Stranger in my House by Mari Manning

How about some mystery to spice up things today? I’ve got the right book for you. Stranger in my House is the second book in Mari Manning’s Murder in Teas series, featuring a feisty heroine, who assumes her sister’s identity to find a murderer, and a reluctant ranch manager who struggles with his growing feelings. Read on for all the book details and a delicious excerpt, but before you do, here is Mari Manning’s awesome idea to boost this summer’s romance.

Mari’s #RomanticIdea:

This is my favorite #romanticidea. On a clear summer night, swathe yourself in bug repellant, spread a blanket on the back lawn or your deck or the sand of a nearby beach, and count the stars. And while you’re counting the stars imagine you are on a giant spaceship traveling through the solar system at 66,600 miles per hour. Imagine the miracle of you, that out of all the billions of stars and planets and the infinitesimal bits of matter, you are.

If you are with a loved one, grab their hand and squeeze.

Stranger in my House

by Mari Manning

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

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About Stranger in my House

When Officer Kirby Swallow’s half-sister is threatened, Kirby assumes her sister’s identity and journeys to the remote Texas ranch her sister calls home to catch a killer. Kirby confronts a growing list of suspects and a rising body count, not to mention the ranch manager, Seth Maguire, who sees past the charade to the warm, generous girl beneath. But can Kirby trust a man who rejects the one thing she holds dear: family? Her love dares all, but as the killer closes in, will it also be blind?

Self-reliant Seth Maguire is manager of the struggling Shaw Valley Ranch. His future appears empty until the ranch’s wild, unpredictable heiress suddenly morphs into a very hot lady cop. What starts out as just another seduction turns into something deep and, for him, frightening. Then the killer is revealed and Seth is faced with an impossible choice. Will his fragile, uncertain love be enough to save Kirby?

Excerpt

Maguire rubbed his chin and studied her. A dangerous gleam lit his eyes. “Never seen you so nosy before.”

Panic squeezed her, then it was gone. He couldn’t prove she wasn’t Frankie, and in a few days she’d be in Tulsa, and Frankie would be back in Shaw Valley. There was nothing more to learn here, and by the looks of him, Maguire needed time to cool down.

“I should go,” she said, stepping back from him.

“Stick around, Frankie. The new you is sort of growing on me.” His gaze swept down her body and landed on her ballet flats. “Maybe you’d like to help me clean the lavender screens. Seeing as you got your sensible shoes on today. You liked feeding the horses, didn’t you? This will be fun, too.”

Her heart thumped. “I’d just be in the way.”

“You helped me last year.” He studied her. “Remember? It was your first week at the ranch, and you came wandering in here. Just like now. Said you wanted to work at my side.” His eyes bored into hers. “You were wearing those ridiculous shoes. You remember them, don’t you?” Something in his gaze and the way he moved closer made her throat constrict.

“Uh, yes. Of course.”

“What did you call those shoes again?” He took another step. The heat of his body closed around her. The scents of detergent and perspiration and anger assaulted her nose.

She pulled out of his reach and said, “Heels?”

They were eye to eye now. Sparring for answers neither of them was willing to provide. The words hardly mattered.

Maguire shook his head. “No. Something else. Sounded Italian.”

Slowly, carefully, steadily, he kept coming. A hunter closing in on his prey. He breached her personal space, hovering over her. The toes of his boots pressed against her ballet flats. Her eyes were even with his thick chest. If she ran, he’d know. Guilt always ran.

She held her ground. “What do you think you’re doing?”

About the Author

_MG_7338-67Let’s start with the fun stuff. I love small towns, mysteries, quiet men, laughter, old-fashioned spaghetti dinners. I love boots and shopping and jokes and Hershey’s dark chocolate and white wine. I love lots of things. But my first love is reading.

I love to read. Just about anything, but it has to be well-written. I go through periods where I am into historical novels or romance or mystery or history or biography. I never know when my desires will suddenly change.

Now for the writer-ish, official stuff: Mari Manning is the author of several contemporary romances and three romantic suspense novels set in the Texas Hill Country. Stranger at My Door is the first in her A Murder in Teas series. The second, Stranger in My House will be released by Entangled on June 13. The third book in the series is Stranger in My Bed. Currently Mari is working on a series of cozy mysteries.

