Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Review and New Release: Approximately Yours by Julie Hammerle




Title: Approximately Yours
Author: Julie Hammerle
Series: North Pole, Minnesota
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Release Date: October 3, 2017



Author Bio:



Julie Hammerle is the author of THE SOUND OF US (Entangled TEEN, 2016). Before settling down to write "for real," she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.


My Review:


This was my second trip to North Pole, Minnesota, and I have to say, this one was even more fun than the last! I really liked Holly. She felt real to me. She's strong and outspoken and knows what to say to guys, but she keeps a protective wall around her at all times and assumes that people are going to hurt her. But, hidden behind Elda's cell phone, she's able to finally connect with a guy...Danny, the guy she's been crushing on since they were little. Only, it ends up getting her into big trouble. I had a lot of fun reading all their texts and gifs back and forth. The GOT references were SO great in this book. I was laughing my head off and kept thinking, "These are my kind of people." So clearly, Julie is also my kind of people. Julie? Why aren't we friends? After reading your non-acknowledgments/Airing of Grievances page I really felt like our friendship should be a thing, especially the parts about George R. R. Martian and avocados being so delicious and so expensive. I feel your pain.

I digress... Back to my review.

Elda was hilarious with her gorgeous body and awkward conversation. Her obsession with gross stuff felt so random and was fun. I feel like I missed out on her relationship with Dinesh though. I kind of wanted them to have their own book because they both seem like such cool characters.

And Craig. I LOVED that guy. Making his gingerbread people the entire Stark family made me giddy.  I want to see more of him. He needs his own quirky Throner chick. I'm just sayin'.

There were so many good parts to this book. I just want to read it over again because it went too fast, and I savored every moment of it. Thanks, Julie and Entangled for another yummy, fun read.

**Five Stars**

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review: Just One of the Boys by Leah and Kate Rooper


Blurb:
Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons.But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality...even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates...
Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning...
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning--a few locker room scenes are included.




Author Bio:




Leah and Kate Rooper are sisters from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Growing up beside the Pacific Ocean and inside a temperate rainforest fed their sense of adventure as children, and nourished a curiosity for strange and distant lands. They fed this curiosity with books - lots and lots of books. After experiencing the magic of Middle-earth, they began creating their own worlds. When they're not writing, Leah and Kate spend their time blogging and vlogging about their travel adventures and their writing journey.



My Review:

This book was so fun! I got through it quickly. I'm a sucker for twin stories. I'm not a big hockey fan, but this book sucked me in and I felt as though I was Alice, getting my head into the game right with her.

It was fun to see how long it took for him to figure out she was actually a girl. I felt like that was a good move on the authors' part. Having her show up periodically as a smoking hot figure skater was a nice touch. I loved watching her teammates fawn over her. Hilarious! 

I enjoyed watching Hayden's growth as he and Alice grew into best friends. I think my favorite part was the Christmas scene where she goes outside to sit and talk with him about his parents' death. I enjoyed watching the growth of the characters and they changed throughout this book. They had both been through so much pain and had both been burying it. For me, that was the heart of this book. I love it that I can read a book that's silly and fun and leaves me giggling but also deals with characters who have real issues they need to overcome. Every Entangled book I get my hands on seems to have this element of growth with their characters and that along with the fast pacing and fun storylines is what keeps me coming back to Entangled Crush.


**Five Stars**

Review: Unfair Catch by Kelsie Stelting


Title: Unfair Catch
Author: Kelsie Stelting
Series: Savannah's Story 1 (Texas Sun Series)
Genre: Clean New Adult Romance


Blurb:


Get ready to fall in love all over again—with self-discovery, handsome cowboys, and the unbreakable bonds of female friendship.

After losing her dream job in Austin, Savannah Dondi has to do the unthinkable—move back to her small hometown. Living minutes from her parents and working in her aunt’s beauty parlor isn’t exactly the glamorous life she had planned.

When she sees Hudson McAllister at the local rodeo, he’s even better than she remembered. Tall, lean, and clinging to a bucking horse. She only wishes she’d held onto him so tightly.

Her misguided feelings for Rhett Lane had ruined it then, and if she doesn’t stop herself from falling back in love with Rhett, he’ll come between her and Hudson this time too. Avoiding him in a small town will be hard, though. Especially since their best friends are in love.

A second chance with Hudson would make all her troubles worth it, but resisting Rhett might be more than Savannah bargained for.

