Sunday, April 30, 2017

seriously romantic: live out loud by marie meyer

you don't think about how certain things are hard to convey. in live out loud one of our main characters is deaf. harper king is not completely isolated, she can read lips, she speaks asl. her closest friend has learned asl in order to communicate with her. But asl is a language that isn't easily translated into the written word. asl is about movement and shape. the author did a brilliant job of incorporating the visual aspects of asl, while also differentiating to the reader what things were spoken and what things were signed.

thor reynolds, our hero, is an up-and-coming rock star. when he catches eye of harper at a gig he is intrigued by her. and her being deaf does not put him off. he's kind of the perfect guy about it really. he even goes out of his way to learn asl in order to communicate more easily with harper.

their first dates they rely on napkins and pens and their cell phone note apps and text messages. harper's deafness doesn't define their relationship. neither does thor's past, even though this is a concept he struggles with. his father was physically and verbally abusive. his mother only recently managed to get out of the toxic relationship and he's still her lifeline to safety. thor is afraid to get truly intimate with anyone because he fears that he will somehow be his father's son. in some ways, harper's deafness tricks him into becoming more intimate that he ever intended.

harper also has her reasons for being hesitant about the relationship. her previous partners were also deaf. and bridging the hearing and non-hearing world is not always a fun place to be, she's done that her whole life. her hearing parents have always made her feel lacking, not purposefully, but it's how she's made to feel regardless. as her relationship with her parents progresses to a better place and she understands her childhood a bit more, this allows her to open up to thor more than she ever intended.

this isn't to say that their relationship isn't without drama. the kind of baggage they carry around means that they are ripe for misunderstanding, and how they work through that will either break them or leave them stronger. this is a romance so you can guess which way it ends up. i really enjoyed harper and thor's story.

**live out loud will publish on april 30, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for my honest review.

simply all about live out loud - launch day blitz

Author: Marie Meyer
Date: April 30, 2017
Imprint: Forever Yours
eBook Price: $3.99)

I thought I'd live in silence forever . . . and then I met him.

I'll never be able to hear, but music has always been a source of comfort for me. Rather than listen to the rhythm, I can actually feel the beat pulsing through me. It's pure bliss. So the moment I saw Thorin playing his guitar, I was mesmerized. I'd never seen anything more beautiful . . . or intimate. I couldn't tell where his body ended and the song began. He's everything I need in my life . . . I'm falling fast, hard, and deep.

I want him more than anything. But while I live in silence, Thor lives in secrets. He's holding something back-something that's keeping this intensity, this longing from being real. And the silence may be too loud to bear . . .


Shit, sweetheart, where’s the fire? 

“Hey, Red, hold up,” I say, trying to get her attention. I don’t want to startle her, but it’s no use, she can’t hear me over the noise of the club. If I don’t stop her now, she’ll leave and I won’t get her number. I drop my hand onto her shoulder and she goes rigid under my touch.

Smooth, Kline. Way to scare the poor girl. 

Very slowly, she turns around, almost as if she’s expecting to see the Grim Reaper standing behind her. When our gazes meet, her shoulders relax and she lets out a deep breath. Up close, she’s even more beautiful. And Jesus…her eyes. When I caught her gaze for a few seconds on stage, I knew there was something special about her eyes; I just couldn’t see them clearly. Up close, they’re extraordinary. I’ve never seen eyes like hers before…the color of emerald sea glass. A long forgotten memory surfaces, one of my earliest…walking along the beach as a kid…with my dad…before everything went to hell.

I shake off the phantom thought and focus on the girl. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you. It’s just…I…” I stumble over my words like I’m a thirteen-year-old boy. What the hell’s my problem? She’s not the first chick you’ve ever talked to. Spit the damn words out, Thor. “I saw you while I was up on stage, and I was hoping to get your number, I’d really like to take you out sometime.”

There. I said it. Not hard.

She smiles widely and nods. Lifting her hands between us, I notice her fingers move. Graceful and deliberate hand motions. Is she using sign language?

“She can read your lips.”

I glance to my right. A tall girl with long, half black, half blond hair flanks her side. Pretty, but pales in comparison to her friend.

“Read my lips?” I shake my head, not understanding. I point to the redheaded beauty and direct my question to her friend. “She’s deaf?”

There’s a tap on my shoulder and my eyes snap back to Red’s. Moving her hands again, she signs something, and I’m clueless. Her lips move, but she doesn’t speak. And apparently, I’m shit at lipreading. But at least her expression is playful. That’s a plus, right?

