Monday, October 28, 2019

Kingmaker Release Blitz & Giveaway

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“A dazzling, thought-provoking, layered romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat. One of the best books of 2019."

-- L.J. Shen, USA Today bestselling author

The Kingmaker, the first in the all-new powerful and emotional All The King’s Men Duet, from RITA ® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is available now!

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Enter the $50 Gift Card Release Giveaway 


Power. Passion. Betrayal.
Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King's Men Duet.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.
In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.
My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I'm determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

THE KINGMAKER LIVE JW

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!


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Pre-order the stunning conclusion, The Rebel King!
Releasing November 17th



Be notified FIRST when The Rebel King goes live 

Get notified when The Kingmaker is available on Audio 

About Kennedy

A RITA® Award Winner and Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy's writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

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Connect with Kennedy

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Southern Heartbreaker Release Blitz & Review

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He was the bad boy I fell for in college. Now he’s a sexy single dad and Charleston’s most successful venture capitalist. Dominant and decisive, Ford Montgomery is used to getting what he wants. And he just set his sights on me...

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Southern Heartbreaker, an all-new standalone contemporary romance in the Charleston Heat series by Jessica Peterson, is LIVE!

Ford Montgomery was my first everything.
First love.
First guy I slept with.
First heartbreak when he dumped me without explanation.

A decade later, it’s just my luck he’s the first guy I run into after moving back to my hometown of Charleston. Three piece suit, tie, and a watch worth more than my car--being a mogul looks good on Ford. So does being a doting dad to his adorable four-year-old daughter.

I tell myself I can resist him. But one impulsive, ill-advised kiss later, and Ford is in hot pursuit. He’s determined to make up for his past mistakes, and convinces me to give him a second chance.

What started out as fun between the sheets gets really serious, really fast. Problem is, I swore I’d never give up the dreams I worked so hard for to settle down and do the family thing.

But seeing Ford light up around his daughter--seeing how he’s chasing his ambitions while rocking fatherhood--is making me rethink what I want out of life.

It doesn’t help that behind his corporate veneer is the bad boy I fell in love with. And bad boys aren’t afraid to play dirty...or break hearts.

Southern Heartbreaker is part of the Charleston Heat Series, which is a series of interconnected standalone novels set in the steamy southern town of Charleston, South Carolina.

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Download your copy today or read free in Kindle Unlimited!

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About Jessica:

Jessica Peterson writes smart, sexy romance set in her favorite cities around the world. She grew up on a steady diet of Mr. Darcy, Jamie Frasier, and Edward Cullen, and it wasn’t long before she started creating irresistible heroes of her own. She loves strong coffee, stronger heroines, and heroes with hot accents.

She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband Ben and her smelly Goldendoodle Martha Bean.
Connect with Jessica:


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Review:

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Southern Heartbreaker is a second-chance romance for Ford and Eva who we were introduced to us in book 3 (Southern Gentleman). These two college sweethearts who went heavy and strong throughout those years broke up when Ford decided to break things off upon their graduation. Eva always felt slighted by the breakup and how he did it. He said some condescending and hurtful things about how her dreams not aligning or being ambitious enough and went on his way. Ford admits that he was stupid and didn't know what he was doing back then. Who hasn't done stupid things in their youth? Now he's older, wiser, a widow and a dad. Life has taught him a lot since then. Eva in the meantime pursued her own dreams despite what Ford said and achieved success as a food blogger and then with her first cook book. Feeling the pressure of writing her second book and afflicted with the lack of inspiration, she hopes a return visit home will spark something in her. Turns out Ford is that spark. They reconnect and relive the better moments from their high school years while also dealing with the reality of what they have going on now. They both have full plates but rekindling their previous magic seems to jump-start their creative juices and shift their perspectives on life.