Read on KindleUnlimited or Buy for 99 Cents


Author Bio:


Kelsie Stelting grew up in the country in Western Kansas, where she gained an appreciation for agriculture and developed her love of writing. She is also passionate about her faith and starting honest conversations about mental illness. In May 2015, she graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences and Industry, and she will soon graduate with a master’s degree in Agricultural Communications from Oklahoma State University. She will continue exploring the world with her husband and writing works of fiction and nonfiction.

Please visit kelsiestelting.com to stay in touch!


My Review: 

When I first started reading this book it felt like your average, run-of-the-mill New Adult Western story about a girl returning to her hometown and facing the hotties she used to date and all the memories and drama that came along with it. I was sucked in immediately by Savannah's emotions and felt as though I were seeing the world through her eyes. I felt her pain and longing as she confronted these two important guys from her past. Her hometown felt so real to me. I could imagine all the people and all their lives. Kelsie did a fantastic job painting Savannah's world. I liked it that Savannah messed up and then had to live with the pain of her mistakes and learn lessons from them. I was biting my nails as she interacted with Hudson and Rhett. The suspense was killing me! Other characters made mistakes as well. A teen drinks and then has to live with the ugly consequences of getting totally smashed. I loved it! The scene was perfectly cringeworthy! 

And then church is brought into the story. TOTALLY unexpected and SO refreshing. It's not this in-your-face-conversion kind of thing. It's just part of their lives. It really bugs me that religion is so absent from books. So, well done, Kelsie for weaving it into your story. Because let's be honest, how many readers go to church or at least have been at some point in their lives? It's a huge part of our culture. You still see it in movies all the time. Someone's confessing to the priest or lighting a candle in a church. But books? Hardly ever anymore. And that bugs me. It's something that I'd like to see more. 

I loved watching the characters change and grow and overcome their past hurts. It was so beautiful to read. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I'm looking forward to reading the second one!

**Five Stars**





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Release and Review: Breaking the Rules of Revenge by Samantha Bohrman

Swapping Twins and Camp? Yes, Please!



Title: Breaking the Rules of Revenge
Author: Samantha Bohrman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Rease Date: September 18, 2017

Blurb:



Mallory Jones is tired of being the girl who stays home and practices French horn while her identical twin, Blake, is crowned homecoming queen. So when she has the opportunity to pretend to be Blake, she takes it. At Camp Pine Ridge, she will spread her wings and emerge a butterfly. Or at least someone who finally gets kissed by a cute guy. That is, until bad boy Ben Iron Cloud shows up, ready to get revenge on Blake—aka Mallory.

If it weren’t for that infuriating girl, Ben wouldn’t even be at camp. Luckily, he now has six weeks to soak up some rays and get even with his nemesis. But the more time he spends with Blake, the more he realizes she’s nothing like the girl he thought she was—she’s kind and innocent and suddenly way too tempting. And soon enough, revenge is the last thing on his mind. Unfortunately, the girl he’s falling for is keeping a major secret...

Disclaimer: This book contains a super-hot bad boy out for revenge, all sorts of camp hijinks, and a girl who realized she’s been a butterfly all along.

Buy it on Amazon



Author Bio:


Shortly after graduating from law school, Samantha had three children and began writing books. She never looked back, but she suspects her husband has. You can often find her in the aisles of Target looking at scarves and forgetting to buy broccoli and eggs. If it’s a good day she’ll be holding a latte. If it’s not, try not to stare. Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality is her first book, though hopefully not her last. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.sambohrman.com.



My Review:


I grew up on the Sweet Valley Twins books and loved them so much. This book had all the fun of the Wakefield twins, but a bit edgier. Mallory was such a relatable character. She's just your normal awkward bookworm teen, only she has to deal with Blake, her uber-popular identical twin sister, who seems to have the air of a celebrity about her at all times. The kind of celebrity who's always in the tabloids for doing something else to embarrass themself.

I sympathized with Mallory immediately. I think all of us know what it feels like to be left in someone else's shadow, especially when you're just trying to be a good person. And it was tough for me to get guys to notice me in high school just like Mallory because I was always reading or focusing on Choir.

This book got very interesting very quickly. First of all, the settings were gorgeous. Huge old Southern plantation mansion. Summer Camp. Two of my favorite settings for books. And of course the Blue Ridge Mountains. As an eastern Tennessee girl, I'm a sucker for the mountains, woods, and trees, and I want to read about romances there.

I loved and hated watching Mallory take the revenge Blake deserved. It was like a trainwreck I couldn't look away from. It was fun to watch Mallory struggle to become more assertive as she tried to become more like Blake.