She lowers her arms and smiles. Damn, I love how the right side of her lips pulls up higher than the left.

I’ve never had to chase down a girl. For some reason, chicks dig guys in a band. They’ve always pursued me. But, the one time I see a girl so gorgeous, and take the time to run after her, she can’t even hear me.

I look at her friend. “What did she just say?”

Red’s friend folds her arms over her chest, wearing the same beatific smile she did when I stopped them. “She answered your question. Yes, she’s deaf. She also asked if you still want her number.”

I stare at the girl. With wild red curls framing her face and a mischievous smirk, she waits for my answer. Hell yeah, I do. 


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Marie Meyer is a teacher who spends her days in the classroom and her nights writing heartfelt romances. She is a proud mommy and enjoys helping her oldest daughter train for the Special Olympics, making up silly stories with her youngest daughter, and bingeing on weeks of DVR'd television with her husband.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

shockingly real: the radium girls by kate moore

i'd never heard the story of the radium girls. i didn't know it was a thing. the only radium story i knew was the story of marie curie. when radium was first discovered it was thought to be a miracle element. it's glowing aspect was something alluring. and the discovery that it could shrink tumors is the basis of some of today's cancer treatments. however during world war i and into the 1920s, radium was used in all sorts of manners and the impact of those uses destroyed the lives of many—including the bright, young, hard-working women that are the heart of this story.

what makes this narrative so compelling is the amount of research and attention to detail moore put into bringing the girls to life. they are the heart of the story. they are the ones who suffer most acutely. they are the ones who are screwed over time and time again by big business and money and politics.

the description of their suffering is so vivid at times, you'd think you were watching a horror movie. dying of radium poisoning is not a walk in the park. the amount of suffering, the length of time, the death sentence—because there is no cure—it is unimaginable what these girls endured. and yet moore takes us on their journey from the beginning—from the excitement of being a dial painter and the glory of being one of these luminous girls—to the at time sudden, at times slow, deterioration of health—to the resulting medical treatments and investigations—to the court battles—to the lives cut short and the legacy they left behind.

moore spins a fascinating story, once you pick it up it is impossible to put down. it's a story worth reading, if only to see how long women have been battling for respect and consideration in the workplace. those girls were considered expendable by many, but their suffering was so great that it became an impetus for change and because they refused to be silenced they were able to get some justice, even if it was too late to save their lives.

**the radium girls published on april 18, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/sourcebooks in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 28, 2017

seriously romantic: payback by christina phillips

amelia davis is intent on avenging her father's death at the hands of a rival motorcycle club. and gage reynolds is the key to her plan. the manager of bar where she finagles herself a job, the last thing she expects is to be so attracted to gage that all thoughts of vengeance fall by the wayside.

this revenge plan of hers is a bit full of holes if i'm being honest, but the chemistry between gage and amelia is super hot. even though he kind of knows that there's something slightly off about her reasons for working at the bar, he doesn't care because he's never felt this way about someone. and even though he has rules about mixing business with pleasure there is no way he can stay away. 

when gage figures out that things are not all on the up and up with amelia, she ends up caught between rival club business. the chance that she might be in danger terrifies him. for something to worry him over the concerns of the motorcycle club is unprecedented. there are things from the past that tie amelia and gage together beyond their chemistry. and as their relationship deepens they realize that they don't want to be apart. 

**payback will publish on may 1, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scorched) in exchange for your honest review. 

seriously romantic: burn by dawn altieri

in burn, chloe anderson can't seem to avoid being a suspect for arson. she has motive and opportunity, and circumstantial evidence all points her way, and even worse, her past makes her look even guiltier. there's no hard proof though. and she's not sharing her secrets.

considering everything she is mixed up in, you'd think that ryan monroe would know better than to risk his career. after all, he's a firefighter and is looking to join the arson investigation team. but he can't seem to stay away from chloe. and the more involved he gets, the more certain he is that she has nothing to do with the fires.

as chloe and ryan get closer they share more and more of themselves with each other. watching them open up and figure out that they can truly trust in each other and trust in what they feel makes for a great read.

