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A CHARMED LITTLE LIE by Sharla Lovelace blog tour!

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Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make 
a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it?
A CHARMED LITTLE LIE
Charmed in Texas #1
Sharla Lovelace
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Lyrical Shine

Lanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a

dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since
her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her
niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to
the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house
Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to
Charmed, Texas for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her
weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.
Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described.
He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a
convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a
temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick
spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem
real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .

Excerpt

I didn’t look back, and I didn’t care. Nick’s hand was warm in mine, and when we reached the dance floor they’d cleared a space for, he tugged back gently to make me turn around. The look in those dark eyes nearly took out my knees. He pulled me into his arms, leaving no room for imagination, and I let my hands slide up his chest to his neck, and around back as his eyelids grew heavy.

Roberta Flack crooned softly, the first time…ever I saw your face… And something in me went warm from head to toe. Something besides whatever was in that punch. Something more real than that.

“Nice save.”

“I tried.”

“How was the punch?” he asked.

I wound my fingers into his hair and pulled his head down.

“See for yourself,” I said, the last word finished against his lips.

Sparks ignited throughout my body as our lips met. Soft. Slow. Wet. Needing. Our bodies moved as one with the music, so close, so tightly pressed together I could feel his heart beating. My hands traveled slowly back down his chest and around his middle as his came up into my hair. When his tongue ran over my top lip, I knew he could feel my gasp. And when I pulled him in deeper to taste him, I felt the low growl in his chest rumbling against mine.

His fingers twisted in my hair as he dove deep and then pulled back, deep again and back, teasing me, pulling back to kiss my lips one at a time, as I kept clinging tighter. I was drunk on it. Breathing shallow. My fingers curling into his shirt with the need for more.

The first time…ever I kissed…your lips…

It was erotic, the way he kissed me. The way I kissed him. Slow, matching our movements. Intimate. Electric and emotional at the same time. And so full of desire and barely restrained need, that my body was trembling with it when he held my face and leaned his forehead against mine.

I wanted to keep my eyes closed. Absorb the feel of him, the song, the words, the taste. Just hold on to it a little longer. But I felt the heat of his gaze and my eyes fluttered open. And everything inside me turned to liquid fire. No one—ever—had looked at me like that. Had wanted me like that. The mirror image of what was churning inside me was all over him. In the desire mixed with the trouble haunting his eyes. This wasn’t the game. That thought hit me like a sucker punch to the gut. This was—

His mouth covered mine again, hungrier, hotter, and I melted into it. The burn in my chest at the realization of just how fucking real this was, stole at my breath, and I didn’t care. It was more than we were supposed to be doing but—God, it was so good. It was so good my heart felt like it was swelling to the size of the room. Wrapping around us as his hands cradled my face and he broke from the kiss, moving his lips along my face, my cheeks, back to my lips, both of us breathing fast. It was more. Nick was giving me the more. It wasn’t just physical; it was bursting inside me.

When he pulled me to him, I buried my face in his neck and held him as tightly as I could as the words slowed to an end. I didn’t want it to be over. I didn’t want to let go.

I could hear my heart in my ears, pounding with every breath. He smelled like soap and something woodsy and Nick, and I always knew that but being up close enough to lick him made the smell intoxicating.

The music stopped.

The lighting was changing. I had to let go of him, and the second I moved he backed up too. Just a little. Just enough for me to see the mouth I’d just gotten to know intimately. His gaze fell to my lips as well, before dragging up to my eyes. Things had changed. In the course of time it took for that song to make its evolution, our reality had shifted. And the real kicker was that I think we both knew it already had.

A Charmed Little Lie
A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Welcome to Charmed, Texas a picturesque town where you can find crazy townsfolk, possibly haunted houses, old flames, and new beginnings.
Sharla Lovelace pens another wonderful small town romance filled with emotion and desire, quirky characters and fun twists.

When Lanie lied to her Aunt Ruby about having the job of her dreams and a husband to match it, her intentions were good. She didn’t want her dying aunt to worry about her. But after reading her aunt’s will she finds out her good intentions have an unpredictable impact in her life and now she desperately needs to find a fake husband who’ll live with her in order to save her childhood home from falling into the hands of her greedy cousins. As Lanie has forsaken love, she’s in no danger of falling for her newfound gorgeous roommate is she?

Nick McKane needs a job to pay for his daughter’s education and he’s just desperate enough to accept a perfect stranger’s insane plan to fake a marriage for three months. But as he deftly jumps into his role of loving husband while getting to know Lanie the illusion they create is slowly turning into reality, but can he trust in them enough to believe it’s real or will he walk out on them when the time is up?

I get the impression that Sharla Lovelace has a great time writing about small towns, creating the charming places with interesting townsfolk and their wacky dynamics. I loved reading about Charmed and feeling as though I was transported there. Aside from the parochial appeal, I very much enjoyed the slow burn relationship between the perky Lanie and sexy yet closed off Nick.

It’s clear that they both have vested interests in pulling off the lie, but Nick is able to jump effortlessly into his role whereas Lanie has a more difficult time having to quit her current job, not being able to accept her actual dream job in California all while having to deal with the ridiculously attractive man who struts dripping wet in only a towel after a hard run and before heading to work at the local dinner filled with fawning females who can’t get enough of the easy going new chef.

“How was the punch?” he asked.
I wound my fingers into his hair and pulled his head down.
“See for yourself,” I said, the last word finished against his lips.

