book review, New Book

Gingerly

Today, I want to chat about Gingerly by debut author Rachel Hodges. But by reading this book, you’d have no idea it was Hodges’ first work.

  • Genre: Women’s Fiction
  • Heat Level: ❤️
  • Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Caitlyn never thought her life would end up like this. At twenty-seven, she’s divorced, broke, expecting an exchange student she can’t afford, and still can’t find the right styling products to tame her wild, red hair. Unemployed and in serious need of something to pour her heart into, she becomes the nanny to an autistic boy named Aiden. Her background as an assistant to a special needs child makes the job a breeze, but there’s one issue…Aiden’s dad.

Nick isn’t a bad man, but he is devilishly handsome and not shy when it comes to the ladies. At first, it’s easy for the pair to keep a professional distance. But as time goes on and the line between business and something more begin to blur, and their attraction becomes nearly impossible to ignore.

Between being a nanny, ignoring her feelings, trying to fit in in a snooty neighborhood, and fending off a creep, Caitlyn’s in over her head.

I normally don’t read a lot of women’s fiction, but I really enjoyed Gingerly. It was funny from page one, sort of reminding me of The Nanny Diaries or the Shopaholic series. The comedy wasn’t forced, but the natural, dry humor is something I really appreciate reading. Caitlyn as the main narrator was really a perfect choice.

Aiden as a character helped to give a refreshing take on being a special needs caregiver, especially when working in an affluent neighborhood. My brother has hydrocephalus and autism and we grew up in an affluent town with private clubs and golf as a high school team. I saw a lot of parallels between how Aiden and Caitlyn were treated and my own experiences with my brother and family. People can be cruel and judgmental, and sometimes education is just not enough. I appreciated how Hodges used this work as a tool without taking away the joy.

For a first novel, I was pleasantly surprised. Hodges clearly out a lot of work into this book from the editing to the lovely cover. Sometimes the narration felt stilted and the chapters would end suddenly, but if those are the only things I found wrong with a debut book, I declare that an absolute win!

Overall, I really enjoyed Gingerly. It was sweet and funny while not skimping on the drama and heart.

cover reveal, Excerpt, New Book

Burnout

Once again, a big thank you to Kelsey for allowing the Calhouns to take over her blog 😊.

Kees with Roger Penske, owner of Penske Racing

Hello readers,

I hope you’re enjoying the Calhoun Custom Garage series so far. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please do leave a review on Amazon, Kobo or Goodreads if you’ve read Overdrive and Fast Lane. All reviews are welcome.

Today I’m going to tell you about Mason Calhoun, the hero of book 3, Burnout. He’s a complex character. Moody, deeply troubled, and a whole lot guilty as he comes to terms with the accident that killed his little brother. He’s spent the last six years in self-imposed exile, trying to find his way back to hisfamily. But he is struggling to forgive himself for what happened that day, even though he has come a long way since we met him in book 1, Overdrive.

Cue the arrival of Paige Drew in town. She’s the girl he’s always loved, also carrying some of the guilt over Mitch Calhoun’s accident. But Paige has even bigger problems as her arrival in town sets off a sequence of events that uncovers a scandal within her own family ranks. These two souls work very hard to reach their happy-ever-after with many speed bumps along the way.

I would recommend that the books are read in order of release as you will meet Mason throughout the series in the lead up to his story in book 3. Burnout is due for release a little later in 2019. Happy reading!

Excerpt:

Pain, guilt and punishment had etched hard lines into his face. The eyes that looked at her—through her—were equally as hard. Hazel eyes, a shade of greenish brown, like the volcanic rock pebbles that edged the shore around the lake. Beautiful eyes a girl could lose herself in that changed color with his mood.

A neatly trimmed beard edged his jaw. It suited him, added to that broody look he owned so well. Aged him a little in the nicest way. Made her want to reach out and hold his face in her hands when she couldn’t.

The last time she’d seen him, he’d been clean-shaven. The Mason she’d left behind had been little more than a young adult, testing the boundaries of life, dealing with the consequences. The broken man behind the wheel of his father’s truck still wore the scars.

His lips tilted. In a smile or a sneer, the movement had been too fleeting for her to decide. Her feet took an involuntary step forward, her heart lodged in her throat. And in that small window in time, his gaze locked on hers, his eyes softened, and her world rocked like a leaky boat.

With love comes a little overhauling …

Ex NASCAR race king, Marty Calhoun, has built a legacy for his family, and now it’s time to round them up and bring them home to claim it. Each of his five children have hearts in need of overhauling. They all have hard lessons to learn. The one thing Marty wants most is to see his children find happiness and love at Calhoun Customs Garage.

BURNOUT

When Paige Drew loses her job at the track, she takes it as a sign to come home to Bigfork and make peace with the past before she takes the next step in her life. She’s been on Trinity Calhoun’s pit crew ever since that fatal night that changed her life forever. She’s hidden behind the scenes at the racetrack for too long, ignored by her family for causing a scandal in their otherwise perfect lives. But coming home means she has to confront Mason Calhoun, the reason she ran in the first place.

Mason Calhoun is still trying to shrug off the label of bad boy, even though he’s proved his worth to the town. But his penchant for fast cars and Harleys makes it difficult for the town to forget the accident that killed his youngest brother, Mitch. It’s hard for him to forget when the girl responsible for him losing his head is back in town, hotter than ever, swinging spanners at his father’s garage, Calhoun Customs.

Release Date: TBA 2019

Finding love and hope in small towns with dark secrets …

Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romance novels with elements of suspense, Fantasy Paranormal and small-town stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three grown boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.

Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to share her writing journey:

On the Web

http://www.juanitakees.com

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/juanitakees

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/juanitakeesauthor

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/juanita-kees

 

book review, New Book

Kiss of the Red Scorpion

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Suzan Tisdale’s for years. In fact, her book Laiden’s Daughter inspired my love of Scottish historical romance! So when I got the chance to read her contribution to the whirlwind Kiss of the Red Scorpion, entitled In the Echo of a Kiss, I jumped at the chance.

    Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Rory loved Lasair since they were children in the MacCaerill clan. They grew up together, inseparable until the day they met with the clan’s seer, Magdara, and were allowed to marry. Before long, they even took in a pair of orphan boys named Quinn and Tornan. But one day, the young boys went in search of the legendary treasure of Dagda.

Dagda’s sword and the scorpion necklace was supposed to be their little secret. But Quinn is haunted by the unknown and the specter of a golden-eyed woman whispers in his ear. There’s black magic afoot and the golden-eyed woman is loving every second of it. But as she digs her claws deeper into the boy, more than just his life will be at stake.

I had no idea what to expect with this book, but with the names Suzan Tisdale, Genevieve Jack, Kathryn Lynn Davis, T.M. Cromer, KC Bateman, and Sara Whitney on the cover, I knew I was in for a treat. While I only got to sample Tisdale‘s work, the way she set up the tale to include ancient treasures and an Egyptian goddess gave me a taste of the larger fantasy world within.

To be honest, I wish her part in the book was longer. I want to know more about Rory and Lasair, the history of the clan, the wisdom of the seers in Magdara’s family, and more about Dagda. But we all can’t get what we want and I know that’s the mark of a good short story.

Overall, I really liked this tale and encourage fans of light fantasy and sweeping time novels to pick up a copy. It’s only $0.99 right now, so click HERE!

book review, review

The Inheritance

Today, I’d like to present to you Irina Shapiro’s first ever book, The Inheritance. Since The Inheritance was written, Shapiro has published dozens of heart pounding, tear jerking, stories of loss and survival, and it’s exciting to see where everything began.

  • Genre: Historical and Contemporary Romance
  • Narration Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️

In 2010 Katie Price is stunned when a man she never met leaves her a brewery and a castle in Scotland. She thought her grandfather had been dead for years, but as she goes to Scotland to inspect her inheritance with the help of local lawyer Danny, she learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.

In 1744 Isobel McBride enters an arranged marriage that leaves both parties miserable. Her husband is a careless brute who loves another and she craves the affection she thought she’d one day have. But another man offers her his heart, the entire future of the clan is in danger from more than just the coming war.

Two women two hundred and fifty years apart, brought together by a pile of love letters and a castle filled with memories.

It’s always so exciting to see how Shapiro writes her time hopping style of work. Each series and standalone book flip between worlds, connecting through memories, second lives, or faded letters in a hidden alcove. The methods she uses never grow stale and I’m always thrilled to see a new book in her collection.

I did have some issue with the narration. I think Wendy Wolfson spoiled me in her other work with Shapiro’s Echoes From the Past series and it was easier to find fault with the narrator in this book, particularly when it came to the Scottish accents. But as the book went on and I was drawn deeper into the story, it was easier to ignore.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish there was more of Katie’s story out there, particularly when it comes to her handsome Scottish lawyer.

New Book, review

Christmas in July

Merry Christmas…in July. It’s a heatwave here in New Jersey, making it the best time to stay inside and read books set in winter wonderlands. Today, I’ve compiled a short list of some sweet and spicy reads from Tule Publishing to get you in the holiday spirit.

Their Christmas Miracle by Lynne Marshall

Hunter is a talented cook who opened up his own diner. Tracy is a nurse who knows how to bake a mean pie. Together, they’re a recipe for perfection. But when Hunter becomes the guardian of his recently orphaned godchild, will his new bond with Tracy withstand a surprise, new addition?

Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman

After an embarrassing first impression, reporter Rowan thought she’d never see Prince Theo again. But Theo loves her small town and the antinomy of it all, even though he can’t hide from the throne forever. Will he follow his heart or his royal duties?

A Small Town Christmas by Nan Reinhardt

Wine maker and single dad Conor is struggling to save his winery and care for his daughter. Hot shot lawyer Samantha comes to his aid to keep his business in his hands. When close quarters breed new feelings, will these opposites give romance a try?

A Baby for Christmas by Joan Kilby

New widow Mia never expected to be in labor, in the snow, outside a stranger’s house. Recently single Will never expected to deliver a stranger’s baby. But sometimes, the unexpected can spark an unforgettable holiday.

All I Want for Christmas by Jennifer Gracen

Musician and bar owner Sean still pines for the girl who got away. But when she walks into his bar years later, will he get a second chance to make things right? He doesn’t think so, but he knows he’s up for the challenge.

A Match Made at Christmas by Patty Blount

After September 11th, Elena has more than just the emotional scars. A mysterious boy handed her an ornament at Ground Zero and she still carries it with her. Thirteen years later, she’s all grown up and meets the boy again, now a man named Lucas. After years apart and tragedy between them, can they find a way to heal?

Holiday at Magnolia Bay by Tracy Solheim

Navy Seal Drew is taking a leave from active duty after a death that left him shaken. Marine Biologist Jenna has made it her life’s mission to save wounded things. But when she’s sworn off military men and he’s not a fan of being coddled, are the holidays just what this pair needs?

A Merry Mountain Christmas by Trish MilburnWhen Heidi goes to a picturesque mountain town for the holidays, she takes a job at a Christmas decor shop. The owner, Ben, is all too happy to have her help…especially when he realizes she might be just what his life was missing.

This Christmas by Jeannie Moon

Single mom Sabrina is the epitome of a strong woman. But when the man who walked out on her all those years before rolls back into town, will she finally crumble under the pressure or make this Christmas one to remember?

The Christmas Window by Melissa McClone

Doggy daycare owner Callie wants to win the annual window display competition to prove to everyone she’s all grown up. Brandt never wanted to return to his small town, but life pulled him back. Opposites attract in this sweet romance, but will they make it through the holidays?

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride by Laurie LeClair

When country star Cassidy is told she may never sing again, she goes back to her small town for some R&R. Ryder retired from bull racing to raise his daughter, but he’s in for another wild ride when the girl that got away rolls back into his life. Will Christmas give then a second chance, or is their romance nothing but a sad song waiting to be written?

Montana Secret Santa by Debra Salonen

Krista is only in the Marietta’s Secret Santa Society for a chance to reboot her career via tech genius Jonah. But business meetings melt into long chats over hot chocolate, and before long, the call of the mistletoe becomes too hard to ignore.

Christmas Lights and Cowboy Nights by Shelli Stevens

Rosa has no interest in a fling, much to the disappointment of ladies’ man Calvin. But when they’re forced together at a secluded ranch over Christmas, their attraction becomes hard to ignore.

A Texas Christmas Reunion by Eve Gaddy

When Savannah moves back home to Whisky River, she never expected her ex to be her new boss. Harlan knows he messed up all those years ago with Savannah, but wants to make things right by Christmas. Will he make this holiday one to remember or end up back on her naughty list?

Christmas, Alabama by Susan Sands

Photographer Rachael loves small town life, but doesn’t like her meddling family telling her to settle down. When a hot doctor moves into town and offers to play the part of fake boyfriend, she’s left wondering if everything is just pretend.


Have you read any of the books on this list? Let me know and have a happy Christmas in July!

cover reveal, Excerpt, New Book

Fast Lane

Hello dear readers and thank you again to Kelsey for hosting me.

Kees with Australian V8 racing heroes, Garth Tander.

When I created Calhoun Customs Garage, I wanted at least one of the children to be a racing car driver. Having started the series with the eldest sibling, Chase and featuring middle brother, Mason, I figured I’d go to the end of the line for book 2, Fast Lane, and write a story about the youngest Calhoun. Of all five siblings, Trinity was the hardest one to write. She’s a hothead, runs on adrenaline and racing fuel, and seldom passes up on a dare. Poor Reece, he’s in for a rough ride.

Trinity comes crashing into Reece’s life at a time when he’s struggling to comes to terms with having to be a single-parentto his godson, Tyler. Our hero and heroine have both loved and lost someone special to them, both are learning the importance of family strength. And, with a dare or two thrown in, who can resist a ride in the fast lane on their bumpy road to a happy-ever-after?

I would recommend that the books are read in order of release as you will meet Mason from book 1, Overdrive, again in book 2, and the lead up to his story in book 3, Burnout, is littered throughout the first two releases. Book 3, Burnout, is due for release a little later in 2019. Happy reading!

Excerpt:

It was hard to play it cool when his heart pounded so hard he was sure she could see it beating out of his chest. Reece had known this moment would come, had tried not to think too much on it since he’d stepped through the doors of Calhoun Customs at Mason’s invitation. 

In a racing suit, she’d been hot stuff. In summer shorts and a wisp of a tank top thing, she was a volcanic eruption looking to pour lava all over him. And equally as dangerous and destructive. So, no matter how eye-poppingly gorgeous she was, he wouldn’t kiss her.

And that was like telling himself not to breathe, because he’d wanted to taste her lips again since he’d waved goodbye to her trackside. Besides, he owed her one, didn’t he? A dare was a dare after all. Reece stepped around Mason and cupped Trinity’s face between his hands, his gaze holding hers captive. 

“Hello, Trouble.”

With love comes a little overhauling …

Ex NASCAR race king, Marty Calhoun, has built a legacy for his family, and now it’s time to round them up and bring them home to claim it. Each of his five children have hearts in need of overhauling. They all have hard lessons to learn. The one thing Marty wants most is to see his children find happiness and love at Calhoun Customs Garage.

FAST LANE

Trinity Calhoun is a name everyone knows on the race circuit, but her days in the hot seat are numbered. She’s tired of the limelight, meaningless relationships and long hours behind the wheel. When her father calls her home, she’s ready. She slips right back into the family business, finishing off the custom car projects her father has lined up. But racing is in her blood and she’s lured back to risking her life on the hot rod drag strips outside of town. It’s there she meets paramedic, Reece Balmain, who has her re-thinking the road her life is taking.

Reece Balmain arrives in Bigfork a broken man. He’s lived and breathed through horror accidents, haunted by the faces of the people he’s cut from vehicles. He knows one thing–speed kills. He’s hoping not to see too much of it in small town Montana, until he hears about the drag races taking place outside of town. He knows Trinity Calhoun. He’s watched her race, seen her win, held his breath when her car somersaulted into barriers in Daytona Beach. He doesn’t like what she does, but he can’t stay away from the woman who’s claiming his heart.

DIGITAL:

 Kobo

Finding love and hope in small towns with dark secrets …

Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romance novels with elements of suspense, Fantasy Paranormal and smalltown stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three grown boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.

Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to share her writing journey:

On the Web

http://www.juanitakees.com

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/juanitakees

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/juanitakeesauthor

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/juanita-kees

book review, New Book, Writing

Meant to Be

Congrats to best selling author Nan Reinhardt on her latest release, book two of the Four Irish Brothers Winery series, Meant to Be! I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy early, and I have a lot to say…

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Heat Level:❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Chicago lawyer Sean may have moved away from the small town of River’s Edge, but it’ll always be his home. And when he’s shot outside the courthouse and needs some time away to recover, he returns to the place of his birth where he has so many fond memories and where his best friend Meghan still lives.

Meghan’s the new mayor of River’s Edge and is having a hard time bringing the place up to speed. When her best friend gets shot, she puts her life on hold to see him through the darkness. But a handsome police detective might just make her wonder if it’s time she expanded her circle of friends. Torn between the past and future, the little town seems to get a lot smaller.

While Meghan tries to keep River’s Edge running, she falls into a comfortable rhythm with a healing Sean. But when their friendship seems to drift towards something more, she’s more confused than ever. Stepping over the line could mean the end for everything they’ve shared. But if they keep their distance, will they possibly be giving up what’s meant to be?

Who did I spy on page one? A certain familiar face from the first book named Sam. Moments where characters from other books pop up, reminds me of why I adore series works. Seeing bits of previous stories go on in the background is always one of my favorite touches, especially in small towns.

I loved Meghan. She has a great head on her shoulders and a real way of connecting with people, although she’s more sensitive than she lets on. I enjoyed the fantastic relationship with her friend Sam as well. Their witty back and forth was fun nod to girlfriend relationships. Although the focus was definitely on Meghan and the possibilities with Sean.

Sean and Meghan have decades of history behind them, making them a seemingly perfect match. But watching them stumble through the what if’s only highlighted their differences sometimes. However, it’s easy to see why a girl might be drawn to Sean. He’s handsome, smart, and accomplished, but never let it go to his head

Overall, I enjoyed this latest installment and look forward to what’s next in this line of sweet, small town romances.