Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Closer: A Stage Dive Novella Blog Tour

Closer - BT banner

When a stalker gets too close to plus-size model Mae Cooper, it’s time to hire some muscle.

CLOSER, an all-new standalone novella in the fan favorite Stage Dive Series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott and 1001 Dark Nights, is available now!

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Enter former military man turned executive protection officer Ziggy Thayer. Having spent years guarding billionaires, royalty, and rock n roll greats, he’s seen it all. From lavish parties through to every kind of excess.

There’s no reason some Instagram stylista should throw him off his game. Even if she does have the most dangerous curves he’s ever seen...

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Closer - AN

Download your copy today!

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“Your keys and security alarm code please, miss?” he asked, hand held out waiting. 
It might have just been me, but we seemed to be standing awfully close together. It almost seemed weirdly intimate. Almost. No, my bad. Ziggy wore his usual professional fa├žade with nary a hint of emotion on display. His gaze was shuttered, his bearing military rigid. It was definitely just me and my overactive imagination. Being vaguely attracted to your bodyguard was kind of a pain in the ass. Not that I couldn’t use the distraction right now. Ziggy continued to stand there patiently waiting.
“Keys. Right.” I rummaged inside my Balenciaga City bag. Designer goodies were not only a weakness of mine, but a happy perk of being in the industry and achieving some small fame. 
“Ah, just a minute. They’re in here somewhere.” I pushed aside my purse, a cashmere shawl, tampons, a candy bar, some loose change, my small Chanel cosmetics case, a power bank, hair ties, pepper spray, a copy of the latest Sarah MacLean book, mints, a spare charging cable for my cell phone, the cell phone itself, Chapstick, Prada sunglasses case, my grandma’s rosary, dental floss, deodorant, a couple of pens, Kleenex, ear buds, water bottle, a USB stick, reusable straw, condoms, nail file, some old receipts, a travel size umbrella, hand sanitizer, lotion, a pair of pearl earrings, tweezers, Advil, a hair band, and some bobby pins. 
“Sorry about this,” I murmured. “I know I put them in here when we left.” 
He said nothing. A whole lot of nothing. 
“Huh.” With a great sense of victory, I held up a bottle of nail polish. “I thought I’d lost this.” 
One of his dark brows crept upwards. “I’ll have you know this color was limited edition. Little Death at Midnight by Oxley. You can’t buy it anymore.” 
His lips did not move, but that damn eyebrow arched even higher as he leaned forward a little and took in the contents of my bag. I swear his eyes widened. 
“Don’t you judge me. All of these things are necessary for my ongoing existence.” 
“Of course they are, miss.” 
The man was so judging me. Bastard. “You carry a koozie around with you, I see.” 
“It pays to be ready to party, Mr. Thayer.”

About Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott author pic

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Connect with Kylie Scott

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Monday, September 9, 2019

The Daddy Coach Release Day Blitz

Today we have the release blitz for Karen Muir’s THE DADDY COACH! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

About The Daddy Coach:

Hoping to vindicate her brother, botanist Gina Dunn poses as a nanny to the man she believes framed him. Even though she grew up in a dysfunctional home, how hard can it be looking after twin four-year-old boys? If she can nurture rare orchids, surely she can handle this.   Instant fatherhood hits contractor Will Sinclair hard when his twin sons he didn't know existed come to live with him. The rebellious boys reject Will as their real dad, forcing him to turn to Gina, his new nanny, for her "expert" help.   Interacting with Will and his boys as a “daddy” coach, Gina starts to crave the family she's always longed to have. But Will's reaction when he learns of her deception isn’t her biggest fear––one of two men she loves is lying…  

Get Your Copy:

Entangled | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt:

On the family room couch, Ian and Harry flopped down on either side of Gina and snuggled close. She put her arms around them and read Where the Wild Things Are. The boys grew quiet. Good sign. They were drowsy.

When she finished a second story, their eyes were closed. Finally. I've worn them out.

 She'd give them a minute to sink into deep sleep, then resume what might be her last search of the house. Leaning her head back on the couch, she closed her eyes. She would start with Will's black filing cabinet. In her mind's eye she saw herself opening the top drawer.