Sparks ignited throughout my body as our lips met. Soft. Slow. Wet. Needing. Our bodies moved as one with the music, so close, so tightly pressed together I could feel his heart beating. My hands traveled slowly back down his chest and around his middle as his came up into my hair. When his tongue ran over my top lip, I knew he could feel my gasp. And when I pulled him in deeper to taste him, I felt the low growl in his chest rumbling against mine.

Having the need to show everyone that they’re madly in love and happily married requires them to be out and about together, holding hands and showing other PDAs which helps to fuel the already existing smoking hot attraction, but it’s during the quiet times when they’re alone when they get to know more of each other when that attraction turns into so much more.

I loved both Nick and Lanie equally. She was so lively yet a tad broken and insecure, but not enough to that it stopped her from defending her “husband” against all the unwanted female attention he got. That was so much fun to witness. Nick on the other hand was a bit walled off having had bad luck whenever it came to love, but I just swooned over every time he got instinctively protective over Lanie, whenever he flirted with her when no one was there to watch or listen in, and every time he sexily called her “Mrs. McKane.”

“What was that, Mr. McKane?” I said, putting my cake-covered hand to my ear. “Was that the sound of losing?”
Nick grabbed my hand and stuck one of my fingers in his mouth, sucking the cake off with his tongue. Everything stopped for me for a moment, the world going on tilt, and he winked as he licked his lips.
“What was that, Mrs. McKane? …The sound of shock?”

There’s so much I’d love to share, so many things I highlighted from sweet, to sexy, to emotional. Needless to say I was captive with their story and wanted to know how it would all turn out. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and anything else Sharla Lovelace puts out for the sentiments she evokes and the emotive stories she composes.

A Charmed Little Lie is the kickoff book in the series Charmed in Texas by author Sharla Lovelace. It is a standalone contemporary romance with a great balance between fun, wit, steaminess, and heartfelt emotions. It is told from the heroine’s point of view with a happy ending.

 

Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series.

For more about Sharla’s books, visit http://www.sharlalovelace.com, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

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Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne Release Blast

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The City’s HOTTEST Cold War is here!
WALK OF SHAME
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Loveswept

 

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in
this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling
author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.
 
Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the
shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot
lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the
mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic
neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing
him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest
daydreams.
Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially
spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual
job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew
resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it.
But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise
kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether
they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the
answer just might be yes.

Excerpt

And who is he, you ask?

Andrew Mulroney, Esquire.

I know this because we moved into the building on the exact same day, and right before we got into a horrendous fight over whose movers should have access to the building loading dock first, he handed me his business card.

The thick white card stock declared that he had a fancy law degree to go along with the fancy suit he was wearing on a Saturday.

Andrew handed it over with such superiority, I actually wished for a half second that I had a business card of my own that would somehow be better than his. Like, lined with gold or something. No, platinum. With a diamond in the corner. It would be too heavy for him to hold, and he’d drop it, thus having to kneel at my feet to pick it up.

But then I realized it was just as well that I didn’t have a business card.

Because it would say . . . what? Georgie Watkins, professional party girl?

Anyway, I digress. Despite the high temps of that swampy July morning, the encounter had been the start of an epic cold war.

Me, the socialite in apartment 86A against the uptight esquire in apartment 79B.

I’m not entirely sure I’m winning the war, but I’ll never tell him that.

I let my gaze drift over Andrew, even though his appearance rarely holds any surprises. The man’s a lesson in sameness, like some sort of anal-retentive version of Groundhog Day.

There’s always the black mug with some healthy gunk inside held in his right hand, Tom Ford briefcase and Armani garment bag in his left, containing what I know to be a perfectly tailored three-piece suit.

Andrew’s coppery hair is perfectly styled, although I’d swear that there’s some natural curl in there threatening to disrupt his perfect order. I imagine that annoys him, so it therefore makes me happy.

Let’s see, what else about my nemesis?

He’s got a hard, unfriendly jawline that’s perfectly shaven.

Dark brown eyes, cold and flat. Black gym bag over one shoulder.

I suppose you could say he changes up his attire, because he does alternate between black and gray gym shirts. But considering that they seem to be the exact same fit, both colors molding perfectly to his impressively sculpted upper body, we’re not giving him any points for variety there.

Same goes for the lower half. The black shorts worn in summer have given way to sleek black sweatpants now that October’s upon us, but they’re both black and Nike, so we’ll give him no credit for changing it up there either.

The shoes, though . . .

I do a double take.

Well, well, well . . .

Instead of the usual black gym shoes, the man’s shoes are red. I don’t know how I missed it before.

I drag my eyes back up his body with a grin, and he gives just the slightest roll of his eyes to indicate that he’s noticed my slow perusal and isn’t fazed in the least.

“You went shopping, Dorothy!” I say happily.

He stares at me. “I don’t shop.”

Of course not. Far too frivolous.

“No, that makes sense,” I say, pointing at his feet. “Glinda would have given these to you.”

Andrew looks down at his Rolex watch. “I’ve got to go. Have a good day, Mr. Ramirez.”

“You too, Mr. Mulroney,” Ramon says with a deferential nod. “Enjoy your workout.”

“Yes, do,” I say, turning and watching as Andrew moves toward the front door of our building. “What’s on the schedule today? Treadmill, or just skipping down the Yellow Brick Road?”

