Review: My Forever Valentine (Due South #5) by Tracey Alvarez

My Forever ValentineTitle: My Forever Valentine
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #5
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Love small town romance and Happily Ever Afters?
Dive into the Due South world to find out what your favourite characters are doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day with these four short and sweet romance stories.

Shaye & Del
Does Del’s stay in hospital after donating a kidney to his dad mean a Valentine’s Day spent alone? Not if his sexy fiancée, Shaye, can pull off some ninja moves and sneak into his room for a little romance…

Piper & West
Piper attempts to cook a Valentine’s dinner for two—guess how well that’ll turn out? But the results are a little unexpected…

Carly & Kip
An overnight hike on the beautiful Rakiura track is not what Carly had in mind for a romantic evening with her hottie barman. Kip, however, has an ulterior motive…

Kezia & Ben
Nothing will go wrong…the most dangerous phrase in the English language, especially when used to describe a Valentine’s Day surprise for Kezia and Ben.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because these four short stories of approximately 3,000 words each contain spoilers, they are intended to be read and enjoyed after the first four Due South Novels:
In Too Deep (Book #1)
Melting Into You (Book #2)
Ready To Burn (Book #3)
Christmas With You (Book #4)

My Review:
Another stomping good read – short, but sweet and sexy.

Shaye & Del and Kip & Carly are my fav couples from this series and I especially loved their short stories. Ben and Piper witnessing Shaye’s special Valentine’s treat for Del was hysterical. So funny.

There isn’t much else I can say without giving too much away. These are great little teasers for those readers who may not have read the series yet, though you should read all the other books first to maximise the reading enjoyment.

The first book, In Too Deep, is free to download from Amazon and if you sign up to the author’s mailing list you will receive book 2 for free (Melting Into You.)

I highly recommend this well-written series. Love these books! (Fan-girling all over the place)

Review: Christmas with You (Due South #4) by Tracey Alvarez

Christmas with YouTitle: Christmas with You
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #4
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She’s a Holiday Grinch…

Carly Gatlin doesn’t want to spend another Christmas alone. With her beloved father gone, she’s desperate to be part of a family—so she’s spending the holidays with her step-brothers on Stewart Island. But even with sand, sun, and not a snowflake in sight, everything reminds her of what she’s lost. So no tree trimming, cookie baking, or kisses under the mistletoe for her, thanks. Especially not from Due South’s sexy bartender, Kip.

He’s a too-hot-for-his-Santa-suit killjoy…

Kip Sullivan’s moved hundreds of miles away from his family who’d like to see him married off before his next birthday—on Christmas Eve. Then ten days before the big event, his meddling relatives arrive en masse, and dear God, they’re planning to stay. With match-makers breathing down his neck, it’s becoming harder to ignore the temptation to unwrap Carly like a present under the tree.

The Kiwi barbecue isn’t the only thing sizzling this summer…

Kip agrees to help make Carly’s first New Zealand Christmas special. He’s got five holiday missions to complete—one involving a frisky fake reindeer—before he hopes to claim a mistletoe kiss…and maybe even Carly’s heart.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without this spicy yet sweet Due South novella.

My Review:
This series is INSANELY good. I could gush buckets about it all day.

This book is every bit as brilliant as the other books in this series. I already loved Carly from Ready to Burn and I was looking forward to her story.

Kip has been mentioned in some of the other books as a bit of a ladies man but we didn’t know much else about him. Turns out, he is a really decent guy, and much less of the ladies man than most people think. Having grown up in a house full of girls, he knows how to relate to women and he is sensitive and caring. He is also HOTT (extra T worthy as Wendy Higgins would say) and Carly has been trying to avoid falling for him. All that changes when his delightful family turn up at Christmas time and set about match-making.

Tons of wonderful dialog and plenty of LOL moments make this a joy to read.

Tracey has an amazing ability to take a plot that could be considered quite simple and transform it into something magical and special.

Another sensational read. My only complaint is that it was too short and I could easily have devoured more. I’m a major convert now and I know I will continue to read this author’s work.

