Excerpt Reveal for SALVAGED!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt for a new contemporary romance from Jay Crownover. SALVAGED is the fourth book in her Saints of Denver series and was the book I’d been expected since finishing CHARGED. I’ve enjoyed BUILT and RIVETED, too, so I’m eagerly awaiting SALVAGED’s June 20th release date.

About the book:
Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

How about a little taste?

EXCERPT:

Poppy

I rounded the corner at the end of my block and came to a halt. The puppy took that as a sign that we were done playing outside and started jumping all over my lower legs and pawing at my shins. He whined at me until I picked him up, and as soon as he could reach my face, his little tongue started darting all over my chin and cheeks. I wondered if he could feel the tension that made my limbs stiff and the anxiety that tightened all my muscles. I felt my breath catch in the back of my throat and there was no stopping my eyes from rapidly blinking to make sure what I was seeing was real and not a figment of my imagination.

He looked like one of those black-and-white art prints that hung in every diner and restaurant I’d ever eaten in. The one that was a throwback to another era when cool was something you had to cultivate and couldn’t buy on Amazon. He was leaning against a black-and-silver car that looked like it should be on the cover of a hot-rod magazine and not parked on a busy and crowded Capitol Hill street. He had on dark jeans and a dark canvas jacket that had the logo of his garage embroidered on the front. His ankles were crossed on the curb in front of him and one booted foot bounced up and down, giving the impression that he’d been waiting for me for a while. His arms were crossed over his chest and his eyes were locked on mine as I stood still, unsure what to do. He had an effortless kind of charisma that radiated off of him. It was equal parts intimidating and irresistible. I was unsure if my feet wanted to rush me toward him or run me as far from him as possible.

The puppy made the decision for me. Seeing another human, and thus another opportunity for pats and rubs, he threw his wiggling little body out of my arms before I could react. He hit the ground with a little yelp and then bolted right for Wheeler. I let out a gasp and took off after him thinking I could catch the end of the leash that was trailing behind him. I didn’t want him to run into the road or veer off into a yard where he didn’t belong. I was light-years away from being able to handle a confrontation with a hostile stranger that didn’t want the puppy in their space.

I didn’t need to worry because Wheeler pushed his long, lean frame off the polished side of the car and reached the scrambling animal within just a few strides. He crouched down as the puppy hurled himself into his arms and scooped the excited bundle up in one fluid motion. Then he was rising back up to his full height, which meant he was towering over me when I made my way over to where he was standing. I was embarrassed at how out of breath I was. I was supposed to be stronger than I was before, but I could hardly handle a little jog up the block or the way my heart raced at the sight of him.

I shook my head and put my hands on my hips as I looked up and into those arctic eyes. He was scratching the puppy under the chin and looking at me from under lashes that had the barest hint of red to them. “Why don’t you have a coat on?”

It wasn’t what I was expecting but his question reminded me that I was cold and that the lightweight hoodie that had the Saints of Denver logo on it wasn’t doing much to keep the bitter chill in the air off my skin. The shirt came from the tattoo shop where both Rowdy and Salem worked and was probably the most exciting garment I had in my closet. It was the only thing I owned that was bright and colorful. I rubbed my arms up and down and fired my own question right back at him. “What are you doing here?”

The puppy barked like he was telling me not to be rude but I was unsettled by Wheeler’s unexpected appearance, and not the typical unsettled that I struggled with because he was a man that I didn’t know. It was the kind of unsettled that made parts of my body I forget could react to an attractive man feel warm and tingly. The kind of unsettled that had me involuntarily leaning closer to him as he started to shift so that he could pull his heavy jacket off one arm without letting go of the dog.

“I wanted to talk to you about the dog. Did you find someone to take him yet?” He shifted the puppy to his now bare arm as I watched the endless amounts of ink that covered his skin move and flex as he shook his other arm free of the coat.

“Uh…not really.” The truth was I hadn’t really put that much effort into finding someone because I didn’t want to let the puppy go. In just a few days I’d grown surprisingly attached even though I knew I wasn’t allowed to keep him in my apartment. I’d already asked since Dixie was allowed to keep Dolly, but the landlord informed they were grandfathered in before the laws surrounding pit bulls in Denver changed. My little guy wasn’t that lucky.

My response made Wheeler chuckle. He stared at me silently as he held out the coat he’d taken off in his free hand.

“Put this on.” I stared at him like he’d suddenly started speaking Russian until he shook the coat again and frowned at me. His voice was serious and left no room for argument when he repeated the command. “Put this on, Poppy.”

