Do you love Hallmark Channel Original Movies? Then keep on reading, because I have a book from the writer of these awesome, and warm romance shows, Teri Wilson for you today! Love At The Shore is a lighthearted comedic romance with a lot of warmth […]
Tag: summer read
Do you have a five-year plan? That may sound like a weird question to ask someone on a book review site, but if you have made long term plans, and see them fall through, after putting a lot of energy in the completion of […]
Do you like Friends – To – Lovers Romances? Then I have a new release that you should check out. Or at least, you could read the excerpt of In Other Words by Jennifer Woodhull below, and see if you find it as interesting as I have. What do you have to lose? Oh, and of course I have another giveaway for you – this time with a chance to win a 25 Dollar Amazon gift card!
Title: In Other Words
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Publication date: April 30th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
We became close friends in college. When Sinclair returns home to Dallas after two years in New York, I introduce her to my best friend Cole. The good-looking playboy ballplayer is the perfect kind of guy for the woman I’m sure would never be interested in me…even if seeing them together breaks my heart.
He was the nerdy PhD candidate. I was the cheerleader. We made unlikely friends. Moving back home after two years away, he looks hotter than ever. When I start dating his ballplayer best friend, things get complicated. He doesn’t see me as girlfriend material…but I can’t get him, or my feelings for him, out of my head.
There are not enough words. I don’t mean that in a dramatic way as if there are not enough words to express something with which I’m momentarily frustrated. I mean there are often times when the optimum word for something simply does not exist.
Fernweh is a German word that describes a feeling of homesickness for a place you’ve never visited before. The Swedish word, lagom, describes taking not too much nor too little, but just the right amount of something. To wear or use something for the very first time is expressed in Spanish by the word estrenar.
I love words more than anything. I love hearing someone intelligent use the absolutely perfect, most fitting word at exactly the right moment. I love anagrams, crossword puzzles, and riddles. I love how they make me think about language and how people use it. Perhaps most of all though, I love awful puns—even dad-level terrible ones. I only know one person who loves language as much as I do, and he also happens to be the very person I can hardly wait to see.
The Portuguese have a word for the sensation of nostalgia and longing for someone who is far away. Saudade. That’s what I’ve been experiencing since I moved to New York. I have saudade for Dexter Flynn, but that’s about to come to an end.
I walk into The Tipsy Alchemist, an upscale hipster place Dexter chose to start our reunion evening. I visually scour the space, and am disappointed when I don’t see him. I walk the length of the bar and just as I’m about to turn and head back toward the front, a man leans in close behind me and says, “Excuse me, miss, but might I buy your first libation of the evening?”
I turn, ready to tell the guy to get lost so I can call the person I want most in the world to see. When I turn around, though, I’m met with a pair of sweet, soulful brown eyes hiding behind tortoiseshell frames. My heart darts around my chest. I throw my arms around him so hard, I nearly send us both tumbling to the floor.
“Dex!” I squeal, squeezing his neck. His arms wrap around me, and they’re far stronger than I remember.
“It’s about time you came back,” he whispers into the side of my neck as he squeezes me tightly. “I’ve missed you, Clair.”
I feel an instant wash of relief, being here in his arms. The feel of his cheek against mine and the smell of his aftershave trigger an eruption of happy memories. My brain floods with late night talks and board game marathons. My circuits overload with shared stories and supporting each other through tough times—with gushing over books and documentaries at the independent theatre. He has been such a huge part of my life for so long, and now, with him, I finally feel like I’m really home.
When we finally break from our embrace, we both realize we’re standing in the highest traffic area of the bar, and the place is so packed we might be physically in danger from rowdy patrons clamoring for beer.
“Come on,” he says, grabbing my hand. “I reserved us a booth.”
He leads me through the trendy, dark-paneled space to the back where tiny, high-walled booths, are situated. This area of the bar is quieter than the rest, and the high walls of our booth offer some much-appreciated privacy.
The booth to our immediate right houses what I can only assume is a bachelorette party judging by the volume and frequency of the word woo, coming from their direction.
When the server arrives, I order a cocktail, and Dex orders a beer. “Miss, can I ask, the group of ladies in the booth next to us…is one of them a bachelorette, by chance?” He smirks in my direction.
“Actually, yeah. Are they being too rowdy?”
“Not at all. I was just curious,” he replies. I snicker and he winks in response.
“It’s a cool story, actually,” the server pauses to tell us more detail. “She just got out of the military. She met her fiancé while they were stationed together. He was injured, and she’s a nurse.” She puts her hand to her chest. “They fell in love while he recovered in her hospital.”
