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Review of Sweet Melody (Seabrook Romance #1) by Heidi McCahan w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #SweetMelTour @HeidiMcCahan


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Sweet Melody
(Seabrook Romance #1)
By Heidi McCahan
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 242 Pages
August 1st 2019

When a struggling bakery owner is rescued by a wannabe songwriter with hidden culinary talents, they discover they can make sweet harmony … if they can only learn to work together.

Rhett Foster longs to change the world with his music, yet he can’t even finish writing one song. Battered by a string of failures and disillusioned, he returns home to Portland, Oregon. While he desperately wants to create a chart-topping hit, his dad mandates a new mission: move to coastal vacation hotspot Seabrook, Washington and expand the family’s successful restaurant chain.

In danger of destroying her late parents’ legacy if she doesn’t diversify her menu, Lindsay Carmichael will try anything to save her bakery. But with a tiny budget and an injured employee who can’t work, she has no choice but to sink the last of her savings into buying a dilapidated food truck and hiring Rhett as a part-time barista. What she doesn’t know is that the handsome songwriter has a secret … one that could destroy her business and her heart.

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EXCERPT

Rhett continued taking their requests, performing the songs effortlessly. With each line he sang, Lindsay’s emotions sailed further and further into choppy seas. Careful. You can’t afford to fall for this man.

As the notes of Rhett’s latest cover song faded, Jon released a long whistle. “Do you ever perform anything you’ve written?”

Catherine and Lindsay exchanged glances. Had Jon seen the YouTube channel, too?

Rhett was silent for an instant. “I have a few songs of my own, nothing that’s made it to the radio lately.”

“Anything you’d be willing to play tonight?” Quinn asked, her expression hopeful.

“Sure.”

From the first verse, the mood of the gathering shifted as Rhett’s tone dived deep and took on a mournful, seasoned quality—as though he’d lived every minute of the pain he crooned about.

Lindsay gripped the armrests of her chair, hanging on every note, captivated by the emotional journey of the songwriter. Captivated by Rhett. The chorus and subsequent verse told a powerful story of unrequited love, then came to an abrupt end as Rhett stopped playing.

“That’s all I’ve written so far.” He shifted in his chair. “Sorry.”

They were all staring with rapt attention. Clearly, she wasn’t the only one who wanted more.

“Great job,” Lindsay said, reaching over and giving his forearm a squeeze.

“Man, what are you doing making coffee?” Jon teased. “You should’ve never left Nashville.”

Oh no. 

“I’m glad you think so.” Rhett frowned. “Too bad nobody agrees with you. I’m what they refer to in the business as a one-hit-wonder.”

Lindsay didn’t miss the regret tinging his voice. Did he honestly believe that was true? Before she had a chance to object, Rhett stood and passed the guitar back to Jon.

“Thanks for letting me borrow your guitar. I’m going to call it a night.” He offered a casual wave around the circle, avoiding Lindsay’s gaze. “Six a.m. comes pretty early.”

He slipped between two chairs, cut across the yard and disappeared into the darkness.

They all sat in stunned silence.

“Whoa. What happened?” Ivy asked.

“We must’ve hit a nerve somehow.”

“Maybe he’s embarrassed about sharing his art in public.”

Lindsay stared into the fire and listened to her friends’ speculations. Rhett’s sudden departure was jarring. She hated that they’d ruined a good night by pushing him to do something he didn’t want to do. More than anything, her mind kept circling back to Jon’s question.

What are you doing making coffee?

While she’d sensed Rhett bristling at the casual comment, it was a question she’d tiptoed around quite a bit. If he was such a talented artist and songwriter, what was he doing here?

I’m just going to say it.  I loved this book from the start.  From the setting to the characters, to the plot and especially how I felt after reading it.  Peeps this is a sweet contemporary romance with inspirational undertones to it.  Does Ms. McCahan beat you over the head?  No, it is subtle and so worth it in the end.  I found that while reading the book, my heart opened and made me take stock in certain parts of my own life.

Rhett and Lindsay are a perfect couple.  Are they perfect?  No, but learning from their past and opening up to different things made them perfect for each other.  They each had big voids to fill in the lives and kept getting a bit beat down when something didn’t quite measure up.  That’s life and you can grow from it as they did in the end.  Each of them has been hurt in the past with relationships and are dealing with that in their own way.  Lindsay is bitter and Rhett is somewhat guarded.  These two have a ways to go before they can finally get their HEA.

I loved the seaside town and the plot point of food trucks.  I live in a small town that doesn’t have them but they intrigue me.  Ms. McCahan does a great job of explaining the ins and outs and what it takes to run one.  I found that Rhett’s dad is just an awful person and doesn’t see Rhett as a person but as a thing that he can manipulate.  Grrr…Rhett and Lindsay are dealing with grief and rejection that can only come from someone that shouldn’t have rejected them in the first place.