She and her husband live in Chicago.

Connect with the Author

Website: http://marimanning.com

Twitter: @mari_manning

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Visit The House at the Edge – my Gothic mystery romance novella, available for purchase on Amazon for 99 cents, FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

MM Jaye

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Cowboy in Charge by Barbara White Daille #RomanticIdea

After a Christmas nod with my previous post, today let’s give the hot US Southwest its dues. Cowboy in Charge is a Harlequin Western romance, featuring a gorgeous cowboy who finally sets his goals straight. This post is part of the #RomanticIdea author exchange where authors present their latest releases and also give out, well, romantic ideas. Here’s what Barbara advises:

Readers, thanks for stopping in, and MM, a big thank you for hosting me today.

Here’s my take on a romantic idea for you to enjoy this summer:

When is the last time you and your significant other had a night alone together, without the kids, the checkbook, chauffeur duties, or the to-do list competing for your attention?

I suggest you pick a night, send the kids (if you have them) to a sitter, and turn off all electronics except the television…and okay, in case the sitter calls with an emergency, maybe have one cell phone on but out of reach in the next room.

Then snuggle up on the couch with your significant other to watch television. Popcorn is optional, and I strongly recommend kisses during the commercials!

Thank you, Barbara! Now, read on for all the book details and a tantalizing excerpt.

Cowboy in Charge

by Barbara White Daille

Publication Date: July 5, 2016 (available for pre-order)
Genre: Western Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ Harlequin ~ IndieBound ~ Kobo

Cowboy in Charge

 

Blurb

From the cover of Cowboy in Charge, July 2016

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Single mom Layne Slater thought she’d seen the last of Jason McAndry when he chose the rodeo over her and their unborn son. Now Jason’s back in Cowboy Creek and just as handsome as ever. But Layne can’t give in to those feelings again. She has to protect her children…and her heart.

Jason wants to try to make up for the pain he caused when he left. The least he can do is help Layne while he’s home. Before long, Jason realizes he’s finally ready to be the husband, father and man his family deserves. But can Jason prove to Layne that this time, their love is forever?

Excerpt

With a young child and a new baby, single-mom Layne never has free time on her hands. Her life is hectic enough even before her ex-husband returns to town and claims her young son’s attention. Things only get worse when Jed Garland, the elderly local matchmaker, drops by for a visit:

“Jason’s been watching out for you all,” Jed told her. “Sounds like a step in the right direction.”

“A step too little, too late.” Even as she said the words, she flushed, thinking of all Jason had done for her in the past few days. And all they had both said in their argument at the Big Dipper.

“If that’s what you’ve set your mind to, that’s what you’ll tend to believe. It doesn’t mean it’s the truth. But my point is, you can’t handle everything on your own, especially when you’re recovering from the flu. Whether or not he’s laid out his thoughts about the future, he’s proven his good intentions for now, hasn’t he?”

She stared down at her mug.

“Layne,” he said gently, “whatever happened between you two, whatever might be going to happen, he is your boy’s father, after all.”

For all the contact you’ve had with him, you could have been a sperm donor.

She winced at the memory of what she had told Jason. “On paper, Jed, but not the way it counts.”

“No. Not legally, since you two never went that route. But morally, now that’s a different story.”

She heard the heavy footsteps out in the hallway then a knock at the door.

Scott scrambled to his feet. To her dismay he had learned to recognize that quick-tap, too. “Jason’s home!” he yelled.

She almost choked on the lump in her throat. What would happen when Jason left “home” again…for good?

About the Author

Barbara White DailleBarbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.

A larger print reissue of A Rancher’s Pride, book one in Barbara’s popular Flagman’s Folly series, is now available exclusively from Harlequin, while the e-book version is available everywhere. Cowboy in Charge, the next book in The Hitching Post Hotel series (July), is now available for pre-order, with other books in the series to follow. At the end of 2016, she begins a new sweet romance series for Entangled Bliss.

Connect with the Author

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Newsletter ~ Blog ~ Amazon ~ Harlequin ~ Goodreads

CFO Affair by Tina Gayle #RomanticIdea

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A group of romance authors will cross-post about, well, awesome romance reads and also suggest a romantic idea for the summer.