**burn will publish on may 1, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (select suspense) in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

seriously romantic: the bad luck bride by janna macgregor

everyone whispers about lady claire cavensham's curse, she's the bad luck bride after all. she's had three engagements and no marriages. orphaned at a young age it's almost as if anyone she cares for is destined to meet an unfortunate end. so she's hoping this fourth engagement is the charm, except before she even has a chance to announce it her fiancé cries off.

uncertain how to handle the sudden reversal of fortune claire is about to panic when lord alexander pembroke swoops in to save her. he announces their engagement when it appears that she's been compromised. and claire realizes that she has very little options if she doesn't want to be a social pariah.

what claire doesn't know is that the responsibility for her sudden jilting can be laid at lord pembroke's feet. and when she has occasion to doubt moving forward with their marriage, alexander makes some social maneuvers to ensure her cooperation. it sounds really sinister and he really is being kind of a presumptuous jerk, but he has his reasons for behaving the way he does. he really does believe that he is doing his best for her. he is concerned for her safety. he cares for her.

claire doesn't really want alexander to care for her. she doesn't want to care for him. because as ridiculous as it sounds, what if she really is cursed? alexander doesn't believe in curses. he makes a lot of mistakes and he has to make up for them. but he loves claire. he just has to prove it beyond all reasonable doubt.

this is the first in a new series, and i can't wait to see where the series goes next. i believe we'll see the story of claire's young cousin next. and her potential hero may just be her perfect match.

**the bad luck bride will publish on may 2, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press in exchange for my honest review.

something from the archives: say goodbye - part 17

parts 1234567891011121314, 15, and 16 are available for your reading pleasure at the links. read on for part 17.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

seriously romantic: the hot shot by kristen callihan

i first learned about kristen callihan via synopsis for the friend zone, the second book in the game on series. even though i was dying to read it, i decided to read the hook up first and i wasn't disappointed. then i read the friend zone and i loved it. i fell in love with these characters. i mean, i loved them in the hook up. but the friend zone vaulted me over the edge. believing that the series was over with the game plan i was so thrilled when i learned that she was thinking of adding a fourth installment following cal alder, the backup quarterback, and tess harper. and then she changed her mind.

now i was bummed because i really wanted to read cal's story, but with the hot shot she came super close to unseating the friend zone as my favorite game on novel. so all is forgiven. i still hope she finds a story that works for cal, but if she's moved on i can understand that. sometimes things just don't come together the way you hope. and finn and chess are just amazing. i love their chemistry. i love their friendship. i love how they make each other whole in ways that you would never expect.

the first moment they meet, chess is dead set on hating finn. she thinks he's cocky and arrogant and looking down on her for her tattoos, for her job, for her ridiculous name. but he's really not. he's just not comfortable with the situation at all. it's hard to explain what makes him uncomfortable, but when chess really looks at him and sees his actual panic, she reacts instinctively to soothe him. and it becomes this moment where everything was really fraught and on edge to a quiet, beautiful place, still intense, but more intimate.

from that moment of understanding finn and chess dance around their attraction. the keep running into one another and always their first instinct is to soothe and protect the other person from anything bad, boredom, insults, paparazzi, you name it. and the more time they spend together, their relationship grows and intensifies and deepens in ways that just seem meant to be.they have to figure out some things, but considering how intertwined they allow their lives to become even before they are a couple, you know that they will make things work. finn and chess are simply made for each other.

seriously romantic: tempting her neighbor by laura jardine

in this short and sexy novel, grumpy-old-man-before-his-time, cole sampson moves in next to just-wants-to-have-fun-with-no-strings, rachel malone. cole isn't good with people, so he's taken aback by rachel's matter-of-fact come-ons. she is very clear she wants to have sex with him. he's just not sure why. he doesn't like other people generally. it's why he's moved to this town in the middle of nowhere canada. and given that there are only about 30 other people in this town it seems wrong to sleep with his neighbor who he will be unable to avoid should things end badly.

but rachel is persistent. she's slept with most of the available guys in greenville. she wants someone new who won't judge her based on town gossip. she knows cole is attracted to her, she just needs him to take a leap. and when they have a hot encounter in the woods she's a little hurt to realize that maybe there's no getting around her reputation as town slut after all.

but cole isn't good with words and people and rachel is so hot and sexy and she wants him for some reason. and how is he going to keep saying no when all he wants to do is say yes. and when rachel realizes that cole will never judge her or find her wanting for expressing what she truly desires, it's as if he sets her free. things get pretty racy.

both cole and rachel have to deal with some emotional baggage that fuels their commitment issues. but for once it's the guy who realizes first that what they share is worth making compromises for and that it is possible for them to find a way to make things work. this all moves at a fast clip, but nothing is given short shrift. and if you are looking for a short and sexy read, tempting her neighbor should definitely make your tbr list.

