A BORROWED DREAM by Amanda Cabot – Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway

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A BORROWED DREAM

The Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 2

by

Amanda Cabot

Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: March 20, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Synopsis

Catherine Whitfield is sureCover hi res A Borrowed Dream_preview that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as
Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

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Amanda Cabot’s A Borrowed Dream is a departure from what I typically read and I like that. This inspirational small town historical fiction with romantic elements hits all the right spots when you want to take a break from the regency or contemporary books that dominate the marketplace today. It’s the second book in the series but the first I’ve ever read by this author, yet I did not feel lost in not having read A Stolen Heart first.

This book introduced a lot of characters (the children – Hanna and Seth – are my favorites), but Ms. Cabot was able to center her story around Catherine and Austin. I really liked that they’re fully formed characters with strengths and weaknesses, so well-developed that you can picture them in your head. By the time you get through reading the book, you’ll feel like these people actually lived in 1881, in the Hill Country of Texas.

There’s a lot to this book–romance, friendship, some suspense and mystery, medical history, small-town intrigues–but amidst it all there’s always the messages of forgiveness and faith. Although it’s an easy read, some themes Ms. Cabot touched on were quite heavy. Child abuse, rape, adoption, and murder were treated with sensitivity. Cruelty to children is something I cannot abide that’s why I really felt for Seth.

A Borrowed Dream is a well-written book by a talented author. I especially liked the Author’s Letter at the end with its surprising information about plastic surgery. I do love books that educate and inform as well as they entertain. I’ll now have to go back and pick up A Stolen Heart while waiting for A Tender Hope.

 

PRAISE FOR A BORROWED DREAM:

“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” –Booklist

“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” –RT Book Reviews

PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY:

“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”—Publishers Weekly

“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”—RT Book Reviews

“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”—Booklist

CLICK TO ORDER ON:

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AboutTheAuthor

Cabot_Amanda_previewAmanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, the first book of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.

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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

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THREE WINNERS

1ST: Copy of A Borrowed Dream, Novel Teas (25 count), Paddywax Library Collection Ralph Waldo Emerson Scented Soy Wax Candle, Cedar & Wild Fern (6.5oz)

2ND: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

3RD: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

APRIL 12-21, 2018 (US ONLY)

 

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/12/18          Excerpt 1                    Hall Ways Blog

4/12/18          Excerpt 2                    Book Fidelity

4/13/18          Review                        The Page Unbound

4/13/18          Author Interview      Chapter Break Book Blog

4/14/18          Excerpt 3                     Books in the Garden

4/14/18          Excerpt 4                     Books and Broomsticks

4/15/18          Review                         Missus Gonzo

4/16/18          Notable Quotable       Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

4/16/18          Notable Quotable        StoreyBook Reviews

4/17/18          Review                          That’s What She’s Reading

4/18/18          Guest Post                    Momma on the Rocks

4/19/18          Review                          The Love of a Bibliophile

4/20/18          Scrapbook Page           The Librarian Talks

4/21/18          Review                           Reading by Moonlight

4/21/18           Review                           Carpe Diem Chronicles

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MORNINGS ON MAIN By Jodi Thomas Book Review

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MORNINGS ON MAIN:

A Small-Town Texas Novel

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Mainstream Romance

Publisher: HQN

Number of Pages: 320 pages

AVAILABLE APRIL 10, 2018!

 

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MORNINGS ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas is a lovely read. It’s the perfect way to spend a cold spring day: curled up on your favorite reading nook with a cup of tea in one hand and a delightful book in another. Incredibly well-written, this book took me to a small town, introduced me to the people living there, and made me like them and care about them. There are plenty of characters, but the book always centered on Jillian, Connor, and Sunnie — the three whose points-of-view we rely on to tell the story. These are normal, real people with every day problems that everyone can relate to — growing up, growing old, leaving, staying, and taking risks to fall in love or continue drifting.

I appreciate Jillian and Connor’s sweet slow-burn fall into love. You can see how it developed throughout the length of the book. I also enjoyed Gram and Joe, the quilts, and the town’s coming-to-life side stories. MNotable Quotable 1 Mornings on Mainy favorite part of the book, though, is Sunnie. Her growth as a character from the sullen, resentful child in the beginning to the warm, lovable, funny teenager at the end brought a smile to my face.

