Happy book Birthday and ARC #Review of Rodeo Rancher by Mary Sullivan! @MSullivanWrites

A Family Housewarming

Visitors are rare at widower Michael Moreno’s Rodeo, Montana, ranch. When Samantha Read and her two sons turn up, seeking shelter in a snowstorm, his kids are ecstatic. Michael is less enthusiastic. Sammy’s sophisticated city vibe seems out of place in his country home. But even he can’t deny that the bubbly beauty lights up the whole house.

Though Sammy doesn’t know much about ranching, she recognizes an aching heart when she sees one. Michael and his kids could use some cheer, and she’s determined to make the most of their time together. But as the heat between Sammy and Michael threatens to melt the snow, Sammy wonders if Michael’s heart could be thawing, as well…

 

I have to admit that has much Harlequin I read, I never caught onto the Cowboy craze.  It seems from being born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas.  I still live in Texas and for me, cowboys are something that I have seen every day my whole life.  It’s not I don’t like a good Wrangler butt or a buff rancher.  I worship at the feet of King George (George Straight) but honestly, I’d rather have billionaire’s, royalty or the special agent/cop.  That said, somewhere I missed the memo that Harlequin American Romance was changing to Western Romance.

So when Ms. Sullivan approached me to read her latest release I was intrigued.  You see, it’s about a rancher in Montana and the woman that is finally able to make him smile and love again after the death of his wife.  Sure, it’s a tried and true trope but what makes this one so special and good are their kids.  Oh yes, Michael has 2 kids and so does Sammy.  The kids in this book are crucial to the development of the romance and how much Michael is grieving.  Ms. Sullivan does a great job of the slow burn of the romance.  Michael is a big ole grumpy bear that has closed everyone off and Sammy is just the breath of fresh air that he and his kids need.

Sammy does come with some baggage, too.  The ending surprised me.  I honestly never saw that coming but it was nicely done.  I also liked her relationship with her brother.  Just wished I had read his book, too.  Sammy is just a trip when it comes to the kids.  I also liked how her and Michael’s parenting skills were the same but different.  Loved how Sammy never questioned Michael’s but he was quick to always say something about hers.  The meet-cute was hilarious, too.  Ms. Sullivan painted a picture for me and I’m still smiling.

Overall, this book sold me on the “new” line.  I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.  Alas, I have to wait until I think July.

Author Bio:
Award-winning author Mary Sullivan grew up in a big city, which makes her fascination with small towns, ranchers and cowboys hard to explain.
In 2005, she was finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Since then her writing career has taken off. She is the author of thirteen Superromances and two Western Romances, with four more on the way!
She loves that moment when, against all odds and through every difficulty, her hero and heroine find their happy endings.
TWITTER: @MSullivanWrites

#ARC Review of A Cowboy to Keep by Karen Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @karenrock5

Can’t stop running from the past 

Dani Crawford has a secret…and if bounty hunter Jackson Cade finds out, he could ruin everything. The scarred yet handsome cowboy has tracked a dangerous criminal to the dude ranch Dani manages, and to get rid of Jack she’ll have to help him catch his man. But the closer they get to cornering their quarry the more Dani wants Jack to stay. Spending time with him is making her long for things she can never have thanks to a past mistake. And if the truth comes out she may be spending her future behind bars rather than safe in her cowboy’s arms…

A COWBOY TO KEEP is the prequel to my upcoming Harlequin Heartwarming ROCKY MOUNTAIN COWBOYS series.

  • Series: Harlequin Heartwarming
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming (February 7, 2017)

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EXCERPT:

Without warning, Jack laid his thumb on Dani’s lips, as if seeing whether she would pull away. She didn’t. He leaned closer. She wanted to drop her gaze from his but couldn’t. Before, Jack had just been a threat to her secret. Her security. The safe life she’d constructed in this hiding spot. Now all Dani could see were his big dark eyes, the palms of his strong hands, the way his torso shifted under his T-shirt.