Review: Ready to Burn (Due South #3) by Tracey Alvarez

Ready to BurnTitle: Ready to Burn
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Love small-town romance with an unforgettable cast of characters? The Due South series will transport you to an unspoilt, wild island of the coast of New Zealand. Meet Shaye and Del…

Take one sassy Harland girl…

Shaye Harland, sous chef de-awesome, desperately wants the role of Due South’s head chef. Though a little out of her depth, she can totally cope with the extra de-mands if she can resist her future brother-in-law when he muscles in on her kitchen. The Hollywood wannabe is nothing but a troublesome distraction and he fries her sex-ometer to a crisp. But as far as romance? Forget it. Love, when she finds Mr. Perfect, will be as sweet as her to-die-for cookies.

Add a bad-boy from LA…

Del Westlake swore he’d never again set foot on the island he calls the “ass end of New Zealand.” With his reputation as a sous chef in one of LA’s hottest restau-rants trashed, and his estranged father’s restaurant needing a head chef, Del wants nothing more than to go in, get the job done, and get out. Except his feisty second-in-command carves herself a spot in his heart and completely incinerates his plans.

Watch the sparks fly as they burn it up in the kitchen…

Winning a spot on a TV reality show is just what Del needs to jumpstart his career back in the States. Nothing can get in the way of him winning—not even the woman whose trust he’d destroy if she discovers his secrets. But with a film crew capturing the explosive kitchen chemistry between them, will his bad-boy ways rear up and ruin his shot at becoming Shaye’s Mr. Perfect?

My Review:
Wow! What a mind-blowing book! Easily my favorite of all the books I’ve read in this series so far.

Ready to Burn has everything I adore in a book: Sublime writing, witty dialog, brilliant character development, stunning world building, strong emotions & relationships, lots of hot, steamy romance, and a fast-paced plot. There is nothing I would fault in the slightest.

Del Westlake has burned his bridges in LA so when an opportunity presents itself to go home, he can’t turn it down. Especially because it may well allow him restart his chef career in Chicago. Del is hiding behind his fair share of demons and it takes a very special lady to crack his nut. (Ahem!)

Shaye has been one of my fav characters in this series to date so I was really looking forward to reading this book. She is warm but sassy, strong yet vulnerable; particularly to Del’s charms.

They spark off each other at the start, and Shaye’s nose is understandably out of joint when she finds out Del has been hired temporarily as Head Chef, a position she believes she can easily fill. However, she quickly falls for Del’s Hollywood bad-boy charm and is soon in deep over her head.

I loved Del and Shaye as a couple and really enjoyed how Del transformed his whole attitude on life by the end of the book, even opening up to his family about the demons that have been torturing him. He was a great leading man.

I also adored the reality-TV theme, it added an interesting dimension to the story.

There was some really funny, laugh out loud moments in this book, like this bit: “Her revenge was squeezing your bum and letting you put a tongue in her ear? Sounds like cruel and unnecessary punishment.”

All in all, a truly amazing read. I’m only sorry I read it so quickly. I wish I could wipe my brain and start over, to relish the enjoyment all over again.

This is an excellent series and I highly recommend it.

Review: Melting into You (Due South #2) by Tracey Alvarez

Melting Into YouTitle: Melting into You
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Big, sexy men who don’t relate well to kids need not apply…

Kezia Murphy plays her widow card well. When you don’t trust people not to let you down, it’s easier to not get involved—and getting involved with a man who makes her skin sizzle just by looking at him would be una pazzia—crazy! Four years ago while Kezia’s daughter, Zoe, battled leukaemia, a tragic accident stole her husband’s life. Starting over in the little town of Oban where she’s adopted into the close knit community on Stewart Island, Kezia and her daughter are all the family the other needs. Except Zoe yearns for more.