 A swarm of butterflies flew out, and Harry and Ian leaped to catch them, squealing and knocking over several block towers. The center drawer of the desk began spewing black smoke. She grabbed a potholder to wrench it open with one hand, while picking up the jangling phone with the other. Will's velvet voice purred in her ear. "How's it going?"

"Just great!"

The boys became burning bundles in her arms, and she grew uncomfortably warm. She lifted her head and opened her eyes to check Harry. Sleeping soundly, he looked innocent and sweet, not at all the bratty beast who'd confronted her yesterday with his water gun. She ran her fingers through his hair and across his damp brow. She turned to do the same to Ian, then sensing movement, glanced up to see Will approaching slowly.

Caught in the cross-hairs of his gaze, she froze. He stopped in front of her and slowly loosened his tie. A surge of attraction stirred low in her belly. Why did she find this man so compelling? Framing Kyle meant he had the morals of a snake.

"Sorry to wake you." His midnight soft voice held a hint of laughter.

"No problem." Damn. He was here, and her chance to search the rest of his house was gone.

The twins stirred at her sides and awoke.

"Hi, guys," Will said. "How was your day?"

Harry rubbed his eyes. "Ian broke the window."

"Gina broke the washing machine," Ian countered.

“We had ants for lunch.”

Stunned, Gina looked from one boy to the other.  The debrief continued.

"Gina said a bad word."

"Two times," Ian confirmed.

At the shock in Will's eyes, she groaned. She was toast.

He knelt to examine the stack at her feet. "I see you got some books.

"Yeah, we went to the library," Ian said."

Harry was not done ratting her out. "We made cookies and got flour all over the floor."

Ian frowned. "They were black."

"We had a water fight."

"Gina wore your pajamas." Hands over their mouths, the boys snickered.

Will stood, his brows raised. Her cheeks burning, Gina studied the carpet. "Sounds like you had a busy day," he said.

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "It was cool."

Gina smiled. It had been cool, but she was going to be fired for a dozen reasons. Time for a quick exit. She scooted off the couch and turned to the boys. "Thanks for letting me spend the day with you guys."

She shook their limp hands. "Goodbye, Harry. Goodbye, Ian."

Disappointed frowns replaced their smiles, and guilt gnawed her. She had earned the boys' trust and now she was leaving. 

“I’ll see you out,” Will said.

“No need.” But he and the boys trailed her to the door, as she kicked herself for botching her one-day trial. Maybe it was for the best. Ian and Harry were troubled boys who needed a real caregiver with lots of kid skills, not a clueless pseudo-nanny who was out to nail their dad.

She reached the front door and turned to give the boys a parting wave.

About Karen Muir:

A sense of humor was a must when Karen taught elementary grades and Head Start, and she's always loved books and movies that make her laugh. Karen's Fish Out of Water series from Entangled Publishing deals with heroines thrust outside their comfort zones. Their first meetings with their heroes tend to be quirky. An English Lit major at the University of Washington, Karen now reads mostly genre novels. Contemporary and historical romances and mysteries are my favorites. She loves camping--out in the wilds and close to nature--with all the comforts of our motor home. Sitting by a clear mountain stream with a good book to read is her idea of heaven.

Connect with Karen:

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

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All's faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon's family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn't have time for Emily's lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she's in her revealing wench's costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they're portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can't seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

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

It doesn't get much cuter than this: girl makes a temporary move to a small town and thanks to the magic of Ren Faire ends up falling for one of its organizers. 

It's the wrong kind of sparks that fly on their first meeting when Emily agrees to be her niece's chaperone at Ren Faire and she has to work under the ever present scrutiny of Simon who took over the reins as organizer from his brother. He runs a tight ship and has no idea what to do with Emily's easygoing and sarcastic nature. They goad each other constantly. At first Emily sees Simon as a humorless drill sergeant with no people skills but changes her mind when she sees how he exuberantly inhabits his role as a pirate at the faire. She also starts to develop a soft spot for him after learning about his family's history. For some odd reason, they get along better when they're in costume. During Ren Faire weekends Simon becomes lively and charismatic - totally opposite from weekday Simon. He woos Emily who has been cast as a bar wench and their dalliance (purely for the show, of course) is a smash with the regulars and visitors. Emily doesn't know what to make of this other side to Simon and begins to appreciate what the Faire and its participants mean to him. 

