Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tour! A Review of To Win a Scoundrel's Heart by Kristen McLean




To Win a Scoundrel's Heart (The Lords of Whitehall #2) by Kristen McLean
Genre: Adult (Historical Romance)
Date Published: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Young Ink Press

When her husband’s death is ruled a suicide, Lady Dumonte suspects foul play. However, finding the truth seems impossible after every investigator in Paris turns up empty-handed. Now she is forced to seek help from Lord Pembridge, a feckless libertine. 

Although the pain of loss is a constant reminder of why she must hide her heart, this carefree scoundrel threatens to break past her defenses. He could uncover the truth regarding her husband’s death, but is learning the truth worth risking her heart?

Lord Pembridge has wealth, angelic good looks, and a sunny disposition. None would guess the dark secret blackening his past or the grudge controlling his future. It was the reason he could never have a family of his own, a fate he had accepted until he was forced to play detective for the one woman who could tempt him. 


To Win a Scoundrel's Heart by Kristen McLean is the second book in The Lords of Whitehall Series. I love love/hate relationships. You can always feel the tension, and it makes the time fly by. Plus, Nick just loves to bust Celeste's chops, and she falls for it every time. She's pretty prim and proper and a touch naive, although not in the usual way. I'm a little confused about her husband's past involvements. I'm assuming he was a shady character, but I never saw her come to that realization in the book. So, it made me question if I had read something wrong. Nick and Celeste were entertaining. Their story was a fun one. Along with the romance, it had humor, mystery, and suspense. I'm enjoying this series quite a bit.

The ARC of To Win a Scoundrel's Heart by Kristen McLean was kindly provided to me by Tasty Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.




“You, m’dear girl,” he murmured, “are old enough to know better than to tempt a scoundrel.” “I know what I am doing,” she spouted back indignantly. “I am not a child.” “No,” he agreed easily. “You are certainly not a child.” “Then I would expect you not to treat me like one.” Her eyes flashed, giving him a teasing glimpse of passion. Lady Dumonte possessed passion? Another surprise. “Of course not.” He frowned in mock seriousness. “How should I treat you? As a lady or a mistress?” “As a woman,” she ground out. “I am a woman!” Her lips pursed together as she glared up at him. He smiled broadly; he couldn’t help himself. “Ah, yes,” he agreed, looking her over as though he had only just noticed. “I believe you are.” She took in a deep breath, pushing her breasts against the tight fabric of her bodice. His cock jumped to attention. “I was wrong about not liking you. I hate you!” “And yet,” he mused with a knit brow, “you throw yourself at me like all the others. You are either in denial of your overwhelming attraction to me or a glutton for punishment. For my own complacency, I choose the former.” Céleste shook her head slowly, her eyes narrowed and seething with anger. “Regardless,” he continued frankly at his own peril, “you had better run along, or you may find your offer accepted, and we both know you never expected that. Your bluff has been called, Lady Dumonte. Go on home like a good girl.” “I never bluff.” “Never say never, m’dear,” he murmured with a purposefully wicked smile.


Have you read the first book in this series yet?

author
Kristen has always had a love of novels, with a special place in her heart for historical romance. After reading enough of them to fill a rather impressive library, she decided to write her own. Now she has the pleasure of writing at home, tucked away in a forest with her husband, two children and her cat. Her husband is loving and impressively patient, her two beautiful children strive to embarrass and exhaust her, and her cat hates everyone, but tolerates—well, she tolerates whoever will feed her.

To learn more about Kristen McLean and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.



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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tour! A Review, Teasers, & Excerpt of To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne





To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne 
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Pocket Books

USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne is the “queen of witty dialogue and sexy scenes” (Rachel Van Dyken)! Now, Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true... but their own.

Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?


