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#Review of Secret Baby, Second Chance (Sons of Stillwater #3) by Jane Godman! #harlequinromsuspense @HarlequinBooks @JaneGodman

 

 We’re so excited to be hosting Jane Godman and her Secret Baby, Second Chance Blog Tour today! Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!
Title:
SECRET BABY, SECOND CHANCE
Author: Jane Godman
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Suspense
BOOK
BLURB: 
She’s alive! Vincente Delaney has finally found his girlfriend, Beth Wade, who disappeared a year and a half ago, alive. But he’s shocked to discover someone with her: their child, a little girl he never knew about! Once upon a time, lone wolf Vincente never expected forever with Beth, but now he must put everything on the line to protect her and their family.
Beth was forced to leave Vincente to protect everything she held dear. But now the threat to her loved ones’ lives has reared its ugly head again. As danger approaches, she and Vincente must delve into her past to cast out the darkness jeopardizing their future.

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Book Excerpt:

As he approached, he sized up the building. Nothing about it made him think of Beth. It had a slightly neglected air, as if the owner didn’t have the time, energy or money to spend on it. He  contrasted that with the Stillwater house she had lived in. That had been as neat as wax. Being organized seemed to come effortlessly to Beth, spilling over into how she dressed, her surroundings
and how she dealt with other people. Vincente wondered, not for the first time, if the reason she had struggled with their relationship was because she couldn’t neatly package up her feelings for him. When they were together there was no controlling what they felt. It had always been raw, primal…and incredible.
The thought spurred his feet up the front step. His heart was pounding so loud it almost drowned out the sound of his knock on the door. Prepared for disappointment, his nerves—already under intense pressure—were ratcheted up to crisis level when he heard a voice calling out.
“Did you forget something, Detective ?” It wasn’t just any voice. It was Beth’s voice.
He wondered how she would react if she checked who it was through the peephole in the door. Her words indicated she thought Laurie had come back again and he heard a key turn in the lock immediately after she spoke.
The door swung open and the smile on her lips faded. As she gazed at him in shock, Vincente took a moment to drink in her appearance. Her hair was shorter, just reaching her shoulders now instead of the waist-length mass in which he had loved to bury his hands. It was scraped back into an unflattering ponytail. She looked thinner. And tired, definitely tired. Almost to the point of exhaustion. But maybe the reason for that was sitting on her hip.
The baby wore pink sweatpants and a T shirt with butterflies embroidered all over. Not quite a toddler, she was a perfect little girl. Her black hair clustered in a halo of curls around her head and she studied Vincente with eyes that were huge, dark and framed by thick, spiky lashes. The hint of olive to her skin and the full ruby lips were additional confirmation of his first suspicion. It was
like looking in a mirror .
Vincente almost took a step back in shock as he gazed at his daughter.
Book Trailer:
 This book is my catnip.  Romantic suspense, secret baby, second chances and small town.  Yep, Ms. Godman had me at the title of the book.  Then throw in the cover, the blurb, and the first paragraph.  But really sold me on the book as a whole was Vincente and Beth.  I loved reading about how they ran hot and cold during their first run as a couple.  The fighting, the hot making up sessions afterward.  Catnip.  Both characters had some issues when it came to relationships but none more than Vicente.
