#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*

 

A print book to a US or CA winner you choose or an eBook to an INT winner.

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#Review of The To-Do List by Sharon Struth w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

The To-Do List

by Sharon Struth

 

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GENRE: romantic comedy/suspense

 

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BLURB:

 

Maggie Harris has her ultra-organized life well in hand, until she finds her neighbor and husband together, in her bed, and the tight hold she keeps on her world unravels, leaving her grasping for an escape. So how can she refuse when she’s handed the dream job of running her aunt’s bookstore and a chance for a fresh start? Even though the bookstore is in Brockport, Connecticut, her former hometown, and a place she’d vowed to leave behind forever.

When someone breaks into Maggie’s new business and leaves a threat on the wall, Detective Cooper Stanton is assigned the case. It’s been twenty years, but Coop hasn’t forgotten the way Maggie once charmed him at every turn—even with her controlling ways. This time, though, Coop refuses to let her seize the reins. What he doesn’t know is she plans to grab them anyway…and she’s got a secret she never shared.

 

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Excerpt Two:

 

He peered at her for several uncomfortable seconds. She wished she’d worn a better outfit. Or at least washed her hair instead of just brushing it out and tossing in a plastic headband belonging to her daughter. Her appearance was so far beyond repair at this moment even the dog was having a better hair day. The worst part of this was somehow it mattered how she looked seeing Coop after all these years, even though it shouldn’t.

 

“Since I don’t see registration tags on the dog, I suggest you go to town hall.” He cocked his head, and his mouth curled into a tight smirk. “You’ve changed. The Maggie Harris I used to know never let details slip through the cracks.”

 

She narrowed her eyes. The smirk slipped from his face. He quickly stepped out the door and jogged across the street to a dark sedan.

 

Details never slipped through her cracks! She’d planned to take care of the dog’s license details after the store’s grand opening. Maggie clenched her fists, curbing the need to chase after him and duke it out. Why bother? She’d probably end up crying and showing him how much she had once cared for him. He didn’t deserve to know.

 

Maggie knelt at Roxy’s side. Heart-melting large brown eyes, nearly hidden behind chocolate shaggy bangs, begged for compassion and softened her anger. “No more carousing. Got it?”

 

Roxy wagged her tail. Always so agreeable. Why couldn’t people be more like that?

 

Especially Cooper Stanton. He’d manipulated her, found the cracks in her hard core, and left her shattered. The secret she’d kept from him after they’d gone their separate ways to college had plagued her for a long time. She’d made her peace with it because she never thought their paths would collide. Now what would she do?

I have to admit that I didn’t read this book until Sunday.  Yes, being on vacation killed my reading mojo.  If you know me, I have to read in complete silence and the in-law’s house is not quiet…ever.  Boy, am I glad that I waited for the afternoon to read this gem of a book.

For starters ,the book is a second chance, reunited lovers book that Ms. Struth wrote so beautifully.  I’ve never read anything by her but I will quickly put her on my list of authors to read from now on.   I was impressed that she took the time to have Maggie and Coop find the love that they had before slowly and find the friendship that they had before.  Some authors rush it but with Coop leading the investigation and the pent up anger and frustration that they had towards each other, she doesn’t let the reader get mad about the conflict that is swirling around them from the first chapter.

Coop and Maggie have an intertwined past that is beyond just first love in high school.  Each one holds a secret that they don’t think they other will be too happy about learning.  Trust me, they are doozies but Ms. Struth doesn’t let the secrets be the forefront of the story.  Yes, Coop’s secret is big one that would crush Maggie but Maggie’s is…wow, just wow!  The big black moment…there is one but it’s not.  You just need to read it to figure out what I mean.

There is a suspense element that is critical to the plot.  Everything ties into it and I loved it.  Coop is the alpha cop but when it comes to Maggie, he is a marshmallow.  I loved how Roxy (the dog) is a complete character in the book.  Not to mention Maggie’s daughter, Brooke.  I can’t forget the other secondary characters Celeste, Bryan, Liam, Ben, Denny, Jackson and Archie.  I loved how they all became involved in the romance of Coop and Maggie.

I would be remiss to add that there is a bookstore, sailing, and just some good old fashioned small town charm that you will love.  But overall, this book is about trusting someone with your love and heart and finding that they had that trust all the time.  Again, a gem of a book that you shouldn’t miss reading.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Bestselling author Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail.

 

The Hourglass (Etopia Press), her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best First Book and winner of the Chatelaine Award For Romantic Fiction. Her follow-up release, Share the Moon (Kensington Publishing) is a Barnes & Noble Romance Bestseller. The series also includes Twelve Nights (11/15), Harvest Moon (12/15) and Bella Luna (2016).

 

She writes from Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived along with her husband and dogs. For more information, including where to find her books and published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com

 

Social Media and Newsletter Sign-up: http://www.sharonstruth.com/contact.html

 

Website: http://www.sharonstruth.com

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823760.Sharon_Struth

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Buy Links:

 

BUYAmazon | Barnes&Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Sharon Struth will be awarding $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

 
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Exceprt from C.A. Harms Rush (Montgomery Men #1) w/a raffflecopter giveaway! @charms0814

Title: Rush
Series: Montgomery Men #1
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: August 23, 2016
I was running from my husband, a man I thought I’d known. Running from the hell he had put me through.