Her mind swerved in unexpected directions. She wondered, briefly, what it would feel like if he were to kiss her. She made a small, involuntary sound at the thought.

His lids lowered and he leaned his head into hers. When their lips were almost touching, he cupped the side of her face, the caress achingly tender, and slid his fingers into her hair.

He angled her face upward and brushed his mouth against hers, softly at first, then he lifted her chin and deepened his kiss so that her body trembled. She kissed him back—tentatively and then with a fierce passion, her hand stealing up his neck, her eyes closing. She could feel his heart drum through his shirt, the rush of his breath mingling with hers, the strength of his body as he drew her closer still until she clung to him, her head spinning.

His lips traveled along her jaw and she dug her fingers into his shoulders, needing his strength because her muscles were suddenly limp. Never in her life had a kiss—or a man—affected her this way.

Jack’s hands dropped to her waist and tightened there. In the still air, their breathing was the only sound. Blood throbbed in her veins, pulsed at the base of her throat. She buried her face in his neck and inhaled the clean male scent of his skin. It reminded her of a forest after a storm, strong and pure and good.

Yet he’d denied Dakota’s claim that he was a good man. And the sadness she glimpsed in the corners of his eyes suggested there was more to Jack than an ex-rancher turned tough guy bounty hunter. One she might never get to know.

“You take care of yourself,” he said softly into her hair. Then he pulled back.

Her heart beat erratically as she watched him stride away. She touched her lips, remembering the firm pressure of his. When she’d looked into his sorrowful eyes, a door in her heart had blown open. And when they’d kissed, she’d seen that on the other side of that door was the sky.

The more time she spent with him, the harder it became to hold in her secrets. He made her want to be open and vulnerable. To earn his appreciation honestly, as the person she was, not who he imagined her to be: someone with a spotless past.

Was there a chance he would understand, accept her, care for her, just the way she was?

If he found her picture in his composite sketchbook database, or her warrant, the choice to reveal all would be taken from her.

And so might the man who’d captured her heart.

I have to tell on Ms. Rock.  For some reason when she contacted me to review her latest release, she was a bit timid (I’d say) in regards to whether I’d review it or not.  Really?  If anyone knows, I’m in love with Harlequin Heartwarming line.  Like I told her, it’s better than the Harlequin Romance line.  Heartwarming stories have more depth to them, the romance is slower to build and when you are finished, you have the satisfaction that you have just read an awesome contemporary romance.  It’s clean, emotional and deals with real life situations that anyone can relate to.

Dani and Jack are two flawed characters (at least in their eyes) that meet in the funniest way.  Guns are involved and it’s actually funny.  You get to see what Dani is made of from the get-go and Jack is just out of his league when it comes to Dani.  Just not in the way you think.  Dani is hiding from her past but has built a better life for herself.  Jack is still beating himself up for something that happened to him over two years ago and he has the physical scar to prove it.

What really got me about their story was the mystery/suspense element that I really, really enjoyed.  This is something that Ms. Rock doesn’t write enough of this sub-genre but after reading this, she definitely has a future.  I loved how the cast of characters involved were real players in the mystery and how the present collided with Jack’s past.  Beautifully written, even when it became painful for Jack and Dani.  The climax of the book is just great.  It made Jack realize that Dani is the woman for him but does it push her further away?

Their romance is slow to build but once they realize that it’s there, Ms. Rock writes it sweet but with some hot kisses.  It is Heartwarming, after all.  I can’t wait to see how their relationship continues for the remainder of the series.  Oh yes, this is a prequel to the series featuring the rest of Jack’s family and his ranch.