The best part of this story for me was Ben, and his slow change from hating "Blake" to falling for Mallory. I enjoyed every second of it.

While there's no sex, there were a few F-bombs and some suggestive content, so I would recommend this book for adults who love YA or mature teens.

*Four Stars*

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Release and Review: Boomerang Boyfriend by Chris Cannon

It's release day for Boomerang Boyfriend. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book! I highly recommend it!


Title: Boomerang Boyfriend
Author: Chris Cannon
Series: The Boyfriend Chronicles #3
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush

Blurb:

Working with her best friend’s brother at Betty’s Burgers, free-spirited Delia starts to see Jack in a new light. Not only has Jack-the-Jerk turned into a hottie, he’s even acting like a nice guy, who rescues dogs and knows how she likes her coffee. But if Jack is into her, then why is he keeping her a secret? Of course, if her best friend doesn’t approve, Delia could lose the only family she’s ever known.

Seeing Delia in her retro waitress uniform throws Jack’s world out of whack. She’s always been just another pain in the butt little sister...not a datable female. But she’s rockin’ the Pie Princess tiara, and even her hot-pink striped hair is sexy. What’s that about? He needs to get his head on straight because artsy, funky Delia and her nonconformist ways don’t fit in his safe and ordered world.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains kisses that make the world fall away and snarky humor that may cause you to LOL in public places.

Each book in the Boyfriend Chronicles series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 - Blackmail Boyfriend
Book #2 - The Boyfriend Bet
Book #3 - Boomerang Boyfriend


 Buy on Amazon


About the Author: 



Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and various furry beasts. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or snarky romantic comedies.

My Review: 


Gah! I loved this book so much. It is exactly the kind of book I like to read. I loved watching Jack and Delia struggle with the feelings they start feeling toward each other. I loved watching Delia slowly begin to realize that maybe Jack wasn't such a jerk after all. Chris Cannon did an excellent job showing Jack's flaws and inner struggles with the death of his father and grandfather. His reaction felt realistic and broke my heart a little bit. I just wanted so badly for him to let Delia into his life to help cheer him up a little.

Also, the dogs in this book were SO FUN. They were the best comic relief. I loved the themes of family, togetherness, and healing. Boomerang Boyfriend left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that lasted for days after reading.

*Five Stars*

Friday, July 21, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle




Title: Artificial Sweethearts

Author: Julie Hammerle 

Release Date: 7/10/17 

Publisher: Entangled Teen 

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance



Blurb: 

It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.

So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.

But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.



Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072V24Q1J
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/artificial-sweethearts-julie-hammerle/1126605031?ean=9781640631403
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/artificial-sweethearts/id1250024031
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/artificial-sweethearts


Entangled: https://entangledpublishing.com/artificial-sweethearts.html


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34389398-artificial-sweethearts




About the Author:



Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

Connect:

Website: www.juliehammerle.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieHammerle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HammerleJulie/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juleswritesstuff/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661470.Julie_Hammerle
Newsletter: http://juliehammerle.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=83bea3773ce2e6025ac4114c7&id=21c06afa78



Excerpt:

The sliding glass door whooshed open behind them. Their opportunity for escape was lost. Tinka spun around as the guy headed toward them. He was carrying three bottles of water and had put on a T-shirt, a faded movie tee, over his mesh shorts. Jaws. A story about a terrifying shark that kills people.
The guy handed a bottle to Tinka. “Take a seat.”
Ready to flee at any moment, she perched next to Jane on the bench, where the hot, sticky varnish stuck to her legs immediately. Tinka unscrewed the cap, which gave off the familiar rip-pop sound that proved the bottle had not been tampered with. Tinka tilted it back; and as the cold water coated her parched throat, she forgot for a moment she was about to be murdered.
“This is a gorgeous house,” Jane said. The guy knocked back his water, then screwed the cap back on.
“Thanks. I like it.” Tinka decided to play civil. “Do you do all the landscaping yourself or do you have a crew that helps you?”
He smirked at Tinka, like she was the most curious thing he had seen in a while. “We have a crew, but I noticed a few spots on the bushes that needed trimming.”
She nodded. “If you need to get back to work, don’t let us stop you. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss.”
“My boss?” He was still grinning at Tinka with those dimples as he kneaded the plastic on his water bottle. “You mean my father?”
“Your father owns the landscaping business?”
“My father owns the house. I’m Sam. Anderson,” he added for good measure. “I live here.” He gestured toward the back door.
Jane dropped her face into her hands. “Oh my God, Tinka.”
Tinka spun toward her, pointing. “Oh my God nothing, Jane. You didn’t know he lived here, either.”
“I did so.”
“How?”
Jane waved her hand to indicate Sam and the flirty smile reappeared on her face. “He has a way about him.”
“He has no way about anything. No offense.” Tinka nodded to Sam.
“None taken.” Knitting his brow, Sam lifted his hat and ran his fingers through his curly brown hair. He had hazel eyes with friendly crinkles on the corners that didn’t disappear even when he frowned.

