjoyed it, I didn’t love LOVE it like everyone else did.

This is the story of Evie the wallflower, cursed with a stutter she has spent much of her life on the side. Once her home situation becomes life threatening she approaches Sebastian St. Vincent with a proposition: marriage. St. Vincent needs money and Evie needs a way out and the two run off in the night and elope. Sebastian realizes quickly that he desires Evie very much, but with his reputation Evie won’t do more past the consummation of the marriage. So they make a deal, if he can go celibate for three months, Evie will succumb to him.

“It’s impossible,” he snapped.

“Why?”

“Because I’m Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent. I can’t be celibate. Everyone knows that.”

I think this is one of the best historical romances I’ve read, but as I said before I didn’t love it quite like everyone else. It had too much instalove for me and Sebastian’s sudden interest in only Evie didn’t really convince me, I wish I had seen him getting to know her more along the way. Basically more character development between the two main characters.

Positives were I couldn’t put this book down, from the very first page I needed to read it straight through. I also thought it was interesting that Kleypas placed this book primarily in a gentleman’s club instead of all the English estates and manors we have become accustomed to in this genre. I can tell Kleypas did her homework and I found the setting just as interesting as the plot.

I was able to read this without having read the first two books and while there were moments were it took me a moment to put everything together this book can be read as a standalone. I am definitely intrigued by the other characters and want to check out their stories asap!

“I want to fill every part of you, breathe the air from your lungs and leave my handprints on your soul. I want to give you more pleasure than you can bear.”

Hold My Breath

Hold My Breath by Ginger Scott

3.5 stars!

“The hurt is almost good. It reminds me that something real was in my heart once, and as much as I want to run away from it, in this moment, I also want to hold onto it.”

Hold My Breath is the story of two swimmers, Will and Maddy. Growing up Maddy was in love with Will’s brother, until a tragic accident happens and Will survives and his brother dies. Four years later and Will wants to reenter the swimming world and he’s been training for it. This brings Will back into Maddy’s life, and all of his feelings for her from years ago return. The more time they spend together the more they ease back into their old friendship.

Ginger Scott knows how to pack an emotional punch into her books, I always know I can expect a good drama from her. This was a good slow burn romance, a bit slow at the beginning but it picked up pace near the end. Good for fans of sports romance and emotional romance.

”I’ve wanted Maddy since she dared me to beat her when we were kids racing in the pool. I’ve wanted to kiss her since I wrapped my hands around hers on the rope swing, and I know in my gut that I loved her first. I loved her more…and I loved her first.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for review

Fire in You Release Day Blast

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Some are born with fire in them.

 

✮✮✮ SECOND CHANCES, HOPE, & RED-HOT CHEMISTRY… FIRE IN YOU, the final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Wait For You World is here! Don’t Miss Brock and Jillian’s passionate and richly moving story in this standalone contemporary romance! ✮✮✮

 

Let the FIRE IN YOU burn and grab your copy today!

 

 

About FIRE IN YOU:

From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun.  It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bxxrst
Barnes and Noble:
http://bit.ly/2bVLCXB
iBooks:
http://apple.co/2bdWMWy

 

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Order a digital or paperback copy of FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J. Lynn, AND fill out THIS FORM by December 3rd, and get an exclusive bonus scene-an Epilogue featuring POVs from all the major couples throughout the Wait For You World!

FIRE IN YOU will be available in paperback and eBook November 28th, 2016!

Just enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digital or paperback pre-order receipt athttps://a.pgtb.me/M7KhMC to receive your exclusive FIRE IN YOU bonus scene! All entrants will receive the bonus scene on December 5th, 2016 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.

 

 

EXCERPT 

Making my way through the narrow pathways between the tables, I headed back toward the bathroom. Only once I pushed open the double doors and stopped in front of the water-spotted mirror did I realize I’d left my purse at the table, so there’d be no reapplying my lipstick.

I pumped soap onto my hands and waved them under the facet. Water flowed, washing away the suds as I slowly lifted my gaze to my reflection. Normally when I looked at myself, I didn’t really pay attention longer than was necessary to put makeup on without ending up looking like a tutorial gone wrong.

Standing here now, I really looked at myself, though.

I used to wear my hair up all the time, but I’d stopped doing that every day. My hair now hung in waves and the ends curled over the tips of my breasts. I also used to have heavy bangs, but thank God they were long gone. I’d finally learned how to put on eyeliner. That was another miracle. The slight flush of my face darkened my naturally tan skin. My lips were fuller and my nose straight.

My hair was parted to sweep to the left so it shielded my cheek…and my cheek didn’t look that bad, especially considering how it looked the first time I’d seen it after…after days in the hospital.

Hell, my entire face had been one hot mess.

There was a deep indentation in my left cheek, almost like an icepick had been shoved in there, and as I stared at my right jaw line, I was still amazed by what reconstructive plastic surgeons could accomplish. Half my face had literally been pieced back together with an iliac crest graft with a reconstruction plate and a crap ton of dentistry to give me back a full set of functional teeth.

Plastic surgeons didn’t have magic wands, but they were magicians. If you weren’t looking at me straight on, you’d have no idea that my right jaw was thinner than my left.

