Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blurb Blitz for The Promise of Hope Shelter by Sarah Hadley Brook (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Two men try to start their lives over in this m/m-fueled romance that will keep readers fully invested from the first page to the last.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Promise of Hope Shelter by Sarah Hadley Brook, along with my impressions of it, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this emotionally intense read make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

Jacob Baumgardner is struggling to get his nonprofit shelter for gay teens up and running. The old building needs a lot of help in order for it to pass inspection. Raised by his grandparents for part of his life, the shelter is his chance to honor them. Unfortunately, someone is making his dream difficult. An anonymous extortionist is determined to ruin his late grandfather’s good name which could mean the end of the shelter.
Luka Smith is fairly new in town and willing to work hard at any job available. He is struggling to find his place in the world after a traumatic event in his teen years pushed him to run. When Jacob hires him to help with repairs at the shelter, Luka falls hard and fast. He wants nothing more than to be part of his world and help him with his dream, if Jacob will let him.
As they work together to ensure The Promise of Hope Shelter gets off the ground, their feelings only grow. But will a calculating blackmailer close the shelter before they even have a chance?


Jacob was torn between being embarrassment of being caught in the middle of a panic attack and the safety he felt while wrapped in Luka’s arms. Technically this was the second time this man had rescued him in less than…two…maybe three hours. Okay, the first time was not really rescuing, but he’d still helped him during a bad situation.
He squirmed a little and tried to pull away, but Luka’s strong arms tightened around his waist.
“Give it a few more minutes."
Jacob nodded and slumped back against the wall of muscle behind him. His heartbeat sped up and he realized he could feel Luka’s beating hard into his back. Had Luka been worried about him?
It felt so natural to be in the man’s arms. Jacob hadn’t dated in quite some time, mainly due to his grandparents’ death and trying to start this new shelter, but he also hadn’t met anyone that had piqued his interest. And Luka definitely piqued his interest. Unfortunately, he was pretty sure he hadn’t made the best impression on Luka, although he was just as confident that Luka wouldn’t soon forget meeting him.
“I’m okay,” he whispered.
“Okay,” Luka replied, pulling back. “No quick moves."
Jacob nodded and waited for Luka to stand before he tried to push himself from the floor. His legs felt like jelly, so he was glad when Luka reached down like a lifeline. He grabbed onto the hand and let Luka pull him to a standing position.
They faced each other, Jacob eye level with Luka’s chin. He was too embarrassed to say anything and too wobbly to move, so he concentrated on the cleft in Luka’s chin.
Luka’s voice washed over him and brought him warmth. He caught himself before he leaned his forehead into Luka’s perfect golden skin. “Mmm?"
Luka’s thumb gently nudged up his chin until Jacob looked into his eyes. Dark chocolate eyes full of concern. “Are you okay?” Luka whispered, his hot breath caressing Jacob’s flesh. He shivered and nodded.



Readers looking for a story that pulls at the heartstrings will get just that with this m/m tale that deals with small town prejudices, issues of teens and coming-out, and an unexpected romance between two people trying to deal with their pasts.  As bits of melodrama balance with an increasingly sensual romance readers will find themselves furiously turning the pages to see what happens next.

Jacob was thrown out the day his father discovered he was gay which left him with only his grandparents to care about him.  With his grandfather's passing he can think of no other way to honor him then by starting a home to help other teens dealing with issues of homosexuality and abandonment.  Unfortunately Jacob's got the town's preacher and the city's housing council breathing down his neck and putting his dream in jeopardy.  Add in being blackmailed over his grandfather's legacy and Jacob's in need of help.  Luckily he gets introduced to Luka who seems to be the answer to his prayers...in more ways than one.  It's love at first sight in a relationship full of teasing moments and scorching encounters that has both of them leaning on the other in moments of great need.  And when everything comes to a head their connection is the only thing that will help them reach their HEA.  Jacob has a kind heart, is a bit shy, but very likable.  He's devoted to the teens in his charge and their pains clearly become his as he frets over everything having to do with the shelter.  He's drawn to Luka immediately but worries keep them moving slowly throughout their evolving relationship which sometimes frustrated me.  Another issue that frustrated me was his handling of the blackmailer.  He easily fell into the trap, despite all the silly evidence sent to him, and I cringed when the story dealt with it.  Ultimately though, and despite these few annoyances, I truly liked Jacob and was rooting for him every step of the way.