New Zealand’s worst candidate for instant fatherhood…

Ben doesn’t do gooey emotional stuff. He doesn’t do cosy home and family. And he sure isn’t the big teddy-bear Kezia Murphy, the woman he secretly fantasises about, thinks he is. So when Jade, his surprise eight-year-old daughter arrives on his doorstep, he’s a D-minus student struggling to pass a crash-course in parenting.

They’ll either melt or raze their lives to the ground…

When the sparks of attraction between Kezia and Ben fan into an inferno, Ben doesn’t know how much longer the layers of resistance around his heart can resist melting into the gooey mess he fears. The more he fights it the harder it is to make the choice that will destroy the family he now longs to claim.

My Review:
Melting Into You is a great second book and another wonderful addition to this series.

I really love Tracey’s writing style and the quality is of a very high standard. I enjoy the small tight-knit rural community setting and I think it’s amazing that Tracey can write so many fantastic stories within such a small world. But she pulls it off with aplomb.

Ben Harland is a typical long in the tooth bachelor, a real live Neanderthal Man. He grated on my nerves a bit at the start, but I quickly warmed to him. His progression is heart-warming and I loved his loyalty toward his daughter at the end of the book. The two girls were so cute in this book and it really appealed to my maternal side.

Kezia is battling some pretty big insecurities, and she is terrified of relying on any man again. With Ben’s help and some prodding from her friends, she learns to overcome them.

It’s a beautiful love story – two guarded people opening their hearts and deciding to share a family life together.

Another fantastic read.
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

Excerpt Blast: To the Stars (Thatch #2) by Molly McAdams

To The Stars - Excerpt Reveal banner
Today is my stop during the excerpt blast for To the Stars (Thatch #2) by Molly McAdams. I share an excerpt from this book.

To The Stars - coverTitle: To the Stars
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: Thatch #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was three and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life—whether she liked it or not—but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Excerpt Reveal: To The Stars by Molly McAdams

Don’t miss the first book in the series!
Letting Go - coverTitle: Letting Go
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: Thatch #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was three and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life—whether she liked it or not—but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Molly McAdams - author picAbout the Author:
Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Links:

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Release Day Blitz: Just One Kiss (Black Alcove) by Jami Wagner

Just One Kiss RDL Ban
Today is my stop during the release day blitz for Just One Kiss (Black Alcove) by Jami Wagner.

justonekiss-wagner-ebookTitle: Just One Kiss
Author: Jami Wagner
Series: Black Alcove
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A first kiss is hard to forget—and Kelsey Brian’s just walked into the bar where she works and isn’t planning to leave anytime soon. It figures. With her last semester of college finally here, Kelsey can’t wait to finish the year smoothly and start a new chapter. She doesn’t need to drive over yet another bump in the road.

Ethan Connelly has spent most of his adult life trying to be accepted by his father, and now he has the chance to make him proud. He’s also just stepped into another chance with the girl who got away. Deciding who matters most to him isn’t an easy choice. If he picks his father, he’ll lose her again—if he picks her, everything he’s worked for will be for nothing.

Can Kelsey learn to trust him, or will Ethan’s secret of why he’s really back in town tear them apart?

