TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR by Linda Broday Book Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway

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TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

Genre: Western / Historical / Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 352

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Synopsis

to catch a texas starOn her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.
Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible. A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other. As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked.Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

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To Catch a Texas Star is the third book in the Texas Heroes series, but the first one I’ve read. It’s actually the first book by Linda Broday that I’ve ever read. I like it. I like her writing style. This book stands well on its own, but reading the two that came before it would probably enhance the enjoyment.

Texas Star is fast-paced and action-packed, featuring well-drawn characters you’d root for and the wild West as the exciting setting. At the center of everything is a sweet romance between Marley, a strong, caring young woman, and Roan, a determined, honorable drifter. Their story happens amidst grave danger and life-altering secrets.

This book captured my attention from the beginning with its dramatic first chapter. It kept getting better as the characters are introduced (Duel, Jessie, Matt, Granny Jack, etc.) and as the attraction between Marley and Roan grew. I liked that both of them have strengths and faults. I appreciate that they saved each other’s lives. Often in Westerns, the heroine is a damsel in distress, just waiting for the hero to rescue her. This one is not like that. Marley had her low moments, especially when she was scared for her family, but she had amazing highs like when she rescued herself and when she acted to make it easy for the good guys to win in the end.

This book follows in the classic Western formula of heroes being amazingly good (and seemingly indestructible) while the villains are incredibly bad. You can easily visualize this as a movie for Ms. Broday described the action and fight scenes well.

As a Texas resident, I like the feeling of being “at home” when I read a book set here. But, even those not from here will enjoy To Catch a Texas Star as it tackles universal themes of family, justice, loyalty, and deep-abiding love.

 

Praise for To Catch a Texas Star
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“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.”–Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.”–Michelle (Goodreads)

AboutTheAuthor

linda brodayLinda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people. A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

WEBSITE  FACEBOOK  PINTEREST  TWITTER  GOODREADS  LINKEDIN  BOOKBUB

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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Full Texas Heroes Series
Five Runners-Up: Signed Copies of To Catch a Texas Star
(US ONLY)
July 3-12, 2018

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/3/18		Excerpt			That's What She's Reading
7/3/18		Bonus Series Spotlight	Hall Ways Blog
7/4/18		Review			Chapter Break Book Blog
7/5/18		Guest Post		StoreyBook Reviews
7/6/18		Review			Carpe Diem Chronicles
7/7/18		Character Interview	The Librarian Talks
7/8/18		Review			Reading by Moonlight
7/9/18		Playlist		Tangled in Text
7/10/18		Review			Books and Broomsticks
7/11/18		Author Interview	Dressed to Read
7/12/18		Review			Margie's Must Reads

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BREATHLESS by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan – Review and Giveaway

 

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SUMMARY

In Breathless, bestselling authors Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan will sweep you away—across continents and centuries, combining the best of all worlds in one unforgettable romantic saga.

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes—and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter Fitch Wilder is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

Info:
St. Martin’s Griffin
Pub date: 06/12/2018
ISBN: 9781250008060
384 Pages

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
IndieBound
Powells

 

REVIEW

A mix of contemporary romance and historical fiction, Breathless is an incredibly well-written book. The jumps between present and past are done seamlessly. Clever use of varying POVs (dual 3rd person for present and singular first person for the past) to make one time period distinct from the other.

The characterization and growth of The Swan/Siren and Fitch and Brenna were excellent. As was the keen sense of place. I was transported to every place in the book: to Paris, Boston, London, the ship, Castell de la Cala, and especially to Barcelona. The authors’ use of different languages was particularly well done. They added to the authenticity of the setting.

Enemies-to-lovers is my favorite trope and the contemporary part delivered on this. I loved Fitch and Brenna’s electric chemistry and I enjoyed their reluctant fall into love. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“You’re brilliant and funny. You never give up. You’re a hot mess of complexity with a dab of crazy and that intrigues me.”

There’s humor and pathos, heartbreak and triumph, mystery and adventure. Breathless is really an entertaining book. Even if I weren’t given an ARC by SMP through NetGalley, I’d buy it for myself. And buy the book before this too: Unbound.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Celeste Bradley

CELESTE BRADLEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the Runaway Brides, Heiress Brides, Liar’s Club, and Royal Four series. Her novel Fallen was nominated for a RITA in 2002. “When you are overendowed with imagination and underendowed with punctuality, become a writer.” Years of dreaming on the job paid off when Celeste Bradley quit the mainstream in 1999 and started writing historical romance. “Handsome heroes beat out cranky customers every time!” Bradley lives in New Mexico with her family, her desert garden and so many pets the house sometimes feels like an ark.

Social Links:
Celeste Bradley Author Website
Twitter: @CelesteBradley_

 

susan donovanSUSAN DONOVAN’s novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist, and her novel Take a Chance on Me was named Best Contemporary Romance of 2003 by RT Book Reviews Magazine. She lives in New Mexico with her family and assorted dogs.

