Review – Royally Yours by Emma Chase

 

Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a Queen—the first Queen of Wessco.

It’s a big deal.

When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident and cunning.

What she isn’t…is married.

It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want.

Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.

Even Queens. Especially them.

**

Years ago, Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, walked away from his title and country. Now he’s an adventurer—climbing mountains, exploring jungles, going wherever he wants, when he wants—until family devotion brings him home.

And a sacred promise keeps him there.

To Edward, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Wanting her just might drive him mad—or become his greatest adventure.

**

Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.

Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story.

This is theirs.

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BFF K’s Review of Royally Yours

This is the book that I didn’t know I needed until I read the first chapter. I was sucked in from the very beginning and fell in love with Edward right alongside Lenora.

I am a HUGE fan of this Royally Series from Emma Chase. Every book in the series has been stellar and utterly swoon-worthy. I was excited to learn there would be another book in the series, but somewhat surprised when I learned the book would be Queen Lenora’s story. I didn’t really know if it would be a storyline that interested me. I couldn’t understand how the pieces would fit together or what a lover of this series would gain from understanding Queen Lenora’s backstory. But, wow, I was blown away by this story. I’ve never been so happy to read a story I wasn’t really looking for!

Queen Lenora and Prince Edward have a remarkable, heart warming, epic love story! They’re brought together in difficult circumstances and aren’t really sure they even like one another. But, attraction and mutual respect grow into the most amazing tale of love and devotion. Their story is beautifully written and compliments the other books so completely that now I can’t imagine the series without this missing piece. And, I’ve even gone back to the other books in the series searching for key words to put even more pieces of the Lenora and Edward puzzle together.

You do not need to read the rest of the Royally Series to love Royally Yours, but you absolutely should! This series is nothing short of magical and I know it’s a series I will be thinking about, reading and recommending long into the future! For lovers of a great Royal Romance, I can’t think of any better than these! Emma Chase’s Royally Series is a crown jewel!

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

About the Author

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER | GOODREADS | READER FAN GROUP

 

 

Review – A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything by Brittainy C. Cherry & Kandi Steiner

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“A Love Letter From the Girls Who Feel Everything reminds me of my favorite roller coaster . . . it was such an emotional ride—one I’m willingly going to take over and over again.”

– Dee Lagasse, author

A Love Letter From the Girls Who Feel Everything, a beautiful book of prose and poetry, by bestselling authors Brittainy C. Cherry & Kandi Steiner is LIVE!

 

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Bestselling authors Brittainy C. Cherry and Kandi Steiner come together for the first time in an emotional compilation of poetry and prose. Written and collected over the course of more than two years, A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything is an intimate, honest, and raw assemblage of two women’s feelings in a modern world that often quiets any kind of emotion past indifference.

Discussing themes of love, worth, loss and hope, A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything is a journey of discovery and healing.

“We are the girls who feel everything.

And this is our love letter. To you, to them, to us, to the world, to no one at all. Whether it’s the brightest, sunniest day where everything is perfect, or the darkest, dreariest night of rain where life seems unbearable — we have lived it, we have survived it, and we have felt every, blissful, aching second.

Here’s to embracing the feels, to the brave souls that listen to the way their hearts beat and aren’t afraid to ask someone else if they feel those same beats, too. Here’s to the girls, the boys, the love we sometimes share and the love we all-too-often conceal.

And more than anything, Reader — here’s to you.”

 

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Download your copy today!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2N5Yy0x
iBooks: https://apple.co/2MpuibC
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Add to your Goodreads shelf: https://goo.gl/zqQmLz

 

BFF K’s Review of A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything

 

When I was in High School, my Speech and Debate Coach forced me to compete in Oral Interpretation of Poetry. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with poetry ever since. In recent years I’ve found myself seeking out poetry and developing an adult’s appreciation for this literary format. I was looking forward to A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything and I wasn’t disappointed.

Cherry and Steiner have delivered an emotional, raw, gut-punch in pure poetic prose. There are a couple of more up-beat, optimistic pieces, but the vast majority are intense introspections on life and relationships. They reflect incredible self discovery, healthy and unhealthy relationships and most of all loss and love.

I started highlighting my favorites, but it soon became apparent that by doing so I would end up highlighting most of the book!

I think that poetry is a terrific palate cleanser when you’re switching genre’s or tropes. And this set would be perfect before or after an angsty read. Either way, it will get you ready and pointed in a new direction. I know that I will come back to A Love Letter many many more times and I’m sure you will too!

