Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

#Review of Midnight Girl by Nora LeDuc w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #RomanticSuspense #Mystery

Midnight Girl

by Nora LeDuc

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GENRE: Mystery/Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

When a teenager mysteriously disappears in Hawick Falls, New Hampshire, Lisa Raynes fears her kidnapper, who recently escaped from prison, is hunting girls again. She also believes he’s targeted her for his next victim when she receives a threatening message. To add to her problems, her ex-boyfriend Travis Bodell, nephew of her captor, shows up in town. Five years ago, he promised to love Lisa forever, but he left her to start a new life. Trusting him was a mistake she will never repeat.

Bad boy Travis Bodell has a history of run-ins with the law. The police suspect he came back to aid his uncle, not to warn Lisa she’s in danger. With the investigation going nowhere, Travis focuses on Lisa who identifies with the missing teen and wants to find her. To keep Lisa safe, he offers to help her search. She refuses until loving memories of their past surface, and she finally accepts his proposal. Working together arouses strong feelings of attraction that neither will admit.

As time runs out for the kidnap victim, disturbing threats against Midnight Girl, Lisa’s online name, grow. She realizes the only way to stay alive is to open her heart and put her faith in Travis, but can she let go of her doubts and lingering hurt? Can the couple join forces and win against a cunning criminal fueled by hate?

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Excerpt Three:

Lisa parted her lips to say something. Maybe she was going to protest about his wet clothes. No. He’d had enough talking. He bent and touched her mouth. He meant it to be a quick, stolen kiss, but as soon as he tasted her he wanted more. This might be his only chance.

She gripped his shoulders before her arms slid around him, tightening as though afraid he’d disappear. Forever they stood their tongues tangling together until he could take no more of the heat, the urgency. His fingers were entwined in her hair holding on to her. Never letting her go. The need to run his free hand over each part of her body and listen to her gasps grew into full-blown lust.

“Upstairs,” he said, his voice hoarse.

“Three floors?” She tipped her head back and raised her brows.

“Right.” Five years. Five years without her. He fisted the ends of her white button-down shirt in both his hands before whipping it open. Buttons popped off and dinged on the wooden surface. Underneath she wore a blue lacy bra.  

Banks’s entire unit couldn’t stop him now. He yanked off her top, tossed it aside, and swallowed to keep his tongue in his mouth. “Way too far.” He lowered Lisa stared up at him. Her brown eyes were full of questions and a sadness he longed to erase. Had she thought of him much during the years he’d been away?

She parted her lips to say something. Maybe she was going to protest about his wet clothes. No. He’d had enough talking. He bent and touched her mouth. He meant it to be a quick, stolen kiss, but as soon as he tasted her he wanted more. This might be his only chance.

She gripped his shoulders before her arms slid around him, tightening as though afraid he’d disappear. Forever they stood their tongues tangling together until he could take no more of the heat, the urgency. His fingers were entwined in her hair holding on to her. Never letting her go. The need to run his free hand over each part of her body and listen to her gasps grew into full-blown lust.

“Upstairs,” he said, his voice hoarse.

“Three floors?” She tipped her head back and raised her brows.

“Right.” Five years. Five years without her. He fisted the ends of her white button-down shirt in both his hands before whipping it open. Buttons popped off and dinged on the wooden surface. Underneath she wore a blue lacy bra.  

Banks’s entire unit couldn’t stop him now. He yanked off her top, tossed it aside, and swallowed to keep his tongue in his mouth. “Way too far.” He lowered them to the floor.

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Okay, so I lied.  I totally forgot that I had this post to do.  Happy New Year!  So, I read this book over the holidays.  I needed something to cleanse the palette after the holidays.  My holiday was interesting, to say the least, so I need a mystery/suspense book and Ms. LeDuc delivered.  I normally don’t read “mystery” books.  Yes, I don’t read the cozy ones either but I really liked this one.  It had some suspense elements in it, too and don’t worry about the romance taking over.  It doesn’t.  In fact, I worried about a bit that maybe Lisa and Travis wouldn’t get that “second chance” in the romantic department.