Interested? You can pre-order SALVAGED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Google Plus.


Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGED. Preorder and fill out the form here with your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt to receive an advance excerpt of DIGNITY and a Saints of Denver Doodle download to print at home.
Entries must be received by midnight PST on June 19th to be eligible.

The print-at-home Doodle and Dignity excerpt will be emailed the week of June 20th

About the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Out Today and Giveaway for ROAD TO THE SUN!


Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway a contemporary M/M romance with suspense, too, from Keira Andrews. Ms. Andrews is an auto-buy author for me, and I can tell you I own more than ten of her books! Like BEYOND THE SEA, THE NEXT COMPETITOR and READING THE SIGNS, new release ROAD TO THE SUN features a young man who’s never had a gay experience–finding love with another man. The circumstances aren’t ideal, but they find a happy ending together.

About the book:
A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.
Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.

Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.

Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?

Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

My Review:
Ben Hettler’s a ranger in Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. (Beautiful place! I highly recommend you visit before the glacier melts. Not kidding!) He’s caught between his love for this land which is his home, where he grew up and everything, and the distaste he has staying his job when his boss is his former lover of twenty years. And That Guy and his new husband have adopted an infant. All of Ben’s dream s of fatherhood seem to be slipping through his grasp, meanwhile he’s gritting out smiles and polite chit chat.

Jason Kellerman has been a single dad for eight years–raising his daughter Maggie from infancy and without any assistance since her mother was killed. He loved Maggie’s mom–as a friend, and was unwilling to let her go into foster care, so he turned his back on his parents’ wishes and made his won way. He’s scrimped and saved enough to afford a trip camping in Glacier Park. Maggie is a nature-lover and has spent a year reading up on the park, its flora and fauna, and building her excitement.

Jason and Maggie each are smitten with Ben, for different reasons. Maggie’s thrilled he’s willing to answer her many and myriad questions; Jason’s not sure if Ben’s flirting with him–and even more surprising, Jason thinks he likes it.

Conflict comes in the form of murderous survivalist who captured Maggie while on a hike, leaving Jason and Ben to track him down. It’s a brutal chase over unfavorable terrain, but neither man is willing to turn back. Ben’s shocked by the strong kinship he feels with Jason, and Jason’s a total wreck that Ben barely manages to keep together. I really felt for both of these guys, fearing the worst, and unable to go farther. All parents freak out when a child disappears, but having Maggie used as a hostage is just too much for Jason to bear. And, speaking of bears expect some grizzly action.

All this happens in the first half of the book; the second half is about Jason and Ben making sense of their new world, and the relationship that blossomed under the stress of pursuit. Jason’s a near-virgin, despite his 25 years. Ben’s afraid to hope for love after losing his one and only partner to another man. Plus, Jason has never identified as gay–though the signs were there, he notices in retrospect. This isn’t a gay-for-you story, its a romantic suspense between two determined men who risk their lives to save Maggie. I read the whole deal in one late night sitting because I can’t bear not knowing what’s coming next.

Expect some interesting, suspenseful times, some hot loving, and a little girl whose love for her dad could fill a warehouse. And, vise versa. Ben will, and has, sacrificed his whole life for Maggie, and it isn’t until Ben notices Jason that he recognizes how shut-off he’d been. Both of these guys make the other one better, and that’s a good pairing to experience.

Interested? You can find ROAD TO THE SUN on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Keira Andrews.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Keira AndrewsAbout the Author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

You can catch up with Keira on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Perils of Fame–DATING RYAN ALBACK-A Review

Hi there! today I’m sharing a review for a recently published contemporary M/M romance from JE Birk. DATING RYAN ALBACK is a sweet and sour romance between an out TV star and a nobody schoolteacher–engineered by a talk show host.

About the book:
Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend — but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.

Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.

My Review:
Ryan Alback is a successful TV actor who made it through child stardom with his head on, well, pretty good. He was closeted as a teen, and only came out under pressure from a boyfriend looking to advance his standing. Ryan has never gotten over this betrayal, and though he is out, he’s mostly celibate, fearing another opportunist.

Enter a talk show host, who gets Ryan to admit that he’s lonely on her show. Grand plan: find Ryan a man!

Jason Santos is a seventh-grade teacher in Denver and he’s determined to find a way to pay for his community program that serves kids who are undocumented, or have undocumented parents. He hasn’t dated in a year–not since his ex turned down his marriage proposal and he limped away from their relationship. Now, his BFF has entered him into the contest for a date with Ryan Alback, and Jason is, meh. He’d never get picked. Until he does!