Luka's had an unconventional life moving from one place to the next as a member of a gypsy family doing whatever they could to survive.  His father's plans for him, and a tragic event, had him running from home though and he's never looked back.  Because of his past he was leery of making a connection again until the moment he meets Jacob.  Their first moment together is full of sexual tension as well as a moment of solidarity against those in the town seeking to force them out of town.  From there on it's Luka who's the more dominant in their relationship.  He sets the pace, and it's a frustratingly slow pace early on, and takes charge in and out of the bedroom.  There's an air of mystery about him with a past that's intriguing, as is his friendship with another former-gypsy Patrick.  Like Jacob, he's unconditionally supportive and would do anything to see Jacob's dream come true which had me cheering for them from their very first meeting as they're a perfect match.

This was a quick read full of heart and soul as it presented readers with a charming romance while dealing with some very heavy issues.  Those issues were depicted in a manner that sometimes went over the top though and diminished their overall impact.  The blackmail of Jacob also felt a bit silly and became a distraction to the sweet and sensual romance growing between him and Luka and easily could've been omitted.  Despite those small quibbles I still found this an engaging read and am hoping to see more of the men of Hope Shelter as well as the burgeoning romance between Patrick and Garrett just hinted at here.

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the non-profit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures up in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have co-starred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity to live. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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Book Release Blitz for Lucas by Sawyer Bennett (REVIEW)

Fans of sports-fueled romances have reason to rejoice today as the Cold Fury hockey gods return in this tale of a one-night stand that takes on deeper meaning between a woman who's closed herself off and a man who wears his heart on his sleeve.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Lucas by Sawyer Bennett, along with my impressions of this eighth installment in the Cold Fury series, then make sure to add this romance full of heart to your bookshelf!

The Carolina Cold Fury hockey team is stacked with hotshots. But when a new player joins their ranks, he learns that even superstars can’t go it alone when it comes to love.
Lucas Fournier is only serious about one thing: hockey. The league’s fun-loving charmer, Luc is always up for a good prank or a great lay, and he has no intention of settling down. But being traded to the Carolina Cold Fury—and to play alongside his big brother, Max—is no joke. With another title in sight, the last thing Luc wants is to let his new teammates down. To succeed, Luc will need to keep his head in the game and the most...erdemanding member of his anatomy in check. But when temptation hits, Luc hits back harder.
Museum curator Stephanie Frazier has always put business before pleasure, which just about explains her nonexistent sex life. But when Stephanie meets Luc at a champagne-fueled gala, she finds herself flirting like crazy—and going home with the uninhibited athlete. For one night, she learns what passion is all about. She just never counted on the little surprise Luc leaves behind. And that’s when things really start to get . . . interesting.




The sexy men of the Cold Fury hockey team are back in this tale of a one-night stand that becomes so much more.  When a man who enjoys the fame and female fans found in the hockey world finds a connection with a woman who knows nothing about love, the sparks fly in a charming tale balanced with exhilarating moments on and off the ice. From the first page to the last readers will find themselves falling for Lucas as he struggles to convince the hard-hearted woman he's fallen for that one-night can lead to HEA.

Lucas Fournier is the new guy on the team and loves the perks that come with being a hockey player...fame and gorgeous women.  Though his brother, and fellow teammate Max, enjoys settling down he wants no part of it as he enjoys living life to the fullest and on his own terms.  The night he sees a sexy and confident redhead at a museum benefit changes his life irrevocably though and gives him a chance at a HEA he never knew he wanted.  The moment readers meet Lucas he's clearly enjoying being single, unrepentant in his views on embracing the single life and all the one-night stands available to him.  His one night with Stephanie Frazier was memorable and while it's something he'd love to repeat there's big changes ahead for both of them when next he sees her. Lucas is extremely charming with a kind heart and a strong sense of family as they all love and support each other unconditionally.  Starting off as friends-with-benefits soon has Lucas wanting more and I enjoyed how committed he became as the story progressed.  He may have started out footloose and fancy-free but once he decided he wanted Stephanie he was all-in and with each word and deed he showed his growing commitment.  He clearly wore his heart on his sleeve and with each turn of the page he endeared himself to me with his sweet and sexy nature.