Ultimately, this book is about forgiveness, opening your heart to something new, finding love when you least expect it and letting go of the past.  You can only look forward to move on.  I don’t normally watch Hallmark movies but this book would make a perfect movie.  Ms. McCahan’s descriptions filled my head with all kinds of visuals and I would love to see it come to the screen.

Do yourself a favor a pick up this gem of a book.  I dare you not to love it and wish it was a movie, too.

About the Author

Heidi secretly dreamed of writing a book for most of her childhood, but a particularly painful rejection letter in middle school convinced her to tuck that dream away. Instead, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband Steve, then she dusted off her big dream of becoming a published author and launched her first contemporary romance into the world in 2014. A huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, Heidi currently lives in North Carolina with Steve, three active boys and one amazing Goldendoodle.

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One winner will receive a signed paperback with bookmark, $10 Amazon gift card, Sticky Fingers Strawberry Scone mix and a Seabrook Sea, Salt and Surf 100% soy wax candle from Hometown candle company.
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Ends September 18, 2019

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#Review of Wearing the Greek Millionaire’s Ring (Greek Island Brides #3) by Jennifer Faye w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #WGMRTour @HarlequinBooks @JenniferFaye34


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Wearing the Greek Millionaire’s Ring
(Greek Island Brides #3)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
September 1st 2019 by Harlequin Romance

A convenient engagement…

An inconvenient attraction!

In this Greek Island Brides story, widow Stasia Marinakos is learning to enjoy life again aboard a Mediterranean cruise. Her chemistry with gorgeous Greek tycoon Roberto Carrass is a pleasant surprise—until she’s mistaken for his fiancée! Nevertheless, the guarded bachelor asks Stasia to continue the charade to stop his family from matchmaking. As their attraction grows, their fake romance feels ever more real…but what will happen when the vacation ends?

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Go to Jennifer’s Contact Page HERE and order your bookmark(s)!

 

EXCERPT

He was about to take a drink when he noticed she didn’t have anything in front of her. “Can I get you anything to drink or eat?”

“Actually, yes. I’d love an espresso. I need the caffeine.”

It was only then that he noticed the shadows beneath her eyes. They were faint, as though they were covered up, and you wouldn’t even notice them unless you were looking for them. Something was keeping her up at night. And then he realized what it might be. She was still grieving for her husband. Sympathy welled up in him.

“I’ll be right back with caffeine.” He got to his feet and walked away.

He couldn’t even imagine what she was going through. It was just one more reason that remaining a bachelor was a good idea. Families were messy with entanglements, emotions and responsibilities. It was easier to just deal with himself.

He ordered two coffees. Though he didn’t rely on caffeine to get him up and going in the morning—that was what running was for—that didn’t mean he didn’t appreciate the flavor and warmth of a cup of coffee.

He’d picked up the coffees and started back to the table when he noticed a young guy headed straight for Stasia. He couldn’t blame the guy. She was a beautiful woman. And if she weren’t his friend’s sister as well as being a widow, he definitely would have pursued her. Nothing serious, but they’d have made some great memories together.

Roberto slowed down, unsure what to do. Maybe Stasia knew the man. Maybe she’d welcome the company. As Stasia smiled at the man, Roberto’s body tensed. He knew it shouldn’t bother him. It wasn’t like the guy was horning in on a date. They’d merely bumped into each other.

Maybe he should head over there and take his seat. After all, this was his time with Stasia. Was that a thing? Could friends claim time with each other?

Or perhaps he should head to his cabin. He could get some work done before meeting up with his family for dinner. Just then his phone vibrated, letting him know a new email had landed in his inbox.

But instead of withdrawing his phone to find out what required his attention, he continued gazing in Stasia’s direction. He wanted to be sure everything was all right before he moved on.

I will be frank with this review.  Don’t worry, it’s a good one but there was a character that I particularly didn’t like at all.  Unfortunately, it’s Roberto’s grandmother.  One of the reasons I picked up this book is because I read the other two which I loved.  Secondly, one of my favorite movies is My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  So with that, I went into the book thinking MBFGW trope with his family.  The grandmother just grated on my nerves.  I thought that she was a bit too pushy, judgmental towards the actual relationship that Roberto and Stasia were having and in some ways, the way she treated her husband.  Did Roberto’s grandfather need a kick in the rear at times?  You bet, but she was just too overbearing for me.