I times I really wanted to slap Vincente upside his head when it came to how he viewed relationships.  Look, I get the abandonment issue with his mother but his stepmother did everything that she could to make him feel wanted and loved.  Keep this in mind though, I haven’t read Bryce and Cameron’s books so maybe I missed out on some more of their backstory in regards to how they were brought up but still.  Vincente…get over yourself.  You have a second chance with the only woman that you ever truly loved and a daughter now.  Anywoos…other than that, Vincente was a dream.  He realized that he did need to finally put the past behind him and get it together if he wanted a second chance with Beth.
Beth, I could totally understand the motivation to disappear.  I would have freaked out if I got the letters and photos.  That was just too creepy for me and then to find out in the end who was doing it?  I honestly thought it was someone else and I was wrong.  Love when an author does that to me.  I’m no Sherlock but sometimes I do get it right.  Not here.  Ms. Godman puts up a few red herrings so when the truth is finally revealed, you are left gobsmacked.  Plus, the secondary characters from the past were interesting.  Rick really sticks out for me.  You will have to read the book to find out why.  Plus, since I didn’t read the other books in the series, I loved getting to know Laurie, Cameron, Bryce, and Steffi.  They are great at being there for Vincente and Beth. Let’s also not forget about Vincente and Beth’s daughter, Lia.  She is NOT plot device but a character in her own right.
In fact, the line from Vincente is classic:  “She trashed the place,” he whispered.  He expression was stunned.  “As soon as you left the room, she just went for it.”
Nothing can prepare a new daddy like Vicente like that.  There were other moments between Lia and her daddy.  I had the giggles at times with Lia and the dog, Melon.  I know that they could be perceived as humorous plugs but in the end…well, you just need to read the book.
Overall, I just loved this book.  I read it in one afternoon but it has definitely stayed with me.  I’m still thinking about the scene in the bedroom when Vicente went all “bossy” with Beth and her reaction to it.  Oh yes, this book has some sexy times and they are hawt.  Just a friendly warning.  *wink*
I will definitely look Ms. Godman’s books up.  She is a new to me author that I really liked.  Her style of writing, pacing, characters and overall, how did she fool me in the end, has me hooked.
About the Author
JANE GODMAN worked in a variety of shops, bars, and offices before settling into a career as a teacher. She was born in Scotland and has lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England.  Home is now the Wirral, a beautiful English peninsula situated between Wales and Liverpool.
Jane still gets the urge to travel, although these days she tends to head for a Spanish beach, or a European city that is steeped in history. Venice, Dubrovnik, and Vienna are among her favorites.
When Jane isn’t reading or writing romance, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. She is married to a lovely man, has two grown up children and has recently discovered the joy of becoming a grandparent.
Jane writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and self-publishes her steamy historical and gothic stories.  
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Secret Baby, Second Chance.
                                                                                                    