I haven’t received too many love letters in my life, but this is definitely a love letter from Cherry and Steiner to themselves and their readers and I’m grateful to have been on the receiving end of this book!

 

 

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

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About the Authors

Brittainy C. Cherry:

Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

Connect with Brittainy:

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2oIoDEb
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2Cnk2kr
Stay up to date with Brittainy by signing up for her mailing list: https://goo.gl/VOg4l8
Website: http://bit.ly/2NR6y1w

Kandi Steiner:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing list: http://bit.ly/NewsletterKS
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Q5lWJc
Facebook reader group (Kandiland): http://bit.ly/2wKSDnq
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2MMBuUm
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2LZqEVH
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2MPuS7F
Website: http://bit.ly/2M2Mho0

 

 

 

Review – Blind Kiss by Renée Carlino

 

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.

Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and the bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on This Life, and Wish You Were Here. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband and two sons. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.

 

AVAILABLE NOW

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BFF K’s Review of Blind Kiss

Several years ago I remember seeing an article online about people doing a blind kiss study and I was so intrigued. It was a fascinating experiment to judge raw chemistry. So when I saw the premise of Renee Carlino’s new book, I knew I wanted to read it. Perhaps I should have read the synopsis more objectively.

Let me be really honest. There is a reason I stick primarily to romantic comedies. I am an emotional reader. And the angst and sadness is just too overwhelming for me most of the time. Reading rom-com helps to keep my head and my mood in a much happier place. But, every once in a while a book that makes you feel and breaks your heart just a little bit is a reminder of the power of great stories.
Penny is a beautiful, talented and dedicated dancer when she meets Gavin in college during the Blind Kiss experiment. Their chemistry is instantaneous and explosive. Their youth and other issues keep them apart romantically but they determine to be best friends. That relationship proves distressing for many other people in their lives and themselves.
Penny is complicated. But, she is also passionate, creative, nurturing and fiercely loyal. Gavin is a lost soul and Penny is the center of his world that keeps him grounded. Their convoluted and intricate relationship is fascinating. Together they weather some of the most difficult of life’s circumstances, depend on and love one another in ways they love no one else.
Again, I am an emotional reader and it has been quite some time since I have read a heartbreaking book. I cried through more than half of this book. While it is a romance and the ending brought satisfaction and closure, it wasn’t enough. I needed more positive to heal the negative and I’m not sure the good was sufficient enough to make up for the bad.
If you are a fan of angst and heartache, this is a book for you! The storyline is unique and captivating and you will care deeply about the characters. The book is exceptionally well written. But be fully and completely prepared that this emotional story will take its toll on your heart and your tear ducts.
An advance copy of this book was received via Net Galley. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

It was really this bad….

 

Excerpt from Blind Kiss

WE SAT AT the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels.

“That’s different for you.”

I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?”

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?”

I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me.

The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream.

I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

“Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled.

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back.

The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?”

“Briel? What kind of question is that?”

“Just answer me.”

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?”

“You always have a choice.”

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.”

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.”

“Like hell it was.”

“When do you leave?”

“In two days.”

“WHAT?!”

He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. “Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach.

“First Milo, now you?”

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.”

“Fuck you, Gavin!”

“Fuck you, Penny!”

He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from.

Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death.

I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. “We’re not done talking, you coward!”

He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled.

He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me.

So smug. What a dick.

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!”

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would.

“Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

“You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.”

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.”

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. “Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?”

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.”

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.”

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.”

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what

you want for me?”

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.”

He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron.

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.”

“You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.”

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.”

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low.

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.”

“Everyone speaks English there.”

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.”

Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people?

I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend

I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.” “Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—”

“What?”

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” I started to cry.

He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit.

He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.”

He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.”

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.”

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.”

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“This is it, P.”

I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his.

He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave.

“We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?”

“Okay,” I told him.

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.”

That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.

 

 

About the Author

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

 

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Review – Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren


Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

 

Buy Love and Other Words Today

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BFF K’s Review of Love and Other Words

What to say about another impeccably written, unique, emotional, heart-felt story from two romance masters? Buy it! Read it! Listen to it! Love it! That pretty much sums it up!

Love and Other Words is a deeply moving story of innocent, bone-deep-love, heartbreaking loss and the wondrous gift of a second chance. The story is a rich and stirring account of first love broken up by misunderstandings, poor decisions, youth, and loss and mended together by devotion, time, and intention.

Macy and Elliot are meant to be and there is really nothing that can completely sever their bond and commitment to one another. Their story is told in chapters alternating between past and present. But, each is gripping and impactful.

