Release Week, Reviews

Happy Release Week & ARC #Review of Fake Date by Monica Murphy! #romcom @MsMonicaMurphy

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“This book was like the best sort of dessert. I. Am. Addicted.” – #1NYT bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken

Fake Date, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is LIVE!

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Working at Bliss Lingerie, Sarah Harrison deals with all sorts of—interesting clientele. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little “gifts” for the women in his life.

But one day, Jared sends her a gift from Bliss. Then another—and another. So when Sarah walks into his office demanding to know why he can’t stop sending her gifts, he makes her an offer she somehow can’t refuse: be his fake girlfriend for the weekend while attending his brother’s engagement party.

Next thing Sarah knows, she’s in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it’s a hardship. Once you get the man away from the office, he’s much more relaxed. Sweet. Funny. Even…thoughtful? Oh, and sexier than ever, of course.

Their pretend relationship feels very real, very quickly. Soon Sarah’s in over her head. Could what she and Jared share turn into something real? Or is it all actually…fake?

 

Peeps I loved this book.  I even liked it better than Save the Date.  There was something a bit naughtier about this book.  Sure it had some smexy times in it but its the job that Sarah has and how Jared interacts with her that set the tone and mood of the book.  Selling upscale lingerie can’t be easy for anyone but when you have a client that buys it for his so-called mistresses and then being on the receiving in of those gifts.  What’s a girl to do?

Jared is positively AWESOME in the book.  I read from Ms. Murphy that she actually had to tone him down and honestly, I would have liked to have read that version. He is not a very nice person in the book but there was something about him that I couldn’t shake.  I liked that he was subtle in his pursuit of Sarah.  The hate/love banter between them at the beginning of the book is priceless.  You know going in that the trope is a fake relationship but Ms. Murphy does a great job of putting a different spin on it.  Both Jared and Sarah come from different backgrounds but still feel the pain of losing a parent that has shaped them into what they are now.

Jared still acts like a sullen teenager when it comes to his family.  I get that, truly I do, but it’s not until Sarah is thrown into the mix that he realizes that he just needs to grow up.  And the whole ex-fiance bit?  Again, honestly, I found that I bit contrived for me.  Plus, the fact that Sarah didn’t hear it from Jared made me mad.  On the flip side, I found the ex-finance actually nice to Sarah.  She could have a been a diva but she wasn’t.  Jared didn’t even blink an eye when Sarah told him about her siblings which I thought was a bit weird but also endearing.  It made no difference to him in the end.  I would have loved to read the scenes when they met though.  A teenage girl meeting Jared?  Priceless.

Sarah is a great character.  She was a hard worker but also overwhelmed at the same time.  She never gave up and with the help of her besties, she got through it.  I loved the besties.  Protective but at the same time, hilarious.  The feelings that she had for Jared were genuine.  Hate and love are two very powerful emotions and I felt like Sarah really enjoyed Jared coming into Bliss every week.  Would she ever admit it?  Nope, but it doesn’t matter.  She just didn’t understand why HE liked her.  Getting these two on the same page was a blast.

These two were perfect for each other.  They balanced each other out and I really wished the book was longer.  Yes, I enjoyed it that much.  The grouch and the beauty.  At least that’s what I’m calling them.  Ms. Murphy knows how to write a seemingly mismatched couple and makes it work.  Jared and Sarah don’t disappoint and I can’t wait for Jared’s sister’s book next month.  Maybe I’ll get a little follow up.  Please?!?!?!?!?!

 

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Meet Monica:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5934418.Monica_Murphy
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1YUl0Vm
Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IW5U0y

Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews

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.
US only
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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