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#Review of Claiming His Secret Heir (The McNeill Magnates #5) by Joanne Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @givemebooksblog @HarlequinBooks @JoanneRock6

 

 

Title: Claiming His Secret Heir
Series: The McNeill Magnates #5
Author: Joanne Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: January 1, 2018

 

Blurb
Can he win back his wife?
When Caroline McNeill shows up outside her husband’s mansion, she claims to have no memory of the past year…or their passion-filled honeymoon. But faking amnesia is the only way Caroline can find out if Damon was behind her abduction. She needs to trust him—a man she craves but still barely knows—before she can tell him about their infant son.
Did the Silicon Valley mogul merely marry to claim an inheritance then dispose of her?
Or is what they share real and forever?

 

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Excerpt
He shook out the waterproof blanket on the snow—plastic on one side, wool plaid on the other. She watched him line up the sled at one end of the blanket before he knelt in the snow to open the picnic hamper. All the while, Caroline rocked the carriage gently, tilting it back and forth. Thankfully, their bodyguard sat outside the trees, keeping an eye on the hill below to make sure no one intruded on their space. She didn’t feel “watched,” per se, although she felt certain the guy kept an eye on them somehow. The team Damon hired seemed very skilled at maintaining a discreet presence.
“I know that I’m not alone any longer, and I’m glad for that.” She debated lifting Lucas out of the baby carrier, but then changed her mind, putting the brakes on the contraption and facing the carrier toward the blanket so they could keep an eye on him.
“Are you ready for the winter picnic to end all picnics?” Damon asked, waiting to open the picnic basket until he had her attention. He shoved his gloves into the pockets of his vest. His dark hair had a few fresh snowflakes coating the top where he must have brushed against one of the evergreen boughs.
“Do you know what’s in there?” She peeled off her own gloves, ready to eat. “I can’t imagine what a winter picnic entails, so my expectations are fairly low.” 
“I packed this myself. And believe me, my expectations run permanently high.” He tipped open the lid with a flourish. “I present to you, the Post-Sledding Woodland Feast.”
Caroline felt her eyes go wide. Crammed inside the huge basket were two brightly colored thermoses and insulated mugs, a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth, a wooden
cheeseboard with fresh fruits and cloth-covered cheeses, a tray of shrimp on ice, a stack of Sternos and a lighter, a bag of huge, homemade-looking marshmallows, a tin of graham crackers, chocolate-covered strawberries…
“And champagne!” Her gaze finally reached a bottle of a highly recognizable brand of bubbly inside a champagne bucket. “Is that even legal?” She glanced around, half expecting a park ranger to issue a citation.
“Alcohol in the park is regulated, but not prohibited, so no one will bother us unless we start causing trouble.” Grinning, he gestured for her to have a seat on the blanket.
“Get comfortable and I’ll serve us.”
She did as he asked, her eyes still on the stuffed hamper.
“You packed this?” It was a feat of engineering, the way everything was stacked and prepped.
“The technical mind is good for more than designing software, you know.” He pulled out fondue sticks and set them beside the Sterno cans so they could toast their own marshmallows. “And under the champagne is a bottle of whiskey if you’d rather doctor up the hot chocolate.” He produced a smaller basket with airline-sized bottles of Jameson and Baileys, plus a variety of add-in flavors from vanilla and almond to butterscotch.
“You have outdone yourself.” She glanced up into the carriage to check on Lucas.  Surrounded by trees on three sides, their picnic spot felt safe and surprisingly private considering the view of the mayhem near Cedar Hill and the row of emerging snowmen lining the biggest walking trail less than fifty yards away.
“I will admit, it’s been hell keeping a lid on the surprise all day.” He found two small hurricane lanterns and placed candles inside them even though the sun still shone brightly outside. Then, he uncapped one of the containers of cocoa and poured her a mugful. “Here. You can add what you like while I work on the seating.”
He scrambled around to the back of the blanket where he used one arm to scoop a pile of snow under the edge of the wool plaid. It took her a moment to understand why he wanted a big lump of snow under the spot where she was sitting. But then he covered it up again, packing the pile into a U-shaped curve to create a support for her back.
“Genius,” she announced, settling into the snow seat with her mug of hot chocolate, the picnic spread out at her feet. “It really is the picnic to end all picnics.”
“I’ll drink to that.” Damon poured his own hot chocolate and settled on the blanket beside her. “Here’s to our first real day as a family.”
She met his blue gaze, his eyes all the more crystalline in the bright sun. He’d taken considerable time and trouble to make the day perfect for her, and Lucas, too. While she’d been sleeping late to catch up on rest, he’d been ordering a special sled and packing the perfect picnic.
“To family,” she echoed, softly clanking her pewter cup to his. Tipping the drink to her lips, she savored the complex swirl of flavors. She hadn’t added much alcohol, just enough to give a pleasant jolt of warmth on the way down. The almond and vanilla notes were especially good, and the melting homemade marshmallow she’d set on top was a gooey bonus.
She was about to compliment the first beverage course, but when she turned to him again, she felt a flash of heat from the simmering look he gave her. His mug remained untouched, his attention fixed on her mouth.
He was very still.
“What?”

Self-conscious, she set her cup aside in the snow. “I have marshmallow all over my face, don’t I?”  
Her hand went to her nose, but Damon caught it. He’d set his own drink aside, too, freeing his hands.
“Let me.”  He canted closer, his focus shifting to her eyes. The heat ratcheted up so much it was a wonder they weren’t melting snow.  She could feel her heartbeat quicken, the answering spark she’d always experienced with this man. Time and distance hadn’t broken it. Even forgetting him completely for weeks on end hadn’t erased the response she had to him.
 