Andrew Mulroney, Esquire, doesn’t respond. He doesn’t even turn before pushing through the revolving doors and stepping out into the still-dark autumn morning.

Now come on. Tell me that wasn’t at least a little bit fun, despite the ungodly hour.

Walk of Shame
Walk of Shame by Lauren LayneMy rating: 5 of 5 stars
Enchantingly sexy, flirty and fun to read. Lauren Layne delivers another romance to fall for, keeping us frantically flipping pages with the irresistible chemistry between a socialite who believes in fairytale endings and an uptight, pessimistic divorce lawyer who doesn’t believe in love. Walk of Shame has fabulous sexual tension, snarky sarcasm, and fun banter that will make you swoon, smile and laugh.

Although New York socialite Georgianna Watkins loves to shop by day and party by night, the best part of her day is when the party ends and she accidentally on purpose runs in with the stodgy neighbor who hates her is leaving for his long workday. She’s determined to make him like her, but nothing more. The enjoyment she gets from mocking him and excitement from seeing him every day has nothing to do with her wanting more, or does it? Can she crack the uptight and serious exterior of Andrew Mulroney, Esquire?

“The encounter had been the start of an epic cold war. Me, the socialite in apartment 86A against the uptight esquire in apartment 79B. I’m not entirely sure I’m winning the war, but I’ll never tell him.”

Andrew Mulroney didn’t inherit the partner position in his law firm, he earned it with hard work. Something the beautiful Georgianna probably knows nothing about and one of the many reasons he should not be interested in her. He’s also noticed she’s honest, has a sweet, caring heart and sharp wit, which makes her even more attractive even though he knows the two of them don’t make sense together. Besides, he doesn’t have time for relationships. But when one of their early morning arguments ends with an epic kiss, he finds himself wanting more.

“I don’t like games, Georgiana.”
“Which is why you need to play them, Andy.”

He blinks. “It’s Andrew.”
“Hmm. How about Drew?”
“No.”
The word is a growl. “Georgiana.”
“Yes, Andy?”

He exhales. “I’m going to kill you.”
I can’t help the laugh. “See, I don’t think so.”
“Don’t you?”
“Nope,”
I say, sucking sugar off my thumb. “You don’t send flowers to someone you’re going to kill.”

Do you remember Giselle from Disney movie Enchanted? She was impossible not to love, right? Lauren Layne captures that essence perfectly in Geogie. I just loved her. She comes from money but isn’t spoiled or snobby. She’s genuine and kind, easy to get along with. She even chatted up and brought doughnut to every morning to her doormen. The only one who didn’t like her was Andrew, who fought tooth and nail against their attraction.

Most would think that Andrew’s life was complete. Smart, good looking, had achieved success at an early age, famous in his own right. But his life was colorless and dreary, right down to his all black workout gear. Well, except for his red sneakers. He was so proper, but got awkward and flustered every time he was around Georgie. It was very endearing.

Instead of the usual black gym shoes, the man’s shoes are red.
“…You went shopping, Dorothy!” I say happily.
He stares at me. “I don’t shope.”
Of course not. Far too frivolous.
“No, that makes sense… Glinda would have given these to you… What’s on the schedule today? Treadmill, or just skipping down the Yellow Brick Road?”

The tension between Georgie and Andrew crackles every time they come into close proximity to each other. I loved the antagonistic push and pull between them which made for a delicious slow burn, turning enemies into friends and much more.

The writing is wonderful, from the city descriptions that made me feel like I was right there in NY, to being in Georgie’s head. The story has a wonderful flow and the secondary characters are charming. I hope we get a story for Marley!

Walk of Shame is standalone contemporary romance by author Lauren Layne. This is a frenemies to lovers story that has everything I love to read in romantic comedies. It’s adorably fun, delightfully sexy and lighthearted. It is told from both points of view with a happy ending.

 

 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen
romantic comedies.
 
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York
City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
 
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart
romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In
LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry
a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 

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The Cad and the Co-Ed by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway Release Blitz

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The Cad and The Co-Ed, an all-new romantic comedy from Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway is LIVE

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THE CAD

Bryan Leech is a cad.

Or, he *was* a cad.

No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

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(Free In Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US : http://amzn.to/2kpS1KX

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06W9J28CJ/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06W9J28CJ/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06W9J28CJ/

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The Cad and the Co-Ed
The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid are a writing powerhouse. Individually or together they always deliver spellbinding romances.

Rugby star and reformed bad boy Bryan Leech has a problem. After two years of sobriety and lack of interest in the opposite sex he’s inexplicably taken with his team’s new physical therapist who seems to be avoiding him as though he were still a wild partying womanizer who lost huge chunks of memories due to alcohol excess when in reality his craziest nights now consist of furniture assembly and a good book in comfy pj’s. Can Bryan convince Eilish to give him a chance and prove himself a stable and sturdy option especially after he learns the truth behind her avoidance?

@THEBryanLeech: There’s nothing better in life than a cup of peppermint tea, a comfortable pair of PJs and a good book.
@RonanFitz to @THEBryanLeech: You got hacked by your Granddad again. Just FYI.

At nineteen, Eilish Cassidy had a huge crush on Bryan Leech. But never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined herself becoming the mother of his son and not have him remember her at all. Completely alone with only help from her cousin, she’s succeeded in not only taking care of her son but finishing school and finding a good job, the only problem is that job requires her to closely work with Bryan. How long will she keep their son a secret? Could she ever consider giving a second chance to the man who completely forgot her?