I’m rating Mornings on Main four stars. Jillian’s storyline with her parents remained unresolved. I’d have liked for her to find a more definitive closure than what she got. Other than that, I found this book heartwarming and I’d recommend it to everyone who likes small town reads with a sweet romance.

 

Synopsis

Cover high res Mornings on Main

Jillian James has never had a place to call home. Desperate to make some quick cash before moving on again, she agrees to help an elderly woman close her beloved quilt shop. Connor Larady’s grandmother has owned the shop all her life, but lately she has struggled with Alzheimer’s. Connor’s seventeen-year-old daughter has spent her whole life in Laurel Springs, Texas, and she feels restless. When Jillian moves to town, she represents travel, adventure and excitement. Weaving together the story of three generations of women looking for a place to belong, Mornings on Main asks us to consider how we make our memories—what we remember, what we forget, what becomes part of our story—and remind us that it’s not where we live, but how we live that counts.

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AboutTheAuthor

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas Author Pic Thomasis both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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CHECK OUT JODI’S VIDEO WALK THE LAND!

 

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Happy Book Birthday – MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY by Elizabeth Essex

Congratulations to award-winning author Elizabeth Essex on the release of her latest book MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY, the fourth highly anticipated novel in the Highland Brides series.

MadBadandDangeroustoMarry_ecover_final.jpgHow would you know your one true love, if you didn’t even know your own self?

A MAN STRIPPED OF HIS PAST
Ewan Cameron, 5th Duke of Crieff has his future carefully laid out. Heir to a great estate, he’s been betrothed to Lady Greer Douglas since childhood. After years of correspondence, the date is set—they will meet, marry and be happy. But on the way to his wedding, a vicious attack steals everything he holds dear—his home, his future, his bride, and his very self.

A WOMAN ROBBED OF HER FUTURE
Lady Greer Douglas has been faithfully writing to her betrothed, the Duke of Crieff for ten years. Finally, the day she has waited for is at hand—but fate has unkind plans. When her wedding day turns into a funeral, Greer must leave the past behind, and embark on a future without her bridegroom.
While mourning her lost love, Greer is drawn to an injured stranger she encounters on the moor. Compassion leads to friendship, and friendship leads to love that reopens the doors to his shuttered memories. Convinced this man is the lost duke, she helps him embark on a journey to regain everything he has lost. But his would-be murderers lurk nearby, and every step into the past puts their lives in peril. Can they regain their future, without losing their reawakened love—or their lives?

A HEART-RENDING TALE OF LOVE, LOSS, AND REDISCOVERY.

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Available from the following retailers:

• Amz: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmamz
• BN: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmnk
• iB: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmib
• Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmkobo

Happy Book Birthday – So Over You by Kate Meader

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SO OVER YOU
Chicago Rebels series, Book 2
Kate Meader
Pocket Star EBooks
December 4, 2017
$5.99
ISBN 9781501168567

“Meader serves up a delicious mix of sports, sexy romance, and complicated, captivating characters with her second Chicago Rebels hockey contemporary (after Irresistible You)…Meader’s erotic scenes could melt ice, and her complex protagonists will keep readers eagerly turning pages.”
—Publishers Weekly (So Over You)

“Things heat up on the ice in Meaer’s latest installment of the Chicago Revels series (Irresistible You, 2017)…Isobel and Vadim’s chemistry is off the charts, and Meader’s engaging details of hockey and Chicago pull you further into their world. Even nonhockey fans will be rooting for the Rebels by the last page.”
—Booklist (So Over You)

“Hockey is a sport that moves a mile a minute, and it’s even more thrilling when the action off the ice has even more speed. In the second Chicago Rebels book, external conflicts make the path to a happy ending difficult for the couple, but that makes it even more satisfying in the end. Meader’s thought-provoking tale has well-rounded characters who touch each other’s lives — sometimes not too gently.”
—RT Book Reviews (So Over You)

“Meader’s strength is creating characters who live, breathe, and jump off the page; Remy and Harper shine, and the supporting cast of characters, including Harper’s half-sisters, is very strong. The mix of sexual tension and emotional decisions will lead Meader’s series launch to many a keeper shelf.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW (Irresistible You, Book 1)