What can I say? It's another hit for Peterson!  Each book has featured a special set of circumstances and in Southern Heartbreaker it's about two people trying to bend and mold their passions to fit nicely side by side with their responsibilities. Their reunion does come with complications. Ford, who has never before prioritized personal time over his devotion to his kid or his career has to learn that it's okay to take a break every once in a while. Eva has to accept that Ford and his daughter, Bryce are a package, and it's an overwhelming commitment for someone who's never considered having children. I did think she overreacted under stress at times but then, who doesn't? Ford and Eva get their sexy on quite a bit and these are the scenes we've come to expect from Peterson. There's one moment that I absolutely adored and it's when Eva remarks about how his tattoos are perfectly covered up by his name brand shirts but she knows what's under there. I just liked that bit of info because it felt so personal and intimate. Ford is so professional and put together for so much of his adult life these days and then he's with Eva and all of a sudden they're the naughtiest, kinkiest couple around. It's just good to see them happy.

Jessica Peterson's Charleston Heat series is borne out of love for the city and its culture, and is enticing comfort food for the romance reader's soul. Southern Heartbreaker shows that Peterson always delivers heart and passion in her stories and is a must-read for anyone who wants to experience that sizzle and sweetness!

~ Bel

* Source: advance egalley provided in exchange for an honest review


Monday, October 21, 2019

A Hive of Secrets and Spells Blog Tour


  
Welcome to A Hive of Secrets and Spells Blog Tour! We're excited to share with you this brand new release that's sure to add some magic to the Halloween season!



Synopsis for A Hive of Secrets and Spells:

Cupcakes, romance, and lovable canines abound in Heather and Sinead’s next adventure, but it isn’t all fun and games. The girlfriends are investigating a very personal kidnapping, and the threatening notes left behind accuse Sinéad and her punk-rocker twin brother of hiding something.
But after solving their first mystery together last Christmas, this one should be a piece of cake.After all, no one’s been murdered this time, and their witch-sorcerer rivalry is a thing of the past.Except it turns out there is a murderer, and a jewel thief as well, and why on earth does everyone keep talking about bees?


It appears Starford is a lot more exciting than Heather’s home town of Old Wetchhaven, and Sinéad’s insistence that Heather move in with her brings a whiff of trouble to their private paradise. Can Heather adjust to life near the big city? Or will the mounting secrets prove too much and turn their second case into their last?


A Hive of Secrets and Spells is a witch cozy mystery with a sweet lesbian romance and heart-warming magic.


Order now!




Enjoy this excerpt:

Heather stared at the wall in front of her, eyes unfocused. She was sure she’d done nothing wrong, but the heavy lead in her stomach turned over rapidly, making her question everything about those blurred few days. Out of the corner of her eye, the rain cloud thundered harder than ever. With the timing of its dramatic antics, it was almost as if it had known what was coming, though Heather wasn’t sure how it could.

Had it predicted this? The spell she designed shouldn’t be able to predict anything. And anyway, why did it still act as though something bad hid around the corner? After Roger Branson’s call, nothing worse could come of today.

Then she looked over and saw Sinéad frozen in horror, staring down at a sheet of paper in her hand. It didn’t look as though she’d heard any of Heather’s conversation, which at least explained why she hadn’t been demanding Heather pass her the phone so she could unleash her outrage.

“What is it?” she asked, reaching out to rest a hand on her girlfriend’s knee.

“It’s a letter,” Sinéad said slowly.

Heather resisted the urge to poke fun at her for stating the obvious. Something was very wrong.

“It says they’ve been taken, I’m being watched, and I need to meet with him so we can work together before it’s too late.” Her voice caught on the words with a faint edge of panic that didn’t suit her.

“Who’s been taken?” Heather asked, fear rising in her chest. Her hands shook where they pressed against Sinéad’s knee, but she wasn’t sure which of the two of them was causing it. “Who do you need to meet with?”

Who could worry Sinéad so much? Sinéad’s close friends were few and far between, and as an orphan, she had no family to worry about.