You’d have no idea what had happened to me that night.

Now I stared back at myself just like I had done that night, six years ago, standing in a bathroom, mere minutes before my entire life came crashing down.

It wasn’t that I hated the way I looked now. The fact that I was alive meant I was one of those rare, walking and breathing statistics.

But even knowing how lucky I was didn’t change the fact that I felt…deformed. That was a harsh word to use. I didn’t like to whip it out often. Doing so on what was so far a pretty good date was probably not a good idea.

Taking a deep breath, I shook my head. I didn’t need my thoughts going in that direction tonight. So far, the dinner had been amazing. Grady was nice and he was cute. I could maybe see myself going out with him again, to an art exhibit, and maybe coffee.

And that was what had freaked me out.

I was not going to let living freak me out.

Nope.

I could give him a chance and not worry about whether or not I was settling.

Turning from the sink, I dried my hands and then readjusted my hair so it fell forward, over my left shoulder and cheek. I walked out of the bathroom and into the narrow hall, gaze trained on the floor as I took about two steps before I realized someone was standing right outside the door, leaning against the wall. Before I nearly plowed into him.

Gasping, I took a step back. All I could see were finely cut black trousers paired with…with old black and white Chucks? What an odd combination, but those shoes reminded me of…

I gave a little shake of my head and stepped to the side. “Sorry. Excuse—”

“Jillian.”

I stopped.

Time stopped.

Everything stopped except my heart, because it was suddenly pounding in my chest too hard, too fast. That deep, rough voice. I recognized it all the way to my very core. Slowly, I lifted my gaze, already knowing what I was going to see but refusing to believe it.

Brock Mitchell stood in front of me.

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About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Links:

Website: https://jenniferlarmentrout.com/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/jlarmentrout
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476934.Jennifer_L_Armentrout

The Hating Game

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

4 IHATEJOSHUA4EV@ stars!!!

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.”

The Hating Game is a sleeper hit, it feels like it came out of nowhere and everyone seems to love it. After dragging my feet for a long time, I finally got my rear in gear and checked out this lovely from the library, and it was the perfect escape.

Lucy and Josh work in the same company in the same room. The two have hated each other since they first laid eyes on each other and every day at work is a semi hostile one with glares and witty barbs fired at each other. Now they are both up for a promotion and everything comes crashing together as they do their best to be the winner.

“It’s a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.”

While this book may be a tad predictable and full of stereotypes, I enjoyed every second that I spent reading it. I’m not normally one for the “I hate you but I love you” kind of trope, but Thorne nails it in her delivery of the book. I was blown away by the layers to the story, having only Lucy’s perspective the more I learned about Josh, the more I grew to love him. This book also had those little angsty tidbits that I just ate right up!

“You’ve broken me down so completely, I can’t even handle it when a guy tells me I’m beautiful.”

I found myself giggling while reading this. Lucy was a fantastic balance of intelligent, work wise, and naive when it came to interpreting Josh and his feelings for her. My favorite part of the entire book is when Lucy got sick (and that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to spoil it for you).

Lately I haven’t been able to read romance because it all seems the same to me, and I am happy to say this book stands out amongst the sea of books that all sound alike to me. Bravo to Ms. Thorne for her debut novel and I eagerly await more of her books in the future.

“I’m probably not good at a lot of things, but I will try to be.”

Heartless

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

2 stars

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.”

Being a giant fan of Marissa Meyer and her Cinder series, it’s incredibly disheartening that I didn’t like this book. BUT a bit to my fault, I found out after starting this book that the style has been compared to Gregory Maguire, the author herself said that was the inspiration.

I friggin hate Gregory Maguire’s books. So I think this book was doomed for me from the start.

I love the idea and concept of Heartless, the prequel to Alice in Wonderland. The story of the famous villain the Queen of Hearts.

If you watched the movie growing up, you are familiar with her heart full of venom and hate. This book gave us the story of how she came to be that way (meaning obviously it’s not the happiest of tales).

Heartless is the story of a girl named Catherine who wants to open a bakery with her friend. Her mother has higher hopes for her and wants her to marry the King. While at one of the palace balls, Cath meets the new Joker, Jest and is enchanted by him.

Over time it becomes more and more clear to Cath that she wants a life with Jest and not the King, but she’s tangled in a web with the King and her family and feels hopeless in controlling her own life.

“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

As you can tell, I didn’t love this book. I felt it was drawn out and near the end I was speed reading to just get it over with already. The beginning of the book was so slow and then everything was rushed together at the end of the book, I wish the pacing had been better. I also didn’t connect to a single character in the book, nor did I feel sympathetic for them (and I think as readers we were intended to).

The thing I liked most about it was the concept and I think Meyer did a fantastic job of making the characters her own. But a lot of things felt obvious and unoriginal, and I didn’t actually feel the love between Cath and Jest. Which is sad because I think Meyer delivered brilliant romances in the Cinder series.

I think fans of Gregory Maguire will enjoy this book, but it was not to my tastes or liking at all. It’s as simple as that.

“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”

Consolation Prize Release Blast!

 

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Consolation Prize
Forbidden Men #9

By: Linda Kage

Released November 17th, 2016
Self-Published

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Blurb


Don’t you just hate it when someone destroys all your carefully made plans?