Their date is a weekend away in a Vermont B & B, and it seems to go great. Ryan fears Jason will be a fan-boy, but Jason’s totally cool and they seem to hit it off. Until the stories begin to leak, and Ryan accuses Jason of selling him out.

Thing is, that didn’t happen, and Ryan is mortified that he hurt a man with whom he had begun to build a tentative rapport. Ryan seeks out advice, and begins to establish publicity on his own terms–before reaching out to Jason again. Jason isn’t excited about the jerk showing up, but Ryan makes a super pretty apology. Plus, Jason’s only human; he adored Ryan when he was a child star.

There’s some other drama down the road, including bad exes and strung-out seventh graders, but the story is all about Ryan finding peace in his career while Jason find balance in his life. It seems these guys will make it, and I do love when that happens.

Interested? You can find DATING RYAN ALBACK on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks.

Connect with J.E. on her Facebook (J Elisabeth Birk) or twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Taking a Stand for HOME FIRES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for the final book in Kate Sherwood’s Common Law M/M police romance series. HOME FIRES is the capstone of a thrilling and beautifully written group of books that relate the conflicts inherent when a “prodigal son” returns to his hometown, and finds that things are really, really different. It’s a fab conclusion to LONG SHADOWS, EMBERS, and DARKNESS. This small-town epic is tense and filled with intrigue between local law enforcement, federal agents, friends, neighbors and criminals.

About the book:
Trouble comes to Mosely, Montana, from the outside world. When the residents of Mosely are left on their own, they can make things work. Sure, there’s always been a militia operating up in the hills, but they were small-scale—just survivalists doing their thing—until organizers came in from out of state. Now Jericho Crewe and the rest of the sheriff’s department are facing down a heavily armed band of fanatics, and the feds are busy elsewhere.

The odds are hopeless, but Jericho swore an oath to serve and protect the citizens of Mosely. He won’t walk away from that, even if Wade Granger’s begging him to run away somewhere and finally be together the way they always should have been.

But this time, it’s Jericho who refuses to leave Mosely, even if staying kills him.

My Review:
Under-Sheriff Jericho Crewe wants to quit his post and make a life with his high school love and local criminal kingpin, Wade Granger. He’s just about to do this until he learns the powder keg that is Mosely is about to blow sky-high.

Mosely, this small Montana town, situated a few miles of mountainous forest from the unprotected Canadian border, is a hot bed of criminal activity due to long-time smuggling operations. Wade is usually in the center of whatever is going down, but this time Wade wants out of Mosely just as bad as Jericho. Thing is, their local homesteading militia has recently been co-opted by folks from out of state, gunning–literally–for a showdown with the Federal agents policing the border.

They stage an ambush killing some agents, which is horrible, but that seems like it was merely a means to an end for these hardliners. No, they have an even bigger agenda, and it soon becomes starkly clear that Mosely is poised to become ground-zero for a militia-led war on the Federal government. It’s impossible to prevent with as small as a police force as exists in Mosely, or is it?

I really loved the tension throughout this book. Jericho is a great investigator, and his brand of no-bull morals is refreshing, even if it’s not always aligned with police procedure. Wade and Jericho have been a building issue for more than a month, with both of them acknowledging they have a deep connection, but not being able to openly embrace it while they exist on opposite sides of the law. Wade’s exasperation with Jericho’s determination to do what’s right, even when it means certain death, is endearing, and I was so engaged with these guys in the climax. Expect firefights, dastardly militia, small-town folks protecting their own, and a well-deserved change of scenery. The end of the story, most enjoyable, might could be the beginning of a new one. (Yay!) I know I’d follow Wade and Jericho into further entanglements, especially if I get to experience their growing love story up close and personal!

I highly recommend the whole series, and know that I enjoyed this one best because I read the books in order. As they are all out now, it’s easy to pick up the collection and binge-read away.

Interested? You can find HOME FIRES on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble iTunes, and Kobo. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Catch up with Kate on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Honing One’s INSIGHT–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M paranormal mystery/romance from Santino Hassell. INSIGHT is the first book in his The Community series and features an empathy on the hunt for clues to his estranged twin’s death. Was it murder, or a tragic accident? I’ve loved Hassell’s contemporary romances, SUNSET PARK, FIRST AND FIRST, and INTERBOROUGH, so I couldn’t wait to jump into this new series.