**tempting her neighbor will publish on may 1, 2017. i received an advanced reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scorched) in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

simply all about deadly silence - release day blitz

Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers, #1
On Sale: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $5.99 USD


The first book in a breathtaking new romantic suspense series that will appeal to fans of New York Times bestsellers Maya Banks, Lisa Gardner, and Lisa Jackson.

Under siege. That's how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can't outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he's been trying to keep at arm's length is in danger...and he'll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She's making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There's a lot Ryker isn't telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn't catch up to them first...

Full of twists and turns you won't see coming, Deadly Silence is New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti at her suspenseful best.



Also available in-stores at Walmart!




So I reviewed Deadly Silence when it first released on e-book back in October. Here are my some of my thoughts from the original review:

everything is going crazy. the serial killer case they've been working on shows no signs of breaking open, meanwhile more red-headed girls are turning up dead. a teenage hacker has somehow burrowed through all their security and is asking them to dig into someone from their shared past. and the woman ryker has become involved with, zara, is in danger—something that tugs at his protective instincts and the heart he has tried to keep from becoming attached to anything to protect not only himself, but everything in the world he could lose.

while this is suspenseful and the characters at different points find themselves in mortal danger, this isn't unnecessarily graphic [...] it's more than just a [thriller. there's romance here too.]

ryker and zara go through a lot and at the end the only thing that's tied up in a neat bow is their relationship. which totally works for me. i'm intrigued enough by everything else that i will be checking out the next novels in the series.


Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels.  She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family.  She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.



seriously romantic: too hard to forget by tessa bailey

peggy clarkson has commitment issues. she's been engaged four times and not married once. there's this guy she can't seem to get out of her head. only he's not just some guy. he's elliott brooks. the very catholic, super hot, ridiculously talented football coach of her alma mater.

their story sounds like such a cliché. she was a cheerleader. he was grieving the loss of his wife. she caught his glances during practice. he couldn't stop thinking about her. she followed him to the locker rooms. they had the hottest sex of their lives. it was illicit. it was thrilling. he felt like such a sinner. she felt like his dirty little secret. he ruined her for all others. he was ruined without her.

they both have so much pain between them. she's only come back to alumni weekend because it's been three years and she keeps running away from decent guys. she knows it has everything to do with elliott. she needs closure. she hasn't been able to move on for three years and she just needs this to stop. she needs to feel whole again.

if only just being around elliott didn't feel so right. and so wrong. he's had her all turned around inside that she can't get off without feeling guilt and pain and unworthy. the thing is, elliott never meant for peggy to feel unworthy. the truth is all that guilt and pain and unworthiness is his, and his alone. and when he realizes how he's made her feel. well, it's more guilt and pain and unworthiness, but at least he thinks he can make it right.

for three years he's been dreading seeing her again. when he got the invitation to her first wedding, he assumed that she had moved on. seeing her again, realizing that there was so much fire and hurt and love and anguish still living and breathing between them. it's still almost too much for him to bear. he's got a football team to manage. he's got a daughter he's raising. he failed his first wife in so many ways, if he failed peggy like that he'd be devastated.

too hard to forget is so emotional and passionate and is my favorite kind of love story. i can't explain why i love angst so much in my romance. and this story, oh, it has just the perfect amount. elliott and peggy's love isn't easy. it's complicated and fragile and heart-stoppingly beautiful. with every story tessa bailey has told in this series, she's upped the ante on the emotional depth and anguish. these clarkson siblings are something special. i love that we get some updates on aaron and grace. and we see the bond between belmont and sage continue to grow and develop. they're up next in too beautiful to break and i can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster that story will be. i can't wait!

**too hard to forget will publish on april 25, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for my honest review. 

simply all about too hard to forget - release week blitz


Author: Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing The Clarksons, #3
On Sale: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $5.99 USD

The third book in New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey's Romancing the Clarksons series about four siblings on a cross-country road trip, perfect for fans of Gena Showalter and Julie James!

This time, she's calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he's been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy's determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she'll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.



“I don’t know, Peggy.” He whirled on her, closing in until she was forced back onto the desk. “I had an All-American on my squad this morning and now I don’t. That’s all I know.” He pointed a finger toward the window. “I solve problems down on the field. Saving people isn’t my job.”