I mean, I had goals: college to graduate in one semester, a future I was working hard to reach, and an image of myself I wanted the world to see. My life was stacked into these precisely placed blocks. But then Colton Gamble came along and knocked them all askew.

I hated how he messed everything up, how he could hog all my attention whenever he was around, how he made my pulse quicken–but only because he ticked me off…not because I was attracted to him. Oh! And I hated how he knew how attractive he was too, the shallow, full of himself, doesn’t take no for an answer, too-flirty, too cocky, extremely irritating jerk.

The boy had all the qualities that turned me off. Or so I thought.

One night he wasn’t quite the brainless, over-confident jerk I usually took him for.

One night, he took care of me when I was at my lowest. He opened up to me and made me open up to him.

Now I’m learning maybe he’s not what I first thought he was. And maybe I’M not what I first thought I was. Maybe it’s okay to rearrange a couple of my perfectly set blocks. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop worrying about what I’m afraid everyone else will think and finally reach for something I really want. It’s possible some of my plans need to be destroyed, and Colton Gamble is exactly the kind of mess I need in my life.

What do you think? Should I give him a try?

Desperately seeking your advice,
Julianna Radcliffe

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Link to Follow Blast:  http://tastybooktours.com/tours-master/2016/10/consolation-prize-forbidden-men-9-byhtml

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32297888-consolation-prize

Goodreads Series Link https://www.goodreads.com/series/120350-forbidden-men

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Buy Links:      Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0CT4A3

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/consolation-prize-5

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/…/b…/consolation-prize/id1176428713

B&N Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125144993
linda

Author Info

Linda Kage grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.

 

Author Links:   Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Website:  http://lindakage.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorlindakage
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lindakage
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3213942.Linda_Kage

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (a $25 Amazon gift card)

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Link to Rafflecopter Page, http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81176/?

 

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Excerpt 

“Just for that, I’m going to make you cuddle.”

“Cuddle?” My eyes bulged as he crawled closer.

For some reason, cuddling struck more fear inside me than getting slapped or punched. I knew exactly how to respond to those—kick his ass out of my apartment. But with cuddling, I was lost.

I edged away from him, shaking my head, only to yelp out a surprised scream when he snaked out a hand and caught hold of my leg, stilling me.

“Yes, cuddle,” he said. “I like to cuddle.”

My muscles clenched and limbs went tense as he climbed up right into my personal space and wrapped himself around me like a second skin.

“I…I’m not big on cuddling,” I finally admitted, my body board-stiff against him.

“Really?” He sounded surprised by that. “Well, don’t worry, by the time I’m through with you, you’ll love it.

 

 

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

4 stars!

“You have to try. You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens. And even if you fail – especially if you fail – come back with your experience and your hard-won knowledge and a story you can tell. And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation… ‘Once, I dared to dare greatly”

Morgan Matson has proven once again she is the queen of contemporary young adult novels for girls. This book is the story of Andie, responsible daughter of a politician recently under fire from the press. When her scheduled summer plans fall through, she’s left without a plan for what to do with her life for the summer. Every one of her friends already have plans, and Andie finds a job as a dog walker. What lies ahead is a summer of learning new things, romance and the test of friendship.

“I could do this. If whole galaxies could change, so could I.”

I really enjoyed this book, I think like Matson’s other books it gives teen readers a hint that life isn’t all you plan it to be and to sometimes let things go and see what happens. The beginning was pretty slow, I really had to push to get to a point where the book really flowed. My favorite parts of the book were when Andie and her father spent time together and learning more about the character of Clark. I like that the author brought in a quirky, nerdy hero instead of some kind of life guard stud or something. Yay for the nerd boys!

I was very much enthralled by the book, but once I put it down I noticed some things didn’t match up entirely. There were subplots that seemed to go nowhere, friendship drama that seemed unnecessary except for the sake of drama, and this book was way too long. I had a few moments where I wondered if long paragraphs were important to the plot (spoiler alert, they weren’t). But this is a fantastic teen contemporary read, great for the summer time. Once I got in the flow of things I found it hard to put this book down!

“The idea that you could rethink the thing you’d always thought you wanted and change your plan – it was almost a revolutionary concept. That you could choose what would make you happy, not successful.”

Hold My Breath Release Blitz

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We’re celebrating the release of HOLD MY BREATH by Ginger Scott! Check out the review, teasers, and giveaway below!

 

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HOLD MY BREATH

NA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone

Scheduled to release: November 18, 2016

Goodreads

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01MXFXWRP

iBooks: http://apple.co/2ehJysd

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2dxZZkQ

BN: http://bit.ly/2dl9THZ

Google: http://bit.ly/2ftjuuK

 

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BLURB:

Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.

 

I would know.

 

They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger

brother Evan be the one to shine.

 

Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.

 

The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.

 

My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.

 

And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.

 

In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.

 

 

 

 

 

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GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4a501259577/?

About the Author:

 

 

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams and The Hard Count.

 

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

 

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor

Twitter: @TheGingerScott

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor

Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott

Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

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Heat Wave

Heat Wave by Karina Halle

4 stars!

“There are moments if your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know.”