“Meader takes her readers on a breathtaking, non-stop, glorious ride. The sex scenes are lyrically written with fresh, descriptive prose. Enough is included about hockey to add its fast rhythm to the book. Remy’s family is multi-faceted and fills the pages with joy. Readers will love the relationship between Remy and Harper, and will be excited for the next story — Isobel’s.”
—RT Book Reviews Four and a Half Star TOP PICK (Irresistible You, Book 1)

About the book:
Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s SO OVER YOU, Book 2 in the new sizzling Chicago Rebels series. Middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels…

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then…let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…

About the author:
KateMeaderKate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, Kate lives on the web at katemeader.com.
Giveaway:
Kate Meader will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card during release week. To enter, please go here!

Excerpt: 
“This little job is the difference between you playing and not. Dancing with the Stars, Vaddy baby. It’s where all the washed-up pros end up.”
Annoyed at his reaction to her, he skated away, throwing out over his shoulder, “I will be playing, Isobel. You will have no say in that. I spoke with Moretti—it is clear why you have this job.”
Her brow crimped. Naturally, it was adorable. “Please. Enlighten me.”
“He is new and no doubt under pressure to bow to the owners. You can write your own ticket.”
“If that’s the case, I’d just appoint myself as head coach and be done with it.”
“You are also conscious of what the fans and media think, so you are starting small. Really, you could have called or texted, Isobel. Buying my contract seems like a lot of work to bring me back into your world.”
“You weren’t my first choice. But luckily your poor play this season meant Quebec was happy to offload you.”
He ignored the brief stab. The last six months had been difficult. Isobel understood this, yet they could not resist these little cuts.
“I think you wanted to be closer to me. Just like before, right, Bella?”
A blush crept up her cheeks on hearing his endearment for her.
He would test her. Make her angry and emotional. Make her cry. Because angry, emotional criers were not the stuff of coaches. If she was serious about a career in the NHL, she would hear worse.
She would get him game fit. He would get her battle ready.
He continued to needle. “Yes, I think that must be it. It seems that the female owners of the Rebels would like to abuse their position and use the players for their personal pleasure. Your sister and Remy DuPre—that is interesting.”
“Is it?”
“Harper may have duped a Rebel player into her bed, but please don’t imagine you and I will be renewing our acquaintance in a similar manner.”
That got her attention, at last. Her creamy skin blazed, her crimson mouth twitched, and even from a distance he could see those melted-shamrock eyes darken. She looked like she wanted scream at him. Burst into tears. Slap his face.
Yes, Bella. Let us see if you can handle the barbs of every player, coach, and fan who will dismiss you. Let us see if you can handle me.
Fury powering her stride, she skated over, skidding to a halt mere inches from his face. As before, she was magnificent.
“You’ve found me out, Petrov.”
“I have?”
“It’s all an elaborate ruse. We bought your contract even though you really haven’t been performing well this season. Let’s face it, you’ve sucked donkey balls, Vadikins. But I convinced my sisters that I alone could bring you back to top condition. Make you a valuable asset to the team. I also made sure I’d be the only one working with you . . .” She leaned up on the tips of her blades, a balancing act that required great skill and remarkable ankle strength. Close enough that he could have slipped his tongue between his lips and tasted hers.
Her breath was a hot puff of temptation. “So we would have all this alone time.”
With that fiery gaze, she held his own.
Unerring.
Unflinching.
Until her mouth creased, and she broke into a laugh. He remembered that laugh. Just as before, it hit him right in the balls.
She used the edge of the iPad to poke him in the chest. “You thought I’d go to all this trouble to try to get into your hockey shorts, Petrov? I’m a team owner—I can have any of these Rebel boys with the click of my fingers!” She chuckled, clearly enjoying herself. “Despite what that supersized ego of yours thinks, the only performance I want from you is on the ice. Maybe if you spent less time carousing—”
“Carousing?”
“Yes, it’s nicer than calling you a club-hopping, vodka-sodden manwhore. Less of that and more effort on your day job, please. And don’t worry yourself that I’m interested in ‘renewing our acquaintance.’ I’ve had better lays with the Ukrainian delegation at the last Games.”
He had to say he enjoyed this sharp-tongued, quick-witted version of Isobel. But not enough to admit it to her.
“There is nothing you can teach me.”
“So sure, Russian.”
“I am positive.”
“We’ll see.” She skated back to the edge of the rink. “Again.”