A few things before I start.  I’ve been reading Ms. Rock since she started writing for Harlequin.  It’s been a while.  Karen Rock is her sister in law.  Yes, that Karen Rock who also writes for Harlequin.  And yes, I read her books, too.  I love both of their writing styles and they are as different as night and day.  While Karen writes the sweeter side, Joanne likes to keep it spicy and I love that.  Her Desire books never disappoint.  Damon McNeill’s book is one of those books that I eagerly waited for and I was sad when it was over.
We are introduced to Damon in the last book and I really felt for him and his quest to find Caroline.  We get a sneak peek into that quest but it wasn’t until the very end of it do we understand the depth that he will go to, to find her.  Man, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that with just a few paragraphs can set up a book with that much grief, love, and determination to find the heroine.  *sigh*  With that in mind, the intro to Caroline in this one is kinda funny actually.  I know, I shouldn’t say that but once you read it, you will understand what I’m saying.
Ms. Joanne has written a true love story that ended so abruptly but quickly picks up with some unanswered questions in regards to Caroline.  While reading the story, my heart just broke for Caroline.  I’ve read some stories with some horrible fathers but her’s takes the cake.  I was surprised at the depths that he went through and the end…oh wait.  I almost spoiled it but let’s just say that Caroline, not Damon got the final say.  Woo Hoo!  These two had a long way to go but once they finally figured everything out, in the beginning, their romance and love for each other shined through.
Let’s not forget about Lucas, their son.  Oh, my.  To say Damon was shocked would be the understatement of the year but again, Ms. Rock shows us how its done in the romance world with her writing and ability to not make the child a plot point but a real character in the book.  Not to mention, that she brings Caroline’s two brothers and sister into the mix and it was perfect.  And Cam.  Yes, that Cam.  I still love him.
Again, I was bereft when this one ended.  I know, you shouldn’t get too attached to couples and their stories but Caroline and Damon’s has stayed with for a while.  NOTE:  I read this one during the Christmas holiday and I’ve read it again.  Yes, it’s that good and again, their love story will forever be in my heart.  Bring on the last McNeill.  Oh wait, there are now more McNeills that have been discovered in…I’m not telling you THAT.  You have to read the book.
 
Author Bio
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann.

When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
 
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#Review of His Pregnant Secretary (The McNeill Magnates #4) by Joanne Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @HarlequinBooks @givemebooksblog @JoanneRock6

 

Title: Little Secrets: His Pregnant Secretary
Series: The McNeill Magnates #4
Author: Joanne Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: December 1, 2017

 

Blurb
The boss’s baby bargain…
 
Becoming a father was never part of Jager McNeill’s plan, until the heat between him and his luscious assistant turned into searing passion. Now Delia Rickard is carrying his baby. After growing up without a father, Jager’s determined to be there for his child. And marriage would ensure that. But despite their chemistry, Delia’s unwilling to marry for anything less than love.
 
A trip with Jager to Manhattan could change all that. For in this enchanting city ablaze with Christmas lights, romance begins to blossom. And a kiss under the mistletoe just might turn into lasting love.

 