Roberto is a dream.  You never got the sense that he had money (which I loved) but overall, was a good person.  He never thought in a million years that he and Stasia would ever date, so the surprise was a delight.  I understood why he never formed any attachments to women because of his parents.  However, once things were revealed to him in regards to them, it made more sense.  It also showed that he was capable of true love with Stasia in the end.

Stasia has been through too much in her young life.  I have enjoyed getting to know her throughout the series.  Stasia was finally ready to move on with her life but she needed to figure out what to do.  Babysitting can only get you so far and when she realized that she didn’t want to work with Xander, she really had to look at what made her happy.  Losing a husband isn’t easy and Stasia knows it, so bumping into Roberto was surprising.  She is not a weak woman by any means.  She’s stronger than she thinks and Roberto shows her that with the outings that they go on.

Their romance is slow and sweet, which I loved.  Stasia needed to realize that she could love again and should love again.  Roberto is patient with her and her feelings that linger for her husband.  I felt like Roberto was slower on the romance because of his background.  He had the most to lose in the relationship and it showed throughout the book.  I loved how when he FINALLY realized that Stasia was for him, he stood up to Xander, his family and ultimately, Stasia.

This friends to lovers book was spot on.  Ms. Faye wrote a slow-paced, sweet romance about moving on and finding yourself separate from the death of a spouse.  It is about loss and dealing with moving on but remembering, too.  Roberto and Stasia romance is the perfect bookend for the series.  I’m so happy that I rediscovered the Harlequin Romance line.  Ms. Faye is one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Did I mention that I’m completely jealous of being on a cruise?  We missed cruising this year.  Next year we are going again.

 

The Greek Island Brides Series

Finding love that lasts to infinity!

All marriages that take place on renowned wedding destination Infinity Island are guaranteed to last forever!

And the picturesque Greek island is about to weave its magic for friends Lea, Popi and Stasia. They dream of finding their own happy-ever-afters… And they’re about to meet three billionaires who will sweep them off their feet—and down the aisle!

About the Author

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a signed print copy of Wearing the Greek Millionaire’s Ring (print if US, ebook if international)
1 winner will receive signed print copies of the entire Greek Island Brides series (US only)
1 winner will receive a signed print copy of Wearing the Greek Millionaire’s Ring (US only)
– Ends September 12, 2019

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#Review of The Fixer Upper (Echo Springs #1) by Maggie Mae Gallagher w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance @magmaegallagher

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Mae Gallagher will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

 

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?

Read an Excerpt

“Stocking up a bit?” Nate asked as they set the cooler down next to the deepfreeze.

Abby shrugged, flipping the lid up to reveal packages of steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef, bacon, sausage, turkey. Staring at the mountain of meat, she had to admit she was a little obsessive when it came to being prepared. “Well, I did some research before accepting the position at Echo Springs Community College, and it said that roads can be impassible during the winter.”

“They can, but we do try to stay on top of road clearing. When it snows, the skiers come out in full force and head into the mountain resorts. All those travelers are the life-blood of this town, as they stop at the gas stations, restaurants, and shops. Without that, this town would go belly up in a New York minute. When the snows hit, the Styman boys stop working the appliance store and clear the streets, along with a few more of the locals. They work together to keep the city’s roads as clear as possible.”

“Good to know. But we aren’t in the city.” Which was something that wasn’t lost on her.

“No, we’re not. It can get a bit dicey out here. I tend to stay in town more and sleep at the station, but it’s good that you’re stocking up. Make sure you’ve got yourself some long underwear and some firewood.”

She blushed at the underwear comment and wanted to kick herself. What are you, a teenager? Just because Sheriff Stud Muffin’s topic made her wonder whether he was a boxers or briefs kind of man, and that she’d love to find out which he preferred, was no reason for Abby to act like an unschooled virgin.

Wait a second… “Firewood? Why would I need firewood?”

It wasn’t something she had considered she would even need. Where did she get some? Would she have to cut the wood herself? Abby could see herself trying to heft an ax to chop wood. Coordination was not her strong suit. More likely than not, she’d end up hacking the wood to bits, all while taking off a few of her limbs. It wouldn’t be pretty. Besides, knowing her, she’d leave the ax outside for the psycho killer to find and use to attack her in her home. She could imagine the headline:

Evie Callier’s great-niece hacked to death because she didn’t listen to her parents. Murder weapon apparently belonged to the victim, army of dolls suspected, news at eleven.

Jesus, she needed to get a grip.

Nate regarded her, his modest expression calling her a hundred times a fool for not being better prepared for life in the mountains, and said, “In case you lose power during a storm. It can get mighty cold up in these hills, especially when we are being pummeled with blizzard conditions. It doesn’t happen all the time, but in these older homes, power can get knocked out and be out for days.”