Dex and I look at each other, and each make the universal face that any red-blooded human with feelings makes when seeing a baby, or a puppy, or hearing a sweet love story. “Aww,” we say in unison, laughing.
“Would you please take them a bottle of Dom Perignon and put it on my tab? Anonymous, though, please…with thanks for her service, and her fiancé’s,” Dex adds.
“Wow, that’s really nice of you! Absolutely, I’ll take care of it,” the server replies.
When she walks out of Dexter’s line of sight, she catches my eye and mouths the words, “Lucky you,” with a wink. It makes me smile unreasonably wide.
Lucky me that such a kind, thoughtful, generous man is in my life and cares so much for me. Lucky me that he’s my friend. Unlucky me that he’s not more than just a friend.
“That was very generous of you,” I tell him.
“I had the good luck to meet an inventor whose work I really admire once at a party. Knowing I was new to success, he told me, “I always say, if you’ve got it, spread it around. Nobody likes a successful, stingy asshole.” I’ve always tried to remember that,” he says with a shrug. We toast to successful good guys.
“You look amazing, Sinclair.” Dex is grinning at me, his brown eyes sparkling.
I reach across the table and take both his hands in mine, giving them a squeeze. “You look amazing too. By the way,” I say, stifling a giggle. “I didn’t know I’d need tickets.”
“Tickets? For…what, exactly?” He cocks an eyebrow up in question.
“The gun show,” I reply, pointing to what I can see is a pronounced bicep on each arm.
His cheeks flush with crimson as he looks down and away. The expression belongs to the shy, gangly guy I met in school, not the hunky, successful entrepreneur sitting across from me.
“So, have you been hitting the gym, or did you invent some magical neurotransmitter that passively enhances muscle tissue?” I tease. “Because if you have, please sign me up as a test subject. Pilates is torture, but I like to eat far too much to ever give it up without some sort of alternative.”
He chuckles. “I like to think of the fitness thing as my transformation to Dexter two-dot-oh. I have to say, I don’t hate that my efforts are producing noticeable results. I told you about my business partner Cole, right?” He asks sheepishly.
“Your friend Cole, yes,” I reply, rolling my eyes.
I think he still has a little trouble wrapping the high school part of his brain around being friends with a jock.
“Yeah. Anyway, since he pitches for the Frontiersmen he knows all the best personal trainers. He convinced me to start working out with one he recommended. I go to the gym almost every day now. Turns out I’m not as unathletic as I thought I was.” He grins wide, pride evident on his face.
“You certainly seem like you’re feeling pretty good,” I reply. I stand up enough to reach across and squeeze his bicep. “Yep, feeling pretty darn good to me.”
He smiles, then he shakes his head and chuckles. “I really do feel good…and even better now.” Something flashes briefly in his chocolate-brown eyes, then he smirks. “I’m just so happy you’re back, Clair.”
Clair. No one but him calls me that. The way he says it is familiar and makes me feel special that he has a nickname just for me. It’s the same way I call him Dex. Those terms of endearment are just for us, like they’re special words all our own.
By the time we finish the drinks the server brings over my stomach is growling, so we head down the street to a Mexican place that has always been one of my favorites.
As we walk the four or five blocks to the restaurant, a group of girls walking the opposite direction toward us are all checking Dex out as they pass. I turn to look over my shoulder and see them all looking back, whispering and giggling. When I look over at him, he seems oblivious.
And this is why he has trouble finding the right girl. He has no clue when a woman is into him.
I bump his shoulder with mine.
“They were checking you out,” I say with a smirk.
“That group of girls that walked by. They were cute, too.”
He rolls his eyes.
“So, not seeing anyone?” I ask.
“Not at the moment.” He lets out a sigh. “Maybe I’m too picky.”
“Maybe you are,” I agree.
And that’s the other reason he can’t find the right girl. He has never fully explained the criteria with me, but he seems never to have found a girl that checks all the boxes on the list of Dex requirements for the perfect girl.
Someone as genuine and kind, as smart and as funny as Dex deserves someone wonderful, though—someone who can see him for everything he is. I have tried to resign myself to the fact that I’m not that girl in his eyes. I only hope that one day he finds her, and she deserves him.
That brings me to another word that should exist, but doesn’t. There should be a word for enjoying something you have, but still wishing it was much, much more.
Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.
A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.
“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provides the perfect place to write,” she says. “If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”
Are you a fan of Young Adult Fantasy Novels? Well then, you should check out Cindy Cipriano’s newest novel Searching today! The Author was kind enough to give some details about this book and her series (The Fading Series), so don’t miss out and read […]
Quick book news for you! There is an upcoming release of a new Paranormal Fantasy Novel, I want to talk to you about today: Reign to Ruin by Zoe Ellis (Myth of Omega Book # 4) will be released on July 19th, so mark your […]
I am going to heat up your summer by sharing an awesome new steamy romance with you today!