“She didn’t deserve to be forgotten. She deserved to be treasured.”

I wasn’t sure where to start my review about this sweet, sexy and touching, but I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. OMG yes, that beginning with Eilish and Bryan started out so sweet and then having him not remember her and her finding out she’s pregnant left me wanting to devour the entire book all at once. I wanted to know what Eilish would do and how on Earth Bryan would redeem himself! I absolutely wanted to see how these two would work out this major life changer.

Bryan certainly did redeem himself. He worked hard for Eilish and their son. I felt for him and his less than ideal upbringing that led to his addiction and admired him for overcoming it. And watching him embrace fatherhood wholeheartedly made my ovaries explode. He’s a wonderful mix of adorably naughty, charming and responsible bad-boy.

“If I wasn’t careful, Eilish Cassidy would be elevated to sainthood level in my mind. I decided I should debauch her before this happened.”

I loved Eilish! She’s so incredibly strong and brave. I was so sad about her family situation too, especially her mother who was dreadful, but was an incredible contrast to her goodness. Eilish is a great mother who works hard and strives for independence. I was totally charmed by her love for storage, organization and Bryan’s adulting.

“My mouth parted slightly because the oddest thing happened as he rattled off his list of chores. It turned me on. Even more so than running my palms over his luscious legs. That’s right. His list of adult tasks made my heart flutter.”

Eilish and Sean’s romance progressed organically. Of course they had Patrick that bound them together, but they also made sense together, they had a delicious attraction to one another and I flat out loved how he convinced her she was absolutely unforgettable.

Since this is a series, it’s always great getting updates from previous characters but I do have to say, “Monkey” Sean Cassidy was IN.CRE.DI.BLE! If it weren’t for the marvelous balance achieved by Reid and Cosway, he would have stolen the book. He’s not just a great cousin Eilish and a wonderful uncle to Patrick (another source of ovary explosions), he’s hilarious and he’s also cupid! I hope he plays cupid for William.

Oh and how can I not mention those awesome Twitter texts at the beginning of each chapter that only set the mood for what’s to come!!

@ECassChoosesPikachu: I’m not crying, I just have onions, pepper spray, and severe acute depression in my eye.
@SeanCassinova: See you after work, I’ll be the bloke holding the sign: Free hugs.

The Cad and the Co-ed is book #3 in the Rugby series by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid. It is a standalone, contemporary sports romance that made me fan myself, smile, tear up a bit and laugh. Told from both points of view with a happy ending.

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/vkhYHN

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

Beard Science by Penny Reid Review Tour. Excerpt, teasers, review and GIVEAWAY!!

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Beard Science

by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #3
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Humor, Romance

beardscience

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google Play | Smashwords

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.

Beard Science
Beard Science by Penny Reid
My rating: 5++ of 5 stars
You just can’t find writing like Penny Reid’s elsewhere. It’s Penny Reid or bust!

“I loved her both rationally and irrationally. And I wanted her with a ferocity that had kept me awake at night and tortured during the day.”

Jennifer Sylvester detests being the Banana Cake Queen. Perhaps detests is a too strong word for the sweet Jenn. Regardless, she knows she wants is a husband of her own choosing who’ll respect her and give her a big family. An impossible goal as long as she continues to be a good daughter abiding by her parents controlling ways. So what is a girl to do when she’s never been kissed and is desperate? It’s obvious, but only to her. She turns to Cletus Winston.

Behind the peculiar and “harmless banjo-playing hermit” façade lies the conniving genius mind of Cletus Winston. Perceived by his own design as a “simpleton,” he has control and power over just about everyone, they just don’t know it. But he only actively expends time and effort meddling in the lives of his family, thank goodness. So when her highness, the Banana Cake Queen, surprisingly blackmails him, she turns his orderly life sideways. Can he help her and return back to his controlled life?

“My heart was a danger to itself and to me because Jennifer Sylvester and I were not suited… things would be complicated between us. I couldn’t abide complicated… I wanted predictable, and she’d never ceased to surprise me. Together we would not be perfectly pragmatic. We would be impressively impractical.”

Let me start by saying that every time I read a Penny Reid book I fall more in love with her writing and curse the fact I haven’t had time to read all her books yet. I’ll also admit that even though I loved Cletus, wanted to get to know the clever oddball and would love to be one of the only 24 people he has time for, I was sure I’d love him as a hero. He was great in Grin and Beard, undeniably funny and brilliant. I just couldn’t picture him as swoony enough for a book boyfriend. Of course I shouldn’t have doubted Reid’s amazing ability to develop richly layers characters in interesting plots.

Cletus isn’t just remarkably smart and devious, he has his weaknesses and loves fiercely. Jenn is kind, compassionate, remarkably smart in her own way and quirky fun. I loved being in their heads and the journey they embarked on was absolute delightful from start to finish.

These two transformers (because there’s definitely more than meets the eye about them) made me laugh, smile, swoon and fan myself with delicious slow burn between them. I loved how Jenn really saw Cletus and thus caught the almost all-knowing man off guard, and how while helping Jenn bring her backbone to the fore, Cletus finds his perfect match.

“Jennifer was the key to my cage. She was the key to my future. We fit together. Her strengths counterpoised my weaknesses.”