Tina Gayle’s CFO Affair is a second-chance in love story about a wounded woman whose heart is besieged by an irresistible man. Read on for all the book’s details and an enticing except. Here’s Tina’s romantic idea:

 

Young or old, we all enjoy a night out.

Instead of going to the same old place, try some place new. Maybe a place with music for dancing or a winery for a tasting.

There are all sorts of new things to try. Do it with your lover and make a new memory.

CFO’s Affair

by Tina Gayle
Purchase Link: Amazon

 

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Blurb

Sylvia Donovan is emotionally wounded from the unexpected death of her husband and still haunted by their last conversation: his request for a divorce and his confession of love for another woman.  Her husband gone, her only daughter off to college, Sylvia faces the challenges of learning to live alone and move on with her life.

Vince Wilshire, enchanted with Sylvia, is more than willing to do what it takes to capture the heart of the hurting and untrusting Sylvia.

Can he help her forget the past and make her believe in love again?

Excerpt

A knock sounded on the window beside her and she jumped. Her head swiveled around and she stared at the man looking at her through the window.

Vince Wilshire’s handsome face could make any woman melt with desire. With it so close to hers—the glass being the only thing separating them—a rush of adrenaline swept into her system. She leaned sideways in her seat and knocked her hand against the steering wheel. The horn beeped and she muttered, “Damn it, Knox, why did you…”

The sound of his laughter sent anger flooding through her, the muscles in her arms tightening with the need to strike out. She lowered the phone and clicked the disconnect button in retaliation to his attempt to manipulate her.

Vince opened the driver’s side door and cold air rushed into the car. “Hey, beautiful, are you heading inside?”

“What is this? Are you guys ganging up on me?” Sylvia ignored the man beside her and glanced in the rear view mirror, checking to make sure her tears hadn’t caused any lasting effect.

A warm hand landed on her shoulder and Vince toyed with her hair. “Not at all, I like the idea of entering the building with a gorgeous woman on my arm.”

“Right,” she protested and stuffed her phone into her purse before turning to stare into his bedroom-brown eyes. The spark in their depths had her reevaluating her impression of the man. Yes, he had the face and body to rival every other Casanova in the world, but he also had a sense of humor. That alone sent a shiver of awareness through her.

She fought the desire gathering in her stomach and waved her hand at him so he’d move out of the way, letting her exit the car. “Did Knox make you wait out here in the parking lot to make sure I would come inside?”

Vince grinned and held her door open while she stepped onto the asphalt. His gaze fell to her legs.

She stared at her new, high-heel, red pumps and silently prayed she wouldn’t land face first in the dirt when she tried to walk across the pitted parking lot in them.

A low whistled sounded beside her. “Man, are you ever hot.”

She ignored the comment and didn’t turn until she heard the car door slamming closed. “And there’s not a woman you’ve ever met you haven’t wanted.”

__________

If you wish to read the entire first chapter of CFO’s Affair, click here

About the Author

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loved to escape into the world of books.
After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing. Her books touch the heart and show the true joy of being a woman.

Connect with the Author

Find Tina Gayle everywhere

 

Home – www.tinagayle.net

Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Gayle/e/B002BM9GR8

Google + – https://plus.google.com

Linkedin – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759

 

 

Swoon-worthy quote: Tapping the Billionaire

“Be angry,” I told her. “But, please, for the love of God, do it while you’re touching me.”

Tapping the Billionaire: Bad Boy Billionaires Book 1
by Max Monroe
Release Date: April 24, 2016
Purchase link: Amazon US / Amazon UK

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The aim of this book is two-fold: to be the most swoon-worthy and funny romance you’ve read. And it succeeds! The writing is fresh, the hero any girl’s dream man (actually, the only “bad” thing about him is his mouth, and that’s good), the heroine sassy and smart, and the story quite entertaining. I’d have liked a more intense conflict as the reason Kline and Georgia break up is kind of silly, but it’s such a l-o-v-e overload, I won’t harp about it.

So, go ahead and give this first book in the Bad Boy Billionaires series a try. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud. The mysterious duo, Max Monroe, will follow up with more bad boys.

