Blog Tour: Warwick’s Mermaid by Ellie Gray

Cover_Warwick's MermaidTitle: Warwick’s Mermaid

Author: Ellie Gray

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Having escaped an abusive relationship, Chloe MacGregor is determined to put the past behind her. The little cottage high up on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful North Yorkshire town of Whitby is her safe haven, somewhere she is free to be herself.

When the arrival of her new neighbor and boss, Luke Warwick, threatens her peaceful, sheltered life, Chloe is forced to confront her past and to re-evaluate who she really is. Falling in love with Luke is not part of her plan but, to her surprise, Luke is falling for her too. The only thing preventing their happy ever after is Chloe herself. Will she ever truly learn to leave the past where it belongs?


Review:

fourstarsA quick read, I did enjoy Warwick’s Mermaid. I prefer characters with flaws in my romance, and even though there was an attraction between Luke and Chloe, her own past did make for a slow burn in terms of their relationship. The setting was absolutely gorgeous and made me want to go visit North Yorkshire, just to see the beach area. I would certainly look for other books by this author.


Excerpt:

Luke relaxed back in his chair, his body angled towards Chloe, one arm resting casually on the table, the other along the back of his chair. In stark contrast, she was sitting bolt upright, her hands clasped tightly in her lap, and his gaze narrowed thoughtfully as he watched her battling with some emotion. He had been taken by surprise when he saw her walk into the room with Lucie, recognising her instantly as the girl he had been captivated by on the beach below his cliff-top cottage. He remembered how her auburn curls, tumbling down to the base of her spine, had shone brightly in the sunlight as she collected shells along the shore, oblivious to his gaze. And now here she was again; except tonight she was tense and uneasy, whereas on the beach she had seemed relaxed, carefree, and somehow ethereal. 

“Red or white?” 

She looked up in surprise and Luke smiled faintly, gesturing to the wine bottles sitting on the table. 

“Do you drink red or white?” 

“Oh, er…white, please.” She briefly met his gaze before adding, “Can’t stand red.” 

As he reached forward to pour her a glass, she snapped around to face him. “This isn’t a blind date, is it?” 

He favoured her with a curious glance, taking his time with pouring himself a glass of water before settling back into his seat. “I’ve just moved to the area. A friend suggested the ball and put me in touch with Clive, and I couldn’t think of a good reason why not. He mentioned Lucie would be bringing a friend, but in answer to your question, no, I didn’t understand it to be a blind date.” 

Chloe nodded and sipped at her wine, clearly unconvinced. 

“I gather Lucie has persuaded you here under false pretences?” Aware that this was somehow a big deal for her, he frowned and leant forward. “Look, forget Lucie’s intentions, blind date or otherwise. Even if I hadn’t been invited as part of the group, you would still be sitting next to a stranger. Why don’t we start again as two people who happen to meet up at a ball, safe in the knowledge that, after this evening, we don’t have to see each other ever again if we don’t want to?” 

“Luke Warwick.” He reached out his hand, holding her gaze. 

After a brief hesitation, she took it, the tension visibly leaving her body as she smiled at him in relief. “Chloe MacGregor.”


Ellie Gray Author Profile PicAbout the Author:

I love to write heartwarming, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense novels, with characters I really want my readers to engage with. I live in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire in the UK and, although I work full-time in the public sector, my favourite pastime, when not writing, is wandering around old stately homes and castles, or sitting at a pavement café in the sun and watching the world go by – always on the lookout for something that might spark the idea for my next novel.

I enjoy engaging with both readers and other authors, and am a proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association. Feel free to contact me and chat about all things romance through my social media pages, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Warwicks-Mermaid-Ellie-Gray-ebook/dp/B096MS49HX

https://www.amazon.com/Warwicks-Mermaid-Ellie-Gray-ebook/dp/B096MS49HX

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/warwicks-mermaid-ellie-gray/1126986525

Social Media Links:

https://elliegrayauthor.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/elliegray58

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/elliegray71/


Giveaway:

Ellie Gray will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Book Spotlight: Eat Your Heart Out by Shirley Goldberg

Cover_Eat Your HeartTitle: Eat Your Heart Out

Author: Shirley Goldberg

Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

When a tyrant in stilettos replaces her beloved boss, and her ex snags her coveted job, teacher Dana Narvana discovers there are worse things than getting dumped on Facebook. Time for the BFF advice squad, starting with Dana’s staunchest ally, Alex—hunky colleague, quipster, and cooking pal extraordinaire. But when the after-hours smooching goes nowhere, she wonders why this grown man won’t make up his mind.