“My parents.” Sinéad looked up, her eyes wide and startled. “And I need to meet my brother.”

Behind them, the rain cloud shattered in a crack of lightning two foot tall, then disappeared.


About the Author:

Ellen Jane Phillips is an Australian indie author of wlw romance. She loves writing about LGBTQ women who experience complex lives, emotions, needs, and desires. Her books are written for people who crave love stories where friendship is just as important as romance, and who want to experience cosy warmth with a hint of mystery, magic, and emotion.
You can find her writing under two pen names: Ellen Jane, and E.J. Phillips. If you like light, cosy wlw romance suffused with magic and mystery, Ellen Jane is the pen name for you. If you prefer something a little heavier, and you like your wlw romance tinged with magic and tender angst, E.J. Phillips is the one you want. When she isn't writing, you can find her walking the dogs, playing D&D, or bemoaning the number of days since she last ate nachos.

Author Links:

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Hard Chrome Release Blitz



Book synopsis

He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty behind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy—and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that, the sooner he can find his new normal.

When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.

This book is approximately 49,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise : all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
 



Warnings

Hard Chrome deals with subjects some readers may find difficult, including domestic violence,
animal cruelty, drug use, and teen pregnancy.

All buy links or pre-order links 



 


About Vanessa North


Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs. 

Connect with Vanessa


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Giveaway

     
Vanessa North is celebrating the release of HARD CHROME with a big giveaway! Three prizes are up for grabs: (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards and (1) Signed Paperback of Hard Chrome + some serious auto-shop inspired swag! 

Teaser



Since I never met trouble I couldn’t land in face first, I stand and follow Tanner out to the kitchen.
 She’s leaning over the sink, her eyes closed, breathing slow like she’s in a yoga class. Elbows locked, knuckles white. I get the feeling if she let go of that countertop, she’d crumple to the ground.
 “Are you okay?” I ask softly.
 She nods, not opening those pretty eyes for a long moment; then she turns and she stares right at me. “Do you know what it’s like to have everyone counting on you? And you know you’re going to let them down, but you can’t say no, so you just let it happen?”
 And I’m twelve years old, testifying against Clifton for beating Ma.
 And I’m fifteen years old, doing it again.
 And I’m twenty, when they finally lock him up for fighting dogs.
 And I’m tired and relieved when he gets time added to his sentence for punching a guard, because it means I don’t have to stand up there again and watch my mother’s heart break when all I ever wanted was my family to be safe.
 And still he got paroled.
 “Yeah. I know what it’s like.”
 “You don’t think I can do it, do you? You don’t think I can run the shop?”
 Can she? I don’t know. Tom Ellis didn’t raise no fools. Maybe she’s looking for an out, any excuse to cut and run, and she just needs someone who isn’t her family to give it to her.
 “I don’t think you want to. I don’t think you love the cars, or the work, or this town.” I swallow, hard.
 “Families are fucked up, all of ’em. I get why you want to stay. I just don’t get what hurting yourself and them to prove something does for anyone.”
 She scowls then turns back to the sink and her yoga breathing. My fingers itch to touch her, to comfort her somehow, but I can take a hint. Besides. I don’t even like her.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

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Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.
 


Source: advance galley provided in exchange for an honest review


Say You Still Love Me is an irresistible read that's told through Piper's POV - her 16 year-old self and her current adult self. I genuinely like the format for this story because one, it shows any differences between younger Piper and the older version, and two, I like to see not only what the parallels are between the two time lines but how they eventually converge.


Piper is a hardworking and enterprising woman who's being groomed to take over her father's real estate development company once he retires. Her father has high expectations of her and she plans to prove that she can lead the company and its people. She's completely blindsided by Kyle showing up out of he blue after disappearing from her life all those years ago. They had met as counselors at summer camp where their attraction was instant. He was her first love which made it hurt even worse when he cut off all contact with her after that summer was over. Seeing him ushers back a rush of feelings. She still loves him and never stopped loving him, that she is certain of. Despite his cool demeanor toward her she's determined that they will finally resolve their unfinished business because she deserves answers and she'll get them.