 

My Review:

4.5 stars rounded off high. pro_reader_120

Kate Meader’s books are so addictive. I thought Remy from Irresistible You was my love, but now it’s Vadim Petrov. I’m almost one-hundred percent sure I’ll be falling for Dante next, then Bren after him. That’s because Kate has a very strong male “voice”. Her men are lovable because they’re not altogether flawless. She lets us get to know her characters so well that we understand where they’re coming from when they act in a certain way. So, yeah, Vadim started out super arrogant and cold and Russian, but by the end, he became this sympathetic, vulnerable guy. When he made a unilateral decision to “protect” Isobel, I got mad along with her, but I forgave him even before she did. That’s talent. Kate Meader has loads of it.

Not to say that her heroines are weak or secondary to the heroes. They’re fabulous! Isobel, like Harper before her, is awesome. She knows her own mind but has doubts, too. She’s confident, yet has fears. All very real and relatable.

Isobel and Vadim are great together. They’re sexy, funny, and they’re just meant to be with each other. I enjoyed their interactions and their journey to love.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters. The team, the sisters, Vadim’s small family, especially his relationship with his little sister Mia. The sisters. I love them. I love that they’re working together to create a uniquely functional family.

There’s so much love and laughter in So Over You. Shed a few tears, too. Yep, this is a worthy read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for giving me an advanced copy to review.

Happy Book Birthday!

Several of the ARCs I received are released today. Thanks to NetGalley, Goodreads, publishers, and authors for giving me the privilege. Today is turning out to be the busiest release day in Romance.

Wilde in Love (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #1) by Eloisa James

wilde-in-loveLord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

My Review:

Wilde in Love is a sexy and funny Shakespearean comedy. The characters, both human and animal, are well described and distinctive. The situations are on the right side of farcical. Alaric and Willa are evenly matched in looks and intellect. Their interactions are sweet and steamy. I always like it when the hero realizes his feelings first and gives his all in wooing his beloved. Their attraction was natural and inevitable. As expected of an Eloisa James novel, Wilde in Love entertains and satisfies. That’s why she is an auto-buy for me.

 

A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred #1) by Joanna Shupe  a-daring-arrangement-the-four-hundred-book-1-by-joanna-shupe

Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…

Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she desires. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….

My Review:

This is probably my favorite of Joanna Shupe’s books so far. The story is familiar but she gives it a fresh twist which I enjoyed very much. A romance novel about an English heroine faking a relationship with an American hero set in New York during the Gilded Age is all kinds of fun. I liked both Nora and Julius. They’re strong characters and this book is really about how they fell in love in spite of the less than ideal beginning. I truly admire all of Ms. Shupe’s research on the era as there’s a sense of place to this book that makes the reader feel as if they’re there with the characters. I love New York and I loved being transported there when I read A Daring Arrangement. Another thing I appreciate with this book is the comparisons between English and American societies. There really is history in this historical romance.

 

The Bride Who Got Lucky (The Cavensham Heiresses #2) by Janna MacGregor

the bride who got lucky

He would do anything to protect her. Even marry her…

The son of a cold-hearted duke, Nicholas St. Mauer isn’t one to involve himself in society…or open his own heart to anyone. But driven by honor, the reclusive Earl of Somerton feels obliged to keep a watchful eye on Lady Emma Cavensham. She possesses a penchant for passions unbecoming a woman that finds Nick in constant peril of losing his well-structured solitude. She even dared kiss Nick once―an utterly unladylike, and delightful, lapse…

My review: 

I liked that the heroine Lady Emma is very passionate about her causes – her fight to get justice for the death of her friend Lena and her desire to help women in need by setting up a bank. I liked that she’s brave and that she loves to read.

I liked that Nick is a self-made man, that he amassed his own fortune. I liked that he is so protective of Emma even though he kept fighting his feelings for her. It is admirable that he stands firm on his principles and is not wishy-washy.