To Have and to Hold is the first book in the Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. Seth and Brooke are at odds with each other from the very beginning, but there is a definite attraction there as well to keep things a little spicy. You could really feel their chemistry. Seth was pretty controlling, but I didn't think it was always in a bad way. Annoying at times to those involves? Yes. But, when he cares for someone, he CARES for them all the way. So, is it bad that I really don't think what he did for Brooke and his sister was overstepping? Maybe so, but I didn't. I would have been so thankful to him. I didn't get why they weren't. Especially his sister.

I'm really enjoying this series so far, which is not surprising. There isn't a book that I've read by this author yet that I haven't liked. I'm ready for more!

The ARC of To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.



It’s not as though Brooke had meant to start dating a con man. She certainly didn’t intend to get engaged to one.

But that’s the thing about con mans. The good ones were good at, well . . . the con.

And Clay Battaglia had been a good one. The best, actually, if you took the word of the FBI agent who’d debriefed Brooke and her family—while she was still in her wedding dress.

Turns out that while Brooke had been happily building her wedding-planning company, Clay had been quietly and competently been getting away with every white-collar crime in the book. While she’d been planning their wedding, he’d apparently been knee-deep in yet another Ponzi scheme.

Brooke hadn’t even known what a Ponzi scheme was when the FBI had told her.

She did now.

Following Clay’s arrest, she spent weeks researching white-collar crime. Wanting to know what he’d been up to all those times he’d quietly kissed her forehead late at night and told her he needed to make some phone calls for “work.” Wanting to know what her life would have been like if the FBI hadn’t taken him down before they’d exchanged vows.

Still, while Brooke would be ever grateful that she’d learned the truth before she’d become Mrs. Clay Battaglia, she’d be lying if she didn’t admit that the timing of it had stung just a little bit.
If they’d only taken him down a day before. Heck, even an hour before.

But no.

Just moments after Brooke kissed her father’s cheek and prepared to marry the man she loved at the wedding she’d poured her heart into, the FBI stormed—yes, stormed—the church.

Clay was in handcuffs before she even registered what was happening.
Numbly she watched as he listened to his Miranda rights at the precise moment he should have been listening to the vows she’d spent months writing.

And as reality slowly sunk in, Brooke waited. Waited for him to look at her. To look at her and say that it was all a lie. All one big misunderstanding, and that they’d be on their way to Bermuda as planned by tomorrow.

He didn’t.

He didn’t even apologize.

No, the man she’d loved for two years with every fiber of her being merely smiled at her and then shrugged.

There’d been plenty of photos taken that day, but that was the one that made it onto the front page of every major newspaper on the West Coast.

“The Greatest Con of All.” “Arrested by Love.” And her personal favorite, courtesy of her very own LA Times: “White-Collar Bride.”
The stories all read pretty much like you’d expect. About Clay, mostly, and the litany of accusations against him, but also about Brooke.

The papers had stopped short of defamation, but the implications were there. She was clueless and ditzy at best, a potentially overlooked accomplice at worst. Completely oblivious to the fact that she’d been sharing a roof with the most nefarious white-collar criminal in a generation—or pretending to be.

None of that had bothered her. What had bothered her was that she’d been a fool. Self-absorbed, naive, and downright blind.

Brooke had been dodging dumb-blonde jokes for most of her life, but the debacle with Clay was the first time she thought she might really, truly be deserving of the title.

She hadn’t been surprised when new clients had stopped calling. Hadn’t been surprised when current clients canceled. Nobody wanted to hire that wedding planner.

Brooke had even been relieved, at first. In those first weeks after Clay’s arrest, she hadn’t been able to handle any talk of weddings. Not her own, and not other people’s.

But the worst part of all of this, the part that kept her up long into the lonely nights, wasn’t the negative effect on her career. No, the worst part was that sometimes, in the very darkest corner of her soul, she feared that she might still love Clay, at least a little. Sure, her brain knew that all the things she’d loved about Clay had been a lie. Her brain understood that his name wasn’t even Clay.