Alex Bethany’s new lifestyle gives him the confidence to try online dating. What he craves is a family of his own until a life-altering surprise rocks his world. He knows he’s sending Dana mixed messages. Alex panics when he thinks he’s blown his chance with his special person. From appetizers to the main course will these two cooking buddies make it to dessert?
Funny and bittersweet, Dana and Alex’s story will have you rooting for them.


Excerpt:

“So, this is what it’s like being on a date with you.” Dana hesitated—caught herself. “This isn’t a date, is it? 

Her voice flattened and she took a sip of wine. “Oh, I’m not belittling your gesture, bringing me to this fine establishment. But it isn’t a date because you’re seeing that woman, aren’t you? The one you asked me for advice about.” 

Alex fidgeted. Idiot.  Asking Dana how to recognize the signs a woman was interested––what had he been thinking? What could be more awkward? This. This was definitely up there on the list of more awkward moments.

“You’ve always been straight with me,” she said, holding the wine glass in midair. 

That little flash of skin whenever she raises her arm.  He picked up his wine glass. At this rate, he’d have to order a second bottle, simply to block his mind from going where it shouldn’t. 

“Alex, do it again, be straight.”

He leaned in, took the glass from her hand and put it on the table. “Come closer,” he said. “I want to whisper sweet somethings in your ear.”

She bent toward him, a puzzled but amused expression percolating, her face glowing in the subtle lighting. 

“Yes?” Her voice throaty, challenging.

“This is a date,” he said and tilted his head, brushed her lips with his, pulled back slightly, and did it again.


Author PictureAbout the Author:

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look at living single. Her books FINISH THIS and  dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. Eat Your Heart Out is the second book in the series Starting Over. Middle Ageish, the first, is available now. Her characters believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees. 

Contact Links:

Website/blog: http://midagedating.com 

https://www.facebook.com/midagedating

https://twitter.com/mylifeasadate

https://www.instagram.com/shirleygoldbergauthor/

Other(s): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3916624.Shirley_Goldberg

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/3531427862?list=following


GIVEAWAY! Shirley Goldberg will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Book Blast: The Romanov Legacy by Marilyn Baron



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marilyn Baron will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two women, centuries apart, and the secrets that bind them

Melody, a young single mother, discovers she’s descended from the last Tsar, Nicholas II. She becomes the best hope of a secret global society, Guardians of the Romanov Legacy, dedicated to restoring a Romanov to the throne of a New Russia. A diary and an heirloom necklace inherited from her murdered grandmother hold the key to her identity and to the location of the Tsar’s lost shipment of gold.

She must accept the sacrifices her birth demands and trust the machinations of the estranged father of her child. To refuse means turning her back on her heritage, her daughter’s legacy, and the long line of her family’s women who were keepers of the secret. Will her longing for true love have world-changing consequences?


Read an Excerpt

Melody Segal discovered the dazzling antique diamond-and-emerald-encrusted necklace nestled in a weathered, powder-blue velvet jewelry box not long after her grandmother’s murder. The treasure flashed bolts of light within the confines of Nana’s eerie bank vault. Wafts of scents, sounds, and sights drifted into Melody’s consciousness, conjuring enchanting visions of winter white, the icy feel of snowflakes, the jingle jangle of sleigh bells, the woodsy smell of Siberian pines.