 

 

Sassy, Sexy and Heartwarming: I Need A Hero by Codi Gary (Review & Giveaway)

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A witty, fun and sexy story, featuring a drool-worthy military man and a drooling dog he is forced to co-exist with are the components of today’s suggestion. With the help of the right woman, everything is possible. I Need A Hero is the prequel novela to Codi Gary’s Men In Uniform series. Read on for all the book details, an exciting excerpt and to find out how you can win a digital copy of the book. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

I NEED A HERO
Men in Uniform #0.5
Codi Gary
Releasing Oct 20th, 2015
Avon Impulse
I Need a Hero_Cover

Official Synopsis

Sergeant Oliver Martinez joined the military to serve his country—not plan parties. But after a run-in with his commanding officer, Oliver is suddenly responsible for the Alpha Dogs Training Program’s upcoming charity event. Worse, he’s got to work with the bossiest, sexiest woman he’s ever met—who just happens to be the general’s daughter.

When it comes to military men, Evelyn Reynolds is not interested. And with the opportunity to launch her new PR firm at the charity event, she doesn’t have time for some sexy, arrogant jerk with a hero complex. Evelyn is determined to keep things professional—if only she can ignore how Oliver’s muscles fill out a t-shirt and the infuriating way he makes her heart pound.

But when tempers flare and a scorching kiss turns into so much more, Oliver and Evelyn will have to decide if this attraction is forever…or just for now.
 
BUY NOW

My Review

She: Evelyn Reynolds needs to secure a perfect launch of her own PR company. The Alpha Dogs Training event is the perfect opportunity. Only her focus is muddled by a man who has the right appearance (and then some) but the wrong profession. Because Evelyn–a military brat–has sworn to stay as far away from military men as possible.
He: Oliver Martinez has pissed off the General, and now he has to co-organize an event about dogs. A dog person he is not. A ladies man, yes. But the cool PR girl he has to work with seems immune to his charms.
The conflict: Oliver’s profession. Sworn to stay away from men that kiss and then get deployed, Evelyn struggles with her feelings. The ball is on Oliver’s court. How much does he really want to be with Evelyn? Is this a fling? Or forever?
The good stuff: This was a very enjoyable read. Codi Gary’s writing is fresh and witty, immersing the reader right into the story. I absolutely loved the idea of a dog shelter that provided community service opportunity for misguided youth. There’s cuteness, awww-worthy moments, hot times between the protagonists and a great HEA. A great read.
The other stuff: This was a novella, but I felt there was material for a longer book. The dogs’ training center offered great secondary characters whose story I would have loved to hear (the young boys, for instance) but this can very well be part of subsequent books, so it didn’t affect my overall impression.
Bottom line: if you’re into hot military men with a heart of gold and dogs, look no further.
This book was offered to me in exchange for an honest review.

Enter below to win a digital copy of I Need A Hero

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

An obsessive bookworm, CODI GARY likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Oliver Martinez sat stiffly in the wobbly office chair, the room stifling despite the hum of the air conditioner above his head. He wasn’t usually the nervous type, being that military police didn’t allow time for panic, but facing off against General Reynolds, the man who pretty much held his career in the palm of his hand . . .

Well, he figured he had a right to sweat with the way the older man was staring him down.

“What do you have to say for yourself, Sergeant?” General Reynolds asked.

A thousand excuses ran through his mind, but none of them would appease the general, Oliver knew that. He hadn’t become an MP to be liked; even his family knew he wasn’t a people person. He was hardworking, sharp as a tack, and a mean son of a bitch when you got on his bad side—qualities that made him an excellent MP. And military police was exactly where Oliver belonged. He got to bust heads and keep order; it was structured, and there were rules. He was the good guy.

But this time, he had stepped in a big old pile of shit trying to play the hero.

“I did what I thought was right, sir,” Oliver said.

“You instigated a confrontation with a civilian that turned into an all-out bar brawl,” General Reynolds said. Although his tone and outward expression seemed calm, Oliver hadn’t missed the eye twitch on the left side of the general’s face. The man was beyond furious, and nothing Oliver did or said was going to make things better for him.

Why had he decided to go out with the guys on Friday? His buddies from group therapy, Dean Sparks and Tyler Best, had convinced him that he needed to get out and blow off some steam. He hadn’t expected to take down some rowdy kid or have the cops called on them. The civilian police had been cool, though, once he explained the situation, and as they hauled the kid off for drunk and disorderly, he’d thought that was the end of it.