My Review:

Heads up! This review contains spoilers.

This was a quick read for me. I loved Sam and Tinka and their denial of the chemistry they kept feeling throughout the story. I'm a huge sucker for fake romance books! Artificial Sweethearts didn't disappoint! It was a nice change to read about a female character who was the pretty girl who knew she could hook up with any guy she wanted but had already realized it didn't appeal to her anymore. The dynamic with her parents intrigued me from the start.

The romance was cute, but for me, the meat of this book was Tinka coming to terms with her role in her family. It was fascinating to see the different ways each member of the Foster family dealt with the death of her older brother, Jake, who died when he was four and she was one. I really enjoyed watching their growth as a family and individually as they came to terms with the very private feelings of mourning over the death of such a young child.

I felt like Tinka's growth could have been expanded a bit more. I would have liked to have a bit more explanation of why she pushed everyone away. I'm guessing it had to do with her parents and the way they pushed her away. I feel like the author needed to bridge that gap just a little better. But it was addressed enough that I was able to fill in the blanks. My guess is that her parents emotionally distancing themselves from her because of their inability to deal with their grief and that was what influenced her reaction to do the same to her friends.

It was beautiful to see her finally talk openly with her parents about their feelings over Jake's death, and consequently her issue with constantly pushing her closest friends, and Sam, away.

Overall, this book was a good read with lots of cute moments and swoonworthy scenes. The chemistry building between Sam and Tinka felt realistic and they were fully-fleshed out characters with real issues, hopes, and dreams coming to terms with issues they needed to overcome. I highly recommend it!

***Five Stars*** 


Giveaway:

Signed copy of Any Boy But You (US Only) 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: Her Surprise Engagement by Ashlee Mallory


Author: Ashlee Mallory
Publisher: Entangled Bliss
Series: The Sorenson Family Series
Release Date: June 19, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: 

Single mom Daisy Sorensen doesn’t believe in fairytale endings—at least not for her. All she wants is to enjoy a much-needed, stress-free family vacation at a friend’s Lake Tahoe home. So of course everything that can go wrong does. Including a gorgeous man and his daughter showing up in the middle of the night.
Soon-to-be Governor Jack Harrison has had a crazy week, but he’s sure nothing can top arriving to find a bathrobe-clad, beautiful stranger in the home he’s staying in for the week. He’s wrong. When things spiral out of control the next morning, Jack makes Daisy an offer she can’t refuse. She’ll pretend to be his fiancĂ©e and he’ll help her open the bakery she’s been dreaming about.
But in between late-night campfires and days on the lake, Jack finds himself falling for the strong, stubborn woman for real.
Each book in the Sorensen Family series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Her Backup Boyfriend
Book #2 Her Accidental Husband
Book #3 The Playboy's Proposal
Book #4 Her Surprise Engagement

Buy Links:





About the Author:


Ashlee Mallory is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and thrillers. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and two kids. She aspires to one day include running, hiking and traveling to exotic destinations in her list of things she enjoys, but currently settles for enjoying a good book and a glass of wine from the comfort of her couch.

Keep up with all upcoming releases by joining her Newsletter at http://bit.ly/1lPwwE3 for updates and giveaways!

Find her online:


My Review:

When I heard about this book I knew I had to read it. I'd just gotten back from a trip to California and had stopped by Lake Tahoe to show my kids how beautiful and magical it was. So when I saw it was a romance set at Tahoe I was totally hooked. I related to this book on so many levels. First of all, the characters are from Utah which is where I live, and next, it's about a single mom with three kids. Until recently I was a single mom with four kids. I found this great guy who swept me off my feet and helped me out just like in the book. 

Swoon. Jack Hamilton was such an amazing character. Handsome, successful, kind-hearted, generous, and the future governor of Utah? That was just SUPER hot. He was the perfect Prince Charming and she was his Cinderella. 