Why had she never seen this gleaming heirloom before? Or known about it? The attorney handling Nana’s estate had presented her with the key to the safe deposit box where the jewels had been stored for who knows how long. Not long enough to lose their luster. The box yielded not only the necklace but an unfamiliar diary. She flipped through the book, written in Russian, and pulled out a translated copy in Nana’s hand. But Nana didn’t know Russian. In fact, she hated all things Russian. She once joked that the closest she ever got to Russia was St. Petersburg when she went to visit her best friend Bessie at her beach condo in Florida.

What other secrets had her grandmother been hiding?

About the Author:
Marilyn decided to become a writer when she read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her first short story was The Gold Lace Dress. She wrote her first book, East West Island, in grade school. It featured all of the children in her third-grade class and her teacher read it to the students in installments during class every day. She wrote and directed her first play at age 13, starring her brother and sisters and some of the neighborhood kids. The show raised money for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Marilyn is a public relations consultant in Atlanta, a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. She is also a member of Atlanta Writers Club. Marilyn was past chair of the Roswell Reads steering committee and serves on the Atlanta Authors committee. She writes in a variety of genres from humorous women’s fiction, historical romantic thrillers, romantic suspense and paranormal/fantasy. She loves to travel and often sets books in places she’s visited.

She was born in Miami, Florida, and graduated from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (Public Relations) and a Minor in English (Creative Writing). Go Gators! She lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband, and she spends a lot of time hovering over her two wonderful daughters.

Website: http://www.marilynbaron.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marilyn-Baron-286807714666748/
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marilyn-baron
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Baron/e/B008PJFQPC%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092TXL3QT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

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Blog Tour: Of Love and Vengeance by Louise Lyndon

BookCover_ Of Love and Vengeance KDPTitle: Of Love and Vengeance

Author: Louise Lyndon

Genre: Historical Romance

Blurb:

Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her young nephews survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves.  But can Laila let Aymon die at the hands of the king once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

FREE for the duration of the tour!
Buy Link: https://books2read.com/Of-LoveandVengeance


Review:
fourstars
This historical romance fondly reminded me of ones I had read when I first started delving into the genre, especially A Year and a Day by Virginia Henley. I liked the characters, even though they did things a bit backwards from the traditional romances. I very much enjoyed Laila as a character and Aymon had redeeming qualities. Some of the historical elements were a bit stretched and there were a few editing/proofreading niggles that pulled me a bit away from the narrative at times, but the love story was still very beautiful.


Excerpt:

Laila swallowed hard, hoping to choke down the words which threatened to hurtle from her mouth in defense of her home. She inhaled deeply. And when she was sure she was not going to blurt the words she so desperately wanted to shout, she said simply, “Only three serfs remain, and they are hunting. They will return shortly,” she lied.

“They dare leave the Lady of the manor unprotected?”

Laila would have been deaf not to hear the derision in his voice. “Although, you hardly need protecting, do you? And your husband? Where is he? Is he hunting, too?”

“I do not have a husband.”

He nodded his head in understanding. She was unwed; a lone woman with no one to protect her. She was at his complete mercy. She knew it. He knew it.

The rasp of his strong fingers against his day old stubble filled the silent great hall. With his mind seemingly made up, he strode toward the door. “It’s too late to do anything about it today, but be ready first thing on the morrow.”

Laila followed close on his heels. “Ready for what?”

Without missing a step, he threw over his shoulder, “Our wedding.”


author imageAbout the Author:

Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

Her obsession with all things medieval continued upon her return and shortly after settling back in to Aussie life she wrote the first of the two Warriors In Love novels – Of Love and Vengeance (book 1), and Of Love and Betrayal (book 2).

Louise temporarily re-joined the 21st century with a soon to be released new series – Justice Served. Book 1 – Nowhere to Hide is scheduled for release in 2021.

Not yet ready to leave modern times Louise has started work on a new series, Shame Defy about rock gods and their journey to finding “the one”. Book one is scheduled for release in 2022.


Connect with Louise via:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005458125421 

Email – louiselyndonauthor@gmail.com 

Website – http://www.LouiseLyndon.net


GIVEAWAY:

Louise Lyndon will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Blog Tour: Wired by the FBI by Glenn Painter

Cover_Wired by the FBITitle: Wired by the F.B.I.