Heat Wave is the story of Ronnie, a chef who was fired from her last job and traveling to Kauai, Hawaii to the only job that will have her. But it’s even more complicated than that. Her parents got her the job as the owner of the resort restaurant where she’ll work is that of her brother in law. He was married to her sister who passed away two years before. And the man Ronnie fell for before he fell for her sister.

Logan’s not an easy boss to work for, he’s angry and grumpy. But it only makes Ronnie want to prove herself more that she can pull her weight at the hotel. The more time she spends with Logan, the more she begins to feel for him. But at the same time, her guilt grows as well.

“You reap what you sow. I chose what I thought was the lesser of two evils and not a moment goes by that I’m not reaping it.”

Karina Halle delivers an emotional and angsty romance readers everywhere will love. I used to travel to Kauai a lot when I was younger and this book felt like an escape back to an island that I love, Halle obviously knows this island well.

Ronnie and Logan are an unforgettable couple, caught in an unescapable web that was created by a mistake made years before. I felt for Ronnie for much of the book, her family was so horrible to her and I just wanted to give her a hug. I loved that Logan was always supportive of Ronnie, even when they weren’t together.

If you’re looking for a story of second chances and righting past wrongs, this is the book for you. Just be prepared for the feels about to come your way.

“You’re like…. a hurricane. And she was the….”
“Calm before the storm?”
“No. She was the underground bunker. The shelter. Could withstand anything and come out looking clean while everything around her is destroyed. She could hide and avoid damage.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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Synopsis

They say when life closes one door, another one opens.

This door happens to lead to paradise.

And a man I can never, ever have.

 

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

 

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:

Logan Shephard.

It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.

What does matter is that he’s a grump.

Kind of an asshole, too.

And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

 

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

 

There’s just one major catch.

 

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

 

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

 

 

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31835516-heat-wave?ac=1&from_search=true

AMAZON: http://bit.ly/HEATWAVE-KH-Kindle

Paperback: http://www.bit.ly/HEATWAVE-PB
Preorder iBooks: http://bit.ly/HEATWAVE-iTunes

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heat-wave-karina-halle/1124593528?ean=2940153728636

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ABOUT KARINA HALLE

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

 

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetalBlonde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle?from_search=true

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Halle/e/B0050KE63C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407546895&sr=8-2-ent

 

 

Muscular back and sexy torso of young man with perfect abs

Muscular back and sexy torso of young man with perfect abs

 

EXCERPT

I saw him first.

It shamed me to think it then, it shames me to think it now.

But that’s what the truth does to you sometimes. It shames you because it’s only in the truth that you realize how human you really are. What a raw, devastating thing that is, to embrace your humanity and learn to live with all your sharp points, the hollow places, the cracks and the crevices. To be utterly real. To be terribly flawed.

Those cracks had always been forming inside me, slowly making their way to the surface over the years. In my family, there wasn’t much you could do but try and hold yourself together, to stick glue on your wounds, to paste over the imperfections. But the cracks still grew, until all of us were held together by crumbling cement, just statues waiting to collapse.

That was years and years ago. I was just twenty-two at the time. A baby. I’m still a baby in the grand scheme of things, but there’s something precious about your early twenties, where you think you’re so much older, bigger, than you are, where life is just about to deliver the crushing blows that will knock you off your feet for the rest of your days. The small things become the big things and the big things become the small things and you aren’t quite sure when they made the switch.

But in the end, I saw him first. He was mine, even before he knew it. He was mine in some strange way that I still don’t understand. The only way I can think of to explain it is…

You just know.

There are moments in your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know. Maybe it’s all in the chemistry, certain pheromones that react when they mix together, maybe it’s a smell that triggers a memory, maybe it’s a glimpse at a future you don’t recognize or a hint at the past, a life you’ve lived and forgotten. Whatever it is, you know that moment, that person, is going to shape you for the rest of your life.

That’s what it was like when I saw him. Standing over by the windows and staring out Lake Michigan, like he was wishing he could be anywhere but there.

I wished the same. My mother’s the deputy mayor of Chicago and this was another one of her fundraisers I felt obliged to attend. It was tradition in my family, for my father, for me, for my sister, to show up and wave the flag of support. It didn’t seem to matter that the stuffy politicians that surrounded these events never paid me any attention. And if they did, it was the wrong kind of attention, always the sixty-year-old man leering after the young thing with the nice smile.

Luckily I didn’t smile all that often. My resting bitch face took over whenever I was deep in thought, which was pretty much all the time.

But this guy…I felt a kinship with him. I felt like I knew exactly what he was thinking, feeling, and that it was completely wrapped up in and connected to everything that was going through me.

I don’t know where I found the nerve to go over and talk to him. He seemed so much older, not quite the sixty-year-old politicians I was used to seeing, but maybe in his early-thirties. More than that, there was some kind of aura around him. Sounds stupid, I know. Whatever it was, it was like he belonged in some whole other universe than here, a star on earth, permanently grounded and yearning to be in the sky.

It was usually Juliet’s job to go around and make everyone feel warm and comfortable at these events—hell, in every event—but she wasn’t here yet. And though I could have easily stayed in the shadows, I was pulled to him, like he had a wave of gravity whirling around him.