Until he’d shown up for work this morning only to have Tate tell him he wasn’t on rotation and that the general wanted to see him. Oliver hadn’t had any idea what the meeting was about, but he’d never expected to get his ass chewed over something that wasn’t even his fault.

“It wasn’t a brawl, sir. I contained and subdued him too fast for that.”

Oliver regretted his words the moment they left his mouth. They sounded arrogant, and that wasn’t going to score him any points.

Especially since the civilian in question was the general’s son.

Despite knowing this, Oliver tried again to explain his side. “I just mean, and with all due respect, sir, that the civilian was drunk and harassing several women, and when I politely asked him to leave them alone, he threw the first punch.”

General Reynolds’s salt and pepper mustache twitched, and Oliver wondered for half a second if the general was messing with him and if he was secretly amused that his son had been taught a lesson in respect.

“I don’t care if he threw a hundred punches. You should not have engaged. You did not have to break his nose or sprain his wrist while you were restraining him.”

Okay, so he wasn’t amused. But no matter how angry the general might be, Oliver wasn’t going to apologize for roughing up the little punk. The kid had thrown a sucker punch that had lit fire to Oliver’s jaw, and it was still sore. And if the kid hadn’t fought him so damn hard, he wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place.

Would he have handled things differently if he’d known who the kid’s dad was? Maybe. But there was nothing Oliver could do about it now except take whatever punishment was meted out to him.

“It seems to me you could use a little time out of the field to learn how to channel your aggression . . . in other ways,” General Reynolds said.

Now the general was smiling, and unease swept over Oliver.

“Have you heard of the Alpha Dog Training Program?” General Reynolds asked.

“Yeah, I know a few of the guys running things,” Oliver said.

And neither Best nor Sparks had been happy about it at first. The Alpha Dog Training Program was the brainchild of some PR expert hoping to create a good public image for the military by training shelter dogs for specialty jobs like military, fire, police, search and rescue, and therapy. And if the animals-getting-a-second-chance angle didn’t just make you weepy, the dogs were being trained by troubled kids under the supervision of MPs.

It was meant as an alternative punishment for nonviolent juvenile offenders. Instead of being locked up in a detention center with months of community service tacked on top, they were sent to Alpha Dog. They shoveled shit, fed and cared for the dogs, and learned how to teach them basic obedience. The place was set up with barracks for up to twenty-five kids at a time. The goal was to give them a skill and refocus their energies. The program even helped them with job placement at several Sacramento veterinary hospitals and rescue organizations. It was a better deal than most kids in the system got.

“Well, I’m glad you’re familiar with it, because you’re going to help organize and promote their upcoming charity event,” General Reynolds said.

Oliver choked in surprise. “I don’t know anything about fundraising!”

The general’s eyes narrowed and glittered. “Well, this will give you a chance to develop a new skill.”

Oliver just sat there, weighing his options. If he pitched a fit and accused the general of abusing his power because Oliver had hurt his son’s delicate feelings, he’d be committing career suicide.

“How long will I be out of the field, sir?” he asked.

“Until I think you’re ready,” General Reynolds said.

Oliver nodded grimly. The only option open to him was to bite the bullet and do the job.

“You’ll report to the Alpha Dog Training Program today. The event coordinator will be there at eleven to give you instructions on what you’ll be doing. I do hope you take this time to learn some discipline, Sergeant Martinez.”

Fuck you.

Taking a deep breath, Oliver stood up and saluted the general. As soon as he barked, “Dismissed,” Oliver was out the door, wishing he was headed home to beat the hell out of his punching bag. This whole morning had sucked donkey nuts, and the last thing Oliver wanted to do was be around a bunch of teenagers or his friends.

Not that Best and Sparks weren’t good people, but he knew that the minute they found out about his little time-out, they were going to laugh it up.

Especially Best.