Saving people. God, there was such a wealth of regret and pain in those two words. But he couldn’t hear it and she couldn’t address it. Letting him know she saw right through his façade to the hurt beneath might force Elliott to close himself off. “You didn’t always limit yourself. Why are you doing it now?”

“Accepting things that can’t be changed isn’t a limitation. It’s realistic.”

“But how will you know if something can’t be changed unless you try?”

“When it comes to certain things, Peggy, trying leads to losing.” He was in her face now, the mint from his toothpaste familiar and inviting where it slid over her lips. “And I don’t lose.”

No one ever stood up this man but her, and she wouldn’t be cowed now. “No? You’re out a receiver.” She hitched herself up on his desk. “I’d call that a loss.”

The tips of his shoes met Peggy’s, his hands gripping the furniture on either side of her hips. “Who do you think you are, little girl? Coming into my office and telling me what I’ve done wrong?” His eyes were brilliant in their vexation, the attraction he was trying so hard to fight. “Where do you get the goddamn bravery?”

“The bravery is what you liked best about me,” she breathed, heat sizzling in a downward V toward her thighs. “Isn’t it?”

“No. That bravery is what almost led to my downfall.” His hands found her bottom, jerking her to the edge of the desk. “I resented it. Still do.”

“Liar,” Peggy whispered, easing her thighs wider. “You’re dying for an excuse to head for another downfall.” When her legs were as open as she could spread them, she leaned up to Elliott’s ear and let her breath shake loose. “One thrust.”

Elliott’s right hand came up out of nowhere, molding over Peggy’s mouth as his hips crowded into the notch of her legs. With a quick maneuver to recline her halfway back, Elliott’s erection found the apex of her thighs, delivering an aggressive pump against her underwear that sent a scream climbing up Peggy’s throat, only to be trapped by his hand. Knees jerking up out of reflex over the rush of sensation, an orgasm almost—almost—broke past the surface, sending her waters rippling out on all sides. Her legs wanted to hug Elliott’s waist, her voice wanted to beg for one more, one more, one more, but he shook his head, denying her, even though his gaze was hot, a low groan issuing from his harshly masculine mouth.

He leaned in and nipped the lobe of her ear. “Next time, ask for two.”



So I had signed up for a Dream Cast post, but then didn't originally get a Dream Cast from the author and I thought I misunderstood and that I was supposed to provide the Dream Cast. Since I already went through the trouble I'll leave my choices up. But first I'll let you all see Tessa's choices for her Dream Cast for Too Hard to Forget. One difference between our lists is that I made a cast list for the series, but Tessa's is for the lead characters of Too Hard to Forget.

Choosing the dream cast for this series was fun, I knew the look I wanted for each character, and figuring out which actor meant spending some quality time on Google Images. I also want to acknowledge that I did consider Tessa's choice for Elliott for my Dream Cast, and even though our final choices are different, I think what makes the exercise fun is that it lets you think about how you want the character to be seen. So in that respect, Tessa's choices are way more interesting to read about than mine are.

All that being said, here is Tessa:

For the record, this is SO HARD. For the Romancing the Clarksons series especially, I have a specific image in my mind for each character and none of them match an actor/actress perfectly. So I am going to take Elsa’s advice and Let it Go (let go of the images in my head, that is). Enough rambling! Here is my dream cast (the main characters, anyway) for Too Hard to Forget!

Coach Elliott Brooks: Jon Hamm. Now, I’m not talking about suave Don Draper. If Jon is going to pull off my hard-ass football coach, he’s going to need some scruff and a bad attitude. There was an episode of Mad Men where Jon went juuuuust the right amount of dominant and that’s what makes him my Elliott. 

Peggy Clarkson: Ashley Greene. This one is a little easier. I think Ashley Greene is incredibly beautiful and she could also pull off Peggy’s devil-may-care flirtatious presence, while still guarding secrets with her eyes. 

Kyler Tate: Christian McCaffrey. Okay, so he’s not an actor. He plays for the Broncos. But he has the perfect sexy charmer smile and a ton of charisma. I would pay for his acting classes myself!

Alice Brooks: Kiernan Shipka. Might as well stick with a Mad Men theme, right? She already played Don Draper’s daughter (Sally Draper) and can exude angst like nobody’s business, so she’s a great choice for Alice! 