Introducing the newly released My Dream Job by Marcella Swann. Marcella is an acclaimed Author with a background in journalism, who absolutely has a way with words that leave you hot and bothered! No worry, if that is not your thing – I still suggest that you enter in the giveaway at the end of this blog post, for your chance to win a 25 Dollar Amazon gift card – perfect for your Prime Day Shopping Spree and beyond!
Oh, and did I mention that this book is free on Kindle Unlimited? Well, there you go – you can thank me later!
Title: My Dream Job
Author: Marcella Swan
Publication date: July 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
He sees right through me. I like it. No, I crave it. His attention is like an opiate. It isn’t about the money. It isn’t about the power.
Then what? Even ask myself, I already know the answer.
He’s the summit of the mountain I can’t scale, no matter which tools I use. I would give him my body, but he tosses women away without a glance. I could offer my mind, but he’d play me like a well-fingered instrument. He’s mastered life and everything in it.
He holds the secrets. He is everything I want and cannot get for myself. I’ll find his weakness and when I do …
I’ve grown bored with success. The extraordinary has become my routine. Then she walked into my seminar and I felt the flame of challenge. I wanted her mind, her innocence, her body.
It wasn’t her youth, not even her siren’s body. It was the untilled soil of her potential that drew me toward her.
She was the only thing I could not buy, could not create and could not command. She was the supreme protégé; the urn to receive my carefully cultivated, highly sensitive awareness.
She sat there before me, willing and adoring.
Could I resist my urge to make her what I wanted her to be? Could I leave her richer for having been with me? Could I leave her … ever?
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In between shaking hands, I coolly navigated the rooms, noting that everyone had adhered to costume and seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were two champagne fountains set up centrally and the buffets held warming trays with superbly prepared, gourmet level foods. After all, the event cost $2500 per plate, so at least the food had better be good and the booze plentiful.
“Hello John, how have you been? I don’t believe I’ve seen you since Singapore?”
“Well, Alec, you’re looking fine as usual. Always very fit. Any new deals you can let me in on? Yes, I believe it was Singapore.”
“John, you don’t mean to tell me your instincts are failing you?” I teased him. “Surely you’re the one with the tips to share?”
He shook his head as he left and turned back to the woman standing at his left. I assumed she was his wife, although I had never met her. I moved on.
“Alec! I hear you’ve taken on a new protégé.”
I nodded and looked toward the staircase. Callie hadn’t come down yet and I wondered if she was getting cold feet. “Yes Robert, as a matter of fact I have. Don’t try to steal her from me, now promise?”
“As good as all that, is she?” Robert eyebrows peaked with curiosity.
I neither confirmed nor denied and that was exactly what he expected. I was fairly certain once people met her, the question would come behind my back whether she was my business protégé or mistress. Let them think what they want, I thought to myself. Callie would set them straight.
I felt before I heard, the raised pitch in the conversation undertones. I knew something was happening and looked toward the staircase. Sure enough, Callie was coming down and there wasn’t a word strong enough to describe how beautiful she was.
She had interpreted the pirate theme to include female pirates. Most of the women there were dressed in 19th-century ball gowns, playing the role of the captured mistress or willing stowaway the pirates would use for their pleasure. But not my Callie.
Her beautiful, long legs were encased in black leather, the waist rising higher and ending just below her bosom. She wore a full-sleeved blouse, gathered at the shoulder and ballooning over her long arms before clutching her wrists in crystal studded bands. Its collars lay wide open, cut deeply below her décolletage, the suntanned mounds of her perfect breasts hugging one another in that curtained stage. Her long blonde hair had been drawn high above her neck, cascading in curls below her black, pirate’s hat. It, too, was studded with sparkling crystals. Black, high-heeled leather boots went over where her pantaloons ended and a cummerbund of crimson velvet emphasized her tiny waist. Every man in the room made a wish and every woman scowled. She was a diabolical mistress of the night and she was mine.
She waved at me over the heads of the crowd and I nodded and motioned her forward. People parted to make her path as she came toward me. There was no need to hush the crowd, they were already silent with appreciation. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce my assistant and protégé, Ms. Callie Courtney. I’ve been fortunate enough to snap up this talented young lady and include her in my organization before the rest of you even knew she was available. I encourage each of you to meet her personally this evening as she will often be my personal representative. She will be authorized to discuss and execute all business on my behalf.”
