Bad Penny by Staci Hart – Release Blitz!

Words. . . I Need Words. . .

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“Witty, sexy as all hell, and addictive like no other, Staci Hart BRINGS IT with Bad Penny.”

-T.M. Frazier, USA Today Bestselling Author

  

Bad Penny, an all-new romantic comedy standalone from Staci Hart is now LIVE!

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Synopsis

Nothing good comes after the third date.

See, date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he gets weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him-through-the-streets-begging-him-to-love-me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart…

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Review ~ Crazy In Love – Annabelle Costa

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They call her Crazy Anna.

Anna Flint won’t shake your hand. She collects tin cans. She cleans her cubicle at work with Lysol several times a day. But Anna doesn’t care that they call her crazy. She’s absolutely satisfied with her life of perfect organization, cleanliness, and most of all, solitude.

Matt Harper likes Anna Flint. He likes that she’s the smartest person he knows and he likes her big blue eyes. He doesn’t even mind her can collection. In fact, he pretty much likes everything about Anna. As his body and his world are falling apart, she still manages to make him happy.

Matt is the only person Anna has ever wanted to be close to. But how can she go on a date with him if the thought of dinner at a restaurant fills her with terror? How can she ever kiss the man she loves if she can’t even touch him?

Maybe it’s time to stop being Crazy Anna. If only she could.

Crazy in Love is the story of Anna Flint and Matt Harper, two programmers who spend years sharing a cubicle wall and trying very hard not to crush on each other. Anna is a mess but she is also completely wonderful. She collects can, as in food cans, and she can’t stand for anyone to touch her. They call her ‘Crazy Anna’ and it only bothers her marginally. She likes being alone, at least until Matt. He is kind and nice and doesn’t seem to matter that she’s Crazy Anna. Annabelle Costa has done something pretty wonderful with this story, she takes us on a six year journey of crushes, friendship and ultimately, love. Continue reading

Review ~ Closer – Aria Hawthorne

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Famous Dutch architect, Sven van der Meer, has just completed the greatest achievement of his professional life–the design and construction of The Spire, Chicago’s tallest, most controversial skyscraper. But a shameful secret threatens to destroy his prestigious career–he’s losing his eyesight. Now, he’s run out of time and the only woman qualified to help maintain his charade of invincibility is also the one woman who despises him and The Spire. And he’s fairly certain she’s hiding something as well. Will the fiery, but enchanting Miss Sanchez be the right woman to play the role of his pretend girlfriend? Or will the temptation of getting too close, too fast jeopardize their business arrangement and the future of his entire career?

When twenty-eight-year-old, woefully unemployed, Inez Sanchez, arrives to her interview with hotter-than-hell billionaire architect,Sven van der Meer–mastermind behind The Spire–she quickly realizes his job proposition isn’t what she was anticipating. He’s hiding a life-changing secret, one that could ruin his career as the most influential architect in the world, and he’s willing to pay her five thousand dollars a day–just to help him keep it. Will she accept his offer to become his “pretend girlfriend” for the next four days in order to ensure the success of the most important week of his life? Or will her sassy flair for independence and smartass sarcasm keep her from submitting to his stern authoritative commands, no matter how sexy his European accent might be? And what will happen when he discovers she’s hiding a secret, too–one that could threaten the stability of their arrangement and prevent her from getting too close to the one man in the world who might be capable of gaining her trust…


Closer isn’t the first Aria Hawthorne I’ve read but it was different from your typical billionaire alpha romance and I loved it for that very reason! Sven and Inez, despite all their differences share a common struggle an misery that sets them up perfectly for an unexpected romance.

I am a huge fan of the fake girlfriend/fiancé trope but the twist on this one helped endear Sven to me while I got to root for the strong and kind of badass Inez. Given what was happening to Sven, I applaud the author for not trying to make this a sugary sweet romance. Neither our hero or heroine have an easy road ahead, even though they both have their own struggles, so this was real grown up novel with grown up emotions and decisions.

The side drama in the story with his ex and his brother was perfect. It annoyed me and made me want to strangle them all but I never felt it was thrown in just for the sake of drama. Definitely worth a read, possibly even a re-read!