You need to go into the book with the mindset that Lisa was extremely tormented when she was kidnapped.  It was horrific and Ms. LeDuc does a great job of letting us know in small doses what happened to her and her recovery from it.  Travis is the misunderstood bad boy that she dated and is now back in her life when her kidnapper escapes.  I really liked both of them, separately and together.  The relationship between is completely understandable and plausible.  Between Travis being snarky know it all to the cops (trust me, its funny at times) and Lisa’s strength, they are great!

The mystery is pretty straightforward when it comes to her captor but Ms. LeDuc throws in a COMPLETELY different spin and I was way off base when I thought I had figured it out.  I can pretty much figure out but this time…nope.  I was dumbfounded but in a good way.  I loved it and it made sense.  What a tool.  The ending is fantastic, too.  Ms. LeDuc throws in some really creepy scenes and her writing flowed like a fog settling in for a spell.

Do yourself a favor and pick this gem of mystery/romantic suspense.  You will love watching Travis and Lisa learn from past mistakes, take a chance on love and come out stronger in the end.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Nora grew up in rural New England and still lives here. She has enjoyed combining my love of true crime shows with her imagination to produce romantic suspense and mysteries that you keep you guessing.

You can find Nora on her website: NoraLeDuc.com,

Facebook: Nora LeDuc-author,

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nora-LeDuc/e/B001KI084O

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Nora LeDuc will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews, TWRP

Author Interview of Peggy Jaeger and #Review of Christmas & Canollis w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Christmas & Canollis

by Peggy Jaeger

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GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

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BLURB:

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

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Excerpt Three:

My free hand slid up his jacket, basking in the rich texture of the fabric, to skim across the column of his throat and settle against his cheek. His skin was smooth and clean-shaven, warm and velvety soft against my palm. Connor let go of my arm and slipped his hand down my back. With his fingers pressed against the dip in my spine, he pressed me in even closer. His tongue nipped and sipped at my own as his fingers fanned across my back and kneaded.

Mio Dio.

Who knew the small of your back was such an erogenous zone? He must have first-hand knowledge about a particularly sensitive nerve bundle in that region because my thighs started to tremble and a deep-seated liquid warmth, like warm butter melting over hot morning ciabatta rolls, spread throughout my system. A restlessness for more shunted through me from top to bottom, making me fidget and writhe for release. I think I moaned. Or maybe that was Connor. I wasn’t sure, but one thing I was sure of was that in all the time I’d been married, I’d never felt so turned on by a simple kiss before.

Okay, well, it really wasn’t a simple kiss. More a life-changing event.


Welcome PEGGY JAEGER! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  

 

Thanks and Hi to all!  I write contemporary romance in a few subgenres, Romantic Comedies, and Small town, to be specific. My tagline will tell you that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. I live in beautiful New England where I get to watch the trees change to glorious colors during my favorite time of year: autumn. I’m 21 years old (plus 37 !) Hee hee and I’ve been married to the love of my life for over 30 years.

Is Christmas and Cannolis a single title, or part of a series?

 

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, a San Valentino Holiday Romance, is a single title-stand alone book, although various branches of the loud and loving family have starred in 2 previous books, 3 WISHES and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. You don’t need to have read the others to understand the plot and the people in this one, but I guarantee that after you meet this branch of the San Valentinos, you’ll want to meet the others.

What were your inspirations for the story?

 

Family is everything to me. As an only child, I always wanted siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles I could visit, spend time with, and grow up with. I wasn’t afforded that wonderful opportunity, so from a very young age when I started writing stories, I made them about a girl who had that kind of loving, supportive and large family. The desire for a big family etched its way into my grown-up writing as well. After A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS was published, I had a number of readers ask me to write Sonny SanValentino’s story. He was a pivotal secondary character in both the previous books and readers love his wise-guy wannabe persona. I knew I’d need to give him his own big family and a loving, independent and strong wife – because really, who else could put up with him?  Hee Hee. I gave Sonny 4 older sons and a daughter, Regina, who’s the youngest. Because I love to bake so much and have taken courses on how to be a better baker, I gave Regina her own bakery and the story evolved from the heartache she’s suffered during her life. I knew with her supportive and nosy family, she would be able to move beyond her heartache, albeit in comical ways, because we are talking about Sonny, after all. He always knows a guy who knows a guy who can get you whatever you want. His wheeling and dealing are intrinsic to the plot line and his actions cause the black moment in the story.