I remember what I was wearing. Strappy flats because I hated wearing heels, a knee-length cocktail dress in emerald green, sleeveless, high-neck. It made me look older and I wore it because my mother always wanted me to look like a lady.

With a glass of champagne in hand, I made my way over to the windows, my heart racing the closer I got to him. He looked taller up close, well over six feet. His shoulders were broad, like a swimmer’s, and suddenly I had a vision of him diving into the lake. The navy blue suit he was wearing looked well-tailored but he seemed uncomfortable in it, like he couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

I stood beside him for a moment, following his gaze out the window. He seemed lost in his thoughts but out of my peripheral his head tilted slightly and he brought his eyes over to me while I kept staring at that wide expanse of water, stretching out to the horizon.

“Can’t wait to get out of here?” I asked, but though my tone was mild, my delivery was bold. It was as if someone else had taken a hold of my body, forcing me to speak. I slowly turned my head to meet his eyes.

I was taken aback for a second. He was staring at me like he knew me, even though I’d never seen him before. Then again, I was sure I’d been staring at him in the same way. That feeling of knowing. He knew me, I knew him, and who the hell knows how that was possible.

His eyes were brown—are brown—dark with currents of gold and amber, giving them beautiful clarity. Slightly almond shaped. His brows were also dark, arched, adding to the intensity of his gaze. He’s the type of guy whose eyes latch onto you, dig deep, trying to sift through the files of your life, see who you really are.

“How did you know?” he asked, a full-on Australian accent rumbling through his gruff voice. It made my stomach flip, my core smolder. How deed you now, is what it sounded like. Funny how I stopped hearing the accent after time.

I gave a half shrug and looked back to the party. More people had flooded the room, mingling around the appetizers. My mother was in the corner, a crowd of politicians around her. She didn’t see me. She never did.

“Because I think I’d rather be in the middle of Lake Michigan too,” I told him, “then be stuck here with all these people.”

“These people,” he repeated. My focus was drawn to his lips, full, wide, tilting up into a smirk. Beneath them was a strong chin and even sharper jaw, dusted with a five o’clock shadow that seemed permanent, like the man couldn’t get a clean shave even if he tried. “How do you know I’m not one of these people?”

“Because you’re over here and not over there. How come you keep answering my questions with more questions?”

He studied me for a moment. My blood pounded in my head and I felt a giddy kind of thrill at how this was progressing. If anything, I was proud for holding my own with this handsome stranger. He was the first man I ever really felt at ease with.

He cleared his throat, offered me a quick smile before he nodded at the lake, his hands sliding into his pockets. “She almost looks like the ocean, doesn’t she?”

“Not quite the same as Australia, I would imagine.”

“No hiding this accent, is there?” He glanced at me and stuck out his hand, which I shook for a moment, warm palm to warm palm. “I’m Logan Shepard. Australian. And the reason I’m here is because I was invited by a friend of mine. I’m only in town for a few days and he didn’t want to go alone. He’s over there.” He nodded at a tall black man in the corner, listening intently to another man.

“Warren Jones,” he said, as if I should know him. Perhaps I should. He probably thought I was one of them. “He’s local and the key piece to my investment.”

I wasn’t one for business talk—I never had anything to contribute other than lamenting student loans—but I wanted him to keep talking. “What’s your investment?”

“Starting my own hotel,” he said. “In Hawaii. Have you ever been there?”

“Once. When I was eight. I think we were in Honolulu. I remember a city, anyway. Waikiki Beach.”

“This hotel is in Kauai. The Garden Isle. Went there once as a teenager and couldn’t get it out of my mind.”

I didn’t know the right things to say. I wanted to ask more about the hotel, what it means when you have an investor, but I didn’t want to appear dumb. I kept my mouth shut.

“You haven’t introduced yourself,” he said. “Protecting a secret identity?”

I smiled, close-lipped. “Not really. I’m Veronica Locke. American. And I unfortunately I don’t have much else to add to that.”

“Locke?” he repeated, eyes darting to my mother. “Are you the daughter of the deputy mayor, Rose Locke?”

“One of them,” I told him.

He nodded quickly. “I see. No wonder you’d rather be in the middle of the bloody lake. I bet you have to do this stuff all the time.”

“It’s not so bad.” I took a sip of my drink so I didn’t have to say anything more and looked away at the crowd. The bubbles teased my nose, making my eyes water.

I could feel his gaze on me as he spoke. “I’m sure you have plenty more to say about yourself though. Where do you work? Student?”

“Culinary arts,” I told him. “I’m one of those crazy people who dream of being a chef one day.”

He frowned. “Why is that crazy?”

I gave him a look, forgetting that most people have no idea how hard it is. “Because it’s a long road, long hours, and nothing is guaranteed. People think being a chef is easy. They see Gordon Ramsey or Nigella Lawson and think it’s all fame and food and money and they have no idea what it’s really like. I’m not even out of school and already I feel half-beaten.”

He was still frowning. He did that a lot, I would soon learn. “Sounds like life to me.” His eyes dropped to my lips and something intensely carnal came over them, like suddenly I was the food, not the wannabe chef. “Did you want to get a drink somewhere. After this? When you’ve done your daughterly duties?”