Bout the book:
Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

My Review:
Nate Black is a 22 y/o empath trying to make it on his own in a Houston suburb. He’s got some family, but they’re all crazier than him, and he knows from crazy. Theo, his estranged twin, has more powerful empathic gifts and moved to NYC shortly after high school ended, but Nate’s hidden his empath abilities nearly his whole life, like their mother–who went crazy and killed herself–had instructed. Nate wants to fly under the radar, but he’s overcome by a vision of Theo being drowned, in a way that’s totally sketchy, and he knows his brother is dead. The only way to discover the truth behind it: head to NYC. Only Nate has barely a few hundred dollars to his name, and his big idea–to hitch his way from Texas–isn’t the smartest.

Trent is a graduate student living in LA and driving home the southern route so he can visit friends in Houston. This has him crossing paths with Nate twice. The second time, he offers Nate a ride. Along the several days ride, Trent and Nate develop a connection, which is far stronger than Nate has ever experienced. Though Trent has never had sexual relations with a man, he believes himself to be bisexual, and he wants some intimacy with Nate. Nate’s attracted to Trent, too, but he’s used to walling himself off from everyone to keep their emotions out of his head. So, both are reluctant to make the first move. Not that it doesn’t happen, because it does, but this isn’t a traditional romance. What happens in New Orleans, though, doesn’t stop when the trip ends.

Still, once they reach the bright lights of NYC, Nate goes his own way, promising to keep in touch with Trent. Nate knows he needs to touch base with Theo’s closest friends if he wants to learn the truth, and he doesn’t want to involve Trent in what might be dangerous. Plus, Trent doesn’t know about the empath community and Nate’s afraid Trent will balk if he thinks Nate is somehow using his gift to influence Trent into being gay-for-him. Connecting with Theo’s pals alerts The Community that Nate’s on the scene, however.

The Community is a hidden network of empaths and telepaths in the NYC area. Nate had no idea of the scope, what with his sheltered rural Texas life, but he’s appropriately wary of the cadre of folk who want his loyalty and service. The more Nate learns, the more sinister things seem, and he reaches out to Trent for some normalcy, and insight, because Trent is truly the only person he feels he can trust. I really liked the twists and turns of this one. Expect it to morph into a thriller near the end. More empaths have gone missing/dead than just Theo, and Nate’s put himself on a path that is far from safe by poking through the hornet’s nest of intrigue that is The Community. As a reader, it was hard to know from what corner the danger came, and that’s a testament to the fantastic writing here. The romance is not formulaic, and was all the more interesting due to the odd circumstances. Also, it was freaking unbelievably hot when Trent and Nate got it on. Nate’s empathic abilities grow, and he’s able to experience his and Trent’s lust, and turn that back on them–creating a chemistry that is downright combustible.

I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series!!

Interested? You can find INSIGHT on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

You can find Santino online on his website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Updating the Classics: SEEKING MANSFIELD-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-released YA romance from Kate Watson. SEEKING MANSFIELD is a contemporary re-telling of MANSFIELD PARK, an Austen novel I haven’t read.

About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram’s son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver’s constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she’d finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram’s, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver’s stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her.

But Finley doesn’t want to be won, and she doesn’t want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver’s heart—and keep her own—she’ll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

My Review:
4.5 Stars for this contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s MANSFIELD PARK.
Finley Price is sixteen and living with her godparents, the Bertram’s, now that her famous actor father has died and her abusive alcoholic mother is in jail. The Bertram’s have three kids, Tate, Juliette and Oliver—who is Finley’s best friend—even though he has a giant crush on Finley. Juliette is mean and petty, and their aunt is spiteful and awful, pretty much telling Finley she ought to behave like a servant in the Bertram household.

Finley is a theater aficionado, and been working stage crews for years. Her deepest desire is to be a part of the Mansfield Theater Program, but she lacks the confidence to apply—and to ask for help. Oliver wants to send the application in for Finley, but listens to his father’s advice on the subject. Oliver just wants what’s best for Finley—and for her to seek it for herself. New neighbors, Emma and Harlan Crawford arrive, and their status as teen movie stars is exciting to everyone but Finley. She’s used to blending into the background, and is afraid Harlan will make things difficult. He once starred in a movie with her father.

New friendships and relationships develop, with power-brokering happening too. Emma is sweet on Oliver, but she recognizes that Finley needs to be a priority in his life. For me, it seems manipulative, and the blurb gets it right that Harlan pursues Finley mostly out of boredom and the desire for a challenge. That said, Finley isn’t easily won over, and there are lots of peaks and valleys in the myriad love stories that are taking place. It’s kind of a love-square (as opposed to a triangle) situation and I know that’s not cool for all readers. For me, the love angles can be summed up thusly: if you can’t be with the one you love…(honey)…love the one you’re with.