Please share your setting.

 

Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS takes place on the Upper West side of Manhattan ( New York City) a place I know well. I grew up in New York City and attended Hunter College as an undergraduate. Recently, my daughter lived on the Upper East Side, so the family neighborhoods are near and dear to me.

When did the writing bug first bite?

 

Well, when I was 8 years old I was given my first diary. It was the old-fashioned kind with a lock and key. Instead of filling it up with Dear Diary anecdotes about my days – which were mundane and boring – I filled the pages with stories of independent girls from loving families who went on adventures. I write every single day and have since I first got that diary. You could say I’ve been a lifelong diarist who turned her stories into her livelihood.

Who are your favorite authors, book/series?  

 

Nora Roberts and her doppelganger JD ROBB of the In Death Series. Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor series.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

The two ladies mentioned above, plus Sarah Morgan, Sandra Brown, Catherine Bybee and Lauren Layne.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

 

I cook and bake from scratch most days. Even though it is just my husband and myself at home now, my hubby likes fresh food and home-baked goods and I am thrilled to provide him with both. I have over 130 cookbooks in my home that are dog-eared and well-loved, and I gather most of my recipes from them, then wiggle them a bit to Peggy-ize them.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

 

I was a nurse in my former life, so I’ve seen and heard plenty of strange things! The oddest mention I can give without breaking any kind of confidentiality is one day when I was floated to the Emergency room to cover sick calls, a man came in with a fishing spear sticking completely through his chest and exiting out his back. By the Grace of God, no organs were hit and his spinal column was unaffected, but he needed eight hours of surgery to remove the thing. I was in charge of getting him prepped for surgery and he was as calm as could be. At the time I thought he was in shock, but his wife assured me he was always that way – quiet, calm, not nervous. She told me he worked for the government oversees for a number of years in the State Dept. and had to learn how to counsel his emotions and reactions. Amazing. P.S. He survived just fine and had a scar that ran from the notch of his collar all the way to the top of his belly button.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

Never give up on your dreams. Don’t let anyone else squash them either. Hold them dear and while you are waiting to be published, polish your craft by always learning, writing, and networking with other authors.

 

Peeps, this story is what I needed to read this week.  Funny, light-hearted with a heartbreaking backstory for both Regina and Connor.  Plus, it has baked goods.  And a father that reminded me of anyone in the movie Married to the Mob.  Things falling off a truck.  Knowing a guy, that knew a guy, etc.  The funny moments are definitely there, plus some heartbreaking ones, too.  Regina has the typical Italian family and all the personalities to go with that.  I will admit that I loved her dad way more than her mom.  I felt like her mom was more of window dressing and didn’t much care for the way that Regina was leading her life.  Her dad, however, just wanted the best for his daughter and the hilarity ensues because of it.  Also, the black moment.

Connor is the man of mystery.  I NEVER saw his backstory at all.  It was interesting, heartbreaking and it made him who he is and the motivation to do the fundraiser.  Plus, I just loved how he treated Regina from the beginning.  He never once doubted her, babied her but did take care of her in the end.  Plus, he stood up to her dad without being a douche canoe about it.  He just treated everyone with respect and it showed in the end.

Regina. Man, she went through some awful, just awful stuff but she still believed in love, family and a great cake.  I just loved her from the beginning, too.  What I didn’t like was how she let her family intrude on how she should feel and act when it came to men again.  Yes, I realize that its typical behavior in an Italian family but still.  After everything, they just wouldn’t leave her alone and be her own person again.

This book moves pretty quickly.  Ms. Jaeger writes a very funny but heartfelt book about two people that should have never met but met at just the right time for each other.  Some of the themes are somewhat difficult to read but necessary for Regina to move forward in her relationship with Connor.  Plus, come on.  The book is set in NYC and I suddenly have a craving for NY style pizza and to ride the subway again.