I did a combo read and listen of Love and Other Words. Many of the most emotional bits were listened to in the car during my commute. I think that’s the only thing that saved me from body-wracking-sobs during parts of the book. Just thinking about it makes my heart both heavy and full of hope. I don’t think it’s possible to read this story and come away unscathed. It will mark your heart, leaving you stunned and pondering the characters, their love and their second chance for days and weeks to come.

Buy it! Read it! Listen to it! Love it!

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

About the Authors

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages.

You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com or at @seeCwrite (Christina), @LolaShoes (Lauren), or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

Review – Cake: The Newlyweds by J. Bengtsson

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Jake and Casey are BACK!
CAKE: The Newlyweds by J. Bengtsson is NOW AVAILABLE in ebook, paperback & audio!

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You thought their story was over… but a love like theirs has no end.

Fate doesn’t own Jake McKallister. At least that’s what he tells himself. Life is better than ever. He’s at the top of his game, performing to sold-out crowds the world over.

He has his health and a solid, fun-loving family to keep him grounded.

And he got the girl – the beautiful, quirky girl he’s just made his wife.

Yes, life is good. If only fate would stop screaming in his ear.

Lucky is the word to best describe Casey McKallister. Life is not just great… it’s amazing.

She has an awesome, devoted support system, a nerd’s dream job at a prestigious accounting firm, and, best of all, she’s married to the hottest rock star to ever roam the earth.

Yes, life is perfect… until it comes crashing down around her.

They say love concurs all. That’s what Jake and Casey are counting on.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Cake: The Newlyweds

 

Cake: A Love Story and the first three books in the series were among my most favorite books of 2017. So, I was thrilled to see a new book coming in the series and it did NOT disappoint! Cake: The Newlyweds was sweet and LOL-funny while being a bit tearful and heart-wrenching at the same time!

Jake and Casey experience many of the issues and emotions of any newlywed couple. But, add to it Jake’s traumatic past, his challenging career and some unexpected tragedy and you have a tale that does more than just check in with your favorite characters, it moves their lives and stories forward.

My only criticism is that I would have liked Jake’s trauma story to be a little more developed. This story found Jake continuing to work through personal issues related to his childhood. I wish there had been a few more scenes with him working through those issue, it was all tied up a little too neatly for me. I think it could have been even more substantial.

Cake: The Newlyweds is another great love story for Jake and Casey. But, it’s also a wonderful check-in with Kyle and Kenzie, Emma and Finn and some of the other members of the family. I really liked the scenes with Quinn and Grace and I’m excited to see where their stories go. AND, there were a couple of scenes that made me laugh until I cried.

This book has it all – highs and lows, terrific characters and unique storylines. You need to read the first three books in the Cake Series for maximum enjoyment. Then you’ll be sure to find Cake: The Newlyweds is just the icing….on the Cake! 😂

PS – the Audio Version is Andi Arndt and Joe Arden and sure to be AMAZING!

An advance copy of this book was received from the author. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

READ BFF K’s Reviews of the other books in the Cake Series!

A Series Review for Cake: A Love Story

 

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Start reading CAKE: A Love Story NOW!
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-A reclusive rock star going through the motions-

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

-A vivacious college student embracing life-

When outspoken and fun-loving Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved musician for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a media-shy loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

-Their worlds are about to collide-

Despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

 

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About the Author

J. Bengtsson lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. Her favorite things to do are laugh, go for walks, and hang out with family.

Connect with J.!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbengtssonauthor/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CakeALoveStory
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Review – Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

 

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

BFF K’s Review of Autoboyography

Autoboyography is my most thought about and talked about book of the year! I absolutely can’t stop raving about it! Christina Lauren has delivered another incredible story. But, this one rises above even their usual brilliance. It is a sweet, smart, heartwarming and heartbreaking story of young love. But, it is also a captivating social commentary and thought provoking look into the lives and struggles of two not-straight young men growing up in areas where they can not truly be themselves.

Tanner is smart and sensitive. He is surrounded by a loving family and supported by good friends, but there are still parts of himself that he keeps hidden. Sebastian is also smart and caring, and similarly, he has grown up with a great deal of love and support. But, Sebastian is also prohibited from revealing who he truly is. The push and pull and angst-filled journey is exposed in a book within a book. It will grab your heart in a vice and squeeze it so so tightly!

I can’t describe how much I LOVE this book. I have told everyone who will listen how great it is. I’ve bought copies for friends and family. I love the written copy and the audio version. I warn you…I don’t believe you can not read this book and come out unscathed. It will carve it’s lines in your head and your heart and you’ll look at the world just a little differently when you’re done. Without a doubt, this is one of my Besties of 2017, worthy of a 6-rated review and you won’t regret a minute you spend with this compelling novel.