I loved how Jenn gave so much importance to such things as humility and forgiveness, how much value she put in being a mother which were also valued by Cletus. I got a really kick out of Cletus lovingly torturing his brothers and always going for and getting what he wanted. I could keep on telling you I could keep on telling you all the things I discovered and loved about these two but I’ll finish with two other outstanding aspects that need mention.

First, the family element which not only included great past and future characters I enjoyed reading about, but also that wonderful feeling of being part of a group of people who’ll love, help give sage advice and support you no matter what.

“You’ll know one day, Cletus. You’ll discover what it’s like to find the other part of yourself. You’ll know it’s her, only her, always her. Maybe not right away, but eventually you’ll know. She’ll be your beginning, middle, and end. And your intentions won’t matter. Love brings its own intentions, and all other plans, hopes, and dreams fade to insignificance in the face of love.”

And second, the witty dialogues that made me laugh and snort and made this story fly by.

“Jenn and I are going to make some sausage pie.”
“Sausage pie?”
“That’s right, sausage pie.”
“I see. So Jennifer is going to let you put your sausage in her pie.”

Beard Science is book #3 and the finale in the Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. It is a delightful standalone romantic comedy you won’t want to miss. I can’t recommend this book enough. Told from both point of view with a happy ending.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via IndieSage PR. The excerpts are from that copy. *

Excerpt

“So Cletus told me I needed to change one thing every day. He wasn’t specific about what I should change, just that I should decide on the one thing myself.”

Billy nodded.

I continued. “At first I didn’t see the purpose, but—do you know?—Cletus was right. Something as trivial as paining my nails a different color made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to.”

Billy smiled.

I continued. “Cletus also said-”

Billy cleared his throat. “Do you go to the jam session much? I think I’ve only seen you here a handful of times.”

“I don’t, actually. I’d like to, but Saturdays are busy. I’m usually making special orders on Friday night. I’ve heard you sing a few times, though. You should do it more often, you have such a nice voice.”

Billy smiled again, his eyes sliding to me then away. “Thank you.”

“And Cletus is amazing on the banjo. Last year he did a folksy version of Thriller, during Halloween. It was spectacular.”

Billy sighed.
Conversation was surprisingly easy with Billy Winston, once I stopped being afraid of saying the wrong thing. Instead of worrying, I just said whatever I wanted. He wasn’t a big talker, other than asking me questions, so I filled the silence. Sometimes what I said made him laugh. Sometimes it made him nod. Sometimes it made him cough.

But usually whatever I said made him smile. And that was nice. He was nice.

He pulled his truck into the community center lot and it was clear the jam session was already in full swing. The evening was chilly, so folks were dressed in coats.

I pulled my shawl over my shoulders and Billy opened my door, helping me from the car. I slipped my fingers back into the crook of his elbow while trying to suppress a new, and more powerful, flutter of excitement as we approached the community center.

I wondered if Cletus would be there. I wondered what he would think of my dress, and my hair in a bun, and my purposefully minimal makeup, and my nail polish. Even though I was nervous, I grinned at the thought.

“What are you smiling about?” Billy asked, giving me the side eye.

“I’m nervous,” I answered honestly, feeling breathless, then asked before I could catch myself, “Do you think Cletus is here?”

Billy’s mouth tugged to the side and he studied my face. “I’m sure he is. Why?”

“I wonder what he’ll think of my dress,” I admitted excitedly.

Billy chuckled and shook his head.

“What? What is it?” I pressed, searching his profile for a sign as to why he was laughing.

He pulled us to a stop and faced me. “Since this is a practice date, do you want me to give you a tip?”

I nodded eagerly. “Yes, please. All tips are welcome.”

“Okay. Here goes,” he gathered large breath, like he was bracing himself, and said, “When you’re on a date with a man, it’s probably best not to bring up a different man.”

My lips parted as my face fell. “I’m sorry. I keep talking about your brother.”

“No, no. It’s fine.” He reached for my hand and squeezed it. “This is a practice, no need to apologize. I’m not upset. But if this were a real date, you bringing up Cletus and wondering what he’s going to think of your dress would definitely rub me the wrong way. If I’m on a date, I want that woman to be thinking only of me. Does that make sense?”

I nodded, because it did make sense. “Just like, I probably wouldn’t like it—if this were a real date—if you kept bringing up other woman.”

“That’s right.” He moved my hand back to his arm. “You’ll want to keep the conversation about the two of you.”

I considered things as we walked. “Thank you, Billy.”

“For what?” He opened the double door for me, placing his hand on the small of my back to usher me inside. The entryway was full of people, but I hardly noticed them.

“Thanks for doing this, and for the tip. Thanks for sacrificing your Friday night.”

Billy covered my fingers on his arm with his hand. “It’s not a sacrifice, Jennifer.”

“Well, it can’t be pleasant.”

He grinned again and gave me an incredulous look.

“What? What did I do this time? Do you have more tips?” I needed to know. I hoped he filled the whole night with tips, so I would be an expert when the time came for a real date.

Billy’s grin faded as his piercing blue eyes moved over my face. If he’d done this just last week I think I would’ve fainted on the spot, mortified and terrified and assured of my own failure.

But so much had changed in a week. I wasn’t afraid of him anymore. I was changing, becoming braver. So I met his glacial eyes straight on and lifted my eyebrows encouragingly.

“You can tell me, whatever it is,” I whispered earnestly, stepping closer. “Like I said, all tips welcome.”