I think those are all good choices. Mine for the series are below, with some pictures as a bonus!

Rita Clarkson: Minka Kelly. I struggled to cast Rita. She's vulnerable about her looks and sensuality in ways that I'm not sure Minka really is, but I couldn't find anyone else who really fit the bill for me.

Jasper Ellis: Armie Hammer. I came across Armie when I was researching tall actors. Armie is really tall. But he also kinds of fits Jasper to a T.

Aaron Clarkson: Matt Bomer. I pictured Aaron as someone totally clean cut and chiseled and put together. And honestly one look at Matt Bomer and I was like, yes, this is Aaron Clarkson to me.

Grace Pendelton: Britt Robertson. Britt has this eternally youthful appearance that seemed to fit with Grace's inherent innocence. I was looking for a young Cameron Diaz or Drew Barrymore type and Britt seems to straddle that line between the two of them.

Peggy Clarkson: Annasophia Robb. Annasophia has those large eyes that you could just drown yourself in. I feel like she captures Peggy's ability to enthrall people, but her beauty has that hint of fragility that makes Peggy so achingly vulnerable and gorgeous and strong all at the same time.

Elliott Brooks: David Boreanez. I mentioned that I considered Jon Hamm here, but I decided he was too pretty. Even when you see David in a suit he's still got the bit of edge and danger that I saw in Elliott. And in the picture below I could totally see him standing on the sidelines of a football game.

Belmont Clarkson: Chris Hemsworth. Chris has the right amount of size, unkemptness, and ability to play strong and silent that seems to embody Belmont to me.

Sage Alexander: Alicia Vikander. Alicia is a little taller than what I picture for Sage, but she has the right amount of strength and vulnerability that would counterpoint Belmont's perfectly.


Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend, and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love. 



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Monday, April 24, 2017

seriously romantic: love on tap by meg benjamin

when wyatt montgomery gets a lead on a rare barrel of a special craft brew, an imperial stout named zoria, he believes that it might be just the thing he needs to save the slumping receipts of his denver gastropub, the ridiculously-named quaff. the action in love on tap really kicks into gear when he gets to the little town of antero he tracks down bec dempsey, the brewmaster of the now defunct brewery that produced the zoria.

she has one keg left. and she's willing to sell, for the right price. it's not just money bec wants. she needs more ingredients. she still believes in her brewery, and she's embarrassed and ashamed of the fact that she left her friends and vendors holding the bag when the brewery folded.

though, really the truth is a bit more complicated than that. the brewery didn't fold because bec was careless or lacked business sense. it was her ex-business partner and ex-boyfriend who pulled the financial backing and skipped out of town when he was over the relationship. bec is wary of wyatt, who seems too good to be true. except he's actually not.

collecting the ingredients bec needs almost turns into rumplestiltskin's tasks. and yet with his charm and good-natured perseverance, he wins over the naysayers and slowly and surely, he wins bec over too. in fact he almost gets her believing in herself again. and how's that for feel-good romance.

bec and wyatt's story is heartwarming and charming. wyatt is a dreamy guy, patient and strong and tough as nails. he cracks through antero's tough small-town exterior to become one of their own. and how he does it is totally worth reading about.

**love on tap will publish on april 24, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (select contemporary) in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

seriously romantic: the seduction of viscount vice by nicola davidson

the third installment of the racy regency fallen series, the seduction of viscount vice, turns its lens on the third co-owner of london's most wicked and most celebrated, house of sinful pleasures. it all starts when iain vissen discovers mairi macnair has infiltrated his staff, he is beyond stunned. he'd been told she was dead. he'd loved her. she broke his heart.

mairi is equally horrified to have come face-to-face with a man she had used pretty callously. she knew he loved her, but she was about to be forced into an engagement that she couldn't tolerate, and so she staged a scene that would result in her banishment from polite society. making love with iain on that wild scottish moor had been eye-opening. she'd learned what she desired most of all was to have sex while on display. a kind of exhibitionism that was frowned upon by society in general.

and she's not really had a chance to enjoy her desires freely. since escaping to the continent she's been serving as an unpaid maid and seamstress to yvette, the spoiled and lazy frenchwoman who is planning to open a club to rival fallen. and who has promised mairi a starring role in their opening production.

for some reason, mairi is too grateful and too blind to see how this woman is taking advantage of her and clearly has no plans to allow mairi to be anything but a seamstress. this is somewhat frustrating because mairi is strong and independent and capable pretty much in every other aspect of her life. she is a worthy adversary to iain. she keeps him on his toes. and the chemistry between them is explosive. and when they realize that they actually share the same kink? well, it's kind of unstoppable.

the plot here gets short shrift because of the short format, everything seems to spiral out and then back into submission rather quickly. but it's kind of nice because in the end, the kinky owners of fallen all find their perfect matches, and london society as always enjoys the scandal.