Review ~ Montana Maverick – Debra Salonen

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Be careful what you wish for-
Meg Zabrinski wants a child. She’s a successful scientist, a well-known environmental advocate, and a tenured professor. She doesn’t need a man in her life to make this happen. But having a baby alone is a weighty decision, so she retreats to her isolated mountain cabin to write and think. When Henry Firestone–an old foe from her distant past–drops out of the sky on Christmas Eve with three young children and a baby, Meg tells herself she’d be crazy not to consider all her options–especially when she’s always nursed a secret crush on the handsome rancher. Although the sparks between them ignite a mutual passion, Henry makes it clear he’s done having children. Falling in love with Henry Firestone and his beautiful family would require Meg to give up her dream. Can the Lone Wolf assimilate into a new pack, or was this Big Sky Maverick meant to be alone?

They say timing is everything-
Henry Firestone doesn’t recognize the “angel in snowshoes” who comes to his rescue in the middle of a blizzard, immediately, but Meg Z. knows him. Twenty years earlier, the media paired them as rivals to the death. Meg championed the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, while Henry argued just as passionately that wolves would put ranchers on the Endangered Species List. She’s still beautiful, independent and headstrong, and Henry’s now free to admit that he always had a thing for her. Unfortunately, he’s fighting for sole custody of his late daughter’s four children. They are his biggest priority. He’d do anything to keep his family together–even sleep with the enemy in hopes that she might join his cause.

I have been looking forward to reading Meg’s story since I started reading the Big Sky Maverick’s series. She was the strong one, the older one. The one who was a little bit gruffer than her siblings so I knew when she fell it would be spectacular.

Meg and Henry Firestone have a long history of disagreeing on a matter that impacted both of their respective careers. She spent her career fighting to re-introduce wolves into the wild which of course meant that animals on surrounding ranches and farms were in greater danger of being eaten by those wolves. So when his helicopter full of children crashes near her cabin I was ready for sparks to fly. Continue reading

Review ~The Baby Bombshell – Victoria James

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Lily Cookson has a few rules for the New Year, the most important being don’t fall for Jack Bailey. The gorgeous, rugged man returned with a new look and a determination to win her back, catching her off guard. After a forbidden night in his arms, she vows never to let it happen again. But when morning sickness kicks in a few weeks later, Lily realizes staying away from Jack just got a whole lot harder.

Jack Bailey left Shadow Creek behind five years ago when his world imploded around him, knowing it would be best for everyone if he was gone…including Lily. It took him a long time to get his life back on track and grow into the kind of man she needs him to be. Now he’s determined to prove to Lily that he’s back for good and ready to commit, but the secrets she’s holding onto are nothing compared to the bombshell he drops…

I only recently discovered Victoria James but I like her writing style and the small town stories she weaves so I decided to give The Baby Bombshell a try. Plus this story contains two of my favorite tropes! Continue reading

Review ~ Mann Cakes – Mysti Parker

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Love makes men do desperate things, if desperate things means opening a rival cupcake shop to drive your ex-girlfriend crazy.


Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over.

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter –gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes.

There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They’ll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd.

Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school.

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war?

Mann Cakes tells the story of two brothers, Tanner and Garrett and two sisters, Paige and Morgan. Tanner and Garrett had a PC business in the big city but during their final deployment it burned to the ground with a good friend inside. So they return to their hometown of Beach Pointe and right back on the radars of the two women they can’t seem to forget. But when the boys open up Mann Cakes to compete with, what else, Two Sisters bakery the heat is on! Mysti Parker has created a wonderfully interesting romance between two sets of siblings with two very different pasts.

Morgan and Garrett were just friends back in high school, both nursing unrequited crushes on the other that they never acted on. But now they’re older and Morgan isn’t quite as shy as she used to be so one coffee date kicks off their sort of second chance romance. I loved watching these two because Garrett who may or may not be a genius, still has that quiet geeky thing going on that makes him stumble over his words or get lost staring at her lips. He was so adorably shy but sweet and kind of bossy at times that he quickly won me over.

Now Paige and Tanner were a different matter altogether. It took me awhile to warm up to them both because he’s kind of a cocky playboy with no problem taking off his shirt to sell a few cupcakes (not that I mind a little six-pack action, I in fact encourage it!) and Paige sometimes acted like a wounded bird or an angry teenager. While I understood where Paige was coming from to an extent, they both took their little rivalry too far in my opinion.

Once they cleared the air, which admittedly did take awhile, I was eager to see if this was a romance that could be rekindled.

I liked that Mann Cakes was kind of a two-in-one romance and Mysti Parker did a great job of giving us all four perspectives without being confusing or pulling the readers out of the story. It also was a great way to keep the story moving forward without adding a lot of unnecessary content. This is a straight up romance with a dash of mystery, not a crash course in owning or operating a bakery which this reader totally appreciated!

This book is definitely a 4.5 cocktail read. So good you’ll get tipsy on it!