I'd say that this was a slow buildup as the answers she's seeking lie in the past which is rehashed in increments. Tucker captures beautifully the wide-eyed and innocent crush that Piper felt for Kyle back then. I could feel her excitement at crushing on the seemingly bad boy and knowing that he's also checking her out. She also explores that tricky age of developing friendships and wanting to fit into a group as evidenced as here when she meets two other young counselors who will eventually become her best friends in the future. It's interesting to see how those bonds started - because it wasn't easy - and evolved into what they have today. In the present, they allude to an incident that occurred during that summer but the reveal doesn't come until almost the end of the novel. It's shocking in both the past and present. 

I liked this second-chance romance that also puts a significant focus on Piper's career and the various hurdles she faces. One of them being a misogynistic long-term employee who seeks to undermine her any chance he gets. We get to see how Piper problem solves and navigates her way through the office politics. The other problem is her ex-fiancé who holds out hope for a reconciliation. He starts off a bit of a douchebag but does become slightly palatable in the pages ahead. Much later ahead. The standoff she faces with the one troubling employee is part of the subplot that brings Piper and Kyle working together. It's not exactly a mystery but there is some sleuthing involved. 

K.A. Tucker is a good storyteller of first loves, heartbreaks and atonement. She's excellent at capturing the initial spark that sets off everything and taking you on that journey from the teenager years through adulthood. Say You Still Love Me is a splendid journey! 

~ Bel


Monday, October 14, 2019

Awk-Weird Release Day & Review Blitz





There’s more to me than just being awk-weird. I own my own flower shop, have some great friends, and I have my eye on adopting the most adorable kitten. But sadly, hot guys don’t tend to be blown away by my trivia-spouting, dorky self.



So, when a Thor-lookalike who happens to be a professional hockey player hits on me at my bestie's wedding rehearsal party ... You better believe I climbed that tree like a cat. And the face that it happened not once, not twice, but three times? Yeah, that's pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a woman like me. 


There's zero chance I'll end up ever seeing him again...right? 

Until the pregnancy test comes up positive. What happens next?

Oh my God, I wish I knew...

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USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are great with a quip and relatable heroines who are feisty, fierce and fantastic.
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Review:


If there's one thing I can count on from Avery Flynn it's her sense of humour that's always pervasive throughout her books. She writes charming, funny, and awkward so well that every book I've read of hers has been entertaining and always brings a smile to my face. Naturally I was all over it when it came to Awk-Weird, and come on, that's one brilliant title!

Tess and Cole meet the night before a wedding, neither of them are in a particularly great mood. She unwittingly gets pulled into a strange trivia game between Cole and his Ice Knights teammates. Cole and Tess are a super duo of crazy information and data. They're basically the phone-a-friend lifeline you want to keep in your back pocket.

Tess and Cole grew up with a lack of stability and adapted to their circumstances in different ways. Tess who bounced around family members as a kid felt the strain of trying to fit in and eventually developed a penchant for blurting out factoids as a way to cope. Cole's family moved around a lot and he found one thing gave him the stability he craved: hockey. These are the things that give them comfort, like a security blanket and explains plenty about their personalities and view about life. I like that Cole's not what one would expect of a popular athlete being a bit of a domestic guy who keeps a neat home, bakes to de-stress, would rather stay in and party it up, and most impressively, is a one-woman guy. Yeah, he's kind of a unicorn which makes me have massive heart eyes emojis for him. Tess' tendency to babble random facts when she's feeling awkward or under pressure is just a part of who she is, and her friends and Cole never make her feel bad about it. That Cole can keep up with her fast-working brain and match her intensity is freaking sexy. When she ends up pregnant thanks to their one-night stand and has to move in with him thanks to peculiar circumstances, his structured life and her spunky attitude clash often. It also upends his fantasy about his ex for whom he's still pining after hoping that their on again, off again relationship will be back on. Tess recognizes the temporary nature of their arrangement - she's used to temporary since that's been her entire experience growing up - so she's not exactly holding out hope that Cole will magically forget his ex and see her as a possible fixture in his life, even if she is pregnant with his baby. 