**the seduction of viscount vice will publish on may 1, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scorched) in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

seriously romantic: lost rider by harper sloan

in lost rider, the first book in the coming home series, maverick davis has lost his sense of purpose. ten years ago he left everything behind to pursue his dream of bull-riding. he left behind his siblings. he left behind the girl he loved—not that she was aware of the fact. because in order to really leave, he behaved despicably, unforgivably. he couldn't risk anything keeping him close to his abusive, drunk, poor excuse for a father.

except now that bull-riding is no longer a viable career, now that his father is dead and buried, and now that his siblings need him more than ever, he's come home. and what he did ten years ago still flays at him. especially now that his dream is gone. so he gave up love for nothing. he hurt leighton james for nothing.

and he did hurt her. she's survived and grown stronger and tries so hard to hold on to her anger. she wants to hate maverick so much. and when he first returns he does his best to help her continue hating him. but so much anger and pain and emotion and longing and love can't stay hidden. and soon enough they realize that it is useless to fight their connection.

if ten years of hurt and pain and loneliness didn't kill it. nothing will. and now they just need to figure out who they are together. because not being honest with themselves or each other is what has them so twisted up in knots. and maverick has plenty of amends to make. for a while there is such a disconnect between what is going on in his head and what his mouth is actually saying that it's hard to know how to feel about him. he does redeem himself. once he stops getting in his own way, things move forward. really, most conflicts in life can be resolved if only we stopped being our own biggest obstacle.

**lost rider will publish on april 25, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/gallery, threshold, pocket books (pocket books) in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 21, 2017

strictly literary: the whole thing together by ann brashares

at its heart, the whole thing together is about family. it's about the family you are born into and the one you chose to build. it is about siblings who love each other and appreciate even if they don't understand each other's differences. it is about how our families and our place in it shapes who we are and how we relate to the world.

the thomas-riggs family tree is complicated in that twenty-first century kind of way. lila and robert were married. they had three daughters: emma, quinn and mattie. then they divorced. it was very acrimonious. when they remarried, lila to adam and robert to evie, they each had a child. lila and adam had ray. and robert and evie had sasha.

as part of their divorce settlement, they shared custody of a beach house, alternating weeks throughout the year. and sasha and ray sharing a bedroom. without ever meeting. they've come close but managed to avoid any actual connection. except this summer, their ever-industrious sister emma, finagles them a shared job. and for the first time, they must communicate directly.

in seventeen years they had plenty of time to come up with an idea of each other. in some ways they shared their most intimate secrets with one another. but there was always the mystery the other half of the family, they never quite got the whole picture because their halves were whole. it's their sisters' family that fractured.

this summer is different not only because sasha and ray suddenly open communication. emma is secretly seeing a man that she loves and adores and whom she is determined to marry, but first, she has to figure out how to introduce him to her crazy, splintered family. and quinn is floating, as she does. she gardens and observes and is there for her siblings with unconditional love. and they really do need it. and then there is mattie, who is learning that maybe asking questions leads to unexpected and unwanted answers, who comes to realize that what she always believed about her identity may not be reality, and who is stuck questioning her place in this already complicated family.

it's not an easy summer. when things come to a head and everything falls apart, it's hard to see how they can come back from that. everything is so broken. but love, when given freely and unconditionally, the kind of love you have for your siblings and parents and those you chose to call family, is all-encompassing and healing. and maybe when everything is put together again, things don't look exactly the same, but maybe it's better.

i loved the last summer (of you & me) and i think people who loved that book, in particular, will love this one. this is different in tone from the sisterhood series, even though that series also tackled some pretty tough subjects. in some ways, this novel feels more adult. but that's okay. it's really just a beautiful story.