Daisy was a strong, independent woman, who'd lost everything because of a cheating, loser ex. I couldn't help but feel for her. I totally related to the guilt she felt for marrying him in the first place. So it made sense that she was so hesitant to jump into a relationship with Jack despite the chemistry and the feeling of it just being right. I felt a little frustrated that Daisy wasn't more accepting of his generosity in the book, but as I read further I understood the flaws of each character and why they made the choices that caused them to experience some bumps in their relationship. It was beautiful to read about their growth and their realization of how they needed to change.  

I loved this book so much. It was incredibly hard to put down and made for a great weekend read. My husband had to put up with a lot of giggling and squealing from me as I read. But that's how you know it's a good one, right? 

*Five Stars*


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Weird and Wonderful by Cece Barlow



Weird and Wonderful
by Cece Barlow
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: February 13th 2017



Blurb:


Gin Autry must finish the last semester of high school in eclectic Austin with her hippie grandmother while Gin’s brother waits for heart surgery in Houston.

Instability reigns, but Gin uses the principles of feng shui to find balance and send positive energy to her brother. She also secretly hopes her voice-over actress dream will advance and true love will show up.

Instead, she falls for the wrong guy and clings to the wrong dream. Nothing in Gin’s life is balanced, but when death threatens her brother, she discovers true balance is about listening, compromise, and the guy in the friend zone.  


Excerpt:

"Still mad about what I said about your vlog?" Aaron smiled at me and stroked my cheek. The brilliance of his smile was marred by his grotesque red eye and the swelling on his cheekbone. "Why do you care so much what I think? You have a dream. You shouldn't let my opinion or anyone else's sway you from it."
"But your opinion is important to me," I said.
"But it shouldn't be necessary for you to chase after a dream." He brushed back my hair and tucked it behind my ears. "If you want to be a voice-over actress, do it. Don't wait for me to put a seal of approval on your dream."


About the Author:




Cece Barlow writes books for young adults and the young at heart. She's a dash of fun, mixed in with some smart cookie and a splash of capable. She started her first fan fiction group in junior high and never stopped writing. Today, she writes about girls with lofty dreams and about the absolute craziness of falling in love.

When Cece's not writing, she curls up with a book, heads to a popcorn blockbuster, or kicks back to watch shooting stars. If she sees the moon in the daytime, she thinks she's lucky.

Cece lives in College Station, Texas with her college sweetheart Tim and two cats - one evil and one good.

Author Links:


Why I Write about Ordinary Girls (From the Author)

I write fun and heartfelt stories, but I also have a mission. I tell stories about girls whose lives are continual shuffled to the side in today's literature. I love blue collar teens. These girls do not work at trendy cupcake shops or as mystery-solving detectives. They have jobs, that require elbow grease, humiliation, and perseverance. They work construction, fast food, grocery stores, and bowling alleys. Their lives are not focused on high school. They often have tough times at home, usually a function of failing health (mental and physical), drug addiction, and poverty.

The socio-economically privileged girl doesn't interest me. My girl is ordinary, and she plans to fix her own problems. She is trying to figure everything out (love and life) just like everyone else. She hungers for an education, but knows a mountain of debt is coming her way. She's making serious missteps in life because she is innocent and inexperienced, but my girl is also finding the grace of reinvention. Her life is valuable and worthy. I hope that you join me in my celebration of the ordinary girl. I hope you celebrate the everyday life.


Blog Tour Organized by:



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Blog Tour: The Man She Knew by Loree Lough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Man She Knew
(By Way of the Lighthouse, #1)
by Loree Lough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Don't they both deserve a second chance?

Fourteen years ago, one reckless act cost Ian Sylvestry everything, including the girl he planned to marry. Since then, he has fought hard to turn his life around. Returning to his Baltimore town after serving a prison term was the first step. Winning back Maleah Turner's trust is a far more daunting challenge. From their first sparks-flying reunion, it's obvious they still have powerful feelings for each other. In fact, they might be even stronger together now. But if their second chance is going to work, Maleah has to believe that Ian is a changed man. She really wants to believe…but she simply isn't convinced.