 

About the Authors

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages.

You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com or at @seeCwrite (Christina), @LolaShoes (Lauren), or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

Review – Stand by A.L. Jackson

 STAND is now live!

A Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next seductive, unforgettable Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…
I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.
No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.
For seven years, I’ve never lost focus.
Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.
Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.
She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.
Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand.

 

Don’t miss out on the stunning conclusion unforgettable series BFF K has been raving about!

 

DOWNLOAD NOW

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BFF K’s Review of Stand

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It was a little over two years ago. I found myself sitting in a Panera restaurant (when I probably should have been working) headphones on and engrossed in the most incredible book that I just couldn’t stop listening to. That book was A Stone in the Sea read by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt. I was hooked. I was hooked on the story, the characters and the unbelievable audio performance. When it ended in a cliffhanger, I thought my world was falling apart. I feel a little bit the same way tonight as I finished Stand, the final book in the Bleeding Stars Series. I’m more than a little heartbroken over the end of this wonderful series.

Zee has been the most mysterious member of the world famous band, Sunder. He’s so straight-laced and has always taken care of everyone else. He’s never succumbed to the temptations of women, drugs and booze. But, you could never really get to the heart of why he protected his bandmates so fiercely and denied himself so much in the process. Stand blows that wide open. Zee Kennedy has good reasons to guard his life and his heart.

But, one night, Zee meets Alexis and the world shifts on its axis. Suddenly his carefully constructed walls have are crumbling before his eyes. He’s powerless to stop the way his foundation is shifting. Alexis knows that Zee is hiding something, but is unsure what or if it even matters.

A.L. Jackson’s beautiful words are dripping with emotion and angst. She clearly lays out the afflicting wreckage that Zee and Alexis must navigate and it’s one hell of a minefield. The book is so carefully crafted and emotionally charged that you’ll be unsure if you should pick your way through it slowly or charge ahead with little regard for the safety of your own heart or emotions!

The Bleeding Stars Series started strong and maintained the brilliant intensity through every book. They’re lovingly crafted, pulse-racing stories that will take hold of your heartstrings and pull you along from each fantastic story to the end. I strongly recommend this series for several heart-stopping doses of angst and gut-wrenching emotion. It’s going to take me a long time to get over the final chapter for these rockstar, bad boys, turned-good!

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An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

“6 Devastatingly Beautiful and Brilliant Bleeding Stars but Worth the Whole Constellation.

I felt every burn…every blaze…every beautiful and brilliant word…I FELT IT ALL. ”

~Karen, Bookalicious Babes Blog

Giveaway

Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card + First 5 Bleeding Stars Novels Signed

 

 Celebrate the Release!

A.L. Jackson Reader Hangout ► http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock

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About the Author

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.
Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
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Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
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Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

 

Review – Stay by A.L. Jackson

Stay

A Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel

 

“Stay is a power, heart-wrenching story that will consume you heart and soul, leaving you utterly breathless days after the last page is read.” – Kelly Elliott New York Times bestselling author

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next sexy, gripping Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…

I’m Ash Evans.
The life of the party.
Hot. Rich. Charismatic.
A tattooed rock star with the world at my feet.
I burn through women faster than the strike of a match.

I’ve embraced my lifestyle and live it to the fullest.
Until the day my lifestyle caught up to me.

Willow Langston found me at my lowest.
Literally.
Facedown in a puddle of my own blood.

I owe her my life and I have three months to repay that debt.
What I never should have done was touch her. Kiss her. Take her to my bed.

Love wasn’t supposed to be a part of the equation.
I gave up that nasty complication a long damned time ago.
Now I want her more than my next breath.
But she doesn’t know what I know.

Do I leave to protect her? Or can I face my demons and ask her to Stay?

 

Get Your Copy TODAY

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BFF K’s Review of Stay

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Ash Evans is the jokester of the Sunder Crew. He’s the comic relief in a band known more for thrashing than ballads. Ash is the good guy, life of the party, always ready with a quip or a flirtatious comment, but underneath shiny veneer is a wounded soul. When he opens his eyes to Willow Langston as he lays broken and bleeding outside her shop, he’s drawn to her in ways he doesn’t understand.

The story of Ash and Willow is not a comedy. Stay is not a light-hearted romp….It’s more of a ‘rip your heart out, crush it bit by bit and destroy it’ kind of book. But, there is growth that comes from pain for both of the main characters and a redemption that is so perfect, it might go down as one of my all-time favorite “grand gestures”!