 

Wonderfully fulfilling: Best Worst Mistake by Lia Riley (Review)

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A wonderfully fulfilling smalltown contemporary of the likes I don’t come across often is today’s suggestion. The Worst Best Mistake by Lia Riley is the third book in her Brightwater series, but it can be read as the perfect standalone. I love hermits with damaged souls, and Wilder, the hero, delivers. Read on for all book details, my review, a hilarious excerpt and to find out how to win one of five ebooks of the previous novels in the series. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

Best Worst Mistake: A Brightwater Novel

Brightwater #3
By: Lia Riley
Releasing October 20, 2015
Avon Impulse

Buy Links:  Amazon| B & N | iTunes | Kobo

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Official Synopsis

The third sexy and emotional novel in debut Avon author Lia Riley’s Brightwater series set in the mountains of Northern California

Sometimes the worst mistakes turn out to be the best…

Smoke jumper Wilder Kane once reveled in the rush from putting out dangerous wildfires. But after a tragic accident, he’s cut himself off from the world, refusing to leave his isolated cabin. When a headstrong beauty bursts in, Wilder finds himself craving the fire she ignites in him, but letting anyone near his darkness would be a mistake.

After her Hollywood life went up in smoke, Quinn Higsby decided to leave Tinseltown behind and returned to Brightwater to care for her ailing father. Spending her days in a small bookstore, her peaceful existence is up-ended by a fascinating but damaged man. Quinn is determined to not to be scared off by Wilder, not once she’s experienced the heat of his passions.

But when an arsonist targets the community and Wilder is accused, he must confront the ghosts of his past. Will his desire for Quinn flameout or will he be able to tame the wildness inside and rekindle a hope for their future?

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Review-Banner

My Review

She: Quinn Higsbe fed up with the conceit and pretense of Hollywood, and with her ailing father in need of her, shuts herself in Brightwater, resigned to the fact that book boyfriends is the only action her personal life will ever see.

He: Wilder Kane, 31, smoke jumper, holds a secret that has burned his soul until a fire almost burns him alive. Returning to his hometown, the last place he wants to be, he becomes a bookworm hermit. Helping a troubled old man one stormy night, brings his daughter to his door, and she breathes such life into him, he starts rethinking his outlook. But winning over fiery Quinn takes a darker spin when an arsonists targets her.

The conflict: Wilder is everything dark, Quinn is everything light, but also elusive. Stripping down his walls to catch her is the challenge of his life.

The setting: A small town off the Eastern Sierras in north California. Cowboys, sherrifs, a grandma set in her own ways, and all the wintry charm you can muster.

The heat: Steamy. Palpable chemistry between the MCs, slow-building passion. Favorite line: Quinn returns to the bedroom after she hunts down a condom – Wilder: What are you looking for? Quinn: The mood. Is it still here? LOL! The sex scenes are surprisingly super hot and original. (Hot springs? Jump in!)

The good stuff: This was a very fulfilling contemporary. Wonderful writing by Lia Riley–witty, quick, original–well-built characters with relatable connections, dark secrets, future dreads, lots of snow… there’s nothing amiss.

The other stuff: Nothing really. Maybe Quinn was a tad too chatty when she should just be in the moment 😉

Bottom line: An author I will follow.

Enter here to win one of five ebooks of the Brightwater series

Excerpt

It had been a while since he’d been in the company of any woman who wasn’t a medical professional or intimately involved with his brothers. Also, as much as he didn’t want to admit it, he had a type and this forward, strong-looking woman fit it right down to that thick wavy brown hair pulled back at the nape of her long sexy neck.

Necks were underrated female geography. He loved how they tasted when he kissed them there, how they smelled as he nuzzled.

Equally fascinating was her lush mouth, how the corner remained quirked on one side despite the natural pout, as if in perpetual secret amusement.

This woman was bright, spunky, and happy, despite her father’s miserable situation. His heart sank. He had nothing to offer someone like her, not when his whole world had burned to a cinder.

He shook himself inwardly, not moving a muscle. No point succumbing to the ugly truth, however true. Maybe he could pretend to be a normal guy for the night. Normal except for the scars, the missing leg, and the fact he hadn’t spoken to a living soul since Sawyer dropped off his groceries six days ago, and was tongue-tied around strangers at the best of times.

Shit.

What would Archer do? His younger brother was good with people, especially the ladies. He’d navigate this situation like a pro.

She gave him a tentative smile, probably because he was staring at her like a loon.

Compliments. Women like compliments.

“Your teeth are real white,” Wilder blurted. Goddamn it, the words hung over them like a comic strip balloon. He wished for a string to grab on to, so he could stuff the idiocy back into his mouth, swallow it down.