I really liked Finley, and those who’ve read Mansfield Park all agree that she’s a far more interesting and strong heroine than her model (Fanny Price). Finley’s survived a lot of challenges, and she faces new ones with compassion and strength. For all the love stories in the book, this is a clean read with just kissing on the page. That said, there are allusions to off page sexcapades, which form the base of the final conflict.

As a YA book, it felt accessible and interesting. I think teens will be interested in the theater aspects and celebrity issues, which update the plot for modern readers. The HEA comes on the closing pages, and it seems like there could be more of this story to tell.

Interested? You can find SEEKING MANSFIELD on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. A lover of travel, speaking in accents, and experiencing new cultures, she has studied in Israel and lived in Brazil, the American South, and now calls Arizona home.

Her first novel, SEEKING MANSFIELD, debuts in Spring 2017, with the companion novel to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s Welcome Home adoption anthology coming in 2017.

Find Kate on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Happy Book Birthday to PLUS ONE!

Hi there! Just sharing a release promo on a new contemporary romance out today from best-selling author Aleatha Romig. PLUS ONE is a rom-com that’s sure to be sexy and fun. Catch the excerpt below!

About the book:
A fun, sexy new stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.
He’s sexy and confident, the kind of man every woman notices. You know, the one with the to-die-for body and panty-melting smirk. And then there’s the way his designer suits drape over his broad shoulders and big…well, we’ve all heard the rumors, the ones that say he’s up for any challenge.

But I can’t see him that way. He’s my boss—technically one of the owners of the company where I work—and definitely not in my league. Men like him don’t notice women like me, and they don’t date them.

And I don’t date men like him.

Until that one time that I catch him in a compromising position when I’m also in need of a last-minute date for a wedding…and then it’s not real. It’s blackmail.

For one weekend, he’s my plus-one.

Beautiful and unobtainable.
From the moment she walked into my office with those stunning blue eyes and crazy sensual curves, she’s been on my mind. Three years and never once has she acted interested in me. Usually I flash a million-dollar smile and women fall to their knees, some literally.

Not her.

Then on the occasion that I agree to let another woman do that—fall to her knees—guess who happens to catch us?

It may not be the most conventional way to get on her radar, but I didn’t get this far in business without knowing when to seize an opportunity. If this sexy little firecracker with perfectly kissable lips thinks she can blackmail me into attending her cousin’s wedding, I’m going to jump at the chance to be her plus-one.

You love her darker side. Now it’s time to meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha, as she trades her renowned twists and turns for laughs and love with this sexy new stand-alone romance, PLUS ONE.

How about a little taste?

I push the thought of my mother’s call away and concentrate on my friend, Shana. As I do, the slippery napkin escapes my hold. Quickly, I slide from my seat to retrieve it.

“Excuse me,” a deep voice says as black leather loafers stop precariously close to where I’m now kneeling to rescue my napkin.

Seeing the shoes, I look up and suck in a deep breath.

Towering above me are long legs covered in tailored trousers. As I follow them up, they lead to a trim waist, a black belt, and a white shirt that buttons over a broad chest. I barely swallow the lump in my throat as I recognize the wide shoulders covered with the matching suit jacket. Seizing the napkin, I stand, suddenly face to face with one of the owners of the company where I work.

My face burns with embarrassment as his shimmering green eyes narrow and head tilts. Inches away from me is one of the handsomest men I’ve ever met. He should be on the cover of GQ, not gracing the halls of Buchanan and Willis.

His firm lips form a tight smirk and cheeks rise in amusement. “Miss Jones.”

Staring into the sea of emerald, I try to pretend I wasn’t just on my knees in a chic restaurant in front of Duncan Willis.

“Mr. Willis,” I respond, my voice cracking. Nervously I take a step backward. As if the moment weren’t awkward enough, I wobble, teetering precariously on my high heels.

Swiftly, he reaches out, grabs my elbow, and steadies my footing. Though he just saved me from making an even bigger fool out of myself by falling face-first into what I can only imagine is a hard, defined chest, my mind is suddenly consumed with the electricity of his touch. The energy heats my skin as his grasp lingers.

Interested? You can find PLUS ONE on Goodreads, and pre-order it in advance of is May 16th release on Amazon (US and UK) http://amzn.to/2ovCpYw, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

About the Author:
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and a member of PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Catch up with Althea on her website, Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.