Social Links:
Susan Donovan Author Website
Twitter: @SDonovanAuthor
Facebook: @SusanDonovanFanPage

 

GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away a paperback copy of BREATHLESS to one of my US readers. For chances to win:

  1. Like my Facebook author page Maida Malby, this post, and comment (4 points)
  2. Follow @maida_malby on Twitter and Like my tweet about this review and giveaway (1 point)
  3. Follow me on BookBub (2 points)
  4. Follow me on Goodreads (1 point)
  5. Follow Carpe Diem Chronicles on Instagram (1 point)
  6. Follow me on Amazon (1 point)

 

OPENED UP by Eva Moore – Review and Giveaway

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Title: Opened Up
Series: Exposed Dreams #1
Author: Eva Moore
Genre: Sexy Contemporary Romance 18+
Release Date: May 2, 2018
Cover Designer: Render Compose
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39854198-opened-up

Blurb:

Payroll
Purchase Orders
Peanut Butter Cups

Not necessarily in that order…

Sofia Valenti dreams of a life spent designing beautiful homes for the family business. But as her to-do list can attest, that dream is still far away. Stuck doing office work for Valenti Brothers Construction and stress eating her weight in chocolate, she wants more than hand-me-down responsibilities. When her father, Dom, signs up the whole family for a reality TV show, Sofia sees a chance to grab the spotlight for her dream. What she doesn’t count on is the sexy head contractor knocking down her ideas and her barriers like it’s demo day.

Adrian Villanueva has spent his life on the outside looking in. When Dom talks retirement, Adrian sees his chance to finally buy his way into the company he helped build. He’s certainly not going to let the inexperienced designer daughter with expensive taste and mouthwatering curves stand in his way. Ignoring his old crush on Sofia the girl will be easy. He’s had a decade of practice. It’s the appeal of Sofia the woman that threatens to bring him to his knees.

When hidden attraction flares into open desire, they must decide if a chance at love is worth giving up on a lifetime of dreams.

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Intense and real

There’s a lot to unpack. First, I like the fact that the characters are deeply rooted in reality, that you can easily identify a friend, a family member, even yourself in place of Sofia, Adrian, Dom, Jo, the Shahs, etcetera. Eva has infused her characters with their unique sets of talents and insecurities in a way that is relatable to the readers. She has always been able to that with her books. Her heroines are often women who are besieged by self-doubt, even as they strive to gather strength to overcome them on their own. Sofia is one such heroine with her issues about her body image and her desire to have more control over her position in the family business.

Adrian as the hero is a good foil for Sofia. He is consistently on her side even as he has his own ambitions he wanted fulfilled. He is a great son, a supportive boss, and a considerate lover. What I like is that he is not without fault. His machismo sometimes comes out to play to the frustration of Sofia as she gets that from her father already.
I like the main characters in this book. I also like the inclusion of diverse supporting characters. My heart goes out to Adrian’s mom and her fears. I’m glad that was resolved in the end. On the other hand, I am not enamored of Sofia’s parents. Maybe they will be redeemed in the upcoming books, but right now, I am not simpatico with Dom and Jo.

Lastly, the “reality show” backdrop is fantastic and all the construction discussions and terminologies are fascinating. I don’t know anything about home renovation, I don’t watch it, but Eva made it easy to keep up with the narrative.

A good read, Opened Up deserves its place in your TBR.

Teasers:

Giveaway:

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Author Bio:

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Winner of Cherry Adair’s Finish The Damn Book Contest 2017, Eva Moore writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance, after leaving a career in the classroom to raise her daughters. Opened Up is the first book in her new Exposed Dreams series, set in the world of home renovation reality TV. Eva now lives in Silicon Valley, after moving around the world and back, with her college sweetheart, her three gorgeous girls, and a Shih Tzu who thinks he’s a cat. She can be found most nights hiding in her closet/office, scribbling away, and loves to hear from the outside world. You can find her at www.4evamoore.com.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/4evamooreauthor
Facebook Friend Page: www.facebook.com/4evamoore
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsForEvaMoore/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AuthorEvaMoore
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/authorevamoore
Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorevamoore

Excerpt:

“Well, babe, I gotta say, more money always sounds good to me.”
Ugh. It’s like he does it without even thinking. She passed him the paperwork and pointed to the pertinent sections.
“I just started going through this. Give it a read-through, and tell me if you see any red flags. I’m going to refill my coffee.”
She needed a minute to calm her swirling thoughts, and sitting in a small room with a man who simultaneously generated a low-level buzz of attraction while also making her want to punch him in the stomach was not helping. His proposal had stunned her, and she’d not responded well. She pulled down another mug out of force of habit and filled it before topping hers off as well. She added one sugar and a healthy dollop of cream to his, fake sugar and cream to her own.
All done, but nowhere near ready to return, she braced her hands on the peacock granite countertop, stretched her arms long and dropped her head between them. She lengthened her spine and took a deep breath, aiming for some of the peace she’d felt when she’d dropped into a yoga class with Brandy.
Change itself was nothing to fear. So what if most of the changes in her life had been awful? That didn’t mean these changes were going to be bad, too. She could handle whatever needed handling. She’d managed before, and she could do it again. And she was absolutely full of crap. She was three seconds from panicking, and her deep-breathing exercises were getting trapped in her clenching throat.
“Hey, are you okay?” Adrian’s deep, husky voice skittered up her spine, leaving a trail of goose bumps that didn’t subside when she jumped and squealed.
Why did this man have the power to make her feel like a twelve-year-old girl? She spun to face him, only to find that he’d invaded the space she’d cleared and was reaching for her shoulder, as if to steady her. She backed away swiftly, bumping into the counter and rattling the cups. Remembering why she’d come to the kitchen in the first place, she handed him the coffee she’d made him, being careful not to scald herself with a brush of his fingertips. She could pick apart the ridiculousness of her response later.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She retreated into a sip of her own fortifying mug.
He mirrored her sip and stepped back as well. Message finally freaking received. Good.
“You know how I take my coffee?” He grinned as if this detail somehow meant something special.
“I know everyone’s coffee order. Have you not noticed who keeps the lists for meeting coffee runs? Or who is constantly being charged with stocking the kitchen? Or did you just think a magical caffeine fairy came in at night and brought lattes to all the good little boys?” She tried once again to take him down a peg while setting him straight. She couldn’t have him thinking that she’d been watching him, paying attention to his personal preferences. Even if she had.
Once again, her sarcasm flew right over his head. He raised the contract in his hand and held it out to her.
“Listen, I tried to read through this, but it might as well be written in Latin. Can you walk me through the specifics?”
“I just got it myself. Give me a day or two to really pick it apart, and I’ll fill you in.”
“Thanks, angel. That sounds good.” He tossed the contract on the break room table, supremely confident, coffee in hand.
She’d wager he hadn’t even heard the “Sure thing” she’d managed through clenched teeth. How could she be so attracted to someone who pissed her off so royally?
Good thing he didn’t know, or he’d be insufferable.

 

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FIGHTING IRISH by Katy Regnery – Book Birthday Review/Giveaway

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BOOK INFORMATION:

FIGHTING IRISH, The Summerhaven Trio #1

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Blueberry Lane series comes a new trio of romances featuring the Haven triplets!

Rory Haven and Brittany Manion knew one another as children…
…but it’s been a long time since their childhood summers at Summerhaven.

The Havens weren’t the children who attended exclusive Summerhaven Camp in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire. They were the children of the owners, expected to “pull their weight” and absolutely forbidden to fraternize with the paying guests. But that didn’t keep Rory from having a quiet, unrequited crush on gorgeous, popular, insanely-rich, Brittany Manion for four tortuous summers.

When all-grown-up, recently-engaged Brittany books the off-season summer camp for her upcoming spring wedding, she immediately recognizes Rory as the scorching-hot boy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. Meanwhile, Rory, who senses that Brittany’s nuptials are less about Mr. Right and more about Mr. Right Now, launches the fight of his life to win the heart of the girl he’s always wanted.

 

AVAILABLE FROM:

~Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2NL7G8
~Apple iBooks: https://apple.co/2GDStBm
~Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2DVvdRW
~Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DT6n54

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~THE SUMMERHAVEN TRIO~
Book #1: Fighting Irish (Rory and Brittany)
Book #2: Smiling Irish (Tierney and Burr)
Book #3: Loving Irish (Ian and Hallie)

MY REVIEW: 

Fighting Irish is a sweet story of second-chance love amidst class differences and a history of betrayals suffered by the heroine Brittany Manion. Rory Haven is an ideal hero–responsible, kind, understanding, and patient. He’s had a crush on Brittany since they were fourteen, but his obedience to his mother’s edict of non-fraternization with their summer camp’s attendees won out over his adolescent feelings. Given another chance with the woman of his dreams, he took it, but he waited until she was ready and had developed feelings for him in return.

I liked that this was slow-burn and Rory and Brittany did not get together until they’ve declared their love for one another. I absolutely adore the highlighting of love for family in this novel. It’s Brittany’s dream and the happy ever after she deserves after all she’s been through. Rory’s bond with his siblings was celebrated without having it take over the book.

One mark of a good book for me is when I had a hard time putting it down. Fighting Irish is one such book, that’s why I’m giving it five stars.

For a chance to win a copy of Fighting Irish, check out my Carpe Diem Chronicles by Maida Malby on Facebook.

 

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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