Excerpt:
“Well, I’ll be damned, Kelsey Brian showed up to work before me. Now I’ve seen it all.” Logan struts into the bar like he owns the place and lets out a low whistle. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”
I roll my eyes, but Sara just stands there with a silly smile on her face. Logan has one of those personalities that you can’t help but love. Just the tone of his voice and his own smile can improve a girl’s mood in less than a second. Not to mention his shaggy, dark blonde hair, blue eyes, and athletic build. He would be a catch in more ways than one. I think Sara is finally figuring it out.
“It’s not what, it’s who,” Sara coos. Warmth creeps up my neck and into my cheeks. Logan’s eyes go wide.
“Dude, are you serious? Someone has finally cracked the ‘I hate boys’ phase we thought would last forever.”
“It’s not a phase,” I interrupt. “I just find it hard to trust someone now.”
Sara’s face lights up as she slowly nods her head up and down. “And stop calling us dudes.” She laughs, pointing at Logan.
“Wait a minute…does this have anything to do with Ethan?” Logan suggests, folding his arms in front of him.
“Oh, I bet it does,” Sarah says.
Logan reaches his arm over the counter, his palm flat, and Sara gives him a high five. It’s like I’m not even here. How does Logan know about Ethan anyway? I just found out yesterday.
“He called me this morning, wanted to get together but something came up, said he needed a rain check.” Logan shares this piece of information as he joins us behind the bar. I continue with my side work and listen to them at the same time.
“Yeah, well, it better be for something good because he said he was going to be late.”
He probably went to change his shirt, but I’d be okay with him not changing his shirt and just forgetting about it altogether.
“Hello? Earth to Kelsey!”
I look up from—wait. Was I just staring at the sink water this whole time?
“What’s your deal?” Sara asks.
“She knows something,” Logan answers.
They both study me with their full attention. I crack under the pressure. It only took two seconds, but it’s always hard to keep things from Sara. Then you add Logan, and there’s no hope. They make a strong team.
“Alright, so I may have seen Ethan once or twice since yesterday.” That sounds good enough. I turn with the intention of filling the sink at the other end of the bar, but Sara grabs my arm. I keep my eyes pinned to the floor.
“And…?”
“And…I might know why he’s late?”
“Is that a question?”
My face wrinkles up. I want to avoid this whole conversation. Treat it just like a Band-Aid, Kelsey. One quick pull and it’s over.
“I may have kicked him in the face, given him black eyes, hit him with my car door, and burned him with coffee right before I got here.” I shrug. “Hence no coffee.”

Jami WagnerAbout the Author:
JAMI WAGNER was born in Wyoming. Still living in the Cowboy State, Jami and her boyfriend are currently writing their own love story with their yellow lab.

Jami enjoys writing New Adult and published her debut novella Date in the Dark in 2015.

Visit and connect with Jami at www.jami-wagner.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorJamiWagner, on Twitter at @Jami_Wagner, or on Instagram at @JAMIWAGNER_.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: In Too Deep (Due South #1) by Tracey Alvarez

In too DeepTitle: In Too Deep
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She vowed never to return.

To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island home-town where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover.

She’s a risk he can’t take.

West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk?

Saying goodbye the second time might just destroy them both.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book and I’m definitely going to continue the series.

I loved the writing, strong characterization and worldbuilding. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a small, rural community setting but the author wrote it so well that you couldn’t help falling in love with the place.

Piper and Ryan (West) have spent years dodging each other and as the story develops we being to understand why. The author skillfully builds longing and angst and I really felt the emotions of both characters. I felt it dragged a little in the middle and I thought I’d die if they didn’t get their act together.

Both characters develop and grow throughout the story and eventually learn to let each other in. It was really sweet and romantic (and there’s plenty of steamy action too!)

The ending was a bit too cheesy for me (though I’m not usually opposed to a bit of cheese)and the only other thing I didn’t like was the slight change in perspective and tense on occasion which was jarring. Minor complaints though. For a debut novel, I think it’s very accomplished, and I look forward to reading more from the author.

Thanks to Tracey Alvarez for running a promo on this book which enabled me to pick up a copy for free. I’ve already downloaded the second installment and I look forward to getting stuck in.

Blog Tour: Songbird by Sydney Logan

Sydney Logan Songbird Release Day Banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Songbird by Sydney Logan. I share my review with you, an excerpt and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

Songbird ebookTitle: Songbird
Author: Sydney Logan
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
One bridesmaid. One groomsman. One classic wedding hookup.
But for Callie and Devin, their weekend of passion is anything but typical.

Callie Franklin doesn’t do one night stands.

Ever.

She’s far too responsible and focused on her career to ever let herself give in to temptation. But, on the eve of her best friend’s wedding, she meets that temptation . . .

And his name is Devin McAllister.

Devin, on the other hand, has no problem with meaningless hookups. The very last thing he needs—or wants—is a relationship.

Relationships come with strings.

Relationships come with heartbreak.