Stay is the perfect compliment to the rest of the books in the Bleeding Stars Series. But, you don’t have to read the others to enjoy the saga of Ash and Willow. I have loved these characters since I first clicked play on the audio for Where Lightning Strikes and I’ve been invested ever since. I’m a girl who typically avoids angst at all cost. But, this series is so incredible that I will gladly open the book knowing that it will rip my heart to shreds more than once before it’s over. And, the pain is worth every turn of the page. A.L. Jackson’s writing is picturesque and poetic and a pure joy to read. I absolutely recommend, Stay and all of the stories in the Bleeding Stars Series.

 

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An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

Giveaway

 

About the Author

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installments, WAIT and STAY, coming in 2016.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://bit.ly/NewsFromALJackson or text “jackson” to 96000 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Facebook
Reader Group
A.L. Jackson Newsletter
Amazon
Bookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Review – Someone Like You by Lauren Layne

A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

 

SOMEONE LIKE YOU

Oxford #3

Lauren Layne

Releasing Dec 6th, 2016

Loveswept

 

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Buy Links     

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

BFF K’s Review of Someone Like You

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Since the first book in the Oxford Series, I have been drawn to Lincoln Mathis. He has been an enigma. The ladies man with a heart of gold, just a little too polished and a little too perfect. Lincoln seemed to romance half of Manhattan, but that character never quite meshed with the wonderful person who created deep and meaningful relationships with his charming group of friends.

Enter Daisy Sinclair (twin sister of Emma and new sister-in-law of Cassidy, Lincoln’s boss.) Lincoln and Daisy meet serving as Best Man and Maid of Honor at the wedding and their connection is instant but not romantic. As the backstories of both characters are revealed, your heart will break for them. But, the way they heal themselves and each other is what makes this book a wonderful read. The first moment they ALMOST give into their attraction is one of the hottest no-sex-sexy-scenes I’ve read. But, don’t worry, there’s plenty of steam!

There is angst and tears, but also hope and sweetness and romance and love. It is all wrapped up in this wonderful group of “friends as family.” Lincoln and Daisy are one of my most favorite couples in the series. I’m not ready to say goodbye, so I’m glad that Lauren Layne has announced one more book in the Oxford Series. I have read all of them and highly recommend them (as I do everything by Lauren Layne) BUT you don’t need to read the other books in the series to thoroughly enjoy Lincoln and Daisy’s love story.

Someone Like You is a solid, sweet, romance with terrific characters and all the feels. You definitely want to add this book (the whole series really) to your TBR today! Lincoln and Daisy’s story was worth the wait!

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An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland

About the Author

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

 

Review – After We Fall by Melanie Harlow

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

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.

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

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

But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.

His huge, hard muscles.

Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.

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

But he’s wrong.

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

“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown

BFF K’s Review of After We Fall

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After We Fall is a touching, emotional, well-developed story of loss and love, finding your true self, and having a second chance at a Happily Ever After.

Jack Valentini is damaged. He is sullen, grouchy, and set in his ways. All of those traits hide a man who is achingly damaged. Both a soldier and a widower he truly believes himself unworthy of a second chance at happiness.

Margot is the picture perfect upper crust, trust-fund-daughter. Though she desperately wants to find a life that is uniquely hers and more impactful than the checks she writes and the fundraisers she attends.

Margot goes to help Jack’s family with their business but finds that she really wants to help Jack himself. Their relationship is flirty and sweet while at the same time passionate and disruptive.

After We Fall contains the signature emotions and the steam that I expect from a Melanie Harlow novel. This book elicited more tears than I usually have when reading one of her stories, but it is not a bad thing. The book was emotional and really fantastic! I highly recommend this touching, romantic, character-driven story about taking a second chance at Happily Ever After.

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An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

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Excerpt

“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”

Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”

“Up a tree?”

She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”

I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”

“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”

“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”

“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.

I played dumb. “Saw me what?”

“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”

I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”

Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”

She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.

Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.

Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.

She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”

“I never hired you.”

“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”

“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.

“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.

“Like what?”

“Moody and uncooperative?”

“Probably.”

“Why? Do you hate me that much?”

“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.

“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.

I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”

“Yes!”

“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”

“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.

“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”

She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”

“So get them dirty.”

I almost fell off the dock. “What?”

“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”

Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”

She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”

“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”

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About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelanieHarlow/?fref=ts
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Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MelanieHarlow2
Website: http://www.melanieharlow.com
Newsletter: http://www.melanieharlow.com/contact/