**the whole thing together will publish on april 25, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/random house children's (delacorte press) in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

simply all about lethal lies - a teaser


Title: LETHAL LIES    
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers, #2
On Sale: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $5.99 USD
Add to Goodreads

“4 1/2 stars! Top pick! This is a true thriller that will keep readers frantically flipping the pages as death and danger come at the protagonists from several directions.  Zanetti's brilliance at storytelling is on full display...When it comes to high-octane thrillers, they don't get better than Zanetti!” —RT Book Reviews on Lethal Lies

“Zanetti balances the adventure and menace of Zara and Ryker's lives with a relatable romance. The result is a story that's sexy and emotional, and filled with a rich look at love in all its forms.” —The Washington Post on Deadly Silence

“Budget your time, readers, because this is one that's hard to put down.” — on Deadly Silence

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars—even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.



“All the more reason to get you out of town,” Heath said quietly.

“Those are big words, baby,” he said softly.

Her lip quivered, and she bit down on it. “I know. I promised her, Heath. It’s all I have left to give to her.”

He paused, understanding crossing his expression. “Ah, sweetheart. Your sister wouldn’t want that for you.” His voice turned velvety and soft. Soothing.

Anya nodded. “I know. But she was my sister. We shared blood and part of a childhood. She took me trick-or-treating when I was five, and it’s one of my best memories. Then when I needed help as an adult, she didn’t hesitate. She came to me right away, like family. She was the first person I really cared about in far too long, and it hurts like hell that I got her killed.”

He breathed out, the emotion in his eyes deepening.

She swallowed. “I have to do this for her. Either you understand that or you don’t.”

“Why don’t you just let us handle it?"

She pressed her point. “I could, but you need me. I’m the bait.” Inwardly, she winced at the description. That wouldn’t help her to convince him. “Also, here’s the deal. This could be a long op. At some point, you have to leave and deal with whatever is haunting you from your past. When you do, I’ll just challenge him again, and next time you won’t be around to assist.”

“That’s extortion,” Heath said, amusement curving his lip.

She grinned. “Apparently I’m getting quite good at it.”

Heath shook his head. “You’re putting me in an untenable position, baby.”

“No, I’m not.” She shrugged out of his hold. Finally. “I’m not yours to protect, Heath. We’re not together, and we’re not responsible for each other.” The words sliced through her even as she said them. “You’ve been more than clear on that score.”

“There’s something here, Anya. Maybe something real and lasting, if I get everything done I need to do.”

She blinked. “What’s that?”

“The less you know the better. Believe me.”

“What a bunch of bullshit. Go back to your ‘This is fake’ proclamation,” she all but yelled. “Your position is one of work . . . and this is just work.”

His chin lifted. “You think this is just work?” The tone—low and filled with tension—zinged through her body.

Her legs trembled with the urge to take a step back. “Yes.”

“Want me to prove otherwise?” His eyes darkened to the color of the sky right before midnight hit.

As a threat, as a warning, it was damn good. But she’d gone too far to give in now. “You can’t.” Yeah, she’d just waved a red flag in front of a bull.

He didn’t move a muscle. His focus on her was so absolute, she wanted to squirm. “You’re into challenging dangerous men these days, aren’t you?”

She kept her stance. “You’re not all that dangerous, Heath.”

His smile stole her breath. Then he moved. Faster than she could track, he had her by the armpits and up in the air as he carried her toward the bedroom with such speed that her legs automatically wound around to clasp his rib cage. By the time she sucked in air to protest, her butt was on the bed, and he was flattening himself over her.

She struggled, her body on fire, fighting the urge to laugh out loud.

His mouth crushed hers, and she stilled.



True danger.

He held nothing back, kissing her hard, pressing her head into the comforter. His tongue worked hers, his powerful body plastered against hers, and his hands dug into her hair to hold her in place. Desire spun so quickly into need she couldn’t breathe, even when he wasn’t controlling her mouth.

She shifted against him, closing her eyes to kiss him back. This was what she’d wanted. All of this.

He nipped her lip, soothing the slight pain with another kiss. Then he traced along her jawline, kissing and nipping, finally reaching her earlobe, where he bit.

She arched against him, letting out a soft sigh.

“Anya.” His fingers tangled in her hair, and erotic pain tingled down her scalp. One of his strong arms slid around her waist and then down. His palm spread across her butt, and he ground her against his hard cock.

Pleasure swamped her, and mini explosions flew through her sex. The idea passed, somewhat fleetingly, that he wasn’t playing. Not at all.

Yet she couldn’t stop herself. Her knees widened, and she rubbed against him. “This feels real,” she whispered.




Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks  for several of her novels.  She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family.  She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.