Finally, he said, “You have no idea how gorgeous you are, do you?”

I gaped at him, because that was not what I’d expected him to say.
But before I could recover, a stern voice to my left interjected. “She has no idea whatsoever.”

I turned and found Cletus standing at my shoulder. Startled, I stumbled a step to the side so I could see him better. What I found surprised me.

His jaw was clenched.

His mouth was curved into a frown.

And Cletus’ eyes, a dangerous and fiery blue, were narrowed on his brother.

 

 

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About Penny Reid

Author-Photo-Penny-Reid-300x300

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Royally Screwed by Emma Chase Release Blitz with Excerpt, Teaser

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royally-screwed-for-webEmma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled Series & Legal Briefs Series, returns with the first of three sizzling standalone books about a family of racy, irresistible Royals.

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness”, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant—hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

***

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately—the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia—Nicholas is worth it.

***

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is, but more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

 

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Excerpt

 

“I have a plan.”

We’re in the library of the suite. Nicholas is behind the desk, his hair falling still damp over his forehead from a recent shower, while James and Tommy stand near the windows.

“Take off your clothes,” I say, dropping a stuffed backpack at my feet.

He stands, giving me a curious, dimple-flashing smile that makes my stomach tingle.

“I like this plan.”

He pulls his shirt over his head—and at the sight of that gorgeous chest and ripped abs, I have to close my mouth to stop the flow of drool.

“Should I send the lads to their room?” he asks.

I toss him a Beastie Boys T-shirt and ripped jeans from the backpack. “They can stay—I’ll get to them in a second.”

Nicholas puts on the outfit, his disguise for the day. I hold up a thick gold chain with a dangling cross, and he dips his head so I can loop it over his neck. Then I squirt gel into my hand and reach up on tiptoes to rub it through his hair—mussing it at the top and slicking the sides.

Perfect.

“Do you know how to drive a motorcycle?”

“Yes.”

“Excellent.” I pull a helmet with a full, tinted face shield out of the backpack and hold it up. “Marty’s bike is downstairs. He said to tell you: break it, you bought…a Ducati.”

Logan steps into the room from where he was stationed just outside the door, lifting his hand, like a traffic cop. “Hold on, now—”

Nicholas takes the helmet. “It’ll be fine, Logan.”

“And,” I say cautiously, turning to the three big, strong, probably-have-a-license-to-kill boys. “I want Nicholas and me to go on this outing alone. You guys stay here.”

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph.” Tommy says.

James makes the sign of the cross.

Logan takes another route. “No fuckin’ way. Not possible.”

But the look on Nicholas’s face says it’s definitely possible.

“No,” Logan insists again, his voice straining with a faint hint of desperation.

“I have an itinerary.” I take the sealed envelope out of the backpack and hand it to Logan. “I wrote everything down for you, just in case—exactly where we’ll be, every minute.” When he starts to tear it open I put my hand on his. “You can’t open it until after we’re gone—it’ll ruin the surprise. But I promise it will be all right. I swear on my life.”

My eyes drift from Logan to Nicholas. “Trust me.”

And I want him to—so much. I want to do this for him, give him something he hasn’t had. Something he’ll remember always: freedom.

Nicholas looks at the helmet, then at Logan. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

“Ah…you could get assassinated and the three of us will hang for treason.”

“Don’t be silly,” Nicholas scoffs. “We haven’t hung anyone in years.” He smacks Logan’s back. “It’d be the firing squad.”

 

 

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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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Beard Science by Penny Reid Release Blitz Package

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Beard Science

by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #3
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Humor, Romance

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Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.

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Beard Science
Beard Science by Penny Reid
My rating: 5++ of 5 stars
You just can’t find writing like Penny Reid’s elsewhere. It’s Penny Reid or bust!

“I loved her both rationally and irrationally. And I wanted her with a ferocity that had kept me awake at night and tortured during the day.”

Jennifer Sylvester detests being the Banana Cake Queen. Perhaps detests is a too strong word for the sweet Jenn. Regardless, she knows she wants is a husband of her own choosing who’ll respect her and give her a big family. An impossible goal as long as she continues to be a good daughter abiding by her parents controlling ways. So what is a girl to do when she’s never been kissed and is desperate? It’s obvious, but only to her. She turns to Cletus Winston.

Behind the peculiar and “harmless banjo-playing hermit” façade lies the conniving genius mind of Cletus Winston. Perceived by his own design as a “simpleton,” he has control and power over just about everyone, they just don’t know it. But he only actively expends time and effort meddling in the lives of his family, thank goodness. So when her highness, the Banana Cake Queen, surprisingly blackmails him, she turns his orderly life sideways. Can he help her and return back to his controlled life?

“My heart was a danger to itself and to me because Jennifer Sylvester and I were not suited… things would be complicated between us. I couldn’t abide complicated… I wanted predictable, and she’d never ceased to surprise me. Together we would not be perfectly pragmatic. We would be impressively impractical.”

Let me start by saying that every time I read a Penny Reid book I fall more in love with her writing and curse the fact I haven’t had time to read all her books yet. I’ll also admit that even though I loved Cletus, wanted to get to know the clever oddball and would love to be one of the only 24 people he has time for, I was sure I’d love him as a hero. He was great in Grin and Beard, undeniably funny and brilliant. I just couldn’t picture him as swoony enough for a book boyfriend. Of course I shouldn’t have doubted Reid’s amazing ability to develop richly layers characters in interesting plots.

Cletus isn’t just remarkably smart and devious, he has his weaknesses and loves fiercely. Jenn is kind, compassionate, remarkably smart in her own way and quirky fun. I loved being in their heads and the journey they embarked on was absolute delightful from start to finish.

These two transformers (because there’s definitely more than meets the eye about them) made me laugh, smile, swoon and fan myself with delicious slow burn between them. I loved how Jenn really saw Cletus and thus caught the almost all-knowing man off guard, and how while helping Jenn bring her backbone to the fore, Cletus finds his perfect match.

“Jennifer was the key to my cage. She was the key to my future. We fit together. Her strengths counterpoised my weaknesses.”

I loved how Jenn gave so much importance to such things as humility and forgiveness, how much value she put in being a mother which were also valued by Cletus. I got a really kick out of Cletus lovingly torturing his brothers and always going for and getting what he wanted. I could keep on telling you I could keep on telling you all the things I discovered and loved about these two but I’ll finish with two other outstanding aspects that need mention.

First, the family element which not only included great past and future characters I enjoyed reading about, but also that wonderful feeling of being part of a group of people who’ll love, help give sage advice and support you no matter what.

“You’ll know one day, Cletus. You’ll discover what it’s like to find the other part of yourself. You’ll know it’s her, only her, always her. Maybe not right away, but eventually you’ll know. She’ll be your beginning, middle, and end. And your intentions won’t matter. Love brings its own intentions, and all other plans, hopes, and dreams fade to insignificance in the face of love.”

And second, the witty dialogues that made me laugh and snort and made this story fly by.

“Jenn and I are going to make some sausage pie.”
“Sausage pie?”
“That’s right, sausage pie.”
“I see. So Jennifer is going to let you put your sausage in her pie.”

Beard Science is book #3 and the finale in the Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. It is a delightful standalone romantic comedy you won’t want to miss. I can’t recommend this book enough. Told from both point of view with a happy ending.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via IndieSage PR. The excerpts are from that copy. *

About Penny Reid

Author-Photo-Penny-Reid-300x300

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

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Tour Info for TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Lauren Layne

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Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles!

 

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
The Wedding Belles #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 26th, 2016
Pocket Books

 

Sex and the City meets The
Wedding Planner 
in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new
contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make
any bride’s dream come true…but their own.
 
Discovering her fiancé is an
international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates
celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a
pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks
she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled,
hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse
springs.
Seth Tyler wishes he could write a
blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately,
micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar.
Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose
practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs
Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan
a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she
should be planning…is theirs?
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Review

Cute, sweet and sexy.

Escaping to New York was never Brooke Baldwin’s plan. She just wanted someone that would love her and have a successful career as a wedding planner. Having her fiancée taken away in handcuffs minutes away from getting married not only shattered her dreams of love but also of having a fruitful business. But the East Coast elite wedding Belles want her and she’s happy for the new start until she meets the infuriatingly controlling man who’s paying for her client’s wedding.

Hotel mogul Seth Tyler would do anything for his only living family, but going to tastings and viewing potential locations for his little sister’s out of the blue wedding to a man he doesn’t know is not exactly something he’s looking forward to, but how else will he make sure the man isn’t after his sister’s money?
After meeting the very attractive wedding planner and hearing her earnest opinion on happy forevers, his very pragmatic and unromantic side seems to be constantly distracted with thoughts of passion and romance towards Brooke. Can he convince her to give them a real chance and still keep his sister from making a terrible mistake by marrying the wrong man?

“She so desperately wanted a nice man who’d take her to dinner, buy her pretty things, and most of all, who’d hold her. Who’d pull her close, wrap his big arms around her, and just let her lean. Without plan or agenda. A kind man, a gentle man, who wanted to build a life with her.”

I’ve been hooked on Lauren Layne since she first got her first book out and I’ve read all of them since. I can’t really say which one is my favorite because I’ve loved all of them. I really like all of her series because of the friendship and camaraderie between all the characters that add a layer of appeal you can’t ignore. So when she announce a series described as “Sex in the City meets The Wedding Planner” I just couldn’t resist.

“What” she asked.
“A dirty vodka martini… Somehow that seems to be exactly the perfect drink for you.”
Brooke tilted her head. “Do you always mean for things to sound the way they do when they come out of your mouth?”
“How’s that?”
“Provocative.”
“What’s provocative about repeating your drink order?”
“The dirty part.”

Lauren’s writing is as solid as ever with humor, sassy banter and hot sexy times. I liked all the different personalities within the ladies at the Wedding Belles and think each will make interesting characters. Maya and Grant, Seth’s sister and best friend, made for a great backstory. I wish we could have had of what went on between them and I hope Lauren considers doing a novella about them.

Seth and Brooke are appealing characters. Seth is an anti-social, cynical control freak who loves his sister tremendously and has a vulnerable side that wanted to make Brooke happy no matter what. On the other spectrum is Brooke, who despite having had a humiliatingly heartbreaking almost wedding, she still believes in romance and hasn’t lost hope in finding a man that will love her.

They had an incredible attraction but I found myself not entirely sold on their connection. I don’t know if I’m in the minority but I couldn’t understand why Brooke at one point got really upset with Seth. I won’t go into detail but I thought he’s reasoning was solid, good and came from the heart. He could probably have been more forthcoming, but I didn’t feel it was a good enough reason to get all worked up about it and certainly not to the point of Brooke comparing him with her conman ex-fiancée.