If you have never read a Heartwarming book, you are missing out.  If you haven’t read Ms. Rock…SHAME on you.  I’ve been reading her for years and she is one of my favorite authors to read.    *drops mic*

 

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Sweet Texas Secrets: The Complete Series by Monica Tillery, Nicole Flockton & Robyn Neeley w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @monicatillery @NicoleFlockton @RobynNeeley #99cents @MTWPromotions

Series: Sweet Texas Secrets: The Complete Series
Author: Monica Tillery, Nicole Flockton & Robyn Neeley
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: July 4, 2016
Published by: Crimson Romance
Small town. Big secrets. Welcome to Sweet Ridge.

The Cooper brothers receive the shock of their lives when their deceased father, owner of the lucrative Guac Olé company, wills away their inheritances to three random women, leaving them each only a mysterious object and a riddle to solve. You don’t want to miss a sexy minute of their search for answers—and love.


Title: Sweet Texas Kiss (Sweet Texas Secrets #1)
Author: Monica Tillery
Published: April 4, 2016
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The Cooper brothers receive the shock of their lives when their deceased father, owner of the lucrative Guac Olé company, wills away their inheritances to three random women.No one’s more surprised when Jack Cooper leaves the family estate to music superstar Macy Young than his oldest son. Seeing his childhood memories being handed over to his high school rival—the first woman to break his heart—stings, especially when Gavin is left only a pair of old reading glasses and a cryptic note. Luckily, Macy can’t sell the house for one year—plenty of time for Gavin to find a way to get it back.

Living in the harsh spotlight of country music fame has cost Macy, and a little hometown peace and quiet just might heal her soul. But giving up and giving back Gavin’s greatest prize may not be the tune she plans to sing.

Can a country star and a country veterinarian find a way to bury their animosity and rediscover their first love in the process?

Monica Tillery lives in Texas with her own real-life romance hero and two wonderful sons. When she’s not reading and writing romance, Monica can be found enjoying her family, hanging out and playing games with friends, and wasting time online.

Title: Sweet Texas Fire (Sweet Texas Secrets #2)
Author: Nicole Flockton
Published: April 11, 2016
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Gage Cooper has always wanted the family cabin. Not only for the oil on the property, but as a way to prove to his father that Gage’s past doesn’t define his future. When his dad wills the land to stranger Charlotte Wilkinson and all Gage gets is a mysterious key, he’s determined to do anything to get his rightful inheritance back.Charlotte Wilkinson never expected to inherit a piece of property in Sweet Ridge, Texas—the Aussie businesswoman is focused on building an environmental analyst career here in the States. But the moment arrogant oil-man Gage Cooper walks into her office accusing her of seducing his father, all plans for selling the property to him fly out the window.

Then fate threatens to send her back to Australia and the dueling duo are forced to accept a fake marriage to keep their dreams alive. But as they discover common ground and a surprising chemistry together, suddenly Gage must decide what’s worth more: the land he’s always coveted or a future with Charlotte.

Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

On her first school report her teacher noted “Nicole likes to tell her own stories”. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.


Title: Sweet Texas Charm (Sweet Texas Secrets #3)
Author: Robyn Neeley
Published: April 18, 2016
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Becca Nash has no idea why kind, old Jack Cooper left her half of his company since she never had more than a few polite conversations with the guy. Neither does Grayson Cooper, Guac Olé’s CEO, who is seething over the strawberry-shaped charm his dad willed him. He goes undercover boss to find out how he can steal back those shares, but surprisingly loses his heart to Becca instead. What he does discover is a secret that could blow apart not only Becca’s world but his whole family. Now Grayson must determine whether it’s better to follow his head or his heart.
Robyn Neeley is an east coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a chocolate chip cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. Visit her at www.robynneeley.com.

Readers can find me on social media on Facebook and Twitter. I also send out a quarterly e-newsletter with updates and exclusive subscriber giveaways. One regular feature is a small business spotlight where I interview one of my amazing friends who sells jewelry, gourmet products, wine, you name it! They always come with a fun giveaway. Readers can sign up for my e-newsletter at www.robynneeley.com.

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