Stephanie grew up in a family very different from the Fournier family.  Her parents were cold and indifferent and spent little time treating her as their daughter, she was treated as an inconvenience.  It taught her that she could only rely on herself and it's made her a strong-willed woman who lives life on her own terms.  She never wants to be beholden to anyone and enjoys her one-night stands as she can be the one to walk away in the morning.  All that changes though the minute she meets Lucas.  Their connection is crackling and intense and the more fate pushes them together the more caught up they become in one another.  Stephanie carries a lot of baggage due to her parent's indifference and it makes her a bit unlikable at times as she lashes out when feeling challenged.  She's extremely guarded and Lucas had to work hard to learn even the smallest morsel about her.  Whereas he was an open book she appeared standoffish. Her tendency to keep him at arm's length and keep their growing connection a secret was frustrating at times too and put a damper on all the sweetness Lucas cultivated throughout the story.  Despite my frustration with her I still found them an entertaining couple whose journey to HEA had me rooting for them every step of the way as their romance made each of them better people.

This was a quick read full of heart and soul.  Two people living only for themselves soon found themselves living for each other in a story that was sweet and sexy.  Lucas and Stephanie were a combustible couple whose erotically-charged encounters were plentiful as they grew closer together over rare moments of baring their souls, particularly with Stephanie's issues of disclosure. Lucas was the highlight of this story as he was charming and sexy and matured with each turn of the page into the quintessential book boyfriend. Alongside their satisfying romance were glimpses into the hockey world as the Cold Fury worked their way towards The Stanley Cup.  Readers also got to be reunited with Max and Jules, and their growing family, who were a good sounding board to both Lucas and Stephanie as they worked through their relationship.  On a whole this was a delightful romance full of scorching encounters with a near-perfect hero and an emotionally-flawed heroine that had me eagerly turning the pages.  With the intriguing epilogue featuring Lucas' teammate and roommate Van, and his clandestine encounter with Simone Fournier, I'm eagerly counting down the days until we hit the ice again.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from Netgalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.
Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Release Blitz for Dear Bridget, I Want You by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

As a fan of older woman/younger man romances, I'm excited with the release of this charming and sexy read about a woman who rents a room to a visiting young doctor and the fireworks that result.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Dear Bridget, I Want You by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland, then add this fun and flirty standalone romance to your bookshelf too!

Dear Bridget,
I’m writing this letter because it’s highly doubtful I’ll ever garner the courage to say this to your face.
So, here goes.
We’re totally wrong for each other. You’re the proper single mum with a good head on your shoulders. I’m just the carefree British doctor passing through town and temporarily living in your converted garage until I head back to England.
But here’s the thing… for some bloody reason, I can’t stop thinking about you in very inappropriate ways.
I want you.
The only reason I’m even admitting all of this to you right now is because I don’t believe it’s one-sided. I notice your eyes when you look at me, too. And as crass as I appear when we’re joking around about sex, my attraction to you is not a joke.
So, what’s the purpose of this note? I guess it’s a reminder that we’re adults, that sex is healthy and natural, and that you can find me just through the door past the kitchen. More specifically, it’s to let you know that I’m leaving said door cracked open from now on in case you’d like to visit me in the middle of the night sometime.
No questions asked.
Think about it.
Or don’t.
Whatever you choose.
It’s doubtful I’ll even end up sliding this letter under your door anyway.



Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list seventeen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million and a half books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in seventeen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Book Tour for Forbidden Bastard by Felicia Lynn....

The mafia world takes center stage in this quick read that keeps readers on edge with a bit of mystery and suspense as the daughter of a murdered mafioso finds her own life in jeopardy while being under the watchful eye of her best friend's brother.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Forbidden Bastard by Felicia Lynn, then make sure to add this sexy and exciting romance to your bookshelf!

I trust no one.
Everything inside me screams not to trust her either.
I fight an internal war daily as my desire for her spreads like a wildfire through me - my cravings to protect her just as powerful as my need to taste her, touch her. Never has anyone held this kind of power over my need to rule, but I would risk my power in a heartbeat to have her.
Regardless of the cost, I will have her. I’ll sacrifice everything to ensure it.
And, I’ll destroy anyone who stands in my way.