Excerpt:

It had been a mistake, asking Andy to drop him this far from her grandparents’ drive. Walking on flat ground had been a challenge with crutches, and then the cane. He took his time, but tromping through deep snow made him wince with every step. If you put yourself in the hospital, you’ll only have yourself to—
“Ian? Ian Sylvestry?”
Maleah…

He’d hoped for a few minutes to catch his breath, to pull his thoughts together, and find a way to mask his pain. It lessened some when he took stock of the woman who stood before him, snow-dampened blonde curls clinging to her cheeks and forehead, cheeks as rosy as those on the painted cherubic faces of Gladys’s Hummel figurines. If she’d ever looked more beautiful, he couldn’t remember when.
“What’re you doing out in this mess?” he asked.
“Trying to stay half a step ahead of this beastly storm.” She followed the narrow path she’d shoveled and met him at the mailbox. “The better question is, what are you doing here? No…” She held up an ice-encrusted mitten. “The better question is, how did you get here?”
Ian pointed to the plow just up the street, lifting buckets of snow from the road and emptying them onto neighbors’ lawns.
“Hitched a ride with a friend.”
“From Fells Point to Ellicott City. In a snowplow.”
He shrugged. “Uh, yeah.”
“Why?”
“So I could see for myself that you’re all right.”
“And put your own life on the line in the process?”
Ian hadn’t realized until that moment that he’d been massaging his aching thigh. He grinned, trying to make light of it. “I’d hardly call the ride over here life threatening…”
She snorted. “I wonder if your surgeon would agree.”
“Good question.” He snickered. “I have a feeling if I show up at next week’s checkup without a reasonable explanation for this insanity, he might just send me straight to Shephard Pratt…with a prescription for a padded cell and a hug-myself jacket.”
“You look awful,” she said. “Pale, dark circles under your eyes… You arranged for that plow, didn’t you.”
“I might’ve influenced the driver. A little.”
“You’re shivering.” She jammed the shovel into the slip-sliding mound of crumpled snow she’d tossed beside the driveway. “You’re coming inside.”
She punctuated the order with a smile, and linked her arm through his. His heart beat hard. That oughta warm you up, he thought. “But…your grandparents…”
“They’re fast asleep. Have been for hours.”
“So,” he said as she led him to the back steps, “they have no idea you’re out here, alone in the dark, in the middle of a major blizzard.”
“No…”
“And if you slipped, clunked your head on something—”
“It’s snow, Ian. Snow.
“With a half inch of frozen stuff on top of it.”
She paused at the bottom of the stairs. “Says the man who traveled miles, on a snowplow, to earn a few brownie points by having my grandparents’ driveway cleared.”
Ian hung his head. “I’m that obvious?”
She blinked up at him through snowflake-dusted lashes, blue eyes glittering in the golden glow of the porch light. Once upon a time, a look like that might precede a passionate kiss. At the very least, a loving hug. Maleah took a step closer. Licked her lips. Exhaled a sweet sigh. Those minutes on the dance floor, holding her close enough to feel her heart thrumming against his chest, had been wondrous and memorable…and woke a yearning in him as nothing before it had. Would she actually take another step forward, and bridge the gap that had separated them for so long?
Rattled, hopeful, and more than a little scared, Ian decided to take that step, instead…
…and lost his balance.
Ian landed on his back in a deep drift, taking her with him, a warm and petite, parka’d blanket that covered him from chin to shins. Instinct made him wrap his arms around her. Instinct…and an aching desire to hold onto the moment for as long as he could.
He’d heard people say “Time froze,” but until now, hadn’t experienced it. What seemed a full minute passed as those incredible eyes bored into his, searched his face, then squeezed shut. When she opened them again, Maleah whispered, “Are you all right?”
“No. I’m not.”
Both eyebrows disappeared under wet bangs. “I’ll get your snowplow friend to help get you up.”
She started to get up, but Ian tightened his arms around her. “The only thing wrong with me,” he grated, “is…is…”
Where to start? By telling her about the self-loathing he’d experienced every hour since that night at the convenience store? With regrets he’d recited like a litany when sleep eluded him? Or the list of “if onlys” he’d tried so hard to bury in his mind?
Maleah lay her head on his chest and patted his shoulder.
“Maybe Shephard Pratt isn’t such a bad idea.”
“I, ah—”
“Because you are a little crazy.”
Her lyrical voice, soft as the falling snow, touched a long-forgotten place in his heart. Ian didn’t trust himself to speak. Last time she’d brought tears to his eyes had been the day her letter arrived, unopened like the others, demanding that he leave her alone, forever. Eyes burning, he struggled for self-control, and the courage to tell her what he’d come here to say.



Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. The Man She Knew, #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series, her 3rd for Harlequin Heartwarming, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.com.
Tour Giveaway

- Two winners will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- Two winners will receive an ebook of THE MAN SHE KNEW (open internationally)
- Two winners will receive a print copy of THE MAN SHE KNEW (US only)
- Ends June 13th




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