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Excerpt
“Are you okay, Delia?” The voice in her ear was familiar; she’d heard it nearly every day for the past year, even if she hadn’t seen the man in person for weeks on end.
Her boss.
Jager McNeill.
“Fine,” she spluttered, the word ending in a cough. Of course, it was foolish to be embarrassed since she had dived in the water to save a child. And yet, it still felt terribly awkward to be caught with her dress up around her waist today of all days when she’d wanted to make the perfect professional impression. Also, she’d scratched him.
Coughed all over him. If she hadn’t had a crush on him once upon a time, maybe she wouldn’t be tingling from head to toe right now in spite of everything. But she feared if she tried to swim away from him to escape all the feelings, she just might drown. She was surprised to notice how far she’d drifted from the dock in her search. Behind
them, she noticed the transport skiff that Cyril had sent out to meet Jager’s seaplane. Jager must have been arriving at the same time she’d jumped into the water.
“Hold onto my shoulders,” he told her, shifting their positions in the water so he faced her. “I’ll tow you to the dock.”
Nose to nose with him, Delia stared up into his steel-blue eyes. She thought she’d gotten used to his good looks in the past two years that they’d known each other. His dark hair and sharp, shadowed jaw made for enticing contrasts to those incredibly blue eyes. His hair had grown longer in the past months, as if barber visits were the last thing on his mind. But the way the damp strands curled along the strong column of his neck only added to the appeal.
This close, she had the benefit of sensing the wealth of muscle in his athletic body where he held her. Feeling the flush of heat course through her, she ducked deeper into the cold water to hide her reaction to him. 
“I can make it.” Shaking her head, she scattered droplets from her wet hair. “I just needed to catch my breath.”
She attempted to paddle away, but Jager only gripped her tighter. Oh. My. Feeling the warmth of his chest through their clingy clothes roused an ache she should not be feeling for her boss. Adding to the problem, the strapless bra she’d been wearing had shifted lower on her rib cage where it did absolutely no good.
“Humor me,” he ordered her, his voice as controlled as his movements. “You’re exhausted and dry land is farther away than it looks.” He took one of her hands and placed it
on his right shoulder. Then, turning away from her, he very deliberately set her other hand on his left shoulder. 
He began to swim toward the dock with measured strokes, towing her along behind him. Water lapped over them in light waves. She felt every ripple of his muscles under her palms as the light waves swished over them. She debated fishing one hand down her dress to haul up her bra before they reached land, but decided the potential scolding from Jager if she let go of him wasn’t worth it. So she clung to him and gritted her teeth against the friction of her pebbled breasts rubbing against his back. By now he had to be as keenly aware of her as she was of him.
The only positive of this awkward reunion? Any anxiety she had about talking business with him was utterly eclipsed by physical awareness. So when they reached land, she clamped onto the dock, evenly met his blue gaze and said, “I definitely deserve a raise.”
Ever read a series and can’t wait for the next book to come out?  Yep, this is that series for me.  I’ll never forget when Ms. Rock offered me the first book in the series (Quinn’s book) and asked me to review it.  Oh.My.Gosh.  I was completely hooked.  Then we get to Cam’s book (#3) and at the last 1/4 of it, we are told that there are 3 more McNeill’s to drool over and read about.  I waited with bated breath when it came to reading about the others.  And trust me, Ms. Rock does not disappoint.  Next month, I get to drool over Damon’s story next.  In fact, we get a bit of the backstory about him and what has happened.  *sigh*
So now we have the “beginning” of the “other” McNeills.  *sigh*  This trio is going to be even more interesting and feisty that Quinn, Ian, and Cam…if that’s possible.  Of course, we get a trope that I liked.  Boss/Assistant/Accidental Pregnancy but with Delia and Jager it’s much more than that.  As Jager’s assistant, Delia doesn’t see him much.  In fact, it’s been at least a year since they have seen each other so the scene above is priceless.  These two have a work history but the romance part is so new to both of them.  In fact, in the beginning, I couldn’t get into it but eventually, Jager had me believing in his true feelings for Delia.  These two at major “daddy” issues and it affected how they saw marriage and especially with a baby on the way.  I loved how Ms. Rock brought a resolution to Delia’s issue but we are not done with Jager at all.  *spoiler alert *  That’s the whole story ARC between the six books.  😉
What sold me about their relationship is how Delia was able to get Jager to go to New York and at least meet with his “other” brothers.  I especially liked how the other girls were there for Delia from the beginning.  They had all been there before, so they knew.  And Malcolm is just great.  Of course, Cam at the gate of his estate on the island is hilarious and trust me, only Cam could get away with it.  That’s when I knew that Ms. Rock sold me on Jager, Damon, and Gabe.  I can’t wait to see how the rest of the series plays out with all six of the brothers.
Ms. Rock cannot write a bad book.  I’ve been reading her since her early, early Harlequin days (remember Spice?  She wrote some historical shorts for that line and yes, I still have them on my old Nook)  Plus, regardless of the trope, I always believe in the story.  I might have had a bit of trouble in the beginning but once the story really started moving, I was sold.  Bring the rest of the brothers.   However, I will be really sad when it’s all over.  I miss the lugs already.
Author Bio
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her
life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann.

When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
 
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