Author: Glenn Painter 

Genre:  Mystery/Suspense, Thriller

Blurb:

Christian Romano lives his life as a con-artist, burglar, drug dealer, and a ladies’ man, using his good looks to con wealthy women out of jewels and money. When he is arrested and jailed in one of the most violent jails in the U.S. (Cook County in Chicago), a steamy affair begins with a nympho female jail guard. When he loses control of the romance, Christian must end the affair by reporting her to Internal Affairs. It turns out that she is already under suspicion for supplying drugs to various gang members inside the jail. He has to decide if he is “rogue” enough to help set her up for arrest. Meanwhile, the FBI wants to recruit Christian to gather information against a sadist ex-cop, Scott Mason, who has been arrested for murder. The risk? Christian must wear a wire and testify. The reward? Witness protection for Christian and his girlfriend and a modification of his prison sentence. Will Christian risk his life for a chance at freedom? Will the female sheriff “get even” with him? Or will his life end at the hands of the jail’s drug lords or a lunatic former cop?


Review:
fourstars
Not normally a book I would pick up on my own, however, I was pleasantly intrigued by the story, once I started to get into it. Based on true events, Wired by the FBI takes us into the mindset of Christian Romano as he’s jerked this way and that by the legal system and law enforcement. Christian’s straight-forward way of talking reminded me of the film, Blow, with Johnny Depp, in terms of his covert drug empire. The flow of the novel took some getting used to, and this is one for the long-haul readers, covering Romano’s life from beginning to now. I would say that there were a few proofing issues that did take me out of the story occasionally, and missing quotation marks at places, but they were easy enough to decipher based on the dialogue. This is definitely one for true crime fans, and I found myself looking up some of the case information about the man on which the main character is based. A solid four star read.


Excerpt:

U.S.S. Just Kill Me Now

Once we were through that charade, Smith began to explain how it all worked.

“This is a Swiss-made Nagra recorder. It’s a little heavy, but it gets the clearest recording of any machine we have ever used. Once you turn the machine on, you must let it run until the two hours expire, then take the tape out and exchange it with another. We will come by every couple day to bring new tapes and pick up the ones you have recorded. Do you understand everything so far?”

I could feel my mouth go dry as I stared into the case and wondered, What the f*** have I gotten myself into?

Then, the sound of Smith’s voice snapped me back to attention, “Here, get a feel for it.”

I took the silver-cased recorder from him and thought to myself, It’s too heavy and clunky to ever be concealed. The recorder was the size as a Sony Walkman cassette player, but three times heavier. Two wires, four feet each, ran from the machine with white plastic heads attached to each end. I had a bad feeling about the size and shape of this thing. It would be a real concern later.

Then Rogers said, “Because the heads on this machine are so sensitive, we will tape the recorder to your upper thigh and run the wires around your leg until the heads sit directly under the waistband of your underwear.”

Out of frustration, I said, “Great, if I have to piss and someone saddles up next to me and happens to look over at my manhood, they’re gonna get an eyeful of recorder wiring. Chances are I will be beaten to death after that miscue.”

My mind kept going back to the obvious lack of insight these square, fed boys had toward the real life within a jail.

“I’m about to go back to a jail with zero airflow and 100-degree heat. We walk around in our boxers all day.”

It was crystal clear that neither of these agents gave a rat’s ass about my safety.

Smith said, “We’ll just have to tape it higher up your thigh.”

“No, how about we strap it up your ass and let you go up there face-to-face with your boy.”

That was all they wanted to hear of my sarcasm and all hell broke loose as we tried to figure out how this was ever gonna work. The real logistical nightmare hit when I finally dropped my jail uniform pants and pulled up my boxers to see how it would fit on my inner thigh. After several years of martial arts and weightlifting, my thighs were far too big to fit the recorder under my boxers. Two agents played with the leg of my underwear, as they slid the fabric up and down with no success in figuring out how to get the damn machine up under my nut sack. Finally, I had had enough.