*Just $0.99 at time of this review!

Adult Authors Gone Wild – TODAY!!!

Join me and tons of other authors–of all genres–who’ve added a little (or a lot) steam to their stories! Adult Authors Gone Wild starts at 1 p.m. and ends 10 p.m. EST we’ll talk all things hot, steamy and fictional so stop by!

There will be giveaways, contests, cocktails and you’ll have a chance to get up close and personal with authors you love and some you’ll come to love!

Want to attend? Just click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/221720241602667

Review ~ Her Fated Cowboy – Donna Michaels

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~ Harland County Series…Unruly cowboys and the women who tame them.

L.A. cop, Jordan Masters Ryan has a problem. Her normal method of meeting a crisis head-on and taking it down won’t work. Not this time. Not when fate is her adversary. Having kept her from the man she thought she’d always marry, the same fickle fate took away the man she eventually did. Thrown back into the path of her first love, she finds hers is not the only heart fate has damaged.

Widower and software CEO, Cole McCall fills his days with computer codes and his free time working the family’s cattle ranch. Blaming himself for his wife’s death, he’s become hard and bitter. When his visiting former neighbor sets out to delete the firewall around his heart, he discovers there’s no protection against the Jordan virus. Though she understands his pain and reawakens his soul, will it be enough for Cole to overcome his past and embrace their fated hearts?

Don’t you just love it when you bought a book ages ago and never read it and then you find it, like a favorite dress or book you didn’t realize you still had?

Her Fated Cowboy has a nice ebb and flow to the story. It starts off fun and fast-paced as Jordan and her sister Kerri head back home to Harland County, Texas. When they Continue reading

Review ~ Apoca(hot)lips – Paula Houseman

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Up yours! It’s a ballsy attitude for a child, and one that served Ruth (Roth) Gold well back then. It’s one she desperately needs to revive now. 
After her divorce, Ruth finds the love of her life: Herself. And she’s in a happy place … until a geeky, sexy, god-like man fronts up and fulfils her forgotten little-girl fantasies. He tells her she’s ‘The One’.
Talk about screwing everything up!
A romance with him seems so wrong, yet—mmm, mmm— feels so deliciously right. 
With those around her inflaming her doubts, though, Ruth remains trapped in a do-I-don’t-I mindset. But she rallies! She kind of breaks up with her carping mother, and succumbs to Mr Hotlips’ charms.
This Romeo ’n’ Juliet-esque couple engages in epic battles with the knockers, and triumphantly rattles their cages (from where, it appears, they’ve all escaped).
Still, Ruth’s man can’t vanquish the conflicts in her mind. Or the ones in his own. And when an earth-shattering revelation causes him to give her grief, the question on her hot lips is no longer ‘Can our love survive?’ It’s … ‘Do I want it to?’

When I first dug into Apoca(hot)lips by Paula Houseman my eyes bugged out and laughter bubbled up out of me. The main character, a divorcee called Ruth has a somewhat tenuous relationship with her ‘cousin’ Ralph and yes I mean a romantic relationship. Once you get past that, which is easy to do once you realize Ralph is on a journey of his own to find out what he can about his birth mother because. So you see, they’re only sort of cousins. But it isn’t just Ralph making Ruth’s life more difficult than she’d like it. Her mother is a piece of work, her neighbors are making life difficult and in general, Ruth has the entire world conspiring to turn her life upside down. Sounds like a lot of drama, right? Well it is but in the best possible way.

It took awhile for me to warm up to Apoca(hot)lips and it had nothing to do with whether or not Ralph had a legit spot on the family tree. Paula Houseman has a unique writing style that took time to get used to, but the story telling and character development were solid. I truly appreciated Ruth’s tough as nails, “I ain’t no damsel’ way of looking at the world. The way she takes on the people screwing with her own acceptance of her distorted fairytale was priceless and so true to her character you couldn’t help but cheer her on.

Ruth was unapologetic in her new approach to life and I found it admirable as well as highly entertaining.

Houseman added a few plot twists that tested Ruth’s strength and commitment to being a more positive force in her own life. I love the way the author explored the idea that sometimes it’s us who are our own worst enemies. The constant nagging in her own mind was her, though the voice might have belonged to another. This was for me, the most endearing part of the story because as women age and their romantic relationships shift, that kind of negativity can really have an impact on future or current happiness.

If one were to judge this book by its cover you’d come away missing out on a lot because this is an engaging story that was a surprisingly good find.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Reader’s Favorite in exchange for an honest review.

Book 1, Odyssey in a Teacup is available for #free at the time of this posting.