I swallowed hard. I didn’t know what a drink meant. Just a drink? A date? Was it sex? I started going through my head, trying to think of reasons why it was a bad idea. My legs were shaved, did my bra and underwear match? Did I have a condom? I had taken the pill this morning, even though my last boyfriend and I had broken up months ago. I hadn’t been with a guy, let alone a man, in a long time.

Don’t flatter yourself, I quickly thought. What makes you think he’d be interested in you that way?

“Yes,” I said when I finally found my voice. “Yes, I would like that.”

A spark flashed in his eyes, lighting them up in such a way that made my toes literally curl. Damn. I was in trouble with this man. “Any way you can get out of your duties sooner?” he asked.

I couldn’t help but smile, raising my brow at his presumptuousness, while simultaneously trying to hide the fact that I was freaking out. I looked around the room and tried to judge how likely it was that someone would notice if I was gone. My mom was still surrounded by a wall of people and no one was paying any attention to us, standing by the windows, already removed.

A sad thought hit me, sliding past before I could really dwell on it: no one even notices when I’m here.

“If we’re quick and sneaky,” I told him.

“Being quick isn’t in my repertoire,” he said, “but I could give it a shot.”

Again. Damn. I wasn’t one to blush but I could feel my cheeks heating up and hoped my skin supressed the flush. He was so much older than me in so many ways, the last thing I wanted was to appear the naïve schoolgirl.

And I didn’t know what to say to that. He was staring at me with those dark eyes, a look so intense yet sparkling with charm and something…wicked.

I’d never find out how wicked they could be.

“Ronnie!” A melodic, ultra-feminine voice sliced through the moment like an unwieldy machete, causing me to flinch, my fingers tightening around the stem of the glass.

Oh no, I thought. Not now.

Logan’s head swiveled toward the sound of the voice, like a hound picking up a scent. I didn’t bother looking over, I kept my focus on him, watching his expression intently. It changed, as I knew it would.

She had walked into the room.

He saw her.

And like it was for so many men, that look of lust I had thought was for me, was now for her.

That’s when I knew it was over. Whatever thing I had felt for him, it didn’t matter anymore, not when she was in the room. Nothing ever mattered as long as she was around.

I might have saw him first.

But he was all hers after that.

Symptoms of Being Human

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

3.5 stars

Gender fluid: a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities. Their gender can also vary at random or vary in response to different circumstances. -Source: gender wiki

This is an incredibly interesting book and I learned a lot of new terms and subjects, as well as it changed the way I think about other people. This is the story of Riley, a gender fluid individual who is struggling to cope with anxiety and other issues such as starting at a new school.

When Riley’s therapist suggests starting an anonymous blog, Riley is shocked when it becomes popular. But then someone discovers that Riley runs the blog, and everything just sort of explodes from there.

“The world isn’t binary. Everything isn’t black or white, yes or no. Sometimes it’s not a switch, it’s a dial. And it’s not even a dial you can get your hands on; it turns without your permission or approval.”

I think this is an important book, like I said earlier I learned a lot from it and think others will too. My issue with it was it was more information strong than plot strong. I learned all of these things, but I don’t feel there was much of a story. The side characters were there only to enhance Riley, and there were a few personal tidbits thrown in, but they didn’t feel real to me. Just there to supplement Riley’s issues.

I also felt for a teen struggling with issues of gender fluidity that Riley was very in touch with his/her thoughts and had way more insight than a struggling teen would have (this is just my opinion everyone, I can already feel people ready to argue with me). Plus the story always had perfectly timed issues where something would happen and I found myself thinking “wow that’s convenient timing.”

I sound like a grump. I did like this book, but sitting down after reading it I found way too many head scratching moments to really love it. The surface of the story was scatched but I felt it could have gone much deeper. I wish for more with the parents, more of a development of Bec and Solo, heck even Vickers. BUT many teens will love this, and I hope the right teens read it and it changes the way they think. I know I found myself wanting to know Riley’s gender at the beginning before thinking later that it didn’t matter. And I will do my best not to put people into categories.

“I can’t blame you for trying to categorize me. It’s a human instinct. It’s why scientists are, to this day, completely flabbergasted by the duck-billed platypus: it’s furry like a mammal, but lays eggs like a bird. It defies conventional classification.
I AM THE PLATYPUS (Coo coo ka-choo)”

The Lost Codex

The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

4 stars!

“The beauty of free will is that we can choose whether or not to do what we wish.”

A truly epic series, something unique and original that you don’t see very often. Lyons has said this is her ode to literature, and I can see why. From the beginning of the series I was fascinated by the idea of taking characters we know and love from multiple books and stories, and weaving them together to create an action packed adventure, mystery, fantasy series.

I can’t say much about the plot, because that’s one giant spoiler for everything, but know I was riveted from the first page, trying to figure out the mystery of the ending of book three (which was luckily revealed sooner than I expected). From there so much happens, you just have to read it to find out!

I love the different ideas Lyons has for her characters, though they may originally have belonged to other authors, she has respectfully crafted them into her own. Very fast paced and incredibly well written, this series to me was grand time and one I can see myself returning to in the future to reread. I’m sad that this series is over and I will miss these characters.