I asked, “Does anyone here have a knife with them?” They all stared at me in stunned silence.

Rogers finally spoke up. “I have a pocketknife,” he said as he handed it to me.

I jerked my boxers off and stood there with my dick dangling in the wind for all to admire. I measured the boxers to see where this heavy sack of metal was going to be placed. I began cutting a crude square hole in the upper right leg of my underwear. I was pretty certain the recorder would fit snugly in the hole. I slid my boxers back on and held the recorder where I had just cut the hole. The fit was very good, but now there was a different problem.

The recorder showed, so I had to come up with another way to cover the hole. I decided that if I was gonna pull this off, I would have to wear a second pair of boxers over the first pair. The outer ones had to hang lower on my torso and loosely enough to cover the recorder where it stuck out of my underwear. The hope was that the inner pair would hold the recorder in place well enough so it wouldn’t slip around. If this worked, I might be able to get away with it.

In my mind, I was thinking, what a cluster f*** this operation is. This would soon prove to be the way the F.B.I. does everything. So long as they are getting what they want, all else be damned. But at the moment, I had to wear this heavy chunk of metal under my nuts and hope that it stayed put and didn’t fall from my boxers like the anchor of the U.S.S. Just Kill Me Now.

Rogers wrapped the recorder with the ACE bandage he had brought and stepped back long enough for me to give it a light tug. I tugged on it ever so gently and knew immediately that it was too heavy.

“This thing is not gonna stay on my leg while I spend several hours walking up and down the tier. Are you trying to get me killed?” I asked. “Did either of you think to bring duct tape?”

Barry Smith had the audacity to respond by saying, “I didn’t want to bring any because I did not want to take the chance of it being considered contraband here at the jail.”

“You thought to bring my suicide machine, but you thought duct tape would set off alarms?” I shot back.

By now, Williamson had heard enough and walked back to his office. He reappeared a few moments later with some heavy, clear packing tape. We used that over the ACE bandage that the feds had brought to hold the recorder up. I gave the new configuration another slightly harder tug and everything seemed better. We then moved on to the next logistical nightmare, the swapping out of the tapes. It was actually Walsh that brought it up.

“How can the tapes be retrieved from Christian without stirring up attention?”

I had seen a movie once where a thick book was carved out and contraband was kept in the hollowed-out hole inside.

“Hey, I have one of those super thick books by Michener. I think it is about ancient Israel. I could take a razor blade out when it is time to shave and cut a hole in the center pages of the book to make a cavity large enough for the tapes. What do you guys think?” I asked.

Everyone was nodding their heads in agreement.

“I can put the book in my bars on the rear side toward the catwalk where no one will notice anything different. I have about four or five books back there now. What I can do is reverse this book so that the title faces out. When Sergeant Walsh walks around the tier, that will be his cue to grab that particular book, take the tape out and replace it with a new one.” I suggested.

They all agreed with the plan, so with the tape swap seemingly figured out, I was feeling a little better. I stood up to see how the recorder looked under my pants; and to my surprise, I could not see it through the clothing. I felt ready to go back to the jail and put the second pair of shorts over the first.

Barry Smith handed me a piece of paper and said, “This is a private phone number to our office that we call the ‘Hello’ line.

“When it rings through, it will be at a central desk where all the agents can pick it up. They will only answer by saying ‘Hello.’ When the jail recording announces that it is a collect call, everyone knows to accept the charges. You will then be speaking to one of the agents in our office. If it is after hours, the answering machine will come on, so speak to it as if you were leaving a message for me or Agent Rogers.”

It both surprised and impressed me that he was willing to give me a direct line in case of an emergency. For the first time, I felt a little less like a disposable piece of trash to these people. I took a pen from Buchan and rewrote the number in code so that if it were ever found, no one could access the actual number. When I was done, I stuffed the paper in my sock for safekeeping.

I looked at the two F.B.I. agents and asked, “Am I supposed to steer the conversation toward any certain topics?”

Smith spoke for them. “Since the conversation seems to come out of Mason’s mouth so frequently, just let him go, and see what happens.”