A late-night encounter in the hotel’s piano bar finds the two unable to resist each other. With her angelic voice and bright blue eyes, Devin’s sure he’s never met anyone as beautiful as his Songbird.

Six weeks later, when two pink lines confirm Callie’s worst fears, she and Devin have to face the consequences of their wild weekend.

And they have to deal with each other—whether they like it or not.

With a love story that’s far from traditional, Callie and Devin begin to wonder if their one-night stand could turn into something neither of them anticipated.

A happily ever after.

Songbird Sydney Logan Launch Day Price

My Review:
This is a beautifully written love story that really tugged at my heart strings.

Devin is a commitment-phobic player with a successful law practice. Since his twin sister died when they were fifteen he has struggled to let anyone in, and he certainly hasn’t given anyone a piece of his heart. A chance encounter with Callie changes all that.

Callie is Devins opposite in many ways. She doesn’t indulge in one-night stands but her and Devin are inexplicably drawn to one another and they quickly cave to their mutual attraction.

At her friends wedding the next day, she realizes he is the errant groomsman that has been missing, and they end up spending the night of the wedding together as well.

When she falls pregnant, she is gobsmacked but determined to do the right thing by her baby. Devin receives the shock of his life when she first tells him and he doesn’t react well. Once he’s had time to recover, he tries to make it up to her, but she has shut him out. The rest of the book is the story of how they slowly let each other in and discover a love that was always meant to be.

While their love may be unconventional, it is sweet and romantic and I loved reading every moment of it.

I kept waiting for some big drama, or some major curveballs – certainly with Dominic and Nina, there were options to really milk the suspense – but the author didn’t do that, and I loved her for it. Instead, this is a simple, sweet tale of two people opening up their hearts and falling in love. It’s also a story about family and friendships, and overcoming long instilled fears and pre-conceived notions.

Callie’s mom has been bitter since she got pregnant with her at 17. Some of her warped ideals have twisted Callies perception of men, marriage, and the world in general. However, with the help of Devin and her friends, she is able to make her own decisions, and learns to trust her own instincts. I loved her dad. What a sweet man, and the opening scene where we meet him was very funny.

It’s hard as a reader not to fall in love with Devin. He starts out being a total ass but once he lets his barriers down, and learns to keep his controlling ways on a leash, he was perfect leading man material. His tender love and care of Callie was swoonworthy.

I was gripped from the very first page. I started reading it late at night only intending to read a few chapters but I stayed up until 3am and finished it in one go. I was so engrossed I just couldn’t put it down.