Matteo was my best friend — my person. Hed been my armor since we were seven years old. Although many in the family speculated our relationship was more than a genuine friendship, as our bond grew tighter throughout the years. Without question, no one was more valuable to me than he was, but it wasnt what they thought. Thick as thieves, theyd joke. On that part, they were never wrong.
We were personality opposites in every single way, but I loved him deeply as one would cherish a pain in the ass sibling they adored. Id guess. As an only child, I wouldnt personally know, but Matteo wouldve, and Id bet everything I have that given the choice of his brother or me, Matteo and I wouldve stuck together. Its been us against the world from the start. I was the yin to his yang.
In my vulnerable years, when so many people vowed to be there for me, Matteo was the only one who proved it. Trust— unquestionable. Loyalty— incontestable. He never gave me a reason to second-guess any of his motives or instructions, and when Id balk at his protective bossiness, he didnt give up. He wanted what was best for me, and as hard as it is to admit, being a guy in the family gave him the upper hand. He knew, heard, and saw more just because he was born with a penis, and as a girl, I was expected to be oblivious to the world around us. Im sure they believe thats the case, but theyre wrong. Matteo told me everything. Secrets were our hard limit.
Matteo has never let me down on any of his promises. Thats why I refuse to believe he willingly broke the most important rule of all. He couldnt, and he wouldnt. It was the foundation of who we were. I dont have a clue where to begin to move on in a life without him. He promised to always be here for me. He wouldnt turn his back on that.
Biting hard on my lip, I attempt to swallow back the sounds of my heartbreak until my lip forms a pulse from the assault of my teeth. The tears slowly trailing down my cheeks do so little to cloud the view of reality in front of me. Im smothering in this agony I cant emotionally fathom as real, and even though I know the result cant be disputed, someone is hiding the real story in the tunnel of dark secrets. Matteo isnt here to shield me from this, and regardless of how many calming breaths I take, nothing can change the torment of his absence. The life Id imagined had so much more promise, but false hope is a bitch. I dont understand, but at the same time, deep down I know the truth. Not everything is as it seems.



Felicia Lynn, author of The Learning Curve series and Heartstrings series, is a transplanted Florida girl, born and raised, who lives just north of Atlanta, GA. She spends most of her days holed up in a cozy chair with her laptop, writing about the characters that live in her head. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and friends or interacting with her readers and fellow book lovers on social media! She loves traveling, reading, live music, baseball, good food and great company.
Felicia writes contemporary romance and co-wrote The List, a mystery/suspense book she collaborated on with professional poker player, Chris Bell.

Book Spotlight on Last Gentleman Standing by Jane Ashford (GIVEAWAY)

Readers will be charmed by this Regency romance of a strong-willed woman suddenly made rich who becomes the talk of the town, and desired by almost every man...except the one she really wants.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Last Gentleman Standing by Jane Ashford, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of the re-release of this entertaining and emotionally engaging historical romance make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a copy of the first installment in The Duke's Sons series, Heir to the Duke, too!

A fortune hunter’s dream...
Miss Elisabeth Elham is an unlikely heiress. She never knew the curmudgeonly uncle who died suddenly and left her a fortune. She’s proud, outspoken and independent—a definite challenge for London’s fortune hunting suitors.
As various determined gentlemen vie for her attention at balls, routs, picnics and parties, Elisabeth finds herself embroiled with a charming rake, a mysterious nabob, and an elegant neighbor. This would all be great fun, if only she wasn’t so fascinated by the one man in London who’s not trying to woo her...
Rediscover this classic Regency romance! Originally titled Bluestocking, this classic story has been unavailable for over 25 years and is now returning from the vault!