Barry Smith then handed me a second tape to have as a backup for the one that was already in the machine. After stuffing it into my other sock, I walked out with the heavy recorder strapped under my balls.

When I arrived back to my tier, Scott was talking on the phone. I walked past him and headed to my cell to get out of the jail clothes. I stripped down to my boxers to beat the crazy heat that hung over the unit like napalm. I stuck my head out of my cell to make sure the hallway was clear and slipped the second pair of boxers over the first. After pulling the outer pair down a few inches, they seemed to cover the protruding recorder just enough. I looked down and couldn’t tell where the recorder was. Just to be on the safe side, I put on an oversized shirt and let it billow out as I walked; this looked natural for the surroundings. It wasn’t five minutes and Scott was at the bars of my cell.

“You go to the hospital?” he asked.

“Yeah, I had to wait for the MRI machine to empty before I could go in. The radiologist was taking a smoke break between every MRI.”

I walked out of my cell and turned left, away from the guard post and began the ritual of walking from one end of the long hallway to the other.

When I walked away from my cell, I could feel Scott place his hand on my back. I tried not to freeze out of panic, but he had never touched me like that before. I had to wonder, Is he cleverly checking for a recording device? I tried to push the paranoia out of my mind, but it was tough with the stakes this high.


Author PHotoAbout the Author:

Glenn Painter is single and lives in Central Florida.  He became interested in writing at an early age but did not make it his career until 2014 when he published his first book, Beyond the Sentence.

Glenn has written this story from the notes by the man who actually lived it.  However, extensive research was also require in order to make the story factual.

Glenn has also founded a company, ‘Prisoner Civil Right Services.’  He is an advocate for incarcerated individuals who have had their rights violated.  He is in constant contact with these individuals, their families and the council.  Most of his stories are inspired by ‘factual events’ that have happened to these individuals.  This makes his stories both fiction and non-fiction.

Glenn says that writing is very challenging, and you must love the trials and tribulations that come with it.  He believes that patience, perseverance and determination are required essentials to see a book through to being published.  The journey is just as important as the destination.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.gapainter.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Painter/e/B00NETNKU6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9875593.Glenn_Painter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/author2663

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Blog Tour: A Reckless Heart by Jennifer Wilck

Cover_A Reckless HeartTitle: A Reckless Heart

Author: Jennifer Wilck

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she’s found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger.

Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he’s lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he’s not lonely.

Simon’s new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg’s secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg’s love?

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Heart-Scarred-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B08X429BMX/


Excerpt:

“Let’s watch a horror movie.” Meg flopped on the couch and wiggled into the soft cushions.


There was a beat of silence before Simon turned away from her and poked at the logs in the fireplace, sending sparks up the chimney. “I’m not a big fan of horror movies.” 

She liked horror movies because the monsters were obviously fake. You didn’t have to dig deep, to wonder about anything. It was black and white. Meg’s heart constricted. She hadn’t thought about it from Simon’s perspective. Did he consider himself a monster? Could this amazing man see himself in those movies? Her throat thickened. She wanted to run away and cry. But he’d think she ran from him. With a deep breath, she sorted through the list of her favorites in her mind and threw away several until she thought of the perfect one. 

“How about Dracula?” Her voice rasped past the emotion, but she forged ahead. “The old one. It’s totally cheesy, which makes it funny. ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ ” she said with a fake accent. 

“Do you?” he asked. 

Returning the poker to the rack, he walked toward her, and held out his arm, wrist up. She took it in her hand. His skin was warm beneath her fingers, his pulse steady, and the hair on the other side of his arm was wiry. She stroked her thumb along the inside of his wrist. His breath stuttered. She wondered what he’d do if she kissed him. Desire flooded through her. Never mind him, what would she do? 

“Next time,” she said. She was brave, but maybe not that brave, at least not yet. 

Slowly, he lowered his arm to his side, but remained close enough his knees brushed hers. His skin was flushed, his eyes ablaze. Heat pulsed between them. After a moment, he stepped away, as if he wasn’t brave enough either. “Do you want popcorn?”