He’d nearly destroyed the woman I had once been and I would do whatever it took to regain my freedom.

I would lie, and cheat. I would steal if it meant that I never had to go back there.

I’d run and keep running…

But there was one problem. I hadn’t planned for Ashton Montgomery.

He was a distraction I couldn’t allow. Not if I wanted to stay safe. I had to remain distant, but he was relentless and had other ideas.

I caved because I hadn’t thought it all through, not in detail.

If I had I would’ve realized that you can only live in a fantasy world for so long before everything came crashing in around you.

And those lives you’ve destroy along the way, make you no better than the monster you were trying to break free from.

How could I have been so careless? It wasn’t meant to turn out this way. But the Rush of my freedom took control and I forgot how important it was to keep the secret of who I had once been.

And now I had nothing…

Only the fear that the man I’d run from would find me again, and finish what he started.

EARLY REVIEWERS ARE LOVING IT!
–Rush, is written superbly. From start to end all the words piece together beautifully. The story line flows easily through a very solid foundation. The angst ranges from light to heavy to “damn my breath has gone”. Rush is indeed a Rush of epic proportions!



Rush Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2016
She’d turned on her heel and begun to walk toward my office door when without a second thought I hooked her around the waist and pulled her body back against my own. She yelped, but I didn’t let it halt me.
The smell of her perfume mixed with her shampoo filled my nostrils, and for a moment I just took in the fragrance. I had never smelled anything more appealing. “Let me prove it to you,” I whispered. She was tense in my arms, and I knew I needed to tread lightly. Something told me that telling her I wanted nothing more than to pin her against the wall, reach beneath her skirt, and find the spot that drove her crazy would only terrify her. Yes, my usual tactics would not work on Kiera.
“Have dinner with me,” I whispered against her ear. “You pick the place and the time, anywhere you want.” I fought the urge to demand her presence, which was my usual method because most women I ran across said yes without hesitation.
But she wasn’t like the women I’d been with in the past.
“Today was refreshing after all the tension faded,” she confessed, and I felt relieved that she thought so too. But it faded as she continued to speak. “I think it’s best that we keep things between us strictly professional. I just don’t have room in my life for anything more.”
I felt like she’d just kicked me in the nuts.
“I don’t know what happened to you,” I said in return, and though she tensed in my arms again, I went on. “I don’t know why you’re so scared of giving this thing between us a chance, but I won’t give up. It’s not who I am, Kiera. I’m a fighter, and when I have my sights set on something I want, I don’t give up until I’ve won.”
I moved closer, making sure she could feel my lips against her neck when I continued to talk. “And you are all I think about. It’s quite distracting.”
Chills covered her neck and shoulder as she shivered in my arms.
Fighting my arousal was becoming more and more of a challenge. I was so fucking wired and turned on I felt like my balls were about to explode.
“I don’t lie, and I don’t hide the way I feel.” I closed my eyes tightly and tipped my head just enough that her hair brushed against the tip of my nose. God, her scent was pure heaven. “I want you, Kiera,” I confessed, becoming lost in her presence, lost to the feel of my body pressed tightly against hers. “I know that seems to terrify you, but I need you to know. I won’t stay away; I can’t. I want to feel you against me, hold you close, and hear the sound of your pants in my ear. I won’t lie to you, Kiera,” I reiterated. “I won’t ever lie to you.”
I pressed a soft kiss against the base of her neck, and for a moment she went stock-still. As if she was terrified of what I may do next. That thought left a bad feeling in my stomach. Did she actually think I would force her to do anything she wasn’t completely willing to do?
I slowly released her, stepping back to put some space between us. My own heart was racing, and she wasn’t the only one that needed some distance.
She kept her back to me as we both remained perfectly still, just calmly breathing. I didn’t speak for fear of spooking her. I’d already told her my intentions. I hoped that was enough.
And when she reached for the door, pulled it open, and walked out without looking back, I felt like she took a part of me with her. I sagged in disappointment as I listened to the fading sound of her heels clicking against the tile floor.

A little about me. Let’s see where to start.

I love HEA stories, as long as they come packing a little heat. I need some excitement, some angst, and moments that make me fan my face are always good too. I am an Illinois girl, born and raised. Simple and true, it honestly doesn’t take much to make me happy. I love the little things; they truly mean the most. I may have a slight addiction to my new Keurig–oh my, that thing is a godsend. And so fast too. I have two children who truly are my very best friends, and their faces never fail to put a smile on my face. I have been married to my husband for sixteen years, and even though at times I want to beat him with a stick, I would never change the years we have had. We have learned and fallen, only to pick each other up, dust off the ache, and help each other make it right.

I am one of those authors that adore my fans. I love to hear from you. After all, it is because of each one of you that I continue to write. I look forward to your feedback.

Be sure to follow me to stay up-to-date on all my upcoming releases.

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