If you are looking for a great Christmas themed book with humor, heart and some smexy times, this is for you.  Just don’t forget that someone knows someone, that knows someone and it “might” have fallen off a truck”.  Just don’t ask.  Because in the end, Sonny, Regina’s father, lets that get the best of him and Regina.   *wink*

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found a publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?  

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JF1WQKT/

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6235-christmas-and-cannolis.html

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews, TWRP

#Review of Learning to Love by Jennifer Wilck w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance

Learning to Love

by Jennifer Wilck

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the-charts intelligence, frizzy hair and rounder-than-socially-acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return.

Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father’s law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion.

When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can’t possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?

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Excerpt Three:

“Cold?” Adam turned and stopped in front of her.

She nodded, and he adjusted her scarf, the backs of his fingers caressing her cheeks and jaw. His warm breath tickled her nose and up close, she could see flecks of silver and brown in his eyes. A small scar marked the top of his cheekbone, beneath his eye, and without thinking, she touched it.

He froze, a sharp intake of breath making Dina realize she’d actually made contact. As if the texture of his skin beneath the tip of her finger wasn’t enough evidence.

“I’m sorry,” she said, drawing her hand away.

“No, it’s okay.” He took her hand and held it against his cheek. She could see his pupils dilate, feel the rasp of stubble beneath her palm.

“How did you get it?” she asked.

“A fight in the third grade. Tommy D teased me for talking to the girl everyone used to make fun of in class. So I decked him. He got me back and we both got detention.”

Dina couldn’t help smiling. “Aw, you were her knight in shining armor.”

He reddened. “You’re the only one who thinks I was.”

“Not true. She probably thinks so as well. Since I know who my competition is, I’ll have to give you my ribbon to carry or something.”

At his look of confusion, she continued. “In medieval times, a lady gave her knight a favor, such as a ribbon, and he’d joust for her.”

Taking her hand from his cheek, he raised it to his lips and kissed the backs of her fingers. “So you want me to fight for you?”

Ever read a read a book and you just couldn’t put it down?  Sure, everyone has one of those or a couple of hundred.  And sure you’ve heard bloggers say that all the time but with this one, I really couldn’t put it down.  This is my first book by Ms. Wilck and definitely won’t be my last.

Her writing is raw, real and emotional.  What could have been a typical book about opposites attracted, throw some major family issues, the girl has some major insecurities about herself and THEN throw in some mean girls from high school?  This book surprised in so many ways and I loved it.  Dina and Adam surprised me.  While Ms. Wilck tried to make Adam a player and somewhat an alpha male, I read right through him.  He was nothing but sweet.  Plus, he really just wanted someone to love and for someone to love him back.  I won’t go into that because that’s a major plot point and its relatable on all the levels.  Adam really is a sweet guy and a HUGE romantic.  The flowers and cards.  *swoon*

Dina is the girl that you WISHED you were.  No seriously.  She has her own issues but nothing that you or I haven’t gone through or maybe still go through.  The high school reunion is epic.  I hated mine but I went anyway and Ms. Wilck is right about one thing…the mean girls NEVER grow up but you can be and will be better than them.  Dina, through all of her insecurities, knows that she loves Adam but can she really trust him when the tough get going?

As mentioned in her bio, she writes Jewish characters.  I grew up with a bunch of friends that were Jewish so reading the temple scenes were great.  It makes me miss those times with them.  BTW, I’m not Jewish.  However, growing up we did celebrate, in our gentile ways, with our friends.  If I had a niggle of a complaint, I wish that we learned more about Adam and his faith.  But hey, he showed up and it was fantastically done.

I love The Wild Rose Press and their authors.  This book is another hit from them and I hope that more people find it to read.  The romance is a slow burn, the writing is emotional and real and the characters are people that you actually wish you could be friends with.  I couldn’t put it down and neither will you.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and The Wild Rose Press.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jennifer+wilck

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/jennifer+wilck?_requestid=1969656

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=jennifer+wilck&submit_search=

She can be reached at www.jenniferwilck.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wilck/201342863240160. She tweets at @JWilck. Her blog (Fried Oreos) is www.jenniferwilck.blogspot.com and she contributes to Heroine With Hearts blog monthly http://www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Jennifer Wilck will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway