Book Review! SALT + STILETTOS by: Janet Walden-West

Brett Fontaine learned early that appearance matters and not to count on anyone but yourself. Trading her red-dirt roots for the title of Miami’s go-to image consultant, she refuses to let anything jeopardize her new life.

Not an influential client-turned-stalker who’s up for parole.
Not post-kidnapping panic attacks.
Certainly not the stubborn, attention-phobic chef she’s challenged to transform into a celeb in ninety days.

Will Te’o can almost taste the dream he sacrificed American Samoa, culture, and cherished family ties for—opening a four star restaurant in the most cut-throat culinary location in North America. Unfortunately, that requires navigating it’s equally cut-throat social scene. When his first public performance ends in a social media spectacle, his only option is turning to the stiletto-wearing nemesis who’s invaded his kitchen.

Neither expected to share anything but barbs, yet somewhere between accidentally bonding over comfort food and office-wrecking sex, they’re named South Beach’s hottest pairing. Until Brett’s stalker engineers a reputation-shattering reveal. She may be going down, but she’s not taking Will’s dreams with her. Now Will’s pulling out all his new skills and cooking up a last-ditch event. He’ll prove to Brett that relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe—or be left heartbroken in the spotlight.
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Sneak Peek & Release Day Eve! MEANT TO BE MORE

Tomorrow!! No, I’m not channeling my inner theater nerd and belting out an Annie classic, I am making a giddy, ecstatic, and slightly over-the-top reminder that Dean, the baby of the Carlisle family, gets to share his happily ever after with you TOMORROW!! Here’s a little extra sneak peek of he and Jillian’s hilarious and crazy journey to love.

Preorder on Amazon and add to your GoodReads TBR today!

Chapter One Part II
Jillian
Present Day

 If she hadn’t been delirious from a lack of sleep she probably would have handled the entire situation far better. She would have waited to drop the news—hell, she would have made it more of a request than a demand—at least until they were in his car. Her stomach growled. Preferably after she’d had food and at least six consecutive hours of rest…a luxury she wasn’t sure she could even remember. 

Playing it off as a joke wasn’t an option. It was more deceitful than the actual plan she’d hatched during her nearly thirty-six hours of travel home from the small village in Sierra Leone back to Asheville. 

One she’d have to talk Dean into if she had any hope of fixing everything that had shattered in her absence. But that at least had to wait until they were somewhere slightly more private than the baggage claim at Asheville Regional Airport. 

Dean blinked three times, each more painfully slow than the one before. “What did you say?”

Heat licked across her face as she disentangled herself from him. “I’ll…” What? Bury my head in the sand because I am beyond embarrassed I actually just blurted that out? “I’ll explain in the car.” The next best thing.

She yanked one enormous bag after another off the slowly rotating machine and lifted her brows to look at him. “Think you can fit all of this in your chick magnet?”

Ever since the first time Dean had skidded to a stop in front of her house in the crimson sports car, she’d given him endless grief about choosing a car based solely on what appealed most to the female population. 

The twitching at the corners of his mouth was both encouraging and concerning. She was hopeful she’d at least pushed the M word off the table long enough to collect her scattered, not fully logical thoughts before diving back in. But the mischief lighting his sapphire eyes was anything but settling. 

“What do you have up your sleeve, Dean Carlisle?” She pulled up the handles of her two largest cases and wheeled them over to him, silently requesting he take them out as she repeated the action with her smaller bags and drug them behind her. 

He arched a brow and cut a sideways glance at her as they exited through the sliding doors. “You propose marriage to me in the middle of a crowded airport without any notice and you wonder what I’m plotting?” He winked. “Not that I minded. I’m only shocked it took you eighteen years to see that you wanted this entire package.”

Jillian rolled her eyes and muttered curses in a stage whisper that made him laugh. “Yeah, that’s it. All the Carlisle men are just completely irresistible and I couldn’t hold out any longer.” The legs that had been cramped up for far too many hours on various planes screamed at the movement as she struggled to keep up with Dean’s pace through the parking lot. “Where the hell did you park, Sparky? Timbuktu?”

“Nope.” He popped the P on the end of the word as he swung her cases to a stop at the bumper of an enormous black truck that sparkled in the sun. “Timbuktu adjacent.”

She frowned as he effortlessly lifted the bags she knew were exceptionally heavy into the bed. “This is what you drive now? Have I really been gone that long I missed the Dean Carlisle transition into adulthood? I may never forgive myself, little butterfly.”

Before her brain had a chance to catch up to her mouth, Dean crowded her against the rear panel of the truck, bracing his hands on the metal ledge on either side of her head. “You demand my hand in marriage in a decidedly unromantic way and have the nerve to give me shit?” The grin on his face belied his words. Heat from the vehicle warmed her spine. “Maybe you need to watch a few more rose ceremonies to see how it’s really done.”

Jillian pushed his shoulder lightly and ducked beneath his arm when he didn’t move. “Why don’t you get in your big boy car and I’ll explain what I really meant.”

Dean took advantage of the extra foot he had on her and crossed in front of her to open the door before she could reach for the handle. Once she had climbed inside he slapped a palm to his chest and sighed. “Are you telling me I don’t get wined and dined? Damn, you’re a shitty date.”

She clicked her buckle into place and dipped her chin, offering a sardonic smile. And a good natured middle finger. “Good thing you’ve never dated me.” With that, she reached for the handle and jerked the door out of his hand, slamming it shut. 

In usual Dean fashion, which was one of about a million reasons she knew she could only go to him for this kind of help, he hopped into the driver’s seat and backed out of the parking space without pushing for more information. Several minutes had passed as he eased back onto the highway with only silence between them. He knew her so well he gave her the time she needed to collect her thoughts. The nerves she tried to cover with the sarcastic, biting remarks so representative of their friendship ramped up with every rotation of the wheels drawing her closer to home. 

Shit. Home. No, the conversation she needed to have, the massive favor she would have to beg for absolutely could not happen there.

“Do you have to get back to…whatever it is you do at Wyatt’s?” 

A shadow passed over his face and for just a moment his expression was indecipherable, even with nearly two decades of experience reading Dean like the back of her hand. As quickly as it appeared, it faded and a grin slipped easily into place. 

“Whatcha up for?”

The childhood nickname she’d always treasured wrapped around her in a new way after her latest, and longest, absence from home. And Dean. “Fredrock?”

His impish grin grew into a broad smile as he flicked the arm of the turn signal. “I thought you’d never ask.”

For the first time in more than two weeks since she’d first gotten wind of a problem, a portion of the mantle of responsibility that weighed heavily on her lifted. She settled back into the surprisingly plush seat, tilted her head back on the rest, and closed her eyes. If anyone could right her spiraling world, it would be Dean. He was the one constant she could always count on. 

Sneak Peek & Preorder! MEANT TO BE MORE

Happy Hump Day, darlings! Instead of a book review this week, I am coming at you with a sneak peek of my upcoming release and the fourth book in the Meant To Be series, Meant to be More. The book centered on the baby of the Carlisle family, Dean, is set to be release June 25th so just over a week away. Check back next Wednesday for another excerpt and in the meantime, Meant to be More is available for preorder on Amazon now!

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Book Review! A GOOD MAN by: Rosanna Leo

Contractor Michael Zorn is one of the leading men on the successful home improvement show Handymen. He is also revered for an act of bravery he’d rather forget. The press may hound him, but all he really wants is to help couples realize their home renovation dreams.

One of these couples is Emily Daniels and her fiancé, Trent. When Emily inherits an old home in Toronto’s Little Italy, she sees it as the perfect location for her small business. The house needs a lot of work, but her appearance on the Handymen show means Michael and his contractor brothers will help her renovate at a reasonable cost.

When Michael and Emily meet, their chemistry is intense. Emily wants to stay true to Trent, but her fiancé has done nothing but disappoint her. Michael recognizes Trent for what he is—a cheater. And it isn’t long before he breaks Emily’s heart.

At first, Michael only intends to comfort Emily, but their friendship soon flares into passion. Unfortunately, Michael has secrets and wounds of his own, ones he has never trusted to another. Emily is determined to break down his walls, but can she trust her heart to a man who can’t trust himself?

Happy hump day, my readerly darlings! Our book review today is a unique one. You may have seen the title and author, but be confused by this stunning and sexy cover. Don’t fear, friends, the quarantine has not zapped all your brain cells. A Good Man has recently been rereleased with a sparkly new cover! And since the story is new *to me,* I get to enjoy with a lovely new design.

I hardly ever watch TV, but when I do, HGTV is my channel. And, full confession, Property Brothers is possibly my favorite show EVER (shamelessly favor Jonathan Scott… maybe it’s the flannel?) so when I cracked open A Good Man and found out that it was not only based around a home improvement show, but one featuring BROTHERS… I was done for. I knew immediately I was going to love this story and Ms. Leo did not disappoint.

Now, if you have read basically ANY of my reviews, you know I love me a broken man. Yep, that’s Michael. Our hero has some serious PTSD and, in the midst of managing a construction business as well as a rapidly growing television show, he is doing his best to deal with the fallout this PTSD has created in his life.

Oh, yeah and then he meets Emily.

A trope I am not a fan of is a love triangle. Not gonna lie, it’s just not my cup of tea. So when we first met Emily and find out she has a fiance I went on high alert. However Ms. Leo handled it well and I deeply felt Emily’s hurt and disappointment when her deeply held belief in love and finding the best in others blows up in her face with a PITA significant other.

Michael and Emily first become friends before transitioning to more and both relationships offer depth and meaning that romances sometimes lack. We see them connecting in many ways besides just physically (but, trust me, they DEFINITELY connect physically and it is scorching!). Not only during the process of turning the home she inherited from her beloved grandmother into the homebase for her healthy, homemade soup business, but also as she helps him walk the rocky terrain PTSD creates in his life.

Not only are both characters fully and richly developed, Ms. Leo has created some fantastic side characters in Michael’s brothers as well as Emily’s brother and I can’t wait for the next in this heartwarming and charming series.

Where to find A Good Man

Amazon

Totally Bound

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

Book Review! WAY OF THE WOLF: ENDEAVOR

With Cathwulf settled by Roarke’s side as Alpha Female, once more, I’m left to uncover my own place within our pack.

Finding love in working beside the pack doctor, I’ve thrown myself into learning from the healers that came before me.

It’s kept me busy, but it’s hard to focus when my eyes are constantly drawn to the male who once fought to be Cathwulf’s mate.

Quillan has an aura that sparks all of my defensive instincts and yet, I can’t seem to stop wanting him to notice me…and I know he’s been keeping close.

The truth behind the reason he follows my every step, however, is far more dangerous than I could ever imagine. A reason that could have all the progress I’ve made crumble, and me right along with it when my past returns to haunt me.
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Book Review! MAGIC TOUCH by: Luna Joya

A witch with secrets, her reluctant protector, and a murder to solve. What could possibly go wrong?

Delia Donovan has everything under control.

Keep her family’s magical secrets hidden? No problem.

Rein in her own witchy powers? Easy.

Join a clandestine FBI task force to solve a cold case murder? She’s got it covered.

But ignoring the intense sexual chemistry she has with the cocky jerk who heads her security detail? Well, that’s another story.

The last thing Mark Cavan wants on his team is a supernatural Lawyer Barbie who traipses through crime scenes in designer clothes and stilettos. But he needs a magical asset to solve the case, and Delia is the perfect witch for the job.

He’ll just have to somehow ignore his growing attraction to the infuriating woman. Seems doable…right?

It’s not long before Mark learns there’s more to Delia than meets the eye—and Delia realizes that falling for Mark would be the easiest—and most complicated—thing she’s ever done.

But they’ll need to put their feelings on the back burner if they want to catch the murderer…before they become the next victims.
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Book Review! A COWBOY STATE OF MIND by: Jennie Marts

Scarred and battered loner Zane Taylor has a gift with animals, particularly horses, but he’s at a total loss when it comes to knowing how to handle women. Even though he’s sworn off love, he can’t seem to stay away from Bryn Callahan. He’s known for being a horse whisperer, but can’t seem to find his voice at all where Bryn is concerned.

Bryn Callahan has a heart for strays, but she is through trying to save damaged men. She vows to only date nice guys, which is a category that does not include Zane Taylor. Too bad he’s the only one who sets her pulse racing every time she’s around him.

Starting a horse rescue ranch wasn’t in Bryn’s plan, but try telling that to the assembly of abandoned animals that have found their way to her doorstep. And when a chance encounter with a horse headed for slaughter brings Zane and Bryn together, they find themselves given a chance to save not just the horse, but maybe each other…
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Throw it back retro review! BEAUREGARD AND THE BEAST by: Evie Drae

Champion MMA fighter Adam Littrell is preparing for the biggest fight of his career. If he wins, he’ll add another proverbial notch to his record-breaking title reign. If he loses, he’s on the fast track for retirement. But when he opens the door to a distraction in the form of the nerdy and awkward Bo Wilkins, staying focused becomes a struggle.

Aware of his new employer’s surly reputation, Bo expects to earn the generous salary his position as Adam’s live-in personal assistant offers. However, as chemistry sizzles beneath the guise of an unexpected friendship, Bo discovers the Beast hardly lives up to his name. And when a shared love of books leads them to study for their GEDs together, the possibilities for their future take on a much rosier hue.

But just as their relationship finally finds its footing, an emergency with his sister pulls Bo away and he drops everything. Including Adam.

Until now, Adam believed the most significant fight of his life would be a physical one. But with the defense of his title hanging in the balance and Bo no longer by his side, he makes a grim realization.

His greatest prize can’t be won in the octagon.
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Book Review! BEING CORDIAL by: Meka James

Getting to know your neighbor has its benefits…

Lana Martin does things by the numbers. Thinking choices through with the help of her trusty spreadsheets is how she lives her life. It’s safe, comfortable, logical. A method that never failed her… Until she strayed all because of the annoying neighbor she’s yet to formally meet.

Emilio Ramirez likes to have fun and enjoy himself. Life’s too short for overthinking and second guesses. He thought himself to be friendly, and likeable… Until he crosses paths with his next door neighbor. A woman that seems to have a permanent scowl reserved for him.

Loud music and a dog that doesn’t care about boundaries just may have these two sharing more than a wall.
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Book Review! RAVEN’S GLEN by: Nancy E. Polin

Skylar Donaghue has no memory of the night her parents died. When the perfect career opportunity arises, she ignores her brother’s superstitious warnings, choosing to leave the Choctaw reservation where she grew up and return to the place of her birth.

Widowed and caring for his young daughter, relationships are the last thing on Jack Langham’s mind. A chance encounter finds him intrigued, then captivated by a beautiful, but mysterious, violet-eyed woman and before he realizes it, he’s falling faster than fate may ever allow.

Stephen Donaghue holds the key to that long ago night, but never speaks of it. Now that Skylar is being pulled into the past, he fears its ghosts will darken their future and claim his sister forever…
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