My introduction drew an intake of breath across the room. I was not known for giving up control of any aspect of my business and the fact that I had just transferred trust onto Callie’s beautiful shoulders was rare indeed. A stuttering of quiet comments blossomed across the room and soon there was a general applause for her introduction. Callie beamed, smiling graciously and tilting her head to individuals around the room. She leaned toward me and whispered in my ear. “I’m so nervous,” she said, her voice higher pitched than normal in her anxiety.
“Honey, they’re more afraid of you than you are of them, I guarantee you. Everyone in this room owes me in one way or another. Think of yourself as a queen who can order heads chopped off.”
She looked at me, her eyes wide, her mouth forming an O-shape before dissolving into a smile as she winked.
Marcella Swann has been putting words on paper for as long as she can remember. After working for years in the hard-boiled world of journalism, she how devotes her time to writing contemporary romances of strong-willed women who win the men of their dreams. As passionate about love as the beauty of a story well told, Marcella is a complete romantic and believes everyone desires their happily ever after. A small town girl from Louisiana, Marcella now lives in New York City and starts each day walking her Yorkie in the park. She also swings a mean kettle bell at the gym and loves karaoke nights with her friends.
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I always had a thing for Martial Arts – now place some hot fighter into a romance novel, and I am completely sold! This is one of the many reasons why I love the Redemption Series by Sarah Castille – a bold, sexy, and steamy […]
Hot And Steamy Romances Are Fun! They are even more fun, when you read them at the pool or while on vacation (or staycation in my case). Read on for an excerpt of the newly released novel Twelfth Floor by Monica Corwin and get ready […]
Hi to all of you lovely Sandra Owens fans – today, I have a treat for you! A new charming and heartwarming contemporary romance novel has just arrived: Introducing “Just Jenny” by Sandra Owens.
Even better yet, I have a giveaway at the end of this post for your chance to win a 20 Dollar Amazon gift card – and you can spend it all on more of Sandra Owens’ award-winning novels!
Read a short excerpt of Just Jenny below!
Title: Just Jenny
Author: Sandra Owens
Publication date: June 27th, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The small mountain town of Blue Ridge Valley is the home of three best friends, Jenny, Autumn, and Savannah. Each woman believes she has her life perfectly planned, but there is a saying in the mountains… If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
In Just Jenny, Jenny Nance has a plan—save enough money to tour the world. The desire to traipse the globe is a dream she once shared with her twin sister. Jenny made a deathbed promise to her sister that she would go to all the places they had fantasized about visiting together. Nothing will entice her to break her vow to Natalie, not even the sexy new Blue Ridge Valley police chief . . . No matter how attracted she is to him.
Dylan Conrad left the Chicago Police Department to accept the position as Chief of Police in Blue Ridge Valley. Burned out and haunted by a tragedy of his own, he needs to get away from the memories tormenting him. He’s hoping to find peace in the small mountain town, but the quirky residents, an infamous moonshiner, an errant prized bull, and a feisty redhead by the name of Jenny weren’t quite what he had in mind.
We’d just ordered our drinks when Dylan Conrad walked into the lounge. He paused in the entryway, his gaze scanning the room. The man was so freaking hot. At seeing me, he smiled, making my heart thump in my chest.
“Mind if I join you?” he said, coming to a stop behind the empty chair at our table for four. “Unless you’re expecting someone.”
That was said to me. “Nope. Have a seat, Chief.” I had a sudden fantasy of playing cop and criminal with him, me being the bad guy and him having to frisk me. I hoped my cheeks weren’t as red as they felt. He sat next to me, and I caught a whiff of man and something spicy. I also hoped I didn’t start drooling.
His eyes danced with amusement. “Introduce me to your friends, Red.”
Oh. Right. I was sitting here staring at him like an idiot, and now I knew for sure my face was beet red. “Ahem, this is my best friend, Autumn Archer, and her soon-to-be husband, Brian Stratton. Guys, this is Dylan Conrad, Blue Ridge Valley’s new police chief.”
“Welcome to Blue Ridge Valley,” Autumn said. “I’ve heard great things about you.”
Dylan sat back in his chair. “Oh?”
I kicked her under the table. That devilish gleam in her eyes meant she was up to no good.
“Yep. You have really pretty eyes, by the way. Jenn said they were the color of Tennessee whiskey, and she’s right.”
I kicked her again. Harder.
Dylan turned those beautiful eyes on me. “You been talking about me, Red?”
A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.
A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.
You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: www.sandra-owens.com
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Book Details: Title: Kincaid: Cerberus MC Book 1 Author: Mary James Deal: FREE!!!!!! * Publication Date: March 10, 2016 Genre: Romantic Suspense (* price as of 6/27/2018 on Amazon – subject to change) Are you a fan of military guys and biker gangs? If proud, […]