Every time I read a book in this series, I find myself wanting to return to classic literature. A lot of the references I understood, others I had to figure out. But ultimately it made me want to read more and learn more.

“We are not bound by prophecies, but by choice.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for review

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BOOK INFORMATION:

 

THE LOST CODEX (The Collectors’ Society, #4) is LIVE!

Don’t miss the conclusion of this incredible series!

Purchase here:

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/TheLostCodexAMZ

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/TheLostCodexUK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/TheLostCodexIBOOKS

 

Allies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart.

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence.

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated.

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost.

For what is written can still be erased.

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My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

4.5 stars!!! 
This book was:

I had my reservations going into this book. An inaccurate account of Lady Jane Grey mixed in with fantasy elements? I was not sold. In fact I almost passed it over. But when I opened it and my eyes landed on the dedication, I knew I had to read it.

“Dedication:

For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.

And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.”

SOLD!

So, the plot. Jane is the cousin of King Edward and would like to spend all of her time with her nose in a book. Edward is dying of “The Affliction” and needs to pick a successor since he was too young and sick to leave an heir. When one of his advisors suggests Edward marry Jane off and name her child as an heir, Edward agrees. And so Jane is married to Gifford, who spends his nights as a man and days as a horse.

A horse you say? Oh, did I neglect to tell you that there are shapeshifters and in this book many people called Edians can transform into animals (not always at will). Soon it is discovered there is a plot to kill Edward in a strong power move, and it only gets more interesting from there…

“No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed!—I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
“Neigh.”
“Was that a horse joke?”

So I was a history major in college and reading books with historical inaccuracies used to drive me CRAZY. But lately I’ve been loosening my grip and enjoying things not exactly accurate **cough cough REIGN cough cough** so with this book I straightened my back and LET IT GO.

Exactly Elsa!!!

Anyways, this book was so friggin funny. When compared to Monty Python I was worried, because that isn’t my humor. But to me this was more along the lines of Princess Bride humor, or more subtle British humor. There were many times when reading this book I chuckled out loud. And that doesn’t happen very often as I have RBF. (Resting book face).

I can only imagine the amount of fun the authors had writing this, I had so much fun reading it. Honestly, there isn’t another book out there I would be able to compare it to. History, humor, shifters and murder? Not a combo I would have guessed would work. But it did!

It’s one flaw? Way too damn long. Almost 500 pages dude.

If you need to read something a little bit different, something that will put you in a good mood, this is your book.

“You’re wrong,” Lord Dudley said. “You’ve always been a fool.”

“The fool thinks he is wise,” G retorted. “But the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

Crooked Kingdom

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

3 stars

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”

Six of Crows was one of the top books of 2015 for me, it reinforced my love for Leigh Bardugo after the Grisha series. I fell in love with the characters and the possibilities, and after the ending I was dying for the next book.
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It didn’t live up to my expectations.

After finishing this book I thought on it a lot and I think what didn’t work for me was the first book was heavily character driven, and had so so many feels that I ate right up. With Crooked Kingdom I honestly didn’t feel much for the characters. The plot was the main focus and it was like there was so much crammed in that there was no room for feels, only a few feels made the cut.

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Things I enjoyed:
-The development of Wylan and Jesper as characters. In the first book, while they were MC’s, the other four caught my attention more often. That was not the case here, I found myself wishing for the POV chapters of these two. We got a lot more background on Wylan and his family, same with Jesper. It helped develop them immensely and connected me to them as a reader.

-Bardugo’s writing: her lyrical writing is what made this book a three instead of a two. I found myself lingering on some sentences and the power behind the words. The imagery was stunning, world building two thumbs up. Bardugo has only improved her writing style with time.

What didn’t work for me:
-Kaz and Inej: after the build up for them as a couple in the first book I found this one lacking. I wasn’t longing for their POVs because nothing was happening, they didn’t go anywhere for me.

-Nina and Matthias: Same thing with them, HUGE build up in book 1, felt totally brushed over in this book. And one huge spoilery thing happened……… I didn’t feel a thing :/

Anyways, I think I am in the minority. Many other people loved this book, and you may too. Six of Crows is still hands down one of my favorite YA novels ever, so don’t let this review deter you from reading that book.

“How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night.”

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

4.5 stars!!

“Sometimes it seems like everyone knows who I am except me.”

So I want to say I am just such a cool person I picked this book out from every other book in the library because of some hipster mojo magic. Whelp, I picked it up because it was the very first book in the teen section, first shelf, first book in the row. I am such a badass I am! Anyways, I found myself needing a major genre change, I basically binged romance the entire year and after a few duds in a row, I needed a change of pace. Hence, my first original love: the young adult genre.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book that blows you away with how highly addictive and fun it is. It’s very high school in a sense. I know, duh, it’s a YA book. BUT, Simon himself was just a very believable high school kid. He had a few crushed (because who didn’t?). He messes up a bit with his friends, and makes a few mistakes. Simon was just a very human and realistic character.

“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

When I was a teen I didn’t care for GLBT books, but now as an adult I find I love them. This one stands out so much from others in the genre, because the issues were simple, and yet so big at the same time. Reading this book was almost like erasing all of the duds that came before it and I am excited to read more. I praise and curse the author for this being her debut novel because WOW and at the same time I WANT MORE!!!