I love Sydney’s writing style and the words flowed beautifully on the page. As this is a character driven story, the character development was superb. She really got under both Devin and Callies skin and I properly understood what made them tick. I felt a strong emotional connection to them and their story. I honestly can’t fault this book at all. What an amazing read. I think I’ll be adding Syndey Logan to my list of favorite authors, and I look forward to checking out more of her work.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Excerpt:
Traffic’s insane, but I finally make it to Callie’s apartment just after two. I anxiously knock on the door, ridiculously eager to get my hands on her. Maybe she’ll be wearing some flimsy lingerie. Maybe she’ll be naked. My mind’s busy conjuring all the possibilities when she opens the door . . . wearing a sweatshirt and jeans.
“Hey,” she says softly, stepping aside to let me in.
“Hey. You okay?”
She looks pale as a ghost. Is she sick? She looks sick. Maybe I should call an ambulance. Or my dad.
“I’m okay.” Callie leads me over to the sofa. “Look, Devin, I know you probably have some plans for us for tonight, but that won’t be happening.”
“Oh.” Disappointment floods me, but if the nauseated look on her face is any indication, it’s probably best. Besides, there’s the next night. And the next.
“But we need to talk, so I’m glad you’re here. I have something I need to tell you.” She abruptly jumps to her feet and walks toward her kitchen. “Would you like something to drink?”
I can’t tell if she’s being a good hostess or simply stalling, but I ask for a beer. It looks like I’m gonna need it. I hadn’t pegged her for the kind of woman who needs to talk about her feelings.
When she returns to the living room, Callie hands me a bottle and sits down next to me. I notice she only brought one.
“You’re not drinking?”
She curls her feet beneath her. “Unfortunately, no. I won’t be drinking for a long time.”
I’ve had it with the riddles.
“All right, what’s going on? My brother and his girlfriend threatened to murder me if I make you cry. Something’s obviously up with you because you just want to talk.”
Her forehead creases. “Don’t you ever just talk to a woman?”
“Not if I can help it.”
“Why not? The girls you usually date don’t have enough sense to carry on an intelligent conversation?”
“I don’t date, Callie.”
“I see. You just sleep with them.”
“Sometimes. Is there something wrong with that?”
“And are you careful?”
“Careful?”
“Safe,” she says softly. “We didn’t use protection. I just wondered if that’s typical for you.”
Oh. It’d be easy to blame the alcohol, but honestly, using protection was the very last thing on my mind that night.
“No, that’s not typical. I’m sorry about that.”
“So am I.”
Callie seems far more relaxed after my apology. Maybe this night won’t be an epic failure after all. I slide closer to her, but she raises her hand in warning.
“We’re not finished.”
I groan and lean back against the couch.
“Devin, I need you to listen. Something happened that weekend. I’m almost positive you won’t want to sleep with me after you hear what I’m about to say.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
“I don’t.” Callie sits up a little straighter and squares her shoulders. “I want you to know I expect nothing from you. Our weekend together was a mistake, and I’ll deal with the consequences of it. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do at this point, but I thought you should at least know what’s going on.”
“What’s going on?”
Her eyes flood with tears.
“Devin, I’m pregnant.”
Pregnant.
Pregnant?
I stare at her. She stares at me. I watch her closely, hoping that at any moment she’s going to burst out laughing.
But she’s not laughing. She’s crying.
I hear Lorie’s voice in my suddenly throbbing head.
Don’t make her cry.
“Why . . . why are you telling me?”
She wipes her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“You’re assuming it’s mine?”
“Of course it’s yours!”
I snort. “Really? How can you be so sure? Maybe it was that bartender in the hotel’s piano bar. Or maybe it was the guy who sat with you at the reception. Or maybe—just maybe—it was the photographer you were with tonight. You two seem pretty close.”
Even as the bitter words drip off my tongue, I know better. Her face is just too furious . . . her eyes too heartbroken.
Suddenly, Callie stops crying. Her eyes flash with fury just seconds before she slaps me across the face.
Despite the ringing in my ears, I can hear my brother’s warning.
Don’t be an asshole tonight.
Too late.

Sydney Logan Bio Pic jpgAbout the Author:
Amazon best-selling author Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of five novels – Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, Soldier On, Once Upon a December, and Pros & Cons. Sydney has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Visit her website at www.sydneylogan.com.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:

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Blog Tour: Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters. I’ll share my review of this book with you and there’s an excerpt.

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DC AmazonGRSWTitle: Desperate Chances
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: Bad Rep #4
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sex changes everything.

And love can turn into an enemy…

Mitch Abrams, the bassist for the popular rock band Generation Rejects, has been in love with Gracie Cook for years. But Gracie, a complicated girl with a lot of baggage, was too blind to see how she felt about the man who had always stood by her.

Until one night of passion brought them closer than they had ever been before.

Feeling off balance and out of control, Gracie does the only thing a girl with self-destructive tendencies can do: end things with Mitch before they can really begin.

So Mitch moves on. With his band, his friends, and a new girlfriend.

Yet he can’t seem to forget about the girl who threw his heart away.

Gracie, who is still struggling to build a life after crashing to the bottom, finds it hard to forget about her one night with Mitch. And even as she tries to convince herself it was only sex, her heart knows differently.

But life is full of chances and desperate moments. And when Mitch and Gracie are thrown back into each other’s lives, will they seize at the opportunity to do things right?

Or will the rock star and the less than ordinary girl crash and burn?

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My Review:
Well, that was an enthralling read! My first A. Meredith Walters book, but most definitely not my last.