Elisabeth had recrossed a stile and was traversing an open field when she heard hoofbeats behind her. Turning, she was just in time to see the rider urge his magnificent chestnut up and over the fence she had just climbed. The form of both was flawless, and she forgot herself in her admiration of the jump, watching unself-consciously, as the horseman approached her.
The chestnut had white feet and was one of the most beautiful and spirited animals she’d ever seen. He moved with the ease and power of a true thoroughbred and might have made almost any rider appear insignificant, but the man on his back matched his quality. He looked to be tall, and his figure was well-molded and athletic. His buckskin breeches fitted him to perfection, and his coat fairly cried out its fashionable origin in the workrooms of a Weston or a Stultz. Elisabeth had seen a few gentlemen of the haut tonin Bath, and she knew enough to recognize that the deceptive simplicity of the folds of his cravat and the carefully casual arrangement of his hair were the signs of a veritable tulip, a top-of-the-trees corinthian. At that moment, she met his slightly mocking gaze and looked down in confusion, recalling herself with annoyance. She had been gaping like a schoolgirl, she thought.
The rider pulled up before her. “I almost feel I’ve been in a competition,” he said. His voice was deep and resonant. “I hope you gave me full points for that jump."
Elisabeth looked up. His eyes were pale blue, she noted, in spite of his black hair and rather dark complexion. “I was staring quite rudely, I know,” she replied. “I beg your pardon. But I was transfixed by the way your horse took that fence."
The man patted the chestnut’s neck, “He’s wonderful, is Tristram."
Tristram?” repeated Elisabeth, smiling. “That’s an uncommon name for a horse. Do you take it from TristramShandy?"
The rider looked at her with much more interest than he’d first shown. “Yes, I’m fond of Sterne."
“Oh, it is my favorite of all books. I thought hardly anyone read it now."
He smiled back at her somewhat quizzically. “And I should hardly have thought it fit reading for young ladies.” He surveyed her. He was the despair of his mother and several aunts, who had all at one time or another introduced to him dazzling debutantes calculated to urge him into marriage. But though he’d treated them politely, he’d been extremely bored in their company and really had very little notion of what to say to conventional young women. Seeing that Elisabeth was a bit uncomfortable under his gaze, he continued, “But then I rarely find young ladies wandering about my land unattended. So I can’t quite make you out. Are you someone’s governess, perhaps? Do you teach your pupils from Sterne?” His amused smile faded as he went on before she could answer. “No, that doesn’t seem right."
Looking down at her drab garments, Elisabeth laughed. “I’m sure I don’t know why you say so. I do look very like a governess. In fact, until a few weeks ago, I was a teacher at a seminary for young ladies. Now that my uncle has obligingly left me his fortune, I shall have to change my style of dress."
“Uncle?” he asked. His eyes narrowed. “You can’t mean old Anthony Elham? I heard of his death."
“Yes. I am Elisabeth Elham. Though it is not at all the thing to go about introducing oneself to strange men,” she told herself reflectively.
The rider laughed. “I hope I’m not strange. But I beg pardon. I should have made myself known to you immediately. I am your neighbor, Derek Wincannon. Do you mean to say that old Elham has left you Willowmere?"
Elisabeth shrugged. “It is part of the estate. And a very ramshackle part, I must say. I have never seen so neglected a house."
“It’s the scandal of the neighborhood,” said Mr. Wincannon. “Your uncle was a shocking landlord and a worse neighbor."
“From what I heard of him,” answered Elisabeth, “he was uniformly shocking. I’m rather sorry I never met him.” The man laughed again. “But in any case, you may inform the neighborhood that I shall be putting the place to rights as soon as I may."
“That’s good news. Will you be settling there?"
“No. At least, not immediately. I shall live in London for a time, at Elham House."
“For the season, I assume."
“Yes, I’ll be bringing out my cousin."
You are bringing out someone? I’d have thought it would be the other way about."
“Oh, no,” Elisabeth smiled. “I’m beyond that sort of thing. Quite on the shelf, in fact,” she added lightly.
“I see it now,” he responded dryly, “a veritable antique. How can I have mistaken you for girl in her twenties?"
She laughed. “Well, I daresay I shall attend a few parties also, if I’m asked."
He smiled. “There can be little doubt of that, I should think. You’ll wish to sample the gaities of the season and attend the assemblies at Almack’s."
Almack’s? Oh, no, I shouldn’t think so."
He raised his eyebrows.
“My father used to tell me stories about London, and he was most severe on Almack’s. He called it the Marriage Mart and painted such a vivid picture of the trials young girls undergo as they are catalogued and labeled according to their faces and fortunes that he gave me quite a horror of the place. I don’t at all wish to go there now."
Mr. Wincannon’s interest was definitely caught. “Now?"
“Well, of course I might have done so some years ago had I been offered the opportunity,” Elisabeth explained obligingly. “When one is thrown penniless upon the world at the age of nineteen, one is willing to try any shift to come about again. I was very willing then to marry to make my fortune. But I wasn’t given the chance, and how fortunate that was, really. For now, you see, there is no need."
Derek Wincannon laughed. “You are a most unusual girl,” he said.
“Because I prefer to order my own life now that I have the means to do so?” asked Elisabeth. “I’m persuaded you can’t really think so. Would you give up your independence without need? No indeed. When I was desperate and might have married, no one dared offer for me. I certainly won’t encourage anyone to do so now that I have an income."
“Much good that will do you, I should say.”



Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the US. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Beverly Hills, CA.


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