Emily is at a strange crossroads in her life and living here has also given her ample time to consider what her next step should be. She always thought her stay was temporary but she's a natural people person and has been happily getting to know its inhabitants and assimilating to life there. The bonus is that it's brought her closer to her sister and this is something she ultimately cherishes. But it's one thing to be a visitor. Falling in love, remaining in town and embracing a full life here is a huge next step. If she does this it has to be for herself and not because of some guy. Been there, done that. It's her time now!

Having been to a couple of Ren Faires in the past I enjoyed the various references and images the story conjured up. It made me want to go to one again soon. Emily is also a huge Shakespeare nerd who'd instigate stuff with Simon which was highly entertaining. I admired Emily for her introspection as she as looked back on her own history and debated about her next course of action. There's also something about being in costume that releases inhibitions because it allows someone like Simon, who shoulders so much responsibility, to let loose. Emily and Simon are a good team and it was nice to root for them as a couple. The story is also full of side characters that added to the fuzzy feels of this book.

Well Met is all sorts of good fun with a happily ever after befitting its central characters. It also has me wishing that summer would never end!

~ Bel

Monday, September 2, 2019

The Chai Factor by Farah Heron

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Thirty-year-old engineer Amira Khan has set one rule for herself: no dating until her grad-school thesis is done. Nothing can distract her from completing a paper that is so good her boss will give her the promotion she deserves when she returns to work in the city. Amira leaves campus early, planning to work in the quiet basement apartment of her family’s house. But she arrives home to find that her grandmother has rented the basement to . . . a barbershop quartet. Seriously? The living situation is awkward: Amira needs silence; the quartet needs to rehearse for a competition; and Duncan, the small-town baritone with the flannel shirts, is driving her up the wall.

As Amira and Duncan clash, she is surprised to feel a simmering attraction for him. How can she be interested in someone who doesn’t get her, or her family’s culture? This is not a complication she needs when her future is at stake. But when intolerance rears its ugly head and people who are close to Amira get hurt, she learns that there is more to Duncan than meets the eye. Now she must decide what she is willing to fight for. In the end, it may be that this small-town singer is the only person who sees her at all.

Source: purchased copy

Amira decides to return home to finish her graduate thesis from the comfort of her home and finds that there's now a barbershop quartet residing there. Can you even imagine? It sounds so ridiculous but it is the setup for one of the most endearing stories I've read this year. The unexpected renters in her home upend her calm sanctuary and it turns out to be not  a bad thing. As much as she's unwilling to admit it, being around these oddballs is shaking things up for her. She's been so consumed with school and getting her paper done that she hasn't exactly allowed herself to take a breath. Being forced to recognize that there's life happening beyond her is an eye-opener which eventually leads to her viewing her future differently. 

I enjoyed the heck out of this story and seeing Amira grow from an insulated character to one that sees and feels along with others around her. She transitions from being always on the defensive to some willing to giving the benefit of the doubt. I did take delight in her sparring often with Duncan, the gorgeous ginger of the barbershop quartet. They can't quite figure each other out but still have fun needling the other, nonetheless. I liked that Amira was confused by her feelings for him because it shattered her orderly black and white way of looking at life. And Duncan of all people gives it to her straight even if he doesn't know her as well. Amira also helps Duncan open his eyes to new experiences and certain tough realities about his own family. Sometimes an outsider or someone new to the situation offers a different angle that you haven't considered before. On the home front, Amira reconnecting with her family was very sweet. This is where her own awakening comes in handy as she starts seeing below the surface of things especially with regards to familial and cultural expectations within their tight knit community. Amira does a lot of growing up in the little time she's been home.

I had been looking forward to The Chai Factor for months and it didn't disappoint. Heron tackles current headlines such as bigotry and sexism through Amira's evolution. This is a marvelous debut from Farah Heron and I can't wait to read more from her!

~ Bel