To Have and to Hold is book # in The Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. It is a sexy contemporary romance and a great start to the series. Told from both points of view that has a happy ending.

Author’s Pinterest board -> https://es.pinterest.com/LLayneAuthor/to-have-and-to-hold/

Excerpt

Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?”

It was eleven p.m. on a Wednesday, and Seth Tyler was exactly where he always was these days: behind his expansive mahogany desk at the Tyler Hotel Group, suit jacket slung over the back of his ergonomic chair, tie begging to be undone, impeccably pressed white shirt cuffed at the wrists.

He raked a hand through his thick light brown hair in frustration and fixed his younger sister with his best no-nonsense glare, an approximation—like everything else he seemed to do lately—of his deceased father.

When Seth’s father dropped dead of a heart attack eight months ago, Seth had thought the hardest part about his father’s passing—other than the mourning, of course—would be taking over the family company.

Sure, Seth had been groomed for the role. He’d wanted the president and CEO title. He’d always wanted it.

Eventually.

But not yet, for God’s sake.

Seth had no problem admitting that he was a perfectionist, and he’d been bound and determined to take over the family company his way. The right way.

And the right way, as Seth had determined it, was spending at least a year shadowing each of the senior-level Tyler Hotel Group executives. Seth had wanted to learn every possible detail, every in and out of the business, before even thinking about taking over the reins of the Fortune 500 company.

But his father’s heart had had other plans. Mainly, up and quitting during a routine round of golf. And so, quietly, per his father’s wishes, Seth had become CEO two years ahead of schedule.

Not a day passed that Seth didn’t wish his father was still with him, but in truth, taking his place at the head of the boardroom table had been easier than Seth had anticipated. The investors hadn’t freaked out. The executive team hadn’t left in mass exodus. Even Hank’s longtime assistant, Etta, had stuck around, seemingly content to call Seth boss even as she busted his balls about not eating enough vegetables, getting enough sleep, or getting his hair cut.

But if taking over the family company was easier than Seth had expected, there was one ramification of Hank Tyler’s death that Seth hadn’t been in the least prepared for:

A wedding.

Maya Tyler inhaled a long, patient breath, as though preparing to deal with a difficult child. “Well see, marriage, Seth, is when two people fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives—”

“Yes, I’m aware of how marriage works,” Seth interrupted. Although, not as aware as well as he’d like, as it turned out. He wouldn’t be getting any firsthand knowledge of how marriage worked any time soon.

Maya bit her lip. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you of Nadia.”

Seth glanced down at his desk to avoid his sister’s too-perceptive gaze. She wasn’t wrong. He’d gotten to the point where he could go most days without thinking of his ex, but he hadn’t yet figured out how to think about marriage without hearing the incredulous laugh she’d let out when he’d gone on one knee and showed her the ring he’d spent months picking out.

“Can we not?” he said curtly.

“Don’t get pissed. It’s a wedding. You’re supposed to be happy.”

“I’m not pissed; I’m just surprised.”

That was an understatement. Seth had not seen this coming, and for a man who exercised precision in all things, he couldn’t say he was enjoying the shock value of Maya’s announcement. Especially not on the heels of his father’s death. A death that everyone but Seth had seen coming, because Seth had been the lone outsider on the knowledge that was his father’s longtime heart condition.

Apparently, Hank had considered his only son a control freak—had known that Seth would have stopped at nothing to try to halt death in its tracks.

His father had been, well, right. It was hard to admit, but if Seth had known about his father’s condition, he’d have devoted every waking hour to researching experimental treatment and the best doctors.

Hank Tyler hadn’t wanted that for his final months. Not for himself or for Seth.

Still, Seth resented not having the choice. Resented his father nearly as much as he missed him.

But he’d put that behind him. Mostly.

Hank was gone, and Maya was still here. Maya was all he had.

He had known she was dating a new guy—Neil something or other. But Seth hadn’t thought a thing about it. Maya had whipped through a constant string of casual boyfriends since high school, and other than a two-year relationship in college, they had never been serious.

And it certainly hadn’t gotten close to marriage.

What’s worse, Seth hadn’t even met this man that was apparently to be his brother-in-law.

But none of this would have mattered, not really, if Seth’s instincts hadn’t been buzzing that something was amiss with the way this was all going down. Something was off. He knew it down to his gut.

“How long have you been seeing this guy?” he asked.

Maya slumped back in the plush chair facing Seth’s desk with a groan. “Don’t do this. I knew you were going to do this.”

He frowned. “Do what?”

“The big brother thing,” she said.

“Hard not to, what with me being six years older and all,” Seth said.

He didn’t add that he was doubly obligated to be protective given Hank’s death just months earlier. Maya had definitely been Daddy’s Little Princess. She still got tears in her eyes every time their father’s name was mentioned.

Maya leaned forward, her pale blue eyes much like his own, although her blond hair was lighter than his, thanks to her frequent trips to the salon.

“I love him, Seth. I know you’re jaded these days, but Neil is exactly the type of guy we women spend our entire lives dreaming about.”

Seth bit his tongue to stop from saying that he bet Maya was exactly the type of girl that guys like Neil dreamed about, too. Young, pretty . . . and filthy rich.

Or so Neil likely thought.

 

 

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.

 

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