“Excuse me?” Her shoulders jerked as her lips clamped, clearly not anticipating the awkward flattery.

At least he hadn’t said how much he liked her neck. Yet.

Damn, this was a mistake. He wasn’t good with people. Didn’t like people. Didn’t need people.

About the Author

Lia_RileyLia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

Connect with the Author

Website:  http://www.liariley.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorliariley
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/liarileywrites
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7366597.Lia_Riley

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Funny and heartwarming: Neighbors with Benefits by Marissa Clarke

A fun contemporary romance published by Lovestruck (Entangled) is on the menu today. Opposites attract with great insight into character growing, masterfully done by Marissa Clarke. Read on for my five-star review of Neighbors With Benefits, the second book in the Anderson Brothers, and all the book details. This review tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Neighbors With Benefits
by Marissa Clarke

Published by: Entangled: Lovestruck
Publication date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  B&N

Neighbors

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Official Synopsis

Love thy sexy jerk of a neighbor…

CEO Michael Anderson might be something of a “control freak.” Still, he’s not quite sure why his therapist thinks dogsitting will fix anything—especially since he and the canine share a kind of mutual loathing. And to make matters worse, a house sitter moves in next door disrupting his peace—and his dates—with the worst possible music at the worst possible time… every time.

Free-spirited artist Mia Argaropolis has settled into the perfect gig—housesitting in NYC’s Upper West Side while working as an art therapist. Too bad she’s stuck living next door to a bossy control freak with a penchant for calling building security when she blasts music to drown out the noises coming through his bedroom wall.

Post-apocalyptic dinner rolls that nearly take her kitchen with them, a douchebag ex, and a Shih Tzu with the personality of Godzilla attack Mia in one day, and her unlikely neighbor comes to the rescue. Like it was her fault. And now, somehow, they find themselves engaged? Both agree, this neighborly feud just got taken to a whole new level.

My Review

She: Mia Argaropolis, a near-starving artist with a huge heart, earns money as a house-sitter to make ends meet keeping her job as an art therapist at a senior citizens’ home. Bringing joy through art is her one goal. Because, frankly, she has no other. It’s not her fault she’s flaky, impulsive and no one can count on her to carry something through. That’s who she is, and whoever doesn’t like her, can take a hike.

He: Michael Anderson is a CEO and everything that comes with it. In other words, he breathes control and order. Okay, color-coordinating socks maybe shows he should let go, but dogsitting? His therapist’s idea is as foul as the dogpoo he ended carrying in his pocket. In a business meeting. The annoying neighbor seems to know her way around dogs though, so helping her out as her pretend fiance in exchange for her dogsitting services makes sense. Her almost burning down the house while flooding it doesn’t.

The conflict: Opposites attract goes on a whole new level. A rigid, self-centered, mega-successful control freak needs to make things work with a hot-mess of a woman. Figuring out why he needs that and claiming her makes for a truly fun read.

The setting: Contemporary Upper East side, Manhattan and the Hamptons.

The heat: Slow building. I thought it would stay sweet-ish but when the couple came together, fireworks popped.

The good stuff: The fully fleshed characters. I loved how Marissa Clarke paints a full picture with one character (Michael) not perceiving his flows and the other (Mia) not seeing her strengths. Merging two extremely opposite characters in a plausible way takes skill and mastery, which the author has in spades. The writing is great. I had several laugh-out-loud moments. The Queen B’s, the elderly, inappropriate ladies at the seniors’ home were an interesting change from the cookie-cutter slutty girlfriend sidekick.

The other stuff: Maybe, the overall pace of the book cranked up a notch. And the major misunderstanding that tore the couple apart was a bit exaggerated.

Bottom line: A fun read. Witty, heart-warming and sexy. I’ll sure pick up, Sleeping with the Boss, Book 1 in the Anderson Brothers series.

About the Author

Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw. Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA. She loves to connect with readers and can be found at http://www.marissaclarke.com and on Twitter at @MaryL_MarissaC

For sneak peeks at upcoming projects and chances to win prizes, join her Facebook street team group, Camp Clarke: http://www.facebook.com/groups/CampClarke/

To receive updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here: http://www.tinyurl.com/marissanews

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