I appreciate that Ms. MacGregor has them waiting until they got married to consummate their relationship. I also liked that the whole family gets involved and although I haven’t read the first book, I appreciate that the story of Alex and Claire gets an update.

There were things I questioned in my advanced copy which I’m sure have been addressed before today’s publication date. Overall, a good book.

 

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Happy Book Birthday! The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

Kerrigan Byrne’s latest book, The Scot Beds His Wife, is out today and I’m so excited for y’all to read it.  The Scot reinforces my love of the Victorian Rebels series. It has all the elements that I adored in the four earlier books – loads of angst, electric chemistry between hero and heroine, sizzling lovemaking, heart-pounding action, and most especially, the far-from-perfect and diverse characters.

What Scot has more of that the others don’t is the lightness of humor balancing the heaviness caused by all the tragedies that are constantly befalling the Rebels and their loved ones. I specially liked the development of the romance between the foul-mouthed, gun-toting American heroine Sam and the Scottish rogue of an earl Gavin. Their exchanges, particularly in the beginning of the book, were laugh-out-loud funny. Lastly, I adore the secondary characters- from Callum, to Eleanor to Calybrid and Locryn, even The Rook. I can’t wait to read the next three (???) coming books in the series.

 

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The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

The Scot Beds His Wife is available at:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2r4wmNm
B&N: http://bit.ly/2s3Dd8Y
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qWqfw
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rXU25P
Google: http://bit.ly/2r42eS0

 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. pro_reader_120

ARC Book Review – East In Paradise

I’ve read and loved thousands of romance novels for over thirty years. My biggest complaint and the reason I’m writing my own series is that I haven’t read MY story yet. Right now, I can honestly say Tif Marcelo’s East in Paradise, Book 2 of her Journey to the Heart series, has come the closest.

A Filipino-American heroine. Check. Military Veteran hero. Also check. Heroine has a younger sister. That’s me as well. Our first date was at Napa Valley, quite similar to the setting of Paraiso Retreats.

I can say though that you don’t have to be a Filipino to relate to the characters and enjoy this book. East has a feisty, resolute heroine in Bryn, who has a goal and knows what she has to do in order to achieve it. It has an admirable hero in Mitchell, who served his country and has a great sense of responsibility towards his family’s legacy. This book is about dreams, family, and love.

The conflicts are very current, very real in the world we live in today. The secondary characters are well-rounded with both good and bad mixed in. The hero and heroine are characterized realistically with strengths and weaknesses.

Where it might have faltered for me a bit is when Bryn appeared to be too aggressive and Mitch didn’t assert himself fast enough. I knew they were going to get their happily-ever-after eventually, but it was an uncomfortable feeling reading it so close to the end without their final and most explosive conflict being resolved.

Overall, I enjoyed East in Paradise, especially the celebration of Filipino culture in the food and relationships. I give it four solid stars.

Note: I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About The Book:

When an entrepreneur and an Army reservist end up in their own reality show fauxmance, they have to decide whether their love exists just for the cameras…or if it’s for real in this warmhearted romance, perfect for foodies and wine lovers!

Bryn Aquino, the former manager of a Filipino restaurant, knows the value of hard work. With a shiny new MBA in tow and an investor, she’s ready to start her own business: a culinary retreat where visitors can relax, cook, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Dubbed Paraiso Retreats, she leases the childhood home of army reservist Mitchell Dunford—who returned from Afghanistan to revive his family’s vineyard—but finds herself in a bind when her investor pulls out of the business.

When the retreat catches an internet live stream producer’s eye through social media channels, Bryn is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to document her journey in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Excited, Bryn happily agrees to the arrangement…only to find out that she’s going to have to fake an onscreen romance with her indifferent landlord in order to keep her audience interested.

As Mitchell and Bryn put on a show for the cameras, they find their romance isn’t hard to fake. They’ve got more in common under their bluster, banter, and doubts. As their relationship heats up and the cameras keep rolling, the line between show and reality blurs. And when the pressures of family, business, and the audience stack against them, will their romance survive internet stardom? Or was it just for show?

East in Paradise is available today from the following retailers:

Amazon
B&N
Kobo
iBooks

 

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