Mitch and Gracie have been BFFs for years. He has always been in love with her, and her with him, but she was too wasted to notice until it was too late.

Gracie is battling some monstrous demons – alcoholism, anorexia and an interfering mom who appears to be at the root of a lot of her issues. Gracie struggles to stand up to her and allows her mother to boss her around like she’s a little kid. I loved how, in the end, she was strong enough to stand her ground and fight to be treated appropriately.

Gracie has been to rehab and she’s making a concerted effort to sort her life out. She has a new part-time writing job, is sharing an apartment with one of her oldest and dearest girlfriends, and she’s trying to wash Mitch right out of her hair. But it’s damned hard, because she remembers how amazing their one-night stand was, and his admission of love has imprinted on her heart and her soul. She knows now that she loves him too, but it’s too late because Mitch has been dating Sophie for the last year and Gracie feels like she has lost her HEA.

Sophie is a total drip and she has never fitted in with the band or made much of an effort to. Now, one part of me understands it, but seriously, the girl has no self-respect. Everyone can see that Mitch still loves Gracie yet Sophie clings to him like a wet limpet. Pathetic.

Mitch is a great guy, but he’s a douche for the way he treats Sophie. He knows she isn’t the one for him yet he continues to string her along. He lost some brownie points for that.

This book is awash with angst and heartache and I just lapped it all up. I enjoyed the world-building and it was sad to see how the band’s dreams pretty much imploded overnight. Character development was superb, and though I haven’t read the other books in the series (yet) I didn’t feel like I missed out. Backstory was adequately filled in and I got to know all the characters and their distinct personas . The writing is excellent and it flowed smoothly – there weren’t’ any sections that I felt were repetitive, unnecessary, or rushed.

Overall this was a fantastic read and I look forward to checking out more of this author’s work in the future.
Actual rating 4.5.

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Excerpt:
I realized I was staring. Mitch knew I was staring.

So of course he purposefully gave his girlfriend his attention, his body angled towards me but his head bent low so that his face was close to Sophie’s. He pushed the hair back off her forehead. His eyes were on her face and he gave her soft smile that I recognized only too well.

A smile that I had thought, at one time, was only for me.

Get over it, Gracie! It’s been a year! What did you think would happen? That he’d pine over you forever? Get a grip!

I started to turn away when Mitch looked back towards me, his eyes locking on mine.

I forgot how to breathe.

My heart thudded almost painfully in my chest.

My mouth went dry and my hands began to tremble. A need that I had almost forgotten about thrummed through my body. My belly tightened and my nipples hardened. The air hummed and sizzled. I was altered completely. Just by a look.

How had I never felt this electricity between us before? The answer was obvious.

I had been totally blind. I hadn’t wanted to see it. Because if I had acknowledged it, everything would have changed. And at that time I couldn’t handle that. The truth was I had been absolutely terrified.

Maysie squeezed my arm but I barely felt it. Jordan was still talking but I didn’t hear him.

All I could see was Mitch.

All Mitch could see was me.

We were locked in a stand off, neither of us moving.

All too soon he broke our intense staring contest. He bent down and kissed his girlfriend almost angrily. It was a harsh press of lips that seemed to take Sophie by surprise. She wrapped her arms around Mitch and held him tenderly even as he ground his mouth against hers.

I looked away. I could barely breathe around the lump sitting painfully in the middle of my chest. A pain that I knew to be jealousy.

And regret.

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ameredithwaltersAbout the Author:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

Links:

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Release Week Blitz: Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Today is my stop during the release week book blitz for Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It’s the fifht book in her amazing Wait For You series. There’s an excerpt and a giveaway.

ForeverWithYou mm cTitle: Forever with You
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…

Some things you just believe in, even if you’ve never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It’s out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she’s got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph’s eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick’s self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he’s knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she’s building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can’t walk away. Not when she’s the only one who’s ever made him wish for forever . . .