I think any reader could find something they would like in this book. Any reader could find a piece of themselves in Simon, or Blue, or any of the other side characters. In short, this was a fantastic book, and I cannot wait to read more from this author in the future (please write more).

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

Beard Science Blog Tour!

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Beard Science Blog Tour

Excerpt 

“So Cletus told me I needed to change one thing every day. He wasn’t specific about what I should change, just that I should decide on the one thing myself.”

Billy nodded.

I continued. “At first I didn’t see the purpose, but—do you know?—Cletus was right. Something as trivial as paining my nails a different color made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to.”

Billy smiled.

I continued. “Cletus also said-”

Billy cleared his throat. “Do you go to the jam session much? I think I’ve only seen you here a handful of times.”

“I don’t, actually. I’d like to, but Saturdays are busy. I’m usually making special orders on Friday night. I’ve heard you sing a few times, though. You should do it more often, you have such a nice voice.”

Billy smiled again, his eyes sliding to me then away. “Thank you.”

“And Cletus is amazing on the banjo. Last year he did a folksy version of Thriller, during Halloween. It was spectacular.”

Billy sighed.
Conversation was surprisingly easy with Billy Winston, once I stopped being afraid of saying the wrong thing. Instead of worrying, I just said whatever I wanted. He wasn’t a big talker, other than asking me questions, so I filled the silence. Sometimes what I said made him laugh. Sometimes it made him nod. Sometimes it made him cough.

But usually whatever I said made him smile. And that was nice. He was nice.

He pulled his truck into the community center lot and it was clear the jam session was already in full swing. The evening was chilly, so folks were dressed in coats.

I pulled my shawl over my shoulders and Billy opened my door, helping me from the car. I slipped my fingers back into the crook of his elbow while trying to suppress a new, and more powerful, flutter of excitement as we approached the community center.

I wondered if Cletus would be there. I wondered what he would think of my dress, and my hair in a bun, and my purposefully minimal makeup, and my nail polish. Even though I was nervous, I grinned at the thought.

“What are you smiling about?” Billy asked, giving me the side eye.

“I’m nervous,” I answered honestly, feeling breathless, then asked before I could catch myself, “Do you think Cletus is here?”

Billy’s mouth tugged to the side and he studied my face. “I’m sure he is. Why?”

“I wonder what he’ll think of my dress,” I admitted excitedly.

Billy chuckled and shook his head.

“What? What is it?” I pressed, searching his profile for a sign as to why he was laughing.

He pulled us to a stop and faced me. “Since this is a practice date, do you want me to give you a tip?”

I nodded eagerly. “Yes, please. All tips are welcome.”

“Okay. Here goes,” he gathered large breath, like he was bracing himself, and said, “When you’re on a date with a man, it’s probably best not to bring up a different man.”

My lips parted as my face fell. “I’m sorry. I keep talking about your brother.”

“No, no. It’s fine.” He reached for my hand and squeezed it. “This is a practice, no need to apologize. I’m not upset. But if this were a real date, you bringing up Cletus and wondering what he’s going to think of your dress would definitely rub me the wrong way. If I’m on a date, I want that woman to be thinking only of me. Does that make sense?”

I nodded, because it did make sense. “Just like, I probably wouldn’t like it—if this were a real date—if you kept bringing up other woman.”

“That’s right.” He moved my hand back to his arm. “You’ll want to keep the conversation about the two of you.”

I considered things as we walked. “Thank you, Billy.”

“For what?” He opened the double door for me, placing his hand on the small of my back to usher me inside. The entryway was full of people, but I hardly noticed them.

“Thanks for doing this, and for the tip. Thanks for sacrificing your Friday night.”

Billy covered my fingers on his arm with his hand. “It’s not a sacrifice, Jennifer.”

“Well, it can’t be pleasant.”

He grinned again and gave me an incredulous look.

“What? What did I do this time? Do you have more tips?” I needed to know. I hoped he filled the whole night with tips, so I would be an expert when the time came for a real date.

Billy’s grin faded as his piercing blue eyes moved over my face. If he’d done this just last week I think I would’ve fainted on the spot, mortified and terrified and assured of my own failure.

But so much had changed in a week. I wasn’t afraid of him anymore. I was changing, becoming braver. So I met his glacial eyes straight on and lifted my eyebrows encouragingly.

“You can tell me, whatever it is,” I whispered earnestly, stepping closer. “Like I said, all tips welcome.”

Finally, he said, “You have no idea how gorgeous you are, do you?”

I gaped at him, because that was not what I’d expected him to say.
But before I could recover, a stern voice to my left interjected. “She has no idea whatsoever.”

I turned and found Cletus standing at my shoulder. Startled, I stumbled a step to the side so I could see him better. What I found surprised me.

His jaw was clenched.

His mouth was curved into a frown.

And Cletus’ eyes, a dangerous and fiery blue, were narrowed on his brother.
 

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Giveaway
 
Synopsis
Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?
Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.
And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.
Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?
Likely, the last thing you expect.
‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
 

Website: http://pennyreid.ninja/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5997227.Penny_Reid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReidRomance

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