Awk-Weird is such a sweet, entertaining and sexy read. I mean, we've got a a guy who looks like he could be Thor's brother and a woman who's gorgeous and both of them unbelievably smart. I also think it's wonderful that Avery Flynn has created a sensitive hero much like she did in Parental Guidance. These guys have insecurities that they're not proud of but they don't act out negatively because of them. I'm so grateful for that. And let's be honest that there's a little bit of Tess in all of us with our quirks and silliness seeking to belong. Together they make a positively charming couple. Throw in Kahn, Tess' cat from hell as Cole likes to put it, and you're treated to some funny scenarios. 

~ Bel

*Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Faker by Sarah Smith

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Debut author Sarah Smith nails this fun and sexy multicultural romance where two office foes hammer out their differences to build a love that will last...

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she's tough as nails--the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn't have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie's friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can't stop staring at his Thor-like biceps...

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get...heated. Emmie's beginning to see that beneath Tate's chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.


Source: advance egalley provided in exchange for an honest review


My favourite moment in any enemies-to-lovers romance is when the switch flips and the two characters find themselves in the unfamiliar position of have feelings for the other. They're so used to being hateful that they're thrown off and don't know how to behave anymore. That's what happens here when Emmie without warning, is reconsidering her long-held opinion of her mortal enemy, Tate.

It would be easy to ignore Tate were it not for the inconvenient fact that he works across the the tiny hallway from Emmie. She has to see him every single day and when they do have to interact it's minimal at best which always leaves her raging anew at him. She can't fathom why he's always given her the cold shoulder, answering in clipped sentences, reacting as if she's ruining his day, and generally trying to pretend she's not there. But she's taken aback when he suggests at a meeting with their boss that they work together on a social media project for their company. This should be interesting. It could change things around for them but it feels like more of the same just that now she has to speak to him. Then she's involved in an accident and overnight she's seeing an entirely different side to Tate that she never imagined possible. The change in their dynamics is confusing.

So what is it about Faker? The little things. When Emmie is laid up Tate steps in to offer her support and comfort in his own Tate way. She realizes how much he has noticed about her -- her interests, her likes and dislikes, her temperament and most impressively, details about her culture. It's a big part of who she is and he takes the time and opportunity to show her that he pays attention to what's important to her. Can we please take a brief moment to swoon here? Emmie also notices how much she's picked up on him all along. How cute is that when someone shows you that they think about you and get you? On a deeper level, Tate knows how much of a show Emmie puts on at work because she works with mostly men who'd seek to undermine her. He doesn't try to fix things outright for her but does look for ways to have her back. I've been leaning away from the alpha-hero types because I can only take so much of the possessive and quick-to-react personas. Tate is the antithesis of that. He's the kind of guy who would rather stay under the radar and can surprise you when you give him the opportunity. He gets what matters. 

On a more personal note, I've never before felt such solidarity with a character. Various details in Emmie's family and school life hit so close to home for me. It's clear from her recollections how events and incidents shaped her life and attitude, and I truly understood her. It felt as if a bit of my life was lifted and inserted into this story, and I can't begin to explain how good it felt to see those words on paper that echoed so many of my own experiences. It was cathartic and affirming. 

Emmie and Tate's relationship journey is a little different from some of the romances I've read recently and I liked how theirs evolved. As I said, I felt a special kinship with Emmie and seeing her get her happily ever after with someone who is just as amazing as she is, makes Faker an absolute joy to read!

~ Bel