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Praise for Forever with You:
“Armentrout packs a powerful emotional punch in her fifth Wait for You new adult contemporary (after Fall with Me)… Armentrout tugs at the heartstrings while delivering an intense, gripping tale.” –Publishers Weekly

“Armentrout presents an emotional installment in her Wait for You series…[she] does it again, presenting a fast-paced tearjerker that fans will devour.” –Booklist

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Excerpt:
I spotted Roxy and her blue glasses toward the back of the busy restaurant. The walkways between the booths were crowded with racing kids covered in sticky jelly and older people trying to rein them in as I made my way toward them. Roxy’s hair was pulled up in a messy bun and her eyes squinted as she glanced up at me. “You seriously went running before you came here. You weren’t lying.”
“Nope. I try to run every day.” I sat beside Katie, who compared to Friday night was dressed down in a baby blue off-the-shoulder sweater that looked like sequins had thrown up on it. Her blond hair was pulled back in a low ponytail at the nape of her neck. “I have to work out,” I explained, placing my purse between Katie and me. “I eat like five starving guys in college. It’s actually embarrassing how much food I can consume in one sitting.”
Katie laughed. “I don’t have that problem. I can eat whatever I want and not gain a pound. Actually, I’d probably lose weight.” Her shoulders rose in a shrug. “Sucks to be you all.”
Roxy scowled at her. “You don’t need to rub it in, you know.”
“Don’t hate me because I was born this way.” Katie grinned when Roxy rolled her eyes. “Maybe it’s Maybelline. Maybe it’s Katie.”
I giggle snorted. The waitress appeared at our table, clicking the pen she’d pulled out of the pocket of her apron. She took our drink order and then dashed off to fulfill it, her white sneakers squeaking across the floor. “I’m glad you came,” Roxy said, propping her elbows on the table. “I was worried I was going to have to search you down and force you to come eat with us.”
I laughed again. “I’m pretty sure you’d have a hard time doing that.”
“I’m scrappy.” Roxy grinned. “I could take you.”
Thinking of the shiner I’d first seen her with, I decided she was probably telling the truth. “I’m glad you guys invited me.” I paused while the waitress returned with our drinks before disappearing again, then I said, “So, I know Roxy works at the bar, what about you, Katie?”
“At the club across the street from Mona’s.” Katie dumped a packet of sugar into her coffee and then picked up five more, managing to rip the tops off in one impressive swipe. “It’s a strip club.”
“Oh.” How had I not noticed a strip club across the street from Mona’s? Katie dumped the sugar in her coffee. “I strip. I don’t dance. I take my clothes off for a living and get paid damn good money for it, too.”
I blinked. “That’s cool.”
Her gaze turned shrewd. “You don’t have a problem with that?”
“Um, not if you don’t.” I glanced at Roxy, who was busy cleaning her glasses, a small smile pulling at her face. I picked up my soda and took a deep drink.
Katie tilted her head to the side, studying me. “Really?”
I lifted a shoulder. “Nope. Honestly. I think it’s pretty cool you have the lady balls to do it.”
A slow grin appeared. “You should do it. You’d make so much money. Hell, I’d pay to see you—”
“Katie,” sighed Roxy, resting her chin in her hand. “Stop trying to recruit rookie strippers. You do this every time you meet someone. No one has agreed yet.”
I grinned as I pictured the odd blonde roaming the city, looking for women who wanted to take their clothes off. “I don’t think I could do it. I’d get up there and then forget how to take my clothes off.”
“Taking your clothes off is the easiest part,” Katie replied seriously.
Roxy looked doubtful. “Those spandex running pants leave very little to the imagination. If I had your body, I’d walk around naked all day.”
“I have no problem getting naked when it’s—I don’t know, an intimate situation,” I announced, “but doing it in public is a different story.”
“That’s good to know,” the waitress said, pen in hand. “Do you guys know what you want to eat?”
“Awkward,” I murmured under my breath as my eyes widened.

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And don’t miss the previous titles in the Wait for You Series!

JLA_Author-photoAbout the Author:
# 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. 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:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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