“What about a backup generator? Would that suffice?” Because if so, she’d turn right back around and head back to Gundry’s Bulk Superstore for one. The thought of being without power during a blizzard chilled her, and for a millisecond, she considered hightailing it back East. Until she remembered that back East would mean having to deal with her parents’ disapproval nearly twenty-four seven. She’d already visited that amusement park fun house, thank you very much, and didn’t want to return.

“Yes and no. Most are gas-operated, although there are newer models that are solar but come with a heftier price tag, and if you run out of fuel…”

“You run out of electricity. Does anyone sell firewood in town?” She’d start looking tonight online for a backup generator. The thought of having only a fireplace for warmth made her shudder involuntarily. With her luck, that would be when all the creepy dolls decided to rise up en masse and strike.

“Check with Styman’s. I’m not sure what their stock is this time of year, but if you’d like some help, I’d be happy to get you started.”

She unloaded the last of the meat into the freezer, and shut the lid. “That would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble. Thank you.”

“It’s no problem at all. After you.” He gestured at the wooden stairs.

Nate trailed her up the steps; she could feel his gaze boring into her back as they entered the kitchen. Abby restrained from fanning her face at the jolt of heat that hummed in her system whenever he was near.

This couple is in my top 10 all-time couples.  Yes, top 10.  Jordan and Noah (Shadow Dance-Julie Garwood), Eve and Roarke, Jack and Cathy Ryan (Tom Clancy), Wolf MacKenzie/Mary Elizabeth (MacKenzie’s Mountain-Linda Howard), Drea/Simon (Death Angel by Linda Howard), Jaine/Sam (Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard), Raine/Zack (Sizzle & Burn-Jayne Ann Krentz) and Fallon/Isabella (In To Deep, Linda Howard) and now Abby and Nate.  As you can tell, my favorite couples are from older books and I’m proud of that.  I read a lot of books and let me tell you, I fall in and out of love with couples, but the list above and now Abby and Nate have stayed with me and have captured a piece of my heart that I can never get back.

I’ve enjoyed read Ms. Gallagher under her erotic name so when I was approached to read the first book in a new series under her contemporary name, I jumped on board.  There is something about this book that just resounded with me.  I connected with Abby on a scale that I haven’t done in a long time.  I completely understood why she decided to rebel against her parents.  Families can be tricky and I have a weird relationship with my own mother, so I can see why she was so close to her Great Aunt Evie.  She accepted Abby for who and what she was as a person.  She encouraged her to break free and to let her know that it was okay to do that.  I had a grandmother like Great Aunt Evie.  I miss her still.

Nate is a trip.  Literally a trip.  And Rufus, his dog.  Oh my…the scene where everyone is spooning every one.  I giggled out loud at the pool.  There were so many parts of this book that had me giggling.  Nate and Abby were born to be a couple.  Both had their flaws but they complimented each other, too.  Abby at a crossroads when it came to the rest of her life and Nate finally realizing what was missing from his.  Will they make it?  You need to read it and find out.

The secondary characters are top-notch.  We get to know Evie and Old Man Turner through his journal and it was beautiful, if not heartbreaking at times.  I loved how Ms. Gallagher weaved their romance into Abby and Nate’s.  It made their relationship that much richer and truer.  In fact, I believe in the Fates and they were meant to be together.  I think that’s why Evie willed her house to Abby in the first place.

Nate’s friends are a hoot.  I can’t wait to read their stories.  And the girls that were in the book are the perfect matches for these guys.  Oh yes, Abby’s new friends take no prisoners when it comes to men.  They don’t put up with a lot and give Abby some great advice when it comes to Nate.  I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in Echo Springs.  There is so much more to that town then what I’ve only read.  The break-ins were spot on and when the culprit is caught, I wasn’t shocked.  I kinda figured it out but it still stung.

Ms. Gallagher has written one couple that I’m proud to say is in my top 10.  Does that mean that I didn’t like all the other couples that I have read?  Absolutely not.  On an elemental level, I just connected with Abby and Nate.  Their relationship is funny, sexy, emotional and just spot on realistic.  Plus, the dolls.  Yes, I would be creeped out, too.  She has got to get rid of them.  Yikes!

About the Author:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website here: http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com

Visit her on social media here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MagMaeGallagher/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/magmaegallagher
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7846308.Maggie_Mae_Gallagher
Twitter: https://twitter.com/magmaegallagher
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/maggiegallagher
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-mae-gallagher

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Maggie Mae Gallagher!

The Mystic Series

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CASKET GIRL: https://amzn.to/2Dmw9MD

The Cantati Chronicles

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And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/

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