Review:
fourstars
A heartwarming romance of two people trying to rebuild their shattered pasts, A Reckless Heart will appeal to contemporary romance readers everywhere. I particularly enjoyed the small town beach setting and the gradual transformation of both characters into trusting each other and themselves. Although Meg was the clear main character, and we got small glimpses into her life before Simon, I would have liked there to be more depth to both her and Simon. It felt like key parts of their past lives were missing and only briefly touched on. I would have liked to see them have a final heart-to-heart, just to get all of those emotions out. However, that did not take away from my enjoyment of the novel. I would certainly read more by this author in the future.


Author PictureAbout the Author:

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate. 

She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press, as well as indie, and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

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Blog Tour: His Marriage Gamble by Nancy Fraser

BookCover_His Marriage GambleTitle: His Marriage Gamble

Author: Nancy Fraser

Genre: Historical Romance

Blurb:

Felicity Beaumont, the rebellious daughter of Louisiana elite devises a plan to move her father’s illegally owned slaves north to safety using the gambling river boat known as the Lucky Lady. Dressed as a young farm boy, she attempts to sell family heirlooms to raise the funds she needs. Short the full amount, she continues her ruse and bargains her way aboard the boat as their chaperone.

Charismatic owner of the Lucky Lady, Jake McAlister doesn’t trust women, and when he discovers Felicity’s subterfuge, he remembers exactly why.

While they find themselves in agreement about helping the free men and women, they are at odds over everything else, including their quickly escalating feelings for one another. When caught between Felicity’s powerful father and the ire of a local judge, they’re forced into a marriage neither wanted.

Can they make the best of a bad situation? And, will gambling on love be a bust or reap them both a happily ever after?

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.


Review:
fourstars
I have to say, I really enjoyed this foray back into historical romance, not least of all because Beaumont is the maiden name of one of my own main characters from Louisiana! Jake and Felicity were very sweet together. I liked how they were unexpectedly thrown together, but romance blossomed. I think the only thing I would change is maybe knowing what was in the letters from the slaves they rescued, which were mentioned at the end and never discussed. Also, I think an epilogue would have tied up a few loose ends for me. Other than that, it was an easy read, and I felt it really comforting to move back into a familiar reading genre.


Excerpt:

Jake McAlister lifted his foot to the railing above the Lucky Lady’s stern and lit a thin cheroot, its tip glowing bright red in the dark night sky. His cargo hadn’t yet arrived, and he felt the first stirring of concern. He’d asked permission to dock at this unfamiliar port under the guise of making some repairs. To overstay his welcome would draw attention he didn’t want or need. He’d give them twenty minutes and then…

“Excuse me, are you Jake McAlister?”

Jake raised his head. A young boy of no more than fifteen or sixteen stood before him. “Can I help you, kid?”

“I’m here to arrange passage for some of my friends.”

The boy coughed out his words, and Jake had to stifle a chuckle at the lad’s attempt to hide the obvious changes in his voice. “You’re the one who contacted me?” Jake asked.

“Yes.” The boy shuffled nervously from one foot to the other and kept his gaze narrowed on the ship’s deck.

“And, just where are these friends of yours?”

The boy let out a shrill whistle and a long line of blacks came out from behind a nearby building, first the men, then the women and, finally, the children. They arrived carrying their worldly belongings in a few large satchels, a handful of worn burlap sacks and, surprisingly, one rather expensive-looking steamer trunk. Jake counted heads as they came on board.

“I count four men, six women, and sixteen children. At fifty bucks a head for the adults and twenty for the children, that comes to eight hundred and twenty.”

“That’s right,” the boy confirmed, “how much extra for me?”

“I don’t take spectators on these runs, boy. The agreement is to take the blacks north to freedom. From the looks of them, they don’t need a caretaker, unless it’s to help them read.”

“My friends all know how to read, Mr. McAlister. And write.”

“Then they don’t need you, do they?”

“I’ve got the money.”

“Which you are going to give to me.”


Author AvatarAbout the Author:

Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format. 

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

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