But her heart? Her heart was having a harder time forgetting the way he always let her be the little spoon and tuck her cold feet against his warm calves. Or the way he’d brought her coffee in bed every morning. Or the way she’d come home after a long day with the worst sort of bridezilla and Clay would make them cocktails and sit on the deck with her, and watch the sunset and laugh.

She’d imagined that all their nights would be like that. All the nights for the rest of her life, with maybe with a couple of kids thrown into the mix eventually.

Brooke swallowed.

There wouldn’t be any more nights on the patio watching the sunset with Clay. Wouldn’t be any patio at all, because Brooke’s real estate broker had made it quite clear that she should be counting herself lucky to get a dishwasher in New York—a patio was out of the question.

So no patio. No Clay, or whatever his real name was.

No man at all, really.
No falling in love.
Not ever again.


Have you read the prequel to this series?



Check out my reviews of some of this author's other books!


author
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.  Check out my interview with Lauren Layne.

To learn more about Lauren Layne and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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Seaside Lovers Release Week Blitz!




Seaside Lovers (Seaside Summers #7) by Melissa Foster
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 20, 2016
Publisher: Self

Seaside Summers is a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.

"You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that's fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won't want to stop reading. Every book's a winner!" New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

"Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!" New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely

In SEASIDE LOVERS...

After months of long-distance communication, actress Parker Collins and artist Grayson Lacroux finally plan to reconnect in the seaside town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. But Parker never shows, and weeks pass without a word, leaving Grayson to believe he's misinterpreted their budding relationship.

Parker has been running on autopilot ever since she lost her friend, mentor, and the only family she's ever known, Bert Stein. Armed with junk food, tequila, and her big, lovable dog, she's prepared to hole up and mourn--and determined to mend a fence Bert had never been able to with his estranged and bitter brother. But Parker didn't count on the sinfully hot artist she's been fantasizing about for nearly a year walking in on her grief-induced drunken night.

When Grayson stumbles across Parker, he has no idea what to make of the gorgeous blonde who blew him off despite the heat sizzling between them. But that doesn't stop him from feeling protective of the woman who's consumed his thoughts for months, and when he learns of Parker's plans to confront an angry old man, he refuses to leave her side. As Parker's past unfolds, they're led on an unexpected journey of discovery. Their connection deepens, and late-night fantasies become passionate realities, until good intentions spark painful secrets, threatening the love they've found.


Seaside Summers is part of Melissa Foster's bestselling Love in Bloom series. All Love in Bloom books may be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, or as part of the series.

SEASIDE SUMMERS

Seaside Dreams (Bella)

Seaside Hearts (Jenna)

Seaside Sunsets (Jamie)

Seaside Secrets (Amy)

Seaside Nights (Sky)

Seaside Embrace (Hunter)

Seaside Lovers (Grayson)

Seaside Whispers (Matt)

***

Read the complete LOVE IN BLOOM series:

SNOW SISTERS

THE BRADENS (at Weston, CO)

THE REMINGTONS

THE BRADENS (at Trusty, CO)

THE BRADENS (at Peaceful Harbor)

SEASIDE SUMMERS

WILD BOYS AFTER DARK


"Trust me?” Grayson asked.

“Trust a guy who hauled me over his shoulder and kidnapped me?” She looked toward the bar.

“Yeah, trust that guy.”

“I do trust you.” She poked him in his chest. “But if I end up on the front of some rag magazine, I’m hiding out in your basement. With Christmas, chocolate, and a boatload of horror movies that you have to watch with me.”

“Sweetheart, if you move into my house, you won’t be watching movies or hiding out in the basement. You’ll be lucky if you make it out of the bedroom. In fact”—he slid his hand to the nape of her neck, causing her eyes to glaze over with desire—“maybe I should take a few of those pictures and make that happen.” He’d taken a chance, saying something so brazen and holding her like this in the cab of his truck, but he couldn’t hold back.


Check out my review of one of Melissa's other books!

author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

To learn more about Melissa Foster and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.